The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

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We’ve been asking A-listers for their favourite-ever places in the world for years. And lots of celebrities consider a special corner of the UK and Ireland one of the loveliest spots they’ve visited on their extensive travels. These are the places that celebrities head to when they’re off-duty – from Hampstead Heath to the coast of Ireland.

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    James McAvoy – London

    The X-Men and Split actor is happiest at home in the capital

    ‘You can see some roses out of my bedroom window in London, which are pretty exceptional, so that’s my current favourite. But maybe the view from Alexandra Palace. It’s one I’ve been enjoying since I got my first scooter when I was about 23 and rode around North London trying to orientate myself. When I found Ally Pally I thought, «Holy shit…» and have not really stopped going since. I head up there about once a week, come rain or shine, to think and get some air. On a clear day, you can see almost all the city.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    George Ezra – Norfolk

    The multi-platinum-selling musician took a romantic solo getaway to Norfolk

    ‘I took a few different trips to write the second album. The one that really stands out is this cabin in Norfolk. When I booked it the owners said: “We’ve only ever done romantic weekends for two, we’ve never had a man by himself for 10 days. Is everything OK?” I loved it! It was summertime and it would stay light till really late. There was no electricity, I had to light a fire for hot water, but then that hot water fell into a beautiful roll-top bath.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    Dominic West – County Limerick, Ireland

    The Wire star keeps going back to Ireland’s west coast

    ‘My mother’s parents were from Ireland, although they moved to Sheffield just before the war. I remember going to Galway with my granny when I was about eight, falling in love with Connemara and developing an Irish “thing”, which is why I chose to go to Trinity College in Dublin. I hitch-hiked a lot in those days, and I walked around the coast in my last year at Trinity, so I got to know Ireland quite well. Then I fell in love with a girl from County Limerick, who had a castle on the banks of the Shannon. I walked around the coast, to Glin Castle where she was having her 21st birthday, and that is where she finished with me. Twenty years later, we got back together, and now we’re married with four kids and we’re taking over the castle where I got dumped.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    Anjelica Huston — County Clare, Ireland

    The star of The Darjeeling Limited and The Addams Family grew up on the Irish coast

    ‘It’s an old and sentimental one: the Cliffs of Moher off County Clare in Ireland, where I grew up. I remember seeing a school of dolphins out to sea, with nothing else in sight. We’d make picnics and load extending ladders into the station wagon so we could get into the Martello towers all around. We used to climb inside and find things like cannon balls. It was still a place you could discover treasure.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    Tim Roth – Liverpool

    The BAFTA-winning actor fell for Liverpool on a recent visit

    ‘Liverpool. I went there recently and loved it. The people were incredible. One day we were out by Crosby Beach, where there are Antony Gormley ‘Another Place’ sculptures. It was so beautiful, and it revitalised my love of art. And there’s a place I would recommend called the Hope Street Hotel, which is fantastic.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    Hilary Swank – Hampstead Heath, London

    The Million Dollar Baby actress, who had bagged two Oscars by the age of 30, always stays near Hampstead Heath when in London

    ‘When we were last in London I stayed near Hampstead Heath and became obsessed with it. In all the time I’ve spent in London I had never been there, but the production team suggested it because of my dogs and, oh my God, I’m never staying anywhere else.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    Naomie Harris – London

    The Moonlight and Skyfall actor on why London is her favourite city

    ‘London. Hands down! For countless reasons… its historical charm, culture, ethnic diversity, architecture, elegance and sophistication. And the way London manages to be a thriving metropolis without being overwhelming, but still maintains peaceful pockets that make you feel as though you’re in a village.’

  • The loveliest corners of the UK and Ireland – according to celebrities

    James Norton – Yorkshire

    The Happy Valley and McMafia star on finding peace in Yorkshire

    ‘I grew up in North Yorkshire, and the view of Castle Howard from the top of a hill near my parents’ house feels peaceful and familiar. If life gets too much, I go and sit on that hill and calm myself down.’

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