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.
Ever looked at a waterfall and rather than reaching for the camera, thought ‘I’d like to climb down that’? If so, you’re about to discover your new favourite sport – canyoning.
Location: Bowness, Cumbria
Take in quaint villages, welcoming country pubs, majestic industrial heritage sites and even castles on a boat trip through the county’s canals.
Location: Audlem, Cheshire
Explore the Grand Western Canal on one of England’s last horse drawn barges, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding Devon countryside.
Location: Tiverton, Devon
Enjoy summer walks past the colourful narrowboats and along the unique waterways surrounded by Leicestershire’s picturesque countryside.
Location: Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Visit Rutland Water's famous wildfowl sanctuary, covering a 1,000 acres of bird hides, mucky nature trails and interactive visitor centres.
Location: Rutland Water, Rutland
Enjoy a cycling break with friends or family and discover the windswept scenery of the Exe Estuary, just south of Exeter, and its abundant wildlife.
Location: Exeter and East devon, Devon
Open bodies of water are a rarity in south Wiltshire, making Langford Lakes nature reserve an attractive stopping-off point for a host of wild birds.
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire
Sense the sounds, smells and colours of spring at Waveney River Centre in Norfolk, a serene countryside retreat with plenty of outdoor activities.
Location: Norwich, Norfolk