AN ISLES OF SCILLY TRIP
why we love penzance W H E R E'S I S S Y CAN YOU SPOT OUR MASCOT HIDING INSIDE?
Sin U MM ER Sou th Wales
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TOP FIVE PEERLESS PIERS
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IN THIS ISSUE
18 ER 20 SUMM
REACHING ACROSS OUR NETWORK – THIS IS YOUR ESCAPE ROUTE
CAN YOU SPOT OUR MASCOT HIDING INSIDE?
ILLUSTRATION: KERRY HYNDMAN; ISSY ILLUSTRATION: WESLEY ROBINS
TURN THE PAGE... 09 NEXT STOP Our selection of top music, theatre, art and sport events, as well as the five best seaside piers, from across the network 14 festival fever Get in the party spirit with this guide to the best gatherings taking place this season and beyond, including fun-filled familyfriendly events that won’t feel like a compromise 24 A SOuth Wales SUMMER Welsh journalist Jude Rogers picks her favourite places for beaches, ice cream, fish and chips and more while enjoying a proper British holiday
FIND US ONLINE www.gwr.com
33 why we love... What to see and where to eat and kip in the sunny seaside resort of Penzance 34 let’s go outside The best places to enjoy cinema, theatre, art and dining when you are out and about in the open air 45 THE GUIDE Our handy guide will tell you all you need to know about travelling with Great Western Railway 50 GIVE ME FIVE The fabulously funny Jenny Eclair talks about motherhood, the #MeToo movement, her favourite London exhibition and gives the lowdown on her latest show, Grumpy Old Women to the Rescue, on tour until 24 June
OUR 2FOR1 PICKS
Didcot Railway Centre A fab collection of Great Western Railway steam engines, wagons and coaches
WWT London Wetland Centre Explore lakes and gardens just 10 minutes from Hammersmith
Exeter Cathedral See 900 years of history in one of the world’s most impressive Gothic interiors
how to get your 2for1 Take advantage of savings on days out by going to daysoutguide.co.uk
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R 2018 E M M SU
Why not go dancing on the beach this summer Editorial enquiries Editor Dan Panes
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Alec Mackenzie firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Jonathan McIntosh Design John Pender Sub-editors
Andrew Littlefield, Sam Bartlett
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SUMMER’S HERE AND THE TIME IS RIGHT
ith summer just around the corner, it’s time to consider dusting off those warm weather outfits and ponder what you might do with all the spare hours that the longer days offer us. You can certainly count on Escape to help you get into the right frame of mind for planning the days and weeks ahead. Start with our mammoth festival planner, where we give the lowdown on all the great gatherings taking place across the network, right through to autumn. Among our picks are music, literature, food and child-friendly festivals – a little something for everyone. Next up, Welsh journalist and Guardian music critic Jude Rogers gives her expert advice on planning an amazing holiday in South Wales,
including her suggestions on the best beach, restaurant, hotel and more. A summer issue of Escape wouldn’t be complete without us encouraging readers to go outside and make the most of the fine weather. So, we’ve pulled together a colossal guide to enjoying fab food, transfixing theatre, scintillating cinema and awe-inspiring art all in the great outdoors. Finally, we’ve got all the usual fun, including our regular listings section, Next Stop, We’ll Take You There and a Give Me Five interview with Jenny Eclair who discusses her latest show.
Dan Panes Editor
WIN TRAVEL TO THE SUNNY SCILLY ISLES TURN TO PAGE 11
© 2018 Great Western Railway. All rights reserved. Every reasonable endeavour has been made to find and contact the copyright owners of the works included in this newspaper. However, if you believe a copyright work has been included without your permission, please contact the publishers. Views of contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the policy of Great Western Railway or those of the publishers. All material correct at time of going to press.
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we’ll takE you there
Newquay has several beaches to its name, but Towan Beach is the closest to the town centre. Tucked into Newquay Bay, the sheltered beach is perfect for surfers. While you’re relaxing between wipeouts you can enjoy views looking out over the Atlantic. There’s also Blue Reef Aquarium, with its sharks and giant octopus. If you feel like pushing the boat out, then consider a stay on The Island. Accessed via a suspension bridge, this boutique retreat is perfect for those looking to get away from it all. To find out more, visit boutique-retreats.co.uk Towan Beach Newquay, Cornwall MORE bit.ly/towanbeachnewquay WHAT
CREDIT IN 3MM BOX ALIGNED BOTTOM
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, occasionally visited The Island
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CREDIT IN 3MM BOX ALIGNED TOP
Take it to the bridge and on to the private paradise of The Island
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the king of pop art Motown-signed child prodigy, dancefloor-filling disco legend and deitylike global superstar, Michael Jackson was a phenomenon whose career spanned over four decades and influenced everyone from Bruno Mars to Justin Timberlake.
Michael Jackson: On the Wall brings together some of the artworks that have captured his likeness over the years, including pieces by Andy Warhol, David LaChapelle and Paul McCarthy. WHERE National portrait gallery, London WHEN 28 June–21 October
EQUESTRIAN PORTRAIT OF KING PHILIP II (MICHAEL JACKSON), 2010 BY KEHINDE WILEY / OLBRICHT COLLECTION. COURTESY OF STEPHEN FRIEDMAN GALLERY, LONDON AND SEAN KELLY GALLERY, NEW YORK
Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson), 2010, by Kehinde Wiley
Torbay Airshow Torbay Airshow presents a breathtaking flight-display programme over the stunning South Devon bay. The free event attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the bay, which forms a natural amphitheatre from where you can watch awe-inspiring aerobatic demonstrations by some of the country’s top military and civilian air-display teams. Paignton Green will also play host to other attractions, including the event village, funfair and more. For more visit torbayairshow.co.uk WHERE Paignton Green, Torbay WHEN 2–3 June
YOUR GUIDE TO GREAT EVENTS HAPPENING JUST ALONG THE TRACKS www.gwr.com
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wrinkly rockers play the hits
Rolling Stones London Stadium 22 & 25 May
Rock pioneers the Rolling Stones take to the stage once again with a new tour – where do they get the energy?
Three choirs festival It’s Hereford’s turn to host the historic Three Choirs Festival, with its orchestra in residence, the Philharmonia Orchestra. Including more than 70 concerts, recitals, talks, exhibitions and workshops over eight days, the festival’s highlights include the opening concert, celebrating the centenary of universal suffrage with a rare performance of Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D. For more, visit 3choirs.org WHERE Hereford Cathedral WHEN 28 July–4 August
Elvis Costello Blenheim Palace 16 JUNE
With sharp suits and Buddy Holly specs, Elvis Costello was a late-70s phenomenon and is still going strong.
u2 the o2, london 23-24 October
The festival features more than 70 events over eight days
Bono and the boys return with another mammoth stadium tour that's set to blow minds.
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S S musical
Chicago Phoenix Theatre, London Booking until 30 June Musical starring Cuba Gooding Jnr
Jason Manford: Muddle Class On tour Until 19 December Humorous musings on class identity
S S S exhibition
Titanic Stories National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth Until 7 January 2019 Myths, memorabilia and personal accounts
Van Gogh and Britain Tate Britain, London Until 11 August 2019 The troubled genius comes to the capital
Rodin and the art of ancient Greece British Museum, London 26 April – 29 July Classic sculpture
The Future Starts Here V&A, London 12 May – 4 November Artificial intelligence and more explored
Fashion Museum, Bath, celebrates some of the finery worn by key players in the British monarchy, including the wedding dress of Alexandra of Denmark – latterly Queen consort to Edward VII – dating from 1863. Other items at the Bath Assembly Rooms venue include couture worn by Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. WHERE Fashion Museum, Bath WHEN Until 28 April 2019
Alexandra of Denmark's wedding dress, and glove, below
Venue hire Bath Assembly Rooms is one of the great venues available for hire – perfect for gala dinners, business events, weddings and parties. If you’re planning a breathtaking occasion in the city, then check out Bath’s Historic Venues’ portfolio of elegant spaces, including Roman Baths, Guildhall and Victoria Art Gallery. For more, visit bathvenues.co.uk
WIN tickets to visit the isles of scilly Isles of Scilly Travel has teamed up with GWR and Escape magazine to offer one lucky reader the chance to win two return tickets to this UK destination that feels like an exotic getaway. Lying just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are a slice of paradise that offer a welcome sanctuary from stress. The five inhabited islands of St Mary’s, St Martin’s, Bryher, Tresco and St Agnes all boast crystalclear turquoise seas that surround long white sandy beaches. It’s tantalisingly easy to discover Scilly, with Skybus flights leaving from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End airports and reaching the islands in under an hour. Or you can opt for a relaxing sail from Penzance aboard the iconic Scillonian III passenger ferry. From May 2018, you’ll also be able to travel by helicopter, with a new service operating up to six flights a day from Land’s End Airport, in addition to fixed-wing flight services.
For more information and to discover how you can #ConnectScilly in 2018, visit islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or call 01736 334220. THE PRIZE The prize offers the choice of return flights for two people to the Isles of Scilly with Skybus, departing from Land’s End Airport, or alternatively two return ferry tickets to sail on the Scillonian III passenger ferry from Penzance. HOW TO ENTER For a chance of winning, just answer the simple question below: Q: how many inhabited islands are there in the isles of scilly? A) 5 B) 10 C) 15
Art Week Exeter Various venues 22–28 May City-wide festival showcasing the best in local talent
Great Expectations Theatre Royal Bath 4–9 June Dickens' seminal novel on stage, with Nichola McAuliffe
War Horse Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff 4–28 July Award-winning play based on Michael Morpurgo's book
ENTER AT gwr.com/ScillyComp CLOSING DATE 13 july 2018
TERMS AND CONDITIONS Not to be used in conjunctions with any current bookings or discounts. Excludes travel and accommodation on Bank Holiday weekends and school holidays. Bookings are subject to availability on requested dates. Competition closing date is 13 July 2018. Winners will be selected at random after that date and no cash alternative will be offered. Ferry car parking is not included.
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BJÖRK TO PLAY AT ALL POINTS EAST FESTIVAL IN LONDON
The weird and wonderful Björk will be playing All Points East, a new ten-day event at Victoria Park, London, that includes a three-day music festival. The Icelandic pop star will join fellow headliners LCD Soundsystem and The XX. The festival will be followed by a community-focused programme of comedy and outdoor cinema before culminating in three more days of music, complete with performances by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the National. WHERE victoria park london WHEN 25 MAY–3 JUNE
the acorn theatre This summer's acts include local favourite Emily Maguire (21 April), best-selling author Roger McGough (12 May) and comedian Henning Wehn (19 May), pictured right. For tickets and further information, go to theacornpenzance.com WHERE the acorn theatre, Penzance
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The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race This race is a celebration of courage, endurance and adventure. Read the incredible crew stories and track the fleet online in the closing stages, with an emotional finish in Liverpool on 28 June. clipperroundtheworld.com
Weston-super-Mare's pier held the biggest ever cream tea event in 2016, feeding 555 participants
DID YOU KNOW? SWEET SUCCESS
Björk first gained critical success as lead singer of Icelandic alternative rock band The Sugarcubes THE SOUND OF SILENCE
One of her biggest hits, It's Oh So Quiet, was originally released by Betty Hutton in 1951, and is based on the German song Und Jetzt Ist es Still HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
Björk cites naturalist David Attenborough as an influence
5 peerless we love
classic british waterfront attractions
The Grade II listed Brighton Palace Pier is perhaps the most iconic of all the British piers. Opened in 1899, the structure you see today replaced the former attraction, which was washed away in a storm. A popular destination, the pier is full of rides and attractions, including roller coasters and classic 2p coin pushers.
Unmistakably a modern structure, the Grand Pier at Weston-superMare opened in 2010, replacing its predecessor. There’s loads of things to see and do there during a day out this summer, and classic rides and games, such as a helter skelter and dodgems, sit side by side with an F1 simulator, go-karts and a laser maze.
South Parade Pier has quite a history. It was a popular destination in the early 20th century, a point of embarkation for troops during WWII, a venue in the post-war era (David Bowie and Frankie Howerd performed there), and a location for the film Tommy. Newly restored, it’s well worth visiting this important part of British seaside heritage.
Weymouth Pier Bandstand
The Pier Bandstand in Weymouth is all that remains of the original structure – the seaward section, a 2,400-seat venue, was demolished in the 1980s. Today, the Art Deco exterior still inspires nostalgia, while inside there is a decent Italian restaurant offering impressive sea views.
Burnham-onSea’s Brunelinspired pier lays claim to being the shortest of its kind in the country. Unusually, it’s constructed from concrete, giving it a unique appearance, and relative hardiness. Today, it’s home to an amusement hall and shops selling food and drinks. Check out this petite pier’s modest charms.
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V I T S FE ver Fe
Green Man Festival 16–19 AUGUST
Set in the beautiful Welsh countryside, the ethicallyminded Green Man Festival sees itself as being more of an intimate celebration than a big corporate party. With 10 areas to explore, those with interests outside of music will find plenty to revel in. Fleet Foxes, John Grant, Grizzly Bear and more are all set to perform. TICKETS
If you’re pitching up a tent from Thursday through to the Monday, an adult ticket costs £180. WEB
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The Green Man Festival always ends with a bang
L VA THE E C A R B M E IT R I P S Y T PA R guide er-duper
sup e, with our music, literatur p to the to d family-friendly food an gs taking in r e h t a g r is summe place th
ON D Y E B D N A
MUSIC LOVERS South West Four 25–26 AUGUST London
If you’ve missed out on a summer holiday rave-up in Ibiza, then SW4 is the next best thing. No campsite, no tent, no problem; at the end of the night you can head back to wherever you’re staying and have a hot shower before
hitting the hay. The full line-up is still to be announced but Chase & Status, Craig David and Dizzee Rascal are currently on the list.
Boardmasters 8–12 AUGUST Newquay
Even if there’s not a single surfing bone in your body, Boardmasters is still the ultimate UK sun, sea and sand festival that’s bound to make your summer one to remember. Head down to Fistral Beach for five days of pro surf, skateboard and BMX competitions. The music festival itself is held at nearby Watergate Bay, and it’s buzzing with happy-go-lucky people and a line-up that includes The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra, Rag’n’Bone Man and more.
Go crowd surfing at Boardmasters
Adult tickets including festival entry, camping and access to Fistral Beach start at £149 (plus booking fee). WEB
Hit the floor at South West Four
Standard weekend tickets cost £115. Last remaining tickets cost £125. WEB
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MUSIC LOVERS Hampton Court Palace Festival 5–20 JUNE
Lionel Richie, Paloma Faith, Gary Barlow, The Beach Boys, Jools Holland and virtuoso blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa have all been announced for this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival. Fun in the sun with The Beach Boys
Wilderness Festival 2–5 AUGUST
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
This one’s really for the grown-ups, and includes tempting VIP dining packages that allow you to eat in the palace’s grand State Apartments. TICKETS
Prices vary but start at £49 (not including a booking fee) WEB
Is it Lionel you’re looking for this summer?
Wilderness Festival definitely ticks the boxes if you’re looking to add some magic to your summer. You can take a swim in the lakes, do a yoga masterclass, forage for snacks in the woods. Oh, and of course, you can head to the main music stage at sunset to sing along with one of your musical heroes. TICKETS
General camping tickets cost £179.50 for adults (not including booking fee). WEB
wildernessfestival.com Bring some bling to the wilderness
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Hands up who wants to go to Hay
Cheltenham Literature Festival
Hilary Clinton comes to Cheltenham
Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts
The ever-popular Cheltenham Literature Festival sees some of the best fiction and non-fiction writers of our time grace its stage every year. This year’s line-up is still to be confirmed, but previous highlights include appearances from J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Bill Nighy, Nigella Lawson and more.
24 MAY–3 JUNE Hay-on-Wye
Over 134,000 tickets will be issued for the festival this year. They’ll sell fast, so stay on the lookout for more information coming soon.
From writers to comedians, poets to artists, Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye is a celebration of the arts. Located in a big green field, with each event just a brief walk from the next, Hay attracts people from all over the world to rejoice in every aspect of culture and the written word. Early bird tickets for events with Margaret Atwood and Les Amazones d’Afrique have already been released.
E R U T A R E T I L S T R A E H T D N A
The full programme is still to be announced. Entry to the site is free but tickets are sold on an event basis, so you only pay for what you want to see. WEB
hayfestival.com All you need is a good book and a big green field
Ledbury Poetry Festival
29 JUNE–8 JULY Ledbury
The quirky little market town of Ledbury comes alive in the summer with the arrival of the annual Ledbury Poetry Festival. For 10 days, poetry lovers can enjoy live readings,
workshops, open mic sets, music, exhibitions, films, poetry slams and competitions throughout the town. This year’s stellar line-up includes Hollie McNish, Jackie
Kay, Owen Sheers and Poet-in-Residence Zaffar Kunial. TICKETS
Lovely Ledbury hosts the finest poets
A mix of free and paid for events. WEB
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FOOD , S U O I R O L G FOOD
Great British Beer Festival 7–11 AUGUST
Every year, thousands flock to this boozy festival to taste the best real ales, craft beers, ciders, wines and gins. It’s a haven for those with a penchant for hops and the selection is incredible, with over 900 drinks on offer. Remember, however, to eat some food and drink plenty of water, and do make use of the festival guide map. TICKETS
Entrance costs are around £11. A festival glass costs £3. Buy beer tokens or pay in cash at the bars.
Raise a glass to the great British pint
Meat other carnivores in Wapping
31 AUGUST–2 SEPTEMBER wapping, London
Meat lovers rejoice, the Meatopia food festival is a celebration of the raw and the cooked. Forget your chickpeas and chia seeds, it’s all about wolfing down delicious barbecue meats by the bucketload. With big open flames, craft beer and live music, this weekend food fest is lively, fun and definitely meat-tastic. TICKETS
The Big Feastival 24–26 AUGUST Kingham
authors, this is THE summer event for foodies that’s great for families too.
More details coming soon. Tickets include entry only. WEB
Set on the idyllic farm owned by Blur bassist Alex James, The Big Feastival is a unique and mouth-watering celebration of food, with music and camping on offer too. From sitting down to feasts and banquets, gorging on delicious street food, or listening to your favourite cookery
Adult weekend non-camping ticket is £149.50. Adult weekend camping ticket is £179.50. Day tickets are also available. WEB
Get in the swing of things at The Big Feastival
It’s all a bit of a Blur
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S L A V I T FES THE FOR LY FA M I
Held at Cheltenham Racecourse, the Wychwood Festival plays host to over 100 artists and offers a plethora of family-friendly activities, including carnival parades, circus workshops and outdoor games. Among the musical acts appearing this year are The Gipsy Kings, indie stalwarts Shed Seven and singer Baxter Dury. TICKETS
Weekend adult ticket cost £137.50 (not including booking fee). WEB
Cornbury Music Festival 13–15 JULY
This one-of-a-kind festival is adored by families who return year after year. With a real mix of music, a fun-filled fairground, a therapy and massage zone (go on, treat yourself), a disco shed, a vintage mobile cinema and
The Wychwood Festival attracts ravers of all ages
so much more, kids and grown-ups can spend a magical weekend together in the countryside, far, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. TICKETS
Weekend adult tickets are on sale for £180 (not including booking fee). WEB
No sleep ‘til Nozstock
Nozstock 20–22 JULY
Nozstock started off as a small family BBQ and is now celebrating 20 years of fantasic festival fever. Arts and crafts, films, live music, comedy, workshops and cowsheds converted into alternative dance raves are all on offer, so there’s something for everyone at this rural countryside festival. TICKETS
There be dragons at the Cornbury Music Festival
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Advance and early bird tickets have sold out. Tier two advanced weekend tickets are on sale for adults at £130. WEB
Sun, sea, sand and some of the finest ice cream around – South Wales has everything you need for a fun-filled holiday. Let Jude Rogers be your guide…
h t u o S s e l a W ER
Step over to Ogmore Castle near Bridgend
M M U W
hen we dream of the perfect summer holiday, certain requirements quickly come to mind: a golden riviera, stunning landscape, an airy restaurant, wildlife, or simply just a new experience for all the family. Finding all these things together may seem impossible, but it’s easier than you think – just go west to South Wales. Here you can find 44 Blue Flag beaches, 416 miles of stunning coastal paths and cute seaside towns and villages teeming with treasures. Don’t worry if the weather isn’t all that Mediterranean either (although if it is, you’ll be better off here than in the Balearics) – whether you’re in a sun hat or a Sou’wester, there’s plenty to entertain you whatever summer you’re after.
GO TO... A HOP-SKIP from the capital and you’re in British seaside heaven at Barry Island. There’s the bright modernist blast of its freshly-painted, primary-coloured beach huts, and a fantastic new climbing wall where thousands of tessellated holds spell out the area’s name in bold type. Then there’s the isle’s long-standing pleasure park, now with a huge, retro Ferris wheel. Other old-fashioned pleasures can be found twice-weekly on the brilliant Gavin and Stacey Tour – you can even play the slots at Island Leisure Amusement
British seaside heaven at Barry Island
rdiff a c …for picture postcard pleasures …for luxury restaurants and quality rest
Arcade, where Ruth Jones’ Nessa ruled the roost. To wind down, there’s the gorgeous stretch of Whitmore Bay, looking across to North Somerset, with its beautiful new promenade.
Follow in the footsteps of Gavin and Stacey
For oldfashioned seaside fun elsewhere in South wales try: PORT TALBOT
for delicious fish and chips in their vinegary paper at Franco’s on Aberavon Beach, or at Beale’s in Porthcawl. SWANSEA for the best ice cream in South Wales at the legendary Welsh-Italian company Joe’s.
Prefer a gentler, calmer seaside experience? Skip across Cardiff Bay to Penarth. The town’s newly-restored Art Deco pavilion on the pier hosts a cinema, theatre, café and art gallery. The town’s a foodie haven too, with lots of gourmet options next to the lapping Welsh waves. Want a Michelin-starred dinner? Then book early for James Sommerin, whose Friday and Saturday tasting menus have wowed diners far beyond Wales. Or go a few doors down for superb seafood at The Fig Tree, in the impossibly cute setting of a Victorian beach shelter. After either, it’d be rude not to retire to the spa hotel of Holm House nearby. For food, rest and relaxation further afield try: NARBERTH for delicious
Welsh-Spanish delights at Ultracomida. LLANELLI for day packages at the Monks Spa in the beautiful Llanelli Waterside development.
nsea a sw …to walk on the wild side SWANSEA sits at the heel of the justly-celebrated Gower Peninsula, one of the greatest stretches of coast in the UK. Its well-known treasures would be silly to miss. Feel your jaw drop at the beauty of Three Cliffs Bay, but experience them like a local by walking down to the beach from the rugged stretch of Pennard Cliffs, then carry on east and enjoy the lesserknown loveliness of the smaller Pwll Du. Or, after experiencing the stunning Rhossili Bay, enjoy a walk out at low-tide to the small tidal island of Worm’s Head, where if you’re lucky enough you’ll see the remains of old shipwrecks. A few miles to the east, Mewslade Bay is a dramatic gem, its rocky outcrops and caves feeling part of an ancient wonderland.
Sandy bays at Manorbier beach
For other Welsh coastal walking delights try: MANORBIER
for incredible Pembrokeshire coastal path strolls, only a mile away from its own tiny train station.
Gower’s much less-known north coast is magnificent too, marshy rather than beachy, but still bleakly beautiful. The Whiteford Burrows nature reserve leading up to Whiteford Sands is a particularly magical place. Wild ponies and pine trees accompany you to a huge, quiet stretch of sand, from
which you’ll see the last cast-iron lighthouse left in Britain. Nearby Cheriton also has one of the area’s most attractive medieval churches, while the beautifully-preserved 14th-century Weobley Castle has gorgeous high views over to the Carmarthenshire Coast. So much so it makes you think about travelling there too…
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e r i h s e k o r b m e p …to enjoy animal magic
For other creature comforts try: LLANELLI to enjoy
flamingos, geese and rare birds at the 450 acres of pools, lagoons and reed beds in Llanelli’s stunning Wetland Centre.
The National Showcaves Centre for Wales
BRIDGEND’s ancient beauty holds excitement for kids of all ages who are fascinated by fossils. The area’s Jurassic cliffs are over 90 million years old, while Llantwit Major is celebrated for its huge corals and sea urchins.
The area’s nearby Dunraven Bay (also known as Southerndown Beach) is also brilliant for children. After wetting your feet, go upriver from Ogmoreby-Sea to find Ogmore Castle, where at low tide you can cross the local river to reach the battlements by stepping stones.
For more Jurassic hi-jinks visit: NEATH to see the 220
life-size dinosaurs at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales. TENBY to entertain the kids at Dinosaur Park Tenby, full of model stegosauruses, mazes and rides.
gend b…torseekid out hidden treasures
One of the many puffins at Skomer
THE GWR line goes as far as Pembroke Dock, and the journey is worth it for the wonderful wildlife. Take a boat to the islands of Skomer or Skokholm to see the area’s huge Atlantic puffin colony (there were a record-breaking 22,000 here in 2015). You can go dolphin or porpoise-spotting in the deep waters too, or see triggerfish, lobsters and conger eels on a scuba-diving day – and even visit a wreck of a boat, The Lucy, where you can enter old rooms under supervision. From the holiday heartland of Tenby visit the peaceful Caldey Island, owned and run by a community of monks, to enjoy stunning views of the seabirds on summer weekdays and Saturdays. Tenby’s name in Welsh is Dinbych-y-pysgod – Little Fortress of the Fish – and you can take your tackle to the town to catch mackerel on regular trips too. Further west at St David’s you also have the brilliant Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, where kids can enjoy a tropical bug zoo, while more adventurous types can also book a table at Grub Kitchen, the UK’s first edible insect restaurant. Teeth together and crunch!
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e r i h s n e h t r a m r ca …to get active
IF SPORT and sweeping stretches of sand are your bag, then Carmarthenshire’s your county. Start at the beautifully flat Pendine Sands, where Malcolm Campbell broke the first-ever world land speed record in 1924 (Luther actor Idris Elba broke the ‘flying mile’ record there too, in 2015). The area is also home to Morfa Bay Adventure, a great place to indulge in intrepid activities. Abseiling, caving and body-boarding are amongst the more ordinary offerings, while gorge walking, axe-throwing and sumo wrestling are also on the table. Further east is Pembrey Country Park, with a local
Climbing fun at Morfa Bay Adventure
GWR station only a few miles from its gates. Activities here are fine-tuned for energetic families: a huge, 130-metre dry slope for skiing, tubing and snowboarding, Wales’ longest Enjoy stag and hen events at Morfa Bay
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toboggan run The Cobra, a professional riding centre offering horse treks and pony rides on the beach, plus a huge kids’ adventure playground. Tired yet? You will be!
For other energetic pursuits try: PORT TALBOT to
enjoy the tree-top high ropes course at Go Ape in Margam Country Park.
When all else fails, why not abseil?
Make this celebrated seaside town your next port of call
WHY GO THERE?
Made famous by the sentimental swashbucklers in Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, this Cornish port has enjoyed many other dramatic acts during its history. For contemporary visitors, Penzance is the ideal seaside destination for a family day out, with excellent attractions and beautiful scenery. WHERE DO I START?
Take a trip up Chapel Street, the historic heart of Penzance. Drop in for a pint at the Admiral Benbow pub, which notably features in the opening scenes of the novel Treasure Island, and look out for another literary connection at number 25, the former home of Maria Branwell, mother of the Brontë sisters. The Admiral Benbow pub
WHERE SHOULD I KIP?
Continue along Chapel Street and you can’t miss the Egyptian House, a 19th-century grade I listed building. As the name suggests, this is a small but perfectly formed piece of architecture inspired by ancient Egypt that also houses three guest apartments. If you don’t fancy a flight into Egypt, the nearby Artist Residence is a boutique hotel offering plenty of charm and style. WHAT’S HIP?
Get yourself to the Games as Arts/ Arts as Games Festival, 10–31 May, at The Exchange Gallery. Visitors can experience live performing robotics installations, playful hybrid music instruments and interactive video pieces and games. IF I DO ONE THING?
Take the plunge at the Art Deco Jubilee lido swimming pool, one of the jewels of Penzance’s promenade with superb views out across to St Michael’s Mount. Built in 1935, the pool has undergone extensive work to complement its classic look with all the amenities that a modern water baby could want.
Penzance's maritime history takes in raiders, smugglers and Sir Walter Raleigh
ONLY IN PENZANCE Explore Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, a sheltered valley packed with sub-tropical plants, as well as works from such renowned artists as James Turrell and David Nash.
3 Head down the coast to the Minack Theatre, the incredible open air theatre carved into granite cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean at Porthcurno Bay.
2 Penlee House
Gallery and Museum celebrates the skill and craft of Cornwall’s painters, with collections also covering 6,000 years of local history. Penlee House
The Minack Theatre
to find more accommodation options, visit bookpenzance.com or contact the Penzance Welcome Centre on 01736 335530
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Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London
An Escape favourite, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre launches another great season of classic stage shows, including Peter Pan, The Turn of the Screw, As You Like It and Little Shop of Horrors. In fact, so good and so varied is the line-up this year – there’s
fantasy, horror, musicals and Shakespeare – we recommend you bag a season ticket and see the whole lot (season ticket prices start at £145). For younger kids, there’s also the interactive Dinosaur World Live, which should be a blast for all involved (sadly, it’s not part of the season ticket). WEB
OUTS tures n e v d A o c s e Fr Al
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Outdoor T heatre
The Minack Theatre
Of all the theatres in the UK, the Minack has perhaps the most dramatic setting. Hewn out of the rocky Cornish coast, it sits perched on the very tip of the country, looking out over the Channel. The Minack runs a busy and varied schedule, with shows running most nights from late March through September. As well as theatre, including classics by Shakespeare, Anton Chekov and Tom Stoppard, there are a few concerts too. The theatre is also a tourist destination, so even if youâ€™re not planning on seeing a show, head over and discover the history of this dramatically different stage. WEB
check out these cool ideas for making the most of the good weather, including open air dining, theatre, cinema and art
Outdoor A performance of The Tempest at the Globe
Shakespeare’s Globe London
Shakespeare’s Globe welcomes audiences and visitors to their two theatres: the open-air Globe Theatre (with 700 standing tickets, each costing £5 per performance during the main theatre season) and the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The summer season starts on 25 April with a production of Hamlet, followed by As You Like It, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Winter’s Tale, Othello and more. WEB
Polgoon Vineyard and Orchard
Tours at Polgoon run from April through to September and provide a fascinating insight into life on a vineyard and orchard. Learn about different grape and apple varieties and get a glimpse at the processes that turn fruit into wines and ciders. Tours are followed by a tasting session and guests are invited to have lunch in the Vine House Kitchen. Polgoon is offering Escape readers a 10% discount on all Polgoon products and tours via the website using the voucher code ESCAPE. WEB
Outdoor Dining The Crab House Cafe
Wyke Regis, Dorset
As with their oysters, the crabs served at the Crab House Café are sourced locally. They’re served dressed or, if you’re feeling up to it, with a hammer, nutcrackers, various picks and forks and a bib. Get stuck in while you look out at picturesque Chesil Beach. WEB
Outdoor dining with the Hive Beach Café
Try the catch of the day at the Crab House Café
Hive Beach Cafe
Burton Bradstock, Dorset
Further west along the Jurassic Coast is the Hive Beach Café. Amongst the fine fare on offer is the Hive Beach shellfish platter, which treats diners to a bumper helping of whole lobster, crab, king prawns, smoked salmon and more. It’s likely to make a dent in your wallet, but you’ll not regret it. WEB
From vine to glass
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The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel that boasts impressive views. The building’s chic, modern design makes it the ideal place to enjoy a holiday, but non-staying guests are also welcome to dine at the hotel’s restaurant. Ingredients are locally sourced, and there’s a wide range of dishes on offer. WEB
Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant Oxford
If you find yourself in Oxford this summer, then punt your way over to the Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant, on the River Cherwell. It offers fine dining at a fair price.
Enjoy chic dining at the Scarlet
cherwellboathouse.co.uk The legendary kitchen at the River Café
The River Cafe
Food on the banks of the Cherwell
The famous River Café – where Jamie Oliver and Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall trained – has an excellent outdoor dining area, perfect for hot days. The food is pretty special too – unfussy Italian fare that focuses on good quality ingredients. But excellence comes at a price, so, unless you’re minted, keep this aside for a special occasion. WEB
Open Air Cinema
Rooftop film club Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford, London
Go La La for movies at The Luna Cinema
What an inspired idea, to utilise otherwise disused rooftops and transform them into cinemas during the spring and summer months. With venues in Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford, Rooftop Film Club runs a varied programme, showing classics such as Pulp Fiction and Home Alone alongside new releases. WEB
The Luna Cinema Touring
The Luna Cinema’s summer 2018 season has yet to be announced but keep an eye out for its coming tour. Previous years have seen the itinerant movie theatre visit Hampton Court Palace, Kew
Gardens, Kensington Palace and other London parks and country manor houses. Grab yourself a drink, stretch out on a blanket and enjoy your favourite flicks under the stars. WEB
See stars in the sky and on the screen
Open Air Cinema
Yes, it’s another outdoor cinema in London showing classic films. But these guys donate all their profits to The Sustainability Institute, an environmental and educational charity in South Africa. Pop-up venues have included Festival Gardens St Paul’s Cathedral, Brompton Cemetery, Leadenhall Market and Paddington Street Gardens. Organisers have been known to include a free drink and popcorn as part of the ticket price, so fingers crossed for more of that. WEB
Help Nomad to help the environment
Pop Up Screens Touring
The concept is simple. An inflatable screen appears in parks and public spaces and folk come with pals to watch top films under the warm night sky. This year’s programme has yet to be announced, but check out Pop Up Screens’ website to keep updated about future screenings and venues.
Backyard Cinema started as a homemade project in someone’s back garden, but has since transformed into a London cinema institution. The folks behind Backyard Cinema carefully consider context and screen films in relevant settings.
Not your common-orgarden cinema
Film4 Summer Screen Somerset House, London
As if the courtyard at Somerset House wasn’t spectacular enough, every summer they add a cinema screen and show top films. This year, movies will be screened between 9–22 August (programme to be announced). Spectacular Somerset House
Never a bridge too far for Pop Up Screens
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Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture garden in St Ives
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden St Ives, Cornwall
The queen of British sculpture, Barbara Hepworth is one of the country’s best-loved artists, known for her smooth, lozengelike bronzes. You can visit her home in St Ives where she lived and worked for 26 years, until her death in 1975. Most of the bronzes on show in the garden remain in the same position she placed them in way back in the day – and she knew a thing or two about orchestrating space. This is a must-see for anyone visiting Cornwall this summer. WEB
Textile work by Jessica Cooper
Broomhill Art Hotel and Sculpture Garden Devon
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens cornwall
Immerse yourself in art at this hub of creativity in Devon. Stay for dinner, bed down for the evening, or just wander round the grounds, taking in some of the work on show. The nearest GWR station is Barnstaple – Broomhill is a 10-minute taxi ride away. WEB
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Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Gloucestershire
Hidden in the atmospheric Forest of Dean are a number of speciallycommissioned sculptures responding to the leafy context. Discover the art works, including pieces by Cornelia Parker, Ian Hamilton Finlay and David Nash, by following a special trail. There’s no direct train to the site, but you can arrange onward transport from Gloucester.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens presents an exhibition of drawings, paintings and textiles by Jessica Cooper, until 29 April. Inspired by her father’s passion for plants, Jessica makes work that explores the vitality of natural forms. In this exhibition, her work responds to the spectacular collection of subtropical plants at the sculpture gardens from around the world. WEB
Cathedral by Kevin Atherton
A piece by Ronald Westerhuis
TICKETS TO SUIT YOU
GET THE MOST FROM YOUR JOURNEY At Great Western Railway, we believe every journey should be an enjoyable one. Whether you’re going away for the weekend with loved ones, doing extra work on your laptop or taking some time out for yourself, we’re here to help
BUY BEFORE YOU BOARD
First Class For added luxury, see if your train offers exclusive First Class carriages. First Class provides more spacious seats, complimentary refreshments and newspapers, and use of our dedicated First Class lounges.
Season Tickets Season Tickets are the best value for customers regularly making the same journey. There’s a choice of tickets lasting seven days, one year, or any number of months in between.
Night Riviera Sleeper Arrive rested and relaxed with our Sleeper service. Our ‘moving hotel’ offers fully air-conditioned private cabins, complimentary travel accessories, free refreshments and even a morning wake-up call.
London Day Travelcard Visiting the capital for a short break? The London Day Travelcard offers unlimited travel on all forms of public transport across the whole of London.
To qualify for the best-value tickets and offers, buy your ticket in advance. Here’s how to buy before you board ONLINE gwr.com BY PHONE 03457 000 125* (0600–2300 daily) AT THE STATION From ticket offices. Most debit and credit cards are accepted. Don’t forget to pick up a mini-timetable or download one from our website. Please make sure you buy your ticket before travelling. *Standard network charges apply. Calls from mobiles may be higher.
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Kings Sutton Heyford
Severn Beach Barnstaple Umberleigh
Bu rn ha m
ar M d en he nio St t G er Sa ma n lta sh s
Coombe Junction Halt St Keyne Wishing Well Halt Causeland
G re en fo rd
So ut h
Ba rP ar k
Ca st le
Br oa dw ay Lin e
Ea lin g
Ac to n
So ut ha ll Ha nw ell
Dr ay to n W es tE ali ng
La ng ley Ive r W es tD ra Ha yton
Ha rlin gt on
G re en
Co ok ha m Pla tt Fu rz e
Pa dd Lon in do gt n on
e Ta plo nh ea Bu w d rn ha m
Ch co o t G lse P or y ar ing kw Pa & ay ng Str Til bou eatle eh r ur ne y st
Sw in do n
Be tc hw or th Re iga te
Thornford Digby & Sowton Newcourt Topsham
Chetnole Maiden Newton
Lympstone Commando Lympstone Village
Sh or eh am -b ySe a Ho ve
W or th ing
St James’ Park
Ch ich es te r
Br ig ht on
Taunton Tiverton Parkway
Fa re ha m Co sh am
Starcross Dawlish Warren Dawlish Teignmouth
S Fe t Bu rry de Ro au a x Ke d y Do ham c De kya vo rd np or t
L ar Bo ost dm wit hie in l Pa rk w ay
St Au st ell
Tr ur o
Ha yle Ca m Re bor dr ne ut h
Exeter St Thomas S Be Vic t B re to ude Fe ria a rre Ro ux rs ad
Exeter St Davids
Newton St Cyres
Summer Sundays only
Sh a Ch lford ilw or th G om D Do ork sha ing ll rk ing W es (D t ee pd en e)
North Camp Ash
Hig Br id hb gw rid at ge er
St Columb Road
Blackwater Farnborough North
Heathrow Terminal 4
Ye ov il P en
Nailsea & Backwell
Newbury Racecourse Melksham
Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3
Windsor & Eton Central
Bristol Temple Meads
St Andrews Road
Ba rn ha m
Sea Mills Shirehampton
Ha va nt
Filton Abbey Wood
Pa tc hw ay
Ju nc tio n Tu nn el Pil nin g
Se ve rn
O ld fie ld
C Do lifto w n n Re dla nd
Lla ne lli
Br id ge nd
Great Western Railway summer only service
P Pa ort rk Ta w lb ay ot
Fe ma rry r sid the Kid e n w e Pe lly m br ey & Bu rry Po rt
Re ad in g
W Sh ar ip gr lak av e e
Cam & Dursley
Bo ur ne
He nle yon -T M ha ar low m es
Tw yfo rd
Ashchurch for Tewkesbury
G re en fo rd
Fin st oc C k Ha om nb be or ou gh
Take RailAir – the dedicated non-stop coach service from Reading. FIND OUT MORE AT www.railair.com
As co Ch tt-u ar nde lb ur r-W y yc hw oo d
Pe rs Ev hore es h Ho am ne yb ou rn e
W or G ce re at st M er alv er Fo M n W a or reg lvern at ce e Link st S er t Sh ree t ru b Hi ll
M in- ore M ton ar s Kin h gh am Sh ip to n
Le db ur y Co lw all
FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE NETWORK
Dorchester West Upwey
Portsmouth & Southsea Portsmouth Harbour
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TRANSPORT LINKS FROM STATIONS
Railcards could save you money
Eurostar We’ve teamed up with Eurostar to offer you the chance to buy a ticket from your UK destination through to the continent, making it easier to travel and giving you the best value for money.
saving you one-third off most standard rail tickets (time restrictions may apply). There are different types of railcard, starting at £10, and they are valid for 12 months.
Great Western Railway has a range of great special offers. Check them out on our website at gwr.com Railcards Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train,
HOW ARE WE DOING? Contact us at email@example.com or call us on 03457 000 125* (0600 to 2300 daily) with any questions, concerns or feedback. We’d love to hear from you. *Standard network charges apply. Calls from mobiles may be higher.
National Rail Enquiries To find out all the latest service updates on all train operating companies, call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50*. Or you can check online at nationalrail.co.uk
transport Focus The independent National Rail consumer watchdog can be contacted at transportfocus.org.uk
WHEN YOU’RE ON BOARD
PROBLEM WITH ONBOARD WIFI? If travelling on an Electrostar or Sprinter service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8028 0378. If taking one of our Intercity Express Trains, High Speed Trains, Turbos or overnight Sleeper services, email email@example.com or call 0330 088 1275. Please ask a member of the onboard team if you're unsure which train type you are travelling on. www.gwr.com
LUGGAGE can be stored on the overhead shelves, in the racks at the end of carriages, or under the seats.
FIRST CLASS can be found in Coaches K and L on High Speed Trains, and on some selected local services.
POWER POINTS are available to use for free on all our High Speed Trains. Look between the seats in front of you in Standard, or on the walls in First Class.
THE QUIET CARRIAGE offers peaceful travel, free from phones and music players. Head to Coach A in Standard on our High Speed Trains.
By bus PLUSBUS is a ticket that can be added to most types of train ticket. PLUSBUS gives you unlimited bus travel around town at the start, finish, or at both ends of your train journey. Together with your train ticket, it’s a great way to get directly to your chosen destination. By bike We support green travel and bicycles are a fantastic way to make your way from A to B, not to mention the health benefits of pedal power. Don’t forget to reserve a place for your bike on board or to take advantage of bike hire schemes or parking facilities. By plane Leave the car at home when flying from Bristol, Cardiff or Exeter International Airports, each a short bus ride away from the city’s station. Travel with us direct from Reading to Gatwick Airport by train or to Heathrow via the RailAir coach service from Reading. By car Most of our stations have pay-as-you-go car parks. Pay over the phone using our cashless payment system. To use, register your contact details, car registration, where you have parked and your card details by calling the number advertised at car parks.
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SAFETY INFORMATION FOR PASSENGERS SEATED IN COACHES A, K AND THE BUFFET CAR, PLEASE CHECK YOUR NEAREST SAFETY POSTER FOR ADDITIONAL EVACUATION INSTRUCTIONS IF IT IS NECESSARY TO MOVE FROM YOUR COACH, AND IT IS SAFE TO REMAIN ON THE TRAIN, MOVE TO ANOTHER COACH
These instructions are provided for your safety in the event of an emergency. If there is no immediate danger, await instructions from on-train staff. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the location of emergency equipment.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURES EMERGENCY ALARM – TO STOP THE TRAIN IN AN EMERGENCY Locate the red emergency alarm handle and pull sharply towards you. This will immediately apply the train brakes. Please locate a member of staff and explain your reasons for operating the alarm
LIGHT STICKS – DURING AN EMERGENCY, IF THE LIGHTING ON THE TRAIN FAILS
Locate the 'Emergency light sticks' box
Pull sharply on the box where indicated on the label
be removed Light sticks will then OR be activated, which as required can either remain in the boxes
EMERGENCY ESCAPE – INTERNAL SLIDING DOORS If it is safe to remain on the train, move to another coach. Do not take personal belongings with you
If the internal sliding door will not open, lift the emergency release cover where marked (situated in the top corner of the door)
SAFETY DIAGRAM FOR COACHES B, C, D, E, F, AND L
Using the Pull Tab, pull the locking strip to the opposite bottom corner of the door
IF IT IS NOT SAFE TO REMAIN ON THE TRAIN Once the train is stationary, leave through the coach doors
Using the horizontal panel, push the window fully out
BEFORE LEAVING THE TRAIN Be aware of other moving trains and any potential hazards
ONCE OFF THE TRAIN
Move to a safe location, away from the tracks. Await instructions from train staff. Do not step on or touch any rail
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Strike cover of emergency release with ﬁst
Remove cover and pull handle
Open the door fully, then leave the train
Use the offset steps or sit on the edge and lower yourself to the ground
“I was very much making it up as I went along,” says Jenny Eclair of her career plan
give me five pioneering comedian and broadcaster comes to the rescue with a new show that’s set to save the world
Can you tell us a little about your latest show, Grumpy Old Women to the Rescue? It’s a hybrid show with sketch, stand-up and general chat. The premise is that me, Dillie Keane and Lizzie Roper have superhero alter egos, such as Menopause Woman, and with the world in a terrible mess it’s down to us to come to the rescue. Of course, we have a ton of other things on our plate, like going to the doctor regularly and remembering everyone’s birthdays, so we can only do our best.
: and also
As a female comic, you’ve been a trailblazer. When you started out, did you know you might be cutting a path for future women comedians? I knew I was in a minority in comedy – there were big names, such as Victoria Wood and French and Saunders, and that was it – so for me it was very much making it up as I went along. I think that I was a feminist by accident, really. First and foremost I wanted to be famous, and as part of that I’ve ploughed a furrow, exploring how it is to be a woman at a certain time in her life.
How does the #MeToo movement tally with your own experiences? I’ve been in the industry for 35 years, starting as a young, rather cute woman, and I have to say that during that whole time I’ve not had to put up with anything unsavoury. I was very secure growing up and very loved, and people prey on others who are damaged. Being very loved by my parents gave me a sense of security and the strength to say yes or no. I am very lucky. Jenny and her daughter
What advice would you give young women today trying to juggle life and career? I’d say that it’s difficult to get the entire cake. No one gets the entire cake and eats it, we all just get a slice of it. I only had one child because I knew that unless I was very successful I couldn’t afford another – the child care would have been too expensive. Anyway, I’m only maternal up to a point – I had one child that I really liked and thought I won’t risk having any more.
Living in London, what do you like to do in your spare time? I’m a big gallery moocher, because most of the good ones are free. The Walk Through British Art at Tate Britain is an absolute gift – it’s free and it’s a must. It manages to make sense of the history of art and includes everything you’ve ever bought a postcard of.
Grumpy Old Women to the Rescue tours until 24 June. To find out more and to buy tickets, visit seetickets.com/tour/grumpy-old-women In 1995, Jenny Eclair became the first woman to win the prestigious Perrier Award Her daughter is playwright Phoebe Eclair-Powell Eclair came third in 2010’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here She is the author of several books, including the novel Moving
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