October 5, 2013

The second step : Walking on footsteps from Bourton-on-the-Water, to Lower Slaughter, then to Upper Slaughter, and lastly to Stow-on-the-Wold


The second day of our walking trip started at Royal Well Bus Station in Cheltenham.

bourton on the water 1After about 30-minute ride on the bus running at frantic speed, we got to a marvelously beautiful town, Bourton-on-the-Water, where the river Windruch ran slowly and gently in the center.

This town is famous for its picturesque scenery along the river: the series of low stone bridges, tree leaves rustling in the breeze on the river banks, and traditional Cotswold houses with neatly arranged gardens where colorful flowers are blooming.




cotswold perfumeryBefore starting to walk, we went to The Cotswold Perfumery which is based in a magnificent 300-year old building decorated with beautiful flowers.

They have a factory there, and produce and sell a great variety of perfume made from plants grown in their Perfume Garden.

I bought several kinds of perfume in a small bottle including “Pallas” which was selected by Buckingham Palace in 1992 as a beautiful Jasmin perfume.

Next to the Perfumery is the Visitor Information Center, and I bought two maps (Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold) in order to walk on all the footpaths from Bourton-on-the-Water to Stow-on-the-Wold.

However, as you can  see from the map below, it wasn’t so easy.

If I had been a resident in this area, I could have easily read the maps like “Oh, take the path by the school first and then, bla bla bla…,” but it didn’t go that way and it was no piece of cake for us, Japanese tourists visiting there for the first time.


map 2The maps just showed roads, walking routes and small paths.

Though some of them had their own names, there were no detailed addresses, and a road just split at some place (there was no clue where it was) and paths connected and parted with each other somewhere I didn’t recognize.

I wished I had brought wi-fi I could use there.





Anyway, we started walking at around 10:20.

boutyon on the way 1

Beautiful scenery on the way

bourton on the way 2

Beautiful garden on the way












Footpath sign

Footpath sign




We got lost a few times, but moved forward, and at last, we found a yellow footpath sign, and after that we could easily found the signs and kept walking following them.







Footpath sign

Footpath sign

Footpath entrance gate

Footpath entrance gate













We crossed a large field green with grass, and crossed the road, A429, where cars ran at high speed, and then crossed a large field again where withered weeds spread and a straight footpath ran in the center. After that, however, we couldn’t find a path which connected to it, so we walked on the road being passed by cars. Probably, people on the cars wondered why two women were walking under such a blazing sun.

bourton on the way 3 bourton on the way 4











lowe slaughterAbout 11: 30, brick houses came in sight, and that was the village of Lower Slaughter, where 16th and 17th century houses stood on both banks of the River Eye and several small stone footbridges were over the river.

Houses were built with honey colored Cotswold sandstone, and along with colorful flowers in the front yards, they created picturesque views.

Enjoying these views, we ate lunch sitting on a bench  near a famous Manor notel, Lower Slaughter Manor.




Lower Slaughter Manor

Lower Slaughter Manor

lowe slaughter  house

Honey colored house decorated with flowers











upper slaughter sheep


We again started walking on the footpath to Upper Slaughter around 12:10.

First the footpath ran along the pasture for sheep, where a lot of sheep were eating grass in a peaceful and carefree manner, and then it ran through a large field toward the woods far away.






After walking about thirty minutes, we saw Lords of the Manor Hotel and the large garden in Upper Slaughter ahead. We thought it’d be nice if we could have afternoon tea there, but the whole hotel was reserved that day, so we couldn’t. We still regret it.

upper slaughter manor house upper slaughter manor garden












We felt a little tired, but there was no bus service there, so we kept walking to Lower Swell and Stow-on-the-Wold. We walked along the road because there was no footpath from there to Lower Swell on the map. It was like we were just walking on the dusty country road without beautiful scenery around us, so the walk from there to Lower Swell was tough.



Around 13:30, we get to Lower Swell, which was a nice village with beautiful mellow stone cottages.

From there, we walked again along the road enjoying the wonderful views of the countryside in UK: a series of low green hills and pastures with hedges around.






teaNear Stow-on-the-Wold, we found a footpath and walked on it.

After going up a steep slope, we reached Stow-on-the-Wold around 13:50.

Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town located on a 700 ft (213m) high hill, with nice tea rooms, antique shops, boutiques, art galleries, and craft shops.

We entered a small tea room and enjoyed hot tea and handmade scones with strawberry and apricot jam and clotted cream.

From Stow-on-the-Wold, we took a coach to Cheltenham and our walk on this day ended.






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