Country towns that used to be powerful have magnificent cathedrals. The one at Salisbury is breathtaking. This cathedral was completed in 1258 and has not changed since then.
The Gothic ceiling of Salisbury Cathedral is a marvel of engineering. These beautiful Gothic ceilings always make me feel like I’m in an orderly forest of tall majestic trees whose branches intertwine far above the ground.
In the countryside, a horse is still transportation. This pretty girl was contentedly chomping grass outside the National Trust property of Mottisfont, while her owner visited the museum and probably also had a spot of tea in the tearoom.
Have I mentioned gardens, part of every historical and literary sight? This lawn and flower bed grace the grounds at Uppark, a mansion where Queen Victoria’s son the Prince of Wales whiled away his time carousing. The notorious playboy owner of Uppark finally settled down at age 70 when he married his milkmaid. The writer H. G. Wells spent part of his boyhood at the mansion, where his mother worked as the housekeeper.
And then there are the flowerboxes right outside my bed and breakfast in Woodstock. Yes, I love England!
England is a nation of gardeners. The flower beds above are at glorious Tyntesfield, a Victorian property rescued by the National Trust about 12 years ago. Thanks to the Trust, it’s open to everyone.
Castles and cottages alike have lovingly tended flower beds everywhere. The steady, temperate climate must have something to do with it, but it also takes people who have loved and cared for their land for generations.
An old garden wall is as beautiful as the garden it shelters.
A British dog knows its place in the world. This Westie is a connoisseur of cultural sights and also of scones with clotted cream and jam.
Topiaries? The British are masters. Nothing is too much trouble. This topiary looked at first like a dental chair, but I’m pretty sure it’s a peacock.
English is my native language, so there’s no struggle to understand what I’m hearing or reading. I can read all the signs, and the signs tend to be friendly. This one, at Tyntesfield, invites me: “Have a sit down!” Thank you. I don’t mind if I do!