Tag-Archive for » home «

Explore Lanzarote in Style

Planning a break abroad this year? Then take another look at Lanzarote – the little Canary Island that´s close to the coast of Africa and fast becomingn a hot favourite with cool, indepedent travelers.

Lanzarote used to be regarded as little more than a sun drenched package holiday destination, but that´s all changed now. Thanks to the greater availability of budget flights, which has made the island much more accesible – along with the ease of booking accommodation, such as apartments and villas in Lanzarote, over the internet. As a result more and more indepdent tourists are heading to the island than ever before, with many seeking out the more authentic Lanzarote that lies away from the main resorts.

The north of the island in particular remains largely untouched by tourism. There are no hotels or apartment complexes here, just traditional little fishing villages such as Arrieta and Orzola, both of which boast an excellent array of seafood restaurants. The north is also home to the breathtaking Valley of 1000 Palms, which is an amazing oasis on an island that is otherwise very dry and arid, reflecting the very low rainfall on Lanzarote.

Many of the main cultural attarctions are also located in the north, such as the Jameos del Agua and the Mirador del Rio, both developed by Cesar Manrique, a famous local artist who has had an enormous influence on the evolution of tourism on Lanzarote.

The Jameos del Agua is an incredible sight – it was first created as a huge nightclub and concert venue during the late 1960´s and boasts great gardens as well as a sea fed lagoon which is home to a unique species of blind albino crab. This was the creation that helped to really put Lanzarote on the map back in the late 1960´s – helping to attract monied tourists attracted to what was at the time this novel holiday destination.

The Mirador del Rio is located about 460 metres up on a cliff range that overlooks the small island of La Gracioss, often referred to as the 8th Canary Island. The Mirador started life as a gun battery which guarded the Rio Straits inbetween the two islands. But was transformed by Manrique into lookout point – giving visitors birds eye views of La Graciosa.

Lanzarote is a small island so it´s easy to explore. Car hire in Lanzarote is very reasonably priced and petrol is cheap too, so taking in these amazing sights is simple and affordable.

Tower of London and Thames River Sightseeing Cruise

Step aboard the spacious River Liner outside the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Pier) and sit back as the sights and splendour of London unfold round every bend of your journey on the Tower of London and Thames River Sightseeing Cruise. Weave your way past the London Eye turning slowly and majestically, the Royal Festival Hall, the Tate Modern and the Globe, home to England’s most famous bard, William Shakespeare. Watch as the waterfront fills with monuments to London’s historical past: the Savoy Hotel, Cleopatra’s Needle, the Oxo Building and Billingsgate Market with St.Paul’s Cathedral dominating the skyline. Glide past HMS Belfast before disembarking in front of Tower Bridge, the most iconic of London’s landmarks.

Step into the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels and savour its dark and mysterious past. Wander through the Bloody Tower where the two young Princes disappeared in 1483, reportedly murdered by their uncle, Richard III; the torture chambers where Guy Fawkes, architect of the Gunpowder Plot, and his co-conspirators were subjected to the infamous rack.  Join the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and follow the trail past the Traitors Gate through the White Tower to the execution bloc where poor Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey lost their heads. Visit the armoury, the menagerie and the jewel house and discover the history of one of the bastions of Britain where William the Conqueror, Richard the Lionheart, Henry III and Edward Ist reigned supreme.

If you’re lucky you might see the famous black ravens or perhaps the ghost of the headless Anne Boleyn or one of the other guests who were sent to the tower.

– Graham Walker

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s London tours and things to do, London attractions, and London travel recommendations, or book a private tour guide in London for a customized tour!

Choosing Between Holiday Park Caravans for Sale

Advertorial Feature

Caravan holidaying is all about optimising your enjoyment while minimising the costs.  There should be no exception when purchasing your static home itself and this article has been authored to point you in the right direction of finding the very best deal for you and your family.

Buying directly from a holiday park is the best way to get value for your money in terms of the accompanying park facilities.  Family holidaying at these parks can be great fun as there are specific play areas for children, swimming pools, entertainment and lots more to provide a temporary sanctuary for the adults whilst on holiday.  Still, there a number of steps to selecting a gem from the wealth of static homes for sale across the UK:

Brand New vs. Pre-loved

There is nothing like a brand new, untouched caravan home.  Unfortunately these can sometimes come at a high price, especially now as more and more homes come fitted with elaborate extras (e.g. built in plasma TV).  However, there are very reasonable finance options available from the major holiday parks and taking the time to visit these could result in you acquiring a luxurious static home for a suitable price.

Brest a major event destination

Brest is an important harbour town in the north west of France and it has a long history with the sea. There is a naval academy here and the aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle was built here. Brest is also home to the internationally recognised festival of the Sea, Boats and Sailors which sees old riggers from around the world converge on the town. Some of the many water sports to enjoy are yachting, fishing and wind surfing.

As well as its longtime association with the sea, Brest is also known for hosting other major international events such as the European Short Film Festival. The world famous Tour de France cycle race kicked off in Brest in 2004.

The three largest tourist attractions in Brest are the Rue de Siam, or Siam Street, Recouvrance Bridge and the Military Arsenal. The maritime traditions are wonderfully exhibited in the Musee National de la Marine and the towns oldest monuments are the castle and the Tanguy tower. Another attraction is the botanical garden dedicated to endangered species.

Caen is another town in North Western France and is located about 15km inland from the Channel. It is renowned for the many historic buildings that date back to William the Conquerer. Much of Caen was destroyed during the Battle of Normandy and this memory has been preserved through the erection of a memorial of peace.

Due to its location, Caen is a very picturesque holiday spot, being only a few miles away from the coast with its beaches and busy resorts. The Chateau de Cane is a must see when you come to Caen, and is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe. The castle is home to both the Museum of fine arts and the Museum of Normandy and houses many exhibits of both art and history.

Top 5 Places In Yorkshire To Walk Your Dog

When planning your next getaway, don’t leave Fido at home. Owner and pet holidays can be fun and relaxing if you know exactly where to go. The following places will help you and your dog have a fantastic trip

1. North York Moors National Park

Known for being one of the largest green areas in the United Kingdom, North Yorkshire Moors is the perfect place to let your dog wallow about. He or she will fit in with resident wildlife as you explore the seemingly never-ending moors that appear to roll into each other. Reserve one of the Yorkshire cottages in the area so that you can prolong your stay.

Doggy tip: Your dog will have plenty of space to wander here, however, keep him close by when groups of passing animals approach.

2. Helmsley Walled Garden

Also located in Yorkshire, these historic garden grounds will be a treat for the both of you. Here you can hang out under the shade of fruit trees or let your four-legged pal splash around in the dipping pond.

Doggy tip: Bring materials to dispose of waste so that you can clean up after your furry friend.

3. Brahmam Park

This meeting place in West Yorkshire is delightful both in its ample yard space and its one-of-a-kind design. Cantered around a summer home built at the turn of the 18th century house, the grounds are a sprawling respite that includes a pond, a boardwalk and a temple.

Doggy tip: Look for signs advising when your pet pal has to be on a lead.

4. Burton Agnes Hall

Both the sights and smells of the walled gardens in this locale will make you want to stay forever. Head to East Yorkshire for a decidedly different pace at Burton Agnes Hall. This popular family spot is a great place to walk your cuddly companion and the mile-long woodland walk will give it a great chance to stretch its legs.

Doggy tip: Burton Agnes Hall can be quite busy during the day, have your dog on a lead at all times.

5. Pugneys Country Park

This South Yorkshire park is designed for maximum enjoyment for both you and your dog. While humans have a choice between water sports on one of the two lakes or trail jogging, your dog can have a little fun of its own in the dog wash area.

8 of America’s Lesser Known National Parks

The U.S. National Park system is arguably one of the greatest collections of preserved space the world has ever seen. From snow-capped glacial peaks to meandering coastal shorelines, some of the United States’ most awe-inspiring natural sights are found within the national parks. That being said, utter the phrase “national park” and most people will only be able to cough up a few of the usual suspects: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon. In 2010, the most visited national park in the United States was Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an astounding 9.4 million visitors.

While parks such as Yellowstone are undisputed highlights, this list should shed some light on 8 of the lesser known national parks well worth the cost of admission.

Kenai Fjords, Alaska
2010 visitors: 297,000 – Alaska boasts the largest number of national parks of any state in the union, and given the scenery of places such as Kenai Fjords National Park it’s no secret why. While all of Alaska’s 8 national parks exist somewhat in the shadow of the more popular Denali National Park, each are unique for their own respective landscapes and wildlife. In Kenai Fjords, retreating glaciers such as Aialik and Holbrook calve powerfully into the sea as pods of orca, humpbacks, and minke whales gorge themselves on the nutrient rich waters. Further inland, it’s possible to hike directly to the base of Exit Glacier and climb a steep, switchbacking trail for a view over the expansive Harding Icefield.

Joshua Tree, California
2010 visitors: 1.4 million – Los Angeles was once desert before it became Hollywood and high rises, and in no place is that landscape more perfectly preserved than in Joshua Tree National Park. Two hours east of the booming metropolis, the most overwhelming noise found inside of the park is that of complete and total silence. Amongst the calm, the furry-looking Joshua trees that give the park its name rise from the rock desert and boulders. A renowned playground for rock climbers and hikers, a great hike is to watch the sunrise from the summit of Ryan Mountain, where if you’re lucky you can find a big horn ram silhouetted against the dimly lit desert sky.

Guadelupe Mountains, Texas
2010 visitors: 192,000 – Another empty desert retreat, Guadelupe Mountains National Park sits quietly tucked in the far western corner of Texas, 110 miles from the city of El Paso and a world away from the more crowded Big Bend National Park. Here in the Guadelupe Mountains, the desert climate yields nearly year-round sunshine, and the 80 miles of hiking trails provide ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of desert wildlife such as coyote, mule deer, or black-tailed jackrabbits. For those feeling fit, one of the park’s most popular activities is to tackle the trail to “the top of Texas”, and stand atop 8,749 ft. Guadelupe Peak, the highest point in the entire state.

Haleakala, Hawaii
2010 visitors: 1.1 million – While many visitors to Hawaii make a journey to see active Kilauea volcano in the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, dormant Haleakala volcano on the neighboring island of Maui is home to Hawaii’s “other” national park. Home to one of the most diverse and sensitive ecosystems on the planet, Haleakala National Park stretches from its 10,023 ft. summit all the way down to the waterfall-lined seashore. Up on the mountain, catch the sunrise from the summit overlook and then descend for a day hike into the high altitude moonscape of the crater floor below.

Those wanting to truly explore the crater floor can camp at one of two backcountry campgrounds or book a night at one of three backcountry cabins. Lucky visitors might happen across a flock of endangered nene geese–the unofficial stewards of this park and the official state bird. Down on the coast, visitors can cool off in the pools of Oheo Gulch or tackle a two mile hike through a dense bamboo forest to the base of 400 ft. Waimoku Falls.

Virgin Islands, U.S.V.I.
2010 visitors: 493,000 – One of two national parks in a United States territory, Virgin Islands National Park is a literal tropical paradise set mostly on the island of St John. Though numerous visitors annually pay a visit to beaches such as Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay, many are surprised to find out that these golden shores are actually a U.S. national park. Aside from the teeming underwater reefs and lazy iguanas lounging in treetops, the park possesses the rich cultural heritage of the native Taino people, whose rock art and various remains lay scattered throughout the park.

North Cascades, Washington
2010 visitors: 24,000 – Perhaps America’s most underrated park, North Cascades National Park in Washington encompasses a terrain and level of biodiversity found nowhere else in the nation. Largely accessible only in the summer months, North Cascades possesses over 300 glaciers (the most of any park in the country), and is home to land mammals such as elk, grizzly bears, mountain lions, and the elusive gray wolf. For anyone truly wanting to get away from it all, take a boat over tranquil Lake Chelan to the outpost community of Stehekin, an area inaccessible by road and impermeable to cell phone reception that is tucked far back in the dramatic mountains that ring this outstanding park.

Petrified Forest, Arizona
2010 visitors: 664,000 – Easily accessible off of Arizona‘s stretch of Interstate 40, Petrified Forest National Park sits somewhat forgotten in the heart of the Southwest’s Navajo country. Exceptionally rich in cultural artifacts and fossilized natural history, time—like everything else in the park—seems to stand completely still. For hikers, massive petrified logs rest calmly at the base of desert rock formations, skirting past ancient Native American dwellings and artifacts literally frozen in time. Those wanting to learn more about the rich Native American heritage of the region can attend any number of cultural exhibitions by tribes such as the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi Indians that have historically called this wide-open desert home.

Channel Islands, California
2010 visitors: 277,000 – Scuba diving in Los Angeles? It’s not as strange a notion as you may think. Located just offshore of southern California’s sprawling concrete jungle, Channel Islands National Park is a little-visited corner of nature set astonishingly close to millions of residents who have never paid it a visit. While many visitors annually take to the waters off of the park in hopes of glimpsing a migrating gray whale or to dive the legendary kelp beds beneath the chilly waters, few visitors actually venture ashore one of the park’s five accessible islands to tackle the coastal trails or learn of the island’s little-known cultural history.

Egypt’s beach resorts

A beach holiday is a great way to get away from all of the stresses of home, and just find the perfect way to relax and enjoy some time away from it all. Egypt is a country that has some of the best beaches in the world, and many of these can be found along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Egypt as a destination is probably more affordable than you might think so, and if you are considering a holiday away to get some sun then it would be well worth considering Egypt.

If you are looking for deserted beaches that are completely unspoilt by man then you should go to the western coast, specifically Sinai. At Ras Sudar you will find the perfect place to relax on the sand like the locals do. This is also the perfect place to experience an Egyptian beach, and there are many restaurants in the local area that serve up great, and authentic, Egyptian food.

Another great place to escape the resorts is to go to Nabq Bay. This beach is near to Sharm el Sheikh and is wonderfully quiet but it also has many of the facilities that can make a relaxing day on the beach more enjoyable. It is also easy for those staying near the beach to go into the local town where there is a great deal to do and see.

It used to be known as a place for hippies but now Dahab beach has the great restaurants and bars that you will see on most of the beaches in the country. The beaches in this region are stunning, with their shallow and calm waters. There are also some excellent diving schools here and some great activities to entertain children.

For a romantic getaway, Nuweiba is a great place to come and it also has a fantastic beach. This is actually one of the greatest beaches in all of Egypt, but it is something of a secret kept among the locals. You can reach this beach by car from Dahab and it is well worth hiring a car to make the trip.

If you want to find even more beaches that are untouched then it would be worth going to Sharm al-Maya, this is a few miles away from Naama Bay, which is a livelier place. This place doesn’t get very many visitors so you are sure to be able to enjoy it is complete peace.

A Family Holiday in Corfu

Family Holidays, Greek Islands

When a family sits around and tries to decide on a nice family vacation, they want to go somewhere that has activities for the young and old. One place that caters to many people, and tourists, is Corfu in Greece. This sunny city has a beach and beautiful trees and land. It has been a family vacation spot for many years, and people from all over the world come here to spend some quality vacation time with their families. There are five star hotels and more affordable hotels for families on a budget. The great thing about Greece is how much family means to the people.

Weather and Timing

Greece is kid friendly, and the sunny skies and warm weather make the summer months the best time of year for a family to take a holiday. Usually this a time when tourists from all over the world come to visit, but the abundance of people make the experience even more fun. If, however, the family is looking for more quiet time, then May or October are months with less commotion. These months are also a little cooler than July or August.

Activities for the Whole Family

Kids can take strolls around the city and experience history at the archaeological museum. There are resorts that have many water sports and night life activities for adults. Motorboats can be rented out and used to visit the coves in Corfu. It is also possible to visit nearby islands because Corfu is close to the sea. Aqualand is a water park that has activities for everyone inside and outside the water. Water skiing, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, paragliding and scuba diving are some activities adults can participate in while on their vacation. Mount Pantokrator is a beautiful spot for family and friends to spend some fun time. There are tours that take people around Corfu to see the gorgeous scenery consisting of olive trees, orange trees, grape vines, wildflowers and cypress trees.

Hotel and Car Accommodation

Families can stay in one of many luxurious hotels in Corfu. However, if they are looking for something more private and just like home, they can rent a villa or beach side apartment. There are many accommodations for places to stay while on vacation. Transportation is another factor that needs to be thought out prior to arriving in Corfu. Making these arrangements ahead of time can save time and money. Car rentals or taxi numbers can help a family smooth out their vacation.

Why Corfu, Greece?

This tourist filled vacation spot attracts people for a reason. Many adults would like to take children with them on their vacation. Greece loves children and welcomes them to have fun, swim and learn about their beautiful country. The scenery is gorgeous and there are plenty of activities for people to take part in. There are private villas or apartments families can rent out to feel more at home on their vacation. It can make a family feel more at home.

Packing For A Villa Holiday

One of the most stressful parts of any holiday is the packing. There will inevitably be things that you don’t think you’ll need but do when you get there, and there will be stuff in your cases that never see the light of day once you are on holiday. Getting the balance right can be very tricky, although you may be going somewhere famed for it’s climate, there is always that niggle in the back of the mind that you may hit on the one rainy week.

It doesn’t help that the airlines seem to be always lowering the baggage allowance too, so you find that you are weighing your cases on the bathroom scales to make sure there are no hefty excess baggage charges. If you are going on a family holiday the stress levels go through the roof, as it’s guaranteed that there will be some heavy or bulky item that your little one just can’t leave at home, and will try to sneak into the case.

If, however, when packing for villa holidays, the whole process becomes so much easier and less stressful. To start with, you can rent a villa that is equipped with items such as irons or hairdryers so you can leave them at home. All the bed linen and towels will be there and the fully fitted kitchens mean that the facilities are also there should you need to wash these during your stay.

If you are packing to stay in one of the many beautiful villas in Portugal, you are practically guaranteed superb weather, especially in high season. Early and late in the year it can get chilly at night so if you have a thick jumper of cardigan you want to take, wear it to travel in to save on space and weight in your case. The Same goes for footwear, wear your boots or trainers to travel in and keep your case for your flip-flops.

Travel sized toiletries also save weight and space, and with the duty free allowances in the likes of Portugal and the rest of the EU being so generous, you want your cases going out to weigh as little as possible, to allow for what you will be bringing home with you. A villa holiday will make your packing altogether more enjoyable as all you will need is your lightweight summer clothes and swimsuits.

Large country houses are much easier to come by in France

Have you ever thought of buying a property in France, they always come across as so much cheaper than in the UK, but, pause for thought, it is not always what it seems!

It will largely depend on what you want your property is for – as a holiday home for infrequent visits, or a more permanent base in France for a semi-retirement, and each case must be dealt with differently.

There are many British purchasers who are charmed by the incredible selection of traditional.