We chose to stay in a small Inn located in Bourton-on-the-water. I would never recommend Bourton during the tourist season, as it's one of the towns in the Cotswolds that allows tour buses, so it gets quite swamped. We chose it because we knew we'd be arriving in the evening, and wanted a little town that we could walk around, allowing us to ditch the car for the night, and still feel like we had something to do. Bourton is picturesque (but all of the Cotswolds are), with a a beautiful stream running through the middle, and as it wasn't quite tourist season, it was completely peaceful.
An evening stroll before dinner.
We stayed at an Inn called The Chester House Hotel. We had a lovely dinner at The Croft, which was the restaurant associated with the Inn (located down the street). After day one in the area, mom and dad decided it was a place they wanted to stay longer, so we ended up basing ourselves in Bourton for two nights so that we could really get a feel for the different villages.
We spent our first day driving from town to town exploring. What we did realize was that our guide book was sending us to the tourist spots. These were cute towns, but well established and full of tea houses and outdoor clothing stores. I would suggest getting out the map, and just picking small towns at random, and really getting lost within the area. All of the towns are very close, so you really don't need to stress about choosing the most efficient route. I preferred the small places, with little cottages and shops, but slightly off the beaten path.
I told you, outdoor shops, and tea houses. I may or may not have bullied dad into buying a Barbour jacket, and as you can see, it's not like we avoided the tea houses.
Besides Bourton-on-the-water, we also went to the following towns (amongst many others that we drove through on our way to these):
Moreton in Marsh
We loved both 'Slaughters'. Straight from a Fairy Tale book.
The Chipping Camden Market Hall. Erected in 1627.
I think I should have won 'picture of the day' for the next one.
'Picture of the Day' was a contest we came up with, but never actually did. We were going to each choose our favourite photo that we took on a particular day, and then at dinner that night we would each show our waiter or waitress our best photo, and they would then have to judge their favourite. The winner would get a prize of some sort.
Despite plenty of talk, we never did it.
The very cute, Snowshill.
A Manor House in Stanway. The Lord of this house opens it to the public from time to time to pay the bills (according to our guide book).
On our second evening, we had an excellent meal at a pub on a hill overlooking the village of Stanton. It was called The Mount Inn. I would highly recommend this spot. Friendly people and excellent pub food with lots of choices.
A great lookout, with Stanton below.
If I never return to Vancouver, you can find me in the Cotswolds. I'll be the girl wearing her Barbour Jacket and Wellies, walking her two labs (actually, one lab and one Spaniel), through the meadow, along the stream, arm in arm with....
I'll keep you posted.