14 January 2009


On Thursday, Dan was feeling pretty ill, so we had a bit of a sleep in, then packed the cars and headed off to our cottage in the Cotswolds. We decided to stop off in Marlow on the way, because Dan’s family often had holidays there when he was a kid, and I still hadn’t made it there in all my trips to England. It was quite lovely – the winter sun was bright, the view from the bridge over the water was delightful, and the lunch we had at the Marlow Bar and Grill was very tasty (the chips were great, and I’d love to have the rich, fragrant mushroom risotto again).

marlow church in the river

the thames at marlow fork in the path reflection / reality

Dan was feeling worse and worse, so M drove her car with D as a passenger, and I went in the other car with A. As we drove along the M40, we saw a few red kites, and we passed over the Ridgeway Path. I had a bit of a giggle to myself as I remembered the guidebook telling us that the noise from the motorway would soon fade (it didn’t!) as we entered the small stand of trees. The scenery was very different in winter than in autumn – the trees were for the most part bare, and the fog was creeping in along the valleys. We passed around the top of Oxford, and I noticed the big hill we’d skirted when walking the Thames Path in 2006. It is pretty awesome to think that we’ve covered quite a bit of ground during our travels!

We arrived in Burford as it was getting dark (so, about 4pm!), and after asking directions a couple of times we made it to our cottage. The place is beautiful – 3 storeys, with a kitchen, conservatory and lounge on the ground, two double bedrooms and a bathroom (with a claw-footed bath) on the middle floor, and two more bedrooms (1 double – ours! – and one twin) and another bathroom on the top. It is attached to Manor Farm, and sits on top of a hill, so from our window we can see a row of gorgeous Cotswold stone buildings, and we have a view over the fields and down to Burford. . . At least, we have a view if it’s not too misty! There are two fireplaces, too, so my childhood of building fires, and watching my parents build them, has helped us out – even though the wood hasn’t been properly dried, so it’s very fizzy and smoky and hard to light.

our room at westhall cottage

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