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Famous faces share their perfect places; Book reveals celebrities' top haunts.

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson

CHERISHED places in the North have been highlighted in a new book put together by famous people. Washington-born singer Bryan Ferry names Penshaw Monument as his idyllic place, Sunderland raised journalist Kate Adie includes County Durham's Staindrop and Raby Castle, while internationally acclaimed landscape photographer Derry Brabbs lists Northumberland's Hadrian's Wall a favourite. The new book, called Icons of England, is published this month and edited by Campaign to Project Rural England President Bill Bryson, who is also the chancellor of Durham University. Featuring contributions from over 90 personalities, it highlights many of the most treasured places and intriguing features the English countryside has to offer.

It holds pieces created by film stars to celebrity chefs, and from comics to musicians, who write fondly of their corner of the country or aspect of English life that they most hold dear. Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry writes: "Penshaw Monument is a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. Built in 1844 at Penshaw, close to Sunderland, it was dedicated to the first Earl of Durham.

High on a hill in the middle of an otherwise flat part of the North East coastal plain, it dominates the surrounding land; and as a young boy growing up in the nearby pit village of Washington, it made a huge impression on me."

Derry Bradds says about Hadrian's Wall: "It was a spine-tingling and somewhat humbling experience to stand alone on one of the wall's highest vantage points, touching blocks of stone that were originally slotted into place by soldiers from the Roman legions of York, Chester or Caerleon." Kate Adie says: "As a child, it was a treat to take a run in the car into Swaledale or Teesdale, away from the industrial cranes and pitheads of the County Durham coast. On the way back, full of egg and tomato sandwiches and home-made shortbread, we would always stop on the edge of the village of Staindrop. "Once there, I'd peer over the drystone wall towards the outline of Raby Castle and stare at its vast park of rather lumpy northern grassland, with a small copse here and there." Culture and nature writer Sue Clifford said: "It is always a pleasure to bump into fossils: the so-called 'Purbeck marbles' are full of shells and form dark pillars and carvings inside many a church.

"On polished walls and floors, such as those of London's Festival Hall, you can find the confused patterns of Hopton Wood crinoidal limestone from Derbyshire.

And on the beach at Holy Island, you can pick up St Cuthbert's Beads, the little coins of crinoid stems."

FAMOUS NAMES DO IT BY THE BOOK FAMOUS people who have taken part in the book include: Adrian Chiles, Alan Titchmarsh, Alexei Sayle, Bryan Ferry, David Bellamy, Dick Francis, Eric Clapton, Fiona MacCarthy, Floella Benjamin, Gabby Logan, General Sir Richard Dannatt, Harold 'Dickie'' Bird, Jo Brand, John Sergeant, John Snow, Jonathan Dimbleby, Julia Bradbury, Kate Adie, Kevin Spacey, Libby Purves, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Palin, Raymond Blanc, Rick Stein, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sir Antony Sher, Sir Mark Tully, Sir Nigel Thompson Sue Clifford, Terence Blacker, Terry Jones, Trisha Goddard, and the book also has a foreword written by Prince Charles.


STAR ATTRACTION Bryan Ferry named Penshaw monument in Sunderland as his favourite place
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 7, 2010
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