LORDS OF THE MANOR
Originally the rectory of an famous country parson, the manor house is now a gracious inn. Richard Young and his wife Linda personally supervise the attentive service and excellent cuisine. Hot air ballooning is a favorite activity, and we explore the Cotswolds by air. This is also horse country, and we get up early to watch thoroughbreds being exercised at a nearby training ground.
THE LYGON ARMS
Ever since Elizabeth I first stayed here in 1546, the Lygon Arms has been a favorite destination. Their guest book's a "Who's Who" of English history. The rooms, brimming with antiques, and the cuisine, served in an ancient Hunting Hall, are world class. Manager Kirk Ritchie takes us to a local art gallery with museum-quality paintings, and we enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the countryside.
Started in the early 1800's, the turreted fortress was probably the last fortified castle ever built. It is an ostentatious throwback to the middle ages, with a huge banqueting room, Grand Hall, and armory. Owner James Hervey-Bathurst collects steam-driven vehicles, and his wife refurbishes antiques. Together, they run the 5000 acre deer preserve which surrounds the castle. A special activity offered here is taking Range Rovers out for off-road test drives on the estate. It's a thrilling way to see the countryside.
A tunnel under the English Channel: a centuries-old dream is now reality. We take a ride on the new train that gets you from the center of Paris to the center of London as fast as by plane.
William Shakespeare's Stratford
We've found the best ways to tour the city of the Bard's birth- by double-decker bus and by boat. Although a major tourist attraction, the old market town on the Avon has kept its Elizabethan charm.
Worcester's Royal Porcelain
We visit the factory where they've been making some of the world's finest porcelain and bone china for nearly 250 years. The process has changed very little in that time- it's still made mostly by hand. We visit their museum and the seconds shop, where you get tremendous discounts on pieces that seem perfect to the ordinary eye.