A 30-minute train ride from London, on the edge of National Trust land, we didn't want to be stranded in the country.
|The view from a hill.|
"We'll walk," I declared. And 500 pounds would pay for 50 taxi rides that cost 10 pounds. I bet we wouldn't have that many.
I had no idea how close their house was to town, so the morning before the homeowners left, we went to the grocery store and threw in a number of things to tide us over -- pasta and sauce and lunch meat and bread, apples and bananas and yogurt and cookies. I knew they had eggs and potatoes so I could make due with omelets or roasted potatoes if we needed to.
The next morning on an exploratory run, I discovered that downtown was only a mile away. Since then, we've been making trips every few days so we can carry home what we need.
We've only taken one taxi ride, coming home from the train station at 11:30 at night in the snow. Other than that, we have walked.
And I might be a convert to the idea of walking on vacation rather than renting a car. In addition to saving money on the cost of the car, we haven't need to fill it up, argue about parking or who will drive or getting lost (although we have gotten lost while walking). We haven't need to worry about dings from cars parked next to us. No car has equaled extra peace of mind.
It may be true that we haven't done some things we might have with a car. Apparently Box Hill, located in the hills to our west, was the picnic scene in Jane Austen's Emma where Emma criticized Miss Bates. Perhaps we would have taken the dogs to walk on the heath, wherever the heath is. We probably would have driven to town and spatted about parking spaces.
But walking has let us explore parts of town we might never have seen.
Like this building from 1626
|Can you see the numbers on the center peak of the house?|
|Mind you, I wouldn't want to pay for new windows. They'd definitely be special order.|
|Swans and ducks abound in this lake in Priory Park|
|Which is why Minnow dived into the lake to try to catch a bird|
We've learned about local customs, like when to say Good Morning or Cheers or nothing.
Exercise is another benefit to not renting a car. Some days, like today, my Fitbit reads 24,000 steps or more.
And we've taken interesting photos, like this one.
|The berry clumps are gorgeous.|
|I have to agree|