Last updated September 04, 2015

Cotswolds and on...

Bourton on the Water, Moreton in Marsh, Henley in Arden...

Bourton on the Water

Despite temperatures hovering around freezing and persistent fog, we enjoyed a brief visit to Bourton on the Water on our journey north. In the heart of the Cotswolds, Bourton appears to have developed such as to make tourism a significant focus and, as a result, exuded a kind of cutesy faux aura which was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, practically the entire town center is classical Cotswold with practically every building sporting the yellow limestone of the region.

Marian paid her tourist dues and bought a rag-stabbing kit in the craft store and is now underway on her embroidery odyssey. Following are a few damp and foggy pictures snapped during our quick walkabout.

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Moreton in Marsh

A few miles from Bourton is Moreton in Marsh, a much more down to earth working town with bustling retail and commercial activities. The weather remained steadfastly cold and foggy so after a quick walking tour we had a great picnic lunch in the faithful little car.

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Henley in Arden

From Moreton we drove through the Vale of Evesham to Henley in Arden. The Vale of Evesham, we are assured, is a beautiful place to drive through. Not so on our trip - the fog closed in quite densely and it was all we could do to see the road ahead, so we concentrated on reaching Henley, our destination for the day.

Henley in Arden is both historic and quaint in spades - a mile long main street lined end to end with historic buildings, almost all of which are in everyday use. We stayed in the White Swan, a 16th century timber framed stagecoach stop on the London to Lichfield road (see picture below). Samuel Johnson wrote many of his contributions to the first English dictionary while staying at this inn - a contributing cause of the quirkiness of the English language perhaps.

With a population around 8,000, Henley is partly a bedroom community for commuters working in and around Britain's second city, Birmingham. There is a railway station on the west side of town which, in common with many other such stations, is automated and completely unattended. Recorded messages inform travelers of imminent happenings and vandals can put in a full days work without fear of interruption. By and large, however, the scheme appears to work quite well. The train itself, does have a driver.

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Here is a very informative site for Henley in Arden with some worthwhile pictures.

Barton under Needwood

The last stop on our journey to Burton on Trent was at Barton under Needwood in the county of Staffordshire. Barton lies in the Trent valley, an important strategic and commercial channel in the midst of English industry. In about 1775 the Government authorized the construction of the Trent and Mersey canal to connect those two rivers in order to support the transportation needs of the burgeoning industrial revolution. About the same time, James Watt was unveiling his original steam engine but the canal system was king for another 75 years or so before being losing out to rail transport.

Although Barton is only a few miles from the large local city of Burton on Trent it has successfully retained its rural charm and, at 5,000 inhabitants, serves as a bedroom community for both Burton and Lichfield. We decided to stay at the Shoulder of Mutton (a pub) especially after we determined that steak and kidney pie was on the dinner menu. The weather remained resolutely drab with considerable fog. Following are some pictures of the area.[photogallery/photo00007671/real.htm]

So next to Burton on Trent and more relatives...

 

 

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