Features Sneak Peek: Special 225

Shutterstock / SL-Photography © Special 225

We have a real treat in store with Special 225 now on sale.

A Guide To Guatemala

Special 225

Photograph by Jo Seaman.

The beautiful city of Antigua Guatemala is where Spanish colonialists made their capital in 1524. It is a small UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is laid out in an easily explored grid and bursting with attractive 17th- and 18th-century Baroque churches and cathedrals. Guatemala is rich in colourful pageants, many of which combine a celebration of both the indigenous Mayan and Catholic traditions.

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, around Easter, is perhaps the most spectacular festival and dates back over 500 years. Men are dressed in purple robes and are accompanied by brass bands and people wearing biblical costume.

Day of the Dead, at the beginning of November, sees families honouring their deceased loved ones by dressing their homes with photos, flowers, food and drink, and visiting cemeteries to leave offerings.

Markets in Antigua are overflowing with multi-coloured fabrics, costumes and homeware, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the chocolate. Ancient Mayans gave the world chocolate. In fact, cacoa beans were once even used as currency! However, the local beer and coffee should also be sampled while we are here.

Our itinerary includes a visit to a breathtakingly spectacular complex of Mayan temples at Tikal. With resident wildlife such as parrots, frogs and spider monkeys, there is plenty to see – and photograph – in this beautiful part of the world.

Wildlife Photographer

Special 225

Photograph courtesy of Dave Newman.

Lunchtimes are always a welcome chance to step away, take a breath and recharge for the tasks that lie ahead in the afternoon.

Dave Newman gleans those benefits but returns from his break with something much more tangible, too. He often comes back with stunning shots of wildlife he’s spotted: fish, birds and animals all captured in their glory.

What’s even more remarkable is that Dave really had no interest in nature and knew nothing about photography until four years ago.

In Special 225, Bill Gibb marvels at the fabulous wildlife pictures captured by amateur photographer Dave Newman.

Fun With Foraging

Special 225

Photograph by Lauren Lochrie.

Foraging – identifying and harvesting wild foods – is enjoying a surge in popularity, partly due to growing awareness around the need for sustainable local food sources.

Back in the days of our ancestors, though, foraging was a way of life and a necessity for survival.

Nature’s bounty is all around us. It can be found in woods, forests and beaches. However, it can also be found in cities and towns, where forageable growth can be seen along verges and in abandoned spaces.

Gilly Pickup gets to the root of the surge in popularity of harvesting wild food.

A Shear Delight

Special 225

Photography by Bev Ashdown.

From clothes shops to craft centres and even the House of Lords, wool is everywhere in one form or another.

If you’ve ever pulled on a warm woolly jumper, knitted, or snuggled down to sleep on a wool pillow, chances are the wool came from a UK sheep.

After all, there are 34 million of them in the British Isles and upwards of 60 breeds.

Holly Crawford unravels the story of the UK wool industry from sheep to shop.

Elsewhere in Special 225, we have some recipes from National Trust chefs. Plus we have a craft project to make a case for your tablet.

We hope you enjoy it. Let us know what you think.

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