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The Surrounding Area

Shannon

The Surrounding Area

Oxford
The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'. Westgate centre has many rooftop bars and restaurants above the shops; stroll around the university gardens or take in an atmospheric evensong in one of the university chapels; hire a punt and take a picnic along the river Cherwell; visit the Ashmolean museum or the Pitt Rivers museum; wander the old streets with their selection of quirky pubs or visit the famous indoor covered market with its eclectic mix of stalls.
Built in 1602, the Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library.
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Bodleian Library
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Built in 1602, the Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library.
Immense university museum of zoology, entomology and geology set in a grand neo-Gothic building that’s fantastic for all ages but especially for children. Educational and fun, it’s filled with dinosaurs, insects, taxidermied specimens, and a soaring ceiling of glass and iron.
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Oxford University Museum of Natural History
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Immense university museum of zoology, entomology and geology set in a grand neo-Gothic building that’s fantastic for all ages but especially for children. Educational and fun, it’s filled with dinosaurs, insects, taxidermied specimens, and a soaring ceiling of glass and iron.
If you’re not a UK native and haven’t seen it before, the University of Oxford is an absolute must. This world-famous university, set in the “City of Dreaming Spires”, is made up of a multitude of different buildings consisting of colleges, gardens, libraries and museums. Wander round the streets and alleyways to experience the University’s unique historic charm. Walking tours and the Hop On Hop Off bus tours are an excellent way of learning more about the city in general, but the University is truly the gem. The official bookshop is grand, often offering readings and signings by professors, including Sir Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials). If you’re a literary buff, this is the best pilgrimage you could make.
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University of Oxford
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If you’re not a UK native and haven’t seen it before, the University of Oxford is an absolute must. This world-famous university, set in the “City of Dreaming Spires”, is made up of a multitude of different buildings consisting of colleges, gardens, libraries and museums. Wander round the streets and alleyways to experience the University’s unique historic charm. Walking tours and the Hop On Hop Off bus tours are an excellent way of learning more about the city in general, but the University is truly the gem. The official bookshop is grand, often offering readings and signings by professors, including Sir Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials). If you’re a literary buff, this is the best pilgrimage you could make.
Oxford Castle is a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle on the western side of central Oxford in Oxfordshire, England. Most of the original moated, wooden motte and bailey castle was replaced in stone in the late 12th or early 13th century and the castle played an important role in the conflict of the Anarchy. In the 14th century the military value of the castle diminished and the site became used primarily for county administration and as a prison. The surviving rectangular St George's Tower is now believed to pre-date the remainder of the castle and be a watch tower associated with the original Saxon west gate of the city. Wonderful tours full of history and ghost stories!
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Oxford Castle & Prison
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Oxford Castle is a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle on the western side of central Oxford in Oxfordshire, England. Most of the original moated, wooden motte and bailey castle was replaced in stone in the late 12th or early 13th century and the castle played an important role in the conflict of the Anarchy. In the 14th century the military value of the castle diminished and the site became used primarily for county administration and as a prison. The surviving rectangular St George's Tower is now believed to pre-date the remainder of the castle and be a watch tower associated with the original Saxon west gate of the city. Wonderful tours full of history and ghost stories!
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Oxford
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Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is Britain’s first public museum and home to the University of Oxford’s world-class collections of art and archaeology.
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Ashmolean Museum
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Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is Britain’s first public museum and home to the University of Oxford’s world-class collections of art and archaeology.
Lovely leisurely walks right by the university of Oxford.
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University Parks
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Lovely leisurely walks right by the university of Oxford.
Chipping Campden; combine with Broadway and Snowshill
The northernmost town in the west part of the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden is a remote and sleepy village with wonderfully preserved architecture due to the Campden Trust set up in 1927. It was from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century one of the most important wool towns - thus the incredibly wide high street (much like our Chipping Norton). The name Chipping Campden means “Market by Cultivated Land” in Old Saxon. We lived here for a couple of years before settling in Chipping Norton and feel it’s definitely worth at least an afternoon of exploring! The high street is full honeyed stone buildings dating from the fourteenth century. There is a stunning oversized church built by the wealth the wool trade provided, nicknamed a “wool cathedral”. A 17th century limestone market stand marks the centre of the village, used even today by locals looking to sell their wares. There are tea rooms, pubs, and galleries interspersed - and a lovely antique bookshop (Draycott Books) on Sheep street which we highly recommend. Locals recommend a walk on nearby Dover’s Hill for it’s unspoilt views, which we agree with but warn to wear wellies due to the sheep droppings everywhere (and be sure your dog is on a tight lead here).
An Italian/English fusion restaurant that sometimes has live music. There’s a few different outdoor eating areas, and the inside feels like a chalet. Every dish is a delight - you cannot go wrong! Booking recommended.
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Huxleys
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An Italian/English fusion restaurant that sometimes has live music. There’s a few different outdoor eating areas, and the inside feels like a chalet. Every dish is a delight - you cannot go wrong! Booking recommended.
An English inn dating back to the 14th Century, Eight Bells is located just off the High Street in Chipping Campden. Serving a wide range of dishes using seasonal produce and including vegetarian and vegan options. Meals are served in the Dining Room or Main bar, and dogs and children are welcome in the dining room.
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Eight Bells Inn
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An English inn dating back to the 14th Century, Eight Bells is located just off the High Street in Chipping Campden. Serving a wide range of dishes using seasonal produce and including vegetarian and vegan options. Meals are served in the Dining Room or Main bar, and dogs and children are welcome in the dining room.
Located near Chipping Campden, Hidcote is one of the best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked "rooms" of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders. Created by Major Lawrence Johnston in 1905, it is owned now by the National Trust and is open to the public.
Hidcote Bartrim
Located near Chipping Campden, Hidcote is one of the best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked "rooms" of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders. Created by Major Lawrence Johnston in 1905, it is owned now by the National Trust and is open to the public.
A small and remote village, Broadway is surrounded by churches, filled with good shopping (and a great cafe called Number 32). It’s a small and rather quick visit, so we suggest adding it to Chipping Campden and Snowshill for an afternoon. There’s a few art galleries, but the real draw other than the village vibe is the nearby Broadway Tower.
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Broadway
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A small and remote village, Broadway is surrounded by churches, filled with good shopping (and a great cafe called Number 32). It’s a small and rather quick visit, so we suggest adding it to Chipping Campden and Snowshill for an afternoon. There’s a few art galleries, but the real draw other than the village vibe is the nearby Broadway Tower.
A National Trust Property & Garden in the small cotswold hamlet of Snowshill, the Manor was created by Charles Wade who embodied his family motto 'Let Nothing Perish' and spent his life amassing a spectacular collection of everyday and extraordinary objects. Has a Gift Shop & Cafe offering drinks & snacks. Very interesting & well worth a visit. Entry is about £12 (free for National Trust members). There is a reduced entry fee if you only want to visit the gardens.
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National Trust Snowshill Manor and Garden
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A National Trust Property & Garden in the small cotswold hamlet of Snowshill, the Manor was created by Charles Wade who embodied his family motto 'Let Nothing Perish' and spent his life amassing a spectacular collection of everyday and extraordinary objects. Has a Gift Shop & Cafe offering drinks & snacks. Very interesting & well worth a visit. Entry is about £12 (free for National Trust members). There is a reduced entry fee if you only want to visit the gardens.
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Chipping Campden
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Snowshill
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The brainchild of Capability Brown and designed by James Wyatt in 1794 in the form of a castle, and built for Lady Coventry, it commands a view of over a dozen surrounding counties. Go on a clear day!
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Broadway Tower
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The brainchild of Capability Brown and designed by James Wyatt in 1794 in the form of a castle, and built for Lady Coventry, it commands a view of over a dozen surrounding counties. Go on a clear day!
Bath
A brilliant city that’s world-renowned and filled with historic buildings and gorgeous views. Worth a full day to see the Roman Baths, the cathedral, Royal Crescent, walking through the streets and shops, and dining at the Pump Room.
The absolute best place to dine in Bath if it’s your first time visiting. It’s right next to the Roman Baths and has a Regency air to it. Best to make reservations.
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The Pump Room Restaurant
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The absolute best place to dine in Bath if it’s your first time visiting. It’s right next to the Roman Baths and has a Regency air to it. Best to make reservations.
A sleepy little village just north of Bath that’s perfect for a stroll and photos. Doesn’t have much in the way of shops or attractions but the views alone are quite sufficient in our opinion.
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Castle Combe
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A sleepy little village just north of Bath that’s perfect for a stroll and photos. Doesn’t have much in the way of shops or attractions but the views alone are quite sufficient in our opinion.
A visit to Bath MUST include a stroll along the Royal Crescent.
Royal Crescent
A visit to Bath MUST include a stroll along the Royal Crescent.
If this isn’t already on your bucket list to see once in your life, it jolly well should be.
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The Roman Baths
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If this isn’t already on your bucket list to see once in your life, it jolly well should be.
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Bath
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Right next to the Roman Bath - so easy to add to your itinerary!
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Bath Abbey
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Right next to the Roman Bath - so easy to add to your itinerary!
A small and rather tourist-trappy tribute to the author, but still worth a quick check just before or after you stroll through the Royal Crescent.
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The Jane Austen Centre
40 Gay Street
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A small and rather tourist-trappy tribute to the author, but still worth a quick check just before or after you stroll through the Royal Crescent.
Moreton-In-Marsh
The Cotswold Falconry Centre is right next to Batsford Arboretum and home to around 150 Birds of Prey. Open from mid-February to mid-November. Free flying demonstrations take place daily from 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm and also at 4.30pm in the summer. Unfortunately dogs are not permitted at Cotswold Falconry Centre.
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Cotswold Falconry Centre
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The Cotswold Falconry Centre is right next to Batsford Arboretum and home to around 150 Birds of Prey. Open from mid-February to mid-November. Free flying demonstrations take place daily from 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm and also at 4.30pm in the summer. Unfortunately dogs are not permitted at Cotswold Falconry Centre.
Beautiful arboretum to walk around, with a small restaurant and garden centre. It’s good to combine this with a trip to Moreton in Marsh.
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Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre
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Beautiful arboretum to walk around, with a small restaurant and garden centre. It’s good to combine this with a trip to Moreton in Marsh.
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Moreton-in-Marsh
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Woodstock
Woodstock is a market town which most notably features Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Winston Churchill was born in 1874. Edward, elder son of King Edward III and heir apparent, was born in Woodstock Manor on 15 June 1330. In his lifetime he was commonly called Edward of Woodstock, but is known today as the Black Prince. In the reign of Queen Mary I, her half-sister Elizabeth was imprisoned in the gatehouse of Woodstock Manor. There are many antique shops in the village, and some incredible restaurant options. A perfect place to spend a day.
Blenheim Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and is set in a Capability Brown inspired garden of exquisite beauty. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the Palace is the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great to walk with dogs or for jogging. The park can be approached from many entrances. Lovely cafe half way round near the palace. Excellent maze, a train and fun things to do with children. The palace is worth a visit.
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Blenheim Palace
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Blenheim Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and is set in a Capability Brown inspired garden of exquisite beauty. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the Palace is the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great to walk with dogs or for jogging. The park can be approached from many entrances. Lovely cafe half way round near the palace. Excellent maze, a train and fun things to do with children. The palace is worth a visit.
A fabulous French restaurant inside the Orangerie at Blenheim Palace. A must if this is your first trip here!
The Orangery Restaurant
A fabulous French restaurant inside the Orangerie at Blenheim Palace. A must if this is your first trip here!
Fantastic Italian restaurant, competing with Brotherton’s Brasserie for best in the whole of Woodstock.
La Galleria
2 Market Pl
Fantastic Italian restaurant, competing with Brotherton’s Brasserie for best in the whole of Woodstock.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this is one of the best meals you’ll have in England and is reasonably priced. The staff are welcoming and the restaurant itself has a family feel. Brilliant Italian fare!
Brothertons Brasserie
1 High St
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this is one of the best meals you’ll have in England and is reasonably priced. The staff are welcoming and the restaurant itself has a family feel. Brilliant Italian fare!
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Woodstock
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Stratford-Upon-Avon
William Shakespeare grew up here with his siblings and his parents, John and Mary Shakespeare, who were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street. He also spent the first five years of his married life in this house with Ann Hathaway. Today visitors are entertained by live theatre in the garden and house and expert guides in Tudor dress reveal the story behind the house. A permanent exhibition reveals Shakespeare-related treasures. Hear tales of Shakespeare’s family life and get up close to rare objects from the Trust’s world class collections. There are delightful streets to walk through, shop and browse for restaurants. See a performance of the Royal Shakespeare company at one of their three venues in Stratford and dine in the rooftop restaurant atop the royal Shakespeare theatre which overlooks the river. Tickets range from £18- £23 for an adult and £12-£15 for children. Open all throughout the year. Times vary.
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Shakespeare's Birthplace
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William Shakespeare grew up here with his siblings and his parents, John and Mary Shakespeare, who were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street. He also spent the first five years of his married life in this house with Ann Hathaway. Today visitors are entertained by live theatre in the garden and house and expert guides in Tudor dress reveal the story behind the house. A permanent exhibition reveals Shakespeare-related treasures. Hear tales of Shakespeare’s family life and get up close to rare objects from the Trust’s world class collections. There are delightful streets to walk through, shop and browse for restaurants. See a performance of the Royal Shakespeare company at one of their three venues in Stratford and dine in the rooftop restaurant atop the royal Shakespeare theatre which overlooks the river. Tickets range from £18- £23 for an adult and £12-£15 for children. Open all throughout the year. Times vary.
Situated on Waterside, alongside the River Avon, the RSC was first built in 1932 and still retains many of the art deco features. See the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench perform here. Enjoy meals in the Rooftop Restaurant, take a tour of theatre, and book tickets to go up the Tower for stunning views of Stratford Upon Avon. If you don’t book tickets in advance, you might be able to get returned tickets from the box office on the day.
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Royal Shakespeare Theatre
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Situated on Waterside, alongside the River Avon, the RSC was first built in 1932 and still retains many of the art deco features. See the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench perform here. Enjoy meals in the Rooftop Restaurant, take a tour of theatre, and book tickets to go up the Tower for stunning views of Stratford Upon Avon. If you don’t book tickets in advance, you might be able to get returned tickets from the box office on the day.
This is a hidden gem for parking in Stratford - where parking in every lot is usually a pain and takes ages to find a lot with space. The laundry has public parking in front (just 8 spots or so but it’s never full) and there’s a handy meter to pay for it.
Fountain Cleaners
44 Guild Street
This is a hidden gem for parking in Stratford - where parking in every lot is usually a pain and takes ages to find a lot with space. The laundry has public parking in front (just 8 spots or so but it’s never full) and there’s a handy meter to pay for it.
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Stratford-upon-Avon
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The child-hood home of Shakespeare's wife, a 12 roomed farm-house which is furnished with some original items and is an evocative building and garden in Stratford, related to Shakespeare. Open Mar-Nov
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Anne Hathaway's Cottage
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The child-hood home of Shakespeare's wife, a 12 roomed farm-house which is furnished with some original items and is an evocative building and garden in Stratford, related to Shakespeare. Open Mar-Nov
Stow-on-the-Wold; combine with Daylesford, the Slaughters, and Bourton
Start your day with breakfast at Daylesford! Then go on to Stow. At the height of the Cotswold wool industry, Stow-on-the-Wold was famous for its huge annual fairs where as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at one time. The vast Market Square testifies to the towns former importance. At one end stands the ancient cross, and at the other the town stocks, shaded between an old elm tree. Around the square the visitor is faced with an elegant array of Cotswold town houses and shops. Stow has many fine Antique shops, Art galleries, Gifts and Crafts and is a centre for Walking the Cotswolds countryside. The final battle of the first English Civil War was fought here in March 1646. My tip would be to park in the car park near the Bell Inn on the road to Chipping Norton and not in the Square, which can get very busy. Lower Slaughter is only 10 minutes away from Stow and is a picturesque little village that takes only minutes to walk through, so take it slowly!
The door to St. Edwards Church, is believed to be the inspiration for the entrance to Moria in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. This alone makes a short trip to Stow worthwhile.
St Edward's Church
2 Crossways House the Square
The door to St. Edwards Church, is believed to be the inspiration for the entrance to Moria in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. This alone makes a short trip to Stow worthwhile.
A lovely place for a very health-conscious brunch, Daylesford is famous for its organic farm shop food to buy and take away or eat in. Think of it as the Harrods of farm shops. It’s also a great place for people watching, as it’s often frequented by a number of the local celebrities in the area! Daylesford is not just a farm shop and cafe but a beautifully presented home decor store, and boasts a cookery school, spa, and special events and workshops including floristry demonstrations. Visit www.daylesford.com for full details and opening times.
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Daylesford Kingham, Gloucestershire
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A lovely place for a very health-conscious brunch, Daylesford is famous for its organic farm shop food to buy and take away or eat in. Think of it as the Harrods of farm shops. It’s also a great place for people watching, as it’s often frequented by a number of the local celebrities in the area! Daylesford is not just a farm shop and cafe but a beautifully presented home decor store, and boasts a cookery school, spa, and special events and workshops including floristry demonstrations. Visit www.daylesford.com for full details and opening times.
When you reach the old mill with a nice shop (it also sells great ice cream) walk through to the back door and discover a wonderful little cafe that offers cakes, coffee and tea, hot soup and sandwiches! Eat outside to watch the swans on the water.
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Lower Slaughter
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When you reach the old mill with a nice shop (it also sells great ice cream) walk through to the back door and discover a wonderful little cafe that offers cakes, coffee and tea, hot soup and sandwiches! Eat outside to watch the swans on the water.
The best proper cream tea in the north Cotswolds!
The Slaughters Manor House
The best proper cream tea in the north Cotswolds!
There is a great slightly longer walk between Upper and Lower Slaughter across some lovely countryside and both villages are very pretty.
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Upper Slaughter
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There is a great slightly longer walk between Upper and Lower Slaughter across some lovely countryside and both villages are very pretty.
Finish up your day with a sunset walk in one of the regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England. Bourton-on-the-Water has more than its share of Cotswold houses and cottages, many of them three hundred years old, some dating back to Elizabethan times four hundred years ago. There are some lovely attractions like the model village, the motoring museum, and Birdland Park nearby, but the village itself is more residential than market.
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Bourton-on-the-Water
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Finish up your day with a sunset walk in one of the regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England. Bourton-on-the-Water has more than its share of Cotswold houses and cottages, many of them three hundred years old, some dating back to Elizabethan times four hundred years ago. There are some lovely attractions like the model village, the motoring museum, and Birdland Park nearby, but the village itself is more residential than market.
Explore the only Grade II listed model village in the country. Created from local Cotswold stone by highly skilled craftsmen, it is a replica of the buildings that existed in Bourton-on-the-Water in the 1930s and shows how they are being used today (as banks, shops, meeting halls etc). From the carefully pruned-to-scale Alpine plants in the gardens, to the choirs singing in each of the village's two churches - even the tiny model of the Model Village itself - no detail is considered too small to be significant. Make the Model Village your first stop on your visit to Bourton-on-the-Water and then spot the life-size versions of each of the buildings as you explore the village afterwards.
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The Model Village
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Explore the only Grade II listed model village in the country. Created from local Cotswold stone by highly skilled craftsmen, it is a replica of the buildings that existed in Bourton-on-the-Water in the 1930s and shows how they are being used today (as banks, shops, meeting halls etc). From the carefully pruned-to-scale Alpine plants in the gardens, to the choirs singing in each of the village's two churches - even the tiny model of the Model Village itself - no detail is considered too small to be significant. Make the Model Village your first stop on your visit to Bourton-on-the-Water and then spot the life-size versions of each of the buildings as you explore the village afterwards.
This is one of the largest collections of exotic birds in the UK with free-flying displays, feeding sessions and talks, as well as the England’s only breeding colony of king penguins. You can spot flamingos and pelicans or see their Out of Africa experience. Some of the continents most curious creatures live here, in particular village weavers whose nest-building prowess is something to behold. Explore the similarity between birds and dinosaurs at Jurassic Journey where visitors can uncover fossils and see life-size dinos.
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Birdland
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This is one of the largest collections of exotic birds in the UK with free-flying displays, feeding sessions and talks, as well as the England’s only breeding colony of king penguins. You can spot flamingos and pelicans or see their Out of Africa experience. Some of the continents most curious creatures live here, in particular village weavers whose nest-building prowess is something to behold. Explore the similarity between birds and dinosaurs at Jurassic Journey where visitors can uncover fossils and see life-size dinos.
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Stow-on-the-Wold
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Cotswolds
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