OMG! Just found Eatwith! Awesome idea and i'm going to book my whole holiday using it. I can't wait to meet all the great hosts and try their food. So exciting! I wish they were in italy as well where restaurants a the worst for tourists. Go Eatwith!
The Horniman Museum is a genuine secret gem in south east London. It takes an effort to find but it is SO worth it.
It's a free museum, packed with all kinds of interesting collections: from anthropology to musical history to all kinds of natural treasures.
There's even an aquarium, and a lovely park to have picnics in, weather permitting.
Take a trip to the depths of non-tube-land south east London and discover a fascinating world.
Horniman Museum & Gardens
100 London Rd, Forest Hill
London, SE23 3PQ
Open daily 10.30-17.30pm (except 24-26 Dec)
Entrance to the museum & gardens is free, but there is a charge for the aquarium
Getting there: buses 176, 185, 197, 356, P4 stop outside the museum on London Road
Forest Hill London Overground station is a five-minute walk away
Riverside walk in Santa Eulalia up to the 16th century church on Puig de Missa.
Gentle meandering walk along the riverbank through fields of wildflowers and orange trees. Discover on the way a free irrigation museum with examples of horizontal water wheels and ancient irrigation methods. The climax of the walk takes you up a steep incline to the 16th century church at the top of Puig de Missa with breathtaking views across the Ibiza landscape and out to sea.
Santa Eulalia, Ibiza.
By far the best Tapas bar in Nerja. Cool stainless steel counter serving Cruzcampo, various wines and much more.
Order a small cerveza at the bar and you are asked 'Tapas', then feast your eyes on the array of fresh seafood and meats for you to choose from free of charge with your drink. Choose from the sweetest clams and prawns, sardines, red mullet, pork fillets, chorizo sausage - the list goes on. All the food is cooked on the plancha by a Torres lookalike.
We sat there for 3 hours watching the Spanish football one night and we made our way through their entire tapas collection twice and all free with each drink ordered. The bill came to 25 Euros! Try and do that in the UK...
Calle del Almirante Ferrándiz, 26 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Málaga, Spain
+34 952 52 13 84
is a tiny ancient village with arab ruins which has been turned into a little enclave of hippie travellers using two clean springs and several solar panels and wind turbines to operate the few little cafe, shops and one restaurant. a naturist's choice with a dream of a beach and no pressure to go naturist. visitors are asked to take their litter and it seems to have worked between 1992 and 2010, the two times i visited.
go to Las Negras, park the car and walk for 12km west along a rather rocky terrain. not even SUV make it there in one piece, which gives it that special attraction. decent shoes, hat, shades and sun block are a must.
Imagine a combination of healthy herbs, flavoursome flowers, juicy fruits, alcoholic tipples and a little night music thrown in and you have London’s hottest pop-up cocktail bar.
Lovely Lottie, the ‘Cocktail Gardener’ has created a fabulous roof-top paradise with botanically-infused drinks straight from the garden.
Last year, Lottie completed a one-year horticultural course at Capel Manor with honours and was looking for a vacant plot she could transform.
She found the neglected circular plot on the roof of the Brunel Museum, just across the road from her home.
In spring, with the help of fellow students, Lottie transformed the plot into a beautiful, edible garden with six raised beds radiating out from a central sundial.
By day, this rooftop cottage kitchen garden can be visited and enjoyed by all, while on Saturday evenings in September, Lottie places shimmering, coloured birds and flares among the plants, puts out the deckchairs, takes off her gardening gloves and rustles up the most amazing ‘prescriptions’ – her cocktail creations.
Visitors sip divine drinks amongst the foliage; honey and basil daquiris, whisky mint juleps, raspberry mint martinis and lavender gin fizzes with lavender sprigs as swizzle sticks.
Lottie uses borage blossom as decoration and also creates inspired, imaginative – and potent – creations such as lovage with brandy, gin with thyme or chocolate mint in whisky.
As Lottie says ‘Although we use lots of herbs and flowers, our cocktails really pack a punch.’
The marvellous Midnight Apothecary will only last until the end of September, so visit soon and reap the benefits!
Midnight Apothecary is going on till Sat 29 Sept, but then they have two specials - for Halloween (Sat 27 Oct) and Bonfire night (Sat 3 Nov.) In between, Lottie will be doing the bar for the Royal Horticultural Society's harvest festival event on 9 October.
Free entry, cash bar
Every Saturday in September 5pm-10.30pm
Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue SE16 4LF
Nearest tube: Rotherhithe
Buses: C10, 188, 381
Tours of the Grand Entrance Hall at 7:30pm (£5)
Google map: bit.ly/RVPDWG
* Lucy is our Been there local for London. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/london-local-lucy-mallows.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/LucyRM.jsp
Gayle is a quieter and more serene place than the bustling and noisy nearby tourist hotspot of Hawes. It has stupendous views of Wensleydale and Dod Fell which rise high above the hamlet of Gayle
Just a 20 min walk from Hawes (just follow the signs for the Wensleydale creamery and follow the road right down into Gayle.)
Google map: bit.ly/Mbclbl
You don't have to be a famous comedian or a boat-race prankster to swim in the Thames, but from 1st July 2012 you do have to get prior consent from the harbour master if you want to swim between Putney Bridge and Crossness (near the Thames Barrier). Anyone can enjoy a dip in the water upstream, and there are some lovely spots to cool off on a hot summer's day from Chiswick to Richmond, via Barnes, Old Isleworth, and Strawberry Hill.
Port of London Authority: www.pla.co.uk/swimminginthethames
A source of free drinking water and a historical reference to Ripley's history all in one.
The National Protectorate closest to Cairo is on the fringes of the southern city suburb of Maadi, built during the 1920s and now home to a large number of expats. Wadi Degla is an ancient river bed that was gouged out of the rock 60 million years ago, leaving marine fossils and dried waterfalls behind in this desert landscape.
Walk between the high cliffs along the flat valley bed, or take a quick scramble up the right-hand side of the Wadi just after the gate. From the top of the cliffs you get views over the southern and eastern parts of the city, stretching over to the pyramids. At the weekend you’ll share Egypt’s ‘Grand Canyon’ with walkers, joggers and picnicking families.
Get the Metro to El Maadi station and then take a taxi. Ask for Wadi Degla in Zahraa el Maadi. You may need to specify you want the Protectorate, as there is a sporting club housing an Egyptian premiership football team called Wadi Degla as well! Look out for the brown signs to follow when you are on the Autostraad.
Wadi Degla costs 5LE to enter and is open from sunrise to sunset. Bring plenty of bottled water, and don’t forget your binoculars.
Kolkata’s South Park Street Cemetery, with its 18th and 19th century monolithic tombs, is full of the tales and tribulations of Britain’s earliest pioneers.
India was filled with danger for early settlers, and tropical disease was a common cause of death for many of them. Soldiers died in relentless skirmishes and shipwrecks took the lives of many mariners. Nevertheless, enough settlers thrived (or were replaced) to oversee the original three villages gradually turn into The British Raj’s great nineteenth century metropolis, Calcutta.
Built in 1767 for the early East India Company pioneers and their attendants, this latter day necropolis is packed with giant mausoleums, all vying for top billing: pyramids, colonnaded temples, oversized urns, obelisks, sarcophagi and stone cupolas. The cemetery is a roll-call of the soldiers, sailors, civil servants, merchants, women and children who succumbed to the rigours of an unfamiliar and disease-ridden life in the tropics.
I felt nostalgia for a time I had never known. One hundred and fourteen years before I arrived there, Sir William Wilson Hunter’s eloquent words summed up the oppression which descended on me as I walked between the tombs.
“Most mournful of graveyards are those walled-up ghastly settlements, desolate spaces of brick ruins, and blotched plaster, reproachful of forgetfulness and neglect. It was difficult to restrain some retrospective pity for the inmates of those squalid tenements — for their hard, hot lives more than a hundred years ago, solaced by none of the alleviations which have become necessaries of our modern Indian existence; with few airy verandahs or lofty ceilings, without punkahs, without ice, without possibilities of change to the hills, or respite to their exile by visits home.
The mental stagnation of a small society given to arrack and heavy dinners in the heat of the tropical day, and dependent for their news of the outer world on three or four shipments a year, produced a tedium vitae even harder to bear… If the world dealt hardly with them in life, it has made no amends to their memory. As I thought of how much they achieved, and how little they have been honoured, I found myself involuntarily composing an apologia for the dead.” (Sir William Wilson Hunter, ‘The Thackerays in India and some Calcutta graves’.)
There were not many visitors to the cemetery on the day my partner and I were there, but then you do have to make a particular effort to go, it is not a place that you pass on the way to anywhere else. We bumped into one other western tourist, a few Indian couples and a small group of Indian soldiers during the two hours we spent there. But we were never alone, the caw-cawing of a hundred flapping crows accompanied us over the whole eight acres.
Among the monoliths, the prosaic British names on the oversized tombs are a long way from home: Elizabeth Jane Barwell, James Addison Webster, Captain Dennis Bodkin, Harriet Chicheley Plowden, Major George Dowlie, Thomas Cotterell, Capt W Mackay.
Edward Wheler Esq, “In his political character which will be best learned from the Pages of History he was an upright, just, and honest Man. And as his disinterested conduct garnered the esteem of all Ranks of Men So in the Memory he is honored, beloved, lamented.”
Near the entrance, and smothered in the edible scent from a curry leaf tree, lies Hastings Impey Esq, “son of Sir Elijah Impey, Factor in the Service of the Eaft India Company who died in the 24th year of his Age February 4th 1805″. His father — the most prominent name on the stone, and former Chief Justice of Bengal — fared rather better than his son. He left India and became the parliamentary member for New Romney, before retiring to Brighton. In 1809 he died, and was buried in the family vault in Hammersmith.
Much of the cemetery was overgrown, and many of the tombs are decaying: inscriptions no longer legible, corners falling off and columns crumbling. Someone is keeping the jungle at bay, though, because the pathways were reasonably clear and at over 250 years old the tombs would have been swallowed up without some attention.
As you read each new story in the names, ages, dedications and tomb designs, you are reminded of the bravery and stoicism shown by these settlers. The journey alone would have been a hardship, and then to end up in such inhospitable and unknown terrain would have been an even greater trial, especially for women in their layers of clothes and corsetry. For all their jingoism and arrogance, you can't help but feel humbled by their intrepidness. We call ourselves travellers today, but catching a flight over to the other side of the world for a quick jaunt up to Machu Picchu, or a guided tour round a wildlife park, doesn’t compare to the terrifying adventure into the unknown these individuals must had endured for the sake of commerce.
Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata, India
Often voted the best beach in Britain, Barafundle Bay is definitely worth the walk over the rugged cliffs.
The wide bay is filled with golden sand bordered by dunes at the back and craggy cliffs with rockpools and secret caves on either side. A wonderful place for a picnic, a paddle or a potter in the rockpools.
Visitors can park their cars at Stackpole Quay, have a bite to eat in the National Trust cafe in the boathouse and see the world's smallest harbour, with room for just one boat!
Barafundle Bay, Stackpole Quay, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Google map: bit.ly/p5yNCJ
For a city famously born from steel, there are few untouched metal works remaining. Portland Works, close to the city centre, provides a fantastic glimpse of how things used to be. Still inhabited by workshops and craft people, it is currently trying to rescue itself from developers - a great and admirable fight. Portland Works was the birthplace of stainless steel, so it's place in Sheffield's history is cemented.
Taipei Uncovered is a mobile travel guide to Taipei. I am the author of the guide, and it was created in conjunction with Sutro Media.
Inside the guide you will find over 200 entries listing the best places to visit, eat and drink in and around the city.
The 'in your pocket' series of guidebooks are well worth recommending. The guides are written by locals and are updated on a regular basis.
Even better, they are free and can be downloaded as PDFs from the website.
This is a great deal if you want to see a fair number of museums and places of interest in your stay. 24 of them are free with the card and others are discounted. That's a fee boat trip, free Belfry and Dali Exhibition, free Brewery Tour (de Halve Maan), and so many free museums from the Memling (fantastic medieval hospital to the Groeninge (all flemish art) to the Choco-Story and the Friet(chips) museum. Every major museum is included so you can dip in without taking any risks. There are discounts off cycling, ballooning, buses and much more. It costs €33 for 48 hrs and €39 for 72 hrs.
We just enjoyed ourselves walking the canals, eating and drinking and seeing whatever we fancied - and somehow we saved €30 each on two days of entertainment, without really trying. The Belfy & Dali exhibition are €18 together to start with - so you can see how the savings add up quickly.
You may be given a card if you're in a grand hotel but the rest of us end up buying one - and it's great value!
You get a visitors' guide with it too.
Buy the card at the Concertgbouw Information Centre (on T-Zand) and at the Station Information Office. Details on www.bruggecitycard.be
Spain may not be the first destination that springs to mind when looking for the ultimate cider experience, but head to the lush green lands of Asturias on the North West coast and that’s exactly what you’ll find. The natural “sidra” is an icon of the region, due partly to the distinctive style in which it is poured; from the bottle held high above the head onto the rim of the glass held sideways at the waist. This creates a momentary fizz and is why only a mouthful is poured at a time and relished in one gulp.
"Siderías" ancient and modern are the life blood of the tiniest villages and major cities, and there are cider festivals all year round. One of the best can be found in the seaside city of Gijón, where you can enjoy free tasting sessions in the town square or join thousands who gather annually on the sandy beach to break the world record for simultaneous cider-pouring (see pic in where to find it section).
Easyjet fly daily to Asturias from Stansted.
Gijon is 30 min drive from the airport.
Gijon info: www.spain.info/en_GB/ven/otros-destinos/gijon.html
Cider pouring world record: proyectos.elcomerciodigital.com/panorama/images/20090526085632_escanciandosidra.jpg
Google maps: tinyurl.com/2f9sctf
Take the bus out to Frognerseteren where you'll find marked trails leading to Tryvannstua refuge, Ullevalseter refuge, and then on to Sognsvann (about 18km in all). Dark pine forests alternate with trembling delicate silver birch; there are secret ponds in the forest, lakes, marshes full of lurid green moss, where your boots squelch as you tread; tracks that scramble over pine roots and rock, and lakeside trails. The major trails are well marked, though you take minor paths at your peril - I walked an extra 3 or 4 kilometres in a circle at one point! From Sognsvann, you can take the railway back to the centre of town in just 15 minutes.
Frogneseteren station, reached by bus (train line under repair) from Majorstuen.
Google map: tinyurl.com/33chyvb
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