From Oxford I drove to Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds. We were staying in an old two bedroomed cottage within a few minutes walk of the village. It was the perfect location for visiting lots of places within the Cotwolds. The Cotswold is designated 'An area of Outstanding Beauty'. The region covers 790 square miles of rolling hills, honey-coloured stone built villages, historic homes and castles and some beautiful gardens. On our first day I took M to some of the more attractive villages starting with Bourton on the water.,
It is a very popular tourist area and there are numerous shops and cafes on either of the river. We stopped for a rest and had tea and toasted teacakes in one of the tea shops. A very English thing to do.
There is a motor museum there but we didn't venture inside. However alongside the Museum was a beautiful scene with the river rushing past the stone buildings.
There are two small bridges crossing the stream and at one end of the village is a water mill. The original mill wheel can still be seen inside the mill which was built in the 19th cent. It was last used commercially in 1958. Nowadays there is a small museum in the mill as well as a craft shop and cafe.
Driving through more of the beautiful countryside we came across a sign for Hailes Abbey. I had not heard of it before but we turned off the road to have a look. Founded in 1246 by Richard, the brother of Henry III, one of the wealthiest men in the country.
The ruins we can see today are all from the main Abbey buildings. As well as the Abbey there were farm buildings, orchards and fishponds.
|You can still see the remains of stone benches.|
Victorian graffiti can be seen on a number of building stones.
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