This is the original of Holly Howe, the farm around which Swallows and Amazons was set. For some reason while your correspondents have acknowledged Beatrix Potter they have ignored the other great Lakes writer of children's books, Arthur Ransome. B&B accommodation is in the main house, and self-catering in the farm buildings - all to a high standard.
You can walk in the famous field down to the lake, where Roger (who grew up to be the asthma doctor who developed Intal) practiced his tacking.
At Windermere you can visit the Windermere Steamboats and Museum where the original Amazon, and Captain Flint's houseboat are preserved.
There are a number of pubs in Coniston village - a walk round the head of the lake - which do good evening bar meals.
This vacation rental perched on the edge of the wild Pacific states it is 'luxury at the edge of the earth' - and it is! We spent a week here in July 2006 and didn't want to leave. Our days were spent surfing, kayaking, and hiking and evenings spent relaxing our tired bodies in the hot tub watching the whales go by - it was truly an unbelievable once in a lifetime experience. The house is located on a private beach, so beachcombing with coffee became our morning ritual. The area is one of unspoiled rugged wilderness, and one of our best meals was the salmon we caught that morning, barbequed on the beachfront porch and served on the 12 foot handmade cedar dining table - we created some wonderful family memories here. This is the wild west coast of Canada at its very best!
Salem, MA is a fun day trip out of Boston, and easily accessible by commuter rail. Attractions range from the kitchsy (the many witch museums that give an, er, revisionist spin to the famous witch trials of 1692) to the sublime (the Asian-export collection at the Peabody Essex Museum (Moshe Safdie designed the new addition). Great collection of 17th and 18th century architecture, and you will be close to the sea.
If travelling by car, head up the coast and see the rest of Cape Ann! A fun few hours, good for kids - but should bypass if only in Boston for a few days.
Live the City was great fun. My family and I bought a "pack" and followed the well thought out route around the city. As the day flew by we took in all the sights of Cambridge and solved clues along the way which kept the children ammused. At the end of the day we took part in a big screen multiple choice quiz. This was great fun. I think there should be a Live the City in every city.
Watching a Red Sox baseball game is the ultimate Boston experience. The team is central to the lives of most Bostonians and a game at Fenway Park, the oldest (and smallest) Major league ball park, is a New England right of passage.
Fenway might not be corporately sponsored or have perfect sightlines but it’s close to the city centre, with great transport links and like the team that plays there has bags of character and personality.
Games mostly sell out, but try the ticket office for returns or tickets released on the day.
There are 81 home games per year, so visit between April and October and there is a chance there will be a game.
Boston Red Sox
4 Yawkey Way
Boston MA 02215-3496
Dolphins come into Tin Can Bay each morning between 7am and 10am. They have been coming for about 4 generations now and are only fed 1/10th of their daily diet so that if the feeding stopped for any reason they would not be affected by it. You get into the water with the dolphins and it takes a fish from your hand. A truely magical and memorable experience.
The boat ramp, Tin Can Bay
This is a 26km drive from Cardwell which takes in Cardwell lookout and a number of areas for swimming and picnicking. I recommend the 'spa pool' which is just what it sounds like - a lovely swimming hole and spa effect created by water rushing into a pool over rocks. Go in the week and you will probably get it all to yourselves as we did.
Turn off the Bruce highway onto Brasenose Street, follow the road over the railway crossing, straight ahead onto a gravel road and follow the 'forest drive' road circular drive.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ncjz87
At dusk daily numerous little penguins come in to rest, sleep and feed their young. It is a fabulous sight to behold. they are the smallest penguin species in the world and VERY cute.
Penguin Parade, Phillip Island, Melbourne.
The beaches of Sintra in Portugal - only a short trip down the coast from Lisbon - have been a popular destination for British tourists since the Christian crusaders first sailed to the region in 1147, yet most visitors remain completely unaware of the easily-accessable delights of the area.
Praia da Adraga - wild and wonderful, Praia Grande - great surfing and body boarding, and Praia das Maças - body boarding and good for families, are some of the best. Lifeguards are on duty from mid June to mid September.
If you like walking, there is a walk that takes you to all the beaches along the cliff tops, with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Go to the Gate of India and buy a return ticket (Rs120).
Spend a good hour relaxing on the ferry (an extra rs 10 to sit on top deck).
At Elephanta Island, take the train (rs 10 return) along the jetty, pay a couple of rs to get in and face the walk - a sheer cliff face with steps cut into it and wall-to-wall stalls.
The first cafe (on the left) going up the hill is realy good.
Great fun, it was my first full day in India.
Watch out for the (thieving) monkeys - they jump out and grab whatever takes their fancy, bags, crisps and water bottles,
It might not seem like the typical choice for this area but one of the best family breaks I have taken has been at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest in the Lake District. There was something for everyone in my family to do including my seven-year-old son who never wants to do anything. My husband and I even managed to break away for a couples spa at Aqua Sana, Center Parcs' own spa. I never knew it but Whinfell Forest has its own native red squirrel population, which is one of the last colonies in the UK. In all it was an excellent holiday and I hear that the villas are being redesigned this year and I cannot wait to go back!
08700 673 030
Located near Borrowdale, The Honister Slate mine is a hidden treasure. It is located in one of the most beautiful and peaceful parts of the Lake District and even your drive up there will take your breath away.
When you get there, you can take trips into an amazing working slate mine. You can see giant underground caverns, old slate mining equipment and techniques and much more. During the summer you can also take a trip around the edge of the mine - a hair-raising high and narrow foot path.
The staff here are great and the experience second to none. The tamer tours are great for kids but there is plenty on offer for all ages.
The only drawback to the mine is that it can be quite hard to find. The National Trust are apparently quite reluctant to signpost this attraction - goodness knows why.
It is located on The Honister Pass in Keswick. There are more details on the website.
This is one of those country pubs where, upon first entering after a long day's hike, you wonder whether you've mistakenly barged into someone's front room. Sure enough, you do have to keep the house rules in mind: live music only (no jukebox); make an effort to chat with the regulars; and number one, real ales only. Anyone asking for a lager top or a snowball or something will be greeted with a disdainful stare that could dry up Lake Coniston...
But play the game at this very independent family-run venue and your reward will be a fine selection of beers at rock-bottom prices and a genuinely hospitable local atmosphere, where the folks know everything about the area and will give you far more tips than this site ever can. Lastly - if you're lucky - beyond the usual bar meals at lunchtime, plates of free pub nosh have been known to come out from time to time to help soak up the ale.
Foxfield, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6BX
Tel: 01229 716238
Off the A5092 or opposite Foxfield station
This is a magical place from my childhood and a place I still visit often.
If you have young children they'll love searching the rock pools for starfish, crabs and small fish and they'll fall in love with the sea birds dancing on the shore line as the sun slowly comes to rest after a long day of adventure.
A heron often visits the beach of an evening and it, along with the Oyster Catchers add to the sense of escape. If you bring your binoculars you can watch for porpoise as you look out across the Irish Sea toward the Isle of Man.
If you have a head for heights you can take a cliff walk and there is a wonderful links golf course to enjoy.
The Cumbrian Coastal train stops at St Bees or it is a short cycle ride from Whitehaven train station.
Friendly cafe in a converted woodmill in Staveley (between Kendal and Windermere). Good menu - I recommend the tasty veggie chilli and homemade cakes. There are also some tables outside, including some that overlook the river at the back.
Mill Yard, Staveley, LA8 9LR
Nearest station: Staveley
Very clean, able to park on the beach, so no long walks to & from the car, & no having to carry all your beach toys very far.
Good children's section, and lots of activities to do for all.
Weston-super-mare, Junction 21 M5, or Weston-super-mare train station
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