Giles Wood on the many merits of Dorset
According to Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield (1969), the townsman envies the villager his certainties and has always regarded urban life as just a temporary necessity. One day he will find the cottage on the green and ‘real values’. This is the premise of a gloriously bland offering on daytime TV, called Escape to the Country, wherein a selection of rural retreats in the chosen county are spread out like a chocolate assortment box to tempt would-be escapees. Participants in this reality show are gloriously bland too, and have usually declared that ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’ country views are high on their wish lists, along with ‘some land for a pony or’, chuckling wistfully, ‘maybe even a goat or two’. Sometimes, they plan to offer bed and breakfast in their new country escapes but often there seems no rhyme or reason for them to move to the particular county featured. With no friends...
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