English Countryside

For travelers, the English countryside is an ideal complement to the country’s delightful cities, towns, and villages. It is easy to find sightseeing bliss in this land of green rolling hills, picturesque plains, sturdy oaks, scenic lakes, and rugged highlands. Of course it doesn’t hurt that England is dotted with charming cottages, gorgeous gardens, interesting historical landmarks, and plenty of inviting country lanes that beckon the wanderer to see where they lead.

Lake District

Lake District
Lake District

Most of the English countryside is a mix of plains and rolling hills, though there are some highland regions that the sightseer can also indulge in, particularly in the north and the southwest. For those who are wondering, the highest mountain in the country is Scafell Pike. It tops out at 3,210 feet (978 meters) and calls the northern Cumbria region home. Also found in mostly rural Cumbria is the Lake District, and this area is widely considered to be among the most picturesque areas in England. The natural beauty of Cumbria has certainly served as an inspiration for plenty of English writers, including William Wordsworth and the other "Lake Poets" who lived there around the turn of the nineteenth century. The scenic appeal of the lakes and the mountains is impossible to deny, and a good place to take it all in is the Lake District National Park. This is the largest National Park in England and the second largest in the UK.

Cotswolds

Cotswolds
Cotswolds

Anyone who is wishing to explore the English countryside is encouraged to keep the Cotswolds in mind. This uplands area in the southwest is well known for its natural beauty and for having a "typical English" appeal. In relation to the terrain, it is largely comprised of rolling hills and farming fields. Steep escarpments add their own scenic elements, and the limestone layers that some of these escarpments reveal are certainly of interest. After all, the local limestone was used to great degree in the building of houses, churches, and other structures that can be found in the city of Bath, the town of Cheltenham, the village of Burford, and various other Cotswolds settlements. In medieval times, the Cotswolds area was known for its wool production, and it is still very common to see sheep on the hillsides to this day. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds surely offers plenty to take in on the visual side, and it is little wonder that the rather affluent area is among the most popular places in England to either retire or purchase a second home.

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall

One of the greatest historical landmarks in England is Hadrian’s Wall, and thanks in part to the beauty of the surrounding countryside, it has long been one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Situated in the north near the border of Scotland, Hadrian’s Wall was built under the rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Much of the defensive fortification remains, with some of the best preserved sections being found within the realms of scenic Northumberland National Park. The entire wall was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and it is worth noting that anyone who is interested can either walk or cycle along the great structure. The walking path is known as the Hadrian’s Wall Path, while National Cycle Route 72 caters to cyclists. Summer is the best time to walk along the Hadrian’s Wall Path, and as you might suspect, this warmest season of the year is also the best time for sightseeing in England in general.

English Country Cottages

English Country Cottages
English Country Cottages

Lovely cottages can be found in the English countryside, and while some are private residences, others are available for rent. Popular places to rent English country cottages include Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Sussex, Kent, Somerset, and the Cotswolds, though travelers don’t have to limit themselves to these options. There are plenty of other enticing settings to consider, and it can certainly be fun to compare all the different properties and destinations. Some English country cottages are quite luxurious, and travelers who are interested in staying in a countryside residence should know that farmhouses are in good supply.

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