Photo Friday: Sunrise in the English countryside


Edale Sunrise

Our last few days in the UK were spent driving around the countryside and staying with friends, the Guests, in Manchester. I have to say we completely underestimated just how beautiful the English countryside is. Particularly at sunrise. The sunrises in winter in England are stunning. The above photo was taken in Edale Valley in the Peak District National Park near Manchester.

After leaving London we drove to Bodiam Castle and onto Arundel where we stayed the night in a YHA. YHA currently has a sale on for families - 30 pounds for a private four person bunk room and dinner for the whole family. The room and YHA were nothing fancy but it did give us the chance to wake up in the countryside to a car covered in ice after a freezing night (the first time the kids have ever seen that so they were suitably impressed) and this view:

Arundel Castle

Gorgeous countryside with a castle and cathedral peeking through the fog. Hard not to be impressed!

It even managed to get me out of my fowl mood after waking up with a migraine to discover the YHA was out of tea!

Arundel Castle

Overall, Arundel village was stunning. The kids weren't very interested but Colin and I loved it. Gorgeous old buildings, like this post office ...

Arundel Post Office

... the Cathedral ...

Arundel Cathedral

... and a cricket field on the top of the hill overlooking the castle with an outfield that suddenly ends in a huge drop off. I wonder how many balls (and fielders) disappear over the edge?

Cricket in Arundel

We grabbed some snacks for the road and finally found take-away hot tea (which I of course managed to spill all over myself climbing back into the car!) before heading to the one thing Colin had been dreaming of seeing in England - the company that builds the expedition RTW trucks that he hopes to buy.


One day! When our bank accounts look a lot healthier than they currently do.

After an hour of Colin drooling at trucks it was onto Edale.

We had booked another night at the YHA, this time in Edale Valley, a small string of even smaller villages and farm land in the shadow of some fairly impressive hills just an hour from the outskirts of Manchester. The YHA Edale is huge - a popular school camp spot so it's on a farm with sheep, lots of hiking trails, a creek and just a short distance to a dam for kayaking ... all in summer of course! It was just a little too cold while we were there - it snowed the night after we left.

We arrived in the pitch black that is 7.30pm (got to love winter in the UK!) so didn't really have a chance to enjoy the scenery.

Until we woke up the next morning ...

Edale farm building

Farm in Edale

It was drizzling with rain and the wind was howling through but it didn't stop it from being one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen. I froze my butt off jumping out of the car every 2 minutes to snap photos (and got laughed at by my ultra supportive kids and husband) but I'm glad I did.

Edale sunrise

Within five minutes we had decided we were coming back here ... in the summer ... definitely the summer ... to rent a house.

Rolling hills, huge fields, slow creeks ... and very limited cell phone reception. We'd either learn to love the outdoors and the kids would learn to play outside by themselves ... or we'd all go insane! Either way it would be a fun challenge.

And in the most stunning setting. This was certainly one of the most beautiful places we've ever visited and I highly recommended making the trip there if you are in the UK. Derbyshire is well connected by public transport and run great holiday tours.


Over the pass to Manchester

This post is part of Photo Friday over at Delicious Baby.

Next Post: Playgrounds and bazaars - four days in Skopje Previous Post: In search of the perfect castle

About the Author


Tracy Burns

Tracy always talked about traveling a lot more than she ever traveled. Married to an avid traveler that thankfully changed. After almost two years exploring South East Asia and Australia, enjoying the most amazing food, temples, beaches, and more importantly every sweet food treat she can find, Tracy is keen to explore further afield. Tracy juggles homeschooling, playtime, blogging and learning more about photography while they travel. Some days she juggles them better than others!

Comments (13):

  1. The pictures are beautiful! We've been to London but never to the English countryside - it's definitely a trip that I'm looking forward to taking some day.

  2. What amazing photos! You are whetting my appetite for when we travel to England early next year.

  3. Wondeful English countryside pictures! Love the cathedral and castle especially. These pictures make it seem like you had the place all to yourselves. I need to add this to my bucket list =)

  4. With all those castles around, I wonder if you could have sold the kids on the cricket field actually being a quidditch arena? My kids probably would have bought it.
    I love that your kids were impressed with the car being frozen over. That just makes me smile.

  5. @Lisa and @Anne - thank you. A drive around the countryside is definitely worth it. We felt like we were going 'oooh how pretty' at every second corner.

    @Mary - most of those shots were taken at 8am when most sensible people were still in bed or at least still inside! So we pretty much did have the place to ourselves. Arundel was a very beautiful, quiet town. I think it would be well worth the visit.

    @Steve - We tried selling another field as a quidditch arena actually! Noah's just getting into Harry Potter, he was half impressed but then saw the cool rocks on the ground and went rock collecting instead. I'm loving how much the kids are enjoying the small things about their first true winter ... frozen puddles, sleet, the wait for snow. It's easy to forget how exciting those things are if you've never seen them before.

  6. this is so beautiful, and why i love the uk. there's nothing like it in majesty and the green, green hills!

  7. Hi Tracy,

    Gosh I love your photos- brought back a lot of fond memories. I went to the country side of England when I was 18 for two months! I love the castles, the pubs, the country side and the most amazing ruins that are waiting to be explored!


  8. @Wandering Educators - It really was gorgeous. Considering it's the start of winter I wasn't expecting everything to be so green still.

    @Lisa - thanks. Two months in the countryside - I'm jealous! The castles and quaint pubs are fabulous.

  9. Terrific photos! The one thing I learned driving in the English countryside was that they have a lot of sheep. I had always heard that England was full of sheep, but I figured it was a stereotype. Nope, they have a lot of sheep.:)

  10. Ha Jennifer, funny I thought the same thing driving around NZ. Now that you mention it though we did see a lot in the UK. Edale had some great shaggy black sheep.

  11. What nice photos, they do capture something of the beauty of the English countryside. They make me want to stay at home more! It's a shame we didn't realise you were in the UK, would have been nice to try and hook up. We're not so far from Manchester and the Peaks. Maybe some other time .

  12. Hi Stuart, what a shame we didn't know you lived nearby. We had a few days in Manchester catching up with friends and had a car - we could have easily caught up with you.

  13. Just stumbled across your website and I am going to add it to a home education group newsletter I am doing. I live in Tasmania but I am from England. I am a Lancashire lass born (north of Manchester, close to the lake district) but lived in Cheshire where one my three sons was born. We lived in North Wales backing onto Chirk Castle before moving to Melbourne then to Tasmania. I also love Penang and can understand why you have set up base there, it is small and community orientated, I was amazed that it takes less than an hour to drive round the whole island. Happy travels, I know we enjoyed travelling from the UK to here, stopping on the way to see other places. Life is too short to stay in one spot, there is a whole world to explore.

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