apel: (pillarbox)
Kieron and I chose to spend our last afternoon together driving through the Cotswolds. It was the first sunny day in months and as we were driving out of Cheltenham, we noticed flecks of snow! The higher we came, the more snow there was. There was a storm yesterday and the news had indeed been talking about snow. But they often talk about snow. Most of the time, nothing comes of it. This time there was quite a lot. In many places there was enough for a plastic toboggan but we didn't see any children out enjoying the snow at all. Puzzling.

We took the A40 westwards out of town and turned north on the A436, sign-posted for Stow and Bourton. Then we took the B4068 via the Naunton Downs, Naunton Village, a detour around Upper Slaughter, then Lower Swell and Stowe. We knew that Naunton is very picturesque because we've been there before. Upper Slaughter has a reputation as a honey pot village. In Stowe things were very busy. It's such a pretty little town with lots of intriguing little shops. We tried to find parking but couldn't so we drove on.

After some fiddly navigation we were on the A424, past the scene of a battle in 1646, and then turned off to drive through Longborough. No prize for guessing that there is a long barrow near the village. It's cute too. Then we took the smaller road north past Bourton-on-the-Hill.

Along the B4479 we drove through the large, prosperous village of Blockley. Then past Hangman's Hall Farm to the absolutely adorable Broad Campden. Broad Campden was our favourite village on this drive. It was a new find. We hadn't been there before.

In Chipping Campden we were able to find parking, so we were able to have cream tea at Badger Hall. It was very, very good. Neither Kieron nor I finished our scones. They were big and the cake slices were more slab-sized. They were also very good. Definitely recommended.

Rolling out of Chipping Campden, we headed toward Snowshill by way of the Broadway Tower. Up here there was even more snow. The larger roads had all been gritted but the smaller ones were full of snow and slush. In the UK cars are sold with summer tyres and at least in the south of England finding all-weather tyres would be hard. So even though Kieron drove very slowly, we did slide about a few times. Scary. But the quaint, snowclad Cotswold valleys and villages were beautiful. The storm had also downed quite a lot of trees. In many places they had been pushed aside but still obstructed part of the road. With the snow and flood in some parts of the county, the road crews were probably busy dealing with more urgent things.

Snowshill was indeed covered in snow. So were the lavender fields above the village. It was beautiful. Heavy rain is forecast for tonight is for heavy rain, so it will probably all be gone by tomorrow morning. It was a rare occurrence. I'm glad I got to see it. I'd left my camera at home, so there won't be any photos from me.

After Snowshill we took a long road through the countryside until we reached cute Winchcombe. There we turned back toward Cheltenham.
apel: (cheltenham)
We parked in Snowshill, by the church and walked northwest. When we met the lane, we took a right. It was after Great Brockhampton Farm, that I took the photo of Snowshill.
Snowshill, Gloucestershire
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Further along the lane I took this photo of the Broadway Tower (left) and Middle Hill House (right).
Broadway Tower and Middle Hill House
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At Buckland Wood we turned left and turned back toward Snowshill. By the time the village came back in view, the sun was setting. It was hauntingly beautiful, particularly as this may very well be my last Cotswolds walk.
Snowshill at dusk
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apel: (mjausson.com)
I've put together zip archives with large versions of the photos of the last few weeks. These can easily be used to create screensavers. Personally, I've put all the photos from Wales in one folder and pointed my screensaver to them, so that they're all mixed.

http://www.mjausson.com/screensavers/screenSaverCribyn13Dec07.zip
http://www.mjausson.com/screensavers/screenSaverPenyFan26Dec07SS.zip
http://www.mjausson.com/screensavers/screenSaverSugarloaf20Dec07.zip
http://www.mjausson.com/screensavers/screenSaverCotswoldsDec07.zip

All my screensavers can be found on mjausson.com.
apel: (mjausson.com)
Vista at Hidcote Manor Gardens

I've published the photos from Hidcote Manor Gardens on mjausson.com. These are from 28 May 2007, a gloomy, cold day. The cloudy conditions made for very saturated photos of flowers.

If you can identify some of the flowers, e.g. the peonies, please comment here. [livejournal.com profile] iolanthe_rosa, I'm banking on your superior knowledge. :-)

Finally, a bonus photo of Kieron in the Stilt Garden. This is where small-leaved linden trees have been clipped into a solid frame on stilts. It sounds odd and looks odd but also very cool.
Kieron in the Stilt Garden
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apel: (pillarbox)
Today Kieron and I went for a walk starting near Chedworth, of Roman villa fame. It was very wet and windy but while we were in the forest it wasn't so bad. We were only walking for about 2 hours but Kieron got sopping wet. He doesn't have waterproof overtrousers. Yet.

I didn't take any photos because of the miserable weather. It was way too dark and wet.

After the walk, we posted yesterday's paperwork in a Victorian postbox in Chedworth and drove home. It was very cute with a little roof over it. On the way home, we stopped one more time to get milk and sugar at the usual BP station on the A40 in Cheltenham.

I made Kieron some tea while he peeled out of his cold, wet clothes. We've spent the rest of the day indoors. Tomorrow we're braving the crowds to go shopping.
apel: (Default)
We drove to Eastleach in Oxfordshire and walked along the river Leach. It was a very foggy day, as you can see in the photos below.

We started by crossing the river on a clapper bridge, called the Keble bridge. Clapper bridge construction is very simple: you simply place uprights in the river and plop down your flag stones on them. Technically this is one step up from mere stepping stones.
Keble bridge over the Leach
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Another view of the river itself. There is a house on the left in the photo, although it may be hard to see. Our walking guide said that the path was lined with daffodils in spring. We could see their noses peaking up. It's probably absolutely lovely here then. Today it was a tad nippy.
River Leach by Eastleach
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At the end of the path, there's a gate to St. Michael and St. Martin's church. There were some very old gravestones in the churchyard with carvings of fat little angels.
St. Michael and St. Martin's church in [livejournal.com profile] ruralphotos

Leaving the village, we walked along a track on the east side of the river. That's where we found this beautiful ash tree.
Ash tree
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To return, we had to cross the river. I loved how subtle the photo of the old bridge came out, so I turned it black and white.
Bridge over the Leach
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Colour version of the bridge in [livejournal.com profile] waterflow

As we got back to the village, the sun was starting to think about setting. It coloured the fog orange.
Copse of trees near Eastleach Turville
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Black-and-white trees in [livejournal.com profile] landscape.

Edgeworth

Dec. 16th, 2007 09:59 pm
apel: (my face_through)
Today's walk started at the hobbit-sized village hall in Edgeworth in the south Cotswolds, north of Cirencester. The area has been inhabited for a long time -- there's a long barrow not far from it and some tumuli. Looking at the map, there are uncommonly many Scandinavian place names north of Cirencester. Daneway and Frith Wood come to mind and in Edgeworth there were several house names starting with Rokeby.

In a wall a postbox from George V's reign (1910–1936) had been placed. You can see some of the Royal-Mail-red paint has dripped onto the stones, mingling with the moss, ivy and lichen.
George V wallbox
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Going down a steep slope, I was accompanied by this brook. You can see that it was in beech woods and that the stone here is typical Cotswold limestone.
Brook on limestone
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I was quite taken with how the brook cascaded down its little streambed. Here it's passing some moss-covered rocks, splashing and spraying merrily all the way.

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The little brook eventually joined the larger stream on the right of this picture. I'm not quite as fond of this photo. In its lack of strong, primary focus it is rather old-fashioned. It's more about setting a mood than about grabbing the viewer's attention. If you're into this sort of thing, it's probably something you like to gaze upon for quite some time, imagining the sound of the stream, the crows wheeling above, sheep baahing in the distance. But if you're not, you probably move on abruptly.

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My walk ended at the church in Edgeworth. It's a Norman church, started in the 11th century, with a slightly later porch. There are many old gravestones in the churchyard, including at least one with a skull on. There's also a picturesque Victorian lychgate on the valley side. Inside there are many brasses but they're not terribly exciting. The atmosphere, on the other hand, was lovely. Very contemplative with the afternoon light through the stained glass in the south-facing windows. I stayed a while.
Edgeworth church of St. Mary
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apel: (cheltenham)
I parked my car at Bulls Cross on the B4070, east of Painswick (Kieron's favourite B-road, he says) and took the Wysis Way down and up and down and up again, before heading south toward Slad. But I didn't have time to go all the way to Slad before the sun was setting, so I ended up taking a lane most of the way back.

Looking down the steep slope toward Slad Brook and Bulls Cross on the previous ridge.

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Snow Farm had placed this ancient tractor like an exhibit to be admired, so I took a photo. There was also an ancient white-muzzled black lab there. It was barking and growling at me when it took me a while to find the footpath but I couldn't help feeling that he was mostly just going through the motions.
Old Tractor at Snow Farm
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Slad looks tantalising through the smoke from a leaf fire. One day I'll make it there. If the name of the village rings a bell, it's probably because of Cider with Rosie.
Slad from the north
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Down Farm, on the right, is easily the stateliest farm in the valley.
Down Farm, near Slad
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Snow Farm is a lot more modest. As I was motoring up the hill here, I was wondering what it would have been like to live in Cheltenham all eight years I've lived in the UK. I think my impression of England would certainly have been more favourable if my commute had gone through such beautiful, tranquil places rather than the aesthetic misery of the London Underground.
Snow Farm
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The last photo of the day, as the sun was setting. I was nearly back by the car.
Sunset near Bulls Cross
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apel: (baaah)
I posted four photos of cavorting lambs over in [livejournal.com profile] baaaaabyanimals in case you're into that kind of thing.

Here's a sunset, if you prefer those. It was taken near Broadway (Gloucestershire, not NYC) in April last year.
Sunset near Broadway
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apel: (Default)
Back in April, Kieron and I visited Snowshill. I posted a few photos then. Here are more.

The church in Snowshill.
Snowshill church
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three flowers and a cat )
apel: (yule_tree)
We went for a walk along the river Colne near Bibury in Gloucestershire. Bibury was very cute. My guidebook compares it to Burton-on-the-Water and I agree.

Normally I remove pylons and wires from my photos but the composition required something in the top left corner, so I left it in.
River Colne
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After the rains on the weekend, there was quite a lot of water in the river.
River Colne
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Sheep grazed on the hillside above the river.
Sheep grazing by the River Colne
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apel: (october)
On Saturday Kieron and I went to Glastonbury. Mostly we indulged in retail therapy. I came home with 5 CDs. On the way home, we stopped to take a photo of the famous Tor. We were too tired to walk up on it, though. Maybe next time.
Glastonbury Tor in the gathering dusk
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Yesterday afternoon we paid a brief visit to Leckhampton Hill. The sun was about to set and the landscape looked magical from up on top of the Cotswold escarpment. That's the Black Mountains on the horizon.
Looking due west from Leckhampton Hill
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Kieron enjoying the beautiful view over Cheltenham and the exhilarating wind. Leckhampton Hill is to the south-east of Cheltenham. I suggested that we go there to watch the sun come up on Yule but I'm not sure Kieron was keen on the idea. At first he agreed, then he realised he'd have to get up early and it would probably be very cold up there.

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apel: (clouds)
We went to Snowshill Lavender Farm near Broadway in the Cotswolds on Sunday. It was a beautiful, sunny day, despite the forecast of heavy rain. The lavender scent hung heavy on the air. It was intoxicating.

This is my favourite photo with the fluffy Simpson's clouds in the background.
Lavender field
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three more lavender photos )

If Snowshill rings a bell, it may be because we've been there before. We visited Snowshill Manor, a National Trust property, in April.
apel: (cheltenham)
We went for a walk in Ozleworth in south Gloucestershire yesterday. It was a lovely, sunny evening. Ozleworth is very remote and for long stretches the brook we followed at the bottom of a combe was the only thing heard. Well, that and the bleating sheep, of course. It's the Cotswolds after all. What a lovely contrast to my week in London.

This is the easily recognisable hexagonal tower of St. Nicholas church. It's from the 12th century. The Norman detail is very obvious in the windows.
St. Nicholas church in Ozleworth
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We had a picnic in a meadow near Bagpath. There were some imposing thistles, like this one.
Thistle
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apel: (kieron)
The first photo is from inside the mansion looking out through two screened windows.
Screened windows
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two watery photos )
apel: (pillarbox)
Yesterday we had a pick nick by the Topograph, near the Haresfield Beacon. It's on National Trust property. On this map, it's marked as a lookout point. The photo below is taken from our picnic site, just a little below the topograph.

A topograph is a 3D map. Other people have taken photos of it.

In my photo the small, industrial town is Stonehouse. The larger and prettier town of Stroud is just to the east of it, hidden by Standish Wood.
Stonehouse from the Topograph
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click to see four more )
apel: (lily)
Hidcote in Gloucestershire is one of the most famous gardens in England. Next to Sissinghurst, it is one of the must-see items on any gardener's itinerary of the country. Kieron and I went yesterday and even in the rain and unseasonable cold, it was well worth a visit. This was our first time, but we'll probably come back some day when the sun is shining.

The photo below is of the double borders in the Pillar Garden. Blowsy, pink peonies and metallic, mauve alliums dominate but you can see that there will be lilies and roses later on.

Double border with alliums and pink peonies at Hidcote
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Update at 12.12, 30 May 2007: The size of the wallpaper photo is incorect. I'll have to fix it tonight when I get home.
apel: (my face_through)

Ewe and Lamb
Originally uploaded by Mjausson.
On April Fool's Day I walked up to the neolithic longbarrow at Belas Knap, Glos, to watch the sunset.

I met this ewe and her lamb on the circular walk to Winchcombe and back to the car that I took afterwards.

You can see all ten photos at Flickr.
apel: (sunset)
Belas Knap at sunrise
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Belas Knap, Neolithic long barrow, at sunrise on 1 April this year.
apel: (dreamy)
Anemone blanda at Snowshill Manor gardens We went to Snowshill Manor to look at the garden on Saturday. It's an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds with lots of little nooks and crannies. Today it's owned by the National Trust. While the garden was very pretty, the high point of the visit was meeting Tinker, the manor cat.

7 photos of Snowshill )
apel: (Default)
apel
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