My sad life in London
I lived for 8 long years in London, included my experiences like a continuos cruiser on my narrowboat along its canals trying to find natural reserves and gardens …but London is the crowded big smoke, dangerous, expensive and polluted and for the whole period I had never been happy and found only a contaminated nature and lots of plastic bags.
In 2019, at the end of a tormented relationship, I decided to do my luggage, sell my narrowboat and move to Bristol.
Bristol is in the southwest of England, a couple of hours by car from London. It is not so famous as Bath but is really a great place to live. Anyway, it is still a great city with its half a million inhabitants, and you need to know the best areas to relocate .
Thanks to a couple of Bristolium friends and research on google I arrived in West Bristol and now, after two years, I am really excited and happy to live here …full of green, parks, quiet and so elegant that often I forget to live in a big city.
In 2020, for the Covid pandemic, I was forced to stay in England with no travels abroad or a visit to Italy, my home country.
Therefore I decided to join a hiking group where I met people in love with nature and walks …some of them are now my best friends and every weekend we try to organize hiking, obviously respecting the government rules, where I have also the possibility to take pictures at incredible flowers and landscapes that I used for my art.
As soon as the lockdown was lifted we run with our cars around Devon, Somerset, Cotswold, Wiltshire to discover the beauty of this side of the island.
I was a travel agent and tour leader for 25 years and used to visit lots of countries around the world …and I never could imagine England has so much to offer. The tourism industry should promote better these areas to encourage people to come and have holidays here.
Many people abroad think England is just London, Oxford and Bath but they lose the possibility to see amazing landscapes with their incredible shades of green and discover the real English traditions in their small villages.
Glastonbury is known for its famous music festival, but it is also very interesting to visit its village full of hippies, alternative mystic shops and vegan restaurants …it is very different from the standard English towns but deserves a visit.
In Glastonbury, there is also a piece of history connected to the famous Henry VIII.
I am talking about Glastonbury abbey, a previous monastery established in the far 7th century but it was suppressed during the Dissolution of Monasteries by Henry when he founded the Anglican church to have his divorce from Catherina d’Aragona and marry Anna Bolena. The last abbot, Richard Whiting was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on the nearby Glastonbury Tor in 1939.
From the 12th century, Glastonbury has been associated with the legend of King Arthur for a few monks who asserted this place was Avalon.
The tor is mentioned in fact in Celtic mythology and today it is possible to visit the remains of St.Michael’s church
During my hiking, I had also a few adventures with horses left free in fields or cows. It was a bit scary at the beginning to meet curious horses running towards you … but gradually I am getting used to these incredible and amazing animals
There is lots of history in the south west of England and it is possible to visit incredible monuments or churches like Wells Cathedral
Wells city .
Wells is the smallest city in England and has preserved perfectly its medieval aspect.
Wells Cathedral is an Anglican church dedicated to St.Andrew the Apostle and seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells
Once it reopens after this lockdown, I suggest a visit to its amazing astronomical clock. The clock had surviving mechanism dated between 1386 and 1392 but replaced in the 19th century to be moved to the science museum in London where it continues to operate.
Other places I suggest visiting are the villages and the surrounding hills in Cotswold and Wiltshire who have preserved perfectly the English traditions.
Here the village of Castle Combe
The famous Marlborough hills during a winter sunset
Still in Wiltshire, we have archaeological sites like the famous neolithic henges of Avebury and Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is the most famous but in Avebury, you can feel the mystical atmosphere early morning and still touch the prehistoric stones.
If you love trees you must visit the Westonbirt arboretum .
I went last autumn and still now can not forget the incredible colours of the trees that inspire my paintings and fashion design.
We belong to the Ocean
If you love the ocean in less than 30 minutes by car you can be in nice places like Clevedon with its pier or Portishead.
If you prefer driving a bit longer you can have a visit to incredible locations in Dorset or Devon and enjoy incredible sunsets.
In this area of England, there is a strong and dangerous tide , the second-highest in the world, and in a few minutes the water can disappear or arrive with all its strength
Here an example of low tide in Devon
If you love boats you can have also an experience renting one of the traditional narrowboats and cruise along the River Avon and Kenneth canal around Bath in Somerset for example … but be ready to know a few rules to go through the old and tiring locks.
England is really a beautiful country and I will always promote a visit to discover its traditions, flowers and shade of greens.