The United Kingdom is a place filled to the brim with history. Nowhere is this history more apparent than in the delightful rustic cottages that line some of the most iconic streets and byways of the country. The sheer wealth of historic homes is staggering. Take for example Anne Hathway’s cottage just outside Stratford-upon-Avon. This beautiful thatched home is one of the most photographed in the world, not only due to the fact that it was inhabited by Shakespeare’s wife – but also because it is simply a thatched delight for the eyes.
However, there are other delightful cottages scattered across the wonderful green countryside that still makes up a large portion of the UK.
Take for instance the Beehive cottage on Swan Green, Lyndhurst in Hampshire. This cottage which is believed to have been built for a gardener who was working a nearby estate in 1833. New forest, where this magnificent thatched home can be found rewards exploration by those who have an interest in historic architecture. It also plays host to other cottages – some of which predate the magnificent Beehive Cottage.
The art of thatching has been practised for hundreds of years. In fact, archaeologists in the United Kingdom have identified thatched roofs that were in general use as far back as the Bronze Age. The fact that many of the historical thatched cottages have now been named and preserved as national treasures is a testament to their longevity – and functionality. Many owners need to get specialist thatched property insurance for their homes. However, for visitors to the United Kingdom the beauty and iconic status of many of these homes is what makes them tremendously interesting.
One does not have to travel far from the beaten track to enjoy the delights of historic cottages. In fact, many of them can be seen clustered in historic market towns such as Gold hill in Dorset. Walking the street where those cottages are found is like taking a step back in time. After such a journey one would be grateful for some liquid refreshment. For those who visit Barrington in Cambridgeshire, such refreshment is available in one of the most attractive country pubs in the U/K. The Royal Oak pub was built in the 16th century – and today is still open for business. The half-timbered and half thatched Tudor style building still shelters those who are in search of refreshment – just as it did all those centuries ago. It overlooks a 30-acre village green – and the view is the perfect accompaniment to one of the ‘Real Ales’ which are served. Tucking into a meal started with the wonderful smoked pepper mackerel pate is the perfect way to combine incredible beer with incredible cuisine. Of course, one could combine those two delights and enjoy the incredible Steak and Ale Pie.
The United Kingdom is a place where history comes alive. Not only is it filled with historic homes that are still in use today, but it also provides a setting where those homes cannot but be admired. It is well worth exploring, not only by those in search of iconic cottages and rural charm – but those in search of living history.