Along with very many others in the UK and around the globe, I will be glued to the TV on April 29th to catch every minute of William & Kate’s nuptials. However, being aware that for some people, this event is one big yawn, a waste of tax payers’ money, a monarchistic anachronism (insert objection to suit) here are four of my favourite places where, with a bit of effort, you could escape the celebrations.
Chesil Beach, Dorset
Recently made famous by Iain McEwan in his book ‘On Chesil Beach’ this undulating piece of coastline is a joy to wander along and get some fresh sea air from the English Channel. Chesil Beach is one of the finest barrier beaches in the world, protecting a huge lagoon called the Fleet, home to vast flocks of water birds that swoop and drift overhead. It’s over 17 miles long and curiously the pebbles increase in size as it goes eastwards. Strolling along here you can forget all about wedding bells and listen for the curlew & skylark instead …
Grassington, Yorkshire Dales
This pretty Yorkshire village in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a great centre from which to explore the glorious countryside around. There are lots of unusual little shops, quaint cafes and an excellent visitor centre to find out more about the area. The sound of rushing water takes you on a short stroll from the village to the River Wharfe which tumbles over large rocks, through fields of sheep and dainty wild flowers. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail you will be far from that madding wedding crowd …
Buxton, Derbyshire Peak District
Buxton, known at ‘The Gateway to the Peak District, has a faded charm that reflects its illustrious past. If your idea of escape is to do a little walking, shopping and watching the world go by, this could be just right. Once a famous spa town frequented by royalty and gentry from all over England, you can still drink the warm waters from a geo-thermal spring at St Ann’s Well – just bring your own bottle. Sitting in the Pavilion Gardens, on the famous Slopes or at one of the many little tea shops, you could be a million miles away from all the wedding razzmatazz …
Moss Eccles Tarn, The Lake District
My last choice is in the gorgeous Lake District. I’ve chosen Moss Eccles Tarn as an example of how easy it is to escape the crowds without having to go too far off the beaten track. This perfect little lake is only about 20 minutes’ easy walk from one of the most visited places in the area; and that’s all I’m going to tell you. It’s easy enough to find if you want to and from here you can get all the tranquillity and escapism anyone could wish for …
Here are some other quirky ideas for escape via Visit Britain Twitter fans:
@AboutLondon The Scottish Highlands deserve a mention. Especially The Isle of Skye
@goodlivingguide Do some of the Bristol tours in and discover an inspiring side to city dwelling
@NomadKeith Places St. Kilda springs immediately to mind!
@GoUKcom Got to be somewhere remote sans communication, or somewhere where there is a blanket ban on the Royal Wedding
@froufrou We are sailing to the Isle of Wight – without tv or radio of course ; )
@TruTourism Bushcraft weekend in Wales & build your own shelter to sleep in overnight. Did it last year. Superb escape.
@eurapart Camping, Youth Hosteling anywhere without a TV set
@preseliventure Escape the royal wedding: jump off a cliff in Pembrokeshire
@DiscoverRutland Escape England’s biggest wedding in England’s smallest county – Rutland!
@ArtrixArts VisitBritain Artrix is having an afternoon screening of Kick Ass followed by Prodigy tribute band ‘Jilted Generation’
@CrichTramway Ride a quirky vintage tram at Crich, Derbyshire
And finally, if you really want to watch it on TV, here’s a tip from Canadian traveller @Journeywoman … ‘Take a bus to Oxford. Great fun to watch the proceedings on the telly in a pub along with locals.’