I have long wanted to visit the Gloucestershire villages known as 'The Slaughters', reputed to be among the prettiest in England. I'd originally planned a walk from Bourton on the Water, but even at 9am it was a warm day, so I realised I'd have to adapt my plan. It did mean I arrived in Lower Slaughter very early so I managed to find a shady space to park my car, and enjoyed wandering round the village before it was swamped with tourists.
The village, inhabited for over 1000 years, is arranged either side of a slow moving river, the Eye, crossed by footbridges. In the early morning sun, the Cotswold stone glowed warmly and it all looked very attractive. It was a Sunday morning and there were people in the church (dedicated to St Mary the Virgin) preparing for a service. I was tempted to stay but I really did want a short walk and it would have been far too hot if I had dallied.
There are two or three large, elegant hotels, including Lower Slaughter Manor (below), a 17th century listed building that was once the home of the Whitmore family, who lived there as lords of the manor until 1964.
Other than the hotels, the village is quite unspoilt and must be a most pleasant place to live (apart from all the gawking tourists!)