From the antique grandeur of the Old Town to the cold classical beauty of the New Town, this is the most beautiful city in Europe.
I am a Canadian who visits every January. The weather is not unpleasant: last year there were days and days of glorious sunshine.
The best place to stay is in the Old Town. This is where all the real-life characters of the city hang out. Sit on a bench in Hunter Square or one close to St Giles and just observe the people. Walk down the High Street from the castle to Holyrood.
A great place to eat is Always Sunday close to the Fringe Office, spend Friday/Saturday night listening to the band at the small Scotsman Lounge on Cockburn.
See you there...
From the air, three old hills in a large park northeast of Milan appear oddly pyramidal. On the ground, a trail leads past grazing horses and cows and slopes terraced for wine growing. When the air is clear, the Alps are seen to the north.
Any mysteries lie buried and long forgotten.
Briar Lea Inn and the adjoining pub The Jolly Drayman are run by a great couple (English wife and American husband) - we stayed next door at the Norseman, so can't comment on the accommodation, but can vouch for the Jolly Drayman's food and friendly atmosphere. The beer's good, too!
150 Mayville Road, Bethel ME 04217 (Route 2)
A lovely village at the foot of the Rigi on Lake Lucerne.
Mountains, lakes, walks, cities, trains and lots lots more.
Buy the Tell pass and save a lot of money.
Don't take a car - use public transport. If only we had public transport like the Swiss.
A beautifully kept and secluded campsite overlooking the valleys of the Dordogne.
Particularly recommended for off-peak camping, the site also hires out "mini-chateaux". Very warm staff, great location with nearby watersports, medieval villages and superb local cuisine.
Camping les Hauts de Ratebout,
It's nearly perfect: stunning building, great food, lovely cocktails, good-looking staff, regularly changing art exhibitions, a garden with deckchairs and cool industrial loos in the basement.
Erratic service, especially when the owner/manager is in, mars it. Plus she wears really strong scent.
But I still end up going back there, and when it is good it is very very good.
Afternoon tea with cocktails in the garden of an old power station is certainly unusual.
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall
020 7680 2080
Once you've eaten (alot) you could do worse than stroll back to Canary Wharf through the park opposite and then along the river
If you are on a camper van tour, or taking a road trip through Europe and camping along the way, you can get specialist insurance that will cover you through pretty much all of Europe and some other countries too (North Africa, Turkey).
It is ideal for travellers as you don't need a permanent address, and you can arrange cover for just as long as you need.
Incredibly peaceful campsite in South Burgundy surrounded by beautiful countryside, cycle routes and vineyards.
There are just six pitches in a field next to the owners' lovely old house.
There are loos and showers in converted outbuildings.
There is an orchard. And that is it! No swimming pool, shop, kids' clubs, disco, bar ... a real find.
La Tuilerie de Chazelle, 71460 Cormatin, France.
Tel: +33 3 85 50 19 55
Part of the excellent Baxpax chain and recently opened, this modern, funky hostel is slightly out of the centre but located in the über-cool Kreuzberg district.
Some of the rooms have country themed decor (think Swiss cheese, mountains, flags etc) and kitchen and bathrooms are impeccably clean.
The small bar is laid back and chilled out; a good place to meet fellow travellers for a random chat.
Staff are welcoming and incredibly helpful, and you can even hire bikes for only 12 euros a day.
Skalitzer Strasse 104, 10997 Berlin, Germany.
Tel.:++49(0)30 695 183 22 www.baxpax.de/kreuzberg
Pitch your tent among the pine trees. There’s a restaurant, cafe, disco and shop, but this is a peaceful place close to an ancient theatre and other archeological sites and there’s a vast sandy beach.
0039 922 846023, www.eracleaminoavillage.it
Three miles south of Porec on a peninsula looking out to blue sea and a scattering of islands; inland is rocky and forested. Sporty four-star site with two swimming pools, lots of volleyball and boating and its own Blue Flag beach.
00385 52 410551, plavalaguna.hr.
There are 24,000 islands in all and you are free to camp on any of them. The bigger ones have campsites; the smaller ones you can have all to yourself. Buy a five-day Batluffarkortet archipelago ferry pass, for about £25 and use taxi boats to get to the smaller islands.
Looking for something serendipitous, a bohemian Baghdad Cafe experience? Nothing tops this cool, retro trailer park and campsite.
Situated in southwest France in the gorgeous and historic Ariege department, on a hilltop with breathtaking views of the Pyrenees, little can prepare you for the gloriously time-warpy sight of several fully-equipped and lovingly maintained genuine Airstream trailers, each one with its own garden and totally kitted out with authentic vintage gear. From orange sun loungers to pink flamingoes, you have to see it to believe it.
Facilities include a farm shop that sells basic goods (including farm-fresh organic lamb for the barbie), shower/toilet block, hot tub and last, but not least, the groovy Apollo lounge - an Airstream converted into a proper bar house in a circus tent, serving meals and providing entertainment.
The surrounding area is packed with stuff to do. If you don't fancy just chilling out in front of your cool caravan, you can go hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, Cathar castle-spotting or sightseeing in nearby Carcassonne to mention only a few options.
Belrepayre truly is a fabulous way to discover an area of outstanding beauty and laid-back charm.
Must be seen!
Telephone: 0033 561 68 11 99
Belrepayre is near the town of Mirepoix, about 40 minutes from Carcassonne (which is served by Ryanair from the UK) and approximately one hour from Toulouse.
Decent site with bar/food/internet. Popular with Germans, French and Italians. Located on a semi-island, the centre is easily reached with a few minutes walk to the trams and 7-15 minutes to the centre. The only drawback may be that the relentless ingestion of drugs leads some to play guitar badly.
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