Friday, 10 May 2013

May Day holiday walk

We planned to spend the day out walking in one of our local valleys. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far.
We set off from the Canal Keepers cottage which some of you may remember from here. How would you fancy living in this pretty round cottage?  It is for sale complete with mill race chasing through the garden (visible just behind the rose bush on the left). The water race in the Round House garden shoots down a weir and then goes under the road into the Mill Pond.
In its past history the mill was used for fulling, corn milling, and silk throwing. Silk throwing is a process whereby silk that has been reeled into skeins, is cleaned, receives a twist and is wound onto bobbins. The mill is now occupied by an electronics firm who use the water power for green energy.
Should you buy the Round House your next door neighbour would be Damien Hirst who has just renovated this house. It is one of many houses owned by him.
A small section of Hirst's house which is Grade ll* listed and is built on the site of the original home of the de Chalkfordes who are mentioned in documents as early as 1240.
The walk goes past the Round House, the duck pond and nearby church. The church is well known for it's many artefacts designed by distinguished Cotswolds Arts and Crafts furniture makers, and silversmiths during the early part of the 20th century.
The pathway strewn with wild flowers - dainty blue Speedwell

What a huge progeny the dandelion produces
Arum maculatum - Lords-and-Ladies
The scent of wild garlic filling the air as we pass.
On the way pretty cottages - the satellite dish strikes a 20th century chord of disharmony for me.
A gypsy caravan in a garden and
the lane we found last year, still waiting for us to explore.
Over a thoughtful stile
humans to the left and dogs to the right please
We found ourselves on a complicated series of pathways criss crossing the steep sides of the valley.
Soon we were looking down on to roof tops,
and along the high street.
Properties clinging to the steep sides of the valley as they have done for hundreds of years.
Hopefully this will lead us back down!!!
The many houses and cottages clinging to the sides of the hills were originally weavers' cottages. It is sometimes referred to as the 'Alpine Village'.  The paths on the hillsides were too narrow for more conventional forms of transport so donkeys were used to carry groceries and other goods to the houses, and this tradition continues today.
via
Loaded up with bread, food and magazines ready to deliver.

86 comments:

  1. Simply gorgeous, thank you for taking me along with you.

    Annie x

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    1. Thank you for your visit and comment Annie - I am pleased that you came along with me.

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  2. Beautiful walk! those cottages and pathways, those trees and flowers. You are very lucky to have so close, that wonderful place.

    Marina

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    1. Dear Marina - it is always a pleasant valley to walk in as there are so many interesting things to see. It is a little hamlet where lots of artists, potters and furniture makers live.

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  3. Hello Rosemary

    What a glorious way to start me day, as I sip my cappucino you have transported me to the Cotswolds.Your day could not have been more perfect and the reflections at the mill prove the heat of the day. I actually had goosebumps travelling along those narrow paths. Thanks you for bringing me such joy

    Helen xx

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    1. Hello Helen - it was the first time that we discovered that little network of pathways which ran in front of cottages, behind cottages, and sometimes we seemed to be almost walking on the roofs of cottages. We were pleased to eventually discover the route down otherwise we might still be wandering around up there now!!!

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful pathways. The cottages and flowers are so pretty. I think that the pathway with the steps on the left for humans and dogs on the right are so clever. Amazing photos Rosemary.

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    1. Dear Pamela - there are some very interesting stiles around here, some of which I have put on a piece about the Cotswolds, but I have yet to post it.

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  5. I can decidedly see myself in that lovely little round cottage.! surrounded by all those other beautiful cottages.
    what a delightful walk. I so enjoyed going along it with you.
    The warmth has come at last. The flowers are out and blossoming..
    Love the donkey video.. I the the cotswolds is a must on my next visit to the UK.
    Thank you Rosemary..
    so enjoyed it, a lovely post.
    Happy weekend
    val

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    1. The little round cottage is lovely - I should imagine it needs some round shaped furniture to fit around the walls though, may be it would have to be specially made.
      Glad you enjoyed the post Val.

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  6. What a fabulous tour, and I would love to live in that round cottage but I'm sure it's way outside of my price range! DH as a neighbour, interesting. I do love those stiles which have pull ups for the dogs. I've really enjoyed this scenic and very pretty trip with you. x

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed coming with me on the walk. There is such a lot to see which is of interest. The cottage is very expensive I was shocked at the price of it when I looked on the internet .

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  7. What a wonderful day Rosemary, full of hidden paths and new discoveries. I had never really considered just how pretty speedwell is. The cobalt blue striations on the pale petal are quite striking up close. I can't believe people still use donkeys for their shopping, I thought we had ocado for that:)
    Bon weekend.
    Paul

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    1. Well Paul, can you see the Ocado van getting up those hills?
      Speedwell is pretty especially when you see it en masse as this was.
      Macro shots can be very revealing.

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  8. All those steps were reminding me of Greece and then you mentioned donkeys! Lovely pics and what a great place to explore!
    p.s. thank you for visiting my blog!

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    1. Dear Valerie - because this was an area where traditionally weavers lived, and it is too steep for roads apart from the small main one that winds its way up to the top, the little pathways would have developed so that the locals could make their way down as quickly as possible into the valley with their cloth.

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  9. Dear Rosemary, You took us on a most interesting and beautiful walk. Thank you. I can't wait to show Mr G the photographs of the stile and gate for dogs. Mr G has built many a stile so that I can climb from one of our pastures to another. But never one so simple and practical. He will be most interested. Have a great remainder of the week.ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - there are a lot of different stiles around here, and I have, in fact, done a post on them within the Cotswold series that I am doing, but I have yet to publish it. I will be doing so shortly - Mr. G may be interested to see those too.
      Hoping that the sun shines for all of us this weekend.

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  10. I would love to live in the round house :) Beautiful, Rosemary, beautiful !!!

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    1. Thanks Dani - glad that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  11. Many fab photos here and some super houses. The round house is pretty but getting furniture for it would be a problem!
    June

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    1. Furniture would definitely have to be planned carefully and I suspect some bespoke units would have to be made to make the most of the unusual space.

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  12. Hello Rosemary, I am in love with that valley; that little lane with the stones and the greenery is just magical. I would love to see what Hirst has done to/with the inside of his house.

    Since my friends feel that my collections belong in the round file anyway, perhaps if would not be inappropriate if I moved into that round house, although I think the mill itself would be more commodious for my purposes.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Hello Jim - we have been intending to explore the lane for a while. It has a deep culvert on the lefthand side where rain water from the hills gushes down. It is impossible to see into Hirst's house, he has wooden shutters closed at the windows, but he has some interesting glass panels that you can just make out which seem to be screens. They are in different coloured glass with very large individual butterflies on each section - you can just about see two of them.
      The mill is a very fine building and would make a wonderful home - can you imagine the lofty ceilings and wall space, it sits very nicely over the water too.

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  13. Beautiful photos! I loved your May day holiday walk - so nice of you to share. It all looks so peaceful and that gorgeous sunshine sure helps. The view looking down on the rooftops is so pretty. Loved it.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks for your visit Gina - you are right, the sunshine makes all the difference. We were surprised how quickly we found ourselves high up in the hills. We would keep passing little cottages and pretty gardens which kept our attention so there was lots to see.

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  14. Hi, Rosemary!
    I hope you are well! I've been so busy.....not a lot of time for blogging. Taking a short break to catch up on a few of my favorite blogs. You live in such a beautiful part of England. Yes, I could live in that charming round cottage :) But how to hang art and mirrors on the curved walls?
    Take care,
    Loi

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    1. Dear Loi - it is good to take a break, I am sure that your business is very demanding on your time.
      I have just looked at the estate agents details on the internet and surprisingly they do have quite a lot of art on the walls which appears to hang properly - in fact inside it seems much bigger than you would expect. However, I think that it would hold only a fraction of your wonderful furniture - how about it being your Cotswold holiday home?

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  15. Dear Rosemary,

    I would love to own the canal keeper's cottage, but I can't decide whether it would make more sense to have a studio on the ground floor or the top. Maybe the living area on the ground floor, the studio/office on the second, and then the bedroom on the third works better.

    What a great tour and such a feeling of going into the past! And how quaint that donkeys are still employed with regularity. Are they okay with being petted?

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    1. I have just looked at the cottage details on the internet, and it actually has 4 levels - a lower ground floor, upper ground floor, first floor and second floor so it is much bigger than it appears. The top floor has a skylight so perfect for a studio. It really is situated in an idyllic spot, and the views from the windows must be ever changing with the seasons.
      There are two donkeys working and they receive lots of petting from the children and cottage owners. It is not a daily service that they give but a weekly delivery service from the local store.

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  16. What a fantastic place to be Rosemary. You were lucky with having this beautiful weather overhere it was grey and windy the whole day long.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. The weather has gone downhill since the beginning of the week Marijke - it shows that you need to make the most of the sun when it is here. Glad you liked one of our local valleys.

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  17. I enjoyed the virtual walk with you, Rosemary, wandering those leafy paths of that valley. It must be an idyllic place to have a home.

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    1. Although we have lived here almost 20 years we are continuously discovering little hamlets and lanes - the landscape is so complicated with deep valleys and woodlands.

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  18. Hello Rosemary, these are beautiful photos of a lovely walk. And the weather was gorgeous, too! It is wonderful that the tradition of using donkeys still exists today; the local history of the valley sounds fascinating.

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    1. Hello Wendy - the valley was famous for its cloth - the red material used for Guardsmen's outfits, and snooker table cloths etc. The weavers cottages all had their own looms that they worked on. Thank you for your comment.

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  19. What fabulous photos. I am struck by the magnolias. Every year I wonder if they are too much for my site and think they might be and yet somehow I have two (only little ones so far!). Love the round house too.

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    1. If the Magnolias have survived the last few winters then they look destined to be with you for a long time - fingers crossed. This is one of five round cottages in the area - it is surprising how much bigger inside they are than they look.

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  20. The lanes and the garden gates are exceptionally pretty. Great images Rosemary.

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed seeing them Olive - it is an historic little valley.

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  21. Dear Rosemary,what a lovely walk you had!!Amazing photos!So many beautiful flowers you saw!I like the tradicion with the donkey!In some places in Greece they still have donkeys!My dream house,is a cottage on the sea!I realy love them!Have a lovely weekend!
    Dimi..

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    1. Dear Dimi - no sea here, but lots of interesting walks and flowers to see.

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  22. Donkeys & Damien - it must be Chalford?
    I like Canal Keeper's cottage, but I'd love to live in the gypsy caravan.

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    1. The gypsy caravan would suit you down to the ground Nilly - in fact there were two, we saw another one on the walk. Your knowledge is mind blowing Nilly.

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  23. A lovely walk Rosemary !This beauty is so much that not enough of seeing ! Ι see your photos as always beautiful and I think that I am there !!!I am glad that you live at this place !Have a nice weekend !

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    1. Dear Olympia - thank you, it is lovely that you feel as if you are actually here on the walk with me - it is good to have your company.
      Let us all hope for a good weekend with plenty of warm sun.

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  24. Oh, the sun was in your place today and it seems you made the utmost of it! Glad you shared it with us because here we had a dreary, grey and wet day - not very animating to go out! Love your pictures and views, Rosemary! Christa

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    1. Sorry Christa we had the same weather as you today - this walk was last Monday when we had the most perfect day of the whole year - very hot and sunny. Glad that you enjoyed seeing the views.

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  25. Dear Rosemary thank you for a lovely walk in the sunshine. I enjoyed every picture, and the round house is very appealing. It might be fun to live near Damien Hirst! Your flower photos never fail to inspire; I love them. I am now enjoying the spring flowers in Canada, and learning new names every day!

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    1. Dear Patricia - I am so excited to hear from you in Canada - I thought that you must have left but wasn't too sure. Isn't it wonderful that we can communicate in Australia one day and a couple of days later from Canada.
      I am sure that you are having a thrilling time with your family and especially the little grandchildren, one of who, I think you have met for the first time.
      The round house is a very appealing property, not just the interesting shape, but the situation where it is built is picture perfect.

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  26. What a fantastic serie but my preference goes out to picture 2.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Dear Filip - I think that you must be a Magnolia flower lover!!!

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  27. I want to come and live there too !!! Such gorgeous pictures that look like a fairy tale location, that round cottage I am sure is waiting just for me :-)

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    1. Dear Jane - I can imagine the wonderful paintings that you would produce if you lived there. The top floor with its skylight window would be perfect for your studio. The valley attracts lots of painters, potters, and craftspeople.

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  28. Thank you for another look at your world. Love the doggy stile.

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    1. Someone has definitely had fun making it.

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  29. You had a walk in stunning landscapes. Thank you for sharing those beautiful views with us, Rosemary!

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    1. Dear Satu - it is a cosy intimate landscape - it gives you a cuddle.

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  30. What an inviting walk, so beautiful. It's no wonder the English of old in our country meaning Tasmania, Australia tried to bring their building talents to us.

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    1. No doubt they were trying to replicate what they were used to - do most of your buildings tend to be built of wood?

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  31. What a beautiful walk that is.
    Yes, I'd line up to buy the round cottage - or any of the houses shown, in truth! I love the stone of the houses, the paths, the gardens tumbling over the stone walls. It's a lovely area!

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    1. The houses and walls blend in well with the landscape because the stone is local to the area. We live on oolitic limestone, but it makes digging in the garden very hard work. This area is what I call 'lived in Cotswolds' not 'chocolate box Cotswolds'.

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  32. WOW! I had to scroll aaaaaalllllll the way down to find this little comment box!

    Thank you so much for taking me for a virtual walk, this morning. Isn't it lovely being able to be immersed in so much beauty, whilst wearing your night clothes? I kind of felt like Lucy, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when she found Narnia! Only, this time, there was no snow, no ice, no Aslan, but a beautiful little donkey!

    I loved the countryside images and especially the buildings. The round cottage looks beautful, though, for me, it would be too remote (you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl!) But I probably wouldn't say no to it!

    What I love about this country is the fact that history is not something that you read about in books... it's something you experience daily, and isn't it wonderful that people still live in buildings which are hundreds of years old? So nice! History is kept alive...

    I will stop here, dear Rosemary, otherwise my comment will turn into a dissertation!

    Thank you for yet another fantastic post!

    HAPPY WEEKEND!

    XXX ANNA XXX

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    1. Dear Anna - thank you so much for your comment - you really know how to make a girl feel good, you have made my day.
      You are right about the history, but the same goes for the whole of Europe - your own homeland of Italy, France, Spain etc we are so fortunate to have all of this history on our doorsteps or just a short ferry/plane ride away.
      Apparently when anyone buys the round cottage a little silk child's shoe is given with the sale. It was found in the rafters and put there at the time the cottage was first built - to ward off evil spirits!!!

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  33. Dear Rosemary, You live in such a lovely part of the country and I enjoyed coming along with you on your may Day walk. The Canal keeper's cottage looks so pretty I had to be nosy and find it on Right Move to have a peek inside! The other buildings look so attractive too and the views across the valley are worth the climb.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah - the round cottage is so much bigger inside than I imagined it would be and I expect that you noticed that it had an extra storey that cannot be seen from the view I showed - rather expensive, I thought, for just two bedrooms. Passing little cottages and gardens on our climb up made the journey seem quick.

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  34. I tend to fall in love with such a charming houses :-) Concerning the round one, i really like it, but can anyone actually live there? And if so, how do you fix the cupboard shapes? I presume all the walls are round, no?
    I just wished there was so much beauty to admire in my neighborhood... But this lovely digital walk totally made my day! Thanks for the lovely pictures of the beautiful flowers, the charming houses... For bringing the sun to my screen and a smile to my face!

    Jolien
    http://julianaandthedaydream.blogspot.be

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    1. Dear Jolien - thank you for visiting and I am delighted that you enjoyed the pictures from this post. In fact the round cottage seems quite spacious inside from the photos I have seen. Surprisingly it has pictures on the wall and normal furniture. It has four floors so is deceptive from the outside.

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  35. This is wonderful! What a beautiful area you live in Rosemary and what a gorgeous day it was for a walk. Thanks for taking us with you! Love the picture of the magnolia blossoms against the blue sky, it is gorgeous!
    Can't help it but whenever you show us pictures of the area you live in, it makes me think of fairytales. The houses, the nature, and now of course those narrow pathways, lined with flowers, walls or forest. Beautiful!
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - the area is picturesque with so many steep valleys - hence my blog title - but the intervention by man is mainly through the use of local stone which I think has actually enhanced rather than detracted to the whole.

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  36. Your virtual walking tour was delightful! The cottages look like perfect illustrations for a book of children's folk tales, including the charming gypsy caravan wagon (reminds me of one f my favorites- Wind in the Willows)!

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    1. Dear Linda - although we have lived here almost 20 years we are still discovering different valleys and lanes on our own doorstep - the landscape is complicated and we are forever finding little hamlets and places that are new to us.

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  37. I've said it before but it's worth repeating - you live in a magical land Rosemary. Thank you so much for taking us along with you :) Your first two photos of the magnolias are sooooo beautiful!

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    1. I was delighted that you came along with me Rosemary - this particular walk was new to us too, and we were charmed by how quickly we went from the valley bottom to the top. The little donkey pathways meandering up the steep sides of the valley were easily managed as new vistas kept appearing. Our attention was kept by being able to look down into peoples gardens.

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  38. in love with the pictures of that amazing place!!
    really liked, i stay here <3

    www.malesclutch.blogspot.com

    Sergio,xx

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing the valley Sergio.

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  39. Dear Rosemary,
    Thanks for taking me on this walk with you. I'm laid up with a cold (I think its this long winter that has done it), it is grey and dreary again outside - and raining - but I can read this post and enjoy a sunny walk complete with a donkey (one of my favourite animals)
    I loved the magnolia tree and I could live in that cottage although it might be like living in Moonface's round house at the top of the Faraway Tree!
    Bye for now
    Kirk

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    1. Dear Kirk - sorry to learn that you have been feeling under the weather with a cold - it is probably the lack of sunshine so dose yourself up with plenty of oranges.
      The cottage is much bigger inside than you can appreciate from the photo and it actually has four floors, one of which is not visible. I think that it is a home for one person only though.

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  40. An absolutely super post, Rosemary. You must have had a wonderful walk. The Cotswolds are a dream environment, but I'm not sure about a circular home. Where would you put the furniture?

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    1. I have seen pictures of the inside and it surprisingly much larger than it looks from the outside. They don't seem to have special furniture, but if it was mine I would want curved items to make the most of the space.

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  41. I'd love a gypsy caravan in my garden and I can't believe they still use donkeys! I'd love to see that x

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    1. There are only two donkeys who do a once a week delivery from the local shop. The village shop is run by the locals as it was threatened with closure, so they came up with the idea of reinstating the old tradition of using the donkeys.

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  42. This is exactly the type of walk I love going on... your photos are all beautiful, and it looks like you had the perfect day for it!

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    1. It was a good walk because you saw lots of interesting things on the way - I especially liked being able to peep over the tops of peoples garden walls.

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  43. Oh, my heart was racing when I saw the mill. And I actually gasped when I saw the mill building with that clear pond water....sigh! Too beautiful for words. Maybe if I win the lottery. :)

    This is a magical place, Rosemary. But I'm sure you already know that. How fortunate you are. Thank you again for sharing the magic with us.

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    1. We had long admired this quintessential area of England and when we had the opportunity to move here we were very happy. The mill is a very fine building and although part of our Victorian industrial heritage sits very happily in the valley reflecting the mill pond.

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