The Travel & Leisure Magazine Sept/Oct 2009
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The Travel & Leisure Magazine Sept/Oct 2009

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In this edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine you have the chance of winning a fantastic holiday to the Azores worth £1,500. Also discover Sri Lanka, The Lake District, The Canary Islands, Toronto ...

In this edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine you have the chance of winning a fantastic holiday to the Azores worth £1,500. Also discover Sri Lanka, The Lake District, The Canary Islands, Toronto and Middle East cruises.

For more information on The Travel & Leisure Magazine visit www.tlmags.com

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The Travel & Leisure Magazine Sept/Oct 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine Sept/Oct 2009 Document Transcript

  • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 £2 where sold SRI LANKA Small miracle LAKE DISTRICT In praise of poets’ corner VOLCANIC WONDERS The Canary Islands TAKING THE PLUNGE Learn to dive holidays TORONTO Maple leaf metropolis ARABIAN NIGHTS Middle East cruises WIN # A £1,500 Azores holiday for two and a Bournemouth boutique hotel stay # Moccis slippers, soup and canal books, Flip video cameras and netbook sleeves PLUS: Hunting for bargains in London’s markets, Halloween hang-outs and Lisbon’s Golf Coast
  • T R A V E L FROM THE EDITOR SUNNY OUTLOOK W elcome to the latest issue of Toronto Tourism The Travel & Leisure Magazine. With Sunvil the children back at school the summer seems a dis- tant memory now, espe- cially as it didn’t live up to GETTING TO KNOW The Canary Islands 6 the “barbeque summer” billing the Met Office had ESCAPE TO Toronto and Niagara Falls 15 originally predicted and then had to sheepishly retract. OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Sri Lanka 20 But we can help you get back into the holi- day spirit with lots of ideas for where to go and what to do, whether you are looking for some- TRAVEL UPDATE Travel news 25 where to spend a day with the family, take a WIN – one of five copies of the Cool Canals guide break or really push the boat out on a cruise or exotic, long-haul beach vacation. ALL ABOARD Middle East/Indian Ocean cruises + news 28 In this issue, we explore the Canaries, Spain’s sunny Atlantic islands which make an ideal get- away destination any time of year. We visit the IN YOUR FLIGHT BAG 33 enchanting island of Sri Lanka, back in favour WIN – one of two pairs of stylish adult Moccis moccasins with holidaymakers now that its civil war has WIN – grab one of four Be.ez netbook sleeves we are giving away ended. Canada’s cosmopolitan and easily- accessible city of Toronto comes under the microscope for short-break holidays, while IN YOUR SUITCASE 34 Wordsworth’s Lake District is the option for those wanting a “staycation” – the year’s buzz- LET’S TRY Learn to Dive holidays 36 word. Other topics cover golf around Portugal’s PACK YOUR CLUBS Lisbon Golf Coast + news 43 capital, Lisbon, cruises in the Middle East and Indian Ocean, holidays where you can learn to dive, plus London’s street markets. ON YOUR DOORSTEP The Lake District 49 As the nights draw in, we hope it will help give you a sunnier outlook. BEST FOR Hotel review 65 Peter Ellegard READER OFFER – half-price stays at Tankersley Manor 4 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • uises Celebrity Cr L E I S U R E COMPETITION 41 WIN – a £1,500 holiday for two to the Azores Islands READER OFFER – special offer on Sunvil holidays to the Azores OUT & ABOUT What’s on outside London 54 WIN – one of 10 copies of Soup for All Occasions COMPETITIONS 56 Turespana WIN – a two-night stay at Bournemouth’s Urban Beach hotel WIN – one of two Canada-branded Flip Ultra video cameras EDITORIAL TEAM Editor Peter Ellegard LONDON REVIEW London’s markets + London news 58 Writers Peter Ellegard, Keeley Gordon, Julie Stevens, Sara Macefield, Dave Richardson, Stephanie Sparrow and Adam Coulter COMING NEXT What’s in store in the next issue 68 Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Jeannette Cumbers, Beverley Sennett & Elaine Smith Admin/Accounts Wendy Barfoot FREE BOOKS for new subscribers – see page 68 READERS’ Production Keeley Gordon, Loretta Prince Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey The next issue of LETTERS Published bi-monthly by Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd The Travel & Leisure Magazine First Floor, 103 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU will be out in November 2009. We want to hear from you. Tel: 020 8477 1529 Fax: 020 8514 4536 Let us have your Email: info@tlmags.com Printed by Wyndeham Heron Subscribe now and get thoughts on © Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited 2009 a FREE travel book. The Travel & MAY/JUNE 2009 £2 where sold The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or Leisure omissions. Magazine’s Timeless wonde r Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to Travel Take out a subscription REYKJAVIK Cool – and affordab ROCK STAR le CALYPSO CRUISING & Leisure Magazines Limited is done so at its owner’s new look, or The Isle of Wight Call 020 8477 1529 TRAVELLING IN STYLE Magical railway TEE TIME IN SCOTLAND Caribbean island hopping risk and neither Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited nor journeys Perfect days in its agents can accept any liability for loss or damage. 6 issues just £6, inc postage. on any topic. NEWFOUNDLAND the home of golf Nature’s playgrou nd Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited is a completely inde- WIN The best letter # #A week’s holiday £1,500 of Pride for two Canada’s Newfoundla worth £4,000 to PLUS: Steam Heritage Royal Albert Hall nd of Britain hotel Guide 2009 vouchers tours and more copies, pendent company and can hold no responsibility for the actions of outside agents. No part of this magazine may be Online edition subscription will win a reproduced without prior written consent. Subscribe to the online edition – and save All private advertisers are totally responsible for their own STAR PRIZE. wording within their advertisement, and Travel & Leisure up to 58%. Enjoy six issues for £6, or 12 Email us at Magazines Limited can therefore take no responsibility as issues for £24. to their content. Please seek legal advice and thereafter www.isubscribe.co.uk/title.cfm?ID=7049 letters@tlmags.com verify all the details of your purchase in writing before proceeding. Front cover photo: Peter Ellegard September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 5
  • Islands at the end 6 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • getting to KNOW CANARY ISLANDS of the WORLD I Taking in the spectacular view at Senderismo, La Palma Main pciture:Turespana The islands lie off the coast of North Millions flock to the Canary Islands every year for winter-sun Africa with Lanzarote, the most easterly, holidays, yet as Dave Richardson reveals, there is far more to being only 60 miles from Morocco. Over 200 miles to the west is little-visited El these volcanic marvels than mass tourism resorts Hierro, once considered “the end of the known world”. Columbus called in at some I thought of the diary of parish Lanzarote, one of the seven Canary Islands. of the islands on his way to discover the new priest Lorenzo Curbelo as I drove Volcanoes are one of many reasons why world in 1492, and by 1496 they were to Timanfaya National Park in people visit the Canaries, and the Teneguia claimed by the Spanish crown. The original Lanzarote. “An enormous moun- volcano in La Palma last erupted as recently inhabitants, the Guanches, were a primitive, tain emerged from the ground with as 1971. But the main draw for British peo- fair-skinned people who have left little flames coming from its summit,” he ple, who make over three million visits a trace, apart from mummies in museums. wrote. “It continued burning for 19 days. year, is the mild climate. That has led to With beaches, dramatic landscapes and Some days later, a new abyss developed and mass tourism development in Tenerife, Gran lots to see and do, the Canaries don’t deserve an avalanche of lava rushed down over Canaria and, to a lesser extent, Lanzarote their sometimes tacky image. Avoid half a Timanfaya. All the western beaches and and Fuerteventura. But there are still plenty dozen of the biggest resorts and you’ll start shores were covered with an incredible of charming places away from the crowds. to discover what makes them so distinctive. number of dead fish of all species – some The average temperature hovers around with shapes which islanders had never 22ºC year-round, making the Canaries attrac- Tenerife known before.” tive for a winter break only four hours’ flying When I visited the Casa del Vino, a wine That volcanic eruption must have seemed time from the UK. But sunshine isn’t guaran- museum and restaurant in a dramatic like the end of the world back in 1730, espe- teed, and constant Atlantic winds mean win- clifftop setting near the town of El Sauzal, cially to farmers and fishermen living 800 ter days can be wet and a little chilly. In sum- it was full of locals rather than tourists. It’s miles from their motherland in Spain. The mer, however, the plus side is that you don’t one of the top restaurants in Tenerife, serv- eruptions continued for six years and creat- get the baking high temperatures you might ing delicacies such as stewed rabbit accom- ed many of the 300-plus volcanic cones in experience in the Mediterranean. panied by wines from the nearby hillsides. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 7
  • Food and wine You’ll be lucky to find Canaries wine in Britain, whereas 400 years ago plenty was imported – especially sweet Malvasia. Nowadays the limited production is consumed locally, but wine museums in Tenerife and Lanzarote focus on its importance.White wines are the more refined, and the islands also produce rum. Cuisine is mainly fish based but also includes stews made from pork, chicken or rabbit. Most typical dishes are served with salted new potatoes boiled in their skins, and accompanied by red or green mojo sauce made with paprika or coriander. Gofio is a cornmeal used to Turespana thicken soups and stews. Spanish and international cuisines are I Cafe culture in Las Palmas widely available, especially in resorts. Tenerife’s government has introduced a gastronomy plan – not just for visitors but to “The Canaries plenty to do rather than laze all day on a beach. Drive above the clouds to Mount keep alive traditions for its own people, who Teide and ride a cable car to the top, then start learning at school rather than getting don’t deserve take the steep road down to Garachico, a lit- stuck into turkey twizzlers. tle port with 18th century buildings and The largest and most popular of the Canary their sometimes great fish restaurants. Islands is only about 70 miles from north to south, yet it has two distinctive climates cour- tacky image” Gran Canaria tesy of Mount Teide which, at 12,195ft, is the This is probably the best choice for lovers of highest peak on Spanish soil. The high vol- beach resorts, as the south has great expans- canic crater surrounding the mountain traps es of golden sand including the vast dunes of the clouds, giving the north a mild but damp Maspalomas. But beaches inevitably attract climate with lush vegetation, as in the Orotava big development, and the few miles running valley with its banana plantations. from San Agustin to Playa del Ingles and In the north are the elegant resort of Maspalomas are highly urbanised. Puerto de la Cruz (no beach but an attractive Raucous nightlife makes Playa del Ingles lido) and the modern capital, Santa Cruz, especially popular with young people and which stages a chaotic and colourful carni- gays. If you are neither and not broad minded val claimed to be the largest in the world then choose another area – the dunes are after Rio (February 12-21 next year). The described as “very cruisey” by one website, former capital of La Laguna is nearby, with and we’re not talking about ships. Quieter a church dating from 1502 and some lovely resorts in the south include Puerto Rico and the 18th century mansions and convent. more-recently developed Puerto de Mogan. A motorway takes you from Puerto de la Gran Canaria has a similar but less- Cruz or Santa Cruz to the south in less than marked north/south climatic split to Tenerife, an hour, passing Tenerife South airport, but it’s worth visiting the north if only to see which is used by all flights from the UK. Las Palmas; the largest city and port in the The south is dry, absolutely barren and Canaries, it is home to about 375,000 people. much hotter than the north, with most mass It’s good for shopping, and most of the histo- tourism concentrated in the big resorts of ry is in the Barrio Vegueta district, which has Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. a 16th century cathedral, the Canary Islands More up-market resorts include Adeje and Museum and Columbus Museum. Los Gigantes, and throughout the south are The mountainous interior is traversed by five-star hotels, often with spas and some- one main route, which is well worth taking times golf courses attached. to discover a variety of landscapes that has Tenerife is the most diverse island but its given Gran Canaria the moniker “continent beaches are a disappointment, being mainly in miniature”. Deep ravines, fertile valleys, small and of dark volcanic sand. The golden artificial lakes and the Bandama crater are Turespana beach at Teresitas, near Santa Cruz, uses the highlights, with pretty villages such as I Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote sand shipped in from the Sahara, but there’s Tafira and Tejada. You can take an organised 8 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • 4x4 trip to go off-road, or a walking holiday staying at small, rural hotels a world away from the coast. Lanzarote Despite reading what the priest had to say about the 1730 eruption, nothing prepared me for the bleakly-impressive Timanfaya National Park, or Fire Mountain. The well- worn “lunar landscape” cliché is actually a good way of describing the devastation wrought by the volcano, as much of the island is covered by black lava which is used for buildings and walls and contrasts pleasantly with whitewashed houses and blue sky. Timanfaya is not an experience you can enjoy in solitude, however, as it’s Lanzarote’s leading attraction. You drive up a mountain to a visitor centre and restaurant where meats are grilled over the intense heat still coming Turespana I Camel riding on Lanzarote’s “Fire Mountain” up from the earth, and where water poured into a hole shoots up as a plume of scalding steam just seconds later. The temperature just below the surface is 350ºC – more than I Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria enough to do your sausages nicely. But to view the most impressive volcano you have to pile into a bus with dozens of others, and listen to a recorded commentary while “weird” music such as the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey is played. Although it’s more atmospheric to trek part of the way up on a camel, the views are more impressive on the bus tour. Don’t think Lanzarote is a wasteland, as there is some greenery in the north and the volcanic grit is very fertile; it is used to grow vines and vegetables around villages of the interior such as Yaiza and Teguise. Plants are protected from the prevailing winds by little semi-circular walls – made from lava, of course. Lava flows also created the Jameos de Agua caves, another major attraction. Lanzarote also has golden sandy beaches, the main resorts being Puerto del Carmen, Turespana Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. There are no huge tourist complexes or high-rises Activities comparable with Tenerife or Gran Canaria, but development is marching steadily Sea sports are popular, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura being famous for windsurfing towards the virgin beaches of Papagayo, with world championships held in both islands. Fuerteventura is the best choice for near Playa Blanca on the southern tip. A diving, from Barlovento and Sotavento, with up to 400 species of fish on the coastal court ruled last year that 22 of the island’s shelf. major hotels had been built illegally with Hiking is popular on the mountainous islands, especially Gran Canaria and La Palma town hall corruption suspected, but it’s high- but also in Tenerife.Volcanoes, dormant or active, can be viewed on most islands but ly unlikely any will be demolished as some especially Lanzarote,Tenerife and La Palma.The islands have 600 native plant species, and campaigners demand. botanical gardens in Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The islands’ mild climate makes them ideal for golf.Tenerife has nine courses at eight Fuerteventura clubs including Spain’s second-oldest club, while Gran Canaria has half a dozen 18-hole Although it is the second largest island, it’s courses and Spain’s oldest golf club – Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas – which was also the least populated, with only about founded in 1891. 30,000 inhabitants. Lack of water, poor agri- cultural land and coastal erosion are the main 10 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • I Puerto del Carmen beach, Lanzarote Tenerife Tourism Corporation I Sunset over Tenerife’s Mount Teide Family fun Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the best choices for families, as they have theme attractions in addition to beach facilities and hotels catering for younger children. Loro Parque, near Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, is a world leader in parrot conservation and has many other wildlife exhibits and shows, including penguins. Siam Park is a new theme attraction based on Thailand, in southern Tenerife. Fun boat trips include whale watching cruises which operate year-round from Los Cristianos, to spot a large group of resident pilot whales and also bottle- nosed dolphins. In Gran Canaria, families will enjoy Palmitos Park for birds and tropical plants, and a replica of a Wild West town Turespana called Sioux City. reasons for this, but the big attraction for vis- Its popularity for day trips makes the port La Palma itors is simple – sand, sand and more sand. and capital, San Sebastian, crowded during When I stayed at a small hotel in Barlovento In parts of the island you can’t tell where the day, but once the trippers have gone it in the north of La Palma, I was surprised that the beach ends and the dunes begin, as it becomes, like the whole island, very tran- most of the guests trooped off after breakfast resembles the Sahara. Many of the 150 quil. kitted out with hiking boots and rucksacks. beaches are so long you’re almost guaran- Even on a day trip you should try to see But exploring is what this island is all about, teed a spot to yourself, and development is some of the interior, climbing through and the landscapes are spectacular. so far limited, mainly to Jandia in the far banana plantations built on steep terraces to It was just as well I hadn’t come for sun- south, and around Corralejo in the north. deep, wooded ravines. shine, as the eastern side of the island is Fuerteventura is very popular for wind- The Garajonay National Park is on a high often damp. The western side is sunnier, but surfing and also diving, including the off- plateau, with extensive forests of laurel and often battered by Atlantic winds. Puerto shore Isla de los Lobos. Inland there’s many unique botanical specimens. Playa de Naos (west) and Los Cancajos (east) are little to see, but the former capital of Santiago, with a pebble beach, is small resorts with strips of dark sand, but Betancuria, now a sleepy village, is the only resort of you’re making a mistake if you come here worth a visit. note. for a beach holiday. La Palma’s three national parks include La Gomera the Caldera de Taburiente, a huge You can’t fly directly to this island, but it’s volcanic crater over six miles easily reached from Los Cristianos in wide and nearly 5,000ft deep. In Tenerife by hydrofoil (40 minutes) or ferry the south is the Teneguia volcano, (90 minutes). which last erupted in 1971 and will Tenerife Tourism Corporation September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 11
  • Turespana I Dunes at Maspalomas, Gran Canaria Did you know? Canaries facts G A BBC Horizon programme described La Palma as “a geological time bomb” When to go which could collapse into the sea Year-round, as temperatures are fairly constant. after another volcanic eruption.When this happens, it said, a mega-tsunami Getting there would devastate the US eastern Low-cost airlines are expanding and most other seaboard within hours. flights are charters. Flights operate to Tenerife G “Canary” wines are mentioned twice South and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) from most by Shakespeare – in Twelfth Night and UK airports, while Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are now gaining more The Merry Wives of Windsor. Large routes. Monarch Airlines (www.monarch.co.uk) is operating an extra 64 quantities were imported in the flights a week to the Canaries this winter including new departures from 1500s and 1600s, to a London dock Gatwick and Luton to Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. EasyJet now famous as Canary Wharf. (www.easyjet.com) is adding Stansted to Fuerteventura, while Aer Lingus G People living in La Gomera’s remote (www.aerlingus.com) adds Gatwick-Tenerife South. Other major carriers interior devised a whistling “language” include Ryanair (www.ryanair.com),Thomson Airways to communicate across deep ravines. (www.thomsonfly.co.uk) and Thomas Cook Airlines G The islands are named not after birds (www.thomascookairlines.co.uk).Thomson operates the only direct but the large dogs – Canis in Latin – flights to La Palma, from Gatwick and Manchester. found by early explorers. Tour operators These include Thomson (www.thomson.co.uk),Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.com), Classic Collection (www.classic- erupt again one day. At present, though, collection.co.uk), Prestige Holidays (www.prestigeholidays.co.uk) and all looks very peaceful….. Cadogan (www.cadoganholidays.com). Hotel-only bookings can be made through Monarch (http://hotels.monarch.co.uk) and Youtravel.com El Hierro (www.youtravel.com). Few people have visited this western out- post, only reachable by internal flight or Getting around ferry. The smallest and most remote of the Car hire is widely available, and bus services link main Canaries has no sandy beaches and a rocky towns and resorts. All islands are served by Binter coastline punctuated by cliffs, attracting a Canarias (www.bintercanarias.com) flights from few divers and hikers wanting to experience bases at Tenerife North (note – UK flights operate to the fertile El Golfo crater. We now know it Tenerife South) and Las Palmas. Inter-island ferries isn’t “the end of the known world”, but it serve routes including Santa Cruz (Tenerife) to probably feels like it. TL Agaete (Gran Canaria); Los Cristianos (Tenerife) to La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro; and Playa Blanca (Lanzarote) to Corralejo (Fuerteventura). Dave Richardson has made over 100 visits One of the main ferry operators is Fred Olsen (www.fredolsen.es). to Spain in his 30-plus years as a travel writer. He first visited Tenerife when Playa Tourist information de las Americas was in its infancy and all Spanish Tourist Office: 020 7486 8077, www.tourspain.co.uk around it was arid scrub, in contrast to today’s big hotel developments. Panel photos:Tenerife Tourism Corporation 12 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 13
  • 14 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • ESCAPE to… TORONTO Queen city on the lake I Towering over the lake OTMPC Canada’s largest city has many highlights for visitors stands over 1,800 feet high at its tip). And as we were led to a table next to the floor-to- – not least dining over 1,000ft high. Peter Ellegard ceiling windows and handed the menu, I pri- vately mused whether I might make only a goes up in the world to report passing acquaintanceship with my food before needing a quick trip to the bathroom. H aute cuisine is perhaps IArchitectural Yet the view was so amazing as we slowly not the first thing that blends in turned full circle, all negative thoughts and downtown springs to mind when you Toronto panic totally vanished. The city was laid out think of Canada. But dur- below us like a toytown model, the modern ing a recent visit to the glass and steel skyscrapers shimmering in the country’s biggest city the glorious setting sun, dwarfing grand, older dining experience was, in every sense, one edifices, many of them overlooking Lake of the high points of my stay. Ontario. From our man-made eyrie I could It was my first time back in Toronto for see why Toronto was nicknamed Queen City. some 15 years and my wife’s first visit to Tiny sailboats bobbed on the calm waters anywhere in Canada, and dinner on our first of the lake, which stretched as far as the eye night had been arranged at one of the city’s could see. The usually-busy ferry service landmarks – 1,150 feet up in revolving 360 linking the city with offshore Toronto Island Restaurant on the iconic CN Tower was idle, thanks to a strike by city municipal (www.cntower.ca). workers. But the Toronto City Centre I wondered whether I should have told Airport on the island’s western end buzzed Peter Ellegard my hosts of my morbid fear of heights as we with the frequent arrival and departure of rocketed skywards in the lift up what was aircraft. And as the sun disappeared, the city the world’s tallest building for 32 years (it turned into a twinkling fairyland. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 15
  • All the while, we had enjoyed a sumptu- I Maid of the ous feast of dishes highlighting produce Mist at the foot from Ontario and Eastern Canada, washed of the falls down by one of the more than 550 Canadian and international wines from its “cellar in the sky”. Executive chef Peter George and his team serve up food of the highest order – pun intended. Then, after a visit to the Sky Pod (the world’s second-highest observation deck) for some photographs and a fleeting one to the glass-floored observation deck (where I kept my eyes firmly shut), we were whisked back down to earth in a glass-sided elevator (eyes closed again). Terra firma never felt more welcome. We were lucky to have chosen our first evening to visit the CN Tower. The weather turned the next day, and for the rest of our Toronto stay it was often sheathed in rain OTMPC clouds. Unseasonal for July, we were told. But then I can make it rain anywhere I travel. Next morning, we left our city-centre Niagara and the falls hotel on a walking tour with one of the most knowledgeable and engaging guides I have No visit to Toronto would be complete without a side trip to the awe-inspiring Niagara ever met. Historian Bruce Bell is more than Falls.They are just 90 minutes by road around Lake Ontario, and you can rent a car to a guide, he is a Toronto legend. Thanks to visit, take a train or bus, or book an excursion tour. his tenacity and campaigning, many notable Nothing can prepare you for the awesome power and noise of the mighty falls. One- old buildings and sites in the heart of the fifth of the world’s fresh water cascades over them, 98% of over Horseshoe Falls.You can metropolis are now celebrated with historic get a close-up view of the torrents from the Table Rock terrace, while the Journey Behind marker plaques as part of the Bruce Bell the Falls tour has elevators taking you deep into the rock to viewing decks beneath the History Project. roaring curtain of water. They include Toronto’s old jail, in the You get a waterproof poncho to keep basement below bustling St Lawrence I Whirlpool Aero Car you dry, as you do aboard the Maid of the Market – once the city hall – where he took Mist, the evergreen boat tour which has us to show us chain rings still bolted to the been drenching passengers in Niagara’s brick walls. We walked through unassuming spray for 160 years.A popular new bank buildings to marvel at their unseen attraction at the Niagara Falls architectural splendour inside, from stucco entertainment complex at Table Rock is ceilings and chandeliers to grandiose statues Peter Ellegard Niagara’s Fury, an exciting simulator and wooden carvings. In their day, at the showing how the falls were created.You can beginning of the 20th century, they were the also dine in style overlooking the citadels of this brave new world across the Horseshoe Falls cascade at the new Elements on the Falls restaurant in the complex. Atlantic. Many were torn down in the name Undoubtedly the most spectacular way to experience Niagara’s majesty is by flying high of progress, as with most cities. Some are no overhead on a helicopter tour. Niagara Helicopters operates flightseeing tours of the falls longer banks; one of the grandest of them all from its base, just downriver. Nearby you can also feel the might of the Niagara River on now housing the Hockey Hall of Fame. the White Water Walk, while you can experience the swirling waters of the Whirlpool We also toured the city’s opulent Union suspended high above on the Whirlpool Aero Car, which first opened in 1916, or by Station and, just opposite, the elegant interi- getting wet and wild aboard the Whirlpool Jet Boats. or of another city landmark, the Fairmont In the evenings, watch Niagara Falls lit up by illuminations and regular fireworks displays. Royal York hotel. Bruce revealed he worked In winter, they become even more magical there as an elevator operator in the early I Fireworks when cloaked in ice.You can also explore over the falls 1970s. Years later, he has been made the the town with its many restaurants and hotel’s honorary historian. attractions, and stay in hotels overlooking The tour continued on to the historic the falls in quieter streets behind. Distillery District (www.thedistillerydistrict.com), The Niagara Peninsula is a fertile region its old warehouses now a collection of of vineyards and orchards. Spend time cafes and boutique stores where you can leisurely following a wine trail and visiting take Segway tours, and ended with a cab Peter Ellegard historic Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as ride to the Royal Ontario Museum stopping off at a winery for brunch and to (www.rom.on.ca), or ROM as it is affec- buy local produce. tionately known. In a city of striking architecture, it is one 16 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • I Old and bold, The Royal OTMP Ontario Museum of the most striking buildings of all. The largest collection of fossils and, as you known, of course, as AGO. Toronto’s own futuristic Michael Lee-Chin Crystal wing was would expect of Canada’s largest museum of Frank Gehry – the architect celebrated for grafted on to the venerable, ornate Italianate natural history and global culture, is packed structures including Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum and opened in 2007 to mixed full of galleries where you can lose yourself Museum – was commissioned to transform reviews. Opinion is still divided today. You for hours. We visited the fascinating Dead and expand it. The result was unveiled in either love it, or you hate it. I must admit, Sea Scrolls exhibit, which is on until November 2008 and is utterly mesmerising, while the exterior is undoubtedly breathtak- January 3, 2010. from its titanium and glass south wing to the ing, I found the ultra-modern angles jutting Another old Toronto institution which has sinuous spiral stairway and wooden Galleria into the 95-year-old building rather ugly. undergone an avant-garde makeover is the Italia. The museum houses art ranging from However, the museum houses the world’s Art Gallery of Ontario (www.ago.net) – Old Masters and Renaissance treasures to Ontario’s I Muskoka chairs Underlining the region’s star appeal, the day I was playing golf on the Faldo course lake district I missed Kurt Russell wandering around the hotel lobby (he and wife Goldie Hawn Less than three hours north of Toronto is have a cottage in the area). Ontario’s own lake district, the holiday My wife and I took a canoe to paddle region of Muskoka.This is where anyone around a nearby island and get a close-up who is anyone in Canada, and many a view of its palatial cottages, and watched Hollywood star as well, has a cottage – in an old steam ship moor at the hotel’s reality luxury homes – alongside one of dock on a brief stop.We also toured the its thousands of lakes. Most people come area, visiting quaint towns, dining at here to rent smaller cabins for a few days. dockside restaurants and watching thrill- Peter Ellegard The Rosseau Resort & Spa is a new seeking youngsters jump off a railway oasis of luxury set on a granite bluff bridge into a lake and hurl themselves overlooking the sublimely-beautiful Lake into raging rapids, thankfully protected by Rosseau in 700 acres of private wilderness development which also includes adjacent lifejackets. preserve. A JW Marriott property and Nick Faldo-designed golf course,The A Muskoka side trip is highly part of the upmarket Red Leaves Rock, the final phase opened in August. recommended. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 17
  • I Casa Loma Toronto facts When to go Any time of year. Summers are warm and late spring to early autumn is best for exploring beyond Toronto.Winters are bitter, but Niagara Falls is spectacular sheathed in ice and Toronto has underground walkways. Getting there British Airways (www.ba.com) and Air Canada (www.aircanada.com) fly to Toronto from Heathrow, year-round. Flights are also offered year- round from Gatwick by Canadian Affair (www.canadianaffair.com), using partner carriers Thomas Cook Airlines and Air Transat, and by Flyglobespan (www.flyglobespan.co.uk) to nearby Hamilton. Accommodation Among Toronto hotels are the Hyatt Regency Toronto (www.torontoregency.hyatt.com), in the city centre, close to the theatre district, and the historic Fairmont Royal York Peter Ellegard (www.fairmont.com/royalyork). Niagara Falls has several big hotels overlooking the falls, some with casinos. For a quieter stay an easy walk from the falls, try the boutique Old Stone Inn (www.oldstoneinn.on.ca). In Muskoka, stay at The Rosseau, Canada’s first JW Marriott Resort & Spa (www.jwrosseau.com). OTMPC Tour operators Operators offering short breaks include Frontier Canada (www.frontier- modern art and sculptures, but I found canada.co.uk), Canadian Affair (www.canadianaffair.com),Thomas myself staring more at the building than its Cook (www.thomascook.co.uk), Flyglobespan contents at times. The queue for the extended (www.flyglobespan.co.uk), 1st Class Holidays evening opening stretched around the corner (www.1stclassholidays.com), Key 2 Holidays as it was free entry, yet nobody minded. (www.key2holidays.co.uk) and Tailor Made Holidays One of our favourite city excursions was (www.tailor-made.co.uk). to Casa Loma (www.casaloma.org), an extravagant 98-room castle built by entre- Getting around/attractions preneur Sir Henry Pellatt. Toronto has excellent public transport including buses, streetcars and a Besides its many museums, among oth- subway system with four lines. Save money by buying blocks of tickets, ers the Ontario Science Centre single-day or week passes from the Toronto Transit Commission (www.ontariosciencecentre.ca) and (www.ttc.ca).Walking tours: Bruce Bell Tours (www.brucebelltours.ca). Museum of Inuit Art (www.miamuseum.ca), Niagara Parks (www.niagaraparks.com) operates many of the Niagara Toronto boasts the world’s third-largest the- Falls attractions, including the People Mover Bus which links major sites. A atre district, and in a short break you can combined Adventure Pass gives 40% savings on four catch top productions such as The Sound of top attractions. Fly high with Niagara Helicopters Music. (www.niagarahelicopters.com). Rent a car The city is also a pulsating cultural melting to explore Niagara and Muskoka from Dollar pot; a world within a city where immigrants Car Rental (www.dollar.co.uk). OTMPC have created a kaleidoscope of ethnic neigh- bourhoods. They include four Chinatowns, a Tourist information Greektown, a Little India and a Little Italy, Ontario Tourism: www.ontariotravel.net/uk which is more Portuguese these days. Toronto Tourism: www.tourismtoronto.com As the fifth most populous city in North Canadian Tourism Commission: 0870 380 0070, America and capital of Ontario (but not http://uk.canada.travel Canada – that is Ottawa, also in Ontario), shopping is a major pastime in Toronto. You can flash cash and credit cards at several shopping centres, including the sprawling the PATH system. A word of warning, Having scaled Toronto’s highs and got Eaton Centre. And even the bone-chilling though – it is easy to get disorientated in the lost in its lows, I found a city which had winters are no barrier. This is troglodyte maze of corridors, as we did. We had to be changed out of all recognition from my pre- city; its downtown is linked by nearly 17 rescued by a friend whose bank building we vious visit. I won’t leave it 15 years before I miles of underground walkways which form were trying, and failing, to find. pay a return visit. TL 18 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
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  • With the long civil war now Land of over and the tragedy of the Indian Ocean tsunami a fading memory, there is a new sense of optimism in Sri Lanka and its gracious people smiles have reason to smile again. Peter Ellegard reports Peter Ellegard I t was 4am on a late October morn- ing and I was being driven from Colombo Airport by my guide, Janaka, after the 10-hour flight from London. It seemed everyone in this south-western corner of Sri Lanka was slumbering as we passed through town after deserted town en route to my hotel at Hikkaduwa beach resort. Then, as we rounded a bend it was as though the whole island had come alive. Hundreds of people were lining the roadside and, in their midst, a procession was snaking its way past them and swaying to the beat of drums. Despite the blackness of the night, the costumed participants were clearly visi- ble as many of them were holding flaming torches and lanterns, lighting up the crowd as well. Driving slowly past the fiery human chain, Janaka explained that this was a procession to mark the start of Deepavali, or Diwali as it is also called – the Hindu festival of lights. At the front, several dancers were twirling large, wooden six-pointed stars, the extended points 20 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • off the beaten TRACK SRI LANKA I Fire walk I Stilt fisherman I Tea pickers in with me: Sri Lanka’s hill Deepavali country procession Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard of which were alight so that as they span they died when it was engulfed as it passed through Indomitable spirit resembled giant Catherine wheels. the village of Peraliya just 2.5 miles north of And I was deeply touched by the indomitable It was a breathtaking way to arrive on an Hikkaduwa, making it the world’s worst-ever spirit of the island’s people. They showed an island I had long wanted to visit, my desire train disaster. I also saw the shells of wrecked unshakeable resilience and optimism to match fuelled since childhood by images of golden homes in the village where another 1,000 peo- their gracious hospitality, legendary friendli- sandy beaches, lush tea plantations, exotic ple had died – and where, unbelievably, a rebel ness and warm smiles. I found it quite disarm- wildlife and rich culture. ing at times; even those I spoke to who had My anticipation was tinged with apprehen- sion, too. Less than two years earlier, the “The new era of lost family members and homes in the tsuna- mi were confident Sri Lanka would bounce island’s south-west had suffered unimaginable back from that and from its bloody civil war. devastation and more than 30,000 lives had peace is now That optimism has proved correct. been lost in the infamous 2004 Boxing Day With the conflict ending this year, peace tsunami. Violence had also started to flare bringing tourists has now returned to this enchanting island and again in the long civil war which had ravaged while the tsunami will never be forgotten, the northern and eastern areas. surging back” regeneration is helping to heal its scars. The It seemed fitting that Sri Lanka was islanders have reason to smile again. teardrop-shaped; so many tears had been shed The new era of peace is now bringing by and for its people in recent years. Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up a bus and tourists surging back to its beautiful beaches Yet what I encountered as I toured the killed nine people just weeks after my visit. and historic cities, and Sri Lanka’s tourist island was far removed from my fears. I did But I also saw the revitalisation of beach office is promoting the island with a rebrand- witness some of the horrific aftermath of the resorts and rebuilding of shattered communi- ed image and slogan – “Sri Lanka, Small tsunami, including the twisted wreckage of ties under programmes funded by internation- Miracle” – highlighting the island’s easy the Queen of the Sea train, in which 1,500 al governments, aid agencies and charities. accessibility and amazing diversity. I The beach at Hikkaduwa Peter Ellegard September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 21
  • I saw much of the island’s diverse attractions during my action-packed visit, which also included taking part in the annual two-day Sri Lankan Golf Classic tournament at Victoria Golf Club, in the hilly, green interior. Stunning beaches I walked barefoot on stunning beaches in the south-west, their beautiful sands devoid of other footprints. Off one beach, stilt fishermen perched precariously on poles as they dangled hooks from outstretched rods, then enthusias- tically showed me the tiddlers they were land- ing. It hardly seemed worth the discomfort. I watched other fishermen launch outrig- ger craft into the crashing surf from beaches near Galle, the pushers laughing and joking when the boats hit waves, drenching their occupants. Galle itself is fascinating to explore. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a small town full of wonderful old buildings set within the ramparts of a fort built by the Portuguese. The Dutch made it the headquar- ters of the Dutch East India Company after winning it in 1640, before it was taken in turn by the British in 1796. Inland from the south-west’s beaches you can visit cinnamon plantations and gemstone mines, little more than shafts dug deep into the alluvial soil where moonstones and other Peter Ellegard gems are sifted from the extracted silt. I Encounter at Pinnawela Elephant orphanage Leopards and elephants On the south-east coast, Yala National Park is Before 1800, Sri Lanka had around 15,000 Lanka’s most popular tourist attractions. Twice one of 14 national parks in Sri Lanka and one wild elephants. Today, protected parks are the a day, the herd is led to a river where the ani- of the best places in the world to see leopards. only places to see them in the wild. Uda mals bathe in front of tourists, who can pay Sadly, they eluded me on my visit. However, I Walawe National Park is home to some 500, extra to have their pictures taken with them or did see plenty of other inhabitants, including while up to 300 at a time can be seen in feed them. Stars of the show are always the crocodiles, monkeys, peacocks and elephants. Minneriya National Park. But a must on any tiniest youngsters. They melt your heart. Even here is a stark reminder of the tsunami. itinerary is the Pinnawela Elephant In the island's centre, Kandy is home to Sri Alongside the remains of the park ranger's Orphanage, 80km north-east of the capital, Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a house which once stood by the beach, a stain- Colombo. Set up by the government in 1975 tooth of Buddha himself. It is housed in the less steel sculpture graphically depicts the to care for injured and orphaned elephants, it Temple of the Tooth, in a beautiful, forested destructive waves. is home to 70 elephants and is one of Sri lake-side setting. The spectacular, annual (www.rcgcsl.com), founded in 1879. Chill or thrill Golfers have to stop to let trains cross the From sedentary to full-on, a holiday in Sri fairway on one hole. Lanka can be as relaxing or action-packed Being an island, water activities abound. as you want. Dive on beautiful reefs or explore caves If you want to chill out, some of the and wrecks off the south and west coasts. Sri Lanka Tourist Board best beaches on the planet stretch from Kayaking and white-water rafting are the far south up the west coast to popular.You can even raft past the hill Negombo, north of capital Colombo. Be country village used as the setting for the pampered with Ayurveda wellness classic wartime film, The Bridge on the River treatments, based on the ancient belief of Kwai. ensuring the five elements are brought I Taking an Ayurveda spa bath You can go whale and dolphin watching into harmony.You can have sessions in a along the south and west coasts. Prime traditional, local centre or in a spa at a visitors, from the cooler hills of Nuwara time is November to March. And you can luxury beach-side resort. Eliya to the country’s oldest course, the view Sri Lanka’s natural majesty from the The island has several golf clubs open to Royal Colombo Golf Club air on hot air balloon or helicopter trips. 22 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
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  • I Fire-walking at Kandy All photos: Peter Ellegard I Temple of the Tooth at Kandy Esala Perahera festival in July or August is in Sri Lanka facts honour of the sacred tooth, which is carried around Kandy in a golden casket. It involves When to go fire-dancers, drummers and tusker elephants Sri Lanka enjoys sunshine year-round.The best time to adorned with elaborate costumes and covered visit the south-west’s beaches is from November to in tiny lights. While in Kandy, I went to a cul- April, the rainy season being May-September. tural performance of music and Kandian Temperatures hit a high of 31ºC on the coast, and dance, which culminated in fire-eaters walk- range from 18-22ºC in hilly Nuwara Eliya. ing across a pit of blazing coals as monsoon rains lashed down. Getting there By contrast, the atmosphere in the hilltop SriLankan Airlines (www.srilankan.aero) flies direct from London to town of Nuwara Eliya south of Kandy and capital Colombo. Emirates (www.emirates.com) operates flights from almost 2,000 metres above sea level was posi- London to Colombo via Dubai, Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) tively serene. A world away from the rest of via Doha and Etihad (www.etihadairways.com) via Abu Dhabi. Sri Lanka, the lush mountains of this area are where the British built hill stations to escape Getting around the heat of lower regions and grow tea. Hiring a car with a driver to explore the island is relatively cheap.You can also travel cheaply by train, with routes operated by Sri Lanka Railways Tea plantations (www.railway.gov.lk). Plantations of vivid green tea bushes are draped across every available slope and Accommodation armies of women still pick the tender, young Options range from budget hotels to luxury brands. Notable hotels include leaves by hand, putting them in baskets slung Colombo’s Galle Face Hotel (www.gallefacehotel.com), open since 1864 on their backs held by straps over their heads. with guests including Lord Mountbatten, Nehru and US President Richard You can visit factories to see how the tea is Nixon.The boutique Amangalla (www.amanresorts.com), processed, try different blends and buy some in the heart of Galle’s fort, and the Vil Uyana eco-retreat to take home. You can even stay in an old tea (www.jetwing.com) below Sigirya’s rock are others. factory which has been turned into a hotel. Nuwara Eliya itself is like stepping back in Tour operators time, and is often called Little England for its Operators featuring Sri Lanka include Worldwide atmosphere and architecture. North of Kandy, Direct Holidays (www.worldwideholidays.co.uk), the towering Sigiriya rock has the remains of Virgin Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk), Somak an ancient royal palace at its summit. Sri Holidays (www.somak.com), Key2holidays (www.key2holidays.co.uk), Lanka’s capital for over 1,500 years, Premier Holidays (www.premierholidays.co.uk), First Choice Anuradhapura, is a UNESCO World Heritage (www.firstchoice.co.uk), Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk), Cox & Kings Site sacred to Buddhists and the well-preserved (www.coxandkings.com),Thomson (www.thomsonworldwide.com) ruins include several huge, white dagobas. and Monarch Holidays (www.monarchholidays.co.uk). Polonnaruwa also features ancient Sinhalese ruins, among them giant Buddha statues. Tourist information Whatever you choose to do and see in Sri Visit Sri Lanka Tourism’s website on www.srilanka.travel or call 0845 880 Lanka, your visit will overwhelm both your 6333. senses and your emotions. Just as mine did. TL 24 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • TRAVEL update Baby, it’s cold inside F or a break with a differ- will create its icy “art suites” with fireplace and private spa. ence, why not stay in one along with an ice-pillared hallway, Tailor Made Travel has two- of three ice hotels this ice chandeliers and an Absolut Ice night packages, including one in winter? This will be the 20th Bar, offering ice block seats cov- the Quebec ice hotel, from £199 season of Sweden’s Icehotel, ered in reindeer skins. per person, excluding flights. the largest hotel made com- Discover the World offers Call 0800 988 5887 or visit pletely of snow and ice. The packages with direct flights www.tailor-made.co.uk for temperature in its 80 rooms and from London’s Heathrow to more details. suites ranges between -5ºC and Kiruna Airport, 15km from the The newest and most exclu- -8ºC – positively balmy com- hotel, with three-night breaks sive ice hotel has just 10 rooms pared with outside temperatures from £886. For details, visit and is located high up in the which can drop to -37ºC. www.discover-the-world.co.uk wilderness of the Fagaras Situated in Jukkasjarvi, 200km or call 01737 218 800. mountains in Romania, accessi- inside the Arctic Circle, it is now The Hotel de Glace, just out- ble only by cable car. almost 100 times the size of the side Quebec City in Canada’s Untravelled Paths has a four- original, which spanned 60 square Quebec province, is celebrating night package staying there, metres. Over 80 people will start its 10th anniversary and is open beginning and ending in constructing the hotel in from January 4-April 4, 2010. Bucharest, from £360 per per- November ready for a mid- Sleep in a cosy, Arctic sleeping I Have an ice day: son. For more information, visit December opening, including 39 bag in one of the 36 igloo-style Quebec’s Hotel de Glace www.icehotelromania.com or artists from nine countries who rooms and themed suites, some call 0871 662 9521. See Santa on a family snow patrol Black stuff breaks S till on a snowy theme, treat the Celebrate the 250th kids to an experi- anniversary of Ireland’s ence they will never for- famous “black stuff” get with a trip this winter and take an autumn to meet Santa Claus in break to Dublin.The his Lapland home. High actual anniversary, above the Arctic Circle, known as Arthur’s Day, enjoy husky sled-rides, is on September 24 – reindeer sleigh rides and 250 years to the day of Esprit Santa's Lapland snowmobiles, then return the signing of the lease to warm yourself in front at the St James’s Gate of a log fire in a tradi- Brewery by Arthur Tourism Ireland tional log cabin. Guinness. Sovereign Luxury To mark the Holidays offers three or I Sleigh time in Lapland occasion, Irish Ferries four-day programmes starting from £1,799 for a nights’ bed and breakfast has special deals on breakfast. from £1,209 per adult and family of four, including accommodation and short breaks until the While in Dublin, head £1,065 per child, including flights, transfers, two activities such as a pri- end of the year, with to the Guinness Gravity flights, accommodation, vate family snowmobile two-night city breaks Bar on the seventh floor excursions and Festive safari to find Santa, a starting from £125 per of the brewery’s Dinner. For bookings and visit to the Joulukka Elf person and some third- Guinness Storehouse for more information visit School, and husky sled night-free offers.Three- a pint and a 360-degree Esprit Santa's Lapland www.sovereign.com or and reindeer sleigh rides. night breaks start at panoramic view. For call 0871 664 0227. Book Esprit Santa’s £199 per person. Deals more information on the Esprit Holidays offers Lapland packages on include return ferry ferry breaks, go to two and three-night hotel 01252 618300 or visit travel and city-centre www.irishferries.co.uk stays in Rovaniemi from www.santaslapland.com accommodation with or call 08717 300 400. Gatwick with prices I Making friends for more details. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 25
  • TRAVEL update Take a slow boat – and More connections WIN a Cool Canals guide Following the introduction of flights from Gatwick to Madrid earlier this year, Air Europa is expanding its E ver thought of giving up services to include three your job, selling your weekly onward flights to house and car and going Salvador in Brazil, increasing off to live a self-sufficient connections to South eco-life on a slow boat to American destinations. nowhere in particular? Winter sun destinations such That’s exactly what two as Palma and Tenerife will also ladies decided to do seven be more easily accessible. years ago, on a whim. www.aireuropa.com British Waterways Having bought the shell of a narrowboat, Bhaile, and fit- I Mount Teide, Tenerife ted it out themselves, friends Phillippa Greenwood and I Britain’s canals are a destination in their own right Irish-born Martine O’Callaghan set off with their four Canals, and even started their (www.waterscape.com) and Turespana cats on a Bohemian lifestyle explor- own publishing company and from the authors’ website ing Britain’s inland waterways. printed it themselves when they (www.coolcanalsguides.com). During their travels, the couldn’t find anyone to publish it. We have five copies of Cool nomadic duo realised that the The book highlights how to Canals to give away. Cape Town cricket canals were a destination in their get the best out of Britain’s To win a copy, go to own right, with their own lingo, waterways, both on and off the www.choicetravelinfo.com After the Ashes summer, culture, landscape, heritage and canals, and helps readers discov- and click on competitions & follow England’s cricket team activities. Yet they could find no er what makes them so special. giveaways, answering the follow- this winter as they take on up-to-date guidebooks on The first in a series of ing question: What is the name of top-ranked nation South Britain’s canals except naviga- planned guides, it costs £14.99 Phillipa and Martine’s narrow- Africa. Sport Abroad is tion guides. and is available through British boat? Terms & conditions apply. offering a nine-night Cape So they wrote their own, Cool Waterways’ leisure website Closing date is October 31, 2009. Town itinerary including flights, four-star bed and Long-haul winners most popular currencies, 15 are for long-haul destinations; all- inclusive deals to countries like breakfast accommodation, a New Year’s Eve cruise and tickets for the Third Test, for T op long-haul destinations have been the biggest win- I Jamaica has been a winner for all-inclusive deals Jamaica and Mexico, even after the swine flu outbreak, £2,849 per person.Visit www.sportabroad.co.uk Jamaica Tourist Board ners this year, with more have seen increased demand. or call 0845 6803086. British holidaymakers spurn- The Turkish lire and the ing short mini-breaks and tak- ing a single trip to places such Egyptian pound are the most popular currencies after the Family adventures as Thailand and Barbados, euro and US dollar, proving the Five new family trips, according to the American Exchange Service Currency popularity of these value-for- including a 15-day Turtles, Express Global Foreign Index. Of this year's top 25 money destinations. Rivers and Mountains trip to Costa Rica and a 14-day South Africa and Swaziland New dive brochure range of diver training programmes teen adventure are in The including beginners. They also have a Adventure Company’s new I f you’re inspired by our Let’s Try fea- ture, Longwood Holidays’ new Red Sea Diving brochure is a complete guide selection of buy-one-get-one-free or buy-one-get-one-half-price offers on diving packages and courses at select- Family Adventures brochure. Book before December 20 with a £50 deposit to enter a to diving in the Red Sea and features ed dive centres on certain dates. For draw to win the cost of a new products such as the Easy Divers more information, call the specialist child place back. Go to Red Sea dive centre in Hurghada, a dive team on 020 8418 2528 or visit www.adventurecompany.co.uk PADI five-star Gold Palm IDC (instruc- www.longwoodholidays.co.uk and or call 0845 609 0890. tor development centre) with a wide click the brochures tab. 26 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 27
  • I P&O Cruises’ Oriana in the Suez Canal Ships the desert P&O Cruises of T he lands of Arabia and the among British holidaymakers. Cruising the Middle East and exotic islands of the Indian The lure of this tiny emirate’s captivating Indian Ocean is a great way to Ocean hold plenty of eastern mix of sun, sea and shopping combined with experience these up-and- promise for cruise passengers the cultural contrast of its more traditional looking to explore some- neighbours has proved to be irresistible to coming holiday regions. where out of the ordinary. cruise passengers. Sara Macefield looks If you’ve tried the Mediterranean and Cruises through the Middle East used to dipped your toe into Caribbean waters, why be restricted to long voyages or world cruis- at the possibilities not sail eastwards to explore the sultry sur- es, but that changed three years ago when roundings of the Persian Gulf or dis- Italian cruise line Costa Cruises cover the tropical outposts of started one-week round trip I Mauritius Mauritius, the Seychelles and sailings from Dubai. the east coast of Africa. The rest, as they say, is Here’s an idea of what history. Demand from you will find: passengers, particularly from the UK, was so MIDDLE EAST strong that Costa dou- Costa Cruises This has been one of the bled the number of cruis- cruising success stories of es by basing two ships in recent years, fuelled by the Dubai. I Costa has been sailing from Dubai for three years rocketing popularity of Dubai This winter, there will be MTPA 28 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • all ABOARD MIDDLE EAST & INDIAN OCEAN CRUISING more choice than ever before as American Middle East & Indian Ocean facts cruise line Royal Caribbean International makes its Middle Eastern debut by basing a Sample cruises ship there, too. Costa Cruises (0845 351 0552, www.costacruises.co.uk) is offering a one-week cruise from Dubai, calling at Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Where do you go? Muscat, from £499 on January 9, 2010. Flights extra. Voyages through the Persian Gulf generally last one week and start and finish in Dubai, Silverseas Cruises (0844 770 9030, www.silversea.com) is offering a 16- making it easy for holidaymakers to add on day Isles of the Indian Ocean sailing from Dubai on December 4 to the a few days in this famous tourism hotspot. Seychelles. Ports of call include Muscat, Mumbai, Sri Lanka and Seychelles From here, ships sail into the heart of the islands such as Praslin and La Digue. Prices are from £2,897 and flights and Middle East, generally following the same ports charges are extra. route. Ports of call include Muscat in Oman, Other useful cruise contacts: renowned for having one of the oldest civili- Cunard Line (0845 678 0013, www.cunard.co.uk) sations in the Arabian Peninsula, and Crystal Cruises (020 7287 9040, Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, an www.crystalcruises.co.uk) Starwood Hotels ideal jumping off point from which to MSC Cruises (0844 561 1955, www.msccruises.co.uk) explore the desert. Oceania Cruises (01344 772344, Then there’s the capital of the emirates, www.oceaniacruises.co.uk) Abu Dhabi, where passengers can go ashore P&O Cruises (0845 678 0014, www.pocruises.com) to barter in the gold souks, ride the desert Regent Seven Seas Cruises (02380 682280, www.rssc.co.uk) dunes on 4x4 safaris and admire the opu- Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005, www.royalcaribbean.co.uk) lence of the unique Emirates Palace hotel. Saga Cruises (0800 096 0079, www.saga.co.uk/travel) Another stop is the tiny island of Bahrain, Spirit of Adventure (0800 015 6984, www.spiritofadventure.co.uk) a great trading empire of ancient times that Swan Hellenic (0845 246 9700, www.swanhellenic.com) is now better known for its liberal culture, Thomson Cruises (0871 231 5938, www.thomson.co.uk/cruise) making it popular with tourists. Voyages of Discovery (0845 018 1808, www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk) The Dubai cruising season Yachts of Seabourn (0845 070 0500, www.seabourn.com) tends to run from December to May, but I Bahrain Check out the website of the Passenger Shipping Association, which if you’re looking for represents all the main cruise lines, at www.discover-cruises.co.uk a longer cruise through the Middle East, several dif- impressive underwater attractions. One of the first easterly points that ships ferent cruise lines Once they reach the Gulf of come across is the port city of Aden in offer sailings dur- Aden, ships can either head south Yemen, a fascinating former British colony ing winter, spring down the east coast of Africa and where the remains of its years spent under and autumn. towards the Indian Ocean or east imperialist rule can still be seen. These tend to be towards the Persian Gulf and India. Farther along this stretch of coast is cruises sailing between the Mediterranean and the Far East which cut through the Suez Canal and sail along the Red Sea. Banditry at sea En route, ports of call include Port Said It’s not all plain sailing in this region. In recent years the Gulf of Aden has gained a or Alexandria on Egypt’s Mediterranean somewhat notorious reputation as the pirate capital of the world’s waterways coast from where the pyramids of Cairo and following a string of attacks by boatloads of Somali bandits on ships passing through. other ancient attractions await. While commercial vessels have been the main targets, cruise ships have also been chased – though, so far, all of them have managed to escape their would-be attackers. Red Sea Larger cruise ships have the power to outrun the pirate boats and take evasive In the Red Sea, the port of Aqaba in Jordan action, but smaller, more vulnerable ships have to be more careful. is the gateway to the ancient city of Petra, Some make sure they join the naval convoys going through the region while others which can be reached on a day trip, and have altered itineraries to avoid the area altogether. other ancient wonders. Italian cruise line MSC Cruises had the closest skirmish earlier this year when shots Sharm el Sheikh, on Egypt’s Sinai coast, is were exchanged between the pirates and its onboard security team. a lively hub of hotels, bars and shops, but is The ship and its passengers came through the confrontation unscathed, but the also famous for its fabulous diving, while cruise line has since announced that it is changing its itineraries to avoid the area. western Red Sea port Safaga boasts similarly- September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 29
  • Cruise tips G Persian Gulf cruises are rich in CRUISE SHIP Review culture but, apart from Dubai, they don’t offer much else in the way of tourist attractions. G Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean International ships spend a night in Dubai at the start and the end of each cruise, giving passengers ample opportunity to explore the emirate without having to pay high hotel rates. G It may be hot, but ladies need to Celebrity Cruises remember to cover up and dress respectfully if they are going ashore, I Sleek and stylish: Celebrity's especially in more traditional areas. new ship impresses G Longer cruises that visit the Middle East may be described as repositioning cruises, where ships Jumping aboard: Celebrity Solstice move between the Mediterranean fa c t b ox and the Far East.They may also be Whether you’ve cruised before or not, sectors on world cruises. this new ship from Celebrity Cruises cannot fail to impress. Its sleek and stylish design makes it a Celebrity Solstice Salalah, Oman’s second-largest town and the cut above most other cruise ships, but so-called perfume capital of Arabia thanks to the most novel attraction has to be The Cruise line: Celebrity Cruises the abundance of frankincense trees growing Lawn Club - half an acre of real grass that (www.celebritycruises.co.uk) in the town’s surprisingly-lush surroundings. covers part of the deck like a green Cruise: One-week Eastern Caribbean blanket. cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Puerto INDIAN OCEAN This is the place to practise putting; try Rico, St Maarten and St Kitts Like the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean is a your hand at bocce ball (which is a bit Facilities: Spa, Lawn Club, glass- beautiful, tropical escape that was made for like bowls); or simply sit down with a blowing show, 19 shops, three cruising. drink and admire the view. swimming pools, 10 dining venues You can choose the beach paradise of On the edge of the lawn is another Mauritius, with its picture-perfect stretches unusual, and entertaining, feature – the Shipshape of dazzling white sand, or the stunning land- Hot Glass Show, where glass-blowers G Great restaurants scape of the Seychelles islands, renowned breathe life into their molten creations. G Lots to do for their incredible beauty, rich wildlife and But the main hub of the action is G Wide choice of bars French colonial charm. around the two main swimming pools and G Good for kids Then there’s Madagascar, an island with the deck bathing fountain, which was a a rich culture, owing to its diverse combina- magnet for excited children who ran That sinking feeling tion of European, Indian, African and Arabic excitedly through the jets of water as G Cabin space a bit tight influences; the “spice island” of Zanzibar; or they shot randomly into the air. G Inflexible dining in main restaurant the unspoilt Comoros Islands, known for Mealtimes were also a treat.The their rustic traditions and crafts. striking ivory and silver Grand Epernay But one of the highlights of cruises to this dining room was the best I’ve seen on a area is the chance to go wild in Africa. large ship, matched by delicious five- By stopping at the Kenyan beach resort course dinners. of Mombasa, passengers can travel beyond There were numerous other the ivory white sands lining the coast to restaurants to choose from, though they view the spectacular vast, grassy plains of carried an extra charge of up to $30 per the Masai Mara. head. However, the Italian Tuscan Grille This is the place to discover the traditions and fine-dining Murano restaurants were and rituals of Masai tribesman and the rich impressive for their food and service. wildlife that makes Kenya one of the world’s Dining here did feel very select and most sought-after safari destinations. special. Like the Middle East, voyages through Celebrity Solstice is a ship that can Celebrity Cruises the Indian Ocean and along the East African cater for the most sophisticated of tastes, coast are mainly restricted to ships passing but it also has a fun side that ensures that through on longer sailings, but Costa is a I Play croquet it carries plenty of kids appeal. on real grass notable exception as it offers 14-night cruis- Sara Macefield es from Mauritius in winter. TL 30 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • CRUISE news CRUISE CLIPS Lines tempt new cruisers The BBC’s Strictly Come W ith around 1.5 million Britons going Dancing show has spawned a cruising each year, cruise lines are surge in demand for dance- doing more than ever to tempt them themed holidays, according to on-board. The second annual National Cruise cruise travel agency Week in September saw a stream of special cruise deals and value-added incentives, helping to showcase cruising to a wider audience. “Cruising boasts a world of opportunity and with a record number of Brits embracing cruising last year, we are pleased to report that in spite of the recession, the exceptional value of cruise holi- days means they are still immensely popular, said Bill Gibbons, director of the Passenger Shipping Association. “National Cruise Week celebrates that success BBC Pictures I Bruce and co have got and welcomes new-to-cruise passengers to get Strictly fans all at sea onboard.” It’s a busy time for the cruise industry. Cruise118. Several lines offer November sees the march of the “mega-ships” themed sailings, while Island with the launch of the world’s largest ship, Oasis RCI Cruises runs its own version of the Seas. I Computer-generated image of the carousel on Oasis of the Seas with two of the show’s Owner Royal Caribbean International expects professional stars, Darren to take cruising to a new level with this record- feature a full-size, hand-painted carousel ride, the Bennett and Lilia Kopylova. breaking vessel. first at sea. It will hold a staggering 5,400 passengers and Other highlights include a zipwire suspended is so big it will be split into seven distinct neigh- across the deck, a Rising Tide Bar which moves bourhoods, including Central Park, based on New between decks as the ship sails along, and an York, and Boardwalk, inspired by English seaside amphitheatre-style stern Aquatheatre for ambi- piers and classic American boardwalks. That will tious water-based shows. Saga Cruises ting single supplements by up to half, bringing them down to I End of the line 30% on some sailings. for Saga Rose Mediterranean cruise line Louis Cruises has waived single October 30 marks the final supplements on its weekly voyage of Saga Cruises’ cruises from Athens until flagship, Saga Rose, but its October 23. Costa Cruises replacement, Saga Pearl II will Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has be launched next March with I Costa Cruises is slashing single supplements more than 200 single cabins an inaugural cruise from across its ships and single supple- Solo sailors Southampton to Norway. ments average at 65%, though on some sailings they are reduced. A new cruise line called Hurtigruten does not charge Cruise & Maritime Voyages is single supplements on most of T being set up to offer cruises aking a cruise can be the price for a two-berth cabin. its sailings while Voyages of from the UK in 2010 on two perfect holiday for solo But more lines are now cater- Discovery also runs cruises with ships. One of them, Marco travellers wanting to ing for lone passengers by reduced or no extra charges for Polo, will offers sailings from meet like-minded companions either reducing single charges lone travellers. Tilbury while sister ship Ocean in sociable surroundings. or adding specially-designed Companies such as Holland Countess will sail from ports The main disadvantage can single cabins to their ships. America Line and Transocean including Hull, Newcastle, be the high rate of single supple- Costa Cruises is the latest Cruises run so-called share pro- Greenock and Plymouth. ments which means lone passen- line to act on this. For all book- grammes enabling strangers (of gers can end up paying the full ings after December 1, it is cut- the same sex) to pair up. 32 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • in your FLIGHT BAG Hygiene when No sweat for Sure! you need it Sure Maximum Protection for men and women is an anti- perspirant deodorant that provides 48-hour protection A ndrex On the Go the solution on your from sweat, while caring for Antibacterial hands or surfaces and your underarms. Spray guarantees allow it to dry. Sure Maximum Protection is to kill 99.9% of bacteria. Andrex On the Go formulated with TRIsolid More versatile than anti- Antibacterial Spray innovative body response bacterial hand gels and comes in a handy 50ml technology which contains three important foams, this alcohol-free spray bottle and fits per- components: spray not only cleans fectly into a handbag or G Maximum wetness protection and refreshes hands, it’s pocket so that it can be G Encapsulated odour-fighting technology – also effective in disin- used whenever and wher- fragrance is released when sweating begins fecting hard surfaces ever it’s needed. G Skin moisturising ingredient such as door handles, Andrex On the Go Sure Women and Sure Men toilet seats or even a Antibacterial Spray is Maximum Protection anti- child’s high chair. Better available at selected UK perspirant deodorants are still, there is no need to retailers, priced £1.99. available from leading chemists add water; simply spray and supermarkets with an RRP of £4.99 for 45ml. For a list of stockists, call the Sure Customer Liven up your flight with Careline on 0800 085 2639. a pair of funky Moccis Getting it covered N ot only are they very practical Moccis are not just for children, the but Moccis look good, too. Each pair is made by hand whole family can now enjoy them! Baby and junior Moccis cost £18 and is easy with Be.ez with delicate hand stitching in the only adult ones are £26. If you find it too hard to leave your netbook at moccasin factory in Sweden and, to Go to www.moccis.co.uk, where home, then the least you can do is protect it with ensure the best possible quality, you can register your details for quicker a bright and colourful memory Moccis are made of natural ecotex-cer- shopping, view all collections, check foam sleeve from Be.ez. tified materials. The leather sole is out what’s new and what’s coming soon, Shock absorbing and durable and flexible, allowing the foot find the nearest stockist, view extremely durable, the to move freely, and the moccasin has favourites and create a wish list. Be.ez netbook sleeves double elastic at the ankle which will G WIN one of two pairs of adult Moccis. are compatible with 8.9” prevent it from falling off. They are Go to www.choicetravelinfo.com and and 10.2” netbooks and perfect for long haul flights and winter click on competitions & giveaways. come in nine colours.To skiing holidays. Terms & conditions apply. Closing date protect your pride and joy October 30, 2009. from bumps and scratches for as little as £17.50, go to www.be-ez.com G To WIN one of four Be.ez Netbook Sleeves, simply log on to www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on competitions & giveaways.Terms & conditions apply. Closing date October 30, 2009. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 33
  • in your SUITCASE Fit-flopping fantastic Get a workout while you walk with FitFlops.They help improve your posture, tone your calves, your thighs and your bum muscles, and have been reported to provide relief from conditions including chronic back pain and sciatica. The secret is a midsole using patent-pending “microwobbleboard” technology which increases leg muscle activity by approximately 10-12% Ta ta to every time you take a step. You don’t have to walk miles every day to notice a difference.You can wear them in your tummy trouble holiday apartment, around the pool or to the local shops – and even Julianne Moore and Oprah have been seen sporting them. FitFlops have an RRP of £44 and come in a range of colours and L styles, so simply choose your ife’s-Biotic is the to such troubles. Take mula provides good live favourite pair and begin first pro-biotic you Life’s Biotic before and bacteria to help keep the working out while you can keep in your during your holiday to digestive system healthy. walk. suitcase and not in the preserve good gut flora A pack of seven 7ml For store listings go to fridge. and enhance your vials (no water needed) www.fitflop.com/wheretobuy Embarrassing and immune system, helping has an RRP of £6.59, and uncomfortable problems, to fight off harmful bac- is available from inde- Protect your skin from particularly infectious diarrhoea, can surprise teria and even viruses. Life’s-Biotic is a new pendent and national pharmacies. Life’s-Biotic the elements many on holiday, even those who are not prone scientifically-proven pro- biotic and its unique for- is also available in sachets and capsules. Liz Earle Naturally with the Sun Try-Me Active Skincare was Kit – a portable Be an Island Girl the skincare sponsor collection of miniature of Cowes Week 2009, protectors and which took place in revivers comprising: with Papillon Bleu August. Professionals Face Protector SPF25 were on hand to offer (15ml), Body protection from the Protector SPF15 elements to sailors (30ml), Aftersun Gel B and spectators (30ml) and a ursting with Caribbean flavour, throughout the refreshing Instant the new Island Girl collection competition. Boost Skin Tonic from Papillon Bleu features 17 Based on the Spritzer (30ml) plus a sensual silhouettes to take you from picturesque Isle of zip-up kit bag.With beach to bar and beyond. Wight, Liz Earle uses antioxidant green tea, Created from only the finest 100% the finest-quality, pomegranate and natural fabrics, soft cotton voiles and naturally-active natural source vitamin silk cotton blends, Island Girl is a mod- ingredients for its E, they help to protect ern, free-flowing collection of dresses, botanically-based skin from free-radical tops, cover-ups, skirts and trousers. skincare range. damage caused by the With gorgeous hues of zesty Now you can put its sun. Keylime, Amethyst Ink and Aqua Sky, Sun Shade solutions to Liz Earle Naturally Papillon Bleu’s exquisite hand-embell- the test Active Skincare is ished pieces can be worn day or night. available online at The Island Girl Cruise Collection is www.lizearle.com available in-store from November 16, and by mail order by 2009. calling 01983 813913. Visit www.papillonbleu.com for UK and international stockists. 34 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 35
  • Cayman Islands Department of Tourism /Jay Easterbrook I Spectacular colours in the Cayman Islands Take the plunge I From youngsters to pensioners, almost anyone was not more than 10 or 15 feet underwater. It was calm and warm, can learn to dive – and where better to start than and just a few yards from the shore on holiday in crystal-clear waters? Adam Coulter off Playa del Carmen, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. And then I started to (pictured right) learnt in Mexico and is get nervous. now a committed convert “What if the air stops,” I thought. “How will I get to the surface? Background picture: Sandals 36 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • ?? ? ? let’s TRY… LEARNING TO DIVE ing, like a slow, hand wave, up and down, up which means sitting in a classroom learning and down…I followed his lead and then a the amount of residual nitrogen left in your few seconds later my breathing stabilised, body after a one-hour dive and such- my head cleared and I looked around. like…perhaps not the best way to spend Off in the distance, the dark shape began your two weeks by the sea. to materialise – a turtle. One option is to do the theory in the UK I smiled and pointed at it, and then we before you leave – and get straight in the sea both swam towards it, slowly and calmly. when you arrive in resort. Another is to take That was my first-ever dive and I shall an online course, like a distance learning never forget it. course, and you’ll be ready to dive when you Most people get nervous the first time get there. they try diving – it is, after all, an unnatural Some all-inclusive resort operators such Club Med I Diving in the Maldives with Club Med situation. But with the right instructor and as Club Med, Mark Warner, Sandals and environment it could well be the start of a SuperClubs include free diving, and some- life-long love affair. times a try-dive session. Courses cost extra I Coming up for air in St Lucia It has been for me. Since that date, I have but less than at other centres. clocked up more than 100 dives and taken The great thing about diving is that once numerous courses, and I am now a Master you have mastered the basics and you feel Scuba Diver, which is the highest non-pro- confident and comfortable about being in fessional qualification recognised by the the water, the sea really is your oyster. Professional Association of Diving Here is where you can learn: Instructors (PADI). Diving was once the preserve of explor- The Mediterranean ers and adventurers, but it is now open to Malta is widely regarded as the best spot in almost anyone thanks to Cousteau’s inven- the Med to learn to dive due to its spectacu- tion of the self-contained underwater breath- lar underwater scenery, in particular around ing apparatus (hence the acronym, scuba). the island of Gozo. Greece has recently St Lucia Tourist Board And although there are upper and lower relaxed its restrictions on diving and there age limits, as well as certain pre-existing are also some good spots in Cyprus, the health conditions that might preclude you, Balearics and south-eastern Spain. essentially it is accessible as a round of However, the drawback with diving any- golf…except under water. where in the Med is that there is little or I A dive certification often nothing to see in terms of marine life course in the Cayman Accredited centres or corals. Sadly, the ravages of mass fishing Islands The key consideration when choosing techniques have taken their toll. where in the world to dive is to ensure that the resort is an accredited dive centre. The Red Sea The three main dive associations which Egypt: The Red Sea Riviera, which provide this accreditation are PADI, BSAC includes the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, (British Sub-Aqua Club) and NAUI Hurghada and Taba, is one of the most pop- (National Association of Scuba Instructors). ular places to learn to dive. It is accessible Cayman Islands Department of Tourism PADI is by far the largest with presence (less than five hours’ flight time), reason- in 180 countries and more than 5,300 dive ably-priced, well-regulated and full of centres and resorts worldwide. It has a wide accredited dive centres. The beauty of the range of courses to take you from novice to Red Sea is the sheer number of dive sites experienced diver. available in a relatively small area. Probably BSAC is mainly confined to the UK, but the best place for a beginner is Sharm has 300 overseas centres and also offers because the sea there is sheltered. Diving is range of courses. in areas including Ras Mohammed National NAUI is the choice of US Navy Seals and Park, so the corals are pristine and sea life “What if a shark suddenly appears?” NASA pilots. However it has limited pres- abundant. “What’s that dark shape over there?” ence worldwide. Israel: Gentle currents, shallow waters My instructor, Henri, a Jacques and good visibility make Eilat ideal for Cousteau-type character with a great big Beginner courses learning to dive. The coast here is a marine grey, drooping moustache and hang-dog A beginner course takes about three to five reserve. Highlights include Japanese eyes, sensed my concern. days (depending on resort), usually includ- Gardens, a protected area near the border He took hold of my hand, looked me in ing five dives. But it is not just about jump- with Egypt with breathtaking coral forma- my eyes and made the sign for slow breath- ing in the water; it also involves theory, tions and teeming with fish. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 37
  • I Vibrant corals in the Red Sea Regaldive Tips Malta Tourism Authority Before you dive G If you don’t feel 100% comfortable then don’t dive. I Diving in Malta G Talk through the dive in detail with your instructor to allay any fears you may have. Mexico the expert. Clear waters and a shallow reef G Don’t drink alcohol the night prior to The Riviera Maya has all the attributes to near shore suit beginners; and as all three a dive or have a big breakfast just put a beginner at ease: calm, clear and warm islands are submerged mountains, there are before diving. sea (an average of almost 27ºC year-round), deep walls just offshore with incredible the second-largest barrier reef in the world marine life. The most famous is Little During your dive and excellent dive centres. Plus a hyperbar- Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall. G If you get nervous the first time, get ic (or recompression) chamber in Playa del Grenada is another spot perfect for both back in again; it’s always better the Carmen for emergencies. novices and experts. Most dive sites are near second time. It also has another added attraction the shore, marine life abounds and visibility G Try not to think about breathing – let unique in the world – huge freshwater caves, is excellent year-round. Grenada also has the it happen automatically, and enjoy the known as cenotes, with crystal-clear water. Caribbean's largest shipwreck, the Bianca C. view. The best place to learn in Jamaica is in G Keep breathing – don’t hold your The Caribbean the sheltered waters off Negril, a protected breath at any point. The Caribbean in general is an excellent marine park. Other good sites are along the area for the novice diver, and there are a west and north coasts, including Montego And remember: sharks don’t attack number of stand-out places to take your first Bay, Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay. divers – there have been no known diver tentative steps into the underwater world. Little-known Dominica has pristine fatalities from shark attacks. St Lucia is top of my list. The island has coral and giant sponges, and regularly wins all the attributes of the Riviera Maya, with awards for the beauty and variety of its dive I Stingray one huge bonus: a reef that you can literally sites. It has also become known as the City, off Grand walk to from the shore. whale-watching capital of the Caribbean. Cayman A stretch of the western coastline was Other islands with excellent diving and declared a marine reserve sanctuary 14 years learning facilities include Aruba, Bonaire, ago, and since then the reef has flourished. Curacao, the Dominican Republic and The most accessible part is just off Anse the Turks & Caicos. Chastanet Beach, where Scuba St Lucia runs beginners courses. Florida The Bahamas is also excellent for North America’s only living coral barrier novice divers, for the extraordinary number reef and the third longest barrier reef in the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism of sites at which to learn and its rich marine world lies just off the Florida Keys, and it life. The Bahamas has a lot of sharks, offers the best diving in Florida. The Florida although most are harmless. Keys National Marine Sanctuary surrounds Barbados also offers a gentle environ- the entire archipelago and protects 2,800 ment ideal for learner divers, although the square nautical miles. It also has several reef here is not in the same league as that of artificial reefs – wrecks sunk deliberately as St Lucia. havens for fish and corals – including a new The Cayman Islands are great for one sunk in May. This stretch of coast offers learning to dive and also a real challenge for frequent sightings of harmless reef sharks. 38 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • Learn to dive facts Who can dive? Anyone from eight to 85 years old. You can’t dive if you are pregnant, have sinus problems, epilepsy, chronic asthma or heart problems. It’s also not advisable to dive if you have a cold. Courses Centres affiliated to diving organisations offer courses around the world. PADI has a Seal Team course open to eight-year-olds, which teaches them the basics of diving. At 10 years old, they can do the Junior Open Water Aruba.fotoseeker.com Diver and at 12 the Junior Advanced, both of which carry depth restrictions. Regaldive For holidaymakers curious to try it, there are two short courses available: Discover Scuba I Diving off Aruba Diving, a one-day course including one pool session and one sea dive; and Scuba Diver, a The Far East two-day course with three theory sessions, two The sheltered waters of the Gulf of pool dives and two sea dives. All count towards the Thailand, off Thailand, are one of the best Open Water certification. places in the world to learn diving. The sea From 15 years old, you can do the adult courses: Open Water, Advanced, is always warm and generally calm with Rescue and Master. All include various speciality courses. excellent visibility (outside of rainy season), and despite the rather lax enforcement of Equipment needed rules in marine reserves, the marine life is Dive centres will kit you out with everything, for a price. So if you plan on extraordinary. diving a lot it is worthwhile buying the basics: a wetsuit, fins, snorkel and The best spots for beginners are Koh mask. A dive computer is great to have but they cost £300-plus. Samui, which includes the Ang Thong Marine Reserve, and the Phi Phi Islands, Associations and UK dive centres also in a national marine park. The setting, PADI: www.padi.com; NAUI: www.naui.org; BSAC: www.bsac.com. beauty of the corals and sheer variety of fish UK dive centres include Diving Leisure London: 020 7924 4106, are hard to beat. The quality of instruction is www.divingleisurelondon.co.uk excellent, and it is also far cheaper than the Caribbean. Resort operators Club Med: www.clubmed.co.uk; Mark Warner: The Maldives www.markwarner.co.uk; Sandals: www.sandals.co.uk; SuperClubs: It’s hard to beat the Maldives if you are www.superclubs.com; Couples: www.couples.com looking to try diving for the first time. Every island is a coral atoll, so you are Dive operators effectively on the reef and only have to Several tour operators offer holidays with diving swim a few yards from the beach. The water courses.They include: is bathwater-warm and the visibility is usu- Longwood Holidays: 020 8418 2570, TL Aruba.fotoseeker.com ally excellent. www.longwoodholidays.co.uk; Regaldive: 01353 659 999, www.regal-diving.co.uk; Explorers: 0871 231 4932, www.explorers.co.uk; Peltours: 0844 225 0120, www.peltours.com; Kuoni: 01306 Egyptian State Tourist Office 747 002, www.kuoni.co.uk; Dive Worldwide: 0845 130 6980, www.diveworldwide.com; Barefoot Traveller: 020 8741 4319, www.barefoot-traveller.com; I A turtle in the Goldenjoy Dive: 0871 226 8701, www.goldenjoydive.com Red Sea off Egypt Sample package Explorers (now part of Thomson Holidays) has a learn-to-dive holiday with When he is not planning his next dive flights from £499 per person for seven nights at the Ocean Club, in Sharm holiday, Adam Coulter writes for a el Sheikh, including PADI Scuba Diver course. For details, go to: number of publications including Spectator www.explorers.co.uk/learn_to_dive.aspx Business, Routes News, Buying Business Travel and Sport Diver magazine. 40 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • COMPETITION WIN a week’s holiday for two in the Azores with Sunvil H ere is your chance to win a seven-night holiday for two to READER OFFER the pristine islands of the Azores, worth £1,500. Discover the real Azores Part of the portfolio of independent travel with this special Reader Offer company Sunvil, the Azores are nine emer- ald-green islands set in the Atlantic Ocean Sunvil is offering readers of The Travel and between Portugal and North America. These Leisure Magazine 10% off the brochure unspoilt islands, less than four hours by air price for selected holidays to Sao Miguel from the UK, are home to naturally blue and in the Azores. Special discount prices green lakes, extinct volcanoes, lush valleys start at £593 per person, including seven and rugged coastlines. nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, Having operated holidays for nearly 40 return flights and transfers. years, Sunvil has helped tens of thousands of The quoted price is based on seven customers discover the real heart and soul of nights’ accommodation with two people countries on tailor-made trips to stunning des- sharing on B&B basis at the Hotel Vila tinations worldwide. Sunvil specialises in help- Nova, Ponta Delgada, transfers and flights ing holidaymakers escape off the beaten track from Gatwick to Sao Miguel in April and is the leading tour operator to the Azores. 2010. Manchester flights cost an extra £15 per person. The offer is valid for bookings taken before December 31, 2009. Quote code Travel&Leisure09 when making bookings. Call 020 8758 4722 or visit www.sunvil.co.uk It has a team of experienced staff ready to share their local knowledge and top tips, to make sure you make the most of your hol- iday. One experience you definitely don’t want to miss is whale-watching; the Azores All photos: Sunvil rank as one of the best sites in Europe for observing whales and are one of just a few places on earth where you can see sperm whale pods of females with their offspring. Back on dry land, there’s plenty more to do. For starters, there are more than 850 res- How to enter The prize ident flowering plants and ferns, making the Sunvil is giving you the opportunity to islands a haven for birds – and for bird- To win, simply answer the following question. explore the Azores with a fantastic seven- watchers. There are also numerous small night holiday to the “green island” of Sao towns where you can enjoy meeting the Question: Which is the smallest of the Miguel. The prize, worth £1,500, is for two locals and soaking up the slow pace of life. nine islands in the Azores archipelago? people and includes: seven nights’ accom- Whatever your preferences, Sunvil will modation at the Hotel Talisman, Ponta help hand-pick the location, accommodation To enter please go to Delgada, sharing a twin/double room on bed and experiences that best suit your individ- www.choicetravelinfo.com and click and breakfast basis, return flights with ual tastes and requirements. If you’re inter- on the competition & giveaways button. SATA from Gatwick or Manchester to Sao ested in discovering the real country, further See the website for terms & conditions. Miguel and resort transfers. details about tailor-made packages to the Clients must travel in 2010 between April Azores and Sunvil’s other destinations can Closing date is October 30, 2009. The and October, excluding high season (July- be found by visiting the company’s website: first correct entry drawn will win. August). Entrants must be over 18 years of www.sunvil.co.uk age. Other terms & conditions also apply. TL September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 41
  • 42 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • pack your CLUBS LISBON GOLF COAST, PORTUGAL Capital P ortugal has become synony- mous with golf holidays in the UK, thanks to the popu- larity of the Algarve. It has established itself as one of the attraction top winter destinations for British golfers. But another region of the country 300km to the north is now making a name for itself as a golf destination, offering golf year- round on courses every bit as good and with uncrowded fairways and cheaper green fees – the Lisbon Golf Coast. Spanning the Atlantic coastal area around Portugal’s elegant capital, Estoril and I Teeing off on Cascais, the area has seen the number of Penha Longa's courses increase rapidly in recent years as its 16th hole popularity has grown. There are now two dozen high-quality courses within an hour of the centre of Lisbon set amidst coastal dunes, hills, plains and pine forests. Many have been designed by some of golf’s top architects. But Lisbon is no new kid on the golfing block. Among its courses are Portugal’s two oldest – Lisbon Sports Club, originally founded by English residents in 1880, and the 80-year-old Estoril Golf Club. The Lisbon Golf Coast has earned recog- nition from golf tour operators around the world for the quality and variety of its golf. They voted it Established Golf Destination of the Year for 2003 in the golf industry’s “Oscars”, the annual IAGTO Awards staged by global golf tourism industry association IAGTO. That honour was followed by the region being named European Golf Destination of the Year in the 2007 awards. For golfers who want to mix a bit of cul- ture and nightlife with their golf, the Lisbon area is perfect. You can either make the city your base and drive out to play different Lisbon may lag behind the Algarve in terms of courses by day while exploring the city in the late afternoons and evenings, or you can awareness among British golfers but the Portuguese stay in luxury resorts where the fairways are capital’s top-drawer facilities have earned it a string a stroll away from your room. Peter Ellegard of accolades, as Peter Ellegard reports Top facilities in the area include Penha Longa, which has a Ritz-Carlton hotel alongside and 27 holes of golf by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The 18-hole Atlantic course is one of the area’s must-plays and has twice staged the Portuguese Open. Its signature hole, the par-4 6th, is one of the region’s most iconic holes, the highlight Lisboa Golf Coast being a Roman aqueduct which runs behind Peter Ellegard a green cupped by a lake. Other notable holes include the par-4 16th, the stroke I Quinta do Peru I Bom Sucesso is the region’s newest course index one hole which starts with an elevated September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 43
  • Lisbon VCB Peter Ellegard Lisbon VCB I Rua Augusta I Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon I Belem Tower Just capital Lisbon is a city full of vitality, history and beauty while the surrounding region offers a taste of the “real” Portugal not found around the mass tourism resorts to the south. The area enjoys a mild climate year-round, and the capital is full of historic neighbourhoods which are perfect for exploring on foot. Among places worth lingering in is Baixa, the traditional shopping area through which runs the main shopping street of Rua Augusta. High-end boutiques line Avenida da Liberdade, once the favourite promenade for Lisbon’s 19th century elite. There are more designer boutiques in Bairro Alto, along with lively bars and cafes. History abounds in the capital’s old quarters, including Alfama, Castelo and Mouraria, on I The Westin the hill crowned by St George’s Castle. And Belem’s waterfront boasts the fortified CampoReal's land was once a royal Belem Tower, Jeronimo’s Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries. hunting ground tee, inviting golfers to drive to a landing area recognised as a Gold Signature Sanctuary by minutes east of Lisbon airport. The peppered with waiting bunkers where it environmental organisation Audubon Ribagolfe I and II courses are both par 72 doglegs to the right and climbs back up to a International. Opened in 2001 in the Sintra- creations by European Golf Design, while green perched on a plateau. The finishing Cascais Nature Reserve at Quinta da Marinha, Santo Estevado is a par 73 by Donald Steel. hole has another elevated tee, giving a stir- Oitavos was designed by Arthur Hills and Another Steel layout is at the heart of ring view of the hotel surrounded by trees. spans three environments: a forest of umbrella CampoReal Resort, in the rural Oeste (west) For high handicappers, the nine-hole pine trees, dunes and an open coastal area. region and also just a 30-minute drive from Monastery course, named for a nearby Robert Trent Jones Sr’s championship Lisbon. A residential, golf and leisure devel- ancient Monastery, offers a less-hilly and course at nearby Hotel Quinta da Marinha opment which includes a five-star Westin more forgiving experience. hotel, its name translates literally as “the Praia d’El Rey, another top-drawer Royal Meadow” and comes from the fact course, is a traditional links layout spread that the first kings of Portugal used the area out along dunes and cliffs overlooking the as their personal hunting ground. Atlantic and interspersed with pine trees. The course cuts through natural vegeta- Located near Obidos, a town surrounded by tion including cork-oak, olive and fragrant Peter Ellegard Medieval walls, the course is part of Praia eucalyptus trees, beginning and ending with d’El Rey Golf & Country Club – named par 5 holes. Facilities at the hotel include the Europe’s Golf Resort of the Year in the 2007 DiVine Spa, which uses natural vinotherapy IAGTO Awards. treatments, a tennis centre and a modern Half an hour’s drive south of Lisbon, equestrian centre. Troia is set on a long, sandy peninsula sepa- An hour’s drive north of Lisbon, close to rating the Sado River estuary from the I Praia d’el Ray historic Obidos, is the area’s newest course – Atlantic Ocean. Designed by Robert Trent once again by veteran architect Donald Jones Sr, Troia serves up a real test for low Resort has staged PGA Challenge Tour and Steel. It opened in September 2008 as part handicap golfers without unduly penalising Seniors Tour events. Its back nine runs along of the Bom Sucesso Design Resort, Leisure more modest players. Its scenic location, cliff tops offering stunning views over the & Golf, which also offers a spa hotel, hous- with the dramatic backdrop of the Arrabida Atlantic, with the par-4 13th hole dropping ing and other leisure facilities. mountains and alongside a long stretch of towards the sea. The resort includes a recent- The par-72 course spans what was for- unspoilt beaches, gives the course a wild and ly-renovated five-star hotel and is also sur- merly dense eucalyptus forest and encom- natural beauty teeming with birdlife. It was rounded by the Sintra-Cascais reserve. passes valleys and ridges, but mainly con- ranked 25 out of Europe’s Top 100 Courses Quinta do Peru, in the Azeitao area south sists of gentle slopes. The final three holes by Golf World, and you can stay on-site at of the Tagus River, is set in a country estate have already gained a reputation as being Troia Resort’s four-star aparthotel. of pine and cork trees. among the most exciting in Portugal. The Nature is also a feature of Oitavos Dunes, New openings are helping to maintain the par-5 17th starts at the resort’s highest point to the extent that it became the first course in high quality of courses in the region. Among then swings downhill and left over ridges to Europe and only the second in the world to be them three are in the Ribatejo region, 30 a green with Obidos lagoon as its backdrop. 44 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • Lisbon GOLF facts Tourist information For information on the Lisbon Golf Coast, visit the Lisbon Visitors & Convention Bureau website at www.visitlisboa.com or the Portuguese National Tourist Office site, www.visitportugal.com Weather The Lisbon area enjoys a warm, dry climate with golf playable year-round. Temperatures on the coast range from 14°C in winter to 26°C in summer. Getting there Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort Lisbon is well-served by direct flights from the UK. Services operate from several UK airports by airlines including TAP Air Portugal (www.flytap.com), British Airways (www.ba.com), easyJet (www.easyjet.com), Monarch (www.monarch.co.uk) and Thomsonfly (www.thomsonfly.com). I Penha Longa Lisboa Golf Coast Golf packages Operators with Lisbon packages include Your Golf Travel (0800 043 6644, www.yourgolftravel.com), Golfbreaks.com (0800 279 7988, www.golfbreaks.com), Bill Goff Golf Tours (0844 414 0849, www.billgoff.com), Driveline Golf (0870 330 1056, Bom Sucesso has been styled to replicate www.drivelinegolf.com), Golf Amigos (0845 230 3100, the look of old, classic courses, and features www.golfamigos.co.uk), Premier Iberian (0845 600 3391, random shaping of green surrounds and www.premieriberian.com) and Leisure Link Golf Holidays (01277 approaches to look as though they were 247520, www.leisurelinkgolf.com). fashioned by hand tools. The steep-faced bunkers also have a rough-hewn appearance. Courses Other courses in the region include Bom Sucesso Design Resort, Leisure Quinta da Marinha Oitavos Dunes Aroeira’s two 18-hole layouts, the oak and & Golf www.oitavosdunes.com vineyard-flanked Montado with a castle www.bomsucesso.net/portugal-golf standing guard over it, Sintra’s Belas and Westin Camporeal Golf Resort & Golden Eagle, 60km north of Lisbon. Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort Spa With so much quality and choice of golf www.penhalonga.com www.westin.com/camporeal courses, surely it can’t be long before the Lisbon Golf Coast is as celebrated as the Praia d’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort Hotel Quinta da Marinha Resort Algarve. Indeed, it could even become www.praia-del-rey.com www.quintadamarinha.com Portugal’s capital attraction for golfers. TL I Historic Sintra Beyond Lisbon I Estoril beach Estoril and Cascais are considered the “Portuguese Riviera” and offer heritage, culture and great beaches. Sintra’s rich historic legacy led to it being called “a garden of the earthly paradise” by poet Lisbon VCB Lord Byron, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other UNESCO sites are the monasteries of Batalha and including the fine castle which is now a Alcobaca and Tomar’s Templar Castle and Pousada hotel offering guests sweeping Convent of Christ. Almourol Castle, built views. on a small granite island in the middle of The region also has several nature parks, the Tagus River near Tancos, dates from the including the Paul do Boquilobo Nature 12th century and is one of the best- Reserve, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Peter Ellegard preserved medieval monuments in Portugal. And this is also wine country, with vineyards Captured from the Moors in 1148, the and wine cellars along the Ribatejo Wine town of Obidos has many attractions Route on both sides of the Tagus. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 45
  • 46 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • golf NEWS Top of the crop GOLF CLIPS Golf GPS company SkyCaddie has added the E ight UK golf clubs feature among the lead- new, entry-level SG2.5Lite to ing 20 courses in a new listing of the its range.The rechargeable, world’s best 100 courses. compact rangefinder, a The Top 100 Golf Courses website sibling to the top-of- (www.top100golfcourses.co.uk) has just the-range SG5 announced its 2009 rankings. And it puts five model, costs Scottish courses in the top 20, along with two £149.95 and from Northern Ireland and one from England. will work on Peter Ellegard There is also one listed for Ireland. 95% of the All the others in the leading 20, barring one UK’s 18-hole I St Andrews’ Old Course… ranked the world’s 20th best course Australian entry (Royal Melbourne, at 14), are courses. For American. That includes the top two – Pine Valley takes place, at 20th. more Golf Club in New Jersey and Cypress Point, on England’s sole top 20 entry is another Open information California’s Monterey Peninsula. Both are private, venue, Royal Birkdale, at 15th. Sunningdale and and stockists, visit so visiting golfers cannot play them. 2011 Open host Royal St George’s are further www.skycaddie.co.uk That is also the case for several others, among down, in 24th and 27th spots respectively. Ireland’s them the fifth-ranked Augusta National, home of Ballybunion weighs in at 10th. UK golfers are five times the Masters. You can play on ninth-placed Pebble Unveiling its findings, the website said its rank- more likely to book a tee Beach, a near neighbour of Cypress Point and ings “take into account every shred of ranking data time online this year 2010 US Open venue, but a round will set you published” and acknowledged that “many eye- compared to last year, back $500 all but $5. brows will be raised as some clubs have slipped according to leading internet The highest-ranked home course is third-placed dramatically and others have risen meteorically.” company Online Teetimes. Royal County Down, in Northern Ireland, which “Naturally we all know that ranking golf cours- Launched two years ago, it also has Royal Portrush in 12th. Scotland’s best es is a subjective business,” it added, “especially reported over £1.2 million showing is by the 2009 Open host, Turnberry’s given that fewer people have played the entire in online green fee sales in Ailsa course, in sixth place. Its other leading facil- World Top 100 ranked courses than the number of the first eight ities are Muirfield (eighth), Royal Dornoch (16th), astronauts to have set foot on the moon.” months of St Andrews’ Kingsbarns (18th) and the venerable Didn’t Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard play 2009, with Old Course at St Andrews, where the 2010 Open that…? August alone The Bear necessities seeing over 20,000 rounds booked online.The company has its own website (www.teetimes.co.uk) and G olf legend Jack Nicklaus markets through partners. visited Manchester in September to give some The Hyatt Regency coaching tips and life skills advice Curacao Golf Resort, Spa & to a group of lucky youngsters. Marina opens its doors in The 18-time Major winner, January as the Caribbean nicknamed the Golden Bear, island’s only resort with 18 spent time with 25 young boys holes of championship golf, and girls at Southport’s Formby featuring a 7,200-yard Hall Golf Resort & Spa with a course designed by Pete Getty Images coaching clinic and Q&A ses- Dye.The resort will also sion as part of The First Tee proj- offer a Hyatt Pure spa, I Jack takes a whack at the coaching clinic ect, which has launched its first fitness centre, tennis, cycling UK chapter in Manchester. It and the game’s honourable tradi- playing golf. It is much more. It and jogging paths, and water aims to offer young people in the tions. is about giving back to your sports including diving. area the chance to use golf to Jack, whose visit was spon- community, helping others and www.curacao.hyatt.com learn valuable life skills, through sored by RBS, said afterwards: using the game and its life les- aspects such as sportsmanship “The First Tee is not just about sons to succeed in life.” September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 47
  • 48 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • on your DOORSTEP LAKE DISTRICT Poet’s corner I Coniston Water and the fells around Coniston Old Man Cumbria Tourism/Ben Barden another aspect of its natural beauty, there is The beauty and magnificence of the Lake District has always a reason to justify a trip there. drawn tourists since its favourite son, Wordsworth, I particularly enjoy the Lake District in inspired people with his poetry about it. For autumn, which ushers in tints to areas such as Grizedale Forest in South Lakeland, to Stephanie Sparrow, it has been a life-long family affair… rival those of New England in the fall. Winter leaves caps of snow on the highest W e welcomed our cherished for half a century, of reaching peaks until April and offers lots of excuses climbers as heroes. Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England. for hunkering down in cosy pubs over beers My husband and my My father’s story is typical – it can take a from one of 24 local breweries. Spring scat- brothers stumbled lifetime of visits to thoroughly explore the ters those famous daffodils across through the door, 885 square miles of Cumbria which form the Wordsworth’s Grasmere, dancing in the glowing with pride Lake District and to achieve everything you breeze now as they did when he wrote I that they had accompanied my then 70- want to on its lakes and mountains. The good Wandered Lonely as a Cloud over 200 year-old father to fulfil an ambition he had news is that because each season emphasises years ago. And summer sees heavily scented September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 49
  • I Spoon Hall riding centre, Coniston Cumbria Tourism/Dave Willis Cumbria Tourism/Dave Willis I Wordsworth bust in window I Cockermouth Cumbria Tourism/Brian Sherwen Cumbria Tourism/Dave Willis I Daffodils at Lake Windermere displays in the Edwardian gardens of “staycation” there, find sanctuary from the sausage or sticky toffee pudding, or travel Brockhole Visitor Centre, the perfect world outside. in style with the National Trust on Coniston place to take afternoon tea and look Energetic visitors have nearly 2,200 Water in Gondola, a steam-powered yacht over at the yachts and pleasure miles of rights of way to walk, cycle and (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-gondola). cruisers on Lake Windermere. ride horses around, and 16 lakes to sail, I was lucky enough to grow up with my windsurf or kayak. Anyone father’s colourful tales of the Lake District, Sanctuary seeking a more restful and frequent family trips there which gave England’s largest national park has time can indulge me a sense of the region and its layout. But I something to offer everyone. No in extensive would advise first-timers to plan an itinerary matter what the season of your life, retail therapy in with the golakes website and not to be over- from childhood to retirement, this is the smart little towns ambitious about the distances you can cover an area to fuel the imagination, with such as Ambleside and in a day – either by foot or car. its literary connections, pump Kendal, try some of the adrenalin with sports like off-road- local food, Geological wonder ing, or, as Gordon Brown and his such as My father would describe the grandeur of its family found during their recent Cumberland mountains, and the geological wonder of a Cumbria Tourism/Dave Willis 50 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • The great outdoors A gentle stroll….. The Lakes are known as a paradise for all walkers.They have recently been made even more accessible by the launch of Miles without Stiles, a list of 39 routes across the National Park suitable for people with limited mobility.Visitors can choose paths from the list on the dedicated Miles without Stiles section of the National Park website, www.lake-district.gov.uk …. Or a wild adventure Thrill-seekers will find plenty of opportunities in the Lake District to try scrambling through rocky streams for example, and even paragliding around the region. However, they are advised to check the providers’ qualifications and to follow safety instructions. For a list of providers log on to the outdoor adventure section of golakes website,www.golakes.co.uk Mass tourism Alongside Wainwright, another W, the locally-born poet laureate William Wordsworth, is synonymous with the area. His Guide to the Lakes, published in 1820, Cumbria Tourism/Ben Barden sparked off mass tourism to the area. The easiest way to get to know Wordsworth is to start with Dove Cottage, I Launch approaching which is just outside Grasmere in a hamlet Brantwood Jetty on Coniston Water called Townend. Wordsworth lived there from 1799 to 1808 when his poetry was most prolific. It was here that he penned region shaped by the Ice Age. The locations shore of Derwent Water. This 1,480ft fell his iconic poem about daffodils. he mentioned are still lodged in my mind, as remains popular with inexperienced walk- The Wordsworth Trust is the childhood impression that the Lake ers, as it is recommended by renowned (www.wordsworth.org.uk) offers guided District – full of becks, tarns, pikes, ghylls author and walker Alfred Wainwright as “a tours of the cottage. A museum stands and crags – had its own private language. family fell where grandmothers and infants alongside and has a permanent display about My favourite of all my father’s tales was can climb the heights together”. Wordsworth and the other Romantic poets. of his first trip there with his mother and sis- Wainwright’s guidebooks have long been The trust also aims to encourage new poetry ter in 1944, while his own father was away in used by many of the eight million annual and offers internationally-important festivals WWII. As they arrived in Keswick my father visitors to the Lakes, but now it has and readings throughout the year. was smitten with the view of Derwentwater become even easier to walk with Farther north is the Wordsworth House and the scary-sounding Jaws of Borrowdale Wainwright, particularly if you have an in Cockermouth. This is a living museum (so called because of the shape of the gorge). iPod. Newly-narrated versions of his walks operated by the National Trust He was just 14 but it was the beginning of his are available in podcast versions down- (www.wordsworthhouse.org.uk), which lasting love affair with the Lakes. loadable from the golakes site aims to show how a typical Georgian family His first climb took place on that trip (www.golakes.co.uk/downloads/wainwright- – William, his parents and his four siblings – and it was up Catbells, on the western audio-tours.aspx). lived at the time. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 51
  • Cumbria Tourism/Ben Barden I Borrowdale, Derwent Water and Skiddaw Did you know? Lake District facts The Lake District always thinks big. It is home to many record breakers: Getting there G England has only five peaks over 900 Rail: The West Coast mainline (www.virgintrains.co.uk) runs to the east of metres (2,953 feet) and they are all in the Lake District, connecting Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle with London and the Lakes.The tallest is Scafell Pike at Glasgow. Journey times from London Euston are typically under three hours. 977m (3,205 ft). Buses: Popular towns and villages such as Ambleside,Windermere, Coniston G England’s deepest lake can be found in and Keswick are linked by bus, with extra services in the summer. the region.Wastwater has a depth up www.cumbria.gov.uk to 259 feet and is three miles long by By car: Typical journey time from London and the South East is about five half a mile wide. hours.The M6 runs to the east of the Lake District National Park. G Its longest lake is there too. # Tip: Even A-roads can be quite twisting, so allow extra time for your jour- Windermere stretches across 10.5 ney and for finding a space in car parks in high season. Cumbria Tourism/Tony West miles from Waterhead in the north to By air: The nearest airports are Manchester to the Lakeside in the south. south and Glasgow to the north. Rail links from G It is home to “Britain’s Favourite View” Manchester airport offer services to Oxenholme, as voted for by ITV viewers, who Kendal, Staveley and Windermere. chose Wastwater in the Wasdale Valley. Accommodation The Lake District has accommodation for every budget, from youth hostels to luxury hotels. Hardy souls are attracted to camping in the area, or even specially adapted camping barns which can be found at Family-friendly www.lakelandcampingbarns.co.uk Of course, there are plenty of other authors’ One of the simplest ways to find accommodation is via the official tourism haunts to explore around the region, among website: www.golakes.co.uk/accommodation them social commentator John Ruskin, chil- dren’s adventure writer Arthur Ransome and Attractions even Postman Pat author John Cunliffe, who The most popular attraction in the area is Windermere Lake Cruises spent time there. But perhaps the most fam- (www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk), which draws more than a million ily-friendly is the Beatrix Potter connection. passengers a year. Young children can explore her world But if you want to get more active, join the walkers who regularly name the through recreations of the characters and Lake District as their favourite destination. Plan your route with the outdoor scenes in her 23 books at The World of adventure section of the region’s official website (www.golakes.co.uk). Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness First-time visitors are advised to spend time at the Lake District Visitor (www.hop-skip-jump.com). Centre in Brockhole, to get a flavour of the area. Its lakeside setting (you can Adults find her interesting too, and travel there by ferry in the summer) and popular cafe offer views over can re-trace her footsteps in Hill Top Windermere. www.lake-district.gov.uk Farm, in Hawkshead near Ambleside, The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a very popular steam railway which now operated by The National Trust runs for seven miles from the Lake District National Park’s only coastal village (www.nationaltrust.org.uk). This is the farm of Ravenglass in the Western Lake District, through hidden Miterdale to the bought with the profits from Peter Rabbit, imposing Eskdale valley. www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk where she wrote many of her stories including The Tale of Tom Kitten. Information centres Potter bequeathed Hill Top and a further These are based at Bowness, Keswick and Ullswater.They can be invaluable, 4,000 acres to the National Trust to protect particularly when looking for accommodation or getting to grips with the local the Lake District from developers, and for bus service.Their addresses can be found at www.lake-district.gov.uk future generations to enjoy. Luckily, her wish came true. TL 52 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
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  • Out about & Be a soup star What’s on... and where – and WIN one of 10 copies of Soup for All Occasions I f you are a soup fan, you and truffle oil and more will love the latest book hearty and warming concoc- I Traditional cheese-making by the New Covent tions including borlotti bean, Garden Food Co. Its new pancetta and pasta. There are Wine and cheese offering, Soup for All Occasions, is packed full of even several child- friendly recipes in the make for a perfect day great recipes for you and the family to enjoy while explor- book. Available now from all What could be better working winery with a ing the great outdoors. good bookshops, it is priced than spending a day Denbies wine expert. Published by Macmillan, £15.99. learning about cheese You will have the this stunning book is divided We have 10 copies of Soup and wine-making? The opportunity to blend into five chapters, each focusing on a for All Occasions to give away. To win Denbies wine and your own wine different occasion with ideas that will one, go to www.choicetravelinfo.com cheese experience followed by a tasting in help you take a fresh look at soup. and click on competitions & giveaways. takes place on Thursday, the Denbies Cellar. Delve inside the Out & About chapter Terms & conditions apply. Closing date November 19. The day costs £85 per and you’ll find a host of delicious is October 30, 2009. In the morning, step person and includes all recipes designed to be enjoyed on fami- For further information about the back in time with a visit refreshments, a memento ly walks, rambles and hikes. The recipes New Covent Garden Food Co’s deli- to Surrey’s only hand- bottle of Denbies wine range from classics such as oxtail to cious range of products, go to made cheese producer, and some Norbury Blue decadent delights like roasted chestnut www.newcoventgardenfood.com Norbury Blue Dairy. cheese. Call 01306 You will learn all about the cheese-making process and have the 876616 or go to www.denbies.co.uk for further details. Santa hops down to the farm S opportunity to try your anta’s Magical Kingdom is a hand at making cheese I Blend brand new Christmas experience I Catch your own Santa on in the traditional way. at The Hop Farm in Paddock the hop wine Lunch will be served Wood, Kent. Depart on a magical train at Denbies Wine Estate, journey full of festive surprises, make England’s largest decorations in Santa’s workshop, vineyard, set in 265 watch a seasonal puppet show, sing acres of vines.Then the carols in the snow-filled square and afternoon will be spent enjoy some mulled wine and roasted learning about the chestnuts. from £25-£49 depending on time and blending of wine and Santa’s Magical Kingdom is open date booked. Call 01622 870821 or go to wine styles in the from Saturday, November 14 until www.santasmagicalkingdom.co.uk Thursday, December 24. Tickets cost for bookings and information. 54 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • out & ABOUT Get into the OTHER HALLOWEEN EVENTS: Halloween spirit The Haunted Castle Dover Castle, Kent October 26-31 www.english-heritage.org.uk Haunted Halloween Boat Trip Lady of Lee Valley moorings, Hertfordshire October 29, 10am-noon and 1-3pm. Booking essential, on 08456 770 600 www.leevalleypark.org.uk Halloween Monster Madness Painshill Park, Surrey October 26-31 www.painshill.co.uk S. Morgan Halloween Week Basildon Park, Berkshire W ith Halloween approaching, one of the Saints Day), Irish townsfolk would visit neighbours October 28-31 most popular activities for children is and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the www.visitthames.co.uk trick-or-treating. town. Although generally associated with America, it is Apple-bobbing, scary costumes and carving pump- Fright Night Fireworks believed that the Irish began the tradition of trick-or- kins are also old Halloween traditions but if you don’t Beaulieu, Hampshire treating during the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain want the hassle of arranging it yourself, there are plen- Saturday October 31 (pronounced sow-in). ty of fantastic local events that you can go to. www.beaulieu.co.uk In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve (the eve of All Here are a few taking place around the region: Oxford Castle Meet the Borde haunted house within Courageous children Ghost Fest Hill Witches the enchanted garden. who survive meeting the Oxford Borde Hill, Sussex Throughout witches can then enter October 16-31, October 24- Halloween Week, the ghost tent and various times. Entry November 1, 10am- intrepid explorers can become a vampire, from £20 6pm (or dusk if take part in Borde Hill’s skeleton or witch and England’s premier ghost earlier). Adult £7.50, Spooktacular Hunt and make a ghoulish mobile festival is back for a 16- child £4 search for the hair- to hang at home to day supernatural Fearless young visitors raising clues hidden by scare the family. Oxford Castle Ghost Fest extravaganza including to the beautiful and the witches that lead www.bordehill.co.uk celebrity-led vigils, rising historic Borde Hill straight to their haunted star and popular teen Garden will be in for a house. Once inside, only Indiana Jones psychic Ross Bartlett, scary treat, following the the bravest will dare to Fireworks Show and a one-off special I Spook it up in Oxford Pumpkin Trail and put their hand into the Legoland,Windsor with the unlocking of meeting the terrifying bubbling cauldron to pull October 24, 25, 30 & the mysterious attraction along with the witches who live in the out a trick or a treat. 31; November 1 & 7 underground tunnels nation’s leading ghost- Adult £37, child £28 that lie between hunting specialists, Fright This spectacular show Oxford’s old prison and Nights, will give you an takes on an Indiana Jones the ancient court rooms. experience to theme.While at Legoland, With more than 15 remember. families can enjoy over 50 recorded ghosts and a For further interactive rides, shows very lively paranormal information or to book and attractions as well as I Which history documented tickets, go to witch is a new Kingdom of the Borde Hill since 1071, the Oxford www.frightnights.co.uk which? Pharaohs land to explore. Castle Unlocked visitor or call 0114 251 3232. www.legoland.co.uk September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 55
  • COMPETITIONS WIN two nights at the stunning Urban Beach hotel in Bournemouth I f you love quality but hate formality, you stay for two with breakfast at the Urban will adore the Urban Beach. That is the Beach in this fabulous competition, worth philosophy of this award-winning bou- over £250. tique hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset. For more information about the Urban Located just a five-minute walk from the Beach, go to www.urbanbeachhotel.co.uk beach in recently-transformed Boscombe – or call 01202 301509. home to Wayne Hemmingway’s new, sexy surf pods and Europe’s first artificial surf How to enter reef – the Urban Beach is perfect for a break To win, simply answer the following question. away from it all. Each of the 12 rooms has been decadent- Question: In which part of Bournemouth is ly designed with fabrics from around the the Urban Beach hotel located? world, sumptuous linen, DVD players, bou- tique bathrooms and wi-fi internet access. For your chance to win, go to The hotel also has a funky bar and restaurant www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on where you can listen to local live bands, try the competition & giveaways button. See one of the famous Urban Beach cocktails or the website for terms & conditions. feast on locally-sourced food fresh from the kitchen. vides a contemporary lifestyle that has Closing date is October 30, 2009. The The Urban Beach goes much further than spared no expense in creating the “home- first correct entry drawn will win. The any other hotel in Dorset, not just with its away-from-home” feel. prize must be be claimed before award-winning accommodation; it also pro- Now you can win a two-night, mid-week December 24 2009. Get into the capture still photos or upload videos to file-sharing websites. spirit of Canada And if the Winter Games whet your appetite for – and WIN exploring Canada, visit www.canada.travel for one of 2 Flip information and ideas on planning trips there. video cameras How to enter With summer now a distant To win one of two Canada- memory, thoughts are already branded Flip camcorders, just turning towards winter. Next answer the following question. February sees the biggest competition in conjunction event in the winter sporting with the Canadian Tourism Question: Where will the calendar – the 2010 Winter Commission.We are giving downhill ski races for the 2010 Olympic Games. away two Canada-branded, Winter Games be staged? Olympic hopefuls will be orange Flip Ultra video competing in British Columbia’s cameras, worth £80 each. To enter, please go to beautiful West Coast city of These fun and simple-to-use, www.choicetravelinfo.com Vancouver (pictured right), pocket-sized camcorders can and click on the competition & which is hosting the Games be taken anywhere and hold 60 giveaways button. See the along with nearby venues minutes of VGA-quality video website for terms & including the ski resort of with one-touch recording and conditions. Whistler, where the downhill drama unfold on TV. But you a digital zoom. A flip-out USB events will be staged on its don’t have to wait until then to arm plugs directly into your Closing date is October 30, snow-covered mountain slopes. get into the spirit of Canada – computer so you can instantly 2009.The first correct Millions will watch the thanks to a fantastic play back your recordings, entry drawn will win. 56 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • Hit London’s markets and bag yourself some bargains visitlondonimages/ britainonview I Looking for prints at Alice’s shop on Portobello Road Street smart S treet markets are part of London’s rich markets are the fourth most visited tourist and varied history. In 1800, central attraction in London, attracting over 500,000 London had more than 30 public mar- visitors each week with a turnover making kets of different types whose heritage remains them Britain’s fourth largest retailer. Street in street names such as Poultry, Old Fish markets are something for Londoners to be Street, Bread Street and Milk Street. proud of, so from the traditional to the quirky, FM Richard London has Europe’s longest outdoor soak up the vibrant atmosphere and join in I Oysters at street market, spanning over 1,000 yards of some bargain hunting. And tuck in to some Pimlico Road Walthamstow High Street. Camden’s trendy pie and mash or jellied eels as you shop! Food Markets back to before the 11th on Lower Thames Street noon-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm Barbican London’s wholesale century. Today, it is a in 1850. It relocated to Tube: London Bridge Originally a live cattle trade has largely consol- successful wholesale and Poplar, near Canary A delightful mix of market, you will find idated at Smithfield for retail market and a pop- Wharf, in 1982 and is good-value cuts of meat, meat and poultry, meat and poultry, ular tourist site. the UK’s largest inland seasonal fish, vegetables cheese, pies and other Billingsgate for fish, fish market, selling an and fruits and expensive delicatessen goods here. Covent Garden, and Billingsgate Fish average of 25,000 tonnes delicacies. Also popular www.cityoflondon.gov.uk Spitalfields and Market of fish and fish products for its surrounding /smithfield Brentford (now Western Trafalgar Way, E14 each year. restaurants and shops. International Market) for Tues-Sat 5-8.30am www.cityoflondon.gov.uk www.boroughmarket.org.uk Clothing & fruit and vegetables. DLR: Poplar, Blackwall /billingsgate Borough Market in Open to the public but Smithfield Market fashion Southwark is probably no children under 12. Borough Market Charterhouse Street, EC1 Haggle to your hearts London’s oldest fruit and The first Billingsgate Borough High Street, SE1 Mon-Fri 4-10am content and bag bargains vegetable market, dating market building opened Thurs 11am-5pm, Fri Tube: Farringdon, at one of London’s many 58 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
  • LONDON Review STREET MARKETS clothes markets. Petticoat Lane in Tower Farmers’ markets Hamlets is one of the Head to one of London's 15 farmers’ markets – visitlondonimages/ britainonview/ Pawel Libera city’s most famous where everything is fresh and grown, reared, Sunday markets, estab- raised, baked, caught or produced by farms within lished when the 100 miles of the M25. Find your local market on Huguenots from France www.lfm.org.uk or phone 020 7833 0338. arrived in the 17th cen- tury and began selling Blackheath petticoats and lace there. Blackheath Rail Station Car Park, SE3 I Browsing in In 1843, the lane was Spitalfields Market Sun 10am-2pm. Rail: Blackheath renamed Middlesex Traders include: Saffrey Farm (Kent veg, some Street, to avoid reference One of the finest surviv- Tube: Notting Hill Gate organic); Green Poultry (East Anglian poultry); to ladies’ undergar- ing market halls, built in Antiques stalls run for Redlays Farm (dairy produce from Ayrshire cows). ments. 1876, vivid fashions, an half a mile, making it international food court the world’s largest Wimbledon Park Petticoat Lane Market and niche shops offer antiques market. It also Wimbledon Park First School, SW19 Middlesex and Goulston visitors a unique shop- offers arts and crafts, Sat 9am-1pm. Tube: Wimbledon Park Streets, E1 ping paradise with quirky food, bric-a-brac, clothes Traders at this popular market include: March House Sun 9am-2pm; smaller one-off creations by stu- and music, as well as (Leicestershire beef and lamb); Grange Nurseries market Mon-Fri on dents from the nearby art some lovely cafes, art (Bucks nursery selling good-value cut flowers); Wentworth Street. and design college. galleries and arcades. Greens of Glastonbury (Somerset Cheddar). Tube: Aldgate East, www.oldspitalfields- www.portobelloroad.co.uk Aldgate market.com Pimlico Road A bustling East End Bermondsey Square Orange Square, SW1 market with over 1,000 Antiques/arts Antiques Market Sat 9am-1pm FM Richard stalls selling clothes, Southwark, SE1 Tube: Sloane Square bric-a-brac, electronic & crafts Fri 4am-1pm One of London’s biggest items and, notably, After some special, eye- Tube: London Bridge farmers’ markets, traders include: leather items – at the catching jewellery? Then Dating to 1855, thieves 12 Green Acres (rare-breed meats); Muddy Boots Aldgate East end. rummage through one of could famously sell their (traditionally-farmed Aberdeen Angus beef cattle); www.visitlondon.com goods here with impuni- Richard Haward (West Mersea oysters). ty; under a royal licence, Camden Markets stolen goods bought Camden High Street, here did not have to be Market events NW1 returned. Today, you can Halloween Slow Food Market visitlondonimages/ britainonview.com/Ingrid Rasmussen Mon-Sun 10am-6pm find furniture, silver, Southbank Centre Tube: Camden Town china and glassware Oct 30-31, 11am-6pm. Tube/Train: Waterloo The first market here was from Georgian to Apple-bobbing, pumpkins and sweet treats. Camden Lock Market, in Edwardian times. www.southbanklondon.com 1972. A hotspot for alter- www.bermondseysquare.co.uk native fashion from cyber Apple Day and funky to vintage and Bayswater Road Borough Market, Southwark Street, SE1 gothic, you’ll find it all in Artists Gallery Oct 25. Tube: London Bridge the five connecting areas London’s thriving Bayswater Road, W2 Celebrate the Bramley’s 250th anniversary. that make up Camden’s antiques markets. Sun 10am-6pm www.boroughmarket.org.uk markets. It’s also great for Portobello Road, running Tube: Lancaster Gate antiques, furnishings and through the heart of Over 250 artists display textiles. Notting Hill, has been a their work every Sunday, New farmers’ markets www.camdenmarkets.org market since the 1800s transforming the railings Brixton, when gypsies came to of Kensington Gardens Brixton Station Road, SW9 Old Spitalfields buy and sell horses, but and Hyde Park into the Sun, 10am-2pm. Tube: Brixton Market became famous for its world’s largest regular Horner Square, E1 antiques in the 1950s. open-air art show. Buy Devonshire Square Farmers’ Market Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Sun oil paintings, water- Devonshire Square, EC2 10am-5pm Portobello Road colours, acrylics, draw- First Wed of each month, 8am-3.30pm Tube: Liverpool Street, Market, W11 ings, pastels and sculp- Tube: Liverpool Street Aldgate East Sat 8am-5pm tures at studio prices. September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 59
  • LONDON Review NEWS & WHAT'S ON Lording it on London’s streets Ne w on st age The Shawshank O ne of London’s most Redemption historic events – the I The Lord Sep 4-Feb 14 Mayor’s Show is Lord Mayor’s Show – an ancient Wyndhams Theatre, Charing takes to the streets at 11am on tradition Cross,WC2H 0DA Saturday, November 14 when Tube: Leicester Square the 682nd Lord Mayor of An adaptation of the 1994 film London leads the colourful pro- based on Stephen King’s classic cession from Mansion House. novel about Andy Dufresne It continues a tradition dating (Kevin Anderson), a banker back to 1215, when King John convicted of murdering his granted a charter allowing the wife and her lover and citizens of London to elect their sentenced to life in the own Lord Mayor. notorious Shawshank Prison. In a procession extending Tickets from £10. more than three miles, around Mansion House, arriving at 2- Tropical Isles, City of London 0844 482 5125 6,000 people from across 2.30pm. Academy (Southwark) second- www.theshawshankredemption.co.uk London will come together to More than 60 organisations ary school, International Dance celebrate their city’s cultural her- are taking part, ranging from and Music Centre and Endgame itage and its diverse modernity. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Streetwise Opera. Oct 2-Dec 5 It travels to St Paul’s Cathedral, to the British Red Cross Society. Following the procession, the Duchess Theatre, 3-5 where the Lord Mayor is One of the show’s aims is to Lord Mayor will launch a spec- Catherine Street,WC2B 5LA blessed, and on to the Royal develop social and practical tacular fireworks display at 5pm Tube: Covent Garden Courts of Justice, on the Strand, skills of young people in on the Thames between This new production of where he takes an oath of alle- London, represented by four Blackfriars Bridge and Waterloo Samuel Beckett’s darkly- giance to the sovereign then sets floats from inner London com- Bridge. comic play by Simon off on the return journey to munity groups: Hackney-based www.lordmayorshow.org McBurney, has old, blind Hamm (Mark Rylance) and ing 12 passengers on a thrilling his servant Clov (McBurney) Licence 50-minute adventure. They trapped in daily routine and to thrill operate every day of the year regardless of the weather, with cut off from the world. Tickets from £20. T he coolest way to experi- ence the River Thames is on an exhilarating ride with passengers kitted out in wet weather gear. Themes include a James Bond Adventure ride 0844 412 4659 www.nimaxtheatres.com London RIB Voyages. Speed through London at up to 35 and Captain Kidd’s Canary Wharf Voyage, priced from POP art knots under the capital’s £19.50 for children and Opening at Tate Modern, famous bridges and past £32.50 for adults. Call 020 Bankside on Oct 1, Pop Life: London’s landmarks. Suitable 7928 8933 10am-6pm seven Art in a Material World for all the family from toddlers days a week or go online at explores the relationship I High speed thrills to grannies, trips depart hourly www.londonribvoyages.com between art, commerce and from the London Eye Pier, tak- to book. celebrity and examines how London RIB Voyages artists have promoted their Ice princesses White, Mulan and Aurora – are told by special guest Tinker Bell in this production guaranteed to work with their own brands. See work by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and W atch the wishes of your favourite fairy-tale princesses come true in Disney delight young and old. Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes Andy Warhol. Pop Life: Art in a Material World On Ice presents Princess Where: O2 Arena London Oct 1-Jan 17. Open Sun- Wishes. From Ariel wishing for When: Oct 28-Nov 1, Nov 6-8 Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat a life above the sea to Belle Tickets: From £16.50. Book on 10am-10pm. Admission yearning for adventure, the tales www.ticketmaster.co.uk, 0844 £12.50, (concessions £10.50) of all seven princesses – Ariel, 847 2255 or www.theo2.co.uk, www.tate.org.uk/modern/ Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, Snow 0844 856 0202. Disney 60 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
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  • BEST for… HOTELS I Exterior view of Tankersley Manor READER OFFER Enjoy a relaxing stay in Yorkshire Treat yourself to a bargain break at Tankersley Manor with our special offer. You can save over 50% on a relaxing two-night Sneak off to the Peaks stay, paying just £200 per couple for deluxe upgraded accommodation, full Yorkshire Checking out: breakfast, a three-course dinner on both evenings Tankersley Manor, and a bottle of house red wine in your room on arrival. Barnsley You can also take advantage of a two-for-one ticket deal to either Chatsworth House or T ankersley Manor Harewood House, both members of the Treasure began life as a Houses of England. 17th century Set in award-winning grounds,Tankersley Manor manor house and still is a member of the prestigious QHotels collection, has original features, named as AA Hotel Group of the Year for 2008- such as stone window 2009. Incorporating a 17th century building within sills and original oak a modern hotel with many original features beams. The impressive I Hotel pool retained, it has 100 well-appointed en-suite grounds epitomise the a tempting menu that with impeccable service. bedrooms, including four-poster rooms and suites, countryside and the includes some national Nearby Chatsworth with internet access and satellite TV. spectacular Peaks and favourites, the fare pre- and Harewood House are Guests have free use of the Leisure Club with Dales scenery is on the sented in a tempting style fine examples of English its magnificent indoor pool,Technogym, steam doorstep. Yet this tran- stately homes, featuring room, sauna, and spa bath.They can also enjoy quil hotel is close to the M1, making a visit factbox fine art, formal gardens and water features. pampering ESPA body treatments.* The hotel is ideally located for shopping, close exceptionally conven- The Peak District to Barnsley and Sheffield, and near one of Britain’s ient. The rooms are Tankersley Manor offers a variety of attrac- largest indoor shopping centres. peaceful and fully- Tankersley, Barnsley tions, including the To book, call 0845 074 0050 or email equipped to meet the South Yorkshire S75 Heights of Abraham, a tankersleymanor@QHotels.co.uk, quoting needs of guests whether 3DQ family business reached Travel & Leisure. on business or pleasure. Tel: 01226 744700 by cable car (or walking For more information about Tankersley Manor The spa offers relax- www.qhotels.co.uk for the brave). Once at and other QHotels collection properties, visit ation after a long day the summit visitors are www.qhotels.co.uk spent in meetings or Best for rewarded with numerous shopping, with facilities G Value for money options, including guided * Offer (based on two sharing a Junior Suite) valid including swimming G Attentive service tours of old mines. until March 31, 2010, excluding Christmas and pool, steam room and G Spectacular A visit to Tankersley New Year and subject to availability of allocated sauna. The welcoming, scenery Manor offers the choice rooms. Spa treatment charges and single friendly staff also imbue G Excellent dining of a relaxing break or supplements apply. a calming effect, enhanc- something more ener- ing the relaxed atmos- Could do better getic if you prefer; either phere. G Wi-fi access could way an enjoyable stay is The restaurant and be improved guaranteed. less-formal bar area offer Peter Lewsey September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 65
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  • Travel and Leisure Directory Cornwall Norfolk Channel Islands ALDERNEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS L’HARAS GUEST HOUSE Newtown Road,Alderney Channel Islands GY9 3XP All rooms have CH, H&C water, tea/coffee-making facilities and colour TV; most are en suite. Contact Mrs Jansen. Tel/Fax: 01481 823174 lharas@internet.alderney.gg www.lharas.internet.alderney.gg Devon Norfolk London Sussex September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 69
  • South Wales Canary Islands Southern Scotland Canary Islands 70 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009
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  • Spain Caravan & Camping Caravan & Camping PRIMROSE COTTAGE CARAVAN PARK Golden Hill, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3AR 01227 273694 campbell_brian@btconnect.com Small, quiet site with views of the sea. Superstore, chemist and cafe close by, coach/bus stop walking distance. Pitches for tents and touring caravans with electric hook up points, level site. Pets welcome.Toilets, showers, chemical disposal unit. Tourist information. Agent for Calor Gas. PLUS! 6/7 berth static caravans for hire September/October 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 73
  • Museums Car Hire Travel Accessories Budget Accommodation 74 The Travel & Leisure Magazine September/October 2009