Growing up in the country isn’t all just cows and bad internet
People live there too
The countryside. The Great Outdoors. Having lived in the Devon/Dorset area for my entire life and then moving to Cardiff, I have been able to take the time to truly reflect on my childhood and teenage years living in the country. Let’s just say the lifestyle’s a bit different to those who have grown up in the city.
From the beautiful scenery to the fish and chips (seriously, British food is at its best in the South West) and the riveting nightlife to the close-knit communities, there’s nothing quite like growing up in the country.
The scenery is beaut
There is no denying that the South West is famous for its natural beauty. Where it lacks in general cosmopolitan vibes, it gives you trees and the seaside instead. If you’re not shopping in one of the multiple charity shops in your town, or riding your horse at your own private stables (incomes range greatly down here), you’re most likely to be wandering around a field or hill somewhere. Let’s be honest, there isn’t really much else to do.
My top tip for walking around the South West’s stunning landscapes is pretty straightforward (you have to become an expert, otherwise you may end up like Geraldine Granger).
Always look where you’re going. It’s that simple.
Sometimes you have to make the choice between a puddle that is a borderline pond or a pile of manure the size of an actual cow, but it’s a risk worth taking if it means catching the sunset at Lambert’s Castle Hill.
The seaside is a stone’s throw away
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the beach is the ultimate place to socialise in the South West. If you’re lucky, you can catch some rare rays in the summer, relax on the pebbled shores, laugh at your friends attempting to emerge into the freezing water, and perhaps even walk up the cliffs if you have enough energy leftover. You’ll have a great couple of hours until you find out that your chips are covered in sand and not salt, and that the seagulls use citizens for target practice daily.
The only problem with the nearby beach is that it’s where the “cool kids” hang out. You can’t walk anywhere without seeing an intimidating gang of 12 year olds guzzling red bull like beer, pushing each other into the bitterly cold water, or queuing up menacingly for another ice cream or cone of chips. Seriously, they are scary. And everywhere. To be fair to them, it’s the only place to be on a Saturday other than Tesco’s.
You can shop till you Drop
…I laughed at myself for writing that header, because all you have in the little towns are charity shops and the odd but unique coffee place. Unless you go somewhere like Exeter, but you can find an article on that somewhere else – I’m here for the country-goers.
Again, I laughed when writing that header. You don’t get nightlife in the South West unless you count going to Bournemouth or Exeter, but if you want the true country teenage experience then listen up…
In the summer, the occasional field party is a go-to. Field parties basically include a”camp out” (by that I mean you’ll find random bodies sprawled out on the cider-soaked grass until the sun rises) at your friend’s make-do festival. Can be a right laugh, but when the weather is not on your side and the parents are out of town, then house parties are where it’s at.
House parties in the South West can either be the most boring or more interesting night of your life, but people down there are so damn creative. Games are created to pass the time, the parties are free (as long as you bring bevs with you), and there’s always an interesting story to tell the next day when finding yourself awake in the most random of places. Inevitably, however, the infamous “place everything on the sleeping person” game occurs, as it’s now 5:30am and you’ve had enough of listening to music ranging from Eminem to The Wurzles.
The scenery… again
Behind the scenes of the beautiful scenery is some really raw material. If you’re lucky enough to find a place that doesn’t smell either like fish, farm or weed, you’ll find yourself looking at a rather disturbing sight. If you ever go to the South West, just be prepared. See ‘Exhibit A’ below.
At the end of the day you can say what you like, but the country is my home. Sure, it’s not like the city, but there’s no place quite like the South West.