Monkton Wyld Court is an environmental education centre that does family activity holidays, B&B and retreats. It's a beautiful place and ideal for anyone wanting a break with a difference. Guests stay in the Victorian Gothic house which has wonderful original features and overlooks the terraced lawns and Dorset countryside. The gardens are abundant with wildlife, we saw a baby deer just yards from us and at dusk sat in the courtyard sipping wine and watching some rare bats fly in and out of the buildings. B&B is reasonable (£26) and it's great for walks to the coast and sight seeing. The place is very relaxed and family-friendly. Our kids loved playing in the gardens and finding all the tree houses and swings. Food is wholesome organic veggie served fresh from the garden. Couldn't recommend it more highly. Beats stuffy old guest houses!
Axminster is nearest staion
01297 560342 to book.
Third-generation chocolate makers in Marseille. This family-run business produces chocolate made from unlikely ingredients such as onion and lavender, as well as pralines (well it is France!) and traditional barres Marseillaises (dark chocolate covered in fruit such as oranges).
A very small shop but apparently is world famous amongst chocolatiers. Well worth a visit. Black and white pictures of previous generations line the walls.
49 rue du Petit – Puits close to Rue du Panier.
A relaxed farmstead one hour’s drive from Salta on the outskirts of sleepy town Coronel Moldes. Owned by Carlos and Valeria Lewis. We spent three days riding their horses and enjoying the surrounding views of the Dique Cabra Corral and El Fuerte mountains. The couple keep goats and Valeria has won many slow food awards for her outstanding goat’s cheese – a welcome respite for two vegetarians visiting Argentina…
Accommodation consists of simply furnished bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms overlooking the garden.
Carlos has created the only tobacco museum in Argentina full of artefacts and is passionate about the history of the plant. He was endlessly helpful and nothing seemed to be too much effort to arrange. The family could not have been more hospitable and friendly and when we next visit north-west Argentina we will most definitely be staying here again.
This place is fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for the hostess, Sarha. She runs this place with her two boys and between them they make you feel 'at home on holiday'.
The food is fabulous - every evening we ate out on the terrace and kids played in the garden and bounced on the trampoline. And when it cooled slightly in the evenings they went inside to the playroom to play or watch DVDs.
In the small village of Burlats near to Castres about an hour's drive from Toulouse airport
This is a fab little Cuban place in Ballsbridge. We took our children there early evening and the waiter was delightful, couldn't do enough to make us comfortable and well fed, and the other diners were graciously accommodating of the added fuss. Far more important - the food was fantastic, authentic Cuban grub, and the service duly attentive; and to boot the tab was very reasonable.
11 Ballsbridge Terrace, Dublin 4
It's hard to find high quality accommodation in a stunning location, but Spinneywood has it all. Panoramic coastal views, a beautifully furnished and well-equipped property and an acre of private garden all to ourselves. We had a lovely holiday. I only wish we'd been able to stay for longer.
Borthwick is a 15th century castle, 15 miles from Edinburgh Centre. We stayed there with our three children recently. The kids were totally in awe of the castle and the historic atmosphere that oozes from its pores!
To add to the experience we also dined at the castle, as a treat. The castle offers an option of children's menus, either a standard three-course menu, with kids' favorites (fish fingers, sausages etc), or a half adult portion, they really did offer an option to suit all.
The children were so well behaved, totally engrossed in the castle's history, and the memorabilia which is displayed in each of the rooms. Followed by historic tales and ghost stories by the castle staff, it set the kids up with tales and stories to keep them amused all the way home!
Strange name... nice restaurant. The Wet Fish is a small intimate place that serves excellent mezze, tapas, great Turkish food and other Mediterranean fare. Seafood is a speciality. The range of Turkish dips and bread is rather nice. Also nice too are the prices, this is a cheap eating experience. The service is excellent.
427 Hampton St
(in Hampton Village)
ph 9533 1666
free parking out front
Google map: tinyurl.com/qy5zl8
A great travel agency that organises small group,
low-impact tours. We took two teenagers who thoroughly enjoyed our five-day trip around Northern Vietnam. We cycled, walked, sailed and stayed with local people. One day was spent cooking with a family in a small village in the Red delta. The trip to Bai Tu Long bay was heavenly. We met no tourists there and only saw local fishing boats. Ask for Khanh who will tailor a tour to your needs. All the guides are really friendly and soon feel like old friends - our guide was so calm and had a great sense of humour. There are tours across Vietnam including Sapa and the Mekong Delta in the South. They even managed to book our hotel in Hanoi for us which we had previously tried to contact unsuccessfully.
Ethnic Travel, 35 Pho Hang Giay, Hanoi in the Old Quarter
Boulogne is right on the edge of the 'true' Paris, bordering the 16th arrondissement. It's very easy to reach by the usual Paris buses and trains, and offers a welcome escape from the usual city noise and masses. It's in a nice trouble-free area, where you can relax on grass fields. There are sightings of kingfishers, and in one of the ponds live terrapins and coypu, which is fun for both adults and children.
3, rue des Victoires
Everyone must experience Central Park on a Sunday morning, as it's full of eccentrics, runners, cyclists, skaters, over the top performers - this is the best entertainment ever! But to top it off you must sit by the lake and watch all the enthusiasts with their model speed boats - very competitive!
This is the MOST gorgeous little cluster of villas - my friends and family and I visit it every single summer. It's set in a quaint little Portuguese village, surrounded by orange groves and the owners, Beccy and Ron, are so welcoming. It's only 10 minutes from Faro airport and it has a pool and loads of character. I love the neighbour, Florentina - we always manage to communicate even when I cant speak a word of Portuguese!
We stay in Polzeath every year, for the last three years we have been sea kayaking with Sam from Cornish Coast Adventures - amazing scenery, great local guides, always different and exciting!
Based at Port Quin, five minutes drive from Polzeath www.cornishcoastadventures.com
A lot of lower-end accommodation options in Kuala Lumpur for backpackers and people/families on a budget are quite poor (bed bugs being a common complaint). For £20-24 you can get a double room at the Swiss Inn, located right in the heart of vibrant Chinatown, close to Central Market and importantly, light rail inter-city transport links. It represents a great value option and comes with an excellent buffet breakfast. Room has TV and tea making facilities etc. Book online for some decent deals. No extra cost for children though they do not provide an extra bed.
The views from the terrace of Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière are amazing with clear sights of Cathédrale St Jean, Place Bellecour, the 'Crayon' skyscraper, and the control tower of St Exupéry airport. Only from this place can you appreciate the immense size of Lyon.
It's also a great starting point for a walking tour of Fourvière.
Just follow signs for Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière from Place Bellecour or take the funicilar from Vieux Lyon métro station
The ruins of the Roman amphitheatre and Lugnudum are worth a look as it's one of the most intact amphitheatres in France and offers superb views over Lyon.
Feel free to put on a play as we did! Free entry.
The Roman amphitheatre is a 20 min walk up the hill from Cathédrale St Jean and a 10 min walk from the funicular station at Minimes
Place Bellecour is the beating heart of Lyon and is the largest square in Europe not to be dominiated by trees in its centre. In May it hosts pétanque competitions and rock concerts.
Place Bellecour is a 20 min walk from Perrache train station
Fourvière hill is where the Romans set up Lugnudum (their name for Lyon) and contains the treasures of Cathédrale St Jean, Basillique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Place St Jean, Rue St Jean and a Roman amphitheatre.
Just take the funicular from the bottom of Fourvière hill up to Basillique Notre or walk up from Cathédrale St Jean and lose yourself in the alleyways and squares of old Lyon.
Fourvière hill lies on the left bank of the Saone river opposite Presqu'ile. From Place Bellecour just follow the signs for Fourvière.
The cathédrale St Jean towers over the Saone river and can be seen from most places in the city. It dominates the old city of Lyon and has a delicious interior which is vast.
Tall columns support richly painted ceilings and beautifully crafted stained glass windows. Don't miss the famous astronomical clock and a copy of the Black Madonna in Częstochowa in Poland.
Place St Jean
A working farm between Tiverton and Barnstaple - really lovely family site for relaxing. If you're a walker, it's a good spot for walking the moors or equally for local walks.
West Middlewick Farm, Nomansland, Tiverton Devon Ex16 8NP, www.westmiddlewick.co.uk , 01884 861235
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