I haven’t taken nearly enough motorcycle rides around England since I moved here. It was a regular thing to do when living in California, but weather and life conspire against me in England it seems. But finally I was able to utilize a few off days between films to get on my 1979 GS750 and get out of London. I decided to take a quick run through a region of England called the Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long, stretching south-west from just south of Stratford-upon-Avon to just south of Bath. I made the village of Chipping Campden my final destination for no obvious reason. And along the way I wanted to stop in Little Barrington for breakfast, Burton on the Water for the Cotswolds Motoring Museum and finally Broadway Tower to see the highest tower in England before heading off to The Volunteer Inn in Chipping Campden for ale and sleep!
Living in the middle of the City of London, you actually forget what space is. You forget what it’s like to be alone on the open road. You forget what it’s like to see a natural horizon. You forget what it’s like to actually exist in a singular time and space. Unaffected by other peoples mania I truly felt at ease, and relaxed.
A great thing about living in England is obviously all the ancient structures that dot the landscape. Castles, villages and pubs, all older than almost every man made structure I’ve seen growing up in the United States. Broadway Tower is the tallest tower in England, if you consider the hill it is built upon. Cheeky, but no doubt this tower warned some people of the past of impending “problems.” I never tire of spending time around these towers and castles.
There is nothing quite like the quintessential English Village, and the Cotswolds is chock full of them. Ranging in size from small to tiny, each one with it’s individual charms. Little streams, tea houses, flower shops were all expected. But I didn’t expect to see so much motoring life, including the Cotswolds Motoring Museum and the Automobile Racing Club store which had a bunch of really great T-shirts.
But with no real industry, and a very old population, how long will these beautiful villages remain? Certainly any children who grow up here will want to leave for the “BIG CITY.” I wonder if they will regret that decision one day.