Pure Regency Style: The Francis Hotel, Bath

When I first visited Bath, I was working for The Leading Hotels of the World and stayed in high style at the Royal Crescent Hotel. I remember the fun I had in exploring this gentle Somerset city and I longed to return. As fate would have it, I was recently invited to experience the The…

On the trail of Jane Austen …

With the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the novel Emma this year, I thought it might be fun to share some of the “Austen Trail” I have done on my travels around Hampshire and Surrey. I’m sure there’s a lot more you can do but these are the few things that have crossed…

Glorious Shanklin Chine

I’m focussing on the Isle of Wight at the moment and another magical childhood memory – visiting the mysterious and exotic Shanklin Chime! The formation of the Chine (a local word of Saxon origin for a deep narrow ravine), has taken place over 10,000 years and the stream running through it would originally have flowed into…

Taking inspiration from the world around you …

Although I reference my clients occasionally, I don’t normally talk about my “day job” within this, my personal travel blog.  For this week however, with no apologies, I am focussing on my newest client – the newly reopened Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel.  The reason?  I admire what the owners, Mercure and Trevillion Interiors…

The Hill Top Stroll – Box Hill

In this second post on the National Trust’s beautiful estate of Box Hill let’s take another look at Box Hill and look at what else there is to do, if you can bear to drag yourself away from those amazing views over rolling countryside. If you take the Hill Top Stroll from the summit you will come…

Winchester Cathedral: simply the best …

Let’s go to Winchester to see the cathedral said Bob one summer’s day so off we went to see possibly the most beautiful ecclesiastical building I have even seen. Walking towards the cathedral from the town through an avenue of shady limes, you are suddenly presented with a building of such overwhelming size, it tends…

Regal Ruin – Netley Abbey

I chanced upon Netley Abbey when flicking through my English Heritage handbook so, one sunny day, I set off on a “ruin hunt”. Accessed via an inauspicious tiny car park (don’t worry – you can park in neighbouring roads easily), you are not really prepared for the vastness and the romanticism of this venerable ruin….

Where Mr Darcy was born …

I am a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t realise that the little village of Chawton in Hampshire was once the home of one of our literary giants … in the rather demure figure of Jane Austen. Seeing the sign to Chawton when returning from Goodwood one day, I stopped a while to visit…