A small island in the far north west of Scotland owned by the Scottish Wildlife Trust reached by boat from the tiny harbour of Tarbet near Scourie in Sutherland. In spring/summer see thousands of nesting seabirds including puffins, great skuas and razorbills whilst enjoying a walk through the island with magnificent views all round.
When you return back to Tarbet, enjoy the most fresh and delicious seafood at the tiny Seafood Cafe. A gem of a place.
This one's extreme. You get here via a tiny six-seater plane or a white-knuckle three-hour boat trip from Shetland. The best (usually the only) place to stay is the Bird Observatory, where you get fed within an inch of your life on home baking. You can join the twitchers with their birding work, thrill to cliff-top walks bombarded by broody skuas, check out the knitting in the island museum, and just soak up the sound of sea and silence.
You have to make an effort to get to mythical Bardsey, dangling off the tip of Wales's Lleyn Peninsula. It's so remote there are no full-time residents, just a summer-time community of farmers and holiday makers. Visitors stay like hermits in long-abandoned cottages with no running water or electricity, and you have to stand in the sea to pick up a mobile signal.
But you also get rare birdlife, fresh lobsters delivered by local fishermen and the kind of deep, utter peace you're hard pressed to get anywhere else in the UK.
Bardsey is about two miles off the tip of the Lleyn Peninsula in north Wales.
Burgh Island is a tiny scrap of land off the south Devon coast. Why go? As well as its ravishing and isolated location, the island boasts an exquisite art deco hotel with a rock-cut swimming pool, vintage decor and sumptuous restaurant with 1930s dinner dances. The likes of George Formby, Nancy Cunard, the Prince of Wales and Mrs Simpson used to frolic there, and it still cuts a dash. For those on a budget, there's an ancient fisherman's pub. Oh, and best of all, when the tide is in, you can cross to the island on the hotel's sea tractor.
South Devon TQ7 4BG
Tel: 01548 810514
It's a lovely old house in a lovely valley in a lovely part of Wales. Super rooms and good food. Five-star rated and deserving of it.
This is a really stylish and comfortable cafe/bar in the middle of the town. It is a great place to drink a (good) coffee and read the papers while you wait for your wife to look at the shops and then buy her a simple lunch and decent glass of wine! I have never been there in the evening but I believe they sometimes have (gentle) live music.
Market Street, Aberystwyth 01970 - 617606
Borrow a longboard and surf some small waves at Vazon before driving one bay north to Cobo. Order a Breda, sit outside and watch the sunset over the fishing boats.
Right on the seafront, the Penhelig is a small hotel which manages to remain a local pub. There is a cosy bar and pleasant restaurant where the food is good and the prices sensible.
Also excellent beer and wine.
Right on the front at the Machynlleth end of town. 01654 767215 - best to reserve when busy
This music shop has a comprehensive selection of musical instruments, accoutrements and accessories with a very good postal service and large selection of strings for traditional, folk and acoustic music.
We are an ordinary couple and at the time were in our mid-40s. I would like to share our journey with others because most people would imagine someone undertaking such a venture to be a strapping and sporty type with much experience. However, Philip and I had never done any long-distance walking and very little camping. We love the outdoors but we had spent most of our married life bringing up a family. When our children reached late teens and early twenties we decided to do something special together.
This walk became our dream, our plan and then our reality.
Our preparation took 12 months and our walk took 88 days. It was a test of our fortitude, our relationship and our mental strength. We managed somehow to pass all these tests and we did not even get a blister!
This journal tells of our experiences and my personal view of the landscape and feelings as the journey progressed. There is also some practical and historical information included. I am an Australian and it is Britain through my eyes. I kept a daily dairy and collected information along the way. These notebooks were regularly posted off and a new one purchased.
I hope that if you read this journal, it will inspire you to do something special with your own life because when you read my story, you will know that you can do it.
From Lynmouth, if you have some decent walking shoes on, you can follow the river path along the deep, wooded valley up to Watersmeet. Here you will find wonderful scenery, pretty waterfalls and, after about a mile, a National Trust cafe and shop where everyone seems to converge.
From here, you can either rest and re-fuel before heading back, or continue along numerous paths that wind off further up through the forest. If it's a hot day, be sure to take a drink with you.
Take the river path that starts next to Lynmouth car park.
A cliff-top cafe with beautiful views across Poole Bay.
Unfortunately owners have a very poor approach to customer service and food hygiene is poor. They are extremely surly and any complaint about the quality of the food is met with comments such as '..go and eat elsewhere then'. On complaining that my childrens' sausages were not cooked properly they refused to replace them and gave no refund (having thrown the items away).
A sweeping, swooping rollercoaster of a drive that that hugs the coast and takes you through everchanging scenery: deep valleys, rugged headlands, gentle coves and tooth-achingly pretty villages. You take in the Giant's Causeway, the swinging, swaying Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the beaches of Port Ballantrae and White Park Bay, and the Clough William-Ellis houses of Cushendun. Start at Portrush Strand, stop for lunch in the Londonderry Arms (once owned by Churchill), but turn off for Ballymena (instead of staying on the road to Larne), and plough through the deep Glens of Antrim.
Georgian house with BBQ courtyard terrace five minutes walk from the city centre. From £8 a night including free breakfast, tea making, internet etc.
56 Berkeley Street, Charing Cross Tel: 0141 221 7880 www.glasgowbackpackers.com
Apart from a very steep and winding road, the two villages are connected by a funicular from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the bay and surrounding hills. My recommendation is to leave the car in Lynton's car park, which is bigger than Lynmouth's, then enjoy the descent down the cliff-side while having your breath taken away.
From the ramparts of this huge prehistoric hill fort, the view opens up to the Somerset Levels below - mile upon mile of fields and hedges, and twelve miles away, the isolated shape of Glastonbury Tor. Whether in golden sunlight or winter mist, this is a magical view. This may or may not be King Arthur's Camelot, but it does sometimes feel as if it's on the frontiers of another world.
Five miles north west of Yeovil
The line between the High- and Low- lands is amazingly beautiful. You look down into a river valley with massive hills on either side. Green as I've only experienced in Scotland with a train going by on the ridge. Breathtaking.
New breakfast brunch cafe along Park View, next to a great selection of shops and boutiques. It has great coffee and wonderful eggs benedict.
Lovely place to relax and meet friends. Open every day!
203 park view
Perfect for visiting Liverpool on a shoestring or going to the football.
Located in the city centre near the cathedrals and universities, there's a mixture of en-suite dorms and private twin rooms as well as useful kitchen facilities. Helpful and friendly staff can point out what to do and see and also help arrange tours of the city.
Also has serviced apartments and the only internet cafe in the city centre is next door.
On South Hunter Street just off Hardman Street. Telephone number is 0151 709 8135 whilst the webpage is www.internationalinn.co.uk
Much like the magical mystery tour but more intimate and with greater depth. Conducted by the Blue Badge-accredited Phil Hughes, you'll see all the famous Beatles sites in his eight seater mini-bus.
It's a much more personal experience plus there's the added bonus of Phil fitting round your schedule. He's got a great write up in the current Lonely Planet too.
You'll need to book with him in advance. The hostels and tourist information in Liverpool can do that for you, or you can call him yourself on 0151 228 4565.
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