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Discover Britain April/May 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

Exploring a place is always more enjoyable with a knowledgable guide – and there was no one better to show us around Leicestershire’s dramatic Belvoir Castle than the family who own the estate (p66). Emma, the 11th Duchess of Rutland and her daughter, Lady Violet, were genial and fascinating hosts, sharing not only the joys of living among such grandeur, but also the challenges involved in such an endeavour. Elsewhere in this issue, we also got to speak to a traditional Morris dancer (p26) to uncover her favourite places to experience a very different and long lost aspect of British life. If you enjoy exploring Britain’s rich history, heritage and culture from the comfort of home, don’t forget that you can have Discover Britain delivered straight to your door every two months.…

1 min

Time of the season I’m a photographer based in Walthamstow, London and have been documenting the changing of the seasons during lockdown in Epping Forest. I have published a photobook, Follow the Light: A Year in Epping Forest and Hollow Ponds, which explores the ancient woodland throughout the changing of the seasons. In the extraordinary year of 2020, the forest bordering London and Essex provided me with a place of tranquillity amongst the chaos of the outside world. Wandering between aged oaks [above] and fields of yellow gorse, I documented the warm, dry spring in the first lockdown to the chilly winter days in the woodland. Discovering the beauty of nature through photography has positively benefited my mental wellbeing and I hope that others find inspiration through my photographs of this special and…

3 min
wish you were here...

HAY-ON-WYE, POWYS Enjoy the quiet life in this cultured Welsh county If you’re yearning for peace and quiet, Powys in Wales has been identified as the place to be. A survey by holiday provider Cottages in Northumberland found that tranquil countryside, very little traffic and a lack of busy towns made it the number one county destination for those seeking to get away from it all. The county’s claims were further boosted when the local Sugar Loaf railway station was separately named the quietest in Wales, with just 156 users last year – less than one a day. A lack of people doesn’t equate to a lack of things to do, however. The county stretches from the peaceful surrounds of Lake Vyrnwy in the northwest across to Hay-on-Wye in the southeast. Wales’s “National…

8 min
crossing history

The River Cam gives arguably the best view of the 500-year-old King’s College Chapel Punting on the River Cam is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Once the pole pushes down and the punt gains momentum, you’re away. A gentle breeze, a hazy afternoon sun and centuries’ worth of history gliding by on either side between the weeping willows and manicured lawns. Jerome K Jerome famously said “punting is not as easy as it looks” yet at times like this it can feel positively effortless. There are several advantages to the new riverside vantage point that punting in Cambridge provides. The first is a chance to see “the Backs” – the rear grounds of many of the 31 colleges that make up the University of Cambridge – many of which are otherwise out…

8 min
landmark escapes

1. Howthwaite GRASMERE, CUMBRIA This slice of the mountainous English Lake District will forever be associated with Romantic poetry, especially William Wordsworth’s paeans to the flowers and the fells that dot Grasmere and Thirlmere. Wordsworth wrote his most famous verses in Dove Cottage, which sits around the corner from Howthwaite, and so you can enjoy those very same views which inspired one of England’s greatest writers to bring these landscapes to life. The four-bedroom house itself was built in 1926, some time after Wordsworth’s tenure in Cumbria. It was made for Jessie McDougall of the flour milling family –bags of McDougall’s flour can be bought to this day in Britain’s supermarkets. Howthwaite ended up being built here because the land lay empty after an incident that changed the face of architectural and landscape preservation…

2 min
my britain

Amelia Taylor, Morris Dancer The first time I watched Morris dancing was in Devon. It was the Sidmouth Folk Festival and I vividly remember the colourfully-costumed dancers yielding sticks. The seed of my interest was sown there. I dance with Pump House Clog Morris. We perform a traditional style called North West Morris, which originated in the industrial towns of the north west of England. My costume is similar to what women would have worn to work in the factories and mills. We celebrated our 40th anniversary with a “Day of Dance” at the Tower of London. We invited four other groups to join us. Morris dancing is so social. We often bump into our friends from other Sides at the annual folk festivals in Rochester, Swanage and Wimborne. I most associate Morris dancing…