No visit to the Cotswolds is complete for us unless we've visited Bibury. Bibury really is a chocolate box village and according to William Morris the most picturesque place in the whole of Great Britain. I was lucky enough to live here for a couple of years in my early 20's.
Unfortunately, 25 years ago it didn't always feel like this. In fact after a couple of months of village life I felt that my rental property choice had actually been a bad idea. In reality, a village that boasted a sparsely stocked shop, a trout farm, a gift shop, and an influx of at least 3 coachloads of Japanese visitors every day didn't really cover a 21 year old girl's needs.
I think if my memory serves me right I stuck it out for just over 18 months, but more to prove a point that my decision to move there had been the right one.
I have to admit though that while we were sauntering around at the weekend I kind of wished I'd hung in there for a couple of decades! Now in my mid-40's I can see myself slotting into village life and the W.I. quite easily, spending my days making delicious jam and homemade cakes and polishing the church silverware.
Anyway, no longer being a 'villager' but a mere tourist, we did what every visitor to Bibury does. We walked along the river looking for the trout.
We strolled up Arlington Row which is now owned by the National Trust. Built in 1380 as a monastic wool store it was converted into weavers cottages in the 17th century. To bring us more up to date it has been used as a film location several times and featured in Bridget Jones's Diary.
We fed the fish at the trout farm.
And we would have normally visited the tea shop, but we were still stuffed from breakfast.
And just in case you thought I was stretching the truth about the Japanese tourists, this sign on the gate says 'Private Gardens' which is also written in Japanese underneath.
It has been known for residents to open their curtains in the morning to find their gardens full of tourists who aren't adverse to having a stroll around and peeping through windows!