Discovering the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are located on a range of rolling hills in south central England. On Wednesday, 26 April, a group of Cheveners were very fortunate to visit the breathtaking scenery of this historical area.
We started the day with an introduction lecture to the Cotswolds by Jane Bingham at the University of Oxford. It was packed with information and all there was to know about the area we were visiting later that day which intensified our excitement even more.
We learned that the Cotswolds is well known for two things: its limestone and sheep (with one famous type of sheep known as the ‘Cotswolds lion’). Jane told us about the area’s history, its formation of landscape and significant individuals whose works were inspired by the area, ranging from designers, to writers, to composers. Founded in the 1960s, the area boasts natural beauty with buildings made from limestone and with roofs made of slate and vast green countryside fields full of sheep and the bright color of rapeseed.
After the lecture, we commenced our journey by bus to Chipping Campden which was our first stop of the day. It took us an hour by bus from Oxford to get there. We were well equipped to know whatever there is to know about the place with our skillful guide who walked us through the village and explained the history and architecture knowledge of the major infrastructure there. Moreover, we were also informed about the lifestyle of people back in the day when their major trade was sheep. I was amazed by this alluring village with its extravagant St James’ Church and its golden limestone houses.
As much as we wanted to stay longer and take it all in, we had to move to our second stop which was another village called Stow-on-the-Wold, another small village in the Cotswolds. Like Chipping Campden, the village is full of limestone buildings. However, what I noticed was the many small establishments of craft shops all around town. Historically, the place was the largest sheep market in the Cotswolds.
Our last stop was one of the most favorite spots I’ve visited in the UK so far. It was nothing less than the charming Bourton-on-the-Water, known as a little Venice of the Cotswolds. The picturesque town shows off its crystal-clear stream with happily floating ducks and adorable riverfront houses.
To get a sense of the village, we visited the model village full of miniature replicas of the heart of the beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water made with the famous local limestone. Our Cheveners were beyond excited and many snaps of memory were recorded to endless camera clicks.