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Belton House

By Anne Sebba The story of Edward and Mrs Simpson is now largely one of time spent abroad: during the war they lived in the Bahamas, where the Duke of Windsor was Governor General. Afterwards they were in self-imposed exile in Paris and New York. But it might have been otherwise, and several fine English country houses shed light on their often secret and tangled romance in the years before the Abdication. Bolthole: Beautiful Belton House where Edward and Mrs Simpson were guests Approaching Sandringham today, the Royal Family’s estate in Norfolk, it’s impossible not to recall the scene ...

Dracula in Translyvania

By Elinor Goodman When you go to Transylvania you could be in for a big surprise. I’d expected fairytale castles, beautiful churches, a way of rural life stuck in the last century – but not bears. Not in Europe. Yet here I was in a clearing in the forest, watching 11 wild brown bears eating the equivalent for them of Coco Pops – a highly pungent mixture of cherries, oats, chocolate and dead mice. We were in the relative safety of a hide halfway up a tree. But rather alarmingly, the door was kept open and you could hear ...

Valentine’s Day

By David Atkinson Stuck for something romantic to impress your loved one this Valentine’s Day? I was – until I discovered the patron saint of Welsh lovers, her folklore-rich domain in Anglesey and the wonderful appeal of an away-from-it-all, romantic break in North Wales. The country celebrated St Dwynwen’s Day on January 25th and there’s plenty to learn from the quirky Welsh equivalent to February 14th. The event in Wales is no commercial free-for-all; it taps into the poignancy and romance of the Celtic soul. Remembered: Two crosses stand near Twr Mawr lighthouse, close to St Dwynwen’s church Dwynwen ...

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