Look out California, you’ve got a road trip rival! Today, we took our first trip to the countryside and it was like traveling back into time. Research quickly helped me realize that “The Cotswolds” is not a town, but an area about 20×40 miles large, polka dotted with darling towns and each with their own little “High Street.” Charming pubs, mouth-watering candy shops and picturesque architecture summed up our day, along with some shopping.
There is no question that we didn’t even scratch the surface of the royal-sized jewelry box of hidden gems. Our first stop was Burford, where we spent lots of time at The Oxford Shirt Company, a seemingly endless store full of cozy sweaters, warm wool, and quintessential English country-looking clothes. I picked up a darling long shawl, perfect attire for our next day in the country. A couple pieces of fudge held us over until lunch at our next stop at Burton-on-the-Water.
Once parked, we set out to find a spot for lunch and settled in for some British comfort food. After wandering around the town and finding a few decorative Christmas pieces, we marveled at town’s charm, with it’s river centerpiece, and drove a few miles north to Stow-on-the-Wold.
By our final stop, Mark was growing slightly impatient with my antiquing for a coat rack, and had had enough mixed candy. With a pint in mind, we walked around the town square and chose The White Hart for cask ales (technically a food, not a drink). The setting couldn’t have been more charming. Had I packed some jammies, I would have insisted that we book a room, drink a few more pints, and cozy in for the night (the pub was part of an Inn).
On the drive home, the sun accented the puffy white clouds and rolling hills in a way that my photography skills couldn’t capture, so we’ll be going back so that I can practice. I will forever remember our first breathtaking view while driving along the northern California coast, accompanied by my fear of driving over the edge of a cliff. A similar sensation washed over me today- I felt awestruck by the loveliness of the countryside and completely terrified that we were destined for a head on collision riding on the left-hand side of the road!