A beautiful and usually peaceful gorge with well-maintained walkways that take you through the heart of the gorge and undulate their way along the path of the deep turquoise water.
The moderate fee involved is definitely worth it and the gorge makes a nice short trip if you are based in Bled. You can even walk there, although it is quite a long journey with not too simple a route to follow.
Gorje Tourist Information Center
Podhom 80, 4247, Zgornje Gorje
+386 4 572 52 66
Google map: bit.ly/t3n24O
One of only three aragonite caves in the world open to the public. It is a beautiful and amazing experience to wander through this small but incredibly colourful and delicate cave. You can't help but be reminded of the crystals you could make as a child with a Christmas bought chemistry set.
Nearest main town is Roznava. There is poor public transport.
Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyňa, 049 35 Ochtiná-Rožňava, Slovakia
+421 58/488 10 51
Google map: bit.ly/vU5LW1
For national Czech history don't go to the National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square. The building is beautiful but the collection has just been shut for at least four years for extensive and long-overdue updating.
Instead, go to the National Museum site at the Vitkov Memorial in Zizkov. This site is home to one of the biggest equestrian statues in the world and a very interesting exhibition about 20th century Czech history.
A steep climb to the top is rewarded by a great view over the city, from the roof-top viewing platform or the very good café.
U Památníku 1900, 130 00 Praha 3
+420 222 781 676
November 2011 untill March 2012:
Thursday–Sunday: 10 AM–6 PM
Google map: bit.ly/vukUJR
* Helen is our Been there local for Prague. Her page is here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/prague-local-helen-ford.jsp and she has her own blog here: czechingin.wordpress.com/
The North Yorks Moors are awash with standing stones, circles, burial mounds and markers from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. New ones come to light from time to time that have been covered by heather and bracken for hundreds of years, and a walk on these glorious moors reveals a surprise cross or stone at almost every turn.
Some served as markers on the pannier tracks that connected Yorkshire's monasteries, and some are boundary stones - such as the aptly named Fat Betty on the road between Castleton and Rosedale. Two miles inland from Robin Hood’s Bay are the three Bronze Age stones of the Ramsdale Circle. This is an unsurpassable site for a picnic, with a wonderful view of the coast across rolling moorland, which has probably changed little since the stones were erected.
Google map: bit.ly/qO90XR
The Skylounge is a cool bar-restaurant on the top floor of the Mint Hotel. The terrace gives an amazing view of Amsterdam whilst enjoying a cocktail. Free entrance, cocktails were about £12 each.
Found by the picturesque harbour of Solva, an inlet that fills and drains completely of water, depending on the tide.
The Harbour Inn is a great place to sample Brain's bitter, a creamy, nutty brew. We enjoyed the fish and chips out in the sheltered beer garden and soaked up the last rays of the October sun while admiring the little boats stranded high and dry at low tide.
The Boathouse Tearoom is a little National Trust cafe, located by the world's smallest harbour and offering a great selection of hot and cold food to sustain visitors on the half-mile trek to Barafundle Bay. We tried the scones with home-made jam and clotted cream and bought some locally produced honey.
Often voted the best beach in Britain, Barafundle Bay is definitely worth the walk over the rugged cliffs.
The wide bay is filled with golden sand bordered by dunes at the back and craggy cliffs with rockpools and secret caves on either side. A wonderful place for a picnic, a paddle or a potter in the rockpools.
Visitors can park their cars at Stackpole Quay, have a bite to eat in the National Trust cafe in the boathouse and see the world's smallest harbour, with room for just one boat!
Barafundle Bay, Stackpole Quay, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Google map: bit.ly/p5yNCJ
St David's Cathedral (Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi) is one of the most beautiful houses of worship in Wales. Located in Britain's smallest city and nestling in the greenest hollow on the rugged Pembroke coast, the cathedral is a must-see for anybody visiting Wales.
There has been a church on this site since the 6th century and in the Middle Ages, it had a strategic position at the crossroads of the Celtic world: Ireland, Scotland, England and the Basque lands.
The highest ski resort in Europe offers fantastic experiences for both skiers and snowboarders. Beginners can get plenty of practice on easy slopes located in the centre of the resort where ski lifts are free for all users. Meanwhile, the more competent skiers can enjoy speed or more technically challenging runs at a higher altitude and snowboarders can try their luck in the snowpark where jumps of all sizes are available. To add to this, the views from "Cime Caron" are stunning: at a height of 3,200 metres, you literally feel on top of the world.
The ‘69’ or the ‘Plan Bois’ lift is one of the best chairlifts in Les Arcs. Why? You can spend a whole day riding the runs and through the trees from this lift. When it’s a powder day. Get up to the top of this lift first thing and head for the ‘Piste de Bosses’ black run. The run has some lovely steeper bits and natural pipes as you go back down to the chairlift. So much fun. Then there is the ‘Renard’ blue run, with natural steps ups, wall rides and literally infinite jibbing possibilities. The red run ‘Belette’ has a blue run ‘Rhodos’ that forks off it. Stay on the run and enjoy the three natural rollers. Perfect for jump practice. Pretty much anywhere from this lift you can get into the trees. Tree runs are what Peisey Vallandry does best.
The Gower peninsula has many brilliant walks. Loads of different scenery - woods, dunes, cliffs, beaches, crags, hills, moors - etc. Fantastic veiws from the cliffs. All within a few miles. Also they all seem to be brilliantly catered for with delicious cafes just when you need a hearty snack.
Google map: bit.ly/ozQMKx
On the south east corner of the island of Graciosa in the Azores, the Furna do Enxofre lies beneath the Caldeira. I walked and hitch-hiked from the village of Praia (also known as Sao Mateus).
A winding stairway of 183 steps partly cut into a volcanic chimney leads down to a domed volcanic cave where there is a sulphurous lake. It's best to go between 11am and 2pm as sunlight beams through a shaft and casts light in a spectacular way.
It's even wiser to phone ahead as the CO2 levels are closely monitored and the cave closes when levels are dangerous. It's a bit disconcerting to say the least, when you're peering into the boiling mud pool and the alarm sounds!
There is an eeriness and stillness in the subterranean world enhanced by knowing you are 100m below the earth's surface inside a volcano.
A little rowing boat sits at the lake edge, though when I visited, the lake was out of bounds. Bring a torch to explore the darker areas and to admire the numerous stalactites. Finally, bring a packed lunch as the food offered is only a few chocolate bars and drinks from a vending machine. There are a few picnic benches outside to enjoy a well deserved snack and a rest.
If you have the energy, you can walk around the edge of the volcano where there are stunning views into the Caldeira and explore lava tunnels as you continue to hike.
All in all a great work for the thighs and bum!
Ilha Graciosa, Portugal
+351 295 712 124
Google map: bit.ly/rbUFyt
Christopher Wren’s The Monument has been impressively restored creating a new glittering landmark for the city sky line. Built between 1671 and 1676 it commemorates the great fire of London; the origins of the fire supposedly close to this spot. The viewing deck at the top provides excellent views over the surrounding areas and a great view over to the rapidly developing new London Bridge complex on the south side of the river. At the top visitors are protected by a wire mesh; the real fright is the very narrow and steep 311 stairs. This is a great experience for a mere £3 and children (and adults) will love the certificate you receive acknowledging your climbing achievement.
Fish Street Hill
+44 (0) 207 626 2717
Closest tube: Monument and London Bridge Closest station: London Bridge
Open: 9.30am – 5.30pm every day (except Christmas and New Year)
Google map: bit.ly/oolpuf
* Sophie is our Been there local for London. You can view her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/london-local-sophie-mitchell-intro.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/SophieMItchell
The Cango Caves are a huge system of beautifully formed limestone caves that are perfect for an adventure. There are two types of tours that run. A standard tour, lasting an hour, that takes you all over. The other is an adventure tour that lasts ninety minutes where you climb through the system and its natural slides, the 'chimney' and the drum room. It's the best day out I've ever had and great for all the family. Not only will you learn, but you'll have a really fun time.
Despite being claustrophobic and prone to vertigo, I was persuaded to visit Gouffre de Padirac and have been entranced ever since! Near Rocamadour, even before entering the site, the “hole” in the ground was scary enough.
First opened to the public 120 years ago, there are over 40 km of tunnels already explored with more being discovered, the underground river flows over 23 km before emerging ... where? With 2.5 km accessible, the clarity of the water is incredible and so inviting.
Descend 103 metres (by lift or stairs), low tunnels with dripping walls (didn’t like that) then suddenly a huge lake in a vast cavern – and gondolas with very adept gondoliers waiting to take you into the unknown – the 60 metre high Grande Pendeloque stalactite at Lac de la Pluie, the 1000 year old dams of the Lac des Gours, the Grande Dome and my favourite Lac Superieur which almost looked manmade but I was assured it wasn’t, rock formations looking like a hericium fungi.
With 40 km of tunnels already explored, what was amazing is the thought and effort gone into making these accessible to the public – steps cut into the side going almost to the roof of the caverns (I tried very hard to ignore my vertigo) – lighting placed in nooks and crannies and underwater. Absolutely great value for money at around £8 for over an hour’s tour. Sadly no photography allowed.
An absolute gem. One of the oldest tapas bars in Seville, with a bar on the site since the late 17th century. Popular with tourists and locals alike.
Dark wood panels with seating at a minimum but great food and a great atmosphere.
You stand at the bar and order and your tab is chalked on the bar counter to keep track.
Food really good quality and not that expensive. The espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas is particularly to be recommended.
You can book a seat at the back for the dinner menu but we much preferred the tapas menu at the bar, so much so that we returned a number of times during our stay in Seville.
While we were there there we encountered an elderly gentleman named Valentino who writes poetry on napkins and hands to people in the bar. If you do see him, buy him a glass of beer for his trouble.
We first heard about this place on Rick Stein's TV programme 'Spain'.
C/ Gerona 40 near Plaza Ponce de Leon
+34 954 22 31 83
Open until late every day
Google map: bit.ly/o0Hn7B
See bar featured at the start of this Youtube video on Rick Stein's Spain:.
Though Virginia Woolf set her famous novel in the Hebrides it was inspired by childhood holidays at St Ives Bay in Cornwall
Pure white sand, hidden rock pools, a wooden cafe serving hot chocolate, and that view to the lighthouse - a timeless stream of consciousness
West of Redruth and the A£) take the road to Hayle, just before take the coast road to the village of Gwithians, signs to Godrevy and the National Trust a mile before the village.
Google map: bit.ly/o8kOqh
Large rectangular area within the Albaicin area from where you have a wonderful view of the Alhambra on the other side of the gorge. The view is even more stunning at night.
Just be careful as pickpockets are known to operate in the area.
Google map: bit.ly/qkiOqm
Worth going in to this late Gothic chapel to see the final resting place of the two famous Spanish Catholic monarchs Isabel and Fernando.
The two monarchs lie in the crypt in simple lead coffins along with a few other related royals.
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