Last month we had the great pleasure of taking a tour of the Cotswolds in England. The Cotswolds are 25 miles wide and 90 miles long. This area is a grassland containing several stone built villages. The villages are made of Cotswold stone which when weathered becomes the color of honey.
The Cotswolds are truly fascinating! Our Tour Guide, Tom who was born and raised in the Cotswolds and who attended Shakespeare’s school in Stratford-upon-Avon, began our eight hour tour by taking us to one of the highest points in the region for a majestic view of the rolling countryside.
In the first village we stopped in I found the most delightful little book store and a 1925 edition of the Wind in the Willows.
Tom recounted to us two unusual sporting events that at one time were popular in the Cotswolds. The first being a shin kicking contest where the contestants placed their hands on each other’s shoulders and summarily kicked the others shins until one of the two fell to the ground. According to our guide this practice has been discontinued for obvious reasons.
The second contest is a cheese rolling contest whereby a large round cheese wheel is rolled down a steep hill and the contestants race to the bottom of the hill alongside the cheese wheel in the valiant attempt to catch the racing cheese before it reaches the bottom of the hill and thus win the contest…which is the obtaining of the cheese!
The quaint beautiful villages can easily transport a person to a time long ago. Their Medieval peaceful ambiance is captivating.
One of the most interesting locations that we visited in the Cotswolds was a stone henge.
It is said that whoever counts the number of the stones in the henge and then recounts them…will never come up with the same number twice.
Then, there is the castle!
The people of the Cotswolds seemed to live at a slower pace than the hurry scurry world at large. They’re friendly manner and settled demeanor was refreshing.