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.

Before you start to think this is an article aimed at putting people off coming to the country, think again, the countryside is full of amazing things to see and do, you just have to go out and find them. The key is that you need to go into it with an open mind, doing the kind of activities that many will raise eyebrows at and even staying in and trying to make the most of what you can do, rather than thinking about what you can’t.

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Rural parts of the UK in particular are given a bit of a stereotype as being sleepy retirement locations where people go to calm down as they get older, but there are still plenty of things you can be doing both indoors and outdoors.

One such example is cycling – one of the most popular pastimes. Some locations have some amazing sights to take in and cycling is one of the best ways to see them all while getting some much-needed exercise along the way. It’s the kind of thing you can either do on your own or as a family, especially if you can bring a picnic with you, stopping off somewhere idyllic for a bit of sunbathing (when it’s not raining of course).

When it is raining and you’re forced indoors, you aren’t completely cut off from the world like many think. Contrary to beliefs there are televisions (colour ones too), and Internet access meaning you can play games on your tablets or laptops, even play lottery online to try and win millions without even leaving the comfortable sofa. Now winning that would certainly liven up the sleepy countryside wouldn’t it!

Of course, if that kind of thing isn’t for you and you want to get out and experience the great outdoors come what may, it’s worth taking a look at the list of local events for some…interesting activities. Bank holiday weekends in the UK are usually filled with rural activities like Bottle or Barrel Kicking, a bit of a (legal) mass brawl in which two teams – usually villages – attempt to get a barrel across fields, rivers, hedges and fences to cross a ‘goal line’ to try and win for their team. From the outside it looks just like a huge rugby scrum and from the inside…it feels like one!

Then you have events such as cheese rolling where locals gather at the top of a hill (this is usually in the West country where there are, well, hills), and competitors attempt to roll their chosen block of cheese down the slope the fastest.

cheesy rolling

You always have beer festivals too if that’s all a bit too weird for you!

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