Sometimes you want to experiment, sometimes you want to splash out - but on other occasions you just need somewhere safe and simple (especially if the family's in tow). This tidy little restaurant just off Prinsengracht does the job, with friendly service and main courses from about 12 Euros. A lot of locals hanging out here, so it must be decent. There's a fair selection of fish dishes; check out also the pork sate.
The 10.5 circuit of the island is flat and easily achieved by the youngest of family members. It's an enjoyable day for the family, with plenty of beaches and tea, coffee and ice cream breaks available at Fintry Bay and Millport.
A short and regular ferry crossing from Largs.
This very friendly family hotel has superb views across the valley of the town of Sartene, snow-capped peaks beyond, as well as the bay at Propriano eight kilometres up the road. Comes with swimmming pool and tennis court. Fifteen minute walk from town. Very affordable.
This is a park where they breed lions, both white and tawny, and the public can meet them.
There are also hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, giraffes and several species of antelope.
The biggest attraction is Touch-a-cub, where guests are welcome to stroke lion cubs. It's a real treat to be so close to these beautiful animals.
R114, Junction R512 Hans Strijdom, Honeydew, Johannesburg
Poprad is so much more than a 'nondescript town in south-west Slovakia' as called in a recent Guardian travel piece. This is both incorrect geographically and unkind.
For a start, Poprad is in the north-east of the country, nestling at the foot of the mighty Tatra mountains making it an ideal base for family skiing, hiking, spa holidays. The town has an industrial past and some blocks from the sixties that are not too pretty but the town centre square has been pedestrianised and painted and is lined with excellent bars, pubs and restaurants.
There are several good museums and the Tatra mountain resorts are 20 minutes ride away on the wonderful elektricka electric train. There is also a 'suburb' of Poprad, the beautiful medieval town of Spisska Sobota which contains some of the best restaurants and pensions in Slovakia.
All in all, Poprad has everything and SkyEurope flies from the UK several times a week.
There is also the fabulous AquaCity, one of the most environmentally friendly spa lido hotel complexes in the world. The Slovak people are really welcoming and the food and accommodation are world-class. The Slovak beer, wine and slivovica must be tried!
The Jorvik Viking Centre in York is a great attraction for all ages.
You travel back to the year AD975 and discover what life was like in Britain at the time of the Vikings.
You may even come face-to-face with a Viking!
There is also a shop and many other activities, including brass rubbing and writing your name in Jorvik!
Telephone (booking): 01904 543402
(general enquiries): 01904 543400
JORVIK Viking Centre, Coppergate, York, Y01 9WT
An enchanting region of Austria with beautiful countryside, great skiing, hiking and walking in the Dachstein West, Postalm, Krippenstein, Loser, Hallstatt, Obertraun, Bad Ischl and more. Countless lakes to visit in summer and wintertime.
We travel to the picturesque village of Gosau in both summer and winter, a traditional, wide and sunny village located at 800m.
There are two ski lifts in Gosau giving access to the Dachstein West, a large family-friendly area with over 140km piste.
We chose mountain biking in the summer as there is direct access to the Dachstein Runde bike trails with 100s of kilometres of trails to choose from.
Lots of photo opportunies especially at the Gosau Lake (Gosausee).
I recommend The Muhlradl Apartments. A family-run business with excellent apartments, atmosphere and a brilliant view from your balcony of the Gosaukam Mountain.
Visit www.gosautal.net/muehlradl. to take a look at the facilities in the region. Just 50 minutes drive from Salzburg Airport or a train to Golling and bus transfer to the village.
Muhlradl Apartments, Gosau
Nearest Airport - Salzburg
Nearest Station - Golling
'Hertford Castle' refers more to an area in the middle of the town rather than the 15th century gatehouse that lies at the centre of it, the only remaining building of the actual castle that once stood there.
There are, however, other remnants including 11th century perimeter walls built with flint and the original 10th century motte. All this is situated by the river Lea and surrounded by some very well kept gardens, the modern day use being mainly as a park area.
The castle has had some famous residents over the years, including Elizabeth I, who was a frequent visitor.
The home of Eric, the infamous three-legged croc, also spider world and other aussie perils. The education officer's talks are informative yet, more importantly, entertainingly memorable - as he has a dry line in sarcasm, usually directed at kids!
Heaps more fun than Taronga zoo and cheaper. You can pet kangaroos while eating your sarnies outdoors in the picnic area. Dingos, Tasmanian Devils, koalas, mate, it's all there and it's all good!
Restaurant, cafe, jazz bar and cinema all rolled into one! Located in Ambleside, I have been visiting this place for over 20 years. In that time it’s gone through some changes but it still remains a wonderful place to go especially now with the addition of a jazz bar playing live jazz most Saturdays.
The restaurant and cafe are veggie but the kind of veggie that makes you want to convert! Cinema has four screens – two in the main building and two just down the road on the edge of the beautiful park. Go for the ‘movie deal’ (cinema ticket and meal) then afterwards listen to jazz for one of the best nights out in the Lakes!
Tel: 015394 33845
Whether you were a fan of Peanuts or not, the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, is a must. I am not a huge fan myself yet really thought the museum was impressive. Who knows, I might start appreciating the strips a bit more after my visit! It covers the history all of Schulz’ works, and you get to see some of the original strips as well as works by other artists that have used Schulz as a model. I thought it was especially interesting to see the development of the Peanuts characters as Schulz gives them life.
The rooms are wide and spacious so even if there’s a big group visiting at the same time you never feel it’s too crowded.
There’s a garden/labyrinth outside the main entrance as well and an ice-rink just across the road (Snoopy’s Home Ice). There are also tables and benches for guests to have a picnic and many statues of Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang. Favourites for people of all ages to have photos taken with.
You can get $1.00 off each ticket if you either a) go to the Visitors’ Bureau in Santa Rosa (Historic Railroad Square) and say you’d like to visit the museum. In this case they’ll give you a ‘California Welcome Center’ sticker per person you can then show at the entrance.
Or b) you can collect a discount card from your hotel or any visitors’ bureau in Sonoma county.
Because Charles M. Schulz lived in Santa Rosa, the city has a special celebration each year in which they exhibit statues of one of his Peanuts characters. It was Charlie Brown in 2005 and Woodstock in 2006. This year, starting in May, they’ll display statues of Joe Cool. These statues are all for sale and businesses around town buy them and then display them on their own premises. The ones that are not sold are left on display around the streets of Santa Rosa. At the Visitors’ Bureau they’ll give you a map showing where the statues have been placed.
Apart from those who will only walk on tarmac roads, this island truly caters for all ages. Being a happy urban family, we spent a week here with our 3 kids (then aged 6,9 and 11) and they are begging to go back.
My husband used to love philosophising during the evenings at the tavern after pulling out rhodis all day and then, in our loved up youth, we spent a
very happy time drifting around the many walks and sights of this tiny island.
But our best time was with our kids (no TV or playstation but sadly mobiles do work out there) watching puffins, walking amongst the rocks and having them drag us off in to the Marisco Tavern which greeted them in a truly friendly manner.
The Tavern boasts numerous books and games to amuse
all ages, is welcoming at all hours and there is usually a troubadour or two (with instruments on hand) to provide an up-market karaoke element. Once, we even had a unicycle display around the whole tavern, weaving his way amongst the drinkers and diners. This is an island that provides both peace and quiet when required but also many opportunities for socialising.
We would have no hesitation in going back because, having been on many occasions, it's been a novelty every time. Oh! and the tavern male loo has one of the best views in the whole of the country!
Luca's is one of the best ice cream restaurants in Britain and has almost 100 years of history to prove it.
In cornets, you get a choice of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate - none of the fancy flavours as all their expertise goes into making these just wonderful (you can get tubs of different flavours). Soft and creamy, they're popular all year round. And in winter in Musselburgh, that's saying something.
32 - 38 High Street,
Tel 0131 665 2237
A funked-up glass restaurant on the sea front in Swansea, Wales, run by Italians with Welsh accents and with home-made concoctions like tiramisu and pistachio flavour ice-creams.
This is the most beautiful, friendly, chilled-out place to relax and the staff are young, friendly, and attractive with a startling consistency - moody dark Italians mix with cheerful Welsh blondes as the cherry on top, though, of course, there are many cherries in the ice cream, should you wish.
A favourite among families, sundae-sharing couples and grannies treating themselves, a summer sundae there is divine, and the city lights shimmering over the sea at night make the old city look more magical than it looks close up, that's for sure!
Knab Rock, Mumbles, Swansea, Wales, SA3 4EN
tel +44 (01792) 369 135
It's a farm. There are loads of delicious creamy flavours. You can see the cows being milked. There's a wacky mailing list. They have little plastic spoons in all the colours of the rainbow and then some.
Drive from Helston on to the Lizard. Some way past the turn for Mullion you take a right then a sharp left. (Take a map with you : it's late at night right now .. & I'm in Amersham.)
Langage Farm have their own herd of Jersey cows, which they milk to make all sorts of yummy dairy things, but most especially the best ice cream ever!
They've got about 20 flavours, including cointreau and chocolate, ginger and apple and blackberry crumble.
You can visit the farm in Smithaleigh, PL7 5AY, just off the A38 or for a more scenic ice cream opportunity they have a van on the road that circles the Hoe in Plymouth itself.
La Strada is many things...a coffee bar serving illy coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, smoothies fresh croissants, filled baguettes and ciabattas, cakes and light meals; a shop which sells Italian designer kitchen ware including the Guzzini and Alessi brands, Belgian chocolates and other edible gifts; a gallery space which exhibits the work of local photographers and artists AND an artisan ice-cream shop!
All of the ice-cream is made by hand on-site using milk from a small local dairy. There are always the three basic flavours on offer, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but depending on the seasons, customers' suggestions and the imagination of the creators, anything is possible in terms of flavours. There are 16 flavours on offer, with a choice of non-dairy "fruit-ice" (sorbet) for those who can't have milk, and flavours range from strawberry and champagne to white chocolate with Maltesers, the famed gin and tonic (yes, made with real gin), mint choc chip, mango, lychee, blueberry, apple crumble, banana and caramel and many, many more. There is a selection of waffle cones, chocolate-dipped cones or tubs or you can have a sundae made up complete with sauces and cream and eat in the cafe. You can also have 1 or 2 litre tubs to take away and put in your freezer. It really is the best hand-made ice-cream for miles around.
13 Cheap Street
Offering a natural haven to red squirrels and deer - so no dogs allowed - Brownsea is 500 acres of woodland with trails in the middle of Poole Harbour. The walking is easy and there are great views of Studland and the Purbeck hills, and on a clear day you can just about see some of the world's most expensive houses at Sandbanks. Brownsea is where Baden Powell started the Scout movement (100 yrs ago this summer). Take the yellow ferry from Sandbanks quay (£4.50 or £12.50 for a family (2+3) and then the National Trust entrance fee is £4.70 for adults £2.30 for kids. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
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