My Perfect Day in the Cotswolds - Travel Writing Competition Entry

I've mused, mumbled, wanted to write and written for a while now. Every so often I get inspired by a competiton and give it a go. To my surprise I was a runner-up in a writing competiton for Bradt Travel Guides. The competition that caught my eye was to write about a perfect day in the Cotswolds, an area I know quite well. The guidelines: simply write a description of your perfect day whatever shape it may take, we want to hear what makes the Cotswolds special to you.

The main prize was two nights at the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton where my brother frequented when he lodged with a lovely family there many years ago while working in Chipping Camden. I would love to return to the Cotswolds again. If you've never been put it on your list!

This is.....

My Perfect Day in the Cotswolds

A slow awakening, the sun streaming through the curtains. I'm luxuriously content in my lovely room. I've waited and planned my precious day here. A long luxurious reminisce of many episodes of my youth. Day trips from school to Bourton-on-the Water. A visit to Chipping Camden to see my brother into his new lodgings and job. A family outing to the Model Village. Nannying in Charlbury and exploring the village, spending hours in the park. Living on a horse farm and getting married in Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

I've seen some of the gorgeous spots, lovely buildings and beautiful scenery. Now I plan to relive them. Revisit old familiar haunts and take-in some new delights of which I know there are many. My husband of 26 years is with me. We have many memories of our short time together here. I have many more of other times and places in this glorious part of central England.

A slow breakfast, with the early morning summer sun streaming in the windows, but time's precious, we have so much to see but at a leisurely pace. There are antique shops to visit, the lavender farm in Broadway to discover. There's back lanes to follow, it'll have to be by car today, maybe one day we'll have a longer stay and re-ride them by bike or take a bike tour.

Witney calls as the town we bought our wedding rings together and stole kisses in the Victorian Corn Exchange, we'll lunch in the sunshine on the pretty, long high-street and walk hand in hand down memory lane.

One beautiful village merges into the next as we head to the incredibly picturesque Slaughters, cameras always at hand. Water and green grass so abundant, a real treat when you've lived in dry, scorching Andalucia for over twenty years. Lush, vibrant. We sit and take our socks off. Feel the soft fresh growth under our feet, between our toes. Dip them in the chilly waters, dry them in the sunshine and slip back to those carefree summer days decades ago. But though time has passed my memories of the Cotswolds haven't let me down. It ages, mellows, slower than us.

We head westwards to Warwick Castle, a favourite haunt of mine when I worked in Barford and cycled almost daily into Warwick, a new place for him. Then to Stratford-upon-Avon to explore Shakespheare's town first by gondola on the beautiful, calm waters of the River Severn then we explore the town, when our feet complain and stomachs rumble it'll time to dine on a private river cruise.

History and culture, towns and countryside, water and walking all combine, reliving old and making new memories with the best company makes for my Perfect Day in the Cotswolds and may there be many, many more.

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