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Discover Britain February/March 2021

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

While actual physical travel has been somewhat restricted of late, there has never been a better time to explore the British Isles vicariously through the pages of Discover Britain. In amongst all of the usual articles on our nation’s history, heritage and culture, we also have a little “food and drink” theme in this issue. We begin with a look at the tradition of kitchen gardens (p20), which kept many stately homes self-sufficient, before Adrian Mourby trawls the picturesque west coast of Scotland to highlight the finest whisky distilleries (p36). Continuing the thirst-quenching theme, London’s historic pubs (p44) reveal the changing tastes of the capital, then we finish the issue with a look at the humble British pudding (p82), a traditional dessert that we take very seriously. I hope this gives you…

2 min

Batman returns How splendid it was to read the article about Wollaton Hall in issue 219. It is one of many places in Nottinghamshire I like to visit. I remember when they shot The Dark Knight Rises, the grounds where closed from the public while they stayed to shoot the scenes. As to the Hall, it is a gem of amber stone that stands proudly on the hill and inside it is a treat to see, especially the Prospect Room. As one poet wrote: The amber stone face stands way beyond The wall I pass I trudge along. Snowflakes fall with windswept blindness On the hall of such famous grandness. Joe Hayto, Nottingham, England Cubitt’s realm I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed Nancy Alsop’s article on Thomas Cubitt and his many achievements [Issue…

3 min
wish you were here...

TEST VALLEY, HAMPSHIRE Explore the overlooked English area’s garden of earthly delights Sandwiched between Salisbury and Cranborne Chase to the west and Winchester and the South Downs to the east, Hampshire’s Test Valley is often overlooked as a destination. However, the district is home to countless outdoor pursuits and historic gardens. Fly-fishing is popular along the river, with Fishing Breaks helping you to indulge your JR Hartley fantasies, while cyclists often head to Mottisfont’s vast riverside estate. Green-fingered types should head to the 180-acre Sir Harold Hillier Gardnes or the privately-owned Houghton Lodge Gardens [pictured], home to a heritage orchard and a topiary-filled Peacock Garden. To get a true measure of the area, the 44-mile Test Way walking route follows the river down from Inkpen Hill to Eling Wharf. www.testvalley.gov.uk STONEHENGE, WILTSHIRE 5,000-year-old stones illuminated for…

9 min
capital of the north

Lounging in a comfortable leather armchair sipping a flat white in the Gatehouse Coffee café, York might feel every inch a modern city. And it is. But step outside onto the castellated terrace, usually teeming with coffee aficionados and cheery tourists, and history soon crowds in. As the name of the establishment suggests, you are standing within the castle walls, at one of the four main gates – or “bars” – of this Scheduled Ancient Monument. Gatehouse Coffee is situated in Walmgate Bar, and together with Bootham Bar, Monk Bar and Micklegate Bar, it is part of England’s most complete medieval city wall. Even more remarkably, beneath the largely medieval fortifications that survive today, lie the remains of the original Roman walls dating back to 71 AD. This is, simply put,…

8 min
a place to grow

Kitchen gardens have been a staple of English country houses since medieval times. Land on these great estates was richly cultivated; freshly-grown produce would feed the residents and staff, while cut flowers would decorate the house. For the head gardener, this corner would be the most important and productive part of the estate. As tastes and fashions changed throughout the centuries, kitchen gardens were planted to be ornamental as well as functional. They exhibited the latest growing techniques and often indulged whichever new exotic taste the master of the house may have acquired on his travels. Thankfully, due to the diligence of historians and modern gardeners, many of these kitchen gardens thrive year-round today, just as they did in their historic heyday. In doing so, they provide a beautiful piece of…

2 min
my britain

“The walk east towards Durdle Door is my favourite… You can be rewarded with incredible, unspoilt views” Scott Lewis, Lulworth Coastguard Rescue I became a member of the Lulworth Coastguard Rescue team in 2005. I’d lived in the area for four years and when two young lads drowned in a local incident, I realised that if something happened to someone I knew, I’d want to be able to help them. Our team cover 10 miles of Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic Coast. It stretches from Worbarrow Bay near Tyneham in the east to White Nothe in the west. This stretch includes the iconic Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, which are focal points for most people – and last year they were busier than ever. The walk east towards Durdle Door is one of my favourites. It…