Tuesday, February 3, 2015
The Cotswolds: A Nostalgic Trip to Bourton on the Water
For years and years I have owned a small blue pot labelled The Model Village, Bourton on the Water. I have diligently packed it up every time I moved house, but I had only a very vague recollection of visiting Bourton on the Water. We lived in England for about six months when I was just starting school, and we must have gone to the Cotswolds for an outing. My “baby” brother would have been in a stroller.
When I realized that I would be once again in the Cotswolds, I knew that I had to visit Bourton on the Water. I would normally have given the village a miss as it is dedicated to tourism, but this was a nostalgic trip into my family’s past.
Bourton on the Water is a pretty little village. Its main street runs alongside the River Windrush. In Roman times, travellers forded the shallow river, but gradually bridges were built to replace the fords, the oldest dating back to 1654. There are several foot bridges as well as vehicle bridges.
Construction of the Model Village, a one-ninth scale replica of the village began in the 1930s. It must have been such fun as a child to walk along the paths, peering down at the tiny houses and shops. The landscaping is particularly intriguing as they use real turf, alpine flowers and miniature roses, as well as small pruned trees.
I had lunch at the Bakery on the Water. I was happy to find an artisan bakery as the British seem to be very fond of fluffy white bread rather than more hearty artisan breads.
The countryside around Bourton on the Water is lovely and very traditional with old stone walls, sheep, and forested areas.