Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

Contributors

These are all the cool people who have had a hand in writing, photographing and editing the cool places site so far....

Bath & Somerset 

Sarah Baxter (@sarahbtravel) is the Associate Editor of Wanderlust travel magazine and an award-winning freelance travel writer and columnist. She writes for all sorts – from broadsheets to running mags – and even crops up on the radio from time to time, talking travel. She'll try (almost) anything, which to date has included snorkelling with killer whales, eating Cypriot sheep brain, summitting Kilimanjaro, racing against Nova Scotia's epic tides, learning to salsa (badly) in Barcelona and hiking with yeti in Bhutan.  Sarah was born in Norfolk, uni-ed in Sheffield, travelled round the world, lived in Australia then landed in south London – but now, very happily, is based in Bath. Being a relative newbie to this gorgeous Georgian tumble of a city, she is loving exploring and discovering all the cool places that hide behind the tourist gubbins (Bath Ales, wild-garlic woods, great guitar shops, cupcake classes...), and in the glorious countryside beyond.  Her blog seeks out the most fabulous locations across the world to be on a daily basis – apart from Bath, of course.

Thames Valley & the Chilterns 

Dan Linstead read English at Cambridge University, and worked as an advertising copywriter during the 1990s, before spending 18 months living and travelling in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, and seeing in the millennium from a Saigon rooftop. Back in London, he moved into magazine publishing, first as a writer and later as an editor focusing on travel features. In 2006 he joined Wanderlust as editor, and moved to Windsor, where the magazine is based. He has commissioned over 400 travel features, and written about sailing in Scotland, homestays in Borneo and bear-watching in Transylvania. He appears regularly on TV and radio as a travel industry commentator, and was a judge on the 2010 Dolman Travel Book of the Year awards. He is married with two young children.

Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight 

Journalist and editor, Amanda Tomlin, moved to Bournemouth eight years ago, having spent many a happy childhood holiday there. Co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, she also writes nightlife and restaurant listings for the region for several magazines.

Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

Matthew Hancock is a freelance writer and editor specialising in travel and education. He is co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, has written several other guidebooks and is a regular contributor to various travel publications.

Cornwall 

Having left travel magazine Wanderlust to live by the sea, Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring, and writing about, every nook of Cornwall. Author of our Cornwall guides to Newquay, Padstow, St Ives, Isles of Scilly, Fowey and Falmouth, she’s penned guidebook material for Rough Guides, Punk Publishing and Time Out, and had features published from the Guardian to the Good Cornwall Guide. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea she’s just as happy in a tent as in a luxury hotel – as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep www.seainsight.co.uk.

Devon 

During her childhood Caroline Sylger Jones and her family spent a month of every year in a little cottage by Batson Creek in the South Hams. The joys of mucking about by the sea stayed in her blood, and when she was a stressed out 30-something in London she moved to Devon permanently – at first to a little barn on Dartmoor, then to a 1930s house on the edge of Kingsbridge. She lives there now with her husband Tom, a keen surfer, and her toddler baby girl, and in between mucking about by the sea runs her own copywriting and editing business, writes heath and travel features for international media and manages her own website Queen of Retreats, an online resource of antidotes to our world. Caroline has contributed to guidebooks published by Alastair Sawdays, Rough Guides, Fodors and Octopus, and is the author of two travel books on healthy holidays, Body & Soul Escapes and Body & Soul Escapes: Britain & Ireland (Footprint Books).

Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds 

Liz Harper (@lizharper) works as Digital Editor at Footprint Travel Guides, writes freelance for a number of national publications and sits on the travel expert panel for National Geographic Traveller Family Magazine. Travelling extensively for work and pleasure, she'll always choose a little luxury over roughing it (only camping if solid floors and roll top baths are involved!). Liz is passionate about her hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and keen to promote all the amazing places and experiences on offer in the town.

Yorkshire & Cumbria 

Long-time Rough Guide writer Jules Brown (@JulesBrown4) was born in Ghana and has lived, variously, in Hong Kong, Sicily, Portugal and New Zealand — which obviously makes him perfectly suited to write and tweet about Yorkshire and Cumbria. To be fair, he's spent many years living in Huddersfield, Whitby and now Scarborough, and many more tramping dales, fells, valleys and national parks for the Rough Guide to England and the Rough Guide to the Lake District. If there's a mountain, he's been up it, and if there's a country pub he's been in it — one generally follows the other in his experience, though it's wise to get the order right.

Edinburgh & Glasgow

Jools Stone is a freelance journalist, marketer, travel blogger and general social media evangelist, writing for the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, the List and others. Originally from London, Jools has made Edinburgh his home for the past 10 years, where is never happier than when fossicking about in the city's many excellent charity shops and continental eateries. Follow his train travel adventures on Trains on the Brain.

Scotland

Travel writer, photographer and broadcaster, Robin McKelvie has been published in over 150 magazines and newspapers worldwide including Daily Mail, Guardian, IOS, Independent Mag, Sunday Herald, List, Scotsman, SOS, Daily Telegraph, Wanderlust, CNN Traveller, BA Highlife, TNT, Business Traveller, ABTA, Travel Weekly, CIT, Real Holidays, Scotland Magazine, Open Skies (Emirates), National Geographic Magazine. He writes a column for Easyjet, Highland Life and is the managing editor for Scottish travel website.

Wales

Alf Alderson is an award winning travel and adventure sports journalist based in St. David's, Pembrokeshire, where he has lived, worked and surfed for over 20 years. His work appears regularly in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines in the UK and abroad and he has written travel guides for a number of publishers including Rough Guides, John Wiley, Dorling Kindersley and Time Out.

Authors

Bath

Keith Drew grew up in a village just outside Bath, spending his Saturday afternoons enjoying the rugby at The Rec and his Saturday nights enjoying the pubs around Queen Street. He is co-author of the forthcoming Rough Guide to Bristol, Bath & Somerset.

All pictures by Keith Drew and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Bath Abbey © Bath Tourism Plus; American Museum/interior © American Museum in Britain; American Museum/exterior © Don Cload cited on Wikicommons; Aqua Bar Courtesy of Aqua Bar; Jamies Courtesy of Jamie’s Italian Bath; Royal Victoria Park © Bath Tourism Plus / Colin Hawkins; Railway Path © Steinsky cited on Wikicommons; Theatre Royal Bath/Main House Auditorium © Colin Hawkins; Theatre Royal Bath/ Ustinov © Robert Hollingworth; Theatre Royal/general exterior shot © Michael Maggs cited on Wikicommons; Topping & Co Courtesy of Topping & Co.; Bath Skyline Walk: Bath landscape © NTPL/Andrew Butler; Lacock: Village shot © NTPL/Rupert Truman; Abbey shot is © NTPL/Charlie Waite; Sassy & Boo: Interior © Sassy & Boo 2008; The Cotswolds: Both © Cotswolds & Forest of Dean Tourism, www.cotswolds.com; The Roman Baths: Interior shot © Bath Tourism Plus / Colin Hawkins; Westonbirt Arboretum: Both © Paul Groom; Demuths: Both © Mark Wood.

Birmingham

Intrepid traveller and self-confessed rock-music geek, Greg Simmons managed to combine the two passions with his first book Rock & Roll Hotels: Sex. Drugs. Fluffy Pillows  - a travel guide filled with tales about rock n roll decadence and duck-down duvets. Greg is currently working on his first novel, which he hopes to finally finish within the next decade.

Bournemouth & Poole

Journalist and editor, Amanda Tomlin, moved to Bournemouth eight years ago, having spent many a happy childhood holiday there. Co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, she also writes nightlife and restaurant listings for the region for several magazines.

Matthew Hancock is a freelance writer and editor specialising in travel and education. He too is co-author of Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, has written several other guidebooks and is a regular contributor to various travel publications.

All pictures by Amanda Tomlin and Matthew Hancock and copyright Cool Places except for the following:

Kindly provided by the establishments themselves: The Cumberland Hotel; Urban Beach; Lava and Ignite; The Lighthouse, Poole; Adventure Wonderland; Compton Acres; Flowers by Candlelight; Waterfront Museum Poole; Russell Cotes Museum; Snowtrax.

By Kenny Grant: Bournemouth Beach; Watersports; Bournemouth Gardens; Fishing Boats; Pier; Customs House; Bournemouth Balloon; Bournemouth Gardens Walk; Brownsea Island; Compton Acres; Poole Harbour Watersports; Poole Old Town & Quay; Russell Cotes Museum; Sandbanks Ferry; Sandbanks Peninsula; Hotel du Vin; Milsoms.

Brighton

Born in London, Emma Gregg has been based in Brighton for ten years. Her career as a travel writer regularly takes her to places as far-flung as the Congo Basin, the Namib Desert and the Great Barrier Reef, but there’s something about Brighton’s quirky sense of fun that keeps pulling her home.

All pictures by Emma Gregg and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Brighton Dome (Brighton Dome); Carluccio’s (Carluccio’s); Due South (Due South); Duke of York’s Cinema (Duke of York’s Cinema); Koba (Koba); Komedia (Komedia); Merkaba (MyHotel); Palm Court (Brighton Pier); Redroaster (Redroaster); Sam’s of Brighton (Sam’s of Brighton); Terraces Bar & Grill (Terraces Bar & Grill); The Chilli Pickle (The Chilli Pickle); Tru and Wild Fruit (Chris Jepson/Wild Fruit); Brighton Beach (Visit Brighton); Brighton Museum & Art Gallery( Visit Brighton); Brighton Pier (Visit Brighton); Brunswick Square & Hove Lawns (Visit Brighton); Cycling along the seafront( Visit Brighton); Hove Esplanade (Visit Brighton); Hove Lagoon (Hove Lagoon Watersports); Kemptown (Visit Brighton); Kings Road Bandstand (Visit Brighton); Last (Last); Montezuma’s (Montezuma’s); North Laine (Visit Brighton); Royal Pavilion (Royal Pavilion); Sea Life Centre (Sea Life Centre); The Artist Quarter (Visit Brighton); The Lanes (Visit Brighton); The Lower Esplanade (Visit Brighton); The South Downs (Visit Brighton); Undercliff Walk (Visit Brighton); Volks Electric Railway (Visit Brighton); Yellowave (Yellowave); Drakes (Drakes); Hotel du Vin (Hotel du Vin); Hotel Pelirocco (Hotel Pelirocco); Hotel Una (Hotel Una) MyHotel Brighton (MyHotel); Snooze (Snooze); The Claremont (The Claremont); The Grand (The Grand); The White House (The White House); Sam’s of Brighton; The Sussex Yeoman; The Dover Castle; The Terraces, Lagoon Watersports; Theatre Royal Brighton; Hotel du Vin; The Cavalaire; The Greys; Duke of York Cinema

Bristol

Laura Dixon was born in Brighton and spent 10 years in Kent before moving to Manchester. After living in London, Oxford, Bath and Reykjavik, she's settled on Bristol. She writes for an array of magazines, newspapers and websites and has no fixed accent.

Cambridge

James Stewart is a journalist and guidebook author who lived and studied in Cambridge for over ten years.

All pictures by James Stewart and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Wimpole Hall bust (NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel); Granchester Walk © Paddy Briggs cited on WikiCommons; Wimpole 1st and last pics from WikiCommons; Springfield House Courtesy of Springfield House; Great St Mary’s © Magnus Manske from Wikicommons; Oak Bistro Courtesy of Oak Bistro; Farmhouse Courtesy of the Farmhouse; Roman Museum Courtesy of the Roman Museum.

Camden Town

Amy Nina Sheldrake is born and bred Camden girl.  After realising she can't prop up London bars forever, she embarked on a career in publishing and ended up joining the Punk Publishing team.  Since then, she has enjoyed many years of camping and marketing until the Cool Places project began.  Amy has worked on the Cool Places project as a manager of 'pretty much everything' since the very beginning – from when it started as baby apps to the teenager website today and looks ever forward to its future.

Canterbury

A Man of Kent and regular visitor to Canterbury, John Fisher was one of the founders of the Rough Guide travel series. When not researching in Greece or Mexico he spends as much time as possible on the north Kent coast where he sails, kayaks and cycles back and forth along the Crab and Winkle Way. He is married with two sons.

All pictures by John Fisher and copyright Cool Places.

Cardiff

Norm Longley has been roaming Eastern Europe and the Balkans for the best part of fifteen years, writing and researching numerous Rough Guides (Slovenia, Montenegro, Hungary and Romania) – it’s the wild sounds of gypsy brass that continue to lure him back. Closer to home, which is actually Bath, his most recent travels have taken him to Wales, where he has been spending an absurd amount of time discovering the considerable charms of its rather fine capital city. When not writing, you may find him erecting marquees on the Rec in Bath.

City & Clerkenwell

Laura Porter writes an online travel guide to London for About.com (part of the New York Times Company) and is a Visit Britain Super Blogger too. She fits in further freelance writing while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival the Queen's.

All pictures by Laura Porter and copyright Cool Places except for the following:

Kindly provided by the establishments or their PR representatives: The London Mal, Fox & Anchor (interior images), Bistro du Vin, Zetter Townhouse, YHA St Pauls, The Modern Pantry, SACO Fleet Street, 196 Bishopsgate, Vanilla Black, Caravan (interior), Lord Mayor's Show, Dans Le Noir? (interior), Bank of England Museum, Threadneedles Hotel (exterior and guest room). Jerusalem Tavern (interior image) Anne Clements; Museum of the Order of St. John (all images) Nathan Willock; Meatballs (interior image) Coralie Grassin; Saint Bartholomew the Great (interior image) Ian Wylie.

Covent Garden

Samantha Cook is a freelance writer and editor based in London. She specialises in film and travel, and has written extensively about the USA, New Orleans, Paris and London, movies and popular culture. Her latest books include The Rough Guide to the Best Budget Accommodation in Britain and The Rough Guide to the Royals, and she is currently researching a guide to Kent. Born and bred in London, and having lived in the capital all her life, she was delighted to be able to write, with her partner Greg Ward, Cool Places guides to her four favourite London neighbourhoods – Soho, Covent Garden, Stoke Newington and Islington.

Greg Ward was born and lives in London. As well as writing the new Rough Guide to the Titanic, he’s the author of around twenty travel guides, including the Rough Guides to Las Vegas, Provence, Hawaii and Spain. He still loves exploring his home city, and with his wife Samantha Cook covers Soho, Covent Garden, Islington and Stoke Newington for Cool Places.

All images by Sam Cook & Greg Ward and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Covent Garden Hotel – all images ©Firmdale Hotels; St Martins Lane – all images  © Morgans Hotel Group.

Croyde and North Devon

James Stewart is a travel journalist, guidebook author and so-so surfer who has visited the Croyde area for over a decade.

All pictures by James Stewart and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Morte Point copyright NTPL/Joe Cornish; Chambercombe Manor: All images courtesy of Chambercombe Manor; Home House: Copyright Nigel Taylor of Home House; Saunton Sands: Courtesy of Saunton Sands; Victoria House: Courtesy of Victoria House

Derbyshire and the Peak District

Amanda Wragg was born in Sheffield but taken in a drawer to the Peak District in Derbyshire when she was hours old. She went to school in Bakewell but got a taste for a faster life and was drawn to the bright lights of Leeds, where she stayed much longer than she intended. Whilst ostensibly researching serious stories for Yorkshire Television she travelled the world looking for good things to eat. She's now a food and travel writer, mainly for the Yorkshire Post but for anyone else who'll pay her. She has a secret life as an inspector and writer for a couple of prestigious food guides, but if she told you she'd have to kill you. She's covered cafes, pubs and restaurants for the Sunday Times and Guardian and is Alastair Sawday's Northern correspondent. She lives on the windy Pennines above Hebden Bridge and spends too much time listening to 6Music and staring out of her 'office' window onto the moors, wondering what the weather's like in Derbyshire.

Durham

 

Lucy White grew up in Yorkshire and then went to Durham University, and despite now being based in London is most definitely still a Yorkshire girl at heart. She works as a travel editor and writer for Rough Guides travel books, specialising in France – and the slightly chillier but no less fun North of England.

All pictures by Lucy White and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Wild and Funk courtesy of Wild and Funk; Loveshack courtesy of Loveshack; Prince Bishops courtesy of North East of England BIC; Beamish Museum courtesy of Beamish Museum; Fowlers Yard interior courtesy of Fowlers Yard; Durham Light Infantry Museum courtesy of Durham Light Infantry Museum; Locomotion courtesy of Locomotion; Seaham Hall courtesy of Seaham Hall; Durham Marriot Royal County courtesy of Durham Marriot Royal County.

Edinburgh

A Glasgwegian by birth, Donald Reid has been based in Edinburgh for 25 years. He works as a writer and editor covering Scotland's food and drink scene, and has authored travel guide books to Scotland and South Africa.

All pictures by Donald Reid and copyright Cool Places except for the following: The Scotsman Hotel; The Kitchin; L’Escargot Bleu (Huma Hayer); Hotel Missoni; The Atrium/Blue; Bramble Bar; David Bann Vegetarian Restaurant; The Edinburgh Larder; Ondine; Restaurant Martin Wishart; The Shore/Walter Neilsen; Spoon Café Bistro; Traverse Theatre/Terry Leddy; Traverse Theatre/Alastair Wight; The Vintners Rooms; Book Festival, Comedy Festival, Festival Fringe, Hogmanay, Edinburgh Festival, Music Festival, Edinburgh Tattoo, Theatre Festival (all Festivals Edinburgh); Argyle Backpackers; The Bonham (The Town House Company); The Glasshouse (The Eton Collection); The Rutland Hotel; Sheraton; The Witchery Apts; Loch Fyne Restaurants; South Queensferry (Kitkatcrazy).

Falmouth

An avid outdoorsy type, Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring every nook and cranny of Cornwall. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea she’s just as happy in a tent as in a luxury hotel – just as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep.

All pictures by Hayley Spurway and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Miss Peapods copyright David Griffen; Steins Oyster Bar Oyster Bar copyright Hugh Hastings; Stein's Fish & Chips copyright Hugh Hastings; Oyster Festival copyright Dawn Runnals; Glendurgan Garden copyright NTPL/JohnMillar; Glendurgan maze copyright NTPL/JohnMillar; National Maritime Museum Flotilla, copyright Hannah Rose; National Maritime Museum panoramic copyright Bob Berry; Elemental watersports copyright Elemental UK; Orca sea safaris copyright Orca Sea Safaris; Kit Home copyright Kit Home; Greenbank Hoterl copyright Greenbank Hotel; Trebah Beach, Trebah Valley copyright Trebah Garden; Harbours Reach, Tides Reach copyright Harbours Reach; St Michael’s Hotel copyright St Michael’s Hotel & Spa; Tresanton Hotel copyright Tresanton Hotel

Fife

Nicola Holland is a writer andthe founder of FunkyEllas Travel, a Scottish based travel blog focusing on accommodation, attractions and events that are a little out of the ordinary, family focused and within budget. She loves nothing more than jumping in the car and taking off into the mountains, roaming the countryside, or heading into the city . Also a photographer, she loves a beautiful sunset, a stormy sky or a sunlit castle. Published online and in print and having lived in Scotland all her life she hopes to inspire and help others with their travels to Scotland.

Fowey

Fergus Day and Rachel Baron live and work (mostly) in Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor. When they aren’t writing about places they like to go or enjoying Devon life, they dabble in creating digital content for publishers, and doing psychology research. They have 4 children between them, all of them boys.

All pictures are by Fergus Day and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Daphne Du Maurier: Courtesy of Daphne Du Maurier Literary Centre; Eden Project 1:copyright Tamsyn Williams, Eden Project 2 copyright Ben Foster; Jo Downs Glass: Courtesy of Jo Downs; Saints Way & Encounter Cornwall: All images courtesy of Encounter Cornwall www.encountercornwall.com

Glasgow

Travel writer, photographer and broadcaster, Robin McKelvie has been published in over 150 magazines and newspapers worldwide including Daily Mail, Guardian, IOS, Independent Mag, Sunday Herald, List, Scotsman, SOS, Daily Telegraph, Wanderlust, CNN Traveller, BA Highlife, TNT, Business Traveller, ABTA, Travel Weekly, CIT, Real Holidays, Scotland Magazine, Open Skies (Emirates), National Geographic Magazine. He writes a column for Easyjet, Highland Life and is the managing editor for Scottish travel website www.insiderscotland.com.

All pictures are by Robin McKelvie and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Hotels- 15 Glasgow, Abode, Grasshoppers, Hoseasons, Hotel du Vin, Malmaison, Radisson Blu; Restaurants - Bar MC (courtesy Abode), Hotel du Vin, Malmaison, Chardon D'Or (courtesy See Glasgow tourist board); See & Do- Tenement House - National Trust for Scotland, Trike Tours, Botanic Gardens (See Glasgow), Celtic Connections (See Glasgow), Golf (See Glasgow), Cathedral (See Glasgow), Comedy Festival (See Glasgow), School of Art (See Glasgow), Hampden (See Glasgow), Sea Planes (See Glasgow), Taxi Tours (See Glasgow), The Hunterian Museum (©The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2012), The Tall Ship (TTS- The Tall Ship), West End Festival (See Glasgow), Willow Tea Rooms (See Glasgow). Glasgow guide main image copyright Robert Beacon.

Highgate & Crouch End

James Stewart is a journalist for newspapers and magazines such as the guardian, the independent, the telegraph and wanderlust, and also the author of several guidebooks for the likes of rough guides and dorling kindersley. He has lived in crouch end for over a decade and has spent over 20 years perfecting the holy trinity of a sunday in london - lunch in highgate, a walk on hampstead heath and a cuppa at kenwood house.

All pictures are by James Stewart and copyright Punk Publishing

Isle of Wight

Robert Trillo and Richard Trillo grew up in the New Forest, minutes from the Isle of Wight Ferry dock. Robert is an app developer and digital media consultant. Richard is a travel writer and editor specializing in Africa, family travel and all things green.

All pictures are by Robert C Trillo and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Bogeys (courtesy the proprietors; Brading Roman Villa (© Oglander Roman Trust); Grange Farm (courtesy the proprietors); Mottistone Manor Farmhouse – (courtesy the proprietors); The New Inn & The Boathouse, Seaview (© Liz Vinycomb Designs); The Elms B & B (courtesy the proprietors); The Really Green Holiday Company (courtesy the proprietors); Chessel Pottery Barns & Cafe (© Louise Collins); The Dairy Deli (courtesy the proprietors); Osborne House (courtesy of the English Heritage Photo Library www.englishheritageimages.com).

Isles of Scilly

An avid outdoorsy type, Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring every nook and cranny of Cornwall. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea, she’s just as happy in a tent as a luxury hotel – just as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep.

All pictures by Hayley Spurway and copyright Cool Places except for: Seal images (Tim Allsop); Island Wildlife Tours (Will Wagstaff); Bank Cottage & Moorings (Bank Cottage Guest House); Island Hotel (Island Hotel/Tresco Estate); St Helens (www.simplyscilly.co.uk).

Islington

Samantha Cook is a freelance writer and editor based in London. She specialises in film and travel, and has written extensively about the USA, New Orleans, Paris and London, movies and popular culture. Her latest books include The Rough Guide to the Best Budget Accommodation in Britain and The Rough Guide to the Royals, and she is currently researching a guide to Kent. Born and bred in London, and having lived in the capital all her life, she was delighted to be able to write, with her partner Greg Ward, Cool Places guides to her four favourite London neighbourhoods – Soho, Covent Garden, Stoke Newington and Islington.

Greg Ward was born and lives in London. As well as writing the new Rough Guide to the Titanic, he’s the author of around twenty travel guides, including the Rough Guides to Las Vegas, Provence, Hawaii and Spain. He still loves exploring his home city, and with his wife Samantha Cook covers Soho, Covent Garden, Islington and Stoke Newington for Cool Places.

All images by Sam Cook & Greg Ward and copyright Cool Places except for the following:  Arlington Avenue Guesthouse – all images © Arlington Avenue Guesthouse 69 Colebrooke Row – © 69 Colebrooke Row Little Angel Puppet Theatre – First image only, of show, © Little Angel Puppet Theatre.

Kensington & Chelsea

Helen Ochyra is a freelance travel writer and editor, specialising in the UK, the USA and Australia. Although originally from Wiltshire she has lived in London for many years and writes regular travel features for numerous national newspapers, magazines and websites. Helen is also an author and editor for Rough Guides.

All pictures by Helen Ochyra and copyright Cool Places except for: Tangerine Dream café courtesy of Charlie Hopkinson; The Saatchi Gallery exterior courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London © Matthew Booth, 2009, interior pics courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London © Stephen White, 2011; Chelsea Physic Garden courtesy of Charlie Hopkinson; Royal Albert Hall exterior pics courtesy of Marcus Ginns, interior courtesy of Chris Christodoulou.

Kent

Samantha Cook (http://samanthacookeditorwriter.weebly.com) is a freelance writer and editor specializing in travel, food, film and the arts. Born, bred and based in London, she has written extensively about both her home city and the various regions of Southeast England, which is by far her preferred weekend break destination. She’s never happier than when she’s rooting through the shops of Margate’s Old Town, braving the channel on the county’s splendid beaches, testing out Modern English restaurants and Old English taverns, or tramping along ancient woodland paths, and her work as a Kent expert for Cool Places allows her to share her enthusiasm for this corner of England that she has loved since childhood. Sam’s writing has been published in a number of British newspapers including the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and Metro, and magazines including Wanderlust, Geographical and British Airways’ inflight publication, Highlife. Her latest books, as author, include the Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex and SurreyRough Guide to the Best Budget Accommodation in BritainRough Guide to the RoyalsRough Guide to Vintage London, and Rough Guide to London.

Lake District

Jules Brown has been tramping around the Lake District ever since the days his mum gave him some holiday money to go youth hostelling – unfortunately, he spent it all on beer and slept in farmers’ fields. These days – as longtime author of the best-selling Rough Guide to the Lake District – he’s more of a boutique inn and gourmet meal kind of guy, but show him a mountain and an entirely unsuitable weather forecast and he’s your man. What could possibly go wrong?

All pictures by Jules Brown and copyright Cool Places except for the following:

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway/trains (Brian Sherwen, D. Briggs); Great Langdale Campsite (National Trust/Paul Harris); Zeffirelli’s/restaurant interior (Andrea Pickering Photography); Abbot Hall/exterior (Tony West); Abbot Hall/interiors (Tony West); Blackwell/interiors (Nick Wood); Dove Cottage/exterior (The Wordsworth Trust, Henry Iddon); Dove Cottage/museum (The Wordsworth Trust, Stuart Raynor); Honister Slate Mine/craftsman at Honister Slate Mine (Ben Barden); Honister Slate Mine/underground tours (Kristy Field); Steam Yacht Gondola (National Trust, Ian Fairweather); Whinlatter Forest Park (Forestry Commission); Wordsworth House/exterior (National Trust Picture Library); Wordsworth House/kitchen (Mike Cable); Wordsworth House/garden (Amanda Thackeray); Wordsworth House/garden Wordsworth House (Val Corbett); Wordsworth House/dining room (Nick Trustram Eve).

Other pictures kindly provided by the establishments themselves include: Ann Tyson’s; Britannia Inn; Crake Trees Manor; Dalegarth; Drunken Duck Inn; George & Dragon; Grasmere Independent Hostel; Howe Keld; Kirkstile Inn; Lakeside Hotel; Moss Grove Organic; Punch Bowl Inn; Randy Pike; Rooms at the Apple Pie; Six Castlegate; Stanley House; Waterhead; Woolpack Inn; Yewfield; YHA Ambleside; YHA Keswick; Fellini’s; Hawkshead Brewery; Jumble Room; Go Ape; Honister Slate Mine; Lakeland Arts Trust; L’Enclume; Mortal Man; Zeffirelli’s; Brewery Arts Centre; Muncaster Castle; Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway; Ullswater Steamers; Windermere Lake Cruises; World of Beatrix Potter.

Lancashire

Zoë Dawes, voted ‘Britain’s Best Travel Blogger’ in 2011, is a travel writer based in NW England. She loves going off the beaten track, discovering more about the culture, history, food and people of places in the UK and around the globe. Read more in her popular blog The Quirky Traveller  and follow her on Twitter @quirkytraveller and Face Book

Leeds

West Yorkshire boy Jules Brown – originally from Huddersfield – keeps a keen eye on the Leeds scene from his coastal home near Scarborough. Hand on heart, he likes everything about Leeds except its football team…which hasn’t ever, of course, won the First Division championship three times in a row, unlike, let’s see…

All pictures by Jules Brown and copyright Cool Places except for the following:

Malmaison/interiors (Malmaison Hotels & Brasseries); The Hepworth Wakefield (The Hepworth Wakefield /Iwan Baan); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Three Piece Reclining Figure by The Henry Moore Foundation/Jonty Wilde; Molecule Man by Jonty Wilde). Leeds City Council (www.leeds.gov.uk) kindly provided the following images: Tiled Hall Café/interior; Abbey House Museum; Armley Mills/exterior; Ice Cube; Kirkstall Abbey; Leeds Art Gallery; Leeds City Museum; Leeds Town Hall; Temple Newsam; The Carriageworks. Welcome to Yorkshire (www.yorkshire.com) kindly provided the following: general Leeds images; Brasserie Forty 4/riverside; Out of the Woods/aerial; International Film Festival; National Coal Mining Museum; Roundhay Park; Royal Armouries/interior; Vivienne Westwood. Other pictures kindly provided by the establishments themselves include: 42 The Calls; Cosmopolitan Hotel; Headingley Lodge; Radisson Blu; Cross Keys; Hifi; The Wardrobe; Harewood; Thackray Museum.

Lulworth & East Dorset

Journalist and editor, Amanda Tomlin is co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and writes nightlife and restaurant listings on the region for several magazines. Matthew Hancock is a freelance writer and editor specialising in travel and education. He is co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, has written several other guidebooks and is a regular contributor to various travel publications.

All pictures by Amanda Tomlin and Matthew Hancock and copyright Cool Places except for: Monkey World (Rodders&Ash MW09); Bovington Tank Museum; Morton House (Jean Dixon); Rex Cinema (Pubeck Film Festival); North Mill ; Rowena Cottage (Rural Retreats); Kimmeridge (Landmark Trust/Warwick Sweeney); Clavell Tower (Landmark Trust/John Miller).

New Forest

Journalist and editor, Amanda Tomlin, moved to Bournemouth eight years ago, having spent many a happy childhood holiday there. Co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, she also writes nightlife and restaurant listings for the region for several magazines. Matthew Hancock is a freelance writer and editor specialising in travel and education. He too is co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, has written several other guidebooks and is a regular contributor to various travel publications.

All pictures by Matthew Hancock and Amanda Tomlin and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Paultons Park; Roundhill campsite (image courtesy of forestholidays.co.uk); cycling couple (image courtesy of forestholidays.co.uk; Exbury Gardens; Furzey Gardens; New Forest Wildlife Park; Burley Youth Hostel (courtesyYHA); Master Builder Hotel; TerraVina; Whitely Ridge; Limewood House; New Park Manor (courtesy Von Essen Hotels).

Newquay

An avid outdoorsy type, Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring every nook and cranny of Cornwall. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea she’s just as happy in a tent as in a luxury hotel – just as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep.

All pictures by Hayley Spurway and copyright Cool Places except for the following: The Beach Hut copyright Bob Berry; Extreme Academy SUP copyright Geoff Tydeman; Wave ski Copyright MOD Crown; Watergate Bay Hotel Living Space copyright Bob Berry; Watergate Bay Hotel copyright Ben Rowe; Coasteering opyright Vertical Descents; Pure Shores copyright Pure Shores; Tolcarne Beach Shacks copyright Tolcarn Beachshacks; Dairyland copyright Dairyland; Zorbing copyrightExplore South West; Beach Retreats copyright Beach Retreats; Scarlet Hotel copyright Scarlet Hotel.

North Norfolk Coast

Phil Lee is an experienced travel writer of many years standing, who – rather to his surprise – has ended up living in Nottingham where he was born and raised. He is currently writing a guide to Norfolk and Suffolk.

All pictures by Vicky Leadbeater and copyright Cool Places.

Norwich

Phil Lee is an experienced travel writer of many years standing, who – rather to his surprise – has ended up living in Nottingham where he was born and raised. He went to university in Norwich and has been a regular visitor there ever since. He loves the city, has many friends there, and is currently writing a guide to Norfolk.

All pictures by Vicky Leadbeater and Chris Yeomans and copyright Cool Places except for the following, which were kindly provided by the establishments themselves: Coach and Horses, The Library, The Grove, Roger Hickman, Norwich Puppet Theatre.

Oxford

Kedi Simpson has been a writer – mainly working in magazine journalism – for 15 years. working at FHM as an ‘adventure babe’, Holiday Which? And New Woman magazine. Her trips have been curtailed since the arrival of her three children, but she continues to write features both on travel, pregnancy and birth She lives in a small village affectionately known as the Wet Snud (or Duns Tew, to give it its proper name), ten miles outside Oxford.

All pictures by Kedi Simpson, Andy Paull and Pauline Graham and copyright Cool Places, except for the following: Museum of Oxford; University of Oxford Museums; New Theatre; Holywell Music Room; Malmaison Castle; McDonald Randolph Hotel; Sandfield Guest House; Tilbury Lodge; Funky Hostels (Oxford Backpackers); Mogford Ltd (Old Bank / Gee's); Johnny Dunbar (Bridge Nightclub); Ponana; Edamame; Freud's; G&D's; Pieminister; Red Star Noodle Bar.

Padstow

Ismay Atkins is a freelance travel writer and editor living in the far west of Cornwall. When not reviewing a new Cornish restaurant, exploring the coastal footpath or searching for the perfect place to pitch her tent, she blogs about all things Cornish at www.pastiesandcream.com. She writes about food and drink in Cornwall for food magazine, Cornwall Today, Time Out and the Independent.

Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring every nook and cranny of Cornwall. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea she’s just as happy in a tent as in a luxury hotel – just as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep.

All pictures by Hayley Spurway and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Nathan Outlaw Fine Dining copyright David Griffen Photography; Number Six copyright Khalile Siddiqui; Seafood Restaurant Interior C Rebecca Bernstein; Stein’s Café Courtyard copyright Rebecca Bernstein; Stein’s Cafe Interior copyright Rebecca Bernstein; Stein’s Fish & Chips copyright Rebecca Bernstein; Padstow Seafood School copyright Rebecca Bernstein; Padstow Seafood School students copyright Rebecca Bernstein; Obby Oss copyright Ismay Atkins; St Moritz copyright Paul Kirkby; Cornish Arms copyright Cornish Arms; St Petrocs Umbrellas copyright St Petrocs; Padstow Seafood School Exterior copyright Padstow Seafood School; L’Estuaire copyright L’Estuaire; St Enodoc Hotel copyright Nathan Outlaw Fine Dining; Camel Ski School copyright Camel Ski School; Lobster Hatchery copyright The Lobster Hatchery; St Edmund’s copyright St Edmund’s; Padstow Rock Oyster Fest courtesy of Rock Oyster Festival; St Enodocs Church Photos by Tom Oates - source wikimedia; Start Point by Mark murphy - source wikimedia; Picture 1 on Polzeath Beach by wikipedia users Jamsta; Others on Polzeath Beach by Paul Smith - source wikimedia

Rye

Keith Didcock is a travel writer and photographer who has contributed to several of Punk Publishing’s Cool Camping titles. He lives in London.

All pictures by Keith Didcock and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve: All images supplied copyright by Barry Yates; Winchelsea Church: All images copyright Barry Yates; Rye Railway: Picture 1 copyright Ben Vincer, Picture 2 copyright Jim Linwood; Derek Jarman's Garden: Image by Rebecca, user Jasper33 on wikipedia; South West Coast: copyright Geof Sheppard CCSA

Salisbury & Stonehenge

Journalist and travel writer James Stewart was introduced to Wiltshire on a school trip to Stonehenge and Avebury in 1980. He returns several times a year to explore its gorgeous countryside and peerless pubs.

All pictures by James Stewart and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Avebury (NTPL/David Noton); Stonehenge (English Heritage); Old Wardour Castle (English Heritage); Longleat (Longleat): Playhouse (Salisbury Playhouse).

Soho

Samantha Cook is a freelance writer and editor based in London. She specialises in film and travel, and has written extensively about the USA, New Orleans, Paris and London, movies and popular culture. Her latest books include The Rough Guide to the Best Budget Accommodation in Britain and The Rough Guide to the Royals, and she is currently researching a guide to Kent. Born and bred in London, and having lived in the capital all her life, she was delighted to be able to write, with her partner Greg Ward, Cool Places guides to her four favourite London neighbourhoods – Soho, Covent Garden, Stoke Newington and Islington.

Greg Ward was born and lives in London. As well as writing the new Rough Guide to the Titanic, he’s the author of around twenty travel guides, including the Rough Guides to Las Vegas, Provence, Hawaii and Spain. He still loves exploring his home city, and with his wife Samantha Cook covers Soho, Covent Garden, Islington and Stoke Newington for Cool Places.

All images by Sam Cook & Greg Ward and copyright Cool Places except for the following: The Toucan courtesy of Mike Smith, Ricardo Scappini and Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan.

St David's

Alf Alderson is an award wining travel and adventure sports journalist based in St. David's, Pembrokeshire, where he has lived, worked and surfed for over 20 years. His work appears regularly in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines in the UK and abroad and he has written travel guides for a number of publishers including Rough Guides, John Wiley, Dorling Kindersley and Time Out.

All pictures by Alf Alderson and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Old Cross Inn, Porthllisky Cottages, The Shed – all courtesy of the establishments themselves.

St Ives

An avid outdoorsy type, Hayley Spurway has spent the last decade exploring every nook and cranny of Cornwall. When she’s not under the roof of her house by the sea she’s just as happy in a tent as in a luxury hotel – just as long as there’s good food, stunning landscapes and an adventure on the doorstep.

All pictures by Hayley Spurway and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Hepworth Garden Torso copyright Barbara Hepworth Museum, following shots Kenny Grant; Porthmeor beach first Kenny Grant; Porthmeor café 2 Kenny Grant; Tate Kenny Grant; Tate interior copyright Tate St Ives; Blue Hayes Hotel copyright Blue Hayes Hotel; Sail Lofts copyright Sail Lofts; The Nook copyright The Nook.

Stoke Newington

Samantha Cook is a freelance writer and editor based in London. She specialises in film and travel, and has written extensively about the USA, New Orleans, Paris and London, movies and popular culture. Her latest books include The Rough Guide to the Best Budget Accommodation in Britain and The Rough Guide to the Royals, and she is currently researching a guide to Kent. Born and bred in London, and having lived in the capital all her life, she was delighted to be able to write, with her partner Greg Ward, Cool Places guides to her four favourite London neighbourhoods – Soho, Covent Garden, Stoke Newington and Islington.

Greg Ward was born and lives in London. As well as writing the new Rough Guide to the Titanic, he’s the author of around twenty travel guides, including the Rough Guides to Las Vegas, Provence, Hawaii and Spain. He still loves exploring his home city, and with his wife Samantha Cook covers Soho, Covent Garden, Islington and Stoke Newington for Cool Places.

All images by Sam Cook & Greg Ward and copyright Cool Places except the following: Rose and Crown B&B – all images  © Rose and Crown

South Hams

Fergus Day and Rachel Baron live and work (mostly) in Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor. When they aren’t writing about places they like to go or enjoying Devon life, they dabble in creating digital content for publishers, and doing psychology research. They have 4 children between them, all of them boys.

All pictures are by Fergus Day and Rachel Baron and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Browns Bar- courtesy of the proprietors; Coast Bar: all images courtesy of Coast Bar; East Portlemouth Beach: copyright Chris Hart - source wikipedia; Saveurs Patiserrie – courtesy of the proprietors; Trish Thomas Jewellers – courtesy of the proprietors… Kaywana Hall – courtesy of the proprietors; Great Grubb B&B – courtesy of the proprietors; Resnova Floating Inn – courtesy of the proprietors; Salcombe National Maritime Museum: All images courtesy of the Salcombe National Maritime Museum; Lannacombe Beach: copyright Nigel Rossiter - source wikipedia; Start Point: copyright Mark Murphy - source wikipedia;East Portlemouth Beach copyright Chris Hart - source wikipedia; Thurlstone Beach copyright Crispin Purdye - source wikipedia; The Flavel: All images Courtesy of the Flavel Arts Centre; The Reel Cinema: Copyright Paul Goodliffe 2008; Dartmouth Castle: All images courtesy of the English Heritage Photo Library www.englishheritageimages.com

Sussex

Freelance writer and editor Claire Saunders grew up in Brighton, and spent 10 years in London before moving back to Sussex. She lives in Lewes with her husband and two children, and is co-author of the Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex and Surrey. All pictures in the Sussex guide are by Claire and copyright Cool Places except for the following:

Belle Tout © Rob Wassell; Pallant House Gallery © Peter Durant / arcblue.comSwan House © Swan House/ fotoseeker; Bodiam Castle - First image: ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus; Second image: ©National Trust Images/John Millar; Monk’s House ©National Trust Images/Eric Crichton; Petworth images (left to right): ©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra, ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel, ©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra, ©National Trust Images/Bill Batten; Standen images (left to right): ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie, ©National Trust Images/John Miller, ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel, ©National Trust Images/Michael Caldwell, Battle Abbey ©English Heritage, Cowdray Ruins ©Cowdray Heritage Trust.

Images of the following places were supplied by the establishments thenmselves: The Bull in Ditchling; Cowdray Farm Shop and Café; Park House Hotel; The Bell; Crab and Lobster; Wingrove House; Arundel Castle; Curlew Restaurant; Emma Mason British Prints; Towner Gallery; Fly Sussex (first two images only); Ockenden Manor; Griffin Inn; Great Dixter; GingerFox; Hungry Guest; The Sussex Produce Co; Royal Oak, East Lavant; Bolney Wine Estate; Horse Guards Inn, Tillington; So Sussex; Samphire, East Wittering; Zanzibar Hotel, Hastings; Regency Gusthouse, Littlehampton; Climbing Wild, Ditchling; Pells pool, Lewes; Bensfield Treehouse; Osteria Pappardelle Arundel; Corner House B&B, Lewes.


West Dorset

Journalist and editor, Amanda Tomlin moved from London to Bournemouth ten years ago, and now spends her weekends exploring the Dorset countryside or on the beach. Co-author of the Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, she also writes nightlife and restaurant listings for the region for several magazines.

Matthew Hancock is a freelance writer and editor specialising in travel and education. He too is co-author of Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, has written several other guidebooks and is a regular contributor to various travel publications.

All pictures by Amanda Tomlin & Matthew Hancock and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Hix Oyster and Fish Restaurant, Lyme Regis copyright Jason Lowe; Town Mill Bakery, Lyme Regis copyright Henley Bailey from Lime Leaf Media; Lyme Regis Museum copyright Peter Wiles.

Whitby

Jules Brown lived in Whitby for over 10 years, and currently lives elsewhere on the North Yorkshire coast. He's a longstanding Rough Guide author, with many book credits to his name. But he's beginning to think he's left it too late to play for Huddersfield Town. All pictures by Jules Brown and copyright Punk Publishing.

All pictures by Jules Brown and copyright Cool Places.

Whitstable

A part-time Whitstable resident, John Fisher is one of the founders of the Rough Guide travel series. When not researching in Greece or Mexico he spends as much time as possible on the Kent coast, where he sails, kayaks and rarely eats the oysters. He is married with two sons.

All pictures by John Fisher and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Polly's Attic & The Captain's House: All images copyright Kevin Ralph www.imagesbyralph.com.

Winchester

Executive Editor at Rough Guides, Keith Drew lives in Winchester, and has written about the city and its surrounding attractions for a variety of guidebooks, magazines and travel websites.

All pictures by Keith Drew and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Marwell: both © 2007 Marwell Wildlife; Black Rat Courtesy of the Black Rat; The Old Vine Courtesy of the Old Vine; Farmer’s Market Courtesy of the Hampshire Farmers Market.

Windsor

Dan Linstead read English at Cambridge University, and worked as an advertising copywriter during the 1990s, before spending 18 months living and travelling in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, and seeing in the millennium from a Saigon rooftop. Back in London, he moved into magazine publishing, first as a writer and later as an editor focusing on travel features. In 2006 he joined Wanderlust as editor, and moved to Windsor, where the magazine is based. He has commissioned over 400 travel features, and written about sailing in Scotland, homestays in Borneo and bear-watching in Transylvania. He appears regularly on TV and radio as a travel industry commentator, and was a judge on the 2010 Dolman Travel Book of the Year awards. He is married with two young children.

All pictures by Dan Linstead and copyright Cool Places except for the following: Scotch Bar; Cliveden (Von Essen Hotels); Boathouse 19 (Paolo Delafrutini); Windsor Races (Arena Leisure PLC); Stables Spa (Akkeron Hotels).

York

Lucy White grew up in Yorkshire and then went to Durham University, and despite now being based in London is most definitely still a Yorkshire girl at heart. She works as a travel editor and writer for Rough Guides travel books, specialising in France – and the slightly chillier but no less fun North of England.

All photographs are by Lucy White and copyright Cool Places except for the following, which were provided by www.visityork.org: Ghost Walks, Shambles, York Races, Treasurers House, Coppergate.

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