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British Travel Journal | Summer 2021

It has felt like a long time to be deprived of the richness and fulfilment travel brings - exploring new places, spending a night at your favourite hotel, unwinding in a spa, or enjoying an afternoon tea in a beautiful garden. While we might have forgotten how good this all feels, our desire to travel has not been lost. This issue is all about health, wellness and meaningful travel – ‘slow travel’ (as it has recently been dubbed). So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable trip, to be enjoyed at your own pace, then we hope you will find plenty of inspiration within our summer features. Our top ten life-affirming Health Breaks, are guaranteed to reboot the body and mind, while our Best Tall Ship and Sailing Adventures, offer the ultimate active escapism. The brand-new collection curated National Trust experiences, are not to be missed, and our Top Eco-Attractions, showcase the very best of our natural world. Wishing you safe and magical, extraordinary summer of staycations!

It has felt like a long time to be deprived of the richness and fulfilment travel brings - exploring new places, spending a night at your favourite hotel, unwinding in a spa, or enjoying an afternoon tea in a beautiful garden. While we might have forgotten how good this all feels, our desire to travel has not been lost. This issue is all about health, wellness and meaningful travel – ‘slow travel’ (as it has recently been dubbed). So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable trip, to be enjoyed at your own pace, then we hope you will find plenty of inspiration within our summer features. Our top ten life-affirming Health Breaks, are guaranteed to reboot the body and mind, while our Best Tall Ship and Sailing Adventures, offer the ultimate active escapism. The brand-new collection curated National Trust experiences, are not to be missed, and our Top Eco-Attractions, showcase the very best of our natural world. Wishing you safe and magical, extraordinary summer of staycations!

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BRITISH TRAVEL<br />

JOURNAL<br />

explore the british isles<br />

SUMMER <strong>2021</strong> | ISSUE 09<br />

BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM<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 />

Welcome<br />

EDITOR’S LETTER<br />

—<br />

EDITORS<br />

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way<br />

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford<br />

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding<br />

CONTRIBUTORS<br />

Chantal Borciani, Sophie Farrah,<br />

Helen Holmes, Emma Johnson,<br />

Adrian Mourby, Emma O’Reilly,<br />

Lydia Paleschi, Adrienne Wyper<br />

COVER PHOTO<br />

—<br />

Sailing yachts in Hunters Yard, Ludham,<br />

near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk<br />

© VisitEngland/Broads Authority/Julian Claxton<br />

Published by<br />

CONTISTA MEDIA<br />

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

Southampton, SO31 9HP<br />

01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<br />

All rights reserved by Contista Media Ltd. Copyright is either<br />

owned by or licenced to Contista Media Ltd, or permitted by the<br />

original copyright holder. Reproduction in whole or part without<br />

written permission is strictly prohibited. While every care is taken<br />

prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd<br />

take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Views expressed by<br />

authors are not necessarily those of the publisher.<br />

CAN YOU REMEMBER the last time you<br />

stepped foot on a sandy shore, wandered along<br />

a countryside path with the scents of summer<br />

bloom, or enjoyed fresh local produce cooked<br />

for you to perfection in a beautiful setting?<br />

It has felt like a long time to be deprived of the richness and<br />

fulfilment travel brings - exploring new places, spending a night at<br />

your favourite hotel, unwinding in a spa, or enjoying an afternoon<br />

tea in a beautiful garden. While we might have forgotten how good<br />

this all feels, our desire to travel has not been lost.<br />

This issue is all about health, wellness and meaningful travel –<br />

‘slow travel’ (as it has recently been dubbed). So, if you’re looking<br />

for an unforgettable trip, to be enjoyed at your own pace, then we<br />

hope you will find plenty of inspiration within our summer features.<br />

Our top ten life-affirming Health Breaks, p86 are guaranteed<br />

to reboot the body and mind, while our Best Tall Ship and Sailing<br />

Adventures, p50 offer the ultimate active escapism.<br />

The brand-new collection of curated National Parks experiences,<br />

p32 are not to be missed, and our Top Eco-Attractions, p44<br />

showcase the very best of our natural world.<br />

If spending 48 Hours in Babbacombe, South Devon appeals, I<br />

hope you will enjoy my recent memoir, p78, and if a historic town<br />

is on your summer agenda, lace your boots up ready for a walk<br />

around the picturesque Chester City Walls, p92.<br />

If all this wanderlust is leaving you feeling thirsty, yet hungry for<br />

more, Mead Bubbly from Bees, p18 and our Chef’s Table, round up of<br />

the best gourmet dining experiences, p72 should hopefully hit-thespot<br />

- leaving no excuses for an evening of epicurean-delights.<br />

Hotels and destinations across the <strong>British</strong> Isles have never been<br />

more ready to welcome us back - I am delighted to be setting off on<br />

my <strong>British</strong> journeys again soon, and I hope you will be too - wishing<br />

you a safe and magical, extraordinary summer!<br />

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

Jessica x<br />

JESSICA WAY<br />

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF<br />

–<br />

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

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

SHORTLISTED<br />

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


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CONTENTS<br />

SUMMER <strong>2021</strong> | ISSUE 09<br />

—<br />

44<br />

32<br />

IMAGE © VISITBRITAIN/ROD EDWARDS/MALCOLMSNELGROVE<br />

JOTTINGS<br />

09<br />

TRAVEL NEWS<br />

Our selection of the finest new staycation<br />

packages, from safari park luxury lodges to the<br />

latest five-star hotel in the centre of London, there’s<br />

something new in the city, coast and countryside.<br />

MEET THE MAKERS OF MEAD<br />

18 BUBBLY FROM BEES<br />

We’re going mad over mead this summer, made<br />

from just two ingredients: water and honey… and<br />

perhaps the world’s oldest alcoholic drink.<br />

HARBOUR HOTELS<br />

24 Drift away with us while discovering more<br />

about this exciting hotel brand's new Sleep Retreat<br />

in Richmond and Beach Club in Salcombe - both<br />

launching this summer.<br />

FOR YOUR JOURNEY<br />

100 Latest travel essentials and crossword.<br />

FEATURES<br />

32<br />

NATIONAL PARKS EXPERIENCES<br />

A brand-new collection of curated experiences<br />

has launched this summer across England’s nine<br />

iconic National Parks, from bushcraft to goat herding,<br />

kayaking to night-time reserve walks.<br />

TOP ECO-ATTRACTIONS<br />

44 Be inspired and educated, as well as<br />

entertained, by visiting our top ten UK projects<br />

which showcase our natural world at the same time<br />

as working to protect it.<br />

THE BEST OF TALL SHIPS AND<br />

50 SAILING ADVENTURES<br />

From metropolitan marinas and busy ports to the<br />

open seas and peaceful archipelagos, sailing is the<br />

definition of both freedom and excitement.<br />

à<br />

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


64<br />

E D I T O R<br />

L O V E S<br />

Add a splash of retro chic to your<br />

summer wardrobe with these<br />

Rhodium framed sunglasses - part<br />

of the new Silhouette collection, Sun<br />

Lite, priced £260. #tryitwearitloveit<br />

silhouette.com<br />

The White Company's perfect<br />

on-the-go essential for holidays<br />

and weekends away, Spa<br />

Restore Essentials Set, along<br />

with a useful Spa Headband and<br />

Waffle Bag to keep all the pieces<br />

together. Refreshingly cool and<br />

rejuvenating, it feels like walking<br />

into a luxurious spa, priced £55.<br />

thewhitecompany.com<br />

78<br />

DESTINATIONS<br />

64<br />

OUTDOOR DIPS<br />

Our top outdoor pools for taking<br />

the plunge this summer, from laps in fivestar<br />

luxury, soaking up the skyline from a<br />

city rooftop to reconnecting with nature in a<br />

stylish swimming ‘pond’.<br />

CHEF'S TABLE<br />

72 Discover staycation dining with<br />

our round up of the best gourmet at-home<br />

dining options from Michelin chef catering to<br />

curated menus delivered direct to your door.<br />

48 HOURS IN BABBACOMBE<br />

78 With rugged sandstone cliffs and<br />

azure-blue waters, the coastal scenery<br />

surrounding Cary Arms Hotel & Spa in<br />

Babbacombe, South Devon, is beautiful<br />

enough to rival the Mediterranean.<br />

72<br />

HEALTH BREAKS<br />

88 Relax, get fit, reboot body and mind<br />

and be pampered…all is possible, and at a<br />

social distance, on these revitalising, lifeaffirming<br />

breaks around the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />

WALKING TOUR OF CHESTER<br />

94 CITY WALLS<br />

Now that we are able to wander around<br />

Britain's towns again, visiting historic sites<br />

and stopping somewhere picturesque for a<br />

relaxing lunch, the walled city of Chester is<br />

at the top of our list.<br />

Subscription Offer<br />

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Plus sign up to our e-newsletter<br />

britishtraveljournal.com/newsletter<br />

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


GREAT GIFT IDEAS<br />

The best<br />

birthday gift<br />

for <strong>2021</strong>?<br />

Are you looking for a brilliant birthday<br />

present idea?<br />

W<br />

ith the end of lockdown rapidly approaching,<br />

staycations are finally back on the agenda with<br />

Britain’s beautiful hotels ready to reopen their<br />

doors. So, whether you’ve got a birthday coming up or you know<br />

someone who does, there’s no better way to celebrate than with<br />

the gift of Roomcard.<br />

Roomcard is the digital gift card for the world’s 10,000 most<br />

inspirational hotels, covering the very best of Britain and beyond.<br />

Roomcard allows you to add your own customised wrapping<br />

and personal greeting – whether you prefer a video, photo gallery,<br />

spoken or written message. Schedule the delivery of Roomcard<br />

at precisely your chosen time, and then, right on cue, it<br />

will be delivered straight to the recipient’s phone. roomcard.com<br />

TM<br />

Stay, inspired.


Are you making the most<br />

of your holiday home?<br />

At Rural Retreats our team is dedicated to managing your holiday home with<br />

the same care and attention you would, ensuring it fulfils its full potential.<br />

With a range of tailored services to suit your needs, you can be as involved as<br />

much as you like, knowing that you and your guests will be well looked after.<br />

01386 898 658<br />

newowners@ruralretreats.co.uk<br />

ruralretreats.co.uk


LOOKING AHEAD...<br />

TRAVEL NEWS<br />

Reignite your passion for travel this summer with our selection of what's<br />

new from hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions across the <strong>British</strong> Isles<br />

PEAK DISTRICT<br />

The Tawny<br />

If you are looking for a unique, rural and eco-friendly<br />

retreat for your next staycation then consider The<br />

Tawny. This is, as they describe, 'a hotel like no other'.<br />

Accommodation is private and rural, comprising of<br />

wildwood huts, treehouses, romantic boathouses,<br />

luxury retreats - and our personal favourite, the<br />

Lookout - with freestanding bathtub and private deck<br />

with an outdoor spa bath and shower. Could this be<br />

the ultimate country escape we all need? Bathe outside<br />

under starlit skies, enjoy the perfect picnic, share a<br />

meal with gorgeous views of the transformed Consall<br />

Gardens with stunning natural beauty all around - and,<br />

should you need it, there's a fabulous restaurant, room<br />

service, and heated outdoor pool on the estate too. ◆<br />

thetawny.co.uk<br />

Editor loves<br />

EDINBURGH<br />

Audio & Award<br />

Scottish actor, Mark Bonnar, best known for his<br />

roles as Duncan Hunter in Shetland, Bruno Jenkins in<br />

Casualty, and DCC Mike Dryden in Line of Duty, is the<br />

new voice behind The Royal Yacht Britannia's brilliant<br />

audio tour commentary - available to all museum<br />

visitors. Not only this - the 'outstanding attraction' has<br />

just been awarded Best UK Attraction 2020 by Which?<br />

Magazine - and we say, it's well deserved. ◆<br />

royalyachtbritannia.co.uk<br />

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


New hotels and restaurants<br />

CHELSEA<br />

The Apartments by 11<br />

Cadogan Gardens<br />

Following the recent launch of The Mayfair<br />

Townhouse, Iconic Luxury Hotels (owners of<br />

Chewton Glen, Cliveden House and The Lygon<br />

Arms) have opened their doors to yet more<br />

luxurious accommodation in the capital. The<br />

Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens are in the<br />

heart of Chelsea life. Knightsbridge, Harrods<br />

and the Saatchi Gallery are all around the<br />

corner, and just a stone’s throw away is<br />

Chelsea’s bustling Sloane Square. Stay and<br />

enjoy 11 Cadogan Gardens own Hans’ Bar &<br />

Grill, nestled amongst the artisanal shops and<br />

food suppliers of picturesque Pavilion Road.<br />

Prices from £270 per night. ◆<br />

11cadogangardens.com<br />

BERKSHIRE<br />

North Lodge, Coworth Park<br />

Coworth Park - one of the three extraordinary<br />

<strong>British</strong> hotels owned by the iconic Dorchester<br />

collection (the other two being 45 Park Lane and<br />

The Dorchester) is an idyllic 70-bedroom Mansion<br />

House, yet nestled within its 240 acre grounds<br />

there are more hidden treasures to discover.<br />

The latest gem to be unveilled is North Lodge,<br />

a delightfully cosy gatehouse cottage, and the<br />

second in their collection of private signature<br />

suites, alongside The Dower House - a Grade II<br />

listed cottage built in 1775. North Lodge is set<br />

amongst idyllic private gardens, and has been<br />

beautifully restored with its own idyllic country<br />

garden, three en-suite bedrooms, a roll-top<br />

bath, gated entrance, state-of-the-art kitchen<br />

and private chef. To elevate the experience, spa<br />

therapists can even perform treatments in the<br />

comfort of your suite. Pure bliss! ◆<br />

dorchestercollection.com<br />

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


SURREY<br />

Vineyards of the Surrey Hills<br />

One of the home counties is giving the French a run for their money<br />

with a newly-formed collective of five vineyards set in an Area of<br />

Outstanding Natural Beauty, inviting you to try their English Wines.<br />

surreyhillsvineyards.co.uk<br />

VALE OF AYLESBURY<br />

Fine dining at Waddesdon<br />

The grounds to Waddesdon's Windmill Hill have been<br />

opened to visitors for the first time, offering a new<br />

award-winning dining experience. Pictured right,<br />

these new dining domes, set between the cutting-edge<br />

art and architecture, offer fine dining experiences<br />

within a covid-safe bubble. You are also located high<br />

on the hill, overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury - the<br />

same spectacular view which first drew Ferdinand de<br />

Rothschild to Waddesdon in 1874. You can now dine in<br />

a location which has never been open to guests before,<br />

enjoying fresh seasonal menus paired with delicious<br />

cocktails and wines. Lunch, afternoon tea and dinner<br />

sittings are available from 20 May-13 June. ◆<br />

diningdomes.group/waddesdonwindmillhill<br />

New whisky experience<br />

SUTHERLAND<br />

Highland home of Johnnie Walker<br />

Located on Scotland’s North Coast 500 route through the world<br />

famous Highlands, the previously named Clynelish Distillery experience<br />

has been completely reimagined as 'world-beating, multi-sensory<br />

and interactive'. There's also a brand new terrace bar (pictured left)<br />

overlooking Brora’s rolling hills from which to enjoy a Scotch highball<br />

or dram. Plus there is excitement building around the brand-new,<br />

much-anticipated, Johnnie Walker Princes Street whisky visitor experience<br />

opening in Edinburgh this summer too. We'll cheer Slàinte Mhath to that. ◆<br />

malts.com/en-gb/tours<br />

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


Family adventures<br />

CHISWICK<br />

Bring Into Being<br />

Chiswick House & Gardens is a popular<br />

family attraction - a Roman style Palladian<br />

villa designed by the Third Earl of<br />

Burlington and 65-acre Grade-1 listed,<br />

award-winning Gardens, but now there's<br />

another reason to visit. In a new direction,<br />

the 18th century heritage site has launched<br />

a creative artistic programme, Bring Into<br />

Being (27 May - 31 October <strong>2021</strong>), featuring<br />

three site-specific artwork installations by<br />

Turner-prize winning artist Mark Wallinger,<br />

esteemed sound artist Peter Adjaye and<br />

installation artist Jaimini Patel.<br />

Prices Adults £11, Family £23.50. ◆<br />

chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk<br />

HERTFORDSHIRE<br />

The Grove<br />

Set in 300 acres of verdant Hertfordshire countryside, this ultimate<br />

five-star retreat has been completely remastered. Following a twoyear<br />

long refurbishment, all three of their restaurants, lobby and west<br />

wing bedrooms have been completely transformed, re-emerging after<br />

lockdown as a new hotel. Lovingly restored, The Grove is the former<br />

home of the Earls of Clarendon, with a rich history dating back to<br />

the 1500s. In addition to 215 luxurious guestrooms, The Grove has an<br />

award-winning spa, championship golf course, an original Walled<br />

Garden, heated outdoor pool and even boasts its own ‘beach'.<br />

Nightly rates start from £370 for a West Wing Classic Room. ◆<br />

thegrove.co.uk<br />

COVENT GARDEN<br />

The Art of Banksy<br />

The world’s largest collection of privately owned Banksy art is now on view<br />

in Earlham Street in a new exhibition until 20 November, having previously<br />

travelled across the globe from Toronto to Melbourne. artofbanksy.co.uk<br />

IMAGE © RICKARD MONÉUS<br />

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


NATIONWIDE<br />

The Ultimate Staycation Breakfast<br />

Heading off on holiday? Delivered straight to your holiday<br />

home, the Staycation Bundle contains everything you need for<br />

a delicious, hearty breakfast, to include Dry Cured Back Bacon,<br />

Cacklebean Mixed Chicken Eggs and <strong>British</strong> Piccolo Tomatoes.<br />

The Staycation Bundle is priced £22.50, 44foods.com<br />

SOUTH WALES<br />

Zip World Tower<br />

Zip World have launched a new site, Zip World<br />

Tower, set in the iconic Rhigos mountain<br />

range with stunning views that overlook the<br />

beautiful Welsh landscape, including the<br />

Brecon Beacons. The adventure hub is home<br />

to Phoenix, the world’s fastest seated zip line,<br />

Big Red, a mobile zip version for kids, and<br />

Tower Coaster, a toboggan-style rollercoaster<br />

(if you dare!). The site is situated at the old<br />

Tower Colliery coal mining site - the oldest<br />

continuously working deep coal mine in the<br />

UK, prior to its closure in 2008 - and Zip World<br />

Tower has been designed to create a lasting<br />

legacy to its deep-rooted mining heritage. ◆<br />

zipworld.co.uk/location/tower<br />

You might also enjoy<br />

WORCESTERSHIRE<br />

Safari Park Animal Lodges<br />

West Midland Safari Park have launched their long-awaited Safari<br />

Lodges, welcoming guests to stay for the very first time at the luxury<br />

overnight accommodation. Six of the lodges offer the only overnight<br />

experience with elephants in the UK, whilst two more lodges offer<br />

incredible views of the Park’s cheetahs , designed to give guests an<br />

immersive and unforgettable overnight wildlife experience. Prices start<br />

from £171 per adult per night and £147 per night for a child. ◆<br />

safari-lodges.co.uk<br />

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


We love<br />

The Snuggy<br />

If you're heading on a glamping trip, pod, log cabin or shepherd<br />

hut style, where sitting around a fire pit in the evening and toasting<br />

marshmallows is a must then we recommend adding a super soft<br />

fleece Snuggy to your packing list. Available in five different colours,<br />

priced £59.99, or for children £34.99, snuggy.shop<br />

NORTH NORFOLK<br />

Godwick Hall<br />

'Schlamping' is the new term for glamping at Godwick Hall, with<br />

the launch of their three stunning new luxurious shepherds huts.<br />

Set in 100 acres of quintessential English countryside with sheep<br />

dotted about the pastures and the lost medieval village of Godwick,<br />

which is open to explore. Think oak wooden floors, butler sinks and<br />

narrowboat wood burners, outdoor firepits and plenty of extra wood.<br />

Just add a glass of fizz and marvel at the stars for the perfect ‘getting<br />

away from it all’ experience. In the morning enjoy a continental or<br />

bacon buttie breakfast delivered to the hut before setting out to<br />

explore the Norfolk countryside and beautiful beaches. Shepherd's<br />

Huts prices from £90/night minimum two night stay. ◆<br />

godwickhall.co.uk<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Water's Edge<br />

Who doesn’t want to be by the water’s edge<br />

right now? With more of us searching for<br />

properties to accommodate large family<br />

groups, this wonderful five bedroom retreat<br />

close to the sea in Mawgan Porth must fill you<br />

with multi-generation travelust. Not only is it<br />

a short stroll from the beach, it’s also just steps<br />

from the South West Coastal Path – perfect for<br />

combining fitness with fabulous views. It is also<br />

just around the corner from The Scarlett, which<br />

offers amazing spa treatments and a wonderful<br />

swimming pool as well as incredible meals.<br />

Prices from £1,719 for a long weekend or<br />

mid week break. ◆<br />

boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

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


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


PICCADILLY<br />

The Dilly<br />

Have you missed dancing? The Dilly is not only the latest five-star hotel<br />

to open in the centre of London, but the first to offer its own dedicated<br />

dance studio – Inspiration 2 Dance. For private groups and family<br />

lessons, guests are invited to learn Smooth, Latin and/or Ballroom from<br />

world-class teachers. Bookable via the website or the hotel’s concierge.<br />

Room rates start from £219, thedillylondon.com<br />

SHROPSHIRE<br />

Sham Castle<br />

Searching for a stay with the wow factor?<br />

Built in 1780, this beautiful Grade II* listed<br />

folly boasts far reaching, panoramic and<br />

spectacular views across rolling countryside to<br />

the Wrekin and has it in droves. Its enviable,<br />

elevated position on top of a rock knoll<br />

overlooks a lake and 1.75 acres of enclosed<br />

gardens. Enjoy sun loungers and fruit trees -<br />

when the fruit is ripe you are welcome to pick<br />

what you want. Sham Castle is the perfect<br />

romantic escape - needless to say, you could<br />

lose yourselves here for days.<br />

Sleeps four guests, prices from £867 for a 3-night<br />

stay with welcome hamper included. ◆<br />

ruralretreats.co.uk<br />

You might also enjoy<br />

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE<br />

Horwood House<br />

For those looking for a touch of rural luxury, stunning Grade II listed country<br />

house hotel Horwood House is just the ticket. Steeped in history and set<br />

deep within the idyllic Buckinghamshire countryside, the hotel has reopened<br />

following an extensive £5.5 million refurbishment of its 165 bedrooms, lounge<br />

areas, 38 acres of landscaped gardens and new restaurants. It has launched<br />

a series of new staycation packages, such as Picnic in the Park, which includes<br />

an overnight stay, breakfast, dinner, picnic afternoon tea for you to enjoy al<br />

fresco – sandwiches with a side of nature. Priced at £189 for two people. ◆<br />

horwoodhouse.co.uk<br />

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


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


MEET THE MAKERS OF...<br />

MEAD<br />

BUBBLY FROM BEES<br />

Perhaps the world’s oldest alcoholic drink, mead is<br />

made from just two ingredients: water and honey…<br />

Words | Adrienne Wyper<br />

RECORDS SHOW THAT mead was made as long ago as<br />

8,000BC, and some sources believe it may have originally<br />

occurred naturally, when honey and rainwater mixed in<br />

the hollow of a tree and fermented, later to be spotted and<br />

sampled by curious humans.<br />

Since then, production techniques have become more sophisticated,<br />

and yeast is added, to supplement the natural yeasts in the<br />

atmosphere. Simple yet versatile, mead can vary widely, from deep<br />

caramel to pale lemon in colour, from dry to sweet, still or sparkling.<br />

And its alcohol content can range from around four per cent, on a<br />

par with beer, up to 20%, similar to a fortified wine.<br />

Mead made from more than honey and water has several different<br />

names: with added herbs or spices it’s metheglin; with fruit such<br />

as cherries or blackberries, which helped to preserve the harvest in<br />

past times, it’s melomel, or cyser if apple is added; and pyment, with<br />

grape juice. Special honeys, such as orange blossom or heather, can<br />

influence the taste of the finished product.<br />

With all this natural variation, there’s a mead to suit all tastes and<br />

à<br />

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


“<br />

New meadmakers position the world’s<br />

oldest drink as a contemporary choice, a<br />

traditional drink brought up to date, in the<br />

same way as craft beer<br />

”<br />

all drinking occasions. Many factors inspire a thirst for mead: whether<br />

it’s a desire for local produce with a sense of terroir (mead is made all<br />

over the UK), an appreciation of the work of bees and beekeepers, a<br />

taste for a natural product, a taste for heritage, or simply the urge to try<br />

something new to you.<br />

And it’s as varied and versatile as wine. Rod Marsh, who runs the<br />

Cider Barn at Middle Farm (middlefarm.com), a fun-packed working<br />

family farm near the South Downs in East Sussex, which sells 92 bottled<br />

and 18 draught meads, says: “one could readily fashion a meal with a<br />

mead for each course, followed by mead liqueur, and even a distilled<br />

mead nightcap!”<br />

He has seen the drink’s popularity rise in recent years: “When we<br />

started selling mead the only customers were local white witch covens<br />

and re-enactment societies. It has definitely gone mainstream over the<br />

last 10 years. Growing public awareness of the plight of bees worldwide<br />

and a desperate need to find some national identity not associated with<br />

empire have both played a part. The historical association of it being<br />

widely renowned as an aphrodisiac has also, no doubt, had some effect.”<br />

For most people, mead may still be associated with mythical, mistsof-time<br />

images of Vikings and mediaeval monks – or even Game of<br />

Thrones – but new meadmakers position the world’s oldest drink as a<br />

contemporary choice, a traditional drink brought up to date, in the same<br />

way as craft beer.<br />

One of the crop of contemporary meadmakers is Gosnells of London<br />

Meadery (gosnells.co.uk), whose base in Peckham, south London,<br />

couldn’t be further from the flowery meadows that may come to mind<br />

when imagining mead-making. The company has a range of alestrength<br />

canned meads (4%), with innovative limited editions, such as<br />

coffee or blueberry and plantain, along with more traditional bottled<br />

meads. Founder Tom Gosnell says: “Our intention is to create elegant<br />

meads, more akin to sparkling wines or artisan ciders. They are lighter in<br />

colour than most high-alcohol meads, sparkling, fresh and vibrant. They<br />

show the subtlety of honey.”<br />

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


à<br />

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


The company, founded in 2013, puts a lot of effort into<br />

nurturing their natural raw material. “Gosnells’ postcode<br />

meads do demonstrate the trees, bushes and flowers in<br />

different areas of London and its surrounds. They are massively<br />

different from each other,” says Tom. “There is no added<br />

sugar (as in Champagne), and no need for balancing acids<br />

(as in wine), but mead is reliant on our populations of bees –<br />

so we are working on providing them with nectar all through<br />

the year.” To this end, the company has recently opened a<br />

‘mead garden’, with pollinating plants recommended by the<br />

Bumblebee Conservation Trust and London apiarists, and<br />

educational materials for visitors to help them be kind to<br />

pollinators. Embracing modern ways of reaching its market, the<br />

company holds monthly online tastings.<br />

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


And if mead strikes you as relatively expensive,<br />

consider the incredible industry required to produce its<br />

main ingredient. Mead is around three parts water to<br />

one part honey, and a bee needs to gather nectar from<br />

two million flowers to make one pound of honey. To<br />

reach all those flowers, she flies 90,000 miles, three<br />

times round the world.<br />

On cost, Rod cautions: “If you can buy a bottle<br />

of mead for under a tenner it is almost definitely a<br />

pyment, ie mixed with grape juice – a far cheaper<br />

commodity than honey.”<br />

As a man who knows his mead, Rod rates<br />

the following producers, as well as Gosnells.<br />

Baldur Mead by the Lancashire Mead Company<br />

(lancashiremeadcompany.co.uk), fermented<br />

out to dryness in the traditional manner. In the<br />

Scottish Highlands Christopher Mullins, an Iraq and<br />

Afghanistan veteran, at The Rookery Craft Mead<br />

(rookery.scot), fashions clean, natural and complex<br />

flavours from foraged ingredients including spruce,<br />

silver birch, crab apple, plum, sloe, lavender, pear,<br />

mint and ginger, creating seasonal ‘midwinter’ and<br />

‘midsummer’ brews, and even sells Viking-style<br />

drinking horns. In Cornwall there’s Ninemaidens<br />

“<br />

If you can buy a bottle of mead<br />

for under a tenner it is almost<br />

definitely a pyment, ie mixed<br />

with grape juice – a far cheaper<br />

commodity than honey<br />

”<br />

Mead (ninemaidensmead.co.uk) with fruit, spiced<br />

and 40% distilled options. In Wales there’s Mountain<br />

Mead (mountainmead.co.uk), who suggest mixing<br />

mead with tonic or making a meady Kir royale<br />

by topping up their Telor y Coed medium-sweet<br />

mead with Champagne, and Wye Valley Meadery<br />

(wyevalleymeadery.co.uk), who apply modern<br />

brewing techniques to the most ancient beverage.<br />

In Rod’s opinion, the best examples of traditional<br />

mead are Dr Hugh Howard Tripp’s Pennard Vineyard<br />

Mead (12%; pennardorganicwines.co.uk/shop.asp)<br />

from Somerset, and Christopher Mullins’s Rookery<br />

Mead (17%), with the best liqueur mead “by far”<br />

Beeble (30%; beeble.buzz) from North Wiltshire<br />

made by Ellie Berry (beekeeper) and Matthew Brauer<br />

(bookkeeper) and fortified with fine Scotch whisky.<br />

Whether it’s a traditional true mead, or one with a<br />

21st-century twist, mead is creating a bit of a buzz….<br />

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


LUXURY ESCAPE...<br />

HARBOUR<br />

HOTELS<br />

DRIFT AWAY<br />

Perfectly positioned in some of the UK's most desirable<br />

destinations, exciting evolving hotel brand, Harbour Hotels, launches<br />

a Sleep Retreat in Richmond and Harbour Beach Club in<br />

Salcombe this summer, adding to its already impressive collection<br />

of luxury hotels. <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> settles in for the night…<br />

Words | Emma Johnson<br />

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET heard of Harbour Hotels it could be that you have<br />

not been booking into the right hotels – or like most of us, due to the<br />

pandemic, any hotels at all. Yet, in all the turmoil of the past year, one silver<br />

lining for this impressive <strong>British</strong> business, has been their ability to re-emerge,<br />

with yet more exciting stylish properties and experiences to welcome back their<br />

enthusiastic and eager guests. Specialists in luxury, boutique retreats, with<br />

hotels in the heart of our finest towns, coastlines and cities, Harbour Hotels offer<br />

stylish stays in some of the most stunning and iconic locations, from seafronts<br />

to harbours, to royal parks and historic manor houses on country estates. There<br />

are over 15 Harbour Hotels across the UK, and a further two launching this year;<br />

Richmond Harbour’s new Sleep Retreat and the Harbour Beach Club, a stylish<br />

waterfront hotel and resort on South Sands Beach in Salcombe.<br />

à<br />

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


A brand staple in the Harbour Hotels<br />

collection are their costal properties,<br />

which make for the perfect summer<br />

retreat - we love The Brighton Harbour<br />

Hotel, situated in a restored Regency<br />

period building, right on Brighton’s iconic<br />

and lively seafront.<br />

In Cornwall, their hotel in Fowey is just<br />

steps from the beach with picture-perfect<br />

views over Fowey’s estuary; while The<br />

Padstow Harbour Hotel is perched above<br />

the charismatic fishing port, in a stunning<br />

Victorian mansion.<br />

Newly-opened this year, we’re also really<br />

excited about the Harbour Beach Club,<br />

with a laid-back feel, luxury rooms and<br />

spa, wide outdoor terraces and a fantastic<br />

beach bar, it looks set to become a key<br />

destination for staycationing this summer.<br />

Perhaps the most exciting of them all<br />

however, and a completely new concept<br />

for the hotel brand, is the forwardthinking<br />

magnificently restored 18th<br />

century Richmond Harbour Hotel & Spa,<br />

situated on top of Richmond Hill, home to<br />

the only luxury spa in Richmond and their<br />

newly launched break, the Sleep Retreat.<br />

As a hotel brand which has always put<br />

well-being first, the launch of Richmond<br />

Harbour Sleep Retreat is no surprise.<br />

Getting a good night’s rest can be<br />

Pictured<br />

previous<br />

spread: Fowey<br />

Harbour Hotel<br />

Pictured<br />

left-right:<br />

Richmond<br />

Harbour Hotel;<br />

Fowey<br />

Harbour Hotel<br />

restaurant; and<br />

Padstow<br />

Harbour Hotel<br />

“<br />

Richmond Harbour & Spa is a haven of<br />

peace and tranquillity, offering a wellness<br />

journey like no other, providing guests<br />

from all over the world with an urban<br />

sanctuary to switch off and recharge<br />

”<br />

hard enough at the best of times, topped off with the<br />

pandemic to cope with too, The White Company Sleep<br />

Retreat Spa Break could not sound more tempting.<br />

Perfectly situated next to Richmond Park and just<br />

moments from the river, the hotel is within easy strolling<br />

distance of Richmond Village and the town centre with<br />

its many shops and restaurants. The hotel has also<br />

introduced a range of outdoor activities designed to<br />

improve guests’ physical and mental wellbeing – from<br />

daily guided meditation walks to running sessions,<br />

outdoor bootcamps and nature trails.<br />

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


Michael Warren, Managing Director of<br />

Harbour Hotels, says: “Richmond Harbour Hotel<br />

& Spa is a haven of peace and tranquillity,<br />

offering a wellness journey like no other,<br />

providing guests from all over the world<br />

with an urban sanctuary to switch off and<br />

recharge.”<br />

It’s a truism that things always look better<br />

in the morning, and that’s because sleep is so<br />

incredibly important for both our health and<br />

our happiness. We know now, more than ever,<br />

how vital a good night’s sleep is - not only<br />

for our bodies, but also our minds. When we<br />

sleep, while our bodies rest and rejuvenate, our<br />

minds also relax and our stresses melt away.<br />

And, as you slip between the crisp Egyptian<br />

cotton sheets at the Richmond Harbour Hotel &<br />

Spa, soothed by the scents of sleep-inducing<br />

candle and a soothing White Company pillow<br />

à<br />

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


“<br />

Having had the delight of<br />

staying in many of the Harbour<br />

Hotels it has been wonderful<br />

to see how stylish and different<br />

each hotel is.<br />

”<br />

mist, you’ll know that a good night’s sleep is<br />

finally ahead of you. After a year of considerable<br />

challenges, making a commitment to improving<br />

your sleep is time well spent.<br />

Start with an enlivening early morning<br />

yoga class followed by a wonderful hour-long<br />

‘Drift Away’ massage, using a relaxing blend<br />

of essential oils such as patchouli, geranium,<br />

frankincense, myrrh, dill seed and orange.<br />

Later on, you can soak away any worries<br />

in the world-class HarSPA - a wellness oasis<br />

offering much-needed tranquillity and respite<br />

from the whirl of city life, with a sauna, steam<br />

room, a heated 20-metre swimming pool,<br />

and – our favourite – a secluded outdoor Zen<br />

garden furnished with Nordic-inspired sofas and<br />

armchairs – and bubbling Scandinavian hot tubs<br />

to dip in.<br />

After a healthy dinner of kale tagliatelle with<br />

goat’s cheese or a vegan burger with beetroot and<br />

chickpeas in The Gate restaurant, you can retire to<br />

your room, greeted by The White Company’s Sleep<br />

Collection gift box, which includes a Sleep Candle,<br />

Calming Bath Soak, a Nourishing Body Cream,<br />

a Soothing Pillow Mist and a Fluffy Eye Mask.<br />

Drifting off to the scents of lavender, restorative<br />

clary sage and soothing chamomile, and sipping<br />

a warm cup of herbal tea, your mind gets quiet,<br />

gently resting, ready for sleep.<br />

Quintessentially <strong>British</strong> brand, The White<br />

Company, has been in partnership with Harbour<br />

Hotels since 2013 offering their fabulous ‘Flowers’<br />

toiletries range in all the hotels.<br />

“It’s truly the perfect partnership of two very<br />

<strong>British</strong> brands, and our collaboration on the Sleep<br />

Retreat brings together all these values of luxury<br />

and wellbeing in the perfect self-care package",<br />

explains The White Company’s Janie Martin.<br />

"Having had the delight of staying in many of<br />

the Harbour Hotels it has been wonderful to see<br />

how stylish and different each hotel is.<br />

Plus, their exceptional staff makes your stay<br />

even more enjoyable.”<br />

Pictured above:<br />

Bathroom<br />

at Salcombe<br />

Harbour<br />

Hotel & Spa;<br />

Bedroom<br />

at Brighton<br />

Harbour<br />

Hotel & Spa.<br />

Pictured left:<br />

Bathroom at<br />

Fowey Harbour<br />

Hotel featuring<br />

The White<br />

Company<br />

toiletries<br />

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


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10 OF THE BEST<br />

NATIONAL<br />

PARK<br />

EXPERIENCES<br />

From bushcraft to goat<br />

herding, kayaking to<br />

night-time reserve walks,<br />

make this a summer to<br />

remember with these<br />

fabulous new experiences<br />

from our National Parks<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />

Loch Lomond<br />

& The Trossachs<br />

Cairngorms<br />

Northumberland<br />

ABRAND-NEW COLLECTION<br />

of curated experiences<br />

has launched this summer<br />

across England’s nine iconic<br />

National Parks - with more planned for<br />

Scotland and Wales soon. There are<br />

currently over 80 incredible adventures,<br />

being offered by passionate people who<br />

want to share their love of nature and<br />

the outdoors. If you’re a foodie, history<br />

buff, landscape lover or wildlife fan,<br />

we hope you enjoy our pick of the best<br />

here. To find out more and to book any<br />

of the experiences visit the new booking<br />

website: nationalparks.uk/experiences.<br />

Lake District<br />

Yorkshire Dales<br />

Peak District<br />

Snowdonia<br />

Pembrokeshire<br />

Coast<br />

Brecon Beacons<br />

Exmoor<br />

Dartmoor<br />

North York Moors<br />

Broads<br />

South Downs<br />

New Forest<br />

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


HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Wistman's Wood:<br />

This enchanting wood<br />

seems to belong in a<br />

fairy tale. Home to a<br />

carpet of deep green<br />

moss underfoot and<br />

finger-like branches<br />

of dwarf oak trees and<br />

corkscrew branches<br />

above, the fascinating<br />

Wistman’s Wood is one<br />

of only three remote,<br />

high-altitude oak woods<br />

in Dartmoor<br />

Dartmoor National Park<br />

—<br />

From vast wild moorlands to<br />

imposing rock formations and river<br />

valleys that cut deep through the<br />

landscape, Dartmoor National Park<br />

offers a mix of relaxing surroundings<br />

and active adventures. Tackle the<br />

hills on two wheels, amble along<br />

miles of walking routes or come<br />

face-to-face with some of the<br />

region’s rare wildlife<br />

1<br />

GEMS OF DARTMOOR PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

This photography workshop will give you the<br />

fundamentals of great photography. Vivid colours<br />

and atmospheric sunlight go hand-in-hand so that the<br />

moor is ablaze with an astonishing vibrancy, perfect for<br />

creating dramatic photographs. Visit destinations that<br />

are off the beaten track and learn how to frame and<br />

capture stunning images under the expert guidance of<br />

a local photographer. Learn how to use your camera or<br />

phone to make the most of a location and the light to<br />

create stunning photography. Explore the history and<br />

mysteries of the subjects of your photography and learn<br />

about the conservation of the area too. 8 hours.<br />

Priced from £295.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 33


HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Long Man of Wilmington:<br />

Standing as the tallest<br />

chalk figure in the<br />

UK, the Long Man<br />

of Wilmington is an<br />

interesting highlight<br />

along the South Downs.<br />

With a past that is<br />

riddled with mystery,<br />

this historic site is<br />

surrounded by lush green<br />

countryside, gentle hills<br />

and postcard-perfect<br />

villages – ideal for a<br />

stress-busting stroll<br />

in southern England’s<br />

countryside<br />

South Downs National Park<br />

—<br />

Discover the world-famous white cliffs, rolling<br />

green hills, ancient woodland, rich wetlands<br />

and lowland heaths. Stretching across the south<br />

of England, the South Downs National Park –<br />

with its long distance paths, cycle routes and rare<br />

wildlife – is a real haven for outdoor enthusiasts<br />

and culture seekers. Get inspired by the dramatic<br />

cliffs and picturesque villages found throughout<br />

the National Park<br />

2<br />

BAIT TO PLATE FLY FISHING,<br />

SOUTH DOWNS<br />

Start with a two-hour fly-fishing taster experience<br />

at Chalk Springs Trout Fishery nestled on the<br />

edge of the historic market town of Arundel in<br />

the South Downs. Then, with fish in hand - if you<br />

don't catch one yourself one trout per person<br />

is provided - it’s over to Fins & Forks HQ for a<br />

hands-on session at the smokehouse kitchen.<br />

Prepare and cure your catch for the smoker<br />

choosing one of the signature cure flavourings.<br />

Your cold smoked trout will be posted to you after<br />

the session– perfect for brunch and sharing your<br />

story about the one that did not get away!<br />

Priced from £99<br />

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


Exmoor National Park<br />

—<br />

With a unique mosaic of expansive moorlands,<br />

woodland valleys, rolling hills and dramatic coastline,<br />

Exmoor National Park is a firm favourite among<br />

walkers. Visitors can keep an eye out for Exmoor ponies<br />

and red deer by day and marvel at the stars by night, as<br />

they explore this ancient and wild landscape<br />

3WILD FORAGING,<br />

EXMOOR<br />

Learn about how your ancestors survived.<br />

This introduction to wild foraging with botanist<br />

Liz Cwilewicz will help you learn how to<br />

confidently identify and harvest up to 15 wild<br />

edibles. Deliver into the history and culture of<br />

Exmoor National Park and discover the folklore<br />

and medicinal uses behind these edibles.<br />

2 hours, priced from £10<br />

HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Cow Castle: Found high<br />

on Exmoor, Cow Castle<br />

is an impressive Iron Age<br />

fort nestled alongside<br />

the soothing River Barle<br />

valley. But history is not<br />

all this hidden gem has<br />

to offer, for beneath the<br />

ancient fort is a wild<br />

landscape, babbling<br />

river and even a deep<br />

pool, a secluded spot for<br />

wild swimming. Those<br />

planning an adventure<br />

here should note that<br />

this site can only be<br />

found on foot, lying two<br />

miles from the small<br />

village of Simonsbath<br />

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


Peak District<br />

—<br />

From breathtaking views of stunning limestone valleys<br />

and rugged gritstone landscapes to magnificent stately<br />

homes, the Peak District has a contrasting range of<br />

natural beauty. Highlights include Edale’s Kinder<br />

Scout and the Castleton caves, the only place in the<br />

world where the semi-precious mineral Blue John<br />

is mined. The Peak District was also the UK’s first<br />

National Park, founded in 1951<br />

4<br />

MOUNTAIN HARES DISCOVERY<br />

WALK, PEAK DISTRICT<br />

The highest points in the Peak District are the<br />

only places in England where you can still find<br />

Mountain Hares. Most people will never see<br />

them when out walking but this guide has a<br />

100% success rate. The walk starts from the<br />

Snake Pass road, between Glossop and Sheffield.<br />

After a gradual climb of around 200m, you’ll<br />

leave the Pennine Way path navigating across<br />

the complex moorland terrain to some of the<br />

best locations to see Mountain Hares in their<br />

natural habitat. There’s the chance to see shorteared<br />

owls, golden plover, red grouse, kestrels<br />

and learn about the ecology and restoration<br />

of these amazing bog and moorland habitats.<br />

After observing the hares, you’ll head to the<br />

incredible and moving location of the site of the<br />

B29 Superfortress "Over Exposed" plane crash. A<br />

camera with a long lens or zoom and binoculars<br />

are worth taking but if you don’t have the gear<br />

don’t worry – the guide will send you a set of<br />

digital photos taken on the day.<br />

Priced from £38 per person<br />

HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Thor’s Cave, Wetton: Hidden away<br />

behind the Staffordshire village of<br />

Wetton in the Peak District, Thor’s<br />

Cave is a fascinating geological<br />

finale to a relaxing countryside<br />

walk. After strolling along a quaint<br />

country path, visitors will see the<br />

wonderful arched mouth emerge in<br />

the distance. Reached by a stepped<br />

path, the natural limestone cavern<br />

has an inviting entrance that leads to<br />

a space that’s occupation dates back<br />

to the Stone Age. As well as exploring<br />

this ancient habitation space, visitors<br />

will be treated to stunning views of<br />

the valley below to boot!<br />

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


5<br />

CLIMBING THROUGH HISTORY,<br />

PEAK DISTRICT<br />

Try climbing, abseiling and scrambling for the<br />

first time or develop existing skills with local<br />

experts. The history of the Peak District National<br />

Park is etched in the unique gritstone crags that<br />

line the valley edges. This world-famous rock,<br />

besides being an integral part of the area’s<br />

industrial heritage, has formed the favoured<br />

vertical playground for generations of climbers<br />

and scramblers. Follow in their footsteps by<br />

climbing, scrambling and abseiling under the<br />

expert guidance of a local instructor. Learn about<br />

the history and geology, flora and fauna of this<br />

unique area.<br />

Priced from £85<br />

à<br />

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


HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Crackpot Hall: For epic<br />

scenery with a side of<br />

local history, walk to<br />

the fascinating ruins of<br />

Crackpot Hall. Tucked<br />

away at the foot of rolling<br />

hills, Crackpot Hall is the<br />

ruins of an 18th century<br />

smallholding, abandoned<br />

in 1953. There are<br />

staggering views in<br />

several directions, this<br />

site overlooks Swinner<br />

Gill, where sweeping<br />

valleys were once home<br />

to a thriving lead mining<br />

industry, the remains of<br />

which can still be seen<br />

today.<br />

IMAGE © VISITBRITAIN//THOMAS HEATON<br />

The Yorkshire Dales National Park<br />

—<br />

Home to the Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent,<br />

Whernside and Ingleborough, The Yorkshire<br />

Dales National Park is an area known<br />

for its rich farming heritage, lush heather<br />

moors, labyrinth of caves, rolling valleys<br />

embellished with traditional field barns and<br />

drystone walls – giving visitors a look into<br />

Britain’s countryside, both past and present.<br />

6RECONNECTING WITH NATURE,<br />

YORKSHIRE DALES<br />

Immerse yourself in the tranquil Yorkshire<br />

Dales landscape and enjoy a full exploration<br />

of fascinating and beautiful Gunnerside Gill in<br />

Swaledale. You’ll get a feel for how different this<br />

area must have been 200 years ago when it was<br />

bustling with people and machinery.<br />

Experience and understand more about how<br />

nature has slowly been reclaiming the landscape<br />

and plans for future nature recovery in the area.<br />

As well as enjoying a picnic with local delicacies<br />

and dipping your toes in the beck, the day<br />

includes a visit to a 200-year-old working smithy<br />

and a drink in the local pub.<br />

7 hours, priced from £35 per person<br />

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


Northumberland National Park<br />

—<br />

Ancient monuments, rolling moorland and the uplands<br />

of the Cheviot Hills make Northumberland National<br />

Park – Europe’s largest International Dark Sky Park – as<br />

tranquil as the stars are bright! The remote heathercovered<br />

hills, iconic Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage<br />

Site and unspoilt historic islands mean it’s a must for<br />

scenery-centric bucket lists.<br />

7PATROL HADRIAN’S WALL,<br />

NORTHUMBERLAND<br />

Venture into ‘bandit country’ where Romans<br />

dared to march as you patrol the northern<br />

frontier with a National Park Ranger. Start out<br />

from The Sill National Landscape Discovery<br />

Centre where you’ll pick up an E-mountain<br />

bike. You’ll cycle together along the most<br />

iconic section of Hadrian’s Wall including an<br />

off-road section along an ancient byway with<br />

outstanding views. As you explore quiet country<br />

lanes and byways you’ll be immersed in tales<br />

of how Hadrian’s Wall was made and enjoy a<br />

flavour of what life was like.<br />

Priced from £30.<br />

IMAGE © VISITBRITAIN/YIN SUN PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Hareshaw Linn,<br />

Bellingham: Dream of<br />

walking through the<br />

charming woodland,<br />

crossing quaint bridges<br />

and marvelling at the<br />

deep green waterfall<br />

at Northumberland’s<br />

Hareshaw Linn. A<br />

secluded spot brimming<br />

with flora and fauna,<br />

fans of the great<br />

outdoors can spot rare<br />

ferns and lichen, as well<br />

as red squirrels and<br />

wood warblers.<br />

à<br />

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


‘wandermust’<br />

WHICH ONE’S ON YOUR<br />

‘WANDERMUST’<br />

LIST?<br />

An eclectic collection of unique properties, with personalities as distinctly individual as our guests.<br />

ICONICLUXURYHOTELS.COM<br />

THE MAYFAIR TOWNHOUSE | CHEWTON GLEN | CLIVEDEN HOUSE | THE LYGON ARMS | 11 CADOGAN GARDENS


IMAGE © VISITBRITAIN/TOMO BREJC<br />

The Lake District National Park<br />

—<br />

The Lake District is home to<br />

awe-inspiring landscapes, high fells,<br />

deep glacial lakes and quaint rural<br />

villages. Now a World Heritage Site,<br />

the rugged yet beautiful National<br />

Park has the highest mountains in<br />

England, the largest being Scafell<br />

Pike, and is one of Britain’s most<br />

scenic spots in any season.<br />

HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Ennerdale Water: Those<br />

longing to experience<br />

utter tranquillity have<br />

hit the jackpot, as<br />

Ennerdale Water is the<br />

National Park’s most<br />

remote lake. Offering a<br />

peaceful slice of Britain’s<br />

vast countryside, those<br />

planning on visiting<br />

Ennerdale can expect<br />

crystal-clear waters,<br />

wonderful forest walks<br />

and outstanding views<br />

of the surrounding<br />

hilly landscape. This<br />

Lake District secret<br />

is so remote that it<br />

cannot be reached by<br />

road, although active<br />

adventurers can hop<br />

on a bike and enjoy<br />

the 10-mile cycle path<br />

that connects it to<br />

Whitehaven.<br />

8NIGHT TIME ADVENTURE,<br />

LAKE DISTRICT<br />

The natural world changes at night<br />

as different animals emerge and new<br />

noises are heard. You’ll get kitted out<br />

with binoculars, night-vison equipment<br />

and bat detectors so that you can get<br />

a really good look at how nocturnal<br />

creatures make the world their own once<br />

the sun goes down. Finish up around<br />

an open fire with a bowl of something<br />

warm and delicious.<br />

4 hours, priced from £35<br />

à<br />

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


9<br />

FOSSILS, FORAGE & FEAST,<br />

NORTH YORK MOORS<br />

Join our experienced leaders to explore a hidden<br />

cove such as Boggle Hole or Runswick Bay on the<br />

North York Moors Heritage Coast. We’ll help you<br />

to find the secret creatures hiding in rock pools,<br />

to discover Jurassic fossils, forage for seashore<br />

snacks, and then to cook and eat some of the food<br />

you’ve found, which is extra tasty when cooked<br />

on an open beach fire! Depending on the wishes<br />

of the group the experience can include hunting<br />

for Jurassic fossils from 200 million years ago,<br />

including dinosaur footprints and the worldfamous<br />

ammonites and Whitby Jet and exploring<br />

the rock pools and rocky shoreline to meet the<br />

animals and plants that live there. Some of these<br />

(seaweed, shell fish, crabs and lobsters) we will<br />

forage to provide a beach cooked meal and<br />

depending on the time of year/day, it may also be<br />

possible to add in an evening of stargazing.<br />

Priced from £45<br />

North York Moors National Park<br />

—<br />

A place of extraordinary heritage with<br />

countryside to match, the North York Moors<br />

have rolling hills, deep wooded dales,<br />

captivating coasts, ancient abbeys, tumbling<br />

streams and timeless villages – this is a<br />

National Park mixing both unexpected and<br />

quintessential beauty. There is also a heritage<br />

railway system, part of the National Parks<br />

Experience Collection.<br />

HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Hayburn Wyke: Found<br />

along the Cleveland Way<br />

National Trail, hidden<br />

beyond deer-dwelling<br />

woodland, the secret<br />

cove of Hayburn Wyke<br />

offers a pebbled<br />

paradise, home to a<br />

host of shallow rock<br />

pools at the foot of<br />

dramatic cliffs. A place<br />

to explore from both<br />

above and below, those<br />

longing for a relaxing<br />

coastal walk can dream<br />

of strolling along the<br />

clifftops, discovering<br />

an old railway line and<br />

wandering through<br />

ancient woodlands.<br />

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


HIDDEN GEM<br />

—<br />

Winterton-On-Sea:<br />

Nestled between<br />

sweeping sandy beaches<br />

and the natural beauty<br />

of the Norfolk Broads,<br />

Winterton-On-Sea is<br />

a picturesque <strong>British</strong><br />

seaside village ideal<br />

for those longing for a<br />

taste of the quiet life.<br />

Lighthouses, traditional<br />

thatched cottages and<br />

inviting sand dunes<br />

pepper the area, as well<br />

as a 14th century historic<br />

church whose tower is<br />

sometimes open to the<br />

public, for sweeping<br />

panoramic views of the<br />

lowland landscape.<br />

Norfolk Broads National Park<br />

—<br />

A spot known for its idyllic and<br />

vast waterways and some of our<br />

rarest wildlife. Along the 200km<br />

of waterways and between the<br />

vast reed beds, visitors will find<br />

majestic windmills and ancient<br />

monasteries. They may also spy<br />

the otters, swallowtail butterflies,<br />

kingfishers and seals that call this<br />

area home.<br />

10<br />

NATURE KAYAK ADVENTURE, BROADS<br />

This fun and serene activity will take you on a journey through<br />

the usually hard to reach areas of some of the Broads National<br />

Park. You can admire some of the best nature has to offer<br />

and discover Hickling Broad – one of the jewels – with highly<br />

experienced guides. You’ll be met at the launch point with<br />

your kayak and all other safety equipment needed, ready<br />

to be transported out onto the water for this amazing miniadventure.<br />

Using stable and easy to paddle sit-in style double<br />

or single kayaks (depending on group size) there will be every<br />

opportunity for you to see/hear Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tits,<br />

Reed Buntings and Warblers, Avocets and perhaps Bittern,<br />

Otter, Water Voles and more!<br />

4 hours, priced from £85<br />

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


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


SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL...<br />

TOP ECO<br />

ATTRACTIONS<br />

Be inspired and educated, as well as entertained, by<br />

visiting projects which showcase our natural world at<br />

the same time as working to protect it<br />

Words | Helen Holmes<br />

I<br />

T’S BEEN A SURREAL and difficult twelve months. Aside from everything<br />

else, the pandemic has demonstrated how quickly normal life can be turned<br />

upside down. This kind of crisis could just as easily be caused by climate<br />

change as by a health emergency, and the need to protect our planet’s<br />

environment, and with it our own human lives, feels more vital than ever.<br />

As life gradually heads back to something more like normality, we will, of<br />

course, want to get out and about again, and maybe make up for lost time in<br />

the process. Beautiful natural environments are particularly appealing when<br />

we’ve been stuck inside, and Britain has many to offer. We hopefully already<br />

understand that we need to tread lightly when travelling – tourism can easily<br />

destroy a beauty spot if we’re not careful. But we can go one step further than<br />

treading lightly – by visiting, and in the process supporting, places which are<br />

actively seeking to conserve the environment.<br />

We’ve talked to some of our best sustainable attractions about the important<br />

work they’re doing – as well as the beautiful and restorative experiences that<br />

visitors will find to lift their spirits this summer.<br />

à<br />

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


THE CENTRE FOR<br />

ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY<br />

Sited in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere<br />

Reserve, on the edge of Snowdonia<br />

National Park, the Centre for<br />

Alternative Technology combines<br />

beautiful organic gardens and<br />

sustainably managed woodlands with<br />

experimental green buildings and<br />

renewable energy systems – a visit is<br />

both an educational and a restorative<br />

experience.<br />

“CAT is probably best known as<br />

a visitor centre,” says John Challen,<br />

Head of the Eco Centre, “but it’s much<br />

more than that. We run postgraduate<br />

degrees in a wide range of topics<br />

relating to sustainability; our Zero<br />

Carbon Britain Hub and Innovation<br />

Lab work with local authorities,<br />

businesses and community groups;<br />

and we have short courses and online<br />

events running all year round.”<br />

From May this year CAT will be<br />

running new nature experiences at<br />

the centre, including gardening for<br />

wildlife, and moth and bat nights.<br />

These are bookable in advance. Early<br />

summer is also the perfect time to<br />

explore gardens in bloom, the buzzing<br />

of nature, and the spectacular views<br />

that surround the centre.<br />

“We inspire, inform, and enable<br />

people to play their part in creating a<br />

sustainable future for all humanity,”<br />

explains John. “A visit to CAT can<br />

really give a sense of hope for the<br />

future – seeing ways of living that allow<br />

people and nature to thrive together is<br />

a real inspiration.”<br />

cat.org.uk<br />

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


IMAGES © ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW/LORNE GILL/KEITH MORRIS<br />

STAY NEARBY<br />

Eco Retreats: A few minutes from CAT,<br />

five luxury yurts are spread over 50<br />

acres. Each is set in a secluded area,<br />

away from other guests, and each has<br />

its own outdoor wood-fired bath and<br />

facilities for outdoor fires, as well as a<br />

private eco toilet and shower block.<br />

ecoretreats.co.uk<br />

Living Room Treehouses: Created by<br />

local artisans from local sustainable<br />

wood, the treehouses are built high<br />

in the forest canopy of an ancient<br />

woodland. They have solar-powered<br />

hot showers, as well as running water<br />

from purified local springs.<br />

living-room.co<br />

KEW GARDENS<br />

The Royal Botanical Gardens at<br />

Kew are a 320-acre UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site, and home to the largest<br />

collection of living plants in the world.<br />

Kew’s world-renowned glasshouses<br />

showcase species from all over the<br />

globe, and are vital for Kew’s scientific<br />

work, protecting endangered plants.<br />

“Over the past year in particular,<br />

we have all come to understand<br />

the importance of nature to our<br />

wellbeing,” says Rachel Purdon,<br />

Head of Sustainability at Kew.<br />

“Visitors to Kew can immerse<br />

themselves in the beauty of their<br />

surroundings, and those seeking to<br />

learn more about plants will find a<br />

wealth of diversity to explore.”<br />

Spring is a magical time to visit the<br />

gardens, with a succession of spring<br />

bulbs at their very best – from carpets<br />

of crocus on the Great Lawn to<br />

swathes of daffodils along the Great<br />

Broad Walk Borders. For blossom<br />

fans, there are 161 cherry trees<br />

waiting to burst into bloom, and the<br />

garden is also home to magnificent<br />

magnolias and unique rhododendron<br />

hybrids. Visitors to Kew are not only<br />

treated to a stunning collection of<br />

rare and impressive plants, they’re<br />

also supporting vital work to protect<br />

the planet’s flora. “RBG Kew strives<br />

for a world where plants and<br />

fungi are understood, valued and<br />

protected,” says Rachel.<br />

kew.org<br />

STAY NEARBY<br />

Birch: Just north of London, Birch is a<br />

luxury hotel with an eco philosophy.<br />

As well as good food and a restful<br />

environment, it offers activities which<br />

range from pottery and art to baking and<br />

gardening. There is also a wellness space,<br />

and a new 25-metre lido opening in May!<br />

birchcommunity.com<br />

Heckfield Place: Heading south west out<br />

of London, Heckfield Place is a 50 minute<br />

drive from Kew. This grand Georgian<br />

building is set in a secluded estate<br />

containing woodlands and meadows.<br />

Food served in the restaurant comes<br />

from the estate’s own home farm, kitchen<br />

gardens and orchard, and the spa offers<br />

all natural treatments.<br />

heckfieldplace.com<br />

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


FINDHORN FOUNDATION<br />

Perched near the coast in the north of<br />

Scotland, Findhorn is an ecovillage,<br />

and also a centre for experiential<br />

workshops, conferences and events.<br />

“We work from the broadest sense of<br />

an environmental perspective,” says<br />

Janet Limb, who runs the foundation’s<br />

public relations. “The environment<br />

is not separate from us, the human<br />

species, it is an ecology of all life.”<br />

Visitors from all over the world<br />

come to Findhorn to slow down, reenergise,<br />

reflect and explore their own<br />

purpose. While residential courses<br />

are currently paused because of the<br />

pandemic, visitors can still explore the<br />

ecovillage – including the whisky barrel<br />

houses and the Universal Hall, hand<br />

built by community members. There<br />

is also a café, and two pottery shops,<br />

and a beautiful bay and beach a few<br />

minutes’ walk away.<br />

“At the Findhorn Foundation we<br />

see each person’s life journey in the<br />

global context of the evolution of the<br />

human species in relationship with the<br />

rest of the natural world,” explains<br />

Janet. “And this takes place in an<br />

aspiring ecovillage demonstrating a<br />

way of life that regenerates people<br />

and planet.”<br />

findhorn.org<br />

STAY NEARBY<br />

Lodges at the Mains: East of<br />

Findhorn, towards Inverness, these<br />

architect-designed, five star eco<br />

lodges are nestled in a secluded<br />

woodland setting. Ground source<br />

heating, solar panels, and cellulose<br />

insulation help the lodges keep their<br />

environmental impact to a minimum,<br />

while wood-fired hot tubs and<br />

bespoke, locally-made furniture mean<br />

that comfort has not been sacrificed<br />

in the process.<br />

lodgesatthemains.co.uk<br />

Hobbit Hideaway: In the foothills of<br />

Ben Rinnes, surrounded on all sides<br />

by stunning scenery, is the Hobbit<br />

Hideaway. This quirky house, built<br />

from wood, straw, clay and stone,<br />

will delight Tolkein fans, as well as<br />

anyone who wants to stay somewhere<br />

unique and sustainable in a beautiful<br />

environment.<br />

hobbithideaway.co.uk<br />

THE EDEN PROJECT<br />

Built on the site of a clay pit in Cornwall,<br />

the Eden Project’s bubble-like biomes<br />

have become an iconic symbol of<br />

sustainable tourism. As well as a visitor<br />

attraction, Eden is an educational charity<br />

and a social enterprise.<br />

Visitors to the project can immerse<br />

themselves in the world’s largest indoor<br />

rainforest – which includes four distinct<br />

types of rainforest environment; a canopy<br />

walkway offers views across the biome<br />

and the biodiversity platform showcases<br />

the range of life in the rainforest. The<br />

Mediterranean biome recreates the<br />

landscapes of the Mediterranean, South<br />

Africa, California and Western Australia,<br />

and outside the biomes there are miles<br />

of pathways winding through 20 acres<br />

of outdoor garden, planted with over<br />

3,000 plant varieties. The project has<br />

been focused on sustainability since its<br />

inception – using pioneering building<br />

techniques, harvesting water on site,<br />

and now experimenting with different<br />

methods of power generation. Eden has<br />

also worked with Natural England to<br />

propagate rare native species and reestablish<br />

them in Cornwall.<br />

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


to see courtship displays from resident<br />

and breeding birds, including the Great<br />

Crested Grebe, and the Goldeneye. Into<br />

early summer the wildflower meadows<br />

come into bloom and the first of the<br />

ducklings can be seen bobbing along<br />

the shoreline. “If you’re really lucky you<br />

might see a grebe carrying its young on<br />

its back, or a flash of blue as a kingfisher<br />

flashes past,” says Neil. The shore side<br />

woodlands are also home to red squirrels.<br />

STAY NEARBY<br />

Balbirnie House<br />

Around 20 miles east of the loch, is<br />

Balbirnie House. This country house<br />

hotel was built in 1777, and views from the<br />

building extend over lawns and flowering<br />

borders, to the 400 acre country estate<br />

beyond.<br />

balbirnie.co.uk<br />

Market Street Hotel<br />

Loch Leven is just 45 minutes from<br />

Edinburgh by car, and if you’d rather<br />

stay in town, Market Street Hotel is a<br />

sophisticated choice. Opened in 2019,<br />

the hotel was built on a derelict site in<br />

the city’s historic centre and sensitively<br />

constructed using locally sourced stone.<br />

marketstreethotel.co.uk<br />

STAY NEARBY<br />

The Scarlet: A 30 minute drive across<br />

the Lizard will take you to The Scarlet.<br />

A luxury eco hotel with sea views,<br />

meadow gardens, and clifftop hot<br />

tubs, The Scarlet lists the 111 ways that<br />

they aim for sustainability on their<br />

website.<br />

scarlethotel.co.uk<br />

Kudhva: Kudhva are architectural<br />

cabins, specifically designed for the<br />

location, just up the Cornish coast<br />

from the Scarlet. They are off-grid<br />

hideouts, raised high above the<br />

ground, with captivating views of the<br />

coastline.<br />

kudhva.com<br />

LOCH LEVEN<br />

Loch Leven is a Scottish National<br />

Nature Reserve, and is known<br />

internationally for the thousands of<br />

ducks and geese that come to breed<br />

there. “It’s an important barometer<br />

for environmental change,” says<br />

Neil Mitchell, the reserve manager.<br />

The loch has been monitored<br />

by scientists for over 60 years<br />

and current work there is focused<br />

on improving water quality, and<br />

improving biodiversity.<br />

Visitors to the loch can enjoy<br />

spectacular natural scenery and<br />

can choose how much of the<br />

accessible 13 mile loch circuit they<br />

feel able to tackle. In spring expect<br />

LOOKING AHEAD...<br />

Gateway at PEAK<br />

Located near Chesterfield, Gateway<br />

at PEAK is a new resort planned for<br />

visitors to the Peak District. It will provide<br />

accommodation for the millions of<br />

visitors that already head to the area<br />

each year. Construction is planned to<br />

start in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Eden North<br />

The Eden Project is expanding into the<br />

north – and has plans to transform the<br />

Lancashire coastal town of Morecambe.<br />

There are plans for indoor and outdoor<br />

attractions connecting visitors with<br />

the internationally significant natural<br />

environment of Morecambe Bay.<br />

Scheduled to open in 2024.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 49


THE BEST OF...<br />

TALL<br />

SHIPS<br />

AND SAILING<br />

ADVENTURES<br />

From metropolitan marinas and busy ports to the<br />

open seas and peaceful archipelagos, sailing is the<br />

definition of both freedom and excitement<br />

Words | Lydia Paleschi<br />

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


THERE’S NO DENYING<br />

it’s possible to experience<br />

the beauty of Britain<br />

from the land, yet there’s<br />

something remarkable<br />

about accessing it via the water. Even<br />

more so whilst aboard a traditional<br />

sailing boat or Tall Ship. Heading<br />

towards the horizon, rigging overhead,<br />

powered by nothing but the wind adds<br />

a sense of excitement to any adventure.<br />

Fortunately, Britain’s diverse coastline<br />

offers a rich selection of places to<br />

explore. From rough seas and Celtic<br />

crossings to the serene waters of tidal<br />

creeks, here are some of our favourite<br />

Tall Ships and traditional sailing<br />

adventures to take part in this summer.<br />

RECHARGE ON NATURE<br />

For those wishing to “recharge on<br />

nature”, The Coastal Exploration<br />

Company, Norfolk have a small fleet<br />

of traditional fishing boats from which<br />

they explore the waters in and around<br />

Norfolk. Their three boats – a whelk<br />

boat, a crab boat and a mussel flat –<br />

berth between four and eight people<br />

and are available for a variety of<br />

excursion types. An appreciation for the<br />

environment and positive social change<br />

underpins each of the explorations on<br />

offer, whilst also engaging with the<br />

history and wildlife of the local area.<br />

Whether you decide to opt for a Salt<br />

Marsh sail through protected tidal<br />

creeks, embark upon a wild swimming<br />

and foraging expedition, book a wellness<br />

adventure, or enjoy an overnight sail<br />

sleeping in hammocks underneath the<br />

stars, you’re guaranteed to connect with<br />

nature and encounter the wilderness of<br />

the north Norfolk coast.<br />

coastalexplorationcompany.co.uk<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 51


A SLICE OF BRITISH<br />

PARADISE<br />

Explore the UK’s largest archipelago<br />

as part of the guest crew of a replica<br />

Scillonian Pilot Cutter. Working Sail’s<br />

hands-on, week-long sailing holidays<br />

to the Isles of Scilly are perfect for those<br />

looking to sail solo, or with friends,<br />

and to gain some sailing miles. After<br />

taking the 60-mile trip from Falmouth<br />

to Scilly, prepare to meander amongst<br />

the five inhabited islands and numerous<br />

uninhabited islands, whilst soaking up<br />

views of pristine white sandy beaches<br />

and azure waters. There’s a sense of<br />

remoteness here and a wide range of<br />

wildlife to be enjoyed from a selection of<br />

stunning anchorages. You can choose<br />

to participate as much or as little as you<br />

like in the crewing side of things, striking<br />

the balance between both sailing and<br />

relaxing.<br />

workingsail.co.uk<br />

FOR THE ADVENTURER<br />

Sail your way from Wales to Ireland<br />

on an impressive Tall Ship with Kraken<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> (Cardiff to Dublin). Perfect for<br />

those looking to spend a bit more time<br />

under sail and to head out to the open<br />

seas, this Cardiff to Dublin route includes<br />

six nights aboard the STS Tenacious.<br />

Regardless of whether you’re an<br />

experienced sailor or a complete<br />

novice, this trip provides you with the<br />

opportunity to get your sea legs.<br />

Participants can expect to join as part<br />

of the crew, getting full, hands-on tall<br />

ship sailing experience and taking part<br />

in activities such as watch keeping and<br />

going aloft. Expect to feel a sense of<br />

escapism as you hit the open water and<br />

soak up the Irish coastline, whilst getting<br />

to know what it’s like to enter into two of<br />

Britain’s vibrant capital cities by boat.<br />

kraken.travel<br />

FOR THE BEGINNER<br />

Based in Portland Marina, Moonfleet<br />

Adventure Sailing (Dorset) operates a<br />

1930s tall ship originally built in Holland.<br />

The ideal opportunity for families and<br />

people of all ages to ‘dip their toe in the<br />

water’, there are a range of daytime<br />

experiences on offer, ranging from two<br />

to six hours in length. All excursions<br />

offer a chance to soak up the views of<br />

Weymouth Bay and beyond. The longer<br />

excursions make their way towards the<br />

iconic Durdle Door for a picnic and a<br />

more in depth exploration of the Jurassic<br />

Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.<br />

moonfleetsailing.com<br />

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


FOR THE WILDLIFE<br />

ENTHUSIAST<br />

Bessie Ellen (Scotland) is a vessel with a<br />

colourful past. One of the last remaining<br />

sailing cargo ketches, this historic sailing<br />

ship traded during a time when Tall Ships<br />

and rigged vessels were an everyday sight in<br />

Britain’s ports and harbours. Now 116 years<br />

old, Bessie Ellen is on the National Historic<br />

Ships Register as an important vessel to<br />

conserve. On offer are a series of voyages<br />

of between three and seven days around<br />

the <strong>British</strong> coast, with a fantastic selection<br />

in both Scotland and Cornwall. Our<br />

favourites are the Scottish wildlife tours,<br />

where there’s a good chance of spotting red<br />

deer, otters, golden eagles and red squirrels.<br />

Plus, whales, seals and dolphins in the<br />

water. Bessie Ellen adventures are known<br />

to be great for the independent traveller as<br />

much as for groups and couples.<br />

bessie-ellen.com<br />

FALMOUTH TALL SHIPS<br />

REGATTA<br />

Cornwall, 17 - 19th August <strong>2021</strong><br />

The pinnacle of Tall Ship sailing, this<br />

year’s annual Tall Ships Race starts in<br />

Falmouth, Cornwall. Over 30 Tall Ships<br />

from around the world are expected to<br />

be anchored in Falmouth for three days<br />

of festivities before racing to A Coruna<br />

in Spain. The main attraction is the<br />

Parade of Sail (19th August) before the<br />

race start, which involves the Tall Ships,<br />

along with hundreds of supporting<br />

local boats and marine craft sailing in<br />

company out of the harbour. Visitors<br />

will be able to take tripper boats into<br />

the Carrick Roads to view the ships up<br />

close whilst they are anchored and there<br />

will be a range of shoreside activities<br />

including markets and music during the<br />

course of their stay.<br />

visitcornwall.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 53


IMAGE CHERHILL DOWNS © GREAT WEST WAY<br />

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


WALKING<br />

HOLIDAYS<br />

There’s nothing better than getting outdoors on a guided<br />

ramble of the great <strong>British</strong> countryside on foot - and with our diverse<br />

range of scenic routes, trails and guides, it has never been easier.<br />

From acres of glorious rural scenery, off-the-beaten track woodland<br />

walks, to coastal paths with views out to sea, Britain offers a tranquil<br />

escape for those dreaming of the great outdoors<br />

Words | Emma O'Reilly<br />

IT SEEMS WE’VE ALL fallen in love with walking over lockdown, but now<br />

that we can roam further than just in our local area it’s time to start taking<br />

note of our fantastic national walking routes. From the coastal charms<br />

of the North Coast 500 in Scotland to the idyllic countryside and quaint<br />

villages of the Great West Way in England, it’s time to lace up those boots<br />

and make time to explore somewhere new. Take advantage of your increased<br />

fitness levels with our selection of guided walks from across the <strong>British</strong> Isles,<br />

guaranteed to put a renewed spring in your step!<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 55


Love and appreciate works of art<br />

and beautiful things? Then you<br />

might enjoy the new Renoir Walk in<br />

Guernsey - an art trail following in<br />

the footsteps of the famous French<br />

impressionist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir<br />

showcasing how the island inspired<br />

some of the artist’s greatest works.<br />

GUERNSEY<br />

This Channel island has a dazzling coastline - from long<br />

glittering beaches to secret rocky coves, Napoleonic<br />

forts and Second World War bunkers. The new Islands<br />

of Guernsey Way signposted trail can lead you round it<br />

all, as well as the smaller sister islands of Herm, Sark,<br />

Alderney and Lithou. The free app helps visitors find<br />

their own way around, featuring a comprehensive<br />

walking guide with maps and audio (a hard copy<br />

guide will be available to buy for those who prefer old<br />

school!). Each route will also detail timings, gradients<br />

and difficulty levels, as well as those all-important<br />

refreshment and loo stops. Dip in and out of the walks<br />

as you desire or go all out and do the lot, totalling over<br />

50 miles (plus the odd ferry hop). Find out more about<br />

this and Renoir Walk from visitguernsey.com<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Take a small rucksack<br />

and pack swimming cossies and towels for impromptu<br />

sea swims.<br />

THE ANTRIM COAST<br />

The Antrim coastline packs in blockbuster sights –<br />

from the Glens of Antrim to the Carrick-a-Rede bridge<br />

and the spectacular hexagonal basalt columns of the<br />

Giant’s Causeway. Exploring on foot is a good way<br />

to savour them properly. The new Walking the Antrim<br />

Way holiday from Headwater (headwater.com), with<br />

three days of self-guided walking, enables you to see<br />

them all, plus huge sandy shores, clifftops, castles and<br />

forest trails in between. All route maps are provided,<br />

as is a luggage forwarding service. Accommodation is<br />

in small B&Bs and the adventure finishes in Bushmills,<br />

where you can toast the end of your stay with a whiskey<br />

tasting at the famous distillery. Daily departures run<br />

until 3rd October.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Game of Thrones fans<br />

can visit Ballintoy Harbour, near the Carrick-a-Rede<br />

Bridge – it appeared as the Iron Islands when Theon<br />

first returns home on his ship.<br />

IMAGE © NICK DESPRES/NITB PHOTOGRAPHIC LIBRARY/SHUTTERSTOCK_PATRYK KOSMIDER/VISITBRITAIN/MATTCANT<br />

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


DORSET<br />

“I somehow feel more English for having seen those<br />

Dorset fields, surrounded by hedges basking in the<br />

sun”. So said Julian in Enid Blyton’s Five on Finniston<br />

Farm. The author holidayed for over 30 years in the<br />

Studland area, and it inspired much of her writing.<br />

The Carter Company (the-carter-company.com) have<br />

based their Enid Blyton’s Dorset walking and cycling<br />

tour around the places she loved. Set off on adventures<br />

on foot or by bike - maps and lunch (don’t forget the<br />

ginger beer) packed into your rucksack. Cycle trafficfree<br />

forest trails to Corfe Castle, thought to be the<br />

inspiration for Kirrin Castle, walk the Jurassic coastline<br />

to picture perfect Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole, which<br />

featured in the stories, and hop on a boat to Brownsea<br />

Island, aka Whispering Island.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: If you have the<br />

enthusiasm but not the energy of the Famous Five, an<br />

electric bike is an option.<br />

Pictured left-right: Saints Bay, Guernsey;<br />

Carrick-a-Rede bridge and the Giant’s Causeway<br />

on the Antrim coastline; Corfe Castle and<br />

Durdle Door on Dorset's Jurassic Coast; hikers<br />

walking the England Coast-toCoast trail.<br />

ENGLAND COAST TO COAST<br />

Experienced hiker? Then the 182-mile England<br />

Coast-to-Coast trail could be your most exhilarating<br />

challenge yet. This guided trip, from newly formed<br />

Wilderness England (wildernessengland.com) from the<br />

same team as Wildnerness Scotland, starts on the coast<br />

at St Bees in Cumbria and finishes at Robin Hood’s<br />

Bay in Yorkshire. In between, you’ll walk up hill and<br />

down dale through no less than three National Parks<br />

– the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North<br />

York Moors. Expect eye popping scenery -and some<br />

fascinating lessons in everything from medieval history<br />

to local romantic poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge<br />

from your expert guide.<br />

You could do your research first looking online<br />

at England's Coast who have just launched an<br />

interactive map planner (englandscoast.com/en/<br />

create-itinerary). Everything - food, snacks, water and<br />

cosy accommodation- is included on this hike, so you<br />

can concentrate on enjoying yourself. The trip runs on<br />

several dates between now and mid-September.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: It’s good to do this<br />

with a guide to avoid having to map read as it’s not the<br />

best marked trail, although good progress is being made!<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 57


Follow the campaign hashtag<br />

#WalkTasteExplore to join an English<br />

walking adventure as part of a new<br />

national campaign from sleeping<br />

under the stars near the Pennine<br />

Way to following in the footsteps of<br />

Romans along Hadrian’s Wall Path<br />

OUTER HEBRIDES<br />

Five hours on the ferry from Scotland’s north east coast<br />

carries you to the far flung Outer Hebrides. These<br />

islands have their own special feel, with bleached white<br />

beaches lapped by the wild Atlantic, a land dotted with<br />

mountains and moorland and a gaelic culture all their<br />

own. Macs Adventure's Outer Hebrides Island Hopscotch<br />

(macsadventure.com) is an easy breezy ‘drive and hike’<br />

self-guided trip around five of the them. Short daily<br />

walks (maximum seven miles) leave time for feasting<br />

on the heavenly local seafood and for sightseeing.<br />

Visit an eagle observatory, a whisky distillery, the<br />

showstopping beach of Luskentyre and prehistoric<br />

ruins including the world-famous Standing Stones of<br />

Callanish (older than Stonehenge) and the Bosta Iron<br />

Age house. Even the ferry trips between the islands are<br />

an adventure… This trip is available now until October.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Treat yourself to a Harris<br />

Tweed jacket, woven by hand on the island of Harris.<br />

NORTH NORFOLK<br />

The new Seascapes of North Norfolk itinerary from<br />

Inntravel (inntravel.co.uk) uncovers this unique<br />

coastline. The walks are self-guided and gentle<br />

(maximum seven miles), with some circular routes,<br />

meaning that you stay in just three excellent pubs and<br />

hotels over the course of the six nights. When it comes<br />

to scenery there’s plenty of variety - vast beaches and<br />

dunes, marshland nature reserves, cute flint and brick<br />

villages and historic country estates. The flatness of<br />

the coastline means the skies (as well as sunrises and<br />

sunsets) are always huge – don’t forget your camera.<br />

A transfer is included from Kings Lynn station, which<br />

means you can leave your car at home.<br />

You might choose to extend your holiday by booking<br />

a stay with Barefoot Retreats (barefootretreats.co.uk),<br />

a holiday cottage rental agency with some of the finest<br />

luxury holiday cottages (and self-catering holiday<br />

homes) in North Norfolk.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Take binoculars<br />

to appreciate up close the huge variety of bird and<br />

wildlife enroute.<br />

IMAGE © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO/SWENSTROOP/SHUTTERSTOCK/NICOLA-PULHAM<br />

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


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Don't miss the new aerial walkway<br />

opening at Aira Force, Cumbria<br />

later this summer, to experience<br />

its waterfall from a new dramatic<br />

steel platform. “This innovation will<br />

recreate the drama that Victorian<br />

thrill-seekers sought here” says<br />

Project Manger Charlotte Fuke.<br />

WALK THE LAKE DISTRICT<br />

The Borrowdale Valley makes a perfect base for<br />

exploring the beautiful Northern Lake District. On<br />

Explore’s (explore.co.uk) small group walking holiday<br />

you’ll stay at a comfortable three-star hotel and stride<br />

out on six days of spectacular walks. These begin with<br />

Cat Bells, the perfect first day fell - not too arduous,<br />

with just one steep but short scramble to the top.<br />

The reward is 360-degree views over Derwentwater<br />

and the surrounding fells. That should give an appetite<br />

for further forays, including Haystacks (favourite of<br />

Alfred Wainwright - author of the famous guides to the<br />

fells – and where his ashes were scattered). Toughest<br />

of the walks is a seven hour schlep up Scafell Pike,<br />

England’s highest peak at 978 metres. It’s no Everest<br />

but most walkers feel proud to have conquered it!<br />

The walks run from April-October.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Train hill walking<br />

muscles on that StairMaster at the gym – or your stairs<br />

at home will do.<br />

GOWER COAST PATH<br />

This wild part of the Welsh coastline is less well known<br />

than Pembrokeshire, yet its magnificent beaches are<br />

regularly voted amongst the best in the world. Celtic<br />

Trails (celtictrailswalkingholidays.co.uk) invigorating<br />

43-mile route can be covered in five or six days<br />

(depending on preference) with stays at guesthouses<br />

and B&Bs along the way and your luggage sent ahead<br />

of you. Highlights include Three Cliffs Bay, with its<br />

limestone cliffs and vast swathes of caramel coloured<br />

sand and the giant curve of Rhossili Bay, which<br />

includes the wreck of the Helvetia Viking ship on the<br />

shore. The path snakes slightly inland in places, past<br />

dunes and through marshland and forest. The Gower<br />

Coast Path itinerary is available between March and<br />

October.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: Keep your eyes peeled<br />

for local wildlife, which could include kestrels, herons<br />

and seals plus all sorts of birds and butterflies.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 61


WALKING EVENTS IN <strong>2021</strong><br />

–<br />

MORAY WALKING AND<br />

OUTDOOR FESTIVAL<br />

11-22 June Walks in every corner of the<br />

county, from Cairngorms to coastline<br />

moraywalkoutdoorfest.co.uk<br />

THE GREAT GLEN WAY<br />

Take a highland fling following the route of the Caledonian Canal<br />

from Scotland’s west coast at Fort William, to the east at Inverness<br />

with HF Holidays (hfholidays.co.uk). It’s not all tow paths – on this<br />

seven day guided walk you’ll follow forest trails and skim the shores<br />

of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness (from where, if the group<br />

takes the high route, the views are sublime). You’ll see Neptune’s<br />

Staircase, with its eight ‘climbing’ locks, enjoy views of Ben Nevis<br />

and visit a floating pub. After skirting a river that feeds Loch Ness<br />

you’ll see Nessie herself (just kidding – but please let us know if you<br />

do!) Accommodation is in two hotels, both with indoor pools – great<br />

for easing tired muscles after a day on your feet. The Great Glen Way<br />

Guided Trail is from 18th-25th September.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: This is a ‘moderate’ level trip, so<br />

only book if you are fit to cope with some ascents and six-seven<br />

hours of walking per day.<br />

THE COTSWOLDS<br />

If just a long weekend of walks is appealing, Foot Trails’ (foottrails.<br />

co.uk) Taste of the Cotswolds package should suit. You will be based<br />

in an 18th century inn, celebrated for its excellent food, and head out<br />

each day on a self-guided trail. The team tailor-make a trip to suit<br />

your interests – and you can include rest days and change distances<br />

if you prefer. A typical itinerary might include 7.5 to 10 miles of daily<br />

walks, with a mix of villages and scenery, steering away from crowded<br />

‘honeypot’ villages. Instead, discover quiet lanes, achingly pretty<br />

cottages, tinkling streams and rivers, maybe even a Roman villa. After<br />

a two to three hour morning walk, there’s time to enjoy a slap up pub<br />

lunch before another couple of hours on foot.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> Top Tip: The Cotswolds is not just about the<br />

villages. Check out stunning Cirencester, once the second biggest<br />

city in Roman Britain.<br />

ULTRA CHALLENGE – WALK<br />

25, 50 or 100km to raise money for<br />

your chosen charity, at events all over<br />

England. Challenges in the next few<br />

months include the Peak District,<br />

Yorkshire, South West and Thames Path<br />

ultrachallenge.com/the-events/<br />

WHITE CLIFFS WALKING<br />

FESTIVAL<br />

26-31 August A choice of walks of<br />

varying length each day over the coast<br />

and downs in East Sussex<br />

whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk<br />

TREKFEST - THE BEACONS<br />

18 September Choose from a 25<br />

or 50km walk over stunning but<br />

challenging terrain to raise money for<br />

your favourite charity<br />

trekfest.org.uk<br />

MIGHTY HIKES MACMILLAN<br />

Lots of walking marathons between<br />

now and September in locations around<br />

the UK. Participants pledge to raise a<br />

minimum £250 through sponsorship.<br />

mightyhikes.macmillan.org.uk<br />

DARTMOOR WALKING FESTIVAL<br />

29 August-5 September Around four<br />

events a day, including ranger led walks,<br />

archaeological visits and evening walks<br />

and talks. The festival will raise money<br />

for Devon Air Ambulance.<br />

moorlandguides.co.uk<br />

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


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10 OF THE BEST<br />

OUTDOOR<br />

DIPS


Whether you prefer to do your laps in five-star<br />

luxury, reconnect with nature in a stylish swimming<br />

‘pond’ or soak up the skyline from a city rooftop,<br />

here are our top outdoor pools for taking the<br />

plunge this summer<br />

Words | Sophie Farrah<br />

à


1<br />

THYME,<br />

GLOUCESTERSHIRE<br />

The swimming pool at Cotswolds<br />

haven Thyme is tucked away in<br />

a beautiful, honey stone walled<br />

garden on the hotel’s 150-acre<br />

estate. This secluded and serene<br />

heated outdoor pool is surrounded<br />

by nature and filled with water<br />

drawn from the estate’s very own<br />

underground spring. A unique<br />

bio-filtration system means that no<br />

chemicals are used whatsoever, so<br />

you can enjoy a swim in water that<br />

is pure enough to drink! Complete<br />

the all-natural experience by<br />

drying off in the sunshine on one of<br />

the stylish sunbeds that surround<br />

the pool or grab a botanical<br />

cocktail from the new poolside bar.<br />

thyme.co.uk<br />

2<br />

THE SCARLET, NORTH<br />

CORNWALL<br />

Whilst the outdoor pool<br />

at North Cornwall’s eco hotel<br />

The Scarlet may be on the chilly<br />

side, it’s worth braving it for the<br />

views. Fringed by granite rocks<br />

and greenery, this picture-perfect<br />

swimming spot overlooks the<br />

beautiful beach of Mawgan Porth.<br />

Cleansed by a living reed bed as<br />

opposed to harsh chemicals, this<br />

unheated natural ‘pond’ is usually<br />

a bracing 22°C in the summer but<br />

fear not - after an invigorating dip<br />

you can warm up in the nearby<br />

wood-fired hot tubs and outdoor<br />

cedar wood sauna, both of which<br />

boast more stunning sea views.<br />

scarlethotel.co.uk<br />

3<br />

PORTAVADIE, LOCH<br />

FYNE, ARGYLL<br />

Perched on the shores of<br />

a stunning sea loch, the<br />

extraordinary spa at Portavadie<br />

cost a cool £10 million, and it<br />

shows. Built using glass, steel,<br />

stone and neutral tones, this<br />

serene, sprawling spa experience<br />

boasts an indoor pool, outdoor spa<br />

pools and a Scandinavian sauna.<br />

The star of the show however is the<br />

81sqm heated outdoor infinity pool<br />

- said to be the largest in Scotland<br />

- with breath-taking views across<br />

Loch Fyne to the Isle of Arran. It’s<br />

kept at a comfortable 33°C, so<br />

whatever the Scottish weather may<br />

bring, you’ll feel positively balmy.<br />

portavadie.com<br />

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


4<br />

LODORE FALLS HOTEL<br />

& SPA, CUMBRIA<br />

Nestled in the beautiful Borrowdale<br />

valley in the heart of the Lake District,<br />

the luxurious spa at The Lodore Falls Hotel<br />

makes the most of the stunning scenery<br />

that surrounds it. From the cool,<br />

contemporary 16m outdoor hydro pool,<br />

complete with neck jets, underwater<br />

loungers and an overflow hot tub, alfresco<br />

swimmers can enjoy breath-taking views of<br />

Derwentwater and Cat Bells mountains.<br />

The nearby glass-fronted Finnish sauna<br />

boasts more wonderful views and, if you’re<br />

feeling brave, invigorating cold-drench<br />

buckets (followed by hot showers) are<br />

available on the open-air poolside terrace.<br />

lakedistricthotels.net/lodorefalls<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67


5<br />

THE HEADLAND HOTEL,<br />

NEWQUAY, CORNWALL<br />

The Headland Hotel’s new and<br />

already award-winning £10<br />

million Aqua Club has wow factor<br />

at every turn. Enjoy the sunset<br />

from the outdoor spa pool or do<br />

a few laps in the larger, deeper<br />

pool that encircles it; either way,<br />

ingenious design makes the most<br />

of the spectacular views over<br />

Fistral Beach whilst also sheltering<br />

swimmers from the wind.<br />

Elsewhere, there’s a<br />

spacious outdoor vitality pool<br />

with a stunning Cornish granite<br />

menhir (standing stone) at its<br />

centre - a perfect place for soaking<br />

tired muscles after a day exploring<br />

the nearby coastal path.<br />

headlandhotel.co.uk<br />

6<br />

ST BRIDES SPA HOTEL,<br />

PEMBROKESHIRE<br />

On a clifftop overlooking the<br />

seaside village of Saundersfoot,<br />

the award-winning spa at St Brides<br />

boasts a heated, infinity-style<br />

spa pool, with sweeping views<br />

of the harbour and the stunning<br />

Pembrokeshire coastline beyond.<br />

With submerged loungers and a<br />

hydrotherapy fountain, this bijou<br />

pool is less for strenuous laps and<br />

more for relaxing, whilst taking in<br />

the fresh sea air and magnificent<br />

views. It contains natural salt<br />

instead of chemicals, and is heated<br />

to a toasty 32-34°C.<br />

stbridesspahotel.com<br />

7<br />

SOUTH LODGE HOTEL<br />

& SPA, WEST SUSSEX<br />

The beautiful, 18m outdoor<br />

swimming pool at the luxurious<br />

South Lodge Hotel & Spa may be<br />

described as ‘wild’, but the good<br />

news is that it’s heated. Edged<br />

with swaying reeds and pretty<br />

flowers, this undulating and ohso<br />

inviting wild swimming ‘pond’<br />

is surrounded by stylish decking,<br />

parasols and comfy sunbeds to curl<br />

up on after your dip. Elsewhere,<br />

there’s a state-of-the-art spa<br />

to explore, and more open-air<br />

bathing on offer at the small but<br />

sleek outdoor hydrotherapy pool.<br />

exclusive.co.uk/south-lodge<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69


8<br />

KING STREET TOWNHOUSE,<br />

MANCHESTER<br />

In the summer months, city-centre hotels<br />

with outdoor pools are a real treat. What<br />

better way to shake off the sticky urban<br />

heat than with a refreshing open-air dip,<br />

sky high? The sleek, slate-grey infinity<br />

spa pool at King Street Townhouse<br />

may be small, but it is perfectly formed.<br />

Located on the hotel's seventh floor, the<br />

pool has a glass roof but is completely<br />

open to the elements on one side,<br />

offering incredible views across the city’s<br />

skyline, dotted with pointy spires, and<br />

of the iconic clock tower of Manchester<br />

Town Hall. Sightseeing from a swimming<br />

pool? Why ever not?<br />

eclectichotels.co.uk<br />

9<br />

BURGH ISLAND HOTEL,<br />

SOUTH DEVON<br />

Positioned on its own private<br />

island, it seems only fitting that<br />

the completely unique Burgh<br />

Island Hotel would offer a suitably<br />

extraordinary outdoor swimming<br />

experience. The hotel’s Mermaid<br />

Pool is a breath-taking natural<br />

seawater bathing pool, reminiscent<br />

of a mythical lagoon. Secured by a<br />

historic sluice gate and surrounded<br />

by rocks for utter privacy, it’s worth<br />

braving the unheated water for this<br />

totally unique swim. Alternatively,<br />

there’s also a rowing boat available<br />

for those who would prefer to<br />

remain dry - just watch out for the<br />

mermaids…<br />

burghisland.com<br />

10<br />

CLIVEDEN HOUSE,<br />

BERKSHIRE<br />

Very few swimming pools can<br />

claim to be the origin of a worldfamous<br />

political scandal, but<br />

this one most certainly can. The<br />

legendary ‘Profumo pool’ at<br />

luxurious country retreat Cliveden<br />

House is where John Profumo<br />

first laid eyes on Christine Keeler,<br />

and their infamous affair began.<br />

Surrounded by rows of cream<br />

sunbeds, neat topiary and swaying<br />

lavender, this picturesque pool<br />

sits in the hotel’s elegant walled<br />

garden and is the last remaining<br />

listed outdoor pool in England.<br />

Admire the hotel’s stunning<br />

neoclassical architecture whilst<br />

doing a few lengths, before<br />

unwinding in one of the outdoor<br />

hot tubs.<br />

clivedenhouse.co.uk<br />

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


Pictured above then clockwise: Thames Lido,<br />

Reading; Tinside Pool, Plymouth; Bristol Lido,<br />

Bristol; Jubilee Pool, Penzance and swimmer<br />

at Bristol Lido, Bristol<br />

LOVELY LIDOS<br />

–<br />

Our love for lidos emerged in the 1930s when outdoor swimming first became popular<br />

in the UK, and now these sociable swimming spots are making a comeback. Today,<br />

there are more than 100 to discover, with more renovation projects in the pipeline.<br />

Here’s where to make a splash this summer!<br />

Thames Lido, Reading: After more than three years of careful restoration, this beautiful,<br />

historic lido re-opened its doors in 2017. Located by the river Thames in Reading, the<br />

water temperature at this urban retreat is heated all year round to between 24-26°C.<br />

Spa treatments are available on-site, as well as a stylish poolside restaurant with a<br />

Mediterranean menu.<br />

thameslido.com<br />

Bristol Lido, Bristol: Tucked away in the heart of Clifton, this historic lido is in fact a<br />

restored Victorian swimming pool and it oozes stylish serenity. It’s kept at a toasty 24°C<br />

and is surrounded on all sides by beautifully designed buildings that include an awardwinning<br />

restaurant and a poolside tapas bar, perfect for a post-swim sangria.<br />

lidobristol.com<br />

Tinside Pool, Plymouth: Built in 1935, beautiful Tinside Pool is an internationally<br />

acclaimed Art Deco style seaside wonder. Open only during the summer months, this<br />

stunning semi-circular saltwater pool is 50m in diameter and is both family friendly and<br />

fully accessible. Dry off on the large sunbathing terrace; the sea views are unbeatable.<br />

everyoneactive.com/centre/tinside-lido<br />

Jubilee Pool, Penzance: Another Art Deco gem is the recently restored Jubilee Pool on the<br />

Cornish coast. It is the country’s largest seawater lido and there are three pools to choose<br />

from. The popular geothermal pool is the first of its kind in the UK, where you can bathe in<br />

natural salt water heated to between 30-35°C by the lido’s very own geothermal well.<br />

jubileepool.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 71


Pictured:<br />

Laid-back<br />

Breakfast by<br />

Dine in the<br />

Lakes. Inset<br />

images: One<br />

Fine Dine<br />

chef and<br />

One Fine<br />

Dine<br />

gourmet<br />

dishes<br />

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


CHEF'S TABLE<br />

Chantal Borciani rounds up the best gourmet<br />

at-home dining options from Michelin-chef catering to<br />

curated menus delivered direct to your door<br />

HOLIDAYS ARE ALL about<br />

relaxing and enjoying<br />

your surroundings and<br />

now more than ever the<br />

world of private dining and high-end<br />

restaurant meals<br />

delivered right to<br />

your luxury rental<br />

doorstep means<br />

staycationers can<br />

take all the work<br />

out of mealtimes.<br />

Whether you want<br />

a top chef to come<br />

and cook for you<br />

or a traditional<br />

afternoon tea<br />

delivery, some<br />

of Britain’s top<br />

producers are on<br />

hand to ensure you spend less time in<br />

the kitchen and more time enjoying<br />

your vacation…<br />

ONE FINE DINE<br />

From the finest gourmet boxes you heat<br />

and serve at home to fully chef-catered<br />

private dining, One Fine Dine is the byword<br />

in exclusive gastronomy.<br />

One Fine Dine offers superseasonal<br />

gourmet menu boxes<br />

delivered to your doorstep and<br />

now its professionally trained<br />

fine-dining chefs can take all<br />

the work off your hands and<br />

cater your entire meal. The<br />

company has just announced<br />

a partnership with five-star<br />

UK property rental company<br />

Bloomsbury Estates, so<br />

guests at the luxury lodgings<br />

can enjoy bespoke dining<br />

packages from curated menus, fully<br />

catered dinner parties, luncheons or simply a<br />

wonderful family meal – all made to Michelin<br />

restaurant quality. From £65 per person.<br />

onefinedine.com<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 73


JACK & SCOTT’S PRIVATE<br />

DINING SERVICE<br />

The UK’s most foodie village now<br />

adds another string to its bow – Bray<br />

Cottages has teamed up with Jack<br />

Blumenthal (son of Heston) and<br />

Scott Perkins to offer delicious private<br />

dining experiences. Located in the<br />

heart of Bray-on-Thames, guests at<br />

the six luxurious, quintessentially<br />

<strong>British</strong> cottages can book the services<br />

of Jack and Scott to create truly<br />

memorable dining experiences at<br />

home from personalised menus to<br />

in-chef dining and virtual cooking<br />

classes. Jack Blumenthal and Scott<br />

Perkins are both Michelin trained<br />

chefs – the pair have worked across<br />

some of the UK’s finest restaurants<br />

including The Fat Duck, The Hand<br />

& Flowers, L’Ortolan and Petrus.<br />

Round off your staycation in Bray<br />

with a visit to one of the village’s<br />

famous eateries such as the The Fat<br />

Duck or Alain Roux’s The Waterside<br />

Inn, which both boast three Michelin<br />

stars. Alternatively, for those not<br />

making a pilgrimage to the pretty<br />

village of Bray, Jack & Scott’s private<br />

dining experiences are also available<br />

nationwide.<br />

jackandscott.com<br />

NORTHCOTE AT HOME<br />

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef<br />

of Northcote Hotel and Michelin-star<br />

restaurant in Lancashire’s picturesque<br />

Ribble Valley has introduced Northcote<br />

at Home Gourmet boxes – bringing<br />

restaurant quality dining to your home.<br />

Seasonally inspired and boasting<br />

four courses, the Gourmet Boxes<br />

can be delivered nationwide and are<br />

a fantastic foodie journey of <strong>British</strong><br />

produce. For the ultimate staycation<br />

surprise, you can also have Northcote’s<br />

Michelin-star trained chefs cater for<br />

your private dinner party, afternoon<br />

tea or lunch, at your home or holiday<br />

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


Pictured leftright:<br />

Dish<br />

from One Fine<br />

Dine; Stein<br />

at Home;<br />

Cookaway<br />

Miso Tofu<br />

Steaks; from<br />

Bistrot at<br />

Home; and<br />

fresh seafood<br />

from<br />

Harbour at<br />

Home<br />

cottage, complete with waiter<br />

service and sommelier, should you<br />

wish. From £125 for two people.<br />

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

gourmet-boxes<br />

AFTERNOON TEA TO GO<br />

Elite Hotels is offering a luxurious<br />

Takeaway Afternoon Tea at two<br />

of its south of England properties;<br />

Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in<br />

Bedfordshire and Ashdown Park<br />

Hotel and Country Club. An ideal<br />

holiday treat or tasty celebration<br />

for a birthday or anniversary, the<br />

exquisite afternoon-tea boxes<br />

include freshly made sandwiches,<br />

fluffy scones with clotted cream<br />

and strawberry preserve, and<br />

beautiful handmade patisserie<br />

such as matcha opera cake and<br />

hazelnut praline cream éclair,<br />

complemented by fine teas. From<br />

£25 for two people.<br />

elitehotels.co.uk<br />

STEIN'S AT HOME & BEACH<br />

RETREATS<br />

During the past year, Rick Stein<br />

has been ever-successful in<br />

providing a taste of his coastal<br />

menus through his Stein’s At Home<br />

Boxes – available nationwide. Now<br />

Stein’s At Home has partnered with<br />

Luxury Cottages, the staycation<br />

specialist offering 80 stunning<br />

destinations around the UK,<br />

enabling guests to pre-order a<br />

Stein’s At Home delivery box at a<br />

discounted rate. Luxury Cottage’s<br />

Guest Services team is also on<br />

hand to book and arrange delivery,<br />

so you can simply arrive and enjoy!<br />

Feast on a weekend breakfast box,<br />

fresh fish box, Stein’s at Home<br />

lobster or the ultimate foodie<br />

weekend box. From £35 for two.<br />

rickstein.com/steins-at-home<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75


BIRTELLI’S<br />

Independent pizzeria, Birtelli's, has<br />

teamed up with holiday rental company,<br />

Crabtree & Crabtree, to offer its artisan<br />

make-your-own-pizza kits – a fun twist<br />

on pizza night for your holiday. The<br />

kits comprise ingredients sourced by<br />

Michelin Star Executive Chef Paul Foster<br />

and provide the perfect night-in meal<br />

with no hassle. The partnership is part of<br />

Crabtree & Crabtree's newly launched<br />

Doorstep Delivery service, which gives<br />

guests staying at their picturesque<br />

abodes discounts with home-dining<br />

specialists such at Birtelli’s artisan<br />

pizza, Pasta Evangelists pasta kits and<br />

Aubrey’s craft butchery. Crabtree &<br />

Crabtree also have a team of chefs who<br />

can cater for private dining at any of<br />

their beautiful settings. From £16.99.<br />

birtellis.co.uk/pizza-kits<br />

COOKAWAY<br />

Dine like kings on menus dreamt up<br />

by MasterChef finalists and longstanding<br />

chefs with flavour-packed<br />

recipe boxes from The Cookaway.<br />

The team has partnered with luxury<br />

villa company Oliver's <strong>Travel</strong>s<br />

enabling guests to pre-order a recipe<br />

box for their UK and Irish holidays.<br />

Choose from recipe boxes created<br />

by former MasterChef finalist Sara<br />

Danesin, Kyoto-born chef and<br />

cookbook author Reiko Hashimoto,<br />

The Cookaway founder Nidhi Verma<br />

and former MasterChef finalist Jack<br />

Lucas to name but a few. Options<br />

available from just £16 for 2 people.<br />

thecookaway.com<br />

HARBOUR AT HOME<br />

Overlooking the mesmeric sands of<br />

Elie Beach in the picturesque East Neuk<br />

of Fife in Scotland Harbour at Home<br />

offers boat-fresh lobster, langoustine,<br />

crab and more to diners around the<br />

<strong>British</strong> Isles. Chef patron, Amy Elles,<br />

has created a series of luxury Scottish<br />

seafood and fish hampers with produce<br />

from small boats landing at Pittenweem<br />

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


Pictured<br />

above-right:<br />

Garden<br />

Gathering<br />

from Dine in<br />

the Lakes;<br />

One Fine<br />

Dine; and<br />

dishes from<br />

Bistrot<br />

at Home<br />

harbour, organic heritage breed beef from<br />

Butchery at Bowhouse and salads from East<br />

Neuk Market Garden. The hampers contain<br />

personal touches such as Elie stones from<br />

the beach for breaking open your lobster,<br />

bibs, Harbour Café placemats and gorgeous<br />

illustrations from artisan designer, Edinburgh<br />

Letters. Boxes from £25.<br />

theharbourcafe.co.uk<br />

BISTROT AT HOME<br />

The 25-year-old independent French<br />

restaurant group Bistrot Pierre is adding<br />

three new boxes to its range of high-end<br />

at-home dining boxes. Ideal for those<br />

staying out of town the new boxes include<br />

the Celebration, Steak and Breakfast boxes.<br />

From £35.<br />

bistrotathome.co.uk<br />

44 FOODS<br />

Launched at the start of the pandemic,<br />

with national delivery, 44 Foods offers all<br />

the quality and freshness of a farm shop<br />

direct to your door. From producer to plate,<br />

44 Foods is a collective of farmers and<br />

food producers who are passionate about<br />

ethically produced, fairly priced, sustainable<br />

food. Together, they supply fruit and veg,<br />

meat and dairy, and larder essentials to your<br />

home or holiday cottage – they are also the<br />

company behind the Ultimate Staycation<br />

Breakfast featured in our <strong>Travel</strong> News page<br />

13. Meals for two from £20.50.<br />

44foods.com<br />

DINE IN THE LAKES<br />

If you’re travelling to the incredible hills,<br />

valleys and waterways of the Lake District, it’s<br />

imperative to sample the region’s incredible<br />

dining. Dine in the Lakes is a new gourmet<br />

food delivery service providing luxury food<br />

boxes from crème de la crème of Lake District<br />

producers, delivered direct to your door. The<br />

gourmet purveyor has teamed up with luxury<br />

holiday home company Lakeland Retreats<br />

meaning guests can have a breakfast, brunch<br />

or a garden picnic package awaiting their<br />

arrival. Prices from £35.<br />

dineinthelakes.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77


48 HOURS STAYING AT...<br />

CARY<br />

ARMS<br />

HOTEL & SPA<br />

With rugged sandstone cliffs and azure-blue waters,<br />

the coastal scenery surrounding Cary Arms is beautiful<br />

enough to rival towns in the Mediterranean. Jessica Way<br />

spends 48 unforgettable hours with her family staying in<br />

luxury and exploring Babbacombe...<br />

Words | Jessica Way<br />

UNSPOILT VILLAGES, RUGGED MOORLAND and golden beaches -<br />

there are many reasons to visit South Devon, though sitting proudly in<br />

the beautiful Babbacombe Bay, there’s an award winning “Inn on the<br />

Beach” - making the destination yet more inviting, irresistible perhaps.<br />

Few hotels on our <strong>British</strong> coastline have a setting as spectacular as Cary<br />

Arms & Spa, and from stepping foot inside, the views, character and<br />

warmth induce an alluring sense of tranquillity.<br />

Built in the late 1800s, the Torquay inn is steeped in history and has hosted Admiral Lord<br />

Nelson, King Edward VII and Sir Winston Churchill. There are coastal-chic memorabilia<br />

lining the walls of the cosy alcoves and hidden corners with some intriguing finds – one of<br />

which is an original hand-written thank you letter from Winston's secretary in the 1940’s to<br />

the then owners, Mr and Mrs Cox, expressing how they “thoroughly enjoyed their Cary Arms<br />

Babbacombe Bay lobsters over dinner with Pol Roger champagne”.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79


Pictured left-right: Cary Arms Hotel & Spa; Beach<br />

Huts at Cary Arms; Cove Cottage cosy sitting room<br />

and stylish kitchen; views from Babbacombe Bay;<br />

Jessica looking out over Anstey’s Cove<br />

With 10 elegant sea-facing rooms and suites at the inn,<br />

seven restored cottages, each with their own private gardens<br />

and outdoor space, and eight brilliantly quirky deluxe beach<br />

huts and beach suites, it is perfect for families – and easy to<br />

socially-distance too. We stayed in Cove Cottage, a charming<br />

characterful property with more than enough space for the four of<br />

us (my husband and two daughters), and wonderful terraces from<br />

which to admire the breath-taking sea views.<br />

There was a fusion of romantic Tudor in the architecture with<br />

décor combining traditional seaside with a Mediterranean twist.<br />

Modern luxuries were found throughout with the homeliest of<br />

colourful coastal kitchens, complete with red Aga, blue tongue<br />

and grove, and a green statement leather armchair. Think The<br />

White Company toiletries, patchwork quilts, stylish cushions,<br />

Persian rugs and logs piled up high by the open fire. From the<br />

kitchen a back door lead straight out onto the barbeque patio<br />

area (large enough to have invited the neighbours!) leading<br />

down to the beautifully landscaped lawn with rows of inviting sun<br />

loungers.<br />

Cary Arms was named after The Cary family, who have been a<br />

part of Torquay’s history since 1662 when Sir George Cary moved<br />

into Torre Abbey. Today a museum and well worth a visit, the<br />

monument itself dates back to 1196 and is set within 18 acres of<br />

garden and parkland. The Cary family owned much of the land at<br />

Cockington, St Marychurch and Babbacombe.<br />

The hotel is privately owned and managed by multi-millionaire<br />

entrepreneur Peter de Savary, or PdeS (as he is known) and wife<br />

Lana, the inspiration behind some of the finest clubs and resorts<br />

around the world including the St James’ Clubs, The Carnegie<br />

Club at Skibo Castle in Scotland, and Bovey Castle in Dartmoor<br />

National Park.<br />

Acquired in 2006, they re-opened the popular seaside inn<br />

following a no-expenses-spared renovation in 2010 launching as<br />

a luxurious boutique retreat, with bedrooms, food and activities<br />

to rival any of the finest hotels in the country. Babbacombe Bay<br />

has always been one of Torbay’s quietest and least spoilt beaches,<br />

and as a guest at the hotel gazing at idyllic views, from sunrise to<br />

sunset, is a wonderful way to spend a few days.<br />

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


“<br />

It opens up onto a grassy<br />

path between bushes of gorse,<br />

blackthorn and bramble leading<br />

onto the Downs, with a vast open<br />

space and plenty of benches from<br />

which to enjoy the scenery.<br />

”<br />

DAY ONE<br />

With the South West Coast Path just yards away from Cary Arms<br />

and Cove Cottage doorstep it felt natural to begin the day with a<br />

coastal walk. So, following a hearty breakfast we decided to take<br />

the 1.5 mile coastal route to Kents Cavern, passing Long Quarry<br />

Point and Anstey’s Cove. Self-guided exploration is at its best<br />

when you have the handy yellow arrows to follow, and although<br />

there were quite a few steps along the windy path, the incredible<br />

views more than rewarded you for your effort.<br />

The woodland areas were stunning, lined with shade-loving<br />

plants from butterbur plants with horseshoe-shaped leaves to<br />

harts tongue ferns. Then it opens up onto a grassy path between<br />

bushes of gorse, blackthorn and bramble leading onto the Downs,<br />

with a vast open space and plenty of benches from which to enjoy<br />

the scenery. You can look down on the beautiful bays from here<br />

and there is access to Redgate Beach which we may have visited<br />

for a swim if the weather had have been better. There is also an<br />

interesting pavilion which proved useful to us during a sudden rain<br />

shower!<br />

At the far end of the Downs, the path disappears into the trees<br />

again and from this small path you can see down into Anstey’s<br />

Cove, one of Agatha Christie’s favourite haunts. Also, on the left<br />

of the path, you may be interested in a partially-hollow ash tree<br />

– a natural work of art. It is not long before you see signs to Kents<br />

Cavern, where you can enjoy a pre-historic experience on a tour<br />

into the limestone cave – as Britain’s “oldest home”. This popular<br />

attraction is also one of the key sites to justify the English Riviera<br />

(the name given to the nine-mile stretch of coast between Torquay<br />

and Brixham) UNESCO Global Geopark status, one of only 7 in<br />

the entire UK. Exploring the extensive labyrinth of caverns and<br />

spectacular natural formations is fascinating - the most significant<br />

artefact is a 38,000 year old human jawbone; Europe’s oldest<br />

human fossil. I would take a warm jacket as it can be quite chilly<br />

down in the caves - the coffee and cake was welcomed afterwards<br />

(hot meals also available).<br />

From Kents Cavern we took a slight detour, joining the coastal<br />

path a little further along at the brilliantly named, Brandy Cove,<br />

from which I’m sure there will have been a few smugglers’ tales!<br />

You can see Hope’s Nose from here, an odd-shaped piece of land<br />

looking out over the sea in all directions. Back towards Cary Arms,<br />

another interesting peninsular, Long Quarry Point with its horns<br />

of different sizes looks like the nose of a rhino!<br />

The path tucks close in under a limestone cliff, passing Anstey’s<br />

Cove. Make your way down the steep hill for the fabulous beach<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81


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<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83


“<br />

All the senses are engaged by<br />

smooth and enchanting notes of<br />

frangipani blossom, the sound of<br />

the surf, and the gentle rocking of<br />

the body in time with the waves, the<br />

ultimate feeling of relaxation and<br />

total escape.<br />

”<br />

café selling paninis, baked potatoes, sandwiches and burgers.<br />

Once back at Cary Arms we enjoyed a delicious alfresco lunch<br />

of Lyme Bay lobster and line caught seafood on the sun garden<br />

terraces, while watching the kayakers and scuba-divers enjoying<br />

themselves in the blue waters below. The sun came out and<br />

amidst the glorious scenery I couldn’t agree more in that moment<br />

as one of the friendly waiters described it as surely one of the most<br />

romantic spots in the <strong>British</strong> Isles. Inside, big windows show off<br />

views across the bay. Portland Bill, fifty miles away, is visible on<br />

clear days.<br />

By the late-afternoon I was ready for some more seaside<br />

therapy at the hotel spa. This came in the form of pouches of<br />

hot sand during an incredible Polynesian-inspired massage.<br />

All the senses are engaged by smooth and enchanting notes<br />

of frangipani blossom, the sound of the surf, and the gentle<br />

rocking of the body in time with the waves, the ultimate feeling<br />

of relaxation and total escape. The waterfall hydrotherapy pool<br />

is equally as impressive, with an innovative floor-ceiling glazing<br />

framing the views out to the ocean. The spa also has a sunbathing<br />

terrace decorated with exclusive American Art illustrations from<br />

Peter de Savary’s own private collection.<br />

Once refreshed back at the cottage it was time to head<br />

out for dinner – the best of both worlds. It is just a short stroll<br />

to the charmingly restored historic inn, still brimming with<br />

the charm and character from when it was built in the 1880s.<br />

Beamed ceilings, original stone walls, planked floors, books and<br />

boardgames. A crackling log fire for cooler evenings - the informal<br />

mood is achieved with effortless style.<br />

For those who enjoy a proper pint, Otter Ale and Bays are<br />

just two of the highlights, and there is an impressive selection on<br />

the wine list, with a few local gems to include; Devon’s Harpham<br />

Pinot Noir & Précoce, Hampshire’s Nyetimber, Devon’s Sandford<br />

Orchards Ice Cider, as well as Plymouth and Salcombe gin. I<br />

opted for their Cary Arms signature cocktail - a blend of Crème de<br />

Violette, Malibu, coconut water, lime juice and almond garnished<br />

with a Viola flower.<br />

In addition to the fabulous local food, liquid refreshments<br />

and warm atmosphere, an evening meal at Cary Arms is made<br />

even more special by the quirky alcoves providing the perfect<br />

cubbyholes for private dining – with views.<br />

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


There’s the Captains Table, seating six, the Pod, seating four,<br />

or the Wheel House, where we sat, with panoramic sea views<br />

enclosed by original stone walls.<br />

Head Chef is Steve Poyner, a Devon local, born in Torquay,<br />

he joined the kitchen of Cary Arms following the reopening after<br />

Peter and Lana de Savary’s extensive refurbishment in 2009. In<br />

2010 he went to work at de Savary’s Oxfordshire hotel, The Old<br />

Swan and Minster Mill, where his skill and enthusiasm to learn<br />

led to his promotion to Chef de Partie after only eight months.<br />

Four years later and with much ignited passion and experience<br />

under his belt, Steve chose to return to his roots back at the Cary<br />

Arms & Spa as Sous Chef. Since 2014 he’s been working with a<br />

talented and close-knit kitchen team and has been instrumental<br />

in the philosophy and success of the restaurant – from their use of<br />

the finest local ingredients to their AA rosette. At only 30 he’s an<br />

inspiring young talent.<br />

With such a fantastic range of Devon fish, seafood and farm<br />

produce, Steve and his team do not need to look far to find<br />

great ingredients. From perfectly hung steaks to the freshest<br />

local shellfish, their menu changes frequently according to what<br />

ingredients are available locally and in season. For me, the 'catch<br />

of the day' was the obvious choice, caught from Brixham less than<br />

12 miles away – this is a Devon, sea-to-fork dining experience at<br />

its finest. They describe their dining as simply ‘gastro food cooked<br />

simply’ but it feels more special than that to me. However, the<br />

unpretentious friendly approach to their fantastic service is hugely<br />

welcomed and relaxing, especially when making the most of time<br />

together as a family. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.<br />

DAY TWO<br />

Following a fabulous night's sleep (must be all that fresh coastal<br />

sea-air) and another leisurely breakfast we decided we wanted<br />

to explore Babbacombe a little more before heading home. From<br />

the jetty in front of Cary Arms it is easy to spot the Babbacombe<br />

Cliff Railway adjoined to the red sandstone cliff – on the shore<br />

of Oddicombe Beach, and so we could see our first stop and the<br />

route we needed to take. In the opposite direction of the morning<br />

before we headed off, picnic in hand, for our second adventure.<br />

Taking the wooden catwalk to the path under the limestone cliff<br />

there becomes a choice to follow the coast path to Babbacombe<br />

(signposted off to the left), or to continue along the beach route<br />

(signposted right to Petit Tor). We wanted to experience the Cliff<br />

Railway and decided the best route would be to take it up and<br />

walk down rather than the other way round – so continued until we<br />

reached Oddicombe Beach. From this path there are fine views on a<br />

clear day across to Sidmouth and even as far as Portland Bill.<br />

A waterfall cascades down the cliff on our left and huge<br />

Pictured opposite page: The glass faceted sea-facing<br />

spa; the Captains Table; and alfresco dining, all at Cary<br />

Arms Hotel & Spa. Pictured below: The Babbacombe<br />

Cliff Railway<br />

boulders keep us dry as the gentle waves brake to our right.<br />

The Babbacombe Cliff Railway line runs every day, with a<br />

closure period in winter for maintenance. Dating back to 1926,<br />

it has shuttled holiday makers to and from Oddicombe Beach<br />

for over 90 years! 2 parallel tracks, each over 700 feet long, take<br />

you on a carriage ride tour up (or down) the cliff – and there is<br />

an informative Visitor Centre on the beach. There is also the<br />

highly recommended Three Degrees West café, bar and bistro,<br />

perfect for coffee, cakes or a spot of tapas. At the top station<br />

there are fine views over Lyme Bay and it is only a short walk to<br />

Babbacombe Model Village – another must visit on our list, and<br />

one of Torquay’s most famous attractions.<br />

This miniature world is quite a spectacle! You can get lost in<br />

admiring the details and impressive creativity at every twist and<br />

turn. As seen on BBC’s comedy drama 'Don't Forget the Driver',<br />

and the ‘One Show’, there are 4 acres of award-winning gardens<br />

showcasing hundreds of model scenes, vehicles & people. This<br />

is an evolving attraction too, Mike Rhodes, General Manager,<br />

who has worked previously at Walt Disney World, has in the<br />

last few years started using 3D printing to create some of the<br />

smaller figures and details such as lampposts. We visited during<br />

the day – but during the summer you can also visit in the evening<br />

and experience the creation of illuminations – with every car,<br />

van, lorry, street lamp and model being carefully wired to create<br />

authentic lighting as you would see in any real street scene.<br />

The walk back to Cary Arms took us on a bracing route<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 85


Pictured left-right: Babbacombe<br />

Model Village, Cary Arms Hotel &<br />

Spa and fun on the rocks.<br />

“<br />

This miniature world is quite<br />

a spectacle! You can get lost in<br />

admiring the details and impressive<br />

creativity at every twist and turn.<br />

”<br />

along Babbacombe Downs - the highest cliff top promenade<br />

in England. From here you can not only take in the spectacular<br />

coastline, but also spot seabirds, seals and even dolphins.<br />

For adrenaline junkies there is plenty to challenge you with<br />

coasteering, sailing, scuba diving and hiking.<br />

If you are a keen sailor, Babbacombe makes a convenient<br />

departure point for a Lyme Bay crossing: to Portland Bill, from<br />

Devon Riviera to Jurassic Coast.<br />

The charming and characterful village of Babbacombe is<br />

quite enchanting with its colourful promenade and picturesque<br />

buildings. There are also plenty of independent shops,<br />

boutiques, bars, restaurants and cosy tearooms. We passed<br />

Babbacombe Theatre - host to many fantastic performances<br />

throughout the year, one of the most successful theatres of<br />

its size in the country. We followed the woodland path back<br />

down to Cary Arms as it was sadly time to go home. My only<br />

regret was not staying longer, with so many more coastal and<br />

woodland walks on our doorstep, and such a treasure trove of<br />

hidden coves and tranquil settings, we could have easily stayed<br />

for a week discovering something new every day. From Cary<br />

Arms you could even walk all the way along the South West<br />

Coast Path to Torquay – and Torbay, at the very heart of the<br />

English Riviera. Just one reason of many to plan a return!<br />

Stay at Cove Cottage mid-season to higher season from<br />

£450-£650 per night, caryarms.co.uk<br />

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


TRAVEL BY TRAIN<br />

THIS SUMMER<br />

Whether it’s National Parks, coastal retreats or city escapes,<br />

book now at GWR.com, on our app, or at a station.


HEALTH<br />

BREAKS<br />

Relax, get fit, reboot body and mind and be<br />

pampered…all is possible, and at a social<br />

distance, on these revitalising, life-affirming<br />

breaks around the <strong>British</strong> Isles<br />

Words | Emma O'Reilly<br />

FIND YOUR BEST<br />

BODY IN KENT<br />

Peace, privacy, luxury… The Fold is a beautiful<br />

new shepherds hut in the Weald of Kent. Actually,<br />

it’s two shepherds huts, joined in the middle. This<br />

means room for a full spec kitchen, shower room<br />

and loo, a king-sized bed, sofa and swanky copper<br />

bath plus a wood burner and back up heating for<br />

year-round cosiness.<br />

The Fold sits in its own field, where your only<br />

company will be the birds (including the resident<br />

barn owl), the bees and the butterflies. While<br />

you’re here, have a full body check! Co-owner<br />

John is an ex Harley Street ‘super coach’ and<br />

corrective exercise specialist and offers everything<br />

from Fit2Go Body Screening programmes, which<br />

identify body areas that could be prone to injury,<br />

right up to detailed assessments for those with<br />

existing back and joint injuries.<br />

With each you will receive targeted training<br />

programmes to take home. Pilates in the onsite<br />

studio and Nordic Walking lessons in the<br />

surrounding countryside are also possible.<br />

Prices from £130 per night, room only, although chefcooked<br />

meals can be delivered at extra charge. ◆<br />

airbnb.com/h/shepherds-hut-kent<br />

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


FEEL TWICE AS NICE<br />

IN NORTH YORKSHIRE<br />

Yoga and climbing may not, at first glance,<br />

have very much in common. Yet both are about<br />

connections, with ourselves and our universe,<br />

and each requires a discipline of both body and<br />

mind. On two-night Yoga and Climbing breaks<br />

in North Yorkshire, the days are a combination<br />

of energising and relaxing yoga plus climbing<br />

instruction at a chosen crag (depending on<br />

ability) in the North York Moors. Then it’s back<br />

to Yoga & Spice’s base near Whitby for relaxed<br />

evenings with vegan and vegetarian dinners<br />

followed by satisfying slumbers in comfortable<br />

ensuite cabins. These breaks work really well for<br />

a family or group of friends (4-6 people) wanting<br />

a fun activity break away together. No climbing<br />

experience is needed but you do need to be<br />

reasonably fit to take part. Prices from £450 per<br />

person in a shared room or £575 in a single room,<br />

to include yoga, two days climbing, meals and<br />

two/three nights accommodation. ◆<br />

yogandspice.com/stay/<br />

DIVE RIGHT IN<br />

THE NORTHERN ISLES<br />

OF SCOTLAND<br />

We might not think of the UK as a Scuba diving<br />

destination but it can actually be a great place<br />

to start discovering our underwater world. You<br />

can do a full PADI diving course but why not dip a<br />

toe in the water, so to speak, and learn the basics<br />

on a PADI Discover Scuba Diving (sometimes<br />

called Try Dive) course. That way, you can find<br />

out if you like it before splashing out on a more<br />

expensive diving holiday abroad. The courses<br />

take place in more than 200 centres around the<br />

UK, often in swimming pools but sometimes in<br />

the sea, too, and can be completed in just one<br />

day. For example, you could stay at Cantick Head<br />

Lighthouse Cottage (sleeps four) which has an<br />

incredible location on the edge of a cliff in the<br />

Orkney Islands, and then do a Try Dive at Scapa<br />

Flow, famous for its shipwrecks.<br />

Dive prices vary. Guided shore diving in Orkney<br />

costs £170 per person, and prices at Cantick Head<br />

Lighthouse Cottage start from £120 per night. ◆<br />

krakendiving.co.uk; padi.com;<br />

hostunusual.com<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 89


IMAGE © JOEL MCDERMOTT<br />

HEALING WITH HORSES<br />

IN EXMOOR<br />

Well we’ve heard of horse whispering. But do we ever stop<br />

to think about the positive effect that horses could have on<br />

us? At Heale Farm, owners Judith and Dean run two-day<br />

(one-night) Heale Horses & Nature Retreats, designed to<br />

help those with too much stress, anxiety or trauma in their<br />

lives. Guests are invited to go out walking and talking in the<br />

Exmoor wilderness with Judith and her two gentle horses,<br />

Shalindra and Roger. Judith is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic<br />

Programming) Master Practitioner and uses this method of<br />

coaching, alongside the soothing power of the horses and<br />

surrounding nature, to help people think in more useful and<br />

positive ways. As well as two sessions with the horses, the<br />

retreat includes two breathing and mindfulness sessions<br />

and meals in Judith and Dean’s farmhouse kitchen.<br />

Guests stay in one of three beautiful cottages on site.<br />

Prices from £250 per person, all-inclusive. ◆<br />

healefarm.co.uk<br />

MAKING WAVES IN<br />

THE ISLE OF MAN<br />

Whilst the TT may be one of the most wellknown<br />

events in the Isle of Man calendar, their<br />

shores are also home to a range of activities<br />

to get your blood pumping. Feel elated as you<br />

whiz down the zip-lines after navigating one of<br />

the highest rope course in the UK at Ape Mann<br />

Adventure Park, or, for an experience you will<br />

never forget, try coasteering with Adventurous<br />

Experiences in Peel. Find your inner child<br />

wanderlust as you explore caves, scramble<br />

over boulders and take courageous leaps off<br />

the rocks, with the backdrop of Peel Castle.<br />

Treat yourself afterwards to a locally-made<br />

Davisons ice cream as you stroll through the<br />

pretty seaside town. The Isle of Man, with its<br />

unspoilt coastline, hidden coves and craggy<br />

cliffs is perfect for water sports, but how ever<br />

you choose to spend your time on this stunning<br />

Manx island there’s never a dull moment!<br />

Coasteering is priced £45 per person. ◆<br />

adventurousexperiences.com /<br />

visitisleofman.com<br />

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


RELAX, RESET, REWILD…<br />

IN CORNWALL<br />

That’s the motto of Thera-Sea, who run breaks in Cornwall, on<br />

the banks of the River Fal. The first clue that this is a get-awayfrom-it-all<br />

type of holiday comes when you arrive – access<br />

is only via hiking or boating. An old woodsman’s cottage is<br />

on the banks of the River Fal and surrounded by woodland –<br />

guests stays in the cottage or other buildings dotted around,<br />

like The Treehouse and The Potting Shed. The goal during<br />

your two-night stay is to inspire you to achieve goals and<br />

manage stress. Founder Katy Griffin trained as a mental<br />

health nurse and runs inspiring self-development workshops<br />

alongside off-grid activities. There’s wild swimming and torch<br />

lit boat trips along the river plus star gazing and huddling<br />

around the fire pit to chat and watch the chef prepare dinner.<br />

Plenty of time is given also to just lie round in a hammock.<br />

The course is available on selected dates from now until November.<br />

Prices from £315 per person, all-inclusive. ◆<br />

thera-sea.co.uk<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91


REST AND DIGEST IN<br />

WORCESTERSHIRE<br />

Ancient Ayurvedic texts claim that many illnesses,<br />

both physical and mental, stem from poor<br />

digestion. Modern science is catching up, with a<br />

growing realisation that we really are what we<br />

eat. The five-night Healthy Gut Retreat, at The<br />

Clover Mill in Worcestershire, aims to help guests<br />

re-set their biome with a combination of pre- and<br />

pro-biotic food and drinks, yoga and yoga-nidra,<br />

meditation, massage and talks. Guests stay in<br />

beautiful, peaceful eco lodges overlooking a lake,<br />

which helps to complete the unwinding process.<br />

Goody bags are dished out before leaving and,<br />

guess what?, they’re not full of chocolate, but<br />

instead are crammed with healthy recipes, spice<br />

mixes, fermentation starters, massage oil, a<br />

personalised yoga practice and more , so that you<br />

can keep up the good work when you get home.<br />

The next retreats are from July 15-20, September<br />

16-21 and October 21-26. Prices from £1975 per<br />

person, all inclusive. ◆<br />

theclovermill.com/microbiome<br />

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


SOOTHE YOUR SOUL IN<br />

THE WYE VALLEY<br />

The Tudor Farmhouse, in the heart of both the<br />

Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley is a great<br />

place to immerse yourself in nature. The hotel’s<br />

Soul Soother breaks take things a step further<br />

as they include forest bathing experience (or<br />

Shinrin-yoku in Japanese) with expert Carina<br />

Greenwood. So…for those who don’t know,<br />

it doesn’t mean having an actual bath in the<br />

forest. It isn’t just about taking a walk in the<br />

forest either. It’s about learning to fully immerse<br />

yourself in the woodland environment, being<br />

mindful and opening up all your senses. Exercises<br />

might include time spent concentrating only on<br />

movement, colour or smell for example, or really<br />

studying a tree up close. The experience finishes<br />

with a foraged tea ceremony. All those who book<br />

this package will also receive a gratitude journal<br />

plus a sleep spray. In-room massages or a visit to<br />

local floatation centre Float in the Forest can also<br />

be arranged. Prices from £298 per person including<br />

two nights half board, a forest bathing session, a<br />

Bramley Sleep Spray and a Gratitude <strong>Journal</strong>. ◆<br />

tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk<br />

ONE NIGHT REFRESHER<br />

IN PEMBROKESHIRE<br />

Just a one-night break away from home can be<br />

surprisingly invigorating. Sea Kayaking, Foraging<br />

and Wild Camping along the Pembrokeshire<br />

Coast with Much Better Adventures achieves<br />

it even better than most. Day one blows away<br />

the cobwebs straightaway, pootling in a<br />

kayak around wooded estuaries and secluded<br />

bays. Explore sea caves, spot seals and fish<br />

for mackerel, which you’ll cook later over the<br />

campfire for dinner. The expert guides teach<br />

you some bush craft skills and help you forage<br />

for more edible goodies. Slumber comes in the<br />

form of sleeping and Bivvy bags beneath the<br />

stars on a secluded beach, only accessible by<br />

boat. Next morning after breakfast, there’s more<br />

kayaking and your guides can teach you the art<br />

of body surfing. This trip runs between May and<br />

September and is for up to eight people, so ideal<br />

with a group of family or friends.<br />

Prices from £260 per person, all-inclusive. ◆<br />

muchbetteradventures.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 93


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


WALKING TOUR OF...<br />

CHESTER<br />

CITY WALLS<br />

Now that we are able to wander<br />

around Britain's towns again,<br />

visiting historic sites and stopping<br />

somewhere picturesque for a<br />

relaxing lunch, the walled city of<br />

Chester is at the top of our list<br />

DISTANCE<br />

—<br />

This two mile<br />

walk takes<br />

about 45<br />

minutes but<br />

will of course<br />

take longer if<br />

you stop to take<br />

photographs or<br />

divert to explore<br />

all the curious<br />

and historic<br />

sights visible<br />

from the walls.<br />

ONCE UPON A<br />

MEDIEVAL time every<br />

<strong>British</strong> city needed walls.<br />

Most demolished them<br />

in less turbulent times,<br />

to ease expansion in the eighteenth and<br />

nineteenth centuries but a few cities<br />

were far-sighted enough – or simply<br />

Words | Adrian Mourby not wealthy enough – and deferred<br />

demolition until it happened that walls<br />

suddenly became fashionable again.<br />

Nowadays we no longer need them to<br />

keep out marauders or exclude rebellious<br />

Pictured: armies but walls do keep a town centre<br />

King Charles compact and they do make for a great<br />

Tower found in<br />

tourist attraction as well.<br />

the North East<br />

corner of<br />

Nowhere in Britain have city walls<br />

Chester's City been so well preserved as at Chester, a<br />

Walls walk small half-timbered, sandstone city on<br />

the River Dee that was a major west coast<br />

port in Roman times. The port silted up<br />

in the middle ages and is now a famous<br />

racecourse beautifully laid out below the<br />

Chester city walls. Today almost every attraction<br />

that Chester has to offer the visitor can be<br />

viewed from the two mile circuit of these<br />

walls.<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 95


“<br />

Nowadays we no longer need city walls to keep out marauders or<br />

exclude rebellious armies but they do keep a town centre compact<br />

and they do make for a great tourist attraction as well<br />

”<br />

Pictured left: Bridge<br />

Street, which along<br />

with Northgate<br />

Street, Watergate<br />

Street and Eastgate<br />

Street, is one of the<br />

four original streets<br />

built inside Roman<br />

Chester. Below:<br />

Installed in 1899,<br />

the Eastgate Clock<br />

is positioned on the<br />

bridge over Eastgate<br />

Street.<br />

Start your visit by taking the steps<br />

on Pepper Street up to the walls<br />

and turning left. Peppergate was<br />

the scene of a famous elopement in<br />

Tudor times. The furious alderman<br />

whose daughter had slipped through<br />

the gate to run away with her lover<br />

ordered that it must henceforth be<br />

kept locked after sunset, which gave<br />

rise to a local saying that mocks any<br />

precaution taken too late. “When the<br />

daughter is stolen, shut the Pepper<br />

Gate.<br />

The city walls are as wide as a<br />

modern <strong>British</strong> pavement and they<br />

pass over all of Chester’s gates.<br />

Three hundred yards east along the<br />

parapet we encounter East Gate<br />

over the old Decumanus Maximus,<br />

the main Roman road through<br />

the city. Originally it continued<br />

on as far as Mamucium (modern<br />

day Manchester). Here there is a<br />

splendidly ornate painted Victorian<br />

clock over the gate under which all<br />

walkers must pass. It commemorates<br />

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in<br />

1897.<br />

One of the best views into the<br />

city is from this clock, all the way<br />

down pedestrianised Eastgate<br />

Street with its huge range of typical<br />

Did you know?<br />

The Eastgate Clock in<br />

Chester, is said to be the<br />

most photographed clock<br />

in England after Big Ben<br />

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


ILLUSTRATION BY<br />

CONTISTA MEDIA LTD<br />

Chester architecture, Gothic,<br />

Tudor, Georgian, neoclassical and<br />

nineteenth century mock Tudor.<br />

Further along the walls we pass<br />

the cathedral and the old abbey<br />

grounds. Sometimes you’ll see a<br />

range of swift hunting birds being put<br />

through their paces below.<br />

At a point where the walls turn<br />

north there is a round tower marking<br />

the corner. From Roman times<br />

Chester was always a rectangular city<br />

with rounded corners and a defensive<br />

tower at each corner. This particular<br />

tower is named after King Charles I<br />

who in 1645 is said to have watched<br />

the Battle of Rowton Moor unfold<br />

from its roof. It was a bad day for the<br />

ill-fated king as his army were driven<br />

from the field and he narrowly missed<br />

being killed by a Parliamentary sniper<br />

as he escaped.<br />

From here walls now run parallel to<br />

the Shropshire Union Canal which is<br />

cut deep into the sandstone outcrop<br />

on which Chester was built. At<br />

North Gate the old Roman northsouth<br />

road through Chester (Cardo<br />

Maximus) passes below. The elegant,<br />

brick-built Blue Coat School, opened<br />

in 1717 to provide education for poor<br />

and deserving boys of the city is<br />

visible from the gate. It is now part of<br />

Chester University.<br />

The walls now run westwards,<br />

downhill towards the old Roman<br />

port. Midway along there is an<br />

eighteenth-century round tower<br />

with stone seating facing into the<br />

à<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97


city. This was built as the Goblin<br />

Tower but now it’s locally known<br />

as Pemberton’s Parlour after a<br />

mayor of Chester who was involved<br />

in its reconstruction. Below this<br />

stand two towers built to defend<br />

the Roman port. The one nearest<br />

the river is called - not surprisingly<br />

- Water Tower while the other is<br />

named after Bonewaldesthorne,<br />

an officer in the army of Queen<br />

Aethelflaed, who in the tenthcentury<br />

was responsible for<br />

extending Chester’s Roman walls<br />

down to the river.<br />

Surprisingly, at this point a<br />

railway line is cut straight through<br />

the walls. This act of Victorian<br />

vandalism was done in 1846, long<br />

before the city walls were scheduled<br />

as an ancient monument in 1979.<br />

The walk along the western<br />

length of the walls gives a good<br />

view over the Roodee racecourse<br />

which was Britain’s largest port in<br />

Roman times. The River Dee now<br />

skirts the racecourse in the distance<br />

where it is crossed by the Grosvenor<br />

Bridge. When this elegant stone<br />

bridge was opened by Queen<br />

Victoria’s mother in 1832, it was<br />

the longest single-span arch bridge<br />

in the world, an honour that it<br />

retained for 30 years.<br />

After Roodee the wall reaches<br />

Chester Castle which was built on<br />

raised ground overlooking the River<br />

Dee. Constructed over centuries<br />

in the same sandstone as the city<br />

wall the castle consists of a Norman<br />

tower, a medieval stronghold and a<br />

sequence of neoclassical buildings<br />

that were designed by Thomas<br />

WHERE TO EAT<br />

–<br />

JOSEPH BENJAMIN<br />

This popular modern restaurant close<br />

to North Gate was created by Joseph<br />

and Benjamin who are also responsible<br />

for Porta Tapas next door. This<br />

winning team have recently ventured<br />

into Greater Manchester too.<br />

134 – 140 Northgate Street, 01244<br />

344295, josephbenjamin.co.uk<br />

–<br />

CHEF’S TABLE<br />

A tiny, cheerful café-cum-bistro that is<br />

open from breakfast till very late. Bare<br />

boards and black tables rightly place<br />

all the emphasis on the food and the<br />

service. This is probably also the best<br />

vegan restaurant in Chester.<br />

Music Hall Passage, 01244 403040,<br />

chefstablechester.co.uk<br />

–<br />

THE ARCHITECT<br />

Close to the race course, the home of<br />

Thomas Harrison who created so many<br />

of Chester’s fine 19th century buildings<br />

has been turned into a pub-cum-dining<br />

room offering traditional <strong>British</strong> dishes<br />

with an eastern twist.<br />

54 Nicholas St, 01244 353070,<br />

brunningandprice.co.uk/architect/<br />

–<br />

IMAGE © D.SEJRUP<br />

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


Words | Adrian Mourby<br />

Pictured:<br />

King Charles<br />

Tower found in<br />

the North East<br />

corner of<br />

Chester's City<br />

Walls walk<br />

MEDIEVAL time<br />

every <strong>British</strong> city<br />

needed walls. Most<br />

demolished them<br />

in less turbulent times, to ease<br />

expansion in the eighteenth and<br />

nineteenth centuries but a few<br />

cities were far-sighted enough<br />

– or simply not wealthy enough<br />

– and deferred demolition until<br />

it happened that walls suddenly<br />

became fashionable again.<br />

Nowadays we no longer need<br />

them to keep out marauders or<br />

exclude rebellious armies but<br />

walls do keep a town centre<br />

compact and they do make for a<br />

great tourist attraction as well.<br />

Nowhere in Britain have city<br />

walls been so well preserved as at<br />

Chester, a small half-timbered,<br />

sandstone city on the River Dee<br />

that was a major west coast port<br />

in Roman times. The port silted<br />

106 BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM 107<br />

walls.<br />

Stratford<br />

-upon<br />

-Avon<br />

Pictured<br />

Left-Right:<br />

Afternoon Tea<br />

at The Architect,<br />

Nicholas Street;<br />

Chester Castle;<br />

The Roman<br />

Gardens<br />

Harrison (1788 – 1813) the same<br />

person who designed Grosvenor<br />

Bridge. Today Chester’s military<br />

museum and Crown Courts are<br />

housed in the castle.<br />

Just before Bridge Gate the wall<br />

briefly disappears and becomes<br />

Castle Drive and the University’s<br />

Riverside complex, but it resumes<br />

within a few hundred yards at Old<br />

Dee Bridge. The very first bridge on<br />

this site was built by the Romans<br />

but this span dates from 1387. On<br />

the far side of this low sandstone<br />

structure there are the remains of a<br />

Roman temple to Minerva and the<br />

road then leads on to Wales.<br />

In medieval times relations<br />

between the people of Chester and<br />

their Welsh neighbours were so bad<br />

that it was not deemed illegal to kill<br />

a Welshman found within the city.<br />

(This law has never been repealed.)<br />

We are almost back at<br />

Peppergate but do look out beyond<br />

the walls as we come full circle. Next<br />

to the eleventh-century Church of St<br />

John the Baptist – greatly reduced<br />

following many collapses over the<br />

centuries – lie the remains of the<br />

largest Roman amphitheatre in<br />

Britain. Only half of it has been<br />

dug out because to uncover the<br />

rest several buildings would have<br />

to be demolished, not to mention<br />

the damage to St John’s shaky<br />

foundations. Now it’s time to set off<br />

into the centre and explore.<br />

For more information visit<br />

visitcheshire.com/chester<br />

IN OUR NEXT ISSUE:<br />

Stratford -upon-Avon, wander<br />

round this medieval market town<br />

in England's West Midlands...<br />

WALKING TOUR OF...<br />

STRATFORD<br />

UPON-AVON<br />

Visit Stratford upon Avon to<br />

catch a performance at<br />

one of Shakespeare’s plays<br />

or take a boat on the river.<br />

DISTANCE<br />

—<br />

This 2 mile walk<br />

takes about 45<br />

minutes but<br />

will of course<br />

take longer if<br />

you stop to take<br />

photographs<br />

or divert off it<br />

to explore all<br />

the curious and<br />

historic sights<br />

visible from the<br />

NCE UPON A<br />

Y<br />

à<br />

WHERE TO STAY<br />

–<br />

THE CHESTER<br />

GROSVENOR<br />

Built by the Duke of Westminster, this<br />

five-star Chester hotel represents very<br />

high standards of service. It also offers<br />

valet-parking and a Michelin-starred<br />

dining room with over 1000 wine labels.<br />

Simon Radley at The Grosvenor.<br />

Eastgate St, 01244 324024,<br />

chestergrosvenor.com<br />

–<br />

ODDFELLOWS<br />

With visually-stunning public rooms,<br />

Oddfellows is a well-heeled counterculture<br />

boutique hotel hidden behind<br />

a sombre 19th century facade. Modern<br />

bedrooms lie across a courtyard known<br />

as The Secret Garden.<br />

20 Lower Bridge Street, 01244 345454,<br />

oddfellowschester.com<br />

–<br />

EDGAR HOUSE<br />

Perhaps the most romantic hotel in<br />

Chester is this luxury Georgian villa on<br />

the city walls and overlooking the River<br />

Dee. A sweeping staircase, working<br />

fireplaces and lots of chandeliers<br />

complete the blend of heritage and<br />

luxury.<br />

22 City Walls, 01244 347007,<br />

edgarhouse.co.uk<br />

–<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 99


BRITISH TRAVEL JOURNAL CROSSWORD 09<br />

ACROSS<br />

9 Selling point for a seaside pad<br />

(5,4)<br />

10 Cambridgeshire site of a<br />

wartime railway disaster (5)<br />

11 Low density wood (5)<br />

12 Scottish clan which produced<br />

Rob Roy (9)<br />

13 Sylvan Site of Special Scientific<br />

Interest near Grewelthorpe,<br />

North Yorkshire (8)<br />

14 Miffs (6)<br />

15 Birthplace of Formula One<br />

champion Nigel Mansell (5-4-6)<br />

19 The Continent (6)<br />

20 Decreased (8)<br />

23 Confused (2,1,6)<br />

25 Those who are male must not<br />

cut their hair (5)<br />

27 Musically slow (5)<br />

28 Rerun epic about immoderate<br />

desire (9)<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Good spot for a picnic, like the<br />

Tamar Valley (1,1,1,1)<br />

2 "Cautionary Tales for Children"<br />

writer (6)<br />

3 One way to cut a sandwich (2,4)<br />

4 Short video extract (4,4)<br />

5 Oenologists' annual London<br />

challenge (1,1,1,1)<br />

6 Alienate (8)<br />

7 Shakespearean theatre in<br />

Southwark (3,5)<br />

8 Incarcerated (10)<br />

13 --- House, Guernsey home to<br />

Victor Hugo (10)<br />

16 Trainers trampled tracts of land (8)<br />

17 Type of brandy (8)<br />

18 1987 Kevin Costner/Gene<br />

Hackman thriller (2,3,3)<br />

21 Alleged Great Glen<br />

lake-dweller (6)<br />

22 Preference (6)<br />

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