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The Charming Village of Bibury

Updated on March 10, 2017

Bibury, on the banks of the River Coln, is known for its honey-coloured seventeenth century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs.

The nineteenth-century artist and craftsman William Morris called Bibury "the most beautiful village in England" when he visited it

In recent decades, the Arlington Row cottages have helped Bibury to become a major attraction for tourists visiting the traditional rural villages, tea houses and many historic buildings of the Cotswold District.

Arlington Row Cottages

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You may recognize the beautiful cottages on Arlington Row in the English village of Bibury from films like Stardust and Bridge Jones's Diary, and it is certainly the most photographed place in the Cotswold District.

The picturesque Arlington Row cottages preserved by the Royal College of Arts, were built in 1380 as a monastic wool store and converted in the seventeenth century into a row of cottages for weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill.

Arlington Mill

Until the 1980s, the Arlington Mill building also housed the museum of with a collection of period clothing, before it was shifted to Barnsley House.

The place where the wool was hung to dry after being washed in Arlington Row, was known as "Rack Isle". Today, this water meadow and marshy area, which is seasonally flooded and surrounded by water from three sides, is an important habitat for water-loving plants and birds including Mallards, Coots and Moorhens; it is also a National Trust Wildfowl Reserve.

9 Arlington Row

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The Mill is now a private residence, and the Arlington Row cottages are owned by the National Trust and lived in by tenants.

There were originally ten cottages in Arlington Row but now there are only eight cottages. Most of the residents were born locally and enjoy living in this charming typical village, however they do suffer a lack of privacy due to the amount of visitors throughout the year.

For a unique opportunity to stay in one of England's most iconic row of cottages, visit the National Trust Holidays to book number 9 Arlington Row - the only holiday cottage at this incredible location.

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Bibury Trout Farm

Tea or Trout?

After taking all the possible pictures of Arlington Row, a walk by the River Coln is a must do and very pleasant.

This is also a very picturesque location in Bibury and depending on the time of the year, you will see swans swimming peacefully, you may even see trouts from the near by farm.

Just across Arlington Row there is a very typical English tea room - The William Norris Tea Room - where you can have a nice cuppa of English tea with cream cakes, or if you have very hungry ask for a Full English Breakfast.

Otherwise why not catch and prepare your own fresh trout. Just keep walking towards the Swan Hotel and visit the Bibury Trout Farm across the bridge.

Bibury Trout Farm is one of Britain’s oldest, and certainly most attractive, Trout Farms. Founded in 1902, by the famous naturalist Arthur Severn, to stock the local rivers and streams with the native Brown Trout and it now covers 15 acres in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Cotswolds, the Coln Valley.

Primarily a working farm, breeding and rearing high quality Rainbow and Brown Trout for restocking angling waters, it has welcomed visitors since 1965, who can see the water come alive as the fish are fed and learn about the life of a Trout.

The crystal clear waters of the Bibury Spring provide the essential pure water required to run the hatchery which spawns up to 6 million trout ova every year.

Just outside the Bibury Trout Farm, you can buy fresh trout or - British weather permitting - sit outside and order a trout sandwich from their restaurant.

Visiting the Bibury Trout Farm is a great activity for families, and children will love feeding the fish. You can also catch one, clean it, and cook it - again, British weather permitting.

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I recommend visiting Bibury during spring time as the gardens and wildflowers are a beautiful addition to this already amazing location.

Bibury can be covered in one day easily with time to spare to visit other stunning Cotswold's locations. If you only have one day to spare, I recommend visiting Bibury in the morning and Bourton-on-the-Water in the afternoon. Bourton-on-the-Water is another very popular village in Cotswold, and has a great selection of places to eat and gifts to buy.

This charming location in Bibury is particularly favor by Japanese tourists, and this is largely attributed to Emperor Hirohito having stayed in the village on his European tour when he was a Prince during the first half of the 20th Century.

Since October 2010, people issued with UK passports have been able to see a colorful picture of Arlington Row next to classic British landmarks such as Ben Nevis and the White Cliffs of Dover.

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    • Bella Shaikh profile imageAUTHOR

      Bella Shaikh 

      17 months ago from UK

      Hi Mary, I am sure you will really enjoy coming to England for a holiday. There are many tiny villages to explore that are full of character. Its like taking a walk throughout history.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      17 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just love these tiny picturesque villages of England. My husband and I were just talking about the National Trust places one could rent in different parts of England. We plan to do this in the coming years.

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