When I launched Sugar Sand in 2018, I wanted one of the brand values to be inspiring people with ideas for beautiful holiday destinations. Back then, this was straight forward enough, but how do you do this during a pandemic, when. let’s be honest, travel is a sore point for lots of people? My answer has been to look for beauty closer to home, which for me, and for most of my customer and follower base, is here in the UK.
Of course, like most people I hope that international travel will become easier next year and that I will go abroad again, but at the very least it’s likely we will be able to take staycations next summer or even before and I have complied a list of places that you can go which will remind you of your favourite foreign destinations. Enjoy and please let me know if you have other suggestions, I would love to hear from you!
North Africa/Middle East...Leighton House, London
Home to the artist, Frederic Leighton, the undoubted highlight of the house is the breathtaking Arab Hall. Two stories high and decorated with his collection of Islamic tiles, a golden dome and a central water fountain, it will have you feeling like you are back in Morocco!
Italy...The Italian Gardens, Hever Castle, Kent
Built to house William Waldorf Aster’s collection of Italian sculptures the gardens are every bit as impressive as those of famous Italian villas, especially the stunning lakeside Loggia.
Greece...The Minack Theatre, Cornwall
An amphitheatre overlooking the sea just sounds like something you last saw on a postcard from Greece but we actually have a beautiful one in Cornwall! Here’s hoping that they are able to resume outdoor performances there next summer.
India...Osbourne House, Isle of Wight
Queen Victoria famously declared herself ‘Empress of India’ and although she never visited the country, her fascination with it can be seen at her favourite home, Osbourne House. The magnificent Durbar room, designed by John Lockwood Kipling in the Indian style, contains gifts she received from India as well as many portraits of Maharajas.
Sezincote house, Gloustershire
Dubbed ‘India in the Cotswolds’ for it’s Neo-Mughal design that features minarets, jali-work railings, pavilions and elephant statues, Sezincote House is probably the closest thing you will find to a Rajasthani Palace in the UK. Unsurprisingly it is a popular venue for Indian weddings!
The Tropics...The Eden Project, Cornwall
I have written before about my love of glasshouses here, but The Rainforest Biodome at The Eden Project really is in a league of it’s own, not only in terms of the planting, but in the way it recreates the sense of being in the tropics, with the tumbling waterfall, traditional wooden Malaysian House, and even tropical birds walking around.
The Caribbean...The Scilly Isles
Famed for their white sand and crystal clear water, the beaches of the Scilly Isles are reportedly the best in the UK. Furthermore Tresco, the second biggest island boasts the beautiful sub-tropical Abbey Gardens, known as ‘Kew without the glass’.