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Britain March - April 2016

Packed with 196-pages of the best attractions, days out, places to stay and food and drink destinations, the 2015 BRITAIN Guide is your definitive companion to getting the best out of your holiday. From forgotten medieval villages, to country houses within easy access of London and shopping areas for picking up quintessential gifts, you won’t want to leave home without it.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
$9.11(Incl. tax)
$36.50(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
editor's letter

What could be lovelier this spring than an escape to Britain’s rural paradise that is the Cotswolds? In Pretty as a Picture (p6), we explore the Oxfordshire side of the Cotswolds, home to thatched cottages, honey-stone villages and one or two familiar Downton Abbey backdrops. In Romantic Retreats (p33), we think we’ve found some idyllic locations across Devon and Cornwall that could give the Cotswolds a run for their money – think windswept moors, secret coves and never-ending beaches and you get the idea. If it’s Britain’s heritage that excites you then Suited to a Tee (p75) is sure to delight. We follow the fortunes of Britain’s oldest tailor, Ede & Ravenscroft, which has been official robe maker to every monarch since King George III and whose exquisite designs can still…

7 min
pretty as a picture

In the tiny Cotswold village of Minster Lovell, there’s everything you’d expect to find in a quintessentially English village and a fair bit you wouldn’t. Rows of idyllic, honey-coloured cottages, a serenely flowing river bounded by peaceful meadows and the atmospheric ruins of a 15th-century manor house hidden away behind the village church can all be found here. It’s an apt metaphor for the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, an area that simultaneously manages to look like every picture-perfect postcard of gently rolling hills, golden nestled villages and wooded valleys ever sent, while also concealing a plethora of quirkier delights. The crumbling and picturesque remains of Minster Lovell Hall offer one such diversion, with a history that follows the various fortunes of its owners, even passing directly into the hands of the Crown for a…

1 min
antiques at blenheim palace

The fifth annual Cotswolds Art & Antique Dealers’ Association (CADA) Fair will take place at Blenheim Palace from 21-24 April. The antiques fair, which will be hosted in the Orangery and Campaign Rooms, is the only event of its kind to take place in the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. This is a fantastic chance to browse furniture (such as this bureau from WR Harvey & Co), silver, clocks, sculptures and statuary, with prices ranging from £100 to £100,000. As the date of the fair coincides with HM The Queen's 90th birthday, St George's Day and the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, expect associated items on show. You can download an invite that admits two people to the fair and the palace grounds at www.cadafair.com…

1 min
the planner

GETTING THERE There are direct trains from London Paddington to Ascott-under-Wychwood, which take an hour-and-a-half, but the easiest way to get around the Oxfordshire Cotswolds is by car, with excellent road links from Cheltenham and Oxford. Alternatively, you can ditch the wheels altogether and take one of the idyllic footpaths such as the Thames Path national trail, which goes through villages like Kelmscott. MACDONALD BEAR HOTEL, WOODSTOCK The Bear is a 13th-century coaching inn in the centre of Woodstock with an award-winning restaurant and 54 individually-styled bedrooms. You can walk to Blenheim Palace in minutes, or while away the day in the galleries and antique shops.www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk CHASTLETON HOUSE A fine example of a Jacobean country house, Chastleton has been National Trust-owned since 1991, before which it had been in the hands of Walter Jones and…

5 min
the bulletin

ANNIVERSARY Happy birthday Charlotte This year marks the bicentenary of the birth of much-loved novelist Charlotte Brontë. Born on 21 April 1816, the Jane Eyre author is set to be celebrated with events around her home in Haworth, West Yorkshire, as well as on screen and in print. A new exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Charlotte Great and Small, explores the contrast between Charlotte's constricted life and her huge ambition. And, on her birthday, visitors to the museum can hear talks on the writer’s life as well as view her letters, manuscripts and possessions, while the Brontë Society will host a birthday party at the Old School Room in Haworth, where she once taught. Reader, I Married Him, a collection of stories by women writers influenced by Charlotte, will be published in April,…

1 min
reading corner

Edward II: The Unconventional King by Kathryn Warner (£14.99, Amberley). A biography on one of the most reviled English kings, who drove the country to the brink of civil war several times. The Victorian Treasury by Lucinda Hawksley (£9.99, Andre Deutsch). A delightful look at life in the Victorian era, this compendium covers the minutiae of everyday life as well as the social upheaval and inventions of the time. Corsets and Codpieces: A Social History of Outrageous Fashion by Karen Bowman (£16.99, Pen &Sword Books), is a sartorial journey through British history focusing on the unusual items of clothing people wore. Britain’s Lost Churches by Matthew Hide (£20, Aurum Press). Many of Britain’s churches have vanished. This book brings together the remaining photographs and illustrations that mark their existence. Perfect English Cottage by Ros…