All eyes are on England! From Kate and Wills' Royal Wedding to Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee to the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Britain is getting plenty of media attention. This destination can't offer sun and surfing nor snow and skiing. But, London is a celebrity magnet and there are some spectacular hideaways in the countryside, especially for the British celebs.
Robsten and the Isle of Wight
Robert Pattinson, or R-Patz, has been named the sexiest man alive, the best dressed, the most handsome, one of the top 100 most influential people on earth, and one of the most bankable of Hollywood stars by Vanity Fair, Glamour, People and TIME. Pattinson grew up near my neighborhood in West London where he was a regular kid at the Harrodian School. As girls from his class at school have said to me, "My, how things have changed."
So, it is no surprise that Pattinson escapes to spend Christmas with the family in Barnes, with its pretty village pond complete with ducks and geese. Heading 80 miles south, the mainly rural Isle of Wight, (population 140,000) is off the beaten track, reached by ferry or hovercraft from the coastal town of Portsmouth. That's where Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have spent New Year's Eve - twice - in a Victorian pub, The Spyglass Inn, with gorgeous views over the cliffs and the English Channel beyond. As the family-owned pub sign says, "Well behaved dogs and muddy boots welcome."
Maybe they will add, "Royals welcome!" since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed there on that helicopter we saw in front Buckingham Palace the morning after the wedding, according to the Twitter stream of the Isle of Wight Gazette.
Kate Moss in Little Faringdon
When supermodel Kate Moss escapes the runways of London, Paris and New York City, she heads for her 10-bedroom farmhouse in the West Oxfordshire Cotswold village of Little Faringdon, population only 63 people! Kate has settled into this tiny town getaway where she had her July 2012 wedding to musician Jamie Hince at St. Margaret's, the 12th century parish church. Perfectly English, ivy-covered inn, The Swan, in nearby Southrop, Gloucestershire, was the spot for the rehearsal dinner. Kate may be planning to one day operate a farm from her £2 million ($3.5 million) home in Little Faringdon.
Celebs at St. Andrews in Scotland
St. Andrews University is where Prince William and Kate Middleton met as students and re-visited for a short holiday two months before their wedding. The newlywed royal couple now reside in Anglesey, an island in Wales.
Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews is an exclusive getaway for A-listers Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, but these days they go there separately. Diners at the hotel's Road Hole Restaurant were present when Liz accepted a marriage proposal from Australian cricketer, Shane Warne, in October 2011, four months after her divorce from textile tycoon Arun Nayar.
When Hurley and Grant are not jetsetting, they escape to the quiet English countryside where they both have estates in Gloucestershire, Cotswolds. Hugh's impressive digs are under a mile from his favorite golf course in Stinchcombe and Liz is holed up on her 400-acre farm near Cirencester. Grant has a banqueting hall, paddocks, indoor and outdoor pools and both celebrities have tennis courts. Their two London houses are said to be around the corner, both in the well-to-do Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
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