I couldn’t wait to move to London. But once I was there, and I started to have little visits home to family in Kent I also began to really, truly appreciate the countryside.
As a child, the countryside was dull and I craved city life (I still do!). But now, as I am older and able to explore a bit more, I can see how amazing it really is!
My top tips for discovering and really taking full advantage of all things country and British are:
Do something different. Something that may even be fairly ordinary in the countryside, but something that you rarely choose to do. The other week we decided we would go and rent a rowing boat and ride around the river all day. It was so nice and although the day wasn’t rammed full of lots of activities, it was enough to keep us entertained yet chilled out. We rented from Bodiam Boating Station in Sussex and it was a great price – about £40 for 4 full hours.
TIP 2: Get out into the sunshine. Make the most of the English sun whilst it is here! It is rare that we can spend time in the countryside here and actually feel the sun on our skin, so when it is out do not waste all day sat inside. There’s plenty to do, even on a budget. We decided on the first full sunny day here to go on a picnic. I bought a cute gingham picnic basket from T-K-Maxx and a checked blanked (essentials!) and filled it with yummy treats and drinks. Find a nice location – for us it was Leeds Castle in Kent – and you’re good to go and become oh so English.
TIP 3: Be a tourist in your own hometown. This can apply to those living in the countryside OR the city. If someone from another culture were to visit you, where would you take them? Even the smallest of villages have impressive places. Be it beautiful buildings or breathtaking scenic routes; make sure you try them out for yourselves. Many of us leave the touristy things to the tourists themselves thinking we have “all of the time in the world” to see the nice things. But there is no time like the present! I recently revisited a favourite tourist spot in my old home county of Kent – the White Cliffs of Dover.
TIP 4: Reacquaint yourself with family and friends. This may only apply to those who are returning to their hometowns after being away (like me!). But I feel it can be relevant to many of us so why not include it! Leaving a year ago made me realise who were my true friends, and unfortunately who were not. That is something that comes with growing up, however ever since I left I always made the effort to stay in contact. I still have friends at home that I meet up with for catch-ups and it feels as though nothing has changed, and I always make as much time as possible for my family. Not everyone will like that you have left but those who are true to you will be happy for you, and be the people whom you should make time for.
TIP 5: Find activities in your area. More often than not, even small towns have activities and attractions that you wouldn’t usually think of. For example, near my hometown is “Go Ape“. I went last summer and really enjoyed myself (apart from feeling like I had vertigo at the beginning!). Climbing through the woods and jumping from trees on harnesses – could you get any closer to nature?!
We also took a hike around the beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest.
I hope that at least one of those tips above are useful for at least one of you. I know I rambled on, but it was far better than me spamming with a post on each and every place on this page!
p.s. apologies for that last photo (from Go Ape)… awkward action shot from behind…