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Monday, 26 March 2012

I love Spain and Italy, but England... is rather Special

I am known to wax lyrical about Spain and Cantabria, Italy and Tuscany, but last week I remembered how much I love England and the reasons why I love this little island of ours.
I had a little sojourn out to Egton in the North Yorkshire Moors and while it was a grey misty east coast day going, the grey low cloud lifted and left us with a bright sunny afternoon. I decided to follow the small road back to Saltaire where I live
and see some of the lovely countryside in this neck of the woods.
It was a stroke of luck that I missed a turning in some small village and finished up heading south wards towards Pickering and York. The road rose up on to the top of the moors and travelled along a ridge overlooking two valleys and we were treated to some of the most wonderful views over this mini wilderness.

Now the moors arent that big an area in comparison to other countries vast national parks, but it's because of this that one can be treated to a wide variety of landscapes and scenery within an a short distance.
Only twenty miles to the east of the moors are the coastal towns of Whitby and Robin Hood Bay and yet twenty miles to the East and you are entering the Yorkshire Dales.

Small villages dot the back roads with their stone houses and wonderful village pubs that are the delight for walkers and travellers. Streams and rivers with dark pools where kids and adults alike will use for a swim on the few days allowed by the English summers.
Sixty miles further on and you could be in the Lake District, while only a hundred miles south of there, the way the crow flies and you could be travelling through the Snowdonia National park

or a hundred miles north of the lakes and you are stepping into the lowlands of Scotland.

Each of these areas has a distinct uniqueness and can change from valley to valley, and from village to village.
You are never too far from the coast and never too far from lakes, moors and mountains.

While I bemoan the lack of space where I can open the bike up and moan at the traffic that invariably spoils a good ride, there aren't that many rides that I can do that without wanting to stop every five miles or so, to sample a scene or a view that I hadn't noticed the last ride, either because I was looking the other way or the light is different with the never ending change in weather conditions.

Britain is a country I have travelled the length and breadth of so many times and it never ceases to surprise me.

There is quite simply, no other place quite like it.

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