9 Best Coastal Campgrounds in Britain

Englands unique coastline is home to a mountain of indoor and outdoor attractions offering history, heritage, and some of the best beach combing in the UK. Inns and hotels dot the oceanfront and so do some of the most sublime campgrounds, offering convenient facilities for visitors exploring the many varied backdrops along the coast. Whether pitching a tent, popping open a camper, or booking a cozy camping snug, a world of natural treasures opens up along the brilliant waterfront: beaches, castles, gorgeous walking paths, historic pubs, and rich wildlife create divinely diverse experiences.

  1. Isles of Scilly |  Bryher Campsite

The mostly sheltered Bryher Campsite in Isles of Scilly, tucked between two large hills, is the perfect place to catch views of Tresco and  Hangman Island. Isles of Scilly is set in Cornwall County and surrounded by waters so clear and blue they could easily be mistaken for a Caribbean backdrop. The archipelago off the southwest end of the Cornish peninsula has a tiny population and is the perfect spot to breathe the air and recharge your mind, body, and soul. At Green Bay theres a beautiful sandy beach and a peaceful feel at Rushy Cove where swimming conditions are ideal. With showers, washing machines, clothes dryers, and proper restrooms, it doesnt feel much like roughing it. For a break from the campfire, visit one of the most popular nearby pubs, Fraggle Rock, or enjoy delectable seafood suppers at Hell Bay Hotel.

  1. Pembrokeshire | Dale Hill Farm

Another noteworthy camping area in Pembrokeshire, Dale Hill Farm offers the riches of the exciting coastline where outdoor activities abound and the scenery is something difficult to take your eyes off. Dale Hill Farm provides a large, open field, a backdrop of a rocky escarpment, and fantastic vistas of Milford Haven estuary. Enjoy basic amenities including showers, bathrooms, and a space for doing dishes with handy access to a freezer and refrigerator. Diving and surfing is possible at West Dale and pontoon crabbing is a delight for kids. Skokholm and Skomer are both natural reserves explored via a quick boat trip to the stunning islands.  The coast is showered with natural attractions found along the 299-kilometer coastal route beginning in Cardigan and ending at Amroth Castle. It can be walked, driven, cycled, or explored in any combination of ways.

  1. Penzance | Treen Farm Campsite

Located in the port of Cornwall on the west side, Treen Farm Campsite faces the gleaming English channel, borders Newlyn (a popular fishing port) and is just 600 feet from Treen Cliff. Facing southwest, Treen receives excellent sunlight, and there are beautiful, 360-degree vistas, a large recreation area, and a handy, onsite shop. There are beaches within easy walking and driving distance. Nearby Penzance and the pretty port are also close by where there are quaint shops and a harbour where fishing boats can be rented or trips arranged. Logan Rock is one of the nearby possible cliff walks best for beginners or intermediates and the Southwest Coast Path can be hiked in either direction: west for Sennen Cove and Lands End and east for Newlyn, Lamorna, and Mouseholethe entire coast is a cycling Mecca and bikes can be borrowed from Treen Farm.

  1. Cornwall | Bay View Farm

 

Overlooking broad Looe Bay in Cornwall, Bay View Farm is a mesmerizing place to pitch tent, park a trailer, or stay in one of the farms onsite (tiny) huts called snugs. These are some of Cornwalls finest views, a perfect spot for a camping trip. Onsite, there are electric hookups, free hot showers, and free WiFi too if disconnecting is too much to bear. If the weather turns grimor even if it doesntdont miss exploring nearby Eden Project, described as the largest indoor rainforest in the world, set within

  1. Dorset | Burnbake Campsite

Burnbake Campsite is an essential visit for die-hard campers seeking an enchanting coastal backdrop, sublime views, and the delights of Studland Bay beaches. Featuring 130 campsites near many cycling routes, haul the family’s bicycles and enjoy the great outdoors at beautiful Swanage and Corfe Castle, less than ten kilometers away. Situated on Dorset’s south coast on the Isle of Purbeck, Burnbake Campsite spans 12 acres in a partially forested chunk of land where campers can pitch a tent out in the open or under the canopy of trees. Onsite, there is a small store stocking cooking and camping equipment and also washing machines and hot showers. There’s also a great café offering baked goods, wood-fired pizza, local produce, and vegetarian meals.  Milk comes from local Swanage Dairy and meat from revered Warehams’ Curtis Butchers and the kids will love a cone from Purbeck Ice Cream Shop.

  1. Pembrokeshire | Trehenlliw Farm

The camping scene within coastal farm communities has been a boon for outdoor tourism in the U.K. Summertime visitors are exploring new areas based out of a tent or snug–and avoiding expensive hotels. At Pembrokeshire, campers have access to more than 115 acres of farmland near the coast and tucked between St. George’s Channel and Bristol Channel on the Celtic Sea. Fringed by the Penberi and Carnllidid mountains, the coast area has excellent sand beaches, including Whitesand Beach which is a favoured surfing point about a kilometer away. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a stone’s throw away and a natural gem filled with coastal walking opportunities. Head off dolphin and seal watching to Ramsey Island or take a trip into charming St David’s village, the smallest in England, and explore 4th century St David’s Cathedral with its stunning stone facade and myriad windows.

  1. Suffolk |Cliff House Holiday Park

Situated on England’s east coast, Cliff House Holiday Park features 30 acres of woodlands, immediate access to Dunwich Heath’s rocky beach (perfect for beach combing), and is within walking distance to the beaches of Southwold and Walderswick. The Coastal Centre has a Seawatch Room for porpoise and seal viewing. The flourishing bird reserve at Minsmere has woodland nature trails, dunes, and beaches to visit while the pier at Southwold takes you into the world of slot machines and vibrant bathing huts flanking a nice beach for a mix of fun activities on the North Sea coast. Back at Cliff House, guests enjoy a newly renovated shower block and bathrooms with hot showers along with laundry facilities and a washing spot for dishes. On rainy days, the games’ room entertains with pool tables and TV and the restaurant serves real ales and classic pub dishes.

  1. Norfolk | High Sand Creek Campsite

 

Within easy distance of three coastal nature reserves (Holkham, Blakeney, and Scolt Head), High Sand Creek occupies a large section of land skirting the water’s edge so oceanfront views are still possible (book as early as you can). Bird-watchers come for the whimsical salt marsh lying beyond High Sand and hikers for the beautiful North Norfolk Coastal Path running through Stiffkey village. Crabbing is possible at the bridge by the marshes and if you’re lucky, you’ll be cooking up a feast come dinnertime. Daytime hours are easily swallowed up by time spent along any of the deluge of beaches along the coast; Hunstanton is most notable for its rock pooling and banded cliffs. With 80 sites across five acres to choose between and access to hot showers, bathrooms, and washing sink, High Sand Cree has everything needed for an easy holiday by the coast.

  1. Isle of Wight | Grange Farm

East of Brighton is Grange Farm, a cliff top campsite overlooking Brighstone Beach. The farmland fringes the cliff, offering striking views of the English Channel and though it’s fairly exposed to high winds, it’s a thrilling spot to camp. The closer to the edge, the easier the walk to the beach below and the better the panoramic waterfront views–it’s a trade-up. For a more sheltered stay, book one of the camp pods offered; these are basic units requiring everything but a tent. Washing and bathing facilities, a small shop, and free hot water are offered. There’s so much to do and see in the area; visit Carisbrook Castle where donkeys power a 16th century tread wheel, drawing water up to the castle; try land-sailing on a wheeled vehicle powered by a sail; eat award-winning ice cream at Briddlesford Farm; the list goes on and on.

The Safest Cities For Women to Travel Alone in Europe

There has never been a better time than now to be a solo female traveler looking to explore Europe. Cities are becoming safer, female-friendly hotels are popping up and it is getting easier to meet other solo female travelers around the world. Here are 20 safe European cities for female solo travelers.

20. Vienna, Austria

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Austria is ranked number 4 on the Global Peace Index, making it an excellent and safe country for female solo travelers to visit. Vienna, the capital of Austria has earned the name of “city with the highest quality of life” several years in a row.

Vienna is full of stunning architecture, music, and history. There are plenty of museums to visit, such as Sigmund Freud’s house. This museum will help you understand why Vienna is known as the “city of dreams”.  You may also want to make a stop at Prater park to see the iconic Riesenrad Ferris wheel landmark. Finally, be sure to head to a local restaurant and try authentic Austrian food such as Wiener Schnitzel (a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet), Sachertorte (chocolate torte), or an Apfelstrudel (apple strudel).

19. Edinburgh, Scotland

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Between the breathtaking landscapes, ancient castles, and rich history, Scotland has a lot to offer. Scotland, a region of the United Kingdom ranks 45 on the Global Peace Index and is considered safe for female solo travelers. There is so much to do and see in Edinburg, the capital of Scotland. To begin, if you visit in August, there is a month-long arts festival called Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This festival offers theatrical performances, comedy shows, and many other activities that would be perfect for a female solo traveler, especially if you’re hoping to meet new people.

Moreover, consider taking a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle and take in the medieval architecture. After visiting the castle, be sure to head to Calton Hill which is a high point in the city that allows you to catch a full view of Edinburgh. Finish your day at a local pub and indulge in authentic food while meeting the locals.

18. Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Germany’s capital is home to 3.5 million residents. Berlin is rich in history and full of culture and would be an excellent place to explore on your own. There are many restaurants, markets, and cafes in Berlin that will make you feel comfortable dining alone.

Discover what this city has to offer by taking a free walking tour, use the bike-sharing program, or hop on public transportation. Be sure to check out the Brandenburg Gate, and the Holocaust Memorial, and the remnants of the Berlin Wall.

17. Bruges, Belgium

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If you are a solo female traveler looking to immerse yourself in a fairy tale this would be the city to visit. Straight off a postcard, the city of Bruges is loaded with cobblestone streets, historic houses, and canals. It is here where you will be inspired to take long strolls throughout the streets and enjoy Belgian pints of beer by street-side cafes while people watching.

This city is extremely safe, for all travelers and welcomes visitors, especially in the summertime when it becomes peak travel season. There is a range of good hotels along with budget hostels that will meet any traveler’s budget, and English is widely understood throughout. Female travelers will feel safe as locals are willing to lend a hand if needed and are more than happy to give advice on where to go, what to see, and where to grab the next pint of beer.

16. Santorini, Greece

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If you want to see jaw-dropping scenery, be sure to add Santorini, Greece to your travel wish list. The emerald Mediterranean Sea is enough to take your breath away, but also the picturesque white villas are a sight to see too. Many people travel to Santorini with a partner or friend but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel there solo.

With friendly locals and an affordable bus system, you’ll be able to navigate your way across the city.

15. Paris, France

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Paris, France is known as the city of love. So it may seem ironic that one would travel there alone. However, exploring this beautiful city alone means that you don’t have to abide by anyone else’s opinions or plans. Further, exploring this city is easy and best to do either on foot or by taking the metro.

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Paris, France. Be sure to check out the iconic Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe. You should also enjoy a bottle of wine and a baguette all to yourself during your stay too.

14. London, England

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London, England is an excellent destination for solo female travels. Traveling through this city is easy from the amazing public transportation system to the remarkable hostels, hotels, and Airbnb’s. Not to mention English is their first language.

During your stay, be sure to visit Buckingham Palace, take a tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and visit one of the many museums London has to offer. You should also dine at a local pub to indulge in traditional British food such as fish and chips, or a Toad in the hole. Further, dining at a pub will also help you meet the locals as well as other solo travelers too.

13. Oslo, Norway

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Oslo is a dream for female solo travelers, alas a bit expensive at times. It is Norway’s largest city and a great cultural city destination that is overflowing with things to see and do. Female solo travelers will feel safe no matter where they stay but may feel some extra comfort if they choose to stay on the women-only floor of the 130-year old Grand Hotel. Here they will find rooms stacked with books, magazines, a yoga mat, toiletries, and a female room-service menu, without the room service charge!

Wandering around the Vigeland Sculpture Park, which is 80 acres and feature 212 bronze and granite sculptures, you are sure to meet other solo travelers who will become quick friends. Head out to one of the many vibrant nightclubs or theaters with new-found travel friends for an unforgettable experience.

12. Dublin, Ireland

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Ireland is a very safe country. According to the Global Peace Index, Ireland ranks number 12 in the world. Further, as a female solo traveler, you will feel comfortable dining alone and you may even run into another solo traveler during your stay.

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is laden with historic buildings including the captivating Dublin Castle. Some other great places to see are the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the National Museum of Ireland, and other must-see historic Attractions in Dublin.

11. Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon, Portugal is a wonderful place for female solo travelers. To begin, there are many safe and affordable hostels to stay in where you will meet many other solo travelers too. Secondly, Portugal ranks 3rd on the Global Peace Index.

Lisbon is full of rugged yet wonderful architecture and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Consider having a beach day all to yourself, or explore the Castelo de S. Jorge or the Jerónimos Monastery. Exploring this beautiful city is easy and can be done either by public transportation, on foot, or on a bike.

10. Stockholm, Sweden

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Built over 14 islands and connected by over 50 bridges this lovely cosmopolitan city is home to more than two million people. It is known for its gorgeous modern architecture, friendly people, and captivating waterways. Women are treated equally like men here and solo female travelers will face no issues in terms of harassment, drink spiking, or pickpocketing.

There is a slew of budget hostels throughout the city that are both affordable and safe, and a great way to connect with other travelers. This is a great city to experience Nordic culture in its modern and multicultural avatar, as well as dine on delightful local food. English is widely spoken here, and the locals are often teased for speaking a mix of Swedish and English-nicknamed Swinglish. Women will have no trouble finding people to talk to, tours to take and culture to experience here in Stockholm.

9. Cardiff, Wales

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Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales. This city is also considered one of Britain’s safer cities and for that reason, it is Wales’s most popular tourist destination. Along with being a safe city, Cardiff is full of culture, has many captivating castles and if you meet the locals they’ll surely share some of their ancient Welsh legends.

Further, students make up about 10% of Cardiff’s population which means younger female solo travelers will surely be well taken care of. There are many things to see and do in Cardiff. During your stay be sure to check out the National Museu, Cardiff Bay, and Cardiff Castle.

8. Helsinki, Finland

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The capital of Finland is one of the best cities for female solo travelers, thanks to its friendly locals, its reputation for being safe and beautiful. This walkable city is loaded with lovely parks, free city events, music, and shopping. Solo travelers will delight in the 20th-century architecture, the Helsinki Cathedral and the National Museum of Finland, which are always, home to other visitors.

One of the best things to do when you first get into the city is to take a walking tour, in order to fully appreciate the city’s cultural heritage, then move on to the shopping and dining. One cannot travel here without taking a dip in the Yrjönkatu Indoor Swimming Pool, (the oldest pool) built-in 1928. Recently renovated to house three pools and wonderful saunas, this is where women meet after work and have a sauna and swim followed by a drink, all done without any clothes on.

7. Prague, Czech Republic

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Immerse yourself in the alluring culture of the Czech Republic by visiting its capital, Prague. There is an abundance of things to see and do in the wonderful city of Prague.

Prague is not only a beautiful place to visit but the country, the Czech Republic ranks in the top 10 of the Global Peace Index. Consider meeting other solo travelers by taking a walking tour, or keep to yourself and explore one of their many museums, or even check out a show at the State Opera.

6. Copenhagen, Denmark

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The capital of Denmark is a vibrant and colorful city, which still manages to maintain a small-town feeling. New meets old in this fairytale-like city that features ancient buildings and towering glass and steel skyscrapers. Many of the state-run museums in this city are free admission, making it easy to save on spending and you can’t miss out on visiting the world’s oldest amusement park- Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park.

This city offers a unique experience that is perfect for female solo travelers called ‘Meet the Danes.’ This service arranges home-dinners with a Danish family or a single woman and her friend. Expect a traditional Danish meal and plenty of conversation with your new-found friends. Don’t miss the goddess Gefjun fountain that depicts the mythology of Denmark’s creation and magic within the Norse religion.

5. Barcelona, Spain

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Barcelona, Spain is known for its captivating architecture and art and would be a great destination for female solo travelers. For starters, the public transportation system is excellent. You’ll have the option of taking a bus, metro, trains, or trams, however, you will also be able to see a lot of the attractions on foot too. While Barcelona is generally safe, it’s always important to still take precautions such as keeping your personal belongings close by to prevent pickpocketing and don’t flash around money or expensive belongings.

During your stay be sure to check out the Sagrada Familia church, designed by Antoni Gaudi, and the Picasso Museum.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

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Zurich is an extremely safe city and therefore traveling alone as a female here is also incredibly safe, and downright breathtaking. Snow-capped Alps loom in the background, museums and art galleries line the streets and the nightlife is something to speak of. Female travelers will find no shortage of shopping to do here, cobblers, tailors, metalsmiths, candle makers, jewelry makers, and watchmakers fill the streets.

Choices of accommodations are endless here and if you feel nervous at all in this city we suggest heading over to Lady’s First Design Hotel, which was built especially for female travelers. The ancient center is the perfect place to stroll through the winding lanes and look up to the tall church steeples, stopping for coffee at sidewalk cafes. Further, Zuri-West is where to find the hottest nightlife in the city, just in case you are looking to meet new friends that want to dance the night away.

3. Sorento, Italy

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Sorento is a coastal town located in the southwestern part of Italy. This charming town faces the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Be sure to make your way to Piazzo Tasso, a central square in Sorrento that offers plenty of restaurants and shopping. Here you can try their famous Gelato, or drink a cup of delicious coffee.

Not only is there a lot to see and do in Sorento, but it’s also a popular vacation spot for Europeans. This means that you’ll hear a lot of English in both the restaurants and in the streets of Sorento which will only make traveling by yourself even easier. Further, you’ll find that it is easy to navigate around the town which will only add to a stress-free experience.

2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Amsterdam received the nickname “Venice of the North” because it has many beautiful canals. This charming city has something for every type of female traveler. Whether you enjoy history, are a party animal, or prefer to simply take in the scenic view, Amsterdam has it all.

According to the Global Peace Index, the Netherlands ranks in the top 20 in the world.  There is plenty to see and do in Amsterdam and you will most likely run into other solo travelers too.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

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It has been rated as the number one safest country for women to travel to alone and Iceland has been beckoning female solo travelers for as long as it can remember. This is the ultimate travel adventure for the traveler who loves the outdoors. Think glacier hiking in the Pingvellir National Park, skiing at Blafjoll, and Viking horse riding at Thingvellir.

If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, don’t worry there is plenty for you to do here including the chance to relax and de-stress in one of the many thermal pools and spas across the city. If you’re lucky you may even get to witness the famous Aurora Borealis. This city happens to be famously expensive though and we highly suggest staying at a hostel instead of a hotel to save money. This city is notoriously safe, even at night and as a female solo traveler, make sure you put Reykjavik on your bucket list.

Oscar Wilde’s London: 10 Historic Spots of the Literati

Although today’s London is a dramatically different landscape than it was in the 19th century, it still contains well-preserved remnants of the old days. With its rich, complicated layers, you’ll find a page out of history around every nook and cranny, starting with the hangouts of the literati. Explore the streets near the first home of Charles Dickens, his local watering holes in Fitzrovia, and Queen Victoria’s favorite tearooms. London is complex, but if you dig deep enough, you’ll find historic relics and tales of the old world in the most unexpected places.

Langham Hotel

Charles Dickens may have written about the plight of the 19th century peasant in London, but that didn’t stop him from indulging in opulence and luxury at the Langham Hotel. Established in 1865, the grand hotel is a cherished historic landmark not only for its impressive appearance but also for attracting royalty, celebrities, and the intelligentsia. In its heyday, it was the largest and most luxurious hotel in the city, making it the premier spot for the high society of the Victorian era to flaunt their wealth and prestige. Today, the hotel retains its well-preserved façade and interior but with a light touch of modernism that adds elegance to the Victorian style décor. The hotel has also been featured in movies such as Goldeneye and on any weekend, it is not unlikely to spot someone famous.

Hotel Café Royal

In the early 1890s and 1920s, Regent Street was a popular meeting place for the London literati. For Oscar Wilde, a writer who once said “Anyone living within their means suffers from a lack of imagination,” the Hotel Café Royal was his ideal spot to indulge in luxury and opulence. Royalty and celebrities were also known to stop by for the gourmet French cuisine, the first of its kind in London. Rudyard Kipling, WB Yeats, and Arthur Conan Doyle, among others, were also regulars and would spend hours in deep conversation at marble tables or on plush velvet couches. Established in 1865 at the peak of the Victorian aristocracy, the hotel is still going strong today and is considered a historical treasure of London. Over the years, the grand public rooms of the 1860s and 1920s have been painstakingly preserved while new, more modern rooms and suites have been added, resulting in classical elegance.

Bloomsbury

Considered by many to be London’s intellectual heart is Bloomsbury in Central London. In the late 19th century, the neighborhood was known for being home to England’s most celebrated authors, including playwright Somerset Maugham who lived in a luxury flat on Chesterfield Street near Vincent Square. Also nearby is the British Museum, an impressive building that stands out with its classical façade. You’ll also find the University of London Senate House, a classical style building that inspired George Orwell’s setting for the Ministry of Truth in his novel 1984. The neighborhood was also quite fashionable at the time and was used as the backdrop to William Makepeace Thackerary’s novel Vanity Fair. Charles Dickens was also taken with the area and immortalizes Coram Street in Little Dorrit. With his former address of 48 Doughty Street close by, Dickens fans will get the chance to see his home up close.

Brown’s Hotel

In the 1965 Miss Marple novel At Bertram’s Hotel, the legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie describes Brown’s Hotel as an oasis of old-fashioned calm in the heart of London’s bustling West End. Located on Albermarle Street in the Georgian neighborhood, the hotel’s English Tea Room was one of Queen Victoria’s favorite places to take afternoon tea. And if it is fit for royalty, the literati are sure to follow. For a traditional English experience, bring your British manners and Sunday best to partake in sandwiches, scones, and 17 different kinds of tea. With its original wood paneling and antique fireplace, get swept away in one of London’s historic landmarks. Every September, they host Agatha Christie Afternoon Tea, an event inspired by her life’s work. Indulge in treats like Miss Marple’s orange and poppy seed cake, black coffee tiramisu, and clotted cream.

Fitzrovia

It wasn’t until the Second World War that London finally named the neighborhood of Fitzrovia, the square formed at Gower Street, Euston Road, Oxford Street, and Great Portland Street. In the center of the action is Fitzroy Tavern, the area’s trendy drinking spot, especially in the 40s. The pub was so popular that it happily lent its name to the neighborhood. Writer Patrick Hamilton described the tavern with nostalgia and affection in Plains of Cement, the third part of his London trilogy, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky: “The respectable, residential precincts of Regent’s Park, the barracks and lodging houses of Albany Street, the grim senility of Munster Square, the commercial fury of the Euston and Tottenham Court Roads…” Set to reopen in Spring 2006, the Victorian tavern is currently undergoing restorations to return it to its original 19th century splendor.

  

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

The beloved open space of Lincoln’s Inn Fields offers a respite from the crowded streets of Drury Lane and Clare Market nearby. It is also one of the largest public squares in London. Construction began in piecemeal around the 15th century and began in full force in the 17th century under the command of James I. The cherished historical landmark also contains the Lindsey House on the west side of the square, a building that still retains its original exterior. Today it is divided into law offices but back in the day, several aristocratic families resided here, including the Earls of Lindsey and the Dukes of Ancaster. Dickens also used it as the setting for the home and offices of lawyer Tulkinghorn, one of his most sinister characters in Bleak House. In the novel, he describes the building as “…a large house, formerly a house of state…[where] lawyers lay like maggots in nuts.”

The Ambassadors Theatre

During the First World War, the people of London did their best to boost morale during the worst of times and a favorite distraction was the theatre. After all, even if the world is falling apart, the show must go on, and in this case it was the construction of the Ambassadors Theatre in 1913. While the battles waged, Londoners sought refuge with the ‘intimate’ review, a new form of entertainment brought from Paris and featuring a scantily clad Alice Delysia, a celebrated French beauty. The Edwardian style theatre was also the West End stage debut of a 22-year old Vivien Leigh who performed in Eugene O’Neil’s The Mask of Virtue in 1935. In the 50s, Londoners celebrated their dame of mystery novels, Agatha Christie, in the debut of The Mousetrap, which ran until 1974. With a run of nearly 50 years, it retains the title of London’s most popular play.

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Situated on the narrow strip of land between the Strand and the river Thames is the Victoria Embankment Gardens, one of London’s best-kept secrets. Dating back to the 1860s, the area is relatively new compared with most neighborhoods in the city. The rows of benches facing the river were often populated with homeless people or the occasional lover’s tryst, which is the case in the Somerset Maugham novel Liza of Lambeth. George Orwell was one of society’s outcasts in the 1930s and often slept here when he couldn’t afford to pay rent. He describes his experience on the embankment in his first novel Down and Out in Paris and London. The best time to visit is on a sunny spring day when the flowers are in bloom. Join the locals on the grass for a picnic lunch or grab a coffee at the café in the main garden.

Oxford Street and Marylebone

In the 19th century, Oxford Street and Marylebone was the stomping grounds of literati like Virginia Wolf and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, both who had childhood homes in the neighborhood. For Thomas De Quincey, it was the place where he picked up all his bad habits, including his laudanum addiction. As a teenage runaway, he would walk aimlessly down busy Oxford Street with his young friend Ann, a prostitute. Although he had mixed feelings about the street, he looks on his formidable years with nostalgia in Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Around the corner on Marylebone Street is St. Marylebone Parish Church, a historical landmark that dates back to 1817 and the notable architect Thomas Hardwick. Situated across from Regent Park, the Anglican church sat in peaceful repose until the Blitz of the Second World War when a bomb fell close by, causing extensive damage to the windows.

Coach and Horses

On the corner of Greek Street and Romilly Street is Coach and Horses, a Soho institution and a favorite hangout for columnist Jeffrey Bernard. The bohemian writer was known for his weekly installments that chronicled the dark side of gambling and drinking. Often called out for his heavy drinking, Bernard would say “…it has never interfered with my work, though my work has occasionally interfered with my drinking.” Bernard went on to gain celebrity status in the neighborhood after the success of Keith Waterhouse’s play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, the same note that the Spectator used to print when he was too hung-over or drunk to write his column. People would come from all over to buy him a drink and then be told to piss off, but his rudeness became a legendary fixture of London. Today, the pub’s latest claim to fame is having the title of the first vegetarian pub in London.

The Most Strikingly Beautiful Hiking Trails On The English Countryside

The English countryside holds a bounty of natural beauty and scores of surprises best uncovered along thousands of kilometers of trails comprising England’s revered National Trails and additional footpaths. Old legends are revealed along steady paths, history unveiled along careening mountain passes, and coastal paths explore the charm of the waterfront. Many of these striking hikes pass through colourful villages boasting lively markets, charming pubs, and a host of friendly locals – taking a few days’ hike and staying in a charismatic B&B is as possible as camping under countryside stars.

7. The White Cliffs of Dover

Forming a section of gorgeous coastline in Dover, county of Kent, England, the White Cliffs of Dover are emblematic for Brits: they face France and the Straight of Dover which, historically, was an area of consistent invasions. The cliffs, extending east and west, form a natural barrier used as a WWI and WWI defense strategy and offer far-flung views of the awe-inspiring French coastline. Vaulting 350 feet skyward, the dramatic facade is chalk-based and streaked with black flint, creating a striking view. The walk is nothing short of breathtaking: take the coastal path along the cliffs where you’ll reach historic South Foreland Lighthouse. Here, the views of the cliffs are excellent and below, the Calcareous grassland is filled with unusual insects and plants like the pyramidal orchid and the chalkhill butterfly.

6. Sizergh Castle

Starting at the car park by Sizergh Castle, a 15-acre estate, this South Lake District walk spans few kilometers and is a great way to explore an historic castle and the surrounding area. The castle stands with tradition as an agricultural estate with far-reaching views across the countryside featuring Lakeland Fells and Morecambe Bay. Tranquil and scenic at once, the walk begins in a field afoot with buzzards and pheasants, leads to Sizergh Fell, and follows a footpath through fields filled with butterflies and wildflowers. Reaching a cluster of hawthorn trees, the views of Morecambe Bay are sublime. Take that in for a awhile before continuing on to Lake District Fells, through gates and glades, back onto a road for a kilometer and loop around back to the castle for a café refreshment, stop by the farm shop, or enjoy a pint at onsite Strickland Arms.

5. Sparrow Dale, Sheringham Park

Often unnoticed by park visitor, Sparrow Dale is Norfolk’s natural wildlife sanctuary and a hidden valley filled with an array of interesting trees that give shelter to an enormous number of birds. The dale’s formation is the way it appears today because it was redesigned for the popular Sheringham Park shooting parties taking place in the 19th century. Modest in size, the valley weaves between dual hills–once a place where pheasants were set free for the parties to shoot at from the valley. Savvy marksmen felt unchallenged so trees were planted top of the hills to push the birds upward, making them harder to hit. Following the walk-through, enjoy a scenic coastal views and a jaunt amid woodland gardens filled with azaleas and rhododendron in Sheringham Park–champagne soirees took place here in the 1950s just to showcase the flowers.

4. Cotswolds Way

Careening through the placid limestone hills, Cotswolds Way is designated a National Trail spanning the entire length of the magnificent Cotswolds from northern Chipping Campden down to Bath Abbey. This central England location is world famous for its rolling hills, flower-filled meadows, defining Jurassic limestone, grassland habitats, valleys, and vales. With more than 160 kilometers of walking trails winding amid the gentle Cotswold hills, this is a place to walk easily, amble even, so forget notions of an arduous mountain struggle and deep, rocky ridges, this walk’s for taking it slow and steady. On route, scenic villages, honey-hued stone, historic features, and endless views keep stamina continuous. Aside from the enchanting trail, the end-point in Bath (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is an extra-gratifying bonus. Bath showcases fine architecture, Roman Baths, excellent galleries, and fine museums–a perfect place to end an iconic English walk.

3. Yorkshire Dales – Malham Tarn

Yorkshire Dales is in the Pennines of Northern England in an upland area filled with opportunities for walking. Set in historic Yorkshire county, most of the choices are within Yorkshire Dales National Park where rolling hills and river valleys rise westward from the Vale of York to the summit of the watershed at Pennines. The Malham Tarn farm walk spans seven miles, stretching through hilly uplands and ancient pastures of limestone as well as alongside the marvelous and rocky outcropping of Malham Tarn. The area is loved by birders relishing the sights and calls of teal, crested grebe, wigeon, goosander, and tufted duck. Having a map here is essential for the various paths leading to different attractions are various lengths. There is a lovely waterfall near Malham Tarn flanked by a clandestine cave and also Malham Cove, spanning 260-feet vertically and near Malham village.

2. Hadrian’s Wall Path

Anyone looking for a long distance English trail to conquer should consider Hadrian’s Wall Path, a 135-kilometer northern England footpath and the National Trail’s 15th official path instated in 2003. The path begins in Wallsend near Newcastle on England’s east coast and ends at te beautiful Bowness-on-Solway (home to an ancient Roman fort)on the country’s west coast. The Roman-built wall constructed to obstruct Scots from entering the north has become the backdrop to one of the country’ most impressive walks. The challenge here is moderate but lasting and showcases what’s left of the masonry wall along with Segedunum, carefully uncovered Roman baths and a fort adjacent to an excellent museum. Hadrian’s Wall path leads through lively market villages, by cozy British pubs, and boasts scores of scenic views and rich history. Birdoswald Roman fort, Old Newcastle, and Tullie House Museum are also on route.

1. The James Herriot Way

Covering 83 kilometers over four to five days through the Yorkshire Dales might seem a bit extreme to some, but adventure-lovers who can endure the trek, James Herriot Way is worth the effort. Beginning in Aysgarth, (a Wensleydale village in North Yorkshire) the path follows towering Pennines’ summits, gently valleys, and Great Shunner Fell, one of the highest mountains in the dales. Hikers need a compass, map, and whistle to journey the route. Some hire sherpas who drop bags and equipment off at each stop along the way. Prominent points include Keld, Hawes, Askrigg, and Grinton with attractions like Bolton Castle, a spectacular 14th century castle. James Herriot Way is named after a Scot who was enamored with North Yorkshire beauty and spent his entire working life as a vet living on the Moors and in the Dales, writing about his career’s adventures.

The World’s Absolute Best Tennis Hotels

Tennis lovers unite! All over the world, there is a multitude of amazing hotels and resorts that are catering to the player in all of us. Whether you are a serious tennis player, looking to watch the pros in action or just getting started; there is a tennis hotel for you. From the south coast of Antigua to the Swiss Alps to the charming state of South Carolina, these hotels are loaded with amenities, fabulous dining choices, luxury rooms and of course, the best in tennis instruction. Discover the World’s Top Tennis Hotels where we promise you will improve your play.

12. Carlisle Bay, Antigua

On the south coast of Antigua overlooking the sparkling blue waters and rain, forested hills sit a family-friendly hotel that is perfect for the tennis lovers. The bedroom suites are enough to visit this hotel alone, with their chic furniture and split-level designs. As for dining here, guests have their choice of four different restaurants, all serving locally sourced ingredients.

But it is tennis for the whole family that really stands out at Carlisle Bay. With nine well-maintained tennis courts, including four that are floodlit for night play; you won’t have any problems working on your skills. Rackets and balls are provided on a complimentary basis, as well as the hotel runs complimentary clinics throughout the week. If you are looking for more professional instruction there are instructors on hand for group or private lessons. It’s hard to beat the setting as you practice amongst tropical flowers and the bright shining sun.

Via Carlisle Bay

11. The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, Arizona

This 1,300 acre Arizona resort is surrounded by an outcrop of 12-million-year-old granite and is set just north of Phoenix. It has been ranked as one of the top tennis resorts in all of America by TENNIS magazine and it certainly does not disappoint. The Boulders features exceptional service and first-class facilities including four premier hard courts, three cushioned courts, and one classic clay court. Private lessons and clinics are offered on a daily basis and expect to dramatically improve your skill here.

While off the court guests will enjoy the four crystal blue pools, two world-class golf courses and a 33,000 square foot spa. Guests here have their choice of casitas, executive suites, villas or haciendas; all decked out with luxury furnishings and the feel of home. The resort is truly an oasis full of willows, cactus and flowering shrubs, flowers and a dramatic landscape.

Via Boulders Resort & Spa

10. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island, Hawaii

This beautiful beach hotel features 11 tennis courts alongside the ocean, making this one of the best views players will get. The hotel was built in 1965 by legendary hotelier Laurance S. Rockefeller and was completely updated after an earthquake in 2006. As well as enlarged and enhanced rooms, a spa and new restaurants, the courts also got a facelift. The setting of the tennis complex is perhaps what makes it so special, located so close to the sea that players often call timeouts to watch the whales and bottlenose dolphins that pass just off-shore.

The tennis direction Craig Pautler has set up amazing lessons, clinics, social activities, games and programs for kids. Children as young as 4 years old can start in the tiny tot’s tennis program whereas adults can enjoy the round robin tournaments or private lessons.

Via Big Island Now

9. Sani Resort, Greece

This resort sprawls over 1,000 acres and is made up of four hotels, ranging from family friendly to grown-up suites. It also happens to feature its own marina, an ecological reserve, an 8km stretch of beach and six tennis courts. The courts are clay and floodlit, housed in the state of the art sports complex near the Sani Beach Hotel. The Sani Tennis Academy focuses on providing an ideal environment to motivate young beginners while at the same time giving advanced players the opportunity to continue training at a higher level.

Experienced full-time coaches are on hand to lead you through group sessions or one-on-one instruction. Kids are welcome here and specialty camps are offered for kids aged 4-12. Besides tennis there are plenty of other activities such as scuba diving, walking trails and lounging by the pool. Three restaurants, a spa, and miles of beach await visitors to this awesome tennis resort.

Via Booking.com

8. Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, South Carolina

It has been ranked in the top 10 of best Tennis Resorts in America, nine years in a row by Tennis Magazine so it is no surprise it is amongst the best in the world. Tennis isn’t just an option at this beautiful resort but a true passion. Wild Dunes offers 17 courts, including a stadium court and five of them floodlit for night play. As a guest here you will receive complimentary court time.

Guests are also privy to top-ranked instruction with professional instructors and activities range from clinics, lessons, and drills. Accommodations here range from condos to cottages to hotels and guests can choose from pool-side to beach-side and even court-side. Other activities here include golf, fishing, water sports, and fitness. Let’s not forget about the abundance of spa services that are offered here as well.

Via Destination Hotels

7. TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort, Destin, Florida.

Visitors here only need to spend moments in the Pro Shop and around the courts to appreciate the love for tennis at this resort. Located on the soft white sand beaches, this private resort combines a 12-court tennis complex with a gorgeous stretch of beach, for the ultimate tennis vacation. Several tall towers and numerous one and two-story condos make up the resort, along with an expansive pool, restaurants, whirlpools and an on-site shuttle service.

Players here should expect the ultimate tennis experience as the staff is focused on delivering lessons, clinics, round robin plays and weekends devoted to team competitions. The 12 courts are all clay courts and ten of them are lighted for night use, with guests having complimentary access to all of them. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy the beach and improve your game at the TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort in Florida.

Via 30A.com

6. Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

This beautiful hotel is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Swiss Alps and dates back to 1913. Featuring 104 rooms, a spa, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, numerous restaurants and four tennis courts; this Palace is truly spectacular. During the summer seasons is when tennis lovers will want to head here, specifically during one of the specialty tennis weeks when tennis legend Roy Emerson offers personal instruction to guests.

If you are more interested in watching the pros perform, plan on staying at this hotel during the Allianz Swiss Tennis Open Gstaad where the world’s best tennis players compete for one of the most important tennis trophies. There also happens to be three indoor courts located next door in case of bad weather. Whether you want to relax with a full body massage after a long day of practicing, soak in the steam baths of hit the nightclub; this hotel truly offers it all.

Via TrailblazerGirl

5. Topnotch Resort and Spa, Stowe, Vermont

This resort and spa is a haven for both tennis lovers and those looking to get introduced to the sport. With a recent renovation to its 76 rooms, this resort also enlarged the amazing swimming pool, enhanced the 40,000 square foot European Spa and installed a new casual restaurant. It’s the tennis academy that sits above all though with its extensive menu of both indoor and outdoor programs. Players can count on playing up t 5 hours a day if they choose to do so while junior programs divert kids and encourage the whole family to play. Staff will arrange opponents for games or group and private lessons. There is your choice of rooms, suites, and homes to rent; all packed with luxury amenities. If you get sick of tennis why not head over to the equestrian center, golf courses or shops that are all located nearby.

Via Topnotch Resort

4. Forte Village Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy

If you happen to love tennis and want to visit the wonderful country of Italy, there is only one place you need to visit and that is the Forte Village. This resort in Sardinia features a total of 12 tennis courts- 10 clay, 1 natural grass and 1 synthetic- all floodlit for nighttime use. Guests flock here for the head coach of the tennis program here, a man by the name of Rocco Loccisano, a former top Australian player and once trainer to Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

Private or group lessons are available from a plethora of tennis professionals but that isn’t all these amazing resort offer. Choose from a spacious seafront suite, bungalow, villa or 5-star hotels to spend your nights in. An array of restaurants and bars await you, as well as shopping and nightlife. If you happen to have the kids with you, make sure to check out the awesome children’s wonderland that features pools, a theatre, and other fun activities.

Via Forte Village

3. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

With two complete tennis complexes located on this 10-mile island, it is easy to be close to a championship court. This elegant oceanfront hotel comes complete with an elegant spa, dedicated children’s park, five designer golf courses, 10 miles of pristine beach and numerous shops and restaurants. What makes this resort pretty special is the fact that they have put their tennis clubs under the direction of former touring pro, Roy Barth.

For 35 years Barth has been operating a broad-based program that features a lengthy roster of weekly activities including instructional clinics, mini-camps, round robins and private lessons. The resort features 90 holes of championship golf, fishing tours, special activities for kids and teens and a plethora of dining options including a signature steakhouse. Choose to stay in the Sanctuary Hotel, a private villa or luxury private homes.

Via charlestoncvb.com

2. Rancho Valencia, California

This elegant Relais and Chateau and retreat in Santa Fe California has a huge focus on tennis, offering 17 courts for just 49 suites. This family-friendly resort also has a way with customer service and guests here should expect that every need they have will be catered to, one and off the court. Along with the amazing courts, this retreat offers an incredible 10,000 square foot spa, a delicious restaurant that is focused on California coastal ranch cuisine and amenity-rich suites.

The suites here are simply to die for, with their gas-log fireplaces, outdoor Jacuzzis, private patio gardens and jetted tubs. Guests here will enjoy the superior coaches and instructors that offer private lessons and programs that are tailored to each individual. Complimentary match play, daily tennis clinics, video lessons and family lessons are just a slice of what is offered here.

Via Jetsetter

1. Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

The setting is picture perfect, an English mansion that is set in the Buckinghamshire countryside that dates back to 1908.  The grounds are over 300 acres and include 49 exquisite rooms, three restaurants, indoor swimming pool, a 27 hole championship golf course, and a whopping 13 tennis courts. Tennis is the draw here and every year this hotel hosts the pre-Wimbledon tennis tournament where tennis stars from around the world gather to warm up for the season.

Many guests choose to come during this week to watch the stars in action. If you are more interested in working on your own tennis skills though, this hotel offers lessons to guests on both the indoor and outdoor courts and provides junior camps to young players. Luxury amenities, incredible dining options and the opportunity to not only work on your skills but see the stars in action make this one awesome tennis hotel.

Via Stoke Park

The 9 Best Fashion Museums in the World

Fashion week takes over the world in London, Paris, New York City and Milan twice a year but that doesn’t mean fashion lovers can’t get their fill in the rest of the year. All across the world are incredible fashion-focused museums, some free to check out while others accept a small payment. It is here at these museums where visitors will find one-of-a-kind pieces, a history of shoes, more bags and purses in one spot than you ever imagines, famous articles of clothing, avant-garde fashion and more. From Milan the capital of the fashion world to a UNESCO site in Amsterdam to Italy, there are the best fashion museums in the world.

9. Palazzo Morando, Milan

It wouldn’t be a complete list without a fashion museum in one of the worlds most important design capitals. The Palazzo Morando is housed in the Renaissance palace that was at one point home to Milanese noble families until it was donated to the city in 1945.

It wasn’t until 2010 when the Castello Sforzesco’s costume collection was merged with the former Museum of Milan’s collection that this became one very chic museum. Although you won’t find loads of clothes on display like others, this museum features two separate display areas and includes a collection of clothing, accessories, and uniforms. As a bonus, this museum is free and open to the public.

Via Artribune

8. Christian Dior Museum and Garden, Granville, France

This museum is actually the former childhood home of the famous couturier and now is a place of memories dedicated to the life and work of Christian Dior. Since the year 1997 a temporary exhibit is held each summer who theme is linked to the fashion designs of Dior and his fashion house and since 2010 an Autumn and Winter exhibition presents the museums own collection.

This cliff-top villa houses the designer’s exquisite creations as well as pieces from the fashion houses other notable designers including Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano. Open 7 days a week from 10am-6:30 pm, this is truly a treat for the biggest of fashion lovers.

Via Le Relais du Louvre

7. Ferragamo Museo, Florence Italy

This museum is dedicated to Salvatore Ferragamo, the inventor of the wedge and the cage-heel, one of the greatest inventors when it comes to shoes of all time. The museum opened in 1995 in an effort to illustrate Ferragamo’s artistic qualities and the important role he played in the history of shoe design and international fashion. Much of his success came from Hollywood Starlets across the pond such as Marilyn Monroe.

The museum is host to photographs, sketches, books, magazines and over 10,000 models that were designed by him until 1960 when he passed away. The shoes are on a biennial rotation and are all works of refined craftsmanship. Visitors can marvel at the incredible display of shoes and step back into a true artist’s mind through the many artifacts displayed.

Via style.corriere.it

6. Costume Institute at the Met, New York City

For anyone interested in costume fashion, there is perhaps a no better place on earth than the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This museum is home to over 35,000 costumes and accessories ranging from the 15th century to the present and representing five continents.

It underwent a two-year renovation between 2012-2014 and has since reopened to the public with one more special exhibitions annually. Fashion-focused tours are available year-round that discuss costume history within the context of the Museum’s collection of armor, textiles, paintings and more with an audio guide. If you can attend the annual gala expect plenty of celebrities and high profile fashion designers.

Via amny.com

5. Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassen Museum), Amsterdam

It is the largest of its kind in the world, a fascinating story that features fashion, art, customs, and history. The museum also happens to be situated in a lovely canal house in the center of Amsterdam and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Canal Ring Area.

On display is the development of bags and purses from the Middle Ages to the present day and this is truly the only place in the world where you will find so many handbags in one spot. Featuring 17th-century-period rooms, the actual Versace bag used by Madonna, over 5,000 bags and purses, a lovely restaurant with a view of the gardens and guided tours, a trip here is well worth taking, especially if you just happen to love bags.

Via Afar

4. Museo De La Moda, Santiago, Chile

This privately operated fashion museum has an incredible permanent collection of Western clothing, particularly from the 20th century and is well known for a few key items. It is here where you can see John Lennon’s jacket from 1966, the cone bra that was designed for Madonna and an evening gown worn by Lady Diana in 1981. There are more than 10,000 pieces in this collection, with only a fraction on display at one time.

Temporary exhibits here are incredible and have ranged from a Michael Jackson tribute to a Mad Men 60’s theme. There are thousands of sketchbooks, photographs, and books on fashion and design that are also available to view as long as an appointment is made in advance. Opened in 2007, this fairly new museum is host to an impressive number of important fashion pieces.

Via juliensauctions.com

3. Museum at FIT, New York City

New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology has given the world incredible fashion stars and its museum is one of the only ones in the city that is open to the public. It hosts rotating exhibits that pull from the school’s impressive collection of one-of-a-kind pieces from designers such as Chanel, Alaia, and Halston. Not only does this museum feature exhibits but also talks, tours, lectures, book signings and fashion conversations with leading designers.

The permanent collection here encompasses over 50,00 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present, with an emphasis on avant-garde fashion. With three different galleries, a photographic studio, workshop, and conservation laboratory this is one impressive museum. Expect patrons here to be dressed to the nines while they check out the fashion.

Via RueBaRue

2. Gucci Museum, Florence

Guccio Gucci started the label in Florence in 1921 and it is fitting that in 2011 a museum devoted to this designed finally opened its doors. The museum provides a history of the Florentine fashion house, containing a permanent exhibit of the iconic pieces of the brand such as bags, clothes, and accessories.

Along with stunning evening gowns including ones worn by Hilary Swank, amusing exhibits such as monogrammed scuba diving flippers and early-edition monogrammed luggage, there is a contemporary art space which features incredible related exhibits. Black and white photographs line the staircase and a Gucci-upholstered car from the 70’s complete the picture here.

Via Florence Inferno

1. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

It is the world’s largest museum dedicated to art and design and contains an incredible collection of costumes and applied arts from all over the world. It can be overwhelming at times to decide what to look at and taking the one-hour tour is a good way to get acquainted. The collections here range from Indian textiles to painful footwear but for the fashion lovers, heading to the fashion section should be first on the list.

It is here where you will find a 400-year span of men and women’s clothing and one gigantic collection of hats, after all this is Britain. Except for occasional special exhibits, this museum is actually free to visit as well. Check out 17th-century gowns, samurai armor and medieval love rings, all on display here at this incredible museum.

Via evelinakhromtchenko.com

The 8 Best Airport Hotels in the World

For too long now airport hotels have been gouging travelers with the overpriced, small and amenity lacking rooms, but thankfully times are changing. Hotels located in the airports and close to the airports are listening to what guests want, such as soundproof windows, a variety of dining choices and more amenities. The best airport hotels in the world offer all of these things, plus more including free Wi-Fi, award-winning spas, luxury suites and day rooms that are perfect for those long layovers. From Canada to the United States to Germany and beyond, here are the eight best airport hotels around the world.

8. Aloft San Francisco Airport, San Francisco, CA, USA

Located just half a mile from the airport, this hotel makes it easy to reach with its free and frequent shuttle service that runs 24/7. Relatively new at just two years old this hotel is perfect for an overnight stay while connecting on an early flight. An open-air lobby invites guests to enjoy a billiards table and old-time board games.

The business center is also located in the lobby, which can make it a bit noisy if you are looking to grab a meeting there. An outdoor pool and backyard patio space features live music or a DJ spinning beats on the weekend. The bar is typically busy with other guests grabbing a much-needed drink or snack. As far as downsides go, we don’t really see any considering a stay here starts at just $169/night.

Via travelforsenses.com

7. Hilton Munich Airport, Munich, Germany

Located between terminals, travelers will quickly leave behind the hustle and bustle when they enter into the beautiful Hilton Hotel at Munich’s airport. Whether you want to book a room during the day to kill eight hours or spend the night here, there are enough amenities to keep any grumpy traveler happy. Enjoy the 24-hour fitness center that boasts an abundance of state of the art machines, or head to the heated indoor swimming pool for some laps.

The signature restaurant on-site along with two bars gives travelers the perfect excuse to enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine. The rooms are elegantly furnished with luxury bathrooms, there is ample meeting space and the hotel atrium will simply amaze you. Make sure you don’t leave this hotel without checking out the Fit & Fly Spa, the perfect way to relax before a long day of travels.

Via Travelocity

6. Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong

It doesn’t get much better than this, a nice hotel directly connected to the passenger terminal of the Hong Kong International Airport, by an enclosed air-conditioned link bridge at that. Travelers who are staying here can expect to visit the OM Spa, one of the only spa facilities in Hong Kong to provide couples massages, and if you are just too relaxed to move this spa actually allows guests to spend the night in the spa. A 24/7 workout center is also available for guests along with steam rooms, saunas and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

Rooms are spacious, stylish and provide the perfect resting place for weary travelers. Dining here is easy with an array of distinctive dining experience from Cantonese to Japanese to Western to International cuisine. This hotel receives constant awards for its hotel spa, class of excellence and best in class in terms of airport hotels.

Via travel.rakuten.co.jp

5. Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport

This beautiful airport hotel opened in May 2008 and became the first international upscale hotel to operate with direct access to Singapore’s Changi Airport’s Terminal 3. The hotel was designed with style and high tech in mind and features open corridors, rainforest-style gardens and natural light throughout from the strategically based skylights.

Some of the favorite amenities for travelers here include a beautiful swimming pool that is designed around landscaped “mini-islands” and Jacuzzi tubs, providing natural hideaways to soak your tired body. Other travelers choose to head directly to the spa treatment center for some jet-lag reflexology. Delicious restaurants and bars, contemporary rooms with added bonuses and direct access to the airport make this hotel one of the best in the world.

Via IHG

4. Sofitel London Heathrow, London, UK

This airport hotel combines convenience and elegance and offers a break away from one of the busiest airports in the world.  The hotel is actually connected to Heathrow Terminal 5 via a walkway and to the other terminals via free inter-terminal transfers. Three restaurants and two elegant bars await weary travelers who are looking to grab either a quick bite to eat or sit down for a nice meal.

Every room includes in-room Wi-Fi, a mini fridge and a plush bed that offers a great sleep. Many travelers here take advantage of the award-winning Heathrow spa located in this hotel, offering over 25 innovative treatments. A 24-hour fitness center is also on-site, along with a sauna and Jacuzzi. Additional added touches include soundproof windows and an extensive champagne list that will have anyone wanting more than just one glass.

Via Accor Hotels

3. Langham Place, Beijing Capital Airport, Beijing, China

This convenient airport hotel offers elegant flourishes, modern design, and sparkling service; making travelers forget they are still at an airport hotel. Guests of this hotel should expect timeless luxury and tailored hospitality, with added bonuses throughout. Guestrooms include several lofts, townhouses, and an ultra-luxurious penthouse.

Oversized bathrooms, an abundance of gadgets and a bed you will never want to leave await you in the rooms. There are a total of five restaurants to choose from, whether you are seeking classic or international cuisine. A state of the art cardio studio, an art gallery within and spectacular meeting rooms make this more than just your run of the mill airport hotel.

Via red-luxury.com

2. Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Vancouver, Canada

This soundproofed, luxury hotel and spa are located directly within the Vancouver International Airport. Guests here are treated with floor-to-ceiling views, diverse dining choices, health club, spa, indoor pool and many other amenities. Dining here is a breeze and many choose the signature restaurant that offers views of the runway. Others head to Jetside Bar for live music offered five nights a week.

Rooms here are beautiful with state-of-the-art technology, views of mountains, ocean and the runway and this airport hotel offer day rooms for guests with long layovers. The Absolute Spa offers over 130 different treatments while the health center offers saunas, a whirlpool, children’s wading pool and workout area. With check-in for major airline carriers at the hotel lobby, it couldn’t be easier to choose this as your airport hotel of choice.

Via Booking.com’s

1. Hilton Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany

If there were one word that could sum up this hotel it would be ‘fantastic’. From the fantastic service to the fantastic rooms to the fantastic gym to the fantastic food; it is easy to see why this hotel is one of the best airport hotels in the world. All rooms in this awesome hotel include king size beds, Wi-Fi access, soundproof windows and a large desk for any work that you may need to get caught up on.

The Hilton offers two choices of dining, both being open late into the evenings to cater to guests. A fitness room, steam bath, and sauna are on-site for any fitness buffs. Getting here is a breeze; simply use the pedestrian walkway from Terminal 1. With offerings of rooms, suites, and dayrooms this hotel caters to anyone who doesn’t’ want to spend hours upon hours in those uncomfortable airline seats.

Via cvent.com

The Most Amazing Stained Glass in the World

It is an art form most associated with holy places, mostly Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages but stained glass can be found in so many different venues around the world. If you are lucky the sun will hit the glass just right, giving way to indescribable beauty and illumination. Stained glass windows aren’t just there for beauty but they most often tell a story, educate and inspire people. From the largest stained glass window in the world to medieval churches to modern-day takes on this art form, here are seven examples of incredible stained glass throughout our world.

7. Chapel of Thanks-Giving, Dallas, Texas

The most prominent and recognizable feature of the Thanks-Giving Square is the Chapel of Thanksgiving, thanks to the Glory Window; one of the largest horizontally mounted stained-glass pieces in the world. The chapel is a small spiral tower and the window was designed by Gabriel Loire who designed it to feature brighter colors as the spiral reaches its apex, becoming brighter as it reaches the center.

The spiral shape of the window was inspired by the spiraled shape of the chambered nautilus, a squid that lives inside a shell. The spiral is made up of 73 panels of glass and is one of the most unique stained glass features around the world. The chapel is part of a three-acre complex that also includes a garden and museum, dedicated to how Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world.

6. Erawan Museum, Bangkok

There are thousands of temples to discover in Bangkok but if you are looking for incredible stained glass, the Erawan Museum is the place to find just that. This whimsical museum is actually a sculpture of the three-headed elephant, Erawan, from the Hindu mythology and boasts an amazing stained glass ceiling. German artist Jacob Schwarzkopf was in charge of the project and took a traditional approach to the job, asking glass companies to use the ancient procedure of blowing the glass to produce the stained glass.

The stained glass is semi-abstract although it represents the story of the earth and consists of the five continents at the middle with the sun shining to provide energy to all life forms. Surrounding this is the ring of 12 zodiac signs and the human figure depicted in various gestures. Awe-inspiring to look at, don’t forget to explore the rest of this awesome museum.

5. Resurrection Cemetery, Illinois

It is here where you will find the world’s largest stained glass window, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Pickel Studio created this window that sits over 22,000 square feet of faceted glass and contains 2,448 panels. Work on this stained glass started in the 1960’s and since then over 1,000 new and exciting windows and walls of glass have been added. One of the most impressive places in the world to see such an extraordinary amount of stained glass.

Via Waymarking

4. Winchester Cathedral, England

In 1642 the cathedrals huge medieval stained glass West Window was deliberately smashed by Cromwell’s forces following the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642, a tragedy to the beautiful works of art. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 the broken glass was actually gathered up and used again.

But this time there was no rhyme or reason to the design, the glass was placed randomly after it was determined it would be too hard to put back together. What results is a collection of colorful pieces that shine in the sunlight and tell a story of history, tragedy, and rebuilding.

Via Round Tables

3. Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois

Hundreds of thousands of visitor’s flock here each year, not just to marvel at the beautifully stained glass domes but also because of the many free public events it hosts. The landmark building is indeed home to two magnificent stained glass dome though, one that claims to be the largest stained glass Tiffany Dome in the world. In the south side of the building is that claim to fame, the Tiffany dome that stands 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass.

This dome was restored in 2008, bringing even more visitors to gaze at its beauty. The second dome is located on the north side of the building and is a whopping 40 feet in diameter and features over 50,000 pieces of glass designed in an intricate Renaissance pattern. Whether you are coming here for the free festivals, art exhibits or family events, make sure to check out these two incredible stained glass works.

Via City of Chicago

2. Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

This royal medieval Gothic chapel located in the heart of Paris boasts some of the most impressive stained glass in the world. There are a total of fifteen huge 13th-century windows that fill the nave and apse and despite some damage, are still in incredible condition. The windows are practically floor to ceiling and display a clear iconographical program.

A painstaking seven-year restoration of the windows was completed in early 2015, a process that removed centuries of dirt from the thousands of panels. It is best to visit on a sunny day when the deep blues and red stand out best, in images that depict Old Testament scenes and the Crucifixion. One does not need to be religious to appreciate this incredible artwork.

1. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Netherlands

This building features a modern take on stained glass, according to designers the buildings façade is a screen of colored relief glass that depicts famous images from Dutch television. There are hundreds of panels of glass that represent images from all genres and eras and although difficult to see the images clearly from all angles, they can be seen more clearly from the inside. Described as cathedral-like, this is one of the most impressive modern stained glass displays out there.

The building itself is actually housed both underground and above ground, 10 stories’ in total with five of them being below the surface. Inside the building houses the national broadcasting archives which encompass over 700,000 hours of television, film, music and radio footage.

10 Jaw Dropping European Beaches

Travelling to Europe this summer? When you’re there, make sure to travel outside of the city centres to explore the breathtaking coasts along the ocean. There are some incredible beaches for you to lounge on and explore the underwater wonders of these countries. Whether it’s a well known tourist destination, or a top secret location, these beaches will ignite your love for the ocean, warm sunshine and the wildlife that surrounds you.

1. Oludeniz Beach, Turkey

Oludeniz, translated to “Dead Sea” is a national nature reserve blue lagoon that will stun you the moment you set eyes on it. It is listed as one of the top five beaches in the entire world due to it’s location and the aquamarine color of the water. Paragliding is a frequent activity surrounding this beach, so if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, this beach fits the bill.

 

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2. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island, Greece

In 1980, a freightliner ship sailed too far inland due to stormy weather and poor visibility. It was left there to rest and is now the reason for the nickname “Shipwreck Beach”. Navagio Beach is only accessible by boat and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

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3. Benagil Cave, Portugal

Yes, it’s really this incredible to look at in person. Technically you can swim to this location but it is strongly discouraged due to the unpredictability of the waters. Take a boat ride to this beautiful cave for some amazing photos and to check it off your bucket list.

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4. Cala Macarella, Mallorca, Spain

This beautiful inlet of calm waters in the perfect location to go and relax on a Sunday afternoon, especially with a Sushi Bar on site selling group sized tapas. A short walk away is a nudist beach for those tourists who want the full nude beach experience.

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5. Zlatni Rat Beach, Brac-Dalmatia, Croatia

This beach is translated to “Golden Horn”. It is truly one of the most stunning beaches in Croatia and is surrounded by the Vidova Gora Mountain Range. Swim in the sea and stare up at the mountains with this beautiful tourist destination.

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6. Calo Des Moro, Mallorca, Spain

Looking for a free activity while in Spain? This beautiful beach is accessible by the road and is privately owned by owners who care deeply about the well being of this location. They prevented a hotel from being built here and are very conscious of the wildlife and plants being well maintained. Sounds like a pretty picture we want to be apart of!

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7. Durdle Door Beach, Dorset, England

Looking for a stroll on the beach without the swimming? This beach is so picturesque you could fill up your camera’s memory card with just shots of this location. Known for it’s beautiful arch in the ocean, your eyes will feast on all the greenery and textures on this beach.

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8. Nissi Beach, Cyprus

Ready to party? Nissi Beach is known for it’s foam parties, shockingly clean and clear waters and the nightlife. This beach is great for those enthusiastically social travellers looking to make a few friends along the way.

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9. Vik Beach, Iceland

Go see the most impressive and memorable black sand beach in Iceland. Vik Beach is filled with icy water and dark sand that will be a completely different beach experience from any other beach in Europe. Car rentals are cheap in this area so you can hop on the road and go see the beach first hand quite easily.

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10. Chia, Sardinia, Italy

You would think you had gotten lost in the tropics when you arrive at Chia Beach. Other than the crystal clear water, peachy sand and stunning views, there is a flamingo breeding ground in the lagoon behind the beach. If you are visiting in July or August, be sure to arrive very early as the beach can get crowded. In June and September, you’ll be able to find a peaceful beach waiting your arrival.

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10 Memorable Places Best Visited By Cruise Ship

When planning your next vacation, there are a variety of trips you can go on. Will you fly to an all-inclusive resort and lay on the beach? Will you rent a car and go on a road trip down a beautiful coastline? How about a backpacking adventure? One of the options that is always present, is going on a cruise. Cruises are a great way to see a variety of locations in a short amount of time, while travelling in comfort and class. The best part about a cruise, is that you only have to unpack once!

 

1. Alaska

Visit this isolated and chilly part of the world from the comfort of a cozy cruise ship cabin. You are able to see Humpback Wales, Bears, Hawks and Moose, just to name a few of our animal friends that will be waiting for you in Alaska. Denali National Park is also one of the sites you can explore on some Alaskan cruises and it features the highest point in North America.

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2. Hawaii

With so many islands and a limited amount of holiday time, cruises are a great way to get a taste of each Hawaiian island in a short time span. Many Hawaiian cruises will feature a lot of the Hawaiian culture and traditions to help you feel like you’re on an island, even when you’re cruising through the ocean. When the boat makes stops, there are so many once in a lifetime opportunities to try out on each island such a helicopter tours, hiking, rafting and so much more. The scenery is to die for!

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3. Caribbean

If you are wanting to go on a trip to the Caribbean, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what island to see. On a cruise ship, you can see a wide variety of the Caribbean islands. Then, in a few years you can fly to the island that was your favorite on the cruise and make the most of that location. Another winning factor of going on a cruise here, is that it is very family oriented.

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4. Mediterranean

Are you looking for a visually stunning location with tons of history? Take a Mediterranean cruise, and I promise, you will not be disappointed! These cruises are ideal for mature, adult travellers who are looking for some enriching experiences and peacefulness.

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5. Norway

Throw on a thick sweater, a good book and some slippers and cruise around Norway. These cruises are special because of the amount of daylight that is present for a large portion of each day. It allows you to see the maximum amount of scenery in a good amount of time. You also get to experience entering the Arctic Circle where there is a noticeable change in the water, temperature and overall climate.

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6. The Cook Islands

When you see islands like this, you probably think it’s in the Caribbean. The actual fact is that this set of islands is halfway in between Hawaii and New Zealand. It has an untouched quality about it and the best part about it is that there is no bad time to visit! The lowest temperature in the winter is 18 degrees Celsius. See all of the Cook Islands on a breathtaking cruise to ensure you won’t miss a thing.

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7. The Nile

Have you ever considered cruising down the Nile River? The best time to go is between October and April for between 3-7 days. These cruises allow you to visit many historical sites such as the Valley Of The Kings and countless temples. You also have the opportunity to hire a private tour guide to show you all the sites along the way.

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8. Australia and New Zealand

Aside from the stunning views and peaceful locations, this cruise will lead you and your loved ones to the Great Barrier Reef to see incredible fish and other wildlife. Your experience of a lifetime will also be highlighted by cruising through the Tasmanian Wilderness where you will see more wildlife and breathtaking locations.

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9. The Baltic

Where does a Baltic cruise go you ask? It travels to Russia, Estonia, Poland and Germany, just to name a few locations. The incredible architecture and historic locations are enough to convince you to sign up for one of these tours. One advantage is that there is very short distances between ports because there is so much to explore. You will be transported to a fairy tale when you are walking through these magical old towns.

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10. England, Scotland and Ireland

When you think of a cruise, you probably don’t think of these countries first. As someone who has been on a ship in the Irish Sea, I can say it is completely worth it. See ruins of castles and heart stopping landscapes that make incredible photos. These cruises also feature culturally accurate cuisine so you won’t miss out on the perks of the mainland.

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