Country Life Top 10: heavenly honeymoon destinations

We select the most romantic getaways around the world. Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
A glowing oasis in the spectacular foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Newlyweds at Richard Branson’s Moroccan home should spend a night or two in one of the hotel’s luxury Berber tents, which come complete with a private plunge pool.
Jalakara, Andaman Islands
Situated in the far-flung Andaman Islands, one of the world’s last untouched strips of paradise, Jalakara is a true hidden gem. Guests are encouraged to ditch their phones and make the most of the pared-back, tropical-style villas framed by jungle and activities that include stargazing and sunset cruises.
Il Pellicano,

Stiff Upper Lip review: A book that asks ‘powerful questions that parents can’t ignore’

James Fergusson examines a passionate polemic against boarding school which raises serious questions.Alex Renton is a seasoned journalist, a war correspondent for the London Evening Standard who also worked for Oxfam in East Asia, a prize-winning food writer known for his campaigns and investigations and the author of a robust book about eating meat. He has got about a bit. But when, in 2013, two days after Christmas, he read a headline in the Daily Mail, ‘Boris school at the centre of probe into sexual abuse’, he says he burst into tears.
The prep school, Ashdown House, that he and Boris

Mini-break: Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux

Flight of French fancy. Last November, Les Sources de Caudalie was awarded the prestigious Palace status, a title held by the 23 finest five-star hotels in France. Sitting on a terrace sipping the estate’s own wine, watching a horse working the organic vineyards and feeling refreshed after a facial at the spa, which uses the vines in its products, you will appreciate exactly why.
Owner Alice Tourbier calls Les Sources ‘an experience’ and it truly is: a mere 20 minutes from Bordeaux airport, the sense of tranquility here makes it feel a world away. It’s also a family affair—Alice’s parents, Florence

The Elizabethan manor that offered refuge to Charles II as he fled to France

Few houses can boast hundreds of years of history and a sparkling future. There has been a house on the site of charming Wyld Court, at Hawkchurch in Devon, since medieval times. £2.25mThe Exeter office of Strutt & Parker (01392 215631) is handling the sale—at a guide price of £2.25m—of the impeccably restored, Grade II*-listed Wyld Court, which stands in some 17 acres of formal gardens, pasture and woodland on the edge of the charming village of Hawkchurch, four miles from Axminster, Devon. According to Pevsner, Wyld Court dates from about 1600, although there has been a house on the

How to create a new build country house

John Goodall looks at a selection of recently completed examples. Country houses continue to be built across Britain. They remain hugely varied in scale and character, but all the best have in common a close relationship with their landscape setting. Here are nine examples of recently completed new build country houses to delight and inspire.
Backwater by Platform 5 Architects
Completed in 2016, the house, which stands beside a peaceful lagoon on the Norfolk Broads, was designed by a director of the practice for his young family and as a holiday let. Its gabled roofs and shingle covering are inspired by traditional

10 new builds you need to see right now

New-builds and developments with 
a fresh outlook. Kent, from £450,000 to £1.6 million
Exquisitely converted into 13 one- to two-bedroom apartments and mews houses, and with 30 newly built detached houses, Grade II-listed Wadhurst Place, in Tunbridge Wells, a former ballet school, is set in 18 acres with views across the Kent hills. Savills (01892 507 005)
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London NW8, from £1.1 million
The Compton is a striking new 10-storey apartment block in leafy St John’s Wood, just two minutes’ walk from Lord’s and Regent’s Park, launched this year by Regal Homes. Each of the 49 one- to three-bedroom flats and penthouses,

Great escape: Bequia Beach, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Emma McCall explores a Caribbean world away. As we wind our way across the island, goats trot alongside the open pick-up and reggae music and laughter float in the air above the colourful houses on the road from Port Elizabeth. Here on Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), you are stepping into the unspoilt Caribbean of old—a Barbados of 30 years ago.
Our destination, Bequia Beach Hotel and its sparkly new yacht, appears before us. Sympathetically built across sloped tropical gardens, owner Bengt Mortstedt’s exclusive hideaway runs down onto the white-sand beach. The Swedish businessman sourced the vintage furnishings for the 56 rooms—classic villas,

Why Scotland needs more national parks – and why we’ll all gain if it gets them

Fiona Reynolds laments the lack of national parks in Scotland, and explains why the creation of new ones would benefit everybody.Lochgarten, CairngormsEngland and Wales have 13 national parks between them; Norway has 44 and Sweden 29.
Scotland, by contrast, has only two: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs plus the Cairngorms, both designated less than 15 years ago. Surely everyone would agree that Scotland has some of the most spectacularly beautiful countryside in Britain, as worthy of national park status as anywhere in the world and which would benefit from being designated.
The dearth of national parks is not for want of trying.

A stunning John Nash-designed house for under £400,000

A few miles from Hay-on-Wye lies this beautiful house at a price that will make urban buyers green with jealousy.John Nash is said to have had a hand in the building of Grade II-listed Wayside, New Radnor, not far from Hay-on-Wye.
The house was built in 1832, and was briefly a temperance hotel around the turn of the 20th century.

 
Today, however, it is a private home – and a very handsome one too. Delightfully pink, with shuttered windows and wisteria, it has five bedrooms, a large wine cellar and French doors opening onto terraces and a garden.

The who place has been sensitively refurbished

Tara Fitzgerald on fleas, miners and and Game of Thrones fanmail

The actress spoke to Country Life’s Jack Watkins about coming of age, the North-South divide and how her perspective has changed as she prepares to enter her fifties.Tara FitzgeraldWe’re in a room in the Royal Albert Hall with an elevated view across to Kensington Gardens, where Tara Fitzgerald is reflecting on a momentous period in her life. Just over 20 years ago, she was here filming the scenes of the British film Brassed Off, in which she was a flugelhorn-playing member of a Yorkshire colliery brass band. She’s returned to talk about that, and other things, before the gala celebration