Urquhart is one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland as it sits overlooking Loch Ness. The castle is in ruins but there is still plenty to see and some excellent photo opportunity's.
A must see on any trip to Loch Ness.
A beautifully and sensitively restored church with outstanding mosaics depicting various biblical scenes.
It's not easy to get to but worth the effort.
Go to the bus terminus at Eminonu on the waterfront side of the street.
Find the bus stop for number 90.
It should say Draman on front.
Ride the bus all the way to the terminus. It goes through a fascinating neighbourhood. Then continue to walk straight on up the same street up the hill.
At a T junction go left and immediately right up Nester St.
The church, a brick building which looks like a mosque is over on a side street to the right.
Don't go on Wednesday - it's shut.
In the middle of the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, the twin attractions of this world heritage site are the perfect day out. The beautiful ruins of the cistercian abbey are a lovely walk from the lake and gardens of Studley Royal with its rolling deer park. Indulge your inner Regency bourgeois.
Fountain's Abbey, Studley Royal, North Yorkshire. A few miles west of Ripon, or 10 miles north of Harrogate (30 from Leeds). Off the B6265 and close to the A61.
Head to Russ & Daughters (179 E. Houston St) for a true taste of New York. This historical deli, which specialises in bagels, cream cheese, caviar, smoked salmon and pickled herring, was opened on the Lower East Side by Jewish immigrants 95 years ago and it’s been in the Russ family ever since. It’s a downtown institution with the feel of a friendly, family-run, neighbourhood deli.
Be sure to try the Schmear (a made on site bagel with a choice of cream cheeses – I recommend the chive), for around $2.50, or the Classic (smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel – voted the best bagel in NYC by New York Magazine, and deservedly so), which is around $8-$9 and wash them down with deli favourites – a cup of cwawffee, a New York egg cream or a Dr Brown’s soda.
179 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
T (212) 475.4880
I stayed at this seaside cottage in Boulmer, Northumberland last year. There's a pub with good sea food down the road and the beaches are empty. My favorite day? Crab sandwiches at Craster followed by a walk along the coast to Dunstanburgh castle. Bliss.
Near Alnwick in Northumberland
This tour is a truly unique way to sightsee around Seattle, and provides a remarkable look at the historic Pioneer Square's underground history.
The tour kicks off in an old saloon bar, before heading beneath the city's oldest streets for an eerie tour around abandoned underground shops, cafes and homes. After a great fire, tidal patterns and poor sewage caused houses to sink, the residents of Seattle were forced to build homes above the old city streets and abandon the first floors of every building, leading to the bizzare subterranean world you'll find today.
The tour guides have a great sense of humour and have loads of interesting anecdotes about the city you won't find on your average bus tour. If you go in the summer you might get a Senator or Councilman on holiday taking you around, which only adds to the amusing stories!
608 1st Avenue
Ok, so it's a Seattle Institution and every tourist bus goes here, but it would be a crime not to visit this historic market.
America's oldest Farmer's Market hasn't lost any of its buzz, with an underground maze of mezzanines filled with weird and wacky shops, the overflowing blossoms of the Hmong flower market, and stalls laden with fresh fruit, vegetables and an international sweep of gourmet treats.
The entertaining fishmongers put on a good show, hurling fish over customer's heads, whilst street performers and musicians add to the chaos - look out for the kazoo and spoons player!
During the Spring and Fall harvests, the market hosts 'Organic Wednesdays', where you can scoop the best local produce for a cheap picnic.
You could spend hours browsing the stalls, but there are a few that really stand out - 'Read All ABout It' sells unusual newspapers and magazines from all over the world, Three Girls Bakery does the BEST garlic rosemary bread and peanut butter cookies in Seattle, and you can visit the very first Starbucks (quaint and nothing like the cookie-cutter chains across the country) for the original Tall Skinny Latte.
Between Pike and Virginia Street, from 1st-Western Avenue.
You have travelled 20 km since the last tourist shop. Way above the sea you round the headland and enter an amphitheatre of sculptured mountainsides as the road swoops down to the sea. A broad bay, three tavernas and a bar, beyond some old cottages, rooms to let and a few fishing boats. Inland a small chapel on a hill, small buildings among fields and olive groves. A huge gorge slices through a mountainside. That is all there is.
Before the end of the tarmac road you are already captured. The pace has slowed, time to slip off your shoes and live the moment of arriving at this jewel of retreats. A gentle swim, a quiet lunch under tamerisk trees, a sleep after.
Zakros will imprint your soul; you find your own rhythms and retreats. My favourites are: a small hidden cove with a flat rock surrounded by a gentle turquoise swell; a small shingle beach shared with a kingfisher or two; the hill top chapel reached along a dusty track then ancient stone steps, where you will find a quiet peace in the courtyard or contemplation inside, among the icons, candlewax and rickety chairs; a stroll up the gorge takes you to a shady fig tree where you can rest in solitude and breathe the aromas of hot sun on vegetation, only the scuffle and bleet of goats as background. You might walk along a thyme-scented path leading along the coast to Pelekita's cave – nobody there but you. Here you look down on the bright wind-patterned Libyan sea and out beyond the edge of Europe. Almost 3 millenia ago Minoans settled here, trading across these seas; they left a fine palace to show for it.
As darkness falls and you take your unhurried evening meal, the full moon could rise from the sea, rose turning to silver. No need for tears on leaving since you will, for certain, return.
If you try, you can still find the authentic Cyclades on some of the small islands – calm, without mass tourism or too many cars. One such island is Kimolos, in the Western Cyclades.
In the "Horio", the main town of the island, the white-washed walls of the houses form the 16th century Kimolos Castle.
One of these houses has recently been renovated to provide independent self-catering accommodation for up to six people.
You can also include a skippered 51 foot sailing yacht as part of your holiday.
A short ferry ride - or in our case an exhilarating speed boat ride - from the bustling resort of Nidri on Lefkada, lies the tiny island of Meganissi. There are just three villages on Meganissi - Vathi, Spartochori and the capital, Katomeri, all of them small with narrow streets, a handful of places to eat and a couple of mini-markets but mainly untouched by the trappings of mass tourism.
The sheltered bays round the island make it a good place to hire a motor boat for a day or two to explore some of more remote bays, caves or the "tail" of the island. The next best way of exploring is to walk - gravel tracks follow quite a lot the coastline and we took several circular walks, lasting a couple of hours. The scenery was beautiful and constantly changing as we rounded the corner into yet another bay. There are splendid views round the island to the Onassis owned island of Skorpios or over to Lefkas and towards the islands of Ithaca and Kefalonia in the hazy distance.
There are no sandy beaches on the island but some pretty pebble or shingle coves. Our favourite was Fanari Beach, a curving beach of fine shingle with mill pond like still, turquoise water and an idyllic setting. The water was quite cool but crystal clear with lots of little fishes. We also like the beach at Agios Ioannis, a narrow pebble beach, a bit more lumpy on the behind - but another pretty spot backed in places by palm trees.
We travelled there in late September with Ionian Island Holidays. We got a late deal on a lovely three bedroomed villa, set amongst the olive groves on the hillside overlooking the harbour at Vathi. Transfers were by taxi and private boat, making the whole process much easier, quicker and less stressful. Though relatively easy to get to, Meganissi feels like it is a million miles from the bustle of the livelier Greek resorts. It was certainly a peaceful and relaxing place that I would recommend to anyone who likes the quieter side of Greece.
By far the best way to visit Greece is to take a flight only into Athens then take the one hour bus ride to the port Piraeus. Have a mental list of islands you wish to visit - use the many ticket agents to find a conveniently timed ferry. Outside the period mid-July to end of August finding accommodation is easy as people will meet incoming ferries. In Naxos I recommend Hotel Galini in Naxos Town. Other islands worth visiting, which can be reached easily from Naxos, are Syros, Amorgos, Folegandros and Donhoussa. Read a good travel book before you go!
This is a small town on the banks of the Vistula river, about 100 km south of Warsaw. It is an architectural gem, a Renaissance town with ruins of a medieval castle. It is surrounded by beautiful unspoilt countryside with very unusual deep ravines - great for walkers. There are lots of nice bars and resturants and a terrific tea room called Herbaciarnia u Dziwisza.
100 km south of Warsaw, easy to drive to, nearest station Pulawy Miasto and from there by taxi for about £10
If it seems like the whole town has turned out for the Santa Semana (Easter Week) parades, that's probably because they have. A wonderful place to view this spectacle and enjoy the Andalucian sunshine in Spring.
Fly from Almeria or Murcia
Whether you blast down the A26 from Calais to Reims in approximately two and half hours, or take the scenic route, you should stop by the old pits on the Circuit de Gueux, just outside of Reims and once home to the French Grand prix.
These buildings rise out of the ground in testament to past glories, the pits and grandstand are in various stages of being restored and it’s easy to imagine the roar of the crowd and engines as the cars raced through.
It is possible, if a little precarious to venture into the stands, but be sure to pick up a leaflet for the friends of the circuit and help them restore this piece of racing history.
In the 1930's a Norwegian immigrant called Helmuth Deetjen and his wife went to Big Sur, California. They bought 120 acres of land in the Castro Canyon and started to build their home. Before the famous highway One coastal road was built in 1937 Castro Canyon was a stopover for travellers. The Deetjens welcomed overnight guests and thus The Big Sur Inn was created. Over years Deetjen built Norwegian-style rooms, each with different names. They were all built by Deetjen and friends using locally milled scavenged redwood. Rooms are rustic and are still the way they were built by Deetjen. There are no TV's or phones and the rooms have wood burning stoves and the doors have no locks. The restaurant serves amazing food and has cosy jolly piano fuelled evenings with locals and guests. We stayed in the 13th Room which was out of this world!
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
48865 Highway One
+1 (831) 667-2377
This French Renaissance style building was built by the Lord Mayor in 1889, and today the hotel is a Brisbane institution.
But you won't find a room here - the 'Brekky Creek' is a pub and restaurant serving up the juiciest steaks you'll find in the city, and beer 'off the wood' (out of wooden barrels).
The bar is always packed out, thanks to Brekky Creek's stellar reputation. But this no-nonsense steakhouse for hard-core carnivores more than lives up to the hype.
You're sure to come across XXXX Castlemaine beer in a Brisbane bar, and at this working Brewery you can learn how your humble pint is made.
At the end of the tour you head to the ale house to learn how to pour and taste the perfect pint, before guzzling your four free 'brewery fresh' beers. Go on Saturdays and you'll get a Queensland 'Barbie' included in the price.
As the beer has been around for 130 years and the brewery is a listed building, you can pretend this is an 'educational experience' rather than boozing in the middle of the day.
Corner of Black & Paten Street (just down from Milton Road).
Google map: tinyurl.com/py7kjf
One of the best views in Lisbon. The newly renovated gardens have two levels with views across to Castelo de Sao Jorge, the Tagus, Alfama, Rossio, Avenida de Liberdade etc. It's an oasis of calm which is lit up by the sunset each evening.
An azulejo (tile) map shows you what's what.
Rua Sao Pedro de Alcantara (at the top of the Elavador da Gloria)
For lovers of vintage film posters and stills going back to the early days of cinema, Cinedoc is the place to head to. Drawers of amazing french vintage film posters vie for your attention competing with scene stills and photographs of the stars of all nationalities. The shop is crammed from floor to ceiling - a treasure trove. Cinedoc is in the Passage Jouffroy, a wonderful almost secret network of covered glazed shopping arcades dating from the nineteenth century. Each of the 30 passages has its own architectural style - some like the Galerie Vero-Dodat are very grand with black marble columns and painted shopfronts. Others such as the Passage des Panoramas are a little run down but contain delightful bric-a-brac shops and stamp dealers. The Passages of Paris are hidden gems well worth discovering away from the traffic clogged boulevards.
45-53 Passage Jouffroy
T: 01 48 24 71 36
Located off Boulevard Montmartre
Metro: Grandes Boulevards
Devonport is Auckland's maritime village, just across the harbour from downtown via a 10 minute ferry ride. As one of the first settled areas of Auckland it is full of history, graceful homes and buildings, parks, cafes, art galleries and fantastic views of the city.
This audio guide provides a more in depth experience and covers the main sightseeing and boutique shopping areas.
On a sunny day, or at least one that is not raining, Devonport is a must see place.
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