How to make the perfect Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding traditions date back over one hundred years at the medieval hotel, The Spread Eagle in Midhurst, West Sussex. I recently spent a fabulous day there learning how to make the perfect Christmas pudding.

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Top 10 things to do in London at Christmas

Famous department stores decorated in festive bling, twinkling lights draped above the streets as bright red double-decker buses pass by and sparkling Christmas trees of every size are plentiful. Wine is mulling, chestnuts are roasting and a rosy-cheeked, white-bearded Santa seems to be everywhere at once — how does he do that? — there really is no place like London at Christmas.

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10 wonderful places to visit in October

One of my favourite times of year for travel is October, as the days grow shorter and the weather becomes cooler. Both in the UK and throughout the rest of Europe there’s less demand for holiday packages and hotel rooms, so prices drop and popular locations are less crowded than in the summer months. Here are my top 10 choices for October holidays in the UK, Europe and beyond and my tips for getting the most out of your travels.

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Autumn walks around Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve

Each autumn across the English countryside, there’s a soft light that’s particularly lovely early in the morning or late in the afternoon, casting long shadows and an ethereal glow across the landscape. One of my favourite places to enjoy autumn walks in this ‘golden hour’ is around Pagham Harbour in West Sussex.

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Keep discovering – 15 exotic places to visit in the UK

This summer I‘ve taken a break from travelling overseas to spend more time with my family and friends. I’m also using the opportunity to explore local places, which I’m excited to share with you  – my 15 favourite exotic locations -  some of which I’ve known well for...

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Great London Restaurants: Social Wine and Tapas

Stylish, sleek and atmospheric, I immediately loved the vibe at Social Wine and Tapas. Being part of the Michelin-starred chef Jason’s Atherton’s group of restaurants (which can be found around the world, including 9 eateries in London alone), I was expecting good...

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Video: The longest zip wire in England

My day started with a very wet and blustery walk to see if the Eden Zip Wire was running. I was booked in at 10am and was gutted when I found out the wind speeds were too high for it to be safe. There would be no hurling myself from a tall tower today. I had arrived...

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The Songs of the Baka in the Rainforest of Eden

As I made my way through the lush greenery of giant ferns and towering palm trees I could hear the sweet sound of Baka songs floating through the air. Interlocking, polyphonic rhythms and melodies woven together. Songs that prepared the tribe and the animals of the...

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Review: Snoozebox at the YHA Eden Project

Sheets of rain pour down as I walk up to a row of shipping containers. In the dim light I search for the number 108. It's not long before I find it and as I peep inside I think yes, this will suit me just fine for the next couple of nights. My private room had...

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Happy New Year from London’s Winter Wonderland

Four years ago I spent a lovely New Year's Eve exploring Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. As well as numerous scream-inducing fun fair rides it included (and still does) a magical Christmas market, the first one I'd ever visited. Since then I've been to many more but...

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Photographing the Red Squirrels of Brownsea Island

Sitting on a log in the dappled sunshine I catch a glimpse of rust dashing passed out the corner of my eye. The next moment he’s right there beside me, just a foot or so away. It’s such a joy to finally see one of the many red squirrels that Brownsea Island is famous for.

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Journey back in time on a steam train to Bodiam Castle

Standing on the platform I can’t yet see the train but I can hear it. Images of Casey Jones (a-steaming and a-rollin’) pop into my head. As I hear the first ‘Woo Woo’ a beautiful Victorian steam locomotive comes chugging around the corner. This fabulous old train on the Tenterden Steam Railway is taking me to a fairytale castle where knights once woed fair maidens and, no doubt slew the odd dragon or two.

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Brighton Street Art

With Phil Lynott and Elvis looking over my shoulder I tried out Periscope, the live streaming phone app, for the first time in Brighton earlier this week. This colourful seaside town on the south coast of England is well known for its street art and not least for Banksy’s Kissing Policemen which is where I started my mini tour of the murals in the Trafalgar Street area near the train station.

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Spring comes to Kew Gardens in London

Daffodils, blossoms and magnolia trees greet me as I pass through the gates into Kew Gardens. It's a little early for bluebells but soon the woodlands here will be carpeted with them too, a favourite subject of many a photographer. At last the sun is shinning. Spring...

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Amberley Castle, the best afternoon tea in Sussex

Walking down a country lane, I turn a corner and catch my first sight of the 12th century, Amberley Castle, in the South Downs National Park in the south of England. I have lived all my life just 15 miles away yet had never visited before. When my mother asked me what I would like for my 50th birthday I knew straight away – afternoon tea at Amberley Castle, now an elegant hotel and restaurant.

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The Cotswolds in Black and White

When I recently visited the Cotswolds, a particularly lovely region of England famous for its honey-hued limestone cottages and the most charming of villages, I was very disappointed that the weather forecast predicted rain. A clear blue sky and sunlight really brings...

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