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

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.

Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

Forget M&S orchids, manicured to within an inch of their pampered lives and head instead to the nearest Chilterns summer meadow. The footpath glistens underfoot as it cuts through the drooping wild grasses, my wet boots and trouser legs a magnet for seed dispersal. The daisy petals are splayed under the relentless June rain, which … Continue reading Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

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

Hellfire On a Hill

The fire had been provided by a portable BBQ, that now lay discarded with accompanying beer bottles under a tree just behind the mausoleum. I am sure Sir Francis Dashwood, creator of all I could see, would have approved of the party, but not the litter. Perhaps I was subconscioulsy drawn to West Wycombe hill that … Continue reading Hellfire On a Hill

Good Shot Terry!

England went mad: with the Easter weather forecast of doom for three of the four-day weekend, today was the day to get out. And get out everyone did! Up and down the land, queues formed for just about everything. Having just renewed my National Trust membership, I was eager to visit Stowe House and Gardens near Buckingham, once the … Continue reading Good Shot Terry!

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.

Inspired Chilterns’ Landscapes at National Trust Cliveden

“The Rose Garden was described by designer Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe as a vegetable form, like a cabbage, with each bed intended to envelop the visitor and draw them deeper into the garden,” explained Cliveden head gardener Andrew Mudge. Much like the entire National Trust estate at Cliveden, drawing you in up the drive as you … Continue reading Inspired Chilterns’ Landscapes at National Trust Cliveden

A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!

It’s not very often the men in suits upstage a Roman antiquity. I was invited to the special opening of “Predators and Prey: A Roman mosaic from Lod, Isreal” at the splendid Rothschild mansion of Waddesdon Manor in leafy Buckinghamshire, a short train journey north west of London. The reason we were there was kept under … Continue reading A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!