Understanding castles and how the Norman castle worked in the Middle Ages, can make your visit to castles in Britain and across Europe a lot of fun. They arrived in England with William the Conqueror and were spread across Britain by his descendants. Despite their romantic image, the key to understanding them is seeing how they worked as fortresses.
This Paris to Laon itinerary visits Chateau-Thierry on the edge of Champagne, Soissons with its war memorials and literary connections and Laon, the the crowned mountain. It has some of France’s oldest cathedrals, one of the biggest protected historical centres in France champagne, good local beer and gingerbread with everything.
After you visit Burghley, the home of Elizabeth I’s spymaster, linger in Stamford, one of England’s best market towns and its oldest conservation area.
Stroll along the beach promenade of Malo-les-Bains Dunkerque and little reminds you that this stretch of flat, golden sand (and the 10 kilometres of it east to the Belgian border) is hallowed ground. But history is never far.
A visit to the Isles of Scilly is a step back to simpler times. These islands in the stream (with apologies to Ernest Hemingway and Dolly Parton) are a dreamlike Atlantic archipelago afloat in the mediating warmth of the Gulf Stream.
The Wallace Collection, one of the world’s great galleries, is slightly off the beaten path and sometimes overlooked by visitors. Time to fix that
The bathwater smelled like rust. It looked like it too. Alone in my private room at the Roosevelt Bathhouse in Saratoga Spa State Park, I hesitated, my naked toes suspended over lightly bubbling, blood-warm mineral soup. Then, like thousands before me, I took the plunge.
Just across the English Channel yet so often overlooked. Discover the pleasures Northern France in Pas de Calais
Explore the Tin Coast of Cornwall to learn how Cornishmen spread their hard stone mining skills all over the world. Dig a little deeper and discover how they actually powered the European Bronze Age.
The views from the top of Snowdon are among the most spectacular in Europe and you don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy them.
Travel Tips & Itineraries
Some places say they’re dog-friendly when they’re barely dog-tolerant. Here’s how to decide if the hotel or cottage you’re about to book will really welcome your pet.
As we all hunker down to sit out the COVID 19 pandemic what is the point of writing about travel? I look at the role travel writing has played in the past and can play in our future.
Tried and tested tips from experienced travellers.
Spend a morning or an afternoon discovering London Blue Plaques on a Chelsea walk. For more than 150 years, blue plaques on London’s buildings scattered around the city have marked the homes and achievements of the famous and infamous. Join us on this free, self-guided tour.
Food & Drink
A classic Southern recipe from a Charleston,S.C, cook that you can make at home.
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.
On the Provence/Languedoc border, a family winery produces 2000-year-old vintages for today’s wine drinkers
Maybe France is off your travel agenda this summer but you can still bring a taste of France to your table with easy recipes that every thrifty French home cook knows.
Features & Special Places
An 18th century dandy’s house is a masterpiece of eccentricity – a mini-castle amid the suburban semis.
How can I begin to describe Snape Maltings? From its strange sounding name to its creative miscellany of art, music, retail and the great outdoors, it defies categorization. You simply have to go to Snape Maltings to experience this destination for yourself.
An almost secret attraction that has been hiding in plain sight
Reims Cathedral, Notre Dame de Reims, is one of the world’s great masterpieces of Gothic architecture. It’s also the centrepiece of a UNESCO World Heritage site and a battle-scarred survivor with more facelifts to its name than Dolly Parton.