It’s clear to see why the major cities of the world are such popular tourist attractions. They feature iconic attractions (for example the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace in London or the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre in Paris) as well as a wide range of dining options, shopping, museums, galleries and more. Cities are exciting and offer a dazzling array of things to see and do.
Likewise, the reasons for traveling to other countries are easily apparent. International travel offers the chance to experience another culture, try different cuisine and see incredible sights – from the ruins of Machu Picchu to the jungles of Borneo to the Rocky Mountains of Canada.
So, why spend your holiday in the English countryside?
Here at Humphreys of Henley we believe the English countryside offers the opportunity for a holiday that is just as exciting and enriching as a visit to the big city or to an exotic land. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to consider a stay in the English countryside.
It would be cliche to describe the English countryside as “quaint”, “charming” or “picturesque” – but there really is a reason why these words are used over and over again.
When you venture out into the country, you’ll find yourself traveling along long winding roads through moss-covered misty moors, lush green hedges, rolling hills dotted with sheep and fields criss-crossed with stone walls. Stone cottages covered in creeping vines, mill wheels and canal boats, river valleys and meadows filled with wildflowers – the countryside really is easy on the eyes.
(If you come with us, we can arrange a photographer and create a photo book of your visit, so that you’ll always have photos of these gorgeous landscapes to cherish.)
Life in Great Britain doesn’t end at the city boundaries. When you head out into the countryside the air is fresher, the roads more winding and the pace of life a little slower. You’ll see a totally different side of British life – one that is more connected to the landscape and the traditions of the past.
Meet people who get their milk for their morning cup of tea fresh from the cow rather than the Sainsbury’s down the street. Watch barking collies chase sheep across the rolling green hills. After a day of exploring, chat to the friendly locals in a cosy country pub – complete with roaring fireplace and pub dog sleeping at your feet.
Many people who love to visit the countryside enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Sure, the bustle of the big city is exciting but every now and then you need a break. The countryside is quiet, there are no crowds and no one is in a hurry. It’s the perfect opportunity to slow down and live in the moment.
In the city you can visit a museum and learn about British history, but in the country you can actually visit a 400 year old country inn, stand inside a Neolithic stone circle, walk along the path of a Roman road, or see the crumbling walls of an ancient castle.
Visiting the countryside can feel like traveling back in time, especially as you walk through historic villages and along walking trails that haven’t changed much in centuries. Every square mile is rich with stories and your tour guide can weave fascinating tales of the past.
Harry Potter. Downton Abbey. Morse. Midsomer Murders. The Lord of the Rings. There are so many stories that were inspired by and took place in the English countryside (or fictional worlds that bore a striking resemblance.)
When you have your own adventure in the English countryside, you can feel like you are living within a storybook or film of your own. You’ll even be able to visit the real filming locations of some of these iconic works of fiction, such as Highclere Castle – the setting for Downton Abbey.
Spending time in the countryside will also help you to feel more connected to your food. Rather than shopping the supermarket shelves, farmers in the countryside grow their own fruit and vegetables and raise their own livestock.
From strawberries to cucumbers to potatoes to raspberries – the British produce that you see in the aisles of the supermarket and the farmer’s market stalls comes from these peaceful, bucolic farms, many of which have been owned by the same families for generations.
You can even meet a professional forager and go exploring in the forest, finding mushrooms, berries and other seasonal treats. There is nothing quite like a fresh meal, cooked with ingredients you picked with your own hands.
Have you ever wanted to go horse riding through ancient oak forests or wide open parkland? Try your hand at clay pigeon shooting just like the English gentry? Go for a flying lesson in a vintage biplane? Learn the ancient art of falconry?
These are just a few of the exciting experiences you can have in the English countryside. The countryside can be your playground, with many chances to try something you have never done before. To find out more, take a look at the activities we have to offer.
There’s another side to life in England and you can experience it when you visit the British countryside.
It’s not a case of choosing the English countryside instead of the city. In fact, a combination of the two can be a fabulous holiday as it allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds and experience urban andrural culture in England.
There is so much to see and enjoy – you simply need to do a little bit of research to find the best accommodations and experiences. Or, call us at Humphreys of Henley and we can help you plan your ideal getaway and design a trip that offers the very best of the countryside.