Country Living UK April 2021

Whether you live in the town or countryside, in Country Living you’ll find a wealth of ideas for your home and garden, learn about traditional crafts, keep informed of rural issues, enjoy irresistible dishes using seasonal produce and, above all, escape the stress and strain of modern-day life.

United Kingdom
Hearst Magazines UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
this month…

Our previous home was a barn conversion. We moved there in 2010 and were the first ‘humans’ to live in it. Before that, it had been the domain of the farm animals and a family of swallows, who took up residence every spring. We first encountered these industrious little birds one day in late April, shortly after we moved in. They announced their arrival by swooping in through the front door and diving between the rafters, blissfully unaware that we’d taken over their summer camp. Once we’d established that we couldn’t share the same living space, they moved, without fuss, to the adjacent cart barn. And in no time at all, they had built a solid, mud-based nest, which they returned to every year to bring up their young. After nine…

3 min

Don’t miss NATIONAL ASPARAGUS DAY (23 APRIL) Just as leeks are synonymous with St David’s Day, St George’s Day marks the official start of the British asparagus season. Short but sweet, it lasts only six weeks until early June. Connoisseurs of this esteemed vegetable should make their way to the annual British Asparagus Festival, held in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, where the spear is celebrated by its legions of superfans. Visitors to the ‘gras’ festival will be entertained by music, merriment and cookery demonstrations and, of course, plentiful tastings of the home-grown delicacy. SIGHTS OF THE SEASON… Black grouse In the uplands of the Pennines and Wales, as well as most of Scotland, male black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) are getting ready for some friendly rivalry. The lek, a competitive courtship ritual involving a soft…

2 min

The New Forest HAMPSHIRE Once a hunting ground for William the Conqueror, the New Forest still boasts many ‘beasts of the chase’. Look out for free-roaming pigs and deer, alongside some 6,000 New Forest ponies. Ancient woodland and open moors are largely unspoilt, while the charming towns and villages make perfect rest stops. WHAT TO SEE AND DO With so many ways to explore the New Forest, there is simply no excuse to sit still. Walks range from a woodland stroll to the 60-mile Solent Way, while the keen cyclist can take advantage of miles of bike paths (rent bikes from Forest Leisure Cycling, Of course, horse riding was always the traditional means of getting about and, today, riding school Arniss Equestrian caters for all ages and abilities ( To see more…

2 min

Follow @CLArtisans on Instagram for news of our Virtual Artisan Markets in 2021 and to see more unique products from our favourite makers FOR STOCKISTS see Where to Buy PRICES AND AVAILABILITY CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS. POSTAGE/DELIVERY IS IN ADDITION TO THE PRICES QUOTED HERE…

4 min
view from here

It began with the disappearing footwear. We had not long moved back from the countryside to the outskirts of town. First, one of my gardening shoes went missing. I was perplexed. I looked in all the obvious places to no avail. I bought a new pair. Then my daughter lost two trainers. Not matching, you understand, but one each of two pairs of outrageously priced designer brands. I was incensed. “How could you be so careless?” I fumed. “Ah,” said a wise and experienced local friend. “It’ll be the foxes.” I was sceptical. “Really?” In the 11 years I lived in rural Hampshire, I had only ever seen a fox once. It sounded like they were commonplace around here. “What would they want with our shoes?” I asked. And anyway,…

3 min
the good life in the country

AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST Sally Coulthard Smallholding can make April fools of us all. I’ve lost count of the disasters I’ve had over the years, some more costly than others. As Oscar Wilde quipped, “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes,” and, if that’s the case, you couldn’t find a more qualified person than me. In the early days, many of the errors were down to youthful exuberance or sheer ignorance – I still blanch at the thought of nearly setting fire to a neighbour’s crop when I started a bonfire in a stiff, summer breeze or the moment I let a friend’s terrier run around the farmyard and watched it head, to my horror, straight into the chicken coop. Other mistakes have been down to my general tendency to rush…