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British Travel Journal | Spring 2021

Ah, the sweet smell of spring is finally here. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the sun has started to shine and there is hope on the horizon for a great British summer! I’m sure you’ll agree that spending so many months at home has only made our adventurous, curious hearts grow fonder with a passion for travel and exploration. I will appreciate my upcoming travel trips so much more, and it has only made my job as travel Editor, and the content in our latest issue, seem even more special than usual! Lockdown might have put a stop to many things, but it certainly hasn’t stopped the travel industry preparing to ensure a super fun and warm welcome once it is safe for visitors to return. From new hotels and luxury spas, exciting holiday resorts full of adventure and off-grid activities, luxury boutique stays in acres of unspoilt countryside and coastline, brand new attractions to immersive one-of-a-kind experiences – it seems there has perhaps never been a better time to explore the British Isles! With so much ‘British staycation’ wanderlust flying about we couldn’t resist compiling our Ultimate British Bucket List. Deep in the West Dorset countryside we Meet the Makers behind the world’s only vodka made from cows’ milk. We uncover 10 of the most wonderful places to visit in Yorkshire and discover that there’s much more than just Cheddar Cheese and ancient apple orchards to Somerset’s epicurean offering in The Rise of Food and Drink. In search of beautiful destinations where social distancing is made easy, you won’t find better than a remote Sea Garden Cottage on the white sandy shores of Tresco island, a luxury family stay in the heart of Suffolk’s rolling countryside at The Ickworth or a whisky tour around the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, Islay - the Lord of the Isles. Wherever, and whenever, you next plan to take a holiday in the British Isles, we hope British Travel Journal continues to deliver as your indispensable travel magazine, and wish you a safe and seamless journey full of wonderful memories.

Ah, the sweet smell of spring is finally here. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the sun has started to shine and there is hope on the horizon for a great British summer!
I’m sure you’ll agree that spending so many months at home has only made our adventurous, curious hearts grow fonder with a passion for travel and exploration.
I will appreciate my upcoming travel trips so much more, and it has only made my job as travel Editor, and the content in our latest issue, seem even more special than usual!

Lockdown might have put a stop to many things, but it certainly hasn’t stopped the travel industry preparing to ensure a super fun and warm welcome once it is safe for visitors to return. From new hotels and luxury spas, exciting holiday resorts full of adventure and off-grid activities, luxury boutique stays in acres of unspoilt countryside and coastline, brand new attractions to immersive one-of-a-kind experiences – it seems there has perhaps never been a better time to explore the British Isles!

With so much ‘British staycation’ wanderlust flying about we couldn’t resist compiling our Ultimate British Bucket List. Deep in the West Dorset countryside we Meet the Makers behind the world’s only vodka made from cows’ milk. We uncover 10 of the most wonderful places to visit in Yorkshire and discover that there’s much more than just Cheddar Cheese and ancient apple orchards to Somerset’s epicurean offering in The Rise of Food and Drink. In search of beautiful destinations where social distancing is made easy, you won’t find better than a remote Sea Garden Cottage on the white sandy shores of Tresco island, a luxury family stay in the heart of Suffolk’s rolling countryside at The Ickworth or a whisky tour around the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, Islay - the Lord of the Isles.

Wherever, and whenever, you next plan to take a holiday in the British Isles, we hope British Travel Journal continues to deliver as your indispensable travel magazine, and wish you a safe and seamless journey full of wonderful memories.

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BRITISH TRAVEL<br />

JOURNAL<br />

explore the british isles<br />

SPRING <strong>2021</strong> | ISSUE 08<br />

BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM<br />

WANDERLUST<br />

DESTINATIONS<br />

HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEXT<br />

HOLIDAY EXTRA SPECIAL<br />

+OVER 30 NEW<br />

HOTELS AND<br />

ATTRACTIONS<br />

TO VISIT AFTER<br />

LOCKDOWN<br />

48 MAGICAL HOURS IN<br />

TRESCO AND BRYHER<br />

IDYLLIC ISLANDS BLESSED<br />

WITH EXOTIC PLANTS,<br />

TRANSLUCENT SEAS AND<br />

ENDLESS AMOUNTS<br />

OF GOLDEN SAND<br />

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

BRITISH TRAVEL<br />

JOURNAL<br />

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

EDITORS<br />

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way<br />

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford<br />

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding<br />

CONTRIBUTORS<br />

Melanie Abrams, Chantal Borciani,<br />

Helen Holmes, Emma Johnson,<br />

Adrian Mourby, Karyn Noble, Emma O’Reilly,<br />

Lydia Paleschi, Adrienne Wyper<br />

COVER PHOTO<br />

—<br />

Our Editor arrives on the sandy shores of<br />

Bryher, one of the smaller of the inhabited<br />

islands of the Isles of Scilly. See p72.<br />

Published by<br />

CONTISTA MEDIA<br />

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

Southampton, SO31 9HP<br />

01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<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 />

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

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

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

Welcome<br />

EDITOR’S LETTER<br />

—<br />

A<br />

H, THE SWEET SMELL of spring is finally<br />

here. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the sun<br />

has started to shine and there is hope on the<br />

horizon for a great <strong>British</strong> summer!<br />

I’m sure you’ll agree that spending so many months at<br />

home has only made our adventurous, curious hearts grow<br />

fonder with a passion for travel and exploration.<br />

I will appreciate my upcoming travel trips so much more,<br />

and it has only made my job as travel Editor, and the content in<br />

our latest issue, seem even more special than usual!<br />

Lockdown might have put a stop to many things, but<br />

it certainly hasn’t stopped the travel industry preparing to<br />

ensure a super fun and warm welcome once it is safe for<br />

visitors to return.<br />

From new hotels and luxury spas (p10), exciting holiday<br />

resorts full of adventure and off-grid activities (p16), luxury<br />

boutique stays in acres of unspoilt countryside and coastline<br />

(p90), brand new attractions (p18) to immersive one-of-a-kind<br />

experiences (p22) – it seems there has perhaps never been a<br />

better time to explore the <strong>British</strong> Isles!<br />

With so much ‘<strong>British</strong> staycation’ wanderlust flying about<br />

we couldn’t resist compiling our Ultimate <strong>British</strong> Bucket List<br />

(p28). Deep in the West Dorset countryside we Meet the Makers<br />

behind the world’s only vodka made from cows’ milk (p44).<br />

We uncover 10 of the most wonderful places to visit in Yorkshire<br />

(p62) and discover that there’s much more than just Cheddar<br />

Cheese and ancient apple orchards to Somerset’s epicurean<br />

offering in The Rise of Food and Drink (p84). In search of<br />

beautiful destinations where social distancing is made easy,<br />

you won’t find better than a remote Sea Garden Cottage on<br />

the white sandy shores of Tresco island (p72), a luxury family<br />

stay in the heart of Suffolk’s rolling countryside at The Ickworth<br />

(p50) or a whisky tour around the southernmost island of the<br />

Inner Hebrides of Scotland, Islay - the Lord of the Isles (p56).<br />

Wherever, and whenever, you next plan to take a holiday<br />

in the <strong>British</strong> Isles, we hope <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> continues to<br />

deliver as your indispensable travel magazine, and wish you a<br />

safe and seamless journey full of wonderful memories.<br />

Jessica x<br />

JESSICA WAY<br />

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF<br />

–<br />

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


Time for the<br />

little things<br />

luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk


CONTENTS<br />

SPRING <strong>2021</strong> | ISSUE 08<br />

—<br />

09<br />

28<br />

28<br />

90<br />

JOTTINGS<br />

09<br />

TRAVEL NEWS<br />

From a former jail turned sumptuous<br />

hotel, luxury spa resort openings, to new<br />

attractions including the launch of RHS<br />

Bridgewater and re-imagined Nottingham Castle.<br />

MAGICAL MOMENTS<br />

24 Feel inspired and escape the everyday<br />

with these stunning travel photos of beautiful<br />

landscapes from around the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />

CULTURAL AGENDA<br />

39 Unmissable events, shows and<br />

exhibitions for your social calendar this spring<br />

FOR YOUR JOURNEY<br />

98 Latest travel essentials and crossword.<br />

FEATURES<br />

28<br />

ULTIMATE BRITISH BUCKETLIST<br />

From taking a classic Morgan car for<br />

a spin around part of the North Coast 500, to<br />

taking to the air and flying an iconic 1943 plane,<br />

and cruising around the UK in the world’s largest<br />

square-rigged luxury sailing vessel.<br />

BLACK COW VODKA<br />

44 We discover the world’s only vodka<br />

made from cows’ milk deep in the West Dorset<br />

countryside.<br />

TEN OF THE BEST LUXURY<br />

90 BOUTIQUE STAYS<br />

Fancy hunkering down for the night in front<br />

of a burning log fire in a cute, cosy cottage or<br />

luxurious accommodation nestled in the middle<br />

of acres of beautiful countryside, a quaint village<br />

or coastal clifftop?<br />

à<br />

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


62<br />

E D I T O R L O V E S DESTINATIONS<br />

These stylish limited edition<br />

weatherproof backpacks,<br />

handmade to order from The Level<br />

Collective as part of an ethical<br />

<strong>British</strong>-made craftsmanship<br />

collaboration. Together with Blok<br />

Knives founder Ben Edmonds,<br />

(the Aston Martin of the cutting<br />

world), who is crafting 100<br />

outdoor knives handmade in<br />

Derbyshire, Cornish based<br />

creative Mark Musgrave has<br />

designed 100 <strong>British</strong>-made stylish<br />

organic backpacks. Limited edition<br />

backpacks £375.<br />

Limited edition Blok Knives £155.<br />

thelevelcollective.com<br />

THE ICKWORTH<br />

50 Spending quality family time<br />

together in acres of glorious <strong>British</strong><br />

countryside just doesn’t get better than at<br />

this sumptuous Suffolk retreat.<br />

TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN<br />

62 YORKSHIRE<br />

From walks through National Parks, beautiful<br />

historic cities, luxury hotels to charming<br />

seaside resorts, there’s plenty to discover on<br />

a tour of Britain’s largest county.<br />

48 HOURS IN TRESCO AND<br />

72 BRYHER<br />

Spend your days exploring ruined castles,<br />

discovering tales of shipwrecks, and enjoying<br />

the sounds of the ocean on Britain's very own<br />

Island treasure.<br />

72<br />

50<br />

FOOD AND DRINK<br />

56<br />

LORD OF THE ISLES<br />

Join us on a whisky tasting tour<br />

around Scotland's isle of Islay, one of the<br />

premiere whisky-producing areas in the<br />

world.<br />

THE RISE OF SOMERSET'S<br />

84 FOOD AND DRINK<br />

This English county is not merely the<br />

home of Cheddar Cheese or ancient apple<br />

orchards, Somerset’s epicurean delights are<br />

in abundance.<br />

HOTEL<br />

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


Crossbrook Farm, Worcestershire<br />

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we’ve hand-picked the very best to bring you holiday memories to treasure.<br />

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Soul-reviving spa soaks and subtropical garden strolls.<br />

Great times in the great outdoors and long, lazy lunches.<br />

Deserted sandy bays and towering heather-clad cliffs.<br />

Island-hopping adventures and spellbinding sunset suppers.<br />

Whatever the season, rediscover time to be on Tresco, the family<br />

owned island at the heart of the Isles of Scilly archipelago.<br />

Just 28 miles from Cornwall. Somewhere else altogether.<br />

TRESCO.CO.UK<br />

SPA & WELLNESS | ACCOMMODATION | ABBEY GARDEN | DINING | GALLERY


LOOKING AHEAD...<br />

TRAVEL NEWS<br />

Once lockdown lifts and it is safe to visit, reignite your passion for<br />

travel with our selection of what's new across the <strong>British</strong> Isles<br />

HOTELS<br />

RESORTS<br />

ATTRACTIONS<br />

from page 10 from page 16<br />

from page 18<br />

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


New hotels<br />

BATH<br />

The Townhouse<br />

For the ultimate city break you would<br />

be hard pushed to find a better place<br />

to stay than the new Townhouse at the<br />

Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. The TV<br />

series Bridgerton had us swooning over the<br />

ravishing city of Bath, used as a location,<br />

and now there’s this. Offering the best of<br />

both worlds – ultra luxurious self-catering<br />

for up to five people, plus the hotel next<br />

door for dining out or using the spa. The<br />

real wow factor facility here, however, is<br />

private access to the Cross Bath. This sacred<br />

open-air bath taps in to the city’s thermal<br />

waters and beats a hot tub any day!<br />

Prices start from £183 per night. ◆<br />

thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk<br />

DERBYSHIRE<br />

ENSANA BUXTON CRESCENT HOTEL & THERMAL SPA<br />

Buxton Crescent<br />

In need of some pampering in the elegant surroundings of one<br />

of England’s finest Georgian buildings? It feels as though we’ve<br />

been anticipating the opening of this 80-bedroom five-star<br />

hotel and visitor attraction for years now – and that’s probably<br />

because we have! Originally the launch was scheduled for 2019,<br />

and with the pandemic forcing closures throughout last year<br />

it has all just taken longer than planned. However, by no small<br />

feat, the impressive £50m redevelopment and restoration of the<br />

magnificent building completed last summer and opened, under<br />

Covid-19 restrictions, on 1st October 2020. The luxury hotel<br />

offers accommodation with all the trimmings - as well as the<br />

thermal natural mineral water spa in the Natural Baths there’s<br />

the splendid 18th Century ballroom – known as the Assembly<br />

Room – which has also been fully refurbished, café, restaurant,<br />

two bars and six prestigious retail premises along the front<br />

ground floor façade. Choose from a selection of all day spa packages<br />

and soak in the thermal pool, to include use of all facilities, robe<br />

and slippers, lunch, therapy treatments, Jet Bath, Salt Cave and<br />

much more. Have something to celebrate? You might prefer<br />

the Twilight spa evening with a glass of fizz on arrival, Ensana<br />

wellness treatment and evening meal. Prices from £125 per night. ◆<br />

ensanahotels.com/buxton/en<br />

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


BERKSHIRE<br />

Fairmont Windsor Park<br />

Destined to be the UK’s leading wellness retreat comprising a<br />

sprawling world-class spa spanning 2,500 square metres with<br />

indoor and outdoor pools, 18 treatments rooms, a salt room,<br />

Hamman and Japanese foot spa. fairmont-windsorpark.com<br />

BRISTOL<br />

Artist Residence<br />

Arty micro chain Artist Residence is set to<br />

open its fifth hotel in a former boot factory<br />

in Bristol’s Portland Square. An eclectic<br />

mix of art and vintage, the new venue<br />

includes 28 quirky bedrooms alongside<br />

a café, bar and events space. Your home<br />

from home in the heart of creative Bristol,<br />

with comfy beds, powerful rainfall showers<br />

and an eclectic mix of industrial, vintage<br />

and bohemian style. Book the bohemian<br />

Artist Suite – it features original Georgian<br />

cornicing, super king size bed, open<br />

bathroom with free-standing roll-top<br />

bathtub and powerful rainfall shower. ◆<br />

artistresidence.co.uk/our-hotels/bristol<br />

Editor loves<br />

BELFAST<br />

The Harrison<br />

Looking to add a little more sass to your staycation?<br />

Having hosted scoundrels and scholars since<br />

1879, this bohemian bolthole has been designed<br />

for the culturally curious traveller located right<br />

in the heart of Belfast’s theatre and museum<br />

quarter. Book the Ruby Murray Room – it’s divine!<br />

Antique furniture, stunning four poster bed and<br />

stylish bathtub. Priced from £150 per night. ◆<br />

chambersofdistinction.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 11


In the capital<br />

STRATFORD<br />

The Gantry<br />

Launching a year later than originally planned, The Gantry<br />

will bring together, under one roof, a hotel, artisan food market,<br />

restaurants and cocktail bars, in what is London’s fastest<br />

developing creative and cultural community. Collaborating<br />

with local producers, artists, brands and independent<br />

London restaurateurs, The Gantry is a single urban resort<br />

offering a fully integrated eating, drinking, travel and social<br />

destination for East Londoners and international visitors<br />

alike. With a silhouette inspired by New York’s famous Flat<br />

Iron building, The Gantry’s design is influenced by industrial<br />

Victorian East London and Stratford’s historical role in the<br />

city’s train building industry. Situated on the 18th floor with<br />

floor to ceiling windows, The Gantry will also boast the<br />

highest rooftop bar in East London, offering a truly iconic<br />

sunset across the capital when the bar and outdoor terraces<br />

come alive with live music and DJs.<br />

Prices start from £173 per night. ◆<br />

thegantrylondon.com<br />

MAYFAIR<br />

The Mayfair Townhouse<br />

Bridging the gap between West End’s ritzy and corporate hotels,<br />

the Townhouse redefines what it means to be a London<br />

hotel. Curious, engaging, witty – and dandy. Think: Oscar<br />

Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland. Launched by the people<br />

who brought you Cliveden House and Chewton Glen, The<br />

Mayfair Townhouse occupies the Grade-II listed Georgian<br />

buildings that line Half Moon Street – once the setting for<br />

Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being<br />

Earnest. The aptly named Dandy Bar is the heart and soul of<br />

the Townhouse; a theatrical, dimly lit atmosphere that<br />

creates a place to see and be seen. Say hello to Head Concierge<br />

Dianna Beran, formerly from Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and<br />

one of the very few female concierges in the world to hold<br />

the title of Les Clefs d’Or! Book a mixology experience with<br />

Pierpaolo Monaco and enjoy a Mayfair Dandy – an avant-garde<br />

take on the classic Dandy cocktail once enjoyed by hedonists<br />

of the area. Room rates priced from £252 per night. ◆<br />

themayfairtownhouse.com<br />

LEICESTER SQUARE<br />

The Londoner<br />

More ‘urban resort’ than ‘city hotel’ spanning across<br />

16 storeys, The Londoner features a whopping<br />

350 guest rooms, suites and tower penthouse with<br />

panoramic views! Yet there’s more to this sophisticated<br />

Leicester Square playground - an expansive ballroom,<br />

wellness centre, hair and nail salon, barber shop, a<br />

mix of eateries and roof top bar with firepits. Prices<br />

from £469 per person, per night. ◆<br />

thelondoner.com<br />

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


GREAT GIFT IDEAS<br />

BEST GIFT FOR<br />

MOTHER’S DAY?<br />

Mother’s Day is on Sunday 14th March<br />

Have you been missing your mum during lockdown?<br />

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, and the opportunity<br />

to take your mum out looking unlikely, why not<br />

give her something special to look forward to? Give her the<br />

gift of roomcard and she can start planning a weekend for<br />

when lockdown lifts – and if you’re lucky, she’ll take you too!<br />

roomcard is the digital gift card and wallet for the<br />

world’s 10,000 most inspirational hotels, covering the very best<br />

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Schedule the delivery of roomcard at precisely your chosen<br />

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to your mum’s phone. Roomcard.com<br />

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1334<br />

INNOVATIVE | UNIQUE | EXCLUSIVE<br />

Putting the <strong>British</strong> into <strong>British</strong> tea<br />

for the first time in history.<br />

Tregothnan has pioneered botanical firsts since 1334,<br />

experimenting with new plants like the tea genus for over two<br />

centuries. We finally perfected the first ever tea production in the<br />

UK in 2005. Today we continue to innovate inspired by our precious<br />

plants and gardens.<br />

www.tregothnan.co.uk /tregothnan @tregothnan @tregothnan


Boutique hotels<br />

EAST SUSSEX<br />

The Star Inn<br />

The third in Olga’s Polizzi Collection, spreading her wings<br />

from the south west to the south east, and her first official<br />

joint venture with her daughter, Alex Polizzi, presenter of<br />

Channel 5’s, The Hotel Inspector. thepolizzicollection.com<br />

NORFOLK<br />

The Harper<br />

The Harper is a brand new 32-bedroom<br />

boutique hotel taking residence within<br />

Langham’s famed old glass blowing factory,<br />

the rugged, chic interiors are light, airy<br />

and dotted with locally-crafted artisanal<br />

glass features playing quiet homage to<br />

its heritage. Only a short drive from the<br />

picturesque coastal haven of Blakeney,<br />

The Harper nestles in the quaint and<br />

typically <strong>British</strong> village of Langham, North<br />

Norfolk and even boasts its own Harper<br />

Hikes walking routes. Rooms (inc Harper<br />

Breakfast) start at £175 per night. ◆<br />

theharper.co.uk<br />

WEST SUSSEX<br />

THE PIG in the South Downs<br />

With the latest launch of THE PIG in the South<br />

Downs becoming the eighth addition, you will now<br />

be able to stay in a PIG in every south coast county!<br />

Plus, the team is creating the group’s first vineyard<br />

here too - on the two-acre field directly in front of<br />

the main restaurant of the hotel previously used for<br />

grazing alpacas. Rooms from £155 per night. ◆<br />

thepighotel.com<br />

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


New resorts<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Una St Ives<br />

One of the most exciting new launches in<br />

the active holiday resorts has to be this £25<br />

million development of a former caravan<br />

park above Carbis Bay. There are 30<br />

self-catering eco-houses and Una Kitchen<br />

already open, with a further 55-bedroom<br />

apartment hotel and around 100 villas<br />

and luxurious lodges opening soon. From<br />

clifftop ambles and wild sea swimming, to<br />

night-sky sessions around the fire pit. Join a<br />

morning yoga class, paddle out to surf on<br />

Porthminster Beach and head to St Ives Bay<br />

for sea-to-fork fresh fish. ◆<br />

unastives.co.uk<br />

SNOWDONIA<br />

Adventure Parc,<br />

Hilton Garden Inn<br />

Launching in tandem with the brand new Wave Garden<br />

Spa, the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia, surrounded by<br />

mountains, forests, and beautiful natural landscape,<br />

makes a family holiday to Adventure Parc even more<br />

enticing than ever before. The 106-bedroom hotel is the<br />

perfect place to check in and enjoy the surf lagoon and<br />

parc activities, including an outdoor adventure climbing<br />

centre, zip lines and freefalls, gorge walking, mountain<br />

biking, water sports and more. The floor-to-ceiling<br />

windows in the stylish bedrooms and Zephyr’s bar and<br />

grill make the most of the unique backdrop, and offer big<br />

views across the lagoon, where you can enjoy watching<br />

surfers catch rolling waves. Home to some of the biggest<br />

peaks in Wales, as well as a population of wild ponies<br />

there will never be a dull moment to be had here – and<br />

when you need some space to relax, indulge in solitude<br />

at the adjoining Wave Garden Spa. Think warm vitality<br />

waterfall pool, an iconic oversized Himalayan salt sauna,<br />

outdoor hot whirlpool, relaxation pods and fire pits. ◆<br />

adventureparcsnowdonia.com<br />

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


CORNWALL<br />

Harbour Beach Club, Salcombe<br />

50 spacious bedrooms and suites on the stunning South Sands<br />

beach. Think laid back vibes, hammocks between the trees,<br />

beanbags to chill out on with a mojito in hand to watch the<br />

sunset. Adventures from watersports to wild swimming.<br />

harbourhotels.co.uk/harbour-beach-club<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Three Mile Beach<br />

Fifteen new luxury self-catering beach houses<br />

opening this Easter, tucked away on Gwithian<br />

Towans, an unspoilt part of the stunning<br />

Cornish coastline, with never-ending Atlantic<br />

Ocean views – this is a surfer’s paradise. From<br />

bodyboarding, stand-up-paddle, kitesurfing<br />

to surfing, you will not only master your skills<br />

on the water, you will also enjoy going off-grid,<br />

hunkering down and switching off from the<br />

everyday world. This is tranquillity at its very<br />

best, with three miles of stunning beach and<br />

views over Godrevy lighthouse and the lights<br />

of St Ives. Each beach house has its own private<br />

deck, sunken hot tub, and barrel sauna. ◆<br />

threemilebeach.co.uk<br />

You might also enjoy<br />

KENT<br />

Leopard Creek<br />

Following the successful launch of the soughtafter<br />

Lion and Tiger Lodges, Port Lympne<br />

Hotel & Reserve are opening their next big cat<br />

accommodation, Leopard Creek this April. Choose<br />

from a cosy cub hut, stylish family cabin, to luxurious<br />

four-person wigwam. Prices to stay in Leopard<br />

Creek’s wigwams from £699 a night. ◆<br />

aspinallfoundation.org<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 17


New attractions<br />

BATH<br />

Mary Shelley's House<br />

of Frankenstein<br />

Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein is a<br />

new visitor attraction in Bath, and a world<br />

first as the only horror experience dedicated<br />

to author Mary Shelley and her most<br />

infamous creation, Frankenstein! Mary<br />

Shelley wrote the majority of this timeless<br />

classic whilst living in lodgings situated<br />

in Abbey Churchyard in 1816, where you<br />

will now find the iconic Pump Room (next<br />

to The Roman Baths). The experience<br />

promises to be scarily atmospheric, multisensory<br />

and fully immersive. ◆<br />

houseoffrankenstein.com<br />

MANCHESTER<br />

©RHS/MARKWAUGH/HARRIS BUGG STUDIO<br />

RHS Bridgewater<br />

Europe’s largest gardening project springs into life<br />

this May with RHS’s latest green oasis attraction.<br />

RHS Garden Bridgewater is a new spectacular 154-acre<br />

garden, offering a tranquil escape in the transformed<br />

historic grounds of Worsley New Hall, Salford. This<br />

beautiful green space is set to join the prestigious<br />

RHS’s portfolio as its fifth garden and the first new<br />

addition in 17 years. This will be the largest gardening<br />

project in Europe and will include a kitchen garden,<br />

heritage orchard, therapeutic garden and a historic<br />

11-acre walled garden – one of the largest in the UK<br />

for visitors to enjoy all year-round. Though the Worsley<br />

New Hall mansion no longer remains, echoes of the<br />

original gardens, ice-house, lake and formal terraces,<br />

can still be seen. Other highlights include The Paradise<br />

Garden - a spectacular blend of Mediterranean and<br />

Asiatic planting inspired by the earliest gardens, Middle<br />

Wood, 30-acres of forest glades, pools and ponds and<br />

The Chinese Streamside Garden, a unique, Chineseinspired<br />

garden representing an exciting and unique<br />

fusion of Chinese and <strong>British</strong> horticulture. ◆<br />

rhs.org.uk<br />

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


NOTTINGHAM<br />

Nottingham Castle<br />

Following a multi-million-pound investment, Nottingham Castle<br />

and its sprawling caves below are anticipating an exciting<br />

relaunch. Once lockdown lifts you will be able to step into the<br />

story of the epic retelling of Robin Hood, rebellion and creativity.<br />

nottinghamcastle.org.uk<br />

DERBY<br />

Museum of Making<br />

On the site of the world’s first factory (The<br />

Derby Silk Mill) the Museum of Making is an<br />

impressive 5-year, £18million project funded<br />

by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – now<br />

ready to open. Located in the Derwent Valley<br />

Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, one<br />

of the key sites of the industrial revolution,<br />

this brand-new museum will showcase the<br />

region’s 300-year history of making and<br />

celebrate its rich history of innovation. From<br />

the world’s smallest engine, run using a human<br />

hair, to a seven tonne Rolls-Royce Trent 1000<br />

engine suspended in a new atrium above visitors’<br />

heads, there will be 30,000 objects to enjoy. ◆<br />

derbymuseums.org<br />

LAKE DISTRICT<br />

Wordsworth Grasmere<br />

Poetry fans will be delighted to hear the news of this<br />

re-imagined museum celebrating William Wordsworth<br />

in the Lake District. The former Wordsworth Museum<br />

has been completely transformed to include a<br />

reinterpretation of Dove Cottage, where William lived<br />

when he produced most of his greatest and bestloved<br />

poems, a Sensory Garden and Woodland. ◆<br />

wordsworth.org.uk<br />

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


mg.co.uk<br />

Pre-book tickets now<br />

Part of<br />

Royal Museums<br />

Greenwich<br />

Explore Greenwich and<br />

step on board an icon<br />

Visit Cutty Sark and experience the dramatic<br />

history of the fastest ship of its time.<br />

Greenwich Pier<br />

Cutty Sark<br />

Greenwich (only 8 mins from London Bridge)


CORNWALL<br />

Bodmin Jail<br />

After almost 100 years of ruin new life has been injected into this<br />

neglected relic to create a brand new £8.5million immersive visitor<br />

experience and hotel. Stay in a luxury bedroom converted from three<br />

jail cells or head to the cocktail bar, the former Governor’s Office.<br />

bodminjail.org and bodminjailhotel.com<br />

PLYMOUTH<br />

The Box<br />

The south-west coast’s brand new cultural<br />

hub, The Box is showing a commemorative<br />

exhibition this spring marking 400 years<br />

since the Pilgrims made their maiden voyage<br />

to America, titled Mayflower 400: Legend and<br />

Legacy. The 12 new exhibitions will showcase<br />

300 illuminating objects until 18 September<br />

<strong>2021</strong>. There is also an outdoor Mayflower<br />

Trail for visitors wanting to see key locations<br />

in the city first-hand. The Box is an impressive<br />

£40 million glass panelled museum space<br />

redeveloped from the Plymouth Museum and<br />

Art Gallery and Central Library, which opened<br />

for the first time to visitors last summer. ◆<br />

theboxplymouth.com<br />

Adventurers will love<br />

PEMBROKESHIRE<br />

Llys-y-Frân Lake<br />

This brand-new 350 acre Outdoor Activity Centre is<br />

to launch as a Welsh Water adventure attracting over 100,000<br />

visitors a year, following a £4 million investment. There are<br />

over 14km of trails to explore, while on the water visitors can<br />

enjoy sailing, kayaking, fishing, canoeing and stand-uppaddleboarding.<br />

There will be a café, cycle hire as well as<br />

lessons in axe and knife throwing, crossbow and archery. ◆<br />

llys-y-fran.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 21


New experiences<br />

CORNWALL<br />

The Nare<br />

New to The Nare Hotel, Cornwall is a<br />

themed walking and art break overlooking<br />

Carne beach. Four days to draw inspiration<br />

from the stunning sea views and coastal<br />

scenery of the Roseland Peninsula, an Area<br />

of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With plenty<br />

of sea air and hands-on creative tuition<br />

unlock your newfound artistic flair and take<br />

a personally hand-painted canvas home<br />

forever to remind you of your holiday.<br />

The hotel is also about to unveil four of the<br />

largest sea-view hotel suites in Britain,<br />

The Whittington Suites. ◆<br />

narehotel.co.uk<br />

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE<br />

Nomadic Dining<br />

Escape to the Chiltern Hills and join Nomadic Dining for a<br />

woodland foraging feast inspired by the wild ingredients.<br />

Immerse yourself into the magical experience of living off the<br />

land, cooking on an open flame with menus curated by the<br />

fruits and finds of your forest forage. Enjoy lunch or dinner<br />

experiences, woodland cocktails, hand-picked herbal teas<br />

and toasted marshmallows. Priced from £99 per person. ◆<br />

experiencenomadic.com/woodlandfeasts/<br />

GLOUCESTERSHIRE<br />

Tudor Farmhouse<br />

In the Forest of Dean, take a foraging break with a fungi<br />

expert forager at Tudor Farmhouse and spend hours off the<br />

beaten track discovering delicious ingredients, whilst enjoying<br />

fresh air and beautiful countryside. Having returned to the<br />

Farmhouse with your basket full of edible delights you’ll be<br />

greeted by a comforting lunch using the best of seasonal and<br />

foraged produce. Prices from £195 per night. ◆<br />

tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk/foraging-trips<br />

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


KENT<br />

Hangloose Bluewater<br />

If you are looking for a way to let off some adrenaline-fuelled<br />

steam then this brand new zipline could be just the ticket! England’s<br />

longest and fastest zipline, the biggest adventure centre in Europe,<br />

is landing at the much-loved Bluewater Shopping Centre.<br />

hangloosebluewater.com<br />

SOUTH DOWNS<br />

Hambledon<br />

Visitors will for the first time have the chance<br />

to enjoy some of the South Downs’ finest<br />

tipples at the Hambledon Vineyard’s new<br />

facilities. Located in 200 acres of lush<br />

countryside, the vineyard will welcome a<br />

brand-new tasting room and visitor centre,<br />

giving guests the chance to savour a range<br />

of delicious wines and discover behind-thescenes<br />

stories and techniques of one England’s<br />

finest wines. Hambledon comprises over 200<br />

acres of vineyards planted with Chardonnay,<br />

Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – the three<br />

grape varieties most commonly used in the<br />

production of Champagne. ◆<br />

hambledonvineyard.co.uk<br />

Editor loves<br />

SOUTH COAST<br />

England’s Creative Coast<br />

Stretching from the East Sussex Downs through<br />

to the Thames Estuary 1400km of stunning<br />

coastline is becoming a cultural treasure hunt<br />

brimming with seaside tales inspiring creativity<br />

through adventure. This is the world’s first art<br />

Geotour alongside ‘Waterfronts’. Launching at<br />

Turner Contemporary this May until November. ◆<br />

englandscreativecoast.org<br />

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


Pretend like you’re on the Kingsroad in this<br />

avenue of ancient trees in County Antrim,<br />

Northern Ireland, which has featured in the TV<br />

show, Game of Thrones. Photo by Steve Allen<br />

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


MAGICAL<br />

MOMENTS<br />

Feel inspired and escape the everyday<br />

with these stunning travel photos<br />

Thinking about your first post-lockdown<br />

getaway? From stunning countryside views<br />

to city architecture, there are plenty of<br />

beauty spots across the UK just waiting to be<br />

discovered.<br />

To help inspire your next trip, this collection of <strong>British</strong> travel<br />

images have been taken by photographers in picture-perfect<br />

spots across the UK. The photos have been shortlisted as part<br />

of the <strong>2021</strong> edition of the CEWE Photo Award, the world’s<br />

largest photo competition, which aims to celebrate the best in<br />

photography across the globe.<br />

All the photos will be judged by a panel of five world<br />

famous photographers from across Europe, including Christie<br />

Goodwin, the official photographer for the Royal Albert Hall.<br />

Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE UK, commented:<br />

“<strong>Travel</strong> abroad may be restricted for the foreseeable future,<br />

but once the current lockdown is lifted, many of us will be<br />

choosing to embrace the beauty that the UK has to offer.<br />

There are so many stunning locations across Britain that are<br />

waiting to be discovered and the beautiful photos submitted<br />

to the CEWE Photo Award are a perfect example of the<br />

hidden gems on our doorstep.” ◆<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 25


ç Why not escape your worries<br />

by taking a trip on the Hogwarts<br />

Express with a visit to the Glenfinnan<br />

Viaduct, Scotland, which featured in<br />

the Harry Potter film franchise. Photo<br />

by David Philip.<br />

ê Rydall Caves, located on the slopes<br />

of Loughrigg Fell, is a fantastic location<br />

for an afternoon of exploring. Photo<br />

taken by Jose Almada.<br />

The Yorkshire Dales is<br />

famed for its limestone<br />

landscapes, with crags<br />

and caves set amidst<br />

expansive heather<br />

moorland, rolling hills<br />

and dramatic waterfalls.<br />

This photo, taken from<br />

the top of Malham Cove<br />

is a perfect example of<br />

the stunning views on<br />

offer. Photo by Peter<br />

Watson.<br />

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


Richmond Park, in Surrey, is home<br />

to 630 Red and Fallow deer – a<br />

perfect place for nature lovers to<br />

do some wildlife spotting. Photo by<br />

Matteo Schirmer.<br />

ç Scotland has some of the most beautiful<br />

beaches in the UK and you might even be<br />

lucky enough to have one to yourself!<br />

Photo taken in Sandwood Bay beach by<br />

Jason Eddings.<br />

êSituated on an island where three sea<br />

lochs meet and surrounded by majestic<br />

scenery, Eilean Donan Castle is the<br />

perfect place to get away from it all.<br />

Photo by Richard Paksi.<br />

The narrow streets of Plymouth’s<br />

old town are a great place to spend an<br />

afternoon exploring. Photo by<br />

Farkasné Molnár Mária.<br />

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


10 OF THE BEST<br />

ULTIMATE<br />

BRITISH<br />

BUCKET LIST<br />

We have all been deprived of holidays, so the<br />

ADVERTISEMENT<br />

next one needs to be good! Get booking now<br />

with our ultimate wanderlust — destinations!<br />

NOT AVAILABLE IN THE PREVIEW<br />

Words | Emma O'Reilly<br />

FOR THE MOTOR ENTHUSIAST<br />

The Torridon: Location, location… This Victorian former<br />

hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands certainly has it,<br />

sitting in 58 acres of parkland on the edge of a glittering sea<br />

loch, encircled by moutains. What’s inside isn’t bad either,<br />

with cosy lounges and bars and exquisite food to suit your<br />

mood – fine dining or casual. You won’t be short of things<br />

to do. The hotel can arrange adventures, such as taking a<br />

classic Morgan car for a spin around part of the North Coast<br />

500. It’s one of the most spectacular driving routes in the<br />

world, with sightseeing enroute, like Dunrobin Castle with its<br />

gardens inspired by Versailles, and the woodland waterfalls<br />

the Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie. Other options include munro<br />

baggings walks and stargazing with a qualified astronomer.<br />

The night skies here are truly magical. thetorridon.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip End your day with a dram<br />

1of whisky or the hotel’s own-brand gin by the fire.


à


2<br />

FOR THE AVIATOR<br />

Goodwood: Goodwood is celebrated for its<br />

motor racing but this 12,000 acre sporting estate<br />

has much more to offer – including exciting flying<br />

experiences. These operate from Goodwood<br />

Aerodrome, used as a Battle of Britain station<br />

during World War II. During the Harvard Warbird<br />

Fly & Dining package, for example, you can take<br />

to the air in – and even have a go at flying - this<br />

iconic 1943 plane, once used for training Spitfire<br />

pilots. Afterwards, there’s a Champange lunch<br />

at The Kennels – former home to the Duke of<br />

Richmond’s hounds, now a rather smart estate<br />

members’ club. Or, for the really keen there’s<br />

Flying Through the Ages - a full day experiencing<br />

three different planes plus a behind-the-scenes<br />

tour of the aerodrome and meeting with the<br />

aviation teams. At the end of the day, retire to<br />

the Goodwood Hotel, with its restaurants, health<br />

club and two golf courses. goodwood.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip For an extra<br />

special stay, book the exclusive use ten bedroom<br />

Hound Lodge, which has a private chef and butler.<br />

3<br />

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


4<br />

FOR THE COASTAL SCENERY LOVER<br />

Luxury Irish Tours: The Northern Irish coast<br />

encompasses some of Britain’s most interesting and<br />

wildly beautiful scenery. Let specialists organise<br />

a bespoke tour around the top sights, including<br />

a private driver in a luxury vehicle (or self drive if<br />

you prefer) plus accommodation in five star hotels<br />

or castles, private, behind-the-scenes tours, fine<br />

dining and, of course, visits to all the ‘blockbuster’<br />

sights – the Glens of Antrim, Giant’s Causeway<br />

and Dunluce Castle to name but a few.<br />

luxuryirishtours.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Special interests can<br />

also be catered for – if you want to see every single<br />

Game of Thrones location, here, your wish is their<br />

command. Or play golf at the top courses, including<br />

the world famous Portrush…all is possible.<br />

FOR THE CRUISER<br />

Abercrombie & Kent: Not being allowed to visit<br />

even the next county has got us all gagging to<br />

get out and explore the UK. The Tradewind<br />

Voyage gives the chance to do that, on the<br />

Golden Horizon – the world’s largest squarerigged<br />

sailing vessel. The design is based on<br />

a traditional clipper ship, with wood panelled<br />

interiors alongside modern facilities - think<br />

three swimming pools and a spa! During the<br />

13 night trip, the many destinations to explore<br />

include Glenveagh National Park in Donegal,<br />

with its mountains and lakes, the exciting city of<br />

Liverpool, some of the tiny uninhabited islands<br />

in the Isles of Scilly, the lovely little Cornish town<br />

of St Ives and the Channel Islands of Jersey and<br />

Guernsey. abercrombiekent.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Many of the<br />

optional excursions include cycling or walking.<br />

Take advantage to counteract the effects of<br />

the copious onboard food and wine.<br />

à<br />

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


5FOR<br />

THE ULTIMATE<br />

ADVENTURE<br />

WILDNIS: For a five-star wilderness<br />

experience with ex-<strong>British</strong> Army Majors<br />

in restored Land Rover Defenders, this<br />

new luxury adventure will take you on an<br />

unforgettable pioneering journey through<br />

the Scottish Highlands! Think packrafting,<br />

abseiling, climbing and open-fire feasts.<br />

From reaching the summit of Ben A’an,<br />

scrambling along Aonach Eagach<br />

ridgeline, two Munro summits, to a sea<br />

kayaking trip in Arisaig with sheltered<br />

sea lochs, countless isles and skerries and<br />

hidden beaches. Feeling brave? Then<br />

head to a remote quarry, and in the style<br />

of SAS: Who Dares Wins try a front abseil,<br />

descending cliff faces – you daredevil you!<br />

Every evening at basecamp you’ll be fed<br />

like Robert the Bruce, as Wildnis’ private<br />

chef, Tom Byrom rustles together whole<br />

grouse ‘porcetta’, venison shoulder with<br />

a foraged nettle sauce and a Scottish<br />

seafood platter while you share stories by<br />

the campfire with a dram of single malt.<br />

A 4-night expedition, including guiding,<br />

all activities, all meals, Land Rover vehicle<br />

hire and transfers costs from £3,500pp<br />

sharing. Departure spring <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

wildnis.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Get<br />

involved in the cooking too, Tom offers<br />

masterclasses on foraging, butchery and<br />

open-fire cooking.


à


6FOR THE ROYALIST<br />

Dream Escape: As with a Savile Row suit, the<br />

team at Dream Escape can tailor-make the most<br />

majestic royal tours. A sample itinerary is their<br />

England Royal Residences & Retreats – a 10-day<br />

private jaunt around significant royal landmarks.<br />

Mooch around Buckingham Palace, Windsor<br />

Castle and Sandringham House and take a<br />

behind-the-scenes look at Clarence House, home<br />

to Charles and Camilla. Ogle the Crown Jewels<br />

at the Tower of London, watch the Changing of<br />

the Guard and visit Westminster Abbey, where<br />

William and Kate got hitched. There are trips<br />

to shops which provide the royal households, a<br />

chance to shop in Eton and Champagne boat<br />

trips along the Thames, including one ending in a<br />

meal at the three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn,<br />

and stays in luxury accommodation - it’s a trip fit<br />

for a King or Queen. dreamescape.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Plan your trip<br />

for May or September and it’s possible to tour<br />

Eton College (William and Harry’s Alma Mater).<br />

© GETTY IMAGES<br />

FOR THE TRAIN SPOTTER<br />

Jules Verne: You don’t really need to be a train<br />

geek to enjoy the Tracks of the Welsh Dragon.<br />

This steam train journey will transport anyone<br />

back to the romantic Golden Age of travel, with<br />

its traditional Pullman carriages, hauled by<br />

the 61306 Mayflower locomotive. The first two<br />

days of the four-day trip are spent chugging<br />

through the English, then the Welsh countryside,<br />

departing from London. You can wistfully watch<br />

the country’s most dramatic scenery drift past -<br />

including the Camarthenshire Hills, the Brecon<br />

Beacons, The Black Mountains and the Lleyn<br />

Peninsula. Come the evening guests disembark to<br />

stay in a hotel – the first night in Shrewsbury, the<br />

remaining three in the ‘fantasy’ Italianate village<br />

of Portmeirion, from where excursions take you to<br />

explore the spectacular Snowdonia area before<br />

the homeward train journey. vjv.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip No need to<br />

climb Wales’ highest peak – take the Snowdon<br />

7Railway to the summit.<br />

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


FOR WILDLIFE LOVERS<br />

Hebridean Princess: The Western Isles of<br />

Scotland are famed for their blinding white<br />

8beaches, edge of the world feeling and<br />

out of this world wildlife - golden eagles,<br />

minke whales and otters are just some of<br />

the species you might see, on or offshore,<br />

from the Hebridean Princess. This boutique<br />

cruise ship hosts a maximum 50 guests,<br />

and her small size means she can access<br />

more remote spots, unreachable by larger<br />

vessels. On shore, experienced guides can<br />

take you to see the wildlife plus sights like<br />

the ancient Callanish standing stones and<br />

Colonsay House Gardens. If you prefer to<br />

do your own thing, grab one of the ship’s<br />

bikes and set off on your own explorations.<br />

The Western Isles Wildlife cruise runs from<br />

18-26 May <strong>2021</strong>. hebridean.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip If you<br />

miss the boat (pardon the pun) this year,<br />

there’s a very similar cruise next year.<br />

à<br />

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


9<br />

© TREVOR WAUGH<br />

FOR THE ARTIST<br />

Lundy Island Sketchbook Safari: Whether keen<br />

amateur or complete beginner, then an opportunity<br />

to – ahem – brush up on your technique is on the<br />

Lundy Island Sketchbook Safari with Trevor Waugh.<br />

Lots of time in the great outdoors (or en plein air if<br />

you want to sound like a real artist) is guaranteed,<br />

sketching the landscape and wildlife of this tiny,<br />

quiet island off the North Devon coast. The bird<br />

life is particularly prolific in the early summer, when<br />

you may even get the chance to paint puffins and<br />

their chicks. Trevor will demonstrate water colour<br />

techniques and tips for capturing animals and<br />

there will be both group and individual tuition.<br />

Accommodation is in a large house overlooking a<br />

wooded valley, with views out to sea. The trip runs<br />

for four nights from 14 June <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

wildlifeworldwide.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Snorkel at<br />

Gannet’s Bay and you may be lucky enough to<br />

swim with seals.<br />

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


10<br />

FOR THE HORTICULTURALIST<br />

Sisley Garden Tours: Green fingered readers may be<br />

interested in the brand new ‘secret gardens’ tours<br />

introduced by Sisley Garden Tours. These Exclusive<br />

Escapes for Garden Lovers allow small groups<br />

(maximum 12 people) to visit some of the best private<br />

gardens in the UK, many never open to the public. The<br />

stays are each based at just one comfortable hotel and<br />

then gloriously unhurried days are spent delving into<br />

these stunning gardens, chatting to their owners and<br />

then getting back to your hotel for some wining and<br />

dining… maybe the odd gardening anecdote! The tours<br />

will run May to September, when the gardens are at<br />

their spring and summer best. Destinations for <strong>2021</strong> are<br />

Cornwall, Dorset, the Wye Valley, North York Moors and<br />

the Cotswolds. sisley.co.uk/vip<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> top tip Do the North York<br />

Moors tour in June and find out how to make the best<br />

summer cocktails using herbs from your garden!<br />

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


PHOTO CREDIT: CLAIRE TAKACS<br />

New for <strong>2021</strong> – Exclusive Escapes for Garden Lovers. Available for booking now.<br />

+44 (0)1423 396506 I tours@sisley.co.uk I www.sisley.co.uk/vip<br />

NESTLED IN THE ROLLING VALLEYS OF<br />

DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK,<br />

YOU WILL FIND AWARD WINNING LUXURY AT BOVEY CASTLE<br />

Escape to Bovey Castle<br />

Set in 275 acres of beautiful countryside within Devon’s Dartmoor National Park.<br />

The hotel offers 60 bedrooms and 22 self catering country lodges tucked away in the<br />

grounds, fashioned from local granite and vaulted with English oak. Smith’s Brasserie,<br />

luxury ‘Elan Spa’, award-winning 18 hole championship golf course and an array of<br />

outdoor pursuits and activities.<br />

@boveycastlehotel @BoveyCastle /BoveyCastleHotel<br />

WWW.BOVEYCASTLE.COM | 01647 445000<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong> - 120mmx191mm - 17_09_2020.indd 1 17/09/2020 13:37


LOOKING AHEAD...<br />

CULTURAL AGENDA<br />

Visitors are encouraged to always check individual attraction<br />

websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 39


LONDON<br />

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser<br />

The iconic novels of Alice in Wonderland and<br />

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll are<br />

brought to life at the Victoria and Albert Museum<br />

in London until 31 December <strong>2021</strong>. With over<br />

300 objects, the high concept exhibition, Alice:<br />

Curiouser and Curiouser, takes visitors through<br />

a rabbit hole from the 1865 manuscript to the<br />

novels’ various adaptations into film, ballet, art,<br />

fashion and more. Disney’s cartoon is an example.<br />

Highlights include early illustrations, showing<br />

how the White Rabbit and other characters were<br />

developed and a virtual reality game of croquet<br />

against the Queen of Hearts. ◆<br />

vam.ac.uk<br />

SCOTLAND<br />

Night Fever:<br />

Designing Club Culture<br />

Ever since Bianca Jagger rode a white horse<br />

inside New York nightclub, Studio 54,<br />

in 1977, clubs have captured the cultural<br />

zeitgeist. They have also shaped people’s<br />

identity, says Kirsty Hassard, curator of<br />

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture at<br />

the V&A Dundee, which explores clubbing<br />

experience from Berlin to Glasgow since<br />

the Sixties, to 5 September <strong>2021</strong>. Among<br />

photographs, films, clothes and more<br />

that evoke the vibe, like a disco gold lamé<br />

Halston dress worn at Studio 54, there<br />

are also objects from the clubs themselves<br />

including the Hacienda’s mirror ball and<br />

the papier-mâché submarine from above<br />

the bar at Glasgow’s Sub Club. ◆<br />

vam.ac.uk/dundee<br />

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


We're visiting<br />

LONDON<br />

Pantechnicon<br />

Sachi is ready to open in Pantechnicon, a Japanese-Nordic food,<br />

drink and design emporium in Belgravia. It complements the eclectic<br />

shops, selling books to bikes, exclusive products and made-to-order<br />

furniture – and the Nordic restaurant, Eldr, with roof terrace.<br />

pantechnicon.com<br />

LONDON<br />

Royal Albert Hall’s<br />

150th birthday<br />

The Royal Albert Hall celebrates its 150th<br />

birthday on 29 March. Opened by Queen<br />

Victoria in 1871, this Kensington landmark<br />

has hosted gigs, operas, ballets and more<br />

as well as the annual summer music festival,<br />

the BBC Proms. So much more than just a<br />

beautiful Victorian venue, it’s the place of<br />

countless performances, stories and memories<br />

from countless visitors – where people have<br />

been singing, dancing, laughing and crying<br />

together since 1871. In March The Who<br />

plays with a full orchestra. ◆<br />

royalalberthall.com<br />

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, LUZIA, 2019 © ANNABEL MOELLER<br />

Editor loves<br />

LONDON<br />

LUCY DAWKINS © TATE<br />

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms<br />

For a dazzling experience after months of lockdown, head to<br />

Tate Modern. The Bankside gallery has cleared two rooms for<br />

polka dot queen, Yayoi Kusama’s immersive installations, on<br />

until 27 March 2022. Her signature dots go psychedelic and<br />

flash in ‘Filled with the Brilliance of Life’, whilst rotating<br />

chandeliers shimmer seemingly into infinity in ‘Chandelier of<br />

Grief’. Kusama’s infinity rooms have become a global<br />

phenomenon. Prepare to be revitalised. ◆<br />

tate.org.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 41


OXFORDSHIRE<br />

Blenheim Palace Food Festival<br />

For a lively food experience in an august setting, head to<br />

Woodstock in Oxfordshire for the Blenheim Palace Food<br />

Festival from 29 to 31 May. Whet your culinary skills and<br />

tastebuds by watching the demonstrations or listening<br />

to talks from top chefs like Jean-Christophe Novelli, a<br />

previous participant. Over 100 regional food and drink<br />

specialists will attempt to tickle your palate, showcasing<br />

their gourmet produce, from burgers to craft beers. You<br />

might even bump into your favourite Bake Off contestant.<br />

Located by the Pleasure Gardens, take a miniature<br />

train to visit the palace too with its paintings, porcelain,<br />

tapestries and more. ◆<br />

blenheimpalace.com<br />

LINCOLNSHIRE<br />

Burghley House<br />

When Burghley House in Lincolnshire re-opens on 20 March,<br />

the 16th century stately home will be celebrating a milestone:<br />

500 years since the birth of its designer, William Cecil, the<br />

first Baron Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer and<br />

chief adviser. It’s still the family home. To celebrate the birth<br />

and lasting legacy of Lord Burghley there will be a series of<br />

special events taking place throughout <strong>2021</strong> providing a<br />

fascinating insight into the man and his legacy.<br />

Burghley is one of the largest and grandest houses of the<br />

first Elizabethan age, Cecil's life as the most powerful man<br />

in the court of Elizabeth I was both eventful and effective,<br />

and helped to shape the history of the <strong>British</strong> Isles. His<br />

lasting legacy reaches far beyond the building of Burghley<br />

House to the magnificent collection of works of art from<br />

across the globe gathered by his descendants. Book for<br />

exhibitions to live music to 31 October. ◆<br />

burghley.co.uk<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Charlestown Harbour<br />

In Cornwall why not try your hand at traditional sailing? Jump aboard<br />

one of Charlestown Harbour’s fleet of traditional wooden boats for a<br />

day sailing experience, join a sailing holiday or commission your own<br />

private charter. Learn to hoist the sails, trim the rig, take the wheel<br />

and set a course along Cornwall’s coastline – or sit back and relax<br />

with wind under sail and spot for dolphins! 2-day cruise to Cawsand<br />

(sailing on Anny, a 1930’s Topsail Schooner) in April <strong>2021</strong> priced from<br />

£210 per person, including all your food aboard ship. ◆<br />

charlestownharbour.com<br />

© JAMES PEARCE/LEXISPLACE<br />

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


We're ordering<br />

DELIVERED NATIONWIDE<br />

Northcote At Home Gourmet Box<br />

If you are missing top-notch Michelin-starred cuisine, Northcote in<br />

Lancashire’s Ribble Valley has created new dishes using finest seasonal<br />

ingredients (£105 for two people), courtesy of creative Executive Chef,<br />

Lisa Goodwin-Allen and her team, to enjoy at your own dinner table.<br />

northcote.com/at-home/gourmet-boxes<br />

WILTSHIRE<br />

As seen in Bridgerton<br />

Wilton House<br />

Easter marks the re-opening of Wilton House, the Palladian<br />

Wiltshire home of the Earls of Pembroke, rebuilt by celebrated<br />

architects, Inigo Jones and John Webb in 1647. The ornate<br />

rooms may seem familiar, often acting as television and<br />

film backdrops. Most recently on Netflix, Wilton House<br />

was used to create four different residences in the period<br />

drama series Bridgerton, and the Double Cube Room with<br />

its Old Master paintings and Chippendale mirrors are the<br />

Buckingham Palace interiors for Netflix’s The Crown. Other<br />

must visits include the Gothic Cloisters where Napoleon I’s<br />

dispatch box, a lock of Queen Elizabeth I’s hair and more are<br />

displayed. Roam around the 21 acre parkland or head for the<br />

Holbein Porch, the house’s original Tudor entrance. ◆<br />

wiltonhouse.co.uk<br />

© TIM GOODMAN<br />

DAVID HOCKNEY, NO. 299, 29TH APRIL 2020 AND NO.<br />

339, 18TH MAY 2020 IPAD DRAWINGS © DAVID HOCKNEY<br />

LONDON<br />

David Hockney: The Arrival of<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>, Normandy<br />

After two blockbuster shows at the Royal Academy of Arts (a<br />

50 year retrospective in 2012 and portraits in 2016), David<br />

Hockney returns with vibrant new work. This time, he reveals<br />

his sprawling garden in Normandy through over 100 iPad<br />

drawings created between 11 February and 4 July last year,<br />

using his Brushes app, upgraded to his own specifications,<br />

depicting trees, flower beds, his home and more. ◆<br />

royalacademy.org.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 43


MEET THE MAKERS...<br />

BLACK<br />

COW<br />

PURE MILK VODKA<br />

Visiting farms deep in the West Dorset countryside, it’s not unusual<br />

to discover examples of innovation meeting necessity. But would<br />

you expect to find the world’s only vodka made from cows’ milk?<br />

We meet the trailblazers responsible...<br />

Words | Karyn Noble<br />

“<br />

WEST DORSET IS A GREAT place to visit, it’s a lovely<br />

gentle landscape. But a lot of people drive past us or go<br />

on to Cornwall, and there’s a lot to do here.” Paul Archard<br />

(aka ‘Archie’), co-founder of Black Cow Vodka, is sitting<br />

in the custom-designed Bar + Kitchen adjoining the distillery in Childhay. He<br />

casually reels off the outstanding cheese, cured meat and wine producers of<br />

the famed agricultural region; the flourishing arts scene; the local creatives<br />

making knives and “amazing things out of metal”. But what about the little<br />

project he has going with his dairy farmer neighbour, Jason Barber? “We set<br />

out to make the world’s best vodka, that’s what we set out to do, basically,”<br />

chimes in Jason. “And we’re pretty much there, to be honest.”<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 45


WHEN WHEY IS NOT A WASTE<br />

PRODUCT<br />

Jason’s family have been making<br />

Cheddar cheese since 1833, which<br />

makes the Barbers the oldest surviving<br />

Cheddar cheesemakers in the world.<br />

‘Basically, my cows are milked twice<br />

a day and I sell the milk to my family,”<br />

says Jason. “They want the protein [the<br />

curds] to make the cheese and we want<br />

the lactose [from the whey] because<br />

it’s the sugar that makes the alcohol.”<br />

They venture they’ve made one of the<br />

most sustainable vodkas on the planet,<br />

given whey’s reputation as a waste<br />

material. “Typically, whey is a rather<br />

forgotten-about product,” says Archie.<br />

“Especially in this country.<br />

Pictured previous<br />

spread: Black Cow<br />

vodka founders<br />

Paul Archard (left)<br />

and Jason Barber<br />

(right). Pictured<br />

above: The Black<br />

Cow Distillery<br />

Bar + Kitchen.<br />

Pictured right: The<br />

distillery - where the<br />

magic happens.<br />

The Italians really know how to<br />

use whey. We end up feeding it to the<br />

pigs. What we’ve done is we’ve taken<br />

an almost valueless by-product from<br />

cheese-making production and turned<br />

it into something wonderful.”<br />

The whey is fermented with a<br />

special yeast that converts the lactose<br />

into alcohol. This milky beer is distilled<br />

in a pot called Ermintrude (named after<br />

the cow from children’s TV show The<br />

Magic Roundabout), then blended and<br />

triple-filtered into a very pure, smooth<br />

and velvety vodka. The realisation that<br />

they didn’t need to add water was a<br />

significant breakthrough texturally<br />

and taste-wise. “There’s a real lack of<br />

minerality,” says Archie, “It’s incredibly<br />

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


“<br />

Not needing to add water was<br />

a significant breakthrough... It’s<br />

incredibly soft. It’s got this creamy<br />

texture and that’s because<br />

everything comes from milk<br />

”<br />

soft. It’s got this creamy texture and that’s because<br />

everything in that bottle comes from milk.”<br />

While it was initially difficult to get their distilling<br />

licence (“When we talked to HMRC, they didn’t<br />

know quite how to deal with it”, says Archie), they<br />

give kudos to “maverick” Julian Temperley from<br />

Somerset Cider Brandy Company (see page 84) who<br />

obtained the UK’s first-ever cider-distilling licence, for<br />

paving the way and breaking the monopoly of larger<br />

distilleries. The first bottle of Black Cow Vodka was<br />

sold in May 2012 and then it was a matter of winning<br />

over bartenders and distributors. “When we first went<br />

to the bars, there were probably about 12 vodkas on<br />

the back bars,” says Jason. “Now there’s probably<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 47


“<br />

Everyone makes Espresso<br />

Martinis with liqueur – Kahlua or<br />

Tia Maria – we don’t - and yet, you<br />

still get the most perfect Espresso<br />

Martini with the perfect head.<br />

”<br />

five: you’ll find a rye one, a wheat one, a milk one. Now<br />

it’s all about the raw material and I like to think that we<br />

had something to do with that.” The vodka is now sold<br />

in 17 countries. “Once we get people to try it, they’re<br />

normally converted to it,” says Archie. “We have a very<br />

good conversion rate.”<br />

THE FOODIES’ VODKA<br />

‘What grows together goes together’ is the ethos<br />

behind their recommendation of pairing their pure<br />

milk vodka with cheese. “We really see ourselves as the<br />

foodie’s vodka of choice and it’s a great thing to have<br />

with food,” says Archie. “In Poland and Russia, people<br />

think they knock back vodka as shots. They do but<br />

they’ve always got little bits of food, whether it’s nuts<br />

or dried fish. One of the best things is cheese. Jason’s<br />

family made this incredible Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar<br />

that we sell at Fortnum & Mason. It goes really well<br />

with a bit of Jarlsberg or a bit of Brie or Stilton or<br />

anything. It also goes really well with seafood, it’s great<br />

with oysters, it’s great with prosciutto.”<br />

They have branched out into a sustainably<br />

produced English Strawberries Vodka (launched in the<br />

summer of 2019) as well as a Christmas Spirit that was<br />

much lauded by locked-down Brits across the winter<br />

of 2020. But bartenders are particularly impressed<br />

with the purity of the original spirit, which lends itself<br />

to holding fragile flavours very well. “Everyone makes<br />

Espresso Martinis with liqueur – Kahlua or Tia Maria<br />

– we don’t,” says Archie. “The reason why they do<br />

that is to make it sweeter and because they want it to<br />

froth up, so it’s got a head like a Guinness. But if we<br />

just put in maple syrup and make an espresso, you put<br />

them with our vodka in a shaker, and you get the most<br />

perfect Espresso Martini with the perfect head like a<br />

Guinness, and that holds because of the lack of the<br />

minerality in the water. Restaurants love it because<br />

they don’t have to pay for the shot of the liqueur, which<br />

means they make a better profit on it as well.”<br />

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


THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE<br />

While the team have missed hosting distillery tours<br />

during Britain’s COVID-19 lockdown, there’s usually a<br />

variety of idyllic, bucolic experiences for food and drink<br />

lovers. “We’d go out on the farm and take you around<br />

the cows,” says Jason. “Have plenty of drinks, see a bit<br />

of the countryside.”<br />

Acclaimed local chef and restaurateur Mark Hix is<br />

also a frequent visitor to the Black Cow Bar + Kitchen,<br />

having designed the three-course lunch that’s part<br />

of the Distillery Experience, which also includes a<br />

cocktail-making class in addition to the distillery tour.<br />

“Mark puts a recipe together for us with locally sourced<br />

food,” says Archie. “We integrate the vodka and the<br />

cheese. There’s hand-picked scallops out of the bay at<br />

the moment or someone’s shooting rabbits or picking<br />

mushrooms.”<br />

Whatever the future brings, Archie and Jason<br />

remain as inventive as ever, particularly when it comes<br />

to cocktail creations. “I would love to do a Gorgonzola<br />

cheese wash martini with a pear infusion,” says Jason.<br />

“Do you think the world is ready for it? We could do it.”<br />

While Archie concedes that he and Jason “always<br />

like to think quite big”, despite their enthusiasm and<br />

ambition, neither can have truly anticipated the<br />

outcome of a casual chat in 2002 with one of the dairy<br />

workers, Jozef. Jason was gauging Jozef’s opinion on<br />

their latest distilling experiment, an eau de vie: “he’s<br />

Polish, so I said to him, come on Jozef, how do you<br />

make vodka, it’s your national drink? And he said<br />

‘anything with sugar in it’. And I thought, hold up,<br />

JASON AND ARCHIE’S DORSET<br />

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION TIPS<br />

–<br />

THE FOX INN, CORSCOMBE<br />

“We already love going to Mark Hix’s restaurant<br />

(The Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis:<br />

theoysterandfishhouse.co.uk, but he’s just taken over<br />

this pub, which locals have been going to for decades,<br />

and it’s amazing.”<br />

thefoxinncorscombe.co.uk<br />

BRASSICA RESTAURANT,<br />

BEAMINSTER<br />

“Our friend Cass is the chef there and the owner, with<br />

his wife Louise. Foodwise, it’s really good.”<br />

brassicarestaurant.co.uk<br />

THE SEASIDE BOARDING HOUSE,<br />

BRIDPORT<br />

“Run by our friend Mary-Lou Sturridge, who used to<br />

be the MD of the Groucho Club [in London]. She’s set<br />

this up, which is really a hotel. It’s a really good place<br />

to stay, very relaxing, right on the sea”<br />

theseasideboardinghouse.com<br />

THE OLLEROD, BEAMINSTER<br />

“The Ollerod, which is the name of a flower, is a<br />

wonderful place to stay, the food’s really good, the<br />

bar’s really lively and the rooms are really nice.”<br />

theollerod.co.uk<br />

CRAFTY CAMPING, HOLDITCH<br />

“Guy Mallinson, who is a friend of ours, has built<br />

absolute luxury treehouses, which have got beautiful<br />

bathrooms in them: proper five-star treehouses.”<br />

mallinson.co.uk<br />

HARRY MAY DEEP SEA & MACKEREL<br />

FISHING TRIPS, LYME REGIS<br />

“Harry takes people out on day trips fishing, which is<br />

excellent if you want to come and catch your own fish<br />

and eat it.”<br />

mackerelfishinglymeregis.com<br />

milk’s got sugar in it.” Archie remembers the two of<br />

them looking out the kitchen window towards Jason’s<br />

herd of 250 grass-fed dairy cows. “We took one<br />

look at those lovely ladies and I looked at Jason and<br />

saw a lightbulb go on over his head.” It took years of<br />

experimentation to get them to a unique product: a<br />

vodka not just derived from milk, but made entirely<br />

from it.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 49


THE<br />

ICKWORTH<br />

Nestled in the heart of the Suffolk countryside,<br />

surrounded by acres of protected woodland within<br />

a National Trust landscape, The Ickworth is a<br />

sumptuous family retreat like no other.<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />

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


PICTURED<br />

LEFT-RIGHT:<br />

THE ICKWORTH<br />

HOTEL FROM<br />

THE ITALIANATE<br />

GARDEN;<br />

CYCLING IN<br />

THE ESTATE<br />

GROUNDS; FUN<br />

SPLASHING<br />

IN MUDDY<br />

PUDDLES;<br />

THE LIBRARY<br />

It’s been a difficult year for all, living<br />

through a global pandemic, and<br />

an especially confusing time for our<br />

younger generation. If there’s one<br />

proven remedy that’s always worked<br />

for my children it’s getting them outside,<br />

enjoying the countryside and exploring the<br />

great outdoors.<br />

The simple pleasure little ones receive<br />

from splashing in muddy puddles,<br />

clambering up ancient trees, being in<br />

nature and breathing in the crisp clean<br />

air - it’s both therapy and family-time at its<br />

best.<br />

Set in an unrivalled location, 1,800<br />

acres of beautiful parkland and rolling<br />

Suffolk countryside, there’s no better<br />

place to spend quality time than this<br />

exquisite country house. The Ickworth<br />

Hotel, which dates back to the Domesday<br />

book (when it was merely one of hundreds<br />

of assets belonging to the Abbey of<br />

Bury St Edmunds), is not only one of<br />

the Luxury Family Hotels’ five stunning<br />

hotels, renowned for their individual<br />

character and exceptional family-focused<br />

hospitality - but it’s also one of just three<br />

independently-owned <strong>British</strong> hotels that<br />

are also National Trust properties (the<br />

other two being Cliveden House, Berkshire<br />

and The Causeway Hotel, County Antrim).<br />

The National Trust, who own just five<br />

hotels themselves, (The Causeway Hotel,<br />

Northern Ireland, Hunter's Inn, Exmoor<br />

National Park and the Historic House trio,<br />

Bodysgallen Hall, North Wales, Hartwell<br />

House Hotel, Buckinghamshire and<br />

Middlethorpe Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire)<br />

is Europe’s largest conservation charity.<br />

The trust - which celebrated its 125-year<br />

anniversary in 2020 - care for hundreds of<br />

historic buildings and miles of coastline,<br />

woodlands, countryside, gardens and<br />

precious collections throughout the <strong>British</strong><br />

Isles.<br />

The Ickworth, just two hours from<br />

London, is a preserved masterpiece of<br />

Italian-inspired architecture, and said to<br />

be one of the first of its kind in the UK.<br />

Its most distinguishing feature,<br />

over 100 feet high, is its very own<br />

grand Italianate Rotunda.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 51


“<br />

The Ickworth is a preserved masterpiece of Italian-inspired<br />

architecture, and said to be one of the first of its kind in the UK.<br />

”<br />

The long straight driveway leading you<br />

directly to it only enhances the wow-factor,<br />

watch the kids’ excitement grow as it gets<br />

seemingly larger as you edge your way closer<br />

on arrival.<br />

This impressive building was the brainchild<br />

of Frederick Augustus, 4th Earl of Bristol<br />

and the Bishop of Derry (also known as the<br />

Earl-Bishop) who wanted to create a house<br />

for his family and provide galleries for his art<br />

collection. The East Wing of the house is today<br />

the hotel, while the West Wing is a visitor<br />

centre and café.<br />

There are daily tours exploring the<br />

magnificent Italianate palace while<br />

uncovering the stories behind Ickworth, and<br />

the flamboyant pride of the 4th Earl of Bristol.<br />

A multi-million-pound major conservation<br />

project mending the Rotunda roof was<br />

in progress during our stay, and we were,<br />

unfortunately, unable to delve into the Hervey<br />

family’s legacy, but will be sure to return at a<br />

time when we can see the Rotunda back to its<br />

original glory.<br />

The parkland and gardens at Ickworth<br />

proved more than enough to keep us occupied.<br />

Maps are available from reception providing<br />

routes ranging from a sedate stroll along the<br />

half-mile Lady Geraldine walk to an energetic<br />

seven-mile bike ride along Grand Tour. Armed<br />

with a GPS device you can even try geocaching<br />

here (basically a modern-day treasure hunt<br />

around the parkland!) Worried you don’t have<br />

a pushchair designed for countryside walks?<br />

PICTURED<br />

LEFT-RIGHT:<br />

THE ROTUNDA;<br />

ENTRANCE TO THE<br />

ICKWORTH HOTEL;<br />

OUR EDITOR<br />

JESSICA TAKES A<br />

BIKE RIDE ALONG<br />

THE RIVER; THE<br />

ROUND HOUSE IN<br />

THE ICKWORTH<br />

STATE GROUNDS;<br />

THE RIVER LINNET;<br />

THE WALLED<br />

GARDEN<br />

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


Don’t worry, iCandy’s are available for complimentary<br />

hire from the hotel. We hired bikes (stabilisers and<br />

toddler seats available), and began our journey through<br />

Deer Park where Ickworth’s resident herd of deer roam<br />

free. Look out for Parson's Pond on your right before<br />

passing rows of old oak trees and St. Mary’s Church<br />

on your left, the oldest building on the estate. Recently<br />

restored, here you can see a 13th century altar and 14th<br />

century wall painting of the Annunciation of Angel<br />

Gabriel.<br />

Take some time to explore The Walled Garden and<br />

canal lake, the 1st Earl’s ‘springe’ garden, whose son<br />

John so eloquently describes “lavish Nature’s favourite<br />

Blessings flow, and all the seasons all their Sweets<br />

bestow”. Discover the Earl's Summer House and look out<br />

for the tin man scarecrow made from recycled objects.<br />

There’s an abundance of flowers, wildlife, apple trees,<br />

and other fruits and vegetables growing - it’s the perfect<br />

picnic spot.<br />

Carry on along the river and pick up the Monument<br />

Trail, passing grazing sheep and miles of beautiful<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 53


IMAGES LEFT: THE<br />

CONSERVATORY;<br />

VINTAGE WINE<br />

RECOMMENDED BY AN<br />

EXPERT SOMMELIER;<br />

HEDGEROW BAKEWELL<br />

TART, VANILLA ICE<br />

CREAM, TOASTED<br />

MARZIPAN AND SOUR<br />

CHERRY<br />

woodland. If you’re lucky you might see deer as you glide<br />

through Stoney Hill and Lownde Wood. Pass the Round<br />

House to your left, a mini cottage resembling a folky<br />

version of the rotunda before heading over Fairy Lake<br />

bridge. From here you can choose to turn left along the<br />

River Linnet back towards The Walled Garden, or pick up<br />

another trail - Lady Hervey’s Walk which takes you through<br />

Fontainebleau Grove and Adkins Wood then back to the<br />

hotel entrance.<br />

As a guest staying at the hotel you are welcomed to<br />

explore the estate and discover the house both by day,<br />

(with free access to the Ickworth National Trust site), and,<br />

as night falls, with exclusive after-hours access to the<br />

wonderful Italianate Gardens (from 6pm until 9pm) via a<br />

gate behind the house.<br />

Spend your time in this magnificent landscape gently<br />

strolling the neat pathways, lined with à manicured<br />

hedges, lush lawns, beautiful borders and towering cypress<br />

trees. Walking in the footsteps of aristocratic ladies and<br />

gentlemen, who in the gardens’ heyday, would spend their<br />

leisure time here playing croquet or promenading on the<br />

raised terrace, will leave you feeling invigorated. And as<br />

Lady Mary MacRae, granddaughter of the 4th Marquess<br />

remarked, wandering through the blossomed trees in the<br />

gardens in spring is "like walking through lace".<br />

The children will enjoy playing ‘find the giraffe<br />

sculptures’, and if they still have energy left to burn, there’s<br />

a slide and swing in the fairy garden, cars, trampolines,<br />

sandpit, scooters and scavenger hunts. We opted for the<br />

indoor heated swimming pool, which is well stocked with<br />

floats, foam noodles, and everything else your little ones<br />

might need.<br />

And this is certainly what sets Luxury Family Hotels<br />

apart from other great <strong>British</strong> hotels, being family-focused<br />

is at the heart of ‘everything’ they do. Their attention to<br />

detail is unsurpassed.<br />

From every item of baby equipment you could possibly<br />

need, including cots, nappy bins and bottle warmers,<br />

fresh morning and evening milk delivered to your room,<br />

free childcare each day, to collecting your children and<br />

entertaining them with a Sunday morning breakfast club,<br />

so that you can enjoy a lie-in.<br />

When dinner time comes, there’s a baby-monitoring<br />

system available in the room - the option for an earlier<br />

Children’s High Tea, ‘Younger Ones’ menus, together with<br />

‘mocktails’, and a chef on hand to provide puréed food.<br />

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


Older children will love making friends in the Games<br />

Room, watching the latest blockbusters in the cinema<br />

room (daily at 6pm) or challenging themselves to a<br />

game of tennis.<br />

As this is a hotel that makes couple time easy, be<br />

sure to book yourself a table for two at Frederick’s -<br />

the hotel’s two rosette fine dining restaurant. Spend<br />

a romantic evening for two dining by candlelight,<br />

sipping vintages recommended by an expert sommelier,<br />

sampling cuisine based on seasonal ingredients from<br />

local and artisan suppliers. The À la carte menu is<br />

every bit as sensational as the setting, overlooking the<br />

Italianate Gardens, including tandoori spiced scallops,<br />

truffle and parmesan chips, King oysters, Shakshuka<br />

and decadent desserts - the Hedgerow Bakewell tart<br />

with vanilla ice cream, toasted marzipan and sour<br />

cherry was divine!<br />

Another highlight of our stay was our bedroom<br />

‘Grand Tour’ - decorated exquisitely in period style,<br />

IMAGES ABOVE: WELCOMING GUESTS TO THE ICKWORTH;<br />

FREDERICK’S - THE HOTEL’S TWO ROSETTE FINE DINING<br />

RESTAURANT; THE LOUNGE; GRAND TOUR PERIOD-STYLE<br />

BATHROOM OVERLOOKING THE ITALIANATE GARDENS<br />

complete with an 8ft bed and views (also overlooking<br />

the Italianate Gardens), we felt like the Lord and Lady<br />

of the manor! The hotel boasts 27 family suites and<br />

interconnecting bedrooms, or for something more<br />

private book The Lodge - the former Dower House set<br />

on the estate just half a mile from the main hotel, with<br />

eight further apartments and three double rooms set<br />

amongst four acres of gardens.<br />

Rooms from £199 per night B&B, +44 (0)208 0765555<br />

luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 55


ISLE OF ISLAY...<br />

LORD<br />

OF THE ISLES<br />

Islay was once home to Scotland’s fearsome<br />

Lord of the Isles. Today it is one of the premiere<br />

whisky-producing areas in the world.<br />

Words | Adrian Mourby<br />

IN THE FAR west of Scotland, only 25 miles from the coast of<br />

Northern Ireland, lies a whisky-producing island known as<br />

Islay. At 239 square miles it is slightly smaller than Singapore<br />

(260 sqm), yet this mossy, windswept rock is home to<br />

seven of Scotland’s greatest distilleries: Ardbeg, Bowmore,<br />

Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig,<br />

as well as two of the newest, Kilchoman and Ardnahoe.<br />

Long-term and passionate lovers of whisky, my wife and I arrived<br />

one autumn evening in Islay’s Port Askaig after a rainy, two-hour<br />

crossing from the mainland. As our ferry squeezed slowly up the<br />

narrow channel that separates Islay from its sister island, Jura, it<br />

was already growing dark and the tiny port was lit up. Caledonian<br />

MacBrayne, the ferry company that keeps Scotland’s islands<br />

supplied in all weathers, is very efficient at loading and offloading.<br />

We were swiftly marshalled off, and followed every other car<br />

up the steep harbour road. Dark, flat moorland dotted with white<br />

cottages led us south to Bowmore, Islay’s capital.<br />

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


© PAUL TOMKINS/VISIT SCOTLAND/SCOTTISH VIEWPOINT<br />

Pictured above right<br />

inset: On board<br />

the MV Finlaggan<br />

Caledonian<br />

MacBrayne ferry as<br />

she sails through the<br />

Sound of Islay en<br />

route to Islay<br />

Close to Bowmore stands Islay House,<br />

which was built by Sir Hugh Campbell<br />

of Cawdor in the eighteenth century.<br />

Sir Hugh’s great grandfather, Sir<br />

John Campbell had been granted the<br />

whole of Islay by the Scottish Crown.<br />

His mission for King James VI was to<br />

tame the troublesome local lords who<br />

ruled the islands in almost complete<br />

independence. He succeeded.<br />

Various owners added to Islay House<br />

over the centuries until it became the<br />

island’s grandest home, resembling<br />

a white Balmoral. In the twentieth<br />

century its owner, Lord Margadale<br />

hosted not only the Queen but several<br />

Conservative prime ministers at his<br />

home. Since 2014 it has been a hotel,<br />

with one of the top floor bedrooms<br />

where the Iron Lady often stayed<br />

named “Thatcher”.<br />

We were delighted to abandon<br />

our mud-bespattered car outside the<br />

front door and step into an entrance<br />

hall with a blazing log fire. There was<br />

a whisky decanter and two glasses<br />

waiting in our bedroom. Dinner was<br />

in the Jib Door, a gracious, antlered<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 57<br />

©VISITBRITAIN/TOMO BREJC


“<br />

The next morning Islay was<br />

bathed in sunshine as we relaxed on<br />

the old leather sofas in the drawing<br />

room and planned our attack on the<br />

island’s distilleries.<br />

”<br />

Islay House Hotel<br />

graveyard of the ruined Kilchoman church. Anthony<br />

Wills, who started this distillery in 2005 chose the<br />

site because it was the best farmland on Islay and he<br />

wanted to grow as much of the barley he needed on<br />

site. There are signs in the fields nearby telling you<br />

how much grain and therefore how much whisky each<br />

produces (most Islay distilleries buy in their barley from<br />

the mainland).<br />

Kilchoman has a lovely modern visitor centre with<br />

an elegant glass and metal log-burning stove in<br />

the middle. This was welcome because already the<br />

weather had shifted and rain was blowing up the loch<br />

from the Atlantic.<br />

That afternoon we spent some time in Bowmore,<br />

an eighteenth century new town of low, white-washed<br />

buildings - built by the Campbells on the other side<br />

of Loch Indaal. This is Islay’s capital and also where<br />

the famous Bowmore distillery is located. We visited<br />

the unusual Round Church and Celtic Stores which<br />

sells fairisle sweaters, seawashed paintings, unusual<br />

souvenirs like the Islay version of Monopoly, and many<br />

books about the island. From photo essays to poetry<br />

collections to highly-detailed history books, it’s clear<br />

that Islay has inspired a lot of writers.<br />

Dinner that evening was at the Bowmore Hotel, an old<br />

stone inn whose most recent extension was built in 1912.<br />

In the tartan-carpeted dining room, the chairs were made<br />

of local ash and elm. The array of fresh seafood on the<br />

menu was impressive and owner Big Peter MacLellan is<br />

renowned as an expert on Scotch whisky.<br />

dining room added to the house by the prolific<br />

architect – and aristocratic favourite - Detmar Blow at<br />

the beginning of the twentieth century. (The restaurant<br />

gets its name from the fact that you access it through a<br />

hidden doorway in the panelling of the old house.)<br />

The next morning Islay was bathed in sunshine as<br />

we relaxed on the old leather sofas in the drawing<br />

room and planned our attack on the island’s<br />

distilleries. Eventually we decided to drive west round<br />

the bay of Loch Indaal to one of the newest distilleries,<br />

Kilchoman. It stands very close to Kilchoman Cross, a<br />

fine piece of fourteenth-century Celtic carving in the<br />

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

Ocean coast lighthouse in Port Charlotte


Cattle near Port Ellen<br />

The next day we headed down the most famous<br />

road in the history of distilling. Port Ellen stands on<br />

one of the southernmost tips of Islay. From it the A483<br />

road runs east and along it, within a two mile stretch<br />

it passes three of Scotland’s best-known distilleries:<br />

Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We were going<br />

to be down this end of the island for a while on our<br />

whisky pilgrimage so I had booked into No1 Charlotte<br />

Street, a stately Victorian hotel with lofty public rooms,<br />

which have been given a funky colourful make-over by<br />

its manager, Caroline Park.<br />

After checking in to our very purple bedroom we<br />

drove along the coast. It was a misty day and when we<br />

got to Laphroaig great damo clouds of black smoke<br />

were hanging over the pagoda-like chimney above its<br />

kiln. The smell of the peat smoke was unmistakably<br />

the flavour of one of my favourite whiskies. We had an<br />

appointment with John Campbell, the manager, for<br />

a tour, during which he showed us the furnace where<br />

peat is burned to flavour the barley grains before they<br />

are mashed and distilled.<br />

John removed the bung from an enormous wooden<br />

cask in a warehouse so we could taste some of the<br />

whisky. It stays here on site for up to 15 years before<br />

being shipped to the mainland for bottling.<br />

Behind the distillery, Laphroaig owns all the land<br />

running up to the hills where its spring rises. Water is<br />

as important to the taste of whisky as barley (or indeed<br />

peat smoke). In 1908 the owner of what was about<br />

to become Lagavulin Distillery next door, “Restless”<br />

Peter Mackie tried to dam Laphroaig’s stream. So now<br />

Laphroaig owns the whole length of the watercourse.<br />

Just to be on the safe side…<br />

Laphroaig Distillery<br />

© PAUL TOMKINS/VISIT SCOTLAND/SCOTTISH VIEWPOINT<br />

Lagavulin Distillery<br />

Relations with Lagavulin are much more cordial<br />

these days. We weren’t in time to get a tour of their<br />

distillery, but we did get to taste four excellent whiskies<br />

in the company of Isla Gale, one of the company’s<br />

whisky guides. Isla chatted amiably with us for over<br />

an hour, and we learned not just about whisky but a<br />

lot about life on this island, including some indiscreet<br />

details (which you won’t read here).<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 59


“<br />

We produce the best whisky in the world here but<br />

everything has to be delivered by boat - I’ve run out!<br />

”<br />

Ardbeg, the last in these three whisky<br />

gods was closed that day so we drove<br />

on past it to a lovely little sandy bay,<br />

Loch a’Chnuic where people were<br />

swimming.<br />

Even though the sun had come<br />

out briefly they were all in wet suits<br />

against the chill weather. Soon<br />

afterwards on a headland we came<br />

upon Kidalton (another of Islay’s<br />

ruined churches) and its eighthcentury<br />

Celtic cross. Almost on cue<br />

the mist began to descend, which lent<br />

the ruins and its graveyard a suitably<br />

brooding quality. Inside the roofless<br />

church there were tombstones<br />

representing armoured knights from<br />

the days when Islay was ruled by the<br />

Lord of the Isles.<br />

That evening we ate at the Islay<br />

Hotel in Port Ellen. It was another<br />

great meal of seafood in a packed<br />

dining room with Isias, a jovial<br />

Spanish wine waiter who told us he<br />

was waiting for supplies of bottled<br />

Laphroaig to be shipped back from<br />

the mainland: “We produce the<br />

best whisky in the world here but<br />

everything has to be delivered by<br />

boat - and I’ve run out!”<br />

Our ferry back to the mainland<br />

was booked from Port Ellen the<br />

next morning. The MV Finlaggan is<br />

named after the ancient capital of<br />

the Lord of the Isles. It seemed an apt<br />

way to leave this enchanting place.<br />

This time we’d only managed three of<br />

the eight distilleries, but that’s a very<br />

good excuse to return next year.<br />

The Caledonian Sleeper leaves Euston<br />

Station nightly to arrive early morning<br />

in Glasgow. Prices from £140,<br />

sleeper.scot Caledonian Macbrayne<br />

run ferries from Kennacraig on the<br />

Scottish mainland to both Port Askaig<br />

and Port Ellen. A single journey takes<br />

approximately two hours, prices from<br />

£41.20 calmac.co.uk<br />

© VISITSCOTLAND / JOHN DUNCAN<br />

WHERE TO STAY<br />

–<br />

ISLAY HOUSE<br />

Bridgend PA44 7PA<br />

01496 810287<br />

islayhouse.co.uk<br />

1 CHARLOTTE STREET<br />

Port Ellen PA42 7DG<br />

01496 300120<br />

no1charlottestreet.com<br />

THE LOCHSIDE<br />

Bowmore PA43 7LB<br />

01496810244<br />

lochsidehotel.co.uk<br />

WHERE TO EAT<br />

–<br />

BOWMORE HOTEL<br />

Bowmore, PA43 7HL<br />

01496810416<br />

bowmorehotel.co.uk<br />

THE ISLAY HOTEL<br />

Port Ellen, PA42 7DF<br />

01496300109<br />

theislayhotel.com<br />

DISTILLERIES TO VISIT<br />

–<br />

LAPHROAIG<br />

Port Ellen, PA42 7DU<br />

01496 302418<br />

laphroaig.com<br />

LAGAVULIN<br />

Port Ellen, PA42 7DX<br />

01496 302749<br />

diageo.com<br />

KILCHOMAN<br />

Rockside Farm, Bruichladdich,<br />

PA49 7UT<br />

01496 850011<br />

kilchomandistillery.com<br />

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


Pictured:<br />

Looking from<br />

the steps of a<br />

hillside towards<br />

the pier at<br />

Whitby, North<br />

Yorkshire.<br />

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

©VISITBRITAIN / SIMON PALMER


TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN<br />

YORKSHIRE<br />

Britain’s largest county has a proud<br />

identity all of its own<br />

Words | Adrian Mourby<br />

BRITAIN IS A long country,<br />

running over 700 miles on its<br />

north-south axis. This means<br />

that our greatest national<br />

variations are not found<br />

between towns on the east and west<br />

coasts but between the north and south.<br />

Half way up the country, and closer to<br />

Scotland than London, stands<br />

Yorkshire, solid and sturdy, and the<br />

biggest county in England. Historically<br />

Yorkshire was so far from the king in<br />

London that it had its own autonomous<br />

archbishop since before the Norman<br />

Conquest. In the Middle Ages the dukes<br />

of York were so powerful they seized the<br />

English throne from time to time.<br />

Today Yorkshire remains proud of its<br />

sense of difference. It has produced many<br />

great writers including the Brontë sisters,<br />

Ted Hughes and even Alan Bennett. In<br />

the visual arts it was the birthplace home<br />

of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore<br />

and of David Hockney, whose work still<br />

celebrates his native Saltaire in West<br />

Yorkshire. Moreover the <strong>British</strong> music hall<br />

and BBC television would have run out of<br />

comedians years ago if it weren’t for the<br />

dry humour of Yorkshire.<br />

So here is our guide to the Top Ten places<br />

to visit in Yorkshire in <strong>2021</strong> and if this<br />

whets your appetite there are many more<br />

for you to discover on a second visit in the<br />

years to come.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 63


1BEST ABBEY<br />

RIEVAULX<br />

Because of its remote moorland Yorkshire was often<br />

chosen as a place for religious retreats. Rievaulx<br />

Abbey was founded in the early twelfth century<br />

by Cistercian monks from France. It occupies<br />

a romantic wooded valley deep in the North<br />

York Moors. St Aelred, one of the first abbots of<br />

Rievaulx, wrote of the location 'everywhere peace,<br />

everywhere serenity'. Under Aelred the abbey<br />

grew to great wealth thanks to the enterprise of<br />

its 140 monks and 500 lay brothers. This religious<br />

community farmed, brewed, traded and even set up<br />

an early blast furnace on the site. When Henry VIII<br />

dissolved the monasteries in 1538 Rievaulx fell into<br />

disrepair, but in the eighteenth century its beautiful<br />

remains became a place of inspiration for artists.<br />

In the 1750s local land-owner, Thomas Duncombe<br />

MP built a terrace along the valley top from which<br />

the abbey ruins can be still be admired today. The<br />

soaring Gothic arches of Rievaulx’s choir -mercifully<br />

intact - continue to inspire visitors and there is also<br />

a new café and museum on the site.<br />

english-heritage.org.uk<br />

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

Pictured<br />

above:<br />

Rievaulx<br />

Abbey is the<br />

perfect choice<br />

for a peaceful<br />

day out, with<br />

its extensive<br />

ruins and<br />

fascinating<br />

museum in a<br />

secluded North<br />

York Moors<br />

valley.<br />

Right:<br />

Young woman<br />

looking at the<br />

window of<br />

Betty's Cafe<br />

Tea Rooms,<br />

York.<br />

©VISITBRITAIN/ASHLIEGH WICK


2<br />

BEST TEA ROOM<br />

BETTYS<br />

Bettys occupies a prominent position<br />

in Helen's Square, York and on the corner<br />

of Parliament Street and Montpellier<br />

Parade in Harrogate. It also occupies a<br />

special place in the heart of Yorkshire<br />

people. This small chain of elegant cafes<br />

was begun in 1919 by a Swiss confectioner<br />

called Frederic Belmont who arrived in<br />

Harrogate speaking very little English. At<br />

the time this spa-town was a goldmine<br />

thanks to wealthy visitors seeking to<br />

drink it restorative waters. (To modern<br />

sensibilities the sulphurous waters of<br />

Harrogate are far too pungent to support<br />

a tourism industry!). Belmont’s business<br />

prospered, later merging with the famous<br />

coffee-makers, Taylors of Harrogate.<br />

Today there are six Bettys across Yorkshire<br />

and the company is still owned by Frederic<br />

Belmont’s descendants. The Lady Betty<br />

Afternoon Tea presented on a three-tier<br />

cake stand is the signature dish of these<br />

tea rooms but also popular are Bettys<br />

Champagne Truffles, Yorkshire “Fat<br />

Rascal” Scones, Lemon and Lime Cake<br />

and the Bettys Bread Box.<br />

bettysandtaylors.co.uk<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 65


3<br />

©VISITBRITAIN/MATTCANT/ANDREW PICKETT<br />

BEST TRAIL<br />

THE LYKE WAKE WALK<br />

This 40-mile crossing of the remote North York<br />

Moors starts near Osmotherley and finishes<br />

near Ravenscar on the East Sea coast. It is<br />

possible to do the entire route on heather,<br />

hardly ever stepping onto a roadway. Although<br />

the walk was only designated in 1955, it took<br />

its name from the old Scandinavian word for<br />

a corpse (Lyke) because when the Vikings<br />

ruled Yorkshire the people who inhabited<br />

this area would carry their dead across these<br />

moors to their ancestral burial grounds. There<br />

is a powerful ancient hymn (set by Benjamin<br />

Britten, amongst others) called The Lyke-Wake<br />

Dirge which conjures up the terrors of crossing<br />

these moors by night.<br />

When farmer/broadcaster Bill Cowley<br />

created the Lyke Wake Challenge in 1955 he<br />

proposed that all 40 miles be completed in 24<br />

hours. Undertaking the route today in a less<br />

spartan manner, the Lyke Wake Walk offers the<br />

chance to see a landscape crossed by few other<br />

travellers and no signs of modern development.<br />

It feels like stepping into history.<br />

lykewakewalk.co.uk<br />

BEST CITY<br />

YORK<br />

York is one of the most beautiful cities in Britain. Its encircling<br />

medieval walls remain almost complete and where they had<br />

to be blasted apart to let the railways in, it has one of the<br />

most graceful late nineteenth-century train stations. When,<br />

opened in 1877 this was the biggest station in the world with<br />

13 broad platforms. In the twentieth century the station’s<br />

interior featured in the Harry Potter films as part of King<br />

Cross. Another Potter connection is the medieval shopping<br />

street known as “Shambles”. Its overhanging upper floors<br />

were the inspiration for the design of Diagon Alley. York has a<br />

history of occupation going back to Roman and Viking times<br />

but its absolute glory is York Minster, a sublime construction<br />

from the fourteenth and fifteenth-centuries whose east<br />

window is the largest stained glass in Britain.<br />

visityork.org<br />

Pictured above left-right: Two people walking in<br />

the North Yorkshire landscape; The Shambles is an<br />

old street in York, England, with overhanging timber-framed<br />

buildings, some dating back as far as the<br />

fourteenth century.<br />

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


4<br />

Pictured: The centre of York, surrounded by<br />

walls whose foundations date back to medieval<br />

times. There is a wall walk around the city.<br />

York Minster at sunset.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67<br />

VISTBRITAIN/ANDREW PICKETT


5BEST SEASIDE RESORT<br />

SCARBOROUGH<br />

“Scarborough Spa” became Britain’s first seaside<br />

resort after a stream of acidic water was<br />

discovered running down one the cliffs above<br />

its port in the seventeenth century. In those<br />

days such waters were considered good for<br />

one’s health and by 1735 Britain’s first bathing<br />

machines were being rolled out into the sea from<br />

Scarborough’s beaches.<br />

In the nineteenth century many hotels were<br />

constructed on top of Scarborough’s cliffs<br />

including The Crown, which was Yorkshire’s first<br />

purpose-built resort hotel and The Grand, which<br />

was the biggest hotel in Europe when it opened in<br />

1867. Both still welcome guests today. The town<br />

also has a number of Georgian structures built<br />

for visitors including the Rotunda Museum, the<br />

Cliff Bridge, and Scarborough Pier Lighthouse.<br />

Its church contains works by the Pre-Raphaelite<br />

artists Rossetti, Burne-Jones, William Morris and<br />

Ford Madox Brown.<br />

Another famous name associated with this<br />

fashionable resort was the novelist Anne Brontë<br />

who in 1849 died in a clifftop boarding house<br />

where the Grand Hotel stands today. Ironically<br />

she had come to Scarborough to try and recover<br />

her health.<br />

visitscarborough.com<br />

© BRITAINONVIEW/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO<br />

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


7<br />

BEST TOWN<br />

RICHMOND<br />

James Herriot, author of All Creatures<br />

Great & Small told the story of a man from<br />

Richmond going to heaven only to be told<br />

by St Peter that he might find his new home<br />

a bit disappointing.<br />

The market town of Richmond at the<br />

foot of Swaledale is truly gorgeous and<br />

full of elegant Georgian houses that teeter<br />

down steep wynds (streets) towards the<br />

river Swale. It’s dominated by the 100-foot<br />

keep of a huge Norman castle that was<br />

completed here in 1086. Scolland’s Hall,<br />

a residential building within the castle<br />

complex is one of the oldest buildings in<br />

England and the castle’s outer bailey is now<br />

the town’s market place. Today Richmond<br />

has a working cinema in its old railway<br />

station and a tiny Theatre Royal which<br />

dates back to 1788 and has recently been<br />

restored to its original Georgian colour<br />

scheme.<br />

Not surprisingly Richmond is also<br />

a popular base from which to explore<br />

the Yorkshire Dales National Park of<br />

Swaledale, Wharfedale and Wensleydale.<br />

richmond.org/guide<br />

6<br />

BEST HOTEL<br />

MIDDLETHORPE HALL & SPA<br />

Middlethorpe Hall is one of the National Trust’s Yorkshire gems, a<br />

sublime example of William and Mary architecture. It was constructed<br />

in expensive red brick in 1699 for Thomas Barlow, a wealthy Sheffield<br />

industrialist.Thomas sited it close to the main road into York so no one<br />

could fail to notice his wealth. When the Barlow family went on the<br />

Grand Tour in 1712 they let their house to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,<br />

who had just eloped with her new husband Edward. He was soon<br />

appointed the <strong>British</strong> ambassador to Constantinople and after their<br />

departure she went on to be an eminent Georgian woman of letters.<br />

Today the house and its chequered marble floors are furnished with<br />

eighteenth-century antiques and – delightfully – it doubles as a hotel run<br />

by the Historic House Hotels group. There are ten bedrooms in the house<br />

itself, 16 in the adjoining eighteenth-century stable block courtyard and<br />

three cottages in the grounds. The hotel’s wood-panelled Oak Room is<br />

one of the most glamorous restaurants in the York area.<br />

middlethorpe.com<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69


9<br />

For<br />

8BEST DISTILLERY<br />

SPIRIT OF YORKSHIRE<br />

Located in the village of Hunmanby, Spirit of<br />

Yorkshire is the county’s first whisky distillery. It<br />

produces a range of “Filey Bay” single malts whose<br />

label features a gannet for the simple reason that<br />

Britain’s biggest gannet sanctuary lies on the coast<br />

nearby.<br />

All the barley used in the distillation process here<br />

is grown on the farm of Tom Mellor, co-founder of<br />

Spirit of Yorkshire. The water, a crucial ingredient in<br />

any successful whisky, comes from a borehole on the<br />

farm that is sunk deep into chalky soil. The company<br />

even bottles on-site, allowing them to assert that the<br />

whole whisky process “from field to bottle” happens<br />

here in Hunmanby.<br />

One-hour distillery tours cost £12.50. There is<br />

also a longer brewery and distillery tour (£22) as<br />

Tom and his wife Gill also set up the nearby Wold<br />

Top Brewery.<br />

spiritofyorkshire.com<br />

more inspiration on visiting Yorkshire take<br />

a look at the Welcome to Yorkshire website:<br />

yorkshire.com<br />

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


BEST LITERARY PILGRIMAGE<br />

HAWORTH<br />

The Brontë Sisters lived and wrote most of their<br />

novels in the parsonage at Haworth, West Yorkshire.<br />

This interior of this building has been meticulously<br />

restored to how it looked when these three remarkable<br />

young women were publishing novels like Jane Eyre,<br />

Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.<br />

Today the village is extremely picturesque and it’s<br />

difficult to believe that in the Brontës’ time it was one of<br />

the most polluted places in Britain – one of the reasons<br />

the sisters died so young.<br />

The Church of St Michael and All Angels, where<br />

Rev Brontë preached, still broods over High Street and<br />

the Black Bull, where his wayward son, Branwell drank<br />

away his talent, still stands nearby on Main Street. You<br />

can also see the Old School Room where the sisters<br />

taught and the Apothecary Shop where Branwell<br />

bought his opium.<br />

bronte.org.uk<br />

BEST PORT<br />

WHITBY<br />

Anyone who has read Dracula will know that the<br />

Transylvanian vampire arrived in Britain via the port<br />

of Whitby. It’s a suitably dramatic town with a ruined<br />

cliff-top abbey that has been home to several saints,<br />

with narrow streets of red pan-tiled houses below<br />

and a memorial to Captain James Cook which gazes<br />

romantically out to sea. Cook learned seamanship in<br />

Whitby where the harbour was always full of whaling<br />

ships, colliers and the herring fleet that contributed<br />

massively to the town’s prosperity.<br />

Fishing, supported by tourism, is still a mainstay of<br />

Whitby's economy and its harbour is sheltered by two<br />

Grade II listed piers, both with working lighthouses.<br />

The west lighthouse (1831) is 84 feet high and has a<br />

foghorn that sounds a blast every 30 seconds during<br />

reduced visibility at sea. This is a working harbour<br />

designed to protect fishermen whose lives depend on<br />

the often stormy North Sea.<br />

visitwhitby.com<br />

10<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 71


Pictured: Tresco Sea<br />

Garden Cottages


48 HOURS IN...<br />

TRESCO<br />

AND BRYHER<br />

In search of an idyllic private island with magical charm,<br />

blessed with exotic plants, translucent seas and endless<br />

amounts of golden sand? Somewhere you can spend<br />

your days exploring ruined castles, discovering tales<br />

of shipwrecks, and enjoying the sounds of the ocean?<br />

Welcome to Scilly, Britain's very own Island treasure.<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />

IT’S AS IF YOU’RE watching high-definition drone footage of the<br />

most beautiful sub-tropical paradise you could possibly imagine,<br />

mesmerised by the perfect aeriel view of an archipelago surrounded<br />

by turquoise ocean, outlined by craggy coastlines and white sandy<br />

bays. Waves lapping onto the shores and sweeping against the<br />

rocks, whipping up an effervescent trace of brilliant white as they break<br />

before they seemingly melt away again into the mica twinkling waters.<br />

It’s a satisfying contrast to watch - from the deep greens of the islands<br />

and the crisp whiteness of the waves to the contouring blue of the sea<br />

- the glistening sapphire in deeper waters, blending into a crystal-clear<br />

emerald in the shallows.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 73


Pictured left-right: Jessica's daughter (Daisy)flying<br />

to Tresco with Penzance Helicopters; aerial view<br />

over Tresco Island; Tresco Cows; Tresco Ruins; Old<br />

Grimsby Quay; Sea Garden Cottage.<br />

THE FORTUNATE ISLES<br />

Classed as part of Cornwall, The Isles of Scilly (to<br />

include Tresco, Bryher, St Mary’s, St Agnes and St<br />

Martin's) might feel more like you’re abroad, but they<br />

are in fact the UK’s largest group of islands - and quite<br />

surprisingly - still one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.<br />

Bathed by the warming influence of the Gulf<br />

Stream, the temperature rarely dips below 5°C, and<br />

this balmy climate not only means it feels warmer than<br />

on Britain’s mainland but that plants flower here all<br />

year round.<br />

Described sometimes as 'The Fortunate Isles', the<br />

islands are a kaleidoscope of colour in both flora and<br />

fauna - a myriad of wildflowers, abundant wildlife, and<br />

palm trees apparent in every landscaped vista.<br />

We're flying by helicopter from Penzance to Tresco<br />

on a new 28-mile direct flight, taking just 15 minutes<br />

to reach utopia. From the air, the 140 specks of land,<br />

five of which are inhabited, look more like the tropics<br />

than the south of England. Beautiful enough to rival<br />

anywhere in the Caribbean, Scilly is every bit as<br />

dreamy, yet without the cars, the hurricane season<br />

or the need for passport control! There’s a sense of<br />

magic on these tranquil lands - a place where simple<br />

pleasures and outdoor adventures invigorate feelings<br />

of contentment, relaxation and a profound sense of<br />

wellbeing. So whether you’re an international globe<br />

trotter considering your first <strong>British</strong> staycation, or a<br />

hardened <strong>British</strong> Isles adventurer, I hope this account<br />

of 48 hours spent in paradise will inspire you to<br />

visit these remarkable islands and experience the<br />

enchantment for yourself.<br />

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


“<br />

The Isles of Scilly are a<br />

kaleidoscope of colour in both flora<br />

and fauna - a myriad of wildflowers,<br />

abundant wildlife, and palm trees<br />

apparent in every landscaped<br />

vista.<br />

”<br />

In 2020 yet more fortune came Tresco's way with<br />

the launch of the long-awaited return of the Penzance<br />

to Isles of Scilly helicopter service. Not a small feat<br />

when you consider this is one of very few scheduled<br />

helicopter services across the entire world!<br />

Penzance Helicopters, following many years of<br />

hard work, is now running a service of up to 17 flights<br />

per day, six days a week, over 313 days a year to both<br />

Tresco and St Mary’s..<br />

There is no better way to travel to this luxurious<br />

private island than to ‘do it in style’ aboard a state-ofthe-art<br />

AW139 helicopter flight across the Atlantic.<br />

The bird’s eye view from the sky, from the legendary<br />

St Michael’s Mount on departure to your very first<br />

glimpse of the Isles of Scilly and watching your pilot<br />

master a grand crescendo of a flawless landing, makes<br />

the journey of getting to Tresco now every bit as special<br />

as staying there.<br />

ARRIVING ON TRESCO<br />

Tresco is the Isles of Scilly's second-largest island,<br />

and the only island to be privately-owned, leased from<br />

the Duchy of Cornwall to the Dorrien-Smith family<br />

since 1834. From the moment you step foot on the<br />

island, you feel an incredibly warm welcome.<br />

There is a true sense of this being a family-run estate<br />

- home-from-home - you barely even need to say who<br />

you are, your luggage is lifted into your transfer buggy<br />

and you’re benevolently escorted to your cottage.<br />

We stayed in Driftwood, one of the Sea Garden<br />

Cottages situated on the east side of the island, and I<br />

couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful property as<br />

our island holiday home. Light flooded through the<br />

open plan living space, with a modern kitchen, beachydesigned<br />

lounge with beautiful Scilly artwork, exposed<br />

beams and log fireplace and a huge dining area with<br />

painted lobsters and mackerel dinner plates and floor<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75


“<br />

There is a true sense of this being<br />

a family-run estate - home-fromhome<br />

- you barely even need to<br />

say who you are, your luggage is<br />

lifted into your transfer buggy and<br />

you’re benevolently escorted to your<br />

cottage.<br />

”<br />

to ceiling views out to Old Grimsby harbour.<br />

When we visited Tresco a few years before we had<br />

stayed on the opposite west side of the island, in<br />

Flora, one of the beautiful Flying Boat Cottages - both<br />

properties are equally as luxurious, highly deserving of<br />

their 5-star status, and within footsteps of white sandy<br />

beaches with breathtaking views.<br />

The Flying Boat Cottages have the advantage of being<br />

directly alongside many local conveniences, from the<br />

local stores, Island office and bike hire, however, the<br />

Sea Garden Cottages on the quieter side of the island,<br />

with the beautiful beach bays, sailing school and Ruin<br />

Beach Cafe was my idea of complete heaven - almost<br />

unimaginably beautiful.<br />

Whichever side of the island you choose (there are<br />

also rooms and apartments ideal for shorter stays)<br />

all guests to the island are entitled to entry to Tresco<br />

Island Spa (which includes one outdoor and two indoor<br />

swimming pools) and the Abbey Garden. There’s also<br />

good wifi available throughout the island - especially<br />

useful for ordering deliveries from the Tresco Stores & Deli<br />

(a new service launched in 2020).<br />

The stores are a shop, bakery and delicatessen all<br />

in one - stocking everything from breakfast essentials,<br />

light snacks to pizzas and frozen Cook meals. There’s<br />

plenty of option of cereals, fresh bread, croissants,<br />

pastries, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish - as well as a<br />

fabulous selection of beers, wine and tasty treats!<br />

My husband pre-ordered from home before we set<br />

off and our shopping was in our cottage on our arrival.<br />

For top-ups throughout your stay as long as you make<br />

the order before 2pm Monday - Saturday they'll even<br />

deliver to you on the same day.<br />

Be sure to add some of Zoë's locally-made chocolate<br />

chip brownie slices to your order - they are heavenly!<br />

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


RUIN BEACH CAFÉ<br />

Once we had unpacked and settled in we strolled<br />

out of our back door and down our garden steps to<br />

arrive at the two AA Rosettes Ruin Beach Café. The<br />

café takes its name from the ruined smuggler’s cottage<br />

that forms part of its terrace, overlooking Raven’s<br />

Porth - but don’t be mistaken, it might be small but its<br />

Mediterranean-inspired menu far exceeds the selection<br />

of light meals and drinks you might imagine would be<br />

available from a beachside café.<br />

Serving lunch and dinner throughout the season,<br />

a visit here is one of the many highlights of Tresco.<br />

Famed for its pizzas, sharing boards, salads and<br />

chargrilled meat dishes, at the heart of the restaurant<br />

is the wood-fired oven, roasting fresh fish, chicken and<br />

vegetables - as well as producing delicious pizzas.<br />

The Ruin dinner menu features ‘catch of the day’<br />

from local fishermen or, for another sea to fork delight,<br />

the seafood platter (to include Tresco gin cured sea<br />

trout and dressed Bryher crab) is an absolute must.<br />

If there’s any space for more, decadent desserts,<br />

including local Troytown Farm Ice Cream, become<br />

difficult to resist.<br />

DAY ONE<br />

We woke up to the sun rising over the Old Blockhouse<br />

lighting up the quay, and took a stroll by the water’s<br />

edge. For an endorphin boost like no other, we chose<br />

to take a dip in the ocean for a cold water swim. You<br />

will be likely to see at least one other islander doing the<br />

same, wild swimming is gaining in popularity across<br />

the UK, said to improve general health and wellbeing.<br />

It has been a treasured pastime for islanders and<br />

coastal lovers for generations, and I can see why so<br />

many add it into their daily routine, there’s really no<br />

better energiser for starting your day.<br />

You might find Tresco offers enough escapism<br />

purely from its idyllic landscape, but for even more<br />

natural healing you might choose (as I did with my<br />

Pictured left-right: Old Grimsby<br />

Harbour; Tresco Island Spa;<br />

Tresco Sea Garden Aerial view;<br />

Ruin Beach Café.<br />

daughter Daisy) to head to the new Flying Boat Yoga<br />

Studio with Gem Hansen, who lives on Bryher. Gem’s<br />

practice offers a balance of strength (sthira) and<br />

serenity (sukha) and uses visualisations and techniques<br />

inspired by Scilly’s scenery and natural surroundings.<br />

This includes visualising the breath as the ebb and<br />

flow of the tide, and honouring the mythic qualities of<br />

asana (poses) that were inspired by the islands and<br />

the environment, from the fearless lion to the reticent<br />

tortoise.<br />

For lunch we headed to The New Inn - Tresco’s<br />

authentic island pub. You can spend much of your<br />

holiday under the sense of having travelled to your very<br />

own private island, other than the odd encounter on a<br />

walk, meeting very few others during your stay - so it<br />

feels quite apparent that The New Inn has an important<br />

role to play. More than just a pub serving delicious<br />

food, this is the island's social heartbeat - a place for<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77


Pictured left-right: The New Inn;<br />

Gallery Tresco; all other images<br />

Tresco Abbey Gardens.<br />

TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN<br />

Tresco Abbey Garden, built around the 12th-century<br />

ruins is home to a wonderful variety of sub-tropical<br />

species. Augustus Smith established the Abbey Garden<br />

in 1834 - he built up a collection of exotic plants from<br />

South Africa, Brazil and Mexico that thrived in the<br />

micro-climate - and the gardens have been lovingly<br />

tended by successive generations of the same family<br />

ever since.<br />

There’s not a bad time of the year to visit - thanks<br />

to the balmy weather plants flower in Tresco all year<br />

round. Visit in the spring to see flowers blooming weeks<br />

islanders in need of some good conversation and time<br />

to catch up with friends.<br />

As a holidaymaker, you are made to feel every bit<br />

as welcome as the locals, the atmosphere is warm and<br />

inviting with genuine wreck wood and marine relics<br />

adorning the ceilings, beams and walls. They serve<br />

traditional pub fare from crispy whitebait and dressed<br />

Bryher crab to traditional cottage pie, using locally<br />

grown, reared and landed produce.<br />

There’s also a sheltered terrace decorated with<br />

candlelight and fairy lights, and occasionally live music<br />

- an opportunity for visitors and locals to dance the<br />

night away under the stars!<br />

We popped into the gallery next door - formerly<br />

the pilot gig shed, the Gallery Tresco hosts art by some<br />

of Cornwall's most established artists, as well as a<br />

selection of unique giftware inspired by the islands. We<br />

then continued our stroll south to Tresco Abbey Gardens,<br />

turning left along Abbey Drive for a river walk (or head<br />

straight onto Appletree Road passing Appletree Bay).<br />

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


“<br />

Visit in the spring to see flowers<br />

blooming, and in the autumn,<br />

beautiful reds, golds and ambers<br />

contrast with the magnificent<br />

proteas, aloes and camellias.<br />

”<br />

ahead of those on the mainland, and in the autumn to<br />

see beautiful reds, golds and ambers contrast with the<br />

magnificent proteas, aloes and camellias - even during<br />

the winter solstice, there are usually more than 300<br />

species of plant in flower!<br />

A tradition dating back 150 years, there is a flower<br />

count to see how many different species are in bloom<br />

conducted by the team of gardeners in the first week of<br />

every new year - the record is 313 in 2017.<br />

Tresco Abbey Garden is one of the main attractions<br />

in the Isles of Scilly, there are daily tripper boats from<br />

the neighbouring islands of St Mary’s, Bryher and St<br />

Martin’s, and regular trips from St Agnes, but if you’re<br />

lucky it is not unusual, especially at either end of the<br />

season, to visit at a time when you have the gardens<br />

almost entirely to yourself. Luckily for us it was one of<br />

those occasions.<br />

We had fun looking out for red squirrels as we<br />

roamed the garden's criss-cross paths through<br />

towering palms and giant trees, admiring the great<br />

blue spires of Echium and shocking-pink drifts of<br />

Pelargonium. Don’t miss the fascinating Valhalla<br />

Museum – a collection of figureheads collected from<br />

shipwrecks around the islands - and take a pit stop at<br />

the Garden Cafe for a coffee and cake - there’s a wellstocked<br />

gift shop and an interesting exhibition telling<br />

the history of the Abbey Garden.<br />

We fancied a movie night in, so were delighted to<br />

discover a good selection of DVDs available to rent<br />

from the Tresco Stores on the way back to our cottage,<br />

(alternatively, there’s the option to log into Netflix from<br />

your cottage). Walking back to Old Grimsby Quay we<br />

passed St Nicholas’ Church and the primary school before<br />

stopping in at Lucy-Tania, Tresco’s boutique and sewing<br />

studio.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79


“<br />

You can clearly see Bryher across<br />

the azure waters - in fact, it is so close<br />

to Tresco that if you are lucky enough<br />

to visit during dramatic spring tides<br />

the channel between the islands<br />

becomes dry enough to cross on<br />

foot.<br />

”<br />

There’s a luxe selection of island-inspired homeware,<br />

swimwear, jewellery and more - and I couldn’t resist<br />

buying a navy blue Tresco branded hoodie and Lobster<br />

embroidered cap.<br />

Back at our cottage it was time for dinner, a movie,<br />

and playing a family game of Catchphrase (the board<br />

game version) in front of the log burner before falling<br />

asleep to the sounds of the ocean.<br />

DAY TWO<br />

Tresco is a world away from the hustle and bustle of<br />

the <strong>British</strong> mainland - with no cars on the island you are<br />

not only filling your lungs with pure coastal air, instead<br />

of breathing in fumes, you are naturally exercising more,<br />

taking your bike or walking whenever you leave the<br />

front door. It doesn’t take very long before you feel the<br />

positive effects of this - and from the time spent outdoors<br />

connecting with the beautiful landscape.<br />

For me, this happened on day two. I woke up glowing<br />

and feeling more vitalised than usual. I had a Kundalini<br />

Back Therapy massage booked at the Island Spa and<br />

remember wondering if I even needed it!<br />

As it turned out it though, I did - I felt the tension<br />

in my computer tight shoulders being released and<br />

my body felt more balanced. It was wonderful - and<br />

thanks to Ila Spa the delightful scent stayed with me<br />

throughout the rest of the day.<br />

From the spa it is just a short walk to New Grimsby<br />

Quay - our departure point for visiting the neighbour<br />

island, Bryher. You can clearly see Bryher across the<br />

azure waters - in fact, it is so close to Tresco that if you<br />

are lucky enough to visit during dramatic spring tides,<br />

(when lunar forces combine) the channel between the<br />

islands can become dry enough to cross on foot. As<br />

such, every year the islanders (never ones to pass up an<br />

opportunity for a shindig!) prepare for a mid-channel<br />

mini-festival, low-tide event. This involves teams from<br />

Tresco and Hell Bay setting up benches, bar and<br />

firepits on a long sandbar between the islands - then as<br />

the water recedes further the celebrations begin with a<br />

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


Pictured left: Jessica in Old<br />

Grimsby Harbour; Bryher.<br />

below: Island Fish café and fresh<br />

fish private orders and deliveries.<br />

host of impromptu games, live music, food and drink.<br />

Thankfully for the other 362 days of the year, regular<br />

services by Tresco Boat Services will get you there safely<br />

instead! Weather permitting of course.<br />

It was a very pleasant 10-minute inter-island boat<br />

trip across to Bryher. Remember to listen out to hear<br />

the scheduled return times on landing - and whether<br />

it is the new Anneka's Quay (named after Anneka Rice<br />

who managed to build it in less than 4 days) or Church<br />

Quay (inaccessible at low tide).<br />

We stepped out onto one of Bryher's white sandy<br />

beach bays. Although smaller, it very much resembled<br />

those on Tresco. The island is smaller in general,<br />

around one kilometer wide and two kilometers in<br />

length - home to 80 residents - you can easily walk it in<br />

a day or spend an afternoon enjoying the highlights.<br />

An island of dramatic contrast - Bryher is pounded<br />

by Atlantic waves on one side, yet blessed with calm<br />

sandy beaches on the other. You might recognise<br />

it from the movies as Bryher was also the setting of<br />

the film, "When the Whales Came", based on Michael<br />

Morpurgo's novel inspired by the island. (Samson Hill<br />

on the southern end of the island was the site of the<br />

birdman's cottage).<br />

We enjoyed meandering our way around, walking<br />

past the dotted stalls selling fresh produce including<br />

farm eggs, local vegetables, freshly-landed seafood<br />

and mouth-watering island fudge. It is all so pretty, a<br />

picture-perfect postcard at every turn - you do feel as<br />

though you are wandering through a movie set.<br />

Lending itself to a real ‘Swallows and Amazons’<br />

style adventure you can choose to spend your time in<br />

Bryher exploring rocky coves, relaxing on white sandy<br />

beaches or hiking up one of its small granite hills for<br />

some great views.<br />

An absolute must for us was watching the Atlantic<br />

rollers thunder into Hell Bay (especially spectacular in<br />

the winter!) and we also enjoyed the calm tranquillity<br />

of Rushy Bay overlooking Samson.<br />

There are a number of restaurants, bars and cafés<br />

located around the island. Stepping off at Bryher<br />

Boatyard we first stumbled upon Island Fish, owned by<br />

the Penders - a traditional fishing family who go back<br />

generations on Scilly. You won’t find a better crab<br />

roll or lobster salad than here, and they have a great<br />

selection of coffee and cakes with the most picturesque<br />

immaculate lawn, where beautiful birds dart about,<br />

from which to enjoy it.<br />

Also, good to know is that while they supply to local<br />

hotels and pubs they also take private orders (delivered<br />

within 24 hours notice) so you can enjoy fresh shellfish<br />

while on holiday from the comfort of your own cottage.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81


the freshest island produce. Islanders and visitors<br />

journey from across the islands to dine here. Think<br />

dishes like tender Hell Bay gin cured salmon, succulent<br />

roast partridge, pan roasted sea bass and Richard's<br />

sensational tangy lemon meringue pie.<br />

Order the oysters - they were by far the best<br />

I have ever had. By evening, you can dine in the<br />

contemporary yet intimate Czar restaurant - named<br />

after one of the islands historic island pilot gigs - and<br />

lap up the views as the sun sets over Gweal Hill and<br />

dips into the Atlantic.<br />

Following our lunch we continued south along<br />

the coast and stumbled upon Golden Eagle Studio - a<br />

gig shed transformed into a studio and gallery for<br />

local artist Richard Pearce. You can step out from the<br />

gallery and look out across the exact view of one of his<br />

paintings. His artwork is mostly of Tresco and Bryher<br />

and is incredibly beautiful, capturing the Scilly spirit so<br />

perfectly.<br />

From here you can choose to continue around<br />

the south of Bryher, passing Droppy Nose Point and<br />

watching seals swimming off the rocks while dipping<br />

your toes in the white sands of Rushy Bay. Take a walk<br />

Pictured above: Hell Bay Hotel. Left-right: Jessica<br />

visits Golden Eagle Studio; walking towards Droppy<br />

Nose Point; Byrher and Tresco from the water; views<br />

from Samson Hill.<br />

Next we made our way up the hill passing Olivia's<br />

Kitchen at the Vine, a small, family-run café situated in<br />

“the Town'' in what was originally a flower and bulb<br />

shed (previously Vine Café) serving sumptuous lunches<br />

and suppers, light snacks and cream teas.<br />

A must here is the Scillonian tattie cake - it is so<br />

good you might want to buy some to take home too!<br />

We passed the Bryher Shop and Post Office before<br />

taking Newton Road on our right. We followed this for<br />

a few hundred yards before reaching the luxurious Hell<br />

Bay Hotel - Scilly's highest-rated restaurant, with a 3<br />

AA Rosette rating and open to non-residents to enjoy.<br />

HELL BAY HOTEL<br />

At the helm is Head Chef Richard Kearsley - known<br />

for serving the finest food on the islands, using only<br />

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


“<br />

Continue around the south of Bryher,<br />

passing Droppy Nose Point and<br />

watching seals swimming off the rocks<br />

while dipping your toes in the white<br />

sands of Rushy Bay.<br />

”<br />

up to the summit of Samson Hill where the views are<br />

sensational – or head to the rugged north of the island<br />

towards Fraggle Rock, one of Britain's smallest bars,<br />

overlooking Hangman's Island, famous for their Friday<br />

Fish & Chip night. Feeling somewhat ambitious and in<br />

awe of the island we opted to take the later ferry back<br />

so we were (just about) able to experience all three.<br />

SCINTILLATING SCILLY<br />

Once you have stepped foot on the white sandy<br />

shores of the Isles of Scilly it has an incredible way of<br />

capturing your heart - offering a notion of escapism<br />

to rival that of any coastal destination on mainland<br />

Britain. I was so smitten three years ago I choose to get<br />

married on Scilly – and visiting for the second time, I<br />

was surprised to discover that there was yet even more<br />

to love.<br />

It is no surprise the same guests visit year after year<br />

– and Tresco’s successful Islandshares is testament<br />

to this. Often passed down from generation to<br />

generation the scheme offers families the chance<br />

to become owners of their very own week, in their<br />

favourite cottage, for up to 40 years.<br />

Closing my eyes to remember the views, I will<br />

regularly take myself back there – always dreaming<br />

about my next visit to this incredible destination – this<br />

is a holiday that just can’t come again soon enough.<br />

Now where did I put the Islandshares listings again?<br />

On the way to Fraggle Rock we passed Mike and<br />

Sue Pender’s honesty stall in front of their house, selling<br />

a broad range of herbs, fruits, eggs and vegetables.<br />

Our final stop was at Veronica Farm’s fudge stall for a<br />

bag of delicious homemade fudge.<br />

Jessica was a guest staying on Tresco Island tresco.co.uk<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> by train with Great Western Railway from London<br />

Paddington to Penzance Station with advance one-way<br />

tickets starting at £26.20 gwr.com.<br />

Flights with Penzance Helicopters start from £130 per person<br />

one-way penzancehelicopters.co.uk<br />

Prices to stay at Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher start at £95 per<br />

person per night (based on two sharing) on a bed and<br />

breakfast basis hellbay.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83


THE RISE OF SOMERSET’S ...<br />

FOOD<br />

AND DRINK<br />

A visit to the pastoral landscapes of Somerset can<br />

both soothe the soul and nourish the palate. But this<br />

south-west English county is not merely the home of<br />

Cheddar Cheese or ancient apple orchards,<br />

Somerset’s epicurean delights are in abundance<br />

Words | Karyn Noble<br />

©VISITBRITAIN/ BEN SELWAY<br />

I’M STARING AT A LAMINATED newspaper clipping of Prince<br />

Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding menu, pinned with<br />

two gold thumb tacks to a pole. Amid the usual suspects – beef<br />

from Prince Charles’ Duchy organic farm, Scottish trout roe –<br />

someone has neatly circled ’10-year-old Somerset cider brandy’<br />

from the short ‘Wines, Beers & Liqueurs’ listing in blue pen. I suspect<br />

that someone is hovering over my shoulder. ‘They might have chosen<br />

it because they thought it was jolly good stuff,’ says Somerset Cider<br />

Brandy founder Julian Temperley, ‘Or they may have chosen it<br />

because the label matches the good prince’s hair colour. Anyway, it’s<br />

a song that we’ll sing for a very long time.’ After tasting said brandy,<br />

I’m inclined to agree with Temperley’s first opinion: it’s jolly good stuff.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 85


Unlike most people packing their Wellington boots for<br />

Somerset’s famed Glastonbury festival, I’m stomping about<br />

in mine in apple orchards. In distilleries. On dairy farms. In<br />

cheese rooms. In smokeries. Even around an organic spelt and<br />

walnut farm. While the Glastonbury festival may be uncertain<br />

again due to pandemic concerns, the real showstopper for<br />

anyone considering an extended road trip is Somerset’s<br />

permanent food and drink line-up.<br />

The small radius of extraordinarily high-quality producers<br />

has a lot to do with this south-west county’s geography. Over at<br />

Thatchers Cider, which has been a commercial cider business since<br />

1904, chief cidermaker Richard Johnson points out the Mendip<br />

Hills around us at Myrtle Farm: ‘They were produced hundreds of<br />

millions of years ago when Africa crashed into Europe and pushed<br />

Britain up out of the water. At the time we were under water here.<br />

The Mendip Hills are limestone, so for millions of years all that<br />

limestone was under the sea and when it was pushed up out of the<br />

water, all its microscopic sea creatures were pushed into the valleys,<br />

so we have really deep, rich, mineral soil, which provides really<br />

good nutrients.’ Combined with the temperate climate this close to<br />

the sea, it makes the west of England an excellent spot for growing<br />

apples, which is why you’ll find most of Britain’s cider makers here.<br />

But Somerset’s not just about the cider. I emerge from Brown<br />

& Forrest Smokery in Langport as aromatic as a blazing wood<br />

bonfire, but I’ve tasted some of the best smoked meat and fish of<br />

my life here. ‘I’m only interested in the best quality I can find,’ says<br />

owner Jesse Pattisson, who supplies the likes of chefs Mitch Tonks<br />

Don’t Miss: Porlock Bay<br />

Oysters<br />

Porlock Bay, on the Exmoor<br />

coast, produces oysters that<br />

are akin to France’s Speciale<br />

de Claire or Fine de Claire in<br />

terms of quality. Benefitting<br />

from one of the highest<br />

tidal ranges in the world<br />

(second only to Canada)<br />

and Grade-A water quality,<br />

Porlock Bay oysters are<br />

sought after by some of<br />

the top chefs in Britain, not<br />

just for the pure taste but<br />

because, unusually, they’re<br />

available year-round.<br />

porlockbayoysters.co.uk<br />

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


©VISITBRITAIN/ BEN SELWAY<br />

IMAGES ABOVE: SHEEP<br />

GRAZING AT SOMERSET<br />

CIDER BRANDY FARM;<br />

COUPLE, SITTING AT<br />

A TABLE OUTSIDE A<br />

SOMERSET PUB, HAVING<br />

DRINKS AND A MEAL.<br />

IMAGES LEFT: APPLES<br />

IN THATCHERS CIDER<br />

ORCHARD; YEO VALLEY<br />

FARM YOGHURTS<br />

“<br />

Forget Glastonbury festival,<br />

I’m here in my wellies to stomp<br />

about in apple orchards. In<br />

distilleries. On dairy farms. In<br />

cheese rooms. In smokeries.<br />

”<br />

and Nathan Outlaw with bespoke smoked<br />

produce, as well as restaurant chain Hawksmoor<br />

and Fortnum & Mason. You won’t find Brown<br />

& Forrest produce in supermarkets either, which<br />

is reason enough to make the trip to the redchecked<br />

tableclothed restaurant here (closed<br />

during lockdown, though the shop remains<br />

open) to indulge. ‘Ninety per cent of my stuff<br />

comes from within 20 miles of here,’ says Jesse,<br />

as we survey the rain-spattered, glowing-green<br />

landscape. ‘Somerset grows great grass and that<br />

makes great milk and that makes great cheese.<br />

It’s not rocket science.’<br />

‘Somerset is fantastic for grass,’ echoes Tim<br />

Mead, CEO of Yeo Valley Organic Farm, which<br />

has been making yoghurt since 1969 but decided<br />

to back organic farming 20 years ago and now<br />

has 1800 employees. Unlike Brown & Forrest,<br />

Yeo Valley’s wide range of dairy products<br />

is available in supermarkets across<br />

Britain, and they have a cafe in Somerset’s<br />

Blagdon, as well as one in London’s<br />

Bayswater that serve breakfasts and<br />

brunches, both of which will open again<br />

when COVID-19 restrictions allow.<br />

It’s a slick operation. At the quirkily<br />

decorated Blagdon outlet, there’s<br />

even a dedicated space for their food<br />

ambassador (chef Paul Collins) to do<br />

regular cooking demonstrations, and they<br />

also hold a festival (Valley Fest) at the<br />

end of July that attracts 50,000 visitors<br />

annually, with the hope to run it in a<br />

socially distanced manner in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

‘Today we have over 100 dairy farmers<br />

from the southwest supplying the Yeo<br />

Valley dairies,’ says Tim, ‘We’ve got two<br />

dairy farms of our own and we buy milk<br />

from another 100 dairy farms, and the<br />

total organic milk produced in the UK is<br />

about 5% and we’ve set ourselves a life<br />

goal of 10%. That’s just a big enough<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 87


IMAGES LEFT: COUPLE<br />

ENJOY THE SOMERSET<br />

COUNTRYSIDE;<br />

CHEDDAR GORGE<br />

AND CAVES; CHEDDAR<br />

CHEESE; CHEDDAR<br />

VILLAGE. IMAGES<br />

RIGHT: FOUNDER OF<br />

MULBERRY, ROGER<br />

SAUL: SPELT AND<br />

GRAIN PRODUCED<br />

ON SHARPHAM PARK<br />

FARM; THE ORIGINAL<br />

CHEDDAR CHEESE<br />

COMPANY<br />

©VISITBRITAIN/BEN SELWAY/©NICKSMITHPHOTOGRAPHY.COM<br />

sector that we don’t lose all the knowledge and consumers<br />

now have an option to not have factory-farmed milk.’<br />

True dairy aficionados shouldn’t pass up the opportunity<br />

to sample cheddar cheese in the Somerset village of<br />

Cheddar and from the world’s only cheesemaker that<br />

matures some of it in the caves of Cheddar Gorge itself. ‘It’s<br />

traditional cheddar cheese made by hand,’ says Katherine<br />

Spencer who, along with partner John, took over the small<br />

business when it was in decline in 2003 and turned it into<br />

the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company. ‘We only make<br />

between six and nine cheeses every day. It’s small batch,<br />

it’s very much an artisan process.’ Cheese products and<br />

accessories can be purchased on-line during COVID-19<br />

restrictions, but when the shop re-opens, visitors can also<br />

watch the cheese being made from a viewing gallery.<br />

But the most overachieving small producer I meet is<br />

Roger Saul. The former founder of the Mulberry designer<br />

label was born in Somerset, and after leaving the fashion<br />

world in 2003 he bought a farm here and started growing<br />

spelt. ‘It was a rundown dairy farm that came up for sale for<br />

the first time in 100 years,’ he says, still impeccably attired<br />

as we jolt around the Sharpham Park estate in a buggy (he<br />

also used to be a racing car driver!) as his herd of red deer<br />

frolic below Glastonbury Tor. ‘It was just as organic farming<br />

was really coming back in. Food was the new fashion. So,<br />

I literally jumped out of fashion to being back in fashion by<br />

being in food. And nobody was growing spelt in the UK.<br />

There were millers milling it but no one was actually<br />

growing it seriously.’ Saul’s farm produces not just an<br />

astounding range of spelt products (flour, bread, muesli,<br />

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


“<br />

The most overachieving small<br />

producer I meet is Roger Saul -<br />

former founder of the Mulberry<br />

designer label... born in Somerset<br />

”<br />

porridge) that are stone-ground in the traditional way,<br />

but organic venison and walnuts (‘With 300 trees, we’re<br />

the biggest organic walnut farm in the country, if there<br />

are any other organic, because it takes so long’).<br />

And while the 300-acre Sharpham Park isn’t open<br />

to the public, its organic produce is sold at Waitrose<br />

and Sainsbury’s supermarkets or, when freedoms allow,<br />

can be enjoyed close to the source at the Sharpham<br />

Pantry Restaurant or Harlequin Café in Kilver Court,<br />

essentially a designer village that Saul founded on the<br />

edge of Shepton Mallet in 2011. For a <strong>British</strong> organic food<br />

trailblazer, he’s remarkably humble. ‘Provenance, I think,<br />

today couldn’t be more important,’ he says as we lunch<br />

on his spelt pasta range,’ And we always want to know<br />

where our food comes from. And if it’s organic, from my<br />

perspective, it’s 100 times better for you.<br />

WHERE TO VISIT<br />

–<br />

SOMERSET CIDER BRANDY<br />

somersetciderbrandy.com<br />

–<br />

THATCHERS CIDER<br />

thatcherscider.co.uk<br />

–<br />

BROWN & FORREST SMOKERY<br />

brownandforrest.co.uk<br />

–<br />

YEO VALLEY ORGANIC FARM CAFÉ<br />

yeovalley.co.uk/come-and-visit-us<br />

–<br />

CHEDDAR GORGE CHEESE COMPANY<br />

cheddaronline.co.uk<br />

–<br />

SHARPHAM PANTRY RESTAURANT<br />

kilvercourt.com/cafe-and-restaurant/<br />

sharpham-restaurant<br />

HARLEQUIN CAFÉ<br />

kilvercourt.com/cafe-and-restaurant<br />

/local-cafe<br />

It is a 90-minute train journey from London’s Paddington<br />

Station to Somerset (Bath) with Great Western Railway.<br />

Fly into Bristol or Exeter airport or take the M5 motorway.<br />

visitsomerset.co.uk greatwestway.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 89


10BOUTIQUE<br />

OF THE BEST<br />

STAYS<br />

1<br />

AULINN, ISLE OF SKYE<br />

Anyone who stays at this cute hideaway for couples must feel as if they’ve<br />

bagged front row seats for one of the best natural shows on earth. The views from<br />

the terrace, hot tub and all the windows are nothing short of spectacular – with<br />

the sea mere metres away, fringed by misty mountains. This area is rich in wildlife,<br />

too, with a RSPB otter hide nearby. The building is a simple croft turned sumptuous,<br />

with light-filled rooms, cosy textiles, a slick modern bathroom. There’s a wooden<br />

swing bench on the terrace where you can enjoy special moments – from morning<br />

coffee watching the day unfold, to wrapping up to stargaze as darkness falls. Outside<br />

are three acres of your own grounds to roam. Or get out and explore Skye’s amazing<br />

scenery. Take a dip in the sea or in the crystal clear Fairy Pools. Tramp around the<br />

crags and pinnacles of the Quiraing or up the Old Man of Storr. Hop on a boat to go spot<br />

sea eagles and whales. In between, dine out in some of Skye’s excellent restaurants<br />

– indeed people cross continents to dine at the legendary Three Chimneys. Bring the<br />

credit card! Prices from £1,352 for a long weekend or mid week break. ◆<br />

boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

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


Some fabulous<br />

self-catering properties<br />

have opened around the<br />

UK during lockdown – all<br />

offering privacy, space<br />

and inspiring locations.<br />

Just what we all need!<br />

Words | Emma O'Reilly<br />

3<br />

CLIFFTOPS, DORSET<br />

The Isle of Portland is joined to the rest of Dorset by the<br />

shingle barrier of Chesil Beach. Most visitors bomb<br />

straight to Portland Bill, the famous lighthouse. There’s<br />

much more to see. Clifftops, a new venture at the<br />

Pennsylvania Castle Estate is a good base from which to explore<br />

it. Five sleek looking lodges, each sleeping four, are carved into the<br />

cliffs – made from the local Portland stone, then clad in copper,<br />

designed to weather and blend into their environment. Each<br />

provides sparkling views over the English Channel, best seen from<br />

the terrace. Thoughtful planting of indigenous flora attracts birds<br />

and butterflies. The rooms are sexy and simple, with blonde woods,<br />

neutral furnishings and big windows – it’s all about the view! It’s a<br />

mere totter down to tiny, secret Church Ope Cove for a swim.<br />

Or get out and see the rest of the island – from Portland Castle,<br />

built by King Henry VIII, and with an interesting war-time history to<br />

The Tour Quarry Sculpture Park, set in a disused quarry and used as<br />

a vast outdoor studio by artists. Chesil Beach is wild and windswept<br />

– good for long walks and wildlife spotting. Lodges priced from<br />

around £585 for a three-night stay. ◆<br />

thepennestate.co.uk/the-estate/clifftops<br />

2SANDYBURY BARN, SHROPSHIRE<br />

This big, modern rustic barn sleeps up to seven across its four<br />

bedrooms. Double height windows and open plan spaces<br />

mean plenty of room to spread out. Speaking of space, there<br />

are no less than 3000 acres literally on the doorstep. The barn is on<br />

the Dudmaston Estate. Bring your bike and cycle, or walk, through<br />

the parkland and woodland paths, past lakes and babbling brooks.<br />

Dudmaston House is a very pleasing rainy-day option. It’s been lived<br />

in by one family, inherited through birth and marriage, for 875 years<br />

and, for a stately home, it has a surprisingly homely feel. It would be<br />

easy to spend a break here and go nowhere else, but it would be a<br />

shame to miss out on the bucolic scenery of Shropshire – the beauty<br />

spots of Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge are both just a short drive<br />

away. Prices from £975 for a three night stay. ◆<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91


4<br />

EDITOR'S CHOICE<br />

FRITTON LAKE,<br />

NORTH NORFOLK<br />

Fritton Lake, set in 250 acres of mature woodland<br />

with stunning views of the open countryside and one of the<br />

most beautiful lakes in East Anglia, has recently completed its<br />

luxury refurbishment to include a new outdoor heated swimming<br />

pool, tennis courts, children’s adventure trail and other outdoor<br />

games. Since the coronavirus pandemic has left us all searching<br />

for ways to live a healthier lifestyle, thinking more about our<br />

happiness and wellbeing, the timing of this, along with the<br />

launch of their new luxury holiday lodges, couldn’t be better.<br />

This simple peaceful retreat offers the perfect setting in which<br />

to reconnect with nature and de-stress from the modern world.<br />

It’s a members club, with 100% self-owned lodges located in<br />

fields and woods around the tranquil grounds, all within a few<br />

minute’s reach of the lake. Some of the property owners rent out<br />

their properties for holiday-goers while others enjoy the facilities<br />

around their second-home, retreating to them whenever they get<br />

BRITISH<br />

TRAVEL<br />

JOURNAL<br />

LOVES<br />

<strong>2021</strong><br />

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


EDITOR'S HIGHLIGHTS<br />

ENJOYING THE LAKE<br />

The lake is the heartbeat of Fritton Lake - In<br />

addition to the main resort hub, watersports and<br />

open water swimming clubs, the weekly classes<br />

including trail running, dancercise and yoga also<br />

take advantage of the beautiful views.<br />

SOMERLEYTON HALL<br />

Fritton Lake sits as part of the Somerleyton country<br />

estate, and Somerleyton Hall and Gardens are<br />

just under four miles away. One of the great<br />

Victorian country houses surrounded by 12 acres<br />

of arboretum and formal gardens, including<br />

Nesfield’s famous maze and finely restored<br />

parterre. Enjoy cream teas and charming guides.<br />

CLAY AND GRASS COURT TENNIS<br />

The club has four tennis courts, a pair of lawn<br />

tennis courts, and two clay, one of which is a new<br />

‘all-weather clay’ allowing for year-round play.<br />

Tennis coaching is also available.<br />

the chance (out of lockdown!). In the centre there’s a charming pub,<br />

The Fritton Arms, with eight beautiful guest rooms, serving also as the<br />

resort club house exclusively for members and guests.<br />

Think locally sourced seasonal menus, roaring fires, wooden beams,<br />

deep sofas and pretty fairy lights in the courtyard garden – a beautiful<br />

spot to dine alfresco and enjoy as the sun is setting. Adventures can<br />

be found in the nature and on the lake, to include wild swimming, trail<br />

running, yoga, canoeing, rowing and even Croquet – but most of all<br />

Fritton Lake is a place to relax, to enjoy the peace and quiet and great<br />

local food – to sit and read a book or take a gentle stroll along the lake<br />

and replenish your sense of wellbeing. Cabins are priced from £647 off<br />

season and £1734 peak season for a 3/4 night stay. Rooms for B&B at<br />

The Fritton Arms are priced from £140 per night all season ◆<br />

frittonlake.co.uk<br />

PONIES ARE WELCOME!<br />

Formerly a farmstead, Fritton Lake is blessed with<br />

wonderful stables. For a small extra charge you<br />

can bring your pony on holiday and either enjoy a<br />

guided ride around the lakeside woodland or brush<br />

up on your show-jumping and dressage.<br />

VINEYARD AND BREWERY TOURS<br />

Discover more about the emerging food and drink<br />

scene in the Wild East of England by joining a tour<br />

with a selection of local breweries and vineyards to<br />

hear from passionate owners and to taste fantastic<br />

locally sourced produce.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 93


5<br />

WILD ESCAPES, HAMPSHIRE<br />

Treehouses just went up a notch! These five snazzy little numbers<br />

by Wild Escapes are the first ever to be built on a UK vineyard. So, as<br />

guests, it would surely be rude not to lie in your outdoor bath, a glass<br />

of (ultra local!) Black Chalk wine in hand. If you like it, organise a vineyard<br />

tour and tasting with lunch (truffle hunts in late Autumn too). Each of the<br />

four treehouses sleeps a couple (two can take a further two adults) and<br />

is slightly different but they all have an ultra large outdoor bath, outdoor<br />

and indoor showers, a loo, kitchen, wood burner and electric heating and<br />

lighting. You can still say you’re camping though, right? The local town,<br />

Stockbridge, has plenty to divert – independent shops, tea rooms, pubs and<br />

restaurants, galleries and gift shops. Danebury Hill Fort, Houghton Lodge<br />

Gardens, and the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop are also nearby.<br />

But you’ll probably want to spend most of your time hiding away in your<br />

beautiful bolthole. Prices from £280 per night for 2 adults. ◆<br />

canopyandstars.co.uk<br />

6THE LAVENDER SHACK, SUFFOLK<br />

This bijou barn conversion for two is a delight – all vaulted ceilings<br />

and restful Scandi chic interiors. It sits in deep countryside on the<br />

Suffolk/Norfolk border, just a half hour or so from the Suffolk coast<br />

(and under an hour from the beaches of Norfolk). On warm days<br />

bifold doors can be flung open, with views of woodland and flowers - the<br />

florist owner’s cutting garden is here. In cooler weather there’s underfloor<br />

heating and a wood burner to keep things cosy. The little details have<br />

been thought out – like a super king size bed, a second smart TV in the<br />

bedroom, a Lavazza coffee machine and an electric car charging point<br />

outside. Close by is the village of Broome, with its dog-friendly pub. Also<br />

minutes away is paddle boarding and canoeing on the River Waveney and<br />

Beccles, gateway to the Norfolk Broads from where you can spend time<br />

messing about in boats. Prices from £391 for a midweek stay. ◆<br />

norfolkhideaways.co.uk<br />

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


7<br />

LITTLE RED LOCK,<br />

THE COTSWOLDS<br />

A kind of alchemy happens when city folk fall in love and up sticks from<br />

the city in search of a secret country bolthole. Filled to the beams with<br />

English eccentricity and encircled by a wooden picket fence, this unique<br />

canal-side home near Banbury in the Cotswolds is a perfect example.<br />

Little Red Lock's waterfront setting on the Oxford canal oozes tranquillity,<br />

while inside its brick walls, a carnival-like celebration of eclectic rustic<br />

charm awaits. In true English country home style, copper pans hang<br />

above a clotted cream coloured Aga and heavy curtains frame bucolic<br />

views as far as the eye can see. Mornings are best spent plotting the<br />

day's adventures with a generous breakfast spread laid out on the picnic<br />

table by the water's edge; the mooing cows or odd passing narrowboat<br />

your only neighbours. The market town of Banbury (six miles south) is a<br />

higgledy-piggledy affair with narrow alleyways and independent shops.<br />

Sleeps 6, prices from £1,950 per week, £1,495 per short break ◆<br />

uniquehomestays.com<br />

8<br />

TREGONCE FARMHOUSE,<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Relax, unwind and reconnect in this beautiful Grade II Listed<br />

stone built farmhouse with breathtaking views across the North<br />

Cornish coast. From your holiday door it is a short walk down to the<br />

banks of the Camel Estuary and along the Camel Trail into Padstow<br />

where Michelin starred restaurants, artisan shops and cool cafes blend<br />

beautifully with the Cornish harbour life. Take a trip around the bay at<br />

high speed, hop aboard the Padstow to Rock Ferry, stop for a local ale<br />

and crab sandwich and simply immerse yourself in the beauty of this<br />

wonderful coastal town. Join the South West Coast path from Padstow to<br />

the dramatic high cliffs, across golden sand beaches and across stunning<br />

headlands. Hit the waves at nearby Harlyn Bay or Trevone, stretch<br />

out across the beach at Constantine and Treyarnon Bay and find your<br />

favourite corner of this magical corner of Cornwall. Sleeps 7.<br />

Prices from £1620 (3 nights) and £2025 (7 nights). ◆<br />

cornishgems.com<br />

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


9<br />

THE WELLS GLAMPING,<br />

HEREFORDSHIRE<br />

With most events cancelled for the foreseeable, what to do with all<br />

those trendy Airstream trailers used for housing pop stars and festival<br />

goers? Well that’s exactly what the team at The Wells Glamping thought.<br />

They’re keeping five of them busy in two big, peaceful (ie. minus the loud music!)<br />

meadows in Herefordshire. Each sleeps 2-5 guests with everything needed within<br />

– kitchens, beds, shower rooms and loos. Outside are picnic tables, and firepits<br />

and hot tubs are available to hire if you want them, too. Within a 20-minute<br />

drive of the site are plenty of sightseeing options – from the National Trust’s<br />

Brockhampton Estate to the Malvern Hills for walking and the city of Hereford,<br />

whose cathedral is home to the Mappa Mundi. Herefordshire is a delight to drive<br />

around, with the 40-mile ‘Black and White Village Trail’ brimming with pretty<br />

timbered and half timbered houses, orchards and hop fields. Prices on request. ◆<br />

thewellsglamping.co.uk<br />

10National Park. It’s an area jam packed with amazing beaches – with more<br />

GRANAR TREHILYN, PEMBROKESHIRE<br />

Stunning location, stunning house…what more could one ask for?<br />

Strumble Head is a rocky headland and lighthouse (and excellent<br />

place to view dolphins, grey seals, even orcas) in the Pembrokeshire Coast<br />

Blue Flags than anywhere in the UK. Just a short walk away from it all is this<br />

former stone granary, once used to store grain or feed. The house has been<br />

lovingly converted by comedian Griff Rhys Jones and his designer son, and is<br />

part of the family’s 70 acre Trehilyn Estate - the restoration of the farm was seen<br />

in BBC series ‘A Pembrokeshire Farm. Prices from £564 for a midweek stay. ◆<br />

underthethatch.co.uk/granart<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97


BRITISH TRAVEL JOURNAL CROSSWORD 08<br />

ACROSS<br />

1 Pulled over (7)<br />

5 Saucer study (7)<br />

9 Urbane (6)<br />

10 Sidmouth's cliffs are from this<br />

period (8)<br />

11 Loch Ness castle (8)<br />

12 Avaricious (6)<br />

13 Advocates (10)<br />

15 --- Thames, an historic street<br />

next to Tower Bridge (4)<br />

16 Parliamentary productions (4)<br />

18 In a unified manner (10)<br />

21 Burns brightly (6)<br />

22 Rebelled at sea (8)<br />

24 The Granite City (8)<br />

25 William III's favourite fruit? (6)<br />

26 Annie and Oliver Twist (7)<br />

27 Secreted (7)<br />

DOWN<br />

2 Devon/Cornwall border river (5)<br />

3 Scandalous affair of the early<br />

1960s (7)<br />

4 Mountainous gardens near<br />

Faversham, Kent? (7)<br />

6 Cold spots (7)<br />

7 Flat fillers (7)<br />

8 Ceremonial centre of the City of<br />

London (9)<br />

10 Egyptian subject of a permanent<br />

exhibition in Dorchester (11)<br />

14 Vale of Avalon brand? (9)<br />

17 Cumbrian stately home (7)<br />

18 Artificial reservoir (7)<br />

19 So Titus, drunk, doesn't dance<br />

(4,3)<br />

20 Roman sackers (7)<br />

23 Caernarfon Castle's most<br />

impressive tower (5)<br />

The first correct crossword received will be rewarded with a free gift from<br />

The <strong>Travel</strong>ling Reader. Simply send your completed crossword (or the answers)<br />

with your choice of The Original, The London, or Simply <strong>British</strong> Tastes box,<br />

(thetravellingreader.com) and your postal address, by post to <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

<strong>Journal</strong>, Mitchell House, Brook Avenue, Warsash, Southampton, Hampshire,<br />

SO31 9HP, or email the answers to crossword@britishtraveljournal.com<br />

Answers will be printed in the Summer Issue out 4 June<br />

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD 07 | AUTUMN/WINTER 2020<br />

ACROSS: 8 Oil palm 9 Yule log 10 Napoleon 11 Missus 12 Aintree 13<br />

Orcombe 14 L S Ts 17 Etive 19 Sham 23 Thrones 24 Cuillin 25 Glasto 26<br />

Romancer 27 Ingrate 28 Islands DOWN: 1 Cornwall 2 Slip knot 3 Sailors 4<br />

Immodest 5 Submerge 6 Tensions 7 Columbia 15 St Helena 16 Scousers 17<br />

Eyemouth 18 Victoria 20 Holocene 21 Montrose 22 Sizable.<br />

FOR YOUR JOURNEY<br />

Books, apps, travel gadgets and crossword<br />

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

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