Man life is has been quite the hurly burly since I arrived in the UK! New job, new digs, new friends, keeping contact with old friends, exploring, the works! Being the new girl on the job means that I got last dibs on vacation times and when a bunch of your co-workers are from nearby countries, that means that you have to plan fast if you want to get some time off!
Thankfully I was able to snag a few days off this week so I can catch up with my writing (and sleep)! So as promised I present to you a look at my new digs – or at least the town I am living in.
Long story short I am currently working as a receptionist in a beautiful old hotel in a town called Broadway (which is a 1000 times more fun to say when you do it with a flourish). It is one of the many small villages that dot the English countryside in an area known as the Cotswolds.
For those of you not in the know, the Cotswolds is a grassy, hill covered area whose towns are primarily built in a golden coloured stone known as ‘Cotswold Stone’. Most of these buildings are quite old and most date back to the medieval era with some being even older! One writer even published a book quite recently that compares the topography of the Cotswolds to the Shire in J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Anyway, my particular town – Broadway, is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’ and with that sort of reputation backing it, it is of no surprise that it is a popular tourist destination. Built primarily along a long stretch of road known as ‘High Street’, Broadway is a quaint mixture of historic buildings turned shops and eateries with a few historic hotels thrown into the mix. The town itself is in a prime location, a mere 2 hours by train from London and quite close to other popular locations like Stratford-upon-Avon and Cheltenham (which I still cannot pronounce properly).
To keep up with the tourists in the area, there are quite a few eateries in the area that range from adorable tea rooms, to classic British style pubs and more upscale restaurants such as Russel’s and the Lygon Arms’s Bar and Grill which is attached to the hotel of the same name. Due to the large tourist population (and the wealth of many of the tourists) the town features a lot of shops that sell everything from fine hand-crafted jewelry to an outdoor living style store that supplies items such as wellies and high-end riding gear. Not shockingly I don’t have the funds to shop at most of the clothing stores in the area (nor would I want to in most cases due to the fact that the styles are not really my thing) but I can shop at the local tea store, second-hand stores and a few cute wee touristy trinket stores.
Along with the shopping, Broadway is also home to some gorgeous walking trails, most of which feature farm animals like sheep (insanely popular in the area) and horses (which you can often see being ridden down High Street. The most popular of these trails leads up to Broadway Tower, a 65 feet, stone tower which dates back to the late 1700’s. To be honest I have actually not been up there yet since I lack the proper footwear for such a trek.
While a lot of my Global co-workers may not appreciate the size of the town, I actually really like being in a small village. For starters it is much cheaper than if I was closer to the city as I would be shopping much more often and secondly, it is an absolutely gorgeous wee town with a lot of great photo opportunities! Plus it is still close enough to any major cities, where if I had the urge to go on a day trip (like the one that will be happening tomorrow) I can easily hop on a bus or train and go!
I wish I could go into more detail about what I am up to in this lovely town as far as work but sadly a confidentiality clause in my contract with the hotel means that I really can’t get into any details other than to say that I work as a receptionist in a very old hotel in Broadway.
I am hoping to stay as a guest at the hotel I am working for at least once before I move on but I have no idea when that may happen as I am pretty partial to my job and the people I work with – some more than others of course.
Next time on Backpacks and Broomsticks: A day trip in Cheltenham – and how the hell do you pronounce it??