“It looks like Australia,” said my partner, Alex, wonderingly as we gazed out across Hope Cove. This tiny seaside village has a viewpoint across a section of the Devon coastline that’s filled with a sea colour gradient that shifts from dark navy to light teal, all underpinned by streaks of rock that create alien shapes under the water. The green-topped cliffs meeting this scene are the only hint that we’re in England – and even then, it’s difficult to believe. It was snowing when we left London at 7am on April 12, something we took in our stride as we drove past trees frosted white and onwards towards the South Devon Area of Outstanding National Beauty. “Who cares if the weather’s mad?” I trilled, “We’re travelling! We’re staying somewhere that isn’t our flat!” After three gruelling months in a third lockdown, even sleet in July wouldn’t have stopped me taking advantage of the easing of restrictions in England. As our expected four-hour drive turned into five, however, my high enthusiasm started to waver. That is until the car filled with sunlight. Suddenly we had to pull over so jumpers could be pulled off, and the windows were rolled down. Wide roads became twisting country lanes shielded by high hedgerows, sometimes giving way to panoramic vistas of gold and green countryside. As I checked social media to see other travellers bundled up against the chill, I started to wonder if we hadn’t slipped into another dimension. Were we still in the same England?