Countryside

Rural retreats

Both genteel and wild, there’s nothing quite like the English countryside for rural escapes with its patchwork hills, dramatic dales, ancient woodlands and winding country roads. All well and good, but what is there to do in England’s countryside exactly? Quite a lot, actually. Admire the grand interiors of a stately home before catching a play in the surrounding gardens, travel back in time with visits to ancient stone circles and crumbling castles, or step into a chocolate box of quaint villages and market towns and live like a local, trying farmhouse cheeses, cream teas and real ales along the way.

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Explore the ruins of Ashby Castle

Explore the ruins of Ashby Castle

Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel of 1819, Ivanhoe featured Ashby Castle as the backdrop to the famous jousting scenes.

Location: Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

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Get an adrenaline kick in Dartmoor National Park

Get an adrenaline kick in Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor is the place to get your adventure kicks, from cycling to climbing to white water kayaking.

Location: Dartmoor, Devon

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Ride the Water Rail Way cycle route

Ride the Water Rail Way cycle route

Begin your ride in the city and then head out to the Wolds.

Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

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Experience David Hockney’s inspiring landscapes

Experience David Hockney’s inspiring landscapes

Widely considered Britain’s most important living artist, David Hockney has long been fascinated by the nature and landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Location: East Yorkshire

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Full steam ahead on the Kent and East Sussex Railway

Full steam ahead on the Kent and East Sussex Railway

Bring out your inner Casey Jones by stepping onto the footplate and heading out across the stunning Kent countryside.

Location: Tenterden, Kent

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Enjoy a relaxing break in the Saxon town of Bradford on Avon

Enjoy a relaxing break in the Saxon town of Bradford on Avon

Perfect for family breaks and reunions with friends, a stay at Church Farm Country Cottages in Bradford upon Avon offers an ideal countryside retreat.

Location: Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Switch off in Suffolk

Switch off in Suffolk

Less than two hours’ drive from London, go wild in the countryside on a romantic escape from modern life on one of these unique couples holidays.

Location: Sibton, Suffolk

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Enjoy a rural escape in Burnham Market

Enjoy a rural escape in Burnham Market

If you feel like the walls are closing in, try heading to Norfolk for a dose of big skies, blue sea and cute little towns.

Location: Burnham, Norfolk

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Spoil yourself with a bit of luxury at Ellenborough Hotel

Spoil yourself with a bit of luxury at Ellenborough Hotel

Even fussy types will find their every fancy and fantasy is well catered for at Cheltenham’s Ellenborough Hotel.

Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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Cross the great viaduct to historic Knaresborough

Cross the great viaduct to historic Knaresborough

Mysterious caves, a medieval castle and a magical spring that turns objects to stone are just a few reasons to visit this gorgeous riverside town.

Location: Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

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Explore Malmesbury and Abbey House Gardens

Explore Malmesbury and Abbey House Gardens

Discover the hilltop town of Malmesbury, with beautiful walks and spectacular gardens, it's the ideal place to unwind.

Location: Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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Discover a vibrant arts scene within the Forest of Dean

Discover a vibrant arts scene within the Forest of Dean

Discover a cultural scene that really breathes life in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

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Trip-trap along the troll’s trail

Trip-trap along the troll’s trail

This family-friendly cycle and walking path encompasses an exciting trail of artwork, sculpture and trolls under bridges.

Location: Newport, Isle of Wight

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Walk along the riverside & picnic on top of Penshaw Hill

Walk along the riverside & picnic on top of Penshaw Hill

Washington is home to acres of beautiful green spaces, from sheltered woodland, open fields, riverside landscapes; all laden with walk and cycle ways.

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

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Discover a medieval house at a Cumbrian gateway

Discover a medieval house at a Cumbrian gateway

An imposing Cumbrian castle boasting an award-winning rock garden.

Location: Kendal, Cumbria

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Enjoy a wild night out with bushcraft at Catton Hall

Enjoy a wild night out with bushcraft at Catton Hall

Let Woodland Ways teach you the basics of bushcraft in a fun and safe environment whilst spending time outdoors and sleeping under the stars.

Location: Catton, Derbyshire

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Swing, sail, shoot and climb at Kielder Water and Forest Park

Swing, sail, shoot and climb at Kielder Water and Forest Park

Spend some quality time with your family exploring, swinging, sailing, shooting and climbing on an adventure holiday in Northumberland.

Location: Kielder, Northumberland

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Wig wam your way to Clumber Park

Wig wam your way to Clumber Park

Camping in tents is so last year – why not try sleeping in a yurt or wigwam in the beautiful surrounds of Clumber Park?

Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire

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Meet the residents of The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

Meet the residents of The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

Make friends with the equine residents of Sidmouth’s Donkey Sanctuary and see the great work that the charity does for yourself.

Location: Sidmouth, Devon

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Discover Jane Austen’s legacy in Hampshire

Discover Jane Austen’s legacy in Hampshire

Celebrate Jane Austen and the Regency period during Hampshire’s events in June, and visit her much loved home and the countryside that inspired her.

Location: Alton, Hampshire

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