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H O T EL & T R AV E L GUIDE

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H O T EL & T R AV EL GUIDE

A guide to the character and romantic charm of the British Isles featuring stories by leading travel writers and a directory of our luxury hotel collection WWW. B ESTLOVED. COM


cover images:

Thames

©VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

Yorkshire Dales

©VisitBritain / Lee Beel

Rhossili Bay

©VisitBritain / James McCormick

First Published 2016 Copyright © The Great British Hotel Company Ltd t/a Best Loved Hotels. Julian Ebbutt has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the Author of this Work. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, by photocopying or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage or retrieval systems, without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Published by The Great British Hotel Company Ltd t/a Best Loved Hotels, Sycamore Barn, The Village, Farnley Tyas HD4 6UD Designed, printed and bound by Riasca Enterprise Works, Long Lane, Honley, Holmfirth HD9 6EA ISBN 978-1-898889-98-4 Find us at bestlovedhotels on


w el c o m e

taking a br eak shouldn’t be a chore. That’s why we’ve done the legwork for you, travelling around the British Isles to handpick more than 190 of the best places to stay. So, if you want to escape the rat race, start relaxing right now by leafing through the pages of our 2017 Directory. Are you looking for a slick city pad, a cosy B&B or a grand rural retreat? Will you take a short trip or a leisurely holiday? Do you fancy wallowing in a spa or a refreshing yomp over the hills? Is it a special occasion or just a well-earned break? Questions questions – there’s much to consider. Yet, however you like to relax, you’ll find an idea to suit you and yours within these pages. And, if you have still to decide on your destination, we’ve got that covered, too. We asked some of the country’s top travel writers to bring us inspiring tales from the regions they know well and reveal their favourite things to do. At Best Loved, we have more than 20 years’ experience in creating great getaways to share. What’s more, all our recommended hotels provide outstanding hospitality, superb facilities and fine food. Save yourself a job, let us find you the perfect place to stay.

Julian Ebbutt, Managing Director, Best Loved Hotels

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J E R M Y N S T R E E T • OX F O R D S T R E E T • O L D B R OA D S T R E E T • C A N N O N S T R E E T WESTFIELD • MANCHESTER • EDINBURGH • LEEDS


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Give the GIFT OF T R AV E L Looking for the perfect gift? Best Loved gift vouchers are flexible so you decide when and where to travel. The vouchers work just like money – use them at the Best Loved hotel of your choice.

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left: National Football Museum

©National Football Museum

on the b all suzanne king

twelve yards from the Euro 96 goalposts, poised for my penalty shoot-out, I’m torn. Should I go left and low? Right and high? Neither, it seems. Instead, I stumble on the run-up, stub my toe on the ground and watch the ball slowly trickle off sideways. “Sorry, love,” says the attendant, “but I don’t think you’re going to be troubling the leader board!” This comes as no surprise to me: ball co-ordination skills have never been my strong suit. What is unexpected, though, is just how much fun I’m having at the National Football Museum in Manchester. I’m no football fan and had anticipated boredom in the face of football facts and fixtures. Instead, I find that I’m fascinated by displays highlighting interesting social history and entertaining anecdotes, with a generous helping of have-a-go games to boot. Originally opened at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground in 2001, the museum moved to its shiny new home in central Manchester in July 2012. Quite right, too. This is, after all, arguably the world’s most famous footballing city, a place that has lived and breathed the beautiful game since it was in its infancy. The Football League was formally founded here in 1888, followed by the Professional Footballers’ Association in 1907. Manchester is home to the two richest clubs in the Premier League and inextricably linked to some of the game’s

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biggest names and most colourful characters. Pick a local, any local, ask for a football anecdote and it’s a fairly safe bet they’ll have tales to tell about Best, Beckham, Balotelli… The world’s most legendary players are represented in the museum, from all-round heroes (Sir Bobby Charlton is museum president) to small, round villains (Diego Maradona’s shirt from the 1986 ‘Hand of God’ game is on display). But this isn’t just a gallery of fleet-footed all-stars; it’s a place that stirs emotions, too. There’s pride (the 1966 Jules Rimet World Cup trophy) and poignancy (a programme from Man United’s first match after the Munich air crash, with their team sheet left blank because so many players had been killed or injured that no one knew who’d be playing). There’s nostalgia (vintage arcade games), humour (lift ’n’ sniff dressing room seats that release the aromas of soap, Old Spice and half-time oranges), and even art (including a Picasso ceramic and LS Lowry painting). And, as it turns out, plenty more scope for humiliation. In a goal-keeping reactions test I frantically slap virtual footballs as they flash up at random on the wall, notching up 38 saves. “The average is about 30,” says guide Alan. Pause. “Then again, you had it set to Easy…”

above: Wasdale Valley,

Suzanne King is a travel writer based in the North-West who contributes regularly to a range of magazines, newspapers and websites, including Telegraph Travel and John Lewis Edition.

National Football Museum nationalfootballmuseum.com

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the Lake District

©VisitBritain/Joe Cornish

t h e fa c t s


©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

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below:

The Yorkshire Dales

bottom right:

York Minster

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

Stroll around the streets of p ort sunlight on the Wirral, a showcase of architectural styles, set in beautiful parkland, built by Viscount Leverhulme to provide homes for the workers in his soap factory. www.portsunlightvillage.com

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . . yor k m inster , the 12thcentury cathedral rivals Canterbury as Britain’s most iconic. www.yorkminster.org

Take the ferry a c ross the m ersey . See if you can cross, to or from Birkenhead, without humming the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit. www.merseyferries.co.uk Max the credit card in the shops of the vi c toria q uarter and discover why Leeds is known as the ‘London of the North’. www.v-q.co.uk Strictly fans can put themselves through their paces in the world-famous opulent ballroom at b la c k p ool to w er , which dates from 1894. www.theblackpooltower.com

Take a walk along hadrian ’ s w all . Designed to keep out

the barbarians, it provides an atmospheric 73-mile route between Wallsend in the east and Carlisle in the west. On w inder m ere , England’s largest natural lake, indulge in everything from watersports to drifting by the picturesque shoreline villages. www.visitcumbria.com and for so m ething different . . .

Be in the audience of a top TV show at Manchester’s m edia c ity . Countdown, The Sarah Millican Television Programme and The Voice are among the shows filmed at the Salford studios. www.mediacityuk.co.uk

Ride a gondola across c oniston w ater in the Lake District. This 19thcentury steam yacht, with its plush saloon, has been lovingly restored by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ steam-yacht-gondola Watch the wallabies at play at c urragh w ildlife par k on the Isle of Man, an exotic corner of the island that is also home to meerkats, red pandas, and flamingos. www.curraghswildlifepark.im Reach for the stars at j odrell b an k in Cheshire, where the world’s third-largest steerable radio telescope is trained on outer space. www.jodrellbank.net

Scramble along ho w stean at Nidderdale in Yorkshire. Thrill-seekers can go abseiling, canyoning, caving and high-wire walking at this spectacular limestone ravine. www.howstean.co.uk gorge

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1 PARK ROAD Bowness-on-Windemere, Cumbria

A P P L E BY MA N O R C OU NT RY H O U S E H O T EL Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria

An elegant boutique B&B near the shores of Windemere.

Total relaxation in the hidden beauty of Cumbria’s Eden Valley.

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T HE ASSHETON A R M S Downham, Lancashire

THE B L A CK S WA N AT O L D S T EA D Yorkshire

5-star Lancashire village inn with award winning food & picturesque Ribble Valley views.

Family run gourmet hideaway with Michelin-starred cuisine in the Yorkshire Moors.

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T HE BLACK SWAN H OTE L Helmsley, Yorkshire

THE B L U E L I O N East Witton, Yorkshire

A classic North Yorkshire coaching inn turned 4-star boutique hideaway.

An 18th century coaching inn located in the heart of Wensleydale.

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THE BURGOY NE H OTE L Richmond, Yorkshire

T H E CH ES T ER G RO S V EN O R Chester, Cheshire

Stay, relax & explore in the Yorkshire Dales’ stunning Swaledale.

A stylish, contemporary hotel with Michelin-starred dining in the heart of Chester.

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THE DEVONSH I R E A R M S Skipton, Yorkshire

T H E D EV O N S H I RE FEL L Skipton, Yorkshire

Luxurious country house & spa in the Yorkshire Dales with sublime 3 AA Rosette-winning food.

Cosy and stylish boutique country hotel with memorable Yorkshire Dales views and delectable cuisine.

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DOXFORD H A L L H OTE L & SPA Alnwick, Northumberland

ES H O T T H A L L Alnwick, Northumberland

Splendid Georgian country house set in glorious Northumbrian landscape with yew tree maze, 4 AA Red Stars and excellent 2 AA Rosette restaurant.

Imposing 17th century country house with an awardwining restaurant and beautiful gardens.

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T HE FEVERSHAM A R M S & VERBENA SPA Helmsley, Yorkshire

G U Y Z AN CE H A L L Morpeth, Northumberland

An historic and much beloved Yorkshire inn in charming Helmsley.

Exclusive use riverside Northumbrian country house & estate.

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HE ADLAM HALL C OU NTRY HOTEL & SPA Teesdale, Durham

HI L LTH WA I T E Windermere, Cumbria

Charming 17th century country house amid the beauty of Teesdale.

Panoramic views at this lovely hotel perched in three acres above Windermere.

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HOLBECK GHYLL H OTE L & SPA Windermere, Cumbria

HOTE L G O T H A M Manchester

A connoisseur’s luxury hotel with sensational views of Windermere.

Magnificent architecture, timeless décor & retro opulence at this Manchester urban hideaway.

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LAURA ASHL E Y TH E B E L SF I E L D Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria

L EAT H ES H EA D Borrowdale, Cumbria

Stunning ultra-stylish boutique hideaway on the shores of Windermere.

A luxury eleven bedroom Edwardian Country House Hotel, situated in the unspoilt Borrowdale Valley.

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MONK FRY STON HA L L H OTE L York, Yorkshire

T H E O L D CO A CH H O U S E Ripon, Yorkshire

A picturesque country house escape in the Vale of York.

A fabulous hidden gem of a B&B near the Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Moors.

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THE PHEA SA NT H OTE L AT H A R OM E Helmsley, Yorkshire

RED W O RT H H A L L H O T EL Redworth, Co Durham

A Yorkshire gem with amazing food: a picturepostcard ivy-clad country hotel overlooking the village duck pond.

A wonderful 4-star 17th century country house retreat in County Durham surrounded by gardens and woodland. B E ST L OV E D HOTE L & TR AV E L GU IDE 15


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R OCKLI FFE HALL Darlington, Co Durham

THE R O S E A N D CRO W N AT R OM A L D K I RK Barnard Castle, Co Durham

Luxury 5-star resort on the banks of the River Tees with three restaurants, championship golf and stateof-the-art spa.

18th century coaching inn deep in unspoilt Teesdale.

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R OTHAY MANOR Ambleside, Cumbria

R U D D I N G PA RK Harrogate, Yorkshire

A Regency country house on the edge of beautiful Ambleside.

Award-winning luxury hotel, spa and golf near the spa town of Harrogate.

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S A CO MAN CHEST E R P I C C A DI L LY Manchester

STONECRO S S MA N O R H O T EL Kendal, Cumbria

Stunning aparthotel just five minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Station.

Charming retreat near Kendal and the best of the Lake District.

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THE TALB OT H OTE L Malton, Yorkshire

T EMPL E S O W ERBY H O T EL Penrith, Cumbria

A beautifully restored Yorkshire country hotel with cookery school in a gourmet destination.

Timeless hospitality and fantastic food between the Lakes and the Pennines.

below:

Ashness Bridge, Cumbria © VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

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T HE TRADDOCK Settle, Yorkshire

THE WH I T E S WA N I N N Pickering, Yorkshire

Relax and recharge in a truly majestic Dales setting.

A charming 16th century coaching inn next to the spectacular Yorkshire Moors.

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Sheffield, Yorkshire

THE WI N D ERMERE S U I T ES Windermere, Cumbria

A graceful mansion and wooded estate in the heart of historic Yorkshire.

Luxury boutique guest house near the shores of Windermere.

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T HE WORDSWORTH H OTE L & SPA Grasmere, Cumbria Historic Grasmere riverside hotel with spa and great food.

V I S I T BES T L O V ED . CO M OR CA L L + 4 4 ( 0 ) 3 3 3 3 3 2 0 4 4 4 FOR FULL DETAILS AND PRICES

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left: Llanrwst, Conwy

WAL ES

©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

b rea k for the b order d av i d at k i n s o n

i’m pay ing my respects to the dead on the fringes of Chirk Castle. Having crested Offa’s Dyke and surveyed the land like a medieval king, I’ve descended via the soft-earth track towards the hamlet of Castle Mill. Now I’m asking for safe passage from the ancient spirits at the Gate of the Dead, a gnarled, 11thcentury oak tree, sugar-frosted on my winter jaunt. It feels like venturing into the lair of the White Witch. Offa’s Dyke Path on the English-Welsh border offers plenty of physical manifestations of Wales’s rich folkloric fabric. The eerie oak marks one of the bloodiest sites along the dyke where, according to legend, King Henry II led an army against the Welsh Princes to the 1165 Battle of Crogen. The dark, tangled forests of the Ceiriog Valley were the killing ground for one of the first battles of Welsh independence. I’ve come to hike a section of the long-distance walking trail between the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley. The path still clings to the original dyke, badgerburrowed and frost-eroded. The National Trails’ acorn symbols lead me along some of the best-preserved sections of the dyke, while buzzards, red kite and black grouse accompany my tramping. Walkers love Offa’s Dyke, but few know the legends surrounding the linear earthwork that forms its 82-mile-long

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backbone. Offa, the 8th-century King of Mercia, built the dyke as a Saxon statement of intent against rebellious Welsh tribes. The ditch and high earth ramparts subsequently ran with blood for three centuries of border skirmishes. The monk Asser, in his 10th-century “Life of Alfred”, first described how King Offa terrified the neighbouring chieftains with “…a great dyke built between Wales and Mercia from sea to sea”. Stories survive to this day of the devil preaching to monks along it, and the writer, George Borrow, described how any Welshman discovered east of the dyke would have his ears cut off. Midway along the trail at Knighton, home to today’s Offa’s Dyke Centre, legend says it was possible for a man to sell his wife at the town’s clocktower until the mid-19th century. My own linear walk is devoid of devil deals and spouseselling but it does build towards a dramatic crescendo at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct outside Llangollen. The white-knuckle above: Cable Car, walk across the threadlike path, some 127 feet above the River Llandudno Valley, canal boats within touching distance, is tense, but ©Pawel Libera Thomas Telford’s civil-engineering masterpiece is a sheer piece of theatre in this landscape. King Offa may be long gone but the path is still full of wonders. David Atkinson (www.atkinsondavid.com) is a Chester-based, award-winning travel writer and blogger. left: The Gower Peninsula ©VisitBritain/Britain on View

t h e fa c t s

Offa’s Dyke Path www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ offas-dyke-path


WAL ES

left: Conwy Castle ©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

below: Snowdonia National Park ©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

w ales c oast path , walk a section, such as the stretch through rural Ceredigion, for fresh coastal air and closeness to nature. www.walescoastpath.gov.uk

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

Cardiff ’s m illenniu m stadiu m , the home of Welsh sporting pride, where tours go behind the scenes of international fixtures. www.millenniumstadium.com The c astles

of

b eau m aris and c on w y ,

built around North Wales by Edward I in the 13th century, for living testaments to Wales’s rich history. www.cadw.gov.wales The sno w donia national par k for lush, widescreen scenery and mountain vistas. www.eryri-npa.gov.uk Swansea’s national

w aterfront m useu m ,

one of the new-generation museums that is great for hands-on history and a sense of cultural identity. www.museumwales.ac.uk

Sample some lo c al deli c a c ies , such as bara brith (fruit bread) or a bowl of cawl (lamb stew), from one of the many farmers’ markets. www.visitwales.com/things-todo/attractions/food-and-drink and for so m ething different …

Sing ‘Men of Harlech’ from the battlements of the town’s

fa m ous m edieval c astle ,

the English fort captured by Welsh leader Owain Glyn Dwr. cadw.gov.wales

See the Puffins at s k o m er island off the Pembrokeshire coast, the largest colony in southern Britain. Visit in spring to see the bluebells and pink campion in full bloom. www.visitpembrokeshire.com

Jump for joy on the network of subterranean trampolines, suspended in the depths of the lle c h w edd slate c averns near Blaenau Ffestiniog. www.llechweddslate-caverns.co.uk Don a hard hat and follow in the footsteps of generations of miners at the b ig p it national c oal m useu m

in Blaenavon. (And find out why the mine shaft has become the perfect place to mature cheese.) museum.wales/bigpit Cross the Menai Straits to anglesey to take a selfie with the sign for the Welsh town that claims Europe’s longest place name – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Catch the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in llan w rtyd w ells , the swimming race through the stinking black waters of a peat bog that’s held each August. www.green-events


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T HE I MPERI AL HO TE L Llandudno, Conwy

L A KE V YRN W Y H O T EL & S PA Llanwddyn, Powys

Stunning seafront location, traditional with a contemporary twist.

4-star country house with undoubtedly one of the finest views in Mid Wales.

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M ILEBROOK HOU SE HOTE L Knighton, Powys

NA NTE O S MA N S I O N Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Relaxation, excellent cooking and natural beauty in the Welsh Marches.

History, elegance and romance at this stunning Welsh country house.

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T HE QUAY HOTEL & SPA Conwy

SA C O CA RD I F F Cardiff

Contemporary waterside luxury in the shadow of medieval Conwy Castle.

Spacious serviced apartments in a beautifully converted Victorian property, only a ten minute walk from Cardiff city centre.

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ST BRI DES SPA H OTE L Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

T REF ED D I A N H O T EL Aberdovey, Gwynedd

Beautiful Pembrokeshire sea views and highly acclaimed spa.

A traditional beachfront hotel on the edge of Snowdonia.

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WARPOOL C OU RT HOTE L St Davids, Pembrokeshire Beautiful sea views on the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast.

V I S I T BES T L O V ED . CO M O R CA L L + 4 4 ( 0 ) 3 3 3 3 3 2 0 4 4 4 FOR FULL DETAILS AND PRICES ON ANY HOT EL

below: Rhossili Bay

©VisitBritain/James McCormick

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Always more to discover

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left: Ironbridge

©VisitBritain/Pawel Libera

the iron age harriet o’brien

“t hat, ” said Thomas, “was scary but it was weirdly fun.” We’ve just filed out of a lesson in a Victorian schoolhouse, complete with long benches, slates to write on, a large blackboard and a terrifying schoolmaster with a black cape, a mortar board and a stern expression. Thomas, aged 12, had acquitted himself well, putting up his hand to reply to a question and then eliciting gruff approval from the frightening teacher; “an intelligent answer, young man,” he had commented. We are at Blists Hill, a 50-acre open-air museum at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, one of 10 museums exploring the area’s pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution. It’s a wonderfully devised celebration of the era and life in an ironmanufacturing town in about 1900. Alongside the remains of original blast furnaces on the site, built in the 1830s and in operation until 1912, Victorian streets have been created with rescued buildings. A post office, a grocer’s, a print workshop and a church are among the many properties painstakingly reconstructed here. This latter-day community is populated with actors in character role – the schoolmaster, as well as musical hall-style entertainers in the New Inn pub on the day I visited – and also by staff in Victorian attire who demonstrate crafts such as woodturning and candle-making and talk you through

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how people actually lived. They don’t bombard you with information; instead, you chat and your interest develops as details unfold, that’s part of the huge appeal of the place. You go shopping, too. A Victorian bank by the entrance will change your money into farthings (10p), ha’pennies (20p) and more – all specially minted in Birmingham – and you use the coins to buy treats from the sweet shop, candles, handprinted postcards (a bargain at 1d/40p) and other goods. You learn, too, how Ironbridge is named after the firstever such construction, built across the Severn Gorge in 1779. And you glean an overview of the remarkable geology here – notably, seams of coal, limestone and iron ore – which attracted Abraham Darby to start making iron at Coalbrookdale near Blists Hill in 1708. And so the Industrial Revolution began. After our lesson at the schoolhouse, Thomas wanders over to the fairground opposite to try his hand at the coconut shy, while I make my way to see what’s on the baker’s shelves. There are many lessons to learn about the past at Blists Hill. Harriet O’Brien is an award-winning journalist and author who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

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t h e fa c t s

Blists Hill www.ironbridge.org.uk

above: Radcliffe

Camera, Oxford

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

below: Peverill Castle, Derbyshire ©VisitBritain/Tony Pleavin


TH E H EART OF ENGL AND left: The Peak District

©VisitBritain/Daniel Bosworth

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . . b lenhei m pala c e , in

Oxfordshire, is a brilliant, Baroque extravaganza built for the Duke of Marlborough – and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. www.blenheimpalace.com c hats w orth , the

Derbyshire seat of the Duke of Devonshire, is one of England’s most Arcadian stately homes. www.chatsworth.org

Take a walk in the southern hills of the p ea k distri c t . Try the Limestone Way from Middleton, or, south of Warslow, Ecton Hill and Thor’s Cave. www.peakdistrict.gov.uk Watch a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in stratford - u p on - avon , the Warwickshire town where the Bard was born. www.rsc.org.uk Browse the state-of-the-art visitor centre at w orld of w edg w ood at Barlaston. You can tour the Staffordshire works and view exquisite pieces from the 18th century, too. www.worldofwedgwood.com

Go on the trail of Herefordshire’s b la c k and w hite villages , a 40-mile self-guided tour of pretty market towns with eyecatching timbered houses. www.blackandwhitetrail.org and for so m ething different . . .

Visit the historic streets of the j e w ellery q uarter of Birmingham, where craftspeople have put their skills to use on precious metals for more than two centuries. jewelleryquarter.net See a show at the theatre

of s m all c onvenien c e

in Malvern, Worcestershire. Set in a Victorian men’s toilet, this is the smallest commercial theatre building in the world. www.wctheatre.co.uk below: Stokesay, Shropshire ©VisitBritain/Britain on View

Blast off at the national in Leicester and take an interactive journey through the universe, including a 3D simulated rocket launch. www.spacecentre.co.uk s pa c e c entre

Stand in the shade of the Major Oak of sher w ood forest , said to be the hideout of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Its crooked branches spread to more than 92ft and its trunk has a 33ft girth. www. experiencenottinghamshire.com Shin Kicking and Tug O’ War are two of the hotly contested events in the oli m p i c k ga m es , held each summer near Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. www.olimpickgames.co.uk Well-dressing – decorating old wells with art made from natural materials – is a curious tradition that takes place across the Midlands. Head to tissington in Derbyshire in May for the blessing of its wells, dating from the 14th century. www.tissingtonhall.co.uk


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T HE BAY TREE HOTE L Burford, Oxfordshire

THE B RO A D WAY H O T EL Broadway, Worcestershire

Charming Burford inn welcoming visitors since 1565.

A delightful & historic escape in Broadway, “Jewel of the Cotswolds”.

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CALCOT MANOR Tetbury, Gloucestershire

THE C A S T L E H O T EL Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire

Luxurious country house spa hotel set in over 220 acres of classic Cotswolds meadowland.

Open fires, real ales and good food in the beautiful South Shropshire Hills.

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CASTLE HOUSE Hereford, Herefordshire

C AVE N D I S H H O T EL Peak District, Derbyshire

Elegant boutique townhouse hotel in the heart of this ancient city with a highly-acclaimed restaurant.

One of the treasures of the Chatsworth estate in the heart of the Peak District.

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CHASE HOTE L Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

CO T S W O L D H O U S E H O T EL & S PA Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

A charming Georgian manor & 11 acre estate in the Wye Valley.

Tranquillity, comfort, exceptional food & a stunning spa in the Cotswolds.

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THE COTS W OL D P L OU G H H OTE L & RESTAU R A NT Clanfield, Oxfordshire

T H E D EV O N S H I RE A RMS AT BEEL EY Matlock, Derbyshire

Stylish yet informal country house set in a quaint Oxfordshire village. Fine food and the Gin Pantry has hundreds of gins on offer.

Picturesque 4 star inn with award-winning food on the Chatsworth estate.

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THE DEVONSH I R E A R M S AT PI LSLE Y Derbyshire

D I A L H O U S E H O T EL Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire

Traditional inn with great food and cask ales on the Chatsworth Estate.

A delightful country hotel hideaway in Bourton-onthe-Water, one of the Cotswold’s prettiest villages. B E ST L OV E D HOTE L & TR AV E L GU IDE 33


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T HE FEATHERS Woodstock, Oxfordshire

F I SH MO RE H A L L Ludlow, Shropshire

Stylish & luxurious townhouse on the doorstep of Blenheim Palace.

Beautifully restored Georgian house with wonderful new spa and stunning views over Ludlow & the Shropshire countryside.

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K ILWORTH HOUSE H OTE L & THEATRE North Kilworth, Leicestershire

L OR DS O F T H E MA N O R Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire

Stunning Victorian country house in Leicestershire with acclaimed theatre. 4 AA Red Stars and 2 Rosettes for the excellent restaurant.

An effortlessly luxurious Cotswolds country manor awarded 4 AA Red Stars with Michelin-starred and 3 Rosettes cuisine restaurant.

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T HE MAN OR AT WESTON - ON - THE- G R E E N Oxfordshire

M A NO R H O U S E H O T EL Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Beautifully appointed country house hotel in a delightful Oxfordshire village.

Enchanting 4-star Cotswolds coaching inn with relaxed country house atmosphere in the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh.

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THE MAYN A R D Derbyshire

MI L L H O U S E H O T EL Kingham, Gloucestershire

Chic Victorian country hotel in the heart of the Peak District.

Elegant family owned Cotswolds retreat in a converted flour mill with 40 acres of lawned gardens to explore.

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NEW BATH H OTE L & SPA Matlock, Derbyshire

T H E N EW I N N Coln St Aldwyns, Gloucestershire

4-star boutique hotel and spa with stunning views of the Derbyshire countryside.

A traditional yet stylish Cotswolds country inn with excellent food and a top selection of ales, ciders and lagers in the bar.

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N O. 38 TH E PA R K Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

PEN - Y- D YF F RYN CO U N T RY H O T EL Oswestry, Shropshire

Stylish boutique B&B set in a stunning Georgian townhouse in Regency Cheltenham.

A spectacular setting at this idyllic country retreat between Shrewsbury and Chester.

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T HE RAVEN HOTE L & R E STA U R A NT Much Wenlock, Shropshire

R E DE S D A L E A RMS Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Much praised in Much Wenlock – an idyllic Shropshire gourmet destination.

A haven of quaint charm in the magical Cotswolds.

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S A CO BI RMI NGHAM Birmingham

SA C O N O T T I N G H A M Nottingham

Stylish aparthotel located in canalside Brindleyplace. Most apartments enjoy terraces and amazing views across the Birmingham skyline.

One and two bedroom serviced apartments located in a peaceful residential area, but only a short walk from the city centre.

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S O ULTON HALL Shrewsbury, Shropshire

STONEH O U S E CO U RT H O T EL Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

A stately bolt-hole amidst the rolling Shropshire Hills.

17th century manor house in stunning grounds overlooking the Stroud Valley.

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TEWKESB U RY PA R K H OTE L Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

T H E W H EAT S H EA F I N N Northleach, Gloucestershire

Family-owned country house with glorious 360o degree views over the Severn Valley, Cotswolds and Gloucestershire Hills with golf, indoor pool, gym, spa & outdoor hot tub.

Delightfully stylish traditional Cotswolds coaching inn and gastropub located in the market town of Northleach.

below: The Cotswolds

©VisitBritain/Tony Pleavin

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Give the GIFT OF T R AV E L Looking for the perfect gift? Best Loved gift vouchers are flexible so you decide when and where to travel. The vouchers work just like money – use them at the Best Loved hotel of your choice.

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previous page:

Southwold Beach

©VisitBritain/Rod Edward

left: Thurne Dyke, The Norfolk Broads

©VisitBritain/Rod Edward

s w allo w s and a m a z ons sophie butler

“ f ol l ow t he w it hie s, ” advises Henry, as I tug on the wooden tiller of his clinker-built, 1950s crab boat My Girls with trepidation, watching the narrow, marshy creek zig-zag before her prow. “Swallows and Amazons, remember? Secret Water? Withies are the sticks that mark the channel, so you know where it is at high tide,” he explains. I spot them, a reassuring line of thin willows, standing upright above swirling eddies of muddy water, steadfastly marking the deep water and our safe passage. It’s early on a cloud-scudding Sunday morning and we (skipper, Henry Chamberlain, plus Ed, his crew, and me) are navigating our way along East Fleet Creek on the North Norfolk coast with the wind filling the lug-rigged, browncanvas sail. We are barely 10 minutes into our voyage from the small port of Wells-next-the-Sea, and already we are plunged into a saltmarsh wilderness of dark mud banks flecked with purple lavender. Nothing breaks the silence except the lazy flap of the sail and the startled seabirds flying up from the low-lying scrub and gorse as we pass. We drop anchor to brew coffee and lean out of the boat to gather handfuls of succulent, emerald-green samphire for cooking later. It will be lightly steamed, we decide, served with

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melted butter and tiny, flavoursome cockles (the local “Stewkey Blues”), which we forage from the exposed sand beds. Henry points out the hidden landmarks as we go, Gun Barrel Creek, Devil’s Pool and further ahead, Cabbage Creek, where we must cross submerged banks to reach the sea. The tide is ebbing fast and there’s a moment of uncertainty despite the boat’s shallow draft, which is purpose-built for these unpredictable waters. She grounds with a lurch and Ed has to jump out to give her a helping shove. Twisting slowly, she heaves away from the sand with a slithering tummy roll. In open water, we battle against the tide and the wind. There’s a powerful swell and hopes of mackerel fishing are dashed. Henry uses his Royal Marine training combined with local knowledge to manoeuvre the boat starboard onto the waves, minimising the drenching impact of the water. We skirt East Hills and approach the entrance to the harbour. Brightly coloured beach huts come into view and the water calms. At our mooring and sheltered by a canvas awning, we dry out after our adventure and agree that a cooked breakfast has never tasted so good. Sophie Butler is a travel writer who specialises in consumer affairs and is a regular contributor to Telegraph Travel. She has lived in East Anglia for more than two decades. 4 2 WWW.BE STLOVE D .C O M

above: Thetford Forest,

which straddles Norfolk and Suffolk

©VisitBritain/Rod Edward

t h e fa c t s

Coastal Exploration Company coastalexplorationcompany.co.uk


TH E EAST OF ENGL AND

right: Holkham

Beach, Norfolk

©VisitBritain/Rod Edward

Ride a steam train on the

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

Tour the east anglia c oast from Southwold to Aldeburgh in Suffolk to Cromer and Wells-nextthe-sea in Norfolk. www.visiteastofengland.com hol k ha m and

sandringha m , Norfolk’s

grand country estate houses, have lavish interiors and vast deer parks. www.holkham.co.uk, www.sandringhamestate.co.uk Get a head for heights on a tour of the roof and tower at lin c oln c athedral of st m ary .

www.lincolncathedral.com At sutton hoo in Suffolk a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon burial site was discovered in the 1930s. www.nationaltrust. org.uk/suttonhoo See c a m b ridge b y p unt . Drift along the “backs” for the best views of the colleges. www.visitcambridge.org

nene valley railw ay

from the cathedral city of Peterborough along the original London and North Western line. www.nvr.org.uk

In c onsta b le c ountry , pick out the scenes made famous by the 18th-century landscape painter on the Suffolk and Essex border. www.visitessex.com and for so m ething different . . .

Book a private audience with some cute feathered friends at ha p p is b urgh o w ls , North Walsham, Norfolk. www.happisburghowls.com Take a stroll through the gorse and heather of dun w i c h heath and Beach in Suffolk, passing by the tiny village of Dunwich – once a lively city of 4,000 souls. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Admire the talent of Grayson Perry, expressed in ‘a house for esse x ’, a structural work of art located in the village of Wrabness – it even comes with a fictional back story. www.living-architecture.co.uk Pay a visit to the new

national heritage

for Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House in Newmarket, to find out how racehorses are retrained. www.palacehousenewmarket. co.uk c entre

Follow in the footsteps of the poet Tennyson, ticking off significant sites such as grun b y hall (his “haunt of ancient peace”) on the trail around his home county. www.visitlincolnshire.com below: Aldeburgh, Suffolk ©VisitBritain/Rod Edward/ Choose Suffolk

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B R AN STON HALL HOTE L Branston, Lincolnshire

C ONG H A M H A L L Kings Lynn, Norfolk

An ideal country house escape in Lincolnshire.

A fantastic Norfolk country house hotel with a fabulous spa.

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T HE CROSS KEYS Saffron Walden, Essex

THE G LO BE I N N Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

History meets contemporary design at this charming boutique inn.

Stylish inn and fantastic restaurant in the delightful North Norfolk town of Wells-next-the-Sea.

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L INDEN HOUSE Stansted, Essex

M A I SO N TA L BO O T H Colchester, Essex

Five star boutique rooms, bar and dining in a historic Essex village.

Luxurious country house overlooking Dedham Vale with an impressive day spa.

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MI LSOMS KE SG R AVE H A L L Ipswich, Suffolk

PET W O O D H O T EL Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

A chic and stylish 4-star country house in a 38 acre Suffolk estate.

A quintessentially English historic country house in Lincolnshire.

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ROSLI N B E A C H H OTE L Southend-on-Sea, Essex

WA S H I N G BO RO U G H H A L L Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Coastal chic in a classic English seaside resort.

Beautiful Georgian manor in a village near the centre of historic Lincoln.

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WI VEN HO E HOU SE Colchester, Essex 4-star luxurious 18th century house in lovely parkland near Colchester.

V I S I T BES T L O V ED . CO M O R CA L L + 4 4 ( 0 ) 3 3 3 3 3 2 0 4 4 4 FOR FULL DETAILS AND PRICES ON ANY HOT EL

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His palms shape fortune He knows American oak from European by touch. He’s not superman. But he has been reviving bourbon barrels and sherry butts for over half his life. This wood is what slowly breathes character into The Balvenie. That’s how important it is. So day after day is spent caring for the casks that control time. Hammering and punching to repair: charring and burning to rejuvenate. It took years working out how everything goes together. But now he knows what holds the future. R ichaRd a ndeRson , c oope R

foR

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yeaRs.

handcRafting the futuRe

Ask for The Balvenie at the bar


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Studio 20, Universal Marina, Crableck Lane, Sarisbury Green, Southampton SO31 7ZN

THE WEST C O U N T RY

t: 023 8098 3870 e: mark@mrb-creative.co.uk w: www.mrb-creative.co.uk Project:

Best Loved Hotels

Brand:

Balvenie

Job description:

DoubleWood12

Finished size:

246mm (h) 168mm (w)

Our ref:

6941

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L. Hitzeroth

30/9/2015

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Coasteering in Dorest ©Land and Wave

j urassi c par k sarah baxter

Bo o o o o o o of! As the wave hits, I spin and splutter. Fingers of freezing water sneak beneath my rubber armour. Blinking through the white-frothed blue, I see an even bigger swell bearing down, about to deliver another salty slap. Here it comes... Boooooooooooooooooof ! I’d always been unsure about coasteering – the sport of exploring rocky shores by clambering, swimming and jumping over, round and off them. It sounded a bit extreme: get kitted up in wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy vest to shimmy along clifffaces, leap off rocks, and bob about in chilly waves. But after a morning playing in Dorset’s wind-whipped seas, I’m completely converted. It’s not just that it’s so much fun, it also turns out to be one of the best ways of exploring the UK’s most fascinating stretch of shore. The Unesco-listed Jurassic Coast, which stretches from Exmouth in east Devon to Old Harry Rocks, near Poole in Dorset, lays bare 185 million years of geology, layered like a super-size Viennetta. Coasteering here means you can get intimate with all that ancient earth-making in the most thrilling way. When conditions are right, you can even leap off Durdle Door – a three-metre-high rock stack on the limestone arch’s outer edge – for the ultimate photogenic jump.

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Coasteering is extremely safe, I’m assured by my instructor, Dan, during a pre-dunk briefing on the cliff-top. Once I’m swaddled in the right gear, Dan teaches me the necessary hand signals, so that I can communicate in the water; two bangs on top of my helmet means I’m OK, one arm held up in the air means I am not. Indeed, coasteering is, says Dan, doable by almost anyone with a sense of adventure. Sessions are tailored to participants’ gung-ho levels; he’s led groups of people aged from eight to 80. Still, I am nervous when I first crunch across the shingle of Man O’ War Bay and wade out into the water. Dan and I head for a rock ridge, buffeted by breakers all the way. Reaching the rock, I haul up and scramble across its geologic flakes, timing my moves so that I don’t get thwacked by an incoming wave. From my offshore perch, I look back to land. I can see the strata of ages – Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous – striped across the cliffs. It’s fascinating, but here comes another wave to toss me into the sea… Boooooooof ! Sarah Baxter (sarahbtravel.wordpress.com) is an award-winning travel writer and editor who specialises in outdoorsy adventure. Her latest book is “A History of the World in 500 Walks” (Aurum, 2016).

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t h e fa c t s

Land & Wave www.landandwave.co.uk

below:

The Quantock Hills, Somerset ©Visit Britain/Stephen Spraggon


TH E WEST COUNTRY left:

Durdle Door, Dorset

©Visit Britain/Adam Burton

may look centuries old, in fact it was built at the turn of the 20th century. Take a closer look and you’ll find the portcullis is powered by electricity and there’s a Teasmade in the bedroom. www.nationaltrust. org.uk/castle-drogo c astle drogo

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . . c lifton sus p ension

is Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s signature masterpiece, cutting across the dizzying Avon Gorge at Bristol. www.cliftonbridge.org.uk b ridge

has been the catalyst for this Cornish seaside town’s revival and, with the Barbara Hepworth Museum, offers an introduction to its role as an important art colony. www.stives-cornwall.co.uk tate st ives

Marvel at the industry of ancient man at stonehenge on the chalk downs of Wiltshire. www.english-heritage.org.uk eden p ro j e c t , in

Cornwall, is the largest indoor rainforest in the world. www.edenproject.com

On p ly m outh hoe , in Devon, take the air in the footsteps of the bowls-playing

Sir Francis Drake. Pick out the Eddystone Lighthouse on the horizon, 13 miles offshore. www.visitplymouth.co.uk In b ath , visit one of the bestpreserved remains of a Roman bathhouse and take a dip in the open-air thermal waters at the nearby Thermae Spa. www.visitbath.co.uk and for so m ething different …

Visit the village that calls itself a city, w ells in Somerset. The cathedral at the smallest city in England houses one of the largest collections of medieval stained glass in the country. www.wellscathedral.org.uk See a play at the m ina c k theatre near Penzance in Cornwall. This performance space created on the edge of a cliff in the 1930s is still as popular today with hardy theatregoers. www.minack.com

Watch the narrowboats climb the Caen Hill Locks on the k ennet and avon c anal near Devizes in Wiltshire. Make a day of it – this ladder of 29 locks takes five to six hours for the barges to complete. www.analrivertrust.org.uk See the swans glide by at a b b ots b ury in Dorset. Once monks used to gather birds here for their table, now it is a sanctuary for these majestic wildfowl. www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk Go carriage-driving on in Wiltshire. Blush and Gwillim, two Welsh chestnut cobs, do the hard work while you sit back and enjoy the views. www.wessexcarriagedriving.co.uk salis b ury p lain

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A B BEY HOTEL Bath, Somerset

A L E XAN D RA H O T EL & R E STA U RA N T Lyme Regis, Dorset

A superb independently owned hotel & restaurant in the heart of Bath.

An English classic on the Jurassic Coast.

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AT LAN TI C HOTEL Newquay, Cornwall

B E R W I CK L O D G E Bristol

Classic glamour & modern luxury at this 4-star hotel with sensational coastal views.

Set in 18 acres of parkland with fine dining and opulent bedrooms, this is one of the Bristol area’s best kept secrets.

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B OVEY CASTLE North Bovey, Devon

B R I DG E H O U S E Beaminster, Dorset

A stunning country house with golf and spa in the heart of Dartmoor National Park.

Cosy country comforts and luxury chic near the stunning Jurassic Coast.

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BUDOCK VE A N HOTE L Nr Falmouth, Cornwall

CA RLYO N BAY St Austell, Cornwall

4-star country house hotel with leisure facilities, cottages, golf course & spa by the Helford River.

4-star luxury with golf and spa overlooking breathtaking St Austell Bay.

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THE CARYS A R M S & SPA Torquay, Devon

T H E CA S T L E H O T EL Taunton, Somerset

Chic beachside living on beautiful Babbacombe Bay.

Historic family run 4-star hotel and foodie favourite in the Gateway to the South West.

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COTTAGE H OTE L H OP E C OVE Nr Salcombe, Devon

FA RT H I N G S H O T EL A N D RES TA U RA N T Taunton, Somerset

A delightfully traditional seaside hotel in a spectacular and secluded location.

West Country hospitality in elegant Georgian surroundings. B E ST L OV E D HOTE L & TR AV E L GU IDE 53


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F OX A N D H O U N D S C OU NT RY H O T EL Chulmleigh, Devon A country hotel set on the banks of the River Taw & the scenic Tarka Trail.

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Cheddar Gorge

©VisitBritain/Stephen Spraggon

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HI G H BU L L EN H O T EL , G OL F AN D CO U N T RY CL U B Umberleigh, Devon An idyllic 4-star North Devon country house and estate with top level leisure facilities.

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ILSI NGTON COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL Ilsington Village, Devon

THE I M PERI A L H O T EL Barnstaple, Devon

Peace, tranquillity and unspoilt vistas within Dartmoor’s National Park.

Elegance & classic style at this Devon riverside retreat.

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THE LUGGE R H OTE L Portloe, Cornwall

MI L L EN D H O T EL Chagford, Devon

Sublimely romantic seaside getaway in the timeless Cornish village of Portloe.

Country house heaven in the heart of Dartmoor.

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N O. 15 GRE AT P U LTE NE Y Bath, Somerset

O RES T O N E MA N O R Maidencombe, Devon

Bath’s beautiful new boutique townhouse hotel - witty, elegant and theatrical with interesting curios, bespoke art and lighting.

A magnificent family-run Georgian country house on the South Devon coast with spectacular sea views over Lyme Bay.

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PEN TI LLI E C A STL E & E STATE Saltash, Cornwall

PERCY’ S CO U N T RY H O T EL Virginstow, Devon

A romantic and magical family run boutique B&B in a Cornish castle.

Set in 50 acres of diverse & amazingly spectacular woodland & wildlife ponds. The organic homegrown seasonal food is utterly delicious. B E ST L OV E D HOTE L & TR AV E L GU IDE 55


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T HE RAM’ S HEAD I NN Winkleigh, Devon

THE R O YA L D U CH Y H O T EL Falmouth, Cornwall

A welcoming home-from-home 17th century boutique coaching inn with great food located between Dartmoor and Exmoor.

A luxury hotel with glorious views over Falmouth Bay.

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S A CO BRI STOL BR OA D QU AY Bristol, Somerset

SA U NT O N S A N D S H O T EL Braunton, Devon

Award winning aparthotel overlooking the fascinating Harbourside in a brilliant central location for shopping, sightseeing and going out.

A spectacular family friendly seaside Devon getaway.

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S T MI CHAEL’ S HOTE L & SPA Falmouth, Cornwall

TR E G ART H EN ’ S H O T EL St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

A chic contemporary beachside escape overlooking Falmouth Bay.

Stunning seaside hotel on St Mary’s with great food and some of the best views to be found on the Isles of Scilly.

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Bedruthan Steps, Newquay ©Visit Britain/Britain on View

TREGLOS H OTE L Padstow, Cornwall Exceptional hospitality overlooking the dramatic Cornish coast.

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VI CTORI A HOTE L Sidmouth, Devon Effortless seaside luxury on the South Devon Coast.

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THE VI LLA AT H E NR I E TTA PA R K Bath, Somerset A chic, stylish and tranquil boutique luxury hotel in central Bath.

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Jane Austen’s House Museum ©VisitBritain/Daniel Bosworth

the final c ha p ter k at e s i m o n

“ it is har d to write with a quill pen.” I scratch the sentence onto a piece of paper with the feather’s sharp nib. But making the words flow proves tricky and I’m compelled to broaden my strokes to keep them legible, returning to plunge the quill into the inkwell at almost every word. I am visiting Jane Austen’s House Museum in the Hampshire village of Chawton, a comfortable Georgian cottage bounded by gentle lawns and flower-filled borders where Jane Austen, her mother and her sister Cassandra made their home in 1809. Here she penned some of the greatest novels in the English language during the eight short years before her untimely death on 18 July 1817 at the age of 42. It’s hard to believe that such a primitive writing tool could create the neat italic script of Austen’s hand, an example of which is preserved under glass here. The verse letter to her brother Francis, after the birth of his first son, is laid out in meticulously straight lines. Yet the jaunty flourish of the capital letters reveals the playful spirit that so often shines through her work. The house, a museum since 1949, has several rooms to explore, which have been designed to reflect their possible use during Austen’s lifetime and filled with interesting pieces typical of the day, some once owned by the family. (Special exhibits will be unveiled in 2017 for the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death.)

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In the Drawing Room stands an 1810 Clementi piano of the kind Austen would have practised on each morning. In the author’s bedroom is a replica of her tent bed. Smaller items are just as diverting: bonnets, shawls and satin slippers; a tea set and dinner service; jelly moulds and berry spoons; an ivory ball-andcup toy (at which Austen was said to be an expert) and dainty dolls; needlework tapestries and a patchwork quilt (made by the three women); a turquoise ring and a topaz cross. Hanging on the wall on the first-floor landing is one of the most poignant exhibits, a photo of a letter written by Cassandra to her niece, Fanny Knight, on 20 July 2017 describing Austen’s last days. But the main attraction is the 12-sided walnut writing table by the window in The Dining Parlour, on which Austen wrote her tales of 19th-century society. Here she revised the manuscripts for Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, created the stories Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Emma, and began work on her last, unfinished, novel Sanditon. The final chapter of Jane Austen’s life left us with a rich literary legacy. Kate Simon is a travel writer and the former Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday. 6 2 WWW.BE STLOVE D .C O M

above: Fishing Boat on

Hastings Beach, Sussex

below: Jane Austen’s House Museum, Hampshire ©VisitBritain/Daniel Bosworth

t h e fa c t s

Jane Austen’s House Museum www.jane-austens-housemuseum.org.uk


TH E SOUTH & CH . ISL AND S left: Horseriding in the New Forest ©VisitBritain/Martin Brent

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

Take a w al k along the tha m es from Hurley in Berkshire to Runnymede in Surrey, where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. www.thames-path.org.uk See the Mary Rose and Nelson’s HMS Victory at

p orts m outh histori c

do c k yard . www.historicdockyard.co.uk

The ne w forest in Hampshire is a vast natural wonderland, from heath roamed by wild horses to wooded shores. www.newforestnpa.gov.uk Take in the view from the w hite c liffs of southern England at Dover in Kent,

or Beachy Head and Seven Sisters in East Sussex. www.sevensisters.org.uk w indsor c astle , on

the royal trail in Berkshire, is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. www.royalcollection.org.uk Take the chairlift from the cliffs to Alum Bay for a stellar view of the needles , the chalk stacks off the Isle of Wight. www.theneedles.co.uk and for so m ething different …

Discover the scandalous goings-on of the Bloomsbury Group on a tour of c harleston , the East Sussex country home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. www.charleston.org.uk

Decipher the symbolic meanings of Victor Hugo’s eccentric interior design at hauteville house , the writer’s home in exile on Guernsey. maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr Find out about the lives of the codebreakers at b let c hley par k , where Alan Turing built the Enigma machine during the Second World War. www.bletchleypark.org.uk Cycle (or walk) up one of Britain’s most iconic climbs at b o x hill in the Surrey Hills – and reward yourself with afternoon tea at the summit. www.nationaltrust.org.uk Take a walk on the wild side with the 700 species of flora and fauna on show at the living rainforest

in Berkshire. www.livingrainforest.org

Relive the thrills and spills of bygone days gone by at drea m land , the lovingly restored historic funfair in the seaside town of Margate. www.dreamland.co.uk left: Ouaisne Bay, Jersey ©VisitBritain/Britain on View

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A S HDOWN PARK HOTE L Forest Row, Sussex

THE M A N O R AT BI CK L EY Bickley, Kent

A Victorian mansion with golf, spa & fine food in the Ashdown Forest.

Beautiful 19th century country house set in landscaped grounds with excellent food.

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T HE BOURNEMOUTH CARLTON HOTEL Bournemouth, Dorset

C A P TAI N ’ S CL U B H O T EL & S PA Christchurch, Dorset

Relaxing escape set high above Bournemouth’s East Cliff with superb sea views.

Contemporary hotel with a nautical-inspired design and panoramic views of the River Stour.

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CAREYS MAN OR H OTE L & SE NSPA Brockenhurst, Hampshire

C L I F F H O U S E H O T EL Bournemouth, Dorset

Luxury 4-star retreat with a state-of-the-art spa in the heart of the New Forest.

A picture perfect Victorian boutique hotel near Bournemouth.

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THE CLUB H OTE L & SPA St Helier, Jersey

CO BO BAY H O T EL Castel, Guernsey

Chic boutique luxury & renowned Michelin-starred cuisine in the heart of St. Helier.

Boutique hotel overlooking one of Guernsey’s most beautiful bays.

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CROSSWAY S H OTE L Wilmington, Sussex

D ’ PA RYS Bedford, Bedfordshire

A warm welcome and excellent food in the South Downs.

A sleek & elegant boutique escape in the heart of Bedford.

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THE FARMH OU SE H OTE L St Saviours, Guernsey

FI V E A RRO W S Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

Country house charm meets contemporary design in the scenic Guernsey countryside.

Victorian character, charm, fantastic food and modern comfort at the gates of Waddesdon Manor.

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FL I TWI CK MANOR Flitwick, Bedfordshire

F R E D RI CK ’ S H O T EL R E STAU RA N T & S PA Maidenhead, Berkshire

4-star Georgian country house retreat in Bedfordshire.

A 4-star Thames Valley Escape with 2 AA Rosette cuisine and an exceptional spa.

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T HE GEORGE I N RY E Rye, Sussex

THE G R A N D H O T EL Eastbourne, Sussex

Luxurious boutique hotel in the medieval town of Rye.

Majestic seaside Victorian palace on the Eastbourne promenade.

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GRASMERE HOUS E Salisbury, Wiltshire

G R E E N H I L L S CO U N T RY H O U S E HOTE L St Peter, Jersey

A riverside country house hotel with stunning views of Salisbury Cathedral.

A tranquil gem in the heart of rural Jersey.

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LAURA ASHL E Y TH E M A NOR Elstree, Hertfordshire

L U T O N H O O H O T EL , G O L F & S PA Nr Luton, Bedfordshire

Country house design chic only minutes from central London with breathtaking views over the London skyline.

Grand stately home just north of London set in a 1065 acre estate.

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MONTAGU A R M S H OTE L Beaulieu, Hampshire

MO RT O N S H O U S E H O T EL Corfe Castle, Dorset

Charming 17th century New Forest country house with sublime cuisine.

Graceful Elizabethan manor perfect for exploring the Jurassic Coast.

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PARK HOU SE , H OTE L & SPA Midhurst, Sussex

PRI O RY BAY H O T EL Seaview, Isle of Wight

A charming country house hotel in the South Downs National Park with excellent food, fabulous spa and leisure facilities.

Stunning seaside country house on the Isle of Wight perched above a private beach.

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R EADI NG SERVI C E D A PA RTM E NTS Reading, Berkshire

R OYA L A D EL A I D E H O T EL Windsor, Berkshire

Stylish serviced apartments just a short walk from the centre of Reading.

Georgian elegance and modern comfort a short stroll from Windsor Castle.

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RY E LODGE Rye, Sussex

SA C O J ERS EY St Helier, Jersey

Elegance, restful charm and great attention to detail in historic Rye.

Spacious serviced apartments a short distance from St Helier’s waterfront and town centre.

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T HE SOUTHDOWN H OTE L Eastbourne, Sussex

TY L NEY H A L L H O T EL Hook, Hampshire

Opening in 2018: a luxury townhouse hotel & brasserie in Eastbourne.

A superb Victorian stately home in 66 acres of landscaped gardens.

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THE WELLI NG TON Stevenage, Hertfordshire

T H E W H I T E CL I F F S Dover, Kent

A handsome historic inn with traditional architecture & ultra-modern facilities.

A classic weather-boarded inn near St Margaret’s Bay on the White Cliffs coast.

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THE WHI TE HOU SE Herm Island No cars, no crowds, no worries: luxury retreat on the magical, secluded island of Herm.

below: The iconic Seven Sisters, Sussex ©VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

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eye in the s k y sarah barrell

i hear t he chopper long before I see it. Even above the workaday din of Battersea’s busy streets, the distinctive thock thock thock of the rotor blades cannot be mistaken. It’s surely the coolest darn engine noise made by any vehicle invented, transforming passengers into Bond before they’ve even set foot on the helipad. There’s certainly an exhilarating whiff of Special Forces (and aviation fuel) lingering around The London Helicopter’s smart check-in lounge, its picture windows framing the Thamesside heliport, where a shiny, gun-metal grey chopper is being waved in by black-clad ground staff. Ours, which lands shortly afterwards, is a more exotic bird: a bright orange AS350 Single Squirrel, which, after we’ve been discreetly weighed in (scales revealing themselves only to staff ), I share pretty intimately with five other passengers. It’s a neat little thing, our helicopter, affording scant room for elbows and knees but the squeeze soon gives way to a shake, the shake to a thrilling gravity-defying lift as the ground fast recedes under us. We’re off ! Quickly rising to 1,500ft, cutting through the air at some 155mph, the sights come thick and fast. They’re roll-called by the pilot, who simultaneously manages to narrate, and communicate with control over his headset. We can chat to him too via ours, making us look very much the part of

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co-pilots but no one says a word. We’re too busy trying to fix eyes on the intricate patchwork of sights laid out beneath us. We bank hard left over Barnes Wetland’s marbled greens and blues, Heathrow’s runways and Wimbledon Centre Court in the periphery. Then it’s north-east following the serpentine swoops of the Thames, buzzing past Buckingham and Kensington Palaces, Horse Guard’s Parade doing a fine impression of a giant sand pit, then over Westminster and Tower Bridge. Into the belly of the city, the greens of London’s parks vanish, packed skyscrapers like components on a giant circuit board, seemingly shattered where the Shard cuts up out of the segmented, silvery roof of London Bridge Station. Out east, the Olympic Park’s Aquatic Centre also winks its shiny shell at us; further still the Thames Barrier gives us a salute, one of its steel gates down. A Londoner born and bred, I’ve been lucky enough to see my city from numerous VIP vantage points. A slow roll over the Thames on the London Eye, a daredevil abseil from the Orbit, a cocktail-tinged panorama from The Shard’s Sky Pod: special bird’s-eye experiences, all. But nothing, frankly, compares to burning through £200 in an 18-minute chopper tour over the UK’s capital. Sarah Barrell is an award-winning travel writer and associate editor of National Geographic Traveller.

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The London Helicopter www.thelondonhelicopter.com

above: Westminster Abbey,

London

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

below: Tate Modern,

London

©VisitBritain/Britain on View


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©VisitBritain/Britain on View

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

Visit b u c k ingha m pala c e in summer for an inside view of the London home of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. www.royal.gov.uk Take a Beefeater tour of The to w er of london to see all four towers, the crown jewels and a dungeon. www.hrp.org.uk

and for so m ething different . . .

Admire the newly reopened design m useu m , in Kensington. There’s triple the space for exhibits at John Pawson’s clever remodelling of the former Commonwealth Institute building. www.designmuseum.org

below: The Shard,

London

©VisitBritain/Jason Hawkes

Join a high - energy across various city locations, solving clues and evading the enemy along the way. games.fire-hazard.net adventure

At nelson ’ s c olu m n get that iconic happy snap with the hero of Trafalgar and his coterie of pigeons.

Slip down the world’s tallest, longest and fastest tunnel slide – the latest exciting addition to the ar c elor m ittal or b it , in Stratford. arcelormittalorbit.com

Explore the capital’s Royal green spaces on a half-day tour on t w o w heels , taking in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, and St James’s Park. www.fattiretours.com

Take a tour of the pala c e of w est m inster . A Blue Badge guide leads the way on this fascinating 90-minute journey through the House of Lords and the House of Commons. www.parliament.uk

Take to the river Thames on the p u p p et theatre b arge , a cosy floating theatre that departs from Richmond telling updates of traditional tales and children’s classics. www.puppetbarge.com

Take a peek at the sou k li k e rug roo m in one of London’s most iconic stores, Liberty, hung with fine handmade Oriental and Persian floor-coverings. www.libertylondon.com

Browse the works in London’s w orld - b eating m useu m s , from the Tates to the V&A, the National Gallery to the Natural History Museum. www.visitlondon.com ride around the streets

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D R AY C O T T H O T EL

An ideal 5-star urban hideaway steps from Marble Arch & Oxford Street.

5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Chelsea steeped in elegant Edwardian splendour.

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HOME HOUSE

THE M I L ES T O N E H O T EL & A PA RT MEN T S

Fabulous private club with stylish rooms and great food located across three historic Georgian West End townhouses.

A luxurious five star Grade II mansion hotel, located directly opposite Kensington Palace and a popular destination for afternoon tea.

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R OSEWOOD LONDON

SA C O CA N A RY W H A RF

A 5-star luxurious urban sanctuary only a short stroll from Covent Garden, Soho and Bloomsbury.

Stylish Docklands living conveniently near Canary Wharf underground.

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Stylishly designed Aparthotel offering an oasis of peace and calm in the heart of the City of London.

Individually designed apartments perfectly situated for exploring Bloomsbury and the West End.

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THE STAF F OR D L ONDON

T O W N H A L L H O T EL A N D A PA RT MEN T S

A superlative London retreat, steeped in history and character, in an unrivalled St James’s location.

Stylish rooms, studios & apartments in an architecturally fascinating former town hall building in the hip and vibrant East End.

below: Bankside

Š Mickey Lee Photography

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AD SPACE

Looking for the perfect gift? Best Loved gift vouchers are flexible so you decide when and where to travel. The vouchers work just like money – use them at the Best Loved hotel of your choice.

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Glencoe, Scotland

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

left: Fife, Scotland

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

fruits of the sea simone kane

i’m per c hed on the edge of the old harbour wall in Anstruther, legs swinging as the tide sloshes against the mossy hunks of stone. It’s a child-like pose, but here it’s all about the simple pleasures – sea-gazing, beachcombing and feasting on the best local food. As I breathe in sweet lungfuls of seaweedscented air, a waft of vinegar tingles on my tongue and my thoughts turn to supper. Most visitors to Scotland head for the Highlands, but I like to follow those in the know to the historic fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, jumbles of cottages clinging to the shore on Scotland’s east coast. Once, you could hop from one fishing boat to the next in Anstruther’s harbour; today, the marina is packed with pleasure craft, a reflection of the decline of this area’s fishing industry and gradual gentrification. Yet this corner of the Kingdom of Fife remains one of the Scots’ greatest secrets. They come for the relaxing scenery and to enjoy the fruits of land and sea… especially the sea. My fish supper is waiting, fried by one of the finest purveyors in town. This time, it’s not from the multi-awardwinning Anstruther Fish Bar on the tiny seafront but The Wee Chippy, just along the road, which is favoured by the locals, who queue outside at weekends. Simple flavours. Yet for the past decade the East Neuk has been blossoming into a foodie

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destination, from chip shops to Michelin-starred restaurants, and everything in between. These local eateries have a treasure chest to loot on their doorstep at Pittenweem. The eye-pleasing huddle of white cottages, their red pantile roofs and stepped gables revealing the community’s centuries-old link with the Low Countries, is now the East Neuk’s main working port. Here, a fleet of 35 prawn and creel boats offloads its catch from the waters off these rocky shores at the harbour each day, ready to go under the hammer at the Fish Market. The next morning, I make my way along Pittenweem’s winding alleys to Mid Shore to discover what bounty has been dredged from the deep. Crabs, scallops, lobsters, clams, razorfish, and, of course, the famous Pittenweem prawn – a langoustine the size of a fisherman’s finger. With a haul of this quality, no wonder the Kingdom of Fife is fast becoming the place to dine like royalty. Simone Kane is a travel writer whose work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines including The Independent on Sunday and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

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East Neuk of Fife www.visitscotland.com Anstruther Fish Bar www.anstrutherfishbar.co.uk The Wee Chippy 01333 310106

below: Ben Nevis, Scotland ©VisitBritain/Joe Cornish


S C OTL AND left: The Forth Bridge, Scotland

©VisitBritain/Britain on View

ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

At edin b urgh c astle learn about the country and its capital’s history, as well as appreciating cracking views of this ancient city. www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk Cruise lo c h ness in search for the infamous monster, Nessie. www.cruiselochness.com Head for eilean donan c astle , the most iconic fortress in the land, which sits on its own island amid views straight off a shortbread tin. www.eileandonancastle.com Enjoy a wee dram at s p eyside , where whisky devotees can taste some of the finest tots at one of the nation’s most famous distilleries. www.visitscotland.com

Marvel at the medieval

ta k e in the vie w s

rosslyn c ha p el , one

of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Scotland, the inspiration for The Da Vinci Code. www.rosslynchapel.com

from the end of the road at John O’Groats, start, or finish, of many an end-toend journey between it and Penzance in Cornwall. www.visitjohnogroats.com In allo w ay , visit the home and museum dedicated to the Scottish bard, Robert Burns, who wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne’. www.burnsmuseum.org.uk

and for so m ething different . . .

Drive the cliffside road known as the ele c tri c b rae , in South Ayrshire, an optical illusion that gives the impression of going up when going down. www. undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

in the most complete Victorian toilets to remain in Britain, by Rothesay pier on the island of Bute, featuring decorative loos clad in patterned ceramic tiles and mosaics. www.bute.me/ victoriantoilets ta k e a tin k le

Watch mechanical exhibits lurch to life and portray historical tales to an eerie soundtrack at shar m an k a k ineti c theatre , a wacky Glasgow gallery. www.sharmanka.com Leaf through the ‘Scottish play’ below the boughs of the b irna m oa k or sy c a m ore , the sole surviving trees of the ancient wood in Perth, made famous by Shakespeare in Macbeth. www.visitscotland.com Ride the j a c o b ite stea m train from Fort William to Glenfinnan, crossing the magnificent viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films, alighting at the destination of the Hogwart’s Express, Glenfinnan Station. www. westcoastrailways.co.uk left: Carlton Hill, Edinburgh ©VisitBritain/Britain on View

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B A LCARY BAY HO TE L Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

B L A C K A D D I E H O U S E H O T EL Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway

Magnificent sea views from this romantic hotel on the Galloway coast.

Delightful family-run hotel with refined restaurant on the River Nith.

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B OATH HOUSE Nairn, Highlands

C A R NO U S T I E G O L F H O T EL Carnoustie, Angus

Majestic Regency mansion & Michelin-starred restaurant in a 20 acre Highlands estate.

Luxurious hotel & spa overlooking the famously challenging & historic golf course.

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CO LON SAY Isle of Colonsay, Argyll

C OR R IEG O U R L O D G E H O T EL Fort William, Highlands

A hidden treasure of the Southern Hebrides.

A culinary retreat in one of the most beautiful locations in the Highlands.

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CRAI GADA M Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

D A L H O U S I E CA S T L E A N D S PA Bonnyrigg, Lothian

A taste of Scotland in the Galloway Hills.

A magniďŹ cent 13th-century castle, the ancestral home of the Ramsay Clan, with an award-winning restaurant and state-of-the-art spa just 8 miles from Edinburgh.

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EDNAM H OU SE HOTE L Kelso, Roxburghshire

FO N A B CA S T L E H O T EL Pitlochry, Perthshire

An exquisite country house escape with world class fishing and terrific food on the banks of the River Tweed.

The ultimate in luxury with a fresh modern twist. A truly special 5-Star Scottish experience located on the banks of Loch Faskally in the heart of Perthshire.

below: Kilchurn Castle

ŠVisitBritain/Dennis Hardley

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FO UR SEASON S HOTE L St Fillans, Perthshire

G L E NMO RA N G I E H O U S E Tain, Highlands

An inspiring lochside setting with spectacular views and food to match.

Legendary Scottish hospitality near the famous distillery.

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T HE HOWARD Edinburgh

KI L C A M B L O D G E Strontian, Highlands

Elegant 5-star townhouse in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

Breathtakingly situated on Loch Sunart, where otters and eagles are daily visitors.

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K IN CRAI G CASTLE H OTE L Invergordon, Highlands

KNOC K I N A A M L O D G E Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway

Beautiful 4-star country house with excellent cuisine perched above the Cromarty Forth only 20 minutes from Inverness.

Romantic boutique hotel & gourmet escape on the Galloway Coast.

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MAR HALL G OL F & SPA R E SORT Glasgow

MEL D RU M H O U S E & G O L F RES O RT Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire

A 5-star luxury Edwardian country house, golf and spa resort in 240 acres near Glasgow and the River Clyde.

Authentic Baronial mansion house and world-class golf academy close to Aberdeen.

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THE PEAT I NN St Andrews, Fife

RA EMO I R H O U S E Aberdeen, Highlands

A celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant just a short drive from St Andrews.

Princely Aberdeenshire retreat on the doorstep of Balmoral.

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ROMAN C A M P C OU NTRY H OU SE Callander, Perthshire

RU FFL ET S St Andrews, Fife

A wonderful family run country house in the Trossachs with great food.

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S HERBROOKE CASTL E Glasgow

TAY C H REG G A N Kilchrenan, Argyll

4-star Baronial castle hotel set in beautiful gardens in Glasgow’s leafy Southside.

Mountain grandeur, fascinating wildlife and lochside beauty.

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T HE TAYNUI LT: E T IVE RESTAURANT W I TH R OOM S Taynuilt, Argyll

TR I G O N Y H O U S E Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway

A traditional coaching inn with wonderful food near Oban.

A rustic treasure hidden amid the serenity of Nithsdale valley.

below: Eilean Donan and Loch Duich, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland ©VisitBritain/Britain on View

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left: View from Skellig Michael to Little Skellig, Ireland ©storytravelers

s pa c e oddity emma cullinan

sit t ing in my rock cocoon on Skellig Michael, I am channelling the spirit of the monks who made this beehive-shaped hut their home in the 6th century. I imagine the challenge they had getting out to this jagged cone in the wild Atlantic, 12km off the West of Ireland, and making their lives here. I had made my way here simply enough, on one of the 12-seater boats that depart Portmagee harbour, on the Kerry coast, on days when sea swells don’t engulf the island’s tiny landing steps and prevent the crossing. Once a far-flung day trip for the intensely curious, Skellig Michael has become a popular place of pilgrimage since Luke Skywalker was discovered here, battling his demons, in the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. The 45-minute boat journey proved unexpectedly thrilling, a roller-coaster ride on the waves; I held the rail tight, leaning out, watching the iceberg-like, 180-metre-high crag loom ever closer. On arrival, I waited for a calm moment to jump off the boat, on the captain’s advice, before climbing the 618 stairs, made over more than 1,000 years ago, to the top of the island. I paced myself so that my breathing never quickened, keeping half an eye on the uneven steps while contemplating the scene: vast rock shards stabbed into a sheer hillside streaked green with plant life, the sea far below bashing white against the

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holy rock, above me swooping birds called out like muffled old car engines trying to start. It’s a harsh, remote place, yet even here the monks managed to tame nature in their walled garden, where once they harvested vegetables, fertilised by puffin droppings. A few boats have made it to Skellig Michael today, which is why I’ve sought out this peaceful spot in one of the six huts built from layers of flat rock gathered from across the island. The door is so small that I blocked the light as I entered, my eyes taking time to forget the bright, wide Atlantic sky until I could make out the hut’s rocky innards. I look out now through the narrow entrance across the neat monks’ graveyard to the sea and sister island Little Skellig beyond. I spy a father photographing his son waving a Star Wars light sabre. But the sights and sounds of others soon drift into the distance. This is a truly contemplative place, whether you’re a monk, a Jedi, or just a passing tourist. Emma Cullinan is a journalist and author based in Ireland who writes mainly about architecture and travel.

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Skellig Michael www.skelligislands.com www.ireland.com

below: Giant’s Causeway

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left: Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow ©Powerscourt Estate

below: Galley Head,

Co Cork

©Failte Ireland

k iss the b larney stone

in County Cork to be bestowed with eloquence. It’s attached to a castle built nearly 600 years ago by the chieftain Cormac McCarthy. www.blarneycastle.ie ti c k off the m a j or sights . . .

At the c liffs of m oher , in County Clare, enjoy a lofty view of the Atlantic and – on a clear day – Ireland’s islands, mountains and coast, right down to Kerry. www.cliffsofmoher.ie vie w the b oo k of k ells

at Trinity College Dublin. The beautifully decorated 680-page manuscript of the Four Gospels, written by Irish monks, dates from 800AD. www.tcd.ie Tour k illarney national par k , in County Kerry, for its woods, lakes, waterfalls and mountains, including Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest range, and Carrauntoohil, the country’s highest mountain. www.killarneynationalpark.ie

Step out on the basalt columns of the giant ’ s c ause w ay , on the County Antrim coast, made of magma that oozed from the deep 60 million years ago. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ giants-causeway and for so m ething different . . . c at c h a b ig w ave at

just south of Bundoran in County Donegal. These giant cascades reach 30ft high, so are strictly for expert surfers. www.govisitdonegal.com m ullagh m ore

Your naked eye is the observatory in the irish s k y garden , near Skibbereen in Cork, where American

artist James Turrell has turned a crater into a fantastical vantage point for watching the heavens. www.lissardestate.com Take tea at father ted ’ s near Kilnaboy in County Clare. You can book a brew and some tasty cakes, too, at Glanquin, the Georgian house used for the popular TV series. www.fathertedshouse.com house

Go w hale

w at c hing in

off Baltimore in County Cork for a chance to see humpback, minke and fin whales. www.corkwhalewatch.com the autu m n

Ride Europe’s biggest wooden roller coaster, the Cú c hulainn , at Tayto Park in County Meath – and get a free tour of the famous crisp factory, too. www.taytopark.ie Watch the hurling at c ro k e par k in Dublin, the fastpaced game reminiscent of hockey is thought to date back 3,000 years. crokepark.ie

Visit gaelta c hts (pronounced gailtucked), the Irish language-speaking areas, including parts of Donegal, Kerry, Mayo and Galway. www.gaelsaoire.ie

93


IREL AND

1

2

GREAT NATI ON AL B A LLYKI STEEN GOL F HOTE L Limerick Junction, Co Tipperary

B U SH MI L L S I N N H O T EL Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Family friendly golf hotel in the shadow of the Galtee Mountains, only half an hour from Limerick City.

Historic oak-beamed luxury inn near the Bushmills distillery & the Giant’s Causeway.

3

4

CARRI G COUNTRY HOU SE & R ESTAURAN T Killorglin, Co Kerry

G R E AT N AT I O N A L C OM MO N S I N N H O T EL Cork City, Co Cork

Enchanting Country House hotel & gourmet restaurant on the shores of Caragh Lake, Ring of Kerry.

Traditional hotel ten minutes from Cork City centre – perfect for exploring the major local attractions.

5

6

GREAT NATI ON AL HOTEL BALLI NA Ballina, Co. Mayo

G R E AT N AT I O N A L M U L R AN N Y PA RK H O T EL Mulranny, Westport, Co Mayo

Contemporary 4-star hotel a short drive from Ballina Town – ideal for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.

4-star seaside getaway overlooking Clew Bay & Croagh Patrick Mountain and perfect for walking the Great Western Greenway.

9 4 CALL + 4 4 (0 ) 3 3 3 332 0444 F O R F U LL DETA ILS A ND PRICE S


IREL AND

7

8

SEAVI EW H OU SE H OTE L Bantry, Co Cork

G REAT N AT I O N A L S O U T H CO U RT H O T EL Raheen, Limerick, Co. Limerick

A delightful country house haven with wonderful views of Bantry Bay.

Spacious hotel located on the edge of Limerick City and only 20 minutes from Shannon Airport.

below: Southern Peninsula Sheep at Coulagh Bay, Beara © Tourism Ireland/Failte Ireland

95


– 87 –

NEW MOON RISING THE NEW C9 MOONPHASE

Mankind has looked to the moon to tell the time for over 34,000 years and now, with the introduction of our in-house modification, Calibre JJ04, we are proud to join this tradition. With the continuous setting of this new complication the transformation of the moon is perpetually accurate with a tolerance of just one day in 128 years.

E XC LU S I V E LY AVA I L A B L E AT

christopherward.co.uk


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