Category Archives: Cotswolds

My Father’s Garden 父のガーデン

I visited my father last weekend and I was, as usual, impressed at how beautiful the garden is.


The garden was started in the 1960s, created on clay soil. Dad laboriously dug up the clay, burnt it and then broke up and mixed in with the soil. So this garden really was built ‘from the ground up’.


Over the years we have added different bits and pieces, such as rocks ‘borrowed’ from the nearby Forest of Dean, Tunisian clay lights and a metal  porthole from a shipwreck in Wales. Most importantly hundreds of plants, a couple of ponds and  various fruit trees have been included to make what is a good example of an English gardeners home.



A New Hotel in a Favourite Village 人気の村に新しいホテルが誕生

I’ve mentioned Painswick before – it’s my favourite Cotswold village. People in the Cotswolds love it for its silvery gold stone, ancient churchyard and historic feel. It’s also quite an uncommercial place. I wish that more visitors knew about it.


Last night I went to see a new hotel (The Painswick) which opens tomorrow in the centre of this lovely place. I say ‘new’ but in fact the hotel building is centuries old.  The latest owners are Calcot Hotels, who also own Calcot Manor and Barnsley House, two famous Cotswold hotels – so everyone has been very curious to see how the new hotel would look inside. And so was I, especially since this is a hotel building that has great memories for me –  I had my 21st birthday party in the hotel.

昨夜、私はこの村の中心にあり明日オープンされる新しいホテル(The Painswick)を訪れてみた。‘新しい’と言ったが、実は建物は何世紀も経っている古いものだ。新しいオーナーはバーンズリー.ハウス他コッツウォルズで有名な2件のホテルを経営するカルコットホテル.グループなので、今度のホテルの内部がどのようになっているかは人々の注目するところとなった。実のところ私もその一人だったのである。 私にとってここは多くの思い出のあるホテルだ。- 十代の頃は、ゴルフをするために自転車でよくペインズウィック村に来たし、21歳の誕生パーティをしたのもこのホテルだった。(イギリスでは21歳が成人と見なされる大切な年)

I think that the new hotel is beautiful. There’s a slight edge of Scandinavian design in the mix, but actually the end result is slightly warmer than that. The hotel is keen that dining should be unpretentious – only as complicated as you want it to be. Menu items range from English classics to Cotswold favourites to dishes with some Asian touches.


There are a couple of treatment rooms run by Calcot Spa and a garden terrace that, in my opinion, offers one of the best views in the Cotswolds. It will be fantastic for afternoon tea in the summer.


I think that this new hotel would very much appeal to Japanese visitors. It is beautifully designed, good value and easy to get to from London (Rail services are direct, to nearby Stroud).  I also like that the staff were warm and welcoming – and obviously very excited about the new opening.

この新しいホテルは日本からの訪問客にも広くアピールすると思う。デザインは美しく、料金も手ごろでロンドンからも行きやすい(近くのStroudまでロンドンから直行が出ている)。またスタッフの心のこもった歓迎もうれしい。 -  オープニングが待ち遠しい。

Anyway, let’s hope that you get the opportunity to stay one day.




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I met Yumiko Kojima-Tivers, the translator of this blog yesterday. It’s always a pleasure to see her and I’m always amazed at her knowledge of the Cotswolds.


One thing we often talk about is how to create opportunities for visitors to truly experience English life and culture – which is part of the reason for this blog – and how it seems now that so many visitors from Japan want to have a different, deeper kind of experience of the Cotswolds and England, to meet local people and learn how life is for them.

彼女との会話の中でしばしば挙がることは旅行者にいかにしてイギリスの暮らしや文化を経験していただく場を作るかということ ー それがこのブログを始めた理由の一つでもあるのだが ー そして、最近の日本からの旅行者がいかにコッツウォルズ、イギリス国内で今までとは違ったさまざまな体験をすることを希望しているか、また彼らは地元の人との交流を通して,そのライフスタイルから何かを見出したいと思っていることだ。

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It’s how I feel when I visit Japan. Amongst other experiences, I have loved hanami; the chance to try chankonabe at a sumo-beys; an onsen visit; a night at a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya; making soba noodles and having an ikebana lesson. For a westerner these are really memorable experiences, but sometimes it takes a little courage or support from local people to discover or try new things.


This is not a commercial blog, but I would like everyone to know that Yumiko has
created a new service (Culture Tourism UK) because her idea is so close to how I think that travel should be. Yumiko’s idea draws on her experience as a guide in England, talking to clients from Japan and developing an understanding of Japanese people’s interest in the UK. The key phrase is ‘in depth’ and so Culture Tourism UK has two sections. One is staying and learning at Denman (The Women Institute’s lovely residential college in a village not far from London. The Women’s Institute is an organisation for women which has branches all over the country and has Queen Elizabeth as its patron. ) and the other is a bespoke tour of UK for individuals and small groups, mainly in the Cotswolds.

このブログは商業目的ではない。しかし今回由美子が立ち上げたカルチャーツーリズムUKに関しては皆さんに知っていただきたいと思っている。何故なら彼女の旅に関する考えは私が感じていることにとても近いからだ。彼女のアイディアはイギリス観光ガイドとしての長年の経験から生まれたものだ。日本からの旅行者との会話を通して、彼らがイギリスに何を求めているかを考えた結果である。大切なことは「内容の深さ」だ。そこで彼女はカルチャーツーリズムUKを二つの分野に分けた。そのひとつはデンマンカレッジでのカルチャーレッスン(デンマンカレッジはThe Women’s Institute’s直営の宿泊施設を伴うカレッジでロンドンからさほど離れていない小さな村にある。Women’s Instituteとは全国に支部を持ち、エリザベス女王が後援者である大規模なイギリスの婦人協会)、そしてもう一つは主にコッツウォルズを巡る個人や小グループのための完全オーダーメードの旅のコーディネートだ。

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The first clients arrive at the end of May! They will be spending time in London, visiting the V&A Museum. Later they will spend time at Denman, spending a day baking for afternoon tea, staying overnight and enjoying a talk on afternoon tea culture. The tour then continues with a Cotswold visit to see some of the most beautiful English countryside and making a visit to Woburn Abbey, (which is where the afternoon tea culture started . After some more time in London, the tour ends. Yumiko accompanies throughout to ensure that clients have the opportunity to enjoy, discuss and understand their experiences.

Information at:


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Nodding Heads 首を振りながら

The end of January and early February see the arrival of snowdrops in the Cotswolds. These delicate, pure white flowers have their own enthusiasts, not least because they mark the passing of winter and the coming of Spring.


Snowdrops are mysterious little plants – the botanical name is Galanthus (Greek gala “milk”/ anthos “flower”) and they come with various rural suspicions, for example it’s said to be unlucky to bring them into the house.

スノードロップは神秘的な小さな植物だ - その学名は‘ガランサス’で(ギリシャ語でガラとはミルク、アンソスとは花の意)、田舎には花に関してのさまざまな迷信がいまだに残る。例えばスノードロップを家の中に持ち込むことは縁起が悪いと言われている。DSC01680This year we went to Colesbourne Park to see one of the largest collections in Britain. The private garden opens for a just few days a year, at this time, to allow people to walk around the gardens and church to see spectacular banks of snowdrops, their heads nodding in the breeze. Enthusiasm for snowdrops is high here – they’re even on the alter cloth in the church.

我々は今年、イギリス内でも最大のスノードロップのコレクションを有するガーデンのひとつであるコールズボーン.パークに行ってきた。このプライベートガーデンはガーデンや教会の周りに咲く見事なスノードロップを楽しむ人たちのために、一年のうちこの時期のみ数日一般公開される。それらのスノードロップは微風に翻っている。ここではスノードロップに関する人々の興味が一層深い。 - 教会の祭壇に掛けられる布にさえスノードロップの模様が見られるくらいだ。

There is quite a lot of variety amongst snowdrops. Some are ‘giants’, some have heart shaped marks, some long stems.

ここにはとても多くの種類のスノードロップがある。 巨大なものもあればハート型の印をつけたもの、特に茎の長いものもある。

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Anyway, an afternoon at Colesbourne is a good excuse for a winter walk and, as usual in England, wherever flowers are on display – tea, cake and a plant shop are never far away.



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New Cats


A few weeks ago, it seemed the right time to get some new cats, as sadly we lost our aged cat a few months ago.


Pets are very popular in Britain – it’s estimated that 46% of households in Britain have a pet.  Dog owners (24%) slightly outnumber cat owners  (18%).

イギリスでは多くのひとがペットを飼っている。- 推定では46%の家庭でペットが飼われていて、そのうち犬を飼っているのは24%と、猫の18%を少し上回っている。

It seems wrong to buy pets when so many cats are abandoned, so we went to a local charity where there are always rescued cats in need of a good home. We made a contribution of £120 to the charity and got two kittens – microchipped and checked over by a vet.  We named them Belle and Sebastian. Belle is a British medium haired female and Seb is a short hair.

They’ve settled in well and are very affectionate towards each other. Seb is obsessed by running water and enjoys sitting in the sink.


2 匹とも新しい環境に良く慣れてとても仲がいい。セブ(セバスチャン)は流れている水に夢中で、流しに座るのが大好きだ。


Belle walks around looking cute.



They’ve just started to go outside – the back garden here is enclosed and pretty good for cats, although we did see a large fox last night, so they won’t be going out for a while.

Recently a photographer friend from Japan stayed with and took the pictures below (you’ll notice the dramatic increase in picture quality). It looks like the cats enjoyed posing for him… so, with thanks to Kiyoshi Sakasai, here are their portraits:



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全てが緑に。 Everything’s Gone Green


The Cotswolds has gone green. Yesterday I stopped the car to pick up some twigs to support some pea plants. Walking on a little further I stumbled across some woods that I’d never seen before and the last of the Spring bluebells just fading fading out. Quite beautiful.



Back at home I used the twigs in a trough. 家に帰ってから、私は小枝をトラフ(図)に立てた。


It’s amazing how the pea plants bid themselves around the twigs within a few hours. Plant instinct.