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.
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
From the reeds to the trees, get up close to nature and see an incredible 11,000 species, the highest concentration of rare wildlife in England.
Location: Strumpshaw Fen, near Norwich, Norfolk
Leathes Head Country House Hotel is the ideal spot to spend some much-needed time for two in the heart of the Lake District.
Location: Borrowdale, Cumbria
Stourport-on-Severn is a great inland resort to explore, with plenty of open green space for the whole family to enjoy, canal and riverside walks, riverside amusements and boat trips galore.
Location: Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire