Last weekend we went to the Cotswolds, a nice area about 2 hours from London by car, to have a relaxed 2 days break.
We left London on Saturday morning, and decided to avoid the motorways on our way there because the small roads show a much nicer landscape. We drove through several small towns, which get nicer the closer you get to the Cotswolds. We stayed at the “Dark Barn Lodge”, a nice guest house which we can recommend. It was clean, located close to several good local attractions, the hosts were friendly and it had plenty of parking space. The price was £58 for the double room (with WiFi in the room) and you have to pay extra if you want to include the breakfast, which I would recommend since it was really good.
We went to Gloucester for lunch, because there were several restaurants in the quays. The cathedral was right there, but though it’s usually recommended we decided to skip it because we didn’t want to do much “urban” tourism this time. Instead we drove north to visit the Hidcote Manor Garden. We absolutely loved them. They looked great, with a large variety of flowers and even an area where they grow vegetables too. Great smells and beautiful colors during spring, it’s an ideal place to take pictures.
For dinner we drove all the way to Ross-on-Wye, a very nice town. The pub were we went for dinner was really crowded on a Saturday night, so I wouldn’t say it was the perfect choice. But the town was worth visiting.
On the second day we weren’t lucky with the weather. It was cloudy until the afternoon, with some light rain that was a bit stronger around midday. We visited the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, and we really liked it. Though the bad weather was a bit annoying (we had to buy an umbrella at the park), it had an upside: there weren’t so many visitors at the park, even though it was a Sunday. We really liked the “Madagascar” area, as well as the reptiles zone, the rhinos and the giraffes.
For the afternoon we went to the Cotswolds falconry centre. It reminded us a bit to the Eagle’s peak in Catalonya, although unfortunately the weather wasn’t ideal here either. The hosts had a hard time trying to get the best from the birds for the show. Still, it was a nice visit, which I used to practice photographing flying birds with moving background (much harder than just “freezing” the image as I did at the Eagle’s peak, but it provides a much better movement feeling).
After this we drove back to London, avoiding the motorways again. It was a good trip, driving through beautiful towns and enjoying some outdoors activities. And there was a lot to see in the Cotswolds that we didn’t have time to visit, so I assume we will go back in the future.