Deprived by the Covid crisis of an annual trip to his ancestral home in Ireland, James Ruddy heads for Scotland’s Caledonian Canal in search of Celtic craic and stunning natural beauty.
Ready for a relaxing and self-isolated staycation? How about a holiday in a luxurious narrowboat along the tree-lined canal linking England and Wales? James Ruddy takes the watery high road.
It was a tough choice: cycling, kayaking and running with an Olympic rowing champion – or downing fine wine with oodles of fresh fish and juicy steaks. Without a hint of shame, James Ruddy chooses the food option on a glorious Algarve short break food tour based at the Four Seasons Fairways Resort.
A starry night as black as pitch surrounded us as our headlights probed the empty landscape on our way south past Cley Marshes and I realised once more why this place is so rare amid the hurly-burly of modern England.
If follies were built as grand statements of status by Georgian landed gentry, then the Triumphal Arch certainly fits the bill.
As soon as we pass the mass of black beams and wonky leaded windows, it is clear that The Swan Hotel and Spa is still dripping with its 15th-century origins and will be an adventure into an ancient past coupled with plenty of contemporary style.