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					FOOD & TRAVEL                         getaway

            ART AND SOUL
    A few black-and-white photos just won’t cut
      it. Bravo Kit Kemp & co for the colourful
    commissioned pieces in SoHo’s new Crosby
    Street Hotel, NYC, Firmdale’s first foray out
      of London (right;                                                                        VIP TRAVEL

       Pete Clark’s collages rule – especially his                                                                       KELL SKÖTT
   cheeky British bulldog. For a fuller-on serving                                                               CELEBRATED WEST LONDON HAIR
     of eye candy, head to China. The sculpture                                                                 STYLIST; KELLSKOTTHAIRCARE.COM

       park at Hotel of Modern Art (Homa) in
     Yangshuo makes it more gallery than mere                                                                         DREAM
     getaway (main picture;                                                                      WINTER SUN

                                                            Juliet Kinsman dodges sofas and
                                                            L-plates in favour of sophisticated
                                                             spa action and original artwork
                                                                                                                     A private jet
                                                                                                                    to the Eastern
                                                                                                                   Transvaal where
                                                                                                                  we’d stay in suites
                                    TWITTER                                                                      Kruger National Park. Next we’d fly to Port

                                                                                                                                                                  JULIET KINSMAN IS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF MR & MRS SMITH HOTEL GUIDEBOOKS AND BOUTIQUE TRAVEL SPECIALISTS; MRANDMRSSMITH.COM; TWITTER.COM/JULIETKINSMAN
                    It’s isn’t just about celeb-stalking;
                    follow Trazzler, Smithhotels and
                                                                                       TRAVEL TREATS              Elizabeth, hire a Ferrari 250 GTO – this is
                                                                                          Take one H by           a dream after all – and we’d take a leisurely
             for top holiday tips
                                                                                      Harris’s military-style
                                                                                                                    drive through the Tsitsikamma national
                                                                                       Sh4 weekend bag,
                        APRÉS-SKI GROOMING                                                                       park, where we’d stay in at the Tsala Treetop
                                                                                        £734 (HbyHarris.
                      Beauty & the Piste provides
                                                                                        com), add Meher          Lodge in Plettenburg Bay. Constantia would
                   in-chalet treatments in Nendaz,
                                                                                         Kakalia’s exotic
                     Verbier and Crans-Montana.                                                                   be our next stop via the Garden Route and
                                                                                          fold-up leather
                                                                                     some whale watching; we’d have a long
                                                                                       ‘Bee’ slippers (£55;
                                                                                          meherkakalia.         leisurely lunch under the trees at La Colombe,
                                                                                        com) and Irwin &
                       We’ll take embellishments,                                                                eating melt-in-your-mouth kudu tartare and
                                                                                         Jordan’s ‘Buster’
                     such as centuries-old frescoes                                                              drinking Veenwouden Merlot 2004. Dessert
                                                                                        sunglasses (£225;
                     in Florence’s Il Salviatino, over
                                                                                       would come with a bottle of superb Vin de
                                                                                                                      Constance wine, Napolean’s death-bed
                                                                                                                                   drink of choice.
                                                                                                                       FANTASY HOLIDAY HOME
                                  SLEEPING ON                                                                     A beautiful Bauhaus-inspired glass-fronted
                               STRANGERS’ SOFAS
                                                                                                                house on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, with
                                 Even if it is free.
                                                                                         functional Danish design and furnishings,
                                                                                                                 Italian fruit trees everywhere and a Fiat 500
                               TACKY HEN NIGHTS
                                                                                                                Arbath in the garage. There would also be an
                            Sign us up for the sybaritic
                                Swan Parties at the                                                              infinity pool out to the lake, a helicopter pad
                               Dorchester’s new spa                                                                  and a riva moored at the water’s edge.

                             BOXING DAY BOREDOM
                               Head to Central Africa           DEVONSHIRE CREAM
                             for Imaginative Traveller’s
                                                             Revel in boutique-hotel style amid country-
                               15-day Masai Mara &
                               Mountain Gorillas tour.        cottage cosiness at Moorland View, a two-
                           bedroom house in North Bovey. Soothing
                                                            neutral tones, fine linens and Conran crockery
                                                            means considerate touches such as an all-sizes
                           WASH OUT
  122 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | December 2009
                                                            stash of wellies might not even get used. From
                                                               £540 for three nights.

   Answering the call of
  The slow-burning
  charm of rural Devon
  is impossible to ignore,
  writes Gavin Bell

               ir Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t do
               Dartmoor any favours. A sinister, fog-
               shrouded wasteland stalked by a
               murderer and a hound from hell
               awaited Sherlock Holmes in the spine-
  chilling case of The Hound Of The Baskervilles.
  He omitted to mention grasslands ablaze with
  gorse and heather, sun-dappled rivers meander-
  ing through woods and meadows, zany dances
  at folk festivals and the heroic exploits of the
  Rugglestone Inn tug o’ war team.
     That’s not to say it was his fault. Times have
  changed since Sir Arthur visited the moors,
  heard legends of diabolical black beasts with
  blood-red eyes preying on travellers after dark,
  and penned one of his classic mysteries.
     Dartmoor National Park, the largest and
  wildest open country in southern England, is
  now a place for holidays rather than horror. Any
  strange sounds heard after dark are more likely
  to emanate from folk singers in pubs than super-
  natural creatures.
     My wife and I find a bunch of the former in the
  Oxenham Arms, a 12th-century coaching inn in
  the village of South Zeal, during the Dartmoor
  Folk Festival. This is an annual event that draws
  thousands of enthusiasts for a weekend of tradi-
  tional music and dancing, including a step dance
  competition on a 15in square board in the back
  of a hay wagon.
     While professional musicians perform in a
  nearby hall, patrons in the bar of The Ox amuse
  themselves and anyone who cares to join in with
  lusty renditions of sea shanties and working
  men’s songs from Cornwall to Northumbria.
  This is no drunken bawling, but harmonious
  ballads by men with fine voices singing for the
  love of it. The tin mines that inspired some of the
  songs are long gone from Dartmoor, and the
  high moors are the domain of untamed ponies
  born free in the wind-blown cotton grass. The
  vistas of wild, lonely land are immense, with
  skylines dominated by tors – jumbles of massive
  stones squeezed up as molten granite through
  the earth’s crust 280 million years ago. Like ruins
  of ancient hilltop forts, they are the sentinels of
  a bygone age.
     Among the most impressive is Hound Tor,               Approaching the market town of Moreton-          The Dartmoor               hideaway Bilbo Baggins might have lived in if he
  standing imperiously above traces of a medieval       hampstead – the longest one-word place name         landscape, dotted with     had won the lottery – oodles of character and
  settlement. Over the years it has gained a repu-      in England – we find the road blocked by a man       granite tors and wild      comfort in a mix of traditional West Country
  tation for ghostly sightings, and even under kind     in a car and another on a horse who have stopped    ponies, has more than      style and mod cons, including a wireless digital
  skies it has a mystical presence. This was noted      for a chat. In no hurry to go anywhere, we pull     a passing resemblance      sound system and a wondrous copper and tin
  by Sherlock Holmes, and later by BBC produc-          into a passing place and wait, and when the         to the Shire imagined      bath that could accommodate a small family.
  ers who used it as a location for an episode of       rider and motorist move on, we receive cheery       by JRR Tolkien in             In the morning the sun warms a bench by the
  Doctor Who.                                           waves of thanks.                                    Lord Of The Rings          front door, and in the late afternoon it shines on
     With artistic licence, Conan Doyle ignored                                                             PHOTOGRAPH: ADAM BURTON/
                                                                                                                                       a seat by a lily pond in the garden. One day we
  the fact the moors are surrounded by wooded           Our base for the weekend is North Bovey, a          PHOTOLIBRARY.COM           are woken by a clip-clop of horses’ hooves, and
  valleys, where hamlets of thatched cottages nes-      hamlet of thatched houses around a village                                     find a leaflet by the door announcing that orders
  tle in farmland among dry stone walls and             green that boasts a 13th-century church, a pub                                 are being taken for this year’s lamb. For £46 we
  hedgerows. This is hobbit territory, where roses      and a community hall. Regulars in the Ring of       IN TOMORROW’S              can have half a lamb butchered, cut, packed and
  ramble on honey-coloured stone walls, and coun-       Bells pub include farriers, sheep shearers and a    SUNDAY HERALD              labelled for easy freezing, or a half carcass of
  try lanes are full of butterflies and songbirds.       mole catcher, drawn by a cheery ambience and
                                                                                                               MAGAZINE                mutton “finished slowly on herb-rich meadows”.
  The patchwork of fields, meadows and wood-             the local Otter real ale. This gives rise to car                               In rural Devon, who needs supermarkets?
  land is criss-crossed by a maze of narrow lanes       stickers saying: “I could murder an otter.”           Get on your                 We could have gone for a hike on the moors, or
  barely wide enough for a single vehicle, bounded         The pub is where we collect keys to Moorland      bike for Scots            even signed up with Dartmoor Llama Walks and
  by high hedges. Driving is a slow affair, periodi-    View, a cottage a few steps away that has my wife     whisky tour              had our picnic lunch transported by the pony-
  cally interrupted by cows, horses and tractors.       sighing with delight. It is the kind of luxurious                              sized animals, but we opt for a more sedate stroll

the wilds
                                                                                                                                                                    Royal Caribbean
                                                                                                                                                          , 0844 493 2061)
                                                                                                                                                                    has a five-night
                                                                                                                                                                    cruise from £424pp
                                                                                                                                                                    including meals.
                                                                                                                                                                    Departs Malaga
                                                                                                                                                                    on Wednesday.

                                                                                                                                                                    has seven nights
                                                                                                                                                                    in Madeira from
                                                                                                                                                                    £531pp. Price
                                                                                                                                                                    includes B&B at a
                                                                                                                                                                    five-star hotel and
                                                                                                                                                                    return flights from
                                                                                                                                                                    Glasgow departing
                                                                                                                                                                    November 16.

                                                                                                                                                                    Archers Direct
                                                                                                                                                                    0871 423 8638) has
                                                                                                                                                                    a 15-day tour of
                                                                                                                                                                    Spain, Portugal
                                                                                                                                                                    and Morocco from
                                                                                                                                                                    £999pp. Price
                                                                                                                                                                    includes 14 nights’
                                                                                                                                                                    B&B, seven dinners
                                                                                                                                                                    and return flights
                                                                                                                                                                    from Newcastle,
                                                                                                                                                                    Edinburgh or
                                                                                                                                                                    Glasgow, departing
                                                                                                                                                                    November 22.

                                                                                                                                                                    0871 987 1689) has
                                                                                                                                                                    seven nights in
                                                                                                                                                                    Sharm el Sheikh
                                                                                                                                                                    from £388 pp. Price
                                                                                                                                                                    includes all-inclusive
                                                                                                                                                                    accommodation at a
                                                                                                                                                                    four-star hotel and
                                                                                                                                                                    return flights from
                                                                                                                                                                    Glasgow departing
                                                                                                                                                                    November 21.

                                                                                                                                                                    First Choice (first
                                                                                                                                                           or 0871
                                                                                                                                                                    664 9011) has seven
                                                                                                                                                                    nights in Cyprus
                                                                                                                                                                    from £449pp. Price
                                                                                                                                                                    includes B&B at a
                                                                                                                                                                    five-star hotel and
                                                                                                                                                                    return flights from
                                                                                                                                                                    Glasgow departing
                                                                                                                                                                    November 11.

                                                                                                                                                                    Direct Holidays
                                                                                                                                                          , 0871 664
 along the banks of the River Teign at Chagford.
 This is your quintessential English babbling
                                                        There are bigger pools in the River Dart at
                                                     Newbridge, where Atlantic salmon rest en route         Barpatronsamusethemselves                               7764) has seven
                                                                                                                                                                    nights in Turkey
 brook, flowing past lush green meadows, old
 wooden gates, stately oak trees and an old mill
                                                     to spawning sites upstream. This is good news
                                                     for otters looking for takeaway snacks. In summer      withrenditionsofseashanties                             from £315pp. Price
                                                                                                                                                                    includes all-inclusive
 by the stream. My wife sums up the scene: “It’s
 like we’ve fallen into the pages of a storybook.”
                                                     the indigenous wildlife gives way to another
                                                     form of wild life – people riding rubber rings         andworkingmen’ssongs                                    accommodation at a
                                                                                                                                                                    five-star hotel and
    Babbling brook number two lies near our          over shallow rapids to a popular picnic spot, and                                                              return flights from
 doorstep. Down a lane from the cottage, we find      leaping from rocky heights into a deep pool with                                                               Glasgow departing
 a footpath by the River Bovey that leads via        squeals of fright and delight.                                                                                 November 18.
 stepping stones and old stone bridges to Bovey         For some, the marquee at the Manaton Show
                                                                                                            TRAVEL NOTES
 Castle, erstwhile baronial pile of Viscount         and Fair, organised by the young farmers club,         GETTING THERE AND          return) from Glasgow         Flexibletrips (flexible
 Hambleden, heir to the WH Smith book and            is an equally exciting sight. Wooden tables are        WHERE TO STAY              to Exeter. From    , 0870 160
 stationery empire. It is now a luxury hotel and     laden with a cornucopia of prize runner beans,         The simplest route by      September to April four      9192) has two nights
 sporting estate where, for a price, guests can      carrots, herbs, roses, treacle tarts, flower arrange-   car is the M6 then M5 to   nights at Moorland           in Amsterdam from
 disport themselves with archery, falconry,          ments,handmadetoysandamateurphotographs.               Exeter, about half an      View costs from £540         £171pp. Price
 pheasant shooting and golf on a course rated        Competition is intense for the Sweet Pea Cup, in       hour from North Bovey.     and seven nights             includes B&B at a
 among the finest in England. Guests of Moorland      memory of Lt Col and Mrs Donald Smith, for             There are daily train      from £810. Visit www.        four-star hotel and
 View have free access to the swimming pool and      the best dahlias.                                      services and flights with or          return flights from
 spa, but we’re happy just rambling by the river        We arrive too late for the Fun Dog Show,            Flybe (from £116pp         call 07786 264865.           Edinburgh departing
 and throwing sticks in rock pools for wet dogs.     including classes for the dog or bitch with the                                                                January 25, 2010.

                                                                                                                                                           31.10.09 THE HERALD MAGAZINE      39

   most appealing eyes, and the dog or bitch the
judge would most like to take home. We’re in
time, though, for the grand spectacle of the show,
the fiercely contested Inter Pub Tug O’ War.
   We cheer our local heroes and reigning cham-
pions, the North Bovey Ringers, who are
sporting shirts warning: “Danger – Men on the
Pull.” Our brave lads brush aside a challenge
from a “foreign” team – the Royal Oak from Sussex
– but finally go down, literally, in a titanic struggle
with the Rugglestone Inn from over the hill. A
Royal Oak ladies team, given the advantage of
an extra body, beat their own men to take third
place. Amity between victors and vanquished is
then restored at length in the bar over foaming
pints of Gun Dog bitter.
   So what happened to the diabolical hounds of
Dartmoor, with an insatiable hunger for human
flesh and souls? Go to Wistman’s Wood if
you dare, we are told, for that is their lair. In
1797, the Reverend J Swete wrote: “Silence
seemed to have taken up her abode in this wood
– and to a superstitious mind some impression
would have occurred approaching to dread, or
sacred horror …”
   From a distance, the wood of ancient oaks
above the West Dart River is a small patch of
green that doesn’t look much like a door to hell.
The only vaguely dangerous beast we encounter
on the way is a bull, too intent on propagating his
species to pay us any heed. On a dark and stormy
Halloween night Wistman’s Wood might live up
to its reputation as a den of ghosts and devils,
but on a bright day it is a magical place.
   A remnant of woodland dating from prehis-
toric times, it is a labyrinth of gnarled dwarf
oaks writhing among a clutter of granite boul-
ders, all of them swathed in luxuriant ferns,
mosses and lichens. With sunlight filtering
through the foliage, it is a place for poets rather
than phantoms.
   It seems the Hound of the Baskervilles is             Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone in the 1939 film The Hound Of The Baskervilles, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s murder
long gone. ■                                             mystery featuring a dog said to prey upon travellers in Dartmoor after dark. The area is better known now as a holiday destination

THE WALK                                                                                                                           THE CYCLE
by Rab Anderson                                                                                                                    by Fergal MacErlean
THE RIVER TAY,                                                                                                                      START

CRAIGVINEAN FOREST                   Start/Finish                                                                                       Bannockburn

Location: Dunkeld,
Perthshire                                                                                                                                                                 Culross
                                                                                                                                                                             River F
Map: OS Landranger 52                                                                                                                               Stenhousemuir                    or
                                                                                                                                                                           Bo’Ness         th
(GR 003 437)                              Inver Wood
                                                                                                                                                              Falkirk                             North Queensferry
Distance: 5 miles (8km)                                                                                                                         Bonnybridge

Time: 2.5 hours                                                                                                                                                                                     Queensferry
                                                                                                                                                                          FINISH     Linlithgow
Terrain: footpaths, tracks
                                                                                                                                   STIRLING TO                             route with views down to the
This lovely walk takes you                                                                                                         LINLITHGOW                              River Forth which, despite
along the banks of one of                                                                                                          Map: OS Landranger 57, 65,              being so far from the sea,
Scotland’s finest rivers and                                                                                                        or Sustrans Round the                   is tidal here. Cycle on to
past one of its most popular                                                                                                       Forth cycle map (£3.99 from             join an old railway line
beauty spots, before heading                                                                                                              which gives easy cycling
through one of its oldest                                             River Tay                                                    Distance: 34 miles (55km)               past the former mining
managed forests.                                                                                                                   Time: 4 hours                           village of Fallin. Further on
   Although you can start                                                                                                          Terrain: mainly flat, quiet              there’s a circuitous, but
                                                                   A9(T)          P
from the NTS car park at              Craigvinean                                                                                  roads and cyclepaths                    excellent, route on very
The Hermitage, it’s better            Forest                                              P                                                                                quiet roads by Dunmore
to continue north up the A9                                      P                                                                 If you’re more familiar with            and Letham mosses.
and turn off left immediately                                                                                                      driving between Stirling                    The Forth comes into
before the bridge over the                                                                                                         and Linlithgow you’ll be                view again as you approach
River Tay, then park in the                The Hermitage                                                                           surprised to learn how good             Grangemouth, after which
Newton Craig car park.                                                                                                             the cycle links are. The                the route leads through
Cross the road and take a        famous 18th-century fiddler      over the footbridge, take the      after 50m go left on another   National Cycle Network                  Kinneil Estate by Bo’ness.
path downhill beneath the        who reputedly composed          path leading away from the         track and follow this as it    route 76, which will link               Kinneil House, said to be
railway then under the A9        many of his much loved          river to reach Inver, then at      swings round into the          St Andrews in the north to              haunted by Lady Alice who
road bridge, dropping down       reels and strathspeys here.     the end of the road take the       Craigvinean Forest.            Berwick Upon Tweed once                 leapt to her death from its
towards the banks of the Tay.       Continue along the river     path beside the A9 and             Continue straight ahead on     finished, runs between the               tower, is no place to tarry as
The mix of woodland is           to within sight of the five-     follow this to the NTS car         the main track for 1500m,      two towns with few busy                 dusk falls tonight.
splendid and further along       arch bridge built by Thomas     park at The Hermitage.             then turn sharply right down   sections or ascents.                        From Bo’ness the route
you come to a bench and a        Telford at Dunkeld. Then,          Here, the main path leads       another track for 50m and          From Stirling train                 climbs steeply away from
gnarled oak tree tenaciously     where the River Braan           under the railway to Ossian’s      left on to a grassy track      station, turn right and first            the Forth to join the Union
clinging to the banks. This is   meets the Tay, follow the       Hall, a lovely spot at this time   signposted Inver Walk,         right to reach a small                  Canal. Follow the canal
Neil Gow’s Oak, or the Fiddle    banks of the Braan back         of year. Take the main track       which leads to a path          roundabout. Turn right                  west for Linlithgow and the
Tree, named after the            under the A9. Don’t cross       leading rightwards, then           downhill back to the start.    again to join the Sustrans              train station.

                                                                                                                                                                        31.10.09 THE HERALD MAGAZINE              41
                                             top 5 travel                                                                                    Capture the castle
                                                                                                         Snuggle up                          Whisk your prince away – without paying a king’s
                                                                                                                                             ransom – to Hôtel Le Château Fort in Sedan, a four-
                                                                                                         The quirky but homely décor,        hour drive from Calais. It forms part of the biggest
                                                                                                         welcoming hosts and award-          medieval castle in Europe and is an impressive sight.
                                                                                                         winning breakfasts are what            It’s the perfect place for a romantic adventure
                                                                                                         draw visitors to the 190-year-old   and, if you’ve got kids in tow, there are family
                                                                                                         Quay House in Clifden, Galway.      duplexes, too. While you’re there, take an audio tour
                                                                                                           Most rooms overlook the           of the fortress itself.
                                                                                                         harbour, and the town, with its        The castle makes a good base for exploring the
                                                                                                         pubs and restaurants, is a          Ardennes (, a beautiful, relatively
                                                                                                         10-minute stroll away. The Irish    undiscovered region of forests, rivers and rolling hills.
                                                                                                         weather might not be reliable –     ❤ Double rooms cost from around £66 (www.
                                                                                                         but this is the perfect place to SeaFrance does return Dover-
                                                                                                         hole up with a book and a cuppa.    Calais crossings for a car with up to five passengers
                                                                                                         ❤ Doubles cost from around          from £19 each way (
                                                                                                         £120, including breakfast (www.

                                                                                                          ll in l❤ve
                                                                                                                                                With these                                                           A taste of the exotic

                                                                                                        Fa                                      special places                                                       Step back in time with a visit to Fez in Morocco,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     one of the most impressive walled medieval cities

                                                                                                                                                that are not just
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     on the planet. Riad Louna in the medina is the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     perfect retreat: rooms are simply but stylishly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     furnished and there are soothing courtyards with

                                                                                                                                                for valentines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     fountains and a rooftop terrace.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Step outside and you’re in the souks, where you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     can haggle for bargains before enjoying a scrub,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     bath and massage at a traditional hammam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ❤ Doubles cost from around £80 per night,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     including breakfast (

                                                        Island retreat
Prices are exclusive of flights. Words: Emma O’Reilly

                                                        All accommodation is five star at the Elounda
                                                        Gulf Villas and Suites on the Greek island of
                                                        Crete, but for privacy, splash out on a villa
                                                        with an infinity pool overlooking the Med.
                                                          You can self cater or call in room service
                                                        but there are restaurants, a bar and a spa
                                                        for when you want to venture out. And Crete
                                                        has some great beaches and ruins to explore.
                                                        ❤ A suite for two costs from around £225
                                                        per night, including breakfast, while a
                                                        villa sleeping four costs from £540 (www.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Rural romance
                                                                                                                                                                                                Moorland View, an 18th-century cottage
                                                                                                                                                                                                in Dartmoor National Park, is the ultimate
                                                                                                                                                                                                love nest, with oak beams, a log fire and
                                                                                                                                                                                                a copper bath big enough for two. If you
                                                                                                                                                                                                don’t want to cook, you can stay in for a
                                                                                                                                                                                                pre-ordered meal or visit the village pub.
                                                                                                                                                                                                ❤ Moorland View has two bedrooms
                                                                                                                                                                                                and sleeps up to four. Three nights cost
                                                                                                                                                                                                from £700 (

                                             Bella 46                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bella 47

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