Day Out: Michael York

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The Independent Culture
I live in west Hollywood but I often come over to London for work. On an ideal day, after landing in Heathrow I wouldn't go into London, I'd go the opposite way to Dartmoor. If you are living in Los Angeles you don't think twice about driving to lunch 100 miles away, but here it would be considered eccentric to go even from London to Birmingham for lunch. I'd love to get out, though, and go to a wonderful Edwardian hotel on the edge of the moor called Gidleigh Park (0647 432367).

It's right out on its own. You have to go through the village of Chagford to get there, winding down these incredibly tiny lanes - it's like going to the end of the world. Once you are there you are rewarded with lots of wild, fresh air. It has marvellous food and, if I could get there in time, I'd just have the English breakfast. The best thing about English country houses is that you feel like you're a guest in someone's mansion - there are dogs in front of blazing fires and you don't feel like you're paying.

I'm rediscovering England. Unfortunately growing up in the south so close to continental Europe I tended to go on bicycling holidays in France when I was young. I would have lunch in Exeter Cathedral (0392 55573), one of my favourite places, and maybe go to a matinee in the Northcott Theatre (0392 54853). Later in the afternoon I would drive to a beach, or have a traditional cream tea somewhere on the coast like Sidmouth. Then I'd like to go back to Gidleigh Park for dinner. It's just a treat to see the gentler side of England.

Michael York stars in 'Fall from Grace', a four-hour drama commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day on Sky One, 5,6 Jun

(Photograph omitted)