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.
Too many hours indoors during winter’s gloomy days and you’re looking to break out into spring’s fresh air and lengthening daylight hours.
Location: Yoxall, Staffordshire
On the west coast of the Isle of Wight, YHA Totland has the beach, heaps of countryside walks and great local attractions on its doorstep.
Location: Totland, Isle of Wight
Step into the largest stone circle in the world, standing for over 4500 years, and the site of a host of archaeological excavations.
Location: Marlborough, Wiltshire
Take advantage of a budget break in Nottingham with a camping weekend at the National Water Sports centre, just 10 minutes from the heart of the city.
Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Just over the Tamar, Antony House was the location for the hit 'Alice in Wonderland' 2010. Here you can explore its formal gardens, sculptures and the National Collection of Daylilies.
Location: Torpoint, Cornwall
Experience the wild beauty of Batsford Arboretum in autumn and the splendid sight of rare birds of prey soaring above the surrounding Cotswolds Hills.
Location: Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
Come face to face with some of the most feared predators on the planet - Nile crocodiles, American alligators, black caiman and more!
Location: Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
The new Lakes and Dales Loop takes in two National Parks and some of the most scenic landscapes across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.
Location: Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria