Lots of people think Sheringham's got a stony beach full of pebbles, but just wait till the tide goes out. It's got a long flat sandy beach which is just great for the kids to play on. The beach is brilliant for building sand castles, but with such a shallow gradient and no sudden drops the kids will be able to paddle all day long.
The town has everything you need for your day trip out, while still retaining its old world charm.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay, we'd recommend www.bookcottages.com/north-norfolk-its-coast.htm , the whole of the North Norfolk coast has so many interesting and diverse beaches you've just got to visit.
The Olive Garden is a relaxed, comfortable restaurant / pension with a fantastic view overlooking Kabak Bay in Southern Turkey. Aptly named, the place is situated on the family olive plantation of owner Fatih Bey.
A former chef in nearby Fetihye, Fatih has amassed a loyal clientele of trekkers, tourists, and Turks who regularly stop by for his wonderful meals, composed of organic produce grown in his garden.
We first encountered the Olive Garden during a trek on the Lycian Way, which runs alongside his garden. Although we hadn't planned on a stop, Fatih's open personality and great food enticed us to stay three days before we could tear ourselves away from the views and lovely Kabak beach. If you are looking for a little unspoiled beauty along the Turkish coastline, Kabak is the place.
Kabak is a 40 minute bus ride (dolmush) from the Fetihye otogar, through Oludeniz and Feralya, to literally the end of the road. Get out at the little busstop and walk back up the road a short way to Momma's Restaurant (Momma will likely say the Olive Garden is closed, but it's open from March-October). The Olive Garden and Kabak beach are located along the little path downhill, marked by red and white paint.
I've been here in this brand new building with my boyfriend and our stay was nice. Design Self Catering Flats with private parking very close to Barcelona main Train Station (Barcelona Sants) and Barcelona Trade Fair (Fira). You can easily leave the car in the park and get to the city centre on Metro or Bus.
The Hotel Argentina in Luarca, Asturias, is a mini palace, a box of delights, a supremely charming villa built in 1899 and still owned by the same family. Described as being in the "Indian" style, this merely refers to the fact the family were returning from South America with the money to build expansively - in fact think stained glass windows, high ceilings, balconies, exquisite china, rugs and paintings. Outside, a pool, and an extensive, well stocked garden to explore.
We were overwhelmed by the courtesy of the staff, two constantly smiling, sweet natured brothers, descendents of the original family, who came out to the car to help us with our cases, suggested we view the four available rooms to choose one, and allowed us to romp around taking endless poser shots draped over the chaise longue, and in the beautiful light through the stained glass. We walked into the harbour town of Luarca to eat, but kicked ourselves later when we realised we could have eaten in a small dining room in the garden, where we joined an Irish/Canadian and a German couple for drinks that lasted into the early hours. Both couples return year after year.
When we left we heard the Irish man playing his banjo - he belongs to an Appalachian band - it's that sort of hotel, you feel like hanging around all day and know you'll be welcome. The food is second to none, the ambience relaxed but efficient, and choosing one from those four themed rooms, all different but all utterly enticing - large and spotlessly clean with dream bedding and towels - was so, so difficult. When we stayed, the exchange rate was better than it is now; but the prices are per room, not per person - and what you are getting for that price, I have never experienced anywhere in England.
My wife and I stayed at Ada for three nights and had a wonderful experience. The hotel has a fantastic location within very close walking distance to the major tourist sights, Blue Mosque, St. Sophia etc.
When we arrived we they upgraded our room free of charge and it had a lovely view of the sea. The staff were always extremely helpful in helping us find a hammam, they bought tickets to various tours for us and were always extremely friendly. Our first morning we woke up after breakfast was finished but they insisted that they still fix us something (the rooftop where you eat is fantastic.)
The only odd thing that happened was that the cost per night was in Euros and not Lira so the stay was a bit more expensive than we thought it would be. However, we noticed this in many places in Istanbul. We quickly learned to ask how whether things were priced in Euros or Lira.
But again, it was a great stay in a wonderful room with wonderful service.
I recently bought an old tourist guidebook published in 1931 called "The Lure of the Cambrian Coast". The preface closed with a fine description of this part of the world: "the lovely Cambrian coast resorts are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and the ozone-laden breezes, mingling with the pure mountain air, bring colour to the cheek and radiance to the eye. Sunshine records are high, and no industrial smoke obscures the beneficent ultra-violet rays."
Aside possibly from the reference to sunshine records, this really is a true description of the area. For those wishing to take in the ozone-rich mountain air, the craggy edifice of Cader Idris looms large over Dolgellau enticing the serious hill walker. For a gentler walk from Dolgellau, or even a bike ride, you can follow the river Wnion and Mawddach Estuary along the old railway line. The old trackbed hugs the estuary and passes through idyllic Penmaenpool to Morfa Mawddach (once Barmouth Junction) where it meets the modern day line. The mile-long bridge to Barmouth has a parallel footpath which is a splendid, often windswept, wooden promenade from which to look down the estuary to your point of departure; Dolgellau. Featured on the BBC's "Railway Walks", presented by Julia Bradbury, this walk is a real treat and must have been one of the most scenic train rides in Wales before the line was closed in the 1960s by Dr. Beeching.
There are several old halls near Dolgellau that once belonged to wealthy families, some of whom acquired their wealth in the aforementioned "industrial smoke". One such is Penmaenuchaf Hall just few miles outside Dolgellau at Penmaenpool. Once the country retreat of the Leigh Taylors from Bolton, it's now a country house hotel set in CADW listed private grounds. If you're looking for an oasis of luxury while inhaling the pure, Celtic breezes this is the place.
Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel
t: 01341 422129
(Nearest railway station: Morfa Mawddach)
An amazing chalet in a little forest, close to the Flegere lift. We went in summertime when Chamonix is buzzing and lively - full of French alpine character and tradition.
The chalet sleeps 10 and is incredibly spacious, with a huge balcony to sit out on and enjoy the stunning Alpine views. There's even a fully appointed 'Mazot' (enchanting mini-chalet) in the garden, which is unbelievably romantic! The enormous garden was covered in wildflowers, nestled in the woods, with a hammock to laze in, a hot-tub with views of the surrounding mountains, and woodburning barrel sauna to pamper yourself in - and we spent happy nights having BBQ's arond the firepit, under the stars.
The chalet itself has a really traditional feel, with wood beams and granite, with a proper wetroom, spacious kitchen and lounge - and a wonderful atmosphere.
It's truly a magical destination for all seasons!
Les Praz, Chamonix
Comfortable rooms, superb beds, hotel facilities were above average. The continental breakfast was fresh of good quality and variety. The staff were extremely helpful. The hotel bar has terrific views over the old Istanbul looking onto the Bosphorus in the distance.
The hotel is based in a superb location and extremely central for all tram lines and tourist attractions such as the Topkapi palace, the Blue Mosque, Hadgi Sophia, the Grand Bazaar and so on. Walking distance for the Bosphorus ferry.
One criticism: because of its central situation by Taksim Square, the noise of traffic can be heard in the mornings. Overall a comfortable, central hotel, absolutely perfect for business, but especially for a city break.
Sıraselviler Caddesi No:45/1 Taksim 34437 ISTANBUL / TURKEY
This is a really special hotel with a very strong emphasis on environmental matters, e.g they do not sell bottled water and all the food is organic.
The breakfast is to die for. Not your "Full Irish" (or English). I don't believe I have met such genuinely friendly and helpful staff in any hotel, not just something out of the customer service manual.
The hotel is very central, close to the Tivoli Gardens, Rail Station and the pedestrianised shopping street. One negative - a little close to the red light district. And it's not cheap.
DK 1653 CPH V
url - www.hotelguldsmeden.com
A glorious spa hotel in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It was almost empty when we were there (early June), meaning we had the entire spa, featuring infinity pool falling away into a valley panorama with snow-capped mountains in the distance, all to ourselves.
We had booked a room without a view, but were upgraded on arrival, and thank goodness we were- the view was breathtaking. Considering it's unlikely to be fully booked in the summer, I would recommend doing the same, and paying for an upgrade if it's not provided.
Not exorbitantly priced- our bill came to just over £200 including decent supper and bar tab.
One other tip- while the map makes it look like the journey from Lake Geneva to the hotel is a quick jaunt, it is actually straight up and down some fairly perilous mountains- the motorway via Bern is far quicker!
Another great gay hostel in Madrid - this cool modernist building is in the Chueca area - great for gay nightlife and parties.
The staff are extremely welcoming and will give out any advice on things to see, gay/lesbian advice, free vouchers for clubs, saunas etc...
The rooms have ensuite and have great facilities - tvs, free internet, safety deposit boxes, linen and towels.
Calle Pizarro 14 -1,Madrid, Spain, 28004
This is a great gay hostel with really friendly staff - who are always willing to offer you advice on where to go and what to see - they even hand out free club passes!
The rooms are more like a hotel than a hostel, with TVs, comfortable beds and balconies overlooking Puerta del Sol square. There's also free internet and a free breakfast of freshly baked buns.
The location is excellent, you are right in the center of town, so we could walk everywhere.
Puerta del Sol Square, Madrid
It is a website which I read about in an article on this site. It has apartments or rooms to rent all over NYC. I rented a fab studio in Greenwich Village for $150 a night through them (how cheap?!) The owner was very helpful and nice - he even contacted me after we left to say I had left $50 in the studio and sent it back to me! Owners don't get paid until after your stay so it is all safe and secure plus the website is nicely designed, easy to use. Highly recommended. The apartment I stayed in was called 'Famous Street' and I found it by searching for 'two people, whole apartment $150 max'. Only minor downside is that I couldn't find a way to search by area.
This hotel is very convenient and very friendly. I stayed there when I went to Paris for a concert and wanted to stay near the venue. The hotel is near La Cigale and the Elysée Montmartre concert venues and a few steps aways from main Paris attractive sites.
I absolutely have to recommend the beautiful Pera Place apartments located right off of Istiklal Cadici in the heart of the best neighborhood in Turkey. My boyfriend and I stayed there for 10 nights in May and had an incredible time. The owners are extremely helpful and trustworthy. The apartment has been beautifully renovated, but they kept the original mouldings and wood, so it still feels authentic. We ended up getting engaged during the trip, so obviously we had an unforgettable time.
If you are thinking of staying in Istanbul for more than a few days, this is absolutely the best place to be!
Melinda's Garden, Boracay Island. Take yourself to this exclusive island paradise with great restaurants serving everything from Mexican to Korean cuisine, varied nightlife and the stunning mile-stretch of pristine white beach. Melinda's Garden is an upscale cluster of local-style Nipa huts tucked behind the public path that runs alongside the beach. Marble bathrooms, your own private veranda and hammock, set in a mini oasis of a lush filipino garden - you cannot get much more for £10 a night. The sound of the waves and rustling palms will lull you into the most relaxed calm you've felt in years. A steal compared with the over-priced resorts next door. Highly recommended.
Melind'a Garden, South end of White Beach, Boracay Island, Phillippines.
Lacanau is a hidden gem on the North Atlantic coast of France - a fantastically laid-back town with great scenery, good facilities and most importantly, amazing surf! After surfing for years in Cornwall, San Sebastian and Biarritz, we decided to try a different spot and, on a recommendation, visited Lacanau. It’s not too far from Bordeaux airport and is a real find. There are six surfing beaches to choose from – North Beach is the most popular and is home to the Lacanau surf club, but head further south to ‘Plage Sud’ and you will find some of the best waves in this region. There’s also a surfing tournament ‘The Lacanau Pro’ which takes place every August. We found Lacanau to be less busy than other European surfing spots, but it still has excellent surf schools and facilities for all abilities. We stayed at the P&V Lacanau Holiday Village, as it’s only 2km from the sea but surrounded by forests and sand dunes.
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