MORETON-IN-MARSH The perfection of towns such as Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold has meant torture by tourism. They seethe in summer and subside in winter. ‘The only people who live here are old dears in unmodernised houses who freeze every winter, or those involved in the tourist industry, or the very rich who can spend the hundreds of thousands necessary to buy one of the lovely big country houses,’ says one local resident. A little mid-17th-century cottage with three bedrooms would hit the market with an asking price of around £325,000. Large country houses can run into millions.
In Stow-on-the-Wold antique dealers have a dominating presence but there is a butcher, bakery, organic shop, chemist, a Tesco and a monthly farmer’s market. A two-bedroom cottage could cost £220,000 to £285,000, a three-bedroom terrace on a new development £300,000.
Broadway and Chipping Campden are both beautiful towns, built mainly of stone. Chipping Campden attracts elderly people retiring from Birmingham, and brims with local activities. The Chipping Campden Society looks after the historic buildings, many of which were built by affluent wool merchants in the 14th and 15th centuries. There are drama and football clubs, two primary schools and a comprehensive that brings in children from surrounding villages by the coachload.