Goodbye to Blockley

When Brett and I leave England tomorrow, a piece of each of our hearts will be left back in the Cotswolds, especially in our home for the past three months, the village of Blockley. 

I don’t think we could have picked a lovelier place to stay. Our cottage, located in the center of the village, has been cozy, quiet, and very comfortable, with a view of the Blockley Church each time we’ve stepped out our door. Although Blockley has been in existence since the 10th century and is currently the exterior location for the Father Brown series, it’s not a “destination spot” and hasn’t been overrun with tourists as other nearby locations have been at times. Set among pastures and farmland and with beautiful views on every side, two major footpaths, The Monarch’s Way and The Heart of England Way, pass through Blockley and gave us opportunities for short walks and longer hikes filled with breathtaking scenery. The local bus service stops a few times every day which has made it easy for us to get to other destinations in the area for shopping and sightseeing, but the village store offered just about everything we could need at reasonable prices when we didn’t feel like leaving town. We’ve been able to enjoy coffee, tea & scones, lunches and even a three-course gourmet dinner at the village cafe, and a couple of great meals at one of the village pubs. Blockley has a rich history and is full of wonderful old homes and buildings yet has never felt “quaint” – it’s a vibrant, living community with old buildings being remodeled and renovated, new construction continuing, and families moving in. Residents have been welcoming and friendly, often stopping for long chats, and several who were born and raised here have helped us understand the village’s past as well as its present. Blockley also has the most amazing selection of dogs we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting!

The photos below are ones I’ve posted while we’ve been here, but they’re my favorites, and each one is full of memories.

Goodbye Blockley . . . for now. We’ll be back!

22 thoughts on “Goodbye to Blockley

  1. When we last were in the Cotswolds a local acquaintance drove us through Blockley. I certainly understand your warm feelings about the area. Your words have created a picture postcard in my mind what your stay has meant to you. It seems likely to me you two will return for more time there perhaps in a different season.

    I have often wished we could summer elsewhere due to the humidity, heat and mosquitoes we suffer in our area. Our Fall, Winter & Spring are on the whole pleasant. An important consideration would be the issue of healthcare as for most people our medical coverage is limited outside of the US. What a boon your coverage through the military helps on your travels.

    As you gather once more with your family (and recover from your journey back) savor the time. Wishing you both many opportunities to catnap or sleep during your transit time, also to arrive more rested than anticipated and to keep germs at bay!

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    1. Our last few weeks in Blockley were difficult because of the weather. The cottage was warm and cozy, and we got out when we could, but mostly I could feeling myself sinking down into those same winter blues I used to get in Portland. If we come back in will be September and October only, or maybe May and June.

      The other day I was wondering about what we would do if we had had a medical issue there. There’s a hospital in Moreton-in-Marsh, but how would we have gotten there? I need to think more carefully about these things – we’ve thankfully stayed healthy, but from now on we’ll have a plan. Our military insurance is fantastic, but I’m glad we haven’t had to test it out so far.

      I am dreading the journey tomorrow both out to Gatwice and beyond. The suitcases seem so heavy, but once we get them checked in things will be easier

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a lovely place. I enjoy Fr Brown so I think I sort of know Blockley already.
    I have a niece living in Bristol so we have been to England to see them. We have always enjoyed our visits.
    Welcome back.

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    1. We watched Father Brown quite a bit while we were there (they shot exteriors for a new season there this past July) and could recognize so many places – we even saw our cottage a few times, or knew the cast was standing in front of it.

      Our time in the Cotswolds has moved to the top of our list – I know we’ll be back!

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  3. So beautiful. On my list of places to stay when we visit the UK in 2021 – I have always wanted to stay for more than a passing visit in an English village. This may be the one!

    Safe travels!

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    1. I know there are other villages, but Blockley was the perfect meld of old and new. We’ve said when we come next time though we’ll rent a car. There were places we wanted to go that the bus didn’t, and the convenience of a car would be welcome.

      Blockley was wonderful – I can’t think of a single negative. We always loved coming “home” while we were there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The village itself is very walkable, and the bus works for some trips but having a car would have made others much easier. A visit to “the Slaughters” (Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter) was often recommended, but we had no way to get there without a car. There are several lovely rentals in Blockey on Airbnb!

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  4. What a lovely recap. It seems like yesterday that you arrived – gosh time just seems to fly.

    Best wishes for a smooth trip back to USA.

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    1. Looking back, the time did fly by, but while we were there it went at just the right pace. Just the last three or four days seemed to speed by. It was a wonderful place to stay.

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  5. I just finished reading Tracy Chevalier’s latest book, A Single Thread, which takes place in England between the World Wars, and has bell ringing as one of its central themes- loved seeing the picture of the bell ropes!
    Safe travels on your journey back to the States!

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    1. I loved the book, and because of my own bell-ringing experience was able to have a deeper understanding of it in the book. I had no idea the red, white, and blue around the ropes was universal, and could picture it immediately!

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  6. You certainly were on target with your consideration for urgent medical care when in a place that is not easy to get from A to B. We know the time is coming when we do not want a multilevel home. We have looked around and other than mostly one level a consideration is ease of access to all medical care. That’s either regular or emergency. Additionally we are aware the day may come when neither of us will likely drive. We want to age in place in our last home, and like my DH says a home big enough for two but not too big for one.

    One of the reasons we chose Moreton-in-Marsh for our recent Cotswolds visit was the train station. But of course it also makes it attractive to more visitors. Sure I noticed there were people in MIM. We also ate at a couple of restaurants there but it did not seem overrun with tourists like Bourton on Water. We also used the local bus system too.

    I keep thinking there is a “next place” for us that may not be perfect but “perfect” for us. Meanwhile we continue to enjoy where are at present.

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    1. We booked all of our train travel based on when the bus could get us to the station from Blockley! This last trip though is based on when we need to be at Gatwick, and we couldn’t get a taxi over to Blockley that early in the morning. We are taking a taxi from the hotel though – the weather is miserable and not fit for walking. Our taxi driver, William, is the same man who brought us out to Blockley on the day we arrived!

      We found the stairs in the cottage to be a nuisance at times. I don’t mind climbing stairs to get to an apartment, but prefer things to be on one level inside. It will be something else to consider whenever we settle down.

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  7. Such beautiful photos. When we go to the Cotswolds next, we’ll have to consider Blockley. You mentioned you felt like you might be too old to walk the Cotswold Way, but we’re in our late 60’s and met a woman on our last walk who was 75 and walking by herself. Using a company to make the arrangements (accommodations, luggage transfers, maps, etc.) works well and wasn’t outrageously expensive, imho. Walking in England is such a pleasure. Well, okay, maybe not in a driving rain.

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    1. Blockley is a lovely place to visit – lots to see. It’s been called the hidden gem of the Cotswolds.

      I like the idea of walking while someone else handling the luggage, accomodations, etc. It’s something to consider as I enjoy the walking part of it, but couldn’t do it with even a semi-heavy pack on my back.

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  8. I will miss all your wonderful posts and pictures from Blockley. I will miss your trip to England but I am looking forward to your continued travels. Have a safe trip home.

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    1. Thanks, Vivian. We are going to miss Blockley – I relaxed and put myself to sleep last night by walking through the village in my mind. We’re looking forward to seeing the girls next month, and being back in Japan in January.

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    1. Thank you! We just loved being in the Cotswolds – it was a dream visit for us, and we’re looking forward to going back some day. There were great photo opportunities every time we went out.

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