“He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: “What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?” ― Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle The recap rolls on with our adventures in the Cotwolds. I’d never been to this area of Britain before and was very excited to see it for the first time. Not least of all because we stayed in this charming house with an equally charming garden: In the hallway to the B&B was an old typewritten booklet about the history of the house and village. Like most villages, back in the Middle Ages, all of the houses were associated with one larger manor house, and to this day the cottages bear names like, “Manor Barn,” and “The Old Stables,” simply because at one point that was the function they served. There were also less than 20 houses to this village, also typical for the Middle Ages and most of human history. To sum up a lot of impressions, the Cotswolds are unbelievably charming but in some places suffer because of their popularity. Several town, while they have absolutely retained their character are quite obviously destination hubs and there is a degree of charm that wears off a bit. Though I’m quick to stress not much because, again, the area is phenomenally beautiful. And old. Always a thing I like! Medieval and modern buildings stand side by side and only careful examinations of the architecture will tell you what era they come from. But without doubt for me, the best parts of the Cotwolds are the smaller and less well known villages. They are a bit harder to get to and there’s not much to see, but the utter charm of the place sinks into your bones in the most delightful way. This village, for instance, is made up of mostly a single short road that loops around a green containing a phonebox, a church, and a pub… …where people, riding their horses, set them out to graze before stopping in for a pint. We saw the Cotwolds by car, which really means we could take in the majority of the area in a single day. I’d like to go back and do a walking/hiking trip–or indeed a few days on horseback! Seeing them by car was fun, but I think that spending a few days tromping through the countryside might make it even better. Because, touristy in places or not, it’s just dang gorgeous.