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BRITAIN

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE


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EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF WARWICKSHIRE
ENGLAND
Springtime delights from the National Trust
ENJOY THE BEST OF LONDON
WITH OUR TOP TIPS
SECRET GARDENS
MURDER IN THE
CATHEDRAL
THE TRAGIC TALE OF
THOMAS BECKET
CLOCK WATCHING
Classic timepieces, from a
Suffolk sundial to Big Ben
CAPITAL DAY OUT

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When you receive
your copies of this
issue, spring will
have sprung and the
countryside should
be awash not with winter foods but
with colourful bulbs and baby
animals. Talking of babies, this will
be my last issue as editor for a while
as I am of on maternity leave.
Hopefully I shall have time to visit a
few places around Britain that have
been on my bucket list for a while.
One of those is Hampton Court
Palace. I have enjoyed its beautiful
gardens for summertime concerts
and Christmas ice-skating, but have
yet to see the palaces interior our
feature A tale of two palaces (p48)
ofers a taste of its hidden gems.
Hampton Court is also home to
King Henry VIIIs astronomical
clock, which started me thinking
about Britains other treasured
timepieces. Time to shine (p71) tracks
down some of the most wonderful.
Also in this issue we follow in the
footsteps of two of Britains literary
greats, with Shakespeares England
(p6) and a look at the land of Tomas
Hardy (p40). Finally we have our
tips on how to live like a lord in the
grandest hotels and, at the other end
of the scale, a day out in London for
10. Te best of both worlds really!
Jessica Tooze, Editor
VOLUME 82 ISSUE 2
Cover image: Anne Hathaway's
Cottage Robert Harding
World Imagery/Alamy
FEATURES
6 SHAKESPEARE'S ENGLAND
To mark 450 years since William Shakespeare's
birth, we explore Warwickshire, his home
county, where pretty cottages, churches and
castles are in abundance.
15 UNCHARTED WATERS
Britain's history boasts many intrepid explorers
who embarked on dangerous missions and
discovered exciting new lands.
29 BRITISH BULLDOG
Wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill is
one of the most iconic Britons of all time.
33 COMPLIMENTS OF THE CAPITAL
London might be expensive, but some of the
best things to do are completely free.
40 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Dorset's most famous writer, Thomas Hardy,
set his major novels in the south and south-
west of England, an area known as Wessex. Followus @Britainmagazine Like us on Facebook/BritainMagazine
EDITOR'S LETTER
40
The ruins of Corfe
Castle, Dorset
29
CONTENTS
BRITAIN
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
TRAVEL CULTURE HERITAGE STYLE
a luxury break in Richmond upon Thames
EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF WARWICKSHIRE
ENGLAND
Springtime delights from the National Trust
ENJOY THE BEST OF LONDON
WITH OUR TOP TIPS
SECRET GARDENS
MURDER IN THE
CATHEDRAL
THE TRAGIC TALE OF
THOMAS BECKET
CLOCK WATCHING
Classic timepieces, from a
Suffolk sundial to Big Ben
CAPITAL DAY OUT

VOTED BEST HOLIDAY MAGAZINE
WIN
www.britain-magazine.com
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BRITAIN
REGULARS
23 BRIT LIST
To mark 100 years since the outbreak of
World War I, we round up the top
commemorative exhibitions and events.
69 LETTERS
Do get in touch to tell us about your
experiences in Britain or let us know what
you think of the magazine.
77 RICHMOND COMPETITION
Win a wonderful weekend break in
picturesque Richmond upon Thames.
98 BRITISH TRADITIONS
From pagan ritual to chocolate eggs, we
explore the traditions of Easter.
59
www.britain-magazine.com
FEATURES
48 A TALE OF TWO PALACES
From Tudor manor to sprawling royal seat, we
discover the secrets of Hampton Court Palace.
59 SECRET GARDENS
In the second of our series exploring the treasures
of the National Trust, we wander around some of
its most wonderful gardens.
71 TIME TO SHINE
British timepieces from around the country,
including Big Ben and the Hever astrolabe.
79 MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL
From king's confidant to deadly enemy, Thomas
Becket was a dramatic character in life and in death.
86 LIVE LIKE A LORD
Stay on a splendid country estate and enjoy all
the trappings of an aristocratic lifestyle.
E N G L A N D
I R E L A N D
S C OT L A N D
WA L E S
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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
IN THIS ISSUE
86
LIVERPOOL, p71
HAMPTON COURT, p48
71
DORCHESTER, p40
WHITBY, p15
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, p6
CANTERBURY, p79
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A pretty street in
Warwick, with the
towers of Warwick
Castle in the
background
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On the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeares birth we explore his
home county of Warwickshire, one of the countrys most historic and
picturesque destinations
WORDS CLAIRE SANTRY
Warwickshire
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I
n the picture-postcard and chocolate-box markets,
one photogenic property has worn the quintessential
England crown for years: Anne Hathaways Cottage
in Shottery, Warwickshire. With its thatched roof, dark
timber beams and leaded windows overlooking an
enchanting garden of roses, sweet pea, hollyhocks,
delphiniums and scented honeysuckles, it oozes nostalgia
and romance. What could be more delightfully
appropriate than this pretty rural setting forming the
backdrop to the real-life version of Shakespeare in Love?
While the 18-year-old William had to traipse a mile or
so over felds from his home in Stratford-upon-Avon to
court Anne at her familys cottage then called Newlands
Farm todays visitors typically arrive by car or on the
sightseeing bus. Most are quickly seduced by the old
farmhouse as they explore the low-ceilinged bedrooms,
climb the worn stairways, and view the so-called Wooing
Seat where Anne and her much younger beau may have
cuddled in front of the parlours huge inglenook freplace.
The old settle dates from the right era, but whether it
was truly where Shakespeare plighted his troth is open to
conjecture. What is not disputed is that the two married
in 1582 and baby Susanna was born six months later. For
the next fve years the couple lived with Williams family
in Stratford in the half-timbered building now known as
Shakespeares Birthplace on Henley Street. Of the fve
properties owned and managed by the Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust, Anne Hathaways Cottage is
undoubtedly the most intimate and homely, but the most
Left: Anne
Hathaway's Cottage.
Facing page: A
narrowboat on the
River Avon with
Shakespeare's burial
place, Holy Trinity
Church, in the
background
visited is Shakespeares Birthplace, where performers in
period dress bring domestic Elizabethan routine to life.
For those on the Shakespeare pilgrimage trail, the Trust
has another three sites to visit Halls Croft, where
Susanna lived with her apothecary husband; Nashs House
and neighbouring New Place, the site of the house where
William lived out his fnal years; and Mary Ardens Farm,
the family home of his mother and a frm favourite with
children. There is also Holy Trinity Church, where
William, Anne, Susanna and her husband are buried in
the chancel. The right to a fnal resting place in the
chancel was granted by virtue of Williams status as a
lay-rector rather than his virtuosity as a poet and he lies
beneath a grave slab inscribed with the warning: And
cursed be he that moves my bones.
The great poets last theatrical line can be read just a
stones throw from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST),
another huge magnet for visitors, whether or not they
intend to take in a performance. It is a vast edifce, rising
up from the west bank of the River Avon, with a
fascinating history. This story is best understood by joining
one of the daily tours of the building; the enthusiastic
guides can satisfy most queries, including statistical details,
architectural history, and the secret stagecraft techniques
used for some of the Bards most gory scenes. Depending
on stage design and rehearsal schedules, the tours usually
take in the actors quick change spaces, wigs and
make-up areas, the auditorium with its new thrust stage,
and the technical control room, as well as the public areas.
Although all visitors are free to wander around the
public areas, most of those who dont join the highly P
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Te right to a fnal resting place in
the chancel was granted by virtue
of Williams status as a lay-rector
rather than his virtuosity as a poet
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recommended tours probably overlook some of the
buildings most interesting features and quirks. Who, for
example, would recognise the elevated aluminium ticket
box in the fabulous Art Deco foyer if it werent pointed out
to them? Who would grasp the signifcance of the three
chairs looming above diners in the roof-top restaurant?
And who would appreciate that the battered-looking foor
boards in the main public circulation area are the very
stage boards so well trodden by the likes of Laurence
Olivier, John Gielgud, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Kenneth
Branagh and many other famous thespians?
For a small fee, a trip to the RST can include an
escalator ride to the 32-metre-level of the tower to enjoy a
view that might, on a clear day, reach beyond the nearby
National Trust properties of Charlecote Park and
Baddesley Clinton and the award-winning art gallery at
Compton Verney (all very worthwhile places to visit in the
vicinity), and out across the county into Gloucestershire,
Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
While the lift is the quickest route back to ground
level, those with robust joints may prefer the option of
descending via the stairway. With 174 steps, it doubles as
a photographic gallery and depicts the chronology of all
37 of the Bard of Avons plays, starting at the top with
what is believed to be his earliest work, Two Gentlemen
of Verona, written in c. 1589, and ending with his 1613
work, Henry VIII, on reaching the foyer.
Even the most focused literary fan can become rather
Shakespeared-out in Stratford and require a change of
pace. Some might head for a bit of retail therapy in the
small towns fairly regular range of stores, or sample
some of its many quaint tea shops, restaurants and pubs.
Others will take a cue from the swans serenely gliding
along the River Avon and choose to take their relaxation
on or by the water.
With wide public spaces, gardens and lawns on both
banks, an old-fashioned lock opening into a marina flled
with cheerfully painted narrowboats, a bandstand, an old
chain ferry and two photogenic bridges with no fewer
than 26 arches between them, the towns riverside is a
lovely place to promenade and explore. Theres also the
chance to hop on a short river cruise, hire a rowing boat,
punt or canoe, play some crazy golf or simply seek out a
shady bench beneath a weeping willow and watch the
world go by. It can be a busy world at times, especially in
high summer or during festivals or special events just
watch out when the rumbustious and totally potty charity
raft race rows this way each June!
While Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare go hand in
hand, the wider county has plenty of other literary
Clockwise from
top left: The Royal
Shakespeare
Theatre; Mary
Arden's House; a
quaint tea shop in
Stratford-upon-
Avon. Facing page:
Nash's House and
New Place garden;
Kenilworth Castle;
Bidford-on-Avon
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connections. Nuneaton in the north has George Eliot,
Stoneleigh has Jane Austen, Kenilworth has Sir Walter
Scott and Rugby has so many it even provides special
outdoor seating for those who want to curl up with a good
book from one of its wordsmith sons.
In truth, any desire to curl up soon passes because,
despite having the appearance of a Chesterfeld sofa, a cosy
chaise longue and a Queen Anne footstool, Rugbys al
fresco Reading Rooms are sculpted from Wattscliffe
sandstone and set on a granite carpet! These unusual
works of public art, designed and created by Michael
Scheuermann, were inspired by the works of Lewis
Carroll, Arthur Ransome, Rupert Brooke, Salman Rushdie
and other authors connected to the small town, and there
are dozens of intriguing devices and allusions to their
literature carved into the hard stone. Among them is a
piece of real porcelain teacup embedded in the chaise
longue to represent the complementary pairing of tea and a
good book, and the church clock with its hands at ten to
three (Stands the church clock at ten-to-three? And is
there honey still for tea? from Rupert Brooke).
With its place in history assured thanks to a schoolboy
who picked up and ran with a football in 1823, Rugby
has a strong following on the tourist trail. It also has an
attractive Victorian centre with lots of individual stores
J In 1602, Shakespeare bought lands
in the Welcombe Hills, to the north of
Stratford. Today the area is better known
for its glorious country mansion hotel
the Menzies Welcombe (pictured above).
With its spa and golf club, fine dining,
four-poster bedrooms and grand terraced
gardens, this is Stratfords treat-yourself
hotel par excellence.
www.menzieshotels.co.uk
J Warwick Castle will toast its 1,100th
anniversary in 2014 with a number of
special events and the relaunch of its
Kingmaker attraction which will now
encapsulate the BBC series, The White
Queen, based on Philippa Gregory's
bestselling novel. www.warwick-castle.com
J Stoneleigh Abbey was once the
country seat of Jane Austens relatives
the Leighs and the young novelist found
both the house and its family intriguing.
So, too, do the visitors who seek out this
little-known Warwickshire gem. This year
the abbey will be celebrating the 200th
anniversary of Janes Mansfield Park.
www.stoneleighabbey.org
J The Heritage Motor Centre, home to the
worlds largest collection of British cars, will
celebrate its 21st anniversary this year with
a special line-up of the best British design
icons. www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk
BEYOND THE BARD
Warwickshire
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to browse in, making it one of several interesting
Warwickshire towns to stroll around. Another is Royal
Leamington Spa, which wears its royal status rather
prominently and, some say, a little snootily, but gets
away with it on account of its undoubted elegance.
Smaller in size, but certainly worth visiting for appealing
olde worlde charm are Bidford-on-Avon, Shipston-on-
Stour, Henley-in-Arden and the unhyphenated, but no
less characterful, Alcester.
The county town of Warwick also has great browsing
credentials, especially for books and antiques, but its
best known attraction is its giant castle. Warwick Castle
is one of the countrys top-drawer heritage sites and
fulfls every childs imaginary medieval fortress wish-list
with its round towers, a moat and drawbridge, dungeons
and arrow slits, and a seemingly permanent household of
fair maidens and chaps in tights. Although its most
famous historical tales derive from its 15th-century links
with the supremely powerful Kingmaker, Richard
Neville, Earl of Warwick, its story actually dates back to
before the Norman Conquest.
In the castellated ramparts stakes, Warwicks nearby
rival, Kenilworth Castle, is rather less imposing, mainly
because it got bashed about rather badly in the Civil
War. However, when a low sun hits the red sandstone
ruins of the 12th-century keep or a bright sky makes a
silhouette of John of Gaunts Great Hall, no one can
deny that it wears its battle scars well. It is a relaxed
place to visit, less showy than Warwick, with a restored
Elizabethan garden, a couple of small exhibitions and,
new this year, viewing platforms over the castle grounds
where Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, romanced but
failed to win Queen Elizabeth I.
Nothing can beat the hollowed out Cathedral of St
Michael in Coventry, in the north of the historical county
of Warwickshire, for heart-rending ruins, for no centuries
have passed to soften visitors emotional responses to the
devastation that rained down on the citys medieval church
on 14 November 1940 during its worst Blitz attack. Locals,
however, made the journey from destruction to hope when
they built a brand new church adjacent to the ruins.
From the outside, the huge sandstone bulk of the
modern church, consecrated in 1962, doesnt look very
promising. Its architect, Sir Basil Spence, intended this.
The [new] cathedral will be like a plain jewel casket with
many jewels inside, he said, as he set out to commission
an array of 20th-century treasures from renowned artists
such as American-born sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein and
English sculptor Elisabeth Frink.
Today, the two parts of the cathedral the hushed ruins
and the impressive modern symbol of reconciliation are
strongly embedded in the citys psyche, offering a quiet
place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a lunchtime
sandwich, view some world-class art, spend time in
spiritual refection or even read some Shakespeare in one
of the countrys most evocative settings.
For more information and holiday ideas in Shakespeares England
please visit the official website at www.shakespeares-england.co.uk
ANNIVERSARY JOURNEY
Stratford-upon-Avon will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of
William Shakespeares birth on 23 April. Mark the occasion with a
walk along Shakespeares Way with Ciceroni Travel. New for 2014,
this five-night tour is inspired by the journey Shakespeare would
have made between the Globe Theatre in London and his
Warwickshire home, passing through quintessential English towns
and villages, including Oxford and Woodstock, and discovering his
inspirations along the route. But unlike Shakespeares rough and
ready voyage, travellers will be transported by luxury coach and
stay in top-quality hotels, as well as going behind the scenes and
enjoying world-class performances at both the Globe and RST.
The tour is led by Shakespearean actor James Howard, who has
worked for the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the
National Theatre. The first tour runs from 16-21 May and costs
1,575 per person. www.ciceroni.co.uk
Warwickshire
Above: Ruins of the
'old cathedral',
Coventry.
Right: William
Shakespeare's
Birthplace
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a day out for all
the family
8 children
13.50 adults
36 family ticket
Admission includes
40 minute tour
Audio guide
Sword fighting and
costume dressing
demonstrations
shakespearesglobe.com/exhibition
Bankside, London SE1
St Pauls, Southwark, Mansion House London Bridge, Blackfriars, Waterloo
The Charlecote Pheasant
THE
CHARLECOTE
PHEASANT
Te charming Charlecote Pheasant is nestled in a delightful village just
minutes fom historic Stratford-upon-Avon. Exuding the air of a country
manor, the atractive decor and timbered ceilings give the hotel a warm, rustic,
quintessentially English atmosphere.
14 beautiful hotels in stunning
locations across the UK
Experience a
Coast & Country
break this year
Discover more and request
your personal copy of the 2014
brochure or book today at:
www.coastandcountryhotels.com/britain
Te perfect base for exploring Shakespeare country.
Te Pitlochry Hydro
Te George
Te Windermere
Te St George
Te Golden
Lion
Te Savoy
Te
Imperial
Te Ship
& Castle
Te Charlecote Pheasant
Te Portpatrick
Te Derwentwater
Te
Imperial
Te Grand Atlantic
Te Lansdown Grove
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FOR FOR FOR FOR FOR O FOR OR20 20 20 20 20 20 2014 14 14 14 14 14SSSSSSS FOR FO FOR FOR OR20 2014 14 14 14 14 SSSSS
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Uncharted waters
Britains explorers and pioneers have discovered new lands and mapped the world for
future travellers, on dangerous but exhilarating missions full of derring-do and discovery
WORDS NEIL JONES
T
he British poet John Masefeld
famously evoked the restless
urge for a life on the ocean
wave, writing in Sea Fever: I must go
down to the seas again, for the call of
the running tide / Is a wild call and a
clear call that may not be denied.
Nowhere more than the island nation
of Britain have people so strongly
followed the call, with each century
producing heroes who have made
their marks throughout the globe.
Queen Elizabeth I presided over a
golden era of exploring in the 16th
century, years that saw spectacular
round-the-world voyages by Drake
and Cavendish. But the most
famboyant sea dog of all was
Walter Raleigh (also spelled Ralegh;
c. 15521618).
In Elizabeths reign and with her
tacit support, ruling the waves, trade,
privateering and exploration were all
closely linked. Raleigh excelled,
A modern
reconstruction of
the Golden Hinde,
the galleon Sir Francis
Drake used to
circumnavigate the
globe in the 16th
century
Great British Explorers
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lining his pockets through piracy,
proving a ruthless soldier in Ireland,
hunting for the fabled gold of El
Dorado, and fghting against the
Spanish at Cadiz and in the Azores.
Court favourite, politician,
businessman, historian and poet: the
Devon-born son of a squire was
exactly the sort of self-made
Renaissance man that so beguiled the
queen. The alleged tale that he
chivalrously threw down his cloak
before her to save the royal toes from
a puddle merely underlines his
winning chutzpah.
Raleigh organised notable
expeditions to North America in
search of gold and trade in the 1580s,
and named Virginia in honour of the
Virgin Queen, for which he was
knighted. Attempts to colonise
Roanoke Island may have failed but
the venture fred the imaginations of
further travellers to the New World.
The discovery years later of fair-
skinned native Americans on
Croatoan Island even raised the
tantalising possibility that some of
Raleighs lost colonists had in fact
made their homes among local tribes.
Forever one to sail close to the
wind, Raleigh was thrown into the
Tower of London for marrying a
royal maid without the queens
consent, and again by King James I
for alleged treason. There, he whiled
away time conducting experiments in
a converted shed, growing tobacco on
Tower Green and writing his vast,
unfnished History of the World.
Eventually taken to the
executioners block, he was witty to
the end, testing the axe blade with his
fnger and declaring: This is a sharp
medicine, but it is a physician that
will cure all my diseases. His widow
had his head embalmed to keep and
show admirers.
The lure of the New World
continued to occupy Britons through
the reign of King James I and a
business venture sponsored by the
Virginia Company of London saw the
frst permanent English-speaking
settlement established at Jamestown,
Virginia in 1607. Thirteen years later,
the Pilgrim Fathers planted a colony
at New Plymouth, Massachusetts,
however this time the motive for
emigration was religious freedom.
The turbulent years following the
Reformation had provoked many
people to question forms of worship,
among them the Pilgrims, who
wanted to practise their Puritan faith
free from reprisals. Many in the
group hailed originally from the Trent
valley around the Lincolnshire town
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of Gainsborough, where the
Separatist Church people who
wanted to worship separate from
interference by State or Anglican
Church had gone underground.
The Pilgrim Fathers set sail on the
Mayfower from Plymouth on
Englands south coast on 6 September
1620, their numbers swelled to 102
passengers by settlers seeking
economic betterment. Just over nine
weeks later, weary of the sea, the
travellers settled at New Plymouth.
During the frst, diffcult winter,
nearly half of the passengers died of
the great sickness, but in time the
colony prospered.
The Mayfower Compact they drew
up to govern themselves is, in the
words of the General Society of
Mayfower Descendants, considered
to have set the stage for the
Constitution of the United States.
Their great feast of 1621 is frequently
cited as the frst Thanksgiving.
Plymouth, England was also the
departure point in the following
century for Captain James Cooks
epic journeys to the South Pacifc,
although the historic coastline and
heather moorlands of North
Yorkshire where Britains greatest
navigator grew up lay claim to be
Captain Cook Country.
In the 18th century, the Pacifc
Ocean was still virtually uncharted.
Cook (17281779) changed all that
on three momentous voyages,
beginning on the Endeavour in
1768. He charted the Pacifc,
circumnavigating New Zealand and
surveying the east coast of
Australia. Then he sailed the icy
Right: A seagull perches on the statue of
Captain Cook in Whitby. Facing page, clockwise
from top left: Sir Walter Raleigh; the Tower of
London where Raleigh was imprisoned; the
Pilgrim Fathers leaving England; Whitby Abbey
in North Yorkshire, now dubbed Captain Cook
Country; Queen Elizabeth I
www.britain-magazine.com
Great British Explorers
015-020 BRMA14 EXPLORER.indd 17 27/01/2014 11:22
The palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham for over 900 years,
Auckland Castle is now fully open to the public for the rst time.
Following the Norman Conquest and the Harrying of the North, the Bishop of Durham was granted
exceptional powers to act as a political and military leader. With Auckland Castle as a seat of power in
North East England, the king allowed him to raise taxes, mint coins and hold his own parliaments. Such
royal privileges made the Bishop of Durham the second most powerful man in the country - ruling the
area between the Tyne and the Tees. This wealth, power, and inuence owed into Auckland Castle.
Guided tours of the Castle take place twice a day, but for those preferring to explore on their own, we
also have audio guides and self-guided leaets available from Visitor Services.
The Castle sits high above the Wear Valley with spectacular views across the winding River Gaunless out
into expansive countryside. Our beautiful park extends to almost 200 acres and contains a total of seven
Grade I listed buildings, including the celebrated Deer House, as well as secluded woodland rises and
stunning vistas for you to explore.
We have a shop on site stocking a range of locally produced gifts and souvenirs and our caf serves a
range of home cooked produce with daily specials, cakes and pastries. Auckland Castle has everything
you need for a day out - why not come along and discover this hidden treasure?
The Castle is available for private hire, with
its state rooms providing the perfect setting
for everything from a spectacular wedding
to an intimate private dining event or
corporate function.
Please email
enquiries@aucklandcastle.org
for further information or call us on the
number below.
Open every day except Tuesday, from
1st April to 30th September between
10.30am and 4.00pm. Guided tours are at
11.30am and 2.00pm and are included in
the admission fee.
For details of ticket prices and special
events please visit
www.aucklandcastle.org
Telephone 01388 743 750
b @aucklandcastle
For more information on Auckland Castle please do not hesitate
to contact us on: 01388 743750 or email: enquiries@aucklandcastle.org.
Untitled-2 1 27/01/2014 11:52
fringes of the Antarctic and,
travelling farther south than anyone
before him, he laid to rest the myth
of a southern continent.
Renowned for his concern for the
wellbeing of his crews, Cook kept
scurvy at bay with a ships diet rich
in pickled cabbage. He also cared
deeply for the natives he met, which
makes it all the more tragic that on
his fnal voyage, in search of the
North-West Passage linking the
Atlantic and Pacifc oceans, he was
killed in an affray with islanders on
Hawaii. Nevertheless his legacy lived
on, in new standards in map making
and a radically altered perception of
world geography.
Scotsman Dr Livingstone (1813
1873) expanded our map of the world
in another direction in the 19th
century, penetrating deep into
darkest Africa, as it was then
known, to make an open path for
commerce and Christianity.
After studying medicine and
theology, Livingstone explored Africa
from the 1840s, flling in more gaps
on the continents map than anyone
before him. During his expeditions,
the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi
River were discovered, as well as Lake
Nyasa (now Lake Malawi), and he
campaigned vigorously against the
African slave trade.
When news of his work dried up
for several years, people became so
worried that the New York Herald
despatched Henry Morton Stanley to
fnd him, leading to the famously
courteous inquiry: Dr Livingstone I
presume? when the reporter
discovered him on the shore of Lake
Tanganyika in 1871. Even the slave
traders Livingstone opposed
respected him, referring to the very
great doctor.
From hot climes to the Heroic Age
of Antarctic expeditions that
straddled the turn of the 20th IM
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Top: Drawing of Captain Cook witnessing human sacrifice in
Tahiti. This picture: A statue of Dr David Livingstone, watched
over by Glasgow Cathedral
BRITAIN
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Great British Explorers
015-020 BRMA14 EXPLORER.indd 19 27/01/2014 11:30
EXPLORERS BRITAIN
century, when teams from numerous
countries vied to explore the icy
wastes. In 1911 Norwegian Roald
Amundsen won the race to the South
Pole, beating Captain Scott and his
team who all perished. In 1914 the
seasoned Anglo-Irish polar explorer
Sir Ernest Shackleton (18741922) set
off with a crew of 27 on what he saw
as the last great challenge: to cross the
Antarctic continent on foot from one
side to the other. The attempt failed
but it is one of the most thrilling tales
of survival.
Their ship Endurance became
trapped in ice in the Weddell Sea,
drifting for 10 months before being
crushed. The crew wintered on an ice
foe, then escaped on lifeboats to
Elephant Island. From here,
Shackleton and fve others sailed in a
seven-metre-long lifeboat through
terrifying storms to South Georgia
1,450km away. On landing, there was
still a 36-hour trek through
mountains and ice to a Norwegian
whaling station to raise help to relieve
the company left on Elephant Island.
The ordeal lasted 20 months and
every single man survived, largely
thanks to Shackletons leadership. In a
letter to his wife he wrote with
modest brevity: Not a life lost and
we have been through Hell. Soon will
I be home and then I will rest.
Five different centuries: fve different
examples of heroic expeditions that
furthered knowledge and forged links
around the world. Today, in return,
our island nation welcomes many
explorers and pilgrims with roots back
in the Old Country why not look
up Raleigh and co. on your travels
around Britain?
8 For more on extraordinary explorers
throughout history please visit the BRITAIN
website at www.britain-magazine.com
Great British Explorers
20
BRITAIN
Left: Polar explorer
Sir Ernest Shackleton
endured an epic
adventure
attempting to cross
the Antarctic
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WHAT TO DO

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WHAT TO BUY
2014 marks 100 years since the
outbreak of World War I and 75 since
the start of WWII. We round up the
country's commemorations
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The tunnels beneath magnifcent Dover Castle in
Kent were used in the masterminding of Operation
Dynamo the tense 1940 rescue of 338,000 Allied
troops stranded in Dunkirk. Today visitors can explore
the tunnels and revisit the evacuation effort thanks to a
permanent exhibition boasting state-of-the-art special
effects, projections, news reels and real flm footage of
the time. www.english-heritage.org.uk
DRAMA OF DUNKIRK
PICTURE OF WAR
The National Portrait
Gallery in London will
stage the frst national
exhibition of paintings
commemorating WWI.
Works include this self
portrait by Sir William
Orpen. 27 February 15
June. www.npg.org.uk
WE WILL REMEMBER
Inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields, written by John
McCrae during World War I, the red field poppy has become
The Royal British Legion's emblem of remembrance for
soldiers who have lost their lives in war. This bone china mug,
7, is a beautiful tribute. www.iwmshop.org.uk
023-27 BRMA14 BRITLIST.indd 23 27/01/2014 12:07
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
Majestic Norwich Cathedral hosts a World War I
centenary concert on 12 July, when a new piece
of music by Patrick Hawes will premiere. Cavell
Commission commemorates the life of nurse Edith
Cavell who is buried at the cathedral.
CATHEDRAL CENTENARY
WWW.CATHEDRAL.ORG.UK
023-27 BRMA14 BRITLIST.indd 24 27/01/2014 12:07
BRITAIN
25
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WHAT TO DO

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WHAT TO BUY
Embracing both the everyday and the extraordinary, IWM North reveals
wartime personal stories of people living in the north-west of England. Objects
never exhibited before, including photographs and letters, reveal how the region
was shaped by a global confict. From 5 April to 31 May. www.iwm.org.uk
THE WAR AT HOME
The Imperial War Museum North stages the largest exhibition ever
created exploring northern communities during World War I
EDITOR'S PICK READ ALL ABOUT IT
HORSE HEROES
Home Lad, Home
paintings of horses used
during WWI will show
at St Barbe Museum &
Art Gallery, Hampshire,
from 1 March to 26
April. www.stbarbe-
museum.org.uk
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HOSPITAL CITY
Edited by Sebastian Faulks,
War Stories (7.99,
Vintage) is an anthology
of compelling but often
horrifying fiction about
military conflict in the
20th century. With tales
on themes including call-
up, battle, comradeship
and injury by a wide range of
authors such as Ernest
Hemingway, Elizabeth
Bowen, Louis de
Bernires and Norman
Mailer, this volume is
essential reading for
anyone fascinated by
the complexities of war.
The Great War: A
Photographic Narrative (40,
IWM) boasts over 500 pictures
from World War I
taken from the
Imperial War
Museum's archive.
The pictures are all
moving, but none
more so than the final image
showing the arrival of
silence on the 11th hour
of the 11th
day of the
11th month
of 1918.
The Wipers
Times (9.99,
Conway) is a collection of the
famous WWI trench
newspaper. The wry
tone was a relief for
soldiers and almost 100
years after it first rolled
off the presses it gives a
unique insight into life
on the front line.
SOLDIERS' STORIES
An exhibition of personal letters and
artefacts reflecting the individual
experiences of soldiers in the Great War
will open at the National War Museum in
Edinburgh Castle in April for a year, before
touring for a further three. Next of Kin is
part of a programme of events by National
Museums of Scotland which will
commemorate World War I and will tell,
among others, the story of Corporal
George Buchanan of the Seaforth
Highlanders, who was killed at the Battle of
Loos in 1915. www.nms.ac.uk
Brighton Museum's Dr Brighton's War, from 9 July to
31 August, is a pictorial exhibition that illustrates the role the
hospital city' by the sea played in the healing and recuperation
of soldiers during WWI. www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk
023-27 BRMA14 BRITLIST.indd 25 27/01/2014 15:34
Unique shopping
Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre combines
a treasure-trove of independent, specialist
boutiques with a rich choice of bistros,
exquisite restaurants and evening venues.
Located right on the doorstep of historic Stratford-
upon-Avon, medieval Warwick, and easily accessible
by direct train from London. It is the perfect place
from which to explore Shakespeares England.
Visit www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk
Follow us on:
Discover this hidden gem
in the heart of England.
Wide boulevards, beautiful
architecture and expansive,
award-winning parks
provide a sophisticated
backdrop to this Regency
shopping paradise. Youll
nd it one of the most
appealing towns in the UK.
ENGLANDS HIDDEN GEM
ID0190o Britain Magazine Jan 14 v7.indd 1 28/01/2014 09:35:38
BRITAIN
27
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WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO GO

WHAT TO BUY
Waddesdon at War, from 26 March to 26 October, will include photographs and
letters of family and staf living on the estate, detailing how confict afected Britains
large family seats. A poignant highlight is the story of one of Waddesdons gardeners,
who returned to work there after surviving the war. www.waddesdon.org.uk
STATELY HOME FRONT
Life at Waddesdon Manor one of Britain's most beautiful estates
during the Great War is revisited through a collection of memorabilia
SOLDIER FOR A DAY
The wonderful Museum
of Childhood in London
marks the 100th
anniversary of WWI by
inviting children to play
in a day workshops,
where they write and
rehearse a play based
on a day in the life of a
soldier, before performing
it to audiences. From 17
to 21 February.
www.museumof
childhood.org.uk
CAPTURING CONFLICT
A Tate Modern exhibition opens this autumn timed to specifically
coincide with the centenary of the start of World War I. Conflict,
Time, Photography, from 27 November 2014 to 14 April 2015, will
examine the relationship between photography and battlegrounds
over time. Some images were taken moments after an event, others
up to 100 years later. Often harrowing but always thought-provoking,
photographs from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries all feature in this
humbling collection. www.tate.org.uk
Based on the book of the same name by
Robert M Edsel, The Monuments Men
is released in UK cinemas in February,
a few months before the anniversary
of the end of World War II. Boasting
Hollywood royalty George Clooney
and Matt Damon, the flm tells the
story of an Allied group who were
tasked with saving monuments and
other pieces of fne art from Hitlers
acquisition and destruction.
THE MONUMENTS MEN
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023-27 BRMA14 BRITLIST.indd 27 27/01/2014 15:34
Moorcroft, a hidden gem
of the applied arts
Est.1897
The Hamlet by Moorcroft
designer, Kerry Goodwin,
is lost in a dream of mauve
and burgundy owers as gothic
lodges soar into the darkest of nights
in a world where trees mutate
into tulips and an oak panelled
door draws you to something
beyond the ordinary.
W. Moorcroft Limited
Sandbach Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST6 2DQ
Telephone: 01782 820500 Email: enquiries@Moorcroft.com
This 30 Gift Voucher is given to readers of Britain magazine as part of W. Moorcroft
Limiteds Centenary celebrations. It must be redeemed before the 31
st
July 2014 against
pieces of Moorcroft pottery from the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre, Sandbach Road,
Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST6 2DQ only or enquiries@moorcroft.com
Telephone: 01782 820515. Please quote ref: BritainHamlet. One voucher per item purchased.
This voucher cannot be redeemed against sale items.
GI FT
VOUCHER
Britain Magazine advert.indd 1 27/01/2014 08:44
www.britain-magazine.com
Theres more to Hampton Court Palace than the Tudors. It consists of two
distinct halves, built in two very different eras. But both were built as a show of
strength and the walls tell just as many stories as the ghosts that haunt them
WORDS PIP BROOKING
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill has been voted the greatest Briton of all
time and his is a remarkable story of talent, charisma and sheer determination
WORDS JESSICA TOOZE
BRITISH BULLDOG
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Clockwise from above left: Winston Churchill
was a fan of hats his collection can be
seen at his former home, Chartwell;
Churchill bought Chartwell in 1922 it is
now a National Trust property and is open
to the public; Churchill was granted a state
funeral; Blenheim Palace, where Churchill
was born, is home to the 11th Duke and
Duchess of Marlborough. Facing page:
Churchill walks through the ruins of
Coventry Cathedral in 1941
029-031 BRMA14 WINSTON CHURCHILL.indd 30 27/01/2014 12:12
BRITAIN
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Great Britons
www.britain-magazine.com
W
hen you are winning a war almost everything that
happens can be claimed to be right and wise, said
Winston Churchill. At the forefront of British politics for
50 years, notably during the wartime years of 1939 to 1945, he
became one of the most infuential politicians in history. While not
everyone agreed with his decisions, and though he inevitably made
mistakes, he was almost universally respected for the contribution
he made to his country.
It can hardly be said that Churchill came from humble roots he
was born in 1874 into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of
Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family, in the magnifcent
Blenheim Palace. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a member
of parliament and his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American heiress.
Churchills childhood was not easy, however his parents had little
to do with him and he was looked after by his nanny before being
sent off to boarding school at age eight. He didnt excel academically
but was a popular boy, known as a bit of a troublemaker. In 1887,
12-year-old Churchill was accepted to the prestigious Harrow
School, where he began studying military tactics.
Going on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Churchill
graduated near the top of his class and was given a commission as a
cavalry offcer. During his frst leave he demonstrated his thirst to
see the world and headed to Cuba where Spanish troops were
fghting the Cuban guerrillas. More than an interested soldier, he
became a war correspondent for Londons The Daily Graphic it
was the beginning of a long writing career.
He travelled extensively with his regiment, notably to India,
Sudan and South Africa, and when 25-year-old Churchill returned
to England he was both a famous author and something of a hero
following his daring escape from a prison camp during the Boer
War. His next move into politics seemed destined and, in 1900,
Churchill became Conservative Member of Parliament for Oldham.
He held many political and cabinet positions; before the First
World War, he served as president of the board of trade, home
secretary, and frst lord of the admiralty as part of the Asquith
Liberal government. During the war, he continued as frst lord of
the admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign, for which he
was blamed by many. He resigned and joined the army, serving for
a time on the Western Front. He was back in government in 1917
though, frstly as minister of munitions then secretary of state for
war and air, and from 1924-1929 as chancellor of the exchequer.
In 1922 Churchill and his wife Clementine bought the property
that was to be their long-term home Chartwell in Kent, located
two miles south of Westerham. Churchill bought it for its
spectacular views over the Weald of Kent from the house you can
see all the way to Crowborough over marvellous countryside.
Now run by the National Trust, the house looks much as it would
have when Churchill lived there and it is a homely place, packed full
of fascinating treasures that he accumulated throughout his life. It
contains a remarkable array of items that were gifted to Churchill
from friends and acquaintances across the world.
Among the more unusual items are a cigar box decorated with
Churchills face made of tobacco leaves from the people of
Leningrad and a small brass Portuguese donkey cart holding a
spirit lamp brandy glass warmer. Churchills tastes for a tipple and
smoke were well known his cigars litter the house and in the
dining room one of his paintings, entitled Bottlescape, is a still life
of a collection of bottles that apparently had to be whisked away
when the vicar paid an unexpected visit.
A lion and white kangaroo he was given were donated to London
Zoo, while a gift of a platypus never made it safely to English
shores. But descendants of the black swans, given to him by the
Government of Western Australia, terrorise visitors to the house and
its beautiful woodland gardens to this day.
When war broke out in 1939, Churchill was unable to stay at
Chartwell for safety reasons but memorabilia from that time can be
found here including his passport, with a typically grumpy
photograph, his ration book and a Jewish bible.
It was during the war, of course, that Churchill became prime
minister in May 1940. The war years are those he is best known for
and his inspiring oratory and absolute refusal to surrender to Nazi
Germany motivated a bewildered country. In three major speeches to
the House of Commons around the period of the Battle of France in
June 1940 he exhorted the British people to fght on in the face of
Nazi domination: We shall fght on the beaches, we shall fght on
the landing grounds, we shall fght in the felds and in the streets, we
shall fght in the hills; we shall never surrender, he declaimed.
Churchill lost power in the 1945 post-war election but remained
leader of the opposition, voicing apprehensions about the Cold War
(he popularised the term Iron Curtain). He became prime minister
once again in 1951 and even won the Nobel Prize for Literature in
1953. The Exhibition Room at Chartwell emphasises the phenomenal
achievements of the man: from his Nobel Prize to the Cross of
Lorraine, there are some extraordinary treasures here that bear
testimony to an incredible life lived.
On 27 July 1964 Churchill was present in the House of Commons
for the last time, and one day later a deputation headed by Prime
Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home presented him with a resolution that
had been carried by the House of Commons to put on record its
unbounded admiration and gratitude for his services to Parliament,
to the nation and to the world. It remembers, above all, his
inspiration of the British people when they stood alone, and his
leadership until victory was won; and offers its grateful thanks.
After Churchill died, aged 90, on Sunday 24 January 1965 his
body lay in state for three days by decree of The Queen and a state
funeral service was held at St Pauls Cathedral. This was the frst
non-royal state funeral since 1914, and no other of its kind has been
held since a ftting farewell to our greatest Briton.
To read more of our Great Britons series, please visit the BRITAIN magazine
website at www.britain-magazine.com P
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FREE
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Image captionsfor thefeatured artworks and architecture
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M E E T
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B R I T A I N
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BRITAIN
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There is in London all that life can afford, but if your budget doesn't stretch to tea at
The Ritz or tickets to the opera you can still appreciate the very best of the city
WORDS CHRIS FAUTLEY
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THE CAPITAL
London For Free
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T
here are things in London that
money cant buy. Some of
these, though, include its fnest
experiences: the stuff of dreams and
breath-snatching memories. It doesnt
take money to enjoy them, because
Londons best can be free.
Theres a huge amount to see and
do that doesnt cost a penny. Many
museums, for example, make no
charge for admission including some
of the largest such as the Science
Museum and British Museum. They
are fascinating places and justifably
popular but can often seem rather
busy reason enough perhaps to seek
out some of their lesser-known, more
specialist contemporaries.
You dont exactly have time on
your hands at the Clockmakers
Museum, but you come pretty close.
The museum of the Worshipful
Company of Clockmakers (a City
livery company founded in 1631) is in
the City of London Guildhall. Here,
there are hundreds of watches as well
as clocks and maritime implements on
display. They include 17th-century
horological masterpieces as well as
more unusual timepieces such as a
19th-century decimal clock (100
seconds per minute, 100 minutes per
hour, 10 hours per day).
Its only a short walk across the
Guildhall yard to the Guildhall Art
Gallery, home of the Corporation of
Londons art collection established
in 1886 as a collection of art
treasures worthy of the capital city.
Works date from the late 17th century
onwards, but one piece in particular
steals the show: John Singleton
Copleys Defeat of the Floating
Batteries at Gibraltar was specially
commissioned by the Corporation,
and at a jaw-dropping 458 square feet
is one of Britains largest oil paintings.
However, there is more to the
gallery than frst meets the eye: a
sinister secret lies beneath it a place
of death and brutality. Discovered
only in 1988, Londons Roman
amphitheatre is now fully accessible
in the gallerys basement; its one of
the capitals most moody and
atmospheric experiences.
Aspiring tycoons should next make
the short walk to Bartholomew Lane
and the Bank of England Museum.
Comprehensively telling the story of
the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street
(as the bank is fondly nicknamed),
there are displays of banknotes, real
and forged (the million pound note is
a star attraction), as well as the banks
charter of 1694. Everyone should
handle, and lift (if you can), a real
gold ingot. It weighs 13kg.
It wouldnt be right to visit London
without partaking of that great
British tradition tea drinking. The
people at Twinings shop at 216 Strand
have been brewing it here for more
than 300 years.
Back in 1706, Thomas Twinings
shop was a coffee house, but he had a
hunch an interloper tea might just
Clockwise from above:
The Worshipful
Company of
Clockmakers
museum is in the City
of London Guildhall;
Twinings tea shop is
also home to a small
museum; Changing
the Guard at
Buckingham Palace
033-038 BRMA14 LONDON FOR FREE_v2.indd 34 27/01/2014 12:27
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catch on. He was right, for which
millions of Britons have reason to be
grateful. They still sell tea at number
216 more than one hundred
varieties to be precise and you can
pick it up, smell it or even ask them to
make you a brew. Theres also a small
museum telling the story of Britains
favourite beverage.
Its unthinkable to visit London and
not take in a good show, but you
dont have to buy the most expensive
seats in the house. For music,
pageantry and colour, you cant beat
Changing the Guard. Usually held at
11.30am on alternate days (daily May
to July), at Buckingham Palace, it is
performed in full ceremonial dress
and is accompanied by a Guards
band. The ceremony is also held daily
at Horse Guards Arch.
For more music, City of London
churches are renowned for their free
lunchtime concerts. In the West End,
meanwhile, St Martin-in-the-Fields
similarly has a long tradition of
hosting such events. Additionally,
there are often performances at
picturesque bandstands in Hyde Park,
Regents Park and St Jamess Park
during the summer (check if a charge
is applicable).
Londons Royal Parks vary
enormously in style from relative
simplicity to geometric grandiosity
and it costs nothing to use them.
Green Park extends to just over 40
acres, its boundary being formed by
Constitution Hill, Queens Walk and
Piccadilly. It is well known for its
specimen trees especially Londons
signature tree, the plane. Unusually,
there are few fowerbeds and
shrubberies, but for all that it is
particularly worth visiting in spring
when the lawns explode in an ocean
of more than 250,000 daffodils.
Of 16th-century origin, St Jamess
Park is Londons oldest royal park.
The fairytale view across its willow-
fringed lake to the pinnacled turrets
and roofs of Buckingham Palace and
beyond is especially memorable.
St Jamess has always been noted
for its bird life: an offcial bird-keeper
was appointed during the 19th
century, and a bird-keepers cottage
provided. Both remain to this day.
The most celebrated residents are the
pelicans, of which there are six.
Feeding time is around 2.30pm.
Although St Jamess was redesigned
by John Nash in 1827, it was to be
Regents Park that really made the
architects name. As might be
expected of something commissioned
by the Prince Regent, everything is
Top: The Queen
Victoria Memorial
seen from Green
Park. Above: Eye-
catching fountain in
Regent's Park
033-038 BRMA14 LONDON FOR FREE_v2.indd 35 27/01/2014 12:32
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BRITAIN
37
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on a grand scale. Essentially an inner
circle within an outer circle, it extends
to some 400 acres. The inner circle,
now known as Queen Marys
Garden, is home to more than 30,000
rose bushes. The boating lake,
meanwhile, has some 600 waterfowl
in residence. There is also a secret
garden, just off the inner circle,
comprising several circular
enclosures; as its name suggests, most
visitors miss it. The park was planned
as part of a grandiose neo-classical
development featuring crescents,
villas and circuses ft for Londons
elite. The intention was for the entire
scheme to be centred on Piccadilly
Circus, but shortage of money meant
that Nash never completed it. He did,
however, succeed in building some of
Londons fnest homes known as the
Nash Terraces around the eastern
side of the outer circle.
Chester Terrace, for example, has a
continuous unbroken facade of 940ft,
its frontage periodically embellished
with enormous Corinthian columns.
Cumberland Terrace is equally
eye-catching, adorned with statuary,
more Corinthian columns, and friezes.
These were homes for the affuent
and they wanted people to know it.
Stand almost anywhere in London,
and the chances are you will similarly
be surrounded by fne architecture:
young, old, obvious and not-so-
obvious. Occasionally, you will have
to do as those seeking Wrens
memorial are urged: circumspice.
But its there... all around you.
While buildings such as St Pauls
Cathedral charge for admission there
is no charge to visit many of Londons
smaller churches (although donations
are always welcome). The Citys
St Stephen Walbrook is one of Wrens
fnest. Engulfed by surrounding
development, it is easy to miss, but
within is a scene that seems uncannily
familiar. Complete with dome, it is
considered to have been a dummy run
for St Pauls Cathedral. Other
churches worth seeking out include
St Bartholomew the Great in West
Smithfeld (dating from 1123) and
St Michael Paternoster Royal
Above: Tower Bridge
and the City seen
from the Thames.
Below: The dome of
St Stephen Walbrook
London For Free
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(also in the City), where fabled Dick
Whittington, thrice lord mayor of
medieval London, is buried.
Each is a little haven of peace, a
quality also afforded by Londons
Inns of Court the home of its legal
profession; they are noted not only for
history and architecture, but also
their immaculate gardens. Those at
Lincolns Inn, Grays Inn and Inner
Temple oases of calm in a busy
capital are generally open to the
public at lunchtime.
If London hasnt yet pioneered free
shopping, you can at least browse for
free and in that respect you cant
beat its markets. Borough Market for
food-lovers; Spitalfelds covered
market for speciality goods (generally
better at the tail end of the week); and
Portobello Road, beloved of
Paddington Bear of the classic
childrens books. And for the ultimate
in foriferous experiences, it has to be
Columbia Road fower market on
Sundays. Early-risers get the best
bargains, but you cant beat the
excitement of just being there.
Theres some marvellous window-
shopping to be had too. For sheer
specialism, try the London Silver Vaults
in Chancery Lane. Effectively an
underground series of vaults, each is a
shop: if you want it in silver, the
chances are they will have it. From a
teaspoon to a chandelier to objects that,
frankly, have to be seen to be believed.
It serves as a reminder of Samuel
Johnsons words that, there is, in
London all that life can afford.
Although you dont always need a
bulging wallet to enjoy it.
For more information go to the BRITAIN
website at www.britain-magazine.com
LONDON FOR 10
A day in London for 10? Including paid-for attractions,
morning coffee and lunch? Here's how...
J National Gallery, 10am for a quick look (free).
J Horse Guards Arch: Changing the Guard, 11am
(10am Sundays), (free).
J Vicinity of Trafalgar Square; coffee (allow 2.50).
J Trafalgar Square: number 15 bus eastbound on a
traditional red Routemaster (1.40; use pre-pay Oystercard
for this fare).
J From the bus enjoy the views of St Clement Danes
church; Royal Courts of Justice; St Bride's, the wedding cake
church; Fleet Street. Alight at Old Bailey.
J Bart's Hospital Museum tells the story of the world-
famous hospital founded in 1123 (free).
J Late lunch, from any supermarket around Cheapside
(allow 3, or less). Enjoy it in Postman's Park.
J St Alfege's churchyard for a section of Roman wall (free).
J Next, Leadenhall Market for boutique window-shopping.
Admire the wonderful restored Victorian roof of this
bustling former market.
J Finally, visit the Monument built to commemorate the
Great Fire of London. It's 311 steps to the top (3).
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This image and top left:
London's markets
are wonderful places
to browse. Below:
The National Gallery
is free to visit
033-038 BRMA14 LONDON FOR FREE_v2.indd 38 28/01/2014 10:51
The Thirsty Bear is Londons rst fully-edged self-service pub. With iPads and self-pour beer
taps on the tables, you can pour your own pint and order food/drinks directly to your table. In
a world where no-one likes to queue, this is simply genius. The system is efcient and easy to
work, to which you can also choose the music via the jukebox, and surf the net. They have an
extensive mouth-watering burger list mixed with bar snacks and pasta dishes to suit all taste-
buds. With a fantastic offering of great beers, real ales, wines and quality cocktails,
The Thirsty Bear offers something for everyone.
The Thirsty Bear
62 Stamford Street, Blackfriars,
London SE1 9LX.
Tel: 0207 928 5354
www.thethirstybear.com
PUB REVOL UTI ONI SED
THE
THIRSTY BEAR
Thirsty Bear BRI.indd 1 22/01/2014 15:22
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
Wessex has its roots in Anglo-Saxon times when it was a glorious bastion of a unified England
under Alfred the Great. It was author Thomas Hardy, however, who cemented Wessex in the
nations consciousness and it remains an idyll of rural tranquillity just waiting to be explored
WORDS CHRIS FAUTLEY
Hardys Wessex is
broadly the modern
day county of
Dorset, seen here at
Gold Hill in
Shaftesbury
F
AR FROM THE
MADDING CROWD
040-046 BRMA14 WESSEX_v2.indd 40 27/01/2014 11:01
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Wessex
AR FROM THE
MADDING CROWD
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040-046 BRMA14 WESSEX_v2.indd 42 27/01/2014 11:01
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I
t was a long low cottage with a hipped roof of thatch,
having dormer windows breaking up into the eaves.
It could be the quintessential English country
cottage, but it was also the modest home of tranter Dewy
in Thomas Hardys Under the Greenwood Tree. The little
dwelling with thick bushes of box ... growing in clumps
outside was also a very real place: it was based on
Hardys birthplace in Higher Bockhampton, a village a
few miles north-east of Dorchester Dorsets county town.
Now owned by the National Trust, this cottage is where
Hardy wrote Far from the Madding Crowd. Set adjacent
to woodland, it is surrounded by the heaths that became
his Egdon Heath. These, and the county town, were to be
the focal points of Hardys Wessex.
The roots of Wessex originate in Anglo-Saxon times. At
its peak, it stretched from Cornwall to Kent and was under
its various kings notably Alfred the Great the cradle of a
unifed England. Hardys Wessex, though, is broadly
though not exclusively the modern-day county of Dorset.
If Hardys birthplace was unpretentious in the extreme,
nearby Athelhampton House is anything but. It is centred
on a great hall, built in 1485, and is well known for its
19th-century gardens particularly the Great Court with
its pyramid-shaped yew trees. Hardy made it Athelhall, the
setting for his poem The Dame of Athelhall.
In 1885 Hardy moved to Dorchester, where he designed
Max Gate. A red brick townhouse it, too, is owned by the
National Trust, and is where he wrote Tess of the
dUrbervilles and Jude the Obscure. The town, meanwhile,
famously became Casterbridge in Hardys fctional world.
Dorchesters history stretches back as far as any town in
Britain: to the Romans, it was Durnovaria. Then, it
probably extended to some 80 acres, and was walled.
Fragments of this remain. The Romans greatest legacy here, P
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though, is the remains of a townhouse, probably dating
from the 4th century. It is particularly noted for its mosaic.
Coastal locations appeared in many of Hardys novels,
including Weymouth (from where John Endecott set sail to
found Salem, in Massachusetts), which became Budmouth
in The Trumpet-Major. Weymouth has Georgian running
through it like a stick of seaside rock. King George III
spent a great deal of time here; a statue of him, in garter
robes, was erected on the seafront in 1810. A shade
north-east, near Osmington, a horse and rider cut into the
chalk hillside is another royal portrayal.
These days, Weymouth is a popular family resort, not
least because of its broad sandy beach. It particularly
xx. .
.. x . x
Left: The broad sandy
beach at Weymouth.
Facing page: Corfe
Castle is a
fortification standing
above the village of
the same name on
the Isle of Purbeck
040-046 BRMA14 WESSEX_v2.indd 43 27/01/2014 11:01
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lends itself to sand sculpture, for which the town has
gained an international reputation.
If Weymouth presents a picture of natural calm, then
the Isle of Portland to its south is the exact opposite. More
accurately a four-mile peninsula, here sandy beaches give
way to a coast of rugged limestone. Of great durability,
this stone was famously used by Wren to face St Pauls
Cathedral. At Portland Bill, the islands southernmost tip,
the ocean crashes incessantly onto the shore below a 135ft
red and white candy-stripe lighthouse.
Portland is connected to the western coast of the
mainland by Chesil Beach Britains largest tombolo, or
shingle bar. At 18 miles long and up to 40ft high, it is
backed by a lagoon The Fleet. For reasons unknown, the
shingle is, without exception, fnely graded from
pea-sized in the west to fst-sized at Portland.
The village of Abbotsbury lies slightly inland of the spot
where The Fleet peters out. It is named after a Benedictine
abbey that was founded here in 1044. This did not survive
the Dissolution and little remains of the monastery
buildings save a large gable. Much of the attendant
14th-century tithe barn, however, escaped demolition.
At 262ft long, it was one of Englands biggest.
St Catherines Chapel, also 14th century, fared rather
better than the abbey, although it lies beyond the monastery
precincts. Its impressive ruins sit in relative isolation
surveying The Fleet and the distant Isle of Portland. The
chapels name is derived from the 3rd-century saint after
whom spinning Catherine Wheel freworks are also named.
(Roman emperor Maximus I tortured her by tying her to a
wheel upon which sword points were set.)
Abbotsbury has a population of about 1,100 of which
it should be added some 600 are swans. These reside at a
swannery established by the monks adjacent to The Fleet;
feeding time is twice daily. Slightly less frantic spectacles
may be enjoyed in the adjacent subtropical gardens,
established in 1765.
East of Weymouth, the coast is dominated by limestone,
which meets the ocean in dramatic cliffs. Nowhere is the
power of the sea more evident the rocks at Durdle Door
having been timelessly eroded to create a natural arch. A
mile-and-a-half to its east, along the close-cropped grass
cliffs, Lulworth Cove is a sheltered haven with a narrow
entrance. Here, the sea has broken through the hard
limestone, enabling it to excavate an almost perfect elliptic
cove from the softer rocks behind.
Today, Lulworth draws visitors keen to enjoy its natural
beauty, but it was once witness to more turbulent times.
Across millions of years, the rock strata in the cliffs have
been thrust from horizontal to almost vertical caused by
the same forces that created the Alps. The landscape
continues to evolve: Stair Hole, a soupcon of spindrift
west, is another Lulworth in the making; the sea hasn't
quite broken entirely through the limestone.
Lulworth featured in Far from the Madding Crowd:
a small basin of sea enclosed by the cliffs. Here Sergeant
Troy bathed, venturing between the two projecting spurs
of rock, only to be caught in the savage currents beyond.
Life is altogether quieter, literally and literarily, at
Tyneham village, four miles east. Here, time has stood still
since 1943, to be precise. A notice, then pinned to the
church door, explains why:
Above: The Tudor
mansion of
Athelhampton
House, known for its
19th-century
gardens
040-046 BRMA14 WESSEX_v2.indd 44 27/01/2014 11:01
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Wessex
Lulworth draws
visitors keen to enjoy
its natural beauty, but
it was once witness to
more turbulent times
Clockwise from top left: Durdle Door; pretty
cottages and church at Abbotsbury;
St Catherines Chapel in Abbotsbury; a heritage
steam railway runs from Swanage to Corfe
Castle; Thomas Hardys Cottage; Alfred the
Great, famous ruler of Wessex
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Above left: The
restored Victorian
pier at Swanage.
Above right: Kingston
Lacy was built
between 1663 and
1665 to resemble an
Italian Palace
Three years earlier, with a garrison of just 80 men, it
had successfully withstood a six-week siege. The castle
belonged to the Bankes family, but it was Lady Mary
Bankes who took it upon herself to move in and defend it.
The castle keys still hang at Kingston Lacy, the Bankes
family home, 12 miles north of Corfe. The estate was
bought in 1632 by Sir John, a wealthy lawyer, but it was his
son, Ralph, who was responsible for the Italian-style palace
we see today. During the 19th century, it was greatly
modernised by Charles Barry who clad the exterior in stone
and built a fne, marble staircase. It is one of Wessexs
treasure houses, noted for its outstanding picture collection.
Kingston Lacy is a far cry from the modest
surroundings into which Hardy was born and his last
resting place is no less humble. His ashes are interred in
Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey, but his story ends in
the village that became Mellstock in Under the
Greenwood Tree. For his heart is buried in the churchyard
of Stinsford parish church, just a mile from Higher
Bockhampton. In death as in life, a man whose heart
forever lies in his beloved Wessex.
For more information please go to www.visit-dorset.com or the
BRITAIN website: www.britain-magazine.com
Please treat the church and houses with care. We have
given up our homes where many of us have lived for
generations to help win the war to keep men free.
Tyneham was requisitioned by the military to aid D-Day
preparations, its 225 residents housed elsewhere. They never
did return: it is now part of Lulworth ranges and is still used
for military exercises. Nevertheless, it is periodically open to
visitors who are able to see it just as it was: school, church
and homes standing lonely on the landscape.
Nine miles east of Tyneham, Swanage is a popular resort
with clifftop walks and a charming pier. It was the birthplace
of John Mowlem founder of the building company of the
same name. He gained a reputation for acquiring buildings
and exporting them to Swanage. Thus, the frontage of the
town hall was originally part of Wrens Mercers Hall in
London; similarly, the clock tower adjacent to the pier came
from the south side of London Bridge where it had been
erected as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington.
Its a short ride on a heritage steam railway from
Swanage to Corfe Castle a village dominated by the ruins
of its crumbling stronghold. Edward the Martyr was
murdered here in AD 979. The parlous state of the ruins,
however, is not due to neglect, but rather an unsuccessful
attempt by Parliamentarian troops to blow it up in 1646.
J This year, 140 years since the publication of
Thomas Hardys Far from the Madding Crowd, a
Hollywood film adaptation of the book will be
released. Filmed in and around Hardy Country in
Dorset, the film stars Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen
and Tom Sturridge. Few authors have such strong
associations with their local area as Thomas Hardy,
and today you can explore two of the writers houses
his childhood home and Max Gate, the property
Hardy designed himself and moved into after his
marriage. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardys-birthplace
/www.maxgate.co.uk
J While in Dorset, check out the latest offering from
the stylish hotel The Pig. The Pig on the Beach is set to
open above Studland Bay, one of the countrys most
beautiful beaches. The 18th-century manor house has
dramatic views of Old Harry Rocks and the Jurassic
Coast and will, like its sibling in the New Forest, feature
a kitchen garden with home-grown produce.
www.thepighotel.com
DISCOVER DORSET
Wessex
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BRITAIN BRITAIN
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Visit the Isle of
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Top: Le Manoir aux
Quat'Saisons and its
tranquil garden.
Above left: The
terrace outside
L'Enclume in
Cartmel, Cumbria.
Above right: Bay crab,
Hampton Court is in
the London borough
of Richmond upon
Thames and was
originally built for
Thomas Wolsey
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Theres more to Hampton Court Palace than the Tudors. It consists of two
distinct halves, built in two very different eras. But both were intended as a show
of strength and the walls tell as many stories as the ghosts that haunt them
WORDS PIP BROOKING
A TALE OF
TWO PALACES
Royal London
048-054 BRMA14 HAMPTON COURTV2.indd 49 27/01/2014 15:53
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ive hundred years ago to the year Cardinal
Thomas Wolsey, the second most powerful
man in England, acquired a small manor on the
banks of the River Thames. Halfway between
Windsor and London and surrounded by hunting
ground, it was the perfect spot to build what was to
become one of the most important palaces in the land.
Everything from Hampton Courts moat to its
battlements was designed to refect status. As ftting for a
cardinal, Wolsey looked to Rome and Renaissance
infuences. The distinctive red brick was a bold, new look
for the time. And the palace boasted a whole host of
modern comforts: it was said, for example, there were
enough chimneys for every day of the year; there were
more lavatories than any palace had boasted before; and in
the frst courtyard the Base Court was a fountain that
would fow with wine. Everything about the impressive
building screamed to the world that King Henry VIIIs
right-hand man had arrived.
Why come you not to court? the rhyme went.
To which court? To the Kings court? Or to Hampton
Court? But this was a dangerous jibe in a time dominated
by political rivalry, plots and schemes and before long
Wolsey fell from grace.
By 1528, the palace was owned, and extended, by the
king. It was where his son Prince Edward was born and his
beloved wife Jane Seymour died; its where he divorced his
fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, and married wives number
fve and six. And it was a note left in a pew in Hampton
Courts chapel that informed him of the devastating
adultery of the frst of these, Catherine Howard.
Her ghost is why the corridor running past the chapel is
known as the haunted gallery: she has been seen replaying
her last desperate attempt to get to the king to beg for
forgiveness and for her life. And according to Annabel
King, one of the state apartment wardens, if any modern
day visitors faint, they are most likely to do so here
adding a chilling credence to the tale.
It would be unfortunate for any visitor to end their tour
here for such a reason, but at least they would have already
seen Henrys Great Hall, where Shakespeare may well have
frst performed Hamlet. Today, the room is decked out
with some of the most valuable items in the entire royal
collection: 10 enormous tapestries made of 50 per cent
metal gold, silver and bronze thread that would have
glistened in the sunlight. The Abraham Tapestries were
commissioned towards the end of the kings reign to draw
parallels between the Old Testament father fgure and the
F
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monarch, to legitimise his new role as head of the English
Church. They are worth 25 million each.
The rest of the hall is now dominated by dark wood.
We have the Victorians to thank for that, says Annabel
King. The foor in Tudor times would have been shiny,
with green and white tiles; they had to go because they
proved too heavy for the foor itself. The ceiling wouldnt
have been plain wood with a bit of gold; it would have
been bright blue and in many ways a bit like Hogwarts.
Henry himself would
not have approved of the
current stained glass
windows, as each one
bears the heraldry of
one of his six wives.
Up to 1,200 people
would be fed in the Great
Hall each day, typically getting through 100 sheep and 30
oxen conspicuous consumption was the favour of the day.
But the king and his nobles were more likely to be seen in the
state apartments, indicating their higher standing.
Here visitors will fnd the Great Watching Chamber,
where Jane Seymours badges remained emblazoned on the
ceiling even when the king remarried. And in the dynastic
portrait hanging in the Processional Gallery beyond this
room, Henry is painted together with Jane and Edward,
while his two daughters by his frst two wives are
sidelined. The kings message was clear: having provided
his son and heir, Jane was the only wife that mattered.
The chapel on the same site as the medieval manors
chapel is the only part of Hampton Court still used for
its original purpose. As part of The Queens Ecclesiastical
Household, services are held daily and there is currently
a fundraiser to restore
the organ that was
once played by the
likes of Handel
and Purcell.
It is also where
Tudor meets the
baroque, most
noticeably, for the frst time. The room is dominated by an
oak screen carved by Grinling Gibbons for Queen Anne,
but Henry would have recognised the beautiful, intricately
designed blue and gold ceiling, where its worth spotting the
deliberate mistake: the royal motto Dieu et mon droit is
repeated 32 times, but the n in each is written backwards
the idea being that nothing manmade can be perfect.
Above, from left to
right: Gold leaf
decoration around a
palace door;
Catherine Howard's
ghost is said to haunt
Hampton Court; 10
valuable tapestries
of metal thread hang
in the Great Hall
Te Great Hall is decked out with some
of the most valuable items in the entire
royal collection: 10 enormous tapestries
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Royal London
In fact, much of Henrys chapel was destroyed by Oliver
Cromwell, allegedly with King Charles I, who was under
house arrest at the palace, forced to watch on. But from
Hampton Courts point of view, Cromwell is not
necessarily the villain of the piece. The fact that he chose
to take up residence at the palace probably accounts for its
survival, which allowed later monarchs to move in and
make their mark, while neighbouring royal residences at
Richmond and Nonsuch
fell into disrepair.
Leaving the Tudor rooms
and entering the Clock
Court, you see the two
different worlds, and two
palaces, collide: the Portland
stone pillars of William and
Marys colonnade jar with the Tudor architecture.
William III and Mary II were put on the throne by
Parliament in 1689 and they had a point to prove. Building
was a good way of doing it, says Annabel King. It showed
that they were here to stay. The most famous architect of
the time, Sir Christopher Wren, was appointed to remodel
Hampton Court no doubt under instruction to design
something as grand as the French palace at Versailles.
Initially only the Great Hall was to survive but, luckily
for todays visitors, time and money stood in the way.
Nevertheless the Tudor private apartments made way for
entirely new buildings, on the east and the south of the
site. And, despite the popularity of Hampton Courts
Tudor history, you will see far more baroque architecture
than that dating from Henry VIIIs time.
It turns out that the new building is not quite in
proportion for authentic baroque architecture: the steps on
the Kings Staircase, for instance, are too shallow either
because of the attempts to match it to the remaining Tudor
buildings, or because the new king suffered from asthma.
But just as Wolsey and Henry VIII built to impress, the
walls here are also laden with political messages.
In a similar vein to Henrys Abraham Tapestries, there is
a painting on the staircase
portraying the Protestant
William as Alexander the
Great, cocking a snook at
the Caesars (one of which
bears a striking resemblance
to the Catholic James II,
Williams father-in-law,
whom he had just deposed) as he ascends to the table of
the gods. However, if you look carefully at the ceiling, its
clear the Italian painter, Antonio Verrio, had the last
laugh: there is a faint line running down from a cherub, as
he relieves himself into one of the bowls of food.
The show of strength continues into the frst reception
room visitors would come to: the Guard Chamber. Here
3,000 weapons adorn the wall, which even today could be
fred. Its saying that William III can put 3,000 weapons
on the wall just for decoration, says King. It was a strong
message to foreign dignitaries, particularly the French.
Next, in the Presence Chamber, is a giant victory
portrait by Godfrey Kneller of William landing at Torbay
in 1688 on horseback to give him a sense of stature that
the king didnt possess in reality. And in the rest of the
Tere are 3,000 weapons on the
wall in the Guard Chamber, which
even today could be fred: a strong
message to foreign dignitaries
Above, from left to
right: Antique pistols
on the wall of the
Guard Chamber;
Henry VIII; the bed
chamber in William
III's apartments
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Royal London
state chambers every portrait was carefully chosen to
refect Williams connections with the Stuart dynasty and
his right to rule although one of King Charles I is
carefully juxtaposed with a tapestry showing St Pauls
conversion on the road to Damascus.
But, as these formal rooms make way to more intimate,
private rooms, the
political messages are
increasingly interspersed
with poignant reminders
of Mary, who died
before the building work
was complete.
William and Mary, who were great plant collectors, also
made their mark on the gardens that Hampton Court is
now famous for. William commissioned the maze that is
still open to the public, and it was in partnership with
French designer Daniel Marot that the royal couple planned
the Privy Garden. Its worth sparing a thought for the poor
gardeners who frst planted it: once it was completed,
William complained that he couldnt see enough of the river
beyond the pale blue Jean Tijou railings that marked the
perimeter, so they had to take out all the plants, dig down a
bit further, and put it all back together again.
But William didnt get much time to enjoy the gardens
either he died in 1702 after complications from a
horse-riding accident in the grounds. His palace was left to
his sister-in-law, Queen Anne, and then to the
Hanoverians, George I and George II the last monarchs
to live here.
This year marks the
300th anniversary of the
accession of the
Hanoverian dynasty, and
an important shift in
focus for the palace staff
to Williams side of Hampton Court. Alongside established
tours on salacious gossip and ghosts, you can enjoy the
revival of the Chocolate Court the only surviving royal
chocolate kitchen in the country. Perhaps that sweet
temptation will prompt visitors to think beyond the
tumultuous Tudors to discover all the other intriguing tales
Hampton Court has to offer.
For information on how to visit Hampton Court, please go to the
BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com
Above: Hampton
Court's gardens are
open to the public all
year round
King William III and Queen Mary II
made their mark on the gardens that
Hampton Court is now famous for
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048-054 BRMA14 HAMPTON COURTV2.indd 54 27/01/2014 15:55
holidaycottages.co.uk
Over 1,600 personally inspected properties throughout
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HC Britain Magazine full page.indd 1 28/01/2014 15:59:53
BRITAIN
57
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From London to Stratford-upon-Avon and beyond, unearthing
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DISCOVER SHAKESPEARES
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onsidering how famous he is around the
world, surprisingly little is known about the
life of William Shakespeare, widely
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English language. We know he was born in
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that he was baptised on 26 April 1564. There is
ongoing controversy about how much of the work
attributed to Shakespeare some 38 plays, 154
sonnets and other verses was actually written by
him. We dont even really know what he looked like.
The famous Chandos portrait, though painted at
the right period, could in fact be of anyone.
The mystery surrounding the Bard of Avon only
serves to make him more intriguing. Roughly 5. 5
million visitors come to Stratford-upon-Avon each
year to pay homage to Shakespeare and to gain an
insight into 16th-century life in England through the
five properties that are preserved in and around
the town by the Shakespeares Birthplace Trust.
These include Shakespeares Birthplace on Henley
Street and New Place, his last residence in Stratford
and the place where he died on 23 April 1616. Near
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Although Stratford-upon-Avon is the first place
in peoples minds when they think of Shakespeare,
it was in London that he spent most of his life and
where he built his career. Not much remains of the
Elizabethan city where Shakespeare would have
lived and worked but there are plenty of tours
available, offering to recreate the atmosphere of
16th-century Southwark with its bear pits, brothels
and playhouses. You can also see his work on stage
at the Globe Theatre, located just 230 metres from
the site of the original building, erected in 1599.
Exploring both of the key places in Shakespeares
life is made easy thanks to Railbookers.
With offices in London, Sydney, Los Angeles
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If youd like to head beyond the UK, Railbookers
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Tailor-made travel allows you to choose a holiday
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Once you have your perfect holiday planned,
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ADVERTI SEMENT F E ATURE
057 BRMA14 AdvertorialV3.indd 57 27/01/2014 14:27
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Call 0844 800 2329* and quote Britain
for details
nationaltrust.org.uk/groups
With over 300 houses and 200 gardens
to explore, fnd your perfect groups day
out with us. Unwind in peaceful gardens,
step back in time on a special interest
tour and fnish with a seasonal bite to eat.


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58_BRI_0314.indd 58 28/01/2014 16:20
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Boasting woodland and waterfalls, bursts of bloom and crisp expanses of
immaculate lawn, Britain has some of the most unusual gardens in the world,
many looked after by the National Trust
WORDS MARTHA ALEXANDER
Avebury rivals
Stonehenge as the
most impressive and
complex prehistoric
site in Britain
ecret gardens
F
rom Roman conquerors who flled Britannia with
carefully landscaped outdoor rooms to medieval
monasteries with painstakingly cared-for plots
containing plants needed for cooking and medicinal
purposes, Britain has enjoyed cultivating gardens for
centuries and is full of exciting places to visit.
The National Trust looks after some of the most
beautiful gardens in the country some begun by just one
person and now managed by teams of horticulturists.
Bodnant Garden in Conwy is one such place, with views
over the dramatic Snowdonian mountains. A captivating
hodgepodge of designs, where the hinterlands of formal
sweeping lawns contain shaded dells, woodlands and
streams, it is the ultimate secret garden.
Cuttings and seeds from all over the world contribute to
the opulence of Bodnant, which was established in the
1870s by Victorian entrepreneur Henry Davis Pochin.
S
The dramatic
waterfall in The Dell
at Bodnant Garden
059-066 BRMA14 NTGARDENSV4.indd 59 28/01/2014 11:59
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He and his descendants flled Bodnant with plants
collected from all over the globe by intrepid explorers
from the Blue Poppy of the Himalayas to the Fire Bush of
the Andes, explains head gardener Fran Llewellyn.
Youll fnd them harmonised into one 80-acre paradise.
Bodnant has been in the same family for fve generations
and their horticultural efforts are impressive: subtle
planting interspersed with brilliant bursts of colour reveal
nooks and crannies just begging to be explored.
The garden unfolds spectacularly from hilltop to valley
bottom, says Llewellyn. Weve got Italianate fnery in
the terraces with rose gardens and parterres; tranquillity in
the dappled shade of The Shrub Borders, flled with
fowering and scented plants from around the world; and
drama in The Dell with its waterfall and riverside lined
with electric blue hydrangeas and towering conifers.
In the summer, the famous laburnum arch thrives with
pendulous clumps of yellow fowers, creating an
otherworldly 55-metre foral tunnel.
The most formal part of the garden consists of the fve
Italianate terraces, completed just after the turn of the last
century. A celebration of order, this is perhaps the best
starting point for an exploration of Bodnant, which is in
parts much wilder.
Symmetry is also evident at the waterlily pond,
surrounded by herbaceous borders and buttressed by the
Pin Mill. This elegant Georgian building was originally
erected in Gloucestershire and used to manufacture pins in. P
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National Treasures
The structure was dismantled and transported to Wales
over 70 years ago: the rebuilding was complete in 1939.
Hidden at the heart of the garden is The Poem, the
beautiful mausoleum built by Pochin to serve as the resting
place for the family who made Bodnant the botanical
spectacle it is today. Shrouded in trees and foliage, The Poem
is made of pale stone set with ornate stained-glass windows.
Its far from sombre, however: the sweeping arches and
marble foors give it a luxurious, almost celebratory feel.
The spot where Bodnants rhododendron valley meets
the River Hiraethlyn is one of the gardens most
breathtaking features. The Dell is hopelessly romantic:
tall slender
trees stretch
skywards
while shining
sheets of
waterfall
cascade down
to join the river rapids.
Dunham Massey in Cheshire is one of the Trusts more
recent acquisitions, left to the charity in 1976. Due to the
garden being so neglected the Trust thought it should be
designed as an Edwardian pleasure ground, with fowing
lawns and ornamental borders, says head gardener
Damian Harris. As there was little historic planting in
this scheme, the decision was made that the garden would
be newly planted and that new initiatives should be
encouraged. A radical decision for a conservation charity!
The choice has meant the design and construction of the
highly successful Winter Garden, Britains largest.
However, Dunham Massey fourishes year round, and by
spring a carpet of single and double snowdrops cover
plenty of the estate, which spreads over 30 acres.
A daily guided walk enables you to discover the history
of Dunham Massey, which was a hospital for soldiers
injured in World War I, as well as view fora that grows in
its grounds. Tree-lined avenues offer a splendid approach to
the deer park, which opens into expanses of green.
The garden is forever changing, says Harris. There is
something for everyone including chickens, vegetables,
bees, year-round colour and scent, and a garden that seems
to absorb people where you can always fnd somewhere
quiet to sit and
contemplate.
Another garden
that was created
with peacefulness
in mind is
Glendurgan in
Cornwall, which, like Bodnant, has benefted from foreign
fora. Planted over three valleys, Glendurgan contains a
fabulous subtropical garden that sprawls like a jungle
along the coast.
Created in the 1820s by shipping agent Alfred Fox, who
collected plants from faraway parts of the world,
Glendurgan has a climate that allowed plants to prosper in
a way that was impossible in less clement parts of Britain.
South African plants, exotic succulents and even bananas
grow in this arid microclimate.
The sheltered, warm site allows us to try out interesting
plants; a recent project has seen plants such as orchids
Clockwise from below:
The Orangery at
Dunham Massey;
bluebells at Dunham
Massey; houseleek
tree at Bodnant
Garden; the Pin Mill
and waterlily pond at
Bodnant Garden
Te Dell at Bodnant is hopelessly romantic:
slender trees stretch skywards as shining sheets of
waterfall cascade down to the rapids of the river
059-066 BRMA14 NTGARDENSV4.indd 61 28/01/2014 12:46
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BRITAIN BRITAIN
PB
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique flora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnificent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a
place of outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful
unspoiled Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg,
between March and October, but If one day is not enough for you,
why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy's lovely self
catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
LUNDY
THE UNIQUE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique flora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnificent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a
place of outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful
unspoiled Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg,
between March and October, but If one day is not enough for you,
why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy's lovely self
catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
LUNDY
THE UNIQUE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique flora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnificent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a
place of outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful
unspoiled Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg,
between March and October, but If one day is not enough for you,
why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy's lovely self
catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
LUNDY
THE UNIQUE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique flora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnificent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a
place of outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful
unspoiled Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg,
between March and October, but If one day is not enough for you,
why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy's lovely self
catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
LUNDY
THE UNIQUE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique flora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnificent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a
place of outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful
unspoiled Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg,
between March and October, but If one day is not enough for you,
why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy's lovely self
catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
LUNDY
THE UNIQUE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Enjoy a beautiful & remote
day out to Lundy Island
Lundy, beautiful and remote, a magical island of contrast which has
dramatic terrain, with unique ora and fauna, sika deer, Lundy ponies
and an array of bird life, while enjoying the magnicent views.
Lundy lies in the Bristol Channel, three miles long and half a mile
wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a place of
outstanding natural beauty. Take a day trip to this beautiful unspoiled
Island travelling on our passenger ferry, MS Oldenburg, between April
and October, but if one day is not enough for you, why not take a short
break and stay in one of Lundys lovely self catering properties.
For further information & bookings
Tel: 01271 863636 or visit www.lundyisland.co.uk
9 or 10 day fully inclusive guided tour
Now from $1723 per person, land only
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see Shakespeares Birthplace,
explore Edinburgh Castle, visit
the Roman Baths, admire the
Crown Jewels at the Tower of
London & more!
* Terms & Conditions: Offer valid on
new bookings only. Not valid for group
travel and cannot be combined with
other CIE Tours promotions or discounts.
Other restrictions may apply. Use code
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Contact your travel agent, call 800.243.8687
or visit cietours.com
Ross Fountain and
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
SAVE $150 PER COUPLE!
*

Book by May 31, 2014 and save
$75 per person on this tour.
CIE_BritMarApr14.indd 1 1/24/14 10:26:53 AM
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BRITAIN
63
www.britain-magazine.com
National Treasures
and ferns, being tied to the mossy branches of existing
trees, says John Lanyon, gardens manager at Glendurgan.
It is a garden of contrasts; natural woodland creates both
shelter and a setting around the edges of the garden. The
centre of the garden is then open with wildfower banks
that are meticulously looked after. The banks are a delight
from early spring: tapestries of contrasting violets and
primroses as well as velvety bluebells. This simplicity is
then dramatically contrasted by the big and bold
subtropical foliage and fowering plants such as
rhododendrons and magnolias.
The laurel maze was laid out in 1833 by Fox as a means
of entertaining his children. Fox was strict when it came to
his labyrinth, fning anyone who tried to break through
the hedges in a desperate bid for freedom.
Glendurgan is a garden dominated by water, which lies
still in its ponds, fows under the bamboo bridge and
trickles along in streams. The Helford River at the bottom
of the valley has turquoise waters coursing out into the sea.
Fox, a Quaker, planted trees such as the Tree of
Heaven refecting his faith on a part of his garden known
as the Holy Bank. He meant Glendurgan to be a small
piece of heaven on earth, and it remains so.
Further north in Cumbria, Sizergh Castle is the gateway to
the Lake District and is arguably the jewel in the regions
crown. Initially built as a defensive fortress against the Scots,
it has been occupied by the Strickland family since 1239.
The 16-acre garden is enchanting with its pond, lake and
a world-renowned limestone rock garden that was built
between 1926 and 1928. The rock garden is the largest
BEST OF THE REST
SHEFFIELD PARK
Ever since the 18th century Sheffield Park (above) has boasted
some form of pleasure gardens. A highlight of the East Sussex
estate is the Palm Walk, an exotic avenue of tropical trees.
MORDEN HALL PARK
A former deer park on the River Wandle in south London,
Morden Hall Park is a green, tranquil haven in the middle of a
built-up, urban area. There is even a garden that shows visitors
exactly how to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
DUDMASTON ESTATE GARDENS
Aside from being filled with modern art sculptures, eight orchards
and featuring an impressive lake, this Shropshire estate's most
famous offering is the Dingle, an enchanting woodland with
winding paths and cascading waterfalls.
Above: The laurel
maze at Glendurgan.
Box: The gardens at
Sheffield Park are
colourful year round
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National Treasures
limestone garden managed by the National Trust and
includes part of the national collection of hardy ferns, says
Tom Price, a gardener at Sizergh, who explains that the
garden featured on the television series Inside the National
Trust. You can meet some of the stars when you visit the
chicken coops and beehives.
Sizergh sprawls over 1,600 hectares, including orchards
and semi-natural woodland. Look out for the mighty
sweet chestnut trees, the seeds of which are thought to
have been brought back to the castle by Cecilia Strickland
in the late 18th century, when she returned from Versailles.
Another garden with links to the medieval period is that
of the Jacobean-style Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire,
built on the foundations of a 12th-century Augustinian
priory and the vision of Lord Fairhaven, who created a
spectacular landscape to impress his guests in the 1930s.
What was once a run-down ruin in unkempt countryside
has, over the last 80 years or so, blossomed into gardens
bursting with surprises. Lord Fairhaven transformed his
home garden from a diminutive fve-acre plot to a
landscape of almost 100 acres by his death in 1966, when
the property was gifted to the National Trust.
He gradually took on more of the agriculture felds and
developed them into themed areas packed with sculptures
and often unique vistas and views linked by grand
avenues, says head gardener, Richard Todd. There are
formal gardens around the house which have shaded
pathways linking them together.
Above: The top
terrace in bloom at
Sizergh Castle in
Cumbria. Right:
Sizergh has been
occupied by the
same family since the
13th century
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Lord Fairhaven collected statues often with mythical
or biblical connotations that he dotted around the
garden, most notably in the Emperors Walk, where
visitors are watched by 12 stone busts of Roman emperors.
Known as a garden for all seasons Anglesey has
horticultural highlights all year round. The Rose Garden is
a sensory triumph: its not only beautiful to look at but the
aroma of 1,000 hybrid tea roses makes for a heady
experience from July to September.
The Dahlia Garden is at its best during September and
is a huge colour spectrum display in a crescent design,
says Todd. Our Dahlia Festival in September gives
everyone an opportunity to enjoy the variety of colours
and shapes of the dahlias, as the fowers are used to create
unusual displays. The dahlias go on right into November.
When the temperature dips, the Winter Garden thrives.
Here youll fnd unusual shrubs and bulbs as well as the
famous grove of Himalayan Silver Birch trees (in the spring
and early summer bright pink tulips bloom around the
base of the trees). The whole of February is a tribute to
snowdrops as a carpet of 270 different types of the delicate
fower covers the ground.
Beyond the manicured neatness of the formal gardens,
which are encased by over three miles of hedges and
include 35 acres of sweeping lawns, Anglesey boasts
meadows in which wildfowers fourish.
For more information on our beautiful gardens, please go to the
BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com
Above: Roses in the
gardens of Anglesey
Abbey in
Cambridgeshire.
Left: The 17th-
century south facade
of Anglesey, which
looks out onto
immaculate lawns
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BRITAIN BRITAIN
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FAULTY TOWERS THE DINING EXPERIENCE
Info, FAQ and tickets: www.faultytowers-uk.com
CHARING CROSS HOTEL, THE STRAND, LONDON, WC2N 5HX
T: +44 (0)845 154 4145 E: bookings@faultytowers.net
B
asil, Sybil and Manuel serve a 3-course meal with a good
dollop of mayhem and all the best gags in a 2-hour eat, drink
and laugh sensation (Daily Telegraph). This is the same 5* West
End show that tours the world, taking in major arts festivals and
even Sydney Opera House. Highly improvised and fully immersive,
its rip-roaringly hilarious (This is London). Booking is essential.
Also appearing in May at the Royal Albert Hall!
INFORMATION: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is performed at the 4* Charing
Cross Hotel evenings and matines Friday to Sunday. Tickets cost 47-54; all tickets
include a 3-course meal and 2-hour interactive show.
Photo: Ron Rutten
HOMEMADE HOLIDAYS
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
OF OUR VERY SPECIAL WAY
TO SEE BRITAIN.
Whether you want to search for your family roots,
explore castles, cathedrals and the countryside
or just soak up the atmosphere in a village pub
or cosy old tea room,
we will put together a visit to Britain
that will live in your memories forever!
THERES NOTHING
LIKE A RURAL RETREAT
CALL 01386 701177
www.ruralretreats.co.uk

325 properties

2-24 guests

Min 2 night stay with exible start date


on many properties

No credit card surcharge

No hidden extras
68_BRI_0314.indd 68 28/01/2014 12:59
Over To You
www.britain-magazine.com BRITAIN
69
Do get in touch with your views about the country, your travels and the magazine
8 COMPETITION WINNER
Congratulations to Christine Cross
from Surrey who has won a
wonderful VIP city break to Liverpool.
YOUR LETTERS
My neighbour who is a very refned English
schoolteacher and Anglophile fnally convinced
me, after six months of cajoling and the bribe of
a free dinner, to watch an episode of Downton
Abbey with her. Having run out of believable
excuses, I had to accept and dreaded the thought
of two hours of a dusty BBC hand-me-down.
Within a few minutes of watching Maggie
Smith play the Dowager Grantham my
expectations of a dry, stuffy, upper-crust,
unintelligible, British melodrama were
permanently changed, and I became an
instantaneous fan. My neighbour, like a true
OUR FAVOURITE LETTER
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lady, refrained from saying I told you so but she
used the programme as a stepping stone to our
shared love of anything English, from Earl Grey
tea to English gardens down to her second-hand
copies of BRITAIN magazine.
Downton Abbey opens its doors and with a
subtle invitation you can explore a different time
and a different world. Likewise BRITAIN invites
you to open its pages and explore the beauty,
grace, and enchantment of a different world, and
both the TV series and the magazine have a subtle
way of changing my distinctly all-American
outlook to something more delightfully and
delicately British.
I look forward to the next issue... but Ill have
to wait until my neighbour fnishes reading it
cover to cover!
Tod Pettit, Charleston, USA
BRITAIN REPLIES: Were glad you enjoyed your
frst taste of the magazine Tod. May we suggest you
subscribe yourself to be
sure of receiving a copy as
soon as its available!
Our favourite letter wins the
beautiful book Highgrove: A
Garden Celebrated, which is a
wonderful commemoration of
The Prince of Wales's garden.
TURNIPS
NOT PARSNIPS
You have probably been
inundated by mail from
irate Scots after your
closing article about
Burns Night in the
Vol 82 Issue 1 edition
of your wonderful
magazine, and have sent
your writer to the corner
with a slice of humble
pie or maybe Dundee
cake! Neeps is the name
given to turnips, not
parsnips, and the clootie
dumpling is boiled or
steamed, not baked. Not
sure about the addition
of breadcrumbs either.
Patricia McDonald,
via email
BRITAIN REPLIES: Thank you
for correcting us Patricia you
are actually the only reader to do
so, so well spotted!
SCHOOL DAYS
I was born in the UK and have been home often since I left in 1967. In
between visits I have an armchair trip from BRITAIN magazine.
I have visited many of the places you have featured over the years but
Vol 81 Issue 4 was particularly evocative for me. I refer to the article on
Cheshire, which brings back many memories of my school days at
Great Moreton Hall, which was at that time a girls boarding school. A
group of us naughty girls used to break bounds and run through the
felds to Little Moreton Hall where we could indulge in afternoon tea.
This was during the period of 1948-1950 when I was about 13 years
old. I look forward to every issue of BRITAIN and I hope you will keep
me and many other readers happy for years to come.
Ann P Letten, Alabama, USA
HOW TO WRITE TO US By post to: Letters, BRITAIN, Chelsea Magazines, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ; or to: Letters,
BRITAIN, Circulation Specialists Inc, 2 Corporate Drive, Suite 945, Shelton, CT 06484, USA. Or email the editor: jessica.tooze@britain-magazine.com
10 BRITAIN
Cheshire
www.britain-magazine.com
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Members of the Federation of British Artists will explore the gems of our
land through print, pastel and paint.
The pictures will be small, emphasising the feeling of discovery, providing
picture postcard views of Britain. All work for sale.
The Mall, London SW1
www.mallgalleries.org.uk
Little Gems
15 to 22 February 2014
Image: Melissa Scott-Miller RP, Bedford Square Gardens
Little Gems FBA -Britain mag.indd 1 28/01/2014 16:52
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Time
From a faceless clock to a rotating grasshopper, there have been many ingenious
methods and means to mark time throughout Britain's history
WORDS DAVID ADAMS
Wells Cathedral's
clock, constructed
circa 1390, is unusual
in that it has two faces
(one inside the
building and one
outside)
Timepieces
to shine
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locks and timepieces can
be remarkably evocative
and also tell us much
about the eras in which
they were created. There
may have been water
clocks in Britain from
Roman times, alongside
sundials and astrolabes complex tools that
predict the positions of heavenly bodies (theres
a fne modern example in the grounds of Hever
Castle in Kent). But the development of the
mechanical clock in Britain really began with
clocks made for medieval religious buildings.
The oldest one still in use, at Salisbury
Cathedral, dates from around 1386 and still
contains many original parts within its wrought
iron mechanism. This clock never had a face it
simply rang a bell upon the hour, while the clock
at Wells Cathedral, built circa 1390, has two
faces. Inside the building you see an astronomical
clock, with a 24-hour analogue dial in Roman
numerals and dials showing the age and phases of
the moon. Mechanical jousting knights above the
clock charge at each other every quarter of the
hour, while another fgure, the Quarter Jack
strikes bells with a hammer and his heels. The
exterior face is a conventional 12-hour dial.
Perhaps the loveliest astronomical clock in
Britain was commissioned by King Henry VIII
and created by Bavarian astronomer Nicolas
Kratzer and French clockmaker Nicholas
Oursian in 1540 for the gatehouse at Hampton
Court Palace. It shows the sun moving through
the signs of the zodiac, the time, day of the
month, phase of the moon and high water at
London Bridge useful for a monarch sailing
down the river to his other palaces at
Westminster, London and Greenwich.
At the time, clocks would have been
a much rarer sight than sundials, such as that
on the wall of the Moot Hall at Aldeburgh, on
the Suffolk coast. The orginal dates from 1650
and is inscribed Horas non numero nisi serenas
(I only count the sunny hours); a fttingly
cheerful message for the pleasant seaside town.
But at sea clocks could be a matter of life or
death. By the mid 18th century the British
government was offering a reward of 20,000 to
anyone who could design a device to measure
longitude accurately, so saving hundreds of lives
each year from shipwrecks caused by
navigational errors. A carpenter and clockmaker
from Yorkshire, John Harrison, eventually
solved the problem, creating watches that could
keep accurate time at sea. The three Sea Clocks
and the frst of the Sea Watches Harrison built
are all on display at the National Maritime
Museum in Greenwich. Harrisons second
marine watch is on display at the Clockmakers
Museum in the Guildhall, London one of more
than 600 clocks and timepieces there.
By this time clock- and watchmaking had
become highly sophisticated Thomas Mudges
Minute Repeating watch at the British
Museum is a fantastic example. Built in 1755, it
enables timekeeping in the dark, by striking the
last hour, the last quarter and the number of
minutes past the quarter, if required.
Today, time regiments our lives to an extent
unimaginable throughout most of history,
thanks to its standardisation across large
geographical areas, which followed construction
of the railways in the 19th century.
Until then, sundials were still the defnitive
authority on time, meaning that London time
was fve minutes ahead of Oxford time, 10
minutes ahead of Bristol and 14 ahead of Exeter.
Once the Great Western Railway began to run
trains between London and Bristol in the 1830s
it became necessary for the company to
standardise on London time, but timetables
1. A modern example of an astrolabe in the grounds of Hever Castle; 2. and 3. Salisbury Cathedral houses Britain's, and
possibly the world's, oldest surviving mechanical clock; 4. the sundial on the Moot Hall, Aldeburgh; 5. and 6. at Corpus Christi
College, Cambridge, a traditional timepiece has been joined by a modern grasshopper chronophage'; 7. the floral clock in
Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh; 8. the 24-hour electric Shepherd Gate Clock at Greenwich P
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still showed departures in local and London
times, while clocks with two separate minute
hands became a common sight. You can still see
one at the Corn Exchange in Bristol.
In 1880 London time was offcially
standardised across Britain, based on the master
clock at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,
built by Charles Shepherd in 1851 one of the
frst electric clocks in the country. You can see a
Shepherd clock, with its unusual 24-hour
analogue dial, on the Shepherd Gate entrance.
But most people, asked to nominate the most
famous clock in Britain, would name one built in
the 1850s. Or, to be pedantic, misname it,
because neither the clock tower alongside the
Houses of Parliament nor the clock is called Big
Ben (its actually the nickname of the hour bell).
The clock tower was designed by Augustus
Pugin and the clock by Edmund Beckett Denison
and George Airy. It is magnifcent but fawed: a
variation in the mass of the huge pendulum
caused by changes in weather is managed with a
pile of Victorian pennies balanced on top, which
are added or removed to correct the time. Tower
and clock are not routinely open to the public, but
tours can be arranged by Members of Parliament.
Big Ben was cast at the Whitechapel Bell
Foundry in East London in 1858 and weighs
13.5 tons. Winching it into position took 18
hours. Two-and-a-half months into its working
life the bell cracked, but it was patched up in situ
and there it remains, still striking the hour.
Other great British clocks include the foral
clock in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh,
created in 1903 by clockmakers James Ritchie
& Son; and Great George, the clock within the
Royal Liver Building, high above the River
Mersey in Liverpool. It was set in motion on 22
July 1911 as King George V was crowned in
Westminster Abbey. Its four faces the largest in
Britain are 25 feet wide, constructed of 660
pounds of opal glass on an iron frame and tough
enough to withstand winds from the Irish Sea.
Almost a century on, in 2008, an
extraordinary modern clock was created for
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by inventor,
horologist and former student Dr John Taylor. Its
face is a gold-plated disk, four feet in diameter,
topped by a grasshopper, the chronophage or
time eater. As this pulls the dial around, blue
LED lights rush across the clock to display the
time but the clock plays tricks, pausing, running
unevenly or even backwards, before returning to
the correct time. It took seven years, 1 million
and the work of over 300 scientists, engineers and
artists to build.
Britain is still at the cutting edge of clock
technology. In 2011 a caesium fountain atomic
clock built at the National Physical Laboratory
(NPL) in Teddington, south London, was named
most accurate long-term timekeeper in the world.
Contemplating these great clocks allows us to
refect upon attempts to bring order to our
sometimes chaotic world and consider the
mystery of time itself.
For information on these iconic clocks and timepieces
visit the BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com
Top (left to right): Big Ben is not the name of the
famous clock but the nickname of the hour
bell; the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool has
four clock faces which at 25 feet wide are the
largest in Britain. Above: The bright red Time
Ball on top of Flamsteed House in Greenwich is
one of the world's earliest public time signals,
distributing time to ships on the Thames and
many Londoners
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PB
BRITAIN BRITAIN
75
Enjoy London with a Visitor Oyster Card.
The easiest way to travel around.
No queuing at stations ready to use
as soon as you arrive
Cheaper than buying paper tickets
Use it for travel across all of London
Discounted fares on the Emirates Air Line
cable car and Thames Clipper river boats
The easiest way to travel around London
For more information or to pre-purchase,
go to visitorshop.t.gov.uk
Transport for London MAYOR OF LONDON
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of medieval Durham.
Ensuite and Standard B&B accommodation is
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E: campdencottages@icloud.com
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75_BRI_0314.indd 75 28/01/2014 16:45
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76
BRITAIN BRITAIN
PB
Come and nd
sanctuary in this
medieval hall church.
Enjoy the glories of
our choir and our
architecture and
the warmth of our
welcome.
Find us at
Bristol Cathedral
- was described by Pevsner as
superior to anything
else built in England.
www.bristol-cathedral.co.uk
Fun family outings
Hunger for history
Savour the menu
Chat over cofee
Wander quiet cloisters
Walk tranquil grounds
Festivals and concerts
View sacred treasures
Enjoy the silence
Take a pew
at Norwich Cathedral
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Railway
Station
R
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O
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BARRACK STREET
BISHOPGATE
A47
to Cromer
to Great
Yarmouth
to Kings Lynn
A11
to London
The Cathedral is located in the heart of Norwich in the
beautiful Cathedral Quarter, Tombland area of the city.
On foot
Grey directional signposts are located throughout the city
centre and maps are also available at various locations.
- Norwich Train Station is located approximately
10 minutes away.
- A bus stop is located in Tombland, directly
outside the Cathedral gates, with services running
approximately every 20 minutes.
Upon arriving in Norwich, the Cathedral is clearly
signposted by brown tourist signs. On-site parking is not
available. Nearby car parks are shown in the map above.
For more detailed travel directions, information on coach
visits and parking visit: www.cathedral.org.uk/visit
Norwich Cathedral, 12 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH
Tel: 01603 218300 Email: reception@cathedral.org.uk
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Fun family outings
Hunger for history
Savour the menu
Chat over cofee
Wander quiet cloisters
Walk tranquil grounds
Festivals and concerts
View sacred treasures
Enjoy the silence
Take a pew
at Norwich Cathedral
P
P
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P
Railway
Station
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BISHOPGATE
The Cathedral is located in the heart of Norwich in the
beautiful Cathedral Quarter, Tombland area of the city.
On foot
Grey directional signposts are located throughout the city
centre and maps are also available at various locations.
- Norwich Train Station is located approximately
10 minutes away.
- A bus stop is located in Tombland, directly
outside the Cathedral gates, with services running
approximately every 20 minutes.
Upon arriving in Norwich, the Cathedral is clearly
signposted by brown tourist signs. On-site parking is not
available. Nearby car parks are shown in the map above.
For more detailed travel directions, information on coach
visits and parking visit: www.cathedral.org.uk/visit
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Plan your visit:
www.cathedral.org.uk
Share your visit:
#mycathedralvisit
DOWN CATHEDRAL
Te Mall, English Street, Downpatrick, County Down BT30 6AB
T: 028 4461 4922 E: info@downcathedral.org
www.downcathedral.org
Built in 1183 as a Benedictine monastery, Down
Cathedral is now a Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
Prominent and majestic, the cathedral is believed to
have the grave of St Patrick in its grounds. Tere is
also wonderful stained glass and a pulpit and organ of
highest quality.
Open all year round. Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.00: Sunday 2.00 - 4.00pm
Tel: 01452 528095

Open daily 8am until Evensong

Guided tours and group tours available

Tower tours Wednesday to Saturday from April to October


Visit our website www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk
for more details of concerts, exhibitions, events and services
A warm welcome awaits you in this
glorious sacred space
Untitled-7 1 21/9/11 10:05:25
Tel: 01452 528095

Open daily 8am until Evensong

Guided tours and group tours available

Tower tours Wednesday to Saturday from April to October


Visit our website www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk
for more details of concerts, exhibitions, events and services
A warm welcome awaits you in this
glorious sacred space
Untitled-7 1 21/9/11 10:05:25
76_BRI_0314.indd 76 28/01/2014 12:58
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077 BRMA14 COMPETITION Vs2.indd 77 28/01/2014 14:26
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78_BRI_0314 REV2.indd 78 29/01/2014 10:59
BRITAIN
79
Tomas Becket
www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
Hardys Wessex is
broadly the modern-
day county of
Dorset, seen here at
Gold Hill in
Shaftesbury
The falling out of two friends, Thomas Becket and King Henry II, led
to one of historys most violent and horrific events
WORDS NEIL JONES
MURDER
The murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
079-084 BRMA14 BECKET.indd 79 28/01/2014 16:26
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
O
n 18 July 1174 citizens of Canterbury witnessed a most
extraordinary spectacle. King Henry II had come to
perform a public penance. He stopped at St Dunstans
Church, donned sackcloth and walked barefoot to the
cathedral, for he admitted that he did use such words as
were the cause and origin of the murder of Thomas
Becket. He was whipped by monks.
The killing of Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, four
years earlier had sent shockwaves through Europe. Stories
of miracles linked to the martyr abounded and he was
canonized in 1173. Pilgrims focked to his shrine in the
cathedral, colourfully recorded in Geoffrey Chaucers
Canterbury Tales, and the story of Thomas and Henry,
two friends who became implacable enemies, has
fascinated writers and movie makers ever since: from T S
Eliots Murder in the Cathedral to Ken Folletts The Pillars
of the Earth.
Beckets rise to public position was meteoric. The son of
a prosperous merchant, he was born in London in 1118
and, quick of learning, keen of memory and clear of
understanding in all things, was educated in Surrey, Paris,
Bologna and Auxerre. He became a deacon in the
household of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and in
1155 King Henry II, recognising his talents, made him
Chancellor of the Realm.
Despite envious murmurings, Becket proved a deft
diplomat and administrator, which included enforcing the
kings sources of revenue from landowners, churches and
bishoprics. He also became good friends with Henry, some
15 years his junior. It was a meeting of like spirits: each
was tall and brave, each could be courteous and
charismatic, and each possessed an explosive temper.
Among the great causes of unrest in the Middle Ages
were relations between Church and Crown, and Henry
was keen on reform. When Archbishop Theobald died in
1161 the king saw his chance to further his interests by
encouraging the appointment of Thomas. It was an
incredible move as Becket was only a clerk in minor orders,
but he was quickly promoted then enthroned as
Archbishop of Canterbury in June 1162.
If Henry thought Thomas would do his bidding he was
in for a shock. Becket transformed from pleasure-loving
courtier to ascetic cleric, determined to uphold the dignity
and privileges of the Church including its independence
from state control.
The king, busy overhauling Englands legal system,
wanted erring clergy to be tried in secular courts rather
than their own, which administered far milder
punishments. Becket vehemently resisted, on this and
other matters. So the king countered with the
Constitutions of Clarendon (1164), aiming to clarify
relations between Church and State and asserting the
judicial rights of the Crown. Surprisingly, Becket now
agreed then withdrew agreement.
He was summoned to explain his contempt of royal
authority and, for good measure, interrogated over money
he had been given to spend as chancellor. Angry scenes
erupted and the archbishop stormed out.
Despite enemies in high places, Becket was already a
popular hero with the common people and many clergy.
Supporters helped him to escape to France where he
Above: Medieval pilgrims would have seen this gateway to the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey in
Canterbury and (below) the Old Weavers House beside the River Stour. Facing page: Great Tower
of Dover Castle; Canterbury Cathedral cloisters; Henry II doing penance at Becket's tomb
079-084 BRMA14 BECKET.indd 80 28/01/2014 10:56
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remained in exile for six years. Only following a brittle
truce with Henry did he return in December 1170. Crowds
cheered him to Canterbury, little realising that before the
months end he would be dead.
While abroad, Becket had excommunicated the kings
principal counsellors as well as opponents in the Church and
back in England he continued his uncompromising
behaviour. When Henry heard he exploded with rage: Who
will rid me of this low-born [some say turbulent] Priest?
Four knights, Richard le Breton, Hugh de Moreville,
Reginald FitzUrse and William de Tracy, took the king at
his word and hastened to Canterbury, arriving on 29
December. After a fery confrontation with Becket they
pursued him into the cathedral as the monks sang
afternoon vespers and caught up with him in the
north-west transept.
In the struggle that followed, Becket threw FitzUrse to
the ground before being overcome by sword strokes,
murmuring as he fell, For the name of Jesus and the
defence of the church I am willing to die. Le Bretons
sword sliced off the crown of the archbishops skull and
the blades tip shattered on the stone pavement.
Today the site of the Martyrdom is marked by a
sculpture of metal swords suspended above a simple altar,
the eerie peace far removed from the original scenes of
frenzy as the knights fed and a violent storm blew up
suggesting a breakdown of natural order. Stunned
mourners thronged to the cathedral and miracles began to
be reported, since commemorated in the richly coloured
medieval stained glass windows of the Trinity Chapel.
Two years later, Thomas was made a saint.
Tomas Becket
BRITAIN
81
Four knights, Richard le Breton, Hugh de Moreville, Reginald FitzUrse and
William de Tracy, took the king at his word and hastened to Canterbury
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BRITAIN
83
Tomas Becket
www.britain-magazine.com
Beckets assailants went unpunished by Henry but were
ordered by the Pope to serve as knights in the Holy Land.
The king, regretting their over-zealous actions, did his
public penance. Yet, visit the Great Tower of Dover Castle,
the dazzling showpiece he built to impress important
guests, and you might wonder about his true feelings.
Many nobles who came as pilgrims to venerate St Thomas
in Canterbury broke their journey at the opulently
furnished tower, fnding here an unapologetic statement of
power and wealth, undiminished by events.
As the fow of visitors to Canterbury Cathedral
increased, Beckets relics were moved from their initial
tomb to an awe-inspiring gold-plated, bejewelled shrine.
The pilgrimage industry, at its height from the 12th to
14th centuries, meant big business and Canterbury,
boasting shrines of many saints in addition to its star
attraction, ranked among Christendoms four greatest
centres alongside Jerusalem, Rome and Compostela.
Many of the faithful followed the ancient track of the
133-mile Pilgrims Way between the two holy sites of
Winchester and Canterbury you can ramble roughly in
their steps today by taking the St Swithuns and North
Downs Ways via paths, woods, chalk grassland, orchards
and farmland. Some sought healing or forgiveness at
Beckets shrine, others journeyed from a sense of
adventure. For as soon as spring came, Geoffrey Chaucer
wrote in The Canterbury Tales, Than longen folk to
goon on pilgrimages.
Chaucers Tales, begun around 1387, reveal a diverse
bunch of pilgrims, from the fve-times-married Wife of
Bath to a gentle knight, travelling from Southwarks
Tabard Inn (London) to Canterbury. Their holiday spirit is
captured as they pass the time telling stories the
Canterbury Tales visitor attraction, a short walk from
Canterbury Cathedral, provides a rumbustious take on
their yarns of love, jealousy and trickery.
Many of the faithful followed
the ancient track of the 133-
mile Pilgrims Way between
Winchester and Canterbury
From top: The Great Cloister of Canterbury Cathedral; follow the ancient track of the
pilgrims along the North Downs Way; the luminous Miracle Windows in the
cathedrals Trinity Chapel depict miracles believed to be wrought by St Thomas Becket
079-084 BRMA14 BECKET.indd 83 28/01/2014 10:57
84
BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
J The word canter derives from
Canterbury pace, the ambling gallop of
pilgrims riding along the Pilgrims Way.
J Geoffrey Chaucer broke with convention
by writing in English rather than French or
Latin and his Canterbury Tales became one of
the earliest books ever to be printed in
English, by William Caxton in 1476.
J Its claimed the restless spirits of two of
the knights who murdered Thomas Becket
haunt the Hythe area of Kent. They had
stopped en route to Canterbury to plot at
Saltwood Castle.
J Reports circa 1512 suggest the veneration
of saints relics was out of hand as visitors to Canterbury Cathedral were shown everything
from an arm with flesh attached, to scraps of handkerchiefs soiled by the sweat from the face
or neck of the saint, the running of his nose, and things of that sort.
J Just years before the Dissolution, King Henry VIII (pictured above) was among pilgrims to
Canterbury making offerings at Beckets shrine.
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All around Canterbury you can still see sights that
would have greeted weary medieval travellers: from
St Dunstans where Henry II paused, to the Eastbridge
Hospital founded in the 12th century to provide lodgings
for poor pilgrims, and of course the magnifcent cathedral.
Keen for souvenirs of their visit, pilgrims snapped up
trinkets, which the cathedral and others happily provided
in order to boost their coffers. Canterbury Heritage
Museum displays a superb collection of medieval
must-have badges, including depictions of the head
casket of St Thomas. Or maybe you would have preferred
an ampulla of holy water, allegedly tinged with the saints
healing blood?
Pilgrims continued to venerate the shrine of St Thomas
right up to 1538, when vandals of the Dissolution
destroyed it and St Thomass name was expunged from
the offcial calendar of the English Church. Among
cartloads of treasure taken from the cathedral was a
giant ruby given by Louis VII of France in 1179 to
decorate Beckets tomb: Henry VIII had the choice jewel
set in a thumb ring, a seeming symbol of the triumph of
the State over Church authority.
Opinions differ over the story of Thomas and Henry II,
two friends who became bitterly pitted against each other
over a matter of principle. Did Henrys rash words
constitute a command to murder or was it a terrible
mistake? Was Thomas, champion of the Church, too
intransigent and stiff with pride? Could the martyrdom
have been avoided?
Whatever your conclusion, the lighted candle that
burns in Canterbury Cathedrals Trinity Chapel where
Beckets shrine once stood invites countless modern
pilgrims to poignant refection.
For information on visiting Canterbury Cathedral, please go to the
BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com
DID YOU KNOW?
Did Henrys rash words constitute
a command to murder or was it a
terrible mistake? Was Tomas too
intransigent and stif with pride?
Tomas Becket
Above: Canterbury Cathedral was one of the most important centres of
pilgrimage in medieval England, all the more so after Becket's murder
079-084 BRMA14 BECKET.indd 84 28/01/2014 15:00
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
Top: Le Manoir aux
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Above left: The
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Fancy experiencing your very own Downton Abbey? Then book a stay on a
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086-090 BRMA14 LIVE LIKE A LORD.indd 86 28/01/2014 11:07
BRITAIN
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Places To Stay
www.britain-magazine.com
T
here was a time when your only chance
of living like a lord or lady was to have
been born one, but now anyone can
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Unfortunately you cant stay at the real-life
Downton Abbey Highclere Castle in Berkshire
but we have hunted down the most stunning
stately homes across Britain where you can try a
brief taste of aristocracy, replicating life as a
guest of the Granthams.
From the long, tree-lined drive to the imposing
neo-classical facade of the mansion house,
Luton Hoo on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire
border is a perfect example of a grand stately
home turned hotel. The present house was built
for the 3rd Earl of Bute, prime minister to King
George III, and has been added to and modifed
over the years, notably after two major fres in
1771 and 1843. The majestic proportions of the
Great Hall were the work of Charles Mewes,
who designed The Ritz hotel in London, and
commissioned by Sir Julius Wernher who made
his fortune from the South African diamond
mines and owned the house from 1903.
Despite the soaring ceilings, glittering
chandeliers and enormous rooms, Luton Hoo
has a wonderfully welcoming feel, with roaring
log fres in every huge hearth, comfortable sofas
and attentive, friendly staff. Dinner in the
magnifcent Wernher Restaurant is a more
formal affair, ftting for a room in which
ruinously expensive foor-to-ceiling marble
panelwork on the walls and lavish drapes and
tapestries surely make it one of the most
glamorous dining rooms in the country.
Bedrooms are similarly opulent the oval-
shaped Boudoir is particularly glorious, with its
many windows commanding superb views of the
lake, parkland and formal gardens.
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Left: Luton Hoo, seen
from the formal
gardens to the
south-west of the
house. Below: The
Grove hotel
086-090 BRMA14 LIVE LIKE A LORD.indd 87 28/01/2014 11:07
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
If you prefer something classic on the outside
and contemporary inside, then The Grove, half
an hours drive south towards London, offers
the perfect marriage of traditional architecture
and modern interiors.
The frst substantial house was built at The
Grove during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I,
before Sir William Buck of Hanby rebuilt the
main manor house and original west wing in
1703. From 1753 generations of the illustrious
Earls of Clarendon owned The Grove until
1920, after which the property was variously
used as a gardening school, health centre, riding
school and a girls boarding school. It was
fnally opened as a luxury hotel and superior
golf resort in 2004.
The Grove bills itself as Londons country
estate and whereas in the 19th century, under
the 4th Earl, regular guests included Queen
Victoria, Lord Palmerston and the future King
Edward VII, today you will fnd business
travellers mingling with families, golfers and
those who come to be pampered at the award-
winning spa. This is a country estate for those
used to modern comforts here you can indulge
yourself at the huge buffet spread in The
Glasshouse restaurant, hire a bike for a fve-mile
ride around the estate or even visit the beach in
the grounds, complete with volleyball court and
plenty of sandcastle-building space.
Hartwell House, situated amid 90 acres of
landscaped parkland within the Vale of
Buckinghamshire, is altogether a more
traditional offering. One of three hotels owned
and managed by Historic House Hotels of the
National Trust, with all profts going to the
house and the charity, the aim with this and
each of their properties is to retain the quiet
comfortable atmosphere of country house life.
Above: Hartwell
House. Below: The
King's Bedroom at
Hartwell was once
the room of King
Louis XVIII
3
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BRITAIN
89
www.britain-magazine.com
Places To Stay
Whether you fancy a game of tennis on the
lovely courts within the high brick walls of the
old kitchen garden; a wander in the grounds,
taking in the wonderful 18th-century buildings
by James Gibbs and a Gothic Revival church
built in 1752; or simply want to curl up in the
spectacular library the bookcases of which
are fronted by the fnest surviving gilt-brass
wire-work in the country you can easily
imagine you are staying for the weekend at the
residence of relaxed (if very wealthy) friends.
This house, however, has an extremely
grand past. In 1809 it was leased to the exiled
King Louis XVIII of France and his court.
King Louis remained at Hartwell until 1814
when the constitutional document confrming
his accession to the French throne was signed
here. You can even sleep in his room the
Kings Bedroom while the roof terrace, once
used by the French court for keeping chickens
and rabbits and growing vegetables and herbs,
is now a sheltered spot to catch the sun.
You will fnd more fascinating historical
associations at Rushton Hall in
Northamptonshire. The ancestral home of the
controversial Tresham family from 1438, the
house is steeped in stories of murder and
betrayal. William Tresham bought the estate
in 1438 and was made Speaker of the House of
Commons the following year. In 1450, accused
of treason in the aftermath of Jack Cades
rebellion in Kent against high taxes and
alleged corruption in the kings council, he was
killed in a property dispute. A later
descendant, Francis Tresham, also met a nasty
end he was involved in the Gunpowder Plot
and died in the Tower of London in 1605.
Fittingly for a house with this tragic history,
it is said to have provided Charles Dickens
4
Above and below:
Rushton Hall is
today a haven of
tranquillity, but has
borne witness to a
tragic past
086-090 BRMA14 LIVE LIKE A LORD.indd 89 28/01/2014 11:08
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BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
with the inspiration for the spooky Haversham
Hall in Great Expectations.
Seventeenth-century Swinton Park in the
Yorkshire Dales looks more like a castle than a
house, but the tower, turrets and battlements
were simply added as decorative embellishments
to the original residence during the early 1800s.
The house was converted into a hotel in 2001
and retains all the character of a traditional
English home. The grounds here are a true
highlight, and the restored orangery now boasts
a falconry where guests can handle and fy a
varying range of species under the watchful eye
of an experienced falconer.
After a busy day of outdoor pursuits, change
out of your tweed into something more
glamorous for cocktails in the drawing room
and dinner in Samuels restaurant precisely
what grand houses such as this were built for.
For more stately homes turned hotels, please visit the
BRITAIN website at www.britain-magazine.com
1. LUTON HOO, BEDFORDSHIRE
Book for: wonderful service in glamorous
surroundings and the popular afternoon tea
overlooking the formal gardens.
From 280 per night; www.lutonhoo.co.uk
2. THE GROVE, HERTFORDSHIRE
Book for: the excellent breakfast buffet one
of the best hotel breakfasts weve tried and
the stylish spa with its black mosaic pool.
From 285 per night; www.thegrove.co.uk
3. HARTWELL HOUSE,
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
Book for: beautiful grounds planted with
thousands of bulbs and a Gothic tower and
pavilion by James Gibbs.
From 290 per night;
www.hartwell-house.com
4. RUSHTON HALL,
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Book for: peace and relaxation borrow the
croquet set from reception and enjoy a
traditionally English pastime.
From 160 per night; www.rushtonhall.com
5. SWINTON PARK,
NORTH YORKSHIRE
Book for: the fairytale Turret Suite, set on
three circular floors with a free-standing rain
bath on the third floor.
From 195 per night; www.swintonpark.com
Above: Swinton Park has been owned by the
Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880s. The
20,000-acre estate stretches from the River
Ure in Wensleydale up onto the moorland
dales and hotel guests have access to a host of
country pursuits that include fishing, golf,
falconry, riding and shooting.
Right: Rooms at Swinton Park are furnished
with antiques and family portraits
5
086-090 BRMA14 LIVE LIKE A LORD.indd 90 28/01/2014 15:50
www.britain-magazine.com www.britain-magazine.com
PB
BRITAIN BRITAIN
91
SELFCATERING
Holidays
in and around Snowdonia, Anglesey, Lln Peninsula,
Conwy and Llandudno.
FARMHOUSES COTTAGES APARTMENTS
01492 582492
www.BRI.northwalesholidaycottages.co.uk
Britain Advert:Layout 2 12/11/13 13:15 Page 1
Albro House Hotel
155 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 2RY
Tel: +44 (0)20 7724 2931 / +44 (0)20 7706 8153 Fax: +44 (0)20 7262 2278
E-mail: joe@albrohotel.freeserve.co.uk
Website: www.albrohotel.co.uk
Located near Hyde Park, public transport and convenient for sightseeing and shopping.
Comfortable rooms all with TV, private facilities, tea / coffee maker, phone, radio
and hairdryer. Friendly effcient service. Quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Some parking.
Families and small groups welcome. Tours booked. Luggage storage. Free WiFi
A GOOD VALUE HOTEL IN CENTRAL LONDON
Rates per person including cooked Low High
English breakfast & all taxes Season Season
Single rooms from 46 to 58 58 to 84
Twin / double rooms from 34 to 48 50 to 70
Family (3 or 4) per person from 32 to 40 38 to 48
Established 1980
The
Independent
Traveller
LONDON APARTMENTS
Central, suburban and commuter areas
Edinburgh and other UK cities also
Tel: +44 (0) 1392 860807
Email:maryandsimon@btinternet.com
Web: www.londonselfcateringapartments.co.uk
Your resource for customized travel within Scotland, England,
Wales and Ireland since 1995. We specialize in arranging Hotel
accommodation, from 3 to 5 star; Air & Cruise port transfers;
Transportation; Sightseeing tours; Attraction entrances; Theater
tickets; Golf and much more. Visit us on-line for ideas or
contact us by phone or E-mail with details of your dream
vacation and let Britain by Choice turn your dreams into reality.
reservations@britainbychoice.com
Web: www.britainbychoice.com
Phone: 800 410 5110
Your resource for customized travel within Scotland, England,
Wales and Ireland since 1995. We specialize in arranging Hotel
accommodation, from 3 to 5 star; Air & Cruise port transfers;
Transportation; Sightseeing tours; Attraction entrances; Theater
tickets; Golf and much more. Visit us on-line for ideas or
contact us by phone or E-mail with details of your dream
vacation and let Britain by Choice turn your dreams into reality.
reservations@britainbychoice.com
Web: www.britainbychoice.com
Phone: 800 410 5110
Your resource for customized travel within Scotland, England,
Wales and Ireland since 1995. We specialize in arranging Hotel
accommodation, from 3 to 5 star; Air & Cruise port transfers;
Transportation; Sightseeing tours; Attraction entrances; Theater
tickets; Golf and much more. Visit us on-line for ideas or
contact us by phone or E-mail with details of your dream
vacation and let Britain by Choice turn your dreams into reality.
reservations@britainbychoice.com
Web: www.britainbychoice.com
Phone: 800 410 5110
Affordable and comfortable self-
catering holiday apartments in a
unique location in St. Katharines
Marina adjacent to
Tower Bridge and the
Tower of London
Sleep up to 6 persons. Weekly
letting, linen, towels, washer/dryer,
TV, telephone, broadband etc.
For more information, contact
Tel: +44 (0) 1462 678037 Fax: +44 (0) 1462 679639
E-mail: hamlet_uk@globalnet.co.uk
www.hamletuk.com
EARLY BOOKING RECOMMENDED!!
VISITING LONDON???
HIRE HIRE
N

CAR HIRE
Serving MANCHESTER, LIVERPOOL & LEEDS AIRPORTS
PERSONAL ATTENTIVE SERVICE
A real person will answer the phone!
Rates from 96.66 p.wk. inc. VAT & ins.
Manuals and Autos
Tel: HIRE HIRE Leigh, Lancs, WN7 2EA
+44 1942 676406 Fax: +44 1942 677666
also in West Yorkshire +44 1422 316060
sales@hirenhire.co.uk www.hirenhire.co.uk
N
91_BRI_0314.indd 91 27/01/2014 11:46
BRITAINS CHOICE favourite destinations to explore
www.visitworcestershire.org
For information on fantastic attractions,
events and accommodation in beautiful Worcestershire.
Order our comprehensive tourist guide a 232-page book detailing
where to go and what to see with a list of B&Bs for 4.95
Email: office@bbnationwide.co.uk for details
Bed & Breakfastand much more
Experience the British way of life

For a brochure of 600 B&Bs and
a selection of self-catering cottages in the UK & Ireland
email: office@bbnationwide.co.uk or visit our websites:
bedandbreakfastnationwide.com holidaycottagesnationwide.co.uk
Many welcome dogs, horses & have facilities for the less mobile
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For further information visit www.VisitCheltenham.com
Cheltenham Spa
CENTRE FOR THE COTSWOLDS
IDEAL FOR SHORT BREAKS
Morgan Romantic Road packages Group Visits Tailor made itineraries
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For further information visit www.VisitCheltenham.com
Cheltenham Spa
CENTRE FOR THE COTSWOLDS
IDEAL FOR SHORT BREAKS
Morgan Romantic Road packages Group Visits Tailor made itineraries
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For further information visit www.VisitCheltenham.com
Cheltenham Spa
CENTRE FOR THE COTSWOLDS
IDEAL FOR SHORT BREAKS
Morgan Romantic Road packages Group Visits Tailor made itineraries
Beautiful villages, historic homes, stunning
scenery, charming cottages, rippling rivers,
fabulous food, history to explore
and unforgettable memories!
Test Valley, in the heart of Hampshire
For further information visit www.visit-testvalley.org.uk
or download a copy of our visitor guide from
www.testvalley.gov.uk/tourism
92-93_BRI_0214 TOURIST BOARDS.indd 92 29/01/2014 09:23
To book space call Natasha +44 (0)207 349 3732
Unspoilt and stunningly beautiful, the perfect
hideaway from the modern world
To find out more call 01481 832345 or visit
www.sark.co.uk
from Waterloo
20 minutes
from Waterloo from Waterloo
F ROM WAT E RL OO
Dine. Shop. Stay. Escape.
Village lanes & boutiques
Pubs, restaurants & hotels
Twickenham Stadium
London Wetland Centre
Kew Gardens, Richmond Park
& Hampton Court Palace
2 0 MI NUT E S
Richmond upon Thames
WWW. VI SI TRI CHMOND. CO. UK
Visit Richmond, Surrey @Visit_Richmond1
Escape, Explore and Enjoy
Located in Buckinghamshire and set in the heart of the Chiltern Hills the Wycombe District is the perfect
year round destnaton whatever your agenda. For those looking to escape to the countryside the beautful
walks, waterways and cosy English pubs provide an idyllic rural retreat. Or if you prefer a more lively
atmosphere the bustling historic market towns ofer endless entertainment for all the family.
High Wycombe Informaton Centre
Library Foyer, 5 Eden Place
High Wycombe, HP11 2DH
Phone: +44(0)1494 421892
Marlow Informaton Centre
55a High Street (Entrance on Insttute Road)
Marlow, SL7 1BA
Phone: +44(0)1628 483597
Princes Risborough Informaton Centre
Tower Court, Horns Lane
Princes Risborough, HP27 0JA
Phone: +44(0)1844 274795
Visit www.visitbuckinghamshire.org or email tourism_enquiries@wycombe.gov.uk
A combinaton of picturesque villages, lively historic towns and rural scenes...
Marlow
High Wycombe
Princes Risborough
To fnd out more and plan your stay contact one of our Tourist Informaton Centres
92-93_BRI_0214 TOURIST BOARDS.indd 93 28/01/2014 16:14
BRITAINS CHOICE discover fascinating heritage attractions

escaping
the everyday
Fountains Abbey
& Studley Royal
A place of contrasts and
surprises, discover the spirit of
a great abbey and the elegance
of a Georgian water garden
Members and under 5s go free.
01765 608888
nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey

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Open 1st April to 30th September 2014
Contact Info Line 01367 240932 or
www.buscotpark.com for opening times
TRAVEL FROM
WATERLOO
I
N
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E
H
O
U
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T
O
AND STEAM THROUGH THE
ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
A
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For customised, fexible tours
for couples or groups, visit
www.shropshiretours.com
Each tour will have an experienced qualied guide and driver to
look after you. This provides an enjoyable safe environment to
discover Shropshire and other areas in Central England and Wales.
www.shropshiretours.com
Phone numbers: Steve +44(0)7773344217
Martin +44(0)7792883245 /+44(0)1743 350469
Email: info@shropshiretours.com
94-95 BRI_0214 HERITAGE.indd 94 29/01/2014 10:55
To book space call Natasha +44 (0)207 349 3732
One of the most beautiful historic houses in
Oxfordshire It is the family home of
Lord and Lady Saye and Sele and their family
who have owned the house for 600 years.
It has lovely walled gardens within the
moat. There is a particularly good
collection of old roses and very fne
herbaceous borders.
OPEN: Easter Sunday and Monday from 2 5pm. Then from 1 May until 15 September
on Wednesdays and Sundays and Bank holiday Mondays 2 5pm.
Also Thursdays July and August 2 5pm. (Last admission to house 4.30pm.)
www.broughtoncastle.com
Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 5EB | T: +44 (0)1295 276070 | E: info@broughtoncastle.com
BROUGHTON CASTLE
LUDLOW CASTLE
An unusually complete range of medieval buildings with a varied history of
Norman Fortress, Fortifed Palace, Administrative Centre and fnally the
romantic ruin it is today in the heart of Shropshire. Experience a complete
shopping experience within the castle walls at the Castle Shop, Castle Gallery
and The Art Room plus Tea Rooms serving Traditional English Teas.
Visit www.ludlowcastle.com
CASTLE HOUSE LODGINGS
Castle House, the last grand mansion built in Ludlow, was sympathetically
restored in 2006 and provides a number of 5* self catering apartments
for 3, 4 and 7 night stays. Also there are fne function rooms for weddings
and function hire.
For further information and availability visit
www.castle-accommodation.com
Tel: 01584 874 465
www.mountstuart.com/stay t: +44 (0) 1700 503877
MOUNT STUART
ISLE OF BUTE
ENJOY ISLAND LIFE
FOR A SHORT OR LONG STAY HOLIDAY
Stay in one of six highly individual
properties, each exuding charm and
character, refurbished to provide a high
standard of self-catering accommodation in
fabulous locations.
Each house provides a perfect base to
explore the Isle of Bute, offering immaculate
and comfortable living space for family
holidays, wedding parties and relaxing
breaks from a cosy cottage for 2 to
stunning coastal farmsteads for 16.
For further information, please
visit our website.
L
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e
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DISCOVER ONE OF THE
WORLDS FINEST HOUSES
Explore this wondrous Victorian Gothic structure
and its labyrinth of gardens set in 300 acres
- you wont fail to be impressed!
House Gardens Visitor Centre Restaurant
Gift Shop Tea Rooms Events & Weddings
Adventure Play Area Fine Art Collection
Contemporary Visual Arts Exhibition
Just 90 minutes from Glasgow with frequent rail
and ferry services daily to the most accessible
Scottish island.
Seasonal opening - see website for details.
www.mountstuart.com t: +44 (0) 1700 503877
MOUNT STUART
ISLE OF BUTE
94-95 BRI_0214 HERITAGE.indd 95 29/01/2014 09:26
BRITAINS CHOICE take a tour and make the most of your holiday
Private S mall
Group Tours
England, Scotland and Ireland
Tel: +44 (0)141 638 5500
Website: www.catswhiskerstours.co.uk
Blog: www.catswhiskerstours.com
Direct e-mail: info@catswhiskerstours.co.uk
Experience up to 5,000 years of
British history and culture
including pre-history, castles,
grand houses, battleelds,
Roman Britain, architecture,
industrial history, scenery,
gardens, Shakespeare, Robert
Burns, Cotswolds, Lake District,
Whisky Tours and much more.
Private tours arranged by an
experienced and bonded
tour guide, self-drive tours
also available.
www.dhgrouptours.com
per person/twin
Single Supp $550
$1750 USD
Land OnIy
6 nts GIasgow&Edinburgh
4 star hotels, breakfasts
2 dinners, 1 lunch
Vi si t s t o Burns Count ry,
CuIzean, Edinburgh & StirIing
CastIes, RoyaI Yacht Brittania,
FaIkirk WheeI &more
June 23 - 30, 2014
DHTour
London & U.K. Specialists
2289 Fairview St. Ste 313,
BurIington ON L7R 2E3

dhtour@interIynx.net
905-639-9954
or 1-888-597-3519
www.dhgrouptours.com
DHTour
London & U.K. Specialists
2289 Fairview St. Ste 313,
BurIington ON L7R 2E3

dhtour@dhtour.ca
905-639-9954
or 1-888-597-3519
www.dhgrouptours.com
700 YEARS ON, enjoy a full day
Bannockburn Re-enactment with
a bespoke "King's Ticket"
*reserved seating
*visitor centre access
*welcome cocktail,
*afternoon tea
*souvenir bag
*return transfers
OptionaI 2 - 14 night extended
B 'n B tours of ScotIand
kobert the 8ruce vs dword ll
loin us on our exc/usive tour...
kobert the 8ruce vs dword ll
www.tudorhistorytours.com
Tel:+44 (0)845 408 4012
E: info@tudorhistorytours.com
Photographer: John Freeman The Royal Collection 2009 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Small group guided
tours for the
history enthusiast
Journey with us to
experience the sights,
sounds, touch and
taste of historic
England
Conflict, Intrigue,
Tempestuous love
affairs and Majesty
The pleasures and perils
of Englands Royalty
Join our programmed tours
Six Wives of One King
Finding Henry VIII
Henry VIII: Defender of the Realm
Tudor Women: Royal Wives,
Children and Courtiers
Elizabeth I: The Child, Lover and
Warrior Queen
or
A Royal Progress
Your personal itinerary created for
individuals or family groups
plus
Other historic period tours available
that will excite and inspire
The Specialist provider of walking holidays and
heritage tours in Dorset
Independent walking holidays through
Dorsets unspoilt countryside and along
the spectacular Jurassic Coast as well as
exclusive Thomas Hardy and Garden tours.
For serious hikers or leisure ramblers -
weekend escapes to week long treks.
www.footscape.co.uk
enquiry@footscape.co.uk
96-97_BRI_0214 TOURS.indd 96 28/01/2014 16:19
To book space call Natasha +44 (0)207 349 3732
0owatoa Ahhe,"
3 ExcIusive Tours of EngIand in 2014...
London & U.K. Specialists
313-2289 Fairview St, BurIington, ON L7R 2E3

London & U.K. Specialists


1-888-597-3519 905-639-9954
dhtour@interIynx.net
www.dhgrouptours.com
313-2289 Fairview St, BurIington, ON Canada L7R 2E3
TICO # 50012768

Apr 10th - 17th


A Week |n London
& 'Downton'
Aug 11th - Sep 22nd
koya| kes|dences
& 'Downton'
WlLh a nlghL aL 1hornbury CasLle
Apr 6th - 16th
1he Lng||sh Cotswo|ds
& 'Downton'
W|th a day at n|ghc|ere Cast|e
4sk for our 2014 "8eoutifu/ 8ritoin & urope" brochure.
0owatoa Ahhe,"
3 ExcIusive Tours of EngIand in 2014...
London & U.K. Specialists
313-2289 Fairview St, BurIington, ON L7R 2E3

London & U.K. Specialists


1-888-597-3519 905-639-9954
dhtour@interIynx.net
www.dhgrouptours.com
313-2289 Fairview St, BurIington, ON Canada L7R 2E3
TICO # 50012768

Apr 10th - 17th


A Week |n London
& 'Downton'
Aug 11th - Sep 22nd
koya| kes|dences
& 'Downton'
WlLh a nlghL aL 1hornbury CasLle
Apr 6th - 16th
1he Lng||sh Cotswo|ds
& 'Downton'
W|th a day at n|ghc|ere Cast|e
4sk for our 2014 "8eoutifu/ 8ritoin & urope" brochure.
Luxury, all-inclusive theme
tours and history tours
tailored to your interests.
With an historian chauffeur as your host,
discover in intimate luxury the hidden treasures
of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Multi day tours and one day tours available.
www.uniquebritishtours.co.uk
Email: enquiries@uniquebritishtours.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1293 823566 From USA: 011 44 1293 823566
Mobile: 0777 1784 303
88 Church Road, Horley, Gatwick, Sussex RH6 8AD
Unique
BRITISH TOURS
Tel: +44 (0)1955 611 353
Jane Austen
The Dancing Years
Hidden britain1-4 30/1/09 14:53 Page 1
Explore Jane Austens
early life with Hampshire
Ambassador, Phil Howe.
Discover the villages,
churches, country houses
and trace the people she
describes in her letters.
Tours can include a visit to
the Jane Austen
House Museum, and
the village of Chawton.
Enjoy lunch at a Hampshire
country inn. An ideal half-
day or one-day tour.
Downton Abbey Tours
when available.
45 mins by train from
London Waterloo
For more information Phone: +44 (0)1256 814222
e-mail: info@hiddenbritaintours.co.uk
or visit www.hiddenbritaintours.co.uk
96-97_BRI_0214 TOURS.indd 97 28/01/2014 16:43
98
BRITAIN www.britain-magazine.com
British Traditions
hocolate eggs hidden among the snowdrops, melting pats of
butter on toasted hot cross buns and slices of freshly baked
Simnel cake anyone could be forgiven for thinking Britain
at Easter time is just one long spread of tasty treats.
However, thanks to both its secular and religious roots, Easter is
steeped in tradition and ritual. A Christian celebration of Jesuss
resurrection, it was also a pagan festival to mark the start of spring
and much of its symbolism is connected with this. Eggs, rabbits and
fowers represent renewal, apt for the blooming of springs bounty.
Rabbits are also a leftover from the festival of Eostre, a northern
goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare.
In Christianity, Easter Sunday is a movable feast with no fxed
calendar date. It is observed on the Sunday after the frst full moon
that follows the March equinox in the northern hemisphere, meanig
it can occur on any Sunday between 22 March and 25 April.
Christian Easter observance begins long before Easter Sunday, at
the start of Lent. Shrove Tuesday was once the last opportunity to
consume the food in the house that would go off during this
abstemious period. Eggs and fats, with a little four, create the
pancakes that continue to be enjoyed on this day. Historically people
would also undergo shriving: the confessing of sins.
Lent begins the next day, Ash Wednesday, 40 days prior to Easter
Sunday and a time of self-imposed deprivation, refecting Jesuss
fasting in the wilderness. The restrictions of Lent are conventionally
relaxed on the middle Sunday of the fast, best known today as
Mothering Sunday, when Simnel cake is made. Dating back to
medieval times, it is typically decorated with 12 marzipan balls to
represent Jesus and the apostles minus Judas. Often, Mothering
Sunday was when girls in service returned home to both their
mothers and their mother church.
The week of Easter begins on Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday
falls four days later, marking the Last Supper, when Jesus washed his
disciples feet. Traditionally on Maundy Thursday the British king or
queen would give money to underprivileged people and wash their
feet, in remembrance of Jesuss gesture. The last British monarch to
wash his subjects feet, however, was King James II. These days,
there is the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy instead, where the
monarch distributes money to deserving senior citizens.
The next day is Good Friday, when Christians commemorate the
crucifxion of Jesus Christ and hot cross buns are served.
Easter Sunday is a day of jubilation, refected not only in feasting
but also characterised by fnery and decoration. It was once a
popular day for couples to get married and people have habitually
dressed up in new clothes for the occasion, ensuring a fresh start.
Chocolate eggs are eaten, a tasty modern replacement for the
customary painting of hen eggshells, which were used as both
decoration and gifts.
For more information on British traditions and celebrations, please visit the
BRITAIN magazine website at www.britain-magazine.com P
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A movable feast
From flipping pancakes and hunting for chocolate eggs to Maundy
money and palm decorations Easter in Britain is filled with festivities
WORDS MARTHA ALEXANDER
C
098 EASTER BRMA14_V2.indd 98 28/01/2014 11:30
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