West England

West England
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-Hi. I’m Rick Steves, back  with more of the best of Europe.      It’s the West of England.    Thanks for joining us.    ♪♪    If you like England  and you want to mix its natural,    historic, and cultural wonders,    you’ll love the West.    After hiking through  picturesque Cotswold villages,    we’ll play shuffleboard  with an eccentric lord.    Earl of Wemyss:  That’s a nice one.    We’ll tour a  striking cathedral,    and attend evensong.    After going way back  to the Neolithic Age,    we’ll zoom into the new age.    And we’ll top it off  with some hard apple cider    straight from the farmer.   And it’s all laced together  by wonderful trails.    This is the quintessential  English countryside.    And it’s walking country.    The Cotswolds are best  appreciated on foot,    and that’s how we’ll  tour the area.

The Cotswolds

Travel writers tend to  overuse the word “quaint.”    I save it for here  in the Cotswolds.    A strict building code  keeps towns    looking what many locals  call “overly quaint.”    Village churches welcome walkers    to pop in and enjoy  a thoughtful break.    This church probably sits  upon an ancient pagan site.    How do we know?    Inside, you get a sense  that this church    has comforted this community  in good times and bad.  Mix the scant ruins  of England’s first church    with the mystique of King Arthur  and the Holy Grail,    add the hard work  of a busy monastery,    and, by the 12th century,  Glastonbury Abbey    was the leading  Christian pilgrimage site    in all of Britain.     -Considering that,  Joseph could’ve sat    right here with the…    Ah!    This is the quintessential  English countryside.    And it’s walking country.


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