May/June 2010 £2.50

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine May/June 2010

the travel & leisure magazine

Exploring Greece’s islands
Voluntourism holidays

America’s Pacific Northwest


Passionate about the Scilly Isles

Cruising for singles PLUS London’s nature, golfing in Northern France and regular features

in our camera est, a a Leica to cont fab pho otel break £650 h ore… &m


I Santorini at sunset: see Greek Islands feature, page 6

the travel and leisure magazine
Monarch Holidays

Peter Ellegard

from the

4 6 15 21 in the frame picture gallery getting to know the Greek Islands escape to Amsterdam in your flightbag what to take on the flight
WIN – a vintage men’s black leather travel grooming set worth £65 WIN – one of three Milatex lightweight jackets worth £49.95 each WIN – one of four pairs of Bugsox Adventure socks, worth £14.99 each pair


22 in your suitcase what to pack for your holiday 25 let’s try voluntourism holidays 30 photography competition WIN – a £565 Leica camera and case in our fantastic summer-long photography competition 33 travel update travel news 36 all aboard cruising for single passengers + cruise news 42 off the beaten track America’s Pacific Northwest
WIN – three pairs of CityPass attraction ticket passes for Seattle worth $59 each

49 pack your clubs Northern France 55 competition WIN – a £650 hotel stay with Four Pillars Hotels
READER OFFER – enjoy a Four Pillars spring break from just £39 pppn

57 on your doorstep the Scilly Isles 62 london life nature in the capital + London news
WIN – a Daddy’s Girl father and daughter spa treatment for Father’s Day worth £90

66 coming next what’s in store in the next issue travel tech gizmos and gadgets to take away
WIN – a £300 sWaP watchphone

67 best for hotel review – Thoresby Hall in Robin Hood country 70 out & about what’s on outside London
EDITORIAL TEAM: Editor Peter Ellegard Editorial assistant Julie Thompson Writers Peter Ellegard, Julie Thompson, Dave Richardson, Sara Macefield,Victoria Trott, Debbie Ward and Jane Anderson Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Terry Stafford and Nick Page 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: 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: Carpe Diem, Pyrgos, Santorini – © Carpe Diem/Leonardo Mediabank

pring has not been kind to travellers, with the Icelandic volcano and British Airways strikes hitting the travel plans of many. However, every cloud has a silver lining.The weather at home finally cheered up after the long, cold winter – bringing some much-welcomed sunshine. While the ash cloud threat has not gone away, hopefully governments and airlines can minimise its impact, allowing those taking summer holidays to enjoy their hard-earned escape, worry-free. If you haven’t made plans yet, or are looking ahead to next year, the features in this issue should give you plenty of inspiration. Our main focus is on the Greek Islands, a bargain for holidaymakers this year as a result of the country’s economic woes. Amsterdam is under the spotlight for city breaks, while America’s spectacular Pacific Northwest is highlighted in our Off the Beaten Track slot. For those planning a staycation, we look at life in the slow lane with a focus on the Scilly Isles. If you fancy taking a holiday to help others, we lift the lid on voluntourism holidays. Cruises for single passengers, golf in northern France and London’s natural attractions round off the issue, together with our regular sections. As usual, we have a wealth of prizes to win – including a Leica camera in our exciting new photography competition.You have all summer to take and submit pictures. Happy snapping.

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


in the frame I picture gallery

I Morning in paradise: Wailea, on Maui, Hawaii
Molly Schoneveld

Get in the frame
Your photos can WIN you a Leica camera – and give you a showcase on tlm
hese evocative images were taken on the latest model unveiled by legendary camera maker Leica, a digital compact camera with a built-in GPS tagging and a powerful 12x zoom lens – the V-Lux 20. See pages 30-31 for details on how you can win your very own V-Lux 20 in our exclusive summer-long photography competition, in association with Leica. We will also be showcasing some of the best entries in forthcoming issues as well as on the tlm website, in a special gallery section of our Readers Area. If you do not want to enter the competition but would still like to submit photographs for consideration for the gallery, visit, and click on the In the Frame button in the Readers Area.



I Harbour in County Waterford, Ireland

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I Fishing boat in County Waterford

I Epitome of happiness: hammock at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

May/June 2010

Molly Schoneveld

getting to know I the greek islands


films are one of the reasons us Brits have fallen in love with the Greek islands. Shirley Valentine (made in 1989) is probably the bestknown, the tale of a bored housewife (Pauline Collins) who falls in love with taverna owner Costas (the roguish Tom Conti) on a holiday fling in Mykonos. More recently, we’ve had the film version of Mamma Mia! which was shot in Skopelos and Skiathos. There have been notable TV series too including The Lotus Eaters and Who Pays the Ferryman?, both set in Crete. Whether it’s Kefalonia or Mykonos, Skopelos or Santorini, the appeal of the Greek islands is essentially the same. You’ll have a laid-back holiday in the sun far from the cares of the world, dragging yourself just a few yards away from the beach to enjoy freshly caught fish washed down with local wine at a taverna, while the son

Many of the Greek islands have become household names, thanks to films,TV series and their popularity as holiday destinations. But choose the wrong island or resort, and you could end up with more – or less – than you bargained for. Dave Richardson goes island hopping to sort out the Cyclades from the Dodecanese...
t was one of the most perfect days I can remember. We were staying in the little resort of Fiskardo on the northern tip of Kefalonia, largest of the Ionian Islands but little visited. We drove down to Assos for lunch – a sleepy little village overlooked by a Venetian fortress dating from 1590. We thought of climbing it but didn’t bother. Lunch was slow in arriving, but by now we had realised no-one is in a hurry in Kefalonia. We drove back in late afternoon and down a steep track to the beach at Myrtos, possibly the most beautiful in Greece and probably the most photographed. We were back in Fiskardo in time for sunset, which we watched over dinner on the terrace of an arty hotel. By my standards we had seen virtually nothing, but relaxed a great deal. We wanted to see Myrtos beach because it’s in the film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and
I Santorini

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Photo: MSC Cruises

May/June 2010

getting to know I the greek islands

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


getting to know I the greek islands

I Lemons at Lindos, on Rhodes

did you know?
G Lemnos, also known as Lesbos, was birthplace of
the female poet Sappho. It attracts many Lesbian visitors, much to the chagrin of the Orthodox I Corfu town community. Kos is claimed to be the birthplace of Hippocrates, father of medicine, who lived around 400 BC.You can still see the plane tree where he is said to have lectured. Greece has more than 6,000 islands and islets in all, the largest being Crete, at 3,219 square miles. Less than 230 of them are inhabited. Corfu has had a chequered history. Ruled by Rome for over 550 years and part of Byzantium for over 750 years, it was then ruled by the Venetians for 400 years until Napoleon claimed it for France – prior to Russian and then English occupation, in 1815. It became part of the new Greek state in 1864. Money is said to have been invented in the Greek islands, with the first coins minted on Aegina as early as 700 BC.




of Costas (and Shirley?) serenades you with a bouzouki. Let’s hope he leaves the signature tune from Zorba the Greek until the end, when you’ll be too drunk to dance. That appeal is as strong today as ever, but the smile on the waiter’s face might just be more of a grimace. The average Greek has lost 30% of his or her income since the country was engulfed by financial crisis, and the tourism industry was already suffering as holidaymakers decamped to Turkey or Egypt to avoid high prices in the eurozone. But tour operators report that prices are down this year as Greece tries to be more competitive, and you can also expect meals, drinks and other holiday expenses to be a little less. The Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer for 2009 found that a “basket” of typical holiday purchases cost £63.42 in Greece compared to £75.21 in Turkey, and Greece might come out even better this year. Hotels and other businesses are functioning normally, but there is a risk of sudden strikes affecting transport. Visitors should otherwise be unaffected by the crisis, and if you’re sympathetic you might leave a larger tip. You can now fly direct to a dozen Greek islands, but only a few of these are served by low-cost airlines. Tour operators control most flights so it could be more costeffective to buy a package holiday rather than organise it yourself, especially in high season. The Greek islands have mainly changed for the better, but in some cases for the worse. Many islands now have a good choice of boutique and luxury hotels, as an alternative to tourist-class hotels and cheap apartments. You can still find clean but simple accommodation in tavernas and village houses, but be prepared to sleep on the beach if you don’t pre-book. Roads and airports are generally better too, but some islands have spoiled the image of Greece by encouraging binge drinking by young British clubbers – sometimes with tragic consequences. Faliraki in Rhodes might have cleaned up its act, but Malia in Crete and Laganas in Zante – plus some resorts in Corfu and Kos – are still infamous. You really would not want to go there in high season if you’re over 25 (maybe 21!), or you could end up in jail like the stag party dressed up as nuns in Malia last year. Fortunately, there are enough islands (and enough resorts even on the most popular islands) to please everyone without getting in each other’s way. For me, though, it will always be Myrtos rather than Mykonos.

the main island groups
ionian islands
This group lies to the west of the Greek mainland, and the flying time is around three hours compared with about four hours to islands in the east. These islands are generally green and easy on the eye, with great beaches. The most popular is Corfu, especially for families as it has plenty of good-value accommodation. Sidari, Dassia, Roda and Benitses are the main family resorts, while Glyfada and Gouvia

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Melenos Lindos

May/June 2010

Discover your love for the Greek Islands

Alonissos - Andros - Corfu - Crete - Cyprus - Kea - Kefalonia - Lefkas - Lesvos Milos - Mykonos - Naxos - Paros - Paxos - Santorini - Skiathos - Skopelos - Zante

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A fresh approach to the Greek Islands

getting to know I the greek islands

I Kefalonia

island hopping
Before direct flights started to more of the islands and Corfu, Crete and Rhodes were the main gateways, people used to flock to Athens and then go to the port of Piraeus for an island-hopping adventure. Piraeus remains a major port for eastern Greece, but nowadays it is often more convenient to fly to an island such as Mykonos or Santorini and carry on from there. Greece has an ancient seafaring tradition, and you have a choice of fast ferries or traditional ships on many routes. Greek Travel Pages ( is an excellent source of information. From Mykonos the islands of Tinos, Andros, Naxos and Paros are easily reached by ferry. From Skiathos you can get to Skopelos, Alonissos and also the mainland, and from Santorini you can reach Ios. Plan any trip carefully as an overnight stay may be needed on the island of arrival. You can also take a day trip to discover a lesser known island, but you can’t really soak up the atmosphere until the day trippers have left. Discover Symi from Rhodes, Ithaca from Kefalonia or Meganissi from Lefkas. I Background image: Sani Resort Beach. (Planet Holidays)

islands with history
The most renowned archaeological sites might be on the Greek mainland, but there can be a cultural aspect to your holiday on some of the islands. Crete is the top choice, as the palaces of the Minoan civilisation were built 3,500 years ago and form part of one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.The Minoans created one of the first great civilisations in the world, lasting from 26001150 BC, with the palace at Knossos near Heraklion being exceptional. The Minoan civilisation was probably destroyed by the same volcanic eruption that wiped out a civilisation in Santorini, which flourished around the same time. Santorini’s main archaeological site is at Akrotiri, and the island’s fate has linked it to the legend of Atlantis.

Monarch Holidays

I Lindos Acropolis, Rhodes

appeal mainly to couples. Kavos is a major clubbing resort, but hasn’t achieved the same notoriety as resorts in Crete or Zante. Corfu Town has some Italianate architecture including Mon Repos, now a museum and birthplace of Britain’s Prince Philip. Zante, also known as Zakynthos, has become a lot more popular mainly because the resort of Laganas is a top spot for clubbing. Kalamaki, Argassi and Tsilivi are better choices for families. The island is well worth exploring with turtles nesting on its many small coves. Kefalonia is one of the least-developed islands with no high-rise buildings allowed. Lassi and Skala have the best beaches and appeal mainly to couples. The less visited north has only small, traditional resorts, such as Fiskardo. Lefkas (also known as Lefkada) is linked by bridge to the mainland, making it a good base for exploring the mountainous north-west of Greece. Nidri is the main
Monarch Holidays

resort, but the island is better known for sailing than beach holidays. The tiny private island of Skorpios, just off Lefkas, was where tycoon Aristotle Onassis married the former Jacqueline Kennedy in 1968.

aegean islands
Various sub-groups make up the Aegean Islands, which tend to be dry and barren with much of their character defined by traditional whitewashed houses contrasting with the blue of sky and sea. The Cyclades are especially barren, but no less beautiful because of it. Mykonos has been popular with the wealthy and trendy since the 1960s, and was the first “out” – gay – island in Greece. It appeals mainly to well-off younger visitors but also to people interested in art. Nightlife is renowned but not vulgar, and it has some excellent sandy beaches. Another island appealing unashamedly to the young, beautiful and rich (but not exclusively) is

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Rhodes Tourism

getting to know I the greek islands

I Fiskardo, Kefalonia

I Romantic dinner on Mykonos

I The old town centre, Rhodes

Santorini. This was the site of a massive volcanic eruption around 1500 BC with the sea filling the crater and leaving a barren island where vines grow in the ash. Beaches are mainly of pebbles or dark volcanic shingle with Kamari and Perissa being the main resorts. Visitors head for the fashionable resort of Oia to enjoy the sunset. Also in the Cyclades are many small islands reachable only by sea, and generally undeveloped. Naxos is the largest island in this group, with over 60 miles of beaches. Paros also has great beaches and appeals to windsurfers. The Sporades islands in the northern Aegean include Skiathos, a surprisingly green and fertile island with lots of sandy beaches. Limited flight capacity has saved it from over-development, and the same applies to nearby Skopelos which is reached by sea. Mountainous Samos is increasingly popular but still has a genuine island feel, as does Lemnos.

dodecanese islands
This group is in the south of the Aegean, and has a distinct character with the main islands being more cosmopolitan than the Cyclades. You can make day trips to nearby Turkey from some islands despite the often strained relationship between the two countries. Rhodes is a fairly small island but long established for upmarket tourism, a reputation it is keen to boost with four new luxury hotels opening this year. It has recovered well from the shock headlines of a few years ago coming out of the clubbing resort of Faliraki, which led some hotels to claim they were not in Faliraki but in Kalithea just up the coast. Faliraki and Kalithea have the best beaches but you can also stretch out at Ixia, Lindos and Pefkos; Lindos being very picturesque because of its hilltop fortress. Rhodes Town has a medieval feel with sturdy walls and the 14th century fortress built by the Knights of St John. Kos is a fertile island where all-inclusive hotels are

Planet Holidays

“There are enough islands (and enough resorts even on the most popular islands) to please everyone”

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine

Rhodes Tourism

Ionian Island Holidays

getting to know I the greek islands

I Windsurfing off Rhodes

greek island facts
when to go
Monarch Holidays

getting there
Direct low-cost or charter flights operate to Crete (Heraklion and Chania), Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Skiathos, I Kefalonia sunset Samos, Lemnos, Corfu, Zante, Kefalonia and Preveza (for Lefkas). Main low-cost airlines are easyJet ( and Monarch ( These and other Islands can also be reached yearround on scheduled flights via Athens, by Olympic ( or Aegean Airlines ( Several cruise lines have itineraries taking in the Greek islands, including MSC Cruises.

being developed. Kardamena is the busiest resort and popular with clubbers, while Kos Town also has beaches and nightlife. Kefalos and Tingaki are more peaceful resorts appealing to couples.

Crete is sometimes described as a country in its own right because of its size and diversity. The largest and farthest south of the Greek islands, it is more diverse than any other island, being popular with walkers and history lovers as well as the “fly and flop” brigade. The north coast has been developed for mass tourism with some of the largest hotels in Greece, some offering all-inclusive holidays. If you don’t venture beyond your hotel then you really are missing something, as Crete offers intriguing landscapes and plenty of sightseeing with a mountainous interior and many traditional villages. Samaria Gorge is claimed to be the deepest in Europe with walls over 1,000 feet high. The big resorts are along the north coast and include Malia (now Greece’s biggest clubbing destination), Rethymnon, Hersonissos and Aghios Nikolaos. The capital, Heraklion, is an attractive small port city. Western Crete (including the former capital and large harbour of Chania) has a distinct atmosphere and strong Venetian influence, with Aghia Marina and Platanias being the main resorts nearby. The southwest coast is very remote with some villages reachable only by boat.
Dave Richardson has travelled extensively throughout Greece and its islands during a travel writing career spanning more than 30 years. He never did like Zorba the Greek, although he has been known to dance to it.
Planet Holidays

tour operators
A number of specialist tour operators I Elounda Gulf Villas, Crete feature holidays in the Greek Islands. Ionian Island Holidays specialises in Kefalonia, with seven nights at the Karteri Apartments costing from £620 (020 8459 0777, Planet Holidays’ offerings include the Thalassa Sea Side Resort & Suites in Kamari, Santorini, from £666 (0871 871 2234, A seven-night holiday at the Amathus Beach Hotel in Rhodes costs £649 with Olympic Holidays (0800 093 3322, Hydra is offered by Sunvil (020 8758 4758, with seven nights from £808. Major operators include direct-sell Monarch Holidays ( and Cosmos (, which sells through travel agents.

tourist information
Greek National Tourism Organisation: tel 020 7495 9300,

I Poros at dusk

islands near athens
If you are visiting Athens and fancy a brief taste of island life, the islands of the Saronic Gulf are within easy reach for a day trip or longer. The most charming is Hydra, which has retained its character despite being only 90 minutes by hydrofoil from the Athens port of Piraeus. Motor traffic is not allowed in Hydra, with people moving around mainly by boat but also by donkey. Artists, writers and walkers love the island, which has a few small beaches reached by water taxi. Aegina is famous for its pottery and pine forests, and Poros for its beaches and monastery. Spetses is also traffic-free with horse-drawn carriages operating around the town.

Monarch Holiday

Planet Holidays Monarch Holidays

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Monarch Holidays

Direct flights operate only between May and October, and most resort hotels are closed for the rest of the year.

May/June 2010

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escape to I amsterdam

Dutch treat
With its quaint canals, flower market, museums, festivals, street cafes and nightlife, Amsterdam is a city worth lingering over – and one which is aiming to weed out its notorious cannabis coffeeshops and put its red light district in the shade, as Victoria Trott reports

I Canal tour
All pictures: Amsterdam Tourism & Congress Bureau

f you only have a short time in Amsterdam,” said our guide, “this is the place to come to experience its essence.” I was standing on the stone bridge over the Singel canal that links tacky-touristy Nieuwendijk in the Old Centre with westbound Haarlemmerstraat, a long street of three-storey gabled brownstones known for its eclectic range of shops and bars. In front of me was a tulip stall, behind me was a herring stall, to my left was a cheese stall and I could see a coffeeshop with a mural of cannabis leaves in the window and a bar advertising Heineken beer. On cue, two cyclists hurtled past and almost knocked me over, ringing their bells manically. Welcome to Mokum. Mokum is a nickname for the Dutch capital and derives from the Yiddish word meaning “safe haven”. Jews from across Europe began moving to Amsterdam from the 15th century, as the city was known for its religious tolerance. It’s mainly thanks to the Jewish immigrants, many of whom were successful merchants and traders, that

Amsterdam became one of the world’s most important ports, as well as a centre for diamonds and finance, in the 17th century; in fact, the world’s first stock exchange was founded here in 1602. Mee in Mokum ( is the name of a group of English-speaking residents who lead guided two-hour tours around Amsterdam for a very reasonable 5 euros. Along with some other English tourists, I’d met our guide Jan, a retired librarian, in the cafe at the Amsterdams Historisch Museum (, which takes visitors through 800 years of the city’s fascinating history and where you’ll learn how the city got its name.

The Historisch Museum is one of more than 50 museums in Amsterdam, ranging from big guns such as the Van Gogh Museum ( and the recently-opened Hermitage (,

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


escape to I amsterdam

I The History Museum

I Oude Kerk

10 things to do in amsterdam
G Enjoy a free tour of Gassan Diamonds’ factory ( G Explore the atmospheric Jordaan district ( G Take the family to Artis Zoo ( G Admire the view from the 23rd-floor bar of Hotel Okura ( G Tiptoe through the tulip fields in Keukenhof from mid-March to midMay ( G Watch a film at the Art Deco Pathé Tuschinski cinema ( G Explore the city or surrounding countryside on a bike tour ( G Scoff and sightsee at the same time on the Pancake Boat. G Catch a gig, exhibition or DJ set at Melkweg ( G Savour a lakeside picnic in Vondelpark.

I A flower market

which portrays Russian history and culture, to smaller, specialist museums such as the Museum of Bags and Purses ( and the Amstelkring, a Catholic church hidden in the attic of a 17th-century home on canal street Oudezijds Voorburgwarl. The city’s oldest church, and indeed oldest building, is 14th-century Oude Kerk ( in the heart of the Red Light District. As well as a few bars and an infants’ school, the church square is dotted with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing immigrant prostitutes in their underwear. But not for much longer. Jan explained: “The council launched a project a couple of years ago to clean up this area by buying properties that are rented to prostitutes, as many of these ‘businesses’ are fronts for money laundering. The premises are being rented to bars, restaurants and boutiques. The aim is to reduce the Red Light District to a couple of streets, although some people argue that this will destroy Amsterdam’s character.” Where there’s sex for sale there’s usually drugs and you won’t go far in Amsterdam without seeing (and smelling) a coffeeshop, which isn’t the place to go for a drink. The

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escape to I amsterdam

I Queen’s Day

coffeeshops have been selling cannabis since the 1970s but they, too, haven’t escaped the council’s clean-up project and plans are afoot to get rid of about 25. One of the most popular with visiting Brits and celebrities, and known for its potent offerings and funky interior, is Cannabis Cup winner Greenhouse (

canal belt
The most attractive part of Amsterdam is, without doubt, the canal belt. The canals, lined with beautiful mansions, were built in the 17th-century – the Golden Age – to provide housing for the wealthy merchants. To see what one of these houses was like in its heyday, head to the Museum Van Loon (, which was home to the founder of the Dutch East India Company. The western canal belt is a great place for shopping as it’s here that you’ll find the Nine Streets, a fashionable area crammed with designer boutiques, delis and cafe-bars. De Kaaskamer (address: Runstraat 7) has more than 200 types of cheese while Frozen Fountain (Prinsengracht 645) is the

I Museum Van Loon

the main events
Amsterdam has a varied year-long events calendar.The main date is Queen’s Day on April 30, when thousands of people dressed in orange descend upon the capital to celebrate the Queen’s birthday while watching a rock concert in Museumplein, enjoying traditional music and dancing in the Jordaan district or wandering around the open-air market. Holland Festival is a multi-arts festival that takes place across the city throughout June and Grachtenfestival in the canal belt caters for lovers of classical music in August.

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


escape to I amsterdam

I Cyclists in Amsterdam

amsterdam facts
when to go
Amsterdam is a great place to visit at any time of year but winters tend to be cold and wet. Come in spring to see the tulips or autumn to avoid the crowds. Be sure to book well in advance if you visit in high summer. I Architecture

getting there
Several airlines fly from London to Amsterdam so check out for the best deals. By train from London takes 4 hours 16 minutes; a standard return fare starts at £116 from the car by ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland; single fares start at £49 from

place to go for contemporary Dutch home deco. Lunchtime beckoned and we stopped at De Prins (Prinsengracht 124), one of Amsterdam’s “brown cafes”, so-called because of the years of accumulated smoke stains on the walls – although these day public places are no-smoking zones. Jan informed me that this was one of the best cafes to sample good-value Dutch cooking and we ordered some traditional meat and potato croquettes followed by a great big slab of apple tart. Put off by the queue outside Anne Frank House – the preserved home of the young Jewish wartime diarist who wrote about her family’s persecution by the Nazis; best to get there early – we headed to the Tulip Museum ( a few doors along from De Prins. The first tulips in Holland were grown in the Hortus Botanicus (, the world’s oldest botanical gardens, in the Plantage district. The flowers bloom in April and May and if you’re in town at that time the Bloemenmarkt (between Muntplein and Koningsplein), the world’s only floating flower market, is the place to go to see colourful displays. If not, buy some bulbs to take home.
For a luxury break try The Dylan ( or rent a houseboat ( for independence. Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg ( is great modern hostel for families on a budget. has good deals on upmarket accommodation in its ‘top secret’ hotels section.

tour operators
Thomson (, Co-operative Travel ( and My Amsterdam ( offer short breaks by air.You can book train travel plus accommodation with Eurostar ( Superbreak ( offers city breaks in Amsterdam with extras including an attraction pass, but transport is not included.

getting around
I Street cafe The best way to see Amsterdam is on foot. A good way to admire the architecture is from a canal boat; I like Holland International ( Make like the locals and hire a bike – but keep your wits about you.Trams, buses and the metro will take you across town – a two-day travel card costs €11.50. Amsterdam’s taxis are unregulated so make sure you agree a fare with the driver before getting in. Aim to use TCA, the city’s biggest taxi firm.

Amsterdam is culturally rich and there’s no shortage of nightlife to cater for all tastes, whether you’re looking for a hip gay bar, karaoke, English-language comedy, live music or a cosy corner to sip a jenever (Dutch gin), such as legendary Wynand Fockink (, a 17th-century tasting room with an interior graced by the likes of Churchill and Chagall. But I was exhausted and caught the free shuttle bus from Centraal Station back to Hotel Mövenpick (, next to the ferry terminal in the regenerated eastern waterfront. Gazing out of my window on the 18th floor, watching the free ferries cross the River IJ to the residential islands, envying the music fans getting ready for a classical/jazz/world music concert at the futuristic

tourist information
Amsterdam Tourism Board: Netherlands Board of Tourism:

“There is so much more to this vibrant city than its sleazy reputation”

Muziekgebouw and marvelling at the child-friendly NEMO science museum which resembles a big, green sinking boat, I was reminded that there is so much more to this vibrant city than its sleazy reputation; it deserves more than a fleeting visit.
Freelance travel writer Victoria Trott still likes Amsterdam even though on her first visit as a student, the bus broke down four times and it took 24 hours to get there.

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in your I flightbag

Vintage Dads
s Father’s Day approaches, a new online vintage store has some high-quality designer goodies, ideally suited for travel and excellent presents for the special man in your life. Lalita’s first-rate accessories are amazing value and by buying second hand, you are not only reducing your carbon footprint, but also you will have something that is built to last. Featured highlights include a vintage Italian leather wallet for only £20, and a vintage leather-cased gentleman’s travel set for only £35. Ladies’ accessories include a range of retro purses and handbags. G You can WIN a gorgeous vintage black leather travel set comprising a brush, comb, mirror, toothbrush, razor and two toiletries cases, a vintage black grained leather wallet and a vintage silk tie in black, grey and silver design, worth £65. Go to


and click on the competitions and giveaways button. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 30, 2010. For more information on the great range of gifts available from Lalita, go to

In the bag
Want the man in your life to carry the duty free at the airport or the souvenirs in resort? As Father’s Day rolls around, why not treat him to a Man Bag from a new range launched by online store,Twisted Twee.These tough canvas shopping bags, with slogans such as “Whatever I Get, It Will Be Wrong” are designed to cheer up even the most disgruntled male shopper. Costing £10 each, go to for more details and information.

Pick-me-up sticks
Flying can be an exhausting experience. Flight Stick from DuWop is a skinenhancing, hydrating stick designed as an instant pick-me-up. It contains antioxidants for protection and hydration, as well as caffeine to wake up the skin. Flight

Stick also has a slight tint for evening out your complexion; it can be used anywhere on the face, under eyes, or on the neck and is conveniently packaged in a roll-up cylinder – ideal for applying on landing! Costing £23, Flight Stick is available online from or

Lip smacking
A new range of vitamin-E enhanced lip gloss from Miners is the perfect in-flight treat for your lips – six ice-cream shades, including Barely Mint and Candy Love, will keep you refreshed and hydrated throughout your flight.The sheer shades have a sweet-smelling fragrance and have an innovative slanted wand for easy, frequent application.The Sweet Lips range is available for £2.99 from Miners – go to for stockist details.

Bright eyes
ired eyes and dehydrated skin are a hazard of flying, but some new products from Herbalife that you can pop into your bag can help. The Radiant C Face Quencher (£6.60) is infused with antioxidant


vitamin C and provides a refreshing boost to your skin by spritzing on to your face as often as you like. To help those puffy, tired eyes, choose from NouriFusion’s Multivitamin Eye Gel (£23.20), a lightweight moisturising gel enriched with vitamins

A, C and E, or the NouriFusion Eye Cream (£22.60) with aloe and almond oil. Simply pat under and around your eyes when required. For stockist details, call 0845 056 0606 and for further information on NouriFusion products, visit their website,

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


in your I suitcase

Take cover
Too many shoes...
The age-old predicament of taking too many shoes on holiday is no longer a problem with a new interchangeable, slim flip flop from the creators of SwitchFlops. Designed by Lindsay Phillips, the concept of using Velcro to create one shoe with many straps is a brilliant, space-saving idea and the new Jordi range with a signature rhinestone strap, lets you choose from over 36 designs in six colours to create many different looks with snap-on, snap-off ease.The snaps can also be worn with the Liz Ballet Flat and the Evie Espadrille in the range, so not enough shoes need never be a dilemma again.The basic Lulu flat shoe is available from £19.99 with straps starting from £4.99 from Fenwick Brent Cross and Fenwick Tunbridge Wells, or online from

amily-run company Tog 24 has been making outdoor wear for over half a century, producing ski and outdoor wear for all sorts of climates and conditions. With more than 50 stores across the UK and Ireland, as well as a comprehensive online store, Tog 24 has a vast range of outdoor clothing and equipment including summer waterproof jackets, fleeces, technical tops and t-shirts, and walking trousers. Its Milatex lightweight jackets are versatile and packable waterproof jackets ideal for unpredictable climates or British


summers, with the Fact (for men) and Diana (for women) both available in a range of colours. Costing from £49.95, the jackets are available from Tog 24’s website or stores and from other stockists. Go to for more information. G You can WIN one of three Milatex jackets from Tog 24, worth a total of almost £150. For your chance to win a Fact or Diana jacket, go to and click on the competitions and giveaways button. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 30, 2010.

Straight ahead
When you are short of space, these mini titanium stylers from Diva Professional ( are perfect to pop in your suitcase.With a maximum heat of 210ºC, and with ultra-hard and mirror-smooth titanium plates usually only found on larger stylers, the Diva Rebel Minis are an essential. Costing £29.99, they are multi-voltage for worldwide use with a UK/Europe adaptor plug and are available in pink croc or purple snake finish from leading hair salons and Sally Salon Services stores nationwide. Call 0870 0500 868 for details of your nearest store.

Sock it to those mozzies
ne of the drawbacks of those hot, sultry nights abroad is the dreaded mosquito. A revolutionary new product from Care Plus ( can now put paid to those itchy ankles. Bugsox are impregnated with HealthGuard Vital Protection, a unique insect-resistant product which has shown in tests that it is 90% effective against blood-sucking insects. Since certain types of malaria mosquito are attracted to the feet


and lower leg, these Bugsox are a travel essential. They are available in two types, City and Adventure, with the

Adventure designed for walking and outdoor pursuits. Available in navy and khaki, they contain natural bamboo cotton and include Coolmax, which transports moisture away from the skin to keep the foot dry and comfortable. G WIN one of four pairs of Bugsox Adventure socks, worth £14.99 each pair. Just go to and click on the competitions and giveaways button. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 30, 2010.

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let’s try I voluntourism

All in a good cause
Taking a holiday to help others or the environment is becoming increasingly popular. Seasoned volunteer Debbie Ward looks at the phenomenon of voluntourism and offers an insight into options available for those who want to give up their vacation time for a good cause


n a park in Moldova a group of teenage boys once asked me for my autograph. They hadn’t mistaken me for a film star, I was simply the first Westerner they’d ever met. Working with textbooks still full of Communist propaganda, I taught English in the country for two months shortly after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. I shared trolley buses with boxes of live chicks, I even learned how to make moonshine vodka, but it was the warmth of the welcome I received that made a lasting impact. Twenty years on, Natasha, the then schoolgirl whose family hosted me, works for the British Embassy and is among my best friends. She stayed with me in London just three months ago. Such cultural experiences were once the preserve of recent graduates on gap years or career-breakers making a long term commitment with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). These opportunities have crept squarely into mainstream, however, with many companies now catering for our increased appetite for so-called “voluntourism” – undertaking community or conservation work while on a short or extended vacation.

“I think the tsunami was a factor, combined with a growing awareness of global issues and wanting to learn about and actively engage with other cultures,” says Hands Up Holidays founder Christopher Hill. “Volunteering as part of a vacation can help provide a connection with community, and meaning and purpose.” Hands Up offers a wide range of voluntary work
Hands Up Holidays

I Volunteering with kids

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


let’s try I voluntourism

combined with sightseeing and relaxation. Its most popular destinations include India – known for both fabulous sites and extreme poverty – and Kenya, where a safari can be combined with helping Masai community projects including one supporting girls fleeing from female circumcision. Another voluntourism specialist, Gap Year for Grown Ups, was, as the name suggests, set up in response to the expanding demographic seeking such experiences. Its customers range from late twenties to early seventies with 35 to 45 the most common age bracket. A massive 80% are women. “I think women are braver, I really do!” says e-commerce and marketing manager Natasha Owen. Career breakers, those on work-approved sabbaticals and the retired, typically take part in longer placements but 40% of the company’s volunteers spend just two to four weeks overseas. On its top-selling Thailand Explorer tour, those with as little as a month to spare can mix cultural and beach attractions with teaching, farming or working with elephant mahouts.

shorter options
I Tribal launch ceremony, Fiji

new tribe wanted
Voluntourism project Tribewanted, which was the subject of a BBC documentary series, is set to gain a sister project. The original Tribewanted was launched in 2006 as an online “tribe” which also let the public join a real-world tribe on Vorovoro island, off the coast of Fiji, with the aim of helping to build a sustainable community on the island. It invested £650,000 into the local northern Fiji economy in its first three years, built an island village, generated 20 full-time local jobs and fundraising for four villages, and more than 1,100 international volunteers have visited Vorovoro since September 2006, staying for an average two weeks. Now Tribewanted2 has been launched, with a project based in Sierra Leone from October, helping to create an eco village community to support local sustainable development. Volunteers will be able to take part for less than £300 per week, excluding flights.The cost will cover meals and accommodation, plus a contribution to community development. For more information, go to I Making tribal friends

The good news for would-be volunteers restricted to annual leave is there’s a growing range of shorter options as regular tour operators already involved in communitybased tourism get in on the voluntourism act. Turtle conservation in Latin America and rice harvesting alongside locals in Thailand are among the experiences offered by The Adventure Company, which last year began offering a few days volunteering within tours in eight different countries. “Feedback from our customers suggests they are keen to be more proactively involved,” explains product director Nicola McFarlane. “Our new Hands On Adventures bridge the gap between voluntourism trips and holidays that simply provide financial support to worthwhile causes.” Overland tour specialists Dragoman and Acacia Adventure Holidays are among others arranging volunteering. Dragoman offers community building and teaching projects in Thailand, Ghana, Peru and Kenya for two to six weeks duration while Acacia includes conservation work within selected African tours of a fortnight or shorter. Projects Abroad, the leading global organiser of overseas volunteer work placements, offers two-week specials for 16-19 year olds. Prices, excluding flights, start at £995 for projects including care and community work in Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica and Senegal as well as several other destinations. Conservation projects, costing from £1,195, take in Mexico, I A bear in the Peru, Tatras mountains
The Adventure Company

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May/June 2010

let’s try I voluntourism

I A volunteer and children in Senegal

volunteering ideas
Here are some voluntourism options to give you inspiration:

G Short on time? Spend two days in a luxury Marrakech riad then two days helping build a school in a Berber village on a £550 (excluding flights) ‘Moroccan Moments’ long weekend with Hands Up Holidays. G Make your home among giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies when you teach local school children in the Galapagos Islands with Gap Year for Grown Ups. Six weeks costs £1,479, excluding flights and a $110 national park fee. (Knowledge of Spanish required). G Want to volunteer as a group? Help build houses for victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam on a placement arranged by Qantas Holidays in conjunction with Buffalo Tours. A group of six to eight people pay £288 each, excluding flights, plus a £3,085 donation for house build costs.

G Work alongside rangers and researchers to track bears in the Tatras mountains of Poland and Slovakia (from £1,329) or take your over-fives to help tag turtles and hide them from poachers in Costa Rica (from £2,219 adults, £2,059 children) with The Adventure Company. G Spend two or more days helping care for endangered cheetah, hyena and vultures at a conservation project in South Africa during various nine to 16 day Acacia tours.The 16-day Cheetah Chobe and Vic Falls Combo with eight days volunteering costs £1,100, excluding flights, plus a $160 local payment. G Help weed around Uluru, build boardwalks in Tasmanian wetlands or

I Monkeying around survey Koala habitats in Queensland when you assist Australian charities on placements arranged through i-to-i.Trips cost from £449 for two weeks, £140 a week thereafter excluding flights.

The Adventure Company

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


Projects Abroad

let’s try I voluntourism

voluntourism facts
dedicated volunteering companies
BUNAC: 020 7251 3472, Gap Year for Grown-Ups: 01892 701881, Hands Up Holidays: 020 7193 1062, i-to-i Travel: 0800 011 1156, VSO: 020 8780 7500, Projects Abroad: 01903 708300,

I Children can also get involved

The Adventure Company

tour operators with volunteering options
Acacia Adventure Holidays: 020 7706 4700, The Adventure Company: 0845 450 5316, Dragoman: 01728 861133, Qantas Holidays/Buffalo Tours: 020 8222 9125, and

hotel guests
Short-term charity work can sometimes also be arranged through community-minded hotels. Aditya, a new luxury boutique resort near Galle in Sri Lanka, for instance, encourages guests to share professional expertise or help teach English, sport or sewing at a local project for tsunami-affected families. But can a few days really help? Hands Up’s Christopher Hill, who’s happy to tailor-make trips of any duration, believes it can, claiming: “Longer trips tend to be more impactful but, when structured well, short-term volunteering can make a difference, especially as enthusiasm levels are high.” He says orphanage children gain more quality time with their care-givers when volunteers are helping cook, clean and wash-up while a house for an impoverished family can be built in four to six days. Not only is voluntourism now possible around work commitments, having a family should not be a bar, as several companies encourage children to get involved in suitable projects. Hands Up suggests families try animal experiences, or child-centred projects where visiting kids can mingle with the local youngsters while parents help to renovate or teach.

I Excavating a Saxon grave in Romania

other contacts
Aditya: 020 8715 5513 and +94 11 2587760,, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers: 01302 388883, Coral Cay Conservation Expeditions: 020 7620 1411, National Trust: 0844 800 3099,

You may think giving your help would be free but you should be prepared for a voluntourism trip, with accommodation and usually food included, to cost at least as much as a regular holiday. There are extra expenses involved plus many operators make a profit as they would on a regular tour. “We always get asked the question why am I paying to volunteer?” says Gap Year For Grown Ups’ Natasha Owen. “About 55% of the money is spent locally so certainly the local community benefits. Food is brought in from local markets and we employ people – there needs to be a local coordinator there to show you what to do.” VSO provides a modest living allowance for its longterm volunteers but the most likely route to actually being paid for meaningful work overseas is if you have a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification. Most would argue however that the reward is

“Several companies encourage children to get involved in suitable projects”

in the experience. Owen says: “Volunteering holidays are much more about giving something back and it’s a self achievement to demonstrate you’ve improved someone’s life over that period or just to see a smile on a child’s face in an orphanage.”
Debbie Ward, a travel journalist for 12 years, has returned to Moldova ten times, since her voluntourism experience. She’s learnt the wedding hanky dance and a smattering of Romanian but never to love the delicacy ‘meat jelly’.

voluntourism tips
G Check voluntourism operators’ sustainable tourism credentials to see how committed they are to local communities. G Find out how much information you will be given about your project before you go. G Ask if you can speak to others who’ve already volunteered. G Find out if there will be a local co-ordinator supporting you and if there are emergency procedures in place. G Ask if you will need a police check. G To give the most benefit, match your strengths – such as DIY, medical or languages skills or experience with children – to relevant projects. G Factor in some quiet days to readjust afterwards if your volunteering experience is likely to be harrowing.

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May/June 2010

Projects Abroad

South Africa and Botswana, and Thailand. Other placements cover teaching, sports, human rights, and medicine and healthcare.

competition I leica camera

I Fishing boats at Accra, Ghana
Nii Obodai

Would you like a

Leica camera?
Enter our fantastic photography competition – and you can WIN a new Leica V-Lux 20 worth £495 plus a £70 leather case
he name of Leica is a by-word in photography. Having produced the world’s first 35mm camera almost a century ago – the original prototypes were made by German company Ernst Leitz, using strips of 35mm cinema film – Leica cameras went on to become arguably the most revered in the world. That tradition of excellence continues today, with models to suit the keen amateur to the serious professional. Leica’s latest “baby” is the V-Lux 20, a digital compact camera which is perfect for travel. A 12.1 effective megapixel camera, it not only features a powerful 12-times magnification zoom lens, it is also the first Leica to incorporate GPS tagging – allow-


I Spinning lights, Amman, Jordan

ing the exact geographical location of pictures to be recorded. The V-Lux 20 also displays the names of sightseeing locations from a database of 500,000 points of interest in 73 countries. Now Leica is teaming up with tlm to give readers the chance to win one of these new marvels in an exclusive

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May/June 2010

Nasser Kalaji and Laith Majli

competition I leica camera

I Ants on a wire

I Jordan scene

Nii Obodai

Travel star – the new Leica V-Lux 20
The new, lightweight Leica V-Lux 20 is a high-performance, 12.1 megapixel compact digital camera with a 12x optical super-zoom lens and GPS tagging. The integrated Leica DC-Vario-Elmar 4.1-49.2mm f/3.3-4.9 ASPH zoom lens has a focal range of 25-300mm (35mm equivalent), making the V-Lux 20 perfect for any photographic situation, from expansive landscapes to detailed closeups or shots of distant subjects – all captured in breath-taking quality. The V-Lux 20 is the first Leica camera to feature GPS tagging. For anyone travelling regularly – whether for leisure or business – this innovative feature automatically records the exact geographical location of pictures (in the Exif data of each photo), as well as the local time for every shot, ensuring the user always has a useful and accurate record of their trip. It can also display half a million sightseeing spots in 73 countries. The built-in GPS feature makes archiving and organising photos quick and easy, during or after a trip.When posting images on social networks or map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth, the data automatically reveals exactly when and where the photos were taken. The V-Lux 20 even allows movie recording in HD quality, with intelligent automatic features such as face recognition, automatic scene modes and smart exposure in movie mode. The bright, sharp three-inch LCD display offers precise composition and framing of shots, as well as accurate quality control for shots taken. Beautifully styled in a matt black finish, the V-Lux 20 has been designed with simple, ergonomic controls and user-friendly menus, and offers fullyautomatic functions for those who prefer to “point and shoot”. A complete range of manual shutter speed and aperture settings also allows for more creative freedom and image control, while integrated image stabilisation reduces the chance of blurred pictures.The camera includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for quick and easy image editing. Available now from authorised UK Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair (020 7629 1351, the Leica V-Lux 20 retails at £495, with an optional brown leather case costing £70.
Nasser Kalaji and Laith Majli

photographic competition. On offer is a brand new VLux 20 and leather case, worth a total of £565. The theme of the competition is summer holidays. All you have to do is submit your favourite photographs from your travels this summer. They can be taken anywhere and on any subject, from Britain’s seaside resorts to street life in European cities or the mountains and deserts of far flung destinations. You can submit a portfolio of up to five pictures, or just one or two if you prefer. Your entries will be judged by a panel from Leica and tlm. We will be looking for pictures which stand out from the crowd, show originality and give a flavour of the destination(s). The deadline is September 15, so you have plenty of time to get out and get snapping during the summer. And if you want some inspiration, take a look at some of the accompanying images here and in our In the Frame section on page 4. All were taken on the V-Lux 20.

the prize
A Leica V-Lux 20 digital compact camera worth £495 plus a £70 leather case.

how to enter
For details of how to enter the competition and how to submit your photographs, go to and click on the competition & giveaways button. Entries will consist of a portfolio of up to a maximum of five photographs. Only one entry is allowed per person and professional photographers are excluded. All photographs entered must have been taken after May 1, 2010. Closing date is September 15, 2010. The judges’ decision will be final. See the tlm website for more terms and conditions.

For technical specifications, go to

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


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May/June 2010

travel update ■ news

Peter Ellegard reports from US travel show Pow Wow in Orlando


arry Potter is leading the charge as US entertainment capital Orlando continues to expand its offerings. The boy hero of British author J K Rowling’s books and films is the centrepiece for a new theme park set for a grand opening at Universal Studios Orlando on June 18. Travel industry professionals from all over the world got a sneak preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the annual Pow Wow tourism show in late May, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The park features a giant Hogwarts Castle towering over the park, through which visitors take a tour, plus three

Universal Orlando

themed rides – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. The castle is complete with pictures that come to life, as in the films, while Ollivanders wand shop is another attraction. The Harry Potter park forms part of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which features thrill rides such as the Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, The Simpsons Ride and the new Hollywood Rip,

Ride, Rockit. Meanwhile, Orlando’s other key players are also adding attractions. Walt Disney World Resort has brought back its popular Main Street Electrical Parade for summer 2010 and plans to open Star Tours II, a 3D ride based on the Star Wars films, in 2011. SeaWorld Orlando recently opened its Manta thrill ride and sister park Discovery Cove will open a new interactive tropical reef attraction in 2011.

Brits on the rise
The UK remains the third largest visitor market to the US, and the top overseas visitor provider, despite a 15% drop in arrivals in 2009 to 3.9 million, according to figures from the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Forecasts for the UK market show numbers steadily rising each year, with the total reaching almost 4.5m in 2014 – recovering last year’s drop. New York was the top city for Brits in 2009, with just over one million arrivals, followed by Orlando (830,000) and San Francisco (355,000). Top states were Florida (1.2m), New York (1.1m) and California (624,000).

San Fran plans
San Francisco is undergoing major investment in tourism and transport facilities, including a planned high-speed train link with Los Angeles. Costing a projected $2 billion and expected to open in 2017, it will cut the journey time – currently seven hours by road – to 2.5 hours. Its famous Fishermen’s Wharf attraction on Pier 39 is going through major renovations, increasing pedestrian and cycling areas. Piers 15 and 17 will be the new home for the hands-on ■ Golden Exploratorium Gate Bridge science museum from 2012 in a project costing $175 million. And a new cruise terminal for Pier 27 opens in 2014. Celebrations are also planned for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 2012.

Riding high S
Kentucky Tourism

culture, and more than 300 trong interest is shops selling clothing, tack, expected from artworks and collectibles. British horse lovers Among UK operators in the 2010 World featuring the games is Equestrian Games, which America As You Like It, take place at the which has a variety of packKentucky Horse Park in ages. A seven-night package, Lexington from including return flights from September 25. London to Lexington, seven The 16-day event is days’ economy car hire, claimed to be the biggest seven nights on a room-only equestrian event in ■ Dressage at the basis at the Inn on American history and will Kentucky Horse Park Broadway and category A feature world champitickets to all the eventing costs from onships in eight equestrian disciplines: £1,810 per person. For details, go to dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para-dressage, reining and vaulting. It will also include an Equine The games take place from Village with demonstrations, the September 25-October 10. Go to Kentucky Experience which will for a full case the Bluegrass State’s nature and schedule of events.

California Travel & Tourism Commission/Robert Holmes

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

Orlando blooms
■ Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando

■ New York skyline

May/June 2010

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


travel update I news

Picture perfect

I Bungalow at Halkidiki

Greece is the word
Keycamp has a brand new camp in Halkidiki, Greece, for summer 2010. It features two private beaches and three tiny islands, ideal for boat trips and fishing. Camping Areti combines traditional Greek charm with modern-day facilities and seven nights from June 21 for a family of four in a bungalow costs £616, accommodation only. For details of Keycamp’s summer camping deals, go to

nspired by our photography competition in this issue? Then consider a photography course in the Highlands of Scotland or a photographic journey to China, India or even Ethiopia. The Lovat, a Victorian hotel on the shores of Loch Ness, is offering amateur photographers two and three-day photography courses in July and October. Learn how to adjust exposure and shoot creative compositions against some of Scotland’s most beautiful backdrops. The summer two-day course (July 3-5) starts from £436.50 per person, including three nights’ accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, while the three-day breaks in October start from £556 per person for four nights. For more information go to Abercrombie & Kent has a series of tours with acclaimed photojournalist Jon Nicolson, with the opportunity to create an amazing photographic record of China, India or Ethiopia. From July 2131, the mystical wonders of Tibet are the focus, while a second visit to China in October takes in


I Tranquil Loch Ness

the beautiful Yunnan region. Searching for Royal Bengal tigers or snapping the Taj Mahal at sunrise are the highlights of the autumn India tour, or you can hone your photographic skills on the picturesque mist clouds emanating from the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia in December. Prices start at £4,450 per person for the India tour including flights, transfers, accommodation and guided excursions. For more information go to

Water way to help

I Champagne route

34 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine

Grape Escapes

If you have been motivated by our feature on voluntourism, water filter company BRITA is planning an expedition to Nepal in September 2010 to raise awareness about water issues.The company is looking for eight people to take up what it describes as a once-ina-lifetime opportunity to visit this remarkable part of the world. For more information on the expedition – which will be part-paid by BRITA – go to

Hostellerie la Briqueterie. In the heart of Champagne’s vineyards, it includes an exclusive Dom Perignon tour, a four-course gourmet experience at la Briqueterie’s Michelin-starred restaurant and a pampering Decleor spa treatment, costing from £529 per person including return Dover to Calais ferry crossing and bed and breakfast accommodation. Visit for more information.

May/June 2010

Thomson Sport

I Water boys

nce every four years, the world either embraces or escapes the spectacle that is the World Cup. It may be just around the corner, but you can still be there. Thomson Sport has limited, lastminute availability for a fournight package incorporating the England-Slovenia game on June 23, as well as packages for the final. Prices start at £2,474 per person. For more information go to Sportsworld has three-night packages for the semi-final in Cape Town on July 6, for £4,620 per person including flights, accommodation, and that allimportant match ticket. For more details go to If escaping the football is paramount, try Grape Escape’s new Champagne and Spa two-night package based at the Relais and Chateaux boutique property,

South Africa or bust O

I The World Cup trophy



May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 35

all aboard I single cruisers

I Fred Olsen's four cruise ships have a number of single cabins

36 tlm I the travel & leisure magazine

Single passengers have been largely overlooked by the cruise industry up to now, often paying hefty supplements to sail on their own. But, as Sara Macefield reports, cruise lines are now starting to serenade singletons with dedicated cabins, sharing options and even male dance hosts
tuck for someone to share a holiday with? Don’t despair. For all those Bridget Jones’s out there, cruising offers the ideal chance for single travellers to meet like-minded souls in social and safe surroundings. Gone are the days when taking a cruise was joked about as the perfect hunting ground for rich widows looking for romance. Now you will find men and women of all ages taking solo voyages safe in the knowledge that while they may be alone, they won’t be lonely. With shared tables at mealtimes, group activities onboard and ashore and even gentlemen hosts to ensure no one is stuck for a dance partner; it’s easy to see why so many singles take to the high seas. After all, you can experience the unforgettable sights of Australia; join in the revelry of the Rio Carnival; or witness the exotic wonders of the Far East and, best of all, you will have travelling companions to share it with. So what’s the catch? The main challenge – and one that single travellers regularly face in their travels – is the high cost of having to book accommodation meant for two people and paying through the nose for it. Very few lines have dedicated single cabins – in fact one of the exceptions is Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, which has a good number across its four ships. This means solo cruisers generally face extra supplements that can add up to 100% to the price of their cabin as most lines allocate double cabins for single customers. But that’s where the tide is changing. The cruise

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

May/June 2010

all aboard I single cruisers

I The internet room on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral

single cruiser tips
G Beware the larger ships (unless they have specific single-orientated activities) as it’s easy to feel a bit lost onboard and it’s harder to meet people. G Check out the costs as some lines may try to add on double service charges if you occupy a double cabin as a solo traveller. G Opt for a themed cruise. It means you will at least have a shared interest with the people you meet. G If you like dancing and want to ensure there will be a gentleman host, check that they will be on your cruise as they do not necessarily go on all sailings.

I A P&O Cruises’ single inside cabin

I The lido bar on Black Watch

Holland America Line

I Deck service on Holland America Line

industry, like several others, has realised that it needs to cater for the growing number of people travelling alone, so more single cabins are starting to appear on ships.

what’s new?
In April, P&O Cruises launched its newest ship, Azura, in a fanfare of fireworks and glamour with prima ballerina Darcey Bussell as godmother. But beneath the glitz and glamour were 18 new single cabins that had been specially built for lone cruise passengers. They might be a bit smaller than the normal double cabins, but the single bed is bigger than the norm and some cabins have their own portholes and aren’t tucked away in the bowels of the ship with no natural light. They also come with free mineral water on arrival and welcome guest “pamper packs”.

Elsewhere on Azura, passengers can enjoy Sindhu, an Indian fine dining restaurant created by celebrated Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar; The Glass House, a selected dining restaurant and wine bar, created with TV wine expert Olly Smith; and an open-air cinema on the top deck. Some of the funkiest single cabins have yet to come. June sees American company Norwegian Cruise Line unveil hip new studios aboard its revolutionary new mega-liner, Norwegian Epic, which takes up to 5,000 passengers. Besides the thrilling onboard waterslides, a circusthemed dinner show, the first abseiling wall at sea and one of the biggest spas afloat, single travellers will be able to crash out in their own urban retreats. Think bijou and bold for these pocket hideaways

“More single cabins are starting to appear on ships”

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

P&O Cruises

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

all aboard I single cruisers

measuring just 10ft by 10ft with mood-lit, domed ceilings, corridor windows and distinctive bathrooms. But one of the biggest perks of these cosy retreats is that studio guests get automatic access to their own shared private lounge called The Living Room, where they can spread out, enjoy a drink at the bar, watch TV and meet their neighbours.

pick the right cruise
One of the most important things to remember is to choose the best ship. Get it wrong and you could find yourself surrounded by people you have nothing in common with, of the wrong age or the wrong type. If you want to try one of the larger ships with allsinging, all-dancing facilities, make sure it is geared up for anyone on their own with organised get-togethers and opportunities to meet other solo cruisers. Smaller ships, which tend to have more of a houseparty atmosphere, lend themselves to lone passengers – but they tend to attract an older crowd. Saga Cruises, Spirit of Adventure, Voyages of Discovery and Fred Olsen all cater for this market admirably and offer keener prices for single cruisers – but their clientele tends to be more mature. Holland America Line offers a younger and more refined ambience and its cruises visit exotic spots such as South America and Asia as well as Alaska and the Caribbean. Its ships do not have single cabins, but HAL offers a Single Partners Share Programme which enables samesex passengers to share, so customers gain an instant companion and a cheaper fare too. Even if HAL cannot find a sharing partner and a customer ends up on their own, they still pay the same fare. Some cruise lines, such as Fred Olsen, HAL and Crystal Cruises even employ gentlemen dance hosts so single cruisers can always be guaranteed a spin around the dance-floor, and there are social hosts to arrange get-togethers. If going to sea seems too much like a big deal, why not try a river cruise? These are perfect for lone voyagers as the ship’s smaller size, with just one or two lounges, means it is easy to bump into people and strike up long-lasting friendships. The cosy atmosphere, shared dining and group tours mean that, if you want to, you can forget that you’re on your own and soon become part of the group. Or if you want to escape everyone else, on European river cruises the daily stops at towns and

I P&O Cruises’ Azura at sea

cities along the river make it easy to wander off on your own to explore. A new cruise programme by singles holidays specialist tour operator Solo’s features both river and sea cruises. It is offering cruises onboard NCL new ship, ’s Norwegian Epic, this summer and over Christmas and the New Year. Solo’s has taken an allocation of studio cabins, which have a full-size bed. Solo’s does not charge single supplements and guests are accompanied by a tour leader, who organises dining arrangements and onboard activities as well as excursions. It also features Nile and Lake Nasser cruises in Egypt and 14-night cruises in the Maldives.

single cruising facts
sample cruises
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (01473 742424, is offering a one-week cruise to the Norwegian Fjords from Dover, departing on August 21. Ports of call include Bergen, Flam,Vik and Farsund before returning to Dover. It costs from £1,189 for an inside single cabin. AMAWaterways (0808 223 5009, is not charging single supplements on various dates. A one-week cruise along the Danube from Budapest to Vilshofen I Budapest costs from £1,277 for sole occupancy of a twin cabin. Price includes wine with dinner, free wi-fi and daily tours, but does not include flights and transfers. Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 201 8912; offers a nine-night Caribbean fly-cruise on Norwegian Epic from £1,079 for a single traveller in one of the studio cabins.The price is for departures between July 2010 and April 2011 and includes flights.The cruise departs Miami with calls at Honduras and Mexico. Solo’s (0844-371 8860, has a 14-night Desert Island Maldives cruise for singles on the 66-passenger Yasawa Princess, with opportunities to dive and snorkel on reefs off the Indian Ocean islands. Departures are on October 3 (costing £1,899) and February 20, 2011, (£1,949), and include flights and all food and drink.

more information
G The Passenger Shipping Association represents the main cruise lines and its website gives details of these and contains a section on family cruises.

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I A studio stateroom on Norwegian Epic

May/June 2010

Peter Ellegard

P&O Cruises

all aboard I cruise news

cruise clips
Great Rail Journeys

I Dinner among ruins at Ephesus

I Rhine cruise This could be just the ticket for travellers wary of flying after the Iceland volcanic ash crisis. Specialist travel company Great Rail Journeys is promoting 16 European river cruises in its new River Cruising by Rail brochure, with departures from London’s St Pancras.
Windstar Cruises

I Fly in a MiG fighter jet

Shore thing for thrills
t’s not just cruises that are getting more adventurous – but excursions are too and this year is seeing some fascinating new options. Gone are the days when passengers were packed into coaches and driven to the nearest ceramics factory. These days they can hitch a ride in a MiG fighter jet or even tackle the final frontier on what has to be the ultimate cruise line excursion – training as a cosmonaut for the day at the world’s largest hydrospace laboratory at Star City near Moscow. Offered by Crystal Cruises, this new tour comes at a fairly stratospheric price, from $4,359 to $32,995.


More Brits are cruising than ever before. New figures from the Passenger Association show

If this isn’t your thing, you can dine among the ancient wonders of Ephesus in Turkey as offered by tall ship line Windstar Cruises or go back to the Middle Ages for a themed dinner in a German castle during a Rhine cruise with Scenic Tours. Then there are Ferrari-driving trips or visiting Santa’s summer home (and seeing the man himself) in Finland with P&O Cruises, or whizzing along the world’s fastest zip-wire at up to 60mph in Alaska, courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines. But if it’s a more personal touch that you’re after, get a special excursion put together just for you by one of the private concierges now found on the more upmarket ships.

Celebrity Cruises

Haute cuisine with a twist
ruises have always been the place for wining and dining in style and the choice is getting ever more exotic. That is underlined with June’s launch of the latest mega-liner, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic, which can carry up to 5,000 passengers. Among its myriad attractions will be the new Cirque Dreams circus-style dinner show in Epic’s own “big top” where performers will mingle with diners; dropping down from the ceiling to refill drinks glasses. In April, Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship Celebrity Eclipse unveiled a new style of dining at its restaurant Qsine, where dishes have been given their own novel twist.

I Celebrity Eclipse the number of UK cruisers rose 4% last year to 1.53 million – despite the tough economy.This represents a tripling of the market since 1997, when just 522,000 Britons took cruises.


Tall ship line Star Clippers has unveiled some classy new cruise and stay options. Prices start at £999 for a five-night “mini millionaire” package on September 27 that combines a two-night stay in Monte Carlo with a three-night sailing along the Cote d’Azur. Flights not included.

Hence diners can embark on a “culinary journey” and sample Sushi Lollipops, Disco Shrimp

(served with a blue flashing light!), Crunchie Munchies and a Mezze Wall. These are just some of the many types of speciality restaurants that cruise customers will now find on most ships, though be warned: they often carry an extra charge.

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Celebrity Cruises

May/June 2010


I Circus dining on Norwegian Epic. Inset: Qsine dish

off the beaten track I pacific northwest us

I Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls
Peter Ellegard

Majestic mountains, stately forests, spectacular coastlines, picture-postcard towns and lively cities make Washington State and Oregon – America’s Pacific Northwest – a great touring combination which visitors will recognise from films and movies. Peter Ellegard goes behind the scenes

quarters. All around me, spray rose up to coat the thick stands of trees and leave their moss-festooned branches glistening with water droplets. It’s a scene anyone who has witnessed the might of Canada’s Niagara Falls would be familiar with. A truly uplifting experience. Yet I was on the balcony of my suite at the luxury Salish Lodge spa resort, perched perilously close to the waterfall. So close, I even had a grandstand view down the cascade through a window of one of the two bathrooms while standing in my supersized whirlpool bath having a shower. I just hope no-one had the same view in reverse from the nearby viewing platforms. Fans of cult TV series Twin Peaks, which first aired in 1990, will recognise the falls and lodge from the opening titles sequence. The resort’s restaurant also looks out over the falls and Snoqualmie River, beyond cliffs used as roosts by peregrine falcons. Polished black stones worn smooth from the torrent are used in a hot stone massage treatment in the resort’s spa. The historic rail town of Snoqualmie and neighbouring forest-swathed areas featured prominently in the series and in another contemporary cult TV classic, Northern Exposure, which was supposedly set in Alaska but was actually filmed in nearby Roslyn and surrounding area. The towering mountains and sweeping forests that formed the backdrop to both series made such an


rom my vantage point high above Snoqualmie Falls, I could not only see the torrents cascading over the precipice but also watch them disappearing down to the river far below while feeling their thundering power like the blast of a jet engine at close

impression on me I was determined to see them for real. And while it took the best part of 20 years to fulfil that dream, I was not disappointed.

cascades loop
Finding Snoqualmie was something of an adventure, despite being just 25 miles from Seattle. Having played golf at 2015 US Open host course Chambers Bay, near Tacoma just south of Seattle, I programmed the satnav for my intended destination but didn’t quite get the name right. And a couple of hours later I ended up in a tiny place called Skykomish with wonderful old buildings and railway sidings – but no sign of the falls or the spa. I was actually 90 minutes from where I was meant to be and it was 10pm. Thankfully, a friendly downtown restaurant rustled up a meal for me and I eventually got to Snoqualmie at midnight. I had inadvertently driven along part of one of the most scenic touring routes in Washington State, the Cascades Loop – a 440-mile circuit of twisting, mostly mountain roads through stunning scenery in the Cascade Mountains which also takes in waterfront city Everett, where you can tour the huge Boeing factory, as well as quaint towns including Snohomish and Monroe. The loop takes several days to tour and I had no time to do the rest of it, as I was on a far more adventurous fly-drive tour, of Washington and neighbouring Oregon – America’s Pacific Northwest. Bounded by the mighty Pacific on their rugged west coasts and encompassing landscapes of soaring mountains, sprawling forests, rushing rivers and gushing waterfalls, this is a region shaped by nature where blues and greens dominate the spectrum. This is wine country, too. Oregon alone has 700 vineyards.

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off the beaten track I pacific northwest us

I The Oregon coast

I Columbia Gorge, Oregon

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


Peter Ellegard

Travel Oregon/Larry Geddis

off the beaten track I pacific northwest us

tax-free shopping
My itinerary had started in Oregon’s stately capital city, Portland, famed for its parks and gardens (hence its nickname, the City of Roses), architecture and tax-free shopping. My companions and I overnighted at the stylish, downtown boutique Hotel Lucia before setting off on the 250-mile drive to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, a wonderful echo of traditional Scottish links on a wild and windswept stretch of coast. The drizzly May weather – it had been 100°F the previous week – only served to amplify the feeling of deja vu, except for the resident turkey vultures. Bandon can be reached in four hours, but a full day allows for sightseeing stops and lunch overlooking Pacific rollers. Traffic on the coastal Highway 101 flows at a leisurely pace, as the rocky Oregon coast is a photographers’ paradise. Kodak moments loom around every corner – notably pretty Depoe Bay and Heceta Head Lighthouse, America’s most photographed lighthouse. You can also glimpse sea lions and sea otters at Sea Lion Caves. Another 260-mile drive from Bandon took us inland to the dry side of the Cascades through picturesque mountain forests to central Oregon, and its main city of Bend. Heaven for outdoors enthusiasts thanks to its high desert environment and climate, with over 300 sunny days a year, we had managed to find the few rainy ones. Activities here include fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and golf. In the unlikely event of rain, the family-run Five Pine Lodge, near picturesque tourist town Sisters, has an oriental-themed Shibui spa that rivals any fancy Far East resort, while the bathtub in each cosy, wooden cottage fills from a spout in the ceiling. The homely resort even has its own wooden cinema and brewpub.

I Mount Hood in summer

lights, camera, action…
Drive around the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington, and you can’t help but feel a certain sense of deja vu. As you approach the historic, swanky Timberline Lodge hotel, nestled half-way up Oregon’s towering Mount Hood, you could be forgiven if the hairs on the back of your neck start to bristle. Cue shrieking music and all becomes clear; the exterior of this grand, wooden icon was used as the hotel in the classic 1977 horror movie, The Shining, starring a manic, murderous Jack Nicholson. Thankfully, the only knock on the door is for room service; the axeman does not cometh, so you can sleep easily in your gloriously-soft bed.The hotel, which exudes rustic elegance, offers skiing down to its front entrance in winter and spring with summer activities including trail riding and mountain biking. Oregon capital Portland has been the backdrop to many TV productions and films for its grand, stylish architecture; the list of credits includes Free Willy, which was also shot in Washington State’s San Juan Islands. Hit movie Twilight, about a girl who falls in love with a dashing vampire, was mostly filmed in Portland and Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where it was set. The central Oregon coastal town of Salem, meanwhile, was the setting for another Nicholson classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Seattle has a roll call that includes many famous movies – including the ultimate chick-flick weepie, Sleepless in Seattle. Much of it was filmed around the city, its famous Pike Place Market among locations. Watch the film before you visit Seattle, then base yourself near the harbour and Pike Place Market so you can explore it on foot. A good, central base is Kimpton Hotels’ chic boutique property, the Hotel Alexis, just a short stroll from both. In the1960s, Elvis Presley used Seattle as the setting for his hit movie, It Happened at the World’s Fair. Others have included An Officer and a Gentleman, The Fabulous Baker Boys (also filmed in Bellevue) and, in 2006, The Last Mimzy. The picturesque forests and peaks of the Cascade mountains were a very familiar sight on TV screens in the early 1990s, through cult series Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure, as well as on the big screen, with Deliverance. The opening credits of Northern Exposure featured a moose walking along the main street of pretty mountain town Roslyn. Fans of the series still come to stroll its streets and I The Space Needle, Seattle join in the annual Moosefest event (, which celebrates the show. It includes walking tours, bus tours and interviews with local residents who starred as extras in the series.This year’s event is from July 23-25. The moose from the series, called Monty, is long dead, but you might just bump into some of his offspring.

Travel Oregon

Washington State Tourism Office

I Timberline Lodge, Oregon

historic hotels
Nestling under Oregon’s tallest peak, majestic Mount Hood, and near the Oregon Trail once travelled by pioneers, are two historic hotels. The Resort at the Mountain is a Scottish-themed retreat offering 27 holes of undemanding golf plus tennis, croquet, lawn bowls and other facilities in 300 forested acres of the Salmon River Valley. Timberline Lodge is a luxuriously-rustic ski and summer activity resort high up on the mountain. Heading to Portland, I took in the breathtaking

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May/June 2010

Peter Ellegard

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.
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off the beaten track I pacific northwest us

pacific nor thwest usa facts
when to go
From spring to autumn. Summers can be surprisingly warm.The region’s coast has a maritime climate and conditions can quickly change; central areas are drier and sunnier.

I Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie

getting there and getting around
Flights are operated directly from London Heathrow to Seattle by British Airways ( can also fly to the region on indirect services by several airlines. The Pacific Northwest lends itself to fly-driving, with either a one-way or round-tip tour between Seattle and Portland. Rent cars with Dollar (, Alamo ( and other companies.
Peter Ellegard

where to stay
Hotels include Timberline Resort, Mount Hood, Oregon (, Alexis Hotel, Seattle (, Salish Lodge, Snoqualmie,Washington ( and Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier,Washington (

I Pike Place Market, Seattle

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area from the winding scenic byway, dotted with cascading waterfalls and sweeping vistas. Seattle is little more than three or four hours from Portland by freeway, but after dropping off my companions for their flights and swapping to a smaller car I took a more circuitous route. First stop was at the recently-restored Paradise Inn, an evocative national parks-owned heritage hotel on the flanks of mighty Mount Rainier, Washington’s tallest mountain. Nearby volcano Mount St Helens, which dramatically blew its top in 1980, makes a fascinating side excursion en route. Then it was on, eventually, to Snoqualmie. Besides its waterfall, the town has a collection of working old steam and diesel locos at the Northwest Railway Museum. Explore the forests beyond town and you can find forested parks with deserted mountain streams – the perfect romantic escape.

Peter Ellegard

I Paradise Inn

tour operators
Packages are offered by a number of tour operators, including America As You Like It (, North America Travel Service ( and Travelpack (

tourist information
Oregon:;Washington State:; and Seattle:

farmers’ market
Famously the home of grunge music and coffee bars, Seattle’s many attractions include its iconic Space Needle tower, with its 520-foot-high observation deck offering panoramic views of the city. A Seattle CityPass ( includes the Space Needle along with five of the city’s other top attractions and experiences: Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbour Tour, the Pacific Science Centre, the Museum of Flight and Woodland Park Zoo. Another must is to savour the atmosphere of Pike Place Market, which opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the US. Its fish, produce and craft stalls attract some 10 million visitors a year. Reached by ferry and a 60-minute drive from Seattle, or a two-hour direct drive, the Olympic

“This is a region shaped by nature where blues and greens dominate the spectrum”

Peninsula is worth adding on some time to visit. Here you can find some of the world’s largest trees in the Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere at the peninsula’s heart, while large herds of elk roam the temperate rainforests and river valleys on western slopes of Olympic Mountain. I never made it there on my tour, but that is top of my list for when I return to this spectacular corner of the USA.

WIN Seattle CityPass tickets
We have three pairs of Seattle CityPass ticket booklets to give away.Worth $59 each booklet (a saving of almost 50% on the combined attraction prices if bought separately), the Seattle CityPass covers six top attractions and experiences in the city. Go to and click on the competitions and giveaways button.Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 30, 2010.

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May/June 2010

Peter Ellegard

pack your clubs I northern france

Ooh la par
I Golf de Omaha Beach and harbour
Brittany Ferries

Just a short hop across the English Channel, the courses of the Pas de Calais, Normandy and Brittany offer a ferry good option for golfers wanting a short break with good-value green fees and a familiar feel. Peter Ellegard highlights some of the French fancies to be found in the region

“Even top courses represent good value when compared to their English counterparts”
May/June 2010

or the hordes of British golfers heading across the Channel every year, there’s a part of northern France that will be forever England. Such is the popularity of the Cote d’Opale’s golf courses, the Pas de Calais region alone accounts for as much as 70% of all golfers visiting France from the UK. It’s a love affair that goes right back to the days of Noel Coward, PG Wodehouse and the so-called “smart set” of the 1920s. And even beyond that, in fact – the resorts of Le Touquet and Hardelot, today’s golfing hotspots, were both first developed by English Francophiles over 100 years ago. This was where the British love of golf in France first blossomed. The romance waned for a while as golfers were seduced by younger rivals from Southern Europe and more exotic, far-off climes. But it has been rekindled in recent years. And with the Channel Tunnel and the advent of fast ferries as well as more luxurious traditional craft in the Western Channel, people are venturing farther afield to play in Normandy and Brittany. Courses beyond the northern Cote d’Opale have also become popular, with the likes

I Normandy produce

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


J F Lefevre/CRT Normandy

pack your clubs I northern france

I Place des Heros, Arras, at night

off-course attractions
From stark reminders of both World Wars to ornate chateaux, France’s northern coast has plenty of distractions for golfers to enjoy away from the fairways. The Cote d’Opale has 120km of coast with long stretches of sandy beaches.The north encompasses towns such as Dunkirk, Calais, Boulogne and Le Touquet which offer everything from great shopping to history, markets and festivals as well as attractions including Boulogne’s Nausicaa aquarium and its imposing ramparts. Veteran resort Le Touquet still has a period feel, thanks to its Art Deco villas. At night you can dress up and hit the casino. Nearby Hardelot has also been a favourite with Brits since the 19th century. Sprawling cemeteries are stark reminders of both World Wars, marking those who fell in the Great War’s trenches and the Normandy Landings.The remains of pontoons used for the D-Day invasion are another poignant reminder of this coast’s turbulent past. Normandy town Bayeaux is home to the famous tapestry, celebrating the Norman Conquest of Britain. But its most recognisable tourism icon is the monastery island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Besides its port towns of Dieppe, Caen, Cherbourg and Le Havre, there is the charm of pretty harbour town Honfleur, the grace of elegant and fashionable Deauville and the medieval history of Rouen. Head inland and you can find traditional villages, Calvados-producing orchards and can sample the wonderful cheeses and rustic cuisine. Brittany’s coast is a contrast of glorious beaches and rugged, rocky coastlines facing both the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay. Places to visit include the lovely medieval city of Vannes, once the capital of Brittany, and the ancient river port of Auray. Seafood lovers will be hard pressed to better Brittany’s fare. I Calais

of Chantilly in Picardy gaining favour. The lure of northern France is the combination of the ease of getting there, the quality of the golf and excellent value. Even top courses represent good value when compared to their English counterparts. An added bonus is that when you take your own car by ferry or the Channel Tunnel you have no luggage restrictions or excess payments for taking golf clubs, as is now the norm with airlines. Some of the popular Pas de Calais area courses can get very busy during the key seasons, in spring and autumn, which is one reason why golfers have been exploring courses and areas farther away. But most courses are little played compared to those across the Channel. Out of season, there are some great deals to be had with discounted green fees and often added-value offers such as lunch and a buggy thrown in with the green fee. Northern France is a popular destination for golfing groups, with an average stay of two or three nights and typically six people in a group. This is what northern France has to offer:


nord-pas de calais
The number one French golf destination by far, the shining stars of the Cote d’Opale are Le Touquet’s La Mer and Hardelot’s Les Pins courses. Golf first appeared at the two fledgling resorts in the early 1900s, thanks to Englishmen Allen Stoneham, who founded Le Touquet Syndicate in 1903, and John Whitley, who bought the Domaine du Touquet with Stoneham’s money the same year and also developed Hardelot. Le Touquet’s first 18-hole course, by Horace Hutchinson, opened in 1904 and is now La Foret course. A nine-hole course, now Le Touquet Manoir with the 42-bedroom Le Manoir hotel alongside, followed in 1910. The glorious links course designed by Harry Colt, which would later be known as La Mer, opened in 1931. It has hosted six French Opens, his 1977 victory helping propel a young Severiano Ballesteros onto the world golfing stage. Now owned by French golf and resort group Open Golf Club, which also owns Hardelot Golf Club, La Mer has been restored back to its original design and a wooden bridge built to serve a small railway line but destroyed in World War II has been rebuilt alongside the 10th hole. Hardelot’s first nine holes opened in 1906 alongside Whitley’s Hardelot Castle, the first tee being bizarrely situated on top of one of its towers. The layout, attributed to the legendary Harry Vardon, was redeveloped as an 18-hole course by Tom Simpson, opening in 1931. It was called Les Pins when a new course, Les Dunes by Belgian architect Paul Rolin, was added in 1991 and has also been restored to its original design. The days of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster may be gone, but there is still very much a whiff of Britannia about both Le Touquet and Hardelot, as a result of their long British associations (Open Golf Club only became Le Touquet’s first French owner in 1992), and the clientele.

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pack your clubs I northern france

I Tournament at St Omer

The growth in popularity of courses in these regions is underscored by Brittany Ferries, which operates a very popular Golf Breaks programme. The most popular courses are those around the ferry ports of Caen and St Malo, but there are some real gems to be found elsewhere in Normandy and Brittany. Among highlights is Golf Barriere de Deauville, with an 18-hole course by Tom Simpson from 1929 and another nine holes added by Henry Cotton in the 1960s plus an on-site luxury hotel. Also in Deauville is the Golf Club de l’Amiraute, a marshland course but with large greens and wide fairways, and featuring sculptures dotted around the course. The 27-hole Golf de Omaha Beach enjoys a stunning clifftop location overlooking one of the D-Day landing sites. Closer to Dieppe is Golf d’Etretat, also set on chalk cliffs and rated among the top 25 courses in France. Inland delights include the highly-rated Golf Club du Champ de Bataille, in the wooded grounds of a Louis
I La Mer course, Le Touquet

I Hardelot's Les Pins course

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


Open Golf Club Golf & Resorts

Open Golf Club Golf & Resorts

This area is more than just Le Touquet and Hardelot, though. North of Boulogne, Wimereux is a demanding links course which also dates back more than a century. While inland is the par-73 Aa-St-Omer Golf Club course, which is user-friendly for mid to high handicappers off the front tees but serves up a tough 140 slope rating from the tips. You can stay at the nearby four-star Chateau Tilques. Arras also has a good course. The Flanders area bordering Belgium has excellent golf, too – notably in the form of the Golf Club de Dunkerque. Close to the town of Dunkirk, it offers three loops of nine holes.


pack your clubs I northern france

nor thern france golf facts
when to play
The main season for UK golfers is from March to the end of June, and then from the end of August to the end of October. But golf can be played year-round.The weather is similar to that of southern England.

getting there
Cross-Channel ferry services are operated by several ferry companies: Norfolkline (; SeaFrance (; P&O (; LD Lines (; Condor Ferries (; and Brittany I Fast ferry Ferries ( Sailings operate from Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Portsmouth, Weymouth and Plymouth to French ports Dunkirk, Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe, Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo, Le Havre and Roscoff. Find out more about ferry routes and services from the Passenger Shipping Association ferry website, You can also take the Eurotunnel shuttle trains through the Channel Tunnel. I Hardelot
Brittany Ferries

golf packages

I American-style golf at Le Golf Parc de Nantilly

XIV chateau, and Le Golf Parc de Nantilly, a spectacular American-style course with island greens just an hour west of Paris. Brittany is awash with excellent golf, and the Brittany Golf Pass gives discounts of between 15% and 20% on its courses. The rugged coast provides a beautiful backdrop to a number of courses. Base yourself at the St Malo Hotel Golf & Country Club just minutes from St Malo and you can play its 27hole parkland course and explore the northern Brittany coast to play other courses including France’s secondoldest, the 120-year-old Dinard Golf Club. Golf Club des Ormes, in the grounds of a 16th century chateau, is good for families as it has a campsite next to it. Rennes, which has an airport served from UK airports, has 11 courses within an hour’s drive. On the west coast, near Brest, Golf de Brest Iroise is among France’s top-ranked courses and is just a short drive from ferry port Roscoff, served from Plymouth. Brittany’s south coast has a number of good courses, among them Golf de Baden Baden, skirting an inlet which overlooks the Iles du Morbihan, and the short but demanding Golf Ploemeur.

Britanny Ferries Holidays ( has a dedicated golf programme featuring Brittany and Normandy. Other packaged golf holidays are offered by tour operators including (,Your Golf Travel (, Golf Planet Holidays ( and Leisure Link Golf Holidays ( Discounted green fees are often available through golf passes, with fixed prices for playing a set number of rounds on participating courses.

Brittany Ferries


tourist information
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Regional Tourist Board: Normandy Tourism: Brittany Tourism:

Nord-Pas de Calais
Le Touquet Golf Club Hardelot Golf Club Wimereux Golf Club
Brittany Ferries

Golf Barriere de Deauville Golf de Omaha Beach

Saint-Malo Hotel Golf & Country Club Golf de Brest Iroise

Golf de Dunkerque

I Golf Barriere de Deauville, Deauville

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competition I hotel break

I Cotswold Water Park

WIN a relaxing break in the English countryside with

Four Pillars Hotels
ffering warm and friendly hospitality, comfortable accommodation and comprehensive facilities set in some of the UK’s most scenic locations, Four Pillars Hotels are rapidly establishing themselves as prime hotspots for breaks and holidays. Now you have the opportunity to win a fantastic three-night break worth £650, courtesy of Four Pillars Hotels, at a choice of six delightful properties across Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and Bristol. The hotels range from a magnificent Grade II-listed building to a contemporary lakeside property. There are walks in beautiful, landscaped gardens and an arboretum of over 300 rare and protected trees near the historic city of Bristol, while in Oxfordshire, guests can visit Oxford’s historic colleges, enjoy great shopping, restaurants, museums and perfect their punting skills along the river. Local attractions include an array of outdoor activities such as sailing, cycling and nature trails in the Cotswolds.


I The stunning Oxford Thames hotel

To enter, go to and click on the competitions and giveaways button. Closing date is June 30, 2010.

terms & conditions
One entrant will win one weekend break for two people at their choice of the six Four Pillars Hotels. The prize is for three nights sharing a twin/double room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Entries must be received by June 30, 2010, and the prize taken by November 30, 2010. Entry is restricted to one per person. The winner will be drawn at random from all correct entries received. The prize is subject to availability, non transferable, non-negotiable and there is no cash alternative. For full terms and conditions visit and click on the competitions and giveaways button.

how to enter
For a chance to win a three-night break for two people at a property of your choice, simply answer the following question: Question: How many properties does the Four Pillars Hotels group have?

Take a spring break from just £39 per person per night with Four Pillars Hotels
Spring is in the air! After months of being cooped up indoors, it's time to get out and enjoy the many vibrant wonders that England has to offer. Take a spring break at a Four Pillars Hotel and not only will you get to see this beautiful season at its best, you will benefit from some fabulous special rates.With hotels in the

I Moretons Restaurant, Tortworth Court

popular English holiday hot-spots of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, there is so much to see and do in the local area. You can get away for a relaxing weekend or

short break – enjoying dinner, bed and breakfast daily – from just £39 per person, per night. Plus, children stay and eat for free. Or stay in one of the stylish self-catering apartments at the Cotswold Water Park Hotel for a fabulous lakeside location, flexibility, great value and a wealth of nearby activities. And tlm readers taking advantage of dinner, bed and breakfast breaks will enjoy a complimentary bottle of house wine with dinner on the first night of their stay! Just quote “Travel & Leisure” when booking. Offers are valid for new bookings only on stays until June 30, 2010. For details and full terms and conditions, call 0800 374 692 or visit

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


Pinks or Narcissi according to season

delive liv liv ny ddre ad es ddres We deli er to any uk address by We deliver to any uk address by po order n-lin pos d line lin ne po ost First class post, order on-line or by post First class post, order on-line or by post Flowers dispatched Monday-Thursdays Flowe di pat Flowers dispatched Monday ers tched Monday-Thursdays t y-Thursdays y u ay ursda ays Tel 01720 422666 Tel 01720 422666

Discover The Isles of Scilly and Tresco Abbey Gardens
With over 10 years of experience, our special interest short breaks to The Isles of Scilly are limited to 20 people and offer a unique opportunity to explore these peaceful islands with an expert guide. This includes a guided tour of the world famous Tresco Abbey Gardens.

These breaks are unhurried, there are few cars and transport between the islands is courtesy of the local boatmen. A comfortable hotel, a rich and fascinating heritage and a designated area of outstanding natural beauty to explore – quite simply a perfect opportunity to “get away from it all”. For further details of this or any other of our special interest breaks, please telephone 0845 1212863 quoting reference TLM or visit our websites. Next available departure: 10/14 September 2010 email:

Brookland Travel, 1st Floor, 22 High East Street, Dorchester, Dorset. DT1 1EZ

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Exotic outposts
I St Martins

on your doorstep I the isles of scilly

Tucked 28 miles off the south-west corner of Cornwall, the tiny Isles of Scilly offer visitors the chance to experience a sub-tropical slice of England very much in the slow lane – and that’s just how Jane Anderson likes it

B Large

rowsing through the Daily Telegraph recently, a little headline caught my fancy. “Scilly speed trap on just six miles of road”. It transpires that police have just introduced the first speed trap on the Isles of Scilly… on an island with only six miles of road. Officers on the main island of St Mary’s, population 1,600, have taken delivery of a radar gun. The island has a 60mph speed limit but police admit that its roads contain so many bends it is virtually impossible to drive that fast. Since the radar gun was introduced the fastest vehicle has been a moped travelling at 34mph. Such is the pace of life on these diminutive islands, as seen in the hugely-popular BBC2 documentary series An Island Parish. St Mary’s, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, has no traffic lights and the Scillies’ four other inhabited islands have no formal roads. In fact a parallel can be drawn between these beautiful islands and many a castaway archipelago. They

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


on your doorstep I the isles of scilly

I Gig racing

festivals and events on scilly
G Walk Scilly:This seven-day walking festival from the end of March to the beginning of April features an array of themed, guided walks on topics such as archaeology and photography, flora and fauna, castles and cliffs, beaches and birds, bats and boats. G World Pilot Gig Championships:The islands’ biggest annual event takes place the first Bank Holiday weekend in May.This four-day extravaganza sees more than 1,000 gig rowers form all over the globe powering long wooden boats across the seas. G Arts Scilly:This new festival began in May this year. G The Round the Island Race:This annual event takes place on August 1, but gig races are held weekly on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

may lack the overwater chalets and underwater spas of the Maldives, but they share much tropical DNA. A splatter of around 150 low lying islands, they’re caressed by the Gulf Stream, spawning palm trees, cacti and aloe to go with the bleached and eye-popping azure water. Add to that a range of activities from diving to sub-tropical gardens, a very affable island masseuse and some of the most stylish hotels and beach cottages you’ll care to encounter, and this is one destination that makes it to any self-respecting island hot list. Boarding the Skybus from mainland UK to St Mary’s, your Twin Otter 16-seater has the feel of a private plane, especially when you touch down on St Mary’s lofty runway with the island spread out below, bathed in a painterly light. There’s none of the usual airport fuss, just friendly faces and an island taxi. In town there are cute boutiques and yachty shops. You can pick up some local delicacies at Woodcock & Mumford deli and some scented narcissus bulbs from Tideline. The Isles of Scilly Museum ( covers everything from archaeology to zoology. For island exploring, hire a bike from St Mary’s Bike Hire (0779 6638506).

Tesco. It’s one of the most beautiful supermarkets I’ve ever seen, like a mini Fortnum & Mason and not a plastic bag in sight. There are beautiful bikes for hire next door; as on Bryher, there are no cars, just service vehicles such as tractors and Mini Mokes. Just down the road is the wonderful Gallery Tresco, stuffed with paintings and sculptures from local artists. There are houses by the harbour with front gardens that stretch down like a Monet canvas. And you’ll see many groups of happy divers heading off for the day. Through a little gate with The Therapy Shed ( posted on it, is the home of local masseuse Joan, who will give you a great soft tissue manipulation. Of course what people travel here to see is Tresco Abbey Garden. Established in 1834, it has been lovingly

exotic gardens
Tresco is just a short ferry ride from St Mary’s. Privately owned by the Dorrien-Smiths, it’s highly manicured, like a mini utopia, where everything works like clockwork. All the stone houses look like something out of Country Living with idyllic names like Reading Room Cottage and Dolphin House. The main “town” of New Grimsby has its Tresco Store, a million miles from
The Flying Boat Club

I The Flying Boat Club, Tresco

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on your doorstep I the isles of scilly

I St Agnes

I Tresco Abbey Garden

The waterfront site where flying boats based at Royal Naval Air Station Tresco flew raids against German submarines in World War I is now home to the new Flying Boat Club resort. Guests renting one of its 12 beachfront houses can enjoy the on-site pool, gym and steam room as well as free tennis, a round at nearby Isles of Scilly Golf Club and entry to Abbey Garden. Just a five-minute ferry ride away from Tresco is Bryher, so tiny it makes you feel like a conquering

“This is one destination that makes it to any selfrespecting island hot list”

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tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


maintained and developed by five generations of the Dorrien-Smith family. Augustus John Smith chose Tresco for his garden due to its central position among the islands, protected from the Atlantic Ocean. Tresco had very little vegetation above the height of a gorse bush and the harsh salt gales were prime enemy to any garden, so Smith laid out a wall, 12 ft high to the west and a little lower to the south around a ruined priory. Subsequent generations brought plants from around the globe back to the gardens, which are now some of the most spectacular botanical collections you’re likely to see. Walking down to the main entrance, you pass giant bromeliads and the Dorrien Smith’s turreted family home. Don’t miss a cream tea in the cafe and the sight of the huge twin-rotor helicopter that lands next to the gardens every few hours, ferrying locals and supplies between the islands. Tresco Abbey Garden also contains the Valhalla collection of 30 figureheads plus name-boards and carvings from sail and steam ships wrecked on the islands.

exotic plants and gardens
The Scilly Isles’ maritime microclimate makes it a haven for unusual flora and fauna. Frost and snow occur so seldom that gardeners are able to grow exotic species from around the world.You’ll see bright pink South African proteas in May, wild flowers on parade from June and stunning agapanthuses (Lily of the Nile) around each corner. October brings the scented narcissi with fields turning to gold and white. Scented narcissi are grown by around 40 family growers who coax these fragrant blooms from Lilliputian fields scattered around the Scillonian archipelago. Churchtown Farm on St Martin’s sends scented narcissi in winter and show pinks in summer by first class post. Other famous flower growers are Trenoweth Flower Farm on St Mary’s and Scillonian Bulbs and Flowers on St Agnes.

on your doorstep I the isles of scilly

scilly isles facts
getting there
By air, British International Helicopters ( runs a regular service from Penzance directly to St. Mary’s and Tresco. Isles of Scilly Travel ( operates scheduled Skybus flights to St. Mary’s from Southampton, Bristol, Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End (with a shuttle to and from Penzance train station). By water, Isles of Scilly Travel operates the passenger ferry, Scillonian III, which sails six days a week from March to October.

I Yachts at Tresco

Notorious are the number of ships and lives lost off these shores. As local artist Richard Pearce ( says: “The shout of a ship gone down could bring everyone to the heart of the most mountainous seas. Lives were saved, goods were stowed – that was the Scillonian way.The wrecker’s prayer says ‘Oh please Lord, let us pray for all on the sea. But if there’s go to be wrecks, please send them to we’.When the Isabo went down in 1927, 32 Italian sailors were saved.The men of Bryher launched the gig, Czar, and rowed into the walls of the storm. I still have my grandfather’s medal, signed by Mussolini and awarded to all the islanders who saved those onboard.”

getting around
To appreciate everything that the Scillies have to offer, you must take to the water.With so many boats to choose from, there’s a wide variety of routes and destinations, not forgetting the uninhabited islands. Drop into the Tourist Information Centre (01720 424031) for advice on routes and times. As for getting around the islands, walking and cycling are by far the best options.

accommodation and information
From converted barns to castles, four-star hotels to two-star selfcatering and stunning campsites, there are plenty of places to stay.The island’s tourist information website ( has details of accredited accommodation across the islands, including deals. You can email providers direct and also search online for a variety of criteria. For up-to-date vacancies, call the Tourist Information Centre.

adventurer as you stride across it in just a couple of hours from swish Hell Bay hotel, where Ralph Lauren meets chic Cornwall-style, to Fraggle Rock Bar Cafe (a Jamie Oliver “Best British Boozer”), with outdoor tables overlooking a pretty natural harbour. St Martin’s is the third-largest island and a great place to come and dive the Scillies. If you’re more of a land lover, take a conducted tour round St Martin’s Vineyard and sample the white, red and rose wines or pop into Fay Page Silver and treat yourself to a beautifully-made silver and gold shell charm bracelet. If you want to get truly remote, St Agnes is known as the Wild West, being the UK’s most south-westerly outpost. Home to a whitewashed lighthouse, it beguiles visitors who can take a walk to Troytown Farm (the Scillies’ one and only dairy farm) to see the cows before sampling delicious home-made ice cream. All in all, the Scillies is a magical place to visit. Who needs the Maldives, I say? Or is it more a cross between Cape Cod, Corfu and the Caribbean? Another visit is in

G Island Sea Safaris (01720 422732) offer Shipwrecks, Seals and Seabirds safaris on rigid inflatable craft around the islands with friendly and informative commentary. G Scilly Fishing ( takes you on marine adventures aboard the Kingfisher, including reef fishing, shark fishing, bird-watching and wreck fishing. G St Mary’s Boatman Association ( offers wildlife and sightseeing trips across the islands. G Windsurfing, sailing and kayaking equipment can be hired from the Sailing Centre on Porthmellon Beach, St Mary’s and from Raven’s Porth on Tresco during July and August.

Jane Anderson has been globetrotting for over 15 years specialising in honeymoons and family travel. Islands are a passion and the Scillies comes high on her list, not least for the naughty seagulls who made off with one of her daughter’s sandals on their last visit.

dive scilly
With its clear water, abundant wildlife and many shipwrecks ranging from the mid-1600s to more recent years, the Scillies has some of the finest diving in the world.There are more than 155 dive sites, making it a great place to learn, novice divers to test out their new skills

and experienced divers to explore. Around canyons, stepped reefs and sheer 50m walls, you’ll spot jewel anemones, corals, “Dead Man’s Fingers”, plumose anemones and sponges. Grey seals also thrive in the local waters and are often curious and playful with divers. St Martin’s Diving School ( offers everything

from a five-day BSAC Ocean Diver Course to snorkelling with seals. Children from age eight and up can snorkel with no experience necessary. Non-divers can enjoy the marine environment by going on glass-bottomed boat trips to explore the shallows and secluded caves.You can also cruise out to Bishop Rock, the most south-westerly lighthouse in the UK.

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london life I nature in the capital

Wild about London
The urban jungle is a real natural attraction
I A llama at Mudchute Farm, Docklands


ondon is a bustling, urban metropolis, but much more than that is on offer when you explore beyond the concrete and glass. One of the greenest capital cities in the world, it is a veritable oasis of green spaces with over 3,000 parks and open areas, including urban wetlands, chalk grasslands and ancient woodlands – and they host an incredible diversity of plant, animal and bird life. Home to more than 300 species of birds, 1,500 species of plants and a surprising number of animals generally associated with the countryside, its vast array of wildlife thrives in a variety of wild habitats, from urban areas to designated sites, parks and city farms. So spending time in the city does not mean you have to sacrifice nature, wildlife and fresh air. Here are some options to enjoy London’s really wild show:

city farms
One of the easiest ways to get close to nature is to visit one of London’s urban city farms and experience rural life.
Spitalfields City Farm

starting at £15 per annum. Open: Tues-Sun 10am-4pm October-March; 10am-4.30pm April-September. Cost:Admission is free. Tel: 020 7247 8762

ing from chickens to cows, some of which are rare breeds, touching is most definitely allowed! Open: Every day, 9am-5pm. Cost: Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Tel: 020 7916 5421

gramme and its excellent Mudchute Kitchen restaurant, it is also great for family walks and picnics. Open: Tues-Sun, 9am-5pm. Cost: Admission is free. Tel: 020 7515 5901

Buxton Street, E1 5AR The nearest city farm to the square mile, yet in one of the most densely populated areas of Tower Hamlets, the farm is spread over 1.3 acres of land and receives over 18,000 visitors a year. The farmyard has a wide selection of farm animals, and they operate a “sponsor an animal” scheme with three levels of sponsorship to choose from,

Kentish Town City Farm Mudchute Park and Farm 1 Cressfield Close, NW5 4BN This North London farm is locat- Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, ed amid dense local authority E14 3HP housing, covering 4.5 acres and London’s largest city farm covers offers a busy activity and an area of 32 acres; its educational prowooded glades and gramme. Children grazing fields house and adults alike over 200 animals are encouraged including llamas, to participate together with in all aspects stables for 26 of farm life, horses and its from mucking own riding out to helping school. As well with feeds, and as a busy events with animals rangand private hire proI Otter
Brian Phipps

nature reserves and parks
If you want to make sure you see some wildlife, it is worth heading to one of the city’s designated nature reserves. Rainham Marshes Alongside the River Thames, these medieval marshes – one of very few ancient landscapes left in London – are now home to breeding wading birds in spring and summer, and wild ducks in winter. Birds of prey and rare

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Mudchute Farm

london life I nature in the capital

walk on the wild side
It is hard to believe that one of the busiest cities in the world with its heaving population and pollution-clogged roads can also be home to many wildlife species, not all of which are visible just in speciallydesignated wildlife reserves. From rare and unique species such as the water vole – Britain’s fastest declining mammal – to I A hide at the WaterWorks Nature Reserve foxes and deer, and many unlikely birds, such as peregrine falcons and pelicans, you can encounter long ago for hunting while many forms of wildlife in the only truly wild deer London. in London is the roe Take an afternoon walk deer, found mainly in through St James Park to see part of the green belt. the five resident pelicans The urban fox is a wily basking on their favourite creature to be found in rocks and waiting for their daily the unlikeliest areas of the fresh fish treat.The herds of city. And keep an eye out I Water vole fallow and red deer in Richmond underfoot for the slow-worm, Les Borg Park are descendants of herds managed often found on railway embankments
Lee Valley Regional Park

and other rough grassy places. The peregrine falcon, the fastest bird in the world, is a welcome recent arrival to London’s skies, as they have taken to breeding on tall buildings; they can sometimes be seen around the chimney of the Tate Modern, over Regent’s Park, among the City’s skyscrapers and roosting on the Houses of Parliament. The lake islands in Regent’s Park and Battersea Park are home to the grey heron, the largest European heron; although solitary birds, they breed colonially in heronries here. And the ring-necked parakeet has acclimatised so well since it first appeared in the UK 40 years ago, it has now been classified as a pest, with around 40,000 in London and the South East. For more information on where to see wildlife in the capital, the following websites have a huge resource of information on the animals and birds, including sighting details:

birds are often seen too and there are water voles in the ditches and rare dragonflies fly across the boardwalks. The wildlife garden, children’s adventure play area, shop and cafe, together with the innovative visitor centre with its huge picture windows looking out across the marshes, make this a great spot for all the family. Cost: Car park – voluntary £1 donation. Reserve – free to RSPB members, non-members £2.50 adult, £1 child and £7 family (two adults and up to four children). Open: 9.30am-5pm, April 1October 31; 9.30am-4.30pm, November 1-March 31. Tel: 01708 899840 guide/r/rainhammarshes Lee Valley Park The award-winning Lee Valley Regional Park stretches 26 miles along the grassy banks of the River Lee, from Ware in Hertfordshire through Essex to the Thames at East India Dock Basin. Its heritage sites, country parks and nature reserves are a haven for many species of

wildlife. From the important plant and insect life of Walthamstow Marshes to the kestrels and field voles of Tottenham Marshes and the unique WaterWorks Nature Reserve, originally home to the London Waterworks Company which now houses one of the largest bird hides in London as well as an 18-hole golf course, there is something for everyone in this sprawling park. Opening times and entry charges vary. Check website for details.

in May. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it has proved an unparalleled success in attracting London Wetland Centre wildlife. In 1991,132 species of Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, birds were recorded on the Barnes, SW13 9WT reservoirs, but this had This international increased to 161 by award-winning 2009. Bat, reptile haven, home to rare and amphibian and beautiful species also wildlife such as bitthrive on the terns, kingfishers and 105-acre site as a colony of endanthe centre repliI A fun day at WaterWorks Nature Reserve gered water voles, celecates different habibrated its 10th anniversary tats, such as grazing marshes, water meadows and lakes and pools. And with six hides dotted around the reserve, Species Viewing hotspots the London Wetland Centre Water vole London Wetland Centre; the Crane, Roding and Cray rivers makes it easy to get up close and Bats Bushy Park; Hampstead Heath; Sydenham Hill Woods personal to the wildlife. Red deer Richmond Park; Epping Forest Cost: Free to Wildfowl & Cattle and sheep City farms; Epping Forest; London Wetland Centre Wetlands Trust members; adult Slow-worm Railway embankments £9.95; concession £7.40; child Peregrine falcon Regent’s Park, Central London, City of London £5.50 (4-16 years); family £27.75 Grey heron Lonsdale Road Reservoir; Battersea Park (2 adults & 2 children, 4-16 Kingfisher London’s canals; Lea and Crane rivers years); children under 4 free. Black redstart Lea Valley; Deptford Creek, Lewisham Open: daily (except December Otter London Wetland Centre 25) October 31, 9.30am-6pm, Ring-necked parakeet Richmond; Hyde Park; Kew Gardens 9.30am-5pm from November 1 Tel: 020 8409 4400 Stag beetle Richmond Park;Wimbledon Common
orks N ature Rese r ve terW Wa

Tel: 08456 770 600

wildlife to spot in London

London Wetland Centre

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine


london I news

I The Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands

Make Father’s Day spa-cial
pas tend to be the domain of women, but two new packages at the Chelsea Day Spa definitely have men in mind. With the World Cup about to kick off, the Chelsea Goes to Cape Town signature treatment includes South African-inspired treatments such as the Gauteng Gold Facial, a luxurious Elixir d’Or Gold and crushed pearl facial; the MalaMala, an invigorating sea salt scrub and calming mud clay masque; and the Safari Adventure mini manicure or pedicure, finishing with a glass of Amarula cream liqueur on the rocks. The treatment, lasting approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes is available from June, priced at £250. The Daddy’s Girl exclusive signature treatment provides a special treat for fathers and daughters; while dad has his muscles soothed during a one-hour back, neck and shoulder massage, his daughter can enjoy a 30-minute Chelsea Girl manicure, plus a 10-minute hand scrub and massage. A glass of champagne and refreshments complete this father/daughI Chelsea Day Spa

Free for all
The Museum of London Docklands, situated on the West India Quay, is now offering free admission to all visitors. Offering a fascinating insight into more than 2,000 years of history surrounding the Port of London, free entry will encourage even more people to explore the numerous galleries I The youngest guide at 1st and participate in events, Beckenham Company’s first such as the upcoming camp, c1911 Here Come the Girl Guides exhibition, opening on June 26. For more information, visit

ter package, available for Father’s Day (June 20), priced at £90. To book an appointment for these packages, or any other treatments, please call 020 7351 0911, or visit the website: G We have a special Father’s Day prize – for the chance to WIN a Daddy’s Girl treat, go to and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 15, 2010 – the winner will be chosen and notified prior to Father’s Day, but the prize can be redeemed up until August 31, 2010.

Sex and the City Par-Tea
he release of movie Sex and the City 2 is being marked with the ultimate afternoon tea for all SATC fans at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. The Sex and the City Par-Tea afternoon tea includes New Yorkinspired favourites such as pastrami on rye, and mini New York bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese plus a selection of themed mini pastries, accompanied by one of the girls’ favourite cocktails, a Cosmopolitan or maybe a Flirtini.

Museum of London Docklands

World Cup fever
Savour the World Cup atmosphere by heading to one of London’s many pubs and other venues showing the games on big screens. Alexandra Palace ( will host up to 2,500 people and as well as the I Alexandra Palace football, they will have a barbecue, bars and food. Entry is £2, including a free first drink.The East Village Bar, on Great Eastern Street, will be showing a variety of games, with oranges at half time and different nationality DJs playing pre and post football matches. For details of other pubs showing World Cup matches, go to


This special afternoon tea is available daily between 3pm and 6pm from May 28, the film’s release date, to August 31, at £39 per person, with the added option of tickets to a showing of SATC2 at the Everyman Baker Street cinema with a chauffeurdriven one-way trip to the cinema (an additional £16 per person). For reservations, call 020 7299 2037 or email

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Experience the Household Cavalry Story in London’s Royal Heartland

Open daily from 10am

2 for 1 entry
on a £6.00 adult ticket with this advert.
Offer ends 31/08/10

The Household Cavalry Museum Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX

May/June 2010

tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 65

coming next + travel tech

Tick talk – and WIN a £300 sWaP watchphone
Have you ever dashed out of the house and realised you accidentally forgot your mobile phone? Now, with a sWaP (smart watch and phone), you need never worry about that – as you always have your phone on your wrist. Combining a wristwatch and a tri-band phone, these marvels combine the best features of both.Two new luxury watchphones, the Signature and Active, from sWaP are unlocked and work with most mobile providers, and as they are SIM free and tri-band, they are ideal for travelling. The water-resistant Active has a high-quality silica rubber strap with stainless steel buckle and a 1.5-inch TFT touchscreen, and features a video player for movie and music clips, an MP3 player, WAP browser and camera. The stylish Signature has a leather strap and steel watchhead, and like the Active, also provides Bluetooth connectivity and features the video player, MP3 player,WAP browser and camera. With an internal memory of 2GB via a mini SD card and the unique sWaP operating system, these watches are easy to use and a real must-have. Available from high street retailers and online stores including Amazon (, they cost £299.99 for the Active and £349.99 for the Signature. G You can WIN an amazing Active watch worth £299.99 by entering our competition. Just go to, click on the competitions and giveaways button and answer this simple question: Question: What does sWaP stand for? Terms and conditions apply. Closing date June 30, 2010.
ENIT VisitBritiain

I Shotover jetboat, Queenstown, New Zealand

Don’t miss out on the July/August 2010 issue of

get to know new zealand
The wonders down under

off the beaten track bali escape to venice

Indonesia’s enchanting holiday island Gondolas, canals, masks and history
Peter Ellegard

on your doorstep pack your clubs london life let’s try

Walking with dinosaurs on the Jurassic Coast Playing England’s Golf Coast – the North West London’s villages Going it alone on solo holidays PLUS – all our other regular features, special offers, competitions and giveaways Out July 2010

Peter Ellegard England’s Golf Coast

Peter Ellegard

App fab
A series of city guide apps for iPhones is being launched by Conde Nast Traveller this summer. Content has been specially commissioned for Rome, New York, Barcelona and Paris, with the guides priced at £5.99 each including GPS, Augmented Reality and searchable listings for food and drink, where to stay, shopping, nightlife and what to do.

Bluetooth headsets
Samsung has announced the introduction of stylish, Class 2 Bluetooth headsets to its UK portfolio.The new range is priced from under £30 to around £50. Models include the HM1600 and the HM3200. Both units feature Bluetooth version 2.1/Class 2, which boosts battery life and offers enhanced security, automatic pairing and noise reduction.

Subscribe to tlm and save
Want to guarantee getting every issue of tlm? Then take out a subscription: just £10 for 6 issues – a saving of over 30%. Go to for details.

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May/June 2010

best for I hotels

I Exterior view of ornate Thoresby Hall


Robin Hood
ituated on the edge of the ancient and entrancing Sherwood Forest in the heart of Robin Hood country, Thoresby Hall Hotel and Spa is an architectural treasure of a hotel set on a slope overlooking a stunning Capability Brown view. Although tucked in the heart of the hall’s glorious estate, it is easy to get to, being located close to the A1 just 35

series of heating and cooling experiences based on ancient rituals, complemented by a wide range of salon treatments. Thoresby offers a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets; the historic rooms in the old Grade I-listed part of the hall offer the chance of a little indulgence, with individual styling. Signature rooms in the new building are easily accessible and are characterised by modern decor and

Thoresby Hall Hotel Thoresby Park, Nr Ollerton, Nottinghamshire NG22 9WH Tel: 01623 821000 hotels best for G Themed breaks G Relaxation G Live entertainment G Sherwood Forest could do better G Rooms could do with an update

Checking out: Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire


minutes north of Nottingham, and 15 minutes south of Worksop. Part of the Warner Leisure Group, the hotel offers adult-only short breaks with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities available including fencing, croquet, golf and ballroom dancing. One of Thoresby’s attractions is its luxurious spa. State of the art facilities offer guests total relaxation and an escape from the pressures of everyday life with a

facilities. Ambassador rooms are comfortable and well appointed. A break at Thoresby Hall includes a daily full English or continental breakfast and a three course dinner at one of its three distinctive restaurants, each with its own style.
Peter Lewsey


Save on a relaxing break at Warner Leisure Hotels
I Cricket St Thomas Warner Leisure Hotels specialises in short breaks exclusively for adults with a portfolio of outstanding properties, including historic mansions, throughout the UK. Now with our special offer, you can save up to 25%* off many of these three-night and four-night breaks in 2010 with a choice of seven countryside hotels, including three with four-star status, and Warner’s six coastal hotels and villages. Prices start at £129* per person for a three-night weekend break and £154*pp for a four-night midweek break. All Warner Leisure Hotels share a relaxed and informal ambience with comfortable and spacious rooms. Enjoy a full buffet breakfast each morning, a three-course dinner each evening – with a fine dining

option* in four hotels – plus nightly entertainment and excellent leisure facilities, including indoor heated pools. Some Warner Leisure Hotels are Grade I and II listed buildings, steeped in history and surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland, while others have stunning coastal or countryside settings. You might opt for Littlecote House, Berkshire, where King Henry VIII wooed Jane Seymour; or see the wildlife at Cricket St

Thomas, Somerset, the setting for the BBC’s To the Manor Born and now the centre for a rare breeds conservation programme. Art lovers will love Bodelwyddan Castle, in North Wales, home to the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Collection. To broaden your horizons, you could opt for one of many Experience Breaks* with lessons in everything from ballroom dancing and digital photography to fencing and fishing, as well as outings to museums, horse-racing and flower shows. For more details or to book, call the Privilege Holiday Club team on Freephone 0800 138 8399 (seven days a week, 9am9pm) and quote reference code, HD577, to qualify for these special rates. You can book online using the same reference code, and also check the latest late availability deals. Go to for more information

terms & conditions
* The above offer is subject to terms & conditions. Go to and click on Reader Offers for details.

May/June 2010

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Best Western

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

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Norton Grange Coastal Resort
I I I I I I I I I Inclusive half board short breaks Beautiful secluded setting Spectacular Solent views En Suite Chalet Accommodation Live entertainment & cabaret Leisure Facilities Exclusively for adults Ferry inclusive breaks available. Weekend breaks from just £139pppb, quote 22TG8 Halletts Shute, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0SD Tel. 01983 760323 Fax. 01983 760468

for luxury day spa and retreats

The Lorrens Ladies Health Hydro Cary Park, Torquay 01803 329994
May/June 2010
tlm I the travel & leisure magazine 69

out & about I what’s on and where

Flat out for the Derby
Epsom Downs Racecourse

I Sea the Stars winning the 2009 Derby

Epsom Downs Racecourse

I Ladies Day hat

orse-racing is one of the most glamorous and traditional of sports and the Investec Derby, the pinnacle of the English Flat Racing season and one of the most famous races in the world, is a highlight of the British summer social calendar. The Investec Derby Festival takes place on Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, at Epsom Downs Racecourse. It starts with Ladies Day on the opening day, when the Style of the Downs fashion competition, to find the most stylish lady on course, is


almost as competitive as the main race of the day, the Investec Oaks. The main event, of course, is the principle race on Saturday, the Investec Derby, worth £1,250,000 in prize money and watched by a crowd of up to 125,000 people. From the glamour and sophistication in the Queen’s Stand, to the free-to-all carnival in the middle of the course, Derby Day provides a great day out for everyone. Tickets for the Investec Derby Festival start from £45; call 0844 848 0197 or visit

If you go down to Pleasurewood...
You can be sure of a few big surprises if you attend the Teddy Bears’ Picnic Party at Pleasurewood Hills, the east of England’s largest theme park, on Saturday, June 12.The popular theme park in Lowestoft, voted BestVisitor Experience 2009 by Suffolk Tourism, is raising funds for local charity, Break which provides a range of care services for children, adults and families in need. You can take your own picnic and take part in all the fun activities for children, including a colouring competition, face painting and a prize for the best dressed teddy bear; guests includes Break Charity mascot, Jeffrey Bear, and Pleasurewoods Hills’ Woody Bear. Entry to the picnic – from 12.30pm to 2pm – costs no more than the normal entrance price to the park, including all the family favourite rides and white-knuckle rollercoasters, which is £14.50 for children aged three to 11 and £16.50 for adults and children over 12. For more information, call 01502 586000, email or visit the website:

Keep it in the family
A poll commissioned for Britain’s first National Family Week last year found that the average family spends just 45 minutes a day together. Now families are being encouraged to spend more quality time together as the second National Family Week gets under way.The UK’s biggest celebration of families, it takes place between May 31 and June 6 and promotes the benefits of a healthy active family life, with more than 5,000 events nationwide during the half term holiday. They include the Family Week Picnic, Family Week Film Day and Family Week Sports Day.Taking place on Saturday, June 5, that will include the

I Teddies’ picnic

UK’s bid to make history with an attempt to break the record for the largest simultaneous three-legged race.Twickenham Stadium is hosting one of the eight flagship sports days from noon, with the race starting at 3pm. Call 0871 222 2120 or visit for more information. To find out about Family Week events close to you, visit

Background image: Epsom Downs Racecourse

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Pleasurewood Hills

May/June 2010

out & about I what’s on and where

Grab your wellies – it’s festival season
Summer festivals are as much a part of the British summer as unpredictable weather, and June sees the start of festivals of all types around the South East. Pack your rain gear and take your pick of these:

Festivals Suffolk: Latitude and more
A new campaign promoting Suffolk as the UK’s festival capital, it takes in a host of events throughout the county. They include the Pulse Fringe Festival (May 27-June 12), the 63rd Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts (June 1-27), the Newmarket Festival (July 311) and the pioneering, annual Latitude Festival (July 15-18). The fifth Latitude Festival brings together the best of music, theatre, comedy and the arts over one weekend, when more than 700 performers take to over a dozen stages and arenas. The Obelisk Arena is the focal point for music. Headlining on Friday will be Florence + the Machine, with Scottish indie band Belle and Sebastian and New York chart-topping quartet Vampire Weekend leading the way on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Comedians Ardal O’Hanlon and Rich Hall headline the Comedy Arena. The festival also features worldclass theatre productions, with the Royal Opera House and Royal Shakespeare Company among the highlights.The floating Waterfront Stage showcases leading dance troupes and features a double bill by Sadler’s Wells on Saturday and Sunday – and a 30minute excerpt of cult 60s musical Hair, featuring the 2009 Tony-Award winning cast direct from Broadway. For event and ticket details go to For more information on Suffolk’s festivals, go to


I Kids’ area at Latitude takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from June 4-6, with acts such as the Lightning Seeds and the Happy Mondays. Greenwich Summer Sessions ( greenwichsummersessions), at the Old Royal Naval College from July 21-25, features Jools Holland and Alison Moyet among its line up. And the Sonisphere Festival (, at Knebworth from July 30August 1, has the likes of Iron Maiden, Placebo and Rammstein.

Fuse Medway
A free arts festival with events throughout Medway, it takes place from June 12-26. Streets, open spaces and arts venues in

I Branching out

Trees for free
estonbirt, the National Arboretum near Tetbury, in Gloucestershire, is launching a Kids Go Free promotion among its summer events programme. It includes the June half term Around the World family event in partnership with the BBC’s Breathing Places campaign. There are also special trails for kids and play maps to explore an exciting hidden world of natural play areas, including dens, forts and, of course, trees for climbing. June 1-3, 10.30am-4pm, normal admission for adults, kids go free. Other summer events include concerts by James Morrison on Sunday, July 18 and Blondie on Sunday, June 20 as part of the Forestry’s Commission Live Music series. For more details of Westonbirt events, call 01666 880220 or check out the online site,


Relentless Nass
The UK’s biggest action sports and music festival, Relentless NASS takes place at the Bath and West Showground from July 9-11 with music acts including
Fuse Medway

I Medway street entertainment Chatham, Gillingham, Strood, Rainham and Rochester will be filled with exciting, innovative and inspiring artists, including the extraordinary Velodrone in Rochester Castle Gardens, involving audience peddle power to create music, while professional cyclists generate complementary sounds.

Relentless Nass

I Relentless Nass 2009

Music festivals
The family Wychwood Festival (

Wiley and Bowling for Soup. It also features the UK’s first ever World Cup Skateboard Competition and the Relentless NASS BMX Street Competition.

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travel and leisure directory
Budget Accommodation Channel Islands

Motor Homes
Motorhome hire in Scotland
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
Brown’s Motorhome Hire, Garrion Bridge Larkhall ML9 2UD (nr Glasgow)

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

Tel/Fax: 01698 886255

Northern Cyprus
One of the finest collections of hotels in Northern Cyprus with something to meet everyone’s expectations and budget.
Get mor e fo your £££s r a non-Eur : destinat o ion

tel: 02392 230030

Sailing Holidays


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 quoting TLM

A1 Sailing Mallorca Sea School Luxury Sail & Motor Yacht Charter


Warm breezes, crystal sea & sunshine Modern high specification yachts from 32 to 72ft available for charter • RYA practical & theory courses • Beginner to Yachtmaster • Flotilla and bareboat holidays • Dedicated RYA school boats Get more enjoyment from sailing

WWW.A1SAILING.LTD.UK Tel: +34 971 547 986 Email:

To advertise in the travel & leisure magazine please call 01737 735587
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