Historic villages and markets
Quaint tearooms, bustling markets and a very old cricket pitch
eace, quiet and people who talk to you. Yes, there’s a lot to like about English villages. Take yourself up the railway track from almost any English city and you’ll find yourself transported into a different world. A Medieval world to be precise.
In Amberley , West Sussex, thatched roofs come as standard. As do winding, cobbled paths and pints full of frothy local ale. In fact, a quick glance is enough to tell you that this English village’s priorities are definitely in the right place – with two pubs and one shop. For all its tranquility, however, life’s far from dull: there’s Morris dancing in summer and the nearby Amberley Wild Brooks are great for a wander (just don’t forget your Wellies).
Next door in Kent, pretty villages are two a penny: Penshurst boasts a quaint tearoom and one of the oldest cricket pitches in the country; while nearby Otford is famous for its duck pond – right in the middle of the village roundabout actually.
But to be honest, you’ve not really experienced English country life until you’ve seen the bustle and excitement of market day. Indeed, English market towns are often historical places to visit in their own right, like Framlingham in Suffolk – or ‘Fram’ as locals call it. Come here on Tuesdays and Saturdays and you can buy delicious fresh fish and veg’ from the market in the main square, just a short walk from the Norman castle.
Whizz over to Gloucestershire, meanwhile, and you’ll find specialities including shiitake mushroom-growing kits and smoked garlic (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it) at Stroud Farmers’ Market on Thursdays. And, where better to buy original Yorkshire tea than in the Dales themselves? Head to Appleby’s indoor market on Fridays and you’ll see what we mean. Ahh, that’s better.