The Cotswolds, England: A Beautiful Scenery and Quaint English Villages Walking Tour

The Cotswolds, England: A Beautiful Scenery and Quaint English Villages Walking Tour

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Hello and welcome to another tour here on Free Tours By Foot. My name is Ian from IAB Tours and I'm delighted to welcome you here to the Cotswolds. A beautiful area of landscapes and history and beautiful unspoiled towns and villages. Quintessential England. An easy day trip from London. We're going to be starting with a little look at a broad view of the Cotswolds from up here on the hills with some fantastic views from Broadway Tower and then we're going to have two short walks through two very popular but very different locations within the area. We're going to be

starting in the historic market town of Chipping Camden and then we are going to be in one of the most popular visitor destinations in not just the Cotswolds but probably in the whole of England. That is the village of Borton on the water. If you enjoy this tour, look out for some of our other tours here on Free Tours by foot and if you wish to you could also show your appreciation to your guide and make a contribution towards his next visit to one of the beautiful tea rooms around here and you can find the details of how to do that in the description as well. So without further ado let's discover the Cotswolds. So what is the Cotswolds? Well the Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a conservation area covering a total of 800 square miles or just over 2, 000 square kilometres in South Central England and covering parts of five counties. The highest

point of the well it's not a mountain range. This is England. These are hills but the highest point is about three hundred and thirty metres above sea level. And we are standing at the second highest point of the cut swords. At 3 12 metres above sea level. A place called Broadway Hill. But what we find at Broadway Hill is this amazing tower. 20

meters high. So the top of that tower is the highest point of the and from up here you can see for miles you can see a radius of over 70 miles and over 16 counties. And looking west as we are here you can see across Worcestershire, the beautiful fertile land of the veil of Ephesham to the Malvern Hills and over towards the Welsh border on a very clear day. It's a little bit hazy today but you can see right into Central Wales and the mountains there. The hills here are made of limestone and everything in the Cotswolds is built out of limestone. The walls, the houses, the churches, pretty much everything you could imagine.

And it is a golden coloured limestone called oolytic limestone. Stone and you don't need to go far to find it. You find bits of limestone just lying on the field. Like this one. This piece of Ulytic Cotswolds limestone. At between two and 300 million years old, the Jurassic period but glad to say or sad to say, no dinosaurs to be found here. But it's an area that is known for its stone which helps to create the beautiful villages and towns that we're going to explore. But it's also known for its livestock specifically sheep.

The limestone grasslands are perfect for grazing. And over the centre is particularly in medieval England. The Cotswolds was one of the most important areas for sheep rearing and the Cotswolds wool that was produced here was some of the best in the whole of England and indeed the whole of Europe. And in medieval England the wool industry was the most important part of the economy and generated vast wealth for the land owners and the people who were involved the merchants and all of those people and that is why the Cotswolds contains so many beautiful lavishly decorated churches, manorhouses, stately homes and beautiful towns and villages because the money was there and the wool industry didn't last. So as the focus of the economy moved to industrial towns and cities the Cotswolds stayed pretty much as it had always been and that's how we discover it so and spoilt today. So

let's take a look back here at Broadway Tower with a little bit more of a view of it shall we? This is not a a genuine castle it was designed as a hunting lodge in the style of a a medieval castle so you can almost imagine sleeping beauty or Rapunzel being in there and the you know the the prince riding across the top of the hills here to rescue him but it was built by a man called the Earl of Coventry and he built it for his wife because he owned a lot of land around here they used to come up here riding and hunting and his wife loved walking and painting and she loved the land around here and so the Earl worked with the great landscape designer Capability Brown and James Wyatt who was one of the leading architects of the late 18th century to create this beautiful lodge and parkland as a gift to his wife. What it must be to be an 18th century Earl and when your wife wants a gift you build her this and create a beautiful idyllic parkland with these views for her. Know of none of your bunch of flowers or box of chocolates or little piece of jewellery. This is what the Earls can give their wives. So this is what the Cotswolds is all about. Distant views, stone, the

wealth of the war trade. And as we head down into Chipping Camden, we're going to get a better understanding of how the medieval markets made this area wealthy, prosperous and important And we're also going to get a great look in Borton on the water at how the landscapes have created beautiful, idyllic, unspoilt villages where we can enjoy those finest English things, a picnic on the village green, fast flowing water, beautiful green scenery and afternoon tea in the sunshine. So I have come down from the hills and made my my way down into one of the Cotswolds best known little towns. Uh the town of Chipping Camden. Interesting name.

Fascinating place. And we are going to take a stroll around and discover what Chipping Camden has to offer. So let's start with that name Chipping Camden. And let's start with the cam bit because the cam part of Fatname refers to this little stream which is called the cam. Er it's a little stream here and it's quite well channeled. Um but it provided a water supply for the early settlements here and runs in this little valley through the fields in the middle of the hills and so we're in this quite sheltered spot. Um that's

that's very typical of the Cotswolds. The towns and villages tend to be in the the valleys in the quite sheltered areas not on the high ground. Here the cam passes under a building which is called the old silk mill. And the silk mill was created here in the 18th century as a form of industry. Silk weaving and it also became home to a group of artists and craftsmen from London who were called the Guild of Handicraft. Er and they were all about reviving

traditional handicrafts in the face of industrial mass production in the 19th century and they moved up to Chipping Camden just thinking that somewhere a bit more rural, a bit more traditional, would be a more fitting place for what they were trying to achieve than the growing city of London ever could be. So we're walking towards the centre of Chipping Camden. So Camden was the settlement on the cam. What about chipping? Very interesting name. There's nothing to do with chips like

the things we eat. Er chipping is an old English word for a market. And you will find that name that word in a number of place names around England. Just in this area you have Chipping Norton, Chipping Camden. There's also chipping sodbury, chipping onga, just a few that spring to mind but in all cases, they refer to the fact that these places had markets and the most important thing that was being sold in the markets is reflected in the name of the street where we have started our walk. Sheep Street because Sheep Street

tells us the most important product traded in the medieval markets of Camden was wool. Cotswolds wool. The sheep that were farmed on the limestone grasslands of the Cotswolds had a very beautiful dense golden type of wool and they were known as Cotswolds lions. And that wool was considered some of the finest in the whole of Europe. So anybody who had

these flocks of sheep and was getting the wool from those sheep for sale. They were very wealthy people and very influential people. They were the technology gurus, the Jobes, the gates, the Bezos of their day. Because the wool industry was the heart of the British economy. And the towns

that grew up around the wool trade like Chipping Camden were at the heart of economic and sometimes political life. Hard to imagine now of course. 800 years later. So chipping a market. And there have been markets here. Well probably for thousands of years but there's been a market officially designated market with a market charter which meant people could charge tolls for trading in the market and so on. There's been one of those since the 12th century. And it was at

that time really that what had been three tiny little settlements along this this little river the camp started to grow up and merge into what became Chipping Camden as we know today. We can see that almost everything is built out of this golden Cotswolds limestone that is the underlying rock of this region and it was plentiful, was readily available for use for building the walls, the floors, the roof, everything made out of this limestone. So these two products, limestone and wool are what shape the heritage of the Cotswolds and where we have the parking area in the centre of the town as it is today that was where the main central market area was and it was from here from the establishment of this charter market in the 12th century that the town started to grow up and move outwards in different directions along this curved main street which was the course of the stream that is now for most of the way through the the town actually underground. It's a very interesting building here because this is the the town hall of Chipping Camden. Er it was actually sort of completed in its current form in the late 19th century. Parts of the building are much older than that. I think you

can get an idea of that from the stonework. A 15th century chapel. Was on this site. Dedicated to Saint Catherine who was the patron saint of the war merchants. So really important little chapel next to the Market Square. But these days town hall for all kinds of public events.

Here on the market square. We get a beautiful view of some of these house after house of this amazing golden stone. The war memorial at the centre commemorating the town's sacrifice during the two world wars, the first and second world wars And beyond it we have one of the most iconic structures in the town. That is the market hall. Wasn't just wool that was being traded here. This is an agricultural area it was a community so you know all kinds of products would have been sold here in the markets and some of them are things that you would not want to have sitting in direct sunlight on a warm summer's day like today. I'm thinking of things like

meat, dairy products. You want to keep them covered up and in the shade. And that's why you had things like market halls and this market hall was built here in 1627. And this is the original structure. And as you can see the original floor. So

if I suddenly go head long it means I've tripped over an uneven one of these stones that have been down here for 400 years almost. You get a great view of the high street. And we also get a great view of how the limestone roofing miles. Held and placed on the wooden framework using wooden pegs.

Very skillfully made. This market hall there was probably some kind of market hall here before. Probably made out of wood. But this one was built for the town by a very important benefactor in the early 17th century. A man by

the name of Baptist Hicks. Now Baptist Hicks was not originally from here. Er he was a London merchant. Er and by time. The the wool trade had kind of declined a lot and it

started to get more into international trade and so on. Um but Baptist Hicks was a friend and someone who supported and financially assisted the King of England. King James the first at that time. And James the first

rewarded him with a title and land holdings. The title he gave him was Baron Camden and the land holdings were here in Chipping Camden. And as well as moving in, building himself a nice mansion house and collecting the taxes from the markets. He did want to make a contribution towards the life of the town as well. He was very much a philanthropist and he had this market hall built in 1627 for the people of the town. To a greater little sign. All of these places they've put

these signs up either with the coat of arms or with some kind of artwork representing something about a town or village. Uh I think they're very useful for people who are trying to see the whole of Europe in a very short space of time. You know they can take a photo of one of these and it helps them to match up with the photos with the places they've been. The wool merchants of Chipping Camden were among the

wealthiest people in the kingdom and of course one of the things they were interested in is trying to make sure that the future would be secure in terms of their families and in the 15th century a number of Chipping Camden. Wool merchants got together and they created a school. Now the original school building it's thought would have the original lessons would have taken place in the church which you'll see in a little while but so subsequently the school moved in the 16th century to this house. Which is now known as the old grammar

school and it is private apartments but if we go closer we can see carved here. In Latin the language of academic life at that time. Grammar School and then we can see 14eighty-seven a was the year that the Grammar School here in Chippinghamden was founded. Um and it was founded by the wool merchants so that their sons only their sons because they were the only people who have got any kind of education at those times. Their sons would have been able to get a good

education and they also had links with Oxford colleges to make sure they could then go on and get even further education. Um Later the school building was expanded in the 19th century and this building was built next to it. This was where the school headmaster or principal lived. Er and it's

called Faraby House after the war merchant who was the main instigator of the opening of that school back in fourteen eighty-seven. So to give you an idea of how important the wool trade was for the British economy in Medieval Times in the Upper House of our National Parliament here in the United Kingdom the House of Lords. The chairperson of the House of Lords known as the Lord Chamberlin. The seat that he sits on to this day is called the wool sack. Now originally

it would have been literally a a wool sack a sack of wool. Er and that ripped presented the importance of the war trade in terms of wealth and political influence in the country. Um and that's still reflected today. He sits on a a seat. It's a it's a bit more comfortable these days. But in the House of Lords. The Lord Chamberlain still sits on the

I'm sorry the Lord Chancellor still sits on the the Walsack to this day. Now when wool was traded this was big business and it's hard to believe that a a little bit little town like this in the middle of the Cotswolds would have been the centre of economic life. But it's a totally different time you know it's an agricultural and rural society and economy. So it it's

really difficult to to imagine. But you know the wool from the Cotswolds was being bought by cloth merchants from the Netherlands in Belgium from Italy and they would have come over to England and they would have been wine and dined by the people who were going to be selling the wool, the merchants and the owners of the land and the the flocks of the Cotswolds lion sheep here in the area and they would have then negotiated and signed the contracts for buying this wool and exporting it and this particular building was one of the places where that would have been done. Was used as a meeting place by the wool merchants with their clients. It's called the wool staplers all. And dates back to the 15th century and has a much

more modern but very beautiful sculpture of a bee on the front of it. So this was the equivalent of you know the stock exchange Wall Street of it today. Pretty amazing. Now not all medieval buildings here in Chapin Camden. Because the wealth here

continued way into the 18th century when this house was built for a family called the Cotswolds family who were wealthy local politicians and lawyers. And they had this beautiful house built on the high street. A very very typical Georgian house as we call it. 18th century style.

Fantastic building. Now the oldest of house in the town is currently under renovation so unfortunately be able to take a look at it. Er it was a home built for one of the most famous of all the wool merchants. Er late 14th early 15th century. Man by the name of William Greville. And William Greville was based here in Championship in Camden and also in London of course close to the Seats of Power. He built himself a beautiful house here which is currently under redevelopment. Um but one of

the most famous medieval works of literature in English is the Canterbury Tales by Jeffrey Chorsa and one of Chorsa's Canterbury Tales is called The Merchant's Tale and he based the character of the Merchant in the Canterbury Tales on William Grevel of Chipping Camden. One of the things that William Grevel did was to contribute quite extensively towards the expansion and beautification of the local church. That involved bringing in a lot of stonemasons and expert builders from elsewhere. And as a place for them to stay a place here was opened. It's called the Eight Bells. That's a link to the bells that would have been in the church tower.

Er so ever since then this has been a an in A Pubba Hotel. Still very well known today as one of the best places to get a traditional English Sunday roast dinner in the area. I Now we're going to jump back ahead to so Baptist Hicks this great benefactor. Baron Camden of the early 17th century.

Because we're going to see a lot of things around here that are that he was involved in. We get a fantastic view from here of Camden Arms Houses. The tower of the church and the gatehouse of Baptist Hicks' house. Camden House. And I to

get a great view from here. Now this row of buildings are arms houses. Arms houses were houses that were built by wealthy benefactors for people in the community whether they were elderly or in firm people who cannot afford to get a place of their own and they were able to to live there have accommodation provided. So this is was a row of of twelve small

homes, arms houses built by Sir Baptist Hicks. So this is another part of his philanthropy and the good works he did for the town of Chipping Camden and they are still retirement cottages to this day. Beautiful golden buildings. And one of the interesting things is that the people who were living here the fact that they were living here suggested they were some of the poorest people in the community in that they were the who needed to be provided with their accommodation here in the Arms House but they had the best and freshest water supply of any of the town's residents. Er and that's because the arms houses were built adjacent to Sir Baptist Hicks's own house at Camden House and so their well which is here. They're in ongoing use but these days it

has their flowers and plants in it. But their well was connected to the water supply from the mansion house. So they were drinking the same clean water as the very wealthiest and most important people around not the same kind of polluted water that some of the fellow towns folk might have been getting. Always think that's quite interesting. Now over the way we can see a couple of remains of Camden House because Camden House this early 17th century amazing country house that Baptistiques built is now a ruin. So the building with the is is one of the outbuildings and beyond that to the right of it you can see part of the ruined walls of Camden House. So Camden House beautiful as it was only stood for around 40 years because during the English Civil War it had a small force of royalist supporters who were staying there. They were told that a huge force of the enemy, the

parliamentarian army was coming this way and they knew they couldn't fight them off. Um and so but they didn't want this house to fall into enemy hands. So they escaped before they escaped they put it to the torch. And although some of the walls survived and the stone it doesn't burn very well. All

that you know the roof was collapsed and all of the fittings. It was a burnt out shell. And the ruin is even less there than it would once have been. And that's because in the years afterwards nothing else was built here and local people kind of saw the ruins of Camden House as well almost a free supply of stone. So they just came and helped themselves

if they were doing any building work or if they had any renovations to do. And so what you will find the stone those ruins is much more when it's subjected to the heat and the flames it turns a much more pink colour rather than the golden colour. So there are various places around the town where you see pink stones rather than golden and you know that whoever put that there they've got that block of stone from the ruins of Camden House and this gate is not normally open but I'm hoping that we can sneak in here and go look and and all yeah if we look through there let me zoom in around a bit look. You will get a look and you might be able to make

out that some of those stones look much more pink than golden. Now we started our walk close to the Silk Mill where the Guild of Handicrafts moved to in the 19th century. And Chipping Camden did become a centre for handicrafts. Er and it's to some extent to this day. Um and in 2006 in one of the old barns of the Manor House a new museum of craft and design was opened here at Court Barn to celebrate those traditions. Somewhere that's well worth a visit if you are

in Chipping Camden. Now we're going to in a moment get another great view of an iconic Chipping Gamden view and we can actually get a view without a car on it which is nice. That is Saint James Church. Beautiful tower and you know the size of this church. This is serving a town of only about two and a half thousand inhabitants. Bizarre really but you have to bear in mind that when this church was built 600 and more years ago the people living here were wealthy powerful people and they wanted to show off their status and their importance and one of the ways you do that is by building and that's why you have these huge cathedral liked churches in these relatively small and seemingly insignificant rural towns So this is the gatehouse, the gate to Camden House and the two gatehouses along with some of the other outbuildings of Camden House they are these days owned by an organisation called the Landmark Trust which has which maintains and restores historic buildings as holiday accommodation. So this

is what you get here so you can stay in the gatehouses. You can also stay over in one of the other outbuildings of Gamden House as we look across the fields here. So if you're enjoying the tour so far go ahead and click that like and share button and help others discover this video. And for more virtual tours of London and beyond consider subscribing to our channel. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about our in-person tours and London travel tips. We also offer live and virtual tours in cities throughout the world.

You can help support this channel by donating through the thanks button or by buying your tour guide a pint or a cup of coffee. Links to do so in the description below. Now back to the tour. There's always a busy place Chip in Camden. As we've walked around you probably have seen lots of cars, people. Um people do come here as visitors. Some very nice antique shops. Loads of great places to eat and drink here. Um it's also got one of the main schools for the area so people come here from all over the smaller villages in the surrounding area. Two school here in Chipping Camden and has

quite a few sort of local facilities where people from the outlying areas can come into town here. Here we get another great view of Saint James Church. Known as one of the great wool churches because it was built with the proceeds of the wool trade that made the Cotswolds so wealthy back in medieval times. And we are going to end our little walk through Chipping Camden here as look back towards the gatehouse of Camden House. And we're going we've seen here one of the wealthy market towns that grew up in medieval times in the Cotswolds. And we're also going

to take a look at somewhere that is a was a not really so involved in the wool trade directly but is a beautiful spot and a place that is particularly renowned as a visitor destination. So we begin our journey through some of the most popular and attractive locations here in the Cotswolds with a walk around the beautiful village of Borton on the water. Now this is one of the most popular and most visited destinations in the Cotswolds. It's a hugely popular day trip from London and it's on the itinerary of of numerous tours of England because it's a place where you can really capture a little bit of the typical English village atmosphere and it's a it's a really beautiful place to discover a bit more about the Cotswolds itself. So we we begin with what people probably would think of as a quintessentially English view.

Wooded hillsides, stone cottages, trees, wildflower meadows and here a beautiful clear fast flowing river which is the river windrush which comes from natural springs up in the hills about 10 miles from here and flows through the centre of Borton on the water and adventure flows into the River Thames near Oxford. Now Borton has a a long history and like a lot of the Cotswolds in medieval times a lot of the land was owned by the church in this case the Abbey of Evesham a very powerful monastery in the region and the building we can see here on the other side of the river is nowadays it's known as the Manor House but it was originally built back in the 15th century as a summer residence for the Abbots of Evesham Abbey. So the the senior figures from the monastery that owned all the land. So let's take a stroll shall we into towards the village of Borton. Borton is a

village of around three and a half thousand inhabitants. Although that's permanent inhabitants. Um in the summertime the number of people here at any one time vastly exceeds that because it is one of the most popular destinations and there are numerous hotels, guest houses and holiday homes and apartments here. And it's a

little bit different from some of the other Cotswolds towns and settlements because it was not involved in the major trade of the medieval period here which was wool the wool trade was not really something that was hugely important important it was a residential settlement was an agricultural settlement had its own little markets and trades for the area but that's one of the reasons it was relatively unspoilt but people have been definitely living around here for a long time. We think certainly since the bronze age according to archaeological excavations on the edge of the village. And what we do know is that it's very close to one of the main Roman roads that ran through England. The foss way. And there were Roman settlements here. And they've discovered all kinds of Roman remains. And particularly they found a huge hoard of Roman coins and they covered a really long period covering the reins of 35 different Roman emperors so that tells us that the Roman presence here lasted over quite a long time and Borton like all of the Cotswolds villages known for its buildings built almost exclusively out of this beautiful golden coloured limestone. So that's the

beautiful colour and as we come into the village onto what until the 20th century was really the main street through the village. We see one of the villages grandest houses. Er these days it is a hotel. Er it's called Harrington House. Er and it was built for the Harrington family back in the late 17th century. Er they were very prominent local people very wealthy family and it was later expanded and modernised in the 18th century by a family called the Moore family and the Moore family were a family of local lawyers and over several generations they were important members of the local community and big benefactors of Borton. So it's a name that will come up a couple of times. Here's one of our first views in one

of the the lovely residential homes here. Very typical English cottage as we call it. There's no real definition of what a cottage is. A cottage tends to be what we refer to a a small generally rural house often with a garden or built in a traditional style. Um you know you wouldn't call it a little house in the middle of the city a cottage. Um but it

it's not something that has a sort of a specific definition as such. Cotswolds known for many things. For its beautiful stone houses, for its unspoiled nature, fantastic walks and wildlife. Great food and drink. So all of the Cotswolds towns and villages have numerous tea rooms and great restaurants and traditional pubs where you can enjoy some of the local specialities because it remains a very rural area with a lot of agriculture, a lot of food production. And Borton as a town that has grown up really particularly catering for visitors for almost 200 years now I suppose. Um it has more than its fair share. Here's just one of the historic pubs

here. It's called Duke of Wellington and there we see a picture of the great military leader and Prime Minister of England from the early 19th century, the Duke of Wellington. And we're really getting into the centre of the village and everywhere still a lot of flags on display. It's very recently

been the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth the second and so a lot of the decorations that were put up to mark those celebrations that great weekend we had that I'm sure those of you all around the world will have seen on TV and in the news. A lot of those decorations have been left to in place in many of the villages and towns around the country. So here's the river the river windrush again and here we can see this is a very fast flowing section because this is where the river has been diverted and then rejoined the main flow and the river's been diverted to power a mill and the buildings here are an old mill. One of the old mills of the village. Every village

would have had a couple of mills grinding the the grain and making the the bread for the people living around there. Um the old mill these days is a museum. As we can see. Halt Motoring Museum ahead. They've converted one of the iconic British cars here. The Mini into an aspect of the garden which is pretty pretty clever and the motoring museum is a museum of historic British motoring all kinds of British car manufacturers from the past represented and memorabilia of all kinds also some lovely holiday cottages in this complex as well these are not the part of the exhibits these are cars of some of the staff who work here but as we turn around here by the this beautiful willow tree of which there are many along the river. We can see the river windrush flowing and we can see the stone bridge there and this was the oldest of all of the several stone bridges that Borton is famous for. This bridge actually dates back to

1654 and it's called the Old Mill Bridge because it is next to the Old Mill, very imaginative name. Um formally, before there was a bridge in 1654. This was a crossing point but it would have been a Ford. So a place where people and their carts and their livestock could have gone across the river. Um and but in 1654, a bridge was built here. First of

several. It's still one of the main bridges today because it is a particularly wide bridge which means that modern traffic can use it. It's going to be a look at the beautiful river windrush with all of the flags here. And another one of the historic pubs here, the old Mans Hotel. The Mans that was a name that we gave to a place where the priest would have lived. So often the biggest house in an English village would be the Manor House. Second biggest

would be where the priest lived. And so you can see the priests here. They had a had a pretty good pretty good house. Big enough to be converted into a pub and hotel. In subsequent times I One of the things that Borton is known for these days. Er other than it's it's beautiful setting and it's gardens and just you know it's unspoilt nature is its shopping. There

are a lot of craft shops and antique shops and so on here. You see some more of these beautiful little cottages. Roses and wildflowers. But there are also numerous local craft artisans working here so candlemakers here and one of the best known places to to visit and the local craft businesses is here. The the Cotswolds perfumery. And the Cotswolds perfumery was founded in the nineteen sixties. They had a a much smaller premises a little tiny shop back then. And

just one fragrance which the current owners of the business who are still the same family say was actually in their opinion pretty hideous but good enough for them to get the business going and now they are a very highly regarded perfumery. Um they use natural ingredients and they are a supplier to Her Majesty the Queen and they work closely with the French perfumery fragonard and the interesting thing about the Cotswolds perfumery is that the family that established it, they were big animal lovers and so from day one, in the 19sixties, before people really thought about anything like that, they never used any animal products in their perfumes whatsoever. So you know before cruelty free cosmetics was really much of a thing Cotswolds World Perfumery was already doing it. Now here's a place that will be very popular in another while because this promises to be a hot day. It's the morning time still here. Er and as more and more visitors come in today this is going to be a very busy little business when they get open. So we already crossed the oldest bridge over the Windrush here but This is another of the the very historic bridges. Just a

pedestrian bridge. It's called High Bridge. They're not very originally named actually. Er this was built in 1756. And we get a great view here along the River Windrush. Now there's a

couple of things that happen in the river that I I want to mention at different seasons of the year. Er the first of them takes place in August every year. Er and that is a football or soccer match which takes place in the river just along the air. And this is a long tradition. Uh pretty eccentric I guess you'd say typically British tradition and it's one of the local football clubs and they have two teams, six players on each side. They have a little tournament and they have actually set up the goal nets in the river and they play in theory normal rules but you know you can't play a normal game of football in a river especially with very cold water it's not and it always seems as though the best way to get the ball from your opponent is to kick cold water all over him and then while he's getting over that you you take the ball off him at the same time trying to wet some of the spectators especially if it's your family and friends come to have a look also seems to as important as actually scoring goals. Er so that's in August the annual village football match here in the river. And at Christmas time as you might imagine

Borton gets beautifully decorated with lights and decorations and a a Victorian Christmas market and they have the main Christmas tree stands just here in the river and it's beautifully lit up reflecting in the water. Okay so let's get a lovely view back to the high bridge with all these flags. In terms of wildlife on the river well a lot of waterfowl a lot of ducks and geese and gulls as you would expect around here but there have been more unusual sightings in recent years along the river here there have been sightings of snakes so if you're not from the UK you might not know that we we do have some snakes here we only have one poisonous snake the adder so and that's not what was here the snakes that have been seen here are grass snakes which despite then grass snakes. They they do tend to live around water around

rivers and lakes and ponds and snakes have been seen right backtrackly here in the centre of the village. Um pretty amazing. I've never seen one myself though. Much as I would quite like to do so. Now I said that the house we saw Harrington House had been owned by the Moore family for several generations and they became benefactors and one of the things they did was to in the early part of the 20th century they paid for a new road bridge to be built over the Windrush so it was only the second one after the oldest bridge from 1654, so until the 20th century that was the only sort of bridge that could carry vehicles that was horse-drawn cows or even modern motorcars in when they started to come around but the Moore family invested money here and so they built this new bridge which is also known as Moore Bridge as a result of that. Yes, come on.

And next to it another bridge from 1756. That was a year when they installed two bridges here. But it's just a pedestrian bridge.

On another ice cream place. Even do ice cream for dogs there. So if your if your dog's getting a bit tired from its walk it can and a bit hot and bothered. It can go for a little dip in the water and it can get an ice cream as well.

They look after the dogs these days don't they? Better than the people sometimes. It's a beautiful idyllic setting. And you really perhaps get an idea of why people love to to come here to Borton. It does get very busy I have to say. Er it's why I decided to come and film here in the in the morning. Um definitely the morning and the evening either

before all the the day trips arrive or after they have left for the day. That's the ideal time to see Borton but even when it's busy you know there's so many businesses and places for people to eat and drink and quite a lot of space around the village. So it it absorbs the visitor numbers pretty well actually. So the last bridge to be built over the Windrush here was this stone bridge which is called Coronation Bridge and it's named after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth the second in 1953 because that is the year when it was built. So we've got the the flags marking 70 years of Elizabeth on the throne but the bridge celebrates her actual coronation and it replaced the previous bridge that was on this site an 18th century wooden bridge actually which was here until the late 1930s, but one particular day and and a very unfortunate visitor was walking across it and as doesn't happen with Stone Bridge as you can see. Um it collapsed and the visitor was slightly injured but not seriously but the bridge was then taken down and then in 1953, this new one was built to replace it. And next to this

bridge we have what was the last Ford. Um so you can see in theory it does still it is still listed and appears to be part of a the road network but it it's now listed unsuitable for motor vehicles. Um until a few years ago you could drive your car through there if you wished. People still walk across there or go across there on a horse or something like that sometimes. Let's walk across the coronation bridge now. All kinds of attractions for visitors here. A model

railway. There's the motoring museum as we saw just along the river in that direction. There's a a birdland attraction which has exotic birds. So not the kind of birds you normally see in the Windrush. Er they have flamingos and I think they even have some penguins. I'm not quite sure how they take to the living here in the Cotswolds. But those kinds of

things popular. And the other very popular visitor attraction is behind this pub that we see opposite. Er the pub is called the Old New Inn. Seems like a contradictory name. Um I guess it was once called the New Inn when it was opened back in the eighteenth century. But when it was restored in the 1930s, they kind of called it the old new in and behind it on the land behind it. Er in the 1930s they created a model village. Er which is a one in nine scale model of the village of Borton itself. So everything has the entire village. It has a model

of the model village. Which in it has a model of the model of the oh I don't know. My head might explode and we don't want that. I don't want to have to everyone to have to clean up the mess when my head explodes trying to think about that. But it's a really popular attraction and it's been restored in recent years. Um well if you go to the model village and there's a beautiful one in nine scale model of the village church Saint Lawrence's and you will hear the the the music, the organ music and the singing and that is actually a recording of the organ and the choir from the real. So Saint

Lawrence's Church that you can hear in the model village. So you really can buy everything you need in terms of souvenirs and crafts and antiques here. Er but also you can get your traditional specialities. Whether you want to wake yourself up with a coffee. Whether you want to buy

some sandwiches for a picnic. Whether you want to try some sweet treats and gifts. Some traditional chocolates or sweets or candies. Fish and chips. All kinds of great

places to to try some of the the local specialities. And in fact particularly at at lunch time I think one of the nicest ways to have lunch here in Borton is to grab yourself a sandwich from one of those shops and to come here and have a little picnic on the grass alongside the river because you can really enjoy the atmosphere of the village rather than being sitting inside a restaurant where you know you you might not be able to quite feel as though you're in the midst of such a lovely spot. A lovely building across the river there. You might be able to pick out on the signs at the front. Congratulations your majesty. Uh this is marking of course the Jubilee this year but the date on the building is 1897 and so it was actually built for another jubilee in another Jubilee year. Um that

was the sixtieth so the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. So you do find a lot of public buildings, libraries, bridges, things like that in England and in Britain were opened in 1897 and that's because the Jubilee gave a lot of it was a national celebration and a lot of new projects were started to commemorate that and this is called the Victoria Hall. It's a local community centre. They have adult education classes and art classes and all kinds of activities like that and like the bridge we saw, it was paid for by the Moore family.

It's a very wealthy lawyers who lived here in Borton. And a lovely duck here. Lovely mallard. I think we disturbed him. So right at the centre of the village as you find in many villages and towns around England. A warm memorial because almost every community was affected by first and second world wars and so they commemorate that in the memorial with the and with the poppies symbol of remembrance commemorating the poppy fields that grew on the site of the the trenches of World War one. So Borton's War Memorial

originally erected in the early 1920s to commemorate the 27 men of Borton who lost their lives in World War one. Er and it also commemorates the twelve who subsequently lost their lives in World War two. Now, I did say lots of things are made from local products around here, food and drink wise and one of them that's been very successfully running for a number of years now is the Cotswolds Distillery. It's housed here in 17th century

building, what's called York House but the Cotswolds Distillery use natural and where possible local ingredients and they produce both gin and whiskey. This is not that the actual distillery. This is one of their outlets. Uh the distillery is elsewhere in the area but they have outlets in some of the towns and villages here where people can try and buy their products. And next to it is well I I

would say one of my favourite places for a lunch snack or an afternoon tea if you want to get some cake and a cup of tea. They have a beautiful courtyard garden. Er it's called the Small Talk Tea Rooms and it's a 15th century building. It's a very very old building over 500 years old and it used to be the forge. So this is where the the village blacksmith was working. And later a private house and now converted into a beautiful tea room. Now I talked about quirky British things in terms of the football match in the river. Um another thing that I suppose is

quite quirkly British is that we have national awards for the best public toilets. And this old school building here built in the 19th century. The front section of it has been converted into the Borton Underwater's main public conveniences and they have won several awards. They're very well looked after. And they have won gold awards at the British Lou of the Year award ceremony in recent years. Here's some beautiful old very historic houses. You get an

idea of the wealth of the region because you know it was a very wealthy region hundreds of years ago. The wool trade you know the agriculture and and the fact that the the main economic activities that people made money from back then were very well represented here and very lucrative. They are that that is reflected in in the wealth of the buildings and the houses here. We're heading a little bit out of the centre of

the village because that is where we find the final thing we're we're going to have a look at here. Which is actually Saint Lawrence's church. And we can the tower of Saint Lawrence's. And let me tell you there are sometimes on tours when I'm walking past a nice restaurant. Beautiful garden

when I say I wish I could share the smell with you. Er somebody's evidently doing some work on the underground gas mains around here because you you should be glad that you can only see and hear at this point. Rather than smelling the gas from from their X. So Saint Lawrence's Church is a

religious site with a long long history. It is believed that there was originally a Roman temple on this site. The first church, the first Christian church here was founded by the monks from Evesham Abbey that owned all the land here in 709 CE and the church as we see it today was built in the 14th century starting in 13 28 And the very top bit of the tower, the dome and the clock they were added in the 18th century. So it's a beautiful and very very historic church here in this Cotswolds community that has seen the centuries come and go and remains a popular popular place with visitors to the area. So we got a little little the churchyard of Saint Lawrence is here in Borton on the water. So I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to the Cotswolds beautiful part of England that it's been great for you to see some of these places to find out a bit more about the area and maybe just maybe it might have inspired a few ideas for your future travel. In the description for this video you can find details

of other tours that I have done on this channel and in other places and you can also of course find links to all of other great content from Free Tours By Foot. I definitely recommend that there's some great guides, some great hosts in all kinds of fascinating places. So definitely check those out. My name's Ian and it's been a pleasure to show you around the Cotswolds and I look forward to seeing you again soon here on Free Tours By Foot. Thank you everybody and bye for now.

2022-08-08 08:47

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