Like the Anchor down the road, another family run traditional Brummy Irish pub. Nice interior and good, reasonably priced beer.
As with the Anchor, this isn't a cosy gastro pub, but a genuine old fashioned Brummy boozer. In no ways rough, but probably not somewhere to take a date. Authenticity is a real rareity in Brum though, so this place should be appreciated by those who appreciate these kinds of places. If that makes sense.
276, Bradford St, Digbeth, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 0QY (0121 622 2586)
A massive beer hall and good, monk-brewed beer. But, to get the best out of it, you need to know the ropes.
Buy your food from the little shops that line the corridor; sausages and roast pork; olives; cheese spread and stuffed peppers. Remember, the bread comes from the bakery, the butter from the delicatessen!
Then queue up to pay for your beer, and collect your receipt. Next, grab a mug and finally, present it for filling at the tap. Then relax and enjoy!
Lindhofstrasse 7, Muelln, Salzburg
If you're visiting Edinburgh on a budget, I recommend staying at the Argyle Backpackers Hostel.
It's very cheap - my girlfriend and I stayed in a twin room and it was just over £40 a night between the two of us but you can get a bed in a shared room from about £13 a night.
The hostel is in the beautiful Marchmont area, directly opposite an excellent little row of shops - a greengrocers, a vegetarian wholefood shop and an amazing convenience store with a wide range of vegan and organic products.
It's just south of the Meadows and is only a few minute's walk from the Royal Mile.
14 Argyle Place
Phone: +44 (0)131 667 9991
A square on top of a hill full of people, cafés, bookshops and a big fountain. Come here to get away from the crowds on the vieux port and see beautiful Marseille.
The atmosphere is relaxed: think Schanzenviertel, Hamburg or Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin in July/August.
Enjoy the view over the Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Garde at the end of 'Cours Ju' with a pression and some olives or browse the markets and boutiques during the day.
It's calm, yet cool, and a different side of Provence for those who want to experience the buzz in France's second city.
Metro: Notre Dame du Mont/Cours Julien.
A beautifully imposing converted church on Walton Street, this is a student treat which somehow makes you feel as if you are in on a secret.
It's not too done up, has a lovely long zinc bar, and serves strong cocktails and proper pizzas.
Plus there is seating out the front to people watch.
119 Walton St
Oxford, OX2 6AH
A great tapas bar/store on the edge of Elvira (so it is convenient for late nights). A deli by day, you can sample local wines by the glass, each with free tapas- carefully made by the young team.
Order a tabla mixta and you won't need to eat any more, all night! If you want foodie souvenirs they also sell a wide range of local specialities, fresh and dried as well as wines and liqueurs. It is a surprisingly buzzy and friendly place and very popular with locals.
Calle Elvira 150
Tel: 958 270 245
A perfect place to spend the day. Enjoy eggs and chips or proper tea at one of the three beach cafes, walk up along the cliffs towards Seaton and beyond.
Take a boat trip, go mackerel fishing (on a mackerel pleasure trip as the sign used to have it) or buy fresh fish down on the beach. Get drowsy and happy in the cliff top garden of the Anchor Inn.
Go second hand book shopping in a hidden garage book shop (look for the sign on the pavement near the top of Fore Street), stock up on surf gear at Jimmy Green's or pick up some well-priced art at the Steam Gallery.
In the summer there's a regatta, but I've always preferred it a little out of high season, when you can enjoy the peace that fills this little town.
Jimmy Green's Surf 'n' Sail, Lower Fore Street, Beer, EX12 3JH
Tel: 01297 625125
Anchor Inn, Beer, Devon, EX12 3ET
Tel: 01297 20386
Steam Gallery At Beer, Fore St, Beer, Devon, EX12 3JH
Tel: 01297 625144
Medium size, you can usually get a seat although it gets quite packed.
Gritty with a good healthy crowd, DJ spinning at the back with a very good taste funky/disco/indie rock.
Film projections on the walls. Drinks are cheap. Dirtily-hip, a lot of skaters hang out here, quite like the Raval neighbourhood. Info on BCN areas:
Manolo bar is Moog's answer to pre-club bar as you can pick up the free entry fliers here. Shuts at 3am.
It's 2 minutes from Las Ramblas.
Turn onto Nou de La Rambla off Las Ramblas. Take the first street on your left, Calle Lancaster, its 20 metres down on the left.
A local guy that will come and pick you and your mates up from London (you can take your own bike) and then take you for a weekend of mountain biking on Dartmoor.
The accommodation provided was good enough but the home cooking is marvellous! He is a very enthusiastic guide - we probably wouldn't have seen half of what we did on Dartmoor had we just pottered around struggling to read maps or following some other prescribed routes.
He drives you back as well - thank God!
Great old-fashioned beer cafe with brown walls, beer posters and two dimly lit, smoky rooms. Friendly staff and not really a tourist trap place. There are over 200 bottled beers on the menu, plus five draught beers. Brugse Zot is a good one to try.
't Brugs Beertje
One of best things about Valencia is the empty riverbed of the Turia, which has been turned into an 8km-long, twisting park through the middle of the city, with a lagoon, gardens and playing fields plus the amazing City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural wonderland.
You can cycle from the old town and through cycle paths in the park and on to the revamped port, seeing everything in half a day. Hire bikes (including tandems) at Cycletour, next to the fab Gulliver’s playground in the park, or in town at the excellent Orange bikes.
Orange Bikes Santa Teresa 8, Valencia (0034 96 391 7551, orangebikes.net).
The Vias Verdes are "green routes" through Spain. Former railway lines, the gravel tracks are traffic-free and suitable for cycling and walking. They provide a beautiful alternative to on-road cycling, ideal if you have young kids in tow.
Routes are pretty flat or at least nicely graded, even in hilly areas, because they were originally designed for trains. The network is not huge at present but there are plenty of 2-3 day excursions to be enjoyed on the existing Vias. This is a really fun way to explore Spain!
www.viasverdes.es - only in Spanish, I'm afraid, but the map etc. is easy enough to follow and the routes are generally well-signed once you are there
What a beautiful campsite. It is situated next to the sea with fantastic views from every point. You can choose to camp metres from the sea or on a cliff top. Take binoculars for dolphin watching!
The site is a hidden treasure and is usually discovered quite by accident as the entrance is on a very steep bend and is easily missed. The facilities are fine - clean shower/toilet blocks, and a washroom containing a small freezer for use by all. Each pitch has a small area for campfires.
When the tide is out you can explore the rocky beach and if you walk south along the beach you will discover a natural swimming pool in the rocks - perfect. Friendly owners, reasonable prices and a dream place to stay. Fantastic.
Cae Du Campsite
Tel: 01654 711234
Beautiful little tango bar in the San Telmo district. The place is so small that you can really appreciate the performers' skill. You do get roped in with singing and even dancing, but it's done with such good humour that it's really not that painful.
The bar is featured in Wong Kar-Wai's film Happy Together.
This is the best bar in Cuzco (after much extensive research!!). It serves amazing daquaris in every flavour under the sun and the steaks are huge! They also serve amazing roast veg!
The best bit is the decor, half is covered with blue skies, clouds, cherubs etc and the other half of it is red leather, rubber and fetishy!
The sofas are actually old-fashioned iron bedsteads and the tables are old baths with glass tops with real live fish living in them. The service is amazing and the owner and his four boxer dogs are just the nicest people in the world!
It's a bike rental in the centre of town. We tried some other companies, with bad bicycles and service. It's clear how much they care about the service, the bikes are fantastic and the people in the shop are very nice with us all the time. They prepare the bikes and give us advice about routes. Probably the best bicycle rental in Valencia so far.
This is a newly built backpackers hostel, the first in the city to be purpose built but to come with lots of free off-street parking is a huge boon to the car hire afficionados who can whisk into the city and find plentiful free parking. Rooms are for groups of four and six and the facilities in ornate Italian marble are ultra modern and new.
www.aceplace.co.uk, between exhibition station and Kelvingrove park.
Although dark, smokey and always busy on a weekend this place is spot on. The music makes this place and the atmosphere just tops it off. It seems strange to go to a place and see everyone smiling! They have a good selection of beers and cocktails, some of the shooters that they do are really good so I'd recommend giving those a go. Bar staff friendly and know what they're doing.
But the eclectic music has a strange way of always making you dance. Beatles followed by some ska followed by elvis then some country, doesn't work you say? It does in Mojo.
PS - Make sure you check the map before you go here, as it's tucked down a dodgy looking backstreet!
19 Back Bridge St
Manchester, M3 2PB
A brilliant mussels tapas bar tiled beautifully. Stand at the bar and drop the shells down into the waiting buckets.
Barman tetchy if you just order beer though, he started muttering to us about the stag group that came in just for a drink. The bar is also on the square which joins the main tapas/hanging around strip.
13 Moro Zeit 13
Phone: +34 96 391 0497
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
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