Our grand tour was to take us first to the Cotswolds, then the Peak District, before Manchester and then on to the Lakes.

In the Cotswolds I had chosen to stay at Bourton on the Water. I had a distant memory of going there and finding it very attractive; but it must have been a false memory because it turned out to have little to recommend it.

It justifies its name by having a river running through it, which is moderately pretty.

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There were some old buildings.

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And an assortment of lackluster attractions including what purported to be a motor museum.

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During the daytime the place was swamped with buses of disappointed tourists who glanced at the river before cramming into the crap gift shops and shoddy cafes. Come evening the place was deserted and good luck finding a decent meal, because we didn’t. The dreariness was compounded by our olde worlde B&B where the dining area was so awash with the fumes of full English breakfasts being cooked that she who must be obeyed insisted we wear yesterday’s clothes so we could change into something fresh after eating.

Oh, and it rained a lot.

Next stop was Bakewell (where it also rained a lot). A much prettier town which actually had real people living in it, and visitors who use it as a base for exploring the Peak District (you can’t do much exploring in the Cotswolds, it’s all farms). Bakewell also has a river, but is sufficiently confident of its identity that it doesn’t need to add it to the name of the town.

Bakewell

By the river

One of the bridges is covered in lover’s locks.

Love bridge

Love lock

There is nothing so vulgar as an attraction, but there are some high energy sporting options available in the town.

Bakewell bowlers

Our accommodation was a big improvement too; a two storey apartment. Unfortunately, I had not read the fine print and discovered that the breakfast part of the B&B was only available if you gave 12 hours notice and paid extra. Never mind, a short walk into town and there were many eating options for hungry ramblers.

And of course, being Bakewell, you could buy a Bakewelll pudding from the very building where they were first sold (allegedly), as well as Bakewell tarts from many outlets. I preferred the tart over the pudding, as I much preferred Bakewell over Bourton.

As we were in the Peaks, we felt obliged to go out and have a little adventure, but that’s another post.