Bibury: The Quintessentially English Village

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Before leaving the United Kingdom, I wanted to experience the Englishness as much as I could. One day I heard about a village which was featured on the United Kingdom passports. It was exciting to find out that the famous village was Bibury, and it was not too far from Oxford, where I lived. I could not miss a chance to visit it.

How to get there from Oxford

Just a few months before saying goodbye to Oxford, I finally had a chance to take a day trip to Bibury, located in Gloucestershire. Although it was not an easy trip due to the infrequency of public transports, my friend and I managed to get there thanks to our meticulous plan. From Oxford, we took the 853 bus (Direction: Cheltenham/Gloucester) and stopped at Northleach. And then from Northleach, we took the 855 (Direction: Cirencester) to Bibury. Remember that time management is the key for a perfect day trip to Bibury from Oxford using buses. For a more detailed account of my travel planning, check out this post from my personal blog: Bibury: A Quintessentially English Image.

Things to do

The main attraction of Bibury is the Arlington Row, which appears on the United Kingdom passports. Built in 1380, the cottages of the Arlington Row were originally a wool store. They represent the traditional architecture of the rural villages of the Cotswold District. You can even stay overnight in one of the heritage cottages. The picturesque River Coln near the Arlington Row adds to the beauty of the village and sets a relaxing mood for any visitor.

A visit to the Bibury Trout Farm will be fun as it is a family-friendly activity. I decided to skip this place because I was not into fishing. For a tasty and budget lunch, I recommend trying the restaurant The Catherine Wheel, which is only a 5-min walk from the trout farm. Trout is a Bibury's specialty so do not forget to try a trout dish. The pan-fried trout fillet at the Catherine Wheel was excellent. If you prefer a sophisticated lunch for a special occasion, book a table at the Swan Hotel. After lunch, my friend and I took a stroll through the village and found St. Mary Church, a grade I listed church dating to the 12th century.

The funny element

image from instagram
image from instagram

While taking pictures of the Arlington Row, I kept seeing a striking yellow car, which was an eyesore to many tourists. I found it quite funny that someone would not mind parking their car there and "photobombing" people's photos. Later, I found out that the car belonged to an elderly local man, who argued that he should have had the right to park his car wherever he wanted. Instead of being annoyed, I thought he was right because he was a resident of the village. The whole situation became humorous as visitors kept complaining about the appearance of the car, and the story was featured in many newspapers. The car was a realistic and modern touch to the otherwise fairy-tale destination, making the village not as dreamy as expected by foreigners. I wonder if the car is still there.

To me, Bibury was more than just a beautiful and quaint village in the Cotswold. It was the ultimate Englishness that I was looking for while living in the UK. Among many other things such as the afternoon tea, the posh accent, and the capital London, the village Bibury was definitely the most typical English thing that I had seen. I even encountered some British humor there.

To learn more about the Cotswold villages and West England, watch this informative video by Rick Steves:

The Arlington Row, Bibury
The Arlington Row, Bibury
Bibury, Cirencester GL7, UK
Bibury Trout Farm, Bibury
Bibury Trout Farm, Bibury
Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5NL, UK
The Catherine Wheel, Bibury
The Catherine Wheel, Bibury
Arlington Row, Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5ND, UK
The Swan Hotel, Bibury
The Swan Hotel, Bibury
The Swan Bibury Gloucestershire, GL7 5NW Bibury, Gloucestershire
St. Mary's Church, Bibury
St. Mary's Church, Bibury
Church Rd, Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5NR, UK

The author

Vy Tran

Vy Tran

Vy grew up in Hanoi but defines herself as a global citizen. She loves Dutch Golden Age paintings, dining at Michelin restaurants, watching warm sunsets and Italy, where she would be willing to spend her life.

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