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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Trace a president’s past to Washington Old Hall

Trace a president’s past to Washington Old Hall

The ancestral home of first US president George Washington is an atmospheric stone manor with fragrant gardens, set in a picturesque village.

Location: Washington, Tyne and Wear

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Get back to nature at the birthplace of Capability Brown

Get back to nature at the birthplace of Capability Brown

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Pennine Way, Britain’s first National Trail, and there is no better way to celebrate than walking the route.

Location: Kirkharle, Northumberland

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Take a canal walk across Wiltshire’s heartland

Take a canal walk across Wiltshire’s heartland

Relax and enjoy a slower pace of life on a Wiltshire break by walking along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Location: Wiltshire

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Discover Dazzling Birds and Wildlife

Discover Dazzling Birds and Wildlife

People flock to Scilly to come and enjoy our rich and diverse birdlife, so plan your break here to see some of the UK's wildest residents.

Location: Isles of Scilly

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Take a stroll past the castle ruins

Take a stroll past the castle ruins

Take the path along the Peddars Way, and on to the tranquil Nar Valley Way to witness the spectacular 12th century Castle Acre Priory ruins on foot.

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

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Be at one with birds of prey at Rosliston Forestry Centre

Be at one with birds of prey at Rosliston Forestry Centre

There’s something special about being close to a bird of prey; those round watchful eyes on high alert, fixing you with a dominating stare.

Location: Rosliston, Derbyshire

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See rare birds at Londesborough

See rare birds at Londesborough

Londesborough Park offers the ideal setting to spot Red Kites flying gracefully above the Yorkshire Wolds.

Location: Londesborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Go wild at the south coast’s only inflatable water park

Go wild at the south coast’s only inflatable water park

The New Forest Water Park in Fordingbridge is a unique outdoor attraction with 50 acres of countryside and lakes for the whole family to enjoy.

Location: New Forest, Hampshire

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Follow King Arthur’s trail in Shropshire

Follow King Arthur’s trail in Shropshire

King Arthur (the real one!) was born, lived and died in Shropshire. No, really. And his Queen Guinevere was a Shropshire lass too.

Location: Oswestry, Shropshire

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Cycle along a disused railway line in Stratford-upon-Avon

Cycle along a disused railway line in Stratford-upon-Avon

Explore the English countryside saddle side whilst cycling the 5-mile long Stratford Greenway.

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

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Discover the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales

Discover the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales

A photographer’s dream, the Yorkshire Dales has many moods – from wild and windswept to quietly tranquil – each dramatically beautiful.

Location: Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire

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Plan a walking holiday or photography workshop

Plan a walking holiday or photography workshop

Explore lesser-known routes around Holmfirth in the Peak District National Park.

Location: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

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Escape to Surrey’s hills and English gardens

Escape to Surrey’s hills and English gardens

With wonderful English gardens like RHS Wisley, the hills of Box Hill and Leith Hill and access to the North Downs Way, Surrey is a real rural treat.

Location: Dorking, Surrey

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Holidays with your four-legged friend

Holidays with your four-legged friend

Take your dog to Constable Country for a walk by the River Stour, then head to Badgers Bend for some rest and relaxation.

Location: Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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Follow in the footsteps of great artists in Constable Country

Follow in the footsteps of great artists in Constable Country

Explore the Suffolk landscape that has inspired artists for centuries, rambling across dramatic open spaces backed by huge skies.

Location: Flatford Mill, Suffolk

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Enjoy an afternoon tea in the house the Brontës loved

Enjoy an afternoon tea in the house the Brontës loved

Enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea at the historic house the Brontës knew and loved, then take a tour of the real-life setting for Wuthering Heights.

Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

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Discover Hidden Secrets at Burghley House

Discover Hidden Secrets at Burghley House

Take a trip through the Historical Garden of Surprises, Contemplate the Contemporary Sculpture Garden, or follow the Gruesomely Grubby Gardens tour...

Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire

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Experience a stunning Lakeland waterfall walk

Experience a stunning Lakeland waterfall walk

Don’t miss a trip to the Taylor Gill Force to see fabulous streams and waterfalls set against a backdrop of stunning scenery.

Location: Keswick, Cumbria

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Cruise, climb or cycle your way around Calderdale

Cruise, climb or cycle your way around Calderdale

Charming canals, picturesque cycling routes and an abundance of activities for thrill seekers: there’s never a dull moment in Calderdale.

Location: Calderdale, West Yorkshire

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Enjoy Yorkshire’s best seasonal foods – from forest floor to plate

Enjoy Yorkshire’s best seasonal foods – from forest floor to plate

The Michelin-starred food at Harome’s Star Inn is not the only reason to make a foodie trip to the pretty North York Moors’ village.

Location: Helmsley, North Yorkshire

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