Meandering Through the Cotswolds Countryside, Motherfuckers

Here, try this: Move to the quaint English countryside Cotswolds for your partner’s job. (I’ll wait.)

Becoming a thatcher (the non-Margaret kind) is a booming business in places like the Cotswolds, Wiltshire or Devon.

Okay, done?

Next: Stay there, perhaps alternating between Tetbury in Gloucestershire and Malmesbury in Wiltshire, off and on, for the better part of a year. Do an awful lot of ambling. Maybe some meandering. And, if you’re feeling really brave, some rambling. If possible, do as much as possible in a pair of Hunter green Wellies.

Make sure much of your ambling/meandering/rambling is through 500-year-old villages with thatched-roof cottages, on public footpaths that run past fields of sheep enclosed behind honey-colored Cotswold stone walls (try to make sure these walls are at least 150 years old), or through meadows that are so ridiculously filled with wildflowers, your eyes and heart will hurt from the unbearable quaintness. This shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

To spice things up once in a while, take a stroll around Prince Charles’ garden — because it’s there and, if you book far enough in advance, you can; hope that you chance upon, say, the spoils of the village quail hunt night at the Vine Tree pub near Malmesbury; or spot naughty sculptures in the Abbey House Gardens, a modern take on a folly garden run by a nudist couple known as The Naked Gardeners.


And then, after at least seven months of this, decide you would like to take in — as you once heard the West Country ladies call it  — a ‘picture show.’ Be sure to enjoy their entire conversation, had over pursed sips of tea in between discussions of church gossip, the merits of cinnamon, and just war theory.

There is no cinema nearby, so you will need to take the 29 bus to the ‘big’ city of Stroud (population 12,000). You’ll need to plan ahead; this is the countryside, so your bus runs every two to three hours.

Board said bus directly outside your hotel. On the days you’re not cruising past the single best view in the entire Cotswolds, spend your days writing in their restaurant and hanging out with your new friends Steve, the local recently-unseparated-but-still-overly-flirty son of a headmaster; Ginny, the American international property flipper who owns 16 of something called a ‘fractional’; and Pete, the Cornish handyman who wants nothing more in this world than to road trip in a convertible along Route 66.

Arrive in Stroud, amble your way past art galleries, boutiques and cafes, slack-jawed this area is relatively undiscovered by Cotswolds standards. Why do people jostle their way past tour buses in Stow-on-the-Wold or Moreton-in-Marsh when they could have the wool village of Nailsworth or the view over the Stroud valley all to themselves?


Buy one ticket for 22 Jump Street. Enter.

Proceed to watch one hour and 52 minutes of dick jokes, drug-induced psychedelic trips, beer-bonging and twerking spring breakers in ‘Puerto Mexico,’ and Ice Cube caustically yell-barking ‘motherfucker’ and ‘bitches’ rather exceedingly often. Add in a few more dick jokes for good measure.

And then, on your way back home, sit behind a rosy-cheeked schoolboy and a grandmother in sensible gardening shoes and take in the scenery. Wind up the hill through scenic overlooks with views of endless rolling hills and ancient rose-draped cottages.

After an outing such as this, there is only one choice.

It’s time to leave the Cotswolds and head back to the USA.


5 thoughts on “Meandering Through the Cotswolds Countryside, Motherfuckers

  1. Pam Mandel says:

    So, Alex.

    I lived in a tiny Austrian village with a different variety of quaint and I did my fair share of meandering, rambling, peregrination, etc. Great miles of it on foot, though in the winter on cross country skis. It was lovely, honest to god, it was the most glorious, safe, cozy, and beautiful place I’ve ever lived. I was super fit, too, I mean, skiing 15 miles before lunch nearly every day makes you rock hard. And I did a lot of good writing with my unstructured time.

    I couldn’t wait to get the f*ck out of there. There was no Thai food and that annoyed me.


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