The beautiful little town that still looks like everywhere in England used to

Cotswolds: Idyllic village in England toured

The Cotswolds, known for its gorgeous honey-coloured stone buildings, is seeped in history, and Moreton-in-Marsh, which lies in the north of the region, is no exception. 

The beautiful little town along with other Cotswolds towns and villages such as Burford, Broadway, Stow on the Wold, and Bourton-on-the-Water have links with the English Civil War. 

The market town has long been a popular meeting point for travellers, which explains why it’s home to several inns. In the 1820s, 70 coaches passed through each week. 

The Four Shire Stone, just two miles out of the town, marks the old meeting point of four counties: Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.

Hundreds of thousands have passed through over the years including notable travellers such as King Charles I, who stayed in Moreton-in-Marsh not once but twice in 1644 and 1645.

READ MORE: The beautiful little town that might just have England’s prettiest town centre

The night before the Battle of Naseby, he took refuge in a 17th-century coaching inn, then called The White Hart. 

It lies at a historic junction of the Fosse Way, the Roman road connecting Lincoln to Exeter with the principal route from London and Oxford to Worcester. But legend has it, the King was so preoccupied, he forgot to pay. 

Today, White Hart Royal Hotel visitors can see the King’s unpaid bill commemorated on a plaque in the entrance lobby.

Moreton-in-Marsh is not only home to one historically significant inn.

The 200-year-old Bell Inn is widely considered to be JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for the Prancing Pony, the most famous pub in The Lord of the Rings.

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When living in Oxford, working as a professor of English Language and Literature, Tolkien would travel to Morton-in-Marsh to meet his brother who lived in Worcestershire.

The pub has paid tribute to the famous author with a corner dedicated to Tolkien, with a map of Middle Earth and a blue plaque outside, awarded by the Tolkien Society. 

There is plenty to do in the quaint town. 

The high street is lined with the Cotswolds’ famous stone buildings and the Redesdale Hall, a Grade II listed building erected in 1887. Every Tuesday, the town centre is filled with an open-air market.

If the weather’s on your side, Batsford Arboretum is lovely for a wander and dogs can come along too. It boasts 56-acre gardens and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful, rare trees.

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