This beautifully restored property, The Retreat, is now a ’boutique B&B’ situated in the tiny Northamptonshire village of Crick – and I fell in love with it a little … It was definitely my favourite place to stay on our summer adventure.
Sure, the day we arrived we had just begun our journey and the sun was scorching, but it wasn’t simply that and the two jars of Summer Pimm’s I had down at the nearby canal that swelled my heart!
This wee cottage that used to be a cycle shop was a place we loved so much that we returned to it on our journey home. It already felt a little like home – a safe place, a welcoming and comforting stop both at the beginning and end of our 2,500 mile road trip.
It was a feeling, a sensation, an experience of home …
I didn’t know I had been looking for home when we set out on our adventure.
Our experience of more than a dozen such home exchanges has demonstrated that we can make our home anywhere, whatever the circumstance – but this time, this time …
Well, things felt different.
It’s the first time I’ve ever felt a physical wrench from leaving our physical home. And when I talk of home, I don’t simply mean this house made of walls which provide warmth and shelter.
No, there’s something else – the sense of place, the very land itself … and of those that have gone before.
You see, right now here in this place I call home, I find myself deeply rooted. So deeply rooted that it was properly difficult for me to drag myself away – and there are so many preparations to undertake for a house swap, the effort is not inconsequential.
So that’s been the theme for this adventure of ours and our subsequent return – HOME – and why I felt so attracted to this tiny cottage in this tiny village …
It’s worth noting that the owners of The Retreat, Jacqueline and Glen, are friendly and companionable hosts who truly care about this business – the property belonged to Glen’s parents and he grew up in the village – and their attitude to everything helped lend to that sense of homecoming.
To complete the whole experience, the traditional pub only a few doors away (The Red Lion) serves excellent food, with a particularly wide and varied veggie menu. All helping make this wee venue an ideal stay for a weekend or longer.
So, yeah, this is a place I’d recommend for a visit (especially if you’re traveling on the M6/M1, heading north/south) and the bed is extremely comfy…
But it isn’t just that – for me, it has been the trigger of an awareness of just how much I need to be at home. An interesting viewpoint for a 2,500miles road trip!