The ruin of Top Withens farmhouse is the perfect place to experience the fictional world that the Brontes created in their novels. Purported to be the location that Emily had in mind when she wrote Wuthering Heights, the farmhouse is reached by a well signposted walk across the moors from Howarth. Far removed from the touristy tea shops in the village, the isolation of this windswept ruin gives you a true sense of what it must have been like in the world of Cathy Earnshaw or Jane Eyre. The views are wonderful, but even on a bright summer's day, the loneliness and solitude of this moorland are an almost tangible presence, and you feel that the howling winds and harsh frosts of winter are never far away.
The Minack Theatre is a stunningly beautiful open-air theatre in Porthcurno, Cornwall. On the edge of a rugged cliff above the ocean, the audience are entertained both by the on-stage action and the jaw-dropping view behind it. If you're looking for a unique and spectacular theatre-going experience which creates a thoroughly magical atmosphere, then this is for you!
Iguazu waterfalls is absolutely beautiful. If you can I recommend doing both the Argentinian and Brazillian side of the falls. We were lucky enough to see sunset over the falls and took a boat ride in front of the falls on the Argentinian side.
The views are amazing. It's on the 118th floor of the Ritz Carlton and although the prices for a glass of wine are London prices, you can nurse a glass all evening and enjoy spectacular views of Victoria Harbour as the sun goes down.
International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
+(852) 2263 2263
Google map: bit.ly/nPeS5I
Feast is a restaurant at Gorey Harbour. My wife and I recently visited Jersey (August/September 2011) and were recommended to this restaurant by some French visitors we met. The food was unfussy, fresh and delicious. The staff were friendly and pleasant and gave very good attentive service. If the weather is warm and dry sit outside the premises where there are fantastic views of the harbour and across the bay to Grouville and Seymour Tower. Tip - it may pay to book a table in advance as it is also very popular with the locals.
Renting a car is a must for exploring the beautiful rugged western Crete - all doable on day trips from a charming Venetian town of Chania. Our favourite outings were Samaria Gorge, Gramvousa and Elafonisi. Samaria Gorge for a change of scenery and sightings of wild goat Kri Kri; relax to follow after the day hike in the laid back coastal village of Agia Roumeli. Explore the hills above the Balos beach for wonderful pre-sunset views of Gramvousa Peninsula. Drive to Elafonisi via the Agia Sofia cave; enjoy paradise settings of Elafonisi with its warm sands and shallow, blue/green hued waters; then back via the spectacular NW coastal drive. Late summer should be a perfect time to visit - the crowds are gone (not that it’s ever too busy) and the weather is good well into early autumn.
We stayed at Frida for easy access to everything.
Fabulous hotel with food that is absolutely wonderful and views over the lake to match. When you have eaten to your heart's content you can wander around some of the beautiful countryside trying to catch a glimpse of some of the local birds of prey.
Flaton is a small island on the west coast of Sweden linked to the mainland by car ferries that are free. Once we arrived off the ferry to the hotel Handelsman Flink we felt instantly drawn to the serene location overlooking the sea and neighbouring islands. We hired a tandem bike to explore the island, its beaches and a viewpoint that allowed fantastic views across the surrounding islands. Other days were spent exploring the pretty fishing villages that dot the west coast all with their own individual characters. Evenings were spent watching the amazing sunsets while enjoying the freshest local seafood and fish with the locals or the many visitors that had moored up on the hotel's jetty for the evening.
Norway - a smorgasbord of mountain and fjord, excellent railways and beautiful cruise ships can be experienced in one day. 'Norway in a Nutshell' incorporates a railway line that drops 2,800 feet in 55 minutes at Flam, a meandering boat cruise up the steep-sided Sognefjord, ending with either an evening on the historic harbour front at Bergen or back for dinner in one of Oslo's Michelin-starred restaurants.
Every morning the 8.00 am train leaves for Bergen, then on to Myrdal and Flam where you join a boat for the next leg on the Sognefjord, then shuttle bus to Voss where your train takes you back to Oslo or Bergen for the evening.
Normally, the thought of a seven-hour train journey would be enough to make me pop a sleeping pill, but the spectacular Oslo to Bergen railway had me glued to the window, camera in hand. Bridging the gap between two of Norway’s must-see cities, this unique train journey climbs an astonishing 1222m above sea level, taking in picturesque pine forests, plunging waterfalls, narrow gorges and small villages dotted with gingerbread-style houses. The most stunning stretch comes over the Hardangervidda, Europe's highest mountainous plateau and national park. Jaws dropped as the train rolled through beautiful, barren snowscapes, resembling what you may only expect to see on another planet (I later found out it was used to film parts of Star Wars). It is not surprising that it is recognised by many as the most exciting and beautiful train ride in the world.
Departs from Oslo S railway station
For a truly delightful Norwegian experience visit the Utne Hotel in the Hardanger region. From your first glimpse of the hotel with its quaint clapboard exterior and white picket fence you will be enchanted. The hotel dates from 1722 and the interior is furnished in traditional Norwegian style with painted woodwork, antique furniture and old paintings. Sitting in the drawing room is like visiting a private house. Then complete the experience with afternoon tea served in miniature teapots with chocolate and apple cake accompanied by ice cream and starfruit. It is almost impossible to choose between the beautiful views of the fjords, the exquisite furnishings of the room and the presentation of the cake, an art work in itself. A gem in a beautiful country! While there also visit the Hardanger Folk Museum to learn all about the area and its customs and music.
A 14 hour round trip from Oslo to Bergen, taking in all Norway has to offer. During the initial five hour train journey from Oslo to Myrdal the scene from the window gets whiter and whiter as the journey takes you high through the Langfjellene and Hardangervidda mountains. By the time you reach Myrdal station, it’s so snowy icicles have formed the length of the ticket offices. The Flam railway then descends down the Norwegian landscape, stopping briefly by the (often frozen) Kjosfossen waterfall allowing passengers to get out and take photographs. From Flam you take a boat through the breathtaking Aurlandsfjord before a bus takes you the final length of your journey from Gudvangen to Bergen, just in time for dinner. Bergen has one of the world’s most famous fish markets, so trying the local produce is highly recommended. If you still haven’t quite got enough of a snowy mountain fix, Bergen’s funicular railway takes you to the top of Mount Floyan for some outstanding views and vast walking opportunities. Completing the round trip is a direct train journey from Bergen back to Oslo, including a stop at Finse with an altitude of 1,222 meters, it’s the highest station on the journey.
If you're looking for paradise, this is as close as you'll ever get. Unspoiled, uninhabited islands where you can camp under the stars, snorkel in pristine waters and marvel at what a beautiful world we live in.
Sweden is magical in winter when the countryside is transformed by snow. Hire a car and head west from Stockholm to the lakes around the pretty town of Nora (around 90 minutes drive). Head to nearby Lake Fåsjön and join families skating, with their dogs skittering behind them on the ice.
On the edge of the lakes you will find wooden smoke saunas (known as bastu). They are often close to where a stream joins the water so that you can plunge into the lake near the edge where it's not frozen. You feel surprisingly warm when you re-emerge to drink your cold beer!
In the quiet of early morning, when the mist still hangs over the water, you can often hear the eerie sound of the ice cracking.
Stay at the pretty 19th century Åkerby Herrgård hotel on the lakeside, or stop in for a coffee in their cosy library.
Fåsjöhyttan Åkerby, 713 93 Fåsjöhyttehäll
Google map: bit.ly/qr63Ef
A crescent of crushed white pebbles, the crystal clear water of Lake Pirihueico and a couple of snow-capped Andean volcanoes looming overhead. A simple, leaning wooden shack with a corrugated iron roof was the restaurant/shop. I bought a beer and a sandwich, slapped on the factor 30 and unfurled my towel while waiting for my bus to Argentina. The elderly Maipuche woman who ran the place provided entertainment when she decided to give her cat its weekly wash in the lake.
At the eastern end of Lake Pirihueico in the south of Chile's lake district. A breathtaking 90-minute ferry ride from the opposite end of the lake is part of the little-used cross-border route to San Martin de los Andes in Argentina.
Google map: bit.ly/pGl09h
1-Altitude Gallery is the highest observation point in Singapore at 282 metres. Opened in 2010 at the rooftop of OUB Centre in the business district offers unparalleled, unobstructed 360-degree view of the city-state. All visitors are equipped with hi-tech iPod devices showing information about 19 points of interest visible from the rooftop. At the end everyone receives a souvenir photo taken with a stunning view of Marina Bay as a background. Highly recommended!
The west coast of the island is amazing. Buy a park permit which is a bargain - about $19 dollars for two days - and allows you access to all the car parks, trails and centres. Every trail between Uclulet and Torfino is worth doing for diversity. If you have a chance to join a trail walk with ranger Carl you must do so. His knowledge, enthusiasm and charm was a highlight of our holiday and changed the way I think about Banana slugs. This is genuinely a paradise park.
+1 250 726 3500
Google map: bit.ly/oEe27g
This is much larger than i had anticipated and could be a full day trip with a picnic. The walk or preferably a cycle around the water's edge is a good starting point but there is so much more to it. Go up to the viewing point to see Vancouver beneath you - cruise liners and sea planes etc. A great way to start a Canadian adventure.
It's the Domincan Republic's most unknown but most must-see national park. It's named the Three Eyes park because it has three lagoons inside three caves. There's also an open lagoon which is not considered an eye by the locals. I completely recommend this as it's so breathtaking to see such a beautiful sight so hidden away. You can get boat trips and guided tours.
I always feel a little nostalgia when I return home from Coll. I've been twice and on both occasions it has been truly special. Not only is the island beautiful (perhaps because it is so isolated) but the locals on the island are so welcoming. I think its the simplicity of the place which captures my love for the Island. And you feel a sense of belonging there. On top of this, my reason for visiting has caused my admiration for the place to grow as it is where the charity Project Trust are based. It is this organisation which are allowing me to spend a year out in Thailand taking on projects in both teaching and orphanage work at the age of 18. Therefore I associate Coll with the positive prospects which I would not have received had they not have existed. Visiting the Island is all part of the Project Trust experience yet I would urge anyone to visit. Be it the Coll show, the golf tournament, Ceilidh dancing, fishing competition or beach football, there is certainly enough to keep you occupied. Or whether you fall more for the tranquil side which Coll offers: the unbelievably picturesque beaches, the wild flowers, rare birds or sea life you can find complete escapism here. Need I say more...
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org