Chillingham Castle

We like to take the chance to explore a little when travelling between Edinburgh and Harrogate and have enjoyed visits to the castles at Alnwick and Bamburgh as well as Paxton House, all courtesy of our HHA membership. That left Chillingham Castle this year, somewhere that sounded a little quirky but worth a look. I’d…

North Berwick – a great day out from Edinburgh

It’s many years since I was last in North Berwick but having been fighting a virus for over a week I knew last Wed when we woke up to blue skies and sun that it was a day to take time off our exploration of Edinburgh’s exhibitions (see our blog here for our Top 5)…

Our Top 5 exhibitions in Edinburgh

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer (The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse) – somehow we missed this exhibition in London so I was delighted to see that it would still be on for our first two days when we were in Edinburgh. Then disaster struck in the form of a…

Edinburgh – music, art and museums

Edinburgh is a veritable feast for culture vultures and you could write a book (indeed many have) on all the fantastic opportunities on offer in the city, not just during the Festival but year-round. However, if you’re visiting this summer and want a taste of what you can expect here’s a round-up of some of…

Caracara – a gem in unspoiled Central Portugal

If you’re looking for somewhere different for your holiday in Portugal you might be interested in the area around the small town of Tomar in the centre of the country. Only an hour and a quarter’s drive on deserted motorways from Lisbon airport it is a world away from the more touristy areas closer to…

Newby Hall – our Top 5

With temperatures in the 30s Newby Hall seemed an ideal place to visit the other day – plenty of shade to sit in and a beautifully cool house to go around when the heat became too much! We anticipated that the property would be busy and so brought a picnic to avoid the possibility that…

Harlow Carr in the summer – our top 5

We hadn’t been to Harlow Carr since May when the rhododendrons and tulips were looking splendid and summer was just around the corner. Since then the weather has been disappointing but Monday’s sun tempted us back to Harlow Carr to see what was blooming. Here are the highlights of our summer visit: Sweetpeas – we missed…

Sintra – our Top 5

It’s amazing how many people see Sintra just as a day trip (or even worse, a half day trip) from Lisbon. There is so much of interest to see in this UNESCO World Heritage site that it seems almost sacrilegious to dismiss it as a sideshow! Staying in Sintra gives you the chance to really…

Vicenza – our Top 10

We chose Vicenza as our base for exploring the Veneto but hadn’t realised just how captivating we would find it as a destination in itself. You could easily spend a long weekend and never want to leave the city – far better though to give yourself a couple of weeks to enjoy all that Vicenza…

Ranthambhore and Oberoi Vanyavilas – our top 3 memories

    From Agra where we had been wowed by the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the splendour of the Oberoi Amarvilas, we travelled to Ranthambhore in Rajasthan, an area famed for its national park, one of the largest in Northern India and one of the best places to see tigers in their natural habitat. The…

Exploring the Veneto from Vicenza – our Top 5

If you love Italy but have so far only visited the big-hitters such as Rome, Florence and Venice you’re missing a treat. Italy is stuffed full of smaller towns which not only make great destinations in their own right but also act as great jumping-off points from which to explore further afield. One such place…