As much as I love London (and I really do) every time I visit England, I find myself loving this country even more, not because of the hustle and bustle of London, but because of all the smaller towns and cities found along the way. With it’s train system, England is so easy to get around and beyond each train station is a town just waiting to show you what it has to offer.
Last summer, I spent sometime in Horsham with it’s beautiful park and old English buildings. While London, Bath and Stratford are great, I began to see what England had to offer besides it’s main tourist attractions.
This summer, I currently find myself in the small town of Thatcham, 5km east of Newbury and 24km west of Reading. After getting settled in and having a nice dinner at The Swan, the town’s local pub, we took a walk around. This town, with it’s pretty old houses is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the strongest claimant to being the oldest continuously inhabited place in Britain! Here, well-preserved remains of a Mesolithic settlements dating from 7,700 BC have been found.
Neighbouring Reading, which grew rich during the Medieval and Tudor periods, is a rapidly growing city with a great shopping district. Reading is also where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for homosexuality and where he composed his famous ballad. On our shopping trip to Reading, I was introduced to Shakes Away a delicious milkshake shop where you can create your own shake using candy, fruit, chocolate and any combination you can imagine. It’s almost overwhelming, but in the end chocolate peanut butter was a delightful choice!
With a few more days in Thatcham, I look forward to seeing what else this lovely town has to offer!