Our first stop was Bourton on the Water, a picturesque Gloucestershire town that is a bit of a tourist magnet. And, I found out that it's a tourist magnet even in February. We arrived at about ten in the morning and the place was already beginning to fill up with visitors from all over the world. Living there must be like being in a goldfish bowl with people gawping at your house, your garden and your laundry all the time.
Sadly, it was really difficult to exclude the paraphernalia of the twenty-first century from my photos but I did try hard to cut out aerials, satellite dishes, road signs, litter bins, orange plastic fencing, cars and tourists, with varying degrees of success.
Bourton is a pretty place and it knows it. The River Windrush winds its broad and shallow way through, with low-slung picturesque bridges across it. The Cotswold stone cottages and town houses line the roads and sometimes lean drunkenly against each other for support and reassurance. Gardens are immaculate and, even in February, were showing the promise of a riot of colour in the months to come.