Three Americans and a girl from Singapore in a car traveling through Cotswolds...
It isn't the start of a bad joke, or even a good joke, it is the start of yet another adventure.
Between the end of term and Christmas, we had a week off and no one wanted to just sit at home, or in London for that matter. Our friend and classmate from Arizona, Michelle, proposed the idea that we go slay a dragon and take back the Lonely Mountain as our own!
Okay, no, she didn't propose that. She said she was going to rent a car and drive around the Cotswolds for a day trip. Through talking with the other three people willing to sign on to the journey, that day trip turned into an over night trip. The car was soon rented, the hotel booked, and I began my research on what I wanted to see in the Cotswolds.
The area of the Cotwolds is a vast, idyllic countryside slightly North and a lot West of London, from about Oxford almost to Cardiff. It is made up of many towns, all fairly small in size, with even smaller roads. It is also made up of a lot of sheep or 'ships' as pronounced with a Singaporean accent.
Being perfectly English and spanning over 8 films, trying to find all the filming locations in the Harry Potter films would be a feat. I knew they filmed all over, so it was no surprise when I discovered a somewhat iconic filming location for the films located in Gloucester. The Gloucester Cathedral is home of the beautifully ornate Hogwarts Halls, and final resting place of King Edward II.
That was pretty much the extent of my research.
Dark and early one Monday morning, I met up with Alana and SiRui and we went to Heathrow to meet up with Michelle. We then took a bus, walked to the car rental, and were on our way. We spent all day driving from town to town, taking in the glorious image of the sunny English countryside. Many pictures were taken, many towns were driven through, and soon the sun had set at 4 pm. We didn't have to check in to our hotel yet, and not knowing what else to do, I offered my Gloucester Cathedral idea and we were off.
All three of them were delighted to discover that this was a Harry Potter film sight, and they quickly put two and two together and realized the reasoning behind my choice of wardrobe. Being half an hour until closing, we were the only ones touring the Cloisters. I would have liked to have seen them during the day, as they were lined with stain-glass windows, but night time was still as magical.
We walked around, took pictures, and enjoyed looking at the ornate ceilings. Soon we had to be on our way and after getting turned around a bit, we eventually made it to our hotel. Only it wasn't a hotel, it was a manor. It was gorgeous and had delightful room names. SiRui and I stayed in the King Arthur room while Michelle and Alana stayed in the King Charles room.
The Manor grounds were amazing, both at night in the fog as we explored it after dinner at a local pub, and during sunrise as I did on my own. Wandering these grounds at these unusual times made me even more feel like Hermione. It was brilliant.
It was short notice, and unexpected, but it was amazing and I had a great adventure with great company.