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When you think of England, what do you imagine?
Do you imagine the busy, bustling, metropolitan streets of London?
Or do you imagine beautiful lush green hills and glorious countryside?
Where you fall on the above largely depends on your exposure to England as a whole. While I’ve explored a bit of England in my younger years, I’ve only ever been in London as an adult. There’s no doubt that London has its upsides, and is a worthy travel destination in and of itself, but today I thought we’d focus on the other side of the spectrum.
Away from the bustle of London lies some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. Rural England is a wonder that has inspired thousands of writers, artists, and poets. And it is still proving inspirational. Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of blog posts and YouTube videos from my favorite UK content creators about their excursions into the countryside. And you know what? Rural England is now pretty high on my Travel Bucket List! Below are a few options I’ve researched that I want to check out. Come along, let’s begin our computer screen vacay…
The Peak District
The Peak District is, as the name suggests, a mountain range. The “Peaks” (as they are locally known) are a collection of hills, mountains, and rugged terrain in the county of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands.
The Peaks are a true natural wonder, and are mostly unspoiled thanks to their protected status. I could walk, hike, cycle, go boating, or just explore the adorably quaint villages and towns that are dotted through the area. Tourism is common here, so I wouldn’t be out of place, and I’d never run out of glorious views to delight over.
The Home Counties
The Home Counties are a collection of counties that lie just outside of London, so I could easily fly into the capital and then take a road trip to the countryside. The counties included in the “Home Counties” description include Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent. (Say those out loud and you’ll sound like Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, lol!)
It seems I won’t struggle for things to do in the countryside. As well as delightful local events and displays, the Home Counties are also home to some of the most beloved royal palaces that would be well worth a day-trip in my opinion: Windsor Castle, Hever Castle, and Oxford Castle (pictured above) are all found in the Home Counties. And I’m nothing if not very interested in the British Monarchy.
The Jurassic Coast
Finally, if I fancied seeing rural England by the seaside, then the Jurassic Coast surely won’t disappoint. The “Jurassic” description comes from the many ancient fossils that have been discovered in the area; who knows, I might even stumble across a specimen or two for myself! (When I was little I wanted to be an archaeologist for a time so this is right up my street.)
The Jurassic Coast is shared by the counties of Devon and Dorset, so there’s plenty to see and do when not exploring the stunning coastline. As well as the cities of Bournemouth and Weymouth, I could also head into the nearby Cranborne Chase Area of Natural Beauty and delight in exploring the verdant terrain.
Have you ever ventured outside of London to explore rural England and all it has to offer? Which of the three areas above has you itching to plan a trip? I’d love to hear! I’m ready to pack my bags. 🙂
P.S. Fancy some more wanderlust? Check out another computer screen vacation.
11 thoughts on “Travel Inspiration: Rural England”
Ah I wished I had traveled in the UK! Only time I’ve been there was total 8 hours in Heatrow switching the plane to another. UK is on my bucket list for sure!
I have only been to north and central London. I love it very much. I remember hearing about Home counties in a Bridget Jones movie of all places lol and of course I had to give them my best My Fair Lady try!
I don’t think I’ve ever considered what’s just outside London! I’ve never been there before, so my main hope is for all the touristy places. But this is smart and likely even more enjoyable!
It’s crazy to think I live in the UK and never considered travelling to theore rural parts if the UK. . Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
You’re so right about rural English being one of the most beautiful, I absolutely love it and we just planned a trip to the Cotswolds again. You should check out The Lake District and the Cotswolds as well, very pretty and straight out of pages of storybooks.
Oooo, I’m going to look into the Cotswolds. I’m all for straight out of a storybook!!
I am ready to pack my bags too! All the places look so beautiful and I so much need a trip right now. Great photo selection!
How beautiful. Yes London is always first on my mind but I would love to see these places too. They look so peaceful. 🙂
It’s wonderful to read your post about what inspires you about traveling through rural and small town England. I’ve been to the Peak District (so much great hiking there – I highly recommend Cat Bell’s Ridge (I believe that’s what it’s called)). I haven’t been to the Jurassic Coast or the Home Counties though. Will you be going to all three?
I loved the Peak District and am looking forward to go to Eyam and the Dovedale valley next time I’m in England. I have written about the Edale village in Hope valley. You can look it up in my post.
Other than this, I would highly recommend Haworth in August when the purple Heather is in bloom. Also, Cornwall is another lovely county and is home to some beautiful beaches and seafood.
There’s so much outside of London! As a Brit, I love to discourage people from just going to London. From London, many rural places are short train ride away- Kent, East Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey…plenty to do, see and eat! 🙂