hidden europe 31

Slow England

by Nicky Gardner


It takes a lot of courage to re-engineer our relationship with time, to realise that we have been seduced by speed. But a new series of books from Bradt Travel Guides encourage us to do just that by focusing in on the local. Slow travel comes of age as a major travel publisher celebrates the details of England that make every village distinctive.

Of course, one can stick to the motorways and speed through England in just a few hours. But you will miss Appletreewick, Castle Rising and Ottery St Mary.

“How long do I need to ‘do’ England?” asked our friend from New York.

“If you want to do more than just skim the surface and wish to really get a feel for the principal regions, you need a few weeks,” was our reply. His face fell, and England seemed to be slipping quickly below our American friend’s travel horizons.

“But England is so small,” he protested, going on to explain that he had only three weeks in Europe. The happy compromise was that he went to England and spent ten days entirely within a single county. Our friend roamed from Honiton to Hemyock, from Bere Ferrers to Bovey Tracey, enjoying the very best that Devon had to offer along the way.

Slow Travel has come of age as more and more travellers across Europe are appreciating the value of lingering rather than dashing on post-haste to the next big sight.

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