• Travel Supplement

    Butlin's strikes back! How the great king of holiday camps has reinvented itself

    After three days of sea air, it was only as were leaving that it dawned on me: we hadn t gone anywhere near the sea. There was not a grain of sand in a child s shoe, not a single whiffy shell stuck between the car seats.Butlin s has the sea on its doorstep but the action is firmly onshore and largely weatherproof. Like Center Parcs, it is now aimed squarely at those in search of a family break rather than a holiday. A soaring success: The flying swings at Butlin's famous funfair in Bognor RegisWe spent a weekend at ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    Bound for the Arctic... in a tin tent on wheels: Extreme cyclist Tim Moore joins an intrepid - or mad - band of British caravan fans as they head for Finland

    Finnish Lapland in March isn t an obvious backdrop for a touring holiday. In the far-flung settlements, every low-rise concrete roof stands thickly wigged with a full winter s-worth of snow.Between them yawns a monochrome wilderness, bleak white plains under an iron sky, dark pines dolloped in puffy icing, clustered around frozen lakes.By way of sightseeing rewards, there s an encounter with the Northern Lights if you re lucky, or one of the region s umpteen official Santas if you re not. Surprising success: Extreme cyclist Tim Moore joined part of the Caravan Club's Arctic Adventure (above, one of the ...

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    Real France? That s your Lot! Exploring a seductive world of medieval cliff-top hamlets, prehistoric caves and local wines

    Nothing, it seems, will ever get in the way of the British love affair with France. Brexit or no Brexit, this summer we Brits will once again be rolling on to car ferries in our legions, before spreading out to disport our bodies on the beaches of the Med and the west coast.To the more dignified French we, along with the Germans and Dutch, must sometimes look like an invading army. But where, you might wonder, do the more reserved French go when they want to get away from the invasion?My belief is they migrate to the backwaters of the ...

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    Dazzled by Liguria's secret little gem: Exploring the Italian seaside town of Bordighera - once a favourite of the Queen Mother

    Golden hues: Bordighera is a small seaside town on Italy s Ligurian coastI awake to the early morning sun beaming through the window of my hotel room and I can t wait to go out and explore my new home for the week.Bordighera is a small seaside town on Italy s Ligurian coast where the Alps plunge into the Mediterranean, just over the border from France.I walk past cafe owners setting up for the day and a lady who sings Rihanna songs as she mops the sleepy piazza on my way to the beach, which is already full of ...

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    Mix it with big money in 'Wall Street on Sea': Stepping into a world of multi-million dollar mansions and lobster galore in The Hamptons

    Well-heeled: A restaurant in upmarket BridgehamptonNinety miles east of New York is a rarefied beach enclave on Long Island where Wall Street millionaires go to relax; where gossip columnists hang out waiting for a glimpse of the rich and famous; and where maps are sold showing where the likes of Ralph Lauren and Steven Spielberg live.Welcome to The Hamptons, which in the summer season becomes Manhattan-on-Sea.Some weekenders just chill out beside their pools, or lounge on the miles of sandy beaches, but most who can afford to decamp for the whole summer seem to be involved in a ceaseless ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    The Crafty Traveller: The secret of saving 200 or MORE on your hire car by snapping up fly-drive deals

    Recently I needed to arrange flights to southern France and car hire. I bought the flights to Lyons with British Airways. During the online booking process, I was offered the option to add on car hire. Costing 187 for a Group B vehicle with Avis for 13 days, it looked like a good deal.It was. A check on Avis s website revealed that hiring direct from them, the same type of car with the same insurance from Lyons airport for the same period would cost 361. So booking the car as part of a package with flights with British Airways ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    Take a walk (and a slide, glide, float or jump) on the wild side! Discovering the astonishing forests and animals of Costa Rica

    Getting to Costa Rica used to be somewhat gruelling, requiring a change of planes in Spain or North America. Not any more: last spring British Airways began flying direct from Gatwick to the capital, San Jose, three times a week. I suspect that demand will soon increase this. As I discovered last summer, Costa Rica is one of the most gorgeous and hospitable countries anywhere. Watch the birdie: Mail on Sunday writer David Rose captured this shot of his wife Carolyn getting a very close look at a toucan while on holiday in Costa RicaOnly twice the size of Wales, ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    Forget Cannes... try a film festival with genuine craic! Ireland's picturesque fishing village Schull plays host movie makers from 30 countries

    Black magic: Helen (right) tucks into a pint of Guinness with a friend A scarlet, floor-length gown slashed thigh-high might turn heads at this year s Cannes Film Festival. But I ll be packing an Aran sweater for Ireland s Fastnet Film Festival at Schull.Booking to fly Ryanair, in preference to private jet, will find me sweeping along the spectacularly rugged Wild Atlantic Way within an hour of landing at Cork, stopping only to refuel at Kinsale s Fishy Fishy restaurant to savour their Taste Of The Sea platter before swinging along to that glittering showcase for bold, short ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    This Greek's a real treat! Try an all-inclusive family resort that puts children in the driving seat

    My five-year-old daughter Saskia has a question. Are we going to meet Zeus? she asks. This is after I ve explained a little about Mount Olympus being the home of the gods.We never meet Zeus, but we do get a taste of celestial living at Ikos Olivia, set in 22 acres in Halkidiki.This part of mainland Northern Greece has been overlooked for years, but Halkidiki, the three-fingered claw reaching into the Aegean, has a beautiful coastline of rugged mountains leading to sandy coves, fabulous beaches and is steeped in history and culture (it was Aristotle s birthplace). A slice of ...

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    An Inspector Calls: Lewinnick Lodge in Newquay boasts thrilling coastal views so you can forgive the shop-bought orange juice

    Rating: Hold tight on this one. Five more bedrooms are being added to Lewinnick Lodge and they ll occupy one of the prime coastal spots anywhere in the country, perched on top of a rocky headland with views of the mighty Atlantic ocean and across to Newquay s famous Fistral Beach.For now there are 11 rooms, half of which have those thrilling views. We re in Number Two, which is big, with a bathroom cleverly tucked behind a low wall, complete with slipper bath, walk-in shower, double basins and Cornish slate everywhere.Binoculars sit on the window sill; a few tasteful ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    Rhythm and cruise! A shipful of ageing pop bands and their fans make for a bizarre voyage where rocking the boat in compulsory

    At the cruise terminal in Tampa, the crowd waiting to board had that slightly frazzled look of a band of refugees fleeing Middle Earth: all around were men of a certain age sporting ponytails, flowing, shoulder-length hair, and assorted beards.America can t have seen this much studied hirsuteness, mixed with faded denim and pairs of John Lennon rimless spectacles, since peace and love reigned in the muddy fields of Woodstock.We had come to board Cruise To The Edge, the latest in a relatively new travel phenomenon: the music cruise. This mixes bands and fans in a four-day seagoing festival ( ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    Why the gloriously peaceful House of Sleep gets my nod: Practicing the art of doing nothing, in the beautiful hills of Spain

    After an exhilarating yet demanding year producing the TV drama Cold Feet, I was exhausted, so when the chance presented itself to spend a long weekend at a Spanish establishment called Casa La Siesta (the House of Sleep), I couldn t possibly resist.In a world where holidays are increasingly expected to offer self-renewal, spiritual fulfilment and clean eating , Casa La Siesta upholds a refreshingly simple ethos. The only things you should do are eat, lie by the pool and read the books you ve had downloaded on your Kindle for over a year. Casa La Siesta (the House of ...

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    Dominica's astonishing range of delights: Nine volcanoes, whales, jungles, beaches... and a carnival too

    It was party time in Dominica. The narrow streets of the capital, Roseau, were festooned with bunting and teeming with locals and tourists alike. Reggae blasted out from the speakers as I watched dancers dressed in brilliantly coloured, skimpy costumes, elaborate masks and head-dresses making their way slowly past me. Some had shimmering cloaks and butterfly wings spanning the width of the street.I had arrived in time for carnival but this tiny Caribbean island (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is more likely to appeal to hikers and nature-lovers than party-goers, thanks to its black-sand beaches, rainforest and ...

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    The Baltic beauty with the warmth of the Med: Why it's impossible not to enjoy the Estonian capital of Tallinn

    Our suitcases bump along ramshackle cobbles towards our hotel. The streets of old Tallinn are almost too narrow for cars, and the spires of centuries-old churches press against a deep blue sky.In some ways, Tallinn feels like a mountain town in Italy, but it lies on the northern shores of the Baltic. It only slipped the shackle of its Soviet past a couple of decades ago. Yet the city is intimate and European, ancient and charming. Richard found the city of Tallinn to be intimate and charming, its skyline punctured with a church spire that was once the tallest in ...

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    The Geordie who went home for a magic Quidditch lesson: Family fun in Northumberland for best-selling author John Nichol

    As a Geordie boy, I spent my formative years in and around Northumberland. The 1960s and 1970s were a time before those cheap and easy flights to sunny destinations, and most of my holidays were spent either on the beach at Tynemouth (normally in a kagool) or exploring the local countryside. As my family didn t own a car, everything had to be within easy reach of a bus or train. Author John Nichol took his wife and daughter to Alnmouth, Northumberland, where they particularly enjoyed Alnwick Castle (pictured) - once a set for the Harry Potter filmsIn an effort ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999