New flight routes to take you straight to Southern comfort in Charleston

Culture, colour and history meld in the South Carolina city, now within easy reach of the UK, thanks to new flights

By Helen Warwick
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:17 BST
Charleston street
Southern elegance in a balmy setting isn't in short supply in Charleston.
Photograph by Getty Images

Horse-drawn carriages, grand antebellum houses and elaborate churches — it’s Charleston’s infectious mix of nostalgic Americana and unmistakable Southern warmth that’s won over so many US visitors. And it’s all the more accessible for UK travellers too, from 4 April, when British Airways started its twice-weekly service from Heathrow – making it the first airline to fly direct from Europe.

If you need somewhere to rest your weary head, one of the hottest tickets in town is the new Hotel Bennett — the former Charleston County Library that’s been spruced up and reimagined with nine floors of palazzo-style elegance. There’s a ballroom, a patisserie, and a rooftop pool and Camellias, the pretty-in-pink Champagne bar. 

Reimagined Southern cuisine at Husk Restaurant, Charleston.
Photograph by Getty Images


At Husk, chef Sean Brock puts his spin on Southern food. Though the menu changes daily, dishes could include bacon cornbread with pork butter, or devilled eggs with pickled okra.


Charleston’s slave trade history is best understood at the McLeod Plantation Historic Site, with exhibitions spread out across a Georgian-style plantation, cabins and outbuildings.

Leafy avenue in Charleston.
Photograph by Getty Images


If the sultry climes of the city get too much, cool down on a harbour cruise. It’s also a chance to see dozens of landmarks including Fort Sumter, the USS Yorktown, and the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge. 

Published in the May 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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