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.

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

Cornwall really does what it says on the tin

For all the summer crowds, we were so surprised to have what seemed like the place to ourselves, if the killer seagulls weren't going to peck us to death first. I dug out the shoe-box of yellowing holiday snaps to remind myself of where we had been and what we had done on our last … Continue reading Cornwall really does what it says on the tin

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.

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

Talking Landscapes

A landscape defines a destination. Too many destinations are churning out the same old ‘me too’ messages that fail to excite or intrigue potential visitors because so often it's the detail that is overlooked in the quest to instantly capture the bigger, more visually obvious picture. It’s only when you stop racing through the landscape and look closely, … Continue reading Talking Landscapes

Brand Building. By Stealth

To come in under the radar, you have to harness the energy, insights and influence of your local businesses to build the brand with you. You are the enabler, not the controller. For a brand to have an identity that consumers use and trust is the holy grail. But you need to have marketing muscle … Continue reading Brand Building. By Stealth