Rural Retreats are the New City Breaks
Published: Wednesday 7th May 2014
Written by: Sally Sims
More and more people are opting for a holiday in a rural retreat rather than taking a city break. With all the glorious countryside and open space we have in the UK is it any wonder? Here are six reasons why country beats city hands down:
Just because you have chosen to take your holiday in a rural retreat it doesn’t mean you should miss out on your dose of culture during the break. The wide and varied natural landscapes that the UK is blessed with have inspired some of our greatest writers, artists and musicians. Why not learn about romantic poet William Wordsworth by visiting Dove Cottage in Grasmere in the Lake District? Or choose a Thomas Hardy novel as holiday reading while staying far from the madding crowd in Dorset amid the landscape that inspired the author? Visit Suffolk to see first-hand the unchanged views that stirred artists like Constable and Gainsborough, then go to nearby museums where you can see their work for yourself. Aldeburgh, also in Suffolk, was home to the world-famous composer Benjamin Britten and you could time your visit to coincide with a performance at the nearby Snape Maltings. Go to the Hay Literary Festival on the Welsh border as part of your holiday and you won’t be short of artistic stimulation.
The healthy outdoors
Rural retreats lend themselves much more to healthy and active pursuits. Why not try some canoeing in the Lakes or cycling along the South Downs Way? There are so many places to enjoy breath-taking walks in the UK that you are spoilt for choice and with an abundance of dramatic coastline from North Devon to Northumberland and Kent to Lancashire, you won’t have to look too far to find fresh air and clear skies.
Great for kids
If you have children then rural retreats are preferable to city breaks in so many ways. Where else will they be able to run off all that energy that they seem to have? Leave the computer games behind and let the kids enjoy hill walks, sand dunes and river canoeing – activities they will love and remember many years hence. It is in the rural locations you will find most of the nature reserves, RSPB sites and wildlife centres, where you and your youngsters can learn about the joys of nature – knowledge that will stay with them for a lifetime. If it’s a history lesson you are after then arguably the most iconic sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and Sutton Hoo are all found in rural locations.
Architecture in abundance
One of the joys of visiting a city is taking in the architecture, but a holiday in the country will also allow you to enjoy some of the finest buildings in the country. Many of our best properties are located on rural estates – stately homes like Holkham Hall on the Norfolk Coast and Castle Howard in Yorkshire. Then you have all the ancient buildings such as Bodiam Castle in Kent, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland and Caernarfon Castle on the north Wales coast – all fascinating and all enhanced by the spectacular landscapes in which they are set.
Close to cities
If you need to get your fix of city life while on holiday you can still stay in a rural retreat and plan a day out in one our great cities. You can stay on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors and still be in the stunning walled city of York within the hour, or enjoy the beauty and splendour of the Garden of England in the morning before spending the afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of London. Liverpool, with its rich port history, makes an interesting day trip from North Wales and if you are staying in the Peaks you can comfortably strike out to either Manchester or Sheffield by car or on the train. And at the end of the day, you can escape all those people and put your feet up in your rural retreat.
The best things in life are free, or so the saying goes and this adage never rang truer than in the country. With all the temptations of city life things can get expensive but in rural retreats you will have the most valuable thing – time. That’s time to enjoy the company of family, of friends, and the Great Outdoors.