We were making our way from Bath up to Windermere Lake District. Instead of taking the highway all the way up, we decided to take the scenic route passing small towns throughout the Midlands of England. I was contemplating whether or not to stay overnight at Bourton-on-the-Water. But since this town is very close to Bath, we decided to stay in Bath instead.
Just an hour drive from Bath taking A429 (which was the same route as Fosse Way , the Roman Road built in the middle of the 1st century AD. which linked southwest England to Lincoln on the northeast), passing through towns and villages of Cotswolds which are famous for delightful houses built from limestone in the Middle Age. Bourton-on-the-Water is quite bigger village than the rest and very popular for tourists. The village straddles the river Windrush with its series of elegant low bridges beside neat tree-shaded greens and tidy stone banks. Because of the arched bridges, Bourton-on-the-Water is often referred as “Venice of the Cotswolds”.
After parking the car on High Street which is its main street of the town, we enjoyed walking along the river bank, seeing series of the pedestrian stone bridges across the river. It was a nice summer day in England. People were enjoying themselves just to be outside, sitting on the grass or on a bench along the river watching the ducks floating up and down the river. Or take your time to have lunch or cream tea on the terrace outside at one of many lovely and charming tea rooms throughout the village.
Savoring the Cream Tea
What is cream tea you might ask? No it’s not tea with cream in it. It’s one of the loved types of afternoon tea in England.
A divine combination of warm scones, sticky fruit jam, lashing of fresh clotted cream and perfectly brewed tea.
I’ve never had ‘clotted cream’ before -mainly because you can’t find it fresh in US. The process of making it is an art form itself. it’s very thick heavy cream and it’s delicious. Most important of all – it’s never whipped.
How to eat, you break a scone, put generous amount of fruit jam – traditionally it has to be strawberry-then dollop fresh clotted cream on top then to your mouth and enjoy.
Continue to Moreton-in-Marsh
I wish I could spend more time in the lovely village but our trip must continue. As our journey continued to Cotswolds. We drove pass Moreton-in-Marsh. We were surprised by many elegant eighteenth-century buildings and the stone hall ( called The Redesdale Hall) at the center to the town. So we had to stop. I’ve learned later that Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the principal market towns in the northern Cotswolds because it situates at the Fosse Way crossroads. So it was for travelers to rest and change horse back then. And now served as a railway station and the bus stop.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a lovely town as I expect and Moreton-in-Marsh is a nice surprise along the way
All in all, sometime you’re going to have to get off the highway and follow the Roman roads. Who knows you might discover something worth stopping by. Maybe just for few minutes but it will be good and memorable minutes.
Trip Date: July , 2013