Wednesday, June 22, 2011

c o t s w o l d d i s t r i c t

It has been a while since I last updated this blog! Life has been busy and got the best of me recently but I have been travelling since Cinque Terre in Italy! London has a way of consuming you though. Whether it be with work, travels, or meet ups with friends for dinner and drinks, you aren’t left with much time to do your own thing.

Anyway, I might as well get down to describing another trip I took. On one weekend of May 14-15th, me and a group of friends (Ivan, Jen, Nadia) rented a car from central London in Waterloo and drove out west towards the Cotswold area. I didn’t know much about the UK as I have primarily travelled outside of the immediate area surrounding London but apparently a place that I had travelled to a few months ago, Bath, was also in the Cotswold area as well.

So out west we drove. My friend Ivan was the only one who could drive manual so he had to drive the entire way but in Europe, I believe it is much more common for people to drive stick than it is in North America. Cars are nearly 2 times as expensive to rent if you wanted an auto so we thought we could take advantage of his driving skills and he obliged haha.

The Cotswold area is a district that is filled with small towns. Some of the most famous include Bath and Oxford. On the Saturday, we started off at a reasonable time in the morning and eventually got to Bourton on the Water. This was a quaint, little, small town that had a little river that ran through it. Like anywhere else in the world, people tend to love to walk around the water and they did here too. Little bridges were built so that you could walk across and all around were small restaurants for you to sit down and eat some lunch or enjoy some afternoon tea. We also saw our first albino duck there too! It looked like a regular duck but it was white! ... Ok... moving along.

After having some lunch at a not so memorable place, we headed out towards a town called Bibury. Another small town which had a river run through it, this is a town known for its trout fishing. In fact, there was a trout farm there where you could fish for your own meal and then bbq it while you relax in the natural backyard! If we had more time we would have done this but it being a 3-4 hour activity, we decided that we had to skip it. We proceeded to walk along the River Coln and enjoyed the greenery and the natural surroundings. Scenes like this is what I like about the UK, the houses were so old and had a look that indicated that each dwelling has survived quite a bit of history. As you walk along the river, you will come up to Arlington Row which is a row of cottages that were not only old but very small. It gives you an indication of how tall (or rather how small) people were back in those days. These cottages were originally a wool store that was built in the 1300’s and only converted in the 17th century.

For the final stop of the day, we went to Oxford, the home of Oxford University. You could tell that this was a university town as you could see lots of young students everywhere. This is where we stayed the night because we had planned to be there the entire day on Sunday. Lots of attractions here including the university itself as well as Christ Church and the Great Hall. For Harry Potter fans, this is where they filmed many scenes from the movies including all of those scenes in the dining hall! The first attraction we saw was the Bodleian Library, a school of divinity which housed some of the oldest books that I have ever seen. I kid you not, the books in this library were very well preserved but they had those enormous bindings that you thought only existed in movies like Harry Potter! Scenes from within the library of the movie were also shot here though it was told that they went through great troubles to get permission to even shoot the scene in this space. It had that old book smell and the floors creaked... very cool and full of history. Too bad they wouldn’t allow any photos to be taken :(. The architecture in the divinity school was very intricate as well, particularly in the ceilings... so you get more of my upward looking photos hehe.

We eventually made our way to Christ Church where the Great Hall was located. It was an experience seeing the same hall that everyone knows the movies for but as you would expect, the scenes in the movie make the hall look much more grandiose than the real thing. The hall was big, but not nearly as vast as in the movie. No floating candles either. Such a shame lol. Still, you had to appreciate the setting, eating here would have been quite the experience! Oh and before I forget, we also visited the Alice in Wonderland store (supposedly, Alice in Wonderland originated here in Oxford!).

So that was that. A great weekend that took no more than a 2-3 hour drive each way. Good friends and interesting musical sing-a-longs made it memorable. I love road trips – we got to stop at several locations that we wouldn’t have reached had we been travelling by bus or by foot. We were kind of rebellious and trespassed into certain areas to get some photos that you see below but it was well worth it :D Thanks Nadia for being such a great model!


  1. oh my wow. these are so gorgeous. the green field is breathtaking

  2. I know I told you this on Flickr already, but the one with the hand in the tall blades of grass is literally my favorite image from you..ever! Great work man, and glad to see you updating the blog. Since I'm on vacation right now I can take my time reading through my blogroll =P

    Driving manual is the only way to drive btw!

  3. beautiful photos as always, Kelven! love the through-the-viewfinder one

  4. The picture with the hand in the meadows is simply perfect.

  5. Holllly moly, such a lovely set of pics, but the ones in the field? It's like I could reach out and touch the blades of grass.

  6. Thanks everyone

    Jonathan - Haha thanks man. Have a good vacay and make sure you plan to do a road trip up north sometime soon!

  7. absolutely gorgeous! i love the soft tones in this pics!! and what interesting details about the architecture, tying together with the Harry Potter movie! I would be thrilled to be in that big hall!

  8. finally Kelven, I'm able to visit your blog! you have wonderful photos as always. and i must congratulate you with your entry to analog. there is really nothing like film! i'm completely addicted to it. more power to you!