Take a leisurely stroll along one of the prettiest and most historic routes in London. Start in the village of Blackheath and then stroll over the heath to Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory, where you can cross GMT and get a wonderful view of London. Then down into Greenwich, through the covered market and the Naval College, past Cutty Sark, and then under the Thames to the Isle of Dogs via the century old Foot Tunnel.
From there it is only a short walk to Canary Wharf under the progressively larger shadow of the skyscrapers. On the Wharf there are restaurants, serious shopping in the indoor malls, and best of all the Jubilee Line and DLR to take you home again.
Blackheath, Greenwich, Canary Wharf
On a clear day you can see the whole city, including a panorama from Ibrox stadium to Celtic Park. The spires of the west end and glittering city centre lie in between the stadia with the highlands providing a spectacular backdrop ( you can see at least 5 munroes from the Arrochar hills to Ben Vorlich at Loch Earn). Glasgow is a much more attractive city than it is often given credit.
Take a train from central station to Queens park, exit the station to victoria rd, turn right and you will see the gates of the park at the end of the road. Walk through them, straight ahead through an avenue of trees to the highest point in the park.
The National trail along the banks of the Thames has a few interruptions but provides a chance to see the river at its best. A highlight is to cycle from Putney Bridge to Weybridge taking in Richmond Park and Hampton Court - do it on a weekday and the path is virtually deserted. Too tired to cycle back? Stick your bike on the train and head back into town.
Beside the river. www.sustrans.org.uk. Various tube/rail along the route.
A tree full of shoes. No, this hasn't been sanctioned by the powers that be - in fact, they've removed the shoes in the past. But still they keep appearing - and make for quite a surreal sight.
Armstrong Park, in Heaton. I'm not going to tell you exactly where as part of the fun of the shoe tree experience is finding it!
Flights and accommodation will be cheaper (we got a good offer making the Elite Hotel **** cheaper than a B&B in Brighton). The city will hopefully be covered in a blanket of snow. Not only does this add an extra aspect to this beautiful city but makes nipping in and out of cafes for mulled wine or hot chocolate an excellent pastime. The park is also an excellent place to go sledging (cheap sledges can be bought from Tescos in the city centre). Just wrap up warm and go steady in any slippy spots.
This is the heart of Boston's North End, once the Italian enclave in the region. The street is lined with cafes, bakeries and several styles of Italian restaurants - most with open air seating during the summer. Great for people watching, it connects the Financial District to Boston's harbor. A nice small park connects Hanover St to the Old North Church.
Access by Goverment Center T (subway) station.
A small lake in which you'll see a quite preposterous number of toads in the springtime (April/May). An unusual sight given that it's so close to the city centre.
Why not help a few across the road before they're killed by passing cars?
You can stop in the bar for a drink on your way back, warm in the knowledge that you've just saved a few amphibious lives!
Go to Belmontas on the eastern edge of the city (5 minutes by taxi from the centre, or a nice cycle ride on a sunny afternoon). Here you'll find a newly-built and rather spectacular riverside complex, consisting of outdoor bars, cafes and restaurants.
Cross the river via the bridge and walk along the adjacent road northwards, away from the river. It shouldn't be long before you see/hear the toads! After a couple of hundred metres you'll come across a lake on the right - this is where they're heading to breed.
This downtown area by the lake is a great place to visit in the summer. As well as a great place to walk by the side of Lake Ontario, you can catch the ferry across to the Toronto Islands, watch an open air performance for free, browse a craft fair and eat food from various ethic menus.
Don't approach the Falls via the freeway as it is boring and souless. Go via the beautiful small town of Niagara-on-the-lake and then drive along the Niagara River via the Niagara Parkway to get a great view of the falls.
Traditionally a summer pursuit, the world-famous Tivoli now opens from mid-November until after Christmas.
A veritable winter wonderland. Don't miss it if you're in town at that time of year.
Tivoli is between the central station and Town Hall Square.
Zoos are zoos are zoos but Copenhagen Zoo is a great getaway for the family and it is unique in that it is located very close to town. A simple bus or bike ride from Central Station.
Built in 1859, the Zoo has evolved well. The petting zoo is super for kids and Sir Norman Foster has designed the coming Elephant House.
The Zoo is open 365 days a year!
The official name is The Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park, which gives you an idea of the scope.
Ranks high on the international 'zoo-o-meter' for it's quality and size. Loads of things to see and the kids will love the prehistoric park with dinos and what have you.
The LRT (train) stops at Zoo Station.
1300 Zoo Road (off Memorial Drive)
16 dollars (adults), 8 bucks (kids)
A long line of famous Danes are buried here. Among those known abroad are Hans Christian Andersen, Soren Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr.
It's an oasis in the middle of the noisy Nørrebro neighbourhood and has been used as a park for decades.
If you visit in the summer don't be suprised to see half-naked locals lounging on blankets in the sun.
A wonderful graveyard in all seasons.
Located along Nørrebrogade - the long, yellow wall is it. Bus 5A will take you there from the centre or it's a 30 min. walk up Nørrebrogade.
Open 8-16 (winter) and 8-20 (summer).
Fantastic, small scale wildlife park which is ideal for kids. You can get up close and personal with all the animals without the usual queues found else where.
Our kids loved it and got loads of photos with the koalas. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Sydneys suburbs.
West Pennant Hills, Sydney
Calgary has developed a unique habit when creating new neighbourhoods as the city expands. In the south of the city they dug a huge hole, made a hill with the dirt, made a lake in the hole and then built a neighbourhood around the lake.
The result? Fascinating lessons in modern urban planning. Check out Lake Bonavista, Lake Bonaventure, Lake Midnapore and many others if urban planning is your kinky thang.
The above mentioned neighbourhoods are south of the city centre.
I should keep this one for myself! One of my favourite places in Rio is the Parque Lage in the grounds of a beautiful 1920s mansion between the Lagoa and the Botanic Gardens, at the base of the Corcovado, the mountain where the statue of Christ is, and only a few minutes away by taxi from Ipanema.
It is a very especial place and a great escape if you have had enough of the beach. The building is very especial, it is featured in the video of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's song "Beautiful" and it is also the last building you see in the video for the Black Eyed Peas'song "Don't Lie", both filmed in Rio.
The building, that now houses a centre for young artist, is crying out to be turned into a fantastic museum, and the gardens are actually the beginning of a trail that goes through the rainforest all the way up to the Christ. The last time I was there we didnt go very far because we were warned there were "bandidos" (muggers), but we didn't have to walk long before we had some macaco monkeys throwing mangoes at us. Do a search in Google images and have a look.
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
Offers surely the most beautiful view in any city in the world. In order to reach it you must walk through the indescribable beauty of the Botanical Gardens, where you are invited to "hug the trees". Walk through paths lined with stunningly coloured plants and trees with birds and other wildlife wandering free. When you reach Mrs Macquarie's Chair, the view of the Opera House framed by the Harbour Bridge with the glistening transparent waters of the harbour is directly in front of you.
Royal Botanical Gardens
I would bet the farm that more postcards have been sold with pictures of Lake Louise than any other destination in Canada. A stunning hotel overlooking the perfect lake.
Rent a canoe or go for a long walk along the path around the lake. Braver souls can hike to the Tea House for a cuppa in nature's proudest surroundings.
And hour and a half from Banff by car. The railroad chugs past if you choose the rail solution between Calgary and Vancouver.
It is a branch of the harbour in the city centre containing wonderful restaurants, a shopping centre, a convention centre, a glamorous casino, a maritime museum, an aquarium, chinese and japanese gardens, an IMAX cinema, and the Powerhouse Museum (a power station converted into a costume museum and other wonders).
via Monorail from the shopping district
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org