Luxury and Style

COUNTRY LIVING

Country Wisdom

  In a bygone era children growing up in the countryside would hear old country sayings that were expressions of wisdom that had been related to their fathers and their fathers before them. England before the industrial revolution was largely made up of deep-rooted country communities, which drew strength from each other, and the local sage was not just some quaint old character you might buy a drink for at the pub, but a well-respected member of the village, that people turned to in times of trouble. Many people couldn’t read more > >

Country Images

It is in the countryside that affection, warmth, respect for living things and a feeling of belonging are still tangible. This is why Britian is an enduringly beautiful land with tranquil images that in some places have scarcely changed at all in the past five hundred years. Images to be enjoyed and savoured as though looking through the pages of an old photo album. Images such as a flower-strewn meadow, a singing brook, an old packhorse bridge, sleepy villages with pink-washed cottages and dark creaky pubs, fragrant with polish, wet read more > >

If you want to get ahead socially you can’t go wrong if you get a horse and mix with the likes of William Fox-Pitt, Otis Ferry, Amanda Harlech, Harry Meade, Tamar Vesty or Martha Sitwell. If you want to kit your horse out in quality products at affordable prices then visit The Saddlery Shop website, which is one of the largest online tack shops in the UK. It offers a huge range of stock and aims at providing customer service that is second to none in the industry, specialising in offers and unbeatable deals. The Saddlery read more > >

If you are moving from the town to the country it can be more daunting than you expect, as there is so much more to consider. One of the best things about the country is that on the whole there is greater interaction between neighbours but bear in mind that the down side to this is that there isn’t much privacy in a village where everyone knows everyone else and everything about everyone else. So if you don’t want your new neighbours to know too much about your personal life read more > >

When viewing a country property there are certain codes of behavior that should be adhered to when checking out a likely property for sale. Even in a buyer’s market it is important to recognise that you are, after all, virtually a guest in someone else’s home and as such you should respect their space and not behave aggressively or in a patronising manner. For example how many times is it reasonable for you to view a property before you should put in an offer? Vendor’s hate to think that selling read more > >

Don’t assume that just because the countryside looks lovely on a sunny summer’s day and there is a wonderful sense of peace and harmony that it is like that every day of the year. There are always going to be country property problems no matter where you decide to live and unfortunately when you are very enthusiastic about making a a move to the country it is all too easy to dismiss possible location difficulties or unpleasant neighbour problems. It is really important that you never decide to move somewhere read more > >

Sometimes finding the perfect country property is the hardest part of living in the country. One of the most trying difficult aspects of moving to the country can be simply locating good estate agents that deal with rural properties who will let you know immediately when a suitable property comes onto the market. If you know the exact region you would like to move to it can simply be a matter of keeping an eye on the property pages in the local paper, or even asking questions in local pub. Make read more > >

Glossy magazines, lifestyle documentaries and hard statistics confirm that every year more and more of us are moving to the country to escape from the pressures and dangers of urban life. What is perhaps not so well documented is that out of every one hundred people who set out to make a new life for themselves in a country environment at least forty of them will return, disillusioned, to the cities because rural life simply did not suit them. Before you up sticks and take to the country road be read more > >

It could be said that fly fishing is an acquired taste that once established knows no cure. Nothing is quite as thrilling for the country sportsman as laying a perfectly straight line across rushing, deep water and within seconds feeling the sharp snatch and tug of a large fish as it takes the fly. There are three main types of fly fishing in Britain: salmon, with a season that runs approx from mid January to the end of October, brown trout with a season that runs from mid March to early October and sea trout that may read more > >

These videos of wildlife and conservation show fox cubs in Cornwall, otters at the Otter Trust in Suffolk, a hen harrier, the antics of a red squirrel, frogs and birds at the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, a nightingale’s beautiful song, an enchanting badger family and busy swallows feeding their young.

Training a sensitive working dog is not always easy. If you have ever owned a dog you will know that in some ways they are quite similar to people. Many dog owners may know a lot about breeds of dogs, but many simply don’t have an understanding of the personality of sensitive dogs. In fact when training a gun dog for instance sensitivity is probably one of the least understood issues that an owner may encounter. Yet this issue it is something that is so important it can make the difference read more > >

If you want to learn the art of horse or pony carriage driving it is important to be taught by an experienced friend or family member or to pay a professional instructor. Carriage driving while terrific fun is potentially very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. This said finding the perfect teacher to suit your individual needs and abilities can be both difficult and frustrating; initially you have got to find an available instructor. You need an  instructor with a thorough knowledge of horses and carriage driving but read more > >

These enchanting and timeless videos of past times in the countryside reflect a way of life gone for ever but happily captured for posterity on old film that show graphic scenes of haymaking, long-horned cattle pulling a hay wagon, harvesting, women land workers, a Devon village in the twenties and climbers in the Lake District.

Using an outgrown pony to get you out and about locally, just like in the days of old shown in the picture, is an ideal option if your child’s pony has become outgrown and you want to save money on fuel costs. This can give a much loved pony a new lease of life a new element of usefulness and is so much better than parting with a family favourite or  feeling extremely guilty that he’s doing nothing every day. Standing around the pasture getting bored – or worse still getting so fat that he ends up getting read more > >

These videos of working dogs in the countryside  show just how versatile and obedient these dogs really are as well as being very determined to do the job they were bred for whether sheep dogs, retrieving dogs, bloodhounds or racing terriors or well trained and valuable gun trial dogs.

Flying birds of prey is a great experience since the sight of a falcon diving down towards earth at over 100mph is one of life’s truly exhilarating moments. Falconry and hawking have been practised for over 4,000 years, and are often described as the sport of kings and there is no doubt about it, having a hawk perched on your fist, happily tearing at its food, is a rare privilege and indeed very humbling. However to actually fly a bird of prey is a thrill that is hard to match in any walk read more > >

If you like country traditions, you will simply love British agricultural shows. The agricultural show season is now in full swing and over the remaining summer months, all over the British Isles, there are prodigious numbers of these wonderful shows that range from tiny village affairs to the full blown, three and four-day mammoth events that encompass every possible aspect of country living and a lot more besides. There are few outdoor occasions as pleasurable as doing a county show in true style and the only way to really do read more > >

Anyone who yearns to rub shoulders with the landed gentry, wealthy weekenders from the city, High Court judges, acclaimed thespians and the like, or even minor royalty, should seriously consider taking the plunge into the elite world of country sports, unique idiosyncrasies ; albeit often cold and wet! There are however some necessary attributes for the country sportsman. First, and most important of all, gun sense. Even if you yourself don’t shoot learn to keep well out of the line of fire. Second, be sure you always stay alert. You will need read more > >

This collection of videos of British country sports includes the 2008 CLA Game Fair, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, driven pheasant shooting, pigeon shooting in corn fields, wild fowling and rough shooting in Ireland,  the basic principles of clay pigeon shooting and fly fishing in different stretches of river.

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm is a great place to visit if you are interested in old farming methods. Nestled in the Shropshire Hills, close to the market town of Church Stretton, it is a real gem for country lovers and a wonderful place for all the family to experience every day life on an upland farm at the turn of the last century. Everywhere traditional breeds populate the fields and farm yard. It is thrilling to be able to watch a real wagoner and his team of heavy horses read more > >

Many country dwellers, for whatever reason, whether financial, commuting convenience or simply a desire to be closer to their family, have made the decision to work from their own home. If you have decided to join the thousands of home business entrepreneurs who have successfully combined working from home with a happy family life you will need to be aware of some of the pitfalls as well as the many bonuses and freedoms of running a business from your own personal space. While working at home has a plethora of read more > >

These videos of hounds and hunting will give you a good idea of the skills employed by foxhounds, harriers bloodhounds and beagles. Please note that the hunt shown hunting on the fox hunting video were hunting within the law. All hunts are allowed to go trail hunting, which means following a scent of a fox that has be ready laid. They are also allowed to flush a fox to a gun or a bird of prey.

Useful rural sites is something that most country lovers find of benefit so we have compiled a list to help you get more enjoyment and fulfillment out of the countryside. In this section you will find a large number of rural and countryside sites that offer information on wildlife, walking, horse riding, conservation, country sports, camping, gardening, caving, mountaineering, birds of prey, beekeeping and farming. Alpine Garden Society This society is ideal for everyone interested in all aspects of alpines, small hardy plants and bulbs. www.alpinegardensociety.org Badgerland Gives information about badgers – their lifestyle, read more > >

This collection of videos of old English customs shows the Cotswold Morris Dancers in action, maypole dancers, tar barrel rolling in Ottery St. Mary, the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, Waissailing in Herefordshire,  Twelfth Night faggot burning, mummers and a ritual crowning of the Queen of the May.