Gorging on scenic scrambles, Cumbria
Why struggle up a mountain stream when you can scramble and slide down one? Stoneycroft Ghyll, undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s most exhilarating and spectacular gorge experiences, is downhill all the way via waterfalls, wading paths, rock slides, tunnels, jumps and pools. Make no mistake, you’re going to get very wet in these wilds. It’s a water park made by Mother Nature and holds surprises all along the way.
Stay at: Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa (approximately 20 minutes away)
Sipping sherry by the fireplace, Yorkshire
Goddards House and Garden, owned by the National Trust, is an Arts and Crafts style house, and formerly home to the Terry family (famed for their chocolate oranges). Founded in 1767, this year marks 250 years of Terry’s confectionery history – something you’ll learn all about at Goddards. Four acres of garden rooms overlook York racecourse and beyond to the landmark chocolate factory’s clock tower. Visitors are very much encouraged to make themselves at home, so feel free to pour yourself a sherry and read the papers by the fire in the luxurious drawing room.
Stay at: Middlethorpe Hall & Spa (less than ten minutes away)
Inner Hebridean island amble, Scotland
The tranquility found on the island of Kerrera is avidly guarded by its 45-strong population. The only cars allowed are those owned by islanders but, since distances are by no means overwhelming, this isn’t a problem. Only a few minutes’ ferry ride from the mainland of Oban, Kerrera offers absolute peace and wonderful walking. Along its southern route, upon which you may encounter wild goats and spot golden eagles, you’ll come across Gylen Castle. Built in 1582, it’s tiny, and the view from here towards the Firth of Lorne is dramatic.
Stay at: Airds Hotel & Restaurant (approximately 30 minutes away)
A village and its viticulture, Sussex
At Bolney Wine Estate in the beautiful Sussex Downs a wine expert will walk you through the vines and take you to the state-of-the-art winery. There’s over 40 years of wine-making history here, not to mention England’s passion for its production which stretches back to Roman times. This family-run estate has won various international and national awards for its excellent red, white and sparkling wines, and taste them you shall! Plus, you can tuck into an accompanying charcuterie-style lunch, or even opt for a masterclass in cheese and wine or chocolate and wine matching.
Stay at: South Lodge (approximately ten minutes away)
By Mischa Mack