England is not very big. Compared to a US state, England is only 200 sq miles bigger than Alabama. The UK isn’t a whole bigger either. Comparing it to a couple US states, the UK is in between Wyoming and Oregon. Despite the size, a three hours drive in the US can equal to an eight hours drive here in the UK for a few different reasons. One, depending on where you go, you can hit traffic. Traffic on the motorway (interstate) or the A roads (highways, although some A roads are two lanes). In the US, once you hit the interstate you can pretty much set your car on cruise control and just go until you’re out of gas, need to pee or have to go around a big city. The motorways don’t go everywhere. There’s a long one between London and up to Edinburgh for example but for other destinations, it’s a combo of different types of roads. This means you have a chance to enter villages/towns and also many many roundabouts. Or, you take the smaller roads, the B roads or a combo of As and Bs, and you keep hitting cute village/towns or historical sites along your route and just want to stop and have a walk around.
When we were in Mississippi last summer, I drove the girls to Disney World. It was a 12hrs drive and we did it in two days. Yes it was a bit dull at times but the drive was a breeze. Our next trip is to Scotland. The border is about size hours away but we’re breaking the trip in two days. If we had all the time (and money) in the world, we’d probably do this drive in two weeks. Or even a month’s time. There are just too many places I want to drag the family to between here and Scotland. Yes, yes, I know I can go another time, but we’ll already be up there ;)
Anyhow, our house to M’s gymnastics competition is about 180 miles away. A good three hours drive. On our way there, we just stopped for a coffee/snack stop. But on our way back, we made a few stops and drove on roads which looked like it could only fit one car but it’s a two lane road. The drive back took us almost eight hours and it was beautiful!
We saw Bibury. Look at this house built in the late 1300s. Can we all go ahhhhhh, now? See the stone fence? You can see that alongside many of the roads we drove on. They’re carefully cut and stacked on top of each other and many have been there for hundreds of years!
Here’s a peek of Arlington Row. Built in 1380 as a wool store and then converted into weaver’s cottages in the 17th century. Arlington Row is owned by the National Trust (which we are happy to be members of). There is no fee to see these homes but for £84/year we have access to hundreds of sites owned and maintained by NT that are scattered all around the UK.
There were lots of ducks when we went and they all eagerly quacked and swam for food from the visitors (which there were loads of, buses of them).
To the left is a trout farm and that building is the Swan hotel and pub/restaurants. That’s where we had lunch Sunday. The food was good but not one we went ga ga about.
Arlington Row. It is now a residential dwelling and again, I wish I could just look inside one of them!
Walking towards the main road and look, I spot a handsome man’s back!
And him from the front, or side. Stalker me ;)
This is more less what many of the villages that we drove by looked like. Gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s why I love driving small roads here when I have the time. Every day I drive the girls to and from school and I love each drive! I know, weird! But I do. I love driving away from the street next to ours, where all the old homes are, and then the small road that goes into the village of the girls’ school, our old village we moved from. I love seeing the pub in the corner and the old houses that are there. In the spring the pink flowers would drop on us. In the summer is great to feel the warm breeze. In the fall I LOVE watching the leaves change colours. And in the winter, I love seeing the white branches and fields.
It’s been a really mild fall. I think it’s just started to cool down the last couple of days. And the leaves haven’t completely changed colours. But it’s still a lovely fall day!
Until next time!!