This church, overlooking Loch Awe on the road to Oban, has a very weird and wonderful personality, and its multifarious design echoes the eccentricities of its architect. On the outside many ecclesiastical styles are blended, such as the grand flying buttresses and stained glass, as well as other more zany features such as the stone-carved rabid hound chasing frenetic rabbits down the guttering. The gloomy interior holds many more delights including a giant effigy of Robert the Bruce, underneath which you can view a fragment of bone belonging to the great Scottish king.
A mile or so from the village of Loch Awe on the A85 towards Oban. Loch Awe is the closest station.
For information- www.loch-awe.com/local_groups/stconanskirk.html
If strange and eccentric is your thing, then you'll not go wrong in the imposing Camelot Castle in Tintagel. Perched on the cliffs like a giant sandcastle overlooking the ethereal ruins of the real castle, this is a Victorian station terminus hotel of grand proportions. The station and rail line have long since gone, but the owners of the hotel (none other than John Mappin, heir of Mappin & Webb and his stunning wife Irena from Kazakhstan) have maintained the grandiose Gothic feel of this monstrous building in a recent refurbishment. Beware! The owners and the residential artist Ted Stourton are scientologists ... but don't let it put you off. Other than some gently crazy conversations about Super Power around the fabulous King Arthur's round table in front of a roaring fire (and no, I was neither converted nor felt intimidated), this really is a friendly, quirky find. You can just pop-in for coffee or have the full-blown wedding package, but either way, your dogs and your cats will be as welcome as you are. Oh - and the whole place is stuffed full of Ted's original (in every sense of the word) art work. He may even take you down to the bowels of the castle to show you his lightbox. Honest! It's an advertised option. Don't forget to take the whole thing with a light heart and absolutely make sure you go around Tintagel Castle. It'll hurricane the cobwebs away.
An atmospheric gem of a lovely informal old house with accommodation and a little traditional bar in an exquisite remote setting overlooking a bay. They serve exceptional spanking fresh local seafood cooked to perfection at very good prices with a few tables looking out over the lovely view. But it is really the atmosphere of the place, the laid back and unpretentious welcome from each family member that makes it like visiting friends, the traditional little bar where you can get a pint of Guinness and hang with the locals, listen to music, have a seafood snack, and then at the end of a brilliant night of chat and craic you can fall into bed in one of their newly renovated bedrooms with lovely views across the bay.
Dawros Bay House & Joe’s Seafood Bar, Rosbeg, Co. Donegal
+44(0)74 954 5252
Google map: bit.ly/rc9EUt
The CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western hemisphere, standing at 1,815 feet.
This communications and observation tower, located in downtown Toronto, is a familiar icon of the city’s skyline. Its name refers to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower.
In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Taking the glass floor paneled elevator up to one of the observation decks is an exciting
experience in itself. It takes about 1 minute to reach the Look Out Level at 1,135 feet.
Other observation levels include the Glass Floor Level, at about 1,120 feet, which allows you to see straight down to street level. Brave children can sometimes be seen jumping on the glass floor, while those with less nerve remain on the sidelines. Also on this level is the Outdoor Observation Deck, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city. The Sky Pod level is one of the world's highest public observation galleries, at an elevation of 1,465 feet. In June 2007, the tower installed 1,330 super-bright LED lights inside the elevator shafts, which shoot upwards to light the tower from dusk until 2am. The tower changes its lighting scheme on holidays and to commemorate major events.
If you want to be pushed to your limits, literally, the CN Tower opened EdgeWalk on August 1, 2011, where thrill-seekers attached to a safety harness can walk full circle and hands-free around the 5-foot ledge encircling the main pod of the tower, at 1,168 feet.
Tucked away at the end of a built up area is a pleasant walk along Bangor Pier. This has views to Anglesey on the way there, a cafe selling great home made scones at end, and a view of the mountains on the way back.
Take road diagonally opposite the public swimming pool, and at the end is a car park for pier.
Google map: bit.ly/qwJn7D
Castle Rock’s smaller sibling is Calton Hill, a grassy spot some 450ft above sea level at the east end of Princes Street. It is from this spot that every postcard shot of the city has been taken, so take a wander up and take in the view for yourself.
Explore the strange structures at the top – including the locally named ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace’ – an overambitious attempt to replicate the Parthenon in the ‘Athen’s of the North.’
Take a picnic and take this short walk to one of the finest views of Princes Street, the Castle and beyond.
Google map: bit.ly/qNhCjl
There's not really anything glamorous about Staten Island. It's NYC's bastard borough. But the Staten Island ferry that ushers 60,000 people to and from Manhattan every day offers a beautiful view of the city. And it's free! The ride starts at Whitehall Terminal in downtown Manhattan (take the R, W, or 1 train to Whitehall Street-South Ferry) and then drops you off at St. George Terminal in Staten Island. I'm not recommending you hang out in Staten Island. It's residential and can be hard to navigate on foot. Get off the ferry and board the next one to Manhattan. You can take in the views and even sip wine or beer while you do it. Just don't end up overboard.
1 Bay Street, Staten Island, New York, United States
Google map: bit.ly/pK9ZFp
Amanda is our Been there local for New York. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/new-york-local-amanda-green.jsp and her own NYC blog here: www.noisiestpassenger.com/
Come off the M6 at junction 35. Morecambe is just a wonderful place for a stop off, and only a few miles from the motorway. Park anywhere along Marine Road, and take a bracing, and hopefully sunny walk along the sea front. If you're there late afternoon, the light can be glorious and taking photos of the sands, the boats with the Cumbrian hills over the bay is just a dream. Finish off with a cup of tea and scone at Eric's Cafe on Marine Road, which is just behind the delightful statue of Eric himself.
Eric's Cafe: 245 Marine Road Central, Morecambe LA4 4BJ
+44(0)1524 412 051
Google map: bit.ly/oKuoyX
If you usually avoid motorway service stations, you would probably drive past this one. Don't! It does not look much when you arrive but appearances are deceptive. Pop in, grab a cuppa and head out the back to the terrace. Suddenly, you are in the borders! Soft, rolling hills and a beautiful lake bathe your road-sore eyes. You can sit on the deck and just take it all in, or go for a walk around the lake and have a picnic. The kids can play, the dog can run around - everyone's happy!
On the M74 between Carlisle and Glasgow (on junction 16): DG11 1HD
Google map: bit.ly/q8xiCi
La Nube del Angel is a small, homely and really comfy hotel in Puerto Piramides on the Peninsula Valdes. For those who aren't familiar with the place, it's the best spot to go whale watching in the whole of South America, truly an amazing spectacle.
I recommend the place for it's great view over the bay - we could see whales jumping from our bed!
The posada is run by a lovely young couple who recently moved there and will go out of their way to make you feel at home. The breakfast is a killer with homemade bread and jams, and the location is a must!
The hotel is located in the "quiet" part of town, very easy to find with the simple street naming policy of the village. You will find the Nube on the Segunda Bajada al Mar, literally the second way down to the sea.
Google map: bit.ly/pwljMg
Take the lift to the roof-top terrace for smashing views over the harbour. Open from 11.00 till 01.30 at the weekends and till midnight during the week you can book a meal or just enjoy a drink and the view. There’s live music and cocktails too. It’s a great place to cool off and chill out.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast boasts stunning beaches and breathtaking landscapes with hidden villages and country lanes dotted along the way which are simply some of the best places to see in Wales
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a 14 mile stretch of coastal path walks of outstanding beauty between Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan and Porthcawl further west. Dramatic cliffs, secluded coves on golden sands and stunning views make it a must for walkers, cyclists or anyone with a love of the countryside.
And not only are there the views, but the area is also steeped in history.
The ruins of Dunraven Castle stand upon the headland at Dunraven Bay. More a large fortified house than a castle, it had its own kitchen gardens and landing stage in the bay. It was lived in right up until the 1940’s but was demolished in 1963 as it was crumbling and considered unsafe.
There are many legends of smuggling and shipwrecking associated with this dramatic spot in times gone by but today it is more noted for the spectacular sandstone cliffs and for Southerndown beach which is an excellent swimming and recreational area.
Ogmore-by-Sea is another popular destination for a great day out, with amazing views along the coast and across the estuary to Merthyr Mawr and Porthcawl. Discover the many caves and explore the flora and fauna of the rock pools (but always taking heed of the ever-changing tides).
Here too stands the extensive ruin of a castle - by the River Ewenny and the Stepping Stones over to Merthyr Mawr.
Ogmore Castle guards a major fording place into southern Wales, and sits on flat land rather than atop a ridge-crest where nature would have provided extra defence. From Ogmore, Welsh access to this Norman lordship was effectively barred.
Take your time here, relax a while and refresh yourself in one of the tea rooms by the river or enjoy a cool drink in one of the traditional local pubs.
Halfway along the heritage coast on a promontory with precipitous cliffs on the west stands the medieval St. Donat's Castle.
In the 13th century St Donats was held by the de Haweys family who also had estates in Somerset and Dorset. In 1925 the Castle was sold to the newspaper millionaire William Randolph Hearst and it was commandeered for training of army officers during the war. Then in 1960 was taken over by an international school called Atlantic College, which is still thriving there today.
Waternish is the middle bit in the North of Skye. It is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places I have ever been to. Fantastic views to the Outer Hebrides. Some interesting craft places dotted about. The clearest air I've ever breathed. Wish I could have bottled it to take home. I have to make do with the photo I took of the Minch (Loch/Sea?) which is now the background on my computer.
A hunting lodge built by Sultan AbdulMecid in the middle of the 19th century on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus close to the second bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge) and to the village of Anadolu Hisarı. It is Dolmabahce Palace in miniature. The guided tour is only in Turkish but there is often someone around who will translate for you. Open daily except Monday and Thursday, entrance is only 4TL. After your visit, turn left and walk the five mintues to see the ruined castle at Anadolu Hisari. There you can find several cafes on Kucuksu stream where you can have a meal and enjoy watching the fishermen and pleasure boaters pottering around.
Take a ferry to Uskudar and then hop on a number 15 (to BEYKOZ) bus from in front of the mosque opposite the ferry terminal for the 30 minute (or so!) journey up the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, passing the summer palace of Baylerbeyi on the way.
If you don't have time for the full day Bosphorus cruise then IDO (Istanbul Deniz Otobus) also offer a two hour trips along one of the world's greatest waterways without the lengthy (nearly three hour) stop at the north end of the Bosphorus. It is also kinder on the pocket costing 10 TL instead of 25TL for the full day tour. See the beauty of the city for less money and less time!
The ferry departs from Eminonu at 1430 returning at 1630 (it also collects from Uskudar for those staying on the Asian shore)
Shun the condom-and-glass-laden shores of Ostia if you want to visit the beach for a day on your summer hols to Rome.
The beach and sea at Sperlonga are cleaner, prettier and quieter, and only take an hour(ish) to get to by train from Termini, Rome's main train station. The beach is also shallow for quite a long way out to sea so it's a nice paddling spot for children or people with short legs.
Take the Naples slow train, which is at 49 minutes past the hour every hour from 8am and costs 6.20 Euros. Get off at Fondi Sperlonga and then get the beach bus (1 Euro) to the seafront itself.
It's worth leaving the beach for a couple of hours and wandering up to the hilltop town for a drink or a spot of lunch and a gawk at the view.
Dining with a view normally comes with a price, but Marina Grosseto offers quality European fare with a stunning view of Prague castle without an outrageous price tag. This floating restaurant, built on the base of a cargo boat was completed in June 2010 and has become a favourite with tourists, expats and Czechs alike. Spread over two floors, the restaurant is modern, light and spacious, with a glass side that slides back on warm evenings allow a gentle breeze to circulate.
The view is heavenly, and the food and service are also impressive. Expect standard European dishes with the emphasis on Italia pizza, pasta and fish dishes. With soups from 55 CZK and mains from around 160 CZK (for pizza) or 250 CZK (for meat and fish), it's not the cheapest place in Prague but the location easily compensates.
Book ahead - Marina Grosseto is very busy throughout the year, particularly in the summer.
Alšovo nábřeží, Praha 1
+420 605 454 020
Nearest metro: Staroměstská Metro
Visit the hilltop Etruscan town of Cortona. As you wander around its narrow streets, taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, you may notice that some of it looks familiar. It has infact been used as a backdrop for various films, notably Under the Tuscan Sun, based on the book of the same name by Frances Mayes, and Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful. You can continue the film tour in most of Tuscany - towns south of Siena (Stealing Beauty), the Val d'Orcia valley (Gladiator) and obviously Florence (A Room with a View, Tea with Mussolini).
Google map: bit.ly/lovdaV
LaVialla is a beautiful organic farm estate about 8km north of Arezzo on the SP56, well sign-posted from the village of Castiglion Fibocchi. You can visit the estate and stroll along its paths in the woods, enjoying the most spectacular views. If the weather is fine (and it usually is!) you can enjoy a delicious lunch of cheeses, home made bread, salads and salami; all organically produced on the farm with LaVialla wines at incredibly good prices. All the produce is on sale at the "little shop" and accommodation is provided in converted farm buildings.
This is a great place to grab a drink before heading out to dinner - it’s quiet and low-key and has none of the pretension that most Yorkville bars have. The rooftop lounge has a balcony that has a great view of the city; on a clear day, you can see for miles. With old-style service, this venue is perfect for a first date.
Park Hyatt Hotel
4 Avenue Road, ON M5R 2E8
+1 416 925 1234
Google map: bit.ly/lfDiTc
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org