Staying in Remoter Locations

Travelling by train and staying in fairly remote places probably sounds a nightmare to some, not for us. We always seem to find a way around not having shops, cash machines, busses or train stations close by. You are usually the 'stranger' in town and most local people are more than happy to have a chat and offer advice or help if needed. So here we'll demystify the "stranger danger" notion that prevents many from getting to know some of the most charming areas.

Since we've started travelling in February 2018, we have stayed in villages and small towns. On our very first effort we went to Wales, and the very first village in which we stayed (for 6 weeks) had no shops and one pub, plus a small train station with a thrice daily service to the next town. The next place was a small town with one shop, two pubs, a couple of cafes and a regular bus service to the towns closest to us. We thought we were in a metropolis! The last place was a small ex-mining community with just four streets of housing, although we had access to a shop and regular bus service within a ten minute walk of our accommodation. But the bus destinations took forever to get through the other similar small ex-mining towns to somewhere else that wasn't an ex-mining town with one shop.

And I write this from the pub in a small village with no shops, this one pub, no train station, and no bus service during school vacation time.  No complaints here.

It's easy to focus on the facilities that places don't have, rather than what they can offer. Pubs are the usually the focus of the local community and a great place to meet people, find out what's happening in the area. There is always 'that guy' sitting in the corner of the bar that can fill you in with what's what! Most places have a Community Notice board offering information about local events.

For example, we discovered this village has a twice weekly visit by a mobile Post Office van, from which you can withdraw cash with your debit card, buy certain groceries, greetings cards and post a letter. Some people keep chickens so fresh eggs are available to buy daily. Having no shops close by isn't problematic either as the larger supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's offer home delivery service; you just need to be organised about exactly what you need – running out of tea and milk would be a disaster in our house! There are often, even in the smallest villages, websites offering local information, available services, and social events. It's always worth checking to see if the area you are staying has its own website. Most places in the UK now have a good, reliable internet connection, but in the event of that going wrong, the good old pub is a place to use for getting online, whilst having a pint.

The advantage of being in remoter places means it's more peaceful, surrounded by countryside with plenty of places to get out and walk, take in nature, meet local dogs and their humans. You get the chance to just 'be' rather than having to 'do'.

I must close this article now.  We're invited to the local music night in one of the neighbour's back garden and we don't want to be late for the social event of the week with our neighbours!  Enjoy the small as well as the large; there's always plenty to do and see ad enjoy!