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ADRIAN MOURBY

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Adrian Mourby is a UK-based travel writer who has published four novels alongside two travel guides and a book of humour based on his award-winning Radio 4 series Whatever Happened To...? He has travelled to most parts of the world but would cite Cambodia, Antarctica, Istanbul, Finland, Venice, Luxor, Zanzibar, Burma, Namibia and Sinai amongst his most interesting journeys. Adrian also writes about the UK for European and American publications. His travel journalism has appeared in every UK broadsheet and numerous in-flight and luxury magazines.

The Top Ten Historic Hotels on the Scottish Border

The borderland between Scotland and England takes in Hadrian's Wall, the fortified city of Newcastle Upon Tyne and many well-defended manor houses. This was for centuries a ‘No Man's Land', open, wild and dangerous as armies...

Ten of the Best Historic Welsh Hotels

Until the nineteenth century Wales was underpopulated and undervisited. Consequently it never developed a sequence of coaching inns as in England. Tourist hotels when they came to Wales arrived with the railways, large Victor...

Ten West Country Hotels of Character

For me, the West Country begins in Bath and extends down to Bristol and into Somerset. It's an area of beautiful cities and gentle countryside framed by the M4 to the north and the M5 to the west. As soon as you leave either,...

Ten Historic Hotels in the Lake District

The Lake District wasn't always a tourist attraction. Daniel Defoe called this pastoral landscape “the wildest, most barren and frightful of any that I have passed over in England, or even Wales itself.” But by the end of th...

10 Historic South Coast Hotels

The British seaside holiday was invented on the south coast of England when George III's family, and then the aristocracy, left London to go seabathing for their health. Once a new fashion had been created, the middle and wor...

10 Historic Hotels along the English Riviera

Travel through Hampshire, Dorset and Devon and you rapidly leave behind those seaside resorts that owe their existence to day-trippers from London. Christchurch, Lyme Regis and Torquay are old coastal settlements along what...

Ten Historic Hotels in the Highlands

The history of the Scottish Highlands has a very different narrative from the rest of Great Britain, even from the rest of Scotland. The clans ruled this rugged landscape for centuries, based around powerful families like the...

Hotels Near Britain's Finest Festivals

Does any country in the world have so many festivals per square mile? These days Britain's arts festivals run from early spring to late autumn and cover pretty much the entire country. It can sometimes seem that there are ver...

Ten of The Best Historic London Hotels

London's hotels are younger than many historic buildings in the city. Until the end of the nineteenth century, British hotels were often considered rather disreputable—even in the capital. But these great structures have live...

Ten Great British Touring Hotels

We rush around so much these days I feel we have lost the sense of glamour that used to attach to road journeys. Recreate the days when touring Britain by car was an adventure rather than a way to get from A to B. This islan...

Ten luxury Hotels visited by royals

Wherever you go in Britain you'll find plaques commemorating visits by our numerous kings and queens. These days a royal visit can be a fleeting thing bookended by car, train or helicopter arrivals and departures, but in the...

10 Great British Literary Hotels

There is something about a good hotel that writers find irresistible. You might say it is because they need the fresh stimulus of change or that writers spend so much time occupying imaginary landscapes that they never really...

Ten cosy hotels for autumn

Britain's hotels can provide a lovely backdrop to the countryside in spring and summer but to get the most out of them it's best to visit when the nights are drawing in and you can enjoy those cosy drawing rooms, snug bars an...

Ten hotels for fine wine lovers

There was a time when wine-drinking in Britain was either very expensive and shrouded in mists of snobbery, or cheap and downright unpleasant. Those of us who wrecked our student-years trying to enjoy the dreaded trio of Lieb...

The 10 Best Hotels for Visiting Scottish Distilleries

Scotland is famous for many things but “Scotch” is probably its best known calling-card around the world. Written records of Scotch whisky can be traced back to 1494 in records of King James IV's accounts, but as a local prod...

10 of the Best Hotels for Champagne by the Glass

Champagne has been drunk in this country for centuries but the idea of buying it by the glass really only took off with the rise of the cocktail bar in Britain's hotels. Suddenly rather than purchasing a whole bottle, it was...

10 Great British painter hotels

The British have been celebrating their landscape since Constable, Gainsborough and Reynolds took their sketch books outside in the eighteenth century. This tradition continued during the nineteenth century with Turner and th...

Britain's Finest Georgian Hotels

The Georgian era in British architecture lasted from the accession of George I, three hundred years ago, until the Regency period. Many people would claim that under the Prince Regent (later King George IV) Britain's experime...

THE TEN BEST HOTEL CONVERSIONS IN BRITAIN

Purpose-built hotels are a late nineteenth-century phenomenon. Before the word “hotel” became respectable in Britain we had public houses and coaching inns. In the twentieth century many of these were upgraded to become hote...

Best hotels for Christmas Shopping

The only way to really enjoy Christmas shopping in my opinion is to book into a really good hotel and breakfast well then shop for an hour or so, come back for coffee and put your feet up before another bout of shopping ahead...

10 Hotels for Great Spring Country Walks

Not all countries have great country hotels. I've travelled in parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkans where you always aim to get to a city by nightfall because rural accommodation is very basic. But in Britain we're very fo...

Ten great hotels near the best summer festivals this year

Summer is almost upon us, which means that across Britain there will be a host of festivals of many different kinds. Last year I wrote about some of the biggest and best UK festivals and where to stay if you were attending t...

10 great alternatives to airport hotels

It's that time of year again when, if we aren't enjoying the delights of Britain during the summer, we head off abroad. As we plan our trip to the airport we realise that our flight is so horribly early we'd better book into...

Top UK hotels to enjoy the Autumn Sun

As the seasons change we often cling on to the last of the summer sunshine. Sometimes I think the British are still pagan, fearing that the shortening of the days means the sun will soon disappear never rise again. While some...

10 Hotels for The Best Martinis This Christmas

I've long had a theory that there are tribes when it comes to alcohol. There are beer people, there are whisky people, there are white wine people and red wine people (two sub-tribes) and there are gin people. It's not to do...

Best hotels for a January Detox

After the toxic delights of Drinkcember and our Christmas bacchanalia, comes Dry January and everyone telling us ‘Tis the Season to Detoxify. For many years January was as joyless as a 31-day hangover with nothing pleasurable...

Best British Hotels for Horse Riding

One of the best ways to see the British countryside – if not the best – is from the back of a horse. The view is different up there, you can see over hedgerows and walls, you can go through fields without getting your feet m...

10 Britain's Finest Filming Locations

This month Alice through the Looking Glass is released in the UK, yet another British film that makes the most of our countryside and its historic buildings. Not surprisingly a lot of classic hotels have featured in British f...

Britain's Finest Hotels For Afternoon Tea

In the opening to his novel The Portrait of a Lady, American author Henry James declared, “under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”...

Top 10 Autumn Walks

Autumn is the only British season that gets us all quoting poetry. Keats put it well with his “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and all those “gathering swallows” twittering in the skies. <br><br> Autumn is certainl...

Top 10 Hotels To Make Christmas Shopping Fun

Christmas shopping shouldn't be a chore.<br><br> Many years ago I worked out there are two ways to make it pleasurable. One is to collect presents for people throughout the year as you see things they'd like. This means th...

Detox With Less Suffering

Soon it will be New Year and all over the country Drinkcember will give way to the hairshirt self-denial of Dry January. Anything that seemed celebratory over the Christmas period is out, and we will become a nation of herbal...

10 Great Hotels for Romance this February

I proposed to my first wife above a launderette in Middlesbrough and to my second in the tiny kitchen of my Oxford flat. Neither location was inherently romantic but the end result - in both cases - was positive.<br><br> T...

Top 10 Riverside Hotels

There is something about water – lakes, lochs, rivers, and the sea itself - that answers a very deep need in us all. We are drawn to it. We want to swim in it , sail across it or just walk alongside it listening to the sounds...

Top 10 Film Location Hotels

My home is in Oxford which can sometimes feel like living in a film set. It's a familiar experience to find the road you want to walk down closed off by a lighting van and location caterers. But the whole of Britain is a gift...

Top 10 National Trails & Where to Stay

It's only when you try hiking in other countries that you realise how very blessed Britain is with its National Trails. I've walked down footpaths in Greece that terminate abruptly in someone's newly built villa or strolled...

Top 10 English Seaside Hotels

Summer is finally upon us which means, if you are British, that you'll probably be thinking of a trip to the seaside. This nation has a curious relationship with our storm-tossed coast. We love it and it in turn has reciproca...

10 of My Favourite Hotel Bars

Cocktail bars, as opposed to pubs and private drinking clubs, used to be very much a big-city phenomenon in Britain, but the modern hotel has brought what was once a very exclusive drinking experience within reach of most of...

10 Must-Visit Hotels for 2018

The big transition from one year to the next is essentially an arbitrary matter. One day we are in this year and the next day we're in another but they're still just two 24 hour days. Nevertheless New Year carries huge signi...

The Best British Pubs with Rooms

Not long ago taking a room over a pub was what the traveller did if there were no hotel or boarding house nearby. In the twenty-first century however the British pub with rooms has taken off as a place to stay. The transforma...

Britain's Best Coastal Hotels

Once upon a time summer time in Britain was synonymous with coastline for most of us. From June till the end of August steam trains delivered families to busy seaside railway stations all over Britain. I remember that the fir...

Britain's Best Autumn Getaways

In the summertime hotels are bases from which we can venture out and explore the world. In the autumn, as nights get longer and we feel the first chills of winter, the British hotel becomes a place for hiding oneself away - o...

Top 10 Pre-Christmas Escapes

We all complain that Christmas seems to go on forever. It certainly starts too soon. Even before the bonfires of 5 November have fizzled out is done, department stores will be playing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"...

10 Hotels to Live Like a Lord in 2019

Many hotels in Britain were once the homes of lords and ladies, barons and dukes. When Evelyn Waugh published his <i>Brideshead Revisited</i> in 1945 he did not believe that the English country house would survive in new post...

Top 10 Hotels for Country Walks

Walking is good for us. When Bill Bryson hoofed it along the Appalachian Trail, he was delighted how much wisdom he gained and how much weight he lost. Wordsworth used to tramp all day composing poems in his head and Rousseau...

Top 10 Places for Fun Dining

Once upon a time Britain's pubs and hotels were places where you stayed the night if you lacked friends or relatives nearby. But you certainly didn't go to a pub or hotel to eat. That's what cafés and restaurants were for. Bu...

Top 10 Pre-Christmas Breaks

For me the run-up to Christmas is as exciting as Christmas itself. Every day in December Britain office workers seem to get less and less work done as shopping, food preparation, writing Christmas cards and planning parties t...

Ten Welsh Hotels with Walks

To me Wales is synonymous with walking. I was once told the principality would be bigger than England if it were flattened out. Certainly there are plenty of hills to clamber up and valleys to saunter down, something that mad...

Ten of The Best Hotels in Shropshire

I find Shropshire one of England's loveliest counties. For century this green, castellated landscape was part of the Marcher Lands, border territory where Welsh armies clashed with the English king's representatives. Sending...

Ten of Britain's Finest Gloucestershire Hotels

Gloucester is the UK's Cotswold County with strings of charming villages built out of this mellow limestone. The wool industry has been kind to Gloucestershire leaving behind lots of attractive, pre-industrial towns and the R...

Ten of the Best Hotels in North Yorkshire

The historic wealth of the north of England has given rise to some beautiful cities and also swathes of country houses, many of which have been converted into hotels. I used to live near the North York Moors and found explori...

Ten Historic Hotels in East Anglia

In the days when Britain's trade was almost exclusively with Europe this country's east coast ports were important and wealthy. Some of the merchant towns like Lavenham (which has three of Britain's Finest hotels in close pr...

Top 10 British Hotels with Great USPs

Britain is a country of eccentricity and individuality, and this is reflected in some of its more unusual hotels. Adrian Mourby chooses ten luxury hotels, dotted around Britain.

Britain's Finest Gin Distilleries

Everyone needs a hobby. Unlike some politicians I don't make model buses out of old wine box-thingies. I prefer gin. Drinking it with tonic, mixing it into martinis or visiting the distilleries where it is made and meeting fe...

10 Best Whisky Experiences in Edinburgh

While England has been going through its “Ginaissance”, Scotland has seen its national drink –unfashionable as late as the 1980s - reach stratospheric levels of desirability around the world. Wealthy people want to own bottle...

10 Best London Wine Bars

London is one of the most exciting places in the world to go out drinking. And drinking is a fine way to spend an evening as long as you're sensible. In London, there are watering holes to cater for just about every taste. Th...

Britain's Best Gourmet Hotels

There are still some countries in Europe where dining rooms hide the fact that they are part of a hotel. It's taken the Italians in particular decades to accept that one can dine well in a hotel. Even so they usually still gi...

The Best British Festivals this October

Traditionally summer is when the British go to festivals. Shortly after World War II Edinburgh's International Arts Festival made August synonymous with a celebration of culture. Then in 1970 Glastonbury showed that pop festi...

Top ten UK hotels and Inns with cookery classes

Once upon a time a hotel was just somewhere to lay your head if you didn't have a club to go to or friends in town. Now hotels are visions of a better life, a refuge where we can live in greater luxury than any lord, a buildi...

Great pet friendly hotels in the UK

It wasn't until I had two cats of my own that the words “pet friendly” suddenly began to leap out at me from hotel web pages. What a discovery! While most hotels usually mean well-behaved dogs when they say “pet”, there are...

Britain's best hotels for a cocktail

We are living in a golden age of British cocktails. Thank goodness. I can remember twenty years ago asking for a dry martini in a British hotel and being given a glass of Martini Rosso with ice cubes. The recent triumph of th...

Ten Historic North Midlands Hotels

North of Birmingham rises the Peak District, an area of outstanding natural beauty - and architectural gems. It's a pleasure to motor round this landscape of farms, villages, stately homes and historic towns like Duffield, M...

Ten Historic Hotels in the North West

I find the northwest corner of this country is a curious mixture of three distinct areas. In the far north stands the Lake District, a hilly and desolate area until tourism took root belatedly in the early nineteenth century....

Top Ten Historic Hotels in the Midlands

Britain is full of old manor houses and monasteries that have been turned into hotels, as well as coaching inns that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Some historic hotels – like the Randolph in Oxford – were purpose...

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