Cheerio Cotswalds!

I wish I was faster in updating this space, but toward the end of our time in Amsterdam things got…well.. crazy! There are still several trips I need to write about for all my loyal followers. (Cough cough, thanks for reading mom!)

Last summer, I was fortunate to be able to pack up our apartment and explore because I did not work toward the end of our time in Amsterdam. My schedule was essentially free and so it was nice to be able to spend time with visitors and enjoy my favorite places. Libby came to Amsterdam during this period of transition, and we had the best time!

We spent a couple of days in Amsterdam, and then a few days exploring the English countryside. I wish Bryan was able to join us, but he had to finish up his projects in Amsterdam.

On August 10th, Libby landed bright and early, and so and we dropped her things and  went to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Little Collins.

She made it!

Libs and I spent much of our initial time bike riding and boat cruising…


it was so sunny…

especially for Amsterdam…

so, we took full advantage!



The second night, we rode our bikes 9km south, to a little town called Ouderkerk. The bike ride to Outderkek is spectacular. Imagine the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam quickly turning into fields and cows.

Our close friend, Paige, joined us on our bike ride and we ate a delicious Indonesian meal along the Amstel River.


After our few days in Amsterdam, Libby and I flew into London to start our adventure in the Cotswalds.

We had a small rental car mishap at the London airport, (they did not have a car for us!)  but managed to get a new car and drove to Oxford to start. It was quite the ordeal to get a new car, but Libby and I did not let this minor setback get us down!

One of Libby’s friends from Charlotte, Frank Swan, met us for the day as well.


IMG_3292We ate a yummy lunch at a spot called Gee’s and strolled around Oxford. I had always wanted to visit Oxford because of it’s rich history and gothic architecture. The city sparkled!IMG_3306


Grabbed a beer in one of the oldest pubs in the world!

That night, we drove to our hotel (the Five Alls) and ate at the restaurant in the small hotel. Libby and I loved meeting all the front desk employees who were from the local area.

They were intrigued by our accents…and we were intrigued by theirs.

I highly recommend our hotel because it is not touristy at all; it was charming in every way.

The rolling countryside and the kind people, combined with the sunshine and slow pace, made for the perfect setting to explore. We were uninterested in the perfect Instagram or the cutest spots, we wanted to get off of the beaten path, and we did just that!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetOn the morning of the 13th, we drove through a little town called Lechlade and took a long walk along the creek in the town. The trail took us through farms and gorgeous countryside.

Next, we visited a popular town, Bourton-on-the Water. It was extremely crowded, so we kept on going!



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True confession: the major motivating factor in us choosing the English countryside, is our slight obsession with the TV show, Downton Abbey. We made it our mission to find some of the filming locations!

Thus, we had to visit the little farm in Whitney, which was where they filmed some of season 1! We are THE biggest nerds.


Farmhouse selfie!

The biggest location for Downton filming took place in a little town called Bampton, so naturally, we went there next.

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The Downton church
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The Downton Hospital

In Bampton, they filmed scenes in the town square area, church, old town library, and the exterior shots of Isobel Crawley’s house!

The next day, we drove to the cutest town, Bibury, and ate an amazing lunch at the Barnsely House. The Barnsely house, filled with the most sensational garden, felt like lush oasis. As we ate lunch, it was so quiet we could only hear the sounds of the bees buzzing around the garden. I would love to go back and stay there for a vacation. Processed with VSCO with m3 presetLibby and I loved sitting in their amazing front room/ lobby area.Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWe finished our day by driving to Burford, which is one of the bigger towns in the areas. Libby and I shopped and grabbed coffee in town.

By the way, I have to mention, Libby drove on the opposite side of the road…on backroads…so proud!IMG_3294

Stopped in a little book/hat shop!

Libby and I loved rural England and had the best time exploring the gorgeous countryside. I hope to go back soon!

Until next time,



2 Comments Add yours

  1. barriedahl says:

    Looks like a wonderful adventure, Hila!!


  2. Libby Wallin says:

    The best time! Can we go back? I’m so honored to have 2 blog posts on the infamous hilaryandbryanams blog!!! ❤


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