In my life as a journalist in regional Australia, one of my favourite parts of the job was exploring and getting to know the towns that made up my ‘patch’. In most places I knew where the cleanest public loos were (vital when you’re on the road!), which cafe/bakery to stop at and the best route to follow to catch glimpses of favourite houses/gardens/parks.
Now that I’m getting to know the west Midlands, I’m finding myself doing the same thing here in England. Earlier this week I had to drive up to near Kidderminster for a meeting. I took the opportunity to pop into nearby Ombersley – a gorgeous historic village Adam and I visited briefly during our first few weeks in the U.K.
One of the first things you notice when driving into Ombersley is the vast amount of ‘black and white’ houses – half timbered buildings, some of which date back to medieval times. To me, they’re quintessentially English and I love the way they’re often a little wonky with bowed walls.
There are also some fine examples of Georgian architecture locally. The combination of a perfectly symmetrical house and rambling wisteria just works, don’t you think?!
During my little wander I stumbled across a large open field on the outskirts of the village. It was covered in dandelions and daisies. I can recall spending hours on my front lawn in Wagga Wagga weeding both species out of my lawn! Here though, they seem just right. I almost expected a rabbit to bound across the field (which I confess, would’ve fulfilled one of my cheesy romantic daydreams about England!)
I also took the time to visit the grounds of St Andrew’s Church. It was peaceful and quiet and if you walk to the very back of the churchyard you can catch a glimpse of Ombersley Court, the traditional seat of Baron Sandys.
Ombersley isn’t huge and you could probably easily walk the main street in around half an hour. There are a couple of pubs in the village as well as delicatessen, Checketts of Ombersley, which has a lovely little cafe. If you ever find yourself on the A449 and like cheese, cottages and churches, I’d recommend stopping by!