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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Hidcote Manor Gardens

Hidcote Manor Gardens

Forget about the outside world for a few hours.

Location: Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

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Sample Wiltshire's homegrown wine

Sample Wiltshire's homegrown wine

If you enjoy a good bottle of wine then head to The Pear Tree Inn at Purton, near Swindon, home to its 600 grape vines and stunning gardens.

Location: Swindon, Wiltshire

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Walk the Wall at Steel Rigg

Walk the Wall at Steel Rigg

Take a walk around Steel Rigg and Crag Lough to see how the Romans used the natural landscape to maximise the strength of the Empire's frontier.

Location: Steel Rigg, Northumberland

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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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Relive the past at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

Relive the past at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

Peel back 900 years of history at this UNESCO World Heritage Site of majestic monastic ruins, water gardens and medieval deer park.

Location: Near Ripon, North Yorkshire

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Sip Earl Grey where it was created: Howick Hall

Sip Earl Grey where it was created: Howick Hall

Earl Grey tea is enjoyed – usually at around 4pm – all over the world, but few know it was invented in Northumberland for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.

Location: Howick, Northumberland

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Choose between red, white or rosé at Sealwood Cottage

Choose between red, white or rosé at Sealwood Cottage

Sample the fruits of this Derbyshire vineyard in the charming countryside of The National Forest, and then go to sleep in a pyramid-roofed bedroom.

Location: Swadlincote, Derbyshire

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Trot over to meet Redwings Horse Sanctuary's rescued residents

Trot over to meet Redwings Horse Sanctuary's rescued residents

Come nose to nose with some of Redwings Horse Sanctuary's most delightful residents at Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre in Essex.

Location: Nazeing, Essex

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Enjoy a rural break in Hawes in Wensleydale

Enjoy a rural break in Hawes in Wensleydale

Head to Hawes the home of Wensleydale Cheese, admire Hardraw Force waterfall and watch ropes being made in the traditional way.

Location: Hawes, Yorkshire Dales National Park

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Go camping in the grounds of one of England’s finest stately homes

Go camping in the grounds of one of England’s finest stately homes

Take the kids camping on a child friendly holiday at Castle Howard, near York, where a thousand breath-taking acres await for you to explore.

Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

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Recapture days of old at Old Hall Farm

Recapture days of old at Old Hall Farm

Take a trip to this historic open working farm and see many different activities throughout the farming year.

Location: Ulverston, Cumbria

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Go back in time at Lancashire's halls and houses

Go back in time at Lancashire's halls and houses

Wander through Lancashire’s stunning historic houses and imagine the many extraordinary episodes and events that have played out within their walls.

Location: Lancashire wide

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Experience rock climbing in the picturesque Wye Valley

Experience rock climbing in the picturesque Wye Valley

The spectacular Wye Valley cliffs offer a unique and beautiful playground for what is now one of the UK's largest participation sports.

Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

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Tour the 18th century Walled Gardens at the Apley Estate

Tour the 18th century Walled Gardens at the Apley Estate

Take a guided tour of the Walled Gardens on the Apley Estate in Shropshire, sample its produce at The Creamery Café or buy your own from Apley Farm Shop.

Location: Apley, Shropshire

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Enjoy a fantastic Lancashire taste experience

Enjoy a fantastic Lancashire taste experience

The award-winning Cartford Inn is an ideal place to pause and sample some of the best food found in Lancashire’s countryside.

Location: Poulton Le Fylde, Lancashire

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Stay at a historic country estate fit for royals

Stay at a historic country estate fit for royals

Tucked away in Cumbria’s rolling countryside, between the Lakeland fells and the Pennines, discover the charming village of Askham.

Location: Askham, Cumbria

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Pack a year of adventures into a Peak District break

Pack a year of adventures into a Peak District break

Treat your family to a four-star break in luxury log cabins, enjoy safe cycling and feed the animals on a working Derbyshire farm.

Location: Brassington, Derbyshire

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Discover art for all in the North York Moors – and it’s free

Discover art for all in the North York Moors – and it’s free

See world-class art for free at the National Park’s ‘Inspired by… gallery’, a haven for contemporary art in the heart of the North York Moors.

Location: Whitby, North Yorkshire

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All the fun of the fair with Dorset’s summer festivals

All the fun of the fair with Dorset’s summer festivals

Dorset entertains the whole family all summer long hosting an array of amazing events and festivals that are unique, nostalgic or just plain fun!

Location: Dorset

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Tree top adventures and forest segways at Go Ape

Tree top adventures and forest segways at Go Ape

Take to the trees for breath-taking views of the Chilterns and Black Park.

Location: Wendover, Buckinghamshire

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