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Explore Britain’s outdoor treasures

Top picks for Darford, Birmingham and Glasgow

Escape the buzzing city and this time go for something a little bit different by exploring some of Britain’s national treasures. At the beginning of the year we uploaded a staycation article, which offered a variety of activities in Manchester, Cardiff and Leicester. This time we wanted to focus more on the natural beauty and history that surrounds some of our larger hotel destinations – Dartford, Glasgow and Birmingham.

Dartford

The Owletts is a stunning 17thcentury manor house that in the late 1800’s was owned by the great architect Herbert Baker. His architectural influences are scattered throughout the house, such as the opulent empire clock, encompassed in an intricate golden frame and the unique oval stained-glass windows that flood the room with a decadent ruby hue.
The house and gardens can be explored and family picnics are a common scene on the grounds, don’t worry if you forget your feast, the grounds have an independent self-serve café filled with tasty treats.

These 6 hectares of dark and enigmatic chalk caves were supposedly excavated by the druids, Romans and/or Saxons; no one is entirely sure which, or whether it was a combined effort, but what they do know is that in recent years, the caves have been used as the country’s largest air-raid shelter during WWII and an epic venue for concerts in the 1960’s and 70’s hosting iconic names such as: Jimmi Hendrix, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Cave explorations are guide-lead due to the scale of the caves and last up to 50-minutes.

Take the time to explore this mid 18thcentury childhood home of General James Wolfe, a well known British Army officer who is known for his victory over the French in the Battle of the plains of Abraham in Quebec.

The house offers the chance to turn back time and see what Georgian life was really like with replica beds, foods they would have eaten and the entertainment that they would have enjoyed. Finally, you can take this all in with a cup of tea and delicious homemade accompaniments from the coach house in the well-restored 18thcentury garden.

Glasgow

Take a step back to the past and glimpse into what it was like to live in early 20thcentury Glasgow with this stunningly preserved fully furnished house. Miss Agnes Toward, the former property owner, worked as a shorthand typist for a shipping company from 1914. Rather than marry, she cared for her mother and worked up until the age of 73. Miss Toward took great care of her possessions and kept possessions that most would have thrown away. These possessions are now the base of the historical collection, which make the house have such a “captured in time” feel.

Less than a mile away from the buzz of the restless Southside suburbs, this peaceful paradise is a sensation for the senses majestic sculptures, over 3,600 species of perfumed plants and water features that will fill you with tranquillity. Greenbank is perfect for those who desire the escape of the inner-city pace without leaving the urban life.

No, you’ve not misread the title. The pineapple is a mesmerising piece of architecture that was quite literally designed in the image of mid 17thcentury Scotland’s most exotic fruit that grew in the property’s greenhouse. Now the grounds are home to haven of wildlife and woodland, which is loved by visitors and highly recommended to explore.

Birmingham

Explore the city’s last surviving, carefully restored, 19th and mid-20thcentury courtyard that allows you to live a day in the life of yesteryear. The houses show how people of the time thrived with little money for creature comforts and household tasks that took heaps of elbow grease, this communal enclosure will definitely make you appreciate what you have today.

This breath-taking botanical wonder offers fascinating attractions to suit everyone from arid deserts and tropical rain-forest to a fabulous tearoom. The garden is highly rated on Tripadvisor and with its ever-changing effervescent display of seasonal flowers, its safe to say that you will find hours of entertainment with this botanical bounty.

This old brick farmhouse holds more secrets than the normal house and these secrets saved a king…
The story of Mosley Old Hall has been passed down through the ages; King Charles II was forced to flee the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and found himself hiding in the Old Hall from Oliver Cromwell’s fleet.Today Moseley Old Hall is open to the public, showcasing the priest hole that concealed the king, the stunning house interior and the fantastic grounds encompassing the house.

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