Sophie’s column last month about the advantages of growing up in a small village inspired reader Jane Kettle to put pen to paper. People have all sorts of reasons for moving to this area – for Jane and husband Alan, it was all down to a certain bird…
Our background has always been the outdoor life, Alan was a gardener and farm worker for many years, I was a farmer’s daughter with an eye for anything connected with wildlife and nature.
We have lived in a few villages in the UK and after selling our house in January last year, we could not decide where to live. We had looked at the Isle of Wight, Cumbria (far too busy!) and Anglesey and none of these really ticked any boxes. We had decided and were in the process of buying a house at Newark in Nottinghamshire when I announced I would like to see a lek, which for your information is Black Grouse doing a dawn strutting and posturing display.
A quick look online and I found Wild Eskdale, which I booked and we came up in April last year. We had beautiful weather and Kevin Cumming was so knowledgeable and a fantastic guide making the visit truly special. On driving back to Lincolnshire, we ruminated on our house purchase at Newark and both thought this area was much more in line with what we wanted. On returning home, I found a cottage for sale at Canonbie, we came up to view it a few days later and bought it.
It is the best retirement area we could have chosen. Canonbie is so vibrant, the only downside to living here is that we cannot do everything! The shop, doctor’s surgery, Cross Keys hotel and hairdressers are there for all. There are Bowls, Tennis, the Café, Lunch Club, Gentle Aerobics to name just a few of the activities. The bus services are invaluable, especially with the over 60’s bus pass. There’s just so much to do and enjoy.
The Buccleuch Centre at Langholm (which we have volunteered our services for) is a great venue for all sorts of entertainment, with the café being wonderful too. It is so nice to be on first name terms with the people we meet and we find everyone so friendly (we are bad at forgetting a few names, please forgive us!), with the scenery and wildlife we could not live in a better place.
In all the places we have lived previously, Canonbie is outstanding in every respect.
Alan & Jane Kettle