It’s been about 6 months since we arrived in England and my how time has flown by! We are renting an apartment/converted (old) shoe factory in the town of Ipswich, in the county of Suffolk.
Recently we bought a £400 Ford, Focus, wagon and took a 6 week road-trip which in our usual haphazard and poorly planned fashion took us to France, Luxembourg and Switzerland, but not before a 2 week jaunt around England. Initially we had not intended to spend a great deal of time exploring England, aside from the distance between Ipswich (home) and Dover (the ferry Port from which we would sail off to France). As it turns out, England has more to offer than the average Englishman will let on!
Lemme explain, see, since we arrived we have been continuously cautioned that England sucks, and is by all means, inferior to Australia. If I hear “You’re from Australia! Why the hell did you come here!?” one more time, I will bust some skulls (or at the very least get my passive aggressive on).
I suppose Australia is wonderful, and the more I am away from it, the more I appreciate ‘The Great South Land’, and I suppose there is a little ‘the grass is always greener’ mentality in operation, but hey, people of England, your country is really, really neat! Well, now I have that off my chest, let me try and give you a brief account of our English escapades.
In the interest of longevity, we like to save money wherever we can; one of the means by which we do so is by avoiding toll roads. A method of navigation I would highly recommend, and that results in both a more economic journey and a more interesting one. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time on minor country roads, which in England, are extremely narrow, and confined by tall hedgerows on either side. Many times my driving skills and reflexes were put to the test whilst passing more ‘confident’ local commuters.
The time of year in which we travelled meant the vast paddocks we passed brimmed with crops, like corn, sunflowers and wheat, a beautiful sight to see. Villages are small but are situated close together. The age of towns, buildings and roads in is striking; we particularly enjoyed wandering cobblestoned roads, lined with thatched, and Tudor style cottages, whose wonky walls and lack of symmetry troubled the OCD in me.
As it turns out, England has some pretty epic coastline as well. We enjoyed some sunbaking and swimming at Sennen Beach (Cornwall) and managed to score beachside camping spots a couple times, sharing wine with some new German friends.
I’ll spare you every detail and destination, but before I wrap this up, I have to mention one of our favourite stops: Clovelly, a small fishing village in the Torridge district of Devon. Only accessible to foot traffic, and to those who have paid a fee (which is normally enough to deter me). Clovelly is a privately owned village, with (very) steep cobbled roads, which descend 120m to the pier below and are lined with cute wattle and daub cottages. The pier is a hub of activity, where a beer and pasty can be had, refreshment that is much needed before the accent back up.
We’re looking forward to many more trips out and about England, she sure has an abundance to offer! Stay tuned for our Luxembourg, and France posts!