When you wonder what the most beautifully quaint town in the Cotswolds could be, Bibury is sure to be number one on the list. If you're looking for a day out into the heart of history, Arlington Row sits nestled between it's flowing crystal waters and dense, nature rich woodlands.
A Peaceful Village
The village of Bibury has been beautifully quiet on every occasion I have visited. The main street is made up of crooked houses and small local shops, and if you continue to the bottom you'll find the beautiful Swan Hotel. Covered in golden vines during autumn and blossoming flowers in spring, the Swan hotel offers a great place to dine in the heart of Bibury. Its rolling streets amble through gorgeous stone builds through to the local church and school.
Fourteenth Century Origins
Arlington Row, owned by the National Trust, is a magnificent row of cobble stone cottages which date back to the 14th century. Originally built as a Monastic Wool store, this charming piece of history was later converted in the 17th century to provide homes for weavers'. The walls of these cottages have witnessed the growing rise of craftmanship as weavers poured their hearts into their crafts, all the way through to the modern day where they now provide a peaceful life for a very lucky few.
Opposite the rickety cottages and over the brook which encloses it sits a boggy marsh known as Rack Isle. Its name stems from its historic past where weavers would once hang their wool to dry. This thick marsh barricades the row from the main streets and now acts as a bug haven, crawling with life. Although homes, the National Trust rents out number 9 as a holiday escape, so if you're after a peek inside then it's entirely possible!
If you're visiting this sublime part of the Cotswolds then please remember that this row is still the homes of those who want a peaceful life. So, as hard as it is, restrain yourself from peeking into windows!
Arlington Row is one of the most iconic photo destinations of the Cotswolds, so much so that it has actually been used as the first page on British passports for years! However, if you want to capture it at the right time there are a few things you may want to consider...
Crowds. Okay, yes, the Cotswolds get extremely busy, we all know that! However, due to how small this street is, it can become a nightmare to capture if you're after a shot of its true quaintness! My top tip would be to go early in the morning. It's quiet, it's peaceful, and the sun rises on the front of the cottages making it a delight to photograph in golden hour! Its wetlands also provide a world filled with life making it great for any wildlife photographer. Wild flowers, insects, birds and other animals can be found within it's marshes, you may just need the patience to discover it though...
The Surrounding Area
Other local Cotswold destinations to visit near Bibury: