Western Europe Summer 2011

A Weekend in the English Countryside

Fortunately we arrived in London already knowing a few people. Entering a city like London with no one to “take you by the hand” can be quite a daunting ordeal. Luckily not only were we taken by the hand, but we were invited to places to see and do things we probably would never have experienced. One of those such things, was spending a weekend in the English Countryside, in the Cotswolds just easy of Wales.

The Countryside of England

Life is lived differently in this little corner of the world, there is no doubt about that, and it would pain me to try and find very many similarities between suburban Orlando and the English countryside. In fact, the only one that jumps to mind is the fact that both there and at home we have to drive to get anywhere because there is no public transportation and everything is far away!

Village Streets

We spent the weekend wandering the streets of small cities, traveling through the hilly countryside, visiting castles, and frequenting pubs throughout the towns. It was incredibly surreal and honestly quite perfect to be somewhat removed from the reality of London for a short break of the fast pace. We could still easily keep in touch with home though with PC to phone calls.

Polo Match

One of the highlights of our stay was spending Sunday afternoon watching a polo match in a small town near my friends home. This was my first polo match, and we were lucky enough to come on the championship weekend, for the most anticipated match of the year. As an outsider, I can say, that polo is easily one of the most civilized, yet uncivilized, sports I’ve ever seen. On one hand, you have the crowd. They are picnicking, enjoying their champagne and wine, and politely clapping (no loud cheering here) after an exciting break of action or a great play. On the other hand, you have the actual game, that consists of eight men streaking across a field on horses going as fast as they can chasing a small ball to the point of collision. In addition to this they are swinging a long mallet at the ball and they are constantly knocking the hell out of each other and the horses over and over again for a total of 40+ minutes of play. I can honestly say, that if I can ever find live polo near home, I will GLADLY spend part of my weekend enjoying this truly entertaining sport.

I am far from a professional sports photographer, but I was able to catch a few shots of the action that I’ll leave you with, enjoy!

Polo Match Near a Small CastleThe backdrop of part of the “pitch” or field, was a small castle. How perfectly predictable right?

Polo Match

Polo Match

Fixing the PitchAt the half the audience is invited out onto the “pitch” to help fill in the holes the horses hooves have made. This helps ensure that the ball doesn’t get stuck, and it is a time honored tradition that is part of almost every polo match.

Polo Match

Polo Match

And I’ll leave you with one last picture of the beautifully green English countryside.
Fence-line in the Countryside

  1. David @ MalaysiaAsia

    Love the picture of the the old English town. As I have visited the UK over 6 times in the past, I never did make it to an actual English Countryside. Maybe one of these days, I will get my chance.

  2. jenjenk

    Been wanting to visit the cotswolds. it seems just as charming in your photos as I thought it was!!

  3. Renee

    Yep, this is definitely on my bucket list and I will make a point of catching a polo match too.

  4. Michael Figueiredo

    It looks like you had a great time! I’d love to watch a polo match someday…especially in England.

  5. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    I’ve been to London but did not really get to see the countryside. I definitely plan to go back and explore this beautiful area.

  6. Barbara - The Dropout Diaries

    Fantastic! I’ve always wanted to see a polo match. And it’s all so perfectly English — green rolling fields, castles, cobblestone streets. Looks like you had a fantastic trip.

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    We just took a two-day tour to the Cotswolds (and Bath + Stonehenge) and LOVED it. Next spring we’ll likely buy a campervan and spend a few months exploring the area (because it’s true – you really do need a car to see it all).

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