Moreton-in-Marsh has always been a town for travellers. It served as an important stopping point on the Fosse Way, a Roman road built in the 1st century between Exeter and Lincoln. It was a popular stopping place for stagecoaches traversing between Oxford, Worcester and London in the 17th and 18th centuries. And today, if you’re travelling from London to the Cotswolds, the service from Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh takes you right into the heart of the county.
But it’s far from being a place to merely travel through. In the 13th century, it thrived as a market town and the bustling market continues today with over 200 stalls selling local produce, leather goods, books, clothing and pretty much anything else you can think of every Tuesday. The town is also famous for its antiques shops with dealers and collectors regularly visiting from all over the world to pick up rare new artefacts.
If the weather’s fine, the area has some wonderful stately gardens to explore including those at Bourton House, Hidcote Manor and Snowshill Manor. Whether you’re smelling the flowers or picking up a few antiques, there is no shortage of excellent pubs to rest and recharge at including The Bell Inn, a 200-year-old coaching inn which the JRR Tolkien Society claims to be the pub behind the inspiration for The Prancing Pony in his best-known work, The Lord of the Rings.