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Discover Britain October/November 2020

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
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Love is in the air at Discover Britain. We’re all a bunch of old romantics around here, so we thought we would share some of our favourite love stories in this issue. We begin with a look at five of the greatest British romances (p20), a feature so bursting with infatuation and desire that it disproves the stereotype that we are a nation of repressed individuals. Elsewhere, the controversial affair between Edward and Mrs Simpson is reassessed (p38) and we take a drive along the Cotswolds’ Romantic Road (p28), before the issue concludes with a brief history of the Welsh love spoon, perhaps the world’s only cutlery-based token of affection (p82). If the feeling is mutual and you want to share the love in return, remember you can subscribe to Discover Britain…

1 min

All the answers No one can ever say the readers of Discover Britain aren’t friendly and helpful. I’ve had six responses to my question about the RAF airfield in East Anglia. RAF Coningsby, Old Warden and IWM Duxford were suggested, so Molly and I will try to see them on our planned trip next year. Thanks to everyone who took such an interest in my question. Charles M Cowan, Kentucky, USA Old haunts I really liked the striking cover picture on issue 217. However, on closer inspection, I noticed a man below the column appears to be dematerialising! I trust this wasn’t a promotional photograph for a supernatural tour of London? Neal Chamberlain, via email Well spotted, Neal. We think the photo’s long exposure caused the ghostly figure. We hope it didn’t spook you…

3 min
wish you were here...

MAIDSTONE, KENT Self-confessed “loveliest castle in the world” is home to Churchill gift The confusingly named Leeds Castle – not located in the Yorkshire city, but rather in deepest rural Kent – is home to some of Britain’s unlikeliest attractions. After all, where else could one find a castle-themed crazy golf course and a museum devoted to dog collars? At this time of year, however, it is the 500 acres of gardens and surrounding grounds that will truly hold your attention. The large lake is fed by the River Len, so the entire estate is home to interesting wildlife, from peacocks and kingfisher to great spotted woodpecker. The crowning glory is the moat that surrounds this former royal residence, where one can find the famous Black Swans. They were gifted to Lady Baillie, the…

9 min
castle country

Like Munro bagging – the competitive activity of climbing peaks above 3,000 feet – castle bagging comes into its own in Scotland. Less strenuous than the former, but far more scholastic, clan rivalries add a further layer of intrigue to many of the country’s already fascinating heritage buildings and landmarks. In particular, its centuries-old cornucopia of castles are tapestries of time, which when unpicked, unravel the secrets and stories of kings and queens, war and peace, and reconciliation and revenge. Be warned: castle bagging can be addictive, especially in Aberdeenshire in the northeast. Here, there are more than 260 castles, stately homes and ruins – more per acre than anywhere else in the UK – earning the area the moniker “Scotland’s Castle Country”. VisitScotland has now established Scotland’s Castle Trail with…

9 min
great british romances

Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn Henry VIII’s second marriage was no normal love story... After all, it’s rare a woman ends up marrying their sister’s ex-boyfriend Whether defined by anguished love letters or record-breaking diamonds, marriage or chastity, politics or poetry, the British in love are not easily pigeon-holed. In fact, our nation’s greatest romances have little in common with one another – except that most didn’t end happily ever after, as childhood fairy tales promise. Take Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, for example. Not many of the world’s all-time greatest love stories end with one half of the couple ordering the beheading of the other on charges of witchcraft, incest and adultery but then again, Henry VIII’s second marriage was no normal love story. After all, it is rare that a woman…

2 min
my britain

“I highlight the poverty of Jack the Ripper’s victims alongside their inspiring stories of human spirit” Katie Wignall, Blue Badge Tour Guide at Look Up London The Jack the Ripper tours are some of London’s most popular. But I began to feel uncomfortable that the real lives of the women who got murdered were being lost in the high drama and violence of the story. Hallie Rubenhold’s book, The Five, gave me the confidence to start my own tour. I highlight the troubling poverty of Jack the Ripper’s victims alongside their inspiring stories of human spirit. Anna Marie Garthwaite, for example, was in her 40s when she moved to London to set up her silk design business. Amazing women like her thrived there before Jack the Ripper arrived. I grew up in Wimbledon, where the…