Couldn’t fault it – but would one expect less from somewhere which was frequented by the late John Kennedy Jnr?What is in the bathrooms?Everything you could want. Fluffy towels, bathrobes and toiletries from the delicious Almond/Aloe range by Caswell-Massey, all attractively packaged with the Hob Knob’s cow logo.I’m hungryTake breakfast on the veranda overlooking the garden: a buffet with juices, coffee, tea, fruit and muffins, followed by a “full farm breakfast” cooked to order. Another of Maggie’s traditions is afternoon tea (included in the b&b price). We enjoyed masses of minute tomato and basil sandwiches, scones and jam, frosty pitchers of home-made lemonade and a wide selection of teas – just the sort of English afternoon tea you dream about but can never find in England Guests sit around in rockers on the veranda, chatting away.
No lunches or dinners are served here but the chef will prepare a gourmet picnic on request. Edgartown, however, is rich in restaurants.What are the people like?The staff consist of polite young men and women trained to be knowledgeable about the island and unfailingly helpful to guests. Not surprisingly, the clientele is upmarket, but our fellow guests included a fun party of cyclists, aged from 20 to 70 years.Local interestWhat about a picnic on the Hob Knob’s 27ft Boston whaler? Or fly fishing for striped bass off Gay Head? Or kayaking through Chilmark’s saltwater ponds? Or clamming at low tide for the elusive quahog. We settled for looking at the lovely old Greek revival mansions, crossing on the Chappy Ferry ($2 round trip) to Chappaquiddick and strolling along the beach looking for shells as the sun set. We also used the excellent island bus service to visit the Polly Hill Arboretum at West Tisbury.Access for allThe inn has one room with disabled access. Children over seven are welcome.What’s the damage?Rates for a double room range from $125 to $300 (Â£80-Â£190) per night from 1 November to 30 April, $150 to $500 (Â£95-Â£318) in May and from $225 to $550 (Â£143-Â£350) from 23 May to 31 October. Don’t forget to add on 9.7 per cent lodging tax.AddressThe Hob Knob Inn, 128 Main Street, Edgartown, Massachusetts (001 508 627 9510; )..
In an age when walking holidays have become commonplace, it was delightful to stumble upon a path not that often trod. The 10-day Corfu Trail snakes its way up from the south to the north of the island and joins together the most beautiful and remote parts of Greece’s most fertile isle. And there really is a different vision of the island at every turn. The route scales high mountain tracks, skirts deserted beaches, meanders through groves of ancient olive trees, cuts through dense forest and descends a vertigo-inducing cliff-cut corniche. Dotted along the path are old monasteries, abandoned stone villages and country churches to enjoy. The trail brings you close to a simple way of country life that has changed little over the centuries.Rather surprisingly, the route was put together by a woman from Lancaster, Hilary Whitton Paipeti, who has made Corfu her home for the past 21 years.
I managed to track down Ms Paipeti while on the island and asked her where she came up with the idea. “Basically my father said to me many years ago, why don’t you put together a walk like the Pennine Way but on Corfu So the idea generated from there,” she said. Ms Paipeti had already compiled two compendiums of walking trails on the island, so that when it came to establishing the Corfu Trail, it was a case of looking for paths that would link them together.But while the Corfu Trail may be new to the world of walking holidays, there is really very little new about the route. In fact, one of the many beauties of the trail is that it follows ancient inter-village footpaths, some of which are cobbled and date from Byzantine times. It is also a positive step away from the island’s mass coastal tourism, bringing visitors into the interior and introducing them to the little-visited villages. “We want to bring the benefits of low-impact and alternative tourism to the villages that rarely see tourists,” Ms Paipeti says.Using her highly readable companion guide and walking notes it is possible to walk all of the trail or to dip in and out and do odd days. Following the yellow waymarks is for the most part quite simple, but there are sections where the path has been obscured and care should be taken.