King penguins and tiny trains

On Sunday, anxious not to waste a bright and sunny day, we piled into the campervan and headed over to Bourton-on-the-water. We had originally planned to visit Batsford Arboretum to photograph the trees in their magnificent autumn splendour, but Batsford’s handy online leaf colour indicator suggested the leaves aren’t quite there yet, so we’ve shelved that trip for another day instead.

Spence took the boys for a day out in Bourton during the summer holidays and they were keen to go back. However, the last time I was there was ten years ago, when we visited the workshops of a guy known only as ‘the Diamond Geezer’ to choose our wedding rings. This time, it was an altogether more wholesome experience…

Bourton is ace. It is a picture-postcard stereotypical Cotswold town and as such is heaving with tourists, even on an autumn Sunday afternoon, but it packs a lot into its small area. Within walking distance of dozens of little shops and eateries are a model railway, a model village, a motor museum, an outdoor maze and Birdland, which boasts the only group of king penguins in the UK, plus a lot more besides.

Our first stop was the model railway (amazingly intricate and good fun but bafflingly, no photography was permitted), then on to see the penguins, who as you will see from the photos below, were very well-behaved models for my camera. All in all, it was a grand day out…

In this last photograph, Xavi was doing his best penguin impression. I think there are definitely some similarities, don’t you?