The Long Walk – Windsor

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I stay in the royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and lucky enough to have access to beautiful walks around the county of Berkshire & Buckinghamshire. This area os just beautiful with a lot of traditional English villages, woodland walks, riverside walks and forest walks.

It is not possible to go for a holiday away from home every weekend, so me & ash use this opportunity to go walking in these hidden treasures, which are known only to locals. So I thought of sharing these little quaint walks with all of you so that if you are in the area you can have an opportunity to roam in this beautiful wonderland.

Those of you who love visiting Windsor or have not been there yet, I will recommend a beautiful walk at The Long Walk that is just behind the magnificent Windsor Castle.

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From the Castle gate to the foot of the statue of King George II (The Copper Horse) , it is a 2.64 miles walk. It is here at Snow Hill  where, King Henry VIII sat and waited for news of the execution of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn. The Long Walk was commenced by Charles II by planting a double avenue of elm trees on entire length of the route. There were 1,652 trees planted to create the basis of the landscape we know today. Charles wanted to remodel Windsor in a modern popular style and the Long Walk was just one aspect of his improvement scheme.

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Later in 1710 Queen Anne had a road constructed down the centre of the tree lined avenue with a comfortably smooth surface.

The Long Walk is still used by the royal carriages every year as part of the route from Windsor Castle to the Ascot Races. Cycling is not permitted on any part of the Long Walk.

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Another beautiful attraction of this park is the a large number of deers grazing around the park. Yes at times when deer are crossing the road to get across to other part of the park, you have to wait. Deers have the priority over humans 🙂

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It is a beautiful for all the seasons. I love going back there again & again.

 

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A village in a Village – Bourton Model Village

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Want to see a village in a village? Why not head to Burton -on – the – water, another jewel in the district of Cotswold. It is another popular attraction among many in Burton.

The Model Village is a one-ninth scale replica of the heart of the beautiful Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, containing all the old buildings and the new one. Yes, the team who maintains this model village keep re-working on it time to time to reflect any changes in the village.

It is fascinating that a lot has not changed in this old quaint village in so many years. And how the local community and the people have kept the beauty as it is in the heart of the village.

The village was created by a previous landlord of the Old New Inn, taking local craftsmen five years to build, and it was officially opened on the Coronation Day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.

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Bourton On The Water – “Venice of Cotswold”

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Yet another visit to Cotswold and this time one of it’s another exotic but busy village of Bourton On the Water. Love this belt of Cotswold, filled with quaint & idyllic villages next to rivers, bestowed with bridges, honey coloured stones cottages/houses and a different kind of rustic beauty around.

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Bourton on the Water is another very famous village, also referred as Venice of the Cotswold, and very popular among tourists and day trippers. The river Windrush flows through the village and has a setting on stone banks. And I am must admit it was one of my favourite place during our visit.  We sat there for hours, watching families having a picnic, children running around the river bank, people enjoying the heat and having the PIMMS, great tea rooms near by, and I sat there with my feet soaked in the water.  What a relaxing day 🙂

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Another scene that got me awed on this idyllic setting was its low bridges beside the greens. And because of these bridges, Bourton on the Water has got its name of Venice.

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IMG_7572A lot of tea room, gift shops, antique shops, cafes to select from 🙂

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Amazing collection of perfumes. They have a factory tour open for visitors, but unfortunately because of the busy time of the year they had closed it down currently.

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Me & Ash enjoying the sun shine and cool water of Windrush 🙂 IMG_7586

Bibury- A Charming Village

Comments 19 Standard

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Bibury is a charming little village in the English countryside of Cotswold.  Bibury village has been featured at various places, particulary famous as one of the most beautiful village in the England. It has been also modelled in the Mini- Europe minitaure park at Atomimum in Brussels.

When you arrive at Bibury, the very first thought that struck you is are you watching a painting!! Believe me the setting of this place just takes you back in the 17th-18th century, because that era is still very intact in this place. With it’s 17th century weavers cottage, a walking bridge on the top of river and the meadow setting takes away your breath.

It is a small village that can be seen by walking all around it. While you are visiting this place, there are some must do/see things like

Walk to Arlington Row – a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River. It is often reffered as one of the most photographed cottage row in the country. Infact it was in news recently that beauty of the arlington row has been bloomed by a yellow car, which still stands there 🙂 For a bit of history these cottages were actually built as a monastic wool store in 1380s and later converted into weavers’ cottages later.

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Walk around River Coln and find a spot for a nice picnic. Do not forget to carry duck food.

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Bibury Trout Farm- Love fishing and fancy catching live trout to take back home. This is the place. There is entry of around £4 pound to get on to the farm.

Church of St Mary – I did not visit the church, and I am actually wondering how did I miss it. But there is always a next time 🙂

Go to a Tea Room , sit back, relax and enjoy Bibury.

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Symonds Yat Rock Trail, Wye Valley

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Wye Valley, AONB (Are of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is an internationally important protected landscape straddling the border between England and Wales. It is one of the most spectacular and beautiful  landscape areas in southern Britain. People flock here from all over country and abroad to see the Autumn color of this valley.

Unfortunately we missed last year’s autumn color and we visited the valley in a much quieter season of the winters, when most of the trees had shed their leaves to regenerate themselves for the next year, water droplets were turning to white fleet of snow, and there was a different charisma in the area and the beauty around you. Sometimes silence makes the place much more beautiful and blissful.

There is a popular Symonds Yat Rock Trail that takes you at the top of the rock to see the dramatic beauty of this valley. Symonds Yat is a small village in the forest of dean with one side facing river Wye. This walk starts from Symonds East, and the only mean to get from west to east side of the river is via a hand pull cable ferry. The Trail then follows the west side of the river downstream to Brislip Bridge, a suspension footbridge. You cross the river before walking upstream back to Symonds Yat East. At the end of the Trail there is an option to take a steep footpath up to Yat Rock. The Trail takes around 2.5 hours and is approximately 3.5 miles. Coming back via the same route, at the end you need a well deserved pint of beer, some good burgers and fries at Saracens Head Inn( http://saracensheadinn.co.uk/ )

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Heading Down the Wye Valley

That's how Wye Valley looks with Autumn Colors.

That’s how Wye Valley looks with Autumn Colors(Internet Photo)

 

Forest of Dean

Comments 13 Standard
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Taken from Internet

We spent a weekend away in small cottage in the Forest of Dean. A fun filled weekend with a lot of walks in the forestry area, steam train rides and scenic drives.  And to add the cherry on the top, everything nights was spent away near a fireplace with wine, good food and great friends.

The Forest of Dean is in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It is a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye, Herefordshire, the River Severn and the City of Gloucester. This area is rich in its history dating back to Roman time. The area was occupied by the Romans around 50 AD. They were attracted by its natural resources which included irone ore, ochre and charcoal. For Tudor Kings, it was a royal hunting ground. With mid 20th century mines have now disappeared into the forest and the area is characterised by picturesque scenery accentuated  by remnants of the industrial age and small towns.

Forest is reach in ecology and is composed of evergreen trees. Predominant is oak, beech and sweet chestnut has grown here for many centuries. The forest is home to foxgloves and other wild flowers. Deer are predominantly found through out the forest. This is also a home for wild boar (luckily we did not come across any of them during our visit).

During our visit we opted for a very famous sculpture trail in the forest of Dean. It is a beautiful walk in the dense woodland showcasing a unique collection of contemporary sculpture within the whole trail. Something unusal and very different that you do not often see on your trails in the woodland. Unfortunately we reached late in evening, and winter days being short we could just do a little and promised to come back again 🙂

We might have not picked the best time of the year to visit this beautiful place, but there is a lot to do in this exotic place. A lot for adventure seekers right from mountain biking, kayking, zip wires, boating or just easy family walks.

Few pictures take on the trip, some of the photos are taken from internet (we could not click many) due to less day light.

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BlackPark Country Park

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It was a cold Saturday morning, looking at the gloomy clouds we decided to go for a  walk at Black Park. Me and ash did not want to become a winter potato couch, so we push each other out of bed to utilize whatever day light we have got and ofcourse before Monday begins again J

Black park is a country park in the Wexham, Buckinghamshire. I have stayed closer to this area for almost 3 years now, and I visited it recently. Not a surprise, we all do that, manytimes we miss visiting a place thinking we are closer and can go anytime. But nevertheless I am glad Ash took me out there.

This park is a house for pine trees, an orienteering course, a lake and café. This park is adjacent to Pinewood Film studios, and is a very famous filming location, movies like Harry potter, James Bond Gold Finger, Batman, Sleeping Hollow, Captain America and many more have been shot here. Such ignorant me, I had no idea about this until I visited it.

It is very well maintain park with signpost for various routes, you can come here to cycle, or for a small stroll with kids and dogs. Mountain biking is popular in this area as well due to it’s dense woodlands, many other technical & narrow sections making it an exciting and adventurous cycling trip J

A bit of history I got to know after a google search- During both World War One and Two the Park saw service for the Empire with Troops from the Canadian Forestry Regiment helping to farm the Park and harvest the wood, for use in the Trenches of France or building Air strips in France for the Royal Flying Corps. To this day the lines of trees they planted can still be clearly seen. [ Taken from Google/Wikipedia]

In recent years, GO Ape group have also opened one of their tree-top adventures theme in this park. With long pine trees, it is absolutely fun for both kids and adults to try those activities. I have not done it in this Park, I did Go Ape in the lake district and belive me it’s so much fun. That adrenaline rush you get at the top of tree is amazing.

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The Royal Landscape|Virginia Waters Walk

Comments 5 Standard

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Winter weekends are always lazy, you just want to wrap yourself in a warm throw, have some mulled wine and watch TV. But Ash is always enthusiastic about walks, so he tries to plan a short or long walk almost each weekend to pull me out of the warmth of my bedroom. Once out on a walk, I am always glad that we did it as it teaches us to enjoy the beauty around us in those colder months too as well enhances our endurance to bear cold winds & rains.

Last weekend, we explored the whole of Royal Landscape walk in the Virginia Waters. We have been to this place twice in the past, but always went for a short walk with friends. This time we decided to finish this 7.5 miles circular walk around the lake. And to our wonders, this land scape had a lot of lost history in it.

This area is surrounded by a vast woodlands and have been continuously planted since 18th century. There is a beautiful lake and you will find remainders of the past through out the walk – cascades, caves, fishing temples on the shore. Walk is very easy, and fairly flat for most of the walk, plus very much accessible for wheelchair users as well. There is also a cafe for refreshments and hot coffee for the winters 🙂

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While walking on the south bank, you will see ornamental cascade that was built to bring more natural feeling of having waterfalls and caves in this landscape. Though cave was destroyed by a storm in 18th century, cascade was built up again to keep the essence.

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Continuing on the same route you will again find the remains of the past- Ruins of Leptis Magna (Roman Temple) built from columns and lintels brought from the ancient city of Leptis Magna in the early 19th Century. After the fall of the Roman Empire , it was occupied by the Byzantines but today is an abandoned site, still largely buried in the sand. The ruins have been preserved by the Royal Society now.

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Once you come to other side(north) of the shore after walking through Savill Gardens you will notice another addition to this landscape 100-foot high Totem Pole, a gift to HM The Queen from the government of British Columbia. It is sculpted out of a single piece of wood, Amazing!!!

Picture taken from Web

Picture taken from Web

We loved the walk, had a sandwich( prepared by me) and flapjack (baked by Ash) for break while sitting at the shore of the lake. It was a day well spent with a beautiful walk in the nature.

 

 

Chipping Campden, Cotswold

Comments 13 Standard

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During my visit to Cotswold villages, I visited another village called Chipping Campden, a small market town in the Gloucestershire. Take a walk down the Chipping Campden street, you will see lined ancient houses each grafted next to each other with those limestones embellishments and different architectural styles.

As the name suggests Chipping” means market or market place. Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. One will find the oldest houses in Chipping Campden, that can be dated back to 1380. Beauty of the village lies in its historic buildings and architectures.

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The ancient Market Hall was built in 1627 by Sir Baptist Hicks for a cost of £90.00. It was for the purpose of giving shelter to the local market selling cheese, butter and poultry.Each corner of the building has a pediment, and each gable had a window. Its a beautiful piece of stone craving.

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The Alms Houses were built in 1612 for £1000 by Sir Baptist Hicks in the form of a capital I They were and still are used as the homes of twelve pensioners. Sir Baptist Hicks’s coat of arms and motto “NONDVM METAM”, meaning ‘I shall not fear yet’ can be found on the Alms Houses.

Broadway, Cotswold

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Costwold!!! I have been planning and trying to visit Cotswold villages from last 2 years and finally we went along with my friends to visit this another beautiful english country side of Cotswold, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Cotswold area is made up of different counties like Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and each of the counties have beautiful villages in it.

Our first stop was in a beautiful village Broadway, in the Worcestershire. It is referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’ and the ‘Show Village of England’ because of it’s elegance and grandeur . The Broadway street consist of ancient honey coloured limestone buildings dating back to the 16th century and earlier.

The village beauty can be described as a delightful mix of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian buildings. The village has one of the longest High Streets in England.

For romantic and dreamy people, it is a must place to visit. Those beautiful houses, alleys and traditional feeling all around, makes it more serene. A place you will fall in love with immediately.

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