We’d visited Broadway on our last trip four years earlier, so to want to come back speaks volumes when it comes to my sightseeing urges. I love to cover new ground - see new things - experience new sights and sounds. Just the trip back to the Cotswolds, in general, was a huge thing for me. I remembered our first trip as being akin to the "ultimate" vacation and to go BACK. Well, the fear is, always, that any subsequent trips would be like stale leftovers.
Anyway… Broadway. We were batting 1.000 so what the hey.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Broadway is named, probably, for that very broad street the runs down its middle. Lovely little town. Lots of cars in the public parking area but, amazingly, it wasn’t like a free-for-all walking up and down the broad way.
We wandered up and up and up Main Street so I could snap and snap and snap photos of doors and windows. And then wandered down and down and down, to get snaps of the other side of the street.
Given that it had been two and half hours since our big Full English we thought it might be nice to stop for a cream tea to warm ourselves and rest from our uphill/downhill wander of Main Street.
Tisanes is a pretty little French Cafe that sells a very nice English cream tea. We sat in a charming alcove at the back of the restaurant (unfortunately across from the kitchen and next to the restroom door) and rested. And while we rested we had a lovely cream tea, snapped photos of our food and discussed the day’s events. Like where in the world should we go next?
We had no idea, only the expectation of finding another charming village that presented excellent photo ops and, maybe, another tea room.
So this is where the meander comes into play in my "itineraries". We had no clear destination, just the joyous realization that no matter which way we turned it would be hard to imagine going wrong.
Case in point… as we are sitting having our tea at Tisanes I say to Draw, "well what I’d really like to find are some really cool cemeteries".
And this is what we found less than five minutes after getting back into our car:
And as I’m popping a bit of clotted cream-laden scone in my mouth I say to Draw, "and I’d love to find some really neat doors". "Duh", says Draw.
And these are what we found. One across the road from the cemetery and one a hop skip and jump just before it:
Everything we did here on out was on the fly. Look at the map… what about so and so… drive. Look at the map… what about this and that… drive. Over and over this plan worked amazingly well for us. The Cotswolds is teeming with wonderful sights. And forget the other 65 bucks worth of English travel guides - our $5 map investment paid off in spades.
So, now, let’s enjoy a few snaps of Broadway and then head on over to Snowshill (pronounced "snoze-ill" or "snozzle") the site of my first disappointment. Truth be told, Snowshill was the site of both of my two disappointments but they were fleeting as all ended up quite happily (more on that later).
Yes, indeed, this is a gen-u-ine deli looking like a doll’s house fixture.
An amazing window - actually, an amazing window canopy.
Another window of the quintessential variety… and my reflection.
An amazing doorknocker.
Are you still with me? I thought I’d tie up the Snowshill visit in this post (peppered liberally with photos to help keep you awake) because we also visited Stow-on-the-Wold on this particular day, along with another village. Too much to include here so it looks like there’s going to be a Day Six Part III.
Snowhill… and is there a Lavender Farm
Snowshill is touted as one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. Oh, for Pete’s sakes they’re all pretty. It’s like sensory overload when you take yourself away to the Cotswolds.
Snowshill is tiny, set on a sloping hill. The few streets that do exist in this tiny village are quite narrow and the cottages that line the streets are perched right next to the road. Which makes window-peeping perfectly natural and acceptable. Though, unconsciously done, I assure you.
Let me take a quick moment to talk about window-peeping and window-fixations in general. In a post several months ago I wrote about my fascination with windows. There’s nothing like a good window and, in fact, the one I featured in that early post was found in the Cotwolds on our previous trip. I honestly think that villages are missing the boat by not playing up the window/door angle with tourists : "Pretty village with amazingly old and quaint windows". You tell me who, in their right mind, would pass up a visit to a village dripping in amazingly old and quaint windows.
This is right smack dab in the middle of the many reasons why I am so blown away by the Cotswolds. Wooden windows, iron windows, oval windows, arched windows, cathedral windows, windows falling off their hinges, windows covered with flowers or canopied by vines… old and ancient windows that have been peered through over hundreds of years. There is history in a window. When I look at or through one of these old windows I am sharing space with hundreds of years of people who did the very same thing.
The particular delight of the Snowshill windows is that you absolutely have to look into them since they’re set so close to the road. And with the windows come the windowsills that are particulary deep and used to display pretty little statues, and bowls of potpourri and candeholders, and and and.
In the middle of Snowshill is the church (with cemetery). And off to one side of the church, the bright red phonebox in case you’re passing through and you don’t have a cell phone. And across from the church the village message board advertising an IT entrepreneur’s services for the villagefolk experiencing computer woes. Huh? I thought we were in the 16th century.
Besides being very peaceful and quite lovely, Snowshill is also the home of Snowshill Lavender Farm. I found this out the first night at our B&B when I washed my hands in our tiny but cute bathroom. On the sink was a bottle of Snowshill Lavender Farm liquid soap. A plain Jane little bottle holding the most delicious lavendar scented soap.
Since, along with windows and doors I am also a lavender freak, my other motive for wanting to find Snowshill was also to find that soap! Even if it did cost $12 USD for 200mL. And 200 mL is not like the big bottle of Pepsi, folks. That big bottle of Pepsi is a Liter which is like a million mL whereas the bottle of soap was only 200.
So, disappointment number one of the two in the Cotswolds was that Snowshill Lavender Farm was closed. No signs outside telling you when they might be open, just the sign telling you that they weren’t. But I read that they were open everyday?
Draw was quite sweet about it "we’re here three more days, we’ll come back tomorrow". Awww… And there was still that almost full bottle of soap in our bathroom back at the B&B. It wasn’t like I absolutely needed to wash my hands right then, anyways.
And thus ended our first visit (of THREE) to the lovely Snowshill. With the level of the sun telling us we were burning daylight and should press on, we grabbed the map and decided Stow-on-Wold would be our next stop.
Day Six Part III coming up but in the meantime… Snowshill… And for more photos please take a peek at Draw’s website. He’s an awesome photographer.
An amazing blue, ivy-canopied Snowshill door.
An amazing weather-beaten Snowshill door.
An amazing cross from the ancient Snowshill cemetery.