Village Boring

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Village Boring

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It has long been acknowledged that the UK and the USA are separated by a common language but according to TripAdvisor there is an even greater divide when it comes to American’s visiting some of our quaint villages.

The Cotswold’s is the chic weekend retreat of choice for celebrities including Jeremy Clarkson, the Beckhams and model Kate Moss but it seems some tourists from across the Atlantic have greater expectations than our quintessentially British cottages and scenic rolling hills.

And they pull no punches in claiming that one village, Castle Combe, which has been a backdrop for numerous Hollywood movies, is, well, ‘dull’.

One visitor, clearly not impressed by the village’s title as one of the prettiest places in the UK bemoaned the lack of hustle and bustle and complained it was tiring walking around because it was a warm day.

Err, note to this particular visitor, count yourself it wasn’t raining – our climate is less than predictable which is why culturally, we talk about the weather so much!

The Alabama resident went on to add: ‘ After a long walk from the car park up on a hill on a midweek afternoon, the village appeared to be closed.  The short section of main street that was shown in War Complaining about the lack of activity, a visitor from Alabama wrote: ‘After a long walk from the car park up on a hill on a Wednesday afternoon, the village appeared to be closed. 

‘The short section of main street that was shown in the movie War Horse is very attractive, but is that all there is’? 

Castle Combe is distinguished by 15th-century stone cottages, a Grade I listed 13th-century church and stone-canopied market cross and was also the backdrop to films such as Stardust, The Wolfman, Dick Turpin and 1967’s Dr Dolittle – and TV shows Poirot and Robin of Sherwood.

But this didn’t stop anther disappointed visitor moaning:  There is no castle in Castle Combe.  There are the remains of one, but you won’t see it because it’s overgrown and on private property’.

It’s true, some of our historic buildings are so old there are only ruins remaining, but they were there when the towns were named.  That’s the problem with history….very misleading!

Car parking was another gripe because it was too far away from the centre of the village, not something us British had to worry about too much as when these 15th century habitats were built a horse was the height of luxury.

Meanwhile a guide book and map might have been useful for a visitor from Nevada who didn’t bother to even go to the village claiming: ‘We were going to walk the town  but after we saw what little it had to offer besides a steep walk down the hill to get there and the return, we decided we would pass and wait to see the Cotswolds.’ 

Actually, they were smack bang in the county – Castle Combe has long been regarded as the jewel in the Cotswolds’ crown.  Oooops!

Unfortunately, it seems some visitors just expect something more than a stroll around a pretty town. 

So the moral of this story is, we may be famed for our roses round the door country homes and rolling countryside, but if that’s not your bag, maybe stick to the cities where you can appreciate those later historic sites, shopping malls and drive-ins!

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