These two privately owned self-catering lodges are in a private estate right on the shores of Loch Lomond at Rowardennan. Stunning area beneath Ben Lomond with wonderful walking and, if you climb the Ben, you are rewarded with magnificent views.
Rowardennan Hotel is very handy too. Great for launching your own boats which can be moored on guest moorings (for a fee). Jetty and shallow beaches.
The country is small so you can reach any place in Israel (well almost) in a few hours drive from Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv by far has the best services, entertainment, hotels, and restaurants compared to any other Israeli city. Even if you don't like the hustle and bustle of a large city (the Tel Aviv metropolitan area has more than two million people) you should still consider the convenience.
And if you are into cities that never sleep (like Madrid and New York) then there are few that can compete with Tel Aviv.
The people are friendly and helpful, most speak English, crime is low (so you don't have to worry about walking at night), and the weather is warm and sunny most of the year.
Another tip: Don't miss historic Jaffa (located in southern Tel Aviv). Great shops, clubs, food, and the biggest outdoor flea market I've ever seen.
My daughter loves Tel Aviv (and I do too).
Check out some photos at: www.pbase.com/gilazouri/telaviv
Tel Aviv is on the Mediterranean coast, more-or-less in the centre of the country.
Aix-les-Bains is the second spa town of France (after Dax) full of beautiful sights such as splendid hotels, a casino, museums and a baroque church. It may be a small town but it has a lot more to see than you first think.
First, explore the town centre, than walk to the Petit and Grand Ports on Lac du Bourget and finally climb up the mountain above Lac du Bourget in Tresserve for breathtaking views of the lake (the lake is prettier on the Aix-les-Bains side than on the practically deserted western shore at Le Bourget) and the town, and then climb back down to the town centre via Tresserve.
Aix-les-Bains is 9 miles north of Chambéry on the train line between Chambéry and Lyon/Annecy.
It's only a 20 minute train ride from Chambéry - don't just pass through it (like so many tourists do) on the way to Annecy or Geneva as you're missing out on a great place
Just a tip about buying a ticket and recognising the train. This site is ace for planning times reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/e.
Worth writing down the journey details and the Romanian for 'first-class ticket' and handing it over - no English spoken at the train station when I was there. But the Lonely Planet guide came to the rescue.
Once you have found the platform watch out. The noticeboard flagged two separate trains - one to Targa Mures and one to Bucharest. The Bucharest train stops at Sighisoara.
But the trains appear to arrive joined as one - late. So it can be confusing.
What seems to happen is that the first-class carriage is always carriage three.
If you are on the same train as me be prepared for 50 year-old rolling stock in first class.
The scenery is fantastic. Ranging from the awesome pollution of Copsa Mica to shepherds and their flocks.
Str. Garii 1-3
Kalimpong is about two-three hours by shared jeep from Darjeeling. Worth a trip (even if only for the views on route).
If you go to KP's Motor Stand & in Himalaya Travels ask for Gobinda Dradhan, he will take you on a (set fare) tour of the local sights - magnificent viewpoints and Dr Graham's home.
Best of all, Gobinda takes his time, does not hussle you into visiting shops and is very knowledgeable about the area.
A fantastic luxury lodge at reasonable price, on a deserted private beach with white sand and blue sea. Food is amazing and the pool, bar and restaurant areas are great. Huts you stay in are beautifully furnished with breathtaking views of sea and sand. It's quite new I think, so not many people have been there yet - now's the time to go! Also went swimming with whale sharks (awe inspiring!) and picnicked on desert islands.
If you fancy a overnight trip from Darjeeling, you can get to Kurseong in 90 minutes by shared jeep (about 50 pence each way).
Kurseong has spectactular views of the Himalayan foothills and the plains of north-east India. However, one place not to be missed (even if only for the trip along the mountain ridge to get there) is the organic Makaibari Tea Estate (by shared jeep or taxi from Kurseong Train Station).
I was taken on a personal tour of the factory (and tea tasting session) with Mr SK Banerjee, the owner of the estate.
Mr Banarjee is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining on the subject of tea and believe me, after 90 minutes or so, you will never want to drink teabag tea ever again.
Probably the best views from a pub in Cornwall, beautiful views over the River Fal, Flushing, St Mawes and the ever moving Falmouth Harbour. Live jazz on Sundays, real guest ales, huge and very reasonably priced breakfasts (£3.99) and some very original art on the walls!
There is also free original beach binoculars to gaze at people on their boats or the quaint village of Flushing. A must for all visitors to Falmouth! Kids are also welcome before 7pm.
52 High Street (Greenbank end) Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 2AF
One of my favourite beaches is South Beach in Studland, the last stretch of sand before the chalk cliffs, where you can get a real mug of tea from Joe's cafe and take it down to the beach.
Head further west along the Isle of Purbeck to the Square and Compass pub in the village of Worth Matravers, an old whitewashed beer and table skittles pub, where you can enjoy a homemade pasty and views to the sea between the East and West Man.
Once described in Penguin's 1949 guide to Wilts and Dorset as having 'some reputation for providing a bit of local colour', it is full of character and charm not least provided by the free roaming hens clucking around your feet.
This website is about the real Budapest, and gives very interesting background details about the history, culture and architecture of this beautiful capital which is slowly losing some of its unique features (old presszo bars, neon signs, dingy borozos) as it changes into a modern European metropolis. Written by a Hungarian speaker, the articles featured go behind the facade and into much more detail than a guide book could manage.
It has a wealth of information for people who really love Budapest and want to know the city better.
Check out the recent story on the Trabants - really interesting!
The ruins are under the hill but you can climb to the top of the hill and you have amazing views of the Somerset levels and on a clear day can see as far as Yeovil (20miles away).
Go to South Cadbury and there is a small car park just past the town on the left, directly opposite is a house. By the side of the house is the pathway leading up to the top of the hill. It is a steep climb and wellies or hiking boots a must (definitely nothing nice!)
Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Devon with its golden vistas of beech woods that fill the landscape and, if you want more variety in your autumn colours, then a visit to Buckland Monachorum, with its magnificent acer glade, will bowl over even the most ardent leaf peeper.
Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, near Tavistock, Devon, PL20 7LQ
£5.50 entrance fee, need your own transport to get there, plant centre sells plants, garden tearooms at the place serves homemade cakes and light lunches
Stay almost anywhere in Cornwall, buy a group saver ticket to St Ives. Park and ride to St Ives, changing at St Erth, where you will be treated to spectacular views of Carbis bay and have a wonderful day out at one of Cornwall's prettiest resorts. It's green, cheap and if the shuttle is delayed you can enjoy a cup of coffee at St Erth station buffet.
Any manned railway station on the Plymouth to Penzance line
This is a brilliant place for a breather from the kids. Set them off on the crazy golf and you can relax with a tea or coffee and cake. From the cafe the panoramic views of Padstow and the Camel Estuary are superb. We always go there for the view when in Padstow.
Up the steps off North Quay Parade, Padstow
A very long strip of beautiful sand. When the tide is out it is a very long walk to the sea itself! Don't bother stopping in the town of Burnham On Sea as it is thoroughly disappointing.
Brean / Burnham On Sea, south of Weston Super Mare
This is a new restaurant which is known as the best seafood restaurant in Sultanahmet. The food is outstanding, you should ask the staff for the special of the day.
The restaurant is on the shore of Marmara Sea with a view of Turkish islands. The "Boukoleon" name comes from the 5th century. There used to be a "Boukoleon Palace" standing right where you sit.
Now you can easily see the archeeological heritage of the old time palace. If you are interested in history, looking for a nice Istanbul view and also outstanding food, I would highly recommend you go to this restaurant.
Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
A series of open-air concerts in Lucca, Tuscany each July, the main 'venue' being Piazza Napoleone, also known as Piazza Grande.
For such a small, albeit perfectly formed, town, this event has attracted some big names over the years - Oasis, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Alanis Morrisette, Black Eyed Peas, James Brown - to name a few, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Concerts usually begin at around 9pm; it's still warm, and the main square is closed off from early evening. During concerts most of the bars and shops around the square remain open, and the majority of the events are standing only - but not all.
The official website is notoriously late in announcing the lineup, but for 2008 some names are confirmed already - Sheryl Crow, Leonard Cohen, Alicia Keys, Chicago, Erykah Badu and Mick Hucknall. The latter is a fixture by now, be it as himself or Simply Red. Elton John is also a frequent visitor. It's rare for tickets to sell out, so you can usually be sure of showing up and buying on the day, but the official site also explains how to get tickets.
Below are some links - the official site, a blog post about the 2008 festival, and our favourite site for Lucca hotels:
Lucca, Tuscany, Italy - main venue is Piazza Napoleone, inside the famous city walls.
It's an absolutely stunning walk for all. As you begin your walk, you walk down a lovely coastal path with views of the sea where the Falmouth dockyard is and where the ships come in from.
As you walk around you come to the point which is a rather large open space where, on a sunny day, you are able to get ice cream from the many vans, there are picnic tables and an old ruined castle called Little Dennis, which used to be a gun tower for Pendennis Castle which is on entry to the point.
There are stunning views of the whole of the seafront from the point and plenty of hidden little beaches below.
As you walk right around, there is an area which is a popular site for diving and yet more benches and picnic areas.
As you come to the end, you have a lovely long walk all the way down over the seafront which has stunning views over the sea, of Pendennis Castle and the golden sandy beaches.
I live here and I am never bored of the views.
You can get off a train at Falmouth Docks or you can simply follow signs to Pendennis Castle.
A classic city centre park. Trees and paths take you from the park to the shops and general vibrancy of Gloucester Rd. Great all year round. And now with added coffee courtesy of some entrepreneurial soul - complete with table cloths and yummy snacks. A great place to while away an hour or two. Or the whole day.
Off Effingham Rd
Nearest station: Montpelier
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