Sloping along the edge of Lake Huron, beguiling BAYFIELD, about 90km north of London, is a good-looking village whose handsome timber villas nestle among well-tended gardens beneath a canopy of ancient trees. The local citizenry have kept modern development at arm’s length – there’s barely a neon sign in sight, never mind a concrete apartment block – and almost every old house has been beautifully maintained: look out for the scrolled woodwork, the fanlights and the graceful verandas. Historical plaques give the low-down on the older buildings that line Bayfield’s short Main Street, which started out in the 1830s as a supply centre for local farmers with a blacksmith’s, a tannery, a saw mill or two, a brickyard and a distillery. Short Hill Road, off the west end of Main Street, leads to pint-sized Pioneer Park, which perches on the bluff overlooking the lake and is a fine spot to take in the sunset. From the park, a flight of wooden steps leads down to the pebbly beach, from where it is a short stroll to the harbour and the marina. If you have the time, ramble up from the harbour along the banks of the Bayfield River where, in season, you can pick wild mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns.

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