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WIN KIDS’ DVDS & TOYS

Romantic

RETREATS

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk Issue 9

ITELN W HO & SPA BREAK

s activitfIe amily!

fun packed!

museums galleries & parks

for all the how to

Tour your fave footie stadiumS

BRITISH GRUB Harry Hill Puzzles Mr tumble alexei sayle


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REACHING ACROSS OUR NETWORK – THIS IS YOUR ESCAPE ROUTE

inside this issue

Cardiff

Joys of spring page 32

Oxford

Next stop Page 9 Clifton

The lowdown Page 31

Southampton

Escape to victory Page 19

London

Underground anniversary Page 24

Portsmouth

We’ll take you there Page 6

Penzance

Romantic retreats Page 14

06 WE’LL TAKE YOU THERE Head for the heights on a visit to the stunning Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth’s historic harbour

09 NEXT STOP

Shows, museums, events and great British food

14 ROMANTIC RETREATS

Our guide to some of the best places to escape to with that special person in your life www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

19 ESCAPE TO VICTORY

A play-by-play look at the notable clubs and their grounds across the network

24 ON TRACK

London Underground turns 150, and we find the best attractions on its original 1863 route

31 THE LOWDOWN

Count on Bristol’s trendy Clifton Village for food, fashion and culture

32 JOYS OF SPRING

All you and your family need to know to get out there and enjoy an action-packed start to 2013, from alchemy and animation to musical interludes and a bustling mix of markets

38 PADDINGTON BEAR KIDS’ PAGES

Prizes, puzzles and fun facts for the kids to keep them entertained on the journey

41 BRAIN TRAIN

Conundrums and trivia

42 PLATFORM

Alexei Sayle interviewed

45 GUIDE

Travelling on our First Great Western trains

50 VIEW FROM HERE

Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble, chats about his new show

escape | 3


Buy your train plus bus tickets together Buy your train plus bus tickets together PLUSBUS is available for 60 towns & cities across the First Great Western network, PLUSBUS is available for 60 towns & cities including:across the First Great Western network, including:• Bath Bristol • Bath • Bristol Cardiff • Cardiff Cheltenham • Cheltenham Didcot • Didcot Exeter • Exeter Falmouth •• Falmouth Gloucester •• Gloucester Hereford •• Hereford Maidenhead •• Maidenhead Newport •• Newport Oxford •• Oxford Plymouth •• Plymouth Reading •• Reading Swindon • Swindon • Truro • Truro • Weston-s-Mare • Weston-s-Mare PLUSBUS is a travelcard that you buy with PLUSBUS is a travelcard that you buy with your train ticket at any station ticket office or your train ticket at any station ticket office or online onlineat: at:www.fi www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk rstgreatwestern.co.uk It It gives gives you you unlimited unlimited bus bus travel travel (on (on participating participatingoperators operators services) services) to to and and from from the therail railstation stationand and around around the the whole whole urban urban area of the town that’s at the start or end area of the town that’s at the start or end of of your train journey. your train journey.

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WIN KIDS’ DVDS & TOYS

Romantic RETREATS

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk Issue 9

IN W HOTEL & SPA BREAK

welcome Spring into 2013 with some great days out

FOOTBALL FEVER

ACTIVITIES FAMILY!

FUN PACKED!

FOR ALL THE

MUSEUMS GALLERIES & PARKS

SEE PAGE 19

BRITISH GRUB HARRY HILL PUZZLES MR TUMBLE ALEXEI SAYLE

HOW TO

TOUR YOUR FAVE FOOTIE STADIUMS

00_ESCAPE_Issue9_COVER.indd 1

14/01/2013 15:46

Editorial enquiries Editor Dan Panes escapeeditor@thinkpublishing.co.uk Managing Editor Jack Kibble-White jack@thinkpublishing.co.uk 0141 582 1376 Assistant Editor Andrew Cattanach andrew@thinkpublishing.co.uk 0141 582 1280 Design Matthew Ball Sub-editors Andrew Littlefield, Indira Mann Advertising Sales Daniel Haynes daniel.haynes@thinkpublishing.co.uk

Breath of fresh air

T

Publisher John Innes john.innes@thinkpublishing.co.uk Published on behalf of First Great Western by Think 124-128 Barlby Road, London W10 6BL 020 8962 3020 thinkpublishing.co.uk First Great Western Head Office Milford House 1 Milford Street Swindon, SN1 1HL firstgreatwestern.co.uk © 2013 First Great Western. 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. Escape is printed on FSC paper from a well-managed forest. Views of contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the policy of First Great Western nor those of the publishers. All material correct at time of going to press.

Escape is sure to point you in the right direction

he start of a new year brings with it lots of new opportunities to enjoy the huge variety of things to see and do on the First Great Western network. To begin with, if you’re thinking about getting away from it all with the special person in your life, our selection of romantic retreats will make the season an even brighter one. There’s likewise no shortage of great days out for the whole family, as you will see if you turn to page 32. Budding explorers, actors and fashionistas need not feel left out either, as our spring highlights article really does have something for everyone. Elsewhere, this year sees the 150th anniversary of the London Underground and on page 24 we join in the celebrations. Following the route of the original 1863 Metropolitan Railway, we take a time-travelling tour of some remarkable attractions in the city. And there’s another historical trip that football fans in particular will appreciate, as we visit some of the network’s best-loved stadiums. Finally, we also have the pleasure of chatting to the superstar of children’s television and south west resident, Justin Fletcher – aka Mr Tumble – about his new live show. As always, there’s a mix of puzzles, competitions and our guide to what’s on to keep you occupied until your destination. Whether you fancy kicking back in the countryside or catching some culture in the city, this issue of Escape is sure to point you in the right direction.

Cover 101 spring activities, Matilda image, Manuel Harlan

Dan Panes (Editor) TT-COC-002559

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 5


We’ll take you there


SPINNAKER TOWER

Breathtaking heights Since opening in 2005, Spinnaker Tower has become an icon of Portsmouth’s historic harbour, captivating more than two million visitors. With a 360-degree panoramic view over Portsmouth and the Solent strait, this 170 metre-high viewing tower delights visitors with its glass floor and open-air crow’s nest. And if that’s not enough, on certain days you can even abseil down the tower. On less adventurous visits, treat yourself to afternoon tea in the tower’s café. GETTING THERE Take the FGW train to Portsmouth Harbour. Spinnaker Tower is a ten-minute walk from the station

PORTSMOUTH


ADVERTISING FEATURE

Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower … what’s it all about? For city, coast and countryside, set your sights on Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower. Situated on South Wales’ shoreline, Swansea Bay is easily accessible, with First Great Western trains running direct from London Paddington. Head for Swansea’s charismatic City Centre, where shopping and sightseeing are both on offer. Historic and horticultural to exotic and energetic, you’ll find plenty of attractions from the National Waterfront Museum, the Dylan Thomas Centre, award winning gardens at Singleton Botanics and Clyne, Plantasia, a tropical hothouse with plant collections, aquariums, amphibians and animals, and the LC Leisure Complex (complete with indoor surfing!). And not forgetting Swansea Market, great for tucking into some tasty local produce – try the welshcakes or cockles (a local delicacy!) – and the shopping centre’s superb selection of high street, boutique and designer stores. As Wales’ Waterfront City, the Maritime Quarter is just a stone’s throw away from the city centre.

Alive with maritime history, enjoy the cultural quarter and its eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, including one atop the tallest building in Wales. Or for an alternative angle take to the water, there’s a reason why we’re a Watersports Centre of Excellence. Tucked in at the west of the Bay you’ll find the cosmopolitan corner of Mumbles. A seaside village with a stand-alone spirit, capture its colourful character and charm, from the fishermen’s cottages, trendy boutiques, art galleries and cosy cafes that line the streets to the medieval castle

that overlooks them. From here, head to the water’s edge and take a stroll or cycle along the promenade. Top off a trip to Mumbles with a bite to eat, seafood is a speciality here, as is ice cream, with one local ice cream parlour boasting a secret recipe from 1922! Take the coastal route from Mumbles to the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walk your way around the Gower section of the new Wales Coast Path and uncover captivating coastline and countryside, it spans 39 miles, but

you don’t have to walk it all at once! Spend some time on the sand at one of Gower’s award winning beaches such as Three Cliffs Bay, Port Eynon and Rhossili – with breathtaking views a given, once you’ve visited, you’ll be hooked. And that’s before you’ve even swapped sand for sea and tried one of the many watersports activities on offer including surfing, canoeing, coasteering, kayaking and kitesurfing! Of course when you’re ready to hang up your boots and indulge, there are plenty of places you can enjoy the area’s local produce, whether you fancy the uniquely flavoured Llanrhidian salt marsh lamb, cockles from Penclawdd, the Welsh Black Beef or seafood caught by local fishermen along the coast. To find out how easy it is to plan your short break in Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower, go to visitswanseabay.com Call 0844 888 5118 (ref: 5016/1) to order your FREE copy of the 2013 Holiday Guide or download our App from the App Store.


Your guide to great events happening just along the tracks

Next stop David Bowie exhibition

Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane Design by Brian Duffy and Celia Philo, make up by Pierre La Roche, 1973 © Duffy Archive

With brand new album The Next Day out in March, the V&A’s retrospective of the extraordinary career of rock chameleon David Bowie is more timely than most had anticipated. Granted unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive, the curators have selected more than 300 objects that explore Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon. Handwritten lyrics, set designs, sketches and original costumes all paint an insightful portrait of the man who fell to earth. n Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 23 March–28 July 2013 Nearest Tube: South Kensington

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 9


next stop Sandi Toksvig, Bath Literature Festival alumna

The Bath Literature Festival Since 1995, the Bath Literature Festival has presented the best in local, national and international writers, firmly establishing itself as one of the UK’s most respected literary events. A book lover’s paradise, the festival’s eclectic mix of talks, workshops and readings

are all set in the beautiful historic city of Bath. Previous years have seen appearances from Sandi Toksvig, Tony Parsons and Terry Pratchett, so a high calibre line-up of writers is always assured. n Various venues, Bath, 1–10 March Take FGW train to Bath Spa

New Orleans-based jazz-blues singer Lillian Boutté will be performing at the festival

The dinosaurs are coming to London

The Railway from 1873

Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular Following a hugely successful tour of 206 cities, this amazing live arena show comes to Wembley Arena, proving that dinosaurs do still rule the Earth. Designers and scientists have created 20 life-size ancient creatures using state-of-the-art technology and an excellent flair 10 | escape

for the theatrical. Keep a sharp look out for that terror of the Cretaceous period, Tyrannosaurus rex! It’s a show guaranteed to delight and devour the old and young alike. n Wembley Arena, London, 1–6 May Nearest Tube: Wembley Park

Allosaurus at the arena

Édouard Manet is considered by many to be the first truly modern artist. A contemporary of the Impressionists, Manet perfectly captured stylish Parisian society in the 19th century. The Royal Academy of Arts presents the first major exhibition in the UK to showcase Manet’s portraiture of friends, family and the artistic elite. This will be a unique opportunity to see examples of Manet’s work held in private and public collections. n Royal Academy of Arts, London, until 14 April Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

ALAMY, DAVID SCHIENMANN

Manet: Portraying Life


best of the rest

Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival For one explosive weekend the sounds of the American Delta will come to Bristol for the city’s inaugural Jazz and Blues Festival. The Colston Hall will host over 24 individual concerts, late-night jam sessions and instrumental and vocal workshops. Prestigious artists making an appearance include Cuban virtuoso Arturo Sandoval, guitar legend John Scofield and funk maestro Pee Wee Ellis. This promises to be one of the major music events of the year. n Colston Hall, Bristol, 1–3 March Take FGW train to Bristol Temple Meads

win

WIN A Break at THE Cornwall Hotel Spa AND Estate This great prize includes a two-night stay for two people, with full Cornish breakfast, in a Superior open-plan room with generous private balcony. Enjoy a three-course dinner from the Arboretum Restaurant’s plat du www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

jour menu, as well as a complimentary 30-minute treatment for each adult. The prize includes two First Class return tickets with First Great Western. To enter please visit: firstgreatwestern.co.uk/ cornwallcompetition

Closing date: 24 April 2013. Prize must be taken by 30 June 2013 and excludes school and public holidays, and

is subject to availability. Includes two nights’ accommodation for two people, based on two people sharing a double room with breakfast and dinner for two people, on one night, from the Arboretum plat du jour menu. Two 30-minute spa treatments included. The First Class tickets are on First Great Western trains only. For offers at this beautiful hotel visit thecornwall.com/offers or call 01726 874051 for a brochure.

n Animated Wales National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff (until 17 March) n Amongst Heroes: the artist in working Cornwall Two Temple Place, London (until 14 April) n Gold Coinage in Britain Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (until 23 April) n Codebreaker: Alan Turing’s Life and Legacy The Science Museum, London (until 31 May) n Phantom of the Opera The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (23 January– 16 February) n Chocolate M Shed, Bristol (2 February–6 May) n James and the Giant Peach New Theatre, Cardiff (12–16 February) n The Book of Mormon Prince of Wales Theatre, London (26 February– 21 September) n Art13 London Olympia, London (28 February–3 March) n King of Egypt Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol (15 March–11 August) n Bath Comedy Festival Various venues, Bath (29 March–7 April) An Enigma machine at the Science Museum

escape | 11


Top five

next stop

Harry Hill Live Sausage Time With his first full live tour in six years, big-collared comedian Harry Hill returns with a banger. This all-new show lets audiences catch up on his Nan’s latest ailments, meet the legendary Stouffer the Cat and enjoy a debut solo stand-up spot by Gary, Harry’s son from his first marriage. For hilariously absurd reflections on life, accompanied by a great big sausage, nothing else comes close. n New Theatre Oxford, Oxford, 8–9 February G Live Guildford, Guildford, 8 March Hammersmith Apollo, London, 11 April

Best of British Treat yourself to some traditional grub

Pie and mash - what could be better?

1

Pieminister Enjoy award-winning pastries and more from these Bristolbased pie merchants. Choose from an extensive selection, including their famous beef steak Moo Moo Pie, or the goat’s cheese and sweet potato-filled Heidi Pie. Established in 2002, Pieminister’s wares have been enjoyed by celebrities such as Kate Moss and John Cleese. pieminister.co.uk Take FGW train to Bristol Temple Meads

2

Harry Hill - not just a silly sausage

Sarah’s Pasty Shop Historically, it was said that the devil would never dare to cross the River Tamar into Cornwall for fear of ending up as a filling in a Cornish pasty. While Sarah’s Pasty Shop doesn’t offer this bygone recipe, it’s a family-run business that takes Cornwall’s famous fodder very seriously. sarahspastyshop.com Take FGW train to Looe

3

G. Kelly of Roman Road market Eels and pie and mash are just some of the London specialities on offer at this East End shop, which has been attracting loyal customers for more than 70 years now. With a mouth-watering menu that has been handed down through the generations, the cooks at G. Kelly stay true to tasty nosh traditions. Make sure to ask for plenty of parsley sauce on your plate. gkellypieandmash.co.uk Nearest Tube: Bow Road

4

Hanbury’s Winner of the South West Independent Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award 2013, Hanbury’s is no small fry. They have a commitment to sourcing their fish sustainably, using ingredients and produce from the local area. The atmospheric restaurant also contains interesting artifacts, such as an original Dartmoor prison door. hanburys.net Take FGW train to Torquay

5

Bull & Last For a fine example of the classic Scotch egg, head to the Bull & Last, where they serve them up nice and warm and runny, with just a sprinkling of black pepper. This historic pub, housed in a Grade II listed building, is located a stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath in leafy north west London. thebullandlast.co.uk Nearest Tube: Gospel Oak

Fun Fact CARDIFF IS HOME TO THE WORLD’S OLDEST RECORD STORE – SPILLERS, WHICH OPENED IN 1894 12 | escape

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


Traditional Breaks

with Old English Inns

SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER BREAKS WITH OLD ENGLISH INNS… from just

£99

For two people for two nights, including breakfast

If the winter’s seeming endless, why not treat yourself to a well-earned break? And as spring and summer arrives, there’s no better place to enjoy the warmer weather and the changing landscape than in the beautiful English countryside. And by staying in England you’ll be giving your credit card a welcome break too! There are over 50 Old English Inns throughout England – in locations as fascinating as the buildings themselves. They are fantastic value for money, with food and drink at equally appetising prices.

Book online at www.oldenglishinns.co.uk call 0845 60 86 072 Email central.reservations@oldenglish.co.uk quoting ESCAPE13

DOWNLOAD OUR BRAND NEW FREE APP FROM THE iTUNES APP STORE OR SCAN THE QR CODE

Terms and conditions All prices are based on two people sharing a twin or double standard room for two nights, including breakfast. Subject to availability. Superior rooms can be booked for an extra supplement. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Applies to new bookings only. Limited room allocation on this offer.Valid until 30th June 2013. Excludes Ryde Castle Hotel, IOW. Calls are recorded for training purposes. OEI reserves the right to remove/change the properties during the promotion and to withdraw the promotion at any time. This is a promotional rate, so the booking is non refundable, should you cancel the whole amount of the stay will be charged to the credit number taken at time of booking.


c i t n a om ts a e r et

R ALAMY

n ial perso c e p s t a f and th ing weekend l e s r u o Treat y r life to a relax ry in you way at a luxu a tion destina

14 | escape

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


GETAWAYS

Cuddle up in the Cotswolds

R

olling hillsides, sleepy villages, and taverns with cosy log fires all help to make the Cotswolds a perfect retreat for couples who enjoy exploring quintessentially English towns and cities. Walk along idyllic country paths or cobbled streets in Cheltenham or Bath, before spending a romantic evening in fine accommodation.

Outside the Wheatsheaf Inn

Where to stay The Wheatsheaf Inn Tucked away in a small Cotswold town called Northleach in Gloucestershire, the Wheatsheaf is an exceptional example of a traditional coaching inn. Spend a night in one of the hotel’s 14 beautiful boutique bedrooms, each of which boasts individual features – from unique freestanding baths to king-sized beds adorned with luxurious cushions and throws. If a long soak in one of the French-style tubs isn’t enough to help you unwind, indulge in a well-deserved full body massage or facial in the hotel’s treatment room. cotswoldswheatsheaf.com Daytime activities The Cotswolds offers a variety of activities to suit the interests of all of its visitors. If you’re buzzing with energy, a day spent

clay pigeon shooting at one of the local private estates could be for you. Alternatively, you might prefer a trip to the historical Berkeley Castle nearby, or a simple walk exploring the many independently owned shops in Northleach. Where to eat The Wheatsheaf Inn Restaurant is incredibly popular with not just hotel residents but also those who live close by. With a bar area, a rustic dining area and a private dining room all available, hungry guests will not only feast their eyes upon the locally sourced menu, but enjoy the charming hotel décor and relaxed ambience too.

Stylish country dining

Nearest station Take FGW train to Kingham

Northleach has changed little since 1500

Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 15


GETAWAYS

Romance in Penzance

B

reathtaking beaches and stunning sea views await you in the beautiful market town of Penzance. This wonderful Cornwall destination is a perfect weekend retreat for couples wishing to discover one of the UK’s most romantic coastal resorts. Where to stay Mount Haven Hotel With unrivalled sea views of St Michael’s Mount, the Mount Haven Hotel offers couples boutique accommodation in one of Cornwall’s most picturesque harbour towns. Each of the 18 rooms is beautifully furnished with exotic art and sumptuous fabrics, and some come with a private terrace or balcony. Treatments such as Indian head massages and aromatherapy are also available. mounthaven.co.uk Daytime activities There are many attractions situated in and around the Penzance coast, in particular the island castle of St Michael’s Mount. This romantic medieval castle can be reached by one of the small motorboats that come and go between the harbourside village and Marazion in Penzance throughout the day. Visitors can explore the historic

Harbour haven St Michael’s Mount

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

The view from Mount Haven

village, take a tour of the beautiful castle rooms and enjoy traditional Cornish food while admiring the dazzling sea views. Where to eat Famous for its fresh seafood, the restaurants in Penzance offer menu upon menu of unique dishes that are hard to find in inner city areas. With a variety of dining experiences to choose from, couples are in for a treat when deciding where to enjoy an evening meal. The Bay Restaurant in particular is well known for its food cooked from only the finest ingredients. From pan-fried south coast scallops to sesame roasted tuna and steamed West Country mussels, diners can choose from the restaurant’s sumptuous menu while appreciating the idyllic Cornwall setting that surrounds them. Nearest station Take FGW train to Penzance

The ruggedly romantic Cardiff Castle

Carouse in Cardiff

I

f you’re looking to spoil someone special with a surprise romantic retreat to a vibrant UK destination, Cardiff is a wonderful city to explore. Discover unique attractions such as Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium in the Welsh capital before indulging in a spot of shopping, or an evening tasting some of the culinary delights that the city’s Café Quarter has to offer. Where to stay Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff For couples wishing to stay in the heart of the city, Sleeperz Hotel is a perfect place to spend the night. Sleeperz is located just a one-minute walk away from Cardiff Central railway station, so you won’t have to worry about dragging your luggage around for very long. The boutique bedrooms are stylish and contemporary, matching the hotel’s modern appearance throughout. sleeperz.com

Daytime activities Cardiff isn’t a city for the faint hearted, as there are hundreds of activities to suit everyone’s tastes. If you’re a sports fan and planning a romantic retreat in advance, why not try to book tickets to watch the Six Nations rugby at the Millennium Stadium? The stadium is certainly an impressive icon for modern Wales and well worth touring round, even if you’re not a huge sports enthusiast.

Raise a glass at Sleeperz

A day trip to the beautiful Cardiff Castle is also a must if you’re interested in history or you simply enjoy admiring ancient architecture with lavish interiors. The staff at the castle offer guided tours of the apartments to groups and individuals, or you can choose to view the breathtaking rooms and grounds at your own leisure. Where to eat Head down to the world-class Cardiff Café Quarter along Mill Lane for a delicious evening meal. With a variety of restaurants to feed even the fussiest of eaters, the Café Quarter remains one of the liveliest areas of the city. From fine Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine at Juboraj, to a cosy table for two sampling delicious European dishes at the Corner House, you’ll soon feel full just browsing through the many mouthwatering menus to be found there. Nearest station Take FGW train to Cardiff Central

escape | 17


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FOOTBALL LANDMARKS

Escape to

Andrew Littlefield takes you on a tour of some of the network’s best-loved football stadiums

alamy

VICTORY T

The Emirates Stadium Arsenal Nearest TubE Holloway Road (this station is closed on match days, when the closest open station is Arsenal) Arsenal famously holds the record for the longest uninterrupted run in English top-flight football, having played in the highest division ever since the club was founded in 1886. www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

The Emirates Stadium, the spectacular new home that Arsenal moved to in 2006, is at present the largest football ground in London, holding some 60,000 people. The club offers daily selfguided audio tours of the stadium, and on most days a Legends Tour as well, where former Arsenal players, such as Charlie George, Lee Dixon and Kenny Samson are on hand to

deliver a more personalised visitor experience. Family tickets can be purchased from the Arsenal website, and entry price also includes a visit to the interactive Arsenal Museum, which features such exhibits as the boots that Michael Thomas was wearing when he scored his famous title-winning goal against Liverpool at Anfield in 1989. l arsenal.com

LONDON

he English capital has more professional football teams than any other city in the world. For the 2012-13 season, 13 London-based teams are competing in the top four leagues – Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham in the Premier League, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Millwall in the Championship, Brentford and Leyton Orient in League One and Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two. It’s often claimed that the sheer number of London teams in the Premier League makes it that much harder for any of them to win the title, as more of their matches will be hard-fought local derbies. The statistics don’t quite bear this out. Since the formation of the Premier League in 1992, both Arsenal and Chelsea have been champions three times, most recently with Chelsea’s doublewinning 2009-10 team.

Stamford Bridge Chelsea Nearest Tube Fulham Broadway Chelsea, current champions of Europe and holders of the FA Cup, have played their football at Stamford Bridge since 1905. The ground’s proximity to the fashionable King’s Road has always given the club a reputation for style, on and off the pitch. Even today, a visit to Stamford

escape | 19


risking their lives to save yours

enter the world of the maritime rescue services. climb aboard a sea king helicopter, explore a lifeboat, hit the ‘beach’ on a quad bike and experience the drama of a rescue.

Discovery Quay, Falmouth 01326 313388 nmmc.co.uk NMM 190x125 Escape ad v1.indd 1

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FOOTBALL LANDMARKS Bridge can just be a prelude to some serious Chelsea clothes shopping afterwards. However, for those of us with silky skills rather than silky shirts on our minds, the club does offer an engrossing stadium tour. Lasting approximately one hour, the tour takes in the press room, home and away dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel, the pitch-side and the dugouts. From the Chelsea website you can also buy tickets that offer joint entry with the museum, which is full of interactive games and gadgets and is the largest of its kind in Britain. We should also mention that Craven Cottage, home to Chelsea’s local rivals Fulham, is situated nearby. Again, the club offers a stadium tour, and there’s also the

chance to admire the statue of Michael Jackson outside the ground, celebrating the King of Pop’s visit for a home game against Wigan in 1999. Talk about a goal-mouth thriller. l chelseafc.com

Wembley Stadium Nearest Tube Wembley Park The new Wembley opened in 2007, and is England’s national stadium. It’s the place where the England team play their home international matches, including World Cup

The majestic Wembley Stadium is always a crowd pleaser

qualifiers. Wembley’s 90,000 capacity makes it the second largest stadium in Europe, and the distinctive Wembley Arch has already become as iconic a feature as the old Twin Towers. The official Wembley Tour – which now includes an exhibition celebrating the 56 UEFA Champions League Finals, from 1956 to 2012 – not only lets you climb the steps up to the Royal Box and hold aloft a replica of the FA Cup, but also offers access to such historical treasures as the 1966 World Cup crossbar, and the Jules Rimet Trophy that commemorates Bobby Moore and the boys’ historic victory. You’ll leave feeling over the moon. l wembleystadium.com

SOUTH WALES

I

n 2011, Swansea City became the first Welsh team to win promotion to the Premier League, and are now looking to secure their position in the top-flight for a second season. Swansea’s main rivals, Cardiff City, are currently playing in the Championship – but an all-Welsh Premier League clash could well be on the cards one day...

Take FGW train to

Swansea High Street Construction on the £50-million Liberty Stadium began in 2003, and this modern, world-class venue was completed just two years later. The opening game between Swansea and Fulham took place in July 2005, and then less than a month later, the Liberty hosted its first

international match, between Wales and Slovenia. And on the 26 March 2013, the all-important Wales v Croatia World Cup qualifier will be staged at the stadium. Regional rugby team, the Ospreys, also call the Liberty their home. l liberty-stadium.com Cardiff City Stadium Take FGW train to Cardiff Central Cardiff City occupied their previous ground, the legendary Ninian Park, for some 99 years, but recently moved to the brand new Cardiff City Stadium, built at a cost of £48m and with a capacity of 26,828. The team have also had a controversial strip makeover, swapping from a blue to a red kit, that indicates the club’s new owners want to break with the past and match the ambitions of their great Swansea rivals. l cardiffcityfc.co.uk The Millennium Stadium Take FGW train to Cardiff Central The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is the national stadium of Wales, and frequently hosts international football matches, amongst many other sports

Sunset over the Millennium Stadium

and events. Opened in June 1999, the stadium has a 74,000 capacity and is the second largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof. Tours take place every day of the week, and include a visit to the Welsh dressing room, a walk down the players’ tunnel, and a celebration in the Presidential Box – enough to make anyone feel like Ryan Giggs for the day. l millenniumstadium.com

ALAMY

The new Cardiff City Stadium

The Liberty Stadium Swansea City

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 21


Start Start early. early. Stay Stay late. late. Start early. Stay late. Start early. Stay late.

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FOOTBALL LANDMARKS

THE WEST OF ENGLAND

A

rsenal v Spurs. Rangers v Celtic. Liverpool v Everton – intense local rivalries that epitomise footballing history and culture. The perpetual contest between Bristol City and Bristol Rovers is just as deep-rooted. At the moment, City are clearly in the ascendancy, playing in the Championship compared to Rovers’ rather lowly position in League Two. But in the beautiful game, fortunes can easily rise or fall. Ashton Gate Bristol City Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads The team called Bristol City first played under that name in 1897, hence the 'Creating memories since 1897' tagline on City’s website. Ashton Gate became their permanent home ground in 1904, but there are now plans to move to a new 30,000 capacity stadium at some point in the future. Overlooked by the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Ashton Gate is a traditional football ground that is well worth seeing before City heads off to a bigger field of dreams. l www.bcfc.co.uk

The stands at Fratton Park hold a wealth of football heritage Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium Bristol Rovers Take FGW train to Bristol Parkway Although they’ve never made it to the top-flight of English football, Bristol Rovers have been a footballing force since 1899. The club only moved to Memorial Stadium in 1996 but, even so, plans are once again in place to move to a larger venue in a few years' time. The club’s unofficial nickname, ‘The Gas’, refers to a local gasworks, rather than any nervous digestion difficulties – although long-suffering Rovers fans certainly know all about what Sir Alex Ferguson once memorably called 'squeaky bum time'. l bristolrovers.co.uk

THE SOUTH COAST

I

t’s the same story as in Bristol – a long-standing local rivalry where one club, in this case Southampton, is currently enjoying far greater good fortune than its opposite number, in this case Portsmouth. Southampton returned to the Premier League in 2012 after seven long years of exile, while Portsmouth have endured relegation and administration in the last few seasons alone. At the time of writing, they’re still in the game, kept alive by some of football’s most committed supporters. St Mary’s Stadium Southampton

alamy

Take FGW train to

Flying high with Bristol City at Ashton Gate www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

Southampton Central For football fans of a certain age, Southampton will forever be associated with their famous old ground, The Dell, which the club finally left in 2001. In many ways though, St Mary’s Stadium is a more traditional and appropriate ground name. Southampton, after all, got their nickname ‘The Saints’ due to their original formation as a church football team known as St Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association – so you can see why they changed their name to Southampton in 1897. The club, which achieved back-to-back promotions in the previous two seasons, has

a reputation for playing classy attacking football, with star strikers such as Matthew Le Tissier, Mick Channon and Martin Chivers all becoming cult heroes. l saintsfc.co.uk Fratton Park Portsmouth Take FGW train to Fratton Ever since the club was formed in 1898, Portsmouth have played their home matches at Fratton Park. As you would expect, the stadium has undergone much renovation since that time, but part of its mock Tudor facade has been preserved, as has the intense match day atmosphere, with supporters situated just a few metres from the pitch. Portsmouth can also lay claim to the oldest known football chant, ‘The Chimes’, which dates back to 1890 and is still sung today, often accompanied by the sound of a bell ringing. Let’s hope that Portsmouth fans have something better to sing about soon. l portsmouthfc.co.uk

Southampton's Kelvin Davis

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This year marks the 150th anniversary of London’s Tube. To celebrate we take a tour of some top attractions at each of the seven original Metropolitan Railway stations ondoners have a deep connection with the Underground. More than one million people use the service daily and everything about its design, trains and stations is tied up with the culture and life of the city. The huge web of stops that makes up today’s network grew out of a modest seven that originally formed the Metropolitan Railway. When it opened in 1863 it was a world first, with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives ferrying passengers and goods between Paddington and Farringdon Street. Travelling the threeand-a-half-mile long railway under the streets of London was a novelty that thousands of people were eager to experience. The routes and some of the place names may have changed over the years, but the Tube still remains one of the best ways to get around the great things to see and do in the city.

24 | escape

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


-medium-zoned.gif Paddington

Fleming Museum

Even if you’re not feeling under the weather, a trip to St Mary's Hospital is just the tonic. The scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin here in 1928, a chance discovery that became a lifesaving drug destined to revolutionise medicine. Fleming's laboratory, restored to its original condition, is open for visitors to discover the remarkable story of the breakthrough that earned him a Nobel Prize. ●● bit.ly/flemingmuseum

Little Venice

The Wallace Collection

Baker Street

The Sherlock Museum

Hyde Park for al fresco fun

Head north from Paddington and you’ll find yourself in Little Venice, a charming waterway where the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet. There are plenty of riverside cafés and pubs to relax in before either taking a boat trip downstream or following on foot the tow path that winds through the city. It’s certainly a more tranquil alternative to trudging the roads and streets nearby. Edgware Road

Lisson Gallery

Tucked around the corner from the tube station lies one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries. Founded in 1967, the Lisson Gallery was instrumental in introducing the work of American conceptual artists, such as Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, to UK audiences. It continues to represent some of the most interesting contemporary British artists, with previous exhibitions by Anish Kapoor, Richard Deacon and Julian Opie. ●● lissongallery.com

Hyde Park

As one of London’s finest landscapes, Hyde Park has something for everyone, from swimming and boating in the Serpentine to regular concerts and exhibitions. After building up an appetite with fresh air

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

and exercise, visit one of the park's lakeside restaurants or settle down with a picnic in the 350 acres of meadows and ornamental flower gardens. ●● royalparks.org.uk

221B Baker Street will forever be synonymous with the home of that fantastic fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle’s popular creation has a museum all to himself in this Grade II-listed building dedicated to his adventures. Those with keen powers of deduction will find that the first-floor study overlooking Baker Street is still faithfully maintained for posterity, just as it was kept in Victorian times. ●● sherlock-holmes.co.uk

The Wallace Collection

The tranquil Little Venice

Within this stately, historic London townhouse you will find 25 galleries full of the finest French 18th-century painting, furniture and porcelain, not to mention a world-class armoury. The Wallace Collection is a decorative art lover's dream, the result of the refined but varied tastes of Sir Richard Wallace and the first four marquesses of Hertford. Opened to the public in 1900, these are family heirlooms well worth seeing. ●● wallacecollection.org Great Portland Street

BBC Broadcasting House and BBC Radio Theatre

Every Sunday you can take a tour around the iconic home of the BBC and the setting for many a memorable BBC radio show. As well as seeing the inner workings of Broadcasting House, you can have a go at making your own radio drama, complete with music and sound effects. For those who don’t fancy being behind the mic, tickets are also available to be

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w part of the audience for shows recorded in BBC Radio Theatre. ●● bbc.co.uk/showsandtours

Regent’s Park

A green and pleasant land in the heart of the capital, Regent’s Park offers a wide variety of activities, as well as an Open Air Theatre and ZSL London Zoo. Spring is when the gardens come to life so it’s the ideal time to take a leisurely stroll away from hectic city life. ●● royalparks.org.uk

Spring in Regent's Park

showcased in the only remaining university zoological museum in London. The Grant Museum of Zoology has around 67,000 specimens, many of which are now endangered or extinct, including the Tasmanian tiger and the unfortunate Dodo. A highlight has to be the exquisite anatomical glass models of jellyfish made by the 19th-century Blaschka family of jewellers. ●● ucl.ac.uk/museums/zoology

Euston Square

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

More than just mummies, this world-class collection of around 80,000 objects charts the course of history in the Nile Valley. Walk like an Egyptian through the many galleries that house the collection, such as two lions from the temple of Min at Koptos, a suit of armour from the palace of Memphis and the only veterinary papyrus from ancient Egypt. ●● ucl.ac.uk/ museums/petrie

Wellcome Collection

Explore what it means to be human and ponder the connections between medicine, life and art at the amazing Wellcome Collection. Its founder, Sir Henry Wellcome, was an extraordinary combination of pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist

UCL Art Museum

A Wellcome Collection curiosity

and collector. Unusual medical artefacts and original artworks sit side by side – a perfect venue for the incurably curious. ●● wellcomecollection.org

museum has grown from a single attic room to two interconnected houses in fashionable Fitzrovia. The whole place resonates with childhood memories and, to this day, is still run by the grandson of founder Marguerite Fawdry. ●● pollockstoymuseum.com

Pollock’s Toy Museum

Grant Museum of Zoology

For the young, and the young at heart, this museum is full of surprises and delights. The

The breadth and variety of the animal kingdom is impressively

Design on the line

special theatrical events at the disused Aldwych station. Poster Art 150 at the London Transport Museum showcases 150 of the most outstanding poster designs commissioned by the Tube throughout its history. Well-known posters, including the surrealist photographer Man

Grant Museum of Zoology

Ray’s Keeps London Going, feature alongside lesser-known gems. Visitors can vote for their favourites and the most popular poster will be revealed at the end of the exhibition. For a picture-perfect view of the Underground overground, there’s no better place to visit.

CORBIS

London Transport Museum, 15 February–1 October Nearest TubE Covent Garden Throughout 2013, London Underground has a series of anniversary celebrations planned, ranging from heritage rail trips, commemorative coins issued by the Royal Mint and

The prestigious University College London holds an impressive art collection, spanning from the 1500s to the present day. Inextricably linked to the Slade School of Art, the collections present a unique archive of art education that unwraps the mysteries of the

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

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two floors in a former ice warehouse beside Battlebridge Basin, near King’s Cross station See inside a boat family’s cabin Discover the Victorian trade in natural ice Learn about canal and cart horses in London Download MP3 towpath & museum tours online

New Wharf Road, N1 9RT. Open Tues-Sun 1000-1630. Late opening first Thursday of month  020 7713 0836 Reg. Charity 277484

www.canalmuseum.org.uk

Discover the story of London’s fascinating canals on

www.canalmuseum.mobi

REMEMBER TO

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BE AMAZED Stonehenge to Avebury Trek Take part in this 26-mile trek from the iconic standing stones at Stonehenge to the lesser known but larger stone circle at Avebury. This is a tough but rewarding trek in a beautiful part of the UK. Take in some spectacular scenery and help to make a real difference to the lives of people living with dementia.

7 September 2013 alzheimers.org.uk/trekking 0870 417 0192 Alzheimer’s Society operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Registered charity no. 296645

11/01/2013 13:58:18


w Smithfield meat market

More than just a library

creative process. You can see Turner’s annotated landscape prints, as well as a rare glimpse of various artists’ most experimental work, including albums and sketches. ●● ucl.ac.uk/museums/uclart King’s Cross St Pancras

Kings Place

There’s everything under one roof at this cultural hub, offering live music, visual arts and a café. From Bach to Brahms, well-attuned acoustics mean exceptional venues for classical music and a great all-yearround programme of concerts. Eclecticism is the word, with three orchestras and the Guardian newspaper calling the striking Kings Place building home. ●● kingsplace.co.uk

London Canal Museum

The Tube isn’t the only form of transport London is famous for, as this hidden gem in King’s Cross reveals. The London Canal Museum tells the colourful story of the city’s waterways, their people and cargoes, and the

The British Library

The UK’s largest library is home to well over 150 million items, as well as some extraordinary exhibitions. On display are some of the world’s most important printed items, such as the Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s First Folio. With 625km of shelves – and growing each year – thankfully, you don’t have to travel far to find the best treasures. ●● bl.uk

Farringdon

Smithfield Market

Not your average attraction, central London’s last surviving historical wholesale market is a treat for carnivores. Meat has been traded on the site at Smithfield for centuries, and it also has a bloody history of executions of notable figures, including Scottish patriot William Wallace and Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants’ Revolt. Visitors to Smithfield, which is housed in three listed buildings, are sure to be rewarded with a remarkable insight into the hustle and bustle of market life. ●● smithfieldmarket.com

Hatton Garden

All that glitters really is gold in the capital’s jewellery quarter and centre of the UK diamond trade. For that extra special gift there’s a sparkling selection to be found in the cluster of jewellers that have resided here since medieval times. The nearby Bleeding Heart Restaurant serving fine French cuisine gives you another tempting reason to splash out in Hatton Garden. ●● hatton-garden.net

Metro matters Five facts about the London Underground 1,107 million passengers carried each year 114,500 miles travelled by each Tube train every year The Tube’s world-famous logo first appeared in 1908 The busiest station is Waterloo with 82 million passengers each year Baker Street and Moorgate have the most platforms

ALAMY

Bling and buy in Hatton Garden

horses that pulled the boats and carts. Situated in a former ice warehouse, you can also find out how your ancestors enjoyed their ice cream. ●● canalmuseum.org.uk

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

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Hundreds of hands-on exhibits • Live science shows • Planetarium

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The Lowdown

CLIFTON (BRISTOl)

Everything you need to know about this trendy Bristol village. By Clare Cook

The Clifton Observatory, Camera Obscura and Cave

Educational fun at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery

LOOK TO THE SKIES AT Clifton Observatory, Camera Obscura and Cave Sitting up high and offering superb views from above the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Clifton Observatory, Camera Obscura and Cave boasts one of only two camera obscuras still open to the public in England. It projects a panoramic view of the surrounding area onto a white surface inside a darkened room. There’s also Ghyston’s Cave to explore. l bit.ly/cliftonobservatory

Broaden your knowledge at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery Boasting a large collection of everything from natural history to archaeology, this is the place to visit for an educational day out. Younger visitors can explore the exciting activities on offer in the under sevens’ Curiosity Gallery, while there are also lots of interesting spectacles for the adults to take in too, including some artworks from secretive graffiti guru Banksy. l bristol.gov.uk/page/ museums-and-galleries

ALAMY

Stop for a coffee at Primrose Café From a quick morning coffee to a delicious three-course meal, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes at Primrose Café, whatever time you visit. Opened in 1993, the café has quickly become one of Clifton’s busiest eateries. Sourcing all of its produce locally and making almost everything fresh on the premises, Primrose Café is well worth a visit. l primrosecafe.co.uk Grab a gift at Cindy Jane Full of ladies’ accessories, Cindy Jane is the perfect place to find that special something for yourself or a loved one. Not only are their items sourced from all over the world, but many of them are also fairtrade. From jewellery to bags and perfume bottles, you’re sure to spot something unique. l cindyjane.co.uk www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

ARE YOU HERE

Clifton Lido has welcomed swimmers Before climbing Everest, Sir Ranulph since it first opened in Fiennes practiced on the Avon Gorge DID YOU KNOW?

Getting there

Take FGW train to Clifton Down

4 million The number of vehicles that pass over Clifton Suspension Bridge per year

famous faces

Illusionist Derren Brown and actor and comedian John Cleese

FACT

Bristol is twinned with Guangzhou in China

Take a look at Clifton Suspension Bridge Opened in 1864, Clifton Suspension Bridge has become a symbol of the city of Bristol and now attracts visitors from all over the world. The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel when he was just 24 years old. Work on it began in 1831, but was abandoned by 1843. Even though Brunel didn’t live to see it finished, the bridge was finally completed in 1864. Spanning the Avon Gorge, and connecting Clifton to North Somerset, this is a must-see construction for anyone interested in Bristol’s history. A visitor centre takes you through a timeline of the bridge’s construction and is open each day from 10am to 5pm. l cliftonbridge.org.uk

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Joys of

spring With warmer weather blooming into view, it’s time to make the most of the season and visit some of the exciting attractions across the First Great Western network

MATCHLESS MARKETs St Nicholas Market, Bristol Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads Right in the centre of Bristol, this vibrant market is the largest gathering of independent traders in the city. Surrounded by beautiful Georgian architecture, the market is a shopper’s delight offering pretty much anything you can think of, including fashion, jewellery, souvenirs and even fossils. ●● stnicholasmarketbristol.co.uk Borough Market, London Thursday 11am-5pm, Friday 12pm-6pm and Saturday 8am-5pm Nearest tube London Bridge One of London’s best-known food markets, Borough Market caters for local restaurants and foodies

Meat treats at Borough Market

alike. It’s perfect for a browse, and, more to the point, is ideal if you’re feeling peckish, with plenty of stalls offering ready-to-eat delights, including confit duck, chorizo and pepper roll and curry. It’s the borough to be in when you're beastly hungry. ●● boroughmarket.org.uk Columbia Road Flower Market, London Sundays nearest tube Old Street

Tucked away in the heart of London’s East End, this impressive haven of flora and fauna is well worth a detour for the greenfingered. With 52 plant and flower stalls, as well as around 30 dedicated shops, it's a hidden gem of a market, and perfect for those who favour flowers to festoon their flat. ●● columbiaroad.info Oxford Covered Market Monday to Saturday, 9am-5.30pm Take FGW train to Oxford Around for over 200 years, Oxford Covered Market is steeped in the history of the city, with plenty of traditional shops, such as butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers to tantalise any discerning foodie. Some of the emporiums are as old as the market itself, and the majority of them remain staunchly independent. ●● oxford-coveredmarket.co.uk

Fun for the family BRISTOL ZOO GARDENs

simon rawles, graham flack, corbis

Take FGW TRAIN TO

Shopper's paradise awaits in Bristol's St Nicholas Market 32 | escape

Bristol Temple Meads Home to over 400 different species, Bristol Zoo Gardens is the place to go if you want to learn more about our furry, aquatic and flying friends. Visit the primates’ homes on Gibbon and Gorilla Islands, take a look at the meerkats and marvel at the Butterfly Forest. ●● www.bristolzoo.org.uk www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


DAYS OUT

Classics with a twist by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Welsh Animation Until 17 March National Museum Cardiff and National Waterfront Museum Take FGW train to Cardiff Central Wales has been at the forefront of British animation for more than a century, with Welsh animators producing many of our best-loved children’s TV shows, such as SuperTed and Fireman Sam. Cardiff Museum is celebrating this proud heritage with displays that roll out the past, present and future of Welsh animation. You’ll also get a chance to try your hand at some tried and tested animation techniques. ●● www.museumwales.ac.uk

A red panda at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Matilda the Musical Cambridge Theatre Until December 2013 Nearest tube Piccadilly Circus If you loved the book and adored the film – or even if you’ve never met Matilda before – you’ll enjoy this wonderful stage adaptation of author Roald Dahl’s classic tale. Matilda is a young girl who deals with the horrors of school and life by learning to use magic. It’s a story that appeals to children and adults alike, and this production features some great songs by musical comedian Tim Minchin. The perfect trip to the theatre for all the family. ●● matildathemusical.com

Ivor the Engine, set in Wales

STRINGS ATTACHED Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Southbank Centre Until June 2013 Nearest tube Waterloo The Southbank Centre’s extraspecial classical season of concerts aims to put you at the heart of the action. With some of the biggest names in the business taking part, such as Sir Simon Rattle, Andras Shiff and Marin Aslop, there will be concerts to suit every age and taste. ●● southbankcentre.co.uk Matilda is magic


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DAYS OUT Plenty of Bath laughs in Christmas Loserville Market

Hear all about The Art of Harmony

The Art of Harmony Horniman Museum and Gardens Until 2014 Nearest tube Forest Hill Music lovers will revel in this wonderful ensemble of traditional music and historic instruments from Western culture, some of which date back as far as the 1520s. The displays bring together exhibits from both the V&A and the Horniman Museum and feature some of the rarest and most ornate instruments of their kind. The host museum, incidentally, holds over 7,000 sound-producing objects, from Egyptian bone ‘clappers’ to 1990s electric guitars. ●● horniman.ac.uk

IN THE FRAME

Tristram Kenton, david batchelor

Light Show Southbank Centre 30 January - 23 April Nearest tube Waterloo The South Bank Centre has put together a unique collection of sculptures and exhibits that use light in exciting new ways. The exhibits showcase how light has been used to shape and sculpt objects in the fields of architecture, science and even politics. Expect an enlightening experience. ●● southbankcentre.co.uk

Death: a Self-Portrait Wellcome Collection 22 January - 23 April Nearest tube Euston Square The Wellcome Collection’s new exhibition is as provocative as ever, with a macabre yet moving exploration of death and our varied attitudes and responses to this difficult, often grisly subject. Through an array of 300 works of art and historic artefacts, including rare prints by Rembrandt and scientific specimens, the exhibition explores our need to make some kind of peace with the grim reaper. ●● wellcomecollection.org

David Batchelor's work features in Light Show at Southbank Centre www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

ON THE STAGE Privates on Parade Noel Coward Theatre Until 2 March 2013 Nearest tube

Leicester Square This award-winning comedy drama from playwright Peter Nichols is set against the backdrop of the murderous Malaysian campaign, toward the end of the Second World War. Privates on Parade sees Private Steven Flowers posted to South East Asia, where he joins a song-and-dance unit run by the outrageously camp Captain Terri Dennis. This new production is a hilarious brew of music, physical comedy and flamboyant crossdressing, with impressions of Marlene Dietrich and Vera Lynn thrown in for good measure. ●● noel-coward.london-theatreguide.org.uk Loserville Garrick Theatre Until 2 March 2013 Nearest tube Leicester Square Set in 1971, Loserville tracks the life of computer geek Michael Dork, whose new invention might just change the world – which is all very

well, but perhaps he just wants to get the girl. This fresh and quirky musical, by awardwinning composer Elliot Davis and McFly mentor James Bourne, has laughs aplenty as well as some catchy songs that you’ll likely be singing all the way home. ●● loservillethemusical.com 9 to 5 the Musical Bristol Hippodrome 18 - 23 March Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads Had a bad day at work? A little escapism can do wonders, and this musical take on the hit film will help you leave your daily grind behind. Adapted for the stage by Patricia Resnick, the story focuses on three brow-beaten office workers, who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical and lying boss. The production features lyrics by Dolly Parton, who starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the popular movie. ●● 9to5themusical.co.uk

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DAYS OUT Fashionistas will love 50 Fabulous Frocks

A Midsummer’s Night Dream Bristol Old Vic 1 March - 4 May Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads Shakespeare’s ever-popular comedy gets a facelift as Bristol Old Vic joins forces with Handspring Puppet Company, fresh from their critically acclaimed War Horse. This time, the action takes place in a futuristic yet primitive world where magic gives every object the right to life. A humorous fairy tale that will delight Shakespeare fans and novices alike. ●● bristololdvic.org.uk De Gabay National Theatre Wales Until March 2013 Take FGW train to Cardiff Bay This unique production by Welsh National Theatre explores the lives of young Somali poets and their country’s rich poetic traditions. Funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation, the production takes place in Cardiff's Butetown and has involved the community, resulting in a powerful and emotional experience. ●● nationaltheatrewales.org

CATCH THE THREAD Valentino: Master of Couture Somerset House Until March 2013 Nearest tube Temple Step behind the curtain and discover the real Valentino, the world-famous Italian fashion designer whose creations have graced the rich, famous and beautiful, including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly and Gwyneth Paltrow. Somerset House has created a revealing exhibition about Valentino, and the Italian fashion industry, using personal photographs and a marvellous collection of designs. ●● www.somersethouse.org.uk

Dressing for success with Valentino: Master of Couture www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

Poetic champions, De Gabay

50 Fabulous Frocks Fashion Museum 2 February until late 2013 Take FGW train to Bath Spa The 50th anniversary of Bath’s Fashion Museum is celebrated with a sumptuous new display of haute couture dresses, including classics from such celebrated post-war designers as Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. The museum itself explores fashion through the ages, with pieces dating back to the 18th century on display alongside modern party dresses and punk outfits from the 1970s. Embrace your love of all things fashionable by slipping into this inspirational collection. ●● museumofcostume.co.uk

SLUMBER stop Jurys inn Offering great rates, stylish accommodation and a warm welcome, hotel group Jurys Inn has five fantastic city-centre hotels situated along the First Great Western route, including Brighton, Exeter, Swindon, Southampton and Plymouth. No matter where you are on the network, you're not far from a place offering a decent night's kip. Why not enjoy a traditional British seaside break in Brighton or a weekend in Plymouth, where you can treat the kids to a day out at the Eden Project, just a short drive from the hotel? ●● jurysinns.com

escape | 37


kids’ pages

Prizes!

GET IN TOUCH

Send us all your fun facts, drawings and ph otos. Our favourites will be featured in future issues!

help Paddington Here are some fun tasks you cany from A to B with while you make your wa

Two’s a pair Paddington always starts the day with a marmalade sandwich. Here are six pictures of him having breakfast with the Browns, but only two are exactly the same – can you spot them?

Send your emailfirstsgrtouop.com

fgw-escape@ m you! We’d love to hear fro

Fun facts The world’s largest eyes belong to the giant squid

1

2

3

*

The tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body

Riddle

5

4

WHICH ONE…?

6

The more of them you take, the more you leave behind. What are they? Answer on page 39

Take a look at these three pairs and then try and answer the question

Which one… CAN FLY AN OSTRICH OR A FLAMINGO? 38 || escape | Number of colleges at the University of Oxford 38

Which one… is a MAMMAL A PLATYPUS OR A FROG?

Which one… FLOATS AN APPLE OR A PEAR? www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


Word search FIND train, engine, railway, steam, track, tank and station

A S T A T I O N C F G I R B C Z V H E D O R A I L W A Y L E

Win win win!!

Here’s your chance to win a great prize. To enter the draw, simply send the correct answers to the address provided To win a copy of the Thoma s and Friends movie Blue Mountain Myste ry tell us: Is Thomas a steam or a die sel powered engine?

J H I H K I S R Q N S Z N W N M T P W G

www.paddingtonbear.com

K V B C R G E S L I J T O L T R A C K N T N S I A P M E P E X W T M N T U R F T

To win this exciting Lego City Museum Robbery set tell us: Who painted the Mona Lisa?

To get your hand s on these two grea t books from the Keeper of the Re alms series, unscram ble the name of this bird: WROC

IT’S ALL GONE BEAR-SHAPED Circle the shadow that matches exactly the picture of Paddington

1

2

3

for the fun of it

To be in with a chance of winning these Hobbit figures, answer the following: In which other trilogy of films will you find Hobbits?

What is the best way to speak to a monster? FROM A LONG WAY AWAY

Send your answers, along with your name, address, age and contact telephone number to: Escape Magazine, First Great Western, B332 Macmillan House, Paddington Station, London W2 1FT. Or email us at fgw-escape@ firstgroup.com

What do you call an elephant that flies? A JUMBO JET

Finished dy? alreaboard Ask on for a Kids' Activit y Pack

What do you get eep if you cross a sh o? o ar g with a kan MPER A WOOLLY JU

ANSWERS Riddle: Footsteps Two’s a pair: 1 and 6 Which one: 1 A flamingo can fly 2 A platypus is a mammal 3 An apple floats It’s all gone bear-shaped: 3

Paddington Bear™ © Paddington and Company Ltd 2013. Paddington Bear™, Paddington™ and PB™ are trademarks of Paddington and Company Ltd.

H A Y U K Y A O Q S

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| 39 Years ago pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contestescape | escape | 39


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Below are four flowers but can you put them in the order of the season that they bloom in?

Relax while exercising your mind

Sudoku

Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row, column and 3x3 square must contain one of each digit EASY 4 7 9 3 2 5 1

Peony This delicate flower is usually native to Asia, Southern Europe and North America. It is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. Zeus saved Paeon from Asclepius’ wrath by turning him into the peony flower.

Sunflower Originally from the Americas, the seeds of the bright yellow sunflower were brought to Europe in the 16th century. Along with sunflower oil, sunflower seeds continue to be a widespread cooking ingredient in many European dishes.

Foxglove The hardy foxglove can grow in many habitats, including open woods, sea cliffs and rocky mountains. This flower has also been used for hundreds of years to treat heart conditions by extracting Digitalin from the plant.

CHRISTMAS Rose Although the flowers resemble a wild rose, this seasonal bloomer does not belong to the rose family and is actually a hellebore. It thrives in the shade or dappled sun and, despite its charm, is toxic. So, don’t eat it, whatever you do.

4 7 2 1 8 7

2

3

4

1

8

9

5 3 7 6 1 4 3 5 7

1 9

2

MEDIUM 2 7 9 6 4 1 5

9

6

2

Express

4

Here are five quick questions to keep your brain chugging along

2 8 1 3 4 9

How many different

1 acts have got to

4 5 8 8 1 5 9 2 2

4

9

4 8 3 1 7 6 5 9 2 7 4 5 6 8 1 9 2 3 8 1 2 3 4 9 7 6 5 6 3 9 5 2 7 8 1 4 5 9 6 8 1 2 3 4 7 3 7 8 9 6 4 2 5 1 1 2 4 7 5 3 6 8 9

6 1 9 7 3 2 4 8 5 4 2 3 1 5 8 9 6 7 8 7 5 6 9 4 1 3 2 9 4 8 2 7 5 3 1 6 7 6 2 3 4 1 8 5 9 5 3 1 8 6 9 2 7 4 1 9 4 5 8 7 6 2 3 3 8 7 9 2 6 5 4 1 2 5 6 4 1 3 7 9 8

EASY ANSWERS

9 5 1 2 3 8 4 7 6

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

MEDIUM ANSWERS

9 8 7

2 6 7 4 9 5 1 3 8

ANSWERS: Timetable: Peony – spring, Foxglove – summer, Sunflower – autumn, Christmas rose – winter Express: 1. Four – Jimmy Young, The Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome and Gareth Gates. 2. Strengths. 3. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman. 4. Brazil. 5. Theodore Roosevelt

brain train

Timetable

Oscar winner Al Pacino

number one in the British singles chart with the song Unchained Melody? Which nine-letter 2 word contains only one vowel? For which film role did 3 American actor Al Pacino win his first Oscar? Which country 4 produces the most coffee? Who was the youngest 5 person to become president of the USA?

escape | 41


PLATF RM ALEXEI SAYLE

A

lexei Sayle made his name on the 1980s comedy circuit with a unique, incendiary mix of left-wing politics and absurdist observation. An accomplished actor, author and broadcaster, after a 16-year hiatus he has returned to the stage with a new stand-up show. As we speak to Alexei, he’s in high spirits about how his nationwide tour has been going: ‘It’s fantastic, I would say that though. It’s been really amazing. It was put together in a fairly chaotic manner just to try out the material.’ Alexei has drawn it all together from his writing, book readings and life in general. As he explains: ‘I talk about being on Question Time, about my past, about my mother, just stuff that happened. It’s different to what I used to do. In a way it feels more truthful.’ He adds: ‘The elemental thing about stand-up is that you can just get some people together and do it. It doesn’t require anything apart from a performer and an audience – there’s something very timeless about that.’ The art centres and comedy clubs Alexei appears at these days are a world away from the venues he started out in. ‘You would find yourself performing in a porn cinema or a disco, that somebody thought was a good idea. Opening for rock bands was another terrible mistake you only make once. With us it was just, you know, “I’ll play this pub because everybody’s on heroin and I’ll get that man to be my manager because he’s clearly insane.”’ Reflecting on the ‘mature business’ comedy has now become, Alexei has an interesting fast food analogy for Alexei achieving back in mainstream 1985

42 | escape

Sometimes the fields ring with laughter! success. ‘Your material’s got to be acceptable to a wide audience. I suppose with that, you can be McDonald’s or Nando’s. There’s still wriggle room but ultimately that’s the business you’re in.’ So where does Alexei place himself against the current big names on the scene? ‘I’m more of a retailer of smoked cheeses.’ As a connoisseur of the finer things then, Alexei is no stranger

ON SAYLE to the south west. For him, it’s a place with rich TV connections, where many of his old compatriots can also been found. ‘Of course I’ve always liked Bristol because it’s the city of Holby.’ Pausing for thought, he then adds: ‘A lot of the Comic Strip gang live in Devon, so we go down a lot. It’s comedy central, really. Sometimes the fields ring with laughter!’ Alexei is performing at the Soho Theatre in London from 21 January-9 February

n Alexei was born in 1952 in Anfield, Liverpool n He was awarded an honorary professorship from Thames Valley University n He says his first TV role was in 1979, playing a heckler

n He has released five singles – the most successful of which was the top 20 hit Ullo John! Gotta New Motor? n As well as performing, Alexei currently writes a motoring column for The Telegraph

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

getty

The founding father of alternative comedy talks about getting back into stand-up and the delights of Devon


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By day, I’m under a mountain of work. But when I get off the 1600 to London I’m on top of the world.

Explore London by train. Be a Great Westerner. For tickets and times go to www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


theguide Pe rs Ev hore es h Ho am ne yb ou rn e

As co Ch tt-u ar nde lb ur r-W y yc hw oo d

Banbury Kings Sutton

Tenby

Severn Beach Barnstaple

Bu rn ha m Yeoford

Lis ke

Tr ur o Penryn Penmere

Coombe Junction Halt St Keyne Wishing Well Halt Causeland

Falmouth Town

Sandplace

Falmouth Docks

Looe

en route To qualify for the best value tickets and offers, buy your ticket in advance. Here’s how to buy before you board ONLINE

firstgreatwestern.co.uk BY PHONE 08457 000 125 (0700–2200 Mon–Fri, 0800–1900 Sat–Sun) 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. www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

G re en fo rd

So ut h

Ac to n

Ea lin g

Br oa dw ay Lin e

W es tE ali ng

So ut ha ll Ha nw ell

M ain

Ca st le

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La ng ley Ive r W es tD ra Ha yton

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Ch o o t G lse P or y ar ing kw Pa & ay ng Str Til bou eatle eh r ur ne y st

Gatwick Airport

Topsham

Lympstone Commando Lympstone Village

Exmouth

Dorchester West

Br ig ht on

Portsmouth Harbour

Upwey

Weymouth

TICKET TO RIDE First Class For added luxury, see if your train offers exclusive First Class carriages. First Class offers more spacious seats, complimentary refreshments and newspapers, and use of our dedicated First Class lounges.

Sh or eh am -b ySe a Ho ve

Portsmouth & Southsea

Maiden Newton

Exton

Paignton

W or th ing

Chetnole

Digby & Sowton

Torquay

Fratton

Yetminster

Polsloe Bridge

Plymouth

Ch ich es te r

Thornford

Ba rn ha m

Southampton Central

’P ar k

Newton Abbot

Salisbury Romsey

Ha va nt

Ye ov il P en

Starcross Dawlish Warren Dawlish Teignmouth

Totnes Ivybridge

S Fe t Bu rry de Ro au a x Ke d y Do ham c De kya vo rd np or t

P

L ar Bo ost dm wit hie in l Pa rk w ay

St Au st ell Perranwell

Sp a

Exeter St Thomas

Torre

Penzance

Warminster

Tiverton Parkway

Ce Exe St nt ter Ja ra m l es

ar M d en h St enio t G er Sa ma lta ns sh

Ha yle Ca m Re bor dr ne ut h

St Erth

Guildford

Taunton

Exeter St Davids S Be Vic t B re to ude Fe ria a rre Ro ux rs ad

Bere Alston

Castle Cary

Crediton Newton St Cyres

Calstock

Redhill

Wanborough

Dilton Marsh

Fa re ha m Co sh am

Okehampton

Luxulyan

Lelant

Sampford Courtenay

Gunnislake

Lelant Saltings

Ash

Bruton

Be tc hw or th Re iga te

Copplestone

Bugle

North Camp

Sh a Ch lford ilw or th G om D Do ork sha ll in rk ing g W e (D ee st pd en e)

Hig Br id hb gw rid at ge er

Morchard Road

Carbis Bay

Farnborough North

Basingstoke

&

Lapford

Roche

Pa rk

Westbury

Weston-super-Mare

Eggesford

Newquay

Blackwater

Frome

Kings Nympton

Quintrell Downs

Sandhurst

Bramley

Pewsey

Trowbridge

Weston Milton

Portsmouth Arms

St Columb Road

Bedwyn

Worle

Umberleigh

St Ives

Crowthorne

Hungerford

Bradfordon-Avon

Yatton

Chapelton

Mortimer

Heathrow Terminal 4

Newbury Kintbury

M ill

Pembroke

Pembroke Dock

Newbury Racecourse Melksham

Avoncliff

Nailsea & Backwell

Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3

Windsor & Eton Central

Wokingham

Midgham

Parson Street

Lamphey

Slough Winnersh

Thatcham Freshford

Bedminster

Theale Aldermaston

Keynsham

Bristol Temple Meads

St Andrews Road

Penally

Chippenham

Ba th

Lawrence Hill

Avonmouth

Manorbier

Sw in do n

Pil nin g

Se ve rn

Pa tc hw ay

Tu nn el

Ju nc tio n

Filton Abbey Wood Stapleton Road

Sea Mills Shirehampton

Saundersfoot

Kemble

Stroud

Reading West

Montpelier

Swansea

Kilgetty

C Do lifto w n n Re dla nd

Br id ge nd

Lla ne lli

Newport

Yate

Bristol Parkway

Appleford

Re ad in g

Culham

O ld fie ld

First Great Western summer only service

Narberth

P Pa ort rk Ta w lb ay ot

Ca r

Fe ma rry r sid the Kid e n w e Pe lly m br ey & Bu rry Po rt Whitland

Bo ur ne

Radley

Stonehouse

Cam & Dursley

Cardiff Central

He nle yon -T M h ar low am es

Oxford

Cheltenham Spa

Tw yfo rd

Fin st oc C k Ha om nb be or ou gh

Ashchurch for Tewkesbury

G re en fo rd

Tackley

Gloucester

Neath

At First Great Western, 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

Heyford

M in- ore M to ar ns Kin h gh am Sh ip to n

Le db ur y Co lw all

W or G ce re at st M er alv er Fo M n W a or reg lvern at ce Lin e st St k er Sh ree t ru b Hi ll

Hereford

Enjoy your journey

Night Riviera Sleeper Arrive rested and relaxed with our Sleeper service. Our ‘moving hotel’ offers fully air-conditioned private cabins, personal TVs, complimentary travel accessories, free refreshments and even a morning wake-up call.

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.

London Day Travelcard Visiting the capital? The London Day Travelcard includes unlimited travel on all forms of public transport in London.

Rhossili Beach, South Wales

escape | 45


onward bound

let us entertain you

By bus PLUSBUS is a ticket that can be added to most types of train tickets. 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.

Volo TV is the world’s first on-train, video-on-demand TV system

Y

ou’ll find Volo TV in Coach D on all First Great Western High Speed trains. And in case you didn’t know, it’s free and easy to use. We have five exciting channels showing more than 80 different programmes. There’s Sport, Comedy, Kids & Family, Factual and Drama – something for everyone. We also have audio books, all the latest news, the moving map and some great voucher offers, which you can download to receive discounts in a great range of shops. Find out more at www.volo.tv, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

OUR PICK l Doctor Who As the venerable and ever popular Time Lord enters his 50th anniversary year, let time fly by on your train journey by dipping into some of his classic adventures. Over the decades, the Doctor has faced such fearsome foes as the Mara, the Macra and the Master. Travel in the TARDIS on our trains

Comedy l Miranda l The Office: An American Workplace l Up All Night l Vexed

Eric Cantona

Factual l Anthony Bourdain: The Layover l Classic Albums l Jamie’s Feastival

Drama l Doctor Who l Smash l Suits l Wallander

Sport l Eric Cantona and the Football Rebels l Football’s Greatest Managers l Great Matches of European Football l Goodwood: Festival of Speed l Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears l Premier League Goals of the Season l Sporting Greats

Kids and family l Adventure Time l The Amazing World of Gumball l Ben 10: Omniverse l Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom l Peppa Pig l Regular Show l Listings valid at time of writing. Content is subject to change

on board LUGGAGE can be stored in the overhead shelves, in the racks at the end of carriages, or under the seats. 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

46 | escape

the walls in First Class. FIRST CLASS can be found in Coaches F, G and H on High Speed Trains, and on some selected local services. THE QUIET CARRIAGE offers peaceful travel, free from phones and music players. Head to Coach A

in Standard, or Coach G in First Class on our High Speed Trains. THE ENTERTAINMENT CARRIAGE can be found in Coach D, Standard on our High Speed Trains. This world-first technology lets you view your favourite TV shows at the touch of a button.

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, where possible, or 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 or from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport with Heathrow Connect. 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.

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


minack

ROPER GALLERY 26 JANUARY— 6 MAY £6.95/Conc

Cornwall’s theatre under the stars

Visit by day or come and enjoy a performance. f During the day you can explore the sub tropical gardens and learn how the theatre was created in our Exhibition. You might even catch a rehearsal in progress, or a children’s show. A full season of plays, musicals, and children’s shows runs from Easter to October. See our website for full details of what’s on and visiting times & prices.

on the cliffs at Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JU Box Office and information 01736 810181

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

SPONSOREd bY:

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Discount off your final food bill* Continue your adventure at Rainforest Cafe where the Amazon Jungle meets the West End. Come and feast from our delicious menu which includes gluten free, dairy free and organic options for kids.

PERfECt foR kids & big kids, gREAt foR gRouPs & biRtHdAY CELEbRAtioNs book online: www.therainforestcafe.co.uk tel: 020 7434 3111 Email: sales@therainforestcafe.co.uk *Offer valid seven days a week. Maximum party size of 6. Please present to your safari guide when seated. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.


I love the scenery around Watergate Bay. I ride the train to Newquay so I can take it all in.

Explore Cornwall by train. Be a Great Westerner. For tickets and times go to www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


the guide

2FOR1 days out

2F OR 1

First Great Western is offering hundreds of fantastic 2FOR1 savings on top attractions, hotels, restaurants and more when you travel by train. So what’s your next stop going to be? The London Eye? Kensington Palace? Or the Doctor Who Cardiff Tour?

get your offer

To take advantage of these offers all you need to do is

1 Go to daysoutguide.co.uk

2 Browse the list of offers

3 Click ‘Claim offer’ on the one you like

4 Print off your 2FOR1 voucher

5 Present the vouchers together with your National Rail train tickets when you arrive at the attraction. (Read our FAQs for full details)

Kensington Palace

how are we doing?

Special offers First Great Western has a range of special offers. Check them out on our website at firstgreatwestern.co.uk Railcards Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you one-third off most standard rail tickets (time restrictions may apply). There are different types of Railcards, starting from £10, and they are valid for 12 months. Eurostar We’ve teamed up with Eurostar to offer you the chance to buy a ticket from your UK www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

destination through to the Continent, making it easier to travel and giving you the best value for money. SuperBus The First SuperBus ticket offers inclusive onward bus travel in the Bristol area for holders of certain train tickets with a destination of Bristol Parkway or Temple Meads, at no extra cost.

Contact us Email: fgwfeedback@ firstgroup.com or call us on 08457 000 125 (0700 to 2200 every day) with any questions, concerns or feedback. We’d love to hear from you. National Rail Enquiries To find out all the latest service updates on all Train Operating Companies, call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50. Or you can check online at nationalrail.co.uk

Customer Panel First Great Western’s Customer Panel provides us with valuable customer feedback. Contact your local Customer Panel member, who will help convey your comments. Email: customer.panel@ firstgroup.com Passenger Focus The independent National Rail consumer watchdog can be contacted at: passengerfocus.org.uk

escape | 49


View from Here

Justin Fletcher

Britain’s biggest children’s entertainer talks about his upcoming live tour and love of classic film scores

T

I often get a lot of my ideas from listening to film music 50 | escape

o millions of pre-school kids and their parents he is the king of clowns, Mr Tumble, slapstick extraordinaire in a star-spangled waistcoat. Justin Fletcher has to be one of the South West’s busiest residents, deftly juggling a multimedia mix of television, music, voiceover and live work. His programmes Something Special, Gigglebiz and Justin’s House are among the most popular on television channel CBeebies. With a fanbase as fervent as any rock star’s, it’s little surprise that he is about Role call to embark on an arena tour of Justin has created major venues along the First a huge number of Great Western network. curious characters. ‘It’s a very exciting prospect’, Here are five of says Justin. ‘You can’t beat his favourites: anything live, and it’s the first n Nana time I’ve been able to put all of Knickerbocker my shows on one stage.’ A panto dame who An assured crowd pleaser, lives her entire life as Justin explains what though permanently audiences are to expect from on stage his new act. ‘It will definitely n The Lost Pirate be based around Justin’s An out-of-luck pirate House, and Mr Tumble will desperate to find his certainly be an important ter treasure, no mat part of the show,’ he says. where he is ‘I’ll have a fantastic cast and n Arthur Sleep Nap we’ve got some other prone newsreader Cbeebies people to join me.’ with the worst jokes Justin definitely has no in the world shortage of comic creations n Gail Force to bring on board. For his A hapless weather comedy sketch show, girl who is constantly Gigglebiz, he plays no less at the mercy of than 26 different characters. events, usually Much of their antics take involving water inspiration from a very n Mr Tumble The particular period of cinema inimitable red-nosed history. As he reveals: ‘They clown, who goes on are based very much on the everyday adventures slapstick, silent comedy era

of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy. I love that comedy style.’ Classic movies help Justin brainstorm in another way too. ‘I often get a lot of my ideas from listening to film music. My two favourite composers are Erich Korngold and John Williams,’ he says, without hesitation. ‘Korngold used to write music for rousing swashbuckling movies, things like Robin Hood and Captain Blood. John Williams is a genius. About ten years ago I went to see him live at the Barbican and it just blew me away.’ However, children’s entertainment will always be number one for Justin. He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for his work with programmes such as Something Special, which is aimed at children with delayed learning and communication difficulties. It’s the star vehicle for Mr Tumble and obviously very important to Justin. ‘Out of all of the shows I do it’s the most rewarding because it helps so many children to communicate,’ he says. ‘You get letters daily saying things like “my child has spoken for the first time after watching your programme”. You can’t really get anything better than that.’ On the popularity of his alter ego among fans, Justin explains: ‘It’s just lovely, a lot of children are quite adamant that Mr Tumble and Justin are completely two separate characters. I take that as a compliment.’ Justin & Friends will be playing Wembley Arena 6–7 April, and Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 13–14 April www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


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ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ O O No1 No1 Bar Bar and and bistro bistro open open allall day day till till 1am 1am Sunday Sunday ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ – Thursday 3am Friday & Saturday O&ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ No1 Bar and bistro open all day till 1am Sunday &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ – Queens Thursday – Thursday 3am 3am Friday Friday && Saturday Saturday 1NA ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ The Hotel, 1-5 Brighton &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ The Queens Hotel, 1-5King KingRoad, Road, BrightonBN1 BN1 1NA ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ – Thursday 3am Friday & Saturday dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE t:ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ 0800 970 7570 w:w:www.queenshotelbrighton.com t: 0800 970 7570 www.queenshotelbrighton.com ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ The Queens Hotel, 1-5 King Road, Brighton BN1 1NA ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ e: dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE info@queenshotelbrighton.com The Queens Queens Hotel, 1-5 King King Road, Road, Brighton Brighton BN1 BN1 1NA 1NA e:0800 info@queenshotelbrighton.com Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ t:The 970Hotel, 7570 w:1-5 www.queenshotelbrighton.com Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ t:The 0800 t: 0800 970 970 7570 7570 w: w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com www.queenshotelbrighton.com Queens Hotel, 1-5 King Road, Brighton BN1 1NA e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ e:t: info@queenshotelbrighton.com e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com 0800 970 7570 w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ 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Escape, issue 9