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Tomb of the unknown relative

As ceremonies to mark the centenary of the Great War continued, veteran Guild member John Ruler found a corner of a foreign field that revealed a distant family connection….. Two years ago I planted a Remembrance cross at the grave of Herbert John Ruler. It was a name which meant nothing to me other than…

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Bistrot + boules = bonheur

Lis Gerard-Sharp finds the perfect equation for contentment in a Provencal village where not a lot goes on… Travel writers tend to be in thrall to the coolest, hippest, weirdest places. We are thrill-seekers and truffle-hounds by trade, trained to sniff out the strongest-smelling story. Happiness is not high on our agenda. Pleasure is presented…

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A knights’ trail in the Aube

The French department of Aube is rich in the history of the Knights Templar, Simon Willmore followed their trail… The first master of the Knights Templar, Hugues de Payns, was born just outside Troyes (110 miles southwest of Paris), and the abbot St. Bernard de Clairvaux, founder of the abbey at Bar-sur-Aube, helped to write the…

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Grapes and Golf

A South African style wine experience is planned in West Sussex. Peter Jolly investigates………… Some of the finest wine estates in the world are to be found around Cape Town in South Africa and now that expertise is being transported 6,000 miles to the UK where, in Horsham, West Sussex, a new wine tourism experience is…

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Pigs in court

Isabel Conway hears tales of the unexpected – and downright bizarre – on an arts and crafts tour of Chateauvillain in southern Champagne Bobbins at the 17th century watermill and machinery that still operates the Moulin de la Fleuristerie in Orges, outside ChaumontMost of us have gone there sometime in our travels. Assailed by an…

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Walking to the end of the world

Murray Stewart heads as far west as he can on Spain’s Camino de Fisterra, a pilgrimage with pagan origins. Nowadays, the much publicised Camino de Santiago pilgrimage appears on many a bucket-list. Too many, perhaps. The main pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain – the Camino Frances – has become almost processional,…

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Dinner with the family

Stuart Forster tests an initiative that allows travellers to eat with the Swiss in their homes…. How many times have you dined alone while travelling? For members of the travel media that experience is often part of being on the road. Experiencing local cuisine, is, in my view, an integral part of embracing a destination.…

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Mullet and magic dust – a French cookery course

Lisa Gerard-Sharp makes art of red mullet at a culinary Hogwarts in Reims “Eat with your eyes – throw powder at it,” commands our culinary magician. In the shadow of Reims Cathedral we toss black volcanic dust on our Champagne dinner. It feels fabulously heretical and Harry Potterish. Royal Reims, virtually obliterated during the Great…

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Right said Fred, time to hit the bubbly

Mike Pedley explores Champagne’s terroirs and cellars The Avenue de Champagne in Epernay is no ordinary street. Its kilometre-long strip is a roll call of pedigree Champagne houses that, since 2015, proudly trumpet their UNESCO World Heritage status. We’re outside the art deco HQ of Moët & Chandon slurping up the statistics: beneath our feet…

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Reims and Troyes – a tale of two cities

On first acquaintance, says Roger Bray, Reims and Troyes appear to be chalk and cheese. The former is solidly mature but still attractive, the latter is enjoying flamboyant, sometimes rickety old age. Dig a little deeper, however, and there are striking historical similarities. Reims is – and Troyes once was- capital of the region that today…

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Members’ News: Winter 2016

ISSUED BY THE BRITISH GUILD OF TRAVEL WRITERS Issue No.54; December 2016 CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE It’s been another busy quarter for Guild members and already we are gearing ourselves up for more activity, both on and offline. In addition to the individual activities listed below, the Guild has held another successful Gala Awards Dinner at the…

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Images of 2016 from BGTW members

In case anyone needs reminding that, besides writing beautiful prose, BGTW members take beautiful photographs, here are some of their images that have captured the eye in 2016:

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2017 – a Year of Uncertainty

What will 2017 bring for British travellers, tour operators and airlines? Roger Bray – views expressed are his own and not those of the BGTW – sets out some of the key issues. Rarely have the travel industry and its customers faced the New Year amid such uncertainty. The vacuous mantra that Brexit means Brexit…

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Vive Le Turkey Trot

With no apologies for puns, John Ruler (who stayed sober enough to take take the photos) describes an unusual Advent tradition just across the Channel………. It’s time to talk turkey in the tiny French village of Licques, some 30 miles along the coast from Calais. Come fair or foul, the Confrérie de l’Ordre de la…

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BGTW Gala Awards Dinner hits high notes

With the unveiling of top tourism honours for a new railway, a project to connect the horrors of the Great War with the misery of current conflicts – and a new walking route through one of the world’s crucibles of political turmoil, the British Guild of Travel Writers annual gala awards dinner hit its usual…