Finding Fantasy at an English Cottage
Needing an escape from hectic city life in London, Megan McDonough headed into the quaint and laid-back English countryside, where she found her inner child in a fantasy-like area known as the Cotswolds.
CAN’T GET AWAY TO THE COTTAGE THIS WEEKEND? COME TO OURS! WATCH FULL EPISODES OF COTTAGE LIFE HERE!
We all need a quiet escape once in awhile. As much as I love the constant motion of city life, even I’m guilty of craving a slower lifestyle sometimes. Discovering the Cotswolds, a quaint cottage district in England, was my respite from living in London.
As a wide-eyed 21-year-old venturing out of the United States for the first time, I was instantly fascinated by London. Even the daily rain could not put a damper on my enthusiasm for my new home, and I took pleasure in viewing the city as a shiny new toy. To this day, London remains one of my favourite cities.
But the English countryside called. While my weeks were spent in classes and at work in London, my friends and I would take quick trips to neighbouring towns on weekends to see more of England.
During one such weekend, we made our way to the Cotswolds, an area that runs from southwest to northeast through six counties, including Gloucestershire and west Oxfordshire. Though I had heard nothing but positive reviews about the district, I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
As we emerged from the train station, I was immediately greeted with a unique environment, unlike anything I had ever experienced. While London definitely has its fair share of green parks and colourful flowers, there was something different about the Cotswolds. There is an effortless stillness in the air and a feeling of childlike fantasy. Here, one is sure to find small villages made of Cotswold stone, very characteristic of the region. It’s also a popular spot with celebrities due to its quiet atmosphere and laid-back way of life.
One afternoon, we stopped at the Dragonfly Maze, a traditional hedge maze dotted with 14 clues along the many garden trails. While this was probably originally designed for parents looking for ways to entertain their children, I quickly became entrapped by the maze as I slipped into a younger, more carefree version of myself.
The next few days were spent doing very little other than walking through the villages, eating local food and living country life to the fullest. I found inspiration as a writer among the bountiful nature of the Cotswalds, and deeply appreciated the contrast to my urban life in London. My memories of those days continue to hold a special place for me.