Rural escapes in the French wilderness

As the largest country in Western Europe, as well as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you couldn’t possibly hope to explore all that France has to offer in a single trip. While we’ve all heard of Paris, Nice, Marseille, Strasbourg, Cannes, and Bordeaux, as well as other familiar and popular holiday hotspots, exploring rural areas away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and crowded tourist areas often makes for a much more exciting holiday.

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Best adrenaline days out

The monotony of one’s daily life makes Jack and Jill dull boys and girls. The mind is cluttered with daily complexities and it can leave you feeling numb. It’s time to step out of the box and give your body and mind the tonic of an adrenaline rush. A ‘rush’ will clear up the mind like nothing else. For a few days it will get you focused on the basics and life will seem much simpler, till the potential monotony returns. The added advantage of burning calories and learning a new skill are a nice bonus. So what are some of the activities suitable for an adrenaline day out?

A day at the racetrack

The thrill of speed is something everyone has experienced. A day spent at the racetrack driving performance cars at high speed, around a track designed for racing, is sure to get the adrenaline flowing. Most tracks will have packages to match different levels of driving skills. Thruxton in Hampshire and Silverstone in Northampton are two well-known tracks that offer the choice of driving your car around the circuit or packages for different high performance sports cars like the Porsche 911.

Racing safety has always been a driving force across the governing bodies of the sport. Max Mosley as president of FIA the governing body for F-1 racing was instrumental in getting Euro Encap legislated in 1997. The legislation ensured that car manufacturers ensured that the vehicles conformed to stringent crash norms. According to the EU commission in 2000, “Euro NCAP is the single most important mechanism for improving vehicle safety”. You can read stories about Max here.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboard is a water sport where one rides a board on the water’s surface while being towed by a mechanical device or a motorboat. Most parks that offer this sport have packages tailored for the beginner. The thrill one gets from skimming the water and sometimes falling while doing so is something one will remember for a while. BWSW is the governing body for this sport and it certifies various facilities for meeting safety norms. This is something to think about while looking at possible venues.

Hang Gliding

Disclaimer; this is not an activity for those with a fear of heights. For the rest this is a sure shot route to an adrenaline rush like never before. For those who get hooked this is often the first step to taking flight in gliders and planes. There is something about looking at things from a bird’s eye perspective. The countryside offers many avenues where this sport is offered. Actual flights are in tandem with the instructor until you earn your first solo flight. BHPA (British Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association) has a wide network of affiliated clubs and registered schools across the country.

The idea is to get out, have some fun, and get a shot of adrenaline to the head. Chances are it is an experience you will enjoy and cherish. If it leads to developing a new hobby, so much the better.

4 Ways to Make Living in the Country Cheaper

Moving to the country is a big step to make, but it might be the best decision you ever make. A lot of people are worried that moving to the country is too expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 4 ways to make living in the country a bit cheaper.

  1. Get Advice from Others Who’ve Made the Move

If you’re about to make the move out of the city and into the country, you probably have a lot of questions and worries occupying your mind. The best way to get rid of these and pick up a few useful tips is to talk to someone who has already made a similar move to the one you’re making.

There’s a lot to get to grips with, and having someone by your side who has already gone through the process can be a real relief. They’ll be able to show you the places to buy from and the mistakes not to make when you first move to the country.

  1. Invest in Renewables

Energy costs can be a big drain when you live in the countryside. Bills are often more costly than in the city because you’re situated in a more remote area. You’ll probably have a bigger house to heat too. One way to get around this is to invest in renewable energy sources.

You could go for either wind-powered generators or solar panels. If you substantial land on your property you could have quite a substantial generator. It’s possible to cater for all your energy needs through renewable sources. And that means saving a lot of money on energy bills.

  1. Consider Part-Exchanging

Part-exchanging is something that not a lot of people consider, but it can make the cost of a move to the country a lot cheaper and much easier. By part-exchanging, you don’t have to join a property chain, and that means you won’t go through all the stress normally associated with moving.

It’ll also save you costs in a more straightforward sense. Think about the money that estate agents usually make from the sale of your property, well you won’t have to worry about that if you part-exchange. Visit Propertywide.co.uk/ if you want to find out more about part-exchanging.

  1. Get As Much Land for Your Money as Possible

Land is often sold cheaply, so make sure you pick up as much of it as possible. There are lots of things you can do with it in the future if you want to make a bit of extra money. Even if you don’t want to use it now, you might do in the future.

A great way of adding value to your country property in the long-term is building another property on your land. You could then sell it to someone or just let it out during the summer months. This will bring in an extra revenue stream for you.

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Whether you’re thinking about moving to the country or already have, these tips can help you save some money. And even make a bit of extra money on the top!

 

Important Things We Learned When We Brought Our Dog To The Countryside

 

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If you’re anything like us, your dog is your best friend! You’ll take them anywhere and everywhere, and you wouldn’t leave them at home for the world. Our dog adds joy and excitement to every adventure or trip. They are relentlessly happy and optimistic, and they love to explore. That’s what makes your dog the perfect companion on a countryside trip. As regular readers will know, this site is all about rural living. And, what better way to enjoy the country, than with a dog by your side.

Unfortunately, taking your dog into the country isn’t quite as simple as it might seem. When we moved from the city, we noticed the difference immediately. Not all animals are suited to the bumpy terrain, rocky outcrops and unpredictable weather. This is particularly true if your dog is used to a cosy, urban apartment or walks in the park. Heading into the Great Outdoors is quite a different matter entirely. Today we’re going to give you a little introduction to bringing your dog into the rural lifestyle.

We’ll cover the restrictions and limitations you often find when out walking with your pup. We’ll also explain the hazards and perils of rough surfaces. More importantly, we’ll implore the importance of good training and obedience. Finally, we’ll finish with some specific activities that you dog will love when you make it out to the country. Ready to take a trip with your four-legged friend? Let’s go.

Know your dog rules

City dwelling dog owners won’t be always familiar with the countryside ways. There are plenty of restrictions and limitations in place when it comes to taking your dog into the open. Of course, every national park and county vary in its regulations. In some places, dogs are not allowed on campsites, for example. In others, certain trails and paths may be off limits to dogs. When they are allowed, it is essential that you pick up after your dog. Follow the countryside code! This practice is for the courtesy of other hikers, cyclists and path users.

Keep them on a leash

It’s tempting for dog owners to let their pups run wild in the wide open environment. However, even the best-trained dogs in the world can get distracted and injured here. Your dog can quickly find itself lost or stuck. If other dogs arrive on the scene, the new environment can stimulate them and cause them to act dangerously. When hiking or moving to the country, it’s just best to keep them close and on a leash.

Training

Before you head out into the countryside, your dog must be well trained and obedient. Never venture out onto trails unless the basic commands can be completed. Simple commands like ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘stay’ are your best friend in this environment. Remember there are lots of stimuli around. There are new smells, acres of space and lots of other dogs. This is a big test for the training and obedience of your furry critter. Make sure they’re prepared and well trained.

Protect against fleas

The countryside is a much more dangerous place when it comes to pests. Fleas, ticks and other creeps thrive in the country environment. Remember, it is wet, moist and warm; perfect growing conditions for these pests. We recommend speaking to your vet before you venture into the country. Your dog may need an updated set of vaccinations or shots. We also suggest using a preventative medicine like Frontline for dogs to keep fleas at bay. Try to ensure they are well-groomed and washed if possible too.

Ease them into it

Your dog will be leaping and bounding as soon as you open the car door. The fresh air and open space is like a huge playground for them. However, remember that this is new for your dog, and they’re not used to the terrain! It can be quite easy for a pup to injure their legs on the rocky ground. If you’re planning a country trip, try to ease them into it with less-extreme off-road ventures first. Take them into the local woods or off the paths in the park. Ease them into the process.

Pack them a bag

If you’re heading off into the wilderness, you’ve probably got your own rucksack or backpack. Well, your dog needs one too! Fill it full of essential doggy items like treats and food. You’ll also want your grooming tools to help keep their fur clean and tidy. A little emergency first aid kit is a good idea and bedding if you’re planning an overnight stay. Finally, take additional leashes and ID tags, just in case. We often find that dogs love to carry their own pack, so pick up a dog-friendly rucksack. It will reach around their bodies and keep it securely fastened. Our four-legged friends enjoy responsibility and love having a job to do.

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Activities:

We often get asked what activities you can do with your dog outdoors. So, here are some of our favourite options when it comes to keeping the furry one entertained.

Cycling – Cycling is perfect if your dog has tons of energy. You’ll need a special attachment that will stop your dog running too close to the bike and hurting themselves. It’s also very important to make sure you don’t overexert your pup. They will do everything they can to keep up with you! Don’t go too fast or too hard; regularly stop so they can catch their breath.

Camping – It is perfectly okay to camp with your pets. As we mentioned before, make sure the campsite is dog-friendly, and keep them on a leash. But otherwise, they make excellent campsite companions. They’ll curl up by the campfire and snooze after a long day’s running around!

Swimming – Most dogs are strong swimmers and will frolic in lakes and streams. You can even jump in with them! If there’s an outdoor swimming pool in the campsite, let them use that too. Of course, check to make sure there are no restrictions. Be sure to understand your dog’s limitations and don’t let them in rivers with a strong current. If you’re near the sea, we wouldn’t advise letting your dog into the ocean.

We hope you’ve found plenty of useful information in this quick guide! The countryside is a fantastic place for you and your dog. Just heed this advice and make sure they stay safe. Good luck!

 

Livening up the quiet life

Life in the countryside is usually much quieter than it is in the big towns and cities with far less traffic, far less noise and generally far less going on! While the highlight of the week in the big city is the night out after work on Friday (or all day through the weekend), the highlight for those living in rural areas is often a trip to the country pub for lunch or maybe a fete – it’s a huge contrast.

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