How much of your own country have you visited?

Friends of mine were telling me about their latest travels, and it got me thinking…

They are both retired, and have made it their goal to visit all 50 states of the US, which they say has been at the expense of travelling further abroad. However, they aim to do this when they’ve finished visiting the states. They only have two to go after their latest trip to Alaska.

Many of us in the UK go on holiday in search of the sea and sun, because as we know, we can never guarantee we’ll get a good summer. 

I see countless posts on Facebook, asking – how many of these countries have you visited?  However, I have noticed that whoever sets those up often isn’t always well educated about the difference between countries and cities!

Back in February I wrote a blog – 70 years of travel, and talked about where I’ve travelled to in the world.

But after reading about my American friends’ idea, I sat down and looked at a map of the UK and worked out where I had visited, during my lifetime so far.

I decided I’d look at Counties in England first.   A visit counts, if  I’d been there for an overnight stay at least; just driving through, doesn’t count.

How many places have I visited:

I’ve visited 85% of the 48 English counties.

The only counties I’ve not visited are: Tyne and Wear, East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Rutland, Surrey, Hertfordshire and the Isle of Wight.

I grew up in Leicestershire, and lived there until I left for college at 18, and didn’t move back. After my initial teaching job, I moved to live and work in Gloucestershire, where I remained for 27 years. Then I moved to Wiltshire and have lived here for 21 years, or thereabout. I’ve lived in the South West longer than anywhere else.

Working in different schools, both in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, I drove around both counties, so I know them well.

I studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music for 3 years, and also had relatives in the Manchester area, so it is somewhere else, when my parents were alive, ­ we as a family regularly visited. This was followed by a year in London at teacher training college.

My present husband is from Birmingham, and I had my first teaching job there, plus when I played the harp, I regularly went up to the West Midlands and Birmingham to play with different orchestras.

I broadened my outlook further, when I photographed weddings, as many of them were in places other than Wiltshire.

I love Wales too, so I did a similar check with the Welsh counties, of which there are 22. Of these I’ve visited 64%.

I’ve not visited Anglesey, Flintshire, Wrexham, Powys, Cardigan Ceredigion, Neath and Port Talbot, Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen.  I’m pretty sure I’ve travelled through some of them to get to other places, but I haven’t stayed in any of them.

When I was a lot younger, I visited County Conwy, with my mum and Gwynedd with school.

We love Pembrokeshire, and have visited there a few times, and in fact that’s where one of my favourite beaches are found:  Broad Haven and Little Haven.

Although not part of the UK, but a self-governing British Crown Dependency, I have visited The Isle of Man, a few times., many years ago.  Mostly to see the TT, and the Manx Grand Prix – there are some beautiful spots there. One spot I always remember was Port Cornaa – beautiful.

I haven’t visited many places in Ireland – only Belfast, Carrickfergus, as a teenager, and Newry, to photograph a wedding.

Scotland is also somewhere I’ve not visited that much, although I had my first honeymoon on a campsite in the grounds of Culzean Castle. Since then I’ve visited Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, Aberdeen, Oban, Mallaig, Aviemore and Pitlochry.

Overall, I don’t think I’ve done too badly at visiting my own country, though there are still far more places, I’ve not visited.

So, how much of your own country have you visited?