Candida Lycett Green wrote the ‘Unwrecked England’ column in The Oldie since its launch in 1992. In her column she took the reader on a journey through every county and revealed, often in little-known backwaters, just how wonderful England still is.

She wrote the Nooks and Corners column in Private Eye during the 1970s, covered the World Cup in Mexico for the Evening Standard, was the travel editor of Tatler during the 1980s and was a contributing editor of Vogue.

She wrote for a variety of national newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, and Country Life.



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Devizes, Wiltshire

Devizes lies on the high ground at the very end of the Marlborough Downs. All around is ancient, sacred territory – Avebury is nearby as well as Silbury Hill, the biggest prehistoric earthwork in Europe. A mile north of the town the steep slopes of Beacon Hill and Oliver’s Castle fall dramatically down towards vegetable-growing Bromham, the Vale of Pewsey sweeps away to the east and the road to Salisbury dips down south. To the west Devizes harbours one of the greatest engineering wonders of the world – a chain of 29 locks descending the chalk hill and taking the Kennet and Avon Canal down into the valley and on its way to Bath and Bristol.   >

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Newcastleton, Roxboroughshire

Hermitage Castle is the most romantic and forbidding of border strongholds. It is surrounded by smooth bold hills scored wide and deep by small burns which run down into Hermitage Water. As you travel along the shallow valley towards the Water’s meeting with the River Liddle the country is scattered with the remains of ancient settlements and the ruins of peel towers looking like abandoned rockeries – evidence of the borders’ warring past and the fierce pride displayed by its people. William de Soulis, a fourteenth century occupant of Hermitage Castle, was so widely disliked for inflicting such a reign of terror on the neighbourhood that the locals were said to have boiled him alive in molten lead. You don’t want to mess with border men: on the other hand they are also a romantic and lyrical lot. Walter Scott often stayed in the district to collect the words and tunes of local ballads and Yehudi Menuin said this area had the liveliest genuine vernacular music he had ever encountered.

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