The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Sussex Edition

Category: Travel

Edinburgh Fringe – How to get the best from the fest

19 Jul 2016

‘Debbie’s Work of Obsession’ – that’s how my husband rudely labelled the top of my DIY Edinburgh Fringe timetable last year. Still, I didn’t hear him complaining when we got to see 15 shows in three days without even getting up early. (It would have been 17 if it hadn’t been for a couple of pesky venue changes – not that I’m still bitter).

I’m a huge Fringe fan and go every year so I thought I’d share with you my tips for getting the best out of the Fest.

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Holiday like the fit and famous

11 Jul 2016

Scenic social media snaps of celebrities hiking in Ibiza and doing treetop yoga in St Lucia certainly evoke some worldwide workout wanderlust here at Muddy Towers. If you want to follow them (in the kind of way that won’t earn you a restraining order) and really holiday like the fit and famous, check out these retreats and packages offered by and frequented by the likes of the Beckhams, Kylie Minogue and Demi Moore.

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Perfect stays in Devon and Cornwall

3 Jun 2016

When I first glimpsed these luscious holiday homes over on Hero’s blog for Muddy Oxon and Herts, I thought they were in New Zealand, but no, these super-stylish properties with knockout views are right here in Blighty and they’re not even as expensive as you’d think if you can rustle up some mates or extended family. There are a few dates left for this year or you can get smugly organised for next.

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Why you’ll love Lisbon for a short break

11 May 2016

I’ve been itching to go to Lisbon for years and I’d have got there a lot sooner had I realised how late in the year it holds its heat. At the end of October last year I was walking round in flip-flops and it hit 24C! With handy flights from Gatwick it’s well worth considering for a long weekend, or half term getaway.

What I loved about the place is that the city is not just historic, with all those pretty mosaic streets and tiled walls I was expecting, it’s damn cool too.

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We have a winner!!

23 Apr 2016


Well, I think it’s safe to say that the Muddy Stoke Park spa break competition was popular! Over 2000 entries and a lot of finger crossing, but Christina St Croix obviously worked her toes too, because she has snaffled the luxe spa break for two for the night. You lucky, lucky (*sob*) lucky lady.

So it’s congratulations to Christina and sorry to the rest of you but fear not, mes amis – it wouldn’t be Muddy without another  competition skidding around the corner any minute in a sports car…

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Stay in actual Night Manager locations

31 Mar 2016

It wasn’t only Tom Hiddleston’s lovely form that caused some wistful sighing from those of us watching the BBC’s The Night Manager; there were also those glorious backdrops.

The good news is that you can sashay in Tom’s footsteps and stay and eat in some of the actual locations from the series.

OK, Roper’s gorgeous Mallorcan pad is private, and when Tom was giving us the Matterhorn in Switzerland <cough> his hotel was faked up.

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Booking for Edinburgh Festival?

16 Mar 2016

Forget Christmas, Edinburgh Festival Fringe (5-29 Aug this year) is the annual highlight on my calendar and I’ve just rather late (yes, really) got booked up for this August. If you’re thinking of going and you haven’t sorted your accommodation yet you really need to get a wriggle on as it’s filling up fast.

My organisation when it comes to plotting a plan of attack for the festival itself is FAR better – the butt of many a joke in fact – and I’ll be sharing that with you nearer the time.

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Quirky, romantic bolthole – The Bell Inn, Ticehurst

22 Feb 2016


At the start of November I spent a week living in a shoebox of a hotel room with a plastic shower ‘pod’ in London’s Docklands while I, somewhat ironically, reported on a travel show.

After days living out of a suitcase I decided it’d be great to do it all again… well, for one more night and somewhere a lot less functional, so I pounced on a deal I saw for the Bell Inn in Ticehurst.

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Adventurous new flights from Gatwick

7 Feb 2016


From most places in the county a Gatwick flight is going to be a holiday clincher. But while flying from right here in Sussex is  handier than Heathrow, if you’re after something a bit more adventurous than a fly-and-flop in the sun, your choice is pretty limited.

So, much excitement at Chez Muddy when we heard that British Airways was introducing direct flights from Gatwick to both Peru and Costa Rica from May.

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Make it a Landmark holiday

6 Feb 2016

Did you catch the Channel Four series Restoring Britain’s Landmarks at the end of last year? It followed the work of the Landmark Trust, a charity that for the last 50 years has saved historic, often unusual buildings and turned them into gorgeous places to stay.

I’ve been a fan for years, have stayed in a couple of Landmarks and have pored over the brochure so often the rest feel like old friends.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Sussex Edition