By Monika Komar
I have lived in the south of England for almost five years, and being a travel blogger it is with shame that I have to confess I never really explored the area. Not that I didn’t want to, it’s just the grass is always greener in London, Manchester, Bristol. However, my latest travel adventures helped me realise what a magical place I live in.
Every “Downton Abbey” fan would most definitely enjoy Kingston Lacy. It’s a country estate patterned upon Italian palaces, glorious and grand, the sort of a place where you half-expect to see a matron coming out of the main door to invite you in for a cuppa. The mansion is surrounded by fields and gardens, including the lavish Edwardian Japanese garden. In what appears to have been a stable, you can enjoy a cream tea and cake.
Pamphill is a village only a short walk away from the Kingston Lacy mansion. It’s most beautiful in early May when the bluebells are blooming. The walking routes take you through the wildest parts of the area, where you can spots deer and rabbits, and if it rains the day before, you might find yourself on a path ankle-deep in mud which then turns into an actual stream. Pat yourself on the back if you don’t end up face-planting the ground.
As the major coastal resort in the South, Bournemouth has the holiday feel even when it’s boots rather than bikini weather. Giant helium balloons, ice cream shops and carousel right by the shore evoke Christmas-like excitement, as if something extraordinary and fun was about to happen. And it does: All summer long there are festivals and events, attracting people from the neighbouring counties.
An absolute gem. This inconspicuous town might not be the most exciting of destinations, but it will seduce you with its pretty little harbor, charming high street where you can find the most delicious blueberry pancakes, and the castle ruins up on a hill. What makes it a unique getaway is that it is not popular with tourists and makes for a great quiet weekend away from the city.
Visiting exotic and faraway places is fantastic. Exposure to the unknown, to foreign cultures and languages is extremely enriching and inspiring. Sometimes though it is good to put tourist-goggles on and explore what’s on your side of the fence.
Monika is from Southampton, a town in southern England known for sending Titanic off on its maiden voyage. She is a languages geek and suffers from an incurable travel bug; her dream destination right now is Argentina. She loves bacon, owns too many pairs of boots and is rubbish at cooking. She runs a little travel blog: mktravelling.wordpress.com