Thursday, June 13, 2013

Take A Stroll Around Our English Village

We didn't know exactly where we would be living for our three years in the UK until two weeks prior to arrival. (And even then, we got a call the morning we were flying out to say our lease was in limbo. A bit stressful.)

My husband found a beautiful home in a small village a few miles outside of Stamford, itself a charming town and popular tourist destination. While I was confident in his home selection, I was unsure about village life. 400 people? Sounded pretty isolating to me. Especially knowing I was arriving with no friends and few connections.

But guess what I love more than the house itself? Village life. I thought I'd take you on a walk around Collyweston, our village in Northamptonshire.

Do you mind if this cutie joins us? He loves an evening stroll. And he just celebrated his 18 month birthday!

This is the view as you head down our street into the heart of the village. Most of the homes on this street are fairly new (as in the last 50 years or so).

Our little street then meets a much busier bypass, which takes you into Stamford. As you take a right on this road, the village really begins to take shape, and the properties are, for the most part, hundreds of years old (maybe older?). The landmark on this street is our village pub. Most villages of a certain size have a pub. We've already dined at the Collyweston Slater once, and I suspect it will become a regular tradition.

But instead I'll turn left in order to show you my favorite view yet.

I think that horse is what Little Arrow loves the most in all of England. (That, and the chocolate biscuits and sausage pastries.) There are a few other fields in the village with horses. But we're partial to this one for the sweeping countryside. Plus, this horse nayed at us once which sent Little Arrow into toddler heaven.

But let's turn back around and head deeper into our village. Here's High Street, where our village shop lies. I love walking to the shop to let the boys pick out a treat, or to buy the local paper, or just to chat with whoever is working. (And it has already saved me more than once when we've run out of milk.) The shop is what makes this community, while small, feel much less lonely to me than I expected.

The other main attraction in Collyweston is the village church. You can see its steeples from just about everywhere, and when I'm mindlessly pushing Little Arrow on the swings at the playground, just as I did almost daily in the U.S., its presence makes doing so feel much more European.

So there you have it. A typical English village, and our new home. Welcome to Collyweston!

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby and Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom.

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