Tag Archives: Why I love England

Why I Love England…Especially in Spring

I’ve found that April is really a better month than May in England. It actually rains less in April than in May. It’s cool, but I just wear an extra layer. No one expects to completely avoid rain in England, but sunny days are a big plus.


On a clear spring evening in Windsor, Queen Victoria stands sturdily on her pedestal and gazes majestically over the town. In this land of tradition, royalty begins to make sense even to an American puzzled by the idea of hereditary privilege. Victoria seems like a benign grandmother to one and all. No doubt she would approve of the very traditional name given to the new Princess of Cambridge, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Certainly the phenomenon that was Diana caused turmoil for the Royal Family, but then Victoria had troublesome children of her own. I imagine she took the long view.

Spring flowers are in full bloom. Lilacs are fresh and fragrant.

Stone fences neatly divide fields where every square foot has been lovingly farmed over many centuries.


Public footpaths on private lands crisscross the entire country. The British consider keeping them public to be a sacred right, open to everyone. They’re muddy in rain, but easily walkable in dry weather.


The British love their dogs (and their cats too). The little fellow above was dressed in a stylish fur-lined hoodie for a slightly chilly outing in Cambridge with his doting person.

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I get lonesome for pets left at home. B and Bs in the countryside often provide loaner pets on request, if you ask nicely. My new friend Ruby lives on a pretty farm in rural Suffolk.

Photo by nicogenin, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

Photo by nicogenin, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

I had never been to the area north and east of London before–it’s off the main tourist trails.  In fact Rick Steves does not even mention the area, except for Cambridge. That may change, with William and Kate settling in Anmer, close to the coast in Norfolk.  And I think I had a Johnny Depp sighting!  Rumor has it that he bought a mansion in Burnham Market, a very posh but rural little village near Anmer. I think I spotted him driving right past me in a nifty Griffith sports car.  If the “east of England” is good enough for the royals and for Johnny Depp, it’s good enough for me.

I really do love England, in any season!

Why I Love England, Mid-Trip


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.

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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.

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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!

Why 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!