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Discover BritainDiscover Britain

Discover Britain April/May 2018

Celebrating the best of our nation, every issue of Discover Britain is packed with features from history to travel. Read about the events that changed history, as well as British traditions and their origins, or be inspired for your next trip with great ideas for where to go and what to see. Whether you’re planning a weekend city break or an escape to the countryside, Discover Britain is your essential guide to getting the most out of your stay.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
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6 Issues


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Nothing beats a good day trip. Escaping spontaneously to a satisfying destination can be as rejuvenating as a week away if done correctly. A quick journey is important and packing a picnic is a must. A good focus also helps – a nice museum or stately home, say – provided there’s chance to explore if the mood takes you. While there are thousands of potential day trips, our cover feature (page 10) cherry-picks 27 top spots that are all within about an hour of the three British capitals: London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. So whether you live in the cities and yearn to escape or you are visiting from abroad and want to sample another side of British culture on a tight schedule, we hope there is plenty of inspiration here. And if you…

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Great Scotts! I adored your feature about the Gilbert Scott family [London Calling, Issue 202]. On our recent trip to London, my family visited a Tate Modern exhibition and had drinks at the St Pancras Renaissance [above], and our daughter posed for photos inside a red phone box – we had no idea there was a link between them all. What a funny coincidence! Thank you for another great edition, we can not wait to come back. Mrs M Williams, Ottawa, Canada A way with words It’s been almost a decade since my husband and I came to England for a vacation. Your magazine gives us a great fix until we can return. We simply adore reading about your country’s great authors, and all your phrases make us hoot. Next time we stay, I…

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travel notes

REFLECTIONS ON THE SELFIE At a medieval castle in Wales hangs one of the finest Jacobean portraits, even though it measures just nine inches wide. Isaac Oliver’s miniature of Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury [above] shows the poet, socialite and knight as a melancholic young lover, reclining on the banks of a stream in a forest. The painting is the focus of the House of Portraits exhibition at Powis Castle, exploring the stories behind the Herbert family and their likenesses. The portraits, which go on display from 20 March, include works by British masters John Singer Sargent, Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds. The exhibition will uncover the hidden meanings behind the portraits – the selfies of their day. The castle also offers an impressive collection of textiles, silk, carpets and…

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capital day trips

STATELY HOMES 1 Wrest Park 70 minutes from London Just five miles north of Luton, this 92-acre garden was a labour of love for the de Grey family, as successive generations tended and developed it from the 15th century onwards. The serene Long Water was built in the 1680s, while the baroque Pavilion filled with trompe l’oeil paintings was added 30 years later, along with the vast formal woodland garden landscaped by Batty Langley and Nicholas Hawksmoor. By the 1830s, the crumbling medieval house looked out of place in such grand surrounds so the 2nd Earl de Grey built a new mansion in the style of an old French chateau. Visit on the first Sunday of the month for Wallpaper Room Tours of parts of the house rarely open to visitors. Getting there: A 59-minute…

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win a great british holiday

• Free international flights • Two nights in a luxury London hotel • West End tickets • Afternoon tea • A Windsor Castle day trip • Stately homes • Return first-class tickets to Edinburgh • Two nights in a country house hotel What would your dream holiday to Britain include? A five-star stay in London, tickets to a West End show and a trip to the location of this year’s royal wedding, Windsor Castle? How about a visit to some of our nation’s stunning stately homes, or first-class return tickets to Edinburgh [above]? Well, with our Great British Holiday competition, you can win all of this and more. The holiday of a lifetime Starting with free international flights from your nearest gateway airport (for all overseas entrants), the winner and their guest will…

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dress like a briton

From tartan to trench coats, Martha Alexander looks at the stories behind Britain’s most iconic fashions and dress codes – and discovers what makes them so enduringly popular British style. How can a nation’s sartorial identity be summed up with such brevity? For centuries Britain conceived fashions, then watched them evolve, return and sometimes retire. Many have curious histories – and are still going strong today. It would be difficult to discuss British style without a nod to socialite George Bryan Brummell, who was something of a fashion icon in Regency England. ‘Beau’ Brummell was the original dandy, a man so concerned with his stylish appearance he even requested that his boots be polished with Champagne. It was he who introduced the modern men’s suit – rejecting the elaborate dress previously favoured…