Monday, August 22, 2011

ENGLAND-SOUTHWEST

BRISTOL (includes Clifton & Thornbury)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Full Court Press – 59 Broad Street (Old City); 011-44-077-9480-8552; fcpcoffee.com; opens at 7 a.m.; excellent, carefully prepared, coffee and some breakfast pastries; absolute gem and worth special visit; young man, David, very knowledgeable about Old City area and offers ideas about off-beaten-path sights.

Bars & Nightclubs
Apple Cider Boat Bristol – Welsh Back; 011-44-011-7925-3500; applecider.co.uk; cider-lovers venue in converted barge; 40 varieties, including raspberry, strawberry & 6 different perries (pear ciders).
Grain Barge – Mardyke Wharf, Hotwell Road; 011-44-011-7929-9347; grainbarge.com; built in 1936, overhauled in 2007; renowned microbrewery; gaze across harbor while downing pint of traditional No. 7 Bitter or dark Exhibition ale.
Highbury Vaults – 164 St. Michael’s Hill; 011-44-011-7973-3203; youngs.co.uk/pubs/highbury-vaults; endearingly scruffy boozer; wood-paneled hallways & rooms warren; at least 8 real ales on tap; delightful little beer garden, too – look out for little train running through greenery.
Hort’s – 49 Broad Street (Old City); 011-44-011-7925-2520; hortsbristol.com; wide selection ales & ciders; creative pub-fare; mod-ish atmosphere; has mini-cinema in back that shows movies while sports play in main area.
Lansdown – 8 Clifton Road (Clifton); 011-44-011-7973-4949; thelansdown.com; traditional pub popular with locals.
Pipe & Slippers – 118 Cheltenham Road (Montpellier-Stokes Croft); 011-44-011-7942-7711; barwarsltd.com/the-pipe-and-slippers; proper pub feel thanks to lofty ceilings, burnished wood & hand-pulled beers; good for food, too, & 1 a.m. license.
Zero Degrees – 53 Colston Street; 011-44-011-7925-2706; zerodegrees.co.uk; glass, chrome & steel modern microbrewery, serving everything from fruit beers & pale wheat ale to Czech-style Black & Pilsner lagers.

Hotels
Hotel du Vin & Bistro – Sugar House (Narrow Lewins Mead); 011-44-084-4736-4252; hotelduvin.com.

Restaurants
Bell’s Diner – 1-3 York Road; 011-44-011-7924-0357; bellsdiner.com; run by one of Bristol’s most respected chefs, Christopher Wicks, probably Bristol’s best bistro; reservations essential.
Bordeaux Quay – Canon’s Way (Harborside); 011-44-011-7943-1200; bordeaux-quay.co.uk; ecoconscious restaurant housed in converted dock warehouse; offers range of settings (downstairs cafe for cake, coffee & bistro lunches, with more formal upstairs for Mediterranean-style dining.
Fishers – 35 Princess Victoria Street; 011-44-011-7974-7044; fishers-restaurant.com; sophisticated seafooderie originally opened in Oxford, but has had Bristol outpost for over decade; among city’s top choices for fish supper, from baked bream to fresh British lobster; hot shellfish platter (£42 for 2 people) made for sharing; simple setting with stripy table cloths, whitewashed walls & ships’ lanterns.
Muset by Ronnie – 12-16 Clifton Road (Clifton); 011-44-011-7973-7248; ronnies-restaurant.co.uk; rich, hearty fare such as smoked eel, lamb shank & roast duck, served with steamed kohlrabi or brown shrimp butter.
Primrose Cafe – 1-2 Boyce’s Avenue (Clifton); 011-44-011-7946-6577; primrosecafe.co.uk; Clifton classic; perfect for morning coffee spent with papers, quick lunchtime snack or proper sit-down dinner; British food with French accent, served up in cosy candlelit dining room full of wooden furniture & chalkboard menus; next door to one of Bristol’s oldest shopping arcades.
Ronnie’s – 11 St. Mary Street (Thornbury); 011-44-014-5441-1137; ronnies-restaurant.co.uk.
Rosemarino – 1 York Place (Clifton); 011-44-011-7973-6677; rosemarino.co.uk; elegant Italian that serves breakfast through dinner (actually need reservation for breakfast).

Sights & Sites
Ashton Court Estate – Long Ashton (Clifton, over Clifton Suspension Bridge); 011-44-011-7963-9174; ashtoncourtestate.com; 2 miles from city center, this huge estate has 850 acres of oak woodland, trails & public park.
Bristol Cathedral – College Green; 011-44-011-7926-4879; bristol-cathedral.co.uk; founded as 12th Century monastery church, heavily remodeled during 19th Century; among Britain’s best examples of “Hall Church” (meaning nave, chapels & choir are same height); parts of choir are medieval; south transept contains rare Saxon carving of Harrowing of Hell, discovered under chapter-house floor after 19th Century fire; stained glass windows installed after WWII, reflect local imagery, circa mid-20th Century.
Bristol Lido – Oakfield Place (Clifton); 011-44-011-7933-9530; lidobristol.com; public hot tub dating back to 1849; fully restored (with balmy water temperature of around 24˚C); spa treatments & massage sessions available; rather good bar & restaurant; phone ahead to make sure space.
British Empire & Commonwealth Museum – Station Road; 011-44-011-7925-9480; empiremuseum.co.uk; Bristol’s slave-trading past; 16 galleries range over 500 years.
Clifton Suspension Bridge – B 3129, Percival Road (spanning Avon Gorge from Clifton to Leigh Woods); 011-44-011-7973-1579 (Bridgemaster); cliftonbridge.org.uk; Clifton’s most famous (and photographed) landmark; Isambard Kingdom Brunel masterpiece; free guided tours at 3 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays from Easter to October.
Clifton Village – Clifton; elegant hilltop suburb packed with impressive Georgian mansions; finest examples along Cornwallis & Royal York Crescents; streetside cafes, designer shops & village-y atmosphere.
Georgian House – 7 Great George Street; 011-44-011-7921-1362; bristolmuseums.org.uk/georgian-house-museum; 18th Century house evokes aristocratic life in Bristol during Georgian era; 6-storied house belonged to West India merchant John Pinney, along with his slave Pero (after whom Pero’s Bridge across harbour named); look out for Pinney’s cold-water plunge-pool in basement.
M Shed – Princes Wharf, Wapping Road; 011-44-011-7352-6600; bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed; brand-new museum lodged in massive old warehouse overlooking docks; treasure trove of weird-&-wonderful memorabilia rummaging through city’s past.
Old City – bristololdcity.co.uk/old-city-heritage-trail; medieval to Georgian portion of city.
Red Lodge – Park Row; 011-44-011-7921-1360; bristolmuseums.org.uk/red-lodge-museum; historic house museum; original structure Elizabethan/Tudor (built in 1579-80).
St. John Baptist Church – Broad Street (at lower end & Quay Street intersection); 011-44-020-7213-0660; visitbristol.co.uk/things-to-do/st-john-the-baptists-church-p25891; in Old City wall; dates to 1174 A.D.; can ask for tour of lower crypt.
SS Great Britain – Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road; 011-44-011-7926-0680; ssgreatbritain.org; former passenger steamship, advanced for her time; longest passenger ship in world from 1845-54.
Stokes Croft – Stokes Croft Road; isitbristol.co.uk/things-to-do/banksy-walking-tour-p1354013; neighborhood notable for street art; Banksy’s at Montpelier Health Centre (Bath Buildings) & Hamilton House.


CORNWALL (includes St. Austell, Portwrinkle, Rame Head, St. Buryan & St. Ives)
Dives
Scylla – Whitsand Bay (runs from Rame Head (east) to Portwrinkle); among world’s largest “purpose-sunk” wrecks.

General
1st Great Western Railway “Cornish Riviera Express” Train – Plymouth; 011-44-084-5700-0125; firstgreatwestern.co.uk; British express passenger train that has run between London and Penzance in Cornwall since 1904; train leaves from London’s Paddington station.

Hotels
Pedn Olva Hotel – West Porthminster Beach (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-6222; pednolva.co.uk; near former tin mine; views over bay & beach.

Restaurants
Blas Burgerworks – Warren (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-7272; blasburgerworks.co.uk; hamburgers.
Black Rock – Market Place (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-1911; theblackrockstives.co.uk; famous for farmhouse-style bread; sophisticated cooking in semi-casual atmosphere; decorated with works by local artists.
Ferryboat Inn – Helford Passage (Falmouth); 011-44-013-2625-0625; ferryboatinnhelford.com; try apple crumble for dessert.
Jamaica Inn – Bolventor (Launceston); 011-44-015-668-6250; jamaicainn.co.uk; originally public house, now Grade II listed building & inn; built as coaching house in 1750 (staging post for changing horses during stagecoach runs over moor); smuggler base in past & setting for Daphne du Maurier’s eponymous novel.
Loft – Norway Lane (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-4204; theloftrestaurantandterrace.co.uk; great meals on balcony overlooking harbor and town; in former sail loft.
Porthminster Cafe – Porthminster Beach (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-5352; porthminstercafe.co.uk; seafood in airy, light-filled setting.

Shopping
Leach Pottery – Higher Stennack (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-9703; leachpottery.com; founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada; among worlds’ most famous and influential studio potteries.
New Craftsman Gallery – 24 Fore Street (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-5652; newcraftsmanstives.com; founded by Bernard Leach’s wife; ceramics and paintings.
Porthminster Gallery – 3 Fern Lea Terrace (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-5888; porthminstergallery.co.uk; art.
Porthminster Gallery Two – Westcott’s Quay (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-3978; porthminstergallery.co.uk; art; inside old pilchard house.
Wills Lane Gallery – Wills Lane; 011-44-017-3679-5723; willslanegallery.co.uk; overlooks old Market House; varied artwork.

Sights & Sites
Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden – Barnoon Hill (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-6226; tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives; 42 abstract sculptures.
Boskednan Stone Circle – Pezance (north of Madron-to-Morvah Road, approximately 1 km northwest of Boskednan); megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=559; can only be reached on foot; enigmatic Mên-an-Tol stones (which may also be remains of stone circle) are less than 1 kilometre to southwest.
Chevron Folds – Millook Haven (Millook); myweb.tiscali.co.uk/geologyofcornwall; in 2014 cliffs at Millook Haven voted by Geological Society of London as among Britain’s top 10 geological sites; cliffs display impressive series of recumbent chevron folds, in Carboniferous age killas of inter-bedded sandstones & shales, originally deposited in deep water; ancient semi-natural woodland has been described as best ravine wood in Cornwall & along with coast is within Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dozmary Pool – Bodmin Moor (Bolventor); 10.5 mi from sea; claimed to be home to Lady of Lake (where King Arthur rowed out & received sword Excalibur); also where Bedivere returned Excalibur as Arthur lay dying after Battle of Camlann.
Eden Project Humid Tropics Biome – Bodelva (St. Austell); 011-44-017-2681-1911; cornwall-online.co.uk/attractions/eden/humid-tropical-biome.htm; World’s largest conservatory; houses over 2K species tropical plants; giant waterfall; divided into Oceanic Islands, West Africa, Tropical South America, and South East Asia; encompassed in geodesic framework.
High Cliff – between Boscastle & St. Gennys; highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall (735').
Leach Pottery – Higher Stennack (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-9703; leachpottery.com; founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada; among worlds’ most famous and influential studio potteries.
Mên-an-Tol (Crick Stone) – Penzance (near Madron-to-Morvah Road); historic-cornwall.org.uk/a2m/bronze_age/stone_circle/men_an_tol/men_an_tol.htm; 3 upright granite stones, round stone with middle holed out with 2 standing stones to each side, in front of & behind hole; westernmost stone moved into straight line with other 2 stones sometime after 1815; other standing stone nearby & 6 recumbent stones, some of which are buried; cairn is low stony mound just to southeast; 2 other early Bronze Age barrows or cairns between 120-150 metres to north.
Lost Gardens of Heligan – Pentewan (Saint Austell, near Mevagissey); 011-44-017-2684-5100; heligan.com; among most popular UK botanical gardens; typical 19th Century Gardenesque style (with different character & design areas); created by Cornish Tremayne family from mid-18th Century to early 20th Century; neglected after WWI & restored only in 1990s; include aged & colossal camellias & rhododendrons, lake series fed by ram pump over 100 years old, highly productive flower & vegetable gardens, Italian garden & wild area filled with subtropical tree ferns called “Jungle”; gardens also have Europe’s only remaining “pineapple pit,” warmed by rotting manure & 2 figures made from rocks & plants known as “Giant’s Head” & “Mud Maid”; place name, properly pronounced ‘h‘LIG‘n‘, & not ‘HEL-i-gun‘ (derived from Cornish word helygen, “willow tree.”
Mên Scryfa – Penzance (about 300 metres north of Mên-An-Fol, see above); megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=110; inscribed standing stone, dating to early medieval period.
Tate St. Ives – Porthmeor Beach (St. Ives); 011-44-017-3679-6226; tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives; rotating exhibits.
Tintagel Castle – Castle Road (Tintagel); 011-44-037-0333-1181; english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tintagel-castle; supposed King Arthur birthplace; clifftop castle occupied since Roman times & onetime residence for Cornwall Celtic elite; present castle is largely work of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who built castle here during 1230s; classic fairy-tale castle.
Tolven Holed Stone – Gweek (near Helston); megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=7474.
Tregiffian Burial Chamber – St. Buryan; 011-44-037-0333-1181; english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tregiffian-burial-chamber; neolithic or early Bronze age chambered tomb; rare form of passage grave, known as “entrance grave.”
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens – Gulval (Penzance); 011-44-017-3644-8089; tremenheere.co.uk; in West Cornwall; in beautiful, sheltered valley; dramatic vistas, streams, woods; large scale exotic & sub-tropical planting; also, contemporary art installations by David Nash, Kishio Suga & James Turrell.



COTSWOLDS (includes Gloucestershire)
Hotels
Barnsley House & Spa – Route B4425 (Barnsley); 011-44-012-8574-0000; barnsleyhouse.com; 18-room property with 11-acre park; emphasis on gardens but rooms lovely and recently redone.
Buckland Manor – Buckland near Broadway (Broadway); 011-44-013-8685-2626; bucklandmanor.co.uk; romantic hideaway in Victoria’s Alpine High Country’s heart; combines comfort with seclusion; 4 stand-alone studios built of corrugated and rusted steel, stone, and timber; views across vineyards and grassy plains to Mount Buffalo peaks; glass-walled showers with double rain showers (but no tubs) overlook pristine gum-tree forest; wood-burning stoves; best time to go is June-August (for snow sports) and December-February (long summer days); book Studio 4 for maximum seclusion.
Cowley Manor Hotel & Spa – Cowley (Cheltenham); 011-44-012-4287-0900; cowleymanor.com; boutique.
Egypt Mill – Nailsworth; 011-44-014-5383-3449; egyptmill.com.
Ellenborough Park – Southam (Cheltenham, adjacent to racecourse); 011-44-012-4222-5660; ellenboroughpark.com; in Cotswalds’ heart; set in Cotswolds’ heart, overlooking Cheltenham racecourse; formerly Ellenborough Earl’s estate, India’s Governor General; magnificent English country house with 62 luxury bedrooms; 3 open-plan suites and 1 split-level suite; Indian-themed spa with hydrotherapy pool, fitness suite, and heated outdoor swimming pool; interior design by Nina Campbell; both casual and formal dining rooms; afternoon teas served on lawn or in Great Hall; heated outdoor swimming pool; set in 100 acres parkland.
Hotel du Vin – Parabola Road (Cheltenham); 011-44-0844-736-4254; hotelduvin.com; in chic Montpellier district; former Carlton Hotel.
Montpellier Chapter – Bayshill Road; 011-44-012-4252-7788; chapterhotels.com; affordable; Regency-style villa with modern British-design furnishings; clubby bar and restaurant serving hearty English fare (venison with parsnips); sister hotel to Upper House in Hong Kong.
Owlpen Manor – Uley; 011-44-014-5386-0261; owlpen.com; very mixed reviews in accommodation terms but indisputably beautiful location.
Painswick – Kemps Lane (Painswick); 011-44-014-5281-3688; thepainswick.co.uk; handsome, 18th Century house with Arts & Crafts addition; restaurant with 16 stylish bedrooms; best area place to stay.
Temple Guiting Manor – Temple Guiting; 011-44-014-5185-1862; sophieconrantg.com; 5 unique guest suites.
Village Pub – Barnsley; 011-44-012-8574-0421; thevillagepub.co.uk.

Restaurants
Daylesford Organic – near Kingham (Daylesford); 011-44-016-0873-1700; daylesfordorganic.com.
Star Anise Art Café – Gloucester Street (Stroud, at Old Painswick Inn); 011-44-014-5384-0021; pastries and great coffees and teas.
Village Pub – Barnsley; 011-44-012-8574-0421; thevillagepub.co.uk; try Dorset crab, ham hock salad, and/or clam-mussel bowl.
Wild Garlic – 3 Cossack Square (Nailsworth); 011-44-014-5383-2615; wild-garlic.co.uk; try seared partridge breast with parsnips and poached and roasted poussin with black pudding stuffing.

Services
Cheltenham Tourist Information Center – 77 Promenade (Cheltenham); 011-44-012-4252-2878; visitcheltenham.com; for “Cotswold Way” hiking map.
Cowley Manor Spa – Cowley (Cheltenham); 011-44-012-4287-0900; cowleymanor.com.
Hay Barn Spa – near Kingham (Daylesford); 011-44-016-0873-1700; daylesfordorganic.com; tiny day spa and yoga studio.

Shopping
Daylesford Organic – near Kingham (Daylesford); 011-44-016-0873-1700; daylesfordorganic.com.

Sights & Sites
Badminton House – Badminton (South Gloucestershire); 011-44-014-5421-8203; badmintonestate.co.uk; in 1612 4th Worcester Earl Edward Somerset bought from Nicholas Boteler, called Madmintune in Domesday Book; architect William Kent renovated and extended house in Palladian style; 4th duke brought Canaletto to England & 2 paintings remain in house; regardless of whether badminton as sport re-introduced from British India or invented during 1863 hard winter by 8th duke, was popularized here; Queen Mary stayed here for much of WWII; very strongly associated with fox hunting; lovely gardens; check ahead of time to make sure open to public; note, see Caravaggio’s Lute Player (1596, disputed).
Dyrham Park – Dyrham (South Gloucestershire); 011-44-011-7937-2501; nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park; baroque mansion in ancient deer park; set in 274 acres gardens and parkland; dates to 1692; Dutch decorative arts showcase; open to public February-December, 10-5 (check National Trust webpage); bus regularly goes down to house, gardens, tea room, and shop but also designated walking path; filming location for 1993 Remains of Day 1999 BBC mini-series Wives and Daughters.
Giffords Circus – tours West Country; 011-44-084-5459-7469; giffordscircus.com; 1930s traveling circus recreation; only 360 spectators per show.
Gloucester Cathedral – 12 College Green; 011-44-014-5252-8095; gloucestercathedral.org.uk.
Hidcote Manor Garden – Hidcote Bartrim (near Chipping Campden); 011-44-013-8643-8333; nationaltrust.org.uk; outdoor “rooms” designed by exotic plant hunter and naturalist Lawrence Johnston.
Edward Jenner Museum & Garden – Chantry, Church Lane (Berkeley); 011-44-014-5381-0631; jennermuseum.com; 18th Century building, called Chantry, is home of Edward Jenner FRS, physician, surgeon & smallpox vaccination pioneer; rustic hut at garden bottom was where Jenner treated poorer district families; 1st ever vaccinations in 1796 & 1798.
St. Mary’s Church – Church Lane (Berkeley); 011-44-014-5381-0294; stmarys-berkeley.co.uk; encompasses 6K years of English history.
Rococo Gardens – Gloucester Road (Painswick, Stroud); 011-44-014-5281-3204; rococogarden.org.uk; beautiful garden with theatrical sets; among largest naturalistic snowdrop plantings in country.
Severn Bore – best seen at Stonebench (near Elmore, on east bank) or Minsterworth (on west bank); 011-44-084-5880-0143; thesevernbore.co.uk; primary viewpoint at Minsterworth is at Severn Bore Inn (on A48, large car park & offers hot drinks and meals throughout bores), which floodlights for night time bores; also can be seen at Over Bridge, which provides only accessible river bore overview bore; in some respects, best experienced at night when less chance of powerboats.
Sudeley Castle – Winchcombe; 011-44-012-4260-2308; sudeleycastle.co.uk; in Cotswold Hills; once home to Queen Katherine Parr, King Henry VIII’s last and only surviving wife; destroyed by Cromwell’s troops; now family home of Dent-Brocklehursts and Lord and Lady Ashcombe; beautiful gardens, with particular emphasis on conservation and sustainability.



DEVONSHIRE
Hotels
Cary Arms – Beach Road (Babbacombe Beach, South Devon); 011-44-018-0332-7110; caryarms.co.uk; 1920s seaside inn recently redone; 8 rooms and 3 fishermen cottages.
Castle Keep East – Lundy (southeast point); 011-44-016-2882-5925; landmarktrust.org.uk.
Gidleigh Park Hotel – Dartmoor National Park (Chagford); 011-44-016-4743-2367; gidleigh.com; luxurious Relais & Chateaux hotel.

Restaurants
New Angel – 2 South Embankment (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-9425; thenewangel.co.uk; Michelin star; try roasted Blackawton lamb loin with tomato fondue.
Seahorse – 5 South Embankment (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-5147; seahorserestaurant.co.uk; local seafood; casual crowd in restored St. Barnabus Church; overlooks Dart River.
Dartmouth Apprentice – Newcomen Road (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-7820; dartmouthapprentice.com; excellent rustic plates; run by organization that assists disadvantaged to become chefs, maitres d’hotel, and waiters; Italian.
Masons Arms – Knowstone; 011-44-013-9834-1231; masonsarms.co.uk; Michelin starred; try seared local scallops, aromatic duck leg confit with truffled oil mash, steamed venison and mushroom pudding, and west country lobster with spring onion risotto.

Shopping
Distinctly Living – 35 Lower Street (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-2257; distinctlyliving.co.uk; exquisite handblown glassware from Italy and Poland, along with kitschy kitchen items and prints.
Flamingo – 12 Duke Street (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-5556; flamingo-gifts.co.uk; curiosities and musical instruments, hand-hewn side tables; bronze sculpture.
Signature of Dartmouth – 34 Lower Street (Dartmouth); 011-44-018-0383-2000; eclectic object array; distressed furniture; oversize wall clocks; flocked cushions; candles; lanterns; and Indian parasols.

Sights & Sites
Powderham Castle – Kenton (Exeter, across from Lympstone); 011-44-016-2689-0243; powderham.co.uk; named from ancient Dutch word polder, meaning “reclaimed marsh-land hamlet”; private house occupied by Devon countess and earl.



DORSET (includes Bockhampton, Dorchester, Poole, Sturminster Newton & Wareham)
Hotels
Alexandra Hotel – Pound Street (Lyme Regis); 011-44-012-9744-2010; hotelalexandra.co.uk; ideal mixture of town’s quaint past and its more polished future.
Black House – Mudeford Spit; 011-44-078-5528-0191; theblackhouse.co.uk; 4-people unit that rents by week.
Captains Club Hotel – Wick Lane (Christchurch, near Mudeford); 011-44-012-0247-5111; captainsclubhotel.com; 4-star luxury accommodations on Stour River.
Hotel du Vin – Quay, Thames Street (Poole); 011-44-0844-748-9265; hotelduvin.com/locations/poole; beautiful Georgian house clad in ivy; 38 bedrooms & suites.
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant & Spa – 9 Fore Street (Evershot); 011-44-019-3548-2000; summerlodgehotel.co.uk.

Restaurants
Crab House Cafe – Fleet Oyster Farm (Wyke Regis, at Portland Road); 011-44-013-0578-8867; crabhousecafe.co.uk.
Electric Palace – 35 South Street (Bridport); 011-44-013-0842-8354; electricpalace.org.uk; restored cinema and opera house that shows various events.
Hive Beach Cafe – Beach Road (Burton Bradstock); 011-44-013-0889-7070; hivebeachcafe.co.uk.
Hix Oyster & Fish House – Cobb Road (Lyme Regis); 011-44-012-9744-6910; hixoysterandfishhouse.co.uk; lunch by sea (ask for balcony, weather permitting); try treacle tart for dessert (laced with brandy and studded with cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
Perry’s – 4 Trinity Road (Weymouth); 011-44-013-0578-5799; inventive dishes like venison with spicy carrot puree and grilled sea bass with cumin and coriander carrots.
River Cottage Canteen – Trinity Square (Axminster); 011-44-012-9763-1862; rivercottage.net; try local, line-caught sea bass and slow-roast saddleback pork shoulder.
Riverside Restaurant – West Bay (near Bridport, behind West Bay harbor); 011-44-013-0842-2011; thefishrestaurant-westbay.co.uk.

Services
River Cottage HQ – Trinity Hill Road (Axminster); 011-44-012-9763-0300; rivercottage.net; holistic food community and farm; runs daylong courses and special food events, like mushroom foraging, or how to butcher pig and use all parts.

Sights & Sites
Badbury Rings – Blandford Road (Blandford Forum); 011-44-013-0526-2600 (hidden Dorset); theheritagetrail.co.uk/early%20ages/badbury%20rings.htm; dating from Iron Age (800 BCE-50 CE), hill fort constructed on a site occupied during Bronze Age (2200-800BCE); hill fort itself consists of 3 concentric, circular ditches that protect large inner sanctuary for inhabitants.
Blandford Forum – Salisbury Road at A350 (between Cranborne Chase & Dorset Downs, at Blackmore Vale’s south eastern corner, 15 miles northwest of Poole & 22 miles southwest of Salisbury); opcdorset.org/Blandford/BlandfordForum.htm; Georgian town, entire center having been rebuilt at once in 18th Century after 1731 fire; uniformly Georgian; notable buildings include Corn Exchange & 1732 Church of St. Peter & St. Paul (classical building with cupola atop tower).
Charborough Estate – Wareham; 011-44-012-5885-7204; charborough.co.uk; must call to arrange visit; rural estate between Bere Regis & Sturminster Marshall; grounds include deer park & gardens; most splendid park in Dorset; estate owned by same family since Elizabethan times & 1st recorded in Domesday Book Survey of 1086, commissioned by William I of England.
Chesil Beach – Weymouth; take walk in any weather.
Corfe Castle – Square, Isle of Purbeck (Wareham); 011-44-019-2948-1294; nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle; dates back to 11th Century; commands gap in Purbeck Hills on route between Swanage & Wareham; among earliest castles in England to be built using stone (i.e., when majority built with earth & timber; in 1572, Elizabeth I sold to Sir Christopher Hatton; Sir John Bankes bought in 1635 & owned during English Civil War (his wife, Lady Mary Bankes, led castle defense when twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces; in March 1645, as one of last remaining royalist strongholds in southern England, fell to siege ending in assault & demolished on Parliament’s orders.
Thomas Hardy Walk – Sturminster Newton; iknow-dorset.co.uk/article/1468-sturminster_newton; begin at Recreation Ground, just near village center (car park, refreshments & shops nearby); set out along path on playing field’s right-hand side; as approach trees at field’s end, 2 houses to right were home to Thomas & Emma Hardy for almost 2 years (private home today, but as you walk through swing gate & onto track that heads down to river, can see plaque commemorating Hardys’ stay; follow footpath down hill (can get little slippery) & left at bottom; cross over white footbridge from where you can see railway bridge ruins (railway Hardy used to keep in touch with London literary world); from here follow footpath signs, through fields & towards Manor; from Manor area, again follow footpath signs that take you to Mill (Hardy & Emma walked up to mill so you really walk in their footsteps); from here return to footpath & back to recreation ground.
Hardy’s Cottage – Higher Bockhampton (Dorchester); 011-44-013-0526-2366; nationaltrust.org.uk/hardys-cottage; small cob & thatch building that is Thomas Hardy’s birthplace; born here in 1840 & lived here until age 34 (during which time he wrote Under Greenwood Tree (1872) & Far from Madding Crowd (1874)) when he moved to Max Gate; cottage built by Hardy’s great-grandfather in 1800.
Max Gate – Alington Avenue (Dorchester); 011-44-013-0526-2538; nationaltrust.org.uk/max-gate; Hardy designed & lived here from 1885 until his death in 1928; wrote Tess of d’Urbervilles, Jude Obscure, and Mayor of Casterbridge, as well as much of his poetry, here.
Portland Isle – Weymouth; worth drive; lovely harbor views.



DURHAM
Hotels
Georgian Town House – 10 Cross Gate (Durham); 011-44-019-1386-8070; durham.bedbreakfastaccommodation.co.uk; close to cathedral.

Sights & Sites
Durham Cathedral – College (Durham); 011-44-019-1386-4266; durhamcathedral.co.uk; 1st building in England with ribbed vault construction; UNESCO World Heritage site..



KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES
Sights & Sites
Kingston Museum & Kingston History Centre (Telegraph Cottage) – Wheatfield Way; 011-44-020-8547-6440; kingston.gov.uk/museum; Kingston Museum tells story of Kingston from ancient beginnings to modern day Royal Borough; Town of Kings Gallery worth seeing.
Telegraph Cottage (D Day Museum) – Warren Road; original building burned down; private street.



SOMERSET (includes Bath, Bruton, Frome, Glastonbury, Wraxhall & Yeovil)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
At Chapel – 28 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-4070; atthechapel.co.uk; previously 17th Century coaching inn; community hub that serves as bakery, cinema, exhibition space, hotel & wine shop.

Hotels
At Chapel – 28 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-4070; atthechapel.co.uk; previously 17th Century coaching inn; community hub that serves as bakery, cinema, exhibition space, hotel & wine shop.
Babington House – Babington near Frome; 011-44-013-7381-2266; babingtonhouse.co.uk; set in 18 acres; countryside retreat with all city life comforts; 23 bedrooms in Main House & Coach House; also, Lodge & Cabin (Lodge has 2 stories with 3 bedrooms & 2 baths, sitting room & fully-equipped kitchen, while Cabin, located by lake, has fully-equipped kitchen & sitting room that leads to 2 bedrooms, 1 with shower, 1 with bath); other facilities at Babington House include Cowshed Relax spa, indoor & outdoor heated pools, gym, steam room, aroma room & sauna, as well as Cinema, 5 tennis courts, cricket pitch, croquet lawn, walled garden, private church & lake.
Bath Priory Hotel – Priory Lodge, Weston Road (Bath); 011-44-012-2533-1922; thebathpriory.co.uk; luxury hotel short walk (through parkland) from Roman Bath’s heart.
Royal Crescent Hotel – 16 Royal Crescent (Bath); 011-44-012-2582-3333; royalcrescent.co.uk; 18th Century property; near Roman baths; masterpiece of European architecture with fabulous spa.
Ston Easton Park – Bath; 011-44-012-1761-241-631; stoneaston.co.uk; built in 18th Century for John Hippisley Coxe (Hippisley family having been Ston Easton Manor Lords since 1544, and, in 17th Century had moved from old manor to new Jacobean house, later converted into Palladian mansion by John Hippisley Coxe); in 1956, descendant Richard John Bayntun Hippisley died, and his son John Preston Hippisley, had to sell to pay death duties; house sold in 2001 to Von Essen Hotels; gardens and landscaped grounds (7 acres) & park (150 acres).

Restaurants
Dower House – 16 Royal Crescent (Bath, in Royal Crescent Hotel); 011-44-012-2582-3333; royalcrescent.co.uk; near Roman baths; overlooks quiet gardens.

Services
Thermae Bath Spa – 6-8 Hot Bath Street (Bath); 011-44-084-4888-0844; thermaebathspa.com; Britain’s only natural thermal spa; enjoy soak in roof-top pool, with abbey views.

Shopping
Antique Shop – 5 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-3264; antiques, china, gifts, glass, jewelry & silver.
Bean Shot Coffee – Roastery, Station Road (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-3180; beanshot.co.uk; coffee for connoisseurs.
Godminster Farm Shop – Station Road (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-3733; godminster.com; cheese & artisanal farm products.
Hauser & Wirth – Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane (Bruton, at 13 High Street); 011-44-017-4981-4060; hauserwirthsomerset.com; art.
Michael Lewis Maps & Prints – 17 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-3557; rare finds.
Phillips & Skinner – 19 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-3221; phillipsandskinner.com; midcentury design, including Ercol and Eames.
Quillon House – 16 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-2269; quillonhouseantiques.com; for antique arms & armor, as well as big game taxidermy.

Sights & Sites
At Chapel – 28 High Street (Bruton); 011-44-017-4981-4070; atthechapel.co.uk; previously 17th Century coaching inn; community hub that serves as bakery, cinema, exhibition space, hotel & wine shop.
Bath Abbey – 12 Kingston Buildings (Bath); 011-44-012-2542-2462; bathabbey.org.
Brympton d’Evercy House – Yeovil; 011-44-084-3289-2957; hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/brympton-devercy-house_2206.htm; not open to general public; will have to call & wheedle, offering money because typically rents daily for $2K as wedding setting; on 33 acres; described as England’s most beautiful country house; in 1927 Country Life published 3 articles in which Christopher Hussey described as “most incomparable house in Britain” and “one that created greatest impression and summarises so exquisitely English country life qualities”; has belonged to just 5 families, d’Evercys, Sydenhams, Fanes, Weeks (from 1992-2007), and most recent owner; built between 1220, when begun by D’Evercy family, and 18th Century; for few years following WWII, boys’ school, before being reclaimed by its owners as private house; today, essentially private residence.
Glastonbury Abbey – Magdalene Street (Glastonbury); 011-44-014-5883-2267; glastonburyabbey.com; scattered ruins give little hint this once was among England’s greatest ecclesiastical power seats; torn down following Henry VIII’s monastery dissolution in 1539; last abbot, Richard Whiting, hung, drawn & quartered on tor; striking ruins include some nave walls, St. Mary’s chapel remains & crossing arches, which may have been scissor-shaped like those in Wells Cathedral; grounds also contain museum, cider orchard & herb garden.
Tyntesfield House & Estate – Tyntesfield (Wraxham); 011-44-012-7546-1900; nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield; Victorian Gothic Revival house & estate named after Tynte baronets, who had owned estates in area since about 1500; featured in Doctor Thorne.



WILTSHIRE (includes Avebury, Bishopstone, Chippenham, Lacock, Ogbourne St. George, Salisbury & Swindon)
Hotels
Inn With the Well – Marlborough Road (Ogbourne St. George); 011-44-016-7284-1445; theinnwiththewell.co.uk; comfortable rooms.
Pheasant Inn – 19 Salt Lane (Salisbury); 011-44-017-2241-4926; restaurant-salisbury.com.

Restaurants
Gastropub – 19 Salt Lane (Salisbury, at Pheasant Inn); 011-44-017-2241-4926; restaurant-salisbury.com; French menu; cheap, good lunch.
Haunch of Venison – 1-5 Minster Street (Salisbury); 011-44-017-2241-1313; haunchofvenison.uk.com; 700 year-old restaurant; traditional English food.
Inn With the Well – Marlborough Road (Ogbourne St. George); 011-44-016-7284-1445; theinnwiththewell.co.uk; good food.
Red Lion – High Street (Avebury); 011-44-016-7253-9266; among England’s 10 most haunted pubs; perhaps only pub on earth within “stone circle.”
Royal Oak – Cues Lane (Bishopstone, near Swindon); 011-44-017-9379-0481; royaloakbishopstone.co.uk; excellent organic food; make sure to try “triple-cooked French fries.”

Sights & Sites
Avebury Henge – near Avebury, on A361 between Swindon and Devizes (1.5km/1 mile from A4 London-Bath Road, near Marlborough); 011-44-016-7253-9250; nationaltrust.org.uk; large henge and several stone circles; 1 of finest and largest Neolithic monuments in Europe; about 5K years old; older than Stonehenge’s megalithic stages; World Heritage Site.
Castle Combe Village – castle-combe.com; prettiest village in England, by some accounts.
Chalfield Manor – Melksham (near Bradford-on-Avon); 011-44-012-2578-2239; greatchalfield.co.uk; moated manor house built around 1465-1480; garden with 4 “tree houses” (4 clipped yew groups that have grown together and hollowed out inside; tours at fixed times and visitors escorted by guide; Tropenell Cartulary still kept at house; Other Boleyn Girl filmed here.
Chapter House – next door to Salisbury Cathedral (Salisbury, see below); has best preserved of 4 remaining Magna Carta copies.
Corsham Court – Corsham (3 miles west of Chippenham); 011-44-012-4970-1610; corsham-court.co.uk; English country house in park designed by Capability Brown; notable for fine art collection, based on paintings inherited in 1757 by Paul Methuen from his uncle, diplomat Sir Paul Methuen; currently home to James Methuen-Campbell, 8th Methuen generation to live there & Heir Presumptive to title Baron Methuen; royal manor since Saxon kings, reputedly Ethelred “Unready”’s seat; after William “Conqueror,” passed down through royal family generations, often as English Queen’s dower portion during late 14th-early 15th Centuries; during 16th Century, went to 2 Henry VIII wives (Catherine of Aragon until 1536 & Katherine Parr until 1548); under Elizabeth I, passed out of royal family; present house built in 1582 by Thomas Smythe; owner in mid-17th Century was Parliamentarian New Model Army Commander in Wiltshire; his wife, Lady Margaret Hungerford, built what came to be known as Hungerford Almshouses in town center; in 1745, Paul Methuen bought; in 1761-64, Lancelot “Capability” Brown enlarges & redesigns house & landscapes park; Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon filmed here.
Lacock Abbey & Fox Talbot Museum – Lacock (Chippenham); 011-44-012-4973-0459; gardenvisit.com/gardens/lacock_abbey_garden; 13th Century abbey, adapted by Sanderson Miller in 18th Century; cloisters are example of medieval garden space; Victorian garden made by mother of Henry Fox Talbot, pioneer photographer who took picture, in 1840, of rose garden.
Mompesson House – Cathedral Court (Salisbury); 011-44-017-2233-5659; nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-mompessonhouse; 18th Century, “Queen Anne” house in cathedral close.
Ridgeway National Trail – Salisbury; 1 of 13 National Trails in England; 85-mile recreation route takes visitors through some of country’s most scenic landscape; oldest road in Europe.
Salisbury Cathedral – 33 The Close (Salisbury); 011-44-017-2255-5120; salisburycathedral.org.uk; contains tomb of Lady Catherine Grey, Lady Jane Grey’s sister.
Salisbury Charter Market – Salisbury (town center); open Tuesdays and Saturdays until 5:00 p.m.
Savernake Forest – off A4 (Marlborough); 011-44-016-7251-2161; forestry.gov.uk/savernake; approximately 4.5K acres; most of forest lies within Savernake civil parish; privately owned by Marquess of Ailesbury & family; administered by trustees; since 1939, timber managed by Forestry Commission on 999-year lease; private status maintained by shutting forest to public one day per year.
Wardrobe Regimental Museum – Salisbury; part of Salisbury Cathedral complex (see above); devoted to military history, dating back to 1254.



WORCESTERSHIRE (Broadway, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern, Pershore, Redditch, Stourport-on-Severn, Tenbury Wells, Upton upon Severn & Worcester)
Hotels
Lygon Arms – High Street (Broadway); 011-44-013-6885-8611; barcelo-hotels.co.uk; many-gabled structure with mullioned windows; great old English inn; opens onto private rear garden, with 3 acres of flowers, lawns, nooks, stone walls with roses, and trees; oldest portions date from 1532 or earlier; King Charles I reputedly drank with his friends in 1 oak-lined chamber, and later, his enemy Oliver Cromwell slept here night before Battle of Worcester.

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