On the very occasional rainy day in Yorkshire there can be no better way to while away a few hours than a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham. At the "Shepherded" tour you will learn about the traditional brewing process in the warm and barley scented environment sets one up nicely for a sample of the ales.
I would recommend the Golden Sheep or perhaps the special Monty Python's Holy Grail (tempered over burning witches!). Best of all are the Bistro and Baa..r; wonderful food, huge portions in a lovely setting with views out over the Dales (when it's not raining that is). Puns are definitely the order of the day here but don't feel sheepish - it's a visit ewe won't regret.
The surrounding village of Masham is also worth exploring; there's a village square, a great little grocery and sweetshop and, if you haven't had quite enough beer yet, it is also home to Theakston's brewery with a visitor centre.
Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham HG4 4EN tel:01765 689227
Visitor car park
While each of these breweries might well give you a tour, each of them is so small you can see what’s going on while you taste their wares. The end of September is the Great American Beer Festival and the perfect excuse to wind through the autumnal mountains and deserts in search of a hearty brew.
The claim for Colorado’s first Microbrewery lies just north of Denver in the university town of Boulder. The Boulder Beer Company has its own huge range of beers with seasonal additions and everything from lemony wheat beers to deep dark porters. On the way up, you’ll pass Fort Collins where the large New Belgium Brewery lies and you’ll find these beers all over the country. You can tour this site to see just what care and attention goes into the production of these relatively small batches. Pick up an Onion to read on your travels and get into the vibe of this beer hunt.
Just west from Denver, in Golden, Miller has their Coors factory and a purpose built town to run the thing. The tour is free and gives you three half pints of beer to try at the end of your journey round one of the biggest breweries in the world. You’re here to see what NOT to do.
Heading down highway 70, you’ll hit Idaho Springs where the Tommyknockers brew their range of interesting beers. The food is just what you want from this backwoods hangout and the beer comes to take away in Growlers. While you’re here you can sample the waters in an amazing 60s throwback ‘spa’, and stroll the cowboy main street.
These being the Rockies, there’s a lot of thermal water about and Glenwood Springs, just the other side of a gorgeous canyon, about two hours from Idaho Springs, makes a great stop, the baths here are open air and lie right next to the Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub. As well as beer, you’ll also often find mead on the menu, just to give your hopped out palette a rest.
From here you can hop on a train to Utah, and another home of small time brewery, Salt Lake City. You can learn all about the LDS or explore the ring of ski resorts that tower over the flat of the city. If you want to return east, you could get on the train, or in the land of the freeway, you’d be advised to head south and into Mesa Verde, and Durango before snaking your way through Colorado Springs and back to Denver.
Established in 1868 this wonderful brewery on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island produces a wide variety of tasty beers, from "summer" to "black". The local population boycotted its main rival's beer a few years ago when the brewery was threatened with closure, saving it!
The best part of the tour is at the end when, after already tasting all the beers, the guide leaves you in the bar and says "do what you like for 10 minutes....." It's amazing how much can be drunk in such a short time!!
corner Turamaha & Herbert Streets, Greymouth, www.monteiths.com/nz (03)7684149
The factory for the world famous beer is in Pilsen, Czech Republic and they do a fantastic tour - at the start of which they give you a glass and you fill it up so you have beer to take around the factory with you.
They take you and show you the old barrel cellars and the traditional brewing methods while you are drinking and from there onwards you can explore various other parts of the Factory campus which has a modern visitors centre where you can learn even more and wander round yourself after the guided tour. Good stuff. Lots of different language tours.
We then went for lunch at the great Pilsner restaurant - with a beer obviously - though you can choose to sit outside and eat, or just skip the eating bit and have a beer at the bar.
We stayed after that and had a game of giant chess (the pawns are beer bottles - of course) before getting a wee cheeky souveneir and heading back to the train station.
In Plzen, Czech Republic. We got a train from Prague central railway station - takes an hour or maybe two - and made a day trip of it. The lady at the station information didnt speak much English - but when we said "Pilsner" she knew exactly what we were after, gave us a map and directed us. Its a few minutes (5) walk from the station.
A series of tunnels dug under the city - the mines from which the stones for the city's construction were taken. The city is riddled with catacombs - normally the haunt of junkies and down and outs - but outside the city the catacombs operate as a museum.
These tunnels were used by partisans as a base to launch raids against the German and Romanian occupiers. The tunnels are dark and dank and still contain the personal belongings and equipment of the partisans who lived, fought and died there.
The walls are carved with graffiti that is either political or personal (and sentimental) and overall a visit is both a moving as well as interesting experience. It is only possible with a guided tour as the tunnels are confusing and it is easy to get lost.
Above ground is a rather down at heel museum with a few rusty weapons and some interesting, but faded, photographs. Sadly both the tour guide and museum captions are Russian language only.
The only way to get there is by an excursion bus from Odessa city centre. The buses leave at about 1000hrs from outside Odessa Railway Station - little old ladies in the square outside the station sell tickets and can be quite helpful (though generally they only speak Russian). The journey to the catacombs by minibus (included in the ticket price) takes about 40 minutes and the tour itself is about an hour.
A wonderful restaurant in the grounds of a Santorium along Fransuski Boulevard (take the number 5 tram towards Arcadia). An old summer residence of the rich and powerful that was incorporated into one of the many Soviet-era sanitoria in the city. Now it is renovated and operates as one of the best restaurants in Odessa.
The style is Csarist-era country house and the food is upmarket, fine dining versions of Russian/Ukrainian favourites such as borsch, pelmeni and shashlik. A perfect place to have a long summer lunch in the garden with friends - and don't forget their wonderful home made lemonade.
Francuski Boulevard, Odessa, Ukraine. Take the number 5 tram towards Arcadia and get off the tram near the 'Vash Sad' garden centre.
There's plenty to keep you occupied on a day trip to Bath. You might well take in a visit to the Assembly Rooms and its Museum of Costume. But if your visit coincides with certain Sunday afternoons, you have the opportunity to dance in the sumptuous Georgian surroundings of the Ballroom.
In the 18th century the Assembly Rooms would have been packed with guests dancing, playing cards, tea drinking, talking and flirting. Today, at the monthly dances both experienced and novice dancers can waltz and quickstep around the Ballroom to a live band. Afternoon tea and refreshments are available.
This may be the most atmospheric dance venue in England. The next dances are on 13th September and 11th October.
The Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath
First built in 1904, this renovated pint-shaped factory building homes a showcase of the history behind the internationally renowned Guinness brand.
During the visit you will know more about the beer's ingredients, the brewery process, the Guinness family, the original site's lease document, the brand and advertising (Pelican, etc...), the Guinness book of records and other curious facts like the barrel-making process or ancient Guinness ships for transportation.
And at the end of the tour, there's nothing better than downing a good old pint at their Gravity Bar! Located at the top of the building, the nearly 360 degrees view from it is awesome and definitely a highlight of the tour.
As you can imagine, it's a really popular site for tourists and is now more branding-led now it's not owned by the Guinness family any more. A bit pricey, yes, but slightly cheaper if you book online, and definitely worth going if you also consider Guinness to be one of the biggest Irish icons to date.
Also, if you're in the area for a while, why not pop into the old prison? It's at a stone's throw from the factory and was a hidden gem of my Dublin visit.
Open 7 days a week from 9.30am – 5pm (last admission is at 5pm).
Late opening during July and August until 7pm (last admission is at 7pm).
Iconic but still accessible cathedral - historic but with meaning for the every day person. Just follow the spires.
Yes, it is full of tourists and the waiting staff are just the acceptable side of rude, but what a location and the coffee (that is, if you drink proper coffee) is to die for. Seven euros for a Viennese breakfast - perfectly soft-boiled egg, as many rolls as I needed, ultra-fresh orange juice and that coffee! It was good value in Vienna.
Tel: (+43.1) 533 37 64 - 26
Fax: (+43.1) 533 37 64 - 22
Google map: tinyurl.com/lcnor4
St Petersburg is a great literary city.
Walk the streets of Dostoevsky, like in Crime and Punishment, following the footsteps of Raskolnikov. There are even special tours which visit the places. See the fading yellow buildings, looming large, driving to madness. The squalor and poverty he personally experienced is reflected in his novels. There is also a Dosteovsky museum where he used to live.
Walk alongside the mighty Neva, with it's granite embankments, so glorified by Pushkin. Or the Bronze horseman depicting city founder Peter the Great looming large over the city. Pushkin house is a museum.
Walk down Nevsky Prospekt.
'All powerful Nevsky Prospekt' said Gogol in his sketch bearing the name of this famous street.
Imagine yourself in Petersburg to be in a Gogolian nightmare. This is the little man pittted against the big artificial city with it's structures of power and insane obedience to rank and status.
Watch the sheer artificiality and pre planning of old Petersburg as Tsar Peter dragged Russia forward with a European capital as a window on the west, the facades, ensembles, baroque and the squares. Built on cold rationale as a complete antithesis to the Russian soul. As Dostoevsky said--'the most abstract and artificial city on earth'
Anna Akhmatova was a Soviet poet, who variously lost husband and son to the Gulag camps. You can visit her apartment.
Petersburg- city of words. This is a map of the city with literary quotations from people associated with it.
Rostov is a beautiful town on the Golden Ring route on the shores of lake Nero; the Kremlin is a mass of onion domes, coloured tiles, surrounding secluded courtyard gardens, towering above surrounding traditional wooden homes and dusty streets. It's incredibly picturesque with beautiful architecture, artwork and a small museum. It's a world away from the Kremlin in Moscow - well worth a visit.
Rostov Veliky town centre
A cream tea at the Knoll House, at Studland in Dorset, is not for people nervous about their cholesterol levels. Large light scones, freshly made in the kitchen, are accompanied by lashings of thick strawberry jam and cream so stiff it can be cut with a knife. A traditional loaded tea tray is brought out clinking to you on the terrace, so as you eat you can gaze out across manicured lawns through the pillars of mature pine trees to the sea. The view sweeps from Old Harry Rocks to the right, past the Isle of Wight to the townscape of Bournemouth. There is always plenty to see, with sailing boats as well as ferries plying in and out of Poole Harbour.
But visitors must plan their cream tea with military precision. Teas are advertised only on a small board in reception, directing visitors to order tea in the dining room. It is served only from 3.45 to 5.15 pm – five minutes late and you’ve missed one of the best cream teas in England. Cream tea for one is currently £5.
This walking tour shows not only the religious traditions of the Hungarian Jews but the mutuality with the Hungarian history and evolution. It covers the history of the largest synagogue in Europe, leads through the cemetery and the memorial garden, 3 other precious places of worship and the hidden Jewish symbols of the neighborhood. The most authentic local pubs and cultural centers will also be seen which are the top meeting points for party people in Budapest.
The guides are really good, enthusiastic and motivated, as they work on a tips only payment.
Vörösmarty square M1 metro stop (in front of Gerbeaud café at the fountain) Tue,Thrs,Sat 3.30 p.m
The best cream teas we've ever had - huge scones, sometimes still warm from the oven, with hefty dollops of local damson jam and cream on the side. Yum Yum. (They also do a good lunch).
Yew Tree Farm is a working farm, built in 1693 and was once owned by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix herself started the Tea Rooms and it's still got her original furniture. There's a fireplace for when it's cold, and also outside seating for when the weather allows. The house was used in the film 'Miss Potter'.
They do B&B too, and sell their home reared beef and lamb. When we were there - on an Open Day, when we were allowed to look around the fabulous bedrooms with their wonky floors, oak four posters and panelled walls, they had a pig race too - great fun!
Set in a stunning location 2 miles outside Coniston on the A593, but there is no car park (except for disability vehicals) so it's best to walk there and build up an appetite! There is a small, NT paying car park 100 metres away, which often gets full.
www.yewtree-farm.com Tel: 01539 441433
A neighbourhood that's just a short streetcar ride from downtown Portland with beautiful old wooden houses, eclectic independent shops and lots of bars and restaurants. Spend the morning looking around and then visit McMenamin's Blue Moon Tavern (432 NW 21st Street) to enjoy some of their own-brand Ruby Ale.
NW 21st Street, NW 23rd Street
Take the Streetcar to N.W. 21ST & NORTHRUP
Oficina Francisco Brennand is a sculpture garden, ceramic gallery and art gallery. The work is of 82-year-old Francisco Brennand, an internationally recognised sculptor, sometimes referred to as the Salvador Dahli of Brazil. His work is sensual, bordering on erotic, natural and mythological.
He travelled to Europe in 1949 and was influenced by Gaudi, Miro, Leger and Picasso.
The water gardens are by Brazil's most famous landscape artist Brule Marx, and the sculpture gallery is housed in an old ceramics factory. His painted art is housed in a new gallery. All are within a protected area of Atlantic forest on the outskirts of Recife.
If in the area this is a "must see". His work can also be found around the city of Recife, especially on a section of the reef in Recife Antigo, home to his sculpture park inaugurated in 2000 for the new millennium. It can be accessed by row boat from the quay side in Marco Zero square, the centrepoint of the city from where distances to all other cities are measured.
Bastia Vieux Port and Citadelle (Terra Nova) are very attractive places to wander. You get very good views from the Citadelle, particularly from the Bar de la Citadelle. There's a 'petit train' which takes you around (and up the hill to the Citadelle which is good when it's hot) for six Euros and runs every hour from near the ferry port. If you understand French the tour is good.
In Greece many of the ancient sites are free on Sundays, and also on Ochi Day (28th October). We visited the site of Philippi, north of Kavala, an extensive Greek, Roman and Paleochristian site and were amazed that there was no admission charge.
About 20km North west of Kavala. There are buses and tours from Kavala.
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