From Marseille the seacliffs around the coast - Les Calanques - are easily reached by metro and bus and some minutes of walking. Here you can go for long walks and you will find some of the best sports climbing in all of Europe. The routes are generally very well protected. During midsummer walking and climbing is forbidden, but during spring and in the autumn the Calanques are open. The scenery is beautiful with white cliffs and a clear blue sea. The young Joseph Conrad left the old port of Marseille on his first ship.
Google map: bit.ly/edF0al
For the best views of Munich climb the Peterskirche Tower.
The climb is a little bit steep, but for a few euros you will get the most amazing views of Munich including Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, the old Rathaus and far away into the city. Highly recommended.
Rindermarkt 1, 80331 Munich (opposite the new Rathaus in Marienplatz)
Google map: bit.ly/f9rAyV
So, you have made it to Ushuaia and you need the perfect photo to capture that "end of the world" feeling, there's only one place to go: up to the Martial Glacier. Not only for the spectacular views of the glacier itself, but also so that you can fit in some great skiing on the way down while looking out across the bay towards the Antarctic. It's been a long journey to get there and having hiked up to the glacier you need a good energy fix and something to warm you up before the fun begins: the solution is Tierra del Fuego Mountain Soup. It's hot, it's creamy, it's loaded with maize and chillis and cheese and it's served with an endless supply of freshly baked bread. It's a South American fondu, it's delicious and it's less than $10 dollars for a bowl big enough for four. Simply cannot be beaten!
If you find the Martial Glacier, you'll find the soup - just follow your nose! There is only one slopeside restaurant before the pistes begin and that is where it's at. Enjoy!
In the Alto Alentejo region of Portugal you will see scattered over the beautiful countryside these very large megalithic stones. You can discover over 50 here including dolmens and menhirs. One that stands out is the Menhir a Meada near the village of Póvoa. It is over seven meters tall and 1.25 meters diameter, the tallest in the Iberian Peninsular. Nearby is the Coureleiros Megalithic Park, Castelo de Vide, a collection of various dolmens. Also near to the villages of Barretos and Beira there are more including the Anta da Granja.
These large stone structures are over 3,000 years old and it is still a mystery how these ancient civilizations managed to place them there.
Take a walk, go see and touch these magnificent stones and wonder how on earth did our ancestors cut and manage to move them.
Castelo de Vide and Marvão
A hike through Vinales Valley is much more than just a nature ramble, it is a cultural experience. The valley is stunningly beautiful, with limestone karst “mogotes” rising straight up from the fields, lush green fields and rust-coloured soil that produce tobacco and coffee. But it is also home to caves, thatched tobacco houses with leaves drying from the rafters, farmers who roll cigars on their knees, and the 120-metre Mural de la Prehistoria on the side of a mountain. There are several guides that can be arranged to lead a tour that takes in all of the above, plus a stop for coffee in a local farmhouse, but Omar comes recommended.
Arrangements: Cubanacan office on the main street, or ask at your Casa Particular.
Hackneyed though it may be, the hop on/hop off tourist bus in Havana makes a lot of sense. First off, in a city where transport is pricey for tourists, these CUC$5 are well spent if only as a means of getting around. Secondly, while you won’t be using the bus to explore the crumbling splendour of Havana Vieja’s side streets, you will hit other more distant spots like the Plaza de la Revolucion, with its somewhat scary murals of Che and Camilo Cienfuegos, and the artisan market. But nicest of all, in a city where much of the life (and best photos) happen one floor up on the bustling, colourful balconies, the open-top bus gives you some of the best views in town.
From the Hotel Inglaterra in the Parque Central, and various other points around the city.
Google map: bit.ly/e5glFN
If you're looking for spectacular photographs of New York avoid the top of the Empire State Building and visit the Top of the Rock instead. Not only are the crowds much smaller than at the top of the ESB, the views of Central Park are far superior and, of course, in the opposite direction looking downtown the iconic ESB takes pride of place in your snaps. Having been up both the ESB and the Rock, there is simply no comparison if you want some great photographs of NY. The Rock also has an official photographer at the top if you want to buy a shot of yourself and your loved one(s) with the NY skyline in the background.
This pub is the most picturesque in Scarborough. Converted from an old 17th century watermill into an exclusive pub, it is set into the sea wall with panoramic views of Scarborough's beautiful North Bay in front and a river running by the side.
The walks located around this area are equally beautiful, from three-mile walks around from the South to North Bay or if you fancy a bit of a longer trek, the Cleveland Way passes by this wonderful spot.
Scalby Mills Road, Scarborough YO12 6RP
Google map: bit.ly/hzqvju
There is nothing lovelier then a climb up Glastonbury Tor to when it is all white outside with snowflakes softly falling. At the top is the roofless St Michael's Tower and myth-inspiring views. At the bottom is a short walk to town to warm with a pint of ale by the fire at the 15th century pilgrim's inn, the George Hotel.
A friendly restaurant and bar, Moby's overlooks Ganges Harbour and serves fresh seafood, and other delights, entertainment most nights and a great place to try BC's best Ceasar (the cocktail) or the salad, I will always remember the view and a plate of steamed mussels.
On of the main things to be done when visiting Dubrovnik. You can walk around the city walls with great views to be had.
Main entrance near the Pile gate, on the left hand side as you come through the gate.
Google map: bit.ly/btTpel
Probably the best beach area in Dubrovnik.
As with most beaches in Croatia, very little if any sand with pebbles the order of the day.
However views are great and water is clean and clear.
Loungers and sun umbrellas can be hired.
No 4 or No 6 bus from Pile Gate will take you near the beach.
Beach is located at bottom of Kralja Zvonmira.
Google map: bit.ly/cMYVSl
The city centre beach Banje is just a short walk from the Ploce Gate. As with most beaches in Croatia, the water is clean & clear but the beach itself is pebbly rather than sandy. Most of this beach has been sold off to the East - West bar / restaurant. Sun loungers & umbrellas are available for hire at 120KN for two loungers and one umbrella.
The locals tend to congregate in the half that still is under municipal control.
Banje beach outside Ploce gate
Google map: bit.ly/bdjbOy
Start near Lord’s Bridge in Wensleydale and follow the footpath west along the south bank of the River Ure. Within a couple of miles you will look down on the river from rocky wooded bluffs, see islands and rapids and bright autumn colours/millions of bluebells and on a good day ancient Castle Bolton on the opposite hillside lit up by the sun. If you want to go on, cross by the stepping stones at Slapestone Wath (near Flesh Dub & Froddle Dub) and return through the West Wood on the other side.
Off the main Wensleydale road (A684) between Wensley & West Witton.
Google map: bit.ly/cNN07p
Travellers to Japan rarely venture out of its cities. Kyoto, Hiroshima and Tokyo may well have a wealth of historic and cultural sights, but do take some time to visit the other side of Japan - rural Japan and in particular Hokkaido.
I stayed in the Akan-ko national park in North-Eastern Hokkaido. There are plenty of hiking opportunities. The lakes are beautiful, especially Oneto ko near Akan-ko.
You must not leave without the sublime experience of soaking in an outdoor onsen (geothermal pool). Stay warm and toasty in the onsen even in the cooler months while you enjoy the view of Hokkaido's mountains.
Also not to be missed while you are in the area is a bowl of rice topped with crab, uni (sea urchin roe) and salmon roe fresh out of the sea of Okhotsk - every town on Hokkaido's north and eastern coasts will have several little cafes serving this.
Air - fly from Tokyo (Haneda) to Kushiro (1 hr 20 mins), rent a car here and drive out to Akan-ko national park (about 70km) - easy pleasant drive.
Rail - Train from Ueno (Tokyo) to Sapporo (9 hours), change here and catch a train to Kushiro (4 hours), change here and take a train to Kawayu onsen (2 hours). Kawayu onsen is in the heart of the Akan-ko national park.
Google map: bit.ly/auoBut
The food is standard fare but also standard prices. However the reason for the tip is that the setting for the restaurant is wonderful, especially sitting out al fresco in the summer.
Only a stones throw away from the Cathedral.
Poljana Grgura Ninskog 5
Google map: bit.ly/aBQknD
Forget the colours of autumn; this place is sombre in colour and atmosphere but you will be walking among probably the oldest living organisms in Britain. The yew trees here are up to 2000 years old! Think about it! What sort of people might have been walking in the area when they were saplings? And if you do go on a sunny day and climb higher up the nature reserve out of the trees you will discover fabulous views over the Downs.
NW of Chichester. Turn off the B2178 road from Chichester to East Ashling near East Ashling signposted to West Stoke then follow signs for the Nature Reserve from the village.
Google map: bit.ly/9nmEQE
This is a hotel and restaurant. I did not stay there but the interior looks quite basic but homely. I want to recommend it for a drink - lovely sunny terrace with amazing views and really close to Flegere cable car so a perfect place to unwind after a long hike!
100 Route des Tines - 74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
+ 33 (0)4 50 53 06 39
Broome is a guesthouse and working cider farm near Ross on Wye in Herefordshire. We rolled up for some cider tasting and stayed all afternoon. After being greeted by a small herd of friendly alpacas, our canadian cider-enthusiast host was more than welcoming and keen for us to try as many of the tens of ciders on offer as we wanted. We did just that and took a guided walk around the orchards while the effects wore off. We left with dizzy heads and a selection of bottles, as well as sausages made from pigs on the farm. The farm is a little gem - it was a relaxing, interesting, fun experience and I would advise anyone with even a passing interest in cider to give it a go.
Peterstow, near Ross on Wye.
Peterstow is situated off the A49 close to Ross-on-Wye. If coming from the roundabout on the A49 at Ross take the second turning on the right. Broome Farmhouse is signposted bearing left at the small green you first come to and is located a few hundred yards along the road, past the orchards to the right and round the bend.
Google map: tinyurl.com/38gp3pu
I recently saw an unbelievable offer for a Sunday night break in Northamptonshire and thought I would treat my husband to a night away. I was trying to re-invent the Sunday evening in our household as being fun rather than suffering going back to work blues! The offer was just £60 bed and breakfast per room and included a three course dinner on the Sunday evening for two! The house and surroundings are beautiful; you can see why it’s so popular for weddings - there is a wonderful view of the fantastic countryside from the hotel. The rooms were charmingly traditional, with beamed ceilings and lead lined windows. Definitely a place to go for a romantic weekend or Sunday night away!
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