An autumn visit to the Cotswolds

We don’t have too many more beautiful autumn days before the rainy season descends upon us, and we also don’t know if there will be any sort of local/national lockdown ahead of us in the coming months either, so we decided to take advantage of a lovely, crisp, fall day.

We live about an hour’s drive away from the Cotswold villages. We decided to choose two to amble through: Burton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold. (By the way, I just learned that ‘wold’ is the old English term for ‘hill’, and that’s where ‘Cotswolds’ got their name, as they’re a little hilly).

You can’t really take a bad picture in these perfect little villages. So the whole point of this blog post is to share my pictures. Enjoy!

Burton-on-the-Water
Eric and Sophie on a footbridge

On warm summer days, people just walk right into this very shallow river (like a few inches deep) and cool off and play. But it was about 10°C in the sun today so the only things in the water were ducks (though still a lot of people lining up for ice cream!).

It’s a very touristy place. We browsed a few shops (I enjoyed the antique shops), and it was pretty crowded with staycation tourists like ourselves, but the village was very clean, pleasant, and welcoming.

Then we went on to Stow-on-the-Wold, about 15 minutes away, but a much bigger town. This town was also way busier, but that could also be because it was later in the day by then. However, we had little trouble finding parking right in the town square, close to everything.

Stow-on-the-Wold is where St. Edward’s Church is, a medieval church with much history.

However, the most famous thing about St. Edward’s Church, and one of the most photographed things in the Cotswolds, is the North Door of the church, with ancient yew trees flanking it, growing right into the church!

Then we went to lunch. We picked a small tea room to support local and they were the best covid-safe place I’ve been to since this all started! In case you’re ever in the Cotswolds, we highly recommend  The Old Bakery Tea Room. Not only did they ask us to sign-in/or check-in with the NHS Covid app, when we said we had already, he asked us to open our phones and show proof. Some people may dislike this sort of fastidiousness, but I fully appreciate it. I didn’t view a single hygiene infraction while I was there, by anyone. (Also, the food was fresh and delicious!!)

After lunch, we walked about a bit to see the area. I can’t walk too far, but it’s not a long distance to walk around this cute little place!

And that was our wee 3-hour venture into the Cotswolds. I see how you could totally take a week or so (ok, maybe just a nice long weekend) and explore each of these small villages. I also could see that during non-Covid times, they would be absolutely overrun with tourists!! However, we had a lovely day today- hope you enjoyed some of our photos!

Terry Fox Run 2020 and the Uffington White Horse

About 9 months ago, I had the great idea to organise a Terry Fox Run with the Canadian military families posted in the UK. I was willing to take on that responsibility and had even started talking about it with some people at the Military Family Services in London. Wouldn’t that be a fun, great team event? And a way to get a bunch of Canadian families together and raise even more money for Terry Fox?

Alas, like all good things in 2020, it wasn’t meant to be. In fact, all organised Terry Fox runs across Canada were cancelled this year but that doesn’t mean that fundraising and the idea of going for a run/walk was cancelled! They conceived the idea of the virtual run ‘One Day. Your Way.’ …. Which is sort of what we did last year!!!!

So again this year, we were on our own to do the Terry Fox Run. There was no way we could top last year’s run at Stonehenge. Not within an easy hour’s drive anyway. So we decided to not even try. Nothing in 2020 tops 2019, that’s a given.

We settled on the Uffington White Horse.  This is a 3000-year-old prehistoric chalk hill figure. It has been maintained consistently since it was made (unlike some other chalk hill figures which are still being found in the UK).

I’m sure you can get really amazing pictures from the sky. I saw about 6 or 7 low-flying bi-planes go over while I was there. But you can only get so much of an idea of it from the ground…

We took a few photos, Sophie scarfed down a granola bar to keep her BG levels up, then she and Eric left me here in the sun and headed out on their walk around the horse.

(See, you’ll be disappointed to know it’s the white horse in the hill right above Eric’s head. Perhaps if we came during late afternoon, the sun would be illuminating the chalk more and it would stand out; but as it was, it really didn’t make it to photos too well.)

However, the main purpose of the day wasn’t photos, it was the Terry Fox Run!!!

Eric took some shots as they did the walk. I sat on a bench near the start and cheered. Which, seeing as I was in a farmer’s field, not at an organised fun-run, and no one knew what I was doing, made me look pretty odd. The English don’t look too kindly on odd.

And when she was done:

We raised over $900 CDN for the Terry Fox Foundation this year, her 8th year participating!!! Thank you everyone!!

(And if you still want to donate to this amazing charity where over 85% of your money goes to actual cancer research, click here to donate to Sophie’s 2020 Terry Fox Run)

Afterwards, we went to a lovely pub for a now-traditional post-run Sunday lunch:

Cheers!

(Now taking suggestions on where to go for 2021’s run…?)