Rutland Rambles

I’m always thinking about the essence of a place. What makes it what it is? How do I know so clearly that I’m walking through the English countryside, and not, say, Spain? Or Brazil?

I thought about this during the ramble we took around the largest reservoir in England, located in its smallest county.


The scenery of Rutland Water just seemed so quintessentially English, but why?

Maybe it’s the rolling grassy hills? Green for miles.


Maybe it’s the classic blossom trying its hardest to spring from hedges and gardens?


Could it be that feeling that you can’t quite wait to get to the top of the next hill?


And when you get there, seeing for miles and maybe catching a glimpse of a distant manor?


Maybe it’s the many gates you walk through (and remember to close behind you!), secured by straggly twine, optimistically macgyvered by generations past and present?


Maybe it’s the way the light plays on the little pools and streams?


Or maybe the green mossy trunks, looking softer than velvet?


Maybe it’s the way the sun catches the grass, then the water, then the distant hills?


Could it be the traditional willow fences snaking across the landscape, displaying skilled craftsmanship?


Maybe it’s the sound of beating wings, or sails chinking against masts?


The slop of wellies, and the flap of raincoats?


Perhaps it’s the regular cattle grids, with the threat of a nasty sprain making me grimace as I pick my way across? Also, I always look under the bars to make sure there are no hedgehogs trapped 🙂


Or the realisation that yes, those are storm clouds gathering in the distance?


Maybe it’s the sheep* dotting the landscape, or the sight of distant spires? Note: Storm cloud still very much in evidence


Could it be that moment when you realise there’s no way you’re getting home before that storm hits, so you’d better just shelter in the nearest pub?


In England, there’s always a pub.

All I know is, we walked about 6.5 miles and it was glorious. Well, apart from the last bit where we had to walk in freezing sideways hail and one side of my face totally froze. Who needs botox?! Just go for a walk in England in ‘Spring’!

Have you ever been for a walk in the English countryside? What makes it English to you?




  1. 9th March 2016 / 20:37

    I’ve never been to England but Rutland has some pretty nature and scenery! What a nice walk (except the end).

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:40

      It really does, doesn’t it? The rain at the end was a shame but you really can’t expect anything else when setting out on a walk in England. We all just assumed we’d get wet. I think that’s why pubs were invented!

  2. 9th March 2016 / 20:55

    i don’t think i have ever gone to the actual english countryside, but i hope to one day. i’ve been to the suburbs and london, lol. but no countryside yet. i don’t know what it is about a place, but i know what you mean. some places just feel australian, english, american, etc. but i don’t know why.

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:41

      I hope you do too! I’d recommend aiming for the summertime if possible, although that’s no guarantee of pleasant weather to be honest. I have a feeling I will continue to ask myself this why for the rest of my days. I just can’t work it out.

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:42

      Nothing like some fresh air in your lungs and hail in your face to make you feel alive! Ahh England. If it weren’t so pretty it would be totally miserable.

  3. 10th March 2016 / 01:07

    Shame that the storm made the rest of the walk less than pleasant, but it looks like you had a nice time enjoying the countryside until then! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:43

      I had a great time up until that point. And actually the storm part was quite funny, we were all utterly soaked so there was some camaraderie in that. I was glad to warm up after, though!

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:43

      Isn’t it just? I’m so lucky to live near-ish to such beauty. I’m glad you liked them too!

  4. 10th March 2016 / 02:51

    Those pictures are beautiful! When the weather is nice, I usually take a walk in the park, but it is nothing compared to the English countryside 🙂

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:44

      Park walks are good too, I’ll take any greenery I can get when the weather is nice! The English countryside is really special, isn’t it? I’m not sure I’ve seen that kind of green anywhere else.

  5. 10th March 2016 / 05:17

    Such gorgeous pictures Rachel! They make me want to visit the English countryside so badly! X

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:45

      Glad you liked them! I hope you get to visit the countryside too, but remember your waterproofs 😉

  6. Kerri Taylor
    10th March 2016 / 14:57

    oh i love this – the essence of a place. makes me think of all the places i visited and what made it, something..beautiful photos too! i really really want to visit england and this just gives me all the wanderlust!

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:45

      Yes I’ve been pondering that one for a while, still no closer to the answer! I’m pleased you enjoyed your virtual trip to the countryside 🙂

  7. 10th March 2016 / 16:20

    Oh wow. Such gorgeous pictures! I absolutely love London but next time I’m over there I really want to get out and experience the English countryside!

    • 15th March 2016 / 23:56

      I’d recommend it, especially if you don’t get hailed on 😉 I hope you manage to get out and see all the green one day.

  8. Kelly Michelle
    13th March 2016 / 18:31

    It’s so pretty up in Rutland…I was really surprised and it reminded me slightly of a less commercial Cotswolds! Eek hail!!! xx

    • 15th March 2016 / 23:55

      Yes it was a bit, wasn’t it? Maybe it’s the stone. Did you try the Horse and Jockey pub? Good gluten free food there…

  9. 20th March 2016 / 07:03

    Wonderful photo collection! I love how tranquil it looks. We’ve only driven through the English countryside. We’d love to explore more next time.

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