Tired of City Living? Enjoy the UK Countryside This Spring

There’s no denying that city living can take it out of even the most devoted city-dweller. Rush-hour Tube journeys, smoky and stressful walks to work, constant crowds and the inability to get served in a bar in under 20 minutes can leave you feeling at best deflated, at worst, tired, stressed and broke. So, what’s the solution? Get out of the city and see the very best of the UK countryside – you’ll be very glad that you did.

Firstly, if you’re like most city inhabitants and you don’t have any wheels, we suggest that you hire a car. Outside of most cities, public transport can be sporadic, so it’s far better that you take responsibility for your own transport. So, now you’ve got a vehicle, a satnav and a boot full of clean clothes, where to? Let us give you some suggestions to get you started.

If you’re after a spot of tranquillity that won’t break the bank, Norfolk’s your best bet. Ignore anyone who claims that the people are less-than-hospitable and there’s nothing to do – they’re very, very wrong. Norfolk boasts some beautiful areas to explore, such as Thetford Forest, the gorgeous Castle Acre, and The Great Eastern Pingo Walk (this is not for the faint-
hearted, so bring a snack!).

Thetford Forest


Those with excitable children will enjoy a trip to one of Norfolk’s holiday parks, as you can still enjoy the sensation of leaving a city far behind but still be within walking distance of some of Great Yarmouth’s delights. Prices here tend to be (but aren’t always) cheaper than London prices, and there are some brilliant B&Bs that will ensure you feel right at home, both in lively Norwich and further afield. If you’re after something a bit swankier, the wonderful and secluded Caistor Hall in Caistor St Edmund, just outside of Norwich, is the perfect place to get away from it all. Their food is delicious, so
if you’re after a weekend of sensory delights, this is the place to be.

If you’d rather be closer to the coast, there are plenty of marvellous places to explore in Sussex. Wilderness Wood, based in the Sussex Weald, offer delightful walks based in 62 acres of unspoiled countryside. Even better, you can camp out here in a variety of different shelters available to hire, so don’t worry about bringing a tent! If you’re after getting off the beaten track, the pretty town of Sidlesham is well worth a look. The Jolly Fisherman B&B takes excellent care of all its guests, and their breakfasts are definitely worth checking out. The church of St Mary our Lady, located near The Anchor Inn, is a beautifully secluded spot, and there are plenty of country walks leading on from the church that will help you build up an appetite for lunch. The Anchor Inn boasts that it serves the best cod and chips around (it’s no lie), so make sure you stop by for lunch. Local beach West Wittering is hugely
popular with locals, for good reason – in summer, its golden sands and clean sea are the only place to be.

Finally, the New Forest is a place of hidden gems – you just have to know where to look. If you’re after luxurious stay in a country hotel, Lydhurst-based Lime Wood is the perfect place to unwind. There are also a glut of charming B&Bs to take advantage of – Petherton Cottage (based on the edge of the New Forest National Park) and Fordingbridge-based Hartfield are wonderful places to stay, and if you’re after a place to really get to grips with nature, Sandy Balls Holiday Centre is perfect. It’s set in 120 acres of peaceful woods and parkland, and offers all its visitors a home from home in the heart of the New Forest National Park. If you fancy pushing the boat out and enjoying a delicious meal at the end of a long day pony-trekking or walking through miles of unspoiled woodland, Le Poussin at Whitley Ridge serves excellent grub. In terms of food, you can expect dishes such as an assiette of pork served with a cider sauce, and, to finish, perhaps a signature hot passion-fruit soufflé.

Bio: Vicky Anscombe lives just outside of Norwich in the Norfolk countryside, but is originally from South London. She has enjoyed living in both places, and claims not to have a favourite, but secretly harbours a soft spot for the area of SE4.

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