Sunday, 5 January 2014

It's been far too long since I last posted (the run up to Christmas has well and truly beaten me) but things are starting to settle down again so I should be able to post more regularly again (hurrah!).
Although the past few weeks have been hectic, Christmas itself was nice and relaxing, especially since I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time in the quiet English countryside; my Dad has recently moved to a lovely little village near Swindon, so to celebrate the new house we had a family Christmas there.

Being so ready to kick back and take some time out over the festive period, I was slightly worried when the UK was hit by 90mph winds and heavy flooding which disrupted travel across the country, but as it turned out I got into Swindon train station earlier than originally planned, leaving me a little more time to settle into the house before Christmas day.
Having arrived at night time I hadn't seen much of the area as there are very few street lights in the village, so on Christmas day my Dad, Step-mum and I took my grandparents' dog for a little walk.
The village itself is tiny, with just a pub, a couple of bike shops and a dairy, but it's oh-so peaceful. With green fields rolling into the distance and clear skies ('big sky' as my Dad likes to call it), this area is perfect for anyone who enjoys long walks in the countryside.

Luckily for us the stormy weather had subsided by the 25th so we were able to get out and about over the days following Christmas without running into trouble, although there was still evidence of flooding in some of the fields in the area.

The first town we visited was Tetbury, a small market town with a beautiful building in the center where markets are held regularly.
All of the shops here are local and unique, and although we didn't go into any as many were shut, they all looked exquisite, and I really hope I get to see the market on my next visit.

We also had a little walk around Corsham, the town where Lark Rise to Candleford is filmed. Stepping into this tiny town is like taking a step back in time; the buildings haven't changed since they were built hundreds of years ago and even some of the barns still stand - the only giveaway that you're in the present day is the cars lining the streets.
Although Corsham has residents and is like any other small village in that people live their every day lives there, it still attracts tourists; the streets were full of people wandering around and taking in the scenery when we went, although there was an event going on at the time which might have increased the number of visitors, and there were queues for the tea rooms (of which there are a few, and they all look so cosy and homely.) That being said, everyone was walking around at their leisure and taking in their surroundings, stopping to admire the old buildings and occasionally letting some horses pass by. If you're at all interested in the way people in England used to live or if you're a fan of Lark Rise to Candleford, I would definitely recommend paying a visit to Corsham.

We also drove through Malmesbury, a cute little village with fewer shops than Tetbury, and we also took a trip to the outlet centre in Swindon (which is well worth a visit - I managed to pick up a lovely slouchy Billabong cardigan for £15 instead of £50).

It was so nice to spend  a few days somewhere quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of every day life, and I would definitely recommend this area to anyone looking for a weekend or even a week or two away in the country; with lots of local produce, unique shops, stunning scenery and clear night skies, this part of the country really is a little slice of heaven.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, ate lots of good food and watched plenty of cheesy films, and I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve. I'm so excited for the year to come and one of my resolutions is to blog more often, so I'll be doing my best to keep that up.


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