Falling in Love with the British Isles Feels so Good
I was born in the U.K., grew up in the U.K., spent from the age of 14 travelling between France and Italy. I always felt torn between 3 countries – Italy because that was where my parents came from and whilst we lived in Britain, everything about our family and household was Italian; France was my next “significant other” as I fell in love with the language and the country in my teens.
The UK whilst it is my country of birth, I always took it for granted – like the comfy pair of slippers that’s just always been there. I don’t travel overseas as much as I used to, however my job does take me the length and breath of this green and pleasant land. And so to pay homage to what I’ve been missing, I’ve become a “working tourist”.
I pick boutique type hotels, usually booked through Mr & Mrs Smith, and I then take some time to explore.
Over the last few months my itinerary has been tremendously rewarding- I am either working with letting agents in their agency or delivering training to clients who come to spend a day with me.
After the Summer my adventures began with York – a jewel in amongst the Yorkshire countryside. The city (it has a Minster) is protected by ramparts – walls – you can climb on and imagine what it would have been like bow and arrow in hand, to defend the city. Who hasn’t been there? Romans and Vikings made there mark, so did the spirits. York is renown for it’s ghost tours – boo !
I decided to drive north of the city into the countryside, armed just with my eye-sight, I stumbled upon Ampleforth, high up in the hills, nestled in green and lush trees. It was raining as I arrived, but it just added to the stunning views I was seeing. As I drove through the hills, I ended up in Helmsley, a chocolate box of a A village with a town square, a church and shops made of the same light-grey brick. I love using my iPhone to capture these moments, yet somehow no matter how many megapixels I have, it doesn’t do it justice.
My trip ended as I drove south back to York through Castle Howard – the location for the TV programme “Brideshead Revisited” – I fell in love with this place on TV years ago and here it was like a mirage unfolding itself before my very eyes, except it was no dream, it was majestic and mighty. You mind runs away with you trying to imagine what life was like within the walls of this stately home.
We are blessed, we are fortunate, we have so much beauty on our doorstep.
As William Blake so beautifully put it:-
“And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountain green.”
Many will experience what I have and understand that the grass isn’t necessarily greener.