• The Georgian House
  • Trewithen Gardens
  • UK Travel tips and news

Welcome friends, its time to put the kettle on, settle into a comfortable armchair, and enjoy the best of Britain with Britain Update. But before you do, please take the time to forward this newsletter to someone who loves Britain as much as you do.

David Ross, Publisher

UK Destinations

The Georgian House
Edinburgh, Scotland

The Georgian House is an exquisite 18th-century townhouse in Edinburgh's New Town, designed by master architect Robert Adam. The house is beautifully furnished, with collections of period china, furniture, art, and silver gracing three floors of elegant rooms, decorated as they would have been when the house opened in 1796.

Around the end of the 18th century, prosperous natives of Edinburgh began to leave the cramped conditions of Edinburgh's Old Town to build new, imposing townhouse residences, like Georgian House, in New Town.

More about Georgian House ...

Related: Edinburgh Hotel Guide | Scotland Travel Guide

Trewithen Gardens
Truro, Cornwall, England

Trewithen means "house of the trees" and the description describes perfectly this attractive Georgian house set amidst enjoyable woodland gardens and parkland. The house at Trewithen was begun in 1730 by Philip Hawkins, though the impressive south front is a product of 1763. The interior boasts a series of family rooms filled with furniture and paintings collected by the Hawkins family over generations.

Though Trewithen House is an enjoyable place to visit, most people come for the superb gardens. The grounds of Trewithen were landscaped at the same time as the house and remodelled as woodland gardens in the 19th century. A major transformation took place in the early 20th century when George Johnstone inherited the estate.

More about Trewithen Gardens ...

Travel Tips and News

West Dean Garden of the Year
West Dean Gardens in West Sussex has been awarded the Historic Houses Association/Christie's Garden of the Year for 2002. The gardens at West Dean are set in the rolling hills of the South Downs, near Chichester, and surround a historic manor house, built in 1622. Website:

Free Guide to Herefordshire
Take a bite out of Britain's 'Big Apple' this year! Home of cider-making, bustling market towns and inspiring walks, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley offers a new free Visitor Guide that provides a mouth-watering introduction to the region. Further information, and an on-line booking facility, can be found by logging on to

Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales
Sustainable tourism has become associated with exotic, fragile locations in far-flung corners of the world. However, a disused slate quarry in Mid Wales has, over the last 27 years, become the unlikely focus for everything to do with a practical ‘green’ lifestyle, affording visitors a fascinating glimpse into environmentally friendly energy and lifestyle alternatives. Even the cliff railway that takes visitors up to the Centre for Alternative Technology is environmentally friendly: it is run on a water-balance system. Once there, people are shown in a practical, inspiring and fun way how to:

Heat their bath water with sunlight and build an eco-friendly house.
Turn their garden into an organic haven for wildlife.
Generate electricity from wind, water and solar power.
Recycle everything from rain-water to human waste products.

The Centre for Alternative Technology is in the scenic Dyfi Valley near Machynlleth, 217 miles north-west of London (accessible by train and bus) and open daily except Jan. 5 – 17. Admission is adult £5, child £2.60. Website:

Free Shropshire Visitor Guide
Famous for its unspoilt countryside, fine food, and even for being the 'Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution', Shropshire is highlighting the very special quality of accommodation and attractions on offer throughout the county in its latest visitor guide to Shropshire and the Welsh Borders. Among the attractions and destinations highlighted are The Pen Y Dyffyn Country Hotel in Rhydycroesau, near Oswestry, which was recently presented with a Good Hotel Guide Cesar Award for the UK's "Best Country House Hotel of the Year".

Both Ironbridge Gorge Museum and Hawkstone Historic Park & Follies collected top awards in this year's Good Britain Guide, and Bridgnorth was awarded the accolade of "Best Looking Town in the Country" in this year's Britain in Bloom contest.

Free copies of the new 68 page Shropshire & The Welsh Borders visitor guide can be obtained at

Newark Antique Fair
The most prestigious and popular antique fair in Britain is set for another season of antique bargain hunting and exploring. Famed for a seemingly inexhaustible source of antiques and collectables, the Newark Antique Fair attracts the world's leading buyers, private collectors and enthusiasts to a series of 6 fairs spread over the next 12 months.

Dates in 2003
Monday/Tuesday, 3-4 February
Monday/Tuesday, 7-8 April
Monday/Tuesday, 2-3 June
Monday/Tuesday, 18-19 August
Monday/Tuesday, 20-21 October
Monday/Tuesday, 1-2 December

Fairs are held at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Newark, Notts. For more details visit

Bath Literature Festival, 1 - 9 March 2003
The ninth Bath Literature Festival includes memoirs and autobiography, letters and poetry from all sorts of people from the survivors of the First World War, from politicians and news reporters, from biographers to historians to favourite fiction and new writing. Artists appearing include Kate Adie, Ben Okri, Clement Freud, John Hegley, Blake Morrison and Minette Walters to name just a few. You can find full programme details at, including on-line booking facilities at no extra cost.

Anniversary of Bank of England architect
The 250th anniversary of the Bank of England’s architect Sir John Soane (1753 – 1837) will be marked in London this year. Celebrations throughout 2003 will coincide with improvements at the museum which houses his art collection of Hogarths, Canalettos and Turners. Sir John Soane’s Museum, at 13, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, also contains an array of antiquities such as the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I – one of the finest examples outside Egypt. Two major projects will begin: the restoration of No.14, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, designed by Soane in 1824, recently acquired and set to open in 2004; and the restoration of three museum courtyards (late 2003).

A year-long programme of exhibitions, lectures and other events will reflect the range of Soane’s collections and his enduring influence on today’s architects and designers. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday (including the first Tuesday evening of the month when part of the building is candlelit) and admission is free. Soane also designed London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Britain’s oldest public art gallery, which includes works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. Websites:;

Cycling England's Last Wilderness
A new cycle route goes for 150 miles across ‘England’s last wilderness’ – in the north. The Pennine Cycleway North takes in some of the region’s breathtaking scenery, passing the Roman Hadrian’s Wall and crossing England’s backbone (the Pennine Hills); the Eden Valley and the Northumberland National Park, en route from Appleby, Cumbria to Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.
It is part of Britain’s rapidly growing National Cycle Network being developed by the charity Sustrans (Sustainable Transport). Its official route map (£5.99) contains all essential information including advice on accommodation and can be ordered on-line. Website:

That's all for now. Until next issue, let me remind you that laughter is contagious. Be a carrier.

David Ross, Publisher, Britain Express

Best of Britain Express Art Prints