Cv Publications’ series of relocation guides to English counties was launched with my survey of Oxfordshire. It was a journey of discovery.
Rather than just passing from point A to B my excursions followed an ad-hoc schedule of diverse routes. I found myself turning down obscure side lanes leading to little villages hidden in a marvellous landscape of deep countryside. Documenting over one hundred centres the county gradually revealed itself as largely unspoilt by the industrial sprawl.
First researched from 1999-2001, revised and updated in 2011, the series of English County Guides provides descriptions of market towns and villages, for casual visitors and those interested in moving to a different area. The guides contain eye-witness records of natural character, of the villages: their properties, amenities, communication, travel and business links.Go to link
The third in Cv's series of English County Guides is Buckinghamshire, first published in 2001. Although it is one of the smaller counties, Buckinghamshire has a strong individual identity, with the Chiltern Hills, steep roads going down through Beechwoods and the blue distances of Aylesbury Vale. It is historic, with plenty of Oliver Cromwell and Royalist connections.
With its eccentric shape, tacked on like a long medieval shoe to Southern England, Cornwall is not the easiest shape of an area to research. I began by driving north to Kilkhampton and Morwenstow, then south via Bude to Bodmin and Padstow. From there I moved east to Launceston, visiting Antony and St Germans near the Tamar Valley, and down to Looe and St Austell.Go to link
Gloucestershire at first seemed to be almost too big to handle, indeed it involved multiple journeys criss-crossing the county. But I think the result reveals the great range of individual character in its many towns and villages: compare traditional Cotswold centres such as Great Barrington and Upper Slaughter in the North East with the intensely industrialised districts of Yate and Filton above Bristol, or the freshness of the Vale of Berkeley.Go to link
The seventh in Cv’s series of Barnaby’s Relocation Guides explores the county of Cumbria. Taking a side road from Lancaster the journey begins at Slaidburn in the Lancashire Forest, progressing into Cumbria via Kendal, Windermere, and Keswick; then towards the coast from Maryport and Whitehaven to Barrow-In-Furness and Ulverston, visiting Cleator Moor. The beautiful environment of tarns and fells opens many varied experiences for the traveller.Go to link
The fifth county guide published in November, Norfolk is characterised by the breadth and variation of its countryside, with its dramatic arched skies and wide spanned landscape. In a series of journeys that criss-crossed the county, The Guide records over one hundred villages and market towns, ranging from Cromer to Hunstanton on the north 'Norfolk coast', to the King’s Lynn over by 'The Wash'. He visited Wroxham, centre of the Broads.