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London’s 10 best walks – including four Royal Parks

London’s 10 best walks – including four Royal Parks

There are many unsung heroes of London – one of the best of them is the Thames Path, a National Trail since 1996, which follows 184 miles of the 215-mile-long river. Without it, London would be a different place.  It’s a resource for runners and cyclists, idlers and flâneurs, artists and mudlarks,and above all for...

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What dismal Oxford Street can learn from the rest of Europe

What dismal Oxford Street can learn from the rest of Europe

People say it was the pandemic that did it, but it’s just as easy to blame Topshop. Back in the 1990s and 2000s, the brand’s flagship store stood just outside the entrance to Oxford Circus tube station and was the epitome of Cool Britannia. At one point, Kate Moss posed stock-still in the window –...

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The Sussex town fighting to reopen its French-owned beach

The Sussex town fighting to reopen its French-owned beach

“For some of us it has made it feel safer,” says local resident Abi Blanshard. “Some of the dark bits, the underpasses, you can be a bit reluctant to walk through. It just feels a little bit nicer, a bit cleaner, safer. My partner works down at the food bank and the people he’s spoken...

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The five best Thames walks

The five best Thames walks

Best for… A bit of a climb Start/end point: Dorchester Distance: 4km / 2½ miles to 14.5km / 9 miles Map Wittenham Clumps, Oxfordshire’s “twin peaks”, rise 120m (394ft) and 110m (361ft), providing a fine vantage over a lovely stretch of river. Start in winsome Dorchester – aka the Roman town of Doric – where...

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10 British woodland wonders to discover this summer

10 British woodland wonders to discover this summer

All is not quite as it seems in this ancient semi-natural woodland lining the southern bank of the Ure. Gnarled sessile oaks speak of great age, now interspersed with wych elm, sycamore, rowan, ash and silver birch. But those moss-greened ruins peering out from the greenery aren’t actually the remains of Roman temples or medieval...

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The victims of Jack the Ripper deserve better than London’s lurid tours

The victims of Jack the Ripper deserve better than London’s lurid tours

Because his identity is unknown, each successive generation has made of him whatever monster they will: a Jack of all trades. For contemporaries, he was a physical embodiment of the sordidness, deprivation and poverty of the Victorian East End. By the 1960s, he seems to have become more aristocratic, a psychopath in a top hat...

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Britain’s best white-sand beaches

Britain’s best white-sand beaches

Aquamarine waters, bone-white sands, bleached driftwood… the stuff of holiday brochures and Instagram posts, and designed to lure us to foreign and exotic idylls. But, hang on; why go abroad?  Look closer to home. Britain’s coastline may not offer the bath-warm temperatures and languid palm trees of, say, the Caribbean, but it has some startling...

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The 10 best holidays in Norfolk for 2024

The 10 best holidays in Norfolk for 2024

One of the fleet used for the WWII Dunkirk evacuations in May 1940, her restoration included a new curved mahogany canopy and mast. Be sure to spot  Ernest Tom Neathercoat, a lifeboat which served Wells between 1965 and 1990. How to do it: Curlew Coastal Charters (07512 086794; curlewcoastalcharters.co.uk) offers trips ranging from £10 per...

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How a Welsh pub was rebuilt brick by brick and taken back to 1915

How a Welsh pub was rebuilt brick by brick and taken back to 1915

Five more buildings remade brick by brick St Fagans is a treasure trove of old buildings, remade. In its new home The Vulcan sits beside a row of shops and a working men’s club, both of which appeared in 2007 in an episode of Doctor Who set in the 1910s, thanks to their period accuracy....

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The twee Cotswolds town that became a super-rich playground

The twee Cotswolds town that became a super-rich playground

The service in the rest of the hotel isn’t quite as dedicated as the Grain Store, with staff overstretched in the restaurant, which is riotously popular with locals who come to devour oysters with champagne. Food is traditional with a trendy take and dependably delicious. I very much enjoyed my cheese souffle with truffle, and...

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The best places to go fossil hunting in Britain

The best places to go fossil hunting in Britain

Crail Harbour Gallery and Tea room is a characterful café with sea views (01333 451896; crailharbourgallery.co.uk) .  UK Association of Fossil Hunters occasionally runs guided fossil walks at Crail and other locations around the UK (ukafh)  Best find? Hard to beat those track marks of the giant centipede.  Boggle Hole, Yorkshire A one-mile hike south...

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