The town of Clifden, famous for the first Trans-Atlantic flight having landed there, is a thriving cosmopolitan town with new apartments being built and the pubs and restaurants full.
The old railway station has been carefully incorporated into apartment blocks next to the station hotel. Remnants of the old platform have been kept as part of the walkway, and the old lines, sleepers and signal switches are embedded into the pedestrian area. The locomotive shed and stationmaster’s house are part of the development and even the new block of shops has been sensitively dealt with in the design process. The whole effect works well with vernacular references to the railway, which played a significant part in Clifden’s development.
The area has walks for all abilities in the Connemara National Park.
Going to Clifden is worth it, not only because of the town, but the actual journey is so spectacular with the barren rock landscape surrounded by drowned peat hags fringed with reeds.
Lovely park to go to when you're a bit sick of the often touristy Englischer Garten (however nice it is there too). Little lake in the middle, with a good restaurant and biergarten, where you can regularly catch a bit of live music, in the middle of that.
A secret gem in Phoenix Park where they hold events over the summer; you can go and wander round the the grounds, the sunken garden, the walled garden, eat in the stunning boathouse restarant (12:30-5pm) overlooking the fish pond. They have outdoor concerts there too, and a farmers market. A one stop shop for a dry Sunday.
See www.farmleigh.ie/ for more details and opening times.
A coffee farm with nice traditional rooms (but with bathrooms, 2 pools, a bar and restaurant, and a number of activities on site including presentations on coffee growing and processing (including picking your own coffee berries, preparing and roasting them), horse riding through the coffee groves and the largest canopy in Colombia - 7 zip line rides over the trees.
Very friendly staff who are happy to organise outings to the National Coffee Park, a trip down the La Vieja river on a bamboo raft, or up to the mountains to go walking.
Near to Quimbaya, in Quindío province, 27km from Armenia.
The Murillo Gardens are very Sevillian in style, full of arcades and foliage, ceramic work and abundant flowers. A very peaceful haven in the centre of Seville. Ideal for children and families.
On Calle de Menendez Pelayo. The gardens border the walls of the Alcazar, leading into the Santa Cruz district.
If you are visiting Florence by car take advantage of the free parking at the Piazzale Michelangelo. It is easy to find by road and has plenty of spaces.
The Square itself commands fantastic views over the river Arno and the rooftops of Florence. There is a steep set of steps and paths that lead down to the river and town centre, takes approx 10 minutes.
Massive area of protected parkland. A perfect place to fly a kite or go for a walk. On the Sea Walls side of the park there's a stunning view of the Avon Gorge that stretches out to the docks at Avonmouth and over the Severn to Wales. It plays host to the huge Downs League on Saturday afternoons should you fancy watching some amateur football.
Clifton Down & Durdham Down, BS8;
Take bus numbers 1, 8, 9 or 54 from Bristol Temple Meads station or the city centre.
A county park that bisects the peninsula south of the main city, San Bruno mountain is accessible by car and has loads of walking and biking trails. The Saddle Trail goes through woods and leads to fantastic views of the city.
It's particularly convenient for the airport, which is why if you've got a couple of hours to kill before or after a flight it's a great antidote to the stress of air travel. Parking is $5.
Guadalupe Canyon Parkway;
For directions see www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/smc/department/home/0,,5556687_12313315_12345092,00.html#Directions
A quiet town set amidst stunning limestone scenery. We went for an interesting (and gentle) hike around the National Park. I also recommend the day trip to Cayo Leviso - a fabulous coral island with a great beach (one day is plenty). Oh and stay in Casa Particulaires - the only way to see Cuba!
Drive or take a bus from Pinar del Rio.
Back when Bristol was a gateway to the New World the first American consulate was established here in 1792. The square became the focal point of the violent Bristol riots in 1831 against the lack of voting rights, one of the worst outbreaks of urban rioting in 19th century Britain. During the 1980s a brutalist road was ploughed straight through it. Nowadays the road is gone and its been restored to its former Georgian self. A green spot to hang out in in the old city centre.
Queen Square, BS1
Fantastic resto with great poutine selection, as well as a summer garden patio. Their poutine has both quantity and quality. Either eat in, or get it to take out to eat in nearby Parc la Fontaine.
994 Rue Rachel, at Parc la Fontaine;
tel: (514) 525-2415
This stretch of cobble stone street between St Laurent and Square Saint Louis is forbidden to cars. There are lots of outdoor restaurants, bars, cafes, and it's packed with people at night, especially in the summer. Square Saint Louis is a gem too.
Just find the intersection of Boulevard St Laurent and Rue Prince Arthur;
Metro: St Laurent
Possibly the best park in Bristol, if just for the views. The park is set on one of Bristol's seven hills. To the south lies the floating harbour, Bedminster, Hartcliffe and the Mendip Hills. Look out over the roof tops into the centre of the city on the north and east sides of the park. Climb up the Cabot Tower for the best 360 degree views of the city and beyond. If you're bored of the views there are plenty of ravenous squirrels to feed.
Brandon Hill, up Charlotte Street or Great George Street off Park Street
Take Number 8 or 9 Bus from Bristol Temple Meads to top of Park St.
It is a National Park, and adjunct to the Kennedy Center (similar to Prince Albert Hall). It is a 'no frills' (sit on the grass - and bring a blanket and your picnic dinner) park, which has various artists (Janice Ian, Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio, others) on offer during the summer months. Conveniently located to The Wolf Trap Motel (in Vienna, Va - the subject of another posting), as well as other motels in the area.
The national parks are a great deal - as are the museums. Unlike Europe - most do not charge an admission fee.. or at most it's nominal. A good deal for 'over 62'ers' is a 'golden age passport'. For a 'one time' fee of $10, it grants lifetime admission to all national park facilities for free to citizens and legal residents - along with companions, friends, etc. Now you can't beat that in europe!
Near Vienna, Va - go out 'route 7 or Dulles Access Road - take Wolf Trap exit. Also accessable thru Vienna via local streets - ask locals for directions.
In my experience, it's usually nice & quiet - a lovely old fashioned city centre square. Slightly wild & overgrown - feels like a Lewis Carrol novel in places.
Nice secluded playground too for younger kids. Near the National Gallery which is also worth a visit (for both art and lunch!).
Merrion Square. Near Pearce St Dart. Lots of bus services. 2 minute walk from Stephen's Green, or Trinity College (East side).
The south of Leipzig, a former opencast mining area, has been flooded over the last ten years and turned into a series of relaxing lakes. Cospudner is the first of these.
Hire a bike in the city, and cycle the 20 mins through the wonderful parks and forest to the lake, where you can take a dip in the water, and have lunch at the harbour, or even cycle the 10 km around the lake
Tourist office, ask for a city map
Every Sunday throughout the summer, live bands perform at The Bandstand - disco, indie, ska, jazz, 60s, 70s & 80s favourites, blues, rock, folk, country, RnB - you name it! Take a picnic and settle in on the grass for the afternoon, free entertainment and a great view out to sea to boot; recommended for the whole family.
The Bandstand on Southsea seafront, immediately in front of the D-Day Museum car park.
At the Krka National Park, there is a set of waterfalls and cascades called Skradinski Buk. The scenery here is absolutely fantastic and when you arrive at the bottom of the cascades you can take a dip in the freshwater - the only place in the park that allows swimming. A grand day out!
About and 11/2 hour drive from Trogir
A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik, Mljet, which comprises a stunning national park and lakes, is perfect for a day trip. You can swim in the freshwater lakes, walk and cycle round them or get something to eat at the beautifully preserved monastery. A steep hill separates the lakes from the ferry port, so if you're planning to cycle it's a good idea to use the mini-bus service included in the park entrance fee, and then hire bikes at the lakes themselves.
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