It was so memorable that Bourton-on-the-Water was one of the reasons we booked a Cotswolds holiday. It’s a place we visited briefly whilst on a coach tour years ago, and since then earmarked for a return outing.

On leaving the car park, I was pleased to see stallholders busy at an antique and craft market set up in a church on a side road, and as we wandered toward the main centre of the Gloucestershire village, the enchantment began again.

The River Windrush flows through it and under six arched Cotswold stone footbridges that cross to shops, restaurants and cottages. Some children splashed through ripples wearing Wellington boots where the water is shallow and accessible from grassy banks.

We would have liked to go inside the Motor Museum, but because of Covid restrictions, it wasn’t possible. Instead, we photographed a Mini Car-shaped topiary, which was unusual and looks complicated and time consuming to maintain.

The Cotswolds Perfumery is fascinating. The premise’s atmosphere was alive with exotic and traditional fragrances for personal use or the home. I favoured spicy and floral notes combined. Exclusive perfumes can also be created there using the skills of their perfumer; so unique, especially for specific occasions.

Bourton is full of small, appealing shops, and I soon selected a holly painted glass bauble at the Christmas Shop before purchasing local fudge and cookies in The Little Nook for folks back home. So with all the important purchases achieved, we decided to wander further afield.

No village is complete without an impressive-looking church and we soon came across St Lawrence. Its Georgian architecture is beautiful but most prominent is the splendid domed roof steeple, its gold clockface shining underneath. We stayed for a while enjoying the peace and admiring the well-kept churchyard.

In a less touristy part, we were attracted to a shop with an original frontage festooned with pink flowers, a heart wreath bedecks the door, and there’s a bench positioned to one side of the bridal outlet. Lora Nova, a fashion designer’s shop window, displays a single dress. Romantic, elegant and evocative.

I was delighted by the honey-coloured limestone cottages with pretty gardens everywhere. Several have stone toadstools and ornamental woodland animals beside gnomes that some folks find outdated, but these jolly little characters suit their surroundings perfectly and made us smile.

A happy time indeed, before we headed back to the Rollright Stones. An ancient circle a few miles away, discovered that morning on the way from our Kirtlington holiday let, but all about them in my next blog post.

Until then.

Sue. X