This post is the continuation of our trip to the United Kingdon in 2010.
On 14th July we woke up, had a delicious breakfast at Tilbury Lodge B&B (Oxford, UK) and packed our stuff inside the small rented Peugeot. Prayed before driving on the “wrong side of the road” to our new destination: Chipping Campden.
We had a very pleasant trip and I had no problems at all driving in England. Driving on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road is weird, specially when changing gears (3rd gear and 1st gear with the left hand for someone used to do that with the right hand is a real challenge). Next time I will pay more and get an automatic vehicle.
I must say that English drivers are very polite and they have super friendly attitude towards other drivers. This mood was responsible for a relaxing attitude while we were there. Thank you English people, you are really nice and polite! 🙂
We used my Nokia phone with Nokia Maps as our GPS. It’s a great choice and I do recommend doing that. Although we have a GPS from Garmin, it has only the maps of USA and Canada. If we would like to buy the map for the UK we would have to pay around 100 usd! It was cheaper to have the Nokia phone with the Nokia Maps downloaded from Nokia (free for a few days and after that you have to pay a small fee to keep using it).
For Americans traveling to Europe I highly recommend a Nokia phone (unlocked). Get Nokia Maps (you can download them over the Internet). You will save money and you will have a mobile phone with you in case you need emergency assistance. If you buy your card from Orange you will receive an UK number and also an USA number. This is good to call people in the USA paying as a local call.
We arrived in Chipping Campden around noon and we were delighted to see how fortunate we were with our choice of accommodation.
Bramley House (6 Aston Rd, Chipping Campden) looked perfect even from the road! Of course, a good place must be reserved far in advance otherwise you can not be able to stay there! I have chosen Bramley House after a deep research on TripAdvisor where this B&B is rated as the # 1 B&B in Chipping Campden !
We had a warm welcome from Mrs Jane, the owner of the B&B. She is a lovely English lady and showed us our lovely “Garden Suite“. As the name implies, our room was located in the garden and was composed by a living room and a bedroom (both on the second floor) and a private bathroom located at the lower floor. Mrs Jane also told us about breakfast time and place (the breakfast is served at the main house, in her dinning room). She showed us a very nice booklet that she had prepared for the guests with a lot of useful information as best restaurants, interesting cities nearby and so on.
Our view was superb as we had no “neighbors”! We could see an immense corn field from our living room window.
As soon as we unpacked we went biking to explore Chipping Campden.
Exploring Chipping Campden by bike
We went to visit the Church of Chipping Campden: St James is one of the finest English Wool Churches.
The finely carved canopied tomb of Sir Thomas Smythe is the most remarkable detail in the church. He was Lord of the Manor of Campden until his death in 1593. He lived at the court of Henry VIII and was the first Governor of the East India Company.
When it was around 1.30pm we went to have lunch at one of the best restaurants in town. It’s located at the Main Street, right in front of the Old City Market. Mrs Jane, from Bramdley House, told us that we should not miss The Caminetto as it is one of her favorites in Chipping Campden.
The food was delicious and we were glad we went to have lunch at The Caminetto, a lovely Italian restaurant.
While there we met two Americans who were having lunch at a table at our side. They were both from the West Coast and moved to Chipping Campden after retiring from the Movies Industry in Los Angeles, USA. They told us they usually stay in Chipping Campden most of the year as the weather is mild and they can play a lot of golf. They live at Broadway, a city nearby. Wow… it can be nice to retire and live in such a beautiful and peaceful place!
Our bikes parked at Caminetto’s entrance
As the name suggests (“Chipping” means market or market place from the old English “Ceping”). Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. This legacy of fame and prosperity was responsible for giving the town’s character. After lunch we went to visit the most important attraction of the town and the origin of it;s name: The Chipping Campden Old Market.
Very close to the Market we visited a Craftsman in hand-made silver. We went to visit Mr Hart’s studio because his name was written by the owner of our B&B as being one of the “don’t miss” places in town. Although it is written at the door “Visitors Welcome” we did not felt as “Welcome” as Mr Hart’s almost did not look to us when we timidly entered in his studio. As we felt like intruders, we turned back and went away. As he did not gave us 1 minute of his attention we didn’t feel tempted to ask for prices and as a result of that we did not buy any silver work.
From the silver artisan we continued riding our bikes to visit other parts of the city.
We returned to our B&B to have a (small) rest
This is our exclusive suite in Chipping Campden, Bramley House is an excellent B&B
We went to visit Broadway, as the two guys we met at the restaurant told us that is deserved a visit (in fact, Mrs Jane Povey has already pointed us that we should go there).As we are always moving, after a hot tea (courtesy of Bramley House there was always tea bags and hot water at our suite) we went to explore the region once more.
We went by bike as it’s a short distance (around 6 miles)
Most of the Cottage’s gates remain open! No security issues in Broadway, U.K.!
When we were biking around Broadway we discovered a hidden bike path at the end of a road.
After pushing our bikes for a while we crossed the forest and went till the end of the trail (it ends in a highway). There were lots of cars and trucks passing by so we decided to return using the same path on our way to Broadway. We loved to find this path and to be in the middle of an old forest.
At the side of the trail there’s a lovely property. It’s enormous and has an astonishing view to the valley. Looks like someone really wealthy (maybe from the Royal family?) lives there.
Above you see the garden of a beautiful property that is adjacent to the bike trail. It has a beautiful view to the valley.
The skies became dark suddenly and we went back to the B&B.
After resting during 5 minutes at the B&B we went back to the streets! Riding our bikes, of course ! It was already 8pm and we were starving ! Don’t forget all the pictures you saw until now were taken during our first day in Chipping Campden ! Yeap…… looks like a week but we are avid travelers so we are always moving around and getting to know the places.
The best pub in Chipping Campden is The Red Lion and there we went to grab fish&chips (my favorite meal in the UK) and of course….. beers !!! Various delicious pints!
On July 15th 2010, we had a delicious breakfast at the Bramley House. Everything perfect from the silverware to the eggs cooked the way you choose.
We folded our bikes and placed them inside the car’s trunk.
We drove from Chiping Campden through a forest in order to visit Broadway Tower. We did not see the entrance for the tower so we drove all the way crossing a very dense forest. When this narrow road that cross the forest ended we were sure we missed the tower so we returned and came back all the way through the forest again.
Finally, we saw the access gate to the tower but it was…… closed ! We got there at 10am in the morning and it was written on a billboard at the gate would be open at 10.30AM. We decided that we would not stay still for half an hour. We drove through the forest again (well, for the 3rd time) and we took the direction of Snowshill. Mrs Jane told us that this was a must see place around Chipping Campden and later we were glad that we followed her advice!
Lavender field, Cotswolds, UK
From Snowshill we drove to Winchcombe and parked our car at a calm street. We took a picture of its name to make sure we would know where to look for our car again. 🙂
After lunch (in Winchcombe) we visited other small towns as Bourton-on-the-Water, Naunton, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter.
What is this cat doing? Click on the gallery to discover!
After this great day visiting different villages in the Cotswolds we returned to our “base”: Chiping Campden.
Time for dinner!
Joel’s in the fanciest restaurant in Chipping Campden and it serves awesome food!
The picture above was taken at 9pm. After the delicious dinner we returned to our Garden Suite at the Bramley House B&B.
On July, 16th, 2010 after breakfast (as always, delicious) we took our car and we went to visit more Cotswolds villages. Our first stop was at Stow-on-the-Wold.
We also visited Northleach, Cotswolds.
The guys were replacing tiles on a roof. The tiles are made with a soft stone.
While we were around Northleach, Cotswolds we visit the Old Prison. It’s quite interesting.
From Northleach we went to visit Burford, where we had lunch.
Parking the car in Burford at a small spot! Only me! 🙂 The interesting thing in England is that you can park your car in either direction! It does not need to be parked in the same orientation of the street traffic! That’s why you see cars parked in either direction here! This makes things a little more easier… but don’t think parking a car in a small space a very easy task when you are driving in England! I made it! #FeellingProud
The dessert was bought at a local Patisserie. This one was DELICIOUS
We planned to visit other cities but the sky was getting really dark (pretty fast) and we noticed that a big storm was approaching us. So…. we drove back to Chipping Campden in order to be safe!
It was good to return “home” before the rain. We could, once more, admire the bees working on Ms Jane’s garden
The storm is approaching. View from our B&B window
On July 18th 2010, we had breakfast at Bramley House and drove our car to Oxford in order to return our rental car to Avis. We should have returned it around 10am and we were just a few minutes late so we didn’t have to pay any kind of fine. Avis rental location is pretty close to Oxford Train Station but anyway, with four big luggage even a few feet looks like a marathon ! But… we made it.
Our train was schedule to depart to Edinburgh at 3pm so we had a lot of time to kill at Oxford Train Station.
We had sandwiches (delicious baguettes) while there.
Our four BIG suitcases ! Two of them contained our bikes.
Edinburgh: Here we go !!!!!