BRITAIN The official magazine
TRAVEL CULTURE HERITAGE STYLE
jAnuARy/fEbRuARy 2013 £3.95
country cHArM Explore the British countryside from historic houses to fairytale forests
WIn a holiday
for two in Dartmoor
WonDERfuL WEEkEnDs Discover the secrets of delightful Devon
Divorced beheaded survived…
The true story of Henry VIII’s wives
Behind the scenes at
HARRoDs MARVELLous MARkETs
Dickensian charm to shabby chic
Highland f ling
Enjoy the still beauty of Scotland's stunning scenery
I had the great pleasure of meeting some of the Harrods team this month and they told me what a wonderful place it is to work. It is a great place to shop too. Receiving a gift with that iconic green and gold branding is always a real treat. Read more about Britain’s most famous shop in Homage to Harrods on page 52. Another familiar British brand is the London Underground, which turns 150 years old on 10 January. It is the world’s longestrunning underground system and carries thousands of passengers across the capital every day. Many of the Tube’s oldest stations feature beautiful and historic artwork and I always enjoy the surprises to be found when I deviate from my regular route. Read more about this marvel of modern engineering in Going Underground on page 33. If, like me, you long to escape to the country then the first in our new series – Wonderful Weekends – where we spend 48 hours in some of our best-loved areas, is the place to start. We kick off with Devon’s Coast and Countryside on page 58. But my personal favourite in this issue is The Place of the Gaels on page 22, where we explore the still beauty of the Highlands. My New Year’s resolution is to see much more of our great outdoors, but in the meantime, let’s all put our feet up and enjoy this issue of BRITAIN magazine. Sam Pears, Editor
PHOTO: © LOOP IMAGES LTD/ALAMY
St Michael of the Rock in Dartmoor
BRITAIN THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
VOLUME 81 ISSUE 1
Like us on Facebook
58 Follow us @Britainmagazine
HOUSE FOR ALL SEASONS Lady Emma Barnard speaks to BRITAIN magazine about her life in a stunning Sussex stately home – Parham House.
THE PLACE OF THE GAELS We experience a natural high as we explore the marvellous mountains and wonderful wilderness of the Highlands of Scotland.
GOING UNDERGROUND Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the London Tube, we discover its secrets.
WONDERFUL WINTER WALKS We have teamed up with the National Trust to bring you our five favourite winter walks.
HOMAGE TO HARRODS Europe’s largest department store is famous the world over. But this amazing emporium all began with a humble cup of tea
Cover image: Thatched Cottage at Thornton le Dale village, Yorkshire. © Janet Burdon/Alamy
DEVON'S COAST & COUNTRYSIDE In the first of our new Wonderful Weekends series we spend 48 hours in Devon.
15 BRITAIN 3
the official magazine
divorcEd, bEHEadEd, SurvivEd www.britain-magazine.com
The six wives of King Henry VIII are often recalled less by names than by their fates. We reveal the flesh-and-blood figures who helped shape history.
Britain is the official magazine of VisitBritain, the national tourism agency. Britain is published by the Chelsea Magazine Company ltd, liscartan house, 127-131 sloane street, london sW1X 9as tel: (020) 7901 8000 fax: (020) 7901 8001 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EngLand'S SEcond city A vibrant centre of arts and literature, shopping and socialising, today's Birmingham mixes the old and the new.
Editor sam Pears Deputy Editor Jessica tooze
britain'S marvELLouS markEtS
Art Editor gareth Jones Designer rickardo Watkins
Bustling and chaotic or laid-back and homely, British markets range from almost Dickensian in character to the quaintly rural.
Digital Publisher simon temlett Digital Product Manager terri eaton Group Sales Manager Julian strutt Sales Executives alex lobsang, natasha syed Group Digital Sales Manager Matt rayner
London'S LatESt This issue we focus on the cream of London's new hotels, finding the most innovative and interesting places to stay.
Managing Director Paul Dobson Deputy Managing Director steve ross Commercial Director Vicki gavin Publishing Executive holly thacker For VisitBritain iris Buckley
tHE brit LiSt
Printed in England by Wyndeham heron, Maldon, essex Production all Points Media
Subscriptions UK/Rest of World: Britain, tower house, sovereign Park, Market harborough, leics le16 9ef, uK tel: +44 (0)1858 438878 email: email@example.com www.subscription.co.uk/britain/tweb North America: USA: Britain, PO Box 569, selmer, tn 38375, usa tel: 888 321 6378 (toll free) email: firstname.lastname@example.org Canada: Britain, 1415 Janette avenue, Windsor, Ontario n8X 1Z1, Canada tel: 888 321 6378 (toll free) email: email@example.com Australia and New Zealand: Britain, locked Bag 1239, north Melbourne, ViC 3051, australia. tel: 002 8877 0373 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A special round-up of the best of UK theatre, along with where to eat and what to buy for a perfect night out.
dEvon compEtition Win a weekend for two at the fabulous Moorland Garden Hotel on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.
LEttErS Get in touch and tell us about your experiences in Britain or let us know what you think of the magazine.
tEn tHingS you didn't know...
usa and Canada: CMg, llC/155 Village Blvd/3rd floor/Princeton, nJ 08540 usa uK and rest of World: COMag, tavistock road, West Drayton uB7 7Qe. tel: +44 (0)1895 444055 fax: +44 (0)1858 445255
We uncover some fascinating words from yesteryear, which are as wonderful sounding now as they were practical then.
Britain (issn 0019-3143) (usPs 004-335) is published bi-monthly by the Chelsea Magazine Company, liscartan house, 127-131 sloane street, london sW1X 9as, uK Distributed in the us by evergreen Marketing, 116 ram Cat alley, suite 201, seneca, sC 29678-3263 Periodicals postage paid at seneca, sC and additional mailing offices. POstMaster: send address changes to Britain, PO Box 569, selmer, tn 38375-0569 Publications Mail agreement number 41599077, 1415 Janette ave, Windsor, On n8X 1Z1. Canadian gst registered number 834045627 rt0001
in this issue ScoTLAND
the Chelsea Magazine Company ltd 2012/2013. all rights reserved. text and pictures are copyright restricted and must not be reproduced without permission of the publishers
the information contained in Britain has been published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. however, where appropriate, you are strongly advised to check prices, opening times, dates, etc, before making final arrangements. all liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or damage caused by reliance on the information contained within this publication is hereby excluded. the opinions expressed by contributors to Britain are not necessarily those of the publisher or VisitBritain.
BIrMINGHAM p74 BrEcoN BEAcoNS NATIoNAL PArK p40
WA L E S
LoNDoN p33 PArHAM HoUSE p6 SALcoMBE p58
ROYA L G R E E N W I C H A Royal Borough on the banks of Londonâ€™s river Thames, with outstanding historic landmarks and a rich maritime and royal history.
photos: ÂŠ MalcolM Mchugh/ alaMy/aMy laughinghouse
House for all
Parham House as seen from atop of the South Downs in West Sussex
seasons Lady Emma Barnard
Parham Houseâ€™s foundation stone was laid in 1577. Since then it has been cared for by generations of three families, each adding their own personal touches. Today, Lady Emma Barnard is chatelaine of Parham House and Gardens, a role she is both devoted to and passionate about. Here she talks to BRITAIN magazine about her life in this stunning Sussex stately home WORDS amy Laughinghouse
photoS: courteSy of parham houSe © nick mccann
“M Above: The Saloon once served as Alicia Pearson’s drawing room. Right: The Great Hall is hung with magnificent Tudor portraits
y heart skips a beat every time I drive in the gate,” confesses Lady Emma Barnard. The route takes her past forests and fields towards her 16th-century home – Parham House, set within 875 acres in the South Downs of Sussex, where its pretty sandy-coloured stone glows in the low-slanting sunshine. Lady Emma and her husband, barrister James Barnard, divide their time between Sussex and London, and they never fail to appreciate the view when they return to Parham House. “I’ve been here for 18 years,” she says, “and we still can’t believe sometimes that we actually live here.” Lady Emma, born into the Guinness family, is no stranger to splendid historic homes. She grew up at Farmleigh in Dublin, which hosted Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Ireland in 2011. “But there is something very magical about Parham House,” says Lady Emma, who first knew it as the home of her great-grandparents; Clive and Alicia Pearson renovated and furnished it with most of the treasures it now holds. “They had a tremendous sense of humour about themselves, and you can
tell. I think that’s what makes Parham so special. In a funny way, it doesn’t take itself very seriously.” Despite Lady Emma’s insistence that “for all its grandeur, it’s very un-grand,” the 25,000 visitors who typically tour the vast manor between Easter and the end of October every year can’t fail to be impressed by its sheer scale – some 128 rooms, including public and private areas, full of museumworthy portraits and antiques, renowned collections of 17th-century embroidery, and illustrious guests. Legend holds that Queen Elizabeth I may have dined here in the late 1500s. Princess Charlotte came in 1808 and the Duchess of Kent arrived with Princess Victoria in 1821. In 1928, Queen Mary visited, making a rather unceremonial entrance through a farmyard after the royal car took a wrong turn. Sir Thomas Palmer – grandson of Robert Palmer, to whom King Henry VIII granted the estate in 1540 – laid the cornerstone of Parham House in 1577. Sir Thomas, who explored the world alongside Sir Francis Drake, sold the home in 1601 to Thomas Bisshopp, a Member of Parliament who www.britain-magazine.com
4 â€“ 7 JULY 2013
For the latest event news follow us on Admission strictly by advance ticket only â€˘ For tickets or hospitality please call: +44 (0)1243 755055 or visit
also became a knight and later a baronet. The house remained with the Bisshopp family until the Pearsons purchased it in 1922 and set about making it the home it is today. “The house has had an element of luck, because my great-grandfather was an engineer and what he did at Parham was top notch, done with knowledge, care and research,” explains Lady Emma, heating up a bowl of soup on the blue Aga stove in the casual, 60s-era kitchen of the home’s private quarters. Clive Pearson, whose family firm S Pearson and Co was responsible for major civil engineering projects around the world, worked with architect Victor Heal to remove Victorian additions and strip the house back to its Elizabethan bones, revealing long-forgotten windows and an original fireplace in the Great Room. The Pearsons also installed electricity and modern plumbing but their greatest contribution was the discerning eye they cast towards furnishing the home. “Everything they bought is here for a reason,” Lady Emma says. “They’re things that tell Parham’s history, or had been at Parham. If something came up at auction that had a provenance to Parham, they often bought it back.” The home was requisitioned during the Second World War, housing 30 evacuee children from London and, later, several Canadian Infantry Divisions. Despite the dogfights that turned the skies over the Downs into a battleground, the manor survived almost completely intact. After the war, in 1948, a friend suggested that the Pearsons open rooms to the public, as they were only occupying a portion of the home. At first, they resisted. “It wasn’t because they didn’t want to share it,” Emma says. “My greatgrandparents thought they weren’t important enough and that nobody would come. They were incredibly modest.” They were persuaded, and the Pearsons proceeded with zeal. Alicia and her eldest daughter, Veronica, conducted the tours themselves and kept their visitors in mind when purchasing objects for the home. “My great-grandmother always said, ‘Gentlemen must have something to look at, too – so we must have clocks!’” Lady Emma laughs. During the winter ‘off-season’, the rooms are swathed in dust sheets, protecting precious pieces from the light that filters through boarded windows and drawn drapes. One gets a sense of tiptoeing into a child’s bedroom, as if to check on the little ones while they’re sleeping, especially given the affection with which Lady Emma treats each object. She interlaces historical notes with her own memories and the stories told to her by her great-grandmother and her greataunt Veronica, who later headed up the household until her passing in 1993, when the torch was passed to Lady Emma. Exiting her private library through a foyer filled with vases and floral arranging equipment – unchanged since her great-grandmother introduced the tradition of filling the home with “wild and woolly” fresh flowers during the
photoS: courteSy of parham houSe © nick mccann
Top: The Green Room features items related to Sir Joseph Banks. Above: The Great Chamber.
Queen Mary visited, as well, making a rather unceremonial entrance through a farmyard after the royal car took a wrong turn www.britain-magazine.com
season – Lady Emma draws back a curtain to reveal the Great Hall. It’s a spacious room, with two-storey tall windows overlooking the Downs and magnificent Tudor portraits bedecking the oak panelling. A painting of Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Dudley, with his balding pate and bushy grey beard, casts a weary eye over the intruders, as if reluctantly awakened from a nap. Apparently, though, his dour expression never repressed a bit of horseplay among Lady Emma’s sons (Benjamin, 16 and Arthur, 14) when they were young. “Their greatest treat was to be allowed to ride their plastic tractors around the Great Hall table,” their mother reveals. “They would get closer and closer to the ropes surrounding it and when they thought we weren’t looking, they would try to knock the stanchion over.” Other illustrated luminaries in attendance include a serious-looking Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour; Lord Burghley, one of Elizabeth I’s most valued advisors; and a fair-skinned redhead wearing a crown dripping with pearls. At one time, it was thought she was britain
needlework from the early 18th century; the other is a replica stitched by Alicia Pearson and her mother, Lady Brabourne. Upstairs, the Great Chamber, Alicia Pearson’s erstwhile bedroom, further reveals her passion for needlework. The canopy bed boasts a frame that is partly Tudor, probably from the court of Henry VIII, and is draped in flame stitch embroidered curtains from the 1620s. Lady Emma is partial to a mid-17th century needlework christening-cushion featuring Moses, when he was discovered among the rushes. “The lady who finds him there is so surprised, she’s got two sets of eyebrows. My grandmother loved the quirky,” she recalls. “A great example of my great-grandparents’ sense of humour is this room,” she says as she enters the Ante-Room, where the walls are filled with beautifully rendered portraits of not only Charles II and his beleaguered bride, Catherine of Braganza, but some of his most famous mistresses, as well. “It is the fact that they hung them all in the same room,” says Lady Emma, shaking her head. The Green Room features several items related to Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist and naturalist who played a significant role in founding Kew Gardens; his wife’s sister was an ancestor of Alicia Pearson. Perhaps the most fanciful is a painting of a kangaroo, which was based on an inflated skin that Banks brought back from his voyage with Captain Cook. Lady Emma’s favourite room is the Long Gallery, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling adorned with painted vines. “I love the light and the airiness and the fact that it’s right at the top of the house,” she says. “I could sit there for hours.” There are invaluable possessions here, too, such as the gilt embroidered velvet saddle that belonged to James II. The gallery also features an excellent collection of furniture, and an exhibit about the Pearsons and their contributions to the home, which Lady Emma installed to honour them. But like her great-grandparents, she adores the unexpected little objects, like a grinning Jacobean lion made of shells, thoughtfully placed at a child’s height, and a hide-covered bicycle horse that belonged to her great-great-grandfather, one of the few treasures she brought from Farmleigh. “It would be fun to add a few more things to the collection, which related to my family,” she says. But, like her relations before her, Lady Emma remains humble about her role at Parham House. “I’m just a tiny link in a very long chain of people that have lived here and loved it and looked after it. It’s been here for centuries and it will outlast us all.”
photoS: courteSy of parham houSe © nick mccann
Perhaps the most fanciful is a painting of a kangaroo, which was based on an inflated skin
Elizabeth herself, though it’s now believed the woman was Anne of Denmark, wife of James I of England. Notably absent at the moment are a portrait of James I and a Narwhal tusk with its original painted case, which was brought to England more than 400 years ago and touted about as a unicorn horn; both were loaned to the British Museum. A third prized possession, Robert Peake’s circa 1611 portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, astride his white horse, is on show at the National Portrait Gallery. The paintings will be returned ready for the spring opening of Parham. Passing through the Great Parlour, with a 1935 plasterwork ceiling featuring curious animals like the dodo, manatee and llama, honouring the ‘new discoveries’ of the 17th century, visitors arrive in the white-columned Saloon, which once served as Alicia Pearson’s drawing room. “She said they always used to move out of it at this time of year, because the wind would whistle through the windows and practically lift the carpet,” Lady Emma says. Of particular note here is the pair of matching winged armchairs. One is covered in
Top: Entrance to the Great Parlour. Above: The Long Gallery has a barrel-vaulted ceiling adorned with painted vines
Parham House and Gardens (Storrington, Nr Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 4HS) is open from April to October. For more information and opening hours tel: 01903 742021 or visit www.parhaminsussex.co.uk. Parham is a member of the Historic Houses Association and offers free access to HHA Friends and Members during normal opening hours. For more beautiful images of Parham House visit www.britain-magazine.com If calling Britain from overseas, dial your international code, then 44, and drop the first zero ●
LET THE WONDERS OF GREAT BRITAIN UNFOLD BEFORE YOU...
DISCOVER THE LOCHS AND LEGENDS OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS...
RELIVE THE ERA OF LUXURY TRAIN TRAVEL
...aboard The Royal Scotsman. Plunge into the magic of the Highlands aboard the luxurious, intimate Royal Scotsman train, stopping to explore sites of historic battles, play golf on worldrenowned courses or meet the Laird of an ancient castle.
Travel through the glorious British countryside in lavishly furnished carriages that evoke the spirit of the 1920s and 30s aboard the British Pullman and Northern Belle. Fine dining and friendly, impeccable service are par for the course as you journey to historic castles, famous races and divine beauty spots.
PRICES FROM £2350 PER PERSON* including all table d’hote meals, on-board accommodation and excursions.
PRICES FROM £185 PER PERSON**
FOR 2013 DEPARTURE DATES AND FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS VISIT OUR WEBSITE OR CALL 0845 217 0799 * Per person price aboard The Royal Scotsman based on a two night Highland Journey, two people sharing. ** Per person price based on an afternoon tea aboard the Northern Belle.
the What to do ● Where to go ● What to buy
In a special round up this issue, we find the best upcoming stage shows, along with where to eat and what to buy for a perfect night at the theatre
strictly sensation The stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, are bringing their sensational Olivier-nominated show Midnight Tango to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from 13 to 18 May. TickeTs cosT from £12. call The Box office on 08448 11 21 21 or Book online aT www.TheaTreroyal.co.uk
on the big screen Performances from London’s Royal Opera House and the MET in New York will be available across the UK with the launch of Vue Cinemas’ season of Classical screenings. For the Full season’s listings and show times visit www.mYvue.Com/sPeCial-events
THE WHAT TO DO ● WHERE TO GO ● WHAT TO BUY
DREAMS OF DANCE Based on the Oscar-nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is now booking until 21 December 2013 at London's Victoria Palace Theatre and is not to be missed. An inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds, it is set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike. Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family. The musical is composed by Elton John and directed by Stephen Daldry. 0844 811 0055; www.billyelliotthemusical.com
Rupert Everett takes on Oscar Wilde The record-breaking sell-out production moves to the West End Following an acclaimed run at the Hampstead Theatre, Neil Armfield’s production of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss will transfer to the Duke of York’s theatre from 9 January to 6 April 2013. A fascinating insight into Oscar Wilde’s relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, the cast features Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox in the lead roles. www.atgtickets.com
Rowan Atkinson stars as the hopeless teacher in Quartermaine’s Terms, from 23 January at Wyndham’s Theatre, London.
Wander down Wardour Street, minutes from some of the West End's most popular productions such as Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre, and you'll come across Pho, the perfect place for a pre-theatre bite. The UK’s first specialist Vietnamese street food restaurant, Pho serves delicious, authentic dishes like pho noodle soup. 020 7434 3938; www.phocafe.co.uk
EDITOR'S PICKS We're looking forward some big names on the London stage in 2013. Ben Logan’s Peter and Alice will start at the Noël Coward Theatre in March, with Dame Judy Dench playing Alice Liddell Hargreaves and English actor Ben Whishaw as Peter Llewelyn Davies. 0844 482 5141; www. www.britain-magazine.com
michaelgrandage company.com The Audience (15 February – 15 June at the Gielgud Theatre) will once again see Dame Helen Mirren playing Queen Elizabeth II. The play imagines a
series of pivotal meetings between incumbent prime ministers and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes
intimate, sometimes explosive. 0844 482 5130; www. theaudienceplay.com Once, the Tony Award-winning stage musical, is to transfer from Broadway to London's West End from 16 March. Based
on the 2006 Irish film about a struggling busker who falls for a Czech immigrant in Dublin, Once will replace Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre. 0844 871 7629; www.oncemusical.co.uk BRITAIN
Sightseeing Tour of London Sit back, relax and see all the sights
FREE WALKING TOURS
FREE RIVER CRUISE
Enjoy the perfect introduction to London with our award-winning, open-top sightseeing tour.
www.bigbustours.com â€˘ 020 7233 9533
LIVE COMMENTARY & LANGUAGE TOUR
THE WHAT TO DO ● WHERE TO GO ● WHAT TO BUY
STILL SHOCKING? Noël Coward’s tale of sexual vanity and debauchery among the upper classes, Vortex, runs at the Rose theatre in Kingston from 7 February – 9 March, directed by the Rose’s Artistic Director Stephen Unwin. Coward's follow-up to Hay Fever was his first great success and scandalised original audiences. Before the show, eat at the wonderful Culture Café, which also hosts a fabulous free programme of music, events, talks and exhibitions and is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere. 08444 821 556; http://rosetheatrekingston.org
Gun-toting gangsters and glamour Cole Porter's exuberant show-within-a-show comes to the Old Vic The dazzling, multi award-winning classic Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate plays at the famous Old Vic theatre in London until 2 March 2013. This glittering new production, directed by Trevor Nunn, stars Adam Garcia and is set against the backdrop of a touring musical production of The Taming of the Shrew. 0844 8717628; www.oldvictheatre.com
DRESS TO IMPRESS
This limitededition scarf from designer Sarah Campbell at the National Theatre shop features Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.
The world premiere of Matthew Bourne’s latest re-imagining of a ballet, Sleeping Beauty, plays at Sadler's Wells until 26 January 2013. The ballet sees Bourne return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of masterworks that started with Nutcracker! and Swan Lake. Sadler’s Wells’ pop-up dining experience is also taking bookings during the run. 0844 412 4300; www.sadlerswells.com
BEST FOR CHILDREN A trip to the theatre takes on a whole new dimension when experienced through the wide eyes of a child. Kids and adults alike will delight in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Tim Minchin's www.britain-magazine.com
wonderful Matilda the Musical, where the fearsome Miss Trunchbull is deliciously diabolical and the young cast members are full of exuberant energy. 0844 412 4652; http:// uk.matildathemusical.com
The RSC shop is also quite a child's treasure trove – we love this Matilda lunchbox (£10). www.rsc.org.uk The arena tour of Madagascar Live! visits nine cities in the UK,
starting in January 2013 at the Bournemouth International Centre. Marty the Zebra and co take the audience on a journey from Central Park Zoo all the way to Madagascar in an
hilarious song-filled show for all the family. Find out about Kids Week 2013 at www.officiallondon theatre.co.uk for family-friendly theatre news, offers and competitions. BRITAIN
the What to do ● Where to go ● What to buy
PhotoS: PatrICK baLdWIN/MeNIer ChoCoLate FaCtory
the Menier Chocolate Factory, have had a very successful history with their winter musicals over the past few years. this year's offering is Merrily We Roll Along, which runs until 23 February 2013. a powerful and moving story, the show features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs and is based on the 1934 play of the same name by george S Kaufman and Moss hart. dinner beforehand at the pretty, candlelit theatre restaurant in this renovated chocolate factory is a real treat. 020 7407 4411; www.menierchocolatefactory.com
english national ballet tours the uK an opportunity to see one of the world’s great ballet companies Catch the incredible English National Ballet at venues across the country including the Oxford New Theatre; the Opera House, Manchester; the Richmond Theatre; and the Southampton Mayflower. Productions of The Sleeping Beauty (pictured); My First Cinderella, a beautifully adapted version for young audiences; and Swan Lake in-the-round are exquisite. www.ballet.org.uk
star performers Children and young people can create and perform their own Play In a day or a Play In two days, as part of a series of workshops for 8-18 year olds from the royal Shakespeare Company that include a performance for friends and family. It costs £18 and £36 respectively per person. For information about booking and dates visit: www.rsc.org.uk/ whats-on/events/
understated elegance This purse (£75) from British leather accessory designer Mimi Berry is the perfect addition to a classic theatre outfit; just the right size for your tickets and a bright red lippy. 0207 729 6699; www.mimiberry.co.uk.co.uk
SuCCeSS StorIeS Fred astaire and ginger rogers lit up hollywood 77 years ago with one of the greatest dance musicals of all time and the new Top Hat revival in the West end has been receiving sensational reviews of its own. Starring tom Chambers of Strictly Come Dancing fame, top Hat is on at the
aldwych theatre, currently booking until 28 September. 0844 847 1712; www.tophat onstage.com. another theatre success story is War Horse, based on
the novel by Michael Morpurgo. the National theatre's stage production is a simply incredible combination of acting and puppetry, where galloping, full-scale horses
seem to come to life. 020 7452 3000; www. warhorseonstage.com Long-term London stalwart Phantom of the Opera is a mustsee musical and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. It still manages to send chills
down your spine with andrew LloydWebber's great cascading chords, the menacing mask of the phantom and Christine daaé's soaring soprano. 0844 412 2707; www. thephantomoftheopera.com
If calling Britain from overseas, dial your international code, then 44, and drop the first zero ●
Glen Affric, often described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland, contains one of the country's largest ancient Caledonian pine woods
The place of the Gaels
The still beauty that grips the Highlands of Scotland attracts many a seasoned traveller, but you can still explore the area without ever bumping into another visitor. We experience a natural high as we explore this wonderful wilderness WORDS anD phOtOgRaphy RobeRt biRkby
he diversity within our small island never fails to amaze. Britain’s towns and cities are busy, bustling centres, whereas the Scottish Highlands remains a sparsely populated area of true wilderness. But demographics tell only part of the story. The Highlands’ dramatic and varied landscape, often turbulent history, traditions and – of course – unpredictable weather, remind us that this is a very special part of Britain. For many, the primary attraction of the Scottish Highlands is the scenery. The variety of landscape, geology and climate, even within the Highlands, is fascinating. It must be said that the mountains of Scotland are, on a world scale, mere molehills. Similarly, the sea lochs don’t really compare to the fjords of Scandinavia. But for many seasoned travellers Scotland tops the list of favourite locations in the world – this is an area of outstanding beauty which must be experienced to be appreciated. At the southern end of the Highlands is Argyll. This region straddles the Highland Boundary Fault, and on a map appears as an enticing maze of lochs, islands and mountains. Add in to the mix the Gulf Stream which whips up a damp, mild climate and, as a result, Argyll is one of the wettest places in Britain. Parts of Argyll receive over three metres of rain a year and Argyll Forest Park is often regarded as temperate rainforest, complete with ferns, dripping moss and lichen. This is evident at locations such as Puck’s Glen on the Cowal Peninsula and Taynish Nature Reserve at Knapdale.
A number of gardens in the area make good use of this climate. Benmore Botanic Gardens, Ardkinglas and Crarae Gardens are three of the best and offer a stunning spectacle of colour from spring through to autumn. Argyll also offers a wealth of historical sights, particularly castles, with notable examples being the 15th-century Kilchurn Castle at Loch Awe and the castle at the delightful town of Inveraray. One of Europe’s most important collections of prehistoric remains can be found at Kilmartin Glen. Standing stones, burial cairns and castle remains can be observed here, spread over an area of six miles or so. Picturesque towns and villages are found throughout Argyll. Around halfway down the Kintyre Peninsula, Tarbert is a picture perfect fishing harbour, which makes a great stop, perhaps en route to the ‘Mull’ to see what Paul McCartney was making a fuss about in 1977. Tayvallich in Knapdale feels very cosy with its sheltered harbour, wonderful café and pub, and finally at the extreme north of Argyll, Oban is the largest town in the area, and a beautiful one at that. Oban is a busy place as it’s the transport hub to the West Coast Islands. There’s plenty to see in the town itself, perhaps the most prominent landmark being the circular building on Battery Hill above the town. This is McCaig’s tower and is actually a folly built in 1895. Possibly inspired by the Colosseum, it bears more than a passing resemblance. West of Glencoe and Fort William, across Loch Linnhe, lie the remote regions of Ardnamurchan and Sunart. www.britain-magazine.com
Clockwise from far left: Puck's Glen; local langoustines; Oban in the beautiful Firth of Lorn; Assynt post office!; fishing boats at Oban
Join the conversation
Campsites you never want to leave.
Book your next camping and caravanning break with The Friendly Club. Choose from 109 Club Sites the length and breadth of the UK and start enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors.
To find your perfect site or book a pitch visit
campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk or call +44 (0)24 776 71640 Bala Camping and Caravanning Club Site
This part of Scotland is known for its rugged landscape, some of the finest oak woods in Britain and a host of rare wildlife. The hills around here cannot compete with those to the east, as there are no ‘Munros’ (mountains over 3,000ft) yet this does not detract from the grandeur. Strontian is the largest settlement in the Sunart region and is named after the element Strontium – first isolated at nearby lead mines in 1790. Near Strontian is the Ariundle National Nature Reserve, home to some of the best examples of ancient oak woods found in Britain. Again, moss and lichen cling to everything here and walking through is an ethereal experience. Ardnamurchan and Sunart are amongst the best places in Scotland to see Highland wildlife. Eagles, pine marten, otters and deer all inhabit the area, and the region is one of the last strongholds of the Scottish Wildcat (the word ‘stronghold’ is used loosely, as the species is extremely rare). Although estimates of wildcat numbers vary between 35 and 400, a recent update suggests it’s close to extinction. Further west lies the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, and a long and slow single track road which adds to the feeling of isolation. Loch on the left, mountains on the right, the villages thin out as you approach the most westerly point of mainland Britain – Ardnamurchan Point. The lighthouse is a good spot to watch for whales and dolphins while just north of here is the stunning Sanna Bay, an unexpected expanse of white sand and turquoise ocean hues that is www.britain-magazine.com
mesmerising in sunshine. Ardnamurchan feels remote, but to get to the most remote part of mainland Britain you would need to take a long hike to reach the Knoydart Peninsula, which is inaccessible by road. For many, the Northwest Highlands is the most spectacular part of Scotland. At the southern end of this region, Plockton is a collection of whitewashed cottages amidst exotic foliage (courtesy of the Gulf Stream). Sitting beside Loch Carron and surrounded by mountains, it’s understandably popular. This is the entry point to an area known as Wester Ross, where sea lochs meet mountains and bring with them a brooding mix of mist, rain, sun and whatever else the elements decide to throw at you. The
Above: Woodland in Ardnamurchan, a remote peninsula in Lochaber. Below: Ardnamurchan view
ONLY CIE TOURS OFFERS YOU... 81 years of travel experience | Over 40 coach tour itineraries | Guaranteed departure dates Self-drive and chauffeur-drive programs | Dedicated group travel department | Special discounts available All CIE Tours travel programs are protected by the company’s $550+ Advantage, a no-fee benefit guaranteeing that travelers are never charged for special features considered optional extras with other tour companies. For more information contact your travel agent, call
800.243.8687 or visit www.cietours.com
Home of tHe CHiefs of Clan maCleod for 800 years Home Home ofof tHe tHe CHiefs CHiefs of Clan Clan maCleod for for 800 800 years years Home ofof tHe CHiefs of Clan maCleod for 800 years CLAN EXHIBITION • jACOBITE RELICS • HOLIDAY COTTAGES •maCleod EVENTS • WEDDINGS • SEAL BOAT TRIPS
11/16/12 5:26:26 PM
LOCH CRUISES & FISHING TRIPS • ST KILDA SHOP • MACLEOD TABLES CAFE • GLENBRITTLE CAMPSITE CLAN EXHIBITION • jACOBITE RELICS •• HOLIDAY COTTAGES • EVENTS • WEDDINGS • SEAL BOAT TRIPS CLAN CLAN EXHIBITION EXHIBITION • jACOBITE • jACOBITE RELICS RELICS • HOLIDAY • HOLIDAY COTTAGES COTTAGES EVENTS • EVENTS • WEDDINGS • WEDDINGS • SEAL • SEAL BOAT BOAT TRIPS TRIPS LOCH CRUISES & FISHING TRIPS • ST KILDA SHOP • MACLEOD TABLES CAFE • GLENBRITTLE CAMPSITE
LOCH LOCH CRUISES CRUISES & FISHING & FISHING TRIPS TRIPS • ST •KILDA ST KILDA SHOP SHOP • MACLEOD • MACLEOD TABLES TABLES CAFE CAFE • GLENBRITTLE • GLENBRITTLE CAMPSITE CAMPSITE
open: 1 April - 15 october 10Am - 5.30pm (lAst entry 5pm) 16 october - 31 mArch open by Appointment dunvegan Castle, isle of skye iV55 8Wf t: +44 (0) 1470 521206 e: info@dunVegAncAstle.com WWW.dunVegAncAstle.com FINAL Dunvegan A3 FV 2013.indd 1
open: 1 April - 15 october 10Am - 5.30pm (lAst entry 5pm) 16 october - 31 mArch open by Appointment
FINAL Dunvegan A3 FV 2013.indd 1
FINAL Dunvegan FINALA3 Dunvegan FV 2013.indd A3 FV 2013.indd 1 1
dunvegan Castle, isle of skye iV55 8Wf t: +44 (0) 1470 521206 e: info@dunVegAncAstle.com WWW.dunVegAncAstle.com open: open: 1 April 1 April - 15 october - 15 october 10Am10Am - 5.30pm - 5.30pm (lAst (lAst entry entry 5pm)5pm) 16 october 16 october - 31 mArch - 31 mArch open open by Appointment by Appointment dunvegan dunvegan Castle, Castle, isle isle of skye of skye iV55 iV55 8Wf 8Wf t: +44 t:(0) +44 1470 (0) 1470 521206 521206 e: info@dunVegAncAstle.com e: info@dunVegAncAstle.com WWW.dunVegAncAstle.com WWW.dunVegAncAstle.com
26/9/12 09:38:08 26/9/12 www.britain-magazine.com
Munros in this region are much celebrated by serious hikers and a trek to one of the peaks such as Liathach or An Teallach offers mind-blowing views which belie their height. However, such walks should not be taken lightly, they are often difficult and too dangerous for the inexperienced. The drive up Bealach Na Ba (pass of the cattle) may be a safer option, a road of switchbacks and hairpin bends, which is in fact the greatest ascent in Britain, en route to the isolated village of Applecross. Tucked away at the foot of the mountains of Wester Ross are characterful villages such as Shieldaig and Diabaig, beautiful beaches and Britain’s first national nature reserve at Beinn Eighe. Despite the ever decreasing number of trees as one heads north, a pleasant surprise awaits at the lush Inverewe Gardens. A sight to behold at such a northerly latitude, exotic species thrive here thanks to clever landscaping and the Gulf Stream. Between lovely Ullapool and the tip of Scotland is a region known as the Northwest Highlands Geopark. This status was granted in recognition of the important geology and natural beauty of the area. The mountains in this part of the country appear strangely spaced compared with those further south. This beautifully haunting landscape is largely treeless and comprises lochans, bog, moorland and Lewisian Gneiss rock, which is the oldest rock in the UK at 3,000-million years old. The mountains of Assynt are much loved by hill-walkers, especially Suilven (Scottish www.britain-magazine.com
Gaelic: Sula Bheinn), which is a truly incredible sight as it rises almost impossibly steeply from the Inverpolly moorland. At only 731m high, this is no Munro, but the shape is distinctive and changes completely depending on the direction from which it’s viewed. The nearby town of Lochinver is a culinary surprise, in a region of surrounding wild countryside, with a good selection of restaurants and bistros selling freshly prepared meals. Equally remarkable are the beaches in the extreme Northwest Highlands. Pray for sunshine, and the powder white sand and aquamarine ocean wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Favourites are at Achmelvich, Oldshoremore and neighbouring Polin. On the north coast more stunning sandy beaches are found around Durness. Sandwood Bay requires a hike to get there, but those making the journey are rewarded with a huge windswept expanse of sand and an impressive sea stack. The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in Britain, covering over 4,500 sq km and forming the highest landmass in Britain. Located in the eastern side of the Highlands, the region is arguably less dramatic than parts of the West Highlands, but its mountains are equally lofty and form a continuous sub-arctic plateau. Quite often amongst the coldest places in the UK, the region hangs on to the snow longer than the milder west of the country and therefore offers the best skiing. Another draw are the Speyside Distilleries, which are more numerous than in
Clockwise from top left: Sheep crossing the road in Torridon; Loch Assynt, in a spectacular setting between the heights of Canisp, Quinag and Beinn Uidhe; Gaelic street sign
all photos: RobeRt biRkby photogRaphy
Above: There are few destinations in the world more beautiful than the Cairngorms National Park during winter
any other part of Scotland. People come from all over the globe to visit the home of the world’s most famous single malts and sample a ‘wee dram’. The Cairngorms is home to 25 per cent of Britain’s threatened flora and fauna, and contains some of Europe’s largest surviving areas of ancient forest. The Rothiemurchus Estate is one such remnant of Caledonian Forest, with many Scots Pine trees between 100 and 300 years old. Caledonian Forest once covered much of Scotland but sadly today only around one per cent of it remains. The Cairngorms region has long had a link with the British Monarchy. In the Eastern Cairngorms, near Ballater, is Balmoral Castle, summer holiday home of The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The River Dee, sourced in the Cairngorm Mountains, flows along this region towards Aberdeen and so this stretch of Scotland is often referred to as ‘Royal Deeside.’ Tours of Balmoral are held throughout the year, other than in late summer when the Royal Family are in residence. Nearby Braemar holds one of the most famous Highland Games of the calendar and each year the Royal Family attend to see contestants compete in events such as tossing the caber and Highland dancing. The Games can be found across the Highlands through the summer months and are a great place to see Scottish kilts, tartan and bagpipes. North-west of the Cairngorms, lodged in the Great Glen, is the most northerly city in Britain. Regarded as the capital
of the Highlands, Inverness is certainly no backwater and the city centre holds many big name and independent shops, plenty of restaurants, a theatre and a busy festival calendar. In fact, Inverness was voted the fifth out of 189 British cities for quality of life. South of Inverness is the majestic Urquhart Castle, thought to have been built in the 13th century. Sitting beside Loch Ness, this is one of Scotland’s most famous attractions, as visitors hope to catch a glimpse of a certain monster. West of Loch Ness, three delightful glens (valleys) cut into the heart of the Highlands. Glen Affric, Glen Cannich and Glen Strathfarrar all run approximately parallel. Of the three, Glen Affric is the most popular, and for many, the most impressive glen in the whole of Scotland. It offers archetypal Scotland with its mountains, river and tracts of ancient Caledonian Forest. Deer roam the hills, eagles soar overhead and in the summer fierce midges try their best to spoil your experience. This is Scotland as you imagine it. People can, and do, spend a lifetime exploring the Scottish Highlands. The diverse scenery, changing light, weather and seasons mean the mood is always transient. It’s a great excuse to visit time and time again.
Robert Birkby has taken a fine selection of images from around the world and has been published in the Landscape Photographer of the Year book. For more information on the areas he covers in this feature go to www.visitscotland.com or www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
CJ_BritMag_Half_PgAd10-12_Layout 1 10/22/12 7:35 AM Page 1
SEE THE REAL SCOTLAND
15 distilleries! Experience the single malts of the Islay, the Highlands, Speyside and Lowlands regions. Many inclusions & special tasting events, deluxe accommodations.
May 1-12 • $5,195 Lords of the Isles
The island kingdom of Viking/Gaelic rulers of Western Scotland in the Middle Ages. Lewis, Harris, Skye, Mull, Iona. Includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
July 24-August 5 • $5,195
2013 TOURS 10th Annual Outlander Tour®
Based on the series by Diana Gabaldon. Time travel, history, intrigue, passion, loyalty, pride of country – the 18th-century Highlands in pursuit of Jamie and Claire.
June 30-July 7 • $3,495
Fully escorted tours limited to 16 passengers
E-mail Judy@celticjourneys.us for more information
Orkney and Shetland - history, wildlife, and archaeological wonders of the remote, mystical Northern Isles and World Heritage Sites. Includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
August 23-September 2 • $4,595 Hogmanay 2013
New Year’s Eve in Scotland Traditional Highland New Year’s Eve celebration at elegant, award-winning Culloden House. Five-star experience!
December 29-January 4 • $2,795
Call us at 703.941.6455 • www.CelticJourneys.us Stirling Castle
DISCOVER 5,000 YEARS OF SCOTLAND’S HISTORY With a great value Explorer Pass Historic Scotland’s Winter Explorer Pass lets you explore 53 attractions including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles from just £22.40. Available from any Historic Scotland attraction, selected VisitScotland Information Centres or by contacting us on +44(0)131 668 8831. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/britain
Quality Garden Tours Quality Garden Tours Quality Garden Tours The Brightwater Collection
The The Brightwater Collection Brightwater Collection
No-one has a wider selection of well-paced, No-onewell-planned, has a wider of well-paced, No-one has a selection wider of well-paced, qualityselection garden tours than well-planned, quality garden tours than well-planned, quality garden tours than we Brightwater Holidays. In our new portfolio Brightwater Holidays. In our new portfolio we Brightwater Holidays. In of ourescorted new portfolio wethe have a wonderful range tours to have abest wonderful range of escorted tours to the have gardens a wonderful range ofthe escorted tours to the throughout gardening world. best gardens throughout the gardening world. world. best gardens throughout the gardening Famous and grand gardens mix with small and Famous and grand gardens mix with small and Famous and grand gardens mix with small and private gardens in all regions of the UK; from privateTresco gardens in all regions of the UK; from private in gardens in allInverewe regions of from the south, in the the UK; north, and Trescomost in the south, Inverewe in the north, and Tresco in theinsouth, Inverewe in the north, and points between. most points in between. most points in between. On continental Europe we visit Holland's On continental Europe we bulbfields; visit On continental Europe weHolland's visit Monet's Holland'sGarden, magnificent spring magnificent spring bulbfields; Monet's Garden, magnificent spring bulbfields; Garden, Menton and the Loire Valley in Monet's France, Menton and the Loire Valley in France, Menton and the Loire Valley in France, alongside classic Italian gardens like Ninfa and alongside classic Italian gardens likeand Ninfa and alongside Italian gardens like Ninfa and the famousclassic Alhambra Palace Generalife the famous Alhambra Palace and Generalife the famous Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens in Andalucia. Gardens in Andalucia. Gardens in Andalucia. Further afield we offer exotic holidays of a Furtherlifetime afield we offer holidays of New a of a Further afield weexotic offer exotic holidays to colourful lands such as lifetime to colourful lands such as New lifetime toJapan, colourful lands such as New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Chile and Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Chile and Costa Rica. Costa Costa Rica. Rica. Order your copy of our new brochure today Order your our of new brochure today today Ordercopy yourofcopy our new brochure n and Quality garde Qualityrsgarde n and d al Interest Tou n aneci Quality garde Sp Span dal Interest eci rde garde n Qu y ga rs alit alit Tours Tou 13 y Qu st 20 ere Int n al an d yrsgarde Qu Speci 20 alit Tou 13 st ere Int n and Sp ecialalInterest Tou Speci rs Intere Special 2013 st 20 Tours 13 13 20 2013
Since 1992Tours 199 2 Quality Quality
www.brightwaterholidays.com www.brightwaterholidays.com www.brightwaterholidays.com
Brightwater Holidays Ltd Brightwater Holidays LtdFife Ltd Brightwater Holidays Eden Park House, Cupar, KY15 4HS Eden Park House, Cupar, Fife KY15 Eden Park House, Cupar, Fife4HS KY15 4HS email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com +44 (0) 1334 657155 +44 (0)+44 1334 (0)657155 1334 657155
Clockwise from main: Interior of a 1938 tube; pocket Underground map, c1930; crowded platform at Charing Cross (now Embankment) station; watercolour of Oxford Circus station, 1906
January 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest underground railway system. It is an engineering marvel with 250 miles of track snaking beneath and around the capital. We dig deep and uncover some of the Tube’s hidden secrets ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM © TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
WORDS GRAHAM PARKER
Above: Charing Cross (now Embankment ) Underground station. Right: Canary Wharf station
n 1862 The Times famously referred to the looming reality of trains running under the city roads as an “insult to common sense”; the elderly Duke of Wellington worried that the French would invade through the subterranean passageways; and the public were afraid that London might collapse into the holes. But Charles Pearson, an excitable and visionary London solicitor and transport obsessive, stuck to his guns where his vision was concerned. He reasoned that the streets of the city were so strangled by horses, carts and people, there was only one direction to go: down. Pearson died before the Underground’s grand opening day on 10 January 1863, but he would have enjoyed the spectacle. Several hundred VIP guests took the 18-minute, 3.75-mile route to Farringdon Street station for a celebratory banquet – and crowds of around 38,000 people jostled to be on one of the first trains. The ‘trains in drains’ were an instant success, and carried over nine million passengers in their first year, an average of 25,000 passengers each day. The infant system did have its faults. The steam locomotives that pulled the carriages belched out putrid, sulphurous smoke throughout the system, while inside the
trains, gas jets added to the poisonous fumes (there were no windows in the carriages and station names were called out by the guard). The owners breezily claimed that the atmosphere “provided a sort of health resort for people who suffered from asthma”, but secretly encouraged their personnel to wear beards to act as a home-grown fume filter. They even banned smoking, until MPs complained and demanded specific smoking carriages. More ventilation shafts were installed, but the roblem wasn’t solved until the network was electrified from 1890 onwards. Smoking wasn’t completely banned until 1985. From 1863, the Tube grew piecemeal, line by line, station by station. Today, it runs on 250 miles of track stretching over 530 square miles and serving 287 stations watched over by 19,000 staff, yet only 29 stations are south of the river. Each of the 4,134 carriages travels around 114,500 miles a year, or the equivalent of 90 trips to the moon and back if you put all the mileage together. They average around 20mph in central London, but can top 60mph on the Metropolitan line, where the stations lie further apart. Though it’s called the Underground, only 101 miles of the total 250 (or 40 per cent) are underground. And despite www.britain-magazine.com
Each of the 4,134 Tube train carriages travels around 114,500 miles a year, or the equivalent of 90 trips to the moon and back if you put all the mileage together
Clockwise from top left: A modern 'rainbow board' indicator; the booking hall at Sudbury Town station; Baker Street station; The Queen at the Victoria line opening in 1969; Victoria station; construction at Praed Street, Paddington; the Tube's first female driver, Hannah Dadds, climbing into a cab of a District line train in 1978
DID YOU KNOW? The London Underground has been known as the Tube since 1890, when the first deeplevel tunnel was opened.
There are five tube stations named after pubs: Angel, Swiss Cottage, Manor House, Royal Oak and Elephant & Castle.
The worldfamous London Underground logo – red circle crossed by a horizontal blue bar – first appeared in 1908.
Covent Garden station is said to be haunted. A man seen wandering the station attired in evening dress has been reported several times. When approached, he disappears.
Proposed names for the Victoria line included the Viking line (Victoria to King’s Cross) and Walvic (Walthamstow to Victoria).
There are 426 escalators throughout the entire network; 23 are at Waterloo station. Together, they do the equivalent of two trips around the world every week.
The highest station is Amersham at 147 metres (482ft) above sea level; the lowest is Hampstead at 68.8 metres (226ft) below ground level.
Quality Self Catering Cottages in 5 stunning regions thoughout North Wales...
Isle of Anglesey
Conwy Valley & Vale of Llangollen
Quality self-catering to suit all budgets in Anglesey, Conwy Valley, Coastal Resorts, Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsula to book or request a brochure call
+44(0)1492 582 492 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
being the world’s oldest system (Liverpool’s Mersey Railway came in 1888 and Budapest’s metro arrived in 1896), it’s not the biggest: that honour belongs to Shanghai’s metro. And the busiest? Tokyo’s subway carries over eight million passengers every day, or 3.161 billion a year, compared with London’s 1.2 billion. Of those, around 88 million people travel through Waterloo every year, the capital’s busiest Underground station, or 57,000 during the morning peak hours. Overcrowding on the system is nothing new: Punch magazine christened it the ‘sardine box railway’ as early as the 1890s. Norwegian Peter Olenick was so taken with Europe’s longest escalator, the 197ft (60m) one at Angel Tube, that he skied down it in 2007, an act very much frowned upon by the authorities. The longest train journey you can take – now that you can’t ride round the Circle line all day long – is from West Ruislip to Epping on the Central line, a mind-numbing 34.1 miles, or 1.5 hours’ worth, although Amersham on the Metropolitan line is the furthest station from the capital at 27 miles. And the longest tunnel is 17.3 miles along the Northern line from East Finchley to Morden. While the structure and operation is undoubtedly impressive, it’s also the people who have used the system who add to its story, such as Baroness Emmuska Orczy who wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel. While waiting for a train on Temple station in the early 1900s, she saw a cape-wearing gentleman emerge from the smoky fog of the platform; the idea for the character came to her there and then. Mark Twain was a guest on the inaugural journey of the first Central line train in 1900. And controversial American TV presenter Jerry Springer was born in Highgate station during an air raid in 1944. Surprisingly, only one person has ever been born in a Tube carriage: that was Marie Cordery on a Bakerloo line train at Elephant & Castle in 1924. There was a near miss in 2008, when one Julia Kowalska’s waters broke on the Jubilee line, but she had the good face to get out and go into labour on the Kingsbury station platform. At the other end of the scale, the only two people to have their coffins transported by Tube were philanthropist Dr Barnardo in 1905 and former Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1898. Coincidentally, Gladstone was also present on a test-run of the new railway in 1862 before its official opening: the first ever Underground journey. Without busking the Tube wouldn’t be quite the same, even though it’s only been legal since 2001. Eric Clapton, Gerry Rafferty (of Baker Street fame) David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Ian Stewart of the Rolling Stones played here before they were famous, as well as Sting and Paul McCartney wearing heavy disguises post-fame. But it was the cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber who was granted the first busker’s licence and, to celebrate, played a selection of his brother Andrew’s compositions at Westminster station.
Clockwise from top left: Metropolitan Railway timetable, 1887; poster for the Piccadilly line extension by Cecil Bacon, 1932; 1969 Victoria Line poster; 1960 poster. Below: 1933 map
American TV presenter Jerry Springer was born in Highgate station during an air raid in 1944 www.britain-magazine.com
Mark Twain was a guest on the inaugural journey of the first Central line train in 1900
Top: Factory workers in the Plessey factory, Central line tunnels, during WWII. Above: WWII shelterers in Piccadilly Circus station. Right: 1940 poster
The Underground famously offered a safe place for hundreds of thousands of Londoners during World War II. Whenever people heard the air raid sirens start up, they headed for subterranean safety; there were bunk beds and toilets, libraries and even classrooms throughout the network to keep Londoners safe while their city was being bombed. Other parts of the Tube were thrown behind the war effort too. An unfinished stretch of the Central line between Redbridge and Gants Hill was turned into a cavernous aircraft factory, while the now-closed Brompton Road station became an anti-aircraft control centre; there’s still a projection screen painted on one of the walls, where propaganda films were played to the employees. The disused Down Street station (just off Piccadilly) was used by Winston Churchill and his war cabinet as an underground bunker, complete with a state-of-the-art telephone exchange and Churchill’s private bath. Some of the communications equipment is still there, gathering dust. Along with Down Street, there are around 40 abandoned stations beneath the capital; you can easily spot the familiar burgundy-tiled facades with Chinese restaurants, newsagents and pizza places shoehorned into them. And some Tube stations have been carved out of other buildings. Devonshire House, one of the last great aristocratic residences on Piccadilly, was demolished in 1924 when the Duke couldn’t afford to pay death duties; the wine cellar still exists – as part of the ticket hall of Green Park tube.
London’s Transport Museum will celebrate the opening of the Underground on Sunday 13 January 2013, by recreating the very first journey on the original stretch of the railway. For more information, visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk. For more weird and wonderful facts about the London Underground visit www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
Would you . . . e like to walk in th ends? g le f o s p e t s t o o f Lord’s Tour & MuseuM Go behind the scenes at the Home of Cricket. Explore the players’ Dressing Rooms, famous Pavilion and J.P. Morgan Media Centre. The Museum has the largest cricket collection in the world, including the Ashes Urn.
www.lords.org/tours 020 7616 8595 | email@example.com
Roy Lichtenstein Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But…, 1964 Collection Simonyi © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / DACS 2012
21 February – 27 May 2013 BOOK NOW tate.org.uk Southwark #Lichtenstein Supported by the Lichtenstein exhibition Supporters group and the american Patrons of tate
Visitor taking in the early morning view from Castle Crag, Borrowdale, in the Lake District
wonderful winter walks
We have teamed up with the National Trust to bring you our five favourite winter walks WORDS EllEn HEmingway
Explore the origins of Borrowdale as you walk from Grange to Castle Crag. The renowned fell-walker and author Alfred Wainwright described the area as “the finest square mile in Lakeland” and it’s just as beautiful covered in a winter frost. You will stroll through the attractive village of Grange and the site of a medieval monastic farm belonging to Furness Abbey. Along the way you will come across the small summit of Peace How, which was bought for the nation in 1917 as a place where soldiers returning from the carnage of the front line could regain a sense of peace. You will notice volcanic rocks all along the route, sculpted by glaciers some 8,000 years ago. They are known as a ‘roche moutonnée’, or ‘rocks shaped like sheep’. Also look out for amazing colours in the rock walls of Dalt Quarry, where a new wetland habitat has developed since the quarry closed. If time permits, take the detour that leads to Millican Dalton’s cave. Millican was a self-titled ‘professor of adventure’. Between the two World Wars he spent the summers living in the caves. You can still see some wise words that he carved on the walls of the topmost cave. (If you wish to visit the caves, it’s advisable to refer to the OS map.) Route details This is a moderate, four-mile circular walk, which takes three hours to complete. There is a steep but gradual climb to Castle Crag, and paths can be slippery when wet, so suitable footwear and clothing are recommended. To view the full guide, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/local-to-you/north-west/ view-page/item579221 or www.britain-magazine.com/borgerdalr
PHOTO: © NATIONAL TruST IMAGES/PAuL HArrIS
BoRgeR dalR walk Borrowdale, Cumbria
The skyline of Bath, seen from Prior Park Landscape Garden
This glorious route enables you to savour the magnificent views from above the picturesque World Heritage City of Bath. You will stroll through historic sites ranging from an Iron Age hill fort to a variety of 18th-century follies. The route takes you through peaceful hidden valleys, tranquil woodlands and patchworks of small meadows rich in wildlife all year round. The city of Bath comes to life during the festive period – so grab a mulled wine at the market after your hike, you’ve earned it. This walk also takes you through Richens Orchard and beautiful woodland. For walkers who like a challenge, take the short detour to Sham Castle. And, if you have the time, savour the tranquillity at the beautiful and intimate Prior Park Landscape Garden. route details This is a moderate, six-mile walk, which takes two to three hours to complete. Check opening times for Prior Park Landscape Garden before your visit, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/priorpark. To view the full step-by-step guide and OS map grid reference, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/home/view-page/ item463702/267102 or www.britain-magazine.com/bathskyline
PHOTO: © NATIONAL TRuST ImAGeS/ANdReW BuTLeR
Heritage skyline walk Bath, Somerset
A realm of A realm of your own your own Ever wanted to know what it felt like to live the life of a lord or lady? Ever wanted it felt like 16 to immaculately live the life of a lord or lady? Now you canto byknow stayingwhat at one of our Now you can by staying at one of our 16 immaculately maintained holiday cottages. maintained cottages. To book call holiday 0870 333 1187 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk To book call 0870 333 1187 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk M A RT I N R A N D A L L T R AV E L
‘This was one of life’s great experiences’ Martin Randall Travel offers the widest range of high quality expert-led cultural tours in Britain.
The Cathedrals of England
Mediaeval East Anglia
Roman civilization at the edge of an Empire
Ten of the greatest buildings in the country
Cathedrals, castles, parish churches
19–25 May 2013 Lecturer: Professor David Breeze
20–28 March or 2–10 October 2013 Lecturers: Tim Tatton-Brown (March) and Jon Cannon (October)
24–28 June 2013 Lecturer: John McNeill
Royal Residences Palaces & houses in & around London, with private visits
6–10 August 2013 Lecturer: Giles Waterfield
The Age of Bede Anglo-Saxon Northumbria & the Lindisfarne Gospels
25–29 July 2013 Lecturer: Imogen Corrigan
* client of a tour in September 2012.
Walking Hadrian’s Wall
The Victorian Achievement Architecture, Industry & Art in Lancashire & Yorkshire
27 August–3 September 2013 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury
For more detailed information or a brochure:
+44 (0)20 8742 3355 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.martinrandall.com 44 britain
Mountain peaks walk Pen y Fan, Wales
Walking on the footpath between Corn Du and Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park
photo: © NatioNal trust images/paul harris
This is a strenuous mountain walk on well-made footpaths to the summit of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and is sometimes referred to as Arthur’s Seat. Along the route, you’ll notice the different methods of footpath construction used on the Brecon Beacons, some dating back to Roman times. The walk provides spectacular views to the south, down the Neuadd Valley, to the reservoirs that are above the town of Merthyr Tydfil. The cairn
on the summit was a Bronze Age burial chamber. When it was excavated in 1991 a bronze brooch and spearhead were found inside the chamber. The views from here are spectacular, when the weather permits. To the north, the town of Brecon can be seen and on a particularly good day the summit of Cadair Idris at the southern end of the Snowdonia National Park is just visible. Looking east you can just make out the Sugar Loaf in the far distance, and to the south-west the Bristol Channel at Porthcawl.
route details This is a challenging, four-mile walk, which should take hikers under three hours to complete. For the full guide, visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk/things-to-see-anddo/view-page/ item424148/292150 or www.britain-magazine. com/penyfan britain
And breathe... It’s amazing what you miss when you rush by. That’s why all our walking and cycling holidays, across Europe’s unspoiled corners and beyond, give you the freedom to go at your own pace. There are no groups to hold you back and no luggage to weigh you down, so you can enjoy every single moment. That’s why they call us the Slow Holiday people.
+44 1653 617067 2644
photo: © eli pascall-willis/alamy
Woodland Walk Alderley Edge, Macclesfield, Cheshire
Looking north-east across Cheshire from Alderley Edge
Enjoy the towering beeches with impressive roots on this attractive walk, which links the leafy, natural woodlands of Alderley Edge with Hare Hill’s rolling parkland and woodland. You will wander through the delightful walled garden at Hare Hill. Begin (or end) your walk with a picnic next to the National Trust car park, where you should also take a moment to discover more about the legend of Alderley Edge and its Bronze Age heritage. The path takes you through Daniel Hill Wood and Alder Wood and up to Hare Hill
Gardens – a pretty area to rest for a moment or two. Look out for dragonflies skimming the lake and hares darting across the meadow. The gardens are well worth a visit whilst you are there. They are particularly beautiful in late spring and early summer when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. (The gardens are open from April until October, please check the website for specific opening days and times before you visit.) This walk is wonderful at any time of year, and a perfect winter stomp to blow the cobwebs away.
Route details This is a moderate, four-mile walk, which can be completed within two hours on a mixture of surfaced and unsurfaced paths and grassy parkland. Download the full details at www. britain-magazine.com/ alderleyedge bRitain
Woodland park at Dunham Massey Hall and Park, Altrincham Cheshire
photo: © Louise heusinkveLd/ALAmy
ancient tRees walk Dunham Massey, Altrincham Discover one of the finest collections of veteran trees in England as you explore Dunham Massey Park, formerly the home of the last Earl of Stamford. Rich in wildlife, the park features a herd of over 150 fallow deer. Dunham Massey is also blessed with the UK’s largest winter garden. The seven-acre winter garden – not to be missed
before or after your walk – has more than 700 plant species and 1,600 shrubs providing plenty of distraction from the cold. The walk will also take you past the pretty 16th-century watermill and the Langham Grove obelisk, which was constructed in 1714 as a tribute to the 2nd Earl of Dunham Massey’s family.
The National Trust’s team of rangers has designed a range of trails and their downloadable walks are a wonderful way to explore the great British outdoors. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/ activities/walking for more information, or use the links on the BRITAIN magazine website
Route details This is an easy, three-mile walk that takes up to two hours. For full details go to www.nationaltrust.org. uk/visit/activities/ walking/view-page/ item581756 or visit www.britainmagazine.com/ dunhammassey www.britain-magazine.com
Shetland 6000 years of history starts here .... Visit Shetland Museum and Archives and explore the unique heritage and culture of these beautiful islands
Shetland Museum and Archives Hay’s Dock, Lerwick, Shetland ZE1 0WP Tel: 01595 695057 www.shetlandmuseumandarchives.org.uk
Visiting Shetland? Stay in your own personal lighthouse ..... www.shetlandlighthouse.com
Crafts & Bookshop
Café open every day for home baking, fresh coffee & light lunches
“ How many museums can you go to where you can examine a Bronze Age pot & look out of the window & see the burial mound where it came from? ”
On the A816, eight miles north of Lochgilphead, Argyll
Tony Robinson, Time Team
Open daily March-December Reduced hours in winter
01546 510278 www.kilmartin.org email@example.com
Please present this advert for a 10% discount on admission (BRIT13)
3 GREAT CHOICES IN THE HIGHLANDS www.strathmorehotels.com
Highland Burns Bashes - February
The Nethybridge Hotel
PLUS Highland Banquet, Haggis Hurling and fun and games (Excludes Valentine’s Weekend)
Highland Whisky Warmers
PLUS Whisky Reception with Piper and Ceilidh
Winter Bubbly Breaks - February
The Alexandra Hotel
£85 +44(0)1397 702241 firstname.lastname@example.org
£99 PLUS a bottle of bubbly in your room to enjoy on arrival (Excludes Valentine’s weekend)
Winter Bubbly Breaks - February
The Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club
£95 PLUS a bottle of bubbly in your room to enjoy on arrival (Excludes Valentine’s weekend)
Speyside Spring Wine & Dine - March
£99 PLUS a delicious bottle of house wine to enjoy with your evening meal on the first night (Excludes Easter weekend)
Spring Wine & Treasure Breaks - March
£105 PLUS a glass of wine per person each night with your evening meal Plus a ticket for ‘Treasure’s of the Earth’ (Excludes Easter Weekend)
Spring Wine & Treasure Breaks - March
£105 PLUS a glass of wine per person each night with your evening meal Plus a ticket for ‘Treasure’s of the Earth’ (Excludes Easter Weekend)
d e ry ov te ca h lle r di tis Ga ing t De o sts elv c S i K ur t lo n a Co ope w no
A SOUTH DEVON DELIGHT Win a two-night stay on the edge of Dartmoor National Park and take time to explore this wild and wonderful area
taste real ales in the welcoming Dartmoor Bar. Leaving the untamed splendour of Dartmoor behind, the City of Plymouth is just a short drive away, with its magnificent natural harbour overlooked by the famous Plymouth Hoe, and where it is said Sir Francis Drake once played bowls and the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in the Mayflower almost 400 years ago. If you choose not to leave the comfort of the hotel, make the most of the complimentary parking and enjoy a relaxing drink on the terrace or a stroll around the wildflower meadow, with its mature trees and Dartmoor plants and flowers all lovingly cared for by the head gardener, who, like most of their team, lives locally.
How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous competition, simply answer the question below and send the coupon to the address provided. Alternatively, enter via the BRITAIN website, www.britain-magazine.com The closing date is 1 March 2013. Question: What is the name of the Moorland Garden Hotel’s restaurant? a) Wildflower b) Mayflower c) Sunflower PRIZE: Includes a two-night stay in a luxury suite for two people staying in the same room, with breakfast and evening meal (does not include drinks) on both days, and a welcoming bottle of champagne on arrival. Further T&Cs apply, visit www.britain-magazine.com
MOORLAND GARDEN COMPETITION ENTRY FORM SEND YOUR COUPON TO: Moorland Garden Hotel Competition, BRITAIN magazine, The Chelsea Magazine Company, Liscartan House, 127-131 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9AS, UK. Or to: Moorland Garden Hotel Competition, BRITAIN magazine, 116 Ram Cat Alley, Suite 201, Seneca, SC 29678 USA. My answer: Name: Address:
uring our journey around Devon in this issue’s new series – ‘Britain’s Wonderful Weekends’ – we discovered a lovely property, the luxurious and peaceful Moorland Garden Hotel. We have teamed up with the hotel to offer one lucky winner and guest a two-night stay – with breakfast and dinner on both days – in this South Devon delight. Located in War Horse country on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, just moments away from Plymouth city centre, the picturesque town of Tavistock, and close to the border with Cornwall, Moorland Garden Hotel is an ideal base from which to explore this beautiful area. The hotel itself sits in nine acres of tranquil moorland and gardens, which you can also explore at your leisure. The winner will stay in one of the hotel’s four suites, which are luxurious and tastefully decorated. Its 55 en-suite bedrooms are also very comfortable and well equipped. In the Wildflower Restaurant meals are served with a large portion of wonderful views across the garden and onto Dartmoor. During your stay don’t miss the speciality Devon cream teas, which are served in the lounge or in the picturesque garden on fine days. Or relax by the open fire and
Terms and conditions apply. For full details go to chelseamagazines.com/terms-and-conditions. Please tick here if you subscribe to BRITAIN Please tick here if you would prefer not to be contacted by BRITAIN , the competition sponsor , or carefully selected third parties .
Homage to Harrods Europe’s largest department store is known for its fantastic food halls, spectacular design and wide range of wares. But this amazing emporium all began with a humble cup of tea WORDS sam pears
Harrods, in London’s Knightsbridge, is the biggest department store in Europe
photo: © harrods
stroll through what is London’s – if not Britain’s – most recognisable store is both a step back in time and a glimpse into the future. Classic tailoring and traditional teas sit alongside cutting-edge technology and high fashion, spread across seven floors of the iconic Harrods department store. Its food halls have changed little over the years; their opulence still draws crowds of serious shoppers as well as excited wide-eyed tourists, and almost all will leave clasping at least one of the coveted green and gold bags. It all started with the humble cup of tea. In 1834, a young Charles Henry Harrod (1799-1855) moved from Clacton to Stepney in East London where he began trading as a tea merchant and grocer. The ambitious man had good taste and great instincts; in 1849 he rented a small shop on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, just as the area was developing into one of the most fashionable in London. By the latter part of the decade the Harrods legend was born and Charles and his two assistants worked tirelessly to ensure the store’s success. Good timing also had a part to play in the early success as The Great Exhibition of 1851 held in nearby Hyde Park further improved Knightsbridge’s social standing and, as a direct result, the wealthy set up home in the area turning it into a prosperous and exclusive London postcode. A good head for business ran in the family – Charles’ son (Charles Digby Harrod) built on his father’s success, purchasing the store in 1861 and repaying the debt incurred in buying it within three years. He also increased the turnover to a very healthy £1,000 per week, acquired a further two adjoining buildings to 105 Brompton Road, and introduced a delivery service. The small green and gold delivery vans can still be seen nipping around the busy streets of West London, but today’s traditional looking vans are modern, electric powered vehicles. By 1880 the store opened from 7am to 8pm and employed a 100-strong workforce. But the story of britain
Tel: +44 (0)1955 611 353
IN THE ENGLISH MANNER 1-4
House Rentals CHS Coach - live like a local Short stay, self catering accommodation in London
We have many self-contained rentals for your stay in London, all fully supported by our experienced team. Almost all our vacation rentals are the apartments and houses of residents temporarily away from the city.
Martina Navratilova, who stayed with us over Wimbledon, said: â€œOur rental was perfect and exactly what we wanted. The Coach House Rentals staff were friendly and efficient. We would have no hesitation in using their services again.â€?
www.rentals.chslondon.com We also offer vacation rentals in PARIS, ROME and NEW YORK - www.chsrentals.com 54 britain
IN THE ENGLISH MANNER www. englis h-manner. c om
Established 25 years
~ a better way to stay Short-term rentals for business or pleasure. Privately-owned apartments in Knightsbridge, Kensington, Chelsea, and more With over 40 years of collective experience in London short-term rentals, we can help you select the perfect place for your vacation or business trip. Enquire via our website, or call now to speak with one of our knowledgeable and courteous advisors
www.english-manner.com Tel: 800-422-0799 or 213 629 1811 (USA) or +44 (0)1559 371600 (UK)
photos: © harrods/visitbritain
In 1884 the first Winter Sale took place. Today, it is a key event in the British shopping calendar
DID YOU KNOW? J Britain’s first
moving staircase was installed in Harrods in November 1898. It was too much for some shoppers, so Cognac and smelling salts were made available for the faint-hearted. J In 1902, artist William Neatby designed the worldfamous Doulton tile decoration in Harrods Food Halls. The Food Halls are now Grade II-listed. J In 1921, a Harrods bear was bought for one-year-old Christopher Robin. He named it Winniethe-Pooh, and the stories by his father, A A Milne, made it the most famous bear in the world.
Harrods is not without its share of adversity. In 1883 disaster struck when a fire broke out in the store while it was fully stocked for a busy Christmas period. The fire, on 6 December 1883, destroyed everything. Despite the tragedy, all deliveries were made on time for Christmas and profits hit an all-time high that year. The store was somewhat hastily reconstructed to the design of Alfred Williams, then the assistant district surveyor for Kensington and Harrods’ architect since 1881. The new purpose-built and ‘fireproofed’ store was more handsome than its predecessor and stretched back to the east side of Queen’s Gardens. Harrods was setting trends and breaking rules – in 1885 its strict ‘no credit’ rule was removed, enabling regular customers to open personal accounts. Distinguished English characters including the writer and poet Oscar Wilde and actresses Lillie Langtry and Ellen Terry were amongst its first account customers. Shortly afterward, in 1889, Charles Digby Harrod retired and the business was floated on the stock exchange as Harrods’ Stores Limited. Over the next decades Harrods continued to grow both in profits and size. Neighbouring sites were acquired until the store occupied the island site
that we see today. Ladies and menswear fashion departments opened, a hairdressing salon, photography and piano departments were added, and a bank and estate agency were among the new additions. In 1884 the first Winter Sale took place. Today, Harrods’ Winter Sale is a key event in the British shopping calendar. Cleverly marketed with the words ‘there is only one sale’ – it attracts celebrities and crowds of shoppers snaking around the store, patiently awaiting the opening. The Harrod family may have sold the business in 1889, but the ideals and passions remain the same. In 1911, Harrods unveiled an extravagantly furnished Gem Room with ormolu (opulent, gold-coloured) fittings and marble clad walls. Seven decades later, the Fine Jewellery Room was created on Harrods’ ground floor. Opened in 1985, this Art Deco style room is one of the first ‘rooms’ shoppers walk into: completely dedicated to leading fragrance brands, it is an experience like no other. More recently, in 2010, Harrods opened the International Designer Room on the first floor of the store. It houses world-famous international fashion brands including Alaïa, Balenciaga, Céline and Yves Saint Laurent.
Above (left): Harrods’ famous food halls with Doulton tile decoration; (right): Brompton Road exterior c1910 with the new frontage complete. Left: A range of Harrods’ luxury products britain
photos: © harrods
It all started with one man – the tea merchant – and his legacy remains central to the store even today
Above: The magnificent Egyptian Escalator. Above right: The Harrods story started with tea
But it all started with one man – the tea merchant – and his legacy remains central to the store even today. Just as in 1849, customers are greeted with handsome coffee storage containers, served on wooden counter tops with traditional weighing equipment, accompanied by the most welcoming smell of roasting coffee beans. Harrods prides itself on selling the finest tea and rarest coffee beans, as Tea and Coffee Buyer Yousef Serroukh explains: “We have more than 300 different types of pre-packed teas, and 165 single-estate, single origin teas. Not many other stores can say the same.” Yousef has worked for Harrods for the past nine years, the latter five as its Tea and Coffee Buyer. He travels to the world’s tea-growing nations – India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Taiwan – to purchase the finest, ‘garden-fresh’ leaves. “The best way to learn about tea is by going to
source and having a direct relationship with the producer, the estate and the growers,” he explains. “Our customers want the best teas and they will ask for certain ‘garden marks’, which is similar to a designer brand. It is a point of difference and a symbol of quality.” Although it has always been a very traditional British pastime, tea drinking trends have changed over the last few years, explains Yousef: “We still have our traditional customers who want good quality black teas, but we also have a new audience who want to try flavoured teas – maybe something with hints of strawberry – and we have seen an increase in green teas (up 30 per cent on last year) and speciality teas (up 165 per cent on last year).” The fashion for coffee drinking threatened to topple tea’s status as the favoured British brew, but it seems to be experiencing a revival, even creating tea connoisseurs. “Our discerning customers want to share their tea with family and friends – not dissimilar to wine enthusiasts. As they pour they’ll explain ‘this is a single-blend, Darjeeling Castleton from the second flush, which grows about 6,000 feet above sea level’. Sharing the characteristics of the tea has become an important part of the experience.” You can taste a range of teas in store and Harrods’ experts enjoy telling the story behind each cup they serve with an in-depth description of the source of the product. And if Charles Henry Harrod walked into the store today, he would likely be welcomed with a cup of tea – the very thing that started it all.
Harrods (87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL) is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday 11.30am to 6pm. The Winter Sale runs until Sunday 20 January 2013 (check Winter Sale opening times online). Visit www.harrods.com www.britain-magazine.com
THE CATHEDRAL HOTEL PRIVATELY PRIVATELY OWNED OWNED AND AND RUN RUN WITH WITH YOU YOU IN IN MIND MIND
Sulgrave M anor
The hotel offers contemporary style and is located 10 minutes from the train station, local shops and restaurants or the famous St. Mary’s Cathedral and just 20 minutes from Stonehenge. We pride ourselves on great customer care with a dedicated team to look after you during your stay. So weather it’s for pleasure, work, an overnight visit or a short break we have it covered. Book securely online and receive the best rates at www.cathedralhotelsalisbury.co.uk
HIGH QUALITY FOOD SERVED ALL DAY – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER
ACCOMMODATION WELL-APPOINTED HOTEL & MEETING ROOMS
LATE NIGHT BAR OPEN ALL DAY – LATE FRIDAY & SATURDAY
RELAX & UNWIND COFFEE AVAILABLE ALL DAY – FREE W iFi GREAT OUTSIDE BAR & COURTYARD
7-9 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2AJ Telephone (01722) 343700 www.cathedralhotelsalisbury.co.uk
No visit to Britain is complete without experiencing this ‘hidden gem’. In the heart of the beautiful English countryside, 40 minutes from Stratford upon Avon,Warwick and Oxford, 90 minutes from London. See www.sulgravemanor.org.uk for opening times. Pre-booked groups are welcomed any day.
The home of
George Washington’s ancestors
Sulgrave Manor Sulgrave Banbury OX17 2SD Telephone: 01295 760205 email: email@example.com
coast& countryside In the first of our new series we spend 48 hours in Devon and discover some of the best the county has to offer, from an attractive sailing village and tucked-away beach, to an exhilarating coastal walk and an enchanting riverside garden WorDs Jessica tooze
The stunning coastal walk at Bolt Head. Facing page: Hotel Endsleigh's magical garden is a hidden gem
You will fi nd the spectacular coastal path with its panorama across miles of beautiful coastline and estuary
ur weekend starts in southerly Salcombe, an idyllic town on the Kingsbridge Estuary, within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The sheltered harbour means the town has always been known for boat building, and sailing and yachting are still big business today. Wander down through the narrow streets towards the water’s edge and you’ll find boat builders galore. You can even hire a dinghy to explore the many creeks and beaches around the estuary. As you head past candy-coloured cottages towards the famous Fore Street in the heart of the town, artists’ galleries and cafés abound – during the summer months crowds of out-of-towners flock to this fashionable spot, recently dubbed ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’. The preppy clothing company Jack Wills was founded in Salcombe and a proliferation of chic clothes boutiques sit side by side with traditional pubs, upmarket eateries and quaint sweet shops and tearooms. Out of season though, Salcombe is perhaps even more charming. Its geography, curving round the base of wooded
cliffs on the steep west side of the estuary, means that it remains a small town despite its popularity, and there are no supermarket chains to prevent the fishmongers from doing a roaring trade in crabs caught in the local waters or the bakery from producing a continuous appetising smell of pasties to attract passers by. Once you’ve tried an ice cream from the celebrated Salcombe Dairy and browsed for colourful nautical wear on pretty Fore Street to your heart’s content, the rest of the estuary is waiting to be explored. The South Sands passenger ferry runs between Whitestrand, in the centre of Salcombe, and the picturesque beach of South Sands, located at the entrance to the harbour, providing a wonderful way to take in views of the town from the water. South Sands boutique hotel is the perfect spot to spend your first night. Situated right on the gorgeous golden beach, the hotel has a summery New England style but the cosy log fire is welcoming in any weather. Make the most of the restaurant with its floor-to-ceiling windows affording
photos: © jessica tooze/hotel endsleigh/south sands hotel/ VisitBritain/Visit south deVon/derek croucher/alamy
views over the bay or arrange a stay with friends or family in one of the spacious beach suites, where you can enjoy your own kitted-out kitchen, sitting room and balcony. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning to the sound of the waves outside your window and take a quick stroll on the beach before breakfast. The ornate old boathouse next to the hotel was built in 1870 to house the first of Salcombe’s rowing lifeboats – when the alarm was raised, the crew had to launch the 33-foot boat across the beach and row it out to sea. The delicious locally-sourced breakfast in the hotel is a must to ready you for an energetic day of exploring. Setting off, you’ll find Overbeck’s, a hidden paradise of subtropical gardens owned by the National Trust, a five-minute walk from the hotel. Enjoying a unique microclimate, which
allows the garden to thrive, Overbeck’s is home to an array of rare and exotic plants, some of which have been successfully cultivated for over a century. From Overbeck’s, continue up past the sign for Tor Woods, Sharp Tor and Bolt Head and you will find the spectacular coastal path with its panorama across miles of beautiful coastline and estuary. Kestrels ride the wind along cliffs that drop down to shimmering turquoise sea and dramatic rock formations tower over colourful heathland bursting with flowers. If you can drag your eyes away from the sweeping views, you might spot the concrete platforms perched on the rocks at Bolt Head that are the remains of WWII observation posts, or the dark outline of the wrecked ship Herzogin Cecilie during low tide at Starehole Bay.
Situated right on the gorgeous golden beach, the hotel has a summery New England style
Facing page, clockwise from main: Start Point lighthouse; a dinghy in Salcombe harbour; Cranch's sweet shop; a beach suite at South Sands hotel. This page (above left): Hotel Endsleigh; (above right) walking the Bolt Head coastal path. Below: Dartmoor
Above: Dartmoor National Park. Right: The restaurant and its view of the gardens at Hotel Endsleigh
48 hours in devon Day 1: Seaside Salcombe J explore salcombe’s surrounding beaches – sunny Cove, Mill Bay, Cable Cove, Fisherman’s Cove and small’s Cove – by hiring a dinghy from salcombe dinghy sailing (www. salcombedinghysailing.co.uk), or curl up in wintry weather with a cup of something hot from the salcombe Coffee Company (www.salcombecoffee.co.uk). J Carrying foot passengers, bicycles and dogs, the south sands Ferry is a rare opportunity to experience the ‘sea tractor’. it costs £3.20 each way for adults. www.southsandsferry.co.uk J stop at The Winking Prawn for some delicious local seafood in a family-friendly atmosphere. Try the local Whole Cracked Crab for £14.95. www. winkingprawn.co.uk J The south sands boutique hotel has rooms from £150 in low season. www.southsands.com
Day 2: Garden getaway
J overbeck’s museum is home
to one of the most intriguing collections of historical artefacts the national Trust has to offer. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ overbecks J visit the five-acre endsleigh Gardens nursery for a bit of devon to take home. it specialises in beautiful trees including Japanese maples, wisterias and magnolias as well as Tamar valley apples and cherries, nearly lost to cultivation. www.endsleighgardens.com J hotel endsleigh offers great value standard double rooms from £180 in low season, including breakfast. The three-course dinner for £40 is delicious and also fairly priced. Try pairing it with a bottle of Tyrannosaurus red – a tasty english wine from the Jurassic Coast. www.hotelendsleigh.com
For an extended feature and more information please visit the BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
PhoTos: © LooP iMaGes LTd aLaMy/hoTeL endsLeiGh
From the breezy, beachy atmosphere of Salcombe and South Sands, the rest of your weekend takes on a different feel as you head back inland down winding country lanes towards the moors. Around an hour’s drive will bring you to the market town of Tavistock at the foot of Dartmoor. The famous Pannier Market is open from Wednesday to Saturday but if you miss that try Crebers – Tavistock’s famous 125-year-old traditional grocer and delicatessen. Buy a picnic to have in tranquil park The Meadows or enjoy a traditional Sunday roast at the Bedford Hotel. Our last stop is one of the best countryside hideaways in Devon. About seven miles northwest of Tavistock you’ll find Hotel Endsleigh, nestled in unspoilt woodland beside the River Tamar. As you start down the endless driveway it’s like entering a secret world. Slow your car to a crawl to take in the surrounding valley banked by trees that blaze with colour, and to avoid slow-witted pheasants that decide at the last minute to dash in front of your wheels. This breathtakingly beautiful stretch of the River Tamar was chosen by Georgina, Duchess of Bedford as the setting for a new retreat, Endsleigh House, which she and the 6th Duke enjoyed as a hunting and fishing lodge. The hotel today is chintz-free and relaxed – during our stay a couple arrived with their dog and pet parrot, and all four were accommodated for dinner in front of a cosy log fire. The gardens, designed by the great English landscape designer Humphry Repton, are well worth a visit in themselves – a wondrous, Eden-like example of the English picturesque style. There are Rivendell-like waterfalls, moss-covered bridges and sheltered valleys that steam in the sun, and even a wildly romantic grotto decorated with thousands of shells that has dazzling views down to the river. It’s a remarkable find and one of the best hidden gems in Devon. And as with so many places in this beautiful county of contrasts, once you discover your favourite spot, you may never want to leave.
Views to take your breath away Highcliffe House is an award winning luxury guest house offering Bed & Breakfast in the Boutique Hotel style overlooking Lynton & Lynmouth, North Devon, providing elegant and romantic guest accommodation within Exmoor National Park. Situated in an acre of garden and woodland we offer an oasis of calm to relax and unwind whilst discovering the magnificence of Exmoor. Built in the 1880’s as a gentleman’s summer residence, its commanding position within walking distance of the town has stunning sea views across the North Devon coastline from every room that will take your breath away. To find out more about Highcliffe House, visit our website or give Mike or Karen a call Highcliffe House • Sinai Hill • Lynton • Exmoor • Devon • EX35 6AR Tel: +44 (0)1598 752235 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.highcliffehouse.co.uk
Southernhay houSe hotel in central exeter is open to the ladieS and Gentlemen of devon and beyond! a beautiful and chic reStaurant and bar with 10 GorGeouS bedroomS and private dininG & meetinG facilitieS An Exeter landmark since 1805 www.southernhayhouse.com
01392 439 000 or 01392 435 324 e: email@example.com twitter: @SouthernhayHome
ce ee on fr y it ar Pa vis ye d a an for
TRAVEL FROM WATERLOO The UK’s largest aquarium
Did you know, as a charity, we host wedding receptions, put on live music gigs, assist with turtle conservation research, offer a variety of corporate function facilities, educate 30,000+ students with curriculum based learning, plus much more - and it’s all in the name of marine conservation. Show your support - ‘Like’ our facebook page ‘NationalMarineAquarium’.
AND STEAM THROUGH THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
T: 0844 893 7938 W: www.national-aquarium.co.uk
Bamburgh Castle Northumberland, England
Travel around England at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the flexibility this pass has to offer.
LEXI PASS BRITRAIL F avel! gland train tr Unlimited En *
ct to *Prices subje
Registered Charity Number 1032491
HOU E N IN O
Over To You
Do get in touch with your views about the country, your travels and the magazine An inherited passion
OUR FAVOURITE LETTER My wife and I recently retraced our UK honeymoon of 25 years ago. We again flew British Airways to London Heathrow, secured a hire car and stayed at the lovely Springs Hotel in North Stoke, Oxfordshire. After spending two days visiting a dear friend in Warborough we drove to Stamford, Lincolnshire. While there, we were privileged to participate in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the No 1 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Wittering. I formerly served as an American Exchange Officer flying the Harrier. We managed a two-night stay at the George of Stamford, a dream come true. We next drove to Hove, East Sussex, and enjoyed Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn. We managed to walk above the chalk cliffs, experience wonderful pubs and spend one day in the Brighton area. Every aspect of the trip far exceeded our highest expectations. We look forward to future visits. Until then we’ll rely on BRITAIN magazine to keep us up-to-date. Finally, well done to everyone in Britain on a most successful hosting of the 2012 Olympics. John and Binnie Zink, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA HOW TO WRITE TO US By post to: Your Letters, BRITAIN magazine, Liscartan House, 127-131 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9AS; or to: Your Letters, BRITAIN, 116 Ram Cat Alley, Suite 201, Seneca SC 29678, USA Or email the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
My parents have been subscribing to BRITAIN magazine for a very long time (being true Anglophiles and travelling to the UK regularly since 1974). I too am now an avid reader of the magazine – I wish it was published every month... I try to spend at least two holidays a year in Great Britain and have found a wealth of information on otherwise hard-to-find places worth visiting. Some of my favourite places over the years have been Dyrham Park (lovely to see it in the film The Remains of the Day), West Dean Gardens, Leeds Castle, Kiftsgate and Hidcote (the loveliest gardens you can imagine), Snowshill (which I love for its eccentricity), Cragside, Manderston and Mellerstain (for their fabulous rhododendrons and azaleas), Cawdor Castle (for its cosy interior) and Dunrobin Castle with its most luxurious Ladies’ Room! Cordula Band, Frankfurt, Germany
This issue, our favourite letter wins this beautiful Ettinger leather stud or trinket box, worth £154. Ettinger has created quality leather goods since the 1930s and were awarded a Royal Warrant in 1996. This elegant stud box has been lovingly created by skilled British artisans. Inside it's divided into nine square compartments each with removable dividers and a useful pad on top to prevent valuables from moving around. The box is part of Ettinger’s Lifestyle Collection and comes in a variety of colours. To purchase and to view the full Ettinger range visit www. ettinger.co.uk
Tunes and tubers in glorious Guernsey In a recent issue of BRITAIN magazine (Vol 80 Issue 5), I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely feature and pictures about the Channel Islands (A Nation of Islands); it brought back fond memories of my holiday there in June 1995. The Islands are truly unique and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. On my tour we were based on the Island of Guernsey and stayed at the Duke of Richmond Hotel from where I enjoyed walks to the Victor Hugo www.britain-magazine.com
Park that overlooked the gorgeous scenery of the marina. I listened to the occasional musical quartet that played there too. And the shopping was excellent. But one of my favourite little secrets about the Islands is their potatoes. The taste was very distinctive and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you again for bringing back such fun-filled memories of a holiday I will never forget! Kathryn MacMurdo, Ontario, Canada
From forest to festival
It was lovely to see the article on Nottinghamshire in BRITAIN (Vol 80 Issue 5). I visited the Robin Hood festival and Sherwood Forest the week before receiving the magazine and enjoyed visiting all the places mentioned – Nottingham Castle, the Old Trip pub, Southwell and Newark. I have holidayed in the area for the past two years and enjoyed Lincoln and Lichfield cathedrals, Tamworth Castle and Rufford Abbey – its grounds were a pleasure to walk around. Your picture of Newark Castle is very good and the festival week was great – well worth visiting – I hope to return soon. Thank you, I enjoyed reading the feature and visiting Nottinghamshire. Simon Leggett, Dublin, Ireland COMPETITION WINNER Congratulations to the winner of the Treasure Houses competition. Maria Harris and guest will enjoy a stay at The Inn at Woburn and a Gold Pass entry to all ten Treasure Houses. Five runners up – Brian Irving, Mark Mac, Beverley Crawford, Bonnie Rozorio and Valerie Exall – win a ticket for two to visit any Treasure House. BRITAIN
The present George Hotel, Inveraray, was originally two private houses completed in 1770. They were part of a project by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, started in 1744, to build a whole new town in Inveraray. This was to be the first example in Scotland of a planned town. The Clark family have run the establishment since 1860.
The George Hotel has 17 bedrooms and over the last 6 years all have been sensitively and carefully restored in keeping with the building, it’s history and it’s architecture, making each one individually different. We also offer rooms in the beautifully appointed First House, which is less than a minutes walk from the George with its award winning food and bars.
Your Devon Country Retreat…
20% off B&B Quote ‘BMDP’
The 6 master bedrooms are all large and elegantly furnished with antiques, oil portraits and paintings. Some have polished wooden floors below and wooden beams above. Most have big luxurious bathrooms several having full-length Victorian roll top baths, double jacuzzis or fireplace.
The George Hotel, Main St East, Inveraray, Argyll PA32 8TT T. 01499 302111 E. email@example.com
Honiton, Devon, EX14 3PG www.deerparkcountryhotel.co.uk Tel: 01404 41266
‘The only hotel in Britain with its own private Blue Flag beach’
Outdoor heated swimming pool, sun terrace and sub-tropical gardens
AA Rosetted restaurant
Award-winning cottages and apartments
25 acres of golden sands
LUXURY HOTEL & APARTMENTS
Hotel on the Beach
Carbis Bay Hotel. Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2NP T: 01736 795311 F: 01736 797677
Beautiful, contemporary bedrooms
Exclusive Sunseeker motor yacht ‘Sulis’
firstname.lastname@example.org www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk www.carbisbayselfcatering.co.uk www.britain-magazine.com
Henry VIII’s Wives
IllustratIon: From tHE natIonal and domEstIc HIstorY oF England BY WIllIam auBrEY, PuBlIsHEd cIrca 1890. © classIc ImagE/alamY
King Henry VIII and his six wives. Clockwise from top centre: Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Parr and Jane Seymour
Divorced, beheaded, survived... Born the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, a handsome Prince Henry was not expected to become king. Yet he went on to become one of England’s greatest and most memorable monarchs – but what of his six wives? WORDS neil Jones
Henry VIII’s Wives
he larger-than-life character of King Henry VIII (1509-1547) dazzles across the centuries. He founded a national church, transformed government, built a strong Navy and encouraged a flourishing of the arts. He is also remembered for the extraordinary marital merry-go-round that saw him wed six wives in his quest for a male heir (and ideally a spare) to secure the Tudor dynasty on England’s throne. But what of those six wives, almost hidden in Henry’s monstrous shadow and recalled less by name than by their fates, summed up in the well-known rhyme: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived? Each is a fascinating flesh-andblood figure and each dealt differently with Henry and the challenges they faced, determining the course of royal history. The medieval ruins of Ludlow Castle offer an evocative starting place for the wives’ story. For it’s here that the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon was living with her husband Prince Arthur, elder son and heir of King Henry VII, when Arthur was suddenly taken ill and died in 1502. Catherine, the pretty, gracious daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and his warrior-queen Isabella, were married to
cement a political alliance between Spain and England against France. Now, aged just 16, she was a widow in a foreign land. But Catherine believed in her royal destiny and after seven years, a papal dispensation and a deathbed wish by Henry VII, her patience paid off. She married Arthur’s brother, King Henry VIII, in June 1509. The match reaffirmed the political alliance, but 18-year-old Henry, 6ft 2in tall and “the handsomest sovereign”, was also in love with his diminutive, auburn-haired 23-year-old bride. All bode well and she played the perfect wife and queen, whether devotedly embroidering her husband’s shirts or (ever her mother’s daughter) vigorously supporting Henry in his military pursuits. In 1513 when the king went to fight in France, he made Catherine regent in his absence, a role that she performed with aplomb. But there was one crucial role in which she failed: to provide Henry with a son and heir. The prince born in 1511 died within a few months and the one surviving child from six or seven pregnancies was a daughter, Mary, which simply would not do. As the queen grew older, she lost her looks and turned increasingly to her Catholic faith and study; Henry turned to mistresses.
IMAGES: © ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES/ALAMY/EDWARD FURY/HEVER CASTLE
Catherine believed in her royal destiny and after seven years, a papal dispensation and a deathbed wish by Henry VII, her patience paid off
Around 1526, the king’s roving eye alighted on one of the Book of Hours (prayer book) she is said to have carried to Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn. The “fresh the scaffold when her royal luck ran out. A dark-eyed young damsel” refused to become his mistress, provoking brunette, Anne was no conventional beauty, but she was a frenzy of frustrated royal passion. Anne issued a feisty, witty and seductive, with a chic French education breathtakingly bold ultimatum: she could only surrender acquired while her father worked as a diplomat in Paris. to Henry’s advances if he divorced his wife. The Boleyns were an ambitious family and Anne’s sister The king entreated the Pope to declare his marriage to Mary had already been the king’s mistress. But Anne was his brother’s wife invalid, but the the one who shrewdly won the royal Pope refused, sparking Henry’s break MATCHED & DISPATCHED hand in marriage, in January 1533 with Catholic Rome. Nor would – some four months before Henry’s Catherine of Aragon Anne of Cleves Catherine go quietly, declaring her actual divorce from Catherine. Married 11 June 1509 Married 6 January 1540 first marriage had never been Anne, 32 years old, was already Divorced 23 May 1533 Divorced 9 July 1540 consummated and she was the flaunting her pregnancy, although Anne Boleyn Catherine Howard sovereign’s ‘true wife’. In May the anticipated son would turn out Married 25 January 1533 Married 28 July 1540 Beheaded 19 May 1536 Beheaded 13 February 1542 1533, after nearly 24 years of to be another girl, Elizabeth. Jane Seymour Catherine Parr marriage, Catherine was divorced The new queen was widely Married 30 May 1536 Married 12 July 1543 anyway and reduced to the title reviled as an interloper, a social Died 24 October 1537 Survived Princess Dowager. climber and even a witch (she had Pious and noble to the end, she a sixth finger on her left hand) died in January 1536 at Kimbolton Castle in who had ensnared the king. People also blamed her for the Cambridgeshire (now owned by Kimbolton School and religious turmoil that Henry’s break with Rome unleashed. open to visitors on certain days). In a last letter to Henry, Indeed Anne was greatly attracted to the controversial she wrote, “For my part I pardon you everything, and I religious ideas behind the Protestant Reformation; it was wish devoutly to pray God that He will pardon you also.” she who had given Henry The Obedience of a Christian You’ll find her tomb in Peterborough Cathedral, but it’s Man by William Tyndale that stated the King, not the said her ghost lingers at Kimbolton Castle. Pope, should have authority over the Church. Anne Boleyn’s story takes us first to her childhood home, But Anne was playing a dangerous game. Without allies, Hever Castle in Kent. Here you can view her portrait and also she fully depended on Henry’s favour, and as pregnancies www.britain-magazine.com
Facing page: Catherine of Aragon and Ludlow in Shropshire where she lived with Prince Arthur before his death. This page: Anne Boleyn and her childhood home of Hever Castle
© Country Life
Group visits at one of the grandest medieval buildings in England • • • • • •
RELAX and UNWIND with a narrowboat holiday, ideal for all the family to enjoy!
Heaps of history Gorgeous gardens (14 acres) Breath-taking well pools Group leader free (10+ people) Coach/bus driver free admission Located right next to the bustling Market Place and Wells Cathedral
NEW FOR 2013 Garden of Reflection, Community Garden and multi media guides
For more information please contact us on: Quote ‘BM 0312’ at the time of booking to receive an additional 10% off total booking cost (excludes catering).
T 01749 988111ext.200 E email@example.com
Tel: +44 (0)1926 492968 or visit our website:
www.kateboats.co.uk Kate Boats Warwick Ltd • The Boatyard Nelson Lane • Warwick • Warwickshire CV34 5JB
arwoodHill M H M ardens arwood ill arwood ill ardens H gg M ardens H M g gardens arwood
Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4EB
Barnstaple, North Devon, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4EB
Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4EB
Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4EB National Collections of Astilbe, Iris Ensata and Tulbaghia 20 acres of gardens, tea room, plant sales Group bookings by appointment, dogs welcome National Collections of Astilbe, Iris Ensata and Tulbaghia
NEW for 2012 and Parkroom, plant sales National Collections ofCar Astilbe, 20 acres of- Coach gardens, tea National Collections Group of Astilbe, Iris Ensata and Tulbaghia Irisbookings Ensata and byTulbaghia appointment, dogs welcome 20 acres of gardens, tea room, plant sales www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk Nacres ational Collections of and Astilbe, Iris Ensata and Tulbaghia 20 of for gardens, tea room, 01271NEW 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple 2012 -welcome Coach Car Park Group bookings by appointment, dogs plant sales of gardens, tea room, plant sales 20 acres
NEW for 2012 - Coach and Park by appointment, dogs welcome Group bookings Group bookings byCar appointment,
www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk dogs welcome NEW for 2012 - Coach and Car Park 01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple Coach and Car Park www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk 01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk
01271 342528 www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk 4 miles from Barnstaple
01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple
Henry VIII’s Wives
PHOTO: © LOOP IMAGES LTD/ALAMY/ISTOCK/ZORAN IVANOVICH PHOTO
Just over a week after Anne’s execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, a former lady-in-waiting to his first two wives came and went without a male heir, this began to turn elsewhere. The end came three years into her marriage: on 19 May 1536 Anne was beheaded on London’s Tower Green. Despite the trumped-up charges of adultery and treason, she showed remarkable composure on the scaffold, calling upon Jesus Christ to “save my sovereign and master the King, the most godly, noble and gentle prince that is.” Her headless spirit is said to appear near Queen’s House and lead a ghostly procession of lords and ladies down the aisle of the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula where she is buried. Just over a week after Anne’s execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, a former lady-in-waiting to his first two wives. This fair, pale-skinned, blue-eyed woman of respectable birth and standing was demure and virtuous. She was also a committed Catholic and dared to plead with her new husband to abandon the Dissolution of the Monasteries, perhaps hoping he would return to the ‘true faith’. Her temerity earned her a stern rebuke, but any lingering resentment was swept aside when she gave birth to Prince Edward on 12 October 1537. But even in triumph came tragedy. Jane contracted puerperal fever and died shortly www.britain-magazine.com
after the birth. Henry’s “most dear and entirely beloved wife” is buried beside him in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Meantime court advisors – and a flattering portrait by Hans Holbein – persuaded the distraught king to take another bride, who would bring with her a German alliance. Anne of Cleves was shipped over, taking the trouble first to study English etiquette and learn card games that Henry played, the better to please him. Unfortunately, when Henry met her in the half-timbered Old Hall behind Rochester Castle he took one look at her full figure and unfashionable dark complexion and bluntly declared: “I like her not.” The wedding went ahead regardless on 6 January 1540 but Henry never consummated the union. Anne, apparently, didn’t realise anything was amiss. Nevertheless she had the good sense to settle for divorce after six months, a handsome pay-off that included Hever Castle and the title of ‘the King’s good sister’. She never remarried and lived until 1557, a rather sad stranger in a foreign land. Henry, on the rebound, became infatuated with Catherine Howard, the flighty teenage daughter of the powerful Howard family. Her relations encouraged the
Above: Anne of Cleves. Left: Hampton Court Palace. Below: Jane Seymour. Main: Rochester Castle in Kent
Above: Catherine Howard. Main: Sudeley Castle Queen's Walk. Right: Chenies Manor House and garden. Below: Catherine Parr
match and Catherine, whatever her true feelings about marriage to a fat, 49-year-old king with leg ulcers, acquiesced, becoming his fifth wife in July 1540. The marriage was over before it began. Licentious by nature, Catherine recklessly took up with a former lover, Thomas Culpeper, a trusted gentleman of the king’s Privy Chamber. Visit Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire and listen for the ghostly footsteps crossing the gallery, said to be Henry heading for his wife’s room during a sojourn there. Told of Catherine’s infidelity, Henry put her under arrest at Hampton Court Palace; go to the Haunted Gallery, where the queen’s ghost is said to shriek, re-enacting her flight to the Chapel Royal to plead with the king at Mass. She was executed on Tower Green on 13 February 1542. By now, Henry was really ailing, but he still had an eye for the twice-widowed Catherine Parr, who came to court in 1543. Born at Kendal Castle 31 years earlier, Catherine was “gracious, learned and pious” with “singular beauty, favour and a comely personage.” She was also in love with Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the late Queen Jane. So when the king proposed, she hesitated.
Eventually – as her handwritten letter on display at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds records – she renounced her personal desire and followed what she believed to be God’s will. She married Henry in July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. Catherine acted as Queen Regent while Henry embarked on a last, brief military hurrah in France in 1544 and she sensitively drew together all three of his children, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. More controversially, she began developing radical Protestant opinions that verged on the heretical. Only her quick wits saved her: she said she sought to divert the king from his painful thrombosis through theological discussion! When Henry died on 28 January 1547, Catherine rekindled her romance with Seymour and married. But she died following the birth of her daughter, in September 1548. Six very different characters influenced the king and history in a tale full of ironies. Not least is that despite Henry’s quest for male heirs, his daughter by Anne Boleyn would prove to be one of England’s greatest monarchs: Elizabeth I.
For more information and links to all the places mentioned in this feature visit www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
PHOTO: © BIBLIO PHOTOGRAPHY/DAVID COLEMAN/ALAMY
Henry VIII’s Wives
its people, its history New Birmingham History Galleries Immerse yourself in over 900 years of life, passion, strife and achievement. Explore Birminghamâ€™s global heritage, from medieval times and the original bull ring, into the industrial revolution, through to the World Wars and the culturally rich life of the 21st century with the new Bullring at its centre. Free entry www.bmag.org.uk
See our new app
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE Travel Travel in in luxury luxury on on board board Patricia Patricia as as she she completes completes her her vital vital work work maintaining navigation buoys, refuelling lighthouses and maintaining navigation buoys, refuelling lighthouses and marking marking wrecks wrecks around around the the UK UK coast. coast. With With just just six six cabins, cabins, few few guests guests are are able able to to experience experience a a voyage voyage and this, coupled with the type of work the ship undertakes, and this, coupled with the type of work the ship undertakes, makes makes a a voyage voyage aboard aboard Patricia Patricia a a truely truely unique unique experience. experience. For For further further information information please please contact: contact: Strand Strand Voyages,The Voyages,The Oasis Oasis Centre, Centre, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HS Tel: +44 (0) 20 79214340, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HS Tel: +44 (0) 20 79214340, Email Email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com quoting quoting code code BRIT1301 BRIT1301
Englandâ€™s sEcond city Birmingham is not on everyoneâ€™s must-see list of places, but it should be. Long pigeon-holed as a centre of industry, it is in fact a vibrant centre of arts and literature, shopping and socialising, seamlessly mixing the old and the new. We revisit the workshop of the world and discover Englandâ€™s second city is more sophisticated than ever WORDS lucy tomlinson
Birmingham’s distinctive Bullring shopping centre www.britain-magazine.com
PHOTO: © ROBERT CONVERY/ALAMY
irmingham gained its reputation as ‘the city of a thousand trades’ and ‘the workshop of the world’ during Victorian times. The downside of this far-reaching commercialism was an image of grimy industrialism that has been unfairly hard to shake. Nowadays, Birmingham has transformed itself into a vibrant cultural hotspot crammed with history and contrasted with forward-thinking architecture. Throw in its glorious surroundings in historical Forest of Arden countryside and you have Birmingham, a gem set in the heart of England – one which its residents have been furiously polishing in recent years. In 1086 Birmingham was a hamlet worth 20 shillings. In the 20th century it became Britain’s centre of manufacturing. However, Birmingham, which is located in the centre of England, has none of the obvious natural attributes of a trade city – no large rivers, far from the coast, no mines or mineral deposits. So just how did the miraculous metamorphosis occur? Local historian and blue badge guide Ian Jelf thinks he has the answer. People, he claims, are Birmingham’s greatest asset. “Birmingham just attracts the right people at the right time.” Inspiring and inspired individuals form the links of Birmingham’s chain and its story can be told through the men and women who have lived and worked in Britain’s second city. The first major players on Birmingham’s stage were the de Birmingham family, who held the lordship of the manor of Birmingham for 400 years. In 1156 Peter de Birmingham obtained a market charter from Henry II for the famous Bull Ring, kickstarting a long commercial history. In addition, the family were comparatively liberal with their tenants and there were no restrictive obstacles to trade. The de Berminghams were eventually cheated out of the lordship of the city (see boxout, p78), but many members of the family were buried in the church of St Martin in the Bull Ring, which nestles appropriately between the futuristic shopping centre, with its glossy, glamorous Selfridges, and the markets. Dipping in to the Victorian version of the church between shopping trips allows a glimpse of a stained glass window designed by Burne-Jones and made by William Morris, splendid Minton floor tiles and, of course, the de Bermingham arms. As England faced Civil War (and needed swords, pikes and armour) Birmingham emerged as a leading centre for all kinds of metalwork. But it was the return of Charles II to the throne that really set the city to work. His taste for jewellery, embellished buttons and fancy buckles set fashions that had artisans turning out pieces in their thousands. So it is appropriate that the best place to get a feel for Birmingham’s mercantile heritage is the Jewellery Quarter, a 20-minute walk north from the city centre. Here you can still find hundreds of jewellers and workshops,
In 1086 Birmingham was a hamlet worth 20 shillings. In the 20th century it became Britain’s centre of manufacturing BRITAIN
Birmingham has none of the obvious natural attributes of a trade city â€“ no large rivers, far from the coast, no mines or mineral deposits. So just how did the miraculous metamorphosis occur? Clockwise from top left: Colmore Row; a bronze statue of a bull at the Bullring shopping centre; the Ikon Gallery; Broad Street; Selly Manor, Bournville; BMAG, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
accounting for 40 per cent of Britain’s jewellery production. A stroll through the area, following in the footsteps of loved-up couples in search of the perfect engagement ring, can be rounded off with a tour of the wonderful Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. When the family-owned Smith & Pepper company went out of business in 1981, the workshop closed completely intact, leaving behind everything from die presses to workbench tools to teapots and even £900 worth of gold dust in the cracks and crevices. This slice of history was preserved completely intact, offering a rare insight into the jewellery trade and the daily lives of British workers. At the heart of the Quarter is the Grade I listed ‘Jeweller’s Church’ of St Paul’s. It was here, in an elegant, tree-lined Georgian square, that Birmingham’s most famous industrialists – Matthew Boulton and the Scotsman James Watt – came to worship. Boulton campaigned vigorously for the city’s own Assay Office, which was established in 1773. The story goes that Birmingham’s famous assay mark of an anchor was decided by the toss of a coin in the Crown & Anchor pub. Fittingly enough, it was Boulton who revolutionised coin production, using metal working techniques and industrial-scale methods to produce counterfeit-proof coins as we know them. Today, the square is home to cafés and galleries, including the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. By the time of the Industrial Revolution Birmingham had become the commercial centre of the Midlands. It was during this period that the inventiveness of its people really
PHoTos: CRaig Holmes/images of BiRmingHam.Co.uk/edwaRd moss PHoTogRaPHy/keiTH laRBy/alamy
Perhaps Birmingham’s most popular literary connection is JRR Tolkien, who grew up in suburbs of the city and attended school here. Hobbit fans can follow the Tolkien Trail came to the fore: between 1760 and 1850 Birmingham residents registered over three times as many patents as those of any other British town. Chief among those innovative minds were the members of the Lunar Society (see boxout), which numbered Boulton and Watt among its members. Between them, they revolutionised the manufacturing industry, giving us factories as we know them and improving and developing the steam engine. Back in the city centre, Birmingham pays homage to these pioneers with a gilded statue of Watt, Boulton and their colleague William Murdoch, known locally as The Golden Boys. The statue stands in Centenary Square, facing the new Library of Birmingham. Studded with golden discs resembling giant coins, this ultra-modern monolith will replace Birmingham’s Central Library in 2013. Central Library, an inverted Brutalist pyramid, is Europe’s largest non-national library, with over 32 miles of shelves. Its forbidding exterior is not to everyone’s taste, however, with Prince Charles describing it as “looking more like a place for burning books than keeping them.” Literary residents in Birmingham over the years include WH Auden, the poet and Birmingham academic Louis MacNeice and the novelist Henry Green, who were part of a vibrant artistic community in the 1930s. Perhaps Birmingham’s most popular literary connection is JRR www.britain-magazine.com
Tolkien, who grew up in suburbs of the city and attended school here. Hobbit fans can follow the Tolkien Trail to see how the surrounding landscape, including Perrott’s Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks, inspired young John Ronald Reuel to create his labyrinthine fantasy world. Birmingham’s industrial history is well-established, but its musical pedigree is just as well-formed. Many famous musicians visited the city for its world-famous triennials over the years, including Mendelssohn, Grieg, Sibelius, SaintSaëns and Elgar. Czech composer Antonin Dvorak said: “I’m here in this immense industrial city where they make excellent knives, scissors, springs, files and goodness knows what else, and, besides these, music too. And how well! It’s terrifying how much the people here manage to achieve.” This sense of accomplishment has carried on throughout the years. In 1980, Simon Rattle (last seen cavorting with Mr Bean during the Olympic Opening Ceremony) was appointed Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The ICC is now home to the Symphony Hall, a stunning auditorium with fabulous acoustics. A short walk from the ICC, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is justifiably proud of its luscious collection of Pre-Raphaelites (including local boy Edward BurneJones, whose window also adorns the Cathedral). The museum is also home to legally verified treasure in the
Above: BMAG, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
BMAG and the Town Hall in Chamberlain Square
Brilliant Brummies J The De Berminghams edward was the last
de Bermingham to hold the lordship of the city. He was cheated out of it by John Dudley, the Duke of northumberland. the devious Duke laid a trap, framing edward for highway robbery, for which he was thrown in the tower of london, tried and found guilty. However, Dudley offered to get edward a pardon from the king, on the condition he hand Birmingham over to Dudley. edward did as Dudley demanded and in 1527 retired to obscurity, living on a token sum of £40 a year. Dudley would later try to place his own daughter-in-law, the ill-fated lady Jane Grey, on the throne – an offence for which he was later found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. J The Lunar Society the members of the lunar society, a gathering of the midlands intellectual elite who met during the full moon, would jokingly refer to themselves as ‘lunarticks’. But despite the nickname, rational and enlightened thought was the order of the day for, among others, matthew Boulton, James Watt, Joseph Priestley (discoverer of oxygen),
Josiah Wedgwood and erasmus Darwin. J Joseph Chamberlain in the rest of the uK, Joseph Chamberlain is best-known as the father of Prime minister neville Chamberlain, but for Brummies neville is a mere footnote to greatness. Despite never becoming prime minister himself, Chamberlain senior was one of the most important British politicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, described by Winston Churchill as “the man who made the weather”. a self-made man and former mayor of Birmingham, Chamberlain’s parliamentary activities included presidency of the Board of trade and influencing many liberal policies, as well as presiding over British colonial interests. J John Cadbury Chocolate worshippers will want to make a pilgrimage to Bull street in praise of John Cadbury, who began selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate here in 1824. He later opened a factory in Bridge street and in 1854 received the royal Warrant as manufacturers of chocolate and cocoa to Queen Victoria.
form of items from the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever discovered. The richness of the BMAG is offset by the cool purity of the Ikon Gallery on Brindleyplace – a contemporary art venue that has found a home in the shell of a Victorian school. The gallery still prides itself on its educational resources, with a wide range of events, family days and films. The building is a lovely red-brick example of neo-Gothic architecture and the shop stocks a wonderful selection of beautifully illustrated children’s books. Birmingham’s canal network also plays host to occasional artworks such as The Rootless Forest, a boat planted with miniature trees, which set sail from Brindleyplace this summer. A more prosaic but perhaps more welcoming boat-based installation is the café that plies the canal waters. It can be found outside Brindleyplace, which also teems with onshore eateries. One such is the Malt House, which was surprised by a famous customer during the G8 summit in 1998: none other than President Bill Clinton, in search of some fish and chips and a pint. Clinton is not the only American to find himself in Birmingham – Benjamin Franklin was a member of the Lunar Society and Washington Irving wrote Rip van Winkle during a stay in the city. Birmingham has scrubbed up nicely, a sparkling 21stcentury city displayed against a rich historical backdrop. Visit while the majority still don’t realise what a treasure it is.
For more information and contact details for all the places mentioned in this feature, go to www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
PHoto: © eye35.Pix/mary eVans PiCture liBrary/alamy
Between 1760 and 1850 Birmingham residents registered over three times as many patents as those of any other British town
www.scottishdreamtours.com Toll Free USA 800 511 7803
BIRMINGHAM BUS TOURS 2013
Dates: every weekend from 27th April to 29th September 2013 except for the first Sunday of the month from May to October when we operate as the MUSEUM HERITAGE BUS. Meeting point: corner of Colmore Row & Waterloo Street, Victoria Square Tour times: 10.30, 12.30, 2.30
Offering our own line of specially handcrafted small group tours to Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England featuring amazing castles, cozy pubs, inviting tearooms, spectacular scenery and warm, friendly locals. Join us for an unforgettable journey to these Celtic lands that will capture your heart forever! firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BIG BRUM BUZ IS AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE HIRE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Visit Ragley in Style Two affordable group options which are sure to make your visit even more enjoyable... Premium Package - ÂŁ30pp* #"#"# !# # # # ! #"#!#"# # #"!# "#"#" #! "!!#"# #! "" #"#! #" ##!!#"#"#!# !#"" ###! "!!
THIS SYMPATHETICALLY CONVERTED, ORNATE VICTORIAN RED BRICK BUILDING IN THE OLD CITY CENTRE BOASTS SIXTY SIX LUXURIOUS BEDROOMS&SUITES AROUND A COURTYARD
Standard Package - ÂŁ15pp* #"#"# !# # # # ! #"#!#"# # # "!#"#"#" #! "" #"#! #" ##!!#"#"#!# !#"" -+!-!,.)*.'*%(.*."$..'+#,(.-', +#!%(+,.*..-.#*'',#).-).)+ ,.*. %!+#-)+*.- ,). %().,.',#,+,.-) !,-()..-(.'+*'.)*.+(+)
Alcester, Warwickshire B49 5NJ tel 01789 762090 email@example.com ragleyhall.com
Original features include a magnificent sweeping staircase and granite pillars. A relaxing haven in the city, with a stunning bistro serving simple French classic dishes using great produce; a traditional pub serving local ales and pub food; a spa; gym; inspired meetings and event spaces; private dining rooms and of course, the best glass of wine in the city.
HOTEL DU VIN&BISTRO BIRMINGHAM
ď€ş INFO.BIRMINGHAM@HOTELDUVIN.COM ď€§ 0121 200 0600 www.HOTELDUVIN.com
Join us at
G DIN CLUOUCHER N I 9 V V PLY L
T ÂŁ9 HD S AP JUSNK&ÂŁ2C0ONDITION M RO RI & E
ALU IC V
T TAS FAN
B AILA S AV
F REE D TERMS AF
www.arundellarms.com 3 Star Country Hotel ***
AA 2 Rosette Restaurant ***
Hotel Bar (serving full bar meals and light snacks) ***
For a free brochure of 680 B&Bs, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Country Inn (serving local real ales and home-cooked food)
Bed & Breakfast…and much more An ideal gift!
A 232-page guide to: • where to go • what to see • where to stay in the UK & Ireland
Special offer £6.95
Home to The Uk’s No.1 Fly Fishing School - 20 miles of private river for trout & salmon fishing ***
Games Room (for children) ***
Weddings and Receptions
Features include area guides, historical and literary tours B&Bs that welcome dogs, horses and have facilities for the less mobile
Dedicated Private Function Suite ***
Private Parties ***
Conferences & Meetings winner of GOLD business hotel for SW Tourism Awards 2011
£6.95 inc. p&p (overseas plus p&p) For a copy, please email: email@example.com or telephone: 01255 672377 quoting ref: BM12
Lifton~Devon~PL16 0AA~01566 784666
Explore the very STATELY best that the British holiday cottages Isles has to offer For your new 2013 SHC brochure
0800 2300 298
Call Visit StatelyHolidayCottages.co.uk or complete and return the coupon below
Winter Weekends ...in the West Country
Throughout January, February and March enjoy a two night break with dinner
from £179 per person
Treat yourself to an early spring break in a medieval castle or a gatehouse, lodge, cottage, converted stable, farm house...
Please complete and return this form to SHC FREEPOST CB45, HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8BR
Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Address Postcode Phone
By responding, you agree to us sending you further information by letter, SMS, telephone and/or email. Other members of the HPB group may also contact you in any of these ways with holiday offers. If you would prefer them not to, please tick here
T: 01823 272671 www.the-castle-hotel.com Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1NF
Britainâ€™s marvellous markets Bustling and chaotic or laid-back and homely, British markets range from almost Dickensian in character to the quaintly rural, providing thriving town and village hubs where people come together to trade and barter for local produce and artisan goods
PHOTO: ÂŠ VISITBRITAIN/JOANNA HENDERSON
WORDS BOB BARTON
This stall at Borough Market, London, sells an ever-changing array of cheese
uicy pine-ap-ell!’ ‘Who likes pies and pasties?’ ‘Last of season English straw-ber-ries!’ A chorus of calls rings out from different corners of a typical British market. Colourful stalls, selling every variety of fruit and vegetable and provisions galore, stand in the shadow of enormous department stores. A garishly dressed woman tells the fortune of anyone proffering a five pound note and a queue forms at a kiosk selling a local speciality: baps filled with generous servings of hot pork, herb stuffing and apple sauce. All human life is here and it’s a scene repeated in towns and cities throughout the land. Many towns have held weekly markets since the Middle Ages. Often their right to stage one is enshrined in a royal charter bestowed by a monarch grateful for a long forgotten good deed. These are the places to buy the local and regional specialities, rummage for gems through decades of bric-a-brac and hear the local news without recourse to a computer screen. Thame in Oxfordshire, a perfect example, was granted a charter to hold its market by King John in the 13th century. A cattle market still operates as well as general and farmers’ markets along its broad main thoroughfare. An absence of modern buildings in the centre emphasises the traditional atmosphere.
No London market is better known than Portobello Road, a rich vein for antique hunters to mine. The memorable scene in the film Notting Hill where Hugh Grant ambles along between two rows of heavily laden stalls conveys everything – the noise, bustle, camaraderie – that’s special about Britain’s street markets. Nearby, in NW8, Church Street is equally lively and, though its wares are more workaday, it is complemented by Alfie’s Antique Market. This indoor emporium of private dealers – each a specialist in jewellery, ceramics, fashion or furniture, and all manner of vintage collectibles – fills four floors of a former department store. At street level are workshops where you can see craftsmen at work, while at the top is a brightly painted rooftop café offering bargain snacks and a bird’seye view of the market below. Then there is Old Spitalfields, with its array of furniture, food and retro fashions. Farther east is Greenwich, whose market has recently been spruced up with kaleidoscopic artwork reflecting its traders’ talents. Some markets are notable for their situation in grand buildings. Many were erected as a statement of Victorian civic pride and are still focal points 150 years later. Such is the case with Oxford’s Covered Market, whose predecessor was built in the 1770s to bring a variety of foul smelling street markets under one roof, its traders kept in check by a fearsome beadle. Today it is a feast for all the senses, a labyrinth of narrow passageways where students picking up
photos: © VisitBritain/Joanna henderson
It is a feast for all the senses, a labyrinth of narrow passageways where students picking up fresh vegetables and cheese rub shoulders with ladies selecting tailor-made millinery fresh vegetables and cheese rub shoulders with ladies selecting tailor-made millinery from a specialist hat shop little bigger than a telephone box. Almost as far north as you can go in England, Carlisle’s stone-built Market Hall echoes the town’s mighty castle and you enter through heavy doors to a cavernous space with a glazed iron roof. An assortment of stalls selling everything from cakes to haberdashery, plus two cafés, always provide a few hours’ pleasant diversion. West Country people have markets in their blood, it is said, and Barnstaple’s Pannier Market is the region’s beating heart. Housed in an elegant structure built in 1855 and full of stalls three days a week, it takes its name from the baskets used by traders to carry their wares. Opposite is Butchers’ Row which at one time comprised 33 butchers’ shops! Other cities with examples worth going out of one’s way for include Bristol, whose St Nicholas Market, set around the Georgian alleyways of Corn Street, is variously funky, organic and historic. Different days bring different delights: farmers’ food on Wednesday, books on the first Sunday of the month and the ‘Nails’, a cornucopia of gifts, crafts and vintage clothing, on Friday and Saturday. Norwich has a daily open-air market dating from Saxon times. The largest of its kind in the country, its 150 plenteous stalls line up in neat rows under candy-striped tarpaulins and the watchful www.britain-magazine.com
eye of City Hall. In its early days, trade was in walrus ivory, locally forged iron tools and fine cloth from Flanders. The return to popularity of the farmers’ market has been remarkable. Farmers have sold or bartered their produce since the beginning of agriculture, of course, but the rebirth of markets where local producers sell direct to local people started in Bath in 1997. Its success prompted other towns to follow suit and now there are more than 500 around the country. A lively and friendly atmosphere, where traders are happy to chat and offer advice, is a vital part of the mix. You can buy very small amounts from a variety of traders to exercise your taste buds and enjoy produce that changes with the seasons. Seasonal game, for example, ranges from red grouse and ptarmigan from August to December, to woodcock and pheasant from October to early February. King of retail food markets is London’s Borough Market (Thursdays – Saturdays) where provisions have been traded since the Londinium of the Romans. This gastronomic wonderland is squeezed into a small site close to London Bridge on the Thames and beneath trembling railway viaducts. Aromas of Vietnamese-style curries bubbling in cauldrons merge with those of mulled wine and giant cheeses from every corner of the land, stacked ceiling-high in the Neal’s Yard emporium. Customers fill every passageway, grazing on smoked wild boar sausages
Portobello Market sells a wide range of goods, clothes, antiques and food and is popular with tourists and Londoners alike
best for... J Black pudding bury Market near Manchester has more than 350 stalls but best known is Chadwick’s which sells ‘the original bury black pudding’ – the perfect accompaniment to a full english breakfast. J Pork Pies Melton Mowbray pork pies can only be made and baked in a designated area around this Leicestershire town and where better to buy one than in its street market, recorded in the Domesday book? It is also renowned for stilton cheese from the nearby Vale of belvoir. J Pyclets these Derbyshire crumpets are made with milk and served toasted with butter or jam. the Derby Pyclet company is a star attraction in the city’s Victorian Market Hall – partly because its owners sell their victuals with theatrical panache. J The Savoury this spicy pork and onion sandwich filling has been made in County Durham since the 1930s and sells like hot cakes at Darlington’s sunday People’s Market. J Welsh delicacies swansea’s friendly indoor market is known for traditional delights such as laverbread (boiled seaweed, rich in iron and minerals), Penclawdd cockles and home-made Welsh cakes.
The delicate cast-iron tracery and glazed roof of its Edwardian hall is reminiscent of London’s long lost Crystal Palace and houses 800 stalls Markets across the UK specialise in a variety of products, from fruit, flowers and unusual gifts to unusual records and books or handmade products
and spicy kedgeree, often washed down with something from the organic juice bar. Many pause to purchase ostrich, reindeer burgers or exotic casserole mix (kangaroo, springbok and water buffalo) from Gamston Wood’s meat stall. Overlooking this bustling street scene is the cast-iron edifice of the Floral Hall portico. Relocated from Covent Garden in 2004, it houses Roast restaurant, whose diners enjoy a bird’s-eye view. Those happy to dine alfresco can join the queue at ‘Roast To Go’ for its popular British dishes. Some farmers’ markets are set in picture postcard locations. Perhaps the most dramatic is Edinburgh (Saturdays), whose 55 stalls lie beneath the ramparts of the capital’s imposing castle. In Hampshire, Winchester has one of the largest in England and visitors purchase local watercress in the lee of the ancient cathedral. West Wales has some of the friendliest venues, none prettier than Haverfordwest’s riverside location. Voted one of Britain’s ten most popular markets, it sells everything from honey to shellfish sourced from within 50 miles. Visitors to the
Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate can shop for tasty market treats before adjourning to one of the award-winning local parks for an impromptu picnic. In the Cotswold Hills, Cirencester’s Market Place boasts a fortnightly market where the harvest from fertile uplands finds eager buyers. If size is important, then Glasgow should be your destination. Its Barras Market (weekends) opened in the 1920s and is now one of the largest in Europe. The accolade of Britain’s largest covered market goes to Kirkgate, in the Yorkshire metropolis of Leeds. The delicate cast-iron tracery and glazed roof of its Edwardian hall is reminiscent of London’s long lost Crystal Palace and houses 800 stalls. One of the best things about markets is that each is so different. The only thing they have in common is that you have to rise early to catch the best bargains and enjoy the liveliest performances. It is the original street theatre.
For an extended feature and more information please visit the BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
Solent Sky Aviation Museum Albert Road South Southampton SO14 3FR 02380 635830
TOUCH, HOLD, FEEL, HUG, LEARN FOR FREE
Reg Charity 262995
Solent Sky Museum showcases the history of aviation in Southampton and Solent area. Geographically this area was the most important area in the country, if not the world, for aircraft experimental and development work between 1908 and the late 1960s, the most famous being the Spitfire. We have 18 aircraft of various types, including the Spitfire and S6b. Our Engine Bay also has a good selection of engines. We welcome people aboard the Sandringham Flying Boat; and why not take a tour onto the flight deck. Or you can imagine that you are flying the Swift or Harrier Jump Jet while sitting in the cockpit.
Now open our new Schneider Trophy Exhibition. Open Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm** Sunday 12am – 5pm **Monday during school holidays only** Last entry all days 4pm Full disable access.
Admission: Adults £6.50 Senior £5.50 Children 5+ £4.50 Family (2 adults, up to 3 Children) £17.50
FREE ENTRY OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR 01395 578222 www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU
A charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. 264818
St Chad’S College St Chad’s College is set on a dramatic site in the shadow of Durham Cathedral in the centre of medieval Durham.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE MEMORABILIA
America’s outlaw heroes from the David Gainsborough Roberts collection
23 March – 3 November
Ensuite and Standard B&B accommodation is available in historic buildings which are far older than their Georgian frontages suggest.
18 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3RH Tel: 0191 334 3358 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org britain 85
Fill your home with Festive Fragrance
Its back, weekly car rental from only £99.68 per week
(Minimum 7 day rental - offer excludes Xmas)
e” ve Fiv ust i t s e F j “ ck is gift pa+ P&P or buy £35 dividually
Our Christmas scented candles are the perfect way to fill your home with fine festive fragrance..... or to make the perfect gift.
• • • • •
All cars newly registered Free “Meet & Greet” at most UK Airports Delivery to your hotel or contact address One Way Rentals & Travel to Europe Over 500 locations throughout the UK
There’s nothing quite so evocative as the senses of smell and light. They are perfectly combined in scented Christmas candles, which fill your home with all the smells and sensations of the festive season.
Family run business established in 1995
Telephone: +44 (0)208 764 6490 Fax: +44 (0)208 679 6869 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.auto-international.com
• • • • •
Small cars Mercedes Minivans Multiseaters 9, 12 and 15 seaters
Family run self-drive hire business, offering top service for 30 years. Let us meet you at London airports. Hassle-free personal service. Large new fleet. Very low inclusive rates. Tel: +44 1483 574434 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +44 1483 534781
www.kendallcars.com 34 Aldershot Road, Guildford GU2 8AF
“Handmade in Hertfordshire, England”
www.potterscrouchcandles.co.uk +44 (0) 1727 836454
Parkers Rent a Car
F A M I LY
B U S I N E S S
• Very Competitive Rates • Fully Comprehensive Insurance • Full AA Cover • Unlimited Mileage • Extensive Range of Vehicles • Manual and Automatics • Estates • 7 Seaters • Minibuses • Delivery/Collection Heathrow & Gatwick Airports & Local Rail Station Brochure by Return Air Mail or Fax
12 Bridge Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1VA
Tel: 01444 413672 Fax: 01444 417961 Email: email@example.com
Places To Stay
photo: corinthia hotel london
Corinthia Hotel London has some of the largest hotel rooms in town
Londonâ€™S LaTeST Britainâ€™s hotels have a reputation for excellent service and luxurious settings and these latest openings, all in the heart of the capital, continue that tradition but often with an interesting twist WORDS Laura Porter
photos: RichaRd BRyant/aRcaidimages.com/guy montagu-pollock
uilt in 1888, The Ampersand Hotel is one of London’s original Victorian boutique hotels. It re-opened in its new incarnation during the busy 2012 summer season and takes its inspiration from its South Kensington location – The Natural History, Science and V&A Museums are all close by, as well as the Royal Albert Hall and Chelsea Physic Garden, and all are reflected in five main themes that run throughout the hotel. Look out for the hauntingly beautiful gargoyles, stop by the ground floor Drawing Rooms, which boast a patisserie lounge, or visit the atmospheric vaulted cocktail bar below. Over in the City, D&D London, owner of some of the world’s most successful restaurants opened its first hotel, South Place Hotel, in September 2012. The Conran-designed interiors have original art by contemporary London-based artists. As you would expect, dining is important here with two restaurants, three bars and a roof terrace with spectacular views of City landmarks including the Gherkin and Tower 42. Every detail here has been carefully chosen to
highlight the best of British style right down to the doormen’s Dent leather gloves and Grenson brogues. A stunning Regency townhouse, situated on the site of Thomas Lord’s original cricket ground, Dorset Square Hotel was Tim and Kit Kemp’s first hotel property back in 1985 and was reacquired in 2011. Cricket is used as a theme throughout including witty touches such as tiny cricket balls for closet handles. Along one entire wall of the Potting Shed restaurant and bar is an art installation by Martha Freud which has 198 small lights sat in ceramic cups that fade on and off spelling out famous cricket sayings. Also in Marylebone, AKA West End opened in October 2012 specialising in weekly and monthly stays for travellers looking for long stay comfort. The historic 1920s property has only nine contemporary residences with most of the studios and one-bedroom apartments occupying their own floor. The Mews House is the largest, spread over two floors with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study and private garage. All have bespoke furniture, gourmet www.britain-magazine.com
Places To Stay
Every detail here has been carefully chosen to highlight the best of British style
Top: Hix Belgravia restaurant. Above (left): Il Ristorante at the Bulgari Hotel; (right) the Vitality pool at the Corinthia London Hotel. Below (left): the colourful Drawing Rooms at the Ampersand Hotel ; (right) the Drawing Room at Dorset Square on the site of Thomas Lordâ€™s original cricket ground. Facing page: South Place Hotel
Places To Stay
kitchens and marble baths, plus complimentary wifi. Opening mid-December 2012, The Wellesley is a Knightsbridge townhouse hotel with a beautifully restored 1920s interior. The building was a musical venue so the legacy lives on in the Jazz Room, which will showcase up-and-coming jazz acts in an intimate atmosphere. The Cigar Lounge and private heated terrace features the UK’s largest bespoke humidor and a wide selection of cigars. There’s a cigar garden at Belgraves, a Thompson Hotel, as well as the Hix Belgravia restaurant by celebrated chef Mark Hix. From the welcoming fireplace in the lobby and the eclectic library to the handsomely-decorated guest rooms with palettes of natural grey tones and textures, this is a luxurious urban setting with a warm atmosphere.
It is the first time in 36 years that InterContinental has opened a new hotel in the capital Corinthia Hotel London has amongst the largest hotel rooms in town. This restored Victorian grand hotel is between Trafalgar Square and the River Thames with a spa, two world-class restaurants and Bassoon, the musically-inspired destination bar where the bar itself is a seven-metre-long working grand piano. The Lobby Lounge is perfect for afternoon tea and at the centre of the soaring dome is the ‘Full Moon’ chandelier created by Parisian designer Chafik Gasmi and produced by Baccarat. Silver dominates at Bulgari Hotel & Residences. This Italian luxury jewellery brand opened its first hotel in the UK in Knightsbridge in May 2012. It is the first brand new luxury hotel build project in the city for 40 years. The rooms feature exquisite detailing such as custom-made silk curtains with patterns inspired by some of the classic Bulgari jewellery designs, and bedside table lamps inspired by Bulgari’s silver candlesticks. The silver theme continues right through the hotel including two stunning solid silver Bulgari chandeliers in the Ballroom considered to be the most impressive ever made in England. No.11 Cadogan Gardens has a fascinating Victorian heritage having been built in the late 19th century as a private members club ‘home-from-home’ for aristocrats, politicians and celebrities. This Chelsea boutique hotel is now open to all as an urban hideaway with a distinctly eclectic style. Guest rooms feature ornate headboards, dramatic four-poster beds, decorative baroque chaise longues, spectacular Murano glass chandeliers and marble bathrooms. The Mirror Room bar has a mirrored ceiling and walls with a monochromatic chequered floor, and the Library features magnificent mahogany bookshelves with an array of classic leather-bound books and lush brocade upholstered armchairs and sofas. A roaring log fire completes the room’s cosy charm. The grand and historic Café Royal has been restored true to its original glamorous spirit and reopens as a luxury hotel at the end of 2012. There is a refined style that continues with the casual elegance of The Brasserie to the sophistication of the exquisitely restored Domino and Grill Rooms.
Also opening in late 2012, InterContinental Westminster injects a new lease of life into an historic former government building, Queen Anne’s Chambers, close to the Houses of Parliament. It will be the first time in 36 years that InterContinental has opened a new hotel in the Capital. The Foster & Partners designed ME London is another late 2012 offering, with balcony rooms and Thames and Theatreland views. The hotel is on the site of the former Gaitey Theatre, Strand Music Hall and Marconi House, where the BBC first broadcasted music, hence the 10th floor Radio rooftop bar with panoramic views. The one everyone is waiting for is The Shangri-La Hotel, opening in 2013 and located in the spire of one of the tallest buildings in Europe, The Shard. Occupying floors 34 to 52 of Renzo Piano’s iconic tower it will have the best views of London’s famous and impressive skyline.
Top: Belgraves bathroom. Above: Intercontinental Club Lounge
For more images and more information about each hotel featured here, please visit www.britain-magazine.com/latestlondon www.britain-magazine.com
Specialist providers of Self Catering
Your resource for customized travel within Scotland, England, Your resource for customized travel within Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland since 1995. We specialize in arranging Hotel Wales and Ireland since 1995. We specialize in arranging Hotel accommodation, from 3 to 5 star; Air & Cruise port transfers; accommodation, from 3 to 5 star; Air & Cruise port transfers; Transportation; Sightseeing tours; Attraction entrances; Theater Transportation; Sightseeing tours; Attraction entrances; Theater tickets; Golf and much more. Visit us on-line for ideas or tickets; Golf and much more. Visit us on-line for ideas or contact us by phone or E-mail with details of your dream contact us by phone or E-mail with details of your dream vacation and let Britain by Choice turn your dreams into reality. vacation and let Britain by Choice turn your dreams into reality.
COSY LIVING ROOMS
Call now for your FREE brochure
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Web: www.britainbychoice.com Web: www.britainbychoice.com Phone: 800 410 5110 Phone: 800 410 5110
01492 582 492
Affordable and comfortable selfcatering holiday apartments in a unique location in St. Katharine’s Marina adjacent to
Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
Sleep up to 6 persons. Weekly letting, linen, towels, washer/dryer, TV, telephone, broadband etc. EARLY BOOKING RECOMMENDED!! For more information, contact Tel: +44 (0) 1462 678037 • Fax: +44 (0) 1462 679639 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hamletuk.com
For the best, most economical services write to
Rates per person including cooked English breakfast & all taxes Single rooms from Twin / double rooms from Family (3 or 4) per person from
11 Crosbie Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9BG (B)
Low Season £46 to £55 £34 to £41 £32 to £40
High Season £55 to £75 £50 to £70 £38 to £48
A GOOD VALUE HOTEL IN CENTRAL LONDON
Lionheart Tours Feel & Be Safe DISCOVER
FREE VISITOR GUIDE 2013
Rural England at its best!
FREE VISITOR GUIDE 2013
Paul Treverton, retired “London Bobby” offers the best in custom made tours of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe, as well as the “Highlights of Britain” & “Highlights of Europe” & “Harry Potter” Tours. You will feel safe and be safe.
• Stunning views. • Vibrant market towns and villages. • Flavours to delight. All just waiting to be explored.
www.lionhearttours.com E-mail: email@example.com Telephone/Fax: 00-44-208-691-0997
discoversouthsomerset.com BM 0213
Tel: +44 (0) 1392 860807
155 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 2RY Tel: +44 (0)20 7724 2931 / +44 (0)20 7706 8153 Fax: +44 (0)20 7262 2278 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.albrohotel.co.uk Located near Hyde Park, public transport and convenient for sightseeing and shopping. Comfortable rooms all with TV, private facilities, tea / coffee maker, phone, radio and hairdryer. Friendly efficient service. Quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Some parking. Families and small groups welcome. Tours booked. Luggage storage. Free WiFi
money back guarantee
For a FREE brochure call 01935 462781
• Central, suburban and commuter areas • Edinburgh and other UK cities also
Albro House Hotel
Discover Your Ancestors Let our professional genealogists trace your family history nationally and internationally
in and around Snowdonia, Conwy, Anglesey, Llŷn Peninsula & Llandudno
BRITAIN’S CHOICE – take a tour and make the most of your holiday
Private Small Group Tours
England, Scotland and Ireland
Small group tourS
heart of england 5 days
corners of cornwall 7 days
Cruise along the River Thames through two traditional English Locks, visit Harry Potter film locations in Oxford and Lacock, explore quaint Cotswold villages, taste traditional craft ciders made using locally harvested fruit and dine on quality produce sourced from the best local suppliers.
Drive through Dartmoor National Park where wild ponies roam, visit Doc Martin’s Port Isaac, enjoy lunch at Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’, explore Britain’s maritime past in Falmouth and wander through Cornwall’s largest private botanical gardens accompanied by the Head Gardener.
Uk & eUrope sUmmer 2013 brochUre oUt now!
Project13 23/6/10 13:19 Page 1 Email: email@example.com Web: www.backroadstouring.co.uk
Experience up to 5,000 years of British history and culture including pre-history, castles, grand houses, battlefields, Roman Britain, architecture, industrial history, scenery, gardens, Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Cotswolds, Lake District, Whisky Tours and much more. Private tours arranged by an experienced and bonded tour guide, self-drive tours also available. Tel: +44 (0)141 638 5500 Website: www.catswhiskerstours.co.uk Blog: www.catswhiskerstours.com Direct e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Exclusive Tours of England in 2013...
Feb 2nd - 9th 4 Star London & ‘Downton’
Apr 5th - 15th Historic Royal Palaces & ‘Downton’
With a private visit to Highclere
With a night at Hever Castle
Sep 3rd - 15th Literary & T.V. England & ‘Downton’
Sep 20th - Oct 1st Royal Residences & ‘Downton’
With tickets to Hamlet in Stratford
With a night at Thornbury Castle
Tour DHTour DH
313-2289 Fairview St, Burlington, ON Canada L7R 2E3
1-888-597-3519 905-639-9954 email@example.com 313-2289 Fairview St, Burlington, ON L7R 2E3 www.dhgrouptours.com TICO # 50012768 London & U.K. Specialists
London & U.K. Specialists
Gardeners World Tours www.gardenersworldtours.com
Chelsea Flower Show and National Trust Gardens 21-31 May 2013 n h(AVE .ATIONAL 4RUST 0ASS WILL TRAVELv n SUPERB GARDENERS ITINERARY MAX PARTICIPANTS n $2559.00 air extra
Hampton Court Flower Show, Devon, Cornwall, Bath, Isle of Wight, 5â€“15 July 2013 â€“ $2599.00 air extra. %DEN 0ROJECT ,OST 'ARDENS OF (ELIGAN /SBORNE (OUSE (IGHGROVE MAYBE 2(3 7ISLEY +EW 'ARDENS
UNIQUE THEMED HISTORICAL TOURS Elizabeth I: The Child, Lover and Warrior Queen 3 nights Henry VIII: Defender of the Realm 5 nights Finding Henry VIII 7 nights Six Wives of One King 10 nights A Grand Day Out An active Tudor day for corporate or student groups
Cotswold Village Gardens/Antiques and Malvern Flower Show 21 Sept â€“ 01 Oct 2013 *OIN !,!.3 PERSONALISED MINI COACH TOUR STAYING IN THE 3AXON 6ILLAGE OF 7INCHCOMBE n $2289.00
A Royal Progress Tailor made itineraries for individuals or family groups
Fully guided small group tours for the enthusiast Conflict, Intrigue, Tempestuous love affairs and Majesty Journey with us to experience the sights, sounds, touch and taste of Tudor England
www. gardenersworldtours.com FOR MINI COACH ITINERARIES AND 3UMMER .EWSLETTER
Tudor History Tours Enterprise Centre Station Parade Eastbourne E Sussex BN21 1BD
or contact: s Karen@cwttravelsource.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel:+44 (0)1323 647006 E: email@example.com www.tudorhistorytours.com Photographer: John Freeman The Royal Collection ÂŠ 2009 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
#ARLSON 7AGONLIT 4RAVEL s 3OURCE 2%'