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 utalize a few off days between films to get on my GS750 and head out. I decided to take a quick one up and 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 feel at ease and relaxed.

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And even in the country where there are tiny villages to be found around every corner, empty roads abound. With nothing to clutter your senses, focusing on every turn, the landscape rushes past as blurs in your peripheral vision.

A great thing about living in England is the ages old structures. Castles, villages and pubs, many older than almost every man made structure I’ve seen growing up in the United States, dot the landscape endlessly. 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.
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You can’t help but feel the weight of past when you spend time at one of these structures. I wonder what they saw while sitting on top of this tower? How many lives were lost defending it? Seeing these structures creates so many questions.

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The Volunteer Inn, where soldiers would come to “volunteer” to join the war. I wonder what their other options were, as I drink a pint of room temperature British Ale in the same spot people signed their life away.

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 and pubs decorate each ones landscape in similar ways but with unique character each their own.
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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.

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And with the sun setting over headstones, it’s time for me to go, and return to the mania of normal every day life in the big city.

Like most things that take effort in life, trips like this are so worth it. And each time I do something like this I wonder why I’m not doing it more and more. It’s so hard in life to not get beaten down by city work life, but hopefully in the future I’ll do more of this type of thing. There are many more places around England…..and Europe…to explore by bike.  Stay tuned…..

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