London’s got its swanky appeal, but after awhile one is ready to move to a sleepy little hamlet. At least we were. After two wonderful– but hectic– weeks in London, we moved on to a small town in the southwest of England. In Newton St. Cyres we were immediately enchanted by a 200 year old cottage complete with a yappy dog and brood of chickens.
Basically, we became country folk. (ha!)
Our life in Newton St. Cyres revolved around scheduling our daily dog walks around the occasional rain showers and British X Factor. A real hardship, I know. But it was a nice change from our last house sit, and we really fell hard for our cute pup and the beautiful countryside.
Our regular walking route took us down the road, through the church cemetery, and into a park called the arboretum. It may be a bit weird to say we enjoyed the cemetery, but I’ve loved timeworn tombstones since childhood. All the years that they represent. Years of someone’s life from some bygone era, and then the years passed since their death, all the ways the world have changed since then. And it doesn’t hurt that this Newton St. Cyres cemetery had a gorgeous old church behind it.
Check out little glimpses of the English countryside that you can see just on the next hill. So quaint! Truly like a postcard I was sure I must have seen before.
We would wander down the dirt path past the tombstones and then around the corner towards the door into the woods. My favorite view came as we would ascend the hill nearing the arboretum and we could just peek at the clearings ahead, framed in the frothy green leaves, still green even as fall was well underway.
We got to see the magical tide of orange and red take over the forest those two weeks. Slowly the berries came out, the fiery foliage emerged, and big trees stretched their yellow-tinged tips to the sky, showing off all their glory before winter came to steal their splendor. And on a particularly good flora-viewing day, I even spied a funky ombré purple plant!
After we thoroughly exhausted our super cute pup with endless ball tossing, we would gather our things and begin to meander back home. We did have to catch the next X Factor episode after all. We would circle back around through the arboretum and end up back at the cemetery and old church. This time we’d follow the old worn path the other direction, circling around the side of the church to find the bowl of water left out on the church steps. A little act of kindness from the local congregation, not taken for granted by any of their canine parishioners.
Our two weeks in Newton St. Cyres were so restful and quiet. It made us miss spending fall in the outdoors back at home, but the easy access to walking paths in the cemetery and arboretum helped curb our homesickness. I am a firm believer that time spent in natural beauty and fresh air can heal a multitude of ailments, not the least of which are emotional. We have more to share from our two weeks here, but honestly this is what we saw the vast majority of the time. A good retreat to the country to recharge for more traveling!