I love the west country. If this was 1983 I would print it on a t-shirt. It is just beautiful, and it makes me love our countryside. I honestly can’t claim to know the rest of our little island anywhere near as well, but if it reflects the rest of our green and pleasant land in any way then frankly how lucky are we? Step outside the copious grey cities and towns that most of us are used to and you see just how much of the UK is still stunning.
We have had two holidays to Devon in recent months, the first visits for me in several years and a virgin tour for my husband. It was just gorgeous. Enough to reconcile the absence of long haul sun and infinity pools during these more frugal child rearing years.
The air is fresh. The hills are rolling. Birds and woodland creatures flutter like Disney extras around a landscape untouched since maidens and dragons swooned and roamed. Ancient drystone walls that make a mockery of physics, criss-crossing land divvied up by Norman lords, possibly. The beaches are stunning and the local food is truly local – never have so many calories been so deliciously disguised as clotted cream ice-cream and pasty pastry. And then there’s the fish… and the eggs… and the jam…
Even something as average as driving takes on a new dimension, twisting through roads designed to fit two sheep abreast, and the spark of fear as you suddenly face down a battered Landrover head on, albeit at 15 mph.
And for the kids? Everything from fossil hunting to go-carting, horse riding, archery, foraging, adventure parks and sunset fish n’ chip picnics… at least that was our week.