The view of Arlington Row, Bibury from Rack Isle is almost certainly one of the most photographed scenes in the Cotswolds, and possible in the whole of the British Isles. This photo was taken in early May, in the spring everything is fresh and clean. The leaves on the trees are unfolding and are still showing subtle shades of green.
The Arlington Row cottages were originally built in 1380 as a tythe barn, which is a place where a monastery would store wool. The barn was converted into a row of cottages for weavers in the 17th century and the cloth they produced was sent to nearby Arlington Mill for fulling. Fulling being the process by which cloth is washed, cleaned and shrunk to make a thick warm fabric suitable for clothing. The wool was then hung to dry in the adjacent field called “Rack Isle”.
Today, the Isle is a water meadow and marshy area and a National Trust Wildfowl Reserve. It is surrounded by water from three sides and is seasonally flooded. As a result, it is an important habitat for water-loving plants and birds including Mallards, Coots, and Moorhens.
Bibury is one of our most beautiful villages and we offer a moderate grade circular walk along the river Colne through Bibury and neighbouring villages. Contact us to find out more about how you can enjoy the view of Arlington Row, Bibury from Rack Isle.