Summer 2007 may be a total write-off but, dodging between heavy rain showers, it’s still possible to get some exercise and some fresh air. This walk in the hills just north of Ludlow offers lots of great views from every direction as you circle the woods and valleys – a slice of Shropshire at its very best – and pure beautiful countryside doesn’t get much better than this!
Best to go on a Saturday to enjoy visiting the one of the most amazing farmers' markets in the UK. Buy loads of seriously good food here!
Also a fantastic castle (11th to 15th Century), to explore as well!
www.walkingworld.com/ - walk ID number 221.
If you've not seen anything similar before, the Scunthorpe steel plant is quite an amazing sight: the area of the site is actually larger than the rest of the town! It's still really huge despite years of closures and cutbacks.
They still start with raw iron ore and make everything else from it, all on one gigantic industrial site.
There's no organised way to make a visit, but you can look around if you want to. It's a whole other world there!
These are cave houses in the old town (Barrio Sacromonte) - a great place to stay practically overlooking the Alhambra.
Friendly staff. Basic but clean, with good showers!
We stayed in a double but I think there are bigger ones available. They also include small kitchen/dining areas for those who want to self-cater.
The old town is great (lots of bars, restaurants, nice squares) but if you want to go into the main town, it's only a short leisurely walk.
Wheelers is a pub that has gone through a bit of a transformation and turned into a top class hotel with good food, good entertainment (especially Thursday and Friday nights) and a view to die for.
Having a lazy lunch in the fancy class restaurant overlooking the valley is a great way to spend a Sunday. The Wheelers is a fave with locals. And did I mention the views too?
Wheelers Hill Hotel
Ferntree Gully Road (cnr Jells Road), Wheelers Hill (about 20 mins from the centre of the city along the freeway) Tel. 9560 8922
car parking on site is free
Although a touristy town, Grindelwald makes a perfect base for a good week's worth of walking with footpaths in all directions from the town and the ability to do circular routes. The walking can be as demanding as you wish. Needless to say the views are great.
Le Marche's hills roll in from the Adriatic and reach the Sibillini mountains. A national park has been created to protect this awesome high section of the Appenines and its flora and fauna which includes wolves, golden eagles, wild boar and porcupines.
In Spring the area is carpeted in a rainbow of wild flowers. In summer you can swim or eat at tavernas round the shore of a lake; walk through cool gorges that dissect the mountains; and cycle or walk the paths that cross the ridges at 2,000m.
There are an abundance of fascinating medieval hill towns with museums and great ristorante serving up great value meals.
A great base for the area is Sarnano; which has 20 ristorante, a ski resort nearby, a variety of bars and stunning views.
Sarnano is in Macerata region of Le Marche and can be reached via Ancona and Pescara airports.
If you hate the hordes of screaming children and other assorted hazards of your average beach, head to the North Norfolk Coastal walk where I found miles of marshland and sandy beach. The sea was too rough to swim in but the beach is long, wide and sandy allowing for walks, taking in the views and comtemplating. And if you get bored of it all, the hustle and bustle of the beaches at Hunstanton are merely a stones throw away.
take the A149 from King's Lynn northbound, go past Hunstanton, at the village of Thornham, turn left off the A149 onto a very small road called Staithe Road. This should take you straight to the marshes, over which there is a path that'll lead you to the beach.
Restaurant on the North Norfolk coast with superb views of the salt marshes. Delicious fresh seafood served in small portions allowing you to eat a three-course meal without feeling like you're going to burst. I had the salad of cromer crab and quails eggs, plaice for mains with a side of samphire (available from the marshes in season) and an exquisite rasberry brulee for dessert. A perfect way to spend a summer's evening.
Brancaster Staithe on the A149, Norfolk, PE31 8BY.
The stunning Las Islas Cies in Galicia is an uninhabited and pristine national park with loads of wildlife and a perfect crescent of soft pale sand, backed by small dunes sheltering a calm lagoon of crystal-clear (but freezing) sea.
The water is turquoise and the sand fine and white.
The only place to stay on the island is an idyllic campsite shaded by pine trees. It has a decent shop, bar and cafe and, this being Spain, even a proper restaurant that serves great seafood.
The park is open to the public only in summer.
00 34 986 43 83 58, campingislascies.com, open Easter week and June to September.
Galicia is quite simply one of most picturesque areas of Spain I have visited
After residing for so many years in the dryer, hotter south, one really notices the change in climate, vegetation, atmosphere and old-worldy charm so similar to the villages of Ireland or a small hamlet in Britain.
Galicia has really everything to offer: it is clean and green; it offers a pleasant climate throughout spring and summer; the coastline is dotted with picturesque villages and small quaint harbours; most of Spain's best beaches are to be found in this area; and lush meadows and orchards are abound.
Driving around the countryside and coastline is a real pleasure, with fantastic views from almost every corner of the province, and of course a word on Galicia would not be complete without mentioning the incredible selection of super fresh seafood and fine wines on offer in almost every cafeteria, restaurant
and tapas bar in Galicia.
One of the prettiest towns in Galicia would have to be O Grove.
O Grove is one of Galicia's many charming fishing villages, and due to its situation on the eastern side of the headland which faces the mainland it is protected from the tidal force of the Atlantic Ocean.
It has a gentle personal charm endearing to all visitors, there are a good smattering of restaurants to suit all prices, and most of them with one thing in common: seafood. It's everywhere, and so fresh it basically walks onto the plate by itself.
As you walk along the beaches in the area as the tide recedes, you will come across cockles, clams, shrimps and small crabs laying in clean golden sands of the Rios.
Be careful though not to get the urge to fill up a bag to take away, as that is not allowed. This true treasure of the sea is jealously guarded by the ladies who work in the local cooperatives making their living cultivating this local delicacy.
One strange occurrence was that the locals understood my Spanish, Andalucian twang included, which is not always the case in other parts of Spain.
I would highly recommend a trip out into the Rios on one of the many comfortable glass-bottom boats that take sightseers out to the mussel and oyster platforms. Included in the trip is a plate of freshly harvested and cooked mussels washed down with a cold glass of Ribero (local young white wine) ... Delicious.
Situated in the middle of the Rias Baixas region, some 25km west of Galicia's capital Pontevedra.
Leros is a beautyful island .We stayed at Vangelis studio apartments in Panteli with the best views in Panteli.The place is ideal for family. Relaxing in the evenings under the olive tree with a bottle of retsina and enjoy the view.Vangelis studios situated at the road to Panteli very near to the beach.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of the landmarks of Athens like Acropolis and Parthenon. Its construction began during the 6th century BC and finished in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The temple of Zeus is situated next to Zappeion at the junction of Vasilissis Amalias and Vasilissis Olgas Avenues, the main entrance is at Vasilissis Olgas Avenue 1. On the same field you can visit Hadrian's Arch.
Lake Iseo, with Monte Isola, southern Europe's largest lake island, is Italy's best kept secret and behind it is Valle Camonica with skiing, rivers and more lakes.
Easy to get to, lots to do, not expensive and unspoilt.
Just north east of Bergamo (Ryan air hub for Italy) see
This must be the best seafood restaurant in the whole world.
The whole lunch experience starts at 12pm when you pitch up on the beach with your own cooler box filled with wine and ice cold beer.
From there, a 12 course seafood meal gets served along with homebaked African bread made in the cast iron ovens on the beach.
All in all this experience will have you playing in the sun and sea while dining in a five-star location with the best meal. You're kindly asked to leave by 6pm but I'm sure if you ask nicely they will let you stay for the dinner session which is from 7pm - 2am.
A seventeenth-century star fort in Kinsale Harbour, a very pleasant walk from the town either by road or along the water's edge. One of the few remaining forts of the period with its outer walls and star formation defences intact. It's well worth the walk - the view out to the harbour is magnificent and from what I remember of my last trip there, the displays and historical information are good too.
The Summit bar at the top of the Radisson SAS Hotel in the centre of Oslo has absolutely stunning views of the city and Oslo fjord, especially if you go there around dusk to watch the sunlight fade and the streetlights and neons come on all over the city.
If you go at the right time you can get a comfy seat right by the window, the best vantage point. Apart from the urinals apparently - they are right up against the glass so you can enjoy the view whilst, you know. Oh, and in the ladies' there is one cubicle with two toilets in it - in case you and a friend need to finish a conversation, especially urgently I suppose?!
Drinks aren't as expensive as I'd feared - it was around 300kr for two (small) bottles of beer and two glasses of red - pricier than the UK but that's to be expected I think.
When we went there was an especially good bar tender - she paid loads of attention to getting drinks just so and gave us some free peanuts!
A great atmosphere, stunning views and perfect company meant the Summit bar was the highlight of my trip to Oslo.
It's near the Royal Palace. The address is Holbergsgate 30, N-0166, Oslo
Nobody thinks to check out one of Europe's most beautiful cities from its rooftops. Fantastic views of the city from several different vantage points and next to no tourists with the same idea.
Some of the places you can do by yourself but we did it with a local company who had access to all of the places we wanted to see.
Hidden away from the seagulls and sound lies a little courtyard where virginia creeper meet sparrows and butterflies - Libra Court, the cheeky jewel on Sidmouth's crown.
If you fancy a wander around artist studios, a nibble on chunky farmhouse bread, or just to sit and watch the buzz do its buzzing, hop off the seafront, go straight on down the highstreet, take a right, then nip left.
Life has a rather colourful palette in Libra Court.
Libra Court, Fore Street, Sidmouth, Devon
A lovely inn/hotel nestled in the above hamlet, a few hundred yards from the edge of Dartmoor proper. The food is exquisite, service friendly and fantastic, with a beautifully tranquil beer garden to soothe those aching legs after a hike on the moor.
I got up early one morning in April and walked through the woods below the hotel which were stunning in the light of early dawn. And sitting atop Hay Tor at 7am is simply breathtaking.
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