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.
Witness the sights, sounds, smells and magic of steam travel from a bygone age and journey through Hampshire’s countryside on a restored steam train.
Location: Alresford, Hampshire
Come and meet friendly farm animals, have a rainforest experience in Victorian glasshouses or get lost in the maze.
Location: Havant, Hampshire
The appeal of Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens goes way beyond its remarkable wildlife collection to breeding programmes and exuberant gardens.
Location: Burford, Oxfordshire
Enjoy a trip to Didcot Railway Centre, whose magnificent restored engines will take you steaming through most of the Oxfordshire countryside.
Location: Didcot, Oxfordshire
Remember family holidays? The rain hammering down on the caravan roof; the endless games of cards, and interminable bickering? All that can be a thing of the past.
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
With 7 miles of almost traffic-free cycling, the Crab and Winkle Way trails between Kent’s historical heart, Canterbury, and Whitstable on the north Kent coast.
Location: Canterbury, Kent
This unique once-in-a-lifetime experience will allow you to get up close to some of nature’s most endangered species for a memory you’ll never forget.
Location: Winchester, Hampshire
Head to the spectacular grounds of Oxfordshire’s iconic World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace, for BBC Countryfile Live, which will be hosted from the 1 - 4 August.
Location: Woodstock, Oxfordshire