United Kingdom

“We had an insider’s look at Westminster with a Member of Parliament, then ate at a wonderful nearby pub – until the bell above the bar called him back to vote.”

  • Cobbled street in Devon, UK
  • Daffodile on the road side, UK
  • Landscape, UK
  • Lighthouse, UK
  • Drumlanrig Castle, UK
  • House in snow, UK
  • Castle, UK

Discover United Kingdom

After circumnavigating the planet for 20-odd years (some quite odd indeed) unearthing original and exotic travel experiences, it dawned on us that perhaps good old Blighty – our more or less United Kingdom – might actually hold its own as a bespoke luxury travel destination. And so it does…

From Land’s End to John o’ Groats to the heart of the City of London, we spent a year exploring patchwork fields, cobbled lanes, draperied drawing rooms and gnome-filled gardens, searching for extraordinary and eccentric experiences that define Britishness. Staying in luxury manor houses and ancestral castles, at charming inns and culinary “gastro-pubs,” we discovered sides of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that left even seasoned travellers quite gobsmacked.

Many were pleasantly surprised to find things had come a long way in the kitchen since their last British meal. Others noted that, despite our help, cricket is no easier to understand. And putting aside the overwrought issue of weather (the point is that it’s constantly changing, so one can always count on a change for the better), it’s clear that the possibilities for a thoroughly original UK journey are as varied as the euphemisms in a gentlemen’s club.

Meshing your curiosity with our own insights, we present these ideas for your consideration on celebrating what’s great about Great Britain:

• Experience the ways of royalty staying at Hampton Court Palace – or having high tea with a member of the royal family.

• Play croquet on the lawn at Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter.

• Enjoy cocktails with one of the original Monty Python crew.

• Roam the Cotswolds on foot, by bike or in a vintage open-top Aston Martin.

• Tour the Rolls Royce factory in Sussex or McLaren Formula 1 headquarters in Surrey. 

• Watch a Premier League football (soccer) team from your private box – after joining the players in a practice session.

•  Catch salmon in northern Scotland under the watchful eye of a master fisherman.

• Tour Scottish distilleries alongside the editor of Whisky Magazine.

• Have your own Highland fling between a seaside cottage and a 13th-century castle.

• Play a historic round of golf at St Andrews.

• Hike the spectacular hillsides of Pembrokeshire or Snowdonia in Wales.

• Or just listen in as Agnes and Ethel exchange gossip (ideally not about you) at the post office in Chipping Campden.

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