• Trull House Gardens
  • Cliveden
  • 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


Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England

One of the great country houses of Buckinghamshire, and indeed, of all England, Cliveden stands on a high cliff above the River Thames, and the gardens provide wonderful views down the river.

The house was originally built in 1670 for the 2nd Duke of Buckingham by William Winde. It was badly damaged by fire in 1795, and was left to moulder for 30 years. It was eventually rebuilt, but another fire in 1849 destroyed much of the original structure. Sir Charles Barry designed a new Italianate building in 1850 for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland.

Barry's three-storey central block curves outward to join 18th-century wings designed by Thomas Archer. The interior was altered in the 1870s from Barry's design, and the clock tower and stable block added.

More about Cliveden ...

Related: Buckinghamshire Hotel Guide | Buckinghamshire Travel Guide

Trull House
near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England

Trull House is set in a lovely rural location in the rolling countryside near Tetbury. The house is surrounded by 8 acres of gardens in a wide variety of styles, augmented by beautiful trees and mature shrubs. Some of the chief features include a large lily pond, a set of terraced gardens, and a sunken garden leading to a summerhouse.

In addition, there is a wilderness area which boasts masses of bulbs in spring, while later in summer the area is given over to a wide variety of natural grasses and wildflowers.

Trull House is no longer open to the public!

Travel Tips and News

Stay Free in the UK
A new website offers an alternative way to stay in the UK - free! offers unlimited free hotel accommodation for members at selected UK hotels. Members pay a yearly fee (presently £24.95) and must pay a minimum amount for meals at the hotel. There are some restrictions, but an average savings for a couple on a 2-night break could easily be over £100. Website:

Teddy Bear Centenary in London
The centenary of the teddy bear is being celebrated with a major exhibition at London's Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green (March 29 - December 31). The exhibition features about 400 bears, from some of the oldest surviving examples to present-day models, plus ‘celebrity’ bears such as Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, and Aloysius from the TV series "Brideshead Revisited".

The Museum of Childhood, open daily except for Friday, admission free, is a branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Website:

Hadrians Wall Path to open
For the first time this spring, visitors will be able to walk the full length of what was the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. Opening May 23, the 81-mile Hadrian’s Wall Path – one of 13 long-distance National Trails – is a signposted route from Wallsend (Newcastle upon Tyne) in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west, via the city of Carlisle.

Though ideal for a week-long walking holiday, 40 short walks have also been created for those with less time or energy. Farmhouse and bed-and-breakfast accommodation is available near the trail. Website:

Flower Power in Norwich
The symbolism of flowers and their connection to all things romantic is explored in a new exhibition, “Flower Power”. It examines the way that flowers have the ability to stir emotion and convey that emotion without words being necessary. Works from the 15th century to the present day, including paintings, sculptures and manuscripts, will be accompanied by fresh cut flower arrangements to add perfume and texture. The exhibition will be held in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery from February 3 to May 5. Website:

Sutton Hoo voted Top Treasure
The Anglo-Saxon burial at Sutton Hoo has been voted Top Treasure by a BBC poll of viewers. Although the bulk of the finds from the archaeological digs at Sutton Hoo are on display at the British Museum, visitors to the site itself, near Woodbridge in Suffolk, will be able to see artefacts on loan from the British Museum, on display in the Treasury Room alongside the main display.

From 22 March the exquisitely crafted shoulder clasps and the Anastasius Dish will be on show in an exhibition looking at cultural links with the continent. In addition, there will also be examples from the Mildenhall and Hoxne finds, also on loan from the British Museum, both of which were also featured in the Top Ten Treasures. Official Website:

Welsh Spa Town Celebrates Ale
March 7th through 9th sees the spa town of Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales hosting the ‘Welsh Folk’n’Ale Weekend’. On offer will be Wales’ finest ales and traditional folk music. For the musicians amongst you, there’s a welcome for anyone to join in with the jam on Sunday. Admission is free. For details phone 01591 610666.

Welsh Culinary Events in March
Fancy attending a cawl-cooking championship? While the Welsh national dish of cawl (broth) does have its core ingredients, it can also be a pretty ad-hoc cooking experience – no wonder so many chefs are still competing to crack the perfect recipe. The fourth annual event of the Cawl-cooking world championships will be held on March 1st in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.

It will feature local and international chefs striving to strike a perfect balance between invention and tradition, and the public are warmly welcomed to lend their support. For more information, contact Regency Hall, Saundersfoot.

For other culinary St. David’s day treats, visit the ‘Blas’ exhibition at the old library in central Cardiff – a free three-month event featuring the cream of Welsh food and drink. Part of the landmark building at the centre of the city has been transformed into a state-of-the-art culinary stage on which foods from all around Wales will be showcased, cooked, tasted and sold.

Although the event runs from the beginning of January until mid March, that special St. David’s day feeling should bring extra flavour to the food – not least because the day will hold themed demonstrations and menus. The event will feature top Welsh celebrity chefs Angela Gray and Nerys Howell. Tue–Sun, 11am-5pm, entry is free.

Fans will be making a pilgrimage this year to Dylan Thomas’ neck of the woods in Swansea and Carmarthen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the poet’s death. If you go be sure to visit the ‘Get Welsh in Swansea’ event from 28th Feb to March 1st, held around the town’s famous indoor market. Here, top chefs will be demonstrating their own ‘Dish for St. David’s’.

Marquees selling Welsh produce will be set up in the ‘Welsh Food Fair’ in nearby Oxford Street. You’ll also get the chance to sample traditional Welsh song and dance.

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