Britain 2019 Guide Sample

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ATTRACTIONS | CULTURE | HISTORY | HERITAGE | PLACES TO STAY

2019 GUIDE

GREAT DAYS OUT

WIN A LUXURY

STAY IN CORNWALL

180 pages of inspiring ideas

TALES OF THE TOWER A day in the life of a Beefeater

HIDDEN GEMS

Undiscovered treasures of Scotland and Wales

DREAMING OF STEAM

Romantic rail journeys

y Stately SPLENDOUR Insider guide to Britain’s finest manors, palaces and castles

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STATELY HOMES

STATELY SPLENDOUR Whatever your idea of the perfect historic house – imposing architecture, beautiful interiors or glorious gardens – you’ll find it in these pages. We peek through the (gilded) keyhole at 20 of the country’s finest manors, palaces and estates WORDS NATASHA FOGES

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STATELY HOMES The Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard

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BELMOND ROYAL SCOTSMAN Fancy a Highland fling? The sumptuous carriages of the Belmond Royal Scotsman whisk you to the misty peaks and craggy valleys of the Scottish Highlands in luxury. The polished wood of the carriages gleams, and the interiors recreate a Scottish country house hotel on wheels. Even the cabins are clad in tartan. Take in the sights – Glamis Castle, Loch Lomond, Culloden Battlefield, Ben Nevis – from the comfort of the dining car with a malt whisky in hand. There’s even a spa on board, so you can pamper yourself as you chug onward. If shooting and fishing’s more your thing, a raft of special itineraries allow you to get back to nature. www.belmond.com

At 22.75 miles (36.61km), The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage railway in England. And it has vintage appeal, too: parts of the line opened in 1862. Window seats offer views of the Quantock Hills, the sea and myriad villages. Explore the countryside from Williton Station, near the Coleridge Way – a 36-mile trail through landscape that inspired the 19th-century Romantic poet. Or from Crowcombe Heathfield, where you can take a one-and-a-half-mile circular walk, crossing a couple of railway bridges (look out for the flaming leaves of the beech trees in autumn). Bring a bike to recreate Beatle Ringo Starr’s appearance in A Hard Day’s Night, where he cycles down Crowcombe platform. Or a bucket and spade, if you prefer the seasidey lure of Minehead, at the end of the line. www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk

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PHOTOS: © JULIA AIMIES GREEN PHOTOGRAPHY/NICK LEDGER/AWL IMAGES

WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY


NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY You don’t get more historic than this route, if only because it was planned, in 1831, by George Stephenson, the Father of Railways. Today, the 18-mile (29km) heritage line, from Pickering to Grosmont, carries more passengers than any other in Britain. The heathery moors, marked by the quaintest of stations, are the draw. Both Pickering and Goathland stations, built in Victorian times, have been restored to their Twenties and Thirties glory. (The former appeared in Brideshead Revisited.) The War-Time Weekend in October will maximise the historical charm: expect actors in period dress to roam the area. Christmas will be even more spirited, with elves and mince pies. Even Santa thinks this railway is worth a visit, from Lapland, at his busiest time of year. www.northyorkshiremoorsrailway.com


LONDON

Guardians of the Tower We talk to Chief Yeoman Warder, Pete McGowran, about resident ravens, age-old traditions and that iconic uniform WORDS ZARA GASPAR

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eoman Warders – nicknamed Beefeaters – are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London and still swear allegiance to the Queen. In addition to manning the Tower and all things within it, they have been historically responsible for the supervision of State Prisoners. In modern times, Beefeaters lead tours of the Tower, present lectures and are always on hand to answer visitors’ questions. Chief Yeoman Warder, Pete McGowran, gives us a glimpse of what life is like as a resident and guardian of the Tower of London. 32

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PHOTO: WWW.BRIDGEMANIMAGES.COM

LONDON

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SOUTHEAST ENGLAND

SOUTHEAST ENGLAND

The Southeast, with its scenic coastline and bucolic scenes of apple orchards and country lanes, exerts a nostalgic pull on many Londoners, as it’s traditionally a region where city-dwellers took their summer holiday. Easily accessible by train from the Big Smoke, the area covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and East and West Sussex. Many of the Southeast’s prettiest spots have an appealingly old-fashioned feel. Charming seaside towns such as Whitstable, renowned for its oysters, and cheerful Brighton line the coast, with many a castle bearing witness to the days when this coastline saw off waves of seaborne invasions. The breathtaking White Cliffs of Dover are a high point – literally – while the rolling South Downs and the High Weald hold stunning scenery, sleepy villages and quaint market towns. Two of the country’s finest cathedrals, Winchester and Canterbury – beginning and end points of a historic pilgrimage route – the glorious architecture of Oxford, and Windsor Castle, HM The Queen’s favourite home, are further draws.

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The Radcliffe Camera is just one example of Oxford's beautiful architecture

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