A Year in the Chilterns

Tools of the Trade

The weight of history is upon Jon Tyler’s broad shoulders as one of the last producers of watercress in the Chilterns. Located in the beautiful Chess Valley that links Chesham in the Chilterns with Rickmansworth just inside the M25, E. Tyler & Son’s Crestyl Watercress farm is something of a novelty; in a high tech … Continue reading Tools of the Trade

The Charming Chess Valley

We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.

The great Brexit debate

On a recent visit to Belgium, I was both challenged and surprised with what I experienced; a restored heritage village whose retail offer was just a bread vending machine, enjoyed gourmet food, drank Leffe abbey beer, visited a castle haunted by a KKK look-alike ghost, had breakfast with pensioners visiting the many scenes from the famous … Continue reading The great Brexit debate

A Year in the Chilterns

Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera

Like Nuffield Place, Wormsley Estate is also typical of the Chilterns: slightly bonkers, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably only cycled past along the boundary-hugging Bridleway. The home of cricket and opera, not two pastimes I would associate with the same venue, but hey, that’s the Chilterns for you. I should … Continue reading Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera

I am no longer just passing through this landscape

It’s not about bagging bucket-list miles, or even bragging about bagging holiday sights, it’s about stopping and looking for the clues that point to natural and man-made structures - or subtle signs of earlier lives that are integral to a locations ‘sense-of-place’ so often missed in the quest to capture that grand vista, or complete that big trek. The Chilterns … Continue reading I am no longer just passing through this landscape

For some destinations, food is integral to the visitor offer. For others, it’s an after-thought.

Why is more effort not made by businesses who supply food and beverage directly into the visitor economy to source and sell what is local when we know that enjoying good produce and local food is increasingly key to reasons why holidaymakers choose destinations in England? Perhaps this is true the world over?  Why is … Continue reading For some destinations, food is integral to the visitor offer. For others, it’s an after-thought.

Isn’t it time small #tourism businesses looked beyond the DMO membership fee?

It’s time to look beyond the membership fee for new opportunities in the travel and leisure industry. It's time for tourism businesses to really engage and start promoting their destination first, their product second. Why then, should DMO’s now support the businesses who supply into their destination offer? We are all so inter-connected these days … Continue reading Isn’t it time small #tourism businesses looked beyond the DMO membership fee?

Locals are Destinations’ Custodians

It's not just about grand vistas and easy to capture statements of beauty, it's in the detail that a landscape's story is told. Full of bold statements and a mind-boggling array of activities, I wasn't sure five night's in a resort would do the Overberg region in the Western Cape any justice. Much visited, advocated … Continue reading Locals are Destinations’ Custodians

English is a nightmare. Even for the natives.

But hearing a Swedish-Canadian pronounce Norfolk place names is something to savour. Norfolk is not as flat as I imaged. Not quite soaring peaks, but some respectable bumps that know not to out-do those famous big skies and far-off horizons. I had been openly mocked for going there for a long weekend; why not the … Continue reading English is a nightmare. Even for the natives.

Fewer platitudes would reassure potential visitors about the safety of your destination

Another week, another World Travel Market and each year I can’t fail to notice the footprints of some geographical areas continue to shrink, and the quality of stands gives off a tired and ‘must-we-be-here’ vibe. But there are still lots of growing footprints with big-ticket stands, some with intimidating fortress-like walls into which only the … Continue reading Fewer platitudes would reassure potential visitors about the safety of your destination