Escape to the Country is a familiar format, similar to the popular US hit show House Hunters, but Escape focuses on city dwellers hankering a move to the countryside. The home-buyers describe their ideal property to the show’s host and state how much money they can spend on the real estate, then the host totes the home-buyers around, showing them various houses. Trade-offs and tensions ensue: Will the buyers get exactly what they want for the price they want or must they compromise?
So, why does this British show featuring such a common format charm me? The reason, my Anglophile friends, is because Escape to the Country teaches us about British geography and local customs. Each episode showcases a different region of Britain, taking us along to see what the countryside looks like while the hosts delivers juicy nuggets of information about the locale’s history, customs, and culture.
Nearly every Anglophile who crosses the pond visits London, and from there, perhaps on later trips, they tend to visit the more popular tourist towns and regions, such as Oxford, Bath, or Yorkshire. But what about all the other regions? Sure, we’ve heard many of those geographical names. Cumbria, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset, etc. We’re quite sure they offer quaint villages and abound with natural beauty . . . but still, they’re off the beaten track. Well, Escape to the Country takes you to these regions. For armchair travelers, watching the show is like being given a free passport and airplane ticket, and for Anglophiles who actually cross the pond, well, maybe this insider knowledge will inspire you to travel new paths on your next trip to the UK.
(PS: I should mention another plus of watching Escape to the Country: We get to listen to those divine British accents! Any student of British culture knows that much is made about the various regional accents heard across the UK, and Escape allows us the opportunity to compare accents, pegging them to a particular region—you know, just like the Brits can do. Such insight bumps us from the realm of “regular Anglophile” to “consummate Anglophile,” I say!)
Note: A special thanks to Elan Durham, Twitter friend and fellow Anglophile, for informing me about Escape to the Country. You can find her on Twitter at Elan Durham @europabridge1.