British Travel Journal | Autumn/Winter 2023

There’s so much variety throughout this issue, bursting with breathtaking travel destinations, new hotels and extraordinary one-of-a-kind experiences. We cycle around Rutland’s 23-mile perimeter on a gourmet foodie trail, sleep under the stars in a wigwam surrounded by leopards at Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent, join an early morning meadowland wildlife walk and meet the resident bees of Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds, and spend a day enjoying magnificent gardens and cyder-making at The Newt in Somerset. Our journalists uncover the hottest new hotels while partaking in a nature-inspired pottery session at the Birch Selsdon and enjoying flower arranging at Cromlix with tennis star Andy Murray's wife Kim. My own travel highlights include walking across the Rhossili Downs, visiting the exquisite region of the Gower Peninsula and taking a dip in Tinker Bunny’s Bathing Pool during a luxury stay at Atlanta Trevone in North Cornwall. With so much to both see and do, it's time to get creative with our travel trips!

There’s so much variety throughout this issue, bursting with breathtaking travel destinations, new hotels and extraordinary one-of-a-kind experiences.
We cycle around Rutland’s 23-mile perimeter on a gourmet foodie trail, sleep under the stars in a wigwam surrounded by leopards at Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent, join an early morning meadowland wildlife walk and meet the resident bees of Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds, and spend a day enjoying magnificent gardens and cyder-making at The Newt in Somerset. Our journalists uncover the hottest new hotels while partaking in a nature-inspired pottery session at the Birch Selsdon and enjoying flower arranging at Cromlix with tennis star Andy Murray's wife Kim. My own travel highlights include walking across the Rhossili Downs, visiting the exquisite region of the Gower Peninsula and taking a dip in Tinker Bunny’s Bathing Pool during a luxury stay at Atlanta Trevone in North Cornwall. With so much to both see and do, it's time to get creative with our travel trips!

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AUTUMN/WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | ISSUE 16<br />


A TASTE OF<br />




+OVER 20<br />












WIN<br />

A LUXURY<br />


WIN! WIN! WIN!<br />

A BREAK<br />


£6.95<br />



Nestled below its iconic namesake and above the silver sands of Green<br />

Porth, Blockhouse Cottage flaunts unbeatable ocean views, romantic<br />

seclusion, a home spa, private yoga and Pilates studio, a separate annexe<br />

and indulgent inside-outside living. Available to rent from October <strong>2023</strong>.<br />


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




<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 />


Amy Bonifas, Sophie Farrah, Jane Knight,<br />

Karyn Noble, Emma O’Reilly<br />


—<br />

Three Cliffs Bay in Gower, Wales. Read<br />

more in our 10-page special, page 84<br />

Published by<br />


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

Southampton, SO14 5FE<br />

01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<br />

There’s so much variety throughout this issue, bursting<br />

with breathtaking travel destinations, new hotels and<br />

extraordinary one-of-a-kind experiences.<br />

We cycle around Rutland’s 23-mile perimeter on a<br />

gourmet foodie trail (page 34), sleep under the stars in a wigwam<br />

surrounded by leopards at Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent (page<br />

40), join an early morning meadowland wildlife walk and meet the<br />

resident bees of Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds (page 64), and<br />

spend a day enjoying magnificent gardens and cyder-making at The<br />

Newt in Somerset (page 76).<br />

Our journalists uncover the hottest new hotels while partaking<br />

in a nature-inspired pottery session at the Birch Selsdon (page 26)<br />

and enjoying flower arranging at Cromlix with tennis star Andy<br />

Murray's wife Kim (page 23). My own travel highlights include walking<br />

across the Rhossili Downs, visiting the exquisite region of the Gower<br />

Peninsula (page 84) and taking a dip in Tinker Bunny’s Bathing Pool<br />

during a luxury stay at Atlanta Trevone in North Cornwall (page 48).<br />

Our <strong>Travel</strong> News (page 9) features a curated selection of hotels,<br />

spa breaks, cosy cottages, attractions to visit and more. Plus, don’t<br />

miss A Journey Through Time (page 54), where we uncover unique<br />

cultural adventures from across the country, including a VIP chocolate<br />

masterclass in York and tours of the oldest underground station in the<br />

world – Baker Street – with access to places that haven't been seen by<br />

the public in over 75 years.<br />

With so much to both see and do, it's time to get creative with<br />

our travel trips over the next few months – and to try our hands at<br />

something new – I hope this issue helps inspire you to do this, and wish<br />

you a fabulous and fun season ahead!<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

®<br />


Beyond the Glass<br />

Experience The Royal Mint like never before<br />

as we take you further into the factory.<br />

To book visit<br />

www.royalmint.com/the-royal-mint-experience/<br />

Beyond the glass tours are available on selected dates.<br />

Subject to availability


AUTUMN/WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | ISSUE 16<br />

26<br />

64<br />

48<br />


23<br />


The five-star Cromlix hotel in Scotland’s Stirlingshire has<br />

received plenty of attention, thanks to the famous couple who are<br />

its owners – champion tennis player Sir Andy Murray and his wife<br />

and artist Kim. We check out its recent refurbishment<br />


26 We take a surprising jaunt to Croydon to check out the new<br />

Birch (Selsdon) hotel, the latest in the Birch property portfolio<br />

34<br />


It might be Britain’s smallest county, but Rutland proves<br />

to be a big-hitter in terms of a surprisingly good food scene (yes,<br />

there’s Michelin-starred dining), a 23-mile perimeter ideal for<br />

cycling, and bags of quirky charm<br />


40 Want to safari like you’re in Africa without leaving the<br />

county of Kent? You can. We take a wild weekend in the 600-acre<br />

Port Lympne Reserve (home to 900 animals) and Howletts Wild<br />

Animal Park, staying in a luxurious wigwam<br />


48 Head to the North Cornwall coast with editor Jessica Way,<br />

as she checks in to Atlanta Travone, a new, lavishly designed coastal<br />

escape that is a perfect base from which to explore the region’s<br />

gourmet delights, outdoor activities, and abundant wildlife<br />

54<br />


TIME<br />

We’ve earmarked 10 one-of-a-kind experiences throughout Britain<br />

that highlight its history, heritage and culture, from taking a behindthe-scenes<br />

tour at the World of Wedgwood in the Staffordshire<br />

countryside to exploring Britain’s first tea plantation in Cornwall<br />

64<br />


Take a tour of the Calcot & Spa country hotel in Tetbury,<br />

where we investigate their commitment to a 25-year rewilding<br />

project, where 240 acres of farmland has been nurtured into a<br />

new woodland area of 22,000 native trees, along with natural<br />

wildflower and grass meadows. We also offer an expert’s tips on<br />

how you can rewild at home<br />

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


94 We celebrate the launch of Cornish Gems’ new ecoconscious<br />

collection of holiday properties, where you can select<br />

accommodation that is an environmentally sound choice,<br />

reducing your travel footprint in a mindful way while still enjoying<br />

luxury in dreamy settings<br />


98 Our autumn–winter book recommendations and crossword<br />

are ready for you to snuggle up beside the fire or perhaps under a hotel<br />

designer duvet while planning your next walking adventure<br />


76 Why not appreciate the seasonal beauty of harvest time<br />

with a jaunt to Somerset’s The Newt, a remarkable country estate<br />

with extraordinary gardens, architecture, restaurants and 3,000<br />

cyder apple trees<br />



Join us on a peaceful three-day escape to the UK’s first Area of<br />

Outstanding Natural Beauty; The Gower Peninsula in Wales offers<br />

picturesque hiking, striking coastal views, opportunities for wildlife<br />

spotting, blissful beaches and fabulous food<br />


09<br />


09<br />

We’ve curated a collection of the latest openings and new<br />

experiences that are the ideal escapes for this cosiest of seasons.<br />

Whether you wish to spend a winter weekend at a renovated<br />

Victorian villa in the Lake District, stargaze from a Sussex cabin or<br />

have a Kate Moss spa treatment in The Cotswolds, it’s all here<br />


62 COTSWOLDS<br />

We’re giving you the opportunity to win a special two-night break<br />

in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, thanks to the launch of<br />

PoB Short Breaks, where you could stay in the utmost luxury at<br />

Ellenborough Park and Barnsley House<br />


72 This special feature highlights the new PoB Breaks, immersive<br />

journeys enhanced by interactive maps to plan adventures at your own pace<br />


B I - MONTH LY<br />

E- NEWS L E T TE R<br />


Stay digitally up-to-date with<br />

all our latest UK travel news<br />

– we’ll send you bi-monthly bitesize<br />

e-news on all you need to<br />

know about hotels, attractions,<br />

experiences – and the hottest<br />

destinations across the <strong>British</strong><br />

Isles, direct to your inbox. Sign<br />

up to our e-newsletter:<br />

britishtraveljournal.<br />

com/newsletter<br />



84<br />


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

<strong>Journal</strong> for one year for just<br />

£19 and receive the ultimate<br />

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Isle worth over £20.<br />

Want to subscribe as a gift<br />

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

Windermere<br />

Llandudno<br />

Cheltenham<br />

Newquay<br />



Honour slow travel with PoB Breaks, a series of new immersive<br />

journeys. Embark on your bespoke break; an invitation to connect<br />

with local people, culture and food at your own pace.<br />


Sham Castle, Shropshire<br />

Find your special place<br />

From luxury contemporary barn conversions to charming<br />

thatched cottages, we’ve hand-picked the very best to bring<br />

you holiday memories to treasure.<br />

A portfolio of<br />

over 600 luxury<br />

self-catering<br />

holiday properties<br />

across the UK<br />

01386 897 959<br />


<strong>Autumn</strong> /<strong>Winter</strong><br />


Summer might be over, but there’s plenty to look forward to, with<br />

smart new hotels, spa breaks and cosy cottages in the country<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />





from page 10 from page 14<br />

from page 16 from page 20<br />

Pictured anticlockwise from top: The Collective at Woolsery; No 1 Mayfair; Beachcroft Hotel; Hesdin Estate; Isle of Wight Walking Festival

Hotel News<br />


Estelle Manor<br />

For a country-house hotel that offers<br />

something for everyone, take a look at this<br />

newly opened Oxfordshire pad. A sister to<br />

private club Maison Estelle in London, it has<br />

a kids club, gym, workspace and outdoor<br />

pool; a Roman baths complex featuring five<br />

indoor pools is due to open soon. Stay in<br />

elegant Manor House rooms with vintage<br />

furnishings or in child-friendly properties<br />

scattered throughout the grounds. You can<br />

eat informally in the brasserie, or live it up<br />

in the Chinese restaurant, with its Murano<br />

glass chandeliers and green velvet seats. ◆<br />

Rooms from £450, with breakfast;<br />

estellemanor.com<br />


Langdale Chase<br />

Lake District hotels are ten a penny but this Victorian villa, on<br />

the banks of Windermere, is looking good after a £9-million<br />

renovation over more than three years. The best rooms have<br />

watery views, with a suite in the original boathouse. An exact date<br />

for the autumnal reopening is yet to be announced. ◆<br />

Rooms from £340, with breakfast; langdalechase.co.uk<br />


The Bell at Charlbury<br />

Who doesn’t love a cosy pub once autumn starts to bite? New to<br />

Carole Bamford’s Daylesford portfolio is this 17th-century inn. When<br />

it opens, it will feature 12 bedrooms, an ash bar and inglenook<br />

fireplaces. The restaurant will use produce from local suppliers and<br />

Daylesford Organic to create family sharing platters. ◆<br />

Room rates are yet to be set; thebellatcharlbury.com<br />

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


100 Princes Street<br />

Expect nods to its past as the former home of the Royal Over-Seas<br />

League when this hotel opens on 1 November. A staircase mural<br />

features famous adventurers, and the Explorers Club is the place for<br />

whisky and wine. Some rooms have views of Edinburgh Castle.<br />

Rooms from £330, with breakfast; 100princes-street.com<br />


Penmaenuchaf<br />

Since Neil and Zoe Kedwood opened<br />

Pembrokeshire’s Grove of Narberth in 2008,<br />

it has become one of Wales’s best hotels. Now<br />

they’re working their magic on Penmaenuchaf,<br />

which they bought earlier this year (<strong>2023</strong>).<br />

Four new suites have been created at the top<br />

of the hotel, blending old-world charm and<br />

modern design. From the antique Welsh lace<br />

on the walls to the local pottery, there is a<br />

great sense of place at this mountain retreat;<br />

the hotel is in Eryri National Park, at the foot<br />

of Cadair Idris and overlooking Mawddach<br />

Estuary. The other bedrooms are due to be<br />

refurbished this winter. ◆<br />

Rooms from £230, with breakfast;<br />

penmaenuchaf.co.uk<br />

Editor loves<br />


The Angel at Hetton<br />

It’s good news for foodies who want to stay overnight<br />

after a Michelin-starred meal – Michael Wignall’s<br />

renowned restaurant with rooms gains five more<br />

Scandi-chic bedrooms this month. With feature<br />

bathrooms and views of Rylstone Fell, the stylish new<br />

additions join an existing 15 bedrooms, of which a<br />

third are also being refurbished. ◆<br />

Rooms for two with an eight-course meal from<br />

£460; angelhetton.co.uk<br />

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

BOOK NOW<br />

rsc.org.uk<br />


LONDON<br />

No 1 Mayfair<br />

With more than 1,300 plants, this hotel has a good claim to be<br />

London’s greenest. It also features a living wall façade, a checkin<br />

desk hewn from a 200-year-old felled oak, and room sensors<br />

that turn lights and air conditioning off… plus a hefty price tag.<br />

Rooms from £700; 1hotels.com<br />

KENT<br />

One to watch<br />

Margate House<br />

Joining a wave of new hotels, art galleries,<br />

restaurants and independent shops in Margate,<br />

this nine-bedroom guesthouse references the<br />

bohemian seaside resort and its arty reputation<br />

at every turn. An ever-changing gallery of<br />

emerging artists is on show in the drawing<br />

room; vintage posters also grace the walls.<br />

The biggest rooms have bay windows with sea<br />

views. Decorated in warm pinks, terracotta and<br />

burgundy, they come with wavy headboards on<br />

the beds and scalloped lampshades, while the<br />

contemporary bathrooms feature toiletries using<br />

seaweed handpicked in Margate. Breakfast<br />

hampers are delivered to the rooms. ◆<br />

Rooms from £155, with breakfast;<br />

margatehouse.co.uk<br />

LONDON<br />

Broadwick Soho<br />

They’re promising to channel both the grit and the glamour<br />

of Soho into this 57-room hotel when it opens in November.<br />

We can’t see any evidence of the former but the flamboyant<br />

Martin Brudnizki interiors do feel extremely glamorous.<br />

The hotel has a rooftop cocktail bar with wraparound<br />

terrace, as well as an Italian restaurant and a residents’<br />

lounge, with fireplace and record player. ◆<br />

Rooms from £595, with breakfast; broadwicksoho.com<br />

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

Spa & Retreats<br />

SUSSEX<br />

Bike and Board Activity Break<br />

Go mountain biking on the South Downs<br />

followed by paddleboarding on the south coast<br />

on a two- or three-night activity retreat from<br />

13 to 15 October, designed to get you out into<br />

nature when you stay at the Beachcroft Hotel.<br />

Guests learn the basics of each sport, including<br />

paddling and positioning on the water and types<br />

of turns. On the trails, climbing, descending<br />

and braking are among the techniques covered.<br />

There’s also sea swimming, paddleboard Pilates<br />

and breathwork, along with plenty of time to<br />

enjoy the sea view from this lovely hotel. ◆<br />

Two nights from £525 with meals and<br />

activities; beachcroft-hotel.co.uk<br />


Menopause Retreat at Bedruthan<br />

Going mad with the menopause? Then take a look at this four-day<br />

retreat, from 12 to 16 November. Designed to be uplifting, supporting<br />

and educational, it includes belly dancing, yoga and meditation, as well<br />

as group hypnotherapy. A maximum of 10 places are available on the<br />

programme, held at this spa hotel overlooking a beautiful beach. ◆<br />

The price of £1,350 includes full-board accommodation; bedruthan.com<br />


Scottish Snow Shower<br />

Snow showers may be pretty common in Scotland, but this one is<br />

set within the refurbished spa at the Kimpton Blythswood Square in<br />

Glasgow. It features as part of four different thermal journeys through<br />

health-boosting hot and cold experiences. A variety of therapies are<br />

on offer, ranging from seaweed bathing to sound treatments. ◆<br />

Isles Spa Day package includes a 55-minute treatment of your<br />

choice and a 2 hour thermal experience (with snow shower), priced<br />

£170 per person; kimptonblythswoodsquare.com<br />

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


Spa Garden at Grantley Hall<br />

Our Nordic neighbours have known the benefits of toasting<br />

themselves in a sauna before plunging into icy water for years.<br />

You can follow suit at Grantley Hall’s new Nordic spa garden,<br />

which has a glass-wall sauna and two ice baths.<br />

Complimentary for hotel guests; grantleyhall.co.uk<br />


Kate Moss Spa Treatments<br />

She has already launched her own beauty<br />

and wellness brand, so it was only going to be<br />

a matter of time before the model Kate Moss<br />

delved into the spa sphere. The Dawn and<br />

Dusk ritual treatments under her Cosmoss<br />

brand are available exclusively at the new spa<br />

at The Lakes by Yoo Cotswolds estate, with its<br />

high-end self-catering options. Both include<br />

a massage and facial, but Dawn features a<br />

body brush to kick-start the metabolism and<br />

mood, while Dusk’s massage is carried out on<br />

an infrared mat to promote sleep. The spa has<br />

a 17m indoor pool, a sauna and steam room. ◆<br />

Treatments cost £250 for 120 minutes;<br />

thelakesbyyoo.com<br />


Rejuvenate at The Coniston<br />

Try a three Rs retreat from 2 to 5 October at the 1,400-<br />

acre Coniston Estate’s Nàdarra Spa, overlooking the<br />

Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Rs in question<br />

are rejuvenate, rebalance and reset. The four-day<br />

programme includes walks through rugged scenery,<br />

wild swimming, and yoga, along with talks on nutrition<br />

and sleep, a spa treatment, and a singing workshop. ◆<br />

Three nights from £1,650; theconistonhotel.com<br />

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

Self-Catering<br />


Hesdin Estate<br />

Talk about cool pools – Hayho House, the latest<br />

addition to this little hamlet of properties, has<br />

an underground swimming pool, surrounded by<br />

grey walls. The other four houses all have a pool<br />

too, one a magnificent affair in its own spa hall<br />

(pictured), another in a walled garden, where<br />

you can swim as you watch the outdoors cinema.<br />

Expect cocktail dens and bunk rooms within. All<br />

the houses have games rooms, hot tubs, kitchens<br />

to cater for groups, and access to the estate, with<br />

its alpacas, goats, and a pig called Zoomie. ◆<br />

A week for 14 at Hayho from £4,050;<br />

hesdin.co.uk<br />


Wilderness Reserve<br />

Get complimentary use of an electric BMW when you stay on this<br />

8,000-acre Suffolk estate with its collection of restored properties.<br />

Use the cars to explore the surrounding woodland, lakes and rolling<br />

pastures, or venture further afield before returning to sleep in anything<br />

from a thatched cottage for two to a restored 15th-century barn. ◆<br />

One night in a four-bed house from £823; wildernessreserve.com<br />

SUSSEX<br />

Stargazing Cabins<br />

Stargazing windows are set above the beds in this trio of ecolodges,<br />

so you can lie back and view the dark night sky. Each cabin has<br />

subtle nods to the nearby site of the Battle of Hastings, with stainedglass<br />

bathroom windows and Gothic doorways. We especially love<br />

Matilda, named after William the Conqueror’s wife. ◆<br />

From £170 a night; starcroftfarm.co.uk<br />

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


Blockhouse, Tresco<br />

If you’re looking for the ultimate place to stay on the island of<br />

Tresco, this could be it. Just steps from the sand, with particularly<br />

lovely views through the bifold doors in the kitchen, The<br />

Blockhouse also has its own sauna and steam room, plus a yoga<br />

and Pilates studio. The seven bedrooms aren’t bad, either.<br />

A week for 16 from £8,750; tresco.co.uk<br />


The Collective at<br />

Woolsery<br />

The man who created the social-media site<br />

Bebo is now sharing his ancestral village<br />

home with us. Some of Michael Birch’s family<br />

still live in the village of Woolsery, in North<br />

Devon, and it’s there that he has revived the<br />

local pub, the Farmers Arms, as well as the<br />

post office, fish ‘n’ chips shop and farm. Now<br />

you can stay in one of three cottages, two<br />

suites, or two village rooms, all beautifully<br />

kitted out in colourful contemporary fabrics,<br />

with a real sense of theatre about them. They<br />

sleep from two to eight people; a manor<br />

house is also being restored. ◆<br />

Cottage for two from £450 a night;<br />

woolsery.com<br />

Editor loves<br />


Glen Glack cabins<br />

Although they were inspired by traditional bothies,<br />

the five lochside boltholes that have just opened on<br />

Perthshire’s Atholl Estates don’t share the no-frills<br />

ethos. Instead, they have a modern, minimalist design;<br />

one cabin for two also has an outside bath to<br />

truly immerse yourself in nature. Spend your days<br />

exploring the Cairngorms National Park; guests<br />

get free entry to Blair Castle. ◆<br />

From £175 a night for two; atholl-estates.co.uk<br />

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


Enjoy <strong>Autumn</strong> on Alderney

DEVON<br />

The Nest<br />

You can see why this little clifftop eyrie for two got its name –<br />

surrounded by trees, it has panoramic views of the sea from the<br />

terrace or from the sofa through floor-to-ceiling windows.<br />

The art-filled interiors include a modern four-poster bed.<br />

From £140 a night for two; uniquehideaways.com<br />


SCHLOSS Roxburghe<br />

It already comprises a hotel with golf course,<br />

restaurant and spa. Now this estate on the<br />

Scottish borders has added 26 contemporary<br />

cottages in woodland, some with private<br />

saunas. Like the hotel, they are all dog friendly,<br />

and make the perfect base from which to<br />

explore the countryside. Go fly-fishing, try claypigeon<br />

shooting, or head off for some hiking<br />

or biking. When you return, there’s an outdoor<br />

pool to soak in, followed by estate-to-plate<br />

dining in Charlie’s Restaurant. Accompany your<br />

meal with wine, whisky or gin pairings. ◆<br />

Two-bedroom cottage from £506 a night;<br />

schlosshotel-roxburghe.com<br />

WALES<br />

Gardener’s House<br />

Rows of galvanised watering cans displayed on<br />

wall shelving, a potting trolley doubling as a bedside<br />

table and antique trugs… the décor certainly lives<br />

up to the name in this former gardener’s cottage<br />

on North Wales’s Hawarden Estate. As you might<br />

expect, the garden is a riot of colour; the house also<br />

borders Hawarden Walled Garden. ◆<br />

From £395 a night for nine;<br />

hawardenestate.co.uk<br />

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

Experiences<br />


<strong>Autumn</strong> Walking Festival<br />

Step out and explore this beautiful little<br />

island on any of 55 organised walks from 7<br />

to 15 October. They include something for<br />

everyone, from a one-mile Red Squirrel Walk<br />

to the 12-mile Colwell Bay circuit, which takes<br />

in the coloured sands of Alum Bay and the<br />

series of stacks known as the Needles. Find<br />

out about the island’s famous residents as you<br />

go, perhaps on the four-mile Dickens Trail<br />

around Bonchurch, or taking a turn around<br />

Queen Victoria’s East Cowes. Some walks are<br />

reserved for women only. Book ferry crossings<br />

on Wightlink (wightlink.co.uk). ◆<br />

For further details visit:<br />

isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk<br />



Loch Ness Centre<br />

Immerse yourself in the legend of Nessie at this new £1.5 million<br />

centre at the former Drumnadrochit Hotel. Here, 90 years ago, the<br />

manageress reported seeing a ‘water beast’ in Loch Ness. During a<br />

one-hour experience, you can become part of the quest to discover<br />

what the 23-mile-long lake waters really hold. ◆<br />

Tickets from £13.95; lochness.com<br />


Electric South West 660<br />

Want to know where to find the best electric-charging spot with a<br />

view on the South West 660 road route from Dorset and Somerset<br />

to Devon and Cornwall? It’s at The Minack Theatre, one of a<br />

number of charging sites detailed on 12 different driving routes in<br />

association with charge-point mapping service Zapmap. ◆<br />

southwest660.com; zap-map.com<br />


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


Walk Barefoot to Holy Island<br />

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims by walking barefoot at low tide<br />

across the causeway to Lindisfarne. The seven-mile walk is one<br />

of a number of experiences being offered by guests staying at<br />

Crabtree & Crabtree’s self-catering accommodation. It costs £55<br />

per person, with a picnic. Cottages for four from £590 for<br />

three nights; crabtreeandcrabtree.com<br />


Teals Farm Shop<br />

Is this the best service station ever? On the<br />

A303 between Sparkford and Wincanton,<br />

Teals was created by Nick and Ash Sinfield,<br />

who wanted to offer motorists something a<br />

little bit different. They created a farm shop<br />

with butchery, restaurant and food-to-go<br />

counter serving seasonal, locally sourced<br />

produce. This summer they added EV<br />

superchargers, and in the autumn they plan a<br />

dig-your-own potatoes event. If you’re driving<br />

nearby on 7 December, pop in for a Christmas<br />

VIP shopping event to celebrate their third<br />

birthday, with festive tastings and music<br />

provided by the Military Wives Choir. ◆<br />

teals.co.uk<br />



Hike the Highlands<br />

Walk from one family run guesthouse to the next,<br />

with your luggage transported for you on this new<br />

trip from specialist travel company Inntravel.<br />

Take in the lower reaches of the Cairngorms<br />

National Park, stroll along stretches of the famed<br />

Rob Roy Way, and climb Ben Vrackie. Reward<br />

yourself with a visit to a world-class distillery. ◆<br />

Six nights’ B&B with luggage transfers<br />

from £780; inntravel.co.uk<br />

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


Les Misérables<br />


Let the unforgettable music and powerful story inspire you!<br />


If you're a fan of musicals, you won't<br />

want to miss Cameron Mackintosh's<br />

latest production of Les Misérables<br />

showing now in London's West End at the<br />

Sondheim Theatre, currently booking until<br />

2 March 2024. This beloved show has been<br />

seen by over 130 million people worldwide in<br />

53 countries and in 22 languages, making it<br />

one of the most popular musicals of all time.<br />

This brilliant new staging has taken the<br />

world by storm with critics dubbing it as<br />

"Les Mis for the 21st Century," "a reborn<br />

dream of a production," and "perfect<br />

theatre in a perfect theatre."<br />

The music is unforgettable, featuring<br />

classics like I Dreamed a Dream, On My<br />

Own, Master Of The House, Bring Him<br />

Home, and Do You Hear the People Sing?<br />

These songs have become anthems of<br />

revolution for people fighting for their<br />

freedom around the world.<br />

Experience the magic of Les Misérables<br />

like never before, based on the classic novel<br />

by Victor Hugo and brought to life by the<br />

talented Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel<br />

Schönberg. ◆<br />


Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed<br />

fully-staged new production<br />

of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les<br />

Misérables is playing now at London’s<br />

Sondheim Theatre.<br />

Standard tickets priced from £10.<br />

Box Office: 0344 482 5151<br />

In Person: Sondheim Theatre<br />

Shaftesbury Avenue, London,<br />

W1D 6BA tickets<br />

Find out more and book online:<br />

www.lesmis.com<br />

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

Spotlight ON<br />


A decade on from creating their own five-star hotel, tennis star<br />

Andy Murray and his wife and artist Kim are not resting on their laurels,<br />

with a recent refurbishment taking Cromlix House, Stirlingshire from<br />

great to gorgeous<br />

Text by Emma O’Reilly<br />

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

As I enter Cromlix House, I am welcomed first<br />

by neat rows of Hunter wellies, just waiting<br />

for willing walkers to step into them, then by<br />

the smiling duty manager, Ali. A reception<br />

area is an important part of a hotel, it being the first room<br />

a guest sees, and setting the tone for their whole stay.<br />

This is a good one – cosy and informal, with sofas and a<br />

fire for cooler days. It feels homely – albeit the home of a<br />

richer, more stylish friend perhaps. It even smells gorgeous,<br />

courtesy of the hotel’s signature scent.<br />

Cromlix House is a Victorian mansion, originally built<br />

as a private home for an aristocratic family. It has just 15<br />

bedrooms and a lodge house, but it’s sprawling, meaning<br />

plenty of space per guest – some of the suites are positively<br />

ballroom proportioned. There are also several public<br />

areas, including a bar (great cocktails), an airy restaurant,<br />

The Glasshouse, a drawing room (owner Andy Murray's<br />

favourite), the Billiards Room, complete with pick ‘n’ mix<br />

sweets, just in case you are feeling peckish post dinner.<br />

Which you won’t be, because the food here alone is a<br />

reason to visit.<br />

Head chef Darin Campbell (formerly Head Chef at<br />

the two Michelin- starred Andrew Fairlie restaurant at<br />

Gleneagles) and his team have moved on from the more<br />

traditional French food of the past for a more modern<br />

menu, with lots of lighter options and international<br />

flavours. Favourites during my stay were a Vietnamese<br />

Broth starter, with coconut, noodles, a hint of chilli and<br />

sweetcorn fritter, plus a main of seared fillet of sea bass<br />

with Jersey Royals, rose harissa and langoustine sauce.<br />

Kim Murray has been in the driving seat for the<br />

refurbishment, working alongside interior designer Suzanne<br />

Garuda to create a look that respects the building’s history,<br />

while bringing it up-to-date, using bold botanical prints,<br />

rich, vibrant colours and some exciting paintings and prints.<br />

There’s not a hint of tartan anywhere – although the staff do<br />

wear some rather stylish tweed (alongside short tan leather<br />

aprons in the restaurant).<br />

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

Pictured above: Emma O'Reilly with Kim Murray. Photograph by Ruth McQuiggan<br />

While Andy would be the first to admit that interior<br />

design isn’t ‘his thing’ (we’ll forgive you, Andy, as you’re<br />

pretty good at something else!), he has a passion for art and<br />

has loaned part of his own collection to the walls of Cromlix,<br />

as has The Royal Scottish Academy. It’s an interesting mix<br />

and includes works by Damien Hirst, David Shrigley, Ashley<br />

Cook, William McTaggart and Elizabeth Blackadder.<br />

Bedrooms are luxurious – and it is good to see<br />

environmentally friendly amenities and heavenly toiletries<br />

from a small local company, MODM. There are wellequipped<br />

tea/coffee stations and a couple of homemade<br />

shortbread biscuits – recipe courtesy of Andy’s gran!<br />

However, a hotel is not just about its aesthetics. The staff<br />

and service are equally important and Cromlix really shines<br />

here, with workers who always have a smile on their faces<br />

and cannot do enough to help guests.<br />

Outside the hotel there are 34 acres of grounds to<br />

roam, including woodland and a small loch. You will<br />

also find – no surprises here; a couple of tennis courts<br />

(Andy’s mum Judy often runs courses) and an appetisinglooking<br />

kitchen garden. Further afield, both Edinburgh<br />

and Glasgow are within an hour’s drive. Closer still is<br />

Stirling, with its castle and National Wallace Monument;<br />

Bannockburn, and Dunblane, where Andy grew up.<br />

Cromlix House can customise all sorts of activities for<br />

guests. Fancy an in-room spa treatment? When would<br />

you like it? Falconry in the grounds? No problem! We opt<br />

first for a foraging session in the woods with professional<br />

forager Lauren Lochrie and head chef Darin Campbell.<br />

It is fascinating. We talk moss – the climate benefits of<br />

the sphagnum moss we see on the woodland floor, which<br />

absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmospshere, and Old<br />

Man’s Beard, hanging wispily from the trees, which has<br />

many medicinal applications. We find mushrooms – one<br />

a giant botelus, way past its best, another mushroom<br />

that nobody can identify but it looks ‘suspicious’ and we<br />

are told to leave well alone. Some girolles, found under a<br />

fallen branch, look good and go into a bag for us to enjoy<br />

for dinner that evening. We chew on spring needles from<br />

the Douglas Fir tree – apparently they are high in vitamin<br />

C and electrolytes. We find wild raspberries, still ripening,<br />

and Lauren has brought with her some ice lollies made<br />

from elderflower and the plantain herb.<br />

Back inside, we create our own hand creams and<br />

muscle rubs, made with birch-infused oil and essential oils.<br />

Next, we do some flower arranging – and get a surprise<br />

visit from Kim who is at Cromlix for the day. She shows us<br />

how she likes to arrange blooms (in a posy, then put in a<br />

vase, rather than trying to arrange it straight into the vase,<br />

in case you’re wondering). Kim starts with height in the<br />

middle, then foliage and shorter blooms built around.<br />

Kim clearly has an eye for it. It’s a treat to meet her. She<br />

is so likeable and down-to-earth.<br />

At lunch, the restaurant is busy – Kim notes that they<br />

opened this place as much for the locals as anyone else<br />

and that Andy very much wants to give something back to<br />

his community. It seems to be working – who wouldn’t like<br />

to have such a place on their doorstep?<br />

Prices from £310 per night; pobhotels.com; cromlix.com<br />

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


at Birch<br />

With a unique formula that encompasses contemporary design,<br />

fabulous food, stimulating workshops, and nature in abundance,<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> checks in to one of the country’s most exciting<br />

and inspiring new hotels: Birch (Selsdon)<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

formula – there is nature to restore calm, food to nourish,<br />

wellness to realign body and mind, and a programme of<br />

workshops to inspire. It may all sound very wholesome,<br />

but there are also several cocktail bars, regular DJs and<br />

a party atmosphere when night falls, and it has all been<br />

carefully – and beautifully – designed.<br />

Outside, what was once a vast golf course, aggressively<br />

mowed and manicured to within an inch of its life, has<br />

been left to rewild, and nature is quickly moving back in.<br />

Croydon isn’t exactly the first place that springs<br />

to mind when planning a country escape, but<br />

here, just 30 minutes south of London, lies<br />

one the UK’s most exciting new hotels. Birch<br />

(Selsdon) has taken the bones of a fusty, old-fashioned<br />

golf resort and transformed it, both inside and out, into an<br />

inspiring destination to stay, play, and immerse oneself in<br />

nature.<br />

Selsdon joins Birch’s existing hotel in Cheshunt,<br />

Hertfordshire, and both properties share the same unique<br />

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

At 200 acres, it is one of the largest rewilding projects<br />

within the M25, and it inspires much of what goes on<br />

inside the building too.<br />

Having first been developed into a hotel in the 1920s,<br />

the impressive 19th-century Gothic-style mansion has<br />

today been exquisitely remodelled by leading interior<br />

design and architecture studios A-nrd and Sella Concept.<br />

They have peeled back the property’s layers and brought<br />

out its best features – there are beautifully ornate ceilings,<br />

stunning fireplaces, and enviable original wooden<br />

flooring throughout. Birch has then added its signature<br />

melange of modern design furniture, contemporary art,<br />

handcrafted pieces made using sustainable materials,<br />

and a splash of glamour. The colour palate is extremely<br />

pleasing – calming, nature-inspired tones fill most spaces,<br />

interspersed with pops of pattern, colour and metallics,<br />

while natural materials add a cosy softness.<br />

As well as a hip hotel, Birch (Selsdon) operates as<br />

a member’s club and it has all the chicness of one, but<br />

none of the snootiness. Another unique feature is the<br />

variety of creative classes and workshops on offer; there<br />

is a dedicated pottery studio, art space and screenprinting<br />

room, allowing both guests and members to<br />

let their creative juices flow. In an ‘Inspired by Nature’ <br />

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

pottery session, we sat outside amid swaying grasses<br />

and wildflowers, making pinch pots and tiles decorated<br />

with flora we had foraged ourselves. After 60 immersive<br />

minutes, my shoulders had well and truly dropped. As our<br />

clay creations were whisked away to be glazed and fired,<br />

we headed off to find our room.<br />

There are 181 bedrooms of all shapes and sizes that<br />

line several long Wes Anderson-esque corridors. Ours<br />

was what Birch (Selsdon) describes as ‘Large’, and it was<br />

just that. Overlooking the terrace and sprawling grounds<br />

beyond, the airy and uncluttered room felt immediately<br />

serene. The original stone-framed lead windows flooded<br />

the space with natural light, while two boucle armchairs<br />

looked gently enticing. The walls were bare except for one<br />

or two splashes of contemporary <strong>British</strong> art. Pleasingly<br />

simple wooden bedside tables have been crafted using<br />

wood from the estate, while recycled glass lampshades<br />

add a subtle touch of sparkle. There is no TV, no desk.<br />

It was sparse, but in the best possible way. Birch aims to<br />

provide a sense of space, both figuratively and literally.<br />

The pastel pink bathroom was small but well equipped,<br />

but now was not the time for a long bath – I was destined<br />

for wellness elsewhere.<br />

Trying to not get distracted by the two restaurants,<br />

three bars, impressive co-working hub, and various<br />

inviting communal spaces, I made my way to the hotel’s<br />

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

state of-the-art wellness space. Here, there is a huge,<br />

plant-filled gym, filled with all manner of cutting-edge<br />

kit and modern machinery. There’s also a spin studio and<br />

a variety of fitness classes on offer and, if you’re in need<br />

of pampering, there are four treatment rooms, while the<br />

outdoor heated lido, tennis court, and running track all<br />

await outside.<br />

After a very good Pilates class (a perfect combination<br />

of both sweat and stretch), it was time for a cocktail,<br />

naturally. There’s a sprawling outdoor terrace, dotted with<br />

squishy beanbags, cute carpets, cosy firepits and lots of<br />

lovely festoon lighting. From here, I sipped an excellent<br />

Paloma and admired the far-reaching views across Birch’s<br />

beautiful, tree-strewn grounds.<br />

There are two restaurants at Birch (Selsdon), both<br />

named after local flowers. I had dinner at Elodie, which is<br />

headed up by award-winning, Michelin-starred chef Lee<br />

Westcott. Overlooking the terrace and former golf course<br />

beyond, this 100-seater space is a feast for the eyes, with<br />

lavishly decorated ceilings, mirrored pillars, atmospheric<br />

lighting, and sumptuous booth seating. The offering is a<br />

nature-driven seasonal tasting menu, and each and every<br />

dish was exquisitely presented and tasted nothing short of<br />

sublime.<br />

Just some of the highlights included a perfectly crisp<br />

croustade filled with sweet summer green beans, creamy<br />

smoked cod’s roe, wild garlic capers and marigold; a small<br />

warm loaf of sourdough, made with local IPA, slathered <br />

‘<br />

I had dinner at Elodie... a feast for the eyes, with lavishly decorated ceilings,<br />

mirrored pillars, atmospheric lighting, and sumptuous booth seating.<br />

’<br />

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

scrubland, and meadows, restoring a diverse range of<br />

habitats to the land. It received its final mow two years<br />

ago and already it is teeming with wildlife; over 84 plant<br />

species and 525 animal species have been recorded,<br />

including bats, bees, birds and butterflies. It hums with<br />

the energy of all the nature that is moving back in, and it<br />

is a beautiful and incredibly peaceful place to be, so much<br />

so that when our small group happened upon a roe deer<br />

snoozing under a vast oak tree, it barely noticed us.<br />

As Cox led us through ancient woodland and across<br />

grassy meadows, eagerly pointing out rare plants, birds<br />

and butterflies as we went, he described how the imminent<br />

introduction of Tamworth pigs, Sussex cattle and Exmoor<br />

ponies will help to manage the land, as nature intended.<br />

As we passed sand-filled golf bunkers now sprouting with<br />

wildflowers and grasses, he explained how he hopes that,<br />

in time, endangered species native to this part of England,<br />

such as dormice, nightjars, and nightingales, will return<br />

because of the restoration of their scrubland habitat here.<br />

with a deeply rich Marmite butter, and a perfectly cooked<br />

piece of Cornish plaice, with mussels, Jersey royals, violet<br />

artichoke and buttery braised leeks, all liberally doused in<br />

a silky green olive sauce at the table. My favourite course<br />

was dessert. Simply described as ‘English Strawberry’,<br />

it was bursting with flavours of cherry blossoms (picked<br />

on-site), Sichuan pepper and creamy cultured yoghurt – a<br />

well-balanced medley of sweet, spicy, floral flavours and<br />

incredibly satisfying textures.<br />

Breakfast at all-day dining spot Vervain was similarly<br />

impressive; there was delicious granola made in-house,<br />

poached eggs with smoked salmon and a very good<br />

hollandaise, and I can confidently say that the pain au<br />

chocolat – warm, crisp, and oozing with melted dark<br />

chocolate – was quite simply the best I have ever eaten.<br />

Guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in<br />

Birch’s natural beauty; there are marked walking routes,<br />

picnic tables and swaying hammocks dotted around the<br />

grounds. After breakfast, we embarked on one of the<br />

regular rewilding walks hosted by regenerative designer<br />

and passionate environmentalist Sebastian Cox, who is<br />

leading the rewilding project at Birch (Selsdon).<br />

His plan is to allow the undulating 200-acre former<br />

golf course to regenerate into a mosaic of woodland,<br />

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

‘<br />

There’s a unique energy to Birch (Selsdon), both inside and out... It is a place to<br />

be inspired, and to feel calm and re-energised all at once.<br />

’<br />

Feeling inspired and excited by the potential of Cox’s<br />

pioneering project, I wandered back to the hotel and<br />

found a similar sense of optimism in the air. I sat on the<br />

terrace and watched as a group set off on a bushcraft and<br />

survival skills walk, already wide-eyed at what they were<br />

hearing, as two children roly-polied their way through the<br />

long grass on their way to the ‘Birchlings’ kids club.<br />

A couple clinked cocktails and excitedly discussed the<br />

‘learn to DJ’ workshop that they were about to embark on,<br />

as a woman strolled past with a yoga mat tucked under<br />

her arm.<br />

There’s a unique energy to Birch (Selsdon), both inside<br />

and out. There’s something about the wildness of the<br />

land and the freedom that it has finally been granted that<br />

made me want to let my hair down too. It is a place to be<br />

inspired, and to feel calm and re-energised all at once. It’s<br />

a rare and tricky balance to achieve, but I think that Birch<br />

has got it just right.<br />

Rooms at Birch (Selsdon) start from £180 per night;<br />

birchcommunity.com/selsdon<br />

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


Grease the Musical<br />


Get ready to rock with a musical return to the West End!<br />


The beloved musical Grease has<br />

made its triumphant return to<br />

the West End! Starring Jason<br />

Donovan, who first appeared<br />

as Scott Robinson in the hit Australian<br />

series Neighbours and global media star<br />

Peter Andre,* praised for their outstanding<br />

performances last year. The show is back on<br />

stage at the Dominion Theatre, a historic art<br />

deco venue located in the heart of London,<br />

until 28 October <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

The story follows the passionate summer<br />

romance between leather-clad Danny and<br />

girl-next-door Sandy, who are unexpectedly<br />

reunited when she moves to Rydell High<br />

for her senior year. Can they navigate the<br />

complexities of teenage life and rekindle<br />

their love?<br />

Grease The Musical saw over 500,000<br />

people flock to the West End last year.<br />

Don't miss out on this incredible production,<br />

produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre<br />

Productions, featuring unforgettable hits<br />

like Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin',<br />

Hopelessly Devoted to You, and You're the<br />

One That I Want. ◆<br />


Grease The Musical is taking<br />

bookings now with performances<br />

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm,<br />

Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.<br />

Tickets priced from £17.50.<br />

Box Office: 0345 200 7982<br />

*For the full performance<br />

schedule and to ensure you<br />

don't miss out on these talented<br />

performers, be sure to check the<br />

website for specific dates.<br />

www.greasemusical.co.uk<br />

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


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A TASTE OF<br />

Rutland<br />

Britain's smallest county proves to be a big draw for foodies,<br />

offering everything from the Rutland Pippin to Michelin-starred<br />

dining. Its enormous watery playground is surrounded by honeycoloured<br />

villages, one of which claims to be twinned with Paris<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />

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

Driving through the blink-and-you-miss-it village<br />

of Whitwell, population 41, I wonder if I read<br />

the street sign correctly. ‘Twinned with Paris’,<br />

it announces proudly. Whitwell might have a<br />

handful of pretty, stone cottages, possibly more ducks<br />

than residents and an appealing-looking pub called The<br />

Noel, but Paris? Really?<br />

It’s not until we sit down to lunch later at the Olive<br />

Branch at Clipsham that the co-owner Ben Jones throws<br />

some light on it.<br />

“One night some of the locals in the pub decided it was<br />

a good idea,” he chuckles. “It’s pretty tongue in cheek.”<br />

It was apparently in 1980 that pub regulars decided to<br />

write to the then mayor of Paris, a certain Jacques Chirac,<br />

proposing the ambitious twinning. They added that if they<br />

didn’t receive a response, they would assume that Paris<br />

had accepted the offer. When no RSVP was received, a<br />

farcical ceremony was held, and the sign has been there<br />

ever since.<br />

It’s just one of the quirky things my son and I discover<br />

during a trip to Rutland, England’s smallest historic county<br />

(and yes, the Isle of Wight may be a smidgeon smaller, but<br />

it’s a ceremonial county). This is the place with the largest<br />

collection of horseshoes in a Norman castle, where legend<br />

has it that Guy Fawkes et al plotted to blow up James I in<br />

parliament and which even has its own version of the pork<br />

pie – the Rutland Pippin, shaped like an apple. <br />


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

Squeezed in between Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire<br />

and Leicestershire, Rutland might be pint-sized but it really<br />

packs a punch in the charisma stakes.<br />

Sharing the same geology as the Cotswolds, its rolling<br />

green hills are studded with honey-coloured stone villages<br />

cloaked with a raw charm the chichi Cotswolds hasn’t seen<br />

for decades. And it’s relatively crowd free.<br />

The county, whose motto multum in parvo means ‘much<br />

in little’, also comes with a spectacular centrepiece in the<br />

form of Rutland Water. Covering more than 3,000 acres,<br />

it’s one of the largest constructed lakes in Europe. This<br />

watery playground of the East Midlands is a place where<br />

you can windsurf, sail or fish its waters, go for a serene<br />

hike along its shores, or gaze skyward at ospreys and red<br />

kites gliding overhead.<br />

We’re here to cycle around its perimeter, all 23 miles<br />

of it. But before that, a chance to scope the watery world<br />

from the deck of the Rutland Belle, learning a bit about the<br />

history of this reservoir, created by flooding two villages in<br />

the 1970s.<br />

We chug to the water’s most famous landmark,<br />

Normanton Church, which might seem to float on water<br />

from a distance but which we can see standing on its<br />

own shored-up peninsula as we approach. Saved from<br />

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

‘<br />

Luckily, we don’t have far to go once we’ve returned the bikes... we’re staying just<br />

two minutes up the road at The Barnsdale, fresh from a major renovation, with its<br />

boldly coloured fabric headboards and patterned wallpaper.<br />

’<br />

demolition by locals when plans for the reservoir were<br />

announced, the church is now a wedding venue and a<br />

popular picnic spot.<br />

Back on land, it’s time to hit the cycle-hire shop. “There<br />

are only two hilly bits,” the lady at Rutland Cycling assures<br />

us. “If you go anticlockwise, you’ll hit the first one almost<br />

immediately, and over the other side of the water you’ll be<br />

able to coast down the second one.” All I can say is they<br />

must count a little differently in Rutland because, at times,<br />

it feels like the route goes up and down yo-yo style.<br />

As for the hardy souls on Google who say it’s easily<br />

done in three hours, I can only suppose they are honed<br />

athletes; we set out at 11am and arrived back totally<br />

shattered at 4pm, with a much-needed lunch pit stop at<br />

the perfectly placed Horse & Jockey pub in Manton.<br />

It's a scenic cycle though, mostly on a decent path with<br />

just a small section on a quiet road. Sometimes we pedal<br />

right down by the water’s edge, others we are flanked by<br />

fields of lambs or speed through tunnels of trees.<br />

You can save yourself six miles if you miss out the<br />

promontory that juts out into Rutland Water but this forms<br />

some of the most photogenic part of the route (as well as a<br />

challenging hilly section). A tip: take a saddle cover – your<br />

bum will be numb by the end of the day.<br />

Luckily, we don’t have far to go once we’ve returned the<br />

bikes (not that anywhere is far in this county that measures<br />

little more than 17 miles in any direction). We’re staying<br />

just two minutes up the road at The Barnsdale, fresh<br />

from a major renovation, with its boldly coloured fabric<br />

headboards and patterned wallpaper. A former Georgian<br />

hunting lodge with 45 rooms arranged around an<br />

appealing courtyard, it makes a comfortable and decently<br />

priced base from which to explore this fascinating county.<br />

It also serves some excellent food – just what you need<br />

when you feel you’ve earnt your food miles on a marathon<br />

cycle ride. We do full justice to lobster and squid with<br />

orange and fennel that is wonderfully chargrilled. It’s<br />

the perfect precursor to delicious gnocchi with wild field<br />

mushrooms and spinach for me and an excellently cooked<br />

steak for my son.<br />

Rutland prides itself on its food, and rightly so, given its<br />

agricultural heritage, although it did give way to the march<br />

of McDonalds in 2020 (the last <strong>British</strong> county to do so). <br />

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

‘<br />

It's a little more formal at Hambleton Hall, a Victorian mansion... Eating<br />

exquisite canapés while we peruse the menu, we gaze out at the view framed by<br />

two cork oaks and see the cycle path we toiled along just the day before.<br />

’<br />

Every meal we eat is exceptional, starting at the Olive<br />

Branch at Clipsham, a short drive from a row of 150 yew<br />

trees clipped into unusual shapes that line what was the<br />

driveway to Clipsham Hall. Within a series of interlinked<br />

rooms that were once three farm labourers' cottages, the<br />

atmosphere is very much ye olde village inn – beams, rustic<br />

furniture and roaring fires.<br />

Yet the food is a long way from your average pub grub.<br />

My Maris Piper potato risotto with cep, caramelised leek,<br />

truffle and mozzarella works beautifully with the pub’s own<br />

beer – Olive ale, although there’s also an impressive wine<br />

list. The idea, says co-owner Ben Jones, is that if you want<br />

a £180 Mendoza, it’s there, but if you’d rather just relax<br />

with a glass of Riesling for a fiver, that’s fine too.<br />

It's a little more formal at Hambleton Hall, a Victorian<br />

mansion with a sweep of elegant public rooms and<br />

manicured gardens leading down to Rutland Water; it sits<br />

on the reservoir’s promontory. Eating exquisite canapés<br />

while we peruse the menu, we gaze out at the view framed<br />

by two cork oaks and see the cycle path we toiled along<br />

just the day before.<br />

One of Britain's longest holders of a Michelin star and a<br />

member of Relais & Châteaux foodie group, Hambleton<br />

really wows in the culinary stakes, with chef Aaron<br />

Patterson using produce from the kitchen garden and local<br />

suppliers to create artfully arranged dishes. They taste as<br />

good as they look, starting with poached king prawns with<br />

ponzu, avocado and seaweed before a delightfully fresh<br />

dish of tagliatelle and wild mushrooms.<br />

Save room for the sourdough – it comes from their<br />

own Hambleton Bakery in Exton. It’s conveniently near<br />

The Barnsdale, so we pop in later to sample the Rutland<br />

Pippin, a combination of ham hock, sausage meat, apple<br />

sauce and Stilton in an apple-shaped pastry.<br />

In between eating, there’s plenty more to explore,<br />

including the quaint market towns of Uppingham and<br />

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


Oakham, with their posh private schools, traditional<br />

butchers, bakers and boutiques, and a smattering of<br />

antique shops and art galleries.<br />

Oakham is also home to a Norman castle, although what<br />

they call the ‘finest surviving example of Norman domestic<br />

architecture in Europe’ is actually the great hall of a fortified<br />

manor, which lies within defensive curtain walls.<br />

Its interiors are hung with about 240 gilded horseshoes<br />

offered by visiting royalty and aristocrats; the oldest dates to<br />

Edward IV’s visit in 1470, and there’s one from King Charles,<br />

when he was Prince of Wales. No one really knows the<br />

reason behind the equine gifts, except that the horseshoe<br />

featured on the coat of arms of the de Ferrers family who<br />

owned the castle; it is also part of Rutland’s own banner.<br />

There’s one more place to check out in this fascinating<br />

county before we head for home. In the tiny village of<br />

Stoke Dry, we navigate a stone staircase to the priest’s<br />

room above the porch in St Andrew’s church. Legend has<br />

it that Sir Everard Digby, who became Lord of the manor<br />

of Stoke Dry in 1592, first met with his cohorts to devise the<br />

Gunpowder Plot here.<br />

But although it’s easy to imagine Guy Fawkes et al<br />

whispering to each other in this atmospheric, poky<br />

room, a sign tells us it’s not true; Sir Everard moved to<br />

Buckinghamshire years before the dastardly plot was<br />

hatched.<br />

There is, though, intrigue in the form of the 13th-century<br />

wall murals on the other side of the church. They show<br />

King Edmund being impaled by arrows by what look like<br />

American Indians some 200 years before Christopher<br />

Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas. Could they be<br />

proof that the Vikings took their longships across the<br />

Atlantic before the famed explorer? Or is it just another<br />

idiosyncrasy in this quirky little county?<br />

Rooms at The Barnsdale cost from £120, B&B;<br />

barnsdalerutland.com.<br />

For more information: discover-rutland.co.uk<br />

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

There are few places in the world where you can sleep<br />

safely next to a leopard or sip your morning coffee eye to eye<br />

with a tiger… <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> heads to Port Lympne and<br />

Howletts in Kent for a truly wild weekend<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah

ATAKE<br />

WALK<br />

ON THE<br />

Wild Side<br />

Sitting in the back in the safari truck, we<br />

watched as two leathery rhinos grazed and<br />

a group of camels slowly lolloped across the<br />

landscape. A family of giraffes sat snoozing<br />

under a tree, set against a vast backdrop of blue sky<br />

and the sea twinkling on the horizon, the peace only<br />

momentarily disturbed by the sound of a lion’s roar<br />

in the distance. This may well sound like Kenya, but<br />

we were in fact in Kent.<br />

Spanning over 600 acres of picturesque<br />

countryside near Folkestone and home to over 900<br />

animals, Port Lympne Reserve is a breeding <br />

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

sanctuary for rare and endangered species. Unlike<br />

a traditional zoo, the animals born here are sent to<br />

protected areas of their natural habitat wherever possible,<br />

so that they can live freely.<br />

Port Lympne works in conjunction with The Aspinall<br />

Foundation, who have rescued, relocated or rewilded<br />

more than 1,000 animals to date. The foundation has<br />

transported black rhinos to Tanzania, western lowland<br />

gorillas to Congo, African painted dogs to Gabon,<br />

cheetahs to South Africa, and more.<br />

This dedication to conservation is evident at Port<br />

Lympne and at its nearby sister park, Howletts. At both,<br />

visitors can upgrade their visit to include immersive<br />

animal experiences, while the offer of short breaks at<br />

Port Lympne allows guests to get even closer to the<br />

wildlife by spending the night on the reserve in an array<br />

of accommodation.<br />

One option is the 4-star Port Lympne Mansion Hotel,<br />

which is housed in a characterful early 20th-century<br />

Grade-II-listed country house steeped in history, but<br />

beyond its plush walls, things get a little wilder... Dotted<br />

around the park, there are several high-spec lodges that<br />

offer direct views into some enclosures, including those<br />

of the park’s big cats, rhino, wolves and more. There are<br />

also several stylish shepherd's huts overlooking fields of<br />

grazing animals, treehouses with far-reaching views, and<br />

even transparent ‘bubbles’ tucked away in the reserve’s<br />

secluded woodland, but we were here to experience Port<br />

Lympne’s latest addition; a luxurious wigwam at the<br />

recently unveiled Leopard Creek.<br />

Each short break includes access to the park from<br />

9.30am on the day of arrival, so we pitched up early,<br />

left our bags with the dedicated concierge and set off<br />

to explore. First up was the aforementioned safari, also<br />

included when staying. A fantastic open-sided vintage<br />

truck set several metres off the floor took us on an hourlong<br />

authentic safari experience, minus the air miles. We<br />

saw rhino, giraffe, antelope and more, and the views from<br />

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

the top of the reserve, all the way across Romney Marsh and to the<br />

Kentish coastline beyond, were astounding.<br />

Back on foot, we set off in search of some of the other Big Five.<br />

At Port Lympne and Howletts, animal habitats are replicated as<br />

closely as possible and each enclosure has plenty of foliage and<br />

shelter; animals are never locked into a viewing area, instead they<br />

are allowed to choose where and if they want to be seen. Luckily,<br />

we didn’t have to wait long to spot rare Amur tigers (Amba and<br />

Amura) and Hunter, one of the reserve’s impressive male lions. We<br />

also saw lemurs, gibbons, baboons, cheetahs, tapirs, meerkats,<br />

monkeys and more, and before long it was time to check in.<br />

One incredibly fun perk of staying at Port Lympne is that several<br />

accommodation types include use of a private golf buggy for<br />

exploring the reserve, which is exclusively yours for the duration<br />

of your stay. After winding our way past rhino and red pandas as<br />

we whizzed through the park, we saw the unmistakable triangular<br />

silhouette of our wigwam approaching. Sitting next to the reserve’s<br />

leopard enclosure, Leopard Creek is home to several individually<br />

designed cabins and two stunning wigwams, all of which are open<br />

all year round and allow guests to sleep just metres away from Port<br />

Lympne's rarest and most elegant cats.<br />

Beautifully designed, our wigwam was incredibly luxurious<br />

and had huge windows overlooking grazing antelope, swaying <br />

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

‘<br />

Back at the wigwam, we lit the firepit, sunken and carefully sheltered from<br />

the wind. The stars were some of the brightest I have ever seen and, as the<br />

moon rose, the nearby wolves burst into a spine-tingling chorus.<br />

grasses, stunning countryside, and the sea beyond.<br />

Inside was a pleasing mix of natural materials; soft<br />

leather, weathered wood, patterned hide, cosy wool and<br />

more, combined with modern design furniture and chic<br />

uplighting. There were lots of lovely touches: organic<br />

Bamford toiletries in the cool, contemporary bathroom; a<br />

bottle of Gusbourne’s delicious Kentish sparkling wine on<br />

ice; and a complimentary minibar filled with local apple<br />

juice, a selection of snacks and a bag of marshmallows<br />

for toasting on the firepit outside. In the tapered ceiling<br />

high above the huge (and very comfortable) bed,<br />

more windows provided a rather magical stargazing<br />

opportunity, but eye masks had also been thoughtfully<br />

provided in case the morning light might disturb our lie-in.<br />

We immediately popped the bottle, kicked back on the<br />

two comfortable steamer chairs outside in our beautifully<br />

planted seating area, and watched the wildlife graze as<br />

the sun went down. We went for an evening stroll and<br />

found Zuku the southern white rhino just metres from<br />

our wigwam, and we also managed to spot Milena and<br />

Sayan, our elusive and incredibly rare Amur leopard<br />

neighbours, as they emerged from an afternoon snooze.<br />

All this excitement and suddenly I was as hungry as a<br />

wolf (more on them later). A 10-minute buggy ride brought<br />

us to The Garden Room; what was once the stable yard of<br />

the historic hotel is now a serene, glass-ceilinged restaurant<br />

filled with faux floral walls, plump patterned cushions and<br />

some lovely original features. Open to both hotel guests and<br />

non residents, this stylish space is open all day and has a<br />

rather glamorous cocktail bar too.<br />

The food menu is based on seasonal ingredients, all<br />

locally sourced and used to create sophisticated dishes<br />

such as grilled sea bass with brown crab cake, cider, leek<br />

and mussel chowder, and slow-cooked beef short ribs<br />

with a parsnip and potato rosti and pecorino cream. The<br />

freshly baked focaccia was incredibly moreish, especially<br />

when slathered in the delicious seaweed butter that it<br />

came with, and the chocolate and orange baked Alaska<br />

also slipped down a treat.<br />

Overnight guests are free to roam until 10pm, long<br />

after the day-visitors have left, so after dinner we strolled<br />

through the park as night began to fall, listening to the<br />

noises of the animals. The grey wolves were at their<br />

busiest, as was a male lion, prowling the perimeter of his<br />

enclosure. Back at the wigwam, we lit the firepit, sunken<br />

and carefully sheltered from the wind. The stars were some<br />

of the brightest I have ever seen and, as the moon rose, the<br />

nearby wolves burst into a spine-tingling chorus. <br />

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

The following morning, one click of a button from bed<br />

and the blinds that very effectively covered the wigwam’s<br />

huge windows automatically lowered, revealing a herd of<br />

sunlit antelope and a vast expanse of rolling green fields<br />

beyond. Was I still dreaming? We leapt out of bed, keen to<br />

catch the animals enjoying their breakfast. There are three<br />

groups of western lowland gorillas at Port Lympne, and<br />

to watch them quietly tucking into their first meal of the<br />

day was a very special sight. The younger members of the<br />

family played and tussled over bits of veg, while the wise<br />

older silverback looked on.<br />

Our breakfast was similarly covetable; back at The<br />

Garden Room, buttermilk pancakes with crispy bacon,<br />

avocado on toasted focaccia, eggs Benedict and more were<br />

all on offer. Fully fuelled, it was time for our next adventure…<br />

All short breaks include access to Port Lympne’s sister<br />

park, Howletts, which is around a 30-minue drive from<br />

Port Lympne. It is home to over 390 animals across<br />

90 acres, including giant anteaters, big cats, gorillas,<br />

monkeys and the largest herd of African elephants in the<br />

UK, but not for long.<br />

Incredibly, working with The Aspinall Foundation,<br />

Howletts is preparing to transport these 13 beautiful<br />

animals from Kent back to their ancestral homeland of<br />

Kenya. It will be the first time an entire herd has ever been<br />

returned to Africa from Europe, and hopes to not only<br />

prove that rewilding on such a scale can be done, but that<br />

it should be done.<br />

Both reserves offer a plethora of animal experiences,<br />

and at Howlett’s we were lucky enough to have a<br />

wonderful ‘Rhino Encounter’. This involved a behind-thescenes<br />

peek inside the rhino house (much cleaner than<br />

expected…) with an incredibly knowledgeable ranger<br />

called Dom, before we got to meet and handfeed Sammy,<br />

a 23-year-old black rhino with a penchant for carrots.<br />

Looking back on our time at Port Lympne and<br />

Howletts, it all felt slightly surreal. Had we really been on<br />

safari and hand-fed a rhino? Watched a group of gorillas<br />

eating breakfast? Slept in a luxurious wigwam next to<br />

leopards and admired grazing antelope from bed? And<br />

then there was the golf buggy and exploring the park<br />

after-hours… listening to the wolves howl at the moon by a<br />

crackling firepit... the whole thing seemed like a dream.<br />

A wonderful, unforgettable dream, set not in Africa,<br />

but in the Kentish savanna.<br />

Overnight accommodation at Port Lympne starts at<br />

£159 per night. Leopard Creek Wigwams from £509,<br />

Cabins from £439 and Cubs from £339 per night<br />

aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne<br />

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

The Home of Country Clothing<br />


The House of Bruar is the leading designer of country<br />

clothing in Great Britain, creating a range of contemporary<br />

country classics in quality natural fibre materials.<br />

Our expansive and spacious departments offer<br />

everything needed to enjoy the best in country living.<br />

Our Pure Cashmere and Knitwear Hall - the largest in<br />

the UK - is full of stunning garments in a spectacular<br />

range of colours. Alongside our own original creations<br />

you’ll also find a host of leading brands throughout<br />

our Ladieswear Department, including Crew Clothing,<br />

Joules, Marble, Seasalt and Barbour, while our Shoe<br />

and Handbag Department showcases Dubarry, Ariat,<br />

Brics and Gianni Conti.<br />

Men are equally well-catered for in our 20,000<br />

square foot Menswear Hall, with our own exclusive<br />

<strong>British</strong> technical tweeds sitting alongside our newly<br />

introduced Made-to-Measure Scottish Kilt Department,<br />

specialising in traditional Tartans and country plaids.<br />

Shirts, shoes and impressive designs in leather, long<br />

staple pure virgin cashmere tailoring and natural fibre<br />

knitwear are joined by top brands including Hugo Boss,<br />

Gant, Levi’s, Barbour and Schoffel. Our dedicated<br />

Stalking Department brings you the best sporting<br />

equipment from leading manufacturers including<br />

Meindl, Harkila & Deer Hunter - everything you need<br />

to get the most out of your favourite country pursuits.<br />

The Fishing Tackle Shop, which is now situated in<br />

our Menswear Hall, offers a haven for the keen angler,<br />

providing equipment, accessories and even advice<br />

from our expert staff.<br />

Discover a treasure trove of gift ideas in our Present<br />

Shop and Country Living Department, where you’ll<br />

find unique items for the home, garden and kitchen - and<br />

even the family dog! Our Jewel in the Crown jewellery<br />

shop and Rural Art Gallery adds to the experience,<br />

celebrating Britain’s glorious wildlife and landscapes<br />

in sculptures, paintings and ceramics.<br />

Step into our Whisky Shop, a true celebration of<br />

Scotland’s beloved tipple and a destination in itself.<br />

Stocked with the finest heritage single malts from all<br />

across the country - including rare expressions from<br />

Macallan - it’s an essential stop for all aficionados of<br />

Scottish whisky.<br />

Taste the best of Scotland’s natural larder at our Food<br />

Hall, Delicatessen and Restaurant. Our award-winning<br />

Butchery offers quality cuts from local providers, while<br />

the Bakery entices with everything from freshly made<br />

barista coffee to homemade sandwiches, For seafood<br />

enthusiasts, our unique Fish & Chip shop specialises<br />

in fresh squid and lobster, and our brand-new A9 Pie<br />

Shop provides a haven for hungry travellers seeking<br />

the ultimate <strong>British</strong> comfort food!<br />

No journey through Scotland is complete without a<br />

visit to The House of Bruar, conveniently located just<br />

off the A9 ten miles north of Pitlochry.<br />

Shown here is a taste of our new <strong>Autumn</strong>/<strong>Winter</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong>-24 range. To order a copy of the latest mail order<br />

catalogue please call us or visit our website.<br />

The House of Bruar by Blair Atholl, Perthshire, PH18 5TW. Telephone: 01796 483 236 Email: office@houseofbruar.com<br />



Shoreline<br />

Trevone feels like a well-kept secret, but a hop, skip, and jump and<br />

you're on one of the finest stretches of North Cornwall's coast. With<br />

Seven Bays beaches and gourmet Padstow just a few miles away, you’re<br />

never too far from the local food and culture. We make ourselves at<br />

home at the sumptuous new coastal bolthole Atlanta Trevone...<br />

Text by Jessica Way<br />

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

When you look at photos of Atlanta<br />

Trevone perched on a rugged clifftop<br />

with the deep ocean swells below,<br />

you might assume that this Victorian<br />

terrace and rocky beach are remote and isolated. But<br />

what you can’t see from the pictures is the beautiful<br />

village and sandy beach of Porthmissen Bay nestled<br />

behind it, just a stone’s throw from the front door.<br />

Trevone is truly a picturesque destination with a<br />

welcoming holiday atmosphere. The village is dotted<br />

with luxury holiday homes, a post office, farm shop,<br />

pub, surf school and cafe. Atlantic Terrace, built in<br />

1899, holds a special place in the bay as one of the<br />

oldest properties. It’s so close to the shore that you<br />

can effortlessly step out in your swimsuit, fall asleep<br />

to the soothing sound of the sea and enjoy watching<br />

the waves over breakfast.<br />

Atlanta Trevone’s unrivalled location and<br />

uninterrupted sea views meant that when it came to<br />

redeveloping the property, owners Jessica and Ash<br />

Alken-Theasby knew the inside needed to impress in<br />

equal measure. They have rebuilt and designed their<br />

Cornwall Collection to perfection.<br />

Atlanta Trevone launched last year (2022) and<br />

gained widespread journalist coverage, resulting<br />

in a flurry of bookings as lively as the Atlantic in a<br />

storm. The team, led by Jess and Ash, continued<br />

developing their properties, including their fifth one,<br />

The Net Loft, which opened just a few months ago.<br />

Given the tight deadline, they worked tirelessly to<br />

complete the project, still painting and decorating<br />

and even receiving mattress deliveries with just one<br />

week to go before their first guests were due to arrive.<br />

Meanwhile, we were putting our feet up and making<br />

ourselves at home in One Atlanta. <br />

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

‘<br />

From Atlanta Trevone’s doorstep, the South West Coast Path is your gateway to<br />

a stunning stretch of coastline home to the Seven Bays, a collection of sandy coves.<br />

Lacing up your walking boots and going outside for a coastal hike is a must.<br />

’<br />

It’s easy to imagine that even the most discerning<br />

guests will appreciate the apartments' no expensespared<br />

amenities as an upgrade from the norm. I’m<br />

talking Neptune kitchens with Lacanche cookers (electric<br />

agas), Le Creuset cookware, Soho House crockery, an<br />

instant-hot-water tap and beautiful roll-top baths by<br />

Drummonds. Not to mention the mattresses, which cost<br />

£10,000 each (we slept well).<br />

And while all properties exceed the lavishly designed<br />

benchmark of a spacious five-star London hotel, they<br />

come in various shapes and sizes – the smallest of the<br />

properties, The Net Loft, can accommodate up to four<br />

guests, while The Penthouse, formerly the old attic rooms<br />

of the townhouse, sleeps up to eight comfortably. Each<br />

property has unique features, such as the hand-painted<br />

Captain’s bed, outdoor bath and cinema room in The<br />

Net Loft; the private courtyard and original Victorian<br />

tiles in Atlanta House; and the inset balcony area of The<br />

Penthouse. Whichever property you choose, you won't<br />

be disappointed, and with Atlanta Trevone facing west,<br />

the sunsets framed by Trevose head in the distance are<br />

sensational all year round.<br />

Jess’s deep connection to Trevone is evident in the<br />

design of this stunning property, which reflects the area’s<br />

rich history and sense of place. Her family has lived in<br />

Trevone for generations, and they have owned these<br />

grand Victorian terraces for as long as she can remember.<br />

Fulfilling her father’s dream of renovating the building and<br />

replacing its roof (with reclaimed Cornish slate tiles) was a<br />

special tribute to the legacy of this property.<br />

Inside, little treasures, from old photographs and rare<br />

bottles to luxurious fabrics and throws, have been artfully<br />

placed to create a stylish and welcoming home – and<br />

fireplaces with log burners provide cosiness during winter<br />

evenings. Guests arrive to a fridge stocked with fresh<br />

Cornish milk, butter, and bacon and a hamper with yet<br />

more of Cornwall’s finest delicacies, such as elderflower<br />

cake, apple juice, homemade granola, and rhubarb jam.<br />

To top it all off, there’s a delightful bottle of Classic Cuvée<br />

Knightor, produced at the local vineyard in Portscatho,<br />

ready to be enjoyed while taking in the spectacular<br />

picture-perfect vista.<br />

If you need to replenish your milk supply or prepare<br />

for an in-house feast, the Trevone Farm Shop is a great<br />

option. They are open seven days a week and offer a<br />

variety of fresh produce, including pastries, pasties and<br />

bread, as well as fruit and veg boxes. You can also find a<br />

range of beverages, from wine and beer to sweet treats.<br />

Each morning of our stay we braved a refreshing dip<br />

in Trevone’s natural tidal pool, known by locals as Tinker<br />

Bunny’s Bathing Pool. It is one of the largest natural sea<br />

pools of the Cornwall coast. It feels wonderful to be able<br />

to simply wrap on your fluffy robe and saunter down there<br />

(and back) within minutes – and the water is crystal clear<br />

as, thanks to Mother Nature, the pool is filled and emptied<br />

at least twice daily. Check the tide times, as it can get a bit<br />

choppy when the waves begin to wash over the seawall.<br />

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

From Atlanta Trevone’s doorstep, the South West Coast<br />

Path is your gateway to a stunning stretch of coastline,<br />

home to the Seven Bays, a collection of sandy coves.<br />

Lacing up your walking boots and going outside for a<br />

coastal hike is a must.<br />

On our first day, we walked from Trevone to Harlyn Bay<br />

and then ventured inland for an incredible Sunday Roast<br />

at THE PIG. Interestingly enough, the 15th-century Harlyn<br />

House was actually Jess’s family home and a working<br />

farmhouse before her father sold it to Robin Hutson to<br />

transform into one of his signature PIG hotels with kitchen<br />

garden (and highly acclaimed 25-mile menus) four years<br />

ago. Jess helped with the THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay prior to<br />

its opening, and today the celebrated interior designer<br />

Judy Hutson (responsible for THE PIG hotel designs<br />

and married to Robin) is returning the camaraderie,<br />

contributing invaluable design and guidance to Jess. For a<br />

more relaxed setting, The Lobster Shed here offers all-day<br />

dining on benches alfresco-style or under canvas.<br />

We continued our scenic Sunday stroll, passing the<br />

Trevose Golf & Country Club, which looked like a great<br />

place to play a round, before arriving at Treyarnon Bay.<br />

As we arrived, ready for a swim, the coastguards were just<br />

leaving and issued a warning that the currents were very<br />

strong and it was unsafe to swim in the sea. However, here<br />

there is another natural sea pool nestled within the rocks,<br />

and with the tide on our side it was perfect for a safe swim.<br />

Having ticked Trevone, Harlyn and Treyarnon off the<br />

list of Seven Bays, we were delighted that our picturesque<br />

coastal loop around Trevose Head took us past another<br />

three of these wonderful beaches: Mother Ivey’s, Booby’s<br />

and Constantine, a stretch where you are often lucky<br />

enough to see dolphins and seals.<br />

As we continued our stroll, we were treated to breathtaking<br />

views of Trevose Head Lighthouse and the stunning setting of<br />

the RNLI Padstow Lifeboat Station, both iconic landmarks<br />

in the area. It was incredible to see the diverse range of<br />

birds, including corn buntings, fulmars, and skylarks.<br />

It’s no wonder that Jessica’s great-grandfather JHC<br />

Millar was inspired by this beautiful location to become a<br />

waterscape artist. His oil paintings of stormy seascapes<br />

are truly stunning, and one of his works is even owned by<br />

the royal family and hangs in Osborne House.<br />

Back in One Atlanta, we couldn’t help but admire some<br />

of Millar’s most famous works adorning the freshly painted<br />

walls, and pointing out some of the landscapes we had<br />

seen earlier that day. <br />

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

For Michelin-star quality there's Paul Ainsworth’s No6,<br />

for 3–5 course lunches served in a cosy polytunnel. There's<br />

Padstow Kitchen Garden, one of Jess’s family ‘favorito’s’;<br />

Caffè Rojano, serving legendary Whoopsy Splunker<br />

puddings; or catch a ferry over to Rock (ferries run every<br />

20 minutes) to Paul Ainsworth's pub, The Mariners.<br />

The Seafood Restaurant, Rick Stein’s flagship venue<br />

(where his culinary empire began) together with his more<br />

informal St Petroc’s Bistro and three further Rick Stein<br />

establishments can also be found in Padstow, so it’s really<br />

no surprise the town has been dubbed Padstein.<br />

Activities are no less plentiful – you can take a tour<br />

inside the Padstow Lobster Hatchery, try to catch your<br />

own under the guidance of experts on a fishing trip, or<br />

look out for basking sharks on a sealife safari.<br />

That evening we enjoyed freshly grilled and battered<br />

fish at The Cornish Arms in St Merryn – and following<br />

our deliciously cooked food the general manager kindly<br />

gave us a tour of their six new shepherd’s huts. Set in<br />

a picturesque spot sheltered by woodlands behind the<br />

pub, their innovative ‘Heat, Sleep, Retreat’ staycation is<br />

a collaboration with Saunas by The Sea – part of a new<br />

craze of wood-fired pop-up saunas, now on the beaches of<br />

Harlyn Bay and Polzeath.<br />

If you feel like staying in for dinner (and who would<br />

blame you!), ordering from the Stein's at Home online<br />

shop is another option for a taste of Rick Stein's famous<br />

fresh seafood caught from around the Cornish coast. If<br />

the weather is good, you can’t go wrong with an ultimate<br />

seafood spread delivered to your door for you to barbecue<br />

and enjoy alfresco on Atlanta Trevone’s terrace.<br />

On our final day in Atlanta Trevone we walked to<br />

Padstow. The coastal path leads you from Porthmissen<br />

beach up past the 80ft-deep giant Trevone Round Hole –<br />

this dramatic tourist attraction was the result of a cave-top<br />

collapse. You pass the lovely sheltered sandy beaches of<br />

Hawker’s Cove, Harbour Cove and St George’s Cove, and<br />

the panoramic views from Stepper Point are breathtaking.<br />

In the historic fishing village of Padstow there are plenty<br />

of shops (don't miss Tidings the year-round Christmas<br />

shop!), cafes, galleries, stylish lunchrooms and swanky<br />

foodie establishments.<br />

We chose to hire bikes and cycle the Camel Trail. This<br />

17.5 mile out-and-back flat bike ride takes you along the<br />

estuary, with lovely views from Padstow to Bodmin.<br />

Halfway along in Wadebridge we stopped in at Tim’s<br />

Place in Foundry Court for a scrumptious Full Cornish with<br />

St Ewe eggs followed by a slice of homemade cake. We<br />

were lucky enough to be served by Tim himself, a friend of<br />

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

‘<br />

It might be easy to forget your emails and daily life pressures, but<br />

acknowledging that your time here is almost up is a much greater challenge...’<br />

Ash’s, who opened his restaurant – recently celebrating its<br />

10th year – when he was aged just 18.<br />

If you make it to the Bodmin end of the trail, you’ll find<br />

Camel Valley Vineyard, where you could take a tour or<br />

simply enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace.<br />

Cycling back, we couldn’t resist a hot-chocolate stop<br />

at the Atlantic Coast Express – a beautifully converted<br />

vintage train carriage, conveniently located at the halfway<br />

point of the trail serving ‘ACE’ alfresco food and drinks.<br />

Just one night in Atlanta Trevone and it becomes a<br />

second home. In fact, you feel so relaxed here that during<br />

an evening spent cooking up a storm in your lavish<br />

kitchen, playing board games and gazing out to sea, you<br />

need to remind yourself you are not in an endless Cornish<br />

dream. It might be easy to forget your emails and daily life<br />

pressures, but acknowledging your time here is almost up<br />

is a much greater challenge. It’s time to check out – but not<br />

before one last quick dip in Tinker Bunny’s Bathing Pool?<br />

OK, count me in, I’m plunging in first...<br />

Atlanta Trevone is a set of five luxury self-catered holiday<br />

homes, prices from £1,400 per week.<br />

For more information: atlantatrevonebay.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 53


through time<br />

Delve into Britain’s incredible history, heritage and culture in<br />

interactive style with these unique one-of-a-kind experiences<br />

Text by Emma O'Reilly<br />

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


Catch race fever at Britain’s horsey HQ<br />

Newmarket has a horse-racing pedigree like no<br />

other town, dating back to the reign of James I over<br />

400 years ago, and still with royal connections today. A<br />

day at the races isn’t the only way to enjoy it. On a halfday<br />

‘Newmarket Experience’, watch horses and their<br />

jockeys limber up for the day on the Newmarket Gallops,<br />

visit a working racing yard then, via some coffee and<br />

cake, finish up at The National Stud. Spread across 500<br />

acres, it breeds and trains some of Britain’s finest horses.<br />

Ex champions come here for a pampered retirement too<br />

– meet celebs like Stradivarius, The Tin Man and Lord<br />

Windermere, alongside breeding mares and, if you’re<br />

lucky, some cute newborn foals.<br />

Newmarket Experience tours are on Fridays, year-round<br />

and cost £65 per person (private tours also available for an<br />

extra charge); discovernewmarket.co.uk<br />


Make your own sweet treats in the<br />

chocolate capital<br />

Chocolate…most of us love it. Make it yourself<br />

and it tastes all the sweeter. There’s nowhere better to<br />

learn than in York, with its 300-year tradition of chocolate<br />

making. At one time, 14,000 people were employed here<br />

in huge factories, from the likes of Rowntree’s, Terry’s and<br />

Craven’s. York’s Chocolate Story can tell you more – and<br />

now it is also offering a new VIP Chocolate Masterclass<br />

to give more of a hands-on, not to mention a mouths-on<br />

experience. You will soon be tempering, moulding, filling<br />

and sealing, piping and decorating your own creations.<br />

Before you’re let loose, an expert chocolatier will first<br />

demonstrate the techniques. When you’re done, your<br />

chocolates will be beautifully packaged up for you to take<br />

home. Or you could just wolf them all yourself before you<br />

get there!<br />

The VIP masterclass is from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday nights<br />

and costs £79.95 per person; yorkschocolatestory.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 55

3<br />

BEST FOR<br />



See exquisite<br />

ceramics crafted at<br />

Wedgwood<br />

World of Wedgwood, deep in<br />

the Staffordshire countryside,<br />

is home to one of Britain’s<br />

most iconic brands. It<br />

started in 1759, when Josiah<br />

Wedgwood first set up his<br />

small, independent pottery.<br />

Fast-forward to today and it is<br />

a pleasure to see his pioneering<br />

techniques still being used.<br />

Go behind the scenes on a<br />

factory tour to observe pieces<br />

being cast, glazed, decorated<br />

and gilded. Wedgwood is best<br />

known for its matte pale-blue<br />

Jasper stoneware, decorated<br />

with white motifs that depict<br />

scenes from Greek and Roman<br />

mythology. Then, check out<br />

more ceramic masterpieces<br />

– from delicate porcelain tea<br />

sets to intricately decorated<br />

vases – at the V&A Wedgwood<br />

Collection. Of course, there<br />

is optional souvenir shopping<br />

to finish, and afternoon tea<br />

served on the finest – what<br />

else? – Wedgwood china.<br />

Free entry to V&A<br />

Wedgwood Collection. Factory<br />

tours are £12.50 for adults, free<br />

for under 12s. Clay-throwing<br />

sessions are from £27.50;<br />

worldofwedgwood.com<br />

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

5<br />


Strike your own coin at The Royal Mint<br />

Forget sticks of rock and key rings. At the UK’s<br />

oldest company, established AD886, create<br />

your own commemorative coin as an unsual souvenir.<br />

It’s less difficult than it sounds – just push a button to<br />

activate the press and your ‘blank’ will be struck three<br />

times with 105 tonnes of pressure. Designs change every<br />

few months – a current one celebrates Lord of the Rings<br />

author Tolkien. The Royal Mint originated in London<br />

but moved to its present modern site near Cardiff in<br />

the 1960s. On the Royal Mint Experience tour, take<br />

privileged steps onto the factory floor, and see displays<br />

of rare and old coins. At new exhibition ‘Crowned: The<br />

Making of a Monarch’, pose for a photo sitting in a lifesized<br />

Coronation Chair and see coins featuring every<br />

monarch from William I in 1066 to King Charles III.<br />

Tours from £13.50 per adult, £10.35 per child. Coin strike<br />

costs £7.50; royalmint.com<br />


Have the drive of your life on Britain’s best<br />

racetrack<br />

Move over Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen<br />

and the rest. There’s a new driver in town. Take the wheel<br />

at the home of the <strong>British</strong> Grand Prix – and our longest,<br />

toughest racetrack ever since it opened in 1948 – for your<br />

very own Silverstone Experience. Choose from a Formula<br />

Single Seater Experience, a Caterham Drift Experience or<br />

a Racing Car Experience – maybe you’ll go for a Ferrari or<br />

an Aston Martin Vantage. Brand new for this year (<strong>2023</strong>)<br />

is the seriously stylish McLaren racing car for the road,<br />

which has a top speed of 200 face-bending miles per<br />

hour and travels 0–60mph in 2.8 seconds. A professional<br />

instructor will train you and then it’s up to you – no speed<br />

restrictions, no points on your licence. Go for it! Treat<br />

yourself or someone special.<br />

Silverstone Experience vouchers cost from £139 and include<br />

two adult tickets to the Silverstone Museum; silverstone.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 57

6<br />



Explore fascinating bits of London never<br />

seen by the general public<br />

Did you know there are huge areas of the London<br />

Underground not accessible to the public? Unless,<br />

that is, you book a London Transport Museum Hidden<br />

London tour. On the Charing Cross station tour, walk<br />

beneath Trafalgar Square to see parts of the Jubilee<br />

line closed since 1999 and used as a film and TV<br />

location for the likes of Killing Eve, Skyfall and Thor:The<br />

Dark World. The Down Street tour looks at a stationonly<br />

open from 1907 to 1932, then used as the Railway<br />

Executive Committee’s secret HQ and as a shelter for<br />

Churchill at the height of the Blitz during WWII. The<br />

newest tour is Baker Street, oldest underground station<br />

in the world, opened in 1863. See original platforms<br />

and disused lift shafts and hear how it developed from<br />

Victorian underground steam travel to today’s 10<br />

platforms and five underground lines.<br />

Tours cost from £44 (£39 concessions). Under 14s not<br />

permitted; ltmuseum.co.uk/hidden-london<br />


Wander through Britain’s first tea<br />

plantation<br />

We are famously a nation of avid tea lovers – but<br />

how about tasting a ‘proper’ <strong>British</strong> brew, from leaves<br />

grown right here? Tea bushes were first established<br />

on the 700-year-old Tregothnan estate in Cornwall<br />

in 2005. There are now 26 miles of them, thriving in a<br />

breathtakingly beautiful creekside area of the Fal River.<br />

The company’s River Garden Tour takes visitors on a<br />

fascinating wander through the plantation, stopping<br />

to pick some fresh leaf tips along the way and to learn<br />

about different varieties, and the history, of tea, plus the<br />

secrets of successful planting and harvesting. Your guide<br />

will also lead you through orchards of ancient apples and<br />

rare Kea plums. Afterwards, taste some teas and visit the<br />

shop so you can stock up on your favourite to continue<br />

the experience when you get home.<br />

The River Garden Tour takes two to three hours and costs<br />

from £65; tregothnan.co.uk<br />

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

8<br />


The true story of the Titanic<br />

Titanic – we all know how the unsinkable ship<br />

sank, along with over 1,500 of her passengers.<br />

Find out more by going to the place where Titanic was<br />

built. Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast is home<br />

to the Titanic Experience, with interactive galleries<br />

combining immersive technology – sights, smells,<br />

sounds – with personal stories. It whisks you from<br />

shipyard to final resting place, via the build, the launch<br />

and the sinking. Most of Titanic’s treasures went down<br />

with her and remain on the seabed, but there are some<br />

on show here, including Wallace Hartley’s violin. He<br />

was the violinist and bandleader who asked fellow band<br />

members to continue playing as the ship sunk. None<br />

survived. Rather poignantly it is engraved – ‘For Wallace<br />

on the occasion of our engagement from Maria’. Oh,<br />

the stories it could tell.<br />

Tickets for the Titanic Experience cost £24.95 (adult),<br />

£11 (child); titanicbelfast.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 59

9<br />


Play dress-up – period-costume style<br />

You don’t have to be a child to play at dressingup.<br />

Adventures in Costume at Grantown<br />

Museum, on the edge of the Cairngorms, is a chance for<br />

anyone to try on handmade replica costumes.<br />

Book an hour at the museum with an expert dresser<br />

who will help you negotiate everything from petticoats<br />

and panniers, corsets to crinolines. There are 23<br />

handmade costumes (for men, women and children),<br />

loosely based on favourites from the screen and crafted<br />

in sumptuous fabrics. Popular outfits include those based<br />

on Outlander, The Young Victoria, Downton Abbey and<br />

Pride & Prejudice. Elsewhere, you can find out about the<br />

history of Grantown, whose wealth was once based on<br />

its linen production.<br />

A one-hour costume experience costs £50 for two people<br />

and includes the use of a personal dresser; grantownmuseum.co.uk<br />


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

10<br />


LOVERS<br />

Visit the<br />

neighbouring<br />

homes of two music legends<br />

One was a baroque composer,<br />

known for his operas and oratorios,<br />

the other a 1960s rock legend.<br />

There may seem to be little<br />

connecting the two, other than the<br />

pioneering music they both created.<br />

However, they also share an<br />

address – Brook Street in Mayfair.<br />

Handel lived here 300 years ago<br />

at number 25, Hendrix in the late<br />

1960s, next door at number 23.<br />

Handel Hendrix House is now fresh<br />

from a £3 million refurbishment.<br />

So, after checking out the bedroom<br />

where Hendrix wrote and rehearsed<br />

and hung out with friends like<br />

George Harrison, pop into Handel’s<br />

kitchen, parlour and dining room,<br />

where he sat on his piano and<br />

composed classical greats, such as<br />

'Messiah' and 'Zadok the Priest'<br />

(performed at the coronation<br />

of King Charles III). Exhibition<br />

spaces detail the musicians’ lives<br />

and times plus there are regular<br />

talks, live music and activities<br />

– including a monthly jam with<br />

a professional guitarist in Jimi’s<br />

bedroom!<br />

Tickets are £14 per adult. Under<br />

16s free; handelhendrix.org<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 61

Competition time!<br />

WIN a break to the Cotswolds<br />

Enter our competition to win a two-night luxury Cotswolds break,<br />

staying at Ellenborough Park and Barnsley House, in celebration<br />

of the launch of PoB Breaks; a series of immersive journeys<br />

The Cotswolds is an impossibly picturesque<br />

location with picture-postcard towns and<br />

villages at every turn, impressive country<br />

estates, beautiful countryside, and quaint<br />

honey-coloured stone cottages.<br />

Cotswolds Allure is a six-night immersive journey<br />

launched by PoB Hotels (a collection of the finest places<br />

to eat, stay and unwind within the <strong>British</strong> Isles) as part<br />

of their new series of curated holidays.<br />

From Northbound Wellness and Highlands &<br />

Islands to Back to Nature in Wales, and Romance &<br />

Restoration in the South East, with stays at PoB Hotels<br />

there is a tailored break for every occasion.<br />

To celebrate the launch of PoB Breaks and<br />

Cotswolds Allure, <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> has teamed up<br />

with PoB Hotels to offer you the opportunity to win a<br />

Cotswolds Mini-Break – to include a luxury overnight<br />

night stay and breakfast in two beautiful hotels in<br />

PoB's Cotswolds collection, Ellenborough Park and<br />

Barnsley House.<br />

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

Scan here to enter · britishtraveljournal.com ·<br />

Ellenborough Park is a <strong>British</strong> manor<br />

house with 90 acres of glorious grounds<br />

next to the famous Cheltenham<br />

Racecourse. Barnsley House is nestled<br />

in gardens created by renowned garden<br />

designer Rosemary Verey and has its<br />

very own cinema.<br />

The prize includes dinner at The<br />

Boot, Barnsley House's pub just a short<br />

walk through the beautiful village of<br />

Barnsley, plus dinner in The Restaurant<br />

at Ellenborough Park.<br />

Ellenborough Park<br />

As part of your Cotswolds Allure<br />

journey, PoB recommends visiting the<br />

capital of the Cotswolds – Cirencester,<br />

especially for farmers’ market day to see<br />

the town at its best and to learn about<br />

the Roman roots of the Cotswolds<br />

in the Corinium Museum (the prize<br />

includes two tickets). And just outside<br />

the town, the serene Coln Valley, with<br />

the much-loved Bibury village makes<br />

for picture-perfect memories. You<br />

might wish to head west to the town of<br />

Barnsley House<br />

Cheltenham; a place known for its lively<br />

festivals of jazz, literature, and horse<br />

racing, packed with independent bars,<br />

restaurants, and boutiques.<br />

From here, the Cotswold Way rises to<br />

both the north and south – it’s 102 miles<br />

long but walking just a small section of<br />

it brings you to the essence of the local<br />

countryside. ◆<br />

How to enter<br />


britishtraveljournal.com<br />

Last entries 31 December <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Prize is to be taken before 30 June<br />

2024 – excluding the New Year.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 63

Rewilding IN<br />


From the nature-inspired interior to the surrounding<br />

wildflower meadows, the beautiful Calcot & Spa in<br />

Tetbury is a country hotel that’s wild at heart...<br />

Text by Amy Bonifas

Country manor hotels in the Cotswolds aren’t<br />

hard to find. But, few have the charm and<br />

warmth of the Calcot & Spa. Near the pretty<br />

town of Tetbury, the Calcot is an idyllic place<br />

for families, couples and solo travellers alike – a sprawling<br />

grand manor on the outside, and a stylishly cosy haven<br />

on the inside. Arriving here from the heat and stress of<br />

London is quite literally a breath of fresh air, and I feel<br />

instantly soothed by the sounds of the birds and the<br />

honey-hued Cotswold stone.<br />

Calcot first opened its doors as a luxury hotel in the<br />

1980s, but the building has a history that dates back over<br />

700 years. You can still see the original stone in The Barn<br />

(the hotel’s event space) and the 16th-century manor<br />

house stands proudly.<br />

Respectful of its heritage, the team at Calcot have<br />

sensitively restored the original outbuildings into a<br />

collection of sumptuous timber-beamed bedrooms. But,<br />

rather than rest on its laurels, the hotel has also led the<br />

way with regular updates and renovations to keep guests<br />

surprised and delighted. Now, it's home to vast family<br />

suites and cottages, a destination restaurant, an outdoor<br />

courtyard pool and a very well-appointed spa – with even<br />

bigger plans to improve their health and fitness offering<br />

early next year (2024).<br />

However, it’s the hotel’s passion for rewilding that<br />

makes this place so unique. Over the last 25 years, a<br />

handful of the team’s staff – including the excellent<br />

groundskeeper Steve – have taken on a thoughtful rewilding<br />

project. They’ve worked to restore the 240 acres of <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 65

Cotswolds’ countryside from farmland back to a mosaic<br />

of natural wildflower and grass meadows, including a new<br />

woodland area with nearly 22,000 native trees.<br />

And all the hard work is paying off. Several rare species<br />

of birds, animals and flowers have returned to the estate,<br />

and the grounds are alive with skylarks, hares, roe deer,<br />

marbled butterflies and gorgeous spotted orchids. There’s<br />

even a barn owl with three owlets nesting in the trees<br />

above the nature trail.<br />

To help hotel guests connect more with all this glorious<br />

nature, you can now book their special rewilding package.<br />

This includes an early morning wildlife walk and talk with<br />

Ed Drewitt – a passionate and inspiring local naturalist.<br />

The walk begins at 6am, and I can confirm this is totally<br />

worth it for the chance to step into a real-life morning<br />

meditation.<br />

Think: gentle morning birdsong, a peaceful wander<br />

across wildflower meadows, and the chance to spot rare<br />

birds, such as corn buntings and (the pleasingly named)<br />

willow warblers. Both have been in decline since the<br />

1960s, so a sighting through Ed’s binoculars is a real treat.<br />

So far, so wholesome.<br />

Then, there are the resident honeybees. Perhaps my<br />

favourite part of the rewilding experience is where guests<br />

have the chance to suit up and get up close and personal<br />

with a busy hive, all under the watchful eye of beekeeper<br />

Martin Knight. Having swapped the daily grind for<br />

country life, he’s in his element, lifting each tiered frame<br />

of the hive to show us the glistening wells of honey and<br />

newly laid eggs. Watching them buzz happily about their<br />

business is good for the soul.<br />

If you fancy a taste of the local honey, you need only<br />

venture as far as the hotel’s newly launched bar and cafe,<br />

The Hive. With plush sofas, botanical prints and stylish<br />

Pooky lighting, the space is pulled together with a natureinspired<br />

colour palette of sage and forest greens.<br />

Serving afternoon tea by day – including the most<br />

buttery-soft scones – and stiff cocktails by night, The<br />

Hive's atmosphere is like a cool members’ club, except less<br />

pretentious and more relaxed. Order the Beehive Martini,<br />

made with sticky marmalade vodka, lemon juice and<br />

Calcot’s own honey.<br />

Dinner is an even bigger treat, served in the recently<br />

renovated Brasserie. The dining room hums with<br />


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

‘<br />

If you fancy a taste of the local honey... order the Beehive Martini, made with<br />

sticky marmalade vodka, lemon juice and Calcot’s own honey<br />

’<br />

contented families, couples and friends. There’s a huge<br />

skylight flooding the room with natural light during the<br />

lighter evenings, and the terrace doors are flung open to<br />

offer views of the rolling countryside.<br />

Executive chef Richard Davies is a former Great <strong>British</strong><br />

Menu winner and ex-chef de partie for Gordon Ramsay.<br />

He favours modern <strong>British</strong> dishes with a dose of French<br />

influence, and the menu is overflowing with classics with<br />

a twist. I’d strongly advise ordering the cheese soufflé to<br />

start – it’s been on the menu for years and comes perfectly<br />

puffed and golden, with a rich truffle sauce.<br />

Other highlights include the Orkney scallops, served in<br />

their shell and coloured with baked apple and tangy yuzu<br />

butter; and the indulgent Chateaubriand, bred at nearby<br />

Stokes Marsh Farm, accompanied with bubbling, cheesy<br />

cauliflower and broccoli.<br />

Back in my room, the nature theme continues – the soft<br />

furnishings are adorned with delicate leaf prints and <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67

two sets of French doors open out onto miles and miles<br />

of green. My family suite has a huge king bed, perfect for<br />

midday naps, and a bathroom designed with self-care in<br />

mind – a claw-foot tub takes centre stage and the shelves<br />

are stocked with Aromatherapy Associates products.<br />

The extra twin room and bathroom are great if you<br />

have kids in tow, and there’s a sweet wooden play area<br />

just beyond the patio. Parents will be pleased to know<br />

that the hotel offers four hours of free childcare in the Play<br />

Barn crèche, and there’s also the Mez for older children<br />

aged eight and over. But this isn’t just any children’s club,<br />

this is a Calcot children’s club, complete with games<br />

consoles, crafty activities and even a 12-seater cinema. In<br />

the pipeline for early next year (2024), are plans for five<br />

more family suites and three treehouses overlooking the<br />

grounds.<br />

There’s plenty that makes Calcot feel just for grownups<br />

too. On my last day, the luxurious spa is calling, so I follow<br />

my full Cotswold English breakfast with a quick stroll over<br />

– soaking up the smell of the flowers and the earth after<br />

the morning rain (we are in England, after all).<br />

More active types might take one of the hotel’s<br />

complimentary bikes for a spin, run the 3km nature trail<br />

or play a round of tennis on one of the tennis courts,<br />

but the promise of a Forest Therapy massage is too<br />

tempting. I half fall asleep as my therapist uses a blend<br />

of natural cypress oils to ease my muscles and melt away<br />

any residual stress. She suggests pairing it with another<br />

mindful walk through the grounds for the ultimate<br />

meditative experience.<br />

Early next year, the hotel plans to launch a brand-new<br />

gym and fitness studio, complete with its own workspace<br />

and a regular programme of classes and wellbeing talks –<br />

plenty enough to draw the work-from-home crowd. I leave<br />

feeling re-energised and keen to return. It's not often that<br />

you find a hotel that manages to balance all the best mod<br />

cons with such a wild and down-to-earth philosophy.<br />

Rewilding at Calcot & Spa includes an early morning<br />

wildlife walk and talk with expert Ed Drewitt, a beekeeper talk<br />

with Martin from Knights Beekeeping, Calcot Spa and bikes<br />

access, full Cotswold breakfast each morning and a jar of<br />

Calcot honey on departure. From £850 for two nights, based<br />

on two sharing. (Without the package – during summer,<br />

rooms cost from £389 per night B&B. During winter, rooms<br />

cost from £264 per night B&B.) pobhotels.com; calcot.co<br />

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

Three local must-visit places<br />

when staying at Calcot & Spa<br />

Naturalist Ed Drewitt’s top tips<br />

for rewilding at home<br />

1. Let things grow a little wild<br />

If you have a lawn, give some of it back to local wildlife<br />

by letting a small section of it grow. Encouraging<br />

a diversity of longer grasses is great for insects like<br />

butterflies and grasshoppers, and the perfect excuse to<br />

spend a little less time mowing…<br />

2. Plant native wildflowers<br />

We tend to plant a lot of non-native plants in our<br />

gardens, so dedicate some space to some local<br />

wildflowers like cornflowers, poppies and yellow rattle.<br />

Wildflower.co.uk offers <strong>British</strong> seed mixes that bees<br />

and birds love. Or opt for plug plants (rooted seedlings<br />

that have started to grow) to save time.<br />

3. Feed the birds<br />

Nearly 30% of birds in the UK are declining, so<br />

providing a little extra food could help your local birds<br />

flourish, especially during dry or colder spells. Put out<br />

a variety of bird food like sunflower seeds, flaked maize<br />

and millet, and you’ll draw a whole variety of birds to<br />

your garden. Win-win.<br />

1. Sip local rosé at Woodchester Valley<br />

Vineyard<br />

You can try Woodchester’s rosé or sparkling rosé in<br />

Calcot’s restaurant. But, if you want to taste more,<br />

this beautiful vineyard is only a 10-minute drive<br />

away. Offering winery tours and guided tastings, it’s<br />

the perfect place for topping up your English wine<br />

knowledge.<br />

2. Explore Westonbirt Arboretum<br />

Westonbirt is home to 2,500 species of trees from<br />

around the world and five national tree collections.<br />

Book into one of the daily guided walks or take the<br />

kids and try out the canopy walkway and activity<br />

trails before a pit-stop lunch in the cafe – serving up<br />

seasonal fare with views across the treetops.<br />

3. Take a tour of Highgrove Gardens<br />

This is the home of King Charles III and Queen<br />

Camilla, and visitors are free to explore the stunning<br />

collection of interlinked gardens, designed by the King<br />

himself. From the traditional Cottage Garden to the<br />

Kitchen Garden overflowing with fruits and vegetables,<br />

this is the ideal spot for nature lovers, with highlights<br />

during every season.<br />

4. Create a woodpile and leave some fallen<br />

leaves<br />

Animals such as wasps, slowworms and frogs use piles<br />

of wood to hide and shelter through the colder months.<br />

Try piling a few large logs with the bark still attached<br />

in a quiet area of your garden. Fallen leaves are also a<br />

great spot for hedgehogs to hibernate, and when the<br />

leaves start to decay, the mulch can protect against<br />

frost in winter.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69





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<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 71

ISLAND<br />


Embrace the moment, stay longer, and connect with the<br />

<strong>British</strong> Isles on a PoB break, covering everywhere from the<br />

Scottish Highlands to the Channel Island of Jersey<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />

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


How well do you know Britain? Perhaps you’ve<br />

ticked off the main sites, dashing off to see<br />

Stonehenge, or snatching a weekend break<br />

at Hadrian’s Wall. But have you taken in<br />

Devon’s two coastlines and brace of national parks on<br />

the same trip? Or tried a Rutland Pippin (a bit like a pork<br />

pie but shaped like an apple) after cycling or walking<br />

some of the 23-mile trail round Rutland Water in Britain’s<br />

smallest county?<br />

You may feel that you’ve ‘done’ Cornwall, the<br />

Cotswolds and Cumbria but why not tarry a while and<br />

discover new aspects to these destinations, enjoying<br />

the local culture, food and experiences as well as the<br />

honeypot sights.<br />

To help you delve a little further into the wonders<br />

of our nation, we’ve launched PoB Breaks, a series<br />

of immersive journeys covering everywhere from the<br />

Scottish Highlands to the Channel Island of Jersey.<br />

An interactive map on our website lets you plan<br />

your adventure at your own pace. As well as showing<br />

our member hotels, with their great food and beautiful<br />

bedrooms, it details local activities and experiences,<br />

from coasteering in Wales to a sunset river cruise in the<br />

Dedham Vale, on the Essex/Suffolk border.<br />

It’s easy to use – you just decide where you want to<br />

travel, then plan your route depending on how long you<br />

want to spend in each place. For some inspiration, take a<br />

look at the dozen curated breaks we’ve compiled. There’s<br />

something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, a spa<br />

lover, a culture vulture or want to get active in the big<br />

outdoors. You can follow the suggested itineraries in full<br />

or just use the segments you find most appealing, adding<br />

your own ideas to make your perfect road trip.<br />

You might just want to potter around the South East,<br />

taking in castles through the ages – Anne Boleyn’s former<br />

home of Hever and the romantic Leeds Castle in Kent <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 73

efore moving on to see Arundel’s medieval pile near the<br />

South Downs and the magnificence of Highclere Castle,<br />

aka Downton Abbey in Hampshire.<br />

Or perhaps you’d prefer to really get beneath the<br />

skin of Wales on a three-week odyssey, going stargazing<br />

in the Brecon Beacons, spotting puffins on Skomer<br />

Island and bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay. In<br />

between summiting Snowdon on foot or by rail and zip<br />

wiring underground through an old slate mine, visit the<br />

Italianate village of Portmeirion and the medieval town<br />

of Conwy. Be sure to make time to enjoy an ice cream<br />

during a seaside stroll in Llandudno.<br />

Make the hotels you stay at along the way a key<br />

part of your experience. A journey through just part<br />

of Scotland will let you take in a variety of unique<br />

properties. Stay onboard the superyacht Fingal while you<br />

explore Edinburgh, play a game of tennis at Cromlix,<br />

Andy Murray’s property in the Scottish countryside near<br />

Dunblane, and admire artwork by the likes of Picasso<br />

and Lucian Freud in Braemar’s The Fife Arms. Then end<br />

up drinking in the wild beauty of the lochside setting<br />

at The Torridon on the North Coast 500 scenic route,<br />

perhaps with a glass of whisky in hand.<br />

Wine lovers should take a look at Berkshire’s Vineyard<br />

Hotel, with its floor-to-ceiling glass vault and 30,000<br />

bottles of wine, perhaps pairing it with Michelin-starred<br />

Gravetye Manor less than two hours away in Sussex to<br />

make the perfect epicurean treat.<br />

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


For a gourmet extravaganza, stay in a series of hotels<br />

with Michelin-starred dining, including Hambleton Hall<br />

in Rutland, Northcote on the edge of the foodie paradise<br />

that is the Ribble Valley, and Gilpin in Cumbria. Fill in any<br />

empty corners by snacking on local specialities from pork<br />

pies to Stilton and wensleydale cheese. There are plenty of<br />

places to walk off those extra calories along the way.<br />

If spas are more your thing, you can decide between<br />

the superb facilities of a number of hotels specialising<br />

in wellness in the north, including County Durham’s<br />

Seaham Hall, or something more boutique, such as the<br />

Suffolk’s the Swan at Lavenham.<br />

On your travels, by all means tick off the key sites,<br />

but take time to enjoy other experiences too. Go fishing<br />

at Scaling Dam Reservoir in the Yorkshire Moors before<br />

exploring Castle Howard or enjoy winetasting at<br />

Gusbourne, one of the finest winemakers in Kent, after<br />

taking in the macabre history of Canterbury Cathedral.<br />

Connecting with the locals is part of the adventure.<br />

So in the pretty Cornish village of St Mawes, chat to<br />

the fishermen selling their catch at the quay then enjoy<br />

some of the freshest of seafood in a local restaurant. Or<br />

join a forager on the hunt for food growing in the wild in<br />

Perthshire and visit a smokehouse to find out more about<br />

the artisan craft.<br />

Our journeys include details of the best time to visit<br />

as well, depending on whether you want to take in the<br />

Henley Regatta in June or to see the Scottish snowdrop<br />

festival from late January to early March. Wherever you<br />

go, take your time and dare to dawdle – you see so much<br />

more when you live life in the slow lane. ◆<br />

Find out more: pobhotels.com/breaks<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75

A DAY AT<br />

The Newt<br />

The <strong>British</strong> countryside is a riot of colour in autumn, and at<br />

The Newt in Somerset it’s harvest time. <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> discovers<br />

a feast for the senses at this remarkable country estate…<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

African hotelier Karen Roos and her husband Koos Bekker,<br />

the couple behind Babylonstoren; an 18th-century estate<br />

and boutique hotel located in the wine region outside<br />

Cape Town. It took them six years to transform The Newt<br />

into the spectacular destination that it is today, and in<br />

2019 they finally opened its doors for all to enjoy. An ode<br />

to all things Somerset, this magnificent, no-expensespared<br />

playground celebrates everything that the county<br />

has to offer, and more... <br />

Nestled in the folds of South Somerset lies a<br />

nature lover’s paradise. A place where apples<br />

hang abundantly from trees, walking trails<br />

weave through ancient woodlands, and ducks<br />

wander freely from pond to lake. Beautiful honey-stone<br />

buildings house a luxury hotel, spa, Cyder Press, Garden<br />

Café, Farm Shop and more, and there’s also an enchanted<br />

grotto and a full-size Roman villa to explore. Welcome to<br />

The Newt.<br />

Encompassing a staggering 800 acres, this historic<br />

West Country estate was bought in 2013 by the South<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77

Inspired by local heritage and sustainable agriculture,<br />

The Newt in Somerset is a working estate, and at the core<br />

of it all lies acres of truly magnificent gardens that have<br />

been lovingly tended to for over 250 years. I found even<br />

the short walk from the car park enchanting; a winding<br />

wooden walkway led me through peaceful woodland and,<br />

like some sort of teleportation device, seemed to magically<br />

transport me from the modern world and gently deposit<br />

me into a glorious rural utopia.<br />

To get my bearings, I opted for one of the regular<br />

garden tours first, which provide an insight into the<br />

fascinating history of the estate and the vision that drives<br />

it today. There are significant gardens to discover, most<br />

recently designed by renowned Italo-French architect<br />

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

Patrice Taravella and now cared for by an expert<br />

gardening team. We started in the productive vegetable<br />

garden – an organic, no-dig operation that cultivates<br />

over 350 vegetables and salad varieties, and supplies the<br />

on-site cafe and hotel. Next, we arrived at a waterlily filled<br />

pond, where we encountered the resident population of<br />

protected newts that inspired the estate’s new name. We<br />

wandered on through the historic ‘colour rooms’ – each<br />

one planted in a different hue designed to stimulate the<br />

emotions – before arriving in an idyllic country garden,<br />

complete with a picture-perfect thatched cottage.<br />

Passing lawns, fountains, and stunning views galore,<br />

we then arrived at The Newt’s remarkable Parabola – a<br />

3,000 sqm walled garden filled with a baroque-style<br />

maze of 460 perfectly trained apple trees, each divided by<br />

county and intermingled with seashell-strewn pathways,<br />

trickling streams and historically accurate planting.<br />

It may all sound terribly impressive, and it is, but there<br />

is no unnecessary formality here. Instead, playfulness<br />

abounds; signs encourage guests to pick and eat an<br />

apple should they wish, giant toad sculptures spurt water<br />

spontaneously, and free-range chickens happily snooze<br />

in the grass, while South African designer Porky Hefer<br />

has created human-sized nests for visitors themselves to<br />

curl up in. The garden design is outstanding; input and<br />

influence has come from a variety of different people<br />

over the years and can be seen in varying forms, ranging<br />

from Margaret Hobhouse who elevated the gardens to a<br />

Victorian ideal over 100 years ago, to the stunning floor<br />

mosaics created more recently by one of the landscapers<br />

who worked on The Newt in its infancy. It is this sum of<br />

parts and the contribution of many that gives the gardens<br />

their palpable sense of warmth and personality today.<br />

Elsewhere, there is a Japanese Garden to discover,<br />

a Victorian Fragrance Garden, and a greenhouse filled<br />

with unimaginable cacti. You need a full day, at least, to<br />

see it all, and I was keen not to miss the other jewel in The<br />

Newt’s crown: cyder. <br />

‘<br />

Passing lawns, fountains, and stunning views galore, we then arrived at The Newt’s<br />

remarkable Parabola – a 3,000 sqm walled garden filled with a baroque-style maze...<br />

’<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79

‘<br />

Over 3,000 cyder apple trees grace the landscape here, and old orchards<br />

that thrived on the estate over 300 years ago are now being revived.<br />

’<br />

Somerset, historically, is cider-making country,<br />

although The Newt has chosen to opt for the old English<br />

spelling of the word (cyder). Over 3,000 cyder apple<br />

trees grace the landscape here, and old orchards that<br />

thrived on the estate over 300 years ago are now being<br />

revived. Today, it grows 70 varieties of bittersweet and<br />

Somerset apples and features a cathedral-like cellar and<br />

state-of-the-art cyder press – a striking stone-and-glassclad<br />

building filled with vast stainless-steel tanks, where<br />

modern cyder-making techniques are celebrated, and<br />

where guided tours and tastings take place.<br />

The estate’s more traditional West Country-style<br />

cyders are fresh, aromatic, and sing with the sweet flavour<br />

of a bucolic Somerset orchard on a summer’s day, but<br />

in true Newt style there is innovation too. The Winston,<br />

for example, is the first sparkling cyder in the world to be<br />

bottled as an imperial pint in honour of a certain <strong>British</strong><br />

Prime Minister, and The Newt’s award-winning Fine<br />

Cyder, which comes in tall, slim, elegant bottles, is crafted<br />

using winemaking techniques and select dessert apples<br />

only. It takes 10 months to produce, and the result is a<br />

sophisticated, almost wine-like still cyder, with fruitiness<br />

on the nose and a crisp taste of apple and lemon.<br />

Soon, it was lunchtime. Freshly made picnics and light<br />

bites are available from the Cyder Bar or there is the Garden<br />

Cafe – an impressive, glass-walled space with a roaring fire<br />

at its centre, which serves a vegetable-led menu overlooking<br />

the Parabola, kitchen gardens and orchards beyond.<br />

Wherever you choose to eat, every plate of food served on<br />

the estate features something grown or foraged here.<br />

I headed for The Botanical Rooms, the sophisticated<br />

restaurant located within the hotel’s historic walls, and<br />

enjoyed delicious grilled young leeks with smoked cod’s<br />

roe and cured egg yolk, day boat fish with nasturtium<br />

butter, garden peas and girolle mushroom, and a glass<br />

of wine from The Newt’s South African sister property,<br />

Babylonstoren. The interiors are sublime; everywhere you<br />

look, the past has been cleverly reimagined by combining<br />

historical features with contemporary architecture and<br />

modern design pieces, while a vibrant colour palette<br />

echoes the surrounding gardens and sweeping views of<br />

the countryside.<br />

After lunch, I ventured across ‘The Viper’ – a suspended<br />

treetop walkway that snakes its way high above a deerdotted<br />

woodland – in search of The Story of Gardening;<br />

an extraordinary, immersive exploration of garden design<br />

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

‘<br />

Also tucked away in the woods is the architecturally striking Beezantium,<br />

which explores the connections between bees, the land and humans.<br />

’<br />

throughout time. Also tucked away in the woods is the<br />

architecturally striking Beezantium, which explores the<br />

connections between bees, the land and humans; here,<br />

amid giant honeycomb-shaped walls, I marvelled at The<br />

Newt’s wild and native bee colonies in observation hives<br />

and admired them hard at work. A short walk later and I<br />

found myself at the recently unveiled Grotto – a staggering<br />

cave embellished with millions of shells, and crystals, and at<br />

its heart, a smoke-breathing dragon emerging from a pool<br />

of water. It is these elements of pure imagination and sense<br />

of fun that make The Newt completely unique and utterly<br />

captivating.<br />

Its latest star attraction opened in summer 2022; Villa<br />

Ventorum is a pioneering archaeological experience <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81




The perfect property for hen party weekends, birthday<br />

get togethers and family breaks away...<br />

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 />


‘<br />

Located in a Grade-II*-listed Georgian manor house known as Hadspen...<br />

[is] one of the most exceptional country-house hotels in the country.<br />

’<br />


encompassing the staggering reconstruction of a<br />

Romano-<strong>British</strong> villa found on the estate, which dates<br />

back to 351 AD. Seven years in the making, this incredible<br />

landmark is the most ambitious reconstruction of a Roman<br />

villa ever undertaken in Britain. An audio tour guides<br />

guests as they move through the space while virtual-reality<br />

technology provides further fascinating insight, and there’s<br />

also an opportunity to try some rather delicious Romanstyle<br />

street food. You definitely need more than a day to<br />

discover all there is to see here...<br />

There are various ways to experience The Newt;<br />

day-visitors are warmly welcomed (you’ll need annual<br />

membership or come as the guest of a member), and<br />

throughout the summer months The Newt’s Great Garden<br />

Escape whisks passengers to and from London by train for<br />

an unforgettable day trip filled with Newt-y delights.<br />

Alternatively, those staying in its beautiful hotel are<br />

granted unrestricted access to all that the estate has<br />

to offer. Located in a Grade-II*-listed Georgian manor<br />

house known as Hadspen, it was the seat of the Hobhouse<br />

family for more than two centuries. Today it has been<br />

transformed into one of the most exceptional countryhouse<br />

hotels, comprising 23 beautifully and individually<br />

designed bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, croquet lawnn, and<br />

a world-class spa, among other attractions.<br />

In June 2021, the Farmyard was unveiled; an entirely<br />

new part of The Newt’s hotel offering set within a hidden<br />

valley half a mile from Hadspen. Home to a swimming<br />

pool, 17 contemporary and elegant bedrooms, a bar, and<br />

an all-day kitchen. This modern, more rustic addition is<br />

set within the estate’s former dairy and can be reached via<br />

picturesque orchards either on foot, by bicycle or in one<br />

of the estate’s many golf buggies, which guests are free to<br />

whizz around in throughout their stay.<br />

Soon my visit was coming to a close, but thankfully there<br />

was just enough time for an ice cream. The Newt’s gelateria,<br />

which uses fresh buffalo milk from the estate, is not to be<br />

missed, whatever the weather. Then there is the farm shop,<br />

with its impressive butchery, wonderfully fragrant cheese<br />

room and array of delectable artisan treats. I picked up<br />

various things here, from cider and chutney to fresh bread<br />

and granola, desperate to take a slice of this pastoral<br />

paradise home with me. And then, reluctantly, back down<br />

the wooden walkway I floated. Back out into the real world,<br />

yes, but filled with the wonder of nature, and revelling in the<br />

spectacular feast for the senses that is The Newt.<br />

Annual membership to The Newt is priced at £75 per<br />

adult, with children (0–16 years) free of charge when<br />

accompanied by an adult member. Members can also<br />

bring up to six visitors per day, priced at £20 per person.<br />

Membership is included for hotel guests; room rates start<br />

from £520 per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis.<br />

thenewtinsomerset.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83


Gower Peninsula

The UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a stunning landscape<br />

– a place to let your mind be free and adopt the pace of nature...<br />

Text and Images by Jessica Way<br />

Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula in South<br />

West Wales are absolute havens for those seeking<br />

a peaceful escape to connect with nature. From<br />

the rugged moors and striking limestone cliffs,<br />

to the secluded coves and expansive stretches of sandy<br />

beaches, you’re surrounded by an incredible wealth of<br />

wildlife. Expect to encounter an array of birds, butterflies,<br />

wildflowers and waterfalls as you explore this wonderful<br />

region steeped in rich history and culture. There are<br />

numerous charming towns, quaint villages, fascinating<br />

castles and excellent restaurants using local and organic<br />

produce nearby that are definitely worth exploring.<br />

We stayed at The King’s Head, Llangennith, a<br />

charming traditional inn with stone walls and wooden<br />

beams. It’s nestled within the slopes of three Welsh valleys,<br />

Llanmadoc Hill, Rhossili Down, and Hardingsdown. The<br />

inn is set in the heart of the village, right across from a<br />

lovely medieval church and village green. It’s a rustic and<br />

enchanting place to stay, and its location makes it easy to<br />

take a stroll to the coast on the western tip of the Gower.<br />

Across the road, there’s a surf shop, and just a short<br />

drive away, there’s a post office and community shop.<br />

Whether you’re interested in surfing or just soaking up the<br />

serene surroundings, this is an ideal location to unwind<br />

and appreciate the beauty of the Gower.<br />

DAY ONE<br />

Our morning at The King’s Head Inn began with a<br />

delicious breakfast with our four-legged furry friend,<br />

Poppy. While Pops indulged in some scrumptious woofwoof<br />

sausages, we savoured some freshly brewed Gower<br />

coffee and a delightful plate of smashed avocado with<br />

poached eggs.<br />

After fuelling up, we embarked on a picturesque hike<br />

over the Rhossili Downs. Along the way, we were greeted<br />

by wild ponies grazing on the hilltops as we followed the <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 85

coast path towards Rhossili. The panoramic views across<br />

the bay and out to the Bristol Channel are absolutely<br />

breathtaking, and on a clear day you can see as far as the<br />

Pembrokeshire Coast and Caldey Island.<br />

Halfway along the Down, we stumbled upon the<br />

remains of a WWII radar station and decided to take a<br />

tea break and indulge in some delicious Welsh cakes while<br />

soaking in the beautiful scenery.<br />

Continuing on the path a little further, you pass the<br />

remains of Stone Age burial chambers, Sweynes Howes,<br />

constructed around 6,000 years ago, closely followed by<br />

the beacon marking the highest point in the Gower, and<br />

the site of a Bronze Age cairn.<br />

Rhossili Bay is vast, stretching three miles from Burry<br />

Holms at the northern end to Worm's Head – one of<br />

the Gower's most famous landmarks – and the village<br />

of Rhossili at the southern end. Rhossili is a very pretty,<br />

tranquil and quaint village with laid-back locals – a place<br />

to truly escape from the hustle and bustle. There’s an art<br />

gallery, several coffee shops and independent boutiques,<br />

a hotel and bar, and a church that dates back to the<br />

12th century – take a peek inside the chancel and admire<br />

the original 14th-century window. When the tide is out,<br />

visitors are able to catch a glimpse of the 1887 Helvetia<br />

shipwreck – a timber ruin belonging to a bygone era and<br />

once a proud ship that has become a famous landmark for<br />

Rhossili Bay.<br />

We stopped for an alfresco lunch at The Bay Bistro,<br />

with views of Rhossili Bay as our backdrop. Inside the<br />

pretty white-and-mint-green painted cottage are rustic<br />

shabby chic interiors – wood panelling, comfy leather<br />

armchairs and a cosy log burner.<br />

We sat outside on the large terrace where we indulged<br />

in a mouthwatering Korean Loaded Fries with roasted<br />

chicken thighs and vegetables in a gochujang sauce.<br />

We chatted with a fun group of rock climbers from York<br />

who were in Gower for the annual BMC Climbing Festival.<br />

Poppy was well catered for too, with locally made doggy<br />

ice cream and natural dog biscuits from Gwen’s Pantry.<br />

Next door to the restaurant, there’s The Bay Shop<br />

selling a range of locally made ice cream (for humans)<br />

and mementos from local craftspeople, including handpainted<br />

wooden earrings, locally distilled gin, artisan<br />

candles, Gower honey, local maps, books and postcards.<br />

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

‘<br />

Rhossili is a very pretty, tranquil and quaint village with laid-back locals – a<br />

place to truly escape from the hustle and bustle.<br />

’<br />

Opposite the restaurant is the National Trust car park<br />

and access to the gravel footpath along the cliff top of<br />

Worm’s Head – derived from an Old English word ‘wurm,’<br />

meaning ‘dragon’ or ‘sea serpent’, as the peninsula was said<br />

to resemble a sleeping ‘wurm’. This dramatic tidal island<br />

comprises three parts: the Inner Head, the Middle Head<br />

(which features a collapsed sea cave and is known as the<br />

Devil’s Bridge), and the Outer Head, which you can only<br />

reach safely during low tide. To scramble your way to the<br />

island along the rocky path and back, there’s a five-hour<br />

window of opportunity (2.5 hours each side of low tide), so<br />

it is important to plan ahead and check the crossing-times<br />

board, which is updated daily. Once across, you will find a<br />

peaceful haven, where seals are often basking on the rocks,<br />

and there’s a fantastic view looking back towards Rhossili.<br />

We walked to the old Coastguard Lookout at the end<br />

of the headland before heading back along the beach<br />

back towards Llangennith. Poppy was in her element, <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 87

with the beach being dog-friendly all year round. When<br />

we got back to the Inn, we sat in the courtyard with a drink<br />

admiring the views and listening to the birds singing. It<br />

was so peaceful, and we even had a herd of cows saunter<br />

past us – a great reminder that taking life in the slow lane<br />

can be so rewarding.<br />

We spent the afternoon exploring Cwm Ivy and Whiteford<br />

on the north coast. From the Cwm Ivy car park it’s a short<br />

stroll down the lane through the Cwm Ivy Wood National<br />

Trust gate. I was glad that I had brought some cash with<br />

me because there was an honesty box for donations.<br />

The pathway led us through a dreamy picture-book<br />

setting that felt lost in time. The Monterey pine trees were<br />

so beautiful, and if you looked to your left, you could see<br />

the Cwm Ivy salt marsh and ancient sea wall. There were<br />

two bird hides and plenty of opportunities for wildlife<br />

spotting – otters, kingfishers, and wading birds can<br />

often be seen here and if you are lucky you might catch a<br />

glimpse of a marsh harrier, one of the UK’s rarest birds.<br />

One of our highlights was stopping at Cwm Ivy Arts<br />

and Crafts for a slice of their delicious homemade cake.<br />

The gardens are an oasis of tranquillity and birdsong,<br />

and the seating along the decking has been designed<br />

for visitors to relax peacefully and make the most of the<br />

panorama before them.<br />

After a long day of exploring, we were grateful to<br />

return to The King’s Head, our home from home, for a<br />

hearty meal and a chance to reset and unwind.<br />

The atmosphere at the Inn is very friendly. As an<br />

overnight guest (there are three purpose-built blocks:<br />

the townhouse next door, and two additional stone barn<br />

conversions behind the pub) you are made very welcome<br />

by the locals, and the menu is excellent too. There's a<br />

daily specials board featuring locally sourced produce,<br />

including Welsh lamb, pork, and venison. We enjoyed a<br />

delicious home-cooked curry and steak-and-ale pie, and<br />

settled in under the cozy beams by the burning stove.<br />

The bar has an impressive collection of malt whiskys,<br />

with over 100 varieties available. The landlady collected<br />

most of them herself from Scotland, where she used to<br />

travel for her previous role as president of the Shetland<br />

pony society. There’s also a large selection of Welsh Real<br />

Ales and Penderyn Whisky, distilled in Wales. It was the<br />

perfect end to an incredible day.<br />

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

‘<br />

After a long day of exploring, we were grateful to return to The King’s Head,<br />

our home from home, for a hearty meal and a chance to reset and unwind.<br />

’<br />

DAY TWO<br />

Following another delicious breakfast and feeling a little<br />

more adventurous, we decided to explore further afield<br />

and drove to the Victorian fishing village of Mumbles<br />

on the southeast corner of the Gower Peninsula – the<br />

birthplace of Dylan Thomas and a village steeped in<br />

history and traditional seaside charm.<br />

We visited the Victorian Pier and Bracelet Bay, iconic<br />

landmarks on the Gower coastline with views across to<br />

the lighthouse built in 1794. Don’t miss an ice-cream from<br />

the fun retro Welsh landmark, originally built in the early<br />

1930s to promote a cider brand: Swansea’s famous Big<br />

Apple, known as the giant concrete Pac-Man, is such a<br />

rare and unusual example of a seaside refreshment kiosk<br />

that a few years ago it was graded as a listed building for<br />

its special architectural interest.<br />

It is easy to beach crawl your way along the Gower<br />

coast path, with lots to see and do at neighbouring <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 89

Bracelet Bay, Langland Bay and Caswell Bay where there’s<br />

a surf school. For a bout of Welsh culture, the picturesque<br />

village doesn’t disappoint either, from the world's first<br />

gallery devoted to hand-carved Welsh Lovespoons and<br />

local artists, to laverbread and cockles brunches at The<br />

Darkhorse. You could easily spend a few hours here<br />

exploring the independent boutiques and quirky galleries.<br />

From Oystermouth, you can pick up a Santander Cycle<br />

and take a scenic ride along Swansea’s Promenade, with<br />

beautiful views across the five-mile sweep of Swansea Bay.<br />

We cycled a leisurely mile to Knab Rock (where there is<br />

another Santander pick-up/drop-off point) with Poppy in<br />

tow for a home-cooked Italian lunch by the sea at Verdi’s<br />

Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour.<br />

There's plenty of pasta and pizza to choose from and<br />

the ice-cream sundaes are legendary – with up to 30<br />

different ice cream flavours on offer.<br />

In the afternoon we visited Oystermouth Castle, which<br />

is just a short walk from Mumbles’ shops and restaurants.<br />

Sitting majestically on the hill, the castle features<br />

spectacular views overlooking Swansea Bay. Don’t miss<br />

Alina’s Chapel with its remarkable Gothic windows – and<br />

history buffs will marvel at the 14th-century ancient graffiti<br />

art and medieval maze of deep vaults and secret staircases.<br />

Mumble’s newest hotel, The Oyster House is a great<br />

option for lunch, cocktails or an evening meal. We sat under<br />

a clear blue sky, and with heaters, sea views, and ambient<br />

music, it felt like the perfect holiday spot to unwind following<br />

an active day. The menu was impressive, featuring plenty<br />

of seasonal meat from The Gower Butcher and ‘fresh off<br />

the boat’ fish from Coakley’s Fishmongers, including some<br />

delicious oysters that I simply couldn’t resist.<br />


During our time in Rhossili the day before, we had the<br />

pleasure of meeting Key, a friendly local who gave us<br />

some valuable recommendations. After taking a dip in the<br />

sea, she told us stories of the limestone cliffs, caves and<br />

mammoths and pointed out where we could spot “the face<br />

in the mountain” and even mentioned a tree inside one<br />

of the caves. It was fascinating to hear about the area’s<br />

history and local legends. Key insisted that Mewslade<br />

Bay, a beautiful spot just north of Worm’s Head, was her<br />

all-time favourite beach, so we went to check it out.<br />

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

‘<br />

The menu was impressive, featuring... ‘fresh off the boat’ fish from Coakley’s<br />

Fishmongers, including some delicious oysters that I simply couldn’t resist.<br />

’<br />

The best place to park is in Lower Pitton where there<br />

is a car park opposite a pretty farmhouse. From there it’s<br />

about a 10-minute walk through unspoilt countryside to<br />

Mewslade Bay. The coastal path meanders down a narrow<br />

valley to the sea, through wooded and open countryside.<br />

It is such a beautiful spot, so picturesque, rich in flora<br />

and fauna, and secluded, with just the occasional hiker<br />

passing by. The sea was calm and crystal-clear and it is<br />

fun exploring the caves and hidden coves. It’s definitely<br />

one of the prettiest sections of the Gower Peninsula coast<br />

path, and I’d highly recommend taking a hike here, either<br />

towards Port Eynon or towards Fall Bay and Rhossili.<br />

About halfway from Mewslade Bay to Mumbles on<br />

the south coast, we stopped at the golf clubhouse in the<br />

charming village of Pennard for coffee and cake.<br />

The real adventure began as we explored the<br />

landscape along the coastal trails and pathways. We<br />

walked along the grassy clifftops behind the golf course <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91

‘<br />

We walked along the grassy clifftops behind the golf course to the awe-inspiring<br />

Three Cliffs Bay and stumbled upon the remains of Pennard Castle, a wellpreserved<br />

Grade-II-listed medieval ruin, which beautifully frames the coastal view.<br />

’<br />

to the awe-inspiring Three Cliffs Bay and stumbled upon the<br />

remains of Pennard Castle, a well-preserved Grade-II-listed<br />

medieval ruin, which beautifully frames the coastal view. The<br />

northern side of the castle offers stunning views of Pennard<br />

Burrows, a wooded valley, and a sheer drop below.<br />

Our journey from one magical place to another took<br />

us next to Penllergare Valley Woods. This Victorian estate<br />

was once the home of John Dillwyn Llewelyn, who was a<br />

pioneering photographer, horticulturist, and astronomer.<br />

There are numerous reasons to visit this forgotten paradise<br />

filled with waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. In addition to the<br />

stunning panoramic views, there are 250 acres of ancient<br />

woodlands and exotic trees, not to mention a coffee shop<br />

that serves freshly baked scones and homemade cakes.<br />

The estate is also home to a giant monkey puzzle tree and<br />

has a brand new visitor centre.<br />

Our next stop was the Secret Bar and Kitchen in<br />

Swansea; located directly on the beach, this is a perfect<br />

spot for a delicious meal and some relaxing downtime. I<br />

devoured a delicious Chicken Parmigiana and my furry<br />

friend Poppy enjoyed her first-ever Puppachino.<br />

On our final evening in Swansea, we decided to head up<br />

to Cefn Bryn to take in the panoramic views of the Gower’s<br />

dark skies. It was truly a magical experience watching the<br />

constellations track along the inky black sky in perfect<br />

peace. I had an unforgettable experience exploring the<br />

Gower. Whether you seek a peaceful beach holiday or an<br />

exhilarating outdoor adventure break, the Gower has it<br />

all and I highly recommend visiting this remarkable part<br />

of Wales to fully experience everything it has to offer. It’s a<br />

journey that will leave a lasting mark on your memory.<br />

For further information on visiting Swansea Bay,<br />

Mumbles and Gower please visit: visitswanseabay.com<br />

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

3032-Half-Page-Britain-Ad-202x129mm-AW.indd 1 07/07/<strong>2023</strong> 14:45<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 />

Painted Love: Renaissance Marriage Portraits<br />

Until 1 October <strong>2023</strong><br />

Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery<br />

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

Sarah Biffin<br />

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

Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris<br />

21 October George <strong>2023</strong> to Shaw 14 April 2024<br />

A Corner of a Foreign Field<br />

2019 HIGHLIGHTS<br />

The Holburne Édouard (aka Vuillard Lady Danbury’s house in<br />

Netflix’s The popular Poetry Bridgerton) of the Everyday is one of the UK’s<br />

best loved independent museums. As well as<br />

housing Lauren a wonderful Child and eclectic collection, it<br />

presents The world-class Art of Illustration exhibitions of historical and<br />

contemporary Rembrandt art a dynamic programme of<br />

creative A activities Life in Print and events for all ages.<br />

Located at the end of the majestic Great<br />

Pulteney Henri Street, Matisse and with a fantastic café and<br />

gardens, Master it’s a must of Line see for any visit to Bath.<br />

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


A Cornish Gem in<br />


TRAVEL<br />

With the launch of Cornish Gems Eco-Conscious Collection, we<br />

take a look at their sustainability journey while shining a spotlight<br />

on their greenest properties, endeavouring to reduce their carbon<br />

footprint and minimise waste and the impact on our planet<br />

Text by Samantha Rutherford<br />

Looking through the keyhole of Cornish Gems,<br />

there’s so much more to celebrate than their<br />

immaculate portfolio of 200 exclusive Cornish<br />

holiday properties. Their ethical practices are a<br />

force for good and their principles an inspiration within the<br />

sustainability movement of the travel sector.<br />

Flying the Flag of St Piran<br />

Cornwall is a beautiful county and coastline, and it's<br />

somewhere Cornish Gems are incredibly proud to call<br />

home. Behind the brand, the Cornwall-based team<br />

work tirelessly to support the unique and vibrant local<br />

community and the landscape. They raise money for<br />

charities and local trusts, and offer guests the opportunity<br />

to purchase Cornwall Heritage Trust memberships.<br />

They champion local farmers by working with The<br />

Cornish Food Box to deliver grass-fed, free-range meat<br />

and poultry, sustainably caught fish and seafood, and<br />

veg grown just down the road from local producers. The<br />

hampers for guests on arrival not only support this great<br />

local business, but by enabling guests to choose the items<br />

they wish to receive, Cornish Gems are helping to reduce<br />

the waste of unwanted products.<br />

You won’t find plastic toiletry bottles in Cornish Gems<br />

holiday homes, and they are hot on their recycling efforts<br />

too – only previously received packaging is used for<br />

wrapping gifts bought in their Gems Shop. One of our<br />

favourite products? The Circular & Co cup, created from<br />

used coffee cups and fully recyclable.<br />

Cornish Gems have planted more than 1,200 trees<br />

in 26 countries around the world, which is equal to<br />

neutralising approximately 6,300 car journeys from<br />

across the UK into Cornwall. Plus, they are committed to<br />

being mindful of the effect on social housing by trying to<br />

help protect affordability for local first-time buyers by not<br />

adding any residential properties with a market value of<br />

less than £350,000 to their portfolio.<br />

It is no mean feat that Cornish Gems have raised<br />

£17,500 for worthy causes, including the Cornwall Wildlife<br />

Trust, Cornwall Air Ambulance, the RNLI and (one of my<br />

personal favourites) Surfers Against Sewage.<br />

The ‘Charity of the Year,’ for <strong>2023</strong> is ‘Love Where You<br />

Are,’ who offer financial support to climate and naturefriendly<br />

projects across Cornwall. <br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 95

It’s no wonder then that Cornish Gems has been awarded<br />

the coveted Gold Green Tourism Award, shortlisted for<br />

a Cornwall Sustainability Award in the Carbon Neutral<br />

category, and commended for their commitment to<br />

protecting the Cornish area and landscape.<br />

Reducing the Impact of Holidays and Protecting the<br />

Landscape of Cornwall<br />

Being responsible, ethical, and aware of our effect on<br />

our planet is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. And as<br />

holidaymakers, meaningful environmental responsibility is<br />

vital – but how about we go one step further? What if we<br />

base our entire travel plans around like-minded businesses<br />

by staying only in the most environment-friendly properties?<br />

Supporting those committed to operating sustainably and<br />

responsibly and leaving only our footprints.<br />

With Cornish Gem's Eco-Conscious collection you have<br />

the choice to do just that. From renewable heating sources<br />

and electric car chargers to biodiverse landscaping featuring<br />

native plants and ecofriendly constructions, these properties<br />

endeavour to reduce the impact of your holiday and protect<br />

the beautiful landscape of Cornwall. Here's our pick of some<br />

of our favourite Cornish Gems climate-mindful properties:<br />

Boslagen<br />

Close to Padstow, Trevone and Wadebridge, this exquisite<br />

nature-inspired retreat is the perfect bolthole for two. Stay<br />

within the beautiful oasis of Boslagen as it seamlessly blends<br />

back into nature and appears as if romantically floating<br />

on its own natural pond. A dreamy setting inspired by the<br />

owner, whose focus on low-carbon and sustainable options<br />

complemented her passion for providing an exquisite holiday<br />

experience like no other. This architecturally inspiring<br />

pavilion is dressed in the very best fabrics and furnishings,<br />

while the ensuite bedroom and open-plan living, kitchen<br />

and dining spaces embrace the orchard, meadow and<br />

woodland views from the full-height glass walls. A wraparound<br />

veranda floats over the water, where guests can while<br />

away the evenings and soak in the outdoor sit-up Japanese<br />

bath. The playground of North Cornwall is a short trip<br />

away, waiting to host adventurous souls or those looking to<br />

embrace a slower pace of Cornish life.<br />

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

Polsue Farm House<br />

Close to St Mawes, this is a stunning country abode<br />

on the Roseland Peninsula. Follow the winding country<br />

lanes and arrive at Polsue Farm House, where nature<br />

takes centre stage and magical holidays are created.<br />

Experience off-the-beaten-track tranquillity at this truly<br />

breathtaking refurbished abode and enjoy the luxury of<br />

the location as you flip from rural to coastal in no time.<br />

Offering all you could need, choose from four beautiful<br />

bedrooms, four country-inspired bathrooms, and several<br />

spaces in which to relax and host families and friends. The<br />

garden is an oasis of botanical plants with a patchwork<br />

of terraces, paddocks, lawns and fields in which to<br />

spread out and explore. Once settled, head out into the<br />

Roseland Peninsula, to discover more of West Cornwall:<br />

the quintessential coves of Portloe and Portholland, the<br />

fishing heritage of Mevagissey, and the smart town of St<br />

Mawes, all just a short drive away.<br />

Meadow’s Nest<br />

Close to St Agnes, Perranporth, Callestick and the North<br />

Coast, this is an uplifting countryside retreat. Fashioned<br />

from the owners’ passion to create a characterful, backto-nature<br />

retreat, Meadow’s Nest is an idyllic haven for<br />

all those seeking escape from the everyday. Previously<br />

a bustling workshop, the space has been sensitively<br />

refurbished using repurposed materials, keeping the use<br />

of high-carbon materials to a minimum. From sinking<br />

into the copper bath and soaking up the green views to<br />

meeting the cows that frequent the neighbouring fields,<br />

Meadow’s Nest offers an experience that is totally unique<br />

and wholesome.<br />

Bosavallam<br />

Close to Padstow, Trevone and Wadebridge, this<br />

exemplary woodland abode made just for two is magical.<br />

It immerses its guests into nature, inspiring rest and<br />

wellbeing and ensuring a truly special stay. Settling<br />

into flora and fauna of the most beautiful woodland<br />

and orchard backdrop, the wooden pavilion has been<br />

creatively designed to blend into the surroundings and<br />

maximise the space and the light and ensure sublime<br />

comfort. Bosavallam (Cornish for ‘house in the orchard’)<br />

offers a spacious bedroom with panoramic woodland<br />

views, an open-plan kitchen and wraparound veranda<br />

with alfresco bar, veranda seating and, most impressively,<br />

the bespoke outdoor roll-top nickel-boat bath housed<br />

under a Cornish slate-lined alcove. From your holiday<br />

door, explore the beauty of North Cornwall, including<br />

Wadebridge, Rock and Padstow nearby or the golden<br />

sand beaches of Daymer Bay, Polzeath and Constantine.<br />

For more information on Cornish Gems' collection of<br />

properties sleeping from two to 20 guests visit cornishgems.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97




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FAMILY<br />


Alice Tate<br />

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

<br />

We're reading...<br />

<strong>British</strong> Family Escapes<br />

Alice Tate, £22.95<br />

Published 19 October <strong>2023</strong><br />




ACROSS<br />

1 --- Manor, Oxfordshire hotel<br />

and club (7)<br />

5 Sounds like the apple of one's<br />

pie, from Rutland? (6)<br />

10 Start a journey at Waterloo,<br />

say (7)<br />

11 Lord Ted beat up a little one (7)<br />

12 Obligation (4)<br />

13 Money-making knack (5,5)<br />

14 28 Across beach feature<br />

named after Tinker Bunny (4)<br />

15 1941 Bogart/Lupino film (4,6)<br />

19 An old-timer, if confused, will<br />

be quiescent (3,7)<br />

20 Iconic '60s vehicle found in<br />

green form at 14 Down (4)<br />

21 Takes back (10)<br />

24 Huge amount (4)<br />

27 Submerge (7)<br />

28 Bay west of Padstow (7)<br />

29 Noted nautical native of<br />

Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk (6)<br />

30 Pure pleasure (7))<br />

Explore the diverse landscape and rich culture of Britain while spending<br />

quality time with the family – and without compromising on the quality<br />

of your experience. Alice Tate has carefully selected 40 fantastic family<br />

getaways that offer endless creative and energetic opportunities, both on-site<br />

and nearby, alongside stylish decor, thoughtful hospitality and welcome<br />

luxuries. There’s something for all tastes, from Welsh mountain bases for<br />

exploring and biking to Cornish coastal retreats for sunning and sailing, and<br />

even colourful stable conversions on working farms – where the kids can<br />

pick their own dinner and maybe even cuddle a piglet or two.<br />

DOWN<br />

2 Stir up the Maoist to do nothing<br />

(3,2,4)<br />

3 Quaint plaint (4)<br />

4 Roman name for the capital (9)<br />

6 Diane lit bomb, very carefully (2,6)<br />

7 Popular rice dish (5)<br />

8 Rosedale into --- Walk, Yorkshire<br />

(5,4)<br />

9 Worm's got one in the Gower (4)<br />

11 Tregothnan produced the first<br />

English crop of this (3)<br />

14 Lizard Peninsula hotel where you<br />

can drive an electric 20 Across (9)<br />

16 Old trading league (9)<br />

17 Carrots and beets, etc. (4,5)<br />

18 "War Horse" author (8)<br />

22 Deserted Cornish trail, perhaps? (5)<br />

23 Expend (3)<br />

25 Squirrel's nest (4)<br />

26 Somerset hotel, garden and estate<br />

sounds protected (4)<br />

<strong>British</strong> Family Escapes Explore the diverse landscape and rich culture of<br />

Britain while spending quality time with the family – 40 fantastic family<br />

getaways, from Welsh mountain bases An to Cornish Opinionated coastal Guide retreats to and<br />

Brighton<br />

working farms. Priced £22.95, hoxtonminipress.com. £10.95 Great Scottish Walks Answers will be printed in the Spring 2024 Issue<br />

The only dedicated guide to Scotland’s Published long-distance 26 October trails, <strong>2023</strong><br />

An opinionated guide to<br />

packed with<br />

inspiration for walkers who are looking for a big adventure. The book<br />

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD 15 | SUMMER <strong>2023</strong><br />

There’s much more to Brighton than beaches and beer. We’ve gathered the<br />

features 26 routes and an overview of the Scottish National Trail – an epic ACROSS: 9 Pendine 10 Abigail 11 Leeds 12 Frowned on 13 Net losses 15<br />

very best that this seaside town has to offer, from where to get an exceptional<br />

route linking many of the best trails. Priced £20, adventurebooks.com. London Wales 17 Grenade launcher 20 Tarns 22 Theorists 24 Yellow Sea 26 E flat<br />

Shopfronts BRIGHTON<br />

cup of coffee to the top destinations for enjoying Brighton’s culture and<br />

An illustrated guide to discover London and its wonderful<br />

27 Ragweed 28 Retinas DOWN: 1 Up all night 2 Insect 3 Diaspora 4 Deaf 5<br />

nightlife. Grab a single-origin brew at Bond St Coffee before browsing the<br />

independent shops, with over 200 beautiful illustrations of the city’s most<br />

Famous name 6 Winnow 7 Randolph 8 Glen 14 Swept aside 16 Stress test 18<br />

thriving independent shops in the Lanes (don’t miss Snooper’s Paradise);<br />

colourful shops and traders. Priced £19.99, waterstones.com<br />

Earplugs 19 Narberth 21 Skomer 23 Silent 24 York 25 Acre<br />

take a bracing bike ride along the undercliff path; and be spoiled for choice<br />

with a wealth of buzzing bistros and award-winning pubs.

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 />

190 exquisite Gems, sleeping 2 to 20 guests.<br />

cornishgems.com 01872 241241

®<br />


Tickets now<br />

on sale<br />

Made for Magical Christmas Moments<br />

This Christmas, discover the wonder of Santa’s workshop at The Royal Mint<br />

Experience as he teams up with The Royal Mint. Filled with wonder and delight,<br />

it is sure to be a truly magical and festive experience for all the family to enjoy.<br />


For more details visit: www.royalmint.com/the-royal-mint-experience/christmas.<br />

The Royal Mint Christmas Experience runs every day<br />

from 25th November <strong>2023</strong> to 24th December <strong>2023</strong><br />



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