The Solent, renowned for its warships, cruise liners and yachts, is also home to a stunning, if a little eccentric boutique hotel which gives ‘getting away from it all’ a new, and distinctly nautical perspective. Spitbank Fort is a mile off shore between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Built in the 1860’s with the threat of a French invasion, she played a role in … Continue reading Private: Eccentric boutique stay at Spitbank Fort
Every family should cycle together. It’s a liberating and bonding experience to ditch all the distractions, pack a rucksack with drinks and snacks, stick the bikes on the back of the car and drive to a scenic spot for an afternoon trundle. As a self-confessed MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra), my solo two-wheeled expeditions take me 40, 50 miles and more on the road, … Continue reading Family bike ride on the Hayling Billy Trail
We love a good garden centre – whether you’re a budding Capability Brown or just have one or two herb pots, there’s something very peaceful about drifting through the plants, sniffing roses, hunting out the healthiest specimens, and asking advice on whether or not that lovely hydrangea would be pink or blue in your soil. And if you can stop for a good cup of … Continue reading For those who love a good garden centre
The chalk landscape of the South Downs has inspired many a writer and poet – and for good reason. Who can fail to be inspired by the gentle rolling hills with their own distinctive tones of greens and yellows, and when that is matched by a bright blue sky, it’s hard to imagine anywhere more picturesque! The Downs has its famous destinations for scenery such … Continue reading A memorable day out in East Hampshire
It is said that the best way to live is to ‘breakfast like a king’ – and never has that been more appropriate than when you’re enjoying the most important meal of the day at the new Ivy brasserie in Winchester. It might be tricky to get a table for the evening at this high street brasserie, but an early outing means many more empty … Continue reading Breakfast like a king
Whether you’re the world’s biggest fan of kitesurfing, or a total newbie to the sport, the Kitesurfing Armada Festival is fantastic to see. Hayling Island was the birthplace of windsurfing and, while still a mecca for windsurfers, it has now rapidly built up a reputation as one of the UK’s premier kitesurfing destinations. If you haven’t seen kitesurfing up close before, you need to! It’s a … Continue reading Let’s go fly a kite – on the waves!
Fine dining in a relaxed pub setting is the best of both worlds for those who love food but hate fuss. The Earl of March near Chichester is a perfect balance between the two. This is a country pub in the West Sussex village of Lavant with a delightful garden and set against the picturesque backdrop of Goodwood and the South Downs. The food is as … Continue reading Love food, hate fuss? The Earl of March is for you.
What do you buy the dad who’s got everything? Well, we live in a spectacular part of the British Isles, so why not treat him to some of its highlights. Give him the gift of a wonderful summer memory! Yee ha dad For the yee ha dad how about a cowboy stay in an iconic Airstream thanks to Vintage Vacations on the Isle of Wight? … Continue reading Father’s Day. What sort of Dad is yours?
The unique quality of early morning light, a canvas of sand and sea and two horses leaving a sun-crested wake as they move through the shallows. It’s undeniable that we live in a stunning part of the British Isles. These images are of West Beachlands at Hayling Island near Portsmouth, a sheltered stretch of the south coast with direct beach access from the car park which … Continue reading A canvas of sand and sea
Porthcothan is a little-known village with a stunning, quintessentially Cornish Bay with grassy dunes, a huge swathe of sand and fantastic rock-pooling at low tide. Despite being close to the tourist draw of Padstow, it has a ‘step back in time’ quality reminiscent of the beach holidays we had as children. Ruddy cheeks, flip flops and sandy picnics. It’s idyllic for body boarding and water … Continue reading A quintessentially Cornish break