The one magical area in England that holds so many wonderful surprises is the Cotswolds. It is full of old style villages, all of which have their individual charms. Some are slow and dreamy with streams or brooks and gardens over-flowing with paint book brightly coloured flowers full of soft, sweet perfumes. Others have mysterious nooks and crannies that hide tiny pottages of galleries, studios, shops and cafes. There are model villages and bird menageries, fishes, animals and some of the most friendly and helpful people that you will ever come across.
Whilst on a little trip there I came across a Magnolia grandiflora that is often called the Southern Magnolia. It stood regally outside a beautiful hotel called Cotswold House in the square at Chipping Campden. The tree had the most unusual perfume trapped in its pretty cup flowers.
Chipping Campden is a place to visit in June as they hold their very own 'Cotswold Olympicks' at Dover’s Hill which overlooks the Vale of Evesham. The very first event, it is claimed, was held in 1612 when special permission was sought from King James I. Not the usual fare of sports is to be seen here but ancient English events such as: shin kicking, cannon fire, wrestling and other rustic activities that culminate with a merry fireworks display and end with a cheery torchlight procession.
For visitors who cannot manage to pay a visit to the area in June - then at other times of the year they may be lucky enough to see and hear the jingle of bells and thwack of sticks as the Morris Dancers cavort their ancient rituals and songs.