Our hotel in Stow on the Wold used to be the rectory of an old church (located next door), that has been converted into a hotel. It was very quaint and bed-and-breakfasty.
The view out our window -- of the church next door and the cemetery.
Sitting in the town stocks. Our town (Stow) consisted of one main street, that took about ten minutes to walk. It was so small! And so quaint. There was an amazing chocolate shop on the street, that sold chocolate-covered everything. One day we skipped lunch and just ate chocolate. I intended to bring some home...but none of it made it. Ha ha!
The skinniest little house in Stow.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19
The next day we drove through all of the nearby Cotwsold towns -- Northleach, Bourton-on-the-Water, Upper and Lower Slaughters, and Kineton. Each was more beautiful than the last. The landscape was so beautiful and green, with rolling hills.
We took a tour of the inside, which was fascinating. They had volunteer guides in every room who could tell you stories and all sorts of interesting things about the time Shakespeare lived. It was probably one of my most favorite tours we took on this trip. Here is the view out the upper bedroom window where Shakespeare was born.
On the way home we stopped in Chipping Campden to see the city. It is another tiny Cotswold town with one main street. It had a really neat WWI and WWII monument in the center of town with the names of all the fallen soldiers from Chipping Campden. There were so many, it must have been a big blow to such a small community.
A beautiful stoop in Chipping Campden.
I got probably the biggest shock of my life ever when I stepped inside and looked across the restaurant to see my best friend from growing up, Camie, and her husband John eating dinner together at a table! I seriously did a double take and then squeezed Chris's arm. I couldn't even verbalize to him what I was seeing, ha ha. I walked right over to them and gave her a huge hug. Needless to say, they were also in shock to see us there!
Can you imagine? We live three miles apart at home, and we ran into each other halfway around the world, literally in the middle of nowhere, in an Indian Restaurant no less. It was just so bizarre! And so fun to catch up.
We ate breakfast at The Stow Lodge (getting a little tired of sausage and beans at this point, ha ha), checked out of the hotel and headed 35 miles East towards Blenheim Palace.
Blenheim Palace was built in the early 1700's by the Duke of Marlborough, and has been passed down to each next Duke of Marlborough through the years. Currently the 12th Duke of Marlborough still lives there. Sir Winston Churchill was also born here.
Unfortunately, there was a modern art exhibit happening during our visit, and each room had this huge modern monstrosity in the center. I just was not a fan, and I thought it ruined a lot of the enjoyment for me. For example, one room had two GIANT piles of laundry in the center of the floor. One pile was all whites, one was colored clothing. And that was it. Huge piles of laundry in the center of the state room. REALLY? It just wasn't my thing, so I didn't take very many pictures inside.
The gardens, however, were GORGEOUS. Just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking through them and enjoying the landscape.