Charming English countryside to visit

by By Hafiz Rasid (hrasid@sph.com.sg)
published on 21 June 2016

England’s countryside is known for its cosy cottages, lush hills, spring blooms and welcoming people.

For your next holiday, opt for the idyllic route and visit these tranquil countrysides for a restful break.

Cheshire

There is more to Cheshire than its association with the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Those looking to escape the stress of urban life will find Cheshire delightful. Rural Cheshire boasts some of England’s beautiful and serene gardens, given the area’s rich and diverse horticultural heritage.

Take it easy and visit the various art galleries and boutiques in the area, as well as Tatton Park, where tourists can see a grand Georgian estate set against beautifully manicured gardens.

Stroll through the medieval Nantwich town, then make a stop at the famous Knutsford market town that is known for its quirky architecture and independent shops.

Be one with nature and go on the Girtstone Trail, a walking route that takes you past impressive peaks, breathtaking moorland and scenery.

Hadrian’s Wall country

Stretching over 117km from the River Tyne to the shore of Solway Firth, Hadrian’s Wall is the last remnant of the Roman Empire’s north-west frontier.

Culture buffs will find Hadrian’s Wall country as enriching to the mind as it is soothing for the senses. From museums and ancient landmarks, to quaint markets and serene countryside, there are plenty of activities to do and places to visit.

After trekking past the wall, visit the Roman Army Museum to learn more about the Roman empire’s influence on the region. Then stop by nearby landmarks such as the Housesteads Roman Fort and the Hexham Abbey.

Refuel at the various market towns close by, where you get to sample fresh culinary creations at bistros made with local produce, and satisfy your sweet tooth at the tearooms offering traditional cakes and pastries.

Take this opportunity to take a stroll past rolling hills, picturesque villages and  glistening rivers as you take in the sights and sounds of rural England.

Dorset

Almost half of Dorset’s countryside is designated as UK’s Area of Outstanding Beauty by the National Association Area of Outstanding Beauty. If appreciating natural sights ranks high on your travel agenda, Dorset is the place to visit.

Hike up the ridge tops of west Dorset for an sweeping view of its lush landscape. Drive up the Jurassic Coast, a Unesco World Heritage site stretching across 152km of coastline. It is known to be a hotbed for fossils and sedimentary rocks.

Take a guided walk in the woods at the Durlston Country Park or the Moors Valley Country Park. Witness seasonal highlights such as the puffin breeding season in spring, rare butterflies at the grasslands and meadows in summer, leaves turning into varying red and golden hues in autumn, and a romantic snow-covered landscape in winter.