Exchange, Travel

A Day in the Cotswolds & Stratford

One of the many great things about being an international student is that the university organizes a whole bunch of day trips to places around England for a lot cheaper than I would be able to plan. So of course I’m going to take advantage of every single one! You may have seen in my two-week update post that I had recently gone on my first day trip – to the beautiful English countryside region of the Cotswolds and to Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon – and today I present to you some of the many photos I took!

Our first stop upon leaving campus was the quiet little village of Minster Lovell – the main attraction was the ruins of 15th century Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote. How cool is this?!

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The old church
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I love how the window details of the Hall are still intact!
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The dovecote
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The great hall of Minster Lovell Hall
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Everyone has an adorable house with an adorable garden – some even had chickens!

We didn’t spend too much time in Minster Lovell, and were soon on the road again to the larger town of Burford. Fun fact, the difference between a village and a town is that a town, like Burford, has a market while a village does not – guided tours are great! I actually had this town on my list, so I was very excited that we were stopping here.

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St John the Baptist Church
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I can’t be the only one who finds old cemeteries really cool…
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My favourite part of any church – the stained glass!
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Busy Burford High Street
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Less busy Burford side street!
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Surprise, surprise – this is the reason why I wanted to come here… 
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But it’s also just a really cute place to visit!

After some free time exploring the town and some lunch, we hopped back on the bus and headed towards Stratford. On the way, we stopped at the Rollright Stones – you know, just some 4,000 year-old stones in a field on the side of road; nothing unusual about that at all (that was sarcasm, by the way – I have a hard time wrapping my head around humans moving the stones that long ago).

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The English countryside is so pretty!
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Oh, hello 4,300 year-old stone circle
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This is the King’s stone – legend has it that a king was turned to stone by a witch
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And these are the king’s men – also turned to stone by the witch
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They have a great view though!

And finally we arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon! It was super busy because it was a Saturday, there was a jumble sale of old Shakespeare Theatre Company costumes, and there was a food festival, so it took a while to get into the town itself. We pretty much had the whole afternoon to ourselves to explore, so a little group of us did the touristy thing and visited Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Hall’s Croft (his son-in-law’s house), and Shakespeare’s New Place. I also went off on my own to see the river and the church, and because it was a gorgeous afternoon, had tea by the River Avon (the most British sentence ever)!

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace
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In case you forgot whose house you were in
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I love the architecture in this town
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Shakespeare’s New Place
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With a gorgeous garden!
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Clearly everyone and their dog was enjoying the weekend!
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Not a bad place for a cup of tea!
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To make it even more British, I had tea at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
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Holy Trinity Church
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I always love the stonework of churches, as well as the stained glass!
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Another pretty cemetery!

I would say this was a successful day trip out into the wilds of England! It was great to go with a group on a comfy coach bus with a really good tour guide, so I will most definitely be going on more.

x Lauren

P.S. I’m trying to think of a name for these day trips – I can see them being turned into a whole series, but I want a better name than just ‘A Day Trip to…’ or ‘A Day in…’ So suggestions would be most welcome!

 

 

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