Motorcycle Wanderings, General Travel, and a Weird Mix of Other Stuff

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 Comments

  1. October 6, 2014    

    That North Door is incredible. I’d have thought the tree continued growing would have torn the building apart.

    Wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing them.

    • October 6, 2014    

      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.

  2. October 6, 2014    

    Fun! I just love all the old building and lunch looks really tasty too.

  3. October 6, 2014    

    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.

    • October 6, 2014    

      Isn’t welsh rarebit basically cheese sauce on toast? Or am I missing something…

  4. October 6, 2014    

    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.

    • October 6, 2014    

      Nope, still has dairy…

  5. Raindog's Gravatar Raindog
    October 6, 2014    

    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.

    • October 6, 2014    

      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.

      • Raindog's Gravatar Raindog
        October 6, 2014    

        Mimes. ‘Nuff said.

  6. Dar's Gravatar Dar
    October 7, 2014    

    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 😉

What You Missed

Subscribe for New Post Alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

image1