Sometimes it’s a bit depressing living in the Midlands. I live on the Warwickshire and Gloucestershire border, a stone’s throw from Stratford Upon Avon, which is the furthest away from a beach you can be in the UK. Yay. Or not.
But whilst we may have to drive for a couple of hours and a fair few miles before we can paddle in the waters at Britain’s beaches, we do actually live in a really pretty part of the world.
Stratford is obviously world famous because of William Shakespeare and we have thousands upon thousands of tourists visit us each year because of this very reason.
Whilst I have Stratford in one direction, I have the Cotswolds in the other. The Cotswolds really are very pretty and I can honestly say, it’s only in the last few years that I’ve realised that I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
It’s becoming increasingly popular with celebrities. In the news just this week it’s been reported that David and Victoria Beckham are buying a mansion, just half an hour up the road from me. It’s apparently located near to a celebrity country club that is frequented by all sorts of top names. I didn’t even realise this until this week – so it’s seems, it’s a very private place as well.
Growing up over the years we have been on many a drive around this area. It used to be a Sunday evening ritual when I was a kid, to be out in the car, listening to the Top 40 on the radio. Summer evenings were full of pretty views and good music. I have some great memories.
In more recent years we have been out driving as a family around the same spots whilst giving the Little Man time to sleep. Very often as he has fallen asleep on the way home from somewhere. You don’t realise how many miles you can do whilst a child sleeps in the car!
Having nice long journeys out in the car has always been a part of family life both when I was younger and now I’m older with my own family. Only now I’m older it comes with the expense you didn’t have as a kid! That’s why I always try to keep my costs down by driving a fuel efficient car (preferably one with nice cheap tax, £20 a year? Thank you very much!) and I always try to look for cheaper car insurance every year. Keeping these costs down helps to continue to enjoy the journeys that we take both locally and further afield.
If you are ever in the area and fancy taking in some of the pretty scenery I am lucky enough to have on my doorstep, I would really recommend driving up Larkstoke Hill, it’s a bit hairy at times with a single track road in places, but the views at the top are out of this world.
If you fancy a nice pub lunch I would highly recommend visiting The Snowshill Arms in Snowshill. I have been going to this pub for thirty years or more, it’s so quaint and lovely and I’ve never had a bad meal in all this time. I have one memory of arriving in Snowshill for a birthday meal. It was the middle of June – flaming June if you were. We arrived to a sight of full-on snow! I was most confused. I later discovered they were filming a scene from Bridget Jones Diary. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know which part this is. A little nugget of trivia there for you.
Other towns and villages nearby worth visiting are Broadway (and its Tower) Chipping Campden which is next to Dovers Hill (I walked between the two once, on a snow day. My Father in Law’s idea. I’ve still never quite forgiven him. I was in agony for days after!) Moreton In Marsh, Chipping Norton, Bourton on the Water and Stow on the Wold, to name a few.
So whilst I may not be able to nip down to the beach to get some much needed fresh air when I fancy it. I can at least jump in the car and drive to one of the many pretty viewpoints I have nearby to take in the scenery and be grateful to live in such a pretty part of the world. And who knows. I might even bump into David Beckham on my travels. Who wouldn’t want to live here?!
Do you have any hidden gems that you live by that you like to visit? Let me know in the comments.