Quintessential English Villages
Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours
It’s been too long since we’ve been in the UK! We’re missing a proper tea with flaky scones, and those quintessential thatched roofs. Memories of a pre-Covid trip will have to sustain us until we return – perhaps for the Bath Mozartfest next month!
Step back with us a century or two to the delightful villages of Lacock and Avebury – but first, let’s stop for a spot of tea in beautiful Bath!A favorite day trip on the November tour is to these evocative hamlets, both of which have been used as backdrops for several BBC period pieces and even Harry Potter movies.Strolling through the quiet Sunday morning lanes, we admire solid stone homes, built to last, an inviting bakery, and check out this roof beam – almost to the ground!As we approach the creeper-draped church we hear an organist practicing inside, accompanied by bleating sheep in the field beyond.
The ruddy Virginia Creeper seems to be taking over, like kudzu on a Georgia roadside! Not so in this elegant garden, with topiaries of a woman and a whale.Near the George Inn (established in the 1300s!), where we have lunch during our tour is another autumn adorned beauty, and down the street a horse looks ready to make a phone call.On our way to Avebury we pass through neighborhoods of thatched beauties, each one unique.These homeowners pay a hefty price to carry on this ancient craft…the average cost of rethatching a four bedroom cottage is around 20,000 pounds, but a good thatch should last 20 years. Aren’t you glad they contribute to the beauty of England this way?
“The only pub in the world inside a stone circle” in Avebury is in the process of rethatching–the work was completed when we returned for a pint in November. Prehistoric artisans built a huge stone circle, so large that you could only tell it was a circle from the air, with two smaller circles inside.The smaller circles are still visible,but many of the stones of the massive circle have been removed through the centuries.
Are you getting tired of thatched cottages yet? I’m not! The top photo is of a charmer with a little fringe on the edges, and here’s one more with windows peeking out…Oh I want to stay in one someday!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this wander through villages lost-in-time. We’re eager to return and would love you to join us!
|The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.|
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Since 2003 we’ve hosted Music and Markets tours in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, England and Spain, and in 2019 added Wonder Tours with a more intentional concentration on art and architecture, local culture, food and wine, and less time dedicated to concert-going.We also design and host custom private tours – previous locations include many French, Spanish, British and Italian regions.
Between our music-related travels, we enjoy our home in the south of France. While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups, Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over forty years of teaching and performance experience.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.
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