Parking in the beauty spot of Etretat can be impossible. About four miles down the coast, however, is the small town of Yport, which was also painted by the Impressionists. There is easy free parking on the front there, and the atmosphere is more local and much less touristy than that of its famous neighbour. Take the steps up from the front and the steep road on the right up to the cliffs for fabulous views, especially if you stand on the old German lookout post, which is also a good place for a picnic.
Seine Maritime, near Fécamp.
The 6.30 pm mass is celebrated in one of the Romanesque crypts of the abbey. Turn up at the abbey entrance ten minutes beforehand and you'll be escorted up to the church.
In winter, the floodlights shining through the huge Gothic windows give the church an eerie moonlit feeling. In summer, it's your chance to see the church for a few minutes devoid of tourists. And the singing is usually good.
Elegant well-restored Georgian building with Arts & Crafts murals and giant coat of arms in Rotunda, with some really good restaurants close by. Don't forget the official measurement outside on the wall.
Cork Hill, Dame Street, Dublin 2
Great park in the middle of Hamburg, a nice place for children and family. You can find beautiful gardens, a Japanese garden, mini golf, ice skating, roller skating and trampoline. From May to September there is music on the bandstand.
Edmund Siemers allee from Damtor U station
Gorch Falk Wall from Stephansplaz U station
Crosby beach is a huge expanse of sand, where the Irish Sea buffets the dunes and the 100 iron men that are Antony Gormley's 'Another Place.' Very atmospheric, the men stare out towards the Wirral and the Welsh hills. Nice for a Sunday afternoon stroll, take the camera. Love it and long may it stay in Sefton.
Crosby beach is best reached from either Waterloo or Crosby and Bludellsands MerseyRail stations.
Melbourne is a very liveable and visitable city with great cafes, shopping and history. On a recent visit, I found one of the best things I did was take a pod tour of Melbourne's Laneways.
I used a free podcast from Talk'N Tours which was great but there are others available.
I got to see street art, quirky shops and a good bit of the central city sights as I wound my way along the back streets and through alleyways I otherwise wouldn't have.
Station: Starts at Flinders St Station
Several kilometers of unspoilt golden sand. Stunning views out into the Atlantic and up to the Mountains of Harris. You'd be unlucky to bump into anyone else. Can get windy - bring your kite!
Isle of Berneray, Outer Hebrides
An often more interesting alternative to the big institutional galleries of Canberra, representing local contemporary artists across 4 locations.
"CCAS is one of a national network of contemporary arts organisations (CAOs) dedicated to the generation, presentation and promotion of innovative contemporary visual arts practice in Australia. Its program of exhibitions, performances, artists’ talks and publications aims provide opportunities for artists in the ACT to exhibit their work within a context of current national and international practice."
CCAS Gorman House & Cube2
Gorman House Arts Centre,
Ainslie Ave, Braddon A.C.T, Australia
1am to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday
10am to 4pm Saturday
Ph: +612 6247 0188
Google map: tinyurl.com/mq9dd4
19 Furneaux St,
Forrest, A.C.T Australia
Gallery Hours: 11am to 5pm,
Wednesday to Sunday during advertised
Ph: +612 6295 3112
Google map: tinyurl.com/l4usco
The Buttes Chaumont park is slightly different to other parks in Paris, in that it was built on a former quarry and, as such, has some interesting hilly views across Paris, alongside an artificial cave complete with stalactites and waterfall.
Probably the most enjoyable way to spend a rainy weekday evening in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The choir rehearses once a week at 7.30pm in a secondary school and visitors are welcome to come and listen, especially if they ring first. Entirely in Welsh.
The Welsh National Coal Museum is not only free, it's possibly one of the most fascinating days out I've ever had. It's a real mine with everything left more or less as it was when it closed in 1980, though they've added an interesting exhibition on mining's history. But the undoubted highlight was the chance to put on a helmet and take the lift deep underground with a former miner who talked really engagingly and amusingly about the life and the work. It really brings home just how back breaking and risky the work was, and how intense was the cameraderie that developed among those doing it.
Though the whole thing's almost unbearably poignant I didn't leave feeling depressed, just a bit better informed about a job and a way of life that's done so much to shape the identity of the area. We also left with a gleaming car, washed by the local male voice choir raising money for their next tour.
There are not many cities where you would recommend the centre of local government as a place to while away an hour or two, but Cardiff is one of them. This area, less than a mile from the hustle and bustle of the Queen Street shops, has an air of calm dignity about it as befits the site of the very moving war memorial, with its fountains and quiet places to sit. It's very different from the buzz of the Bay.
Cardiff's Civic Centre has some of the most beautiful Portland stone buildings in Britain, classic architectural delights, and not at all besmirched by the sooty signs of the area's industrial past I had expected when I came here to university twenty years ago! It's also home to the National Museum of Wales (free admission, of course), a museum befitting its title and thus all things Cambrian, but also hosting some terrific travelling exhibtions from time to time - the Dinosaurs still linger in my memory two decades after I saw them.
Even though it's also next to the main buildings of Cardiff University, this is an area ideal for a lunchtime picnic or stroll - but if you prefer, there are a couple of excellent pubs such as "The Woody" [ properly, The Woodville, if I recall rightly] on Woodville Road and within staggering distance of Cathays Halt station with a fine selection of real ales.
Boulevard de Nantes, Cathays (pronounced Kataze), Cardiff. Nearest station, Cathays, Park Road (next to university union: services to Cardiff Central and the valleys).
Dolphins come into Tin Can Bay each morning between 7am and 10am. They have been coming for about 4 generations now and are only fed 1/10th of their daily diet so that if the feeding stopped for any reason they would not be affected by it. You get into the water with the dolphins and it takes a fish from your hand. A truely magical and memorable experience.
The boat ramp, Tin Can Bay
This is a 26km drive from Cardwell which takes in Cardwell lookout and a number of areas for swimming and picnicking. I recommend the 'spa pool' which is just what it sounds like - a lovely swimming hole and spa effect created by water rushing into a pool over rocks. Go in the week and you will probably get it all to yourselves as we did.
Turn off the Bruce highway onto Brasenose Street, follow the road over the railway crossing, straight ahead onto a gravel road and follow the 'forest drive' road circular drive.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ncjz87
It is bigger, quieter and in my opinion the most beautiful park you will find in Paris. Parisians will actually leave central Paris to go to this park in summer- that's saying something!
You cannot help but be impressed by its scale. It has the 'grand canal', fountains, a chateau and huge expanses of immaculately kept lawns. But what is also nice is that you can take smaller plane tree lined paths that guide you through a series of more secluded areas. Both elements work seamlessly together.
Undoubtedly the best place to have a picnic in summer!
Parc de seaux is approx. 15/20 minutes from zone 1 on RER line B
nearest RER stations: parc du seaux & la croix de berny
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