I do love the Cotswolds. It’s not too far from us and we’re lucky with the traffic around Oxford, we can get there within almost half an hour. Although I love a walk when we don’t have to use the car, I really fancied a walk somewhere else. So off we went. to the tiny village of Swinbrook in the Cotswolds. We parked at the churchyard and took a walk along the river Windrush. One of the most beautiful part of our walk was the tiny St Oswald’s Church in Widford. In 1904 it was found to have been built on the base of a Roman house or temple. It’s mainly from the 13th century but it has remnants of an 11th century Saxon or Norman building. Wonderful church to visit especially at Christmas time.
“Rousham is restful, spacious, time-worn and beautifully paced. Whatever season you visit, the garden always reveals something afresh. It is a magical landscape, an exercise in restraint and classical narrative, where anything seems possible. It has been hugely influential.”
Reading this, by Dan Pearson, how could I possibly write anything about this beautifully paced garden, an example of the early English landscape garden. As I write landscape garden, I even feel a bit ashamed too as I spent quite a lot of time admiring the foxgloves around the dovecote. These were most certainly not planted by William Kent. But then I did take a big walk around the garden, down by the River Cherwell, around the ponds and cascades, the Cold Bath or the seven arched Praeneste. Rousham must be seen. And felt. It is a very powerful place, you’ll see.
Some pictures for you from a very early Spring walk around Blockley and Upper Slaughter. There will be many more images from these places as I absolutely love coming to this part of the Cotswolds.