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tlm - the travel & leisure magazine march 2011

tlm - the travel & leisure magazine march 2011

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tlm
March/April 2010 £2.50

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine

the travel & leisure magazine

MOUNTAIN HIGHS
Lakes and mountains holidays
WHALES AND WOWS GARDEN-BY-SEA
Maritime Kent Author Joanne Harris in the Azores

FLOAT YOUR BOAT FAMILIES AT SEA ISTANBUL
Cultured pearl

March/April 2010

Navigating Europe’s waterways Cruise holidays with children
a £5,00 0c luxury h ruise on a ote Plus lo l barge. ts m prizes … ore

win

PLUS Golf in Tenerife, London’s South Bank and Easter days out ideas
tlm
March/April 2010 £2.50

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine

the travel & leisure magazine

MOUNTAIN HIGHS
Lakes and mountains holidays
WHALES AND WOWS GARDEN-BY-SEA
Maritime Kent Author Joanne Harris in the Azores

FLOAT YOUR BOAT FAMILIES AT SEA ISTANBUL
Cultured pearl

March/April 2010

Navigating Europe’s waterways Cruise holidays with children
a £5,00 0c luxury h ruise on a ote Plus lo l barge. ts m prizes … ore

win

PLUS Golf in Tenerife, London’s South Bank and Easter days out ideas

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tlm
the travel & leisure magazine
March/April 2010 £2.50
WHALES AND WOWS
Author Joanne Harris in the Azores
GARDEN-BY-SEA
Maritime Kent
FLOAT YOUR BOAT
Navigating Europe’s waterways
FAMILIES AT SEA
Cruise holidays with children
ISTANBUL
Cultured pearl
PLUS
Golf in Tenerife, London’s South
Bank and Easter days out ideas
MOUNTAIN HIGHS
Lakes and mountains holidays
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02TLapr-mar10 23/3/10 13:10 Page 1
4 in the frame prize photographs
6 getting to know lakes & mountains holidays
15 escape to Istanbul – European city of culture
21 in your flightbag what to take on the flight
WIN – a handy set of 3 Fizbags, worth £27
WIN – a set of 5 Back Roads Guides from DK Eyewitness Travel
READER OFFER – get a 20% online DISCOUNT off Back Roads Guides
22 in your suitcase what to pack for your holiday
WIN – one of 3 Rockstar MP3 speakers worth £17.99 each
WIN – one of 3 waterproof zoom lens camera cases
READER OFFER – get a 10% DISCOUNT on Cocorose pumps
25 let’s try European canal and river holidays
30 competition WIN – a £5,000 luxury hotel barge cruise in France
33 travel update travel news
36 all aboard cruising for families + cruise news
42 off the beaten track Chocolat author Joanne Harris in the Azores
49 pack your clubs golf inTenerife
56 competition WIN – one of five copies of Joanne Harris’s new novel,
blueeyed boy
coming next what’s in store in the next issue
57 on your doorstep maritime Kent
62 london life discovering London’s South Bank + London news
67 best for hotel review – Cliveden
70 out & about what’s on outside London
WIN – one of 3 sets of family tickets to Legoland
READER OFFER – cut out the attached voucher and enjoy free child entry to Legoland
tlm
c on t e n t s
EDITORIAL TEAM: Editor Peter Ellegard Editorial assistant JulieThompson Writers Peter Ellegard, JulieThompson, Joanne Harris,
Dave Richardson, Sara Macefield, Jane Archer and Melissa Shales Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Nick Page and Helen Hopkins
Production June Barnard Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey Published bi-monthly by TLM Media Limited
Castle Court, 41 London Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 9RJ Tel: 01737 735575 Fax: 01737 735001 Email: info@tlm-magazine.co.uk
Printed by BGP ©TLM Media Limited
The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to TLM Media Limited is done so at
its owner’s risk and neither TLM Media Limited nor its agents can accept any liability for loss or damage. TLM Media Limited is a completely independent
company and can hold no responsibility for the actions of outside agents. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent. All
private advertisers are totally responsible for their own wording within their advertisement, and TLM Media Limited can therefore take no responsibility as
to their content. Please seek legal advice and thereafter verify all the details of your purchase in writing before proceeding.
Front cover photo: Karnten Werbung/Franz Gerdl
W
elcome to the new-
look TLM. After
many years as The
Travel & Leisure Magazine, we
felt it was time for a change. So
we have given the magazine a
new identity, and freshened it up
with a contemporary design.
The content itself is very
much as before, reflecting what
you have told us you like to read.
In this issue, international
bestselling author Joanne Harris
reveals why the Azores made
such an impact when she visited
with her daughter.
Our cover feature highlights
ever-popular lakes and
mountains holidays, while we
also focus on exploring Europe’s
waterways.That will whet your
appetite for our star prize – a
fabulous £5,000 luxury hotel
barge holiday in Burgundy,
courtesy of European
Waterways.
We also look at European City
of Culture Istanbul, cruising
holidays for families, golf on
Tenerife, plus other regular
favourites, including many other
competitions and special offers.
On a personal note, I was
thrilled to be namedTravel
Photographer of theYear for
2009 recently in the inaugural
Travel Press Awards.Three of
the winning five photographs had
been printed in TLM, underlining
our commitment to quality
photography as well as writing.
To further underscore that, this
issue sees the launch of a brand
new photography section called
In the Frame in the magazine
and on our brand new website,
www.tlm-magazine.co.uk.
Happy reading, happy viewing
and thanks for your support.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 3
from the
editor
the travel and leisure magazine
Peter Ellegard
I Read about cruising Europe’s canals and rivers –
and WIN a six-night Burgundy waterways cruise
aboard a luxury hotel barge. See pages 25 and 30.
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ot-air balloons soar
over karst peaks in
Yangshuo, in China’s
Guangxi province;
cave rock formations
are lit up like a fan-
tasy scene in nearby Guilin; tradi-
tional feluccas sail into the sunset
at Luxor on Egypt’s Nile river;
and tornadic storm clouds take on
angry shapes and colours in
America’s Midwest.
These five photographs – the
Nile and tornado cloud ones
appeared in TLM – earned TLM
editor, Peter Ellegard, the title of
Travel Photographer of the Year
in the 2009 Travel Press Awards.
They now form the first
gallery for our new In the Frame
photography showcase. Look out
for more in the next issue.
GTo enter your photographs for
consideration, visit the TLM
website, www.tlm-magazine.co.uk,
and click on the In the Frame
button.
4 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
in the frame I award-winning pictures
TLM editor’s prize pics
Now show us
your best photos!
I Karst peaks, Yangshuo, China
I Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, China
I Green hail
core cloud,
Kansas
I Supercell cloud, Kansas
I Feluccas
on the Nile,
Luxor, Egypt
All photos: Peter Ellegard
09TLmar-apr10 23/3/10 14:31 Page 1
getting to know I lakes and mountains holidays
6 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
getting to know I lakes and mountains holidays
Europe’s lakes and mountains have been a popular
summer draw for British visitors since the Sherlock
Holmes era. But these days, alpine holidays appeal as
much to the active-minded as for scenic highs. For
Dave Richardson, it’s an elementary attraction
I
was looking forward to a civilised
holiday in a civilised country, full
of contented cows munching
away in green meadows, and vil-
lages with chocolate box houses.
Those were my thoughts as I set-
tled down for a week in the Swiss
resort of Meiringen, but I had to
reflect we were rather mad, too. Why
else would we scramble up a moun-
tainside to celebrate the “death” of a
fictitious character?
Elementary, my dear Watson. The
Reichenbach Falls above Meiringen are
where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, bored
with his creation, tried to kill off
Sherlock Holmes during a tussle with
his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty.
But as fans of the sleuth know, it
didn’t happen. Sir Arthur had to bring
Holmes back from the dead by popu-
lar demand, but a plaque marks the
spot of the tussle on a remote ledge
above the falls. Holmes and Watson
had set out from a hotel called the
Englischer Hof, now the grand Belle
Epoque style Park Hotel du Sauvage,
and this is where I stayed.
HIGH
DAYS
and holidays
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 7
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A holiday in the Alps was the height of fashion in the
19th Century, often on doctors’ orders. Grand hotels
were built along lakesides to attract the gentry, who
dined in elegant coffee houses and spent their evenings
at the opera or listening to an orchestra. Today it is still
possible to soak up this refined atmosphere, at lake
resorts such as Interlaken, Montreux and Lucerne in
Switzerland.
Switzerland is a particularly good choice if you don’t
want to spend time in a car or a bus, as the public trans-
port system works so well. Narrow gauge trains take
you to the top of even the highest mountains (including
the Jungfrau, at 3,454m, or 11,332ft), in a timetable co-
ordinated with main line trains and lake steamers. Cable
cars and rack railways glide effortlessly up mountains,
making them accessible to all.
Families
Switzerland, Austria and Italy are the big three for lakes
and mountains holidays, and scenery is the big attrac-
tion. It appeals particularly to empty nesters who like a
quiet holiday in beautiful surroundings with maybe a
bit of culture thrown in as well – but it’s a mistake to
think you have to be 50-plus to enjoy it.
This type of holiday is also being chosen by an
increasing number of families, who are keen on activi-
ties as well as views. Tour operator Inghams has come
up with economically-priced family holidays including
guided walks, an overnight stay in an Austrian mountain
hut, mountain biking and archery, and appeals to keen
cyclists with another tour along the German and Swiss
banks of Lake Constance.
High-adrenaline sports are also increasingly popular,
with tour operators such as Explore offering trekking,
mountain biking, rock climbing and optional paraglid-
ing, ice climbing and rafting around Mont Blanc. The
holiday is based at the French Alpine resort of
Chamonix, close to the Italian and Swiss borders.
But most of us prefer our activities to be more seden-
tary, and we like to enjoy them in increasing comfort,
possibly with a spa treatment included to soothe those
aching limbs. Crystal Holidays has a selection of hotels
it calls The Finest, and some of them are true Alpine
gems. Examples in Austria are Hotel Klosterbräu in
Seefeld, a former monastery built in 1516 with gourmet
dining in four restaurants; and Landhaus zu Appesbach
8 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
getting to know I lakes and mountains holidays
Eastern Europe
Choosing a destination outside the eurozone could save you a lot of money, and
Eastern Europe has plenty of appeal. Head for the Carpathian mountains in
Romania and you can lap up the Dracula legend – and spot brown bears around
the resort of Brasov.
Bulgaria is one of the best-value countries in Europe, and has modern, well
developed ski resorts such as Bansko as a base for mountain exploration. Hungary
doesn’t have high mountains but it does have the “inland sea” of Lake Balaton,
surrounded by vineyards and is close to Budapest. Heviz, near Lake Balaton, has the
largest thermal lake in Europe where you can enjoy the healing waters.
The High Tatras mountains form the border between Poland (Zakopane is the
main mountain centre) and Slovakia (Tatranska Lomnica), a great area for hiking.
Poland’s historic former capital of Krakow can be reached from either resort.
Montenegro is a tiny but very scenic Balkan country, where the mountain resort
of Kolasin is surrounded by virgin forests yet within easy reach of the sea.
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I Trekking near Chamonix
I Chapel by Lake
Konigssee, Germany
I The
Glacier
Express in
Switzerland's
Rhine gorge
I Golden Pass panoramic trains serve
Montreux, Interlaken and Lucerne
09TLapr-mar10 23/3/10 12:15 Page 1
in St Wolfgang, a former private country house fre-
quented by Edward VII with a salon full of English
newspapers. Not the tabloids, presumably…
Indoor entertainment
You’ll find plenty to do even if the weather isn’t kind,
as most lakes and mountains resorts were developed
with skiers in mind and have plenty of bars, restaurants
and indoor entertainment from bowling to cinemas.
The most popular resorts in Austria include Kitzbuhel,
Seefeld and Mayrhofen in the Tyrol, with the city of
Innsbruck within reach for a day out.
The Italian lakes tend to be more popular than
mountain resorts in summer, especially Garda (close to
Verona for Roman ruins and the opera) and Como (near
Milan’s great fashion shops). When the sun shines and
the skies are clear you’ll want to be basking by a lake
or hiking in the mountains, but as there are usually
some wet days on this type of holiday being near a city
is an advantage.
Chamonix, in France, will always be very popular
because it’s close to Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest
mountain at 4,810m (15,780ft). Activities here include
climbing, horse-riding, 18-hole golf and taking a rack
railway to view the Sea of Ice glacier.
The Alps are the most popular choice for lakes and
mountains, especially as you can travel by rail or car as
an alternative to flying. But Norway also has plenty of
followers, and it’s no longer significantly more expen-
sive.
Here you can admire the azure blue of the deep sea
fjords set against the mountains, at resorts such as
Alesund. Nearby Geirangerfjord is one of the most
beautiful in Norway, and as Alesund is on the
Hurtigruten coastal shipping route, you can easily move
on up the coast as far as the Arctic Circle in the north,
or Bergen to the south.
10 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
getting to know I lakes and mountains holidays
Oberammergau
Passion Play
It happens only once every 10 years, but if
you book up quickly it might be possible to
combine a lakes and mountains holiday with
a visit to this very special event in a small
village in Bavaria, southern Germany.
In 1633, the villagers of Oberammergau were
beset by plague and sought divine
intervention. They survived, and the Passion
Play was first performed the following year
as thanks. It has been performed every
decade since then and now attracts over
500,000 visitors each time.
The actors are still amateurs from the
village, and the play is performed on an open
air stage. More than 100 performances are
scheduled between May and October,
starting at 2.30pm and finishing at 10.30pm
with a break for dinner. The village is 30
miles from the Austrian border, and can be
visited from Austrian or German resorts.
Accommodation and tickets are in short
supply, so enquire now.
www.oberammergau-passion.com
“It’s a
mistake to
think you
have to be
50-plus to
enjoy it”
I certainly plan to return to Switzerland soon, where
I got such a deep suntan that people thought I’d been to
the Mediterranean, not Meiringen. Beware those con-
tented cows, however – one mad beast pursued me
down a mountain path with bell jangling, but that’s
another story.
MAIN RESORTS
AUSTRIA
Seefeld One of the most popular Alpine resorts, it is
easily reached from Innsbruck. Take a ride in a horse-
drawn carriage or on the Rosshutte Mountain Railway.
Obergurgl This is one of the highest villages in
Austria at over 1,900m (6,234ft). View Tiefenbach and
Rattenbach glaciers using cable cars, chair lifts and
mountain paths.
Mayrhofen This is a really lively as well as pretty
resort – proof that having a good time isn’t just après-
ski! It’s on the floor of the Ziller valley, with plenty of
walking and adventure sports.
Kitzbuhel A medieval walled town roughly halfway
between Salzburg and Innsbruck, it is a major centre
for festivals and close to Schwarzsee lake.
Zell am Zee Austria’s leading lake resort is right on
the shore of the Zeller, overlooked by Schmittenhohe
mountain. It is handy for excursions around Austria.
St Wolfgang Along with Fuschl and St Gilgen, this
is one of the top resorts in Austria’s Salzkammergut
lakes region, near Salzburg. The Sound of Music was
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I The Oberammergau
Passion Play
filmed around here, and St Wolfgang stages regular
concerts. The nearby picture-postcard lakeside village
of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salzburg The birthplace of Mozart is set along the
Salzach river and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Salzburg also has connections with The Sound of
Music, and days out to the mountains and lakes are
easily arranged.
Innsbruck The capital of the Tyrol is a great historic
and cultural centre. Wandering around the old town is a
delight and you’re still close to the mountains.
Bad Kleinkirchheim The home ski resort of
Austrian legend Franz Klammer, this pretty little
Carinthia town is also popular in summer for its hot
springs, mountain biking and hiking, plus nearby
Millstatter lake.
SWITZERLAND
Davos A haunt of royalty and the annual World
Economic Forum, Davos enjoys a beautiful setting and
good excursion possibilities. It’s easy to get around by
train and cable car.
Grindelwald One of the most popular of the Bernese
Oberland resorts, it is overlooked by the Eiger and a
good base to go up the Jungfrau by train.
Wengen Here you’re surrounded by towering
peaks, including the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch.
Road traffic is not permitted but it’s well served by
mountain railways.
Interlaken One of Europe’s most elegant lake
resorts, it’s still favoured by Europe’s elite. Enjoy
cruises on lakes Thun and Brienz.
Montreux At the eastern end of Lake Geneva,
Montreux is famous for its jazz and film festivals.
Explore the lake on its Swiss and French sides.
Zermatt Overlooked by the Matterhorn, this is one
of the best-loved and most dramatically-situated Swiss
resorts.
ITALY
Lake Garda The most poplar of the Italian lakes has
a wide choice of resorts including Simione, Desenzano,
Bardolino and Limone. Historic Verona is less than one
hour from resorts around the south of the lake.
Lake Como Less busy than Garda, it has beautiful
lakeside towns including Tremezzo, Cadenabbia,
Bellagio and Menaggio. Be sure to visit the botanic
gardens at Villa Carlotta.
Selva One of Italy’s leading mountain resorts, Selva is
overlooked by the Dolomites. You’re close to the
Austrian border with similar architecture on both sides.
FRANCE
Chamonix Overlooked by Mont Blanc, it’s a
great place for activities as well as scenery. Cable
cars and mountain railways will get you up the
mountains, and you can also stay in the quieter
nearby resort of Les Houches.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 11
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I UNESCO-listed Hallstatt
Talloires This is one of France’s most attractive
lakeside resorts, a historic town on the shore of Lake
Annecy in the Haute-Savoie Department of the Rhone-
Alps region. Activities include horse-riding, hiking and
boating. Geneva is close by, so you can find Swiss
traditions such as alphorns in this area.
GERMANY
Garmisch The best-known resort on the Bavarian
side of the Alps, it is overlooked by the country’s
highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962m, or 9,718ft).
From the top you can see four countries.
Berchtesgaden Overlooked by Watzmann
mountain, it is close to Salzburg in Austria. Hitler’s
retreat at Eagle’s Nest is a scenic and historic spot.
SLOVENIA
Kranjska Gora Just across the borders with Austria and
Italy, this is the leading mountain resort in a small country
that was formerly part of Yugoslavia. The Julian Alps
provide a dramatic backdrop, and Lake Jasna is close by.
Bled This is one of the most attractive lake towns in
Europe, and a great base for walking or rides in a
horse-drawn carriage. Visit the church on a tiny island
in the lake, reached by gondola.
NORWAY
Ulvik This is the main resort on spectacular
Hardangerfjord, in a very peaceful setting. Spring
wildflowers are spectacular.
Alesund Renowned for its art nouveau architecture,
this town on the coastal cruising route is a great base
for day trips.
12 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
getting to know I lakes and mountains holidays
Dave Richardson has been writing about the highs and
lows of the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is a
big fan of Europe's glorious lakes and mountain scenery and
frequently pays return visits.
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I Hikers at Lake d’Emosson
in the French Alps
european lakes and mountains facts
Getting there
Resorts in the main destinations are well-served by low-cost airlines with
many regional departures, especially to Geneva (Swiss and French
resorts), Zurich (Swiss resorts), Milan and Verona (Italian resorts).
Budapest and Krakow also have good flight connections.
A disadvantage of flying is that it can then take two or more hours to
reach some resorts, by car or coach. Travelling throughout by train is a
viable alternative, especially for France and Switzerland, changing stations
in Paris after arriving on Eurostar.You can also travel by car, but an
overnight stop en route is recommended.
When to go
Any time from Easter to the end of September, but
pack some warm clothes in spring (when the
wildflowers bloom) and autumn. Resorts can be
crowded in July and August, especially if close to
cities. Also pack warm clothes if venturing to
mountain summits, even in high summer.
Tour operators
Inghams celebrates its 75th anniversary with holidays to 19 countries. A
family of four can have a one-week holiday in Obergurgl, Austria in July and
August for a total of £1,974 (020 8780 6680, www.inghams.co.uk).
Thomson has a new all-inclusive offer at Lake Garda in Italy from £579 for
a week’s stay (0871 230 8181, www.thomsonlakes.co.uk). Thomson’s
sister company, Crystal Holidays, has “The Finest” hotels at prices from
£459 for a week at Parc Hotel Germano in Bardolino, Lake Garda (0871
231 5661, www.crystallakes.co.uk). Explore’s Mont Blanc Activity Week
holiday in Chamonix, France, costs from £682 (0845 013 1537,
www.explore.co.uk). Great Rail Journey’s Jungfrau Express rail holiday to
Meiringen, Switzerland, costs from £1,598 for 10 days (01904 521 936,
www.greatrail.com). Dertour (020 7290 1104, www.dertour.co.uk)
offers a holiday combining Berchtesgaden in Germany with the
Oberammergau Passion Play, from £1,089 for seven nights. Ffestiniog Travel
(01766 772957, www.festtravel.co.uk) has a 14-night escorted Swiss
Lakes and Mountains tour from £1,750.
Tourist information
Switzerland: www.myswitzerland.com; Austria: www.austria.info;
Italy: www.italiantouristboard.co.uk; France:
www.franceguide.com/uk; Germany: www.germany-tourism.co.uk;
Norway: www.visitnorway.com; Slovenia: www.slovenia.info
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13TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 19:06 Page 1
14TLapr-mar10 23/3/10 12:17 Page 1
I
f my arms were just a few inches longer I could
touch the floodlit minarets of the Blue Mosque as
I hang out of the window, drinking in the impossi-
bly romantic scene surrounding me. I’ve been to
Istanbul countless times but I never tire of being
here. After all, this is ancient Byzantium, imperial
Constantinople, the place where the Roman Empire
morphed into the louche decadence of the Byzantine
Empire. As Istanbul, it was the great imperial capital of
the Ottoman Empire.
This was the place that officially introduced
Christianity to the western world as a state religion
rather than an underground cult. It was, for nearly 1,000
years, the capital of the Islamic world and it was the end
of the Silk Road, the greatest trade route on the planet.
Istanbul is the only major city that stands at the edge of
two continents, one foot in Europe and one in Asia,
divided by the Bosphorus. It is thousands of years old.
And it is stunningly, staggeringly beautiful, if ragged
around the edges.
My hotel, the Mas Evi (Blue House) is one of a posi-
tive army of restored Ottoman mansions in the old city.
In the pavement cafe below me, a solitary dervish is
whirling in stately, rather sad splendour, his religious rit-
ual demoted to a tourist attraction as the backpackers
around him ignore the performance in favour of the
honey-flavoured nargile (hubble-bubble pipes), lounging
back on carpeted benches like denim-clad pashas.
A small, rather shaky sign points the way to the
Mozaik Müzesi, a vast mosaic floor which is all that
now remains of Emperor Justinian’s Imperial Palace.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 15
escape to I istanbul
Turkish
delight
Marble and minarets, European chic and Asian spice, great age and astounding beauty make Istanbul
one of the most exotic places on earth. Melissa Shales fell in love with the city many years ago
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16 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
Over to my right are the heaped ochre domes of
Justinian’s greatest masterpiece, the 6th century basilica
of Aya Sofya, church then mosque and now museum.
I can’t see it from where I am but a few minutes’
walk to my right is the sprawling Topkapi, the Ottoman
Imperial Palace, which takes at least a morning to
explore on its own. It’s a sort of babushka doll of a place
with courtyards within courtyards, pavilions tucked
within those and maze-like suites of luxurious rooms
behind small insignificant doors. In its day, it was, quite
literally, the centre of the universe, home, court and gov-
ernment – with many thousands living and working here
at the hub of an empire which stretched from the gates
of Vienna across North Africa and deep into Asia.
Down the hill, in the outermost courtyard of the
Topkapi, the Archaeology Museum houses another great
treasury of ancient wealth from across Anatolia and
beyond, from the gates of Babylon to the world’s first
peace treaty, signed in ancient Egypt. All this history
and more just in Sultanahmet, one tiny corner of this
huge city; it is literally breath-taking.
Across the square, where I can see the flicker of the
son-et-lumière gearing up for the French show, is the
escape to I istanbul
Getting steamy
Spas are all the rage, but in Istanbul, head instead for the hammam, a
traditional Turkish bath. The two best are both in the old city – Cemberlitas,
built by Turkey’s greatest architect, Sinan, in 1584 and Cagaloglu built in 1781.
Sexes are separated, but the experience is very public, with you stripped
down to a small pair of briefs and scrubbed ferociously by cackling bath
attendants who alternate the loofah with buckets of water before an
optional (vigorous) massage. Subtle it ain’t, but an experience not to be
missed – absolutely. Great fun, and you feel amazing afterwards.
G www.cemberlitashamami.com.tr; www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr
“This is a
city that is
rediscovering
itself ”
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Melissa Shales
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I Whirling dervishes
I Inside the Aya Sofya
I The Grand Bazaar
I A street
vendor in
Istanbul
Yerebatan Sarayi (Underground Palace), actually a
Byzantine water cistern of vast dimensions and grace,
much of it built from recycled classical stone so the
soaring columns have unlikely inscriptions. It is a popu-
lar venue for concerts.
It should be busy this year – Istanbul is in a fever-
pitch of artistic excitement, as one of Europe’s three
Cities of Culture for 2010. It was slow to get into gear,
but now the calendar is bulging with special events
from photo and art exhibitions to concerts,
open-air festivals and several new museums
including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s
Museum of Innocence (tied in with his book of
the same name).
The change in the city has been palpable
since I first start coming here about 20 years
ago. It’s a strange two-way tug. Even while the
more religious government is quietly encourag-
ing fashionistas to adopt the veil (albeit an
extremely glamorous version in silks and satins),
the artistic community is noticeably breaking free
of the strong Islamic tradition which kept it bound
for centuries.
The arrival of wonderful new museums and gal-
leries, such as Istanbul Modern and the Sakıp
Sabancı Museum, and festivals including the
Bienniale, Contemporary Istanbul (each November)
and the City of Culture itself have burst open creative
floodgates, just as the revival of the Turkish economy
has transformed the modern city, creating a new sky-
scraper business centre filled with plate glass and slick
cocktail bars in the eastern districts beyond Taksim.
This is a city that is rediscovering itself, hour by hour,
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 17
10 things to do in the evening
1. Have dinner at the Çicek Pasaji, off Istiklal
Pasaji, Beyoglu – lots of cheap and cheerful
small restaurants and gypsy violinists.
Touristy but fun.
2. Son-et-lumière in Sultanahmet Square
– the history of Istanbul with a
frightfully important-sounding
commentary.
3. Turkish night in the Galata Tower – a
typical Turkish feast, belly dancers and
the best views in the city in the ultimate
tourist attraction.
4. Go open-air summer clubbing at Reina on the
shores of the Bosphorus, with the Istanbul in-crowd.
5. Have a night at the opera or ballet at the Ataturk Cultural Centre, Taksim
(www.idobale.com).
6. Head down to Kumkapı for a cluster of over 50 small fish restaurants, plus
the inevitable wandering musicians.
7. Cross to the Asian shore for a different view at upmarket seafood
restaurant, Kordon, in the Çengelköy neighbourhood.
8. Join the Turks at a local meyhane for a night of traditional mezze, sing-along
fasıl and camaraderie that gets louder with every new bottle of raki.
9. 360, Angelique and Vogue are the places to be seen sipping a cocktail – they
all have great views as well.
10. Babylon is fast becoming one of the great names of the club world,
attracting international DJs and live acts for late, late nights.
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is now a museum
I Sis kebabs
and watching it flex its wings is truly fascinating.
One slight downside to this is that while Turkey is
still good value (outside the eurozone), prices have risen
steeply. Getting there is cheaper than ever with the
advent of low-cost flights and there are still plenty of
back-street cafes where you can get a kebab for a couple
of lire. However if you want the views, Ottoman court
cuisine or the increasing array of chic designer restau-
rants and clubs that grace the new city around Istiklal
Caddesi and Taksim or the shores of the Bosphorus,
expect to pay international prices for jetset pleasures.
It’s worth splashing out. While the humble kebab
might dominate, Turkish cuisine is one of the great culi-
nary traditions of the world. The aubergine is also ubiq-
uitous, but Ottoman chefs had 150 different ways of
dealing with it. Whether you choose to eat köfte (meat-
balls) at Hamdi’s near the spice market or sup in style at
360 with its trendy international fusion menu and eclec-
tic club nights, you can find an element of theatre along
with your meal.
The same goes for shopping. In the city filled with
the world’s finest flirts and greatest traders, you could
visit one of the many modern malls in the posher sub-
urbs but it’s not nearly so much fun as a trip to the spice
market or the Grand Bazaar for tea and haggling.
Wander the alleyways between the baskets of lucky blue
beads, mounds of saffron and peppercorns and sugary
lokum (Turkish Delight), gleaming silver jewellery,
leather bags in a kaleidoscope of colours and fake
designer labels. And everywhere a magical fantasy of
intricately patterned rugs from all corners of Anatolia,
souvenirs with memories to last a lifetime.
18 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
istanbul facts
escape to I istanbul
When to go
As a major city, there is something good
going on at any time of year, but the
best times are in spring and autumn.
Getting there
Easyjet (www.easyjet.com) and
Pegasus (www.flypgs.com) both have
low-cost flights into Sabiha Gökçen
Airport on the Asian shore; Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com) costs
slightly more but flies into Atatürk International on the European shore.
UK tour operators offering short breaks to Istanbul include Anatolian
Sky (www.anatoliansky.co.uk), Classic Collection Holidays
(www.classic-collection.co.uk), The Discovery Collection
(www.discovery-collection.com), and Istanbul-based Exclusive Travel
Turkey (www.exclusivetravelturkey.com).
Accommodation
If you want to be conveniently located for sightseeing and stay in a
charming small hotel, look at staying in the Sultanahmet. If you prefer
somewhere convenient for restaurants and nightlife or the larger,
glossier hotels, head for Beyoglu (the new city). To escape from the
crowds with a little luxury, look at one of the boutique hotels down
near the water on the Bosphorus.
G www.smallhotels.com.tr
More information
Turkish Culture and Tourism Office: www.gototurkey.co.uk
Istanbul City of Culture 2010: www.en.istanbul2010.org
Istanbul travel guide: www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul
Useful Reading
Istanbul (DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide) by Melissa Shales: £7.99.
London-based Melissa Shales is thoroughly spoiled, writing
about the Mediterranean culture, the great African outdoors
and history everywhere. She is also chairman of the British
Guild of Travel Writers.
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I The Bosphorus
at Ortakoy
I Mehmet the
Conqueror
I Istanbul’s
underground
cistern
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 19
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tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 20
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March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 21 March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 21
in your I flightbag
No more lines
Made especially for travel,
the new lineless® to go set
from Dr Brandt Skin Care
is a range of products with
anti-aging and anti-oxidant
formulas providing the
essentials for youthful-
looking skin anytime and
anywhere. Including a
travel-sized cleanser, eye
cream, line filler and
moisturiser containing
vitamins C and E along
with Green Tea, White Tea
and Grapeseed Extract,
this conveniently packaged
set is available from
SpaceNK, John Lewis Oxford Street and Peter Jones.
www.drbrandtskincare.com
Stay fully charged
Keeping your essential gadgets charged up while on
holiday no longer means having to take numerous
large chargers with you – the newV-
Man Power Pack fromVarta is an
ideal, pocket-sized solution.
Lightweight and stylish, the
V-Man comes with a seven-
piece adapter kit as well as
a special USB adapter and
can be used to charge
almost any gadget, including
mobile phones, MP3 players
and digital cameras, within
one to two hours. With a
long power life of its own, the V-
Man Power Pack is an ideal travelling companion and
is available from Amazon with an RRP of £34.99.
http://tiny.cc/VMAN1
Take the back roads
I
f you are planning on
touring by car in Europe
this year, the new Back
Roads series of driving
guides from DK Eyewitness
Travel provides around two
dozen leisurely drives rang-
ing from one and seven days
in each of France, Italy and
Spain, as well as Great
Britain and Ireland. Each
guide has a pull-out map of
the whole country, clearly-mapped itin-
eraries including postcodes so that they
can be used in conjunction with sat-nav
and lists of hotels, guesthouses and
restaurants.
The first five titles are
available now, priced £14.99
each, from WH Smith,
Waterstones and all good
bookstores.
G To WIN a set of all five
Back Roads guides from DK
Eyewitness Travel, go to
www.tlm-magazine.co.uk
and click on competitions
and giveaways. Terms and
conditions apply. Closing
date April 30, 2010.
G READER OFFER: TLM readers can
also get a 20% discount by ordering
online – go to www.dk.com and enter
VIPBONUS in the coupon code box.
C
arry your duty-
free shopping and
holiday souvenirs
and head to the
beach in stylish
fashion while help-
ing the environment
– thanks to Fizbags’
range of trendy,
reusable bags.
There are three dif-
ferent Fizbags, all beauti-
fully-designed. The
Original, in its own
matching pouch, weighs
just 30g and measures
only 11cm x 6cm but
expands to 35cm x 40cm,
large enough for everyday
use and available in hand-
held or shoulder bag style.
With twice the capac-
ity, the Big Shopper is
ideal for taking beach
towels and flip flops to
the beach. The Fizpouch
is a 22cm x 14cm-sized
organiser which fits
inside a large handbag
and has compartments
for your phone, iPod
and sunglasses plus a
zipped pocket for
money and credit cards.
The bags come in a
variety of designs. Choose
the Zebra print, Leopard
or Pink Giraffe Original
Fizbag if heading off on
safari or the Shoe Heaven
Big Shopper for those
shoes you just have to
buy! Available from
www.fizbag.com, the
Original Fizbag costs
£4.10, the Big Shopper is
£4.95 and the Fizpouch is
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GTo WIN an Original
Fizbag, Big Shopper and
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print, worth £27, go to
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and click on competitions
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I The Fizpouch organiser
I The Varta pocket-sized power pack
Bags of use
I
deal for your holiday
hotel room while get-
ting ready to hit the
town, Rockstar from
Urbanz is a funky, pow-
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MP3 player, phone or
laptop. Small enough to
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tery life, Rockstar is
available in a choice of
black, silver and now
pink and is available
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priced £17.99 including
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little speakers, go to
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22 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
in your I suitcase
Hair today, gone
tomorrow
All women want an easy, fuss-free way to remove
unwanted hair when travelling and Australian
company Nad’s has a great range of products. They
include its popular Natural Hair Removal gel, which
is now available in a smaller, 170g take-anywhere
tub. The easy-to-use
formula, made
with only natural
ingredients such as
honey, sugar and
lemon juice,
smoothes easily
onto legs, arms,
underarms and
bikini lines and is
perfect for keeping your skin
beach-ready at all times. It is available from
branches of Boots and Sainsbury’s for around
£9.99.
For more information on this and other Nad’s
products, visit www.nads.co.uk.
Pump up the comfort
Even movie stars have to have a day off from their
high heels and presenters and nominees at last
month’s prestigious BAFTA awards were the lucky
recipients of a pair of CocoRose London’s stylish,
foldable ballet pumps in their goody bag. These
innovative shoes are perfect to slip into when the
heels hurt too much and the accompanying
lightweight shoulder carry bag makes them perfect
for travel. In a range of styles and colours, the
shoes are available online from CocoRose at
www.cocoroselondon.com priced from
just £30.
G READER OFFER: TLM readers can get a 10%
discount on orders over £28.50 by entering the
promotional code TL at the online checkout. Offer
valid until June 25.
Rock your world
– and win a
Rockstar
S
ome of your best photo opportuni-
ties on holiday may come from
being around the pool, out on a
boat or even maybe snorkelling or wind-
surfing, but how do you protect your
camera from the water? A new com-
pletely waterproof camera case from
OverBoard may be the answer.
The Waterproof Zoom Lens Camera
Case can still take pictures with a regular
digital camera when submerged down to
19ft and the telescopic lens addition
makes this product stand out. The case is
largely transparent and keeps your cam-
era, or even mobile phone, completely
sealed and protected, allowing good
quality pictures in or out of the water.
The Waterproof Zoom Lens Camera
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from the OverBoard web store at
www.over-board.com, or by calling the
sales line on 01932 500 091.
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Closing date April 30, 2010.
Watertight
23TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 20:31 Page 1
tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 24
24TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 20:10 Page 1
I
am balancing on a floating jetty in the dark
trying to unlock the door to the boat that has
become my home this week. If only I had a
torch, but needless to say, it was the one thing
I never even thought to pack. If a kind
Frenchman in a nearby boat had not come to
rescue me and my family, our trip might have
come to a sorry – as in wet – end. Instead, it was
the start of a fabulously relaxing holiday, one
where we literally watched the world go by as we
cruised from town to village, tying up as and when
the fancy took us.
If a week messing about on rivers appeals, there
are two kinds of boating holidays to pick from;
which you choose depends on how adventurous you
are feeling.
There are self-drive boats, like I was on, where
you are given a quick lesson in operation and navi-
gation and then sent off to explore the local rivers
and canals, or luxurious hotel barges where all you
have to do is relax and enjoy.
These pretty little boats have mostly been built
using the hulls of barges that used to carry goods on
Europe’s waterways. You’ll have seen one if you
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 25
Waterways are perfect for holidays at a leisurely pace. JaneArcher examines
the options of being your own captain or lazing aboard a luxury hotel barge,
and where you can go messing about on Europe’s rivers and canals
let’s try I european canal and river holidays
Slow
boats
Slow
boats
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I Sailing along a tree-lined canal with Afloat in France
watched Rick Stein’s French Odyssey on BBC2, when
he cooked his way along the Canal du Midi on
European Waterway’s Rosa and Anjodi. That’s the life!
Self-drive boating holidays
Self-drive boats are brilliant for friends and families
who like the freedom of the open river and are happy
catering for themselves. They come in all sizes, sleep-
ing from two to 12 people and have various levels of
comfort, for instance some have en-suite bathrooms
and electric flush toilets – believe me, much more
preferable than the usual pump-action loos.
Being in charge of your own boat sounds daunting,
but it’s easy, especially as you amble along at a sedate 6-
7km an hour. Most rivers have locks, but many are
manned and others are automatic so you just push a few
buttons and hey presto. Navigational channels are clear-
ly marked in the rivers and on the maps supplied so you
can’t even get lost or end up in a river bank.
The only slightly tricky thing is docking, which
requires team work between the captain and rope man
(or woman), who needs to be agile enough to leap off as
the boat comes towards the bank. It sounds scary but
you soon get the hang of it.
Galleys are small but equipped with the basics, such
as a gas hob, oven and kettles. It’s fun to mix and match
26 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
tips
G When packing, bear in mind that
cabins on self-drive boats and hotel
barges are compact with not much
storage space.
G Some companies offering waterways
holidays are not bonded so your
holiday is not protected if something
goes wrong. The best advice is to
pay by credit card as your money
will be refunded in case of a
company failure. The same advice
applies if you fly from the UK.
G If negotiating locks doesn’t appeal, ask
your boat company to recommend a
lock-free river.There are a few.
G Don’t expect to travel far or fast. I
spent one week on a one-way
cruise, averaging about five hours’
sailing a day. It took the taxi that
picked me up at the end less than
two hours to get back to base.
let’s try I european canal and river holidays
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I Self-drive boats give you
freedom of the waterways
I Approaching a lock
I Lunch on deck
I Cabins are compact
I Enjoy the slow pace
I Be as lazy or as active as you want on a hotel barge
– self-cater one evening, moor up outside a riverside
restaurant another and have a break from the washing up.
Hotel barges
If you prefer a more luxurious holiday, with someone to
captain the boat, do the cooking and plan excursions, a
hotel barge holiday has your name on it.
Barges usually hold between four and 12 people. You
can book a cabin as an individual or couple, but they are
also perfect for anniversaries – such as a milestone
birthday or wedding celebration – as you can charter the
boat and bring along family and friends. In this case,
you will be able to make changes to the schedule, stay-
ing longer here maybe, or missing going there.
Hotel barges are all about luxury and personal serv-
ice. There’s a chef to conjure up gourmet meals, fine
wines are served with meals and there is an open bar, so
no charge for drinks.
What to do?
On a hotel barge or self-drive boating holiday you can
be as active or as lazy as you wish.
Most hotel barge operators lay on daily excursions to
chateaux, vineyards, private gardens or museums, and
you can go or not as the mood takes you. They also
carry bicycles so you can get off and pedal to the next
lock, or just have a walk if you prefer.
On your DIY boating holiday, you can moor up and
go exploring or have a lazy few days sunbathing on the
vessel. You can carry bikes on the boats; most compa-
nies have them for hire or bring your own. Or maybe go
horse riding, play golf and visit local markets. It is the
ultimate in a freedom holiday.
Who goes where?
France has 10,000km of navigable waterways – both
rivers and canals – and is the most popular spot for
DIY boating in Europe. You can enjoy gastronomy
cruising the Canal du Midi, take in seaside resorts in
the Carmargue, play golf in the Charente, and discover
French/German culture in Alsace-Lorraine. Belgium,
Holland, Italy and Germany are less popular but all
have their fair share of waterways if you want some-
thing different.
Le Boat, part of TUI Travel, has DIY boating holi-
days in all these places, mostly one week, cruising one
way, but you can add seven days and return to the origi-
nal base. Short-break boating holidays were launched in
2009 and are a great way to get a taste for this type of
holiday.
Boating Europe has both DIY cruisers and
Penichette barges, which are small self-drive barges, and
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 27
let’s try I european canal and river holidays
“Hotel
barges are all
about luxury
and personal
service”
L
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o
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t
what it costs
Prices for self-drive boating holidays usually include
towels and linen, and free parking for your car for
the week. Travel to the base to collect your boat,
plus fuel, meals, drinks, excursions and bike hire are
all extras, and you might have to pay mooring fees
in busy places.
You’ll also have to take out damage waiver cover
or leave a deposit when you collect the boat.
Hotel barge operators include all meals, drinks,
use of onboard bikes and scheduled excursions in
the price so there is nothing more to pay unless you
go horse-riding, play golf or do some other activity.
Travel from the UK to and from the pick-up
point – usually a hotel or railway station – is extra.
Tips for the crew are usually optional; from 3% to
7% of the cruise cost is recommended.
I Costs may
include bike hire
L
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o
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t
also hotel barges in France, Holland and Italy. For
something different, Hoseasons has DIY boating holi-
days on the Mazurian Lakes in Poland, sailing along
canals and rivers, and through forests, as well as the
favourite places in Western Europe.
France is also the leading destination for hotel barge
holidays. European Waterways has barges in several
regions (but Burgundy and the Canal du Midi are the
most popular) and also in Holland, Italy, Belgium,
Germany and Luxembourg. New this year are cruises
fromVenice along the Bianca Canal to Mantua, visiting
Verona on the way, on new barge La Bella Vita.
Afloat in France is part of Orient-Express and, as the
name suggests, is only in France – in Burgundy,
Franche-Comté, the Rhône Valley and Provence.
For the ultimate in exclusive, check out Saint Louis
Barge – literally one barge with room for six passengers
and four crew that sails six-night cruises on the
Gironde, between Toulouse and Bordeaux. Great for
charters but individuals can book it as well.
28 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
let’s try I european canal and river holidays
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I You can even take a dip on some craft
When to go
The boating season generally runs from March to November. Obviously,
summer months will be the warmest, especially in the South of France.
What to pack
Hotel barges are informal so pack
what you feel comfortable in. If you’re
going on a self-drive boating holiday, a
pair of non-slip shoes will be useful.
You might like to bring some food
from home, but it’s easy to pick up
provisions as you cruise. A small
torch to fit in the handbag is also
highly recommended! Small suitcases are easiest to store on the boats.
Sample holidays
G Le Boat (0844 463 3594; www.leboat.co.uk) has cruises on a six-
person Caprice boat on the Canal du Midi in France in June from
£547 per person based on four sharing, excluding travel from the
UK.
G European Waterways (01784 482439; www.gobarging.com) offers
six nights in a junior suite on L’Impressionniste in Burgundy from
£2,490 in May and June.
G A six-person charter on the Saint Louis Barge (+ 33 685 95 25 41;
www.saintlouisbarge.com) costs €16,900 (about £15,250), which
works out at €2,817 (£2,540) per person.
Other boat and barge holiday operators
Boating Europe: 01756 701200; www.boatingeurope.com or
www.hotelbarges.co.uk
Hoseasons: 0844 847 1356; www.hoseasons.co.uk
Afloat in France: 0845 077 2222; www.afloatinfrance.com
Minervois Cruisers: 01926 811842; www.minervoiscruisers.com
european canal and river holiday facts
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 29
29TLapr-mar10 23/3/10 12:12 Page 1
I
f the thought of leisurely cruising along a canal in
Burgundy in the lap of luxury with a gourmet
chef and all meals and wine included appeals,
then why not enter this competition to win a fabu-
lous six-night hotel barge cruise – courtesy of
European Waterways.
Owner of GoBarging, European Waterways is the
largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe, offer-
ing six-night/seven-day luxury cruises on its large fleet
of vessels in France, Scotland, England, Ireland,
Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy. It
has built a reputation for providing high quality barging
holidays on its “floating boutique hotels” to a discerning
clientele in search of a truly unique experience.
The hotel barges accommodate between four and 12
passengers and are ideal for people looking for either an
individual cruise with other like-minded people, or for
those wanting a whole barge charter for a family or
group of friends. All vessels are fully crewed with a
Captain, gourmet chef, hostess and a tour guide.
The prize is a six-night cruise for two people aboard
European Waterways’ eight-passenger hotel barge Art de
Vivre on the Nivernais Canal in Burgundy, France. The
cruise includes en-suite accommodation in a twin/dou-
ble cabin, all meals, wines, an open bar, chauffeured
excursions, local transfers to and from the barge, but
excludes travel and gratuities. The cruise will depart on
a Sunday and end on the following Saturday.
30 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
competition I hotel barge cruise
WIN a £5,000
six-night cruise
for two aboard a luxury hotel barge in Burgundy
with European
Waterways
I Cruising on the Art de Vivre
All photos: European Waterways
For a chance of winning this wonderful holiday, visit
the European Waterways website www.gobarging.com
then find the answer to the question below.
Question: In which year did European Waterways first
start operating?
a) 1974
b) 1977
c) 1984
To enter, go to www.tlm-magazine.co.uk and
click on competitions & giveaways. Closing date is
April 30, 2010.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 31
competition I hotel barge cruise
Terms & conditions
1) The first entry drawn at random after the closing date will win.
2) The holiday must be booked by May 31, 2010.
3) The cruise must be taken between June 20, 2010, and May 28, 2011, and is
subject to availability. European Waterways’ standard booking terms and
conditions apply.
4) Travel insurance and spending money are not provided and are the
responsibility of the prize winner.
5) No purchase necessary to enter. The prize draw is open to UK residents
aged 21 years and over, except employees of European Waterways Ltd, TLM
Media Ltd or anyone professionally associated with the promotion. Only
one entry per household.
6) The prize is non transferable and non refundable, and has no cash alternative.
7) The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
8) These terms and conditions are correct at time of being printed but may be
subject to change without notice.
9) Automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified.
10) The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
11) Entry to the competition implies full and unconditional acceptance of
these rules.
12) By entering the competition you are agreeing to allow us to see and share
this information with other companies including for sales, marketing and
market research purposes and to send you information by mail about our
products/services.
13) Winners may also be asked to write or submit photos from prize trips for
inclusion on the TLM website.
I Wine service
I Excursions go to
picturesque towns
I Saloon
I Fine dining
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) gives free professional medical care to the people who need
it most. In countries devastated by conflict, natural disaster or poverty, our staff battle
epidemics, run emergency clinics and provide basic health services.
Find out where we work, what we do and how you can help at www.msf.org.uk
English Charity Reg No. 1026588
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32TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 17:45 Page 1
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 33 March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 33
Faraway favourites
travel I update
I
ndian Ocean island nation the Maldives is
still the most popular long-haul holiday
destination, according to the latest travel
trends report by leading tour operator Kuoni.
Its annual Long-haul Report shows the
island chain has maintained its position as
top-selling faraway destination for 2010 after
topping the 2009 table – with Thailand and
the US also staying in second and third
respectively.
The Maldives even ranks second for fam-
ily holidays, and Kuoni says the destination
has “so much to offer clients, from a roman-
tic getaway, diving and spas to honeymoons
and renewal of vows, there is no surprise it
is so popular.”
Sri Lanka moves up from sixth to fourth,
displacing Egypt, as it returns to favour. Kuoni
says its outlook is very positive, with growth in
touring and tailor-made holidays as well as
“huge demand” for traditional beach holidays.
Meanwhile, China and Hong Kong have
moved into eighth place, with Kuoni saying
that 2010 is seeing more creative itineraries
and adventurous multi-centre, tailor-made
holidays.
Destinations bubbling under Kuoni’s top 10
and tipped to watch out for are India, Oman,
Indonesia, Mauritius and Cuba.
Top five wedding destinations for 2010 are
Sri Lanka, the US, Mauritius, St Lucia and
Thailand, while the top five places to honey-
moon are the Maldives, Thailand, Sri Lanka,
the United Arab Emirates and the US.
N
ew mums can get away from it
all with their babies, thanks to a
new five-night Italian villa
break.
The Mum and Baby Experience,
claimed to be the first of its kind, offers
stays at a five-bedroom Tuscany villa on
selected dates in May, June and
September. Owner, and mum, Rita
Kobrak says: “New mums would love to
get away for a few days, but don’t want
to leave their babies behind. We provide
the perfect environment for them to
relax and recharge their batteries, with
their babies.”
Activities include yoga, swimming,
baby Italian, baby Latino and baby mas-
sage. Massages and beauty treatments are
available and there is an Italian cookery
class. Babysitting is also offered, so
mums can take time out on their own.
The Mum and Baby Experience caters
for five mums plus babies and toddlers,
and costs from £700 per mother and baby
for a room, excluding flights. Toddlers up
to three years old cost an extra £100.
Dads can even go, too, for an additional
£300. Breakfast and dinner is included, as
are Perugia airport transfers.
For information, email Rita Kobrak on:
ritakobrak@mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk.
or call 077855 71292 or 020 7384 2431.
www.mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk
READER OFFER
TLM readers can get a 10% DISCOUNT
off Mum and Baby Experience breaks.
Just quote TLM Magazine when booking.
Coach website
A new website – www.findacoachholiday.com –
promotes tours by coach. The most comprehensive
guide to coach tours, it features more than 100 UK
coach tour operator members of the Coach Tourism
Council (CTC), which promotes travel and tourism
by coach. It is a simple, user-friendly guide to finding
an excursion, short break or escorted coach holiday
to anywhere in the UK, Europe or beyond.
Take a hike
A free Hiking Programme for guests staying in
Austrian alpine town Innsbruck or its 25 holiday
villages includes guided hikes, a free hiking bus and
even free boots and rucksack for those without their
own. Guests must have an Innsbruck Card, which also
offers reduced or free admission to attractions and
costs from 25 euros for 24 hours.
ww.innsbruck.info
Baby goes, too
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I Spend quality time with your baby
I A new coach holiday website has launched
I Relax in a
Tuscany villa
34 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
travel I update
S
ee some of Scotland’s best scenery from
two former fishing vessels, now con-
verted into luxury mini-cruise ships.
The Majestic Line operates cruises aboard
two traditional craft, the Glen Massan and
Glen Tarsan, both of which accommodate a
maximum of 11 people.
The 2010 sailing season is being expanded
with the addition of two new six-night west
coast and Hebrides cruises, departing from
Oban in July and September. They will sail
through the Sound of Mull, pass the islands of
Rum, Eigg and Muck and sail around the Isle
of Skye, taking in sights such as Eilean Donan
Castle.
Strong demand for the cruises means the
award-winning Scottish company will also add
at least two more Skye and Inner Hebrides
cruises for the 2011 season.
Meals are all freshly-prepared using locally-
sourced ingredients, and the ships have a salon
area at the rear so guests can relax on deck.
Wildlife that can be seen from the deck and
trips ashore includes eagles, otters and seals.
The Skye and the Inner Hebrides cruises
depart Oban on July 10 and September 4 and
cost £1,565 per person, fully inclusive except
for spirits.
Go to www.themajesticline.co.uk or call
0131 623 5012.
I
s your wine expertise lacking?
Now you can combine a holi-
day in Bordeaux with learning
what makes the French region’s
wines so special.
Three different courses are on
offer at the city’s Ecole du Vin de
Bordeaux (Bordeaux Wine
School), with classes held in
English by local wine experts.
Open to everyone, they comprise
in-depth tastings, practical exer-
cises and visits to nearby
chateaux.
A two-day beginners’ technical
course (May 14-15 and October
15-16; 350 euros) involves tasting
over 30 wines and learning about
soil types, grape varieties, classifi-
cations and different appellations.
After completing that level, a
two-day practical course (May 16-
17 and October 17-18; 335 euros)
helps students improve their
wine-tasting ability and learn the
principles of successful food and
wine matching.
The Grand Crus level course
(May 18-20; 600 euros), for stu-
dents who have completed either
of the other courses, is a three-day
discovery of the Bordeaux vine-
yards and their wines, visiting
four areas – the Medoc,
Sauternes, Graves and Saint-
Emilion.
A two-hour introduction
course, again in English, is held
daily except Thursdays and
Sundays in July and August.
Prices do not include flights or
accommodation. For details, visit
www.bordeaux.com and click
on Wine School.
Steamed up
A full-size, steam-billowing
Hogwarts Express engine will
greet guests at Universal Orlando
Resort’s new theme park,The
Wizarding World of Harry Potter,
when it opens this spring.The
Florida park will feature multiple
themed attractions, shops and a
restaurant.The Hogwarts Express
train transports students to a
world of magic and wonder in
the Harry Potter books and films.
www.universalorlando.com
Malaria aware
The Malaria Awareness Week,
from May 10-16, will highlight
malaria risks when travelling and
will urge UK travellers to visit
their GP six to eight weeks
before going abroad to ensure
they have the correct protection.
With malaria hotspots changing
frequently, it is important to
keep up to date.Visit
www.malariahotspots.co.uk
to check your intended
destination on a new-look
interactive map.
Pacific trio
Luxury tour operator Tailor
Made Travel
features
three
Pacific
hotels
opening
this
spring.
The Quay
West
Resort & Spa Noosa, on
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast,
opens in March. April sees
Samoa’s totally-rebuilt Sinalei
Reef Resort & Spa reopen after
the devastating September
tsunami and the opening of eco-
friendly Hangaroa EcoVillage &
Spa on Easter Island.
www.tailor-made.co.uk
Over the sea to Skye
Get schooled in wine
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I Easter Island
I Hogwarts Express
I Cosy dining room
I Bordeaux
Wine School
lesson
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T
aking a cruise these days is simply child’s
play. Never before has there been such a
choice of family-friendly ships bursting at the
seams with exciting activities and facilities
for younger cruisers. Whether it is scaling a
climbing wall up the side of the ship’s funnel;
gliding across an ice-skating rink; flying through the air
on a trapeze; or partying with Mickey Mouse; there is
something to appeal to all ages.
Youngsters are no longer confined to fun and games
in the kids clubs – good though they are. Some ships
have dedicated deck areas for younger passengers, while
others offer supervised excursions for older children
who want to shake off mum and dad for a few hours.
There are sports courts where youngsters can let off
steam, mini-golf courses for a quick nine holes, table
tennis and even giant movie screens where they can
catch a film while playing in the pool. Some larger ships
also have water parks complete with water slides.
Then there are themed parties, talent shows and trib-
ute bands, plus family-friendly restaurants and specially-
designed cabins designed to accommodate parents and
up to three children.
Cruising, it seems, has finally thrown off its reputa-
tion for appealing mainly to the retired set – and where
families are concerned, it is growing up fast.
But the key to happy holidays afloat rests on choos-
ing the right ship as facilities can vary and some vessels
are better for certain age groups.
Babies and toddlers
Tiny tots are welcome on cruise ships, but most companies
do not accept children under six months, while the mini-
mum age for kids’ clubs tends to be two or three years.
Only a few lines have nurseries on their ships and one
of these is Cunard, where nannies take care of children
on its two ships, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.
all aboard I family-friendly cruises
36 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
Happy families
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I Movies under the stars with Princess Cruises I Water fun on MSC’s Fantasia I Carnival’s Water Works
With new cruise ships boasting everything from nurseries
and kids clubs to surf simulators and circus workshops,
cruising really is a family affair now. Sara Macefield
looks at who offers what to keep youngsters of all ages
happy afloat
“Some ships
have
dedicated
deck areas
for younger
passengers”
I Mickey Mouse helps young cruisers
keep fit on Disney Magic
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 37
Disney Cruise Line is another that takes little ones,
and probably has the lowest age limit – just 12 weeks in
its onboard nurseries – while P&O Cruises’ family ships
also have onboard nurseries.
On Royal Caribbean International ships, special par-
ent-child playgroups are held for little ones, while the
company’s largest ship, Oasis of the Seas, has its own
“babies and tots” nursery.
Norwegian Cruise Line is another good choice for
toddlers as some of its ships have water-themed play
areas or dedicated baby pools. Evening group baby-sit-
ting is also offered.
Under 12s
Family-friendly ships have kids clubs, split into differ-
ent age groups, that offer an action-packed programme
of activities such as pizza-making classes, ice-cream
parties, teddy-bear picnics, pirate parties and discos.
The range of onboard activities has grown too. Some
Royal Caribbean International ships have climbing walls, surf
simulators and ice-skating rinks, while Norwegian Cruise
Line has bowling alleys and water slides on some ships.
P&O Cruises’ newest family-friendly ship, Ventura,
boasts circus workshops, Scalextric Grand Prix-style
races and a Rock School for kids who want to emulate
their favourite pop stars.
Disney Cruises has a head-start when it comes to
family cruises. In addition to the kids clubs, there is
plenty of Disney-inspired entertainment. Its Studio Sea
family cruising tips
G Each ship is different – so check the facilities carefully and assess which one will
suit your children best.
G Check the sleeping arrangements – some ships have inter-connecting cabins,
others have special family cabins with sofa-beds or bunks that come down from
the ceiling.
G What are the dining arrangements? Ensure there are enough flexible options –
buffet restaurants are normally the best bet.
G If your children aren’t confident swimmers, look for ships with dedicated kids’
pools.
G Check the opening times of the kids clubs, any extra charges and whether you
can leave your children on-board if you want to go ashore.
G For older kids, buy a soda package, which gives them a set amount of drinks
much cheaper than if bought separately
I Above: CocoCay water activities
I Left: happy campers at Camp
Carnival
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38 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
family club looks like a film set and hosts various shows
such as cabaret and talent contests for the whole family.
On Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises ships, children
can catch their favourite film on giant poolside movie
screens, while Royal Caribbean International’s newest
ship, Oasis of the Seas, even has a dedicated children’s
theatre where youngsters can put on their own shows.
Lines such as Ocean Village, Carnival Cruise Lines,
Island Cruises, Thomson Cruises and MSC Cruises also
offer a good range of activities for children.
Teens
Probably the hardest age group to please, yet energetic
teens can opt for the plethora of activities on Royal
Caribbean International, while those wanting to do
their own thing can try Ocean Village’s teen-friendly
excursions to hike up Mount Vesuvius or tour
Barcelona’s famous Nou Camp football stadium with-
out their parents.
The line also has special teen TV presenter work-
shops and Girls Night In pampering packages.
Several ships are armed with the latest techno
temptations to keep young cruisers happy with X-Box
and PlayStation games plus video arcades and teen-
only nightclubs.
Music fans can even cut their own CD in a fully-
equipped recording studio aboard Costa Cruises’ ship,
Costa Pacifica, or take the plunge with a private
music lesson.
On Holland America Line ships, youngsters up to 17
can enjoy the funky Loft area, resembling a NewYork
style artist’s studio and the fabulous Oasis adult-free
deck zone with hammocks and a waterfall.
Where to go
Once you’ve chosen the ship, it’s a question of deciding
where you want to sail to. One of the easiest ways of
travelling with young children is to jump on the growing
number of ships now sailing from the UK, which cuts out
the hassle of taking flights.
The obvious place to go is the Mediterranean, which
scores highly with children of all ages as there are so
many different ports.
Even if you decide to join one of the many cruises
departing from European cities such as Barcelona,
Palma or Venice, flight times are still short.
Farther afield, the Caribbean is a popular cruising
spot and tends to be a sun, sea and sand option with a
more relaxed pace. However, the major downside is the
flight, which is around nine hours.
The Far East offers a tempting combination of cul-
ture, experiences and beautiful beaches, but with a 13-
hour flight this again is one for older children who can
make the most of the shore activities.
Less-obvious destinations for older children include
Alaska, which offers adventurous excursions such as
bear spotting, climbing glaciers or snowmobiling, and
the Baltic, rich in history and culture.
all aboard I family-friendly cruises
I Royal Caribbean’s Flowrider
I Below: On high at sea
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family cruise facts
Sample cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 201 8912;
www.ncl.co.uk) has one-week round-trip
sailings fromVenice to the Greek islands this
summer. Prices are from £3,156 for a family of
four for a May 22 departure, including flights.
P&O Cruises (0845 678 0014;
www.pocruises.com) is
offering a 14-night Western
Mediterranean sailing on Ventura from £6,370
for a family of four which includes a £50
onboard credit per adult. It departs
Southampton on August 14 and ports of call
include Cannes, Palma, Livorno and Gibraltar.
Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005;
www.royalcaribbean.co.uk) has a nine-night Western Caribbean fly-
cruise, departing on July 10, on the world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of
the Seas, from £6,316 for two adults and two children. The price
includes return flights to Florida, a one-night hotel stay pre-cruise and
the seven-night sailing.
More information
G The Passenger Shipping Association represents the main cruise
lines and its website www.discovercruises.co.uk gives details of these
and contains a section on family cruises.
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40 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
all aboard I cruise news
CRUISE CLIPS
Hurtigruten, which offers
cruises to the Norwegian
fjords and Arctic Circle is
offering 20% savings on
popular sailings on selected
dates between May and
September. Prices now start
at £655 per person for a six-
day Voyage South sailing,
cruise-only.
Virgin Holidays Cruises
claims to be the first cruise
agency to offer a free door to
door “Luggage Chauffeur”
service for customers sailing
with P&O, Princess or
Cunard from Southampton.
Passengers can send one bag
of up to 30kg free of charge,
and extra bags cost up to £35
each way.
Hearty English fare such
as mushy peas, steak and
kidney pies,Yorkshire
puddings and sausage rolls is
to be served up on Celebrity
Cruises’ newest ship
Celebrity Eclipse, which will
be based at Southampton this
summer, to appeal to British
palates.
T
ipping has long been a confusing issue
among cruise-goers and in recent years it has
become controversial.
With the arrival of American ships in the UK and
Europe, British customers have had to get used to
tipping rates as high as 18% – something that hasn’t
always gone down well.
Royal Caribbean International, which bases its
ship Independence of the Seas at Southampton, is
reviewing its tipping policy because up to a third of
its UK customers were not paying gratuities.
US lines generally charge a daily rate of around
$10 per person which can be automatically debited
from each passenger’s on-board account, though pas-
sengers can ask to have this removed.
UK cruise companies either include tips in the
overall price or suggest amounts that should be given
to staff at the end of the holiday, which are lower
than those paid on their US counterparts.
Another thorny issue has been the high price of
drinks on ships. A recent survey showed that Royal
Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line
charged the highest prices for a beer.
Online travel agency Cruises.co.uk, which con-
ducted a study of 10 cruise lines, claimed passengers
would pay as much as £3.95 on Royal Caribbean and
£3.61 on NCL for a bottle of Becks.
Yet on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises
– which were the cheapest - they would pay only
£2.20 and £2.35 respectively.
F
ans of Dora the Explorer
and Sponge Bob Square
Pants will be able to set sail
with these and other
Nickelodeon characters on
Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest
ship, Norwegian Epic, which
launches this summer.
They’ll be able to get together
with them at character breakfasts,
meet and greets, interactive shows
– or even have their favourite
character tuck them in at night.
And this isn’t just confined to
Norwegian Epic as Nickelodeon
characters will also be based on
one of NCL’s other ships,
Norwegian Jewel.
Single travellers can also sail
off in style aboard Norwegian
Epic as it is targeting innovative
new studio cabins at solo cruise
passengers, with prices to match.
Tipping point for cruisers
Epic time with Dora and Bob
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I Virgin offers free luggage delivery for
cruise passengers
I Drinks are cheapest on P&O and Fred Olsen
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I
slands have always appealed to me. The smaller
and more remote the better. My favourite books
were full of them – from Robinson Crusoe to The
Search for Atlantis – and so it is with a strange
sense of deja vu that I now land with my daughter
Anouchka in Sao Miguel, the largest island of the
Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands strung out
across six hundred kilometres like some fabulous
necklace, half the Atlantic Ocean away.
The islands are clustered into three groups; the
Eastern group of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria; the
Central group of Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico and
Faial; the Western group of Flores and Corvo. From the
air, they look exactly as I imagined them; skirted with
sea-foam at the edges, excitingly pockmarked with vol-
canoes of all sizes (some still smoking), and showing
vast expanses of brilliant green.
Arrival at the airport finds it reassuringly quiet. For
although a description of the Azores reads like
Anouchka’s list of the 10 Coolest Things to Find In One
Place (brilliant sunshine, active volcanoes, killer whales,
bubbling mud lakes, swimming with dolphins, pineap-
ple plantations, a sea bluer than the movies and the
thrilling possibility of seeing a Portuguese man-o’-war,
the biggest, deadliest jellyfish in the ocean), tourism
seems as yet to have made little impact on the islands.
Life here exists at a slower pace; strangers are wel-
comed with genuine delight; there is little nightlife and
hardly any crime; and the small scale and informal
nature of island trips comes as a glorious change from
the cattle-truck tours of the concrete Costas.
Our stay is due to last a week, and to take in three of
the islands; Sao Miguel, Faial and Pico. Sao Miguel is
the largest island, and its capital, Ponta Delgada,
42 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
Best-selling author Joanne Harris swapped the French village setting of her Chocolat novel
for a visit to the tiny Azores archipelago with her daughter – and found a timeless natural
wonderland still untouched by tourism
off the beaten track I the azores
receives most of the visitors. It is a charming place,
looking as Madeira did 50 years ago, with its marina, its
castle, its cobbled, palm-lined streets, its market and
shops and friendly little cafés.
Festivals
The Azores are part of Portugal, and there is a strong
Catholic identity to the place, with incense and icons of
the saints on sale in every little corner shop. But
Azorean saints are a cheery lot; there are festivals
almost every day, and on our first night in Ponta
Delgada, Anouchka and I are gaily dragged by locals
into one of their many street galas, with dancers, musi-
cians and acrobats.
Any excuse for a party, they say, when I ask themwhose
festival this is. Here, you know, there’s so little to do…
The next day, we set off to find out how little there
really is. Our friends of last night were being modest;
the island is glorious in every way. Incredibly green, it
is a paradise for gardeners; agapanthus, ginger lily,
thyme and hydrangeas grow wild, and any abandoned
building or fallen tree is quickly devoured by the purple
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 43
off the beaten track I the azores
Sunvil
I Main picture, Azores
whale-watching
I The Faial caldera
I Joanne
Harrris and
her daugher
in the Azores
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morning glories that swarm over everything with near-
tropical speed.
Over the next few days, we visit pineapple and tea
plantations; we sip strawberry juice by a volcano crater;
we see the famous twin lakes – one green, one blue – at
Sete Cicades and hear the sad, romantic tale of how they
were formed (the Azoreans are great tellers of tales, the
sadder and the more romantic the better).
We visit the sulphurous Furnas, with its boiling pools of
mud and water, reminding us that although the volcanoes
of the Azores may be dormant, they are far from extinct.
At Tony’s restaurant in Furnas, we eat locally-grown
pineapple, and blood-sausage baked with yam under the
hot earth in the traditional way; and we bathe in the
thermal pool of the old and genteel Terra Nostra Hotel,
where the spring water is so charged with minerals that
my swimsuit actually goes rusty.
Blue Island
On the third day we fly to Horta on Faial, in the Central
group of the Azores. It takes about an hour to fly from
Sao Miguel, and if anything, this smaller island seems
even closer to perfection.
Living here is like being in love, says our guide; and I
can definitely see what he means. Known as the Blue
Island for its hedgerows of hydrangeas, Faial offers a
spectacular range of scenery over a very small area, with
green valleys on one side, and the apocalyptic results of
recent volcanic activity on the other. There is a light-
house half-buried in volcanic ash; a stretch of desert like
a Martian moon; and all around the island there are fabu-
lous places to swim; for although there are few beaches
here, the tumbling lava has formed wonderful natural
swimming places, sheltered from the open sea, where
Anouchka can spend hours diving, climbing on rocks
and inspecting the sea life trapped in the many pools.
In the evening, the famous marina is the place to be.
Nightlife is sociable rather than sophisticated, and there
is a variety of restaurants and bars. Food in the Azores is
best when it is simple. Hotel and restaurant food here
can often have a kind of school-dinnerish quality, but
cafes and bars often serve excellent inexpensive food,
and the Cafe Sport bar in Horta, on the seafront, is the
locals’ favourite, serving seafood kebabs, excellent
steaks, grilled wreckfish and salads, with good bread,
local cheeses and Portuguese wines.
Whale-watching
Pico is only a heartbeat away, and Horta’s skyline is
dominated by its perfect cone. You can walk to the
summit of the volcano, although it takes time (two to
five hours for the ascent, depending on the weather,
and half as much again for the descent), and requires a
registered guide.
An island tour by taxi gives a short, but tantalising
taste of the island, including extraordinary views from
the peak itself, lakes, smaller caldera and the famous
whaling museum – though Anouchka and I both agree
that there are much more enjoyable ways to see whales
on Pico.
Whale-watching is a unique experience, and we are
told that Faial is the best place to try it. Our motorised
boat seats only eight people, and the organisers are very
careful to ensure that the whales are not stressed by the
presence of observers. More than one boat is not
allowed; we keep a respectful distance at all times. I’m
44 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
“Tourism
seems as yet
to have made
little impact
on the
islands”
off the beaten track I the azores
Azores tips
G Don’t forget: sunscreen; sunhat; camera film or spare memory cards and batteries
(not always readily available locally); waterproof clothing; comfortable shoes;
binoculars; sandals; swimming costume, towel or wrap.
G Drink plenty of water – the wind and sun means that it’s easy to get dehydrated,
especially on boat trips.
G Tipping isn’t essential, but it’s always appreciated – 10 euros per person to small-
tour guides (swimming with dolphins, etc) will ensure maximum goodwill and
time flexibility.
G Eat outside your hotel as often as you can. Grilled fish is good here (wreckfish,
sea bass, mackerel). Also try: locally-produced cheeses; blood-sausage baked with
yam or pineapple; fried squid; local beef.
G There isn’t a lot for tourists to buy, but you can take home pineapples (declare on
arrival in the UK) or pineapple liqueur from local plantations; handicrafts (enamel
jewellery, hand-painted scarves, corn dollies) or leather goods.
G Health and safety is still in its infancy here – so keep an eye on children, especially
near the hot springs! A
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I Horta harbour, Faial
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 45
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impressed at the care and sensitivity shown here by our
guides, and I am very conscious of what a rare privilege
it is to see these giant mammals in their natural habitat.
The marine life of the Azores is spectacularly varied;
some 25 different species of whale visit the islands, and
on our first trip we see sperm whales, beaked whales,
pilot whales and dolphins.
Swimming with dolphins
Our next trip is, if anything, more exciting – for return-
ing to Sao Miguel, we are booked to actually swim with
these creatures. The boat takes up to six people; and
although no more than two swimmers are allowed in the
water at once, we all have several chances to swim. But
first we have to find the dolphins, and we pray that they
will be in playful mood. Any sign of anxiety, and we
must leave them alone – our guides make it clear that it
is they, and not we, who are in charge.
It takes us an hour to find our first school. Anouchka
and I take the first swim, lowering ourselves carefully
into water that is a luminous blue and almost tropically
warm. The depth here is between 1,000 and 2,000
metres, and clear right down to the bottom. I can see the
dolphins some distance below. And they are singing – a
long, resonant note that cuts through the water.
Anouchka gives me a big thumbs-up; she can hear them
too, and we follow them for five or more minutes until
the school moves on and we return to the boat.
We repeat the experience six times that day, and
another five the next. We encounter bottlenose dolphins
and spotted dolphins, and swim with both. Some of
them come very close to us. But nothing beats that first
contact with another species in its own element. It’s an
eerie, intimate, almost religious feeling, which I know
will stay with me for a very long time.
Charm
But how long can this idyll last? I find that on leav-
ing this magical place I’m almost reluctant to write
about it, as if by keeping them secret I could help
these islands preserve the Brigadoon-like quality
that gives them their charm.
46 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
azores facts
You see, it’s the scale of things here that makes the
Azores so different and special. With only a few dozen
tourists at a time, it’s perfectly acceptable for a restaurant
to serve food cooked in an underground pot halfway up
a mountain; or for a sightseeing company to expend six
hours, a boat and two members of staff so that four or
five people can swim with dolphins. But try any of this
on a larger scale, and soon it will no longer be possible.
So I can’t help feeling that in some way I’ve wit-
nessed the last days of Atlantis – blissfully free (but how
long for?) from the excesses of the 21st century. And it
is with a heartfelt prayer to the god of small things that
Anouchka and I board the plane home – to please keep
these islands just as they are. Perfect. Forever.
Reader offer
WIN one of five copies of the latest novel by
Joanne Harris – psychological thriller blueeyed boy
– which is published on April 1. See page 56.
“Strangers
are
welcomed
with genuine
delight”
off the beaten track I the azores
When to go
The Azores islands lie almost 1,000 miles west
of Lisbon in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
and enjoy a temperate climate thanks to the
warming influence of the Gulf Stream. Average
temperatures range from highs of 17ºC in
January to about 25ºC in August. Showers are
more frequent between October and April.
Getting there
Azores airline SATA (www.sata.pt) flies direct from London Gatwick
to Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel.
Getting around
SATA operates regular flights between the islands of Faial, Pico, Santa
Maria, Sao Miguel and Terceira.You can rent cars, bikes and mopeds on
all the main islands, and there are also taxis.
Accommodation
The islands have a range of accommodation, including hotels,
guesthouses and farmhouses.
Tour operators
Operators include Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722; www.sunvil.co.uk). It
offers a seven-night Three IslandTour to Sao Miguel, Faial and Pico from
£1,187 per person, including direct flights from Gatwick, seven nights’ b&b
accommodation, internal flights and transfers, entrance tickets to botanical
gardens and museums, and guided excursions. Archipelago Azores (017687
75672; www.azoreschoice.com) offer tailor-made holidays to the Azores.
Tourist information
Visit the Azores Tourism Association’s website on
www.azorestourism.com or the Portuguese National Tourist Office
website: www.visitportugal.com.
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I Azores dolphin-watching
I Sao Miguel
Best known for her romantic novel, Chocolat, which
was turned into a hit film starring Juliette Binoche and
Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris has written more than a
dozen other books.This article was originally
published in the Telegraph.
Swarovski FP 24/3/10 16:40 Page 1
tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 48
48TLmar-apr10 27/3/10 09:58 Page 1
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 49
Golf on the Island of
pack your clubs I tenerife, canary islands
I
t was one of those moments you dread. Only a
short par 3, but uphill and over a cactus-stud-
ded valley from a tee perched high above the
Atlantic swells. I didn’t feel comfortable as I
teed up, especially with the Ladies European
Tour pro I was playing alongside in the
Tenerife Ladies Open Pro-Am patiently waiting
with her caddy after effortlessly sending her shot
close to the pin.
Nerves jangling, I swung. Hard. And the
inevitable happened – I shanked the ball, sending it
sideways and almost taking out Australia’s former top
lady amateur, Frances Bondad.
Thankfully, my indiscretion was forgiven with a
gracious smile. After blanking that hole, the rest of
my round was a marginal improvement, allowing me
to relax and enjoy the beautiful Costa Adeje course.
It is one of eight golf courses on Tenerife, the
largest of the Canary Islands. A natural paradise of
mountains, lush vegetation, towering cliffs, verdant
valleys and black and gold sand beaches 300km off
the African coast, Tenerife is popular as a sunshine
holiday destination thanks to its year-round temperate
Great courses, a superb climate, top-
notch hotels and plenty of off-course
attractions makeTenerife heavenly
for golf…if you can avoid the shanks.
Peter Ellegard tees it up
I Buenavista Golf course
Eternal
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pack your clubs I tenerife, canary islands
climate. Not for nothing is it known as the Island of
Eternal Spring.
As a result, Tenerife is heaven for golfers. And it is
great for non-golfing partners, too, with high-quality
hotels, many having extensive health and spa facilities,
lively nightlife and extensive sightseeing, shopping and
activity options besides the beaches.
Spain’s highest mountain – the coni-
cal-peaked Mount Teide, standing
over over 12,000ft (3,718m)
and snow-capped in winter –
dominates Tenerife and
divides the island’s verdant
north from the more arid
south. But nowhere is more
than about an hour away
from anywhere else.
Towering cliffs
The north has two courses. Real Club de Golf de
Tenerife, not far from Canaries capital Santa Cruz de
Tenerife, is Spain’s second-oldest golf club and was
founded 75 years ago. It can be played on weekday
mornings.
Also in the north, Seve Ballesteros sculpted the stun-
ning Buenavista course from a wild and beautiful sec-
tion of rocky coast in the heart of Teno Rural Park,
flanked by the towering cliffs of the Teno Massif.
Several holes on the back nine are set right on the shore-
line, giving the impression you are playing shots into the
sea itself, with spray from waves crashing into adjacent
rocks as golfers putt on some greens. A large lake and
tumbling waterfalls in front of the clubhouse feature on
the 9th and 18th holes. Stands of graceful palm trees
and sharp-spiked cacti edge
most fairways.
Afterwards, you can
reflect on your glory
moments and near misses
from the upstairs restau-
rant and terrace bar in
the clubhouse while tak-
ing in the magnificent
vista of this Seve master-
piece, the rocky coastline
and the brooding Atlantic
beyond.
Buenavista hosts the
Tenerife Ladies Open this
year and now boasts a new
luxury hotel alongside.
Golfers have more choice in
the south, including Golf del Sur.
It staged the island’s first profes-
sional golf tournament, the Tenerife
Open, in 1989, two years after the
course opened, the winner being Jose
Maria Olazabal.
Originally designed by Pepe Gancedo in
1987, Golf del Sur’s 27 holes were remod-
elled in 2005 and 2006 by fellow Spaniard
Tenerife has a wealth of options away
from its courses. One of the most
popular tours is to the volcanic
landscape of Teide National Park, the
most visited national park in Spain.
Tours from the north go up through
the Oratava Valley, and those from the
south often include the picturesque
town of Puerto de la Cruz.
There’s shopping and city tours in
capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, whose
history dates back to 1492. A day trip
can be combined with nearby Anaga
Rural Park and Teresitas beach, one of
the most beautiful in Tenerife. Sun
worshippers have numerous beaches
around the island. Another popular
outing is to Teno Rural Park. Tours
generally take in the historic costal
town of Garachico and the inland
village of Masca. Other sightseeing
favourites include the town of Icod de
los Vinos with its thousand-year-old
Dragon Tree and the spectacular
roadside viewpoints in the Isla Baja area
in the north, and the Los Gigantos Cliffs
on the west coast.
The Loro Parque wildlife park in
Puerto de la Cruz in northern Tenerife
and the Parque Las Aguilas – Jungle
Park in the south, are both popular
attractions. Wine lovers will enjoy
Frontos Theme Park in Granadilla de
Abona, a rural attraction which
highlights Tenerife’s wine culture and
shows both traditional and modern
wine-producing methods. Europe’s
biggest water park, Siam Park, opened
in the south in 2008 with 25 Thai-
themed buildings, thrill rides including a
flume tube through an alligator pool
and a Wave Palace with a three-metre-
high artificial surfing wave.
The adventurous can ride camels, go
hiking, mountain biking, caving and
climbing amid Tenerife’s natural scenery
or try water sports including kite-
surfing, sailing, sea canoeing and diving
in the warm, clear Atlantic.
And resorts such as Playa de Las
Americas and Playa de Los Cristianos
offer great beaches, excellent shopping
and eating out as well as pulsating
nightlife.
Off-course attractions
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I Beach at Playa de Las Americas
I Historic Garachico I Playa de Las Teresitas
“Tenerife is
heaven for
golfers”
Manuel Pinero, who brought out the ravine-edged
course’s natural element more; its wealth of flowers,
cacti and palm trees are in stark contrast to its black
sand bunkers and the ravines.
Longest drive
The course has a notable claim to fame; it was where
British golfer Karl Woodward set two world records for
the longest drive in 1995 – his second sur-
passing 408 yards, all carry! Nearby
hotels include the San Blas and Hotel
Vincci Tenerife Golf.
Amarilla Golf is another course
right on the ocean. Designer Donald
Steel teases players with the approach
shot to the green of the par-4 4th,
with the sea immediately behind. Then
he taunts golfers with a tee shot right
over the waves on the short but spectacu-
lar, par-3 5th. A marina forms the backdrop
to several holes and there is also a horse rid-
ing club at Amarilla.
Tenerife’s biggest resort, Playa de Las Americas,
has a great golf course on its doorstep. Golf Las
Americas is a green oasis nestling in a natural
amphitheatre. The course encircles the large clubhouse
and is interlaced with lakes and water channels, making
for some testing challenges right from the first hole. The
Hotel Las Madrigueras is among hotels situated right by
Golf Las Americas, while the recently-renovated, luxury
Hotel Sir Anthony and adjacent Hotel Cleopatra Palace
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 51
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I Mountain backdrop at Golf del Sur
I Flowers and water at Amarilla I The Abama course and hotel
Tenerife Tourism Corporation
The neighbouring island of La Gomera also has an
18-hole course. The Donald Steel-designed Tecina Golf
course is set on a clifftop on the island’s southernmost
tip, and is reached by a 40-minute fast ferry trip from
Los Cristianos.
Tenerife is one of my favourite golf destinations, and
I am sure it won’t be long before I am back yet again. I
just hope it won’t be a case of shanks for the memory
next time…
are part of the Mare Nostrum Resort just a few minutes
away. The Hotel Europe Villa Cortes, another golfer-
friendly property, is also close by.
Water is also a strong theme at Tenerife’s newest
addition, Abama, which opened in 2005 in Guia de
Isora, on Tenerife’s west coast. There are 22 lakes to
negotiate, complete with cascading waterfalls, on this
Dave Thomas design which overlooks the sea and has
views to La Gomera. The course, Tenerife’s longest, is
laid out amid luxuriant flora and including many 90,000
palm trees. But its most striking feature is the luxury
Abama hotel and villas, a pinkish-brown architectural
marvel which resembles a Moorish citadel. It looms
into view with the Atlantic behind on the downhill, par-
5 10th and sits alongside the next two holes. The hotel
features eight swimming pools, a spa and its own pri-
vate beach.
Terraces
Just down the coast is 27-hole Golf Costa Adeje, the
scene of my Ladies European Open horror shot.
Another Pepe Gancedo layout on the site of a former
banana plantation, the original 18-hole Old Course,
which opened in 1998, uses the natural contours of the
land to good effect, including on its wide greens. It
incorporates old stone farm terraces on fairways which
slope down to the sea and offer superb views of La
Gomera. Looking seaward, they are all but invisible,
yet look back and you can see the original dry stone
terrace walls puncturing the fairways.
The 9-hole Los Lagos Course is shorter but serves
up more of a technical challenge, with six lakes for
golfers to negotiate. Hotels near here include the turret-
ed, five-star Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque Resort, Hotel
Jardin Tropical, Iberostar’s Grand Hotel El Mirador and
Grand Hotel Anthelia, and the Sheraton La Caleta
Resort & Spa.
As well as Tenerife’s 18-hole courses, there is also
the 9-hole Centro de Golf los Palos facility. Designed
by Jose Maria Olazabal’s company, Integral Golf
Design, it is a par-27 layout with lakes and streams
which is ideal for beginners or those wanting to work
on their short game. It includes a clubhouse, restaurant
and children’s playground.
52 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
pack your clubs I tenerife, canary islands
tenerife golf facts
Tourist information
Visit the Tenerife Tourism Corporation website at
www.webtenerifeuk.co.uk or call freephone: 00 800 100 101 00.
Weather
North-east trade winds and warm Atlantic waters keep Tenerife
temperate year-round, with temperatures averaging 23ºC.
Getting there
Tenerife is served by direct flights from
several UK airports. Among airlines,
Monarch (www.monarch.co.uk)
operates from airports including
Gatwick and Luton with fares,
including taxes, starting from £77.50
one way (£138.99 return). Seats can be
pre-booked at £8.50 per one-way and
extra-legroom seats are available for £25.
Golf packages
Tour operators offering Tenerife golf packages include Premier Iberian
(0845 600 3391, www.premieriberian.com),Your Golf Travel (0800
043 6644, www.yourgolftravel.com), Golf Breaks
(0800 279 7988, www.golfbreaks.com),
Supertravel (020 7459 2984,
www.supertravel.co.uk) and Golf
Amigos (0845 230 3100,
www.golfamigos.co.uk).You can also
cruise and play golf in Tenerife and
other islands in the Canaries with the
Flagship Golf programme of Fred Olsen
Cruise Lines (01473 746175,
www.fredolsencruises.com).
Courses
Golf Costa Adeje
www.golfcostaadeje.com
Amarilla Golf
www.amarillagolf.es
Golf del Sur
www.aymerichgolf.com
Golf Las Americas
www.golf-tenerife.com
Abama Golf
www.abamahotelresort.com
Buenavista Golf
www.buenavistagolf.es
Real Club de Golf deTenerife
www.realclubgolftenerife.com
Tecina Golf
www.tecinagolf.com
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I Golf Las Americas
I Mount Teide
I Tecina
Golf Course
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 53
53TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 18:49 Page 1
54 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
Many golfers might consider a cruise
holiday the last thing they would want
to do – being at sea instead of on the green
just doesn’t appeal. However, Fred. Olsen
Cruise Lines has put together the perfect
package to enable golfers to enjoy every
aspect of the game, including some top-
class tuition from a PGA professional, and
a chance to play some oI the world`s fnest
courses, while at the same time sampling
all the other delights of life at sea. It is
also the ideal holiday for golfers with
non-playing partners, who can revel in the
cruise experience, whilst the golfers get
down to some serious play. They then get
together after to enjoy the social activities
on board.
One of the best parts of the world
Ior a golfng holiday must be the Canary
Islands. The islands boast so many superb
courses – well-designed, challenging yet
enjoyable, and taking in some stunning
scenery – along with a balmy and mild
climate year-round. Fred. Olsen’s Flagship
Golf package features on many Canaries
cruises and some of these also take in
North African ports like Agadir and
Morocco.
The Flagship Golf package is made
up of no fewer than four rounds of golf
ashore, plus onboard tuition and practice
sessions, with social activity for golfers
and their non-playing partners. Green fees
and transfers between ship and course are
also included. There is a PGA professional
in residence on each of the Fred. Olsen
cruise ships, who will host the programme.
He or she offers one-to-one tuition for
those taking part in the programme. You
can also use the onboard nets for practice,
in between going ashore to play. In each
port with a Flagship Golf session planned,
you and your fellow players will be
transferred to the course to enjoy a round
at one of the superb courses featured in the
programme, before re-joining the ship. In
addition, there will be fun competitions, a
cocktail party and a get-together for prize-
giving at the end of the cruise. Partners are
welcome at all these social events.
Here are just a few of the superb courses
included in the Canary Islands Flagship
Golf programme:-
Agadir – Golf Club Med Les Dunes
Awell-landscaped course of international
standard with three loops of nine holes,
this course is a fair test of any golfer and
very enjoyable to play.
Casablanca – El Jadida Royal Golf
Set in a 300-acre site on the Atlantic coast,
this is an exceptional course with superb views.
Casablanca – Mohammedia
Royal Golf Club
This has a fairway between pines and
eucalyptus trees surrounded by a restless
sea and white dunes. It is a windswept
and challenging course.
La Gomera – Tecina Golf
This course is on the south side of the
island in the small fshing village oI Beach
Santiago. It boasts balmy temperatures,
soft winds and wonderful views of
nearby Tenerife.
Lanzarote – Golf Costa Teguise
Alush green course, like an oasis on this
island of volcanic rock, the green fairways
are fringed by swaying palms. It is an
18-hole, 72-par course with level terrain
for easy walking.
Las Palmas – Campo de
Golf de Maspalomas
Acourse bordered by dunes with light
breezes, this course boats an innovative
two-storey driving range with a reach
beyond 300 metres.
Madeira – Palheiro Golf
10km east of Funchal, with great views
of the town and bay, this 18-hole 72-par
course is set in the estate and parkland of
Quinta do Palheiro and offers a worthy
challenge for all handicaps.
Full details of all the courses and the
cruises offering Flagship Golf can be
found on the website at
www.fredolsencruises.co.uk The full
Flagship Golf package is charged at just
£375 per player on Canaries cruises.
It must be pre-booked and golfers are
ADVERTISEMENT A
Combine a cruise to the glorious Canary Islands
with some world class golf
Tenerife
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 55
ADVERTISEMENT
glorious Canary Islands
olf
welcome to bring their own clubs, or
they can hire them at the various golf
clubs if they prefer (but they MUST
have their own golf shoes).
On those rare occasions when you
are not playing golf or practicing on
board, the small but elegant Fred. Olsen
ships offer many attractive facilities and
activities. There are spacious, elegant
lounges for relaxing or taking in the
entertainment, ample deck space to
stroll or just enjoy the views in warm
weather, plus swimming pools, hot tubs,
a ftness centre and beauty salon with
spa treatment rooms – not to mention
an internet room, card room, library and
much more. A full programme of activities
– quizzes, deck games, lectures and talks
– is offered on board daily. There are also
many shore excursions in each port of call,
so non-playing members of your party can
explore the pretty white-washed towns and
take in the striking volcanic scenery of the
islands.
Sumptuous meals are served in elegant
dining rooms – there are both formal and
informal options – and every night there
will be a programme of entertainment to
enjoy encompassing all kinds of music,
comedy and dance.
Sample cruise:-
Braemar has a 13-night cruise to the
Canary Islands from Dover departing 5th
October 2010, which offers the Flagship
Golf package. This cruise visits Madeira,
La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria,
Lanzarote and Lisbon, returning to Dover.
Funchal, Madeira’s capital, is famed for
its beautiful botanic gardens and also the
cathedral where Columbus prayed before
setting off to cross the Atlantic. Tenerife is
also a very popular island, with its black
sand beaches, sheer cliffs, tropical forests
and the magnifcent Mount Tiede, which at
3,700 metres high looms over the islands.
In La Palma there are Spanish-style
whitewashed houses with ornate balconies
and shady courtyards and the island is a
delight to explore.
Prices for the cruise (excluding
Flagship Golf) start from £1,124 per
person, based on two sharing an inside
twin cabin. The price includes all meals
and entertainment on board and port taxes.
Flagship Golf is an extra £375 per player.
To participate in Flagship Golf you must
have relevant golf insurance, as well as a
valid handicap certifcate.
8o ñno out more about all Freo. Olsen's
Canary |slanos crulses ano tbe e×cluslve
Flagsblp Golt programme, vlslt
www.treoolsencrulses.co.uk
=ou can book onllne, by calllng
Peservatlons on 01473 742424
or tbrougb any %&8A traZel agent.
Braemar
Gran Canaria
Don’t miss out on the
May/June 2010 issue of
getting to know the Greek Islands
Greece is the word
off the beaten track
America’s spectacular Pacific
Northwest region
escape to Amsterdam
Focus on “the Venice of the North”
– from clogs to canals
pack your clubs
Swing across the Channel to the
courses of Northern France
on your doorstep
The Scilly Isles – an island paradise
let’s try
Voluntourism
PLUS – all our other regular features,
special offers, competitions and giveaways
Out May 2010
WIN one of five
copies of the new
thriller, blueeyedboy,
by Joanne Harris
I
f you enjoyed reading
the Azores feature by
Joanne Harris and are a
fan of her bestselling
novels, which include
Gentlemen and Players
and The Lollipop Shoes
as well as Chocolat
(which was turned into a
movie starring Juliette
Binoche and Johnny
Depp), you will love her
brilliant latest novel.
A gripping
psychological thriller,
blueeyedboy is a dark
and cleverly-plotted tale
of synaesthesia; deceit;
revenge; a chillingly
dysfunctional family; a
blind child prodigy
who “sees” music and a murderer who is not what he
seems.
BB, or blueeyedboy, is a middle-aged man in a dead-end job,
who lives with his mother in Malbry, theYorkshire town first
encountered in Gentlemen & Players. To escape his humdrum life,
BB re-invents himself online and plays out his murderous fantasies
by means of a website called badguysrock. Through this virtual
community he manipulates online friends and enemies alike.
The scope for deception and fantasy offered by the internet fits
perfectly with Joanne Harris’s spellbinding narrative skills and with
blueeyedboy she reaches new heights.
Unsettling, anarchic, audacious, compelling, and with more than
a dash of black humour, this is Joanne Harris – with a twist.
Published on April 1 by Doubleday, blueeyedboy costs £18.99.
But you can win a copy free through TLM. We have five copies to
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How to Enter
For your chance to win one of five copies of blueeyedboy, simply
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To enter the competition, please go to www.tlm-magazine.co.uk
and click on the competition & giveaways button. See the website
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56 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
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I Santorini island, Greece
F
or as long as I can remember I have gazed
across the wide expanse of the Thames
Estuary at it; the low hills and green fields
beckoning, the lights of Whitstable twinkling
at twilight just beyond Sheppey’s eastern
edge, and on clear days the twin towers of
Reculver’s ancient church visible in the far distance.
I even cut my teeth on that view. As a lad we lived on
Southend seafront, and while looking out across the
Thames one day I slipped and chipped my front teeth on
the pebbledashed window ledge.
Essex born and bred I may be, but Kent, and particu-
larly its coast, has always filled me with fascination.
And, OK, envy. Whenever winter brings snow off the
North Sea, the clouds always seem to skirt my little cor-
ner of East Anglia and dump their load on Kent, piling it
high on fields and roads while all we get is sleety or
snowy drizzle – what we call snizzle. Conversely, in
summer, the sea breezes keep us cool while over in Kent
they bask in tropical heat.
My first visits were back in the days of the paddle
steamers from Southend Pier, which took day trippers to
Herne Bay, Ramsgate and Margate. On school trips I
sailed across to the Medway, marvelling at Rochester’s
castle.
The Medway towns still draw me back. Urban sprawl
may have grown around Chatham, Gillingham and
Rochester, but there are still hidden gems to discover.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 57
on your doorstep I maritime kent
Coastal
siren
The beguiling charm of Kent’s coast has long held Peter Ellegard under its spell, despite living all
his life across theThames in Essex. It’s an affair of the heart, he readily admits
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I Rochester’s
cathedral and castle
On a recent visit south of the Dartford Crossing (why
isn’t it the Thurrock Crossing?) I spent a delightful
evening exploring the pretty village of Upnor. It is only
just downstream from Chatham across the Medway as it
sweeps round in a huge arc, but it felt a world away as I
sat with my pint in a pub garden by the sea wall and
watched the warm sunset glow light up the moored
boats bobbing on the river.
Fortress
At the bottom of the cobbled High Street is Upnor
Castle, a well-preserved Elizabethan artillery fortress
which is open fromApril to October. Its guns failed to
stop the Dutch sailing up the Medway in 1667 and
attacking the British fleet at anchor off Chatham.
With its 113ft (34m) high keep, the tallest in
England, Rochester Castle is even more impressive. Its
gardens and moat area host events throughout the year,
including open-air concerts. Both castles are run by
English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk), as
is Temple Manor, a 13th century Knights Templar house
in nearby Strood. Rochester Cathedral is England’s sec-
ond-oldest, with 1,400 years of history.
No longer a working naval port, Chatham’s maritime
heritage is preserved in the Historic Dockyard
(www.thedockyard.co.uk), which marked its 25th
anniversary in 2009. Set in 80 acres of Georgian and
Victorian architecture, costumed guides help brings its
400 years of maritime history alive for visitors.
Attractions include the three-masted sloop, HMS
Gannet, built downriver at Sheerness in 1878, as well as
a submarine and the destroyer, HMS Cavalier, which is
berthed where Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, was
built. You can also see how rope was made, watch steam
engines and sail on venerable paddle steamer Kingswear
Castle (www.kingswearcastle.co.uk), which operates
Medway cruises and even occasionally visits Southend.
Shopaholics have bags of choice at the Dockside
Outlet Centre (www.docksideshopping.co.uk) at
Chatham Maritime, next to the dockyard, with more
than 40 brand-name shops offering discounts.
Charles Dickens spent part of his childhood in
Chatham and the last 13 years of his life living near
Rochester, and he is celebrated at Dickens World
(www.dickensworld.co.uk), also alongside the dock-
yard. This indoor complex is based around the life,
books and times of Dickens, taking visitors on a journey
back to the streets, sounds and smells of the 19th centu-
ry. More Dickens history can be seen at the free
Guildhall Museum in Rochester
(www.medway.gov.uk/tourism).
Oysters
Hop across to market town Faversham to tour Britain’s
oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, which has been brew-
ing since 1698 (www.shepherd-neame.co.uk). You
can go sailing for a day on the veteran, 1892-built
Thames Barge, Greta (www.greta1892.co.uk), from
Faversham.
Whitstable, on the North Kent coast, is famous for its
oysters (it has the country’s largest commercial hatch-
58 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
Coastal gateway
Canterbury has always been the principal gateway to the Kent coast and pilgrims
have flocked to its ornate cathedral ever since Archbishop Thomas Becket was
murdered there in 1170. Today it is tourists who come in pilgrimage, for its 12th
century spire and stained glass, and the tomb of the Black Prince. Canterbury
Cathedral (www.canterbury-cathedral.org) is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site,
along with St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church.
Step back to medieval Canterbury and join Geoffrey Chaucer’s pilgrims on their
journey from London at the Canterbury Tales attraction
(www.canterburytales.org.uk).
Take a guided walk or self-guided tour of the city’s maze of side streets, visiting the
oldest Franciscan building in Britain – Greyfriars – and ruined Norman castle
among other treasures, or take a boat tour on the River Stour.
Just outside the city is Howletts (www.totallywild.net), a 90-acre animal park
with gorillas, elephants, tigers, bison and rare monkeys.
on your doorstep I maritime kent
I View of
Canterbury
Cathedral
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March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 59
on your doorstep I maritime kent
ery) and you can sample them on the beachfront at the
Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company
(www.oysterfishery.co.uk). On balmy summer days,
nothing beats a picnic on the beach looking across to
Essex followed by a promenade stroll and a pint at the
Old Neptune pub (www.theoldneptune.co.uk) or a
local brew from a seafront kiosk. Buy fresh oysters and
fish at the harbourside fish market and browse the work
of local artists at the next-door harbour market.
You can also walk or cycle the Crab & Winkle Way;
it traces the route of the world’s first regular steam pas-
senger railway, which linked Whitstable Harbour with
Canterbury between 1830 and 1952 and was engineered
by George Stephenson and his son, Robert.
Beyond Herne Bay and Reculver lies Thanet, the
sticky-out corner of Kent that takes in the county’s three
top seaside resorts – Margate, Broadstairs and
Ramsgate. Between them, they offer 15 sandy beaches
and bays, 10 of the beaches holding the European Blue
Flag award, as well as the longest continuous stretch of
chalk cliffs and the only Royal Harbour (at Ramsgate) in
Britain. Explore quaint streets, hunt out boutique bar-
gains and laze over coffee at seafront cafes.
Roman invasion
Just south of Ramsgate is one of Britain’s most impor-
tant, yet unsung, historic sites. Almost 100 years after
Julius Caesar’s first expeditions to Britain in 55 and
54BC, the Romans invaded in AD43 on the orders of
emperor Claudius.
They landed at a site called Rutupiae (now
Richborough), on the Wantsum Channel which then cut
the Isle of Thanet from the rest of Kent and linked to the
I St Margaret’s Bay
I Oysters at
Whitstable harbour
I Whitstable beach
I HMS Gannet at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham
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Thames Estuary at Reculver. Forts were built at both.
Two miles from the sea today, Richborough was the
gateway to the new Roman province of Britannia and
was the starting point of Watling Street. It became a
busy town and port, built around a massive triumphal
arch clad in white marble which was erected in AD85.
But by AD275 the town had been cleared and the arch
pulled down to incorporate into the walls of the fort,
and by the early 5th century troops were no longer sta-
tioned there.
Today, the thick fort walls, foundations and ditches
are all that remains of this once-vital link in the Roman
Empire. It is managed by English Heritage.
Sandwich also owes its existence to the Wantsum
Channel, which created the natural harbour that helped
it become a major port, notably between the 11th and
13th centuries. It was one of the five Cinque Ports,
along with Dover, Romney, Hythe and Hastings. They
wielded power and wealth third only to the Crown and
the Church. Sandwich later became a weaving centre
and market town. Its rich heritage includes remnants of
the Old Town Wall, Fisher Gate and its Elizabethan-era
Guildhall. A stroll through its narrow, medieval streets
yields delights such as Holy Ghost Alley. You can also
take a cruise from the quay.
White cliffs
Nearby Royal St George’s Golf Course is one
of England’s premier courses and hosts The
Open for the 14th time in 2011. Also close by
is the Rare Species Conservation Centre
(www.rarespeciesconservationcentre.org),
home to a unique collection of rare and endan-
gered animals.
Deal and Walmer castles were built by
Henry VIII in the shape of a Tudor rose, as was
Sandown Castle north of Deal – now all but
gone. Visit Dover Castle and explore secret
wartime tunnels deep in the cliffs below. All
the castles are English Heritage. This part of
the Kent coast is White Cliffs Country
(www.whitecliffscountry.org.uk), and
Dover’s famous cliffs offer wonderful walks on
the National Trust-managed clifftop chalk
grasslands. St Margaret’s Bay, where Noel
Coward and Ian Fleming both lived, hides an
enchanting little treasure at the foot of the towering
cliffs. Watch the ferries bustling in and out of Dover as
you feast on exquisite local food at the Coastguard pub
restaurant (www.thecoastguard.co.uk). But leave
space for the cheese platter .
Beyond Dover lies Folkestone, Hythe and Lympne,
where the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park
(www.totallywild.net) has the largest herd of
captive-bred black rhinos outside Africa.
Then there is the flat expanse of Romney Marsh,
best enjoyed from the miniature carriages on the
Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
(www.rhdr.org.uk). It runs to Dungeness, where you
can climb the Grade II-listed Old Lighthouse
(www.dungenesslighthouse.com) for glorious views
of the Channel and countryside.
I’m not sure what it is about this coastal siren that
keeps drawing me back, but I know one thing; from
where I sit, the grass is definitely greener over in
Kent.
60 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
maritime kent facts
Getting there
Rail: Southeastern trains serve the Medway
towns, north and east Kent coasts from London.
High-speed trains also now link Medway with
London’s St Pancras International station.
www.southeasternrailway.co.uk
Road: The Kent coast has easy access via the M2/A2
and M20 motorways. National Express coaches run from
London Victoria to the region. www.nationalexpress.com
Getting around
A car is easiest way for getting around, but you can explore the
Medway area on Arriva’s Medway Mainline bus services with the Arriva
Inner Medway Ticket allowing you to hop on and off at various places.
Tickets can be bought from bus drivers or at the Medway Visitor
Information Centre in Rochester. www.medwaymainline.co.uk
Accommodation
Kent’s coast has accommodation to fit every
budget, from luxury hotels to seaside B&Bs and
self-catering. Get a real local flavour by staying in a
pub. Just outside Sandwich in the pretty village of
Worth is the St Crispin Inn, a traditional 15th
century pub offering four-star B&B accommodation in
six rooms and home-cooked food. www.stcrispininn.com
Events
There are many festivals and other events around Kent’s coastal region.
Rochester (www.medway.gov.uk) stages an annual Sweeps Festival
(May 1-3 this year), celebrating chimney sweeps’ traditional May Day
holiday, and an annual Dickens Festival (June 4-6). The Sandwich Festival
(www.sandwichfestival.org.uk) is a week of cultural, music, sporty
and fun events in August (2010 dates tba).
Information
Find out more information on Maritime Kent fromVisit Kent
(www.visitkent.co.uk).
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Peter Ellegard
I Richborough
Fort ruins
I Broadstairs
I Sandwich
I St Margaret’s
Bay
61TLmar-apr10 23/3/10 19:17 Page 1
things to do
The Merlin
Entertainments
London Eye
Riverside Building,
County Hall, SE1 7PB
One of London’s favourite
attractions, this iconic
landmark is a must-do for
unrivalled views of the
city. All tickets now
include the new 4D
Experience, a 3D film
featuring spectacular
in-theatre effects such as
wind, bubbles and mist,
and adding an amazing
fourth dimension.
Throughout March to cel-
ebrate the Eye’s 10th
birthday, all 10am flights
can be booked for £10 per
adult and £5 per child.
Open: October-March,
daily 10am-8pm;
April/September, daily
10am-9pm; May/June,
Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri
& Sat 10am-9.30pm;
July/August, daily 10am-
9.30pm.
Cost: £17.88 per adult,
children 4-15 years £9.50.
Family tickets £49.28.
Book online and save 10%.
Tel: 0871 781 3000
www.londoneye.com
SEA LIFE London
Aquarium
Riverside Building,
County Hall, SE1 7PB
The jewel in the crown of
the UK’s SEA LIFE cen-
tres, the London
Aquarium has been
redesigned with new dis-
plays including a stunning
glass Ocean Tunnel where
62 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
london life I the south bank
S
ome of London’s most iconic
buildings line the south side of
the River Thames. From the
London Eye to the OXO Tower
and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre,
and with a wealth of attractions,
shopping and restaurants, not to mention a
vibrant arts and cultural community, the
South Bank is an area of unique contrasts.
Originally isolated and defined by the
Thames, the South Bank developed very dif-
ferently from the affluent north side, moving
from a marshy expanse of slum housing to
warehouses, factories and entertainment ven-
ues in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the
railway dominating the area.
Second World War bombing raids devastat-
ed the area but, ultimately, were responsible
for its regeneration when the bombed-out
riverside was cleared and built on for the site
of the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Royal
Festival Hall remained as a permanent legacy
and after a recent major refurbishment now
makes up part of the 21 acres of the South
Bank Centre, along with the 1960s-built
Hayward Gallery, the largest public art exhibi-
tion space in the country, reopening after
essential repairs on June 19 with the Ernesto
Neto exhibition. Other essential art viewing is
at the imposing Tate Modern, formerly a
power station.
From shopping and meeting friends for
lunch, to a riverside walk taking in the views
of the city or indulging your artistic side at the
many arts and theatre venues, the South Bank
is an area destined to be explored.
The
beautiful South
London’s South Bank show is a real eyeful
I The London Eye
and County Hall lit
up at night
I The Tate Modern gallery
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visitors can admire grace-
ful green turtles. The tun-
nel leads to a dramatic
shipwreck, and the nail
biting Shark Walk offers a
fitting finale to your visit.
Don’t miss feeding the
stingrays.
Open: Open daily except
Christmas Day. Mon-
Thurs, 10am-6pm, Fri-
Sun 10am-7pm.
Cost: £17.50 per adult,
children 3-14 years
£12.50. Family tickets
£54.00.
Tel: 0871 663 1678
www.sealife.co.uk/london
BFI Imax
1 Charlie Chaplin Walk,
SE1 8XR
Immerse yourself in the
ultimate cinema 3D expe-
rience; with a screen over
65ft high, plush seats,
including double ones for
very close friends, 11,600
watts of digital surround-
sound and the most
sophisticated motion-pic-
ture projection system in
the world, you will literal-
ly feel like you are in the
picture.
Costs and film times vary,
check with BFI Imax for
full details.
Tel: 020 7199 6000
www.bfi.org.uk
restaurants/
dining
Think of any dining expe-
rience and you can find it
on the South Bank. Stop
for an alfresco lunch or
snacks at Gabriel’s Wharf,
be a theatre lovey taking
drinks or a pre-theatre
supper at one of the many
arts centres, or enjoy
great views from the
OXO Tower.
OXO Tower Wharf
Barge House Street,
SE1 9PH
A riverside landmark
since the 1930s, the OXO
Tower’s renowned restau-
rant bar and brasserie
makes an ideal meeting
spot for drinks or dinner
with friends with fabulous
views over the Thames.
Tel: 020 7803 3888
www.harveynichols.com/
output/Page128.asp
Pieminister
11 Gabriel’s Wharf,
56 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP
Open seven days a week,
Pieminister’s branch at
Gabriel’s Wharf serves
delicious, award-winning
handmade pies from just
£3.75, or £5.50 adding
mash and gravy. A British
tradition to be upheld!
Tel: 020 7928 5755
www.pieminister.co.uk
shopping
From the splendour of
Harvey Nichols to an
eclectic mix of boutiques
and arts-related shops,
shopping on the South
Bank is an unqualified
pleasure.
David Ashton
G2 OXO Tower Wharf,
Barge House Street,
SE1 9PH
High-quality, precision
handmade jewellery made
using primarily diamonds,
sapphires and rubies, with
pieces being made on
commission.
Tel: 020 7401 2405
www.davidashton.co.uk
Game of Graces
6 Gabriel’s Wharf,
SE1 9PH
Luxurious ladies wear for
any occasion designed by
Irena Lane and featuring
elegant 1950s style dress-
es and vintage skirts,
tops, jackets and
accessories.
Tel: 020 7928 4050
www.gameofgraces.com
getting there
Train: Waterloo,
Waterloo East
Tube: Waterloo
(Bakerloo, Jubilee and
Northern lines),
Southwark (Jubilee Line),
Westminster (Circle,
District and Jubilee lines)
staying there
Watch those pennies:
Premier Inn London
County Hall, County
Hall, Belvedere Road,
London SE1 7PB
Tel: 0870 238 3300
www.premiertravelinn.com
Splash out: London
Marriott Hotel County
Hall, County Hall,
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7PB
Tel: 0207 928 5200
www.marriott.co.uk
Brand new: Park Plaza
Westminster Bridge, 200
Westminster Bridge Road,
London SE1 7UT
Tel: 0844 415 6780
www.parkplaza.com/
hotels/gbwestmi
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 63
london life I the south bank
Did you know?
G The London Eye is the fourth-tallest structure in
London at over 440ft, the equivalent of 64 red
telephone boxes piled on top of each other. Its spindle
and hub weigh in at 330 tonnes – over 20 times
heavier than Big Ben.
G The letters that spell
out OXO on the OXO
Tower are in fact
stained glass windows,
and were designed to
circumvent strict
exterior advertising
laws.
G Most of the labour on
the current
construction of
Waterloo Bridge,
opened in 1945, was carried out by female
workers due to labour shortages.
G The original operating theatre of St Thomas’s Hospital
was built in the roof space of St Thomas’s Church,
purpose-built to maximise the light from above.
Suits you
G For families: combine a visit to the London
Aquarium with a Thames river cruise.
G For couples: take a romantic champagne night
flight on the London Eye.
G For value: view the best in British art for free at
the Tate Modern.
G For luxury: enjoy the fabulous five-course Chef ’s
Tasting Menu at the OXOTower Restaurant.
I The South Bank
I Gabriel’s Wharf
I The OXO Tower
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64 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
london I news
Naval gazing
Discover the colourful past of the Old Royal Naval
College and Maritime Greenwich in the new £6
million contemporary cultural venue, Discover
Greenwich. Opening March 23 and using state-of-
the-art interpretation techniques, the story of
Maritime Greenwich and 500 years of history
from Henry VIII’s Tudor Palace, Wren’s Royal
Hospital for Seamen and the Royal Naval College
is explored through displays
of historic objects on
show for the first time.
Highlights include the
reconstruction of a
Tudor window from
Henry VIII’s palace using
original stonework and
the installation of eight
giant copper brewing
vessels at The Old
Brewery, a new restaurant and bar containing a
micro-brewery. It continues the ancient tradition of
brewing on the exact spot of the 1832 brewhouse.
www.oldroyalnavalcollege.org
Theatre & show news
The annual Night of 1,000
Voices event celebrates its
10th birthday at the Royal
Albert Hall on Sunday, May 2
with tributes to musical
theatre and Stephen Sondheim.
Hosted by Aled Jones in aid of the
Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity, tickets
start at £17.50 from www.royalalberthall.com.
For an evening with a difference, visit the Wam
Bam Club at the Cafe de Paris on Piccadilly Circus
any Saturday in March and April for comedy, magic,
music and burlesque in a fresh, fun and wildly
unpredictable show. Tickets start at £35 online or
£50 on the door, with dinner packages also
available. www.wambamclub.com
A
s London gears up
for the 2012
Olympics, plans
have been outlined for the
London 2012 Olympic
Park which will transform
east London after the
Games. With work
already underway to cre-
ate the largest new urban
park in the UK for over
100 years by creating
around 250 acres of park-
lands, further plans
include “hanging gar-
dens” above the foot-
bridge from Stratford
City with meadows,
lawns and shrubs and
rows of trees at the
entrance to the park.
GFor more information
on how plans for London
2012 are progressing, go to
www.london2012.com.
I
t’s not every day that a visit to Oxford
Street could also mean encountering a
diplodocus or a stegosaurus in a Jurassic
forest but the new Dinosaurs Unleashed
animatronic attraction at Parklife Oxford
Street brings 24 life-size creatures to the
streets. This full-scale lifelike prehistoric
exhibition is ideal for all the family, partic-
ularly young budding palaeontologists,
with interactive games and displays and
creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic and
Cretaceous periods as well as the world’s
first prehistoric aquarium.
Running until April 30, Dinosaurs
Unleashed tickets can be pre-booked
online or over the phone, saving £1 per
ticket, although a booking fee is payable.
Pre-booked tickets also give priority
entrance. Prices start from £15 per adult
and £11 per child aged 4-14.
Dinosaurs Unleashed
Open: 10am-6pmTues-Sat, 11am-6pm
Sun, 10am-6pm March 29, April 5 and
April 12 (allow 30-90 minutes; this is a
walk-round experience and not a show).
Parklife Oxford Street
33b North Row, W1K 6DE
Tel: 0844 847 1770
www.dinosaursunleashed.co.uk
Olympic parklands
Dino might on view
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I The stego
saw us? Inset:
Dino fan
I Artist’s impression of Olympic Park
I Glass painting at Greenwich
I Royal
Albert Hall
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March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 65
The Household Cavalry Museum
Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX
www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk
2 for 1 entry
on a £6.00 adult ticket with this advert.
Offer ends 31/08/10
Experience the Household Cavalry
Story in London’s Royal Heartland
Open daily from 10am
65TLmar-apr10 26/3/10 19:44 Page 1
66TLapr-mar10 23/3/10 13:06 Page 1
I
t has burnt down twice, been
home to three dukes, an earl
and a Prince of Wales, and
has played host to virtually
every British monarch since
George I. It was where the
world’s rich and powerful came to
stay and party. And it was the set-
ting for one of the biggest scan-
dals to rock British politics.
As the home of American
Socialite Nancy Astor it was a
social hub, entertaining guests
including Charlie Chaplin,
President Roosevelt and George
Bernard Shaw. Winston Churchill
learnt to punt on the Thames,
which flows past the extensive
grounds, while staying there.
But today, anyone can stay at
the grand Italianate mansion, as
Cliveden is one of the jewels of
the von Essen Hotels collection.
House guests
Actually hotel is the wrong way
to describe it. When you reach the
side gate – the main gate is used
by National Trust visitors, as the
house and grounds are owned by
the National Trust with the house
leased to von Essen – a small
notice next to the automatic gate
welcoming “house guests” is the
only sign that you have arrived at
the right entrance.
And what an
arrival! The grav-
el drive sweeps
you past the
lavishly-
carved
Fountain of
Love and on
up the grand
avenue towards
the 1851-built,
Grade I house, where
your bags are promptly
whisked away by footmen (note,
not bellboys). Again, inside just a
small plaque discreetly welcomes
house guests
The interior is
yet more ornate.
You are led
through the
sumptuous
Great Hall,
complete with
dark oak pan-
elling, rich tap-
estries and its
richly-decorative
16th century stone
chimneypiece, up oak-pan-
elled stairs with newel posts
topped by carved figures.
A terrace looks out over the
parterre (formal garden) and
down to the Thames below, as
well as the beautiful Berkshire
countryside beyond. This stretch
of the river, between Windsor and
Henley, is said to be the prettiest.
In weather warmer than during
my stay, you can cruise from the
mock-Tudor boathouse on
Cliveden’s fleet of vintage launch-
es for a riverside picnic.
Close by is the Tudor-esque
Spring Cottage, which you can
rent complete with personal but-
ler. Showgirl Christine Keeler
was staying here in 1961 when
she met married Cabinet minister
John Profumo and they began a
sexual relationship.
Chandeliers
Dining is an epicurean experi-
ence. I ate in the Terrace Dining
Room, resembling a great library
with chandeliers. There is also the
flagship restaurant, Waldo’s, or
the less formal Club Room.
Outside, Cliveden’s walled
garden and heated outdoor pool,
adjacent to the chiming clock
tower, also featured heavily in the
Profumo scandal. A Pavilion Spa
has since been added, with an
indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas,
steam rooms and whirlpool spas.
There are also indoor and outdoor
tennis courts, and a gym. Or you
can simply work off your meal
with a stroll around the glorious
grounds, while red-tailed kites
hover in the wind above trees
swathed in mistletoe.
Peter Ellegard
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 67 March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 67
Checking out: Cliveden,Taplow
best for I hotels
factbox
Cliveden
Taplow, Berkshire SL6 0JF
Tel: 01628 668561
www.clivedenhouse.co.uk
www.vonessenhotels.com
Best for
G Romantic escapes
G Pure indulgence
G Feeling like royalty
G Fine dining
Could do better
G Fix those clanking pipes
Grand
designs
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Peter Ellegard
I The Terrace dining room
I Terrace statue
I The Great Hall
I View of Cliveden
on arrival
tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 68
for luxury day spa
and retreats
The Lorrens Ladies Health Hydro
Cary Park, Torquay 01803 329994
www.lorrens-health-hydro.co.uk
Situated in the centre of Banchory the hotel is ideally
located for touring the North East of Scotland and the City
of Aberdeen. The hotel is within easy walking distance of
Banchory Golf Club and numerous local attractions. Ample
parking to the rear.
*
18 en-suite bedrooms
*
2 lively Bars serving Bar Meals
*
2 Function Suites for Weddings, Dinners and Parties
*
Wining and Dining in the restaurant to suit all tastes.
25 High Street, Banchory, Aberdeenshire AB31 5TD
Tel: 01330 824944 theburnett@btconnect.com
www.burnettarms.co.uk
Best Western
I Inclusive half board short breaks
I Beautiful secluded setting
I Spectacular Solent views
I En Suite Chalet Accommodation
I Live entertainment & cabaret
I Leisure Facilities
I Exclusively for adults
I Ferry inclusive breaks available.
I Weekend breaks from just £139pppb, quote 22TG8
Norton Grange
Coastal Resort
Halletts Shute, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0SD
Tel. 01983 760323 Fax. 01983 760468
www.nortongrange.co.uk
68TLmar-apr10 25/3/10 19:07 Page 2
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 69
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70 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010
out & about I what’s on and where
I
f you have any budding Jack
Sparrows in the family, set sail for
LEGOLAND
®
Windsor to visit the
new Pirates Landing, the park’s third
new land in three years. As well as the
new Jolly Rocker swinging pirate ship, a
huge LEGO galleon that swings to near-
ly 60 feet (18 metres), wannabe pirates
can take to the high seas on the Pirate
Falls Dynamite Drench water ride and
experience explosive effects and water
cannons.
Children can learn swashbuckling and
seafaring skills at Pirates Training Camp
and watch the exciting new stunt show,
Pirates of Skeleton Bay.
As well as over 55 interactive rides,
live shows, workshops and driving
schools, LEGOLAND Windsor has 55
million LEGO bricks, all set in 150 acres
of parkland.
Go to www.legoland.co.uk for open-
ing times and prices.
G For the chance to WIN one of three
sets of four one-day tickets to the park,
valid from March 20-November 7, go to
www.tlm-magazine.co.uk and click on
competitions and giveaways. Terms and
conditions apply. Closing date April 30,
2010.
READER OFFER
Cut out the voucher below to get a FREE
child entry when accompanied by a full
paying adult:
Shiver your timbers – and win
FREE LEGOLAND
®
family tickets
Little chefs
Get your children into the kitchen with a series of
cooking classes for children at two of the UK’s most
historic coaching inns while they are off school. The
Olde Bell in Hurley, near Henley-on-Thames, has
been an inn since the 12th century and this Easter
will see the first two of eight cookery classes taking
place during the 2010 school holidays.
Bread will be the focus in the first class, on April 6,
followed by chocolate on April 13, with chocolate
fondant the featured recipe. Future classes will focus
on sugar, vegetables, fish, pasta, fruit and potatoes. The
Crown, a 16th century inn in Amersham, has a bread
cookery class on April 15. It is also offering egg
blowing for children at 11am on April 3, at £10 per
child.
The cookery classes are suitable for children of all
ages. They start at 11am and cost £10 per child. Only
15 places are available, so early booking is essential.
Call the Olde Bell on 01628 825881 or the Crown
on 01494 721541. Go to www.coachinginn.co.uk
for more information on the inns.
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I The bar at the Crown Inn
I The kitchen at the Olde Bell
S
pend a spooky night as museums, galleries
and heritage sites across the UK including
the South East open their doors for the annu-
al after-hours Museums at Night events. Over the
weekend of May 14-16 you can investigate a mur-
der, tour a cathedral and sleep in a bunker. Go to
www.culture24.org.uk/museumsatnight for
more information. Events include:
A Murder in the Mast
House Ghost Investigation
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
The Historic Dockyard in Chatham hosts an
overnight Ghost Investigation in the Mast
House and Mould loft, reputed to be haunted
since a murder there in 1875. This overnight
stay looks into the murder and offers the
chance to experience possible ghostly goings-
on. May 14-16, 9.30pm-3am, £30 per person
(not suitable for children). Tel: 01634 823814.
Cathedral Tour and
Guildhall Sleepover
Norwich
Cathedral/ Guildhall
Take a night time tour
of the cloister and
labyrinth of
Norwich’s 900-year
old cathedral or wit-
ness a mock trial of a
Protestant martyr
burned for heresy
during the 15th century, part of a spooky
sleepover in the medieval Guildhall.
Cathedral tour, May 14, 8-10pm £2.50 per
child, adults free (suitable for over 8s). Tel:
01603 218320 or 218327.
Guildhall Sleepover, May 15, 7pm-9am,
admission tbc. Tel: 01603 599577.
A Night in the Bunker
Churchill Museum
and Cabinet War
Rooms, Whitehall
Spend the night in
Churchill’s atmos-
pheric World War II
shelter beneath the
streets of Whitehall.
As in the Blitz, par-
ticipants must bring their own sleeping bag
and pillow. The evening includes dinner,
breakfast and a cash bar.
May 14, 6.30pm-7am, £45 per person (over
18s only). Tel: 020 7930 6961.
March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 71
out & about I what’s on and where
Punt and hunt
Fancy an Easter treasure hunt with a difference?
Then board a punt in Cambridge for an Adults
Easter Challenge or Children’s Easter Bunny
Hunt. The children’s event leads teams to their
own chocolate bunny or egg by answering
questions located in town and on the river. For
adults, the Easter Challenge follows a punting and
walking route with questions and team tasks.
Organised by Scudamore’s Punting Company
and Visit Cambridge, the treasure hunts take place
from Friday, April 2, to Sunday, April 18. The
Easter Bunny Hunt costs £35 per group per punt
for up to 75 minutes self-hire punting and an
edible prize, while the Easter Challenge is £50
per group per punt for up to 90 minutes plus a
prize. Go to www.scudamores.com for details
and conditions.
G Readers can get a £5 DISCOUNT on tickets
in advance by calling 01223 359750 and quoting
TLM.
Eggciting Easter events
Easter events abound in the South East,
including several in Essex country parks.
Take your pick from these:
G Go Easter Ori-egg-teering at
Hadleigh Castle Country Park, near
Southend, and navigate your way round
the park to find the eggs and chicks.
April 5, 11am-1.30pm, £4 per child, to
include a prize. Tel: 01702 551702;
www.hadleighcountrypark.co.uk
G Marsh Farm Country Park at South
Woodham Ferrers has an Easter fun
weekend with hunting from egg to egg,
a chance to meet the bunnies and make
an Easter bonnet to take place in the
parade.
April 2-5, 10am-5pm. Tel: 01245 321552;
www.marshfarmcountrypark.co.uk
G The 15th century, moated Oxburgh
Hall, near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, has an
Easter trail as well as egg and spoon
racing and traditional egg-rolling.
April 3-5, 11am-4pm, £1.50 per child for
the trail. Tel 01366 328258;
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburghhall
GBletchley Park in Milton Keynes, his-
toric site of secret British code breaking
activities during World War II, is holding
an Easter Eggstravaganza family event
including Easter egg competitions, games
and toy workshops
April 5, 10.30am-5pm. Tel: 01908 640404;
www.bletchleypark.org.uk
Night at the museum 2
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I Marsh Farm Country Park
I Norwich Cathedral
I Churchill's bedroom
I Oxburgh Hall
I Punting on
the River Cam
tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 72
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March/April 2010 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 73
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tlm I the travel & leisure magazine March/April 2010 74
travel and leisure directory
Channel Islands France
Motor Homes
Budget Accommodation
Devon
Channel Islands
Northern Cyprus
Sailing Holidays
To advertise in the travel
& leisure magazine please call
01737 735587
Perfect for exploring North Devon and Cornwall
Cottages sleeping 2 to 8, set in a 1.5 acre site, with good facilities
situated in picturesque parish of Welcombe. Only half a mile from
local beach and pub. Good network of footpaths, taking you through
Devon wildlife conservation areas with plentiful wildlife and ora to
observe, and coasting of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Please contact for special
discount quotingTLM
ALDERNEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS
L’HARAS GUEST HOUSE
Newtown Road, Alderney
Channel Islands GY9 3XP
All rooms have CH, H&C water,
tea/coffee-making facilities and colour TV;
most are en suite. Contact Mrs Jansen.
Tel/Fax: 01481 823174
lharas@internet.alderney.gg
www.internet.alderney.gg/lharas/
Motorhome hire in Scotland
Brown’s Motorhome Hire, Garrion Bridge
Larkhall ML9 2UD (nr Glasgow)
Tel/Fax: 01698 886255
2, 4, 5 and 6-berth motorhomes.
Ideal for touring within Scotland and further
afield. All vehicles are fully equipped (bedding
optional). Our package includes unlimited
mileage, full insurance, AA cover.
End-of-season motorhome sales
For brochure contact
WWW.A1SAILING.LTD.UK
Tel: +34 971 547 986
Email: enquiries@A1Sailing.ltd.uk
Warm breezes, crystal sea & sunshine
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