With our heritage very much grounded in the British countryside, we’re all about sticking to our rural roots here at Joules. From the very first days of trading at a Leicestershire country show, to celebrating our 30th birthday this year, we’ve spent three decades being inspired by everything the countryside has to offer.
As a tribute to all things rural, we’ve decided to share our all-time favourite reasons we just can’t get enough of our beautiful countryside home. We didn’t include them all — frankly, there were too many to count!
There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of chirping birds in the morning. When you live in the countryside, you don’t have to go far to appreciate nature in all its glory, with rolling fields, flower-filled meadows and wondrous woodlands only a stone’s throw away. On a day’s walk you’ll find a whole menagerie of animal species greeting you on your way, and more flora and fauna than your local garden centre. One of the best things about this is everybody who lives here has a mutual respect for the natural world, because we are all so passionate about protecting it. We’re proud of our natural home, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
With agriculture in abundance, eating from farm to fork is so much easier when the farm is only around the corner. You can fill your basket at the local farm shop, pick your own fruit from the many branches, bushes and brambles that line the muddy pathways, and even grow your own food if you fancy. We love the quaint charm of honesty shops — little wooden hatches at the end of a cottage driveway offering homemade jams, fresh eggs and potted plants, with an old yoghurt pot as a cash box. A homemade cake is a country custom, either supplied by a friendly neighbour, bought at a bake sale or offered with a generous mug of tea by the local village church.
If you live in the countryside, it’s more than likely that you know your neighbour, your neighbour’s neighbour, and your neighbour’s neighbour’s great aunty Mildred that came to visit for a spot of afternoon tea last Wednesday. Even if you don’t know everybody, even strangers are guaranteed to greet you with a smile and a comment about the weather. If any problem arises, you can count on the endless network of country folk to be at your aide for little more than a cuppa and a chat — a leak fixer, tree trimmer, engine tinkerer and cat rescuer are sure to be on the roster.
What are you doing this weekend? Here, the answer is rarely “nothing”. Our calendars are constantly overflowing with food festivals, village fetes, craft fairs, fundraiser fun days and hundreds of hobby clubs. That’s not to mention the marvellous marvel that is the country show. If unusually shaped veg, horses dancing the cha-cha and celebrity-shaped scarecrows sound like fun to you, you’re not alone — around 96,000 people flock to country shows across the UK every year. If you happen to have a marrow shaped like Meryl Streep, or a particularly plucky paddling of ducks, you can even have a go yourself.
The countryside is a place that just begs to be explored. There’s always a hill you’ve yet to have climbed, a stone waiting unturned and a puddle you haven’t yet splashed in. A treasure trove for the curious, every day presents a new challenge, with adventures at every twist and turn. If you’re handy with wrestling a map you can give hiking a whirl, and wild swimming is a must for anybody near water. Who needs a gym when nature presents its own obstacle course?