We all need a break from the hectic pace of daily life now and again. What is a better remedy than heading off to the countryside for a long weekend full of pure air, epic landscapes and stunning scenery? From staying in cosy cottages to amazing food, a rural retreat might just be what you need to restore your spirits and escape the chaos of the daily grind.
Here are a few tips to get you started when planning your next trip:
- Hikes and Long Walks
First decide what landscape speaks to you the most. Lakes? Beach-side cliffs? Fairytale woodlands? Hills and highlands? When it comes to the UK countryside, holidaymakers are spoilt for choice with the sheer volume of National Parks available so you’re sure to find something that suits your preferences.
Once you’ve decided what sort of landscape you want to visit, start planning the hikes and treks you want to go on in advance, including breaks and pit stops. If you’re looking for a gentle stroll, one of the best things you can do is look at the contour lines on a map and determine how hilly it’s going to be.
One of your best sources of information will be locals, who may be able to advise you on the best walking routes, the most scenic public pathways and if there is any private land you can’t cross. Always take a paper map with you (in case the internet on your phone cuts out, as it often does), drink plenty of water, bring snacks and remember to stop, pause and admire the scenery.
- The Perfect Country Cottage
In-between long walks, you’ll want to be able to relax in a comfy setting – preferably by a real-life fireplace reading a book with your feet up. Luckily there is no shortage of cottages, farmhouses and manors.
Just remember book in advance, especially during busy periods, as holiday cottages can book up quickly.
- Go Camping (or Glamping)!
If you want to get as close to nature as possible, pitch up a tent and go camping. There are plenty of dedicated campsites that will cater to your campfire and scenic needs around the UK. If you want to stay in a yurt or treehouse without sacrificing the comforts of a cosy bed and heating, consider glamping (a blend of glamour and camping).
- Use Food From Local Farmers’ Markets
Of course this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning food! Many cottages give you the option of self-catering and if there are nearby farms then fresh and delicious eggs, seasonal vegetables and dairy products are within easy reach!
Give yourself the challenge of making a hearty meal using the locally grown and farmed ingredients around you. Just don’t make too much of a mess, or else you might spend the last part of the holiday learning the best way to clean an oven!
- Visit the Local Pub
Gastro-pubs serving up good local fare and ale are one of the main pleasures of a weekend away in the countryside. Often tucked away in remote parts of the country with little else surrounding them except narrow, tree-lined lanes, these traditional, smart pubs tend to dish out quality food with friendly, charming service. If you’ve had a busy day trekking hilly landscapes and cold to the bone, treating yourself to a pint and a roast at one of these cosy, warm pubs will probably taste like one of the best meals in your life.
If you’re after relaxation, great walks and delicious food, you can’t go wrong with a rural holiday.