Yesterday we went to High Laver (which I mispronounce most of the time and misspell at least half the time - hey, it's harder than it looks, this English language thing), to visit the tomb of John Locke. He's buried just outside a charming old church there. Lovely people, beautiful setting, more or less in the middle of nowhere along "roads" that are barely wider than the car... not an hour north of central London.
That's actually why he's buried there, incidentally, as the lady who manages the church explained to us. He had to get out of London for health reasons and go to the country. He picked that place in part because it was close enough to London without feeling like London was anywhere near.
This is one reason why the English countryside is so darn pretty. There is no urban or suburban sprawl, no big-box stores, no strip malls, nothing of the sort. There's London (which is super dense and nuts, traffic-wise), and there's outside London, which is the country. And it is wonderful.
I suppose it's too late now to demolish the North American suburb, but we should at least stop building new ones.