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The following posts were created for VisitBritain - Great Britain's Tourist Board.


Audley End: A very big house in the country

Indulge in some English country life with a stay at Audley End in Cambridgeshire. Stylishly decorated and comfortable on the inside, elegantly charming on the outside, Cambridge Lodge is a Victorian gatehouse and the perfect base from which to explore the Capability Brown-designed gardens and impressive Jacobean Mansion. It’s the kind of place you’d expect to find Benedict Cumberbatch being stoic in military dress.

Oxford lanes: Excessively long scarf optional

Often the best way to get the measure of a city is to just wander; Oxford’s grand colleges and winding lanes make it the perfect place to do just that. Whether you’re passing under the Bridge of Sighs or peeking into University cloisters, there’s a reassuring warmth to exploring this hallowed seat of learning. Go in autumn when gorgeous amber light catches the sandstone facades, and the footsteps of students echo in its lanes.

Dunwich Heath: Suffolk coast finery

There’s something thrillingly literary about Dunwich Heath. A gorse and heather-cloaked landscape that evokes the wild and romantic settings of England’s classic novels. Make your way along its winding paths and nooks and you half expect to see a cowled figure rushing through the purple patchwork or a stagecoach silhouetted against the setting sun.

Great Gable: Not for the faint hearted

Irrespective of the route you take up the mighty Great Gable in the Lakeland Fells, you’re going to have to do a bit of scrambling and climbing. But that’s half the fun, right? So no attempting it in cargo shorts and flip flops with a bag of Haribo; that’s the quickest way to get on the regional news. Scale this great hump of a mountain and you can officially call yourself a Lakeland climber.

Brighton’s Royal Pavilion: South coast icon

Nestling near to the famous Lanes and Palace Pier, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is something of an incongruous sight. That said, it’s also brilliant and a bit bonkers looking with its mixture of classical and Indian styles. Chock-full of interesting history, this wonderfully eccentric landmark is a true Brighton icon. The locals love it and so will you.

Albert’s Scholss, Manchester: Wunderbar, indeed

No, Bavarian Manc isn’t the latest brand of techno from this northwest trendsetter, more how you might describe the wonderful Albert’s Schloss bier palace. Stylish but not pretentious, cool without trying too hard, and stocked with a winning selection of Pilsner, heritage brews on tap, Alpine cocktails and homemade Schnapps.

Dunnottar Castle: Fortress Aberdeenshire

A peach of a castle ruin set quite literally in the middle of nowhere, Dunnottar Castle’s biggest claim to fame is when a garrison based here saved the Scottish crown jewels by holding out against the forces of Oliver Cromwell. In your face, Roundheads! This photogenic ruin is a perfect piece of Scottish history – complete with winding path approach on which to do your best pretend-horse.

 Tonight Josephine: Wild at Waterloo

A basement cocktail bar pitched somewhere between a lipstick photoshoot, 80s music video and lame wine bar that’ll either be your favourite place in the world or your worst nightmare. With mugshots of Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber on the Ladies and Gents, tongue is wedged firmly in-cheek throughout its glitzy, striped interior plastered with neon slogans. Choose your cocktail from a Ziggy's Stardust, Violet Femme and No Time For Napoleon. And then run away.

Brownsea Island: Five go mad in Dorset

Escape to an English island sanctuary in Poole Harbour and discover a tranquil setting for picnics, walks and tree-climbing among wetlands and shady woodlands. Once the stomping ground of Lord Baden-Powell and his scouts, Brownsea Island is an oasis of forgotten England with its strutting peacocks and rare red squirrels.

Belfast Botanic Gardens: Hothouse flowers

Charge your senses and soothe your spirit in this idyllic pocket of urban beauty. The Victorians knew a thing or two about gardens; the tree collections, rose garden and Palm House of Belfast Botanic Gardens make it the ideal spot for people watching, cloud gazing or just taking a break from city life.

Dartmouth: Artistic impressions by the sea

There’s something particularly special about a certain kind of English coastal town. Whatever it is, Dartmouth has it in spades. You’ll find it in its laid-back harbour vibe, love of seafood and nearby golden beaches; and during Shakespeare Week when the castle is illuminated for outdoor theatre, and when local artists open their doors to you in October for Galleries Week.

Bath Retro Store: A treasure trove of childish delights

With its achingly nostalgic facade that demands pressing your face against the glass, the Bath Retro Store is an Aladdin’s cave packed floor to ceiling with board games, cars, robots, clowns, puzzles and anything else that small girls and boys used to spend their pocket money on.

Cockington Village: An olde English embrace

If you were asked to imagine a quintessential English village, you might come up with something like Cockington Village in Torquay, which dates back to the 16th century. Cream teas, check; manor house, yep; thatched-roof pub, got it. With an ancient gamekeeper’s cottage nestling in the woods, abandoned water mill and old stocks for selfies, it’s an English time capsule well worth exploring.

Tintagel Castle: Myths and legends on the Cornish coast

An atmospheric and rugged outcrop where history meets legend, Tintagel Castle is a thrillingly wild medieval fortification perched high on the cliffs between Padstow and Bude in Cornwall. Get your King Arthur on and stride across the bridge to this mysterious Dark Age settlement… Or hang back and enjoy the view with a nice ice cream.