The idea of a summer in the countryside can sound daunting for some, particularly us city-dwellers. We often return from the busy hubs of student life, leisure and culture that are University Park, Lenton and Nottingham to centres arguably equally as busy and inundated with opportunities to socialise, go out and regularly visit city attractions.
But, as I’ve discovered, summer in the countryside can be a great alternative to enjoying some down-time after the chaos of a year boarding busy buses and balancing hours in Hallward with time in Crisis.
Coming from a city myself, I have to admit to once thinking nothing could trump the buzz of city life, but, after visiting various friends in their country homes and going on family breaks to rural areas, I have realised the sheer quantity and astounding quality of what the countryside has to offer in the summer months.
Looking at some of the main aspects, Impact looks at how the countryside in the summer really can be just as fun as the cities.
One of the advantages of living in an area surrounded by fields and rolling hills can be the ease of embarking on a peaceful country walk.
It can be a lovely way to pass the summer months at home, especially on a sunny day, and can often involve finding a few hidden gems in your area such as walking paths, country pubs, wildlife, and beautiful views.
No matter how much you love the buzz of Nottingham, there’s no doubting this country pastime can prove a peaceful contrast to all the excitement of term time, allowing you to unwind, explore, socialise, and even soak up some rays in a beautiful setting.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from taking it up a notch and turn that woodland walk into a hike up one of England’s famous peaks! It really is a lot more fun now you’re not doing it for your DofE…
Visiting Historic Sites
Of course, these are not limited exclusively to rural parts of the country, but there’s no doubt that spending the summer months in the countryside has the perks of having easy access to many sites of historical significance around the country, from historic houses, ruins, castles and gardens to structures made famous by poignant events in history.
Not only will visiting these prove hugely educative and interesting to anyone gripped by the events that formed Britain and how we once lived, but visits can serve as a great way to find a peaceful escape for the day where you can forget about all those summer reading lists, engross yourself in another age and maybe even enjoy a picnic with friends or family.
All the more exciting knowing you’re sitting just feet away from where a famous monarch lived or where a battle was fought.
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a country pub, is there? Whether they’re converted stables or simple structures, it’s safe to assume most will have a homely but vibrant atmosphere.
These can be welcoming breaks for walkers, hugely desirable restaurants for visitors (usually, it seems, boasting some of the best roast dinners around), and great places to meet friends for drinks. These places have it all, from great food to roaring fires and picturesque beer gardens; what’s not to love?
Exploring in Style
Since the scenery in rural areas is usually nothing short of stunning, exploring the designated paths, country lanes and rivers can be made even more enjoyable by exploring by bike, boat, kayak, canoe or even horse!
These transport methods will allow you to take in your surroundings; surely a much more authentic alternative to being enclosed within a car.
This way, not only can you enjoy the activity of doing something different, but you can fully immerse yourself in the countryside by taking in all its sounds and smells as well as reaching places difficult to get to by larger vehicles.
Aside from the health benefits and possibly enabling you to embark on an adventure of your own in trying something new, exploring the countryside by these active methods also has the added bonus of giving you an excuse to take a break in between travelling, whether that consists of stopping at a pub, getting an ice cream to enjoy on the riverbank or having a relaxing picnic in the sun.
“Whether its wildlife you love, the simple things like an ice cold cider in a converted stable, or a day-long activity, the countryside has something for you”
Easy Access to Great Days Out
Quite often, rural areas have the advantage of housing some of the country’s most sought after attractions such as spas, zoos, farms and theme parks, such as Alton Towers, Chester Zoo and Warwick Castle to name but a few. So if it’s a family day out or just something a little bit different you’re after, these sorts of remote attractions are definitely great ways to enjoy the sunshine and free time with friends and family.
Quaint Market Towns
Living close to small picturesque towns can be another added advantage of spending the summer in a rural setting. Whether you’re thinking of just visiting or staying, these towns which punctuate the English countryside can be brilliant places to visit, as they vary from hosting unique events, housing pubs, afternoon tea venues and boutique shops to boasting peaceful and family-friendly surroundings.
They are also a great starting point for people wanting to explore the local rural surroundings, providing a break for some who are maybe more used to the chaos of city life and who may want to enjoy a change of scene.
Close-by Idyllic Locations
Another advantage of spending time in Britain’s countryside is that rural areas can often be fundamental links to sought-after locations in the UK, separating cities from seaside locations such as Cornwall and Torquay.
These offer a variety of activities, including time at the beach, water sports opportunities, seaside walks and shopping. And, of course, would it really be the British seaside without fish and chips?
So next time you assume that summer in the country can be a bit of a boring time, think again, because Britain’s rural areas really do have so much to offer.
Whether its wildlife you love, the simple things like an ice cold cider in a converted stable, or a day-long activity, the countryside has something for you.
Images: Jill Forsdick