Four miles south-east of Stow-On-The-Wold is the pretty village of Bledington. With a population of around 500 the village won the Community Category in 2004 Gloucestershire village of the year.
And the reasons were pretty spectacular!
Judges said “Its ability to run a large number of community events, ranging from the annual village fete to two flower shows and a music festival is impressive – as is the range of activities which take place in the village hall.”
Today, the temperature was extremely hot. We drove through the green at Bledington on our Cotswold day-trip. There were tourists everywhere and I took this picture of the stream.
The stream (complete with resident ducks!) runs through Bledington, and the village has a beautiful wide green; complete with Victorian maypole, making it a popular spot with tourists. You’ll notice signs on the side of the road warning motorists of “ducks crossing”!
From the green, Church Road takes you past a row of Cotswold stone cottages to the Norman St Leonard’s, Church; dating from 1170. The church is believed to be built on the remains of a Saxon chapel. This church is one of around 170 in England dedicated to St Leonard, a 6th century French bishop.
Bledington has a good range of amenities including The King’s Head Inn – a 15th century building awarded Dining Pub of the Year in 2001, and which acts as the village Post Office – as well as an outstanding primary school.
The annual Bledington Music Festival was established in 2000 and takes place over three evenings every June. It attracts top performers from around the world such as The Cann Twins, Sasha Grynyuk and Mark Bebbington. Each year they endeavour to get the local children enthusiastic about the music and the performers through their educational programme. The children benefit from special ‘mini concerts’ and the opportunity to play and explore music themselves.
When winning the Community Award, judges also said ” We were also impressed with the provision the village makes for older people through the local church’s Care Committee and with the fact that it supports a village shop.” The Bledington area is rich in Morris Dancing history. In fact, the last time I was here in May, the Morris Dancers were on tour and were performing in front of the pub! You never know what you might experience on your Cotswold day-trip!