What’s New

  • The arty beach life in St Ives, Cornwall

    Thieving Seagull #seagull,#brazen_bird, #chancer, #thieving-bird, #St-Ives-gull
  • Hever Castle in Kent

    Picture of Hever Castle across the moat.
  • London’s 10 best cake and coffee shops

    People looking through a window at cakes at L'Eto on the King's Road #london_cake_shops, #kings-road-cakes, #england #london#foodie #sweet-treats #where-to-eat-cake
  • Eyam - The story of the plague village

    abstract image of figure in a plague mask

Hever Castle: Anne Boleyn’s childhood home is a great day out

Hever Castle may be as much fanciful recreation as it is historic treasure, but William Waldorf Astor’s preservation of Anne Boleyn’s childhood home provides a relaxing and entertaining day out, close to London and the Channel ports.

Oh to be an arty beach bum in St Ives

Artists and art lovers, tourists and Poldark fans flock to St Ives, a seaside town in England’s West Cornwall. Is it the magical light that draws them? The Cornish pasties? Or is it really those magnificent beaches..

London’s 10 best cake and coffee shops – tasted and rated

Where to find London’s best spots to linger over nice – and sometimes great- cake and coffee. Some choices on this list of personal favorites may surprise you but they won’t disappoint.

Eyam – The heroic story of the Derbyshire plague village

In Eyam, a village in the Peak District National Park, almost the entire population demonstrated the better angels of their nature and, through a communal act of courage, probably saved the North of England from the last great wave of plague.

Destinations

Calypso

Athens Street Art: The Murals of Psyrri

This edgy area is one of the best for enjoying Athens 21st century explosion of street art.

Seven great reasons to choose Pas de Calais for le Weekend

Just across the English Channel yet so often overlooked. Discover the pleasures Northern France in Pas de Calais

Dog-friendly short break in Tewkesbury

Lulu the Westie and I, along with some canine and human pals, head for Tewkesbury, where we find everything we need for the perfect dog-friendly break.

Cauterets: a kingdom of water

The sound of rushing water is everywhere, spring and summer in this historic ski resort in the French Pyrénées.

Travel Tips & Itineraries

Downton Abbey – The right things to do in the wrong Downton

You’ve watched every single episode of Downton Abbey on television.  You’ve stood in line to be the first to see the Downton Abbey movie released in 2019. Now, visiting England, you’ve found Downton on Google maps and your SatNav or GPS device has led you there. But…oops…Where’s Downton Abbey?

Where to stay and where to eat in St Ives, Cornwall

Fresh seafood and old fashioned hospitality – with sea views for good measure. Find out where to rest your head in busy St Ives.

25 Perfect Hotel Room Essentials

Tried and tested tips from experienced travellers.

How to fight travel boredom and sightseeing fatigue

Can’t look at one more pile of rocks that someone calls a castle? One more ancestor portrait? One more stick of old furniture? Help is at hand.

Food & Drink

Illustration of Virginia's Shrimp and Grits with three cooked shrimp, sliced sausage, red, yellow and green sliced peppers.

Miss Virginia’s Shrimp ‘n’ Grits

A classic Southern recipe from a Charleston,S.C, cook that you can make at home.

Pudding, pie or tart – So what’s a Bakewell?

The one thing you can’t get in Bakewell, Derbyshire, is a Bakewell Tart. On the other hand, Bakewell Puddings may be the real deal.

Visit an ancient Roman winery in the South of France

On the Provence/Languedoc border, a family winery produces 2000-year-old vintages for today’s wine drinkers

Delicious dishes from Santorini you can make at home

Santorini’s indigenous dishes are different and delicious. And so easy to make yourself.

Features & Special Places

jewel encrusted 18th century mechanical elephant

Strawberry Hill: London’s Little Suburban Castle

An 18th century dandy’s house is a masterpiece of eccentricity – a mini-castle amid the suburban semis.

Bachelors and Spendthrifts – The History of Attingham Park

An entertaining visit to the beautiful house of a family so dysfunctional that generations of them could have populated a 19th century saga.

Tower Bridge’s glass walkways – Part of (not so) hidden London

An almost secret attraction that has been hiding in plain sight

The Elephant that seduced a Shah and other holiday delights at Waddesdon

Every year during the holiday season, Waddesdon Manor transforms for Christmas.  For me, the star of the show is always the mechanical elephant that jollied a Persian potentate out of  the sulks.