Monday July 7th was a two garden day for us in the Cotswolds. The first garden was a National Trust property. Our one year membership had not expired yet so we got to go in without paying the entrance fee. We visited this garden with our daughter Katie back in 2004 but I wasn’t aware that this was an American’s vision.
The sweet bird decided to sit long enough for a photo-op. We enjoyed our stroll through Hidcote and quenched our thirst with a Ginger Beer from the cafe. One nice thing about most of the National Trust and other museums and such that we visited were the nice cafes and refreshment options that were available on the properties.
From this wonderful garden we walked down the drive to the road to visit a garden just across the road from Hidcote. I’ll share the photos from Kiftsgate Court Gardens soon.
Back in the States:
During our bathroom renovation I feel trapped here since I’m not comfortable leaving the house while worker bees are busy inside my home. As the saying goes “this, too, shall pass”. We are recovering a little each day from our jet lag and are able to sleep a little longer each day. Dear went back to work on Monday and was pretty wiped out when he arrived home. He had a hard time keeping his eyes open past 6 p.m. We have had some overcast days here and we were happy to hear that a little rain fell in the areas ravaged by brush fires here in the State of Washington. Hoping the thunderstorms predicted don’t cause any problems for the firefighters.
Continuing on my retracing posts from our time in England, on Sunday July 6th we made a short drive through Shipston-on-Stour to Banbury.
The town of Banbury in Oxfordshire dates back much further than the nursery rhyme dedicated to it.
When our three children were babes we would recite this nursery rhyme to them while bouncing them on our knees. It brings back such good memories that when I found out this statue was erected in Banbury we decided it was worth the trip to see it.
Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross to See a Fine Lady Upon a White Horse
With Rings on Her Fingers
And Bells on Her Toes
She Shall Have Music Wherever She Goes
Nowadays the only cross gracing Banbury lies at the intersection of four major roads – those to Oxford, Warwick, Shipston-on-Stour and the High Street, which leads to the shopping area and the old heart of the town. It was erected in 1859 to commemorate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa to Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia on 25th January 1858. It stands 52feet 6inches high to the top of its gilt cross and is of a neo-Gothic design. Originally six niches for statues were planned, but this was later reduced to three.
It was fun to learn all about the history surrounding this nursery rhyme and the town of Banbury.
We walked around town, had some lunch and picked up some sweet treats to take back to the cottage.
The sweet treats weren’t from this Olde Sweet Shoppe but from a bakery in town…
B is for Banbury, Banbury Cross, Bells and Baked goods!
This was a timely post featuring the letter B so I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday which was begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continues on with the help of the ABC team.
Speaking of B, the bathroom renovators arrived this morning to begin the finish work on our bathroom remodel. In 10 to 12 days it should all be done and we will be done with the construction zone mode and back to our quiet home mode until the next project.
The road from Chipping Campden to Snowshill took us along little lanes bordered by rock walls and hedges. We were able to find a nice parking lot between the village and the National Trust property.
A Fete was going on in the village center and some locals recommended that we go there before going to Snowshill Manor and Gardens which is a National Trust Property. Because we took that advice we missed the last opening for viewing the Manor House but we were still able to walk about the gardens.
The church was in the very center of the village and on a high point of the village.
The walk from the National Trust Manor property entrance to the Manor had some beautiful vistas to enjoy.
The Manor grounds are beautifully landscaped.
This is a view of the back of the Manor.
On our way back to our cottage we stopped at the beautiful fields of lavender.
Our visit to Snowshill ended our first Saturday in England and our first full day in the Cotswolds. On Sunday we had plans to take a little trip out of the Cotswolds to “see a fine lady upon a white horse”.
…we enjoyed re-discovering Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. We shopped at the butcher’s, the green grocers, and a few specialty shops along the main road through town. We bought sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, butter, bread, and Cotswold cheese to take back to Fox Cottage.
We found some gifts to bring home for our girls.
We enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the churches in this town. When we got hungry and thirsty we stopped in at…
Pubs have come a long way in England and they are very family friendly and have some good selection of food. Some of course are better than others and we happened to find some very good ones where the wait staff was great and the food was exceptional.
On this day the Eight Bells had sardines on the menu as a main course or appetizer. Since we’ve never, that we can remember, seen sardines on a menu we decided to try the appetizer. They were quite good with a lovely sauce.
This was my proper pie with all the trimmings. The description from the menu: Chicken, Ham and asparagus short-crust pastry pie (with top and bottom), white wine sauce, new potatoes and peas. It was delicious. We had a fun conversation with our waitress on “proper pie”. She was appalled when she ordered pie at another establishment and it came to her with no upper or lower crust but just a round piece of pastry propped up along one side of the filling. It was cute when she exclaimed “how can they call that pie?!”
We also had many of my questions answered by one of the bartenders at Eight Bells. We discussed what was going on at the World Cup in Brazil and talked about futbol in general. Many pubs feature a good selection of beer made at local breweries. After eating and quenching our thirst we were brave enough to venture out on the narrow lanes again.
From Chipping Campden we made our way to Snowshill and I will devote a whole post about that quaint little village.
Represent (something) as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is:
We arrived early for our flight from Heathrow due to all the hype that was put out in the news about the batteries in electronic devices being checked. We were told and alerted by our airline to make sure all our batteries were fully charged as they would be subject to confiscation if the device did not turn on properly.
The reality for Dear and me was that none of our devices were checked to see if they would turn on. We made it through security lickity split and had a relaxing wait for our flight.
Here’s a little travel tip for you when traveling to and from Heathrow airport. Souvenir type items can be bought at the terminal and they seem to be priced lower than the street vendors and stores in London. There are several shops to choose from. We came in and out of terminal 3. I’m pretty sure terminals 4 and 5 had more shops than teminal 3. The Harrods shop you see in this photo had items clearly marked as less than their store in Kensington. The Starbucks at the airport had mugs from several locations in England, Scotland and Wales and the mugs were just under seven pounds each. Her’s the one I chose this year.
Since we were in Wales on this trip and once before I thought it a good choice. The mug on the left I purchased at England’s version of T.J. Maxx called T.K. Maxx!
Here’s something we can’t overdo or exaggerate, being thankful to God. We are thankful for His watch care over us during our whole trip and everyday of our lives. This sign was on the doorpost of The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, on High Street in Windsor. We walked around this church on our last full day in England.The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
When you travel abroad you really should make sure and walk into the magnificent old churches. I will be doing a post in the future with the surprise that we were treated to by visiting this church.
So we are home and enjoyed a good rest in our own bed last night. Our son Josh picked us up from the airport where going through customs was a breeze. He took us to our favorite Mexican haunt on the way home for a little taste of Mexico that we had missed while in England. Today we are working on getting a little organized, washing up some clothes, and getting over jet lag. Hopefully by tomorrow we won’t resemble this…
Gargoyles are so interesting and creepy. More from England coming soon when my thoughts are more coherent. Have a wonderful weekend.
Today Wednesday July 16th was our last full day in England. Tomorrow we will head to the car rental agency to return the car and to Heathrow.
We leave here noonish on Thursday and arrive home at 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursday. So weird.
We enjoyed an early walk on the property where we are staying and then headed into central Windsor to see about catching a boat ride on the river Thames. We arrived in time for the first 40 minute boat ride of the day which meant we weren’t packed in like sardines and enjoyed a relatively empty boat. We met a couple from Australia and exchanged our travel experiences.
This was our turn around point. To go farther on the river we would have had to wait for the locks.
On our way back to the dock we got a great view of Windsor Castle.
We did our last minute shopping in Windsor and enjoyed our last very English meal at the Duchess of Cambridge.
A steak and ale pie on top of a bed of mashed potatoes and peas smothered in gravy for me and fish and chips for Dear.
We walked by this next shop and decided to attempt a Selfie which is not easy with a big Nikon camera and a 4 inch lens on it. Are you suppose to look dorky on a selfie?
We are really enjoying this last spot we chose and have had some good relaxation before we head home to the reality of a lawn that needs mowing and renovation work that begins full swing on Monday. Thanks for following along with us in real time. Your comments are always encouraging to me. The next time I post will be from Pacific Time. I have so much more to share from England. Cheers for now from Jolly Old England!