Cozying up with France and Germany, the corner of Switzerland that Basel nestles into is unique even within the valleys of Europe. Running along the Rhine river bed, the three countries meet in the middle of river eddies – only the fish swim the exact point – but the effect that the 3 nations have on this city is remarkable. Disclaimer: My trip to Basel was kindly supported by the Basel Tourism board but my (very… View Post

Hotel Review: Stratford-upon-Avon Billesley Manor Hotel

Hotel Review: Stratford-upon-Avon Billesley Manor Hotel

For the second night of our Stratford-upon-Avon staycation, we went deep into the countryside. (Well, as deep as 20 minutes in a cab could get away from the train station.) We booked at night at the Billesley Manor Hotel for some much-needed relaxation time. Set in 11 acres of parkland, Billesley Manor is a stunning 16th-century Elizabethan manor house. Located just 3 miles from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, this historic property is steeped in history and charm.… View Post

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon: Anne Hathaway’s …

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

This isn’t the Anne Hathway of modern Hollywood fame, but the alleged wife (‘alleged wife’ because as I understand historians can’t conclusively tell us who Shakespeare actually was) of infamous Elizabethan playwright Shakespeare. Anne and her family grew up in this cottage, in the small village of Shottery about a mile out of Stratford-upon-Avon. On a gorgeous day full of sunshine and blue skies, we walked from Alveston Manor Hotel and Spa in the centre… View Post

Hotel Review Stratford-upon-Avon: Alveston Manor Hotel and Spa

Hotel Review Stratford-upon-Avon: Alveston Manor Hotel and Spa

Stratford-upon-Avon is somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. It’s a tourist mecca, but for a reason with a history that holds proud and literary links to Shakespeare, making it a great place to spend a little time. We picked Alveston Manor Hotel and Spa for several reasons, and loved every sun-soaked minute that we stayed there. We’ve visited before, years ago as a day trip from London, but this time… View Post

Hidden Secrets of London: Chiswick House and Gardens

Hidden Secrets of London: Chiswick House and Gardens

There should be a law passed declaring that all historic houses and gardens must be visited at the end of sunny days, and as near to twilight as possible. There is a magic in dappling sun as it beams lazily through tree boughs that can’t quite be put into words. Especially in the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens grounds. Chiswick House is a magnificent neo-Palladian villa set in beautiful historic gardens in west London. The house… View Post