“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,”Ibn Battuta.
Will you ever forget grade school geography books with glossy vivid color photos of the pyramids? Stimulating dreams of exotic societies, pondering feats of impressive engineering and the mysteries surrounding the ancient people who built them for the Egyptian pharaohs who expected to become gods in the afterlife.
I sat transfixed one chilly morning on the bow of our boat motoring from Aswan to Luxor – the photos appear to be from Biblical times. At this point in my travel life, I am besotted by raw culture, ancient civilizations which haven’t seemed to have changed in hundreds of years. And of course, the entrée – the history, the pyramids and the sphinx, and the ancient burial tombs in the midst of twenty first century life.
Egypt is safe for Americans, I was welcomed by everyone and invited to pose in photos with locals – tall blondes are infrequent! The food is delectable and very healthy; I will never again eat pita bread in the U.S., equivalent to cardboard after snacking on hot from an oven pita bread used to scoop up an abundant assortment of garden-fresh mezzes.
Farmers piloting donkey carts overloaded with the most beautiful enormous vegetables and fruit come to the cities at dawn, in the mix of traffic, it’s a stunning fusion of moving vehicles, flowing and weaving.
Towns and Villages in the Cotswold’s are home to some of the most bucolic historic villages in all of England. Well-preserved quintessentially English market towns known for their honey-hued rock cottages and narrow meandering lanes. Villages sprinkled with ancient steeple topped churches and small local pubs, the Cotswold’s is a charming choice for a few weeks in the British countryside.
Since being declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) back in 1966, the Cotswolds has become one of the UK’s most-loved tourist destinations – and it’s easy to see why. The Cotswolds are special because of their concentration of English beauty, mixed with their extensive history leading back to the Romans and Anglo-Saxons. It’s as if these little villages are stuck in time. The Cotswolds are famous for some of the most picturesque villages that you will find! These villages offer traditional, charming and quaint characteristics (such as the beautifully built Cotswold stone properties), with fantastic places to eat and drink plus an abundance of rural walks and activities.
The area stretches across several counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Somerset and Warwickshire. Rolling hills and wide-open fields bordered by sweet stone villages brimming with fabulous antique stores, cheese shoppes, boutique hotels and small taverns. Among the smashing country retreats, historic houses and gardens, you will find some sweet boutique hotels. And a few exceptional Manor Homes. With its exquisite Cotswold stone buildings, award-winning gardens and beautiful interiors, our favorite estate is ‘the’ Cotswold’s best kept secret for those wanting an intimate quiet escape. Classic English Cottages, Family friendly holiday homes, and posh English Manor Home are available, but one should pencil the diary as soon as possible, chop chop! Cozy cottages are some of the finest holiday cottages in England and they book quickly.
We have options for many private Manor Houses. One magical estate is at the heart of the Cotswolds in a picturesque English village near Gloucestershire. The Estate is available for exclusive rental and can host groups of up to 34 adults. The Estate comprises the five-bedroom Manor House – that can dine up to 34 people – the five-bedroom Barn, the two one-bedroom cottages – Peacock Shed and Cow Byre – and the new three-bedroom Granary. The five-bedroom newly renovated – 2017 / 18 – Manor House, privately owned since the 15th century, is meticulously maintained, and has the luxury of being steeped in English history yet ensuring guests all the modern comforts and amenities for a relaxing stay. The property includes large walled gardens with long water feature overlooking the River Windrush and gently rolling fields, providing an unrivaled setting for a quiet entertaining – tea in the garden, canapés on terraces… swoon!
‘One of the finest, if not the very best of the small Cotswold Tudor Houses.’ This is how the celebrated British architectural historian and author, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner who was awarded the Gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, has described the Grade 1 listed the Manor in the book The Buildings of England. (Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds by David Verey and Alan Brooks the inheritors of the Pevsner Architectural Guides).
The Manor can be reserved with the nearby Granary (sleeps six) or as the entire estate including The Barn, ideal for very special occasions, weddings and corporate retreats. The Barn is a contemporary self-catering barn conversion with six luxurious ensuite bedrooms sleeping 12 to 14 guests; with its five themed suites, which includes the elegant gold bedroom, exotic African bedroom and feminine pink bedroom, the barn blends contemporary style and amenities with traditional Cotswold charm. When staying at exquisite Manor Estate you have exclusive use of the all-weather tennis court and both hot tubs.
And if you didn’t know the meaning of Cotswolds: Wolds – gentle hills. ‘Cots’ – sheep enclosures. So ‘Cotswolds’ probably just means an area of gentle hills with plenty of sheep around. There’s another theory that the name is based on Cod’s – Wold (Cod being a certain Saxon landowner).
Cotswold stone is a yellow oolitic Jurassic limestone. This limestone is rich in fossils, particularly of fossilized sea urchins. When weathered, the color of buildings made or faced with this stone is often described as honey or golden.