The great green outdoors with giant eucalyptus trees, hiking paths to city views, polo field, Will's old house & cars, large circular horse stable from 1920s.
West on Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades between Brentwood & Santa Monica. (www.parks.ca.gov)
If you want to escape the hustle bustle of Delhi, this is a great place to go and maybe buy some artwork as well. Around 20 artists' workshops surround a central grassy courtyard with large trees and places to sit. You can watch the artists at work, or simply enjoy this enclave of peace and quiet, with a tea from the local chaiwallah.
Garhi Studios, Kala Kutir,
East of Kailash
New Delhi 110065
+91 11 2643 2225
A lovely inner city park with imposing horseback statue of Andrew Jackson, and an excellent view of the White House north side. It's worth (for the lefties among us!) talking to Concepcion or Thomas, who maintain a 24/7 peace vigil opposite the White House and have been there non-stop since 1981.
Between the White House and H Street, by the Hay-Adams Hotel.
The Relais dell’ Ussero at the Villa della Seta di Corliano is on the road which runs along the foot of the hills from Pisa to Lucca, passing through the small town of San Giuliano Terme. The Villa is a historical fifteenth century mansion surrounded by a centuries-old park. It is a property of great charm in which the owners offer, in 12 rooms, a relaxing stay immersed in the beauties of the local countryside.
The Villa della Seta is very conveniently located near the village of Corliano only 2km along the road from the health spa of San Giuliano Terme, and halfway between the historical cities of Pisa and Lucca (a 15 minute drive to both). Florence is only an hour away and Siena an hour and a half.
Take the tram up to the castle entrance (saves a steep walk up) and, after enjoying the cathedral and Golden Lane, don't walk down the road with the guided groups. Pay the small amount required (£2 each) for the privilege of enjoying a delightful walk through some amazing terraced gardens. Each level is different with a range of plants, flowers, fountains and statues - very relaxing and quiet. Excellent views all the way down. You end up on the street after a welcome beer in the cafe at the exit. A good way to spend an hour or so.
Cayo Macho is a nature reserve off the coast of Cuba not far from Trinidad. It has only one old guy living there to look after the endanged lizards, which are quite tame and will happily run over your feet. It takes around 45 minutes to walk around the island, but watch out for the stretches of path covered with baby crabs.
Catch a ferry from from Trinidad.
As temperatures plummet in winter, the municipality sets up ice-hockey rinks throughout Montreal. Usually open from late December through to early March (frost permitting), these outdoor rinks are a great way for the uninitiated to partake in Canada's big passion: ice hockey. Parc Lafontaine has facilities for skate hire, an ice hockey rink, and a big lake if you just want to have a peaceful skate.
Parc Lafontaine is bounded by Rue Sherbrooke to the south and Rue Papineu to the east;
Transport: Nearest metro is Sherbrooke, otherwise take any bus going east from the city centre along Rue Sherbrooke.
The Saxon gardens were designed and laid out in the early 18th Century and were, originally, the private gardens for the royal residence of Morsztyn Palace. In 1727 they became a public park and in the middle of the 19th Century were re-designed.
At the Eastern end of the park is Pilsudaki Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Inside the park are a Fountain and Watertower – designed by the architect Henryk Marconi – some pieces of 18th Century statuary and an ornamental lake.
To the west of Krakowskie Przedmiescie and the east of Marszalkowska.
Whilst the gardens are free, and it’s a pleasure to walk in the huge park overlooking the Firth of Forth, the castle is by guided tour only. However, there are also arts events organised in the castle. It is a really nice and relaxing place with astonishing views.
There is also a restaurant at the back of Lauriston Park called Lauriston Farm, which is run by Brewer's Fayre, so the meals are pretty low priced and the quality is OK, though the menu is a bit mainstream. Pub is quite child friendly, and has a nice beer garden and huge parking space.
It is also situated near the famous seaside promenade by Cramond, and near the community golf course. Lots of sheep and cows in the fields, too.
Lauriston Castle. 2a Cramond Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 5QD; tel: 0131 336 2060;
For more information see: www.information-britain.co.uk/showPlace.cfm?Place_ID=740;
For pictures see: www.flickr.com/photos/idleberry/sets/72057594130404977/
A hidden formal garden with little box hedges, herbs and stone benches. It’s just opened to the public. A lovely place to chill out and eat a sandwich on your way down from the castle to Holyrood.
On the left-hand side of Cannongate as you walk down towards Holyrood, about halfway down the Royal Mile;
Nearest station: Waverley
Beautiful lake right in the centre of Golden Gate Park. Hire a rowboat for about five bucks, and make nice lazy progress around the central island, perhaps stopping to pick blackberries on the way. Of all the things I did whilst in SF, this was the most relaxing and idyllic.
Muni (the municipal railway) offers connections to the park from transit stops throughout the city. See their pdf for more information: www.goldengateparkconcourse.org/docs/2005%20Muni_GoldenGatePark_Brochure.pdf
The best way to get there from Stuttgart is by car. It will only take about 40 minutes via the B27 heading south. Or take the train from
Stuttgart's Main Station (Hauptbahnhof - Hbf). Standard adult return is about 18 euro, but get a Baden-Württemburg ticket allowing 5 people to travel all day for about 25 euro or so. Check
www.bahn.de for details. Journey time is one hour maximum - it takes so long because
the train has to travel around the edge of the Schonbuch Nature Park - well worth visiting itself if you have the time - don't get lost however, it's pretty big.
A lovely bunch of gardens created by the Guelphs. The complex was founded in 1666 and has been the summer residence of the family for centuries. It consists of the Great Garden (Großer Garten), a baroque garden with impressive passages, pavilions, geometrical patterns and a fountain, which was planned by Leibniz and used to be the highest fountain in Europe for a long time. It is a bit like a small Versailles. Then there is the Georgengarten, an English garden with huge greens, where people relax in the sun, play football or meet for a barbecue. In the Berggarten you can find many exotic plants, the Regenwaldhaus (rain forest house) and the crypt of the Guelphs.
Tip: Start your tour from Königsworther Platz and follow the way along the old avenue flanked by hundreds of trees ("Herrenhäuser Allee"). You will enjoy the lovely view.
Tip 2: During summer there is a firework contest on Saturday evenings in the Great Garden and several other public festivities too.
Herrenhäuser Strasse 4, catch the light rail 4 or 5 to Herrenhäuser Gärten
tel: (0511) 1684 7576;
Nearest metro station: Königsworther Platz
Yes, there are excellent beaches not far from the city and I don't mean the Hamptons. July/August is very hot and following the locals is a good idea. Long Beach is a pretty town by the sea with a long boardwalk, good swimming and surfing (non-residents pay $6 entry), and Jones Beach State Park ($8 parks entry fee) has 6 miles of seafront, 2 bathhouses and tons of amenities (but bring your own food).
Both feature white dune sand, blazing sun (remember the sunblock!) and safe swimming with lifeguards during the summer.
Long Beach: Catch the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station to Long Beach, then walk to boardwalk;
Jones Beach: Catch the LIRR (Babylon branch) to Freeport, a special bus service, or drive
The Waldfriedhof is a huge cemetery. However, it’s not the sort with row upon row of graves, but with lots of trees (wald-forest) and the graves in many little groups. Basically the whole thing is a great big park, with various parts, including a lake with incredibly fat fish lazing around in it.
Great place to step off the world for a few hours, take a good long walk or just flop on the grass. Bring some food and an umbrella (and a street map and compass wouldn’t hurt) as you can get lost and wander round for hours. Grave styles range from the kitschly pious (squirly Bavarian crosses with little roofs) to thoroughly modern and non-religious sculptures.
Bus routes 54, 268 and 167 go around the outside;
Nearest u-bahn: Holzapfelkreuth (u6), then get a bus or walk along Fürstenrieder str. - the Friedhof starts at the crossroads with Wurmtalstr.
On a couple of evenings either side of the full moon, the park on the Argentinian side is open in the evening. You need to get tickets in advance and they're limited so try early that day. It's really magical and easy to avoid the crowds.
Dortmund has a rich nightlife and hundreds of cafes. The biggest concentration is around the main shopping area (Westenhellweg, Kleppingstrasse and Alter Markt).
The small Westpark is where the young and beautiful hang out on sunny afternoons, either playing footy, barbecuing or sitting in the biergarten.
Follow Lindemannstrasse all the way to the stadium, and I'm sure you'll stop off at one of the pubs and bars along the way. Find out about clubs and events in the free magazine 'coolibri', available in most cafes.
Westpark is next to Möllerbrücke at the northern end of Lindemannstrasse. A 15 min walk from town or take underground line U42 southbound towards Hombruch.
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