February 8th, 2018


Pobol y Combe

Yesterday I took a couple of hours to do my first (simplest, quickest) Cotswold project field trip - which was, basically, to go to Castle Combe and take some photographs of it. The weather was sunny, it was February (i.e. before the tourist season), and the middle of a working day, so the place was more or less deserted, and I got some nice pictures. To be honest, in a place like that it would be hard not to:

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When I visited with Haruka last year, she asked me, "Do people really live here?" In fact, they really do.

I called in at the Old Rectory Tea Room (that's the one with the stable half-door), and chatted with the owner about Japanese tourists. According to her, most visitors to Castle Combe are in fact Japanese, which was music to my ears. They come in organised tours, not necessarily in large coaches but perhaps in groups of half a dozen or less, but they generally can't speak English, so business has to be conducted by gesture. (They are usually also doing Stonehenge, Bath, Bourton-on-the-Water and Lacock - all on the same day?)

Also, the owner has written and self-published a children's book about a family of mice that moves to Castle Combe from London, as she and her family did, which she sells from the tea room shop, with many photographs of the village inside. Apparently her Japanese visitors are fond of buying the little knitted mice she also sells, who feature in the book. This kind of attempt at offering an integrated Castle Combe Enchantment experience is grist to my mill, naturally. It's a pity they can't read the book, but it's so heavily illustrated they barely need to.

Anyway, I don't have anything very interesting to say about all this, except that it's excellent material for the Cotswold project, but I thought you might like to see the pictures.