the one that stole my heart – english countryside


I have lived in big and medium-sized cities: Beijing, London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Zurich, Nice and Helsinki, but I have always been a bit of a country girl at heart. I love visiting cities for the day, but nothing beats the green forest surrounding your house, sweet deers, and dark starry nights. I love escaping to the country, and of all the places it’s the English countryside that my heart belongs to.

English Countyside, Esher, Surrey
‘Pastures nouveaux await you’

Grazing sheep, flower meadows, old oast houses and majestic manors, horribly narrow lanes with horses trotting on them (and sadly traffic jams, which can be almost worse than in London at times, to the honest). I am thinking of farmers markets, cream teas in the castles, sunday brunches in a pub and garden tours.

‘Paint it pink with Azaleas. Magical walk with the children…’

I have praised the beauty of English landscape gardens surrounding some amazing historic manors, the traditional colourful cottage gardens and the coast line that sometimes is the colour of some Caribbean or Far Eastern beaches (but sadly never that warm though). Whereas London is iconic and a bit hectic, the countryside is picture-perfect and tranquil. So don’t miss these iconic scenes if you travel to England.

Gastro Pub White Hart in Sevenoaks
‘Sunday roast in a country pub is another must-do besides a good afternoon tea’

A roast in a local pub or a cream tea after a walk are part of English traditions, and I must confess that I love a good roast (it doesn’t have to be pork, there are often several meat choices) with tender parsnips. And don’t get me even started with cream and afternoon teas. Clotted cream on warm scones and a pot of tea will make you forget a damp weather (and wet toes if you didn’t wear your wellies).

Knole Park in winter
‘There is different kind of beauty to be found every season. Misty Knole Park in late autumn with earthy greens and browns”

The beauty is there all year round, with colours changing every season. Autumn and winter with lighter greens, browns and greys, mist rising like in Agatha Christie novels or in Sherlock Holmes.

Magical bridge to your dream destination
‘A bridge to unknown adventures in late winter’

What I love about nature walks are the little surprised, a sudden bridge leading to new adventures, unexpected views opening up, blue carpets of Bluebells to be spotted in the spring…

Spring flowers in Kent
‘First of spring bloom’

I love old school buildings with architectural details, surrounded by beautiful grounds to walk on. And the history that goes with it, take this school for example – just minutes from our house. Princess Diana went to this school and because of it Mohamed Al-Fayed contributed to the purchase of the school for a new foundation.

'Lazy summer days'
‘Sunny, lazy summer days’

English summer is amazing when it’s not raining and cold. It’s a hundred shades of green, rolling hills – so relaxing for the eyes!

Although most of the land in the country is private, the old footpaths and right of ways have been preserved, and there is a great network on walking trails such as the beautiful (108 miles/174km) near us, which crosses several counties through Areas of Outstanding Beauty, along the beautiful Weald from Sussex to Surrey to Kent.

Greensand Way, Kent
‘Beautiful Greensand Way goes mainly through Areas of Outstanding Beauty’

Now I would love to hear about the place or area that stole your heart and why? Is it near your home where you can constantly admire it, or somewhere far away where you have been just once?

Greensand Way at dusk
‘Sunset over the beautiful Weald’

If you love English countryside, or just want to see more of it, try these older #IGTravelThursday posts from my home country Kent, and a bit around it to.

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