One of the things on my bucket list is to visit all of England’s counties. You might ask why and what a sensible question that would be! But beyond ‘Why not?’, there really is very little logic except to explore this country. Until Easter 2017, I’d barely travelled beyond the south east but, since then, I’ve gone to 39 counties, with just another 9 to go until I reached the goal of 48. So, when writing about places in the UK I’d like to visit over the next few months, I thought I’d tie it in with the whole county-tick box thing.
When I got back from my epic road trip in May that took me into Scotland and Wales, I was so excited to scratch off all the counties I’d visited. Loads! This scratch map screams out ‘geek’, doesn’t it?! Clearly, there must be other people, like me, who get satisfaction from grabbing a circular piece of copper and scratching off the top layer to reveal more green. But it’s a great visual for planning my trips. Whilst I managed to do a short drive the other day, my leg clearly wasn’t ready so it’ll be a while until I do this but here goes with where I’d going to head to once I’m in full adventurer mode!
Trip 1: Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.
So, I was going to do this 2 weeks ago but the plan is to go to Cornwall via the Isle of Wight! What do you mean that’s not logical?! Doesn’t everyone throw in a couple of ferry rides (Portsmouth to Ryde and Yarmouth to Lymington) on their way down?! Yes, I know it adds to the time but it’s the Isle of Wight! There are 4 places I really want to go to in Cornwall:
- a show at the Minack Theatre
- St. Michael’s Mount (which is a bit like the cousin of Mont St. Michel in France)
- the Land’s End sign
- Port Isaac (which you might recognise as Portwenn from the TV series Doc Martin)
This could be done over a weekend, perhaps leaving Sussex early on Saturday and coming back Sunday evening…..so I’m going to check out what’s on at the Minack and find a weekend to make this happen. However with September just a day away, I guess the Minack might be more of a summer location with the theatre perched on the cliffs so it might be something for next year but let’s see.
Trip 2: Malvern Hills
As you can see on the map above, I need to head towards Wales and tick off Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford. Now, I’ve never gone to these counties before and even after googling them a moment ago, I still don’t really know much about them .
According to TripAdvisor, the top thing to do in Worcestershire is to venture up the Malvern Hills. But I’ve also just noticed that, again according to TripAdvisor, the 8th top thing in the whole county is…..The Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster! Really?!! Are there really enough interesting things to make a small collection let alone a whole museum? Saying that, one of my closest friends works in this kind of field and I know that there’s history of trading rugs, etc. However, even she might be surprised about this Worcestershire museum (day trip for you, N? xx). So, it looks like it’s going to be a walk up the beautiful Malvern Hills for me.
Now for Gloucester, TripAdvisor tells me that the top 4 attractions are: Walk with Hawks, Biery Hill Llamas, Head 4 Heights Ltd, and The International Centre of Birds of Prey. Yep, I have to say that these don’t grab my attention so onto Herefordshire. The first few things on TripAdvisor aren’t really interesting me either although Eastnor Castle looks nice and I’m sucker for anything a bit old and photographic.
So, in order to tick off these counties, I might actually plan to go to Cardiff instead but plan my route carefully. Now, if you live in Worcestershire, Gloucester or Herefordshire or have visited these places, PLEASE tell me here I should be heading to! Convince me to not go as far as Wales but to enjoy all that these counties have to offer!!! What do you suggest?
Trip 3: East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and Cambridgeshire.
And then I’ve the four counties to the north east.
Measuring just 18 miles north to south and 17 miles west to east, Rutland is bigger than only 3 other ceremonial English counties: the Isle of Wight, City of Bristol and the City of London, so don’t blink as you drive through it!
Now, I have to say that East Riding of Yorkshire does sound nice with Bridington Beach but it’s Cambridgeshire that excites me most. The obvious place to head to is Cambridge itself and a walk along the canals….perhaps even punting by the historic university colleges! Give me a city with history and I’m pretty much glued although, as I blogged about a long time ago, you won’t catch me stopping to read the plaques! No, I’m a tick box traveller. I am the person who gets around an exhibition in no time at all because I don’t read anything! I get in, take photos and feel that I’ve done it! Shameful really and in complete contrast to my amazing hubby who’s interested and takes time to read everything which makes him a fantastic person for any pub quiz team! In fact, we’re off to a charity quiz night next month but the most I can offer in terms of knowledge is musicals, capital cities and weird things that people put on their bucket lists!
Lincolnshire sounds beautiful with its famous cathedral, castle and Steep Hill. Funnily enough, I was googling ‘steepest roads in England’ the other day. Yes, having spent almost 6 weeks recovering from an injury and not driving, my search history is looking drastically sad and I’m in real danger of losing the plot! But, yes, I was googling steepest roads and Steep Hill in Lincoln featured (see the photo below). It has a one in seven gradient (i.e. 14%) making it extremely hard to go up or down but I sense a lovely photo opportunity. So, I will rise to the challenge of making my way up to the top. It’s Vale Street in Bristol which holds the top accolade for steepest street in the country at almost 22% and feared by many a cyclist!
So, if I can do the above, that will be me ticking off another item from the bucket list to say that I’ve gone to all of the 48 counties. Happy days!
For those of you who so wonderfully follow me, you may be expecting my monthly update about what I’ve achieved this month. Usually, I’d be reflecting on days out and sharing my favourite photos but, alas, this month has seen me reside in my lounge, get arty with Hobbycraft orders and be unusually up-to-date with report writing for work! But let’s hope that September will bring full recovery after celebrating our youngest ‘child’s 18th birthday tomorrow. Am feeling positively old!
Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to sell travel ideas to me regarding Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire!!! xxxx