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Our little black book of enchanting places

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How to go retro by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted By Maggie O' Sullivan

 

Robert Louis Stevenson believed that ‘to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’. But then, he never knew the misery that is the easyJet check-in queue in high summer. One way to restore some of that Stevenson ‘hopeful travel’, is to forget modern modes of transport and go vintage. Add retro sunglasses and a Silkwool travelwrap, and you’re good to go. 

Classic sportscar

Bespokes, based in London, Hertfordshire and Cheshire, has a collection of more than 50 classic, sport and supercars for hire. This Morgan +4 is the quintessential Fifties sports car and costs from £595 for a four-day weekend, hired in London.Vintage train

You could book a return on the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express – or you could head for Coalport Station in Shropshire where two renovated railway carriages await. Don’t worry if you’re running late – they’re not going anywhere: Coalport Station was shut down by Dr Beeching in 1963. From £60 a night, self-catering based on a four-night stay.Seventies campervan

Surrey-based Retro Campervan has nine vans for hire and they come with fridge or coolbox, gas cooker and kitchen equipment. A mains hook up cable is supplied for use in campsites. Their oldest van was built in 1966 though we’ve taken a shine to Blueberry (above), which dates from 1978. Its totally refurbished interior has a nautical theme, so just right for a spin along the Devon coast. From £300 at weekends.Classic launch

What better way to ‘travel hopefully’ than to drift down the Thames on an Edwardian launch? This is the Suzy Ann, built in 1911 and restored for Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire. You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to hire the Suzy Ann, though she’s not cheap: £250 for the first hour and £140 per hour thereafter. Picnics cost extra, from £38 per person.Va-va-voom Vespa

The Grand Tourismo Super might not be a vintage scooter, but we’re allowing it because it reminds us of Audrey Hepburn whizzing around Rome in Roman Holiday. You can hire this and other models from a London-based company called About Town (terms and conditions apply). Weekend hire, £170.

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