More UK Road Trip: Stow-on-the-Wold

After an all-too-brief-visit to Bourton-on-the-Water, we headed off to nearby Stow-on-the-Wold. Stow is larger, older (I think), and its sits atop a hill.

Helpful Map
Helpful Map


This is the town I remember from pictures my friend Janet shared when she visited in late 2013. Janet had been in England for an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint gathering. When she heard I’d be in Stow-on-the-Wold, she said, “You have to stop by and say hello to my friend, Jenny.”

My shy Hubby gets annoyed when I say we have to meet people I know on our journeys, so I figured that if we saw this shop Janet mentioned and had time that I’d pop in to say hello to her friend. Mainly because I knew it would make Janet’s day.

Ivy-covered Inn
Ivy-covered Inn


Stow was just as lovely as Bourton, with its limestone buildings and narrow, winding streets. It’s bigger and full of cute little shops.

We parked at the lower end of town and made our way uphill toward the market square. When we passed this restaurant, I marked it, mentally, as a place we should consider for lunch. Especially since Hubby loves old stuff.

Old (still operational) Restaurant
Old (still operational) Restaurant


BotW_to_Hove 032
Tiny Street


BotW_to_Hove 036
Market Cross


I hadn’t read a ton about Stow, but I did know I wanted to see St. Edward’s Church.

St. Edward's Church (built between the 11th and the 15th centuries)
St. Edward’s Church (built between the 11th and the 15th centuries)


The north door of the church is said to have been JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for his drawing of the Gates of Moria in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

North door of St. Edward's Church
North door of St. Edward’s Church


BotW_to_Hove 045
Inside St. Edward’s Church


BotW_to_Hove 040
South Door of St. Edward’s Church


St. Edward’s is much smaller than the grand cathedrals we’ve visited, but it was still quite beautiful in its own right.

BotW_to_Hove 041
Beautiful Stained Glass


BotW_to_Hove 048
Interior carved plaque (I suspect this is not original to the church).


BotW_to_Hove 049
Exterior adornment, crumbling.


Grave Markers
Weathered Grave Markers


We spent more time in and around St. Edwards’ than I’d anticipated we would have. It was lovely, really. But we had places to go, and we were both getting hungry, so we made our way back toward where we’d parked.

BotW_to_Hove 037
Side-street Shops


BotW_to_Hove 068
Police Station in Cotswold Stone


BotW_to_Hove 028
Interesting Nippled Glass


BotW_to_Hove 064
Very Cool (my opinion) Old Stone Barn, Mid-town


BotW_to_Hove 072
Pretty Flowers


We actually did eat at The Porch House. It’s over a thousand years old, how could we not?

The Porch House photo collage.
The Porch House photo collage.


The food was delicious, the atmosphere was quaint… it was a win-win.

After lunch, we continued toward the car.

Since we actually had to pass Jenny’s shop (Janet’s friend), I went in.

BotW_to_Hove 093
Vintage & Paint, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) Stockist


BotW_to_Hove 094
“Quirky Old Stuff” describes the place perfectly.


The funny thing is, I often like to visit ASCP stores when I travel. Because they’re all quite different. Vintage & Paint is truly unique. I think it’s my favorite, too.

BotW_to_Hove 082
ToadMama with the Vintage & Paint Mannequin


I absolutely LOVED the shop.

BotW_to_Hove 086
Part of Jenny’s GI Joe collection.


Jenny had actually run out to grab lunch, so I hung around for a bit and Hubby went to wait in the car.

BotW_to_Hove 092
GI Joe


BotW_to_Hove 090
She even had Elvis.


BotW_to_Hove 087
Mind the Slope!


BotW_to_Hove 089
Annie Sloan apron-wearing mannequin.


BotW_to_Hove 084
Happy Postman Statue


BotW_to_Hove 085
Fun boar’s head and more GI Joes.


I really did love the store. It’s me, right?

And I actually did get to meet Jenny, too, albeit briefly.

Hubby had been waiting for a while by the time she returned. And the shop was rather busy. Jenny was disappointed that I hadn’t called ahead so we could have scheduled a cup of coffee. I tried to explain that we were avoiding adhering to any sort of agenda. It’s a shame, though, because I believe a sit-down with Jenny would have been fun.

I’m sad I didn’t get a picture with Jenny, but she had customers to tend to.

When I told Jenny how much I liked her shop and how radically different it is from Janet’s, she admitted that she was a bit embarrassed when Janet showed up unexpectedly at her door.They’d only met for the first time at that ASCP conference I mentioned.

She’d gotten the impression that Janet’s shop was a bit more girly and frilly than Vintage & Paint, and she was afraid Janet may have been appalled at her eclectic, unusual collection. I assured her that, while many of her wares are not Janet’s cup of tea, I’m sure Janet, who is not uppity at all, enjoyed seeing Jenny’s unique, fun, expressive, and funky shop.

As I was leaving, I told Jenny I liked her mannequin. She said to me, with the dry British sense of humor and accent that I truly enjoy, “She’s a bit under-dressed today. She was wearing a coat yesterday, but someone bought it.” LOL.

And that wraps up our too-short visit to Stow-on-the-Wold.

Next up, Gloucester Cathedral. Be sure to check back, especially if you liked seeing my post from Canterbury. Gloucester Cathedral is absolutely amazing.

11 Replies to “More UK Road Trip: Stow-on-the-Wold”

    1. Richard, my Hubby, Mike, actually said he was surprised they kept the trees as it is damaging to the structure. Maybe they’ve been there for so long that the powers-that-be figured they’d just keep them? It is a cool door, though.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the pics, thanks for visiting, and commenting.

  1. Brandy, it was so fun walking amongst the old stuff. I forgot to mention that I decided to go native and eat Welsh Rarebit (aka rabbit), which I know wouldn’t REALLY appeal to you, as a vegan, but which I enjoyed. It had a unique, but good, flavor. Hubby preferred his far-too-red-for-me steak sandwich.

  2. LOL… I thought it had rabbit in it. Rarebit is faux “rabbit,” so Brandy could eat it. Sometimes I can be so dumb…

    It didn’t seem like it contained much meat, and it was quite tasty.

  3. What a cool looking town, but…

    I think that that happy postman could be the stuff of nightmares: It has a creepy, wanna-be Mr. McFeely vibe about it (as in Mr. McFeely of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood). All it needs is tinted glasses.

    1. Raindog, I was wondering if anyone would be creeped-out by him. That stuff doesn’t scare me, usually, but I know some folks really don’t like stuff like that. Like CLOWNS. A lot of people are terrified by them. I see how they can be sorta creepy, but clowns have never really scared me. Except for Pennywise, the It clown.

  4. Beautiful pics! The thing about North America is that we don’t have quite the quaint villages with old architecture. Jenny’s shop is pretty cool, I’m surprised you didn’t bring the woma-quinne home with you 😉

Comments are closed.