Roly's makes absolutely divine (and probably incredibly calorie-laden) fudge. My favourite is the clotted cream (it is Devon, after all!) but there are lots to choose from.
They make it on the premises, which smell heavenly. If you can manage to get it back home without scoffing it all (something I always find difficult), it makes great prezzies.
Without a doubt, the best fudge I've ever had - I've been going there for nearly 30 years and will carry on for as long as I possibly can!
You'll find the shop in the Pannier Market: EX31 1BL
Lovely B&B on the island of Westray, a quiet island one hour's ferry ride from Orkney mainland.
A very stylish bed and breakfast in a beautifully restored house next to Pierowall Bay. We could see seals from our bedroom window.
Very comfortable, great food (evening meals if you want).
Fairtrade, local produce and Earl Grey tea! Magic!
What is it? Three guys (Matt, Simon & Jack), who provide an absolutely cracking time edging along boulders and cliffs over the sea, swimming through sea caves, then jumping off ledges and cliffs into the Atlantic.
Great fun, well instructed, good value for money and superb scenery.
Polzeath beach, Cornwall. www.cornishrocktors.com/
Bryngolau old game keeper's cottage, Penrice Estate, Gower: this is home to the most amazing green outdoor activity company.
They have views of Oxwich Bay and they are just down the road from Three Cliffs Bay too. Their fun-loving staff will show you the most remote romantic parts of the Gower, South Wales.
Discover wild ponies, castles, sunsets etc and enjoy bushcrafting, sailing, surfing, beach art etc with internetoutdoors.
They also know all the best places to stay e.g Nicholston Farm overlooking Oxwich Beach, with its superb cafe and great woods or if you really want to push the boat out go and spot otters and drink pimms at Fairyhill Hotel.
A lovely restaurant just off Soho Square.
Very precise cooking and fantastic flavours.
Arbutus also offers the chance to try any wine (sub 100 pounds) in a 250ml carafe.
The best thing is that, while main courses cost about £15, the set lunch is only £15.50 for three courses.
Staff are young and friendly and you can sit at the bar to eat if you don't want to sit at a table. Ask for seats near the window - it is quite gloomy at the back of the restaurant.
A 50m, heated, outdoor pool, near to Victoria Park and Hackney central. London Fields Lido has been renovated and is now open!
It is operated by GLL so facilities are spartan but it is fab and clean. Entry is less than £4 and the pool is open from 6.30am (mon-fri) or 8am to 8pm.
Lockers are poolside (20p) and changing rooms and showers are inside and out. There is also sunbathing space around the pool.
It is a blissful place to plough up and down: no gimmicky wave machines or even inflatables here.
Be aware, though, that if it really really rains, then you will be thrown out of the pool as visibility is reduced.
Sad irony that London summers mean that it is too wet to swim.
A classic English pub on a green. The Victory serves freshly made meals with local ingredients such as samphire.
As well as a pool room and cosy rooms inside, the pub garden looks directly out on to the green.
They are currently building rooms so you can stay overnight.
And there is a pick-your-own practically next door with raised strawberry beds so you can pick without the effort of bending over!
The Victory Inn & Restaurant
The Green Wickham St. Paul
Pick your own: www.spencersfarmshop.co.uk/
My favourite restaurant of all time. Delfina is actually only open one evening a week (Friday) and weekday lunchtimes. It is worth the effort though.
The menu is put together by a chef who really understands flavours- combinations might read oddly on the page, but they taste wonderful.
There are always tons of dishes that we want to try and they are always really different. It's a good place to come to be inspired.
The wine list is not too shockingly priced either.
You can pop in for just a cup of coffee and a biscuit, but, frankly, I'm too greedy to stop at that!
It is on Bermondsey Street- very easy to walk to from London Bridge and opposite the Garrison pub
A beautifully imposing converted church on Walton Street, this is a student treat which somehow makes you feel as if you are in on a secret.
It's not too done up, has a lovely long zinc bar, and serves strong cocktails and proper pizzas.
Plus there is seating out the front to people watch.
119 Walton St
Oxford, OX2 6AH
It's nearly perfect: stunning building, great food, lovely cocktails, good-looking staff, regularly changing art exhibitions, a garden with deckchairs and cool industrial loos in the basement.
Erratic service, especially when the owner/manager is in, mars it. Plus she wears really strong scent.
But I still end up going back there, and when it is good it is very very good.
Afternoon tea with cocktails in the garden of an old power station is certainly unusual.
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall
020 7680 2080
Once you've eaten (alot) you could do worse than stroll back to Canary Wharf through the park opposite and then along the river
If you are on a camper van tour, or taking a road trip through Europe and camping along the way, you can get specialist insurance that will cover you through pretty much all of Europe and some other countries too (North Africa, Turkey).
It is ideal for travellers as you don't need a permanent address, and you can arrange cover for just as long as you need.
It's a cafe in the middle of Regent's Park's playing fields. So a good place to watch people wearing themselves out whilst you sip on hot chocolate. But also, it has changing rooms, lockers (£1 returnable) and showers (£1.50) which you can use after a run round the park. Plus a schedule of gym classes. Slightly chaotic but all the nicer for it.
I’m sure that most people see the London Underground as purely functional; a means of getting to one’s intended destination with the minimum of fuss, and passing the journey engrossed in a newspaper or audio entertainment, paying little regard to the world outside their carriage.
However, I suggest that one short stretch of the network is an attraction in its own right. In fact, a journey awash with history and all available to enjoy without ever having to depart outside the stations.
Harrow & Wealdstone to Queens Park on the Bakerloo line is unique in being the only significant stretch of the London Underground which runs parallel to the National Rail network.
Harrow & Wealdstone has two station entrances. Before boarding your train, it’s worth contemplating the memorial plaque outside the main entrance. This commemorates the UK’s second worst rail disaster which occurred in October 1952, loss of life exceeding 100 people.
The newish blocks of flats at the back of the station may look prosaic, but they’ve been built on the site of rock and roll history. It is generally accepted that one of the finest bands this country has ever produced were “discovered” at the Railway Hotel, which formerly occupied this site. Who are we talking about? The Who, of course. Listen very carefully and you may hear the ghost of Pete Townshend mashing up his guitar. Take a walk round the complex and note that the flats have been named after two of the band members.
At South Kenton station facing backwards and looking out to your left, admire the Betjemanesque view of Metroland. The spire belongs to the 900 year old St. Mary’s church on Harrow-on-the-Hill.
Wembley Central station has recently had a makeover to get it looking up to scratch for the new stadium. The line now dives under the national rail network, and it’s at Stonebridge Park, facing backwards and looking out to your right that affords you a fine view of the edifice. Here you can dream for a few moments that one day your team might contest a cup final here.
Just after Stonebridge Park, you travel over the busy North Circular Road; on a winter’s evening in rush hour, the vehicle light trails can look impressive.
By the way, the tube map is misleading from here on. You train is travelling in a west to east direction, and not north to south as depicted by the map. Why? I don’t know. Send a polite enquiring email to the Transport For London people.
Approaching Harlesden, facing forward, sitting on your left, but looking out to the right, you may just see the blue corrugated biscuit factory. When independent local radio first took to the air in the 1970’s, it was to the United Biscuit Network that the stations looked to for many of their presenters and DJs, and a few later-to-become household names learned their trade at this factory.
If you’re a trainspotting enthusiast, then all along this stretch now, you’ll note plenty of activity involving shunting locomotives and their carriages. At Willesden Junction, it’s worth breaking your journey and climbing the steps to the overhead North London line, where on a clear day, good views may be afforded to the east and west, including a large car breaking plant. You can also watch the mainline trains speed on their way north to such places as Holyhead and the connecting ferries to Ireland, the picturesque Lake District, and bonnie Scotland.
It’s not really possible to see Kensal Green cemetery from the train, so here we break the rules and alight at Kensal Green station for a wander round London’s first commercial burial ground. Hopefully you’ll locate the final resting places of some famous people from the past, but one person you’ll not find is Louie The Ring.
Who’s Louie The Ring ? He got his own episode in that excellent 1970s drama Budgie, entitled: Louie The Ring Is Dead and Buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.
As the train trundles into Queens Park station via the train sheds, our journey is at an end, and you have a choice. Stay on the train which now descends into tube, and in 20 minutes you’ll be seeing the bright lights at Piccadilly Circus. Or you could cross over the platform and make the return journey and enjoy any bits you may have missed.
The band seem to wander around the town on weekend mornings. You can't help smiling when you see traffic held up for middle-aged men & women playing brass in a very serious way.
All adds to the charm of Hythe, which is a beautiful place - surrounded by gentle hills with a canal running through it (you can hire boats to row gently up and down, although occasionally the river is closed for an amateur fishing competition ... it's that kind of place).
Centre of Hythe, which is just west of Folkestone on the A259.
An old-fashioned seaside hotel with large, landscaped grounds and lots of different bars tucked around.
The Imperial also has a great gym and spa complex (to keep the golf widows happy, as it also has a beachside course).
Rooms are not special but are adequate.
For me the gym facilities absolutely made it.
Staff are really friendly and food is much much better than you would expect.
Ask for a seaview room.
Prince’s Parade, Hythe, Kent, CT21 6AQ,
Tel: 01303 267441
Hythe has a resident, solitary, dolphin who swims from the Imperial hotel away from the town centre.
He is really close to the shore and it made my Saturday to see him swimming around.
The beach, east of the town centre
A Thai restaurant down the bottom of the Isle of Dogs. I wouldn't come out here for the sake of the restaurant, but if you are out in Greenwich and fancy a riverside cocktail, then it is a short stroll from the foot tunnel or Island Gardens DLR.
Food is good, though not super-cheap (about £9 for a curry and about £2 for rice). Service is friendly.
But really it is all about the location on the river.
Locke's Wharf, Westferry Road
Tel: 020 7987 7999
Summer 2007 may be a total write-off but, dodging between heavy rain showers, it’s still possible to get some exercise and some fresh air. This walk in the hills just north of Ludlow offers lots of great views from every direction as you circle the woods and valleys – a slice of Shropshire at its very best – and pure beautiful countryside doesn’t get much better than this!
Best to go on a Saturday to enjoy visiting the one of the most amazing farmers' markets in the UK. Buy loads of seriously good food here!
Also a fantastic castle (11th to 15th Century), to explore as well!
www.walkingworld.com/ - walk ID number 221.
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