Mar 8, 2012

London DIaries (9) :A walk through the English Countryside

I have grown up reading James Herriot’s books. Infact I am still hooked to them. More than his animal stories what I loved most about his books was his vivid descriptions of the beautiful English countryside. The sweeping fells, the rolling hills with the sheep placidly grazing among them and the snow peaks in the distance .. it all seemed so very beautiful. So of course I decided that my visit to the United Kingdom could not be deemed complete without a visit to that part of Yorkshire which is now known as “Herriot County”.
Unfortunately due to lack of time and the fact that I couldn’t tear myself away from the sights and sounds of London, I couldn’t squeeze in a trip to Yorkshire. But what I did manage to do was go on a weekend trip to the country.
After my cousin had heard me lament and moan long enough about how awful it would be to go back without a single trip into the famed English Countryside, she finally gave in and decided to take me on a road trip through the countryside. We decided upon Stonehenge and Bath as our destinations.
We left bright and early on a cool Saturday morning. The start was marred slightly by the fact we couldn’t find a single B&B (Bed and Breakfast) to stay in. But being the intrepid travelers that we are, we threw caution to wind and decided to take things as they come.
The day promised to be sunny. A pale daffodil yellow sun was peeking through the clouds and the wind felt almost warm. As we drove towards the country, leaving the maniac pace of the city behind, my wish got fulfilled. The clusters of houses and buildings were replaced by vast green fields and the heavy London traffic by just an occasional farmer’s car on the road.

We drove past villages with quaint little cottages that had hedgerows and neat pocket sized gardens in front. The gardens were ablaze with flowers and I loved looking at the windows with their lace curtains and window boxes with flowers in a multitude of colors.

It was the strawberry season and since both of us can’t resist strawberries we stopped frequently at the roadside stalls selling strawberries and raspberries. The terrain grew more and more hilly as we drove on and I had my fill of the rolling green hills, emerald as far as the eyes could see, with a few buttercups thrown in like a splash of yellow or white. Streams trickled through like silver threads. It was all extremely picturesque.

Since I couldn’t have enough of the countryside from inside a moving car, we decided to park the car and just walk. This is exactly the kind of travel I like - to be able go at your own pace and stop wherever you want, whenever you want. We walked on through the woods, through pastures and uneven paths, lost in our own thoughts, enjoying the peace and the rare sunny day. 

coming up next Bath and Stonehenge .....


  1. OMG I so enjoyed that trip with you through your words here. Lovely, simply, beautifully, lovely description of the countryside. Oh how I wish...!

  2. And the pictures are awesome!

  3. @Shail - Thank you Thank you Thank you ! :)
    It was indeed a lovely trip !

  4. And by walking we actually encounter much more beautiful things than sitting inside car or train! Lovely greenery! That reminds me of those summer trekking that I enjoyed!

  5. Your narration made the pictures even more interesting!! And I am a James Herriot fan and was amazed when I had just discovered the internet and found that the beautiful place he described was now known and loved by many like me who knew it only through his books.

  6. Yorkshire is beautiful.. I went there last year ..

    "Unfortunately due to lack of time and the fact that I couldn’t tear myself away from the sights and sounds of London," .. YES i know someone was to meet up but did not have time , How can i forget that :(

    lovely pictures


  7. @vaish – Walking is always the best way to see things. And walks through the countryside are always lovely !

    @IHM – Thank you ! Glad to meet another James Herriot fan !

    @Bikram – sheepish grin for you !

  8. The English countryside in books were almost like a fantasy world...and now I have proof (through) your eyes that it is for real.

    That third pic in the post...oh my god! how cute is that!?

    Awesome...thanks for taking me along with your words.

    Someday....... :)

  9. @scorpria: I am so glad you enjoyed your virtual trip to the countryside :)

  10. Beautiful description. Reading the English authors I had thought that the countryside that they described was all out of imagination. But now hearing it from a person who has actually visited it and oh the pictures it was a lovely read.
    BTW, I randomly hit upon ur site :-)



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