Thursday, May 19, 2011

Views of a Village

The day started out bright and sunny. We thought we'd take a little trip to a nearby village that we'd heard good things about. It was such a nice day, we got dressed up in shorts and dresses (first time this year!). I even dug out some sunglasses for the kids that I found for a buck at Target. 

The village we visited, Ashwell, is two villages (about 4 miles) away from 'our' village of Litlington. It's a little bigger, having three pubs, a butcher, a baker, and probably a candlestick maker. Apparently there is some hierarchy among the countryside villages, and I've been told that Ashwell is quite a desirable village to live in. (I did get this information from someone who lives in Ashwell, so we'd all probably better take that with a grain of salt!)
I don't know if it's prestigious or not, but that village is impossibly cute and lovely. You just want to move right in. It's every bit as appealing and beautiful as anything you'd see in the movies with flowers creeping up buildings in bright bloom.

You can click on any of these photos to see a larger size.

 'Vine Cottage'.

 Cute little main street. 
Someone has got to explain this parking system to me, however, because it seems pretty haphazard. 

'Rhubarb and Mustard' is the cutest little grocery store you've ever seen. 
They even have a garden in back with tables for sitting with your specialty coffee.


 Chutney or marmalade, anyone?

 William Strickland died August 18th, 1885. 

Mary Ann Bryant 'fell asleep' July 13, 1926 and her husband Frederick Bryant 
("husband of the above") 'fell asleep' December 17, 1931. 
Well that's a euphemism for dying that's guaranteed to make for difficult bedtimes with your kids. 

 "In memory of Catherine, the affectionate Wife of George Pitty. Miller. 
who departed this Life Dec 29th 1838. in the 49th Year of her Age."

That's it. When I get home I'm going to get a plaque for the front of our house. 
No more boring old '706'; from now on it's going to be Oshika Manor. 
Well... our house is too small to be a manor. How about 'Oshika Cottage'?

Walking down to 'The Spring', right off High Street.

 The 'Spring' creates a large pond that is no more than 8 inches deep and is apparently very cold.  
One of the moms I met told me that it's a great place to let the kids play: 
just put 'wellies' on them and let them go to town!
Up on the bridge there is the main street of the village.

Step path across the Spring. 

 'In Memory of Two Sisters'.  On a bench overlooking the Spring.

 Stairs down to the Spring. There's something to be said for arched doorways.

 Not quite sure why some of those windowpanes are dimpled. It appears to be intentional!

 This is a pub (one of the three in the village) and a hotel. 

Amazing beam details in this cottage. Those windows have got to be a bitch to clean.

Old homes along 'High Street' with original beam details.  

 Amazing detailing on the wall. Note the date on the side: 1681. 
This means that this building was here TWO HUNDRED YEARS 
before our country even became a country!

The window of the bakery. Hard to see, but that centre loaf actually has 'Hovis' imprinted on it. 

The most amazing bakery. Check out the original old beams in the ceiling, and the employees wearing straw hats! 
We bought some sandwiches and bread for a picnic lunch. 

You're right; that there is a beer garden with a playground.  
We stopped here to eat our lunch.

Ah, ivy. Love it. 

 Sign me up!

Red British phone booth!  Right beside the village postings.  

 "What's On for Under Fives".  I think I may have died and gone to heaven. 

Quintessential British village house: cute short blue door, lavender alongside the walk, 
name plate ('Kirby Manor'), and fresh bottled milk on the doorstep. 

 'Digswell Manor' with a chimney worth writing home about.

 'Cambridge Villas' dated 1892.

 Ashwell Village Museum. Didn't go in (at this point in our stroll Tomi was losing it) - but was I ever curious! 

The butcher: 'Crumps'.

We were SO close to a fantastic church that I wanted to take some photos of, but Tomi was LOSING IT so that was the end of our adventure. He conked out in the car. Another day perhaps!


muso said...

All those nice photos. You are in a different culture setting.

Geoffrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Looks like a beautiful village!