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London and the Cotswolds May 2023

Wanted to file a trip report on our 10 days in London and the Cotswolds. Stayed at 51 Kensington Court after so many good reports on it and we were very pleased….loved the location. We were just down the street from a Whole Foods and Marks and Spencer so grabbing a bite when necessary was easy. Hubby and I were overwhelmed at the crowds…….PEOPE EVERYWHERE!!! Is this just London? Saw the sights and enjoyed RS’s recommendation for the CHANGING OF THE GUARD tour…….so many people at Buckingham palace that we would never have seen anything except for this tour. The guards were practicing for the TROOPING OF THE COLORS and we got to see a bit of that…….amazing. We were glad we had purchased most tickets early as the lines were long. Loved eating at Maggie Jones…..quaint and great food. The Golden Hind was wonderful as well for fish and chips. Kensington proved to be a good location even for the two of us that do not know London well. The tube was wonderful for scooting around town. We also enjoyed High Tea at the Brown Hotel and it was a treat…..wonderful service and beautiful setting. We bought tickets to see MOMMA MIA at the Novella Theatre and sang along with a fun audience to the performance….a great night!
We trained to Oxford and spent a night… quaint and charming. Took a short tour of Magdalen College and so glad we did. Stayed at the Marriott and it was the location we needed. Drove to Blenheim Palace the next day and enjoyed seeing the gardens and grounds. Our airbnb was in Bourton-on-the-Water and it was charming. We were in the center of town so it was an easy walk everywhere. We were concerned over the driving change but that went well……just roads that are TINY. The lush green hillsides and beautiful wild Queen Ann’s Lace growing everywhere made it all look like a postcard. We had lunch one day at Lower Slaughter and walked the streets of Stow-on-the-Wold. The best time we spent there was walking through Hidcote and Kiftsgate, two incredible English gardens in that area. They were breathtaking…….not crowded and had lovely tea rooms attached to grab a bite to eat. We drove to Broadway Tower and enjoyed seeing it and the view from its balcony. Drove back to Oxford, trained to London to catch the Eurostar that afternoon to Paris. People were so very kind and helpful!

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Hi Jane, can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

It does seem like everyone was traveling this May. I was surprised at how crowded Edinburgh was.

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Our Eurostar trip to Paris was wonderful…..we had a ticket for a noon ride but paid $100 to take off 3 hours earlier so that we would have more time to enjoy Paris when we got there. We stayed for a night near Galeries Lafayette which to me is always a treat…’s an amazing place. Go to the roof and enjoy the best view of Paris! The Le Gourmand section has every food that you can imagine. We caught a train the next day to Bayeux. We had been to Bayeux before and it is a charming town with so much to offer for its size. I think it’s Cathedral is amazing……and it’s streets always have some good shopping and restaurants to explore. Our airbnb was only 100 yards down the street from the cathedral and proved to be a great location. Our dinner meal at Le Pommier was delicious. We toured the American DDay sites with Dale Booth one day………INCREDIBLE…….and enjoyed being in Normandy on DDay to see the dedication of a Teddy Roosevelt statue, the American jeeps everywhere and the locals dressed up celebrating. There was a 40 member bagpipe band in a parade at Pegasus Bridge that was great. The locals there seem to truly celebrate this special day. After touring Normandy we trained to Paris and stayed at Hotel Villa Madame near Luxembourg Gardens. It was a new location for us in Paris but we enjoyed being near St. Germain and the gardens where every afternoon we sat and watched the kids sail their boats in the garden pond. We ALWAYS make certain to enjoy a gyro at L’ As du Fallafel in the Marais and shopping in the St. Paul area. Looks like Paris is readying itself for the Olympics…….construction everywhere but nothing that slowed us down. We were gone for 21 days and fell like we experienced 4 trips in those days. We had a wonderful time and felt it was the prefect time to be in Europe.