There is something amazing about the English Countryside. Never have I found so much of peace and solitude anywhere else in the world. The beauty of English Countryside is such that I can be completely at peace in a crowded English Countryside Pub.
No one to bother me or break my chain of thoughts, no one to stare at me for being all alone. There is nothing as peaceful as the English Countryside; the laid-back attitude and a sense of distraction are all I need to focus my mind.
The Cotswolds is a collection of small villages and is spread across an area of almost 800 square miles as it covers almost 5 major counties in England; Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire & Worcestershire.
The Cotswolds is a rich collection of villages with more than 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways which can be explored by the tourists and yet the feeling of exploring more keeps coming back and forth in our mind.Today, we’ll discuss about the things to do in Bibury.
Bibury…where beauty meets peace
A quintessential English Village is an integral part of Cotswold. The English poet & Social activist William Morris once said that Bibury is one of the most beautiful villages in England. The Huffington Post on 1st May 2014 mentioned Bibury as one of the most charming villages in Europe that you have to visit as soon as possible. Bibury is possibly the most beautiful village in England.
Such is the mystifying beauty of this village, located in the county of Gloucestershire by the banks of the River Coln which is a tributary of River Thames. World’s First Horse Racing Club; The Bibury Club was formed in 1681 in Bibury itself which hosted horse races until the early 20th Century. Lets get into things to do in Bibury and how to reach there.
How to reach Bibury:
Traveling by Train:
The nearest station to Bibury is Kemble; which is roughly 15 miles from Bibury. Cabs can drop you from Kemble railway station to Bibury in less than £30.
Traveling by your own car:
M4 Motorway: Travel West along M4, exit at junction 15 & travel towards Cirencester (A419), then take the B4425 to Bibury. Traveling East along the M4, exit at junction 17 then travel towards Malmesbury and Cirencester (A429). Once in Cirencester take the B4425 to Bibury.
M5 Motorway: Travelling from the North take exit 11A and travel towards Cirencester. Once in Cirencester take the B4425 to Bibury. Traveling from the South take exit 11A and travel towards Cirencester. Once in Cirencester take the B4425 to Bibury.
As any place in the world; the visitors to Bibury always have a question of “Where to Park” the car. There are a limited number of free parking spots available on “The Street” and also opposite the Bibury Trout Farm.
If you visit out of the season like I did; then you won’t face any trouble of finding a parking spot. But if you visit during the Peak Holiday Season; then you might have to show some patience in finding a vacant spot for parking your vehicle.
Things to do in Bibury:
Bibury is mostly a picturesque village with small roads that meander through beautiful country cottages doted on both sides. To add to this beautiful setting; River Coln flows through Bibury between the main village street and the vast water meadow known as Rack Isle.
Arlington Row & Arlington Mill:
Arlington Row consists of cottages that were built in 1380 as a wool store. These cottages were eventually converted into a row of weavers’ cottages by the 17th century. The cloth produced there was then sent to Arlington Mill on the other side of Rack Isle. The cloth was then hung on wooden timber frames on Rack Isle after being degreased at Arlington Mill. This is the most important when it comes to things to do in Bibury.
Arlington Row is preserved by the Royal College of Arts. Arlington Mill is now a private residence which is believed to be dating back up to 17th century. Before being converted to private residence it was a museum of Arlington Mill housing a collection of period clothing, documents and working machinery which depicted the process of milling & the Victorian way of life to its visitors.
Arlington Row is the most photographed spots of Bibury and has been filmed in the famous “Bridget Jones Diary”.
Bibury Trout Farm:
Bibury Trout Farm is one of the famous visitor’s spot in this village which was formed in 1902. This Trout Farm in Bibury has the distinction of being the most attractive trout farm in England. In this farm; Rainbow & Brown Trouts are bred and reared for restocking in angling waters. This Trout Farm opened its doors to the visitors sometime in 1965. This is a leisure activity in things to do in Bibury.
The visitors to this farm can actually do the fishing of trouts like we did. It was a unique experience for someone like me who never knew how fishing is done. Visitors can hire angling rods and other fishery items and can learn how to catch fish.
Visitors facilities include a gift shop which stocks a range of awesome souvenirs and gifts that are affordable to one and all. There are fish counters selling delicious fresh and smoked trout as well as a other frozen seafood.
This place has been undertaking plant sales along with Trout sales. Ample play area for children is available on the premises of this farm along with picnic and BBQ areas. If you are a connoisseur of Westons cider and Hook Norton Beers then the gift shop has a selection of some of the quality Apple Ciders.
If you fancy a cycle ride then this place hires cycles at affordable rates. Hire a cycle and you can move around the village at your merry pace. No need to look for parking spots. Just rest it on the fence of any of the village cottages and have a walk around. The residents of Bibury won’t mind as long as you have a nice laugh with them.
The best part about roaming around in Bibury is that you can walk or cycle or if you don’t want to trouble your muscles and want to travel around in your car; You can do so. One thing that you won’t stop commenting about is the architecture of the cottages and houses in this village. If you visit Bibury during a lazy summer afternoon; then wander among the honey-colored Cotswold stone buildings is as close as you can get to the perfect Cotswold experience.
You can choose to roam around randomly at your own wish like a free bird or you can travel along a designated walk which takes you through picturesque locations and places that would stun you with their beauty. But this walk takes roughly 5 hours to return back to the starting point. I would recommend you take this route if you have ample time in your hand.
Where to Eat & Drink in Bibury:
Hope you like the things to do in Bibury. Now lets get to FOOD!!
Bibury is a small village amidst nature; there are a couple of places where you can visit for eating & having few drinks. The Catherine Wheel Pub & The Swan Hotel are these two choices that you would have.
I have not visited The Catherine Wheel Pub, but having visited The Swan Hotel; I can assure you that this place has all it takes to tickle your taste buds and if you are a connoisseur of Local Ales like me then this place is the one for you. The menu is changed as per the season but be rest assured that the menu is worth spending your money on.
Last but not the least I would say that if you want to experience laid back day in stunning surroundings christened by one and all across the globe as the most beautiful collection of villages; then Cotswold is the place to be. I would further narrow it down for you to Bibury, which is undoubtedly one of the prettiest & most beautiful Villages in Europe.
Please don’t forget to put Bibury on your BucketList. I can bet you won’t be disappointed one bit after you visit this place.