Page 1

BRITAIN The official magazine


jAnuARy/fEbRuARy 2013 £3.95

country cHArM Explore the British countryside from historic houses to fairytale forests

WIn a holiday

for two in Dartmoor

new series

WonDERfuL WEEkEnDs Discover the secrets of delightful Devon

Divorced beheaded survived…

The true story of Henry VIII’s wives

Behind the scenes at


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



St Michael of the Rock in Dartmoor





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.





the official magazine

divorcEd, bEHEadEd, SurvivEd

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:

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: North America: USA: Britain, PO Box 569, selmer, tn 38375, usa tel: 888 321 6378 (toll free) email: Canada: Britain, 1415 Janette avenue, Windsor, Ontario n8X 1Z1, Canada tel: 888 321 6378 (toll free) email: Australia and New Zealand: Britain, locked Bag 1239, north Melbourne, ViC 3051, australia. tel: 002 8877 0373 email:

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.


News distribution

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

ArGyLL p22

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.



LoNDoN p33 PArHAM HoUSE p6 SALcoMBE p58

4 britain



Cutty Sark


ROYA L G R E E N W I C H A Royal Borough on the banks of London’s river Thames, with outstanding historic landmarks and a rich maritime and royal history.

photos: Š MalcolM Mchugh/ alaMy/aMy laughinghouse

House for all

Parham House as seen from atop of the South Downs in West Sussex

Built Heritage

seasons Lady Emma Barnard

Parham House’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

Built Heritage



4 – 7 JULY 2013

For the latest event news follow us on Admission strictly by advance ticket only • 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

Built Heritage

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

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


Built Heritage

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 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 If calling Britain from overseas, dial your international code, then 44, and drop the first zero ●




...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.


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



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




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;

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.



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;


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.

michaelgrandage 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. 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; BRITAIN


Sightseeing Tour of London Sit back, relax and see all the sights




Enjoy the perfect introduction to London with our award-winning, open-top sightseeing tour. • 020 7233 9533



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;

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;



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;


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

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://

The RSC shop is also quite a child's treasure trove – we love this Matilda lunchbox (£10). 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 for family-friendly theatre news, offers and competitions. BRITAIN


the What to do ● Where to go ● What to buy

must-see musical

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;

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.

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: 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;

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 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. 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.

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

Scottish Highlands

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.

Scottish Highlands

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 or call +44 (0)24 776 71640 Bala Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Scottish Highlands

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

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

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

CIE_Brit_FebMar2013.indd 1

11/16/12 5:26:26 PM



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: FINAL Dunvegan A3 FV 2013.indd 1

26/9/12 09:38:08

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

28 britain

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: 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: e:

26/9/12 09:38:08

26/9/12 09:38:08 26/9/12


Scottish Highlands

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

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

Scottish Highlands

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 or

CJ_BritMag_Half_PgAd10-12_Layout 1 10/22/12 7:35 AM Page 1


Whisky Galore!

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

Viking Treasure

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 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 • 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.

britain 31

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


1992Tours Quality




Since 1992Tours 199 2 Quality Quality





Quality Tours



Quality Tours

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 +44 (0) 1334 657155 +44 (0)+44 1334 (0)657155 1334 657155

5020 5020



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





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


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

Coastal Resorts


Llyn Peninsula

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:


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




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 For more weird and wonderful facts about the London Underground visit

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. 020 7616 8595 |

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 Southwark #Lichtenstein Supported by the Lichtenstein exhibition Supporters group and the american Patrons of tate

Sponsored by

Supported by

Media partner

britain 39

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

Great Outdoors

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 view-page/item579221 or



BoRgeR dalR walk Borrowdale, Cumbria

The skyline of Bath, seen from Prior Park Landscape Garden



Great Outdoors

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, To view the full step-by-step guide and OS map grid reference, visit item463702/267102 or





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 To book call 0870 333 1187 or visit 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 • • 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


Great Outdoors

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. 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



Great Outdoors

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. alderleyedge bRitain



Woodland park at Dunham Massey Hall and Park, Altrincham Cheshire

photo: © Louise heusinkveLd/ALAmy

Great Outdoors

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 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 uk/visit/activities/ walking/view-page/ item581756 or visit dunhammassey

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

Visiting Shetland? Stay in your own personal lighthouse .....


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

Please present this advert for a 10% discount on admission (BRIT13)

britain 49



Highland Burns Bashes - February

The Nethybridge Hotel



PLUS Highland Banquet, Haggis Hurling and fun and games (Excludes Valentine’s Weekend)

+44(0)1479 821203


Highland Whisky Warmers


PLUS Whisky Reception with Piper and Ceilidh

Fort William

Winter Bubbly Breaks - February

The Alexandra Hotel


£85 +44(0)1397 702241



Fort William



£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

+44(0)1397 702331





£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

BritainMag3aOutlines.indd 1

50 britain

23/05/2012 10:00

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, 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

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

Tel no:


Terms and conditions apply. For full details go to 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 .




British Style

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



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: “Our 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.� We also offer vacation rentals in PARIS, ROME and NEW YORK - 54 britain



Page 1

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 Tel: 800-422-0799 or 213 629 1811 (USA) or +44 (0)1559 371600 (UK)

British Style

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

British Style

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


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





7-9 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2AJ Telephone (01722) 343700

CathedralCountryFileCopy(90x120mm).indd 1

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 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:

20/03/2012 08:19:09

britain 57


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



Wonderful Weekends

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

Wonderful Weekends

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



Wonderful Weekends



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., or curl up in wintry weather with a cup of something hot from the salcombe Coffee Company ( 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. 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. J The south sands boutique hotel has rooms from £150 in low season.

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. 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. 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.

 For an extended feature and more information please visit the BRITAIN website at

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: Web:

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

01392 439 000 or 01392 435 324 e: twitter: @SouthernhayHome

SH_Britain_202x129_Ad.indd 1

16/11/2012 12:34

britain 63

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’.


T: 0844 893 7938 W:

Bamburgh Castle Northumberland, England

Travel around England at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the flexibility this pass has to offer.

64 britain

LEXI PASS BRITRAIL F avel! gland train tr Unlimited En *


ct to *Prices subje


Registered Charity Number 1032491


Over To You

Your letters

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:

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.

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

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




Established 1777

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.

Reader Offer

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.

Honiton, Devon, EX14 3PG 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


66 britain

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’

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.


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

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

Tel: +44 (0)1926 492968 or visit our website: 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

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 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, dogs welcome NEW for 2012 - Coach and Car Park 01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple Coach and Car Park 01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple

01271 342528 4 miles from Barnstaple

01271 342528, 4 miles from Barnstaple

70 britain

Henry VIII’s Wives


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

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


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 Birmingham’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

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 quoting quoting code code BRIT1301 BRIT1301

britain 73

England’s sEcond city Birmingham is not on everyone’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 England’s second city is more sophisticated than ever WORDS lucy tomlinson




Birmingham’s distinctive Bullring shopping centre



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 – 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 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

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

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 Toll Free USA 800 511 7803


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!



Visit Ragley in Style Two affordable group options which are sure to make your visit even more enjoyable... Premium Package - ÂŁ30pp* #"#"# !# #  # # ! #"#!#"#  # #"!# "#"#" #! "!!#"#   #! "" #"#! #" ##!!#"#"#!#  !#"" ###! "!!


Standard Package - ÂŁ15pp* #"#"# !# #  # # ! #"#!#"#  # # "!#"#"#" #! "" #"#! #" ##!!#"#"#!#  !#""  -+!-!,.)*.'*%(.*."$..'+#,(.-', +#!%(+,.*..-.#*'',#).-).)+ ,.*. %!+#-)+*.- ,). %().,.',#,+,.-) !,-()..-(.'+*'.)*.+(+)

Alcester, Warwickshire B49 5NJ tel 01789 762090

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.





Join us at










britain 79 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:

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

Alfresco Dining

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: 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 or complete and return the coupon below

Winter Weekends 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

80 britain

T: 01823 272671 Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1NF

British Culture

Britain’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



This stall at Borough Market, London, sells an ever-changing array of cheese



British Culture


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

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



British Culture

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

Solent Sky Aviation Museum Albert Road South Southampton SO14 3FR 02380 635830


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 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.


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: 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: Web:

• • • • •

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: Fax: +44 1483 534781 34 Aldershot Road, Guildford GU2 8AF

86 britain

“Handmade in Hertfordshire, England” +44 (0) 1727 836454

Parkers Rent a Car




• 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:

Places To Stay

photo: corinthia hotel london

Corinthia Hotel London has some of the largest hotel rooms in town

London’S LaTeST Britain’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/ 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

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 Lord’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

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.




Call now for your FREE brochure Web: Web: 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

Independent Traveller

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London

Established 1980


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:


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)

0121 2464260

Low Season £46 to £55 £34 to £41 £32 to £40

High Season £55 to £75 £50 to £70 £38 to £48


Lionheart Tours Feel & Be Safe DISCOVER







Rural England at its best!


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. E-mail: Telephone/Fax: 00-44-208-691-0997 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: Website: 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

South Somerset


in and around Snowdonia, Conwy, Anglesey, Llŷn Peninsula & Llandudno

britain 91

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: Web:

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: Blog: Direct e-mail:

“Downton Abbey”

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 313-2289 Fairview St, Burlington, ON L7R 2E3 TICO # 50012768 London & U.K. Specialists

London & U.K. Specialists

Gardeners World Tours

Chelsea Flower Show and National Trust Gardens 21-31 May 2013 nh(AVE.ATIONAL4RUST0ASS WILLTRAVELvnSUPERB GARDENERSITINERARYMAXPARTICIPANTSn $2559.00 air extra

Hampton Court Flower Show, Devon, Cornwall, Bath, Isle of Wight, 5–15 July 2013 – $2599.00 air extra. %DEN0ROJECT,OST'ARDENSOF(ELIGAN /SBORNE(OUSE(IGHGROVEMAYBE  2(37ISLEY+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 – 01 Oct 2013 *OIN!,!.3PERSONALISEDMINI COACHTOUR STAYINGINTHE3AXON6ILLAGEOF 7INCHCOMBEn $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

See website


Tudor History Tours Enterprise Centre Station Parade Eastbourne E Sussex BN21 1BD

or contact:   s

Tel:+44 (0)1323 647006 E: Photographer: John Freeman The Royal Collection Š 2009 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II









Enjoy “Great British Railway Journeys� on a Railtrail quality escorted holiday. Roam by rail from scenic coastal branch lines to glorious Highlands. Experience amazing places, fascinating history and superb scenery. Discover even more with our “Heritage & Explorer� tours by train.



UK fares inclusive of ALL rail travel from your home or chosen station, ALL excursions and D, B & B at quality hotels. Railtrail Tours - marvellous value for money and a great way to explore Britain, Europe and worldwide.






To book space call Julian +44 (0)20 7901 10/07/2012 8013

RTL Britain Ad - Beautiful Britain by Train-Quarter Pg 10 July 2012.indd 1


BRITAIN’S CHOICE – discover fascinating heritage attractions


An unusually complete range of medieval buildings with a varied history of Norman Fortress, Fortified Palace, Administrative Centre and finally the romantic ruin it is today in the heart of Shropshire.

what will you


discover? Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Ripon, North Yorkshire


Castle House, the last grand mansion built in Ludlow, was sympathetically restored in 2006 and provides a number of 5* self catering apartments for 3, 4 and 7 night stays, Tea Rooms serving traditional English teas, together with fine function rooms for hire and an artist’s and jewellery-maker’s For further information and availability visit

See the first signs of spring emerging as you explore ancient abbey ruins, landscaped water gardens, and medieval parkland. Adult entry only £9.50 Under 5s and members go FREE Call 01765 608888, download our FREE App or visit

© National Trust Images Registered charity number 205846

Tel: 01584 874 465

Compton Verney Warwickshire’s award winning art gallery

You’re Invited

“Romantic Hever Castle is one of my favourite British landmarks” Dame Judi Dench

2013 season 23 March – 23 June 13 July – 22 September 13 July – 22 September 6 October – 15 December

Discover 700 years of history, romance and intrigue at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, set in magnificent award winning gardens

Tuesday – Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am – 5pm Compton Verney Warwickshire CV35 9HZ T. 01926 645 500

For further information call +44 (0)1732 865224

Hever, Nr. Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG

Bellini, Botticelli, Titian... 500 years of Italian Art Turner and Constable: sketching from nature. Works from the Tate collection Re-viewing the Landscape Curious Beasts Animal prints from the British Museum

Registered charity no. 1032478

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn

Coventry Cathedral _Layout 1 27/09/2012 13:46 Page 1

Chenies Manor House CHENIES, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE WD3 6ER T. 01494 762888 (M25 – Exit 18 – A404 towards Amersham)

Historic House & Gardens OPEN April to October inclusive

Open every Wednesday and Thursday & Bank Holiday Mondays 2-5pm

C15 Century Manor House with five acres enchanting gardens, Show Garden for Bloms Tulips & Festival of Dahlias from July onwards A favourite house of Queen Elizabeth I & Henry VIII (supposed to be haunted by the king) Delicious home made teas served in the Garden Room. Private Groups by appointment. Winner of the Historic Houses Association & Christies Garden of the Year Award

• Coventry Cathedral The nation’s favourite 20th century building • Exhibition and film on the thousand year history of Coventry’s three cathedrals from the 11th century to the present day

• Blitz Experience – experience life in the 1940s • St Michael’s Tower – the third tallest in England • An unrivalled collection of 1950s art including:

- Graham Sutherland’s Great Tapestry – the largest in the world - Britain’s greatest collection of modern stained glass - World centre for peace and reconciliation

• All within a short walk of the Cathedral are the Coventry Transport Museum; the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum; the medieval St. Mary’s Guildhall and Priory and the famous ‘Doom’ painting at Holy Trinity Church

Open Daily 10am-4pm (last admission); Sunday 12pm-3.30pm (last admission) Admission prices: Adult £8; concessions £5.75; Family £25 Daily guided Tours: 11am & 2pm (available April – September) 02476 521210 |

A Glorious Glorious Family Family Day Day Out Out A GRACEFUL COUNTRY HOUSE site r web u o e e ts s ll even u f r o f listing

GRACEFUL COUNTRY HOUSE GRACEFUL COUNTRY HOUSE GRACEFUL COUNTRY HOUSE MINIATURE RAILWAY MINIATURE RAILWAY MINIATURE RAILWAY MINIATURE RAILWAY CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND SPECIAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR SPECIAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR SPECIAL SPECIAL EVENTS EVENTS THROUGHOUT THROUGHOUT THE THE YEAR YEAR OPEN: 29th March – 29th September 2013 OPEN: 29th March 29th September 2013 OPEN: 29th –––29th September 2013 OPEN: 29th March 29th September 2013 Tuesdays toMarch Sundays, plus bank holidays Tuesdays to Sundays, plus bank holidays Tuesdays to Sundays, plus bank holidays Tuesdays to Sundays, plus bank holidays Open seven days in July & August Open seven days in July August Open days in Openseven seven days inJuly July&& &August August 11am - 5.30pm 11am 5.30pm 11am 5.30pm 11am 5.30pm (House opens 12 -noon for tours only) (House opens 12 noon for tours only) (House (Houseopens opens12 12noon noonfor fortours toursonly) only) Information Hotline: 0845 4504 068 Information Hotline: 0845 4504 068 Information Information Hotline: Hotline: 0845 0845 4504 4504 068 068

Newby Hall Newby Hall Newby Hall Newby Hall & Gardens & Gardens && Gardens Gardens


To book space call Julian +44 (0)20 7901 8013

BRITAIN’S CHOICE – favourite destinations to explore

20 minutes from Waterloo 20 MINUTES

F R O M W AT E R L O O Dine. Shop. Stay. Escape.

    

Village lanes & boutiques Pubs, restaurants & hotels Twickenham Stadium London Wetland Centre Kew Gardens, Richmond Park & Hampton Court Palace

Richmond upon Thames W W W. V I S I T R I C H M O N D . C O . U K

For your perfect getaway

What do you want from a getaway? To escape to a different world without having to go round it? To enjoy a choice of things to do, surrounded by beautiful scenery? To sail from coast to coast, or to explore on foot, at your own pace? To do all of this and more, and then to relax into our warm welcome?



With departure points across the UK, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get here. Make your escape at: escape

Morgan Group Visits Visits • Tailormade madeitineraries itineraries • Tailor MorganRomantic RomanticRoad Road packages packages • • Group

Morgan Romantic Road packages • Group Visits • Tailor made itineraries

   •         •           •     ••     •     •   •            • Forfurther further information information visit visit For

  •   •    •     For further information visit To book space call Julian on +44 (0)20 7901 8013

BRITAIN’S CHOICE – the best of Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle Bamburgh is a spectacular castle with fantastic views over the surrounding coastline and landward to the Cheviots. Enjoy 14 state rooms with over 3,000 pieces of armour, china, weapons, porcelain and works of art. Visit the Armstrong and Aviation Artefacts Museum, catching a glimpse into the inventive world of 1st Lord Armstrong and the legacy he left behind. The Stables Art Gallery houses an incredible collection of paintings by local artist Peter Phillips and the cafeteria offers a refreshing break from rampaging around grounds and battlements. Better yet, the castle is open all year. Tel: +44 (0) 1668 214 208

Northumberland Cheese Co

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

Lindisfarne Priory

An ideal destination for cheese lovers and those who can be enticed. Relax in a delightful Tea Room or book a tour around this working dairy. Tel: +44(0) 1670 789 798

A medieval castle, grand country hall and Grade 1 listed gardens, Belsay has all three. The magical Quarry Gardens are a must see. Tel: +44(0) 1661 881636

Original home to the famous Lindisfarne Gospels, come and explore their story and hear about the revered saints and violent Viking raids. Tel: +44(0) 1289 389200

Ford & Etal Estates

Roman Army Museum

Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum

Picturesque villages, stunning countryside, steam railway, unique 19th-century murals, working waterpowered cornmill, historic castle, famous Flodden battlefield, arts, crafts, tearooms, and more. Tel: +44(0) 1890 820338

Find out more about Hadrian and his multi-cultural soldiers. Watch our exclusive Edge of Empire film in stunning 3D and discover what life was really like on Rome’s most northern frontier. Tel: +44 (0) 1434 344 277

Vindolanda; the most exciting archaeological site on Hadrian’s Wall. 40+ years of active archaeology has brought this Roman frontier site and its people straight from the past right into the present. Tel: +44 (0) 1434 344 277

Hadrian’s Wall Spanning the width of the north of England not far from the Scottish Border, Hadrian’s Wall is an international World Heritage Site with 2,000 years of history. English Heritage has four Forts along the monument - Housesteads, Chesters and Birdoswald Roman Forts and Corbridge Roman Town. Uncover Roman life, epic history and stunning locations and step into the story of Roman Britain when you visit. Tel: +44(0) 870 333 1181

To book space call Julian on +44 (0)20 7901 8013

Britain’s Top Ten

10 Things...

about English words of yesteryear They may be totally obsolete, or the usage may have changed, but the fluidity and flavours of these old English words are as wonderful sounding now as they were practical in their day


Pearly pub gates

The names of British pubs are not all that they seem – certainly if you’re looking at the picture on the sign hanging outside them. The Hope and Anchor comes from the biblical text “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope”; The Cross Keys is the symbol of St Peter, the gatekeeper of heaven; and The Royal Oak commemorates the tree that hid Charles II from Oliver Cromwell’s forces after his defeat at Worcester.


Just look at the string of euphemisms for our trips to the loo. We go and ‘check the price of wheat in Chicago’ in Fife; ‘empty the teapot to make room for the next cup’ in Buckinghamshire; ‘see the vicar and book a seat for evensong’ on the Isle of Wight; ‘shake the dew from one’s orchid’ in Cumbria; ‘turn one’s bike round’ in Suffolk; ‘wring out one’s socks’ in Kent; and if you worked for the good-old BBC you might ‘see a friend off to the coast’!


Talking to the animals

Down on the farm, in former times, wonderfully masterful lingo was commonplace. In Lincolnshire ‘midda-whoy’ was an instruction to a horse to turn left. In Cheshire ‘rynt ye’ was uttered by milk maids. ‘Cheddy-yow’ could be heard in Yorkshire as farmers called their sheep, and in Northamptonshire the phrase ‘poa poa’ was used to call to turkeys.

Powdering one’s nose

Kicking the bucket

Euphemisms for dying include: ‘stick one’s spoon in the wall’ (British slang 1800s); ‘go west’ (Cockney Dialect); ‘go trumpetcleaning’ (late 19C: the trumpeter is the angel Gabriel); ‘drop one’s leaf’ ‘Empty the teapot’ is a Buckinghamshire euphemism for going to the loo (c1820); ‘take the everlasting knock’ (1889); and ‘faint away in this vale of tears’ Rhyming Slang (Brompton Cemetery, London 1896). Much of rhyming slang made famous by the Cockneys of East London simply rhymes but these expressions take it The hum of horses Exotic destinations further: ‘borrow and beg’ – an egg (the term The sounds of horses’ hoofs at a Colloquialisms involving ‘to go to’ enjoyed a fresh lease of life during the WWII canter were onomatopoeically have, over the years, not always food-rationing period); ‘army and navy’ – described as ‘butter and eggs’. If the animal meant straightforward travel. You could go to: gravy; and ‘didn’t ought’ – port (based on happened to be a clicker, that is, it caught its ‘Peckham’ (early 19C) to sit down to eat; ladies who, when offered ‘have another’, front hoofs on its rear ones when it was ‘Jericho’ (late 18C) to become drunk; or go to replied they ‘didn’t ought’). running, there were extra beats in the rhythm ‘Bath’ (mid 17C) to take up life as a beggar. and it went ‘hammer and pinchers’. A horse at a gallop went ‘pen and ink’. Sinistral From sheep to sow ‘Awk’ is an old English word dating In the Lincolnshire dialect they back to 1440 which means ‘with or marked out four distinct phases of Boris-noris from the left hand’ or clumsy, hence the word intoxication. A man was ‘sheep drunk’ when These rhyming compounds seem awkward. Somewhat unkindly, left-handed he was merry and easily handled; then ‘lion entirely self-explanatory. For example people have been variously described with old drunk’ when he was brave and boastful; ‘ape ‘nibby-gibby’ is Cornish for touch and go. phrases such as ‘molly-dukered’, ‘corrie-fisted’ drunk’ when he got up to silly, irresponsible ‘Winky-pinky’ is a Yorkshire nursery word for and ‘skerry-handit’ in Scotland, and ‘Cartricks, and finally ‘sow drunk’ when he fell to sleepy. In Scotland ‘hockerty-cockerty’ meant handed’, ‘cack-handed’ and ‘cowie-handed’ in the ground in an alcoholic stupor. to have one leg on each shoulder. ‘Inchythe North East. In Lancashire the phrases pinchy’ in Warwickshire meant the game of ‘kay-fisted’, ‘kibbo’, ‘key-pawed’, ‘highprogressive leapfrog. In Dorset the words  Adam Jacot de Boinod is the author of The ‘ammered’ and ‘caggy-ont’ were commonplace, Meaning of Tingo, published by Penguin Books and the ‘boris-noris’ meant reckless and ‘hozzy nozzy’ and ‘dolly-posh’ was used in Yorkshire. in and around Rutland meant not quite drunk. creator of the app Tingo, a quiz on interesting words.

3 4 98






phoTo: isTock


WORDS AdAm JAcot de Boinod


Luxury Leather Goods and Accessories Hand Crafted in the United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 8877 1616











Fashion heaven in London’s most fashionable street.



“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford” Samuel Johnson

A very warm welcome to our London special supplement – your guide to the world’s greatest city. There really is nowhere quite like this fabulous metropolis with its blend of old and new, the buzz of the city and the tranquility of its many open spaces. It is a unique destination for tourists and locals alike. And with more than 300 languages spoken in London, it is a fantastic place to travel to experience cultures and food from all over the world. There is always something new to see or do in London, but what makes it even more magnificent is


the number of historical sights, from the ‘must sees’ – such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Westminster Palace – to the hidden gems. We revisit some of our favourite attractions over the next 30 pages but also introduce you to the lesser-known from peaceful parks to cobbled streets and beautiful bookshops. We hope this supplement reminds you of the places you love and introduces you to some new delights too. Enjoy!

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, UK. Tel: (020) 7901 8000 Email:

Brought to you by




Editor Sam Pears Deputy Editor Jessica Tooze Senior Contributor Laura Porter Designer Rickardo Watkins Deputy Managing Director Steve Ross Managing Director Paul Dobson Printed in England by Wyndeham Heron, Maldon, Essex.

Production All Points Media © The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 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 and this supplement has been published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher or VisitBritain.








From the ancient walls of Londinium to the skyscrapers of today’s financial hub the City has been at the centre of London for 2,000 years.

Along with St John’s Wood this quaint corner of the capital has a distinctly villagey feel and a rock ‘n’ roll heritage.

31 BRITAIN’S CHOICE We pick some of our favourite shops and attractions across London, from well-known landmarks to hidden gems.


18 4



London’s most exclusive neighbourhood is not only home to The Queen, but to some of the finest shops, hotels and restaurants in the world.

The world’s greenest capital boasts 11 major parks, from Bushy Park near Hampton Court Palace to Regent’s Park in north-west London.




Prime Meridian Line of the World


ROYA L G R E E N W I C H A Royal Borough on the banks of London’s river Thames, with outstanding historic landmarks and a rich maritime and royal history.

The Square Mile

From the old walls of Roman londinium to the gilt and glass skyscraping office blocks of today’s financial hub, the city of london has remained at the centre of the capital for more than 2,000 years


London SPecial


St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London at dusk with the colourful EDF Energy London Eye to the left

London Special

photo: © nobleiMaGeS/alaMy

The City



e begin where it all began – the City and the site of the Roman settlement, evidence of which can still be seen today. In what is now London’s financial district, awash with suited City workers, there is an incredible contrast of architectural styles with Sir Christopher Wren’s churches in the shadows of glass high-rise office blocks. His most famous masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, has recently had its stonework cleaned inside and out so is looking its best. From One New Change, the shopping mall opposite, you can take the glass lift to the 6th floor roof terrace for excellent views of the cathedral’s dome. Further high-level views can be enjoyed from The Monument, although there are 311 steps to reach the observation deck. This Wren-designed Doric tower stands at 61m (202 ft) tall, which is the exact distance away from the spot where the Great Fire of London started in a Pudding Lane bakery in 1666. You can also visit the high walkways of Tower Bridge and it’s always a thrill to see the bridge lift for tall ships to pass. The Tower of London was Norman the Conqueror’s fortress from around 1100 and has been a royal palace, prison and even a zoo. The Yeoman Warders guard the


London SPecial


The City

photo: Š StelimageS/helloworld imageS/ eric NathaN/alamy

Left: Tower Bridge. Bottom left: The copper urn and viewing platform on top of the Monument in Pudding Lane. This page: The Tower of London

London Special


Tower, the home of the Crown Jewels, all day every day, yet it is said if the large black ravens that stalk the grounds ever leave, the monarchy will fall. More tradition and superstition rests on the 3,000-year-old London Stone on Cannon Street, which some say is a guardian of the City and others believe was even the stone from which King Arthur withdrew the legendary Excalibur sword. The Roman wall that surrounded Londinium can be seen near the Tower and gives its name to the street London Wall which leads to the Museum of London. This is the place to explore London’s history from prehistoric times to today, plus there is an excellent gift shop for interesting and unusual souvenir finds. Further Roman life can be seen at the capital’s only Roman amphitheatre, discovered under the Guildhall in 1988. Marked by a tiled circular line at ground level, under the Guildhall Art Gallery you can access some of the remains of this fourth-century sporting arena that was used for animal fights, public executions and gladiatorial combats, although professional gladiators would have made only rare appearances as shows were expensive to promote. The Gallery has portraits and London landscapes from the 17th century to the present day, including a wonderful collection of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces such as La Ghirlandata (1873) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). It is easy to try to lose yourself in the City as it has an array of twists and turns, down alleyways and through unexpected courtyards. But at not much larger than one mile square, you will never really be lost. There is a surprising amount of green space for such a densely built-up area and you can find many gardens and churchyards with benches for visitors to relax. Postman’s Park has the Watts Memorial wall of 1900, built of painted and glazed Doulton tiles, to commemorate the heroic acts of ‘everyday men and women’ who have given their lives attempting to save others, and who would otherwise be forgotten. As this is the banking centre, visit the Bank of England Museum for the story from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdom’s central bank. There’s a reconstruction of the bank’s 1793 Stock Office on its original site and you can even listen to extracts from The Wind in the Willows, the work of one of the Bank’s more creative employees, Kenneth Grahame, though the highlight for most people is the chance to lift a gold bar. Opposite at The Royal Exchange there was a trading centre for tea and coffee in the 17th century but it is now a place to dine and shop for luxury jewellery and accessories. The East India Company held tea auctions at Leadenhall Market but this wrought-iron and glass Victorian covered market is now a great place to have lunch. You can continue the tea theme at Twinings on The Strand, who have been there since 1717.


London SPecial


The City

This image: The Bank of England lit up at night. Right: Leadenhall Market in the City of London. Below: The Guildhall and the Guildhall Gallery. Below right: A statue of Queen Anne outside the front of St Paul’s Cathedral


PLAnninG yOuR viSiT St Paul’s Cathedral is open for sightseeing from Monday to Saturday, 8:30am to 4pm (last admission). Check the website before visiting as opening times may vary – www. The shops at One New Change open at 10am and close around 8pm; restaurants are open until 11pm. Check the website for more details – www. The Monument is open each winter from 1 October to 31 March from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Check the website for ticket price and summer opening hours – The Tower of London is open daily (except 24-26 Dec); we recommend you allow at least three hours to see everything – TowerOfLondon. The Museum of London is open daily (except 24-26 Dec) and it is free! Check opening times before your visit – The walkways at Tower Bridge are open from 9.30am to 5.30pm in the winter and until 6pm in the summer. Please check the website for details of the exhibition and bridge opening times – The Guildhall Art Gallery has varied opening times; admission to the Gallery’s permanent collection and the Roman Amphitheatre is free. Check the website for more details – www.cityoflondon. The Bank of England Museum is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm – education/Pages/museum. For opening times and more information about Leadenhall Market – Twinings shop at 216 Strand, London is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 7.30pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm –

London SPeCiAL


Photo: © DBURKe/alamy


Holidaying on a boat on Regent’s Canal in Little Venice St John’s Wood London SPecial

London Village Life

Marylebone & St John’s Wood

after the bustle of Oxford Street, london’s major shopping destination, explore this quaint corner of the capital with its distinctly villagey feel and a rock ‘n’ roll heritage London Special


PhotoS: © Mick Sinclair/GreG Balfour evanS/Marwood jenkinS/finnBarr weBSter/alaMy

St Mary’s church, Marylebone. Facing page, clockwise from top left: Harley Street; Lord’s cricket pavillion; Sherlock Holmes statue, Baker Street


London SPecial

London Village Life


photo: alamy

orth of the hustle and bustle of the shopping mecca Oxford Street, Marylebone Village’s heart is Marylebone High Street. It might be considerably shorter than its older sibling, but it still spans right up to St John’s Wood. The area was once centred on its cricket ground but in 1813 the Marylebone Cricket Club moved further north to what is now more commonly known as Lord’s and the MCC remains the guardian of both the laws and the spirit of cricket. Private medical offices are common around Harley Street and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had his ophthalmic practice in this area in 1891. But, as he wrote in his autobiography, not a single patient crossed his door so he had plenty of time for writing about Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street. The Sherlock Holmes Museum can be visited as the supposed home of the renowned detective and his assistant, Doctor John H Watson. St John’s Wood was once part of the Great Middlesex Forest and is one of the most expensive areas of London to buy property. Sir John Summerson, the architectural historian, wrote: “It was the first part of London, and indeed of any other town, to abandon the terrace house for the semi-detached villa – a revolution of striking significance and far-reaching effect”. Although many of the original houses and gardens are gone, much of the character of the area remains. The rock ‘n’ roll musical heritage is strong with The Rolling Stones referencing St John’s Wood in the 1965 song Play with Fire as Keith Richards lived there, and The Beatles immortalised a pedestrian crossing on their London Special


“Abbey Road” album cover in 1965. This crossing, near the Abbey Road Studios, is still in use today and patient drivers wait for fans to recreate photo opportunities. At the north end of Marylebone High Street the music continues with the Royal Academy of Music, which has exhibitions and daily concerts. Marylebone High Street is all about browsing in boutiques and independent stores such as Daunt Books, the travel book specialists, followed by a long relaxed lunch at an artisan patisserie or restaurant. Quality food is taken seriously and there’s a Sunday farmer’s market just off the High Street. Ginger Pig on Moxon Street sells meat, sausages and pies from their own livestock kept on the Yorkshire Moors, and also offer regular butchery classes. For more shopping opportunities, Alfies Antiques Market on Church Street has over one hundred antique dealers housed in a converted former department store with an Egyptian-inspired art deco facade and a rooftop café. Great for 20th-century retro items it’s always interesting to explore the many levels. When it’s time for art and culture go to The Wallace Collection, a free gallery in an historic 18th-century London townhouse displaying works by Titian, Velázquez and many more including the famous The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals. If the weather allows, you can relax on the benches in front of the gallery or at the Garden of Rest, off Marylebone High Street adjacent to Marylebone Church, where there are some interesting grave stones and memorials, including one to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Movement.

pLanning yOur viSiT Lord’s has tours of the grounds that run Monday to Friday at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 2pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Check the website for more information on the MCC, fixtures and tickets – The Sherlock Holmes Museum is open every day of the year (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm – The Royal Academy of Music museum is open 11.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 12pm to 4pm Saturday. For information on concerts and events check the ‘What’s On’ section of the website – Daunt Books has a number of stores across London so check the website for locations and opening hours – Ginger Pig has five London stores which are open Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 5:30pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am to 6:30pm and Saturday 9am to 5:30pm. Check the website for store locations – www.thegingerpig. Alfies Antiques Market is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm – The Wallace Collection is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm and is free to enter. Check the website for more details on the collection and events –


London SpeCiaL


photoS: Š alex Segre/oleg lytvynov/alamy

Village Life

Daunt Books. Facing page, clockwise from top right: One of the many artisan shops on Marylebone Lane; A display inside the Sherlock Holmes Museum; Coco Momo on Marylebone High Street London Special



London SPecial


Mayfair & St James’

Luxury Lifestyle

Band performing during the Changing of the Guard ceremony taking place in the courtyard of Buckingham palace London Special

photo: © VisitBritain/pawel liBera

parading its wealth and sophistication with understated elegance, london’s most exclusive district is not only home to The Queen, but to some of the finest shops, hotels and restaurants in the world


amed after the annual May Fair held here from 1686 to 1764, Mayfair is now mainly commercial with many offices, embassies and plenty of exclusive shopping, as well as London’s largest concentration of luxury hotels. St James’ is south of Mayfair and was developed after the Second World War from another predominantly residential area. Savile Row is known for gentlemen’s tailoring yet it was also the home of The Beatles’ record label – Apple – at number three and it was on this rooftop that they played their last ever live performance on 30 January 1969. If looking to shop here, Chester Barrie suits are 75 per cent hand-made, and they now even sell jeans. To complete the outfit wander over to Jermyn Street for John Lobb bootmakers who have men’s bespoke and ready-to-wear shoes. There are plenty of shirtmakers here too including Turnbull & Asser, which has one of Winston Churchill’s one-piece zip-up siren suits – that he liked to wear during air raids – kept in a cabinet in the basement. If you are looking for a hat, Lock & Co on St James’ Street is the oldest hat shop in the world and designer of the famous bowler hat. The floor-to-ceiling hat boxes are an impressive sight, as is the evidence of some of their famous customers including Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope and Larry Hagman, let alone the royalty who wear Lock’s headwear. Once the outfit is sorted, visit Berry Bros & Rudd, Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, established in the 17th century. Many customers have enjoyed weighing themselves on the huge scales including Lord Byron,


London SPecial


Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair. Facing page, clockwise from main: Aspinalls Gaming Club; Gieves & Hawkes, bespoke tailors in Savile Row; window display at James Lock & Co; fine aged bottles of wines in Berry Bros & Rudd cellars


Luxury Lifestyle


William Pitt the Younger and the Aga Khan. Then stop at J J Fox, the oldest cigar merchants in the world, and one of the few shops exempt from the smoking ban. In the shop’s museum you can see the chair Winston Churchill sat in when buying his cigars here. If all this seems rather masculine, Rigby & Peller is for the ladies and has been corsetiere to HM Queen Elizabeth II since 1960. And, as well as Cartier and Chanel on New Bond Street, Smythson is a strong reason to visit this luxury shopping heaven for its stationery and exquisite leather goods, which now come in striking colours. For fine foods and delicious teas the flagship store of The East India Company on Conduit Street is well worth a visit as is the imposing yet welcoming department store Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly. Browse at Burlington Arcade, the most famous of the covered shopping walkways in the area because of its Beadles – the frock-coated guards who keep a watchful eye to ensure standards are maintained – and visit Sotheby’s to view an auction preview, have tea in their café, or stay for an auction itself. Sir Christopher Wren’s St James’ Church has the outdoor Piccadilly Market with unique antiques and crafts on offer.


Above: Burlington Arcade. Top right: James J Fox Havana Cigar Shop in St James’s. Below right: Doorman at the Connaught Hotel

Go inside the church and you can see the organ that was bought from Whitehall Palace in 1691, the year the fire broke out and destroyed what was then the main residence of the English monarchs in London. Relax in Berkeley Square, originally a lush meadow on a bend of one of London’s now hidden rivers, the Tyburn, although you can still see this river running through the basement of Gray’s Antiques. The London Plane trees that were planted here in 1789 are reputedly the oldest trees in central London. Winston Churchill lived at number 48 as a child, and number 50 – occupied by Maggs Bros Ltd antiquarian booksellers – is reportedly the most haunted house in London. Over on the other side is Jack Barclay, the world’s oldest and largest Bentley dealership. Look on the side of the building to see the turntable for taking cars down to the lower level. The site of the annual ‘May Fair’, Shepherds Market has a still wealthy but less pompous feel with pretty, back-street outdoor dining and plenty of unusual shops including Tradition of London for toy soldiers, Nude Jewellery for handmade contemporary designs and Tanner Krolle for British-made leather luggage.

London SPecial


Luxury Lifestyle


PLANNING YOUR VISIT Chester Barrie is open weekdays from 10am to 6pm and Saturdays 11am to 6 pm – John Lobb London store is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm – Turnbull & Asser run an information on request policy and details can be found on their website – Lock & Co are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm and Saturday 9:30am to 5pm – Berry Bros & Rudd is open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm – J J Fox’s is open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:45pm and Saturdays from 9:30am to 5pm – www.jjfox. Rigby & Peller have a number of stores so check the website for locations and opening times – Smythson also have stores across London and the UK – The East India Company is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm Sunday – Fortnum & Mason’s Piccadilly store is

usually open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday 12pm to 6pm – Burlington Arcade is open Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday from 9am to 6.30pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm – Sotheby’s website has information on all aspects of the auction house – Gray’s Antiques opens Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and is closed on Sunday – www. Maggs Bros is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm – Jack Barclay showroom is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm – www.jackbarclay. Tradition of London is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm and Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm – Nude Jewellery is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm – Tanner Krolle is open Monday to Friday 10.30am to 6pm, and Saturday 11am to 5pm – LONDON SPECIAL


Primrose Hill & Regent’s Park

Photo: © ViSitBritain/Pawel liBera

the world’s greenest capital boasts 11 major parks, eight of which are royal Parks from Bushy and richmond to hyde and regent’s –it is easy to escape the hustle and bustle of london life


The spectacular view of London from Primrose Hill London SPecial

London Park Life

London Special



London SPecial

PhotoS: Š Sarah cuttle/the royal ParkS/JaSon cox/ GreG Balfour evanS/alamy/iStock

LONDON Village Park Life


ver a third of London is parkland making this the world’s greenest capital. Regent’s Park, including Primrose Hill, covers 197 hectares and is the largest grass area for sports in central London. You also don’t need to go far to find the largest of the Royal Parks in Richmond. The royal connections to Richmond Park probably go back further than any of the others, beginning with Edward (12721307), when the area was known as the Manor of Sheen. The name was changed during Henry VII’s reign. In the grounds of the Georgian mansion Pembroke Lodge, at the western edge of the park, you will fi nd King Henry’s Mound, named after Henry VIII and the highest point within the park. From the Mound there is a protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London, over 10 miles (16km) to the east, which was established in 1710. Regent’s Park, too, was once a hunting chase of Henry VIII who acquired it in 1538 during the dissolution of the monasteries. He enclosed this area of Middlesex Forest with a ditch and rampart, called it Marylebone Park and filled it with deer to entertain visiting dignitaries. After 100 years, the land was used for farming until the 19th

century when the Prince Regent (later King George IV) employed the architect John Nash to redesign the park. The original 1811 plans were to include a palace for the Prince Regent and villas for his entourage but this never happened as he moved to Buckingham Palace instead. But the processional route to St James’s Palace was built and is now Regent Street, although all the original buildings except All Souls Church have since been replaced. Queen Mary’s Gardens at the southern end of Regent’s Park were added in the 1930s and contain London’s largest collection of roses as well as the national collection of delphiniums and 9,000 begonias. These meticulously-tended gardens were enjoyed by Sylvia Plath who wrote poetry about ‘this wonderland / hedged in and evidently inviolate’, in 1960, when she was living in Primrose Hill. Plath lived on Chalcot Square in 1960-61 and at 23 Fitzroy Road in the winter of 1962-3, a former home of the Irish post W B Yeats who lived there in 1867-73.

Clockwise from above left: Enjoying the flowers in Regent’s Park; The Holme by the boating lake; deer in Richmond Park. Facing page: Pembroke Lodge LONDON SPECIAL


Plath had felt it would be a good omen but, sadly, it was where she died. Primrose Hill has a disproportionately large number of celebrity residents and the area has long attracted creative and media types due its bohemian café-culture lifestyle and many have used the area for inspiration. Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill are the setting for Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians and Pongo and Missus Pongo start the ‘Twilight Barking’ from the top of Primrose Hill, while Paul McCartney wrote The Fool on the Hill about a man who appeared next to him when he was walking there. Duelling at dawn and prize fighting were once the norm in the park but now you are more likely to meet dog walkers and others who come to admire the view. At the summit there is a paved area that is 78m (256 ft) above sea level with two protected London vistas of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). This tranquil location is the final Martian encampment in H G Wells’s apocalyptic War of the Worlds and the novel The Folk Who Live on the Hill by Kingsley Amis focuses upon the lives of the elite middleclass community in the area. In 2012, as part of the new design for the famous vantage point, a William Blake quote was added at the


summit: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill”. There is also a 2009 plaque, which honours Iolo Morganwg, the Welsh founder of bardic druids, noting: “This is the site of the first meeting of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain 22.6.1792”. Regent’s Park has London Zoo, its annual summer Open Air Theatre and the boating lake, while Primrose Hill has the shops, mostly lining the wide and curved Regent’s Park Road. It is a peaceful but grand London village of pastelcoloured, Victorian terraced houses and villas with cast iron railings and manicured window boxes. There isn’t a chain store in sight and there’s a community spirit still alive here; especially in retail expert Mary Portas’s Living and Giving Shop where the profits go to Save the Children. For antique and vintage treasures visit Judith Michael and Daughter where you may find shop signs, crockery, union flag cushions, furniture and jewellery. Graham and Green has great interior ideas and pH Factor has luxury toiletries and gifts. And once you’ve chosen some reading material at the Primrose Hill Bookshop you are spoilt for choice on where to stop for coffee and cake although most would recommend Lanka Patisserie which has a Japanese chef, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, creating traditional French cakes and desserts.

Above: A dusk view of the London skyline from Primrose Hill showing the BT tower and the London Eye. Right: Café in Primrose Hill

London SPecial

London Village Park Life

PHoToS: © gRegoRy WRona/ eRiC naTHan/aLaMy/vaLenTin CaSaRSa/iSToCk

PLanning yoUR viSiT London Zoo is open all year round (except for Christmas day) from 10am. To cater for seasonal animal habits the closing times vary and for more information check the ‘Plan your day’ section of the website – Judith Michael and Daughter is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 12pm to a relaxed 5’ish’pm – www. Graham and Green have stores across London – check the ‘Contact Us’ section on their website – www. pH Factor is a little mysterious about touting their wares so your best bet is to go and pay a visit in person, address and contact details can be found at – www. Primrose Hill Bookshop is open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Check the website for information – www. Lanka Patisserie has two branches, the Primrose Hill shop is open Tuesday

to Saturday from 9am to 5:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 5pm, and Finchley Road is open Monday to Saturday from 10:30am to 6:30pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm – www.lanka-uk. com. Pembroke Lodge is open from 10:00am to 5:30pm in the summer and 10:00am till dusk in the winter – London SPeCiaL


Gardens Festival

The London Borough of Richmond’s celebration of its gardens past, present and future. This Festival will explore the development of the English landscape garden through its exhibition Arcadian Vistas: Richmond’s Landscape Gardens, which runs from 4 May – 21 July and showcases works from the Richmond Borough Art Collection. Richmond upon Thames has over 160 local parks and gardens, many miles of towpath and more than 40 play areas. The Borough-wide festival will celebrate heritage, arts and horticultural history and will include exhibitions, arts events, talks, performances. Visit Richmond and explore a wealth of beautiful gardens and see how English Garden Landscape Design has evolved through time.

VisitRichmond, Surrey @ Visit_Richmond1

Kew Palace & Kew Gardens

Terrace Gardens York House & Garden Orleans House & Garden Diamond Jubilee Gardens

Richmond Hill

(Protected view since 1902)

Marble Hill House Ham House & Garden Radnor Gardens, Strawberry Hill & Garden

Hampton Court Palace & Gardens

W W W. V I S I T R I C H M O N D . C O . U K




Britain’s Choice

The briTaiN team share their favourite shops and attractions across london, from the well-known to hidden gems

For the child in all of us

A trip to Hope & Greenwood in Covent Garden or East Dulwich is a sugary delight. Full to bursting with traditional glass jars brimming with confectionary of every kind, favourite sweets of yesteryear can be rediscovered on its shelves. They have even invented some new candies, including Sugar Plums, Fizz! Bang! Wallops! and Gingerbread Humbugs. 020 8613 1777; www.

cutty Sark

Visit the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest of her time. She is now housed in an impressive glass structure well worth seeing.

book-loverS paradiSe While away an afternoon in this peaceful book shop, founded by John Sandoe in 1957, and owned by its knowledgeable staff since 1989. Set over three floors of an 18th-century building, it’s a treasure trove for book lovers. London Special


TRUE LUXURY Let yourself be transported to the wonderfully eccentric and indulgent world of Liberty, in the heart of London since 1875. WWW.LIBERTY.CO.UK




Britain’s Choice

KICK OFF YOUR HEELS French Sole’s iconic ballet flats come in a kaleidoscope of colours and styles that are much-loved by celebs and Chelsea girls alike. Founded in 1989 in London by Jane Winkworth, a new Covent Garden store is opening soon.

Inspirational space The Mall Galleries in central London has one of the best locations, just moments from Buckingham Palace. It has three main galleries spread over 500 square meters of exhibition space, a bookshop and a café, and it’s the home of the Federation of British Artists, a registered charity established in 1961. The Galleries have become one of the most exciting spaces in the capital and the exhibitions are constantly changing. 020 7930 6844;

FIT FOR A PRINCE Since its appointment as manufacturers of leather goods to The Prince of Wales in 1996 the Ettinger name has been associated with some of the UK’s most revered organisations. Founded by Gerry Ettinger in 1934, the company is still family owned and run by his elder son, Robert . They are one of the few remaining British luxury leather goods companies still manufacturing in the UK, hand crafting fine leather goods. We love this Bridle hide purse (£ 266).


Hundreds of exciting, interactive exhibits fill one of London’s most beautiful landmark buildings at the Natural History Museum. LONDON SPECIAL



Britain’s Choice

LAnES oF MAYFAiR in a pretty little warren of Mayfair cobbled streets a collection of major international brands and specialist independent retailers have set up shop. as well as antiques, fashion and jewellery, all centered around South Molton Street, you can visit William Blake’s house from where he wrote Tiger Tiger and Jerusalem. George Frideric Handel’s london house is also here, at 25 Brook Street, and is now a museum.

From linen to luxury In 1831 Benjamin Harvey opened a linen shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. The business passed on to Harvey’s daughter who went into partnership with Colonel Nichols, selling Oriental carpets, silks, and luxury goods alongside the linens. Today Harvey Nichols is a leading international luxury fashion destination, with global stores and a clientel that includes celebrities and royalty.


toP FaSHion FindS The trend-setting dover Street Market is a multilevel fashion retail store created by Rei Kawakubo of Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons, and arguably London’s best cutting-edge shopping destination.


Quite possibly our favourite place to shop, Fenwicks Bond Street has a new luxurious gleam but it hasn’t lost any of its style and charm.

London SPecial

Contemporary art by leading British artists

The Mall Galleries exhibits contemporary figurative art by living artists. The Mall Galleries in central London function not only as a venue, with three main galleries, a bookshop and a cafe, but also as the home of the Federation of British Artists, a registered charity established in 1961 | |+44 (0) 20 7930 6844 Mall Galleries, The Mall, near Trafalgar Square, London SW1


Luxury Leather Goods and Accessories Hand Crafted in the United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 8877 1616

January February BRITAIN 2013  

January February BRITAIN 2013

January February BRITAIN 2013  

January February BRITAIN 2013