Pretty Across the Pond: England

13 Jan

Take an American girl with an obsession for antiques and hats, plop her down in the middle of the English countryside with a cute baby and a dear friend and what do you get?

Basically the best week ever.

Last spring I was fortunate enough to visit my dear friends Abby and Simon for their son Harry’s christening in England. Harry just happens to be my godson and the cutest baby ever.

I’d been to London once as a teenager, and it’s lovely, but this trip was where I fell in love with parts of the rest of the country. It’s a long-distance relationship but I’d say it’s pretty serious.

As I was sorting through photos to print for my upcoming gallery wall, I decided to share just how pretty this country is. If you’ve been there, you know. If you haven’t, find a way. Perhaps Kate Middleton needs an assistant or something.

Notting Hill House

First up, the village of South Zeal in Devon (Southern England).

This was the first of many homes I fell in love with while visiting and it just happens to be the home of one of Abby’s neighbors. The entire street winds up a hillside as if drawn by Bert himself. There are even sheep grazing across the road. Sheep!

South Zeal

Photo courtesy of

Anyway, back to the house. Blue door, blue gate and English bluebells, all set perfectly against century old stone. I’m not sure how old this home is, but there are some on the street that date back to the 1600s. Between that little fact, the blue door and the sheep, I was ready to move in.

South Zeal Pub

Next up, the village pub, Oxenham Arms. It’s been in this very spot since the 12th century. I’ll just let that little gem sink in for a moment. We had a drink here, where I naturally had a pint of that week’s special, Kate Loves Willie (I arrived the day after Prince William said I Do). Who doesn’t love a slightly off-color Royal Wedding joke while sitting in a 12th century bar?

The people at this place were lovely and highly entertained by the fact that I was from the American South. It probably had to do with the fact that in between calling them “y’all” I repeatedly asked if they realized just how old this place was.

They did.

Here are some more photos of places in and around Devon. The area is surrounded by the moors and is beautiful at every turn.

Devonshire Cream Tea

This is the place I experienced Devon Cream Tea, the area’s speciality. It was good, but I most enjoyed the scenery. I could have stayed and listened to this brook for hours.

Horses in Devon

Path Sign

Stone Wall

Abby, Harry and I took a day trip to Dartmouth, a town at the mouth of the Dart river that sits on the Atlantic Ocean. It turned out to be my favorite place we visited.

Hogwarts Express

We took the Hogwarts Express Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway to Kingwear Railway Station, where we hopped a ferry to cross the Dart River.

Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway




Atlantic Ocean from Dartmouth

Atlantic Ocean from Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth dates back to medieval times and like any proper English town, it has its own castle. Abby and I hiked up to it (pushing a baby stroller) and were greeted with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

On the way back down, we stumbled upon (probably literally – it was quite steep) the place where the Mayflower was docked before setting off for America. This history nerd just had to have a photo.


After spending the first part of the week down South, we packed up and headed North for Mr. Harry’s christening. And now…the cutest baby in the world:


Told ya. That little guy is a heartbreaker.

We traveled to Preston for the christening. While there, we took a little day trip into the famed Lake District, which lives up to its reputation. It reminded me a bit of part of the Blue Ridge Trail through the Appalachian Mountains. Oh, and also, The Land Before Time.

The Lake District England

The Lake District England

The Lake District England

The Lake District

The Lake District England

Oh, England. It was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to return.

Have you been to England? What is your favorite part?

3 Responses to “Pretty Across the Pond: England”

  1. frenchagd82 January 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    THIS is the England I want to see–oh wait, is that Mr. Darcy beckoning me from one of the pretty lake district pictures?

    I guess I need to go and find out:) Great shots, Katie and cute godson. I’ve only been to London and done most of the touristy things one does in London(yet, I’d go back for more). I’ve always wanted to do a literary tour of the UK–go to places mentioned in books, see writers homes, and just “be” in England.

    • Katie January 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

      Thanks Andrea. It really is stunning. A literary tour would be amazing.


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