the limestone formed by whatever volcanic calamity brings our particular puppet show to an end


Like most Englishmen, I have been brainwashed by William Wordsworth. Although I don’t much like walking, I love seeing the landscape but if I spot a person, then that “spoils” it. We all want to wander lonely as clouds. Given that there will be more than 70m lonely clouds in this archipelago by 2050, the prospects for Wordsworthianism do not seem very good. Yet the strange fact is that in Britain we can still “get away from it all” with ease. From the strange, bleak, featureless isles of North and South Uist in Scotland, which contain some of the oldest geological formations in this complicated, beautiful archipelago, down to the crags and coves of Cornwall; from the deserted Borders between Scotland and England to the Lincolnshire wolds, which roll for seemingly endless miles beneath the huge sky; from the deeply green valleys of unvisited mid-Wales to the great cornfields of Suffolk, the British landscape is both varied and, for so many miles, awe-inspiringly unwrecked. It is still possible to drive through these landscapes and pass scarcely another car.

more from AN Wilson at the FT here.