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Age-Old Byways

 

"While arriving is superb, so should the journey there be.."

 

Then again, England has more than 5,000 miles of coastline so why not see some of it from the deck of a luxury yacht. Make your way to the Isle of Wight where you’ll find the Royal Yacht Squadron, one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world. It’s strictly members only, but if you charter through a luxury company such as Princess Yacht Charter, you will be permitted to berth. Too tame? Then sign up for a two-day powerboat course at Royal Lymington Yacht Club and gain the skills and knowledge needed to drive a powerboat. The chic terrace at the Haven Bar and Restaurant, in the heart of Lymington’s Yacht Haven marina, is the only place to be on a sunny day: the views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight are fabulous.

And then there are our 2,000 miles of rivers and canals, including the mighty Thames. One of the best ways to experience the latter is to head up river to Cliveden, at Taplow, and take a dusk champagne cruise on one of the hotel’s beautifully restored launches. Or if you prefer a lake, stay at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House on Windermere, where you can drift across the water in a lovely old Victorian rowing boat. Book one of the six rooms in the Lake House, a former fishing lodge on a tree-fringed lake with its own spa, indoor swimming pool and hot tub, a mile from the main hotel. Or for complete privacy, rent the whole lodge.