UK Road Trip

September 11, 2014 —Bath - The Cotswolds

The Henrietta House accommodated our schedule by serving us breakfast at 7:30.  We walked the short distance to the Abbey Hotel to get our Lion’s tour to the Cotswolds.  Several people were late, so we waited on the uncomfortable mini-bus with Richard, our driver/tour guide.  There were 20 people on the tour from all over the world.  On the way to Castle Combe, Richard told us that John Cleeves and Jane Seymour live in Bath, and Daniel Craig and Nicholas Cage (he has a castle) live near Bath.  He also shared that the cost of gasoline per gallon (about £6 or $9.75) is 80% tax.  There are stiff fines for using a phone while driving, and if you are involved in a fatality while using your phone it’s 5 years in prison.  You can drive at the age of 17, but the car insurance per year will probably cost more than the car.  When we got to Castle Combe, which has been voted the ‘prettiest village in England,’ we laughed at the sign 'free range children.’ Our first stop was at Pat’s house.  We walked through her big back yard with nice flowers.  Pat's husband travels a lot to the U.S., so she had a memorial to 9/11 built in her backyard.  Coincidentally, we were here on 9/11.  The stream near her home was enhanced for the movie Dr.  Doolittle (the Rex Harrison version made in the 60s), to look like a harbor.  Recently, the Steven Spielberg movie Warhorse, was also filmed here.  The population of Castle Combe is about 200, and a home here would cost around $1.6 million.  We went through the village of Tiddlywink and the old Roman town of Cirencester, where most of the rich people in the Cotswolds live.  Our next stop was Bibury,  population about 50.  Richard gave us bread and we fed the ducks from the bridge.  We walked a short distance to see some very old cottages, then went to a cafe by the trout farm for a treat.  We drove down a very narrow road on our way to Stow-on-the-Wold, where we walked around and had a little shopping time (Barbara bought a lemon reamer).  Our last stop in the Cotswolds was the village of Bourton-on-the-Water.  Barbara and Jay found the Model Village and looked at the 1:9 replica of the town—pretty cute.  On the way back to the bus we went into a shop called Quirky, where Barbara bought a pair of earrings.  The drive back to Bath was slowed by a car broken down in the other lane.  Now we know what happens on English roads that don’t have any shoulder—an accident or stall slows down traffic in both directions a lot.  Richard pointed out the driveways that led to the estate of Prince Charles and Camilla, but we couldn’t see anything else.  We didn’t know they lived in the Bath area.  We were all hungry (and very tired after our 10 hour tour) when we got back around 6:30, so we went to a pub called the Crystal Palace.  It wasn’t bad, but there certainly is a big difference between pub food and restaurant food.  Our restaurant food has always been very good, but we haven’t had good burgers or fish and chips in the pubs in England.

Castle Combe - Pat's 9/11 Memorial

Castle Combe

Scenes from Warhorse (filmed here) in the church

Castle Combe

Castle Combe - Manor House

Castle Combe - Dr. Doolittle house

Bibury - we fed the ducks

Bibury - old cottages

Bibury - coffee/hot chocolate, ice cream break

Driving through the Cotswolds




Model Village - Bourton-on-the-Water

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