Stanton and Snowshill, the Cotswolds – Chapter 5
Wednesday, August 30…The morning was one of those delightful easygoing and sunny mornings when nothing was immediate or demanding, and doing anything (or not doing anything) was a pleasure.
As usual, I wandered around the grounds of Old Orchard’s beautiful garden, picked some apples and plums in the orchard for Steve and myself, and sat on the bench in the back overlooking the green fields and ever-grazing sheep, just inhaling the fresh air.
We had booked Steve for a trip to Snowshill, and he had added Stanton as a first stop, so at 2:30 he picked us up. (Advertising push here: Cotswold Executive Cabs – fabulous!)
About three miles from Broadway is the enchanting village of Stanton – absolutely delightful.
It only has a population of about 200! (Can I make it 201?) Overcast when we first arrived, the recalcitrant sun popped back out, to showcase the allure of the homes and surroundings.
Stanton has a High Street and a pub, The Mount, which for some reason (rare for us) we did not check out (next time!)
The houses, as is usual here, are built almost entirely of the butter-yellow Cotswold limestone, and a small path which we stopped to photograph wound downhill through the greenery.
Surrounded in part by woods…
drystone walls were ivy covered…a pansy grew from a stone…climbing roses bloomed…views of the rolling Cotswold hills were seen through a framework of old, old trees and houses… I walked around in a happy dream.
Our next stop was Snowshill Manor, an old manor house built by an eccentric gentleman by the name of Charles Wade.
He collected a very wide variety of objects, gadgets, art and thingamajigs from all over the world, and these were displayed throughout his house, rather willy-nilly. Some people find this creepy; I rather like the idea of this old gentleman gathering items from his travels whether they had any value or not and just because he felt like it…
After all, what is England without eccentricity?
As I’d been here and toured the manor once before, I stuck to the gardens while David took a quick tour through the house.
The gardens had an end-of-the-season feel to them, but the old stonework of the walls, steps, buildings and so on was still lovely, the ivy-covered walls and ripening fruit really enchanting.
We stopped for a quick cup of tea and a scone at the little teahouse
then left to ramble onto Snowshill itself, which I’d been wanting to revisit since I first stepped toe onto Cotswold soil. The narrow road was hemmed by fields and woods on either side, and we stopped to take some photographs of the far-reaching hills and fields.
By the time we got to Snowshill, the weather had turned and had become rather drippy and chilly. We found the Snowshill Arms – which I kept saying “is on the green” but I couldn’t find the green (as I remembered it.) However, we did finally find the pub, only to see that it didn’t open for another 30 minutes. We huddled shivering beneath the portico when the manager drove up and took pity on us, letting us in early, saying she “hoped we wouldn’t mind if she popped upstairs to do a couple of things.” We didn’t mind a bit, especially when she served us a couple of half pints while we waited to order our dinner. And my dinner was scrumptious, an English breakfast actually and the sausage was incredibly good. Loved it! (And my new favorite thing is IPAs…how did I not know about these before?)
A little later Steve joined us for a drink and then drove us home.
Being rather damp and chilled, the first thing that crossed my mind was a hot bath. My bedroom’s master suite held a clawfoot tub, and oh! It was wonderful to dive into the bubbles and get warm.
Despite the cooling air and wet weather, it was a lovely day, and I am thrilled to add Stanton to my list of English villages that encompass everything right about England. Long may they – and the beautiful English countryside – reign!