Our train from London had deposited us in the town of Moreton-in-Marsh, and we made our way by the local bus to nearby Stow-on-the Wold where we had a Bed and Breakfast reserved for the week. Moreton-in-Marsh would also have been a suitable choice as we returned later in the week to visit the popular outdoor market.
It seems I frequently pick hill top towns to stay in so we always seem to end our day with a climb and this was no exception. Stow-on-the-Wold is a delightful Cotswolds town to stay in with a handy supermarket to pick our lunch supplies and plenty of restaurants and pubs for after the walk, most near the main square. There are a few hotels as well should you prefer that to a Bed and Breakfast.
We were staying in Limes B & B where with the typical English breakfast served with a view of the lovely garden beside the house. I was not used to such a huge breakfast before hiking.
This was to be self guided so we headed to touristy Bourton-on-the Water. We just had to start by exploring this pretty town with its quaint shops, in particular I loved the candy shops which although is not the healthy choice is fun to explore as there is more variety than I have at home.
England, of course, has plenty of opportunities for walking holidays with well marked trails crossing the country. For guided walks companies such as HF Holidays and Ramblers are based there and have plenty of choices covering the entire country along with Wales and Scotland. A friend of mine started their walking holiday with HF Holidays from Burton-on-the-Water at a later date.
Anyway we followed the Windrush river out of town and across fields with sheep enjoying their lunch. First town was Lower Slaughter, considered by many to be one of the prettiest in England, but not for us as it had started to rain so we moved on quickly. By the time we reached Upper Slaughter the rain had stopped so we took a moment to tour the town.
Even without a map we would have had no problem following the route. Continuing we crossed many fields of sheep beroe arriving at a pub, handy to our route. We just had to try a Donnington, a traditional Cotswolds Ale before finishing in Stow-on-the Wold.
This was just one of our walks but the Cotswolds is an area of rolling hills such as near Chipping Campden which beside great paths comes with some thatched roof houses on the southern edge of town. A bit further to the north there is Sudeley Castle and Statford-upon-Avon for some walking to see the tourist sites but there are paths as well. Then too there is Blenheim Palace and Oxford to the south which are worth exploring when not on the trails.
There are plenty of European walking routes, but what I love about this area is the picturesque towns, thatched roofed houses and rolling countryside with their contented sheep. I even enjoyed the pub food.