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Our Rural Idyll

Rural Idyll

After many years working in the city being subjected to pollution , noise, traffic etc. We thought it was time to find our our own rural idyll. We wanted a slower pace of life and a cleaner healthier environment for our family. My wife was originally from rural Northumberland so we decided to look into buying a cottage in the area. We began as most do by scowering the internet for properties for sale that fitted our need:-

  • We wanted a pretty home
  • Seclusion
  • Not too Far to Amenities i.e. a nearish town
  • Plenty to do for the children e.g. local beach etc.

After many months of searching, we zeroed in on an area of Northumberland outside of the historic town of Alnwick. I have a large area of coastline and parkland http://diamondsinthelandscape.org.uk/all-about-national-parks-and-access-to-the-countryside-act-in-uk/. There were some lovely houses available that certainly compared to city price were very reasonable. We needed at least three bedrooms to accommodate us all. We found two properties in the area that ticked all of our boxes.

Traveling Up

We decided to go to stay in Alnwick for a long weekend to give us all a chance to get a better feel for the area. This was also our opportunity to view the available properties and decided if we wish to pursue either of them. We set off early on Friday morning for the five-hour drive to Alnwick.

We arrive around midday so had some time to drop into the estate agents and arrange to view the two properties. This was arranged for Saturday morning as both were not too far it would give us time to consider our options. We spent the rest of Friday driving to some of the local high spots, Bamburgh, Seahouses etc. This confirmed for us that this was the place to go to escape life in the city.

To buy or not to buy?

On the Saturday morning we went to see both properties, each had its own quirks and quaint characteristics that you expect for rural properties particularly in Northumberland. The second property was the most practical, but I knew my wife had fallen in love with the first. It had everything we needed and was what she has envisaged when we first discussed the move. The owners wanted a quick sale as they were moving overseas so we knew we had to strike while the iron was hot. We contacted finance provide https://getmemymortgage.co.uk that had recommended by a colleague as they had a good reputation for fast turnaround.

We were given provisional approval and decided to make an offer for the full price to guarantee the property. We knew or place in the city was sell quick so had no worries about that.

Settling in to our rural Idyll

Everything went smoothly with the purchase. We relocated within 2 months and set about redecorating and make those improvements that make a home a home. After six months we know that we made the right choice about relocating.

Historic Retreats

New England has long been synonymous with history and scenery, and there is no better way to experience it than at a wonderful bed and breakfast or remarkable country inn.
There are many wonderful lodging opportunities in this region of the country, but here are some of the best of the best – when not just any accommodations will do, but the only most attentive and superb service and surroundings. So whether you are going for an extended historic vacation, or an intimate weekend retreat, New England will meet your needs and more!

Hawthorne Inn (Concord, Mass)

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn (Sudbury, Mass): Step right into a folk art painting at this unique setting that inspired Henry Longfellow to write “Tales of a Wayside Inn”. Dine by firelight or relax in your room tastefully decorated with country antiques. You can even visit the schoolhouse that Mary’s little lamb followed her to!

Charlotte Inn (Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass)

This enclave of superb buildings is by far the most refined in this village of refinement. The main house also serves as Edgartown’s Art Gallery, though the guest rooms themselves are museum quality. Enjoy fine French cuisine by candlelight in the sophisticated property restaurant.

Mayflower Inn (Washington, Conn)

This is the Inn that magazines are made of! Flawless in its attention to detail, the Mayflower is the epitome of perfection. Four poster beds, fireplaces, marble bathrooms, and impeccable taste make it easy to see why this inn has been a preferred favorite for even the most discriminating, including Eleanor Roosevelt, throughout the years.

Twin Farms (Barnard, Vt)

Large private suites and graceful stone cottages pamper anyone with a love of extravagance. Novelist Sinclair Lewis once resided here, and today it upholds its traditional elegance. Be advised though, the nightly rates at this ultimate indulgence are more breathtaking than the scenery; this is definitely not a lodging option for the budget-minded!

Stone Hill Inn (Stowe, Vt)

This bed and breakfast is designed to inspire romance. Each room features a two-person fireside Jacuzzi, candles and rubber duckies for bath time, turndown service with premium chocolates, and though you won’t feel as ensconced in history as at some of the other inns and B amp; B’s in New England, the décor is traditional and upscale. Guests have access to a well-stocked 24-hour pantry and the gourmet breakfasts are outstanding!

White Barn Inn (Kennebunkport, Maine)

World-class service and no amenity overlooked make it easy to see why this resort has won numerous awards. Fresh fruit and flowers in all of the rooms, plush robes, and an evening turndown service provide the extra touches that will surpass any and all expectations! Gentlemen are required to wear jackets in the internationally renowned restaurant, and there is even a wine room on site that features over 7,000 bottles of fine vintages.

Visitors come to New England for relaxation, for romance, for the landscape, for the history and more. Become one with times gone by as you surround yourself in the luxury of today, while staying in accommodations that have stood for centuries. While there are metropolitan venues and adventure opportunities in abundance, it is the timeless serenity that is most appealing about this heart of Americana!

All about National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act in UK

Where did it all begin


The 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act didnt just create National Parks. Many special landscapes were protected under the Act and are celebrating the 60th anniversary:

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty


AONBs are considered outstanding for their flora, fauna, historical or cultural associations as well as scenic views. They have the same level of legal protection for their landscapes as National Parks but they don’t have their own authorities for planning control and other services. Instead they are looked after by partnerships between local people and local authorities.

National Parks


All our National Parks are home to people who live and work in them, and the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape and wildlife. They are also areas where everyone can go to enjoy the outdoors. Each National Park has an organisation that helps to look after it, a National Park Authority, with staff including planners, rangers, ecologists and education officers.

Sunset over Fulking Escarpment in the South Downs National Park. (C) Matt Gibson/LOOP IMAGES/ Getty Images

National Trails


There are over 2,500 miles of National Trails in England and Wales, and 464 miles of Scotland’s equivalent Long Distance Routes. All are long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding through beautiful countryside.