Bibury | Cotswolds
Bibury is undoubtedly the jewel in the Cotswolds’ crown. The village is amazingly unspoilt and its rows of picturesque honey-coloured workers’ cottages are famous the world over. Arlington Row in particular is one of the most photographed streets in the country. Of course this fame brings with it the ubiquitous coach tours and hoards of tourists with heavy cameras slung around their necks. In the summer the village is pretty much unbearable, it feels more like one is at a theme park than an inhabited, working village. But in the winter it’s a different story.
We recently took a walk around Bibury on a sunny, cold Friday morning in February and it was almost deserted. No coaches, no cars, just us, a few die-hard Japanese tourists and some ducks for company.
Our walk was circular and took two hours, taking us along this famous stretch of the Coln river, through the more hidden part of the village and up the hill past swoon-worthy country estates, gnarly old trees and beautiful, isolated water meadows. The middle section of the walk was through farmland, it wasn’t as picture-perfect as the village but it was nice to walk so far without seeing a single person and let our dog run free without fearing for sheep. We finally descended back to the village, cleaning muddy boots and muddy paws in the river and eschewed a drink at the famous Swan hotel for lunch instead at Barnsley House.