Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff

BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER

AN ENGLISH village can have a fairytale appearance, and one of my favorites is Bourton-on-the-Water. This Cotswolds town of about 3300 residents is 85 miles northwest of London, in Gloucestershire.

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Springtime in Bourton-on-the-Water is particularly lovely. High Street shops are in the background.

Its High Street parallels the River Windrush, crossed by charming arched stone bridges.

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If ever I go missing from southern California, check whether this shop on Victoria Street is still unoccupied. Also, see below to identify the red sign two doors down.

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What more could a mortal desire?

The Cotswold Motoring Museum lies on High Street. It offers a wonderfully intimate experience akin to wandering around the estate of a favorite uncle who happens to be a car enthusiast.

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It is difficult to image a more agreeable setting for a British car museum.

An Austin Seven mini-pickup resides out front of the museum in good weather. (See www.wp.me/p2ETap-pq for more Austin Seven lore.) The museum has collections of cars, motorcycles, caravans (Brit: house trailers), toys and memorabilia.

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Earning its Stars & Stripes legitimately, this American Austin/Bantam was built during the 1930s in Butler, Pennsylvania.

There’s plenty for families to do at the museum. Each car, for instance, has a placard describing “five things for children to notice.” The vintage toy collection includes 31 pedal cars and aeroplanes. Check out http://goo.gl/z3kWG for details of visiting the museum.

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The Old New Inn, 1712, http://goo.gl/fvbvK.

High Street turns into Rissington Road, along which lies the Old New Inn, a traditional Cotswolds country inn dating back to 1712.

I stayed there some time ago, and I enjoyed experiencing a coach house of the Queen Anne era. However, the room was tiny, the stairs, narrow and steep, and the single guest phone was in a cubbyhole at the foot of the stairs.

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Of course, Queen Anne coach houses didn’t have telephones.

Yet there’s another reason for visiting the Old New Inn: its Model Village. This 1/9-scale replica of Bourton-on-the-Water immediately behind the inn is beautiful. Constructed by a former landlord of the inn, the Model Village took five years to complete. Its opening in 1937 coincided with the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the late Queen Mother).

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The Model Village has its own River Windrush and arched stone bridges.

As with its full-size counterpart, the buildings are crafted of Cotswolds stone. Many of the trees are bonsai, all in perfect scale. Walk past the Model Village church, listen, and choir practice may be heard.

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Shop features are updated occasionally to reflect the changes in town.

What’s more, of course, the Model Village has its own Old New Inn. And behind this is that inn’s own model village, a 1/9-scale replica of the Model Village.

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If arithmetic doesn’t fail me, these buildings in the foreground are 1/81-scale replicas of Bourton-on-the-Water.

In summertime, Bourton-on-the-Water can be something of a tourist magnet. But when touring is so satisfying, I’m delighted to be tourist. And, remember, Bourton-on-the-Water is there year-around. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2013

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2013 by in Just Trippin' and tagged , , .
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