Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Cotswolds - death by tearooms!

Oh my goodness, the Cotswolds are revolting! I know this isn't the normal reaction (the area is very popular with tourists, particularly with Shakespeare fans going to Stratford on Avon) but there's something about the richness and almost fakeness of these twee little towns...

Recently my lovely husband wanted to go on a day trip. I'd had a visit to Hidecot recommended as it's a famous garden and fairly local to Bristol.

In the morning we fluffed around getting ready, eating breakfast etc. then eventually set off driving up the M4. Sadly by the time we'd stopped for a quick lunch and wended our way through the country lanes of Gloucestershire, it was heading on for 3:30pm.

We reluctantly decided it was too late to do the garden justice so instead we stopped in a market town called Chipping Campden in the area known as the Cotswolds for afternoon tea.

Why did the Cotswolds make me ever so slightly nauseated? Well, in these pretty little towns, every car is a new BMW, Range Rover, Audi etc. The houses are all of the same golden stone and piled close on top of each other with roses and hollyhocks around the doors. Houses have names, not numbers and most of them are hundreds of years old. There are dozens of tearooms, a couple of antique stores, maybe an art gallery and a few discreetly signposted useful shops. There's always a stunning church which shows that this village or market town has been rich for centuries. I just find it all a bit much - like eating too much clotted cream on too many scones. Have a look at the pics of a little town called Broadway to see what I mean...

I'm not that familiar with the Cotswolds, but I have driven all over the South-West. Even the prettiest towns in these counties like Dorset and Wiltshire (Marlborough, for example) seem more lived in by normal people than these Cotswold towns.

So, after a very nice but rather overpriced cherry bakewell slice and coffee in a twee little tea-room, we drove back to good old Bristol.

We will try again to see the gardens at Hidecot and we will also trot up and see Sudely Castle as I've heard good things about that too. Don't fret, we haven't entirely shaken the dust of the Cotswolds off our shoes, but still the place does kind of bring me out in hives... Am I just being odd here?


  1. If you can ever bear to go back there for the Cotswold Olimpicks I highly recommend that - I didn't even notice the sickly richness as I was too busy laughing at all the crazy shin-kicking etc. You just have to pick your events! xx

    1. Hi Emily - I've never heard of the Olimpicks but a quick search got me this on one of the games they play "The pastime of dwile flonking (also dwyle flunking) involves two teams, each taking a turn to dance around the other while attempting to avoid a beer-soaked dwile (cloth) thrown by the non-dancing team". Sounds amazing!


I get really excited when I shout into the void and the void says "hello" back at me. Thanks for your comments!