Dear Diary,

Finally, it was time for me to leave the chaos of the London office for Christmas and I couldn’t have been more excited to escape the city. Everywhere you go in London, at least a month before, is hectic, crammed full of shoppers trying to buy their Christmas gifts. London is busy at the best of times, but Christmas takes it to a whole other level. Of course, the light displays are simply stunning to admire, nowhere does them quite like London.

As I arrived at Paddington station it was clear the whole world had the same idea of heading home for Christmas at this time. There were carolers on the platforms doing their best to keep the Christmas Spirit alive and forgo any tussles to get on the trains that there may be! I always love travelling by train, taking in the scenery and especially on this journey you see the concrete jungle gradually disappearing and are greeted by the welcome expanse of countryside.

I always make sure I travel back the week before Christmas, so I never miss out on any of the festivities or traditions in the build-up. One of which, the Yule log tradition. This has been a tradition in our family for generations – every year we head out in to the woods and find that special ‘yule log’ that we burn on the fire from Christmas Eve until twelfth night.

When I arrived at Hanborough station I could immediately sense the relief that arriving back home in the Cotswolds brings, it’s amazing how much travelling an hour out of London and into the countryside can relieve stress! A car was waiting on my arrival and en route to the house I stopped off in our local town that couldn’t be more quintessentially Cotswolds, Burford. It is famous worldwide for its stunning Cotswold stone-built cottage lined high street that descends from the crest of a hill, each shop and home that lines the hill is a perfect chocolate box picture. Every façade ancient and witness to so many changes in history. My favourite location to get me in the Christmas spirit and for me to get my last-minute Christmas shopping completed.

There is now an icy chill in the air and I allowed my mind to dream of the possibility of a White Christmas. Twinkling fairy lights added to the nostalgia of coming to Burford when I was a child, the traditional old sweet shop with every kind of sweet you can imagine in beautiful glass jars and weighed out on a brass scale, the chocolate reindeer are always a must. Burford is tiny, and worlds away from London, but at Christmas there’s always a buzz, every shop adorned with a real Christmas tree that sits proudly above their door. As I made my way down the cobbled high street, thoughts turned to what it would be like being back at home and who would be joining us for Christmas…
ES x

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