Roland Turner

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Oxford and The Cotswolds, England

Yesterday, my parents arrived in the UK to spend a few weeks wandering around with me. They were a little frazzled from touring Italy, so the first evening was spent in Reading. Today, the trip began.

Our first stop was Oxford; my one and only photo was of what appeared to be sundial markings on the side of a building, minus the gnomon which would have made it into a useful sundial. Inconveniently, I did not discover what this building was, nor why it had an incomplete sundial on its side. It was near the original Morris (car) factory; apparently Morris started in Oxford. We did a bus tour, had an excellent lunch at a pub (probably the first serious pub food I've had since arriving in the UK - Harvester does not count :-)) and wandered around.

We then headed for the Cotswolds, our first stop was Bourton-on-the-Water, the so-called 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. We considered staying the night here, but decided to explore a litle further.

Next stop was Lower Slaughter (yes, you read that correctly). Naturally there was a stunning old Manor House, a canal and an old mill. I appear not to have photographed the latter, but on a wall beside it were some sleeping ducks, one of whom seemed to feel that the approach of humans meant a meal. (It is worth pointing out that, apart from the car that drove past during the group photo at the canal, we saw no-one at all at Lower Slaughter.)

We passed through Upper Slaughter, Lower Swell, Upper Swell and Stow-on-the-Wold on the way to a B&B at Leafield (which, now that I look at the map, is halfway back to Oxford - it made sense at the time). Who names these places?