Just ten minutes by bus from the centre of Brighton and you're in the middle of some incredible countryside. Take the bus to Devil's Dyke (ignore the beefeater style pub by the bus stop) and take a walk round the top of the dyke, or (armed with a map) go exploring. There are some great country pubs and villages to be found -- great for dog walking, great for kite flying or paragliding and a real breath of fresh air if you want to blow a hangover away!
Buses go to Devil's Dyke from the centre of Brighton.
take a trip to the castle - the view from the top is outstanding and is well worth the climb up the streets to reach it. Take plenty of water though, as you will need it on a hot day!
Largo do Chão da Feira, in the Alfama district;
tel: 21 887 7244
Get lost in the Alfama district. It is the real Lisbon, as it is the only district not to have been flattened by the great earthquake of 1850. The maze of confusing cobbled streets leading to the Castelo de São Jorge contain houses showing examples of azulejo tiling. Look out for the viewpoint with a beautiful mosiac of the city and a pond, looking out over the Tejo river and Ponte 25 de Abril.
A 5 minute walk to the east of the Praca de Comercio. The metro doesn't cover the Alfama area, but it's better to walk anyway.
This cathedral was the first church to be built in Lisbon and has a great altar and stained glass windows. The exterior of the chuch is better than the interior though.
Largo da Sé, in the Alfama district, on the way to the Castelo de São Jorge;
tel: 21 886 67 52
In the heart of China Town there is an oasis. The Chinese gardens are the biggest replica outside of China (I think) and are beautifully kept.
In the summer you can see turtles floating in the ponds and the flowers are stunning.
The guided tours are free and really interesting.
Well worth popping into especially if you happen to be in China town.
578 Carrall Street;
tel: 604 662 3207;
The Galata Tower in Beyoglu was built in 1348 as part of the Genoese fortifications. It has been used as a watchtower and observatory and is now a tourist attraction with a nightclub and restaurant on the top two floors.
Having seen it stand out as one of the defining images of the Galata skyline it was great to go up it and see the wonderful vista of the city spread beneath and around us. A lift then a short flight of stairs takes you to the observation deck with its fantastic views. Look out towards the Bosphorus, The Goldern Horn or the minarets of Aya Sophia and Suleymaniye Mosque. Look down at the intricate network of narrow streets surrounding the tower.
Buyuk Hendek Sok., Beyoglu
The Palatine Hill is worth visiting for its own sake as well as being the place to buy a ticket to get you in to the Colosseum. More relaxing than the Roman forum below and a nice place for a picnic if you're there at lunchtime.
Along with Ostia, Antica and the Parthenon one of my Rome highlights. Amazing site with gardens, mosaics, statues and ruins of a magnificent holiday villa, theatre and baths built by the emperor Hadrian. And like Ostia and unlike the sites in Rome itself, relatively crowd free.
Get there by bus from Tivoli
If you go to Lisbon then go to Sintra. It's less than an hour out of Lisbon on a suburban train. Climb the hill to the Moorish castle. It's a different world, and the view is beyond stunning.
Regular trains from Sete Rios station or Entrecampos station (Estação Rossio closed at time of writing). Journey time is less than an hour
See the "last built European Boulevard" by taking a walk eastwards from the astonishing Alexanderplatz. Take a look at the Cinema International with its fabulous lobby. By passing the Strausberger Platz you will enter Karl-Marx-Allee with its splendid and opulent façades (built in the early 1950s by socialist workers using war ruins). It was east Berlin's pride and aorta and, now again, there are nice cafes, art galleries and the street's sheer monumentality will take your breath.
Karl-Marx-Allee; nearest U-Bahn: Alexanderplatz or Strausberger Platz (U5)
For an unrivalled eye-feast of the Parthenon on its pedestal of limestone rock, head for the pine-clad Hill of the Muses – marble seats erected close to its summit make the experience all the more heavenly. From the network of little pathways along the hill you get spectacular glimpses of all the Acropolis temples and, beyond the urban sprawl, the sea. From here you’ll understand why the ancients elected this part of Attica to build their 5th century BC Golden Age wonders.
Nearest metro: Acropolis or Thissio
Part of the Liverpool Cultural quarter,
William Brown Street is the only UK street to consist of only museums, galleries and libraries. The road consists of great neo-classical buildings and leads to the Steble fountain and Wellington Column. It also hosts World Museum Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery and Liverpool Central Library.
William Brown Street, Liverpool. Nearest station - Liverpool Lime Street.
Albert Dock is the heart and soul of Liverpool's waterfront, with so many cool bars and restaurants, PanAm, Blue, Est Est Est and Baby Cream. New places to eat like Vinea and Circo add to the already vibrant places to eat.
Tate Liverpool, the Site Gallery and many smaller art galleries offer the perfect mix of culture, right next door to the new Arena & Convention Centre. Now the famous Duck Tour and Shiverpool tours are great fun for a day out.
Albert Dock has seen Liverpool grow up in the last 20 years and will remain my favourite place to hang out on a sunny day on the quayside.
The University of Birmingham's own botanical gardens. Much more interesting than the nearby Botanical Gardens.
Several acres of charming gardens and glass houses in the grounds of an old Victorian house. Adjacent to a small lake and woodland in the heart of Edgbaston. Absolutely delightful.
Winterbourne Botanic Garden
University of Birmingham
58 Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham B15 2RT
0121 414 3832
Also named SS21, Tuol Sleng used to be the torture center of Khmer Rouge. More than
10,000 people were killed here during the Pol Pot years. Visiting the centre gives deep insight into the evil forces of man and should be mandatory for every visitor to Phnom Penh.
One of the most beautiful beaches in England, I think - a perfect, tiny cove, wonderful for swimming, and a little shack selling Cornish pasties and ice cream further up the hill.
Also, an interesting history to the location as the first underwater cables across the Atlantic were laid here and the little cabin where all the cables came above ground is still visible half-way up the cliff.
I stayed in the nearby village of Treen and walked to Porthcurno along the cliff path - a completely magical day.
The whole area of Cornwall west of Penzance is simply beautiful, and many other lovely places to visit - Lamorna Cove, St Just, Sennen Cove, Mousehole, but nowhere has stayed in my heart quite as much as Porthcurno and Treen.
A ruined medieval castle, on a cliff, in the hills of the Brecon Beacons, with (on a good day) views out to the sea. Wild and windswept, a fantastic location, which will set anyone's adventurous imagination going. Great exploring for all ages (don't miss the cave), with footpaths around the castle for longer walks. Pop to the farm next door to a fab cafe in a barn, also the source of Brecon Carreg mineral water.
In the village of Trap, 4 miles from Llandeilo in SW Wales. The castle is signposted on brown "Tourist Attraction" signs.
Tir y Castell Farm, Trap, Llandeilo SA19 6TS Camarthenshire
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.
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