I love exploring new places on my bike but I very rarely explore where I actually live.
As my knee is slowly improving from my ski injury (back in February!), I am starting to ease myself back into exercise with gentle runs. The other weekend, it was lovely and sunny for my morning run so I kept going further down the country lanes, not really sure where I was going (very dangerous for someone with no sense of direction) but I ended up by a pretty church. I had a wander around and it looked so beautiful that I decided I would go back in the afternoon with my camera.
After a shower and change of clothes, I retrieved my beautiful pink Raleigh (Betty) from the shed, packed my camera into my bike basket and off I went.
I cycled down a quiet country lane and found this adorable house surrounded by blossom trees (on the way back, there was actually a horse nibbling at the grass in the garden – it was the most idyllic image).
At the end of the lane was a little field with a couple of horses grazing.
One of them came over to say hello.
I said my goodbyes and carried on my way.
I cycled through a field and noticed a horse riding school with horse jumps, although I think the horses were too busy filling their tummies with grass to think about doing any jumps.
I propped Betty up against the fence so I could take some more close up photos of the horses.
One of the horses came running over to me. I went to stroke it but it was having none of it, I think he/she had actually noticed my camera and was ready for his/her big break into the modelling industry.
The horse was making me giggle; it was as if it was posing for photos, turning its head in different ways and occasionally looking straight down the camera.
It was a natural and had even mastered the staring longingly into the distance pose.
Once the horse had exhausted its model poses, I carried on my way.
I soon found myself back at the church that I had discovered on my morning run.
I parked Betty up and explored the grounds for a second time, this time capturing everything with my camera.
Some people may find it morbid, but I find graveyards fascinating. There is something nice about the names of those who passed on 100+ years ago being read aloud again and I love wondering what their lives may have been like.
I walked around the back and found even older gravestones, partially hidden by wild flowers.
It is amazing to think that these people now laid to rest under the ground must have visited this church during their lives almost 200 years ago, sat in the pews and sang from the same hymn books. I like to imagine what they would have worn, what their jobs would have been and whether the village looked different to how it does now.
A lady visiting the church came over to me and said that I was welcome to come in and look around so I took her up on the offer and explored the inside. It was a typical quaint village church, understated and full of history.
I didn’t feel comfortable snapping away on my camera with other people inside the church, but I did manage to get a photo of the vibrant stained glass window in the entranceway.
I had such a lovely day exploring the local villages on my bike. I felt a little bit like a child again, especially getting my dad to tighten the brakes on my bike before I left and mum telling me not to get lost (a completely valid comment given that I ended up calling her several times during the afternoon asking for directions) but it was so nice to just explore the area on my bike, something I used to do all the time as a child but not so much as an ‘adult’. The bike ride made me appreciate the beauty of where I live and just how lucky I am. I will definitely make a conscious effort to go for more bike rides and long walks where I live, rather than just when I go on holiday or visit new places.