Armchair Travels – The Cotswolds – Arriving in Blockley

What a difference a year makes!

About this time last year, I was in England with my travel gals, in celebration of a significant birthday.  We have had the incredible opportunity to do a fair amount of traveling together over the last 14 years, something I am so grateful for, particularly now with our current state of affairs.

One of the key things travel has taught me is that no matter where we are from or what culture we practice, for the most part, we are all just people sharing very similar desires in life.  The desire to live in a safe & peaceful environment & the ability to provide for our families and those we love.  It’s pretty simple really!

I live in hope that we shall once again have the good fortune to travel to far away places together, for there are so many yet to discover.

Until that times comes, I thought I would satisfy (or feed) my wanderlust by sharing some of the places I have visited and have yet to write about.

I invite you to join me in taking a journey to beautiful places we have had the opportunity to visit, whether they be near or far.  Feel free to join in, using the tag Armchair Travels & sharing a link in the comments section.

Together, may we share & remember what travel means to us.

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England you say?

Because this trip was in celebration of one of the girls turning 60, her desire was to mark this milestone somewhere near the sea.  With a limited number of days we could travel due to other commitments, we needed to look at a reasonable timeline allotted for flying in order to maximize time spent at our destination of choice.  After considering a few options, we decided upon England, developing an itinerary that initially took us to the Cotswolds, then heading south down to Cornwall along the sea & eventually back to London for a few days.

Interestingly, I found when I told people we had chosen to travel to England, I was often met with the comment, “England?  Really!”

I suppose compared to some of the previous destinations we have had the opportunity to explore, jolly old England may have seemed a little less exotic to some, but do not let that dissuade you from visiting this beautiful part of our planet.

The Cotswolds – Arriving in Blockley

The first leg of our adventure took us to the Cotswolds, located in south central England. Known for its beautiful rolling hills, quaint little market towns & charming English cottages, the most challenging decision was in deciding which stunning little village to stay in.

We settled on the small village of Blockley, an easy commute to the various towns we hoped to explore and a little off the beaten path, which is typically our preference.

After arriving at Heathrow in London, we picked up our vehicle, set the GPS & all took a deep breath before venturing out on the wrong side of the road!

After a couple of missed attempts at getting out of the airport on the main roadways, circling a few roundabouts more than once, we finally managed to get on the motorway and safely made our way from London to Little Forge in Blockley.  We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful property to stay in.

Front entrance to Little Forge

Beautiful patio out back of Little Forge overlooking field of sheep

Blockley was once known for its wool industry, converting to silk production in & around 1860.  Although silk has not been produced here in some time,  it hosts a lovely collection of buildings reflecting that era.

Now a much quieter village, it is known more for its beautiful landscape & easy access to country paths for lovely walks.

After getting all settled in, we ventured out for a wee walk to stretch our legs, get our bearings & grab a few groceries.

The streets of Blockley

A meandering road in Blockley

Just behind the property we rented, there is a beautiful mill stream that winds all through the bottom of the valley.  Between the sound of the water & the sheep in the farmers field behind the property, it certainly provided a lovely way to be lulled to sleep each night.

The mill stream behind Little Forge

Looking back at Little Forge from the mill stream

If you are looking for spectacular night life, you won’t find it here, although there are a couple of local pubs.  However, if you are looking for a lovely tranquil village with quiet  pathways & picturesque vistas for your eyes to take in, there are so many options here!

Meeting the sheep in the farm field behind our property.

A staircase to ?

Looking back over the village

Such an inviting entrance, don’t you think?

One of the buildings that stands out in this beautiful village is the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul.  While out on one of our walks, we could hear music coming from within, so being the inquisitive souls we are, we popped our heads in to have a listen.

We were greeted by a very friendly chap, explaining they were rehearsing for an upcoming local concert later that week & suggested we might like to join them.  The highlight was a performance from the Blockley Blokes Men’s Choir.

We did end up attending as we love to immerse ourselves in the local culture as much as we can & had a delightful time!  A local gathering, some music & a glass of wine?  What’s not to love!

Fun fact about this church- a number of episodes of the loved British series, Father Brown, were taped here.

The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, built around 1180

Lastly, when I reflect on our time in Blockley, I shall always think of Margaret, a local resident we met.

We stopped to compliment Margaret on her beautiful tulips & ended up sitting & chatting with her for over an hour one day.  A resident of Blockley for 57 years, we learned that this crackerjack of a woman was 88 & still working 4 hours a day for her son, declaring herself the oldest secretary on the planet.

She shared with us how much the area has changed over the years.  Once a very busy hub, Blockley, she said, is much quieter these days, with a number of people only living there part time and in many circumstances, using their residence as a vacation property.

To that end, she suggested, with some annoyance, that they come there thinking if they put on a pair of green wellies & acquire a dog, they somehow think they are from the country.

We laughed ourselves silly over the next number of days when spying quite a few people walking their dog in their green wellies.

I think Margaret may have had a point!  She was such a hoot!  I hope she is well & safe.💕

Us with Margaret

I hope you enjoyed a virtual visit to Blockley.  Next week I hope to introduce you to some of the other beautiful villages we ventured to!  I hope you’ll join me.

Hugs,

L💜

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43 Responses to Armchair Travels – The Cotswolds – Arriving in Blockley

  1. Jane says:

    Such a wonderful trip and a great lady!

  2. restlessjo says:

    Margaret looks like a lady who knows her own mind, and isn’t afraid to speak it. 🙂 🙂 It’s not an area I know well, Lynn, so I’ll be happy to come along with you.

  3. Sheree says:

    A trip to the beautiful Cotswolds is always a pleasure

  4. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for the fun tour and lovely photos. Margaret sounds like quite the character and I’m an avid watcher of Father Brown.

    • Lynn says:

      Ingrid, she was fascinating! I often wonder how she is managing 💕. We were told that a number of people travel to Blockley just to see the church. We had no idea of its fame when we booked our property but thought it was a fun little fact to include!

      Hope you are doing well my friend💞

  5. Karen says:

    I love this and I always have loved your travels. I look forward to more. John abd I have Cornwall England on our list so look forward to your pics on that destination. Xo.

    • Lynn says:

      Karen, thank you so much for your kind words. Cornwall is such a beautiful area to explore & one where I don’t think you & John will be disappointed to visit. Stay tuned!💕

  6. Sue Slaght says:

    Such happy times with great friends. Here’s hoping in the years ahead we can all make more cherished memories. Hope you are well friend. XO

    • Lynn says:

      I sure do hope so Sue! Did you & Dave have anything on your calendar for this year?

      • Sue Slaght says:

        We have cancelled three trips. One was our whole family going to Hawaii to celebrate Dave’s 60th. We were to leave at the end of March. Also one to Vegas and one to Ontario.
        We are adjusting to a new normal, a slower paced one giving time for lots of thought as to priorities for the future.

      • Lynn says:

        How disappointing. My son & daughter-in-law were supposed to go to Hawaii at the end of March as well but sadly, had to cancel. They were hoping to have a little time away before their second child arrives at the end of August.

        Thankfully, we didn’t have any major plans on the calendar. We were scheduled to go on a ski vacation back at the end of March but if course, that did not happen 😔.

  7. Ally Bean says:

    England is a lovely place to visit. I cannot imagine why anyone doubted your choice. I like that photo of the mill stream. And those sheep, how delightful. You are right, of course– what a difference a year makes. So glad you have happy memories from back then to share now. Carry on!

    • Lynn says:

      It was a weird reaction Ally. We loved our time in England & hope to return some day. The sheep in the field behind us were a source of much entertainment! Carrying on my friend💕

  8. Ann Coleman says:

    Personally, I can’t wait to visit England, so I think it was a good choice. And when I do go, I want to visit the Cotswolds for sure, and maybe even the same town. It looked gorgeous! Of course it will be quite a while before England is open for tourists again and I can do any foreign travel, but it will happen again. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing your trip on your blog…I really enjoyed it!

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you Ann. The Cotswolds are definitely worth checking out. We absolutely loved Blockley as we prefer not to be in touristy towns. We did have a vehicle which I would recommend as there are so many beautiful spots to explore. I am not sure we would have seen some of the out of the way places had we had to rely on public transit. I sure hope you get there some day!💕

  9. Hi Lynn, Blockley does look lovely from all the great photos. I’m glad you added the comment about the Father Brown series because I was wondering. The town photos look very tranquil – the time of day they were taken or you waited until no one was in shot? At first I thought sight it was Blockley during COVID times. I am glad you heard the Blockley blokes sing.
    We had the Cotswolds as an idea for this year in the UK while visiting our daughter in London and after doing part of the Camino. Hope you are well. Louise

    • Lynn says:

      Louise, Blockley is definitely a sleepy town! No waiting necessary to get a good shot😂.

      I have no doubt you would love this area. It is easily accessible from London & well worth a visit.

      All well & safe here. Hope you are the same💕

  10. V says:

    Looks like a place right out of an old English storybook ❤

  11. Joanne Sisco says:

    This looks like such a pretty setting for good friends to chill together. This is exactly what so many of us are fantasizing about right now.

    The gate and stairs are a perfect visual for the beginning of a great story, but the canal is what steals my heart. It may be that anything resembling a trail will trigger my wanderlust 😏

    Nice to see you back here. Looking forward to more stories from last year’s travels. It’s the closest any of us will get to actual travel for a long while. Stay well, my friend!

    • Lynn says:

      Joanne, it was such a wonderful spot to decompress & enjoy each other’s company. They are such a wonderful group of women to travel with💕

      The canal was such a lovely feature in this village. You wou have loved it, so many trails to discover in this area!

      Sadly, I think you are right, it may be awhile before we have the opportunity to jet away to some far away land. I guess, for now, we are destined to explore in our own backyard. Miss you my friend.💕

  12. I absolutely loved this ‘tour’! I spent a semester overseas in college. I was in Cambridge, England and then we traveled from there. I love England…it was always one of my top places to visit. You captured it so beautifully. It has been such a long time since I was there. Reading your post, I hope to return there again…someday. 🙂

  13. Cheryl Marsh says:

    Tx for the memories Lynn, well done!
    Our trip was 30 years ago, wow, but time seems to slow there. We still have a few ‘relies’ there so think of often.
    C xo

    Sent from my iPad

  14. Cheryl Marsh says:

    Good exercise with your time. How’s everyone?, it’s hard being far away, thank goodness for technologies!
    xo

    Sent from my iPad

    • Lynn says:

      We are all good Cheryl. Looks like you & Jim have been doing a bit of flying over the past little bit. Enjoy & be safe💕

  15. dfolstad58 says:

    Dear Lynn, what a lovely breathe of fresh air you are in my emails today. I also appreciated your links, thank you. Blockley looks so refreshing, and I love the word “hoot”! As much as I did enjoy experiencing the “tube” and other sights in London, I admit I am not a big city person. In Blockley you experience the weather, smell the air and so on. That was also my experience in Turkey, Istanbul was too big, it was the small towns we visited that I connect to. Thank you so much for sharing your photos of Blockley, and I congratulations on your experience. – David

    • Lynn says:

      David, it is my absolute pleasure to share! Thank you, for your very kind words.💕

      We had such a wonderful time exploring this area, hope to share more so stay tuned!

  16. Lynn, when we lived in London the Cotswolds were one of our favorite weekend escapes. The tiny stone villages and fabulous countryside are the quintessential image that every North American holds in their head when they think “England,” and your pictures capture is perfectly. I don’t know Blockley, but you can’t really go wrong in the Cotswold. Thanks for a great photo essay and good reminder of pleasant days in the English countryside. All the best for your continued good health. ~James

    • Lynn says:

      James, I can certainly understand why you enjoyed it so much. Blockley is quite small, located between Moreton-in-the-Marsh & Chipping Camden. We loved staying there because it was so quiet! Hope you & Terri are both doing well💕

  17. Pingback: Armchair Travels- The Cotswolds- Broadway Tower/Bilbury/Bourton-on-the-Water | Life After 50

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