British Travel Journal | Autumn 2019

As I hope this issue once again shows, we are spoiled for choice living in the British Isles. There are so many wonderful destinations to visit, whether on a staycation or visiting from overseas, and I hope our magazine will inspire you to extend your holiday - or book another! Highlights this issue include a wonderful 48 hours in Alderney, an epic journey through the heart of Scotland, from Edinburgh to the Caledonian Forest, and finding utter bliss at the new idyllic riverside luxury estate, Monkey Island, near Bray.

As I hope this issue once again shows, we are spoiled for choice living in the British Isles. There are so many wonderful destinations to visit, whether on a staycation or visiting from overseas, and I hope our magazine will inspire you to extend your holiday - or book another! Highlights this issue include a wonderful 48 hours in Alderney, an epic journey through the heart of Scotland, from Edinburgh to the Caledonian Forest, and finding utter bliss at the new idyllic riverside luxury estate, Monkey Island, near Bray.


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AUTUMN <strong>2019</strong> | ISSUE 03<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


take a<br />

journey<br />



taste a<br />

destination<br />



Interview<br />

raymond blanc<br />



£5.00<br />

WIN<br />

a luxury<br />

short break<br />

for two in<br />

Exeter!<br />




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C O N T R I B U T I O N S<br />



<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way<br />

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford<br />

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding<br />


FOOD & DRINK Chantal Borciani<br />

ARTS & CULTURE Melanie Abrams<br />

HISTORY & HERITAGE Robin Glover<br />

SHOPPING & LIFESTYLE Emma Johnson<br />


TRAVEL & ADVENTURE Max Wooldridge<br />

OUTDOORS & EVENTS Emma Harrison<br />


Stag at Alladale Wilderness Reserve's<br />

Glen Mohr, in the Caledonian Forest<br />

Read our article, page 94<br />



Mitchell House, Brook Avenue, Warsash,<br />

Southampton, SO31 9HP<br />

MAIN SWITCHBOARD 01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<br />


<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong><br />

WHEN I FIRST STARTED my role<br />

as Editor, knowing I would be<br />

covering entirely <strong>British</strong> travel<br />

content, and giving up the more<br />

exotic far-flung destinations, (which today seem to<br />

dominate Instagram), I did wonder if there would<br />

be enough to fill each issue from our relatively small<br />

island. But as it turned out, I needn’t have feared!<br />

As I hope this issue once again shows, we are<br />

spoiled for choice living in the <strong>British</strong> Isles. There are<br />

so many wonderful destinations to visit, whether on<br />

a staycation or visiting from overseas, and I hope our magazine will inspire you to extend<br />

your holiday - or book another!<br />

Highlights this issue include a wonderful 48 hours in Alderney, p72, an epic journey<br />

through the heart of Scotland, from Edinburgh to the Caledonian Forest p83, and finding<br />

utter bliss at the new idyllic riverside luxury estate, Monkey Island, near Bray, p66.<br />

A growing trend for environmental awareness and sustainability within travel runs<br />

through our <strong>Autumn</strong> issue, from a leather brand using goat skins (that would otherwise<br />

have been discarded) to create beautiful and unique travel accessories, p45, to a<br />

hotel conservation project aiming to restore the ecology of Scotland, p94 - and an<br />

announcement for the UK’s first-ever vegan hotel, p55.<br />

Looking to join in the fun? Well, if there were ever a Wacky Olympics the UK would<br />

top the medals every time, as our selection of weird and wonderful events, p22, reveals.<br />

We go behind-the-scenes at Goodwood ahead of the vintage Revival p32 and feature a<br />

fantastic selection of world-class outdoor art, p48.<br />

We interview top chef, Raymond Blanc as he celebrates two milestones this year – his<br />

70th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his hotel-restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux<br />

Quat’Saisons, p36, get thirsty for English Sparkling Wine, p26, and find the best places<br />

in the UK to go foraging, p56.<br />

Together with our regular <strong>Travel</strong> News, p9, Cultural Agenda, p13 and Luxury Stays<br />

p62, I hope this issue of <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> continues to enhance your upcoming travel<br />

plans – and that you have a wonderful, and memorable, autumn! u<br />

B<strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong><br />


stage 3 - B&W detailed logo<br />

Jessica x<br />

Contista Media Ltd cannot accept responsibility for<br />

unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs.<br />

While every care is taken prices and details are subject to<br />

change and Contista Media Ltd take no responsibility for<br />

omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish<br />

and edit any letters. All rights reserved.<br />

Jessica Way, Editor-In-Chief<br />

Jessica@britishtraveljournal.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 3





What better way to start the week than an escape to the North Devon<br />

coast with a two-night midweek spa break?<br />

Enjoy a two-night midweek stay inclusive of:<br />

A 60-minute Source treatment (Limited edition autumn seasonal treatments available)<br />

Full continental or English breakfast • Dinner on one evening • Full use of our hotel facilities<br />

Daily fitness classes • 1.5 hours use of our Thermal Suite each day<br />

from £245pp *<br />

01271 890212 | reservations@sauntonsands.com | sauntonsands.co.uk | <br />

*Price based on a Cosy Room, upgrades available


AUTUMN <strong>2019</strong> | ISSUE 03<br />

36<br />

09<br />

32<br />

C O M P E T I T I O N<br />

43 WIN A<br />

LUXURY<br />

BREAK FOR TWO...<br />

Don't miss your chance<br />

to win a luxury two night<br />

stay (for two people) in<br />

Exeter. Prize includes<br />

£150 to spend, dinner<br />

at Carluccio’s, an Exeter<br />

Cookery School course,<br />

a Souvenir picture of<br />

Exeter at Christmas, a<br />

hamper of local produce<br />

and much more!<br />


09<br />


A look at what’s new, and travel<br />

noteworthy, in the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />


13 Dates for your diary of things you<br />

don’t want to miss out on this autumn.<br />


20 Spotlight on composer, and three<br />

times Oscar winner, Stephen Schwartz.<br />



Mad, silly or just a bit different, if there ever<br />

were a Wacky Olympics, the UK would top the<br />

medals table every time, as this selection of<br />

weird and wonderful events reveals.<br />


26<br />


English Sparkling Wine is a fizzing<br />

success. We take a look at the brands and<br />

which wineries to visit.<br />



A creative hive of vintage style, racing<br />

memorabilia and an infectious party<br />

atmosphere.<br />



Top chef celebrates two milestones<br />

this year – his 70th birthday and the 35th<br />

anniversary of his hotel-restaurant, Belmond<br />

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 5

E D I T O R<br />

L O V E S<br />

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Plum Case,<br />

£449 from John Lewis and Harrods<br />

briggs-riley.com<br />

83<br />


45<br />


We meet the founders of leather brand<br />

Billy Tannery who use goat skins that would<br />

otherwise have been discarded to create<br />

beautiful and unique bags and accessories.<br />


48 A fantastic selection of world-class<br />

art in sculpture parks, beaches and gardens<br />

which makes for a scintillating experience.<br />

55 VICTUALS<br />

Discover what’s new in the scene<br />

of <strong>British</strong> hospitality, Michelin-star chefs,<br />

restaurants, hotels and spas.<br />


56 From spectacular coastlines to country<br />

bounds, where to discover Britain’s wild larder.<br />


62 GROUPS<br />

Stay in a beautiful historic manor house,<br />

private estate lodge, or exquisite mansion,<br />

large enough to cater for the entire family.<br />


66<br />


Discover riverside delights at Monkey<br />

Island Estate near Bray, an island idyll, less<br />

than an hour from London.<br />


72 From a Roman fort to uncrowded<br />

beaches, sense the magic in Alderney, a warm,<br />

peaceful and relaxing island escape.<br />


83 Take a journey with us through the<br />

heart of Scotland, starting in the buzzing<br />

capital of Edinburgh, visiting Big Tree Country<br />

before reaching Inverness, The Highlands and<br />

last but by no means least, the Caledonian Forest.<br />


44 SUBSCRIBE<br />

Subscribe to <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

today and receive the ultimate in travel size<br />

luxury toiletries - worth £20!<br />


98 Latest books, travel gadgets and our<br />

<strong>British</strong> travel inspired crossword.<br />

56<br />



See page 44 for more or visit:<br />

britishtraveljournal.com<br />

/subscribe<br />

44<br />

6 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


On Tresco, 28 miles off the Cornish coast, autumn is all about<br />

blustery walks on deserted beaches, steaming mugs of cocoa by the<br />

log burner, and long days spent in the warmth of the Spa.<br />

Discover time to be this autumn.<br />


AUTUMN<br />




Stoke Park is a luxury 5 AA Red Star Hotel, Spa and Country Club set within 300<br />

acres of beautiful parkland and offers world-class sporting and leisure facilities.<br />


• 49 Bedrooms and Suites<br />

• Award winning Spa<br />

• 27 hole Championship Golf<br />

Course<br />

• David Leadbetter Golf Academy<br />

• 3 Restaurants and Bars, including<br />

Humphry’s (3 AA Rosettes)<br />

• 13 Tennis Courts (indoor, grass<br />

and artificial clay)<br />

• 2 Padel Courts<br />

• Indoor Pool<br />

• State-of-the-art Gym with Fitness,<br />

Hot Yoga and Spinning Studios<br />

hosting up to 50 classes per week<br />

• Tinies Kids Club and Crèche<br />

• Games Room<br />

• Playground<br />

For Hotel Reservations please call 01753 717171 or email reservations@stokepark.com<br />

Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG | www.stokepark.com


W H A T ' S N E W<br />

Destinations | Renovations | Launches | Celebrations<br />


The first ever Hard Rock Hotel in the UK,<br />

the original birthplace of the franchise,<br />

has opened on the corner of Oxford Street.<br />

hardrockhotels.com/london<br />


Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire has been granted the prestigious ‘UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site’ status, becoming the 32nd member of a prestigious UK list to include<br />

Stonehenge, the city of Bath, Blenheim Palace, Hadrian’s Wall and the Tower of London.<br />

The home of the Lovell Telescope, the world’s third largest steerable radio telescope, Jodrell<br />

Bank is a working scientific observatory and a leading tourist attraction. First used to track<br />

the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite – the world’s first artificial satellite – Jodrell now operates<br />

the UK’s national e-MERLIN radio telescope and is the headquarters of the Square Kilometre<br />

Array – a ground-breaking project to build the world’s biggest telescope. jodrellbank.net<br />


Launching first in Bristol, 'The Wave' pool<br />

offers consistent safe waves using Wavegarden<br />

technology, (with over 1,000 waves per hour!)<br />

where everyone can safely surf and bodyboard.<br />

thewave.com<br />


WE LOVE<br />


Following a recent multi-million-pound<br />

investment and transformation into a luxury<br />

resort, St Michaels Falmouth in Cornwall is proud<br />

to unveil a spectacular new destination spa.<br />

stmichaelsresort.com<br />


Nine of England's National Parks (there's 15 in total)<br />

are offering unique experience days, from climbing<br />

in the Peak District to learning to sail on the watery<br />

wonderland of the Broads National Park.<br />

nationalparkexperiences.co.uk<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ling with just<br />

carry-on luggage, with<br />

well thought-out features,<br />

there are no long waits<br />

at check-in, no lines at<br />

baggage claim, and no<br />

careless packing. (£350)<br />

victorinox.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 9


N E W !<br />




One of Britain's finest stately homes, in<br />

York, North Yorkshire, has opened a<br />

new adventure playground, Skelf Island,<br />

where the Skelves live! skelfisland.co.uk<br />



You can now enjoy spectacular views<br />

of the historic city of Durham and the<br />

surrounding countryside by climbing the<br />

tower's 325 steps. durhamcathedral.co.uk<br />


For the first time in more than 500 years, the two separated halves of Tintagel Castle<br />

will be reunited thanks to a daring new £5m footbridge unveiled by English Heritage,<br />

allowing visitors to walk in the footsteps of the medieval inhabitants of the Cornish<br />

castle – inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur – and enjoy spectacular<br />

coastal views not seen since the Middle Ages. Spanning a 190-foot gorge and with a<br />

gasp-inducing gap in the middle, the bridge follows the line of the original route – a<br />

narrow strip of land, long lost to erosion – between the 13th-century gatehouse on the<br />

mainland and the courtyard on the jagged headland or island jutting into the sea. So<br />

significant was this historic crossing that it gave rise to the place’s name, the Cornish Din<br />

Tagell meaning “the Fortress of the Narrow Entrance”. english-heritage.org.uk/tintagel<br />


"Tide coming in around the beguiling<br />

Victorian Fort Houmet Herbé - such a<br />

peaceful spot. Swipe to see the video!..."<br />

instagram.com/britishtraveljournal<br />

#britishtraveljournal<br />


This new five-star luxury country resort hotel<br />

and spa is set in a grand 17th-century house on<br />

its own island! Situated between the elegant<br />

Yorkshire towns of Ripon and Harrogate.<br />

grantleyhall.co.uk<br />


On the banks of the beautiful River Ness, originally<br />

a 19th century house, Ness Walk has opened<br />

as new five-star hotel, the epitome of luxurious<br />

Scottish living, shining a spotlight on Inverness.<br />

nesswalk.com<br />

See also<br />

page 72<br />

10 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


...CITY BREAKS<br />

We’ve selected and approved 50 of the best<br />

independently owned luxury hotels and spas<br />

around Britain for you to enjoy.<br />

Call FREEPHONE 0808 250 3121 to request your<br />

free directory or visit prideofbritainhotels.com<br />


Tulip Festival Mid<br />

April to early May<br />

Ancient Castle, Stately Home & Gardens<br />

for more details, call 01903 882173<br />

or visit www.arundelcastle.org


H O T T H I S S E A S O N<br />

Exhibitions | Museums | Galleries | Shows<br />


Words | Melanie Abrams<br />


Downton Abbey<br />

13 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

It’s been four years since Mr Carson, the butler,<br />

closed Downton Abbey’s heavy door. Now, at last,<br />

the Crawley family and their servants are back – and<br />

expecting a visit from King George V and Queen<br />

Mary in 1927. Among the balls, barbed one-liners<br />

and magnificent parade, there’s a dilemma:<br />

will Lady Mary finally leave the palatial nest?<br />

focusfeatures.com<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 13






Antony Gormley<br />

21 SEPTEMBER-03 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Antony Gormley’s statues have become <strong>British</strong><br />

landmarks. Consider the steel Angel of the<br />

North embracing Gateshead or Winchester<br />

Cathedral’s contemplative figure in its crypt.<br />

This autumn, the Royal Academy of Arts has a<br />

sweeping retrospective from the late 1970s to<br />

date. Innovative works include an Iron Baby in the<br />

courtyard and a seawater and clay installation.<br />

royalacademy.org.uk<br />

George IV: Art and Spectacle<br />

15 NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong>-03 MAY 2020<br />

George IV is the centre of attention again as the<br />

Queen’s Gallery celebrates his flamboyant style<br />

through his extensive art collection. Formed whilst<br />

Prince Regent from 1811 and king from 1820 to<br />

1830, George IV acquired 2,917 masterpieces<br />

from paintings to porcelain.<br />

rct.uk/visit/the-queens-gallerybuckingham-palace<br />

Mary Poppins<br />

13 NOVEMBER-29 MARCH 2020<br />


Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins<br />

lands on stage at the Prince Edward Theatre<br />

this autumn. Zizi Strallen plays the nanny who<br />

changes the Banks family with a spoonful of<br />

sugar and more. Watch out for the Bird Woman<br />

– she is Downtowns' singer, Petula Clark, back<br />

on a West End stage for the first time in 20 years.<br />

marypoppinsonstage.co.uk<br />

Magic<br />

19 OCTOBER <strong>2019</strong>–19 APRIL 2020<br />

An ambitious exhibition – exploring magic through<br />

different cultures and over 200 objects. Discover<br />

Guatemala’s devilish, drunken god, Maximón,<br />

who people ask for protection or a husband to the<br />

drum and rattle used locally for healing. For other<br />

spiritual experiences, head to nearby Stonehenge<br />

and Stanton Drew Circles and Cove.<br />

bristolmuseums.org.uk<br />

Simon Annand: The Half<br />

07 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>-01 FEBRUARY 2020<br />

This new photography exhibition by one of the<br />

UK’s leading portrait photographers, Simon<br />

Annand, will showcase the rare and unseen<br />

privacy backstage actors experience in the half<br />

hour period before they hit the stage. The Half<br />

will open at the Lawrence Batley Theatre – a new<br />

multi-arts organisation in Huddersfield. Simon<br />

has photographed the most recognisable faces<br />

of stage, including Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench,<br />

Daniel Craig and Jude Law. In addition, the<br />

exhibition will showcase a brand-new selection of<br />

photographs that have never been seen before,<br />

of celebrities such as Gillian Anderson, Phoebe<br />

Waller-Bridge, Ruth Negga and many more.<br />

thelbt.org<br />

Turner Prize<br />

28 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>-12 JANUARY 2010<br />

What better gallery to host the Turner Prize than<br />

the Turner Contemporary, both named after the<br />

14 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com








18th century painter, JMW Turner?<br />

In Margate, where the artist lived, this is the<br />

sixth year the Tate has held the 35 year old prize<br />

outside London. The exhibition of work by the<br />

shortlisted artists – Lawrence Abu Hamdan,<br />

Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani<br />

– gives a snapshot of contemporary art today<br />

with the winner announced on 3 December.<br />

turnercontemporary.org; tate.org.uk<br />

Death in Venice<br />

21 NOVEMBER-06 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Benjamin Britten’s last opera has a new<br />

production at the Royal Opera House.<br />

Tenor, Mark Padmore and bass-baritone,<br />

Gerald Finlay star in this chilling opera, first<br />

performed in 1973. Based on Thomas Mann’s<br />

novella of a blocked writer obsessed with<br />

youth, Death in Venice was also a 1971 Luchino<br />

Visconti film, starring Dirk Bogarde.<br />

roh.org.uk/productions/death-invenice-by-david-mcvicar<br />


18 Stafford Terrace<br />


From 1875, 18 Stafford Terrace was the<br />

home of Victorian illustrator Edward Linley<br />

Sambourne and his family and provides a rare<br />

example of what was known as an 'Aesthetic<br />

interior' or 'House Beautiful' style. The<br />

Aesthetic Movement of the late nineteenth<br />

century advocated the use of foreign or 'exotic'<br />

influences in the decoration of the home. This<br />

can be seen by the various Japanese, Middle-<br />

Eastern and Chinese objects throughout the<br />

Sambournes' home, housed alongside the<br />

artist’s collection of drawings and photographs.<br />

rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums.aspx<br />

Apsley House<br />

01 SEPTEMBER-03 NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Home to the Dukes of Wellington since 1807.<br />

An exhibition to 3 November reveals an intimate<br />

take on the first duke.<br />

english-heritage.org.uk<br />

London Design Festival<br />

14-22 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

A fantastic event, now in its 17th year, which brings<br />

together designers from across the globe and<br />

demonstrates the capital’s position as a powerhouse<br />

for the creative industries.<br />

londondesignfestival.com<br />

BFI London Film Festival<br />

02 -13 October <strong>2019</strong><br />

Red carpets are rolling out across the capital as the<br />

BFI London Film Festival unveils upcoming films.<br />

Modern day whodunnit, Knives Out starring Daniel<br />

Craig pinpoints its’ villain on 8 October. Whereas<br />

Robert de Niro and Al Pacino unite on screen for<br />

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman on 13 October,<br />

charting the American labour union leader, Jimmy<br />

Hoffa’s disappearance. Documentaries and short<br />

films complement the drama. Experiment with<br />

venues like the arts hub, Rich Mix in Shoreditch,<br />

home to comedy, music and more as well as film.<br />

bfi.org.uk/lff<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 15



My Beautiful Laundrette<br />


The story of a gay <strong>British</strong>-Pakistani boy growing<br />

up in 1980s London, turned My Beautiful<br />

Laundrette into that decade’s seminal film.<br />

Now it is having a stage reboot across northern<br />

theatres, starting at Leicester’s Curve with<br />

original music composed by 80s pop duo, the<br />

Pet Shop Boys. Spiky, funny and ambiguous,<br />

the film turned Daniel Day Lewis into a star<br />

alongside the writer, Hanif Kureishi, who is also<br />

penning this play.<br />

curveonline.co.uk<br />

Emanuel Gat – Works<br />

09 NOVEMBER–12 NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Israeli choreographers like Hofesh Shechter are<br />

top dance talents right now. So after an eight<br />

year hiatus, the UK return of Emanuel Gat’s<br />

dance company to Manchester and London is<br />

timely. The feisty six piece bill includes a work<br />

with music also by Gat.<br />

thelowry.com; sadlerswells.com<br />





The Son<br />

24 AUGUST-02 NOVEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

The Son at the Duke of York’s theatre deals<br />

with a hot topic by a hot writer – as Frenchman<br />

Florian Zeller explores how divorced parents<br />

deal with their son’s emotional unravelling<br />

and its turbulent effects on the family. Like in<br />

real life there are no easy answers and Zeller<br />

presents it as it painfully is.<br />

duke-of-yorks.theatre-tickets.com<br />


16 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

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#18staffordterrace<br />


the sambourne family home<br />

#18staffordterrace<br />

Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays STEP BACK IN TIME TO 1899<br />

11am Conventional and Costumed Guided tours<br />

2- 5:30pm Public Open Access<br />

Evening and Private tours also available<br />

visit1066country.com<br />

18 Stafford Terrace, Kensington, London W8 7BH<br />

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1066 COUNTRY<br />

From 1875, 18 Stafford Terrace was the family<br />

home of ‘Punch’ cartoonist, Edward Linley<br />

Sambourne. The house gives an insight into the<br />

personal lives of the Sambourne family and<br />

provides a rare example of what was known as an<br />

'Aesthetic interior' or 'House Beautiful' style.<br />

LHM Retirement Today_HP_FINAL.pdf 1 8/30/2016 12:50:58 PM<br />


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the sambourne family home<br />

Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays<br />

11am Conventional and Costumed Guided tours<br />

2- 5:30pm Public Open Access<br />

Evening and Private tours also available<br />


18 Stafford Terrace, Kensington, London W8 7BH<br />

Visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/museums<br />

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discover britain 202x129 <strong>2019</strong>.indd 1 02/05/<strong>2019</strong> 16:32




OF THE NEW <strong>2019</strong> SPOTLIGHT AT FRIEZE MASTERS<br />



Concours of Elegance<br />

06 SEPTEMBER-08 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Don a Brioni blazer or Erdem frock for the<br />

vintage car extravaganza, Concours of Elegance<br />

at Hampton Court Palace. As Silver Ghosts,<br />

1920s sports cars and other rare models<br />

chug past, there’s an unsettling throwback<br />

vs modern clash. For pure contemporary<br />

adventure, inspect today’s supercars or try<br />

A. Lange & Söhne’s sleek watches for style.<br />

concoursofelegance.co.uk<br />

Frieze London<br />

03 OCTOBER-06 OCTOBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

The glittering art world descends on Regent’s<br />

Park this October as Frieze fever spreads across<br />

London. Over 160 galleries from 36 countries<br />

will showcase their top notch contemporary<br />

talent. Whilst neighbouring Frieze Masters<br />

offers the classic complement with Old Master<br />

oils, ancient artefacts and more.<br />

frieze.com/fairs/frieze-london<br />


Cliveden Literary Festival<br />

28 SEPTEMBER-29 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Notorious as the backdrop to the 1960s<br />

Profumo politico-sex scandal, Cliveden House has<br />

a history of literary and political debate – with<br />

Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill among the<br />

house’s guests. Today’s speakers are equally agendasetting<br />

– from Ben Okri to Jacob Rees-Mogg.<br />

clivedenliteraryfestival.org<br />

Food Rocks<br />

07 SEPTEMBER-08 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

For a local culinary experience, head to Lyme<br />

Regis in Dorset for Food Rocks. Curated by<br />

founder and fabled chef, Mark Hix, there are<br />

demos by top chefs, cocktail masterclasses and<br />

stalls with the region’s finest produce – gourmet<br />

steak sourced from local herds, say. Save space<br />

for the evening feasts. Nearby Town Mill is<br />

worth a detour – with local work in galleries and<br />

shops around a cobbled courtyard.<br />

hixrestaurants.co.uk<br />


Happiness Begins<br />

29 JANUARY 2020-06 FEBRUARY 2020<br />

This year, we can’t get enough of the reunited<br />

Jonas Brothers, Joe, Kevin and Nick. Whether<br />

Joe’s two weddings to Game of Thrones’<br />

Sophie Turner or their upbeat new album,<br />

Happiness Begins, released over the summer.<br />

Our favourite tracks are Sucker for the edgier<br />

rhythms and dance-y, Only Human. Roll on<br />

2020 – as they perform live nationwide.<br />

jonasbrothers.com<br />

WHAT'S NEW?<br />

Sutton Hoo<br />


Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge in Suffolk, is one<br />

of the most important archaeological sites in<br />

the world and the 7th-century burial mounds,<br />

excavated from the late 1930s onwards, have<br />

revealed items including the iconic Sutton<br />

18 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com



Hoo helmet that have helped shape our<br />

understanding of the origins of English history.<br />

This awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site<br />

has been through an incredible transformation,<br />

thanks to a £4 million investment – the biggest<br />

investment the National Trust has ever made!<br />

The experience for visitors to the site is to bring<br />

the story of a spectacular King’s ship burial<br />

and his treasures to life. Visitors are greeted in<br />

the Courtyard with a full-size, 27-metre long<br />

sculpture representing the Anglo-Saxon ship<br />

buried there, whilst the Exhibition Hall and<br />

Tranmer House, the former home of Edith<br />

Pretty, offer dramatic new displays, installations<br />

and immersive experiences. There's also River<br />

View walking trail, a new-look King's River Café<br />

and the brand new Keepers' Café. Later this<br />

autumn, the final part of the project will include<br />

a 17-metre high observation tower, offering<br />

birds-eye views across the Royal Burial Ground<br />

to the wider landscape.<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo<br />

Tintagel Bridge<br />


As featured in our <strong>Travel</strong> News, p10, Tintagel<br />

Castle, North Cornwall, is one of the most<br />

spectacular historic sites in Britain. But the path<br />

to the castle has long been challenging, with over a<br />

hundred steps winding towards to the cliff-top<br />

ruins. So they've built a new footbridge, recreating<br />

the historic crossing from the mainland, over the<br />

190-metre drop between the two cliffs.<br />

english-heritage.org.uk<br />

Boogie Wall<br />


Beginning with an explosive group show Notre<br />

Dame / Our Lady (4 October – 27 October)<br />

Boogie Wall will launch during Frieze, creating a<br />

platform for innovative contemporary art, where<br />

artists can push the boundaries of their mediums,<br />

experiment new ideas to highlight the constant<br />

change in cultures and society.<br />

boogie-wall.com<br />


English Gardens<br />

01 OCTOBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Leafing through Rizzoli’s new book on<br />

English Gardens by Kathryn Bradley-Hole is<br />

a colourful way to find an alternative Britain.<br />

Head to Salisbury for Heale House’s Japanese<br />

garden, say, or the Isles of Scilly for Tresco<br />

Abbey’s subtropical setting. The useful visitor’s<br />

information and map explains where to go<br />

when as some of these exotic gardens open on<br />

certain days, by appointment or even for B&B.<br />

rizzoliusa.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 19



Spotlight on composer Stephen Schwartz<br />



BY 1976, WHEN HE WAS JUST 28 YEARS OLD, Stephen<br />

Schwartz had three hit musicals playing side by side on<br />

Broadway – Godspell, Pippin and The Magic Show. That’s<br />

a rare achievement, although he had actually made his<br />

Broadway debut ahead of all of them in 1969 when he was only 21,<br />

with a song he contributed to a play called Butterflies Are Free.<br />

He’s come a long way since then, including three Oscar wins for<br />

his film work, but there was a long gap between that early wave<br />

of Broadway successes in the mid-1970's before he had another<br />

Broadway triumph with Wicked nearly 30 years later in 2003.<br />

It was Schwartz’s childhood dream to be a musical theatre<br />

composer and lyricist. But not all dreams come true, and he was going<br />

to be a psychologist if it didn’t work out. One of Schwartz’s big breaks<br />

came with a call from Disney who were looking for a writing partner<br />

for Alan Menken for his scores for animated features. It was an offer<br />

he couldn’t refuse. Together they did Pocahontas (1995, for which he<br />

won two Oscars), followed by The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996),<br />

again written with Menken for Disney, then The Prince of Egypt for<br />

Dreamworks (1998, for which he wrote both music and lyrics and won<br />

a third Oscar for best original song for When You Believe).<br />

A brand-new stage musical of The Prince of Egypt will begin<br />

performances at London’s stunningly refurbished Dominion Theatre<br />

on Wednesday 5 February 2020 for a limited 32-week engagement.<br />

Luke Brady and Liam Tamne will lead the cast as ‘Moses’ and ‘Ramses’<br />

respectively, with Christine Allado as ‘Tzipporah’ and Alexia Khadime<br />

as ‘Miriam’ and with further casting to be announced.<br />

Stephen Schwartz also wrote the music and lyrics for global hit<br />

Wicked which opened on Broadway in 2003, where it has run ever<br />

since. It transferred to the West End’s Apollo Victoria in 2006 and<br />

defied his own expectations with more than 7.5 million people having<br />

now seen it in London. The show’s London executive producer Michael<br />

McCabe pointed out that the sheer volume of people coming through<br />

the doors in such a big theatre means that 18,000 people a week are<br />

having a remarkable time.<br />

The show is famously a production that resonates particularly as a<br />

story of female empowerment. As David Stone, one of the producers,<br />

has famously been quoted as saying, “We all have that green girl<br />

inside of us”. And, for young women, that story has not been told too<br />

often in their terms. There are a lot of aspirational male stories, but not<br />

so many for women. u<br />


20 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

10of the best<br />

WACKY<br />


Mad, silly or just a bit<br />

different, if there ever were<br />

a Wacky Olympics, the UK<br />

would top the medals table<br />

every time, as this selection<br />

of weird and wonderful<br />

events reveals<br />

Words | Max Wooldridge<br />

22 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Brompton World Championships<br />

1<br />

O N Y O U R B I K E<br />

With a strict heritage dress code, and<br />

qualifying heats held in cities around the<br />

world, the final takes place around St James Park,<br />

London every summer – around 600 competitors<br />

with prizes for the fastest and best dressed.<br />

brompton.com/events<br />

L A W N M O W E R L E G E N D S<br />

12-Hour Lawnmower Race<br />

2<br />

For a grassroots <strong>British</strong> Grand Prix a world away from the pomp and silly money of<br />

Formula One, head to the 12-Hour Lawnmower Race at Five Oaks, near Billingshurst,<br />

West Sussex, in early August. This is cutting edge motor sports at its finest, with a Le Mansstyle<br />

grid start at 8pm, followed by 12 hours of racing through the night. The drivers, with no<br />

form of suspension other than a padded seat, take it very seriously. In fact, the first race in<br />

1978 was won by no less than racing legend Stirling Moss. blmra.co.uk<br />

T H E B E S T L I N K S C O U R S E I N S C O T L A N D<br />

World Hickory Golf Championships<br />

3<br />

Brassies, mashies and putters meet classy plus fours at Kingarrock in Scotland, the UK’s<br />

only remaining Hickory Golf Course, formed in 1924. Get back to stylish basics and nearly a<br />

century in time when golf relied on technique rather than technology.<br />

worldhickoryopen.com<br />

E G G S A N D N E T T L E S<br />

Egg Throwing World Championships<br />

4<br />

This eggcellent annual event respects a<br />

centuries-old tradition of egg throwing in<br />

the Lincolnshire village of Swaton. Watch teams<br />

try to launch eggs the furthest without breaking<br />

them, and contestants risk egg on their faces with<br />

Russian Egg Roulette. Each entrant has to smash<br />

an egg against their forehead…. out of six eggs<br />

available, five are hard-boiled but one is raw!<br />

World Nettle Eating Championship<br />

5<br />

This annual competition, held at the Bottle<br />

Inn, a 16th-century pub in the Dorset village of<br />

Marshwood, sees scores of contestants line up to<br />

eat as many two-foot long stalks of nettles as they<br />

can in an hour. A recent champion, aptly called<br />

Thorne, devoured 86 feet of stinging nettles. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 23

T H E M I N D B O G G L E S<br />

T O S I N K ( T H I N K ) O R S W I M<br />

Diving Chess World Championship<br />

6<br />

The Diving Chess World Championship is a quirky, aquatic twist on the regular game in that<br />

the board is submerged in a swimming pool. And instead of a chess clock, players ponder<br />

their next move for as long as they can hold their breath underwater. msoworld.com<br />

World Bog Snorkelling Championships<br />

9<br />

Every August Bank Holiday Sunday, the small<br />

Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells turns daft<br />

revelry into an art form. Hardy swimmers, many in<br />

wetsuits, masks and fins compete to see who can<br />

swim the quickest through a 133-metre weedinfested<br />

and muddy peat bog on the outskirts of<br />

town. Not surprisingly, there’s never a great rush to<br />

congratulate the winner! visitwales.com<br />

First ever Jenga championship<br />

The newest of our wacky<br />

8 championships launches this<br />

September at Stratford’s sky-high venue,<br />

Roof East. Competitors compete in<br />

three different challenges; building<br />

the tallest Jenga tower; a super speedy<br />

skyscraper – and the ultimate test – ‘fat<br />

glove Jenga’, where contestants will need<br />

to remove bricks from their tower whilst<br />

wearing a pair of ski gloves! With a grand<br />

prize of £500 being awarded to one<br />

lucky team of two. Price is £10 per team.<br />

sfgclub.com<br />

A S A C K F U L L<br />

Woolsack Racing<br />

7<br />

Late May bank holiday<br />

sees contestants carry<br />

wool-filled sacks up and<br />

down the steepest hill in the<br />

Gloucestershire market town<br />

of Tetbury. The fun and frolics<br />

pay homage to a 17th century<br />

tradition when young drovers<br />

tried to impress local maidens.<br />

tetburywoolsack.co.uk<br />

N E W K I D O N T H E B L O C K<br />

T O E M U C H T O W A T C H<br />

World Toe Wrestling Championship<br />

10<br />

Watch an amazing annual feat of strength,<br />

similar to arm wrestling, only with toes,<br />

which sees contestants lie on the floor opposite<br />

each other and lock bare feet with toes and try<br />

to pin the other's foot down. The game was<br />

invented by four drinkers in Ye Olde Royal Oak<br />

Inn in Wetton, Staffordshire in 1974, who were<br />

bemoaning the fact that the UK struggled to<br />

produce any world champions. Logically, if a new<br />

sport was invented that no one else knew about,<br />

the country could boast a champion at last. Having<br />

tried "ear wrestling" and "push of war" (with a<br />

scaffolding pole), Pete Cheetham, Eddie Stansfield,<br />

Pete Dean and Mick Dawson created toe wrestling.<br />

A rule board was produced by the sign writers<br />

at the Yorkshire Evening Post (Mick's girlfriend,<br />

Angie Edward, had a father who was the editor)<br />

and even a small trophy was made and engraved.<br />

royaloakwetton.co.uk<br />

24 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Cruise in England<br />

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✔ Cruise through the glorious Cotswolds River Severn Vale<br />

✔ Unpack once & visit new places daily. Cruises from 3 to 7 days<br />

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ABTA No.Y6581<br />



UNTIL JAN 2020<br />


In Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.<br />

The heart of Roald Dahl Country.<br />

The Roald Dahl Museum<br />

roalddahl.com/museum<br />

HP16 0AL. 45 min<br />

by train from London<br />

Jack Savoretti | Laura Mvula<br />

Ward Thomas | Jess Gillam<br />

Juan de Marcos’ Afro-Cuban All Stars<br />

and many more

In search of<br />


WINE<br />

The Royal Family serves it. So does 10 Downing Street. English Sparkling<br />

Wine is a fizzing success. Even Taittinger is getting in on the act<br />

Words | Adrian Mourby<br />

TEN YEARS AGO in London a rumour circulated<br />

that Prince Charles no longer served champagne<br />

at Highgrove but an English sparkling wine called<br />

Nyetimber. The wine was being produced at a<br />

vineyard in the West Sussex South Downs. Planting had begun<br />

in 1986 after geological similarities were discovered between<br />

southern England and the Champagne region of France.<br />

By 2010 the Nyetimber secret was out. The vineyard’s<br />

Classic Cuvée beat Bollinger in a blind tasting and was named<br />

best sparkling wine in the world. Suddenly it was being served<br />

at 10 Downing Street and replaced champagne at the Queen’s<br />

Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.<br />

Since Nyetimber swept the <strong>British</strong> Isles and Britain’s export<br />

market, other excellent sparkling wines have been discovered.<br />

They cannot be called champagnes because the grapes are<br />

not grown – and the wine is not produced – in the eponymous<br />

French region, but the soil is similar, the method is the same<br />

and the grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier –<br />

are just the same as used in Champagne. Once upon a time the<br />

idea of English “champagne” would have been a joke, but the<br />

right climatic and geographical conditions were always there in<br />

the south of England.<br />

The <strong>British</strong> just had to prove to themselves that it could<br />

be done. Britain has enjoyed a long, happy connection to the<br />

sparkling wines of Champagne. At the same time that Dom<br />

Pérignon was rigorously trying to eliminate the bubbles from<br />

wines produced at his abbey in Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers,<br />

Londoners were importing the wines of Champagne specifically<br />

because they enjoyed quaffing the sparkle. In 1662 the Royal<br />

Society discussed a paper that sought to explain secondary<br />

fermentation in the bottle and soon after Sir Kenelm Digby set<br />

his glassworks the task of creating a bottle strong enough to<br />

hold this fashionable new wine. Up until Digby’s intervention<br />

sparkling wine had a worrying tendency to explode during its<br />

secondary fermentation.<br />

However, it wasn’t until 1984 that a commercial vineyard<br />

in England managed to produce traditional method sparkling<br />

wines although it used German grapes. Two years later in<br />

1988 a vineyard was planted at Nyetimber with the three<br />

traditional champagne grapes. The first sparkling wine from<br />

Nyetimber was released in 1997 and immediately won a<br />

medal. Other vineyards followed where Nyetimber led. Some<br />

– like Denbies in Surrey – were existing still wine producers<br />

who branched out into sparkling wines. Many more, like<br />

Gusbourne in Kent, set up business with the intention of<br />

creating sparkling wine.<br />

Today, the majority of wine produced in England is<br />

sparkling. Current production levels suggest 12million bottles<br />

will be produced in 2020 with the three Champagne varieties<br />

accounting for over 70% of all grapes planted.<br />

There are now over 100 wineries in England producing<br />

sparkling wines, including the French Champagne house<br />

Taittinger which planted its first vines in Kent in 2017.<br />

Many have visitor centres and even dining rooms. Those<br />

that do not often welcome tours and arrange tastings. Here are<br />

six to visit – from Kent to Cornwall. à<br />

26 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 27

WE LOVE<br />



Creamy texture with notes of<br />

lemon and brioche. Nyetimber’s<br />

vineyards all face south, ensuring the<br />

ideal conditions for the slow ripening<br />

of the grapes. This orientation results<br />

in optimum levels of acidity and<br />

complexity. Details of each bottle’s<br />

history can be found by entering<br />

the number on the back label<br />

on Nyetimber’s website.<br />



SUSSEX<br />

This beautiful half-timbered site<br />

in West Sussex has been key to the<br />

transformation of England’s sparkling<br />

wine industry. As a very busy winery<br />

producing over a million bottles a year,<br />

Nyetimber is not normally open to the<br />

public, but there are six open days<br />

during the summer months. Tickets cost<br />

£35 and include tastings. There is also<br />

the opportunity to stay on for a dinner<br />

cooked by top UK chefs with Nyetimberpairings<br />

(£150 pp).<br />

nyetimber.com<br />

Where to stay<br />

Amberley Castle<br />

This 19-room converted<br />

castle lies nine miles south of<br />

Nyetimber.<br />

Ancient Amberley has<br />

had many owners including<br />

the 15th Duke of Norfolk who<br />

restored its medieval portcullis<br />

in Victorian times. Charles II<br />

visited the castle twice after the<br />

Restoration. Family-owned for<br />

centuries, it became a country<br />

house hotel in 1989.<br />




Family-owned since 1995,<br />

Ridgeview was recently crowned<br />

one of the best vineyards in the<br />

world (No 36 in the Top 50 and<br />

the only UK entry). Its Cellar Door<br />

is open daily for complimentary<br />

tastings and sales. Ridgeview is<br />

very visitor-friendly with private<br />

tours by appointment, exclusive<br />

dinners in collaboration with top<br />

chefs, picnic hampers for sale to<br />

those who want to eat in its wine<br />

garden and an annual Ridgefest in<br />

August.<br />

ridgeview.co.uk<br />

Where to stay<br />

Ockenden Manor<br />

This sixteenth-century manor<br />

house only became a hotel after<br />

World War II. Standing six miles<br />

north of Ridgeview, it offers a finedining<br />

restaurant, elegant drawing<br />

room, croquet lawn and an<br />

outdoor swimming pool fed by the<br />

hotel’s own spring. Ridgeview has<br />

long been the house “champagne”<br />

at Ockenden Manor and the hotel<br />

will arrange visits to the winery for<br />

guests.<br />

hshotels.co.uk/ockenden-manor<br />

2<br />



This family-run Hampshire winery was<br />

founded in 2004 and now has 15,000<br />

vines. Owner Simon Bladon claims<br />

that when he attended a furniture<br />

auction in 2003 he was handed a<br />

glass of English sparkling wine for<br />

the first time and had a Damascene<br />

conversion. Bladon bought no<br />

furniture that day, but came home and<br />

began planning to cultivate vines in<br />

the old hop fields next to his house.<br />

jenkynplace.com<br />



BRUT 2014<br />

A beautiful golden wine with aromas<br />

of green apple, floral hints and minerality.<br />

Jenkyn Place wines are said to age<br />

well so this is also one for laying<br />

down. The vineyard also produces<br />

a Rosé and Blanc de Blanc. Dermot<br />

Sugrue, Jenkyn’s winemaker, was also<br />

responsible for some of Nyetimber’s<br />

early success, hence the accolades.and<br />

a rather more expensive Rosé de Noirs.<br />

3WE<br />

LOVE<br />


Ridegeview’s signature blend is<br />

predominantly Chardonnay, with<br />

Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier adding<br />

depth and character. Bloomsbury is light<br />

golden in colour with a fine, persistent<br />

mousse, citrus fruit aromas and even hints<br />

of honey. The company also produces a<br />

Fitzrovia Sparkling Rosé and a rather more<br />

expensive Rosé de Noirs.<br />

WE LOVE<br />

Where to stay<br />

The Merry Harriers<br />

The Merry Harriers is a<br />

picturesque, wonderfully<br />

eccentric pub with rooms,<br />

18 miles south east of Jenkyn<br />

Place. Guests can stay above<br />

the bar or in some luxury<br />

shepherd-hut caravans in the<br />

garden. Best of all, the pub<br />

owns a herd of llamas who are<br />

very friendly and can even be<br />

taken for walks by guests.<br />

merryharriers.com à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 29




Appledore is said to be the seconddriest<br />

place in England, which<br />

has helped Gusbourne’s vineyards<br />

prosper. Self-guided tours cost £25<br />

and end in the beautiful modern<br />

wooden tasting room known as<br />

“The Nest”. Hosted tours are also<br />

available for £65pp and feature<br />

rarer wines and lunch in The Nest.<br />

gusbourne.com<br />

4<br />

Where to stay<br />

Chilston Park 17 miles north<br />

of the Gusbourne Estate, Chilston<br />

Park is like spending the weekend at<br />

the country house of a gentleman<br />

acquaintance. It became a hotel in<br />

1983 but still has the feel of a family<br />

home with an eclectic collection<br />

of paintings and a very small<br />

bar tucked under the great oak<br />

staircase.<br />

handpickedhotels.co.uk/<br />

chilstonpark<br />

30 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


RESERVE 2015<br />

This wine clearly benefits from being<br />

grown on clay and sandy loam soils on a<br />

south-facing escarpment. It’s bright gold<br />

in colour with hints of apple, pear and<br />

citrus and an elegant finish. Gusbourne<br />

produces just three wines: Brut Reserve,<br />

Blanc de Blancs and Gusbourne Rosé. So<br />

popular is the wine that people subscribe<br />

in advance to be guaranteed 12 bottles a<br />

year, four of each.<br />



Because of a damper climate than<br />

Sussex, Camel Valley Vineyard blends its<br />

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 50%<br />

Seyval grapes. Moreover the planting on a<br />

loam soil rather than the traditional chalk<br />

slopes of southern England results in a very<br />

fresh wine, fruitier than most UK sparkling<br />

wines. Camel Valley Brut Reserve has won<br />

many awards and has a citrus character<br />

with a touch of honey on the palate.<br />




This eighteenth-century estate was<br />

established as a farm by Thomas<br />

Denby but today contains the largest<br />

vineyard in Britain, a visitor centre and<br />

– surprisingly – the Surrey Performing<br />

Arts Library. Many wines, still and<br />

sparkling, are produced at Denbies<br />

and there is also an on-site brewery.<br />

A range of tours is offered starting at<br />

£11.50 pp.<br />

denbies.co.uk<br />

Where to stay<br />

Denbies Vineyard Hotel<br />

Actually on the Denbies Wine Estate<br />

itself. Our surprise entry, the recently<br />

upgraded farmhouse B&B, following<br />

a £4m transformation, has opened<br />

as the UK's first-ever vineyard hotel.<br />

Stay in one of the 17-bedrooms in<br />

the new Denbies Vineyard Hotel and<br />

enjoy outdoor dining in the orangery<br />

garden restaurant, in the heart of the<br />

wine-making experience.<br />

denbies.co.uk<br />


NOIRS 2013<br />

Denbies produces a wide range of<br />

still white wines as well as eight sparkling<br />

wines, some named Cubitt after the<br />

master builder, Thomas Cubitt who<br />

redesigned the estate in the nineteenth<br />

century. The Cubitt Blanc de Blancs 2013<br />

won silver in Decanter’s <strong>2019</strong> World Wine<br />

Awards. There are notes of apple and<br />

citrus with hints of vanilla and minerality.<br />

5<br />



The Camel Valley Vineyard overlooks sun-drenched<br />

valley slopes west of Bodmin. This Cornish winery<br />

produces 11 wines, seven of them sparkling, and<br />

has recently been granted Royal Warrant status as<br />

a regular supplier to HRH Prince Charles, Duke of<br />

Cornwall. A guided tour for two people costs £19.<br />

camelvalley.com<br />

WE LOVE<br />

Where to stay<br />

Camel Valley Estate There are two<br />

barn conversion cottages on the estate and a<br />

complimentary bottle is supplied for each new arrival.<br />

During fishing season, guests can, by arrangement,<br />

use the vineyard’s own private stretch of the Camel<br />

River. Salmon and sea trout have been caught here by<br />

experienced anglers.<br />

camelvalley.com 6<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 31


Emma Johnson goes<br />

Behind-the-Scenes<br />

and discovers a creative hive of vintage style, racing<br />

memorabilia and an infectious party atmosphere…<br />

32 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

READY<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com à33

THERE IS PERHAPS no more nostalgic,<br />

quintessentially <strong>British</strong> event than the<br />

magnificent spectacle of tradition and colour<br />

that is the Goodwood Revival. Steeped in<br />

history and alive with pomp and ceremony, this classical<br />

car show forms a key part of the <strong>British</strong> summer season<br />

and is renowned for its eclectic displays of vintage fashion,<br />

old motorcars, racing drama and retro food and drink.<br />

Visitors – who come dressed in their best vintage<br />

and period finery – can expect to enjoy the thrills and<br />

spills of a traditional fairground, to shop on a recreated<br />

old-fashioned high street, complete with vintage hair<br />

salon and hundreds of wonderful vintage shops, to<br />

enjoy the style and creativity of the Revival Fashion<br />

Show, accompanied by music from the time, to watch<br />

vintage war planes take to the sky and to cheer as classic<br />

competition cars race around the historic circuit, their<br />

drivers dressed in traditional racing attire.<br />

Each year the event is themed and organisers work<br />

hard to conjure up special moments from the past to<br />

recreate and recollect. Past Revivals have celebrated<br />

everything from the anniversary of the fish finger, to the<br />

bikini and an exhibit of post-war utilities like kitchen<br />

mixers. And that’s just aside from the incredible races<br />

the team put on each year, on the track, celebrating key<br />

moments in racing history and the legendary cars and<br />

drivers who competed.<br />


Preparing for an event like this is no mean feat, and<br />

preparations take all year. At Goodwood there is a<br />

dedicated event team who look after everything from the<br />

grounds and the parking to the food and entertainment.<br />

Over 750 full time staff spend the year planning and<br />

building, designing and creating – attention-to-detail<br />

is second to none and many of the team are vintage<br />

experts. As Revival time nears, that number doubles,<br />

made up of stewards and catering staff, as well a<br />

dedicated team of actors in traditional costume, to add<br />

a real sense of authenticity to the day.<br />

“It’s a stand<br />

out event in<br />

every way<br />

– from the<br />

incredible<br />

detail and<br />

precision of<br />

the theatrics<br />

team, to the<br />

authentic<br />

food and<br />

drink at<br />

every eatery<br />

and the<br />

wonderful<br />

celebration<br />

of classical<br />

motorcars. ”<br />


The Revival setting is hugely creative, with lots of replicas<br />

of vintage shopfronts, cafés, brands and more, as well<br />

as themed events each year to celebrate a particular era.<br />

Goodwood has a dedicated ‘theatrics’ panel who meet<br />

regularly to come up with the themes and anniversaries<br />

they’re going to bring to life each year, and decide how<br />

they will make each year ever more awe-inspiring and<br />

exciting than the last. In the past, the team have built<br />

Henley Regatta boating club, complete with the river<br />

Thames, a fully functioning farm and recreated the 1966<br />

World Cup win.<br />

Because of the unique nature of the event, a lot of the<br />

sets have to be built and recreated from scratch, but the<br />

team keep as much set dressing to re-use from year to<br />

year as they can. They even have a dedicated painting<br />

team, who spend the months before the revival painting<br />

the set to make it look old, and fitting in with the Revival<br />

period.<br />

34 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


3 DAYS<br />

14 RACES<br />

150,000<br />


12,950<br />


26,000<br />


10,175<br />


154<br />


containing, amongst<br />

other things, props and<br />

set dress for the site<br />

200<br />



Absolutely everyone dresses up – in everything from<br />

late ‘40s to late ’60s style – meaning you’ll see Land<br />

Girls and RAF pilots drinking tea or cheering on a car<br />

right next to Twiggy look-a-likes and Beatles’ mop tops.<br />

Putting together your outfit is a major part of visiting the<br />

Revival and many enthusiasts use the event to shop for<br />

the next year’s show at the Revival Fashion section on the<br />

Revival High Street, where you can buy vintage clothes<br />

as well as shoes, handbags, hats and other accessories.<br />

Food and drink is given just as much attention here<br />

too, with all the eateries decorated in an old-fashioned<br />

style, complete with bunting, tea sets, flags, tablecloths<br />

and doilies. The Spitfire Café gives a great view of<br />

the aerodrome and ‘Freddy March Spirit of Aviation’<br />

Exhibition, while our favourite is the Mess – themed<br />

with long benches and bunting, and right on the start<br />

line so you don’t miss any of the action on the track.<br />

It’s a stand out event in every way – from the incredible<br />

detail and precision of the theatrics team,<br />

to the authentic food and drink at every<br />

eatery and the wonderful celebration of<br />

classical motorcars. Visitors can expect a<br />

real sense of stepping back into the past, of<br />

capturing the colour and magic of a time<br />

gone by, of coming together for a joyful<br />

celebration that feels truly, inescapably,<br />

<strong>British</strong>. As Radio DJ and major car<br />

enthusiast Chris Evans says: “I love this<br />

more than Christmas. I’m looking forward to<br />

every single race, every single nut, every single<br />

bolt, every single tyre, every single steering<br />

wheel. Best thing ever! I love it here.” u<br />

13 – 15 SEPTEMBER<br />


DON’T MISS…<br />


An area dedicated entirely to vintage<br />

style, with the added bonus of personal<br />

shoppers and the daily ‘Best Dressed’<br />

competition, with categories for best<br />

dressed man and woman, best dressed<br />

family and best dressed sixties swinger!<br />


As part of the Revival’s celebration of 60<br />

years of the Mini, the Revival also brings<br />

the ‘Swinging Sixties’ to life in its inimitable<br />

way. Aside from some of the most daring<br />

miniskirts around, you can also expect the<br />

wonderful sight of several Mini Coopers,<br />

custom-built for each one of The Beatles,<br />

along with Cilla Black’s own Mini, all<br />

parked outside a recreated ‘Abbey Road<br />

Studios’.<br />


As keenly fought as any other race, the<br />

line-up includes The Settrington Cup, a<br />

children’s race in Austin J40 pedal cars<br />

down the main straight of the Goodwood<br />

Motor Circuit.<br />


A recreated sixties high street, with<br />

everything from automotive memorabilia<br />

to vintage clothing, will transport you back<br />

to another era, so you can experience high<br />

street shopping as it used to be.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 35

I N T E R V I E W W I T H<br />


BLANC<br />

In a special year<br />

Top chef Raymond Blanc celebrates two milestones<br />

this year – his 70th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his<br />

hotel-restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. The<br />

perfect interviewee tells Max Wooldridge how the UK food<br />

scene has changed and who remains his greatest influence<br />

GOSH, IF ONLY every interview<br />

was as delightful as an hour in the<br />

company of the renowned chef<br />

Raymond Blanc.<br />

I’ve chatted with a number of celebrities<br />

over the years, mostly about where they’ve<br />

travelled to, and what inspires them. Not every<br />

meeting has been an enjoyable experience.<br />

There was one celebrity who couldn’t<br />

remember the country he’d been to on a free<br />

holiday; another couldn’t properly pronounce<br />

the key destinations in the region she was<br />

being paid handsomely to promote.<br />

And too often than not there’s an<br />

overzealous PR close by to steer their client<br />

towards the key points that need to be<br />

hammered home. At times, you’re even left to<br />

decipher monosyllabic grunts and somehow<br />

transform them into a sentence or two.<br />

An interview with Raymond Blanc is a<br />

different encounter entirely. He’s cheerful,<br />

garrulous with a ready smile and makes the<br />

writer’s job very easy indeed. All the reporter<br />

has to do is turn up and remember to switch on<br />

their recording device.<br />

But best of all, perhaps, is the famous chef’s<br />

joie de vivre and passion for food and life. His<br />

attitude soon rubs off and you walk away from<br />

the meeting feeling another two feet tall. For a<br />

long time afterwards you apply his inspiration<br />

to what makes you tick.<br />

I simply need not have bothered with the<br />

long list of carefully thought-out questions<br />

prepared in advance.<br />

Blanc talks continuously and passionately<br />

in a thick, melodic French accent, which is<br />

regularly punctuated with his trademark<br />

“ooh la la”. And as he talks, you tick off the<br />

questions one-by-one until suddenly there’s<br />

none left.<br />

In fact, Blanc answers my first question<br />

before we’ve even sat down.<br />

He says he has certainly seen the food scene<br />

in this country improve drastically since he<br />

arrived in the UK in the early 1970s.<br />

“Back then the <strong>British</strong> food scene was<br />

very different, totally unrecognisable with<br />

nowadays,” he recalls.<br />

“The UK was simply not a nation of foodlovers.<br />

Sure good food was available but it<br />

36 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

“I’m still just a humble<br />

chef and gardener, a<br />

country boy from a<br />

small French village”<br />

was class-led and exclusive. The country was a<br />

culinary wasteland with lots of intensive farming.<br />

“But now it's so different and there's a real<br />

celebration of proper, authentic food.”<br />

The change, he believes, is not due to the rise of<br />

master chefs and successful TV cooking shows but<br />

humble everyday <strong>British</strong> folk.<br />

“The revolution in food in this country has<br />

largely been down to <strong>British</strong> consumers themselves.<br />

People are so much more food-aware and curious<br />

nowadays. They want to know what's in their food<br />

and realise the extent to which food connects with<br />

everything, with every part of our lives.”<br />

Blanc turns 70-years-old in November, in<br />

the same year as his famous Oxfordshire hotelrestaurant,<br />

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons,<br />

celebrates its 35th anniversary. The hotel and its<br />

renowned two Michelin-starred restaurant are now<br />

part of the Belmond luxury hotel group.<br />

He bought the 15th century manor back in the early 1980s when<br />

he had his restaurant Les Quat'Saisons in Summertown, Oxford.<br />

As soon as he saw the property for sale (in Country Life<br />

mag azine) Blanc immediat ely drove to see it in his old Vauxhall car.<br />

When the owner opened the door he told them he wanted to buy<br />

their manor. He launched Le Manoir aux Quat’Sa isons as a hotel in<br />

1984.<br />

Despite his numerous culinary triumphs and accolades,<br />

Raymond Blanc thinks of himself as a simple man at heart.<br />

“I’m still just a humble chef and gardener, a country boy from a<br />

small French village.”<br />

That village is Saône, near Besançon, in the rural Franche-<br />

Comté region that borders Switzerland. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 37

38 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

“The chef at the restaurant I was working at in France did<br />

not like it when I criticised his sauce. He first broke my<br />

jaw with a copper saucepan, and I was then sacked by the<br />

boss!”<br />

Blanc says how his gastronomic career<br />

in the UK started almost by chance when he<br />

arrived from the Jura mountains in the summer<br />

of 1972.<br />

“In a way, looking back, I guess I was exiled<br />

to England,” he recalls with a grin.<br />

“The chef at the restaurant I was working<br />

at in France did not like it when I criticised his<br />

sauce. He first broke my jaw with a copper<br />

saucepan, and I was then sacked by the boss!<br />

“But unlike Napoleon,” Blanc jokes,<br />

“who had the idea of conquering, I arrived in<br />

England with a lot more humility. I was full of<br />

lots of ideas and aspiration.”<br />

Nowadays Blanc feels at home in the UK,<br />

and he certainly seems to like Britain, and the<br />

<strong>British</strong> people.<br />

“I am very happy in Britain, and on a daily<br />

basis it feels like home for me. And you <strong>British</strong><br />

have taught me a lot about life!”<br />

Blanc says the <strong>British</strong> pragmatic approach<br />

to life has served him well. It has opened his<br />

eyes and improved him greatly as a person as<br />

well as broadening his mind.<br />

“Perhaps the best thing I've learned from<br />

the <strong>British</strong> is a sense of fairness. And I’ve<br />

learned the ability to laugh at myself. This is<br />

often the greatest hurdle for any Frenchman!<br />

“Oh yes, and I've also learned to queue,<br />

too. In fact, I get really upset now when I see<br />

people jumping the queue!”<br />

Then he reveals the person who has<br />

inspired him the most in his life.<br />

“At the risk of sounding like a Mummy's<br />

Boy, my mother is unquestionably still my<br />

greatest inspiration. She gave me such a<br />

fundamental grounding and taught me that<br />

food is an act of love. You bring your family<br />

together, and you create a feast or banquet.<br />

“She showed me that the dining table is the<br />

centre of the house, not the living room. It's<br />

where you share things, where you joke, you<br />

argue, you get to know each other, and the<br />

dinner table is the most natural place to do so.<br />

“But sadly, I really feel we are losing this<br />

ability to engage with each other these days.<br />

I'm lucky that I have the same energy as my<br />

mother, and I always try to pass on her wisdom<br />

to others.”<br />

Once again, before I can ask him, he tells<br />

me how a top chef keeps in shape.<br />

“Let's just say I have a good metabolism!”<br />

he says, laughing.<br />

“No, actually, if you work in a hot kitchen<br />

for half the day or more, believe me, the<br />

heat means you're going to burn off a lot of<br />

calories, maybe as many as 3,000 calories,<br />

more even. It's not quite like riding a stage of<br />

the Tour de France but not far off.”<br />

Despite being an honorary Brit, Blanc<br />

returns to his native France regularly, especially<br />

Paris. He reconnects with friends and meets with<br />

his culinary contemporaries he greatly admires,<br />

like the renowned chef Pierre Gagnaire.<br />

“Pierre is one of the best chefs in Europe.<br />

His Paris restaurant has three Michelin stars. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 39

I love his approach and sensitivity to food.<br />

“I’ll usually visit Paris for a day or two at<br />

a time. I'm not an expert on the place. I just<br />

know a lot of chefs and gardeners!<br />

“Each time I visit Paris I discover<br />

somewhere wonderful - a great new cafe, or<br />

a small bistro with a lot of character.<br />

“But the best thing about Paris is the<br />

wonderful fresh food markets. They are some<br />

of the best in the world. They are all about<br />

proud people selling fresh, local produce.”<br />

He singles out one market, in particular:<br />

the Marché President Wilson in the 16th<br />

arrondissement on the Avenue du Président<br />

Wilson (between Rue Debrousse and Place<br />

d’Iéna, also known as the Pont de l’Alma<br />

market.<br />

“Markets like this are so much more than<br />

just a place to buy food. It's a wonderful<br />

snapshot of Parisian daily life, a lively<br />

gathering of vendors and regulars catching<br />

up with each other.”<br />

Somehow he has sensed that I have a trip<br />

to Paris in the near future. Blanc reels off his<br />

recommendations for places to eat in the city<br />

of light.<br />

He mentions his favourite old haunts like<br />

l'Atelier Maitre Albert (1, rue Maitre Albert),<br />

Le Beurre Noisette (68, rue Vasco de Gama,<br />

40 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

15th arrondissement) or Les Petites Sorcières<br />

(12, rue Liancourt, 14th arrondissement).<br />

Then he’s back to extolling the virtues of<br />

Parisien food markets, and the Marché des<br />

Enfants Rouges (in the Marais district, in the<br />

3rd arrondissement).<br />

“It's the oldest food market in Paris. It is sonamed<br />

because it used to be an orphanage<br />

where the children dressed in red.”<br />

There’s a rare but brief pause in the<br />

conversation before he dishes out the advice<br />

he would give to any young chefs starting out.<br />

“The most important thing is to be<br />

curious,” he says. “Be curious about<br />

everything. It’s so important to open your<br />

mind, to open your heart. Be intuitive and<br />

receptive and ask thousands of questions.<br />

Even today, I'm still curious about everything.<br />

“Equally, talent alone will never be enough<br />

to carry you where you want to go, so you<br />

have to work really hard, too. Build up your<br />

will power and inner strength, so when you're<br />

down you can pick yourself up. It also helps<br />

if you love people. If I ever stop loving people<br />

then I will stop doing what I'm doing.<br />

“And it’s important to remember that a<br />

well-run kitchen is a quiet and harmonious<br />

kitchen. Being a chef is not about humiliating<br />

other people like we see on our TV screens. In<br />

a kitchen no-one ever needs to shout.” u<br />

DON'T MISS!<br />



GRAND FINALE 2 0<br />



THE HOTEL’S 35TH<br />





70TH BIRTHDAY.<br />



<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 41



Chauffeur driven tours with a Blue Badge Guide<br />

www.southwestdriverguide.co.uk | southwestguide@gmail.com<br />

eat explore experience<br />

Visit Exeter for seriously stylish shops, a diverse cultural scene and top eateries<br />

serving the best of Devon’s food and drink. Add 2,000 years of history into<br />

the mix and it’s easy to see why everyone’s talking about Exeter!<br />


Escape to the<br />




WIN<br />


makes it ideal for Christmas shopping.<br />

An eclectic mix of shops can be found<br />

within easy walking distance of each<br />

other, from the big names in the High Street and<br />

Princesshay, to independent and vintage fashions,<br />

jewellery, crafts and gifts in the cobbled Gandy<br />

Street and quirky West Quarter.<br />

Browse for unique and artisan gifts from local<br />

retailers and enjoy festive food and mulled wine<br />

at the wonderfully atmospheric Christmas Market<br />

on Cathedral Green, open from 16 November<br />

until 19 December. This year, the city is the<br />

stage for 5 Nights of Lights. Celebrating each<br />

corner of the city, festive lights will be switched<br />

on each evening in the city’s distinct shopping<br />

quarters, with live music and entertainment from<br />

Wednesday 13 – Sunday 17 November.<br />

Light will be the theme for Princesshay Shopping<br />

Centre’s evening street entertainment, every<br />

Thursday in the run up to Christmas, when shops<br />

across the city will stay open until late. Head to the<br />

nearby maritime town of Topsham for enchanting<br />

Christmas lights, switched on 15 November amidst<br />

carols and a procession of light. Topsham is home to<br />

a large number of independents where you can pick<br />

up unique festive treats.<br />

When you’re shopped out, cosy up with a real ale in<br />

one of Exeter’s historic pubs, or seek out one of the<br />

city’s speakeasy-style cocktail bars for a seasonal<br />

concoction. This should get you in the mood<br />

for a festive sing along to this year’s pantomime<br />

performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Exeter<br />

Northcott, running from 30 November – 5 January.<br />

All of the city’s historic attractions are open year<br />

round. Escape the hubbub of Christmas shoppers<br />

to explore beneath the city’s streets on a guided<br />

tour of Exeter’s Underground Passages, built in<br />

medieval times to house the fresh water pipes<br />

serving the residents of the city. The Passages are<br />

dark and very narrow - not for the claustrophobic!<br />

Join a free guided walking tour of Exeter with<br />

the Red Coat Guides to discover more about<br />

this fascinating city and its 2,000 year history,<br />

and definitely don’t miss RAMM, Exeter’s award<br />

winning museum, where you can explore 16<br />

galleries of local and national touring exhibitions,<br />

also completely free of charge.<br />

Excellent road, rail, bus and air links mean Exeter<br />

is within easy reach of the rest of the UK, and the city<br />

is an ideal base for exploring the rest of Devon. u<br />

Go to www.visitexeter.com/christmas to find out<br />

more about visiting Exeter this Christmas.<br />





• Two night stay at the<br />

Mercure Rougemont Hotel<br />

(for two people with breakfast)<br />

• £150 In Exeter Gift Card<br />

• Dinner at Carluccio’s,<br />

Princesshay<br />

• Half day course at the<br />

Exeter Cookery School<br />

• Souvenir picture of Exeter at<br />

Christmas by award winning<br />

local artist Laura Wall<br />

• Hamper of local produce<br />

from members of the Exeter<br />

Food & Drink Trail<br />


visitexeter.com/<br />

christmascompetition<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 43

Special offer<br />


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BEHIND the B RAND<br />

S E C O N D C H A N C E S K I N S<br />

Part of a considerable movement to protect both <strong>British</strong> craftsmanship<br />

and promote a sustainable business model, leather brand Billy Tannery<br />

use goat skins that would otherwise have been discarded to create<br />

beautiful and unique bags and accessories. We meet its founders…<br />

Words | Emma Johnson<br />


buzz word for brands recently. Being able<br />

to demonstrate your commitment to ethical<br />

manufacturing or promote your green criteria<br />

as key parts of your marketing strategy, is, these days,<br />

considerably good business sense.<br />

But, for some businesses, sustainability isn’t just a<br />

secondary concern, or a nice promotional soundbite,<br />

it’s fundamental to the identity of the brand. Not least<br />

for Billy Tannery, a sustainable leather brand whose<br />

entire reason for existing comes from a need to reduce<br />

wastage and run a truly sustainable business. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 45

Before Billy Tannery existed,<br />

UK goatskins were either<br />

destroyed, or occasionally<br />

shipped overseas to be tanned.<br />


Founded by childhood friends Jack and Rory, Billy Tannery<br />

makes bags, briefcases, aprons and accessories using<br />

beautiful <strong>British</strong> goat skins which are left over from the<br />

UK meat and dairy industry. Before Billy Tannery existed,<br />

UK goatskins were either destroyed, or occasionally<br />

shipped overseas to be tanned. After much of the UK’s<br />

leather industry collapsed in the eighties and nineties,<br />

the smaller tanneries that were set-up for tanning small<br />

skins closed. Given the UK’s rich heritage for leather<br />

production, and the dreadful waste of these valuable<br />

skins, Jack and Rory thought something had to be<br />

addressed. “For us sustainability is about questioning<br />

everything, and applying some common sense. Does<br />

that waste product really have to go into landfill? In most<br />

cases, we could be using it to create something useful.”<br />

What Billy Tannery creates are supple, robust satchels,<br />

smart, sturdy briefcases, hardwearing, industrial-style<br />

aprons and simple, stylish accessories – all made using<br />

striking goat leather. “Goat leather has an especially<br />

pronounced grain that comes from the natural<br />

characteristics of each skin,” explains Rory. “A lot of the<br />

time, with industrially-produced leather, these natural<br />

variations are covered up by printing an artificial grain<br />

pattern on to the skin.<br />

Our goat leather always retains the natural grain,<br />

which means that each of our products is subtly different<br />

and unique.”<br />

Crucial to Billy Tannery’s identity, however, is how<br />

it produces all this while maintaining a short supply<br />

chain and supporting and investing in <strong>British</strong> artisan<br />

skills – though it has not been a journey of entirely<br />

plain sailing. The brand’s plan was to build their own<br />

microtannery, source wastage product goat skins from<br />

abattoirs and then make their products in a handful of<br />

workshops in the UK. “From the very start, we designed<br />

the brand specifically to keep the supply chain as short as<br />

possible, as we felt this was a key component for ensuring<br />

sustainability and transparency.<br />

However we found out that, as no one had done<br />

anything quite like this before, the infrastructure just<br />

wasn’t in place.”<br />

“Goat leather<br />

has an<br />

especially<br />

pronounced<br />

grain that<br />

comes from<br />

the natural<br />

characteristics<br />

of each skin”<br />


Through Cabrito, the goat meat company that is<br />

currently the source of all of Billy Tannery’s goatskins,<br />

the company were able to find out which abattoirs<br />

could provide them with goatskins, and start to build<br />

their network. “They were initially sceptical about a<br />

couple of idiots ringing them up talking about a new<br />

microtannery,” says Jack. “But we negotiated a price<br />

for the skins to be salted and kept until there were<br />

enough for us to take away.<br />

Once they had also dealt with the tricky specifics<br />

of transporting animal products - something that<br />

required new licensing - the pair turned to finding a<br />

location for, and building, the microtannery, which<br />

would process all their skins ready for production.<br />


“Building the tannery was a really exciting, if terrifying,<br />

experience. It was a big gamble as we had to build<br />

it before we knew if it was actually going to work, or<br />

before we could start work on any other areas like<br />

product design,” says Jack. As luck would have it, a<br />

local tannery engineer had two wooden tanning drums<br />

that had been salvaged from a sheepskin factory<br />

which closed in the nineties. This was the turning point<br />

for Jack and Rory, who set about installing them and<br />

building the tannery. The pair then spent almost a year<br />

learning how to tan leather, under the watchful eye of<br />

industry veteran Paul Evans, who helped them to tailor<br />

the process to the equipment and the raw materials -<br />

always with sustainability at the forefront. Impressively,<br />

the tannery operates a uniquely sustainable process in<br />

46 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


Pictured Left: Billy Tannery co-founder<br />

Jack Millington working in the tannery.<br />

Pictured Below: The Gote, priced<br />

£395.00 and The Briefcase, priced<br />

£450.00, www.billytannery.co.uk<br />

that it recycles 90 per cent of the water used for each tanning process,<br />

rather than starting each new batch with thousands of litres of new<br />

water. Any waste water is stored and treated onsite, after which it is<br />

used as fertiliser on the surrounding grassland, which in turn feeds<br />

livestock. “So we in fact have a positive impact on our surrounding<br />

environment too,” says Jack proudly.<br />


The final cog in the machine was to find workshops in the UK willing<br />

to accept small production runs. It turned out to one of the greatest<br />

challenges that Jack and Rory have faced so far. “Finding high quality<br />

workshops in the UK is a dark art of hushed recommendations,<br />

often impossible communication and plenty of trial and error with<br />

sampling,” explains Rory. “There are so few decent leather goods<br />

workshops in the UK, that understandably people tend to be very<br />

secretive about where their products are made.” The brand ended<br />

up working with an experienced industry consultant to review its<br />

manufacturing, and finally settled on a process which suited their<br />

initial needs, and gives the company plenty of scope to grow. “For us a<br />

big part of the equation is the relationship with the workshop, it has to<br />

be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved,” adds Rory.<br />


Day-by-day, operations are dealt with by Jack, while creative director<br />

Rory works on all aspects of design and brand communications, from<br />

product design through to the look of the website and social media.<br />

“When it comes to design, our inspiration comes from the leather<br />

itself,” explains Rory. “For us, the best <strong>British</strong> design sits somewhere<br />

between restrained and bold, so we tend to start with a classic product<br />

style and then look to modernise and simplify it, while maximising the<br />

impact of our goat leather.”<br />

This commitment to echoing the intrinsic <strong>British</strong> style is typical of a<br />

brand that understands exactly where it has come from. “We are proud<br />

to source, tan and make pretty much everything here in the UK,” says<br />

Jack. “From a practical point of view, this makes it easier for us to run<br />

our business, but from a brand perspective we can also be much more<br />

transparent about where our products are made, what they are made<br />

from and the people that make them.”<br />

It’s still early days for a brand that is barely two years old, but already<br />

has plenty of strong credentials under its belt. Building the first new<br />

tannery in the UK for decades is a major achievement, while a recent<br />

collaboration of a limited-edition goat leather sneaker made with local<br />

shoemaker Crown Northampton – which featured in The Times – has<br />

been a highlight for the pair. And sustainability continues to feature<br />

high on their list of priorities. “We are always looking for ways to<br />

improve our tanning processes and make them even more sustainable,<br />

so we have recently been working on a project looking into the use of<br />

food and drink waste in our tannery. The early results have been really<br />

promising,” explains Jack.<br />

“But, the thing that makes us most proud is hearing such positive<br />

feedback from customers. When a customer takes the time to email us<br />

to say how much they love their bag or other product, it makes all the<br />

hard work worthwhile,” adds Rory. u<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 47


ART<br />

A stellar art exhibition can make for a fabulous day out,<br />

but sometimes you just want to be in the great outdoors.<br />

Luckily, these do not need to be mutually exclusive thanks to<br />

the fantastic selection of world-class art in sculpture parks,<br />

beaches and gardens which makes for a scintillating experience<br />

Words | Emma Harrison



Described as one of the most beautiful<br />

sculpture parks in the UK, Sculpture by the<br />

Lakes is a haven of peace and tranquillity.<br />

Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset's glorious<br />

countryside, renowned sculptor Simon<br />

Gudgeon has created a glorious treat for<br />

art enthusiasts and collectors alike.<br />



ARTLAND,<br />


Jupiter Artland has<br />

an expansive outdoor<br />

sculpture collection featuring<br />

site-specific artworks<br />

commissioned from some of<br />

the world's most renowned<br />

artists to Antony Gormley,<br />

Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker<br />

and Marc Quin. Their latest<br />

permanent commission,<br />

Gateway, by Portuguese<br />

artist Joana Vasconcelos is<br />

an artwork integrated in a<br />

whimsical pool garden. The<br />

piece includes patterns from<br />

her own astrological chart<br />

into the design of the artwork,<br />

which is made of 11,366<br />

hand-painted and glazed<br />

tiles crafted using traditional<br />

methods at a 100-year-old<br />

factory in Vasconcelos’ native<br />

Portugal.<br />

jupiterartland.org<br />

50 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


KENT<br />

Fifteen installations from the 2017 Folkestone<br />

Triennial Festival have been rehomed around<br />

Folkestone. Expect to see pieces by Antony<br />

Gormley, David Shrigley and Lubaina Himid.<br />

One of the new acquisitions Bill Woodrow’s The<br />

Ledge - a white steel sculpture of an Inuit figure<br />

and a seal on a thin layer of ice - showcases his<br />

concerns about climate change. Visitors can<br />

also expect to see works by the likes of Tracey<br />

Emin, Yoko Ono and Cornelia Parker.<br />

creativefolkestone.org.uk/folkestonetriennial<br />



In an open-air gallery in West Bretton<br />

near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, you can<br />

find a wonderful selection of work by both<br />

<strong>British</strong> and international artists such as<br />

Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. In<br />

fact, Moore’s impressive selection of bronzes<br />

is one of the largest open-air displays of his<br />

work in Europe. Their most recent display<br />

'David Smith: Sculpture 1932-1965' features<br />

40 pieces by this pioneering and highly<br />

influential American artist.<br />

ysp.org.uk<br />



Renowned US glass artist, Dale Chihuly<br />

is back at Kew Gardens with Chihuly:<br />

Reflections on Nature. This ethereal<br />

outdoor exhibition is made up of 32<br />

spectacular installations which includes<br />

a new piece of work which has been<br />

specifically designed for the newly opened<br />

Temperate House. Visitors can also<br />

expect to see the Seaforms Series and his<br />

intriguing installation Sapphire Star.<br />

kew.org/kew-gardens<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 51



Known as the UK’s unique<br />

mosaic house, this fascinating<br />

artistic masterpiece is the result<br />

of a project that began in the 90s<br />

by artist Carrie Reichardt, who<br />

has quite literally covered her<br />

house (and studio) top to bottom<br />

in colourful mosaic tiles! Hidden<br />

away on a quiet, suburban street<br />

in Chiswick, you can even book<br />

the top of the house for the night,<br />

available to rent on Airbnb.<br />

airbnb.co.uk<br />

PLUS DON’T<br />

MISS…<br />








<strong>2019</strong>, WITH FREE<br />



SURREY<br />

What do you get if you take a selection<br />

of exciting sculptures with an intriguing<br />

array of exotic plants? The Sculpture Trail<br />

at RHS Garden Wisley of course! Now in<br />

its 22nd year, the sculptures range from<br />

abstract to traditional pieces that have<br />

been created from a wide selection of<br />

materials including bronze, resin, wood,<br />

metal, glass, stone and found objects.<br />

rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley<br />

52 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


Discov er a new<br />

er a new<br />

kindred spirit<br />

Luxury English gin made in Surrey with<br />

24 botanicals. Full bodied with delicate<br />

florals, fresh citrus and velvety local honey.<br />

Smooth, refined, refreshingly individual.<br />

#forthespirited @silentpoolgin


W H A T ' S N E W<br />

Restaurants | Food | Drink | Hotels<br />


Britain's newest luxury cruise ship is here.<br />

Newly built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of<br />

Discovery is the first vessel to be named at<br />

the Port of Dover for over a decade.<br />

travel.saga.co.uk/cruises<br />


Offering travellers the opportunity to experience the Scottish Highlands without compromising on<br />

their ethics, Saorsa Hotel has launched as the UK’s first 100% vegan hotel. Catering to both vegans and<br />

those interested in plant-based lifestyles, the hotel is entirely free from animal products from check-in<br />

to departure. Victorian-era baronial house, built in 1875, has undergone a complete refurbishment,<br />

everything from the bedding and toiletries to the cleaning products used by staff have been redesigned<br />

to create a boutique, luxurious and welcoming experience for ethical travellers. saorsahotel.com<br />


Brompton Bikes has joined forces with<br />

London's Corinthia Hotel offering guests<br />

the chance to explore the capital without<br />

adding to the Co2 levels.<br />

corinthia.com/london<br />

N E W<br />


Don't miss Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee<br />

Morning, Friday 27 September when more than<br />

200,000 people take part in a day dedicated<br />

to cuppas and cakes, while raising vital funds.<br />

coffee.macmillan.org.uk<br />


With staycations on the rise, we love the four-night<br />

Town & Country package from a collaboration<br />

between Britain’s first-ever country club, Stoke Park<br />

and Dukes London, Mayfair, from £2575 for two.<br />

dukeshotel.com<br />

We love this new cookbook from The Pig:<br />

Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden<br />

and Beyond by Robin Hutson, published<br />

by Octopus Publishing, priced £30.<br />

octopusbooks.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 55

Top places for<br />


From spectacular coastlines to country bounds, we hope you<br />

enjoy our eight best places to discover Britain’s wild larder<br />

Words | Chantal Borciani<br />


Voted one of the top 50 cookery schools in the UK<br />

by The National Cookery School Guide, professional<br />

forager, ecologist and cook, Caroline Davey runs<br />

cookery courses that celebrate seasonal produce and<br />

the staggeringly beautiful expanses of West Cornwall.<br />

There’s a fantastic range to choose from including<br />

gourmet wild food weekends, vegan foraging, seaweed<br />

discovery days, and hook, cook and catch fishing<br />

feasts. Or combine a love for cycling with sustainable<br />

harvesting on a Wild Food Cycling Day.<br />

fathen.org<br />

56 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


IN<br />

FROME<br />

Explore hidden Somerset idylls with Robin<br />

Harford, a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical<br />

researcher, and wild food educator. Guests<br />

will harvest a bounty of edible flora around<br />

beautiful Frome before returning to the kitchen<br />

to enjoy delicious dishes created by world-class<br />

chefs. London, Devon, Sussex and Dorset<br />

courses also available. From £50 per person.<br />


3 4<br />



Enjoy an overnight foraging break at The Angel Hotel<br />

nestled near the Brecon Beacons. Guests will enjoy a<br />

three-hour guided foraging tour, in collaboration with<br />

the Brecon Beacons Foraging Company, and learn the<br />

fundamentals of wild plant identification. Then devise<br />

delicious dishes and drinks from the array of products<br />

found moments from the hotel’s front door.<br />

From £243 based on two people sharing, includes<br />

accommodation, breakfast, foraging experience and<br />

a 3-course meal.<br />

angelabergavenny.com<br />



This cosy hostelry in Newport, a stone’s throw<br />

from the Nevern estuary and located within the<br />

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, runs day<br />

seashore and country foraging courses where guests<br />

can visit breathtaking local beaches, rivers, woods<br />

and mountain passes. Discover seasonal gems, go<br />

picking in the hedgerows, gather your<br />

finds and then prepare a feast of foraged goodies.<br />

Day course £75. £25 for children aged 12-16.<br />

llysmeddyg.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 57

58 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

5 6<br />



The inaugural Foraging Fortnight celebrates Scotland’s<br />

bounty of wild food, flavours and traditions. From<br />

wild food feasts and shore walks to foraging treks,<br />

fireside evenings and festivals, events will take place<br />

across Fife, Moray, Lanarkshire, Orkney and the Forth<br />

Valley and Lomond from 31 August to 15 September. In<br />

Orkney, a series of Foraging Fortnight events are taking<br />

place as part of Orkney International Science Festival<br />

from 5 – 11 September, with foraging stars Zeki Basan<br />

and Anna Canning leading foraging walks and talks<br />

about areas our ancestors foraged 5,000 years ago.<br />

foragingfortnight.co.uk<br />



Head out to the wilds and wonders of the Lake<br />

District with Forest Side’s head chef Kevin Tickle. Ex<br />

head forager at Simon Rogan’s acclaimed L’Enclume<br />

restaurant, Kevin has an encyclopedic knowledge<br />

and life-long passion for sourcing edible produce<br />

direct from the fields, fell tops, coast and woodland<br />

of the Cumbrian landscape. Set in the countryside of<br />

Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere, Forest Side has 20<br />

beautiful contemporary bedrooms and provides the<br />

ideal foodie escape in the Lakes.<br />

Foraging breaks booked by request.<br />

theforestside.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 59

7 8<br />


Take a walk along this iconic Cornish causeway to St<br />

Michael’s Mount with wild food expert Emma Gunn<br />

and forage for a multitude of seaweeds including sea<br />

lettuce, Japanese wireweed, dabberlocks, sugar kelp,<br />

dulse, and bladderwrack. On the Mount, guests will<br />

search for native wild berries, sorrel, nettles, silverweed,<br />

daisies, dandelions, cleavers, dock, plantain, three<br />

cornered leek, and honeysuckle, to name a few, and<br />

finish the day with a delicious picnic, created by the<br />

St Michael’s Mount Head Chef Greg Milne. Suitable<br />

for ages eight and up. £30. 15 September and 29<br />

September. Dates for 2020 to be confirmed.<br />

stmichaelsmount.co.uk<br />

60 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


Luxury hotel Hambleton Hall in Rutland<br />

hosts its mushroom hunt every autumn<br />

in the private woodland of Burley Wood.<br />

Mycologist Paul Nichol is on hand to identify<br />

the myriad fungi and the day is topped off<br />

with a three-course lunch at the hotel. A<br />

stunning 17-bedroom sanctuary, Hambleton<br />

Hall boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant<br />

overlooking Rutland Water, one of the<br />

most important wildfowl sanctuaries in the<br />

UK. £90pp. 5 October. 2020 dates to be<br />

confirmed.<br />


Smithycroft, Somerset<br />

Find your special place<br />

From quintessential cottages and country houses<br />

to quirky windmills and lighthouses.<br />

A portfolio of over<br />

500 luxury, self-catering<br />

holiday properties<br />

in the UK and Ireland.<br />

View the properties<br />

ruralretreats.co.uk<br />

Call for our brochure<br />

01386 897 959

15<br />

of the best<br />

Luxury stays<br />


GROUPS<br />


TRAVEL<br />


Loves...<br />

SURREY RHAPSODY A utopia of surreal garden sculptures, topsyturvy<br />

architecture and glass-like pools, Rhapsody has fallen head first through the<br />

rabbit hole and landed in the heart of Wonderland. Settled in the Surrey countryside and with a<br />

raucous history of revelry, this luxury rural escape, with outdoor heated swimming pool, yoga hut<br />

and sunken hot tub, is a self-catering retreat worthy of any Mad Hatter’s tea party. Sleeps up to 12,<br />

priced from £13,500 per week, £9,250 per short break. rhapsody.uniquehomestays.com<br />


A truly magnificent 8-bedroom property with games<br />

room, tennis courts and manicured grounds. Priced<br />

from £2080 per short break. barefootretreats.co.uk<br />



At Hound Lodge, in the midst<br />

of Goodwood's spectacular<br />

12,000-acre estate, life flows at a<br />

different pace. This magnificent<br />

10-bedroom country retreat is<br />

yours to experience in its entirety,<br />

offering a rare opportunity to<br />

spend time away from it all<br />

and escape the hectic pace of<br />

modern life. Up to 20 guests, poa.<br />

goodwood.com/stay-dine-relax<br />


A chic Victorian holiday retreat over four floors,<br />

moments from the beach. Sleeps up to 12 people, priced<br />

from £1045 per week. originalcottages.co.uk<br />

DEVON<br />


Huntsham Court is an historic<br />

private hire country estate with<br />

a manor house and gardens<br />

and a relaxed ethos. Situated<br />

in the beautiful rolling Devon<br />

countryside on the borders of<br />

the Exmoor National Park and<br />

close to Somerset. Sleeping<br />

from 10 up to 92 people across<br />

40 luxury bedrooms!<br />

huntshamcourt.co.uk<br />

62 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com



The Lindens is a beautifully<br />

renovated 18th century manor<br />

house which lies within the<br />

peaceful and pretty village of<br />

East Lulworth, a stone’s throw<br />

from the majestic Lulworth<br />

Castle, the idyllic Lulworth<br />

Cove and iconic rock arch<br />

of Durdle Door. One of two<br />

new 'manors' from Lulworth<br />

Estate’s holiday cottages, The<br />

Lindens has been luxuriously<br />

renovated to offer a unique<br />

escape for large groups,<br />

staying on England’s first and<br />

only natural UNESCO World<br />

Heritage site.<br />

The ‘manors’ accommodate<br />

up to 18 people, start at £40<br />

per person per night for full<br />

occupancy during low season.<br />

lulworth.com/stay/the-lindens<br />



Set within the verdant headland<br />

of Mawgan Porth, just a short<br />

walk to the popular surfing<br />

beach, Trevenek is a stunning<br />

holiday home with games room<br />

balcony, BBQ and dining table.<br />

Sleeps 8-10 people. Priced from<br />

£2,990 per week, £2790<br />

per short break.<br />

perfectstays.co.uk/property/<br />

trevenek<br />



A beautiful historic manor house, close<br />

to Stow-on-the-Wold, with tennis court<br />

and croquet lawn, lake and hot tub, as well<br />

as the immaculate vegetable garden and<br />

orchard. Indoors there's a cinema room and<br />

8 beautifully designed bedrooms in a classic<br />

English country home style. Set in stunning<br />

mature gardens this is the perfect pick for a<br />

quintessentially English week away. Sleeps up<br />

to 15 people, prices from £10,225 per week.<br />

luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk<br />



Queen Anne style property dates back to the<br />

1690s Sleeps up to 12 people. Priced from £1,510<br />

for 3 nights ruralretreats.co.uk<br />


HOUSE A glamorous mansion with full-size<br />

heated indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room,<br />

bar and cinema room. Sleeps up to 14 people. Priced<br />

from £3625 for 7 nights coquetcottages.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 63


Overlooking a quiet residential street close to the<br />

designer shops and restaurants of Knightsbridge.<br />

Sleeps 6, £2000 per night. capitalhotel.co.uk<br />

MAYFAIR TOWN HOUSE A spacious<br />

five bedroom immaculately presented and beautifully<br />

furnished ambassadorial town house. Sleeps up to 10<br />

people, prices on application. carltoncourt.com<br />


A unique home with a 100% glass façade. The house is sitting in the lake distinguishing it from<br />

any other house on the Lakes by Yoo estate, and most likely also from any other house in the UK!<br />

Offering luxurious "outside in living" , the architecture evokes the feeling of living outdoors in<br />

almost every corner of the property. Up to 12 guests, poa. thelakesbyyoo.com<br />



Rolling hills and open skies are not the only<br />

features which make Cowdray House a<br />

wonderful location. Set in 110 acres of private<br />

gardens, grounds and parkland, Cowdray<br />

House is a spectacular venue for exclusiveuse<br />

hire. It was home to the Estate’s original<br />

polo field, commonly referred to as the<br />

House Ground, and guests today can enjoy<br />

polo lessons during their stay. Sleeps up to 44<br />

guests, prices on application<br />

cowdray.co.uk<br />



Formerly the Convent of Mercy for over 120<br />

years, The Cookie Jar, located on the cobbled<br />

streets of Bailiffgate, adjacent to Alnwick<br />

Castle, has been beautifully renovated<br />

into a charming 11-bedroom hotel. Perfect<br />

for shooting, golfing or fishing parties, and<br />

for relaxing after a busy day, there’s the<br />

resident’s lounge serving pre-dinner cocktails<br />

and afternoon tea, The Bistro, and heated<br />

terrace and walled garden. Bedrooms boast<br />

drench showers, Penhaligon’s toiletries as<br />


TRAVEL<br />


Loves...<br />

well as a welcome jar of freshly baked cookies!<br />

Much of the properties character and original<br />

features have been retained, with room types and<br />

names riffing on the building's religious heritage;<br />

'Mother Superior' suites have oversized "heavenly"<br />

bathtubs, while 'The Chapel' is "the Mother<br />

of all Superiors" with a beautiful stained glass<br />

circular window and other features from its earlier<br />

incarnation as the convent's chapel. Sleeps up to 22<br />

guests, priced from £175 per room/per night<br />

cookiejaralnwick.com/whole-jar<br />

64 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

a real treat of A retreat<br />

The Cookie Jar, Alnwick’s newest boutique hotel<br />

and your cosy retreat. Formerly the Convent<br />

of Mercy, this historic building has been tastefully<br />

renovated into 11 luxurious rooms and suites,<br />

and offers all the home comforts you could<br />

ever need with an added little bit of<br />

unexpected cookie-ness.<br />

It’s the perfect spot for that special private event<br />

or a weekend escape from the city. We look<br />

forward to welcoming you.<br />

To book call: 01665 510 465<br />

or email: hello@cookiejaralnwick.com<br />

www.cookiejaralnwick.com<br />

12 Bailiffgate, Alnwick NE66 1LU<br />

/CookieJarAl /TheCookieJarAlnwick /thecookiejaralnwick<br />

0111_Cookie_<strong>Travel</strong> journal advert_half page.indd 1 28/08/<strong>2019</strong> 17:01<br />

01665 710700 coquetcottages.co.uk<br />

Discover Northumberland this <strong>Autumn</strong> and<br />

make lasting memories in the finest collection<br />

of award winning family-friendly & petfriendly<br />

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Creative | Connected | People<br />

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www.dreamescape.co.uk<br />

enquiries@dreamescape.co.uk | 0845 260 1085

H O T E L R E V I E W<br />


Discover riverside delights at Monkey Island Estate near<br />

Bray, an island idyll, less than an hour from London<br />

Words | Chantal Borciani<br />

FEW ESTATES CAN claim to be built upon the historical<br />

DNA of a nation, yet after the 1666 Great Fire of London<br />

barges scattered rubble from the capital's reconstruction<br />

onto Monkey Island in Berkshire, laying the foundations<br />

for this riverside retreat.<br />

The small island, set near the pretty village of Bray on the<br />

Thames River, in fact dates back to around 1197 when local<br />

monks christened it Monks Eyot – one possible root of the<br />

estate’s moniker – however, it was the ruins from the Great Fire<br />

of London that raised the isle above flood level thus making it<br />


66 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

possible to build upon. The 3rd Duke of Marlborough<br />

fell in love with the riverside plot and in 1723 created<br />

an idyllic angling retreat on the island with a twostorey<br />

Fishing Temple and octagonal Fishing Pavilion<br />

commissioned from Palladian architect Robert Morris.<br />

Despite changing hands and guises over the<br />

centuries, the Temple and Pavilion survived and today<br />

the stunning Grade I listed buildings remain the<br />

backbone of Monkey Island Estate.<br />

Now under the ownership of the YTL Group,<br />

Monkey Island Estate opened as a new luxury<br />

boutique hotel earlier this year following a three and<br />

half year restoration. Located 35 minutes by train<br />

from Paddington Station, the luxury estate may be<br />

conveniently located but feels a world away from the<br />

city. River charm runs deep here and guests can even<br />

arrive by boat – the hotel’s private wooden launch,<br />

Dragonfly, will pluck you from the nearby quays at<br />

Windsor, Cliveden, Marlow and just about anywhere in<br />

between. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67

R E G A L R O A M I N G<br />

The hotel offers 41 bedrooms and its elegant, refined design<br />

is the calling card of New York-based Champalimaud Design,<br />

which also has The Dorchester and The Gainsborough to its<br />

name.<br />

Most guest rooms are located in the Temple building where a<br />

couple of the larger suites also boast balconies and terraces. The<br />

pièce de résistance, however, is The Wedgewood Suite, which<br />

occupies the original building and boasts magnificent near-360°<br />

views of lawns and riverbanks. Its spectacular ceiling features<br />

Neptune, shells and mermaids in high relief Wedgewood blue<br />

plasterwork and feels regal in every sense of the word. Guests<br />

warmed by quintessential <strong>British</strong> touches will delight in the<br />

stunning bone china tea set, dark panelling, historic portraiture,<br />

and semi-canopied bed. Modern luxuries also abound with cloudsoft<br />

linen, a river-view roll-top bath, vast waterfall shower, and<br />

fragrant Aromatherapy Associate toiletries.<br />

Monarchs, aristocrats, literary icons and a multitude of famous<br />

names from war poet Siegfried Sassoon to HG Wells have enjoyed<br />

river life at Monkey Island over the past 800 years and the hotel<br />

proudly celebrates its legacy.<br />

A 1905 photograph on display shows Edward VII enjoying<br />

afternoon tea under the island’s walnut trees and on arrival<br />

moreish orange and walnut brownie slices await us, giving<br />

another nod to the hotel's rich history. The brownies are made by<br />

executive chef William Hemming using a traditional recipe dating<br />

back centuries to the time when the island was home to orange<br />

and walnut trees. Accompanying the delectable goodies is an<br />

embossed card with a quote from Frances Countess of Hertford<br />

writing in 1738 of the island’s horticulture.<br />

Historical touches such as a these are frequent and engaging,<br />

ensuring every guest’s stay is intertwined with the island’s fascinating<br />

story.<br />

On our side table, a complimentary gin elixir makes the perfect<br />

sundowner to recline with as we relish the Wedgewood Suite and<br />

its views of the gardens and flowing river. The elixir pays homage<br />

to the monks’ centuries-old tradition of making potions and<br />

remedies using botanicals. This monastical connection continues<br />

at the hotel’s brand new Floating Spa. Located on a custom-made<br />

river barge moored alongside the hotel gardens, The Floating<br />

Spa has three treatment rooms and draws inspiration from the<br />

monks’ homemade botanical tinctures and celebrates a time<br />

when apothecaries would use barges to ship medicinal herbs up<br />

and down the bustling River Thames. A host of five-star facials<br />

and massages are on offer, and homemade elixirs are stored in a<br />

collection of wonderful bell jars at the spa’s ‘Elixir Bar’ – the onriver<br />

setting only serves to increase the blissfully soporific vibe. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69


Retaining a wonderfully natural, meadow-like feel, the<br />

hotel’s flower beds are sown with cascades of wild flowers<br />

while the fresh-cut lawns extend out to the water’s edge.<br />

Wild geese saunter past and the two riverfront terraces are<br />

ideal for enjoying the tranquil surroundings, perhaps with a<br />

Monkey Island Pilsner in hand.<br />

Across the small main lawn, guests can explore the<br />

hotel’s herb garden, where botanicals are grown for the<br />

spa’s tinctures and some kitchen produce. There’s also a<br />

smokehouse, which produces some of the most delicately<br />

flavoured and delicious smoked salmon I’ve tasted. The<br />

charming tea room greenhouse will soon provide the hotel<br />

with its own signature blends, three beehives deliver the<br />

gooey honeycomb for breakfast and a chicken coop houses<br />

the hotel’s resident flock.<br />

Guests can collect their own eggs for breakfast should<br />

they wish to and in true Monkey Island Estate style the<br />

chickens are named after the famous ladies of the property:<br />

Vicky, after Queen Victoria who used one of the island’s<br />

cottages for her lady in waiting; Maggie, after Princess<br />

Margaret who would attend the exclusive Oxfam Ball on<br />

the island during the 1960s and Alexandra, after Queen<br />

Alexandra who picnicked with King Edward on the island.<br />

Across the small footbridge, the hotel has three country<br />

chic and beautifully restored cottages on site (there are three<br />

more in the village centre), which are perfectly suited to larger<br />

groups. As always, history is never far from hand, with one<br />

of the cottages having played host to Edward Elgar when he<br />

stayed at Monkey Island. The composer famously worked<br />

on his First Symphony and the same cottage would, decades<br />

later, also become former <strong>British</strong> Formula One racing driver<br />

Sir Stirling Moss’s home.<br />

The island’s Pavilion is home to the hotel’s other public<br />

spaces. In the Monkey Room, original 17th Century frescos<br />

adorn the ceilings – restorers found scraps of the original<br />

paintings strewn around the property and spent eight months<br />

restoring the historic murals that may have also played a part<br />

in the naming of the island. A newly built bar and brasserie<br />

overlook the river and gardens. On the top floor, a 12-seater<br />

whisky snug and bar provides a cosy winter setting.<br />

The brasserie, open to both hotel guests and visitors, is<br />

very reasonably priced for Bray and boasts a fantastic river<br />

locale. The alfresco waterfront terrace is a perfect spot for<br />

lunch, afternoon tea or dinner during the summer and the<br />

interior has a relaxed bistro with floor to ceiling windows<br />

and French doors that keep those river views coming. The<br />

menu celebrates local and seasonal <strong>British</strong> produce.<br />

Dinner highlights included that house-smoked salmon, the<br />

Cornish catch of the day, and <strong>British</strong> lamb on black pudding.<br />

Breakfast is a time to savour – both the festoon of freshly<br />

baked pastries – and the surroundings – watching little motor<br />

boats pootle by as the river wakes up.<br />

“When we<br />

returned<br />

to our<br />

suite after<br />

dark, two<br />

miniature<br />

flower pots<br />

filled with<br />

velvety<br />

ganache and<br />

chocolate<br />

soil were<br />

left as extra<br />

treats,<br />

together<br />

with a<br />

parting gift<br />

of a packet<br />

of wildflower<br />

seeds – to<br />

help us<br />

recreate<br />

that Monkey<br />

Island<br />

ambience at<br />

home.”<br />


Part of Monkey Island estate’s undeniable allure is its<br />

setting and unique experience. Guests can enjoy a picnic<br />

cruise, sunset trip or pre-dinner sail aboard Dragonfly.<br />

The stunning launch can also ferry you to and from<br />

Henley – perhaps for the Regatta come summer, to<br />

Windsor for dinner or a day trip, upriver to the Roux's<br />

legendary three Michelin-star Waterside Inn, to Marlow<br />

for lunch at Tom Kerridge’s restaurants, or to nearby<br />

Cliveden or Eton Dorney. For larger celebrations, three<br />

riverboats can be hired. On the island’s lawn, a clutch<br />

of handcrafted bespoke Shepherd’s Huts provide guests<br />

with the ultimate star-gazing experience. Take a seat<br />

by the fire pits with a blanket come nightfall, toast<br />

marshmallows at the huts’ fire pits and snuggle down<br />

with a boozy hot chocolate, looking skyward to spot the<br />

stars on a clear night.<br />

Small touches, too, make for memorable stays.<br />

When we returned to our suite after dark, two miniature<br />

flower pots filled with velvety ganache and chocolate<br />

soil were left as extra treats, together with a parting gift<br />

of a packet of wildflower seeds – to help us recreate that<br />

Monkey Island ambience at home. And our turndown<br />

service was accompanied with another embossed card,<br />

this time with a quote by ex-resident Edward Elgar, and<br />

was left with a sprig of fresh lavender and deep sleep<br />

pillow spray.<br />

Whether fascinated by history or in search of a luxury<br />

escape a stone's throw from the capital, Windsor and<br />

Marlow, Monkey Island Estate has stories and offerings<br />

in abundance. The added bonus of having Bray's<br />

exceptional foodie hotspots on the doorstep – Heston<br />

Blumenthal’s three Michelin-star Fat Duck sits in the<br />

centre of the village alongside his one Michelin-star<br />

coaching inn The Hind’s Head – means there's even more<br />

reason to extend a stay. u<br />

70 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

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Home to some of the most spectacular landscapes<br />

the country has to offer, the Cotswolds will take<br />

your breath away with its idyllic villages and beautiful<br />

lakes as well as the endless number of activities<br />

and things to do all year round. With self-catering<br />

lakeside accommodation in the heart of the Cotswolds,<br />

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48<br />

hours in<br />


From a Roman fort to uncrowded beaches, sense the magic in Alderney,<br />

a warm, peaceful and relaxing escape in the Channel Islands, where you<br />

can fully unwind. Breathe, relax, and enjoy “the Alderney feeling”<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />

72 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />

Braye Beach

DON’T GO TO ALDERNEY. You won’t like it. In fact,<br />

don’t even read my article, and I hope you have a<br />

great staycation elsewhere on the <strong>British</strong> Isles! I wish<br />

I could keep this up, but of course, I’m joking. The<br />

truth is, as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know,<br />

I adored my weekend break in Alderney. In fact I enjoyed it<br />

so much that I feel hesitant in sharing my experience of this<br />

charming island, for fear that word will get out, and that one<br />

day the island might change.<br />

Alderney is the third-largest of the Channel Islands, behind<br />

Jersey and Guernsey, located 8 miles from France, and 60<br />

miles from the UK. One of the less-visited Islands, Alderney is<br />

still refreshingly uncommercialised – but with modern luxuries,<br />

beautiful beaches and sumptuous accommodation – offering<br />

a unique holiday experience to, in my opinion, rival any of the<br />

other more popular islands.<br />

As the closest of the Channel Islands to the south coast of<br />

Great Britain Aurigny Air Services (aurigny.com) offers direct<br />

flights from Southampton in just 40 minutes. Ideal for me,<br />

living just a 10-minute drive from Southampton Airport, and<br />

made getting to the island a breeze. Flights from other airports<br />

require a transfer in the small, friendly airport on Guernsey, so<br />

a little more complicated, maybe, but ultimately still worth it to<br />

experience this hidden gem.<br />

Alderney’s simple way of life and breathtaking scenery<br />

provides the space to reflect and feel blissfully rejuvenated<br />

– complete escapism from our modern world. There are no<br />

crowds, no queues, and no traffic - just fresh air, incredible<br />

wildlife, an abundance of flora and fauna, and around 50 miles<br />

of footpaths and ancient trails to explore. The historic town of<br />

St Anne, intriguing Roman forts and Victorian defences are<br />

fascinating - and the island naturally lends itself to an outdoor<br />

lifestyle, kayaking, hiking, cycling, swimming. à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 73

You don’t just visit Alderney - you feel a connection with<br />

the island. The unspoilt, wild landscape, magnificent<br />

coastal views and beautiful beaches dotted around the<br />

10-mile perimeter are utterly enchanting. You can’t help<br />

but relax and completely unwind as you marvel over the<br />

architecture, or investigate the many historic forts.<br />

Every day on Alderney is an adventure – even for<br />

the locals. Some who had lived there for years, told us<br />

they still find hidden gems (even bays!) they never knew<br />

existed. They are living in paradise – and so are their<br />

children. Alderney has the only school in the <strong>British</strong> Isles<br />

where children take their swimming lessons in the sea!<br />

There’s a family-run farm providing the entire island<br />

with delightful local produce, a cinema, starry skies,<br />

various events running throughout the year – and that’s<br />

not to mention blonde-haired hedgehogs and blue<br />

letterboxes - I mean what more could you want?<br />

It’s truly unique – and the community spirit is<br />

unparalleled. The magic touched me with, as they<br />

describe it, “The Alderney Feeling”.<br />

DAY ONE<br />

Just a 5-10-minute transfer from the airport took us to<br />

our hotel (you can walk it in around 20 minutes), The<br />

Victoria, conveniently located at the bottom of Victoria<br />

Street, in the ‘capital’, Saint Anne. It’s a perfect location,<br />

close to all the action and within easy reach of the<br />

coastline and main sites of the island.<br />

Our lovely host, Ally couldn’t have made us feel any<br />

more welcome, and inside was beautifully light and airy,<br />

with coastal-themed interiors, home-from-home touches<br />

and contemporary charm. Sister-hotel, The Georgian (on<br />

the same street opposite The Victoria) looked every bit as<br />

attractive and inviting, and is another excellent holiday<br />

option. (thevictoria.gg)<br />

Close by our hotel was Cycle & Surf, the shop where<br />

we had pre-booked our electric bikes. Andrew, who runs<br />

“You don’t<br />

just visit<br />

Alderney -<br />

you feel a<br />

connection<br />

with the<br />

island. The<br />

unspoilt,<br />

wild<br />

landscape,<br />

magnificent<br />

coastal<br />

views and<br />

beautiful<br />

beaches<br />

are utterly<br />

enchanting.”<br />

the shop with his wife Kathy, was fabulous. They have<br />

turned this essential hire shop into an island gem,<br />

with the latest top-of-the-range electric bikes, and a<br />

range of designer and casual wear - all very reasonably<br />

priced. I walked in to see a floaty beach dress, jumper<br />

and lace t-shirt I couldn’t resist. (cycleandsurf.co.uk)<br />

It was time for lunch. We strolled up along the<br />

cobbled street to Le pesked, the only French restaurant<br />

on Alderney, and we were in luck. The Alderney Food<br />

and Drink Festival had started, and, as a lunchtime<br />

special, the fabulous Brittany chef David Ollivrin was<br />

serving up five dishes for two, for just £20. The food,<br />

made from local produce, was delicious. My personal<br />

favourites included the Alderney Crab Spring Roll in<br />

plum sauce, Moules and Marinated Pork Brochette.<br />

Re-fuelled, we met at the bottom of Victoria Street<br />

for our Round-the-Island tour with Alderney Tours, led<br />

by John Horton, the Island Bird Observatory Warden<br />

(as seen on BBC Countryfile and CH4 Little <strong>British</strong><br />

Islands). This two-hour minibus tour is the perfect<br />

introduction, offering the opportunity to learn about<br />

the geography, history and wildlife, and to get your<br />

bearings of where everything is, before heading out on<br />

your self-guided explorations.<br />

John is the perfect tour guide, professional,<br />

knowledgeable – and with a great sense of humour.<br />

But, like many of the Islanders we met, it’s not his only<br />

day-job. John’s passion for birds and wildlife is what<br />

led him to take a career break as a Metropolitan Police<br />

Officer to establish the Channel Isles first accredited<br />

bird observatory – where numbers and variety of birds<br />

soon far exceeded expectation. Just a couple of à<br />

74 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Pictured top-left<br />

to bottom-right:<br />

Fort Houmet<br />

Herbe; Jessica<br />

looking out across<br />

to Fort Houmet<br />

Herbé; The<br />

Victoria, Hotel;<br />

Pepperpot and<br />

Longis Beach; and<br />

Fort Tourgis<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75

Pictured above in a clockwise direction: Alderney cliffs opposite Les Etacs; Looking out across<br />

Longis Bay from a bunker in 'The Nunnery'; Alderney gannets; Hard hat tour of the new luxury hotel,<br />

'The Blonde Hedgehog'; 'The Nunnery'. Opposite page: The Georgian, sister-hotel to The Victoria.<br />

Just a couple of weeks into the job, John<br />

observed a group of 16 Ring Ouzels coming<br />

to rest on the fourth green of the golf course,<br />

adjacent to the observatory. He thought:<br />

“This is going to be awesome!”<br />

76 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

weeks into the job, John observed a group of 16 Ring<br />

Ouzels coming to rest on the fourth green of the golf<br />

course, adjacent to the observatory. He thought: “This<br />

is going to be awesome!”<br />

And it has been an enormous success. One of John’s<br />

first bird-ringing sessions resulting in the recording of<br />

over 40 Firecrests! Alderney has established itself as an<br />

important place for migrating birds – one of the most<br />

exciting islands in Britain for seeing and monitoring<br />

birds, both in migratory transit and in seeking<br />

undisturbed nesting sites.<br />

We stood at the headquarters of the Alderney Bird<br />

Observatory, based in ‘The Nunnery’ – the bestpreserved<br />

small Roman fort in Britain. “With such huge<br />

historical importance, the plan is to develop this into a<br />

publically-accessible heritage site” John explained as we<br />

admired the surviving walls of this impressive fort.<br />

John lives at the lighthouse, just a short walk from<br />

‘The Nunnery’, juggling his roles as tour guide and bird<br />

warden. He seemed equally passionate about both,<br />

telling the group no two days are the same.<br />

John dropped us back at Cycle & Surf, where our<br />

electric bikes were waiting – ready to take us back up<br />

Victoria Street to meet another of the locals.<br />

General Manager, Tracey Farquhar-Beck had<br />

offered to give us a hard-hat tour of new luxury hotel<br />

‘The Blonde Hedgehog’ (think Soho House and The<br />

Pig Hotels) opening this September. Encircled by the<br />

quiet cobblestoned streets of Saint Anne, the hotel is<br />

composed of three buildings, The Blonde Hedgehog,<br />

Clarence House (next door), and The Corner House<br />

(opposite).<br />

Tracey told us the back story. Owner Julie-Anne,<br />

business entrepreneur and founder of charity Zamcog, is<br />

opening her first hotel - along with the restaurant and a<br />

new butcher’s shop. Currently living in London, she will<br />

soon be relocating from London to live in Alderney and<br />

personally manage her island ventures. An investment<br />

welcomed by the locals - supportive of Julie-Anne and<br />

excited for the increased tourism more luxury hospitality<br />

on the island might bring.<br />

We had some time to relax back at The Victoria,<br />

reflect on our day - and share our enthusiasm for the<br />

special place we felt so fortunate to have discovered,<br />

before heading out for dinner over the road at The<br />

Georgian.<br />

The ground-floor of The Georgian offers a great<br />

option for a pre-dinner drink, or relaxed dining, with the<br />

cosy warmth of a traditional pub, or head upstairs, as<br />

we did, to enjoy the refinement of The Orangery, with<br />

more of a fine-dining feel, ambient music, candles and<br />

elegantly dressed tables.<br />

In contrast to the bar, The Orangery restaurant is<br />

light, airy and contemporary, with beautiful, modern<br />

landscape paintings adding vibrant colours to the white<br />

walls. The windows slide open to the full width of the<br />

building - showcasing a panorama of mature island trees<br />

in their immaculate Georgian terraced garden full of<br />

pretty wallflowers and hanging baskets.<br />

We ordered from their 2 Mile Menu, as the name<br />

suggests all ingredients (very) locally sourced. Our<br />

alfresco-style dining was made complete with a<br />

bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, tomato bruschetta, freshly<br />

caught Alderney scallops, and Kiln Farm Sirloin Steak<br />

with Georgian House melted butter. If only there had<br />

been time for dessert - we were booked on the Bat &<br />

Hedgehog walk with the Alderney Wildlife Trust - it<br />

would have been the Speculoos Cheesecake, or possibly<br />

the Affogato. (georgianalderney.com)<br />

Meeting point was at the Wildlife Trust shop, just<br />

a few doors up from The Georgian. Our expert guide,<br />

Roland Gauvain, then showed us how to use our bat<br />

detectors to search out bats as we wandered up Victoria<br />

Street and through the pretty Parish Church of Saint<br />

Anne. We find Pipistrelles - “just 4cm long but with a<br />

wingspan of 22cm” Roland explained. He was extremely<br />

knowledgeable about the life of bats, how they live, and<br />

their feeding cycles, I was surprised to learn they can eat<br />

up to 3000 midges in one night!<br />

As darkness fell, we began our search for Alderney’s<br />

famous blondes. With no foxes, badgers, stoats or<br />

weasels on the island to worry about, Alderney's rare<br />

blonde-haired hedgehogs thrive. With a population<br />

of around 600, they have dominated their brown<br />

equivalents. They are thought to originate from only<br />

a handful of pairs, brought to the island as pets in the<br />

1960s - and (if you believe the locals) released from a<br />

Harrods bag. We spotted a few snuffling about, the first<br />

all curled up, just a ball of blonde spines! à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77

Others had their beautiful pink snouts on show - each one<br />

uniquely cute and charming. Some quietly scuttled away,<br />

while others didn’t seem too fussed about us at all. The<br />

islanders treat them like little kings (and queens) feeding<br />

them when they come to their gardens - perhaps one of<br />

the reasons they are doing so well.<br />

There are not many people who know more about our<br />

adorable <strong>British</strong> tiggywinkles than the Alderney Wildlife<br />

Trust - the island’s only organisation dedicated to the<br />

protection of the natural environment and local wildlife.<br />

Take part in one of their activities, walks or tours and<br />

your money will be put towards funding many essential<br />

projects in conserving their island. (alderneywildlife.org)<br />

DAY TWO<br />

Breakfast at The Victorian is excellent. Home prepared by<br />

Ally, made with local produce fresh from the fisherman or<br />

farm-to-fork and served in the pretty dining room.<br />

Choose from healthy smoothies, continental,<br />

porridge, pancakes, a full Victorian House breakfast – or<br />

pre-order for overnight oats, soaked apples, or (as I did) a<br />

grilled kipper with a poached egg.<br />

Alderney is about self-adventure, and, as Andrew<br />

from Cycle & Surf described it, “There’s nothing to do<br />

on Alderney, but there just isn’t enough time to do it<br />

all”. While Alderney might not have a tourism brochure<br />

packed with must-visit attractions and gift shops for its<br />

visitors, there was so much to go and see – to investigate<br />

- to explore. You could stay for weeks, months, years and<br />

still find somewhere new and exciting to spend a lazy day.<br />

The Victoria provided us with a delicious packed<br />

lunch, picnic-style, and off we went on our bikes - in<br />

search of our own slice of this Alderney magic.<br />

We had a map, but one of the things I liked best about<br />

Alderney was that we didn’t need it. The enjoyment is<br />

in following the paths and discovering places as you go.<br />

It’s easy to lose yourself in the natural beauty, enjoying<br />

Alderney is<br />

about selfadventure,<br />

and, as<br />

Andrew<br />

from Cycle<br />

& Surf<br />

described<br />

it, “There’s<br />

nothing<br />

to do on<br />

Alderney,<br />

but there<br />

just isn’t<br />

enough time<br />

to do it all.”<br />

the moment, and seeing where the day takes you.<br />

And with the coastline of never-ending stretches of<br />

white-gold beaches, never too far out of sight, you can<br />

always get back on track, if needed.<br />

Just 10 minutes into our journey and we came across<br />

a Blue Plaque - at the home where John Arlott, English<br />

journalist, author and famous cricket commentator for<br />

the BBC’s Test Match Special lived.<br />

There are several more Blue Plaques dotted across<br />

the island - you can even pick up a leaflet showing the<br />

Blue Plaque Trail. Other distinguished people who<br />

were born or lived in Alderney include John Wesley,<br />

Founder of Methodism; TH ‘Tim’ White, a writer best<br />

known for publishing “The Sword in the Stone” and<br />

author Elisabeth Beresford, famous for creating The<br />

‘Wombles’.<br />

I wonder if the island's adorable blonde hedgehogs<br />

could have inspired Elisabeth’s furry, long-nosed<br />

burrowing creatures (who lived peacefully under the<br />

parkland of Wimbledon Common, emerging secretly<br />

to clean up and repurpose the rubbish left behind by<br />

humans).<br />

After passing the cute 18 hole golf course, Alderney’s<br />

colourful puffin statue, and the ‘Nunnery’, we arrived<br />

at Mannez Lighthouse, where if you are visiting May to<br />

September tours are available every Sunday.<br />

Overlooking Fort Les Hommeaux Florains, with the<br />

sun shining and not a single soul in sight, we munched<br />

our way through our fresh crab sandwiches. The views<br />

were spectacular - easily one of the most peaceful<br />

picnics, just us and the birds, the gentle swashing of<br />

the waves below – one of the many highlights. à<br />

78 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Pictured above-left in a clockwise direction: Alderney's Blonde<br />

Hedgehogs; Former home of John Arlott, on the Blue Plaque<br />

trail; Alderney's colourful puffin statue; Birdwatching from<br />

Breakwater harbour; Local produce; Mannez Lighthouse<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79

Pictured above in a clockwise direction: Jessica meets some of the locals at Saye Beach who regularly<br />

get-together for an early morning swim and warming brew; Saye beach, Alderney Puffins; Cantina<br />

Number 6; Gannets at Les Etacs. Opposite page: Stargazing at Fort Tourgis<br />

“We swam on Saye Beach, named as one of<br />

Countryfile’s Beaches of the Year, and met some<br />

of the locals who were brilliant fun - welcoming<br />

us whole-heartedly into their self-formed<br />

'Alderney Beach Swimming Club!'”<br />

80 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

C O O R D I N A T E S<br />

L A T I T U D E 4 9 . 7 7 1 5 5 º N<br />

L O N G I T U D E 2 . 2 0 7 6 º W<br />


The north-east side of the island was my personal favourite,<br />

especially the beaches of Corblets Bay and Saye Bay. We swam at<br />

Saye Beach, named as one of Countryfile’s Beaches of the Year, and<br />

met some of the locals who were brilliant fun - welcoming us wholeheartedly<br />

into their self-formed 'Alderney Beach Swimming Club!'<br />

Sadly, it was time to head back as we had a boat tour booked,<br />

especially to see the puffins and the gannets. We got to the pontoon<br />

harbour meeting point where Roland from The Wildlife Trust, and<br />

the rest of our group, were gathering.<br />

The waters were a little choppy, but arriving at the isle of Burhou<br />

and seeing the puffins, one of the most iconic birds resident in the<br />

Channel Islands, made it all worth it. They live here from late March<br />

until early August, the only time they spend on land, until heading<br />

back to the sea for the rest of the year, out in the Atlantic. These<br />

colourful seabirds are instantly recognisable by their bright beaks.<br />

Sadly, puffins are now red-listed and classified as a vulnerable<br />

species. The Alderney Wildlife Trust monitor the population and help<br />

protect them from threats.<br />

Next stop was Gannet Rocks (Les Etacs), home to almost 6000<br />

pairs of Britain’s largest seabird! And we didn’t need the binoculars<br />

here to watch them swooping and diving from the shore, we were<br />

close enough to smell them, we could almost touch them - and what<br />

a display! Incredible, another holiday highlight for me. We chatted<br />

to the skipper, Bugsy, who we had earlier encountered in Victoria<br />

Street. As he is also the island’s resident fishmonger, I thanked him<br />

for my breakfast kipper!<br />

We finished a perfect day with dinner at Cantina Number 6,<br />

Braye Street. A cheerful restaurant with a brilliant blue front door<br />

and painted window frames, set against cream brickwork, desertstyle<br />

plant pots and rustic wooden sign. The Latin American vibe<br />

continued inside, guitars, retro numberplates and colourfully<br />

painted oars mounted on the wall, a trendy cocktail bar made from<br />

old tea box shipping containers, mosaic tiles, and ornate cushions.<br />

Earn hipster points by ordering a ‘Perfect Storm’ - their version of<br />

a ‘Dark and Stormy’ but with a special secret ingredient! From the<br />

kitchen, I enjoyed some fresh local oysters, Caribbean Fish Feast<br />

- polished off with a strawberry shortbread sundae. True to their<br />

garden-kitchen ethos, our waitress came in from the terrace door<br />

with some fresh mint leaves in her hand – a group of locals were<br />

enjoying her Mojitos. We were feeling the vibe here so, following a<br />

recommendation from our waitress, sipped on Espresso Martinis,<br />

outside on the balcony overlooking Braye Beach.<br />

Alderney is an ideal destination for a digital detox, story-bookstyle<br />

adventure, relaxing beach holiday, or all three rolled into one.<br />

With spectacular sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and stargazing, romantic<br />

moments are never too far away. It’s idyllic - and I found myself<br />

completely captivated by its charm. I discovered “the Alderney<br />

Feeling”, and I know I will return. u<br />


Stargazing<br />

Alderney is an area unpolluted by artificial<br />

light and therefore shows off the night sky<br />

to its best advantage. In the evening Fort<br />

Tourgis is the recommended place to go and<br />

is easily accessible for views of the Milky Way<br />

and when shooting stars are often nightly<br />

events. With the island having a milder than<br />

average climate, it’s easy to grab a blanket<br />

and enjoy a few hours stargazing on this<br />

beautiful island.<br />

Afternoon Tea at Braye Beach Hotel<br />

Braye Beach Hotel is (currently) the only 4*<br />

hotel on Alderney, situated directly on Braye<br />

Beach - one of the best bays on the island.<br />

Non-guests are also welcome to enjoy their<br />

bar, restaurant and terrace area for morning<br />

coffee, a light lunch or early evening drink.<br />

For a romantic afternoon enjoy a sumptuous<br />

champagne afternoon tea in their signature<br />

Seaview Restaurant, to include freshly made<br />

salmon and prawn sandwiches, scones,<br />

cakes and chocolate delicacies.<br />

Drink coffee in Jack’s Brasserie<br />

A trendy stone brick coffee shop located<br />

on Victoria Street - directly opposite The<br />

Victoria. Recently taken over by Richard,<br />

formerly from the Braye Beach Hotel. He is a<br />

great character, full-of-life - and knows how<br />

to make an excellent coffee. Sit outside and<br />

relax in the sunshine. Also open for breakfast<br />

and lunch, or a cold beer and wine.<br />








<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81

Do sEThiG<br />

MigT<br />

A fantastic series of fully supported, one-day hiking marathons all<br />

over the UK. Every Mighty Hike is easily accessible and will take<br />

you to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of our country.<br />

Bring your family, bring your friends and take a step forward for people<br />

living with cancer.<br />

Find out more and sign up at<br />

macmillan.org.uk/mightyhikes<br />

Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and<br />

Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).<br />

Also operating in Northern Ireland.


S C O T L A N D<br />

Edinburgh | Pitlochry | The Highlands | Caledonian Forest<br />


<strong>Travel</strong> through the heartland<br />

Take a journey with us through the heart of Scotland, starting in the buzzing capital of Edinburgh,<br />

Words | Melanie Abrams<br />

visiting Big Tree Country before reaching Inverness, The Highlands and the Caledonian Forest<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83

Our journey begins. in<br />


Scotland’s historic and spirited capital. The pavements of Edinburgh are<br />

thronged, day and night, with visitors, some lured by any of the many cultural<br />

events, some seeking to re-connect with their ancestral past and others simply<br />

content to stroll the streets admiring the unspoilt architecture<br />

Words | Adrian Mourby<br />



Edinburgh from Calton Hill is one of the most-photographed<br />

images of the “Athens of the North”. In the foreground<br />

stands a neoclassical memorial to the Enlightenment<br />

philosopher, Dugald Stewart.<br />

Down below rises an eighteenth-century new town that<br />

Edinburgh’s idealists built once it was safe to expand beyond<br />

the ancient fortifications. Walk down Calton Hill onto Regent<br />

Road at sunset and the view before you is as rich as any oil<br />

painting. Beyond Waterloo Place and all the way down Princes<br />

Street, spire after spire rises in the orange glow. Nearest are<br />

the towers of the Balmoral Hotel, then the spire of the soaring<br />

memorial to Sir Walter Scott, and beyond them the steeples of<br />

six or seven churches heading west out of the city.<br />

By day the Scott Memorial dominates this side of<br />

Edinburgh. The great novelist sits larger than life, in carved<br />

white marble beneath a huge, blackened gothic canopy that<br />

is reminiscent of London’s Albert Memorial but 25 feet taller<br />

still. Scott’s novels did so much to reinvent Scottish identity and<br />

boost Scottish self-respect after the defeat of Bonnie Prince<br />

Charlie’s rebellious army in 1745. Surely Edinburgh is unique<br />

in having its main railway station – Waverley – named after<br />

a literary character? (Edward Waverley was the hero of Sir<br />

Walter’s first novel.)<br />

The memorial overlooks parkland that was once a loch at<br />

the base of Edinburgh castle. It’s situated on Princes Street,<br />

named after the future George IV who, as Prince Regent<br />

visited Edinburgh in 1819. George was deeply unpopular<br />

in England at the time of his journey north but as the first<br />

member of the <strong>British</strong> royal family to pay a visit to Scotland<br />

since the humiliating defeat of 1745 he was overwhelmed<br />

by the enthusiastic reception he received from the people of<br />

Edinburgh.<br />

George’s niece, the much more popular Queen Victoria,<br />

is celebrated above the portal of the Scottish National<br />

Gallery which lies 150 yards further down Princes Street.<br />

By the time this Athenian-looking temple to the arts was<br />

opened in 1859 the <strong>British</strong> royal family had not just forgiven<br />

Scotland’s uprising but bought themselves a holiday home –<br />

Balmoral Castle – in the Highlands.<br />

Turn left to walk past the two single-storey neoclassical<br />

buildings that house the national collection and you will<br />

come to the Playfair Steps. These rise steeply up from the<br />

gallery towards New College, a medieval-looking divinity<br />

school beneath the castle. Both the college, the National<br />

Gallery and the steps that link them were designed by<br />

William Henry Playfair (1790 – 1857). Playfair’s work<br />

encompassed both the Athenian style of Calton Hill and<br />

the National Gallery and the turreted gothic style that was<br />

championed by Sir Walter Scott and those who read his<br />

novels and yearned for Scotland’s medieval past.<br />

At the top of the steps follow signs to Lady Stair’s Close.<br />

The narrow path passes under one of Edinburgh’s à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 85


towering eight storey houses into an internal courtyard<br />

where, in a corner tower stands the Writer’s Museum.<br />

Here you can discover all manner of literary relics.<br />

There is a whole basement devoted to Robert Louis<br />

Stevenson which includes his boots and cap, and a<br />

wardrobe that belonged to his family (built by one<br />

Deacon Brodie whose infamous double-life in Edinburgh<br />

inspired Stevenson to write Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde).<br />

Cutting through another passageway, this time under<br />

Gladstone’s Land, a six storey house built in 1727, brings<br />

you out on to the Royal Mile.This sequence of ancient<br />

roads links Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s residence in<br />

Edinburgh, with the castle. Turn right and walk up to the<br />

castle itself and you will pass many shops selling cut-price<br />

cashmere, tartan and whisky, as well as “Boswell’s Court”<br />

where the great biographer was said to have dined with<br />

his subject, Dr Johnson. Suddenly there is the forecourt<br />

of the castle, a huge squat impregnable fortification built<br />

“The narrow<br />

path passes<br />

under one of<br />

Edinburgh’s<br />

towering<br />

eight storey<br />

houses into<br />

an internal<br />

courtyard<br />

where, in a<br />

corner tower<br />

stands the<br />

Writer’s<br />

Museum.”<br />

on top of an old volcano. The view on each side of this<br />

apron is panoramic, but on the left hand - southern - side<br />

you can see the towers of George Heriot’s School, which<br />

is said to have inspired local author, JK Rowling with the<br />

idea of Hogwarts.<br />

Leaving the castle, take the steps known as Wynd<br />

North down to Johnston Terrace and then further down<br />

still through Upper Bow, a convoluted stone staircase<br />

that leads to Victoria Street. This new, gradual incline of<br />

a road was built in the 1830s to make western access to<br />

Edinburgh less of a climb. Gaily painted, Victoria Street<br />

is one of the grandest and yet most colourful terraces in<br />

Edinburgh. It rises seven storeys high and contains shops<br />

like the fashionable tweed merchants Walker Slater and<br />

the famous Whisky Shop as well as a very good basic<br />

Edinburgh drinking den known as Bow Bar.<br />

From here climb up Victoria Street and to your right,<br />

over George IV Bridge you’ll find the National Museum of<br />

Scotland and opposite it the Elephant House Café where<br />

JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. Turn left and you’ll come<br />

back to the Royal Mile and St Giles’ Cathedral whose<br />

remarkable steeple is topped by a coronet that is based<br />

on the medieval crown of the Kingdom of Scotland. u<br />

P L A N N E R<br />



When Murray Georgeson began this fish restaurant in<br />

2006 in rundown Leith he had no idea he’d spearhead a<br />

revival of Edinburgh’s old dockland and eventually create<br />

a culinary icon. If you like seafood, book a table in this<br />

bohemian diner with its splendid seafood platters and<br />

original art. (24-26, Shore)<br />

theshipontheshore.co.uk<br />


The new all-day brasserie at the Balmoral Hotel is a coproduction<br />

between hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and Alain Roux,<br />

son of Michel Roux and chef patron of the three-Michelinstarred<br />

Waterside Inn. The décor is a stylish – but not<br />

slavish – homage to the Parisian bistro. (1 Princes Street)<br />

roccofortehotels.com<br />

LE DI-VIN<br />

In 2008 this Polish oratory near the Caledonia Hotel was<br />

converted into a restaurant and a dramatic wine bar. Over<br />

the entrance is a giant monochrome mural celebrating the<br />

Auld Alliance of France and Scotland. Look out for Mary<br />

Queen of Scots and Sean Connery on one side and Dumas<br />

Pére and Brigitte Bardot on the other. (9 Randolph Place)<br />

ledivin.co.uk<br />

86 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


TRAVEL<br />


Loves...<br />

N E W !<br />




Scotland’s only luxury sleeper train, announces bespoke<br />

excursions that takes guests off the rails and into the wilds of<br />

Scotland. Guests can now tailor their itinerary by choosing<br />

from a range of activities including stargazing under some<br />

of the darkest skies in Europe in the Cairngorms; hiking the<br />

gorges of Aviemore, canoeing on Loch Ness, clay pigeon<br />

shooting at Rothiemurchus Estate or teeing off for golf at<br />

some of Scotland’s most famous links courses. Departing from<br />

Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, Belmond Royal Scotsman travels<br />

on circular routes through the heart of the Highlands. With<br />

only 40 passengers on board, the train replicates a ‘Country<br />

House on Wheels’ and has two, three- or four-night itineraries.<br />

belmond.com<br />


A visit to Edinburgh is simply not complete<br />

without a tour of this iconic ship. The Royal Yacht<br />

Britannia - Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating<br />

palace, where Prince Charles and Princess Diana<br />

honeymooned, and where the young princes William<br />

and Harry spent their school holidays sailing the<br />

Western Isles of Scotland.<br />

Today a museum, voted as Scotland’s Best<br />

Attraction for over 10 years - and it’s clear to see<br />

why it’s fabulously brilliant. Visitors are welcomed to<br />

step on-board and explore for themselves the yacht<br />

where Presidents Mandela, Reagan and Clinton<br />

were wined and dined, and celebrities like Liz Taylor<br />

and Frank Sinatra, (or more recently, Zara Philips<br />

and Mike Tindall) have been entertained.<br />

There are five decks of the yacht to explore while<br />

listening to the super-informative and engaging<br />

audio. From the gleaming Engine room to The Sun<br />

Lounge, Her Majesty The Queen's favourite room,<br />

and where she would enjoy breakfast and afternoon<br />

tea. Allow time to enjoy a champagne lunch or<br />

tea and scones in the Royal Deck Tea Room with<br />

its panoramic views over the River Forth and enjoy<br />

the delicious menu, all prepared on board in the<br />

original Royal Galleys by Britannia’s team of chefs.<br />

royalyachtbritannia.co.uk<br />

YOU CAN<br />



DRAWING,<br />


ROOM<br />

OR THE<br />




EVENTS,<br />

WHERE<br />


I S<br />


TO THE<br />



AS WHEN<br />


WAS IN<br />

R O Y A L<br />


WITH<br />






BUTLERS!<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 87

We love ...<br />

Y O U M I G H T A L S O E N J O Y<br />


Edinburgh has a number of charming boutique hotels created out of<br />

the terraces of its eighteenth-century new town on the north side of<br />

the city. Nira Caledonia has just 28 rooms, many of them large and<br />

gracious but with dark modern furniture and extra-large TV screens.<br />

Staying here opens up a whole new perspective on Edinburgh’s<br />

beautiful, rational new city that later inspired so much<br />

American town planning. (6-10 Gloucester Place)<br />

niracaledonia.com<br />


This very modern glass and steel hotel is built behind the facade of<br />

Lady Glenorchy’s Church, which was demolished in 2000 but still<br />

provides a portal into reception. Most of the rooms and suites look<br />

out on to a rooftop garden that has picturesque views of Calton Hill,<br />

and which is very is popular in the summer for picnics. Edinburgh<br />

Playhouse is next door and there are a lot of lively dining options<br />

nearby. (2 Greenside Place)<br />

theglasshousehotel.co.uk<br />


Built in 1902 as the Great Northern Hotel, the Balmoral<br />

is the grandest place to stay in Edinburgh. It rears up<br />

above Waverley Station like a great granite cliff. The<br />

hotel’s clocktower is always set three minutes fast to make<br />

sure passengers get to the platform on time. Rooms are<br />

elegantly designed by Olga Polizzi, the sister of owner Sir<br />

Rocco Forte and the views from those at the top extend<br />

beyond Edinburgh into the countryside. (1 Princes Street)<br />

roccofortehotels.com<br />



Rich in history, welcoming hotel guests since 1881. The hotel's<br />

recent multi-million-pound restoration and refurbishment<br />

sensitively combines luxurious natural materials such as<br />

oak, marble and leather with a palette of colours inspired<br />

by the great 19th-century Scottish landscape painters.<br />



W H E R E W E S T A Y E D<br />


Alexandra Dock, Leith<br />

Fingal is a luxury floating hotel permanently berthed on<br />

Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront, just a short stroll to the<br />

shops, restaurants and galleries, in the historic Port of Leith.<br />

A blissful stay, far enough away from the hustle and bustle of<br />

the city to feel utterly tranquil, but still within easy reach of all<br />

the major city centre attractions (10 minutes by taxi or bus).<br />

Following a £5 million investment the former Northern<br />

Lighthouse supply ship has been exquisitely refurbished<br />

offering absolute luxury, flawless service, and a wholly<br />

unique experience - far removed from your everyday world.<br />

Fingal started life as a lighthouse tender, helping<br />

maintain lighthouses and transporting their keepers,<br />

equipment and supplies to some of the most treacherous<br />

locations in Scotland.<br />

The 23 beautifully styled cabins are all named after<br />

Stevenson lighthouses inspired by Fingal’s rich maritime<br />

heritage - augmented by the personalised embossed<br />

headboards. There are a range of bedroom suites to include<br />

cabins with private balconies, duplex apartments, and suites.<br />

Book the magnificent Skerryvore Suite, with a separate<br />

sitting room and private decking area for watching the sun<br />

go down, stargazing and Champagne.<br />

If you do decide to explore the charms on your doorstep,<br />

one of the highlights could be ‘The Distillery’, opening soon<br />

as the first vertical whisky distillery in Scotland, and a new<br />

major new landmark for Edinburgh. You might like to ‘meet<br />

the maker’ of the exquisite hand-woven luxury shawl on<br />

your bed. Scottish textile artist Araminta Campbell offers<br />


ALSO A<br />


VENUE<br />

FOR AN<br />





VENUE - THE<br />



WITH A<br />

GRAND<br />



CAN SEAT<br />

UP TO 60<br />


DINNER<br />

private tours of her studio, located just down the road. Or if it<br />

is a culinary delight you desire head to Tom Kitchin’s Michelinstarred<br />

restaurant on Commercial Quay, also just a few<br />

minutes walk away.<br />

Once on-board however, you may choose not to step off!<br />

Serving breakfast, afternoon tea and evening supper, the<br />

Lighthouse Bar has a relaxed, luxurious feel, with soft leather<br />

seats, art deco interiors, and a magnificent shimmering ceiling.<br />

There’s also vast floor to ceiling windows which lead out to<br />

an outdoor decking area where you can watch the vibrant Leith<br />

Docks transform from bold daylight into soft, dusky tones, as<br />

the evening sun spills across the ocean.<br />

Its glamorous vibe sets the tone for appreciating one of<br />

their spectacular cocktails (or mocktails). Try an Old Fashion<br />

Shipwreck, with a delicious explosion of flavours. The menu is<br />

simple with just a few starters, then Scallops, Lamb, Salmon or<br />

Asparagus to follow. Simply seasonal dishes - fish fans should<br />

try the salmon which is smoked on board.<br />

Breakfast is about relaxing, spreading the papers out and<br />

digesting the morning’s news while watching the colourful<br />

world outside come alive. From a full cooked, hearty feast with<br />

all the trimmings to a continental style buffet and lots of fresh<br />

juice, fruit and gallons of tea and coffee. Children are welcome,<br />

double cabins are priced from £300 per night.<br />

fingal.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 89

Next we stop at<br />


Famous as a holiday resort, rich in Victorian heritage, Pitlochry is<br />

situated in the heart of the stunning scenery of Highland Perthshire and<br />

is the perfect half-way stopping point between Edinburgh and Inverness<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />


90 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

W H E R E W E S T A Y E D<br />

FROM EDINBURGH, it’s an hour and a half drive or two hours<br />

by train north to one of Scotland’s most beautiful places to<br />

visit - the burgh of Pitlochry, in the county of Perthshire. You’ll<br />

know when you’ve arrived, as all you will see around you is<br />

enormous trees - a feature that has given Perthshire the name of Big<br />

Tree Country. With more than 200,000 acres of woodlands, which<br />

include more champion trees than anywhere else in the UK, it’s a title<br />

well deserved.<br />

Pitlochry is very much a holiday destination with hotels, restaurants<br />

and its own special attractions and events for visitors throughout<br />

the year. The town sits below Beinn Bhracaigh (Ben Vrackie), the<br />

speckled mountain, and beside the River Tummel in some of the most<br />

magnificent scenery in Scotland, with a backdrop of surrounding hills<br />

and beautiful woodlands.<br />

The famous Highland Games are held here every September,<br />

promoting the cultural history of Scotland through competitive<br />

traditional dancing, piping, athletic and heavyweight championships.<br />

A short drive from Pitlochry, along a winding tree-lined road, hugging<br />

the River Tummel, lies the Queen' s View - a famous vantage point<br />

looking out over one of the most iconic panoramas in Scotland,<br />

directly to the west along Loch Tummel. On a clear day here you can<br />

see the mountains surrounding Glencoe near the West Coast. It is<br />

often thought that the location was named after Queen Victoria who<br />

did, in fact, visit in 1866. However, it is more widely believed to have<br />

been named after Queen Isabella, the 14th-century wife of Robert the<br />

Bruce, who used the spot as a resting place on her travels.<br />

And don’t miss a trip to The House of Bruar - Scotland’s foremost<br />

luxury retail destination - approximately 10 miles north of Pitlochry.<br />

Here you will find the best in contemporary country clothing, the UK’s<br />

largest Knitwear Hall, a comprehensive Food Hall with a Delicatessen,<br />

Butchery and popular Restaurant, Art Gallery and even a Fish and<br />

Chip Shop. u<br />


Military Road, Pitlochry<br />

An award-winning country house hotel, and huge asset to<br />

this beautiful burgh, family-run for the past 30 years by the<br />

McGown family who lovingly converted the property, built<br />

originally as part of the Atholl Estate some 350 years ago.<br />

It is a very special place to stay, located in the heart of<br />

picturesque Pitlochry, surrounded by beautiful woodland<br />

walks and riverside rambles and with access to some of<br />

the very best fishing on the Rivers Tay and Tummel. Every<br />

guest is made to feel extremely special, a truly unique,<br />

unforgettable home-from-home experience in 17thcentury<br />

Scottish luxury.<br />

The beautiful turreted stone house boasts twelve<br />

individually designed bedrooms, including a deluxe<br />

four-poster room with Jacuzzi baths, a suite with movie<br />

room, and deluxe superior room with open fireplace.<br />

There is also a separate Victorian private gate lodge<br />

within the grounds. The restaurant, under the helm of<br />

award-winning Chef Patron Neil McGown, is known by<br />

the locals as serving the best Sunday roast in town and<br />

boasts an impressive A la Carte menu, as well as an everchanging<br />

daily specials menu.<br />

easthaugh.co.uk, balnakeilly.com<br />

H I R E !<br />


VENUE<br />


GROUPS<br />


HOUSE IS A<br />

LUXURY 13<br />



WITH<br />



AND A<br />

LARGE<br />

ROOFED<br />

HOT TUB<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91

Then we reach<br />


Inverness, known as the gateway to the rugged north of Scotland and,<br />

beyond, to the Western Isles, is our perfect stop, before taking the Kyle Line to<br />

the Kyle of Lochalsh and spending the afternoon at Eilean Donan Castle<br />

T<br />

HE NEXT PART of our Scotland<br />

Special could be experienced as<br />

part of the 'Castles and Wildlife<br />

of Scotland' tour by Great Rail<br />

Journeys – one of their new luxury, more<br />

intimate small group tours. This is such a great<br />

way to travel, with all the essential elements of<br />

the journey taken care of for you - a 7-day trip<br />

including overnight journeys aboard the new<br />

Caledonian Sleeper Train (featured on page<br />

97), 4 nights of luxury at two different hotels,<br />

a dolphin cruise, nostalgic rail trip along The<br />

Kyle Line, and a visit to Eilean Donan Castle.<br />

Departing from (and returning to) London<br />

Euston station, all you need to worry about is<br />

finding the Virgin Lounge ahead of boarding<br />

before settling in for your first night on the<br />

rails. Plus there’s plenty of free time for being<br />

curious and finding your own slice of Scottish<br />

adventures whilst on the road - starting in the<br />

cultural capital of the Highlands, Inverness.<br />

Inverness offers city life and beautiful scenery,<br />

with a fascinating history and a wealth of things<br />

to do and places to see, including its Castle,<br />

Cathedral, Museum Art Gallery, Botanic<br />

Gardens. The list goes on! Inverness is a Gaelic<br />

word meaning “mouth of the River Ness” –<br />

The Ness being the river which flows out of<br />

92 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

W H E R E W E S T A Y E D<br />


Loch Ness (famous for its monster!) into<br />

the Moray Firth (famous for its resident pod<br />

of Bottlenose dolphins). While there is not<br />

a tour that can guarantee you a sighting<br />

of the Loch Ness monster, you would be<br />

unlucky not to see any sealife on Dolphin<br />

Spirit the biggest dolphin boat on the Moray<br />

Firth. Departing from Inverness Marina,<br />

it's a purpose-built passenger vessel with<br />

all-round visibility for up to 70 dolphin<br />

watchers on two decks – with passionate<br />

and expert guides also helping you spot<br />

seals, otters, herons, osprey and puffins.<br />

A journey from Inverness on the<br />

acclaimed Kyle Line – one of Scotland's<br />

most scenic railway lines is another<br />

'Highlands must'. Notable stops include<br />

Achanalt, where the marshlands<br />

surrounding Loch Achanalt provide a<br />

habitat for several rare and interesting plant<br />

and bird species, as well as Achnashellach<br />

Forest, reputedly the site of an historic battle<br />

between three Scottish clans in 1505.<br />

Disembark at the end of the line to<br />

transfer to the 13th century Eilean Donan<br />

Castle, perched atop a tiny island at the<br />

confluence of Loch Duich, Loch Long, and<br />

Loch Alsh. This iconic castle has been filmed<br />

and photographed numerous times over the<br />

years, most famously being featured in the<br />

film 'Highlander'. u<br />

“Inverness<br />

offers city life<br />

and beautiful<br />

scenery, with<br />

a fascinating<br />

history and<br />

a wealth<br />

of things<br />

to do and<br />

places to see<br />

including its<br />

own Castle,<br />

Cathedral,<br />

Museum<br />

Art Gallery,<br />

and Botanic<br />

Gardens. The<br />

list goes on!”<br />


Tulloch Castle Drive, Dingwall Ross-Shire<br />

This magnificent hotel dates from the 12th century when<br />

the Bains and later the Clan Davidson laid claim to its<br />

lands. Like its lively history, the castle's fortunes have<br />

changed many times. The castle retains many of its period<br />

features, including the 250-year old panelled Great<br />

Hall, and painstakingly restored original fireplaces and<br />

ceilings. In days of old, only the Laird or the Chief of the<br />

Clan could enjoy a relaxing stay in a Scottish highland<br />

castle. Thankfully, times have changed. Today, Tulloch<br />

Castle has 20 well-appointed en suite bedrooms, each<br />

with their own unique character and charm. Guests<br />

are given a warm welcome, and can expect splendid<br />

hospitality, comfortable surroundings and superb food.<br />

bespokehotels.com/tullochcastlehotel<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 93

Last but not least!<br />


Jessica Way has a ‘wild’ time staying in the Caledonian Forest,<br />

Sutherland, in the Scottish Highlands, where she unwinds and learns<br />

of an exciting project striving to restore the balance of nature<br />

94 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

A<br />

S A TRAVEL WRITER, people will<br />

often ask me ‘what’s hot?’ in the world<br />

of destinations and holiday trends.<br />

There’s this one hotel, an eco-friendly<br />

Wilderness Reserve in the wild side of the Highlands,<br />

permanently fixed at the tip of my tongue – and that’s<br />

Alladale.<br />

I haven’t spoken as much about one single<br />

hotel I’ve stayed in - ever. Alladale is, in my view,<br />

trending in every way. It’s environmentally-minded,<br />

experience-driven, and the perfect retreat for a<br />

luxury digital detox.<br />

It’s not a new hotel; the Laird of Alladale, Paul<br />

Lister, acquired the estate back in 2003. However,<br />

I feel that it is now that his passion, vision, ethical<br />

mindset and ability to remain commercially minded,<br />

is being shared and understood more than ever.<br />

Generally speaking, society is becoming more<br />

aware of the environmental importance of climate<br />

change. It’s thankfully an era of being more<br />

considerate to the environment around us, tackling the<br />

big issues of waste and conservation.<br />

I meet people regularly now, both socially and<br />

through work, who share stories about the changes<br />

and small contributions they have made.<br />

Companies such as Riverford and Gousto,<br />

which minimise the amount of single-use plastics<br />

from supermarkets, are gaining in popularity.<br />

I try, for example, by using soap bars for my<br />

body and hair, having weekly milk deliveries from<br />

Milk&More, and taking part in fundraising events.<br />

“It’s not a<br />

new hotel;<br />

the Laird<br />

of Alladale,<br />

Paul Lister,<br />

acquired<br />

the estate<br />

back in 2003.<br />

However, I<br />

feel that it<br />

is now, that<br />

his passion,<br />

vision, ethical<br />

mindset<br />

and ability<br />

to remain<br />

commercially<br />

minded,<br />

is being<br />

shared and<br />

understood.”<br />

But how is all this about making a difference relevant<br />

to Alladale I hear you ask? Well, “social purpose” is not<br />

just becoming important to everyday lifestyle, it has<br />

transferred to the tourism and travel industry too.<br />

People want to see the positive impact travel<br />

can have on the world, they're seeking to make a<br />

contribution while on holiday – with a rise of more<br />

fulfilling and enriching travel experiences.<br />

Alladale has recognised this change too. However,<br />

their conservation work is not merely a marketing<br />

campaign to publicly proclaim the good work they are<br />

doing to rewild Scotland at the reserve for commercial<br />

advantage. Far from it. Alladale is the real deal, and to<br />

them, this is not an opportunity, but a responsibility.<br />

And it’s not a cheap one either! Uncomparable to<br />

the extra cost of buying unpackaged fruit and veg, or<br />

paying slightly more each week for eco-friendly toilet<br />

roll, this sustainable environment project is costing<br />

Alladale millions.<br />

The man behind the project, Paul Lister, thankfully<br />

has deep enough pockets to pay for it – he’s the son à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 95

of Noel Lister, founder of the MFI furniture empire,<br />

which he sold to Asda in 1985 for a reputed £60 million.<br />

Paul’s big vision to “restore the ecology of Scotland”,<br />

came to him shortly after his father died from a stroke in<br />

2015. Losing his father made him reassess his current life<br />

as a furniture salesman where he “used to eat, sleep and<br />

breathe chipboard dust”.<br />

He spent some time in South Africa to try to find<br />

himself again, and the ever-popular game reserves<br />

inspired his dream for Alladale.<br />

We didn’t get to meet Paul in person during our stay<br />

he’s only at the reserve around three months a year, but<br />

Pieter-Paul Groenhuijsen, the General Manager, who<br />

greeted us on arrival, and dined with us in the evening,<br />

more than made up for it. Pieter is a tall, muscular<br />

Dutchman, who is instantly likeable, warm and composed<br />

- usually found with his adorable husky puppy Logan shyly<br />

by his side. On arrival, we sat chatting in the spacious<br />

(but cosy) lounge, our bags carried in, while we chatted<br />

over teas, coffees and delicious homemade banana cake.<br />

I was there with an exclusive small-group tour, a new<br />

offering by Great Rail Journeys, following a promise of<br />

“undiscovered destinations, charming train travel, and<br />

luxury hotels” – and can confidently say they delivered.<br />

This hotel was a delightful surprise and welcome highlight<br />

within the itinerary.<br />

Pieter passionately shares Paul’s same vision for the<br />

reserve - enthusiastic about the replanting of the forest.<br />

We looked out of the window at the outstanding views,<br />

imagining how the landscape would have been a couple<br />

of thousand years ago, colourful mosaics of flora, trees<br />

and vegetation.<br />

The reserve is part of Glen Alladale, a broad glacial<br />

valley surrounded by 2,300-foot mountains, and the<br />

Alladale estate itself covers 23,000 acres of Caledonian<br />

“Originally<br />

described as<br />

“The Great<br />

Wood of<br />

Caledon” the<br />

wood would<br />

have been<br />

home to a<br />

wide range<br />

of species<br />

including<br />

the beaver,<br />

wild boar,<br />

lynx, elk,<br />

brown bear<br />

and the wolf,<br />

as well as<br />

creatures<br />

still present<br />

today.”<br />

Forest. Originally described as “The Great Wood of<br />

Caledon” (there’s even a book, of the same name) the<br />

wood would have been home to a wide range of species<br />

including the beaver, wild boar, lynx, elk, brown bear<br />

and the wolf, as well as creatures still present today.<br />

Due to centuries of deforestation, today less than<br />

1% of the original forest remains, and the widespread<br />

introduction of sheep and intensive grazing by an<br />

increased deer population, natural regeneration of<br />

the forest has been put on hold. “The problem is the<br />

ecological system isn’t working” Pieter explained.<br />

We were taken on a drive of the reserve, keen to<br />

explore this beautiful wild landscape and to see the<br />

conservation work in practice. A few of us chose to sit<br />

in the open trunk of the 4x4, maximising our views and<br />

photo opportunities. It’s a glorious day - and we feel<br />

blessed to be there. The scenery is wildly dramatic, the<br />

colours so vivid, the peacefulness and freshness of the<br />

air – it’s exhilarating, just being there.<br />

The only man-made objects in sight were the wooden<br />

bridges, enabling us to drive over the crystal clear<br />

streams - a world away from London - yet only 2.5 hours<br />

commute.<br />

We were taken to see the lodges. Deanich Lodge was<br />

my personal favourite, hidden deep in the reserve, for a<br />

true ‘off the grid’ experience. It wasn’t long before we<br />

found ourselves surrounded by a herd of fluffy Highland<br />

cows, a mixture of red, yellow, brindle, dun, and silver.<br />

Some are very noisy. All are utterly adorable, especially<br />

the younger calves.<br />

I was hoping we might also see TV adventurer Bear<br />

Grylls - as he has chosen Alladale as the location for his<br />

Survival Academy, confirming just how wild this area is.<br />

We do though drive past a large group of children and<br />

teachers. Paul has set up and hosts an annual six-week<br />

Challenger Trust, camping, conservation and outdoor<br />

adventures for parties of secondary school pupils.<br />

Our ranger Neil, just 18 years old, tells us about their<br />

aims of replanting 30 million trees while pointing out<br />

some of the 800,000 trees they have already planted.<br />

80% are local varieties, including Scots pine, rowan,<br />

willow and juniper. Most of these will take a lifetime to<br />

grow, but to see the small sprouts that have emerged so<br />

far gives both hope and excitement.<br />

Only once the forestation is complete can they then<br />

concentrate on bringing back the animals that have<br />

been lost - the overall idea being to restore the Highland<br />

ecosystem, reintroducing the flora and fauna that once<br />

thrived here, and eventually the large predators who<br />

once lived here.<br />

We see a sign “Slow please, Red Squirrels”, a<br />

great example of a successful re-introduction in 2016.<br />

Following becoming extinct in many parts of Scotland,<br />

they are now thriving here once again. As are Red Kite,<br />

the white-tailed sea eagle, and European beavers.<br />

96 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Despite all this excellent work, there is still some criticism around the<br />

project. Paul himself, being described as “howling mad” by the Daily<br />

Mail and referred to as ‘The Wolf Man’ by some of the locals, to which<br />

he has skillfully made a joke of himself, by greeting new guests wearing<br />

a wolf mask! The press is at it too, with Alladale being described as<br />

“Jurassic Park”, and articles writing of the shock-factor, with gasps,<br />

and reluctant locals worried about the project.<br />

With further sensible planning and a science-driven approach,<br />

Alladale firmly believe it is the right thing to do for future generations.<br />

Having been there and seen what they’re doing first-hand - it is truly<br />

remarkable.<br />

As is the hotel itself, with its luxurious bedrooms, spacious cosy<br />

sitting room, snooker room, delicious home-cooked evening meals -<br />

and views out to the dramatic glens, colourful hills, glistening rivers,<br />

and herds of majestic red deer roaming around outside your window.<br />

The very best bit though, while increasing cultural understanding<br />

in the conservation of wildlife, Alladale also ploughs 7% of<br />

accommodation revenues into The European Nature Trust – so guests<br />

are contributing directly to conservation and restoration efforts – a<br />

strategy, in my view, only to be applauded, and a positive step forward<br />

for sustainable eco-friendly tourism. u<br />


Experience Castles and Wildlife of Scotland on an escorted small<br />

group tour with Great Rail Journeys. Priced from £1,495pp, the<br />

7-day trip includes return travel on the Caledonian Sleeper, hotel<br />

accommodation, all rail and excursions and selected meals.<br />

Departing 6 Oct <strong>2019</strong>, 24 and 26 April, 15 and 17 May, 12 and 14<br />

June, and 2 and 10 October 2020.<br />

greatrail.com/tours/castles-and-wildlife-of-scotland<br />

N E W !<br />



It’s time to ‘Dream Big’ and let the new fleet of Caledonian Sleeper<br />

trains transport you from London to Scotland in style. Following<br />

an investment of £150 million, for the first time, their new fleet of<br />

trains offer guests double en-suite bedrooms! Other new features<br />

include a hotel-style keycard entry system, charging panels and<br />

WiFi throughout the train. Take the Lowlander route between<br />

London and Glasgow or Edinburgh. Complete the rest of this<br />

journey on the Highlander route between London and Aberdeen,<br />

Inverness and Fort William. A basic seat on the Caledonian<br />

Sleeper starts at £45, with prices for Caledonian Doubles from<br />

£335 single occupancy and £400 shared.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97









ARMITT<br />












ALLAN<br />

BANK<br />

HOLE-<br />

HIRD<br />

HILL TOP<br />

BROCK-<br />

HOLE<br />


HOLKER<br />


ABBEY<br />


CASTLE<br />



LEVENS<br />

ASKHAM<br />


CASTLE<br />







<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

ACROSS<br />

8 He was Shylock to Jeremy<br />

Irons' Merchant (6)<br />

9 NC500 tourist destination<br />

on Loch Broom (8)<br />

10 Banjo lad played to get<br />

employment (4,1,3)<br />

11 Rumours (6)<br />

12 Old Edinburgh singer<br />

who loved a lassie (6)<br />

13 Pens again (8)<br />

14 Quoted concerns (6,9)<br />

18 Annually, Blenheim Palace<br />

pays one in the form of a<br />

French royal flag (4-4)<br />

21 Cotton cloth (6)<br />

23 Small extension of the sea (6)<br />

24 Falls in Yorkshire (8)<br />

25 Berkshire village where a<br />

struggle ends? (8)<br />

26 Marriages and mergers (6)<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Laurens van der Post's "Lost World"<br />

(8)<br />

2 Out of breath (6)<br />

3 Called forth (8)<br />

4 Locale of Kempton Park racecourse<br />

(7-2-6)<br />

5 Fully renovated (3-3)<br />

6 Professional who helps you look<br />

well (8)<br />

7 Stick together (6)<br />

15 Instruction (8)<br />

16 Distinguishes (5,3)<br />

17 Dragon's Fury and Oblivion rollercoasters<br />

certainly are (8)<br />

19 Incredible! (6)<br />

20 Figures who are never billed? (6)<br />

22 Prologue (4-2)<br />

Answers will be printed in the<br />

Winter Issue out 28 November<br />

The first twenty correct crosswords received will be rewarded with a free gift of<br />

Newby Teas - simply send your completed crossword (or the answers) with your<br />

choice of Moroccan Mint, Jasmine Blossom, Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea,<br />

and your postal address, by post to <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>, Mitchell House, Brook<br />

Avenue, Warsash, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 9HP,<br />

or email the answers to crossword@britishtraveljournal.com<br />

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD 02 | SUMMER <strong>2019</strong><br />

ACROSS: 1 Lews, 4 Unsinkable, 9 Strait 10 On credit 11 Horseshoe-shaped,<br />

12 Reindeer 15 Deva 18 Star 19 Deaf ears 21 Breakfast cereal 25 Solihull 26<br />

Mercia 27 Marylebone 28 Lynn. DOWN: 2 Extrovert 3 Swabs 4 Untested 5<br />

Stobo 6 No-cost 7 Alexandre 8 Laine 13 Normality 14 Rad 16 Variation 17<br />

Gatcombe 20 Effuse 22 Rhoda 23 Salvo 24 Rural.<br />


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yet no two courses are ever the same!<br />

Priced £14.99 available from:<br />

pen-and-sword.co.uk<br />


Cumbria, home to two UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Sites, is making the tracking<br />

down of heritage through itinerary<br />

planning simplicity itself, by launching its<br />

‘Heritage Cumberground’ map. (free)<br />

cumbriaslivingheritage.co.uk<br />


The first app in the world dedicated<br />

to sustainable travel, featuring 3,000<br />

hotels, restaurants and experiences for<br />

their authenticity and their positive<br />

social and environmental impact. (free)<br />

fairtrip.org<br />


Launched to mark 50 years since man’s<br />

first steps on the moon. This exclusive<br />

new timepiece uses Callibre JJ04, an<br />

in-house modification accurate to a<br />

day every 128 years. Priced £1,695.<br />

christopherward.co.uk<br />

98 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

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