My guide to England seemed to provoke a few comments. So I'll answer a few of them here
St - I appreciate that if you climb a hill numbers drop in the Lakes but the truth is that the lakes themselves are popular. Windermere is packed!! I did like Haweswater becuase it so out of the way and the number of people there was considerably less. I haven't been to Northumberland in years (its on the agenda for next year). Last time I was there I stayed in Corbridge (at a pub/hotel called the Angel), it was a nice small town with "pretensions". I was amazed at how light traffic was in the area, with the exception of passing thorugh Newcastle. One day I drove to Carlisle (which I thought looked ok, the bit around the cathedral certainly) along the A69 (?), the hotel staff commented how busy the road was, Now I think of the M25 as busy on the M6 around Birmingham!! The M6 near Carlisle is very quiet! Think I'll be staying near Tankerville next time.
Liz was amazed at how vile and nasty Cornish Towns were with one or two exceptions abd Border Reiver seems to agree. Thank god its not me then!!! I do love the bays and the coasts but the towns depress me.
Jane - Says that Wiltshire is underrated and I agree. I've never been, surprisingly, to old Sarum. I've ticked most of the churches I need (one to go) BUT I've planned a long weekend on the Somerset/Wiltshire border. I know last year driving between the churches it all looked so pretty. The towns I drove through had charm. I still wish that towns had more character, you know what I mean the shops had some sympathy with there environment no nasty big panes of glass and horrid logos. A plethora of independent shops and not the same chain stores. Ok it'll never happen but I can dream.
Corinna - you are misunderstanding me on Kent. I accept it has some lovely countryside and unspoilt areas. My point is that Kent is perceived as the Garden Of England and Essex is Basildon (shiver!!), now as you know there are some awful places in Kent and the tourist can get a shock when they turn up and find it isn't all Oast Houses.
I like London and as I said its parks and historic buildings are excellent (you have to visit it for the museums, the galleries, the Wren churhces) . No I'd never appreciate it from a living in point of view, too many people no space not my idea of fun. I'm aware that London was a series of villages. The fact is that you can't call them that anymore, they may have individual character to the local but for the visitor they are an amorphous mass. London would be much nicer if had 2 million fewer people. But you are right I could NEVER live there, if forced then move me into one of those snazzy builidng around Hyde or Regents park!
Marcus Brigstocke (Live at the Apollo) - Anyone here from London?
Audience - YES
Marcus - that's the most words you've said to a stranger
"I am not sure that living in the Countryside is as wonderful as those of us who visit and stay for holidays make it out to be.
Lack of public transport is easy if you have a car, lack of facilities is easy if you can get to supermarkets and towns for retail or go online!"
Now this I agree with, although its not as bad as it was. The internet means we aren't as dependent on towns as we once were. When Dad and I were in Norfolk we stayed in a village with no pub or shop and I thought I could never live here (my corner store is a flipping big Tesco). When you watch a TV programme like Escape to the Country you wonder if these people have any real appreciation of village life!
If/when I move I hope it'll be to small market town. If it was Norfolk the likes of Burnham Market, Holt or Aylsham spring to mind.