When I think of the Cotswolds, the famous Arlington Row in Bibury comes to mind. I think it’s the quintessential English village that I have pictured in my mind even before seeing it for the first time in 2012. This I have to say though, it’s actually more beautiful in reality.
My first visit was during autumn of 2012 so there were not many people around then but on this second visit, during summer and during the instagram era – the crowd made me want to pull my brains out of my eye socket. It was that busy!
We couldn’t find any parking anywhere when we arrived so we decided to park at one of the sidestreets hoping it’s legal and we won’t get any tickets (thankfully, we didn’t). Coming from an equally crowded Burford, the Greek Mister had had enough so he decided to look for a pub where he can sit and have a beer while I take my own sweet time to take photos of Bibury.
I of course immediately went to the famous Arlington Row which was full of people as expected. A group of tourists arrived as I was waiting for the area to be cleared which made my wait even longer. Taking a photo of Arlington Row without anyone ruining the shot was becoming an impossible feat but I waited, patiently until there’s only a couple in front of me and a few others behind me who were all waiting for the couple to finish their shoot.
I offered to take a photo of them which I think I did perfectly and expected for them to move along so others can make the most of the time when Arlington Row was at its quietest. Well, you’d think they’d do that but they proceeded to have a proper photoshoot. I couldn’t help but to let the inner b*tch in me take over and I asked them (politely, I hope) if they could leave the area for a bit so I can finally take a photo and I’ll go away. They moved, thankfully. I took some photos and hurriedly walked away.
I walked up the hill and remembered that there’s a cute cottage at the top from my first visit, it’s still as cute as I remembered it to be. 🙂
I also took a photo of Arlington Row from the top and when the couple who were doing a photoshoot saw where I was, they started to walk towards me so I had to immediately get away from them before they ruined my shot again.
The Swan Inn is another popular photo spot in Bibury. I actually booked it for one night on our original plan because it looked so cute and I thought, maybe staying overnight in Bibury would give me time to get photos of it without the crowd. Sadly, I had to cancel the booking as I needed to rearrange the entire itinerary when we changed our dates.
After taking all the photos I could manage and finally getting sick and tired of the huge crowd, I went to the pub called Catherine Wheel where the husband was patiently waiting for me. I needed a pint after dealing with that much crowd.
Tips: Visiting Bibury at around 4pm I think is the best time as there was not much of a crowd anymore when we passed by the town centre. There’s only one very small free parking area opposite the Bibury Trout Farm but most of the sidestreet parking is also free. Catherine Wheel pub has its own parking though for its patrons. I wish I knew this so we could have driven straight to the pub and left the Greek Mister there as I went for a walk.