because there is a huge but blistered and blemished and fading mural on the brick wall, crying out in its neglect to be documented but there's a nasty little man in a blue 'security' suit who'll jump out and shout at you if you do and tell you to wipe that smile and those photos off of your chip but he's stupid as well as small so just agree and pretend and look compliant and submissive and go away and when you ask the hotel manager are there any restrictions on taking photos in markets he'll say "No"..."that's funny 'cos i got shouted at in Obor market" "ah Obor market yes no photos allowed in Obor market".
Nearby there is a great warren of stalls selling plumbing bits and bobs and stuff. Very relaxing.
Nearest metro - Obor
Google map: bit.ly/b46obu
This superb museum has as its focus the mummified bodies of three young children known as the 'Llullaillaco Children', named after a nearby volcano where they were found. There was only one mummified child on display when we visited and I understand that this is done so as to help preserve their bodies. I found the display very touching and done in a sensitive manner. The artefacts that have been discovered with the children's bodies are exquisite in their workmanship. This is one of the best museums I have visited.
Mitre 77 (4400) Salta, Argentina
T +54 387 437 0499
Google map: tinyurl.com/2w92hf9
With your back to the south entrance of the Umayyad Mosque, walk down the small souk facing you. It's the old Gold Souk, aka souk Al Sagha. Look for a sign to "Papa Joseph's", an antique knick-knack shop on the right-hand side above a perfume shop, and follow the narrow stairs all the way up to the shop. From outside the shop, you can look over the lane into partly-excavated Roman baths not seen from street level. The shop keepers keep their generators in the enclave, but it is still easy to see how the Romans built beautiful baths for the brief time the Umayyad Mosque was a church.
Souq Assagha, just off Souq Al Hamidiyeh
Google map: bit.ly/a8cLU1
It is a lush sprawling cultural park on the outskirts of Bangkok in Samut Prakan. It is a great way to see all the major monuments of Thailand in three hours or so. But more than this, it is a green, cool peaceful oasis. Try to avoid Thai public holidays as it can be crowded then. You can hire bicycles, take a golf buggy or hop on a tram. There are plenty of places to buy food around the park. There is a street market and floating village and prices of souvenirs are cheap. Children will love it as they can run around. In nine years of living in Bangkok this was always on my list of must-sees for visitors. At around 350 baht plus bike or golf buggy hire t is excellent value for money as you will spend at least four hours here.
Los Angeles's largest Greek Orthodox church and filled with rich murals and a rich interior of gold leaf. It's an inspiring must see for visitors and locals alike. Built by the vision of movie makers and it houses a large greek festival in September.
Widely available from tourist offices in Tartu and the region in a number of languages including English, the 2.5 hour self-guided walking tour takes in all the main sites with just the right amount of information about each stop.
Free leaflet from Tourist Information in Tartu and elsewhere in Estonia.
I've been to a few castles in my time. Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh in particular are stunning, holding out against the sea. But for the real afficionado, you need a tour of castles.
Cross to Wales at Chepstow and see the castle looming above the valley; stay at a Youth Hostel in the rather French-looking castle at St Briavels, stay just in England for the splendid half-red half-ruin of Goodrich in its lush landscape. Then work your way into the increasingly hilly, fortified, historically contended country of South Wales, like an unwelcome Norman. A castle every half hour or so. Picturesque Grosmont; a neighbourhood of them in White, Skenfrith, Raglan; a relic of the Welsh princes at Carreg Cennen, black, shattered and startlingly grim with a subterranean tunnel; wonderful reinventions of the idea (Cardiff, Castell Coch); grand fortresses like Caerphilly; and plenty more. Stunning country around and in between. A very high standard of food and beer in pubs in the Brecon Beacons.
Or do something similar in the Cathar country in France. Most of the castles in the Cathar conflicts are long destroyed, but many were replaced. Montsegur, Peyrepeteuse, Queribus and Lastours are all jawdropping and very atmospheric. Food also ace, cheap sparkling Blanquette de Limoux wine, and cassoulet. Go look for a grail.
Castell y Bere is a Welsh castle built by Llewellyn the Great in around 1221. It was besieged by the English in 1283 then later abandoned. It is a fabulous ruin with remains of towers, walls and a barbican. It is like walking back in time when you walk up the path to the castle entrance. The views from the towers are peaceful green hillsides that rise to heights above the castle. It is easily accessible, completely free and often deserted.
This is one of the most beautiful castles I have ever visited. It has an action-packed past. Look it up and try to work out how its past has impacted on the stones; it has barbicans that still inspire a closer look and inner baileys with mysterious buildings you can argue about for years. Even better it is rarely visited and overlooks the Tweed. Some of its more illustrious neighbours don't come close. Turner painted it, Scott gave it a verse in his poetry and Mons Meg helped to bring it down.
This is one of my favourite places. You will not be disappointed. Take a picnic. Not sure if English Heritage let people in anymore (they stopped employing people to spend hours twiddling their thumbs) but it's an open site, impossible to restrict - the Sheep Gate is closest to the car park. Just find your way through a gate - no one else will be there!
A childhood favourite, Carreg Cennen Castle is unique in Wales as it is the only castle built by the Welsh, for the Welsh. The other castles you are likely to recognise and visit west of the border were instruments of subjugation, used by English (or, more accurately, Norman) rulers to keep the Welsh under control.
Carreg Cennen is all the more interesting because of its isolation and spectacular location, perched on a ridge in the remote west of the Brecon Beacons national park, its romantic setting has inspired generations of artists, including Turner.
Approached through a farmyard, you will need decent shoes for the steep path and, unusually, a torch. The latter is necessary to follow the tunnel which starts within the castle walls and descends deep into the cold, wet rock below - a spooky climax to the visit for children and grown-ups, where it is believed prisoners were held captive for months on end in the pitch black.
Once you step, blinking, back into the daylight, the downhill trek will return you to the farm and car park where lunch, snacks and cream teas can be bought.
Nearest village is Trapp. Nearest station is Ffairfach on the Swansea - Shrewsbury line. Llandeilo, Carmarthen and Swansea are all 20-45 minutes away.
01558 822291, carregcennencastle.com
Adults £3.70, children 5-16 £3.30
Google map: tinyurl.com/3yznou3
A beautiful, tidal island with a majestic castle on a rocky outcrop above the North Sea. The castle faces the imposing Bamburgh Castle, and has views of the farne islands. You can only cross at low tide, so make sure you check the timetable! Miles of sand, rockpools and rugged walks, it is amazing at dawn seeing the sun rise over the sea and castle. I love it so much I got married there.
Liddesdale was described by George McDonald Fraser as the bloodiest valley in Britain. It was at the nexus of the murderous clan feuds which fed the Border Reiver conflicts, which rent this lonely, stunningly beautiful and largely untouched part of Britain for 400 years. The Hermitage stands as a lonely reminder of that bloody past: massive, sinister, brooding, a dark H-shaped monument to power, politics and cruelty. It was there that Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie was starved to death by Sir William Douglas in 1342. An earlier Lord, De Soulis, was boiled to death at the castle because he sold his soul to the devil. The Hermitage's history feels soaked into its cold stones. It has no roof and is effectively a ruin. There remains, however, a grim evocative beauty about the building and its wilderness setting. The landscape roundabout is beautiful and deserted, perfect for walking and silence. Few day-trippers, little by way of tourism. A truly special place where the the past feels very, very close. The Reivers bequeathed us the words 'bereave' and 'blackmail': Liddesdale still whispers those words today.
Liddesdale, 5.5miles north-east of Newcastleton off the B6399.
OS Ref: 74 NY 494 961.
Google map: tinyurl.com/3xzw5zq
It is open from April-September, 7 days from 9.30am-6.30pm. During October and November it is open from 9.30am-4.30pm and closed on Thursday afternoons, all day Friday and Saturday mornings.
Barretos is a friendly small Portuguese village virtually untouched by time. A place of olive groves, cork oak trees, ancient pathways and unique medieval stone round houses called choças, where in the last century families still lived.
It is our home from home, where we can slow down, relax, listen to the birds sing, sheep bells clan and rise to the beautiful Alentejo morning light.
The wonderful views are to Marvão, an imposing castle and whitewashed town perched on a hill and Castelo de Vide with its Gothic doorways, famous Jewish quarter and castle. Reminders of the arduous battles and life of the past, now places of peace and beauty.
Barretos, a place where we always regret leaving and count the days until the next stay.
Perched on top of - and carved out of - a huge lump of rock, Carreg Cennen is one of the most surprising castles there is. From the fantasy medieval walls down the passage cut in the edge of the crag into the cave below, it's like something out of a wild fantasy story. Kids will love attacking the walls and being repulsed by evil parent defenders and we can all lose ourselves in the darkness below. Spooky!
Caged between the free flowing river Mersey and an idling pleasant suburbia on the Wirral Peninsula, Eastham's Country Park offers a haunting shaded respite being the overgrown pleasure gardens of the Victorian era, Asia's' rhododendrons rampage as Autumn approaches. Visit the mossy stoned vacant bear pit or imbibe at either of two pubs hanging above the river at Eastham Ferry's medieval crossing point; from here dream down-river to the Liver Buildings, to Jung's pool of life or likewise observe and imagine the destinations of aeroplanes departing from John Lennon airport directly opposite. You can dream here and for that it is a strange and remote place indeed.
Wirral, Merseyside CH62 0BH
0151 327 1007
Google map: tinyurl.com/3xfac2s
A 15th century castle shaped like a ship on the shore of the Firth of Forth. Steep and scary ruins, rugged and rocky, perfect for clambering around with small children (really!). A small jetty projects into the river and there are fantastic views to the Forth Bridges.
Avoid the organised trips (99 -160 pln). If you do want to go independently, it is 65 plns, plus 10 for taking photos in a poor light. The local 304 bus from Krakow stops outside. You have to go down hundreds of stairs to a depth of 64metres just to start - many more steps ahead! Be prepared for light, long, boring tunnels. Vastly overcrowded. The only highlights were a chapel and a hall with chandeliers. Unlit densely packed miners' lifts back to top. Not for the claustrophic or disabled persons. There are loads of great attractions in Krakow. Put this at the bottom of your list!
I fully endorse Amy Jenkins recommendation of Cadbury Hill (Travel, 14/08/2010) but take a tip from a local: good food and drink is available at the bottom of the hill in South Cadbury at The Camelot (01963 440448, thecamelotpub.com), where a permanent display by Somerset County Council gives visitors a glimpse of artefacts from the hill and insight into its occupation from 4000BC to AD1000. You’ll see reconstruction drawings and paintings of the ancient landscape by Jane Brayne (Meet The Ancestors) and the original designs for the film “Arthur”. It’s a pub which gives a friendly welcome to locals and visitors alike at reasonable cost.
There are not many family friendly attractions in the UK that allow pet dogs within their grounds, but Beeston Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire is one exception.
As a tight knit family unit, we love (to try) and incorporate our canine family member into any planned days out, but alas most things which include an entrance fee normally exclude dogs ( for good reason of course in many cases).
So it's a delight to find one which welcomes dogs (on a lead).
Beeston castle is a picturesque attraction with a real family friendly feeling.
It's super to explore on a fine day and picnics are welcome, a great addition to any family day out, and of course so much cheaper than paying to dine out.
The pretty sloping grounds often host reenactments and interactive demonstrations for the children. Along side this there are woodlands and bat caves to discover and explore.
The walk up to the castle summit is wonderful, but very steep in part, however the buggy pushers did not seem to falter!
At the top of this "Castle of Rock", the views are incredible and on a clear day no less that eight counties can be seen, from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains.
As a budding photographer, my husband was in his element and the children loved tearing around while the adults marvelled at the view.
The admission price is reasonable enough when you consider the price of some family outings, around £16 for a family of four. It's also worth noting that if you sign up to become an English Heritage member for a year, not only are many places free of charge thereafter to enter, but they will also refund the cost of the entrance fee paid on the day.
When the sun comes out, and it doesn't often in these parts, the biergarten at the historic Rheinhotel is the place to go. With a dramatic view over the castles dotting Siebengebirge hills, a daily barbecue and a trampoline for the kinder, it's just the ticket to kick back and quaff a tranquil glass of Weissbier. Just forget the fact that this is where Chamberlain met Hitler to arrange the Munich conference.
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