My Fave Places: Charlie Hussey
Charlie Hussey has spent most of his adult life in Berkhamsted, doing the all-too-familiar commute into London every day. Lucky for local music lovers, his mid-life… er… hiatus (don’t call it a crisis… it wasn’t a crisis) turned into BerkoFest – a music festival that brings some big names, and some smaller ones to the town. Now, when he’s not doing the day job – as a sports picture editor for a national newspaper – he’s busy coordinating the brilliant team of volunteers who work so hard to put the festival together.
I was talking with him recently and asked him to share his favourite places with you all. Some local, some further afield. All of them corkers — with the emphasis on chilling out.
Berkhamsted Cricket Club
For me, Berkhamsted Cricket Club is my Mecca. If you work in London, like I do, there’s nothing like coming back out to somewhere so amazing. I just love sport, particularly cricket, and what a great spot for a club. It’s sitting there in the rolling Chiltern Hills, and it’s just beautiful. It also forms a natural amphitheatre, so it was always the obvious choice as the venue for BerkoFest. Now, I get to combine my two passions – music and cricket – in the same place. What more could you want?
Treen Beach, Cornwall
Treen Beach is definitely the most beautiful beach in the whole country by far. It’s just so serene and so scenic – ‘serenic’? – and going there is addictive. You get down to the beach down a goat track, and it definitely attracts people who are a bit ‘different’ – there’s a really hedonistic, bohemian feel to the place. I’ve been going for years, and I love that I now know lots of people while live there and visit there.
The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted
The Rising Sun pub in Berkhamsted – or ‘The Riser’ as it’s known – is another place that attracts all sorts of different people. It’s slightly off-the-wall, a bit eccentric, but that is absolutely what makes it so special. It attracts some real characters – not least Nigel, the landlord – and you end up meeting all sort of people of all ages when you drink there. It’s brilliant in summer, sitting outside by the canal and watching the working lock, and it’s there, over a pint — well, more than one — that the idea of BerkoFest was born.
The towpath in the evening
After a long, busy day in London, there’s nothing I like more than cycling along the canal towpath in Berkhamsted. It’s just such a contrast. In the evenings, the towpath is quiet and empty, and there’s something brilliant about cycling alone along there, watching the swans and the boats. Perfect.
Helford Passage, Cornwall
I do love living in Berkhamsted, but Cornwall is definitely my spiritual home. I’ve been visiting there all my life, and Helford Passage is just such a quiet, peaceful inslet – and so beautiful. There’s some great walking round there, and it’s a great place to spend time all year round.