Anyone who has an interest in photography and likes autumnal scenes should visit the The National Arboretum at Westonbirt. The nearest town is the market town of Tetbury. This 600 acre site will take you the best part of the day to have a proper look round. The colours in the autumn are quite spectacular with oranges, yellows, browns and reds of all descriptions. Even if you’re not into photography, it’s worth a visit just to see this vast collection of trees.
Tel: 01666 880220
Fax: 01666 880559
What could be more romantic than whisking your loved one off to romp in the same lavish four poster bed used by Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral? With timber beams and open log fires, the Crown Hotel in Amersham is a perfect retreat for a romantic weekend.
The hotel's Queen Elizabeth Suite, complete with four poster bed, was used for the filming of the duo's love scenes at the fictious "The Boatman Inn", while exterior shots were filmed at the Kings Arms just down the road.
The room is actually an individual suite separate from the main hotel block, crammed with gorgeous antiques and lovely touches which would amuse any film buff (was the copy of "Horse and Hounds" put there deliberately?).
The restaurant was charming, serving delicious food, and you could see where all the action was filmed in the bar. When you tire of Hugh Grant, the Chiltern Hills are just a short distance away for a romantic, bracing walk.
The Crown Inn, 16 High Street, Amersham, Bucks HP7 0DH
t +44 (0) 1494 721 541
f +44 (0) 1494 431 283
Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down, East Sussex is one of many places in the UK's second most wooded county to head out seed gathering this autumn.
Get up early to get the best views of misty autumnal valleys and deserted woodland tracks. Crisp leaves and mushrooms underfoot, colourful autumn foliage all around and sweet chestnuts to munch on - delicious!
Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down, nr Uckfield (rail), East Sussex
A magical railway line through the Worth Valley and Bronte County. Follow the line on an all-day rover, dropping off at any one of the six stations.
Try the restored 1905 "Railway Childen" station, see where the 1970 film was made. You'll remember it all, from the level crossing to Perks house, to the spot where Jenny Agutter ran to her daddy.
Take this trip back in time and i promise an unforgetable day. It has so much to offer. You can even go off to other RC Locations. A must for any railway or film buff, or just for the child in you.
Keighley and Worth Railway
With Windsor Castle, Eton College and Ascot Racecourse within its boundaries it is not surprising that the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has featured in a number of film and TV shows, as well as the camcorder screens of many a visitor.
From the early 1950’s to mid 1960’s Bray Studios, by the river Thames between Windsor and Bray, echoed to the screams of Hammer Films - its principal building, Down Place, and backlot standing in for, amongst others, Dracula’s Castle and Baskerville Hall. Nearby the Victorian Gothic turrets of Oakley Court, now a hotel and conference venue, also featured in several Hammer movies, including “The Reptile”, but gained cult horror status of its own by being Dr. Frank N Furter’s Castle in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
However, the rather less gothic façade of Maidenhead Town Hall provides my favourite piece of Royal Borough trivia and a link with another great British film institution. Just a mere whisper of “Ooh Matron” and you are no longer standing outside the Town Hall but Borough County Hospital, the setting for “Carry on Doctor”
Built in the early 1960’s and rather utilitarian in style the outside of the Town Hall, red brick and sturdy with manicured lawns and municipal flower arrangements, does look suitably institutional. Inside are the customer service centre, council chamber, civic offices, a coffee shop and one of the local theatres, the Desborough Suite. Externally the building featured in three Carry on films - “Doctor”, “Carry on Again, Doctor” and “Carry on Behind” - and little seems to have changed on the outside since Barbara Windsor’s bestockinged legs sashayed through the front entrance.
As to whether the local councillors are aware of the building’s “Carry On” connections I couldn’t say. Perhaps next time I am canvassed for a vote I should adopt the Bernard Bresslaw approach
“Oh I dreamt about you last night”
“No you wouldn’t let me”!
Basildon Park is a gorgeous stately home in Berkshire, which is owned by the National Trust. It was used a filming location for the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. Basildon Park was transformed into Netherfield House and one if its room was used in the film's ballroom scene. It was also recently used as a filming location for Dorian Gray, which is out at the moment.
Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9NR
Telephone: 0118 984 3040
Nearest station: Pangbourne
The Waterside Seafood Restaurant is located alongside the station platform, presumably in buildings once used by the railway in its heyday during the last century. It is extraordinary: the quality of the food is outstanding, the portions are generous and the cost is fair.
The restaurant is small and in the summer season you will need to book, but make the effort to go there. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is friendly and informal. The service is prompt - even at the busiest times - and the staff are charming.
The views from the windows are of the harbour, the fishing boats, the Skye Bridge, and, mid-evening, the astonishing sight of the train from Inverness slowly drawing to a stop a few feet from your table. Highly recommended.
Waterside Seafood Restaurant, Station Buildings, Kyle. Parking nearby is restricted so it's is best to go to the town centre, then walk a few yards to the restaurant at the station.Tel. 01599 534813. www.plocktonwaterside.co.uk
Google map: tinyurl.com/ydboeyw
Poldark and I were married in a remote 13th century Towednack church, between St Ives and Zennor. Not to each other, sadly. It was Ross Poldark’s cousin Francis who was married there in 1975, during filming of the long running and hugely popular BBC TV series. My mother was an extra in the congregation, dressed in full 18th century finery. More exciting for her was being sat on top of a coach galloping through Gurnards Head, with Robin Ellis, who played Ross Poldark. It was freezing and they all swigged whisky between takes.
The scenery hasn’t changed much in the intervening years. It’s still possible to follow in Ross and Demelza’s footsteps, run as they did along Porthcurno beach (take care not to stray round the corner to Pedn-y-Vounder, unless you like nudist beaches), and spot other cliff and moor locations at Pendeen, Prussia Cove and Lelant.
Straw Dogs, released in 1971, caused a stir in my local West Penwith community when a film crew descended on this remote Cornish location, along with stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. They portrayed newcomers in the hamlet of St Buryan, near Land’s End. The stone cross in the churchyard features in the opening scenes. Many locals were hired as extras. A school friend married an assistant director and I got to meet actress Sally Thomsett, whose character was strangled to death - the catalyst for much controversial violence.
Being a film location is definitely the only bit of excitement St Buryan saw last millennium, but it’s a beautiful spot for moors and stone circles. Watch out for man traps.
Fantastic soups, a salad bar, sandwiches, pastries, hot drinks and juices and hot daily special dishes. They also happen to be vegetarian - but don't make a big deal of it and put tasty food first.
Just walk for half a minute down Rumford Street (off Water Street) and for weekday mornings or lunchtimes you'll find Souperfood (previously called Soupernatural). Mainly take-away but also have a small number of seats.
Great, fresh coffee and not as expensive as the 'coffee chains'.
The Ilkeston Coffee Bean is a surprising peaceful oasis found at the bottom of Bath Street. I would not have found such a paradise if it were not for getting a smell of the wonderful coffee as a lady was opening the door as I walked past. The staff seemed very friendly and welcoming and served excellent drinks with enthusiasm
144 Bath Street
This waterside location is ideal for picnics, and if you're feeling energetic you can walk all the way to Conisbrough castle following the
river Don. There is a pub called the
Boat Inn to reward you for the numerous walks which go from Sprotborough Lock to Cusworth Hall, Doncaster and Sheffield
If driving follow the road signposted High Melton and Sprotbrough from Doncaster - the lock is well indicated
Alternatively follow the river Don east from Hexborough and Conisbrough
This one of the best fish and chip, places in London. It has a restaurant as well, cheap and large portions.
Always full in the take-way and the restaurant is a lovely bistro style place, staff a good laugh. The Asian guy who owns it is very funny...
You can do all of these things if you dare to venture to Pembrokeshire for a session of coasteering.
My wife and I went for a compromise of the adrenaline junkie and scenic views adventure and we found both in equal quantities. We stayed In a small B&B near St David’s and visited the Cathedral for a little calm before the following mornings storm. It is well worth the visit.
The next morning we arrived with little expectation of what the day had in stall for us, but the briefing soon sorted that out. While we were told of the Cliff jumping, climbing, scrambleling and swimming that we would be doing we changed into wetsuits and safety gear. Before we knew it, we were making our way down to the Pembrokeshire National Park coastline starting with the easy tasks of cliff climbing and long jumps into the sea. As the day progressed, we tried such landmarks as the washing machine, the quarry jump, the angled run and the toilet (not to be missed). Three to four hours later, we were back in the lodge warming ourselves with a cup of tea and chasers laughing with the rest of our group.
Some of the route was real edge of you wetsuit stuff, especially as there was a good swell while we were there. However, there were options at all stages to suit all abilities, Lower jumps if you like, or for the more enthusiastic in our group a chance to practice your Bear Grillis style back flip off a cliff.
Give it a try as it will not limit your adventure time to just one activity and you can be there and back in a weekend.
La Place is a restaurant and bar in central Winchester near the Cathedral and City Museum. It is a short walk from the high street and central parking.
The restaurant upstairs is spacious and has a French ambience, while the à la carte menu also introduces an international flavour.
Froggies bar at street level is an ideal rendezvous for a glass of wine or coffee, and also serves lunch and specials, with the signature bar planches.
The bar and restaurant takes reservations for private dining and festive functions, and Froggies is always open for 11am daily.
9 Great Minster Street
A great, self catering, holiday home located right on the Cornish Coast. Brilliant accommodation, sleeping 10 people. Plenty to do, whatever the time of the year - with a hot tub and games room.
Had a family get-together there recently - plenty of space for everyone!
The owners have really thought of everything!
I had my 25th Birthday Party at this town centre curry house, which at that time was the most stereotypical Indian Restaurant you could get. Flock wallpaper, maroon and burgundy velvet seating and a lively atmosphere with last orders taken at 2am. Curry was amazing. Although it looks like it has had a lick of paint since, the curry is just as good, out-does its rivals and not much else has changed - probably the reason why it was able to host my 50th birthday party last year. Its a must-visit for curry lovers. Around £10 per head will get you a starter, main course and rice.
35 Heathcote Street, Hockley.
The website often has good offers, and print-off voichers.
Cusworth Hall is an eighteenth century and grade 1 listed country house and museum with excellent informative exhibitions about the people who lived and worked in the house.
It is without doubt Doncaster's premiere beauty spot with loads of open space for picnics and walks allowing you to enjoy a wonderful view of Doncaster laid out before you
Cusworth Lane, Doncaster, DN5 7TU
Nearest train station is Bentley and the hall is well signposted on the A1(M) and in Doncaster itself
On the very occasional rainy day in Yorkshire there can be no better way to while away a few hours than a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham. At the "Shepherded" tour you will learn about the traditional brewing process in the warm and barley scented environment sets one up nicely for a sample of the ales.
I would recommend the Golden Sheep or perhaps the special Monty Python's Holy Grail (tempered over burning witches!). Best of all are the Bistro and Baa..r; wonderful food, huge portions in a lovely setting with views out over the Dales (when it's not raining that is). Puns are definitely the order of the day here but don't feel sheepish - it's a visit ewe won't regret.
The surrounding village of Masham is also worth exploring; there's a village square, a great little grocery and sweetshop and, if you haven't had quite enough beer yet, it is also home to Theakston's brewery with a visitor centre.
Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham HG4 4EN tel:01765 689227
Visitor car park
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com