The Sweetest Stretch of all the River

Itching to get away from my desk and take a walk to enjoy a warm autumnal afternoon, it was a tweet that spurred me into action to head over to Cliveden Reach, between Cookham and Boulter’s locks, the fabled stretch along the River Thames. I have visited the formal gardens at Cliveden many times, but … Continue reading The Sweetest Stretch of all the River

Penn House and Holy Trinity, Penn

For hundreds of years, Penn House and Holy Trinity Penn have shared a close heritage, and when I visited, it was the rain that brought them together.

A Wet Week in Wales

This post is not so much about what to see and do in Wales, but what has been shared about Wales in the past 50 years.

A beautiful beach, birds and tolling bells

"Don't go near the taxi drivers!" screamed the guidebook, "they're rude and aggressive". Not so, our non-Uber Uber driver, who thought that a popular Barbara Streisand ballad on maximum decibels, would set the scene for our girls weekend away. What strikes you first when heading along the Promenade des Anglais into the Old Town of … Continue reading A beautiful beach, birds and tolling bells

Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

I wonder how many of the declarations of love carved on the beechwood tree trunks, still hold true today? Anonymous initials, an evocative place name and the ghost of a Celtic tribal chief? It seems fitting that such a place, whilst no longer occupied, still draws visitors who wish also to leave their mark, and a former … Continue reading Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

Tastes of the Chess Valley

Drinking before lunchtime is not without risk; needing a loo whilst out on the trail, not finding the trail, or failing to turn up for lunch on time! The Chilterns is a living, working area of beautiful countryside whose character has been shaped by agriculture, industry and the people who have lived and worked here over … Continue reading Tastes of the Chess Valley

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.

Chenies Manor

It is the landscape that ultimately decides what is built or cultivated nearby, which industries thrive or die, or how secure a settlement is.

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

When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

Forget the Taj Mahal, Tutankhamen's Tomb or even Tower Bridge: all grand in their own right, statements of wealth, status, conquest and achievement of the privileged elite and their contribution to society. Head instead to a place that is the ultimate leveller, a place where death insists the great and good spend eternity lying cheek by jowl with the infamous, … Continue reading When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery