If you google ‘romantic weekends for couples in England’ you’ll get a thousand recommendations. Misty country breaks, city exploring, beach bach staycations full of sand, four-poster beds in castle hotels, forest-dwelling glamping – the lot. England is a land full of history, romance and a train network that linking up all of these fabulous places to explore.

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

Restaurant Review – Rick Stein, Sandbanks, Poole

Restaurant Review – Rick Stein, Sandbanks, Poole

Being totally honest, when I went down to Bournemouth it was without any plans, other than watching the sunset with my book in hand and wandering along the beach for an ice cream. So when I was kindly tipped off that Rick Stein has a restaurant just along the bay in Sandbanks, Poole, I knew that I needed to get a little organised and book myself a last-minute lunch table there. One of the hardest… View Post

Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

When I snuck away for my seaside weekend to Bournemouth, I did it for one reason; a hotel balcony view over the ocean. A couple of the hotels that I wanted to stay in along the coast were fully booked,  I booked into the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton. It was everything I wanted – a Victorian grand dame in true British seaside style, but not so glam that it had airs and graces. Just a… View Post