Tom's Britain - Exploring places of interest and things to do in England, Wales & Scotland

15 July 2011

Beat the Bounds of Gatwick Airport

It’s hard to believe it when you are trapped inside the huge concrete sprawl of North and South Terminal, but most of the area around Gatwick Airport is green fields.Indeed, part of the 150 mile Sussex Border Path passes right outside both Terminals, and walkers risk life and limb crossing the dual carriageway as it passes beneath the shuttle which connects them together.

Beyond this, the walk passes into the valley of the River Mole, a hidden valley concealed by manmade grassy bunds which separate it from the airport to the South and the villages of Hookwood and Povey Cross to the North. Eventually the path emerges and crosses open fields to Charlwood, a pretty little village which suffers slightly from its proximity to the airport. Charlwood has a number of pubs, and the Rising Sun also conceals an authentic Nepalese restaurant at the rear, with taxis on hand to transport weary walkers back to the airport and railway station for less than £10. The walk from the airport takes around an hour and a half.

For more, see

30 June 2011

4 May 2011

Take tea at the Lucknam Park Hotel

Whilst your author could never afford to stay, the Lucknam Park Hotel, situated in 500 acres of listed Wiltshire parkland, just outside Bath, is a lovely spot for an afternoon tea, and offers excellent and authentic service, perfect for trips out with grandmothers.

The high tea – complete with scones, cakes, sandwiches, and a choice of teas – is served in the drawing room, which had a crackling log fire in February, and an atmosphere more relaxed and friendly than readers might expect from such a high end establishment.

Whilst it is a little expensive, the price tag of £23.50 for afternoon tea, or £14 for a Wiltshire Cream Tea is fairly acceptable for a special occasion and is within the reach of most, allowing them to see how the other half live at a beautiful hotel, with well kept gardens and a spa beyond.

For more information, see

5 January 2011

Visit Durdle Door

One of Dorset’s most recognisable features, Durdle Door, a short distance from beautiful Lulworth Cove in Dorset, is a natural limetone arch, carved out over 140 million years by the lashing of countless waves.

It sits on a stretch of coastline which from the sea seems largely unspoilt, and maintains its natural beauty. This is a very pleasant illusion, as behind the cliffs above sits a holiday park, owned by the Lulworth Estate and the Weld family, which is thankfully this is not visible from the beautiful beaches.

In recent history, the beauty of Durdle Door has attracted media types, who used it as the location for music videos for both Tears for Fears and Cliff Richard, and also in films such as Wilde and Nanny McPhee.

For more on Durdle Door and the Jurassic Coast, click here.

1 January 2011