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À l’intérieur du Spice Island Beach Resort de Grenade, la retraite tout compris qui a autrefois accueilli le prince Harry

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La Grenade est une petite île qui a du punch, en partie grâce à des lieux de séjour époustouflants tels que le Spice Island Beach Resort.

Cet hôtel tout compris de luxe primé est en pole position sur le sable crème pâle du côté sud plus calme de la célèbre plage de Grand Anse.

Familial et géré par une famille, il dispose d’un total de 64 suites – certaines avec piscines privées et d’autres en bord de mer – et un charmant bâtiment central blanchi à la chaux avec deux restaurants avec vue sur la plage, des boutiques, un bar en marbre et huit immaculés – terrain d’un acre.

Il a une de ces entrées discrètes à travers une jolie cour qui mène à une vue à couper le souffle sur l’océan azur.

Après un vol de 11 heures, ma femme et moi avons été ravis de nous enfoncer dans un canapé crème doux à la réception et de simplement regarder – le véritable accueil chaleureux, des serviettes fraîches, un cocktail signature d’oseille avec du vin mousseux frais et un personnel efficace combinés pour en faire le l’enregistrement à l’hôtel le plus relaxant que j’ai eu depuis des années.

Ian Walker s'est enregistré au Spice Island Beach Resort, situé du côté sud de la célèbre plage de Grand Anse à Grenade

Ian Walker s'est enregistré au Spice Island Beach Resort, situé du côté sud de la célèbre plage de Grand Anse à Grenade

Ian Walker s’est enregistré au Spice Island Beach Resort, situé du côté sud de la célèbre plage de Grand Anse à Grenade

Nous avons été escortés devant ce qui allait devenir notre endroit préféré pour le déjeuner tardif au restaurant informel Sea and Surf Terrace, avec un bar très cool d’un côté et une vue imprenable sur la plage de l’autre. Au bout du bar se trouvait la piscine principale de l’hôtel, avec un bain à remous, et quelques mètres plus loin se trouvait l’entrée de notre suite Royal Ginger.

Un instantané du prince Harry souriant tout en pointant la plaque signalétique lors d’une visite en 2016, avant le Megxit, présenté dans son récent documentaire Netflix. Il a en fait séjourné dans une suite différente, mais celle-ci s’est avérée plus que suffisante pour nous. Une porte dans le mur blanchi à la chaux s’ouvrait sur un patio, un bassin profond, une terrasse et étonnamment une cabine de sauna en bois de cèdre.

La Grenade a acquis son surnom d’«île aux épices» en raison de son industrie de la noix de muscade. C’est le deuxième exportateur mondial de noix de muscade, derrière l’Indonésie, et cultive également des clous de girofle, de la cannelle, des agrumes, des bananes et du cacao. Il y a une longue tradition de production de rhum sur l’île qui remonte aux années 1700 et il y a encore trois distilleries sur l’île, un fait qui nous a été rappelé lorsque nous sommes entrés dans la suite.

Le mini-bar du salon comprenait des miniatures de tous les types de rhum imaginables – rhum à l’oseille (fabriqué à partir des sépales rouges des plantes Hibiscus), rhum mojito, rhum aux fruits de la passion, rhum blanc, rhum brun, ainsi que des bouteilles pleine grandeur.

Le prince Harry - photographié sur la plage de Grand Anse - a séjourné au Spice Island Beach Resort en 2016, révèle Ian

Le prince Harry - photographié sur la plage de Grand Anse - a séjourné au Spice Island Beach Resort en 2016, révèle Ian

Le prince Harry – photographié sur la plage de Grand Anse – a séjourné au Spice Island Beach Resort en 2016, révèle Ian

“Spice Island Beach Resort possède l’une de ces entrées discrètes à travers une jolie cour qui mène à une vue à couper le souffle sur l’océan azur”, écrit Ian

Certains rhums de Grenade contiennent plus de 70 % d’alcool, mais il n’y avait rien d’aussi puissant dans notre chambre. Cependant, un punch au rhum que nous avons essayé au coucher du soleil était si fort qu’il nous a laissé sans voix. La serveuse a trouvé ça hilarant et nous a dit qu’il y avait un groupe de visiteurs réguliers qui aimaient en avoir quelques tours à 11h!

Ce sont les petites gentillesses et la manière de service qui distinguent cet endroit et c’est sans aucun doute la raison pour laquelle il remporte chaque année de nombreux prix de l’industrie et est l’un des favoris de Tripadvisor.

Les équipements de la chambre comprenaient une télévision à écran plat, une machine à café, une théière, un grille-pain, un appareil Alexa – ma femme s’est assurée que sa liste de lecture était répétée en permanence – et un téléphone portable préprogrammé avec le numéro de l’hôtel pour que les clients puissent faire du local appels pendant que vous êtes sur l’île.

La chambre avait une télévision à écran plat encore plus grande, un lit king-size en bois dur extrêmement confortable et une belle salle de bains en marbre – avec deux lavabos, une grande baignoire / douche et un dressing – contenant tous les équipements Molton Brown imaginables.

Le niveau de soin et d’attention aux détails que nous avons reçus dans les 20 premières minutes de notre arrivée s’est avéré être loin d’être unique. Lorsque nous sommes sortis après l’excitation d’essayer le bain, le sauna et le bassin profond, le personnel nous a accueillis par notre nom et avait une ouverture et une chaleur authentique difficiles à simuler. Ce sont les petites gentillesses et la manière de service qui distinguent cet endroit et c’est sans aucun doute la raison pour laquelle il remporte chaque année de nombreux prix de l’industrie et est l’un des favoris de Tripadvisor.

Nous avons mentionné à un serveur qui apportait des hors-d’œuvre quotidiens avant le dîner que nous buvions du thé et du café avec du lait et que chaque jour une cruche de lait fraîche était livrée. Des cappuccinos pour le petit-déjeuner ont été versés dans des gobelets en papier compostables que nous pouvions emporter sur la plage et une serveuse joyeuse a réalisé quelle table nous aimions pour les déjeuners tardifs sur la terrasse et l’avait toujours prête pour nous.

Dans la soirée, le restaurant d’Oliver a servi des dîners ambitieux à cinq plats avec une soupe épicée de banane plantain ou de mangue réfrigérée, du poisson frais, des nettoyants pour le palais au sorbet au vin blanc et une exquise tarte au chocolat grenadine. Mais vous pouvez également sortir du menu et demander quelque chose de moins sophistiqué. Il y avait un code vestimentaire pour le dîner, élégant pour les femmes, des pantalons longs pour les hommes, pas de moins de cinq ans et certainement pas de pieds nus dans les deux restaurants, même si l’ambiance était toujours très détendue.

Le complexe dispose d'un total de 64 suites, certaines avec piscine privée et d'autres en bord de plage.

Le complexe dispose d'un total de 64 suites, certaines avec piscine privée et d'autres en bord de plage.

Le complexe dispose d’un total de 64 suites, certaines avec piscine privée et d’autres en bord de plage.

Le petit-déjeuner était un buffet somptueux et un menu à la carte, et comme pour le dîner, il y avait beaucoup de produits locaux, souvent du potager bien entretenu de l’hôtel.

Ce festin a incité ma femme à essayer les séances de yoga avant le petit-déjeuner à 7 heures du matin sur le magnifique pavillon de la plage, qui valent le détour rien que pour la vue. Elle est revenue pleine d’entrain et de vigueur, tandis que j’ai passé un moment plus relaxant à travailler sur la machine à café.

Les autres activités proposées incluent le tennis et le cyclisme, tandis que les green fees sont inclus au club de golf de neuf trous Grenada. Et le club pour enfants Nutmeg Pod offre une pause aux parents fatigués.

Il y a aussi l’attrait du spa Janissa, une oasis gracieuse et apaisante où nous nous sommes livrés à un «massage signature» offert par Rosetta et Rosa, qui étaient maîtres dans leur art. L’élégante boutique Gatsby, quant à elle, propose une belle collection de vêtements de villégiature et malgré l’emplacement en bord de mer de la station, à seulement cinq minutes à pied se trouve le plus grand centre commercial de l’île.

La présidente et directrice générale de Spice Island Beach Resort, Janelle Hopkin, attribue une grande partie du succès de l’hôtel à la vision de son défunt père, le légendaire hôtelier caribéen Sir Royston Hopkin.

Il a créé un hôtel de luxe en bord de mer dans un emplacement parfait.

En 1969, Sir Royston et un groupe d’investisseurs ont acheté le Spice Island Inn de 20 chambres. Ils ont rénové et agrandi et en 1989, Sir Royston a acheté la propriété et a commencé sa transformation en la magnifique station balnéaire qu’il avait toujours envisagée.

Sur la photo ci-dessus, la suite Ginger dans laquelle Ian et sa femme ont séjourné

Sur la photo ci-dessus, la suite Ginger dans laquelle Ian et sa femme ont séjourné

Sur la photo ci-dessus, la suite Ginger dans laquelle Ian et sa femme ont séjourné

La suite Ginger (ci-dessus) comprend un patio, un bassin profond, une terrasse et une cabine de sauna en bois de cèdre

La suite Ginger (ci-dessus) comprend un patio, un bassin profond, une terrasse et une cabine de sauna en bois de cèdre

La suite Ginger (ci-dessus) comprend un patio, un bassin profond, une terrasse et une cabine de sauna en bois de cèdre

Mme Hopkin a pris la barre après la mort de son père pendant la pandémie en 2020 et admet que le voyage a été difficile. L’hôtel a dû fermer et le personnel a été licencié. Il y a même eu des offres d’achat de l’hôtel, mais elle explique qu’elle n’a jamais envisagé de vendre car l’entreprise est dans son sang.

Alors qu’ils étaient fermés, elle a pris la décision audacieuse de se lancer dans un projet de rénovation de plusieurs millions de dollars qui a abouti à 34 superbes suites avec vue sur l’océan avec des intérieurs en bois blond, crème et aqua, des couchages flexibles, de grandes douches et des patios et hamacs au bord de la plage. Elle salue le personnel par son nom et rend continuellement hommage à sa contribution au maintien des normes élevées de la station.

Venant de terminer sa première année complète avec l’ouverture de l’hôtel, l’impressionnante Mme Hopkin est optimiste pour l’avenir, commentant que “2022 était notre première année complète d’exploitation après ce qui semblait être une éternité”.

Elle a ajouté: “Je pense que 2023 présentera plus d’opportunités de croissance pour nous et pour tous les autres.”

Il y avait certainement un buzz sur l’île lorsque nous y étions en décembre, avec un aéroport très fréquenté et des bateaux de croisière accostant régulièrement dans le port.

La plupart des visiteurs ne voient que les hôtels, les boutiques et les restaurants en bord de mer, mais comme nous l’avons découvert, cela vaut la peine de prendre le temps de voir un côté de l’île qui fait rarement les brochures de vacances.

À seulement 21 miles (34 km) de long et avec une population d’environ 100 000 habitants, la Grenade possède des forêts tropicales luxuriantes, des cascades spectaculaires et un sol fertile.

Nous avons pu voir le paysage spectaculaire de première main lors d’une excursion d’une demi-journée avec le guide professionnel Mandoo, un homme avec une connaissance si infinie de l’île qu’il doit être plus âgé qu’il n’en a l’air.

Il guide habilement son minibus blanc dans les rues étroites où les vendeurs du marché et les touristes de la capitale, St George’s, se pressent dans les ruelles sinueuses de maisons peintes de couleurs vives, puis nous emmènent dans les régions de la forêt tropicale vers les spectaculaires chutes de Concord.

La chute d’eau principale plonge à 20 m dans une piscine en contrebas où vous pourrez vous rafraîchir. Et les hommes locaux sautent souvent des chutes pour un petit pourboire des touristes.

La visite de l'île par Ian comprend une promenade dans les rues sinueuses de la capitale, St. George's (ci-dessus)

La visite de l'île par Ian comprend une promenade dans les rues sinueuses de la capitale, St. George's (ci-dessus)

La visite de l’île par Ian comprend une promenade dans les rues sinueuses de la capitale, St. George’s (ci-dessus)

INFORMATIONS SUR LE VOYAGE

Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.co.uk; 03301 734 712) propose un séjour de sept nuits au Spice Island Beach Resort à partir de 4 999 £ par personne sur la base de deux personnes partageant une suite avec piscine Anthurium. L’offre comprend les vols internationaux, les transferts privés et l’hébergement en formule tout compris. Visitez www.spiceislandbeachresort.com.

La zone environnante est typique de l’intérieur luxuriant de l’île.

De petites fermes sont disséminées sur les pentes abruptes sur des terres apparemment impossibles à travailler, mais d’une manière ou d’une autre, les rangées d’arbres fruitiers et d’épices poussent et sont récoltées.

Nous nous arrêtons à intervalles réguliers pendant que Mandoo casse un régime de minuscules bananes sucrées ici, une noix de muscade là et pointe à plusieurs reprises des pancartes d’agriculteurs lançant de terribles avertissements de démembrement et pire aux gens qui cueillent leurs fruits !

“Ça va”, sourit Mandoo. « J’ai leur permission.

L’ouragan Ivan en 2004, suivi de l’ouragan Emily l’année suivante, a décimé les cultures et les infrastructures. Il y a encore des routes qui attendent d’être reconstruites, et il y a des zones de pauvreté, mais la résilience des agriculteurs est humiliante et l’optimisme et la détermination naturels des insulaires ont vu la lente reprise de la production de noix de muscade.

Le prochain arrêt est le parc national du Grand Etang, créé en 1992 et composé de plus de 3 800 acres, il comprend la réserve forestière de Grand Etang, qui a été créée en 1906.

Le nom du parc est le français pour “grand lac” et fait référence au magnifique lac de 20 pieds (6 m) de profondeur et de 36 acres formé dans le cratère d’un volcan éteint qui se trouve au cœur du parc national.

Les sommets du mont Qua Qua, du mont Granby et du morne Fédon s’y trouvent ainsi que des cascades, des sentiers de randonnée et bien d’autres espèces de faune et de flore insolites. Il y a un petit supplément pour entrer dans le centre d’accueil pittoresque, qui dispose d’une grande véranda pour admirer les eaux saphir fascinantes du lac.

Nous sommes revenus via le pittoresque port de St George à l’étreinte bienvenue de la station, mais reconnaissants d’avoir vu la beauté cachée de l’île et partagé la fierté et les espoirs de Mandoos pour son avenir.

Un petit panier souvenir des meilleures épices de la Grenade est offert à chaque client sortant du Spice Island Resort. Je regarde le contenu du mien avec un respect et une appréciation renouvelés.

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International

Israel warns Hezbollah of ‘all-out war’ as US tries to de-escalate Lebanon border tensions

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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Tuesday that a decision on an all-out war with Hezbollah was coming soon, even as the United States tries to avert any escalation. 

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No BBQ start to summer: Wet weather hits supermarket sales

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  • Kantar: Grocery revenues rose by just 1% over the four weeks ending 9 June
  • Poor weather hit demand for traditional summer products like suncare items 

Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures. 

Grocery sales increased by just 1 per cent over the four weeks to 9 June, said market research organisation Kantar, compared to 2.9 per cent in the previous four weeks.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, claimed people were ‘being put off from popping to the shops’ due to Britain experiencing its wettest spring since 1986 and one of its dampest on record.

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar 

Footfall dipped slightly, with shoppers visiting the supermarket an average of 16.3 times per month, against 16.4 in June 2023.

The poor conditions hit demand for traditional summer products like suncare items, which Kantar revealed slumped by around 25 per cent on the same month last year.

Simultaneously, Britons were purchasing products they would not usually anticipate buying in June, like warming fresh soup, whose sales soared by almost a quarter.

However, Kantar found that the proportion of households describing their financial position as ‘comfortable’ hit 36 per cent, its highest level in two-and-a-half years.

This followed costs declining across nearly one-third of grocery categories, such as milk, butter and toilet tissues.

Grocery inflation fell for the sixteenth consecutive month to 2.1 per cent, its lowest point since October 2021, amid a continued drop in energy and fertiliser prices.

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

While McKevitt acknowledged the cost-of-living crisis was not over, he said: ‘There are positive signs that many of us no longer feel the need to restrict our spending quite so much.’

Kantar believes the UEFA European Football Championship could bolster grocers and pubs, depending on how successful England and Scotland perform at the tournament.

It noted that the proportion of beer and lager sales on promotion had jumped by over 40 per cent during the last four weeks.

‘Retailers will be competing with fans heading out of the house to watch the football as well as with each other,’ said McKevitt. ‘Pubs especially could benefit from a boost – whether or not football comes home.’

Pubs especially could benefit from a boost – whether or not football comes home.’ 

Alongside this announcement, Kantar revealed that Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online giant rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June.

It also declared that Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, expanded its market share by 0.6 percentage points to 27.7 per cent, its best figure since February 2022, as its revenue increased by 4.6 per cent.

In contrast, Asda’s market share declined from 13.1 per cent in the prior 12 weeks to 12.8 per cent as the company struggled with hefty competition in the discount retail sector.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Asda has traditionally pitched itself at the value end of the market, but this has become a crowded space.

‘It is losing out to German discounters Aldi and Lidl in one corner and some of the big traditional players in the other corner, including Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer, both of whom are pushing hard on the value side of things.’

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Britain’s top 25 most stunning views ranked – and it’s lake Windermere that’s No1. Is YOUR favourite view on the list?

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One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK’s most stunning view.

Lake Windermere tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots.

Of those surveyed, 36 per cent voted the picturesque body of water in Cumbria their top choice.

In second place on the list of British beauty spots is St Ives Bay. The crescent-shaped Cornish spot received 33 per cent of the votes.

In joint third are St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland – which all received 25 per cent of the votes.

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK's most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK's most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK’s most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots 

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

The Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile-long Unesco World Heritage Site that stretches from Dorset to Devon, ranks fourth with 24 per cent of votes and in fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster (23 per cent).

Windermere ranking first will come as little surprise to many. One Tripadvisor reviewer said it is ‘simply stunning and a jewel in the UK’s crown’.

St Ives Bay also entrances, with one Tripadvisor reviewer declaring it ‘one of the most beautiful places in the UK’.

Third-place St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, near Penzance, was praised by visitors as a ‘bucket list’ destination, and fellow bronze-medal winner Cheddar Gorge has been described as ‘breathtaking’. 

St Michael's Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount's Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

St Michael's Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount's Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

St Michael’s Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount’s Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as 'breathtaking'

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as 'breathtaking'

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as ‘breathtaking’

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as 'awe-inspiring'. Above is Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as 'awe-inspiring'. Above is Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as ‘awe-inspiring’. Above is Loch Lomond

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast 

Meanwhile, visitors have dubbed the third bronze-ranked view, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, as ‘awe-inspiring’. 

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, also appeared on the list with 22 per cent of votes (sixth).

Brits were split on their seventh choice. The following all received 21 per cent of the vote: Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, lake Buttermere and Scafell Pike mountain in the Lake District, Durdle Door in Dorset, and the Peak District view from Stanage Edge.

In joint eighth place are Stonehenge, the Shambles historic street in York, the Roman baths in Bath, and Ben Nevis, with 20 per cent each. 

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

The Lake District's lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

The Lake District's lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

The Lake District’s lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

Completing the top ten are Robin Hood’s Bay (ninth, 19 per cent), the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex (joint 10th, 18 per cent), the Whitby Ruins (joint 10th, 18 per cent) and the White Cliffs of Dover (joint 10th, 18 per cent).

The poll of 2,000 people was conducted in conjunction with the launch of the Isuzu D-Max with a 4×4 drivetrain. 

George Wallis, Head of Marketing at Isuzu UK, said: ‘Our findings paint a picturesque portrait of Brits’ affection for UK beauty spots. From the majestic shores of lake Windermere to the colossal charm of the Giant’s Causeway. 

‘It’s clear everyone celebrates the stunning scenery and historic gems that make our nation shine. With the Isuzu D-Max on your side, you’ll be sure to easily navigate these breathtaking landscapes and pick up where others can’t.’

THE TOP 25 MOST STUNNING VIEWS IN BRITAIN

1. Windermere, Lake District – 36 per cent

2. St Ives Bay, Cornwall – 33 per cent

3= St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall – 25 per cent 

3= Cheddar Gorge, Somerset – 25 per cent

3= Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland – 25 per cent 

4. The Jurassic Coast – 24 per cent

5. York Minster – 23 per cent

6. Brecon Beacons, Wales – 22 per cent

7= Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland – 21 per cent

7= Buttermere, Lake District – 21 per cent  

7= Durdle Door, Dorset – 21 per cent 

7= The view at Stanage Edge in the Peak District, Derbyshire – 21 per cent

7= Scafell Pike, Lake District – 21 per cent

 

8= Stonehenge, Wiltshire – 20 per cent

8= The Shambles historic street, Yorkshire – 20 per cent

8=The Roman baths, Bath – 20 per cent

8= Ben Nevis – 20 per cent 

9. Robin Hood’s Bay, the Dinosaur Coast, Yorkshire – 19 per cent

10= Seven Sisters cliffs – 18 per cent

10= White Cliffs of Dover – 18 per cent 

10= Whitby Abbey ruins, Yorkshire – 18 per cent

11= Portmeirion in Wales – 17 per cent

11= Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England – 17 per cent

11= Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh – 17 per cent

12= Castle Combe, Cotswolds – 15 per cent

 Source: Isuzu UK

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Nvidia edges past Apple and Microsoft to become world’s most valuable company on stock market

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Nvidia edged ahead of other tech companies Tuesday to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in the latest sign of the might of artificial intelligence.

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That dizzy feeling isn’t the weed – Chinese pesticides used on pot farms linked to nausea, memory loss and even cancer

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Cannabis users who get headaches from their pot may need to look more carefully at their supply.

New research shows how some of the most popular brands on California’s dispensary shelves contain alarmingly high levels of pesticides.

They can irritate the lungs, eyes, and throat and cause rashes, headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Worse still, contaminants can include chemicals linked to cancer, liver failure, thyroid disease and genetic and neurologic harm to users and unborn children.

Some chemicals have been smuggled in from China — a sign of the growing involvement of Chinese gangs in legal and contraband pot farming in the US in the wake of legalization.

A sheriff's deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

A sheriff's deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

A sheriff’s deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

An LA Times and WeedWeek investigation probed some of the most popular brands of vapes and pre-rolled weed in the Golden State.

Some 25 of 42 legal pot products bought from stores and tested at private labs showed concentrations of pesticides above state or federal safety levels.

Most of the pesticides found were in low concentrations that could harm people who used them regularly.

The full extent of the health threat may not be known for years, researchers warned.

Vapes were among the worst offender.

Researchers found that five well-known brands had pesticide loads above federal risk thresholds for harm from a single exposure

Some products contained as many as two dozen pesticides.

The alarming findings echo the results of other surveys these past eight months.

Cannabis farmers are understood to overuse pesticides to boost profits in a tight market.

The high-value crop needs protection from the insect infestations that thrive in greenhouses.

Meanwhile, the surging popularity of vaping has driven demand for vape oils that are made from lower-quality weed, often grown illegally.

The potency of pesticides on some farms is so strong now that state investigators are urged to wear respirators and take blood poisoning tests when they come across them.

Researchers highlighted bags of illegal Chinese-label fumigants found at a cannabis greenhouse in Siskiyou County, in northern California.

Tests revealed 10 pesticides in the unbranded product, two that can kill if inhaled.

The haul included isoprocarb, a Chinese fumigant that’s not approved for use in the US.

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

The study focussed on California, but raises concerns for weed users across the country who could be inhaling similar chemicals.

Marijuana is fully legal – for adult recreational and medicinal use – in 29 states. It is fully illegal in four states.

Laws in the remaining states are mixed, meaning the drug may be permitted for medicinal use, allowed only in the form of CBD oil, be decriminalized or be a combination of these.

Poll

Do YOU think the federal government should lift its ban on cannabis?

  • Yes 1028 votes
  • No 864 votes
  • Not sure 19 votes

According to Pew Research, half of US adults say they have used pot, and nearly a quarter say they’ve used it in the past year.

There has been a notable uptick in recent years in the number of grows linked to Chinese nationals.

Some of these have popped up recently in such states as Maine and Oklahoma, with their looser rules and lax enforcement.

Fifty members of Congress in February wrote to the Department of Justice asking for more information about illegal marijuana cultivation linked to Chinese nationals.

The pesticides report is not the first scare for cannabis users.

Dozens of weed products, including buds and rollups, were recalled last month due to the discovery of a toxic mold that is linked to lung infections.

California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) reported that the products might be filled with aspergillus – a fungus that grows on plants when they aren’t stored or dried properly.

Inhaling aspergillus can cause a wide range of health issues including coughing up blood, asthma attacks, headaches, weight loss and in extreme cases, death.

There were 13 overall products that were subject to mandatory recalls including Northern Emerald’s Tyson Undisputed Cannabis Flower, a brand promoted by professional boxer Mike Tyson.

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Injured Mbappé asks for mask ideas – and receives rollicking response

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Hours after Kylian Mbappé broke his nose during France’s opening game at the Euro 2024 and was asked to wear a mask if he plays another match, the French football star asked for face mask ideas on X. His post received a flurry of hilarious responses, including some predictable, some political.

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Turkey 2-1 Georgia – Euro 2024: Live score, team news and updates as Real Madrid teenager Arda Guler scores screamer to restore his side’s lead in Group F opener as tournament debutants put up a fight

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Number of Haitians fleeing gang violence soars since March, says UN

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About 580,000 Haitians have now fled their homes due to gang violence, a 60 percent spike just since March, a United Nations agency said Tuesday.

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International

The Royals who shop in Co-op: As Edward and Sophie celebrate 25 years together, REBECCA ENGLISH reveals the key to their barrier-breaking success

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When Sophie and Edward tied the knot on June 19, 1999, they had already broken several significant royal barriers.

Having dated Edward for six years, the then Sophie Rhys-Jones was the first royal girlfriend ever to be permitted to stay overnight at Buckingham Palace as an unmarried woman — still a shocking proposition at the time.

What’s more, as the daughter of a tyre salesman from Kent she was, to use criminally old-fashioned parlance, a ‘commoner’ (let us not forget, when he was born, Edward was, by comparison, third in line to the throne).

And the couple’s insistence on not giving up their day jobs — she in PR and he in television production — was equally unheard of in royal circles.

But perhaps most notable was the fact that they were optimistically embarking on married life at a time when Edward’s three siblings — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne — had all just seen their first marriages sadly end in divorce.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

And yet against the odds, Sophie and Edward — who were made the Earl and Countess of Wessex when they wed but have since been ‘promoted’ to Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh by the King — will tomorrow celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

In royal circles they are known as a universally happy couple who have barely (certainly not since the notorious ‘Fake Sheikh’ scandal of the late 1990s in which Sophie was duped by an undercover reporter into making indiscreet comments about the then Prince Charles, Tony Blair and William Hague, and subsequently chose to give up her PR business) put a foot wrong.

They have two children, James, now Earl of Wessex, who is currently undertaking his GCSEs and Lady Louise, an English literature student at St Andrews University who, family friends tell me, is turning into a confident young woman.

They plan to celebrate 25 years of marriage in typically low-key style, I can reveal, with a group of close pals at Royal Ascot (and not even in the royal carriage procession).

It is this careful balancing of their positions as full-time working royals with a strong sense of duty, together with their life as partners and parents, that is the secret to their success, say friends.

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women's day

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women's day

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women’s day

‘They are a real team,’ one life-long friend of the couple tells me. ‘There’s an equilibrium in the relationship, neither one is jealous of the other. In fact they take great pride in the other’s achievements.

‘When Sophie undertook a 450-mile cycling challenge a few years ago from Edinburgh to London there was no one prouder than the prince, I can tell you.’

According to Sophie, 59, who paid a remarkable public tribute to her husband on his 60th birthday in March, it’s also the fact that he is ‘the best of the fathers and the most loving of husbands’.

She sweetly described Edward as her ‘best friend’ — and unhesitatingly admitted that she still fancies him in a uniform.

For Edward’s part, in an exclusive interview with me to mark his landmark birthday, he notably came alive as he discussed his wife.

‘Well, you need a really good supportive network in this and family is incredibly important. I am just very, very lucky that Sophie is a brilliant, brilliant person in her own right,’ he told me, smiling from ear to ear.

Friends say the prince has never taken for granted what Sophie took on when she married him, after they famously first met at a ‘real tennis’ tournament she was doing the PR for and he was playing in.

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Their close friend Mark Foster-Brown, who has known Edward since their days at Cambridge University (and was also a guest at the tournament when they first met) agrees, adding: ‘I just feel that there is a particular pride in him at what she does and how she does it. That’s very bonding, it would be in any marriage, and it certainly is in theirs.’

Sophie has become an acclaimed campaigner for men and women who are victims of sexual violence in war and recently became the first British royal to travel to Ukraine to highlight this untold story of the current conflict.

Edward, meanwhile, has taken on the mantle of his late father, not just in name but in many of the public duties he once undertook, particularly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

While the couple would insist they aren’t doing anything particularly different nowadays — it’s just that people have started to notice it more in a slimmed-down monarchy — there’s little doubt their star is in the ascendance.

Outside work they are both very much country sorts, adoring their dogs, walking and riding.

They’re also keen skiers. Edward, in particular, is ‘irritatingly good’ and utterly ‘fearless’, says one friend. Sophie did a season on the slopes after leaving school and isn’t far behind.

The couple are known too to enjoy ‘bucket and spade’ family holidays in places such as the Isles of Scilly.

One family friend who has holidayed with them recalls a member of the public once coming up to Edward to tell him that he was a ‘dead ringer’ for the Queen’s youngest son — clearly not thinking for a second that the man queuing up to get supplies in the Co-op could ever have been him.

Above all, Sophie and Edward laugh a lot.

‘There is always something for them to giggle about,’ says a pal.

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

It’s unsurprising to many in royal circles that they have become role models to the Prince and Princess of Wales, who greatly admire the way they have brought up their children out of the public spotlight (at one point 16th-in-line-to-the-throne Louise even had a job working in a local garden centre for £6.83 an hour).

Sophie, in particular, has become a reliable ‘sounding board’ for Kate and their relationship has gone from strength to strength, while William enjoys an easy relationship with his uncle (which cannot be said for his dealings with Andrew).

On Monday, William was paired with Edward at the Order of the Garter service, while Sophie was seen giving him a reassuring pat on the back after the family’s moving appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Saturday, Kate’s first public appearance since her cancer diagnosis. Sophie was also seen laughing with the princess and her children at Horse Guards.

The foursome are only expected to support each other more in the years to come as the Royal Family’s youngest working royals.

Certainly, the way Edward and Sophie have supported each other since their marriage at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, two and a half decades ago, is testimony to the strength of their union.

As their friend, Mr Foster Brown, tells me: ‘The day of their wedding was the most extraordinary experience. For all of us at the time, it felt like it was an amazing thing to be part of. Here we are, 25 years later, and all of the hopes and expectations that we had on that day have been fulfilled.

‘And that’s quite something because, let’s face it, not everyone can say that.’

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‘Victory for the people’: Thai lawmakers pass marriage equality law

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Thailand on Tuesday became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic parliamentary vote hailed as a “victory” by campaigners.

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