British Travel Journal | Spring 2023

Welcome to British Travel Journal Spring 2023 issue. Blossom by blossom the spring begins, prompting an array of floral masterclasses, and other wonderful courses, including cooking, surfing and beekeeping. Once you have learned a new skill, why not celebrate with a wellness break from our restorative assortment of Holistic Highs or hide away in a romantic bolthole for two. If you’re ready for a pawsome adventure with your beloved four-legged friend, you’ll be pleased to discover that almost all the hotels and self-catering properties featured in our Travel News are either entirely dog-friendly or have designated bedrooms for ‘pawfect’ stays. One such pooch-welcoming retreat is Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds. Here, we meet executive chef Ricki Weston to learn more about his life as a rising star in modern British gastronomy and the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant. And we even master the art of paddleboarding in the Lake District with a five-year-old vizsla in tow.

Welcome to British Travel Journal Spring 2023 issue. Blossom by blossom the spring begins, prompting an array of floral masterclasses, and other wonderful courses, including cooking, surfing and beekeeping. Once you have learned a new skill, why not celebrate with a wellness break from our restorative assortment of Holistic Highs or hide away in a romantic bolthole for two. If you’re ready for a pawsome adventure with your beloved four-legged friend, you’ll be pleased to discover that almost all the hotels and self-catering properties featured in our Travel News are either entirely dog-friendly or have designated bedrooms for ‘pawfect’ stays. One such pooch-welcoming retreat is Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds. Here, we meet executive chef Ricki Weston to learn more about his life as a rising star in modern British gastronomy and the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant. And we even master the art of paddleboarding in the Lake District with a five-year-old vizsla in tow.


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AT<br />



SPRING <strong>2023</strong> | ISSUE 14<br />



HIGHS<br />



O N E<br />

WIN<br />

WIN! WIN! WIN!<br />

A LUXURY<br />

SPA DAY<br />

O F<br />

H OT E L S<br />

F O U R<br />

Dog-friendly<br />

BREAKS<br />

£6.95<br />



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

Effortless comfort, sublime locations, absorbing stories and a consistent ability to deliver the unexpected.<br />







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

Welcome<br />


—<br />


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way<br />

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford<br />

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding<br />

HEAD OF DIGITAL Adrian Wilkinson<br />


Sophie Farrah, Chantal Haines, Vanessa<br />

Humphrey, Jane Knight, Sophie Minto,<br />

Adrian Mourby, Karyn Noble, Natalie Paris<br />


—<br />

Paddleboarding on Derwentwater in<br />

the Lake District National Park<br />

Published by<br />


Unit 6, Basepoint, Andersons Road,<br />

Southampton, SO14 5FE<br />

01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<br />

Blossom by blossom the spring begins, prompting an<br />

array of floral masterclasses (page 78), and other<br />

wonderful courses, including cooking, surfing and<br />

beekeeping (page 38). Once you have learned a<br />

new skill, why not celebrate with a wellness break from our<br />

restorative assortment of Holistic Highs (page 52) or hide<br />

away in a romantic bolthole for two (page 90).<br />

If you’re ready for a pawsome adventure with your<br />

beloved four-legged friend, you’ll be pleased to discover that<br />

almost all the hotels and self-catering properties featured in<br />

our <strong>Travel</strong> News (page 9) are either entirely dog-friendly or<br />

have designated bedrooms for ‘pawfect’ stays.<br />

One such pooch-welcoming retreat is Whatley Manor<br />

in the Cotswolds. Here, we meet executive chef Ricki Weston<br />

to learn more about his life as a rising star in modern <strong>British</strong><br />

gastronomy and the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant<br />

(page 44). And we even master the art of paddleboarding in<br />

the Lake District with a five-year-old vizsla in tow (page 64).<br />

If it’s a city break you’re after this season, our writers<br />

uncover the most à la mode attractions in beautiful Bath<br />

(page 28) and walk the charming maze of twisting narrow<br />

lanes in York (page 84).<br />

Jessica x<br />



–<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 />

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

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

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

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


Time to be awakened. By the incomprehensible array of plants in<br />

bloom at the Abbey Garden. By an equinox yoga practise or a cool<br />

coastal escape. By open water swimming, Tresco-wide walking, by<br />

nourishing nature as it comes to life with the island’s unique rhythm.<br />


Tresco: 28 miles off the Cornish coast. Somewhere else altogether.


SPRING <strong>2023</strong> | ISSUE 14<br />

28<br />

64<br />

52<br />


28<br />


Why just wander through Bath’s UNESCO<br />

World Heritage streets when you can glide above<br />

them in a hot-air balloon! Be sure to embrace<br />

a revitalising dip in the UK’s only naturally hot<br />

thermal waters and don’t miss the city’s hottest new<br />

restaurant opening, Beckford Canteen<br />


38 Take on an exciting new challenge while<br />

learning a new skill. From horse riding in the<br />

Highlands and cooking like Raymond Blanc with his<br />

mother's own recipes in Oxfordshire, to painting<br />

spectacular Cornish landscapes<br />


52 Find unique ways to nurture yourself with a<br />

wellness stay at one of the UK’s leading spa retreats,<br />

including rediscovering yourself in Cornwall,<br />

harnessing the power of nature under a full moon in<br />

West Sussex, and taking a Wim-Hof-style cold-water<br />

plunge in the Surrey Hills<br />


64 There's water, water everywhere in this<br />

stunning part of England, and oh so many ways<br />

to enjoy it, including paddleboarding on Lake<br />

Derwentwater with dog Wilbur in tow<br />


84 Take a stroll inside the medieval walls of York<br />

as you locate some of the city’s most remarkable<br />

buildings and landmarks, including York Minster,<br />

Lendal Bridge, York Art Gallery, The Shambles and<br />

Yorkshire Museum<br />


44<br />


Young, ambitious, and experimental, Whatley<br />

Manor Hotel & Spa's Ricki Weston chats to us about<br />

his classical culinary techniques, eco-escapism,<br />

having guests in the kitchen, and the launch of his<br />

new tasting menu this spring <br />

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

E D I T O R<br />

L O V E S<br />

Discovered during a hotel stay at the<br />

recently refurbished Goodwood Hotel<br />

in Sussex, their new homemade Levin<br />

Down Goodwood Gin is perfectly<br />

balanced. First sipped in the hotel bar<br />

and later enjoyed at home following a<br />

visit to the Goodwood Farm Shop, it's<br />

handcrafted from locally grown wild<br />

botanicals, and distilled with mineral<br />

water filtered through the very chalk<br />

Downs that surround the estate. You<br />

don’t need to be a guest at the hotel<br />

for a taste of this authentic London Dry<br />

refined from the wilds of West Sussex,<br />

as it is also available to order online.<br />

Priced £40, shop.goodwood.com<br />


09<br />


There’s lots to experience and<br />

look forward to this year, from wild<br />

Scottish cabins with Nordic saunas and<br />

a pond for swimming to luxurious stone<br />

cottages in an entirely new Cotswolds<br />

village, or travel pier to pier on a<br />

brand-new cycling route in Somerset<br />


36 One of four luxury spa days for<br />

two (with heavenly treatments and<br />

sumptuous food) could be yours,<br />

thanks to four idyllic Pride of Britain<br />

Hotels: Ockenden Manor; Hartwell<br />

House; Calcot & Spa; and The<br />

Headland Hotel<br />


68 In our curated selection of<br />

luxurious hotel bathrooms you will<br />

find lavish interiors, spacious walk-in<br />

rain showers, side-by-side bathtubs,<br />

twin sinks, outdoor tubs on private<br />

terraces, high-tech innovation and<br />

fabulous views<br />


78 Which floral masterclass is right<br />

for you? Take your pick from crafting<br />

fresh spring wreaths made from<br />

Cumbrian foliage; growing flowers at<br />

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ Hartley<br />

Botanic glasshouse; or creating<br />

beautiful bouquets at Scotland’s<br />

charming Victorian mansion, Cromlix<br />

78<br />


90 Treat yourself to a luxury<br />

spring getaway; whether you prefer<br />

a design-led bothy, a chic cottage or<br />

a windswept clifftop cabin, we have<br />

a remote hideaway for you and your<br />

loved one to snuggle down in<br />


98 Get outside and explore with<br />

our spring book recommendations,<br />

or sharpen the mind with a crossword<br />

challenge for the chance to win a<br />

stylish Ettinger passport cover and<br />

luggage tag<br />

68<br />

Let your feet do the talking and invest in<br />

a new pair of comfortable trainers this<br />

spring. As well as shoes, ARNE have<br />

launched a new range of activewear.<br />

Womens Active Runner, £100<br />

arneclo.com<br />

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


The PerfecT GifT<br />

PoB Hotels gift vouchers can be redeemed for an<br />

unforgettable stay, delightful dining, or an inspiring<br />

experience at any of their hotels across the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />


Against the backdrop<br />

of a renowned collection<br />

experience critically acclaimed<br />

exhibitions of historical and<br />

contemporary art, lectures,<br />

concerts, workshops and<br />

events or indulge in our<br />

Garden Café.<br />

DON’T MISS<br />

Alberta Whittle: Dipping below a waxing<br />

moon, the dance claims us for release<br />

Until 8 May <strong>2023</strong><br />

Painted Love: Renaissance Marriage Portraits<br />

26 May to 1 October <strong>2023</strong><br />

Michael Simpson: Drawing towards Painting<br />

6 May to 17 September <strong>2023</strong><br />

Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery<br />

14 July <strong>2023</strong> George to 7 Shaw January 2024<br />

A Corner of a Foreign Field<br />

‘Without Hands’ The Art of Sarah Biffin<br />

Édouard Vuillard<br />

29 September <strong>2023</strong> to 14 January 2024<br />

The Poetry of the Everyday<br />

Gwen John:<br />

Lauren<br />

Art<br />

Child<br />

and Life in London and Paris<br />

27 October The <strong>2023</strong> Art of to Illustration 14 April 2024<br />

2019 HIGHLIGHTS<br />

Against Rembrandt<br />

the backdrop of a renowned collection<br />

experience A Life critically in Print acclaimed exhibitions<br />

of historical Henri and Matisse contemporary art, lectures,<br />

concerts, Master workshops of Line and events or indulge in<br />

our Garden Café<br />

Great Great Pulteney Pulteney Street, Street, Bath Bath BA2 BA2 4DB 4DB<br />

www.holburne.org<br />


From cosying up fireside in a country cottage, to stargazing from a<br />

dreamy hot tub at your clifftop hideaway, escape the everyday and<br />

seek the magic of a staycation with Boutique Retreats. With over<br />

260 luxury abodes to choose from, uncover our curated collection<br />

of luxury retreats, set in unique locations across the UK.<br />

boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

+44 (0)1872 553 491<br />


<strong>Spring</strong><br />


Hip hotels, budget beach boltholes and a stunning treehouse for 10 are<br />

among our latest batch of hot new properties to tempt you this spring<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />





from page 10 from page 14<br />

from page 16 from page 20<br />

Pictured above: The Braken Hide Hotel. Inset, left to right: Boys Hall Hotel; Forest Holidays, Garwnant; West Barsham Estate; Wild Drovers Way

Hotel News<br />

LONDON<br />

Hux Hotel, Kensington<br />

When they say they didn’t hold back with<br />

their new suite, the folk at the hip and<br />

happening Hux Hotel next to Kensington<br />

Palace Gardens weren’t kidding. With<br />

vibrant walls and lavish furnishings, The<br />

Huxy One features work by Icelandic artist<br />

Kristjana S Williams. Stuffed animals<br />

abound: a peacock stands in the blue<br />

sitting room, a swan is stalled in flight in the<br />

swish bathroom, and a parrot occupies a<br />

dressing-room perch. We’ll leave it to you to<br />

decide if it’s the last word in extravagance<br />

or an animal-lover’s nightmare. ◆<br />

From £1,050 a night, huxhotel.com<br />


No 42 by Guesthouse<br />

The Telegraph calls Tracey Emin’s hometown a ‘beacon of<br />

Bohemia’ and Tatler says its art scene rival’s Ibiza’s. From June, you<br />

can take in the wonders of Margate while based at this 21-room<br />

hotel, which has record players in the rooms along with coffeemakers<br />

in mini beach huts, a rooftop bar and a beachfront cafe. ◆<br />

Rooms from £155, guesthousehotels.co.uk<br />


Tongue Hotel<br />

The views are already pretty good from this former sporting lodge,<br />

which overlooks the Kyle of Tongue, on the scenic North Coast<br />

500 route. Now it’s equally enticing within, following a facelift<br />

from new owner Highland Coast Hotels, which added bursts of<br />

colour and fresh furnishings to wood panelling and antiques. ◆<br />

Rooms from £149, with breakfast, tonguehotel.co.uk<br />

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


Barnsdale Lodge<br />

Following its success with Berkshire’s Retreat at Elcot Park, The<br />

Signet Collection is introducing the same formula to rural Rutland.<br />

With sublime views of Rutland Water, Barnsdale Lodge is surrounded<br />

by walking trails, and comes with an on-site beauty salon.<br />

Rooms from £120, with breakfast, barnsdalerutland.com<br />

KENT<br />

Boys Hall<br />

Sometimes restaurants with rooms are more<br />

about the food than the furnishings. Not so<br />

at this Jacobean manor house, with its seven<br />

super-smart bedrooms – think rolltop baths,<br />

four posters and window seats. The enormous,<br />

beamed restaurant makes a great backdrop,<br />

too, for chef Shane Pearson’s gourmet version<br />

of home-cooked favourites. Just a 35-minute<br />

train ride from London, Boys Hall is the passion<br />

project of husband-and-wife team Bradley and<br />

Kristie Lomas. There’s more to come, with new<br />

rooms and cabins due to open later this year,<br />

along with treatment rooms and an outdoor<br />

pizza oven plus garden-room bar. ◆<br />

Rooms from £160, with breakfast,<br />

boys-hall.com<br />

Editor loves<br />

WALES<br />

The Caban, Pendine Sands<br />

Looking for a budget seaside break? Look no further<br />

than Carmarthen Bay, where this 14-room hotel<br />

overlooks seven miles of sand. Pared back, modern<br />

rooms cost from just £80. Better still, the hotel is<br />

next door to the new Museum of Land Speed, which<br />

replaces the Museum of Speed. The attraction opens<br />

on 31 March, the same day as The Caban. ◆<br />

cabanpentywyn.cymru<br />

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


The Suffolk<br />

Sup and sleep in Suffolk-sur-sea, aka Aldeburgh, where this former<br />

inn has just opened six beautifully designed bedrooms to go with<br />

its seafront restaurant. Should you get peckish after the excellent<br />

seafood at dinner, you can raid the first-floor pantry.<br />

Rooms from £180, the-suffolk.co.uk<br />

KENT<br />

Updown Farmhouse<br />

It’s all very rustic at this little restaurant with<br />

rooms in 7.5 acres of rolling Kent countryside.<br />

Everything is cooked in the outdoor kitchen,<br />

with its baker’s oven built into the stable wall<br />

and wood-fired grill; guests eat in a covered<br />

outdoor space. The short menu might be<br />

Italian leaning but it’s strong on local produce.<br />

Typical dishes include tagliolini with chilli and<br />

crab and braised short rib with pickled walnut.<br />

Within the 17th-century farmhouse are five<br />

block-coloured rooms, while another is set<br />

within the gardener’s cottage outside. ◆<br />

Rooms cost from £250, with breakfast,<br />

updownfarmhouse.com<br />


Bracken Hide Hotel, Skye<br />

Wilderness meets hotel at this Scottish bolthole,<br />

which opens mid April. Rooms are in 27 cabins<br />

spread over the 53-acre site, which is also home to a<br />

pair of Nordic saunas and a pond for wild swimming.<br />

A whisky bar, a games room and a restaurant are<br />

in the main building. ◆<br />

From £150 a night, brackenhide.co.uk<br />

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


Glamping<br />


Forest Holidays, Garwnant<br />

Just in time for spring, Forest Holidays has<br />

opened in Wales' beautiful Brecon Beacons<br />

National Park, amid 400 acres of woodland. Its<br />

40 timber cabins with large decks are designed<br />

to let guests immerse themselves in nature.<br />

Head out on two wheels to explore forest<br />

trails, then build dens, and learn about the<br />

big outdoors on one of the new Forest Ranger<br />

experiences. Return to your private hot tub and<br />

indulge in a little star spotting: the park is a<br />

Dark Sky Reserve. ◆<br />

Cabins sleep two to 10 guests and cost from<br />

£1,510 to £2,935 for four nights in April,<br />

forestholidays.co.uk<br />



The Glastonbury Pop Up Hotel<br />

If you want to glamp at Glastonbury, book now to bag a yurt, a<br />

gypsy caravan or an emperor tent. Classic rooms have already sold<br />

out; prices are now from £3,399 for two. It’s not cheap, but you do<br />

get proper beds, a restaurant, spa and swimming pool access, all a<br />

ten-minute walk from gate D. ◆<br />

thepopuphotel.com<br />


Icelandic Turf House<br />

Channel your inner Viking at a quirky turf house near Kirkby<br />

Stephen. Beneath the grass roof you’ll find a bed lined with faux<br />

fur, a table for feasting, Viking-style lamps, and horn glasses to<br />

drink from. Set off from the door for walks in the fells, then return<br />

to cook on the BBQ or in the kitchen hut. ◆<br />

From £75 a night for two, canopyandstars.co.uk<br />

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


The Journeyman Treehouse<br />

Treehouses don’t come much better than this. Sleeping 10, the<br />

woodland retreat has twin baths on the veranda, a pool table and<br />

a movie projector, as well as a fire pit, a BBQ and a pizza oven.<br />

Four nights cost from £1,596, journeymanstudio.com<br />


Field of Dreams glampsite<br />

at Melbourne Hall<br />

For a change from tents, why not stay in a<br />

German fire truck, an American school bus,<br />

or even a helicopter? The vehicles form part<br />

of comedian and TV star Johnny Vegas’ new<br />

glampsite. Moving from his original Yorkshire<br />

pitch in search of something bigger, the<br />

eponymous star of Channel 4’s Johnny Vegas:<br />

Carry on Glamping picked the Derbyshire<br />

home of Lord and Lady Kerr to host his<br />

Field of Dreams campsite, opening in April.<br />

Combine a stay with one of the boutique<br />

events held at the hall. ◆<br />

Two nights from £330, melbournehall.com<br />



Olive, Unplugged<br />

Need a digital detox? Eco-cabin company Unplugged<br />

expects to have 50 UK lodges by the year end, up from<br />

11 last August. Among them is Olive, with a picture<br />

window looking onto woodland, a wood stove, and<br />

plenty of games. Guests swap their digital devices for<br />

an old-school Nokia in case of emergencies. ◆<br />

Three nights from £390, unplugged.rest<br />

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

Self-Catering<br />


Senara, Gwithian Beach<br />

Scandi-chic comes to the West Country at this<br />

beach house, a mile from Gwithian’s sandy<br />

dunes, with views over St Ives Bay. Wall-to-wall<br />

white décor lies within the barn-like living areas<br />

with floor-to-ceiling windows, and six bedrooms<br />

in the main house. An additional bedroom is in<br />

the annex, perfect for grandparents wanting a<br />

bit of peace. On sunny days, the beach beckons,<br />

while back at the ranch, you can wallow in the<br />

pool, and hit the hot tub and sauna. The house<br />

also has a gym and a yoga deck. ◆<br />

It’s yours from £4,995 a week, for 12 people,<br />

uniquehomestays.com<br />


West Barsham Estate<br />

The bevy of barns that makes up this estate is now looking super<br />

stylish after a colourful makeover by interior designer Flora Soames.<br />

With on-site beer tasting and a monthly street-food event, the barns<br />

make a great base for exploring North Norfolk’s magical coastline. ◆<br />

Sleeping from four to 14, they cost from £550–£2,650 for a<br />

three-night stay, barshambarns.co.uk<br />

DEVON<br />

The Mole Resort<br />

Forget mole holes: these lodges in Devon near the River Mole are<br />

the height of luxury. Sleeping up to eight people, with a balcony<br />

deck, a hot tub and a fully equipped kitchen, the lodges will be<br />

joined in the summer by a refurbished hotel. On-site activities<br />

include swimming, tennis, pickleball and trout fishing. ◆<br />

Three nights for eight from £1,752, themoleresort.co.uk<br />

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


Lion Lodges at West Midland Safari Park<br />

Book now to stay within a whisker of the big cats in four lodges<br />

opening here in July. The lions are on show through the floor-to-ceiling<br />

windows in the living area and from the two bedrooms.<br />

From £790 for two, including breakfast, dinner, and two days’ park<br />

admission, safari-lodges.co.uk<br />


Daylesford Village<br />

Celebrating a special event? You can now take<br />

over a whole Cotswolds village. The 15 stone<br />

cottages at Daylesford village, on a 2,500-<br />

acre estate, were recently launched by Carole<br />

Bamford. Her farm shop is just down the road,<br />

offering cookery classes, floristry workshops,<br />

winetastings and the use of the Bamford<br />

Wellness Spa. And if you don’t want to cook, it’s<br />

just a short walk to the two pubs in Bamford’s<br />

empire: The Fox at Oddington and The Wild<br />

Rabbit. It's price on application, which means<br />

it’s expensive, but you can rent the cottages<br />

individually from £375 a night for two. ◆<br />

daylesford.com<br />


Driftwood Lodge<br />

The beach at Rhosneigr is a beauty, and this<br />

self-catering annex attached to a six-room<br />

guesthouse is just a short walk away. Enjoy your<br />

own privacy, plus a fully fitted kitchenette and<br />

room for three, then set off to explore the 120-<br />

mile island coastland, with plenty of rural trails. ◆<br />

A night for three is from £190,<br />

rhosneigr.co.uk<br />

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

Self-Catering<br />


The Bugle, Southampton<br />

When you hire this Grade-II-listed townhouse<br />

on Bugle Street overlooking Southampton’s<br />

Royal Pier, you can customise it to any event,<br />

picking your own decorations and caterer.<br />

Whether you want a cocktail party or a seated<br />

wedding for 104 guests, an events coordinator<br />

helps you iron out any details. In strippedback<br />

style, it opened in January and is the first<br />

of three properties from The Wonder House<br />

Group. The 5-storey house comes with a fully<br />

stocked basement bar and eight rooms; it is<br />

also available for exclusive-use homestays for<br />

16 people. ◆<br />

Two nights costs from £2,750, or venue hire is<br />

from £2,500, thebugle.house<br />


Tresithney<br />

For those looking for a coastal retreat for the family, this five-bedroom<br />

dog-friendly property situated in the heart of Rock village is in<br />

walking distance of the beach and oozes luxury. It has a games<br />

room with pool, ping pong and board games. It also comes with its<br />

own cinema room and heated swimming pool with large terrace. ◆<br />

From £4,500 for seven nights, shorestays.co.uk<br />


Blackton Grange<br />

You’d never know this place was a former youth hostel. Forget<br />

dormitories and cheap furnishings: the exclusive-hire house now<br />

has five en-suite bedrooms, plus its own cinema room, a swish<br />

cocktail lounge, and a hot tub overlooking the rolling hills. Not far<br />

from Barnard Castle, it sleeps up to 17 people. ◆<br />

From £2,300 for two nights, blacktongrange.co.uk<br />

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


Terrarium, Chichester<br />

If you fancy staying in a house that featured on the TV show<br />

Grand Designs, this might be the place, with its glass and<br />

timber front, spiral staircase and interiors that are the epitome<br />

of stripped-back elegance.<br />

A week for 10 from £6,995, uniquehomestays.com<br />


Kin House<br />

An exclusive-hire venue with its own barbers<br />

for a spot of pre-dinner grooming? Yes, and<br />

a dressing room kitted out with hair-washing<br />

sinks, hairdryers and tongs. They’ve done<br />

everything possible to make this Georgian<br />

manor the ultimate in private hire, whether you<br />

want to hold a big birthday, a wellness retreat or<br />

a wedding. A team of inhouse chefs can please<br />

the most particular of palates, while in the bar<br />

the staff love to whip up their signature burnt<br />

orange negronis. As for the 12 bedrooms, they<br />

have rolltop baths and minibars. ◆<br />

From £12,500 for 24-hour hire,<br />

kinhouse.co.uk<br />


Edgar House<br />

Right by Chester’s city walls, this Regency<br />

property, that in a previous incarnation operated<br />

as a small hotel, is now available for private hire.<br />

It still has the look of an upmarket boutique hotel,<br />

with a cinema, a games room, and space for 16<br />

guests, but there’s also a large open-plan<br />

kitchen you can use. ◆<br />

Three nights from £3,271, daisyjoy.co.uk<br />

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

Attractions<br />

LONDON<br />

BBC Earth Experience<br />

See the spectacular light show created by fireflies in<br />

North America, watch snub-nosed monkeys huddling<br />

together to stay warm in Asia, and be amazed by<br />

hungry hamsters in Europe fighting to keep their<br />

food. It’s all part of the 360-degree audiovisual<br />

journey at BBC Earth Experience, in which you can<br />

experience remarkable landscapes and watch the<br />

world’s most mesmerising creatures – without having<br />

to fly anywhere. Narrated by David Attenborough,<br />

and projected on multiple multi-angle screens, the<br />

immersive show follows the BBV TV programme<br />

Seven Worlds One Planet. ◆<br />

It opens in Earl’s Court on 30 March. Tickets<br />

cost £28.50 for adults, £22 for children,<br />

bbcearthexperience.com<br />


Manchester Museum<br />

Reopened after a £15 million facelift, this museum aims to tell the city’s<br />

diverse story, and includes a South Asia gallery and a Chinese culture<br />

gallery. A new exhibition hall will hold ambitious shows, opening with<br />

the 'Golden Mummies of Egypt'. Also new is a dinosaur display, and the<br />

Belonging Gallery, reflecting on what it means to belong. ◆<br />

museum.manchester.ac.uk<br />


The Lost Garden at Blenheim Palace<br />

While adults marvel at Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace, the kids will<br />

love the new outdoor play area in the garden. With interactive water<br />

features, play trails and winding walkways on the ground, it also has<br />

aerial features, including rope bridges, raised walkways and triple<br />

racing zip lines, with views over the Capability Brown parkland. ◆<br />

blenheimpalace.com<br />

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

6339 Swan Season ad <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> RiP.indd 1 21/02/<strong>2023</strong> 15:01<br />

6339 Swan Season ad <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> RiP.indd 1 21/02/<strong>2023</strong> 1

Attractions<br />


The Petworth Park Antiques<br />

& Fine Art Fair<br />

Everything from a pair of silver travelling candlesticks<br />

to a £52,000 Harold Harvey oil painting<br />

will be on show at Petworth’s antique fair in May.<br />

More than 60 exhibitors will gather to sell a<br />

variety of ceramics, sculptures, jewellery, artwork<br />

and furniture. One newcomer to this year’s fair<br />

is W. Shanshan, whose pottery includes a Han<br />

dynasty Sichuan terracotta dancer (£12,500).<br />

The fair, normally held at the beginning of May,<br />

has been pushed back until 19–21 May as a result<br />

of King Charles’ coronation. Tickets cost £10 but<br />

entry is free to National Trust members. ◆<br />

petworthparkfair.com<br />


Cairn Distillery<br />

It’s been worth the wait – more than a century has passed since a<br />

distillery was built in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park. Now,<br />

this cutting-edge modern building (with sedum roof to encourage<br />

insect life) blends Gordon & MacPhail’s Scotch in a spectacular<br />

spot on the banks of the River Spey. ◆<br />

thecairndistillery.com<br />

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


WALES<br />

The Wild Drovers’ Way<br />

Follow the winding roads and take in the foothills of the<br />

Cambrian Mountains and swathes of sand on the coast on this<br />

180-mile circular route once used by drovers. A new online guide<br />

details where to stay and eat, as well as places to<br />

recharge electric cars or to hire e-bikes. ◆<br />




Pier to Pier Way<br />

Opening at Easter, this new 13-mile cycling route will link the<br />

Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon piers. Be sure to enjoy fish ‘n’<br />

chips, rides and arcade games at the former, and to appreciate<br />

‘the most beautiful pier in England’ according to poet John<br />

Betjeman, at the latter. somerset.gov.uk<br />

LONDON<br />

Bacchanalia Restaurant<br />

For a side serving of theatre with your food, you<br />

can’t go wrong here. One of London’s hottest<br />

new restaurants, Bacchanalia in Mayfair was<br />

curated by flamboyant interior architect Martin<br />

Brudnizki and it’s breathtaking from the moment<br />

you walk through the gilded door. Damien Hirst's<br />

equine statues gallop across a ceiling painted<br />

with scenes from classical myths. A floor-toceiling<br />

mural on the back wall depicts the<br />

Last Supper, albeit one where iPhones and the<br />

Golden Gate Bridge existed. The Greek- and<br />

Italian-inspired food, served by toga-clad staff,<br />

is part of the show – it’s finished at the tables for<br />

that extra wow factor. ◆<br />

bacchanalia.co.uk<br />

SUSSEX<br />


Royal Pavilion<br />

While the final preparations are made for King<br />

Charles III’s coronation in May, Brighton’s Royal<br />

Pavilion is celebrating a more lavish affair. George<br />

IV’s coronation in 1821 was extravagant, colourful<br />

and contentious: the Queen Consort was refused<br />

entry to the ceremony and remained uncrowned.<br />

The exhibition, dubbed 'A Right Royal Spectacle', is<br />

on show from 11 March to 10 September. ◆<br />

brightonmuseums.org.uk<br />

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

A Right Royal<br />

Spectacle:<br />

The Coronation<br />

of George IV<br />

11 Mar – 10 Sep <strong>2023</strong><br />

Open daily<br />

Admission payable<br />

Members free<br />

brightonmuseums.org.uk<br />

A display<br />

revealing tales<br />

of outrageous<br />

expense, vanity<br />

and loss.<br />

Come and buy the very finest<br />

art and antiques at our ninth<br />

annual event of distinction<br />






W. SUSSEX GU28 0QY<br />

19-21 MAY <strong>2023</strong><br />

Friday 11.00 - 18.00<br />

Saturday 10.30 - 18.00<br />

Sunday 10.30 - 17.00<br />

To request a complimentary<br />

invitation for three please<br />

email BTJ@adfl.co.uk<br />

01797 252030<br />

For updates please visit<br />

www.petworthparkfair.com<br />

supported by<br />

THE<br />



FAIR<br />



Frameless<br />



Art with no boundaries. Step inside a world of light, colour and sound<br />

Frameless elevates the art<br />

experience to a level never<br />

experienced before. Unique<br />

interpretations of masterpieces<br />

from artists including Canaletto,<br />

Cézanne, Dalí, Kandinsky, Klimt,<br />

Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh are<br />

displayed using the very latest interactive<br />

projection technology in a series of four<br />

spectacular galleries, each dedicated to<br />

a different theme. Be uplifted by the art<br />

surrounding you in the 30,000 square<br />

feet space as it connects you with the<br />

artist’s imagination. Located just a<br />

few short steps from Marble Arch, this<br />

immersive, multi-dimensional experience<br />

is the biggest of its kind in the UK set<br />

to become a major new landmark and<br />

cultural destination for visitors in the<br />

capital. Be sure to have your camera<br />

ready – Frameless is a place where art<br />

breaks free from the frame. ◆<br />


Frameless is open 7 days a week<br />

from 10am. Adult tickets start at<br />

£25; child tickets start at £15 and<br />

children under 5 years go for free.<br />

For more information on the<br />

experience and to buy tickets<br />

visit www.frameless.com<br />

Frameless, 6 Marble Arch, London,<br />

W1H 7AP<br />

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

Spotlight on...<br />

ST. JAMES'S<br />

Originally a gentlemen’s club for the English aristocracy, today<br />

St. James’s Hotel & Club Mayfair is a perfect London<br />

sanctuary for the modern traveller<br />

Text by Jessica Way<br />

It's easy to become wrapped up in the hottest hotel<br />

openings and exciting refurbishments, often overlooking<br />

the quieter, more unassuming establishments – ones<br />

that have been hosting guests for centuries, not<br />

merely decades – and yet, just like their newer rivals, are<br />

continually evolving without complacency.<br />

One such five-star hideaway is St. James’s Hotel & Club<br />

in Mayfair – with such a long tradition of impeccable service,<br />

it's no wonder Sir Winston Churchill, Henry James and Ian<br />

Fleming have been previous members. Today’s high-profile<br />

guests are no less impressive (Elle Macpherson, Sir Sean<br />

Connery and Sir Elton John, to name but a few), perhaps<br />

attracted by the privacy of this historic boutique club, subtly<br />

located in a peaceful hidden cul-de-sac, protected from<br />

London’s usual hustle and bustle.<br />

As a guest of St. James’s, you get to experience this<br />

prestigious area of London while living like a local – the<br />

remarkable location is a short walk to a plethora of<br />

attractions; Buckingham Palace, the exclusive stores<br />

of Jermyn Street, Burlington Arcade, Bond Street and<br />

the Royal Academy of Arts. The West End's theatres<br />

and nightlife are also close by... and with no chauffeur<br />

required, you can simply potter about, enjoying the locale<br />

and feeling carefree and part of the sociable community.<br />

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

‘<br />

As a guest of St. James’s, you get to experience this prestigious area of London<br />

while living like a local... feeling carefree and part of the sociable community<br />

’<br />

The Victorian townhouse itself is unmistakable, with a<br />

striking red-and-white façade, retaining all its charm and<br />

heritage. Red carpeted stone steps lead the way inside<br />

the foyer, where there is an understated style and classical<br />

elegance, wood-panelled walls and polished natural<br />

stone. To the right is the reception where one of the hotel’s<br />

impressive 20th-century paintings, from the Rosenstein<br />

Collection, demands attention. Throughout the hotel,<br />

there are more than 400 paintings, pictures and sculptures<br />

from this impressive private art collection.<br />

There are 60 exquisitely designed bedrooms with<br />

handcrafted Murano glass chandeliers and sumptuous silk<br />

wallpapers – the vast Terrace Suite has an open fireplace<br />

and spacious roof terrace, or for complete exclusivity,<br />

the St James and Westminster Suites (which, connected,<br />

become The Penthouse) come complete with your own<br />

private lift and panoramic views over London. De-stress<br />

with a 90-minute body treatment or other in-room spa and<br />

beauty service.<br />

Art Deco is the theme at the Seven Park Place<br />

restaurant with William Drabble, known as Billy, at the<br />

helm. Fresh lobster and Lune Valley lamb are just some of<br />

the delights to look forward to, thanks to Billy’s own unique<br />

French-inspired menu, which helped gain him one Michelin<br />

star just a year after opening.<br />

If casual dining is more your style, take a bite from the<br />

all-day dining menu at 1857 The Bar, offering a delectable<br />

choice of classics, from a St James Beef Burger to Gnocchi with<br />

Lobster. It is also here, at London’s fashionable wine bar for<br />

oenophiles, where you can sample the oldest wine to be sold<br />

by the glass in the UK, the Graham’s 1882 Ne Oublie port.<br />

Jessica Way was a guest of St. James’s Hotel & Club<br />

Mayfair, Double rooms from £375, stjameshotelandclub.com<br />

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

AN<br />


city BREAK

Bath’s gracious streets and golden-stone buildings are<br />

world renowned, but the best way of breathing in this UNESCO<br />

heritage city’s beauty is by soaring above it all in a hot-air balloon...<br />

Text by Natalie Paris<br />

It’s springtime in Royal Victoria Park and<br />

there is a strange puffing sound overhead.<br />

For those unfamiliar with Bath, the historic<br />

park spreads like a picnic blanket beneath<br />

the city’s famous Royal Crescent. When<br />

daffodils raise their heads and the magnolias<br />

are studded with fresh buds, the park lawns<br />

are used to launch the year’s first hot-air<br />

balloons. The magnificent balloons fire<br />

up – weather permitting – with an emphatic<br />

puffing noise and rise majestically above<br />

the trees for an aerial view of the Crescent’s<br />

sweep of perfectly aligned townhouses.<br />

A hot-air balloon flight is a great way to<br />

fully appreciate this graceful street and the<br />

Georgian architecture within this UNESCO<br />

World Heritage city. From April <strong>2023</strong><br />

onwards, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa,<br />

which sits at the very centre of the Crescent,<br />

will launch exclusive flights for two in its own<br />

balloon. Guests who take to the skies can<br />

enjoy an afternoon tea afterwards, picking<br />

over an assortment of delicate sandwiches,<br />

buns and pastries while sipping Champagne<br />

in the hotel gardens.<br />

The arrival of sunshine and balloon flights<br />

makes spring an appealing time to visit<br />

Bath, and the Royal Crescent Hotel is the<br />

city’s premier address. There is nothing quite<br />

like stepping out of its front door onto the<br />

Crescent, especially if you can stay in a fourposter<br />

bed in one of the hotel’s newly <br />

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

efurbished suites. Their grand<br />

windows look onto the Crescent’s<br />

curve of butter-stone buildings and<br />

the park beyond.<br />

Bath’s historic streets have played<br />

a winning supporting role in a<br />

number of films, including last year’s<br />

Persuasion, a Netflix remake of<br />

Jane Austen’s classic love story. The<br />

smash television drama Bridgerton<br />

was filmed here too.<br />

The streets are lined with refined<br />

buildings. A short walk from the<br />

Crescent are The Assembly Rooms,<br />

where Georgian balls used to attract<br />

up to 1,000 guests. Sadly, these<br />

rooms, which were once a hub for<br />

high society, are currently closed<br />

for refurbishment. The chandeliers<br />

would have sparkled in the<br />

candlelight on a winter’s evening,<br />

which was when the Georgian social<br />

season ran.<br />

A central hall leads to a card<br />

room, once used for gambling,<br />

and to the tea room, where weary<br />

dancers and sharp-eyed socialites<br />

would have descended to enjoy<br />

sweetmeats, jellies, wine, biscuits<br />

and tea.<br />

Kick-start an indulgent weekend<br />

in Bath with a glass of Buck's Fizz<br />

and brunch in the grand Pump<br />



















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

‘<br />

Bath’s streets are lined with refined buildings. A short walk from the Crescent<br />

are The Assembly Rooms, where Georgian balls used to attract up to 1,000 guests.<br />

’<br />

Room, which is set beside The Abbey. The Pump Room<br />

building dates from 1795 and a fountain flows with natural<br />

spa water inside. The Abbey itself has an elaborate facade,<br />

with carved angels climbing ladders high above the square<br />

in front of it, a Victorian Gothic interior and a splendid fanvaulted<br />

ceiling.<br />

Bath’s thermal springs and mineral-rich waters are a<br />

big draw for visitors, and the ancient site of The Roman<br />

Baths is fascinating. Through its ruins and artefacts, it<br />

reveals how people used to bathe (and enjoy a sauna) in<br />

the city 2,000 years ago and it recently uncovered a new<br />

section that was once part of a gymnasium.<br />

The most exciting stop for art lovers sits in another of<br />

Bath’s notable buildings. The pillared Holburne Museum<br />

has temporary art exhibitions, a collection of fine art and<br />

its own Georgian pleasure gardens out the back.<br />

Sydney Gardens was loved by Jane Austen – who once<br />

lived opposite – and the park has recently been revitalised,<br />

with shocks of wildflowers and a playground built from<br />

natural materials added. The gardens are still a genteel<br />

place for a stroll, leading up to pretty iron bridges that<br />

span the Kennet and Avon canal. <strong>Spring</strong> is a good time to<br />

hire a narrowboat for a pootle along the canal, and Bath<br />

Narrowboats can organise one for you. <br />

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

‘<br />

If a spring stroll sounds more agreeable, make for Prior Park, a landscaped<br />

garden south of the city centre. There are fine city views from the hilltop before<br />

the garden rolls down to a Palladian bridge, serenely reflected in a lake below.<br />

’<br />

With so many buildings to admire, it’s no surprise that<br />

Bath residents have an eye for beautiful things. Shoppers<br />

should explore the higgledy-piggledy paved lanes to find<br />

sustainably made womenswear at BIBICO, or browse the<br />

eclectic design treasures at Found, a boutique on Pulteney<br />

Bridge. Berdoulat is a cafe-turned-interior-design shop with<br />

restored 18th-century shop counters, while Always Sunday<br />

has a collection of eye-catching, artisanal homeware.<br />

Head afterwards to Parade Gardens, where in balmy<br />

weather you can sit among manicured flower beds.<br />

Overlooking the River Avon as it spills across Pulteney<br />

Weir, this is yet another elegant space to relax in. If a<br />

spring stroll sounds more agreeable, make for Prior Park, a<br />

landscaped garden south of the city centre. There are fine<br />

city views from the hilltop before the garden rolls down to a<br />

Palladian bridge, serenely reflected in a lake below.<br />

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





Dining out in Bath is always a pleasure, with<br />

high-quality ingredients produced in the surrounding<br />

countryside. There is one Michelin-star restaurant, Olive<br />

Tree, which serves delectable, immaculately presented<br />

food – for example, a plate of trout with wasabi and<br />

Granny Smith apple.<br />

The Elder restaurant has also won rave reviews. Inside,<br />

you will find leather banquette seating and taxidermy but<br />

there are also tables on the front terrace near St John’s<br />

church. Restaurateur Mike Robinson is known for his<br />

experience with game, and The Elder’s cooking brings<br />

creative finesse to this traditionally used meat. A starter<br />

of deer tartare with masala and apricot on brown butter<br />


crumpets had flavours and textures that were spot on,<br />

while a main of wood pigeon came with a rich and fruity<br />

Moroccan pastilla of confit pigeon leg.<br />

Newer still is Beckford Canteen, which has taken over<br />

a Georgian greenhouse and is the new place to try this<br />

spring. Choose from plates of technically clever food, such<br />

as fancy sardines on toast or monkfish with curried butter.<br />

Bath has an abundance of cosy cocktail bars hidden<br />

in the basements of its townhouses. Dark Horse takes its<br />

mixology seriously and is a particularly seductive space.<br />

Or settle upon a bistro table on the cobbles outside<br />

Beckford Bottle Shop. This candlelit wine shop has red<br />

leather sofas inside, charcuterie boards and shelves<br />

heaving with great bottles to sample.<br />

When it comes to choosing a hotel, Bath has an array<br />

of luxurious options. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is a<br />

memorable choice, or try the modern, yet still characterful,<br />

independent hotel The Queensberry, which is home to the<br />

Michelin-starred Olive Tree restaurant, mentioned above.<br />

Its bedrooms are spacious, colourful and contemporary. <br />

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

<strong>Spring</strong> is the perfect time to<br />

appreciate the warmth of a dip in<br />

the city’s steaming, thermal waters.<br />

For an exclusive, private soak, a<br />

line of stone colonnades leads from<br />

the Pump Room to the Cross Bath,<br />

where 46°C thermal springs bubble<br />

up to the surface.<br />

This small but historic open-air<br />

bath can be hired by groups (with<br />

sparkling wine available too).<br />

Alternatively, treat yourself<br />

to some pampering at the main<br />

Thermae Bath Spa. The modern<br />

complex houses pools on different<br />

levels, as well as a sauna and steam<br />

rooms. Treatments, such as Romanthemed<br />

scrubs, massages and<br />

facials, are very good but the rooftop<br />

pool is the star of the show. It is a<br />

photogenic spot and somewhere to<br />

contemplate Bath’s chimneys and<br />

church spires. Nothing beats the<br />

view from above this city, which has<br />

inspired writers and romantics for<br />

centuries.<br />

Double rooms at The Royal<br />

Crescent from £330 year-round<br />

with breakfast included.<br />

royalcrescent.co.uk<br />

For more information take a look at<br />

visitbath.co.uk<br />

‘<br />

It’s invigorating;<br />

sliding into a<br />

swimming pool<br />

of 35°C waters,<br />

just as Jane<br />

Austen once did<br />

in the Roman<br />

Baths from a<br />

passage beneath<br />

the Pump<br />

Rooms<br />

’<br />

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


—<br />

There are two unsurpassed reasons to stay at The<br />

Gainsborough Bath Spa. Firstly, location, location,<br />

location… you just can’t beat the hotel's locale – you’re<br />

smack dab in the centre of Bath, just a few minutes'<br />

walk from all the action; bars, restaurants, museums,<br />

shops, attractions and more.<br />

Secondly, there's its incredible spa and the<br />

opportunity to soak in Britain’s only naturally warm<br />

waters in much more privacy than across the road at<br />

Thermae Bath Spa. The Spa Village as its known, might<br />

not have breathtaking views of the city from an openair<br />

rooftop pool, however, the mostly beige four-storey<br />

glass atrium is also a pretty spectacular sight, with<br />

natural light giving an open-air feeling. The experience<br />

perfectly echoes that of the Romans; with pools and<br />

rooms of varying temperatures and humidities, the<br />

atmosphere is peaceful and the music soothing. It’s<br />

invigorating; sliding into a swimming pool of 35°C<br />

waters, just as Jane Austen once did in the Roman Baths<br />

from a passage beneath the Pump Rooms.<br />

Along with the usual massage beds and jets,<br />

there's an ice alcove and an elegant relaxation terrace.<br />

Treatments (with ELEMIS products) of a high standard<br />

are brilliantly delivered. Plus, there’s the opportunity<br />

to enjoy the natural thermal waters entirely privately,<br />

either by booking a treatment in a VIP Suite or by<br />

staying in one of the hotel's exclusive spa rooms.<br />

Elsewhere in the pristine 99-bedroom hotel you<br />

will find yet more marble and columns, and staff who<br />

seem to stand as proud as the grandiose pillars on the<br />

exterior. The Georgian masterpiece is an example of<br />

Bath’s stage-set-worthy architecture at its very best,<br />

dating back to the 1820s. The hotel was formerly built<br />

as a hospital and, more recently, a college. Reception is<br />

a scene of calm precision, with none of the usual hassle.<br />

Supremely efficient valet-parking is the norm.<br />

Well-staffed and managed, the hotel succeeds<br />

in maintaining an elegant and glamorous ambience<br />

without being overly stuffy. The decor and lighting<br />

is modern, but restrained, and dining at the<br />

Gainsborough is, like everything else, classy and<br />

sophisticated but managing to remain light and<br />

somehow informal. Afternoon tea is served in the<br />

intimate Canvas Room, breakfast and dinner is in the<br />

Socialize restaurant, which serves <strong>British</strong> cuisine, and<br />

where there is original artwork (by college students)<br />

and an impressive wine wall. Locally sourced produce<br />

is combined with divine flavours to produce innovative<br />

dishes. Pre-dinner cocktails are whipped up in the chic<br />

Gainsborough Bar overlooking Spa Village.<br />

Nightly rates at The Gainsborough Bath<br />

Spa start from £290 on a room-only basis.<br />

thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk<br />

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

Competition time!<br />

WIN a SPA DAY<br />

Enter our competition to win one of four luxury spa days for<br />

two, with heavenly treatments and sumptuous food...<br />

In a year of recovery from all the instability of 2022,<br />

where self-awareness of our mental and physical<br />

wellness is more evident than ever before, treating<br />

yourself to some well-deserved 'me' time is a must.<br />

Let your tension melt away with a pampering<br />

treatment at a luxurious spa before enjoying a<br />

nourishing feast for two at one of the UK’s finest hotels.<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> has teamed up with Pride of<br />

Britain Hotels to offer you the opportunity to win one of<br />

four blissful spa days. The prize includes: treatments<br />

to help relax the mind, soothe the spirit and beautify<br />

the body; and a delightful serving of afternoon tea<br />

or a two-course lunch. Our fortunate winners will be<br />

hosted in one of four idyllic hotel settings: Ockenden<br />

Manor, a fine Elizabethan manor house in West Sussex;<br />

Hartwell House, one of England's stately homes,<br />

Buckinghamshire; Calcot & Spa, set within 220 acres<br />

of rewilded Cotswolds countryside; and The Headland<br />

Hotel, located in one of Cornwall's most heavenly<br />

locations, overlooking Fistral Bay.<br />

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

Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire<br />

Ockenden Manor, West Sussex<br />

Enjoy a full day of tranquillity and<br />

indulgence at Ockenden Manor<br />

– the impressive spa built inside a<br />

19th-century walled garden has<br />

a walk-through rainforest shower<br />

fed by Ockenden's own natural<br />

underground spring, a swim-through<br />

indoor and outdoor pool, and a<br />

Calcot, The Cotswolds<br />

The Headland Hotel, Cornwall<br />

floatation tank where saltwater<br />

suspends the body effortlessly for<br />

total muscle relaxation. Hartwell<br />

House is offering a spa day with<br />

inclusive use of the Spa Club Room<br />

and an 85-minute luxury spa<br />

treatment for two. The National<br />

Trust-owned Grade-I-listed<br />

Jacobean and Georgian house is set<br />

in magnificent surroundings with<br />

90 acres of gardens and parkland<br />

within the Vale of Aylesbury and on<br />

the edge of the Chilterns, an Area of<br />

Outstanding Natural Beauty.<br />

Revive, refresh and feel good at<br />

Calcot’s world-class spa, slipping into<br />

the soothing waters of their outdoor<br />

fireside hot tub.<br />

In Cornwall, The Headland Thermal<br />

Journey includes a Swedish sauna,<br />

a hydrotherapy pool, a Cornish-salt<br />

steam room, a pool with swan neck jet<br />

and a rainfall experience shower. ◆<br />

How to enter<br />


britishtraveljournal.com<br />

Pride of Britain Hotels is a<br />

collection made up of the finest<br />

properties, each one unique<br />

and characterful. With manor<br />

homes, castles, woodland<br />

retreats, elegant lodges and<br />

city boltholes on offer, there is<br />

a special experience awaiting<br />

every guest. Experience the best<br />

places to eat, stay and unwind<br />

within the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />

Last entries 30 May <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Prize is to be taken before 20<br />

December <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

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

SPRING<br />

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

into<br />

ACTION!<br />

With the arrival of spring and<br />

all the energy that it brings, we<br />

discover some of the very best<br />

places across the country to<br />

learn a brand-new skill.<br />

From distilling your own<br />

flavoured vodka to cooking<br />

fresh seafood in Cornwall, are<br />

you ready for an exciting new<br />

challenge this year?<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

Learn to catch a wave<br />

Surf Sanctuary, Cornwall<br />

Directly overlooking the world-famous Fistral Beach,<br />

Surf Sanctuary is the on-site surf school at the fivestar<br />

Headland Hotel in Newquay. Set up by a small<br />

collective of lifelong surfers and friends that enjoy<br />

sharing everything that the beautiful Cornish coast has<br />

to offer, the school caters for families, individuals and<br />

small groups, and offers bespoke and group sessions in<br />

surfing, coasteering, stand-up-paddleboarding, snorkel<br />

tours, ocean confidence training and more.<br />

The Headland Hotel’s Surf & Stay package includes<br />

three nights' accommodation, spa access and a session<br />

of your choice at Surf Sanctuary.<br />

surfsanctuary.co.uk<br />

Also try...<br />

Outer Reef, Wales<br />

Established in 1999, this friendly surf, stand-uppaddleboarding<br />

and kayaking centre in Pembrokeshire<br />

offers classes for all ages and abilities. It also offers<br />

adventures such as coasteering and activity holiday<br />

packages, which include accommodation.<br />

outerreefsurfschool.com<br />

Saltburn Surf, North Yorkshire<br />

Saltburn Surf School has been teaching for nearly<br />

40 years; its ‘beginner's experience’ offers dry land<br />

instruction on the beach and a thorough safety<br />

briefing, followed by at least one full hour in the sea<br />

with a qualified and experienced instructor. Longer surf<br />

courses and kit hire are also available.<br />

saltburn-surf.co.uk<br />

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

Learn to hook a fish<br />

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Ireland<br />

One of Ireland's finest castle hotels, Ballynahinch<br />

sits within a sprawling 700-acre estate in the heart<br />

of Connemara. Thanks to its diverse system of<br />

interconnected loughs and rivers, it offers some of<br />

the very best of fly-fishing in the country. Guests can<br />

enjoy a half or a full day’s fly-fishing tutorial, where<br />

they’ll learn how to set up their tackle correctly,<br />

select a fly, cast competently and more, before being<br />

taken to the river to put their skills into practice, and<br />

perhaps even catch a salmon or sea trout.<br />

ballynahinch-castle.com<br />

Also try...<br />

Lime Wood, Hampshire<br />

Set in the heart of the stunning New Forest National<br />

Park, this five-star hotel is just a short cast away from<br />

the famous rivers Test, Itchen and Avon.<br />

The hotel can organise an introduction to fly-fishing<br />

and private tuition, as well as exclusive access to<br />

some of the most sought after private-estate flyfishing<br />

in the world.<br />

limewoodhotel.co.uk<br />

Learn to let your creative<br />

juices flow<br />

Newlyn School of Art, Cornwall<br />

Artists have flocked to the Cornish town of Newlyn<br />

since the early 1880s, drawn by the beautiful coastal<br />

landscapes and famous light. Today, Newlyn School<br />

of Art offers over 25 different courses taught by<br />

some of the most exciting artists working in the<br />

county. Founded by local artist Henry Garfit in<br />

2011, this dynamic art school welcomes pupils of<br />

all levels. Short courses range in length from a<br />

weekend through to one week, and focus on the likes<br />

of Cornish landscapes and seascapes, portraiture,<br />

colour, the human form, and more. Stay nearby at<br />

stylish townhouse hotel Chapel House, or at the<br />

aptly named Artist Residence.<br />

newlynartschool.co.uk<br />

Also try...<br />

The Fife Arms, Scotland<br />

This boutique hotel in the Highlands is home to over<br />

16,000 antiques and artworks by world-renowned<br />

artists, from Pablo Picasso to Lucian Freud. Here,<br />

guests can explore their own artistic abilities too,<br />

thanks to a choice of ‘creative pursuits’, which<br />

include wild sketching, landscape photography,<br />

creative writing, tartan design and more.<br />

thefifearms.com<br />

Glebe House, South Devon<br />

At this boutique guesthouse, restaurant and 15-acre<br />

smallholding in the heart of East Devon, guests<br />

can head out on the open sea on a private guided<br />

mackerel-fishing trip with seasoned skipper Paul.<br />

Upon return, a three-course seafood supper is served<br />

on the beach.<br />

glebehousedevon.co.uk<br />

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

Learn to be at one<br />

with nature<br />

The Newt, Somerset<br />

With acres of stunning gardens,<br />

woodland, farmland and cyder<br />

orchards to explore, this glorious<br />

country estate and elegant hotel is a<br />

nature lover’s paradise. Inspired by the<br />

land, history and culture of Somerset,<br />

The Newt runs a seasonal programme<br />

of workshops and events; learn the<br />

basics of garden design, beekeeping,<br />

dried flower and grass arranging,<br />

mushroom foraging, and more.<br />

Set within its world-famous gardens,<br />

it runs several popular, hands-on<br />

horticultural courses too, where guests<br />

can learn how to plant and prune<br />

correctly.<br />

thenewtinsomerset.com<br />

Also try...<br />

Llys Meddyg, Wales<br />

At this beautiful hotel and restaurant<br />

in Pembrokeshire, nature enthusiasts<br />

can explore the stunning local estuary,<br />

beaches and hedgerows in a fun and<br />

informative guided-foraging trip,<br />

learning how to safely identify and<br />

gather edible finds, before preparing<br />

and cooking a foraged feast.<br />

llysmeddyg.com<br />

The Royal Horticultural Society,<br />

various locations<br />

The UK's leading gardening charity,<br />

the RHS, has five stunning gardens<br />

across the country, all of which offer<br />

a huge variety of courses that cater<br />

for first-time gardeners through to the<br />

exceptionally green fingered. Learn<br />

how to create a wildlife pond, grow<br />

veg, plant beautiful containers and<br />

much more.<br />

rhs.org.uk<br />

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

Learn to cook up a storm<br />

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire<br />

The on-site cookery school at Raymond Blanc’s<br />

luxury country hotel is considered one of the very<br />

best in the world. Courses are suitable for all<br />

levels, from half-day introductions to residential<br />

programmes, dinner party masterclasses,<br />

patisserie, ‘kitchen secrets’ and more. Many<br />

courses focus on recipes important to the famous<br />

French gastronome himself, showcasing dishes<br />

that inspired him to become the Michelinstarred<br />

chef he is today. The ‘Maman Blanc’<br />

course is hugely popular, featuring a selection of<br />

Raymond's mother's much-loved recipes.<br />

belmond.com<br />

Also try...…<br />

Rick Stein's Cookery School, Cornwall:<br />

If you’d like to pick up some seafood cooking<br />

skills, then where better to do it than<br />

overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary in<br />

Padstow? At Rick Stein's Cookery School,<br />

visitors can learn the secrets of some of the<br />

celebrity seafood chef’s famous recipes in a<br />

series of fun, hands-on cookery courses and<br />

one-dish workshops using incredibly fresh<br />

produce.<br />

rickstein.com/cookery-school<br />

The Grand, York<br />

The state-of-the-art cookery school at this<br />

beautiful five-star hotel, with its bifolding<br />

doors and sleek glass panelling, is undeniably<br />

impressive. It's aimed at home cooks of all<br />

abilities; choose from a varied schedule of<br />

express, half-day, full-day and three-day<br />

classes, covering everything from modern<br />

<strong>British</strong> dishes to authentic Asian cuisine.<br />

thegrandyork.co.uk/cookery-school<br />

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


Learn to take the reins<br />

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire<br />

The equestrian centre at this sumptuous countryhouse<br />

hotel is home to 35 lovely horses of mixed size<br />

and capability and caters for complete beginners,<br />

as well as more proficient riders wishing to increase<br />

their skill. Enjoy escorted hacks around the stunning<br />

500-acre estate or longer rides through the beautiful<br />

Cotswold countryside. There are also several<br />

particularly friendly ponies that are perfect for<br />

younger guests.<br />

lucknampark.co.uk/equestrian<br />

Also try...<br />

Stag Lodge Stables, London<br />

Situated right on the edge of London's Richmond<br />

Park, Stag Lodge Stables is a unique and truly<br />

beautiful place to learn to ride. It offers lessons and<br />

courses for children and adults of all ages from three<br />

upwards, as well as group hacks across the historic<br />

Royal Park.<br />

staglodgestables.com<br />

Gleneagles, Scotland<br />

The 50-acre equestrian centre at this magnificent<br />

hotel offers various horse-riding lessons and<br />

experiences for guests at all levels, from ages four<br />

and up. Children can enjoy ‘Own a Pony’ sessions,<br />

while the surrounding heather-clad mountains<br />

provide an unforgettable backdrop for exploring the<br />

Scottish countryside on horseback.<br />

gleneagles.com<br />

The best of the rest...<br />

▶ Lavish Lake District hotel The Samling<br />

has recently rebuilt their picture-perfect<br />

private jetty on Lake Windermere; here,<br />

guests can take part in guided wild swims.<br />

thesamlinghotel.co.uk<br />

▶ Beautiful Cotswolds retreat Thyme<br />

has a diverse calendar of classes and<br />

workshops, ranging from cooking lessons<br />

and flower arranging, to soap making,<br />

painting and more.<br />

thyme.co.uk<br />

▶ At Colwith Farm, Cornwall's first ploughto-bottle<br />

distillery, guests can learn how<br />

to distil their very own bespoke spirit at its<br />

dedicated Gin and Vodka School.<br />

colwithfarmdistillery.co.uk<br />

▶ With two unique locations in London,<br />

Petersham Nurseries provides a<br />

picturesque setting to enjoy a carefully<br />

curated selection of gardening, floristry,<br />

and cookery classes.<br />

petershamnurseries.com<br />

▶ At trendy concept hotel Birch in<br />

Hertfordshire, guests can take part in a<br />

variety of workshops, from pottery and<br />

painting to baking, foraging, candle<br />

making and more, all within a strikingly<br />

reimagined Georgian house.<br />

birchcommunity.com<br />

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

To the<br />


One of Britain’s most exciting chefs, Ricki Weston reveals what’s next for<br />

his immersive dining experience at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa’s Michelinstar<br />

restaurant The Dining Room and how he likes to keep diners guessing<br />

Text by Chantal Haines<br />

Ricki Weston stands at the pass of the expansive<br />

and gleaming kitchen of The Dining Room,<br />

casting a masterful eye over his showstopping<br />

dishes. His kitchen is a flurry of hushed activity –<br />

there is no shouting nor clamouring – just a confident, quickfooted<br />

buzz honed by the cool, calm executive chef. “I don’t<br />

like combative kitchens. You don’t need to shout and holler.<br />

I like my team to be focused and creative,” Ricki says.<br />

A rising star of modern <strong>British</strong> gastronomy, Ricki<br />

was appointed executive chef of Whatley Manor Hotel<br />

& Spa’s Michelin-star restaurant The Dining Room in<br />

2022, having been part of the team at Whatley Manor<br />

for over three years prior to that. Young, ambitious, and<br />

experimental, Ricki continues to elevate Whatley Manor’s<br />

multicourse menu at The Dining Room – and while tasting<br />

menus can sometimes overpromise and underperform,<br />

Ricki’s creation is undoubtedly one of the finest culinary<br />

experiences across the <strong>British</strong> Isles.<br />

“Tasting menus are so much more than just putting a<br />

menu on a piece of paper. These days, guests are looking<br />

for that immersive experience, something that is different<br />

to what other people do,” says Ricki.<br />

Ensconced behind buttery Cotswold-stone walls,<br />

the hotel's immaculate lawns, tinkling waterlily ponds<br />

and Grade-II-listed manor house trailed in ivy, climbing<br />

roses and wisteria is picture-book perfect – a decadent<br />

hideaway one would send an out-of-towner to if you<br />

wanted to epitomise English country-hotel elegance in<br />

a snapshot. Add to this, Ricki’s dining tour de force and<br />

guests are left wanting for nothing.<br />

Diners embarking on the tasting menu at Whatley<br />

Manor begin with drinks served overlooking the gardens<br />

or in the flower-festooned drawing room. Guests are<br />

delivered a brief menu hinting at what is to come…<br />

‘scallop, cucumber, trout roe’, and ‘lamb, asparagus,<br />

black olive’ pique interest on our visit.<br />

Ricki and his team create a unique sense of occasion<br />

from the very first morsels – with the amuse bouche<br />

served in the gleaming kitchen itself. An exhilarating<br />

peek behind the curtain, it's an experience where diners<br />

can talk to the chefs as they walk you through the small<br />

bites – in our case, a delectable array of nibbles including<br />

lobster, potato and turbot skirt, and a fantastic beetroot<br />

suet tart served on smoking, aromatic pine needles. <br />

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

“Guests start their journey with us in the kitchen having<br />

a few little bites. It’s an exciting part of what we can offer,<br />

as guests get the chance to come into the kitchen and see<br />

the chefs and ask questions about the food and the concept<br />

of the menu. I think it’s a memorable start, as it adds to the<br />

occasion and helps to deliver an unforgettable evening.”<br />

Tasting style and seasons<br />

Ricki describes his style at Whatley as <strong>British</strong>-influenced with<br />

classical cooking techniques. “We try to source as much as<br />

we can from the UK, utilising the seasons as a benchmark<br />

for the menu. We are lucky enough to have a beautiful stateof-the-art<br />

kitchen that runs completely on electric power<br />

situated just outside of the restaurant, and we use as much<br />

as we can from our garden.”<br />

The kitchen gardens, particularly during summer, are<br />

joyful and open for guests to wander. On our visit we were<br />

greeted by a canopy of delicate trailing sweet peas in bloom<br />

alongside beds brimming with rainbows of chard, plumes of<br />

lettuce and bright, plentiful courgettes.<br />

“When guests sit down, they can look out on to the<br />

gardens and see different produce that appears throughout<br />

the evening,” Ricki adds.<br />

“A couple of dishes that I really like currently are the<br />

Jacob's ladder with smoked eel, and the plum dessert that<br />

we finish with. The Jacob's ladder course uses the short rib of<br />

the cow and incorporates a couple of classical techniques to<br />

bring out the richness of the beef and contrast this with the<br />

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





GARLIC<br />















GARDEN; AN<br />



WESTON<br />

LAST PAGE: A<br />






HOTEL & SPA<br />

“<br />

Guests start their journey with us in the kitchen having a few little bites... it<br />

adds to the occasion and helps to deliver an unforgettable evening<br />

”<br />

smokiness of the eel. When we did<br />

the first illustration of the menu it was<br />

important for me to celebrate real<br />

local ingredients.<br />

The cows are farmed next to<br />

the hotel by a farmer called Tom<br />

Wakefield who we have a great<br />

relationship with. It’s a small herd of<br />

cattle which are 100 per cent grassfed<br />

organic Aberdeen Angus and<br />

the meat is phenomenal and really<br />

showcases the local aspect of the<br />

menu we have created.”<br />

“The plum course is the one dish<br />

that we have kept on the menu since<br />

the first week. For me it’s a perfect<br />

way to end the experience, combining<br />

sweet, salty and acidity all in one.<br />

We preserve plums throughout the<br />

year to be able to have it on yearround.<br />

This is another part of the<br />

ethos here – to reduce as much waste<br />

as possible. Whether that’s through<br />

fermentation or vinegars using the<br />

stones of the plum – everything is<br />

looked at as a possible product that<br />

we can use in one form or another.”<br />

This mindful approach saw The<br />

Dining Room’s sustainable practices<br />

rewarded the new Green Michelin<br />

star in January 2021 – an accolade<br />

it retained in 2022 alongside just 23<br />

restaurants in the UK. <br />

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

Inspiration and precision<br />

Prior to Whatley Manor, Ricki spent<br />

three years at the two-star Michelin<br />

restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham<br />

– an experience that is etched in his<br />

memory.<br />

“Sat Bains will always be one of<br />

my biggest inspirations. The intensity<br />

and understanding of flavours and<br />

ethos in that restaurant is a massive<br />

part of the chef I am today. Such<br />

forward-thinking and uniqueness<br />

makes it one of the best restaurants in<br />

the country.<br />

“I have always remembered<br />

how Sat [Bains] used to compare<br />

aspects of a tasting menu to a<br />

theatre production – meaning you<br />

have to consider how to keep viewers<br />

engaged for two or three hours and<br />

moderate the tempo of the service<br />

and keep the experience entertaining<br />

and surprising.<br />

“That’s why sometimes it's very<br />

quick between courses and at some<br />

points we slow things right down and<br />

tie in a more elaborate wine service.<br />

Or, we dress and reveal a dish in a<br />

certain way, utilising not just taste but<br />

scent, sight, and sound.”<br />

Thus, every course at The Dining<br />

Room is skillfully presented and<br />

impeccably designed – whether<br />

unveiled with a dramatic puff of<br />

aromatic smokiness, or with intricate<br />

placement of cerise pink singular<br />

petals from the garden – no dish is<br />

without a level of drama, intrigue,<br />

thought and excitement to make it<br />

stand out.<br />

Flavours, textures and tempo<br />

all play integral parts to Ricki’s<br />

cooking. “Quite a few of the dishes<br />

are inspired by nostalgic memories of<br />

my childhood and favourite dishes,”<br />

Ricki says. “I love food that evokes<br />

memories. Take our mussel tart, for<br />

example. A big part of my childhood<br />

was going to the coast and walking<br />

past the fish markets and smelling<br />

all the produce and sitting on the<br />

seafront tasting cockles, mussels and<br />

having all those salty sea days.<br />

I think this dish imparts those kind of<br />

memories for diners, too.”<br />

New for <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2023</strong> sees the launch of the<br />

new tasting menu at The Dining<br />

Room, including tweaks to muchloved<br />

dishes and some newcomers.<br />

“The new menu is massively inspired<br />

by my own perceptions and what food<br />

“<br />

Quite a few of the dishes are inspired by nostalgic memories of my childhood<br />

and favourite dishes... I love food that evokes memories<br />

”<br />

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

means to me. We are continuously<br />

looking at new dishes and ingredients<br />

that fit within the menu style that<br />

we have created. Everyone in my<br />

kitchen has fantastic experience and<br />

knowledge that is brought to the table<br />

when we develop a new menu. We are<br />

also looking more closely at evolving<br />

the guest journey throughout the<br />

evening and thinking about how we<br />

can make their experience even more<br />

personal for each guest that walks<br />

through the door.”<br />

“We are using brill as our new<br />

fish course, which is such a great<br />

product. The freshness and sweetness<br />

of the fish is cooked with an English<br />

sparkling wine and scallop mousse<br />

and works beautifully. We wrap the<br />

whole fillet of the fish with truffles<br />

from Zak at Wiltshire Truffles, which<br />

gives the dish great contrast and<br />

earthiness. It’s a dish that showcases<br />

brilliant English ingredients.<br />

“Field to plate and seasonal<br />

produce will always be a focus. As<br />

a chef, inspiration comes from all<br />

over. I think the chef Poul Andrias<br />

Ziska in the Faroe Islands is amazing<br />

when it comes to produce. Using<br />

ingredients from around the island,<br />

techniques that are passed down<br />

through generations and having<br />

achieved two Michelin stars in such a<br />

remote place with limited supply is a<br />

testament I think to his understanding<br />

of ingredients and habitat of the<br />

islands.”<br />

Eco escapism<br />

Amid the grounds and luxuriously<br />

appointed bedrooms of Whatley<br />

Manor, things are going from<br />

strength to strength.<br />

The hotel has become the first<br />

countryside luxury hotel in the<br />

UK to achieve Silver accreditation<br />

through EarthCheck, a leading<br />

business advisory group specialising<br />

in sustainability for the travel and<br />

tourism industry. Whatley has also a<br />

host of other awards to its name from<br />

‘Best Sustainable Achievement’ at<br />

the 2022 Boutique Hotelier Awards<br />

to a recent Condé Nast Johansens<br />

Sustainability Award.<br />

Much more work was required<br />

than simply replacing the odd <br />

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

single-use plastic (though this has also been done in<br />

every guest room). General manager Sue Williams says<br />

the Earthcheck accreditation is the fruit of several years<br />

of diligent work across the hotel, including overhauling<br />

the waste management, utilities and supplier<br />

relationships.<br />

“We are proof that you can be a five-star luxurious<br />

destination but also be environmentally positive,” Sue<br />

adds.<br />

The proof, they say, is in the pudding and every<br />

inch of Whatley feels individual and sumptuous. Its<br />

award-winning eco-conscious Aquarias Spa features<br />

a large hydro pool; thermal experiences, including<br />

a tepidarium and steam grotto; plus an outdoor<br />

pool space and a plethora of bespoke and high-end<br />

treatments. The spa also offers a floatation pod and is<br />

set in blissful surrounds.<br />

The hotel has deluxe bedrooms and suites<br />

overlooking the gardens and courtyards, meaning<br />

guests are spoilt for choice. Welcome touches – such as<br />

the home-baked shortbread awaiting you in your room,<br />

walking maps to explore the grounds, and seasonal<br />

flowers – make a stay all the more 'boutique' in feel.<br />

Ricki also oversees the afternoon tea offering and the<br />

hotel’s more informal Grey’s Brasserie, but be sure to<br />

save room for the menu experience at The Dining Room<br />

– it will not disappoint.<br />

Ricki Weston’s top<br />

local spots...<br />

▶ Stroud Farmers Market takes place<br />

every Saturday and is a multi-award<br />

winning market that offers a rich variety<br />

of local produce from farmers, growers<br />

and producers in the Five Valleys in<br />

Gloucestershire.<br />

▶ Malmesbury has its own farmers and<br />

local artisan market every Friday from 9am<br />

to 3pm, so you can always stop off to take<br />

a stroll and enjoy the range of stalls ahead<br />

of checking into Whatley Manor.<br />

▶ Whatley Manor is located next door to<br />

Tracklements, where you will be able to<br />

see where they make the world-renowned<br />

condiments, as well as taste and buy them<br />

to enjoy at home.<br />

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

Carpenter’s Cottage,<br />

Tremaine Manor, Looe<br />

Find your special place<br />

From luxury contemporary barn conversions to charming thatched cottages,<br />

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

A portfolio of over<br />

600 luxury, self-catering<br />

holiday properties<br />

in the UK and<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

01386 897 959<br />


Holistic<br />

Highs<br />

Whether you want to take the plunge in an ice bath, try out<br />

some high-tech treatments, or fancy a spot of forest bathing,<br />

we discover some of the UK’s top retreats and unique spa<br />

experiences that will nourish mind, body and soul<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

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

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 53

Coastal<br />

romance<br />

Perched among the clifftops<br />

overlooking the sweeping sandy<br />

beach of Mawgan Porth, at North<br />

Cornwall’s stylish eco hotel Scarlet,<br />

curious couples can embark on<br />

a ‘Rediscover Journey’ together,<br />

designed to help synchronise<br />

energies. You’ll start by setting<br />

your intentions in an Ayurvedic<br />

consultation before unwinding<br />

with a bathing ritual such as a<br />

rhassoul, or a session in one of the<br />

stunning clifftop hot tubs. Next,<br />

a guided meditation or sound<br />

experience, followed by either<br />

a couple’s massage lesson or a<br />

synchronised treatment to leave<br />

you feeling connected and in tune<br />

with one another. The finishing<br />

touch? A shared Epsom salt bath<br />

with a glass of English sparkling<br />

wine, and full use of the stunning<br />

spa facilities.<br />

From £350 per couple,<br />

scarlethotel.co.uk<br />

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

And breathe<br />

The Botanical Bothy is a new<br />

exclusive booking space at dreamy<br />

Cotswolds escape Thyme. It's home<br />

to a unique treatment designed to<br />

promote restorative calm within<br />

both body and mind. The private<br />

beautifully designed cabin features<br />

sleek warmed seating and a tranquil<br />

private garden and veranda,<br />

complete with a roaring fireplace<br />

and two show-stopping baths,<br />

side-by-side, for herbal soaks. The<br />

treatment – the Bertioli Ritual – is a<br />

combination of guided breathwork,<br />

lymphatic body combing and<br />

pressure-point techniques that<br />

concentre on the areas of the<br />

body that hold the most tension.<br />

A cleansing hair wash and head<br />

massage completes the experience,<br />

ensuring that guests leave feeling<br />

deeply relaxed and equipped with<br />

breathing techniques to use at<br />

home.<br />

£225pp (solo) or £195pp for<br />

couples, thyme.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 55

A celestial reset<br />

In West Sussex, Ockenden Manor<br />

Hotel’s ‘Full Moon & Fabulous’<br />

retreats are scheduled to take<br />

place during the full moon; a<br />

time when we are said to be more<br />

receptive and open to inspiration.<br />

Harnessing the power of nature,<br />

the five elements and the moon,<br />

this celestial-inspired two-night<br />

experience is led by Swedish yoga<br />

instructor Helena Skoog, and<br />

involves a combination of yoga<br />

and meditation sessions, forest<br />

bathing, i-sopod floatation,<br />

aromatherapy massage, seasonal<br />

food and more, as well as<br />

accommodation and use of the<br />

hotel’s award-winning spa.<br />

From £883pp,<br />

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

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

Escape to award-winning Hoar Cross Hall, nestled in the idyllic<br />

Staffordshire countryside, with an indulgent Spa Stay or Multi-Night Retreat.<br />

Let our historic Hall host your spacation to remember.

Take the plunge<br />

“The cold is our warm friend,<br />

our mirror and our teacher,”<br />

says cold-water guru, Wim Hof.<br />

Cold-water immersion is said to<br />

improve both mental and physical<br />

performance, so if you're curious,<br />

then head to the Coach House Spa<br />

at sumptuous Surrey Hills hotel,<br />

Beaverbrook. At its one-day Wim<br />

Hof Workshop, guests are taught<br />

the three pillars of the extreme<br />

athlete’s now famous method<br />

– breathing technique, cold<br />

exposure, and commitment – by<br />

a certified WHM instructor. After<br />

learning the principles of breathing<br />

for stress management and<br />

breath-holding techniques, guests<br />

are then guided in the practice of<br />

‘controlled hyperventilation’ before<br />

sinking into a bracing six-minute<br />

ice bath. Brrrrrr…<br />

Prices start from £250pp,<br />

beaverbrook.co.uk<br />

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

Elemental<br />

invigoration<br />

Set within 380 acres of parkland<br />

just outside Belfast, the unique<br />

Thermal Spa Village at luxury<br />

hotel Galgorm is the first of its kind<br />

in Ireland. It features an extensive<br />

selection of hot tubs, heated<br />

pools, steam rooms, saunas and<br />

more, all set on the banks of the<br />

spectacular River Maine. The<br />

invigorating Beltane Experience<br />

has been designed to stimulate all<br />

the senses using fire, air and water;<br />

relax al fresco by a roaring firepit<br />

before enjoying a dip in one of the<br />

picture-perfect hot tubs by the<br />

flowing river’s edge. Afterwards,<br />

cool down in the spa’s -10°C Snow<br />

Cabin (where snow falls every<br />

30 minutes) or warm up with a<br />

Celtic Sauna Infusion – a cleansing<br />

aromatherapy experience led by a<br />

sauna master.<br />

Spa packages start at £69pp,<br />

galgorm.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 59


–<br />

Hand-picked properties for inspiring interiors, unique features, and<br />

amazing views; all served up alongside the spectacular coast.<br />


A gut feeling<br />

It’s said that good health starts<br />

with a happy gut. Set on the<br />

beautiful Goodwood Estate in<br />

Sussex, this five-day holistic retreat<br />

is a gut health overhaul designed<br />

by gut-health expert and celebrity<br />

nutritionist, Stephanie Moore.<br />

Drawing on Goodwood’s ‘fieldto-fork’<br />

organic food philosophy<br />

and the estate’s natural beauty to<br />

heal and re-energise, the retreat<br />

features a full body-composition<br />

analysis and private nutritional<br />

consultation, specialist treatments,<br />

daily group talks and guided walks,<br />

plus all food and drink and five<br />

nights at The Goodwood Hotel. If<br />

you’re not ready to commit to the<br />

full five-day programme, there’s a<br />

taster day available too.<br />

£2,225 per person sharing a<br />

twin or double room, £2,600 for a<br />

single occupancy room, taster day<br />

£220, goodwood.com<br />

Hi-tech treatments<br />

Manchester’s five-star hotel, The Lowry, has launched<br />

‘RE:TREAT' – the UK’s first technology led spa. Whether<br />

you fancy submerging yourself in a sensory deprivation<br />

tank (a dark, soundproof cocoon filled with saltwater,<br />

said to increase wellbeing and creativity in under an<br />

hour), switching off in a meditation pod, or slipping into<br />

the freezing temperatures of a cryotherapy chamber<br />

(said to help promote sleep and lymphatic drainage), this<br />

smart, high-tech space offers a combination of cuttingedge<br />

treatments, while in-house experts are on hand to<br />

perform the likes of IV drips and ultrasound scans.<br />

Packages start from £85pp, thelowryhotel.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 61

Reconnect with<br />

nature<br />

Nestled within the New Forest<br />

National Park, Herb House - the<br />

award-winning spa at luxury<br />

hotel Lime Wood – has created<br />

a selection of ‘ReWild Yourself’<br />

experiences. Inspired by the rhythms<br />

of the seasons, these new naturepowered<br />

retreats and spa days have<br />

been designed to instil a sense of<br />

calm and serenity. Enjoy guided<br />

forest bathing in ancient woodland,<br />

calming yoga classes in an aromatic<br />

herb garden, outdoor fitness and<br />

breathwork sessions, soothing herbpowered<br />

treatments, seasonal food,<br />

and more, plus plenty of time to<br />

unwind in the stunning spa.<br />

Rewilding retreats start at<br />

£225pp, limewoodhotel.co.uk<br />

Spa news...<br />

• The brand-new spa at landmark<br />

London hotel Claridge’s features a<br />

streamlined swimming pool, steam<br />

rooms, saunas and seven luxurious<br />

treatment rooms. Designed by<br />

interior architect André Fu, the<br />

space is inspired by his own visits<br />

to Japanese temples and Zen<br />

gardens in Kyoto.<br />

→ claridges.co.uk<br />

• Award-winning Nottinghamshire<br />

day-spa retreat Eden Hall and<br />

beautiful Staffordshire spa hotel<br />

Hoar Cross Hall have recently<br />

revealed an all-new treatment<br />

menu available at both properties.<br />

Based on three all-encompassing<br />

pillars – radiance, revive and<br />

renewal – each two-hour treatment<br />

has been expertly designed to<br />

leave guests feeling rejuvenated<br />

and relaxed.<br />

→ baronseden.com/hoar-cross-hall<br />

• Spanning 2,500 square metres,<br />

the sleek, state-of-the-art spa at<br />

the recently opened Fairmont<br />

Windsor Park is briming with<br />

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










ROOM<br />

high-tec innovation. There are 18<br />

treatment rooms, a hammam, a<br />

20-metre indoor pool, a Japanese<br />

ashiyu foot-ritual bath and the first<br />

multi-person cryotherapy chamber<br />

in the UK, plus pretty cherry<br />

blossom trees by the pool.<br />

→ fairmont-windsorpark.com<br />

• The hotly anticipated Yorkshire<br />

Spa Retreat is now open. The new<br />

£4.5-million holiday resort includes<br />

a nature-inspired spa, with a wildswimming<br />

pond, a sauna, a hydro<br />

pool, a Himalayan salt chamber<br />

and more.<br />

→ yorkshire-spa-retreat.co.uk<br />

• With a show-stopping heated<br />

outdoor infinity pool overlooking<br />

the hotel’s very own sandy<br />

beach, the recently enlarged and<br />

enhanced C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay<br />

Hotel near St Ives has unveiled<br />

beautiful new treatment and<br />

changing rooms, and a range of<br />

new treatments using luxurious<br />

products by Bamford and organic<br />

seaweed brand Voya.<br />

→ carbisbayhotel.co.uk<br />

• In Cheshire, the new English<br />

Country Spa Garden at The Manor<br />

House Hotel is both pretty and<br />

incredibly well appointed – swing<br />

lazily in one of the hanging day<br />

beds, unwind in the sunken<br />

hydrotherapy tub, or warm up in<br />

the herbal potting shed sauna.<br />

→ manorhousealsager.com<br />

• Set within the former Bank of<br />

Scotland building on Edinburgh’s<br />

historic St Andrew Square, The<br />

Gleneagles Townhouse opened<br />

in 2022. In ‘The Strong Rooms’,<br />

located within the old bank vault<br />

itself, guests have access to a<br />

cryotherapy chamber, an infrared<br />

sauna, a state-of-the-art class<br />

studios, treatments and more.<br />

→ gleneagles.com/townhouse<br />

• The spa at Staffordshire<br />

hotel Moddershall Oaks has<br />

designed a new treatment<br />

exclusively for those experiencing<br />

hormonal changes, such as the<br />

perimenopause and menopause.<br />

The Pause & Renew 50-minute<br />

treatment includes a cool<br />

compress, a soothing skin mask,<br />

mindfulness and more.<br />

→ moddershalloaks.com<br />

• The multi-award-winning<br />

£10-million spa at Cheshire’s<br />

Carden Park Hotel has launched<br />

a brand-new private spa package,<br />

meaning that you can have the<br />

entire 4,500-square-metre spa all<br />

to yourself.<br />

→ cardenpark.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 63

Dog-friendly<br />


Two on feet and one on paws spend a week in a caravan<br />

in the northern Lake District; bagging Wainwrights,<br />

teaching a pup to paddleboard, being swallowed whole<br />

by mountain air and not even minding<br />

Text by Vanessa Humphrey<br />

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



It’s three-something in the morning and a thousand<br />

crickets are having a rave on the fibreglass roof.<br />

Either that, or the wind-whipped caravan’s wrapped<br />

in a rainstorm intent on sending us doddering into<br />

Derwentwater.<br />

We’re in a walk-from-one-end-to-the-other-inthree-seconds-flat<br />

home on wheels that’s not quite as<br />

expeditionary as a matchbox, not so Babylonian that<br />

we don't still coo over the little television that rattles out<br />

a sometimes-clear episode of The Simpsons. Here, we<br />

have spent seven sweet days of spring marvelling at the<br />

cold moonlit dash to the shower block and the unspoken<br />

communion that happens between us highfalutin<br />

campers; sure, we might compare awnings and what’s<br />

being cooked at breakfast, but we nod as our dogs start<br />

turf war squabbles and roll eyes in unison as one or the<br />

other writhes with the electric hook-up cable.<br />

Each morning, we ready ourselves for the day’s<br />

expedition on deck chairs strategically placed in front of<br />

an electric heater that threatens to lift off at any given<br />

moment, and wear sherpa-lined dry robes for no reason<br />

whatsoever. Each night, we sup on yellow rice poured<br />

unceremoniously from a packet, play rock-paper-scissors<br />

for the one good slice of grilled cheese (the rest are burnt<br />

or part-raw, depending on which side of the pan they<br />

landed on), and smear more butter on the cob than there’s<br />

lime mortar on the slate stone. There’s red wine in plastic<br />

goblets (notes of plum, cracked black pepper), raspberry<br />

kombucha in a tin, and clotted cream rice pudding from<br />

the “Waitrose of the North”. Us herbivores don’t open the<br />

fridge’s dairy compartment, for it contains a pungent pâté<br />

left behind by Dad-in-law.<br />

We, a group of three, are the following: Four-legged he —<br />

the darling — the goodest boy and then some, a doer of<br />

no wrong with a gold heart and an irrational fear of things<br />

falling on his head.<br />

Human he — the go-along — doesn’t know where he is,<br />

but is happy to be here, kind eyes, would like to do all the<br />

things and plan precisely none of them.<br />

I — the mole woman — barely seeing, characteristically<br />

averse to the light, happiest in burrow with good grub but<br />

otherwise utterly native to the wilderness.<br />

Like any salad-years roamers worth their salt, our<br />

scheduled pilgrimages were decided in front of a<br />

letterpress tray of embroidered fabric patches. There,<br />

in a colourful Keswick curio store, we crafted a whipsmart<br />

game of “you pick one, I pick one, then you pick<br />

one more, and I’ll pick one more,” and so our fate was<br />

sealed: Rannerdale Knotts, Hallin Fell, Derwentwater, and<br />

Bassenthwaite Lake. (The darling picked up a soft lantern<br />

from a strategically placed basket on the way out the door. <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 65

‘<br />

We are silly for the Lakes, all three<br />

of us – those spired and swollen fells<br />

as far as the eye can see...<br />

’<br />

We all chuckled and took pictures and were smitten. He<br />

refused to carry it home.)<br />

And so, to Buttermere. With boots triple laced as Dad<br />

had taught, a dry bag filled with honest fare from the<br />

village, and a compass that no one really knew how to use<br />

(but brought expeditionary feel by the bucketfuls), the<br />

darling, the go-along, and the mole woman pushed into a<br />

hinterland all of our own. We got lost almost immediately.<br />

One local and an “I told you so” later, so began a<br />

scramble-up-the-Wainwright-and-pootle-around-the-lake<br />

route that had us gobbling up contour lines like plein-air<br />

Pac-Men. At the craggy tip top of Rannerdale Knotts —<br />

where the darling flirted with the boundaries of safe overthe-edge<br />

viewing and the mole woman set about a lecture<br />

on the poetic Romantics — there was just enough time for<br />

a steaming brew poured from the flask and a fondant egg<br />

or two for good measure.<br />

With sights and snouts set on grub, we tumbled down<br />

the hillock on a flattened ridge and cobbled together a<br />

questionable retelling of all that we’d learnt about the<br />

Norman invasion against the Buttermere Cumbrians;<br />

part National Trust, part native folklore, part wide-eyed<br />

conjecture. An hour or so later, flumped on a picnic bench<br />

outside a corner-quoined tea room, there was a banquet<br />

of stilton pie and mash, and a farmer’s collie who showed<br />

her belly for pastry crusts. We made moustaches out of<br />

coconut ice cream and coffee foam while two blue tits got<br />

in a big, talon-wielding fight, and made frank admissions<br />

that we might like to stay awhile longer or forever.<br />

There was a touch of sogginess about as we did an<br />

accidental circumnavigation of Derwentwater the next<br />

day, whistling in tandem to our chosen theme song<br />

(Going Up the Country by Canned Heat), until we found<br />

a secluded-enough launch site. It was empty but for a<br />

group of five or six wild swimmers — the kind of folk I think<br />

I’d be friends with if only they had four legs — who were<br />

doing the dry-robe-wobble back to their cars like a band<br />

of sodden caterpillars. One of us inflated the Föhn board,<br />

while the other two scooped up waterlogged sticks and<br />

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

a life so lovely, we would never want to leave it. We<br />

did bickering and heads-back laughing and swam in<br />

Bassenthwaite and smiled at the places we’d stayed<br />

with the people we love (mine in Ambleside, yours in<br />

Thirlmere). We made a video diary on the ascent of Hallin<br />

Fell and committed the rest to memory.<br />

We are silly for the Lakes, all three of us. We peep those<br />

spired and swollen fells as far as the eye can see; them<br />

valley walls that none but the Herdwick sheep can muster.<br />

We grin at one another, and become like the cats that<br />

got the cream. Here, we deal in pick’n’mix and memories<br />

and we aren't always happy, but we are always good. The<br />

stick, the sword, and the pen. Wilbur & The Wishbones.<br />

This was our party — all treasured whippersnappers, all<br />

folk of one-of-a-kind character, a girl and a boy and a<br />

hound to round off the pack. All these years, any place one<br />

of us went, two more were sure to follow. One of us put it in<br />

a nutshell: “We’d go together, even if we had to scramble<br />

there.”<br />

made serious business of being idle in the shallows. Having<br />

decided that paddle boarding with a thirty-kilo velcro<br />

dog who wants to sit on your lap was a suitably perilous<br />

undertaking, we copped a push away from the pebbles.<br />

I paddled out flat; I made bearings westward; I<br />

scooped the lake away with arms as suited for the job as<br />

liquorice sticks — but I could not make the little pontoon<br />

go anywhere but northward towards a scattering flock of<br />

mohican goosanders. After that, I took to treating the oar<br />

like a lanky anchor, jabbing it into the silt and schlepping<br />

myself through the lake like a wooden spoon through<br />

copper pot fudge. By now, we had a little audience of<br />

two pensioners who were clasping palms together and<br />

pointing, as new babies do, at “that dog on the paddle<br />

board,” and with that I became so full of hot air that I<br />

practically blew back to shore. It dawned on me, as sure<br />

as eggs is eggs, I’d never forget the day the darling and the<br />

mole woman went waterward.<br />

Other days, we dozed under blankets while snow<br />

came down and looked at the moon and the neighbours’<br />

dinners through binoculars. We read books and instruction<br />

manuals (how do we turn the LED light off?) and made<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67

Beautiful<br />


From fluffy towels and fragrant toiletries to spacious showers<br />

and enormous bathtubs (sometimes even two…), there are few<br />

greater pleasures in life than a luxurious hotel bathroom.<br />

We discover some of the UK’s most sumptuous spaces where<br />

you can get squeaky clean in style<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

1The Ark Royal Signature Suite at<br />

Malmaison, Newcastle<br />

If you don’t want to waste precious time<br />

waiting for your travelling companion<br />

to finish in the bath, then plump for the<br />

sophisticated Signature Suite at Malmaison<br />

Newcastle, because here you’ll each get a tub<br />

of your own. This stunning open-plan room has<br />

the bathroom at its centre, separated from the<br />

bedroom by smart glass walls. Other highlights<br />

include a spacious walk-in rain shower and<br />

vast windows offering fabulous views over<br />

Newcastle’s Millennium Bridge, which can be<br />

enjoyed from the tub(s). Why not pop a bottle<br />

and soak it all up, side by side.<br />

The Ark Royal Signature Suite starts at £269<br />

per night, malmaison.com/locations/newcastle<br />

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

2<br />

Bedroom 2 at At the<br />

Chapel, Somerset<br />

In the centre of trendy<br />

Somerset town Bruton, At<br />

the Chapel is a stunning, Grade-IIlisted<br />

17th-century former chapel<br />

that has been creatively converted<br />

into a truly beautiful hotel. The eight<br />

luxurious bedrooms here carefully<br />

combine contemporary, minimalist<br />

interior design with some of the<br />

historic building’s original features; no<br />

two rooms are the same, and so each<br />

bathroom is also totally unique. Our<br />

favourite is located on the first floor,<br />

in Bedroom 2; here, the sleek and<br />

serene space is all white marble and<br />

clean lines, with a large walk-in shower<br />

and a huge oval-shaped freestanding<br />

bath sitting underneath a magnificent<br />

19th-century lancet window. All this<br />

plus a generous supply of heavenly<br />

scented Bramley toiletries, made<br />

nearby in Wiltshire.<br />

Bedroom 2 starts at £185 per night,<br />

atthechapel.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69


4The Heron Suite at Lympstone Manor,<br />

Devon<br />

With spectacular views of the Exe Estuary<br />

and the Jurassic Coast, Lympstone Manor<br />

is an exceptional five-star country-house hotel with a<br />

Michelin-star restaurant, a brand new outdoor pool,<br />

and its very own vineyard. There are 21 sumptuous<br />

guest rooms and six luxurious shepherd’s huts here, and<br />

when it comes to beautiful bathing options, well, guests<br />

are spoiled for choice. Several rooms have oval-shaped<br />

baths outside on private terraces, and even some<br />

of the shepherd’s huts have beautiful outdoor tubs<br />

overlooking the vines. For a truly unforgettable bathing<br />

experience, the magnificent Heron Suite’s marble<br />

bathroom enjoys direct south-facing views across<br />

the estuary and has not one, but two glistening gold<br />

bathtubs, romantically positioned side by side.<br />

Rooms start at £360 per night,<br />

lympstonemanor.co.uk<br />

3<br />

The Bushby Bacon Suite at The Retreat at<br />

Elcot Park<br />

Named after Anthony Bushby Bacon who<br />

owned Elcot Park in the early 19th century,<br />

this spacious two-bedroom suite oozes opulence and<br />

artistic glamour. Elegant and refined, the airy, whitewalled<br />

bathroom has twin sinks, a large walk-in shower<br />

and a show-stopping roll-top bath that sits proudly in<br />

a large bay window. Made from marble, this clottedcream<br />

coloured tub has been beautifully hand-painted<br />

with intricate purple wisteria that continues on to the<br />

surrounding walls, ‘growing’ all around the room.<br />

Three large windows flood the space with natural light,<br />

which bounces off the polished wood floor, antique<br />

mahogany furniture and the elegant lily shaped golden<br />

chandelier that hangs gracefully from the ceiling.<br />

The Bushby Bacon Suite starts at £560 per night,<br />

retreatelcotpark.com<br />

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


5Master Bedroom at Gleneagles<br />

Townhouse, Edinburgh<br />

With inspiring views over Edinburgh, the<br />

boutique bedrooms at the newly opened<br />

Gleneagles Townhouse pack some serious interiordesign<br />

punch. The rooms pair Georgian elegance<br />

with contemporary comfort, and guests can relish in<br />

regally high ceilings, king-sized beds, wooden floors,<br />

antique rugs and panelled walls, and some very<br />

gorgeous bathrooms too. Master bedrooms have a<br />

separate stylish bathing area hidden away behind<br />

chic wooden screens; here, luxurious green marble<br />

flooring and original artwork provide the perfect<br />

backdrop for a large roll-top slipper bath, complete<br />

with gold taps, and a freestanding marble sink with<br />

wonderful views over the historic St Andrew Square.<br />

Rooms start at £495 per night,<br />

gleneagles.com/townhouse<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 71

7The Cabin at Settle, Norfolk<br />

Home to three beautifully<br />

designed and decorated<br />

accommodation spaces, Settle<br />

is nestled within blissfully private parkland<br />

in South Norfolk. Combining enormous<br />

windows, reclaimed marble and aged<br />

timber, the stunning bathroom in the<br />

lakeside Cabin is home to a sizeable<br />

shower, a porcelain basin and a vast<br />

stone egg bath, perfectly positioned for<br />

soaking up the surroundings, both inside<br />

and out. Tumbling houseplants, soft<br />

towels and La-Eva toiletries add to the<br />

stylish serenity of this gorgeous space.<br />

Outside lies another picturesque bathing<br />

option – a wood-heated bath set on a<br />

private deck overlooking a rather magical<br />

lily pad-covered lake.<br />

The Cabin is £1,080 for 3 nights,<br />

settlenorfolk.co.uk<br />

6<br />

The Acacia Suite at Pennyhill Park, Surrey<br />

If high-tech innovation floats your bathroom boat,<br />

then check yourself in to Pennyhill Park in Surrey.<br />

It features an award-winning spa, a Michelin-star<br />

restaurant, and its guestrooms are just as deluxe. In the<br />

state-of-the-art Acacia Suite, guests can take a shower<br />

lying down. Perfect for those looking for something more<br />

invigorating than a bath but with a similar amount of effort<br />

required, simply lie flat on the heated mosaic surface and<br />

enjoy six different waterjets being simultaneously powered at<br />

different parts of the body. This cutting-edge bathroom also<br />

features soothing blue lighting, a large walk-in shower and a<br />

waterproof ‘Aquavision’ TV.<br />

The Acacia Suite starts at £565 per night,<br />

exclusive.co.uk/pennyhill-park<br />

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


–<br />

Stay and experience the thermal spring waters and magnificent Georgian architecture<br />

in this special Unesco World Heritage destination<br />


8Deluxe Beach Lodge at Carbis<br />

Bay Hotel, Cornwall<br />

Just around the bay from the<br />

artistic town of St Ives, Carbis<br />

Bay Estate is a super luxurious five-star hotel<br />

and spa that sits directly on the sweeping<br />

white sands of its very own 25-acre Blue<br />

Flag beach. Its beautifully appointed Deluxe<br />

Beach Lodges, which sleep eight, maximise<br />

their seaside location and the panoramic<br />

coastal views at every turn; even the plush<br />

marble bathrooms offer stunning copper<br />

roll-top baths and walk-in showers that<br />

directly overlook the turquoise-blue bay.<br />

There aren’t many places where you can<br />

grab a glass of Cornish fizz, lie back, and<br />

spot dolphins from the comfort of the tub...<br />

Beach Lodges start at £1,200 per night,<br />

carbisbayhotel.co.uk<br />

9<br />

Rock View Suite at The<br />

Cashel Palace, County<br />

Tipperary<br />

In the heart of Ireland, just an<br />

hour's drive east from Limerick, Cashel<br />

Palace is a grand Palladian manor that<br />

has been splendidly reimagined into<br />

a luxurious hotel, thanks to a recent<br />

multimillion-euro renovation. For a specialoccasion<br />

stay, the two elegant Rock<br />

View Suites on the first floor of the main<br />

house feature high ceilings, a romantic<br />

four-poster bed, an original fireplace and<br />

soothing muted tones. The sumptuous<br />

en-suite marble bathroom is as pretty as a<br />

picture, with framed botanical paintings,<br />

smart toiletries from French brand Memo,<br />

fluffy towels and an indulgently deep<br />

marble bath that offers fabulous views of<br />

the famed Rock of Cashel.<br />

Rock View Suites start at €729 per<br />

night, cashelpalacehotel.ie<br />

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


Lookout at THE PIG- on the Beach, Dorset<br />

PIG offers plenty of unique bathrooms across<br />

its litter of stylish hotels and beautifully designed<br />

10The bedrooms, but The Lookout at its Dorset outpost is<br />

particularly special. Tucked away just beyond the hotel’s abundant<br />

vegetable garden, this picture-perfect hideaway for two is in fact an<br />

incredibly romantic two-storey dovecote, complete with thatched roof.<br />

Inside, there’s a four-poster bed and a wood burner on the ground floor.<br />

Head upstairs, and you’ll find the show-stopping bathroom, complete<br />

with a monsoon shower, a velvet chaise longue, and a freestanding<br />

bath surrounded by enormous windows, which provide gorgeous views<br />

of the gardens and stunning Jurassic Coast beyond. And that’s not<br />

all – there’s a statement chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling,<br />

a handy telescope for boat spotting, and a second wood burner to<br />

keep you cosy as you bathe. Grab a garden-inspired cocktail from the<br />

minibar (it’s a tough choice between the lemon drop chili margarita and<br />

the verbena cosmo) turn on the taps, and float away.<br />

The Lookout starts at £605 per night, thepighotel.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75

From Britain to<br />


Renowned Health and Fitness Coach and Ex-Pro Triathlete, Chris Roy has<br />

launched Active Cycling Holidays from Britain to the south of Spain, with<br />

guided tours, for all abilities exploring some of the world’s best scenery...<br />

Would you like to explore hidden areas that will take<br />

your breath away on a guided cycling holiday?<br />

Top Health and Fitness Coach, Chris Roy, spent<br />

10 years living and training in Andalusian as a Pro<br />

Triathlete. Regardless of your fitness level, Chris and his team of<br />

guides have tailored a holiday that is ideal for those active holiday<br />

enthusiasts who want to explore and enjoy this beautiful landscape<br />

and scenery, in a warm climate.<br />

Chris's Active Guided Cycling Holidays are for those who want<br />

to gain fitness while exploring the south of Spain. You will be taken<br />

from the coast near Malaga, winding your way through the orange<br />

groves, up through the rolling hills covered in sun-soaked olive trees.<br />

While passing through the many ancient sleepy towns and villages,<br />

all with their own stunning views you will realise what a pleasure it is<br />

to find such places, many of which you may not have heard of.<br />

Andalucía is often referred to as the fruit basket of Europe.<br />

Chris along with his team will guide you through regions, where<br />

they spent many years living and you will see as they do, just how<br />

inspirational these places are. You leave with a sense that you will<br />

need to return as it feels like a postcard rather than reality.<br />

Active Cycling Holiday guides have so much experience<br />

between them, having been involved in Antarctic expeditions,<br />

high altitude training camps, assessed Duke of Edinburgh awards,<br />

been part of coast-to-coast teams, competed at the highest<br />

level of Professional sport and gained countless hours working in<br />

institutes of sport and top rehabilitation centres. Chris, Marta,<br />

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


Carlos, Paul and Mari-Carmen will take care of you and instil a level of<br />

happiness and worry-free peace of mind, that will enhance your active<br />

holiday experience leaving you with a real sense of accomplishment and<br />

satisfaction.<br />

The 7-day cycle holidays take place in May, June, September and<br />

October <strong>2023</strong>, taking guests through Andalucía with plenty of cycling,<br />

two optional explorations days visiting the “Alhambra Palace” and<br />

“Camino de Rey”, also the trips include nutritional advice and fitness<br />

coaching. The trips are made to be comfortable for leisure cyclists and<br />

those that complete any outdoor activities. Male and Female Hybrid bikes<br />

are provided following a bike fit at the start of the holiday. Plus, there are<br />

also options to bring your own bike with discount off the holiday, and<br />

E-bikes are also available. ◆<br />

How to book<br />

Everything you need including your bike<br />

rental, luggage and journey transfers,<br />

overnight accommodation, breakfast,<br />

dinner and hydration are all provided.<br />

Prices for 7 day cycle holidays, from £2,700<br />

guidedcyclingholidays.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77

Britain<br />

In bloom<br />

From restful gardens to festoons of colourful bulbs, the<br />

<strong>British</strong> Isles offers floral masterclasses in some of the most<br />

dramatic and awe-inspiring locations...<br />

Floristry<br />

workshops at<br />

Armathwaite<br />

Hall Hotel<br />

Few venues can rival<br />

Armathwaite Hall Hotel when<br />

it comes to location. This<br />

Lake District jewel is set in<br />

400 restful acres of deer park<br />

and woodland, bordered<br />

by the mesmeric waters of<br />

Bassenthwaite Lake and<br />

framed by the magnificent<br />

Skiddaw Mountain and Lake<br />

District Fells. Throughout<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, Armathwaite – a<br />

proud member of Pride of<br />

Britain Hotels – is offering<br />

a range of floral workshops<br />

in collaboration with<br />

Cumberland Flower Farm.<br />

Guests can enjoy a range of<br />

seasonal courses throughout<br />

the year – crafting fresh spring<br />

Text by Chantal Haines<br />

wreaths made from Cumbrian<br />

foliage, plants, bulbs and<br />

flowers using sustainable<br />

techniques or creating<br />

sumptuous midsummer<br />

bouquets bursting with<br />

seasonal blooms.<br />

As autumn draws in, the<br />

expert florists will guide<br />

guests as they create a<br />

stunning fall table centre;<br />

and as December dawns, the<br />

Cumbrian wreath workshops<br />

will be the perfect way to<br />

begin the festive season. The<br />

workshops include all materials<br />

and a delectable cream tea.<br />

armathwaite-hall.com<br />

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

Seed to<br />

flower at Le<br />

Manoir aux<br />

Quat’Saisons<br />

The kitchen gardens, grounds<br />

and orchards of Le Manoir<br />

aux Quat’Saisons are world<br />

renowned – so much so that<br />

the famed hotel and Michelinadorned<br />

restaurant now runs<br />

gardening and floristry courses.<br />

The full-day and half-day<br />

courses have been carefully<br />

curated and are helmed by<br />

Raymond Blanc OBE and his<br />

team. The garden and floral<br />

masterclasses are held at Le<br />

Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’<br />

Hartley Botanic glasshouse,<br />

where guests are also treated<br />

to a delectable working lunch.<br />

Learn about botanicals for<br />

cocktails, or take a masterclass<br />

in growing your own flowers<br />

and creating vibrant bouquets.<br />

For garden lovers, expert<br />

courses on growing your own<br />

vegetables, winter pruning<br />

or the intricacies of micro<br />

herbs and edible flowers will<br />

no doubt prove irresistible.<br />

A gastronomic and exquisite<br />

English country getaway –<br />

Le Manoir’s 11 enchanting<br />

gardens provide guests with a<br />

once-in-a-lifetime experience.<br />

belmond.com<br />


<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79

Gravetye<br />

Manor garden<br />

tours<br />

Originally created by visionary<br />

gardener William Robinson<br />

in 1885, the gardens at this<br />

luxury hotel ensconced in the<br />

Sussex countryside are now<br />

considered one of the most<br />

important historic gardens in<br />

England. Head gardener Tom<br />

Coward and his team guides<br />

guests through the English<br />

countryside, showcasing the<br />

manor’s beautiful flower and<br />

kitchen gardens. Garden<br />

tours take place on Mondays,<br />

Wednesdays and Fridays from<br />

April until October during<br />

<strong>2023</strong> and are available to<br />

anyone with a lunch reservation<br />

in the dining room or staying<br />

at the hotel. For an immersive<br />

culinary experience with a<br />

green-fingered twist, book a<br />

garden tour and private dining<br />

experience – the garden tour<br />

can be booked alongside a<br />

private lunch for groups of<br />

seven to 20 guests.<br />

gravetyemanor.co.uk<br />

Foraging at<br />

Glenapp Castle<br />

Estate<br />

For something a little different<br />

but still bound to the earth and<br />

natural landscape, why not<br />

discover the joys of foraging.<br />

Scotland’s beautiful, bountiful<br />

southwest is an open-air larder<br />

of delights and, Glenapp<br />

Castle Estate offers guests<br />

some incredible wild flavours.<br />

The hotel’s foraging expert,<br />

Monica ‘Mo’ Wilde, is one of<br />

Scotland’s leading foraging<br />

tutors and ethnobotanists,<br />

specialising in the use of plants,<br />

mushrooms and seaweeds in<br />

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

food, medicine and craft. She<br />

has been teaching about wild<br />

food for 30 years and regularly<br />

works with leading chefs,<br />

distilleries and bartenders.<br />

The foraging experience<br />

at Glenapp comprises a<br />

fascinating half-day or fullday<br />

adventure, where guests<br />

learn to identify seasonal<br />

edible goodies, such as wild<br />

mushrooms, aromatic herbs,<br />

seaweeds and succulent<br />

coastal plants. The experience<br />

includes a wide selection of<br />

foraged tipples and tasters<br />

and concludes with a wild-food<br />

picnic and foraged cocktails<br />

in the garden, woods or at the<br />

Victorian Glasshouse.<br />

glenappcastle.com<br />

Floral<br />

workshops<br />

at Ham Yard<br />

Hotel<br />

Head to the rooftop of<br />

London’s Ham Yard Hotel to<br />

discover a world of colour and<br />

learn from world-renowned<br />

florist, author and designer<br />

Willow Crossley. Willow will<br />

take guests on a tour of the<br />

roof gardens, identifying<br />

seasonal flowers and herbs<br />

and will then demonstrate<br />

how to make a beautiful<br />

arrangement using locally<br />

grown, spring flowers. The<br />

first workshop takes place in<br />

April. Willow will reveal her tips<br />

and tricks on how to arrange<br />

flowers from single stems to<br />

full arrangements and how to<br />

work with the seasons to get<br />

the most out of blooms all<br />

year-round. Keep an eye on<br />

Ham Yard’s diary of creative<br />

workshops for more dates –<br />

from floristry to fabled thread<br />

embroidery.<br />

firmdalehotels.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81




Durham’s newest luxury self<br />

catering accommodation.<br />

Blackton Grange is a luxury<br />

retreat with all of the mod cons<br />

such as private hot tub, cocktail<br />

lounge, games room, cinema<br />

room and so much more.<br />

With space for up to 17 guests,<br />

Blackton Grange is an elegant<br />

but cosy celebration house<br />

where you can escape and<br />

create your own special<br />

memories while celebrating<br />

life’s biggest milestones.<br />


Floral<br />

creations at<br />

Cromlix<br />

Owned by <strong>British</strong> tennis<br />

player, Andy Murray, Cromlix<br />

is a Victorian Perthshire<br />

mansion full of Scottish charm<br />

and decadent touches. While<br />

there is an abundance of<br />

on-site activities to choose<br />

from – including tennis, of<br />

course – bespoke lessons<br />

in flower arranging, wreath<br />

making or table displays can<br />

be booked on request from<br />

April <strong>2023</strong>. During the private<br />

flower-arranging lessons,<br />

guests will wander the<br />

stunning grounds of Cromlix<br />

and handpick a selection<br />

of blooms, foliage and<br />

aromatic stems, including<br />

a selection from the tulip<br />

beds (newly planted for <strong>2023</strong>)<br />

when in season. Under the<br />

careful guidance of Sarah<br />

Corsar (Head of the Kitchen<br />

Garden), guests will create<br />

beautiful bouquets and<br />

discover a new appreciation<br />

for the grounds and gardens<br />

of this captivating Scottish<br />

hideaway. Thanks to its<br />

beautiful location, Cromlix,<br />

a Pride of Britain hotel<br />

member, is a perfect fit<br />

for green-fingered guests<br />

looking to relax and unwind.<br />

Individual or group bookings<br />

available from April <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

cromlix.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83

A<br />

York<br />


The medieval walls of York enclose<br />

a city that contains Roman, Viking<br />

and Georgian architecture and one<br />

of the most beautiful cathedrals<br />

in Britain. With traffic exiled to a<br />

ring road outside the walls, this is a<br />

perfect city in which to stroll<br />

Text by Adrian Mourby | Illustrations by Sophie Minto<br />

the soaring, solid majesty of York Minster, a huge cathedral<br />

dedicated to St Peter that is the seat of the second-most<br />

important bishop in Britain.<br />

The city walls lead down to Lendal Bridge, which crosses<br />

the River Ouse. The conical building you pass on your left<br />

once controlled a huge chain that lay on the riverbed and<br />

that could – with the assistance of the turreted building<br />

on the opposite shore – be raised to prevent any invaders<br />

sailing into the centre of York.<br />

York is a remarkable city whose dukes once<br />

held the English throne. It has also been a<br />

major Roman garrison and the capital of<br />

Viking Britain which is why, still today, its<br />

streets are named ‘gates’ and its city gates<br />

are named ‘bars’.<br />

Start your day at York’s railway station, a splendid and<br />

highly practical curving structure in yellow brick. When it<br />

opened in 1877 this station had 13 platforms, making it the<br />

largest in the world. Dainty, painted pedestrian bridges that<br />

wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian municipal park link<br />

all those platforms.<br />

Outside the terminus, take Station Road north towards<br />

the River Ouse. As soon as you can, climb onto York’s white<br />

medieval limestone walls. From here there is a wonderful<br />

view of the city, with its Georgian townhouses dominated by<br />

Once on the far side of the bridge, turn left to walk<br />

through Museum Gardens as far as the Greek-Revival<br />

style Yorkshire Museum, which was opened in 1830. The<br />

architect was William Wilkins, the architect of London’s<br />

<strong>British</strong> Museum. The site, chosen by York’s Philosophical<br />

Society was in the grounds of St Mary’s Abbey, destroyed<br />

during the Reformation. Its ruins can still be seen as you<br />

walk through the park.<br />

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

‘<br />

Once on the far side of the bridge, turn<br />

left to walk through Museum Gardens<br />

as far as the Greek-Revival style<br />

Yorkshire Museum.<br />

’<br />

Emerging at the north end of the gardens, King's Manor<br />

is on your left and the York Art Gallery ahead of you.<br />

King's Manor was once the residence of the abbots of St<br />

Mary's Abbey but it was taken over by the Tudors after the<br />

dissolution of the monasteries. The building is now part of<br />

the University of York. In 1603 King's Manor housed James<br />

VI of Scotland on his way to London to receive the English<br />

throne following the death of his cousin, Elizabeth I. Over<br />

the main entrance it sports the coat of arms of the King.<br />

James was the monarch who introduced the Scots unicorn<br />

to English heraldry, demoting the Welsh dragon. Ever since,<br />

the white unicorn has helped the English lion hold up the<br />

monarch's shield, but this shield is notably different from<br />

that of Elizabeth I, James' predecessor, because James also<br />

introduced the harp of Ireland and the lion of Scotland to its<br />

four quarters.<br />

In front of the art gallery stands a statue of the painter<br />

William Etty (1787–1849) who was born in York and who<br />

painted historical, mythological and biblical scenes. He was<br />

considered scandalous in the 19th century because so <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 85

many of his paintings featured ladies who had lost their<br />

clothes. York's Art Gallery contains the world’s largest<br />

collection of Ettys.<br />

Crossing to Bootham Bar where the medieval wall was<br />

demolished so that Henry VIII’s daughter Princess Mary<br />

could enter in a huge procession, you climb back on to the<br />

medieval walls for wonderful views of the freestanding<br />

minster across Dean’s Park. In medieval cities like York great<br />

buildings would accumulate lean-to houses and workshops<br />

around them, like bits of coral adding to a reef.<br />

The Minster, like so many cathedrals and churches, was<br />

cleansed of such accretions in the Victorian era. It is today a<br />

powerful, stunning white limestone edifice, two huge towers<br />

at its western end and an even bigger central tower over<br />

the transept that rises up 235 feet without a spire, like some<br />

great white cliff face. This is the largest Gothic cathedral<br />

in northern Europe and a masterpiece in stone and stained<br />

glass.<br />

The narrow parapet of these preserved walls runs<br />

around three quarters of York. Walking it, you encounter<br />

four major and two minor fortified gates (known, from the<br />

Viking era as bars). The Richard III Experience, a museum<br />

dedicated to the last Yorkist king of England is housed<br />

within Monk Bar. This fortified gate – York's largest – still<br />

has its own working portcullis.<br />

From here take the narrow steps down into Goodramgate<br />

(gate meaning street) and head towards the centre of the<br />

old city. Walk past The Cat’s Whiskers ( a cafe where you<br />

can take tea with resident cats awaiting adoption) as far<br />

as King’s Square where there are often buskers and street<br />

entertainers – as well as lots of independent bakeries.<br />

Heading south out of the square, past York’s Chocolate<br />

Story visitor centre we come to The Shambles, one of the<br />

most charming medieval vistas in York. Some of its timberframed<br />

houses date back to the 14th century.<br />

The cobbled street is so narrow that some of the<br />

overhanging upper storeys of houses almost touch in<br />

the middle of the street. It’s generally believed that The<br />

Shambles got its name from the Anglo-Saxon word, Flesh/<br />

ammels which referred to the shelves on which butchers<br />

used to display their meat. The butchers are long gone and<br />

The Shambles is now home to Harry Potter memorabilia<br />

shops and general necromancy.<br />

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

‘<br />

Coming out into Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-<br />

Gate street... turn right and walk through<br />

the market place and north towards<br />

the Roman Bath near Swinegate.<br />

’<br />

Be careful not to mention the name of The Shop That<br />

Must Not Be Named, which is full of magic wands. It is no<br />

surprise that many believe The Shambles inspired the design<br />

of Diagon Alley in the Potter films.<br />

Coming out into Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate (surely the<br />

strangest and least explicable of many strange street names<br />

in York) turn right and walk through the marketplace and<br />

north towards the Roman Bath near Swinegate. This pub<br />

with rooms is built over a Roman caldarium (hot baths),<br />

which is still down there in its cellar. From here there is a<br />

cut through (a passageway under houses) that is called<br />

Nether Hornpot Lane that leads via Grape Lane and Mad<br />

Alice Lane into Low Petergate. Here there are some great<br />

places to eat or snack as you continue your way north back<br />

to the Minster. At the small statue of Minerva (goddess of<br />

wisdom), turn right down Minster Gates, which used to be<br />

known as Bookbinder’s Alley. Here was where books were<br />

leather-bound in medieval times – and later printed. Today<br />

its small premises are given over to bookshops and jewellers.<br />

This alleyway ends opposite the Minster.<br />

There is no better way to end a walk round York than<br />

by visiting the Minster. Do not miss the screen that features<br />

15 life-sized carved kings of England, from William the<br />

Conqueror to Henry VI below gilded canopies, nor the<br />

painted ceiling bosses above the South Transept. When the<br />

transept’s roof was destroyed in a fire of 1984 the Blue Peter<br />

TV programme invited children to design new carved bosses<br />

for York, relevant to the 1980s. If you look closely (or have<br />

brought a pair of binoculars) you’ll see up there bosses that<br />

commemorate the first moon landing, saving the whales<br />

and the raising of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose.<br />

Ideally you’ll have prebooked a ticket for the tower as<br />

well. It’s 275 steps to the top, but at rooftop level you are<br />

at the highest point in York and can see everywhere you<br />

have just walked – and so much more of what this majestic<br />

city has to offer.<br />

Where to stay and eat<br />

▶ Middlethorpe Hall: York’s finest hotel, an august<br />

Queen Anne house near the racecourse. It was<br />

built by the Barlow family, Sheffield cutlers who had<br />

made a fortune in the 17th century and wanted to<br />

relocate to York. The house was built on the main<br />

road leading south out of York rather than in a park,<br />

to be sure that no-one would miss it. Today the<br />

hotel is famed for its Champagne Afternoon Tea.<br />

There is also a lovely spa with a swimming pool in a<br />

cottage on the estate. middlethorpe.com<br />

▶ Guy Fawkes Inn: This Georgian townhouse<br />

stands close to York Minster and claims to have<br />

been built on the site of the medieval inn where the<br />

Gunpowder plotter, Guido Fawkes was born. Inside,<br />

the hotel offers diners a ‘Conspirators Menu’ and a<br />

free two-hour walking tour of York’s historic sights.<br />

guyfawkesinnyork.com<br />

▶ Galtres Lodge: A unique 12-bedroom boutique<br />

hotel has been formed out of two Georgian<br />

townhouses in the centre of York. Its location in<br />

Low Petergate is ideal for both sightseeing and<br />

shopping. galtreslodge.uk<br />

▶ The Refectory: The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace<br />

is part of York’s old 19th-century railway hotel, now<br />

known as The Principal, York. Its bar – known as the<br />

Chapter House – and its dining room – known<br />

as the Refectory – take their names from York’s<br />

monastic origins. While you’re there check out the<br />

hotel’s gorgeous main staircase. therefectory.co.uk<br />

▶ Pearly Cow York: Pearly Cow is the first in a<br />

mini-chain of new <strong>British</strong> restaurants opening in<br />

heritage buildings. Fire and Ice are the themes of<br />

the menu so whether you want steak cooked in a<br />

Mibrasa Grill or oysters served on a plate of ice,<br />

book in from the end of March. pearlycow.co.uk<br />

▶ Pairings: Sisters Kelly and Kate opened Pairings<br />

Wine Bar in 2015. Their mission is to offer a<br />

relaxing space for drinking good wine but with<br />

the opportunity to order the food the two women<br />

suggest as an ideal pairing with each bottle.<br />

Hence the name. pairings.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 87


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Romantic<br />

STAYS<br />

Escape with a loved one to a remote retreat, whether it be a<br />

design-led bothy, a chic cottage or a windswept clifftop cabin.<br />

Time slows down, freeing you to focus on each other, while<br />

absorbing the beauty of nature all around you<br />

Text by Natalie Paris<br />

1<br />

The Great Arch at Fonthill, in Wiltshire<br />

Gracefully framing the entrance to the Fonthill<br />

Estate, The Victory Arch was built in 1755. Last<br />

year, its intimate rooms were refurbished in Farrow<br />

& Ball’s newest shades and The Great Arch was<br />

transformed into striking accommodation for anyone<br />

wanting to hang their hats inside a Grade-I-listed<br />

landmark. Patterned fabrics blend harmoniously with<br />

antique furniture over three floors, and every space<br />

feels stylishly snug. The bedroom has a roll-top bath<br />

that looks towards Fonthill’s lake, there’s a log burner<br />

in the sitting room and a quaint, eat-in kitchen. Not<br />

far from the well-to-do village of Tisbury, Fonthill<br />

offers lakeside walks past stone grottos and it’s only<br />

20 minutes to The Beckford Arms, where hearty food<br />

and log fires await.<br />

One night from £295 or from £325 on a B&B basis,<br />

with breakfast either at The Beckford Arms or available<br />

to prepare yourself, beckfordarms.com<br />

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

2<br />

Doxie, The Wilderness Reserve,<br />

Suffolk<br />

Doxie is a traditional Suffolk-pink<br />

cottage with a thatched roof, wooden<br />

beams and a full country kitchen. Sitting<br />

beside a private swimming pond with its<br />

own rowboat, the luxury abode is the latest<br />

addition to 8,000-acre The Wilderness<br />

Reserve, a collection of revitalised period<br />

buildings on the Sibton Park estate. Pashley<br />

bikes are available for couples who fancy a<br />

pedal around the rewilded countryside. Take<br />

a dip in the natural pond afterwards, try the<br />

sunken hot tub or retreat to the cottage’s<br />

private sauna and steam rooms. Massages<br />

and private spa treatments can be arranged<br />

on the covered pond-side terrace, where there<br />

is also a barbecue and an outdoor kitchen,<br />

making alfresco dining a breeze.<br />

One night from £673, wildernessreserve.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91

3<br />

Sitheil, Inverlonan, Oban<br />

You won’t be disturbed at Sitheil, a new<br />

eco-bothy with a pared-back aesthetic<br />

on the shore of Loch Nell. Guests can<br />

cook over fire, order in select delicacies or have a<br />

chef whip up an eight-course dinner in the wild.<br />

Expect board games, canoes and a sauna cabin<br />

but the idea is to rediscover simple pleasures, like<br />

grinding coffee and heating water. Stone circles<br />

and ancient dwellings are scattered about the<br />

glen, while the skies are a haven for hen harriers<br />

and white-tailed sea eagles.<br />

Three nights from £525, inverlonan.com<br />

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

5<br />

Bosavallam, Cornwall<br />

Set in an orchard, Bosavallam has<br />

impressive green credentials. The handfinished<br />

panels behind the bed were<br />

originally salvaged from a church and much of<br />

the furniture is reclaimed or refurbished. The onebedroom<br />

refuge has a low-impact design, with<br />

smart features like an on-site borehole from which<br />

water is filtered, electric car charging and a water<br />

source heat pump. The owners ensure the house is<br />

stocked with Cornish treats, wildflowers from the<br />

meadow and homemade honey. Popular beaches<br />

nearby include Daymer Bay, Watergate and Rock.<br />

Remember to watch out for visiting wildlife when<br />

using the BBQ and kitchen on the terrace. As night<br />

draws in, the skies above St Kew become magically<br />

bright, making the outdoor nickel bath ideal for<br />

stargazing.<br />

Three nights from £1,143, cornishgems.com<br />

4<br />

Treehouse, Another Place, Ullswater<br />

Accessed via a walkway between oak, ash<br />

and yew trees, Treehouse is an architectdesigned<br />

property in the grounds of<br />

contemporary country hotel Another Place.<br />

With floor-to-ceiling windows that look towards<br />

Ullswater, its ample space allows guests to breathe,<br />

with two bedrooms and a vast outdoor deck<br />

featuring a freestanding bathtub. Furnishings were<br />

built by local artisans, the floors are reclaimed oak<br />

and there is a log burner to snuggle up beside. There<br />

are three restaurants on-site as well as a fantastic<br />

indoor swimming pool facing the lake. Make a stay<br />

extra special by joining a guided, full-moon night<br />

swim in Ullswater. A cold-water swimming expert<br />

brings light-up tow floats and glowstick to lead a dip<br />

from the hotel’s private jetty.<br />

One night from £675, another.place<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 93

6<br />

Aurora, Cornwall<br />

Sheltering on a cliff ledge, Aurora is<br />

dwarfed by miles of plunging rock and<br />

endless beach beyond her. Wake to the<br />

sounds of breaking waves in this light-filled cabin<br />

that offers utter seclusion above Freathy Beach,<br />

in Cornwall's Whitsand Bay. One-bedroomed<br />

Aurora is wrapped in weatherboard to protect<br />

her from the elements. A hot tub and patio<br />

furniture are set out so guests can relax while<br />

watching the sea at play. The indoors feels fresh,<br />

with whitewashed walls and a bright kitchen but<br />

there is cosiness too, on sheepskins beside the log<br />

burner. Come prepared for a digital detox and<br />

note that the path down to the cabin is steep,<br />

ensuring real privacy. Awe-inspiring views along<br />

the rugged South West Coast Path are a stroll<br />

away and reveal hidden coves, perfect for two.<br />

Four nights from £1,295, uniquehomestays.com<br />

7<br />

Marley Suite, Lakes by Yoo,<br />

The Cotswolds<br />

If the sparkly expanses of water at<br />

Lakes by Yoo don’t make you want to<br />

drop everything and just sit, soaking up your<br />

surroundings, the pretty villages of the Cotswolds<br />

are close enough for a romantic wander. Lakes<br />

by Yoo is a purpose-built retreat that offers great<br />

design, top-quality facilities and activities on tap,<br />

from pizza nights to nature walks, water sports<br />

and ziplining. Accommodation in The Marley<br />

Suites proves that intimacy doesn’t have to mean<br />

sacrificing space. The suites sleep two but have<br />

super-king beds, open-plan kitchens, sophisticated<br />

living areas and generous waterside decking. The<br />

bathrooms are sleek and luxurious, with modern<br />

freestanding tubs. The retreat’s spa – for a swim,<br />

sauna, steam or even a yoga session in a yurt – is<br />

just a short walk away.<br />

One night from £500, thelakesbyyoo.com<br />

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

8<br />

Leopard Creek, Port<br />

Lympne, Kent<br />

In the wild, leopards are<br />

notoriously hard to spot,<br />

making the wigwams at Port Lympne’s<br />

Leopard Creek a particularly thrilling<br />

place to stay. The design of the<br />

reserve’s newest accommodation is<br />

remarkable enough. Wake to shafts<br />

of sunlight streaming through the<br />

top of a cone of raw timber and farreaching<br />

countryside views through<br />

panoramic windows. Underfloor<br />

heating keeps everything toasty and<br />

breakfast is provided. The private<br />

viewing terrace is the place to sit and<br />

spot big cats over a morning coffee,<br />

though a complimentary golf buggy is<br />

also provided, letting couples explore<br />

the reserve. A 24-hour concierge is on<br />

hand, a safari experience is included<br />

and there are on-site restaurants to<br />

choose from, including one at the Port<br />

Lympne hotel. Back at the wigwam,<br />

who better to say goodnight to (your<br />

partner aside), than a pair of critically<br />

endangered Amur leopards?<br />

One night from £499,<br />

aspinallfoundation.org<br />

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

10<br />

The View, Dylan Coastal Resort,<br />

Laugharne<br />

With a hot tub overlooking the<br />

sweeping sands of the Taf estuary,<br />

The View has an enviable position and all the<br />

ingredients needed for a quietly romantic evening<br />

under the stars. The roomy lodge, one of many<br />

properties at the resort, has more to offer besides.<br />

A smart, open-plan living area shares the same<br />

outlook through glass doors onto the terrace, and<br />

the bedroom also has fine views.<br />

The lodge is well-equipped with modern<br />

amenities, it also has a dining table, a kitchen and<br />

everything required for a self-catered break. The<br />

Dylan Thomas Boathouse and Laugharne Castle<br />

are close by, plus there are bucolic walks on the<br />

doorstep. Time it right and you could visit during<br />

The Laugharne Weekend (24–26 March), a comedy<br />

festival that takes place down the road.<br />

One night from £525, luxurylodges.com<br />

9<br />

Kai, Eden Valley, Cumbria<br />

Kai is a red-brick hideaway set on a 1,500-<br />

acre estate deep in Cumbria’s Eden Valley.<br />

Just under four miles from Penrith, it is<br />

easily accessible but secluded and couples will feel<br />

instantly relaxed as they admire the surrounding<br />

Lakeland pastures dotted with sheep. The cottage<br />

has original stone walls, a dining room with a log fire<br />

and a lounge with expansive windows. The bedroom<br />

is a calm space, with some wood panelling and a<br />

king-size bed dressed in fine linens. Out by the patio<br />

area, guests can soak in a wooden hot tub while<br />

gazing at the distant fells. The firepit, meanwhile, is<br />

somewhere to sit and plot the next day’s adventures<br />

in the Lake District National Park.<br />

Four nights from £641, boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97


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ACROSS<br />

1 The --- Arms, Braemar 5-star<br />

hotel (4)<br />

4 More than just into (4,5)<br />

10 Unhealthy drainage channel (4,5)<br />

11 Leopard ---, Port Lympne<br />

accommodation (5)<br />

12 Shade of blue (4)<br />

13 Dealer lures Pip off the beaten<br />

track (8)<br />

16 Clark Gable's lost love (6,7)<br />

18 Inconsistency (13)<br />

21 Where 22 Across and 20 Down<br />

might have been found in Roman<br />

times (8)<br />

22 Whip-ma-whop-ma ---, York (4)<br />

25 Spur wheel (5)<br />

26 Legendary Tunbridge Wells<br />

letter-writer (9)<br />

27 Letterform without crossstrokes<br />

(4,5)<br />

28 Jack's "Chinatown" costar (4)<br />

DOWN<br />

2 Freeze on the surface (3,4)<br />

3 "Born Free" lioness (4)<br />

4 Oddly-named Somerset estate (4)<br />

5 Grand Inquisitor of the 15th<br />

century (10)<br />

6 Approval (10)<br />

7 Confused demon in total agreement<br />

(3,4)<br />

8 They accept offers (6)<br />

9 After-dinner orders (7)<br />

14 Golf centre and top-line Auchterarder<br />

hotel (10)<br />

15 Versatile sort (3-7)<br />

17 Proposes (7)<br />

18 Snowdon Mountain Railway<br />

station (7)<br />

19 In a fumbling, bumbling way (7)<br />

20 Originally, a Northern chocolate<br />

maker (6)<br />

23 Aces "over there" (1,1,1,1)<br />

24 Saltburn ---, for wave-riders (4)<br />

Answers will be printed in the Summer <strong>2023</strong> Issue<br />

Great Walks on the England Coast Path: This guide will encourage<br />

you to explore both well-loved and less well-known parts of the English<br />

shoreline, £20, cicerone.co.uk | Just Add Water: Over 100 ways to<br />

recharge and relax on the UK's rivers, lakes and canals, £18.99,<br />

bloomsbury.com | The Hebridean Baker: Baking sensation, Coinneach<br />

MacLeod, known as @hebrideanbaker to his 251,000 TikTok followers<br />

and 107,000 Instagram followers is serving up a fresh selection of exciting<br />

new recipes and charming stories, £26, blackandwhitepublishing.com<br />


ACROSS: 9 Pendine 10 Abigail 11 Leeds 12 Frowned on 13 Net losses 15<br />

Wales 17 Grenade launcher 20 Tarns 22 Theorists 24 Yellow Sea 26 E flat<br />

27 Ragweed 28 Retinas<br />

DOWN: 1 Up all night 2 Insect 3 Diaspora 4 Deaf 5 Famous name 6 Winnow<br />

7 Randolph 8 Glen 14 Swept aside 16 Stress test 18 Earplugs 19 Narberth 21<br />

Skomer 23 Silent 24 York 25 Acre<br />

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

there’s no place like Cornish Gems<br />

Eco-Conscious Homes | Hidden Gems | Coastal Retreats | Dog Friendly | Celebrations<br />

Cornwall is our home and we’d love to share it with you, responsibly<br />

and generously. Stay with us and experience the rare quality of over<br />

180 extraordinary Gems, sleeping from 2 to 20 guests.<br />

cornishgems.com | 01872 241241


one<br />

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hotels<br />

in<br />

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