The Deutsches Museum is dramatically situated on an island (Museumsinsel) in the centre of Munich. This unique and popular museum brings science and technology to life for adults and children. Even if you don't speak German, you can enjoy a visit here; much of the information is in English and there is no shortage of hands-on opportunities. At 73,000 sq mtrs and 50 exhibition areas there is something for everyone and one visit is never enough.
The Alpine Coaster at Hoch Imst, above Imst in the beautiful western Tyrol, claims to be the longest alpine roller coaster in the world. All the fun of tobogganing, but in the sunshine. A memorable day out is to walk through the Rosengarten Gorge from the town centre, which takes you through a rocky ravine with waterfalls to Hoch Imst; rest and enjoy the alpine views on the cable car up the mountainside, take a short hike to the stunningly positioned Muttekopf Hutte for an alpine lunch on the terrace; return down the mountain side at speed in control of your own toboggan on the Alpine Coaster. A fantastic day out in a beautiful area. Other days can be taken up with the sculpture trail at the next village of Tarrenz, visiting the spa pools for a refreshing paddle and visiting the town's Carnival museum.
Imst-Gurgltal is in the western Tyrol, Austria.
Good Hope Cannery is a fly-in only fishing resort in British Columbia. Huge salmon, remote wilderness, and a beautiful lodge - does it get any better? I went up in August 2009 with my family and we had the time of our lives. It is a completely unique experience, including a cool float plane ride!
www.goodhopecannery.com. A 90-minute flight north of Vancouver.
If you're stuck for things to do in KL (besides eating well), a fun thing to do is go out to Kuala Selangor and watch fireflies on the river. Kids will enjoy the rickety boats, and maybe the nature too.
Hire a car or take bus 141 from Puduraya Bus Station in KL.
Google map: tinyurl.com/373dqbp
Among the many museums that Barcelona has, the most entertaining one is Cosmocaixa. The science museum has a lot of things to experiment including a reconstruction of a real fauna, very impressive.
Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
+34 932 12 60 50
Google map: bit.ly/lRZSmj
Lovely place for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Find a spot on the gorgeous patio and tuck into treats such as banana french toast, English fry ups etc.
All food sourced onsite or from nearby farms.
The beaches of Brittany’s St. Malo are clean, chic and convenient. There are several options amongst the beaches, from the wide strand in front of the promenade to small, sheltered and almost secluded areas beneath the city walls.
Many are the haunts of the beautiful people who wouldn’t dip so much as a toe in the water, but the slowly shelving beach makes it safe swimming for all the family.
Sentosa Island is a popular island resort in Singapore which has entertainment, beaches and activities.
You can relax in hammocks on the beautiful, sandy, sheltered beach and also there is Sentosa cove which is a breathtaking tropical island setting which has entertainment and a famous musical fountain. Sentosa island offers cable-car rides across the island where you can take in the lush scenery.
Sentosa island has popular nightly entertainment set near the sea entitled Songs of the Sea.
Many people choose to get married on Sentosa island due to the beautiful tropical settings. It is also a great place for families to explore as there are many shows and activities in the island.
Google map: tinyurl.com/3ahjrp3
Pinnewala Elephant orphanage is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Nature and animal lovers alike will enjoy the 24 acres of beautiful open land in where you can get up close to the elephants and feed them.
The elephant orphanage was set up in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife department. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is ideal for families with kids as they run daily activities of feeding milk to the baby elephants and they also are left out to roam freely (with supervision by the caretakers and security) around the 25 acres of beautiful grassland. In the afternoons tourists can watch the array of elephants as they are walked to the river Maha Oya for a river bath.
I went with my children who enjoyed themselves and we even bumped into the famous Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya who was there with his family.
Rambukkana Road, Kegalle, Sri Lanka
Google map: tinyurl.com/333p7bk
It is almost that time of year again for barge loads of sand to float down the Seine and transform the riverbanks of Paris into an urban beach. Beginning on the 20 July and lasting for one month, the Paris Plage offers the complete beach experience ... almost. The creators put together what could be best described as a caricature of a beach, complete with palm trees, deck chairs, ice-cream sellers and beach volleyball. There are three separate sections to the beach, the latest addition being at Bassin de la Villette. Set on the canal where Amélie once skimmed her stones, this beach offers free pedalos and rowing boats to complement the array of activities available on the other beaches, including swimming pools and free concerts. It may be a somewhat bizarre sight to see bikini-clad Parisians basking in sunshine as small children build sand castles in the foreground of Notre Dame, but its peculiarity is one of the attractions. After all this isn’t the seaside, this is Seine-side!
Port de la Gare, Louvre to Pont de Sully, and Bassin de la Villette.
Silver sand and turquoise sea right in the heart of the city centre.
This beach is a fantastic place to visit for breakfast, get a comfy spot in the sand and watch the city wake up. Spain's health conscious office workers arrive early to walk in the surf up and down the length of the beach. Join in, or just lie back and relax.
In between swimming and sun bathing, you will be perfectly located to head into the city for shopping and pinchos. This beach has retained a real Spanish feel and even in August, it is never too full of tourists
This has to be one of Europe's best urban beaches - by far!
Right in the centre of down town San Sebastian.
Set in the garret of St Thomas’s Church, atop a rickety spiral staircase, is Europe’s oldest operating theatre. Fortunately, (by the look of some of the torturous implements used in surgery) it has long been out of service but still provides a fascinating insight into the horror of what it must have been like to be a patient - or indeed a surgeon - in the 19th century. A simple wooden operating table encircled by several rows of wooden benches, in what is essentially an attic, gives a very cramped and unsettled feeling to the visitor. I was told that the majority of cases were amputations, as internal surgery was too dangerous without antiseptics. Also, without anaesthetics the surgeons had to rely on heavy amounts of alcohol for the patient and a lightening quick technique. Apparently they could perform an amputation in under a minute, though patients often died from shock. Isn’t the NHS marvellous? Well, modern medicine anyway…
Now while there may not be anything at all unusual or quirky about a maritime museum, the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool is home to a rather peculiar and completely unique collection. ‘Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered’ is a permanent gallery displaying the methods used to smuggle drugs, weapons and other contraband across our borders. They range from the slightly weird (drugs inside a garden gnome), to the highly ambitious (over a ton of cocaine concealed in drums of bitumen!). You can even try your hand at playing border patrol with an interactive console that lets you control your own Cutter, while the kids can go ‘rummaging’ through a ship to see if they can spot any signs of smuggling.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
0151 478 4499
The Dinosaur Farm Museum near Brighstone on the Isle of Wight makes a welcome stop for all. Housed in a former cattle shed, it has a huge selection of bones and fossils, including some that were first discovered in that area. Children can spend hours digging in sand to find and identify dinosaur parts and guided tours are led by locals who really know their stuff. A great place to visit that costs less than a tenner for a family pass.
Military Road, Brighstone, Isle of Wight
This family-run museum is magical. It seems tiny, but after paying your £2 entrance and a brief friendly chat you are pointed at a door leading to a corridor lined with dolls houses, Pelham puppets and strange Beatles memorabilia. I was transfixed by a Sherlock Holmes house and thrilled by the discovery of a long lost frog puppet from my own childhood. The wonders continue as you realise there is a whole house to explore. Room after room is filled with the most detailed and wonderful exhibits from model soldiers, circuses, railways, dolls, puppets and a very exciting science fiction room. The stairwell which is lined with miniatures from doll's houses. When you emerge back into the little shop at the entrance you feel you have returned from a Mr Benn-like adventure.
111 Main Street, Callander, Perthshire
This is an interactive museum about lead mining in Derbyshire. There is something for all ages: tunnels to climb and crawl in; tours into a real mine; stunning mineral collections and impressive artefacts from the industrial revolution. There are also artefacts from prehistory and the Roman period and interesting minerals and books for sale in their shop.
The Pavilion, South Parade, Matlock Bath peakmines.co.uk
This is a strange hidden gem of a museum. It doesn't really inspire you when you walk through the door but then you begin to look around. It's a free local museum run by volunteers, and kids love the strange and wierd Victorian display, from bugs, cobra skins, lions' teeth and a mummified cat to the man trap and the golden eagle. They can touch and play on a huge victorian stone instrument like a xylophone. It's in a great park with a kids playground so we had well over two hours of fun. It's on the quiet side of Keswick and it is easy to miss but its a great discovery.
Fitz Park, Station Road, Keswick keswickmuseum.webs.com
This bus tour takes in 20 stops and lasts about an hour and a half. The tour takes in the Shankill and Falls Roads, as well as the Titanic Quarter, city centre, Stormont parliament building & the university quarter, with a live commentary.
Departures every 20 mins in peak season.£12.50 for adults, £6 for kids.
Pick up this red sightseeing bus from the High Street near the Albert Clock Tower.
'A free destination for the incurably curious' is what this small museum on the Euston Road calls itself, and it certainly is. Henry Wellcome was a Philanthropist and Collector of art and medical curiosities which are still housed in the original building. I pop in here regularly with my kids, have a pastry in the Peyton and Byrne cafe and explore the extensive collection of artefacts and interactive exhibits on display. Children get a free Wellcome pack and a friendly welcome. Oh, and they learn quite a bit too.
These are collars of the canine, rather than the ecclesiastical variety, and a pretty doggone impressive collection it is too. Centuries ago, wolves, bears and boars were repelled by the fearsome iron spikes of some; while soft aristocratic hands once stroked the hand-tooled silver and velvet of others. Over 100 intriguing collars are on display, with details of the mastiffs, gundogs, hounds and lapdogs who wore them, along with the history of their human owners. My favourite engraving runs: “I am Mr Pratt’s dog… whose dog are you?” Admission to the museum is included in the price of the entry ticket to Leeds Castle.
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