Take Me Home, Country Roads

We enjoyed driving through the English countryside and villages and didn’t find it difficult getting around or understanding the rules of the road or the road naming system here in the south of England.

The roads are given letters and numbers. Expressways are classified as “M” roads, the arterials as “A” roads, and the country roads as “B” roads. The M roads are like our interstates: multi-lane, divided highways. The A roads are often narrow, two-lane roads with minimal or no shoulder, sometimes with a curb. And the B roads are often extremely narrow two-lane or one-lane country roads with pull-offs for passing oncoming traffic; these roads are often lined by high hedgerows on both sides.

Except infrequently inside towns and cities, there are no bike lanes. We typically found pedestrian sidewalks in the towns and cities, but not outside the city limits; there you walked along the road at your own peril.

Here’s an example of an A road, the A259, that runs along the coast near Eastbourne:

We typically stayed on the A roads when we were driving any distance, and we took the M4 when we went to Wales, but whenever we could, we drove on the B roads because you could never tell what might lie around the corner. Sometimes the B roads would bend around castles, like here in Pevensey…

…or pass through city gates or estate gates…

…or we might end up on a one-lane country road through farmland or forest…

…or see an old, thatch-roof cottage…

…or off in the distance, a white horse…

…or a henge…

…or an ancient village.

And more than once, we came upon a horseback rider, whether we were in a village…

…or in the country.

There was always something interesting to see. Like this camper who just decided he liked this spot, so he pulled off and made himself at home. It sure beats WalMart.

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