Plain English


The above photo was taken in the adorable seaside fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced Mowzhall), just past Penzance along the spectacular B3315 coastal road. With its tiers of cottages, miniature harbor, and narrow lanes, I thought it was the cutest village ever.

Until, of course, I saw the next one and the next one and the next one. They are ALL CUTE. And all filled with thatched cottages.

Thatched cottages are one of those things that are iconic of England. In America, we’re used to seeing them only in Thomas Kinkade paintings. Color me thrilled when I found them everywhere in the villages and countryside of Cornwall and Wessex. We even saw workers thatching a new roof–and not in some sort of historical theme park but in real life, in a village.

There are more thatched roofs in the United Kingdom than any other country, and the typical thatch material is wheat straw or water reed. Since a thatched roof can last 50 years and new thatching is laid over the old, there are medieval thatched buildings with under-thatching over 600 years old. How cool is that? If I lived in England, I would so be living in a thatched cottage with one of these gorgeous gates at the head of the path.
It would sit beside one of these adorable country lanes.
I would so totally have some sheep.
In the village would be this sweet 1000-year-old church.
There would be a hidden stream nearby.
And a pond with an island for the geese.
I’d sell fresh veggies on the side of the road and leave a note telling people to leave the money in the gate box.
Each evening, I’d watch the sun sink over the sea.
And then…..
…..head to the pub for a pint!

What about you?

I’m on vacation. This week, I’m republishing a series of posts from my 2006 trip to England. Enjoy! Keep up with my current trip on the Daily Farm Photo page.


  1. Wheezay says:

    So beautiful. I love the English country side.

  2. CindyP says:

    Some beautiful scenery! I absolutely love the country lane photo! And you’ve gotten some of your dreams…..are the sheep dotting yet?

  3. Rose in VT says:

    I especially love this post because of a children’s book called “The Mousehole Cat”!!! My children loved it when they were young and the pictures you took live up to the book beautifully. And yes, If I lived in England, I would live up the lane from you!! Happy Vacation!

  4. JeannieB says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. I will never get to go on a trip such as this, but enjoy yours.

  5. trish says:

    I have read about England for years through Betty Neels books. Wish I could be there!!!

  6. .Nancy in Iowa says:

    I am really loving my memories of traveling through England by way of your memories…thanks again.

  7. The Retired One says:

    Wow. Its amazing you wanted to come home at all….I might still be there!
    Those thatched roofs wouldn’t hold the snow we get in Michigan! They would definitely be caving in. But, they must have looked cool.

  8. Dawn says:

    OH, I want to live there too! Beautiful!

  9. winifred says:

    I’m really enjoying your trip. I’ve never been to Cornwall, only Devon and that’s pretty too. No wonder they use these places for filming so many TV programmes. If you ever get the chance, watch Doc Martin (comedy drama) it’s filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall and the scenery is absolutely beautiful.

  10. cranberry says:

    My family tree partly from Yorkshire. It tugs at me to go live there constantly. I would go and never come back and be quite content to live in a small village. Adorable beautiful pictures, esp. the church. Thank you for sharing! :wave:

  11. Dan Whipkey says:

    English countrysides and villages are the best

  12. Chic says:

    It seems we’ve travelled a few of the same roads Suzanne. This part of England is so beautiful and like you I was in awe of the thatched roof cottages and phone booths and country lanes and doting sheep. Some of those ‘roads’ were like a lane and we had to pull over so the other person could get around us! One thing I noticed was how some roads would go along straight and then turn 90 degrees out of no where. My sister explained that back in the ‘old days’ they were very superstitious and so the roads were made that way so that if a witch or goblin was chasing you that when you made the turn they would keep going straight….who knew!!!! Always wanted to live there but now that we have our little farm I like right where I am…this is my ‘little piece of heaven’.

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