Village Life – About Cotswold Towns & Villages 村の生活 - コッツウォルズの町や村について

I am often asked which is my favourite Cotswold village.

It’s a good question, because there are perhaps 200 small towns and villages spread across the Cotswolds area (Remember that ‘Cotswolds’ is simply old English language for ‘sheep on the hill. ‘Cots’ being an old word for sheep pen and ‘Wold’ for ‘slope’ or ‘hill’).  That is to say, 200 villages in an area the size of greater Tokyo.

The total population in the Cotswold hills is only 140,000 (Imagine Tokyo with just that population!).  Consequently even some towns with a population of two or three thousand are thought of as ‘quite large.’

Recently, I was talking to some friends about what makes a ‘perfect’ Cotswold village.  It goes without saying that the village should have old, honey-colour stone buildings.  It should ideally either be on a hilltop (Painswick, Burford) or otherwise near water (Bibury, Bourton on the Water). I love to see a broad, wide main street (Broadway, Chipping Campden). There should be a church and at least one pub, with good food. I think that it’s good when there is a village school because it adds life to the community. There should be good walks around the village

One of the most important factors, however, is the village ‘feeling’ or community atmosphere. These vary enormously from place to place – a good sign is the number of clubs and societies.  Stow-on-the-Wold, where I lived for many years, had the following clubs and associations:

Art Club
Cotswold Wardens (conservation work and guided walks)
Life Saving Club (Swimming)
The Lions Club
Bee-Keepers Association
Bridge (card game) Club
CAMRA (Artisan beer)
Digital Camera Club
Local National Trust
Probus Club
Cotswold Rotary Club
N Cotswold U3A (Academic study and qualifications in later life)
Women’s Institute
Rotary Club
Royal British Legion Branch
Scottish Country Dance Group
Single File (social events for single 50-65s)
Stow Disability Association
Stow District Civic Society
Stow Embroiderers’ Guild
Stow Guides

There are also sports clubs for Football, Hockey, Cricket, Badminton, Walking, Archery, Taekwando, Bowls and various clubs for singing and music and ballet.

This shows a very strong local community (with a population of only 2,000 people!) especially as there are also seven or eight local pubs or bars, plus tea rooms and cafes. I was always very proud to live in Stow-on-the-Wold.

But back to question at the top of this entry.  If I was asked to name my favourite or ideal village I would find it very difficult. I would probably choose between Minchinhampton (which is not very well known at all) Guiting Power, Painswick and Stanton. I’ve attached a picture of Stanton (which is near Broadway) that I took last week – if it looks familiar to you, perhaps you have seen it on TV . It has been used for dramas and films such as Sherlock Holmes.

If you’ve visited the Cotswolds, do let me know which villages you enjoyed!






ストウ.ガイズ (女性用ボーイスカウトのようなクラブ)



もう一度最初の質問に戻りましょう。私の好みの、または理想の村をひとつ挙げることはとても難しいことです。それでももし、選ぶとすれば多分ミンチンハンプトン(全く知られていない村ですが)、ガイティング.パワー、ペインズウィック、スタントンの中からひとつを選ぶことになるでしょう。先週私が撮影したスタントン(ブロードウェイの近く)の写真をご覧ください。- どこかで見たような気がしたら、それは多分テレビでご覧になったのでしょう。シャーロックホームズなどのドラマや映画のロケ地として多く使われていますから。


If you’ve visited, do let me know which Cotswold villages you enjoyed!

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