Great Britain is known for many things around the world – its history, its Monarchy, its capital city, and its countryside.
When people think of the UK’s countryside, they seem to think it consists of one large collection of rolling green hills that surround London.
Yes, there are rolling hills to be found in the countryside. And yes, some of them do surround London. But the British countryside is as diverse as anywhere in the world.
On a trip around the UK’s countryside you will see different cultures, different landscapes, and some very different traditions.
Although it is a pretty small island, there are plenty of quiet countryside spots to be found all over the place. So what are some of the rural gems you won’t have thought of?
Although popular among extreme sports enthusiasts, the Peak District isn’t all mountain biking and rock climbing. Often overlooked or forgotten about, the Peak District offers some of the most stunning views England has to offer.
The rugged landscape incorporates high peaks, rolling hills and calm streams – perfect for a long walk or relaxing bike ride. And there are plenty of quiet spots to take it all in.
Head to the village of Hathersage for cosy surroundings before embarking on a long walk. Hathersage is quite a modern village, but still retains that charm of the early 20th Century, and there’s plenty of history to explore in the area.
The popularity of the area is such that certain towns and villages become the destinations of choice – leading to a distinct lack of tranquillity.
So instead of heading to the likes of Windermere or Coniston, why not try somewhere like Buttermere? This sleepy hamlet in the North-West of the Lake District epitomises life in the countryside.
Buttermere is low-key, to say the least. With just a couple of hotels and a handful of houses, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a different period in history.
There are cosy holiday cottages in the Lake District available for rent in Buttermere, and Buttermere Lake is just a short walk away. And as you’d expect from the Lake District, you don’t have to go far for a stunning view or two.
Here rolling hills meet sheer cliffs, which plummet into the Irish Sea. There are all sorts of things to see in this part of Wales – from dense forest to gorgeous beaches.
The area is full of small picturesque villages, but many offer little in the way of accommodation. Instead, use the town of Lampeter for your base, as you explore what the area has to offer.
This small market town has plenty of shops and pubs, and lots of accommodation just outside the town centre. Just a short drive to the pretty fishing town of Aberaeron (with some of the best fish and chips in the country), Lampeter is a great place to stay. Visit www.sykescottages.co.uk to find a great selection of Cottages in Wales.
There are plenty of places to stay if you’re planning a trip down to Devon, but there’s nothing quite like staying in Dartmoor National Park to really get back to nature.
This huge area of natural beauty offers peace and serenity at every turn, with plenty of villages and small towns to stay in.
Chagford has managed to maintain that historic look and feel. Many of the town’s country cottages and buildings in Chagford are made from Dartmoor granite, some with thatched roofs.
The town’s narrow streets are a delight to explore, and many of the shops sell local produce. The architecture is fascinating, and there are plenty of walks to be had into the surrounding area.
There are plenty of little out-of-the-way nooks and crannies to be found throughout the British countryside – it’s just a case of finding them.
So before you head out of the city for a bit of fresh air, find out where everyone else is going – then go somewhere different!
Peak District: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bennbeck/54024219/