When I was planning my trip to England, I kept coming across things/museums/exhibits that were closed on Sundays … so, what to do?
Instead of planning another day walking around London, I thought we’d go out to the ‘country’ ….
It was a ridiculous pain in the butt because it actually is the country. very rural in places.
The Cotswolds are a small community of little villages a couple hours outside London that pretty much are for tourists. Near Bath, near Oxford, near Stratford-on-Avon. …
So, I figured out how to get out there. The earliest train left at 920a so we could even sleep in a little.
But once we got there I didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do. We were only going to spend the day, but it was Sunday so the buses didn’t run and it’s several miles to nearby towns.
Luckily, Andrew’s dad had a brainwave and suggested we rent bikes.
That was another fiasco – finding a company that was both open on Sundays AND open before the tourist season started (Easter). … but I managed.
SO! Sunday morning Miranda and I and her friend from school – Phoebe – headed out to the English countryside. We almost missed our train. And then the train we were on was super crowded and we had to stand awhile.
We switched trains in Reading – which is pretty much only famous for being Kate Winslet’s home town – and hopped on another out to Moreton-in-Marsh.
Yes, that’s actually the name of the town.
Right near Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden and Bourton-on-the-Water
Read about some of the history of the area here – it used to be a big center of wool pre-Industrial Revolution, I think.
One nice thing is that the area was pretty much deserted for awhile before being ‘rediscovered’ … so all the buildings are really REALLY old because there was no one around for a long time to tear them down and rebuild as the population grew …
We arrived at the teeny tiny train station in Moreton-in-Marsh about 11a and waited for our bikes to show up.
A bit of miscommunication with the company, and we ended up walking into town and finally picking them up there …
walking into town from the train station …
the way High Street was set up … there was a little driving path on one side, a BIG median in the middle (kind of like a park in places), and a more substantial 2-way road on the other side (by more shops) …
At one point in the ‘median’ was this old church….
High Street in Moreton-in-Marsh on a Sunday morning:
We spotted this sign on the outside of the church as we walked by.
Phoebe thought we were joking about it, but I know Miranda loves LOTR, so we determined to come back for it.
We got our bikes – 10pounds each for the whole day, including helmets, locks, map and repair kit … not too shabby.
I think Phoebe was nervous about riding a bike – but it really is the kind of thing you never forget.
And now I’m super excited to rent bikes whenever I travel … I wish I had time for a bike tour in Rome when were there, but I think it would be cutting it too close to our Vatican tour .. . too bad.
Moreton-in-Marsh is teeny tiny, and we were ‘out of town’ in no time.
Out one of the only main roads, on our way to the Batsford Arboretum.
You may remember from my original itinerary, all these plans to bike bike bike far away to see things … but after exhausting myself in London on Saturday, that night I went online and looked up some stuff closer to Moreton …. not my first choice of touristy sights, but I kept reminding myself that I would be coming back someday.
We ended up biking just a mile or so outside of town to an Arboretum …
Check out these next few pics of our ride.
Just imagine the perfect weather. Not hot at all. Not too cold. Overcast with blue skies peeking through.
It was just heavenly.
This is the road off the main highway to the arboretum. Enough room for one car. Which means we ‘pulled over’ a few times to let cars pass …
More on Monday!