If you’ve yet to experience the breathtaking landscape of the Yosemite National Park, the golden beaches of the Cote D’Azur, or the allure of the vibrant green Yorkshire countryside; then you could be missing out on some adventures of a lifetime.
We all love to travel, there’s no denying that. Some like to stay close to home, whereas others are more jet-setting with their vacation destinations, but no matter what your style is - you could be guilty of being a “city only” travel bunny.
If so, you could be missing out on what the world, and nature really has to offer by sticking to your comfort zone of the concrete jungle.
What is Rural Tourism?
Booking a rural vacation doesn’t mean staying in the middle of nowhere or even missing out on the conveniences of home, it just means getting out of the city and instead, opting for the village, or country experience!
Not only will you get an authentic feel for a location's culture, but you’ll also be able to get to know the locals, and support many family run business’.
Going rural doesn’t look the same for everyone, and there are different “types” of rural holiday that you can take, including:
Agritourism (also known as farm stays) allows you to experience life on a working farm, you’ll get to live, and even work on the farm; with different levels of participation depending on your own preference.
Backpacking is an excellent option for the hardcore hiker, just pack a bag and head out into the country; ready to pitch your tent and experience the unknown!
Road Trips are our personal favourite, we travel in a vintage 1969 VW camper, and love finding a spot in the countryside to park up for the night. With the conveniences of our camper home and the serenity and beauty of the countryside, nothing can beat it!
As well as offering breathtaking landscapes, and incompatible relaxation - opting to stay in a rural area also gives you a sneak peek at local life, community, and culture.
All the while, the majority of your spending will likely be at the small family run business’ that helped to build the community that you’re temporarily calling home!
Stumbling upon a hidden waterfall, being asked by locals to attend family BBQ’s, and climbing to the top of a steep hill to be met by a view of unparalleled beauty - these are some of the reasons I love to go rural... and let’s be honest, there are also more Instagrammable spots than you can shake a stick at!
The countryside has so much to offer, more than any city. I mean sure, you might not find a Starbucks on every corner, but most of us have convenience available to us pretty much every day. But, that shouldn’t be what we look for when choosing a holiday destination - instead, we should step outside of our comfort zones and say yes to an adventure!
My Top 4 Favorite Rural Getaways
1. The Cotswolds, England
Unlike any other part of Great Britain, the Cotswolds have that old-time charm that both young and old folk alike love so dearly. Don’t be surprised to find cobbled streets, quaint tea rooms, and traditional wooden beamed pubs galore. Chat with the locals, ask about the area and their favorite places to go, you’d be surprised how helpful and warm everyone will be if you’re interested in the place they call home!
2. Caminito Del Rey, Spain
Driving towards the Caminito Del Rey, the scenery is pleasant enough, but it’s not only until you’re a few miles from the Caminito Del Rey that your surroundings become out of this world.
As you drive towards the entrance of this world famous hike - you’ll round the bend and get your first glimpse of the turquoise waters of the reservoir that sits beside the Caminito Del Rey.
The reservoir alone, with water sports galore, would be enough to add this to your list of places to visit - but combined with the popular mountainside trail makes this a bucket list destination.
3. Lochcarron, Scotland
This sleepy Scottish town in the Scottish Highlands is very close to the Isle of Skye and sits alongside the sea Loch of Loch Carron. With far stretching views of surrounding snow-topped mountains, and exquisite architecture that makes the most of, and blends in with the landscape.
Although the population of Loch Carron sits right around 900 people, there is much to do here - with: art galleries, bistros, bakeries, pottery workshops, restaurants, open gardens, hiking trails, tea rooms and even a golf course!
4. Giethoorn, The Netherlands
One of the only car-free towns in the world, Giethoorn residents have moved here specifically for the quieter way of life that it brings, and as a visitor - you’re immediately hit with the serenity that they get to experience on a daily basis. Things go slow here - you travel by bike, foot, or boat and that’s A-OK because nobody is in a rush. They’d far rather be in their gardens tending to their exquisite flower beds, or having drinks with friends - not rushing through life, but experiencing every moment of it.
Book Your Own Rural Break!
Everyone has tales of visiting New York, or spending the weekend in London, but how many people can tell the tale of their visit to Ampleforth, Yorkshire or Bryce, Utah?
Why not go where your heart tells you, rather than where everyone else goes for your next holiday? Be original, and opt for adventure - there’s no point in skating through life doing the same old same old, it’s time to say yes to a life well lived!
About The Author
Nadia grew up in the English countryside with a menagerie of pets including Llamas, Meerkats, Horses, and Ducks. She’s an absolute country girl, and even though she now travels the world full-time in a 1969 VW Camper, she opts to spend as much of her time in the country, and off-grid as possible.
You can follow her journey as she road trips the world, and get tips on how you can do it too at www.sayingyes.is