The theatre offers a very wide programme each year of new and classic plays, often in radical productions. Last season's production of Macbeth (in Swedish - well, you know the story) was set at the time of the Great War, and was highly imaginative and wholly convincing.
Drama in Sweden has a long and distinguished history, and the high quality of work at the national theatre is a reflection of this tradition.
The website is clear, well illustrated and easy to use.
City centre, short walk, or subway to Ostermalmstorg. www.dramaten.se
Charming and friendly 4 star hotel located in the town centre. Stayed there on business but would return again for pleasure.
Avda. Reyes Católicos 30, ES-9001,
Tel. +34 947 222 300.
To get there from Madrid take the A-1 motorway.
Our trip to Hon Fleur was our first with our new 12 week old baby, and what a perfect first holiday it was.
Hon Fleur is French enough to feel 'foreign', but close enough to the UK to feel 'safe' with a newborn in tow. We travelled from Dulwich to Hon Fleur within six hours, door to door, less than it often takes us to get up to Lancashire!
We rented a self-catering restored French gite on a sheep farm, about 4 miles outside of Hon Fleur. Rural, peaceful, surrounded by a big garden and fields, and with the loveliest owners imaginable, we felt like we had secured our little family haven.
Using Hon Fleur as our base, we explored local areas - with the amazing French roads, driving was an absolute pleasure. Evenings were spent either sipping good wine and dining in Hon Fleur (baby asleep in his pram beside us), watching the world go by - or sitting outside our gite listening to music, eating homemade food and, yes, you guessed it, sipping good wine!
One week later (but feeling like it was much longer) we returned to the UK relaxed, refreshed, and looking forward to many more enjoyable self-drive family holidays.
This good hotel stands across the river from the wonderful castle of Josselin. It offers a range of excellent rooms which have retained their essentially French character. The restaurant takes the form of an enormous baronial hall, with swords and shields galore but the important thing is that the food is excellent. Many of the rooms have a view of the castle opposite, and in the early morning the mists from the river disperse to reveal a huge curtain wall, topped by steeps roofs, turrets and pinnacles galore.
60km west of Rennes, off the N24; 40 north of Vannes, off the D778.
Logis de France 2 cheminées - 1 rue du Général de Gaulle 56120 Josselin
Tel : 02 97 22 20 11
Valognes is a small town with a lot of character, good, small hotels and restaurants, and a market on Friday mornings. The town's heyday was in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, when some spectacular buildings dominated the place, such as the wonderful Hotel de Beaumont. However, like most towns in Normandy, the weeks following D-Day devastated most of Valognes and what remains is a tribute to the determination of the people who survived that time and rebuilt their town. Valognes is worth a stay for its own sake, because it lies at the centre of an interesting region, and for the fact that it is close to the ferry port at Cherbourg but retains its own distinctive and attractive character.
18km south of Cherbourg; signs for Valognes, off the N13.
Superb location - plus riding on a beautiful beach! Caters for all abilities including children. Good local accommodation, history and legends, good local pubs in the area where you can enjoy fueling up for the next day!
Filey on the Yorkshire coast is an enchanting 5 mile long stretch of clean golden sand. Great for walkers, children, surfers and anyone who enjoys beauty and quietness. From Filey Brigg jutting out into the North Sea to the cliffs of Speeton and Bempton it is an uniterrupted paradise.
Filey, North Yorkshire, has its own passenger train station and frequent bus services. It is also in reach of the North Yoks Moors, Scarborough, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay .....
Rome's zoo is being gradually improved and has been renamed the Bioparco. A greater emphasis is now being placed on its ecological and environmental credentials. I visited it on a Wednesday afternoon. Apart from three Russians who asked me for directions to the exit, I was the only visitor. I think the animals were glad to see me. If you like wolves there are lots here. Very wolfish and sleek. Apart from its intrinsic merits, it's one of the few places in Rome where you can get away from the crowds.
Viale del Giardino Zoologico. Trams 3 and 19, plus a short walk.
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
Elegant well-restored Georgian building with Arts & Crafts murals and giant coat of arms in Rotunda, with some really good restaurants close by. Don't forget the official measurement outside on the wall.
Cork Hill, Dame Street, Dublin 2
Cobbled streets, tiny whitewashed cottages tumbling down to a massive expanse of beach, seagulls wheeling - Robin Hood's Bay is a haven of peace. Walk along the cliffs towards Ravenscar, shimmering in the distance, the moors rising above the headland, cloaked in heather. Stroll back along the sands, where there are rock pools and fossils - a happy hunting ground for grown ups and kids.
The light is pearlescent - and the fish & chips at The Bay Hotel very good indeed.
Newborough Warren is a nature reserve near the village of Newborough, on Anglesey, and includes two beaches: Maltraeth Bay and Llanddwyn Bay, separated by Llanddwyn Island. The beaches are a walk away from the car park, but are absolutely beautiful clear stretches of sand, backed by dunes, and with views to Snowdonia. A walk to the lighthouse and cross on Llanddwyn Island is rewarding, and there are smaller beaches here: a wonderful find.
Photo at: www.anglesey-history.co.uk/places/llanddwyn/AerialLlanddwyn.html
Coastal walk at: www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northwest/sites/walks/pages/newborough.shtml
Signposted from the A4080 in Newborough
1797-built wooden sailing ship famous for its defeat of HMS Guerriere in War of 1812 naval battle, and subject of the 1830 Oliver Wendell Holmes' poem that saved it from demolition -
"Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,..."
Crosby beach is a huge expanse of sand, where the Irish Sea buffets the dunes and the 100 iron men that are Antony Gormley's 'Another Place.' Very atmospheric, the men stare out towards the Wirral and the Welsh hills. Nice for a Sunday afternoon stroll, take the camera. Love it and long may it stay in Sefton.
Crosby beach is best reached from either Waterloo or Crosby and Bludellsands MerseyRail stations.
Managed to stumble across this place nearly a year ago, an elephant sanctuary, homestay, nature appreciation centre all mixed up and set in beautiful scenery. Have been back four times now and having more fun each time. See their website for all the info.
Elephants & Friends
If you are remotely interested in wildlife you will love both visits.
The albatross centre has fantastic displays and you can either take a tour ($30) or go to the cliff tops and watch these fantastic birds soaring through the skies.
At Penguin Place you will see yellow-eyed penguins on the tour ($33). This is the only mainland place in the world you will see them. They are shy creatures but do actually come out of the sea before dusk and so are very easy to spot.
Binoculars are recommended for both trips, but are not a must.
Haven for injured and abandoned Koalas. Great place to see koalas and to experience their unique pong.
Friendly and well informed staff will be happy to tell you all you need to know. Great family day out a few minutes from Brisbane.
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