Where Life Becomes Art: Five Gallery-Worthy UK Destinations


“Want to walk in nature’s art gallery? We’ve explored Constable Country, watched sunset in the Yorkshire Dales and gazed upon a bucolic rendering of a Game of Thrones film location to bring you the UK destinations that are works of art both on and off the canvas.”


Artists are a magical sort of people: they see things the rest of us cannot; they have an uncanny ability to make the ordinary arcane; and they turn what seems hieroglyphic into such beautiful simplicity. Few wield such powers, but you’ll find five of the wizarding sort below who have managed to skilfully capture the British landscape’s sundry personalities, immortalising them in art form. (CREDIT: George Callaghan)

The oldest artist in this collection has long since left us; the rest are still drawing inspiration from their surroundings today. Regardless of dates and eras, what you’ll soon notice is that the locations’ depictions are the very carbon copy of those sites. And walking through those places is like stepping into the frame. (CREDIT: Simon Palmer)

En route, you’ll encounter beaches that hosted medieval battles, harbours that brought the Game of Thrones to life, streams long since etched onto our artistic consciousness and towns that the Brontës called home. (CREDIT: The National Trust)

One of the main drags about hallowed sites is that the surrounding area often falls prey to change, development or deprivation. But this is not the case with any of the five you’ll see here. Revered for their natural beauty, these landscapes and their environs have been protected and preserved to an admirable degree, so much so that the difference between even the oldest painting and modern photograph is nearly indiscernible. (CREDIT: Helen Lush)


To read on, visit the SUITCASE website.


SUITCASE

Hotlist – January 2021

For more, visit: www.suitcasemag.com


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Being There: In Bella Buenos Aires


“I suppose the closest equivalent would be ‘slow travel’, but I took it one step further, opting for the more drastic term, ‘migration travel’ for the long stay I planned”


Idler 75

November/December 2020

For more, visit: www.idler.co.uk


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To The Lighthouse: why lighthouse hotel stays are the perfect post-Covid staycations


Beacons of hope across the UK and Ireland’s most breathtaking coastlines

Harper’s Bazaar

Always wanted to stay in a lighthouse?

There’s a certain fortitude in lighthouses. Their stark staying power against the fiercest elements makes them destinations that are at once welcoming and inaccessible. Unlike other structures that rise and fall with a change in the wind, lighthouses hold a quiet dignity, standing fast amid the surrounding chaos. With their remote locations, serene surroundings and promise of glorious views, they make the perfect post-Covid destinations.

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite lighthouse hotel stays…

Want to know more about lighthouse hotel stays?

The best lighthouse hotel stays across the UK and Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co. Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Clare Island was the home of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and according to her biographer, the “most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland”.

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow, Republic of Ireland

Wicklow Head (from the Viking word ‘Wykylo’, meaning ‘Viking’s Loch’) was one of two lighthouses built on the headland in 1781 to prevent sailors’ confusion with neighbouring beacons. Before electric light and the automation of lighthouses, its octagonal tower was lit with 20 tallow candles reflected against an enormous, silvered mirror.

Scotland

Rua Reidh, Gairloch, Scotland

The great Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson hailed from a family of lighthouse engineers. The ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’ (as the dynasty came to be known) spent 15o years changing the shape of the Scottish coastline, leaving behind them a fleet of architectural and engineering magnificence. Robert’s father and uncle designed Muckle Flugga on Unst, whose theatrical remoteness inspired the Treasure Island map. And it was Robert’s cousin, David Alan Stephenson, who built Rua Reidh in 1912.

Eilean Sionnach, Isleornsay, Scotland

The idea of being marooned on some remote island fills most people with dread; but retreating into tranquillity at Eilean Sionnach is an experience worth relishing.

Wales

West Usk Lighthouse, Newport, Wales

Rumour has it, it was from this very lighthouse that the first glimpse of WWII action was caught in Britain while West Usk was being used as a look-out post.

Llandudno Lighthouse, Llandudno, Wales

The Llandudno Lighthouse was erected within the grounds of the Great Orme Country Park by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 1862. The original wood-panelled hallway that still exists was built to give the keepers’ families some space and privacy from one another; now, it provides the same for its guests, as a charming Victorian-style hotel.

England

Belle Tout, Sussex

After almost two centuries of petitioning for a lighthouse along this particularly perilous stretch of coastline, Belle Tout was constructed in 1832. By 1902, however, it had been decommissioned, and a new lighthouse was built at the base of the cliffs. Between 1902 and 2008, the lighthouse passed into different ownerships, used as target shelling practice during WWII by Canadian troops, and moved back 17 metres due to the impending threat of erosion.

Whitby Lighthouse, Yorkshire

It was from Whitby’s harbour that Captain Cook embarked upon his voyage of discovery to Australia aboard HMS Endeavour in 1768. Ninety years later, the architect behind the West Usk Lighthouse also designed Whitby’s white octagonal tower.


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The Great Outdoors: An Artist’s Impression


Courtesy of the Historic Environment Scotland Archive (HES).

Tour Scotland in the footsteps of one of Britain’s most celebrated artists, JMW Turner.

Some Good Ideas

Explore the unbridled beauty of the Scottish landscape through the masterpieces of JMW Turner, as we retrace the sites from his many tours across the spectacular country.

JMW Turner is one of Britain’s most celebrated artists and an icon of nineteenth-century Romanticism. Taking inspiration from the natural world to capture the sublime, the picturesque, and the pastoral, Turner sought out sites of untamed wilderness where natural drama converged with awe-inspiring topography. For such an undertaking, Scotland was his perfect muse, and he Scotland’s most-suited illustrator: Turner’s characteristic loose, swirling brushwork and his atmospheric use of light and colour captured perfectly Nature’s ungovernable hold over the Scottish landscape.

Turner visited Scotland six times between 1797 and 1834. And you are invited to ramble down these very same paths of discovery, along which you’ll pass ruined abbeys, possessed waters, beguiling caves, and man-made wonders. Some sites you can venture into; others you must appreciate from Turner’s distanced viewpoint. Wherever you go, you’ll be drawn into a new imagining of Scotland: an artist’s impression.


Want to know more about Turner’s tours of Scotland?


Here’s a list of the locations included:


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To The Lighthouse: why lighthouse hotel stays are the perfect post-Covid staycations


Lighthouse hotel stays
Courtesy of Clare Island Lighthouse

Beacons of hope across the UK and Ireland’s most breathtaking coastlines

Town & Country Magazine

Always wanted to stay in a lighthouse?

There’s a certain fortitude in lighthouses. Their stark staying power against the fiercest elements makes them destinations that are at once welcoming and inaccessible. Unlike other structures that rise and fall with a change in the wind, lighthouses hold a quiet dignity, standing fast amid the surrounding chaos. With their remote locations, serene surroundings and promise of glorious views, they make the perfect post-Covid destinations.

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite lighthouse hotel stays…


Want to know more about lighthouse hotel stays?


The best lighthouse hotel stays across the UK and Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co. Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Clare Island was the home of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and according to her biographer, the “most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland”.

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow, Republic of Ireland

Wicklow Head (from the Viking word ‘Wykylo’, meaning ‘Viking’s Loch’) was one of two lighthouses built on the headland in 1781 to prevent sailors’ confusion with neighbouring beacons. Before electric light and the automation of lighthouses, its octagonal tower was lit with 20 tallow candles reflected against an enormous, silvered mirror.

Scotland

Rua Reidh, Gairloch, Scotland

The great Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson hailed from a family of lighthouse engineers. The ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’ (as the dynasty came to be known) spent 15o years changing the shape of the Scottish coastline, leaving behind them a fleet of architectural and engineering magnificence. Robert’s father and uncle designed Muckle Flugga on Unst, whose theatrical remoteness inspired the Treasure Island map. And it was Robert’s cousin, David Alan Stephenson, who built Rua Reidh in 1912.

Eilean Sionnach, Isleornsay, Scotland

The idea of being marooned on some remote island fills most people with dread; but retreating into tranquillity at Eilean Sionnach is an experience worth relishing.

Wales

West Usk Lighthouse, Newport, Wales

Rumour has it, it was from this very lighthouse that the first glimpse of WWII action was caught in Britain while West Usk was being used as a look-out post.

Llandudno Lighthouse, Llandudno, Wales

The Llandudno Lighthouse was erected within the grounds of the Great Orme Country Park by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 1862. The original wood-panelled hallway that still exists was built to give the keepers’ families some space and privacy from one another; now, it provides the same for its guests, as a charming Victorian-style hotel.

England

Belle Tout, Sussex

After almost two centuries of petitioning for a lighthouse along this particularly perilous stretch of coastline, Belle Tout was constructed in 1832. By 1902, however, it had been decommissioned, and a new lighthouse was built at the base of the cliffs. Between 1902 and 2008, the lighthouse passed into different ownerships, used as target shelling practice during WWII by Canadian troops, and moved back 17 metres due to the impending threat of erosion.

Whitby Lighthouse, Yorkshire

It was from Whitby’s harbour that Captain Cook embarked upon his voyage of discovery to Australia aboard HMS Endeavour in 1768. Ninety years later, the architect behind the West Usk Lighthouse also designed Whitby’s white octagonal tower.


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Abandoned Dwellings: The Shadows of Beirut’s Splendour

Words by Imogen Bole

Photos by Gregory Buchakjian


Lebanese photographer Gregory Buchakjian spent nearly a decade locating, documenting and photographing abandoned buildings across Beirut. Now he is surrounded by the rubble of those devastated buildings following the explosion that shook the entire city.

SUITCASE Magazine
Courtesy of Gregory Buchakjian

The Beirut Explosion

For much of the 20th century, Beirut flaunted an exotic and hedonistic glamour that drew travellers from the world over. It was a city that conjured notions of opulence, cosmopolitanism, architectural splendour and continental style. So alluring was Beirut that it became affectionately referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East”.

In more recent times the capital has become scarred by decades of civil strife, and the push to rebuild and recover from that destruction has been 30 years in the making. That was until 4 August, when a single, catastrophic explosion left causalities not only in the form of human life, but in the shells of Beirut’s treasured buildings, structures and dwellings.

An Introduction to Gregory Buchakjian’s Abandoned Dwellings

Abandoned Dwellings: Display of Systems is a collection of photographs that Lebanese photographer, Gregory Buchakjian shot between 2009 and 2016 as part of a seven-year research project. Through inhabiting and capturing each location, he was able to retell the story of each place and its inhabitants: some had been expelled by wars and conflicts, while others had simply drifted on.

Stumbling upon lost and forgotten objects, such fragments of a Palestinian driver’s license, a British Railcard or even a handwritten diary from 1979 with a manual on the art of regular and guerrilla warfare tucked inside it, it became clear that, though these buildings seem tired and dispirited, they were once full of life and, as such, became a portal to a forgotten and vivacious past.

Beirut Today

Today, Gregory finds himself surrounded by abandoned, dilapidated and devastated buildings. The effect of the gradual decay of time, as captured in his photos, has been affected on the city’s structures in a matter of seconds. Not only have many of the places Gregory photographed been destroyed, but the neglected dwellings featured in his collection now seem more structurally sound than the lifeless buildings faltering in today’s Beirut.

The old cliché of a picture telling a thousand words is a notion rendered redundant in light of an explosion that has left both citizens and onlookers speechless. Gregory’s photos showcase a version of Beirut that has now been wiped out. The process of restoring Lebanon’s capital to its former glory will be a battle hard fought and won.


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A journey across Scotland’s mythological landscape

To visit Scotland is to travel back into a world of myths and legends; to explore ruined castles, beguiling caves and unearthly creatures; to discover folklores that define a place and a people. Here are just a few of the fascinating sites worth visiting for a taste of adventure…

Town & Country
Courtesy of Loch Ness Lodge & Spa

To visit Scotland is to travel back into a world of myths and legends; to explore ruined castles, beguiling caves and unearthly creatures; to discover folklores that define a place and a people. Here are just a few of the

Scotland’s Mythological Sites

  • The ‘Fortress of Shadows’: Dunscaith Castle, Isle of Skye
  • The Kelpie’s Passage: Corryvreckan Whirlpool, Outer Hebrides
  • The Loch Ness Monster’s Lair
  • The Shetland Selkie, Shetland Islands
  • Fingal’s Cave: Isle of Staffa, Inner Hebrides

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Sleep Retreats and Circadian Travel: The Reset Buttons You Should Press After Lockdown

As travel restrictions ease, we’re waving goodbye to lockdown insomnia and embracing sleep retreats for a well-earned dose of circadian recalibration.

SUITCASE Magazine
My own photo

Introduction

After months of lockdown, we’re finding that camomile tea, lavender oil and curling up with a good book just aren’t cutting it when it comes to winding down.

According to a study by King’s College London, half the population has struggled with getting to sleep during the COVID crisis. What’s more, two in five of the 2,300 participants reported that they’re sleeping for fewer hours a night on average. It’s small wonder that the hashtag #cantsleep has been trending on Twitter since the start of lockdown.

If you’re reading this and wondering what you can do to snatch back those precious hours of slumber, a circadian reboot may be in order.

What does circadian travel involve?

Circadian travel involves attending sleep-focused retreats, where sleep specialists have devised a tailored programme around resetting your circadian rhythms.

The approach each centre takes varies in both style and intensity with some adopting holistic methods; some take science-based approaches while others incorporate tailored medical plans and advice. These techniques may include analysing your sleeping habits, oxygen therapy, full-body MOTs, homoeopathic remedies, timed meals and exercise, Ayurvedic massages, mood-boosting music and sounds, as well as light-exposure therapy. You don’t have to be a chronic insomniac to go to one, but if you are, this might just be the thing for you.

Below, you’ll find a selection of hotels that offer specialised sleep retreats, each offering a different approach. You may be after new lifestyle changes, a few days’ escapism, or a detailed plan to help you work through your disturbed lockdown sleep. Wherever you go, rest and relaxation are guaranteed.

Sleep Retreats Recommended

Hotel Café Royal

Soho, London

West Usk Lighthouse

Newport, Wales

Lisnavagh House

Carlow, Ireland

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa

Bath, United Kingdom

The Sleep Mastery Programme by The Sleep Guru

Italy

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Lanserhof Tegernsee

Bavaria, Germany

Equinox Hotel

New York, US

Six Senses Thimphu

Thimphu, Bhutan

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The Forgotten Cave of St. George: Jounieh’s Hidden Gem

It is said that the Bay of Saint George in Beirut is so named for playing host to the legendary battle of Saint George and the dragon. But not too far from this site stands a cave in the Bay of Jounieh that tells a similar story.

Lebanon Traveler
Courtesy of Peter Ghanime

This story actually begins thousands of years ago on the banks of the Ibrahim River, dividing the kazas of Byblos and Kesserwan. Much like the meanders of the Ibrahim, Kesserwan’s associations with Phoenician Mythology permeate the surrounding landscape; one name emerging eponymous with the region – Adonis.

This story actually begins thousands of years ago on the banks of the Ibrahim River, dividing the kazas of Byblos and Kesserwan. Much like the meanders of the Ibrahim, Kesserwan’s associations with Phoenician Mythology permeate the surrounding landscape; one name emerging eponymous with the region – Adonis.

According to legend, the Canaanite god of vegetation, beauty and desire is said to have been killed on the riverbank by a boar sent by Ares (in some versions, Ares himself is the boar in disguise). Adonis’s blood streamed into the river, staining it a violent shade of crimson: the color of which the river has turned every spring since.

So great was the spiritual significance of the Ibrahim River that the entire region of Keserwan was ordained with a sacred significance, giving rise to the erection of shrines and temples in Adonis’s honor. And to this day, locals go to the ruined temple at the river’s source and hang the clothes of the sick in the hope of yielding cures.

But while the story of the Ibrahim River has not faded from the country’s collective memory, there is another site divined from the same wellsprings of mythological significance, a site that is now largely forgotten. Sequestered in the Bay of Jounieh and eclipsed by the surrounding military beach lies the cave of Saint George, also known as Mar Geryes Al Bati in Arabic.

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English Myths and Magic: Five Destinations that Make Your Imagination Run Wild

Hankering after an escape from the everyday humdrum, we’re journeying to crumbling castles, underwater cities and haunted islands guaranteed to whisk every wild imagination beyond the worldly map.

SUITCASE Magazine
My own photo

Hankering after an escape from the everyday humdrum, we’re journeying to crumbling castles, underwater cities and haunted islands guaranteed to whisk every wild imagination beyond the worldly map.

Pilgrimaging to sites steeped in mythological promise is far from your run-of-the-mill journey. As myths and legends become entwined with the identity of the landscape, each evolving with every retelling, the destination in question is elevated above the ordinary. Hankering after an escape from the everyday humdrum, we are journeying to places that take our wild imaginations beyond the worldly map.

You may think this particular genre of discovery has left no stone unturned, but the tapestry of England’s cultural heritage is so intricately embroidered that some threads weave through unnoticed. We’re spotlighting the familiar figures, local legends and little-known folktales that reveal the lost, the famous and the forgotten versions of England.

England’s Best Mythological Sites

1. Robin Hood’s Hideaway

Lud’s Cave, Peak District

2. The Site of King Arthur’s Magical Conception

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

3. The Lambton Worm

Penshaw Hill, County Durham

4. St Herbert’s Haunted Island

Islands of Derwent Water, Cumbria

5. Yorkshire’s Atlantis

Lake Semerwater, Yorkshire Dales


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