One of the few areas that neither Caroline or I have ever been to was The Cotswolds, so with three days and two nights to spare, a quick visit to the area and Oxford was looked at and a couple of nights at Hampton by Hilton, Oxford were booked.
Not only was its new territory, but it was also a chance to give the Skoda a good run out. The Fabia we’d had since 2012 was good, but the smaller, nippier Citigo Monte Carlo was raring to go!
First stop was a relatively short one at Stow-on-the-Wold. Lunch at Huffkins Bakery and Tea Rooms was declared after a brief wander around the centre, but once fed, it was time to explore and indulge at the local Rohan store’s sale.
Once done, we wandered again before deciding to move on to Burford. It took a while to find the car park and whilst we had a good stroll, not a lot was open, and it was a bit too early to have an evening meal.
We did however find a small speciality food shop and indulged ourselves by buying some artisan beer, chocolate and cider for later on when we eventually reached our hotel.
As we headed towards Oxford, we decided that yes, we would pay a return visit to the area and this decision was reinforced when we saw a couple of the rides made by presenter Henry Cole on ITV4’s The Motorbike Show.
Granted, we won’t be burning rubber on motorbikes, but Henry’s rides gave us a chance to see what other places in The Cotswolds looked like, so the next visit is more likely to be over the course of a full weekend or week rather than just the one day.
Remember the summer of 2020?
Yes, most things were closed and the opportunities to get out/away were minimal until after 4th July here in the UK.
We left it a week before pointing the Skoda southwards for three days to the Cotswolds and then onwards to Oxford.
As it was summer and temperatures were rising, clothing was dead easy to choose, even though we were staying in Hampton by Hilton on the edge of Oxford. Other items had to be added into the equation though as we needed to take a few things that we hadn’t before – like face masks, pocket size high strength hand gels and pocket packs of paper tissues.
As we were taking the car rather than throwing bags on and off trains or buses as we usually do, we could also stash a couple of multi packs of bottles of mineral water from Lidl rather than shelling out for bottles from cafes etc in tourist honeypots in the Cotswolds and in Oxford itself.
Clothing choices were dead easy to make though – one pair of trousers for daytime use and a pair of travel jeans for evenings in the hotel or a nearby restaurant. Daytime t-shirts were from the Uber Moose range whilst the couple of Travel Linen polo shirts were from then employer’s Rohan summer 2020 collection.
A long sleeved Rohan Sentry shirt was used as an over-shirt when needed and a Patagonia lightly padded gilet almost completed the clothing selection. Silver content sock and standard trunks came from Marks & Spencer whilst shoes were the latest pair of supremely comfortable Merrell Jungle Mocs.
As no rain was forecast, a rain jacket wasn’t packed, but an umbrella was shoved into the Healthy Back Bag that I was using as both the packed bag and the day bag over the course of the weekend.
Anything else? A stainless steel coffee press each plus a bag of Taylor’s Italian coffee for a brew first thing in the morning, a couple of picnic plates and tumblers for eating in the room or en-route plus a bottle opener to access the contents of any beer or cider consumed over the weekend.
Usual phone and iPad made the trip along with one charger that tops up both bits of tech and the Nikon digital compact camera that I picked up for a song in Lisbon back in 2013.
And the trip itself? More on that on Wednesday…
Well, the software has been updated and new pics loaded, so here goes!