'Instant calm to the soul': the magic of Cape Clear, Ireland

'Instant calm to the soul': the magic of Cape Clear, Ireland

Whether in search of peace, or adventure, this tiny County Cork island is a haven for escapists Cape Clear, Ireland’s most southerly island, has been my getaway for almost 30 years. It is the place where I forget which day of the week it is. It’s where I go to imagine a world without Brexit and Trump. The island has a spirit that brings instant calm to the soul. I once had the good fortune to live there for four months. It was then that I first began to write,…

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Top 10 new outdoor artworks and exhibitions in the UK

Top 10 new outdoor artworks and exhibitions in the UK

This crop of summer exhibitions by world-class artists in sculpture parks, gardens and beaches all make for a grand day out Dale Chihuly, the celebrated US glass artist, exhibited at Kew Gardens 13 years ago. It was his most recent major outdoor show in Europe – and one of the most popular exhibitions ever held at Kew. Now he is back with Chihuly: Reflections on nature – 32 dazzling installations, including his Sapphire Star, the Seaforms series and a new work specially designed for the Temperate House, which recently reopened…

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10 classic UK trips by public transport

10 classic UK trips by public transport

Trains in hidden valleys, scenic bus routes, fun ferry rides … many journeys are better by public transport. Kevin Rushby plots exciting itineraries for the carefree and car-free With a car, most of these amazing journeys are impossible or prohibitively expensive. Most of these 10 routes could be done in a day or with a single overnight, but ideally you will spread them over a weekend, using the opportunity to hike over a mountain, laze by a lake or build a sandcastle. All routes only use public transport or scheduled…

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Bistro Lotte, Frome, Somerset: B&B review

Bistro Lotte, Frome, Somerset: B&B review

In this Somerset town known for indie shops, a makeover of a former grocery has fabulous French food and fuss-free rooms St Catherine’s Quarter in Frome looks like the set for an English rom-com. Winding cobbled streets lead towards the river, flanked by old stone buildings or pastel-painted antique shops – no chain stores in sight. There’s a working gas lamp dedicated to St Valentine, with a renovated George V postbox attached, and a love seat nearby, all clearly waiting for Richard Curtis to call “Action.” At the top of…

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