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TRAVEL

Home & Away with Robert Walshe According to research conducted by ESPA*, busy lifestyles, rising disposable incomes and consumers staying single and childless for longer are just some of the reasons why the spa market is proving extremely popular with both sexes. The research also found that 88% of people visit a spa for relaxation and stress management purposes, 22% for pain management and 19% for the social experience. Two Hastings hotels, the Culloden Estate and Spa and the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, offer a range of stress relief packages for males and females including the ESPA Stress Reliever which restores equilibrium and brings about deep relaxation and the ESPA Muscle Relaxing Massage which soothes away aches and pains using a blend of essential oils. There are also a number of treatments specifically designed for male guests such as The Irish Man which is a cleansing and nourishing treatment using hot towels and aromatherapy to leave the skin feeling revitalised and Celtic Recovery which is a unique full body massage and a deep cleansing facial to leave the skin glowing. www. hastingshotels.com

Weekend Hotspot The Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen

The Marcliffe is a luxurious 5 star hotel just outside of Aberdeen on the city’s western edge, less than a half-hour from the airport. Stewart and Sheila Spence bought the property in 1979, and the hotel remained in Queens Terrace until 1983, when they moved the hotel to Queen’s Road, to the site of the Queen’s Hotel, which they had owned since 1973 and re-named it The New Marcliffe. On completion of the building at Pitfodels, the hotel moved from Queen’s Road in November 1993 to

be opened shortly after by then Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. This traditional three-story manor house was constructed around a courtyard set amongst eleven acres of woodland and natural garden. The new Marcliffe balances a feeling of countryside seclusion with a relaxed city vibe providing the perfect place to stay while exploring the North East of Scotland and the glorious Royal Deeside. The rooms and suites iarecountry house chic all individually designed to provide a stylish and restful sanctuary like feel. In the public areas the swish oriental rugs on stone floors and traditional tartan sofas with a scattering of antiques sets the tone perfectly. The staff are polite, attentive and extremely welcoming, making everybody feel at home and relaxed. The conservatory brasserie boasts a range of local Grampian produce from the tastiest Aberdeen Angus beef to game, fish and shellfish hence its popularity with locals. The proprietor Stuart Spence an avid fisherman, sourced jumbo red crab on the Barants Sea in Northern Russia and exclusively through a London based supplier offers customers the finest shellfish I have ever experienced on a special A La Carte menu. To compliment the cuisine, the well stocked wine cellar and a range of 100 malt whiskies and cognacs is impressive. The Marcliffe also has an adjoining spa with an extensive menu of treatments offering everything from luxurious facials and massages to hard-working anti-aging and cellulite busting treatments. Pregnant ladies and new mummies are also catered for. The ‘New Life’ pregnancy massage is suitable after the first trimester and aims to maintain skin tone deeply relax muscles and help to

Pet’s Corner...

n Marcliffe

Scotland. Hotel Aberdeen

relieve the lower back. The Marcliffe is also the ideal spot to explore this beautiful part of Scotland, nearby attractions include Balmoral Castle and Dunnottar Castle. There are also a range of activities to throw yourself into from golf to fishing. Aberdeen is known as the “Granite City” because of the use of this local stone in the buildings of the town. Also well known for its parks and garden like quality the city to this day dominates the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom contest winning ten different times. The heart of Old Aberdeen lies across the Brig O’Balgownie (one of the oldest bridges in Britain), where you will find King’s College and its famous dome-crowned tower. Aberdeen is widely known as the ‘Oil Capital of Europe’, thanks to the discovery of North Sea oil back in the 1970s. This find transformed the city from one of the poorest in the UK to one of the richest and its latest investor Donald Trumps planned £1 billion golf complex (the ‘world’s greatest golf course’) built on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire is due to open soon. In fact for those keen to test their prowess on three of Scotland’s internationally-

Living

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Miss Northern Ireland Finnou and Spa, with la Guinnane at Ulster Rugby’ the Culloden s Robbie Diac John Afoa. Estate k, Johann Mul ler and

renowned championship links golf courses, Marcliffe offer three nights B+B with full a la carte menu on offer for one night of your choice. This exciting package features one round at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club; 18 holes at Murcar Golf Club; and 18 holes at Cruden Bay Golf Club - all challenging and extremely scenic venues for the golf lover. On a Monday to Thursday inclusive basis, you can book a single rate Executive or Deluxe room - with your partner, friend, husband or wife staying free. This special offer includes bed and a full Scottish breakfast. www. marcliffe.com

Weekly Best Buy

Travelmood have just released some amazing deals on worldwide holidays ranging from the beaches of Thailand to the famous shopping

malls of Dubai. Take advantage of these great offers and visit any of these beautiful resorts’ Lucia from only €1249pp, Thailand from only €1299pp Dominican Republic from only €1329pp with the popular Dubai & Maldives from only €1749pps. www.travelmood.ie People now have their pick of departure airports for holidays to the Algarve, thanks to Concorde Travel giving travellers the opportunity to tailor make their holidays by flying from Dublin, Cork, Kerry and Knock airports. The popular resorts include Vilamoura, Albufeira, the exclusive Valle do Lobo, Praia da Rocha, Portimao, Alvor and Lagos. www.concordetravel. ie . Take in some of the finest sights that India has to offer with a fantastic 13-day

escorted tour from Gohop. ie, Ireland’s leading online travel company. This tour happens only once a year and is your chance to visit the state of Rajasthan, the Golden Triangle and of course the tiny desert town of Pushkar for the annual Fair where an astonishing 50,000 camels and their minders converge. This is a fantastic adventure and you can be a part of it from only: €1390pp (including flights) or €1930pp (including flights) departing on 14th November 2012. www.gohop. ie Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe.com

Home and Away Extra Celebrity chef Kevin Woodford is teaming up with Stena Line to serve up a number of tasty suggestions for travelers. Woodford is currently one of the celebrity chefs on ITV’s This Morning with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and will be working with the ferry company over the coming months across all five of its Irish Sea routes. The Liverpudlian chef is best known for his live presentation of the

award-winning ‘Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook’ TV show and the BBC’s ‘Ready Steady Cook’. The culinary partnership was set up as part of Stena Line’s plan to develop its onboard food offering for customers and comes on the back of company research which shows that quality food provision scores consistently in the ‘Top 5’ requirements of an enjoyable ferry travel experience.

with Kathleen Murray

How to negotiate the beach in summer Walking in the summer is very different to walking in the winter. In the cold weather there are not so many beach goers. It’s easier to pick a time and possibly not meet anyone during the course of the walk... or maybe just a few that you know already from being a beach walker. In the summer it can be more hectic. There are children playing in the sand and in the water. There are games of frisby or football and worst of all for the dog walker..... there are picnics. Lots of people are on holiday and take their dog with them

so there are unfamiliar dogs to get past as well. When you know a dog you know if it’s friendly or not but if you meet a dog that you don’t know then you don’t know whether it will be friendly to you and your dog or attack you. The best way to stay safe and stay out of trouble on the beach in the summer (in general) is to start off in the right way. It all starts before you leave the house. Take your dog out to the garden to do its toilet business. If it doesn’t want to go then maybe try playing a game with it so that the excitement will make it stop in the middle of

the game and do it’s business. Excitement is mostly what makes dogs go to the toilet on the beach. There is no need for a dog to go to the toilet at the beach in general but if you get caught out then it is vitally important that you clean up after your dog. There are little poop bags on a roll that attach to your lead that are very handy. You can buy them in a pet shop. Alternatively, you can just bring any plastic bag with you in your pocket. You may need to bring a couple just in case. It’s your dog so it’s your poo. As there are still no bins at

many beaches you can put the bag in any public bin you find or take it home with you (which is disgusting and there should be no need to do that). This does not only apply to beaches. Anywhere you take your dog for a walk should be left the same way it was when you arrived. No rubbish and no poo. There is nothing more upsetting or offensive to people than to see a dog go to the toilet on a grassy or paved area that is shared by others and then to see the owner just leave what fell out of the dogs behind lying on the road behind

them as if it was totally acceptable. Leaving poo lying around spreads diseases for animals and people alike. Pick up your dogs poo. People notice these things even though they may not say anything at the time to the person that walked off from the scene of the dump. This is something that gives dogs a bad name. Back to the beach. Make sure your dog is calm when it gets out of the car, this may take a while in the beginning. Keep it on a lead if it is not 100% under your control. If it does everything you say then keep it beside you for the first 5 mins or so and then

n Clean up your dog’s business - pet shops sell poop bags.

give it permission to have a run around. If you see another dog or a person out for a walk then call your dog back and put it on the lead until the other person has passed or just keep the dog beside you. Release it when the others have passed and then you and your dog will enjoy your walk and other people will feel respected.

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Travel Page featuring Marcliffe Hall & Spa Aberdeen, Scotland