Now, my dears, if you love the stories of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-winkle and Jemima Puddle-duck, then run along to The Lake District to go and play in the charming World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. But don't get into mischief amongst the sights, sounds and smells of Beatrix Potter’s stories, and take great care if you find yourself in the shop! This is one of the few museums in which children keep their parents waiting, not the other way round.
Anyone not acquainted with Beatrix Potter should watch the film Miss Potter to give themselves a quick primer on all things Peter Rabbit. Grown up children might want to venture out for a nice, long walk which takes in Hill Top, the farm Beatrix Potter bought with the royalties from her books, and the excellent National Trust Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead.
This is the perfect museum for kids. There is a lot there, an aquarium, a natural history museum and a music gallery, but all on a fairly small scale. Most importantly they understand that children need to do more than look, they need to touch, play and get involved, and here they can. There are magnifying glasses in the aquarium, quirky instruments to play in the music gallery, and fabulous and free creative activities and story-telling sessions. When you have exhausted all on offer inside you can stroll through the pretty gardens and visit the small menagerie.
We spent a wonderful week in Instanbul staying at pasha!place. The apartment is perfectly situated next to Galata Tower, restaurants and shopping areas and is walking distance to Galata bridge. The apartment is beautifully renovated and furnished with much taste. And there is an absolutely fantastic view out of the livingroom window across the water to the Topkapi, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque!
This is truly one of Manchester’s hidden gems, tucked away in the city’s Northern Quarter. Housed in a Victorian Police station, built in 1879 and in use until 1979, the Police Museum contains one of the finest collections of police paraphernalia in the country. The museum’s array of police vehicles, equipment and uniforms are a particular draw, with most visitors unable to resist the temptation of trying something on.
The building has retained its original Victorian cells, complete with wooden pillows and a birching stool, giving visitors a glimpse of the less celebrated side of Manchester’s history. Parents can rest assured that children will be on their best behaviour, as those that are not may face the discomfort of having a pair of historical handcuffs demonstrated on them.
This place is great for adults too. While the children are busy locking themselves up, adults may also find themselves in cramped surroundings – the Greater Manchester Police Archives are held at the museum and an interesting afternoon can be spent researching your family’s criminal past.
Admission is free, but the museum is only open on Tuesdays, 10.30am - 3.30pm. Last admission is at 3pm. It is recommended to allow 1.5 hours for the visit.
GMP Museum & Archives, 57a Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1ET.
+44 (0)161 856 3287
Theatre of kinetic sculptures by Eduard Bersudsky. The models are made up of carved figures and pieces of old scrap which mechanically move to music in a short 35-minute show accompanied by classical and Scottish celtic music. Grotesque, Tim Burton-like figures and animals toil in their ceaseless lives. Quirky and unique, the joy is in identifying the "junk" - old typewriters, sewing machines, bottle openers - and watching the imprisoned mechanical mice, ever struggling. Children go free when accompanied by an adult.
Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
+44 (0)141 552 7080
A top-quality restaurant in the heart of town. Serves a range of fantastic food including lots of Canarian cooking. The steaks are particularly good and reasonably priced. Staff are very attentive and helpful. I'd recommend their 'queso asado' (toasted goats cheese with Canarian sauces; the house steak with bacon, apple and onion; 'papas arrugadas con mojo' (small potatoes boiled and wrinkled in sea salt with local garlic and chilli sauce); and half a litre of local wine.
Calle El Peñón, Puerto de la Cruz (round the corner from the bus station)
Tel: +34 922 37 01 33
Google map: tinyurl.com/2uu6rvz
The Booth Museum Brighton is a small quirky little gem of a museum for kids and grown ups alike. It was built in 1874 by an ornothologist to house his collection of stuffed British birds, but the collection grew to over half a million specimens from the rest of the the world. Currently on show there is Life in Death: The Victorian Art of Taxidermy, an exhibition highlighting the popularity of taxidermy in the 19th century.
It's an excellent, unusual, and sometimes slightly creepy view of animals in glass boxes a good way to spend an afternoon, and best of all it's free!
Not located in the centre of town but opposite a large park also easy to park the car or coach nearby (unlike the rest of Brighton ). When you are done looking at the exhibits you can let loose in the park across the road.
Booth Museum of Natural History
194 Dyke Road, BN1 5AA
Google map: tinyurl.com/35lmwys
Smack in the middle of Hoxton’s urban sprawl, the Geffrye Museum’s elegant 18th century almshouses are set behind a verdant front lawn and backed by historic walled herb and flower gardens. Indoors, period rooms extend chronologically, each full of furniture, ceramics and paintings, illustrating the history of the British middle-class interior from the 1600s to the present. The contemporary wing introduces a light-filled cafe with views onto the gardens, serving modern British fare, a book-filled shop, and the first of several children’s activities spaces. Beyond the Quiz Desk, ‘Feely Box’ (!), and tables teeming with children colouring, completing quizzes and reading lies 20th century Britain, as well as spaces for workshops, seminars and temporary exhibitions. A vibrant and community-orientated venue for young and old alike, it truly draws its period rooms into present-day London.
Hunter Collection in the Royal College of Surgeons. A smallchild friendly museum with a high gross factor which will thrill toddlers to teens! Adults will be fascinated as well. Ancient pickled specimens in bottles from Cookes Voyages etc, huge preserved elephant to the honey bee, videos of key hole surgery alongside a simulator. Magnificent sculpture, extraordinary portraits of various diseases and injuries and a quite beautiful art treasure of the human circulatory system pinned onto a panel! Both ancient and Contemporary exhibits. Years later my boys are still talking about the museum and love taking their friends there when visiting London. All for free as well and in the historic Lincolns Inn Fields. So central but so tranquil.
Inspire is a different kind of museum, one where children and adults can explore science through fun hands-on activities. stimulates curiosity and interest in science and technology. They have fun making projects. Our grandchildren, aged three and six, loved the experience. It is suitable for older children too.
In my experience its really hard to find good information about Mallorca which isn't aimed at the bottom of the market. But this site has a real magazine feel to it and has got some fantastic boutique hotels and hideaways listed. Plus there are loads of descriptions of where to go and what to see.
Cornwall is arguably best off-season, and self-catering accommodation is nicer during the odd rainy day. My top tip is to stay slightly out of the town centre (it’s quieter), and the best I’ve found is Four Shores, a Victorian terraced town house, five minutes' walk from the beach. Or ten minutes if you’ve just eaten your second cream tea of the day. Four Shores is one of the most comfortable and best equipped houses I’ve stayed at. There are two double and three single bedrooms, with more showers and WC’s than you can flap a wet towel at. There are quirky details I love: stained glass doors, window seats for people watching, a store room for surf boards and a cute patio. It’s perfect for families and friends, but there is also the chance off-season for couples to enjoy the property at special rates.
01736 798478, fourshores.co.uk
This is a family-run hotel and restaurant serving simple but really tasty food (they have their own butcher's shop so the meat is especially good) and great breakfasts. There are family rooms with bunk beds and we have found it ideally located to break the long journey from England to Italy. It's also handily situated for the brilliant Europa Park theme park.
Hotel Restaurant Krone
Breisacher Straße 1
D-79395 Neuenburg am Rhein
+49 763170390, krone-neuenburg.de/
No trip to LA would be complete without a 25 cent ride on this 1901 funicular, "the world's shortest railway". Just reopened, it is right across the street from the Grand Central Market, an indoor market that offers inexpensive ethnic food and produce and meats. Walk through to Broadway LA's great Mexican shopping Street.
angelsflight.com Located on Hill Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, Red Line Subway, Pershing Square station north of exit on 4th and Hill
I went to Brasilia when the city was celebrating its 50th anniversary. I was surprised that there was no reference to the city here at the Guardian.
Brasilia was built to be capital of Brazil. The city is lined with monuments, both political and civic:
Presidential Palace, Congress, Courts, Statues, large National buildings (Theatre, Museum, Cathedral), all are open to the public.
Most buildings were designed by the same architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and while each is distinct, all seem to match in perfect harmony.
Thanks to the planning, driving around is easy, by car or by bus and you can find good restaurants and shopping options all around the city. Anyone visiting Brazil should consider visiting Brasilia.
About Brasilia: www.aboutbrasilia.com
About the recent anniversary:
During a family weekend by Lake Como, we loved our Sunday morning spent exploring 17th-century Villa Carlotta. Inside, we were impressed by antiquities and preserved rooms. But the biggest treat was outside: exquisite terraced gardens with magnificent views of the lake, room to picnic and play, a hidden valley of ferns and even some enchanting tiny turtles in one of the fountains.
The Malvern Hills are fantastic for a gentle walk with really satisfying veiws. From the tops - which only take about half an hour or so to get to you have a 360 degree panorama for miles and miles. Then you can walk along the ridge as far as you want. Absolutely brilliant - maximum result for minimum effort. Although if you're not used to walking up hill you will also feel like you've had a good work out.
Malvern Hills, Worcestershire
Great Malvern Station
Located on the edge of Krakow, at the last stop on the tramline is a nest of hyper malls and rampant development. In the middle of this sits the lone surviving building from the once massive Solvay Soda Ash Complex which employed at its peak 3,000 men and their families.
"Solvay" has a complex and fascinating history (Pope John Paul II worked there during World War II to avoid deportation) but stands today as a forgotten monument and symbol of the transformations that have occurred in Poland over the last 20 years. Solvay has quietly become the defacto community center of the area - and a dedicated space for creative and artistic production.
Conceived and curated by Halfslant, NOWA SODA: Solvay Transformed is a month long artist in residency which challenges four international artists to create a site-responsive installation while bearing witness to the past and present of the building. Four artists have each developed proposals that address not just the history of the building, but the living community that uses the space every day.
Last stop on tram number 8 heading towards Borek Fałęcki
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