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Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit

Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit Spring arrives early on Scilly and the charm of tiny, sleepy St Martin’s is that there is little-else to do but enjoy its flower-filled moors and coves Golden Mary, Scilly White, Sunrise, Golden Spur, Emperor, Empress, Cheerfulness, Magnificence, Soleil d’Or. There is poetry in the names of daffodil and narcissi varieties sprouting from all corners of St Martin’s. This tiny island, barely two miles long and mostly less than half a mile wide, is filled with flowers in spring. The strong scent of narcissi wafts over the lanes, and the hedgerows and fields burst with dainty pink lilies, enormous tree lupins, purple agapanthus and creamy three-cornered leek. Even the…

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Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK

Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK ‘Going for a run’ is exhilarating when forests and mountains are the backdrop. Two trail runners pick six stunning routes for beginners from their new book There’s no doubt that running as a pastime is booming; big city marathons report record numbers of entries – London received over 250,000 applications for its 40,000 places in 2018 – and Parkrun interest has soared, from 13 runners in 2004 to over three million globally today. But the focus has always been parks and pavements, with off-road running dominated by cross-country and fell races. Now, more of us are venturing into fields, forests, moors and mountains in search of a wilder kind…

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Away with words: an Arvon fiction-writing retreat in Devon

Away with words: an Arvon fiction-writing retreat in Devon Expert tuition, camaraderie and walks in the rain – plus a healthy lack of wifi and mobile coverage – leave our writer buzzing with creativity and short story ideas Despite the glowering weather, the 1½-mile walk from my creative writing retreat at the 16th-century manor house of Totleigh Barton is invigorating. The remote west Devon landscape is heavy with winter; it’s stark and elemental but also evocative and, most importantly, thought-provoking. Being in the wilds gives me the time and space to work out what needs to change in my short story, and how. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Robert Hull Tweet

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20 great UK cottages with pools

20 great UK cottages with pools Holiday homes with swimming pools sell out fast in peak periods, so get in early this year at some of the best around the country Sitting on the edge of Newtown national nature reserve, Shalfleet Manor Estate is in a top spot for birdwatching, canoeing and walks around the Newtown estuary. The 17th-century Grade-II listed manor and separate outbuilding conversions have been recently renovated, and share the heated outdoor pool (May-September), tennis courts and gardens. The heritage colour palette keeps spaces light, while a large restored oak fireplace in the main house adds a touch of drama. A mooring on the nearby river is also available to guests. No more than a 35-minute…

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Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor

Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor Authors, travel and nature writers pick routes in the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Scenic Areas that take on a special aura in winter Start Chace EndFinish North HillDistance/time 9.3 miles/5 hoursRefuel The Red Lion, Malvern Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian writers Tweet

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Brownber Hall, near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria – hotel review

Brownber Hall, near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria – hotel review Amid fells alive with birdlife and red squirrels, this stylish hotel in the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales proves a great base for walking Coming up the drive to this elegant mid-Victorian mansion house, I notice a number of things: that the lane is flooding, the trees are shaking and that dark clouds are looming over the fells – it’s a full-throttle melodramatic arrival and probably not a rarity in these parts, I reckon. Along the lane are also lots of warning signs about the red squirrels. I am always the person who scoffs at such animal-caution signs, never having subsequently seen any sign of deer, frogs, and hedgehogs….

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The Beverley Arms, East Yorkshire: hotel review

The Beverley Arms, East Yorkshire: hotel review This revamped hotel’s heritage, comfort and biscuits appeal strongly to our writer, but his companion proves harder to please … Driving into the leafy East Yorkshire town of Beverley, we clatter over a cattle grid, then past the racecourse into a smart Georgian market town. I am accompanied by Sophie, my partner, a woman who spent many years inspecting hotels, with clipboard in hand. She has never lost the skills. “Remember,” I hear myself say. “Try and enjoy yourself.” She gives me that look, the one that says, I’ll do what has to be done. We both like Beverley, a cluster of architectural gems around a market square. When Henry V came…

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Christmas past: the charm of Dennis Severs’ House, London

Christmas past: the charm of Dennis Severs’ House, London A Spitalfields townhouse that immerses visitors in the 18th and 19th centuries is at its most magical at Christmas The hubbub of Liverpool Street station and Spitalfields Market is only a few hundred metres away but on the doorstep of 18 Folgate Street not much is stirring. There is only intermittent noise: the roar of Christmas revellers as the doors to the Water Poet pub opposite open and close. It is 4.58pm and having rat-a-tatted a brass knocker on the door, I’m waiting to be granted entrance to Dennis Severs’ House for a 5pm tour. The Grade II-listed Georgian terrace is a wonderful curio, offering a perspective on family life…

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A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips

A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips This working harbour town also has a creative buzz thanks to its thriving art school. The result is a winning blend of beach life, bohemian bars and great seafood To understand Falmouth (and arguably the rest of our island nation) you need to understand its relationship with the sea. The cavernous National Maritime Museum Cornwall, a beautiful building in itself, contains several floors of exhibitions that explore the changing influence of the sea on our lives – stories of discovery, survival and tragedy – and an active traditional boat workshop. Highlights include the undersea gallery in which visitors can watch fish swimming in the harbour from the sea bed, and…

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On the Mersey beat: a walking tour of Liverpool

On the Mersey beat: a walking tour of Liverpool A guided walk is a great way to take in the city’s architectural and cultural riches ‘It’s not just the history but the sheer chutzpah of these buildings that fascinates me,” announces Trevor Newton, my guide to Liverpool, as we meet under the looming portico of the Town Hall. An artist and architectural historian, Newton, 59, grew up here before heading south to work in London as a topographical artist in the early 1980s. He’s returned to launch Magnificent Liverpool, idiosyncratic tours of a city that’s captivated him since childhood. “There’s still an outdated view of Liverpool which dates back to the Toxteth riots and declining docks of the 1980s,”…

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