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tlm March/April 2010


tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

the travel & leisure magazine

MOUNTAIN HIGHS Lakes and mountains holidays WHALES AND WOWS

Author Joanne Harris in the Azores

GARDEN-BY-SEA Maritime Kent

March/April 2010


Navigating Europe’s waterways


Cruise holidays with children


Cultured pearl PLUS Golf in Tenerife, London’s South Bank and Easter days out ideas


a £5,00 0c luxury h ruise on a ote Plus lo l barge. ts m prizes … ore

tlm the travel and leisure magazine

from the

■ Read about cruising Europe’s canals and rivers – and WIN a six-night Burgundy waterways cruise aboard a luxury hotel barge. See pages 25 and 30.

contents 4 6 15 21

in the frame prize photographs getting to know lakes & mountains holidays escape to Istanbul – European city of culture in your flightbag what to take on the flight WIN – a handy set of 3 Fizbags, worth £27 WIN – a set of 5 Back Roads Guides from DK Eyewitness Travel READER OFFER – get a 20% online DISCOUNT off Back Roads Guides

22 in your suitcase what to pack for your holiday WIN – one of 3 Rockstar MP3 speakers worth £17.99 each WIN – one of 3 waterproof zoom lens camera cases READER OFFER – get a 10% DISCOUNT on Cocorose pumps

25 30 33 36 42 49 56

57 62 67 70

let’s try European canal and river holidays competition WIN – a £5,000 luxury hotel barge cruise in France travel update travel news all aboard cruising for families + cruise news off the beaten track Chocolat author Joanne Harris in the Azores pack your clubs golf in Tenerife competition WIN – one of five copies of Joanne Harris’s new novel, blueeyed boy coming next what’s in store in the next issue on your doorstep maritime Kent london life discovering London’s South Bank + London news best for hotel review – Cliveden out & about what’s on outside London WIN – one of 3 sets of family tickets to Legoland READER OFFER – cut out the attached voucher and enjoy free child entry to Legoland

EDITORIAL TEAM: Editor Peter Ellegard Editorial assistant Julie Thompson Writers Peter Ellegard, Julie Thompson, Joanne Harris, Dave Richardson, Sara Macefield, Jane Archer and Melissa Shales Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Nick Page and Helen Hopkins Production June Barnard Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey Published bi-monthly by TLM Media Limited Castle Court, 41 London Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 9RJ Tel: 01737 735575 Fax: 01737 735001 Email: Printed by BGP © TLM Media Limited

The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to TLM Media Limited is done so at its owner’s risk and neither TLM Media Limited nor its agents can accept any liability for loss or damage. TLM Media Limited is a completely independent company and can hold no responsibility for the actions of outside agents. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent. All private advertisers are totally responsible for their own wording within their advertisement, and TLM Media Limited can therefore take no responsibility as to their content. Please seek legal advice and thereafter verify all the details of your purchase in writing before proceeding. Front cover photo: Karnten Werbung/Franz Gerdl

March/April 2010

European Waterways

editor Peter Ellegard


elcome to the newlook TLM.After many years as The Travel & Leisure Magazine, we felt it was time for a change. So we have given the magazine a new identity, and freshened it up with a contemporary design. The content itself is very much as before, reflecting what you have told us you like to read. In this issue, international bestselling author Joanne Harris reveals why the Azores made such an impact when she visited with her daughter. Our cover feature highlights ever-popular lakes and mountains holidays, while we also focus on exploring Europe’s waterways.That will whet your appetite for our star prize – a fabulous £5,000 luxury hotel barge holiday in Burgundy, courtesy of European Waterways. We also look at European City of Culture Istanbul, cruising holidays for families, golf on Tenerife, plus other regular favourites, including many other competitions and special offers. On a personal note, I was thrilled to be named Travel Photographer of the Year for 2009 recently in the inaugural Travel Press Awards.Three of the winning five photographs had been printed in TLM, underlining our commitment to quality photography as well as writing. To further underscore that, this issue sees the launch of a brand new photography section called In the Frame in the magazine and on our brand new website, Happy reading, happy viewing and thanks for your support.

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


in the frame ■ award-winning pictures

■ Karst peaks, Yangshuo, China All photos: Peter Ellegard

TLM editor’s prize pics Now show us your best photos! ot-air balloons soar over karst peaks in Yangshuo, in China’s Guangxi province; cave rock formations are lit up like a fantasy scene in nearby Guilin; traditional feluccas sail into the sunset at Luxor on Egypt’s Nile river; and tornadic storm clouds take on angry shapes and colours in America’s Midwest. These five photographs – the Nile and tornado cloud ones appeared in TLM – earned TLM editor, Peter Ellegard, the title of Travel Photographer of the Year in the 2009 Travel Press Awards. They now form the first gallery for our new In the Frame photography showcase. Look out for more in the next issue. ● To enter your photographs for consideration, visit the TLM website,, and click on the In the Frame button.

■ Feluccas on the Nile, Luxor, Egypt


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■ Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, China

■ Green hail core cloud, Kansas

■ Supercell cloud, Kansas

March/April 2010

getting to know â– lakes and mountains holidays

6 tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine

March/April 2010

HIGH DAYS and holidays

getting to know ■ lakes and mountains holidays

Europe’s lakes and mountains have been a popular summer draw for British visitors since the Sherlock Holmes era. But these days, alpine holidays appeal as much to the active-minded as for scenic highs. For Dave Richardson, it’s an elementary attraction was looking forward to a civilised holiday in a civilised country, full of contented cows munching away in green meadows, and villages with chocolate box houses. Those were my thoughts as I settled down for a week in the Swiss resort of Meiringen, but I had to reflect we were rather mad, too. Why else would we scramble up a mountainside to celebrate the “death” of a fictitious character? Elementary, my dear Watson. The Reichenbach Falls above Meiringen are

Jungfrau Railways/


where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, bored with his creation, tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes during a tussle with his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty. But as fans of the sleuth know, it didn’t happen. Sir Arthur had to bring Holmes back from the dead by popular demand, but a plaque marks the spot of the tussle on a remote ledge above the falls. Holmes and Watson had set out from a hotel called the Englischer Hof, now the grand Belle Epoque style Park Hotel du Sauvage, and this is where I stayed.

■ The Kleine Scheidegg and the imposing Eiger north wall

March/April 2010

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


getting to know ■ lakes and mountains holidays

■ Trekking near Chamonix


■ Golden Pass panoramic trains serve Montreux, Interlaken and Lucerne

A holiday in the Alps was the height of fashion in the 19th Century, often on doctors’ orders. Grand hotels were built along lakesides to attract the gentry, who dined in elegant coffee houses and spent their evenings at the opera or listening to an orchestra. Today it is still possible to soak up this refined atmosphere, at lake resorts such as Interlaken, Montreux and Lucerne in Switzerland. Switzerland is a particularly good choice if you don’t want to spend time in a car or a bus, as the public transport system works so well. Narrow gauge trains take you to the top of even the highest mountains (including the Jungfrau, at 3,454m, or 11,332ft), in a timetable co-

Eastern Europe Choosing a destination outside the eurozone could save you a lot of money, and Eastern Europe has plenty of appeal. Head for the Carpathian mountains in Romania and you can lap up the Dracula legend – and spot brown bears around the resort of Brasov. Bulgaria is one of the best-value countries in Europe, and has modern, well developed ski resorts such as Bansko as a base for mountain exploration. Hungary doesn’t have high mountains but it does have the “inland sea” of Lake Balaton, surrounded by vineyards and is close to Budapest. Heviz, near Lake Balaton, has the largest thermal lake in Europe where you can enjoy the healing waters. The High Tatras mountains form the border between Poland (Zakopane is the main mountain centre) and Slovakia (Tatranska Lomnica), a great area for hiking. Poland’s historic former capital of Krakow can be reached from either resort. Montenegro is a tiny but very scenic Balkan country, where the mountain resort of Kolasin is surrounded by virgin forests yet within easy reach of the sea.

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Chamonix Tourism

■ The Glacier Express in Switzerland's Rhine gorge

Switzerland Tourism/Robert Boesch

German National Tourist Office/Andreas Kaster

■ Chapel by Lake Konigssee, Germany

ordinated with main line trains and lake steamers. Cable cars and rack railways glide effortlessly up mountains, making them accessible to all.

Families Switzerland, Austria and Italy are the big three for lakes and mountains holidays, and scenery is the big attraction. It appeals particularly to empty nesters who like a quiet holiday in beautiful surroundings with maybe a bit of culture thrown in as well – but it’s a mistake to think you have to be 50-plus to enjoy it. This type of holiday is also being chosen by an increasing number of families, who are keen on activities as well as views. Tour operator Inghams has come up with economically-priced family holidays including guided walks, an overnight stay in an Austrian mountain hut, mountain biking and archery, and appeals to keen cyclists with another tour along the German and Swiss banks of Lake Constance. High-adrenaline sports are also increasingly popular, with tour operators such as Explore offering trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing and optional paragliding, ice climbing and rafting around Mont Blanc. The holiday is based at the French Alpine resort of Chamonix, close to the Italian and Swiss borders. But most of us prefer our activities to be more sedentary, and we like to enjoy them in increasing comfort, possibly with a spa treatment included to soothe those aching limbs. Crystal Holidays has a selection of hotels it calls The Finest, and some of them are true Alpine gems. Examples in Austria are Hotel Klosterbräu in Seefeld, a former monastery built in 1516 with gourmet dining in four restaurants; and Landhaus zu Appesbach

March/April 2010

getting to know ■ lakes and mountains holidays

in St Wolfgang, a former private country house frequented by Edward VII with a salon full of English newspapers. Not the tabloids, presumably…

I certainly plan to return to Switzerland soon, where I got such a deep suntan that people thought I’d been to the Mediterranean, not Meiringen. Beware those contented cows, however – one mad beast pursued me down a mountain path with bell jangling, but that’s another story.

Indoor entertainment

It happens only once every 10 years, but if you book up quickly it might be possible to combine a lakes and mountains holiday with a visit to this very special event in a small village in Bavaria, southern Germany. In 1633, the villagers of Oberammergau were beset by plague and sought divine intervention.They survived, and the Passion Play was first performed the following year as thanks. It has been performed every decade since then and now attracts over 500,000 visitors each time. The actors are still amateurs from the village, and the play is performed on an open air stage. More than 100 performances are scheduled between May and October, starting at 2.30pm and finishing at 10.30pm

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■ Lake Garda

Seefeld One of the most popular Alpine resorts, it is easily reached from Innsbruck. Take a ride in a horsedrawn carriage or on the Rosshutte Mountain Railway. Obergurgl This is one of the highest villages in Austria at over 1,900m (6,234ft). View Tiefenbach and Rattenbach glaciers using cable cars, chair lifts and mountain paths. Mayrhofen This is a really lively as well as pretty resort – proof that having a good time isn’t just aprèsski! It’s on the floor of the Ziller valley, with plenty of walking and adventure sports.

“It’s a mistake to think you have to be 50-plus to enjoy it”

Kitzbuhel A medieval walled town roughly halfway between Salzburg and Innsbruck, it is a major centre for festivals and close to Schwarzsee lake.

Zell am Zee Austria’s leading lake resort is right on the shore of the Zeller, overlooked by Schmittenhohe mountain. It is handy for excursions around Austria. St Wolfgang Along with Fuschl and St Gilgen, this is one of the top resorts in Austria’s Salzkammergut lakes region, near Salzburg. The Sound of Music was

■ The Oberammergau Passion Play


Oberammergau Passion Play


You’ll find plenty to do even if the weather isn’t kind, as most lakes and mountains resorts were developed with skiers in mind and have plenty of bars, restaurants and indoor entertainment from bowling to cinemas. The most popular resorts in Austria include Kitzbuhel, Seefeld and Mayrhofen in the Tyrol, with the city of Innsbruck within reach for a day out. The Italian lakes tend to be more popular than mountain resorts in summer, especially Garda (close to Verona for Roman ruins and the opera) and Como (near Milan’s great fashion shops). When the sun shines and the skies are clear you’ll want to be basking by a lake or hiking in the mountains, but as there are usually some wet days on this type of holiday being near a city is an advantage. Chamonix, in France, will always be very popular because it’s close to Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain at 4,810m (15,780ft). Activities here include climbing, horse-riding, 18-hole golf and taking a rack railway to view the Sea of Ice glacier. The Alps are the most popular choice for lakes and mountains, especially as you can travel by rail or car as an alternative to flying. But Norway also has plenty of followers, and it’s no longer significantly more expensive. Here you can admire the azure blue of the deep sea fjords set against the mountains, at resorts such as Alesund. Nearby Geirangerfjord is one of the most beautiful in Norway, and as Alesund is on the Hurtigruten coastal shipping route, you can easily move on up the coast as far as the Arctic Circle in the north, or Bergen to the south.

with a break for dinner. The village is 30 miles from the Austrian border, and can be visited from Austrian or German resorts.

Accommodation and tickets are in short supply, so enquire now.

March/April 2010

Austrian National Tourist Office/Pigneter

filmed around here, and St Wolfgang stages regular concerts. The nearby picture-postcard lakeside village of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interlaken One of Europe’s most elegant lake

Salzburg The birthplace of Mozart is set along the Salzach river and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Salzburg also has connections with The Sound of Music, and days out to the mountains and lakes are easily arranged.

Montreux At the eastern end of Lake Geneva, Montreux is famous for its jazz and film festivals. Explore the lake on its Swiss and French sides.

Innsbruck The capital of the Tyrol is a great historic and cultural centre. Wandering around the old town is a delight and you’re still close to the mountains.

■ UNESCO-listed Hallstatt

resorts, it’s still favoured by Europe’s elite. Enjoy cruises on lakes Thun and Brienz.

Zermatt Overlooked by the Matterhorn, this is one of the best-loved and most dramatically-situated Swiss resorts.


Bad Kleinkirchheim The home ski resort of

Lake Garda The most poplar of the Italian lakes has

Austrian legend Franz Klammer, this pretty little Carinthia town is also popular in summer for its hot springs, mountain biking and hiking, plus nearby Millstatter lake.

a wide choice of resorts including Simione, Desenzano, Bardolino and Limone. Historic Verona is less than one hour from resorts around the south of the lake.

Lake Como Less busy than Garda, it has beautiful

Davos A haunt of royalty and the annual World Economic Forum, Davos enjoys a beautiful setting and good excursion possibilities. It’s easy to get around by train and cable car. Grindelwald One of the most popular of the Bernese Oberland resorts, it is overlooked by the Eiger and a good base to go up the Jungfrau by train. Wengen Here you’re surrounded by towering peaks, including the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch. Road traffic is not permitted but it’s well served by mountain railways.

March/April 2010

lakeside towns including Tremezzo, Cadenabbia, Bellagio and Menaggio. Be sure to visit the botanic gardens at Villa Carlotta.

Selva One of Italy’s leading mountain resorts, Selva is overlooked by the Dolomites. You’re close to the Austrian border with similar architecture on both sides. Rhone-Alpes Tourisme, France


FRANCE Chamonix Overlooked by Mont Blanc, it’s a great place for activities as well as scenery. Cable cars and mountain railways will get you up the mountains, and you can also stay in the quieter nearby resort of Les Houches.

■ Ibex in France’s Haute-Savoie

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


getting to know ■ lakes and mountains holidays

Jungfrau Railways

Rhone-Alpes Tourisme/J-L Rigaux

■ Hikers at Lake d’Emosson in the French Alps

■ Jungfrau Railway, Switzerland

GERMANY Garmisch The best-known resort on the Bavarian side of the Alps, it is overlooked by the country’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962m, or 9,718ft). From the top you can see four countries.

european lakes and mountains facts Getting there Resorts in the main destinations are well-served by low-cost airlines with many regional departures, especially to Geneva (Swiss and French resorts), Zurich (Swiss resorts), Milan and Verona (Italian resorts). Budapest and Krakow also have good flight connections. A disadvantage of flying is that it can then take two or more hours to reach some resorts, by car or coach.Travelling throughout by train is a viable alternative, especially for France and Switzerland, changing stations in Paris after arriving on Eurostar.You can also travel by car, but an overnight stop en route is recommended.

When to go Berchtesgaden Overlooked by Watzmann


Any time from Easter to the end of September, but pack some warm clothes in spring (when the wildflowers bloom) and autumn. Resorts can be crowded in July and August, especially if close to cities.Also pack warm clothes if venturing to mountain summits, even in high summer.

Kranjska Gora Just across the borders with Austria and

Tour operators

Italy, this is the leading mountain resort in a small country that was formerly part of Yugoslavia. The Julian Alps provide a dramatic backdrop, and Lake Jasna is close by.

Inghams celebrates its 75th anniversary with holidays to 19 countries.A family of four can have a one-week holiday in Obergurgl,Austria in July and August for a total of £1,974 (020 8780 6680, Thomson has a new all-inclusive offer at Lake Garda in Italy from £579 for a week’s stay (0871 230 8181,’s sister company, Crystal Holidays, has “The Finest” hotels at prices from £459 for a week at Parc Hotel Germano in Bardolino, Lake Garda (0871 231 5661, Explore’s Mont Blanc Activity Week holiday in Chamonix, France, costs from £682 (0845 013 1537, Great Rail Journey’s Jungfrau Express rail holiday to Meiringen, Switzerland, costs from £1,598 for 10 days (01904 521 936, Dertour (020 7290 1104, offers a holiday combining Berchtesgaden in Germany with the Oberammergau Passion Play, from £1,089 for seven nights. Ffestiniog Travel (01766 772957, has a 14-night escorted Swiss Lakes and Mountains tour from £1,750.

mountain, it is close to Salzburg in Austria. Hitler’s retreat at Eagle’s Nest is a scenic and historic spot.

Tirol Werbung/Robert Gruber

Talloires This is one of France’s most attractive lakeside resorts, a historic town on the shore of Lake Annecy in the Haute-Savoie Department of the RhoneAlps region. Activities include horse-riding, hiking and boating. Geneva is close by, so you can find Swiss traditions such as alphorns in this area.

■ Tyrol

Bled This is one of the most attractive lake towns in Europe, and a great base for walking or rides in a horse-drawn carriage. Visit the church on a tiny island in the lake, reached by gondola.

NORWAY Ulvik This is the main resort on spectacular Hardangerfjord, in a very peaceful setting. Spring wildflowers are spectacular. Alesund Renowned for its art nouveau architecture, this town on the coastal cruising route is a great base for day trips. Dave Richardson has been writing about the highs and lows of the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is a big fan of Europe's glorious lakes and mountain scenery and frequently pays return visits.

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Tourist information Switzerland:; Austria:; Italy:; France:; Germany:; Norway:; Slovenia:

March/April 2010

escape to ■ istanbul

Turkish delight Marble and minarets, European chic and Asian spice, great age and astounding beauty make Istanbul one of the most exotic places on earth. Melissa Shales fell in love with the city many years ago f my arms were just a few inches longer I could touch the floodlit minarets of the Blue Mosque as I hang out of the window, drinking in the impossibly romantic scene surrounding me. I’ve been to Istanbul countless times but I never tire of being here. After all, this is ancient Byzantium, imperial Constantinople, the place where the Roman Empire morphed into the louche decadence of the Byzantine Empire. As Istanbul, it was the great imperial capital of the Ottoman Empire. This was the place that officially introduced Christianity to the western world as a state religion rather than an underground cult. It was, for nearly 1,000 years, the capital of the Islamic world and it was the end of the Silk Road, the greatest trade route on the planet. Istanbul is the only major city that stands at the edge of two continents, one foot in Europe and one in Asia, divided by the Bosphorus. It is thousands of years old. And it is stunningly, staggeringly beautiful, if ragged around the edges.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Office


March/April 2010

My hotel, the Mas Evi (Blue House) is one of a positive army of restored Ottoman mansions in the old city. In the pavement cafe below me, a solitary dervish is whirling in stately, rather sad splendour, his religious ritual demoted to a tourist attraction as the backpackers around him ignore the performance in favour of the honey-flavoured nargile (hubble-bubble pipes), lounging back on carpeted benches like denim-clad pashas. A small, rather shaky sign points the way to the Mozaik Müzesi, a vast mosaic floor which is all that now remains of Emperor Justinian’s Imperial Palace.

■ Topkapi Palace

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escape to ■ istanbul

Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

■ The Grand Bazaar

■ Inside the Aya Sofya

“This is a city that is rediscovering itself ”

Over to my right are the heaped ochre domes of Justinian’s greatest masterpiece, the 6th century basilica of Aya Sofya, church then mosque and now museum. I can’t see it from where I am but a few minutes’ walk to my right is the sprawling Topkapi, the Ottoman Imperial Palace, which takes at least a morning to explore on its own. It’s a sort of babushka doll of a place with courtyards within courtyards, pavilions tucked within those and maze-like suites of luxurious rooms behind small insignificant doors. In its day, it was, quite literally, the centre of the universe, home, court and government – with many thousands living and working here at the hub of an empire which stretched from the gates of Vienna across North Africa and deep into Asia. Down the hill, in the outermost courtyard of the Topkapi, the Archaeology Museum houses another great treasury of ancient wealth from across Anatolia and

Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

■ Whirling dervishes

beyond, from the gates of Babylon to the world’s first peace treaty, signed in ancient Egypt. All this history and more just in Sultanahmet, one tiny corner of this huge city; it is literally breath-taking. Across the square, where I can see the flicker of the son-et-lumière gearing up for the French show, is the

Getting steamy Spas are all the rage, but in Istanbul, head instead for the hammam, a traditional Turkish bath.The two best are both in the old city – Cemberlitas, built by Turkey’s greatest architect, Sinan, in 1584 and Cagaloglu built in 1781. Sexes are separated, but the experience is very public, with you stripped down to a small pair of briefs and scrubbed ferociously by cackling bath attendants who alternate the loofah with buckets of water before an optional (vigorous) massage. Subtle it ain’t, but an experience not to be missed – absolutely. Great fun, and you feel amazing afterwards. ●;

■ A street vendor in Istanbul

Melissa Shales

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10 things to do in the evening 1. Have dinner at the Çicek Pasaji, off Istiklal Pasaji, Beyoglu – lots of cheap and cheerful small restaurants and gypsy violinists. Touristy but fun. 2. Son-et-lumière in Sultanahmet Square – the history of Istanbul with a frightfully important-sounding commentary. 3.Turkish night in the Galata Tower – a typical Turkish feast, belly dancers and the best views in the city in the ultimate ■ Sis kebabs tourist attraction. 4. Go open-air summer clubbing at Reina on the shores of the Bosphorus, with the Istanbul in-crowd. 5. Have a night at the opera or ballet at the Ataturk Cultural Centre,Taksim ( 6. Head down to Kumkapı for a cluster of over 50 small fish restaurants, plus the inevitable wandering musicians. 7. Cross to the Asian shore for a different view at upmarket seafood restaurant, Kordon, in the Çengelköy neighbourhood. 8. Join the Turks at a local meyhane for a night of traditional mezze, sing-along fasıl and camaraderie that gets louder with every new bottle of raki. 9. 360, Angelique and Vogue are the places to be seen sipping a cocktail – they all have great views as well. 10. Babylon is fast becoming one of the great names of the club world, attracting international DJs and live acts for late, late nights.

Melissa Shales

Yerebatan Sarayi (Underground Palace), actually a Byzantine water cistern of vast dimensions and grace, much of it built from recycled classical stone so the soaring columns have unlikely inscriptions. It is a popular venue for concerts. It should be busy this year – Istanbul is in a feverpitch of artistic excitement, as one of Europe’s three Cities of Culture for 2010. It was slow to get into gear, but now the calendar is bulging with special events from photo and art exhibitions to concerts, open-air festivals and several new museums including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence (tied in with his book of the same name). The change in the city has been palpable since I first start coming here about 20 years ago. It’s a strange two-way tug. Even while the more religious government is quietly encouraging fashionistas to adopt the veil (albeit an extremely glamorous version in silks and satins), the artistic community is noticeably breaking free of the strong Islamic tradition which kept it bound for centuries. The arrival of wonderful new museums and galleries, such as Istanbul Modern and the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, and festivals including the Bienniale, Contemporary Istanbul (each November) and the City of Culture itself have burst open creative floodgates, just as the revival of the Turkish economy has transformed the modern city, creating a new skyscraper business centre filled with plate glass and slick cocktail bars in the eastern districts beyond Taksim. This is a city that is rediscovering itself, hour by hour,

Colin Antill

■ The Aya Sofya is now a museum

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


escape to ■ istanbul

Anatolian Sky Holidays

Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

■ Istanbul’s underground cistern

■ The Bosphorus at Ortakoy

London-based Melissa Shales is thoroughly spoiled, writing about the Mediterranean culture, the great African outdoors and history everywhere. She is also chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

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istanbul facts When to go As a major city, there is something good going on at any time of year, but the best times are in spring and autumn.

Getting there Easyjet ( and ■ Mehmet the Pegasus ( both have Conqueror low-cost flights into Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian shore;Turkish Airlines ( costs slightly more but flies into Atatürk International on the European shore. UK tour operators offering short breaks to Istanbul include Anatolian Sky (, Classic Collection Holidays (,The Discovery Collection (, and Istanbul-based Exclusive Travel Turkey (

Melissa Shales

and watching it flex its wings is truly fascinating. One slight downside to this is that while Turkey is still good value (outside the eurozone), prices have risen steeply. Getting there is cheaper than ever with the advent of low-cost flights and there are still plenty of back-street cafes where you can get a kebab for a couple of lire. However if you want the views, Ottoman court cuisine or the increasing array of chic designer restaurants and clubs that grace the new city around Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim or the shores of the Bosphorus, expect to pay international prices for jetset pleasures. It’s worth splashing out. While the humble kebab might dominate, Turkish cuisine is one of the great culinary traditions of the world. The aubergine is also ubiquitous, but Ottoman chefs had 150 different ways of dealing with it. Whether you choose to eat köfte (meatballs) at Hamdi’s near the spice market or sup in style at 360 with its trendy international fusion menu and eclectic club nights, you can find an element of theatre along with your meal. The same goes for shopping. In the city filled with the world’s finest flirts and greatest traders, you could visit one of the many modern malls in the posher suburbs but it’s not nearly so much fun as a trip to the spice market or the Grand Bazaar for tea and haggling. Wander the alleyways between the baskets of lucky blue beads, mounds of saffron and peppercorns and sugary lokum (Turkish Delight), gleaming silver jewellery, leather bags in a kaleidoscope of colours and fake designer labels. And everywhere a magical fantasy of intricately patterned rugs from all corners of Anatolia, souvenirs with memories to last a lifetime.

Accommodation If you want to be conveniently located for sightseeing and stay in a charming small hotel, look at staying in the Sultanahmet. If you prefer somewhere convenient for restaurants and nightlife or the larger, glossier hotels, head for Beyoglu (the new city).To escape from the crowds with a little luxury, look at one of the boutique hotels down near the water on the Bosphorus. ●

More information Turkish Culture and Tourism Office: Istanbul City of Culture 2010: Istanbul travel guide:

Useful Reading Istanbul (DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide) by Melissa Shales: £7.99.

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March/April 2010

in your ■ flightbag

Bags of use arry your dutyfree shopping and holiday souvenirs and head to the beach in stylish fashion while helping the environment – thanks to Fizbags’ range of trendy, reusable bags. There are three different Fizbags, all beautifully-designed. The Original, in its own matching pouch, weighs just 30g and measures only 11cm x 6cm but expands to 35cm x 40cm, large enough for everyday use and available in handheld or shoulder bag style. With twice the capacity, the Big Shopper is ideal for taking beach towels and flip flops to the beach. The Fizpouch is a 22cm x 14cm-sized organiser which fits inside a large handbag and has compartments for your phone, iPod and sunglasses plus a zipped pocket for


£4.10, the Big Shopper is £4.95 and the Fizpouch is £17.95. ● To WIN an Original Fizbag, Big Shopper and Fizpouch set in Zebra print, worth £27, go to and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date April 30, 2010.

Take the back roads f you are planning on touring by car in Europe this year, the new Back Roads series of driving guides from DK Eyewitness Travel provides around two dozen leisurely drives ranging from one and seven days in each of France, Italy and Spain, as well as Great Britain and Ireland. Each guide has a pull-out map of the whole country, clearly-mapped itineraries including postcodes so that they can be used in conjunction with sat-nav and lists of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.


March/April 2010

Made especially for travel, the new lineless® to go set from Dr Brandt Skin Care is a range of products with anti-aging and anti-oxidant formulas providing the essentials for youthfullooking skin anytime and anywhere. Including a travel-sized cleanser, eye cream, line filler and moisturiser containing vitamins C and E along with Green Tea,White Tea and Grapeseed Extract, this conveniently packaged set is available from SpaceNK, John Lewis Oxford Street and Peter Jones.

Stay fully charged

■ The Fizpouch organiser

money and credit cards. The bags come in a variety of designs. Choose the Zebra print, Leopard or Pink Giraffe Original Fizbag if heading off on safari or the Shoe Heaven Big Shopper for those shoes you just have to buy! Available from, the Original Fizbag costs

No more lines

The first five titles are available now, priced £14.99 each, from WH Smith, Waterstones and all good bookstores. ● To WIN a set of all five Back Roads guides from DK Eyewitness Travel, go to and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date April 30, 2010. ● READER OFFER: TLM readers can also get a 20% discount by ordering online – go to and enter VIPBONUS in the coupon code box.

Keeping your essential gadgets charged up while on holiday no longer means having to take numerous large chargers with you – the new VMan Power Pack from Varta is an ideal, pocket-sized solution. Lightweight and stylish, the V-Man comes with a sevenpiece adapter kit as well as a special USB adapter and can be used to charge almost any gadget, including mobile phones, MP3 players and digital cameras, within one to two hours.With a long power life of its own, the VMan Power Pack is an ideal travelling companion and is available from Amazon with an RRP of £34.99.

■ The Varta pocket-sized power pack

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


in your ■ suitcase

Hair today, gone tomorrow All women want an easy, fuss-free way to remove unwanted hair when travelling and Australian company Nad’s has a great range of products.They include its popular Natural Hair Removal gel, which is now available in a smaller, 170g take-anywhere tub.The easy-to-use formula, made with only natural ingredients such as honey, sugar and lemon juice, smoothes easily onto legs, arms, underarms and bikini lines and is perfect for keeping your skin beach-ready at all times. It is available from branches of Boots and Sainsbury’s for around £9.99. For more information on this and other Nad’s products, visit

Pump up the comfort Even movie stars have to have a day off from their high heels and presenters and nominees at last month’s prestigious BAFTA awards were the lucky recipients of a pair of CocoRose London’s stylish, foldable ballet pumps in their goody bag.These innovative shoes are perfect to slip into when the heels hurt too much and the accompanying lightweight shoulder carry bag makes them perfect for travel. In a range of styles and colours, the shoes are available online from CocoRose at priced from just £30. ● READER OFFER: TLM readers can get a 10% discount on orders over £28.50 by entering the promotional code TL at the online checkout. Offer valid until June 25.

22 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Rock your world – and win a Rockstar deal for your holiday hotel room while getting ready to hit the town, Rockstar from Urbanz is a funky, powerful speaker which connects easily to your iPod, MP3 player, phone or laptop. Small enough to pop into a corner of your suitcase, yet with an output expected from much larger speakers and giving up to four hours’ battery life, Rockstar is available in a choice of black, silver and now pink and is available from priced £17.99 including postage and a one-year guarantee.


● You can WIN one of three of these great little speakers, go to

and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date April 30, 2010.

Watertight ome of your best photo opportunities on holiday may come from being around the pool, out on a boat or even maybe snorkelling or windsurfing, but how do you protect your camera from the water? A new completely waterproof camera case from OverBoard may be the answer. The Waterproof Zoom Lens Camera Case can still take pictures with a regular digital camera when submerged down to 19ft and the telescopic lens addition makes this product stand out. The case is largely transparent and keeps your camera, or even mobile phone, completely sealed and protected, allowing good quality pictures in or out of the water. The Waterproof Zoom Lens Camera Case is available for £19.99 online from the OverBoard web store at

S, or by calling the sales line on 01932 500 091. ● You can WIN one of three waterproof camera cases from OverBoard. Just go to and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date April 30, 2010.

March/April 2010

24 tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine

March/April 2010

let’s try ■ european canal and river holidays

Slow boats Waterways are perfect for holidays at a leisurely pace. Jane Archer examines the options of being your own captain or lazing aboard a luxury hotel barge, and where you can go messing about on Europe’s rivers and canals am balancing on a floating jetty in the dark trying to unlock the door to the boat that has become my home this week. If only I had a torch, but needless to say, it was the one thing I never even thought to pack. If a kind Frenchman in a nearby boat had not come to rescue me and my family, our trip might have come to a sorry – as in wet – end. Instead, it was the start of a fabulously relaxing holiday, one where we literally watched the world go by as we cruised from town to village, tying up as and when the fancy took us.



If a week messing about on rivers appeals, there are two kinds of boating holidays to pick from; which you choose depends on how adventurous you are feeling. There are self-drive boats, like I was on, where you are given a quick lesson in operation and navigation and then sent off to explore the local rivers and canals, or luxurious hotel barges where all you have to do is relax and enjoy. These pretty little boats have mostly been built using the hulls of barges that used to carry goods on Europe’s waterways. You’ll have seen one if you

■ Sailing along a tree-lined canal with Afloat in France

March/April 2010

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


■ Be as lazy or as active as you want on a hotel barge

European Waterways

■ Approaching a lock


European Waterways

let’s try ■ european canal and river holidays

■ Self-drive boats give you freedom of the waterways

■ Lunch on deck

watched Rick Stein’s French Odyssey on BBC2, when he cooked his way along the Canal du Midi on European Waterway’s Rosa and Anjodi. That’s the life!


26 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

European Waterways

Self-drive boating holidays

■ Cabins are compact

Le Boat

● When packing, bear in mind that cabins on self-drive boats and hotel barges are compact with not much storage space. ● Some companies offering waterways holidays are not bonded so your holiday is not protected if something goes wrong.The best advice is to pay by credit card as your money will be refunded in case of a company failure.The same advice applies if you fly from the UK. ● If negotiating locks doesn’t appeal, ask your boat company to recommend a lock-free river.There are a few. ● Don’t expect to travel far or fast. I spent one week on a one-way cruise, averaging about five hours’ sailing a day. It took the taxi that picked me up at the end less than two hours to get back to base.

■ Enjoy the slow pace

Self-drive boats are brilliant for friends and families who like the freedom of the open river and are happy catering for themselves. They come in all sizes, sleeping from two to 12 people and have various levels of comfort, for instance some have en-suite bathrooms and electric flush toilets – believe me, much more preferable than the usual pump-action loos. Being in charge of your own boat sounds daunting, but it’s easy, especially as you amble along at a sedate 67km an hour. Most rivers have locks, but many are manned and others are automatic so you just push a few buttons and hey presto. Navigational channels are clearly marked in the rivers and on the maps supplied so you can’t even get lost or end up in a river bank. The only slightly tricky thing is docking, which requires team work between the captain and rope man (or woman), who needs to be agile enough to leap off as the boat comes towards the bank. It sounds scary but you soon get the hang of it. Galleys are small but equipped with the basics, such as a gas hob, oven and kettles. It’s fun to mix and match

March/April 2010

let’s try ■ european canal and river holidays

Le Boat

■ Costs may include bike hire

Le Boat

what it costs

– self-cater one evening, moor up outside a riverside restaurant another and have a break from the washing up.

Hotel barges If you prefer a more luxurious holiday, with someone to captain the boat, do the cooking and plan excursions, a hotel barge holiday has your name on it. Barges usually hold between four and 12 people. You can book a cabin as an individual or couple, but they are also perfect for anniversaries – such as a milestone birthday or wedding celebration – as you can charter the boat and bring along family and friends. In this case, you will be able to make changes to the schedule, staying longer here maybe, or missing going there. Hotel barges are all about luxury and personal service. There’s a chef to conjure up gourmet meals, fine wines are served with meals and there is an open bar, so no charge for drinks.

What to do? On a hotel barge or self-drive boating holiday you can be as active or as lazy as you wish. Most hotel barge operators lay on daily excursions to chateaux, vineyards, private gardens or museums, and you can go or not as the mood takes you. They also carry bicycles so you can get off and pedal to the next

March/April 2010

Prices for self-drive boating holidays usually include towels and linen, and free parking for your car for the week.Travel to the base to collect your boat, plus fuel, meals, drinks, excursions and bike hire are all extras, and you might have to pay mooring fees in busy places. You’ll also have to take out damage waiver cover or leave a deposit when you collect the boat. Hotel barge operators include all meals, drinks, use of onboard bikes and scheduled excursions in the price so there is nothing more to pay unless you go horse-riding, play golf or do some other activity. Travel from the UK to and from the pick-up point – usually a hotel or railway station – is extra. Tips for the crew are usually optional; from 3% to 7% of the cruise cost is recommended.

lock, or just have a walk if you prefer. On your DIY boating holiday, you can moor up and go exploring or have a lazy few days sunbathing on the vessel. You can carry bikes on the boats; most companies have them for hire or bring your own. Or maybe go horse riding, play golf and visit local markets. It is the ultimate in a freedom holiday.

Who goes where? France has 10,000km of navigable waterways – both rivers and canals – and is the most popular spot for DIY boating in Europe. You can enjoy gastronomy cruising the Canal du Midi, take in seaside resorts in the Carmargue, play golf in the Charente, and discover French/German culture in Alsace-Lorraine. Belgium, Holland, Italy and Germany are less popular but all have their fair share of waterways if you want something different. Le Boat, part of TUI Travel, has DIY boating holidays in all these places, mostly one week, cruising one way, but you can add seven days and return to the original base. Short-break boating holidays were launched in 2009 and are a great way to get a taste for this type of holiday. Boating Europe has both DIY cruisers and Penichette barges, which are small self-drive barges, and

“Hotel barges are all about luxury and personal service”

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine



let’s try ■ european canal and river holidays

■ Afloat in France’s Napoleon under way

also hotel barges in France, Holland and Italy. For something different, Hoseasons has DIY boating holidays on the Mazurian Lakes in Poland, sailing along canals and rivers, and through forests, as well as the favourite places in Western Europe. France is also the leading destination for hotel barge holidays. European Waterways has barges in several regions (but Burgundy and the Canal du Midi are the most popular) and also in Holland, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. New this year are cruises from Venice along the Bianca Canal to Mantua, visiting Verona on the way, on new barge La Bella Vita. Afloat in France is part of Orient-Express and, as the name suggests, is only in France – in Burgundy, Franche-Comté, the Rhône Valley and Provence. For the ultimate in exclusive, check out Saint Louis Barge – literally one barge with room for six passengers and four crew that sails six-night cruises on the Gironde, between Toulouse and Bordeaux. Great for charters but individuals can book it as well.

european canal and river holiday facts When to go The boating season generally runs from March to November. Obviously, summer months will be the warmest, especially in the South of France.

Hotel barges are informal so pack what you feel comfortable in. If you’re going on a self-drive boating holiday, a pair of non-slip shoes will be useful. You might like to bring some food from home, but it’s easy to pick up provisions as you cruise.A small torch to fit in the handbag is also highly recommended! Small suitcases are easiest to store on the boats.

European Waterways

What to pack

Sample holidays ● Le Boat (0844 463 3594; has cruises on a sixperson Caprice boat on the Canal du Midi in France in June from £547 per person based on four sharing, excluding travel from the UK. ● European Waterways (01784 482439; offers six nights in a junior suite on L’Impressionniste in Burgundy from £2,490 in May and June. ● A six-person charter on the Saint Louis Barge (+ 33 685 95 25 41; costs €16,900 (about £15,250), which works out at €2,817 (£2,540) per person.


Other boat and barge holiday operators Boating Europe: 01756 701200; or Hoseasons: 0844 847 1356; Afloat in France: 0845 077 2222; Minervois Cruisers: 01926 811842;

■ You can even take a dip on some craft

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March/April 2010

March/April 2010

tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine 29

competition ■ hotel barge cruise

■ Cruising on the Art de Vivre

WIN a £5,000 six-night cruise for two aboard a luxury hotel barge in Burgundy with European Waterways

All photos: European Waterways

f the thought of leisurely cruising along a canal in Burgundy in the lap of luxury with a gourmet chef and all meals and wine included appeals, then why not enter this competition to win a fabulous six-night hotel barge cruise – courtesy of European Waterways. Owner of GoBarging, European Waterways is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe, offering six-night/seven-day luxury cruises on its large fleet of vessels in France, Scotland, England, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy. It has built a reputation for providing high quality barging holidays on its “floating boutique hotels” to a discerning clientele in search of a truly unique experience.


30 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

The hotel barges accommodate between four and 12 passengers and are ideal for people looking for either an individual cruise with other like-minded people, or for those wanting a whole barge charter for a family or group of friends. All vessels are fully crewed with a Captain, gourmet chef, hostess and a tour guide. The prize is a six-night cruise for two people aboard European Waterways’ eight-passenger hotel barge Art de Vivre on the Nivernais Canal in Burgundy, France. The cruise includes en-suite accommodation in a twin/double cabin, all meals, wines, an open bar, chauffeured excursions, local transfers to and from the barge, but excludes travel and gratuities. The cruise will depart on a Sunday and end on the following Saturday.

March/April 2010

■ Wine service

competition ■ hotel barge cruise

■ Excursions go to picturesque towns

■ Saloon

For a chance of winning this wonderful holiday, visit the European Waterways website then find the answer to the question below. Question: In which year did European Waterways first start operating? a) 1974 b) 1977 c) 1984 To enter, go to and click on competitions & giveaways. Closing date is April 30, 2010.

Terms & conditions 1) The first entry drawn at random after the closing date will win. 2) The holiday must be booked by May 31, 2010. 3) The cruise must be taken between June 20, 2010, and May 28, 2011, and is subject to availability. European Waterways’ standard booking terms and conditions apply. 4) Travel insurance and spending money are not provided and are the responsibility of the prize winner. 5) No purchase necessary to enter.The prize draw is open to UK residents aged 21 years and over, except employees of European Waterways Ltd,TLM Media Ltd or anyone professionally associated with the promotion. Only one entry per household.

March/April 2010

■ Fine dining

6) The prize is non transferable and non refundable, and has no cash alternative. 7) The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. 8) These terms and conditions are correct at time of being printed but may be subject to change without notice. 9) Automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified. 10) The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 11) Entry to the competition implies full and unconditional acceptance of these rules. 12) By entering the competition you are agreeing to allow us to see and share this information with other companies including for sales, marketing and market research purposes and to send you information by mail about our products/services. 13) Winners may also be asked to write or submit photos from prize trips for inclusion on the TLM website.

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


The costs of producing this advert were kindly donated to MSF

MÊdecins Sans Frontières (MSF) gives free professional medical care to the people who need it most. In countries devastated by conflict, natural disaster or poverty, our staff battle epidemics, run emergency clinics and provide basic health services. Find out where we work, what we do and how you can help at

English Charity Reg No. 1026588

travel ■ update

Faraway favourites ndian Ocean island nation the Maldives is still the most popular long-haul holiday destination, according to the latest travel trends report by leading tour operator Kuoni. Its annual Long-haul Report shows the island chain has maintained its position as top-selling faraway destination for 2010 after topping the 2009 table – with Thailand and the US also staying in second and third respectively. The Maldives even ranks second for family holidays, and Kuoni says the destination has “so much to offer clients, from a romantic getaway, diving and spas to honeymoons and renewal of vows, there is no surprise it is so popular.” Sri Lanka moves up from sixth to fourth,

■ Sri Lanka is enjoying a revival in fortunes

Peter Ellegard


displacing Egypt, as it returns to favour. Kuoni says its outlook is very positive, with growth in touring and tailor-made holidays as well as “huge demand” for traditional beach holidays. Meanwhile, China and Hong Kong have moved into eighth place, with Kuoni saying that 2010 is seeing more creative itineraries and adventurous multi-centre, tailor-made holidays. Destinations bubbling under Kuoni’s top 10 and tipped to watch out for are India, Oman, Indonesia, Mauritius and Cuba. Top five wedding destinations for 2010 are Sri Lanka, the US, Mauritius, St Lucia and Thailand, while the top five places to honeymoon are the Maldives, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

Baby goes, too ew mums can get away from it all with their babies, thanks to a new five-night Italian villa

A new website – – promotes tours by coach.The most comprehensive guide to coach tours, it features more than 100 UK coach tour operator members of the Coach Tourism Council (CTC), which promotes travel and tourism by coach. It is a simple, user-friendly guide to finding an excursion, short break or escorted coach holiday to anywhere in the UK, Europe or beyond.

Take a hike A free Hiking Programme for guests staying in Austrian alpine town Innsbruck or its 25 holiday villages includes guided hikes, a free hiking bus and even free boots and rucksack for those without their own. Guests must have an Innsbruck Card, which also offers reduced or free admission to attractions and costs from 25 euros for 24 hours.

March/April 2010

■ Spend quality time with your baby

Rita Kobrak

Coach website

break. The Mum and Baby Experience, claimed to be the first of its kind, offers stays at a five-bedroom Tuscany villa on selected dates in May, June and September. Owner, and mum, Rita Kobrak says: “New mums would love to get away for a few days, but don’t want to leave their babies behind. We provide the perfect environment for them to relax and recharge their batteries, with their babies.” Activities include yoga, swimming, baby Italian, baby Latino and baby massage. Massages and beauty treatments are available and there is an Italian cookery class. Babysitting is also offered, so mums can take time out on their own. The Mum and Baby Experience caters for five mums plus babies and toddlers, and costs from £700 per mother and baby for a room, excluding flights. Toddlers up to three years old cost an extra £100. Dads can even go, too, for an additional £300. Breakfast and dinner is included, as are Perugia airport transfers. For information, email Rita Kobrak on: or call 077855 71292 or 020 7384 2431.

■ Relax in a Tuscany villa

Rita Kobrak

■ A new coach holiday website has launched



READER OFFER TLM readers can get a 10% DISCOUNT off Mum and Baby Experience breaks. Just quote TLM Magazine when booking.

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


travel ■ update

Over the sea to Skye ee some of Scotland’s best scenery from two former fishing vessels, now converted into luxury mini-cruise ships. The Majestic Line operates cruises aboard two traditional craft, the Glen Massan and Glen Tarsan, both of which accommodate a maximum of 11 people. The 2010 sailing season is being expanded with the addition of two new six-night west coast and Hebrides cruises, departing from Oban in July and September. They will sail through the Sound of Mull, pass the islands of Rum, Eigg and Muck and sail around the Isle of Skye, taking in sights such as Eilean Donan Castle. Strong demand for the cruises means the award-winning Scottish company will also add at least two more Skye and Inner Hebrides

■ Hogwarts Express

■ Cosy dining room

cruises for the 2011 season. Meals are all freshly-prepared using locallysourced ingredients, and the ships have a salon area at the rear so guests can relax on deck. Wildlife that can be seen from the deck and trips ashore includes eagles, otters and seals.

The Skye and the Inner Hebrides cruises depart Oban on July 10 and September 4 and cost £1,565 per person, fully inclusive except for spirits. Go to or call 0131 623 5012.

Get schooled in wine

A full-size, steam-billowing Hogwarts Express engine will greet guests at Universal Orlando Resort’s new theme park,The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, when it opens this spring.The Florida park will feature multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant.The Hogwarts Express train transports students to a world of magic and wonder in the Harry Potter books and films.

Luxury tour operator Tailor Made Travel features three Pacific hotels opening this spring. ■ Easter Island The Quay West Resort & Spa Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, opens in March. April sees Samoa’s totally-rebuilt Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa reopen after the devastating September tsunami and the opening of ecofriendly Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa on Easter Island.

34 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Tailor Made Travel

Pacific trio

The Malaria Awareness Week, from May 10-16, will highlight malaria risks when travelling and will urge UK travellers to visit

■ Bordeaux Wine School lesson

their GP six to eight weeks before going abroad to ensure they have the correct protection. With malaria hotspots changing frequently, it is important to keep up to date.Visit to check your intended destination on a new-look interactive map.

Steamed up

Malaria aware

The Majestic Line

The Majestic Line

■ The Glen Massan

Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux

Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort


s your wine expertise lacking? Now you can combine a holiday in Bordeaux with learning what makes the French region’s wines so special. Three different courses are on offer at the city’s Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Wine School), with classes held in English by local wine experts. Open to everyone, they comprise in-depth tastings, practical exercises and visits to nearby chateaux. A two-day beginners’ technical course (May 14-15 and October 15-16; 350 euros) involves tasting over 30 wines and learning about soil types, grape varieties, classifications and different appellations. After completing that level, a two-day practical course (May 16-


17 and October 17-18; 335 euros) helps students improve their wine-tasting ability and learn the principles of successful food and wine matching. The Grand Crus level course (May 18-20; 600 euros), for students who have completed either of the other courses, is a three-day discovery of the Bordeaux vineyards and their wines, visiting four areas – the Medoc, Sauternes, Graves and SaintEmilion. A two-hour introduction course, again in English, is held daily except Thursdays and Sundays in July and August. Prices do not include flights or accommodation. For details, visit and click on Wine School.

March/April 2010

■ Water fun on MSC’s Fantasia

■ Carnival’s Water Works

Princess Cruises

MSC Cruises

Carnival Cruises

all aboard ■ family-friendly cruises

■ Movies under the stars with Princess Cruises

Happy families T With new cruise ships boasting everything from nurseries and kids clubs to surf simulators and circus workshops, cruising really is a family affair now. Sara Macefield looks at who offers what to keep youngsters of all ages happy afloat

■ Mickey Mouse helps young cruisers keep fit on Disney Magic

36 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Babies and toddlers Disney Cruises

“Some ships have dedicated deck areas for younger passengers”

aking a cruise these days is simply child’s play. Never before has there been such a choice of family-friendly ships bursting at the seams with exciting activities and facilities for younger cruisers. Whether it is scaling a climbing wall up the side of the ship’s funnel; gliding across an ice-skating rink; flying through the air on a trapeze; or partying with Mickey Mouse; there is something to appeal to all ages. Youngsters are no longer confined to fun and games in the kids clubs – good though they are. Some ships have dedicated deck areas for younger passengers, while others offer supervised excursions for older children who want to shake off mum and dad for a few hours. There are sports courts where youngsters can let off steam, mini-golf courses for a quick nine holes, table tennis and even giant movie screens where they can catch a film while playing in the pool. Some larger ships also have water parks complete with water slides. Then there are themed parties, talent shows and tribute bands, plus family-friendly restaurants and speciallydesigned cabins designed to accommodate parents and up to three children. Cruising, it seems, has finally thrown off its reputation for appealing mainly to the retired set – and where families are concerned, it is growing up fast. But the key to happy holidays afloat rests on choosing the right ship as facilities can vary and some vessels are better for certain age groups.

Tiny tots are welcome on cruise ships, but most companies do not accept children under six months, while the minimum age for kids’ clubs tends to be two or three years. Only a few lines have nurseries on their ships and one of these is Cunard, where nannies take care of children on its two ships, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.

March/April 2010

Royal Caribbean International

Disney Cruise Line is another that takes little ones, and probably has the lowest age limit – just 12 weeks in its onboard nurseries – while P&O Cruises’ family ships also have onboard nurseries. On Royal Caribbean International ships, special parent-child playgroups are held for little ones, while the company’s largest ship, Oasis of the Seas, has its own “babies and tots” nursery. Norwegian Cruise Line is another good choice for toddlers as some of its ships have water-themed play areas or dedicated baby pools. Evening group baby-sitting is also offered.

Under 12s Family-friendly ships have kids clubs, split into different age groups, that offer an action-packed programme of activities such as pizza-making classes, ice-cream parties, teddy-bear picnics, pirate parties and discos. The range of onboard activities has grown too. Some Royal Caribbean International ships have climbing walls, surf simulators and ice-skating rinks, while Norwegian Cruise Line has bowling alleys and water slides on some ships. P&O Cruises’ newest family-friendly ship, Ventura, boasts circus workshops, Scalextric Grand Prix-style races and a Rock School for kids who want to emulate their favourite pop stars. Disney Cruises has a head-start when it comes to family cruises. In addition to the kids clubs, there is plenty of Disney-inspired entertainment. Its Studio Sea

March/April 2010

■ Above: CocoCay water activities

Carnival Cruises

■ Left: happy campers at Camp Carnival

family cruising tips ● Each ship is different – so check the facilities carefully and assess which one will suit your children best. ● Check the sleeping arrangements – some ships have inter-connecting cabins, others have special family cabins with sofa-beds or bunks that come down from the ceiling. ● What are the dining arrangements? Ensure there are enough flexible options – buffet restaurants are normally the best bet. ● If your children aren’t confident swimmers, look for ships with dedicated kids’ pools. ● Check the opening times of the kids clubs, any extra charges and whether you can leave your children on-board if you want to go ashore. ● For older kids, buy a soda package, which gives them a set amount of drinks much cheaper than if bought separately

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


all aboard ■ family-friendly cruises

family cruise facts Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 201 8912; has one-week round-trip sailings from Venice to the Greek islands this summer. Prices are from £3,156 for a family of four for a May 22 departure, including flights.

Royal Caribbean International

P&O Cruises (0845 678 0014; is offering a 14-night Western Mediterranean sailing on Ventura from £6,370 for a family of four which includes a £50 onboard credit per adult. It departs Southampton on August 14 and ports of call include Cannes, Palma, Livorno and Gibraltar. Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005; has a nine-night Western Caribbean flycruise, departing on July 10, on the world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, from £6,316 for two adults and two children.The price includes return flights to Florida, a one-night hotel stay pre-cruise and the seven-night sailing.

More information ● The Passenger Shipping Association represents the main cruise lines and its website gives details of these and contains a section on family cruises.

family club looks like a film set and hosts various shows such as cabaret and talent contests for the whole family. On Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises ships, children can catch their favourite film on giant poolside movie screens, while Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Oasis of the Seas, even has a dedicated children’s theatre where youngsters can put on their own shows. Lines such as Ocean Village, Carnival Cruise Lines, Island Cruises, Thomson Cruises and MSC Cruises also offer a good range of activities for children.

■ Royal Caribbean’s Flowrider



■ Below: On high at sea

Probably the hardest age group to please, yet energetic teens can opt for the plethora of activities on Royal Caribbean International, while those wanting to do their own thing can try Ocean Village’s teen-friendly excursions to hike up Mount Vesuvius or tour Barcelona’s famous Nou Camp football stadium without their parents. The line also has special teen TV presenter workshops and Girls Night In pampering packages. Several ships are armed with the latest techno temptations to keep young cruisers happy with X-Box and PlayStation games plus video arcades and teenonly nightclubs. Music fans can even cut their own CD in a fullyequipped recording studio aboard Costa Cruises’ ship, Costa Pacifica, or take the plunge with a private music lesson.

38 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

P&O Cruises


Sample cruises

On Holland America Line ships, youngsters up to 17 can enjoy the funky Loft area, resembling a New York style artist’s studio and the fabulous Oasis adult-free deck zone with hammocks and a waterfall.

Where to go Once you’ve chosen the ship, it’s a question of deciding where you want to sail to. One of the easiest ways of travelling with young children is to jump on the growing number of ships now sailing from the UK, which cuts out the hassle of taking flights. The obvious place to go is the Mediterranean, which scores highly with children of all ages as there are so many different ports. Even if you decide to join one of the many cruises departing from European cities such as Barcelona, Palma or Venice, flight times are still short. Farther afield, the Caribbean is a popular cruising spot and tends to be a sun, sea and sand option with a more relaxed pace. However, the major downside is the flight, which is around nine hours. The Far East offers a tempting combination of culture, experiences and beautiful beaches, but with a 13hour flight this again is one for older children who can make the most of the shore activities. Less-obvious destinations for older children include Alaska, which offers adventurous excursions such as bear spotting, climbing glaciers or snowmobiling, and the Baltic, rich in history and culture.

March/April 2010

all aboard ■ cruise news


■ UK cruisers generally tip less

P&O Cruises

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Hurtigruten, which offers cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Arctic Circle is offering 20% savings on popular sailings on selected dates between May and September. Prices now start at £655 per person for a sixday Voyage South sailing, cruise-only.

■ Drinks are cheapest on P&O and Fred Olsen

Tipping point for cruisers ipping has long been a confusing issue among cruise-goers and in recent years it has become controversial. With the arrival of American ships in the UK and Europe, British customers have had to get used to tipping rates as high as 18% – something that hasn’t always gone down well. Royal Caribbean International, which bases its ship Independence of the Seas at Southampton, is reviewing its tipping policy because up to a third of its UK customers were not paying gratuities. US lines generally charge a daily rate of around $10 per person which can be automatically debited from each passenger’s on-board account, though passengers can ask to have this removed.


■ Virgin offers free luggage delivery for cruise passengers

Virgin Holidays Cruises claims to be the first cruise agency to offer a free door to door “Luggage Chauffeur” service for customers sailing

UK cruise companies either include tips in the overall price or suggest amounts that should be given to staff at the end of the holiday, which are lower than those paid on their US counterparts. Another thorny issue has been the high price of drinks on ships. A recent survey showed that Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line charged the highest prices for a beer. Online travel agency, which conducted a study of 10 cruise lines, claimed passengers would pay as much as £3.95 on Royal Caribbean and £3.61 on NCL for a bottle of Becks. Yet on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises – which were the cheapest - they would pay only £2.20 and £2.35 respectively.

Epic time with Dora and Bob

Hearty English fare such as mushy peas, steak and kidney pies,Yorkshire puddings and sausage rolls is to be served up on Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship Celebrity Eclipse, which will be based at Southampton this summer, to appeal to British palates.

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ans of Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob Square Pants will be able to set sail with these and other Nickelodeon characters on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Epic, which launches this summer. They’ll be able to get together with them at character breakfasts, meet and greets, interactive shows – or even have their favourite character tuck them in at night. And this isn’t just confined to Norwegian Epic as Nickelodeon characters will also be based on one of NCL’s other ships, Norwegian Jewel. Single travellers can also sail



with P&O, Princess or Cunard from Southampton. Passengers can send one bag of up to 30kg free of charge, and extra bags cost up to £35 each way.

■ Ahoy there, it’s Sponge Bob Square Pants

off in style aboard Norwegian Epic as it is targeting innovative

new studio cabins at solo cruise passengers, with prices to match.

March/April 2010

off the beaten track ■ the azores

Best-selling author Joanne Harris swapped the French village setting of her Chocolat novel for a visit to the tiny Azores archipelago with her daughter – and found a timeless natural wonderland still untouched by tourism slands have always appealed to me. The smaller and more remote the better. My favourite books were full of them – from Robinson Crusoe to The Search for Atlantis – and so it is with a strange sense of deja vu that I now land with my daughter Anouchka in Sao Miguel, the largest island of the Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands strung out across six hundred kilometres like some fabulous necklace, half the Atlantic Ocean away. The islands are clustered into three groups; the Eastern group of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria; the Central group of Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial; the Western group of Flores and Corvo. From the air, they look exactly as I imagined them; skirted with sea-foam at the edges, excitingly pockmarked with volcanoes of all sizes (some still smoking), and showing vast expanses of brilliant green.


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Arrival at the airport finds it reassuringly quiet. For although a description of the Azores reads like Anouchka’s list of the 10 Coolest Things to Find In One Place (brilliant sunshine, active volcanoes, killer whales, bubbling mud lakes, swimming with dolphins, pineapple plantations, a sea bluer than the movies and the thrilling possibility of seeing a Portuguese man-o’-war, the biggest, deadliest jellyfish in the ocean), tourism seems as yet to have made little impact on the islands. Life here exists at a slower pace; strangers are welcomed with genuine delight; there is little nightlife and hardly any crime; and the small scale and informal nature of island trips comes as a glorious change from the cattle-truck tours of the concrete Costas. Our stay is due to last a week, and to take in three of the islands; Sao Miguel, Faial and Pico. Sao Miguel is the largest island, and its capital, Ponta Delgada,

March/April 2010

off the beaten track ■ the azores

■ Joanne Harrris and her daugher in the Azores


■ The Faial caldera

receives most of the visitors. It is a charming place, looking as Madeira did 50 years ago, with its marina, its castle, its cobbled, palm-lined streets, its market and shops and friendly little cafés.

■ Main picture, Azores whale-watching Sunvil

Festivals The Azores are part of Portugal, and there is a strong Catholic identity to the place, with incense and icons of the saints on sale in every little corner shop. But Azorean saints are a cheery lot; there are festivals almost every day, and on our first night in Ponta Delgada, Anouchka and I are gaily dragged by locals into one of their many street galas, with dancers, musicians and acrobats. Any excuse for a party, they say, when I ask them whose festival this is. Here, you know, there’s so little to do… The next day, we set off to find out how little there really is. Our friends of last night were being modest; the island is glorious in every way. Incredibly green, it is a paradise for gardeners; agapanthus, ginger lily, thyme and hydrangeas grow wild, and any abandoned building or fallen tree is quickly devoured by the purple

March/April 2010

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


off the beaten track ■ the azores

Azores tips

■ Hot springs at Furnas, Sao Miguel

“Tourism seems as yet to have made little impact on the islands”

Azores Tourism Association

● Don’t forget: sunscreen; sunhat; camera film or spare memory cards and batteries (not always readily available locally); waterproof clothing; comfortable shoes; binoculars; sandals; swimming costume, towel or wrap. ● Drink plenty of water – the wind and sun means that it’s easy to get dehydrated, especially on boat trips. ● Tipping isn’t essential, but it’s always appreciated – 10 euros per person to smalltour guides (swimming with dolphins, etc) will ensure maximum goodwill and time flexibility. ● Eat outside your hotel as often as you can. Grilled fish is good here (wreckfish, sea bass, mackerel). Also try: locally-produced cheeses; blood-sausage baked with yam or pineapple; fried squid; local beef. ● There isn’t a lot for tourists to buy, but you can take home pineapples (declare on arrival in the UK) or pineapple liqueur from local plantations; handicrafts (enamel jewellery, hand-painted scarves, corn dollies) or leather goods. ● Health and safety is still in its infancy here – so keep an eye on children, especially near the hot springs!

spectacular range of scenery over a very small area, with green valleys on one side, and the apocalyptic results of recent volcanic activity on the other. There is a lighthouse half-buried in volcanic ash; a stretch of desert like a Martian moon; and all around the island there are fabulous places to swim; for although there are few beaches here, the tumbling lava has formed wonderful natural swimming places, sheltered from the open sea, where Anouchka can spend hours diving, climbing on rocks and inspecting the sea life trapped in the many pools. In the evening, the famous marina is the place to be. Nightlife is sociable rather than sophisticated, and there is a variety of restaurants and bars. Food in the Azores is best when it is simple. Hotel and restaurant food here can often have a kind of school-dinnerish quality, but cafes and bars often serve excellent inexpensive food, and the Cafe Sport bar in Horta, on the seafront, is the locals’ favourite, serving seafood kebabs, excellent steaks, grilled wreckfish and salads, with good bread, local cheeses and Portuguese wines.

morning glories that swarm over everything with neartropical speed. Over the next few days, we visit pineapple and tea plantations; we sip strawberry juice by a volcano crater; we see the famous twin lakes – one green, one blue – at Sete Cicades and hear the sad, romantic tale of how they were formed (the Azoreans are great tellers of tales, the sadder and the more romantic the better). We visit the sulphurous Furnas, with its boiling pools of mud and water, reminding us that although the volcanoes of the Azores may be dormant, they are far from extinct. At Tony’s restaurant in Furnas, we eat locally-grown pineapple, and blood-sausage baked with yam under the hot earth in the traditional way; and we bathe in the thermal pool of the old and genteel Terra Nostra Hotel, where the spring water is so charged with minerals that my swimsuit actually goes rusty.

Blue Island On the third day we fly to Horta on Faial, in the Central group of the Azores. It takes about an hour to fly from Sao Miguel, and if anything, this smaller island seems even closer to perfection. Living here is like being in love, says our guide; and I can definitely see what he means. Known as the Blue Island for its hedgerows of hydrangeas, Faial offers a



■ Horta harbour, Faial

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Pico is only a heartbeat away, and Horta’s skyline is dominated by its perfect cone. You can walk to the summit of the volcano, although it takes time (two to five hours for the ascent, depending on the weather, and half as much again for the descent), and requires a registered guide. An island tour by taxi gives a short, but tantalising taste of the island, including extraordinary views from the peak itself, lakes, smaller caldera and the famous whaling museum – though Anouchka and I both agree that there are much more enjoyable ways to see whales on Pico. Whale-watching is a unique experience, and we are told that Faial is the best place to try it. Our motorised boat seats only eight people, and the organisers are very careful to ensure that the whales are not stressed by the presence of observers. More than one boat is not allowed; we keep a respectful distance at all times. I’m

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tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine 45

off the beaten track ■ the azores

■ Azores dolphin-watching

azores facts ■ Sao Miguel


When to go

impressed at the care and sensitivity shown here by our guides, and I am very conscious of what a rare privilege it is to see these giant mammals in their natural habitat. The marine life of the Azores is spectacularly varied; some 25 different species of whale visit the islands, and on our first trip we see sperm whales, beaked whales, pilot whales and dolphins.

Swimming with dolphins Our next trip is, if anything, more exciting – for returning to Sao Miguel, we are booked to actually swim with these creatures. The boat takes up to six people; and although no more than two swimmers are allowed in the water at once, we all have several chances to swim. But first we have to find the dolphins, and we pray that they will be in playful mood. Any sign of anxiety, and we must leave them alone – our guides make it clear that it is they, and not we, who are in charge. It takes us an hour to find our first school. Anouchka and I take the first swim, lowering ourselves carefully into water that is a luminous blue and almost tropically warm. The depth here is between 1,000 and 2,000 metres, and clear right down to the bottom. I can see the dolphins some distance below. And they are singing – a long, resonant note that cuts through the water. Anouchka gives me a big thumbs-up; she can hear them too, and we follow them for five or more minutes until the school moves on and we return to the boat. We repeat the experience six times that day, and another five the next. We encounter bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins, and swim with both. Some of them come very close to us. But nothing beats that first contact with another species in its own element. It’s an eerie, intimate, almost religious feeling, which I know will stay with me for a very long time.

Charm But how long can this idyll last? I find that on leaving this magical place I’m almost reluctant to write about it, as if by keeping them secret I could help these islands preserve the Brigadoon-like quality that gives them their charm.

Reader offer WIN one of five copies of the latest novel by Joanne Harris – psychological thriller blueeyed boy – which is published on April 1. See page 56.

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The Azores islands lie almost 1,000 miles west of Lisbon in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy a temperate climate thanks to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. Average temperatures range from highs of 17ºC in January to about 25ºC in August. Showers are more frequent between October and April.

Getting there Azores airline SATA ( flies direct from London Gatwick to Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel.

Getting around SATA operates regular flights between the islands of Faial, Pico, Santa Maria, Sao Miguel and Terceira.You can rent cars, bikes and mopeds on all the main islands, and there are also taxis.

Accommodation The islands have a range of accommodation, including hotels, guesthouses and farmhouses.

Tour operators Operators include Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722; It offers a seven-night Three Island Tour to Sao Miguel, Faial and Pico from £1,187 per person, including direct flights from Gatwick, seven nights’ b&b accommodation, internal flights and transfers, entrance tickets to botanical gardens and museums, and guided excursions. Archipelago Azores (017687 75672; offer tailor-made holidays to the Azores.

Tourist information Visit the Azores Tourism Association’s website on or the Portuguese National Tourist Office website:

“Strangers are welcomed with genuine delight”

You see, it’s the scale of things here that makes the Azores so different and special. With only a few dozen tourists at a time, it’s perfectly acceptable for a restaurant to serve food cooked in an underground pot halfway up a mountain; or for a sightseeing company to expend six hours, a boat and two members of staff so that four or five people can swim with dolphins. But try any of this on a larger scale, and soon it will no longer be possible. So I can’t help feeling that in some way I’ve witnessed the last days of Atlantis – blissfully free (but how long for?) from the excesses of the 21st century. And it is with a heartfelt prayer to the god of small things that Anouchka and I board the plane home – to please keep these islands just as they are. Perfect. Forever.

Best known for her romantic novel, Chocolat, which was turned into a hit film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris has written more than a dozen other books.This article was originally published in the Telegraph.

March/April 2010

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March/April 2010

pack your clubs ■ tenerife, canary islands

Golf on the Island of

Eternal Spring Great courses, a superb climate, topnotch hotels and plenty of off-course attractions makeTenerife heavenly for golf…if you can avoid the shanks. Peter Ellegard tees it up t was one of those moments you dread. Only a short par 3, but uphill and over a cactus-studded valley from a tee perched high above the Atlantic swells. I didn’t feel comfortable as I teed up, especially with the Ladies European Tour pro I was playing alongside in the Tenerife Ladies Open Pro-Am patiently waiting with her caddy after effortlessly sending her shot close to the pin. Nerves jangling, I swung. Hard. And the inevitable happened – I shanked the ball, sending it sideways and almost taking out Australia’s former top lady amateur, Frances Bondad. Thankfully, my indiscretion was forgiven with a gracious smile. After blanking that hole, the rest of my round was a marginal improvement, allowing me to relax and enjoy the beautiful Costa Adeje course. It is one of eight golf courses on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. A natural paradise of mountains, lush vegetation, towering cliffs, verdant valleys and black and gold sand beaches 300km off the African coast, Tenerife is popular as a sunshine holiday destination thanks to its year-round temperate

Peter Ellegard

I March/April 2010

■ Buenavista Golf course

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


Peter Ellegard

pack your clubs ■ tenerife, canary islands

■ Beach at Playa de Las Americas

Off-course attractions Tenerife has a wealth of options away from its courses. One of the most popular tours is to the volcanic landscape of Teide National Park, the most visited national park in Spain. Tours from the north go up through the Oratava Valley, and those from the south often include the picturesque town of Puerto de la Cruz. There’s shopping and city tours in capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, whose history dates back to 1492. A day trip can be combined with nearby Anaga Rural Park and Teresitas beach, one of the most beautiful in Tenerife. Sun worshippers have numerous beaches around the island. Another popular outing is to Teno Rural Park.Tours generally take in the historic costal town of Garachico and the inland village of Masca. Other sightseeing favourites include the town of Icod de los Vinos with its thousand-year-old Dragon Tree and the spectacular roadside viewpoints in the Isla Baja area in the north, and the Los Gigantos Cliffs on the west coast.

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

■ Playa de Las Teresitas

“Tenerife is heaven for golfers”

Towering cliffs

The Loro Parque wildlife park in Puerto de la Cruz in northern Tenerife and the Parque Las Aguilas – Jungle Park in the south, are both popular attractions.Wine lovers will enjoy Frontos Theme Park in Granadilla de Abona, a rural attraction which highlights Tenerife’s wine culture and shows both traditional and modern wine-producing methods. Europe’s biggest water park, Siam Park, opened in the south in 2008 with 25 Thaithemed buildings, thrill rides including a flume tube through an alligator pool and a Wave Palace with a three-metrehigh artificial surfing wave. The adventurous can ride camels, go hiking, mountain biking, caving and climbing amid Tenerife’s natural scenery or try water sports including kitesurfing, sailing, sea canoeing and diving in the warm, clear Atlantic. And resorts such as Playa de Las Americas and Playa de Los Cristianos offer great beaches, excellent shopping and eating out as well as pulsating nightlife.

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

■ Historic Garachico

climate. Not for nothing is it known as the Island of Eternal Spring. As a result, Tenerife is heaven for golfers. And it is great for non-golfing partners, too, with high-quality hotels, many having extensive health and spa facilities, lively nightlife and extensive sightseeing, shopping and activity options besides the beaches. Spain’s highest mountain – the conical-peaked Mount Teide, standing over over 12,000ft (3,718m) and snow-capped in winter – dominates Tenerife and divides the island’s verdant north from the more arid south. But nowhere is more than about an hour away from anywhere else.

The north has two courses. Real Club de Golf de Tenerife, not far from Canaries capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is Spain’s second-oldest golf club and was founded 75 years ago. It can be played on weekday mornings. Also in the north, Seve Ballesteros sculpted the stunning Buenavista course from a wild and beautiful section of rocky coast in the heart of Teno Rural Park, flanked by the towering cliffs of the Teno Massif. Several holes on the back nine are set right on the shoreline, giving the impression you are playing shots into the sea itself, with spray from waves crashing into adjacent rocks as golfers putt on some greens. A large lake and tumbling waterfalls in front of the clubhouse feature on the 9th and 18th holes. Stands of graceful palm trees and sharp-spiked cacti edge most fairways. Afterwards, you can reflect on your glory moments and near misses from the upstairs restaurant and terrace bar in the clubhouse while taking in the magnificent vista of this Seve masterpiece, the rocky coastline and the brooding Atlantic beyond. Buenavista hosts the Tenerife Ladies Open this year and now boasts a new luxury hotel alongside. Golfers have more choice in the south, including Golf del Sur. It staged the island’s first professional golf tournament, the Tenerife Open, in 1989, two years after the course opened, the winner being Jose Maria Olazabal. Originally designed by Pepe Gancedo in 1987, Golf del Sur’s 27 holes were remodelled in 2005 and 2006 by fellow Spaniard Peter Ellegard

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March/April 2010

■ Costa Adeje Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Manuel Pinero, who brought out the ravine-edged course’s natural element more; its wealth of flowers, cacti and palm trees are in stark contrast to its black sand bunkers and the ravines.

■ The Abama course and hotel

■ Flowers and water at Amarilla

March/April 2010

Peter Ellegard

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

The course has a notable claim to fame; it was where British golfer Karl Woodward set two world records for the longest drive in 1995 – his second surpassing 408 yards, all carry! Nearby hotels include the San Blas and Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf. Amarilla Golf is another course right on the ocean. Designer Donald Steel teases players with the approach shot to the green of the par-4 4th, with the sea immediately behind. Then he taunts golfers with a tee shot right over the waves on the short but spectacular, par-3 5th. A marina forms the backdrop to several holes and there is also a horse riding club at Amarilla. Tenerife’s biggest resort, Playa de Las Americas, has a great golf course on its doorstep. Golf Las Americas is a green oasis nestling in a natural amphitheatre. The course encircles the large clubhouse and is interlaced with lakes and water channels, making for some testing challenges right from the first hole. The Hotel Las Madrigueras is among hotels situated right by Golf Las Americas, while the recently-renovated, luxury Hotel Sir Anthony and adjacent Hotel Cleopatra Palace

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Longest drive

■ Mountain backdrop at Golf del Sur

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


pack your clubs ■ tenerife, canary islands

■ Golf Las Americas

tenerife golf facts Tourist information Visit the Tenerife Tourism Corporation website at or call freephone: 00 800 100 101 00.


Terraces Just down the coast is 27-hole Golf Costa Adeje, the scene of my Ladies European Open horror shot. Another Pepe Gancedo layout on the site of a former banana plantation, the original 18-hole Old Course, which opened in 1998, uses the natural contours of the land to good effect, including on its wide greens. It incorporates old stone farm terraces on fairways which slope down to the sea and offer superb views of La Gomera. Looking seaward, they are all but invisible, yet look back and you can see the original dry stone terrace walls puncturing the fairways. The 9-hole Los Lagos Course is shorter but serves up more of a technical challenge, with six lakes for golfers to negotiate. Hotels near here include the turreted, five-star Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque Resort, Hotel Jardin Tropical, Iberostar’s Grand Hotel El Mirador and Grand Hotel Anthelia, and the Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa. As well as Tenerife’s 18-hole courses, there is also the 9-hole Centro de Golf los Palos facility. Designed by Jose Maria Olazabal’s company, Integral Golf Design, it is a par-27 layout with lakes and streams which is ideal for beginners or those wanting to work on their short game. It includes a clubhouse, restaurant and children’s playground.

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■ Mount Teide

Golf packages

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

are part of the Mare Nostrum Resort just a few minutes away. The Hotel Europe Villa Cortes, another golferfriendly property, is also close by. Water is also a strong theme at Tenerife’s newest addition, Abama, which opened in 2005 in Guia de Isora, on Tenerife’s west coast. There are 22 lakes to negotiate, complete with cascading waterfalls, on this Dave Thomas design which overlooks the sea and has views to La Gomera. The course, Tenerife’s longest, is laid out amid luxuriant flora and including many 90,000 palm trees. But its most striking feature is the luxury Abama hotel and villas, a pinkish-brown architectural marvel which resembles a Moorish citadel. It looms into view with the Atlantic behind on the downhill, par5 10th and sits alongside the next two holes. The hotel features eight swimming pools, a spa and its own private beach.

Getting there Tenerife is served by direct flights from several UK airports. Among airlines, Monarch ( operates from airports including Gatwick and Luton with fares, including taxes, starting from £77.50 one way (£138.99 return). Seats can be pre-booked at £8.50 per one-way and extra-legroom seats are available for £25.

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Tenerife Tourism Corporation

North-east trade winds and warm Atlantic waters keep Tenerife temperate year-round, with temperatures averaging 23ºC.

Tour operators offering Tenerife golf packages include Premier Iberian (0845 600 3391,,Your Golf Travel (0800 043 6644,, Golf Breaks (0800 279 7988,, Supertravel (020 7459 2984, and Golf Amigos (0845 230 3100, can also cruise and play golf in Tenerife and other islands in the Canaries with the Flagship Golf programme of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (01473 746175, ■ Tecina Golf Course

Courses Golf Costa Adeje

Abama Golf

Amarilla Golf

Buenavista Golf

Golf del Sur

Real Club de Golf de Tenerife

Golf Las Americas

Tecina Golf

The neighbouring island of La Gomera also has an 18-hole course. The Donald Steel-designed Tecina Golf course is set on a clifftop on the island’s southernmost tip, and is reached by a 40-minute fast ferry trip from Los Cristianos. Tenerife is one of my favourite golf destinations, and I am sure it won’t be long before I am back yet again. I just hope it won’t be a case of shanks for the memory next time…

March/April 2010

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tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine 53


Combine a cruise to the with some world class go Many golfers might consider a cruise holiday the last thing they would want to do – being at sea instead of on the green just doesn’t appeal. However, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has put together the perfect package to enable golfers to enjoy every aspect of the game, including some topclass tuition from a PGA professional, and D FKDQFH WR SOD\ VRPH RI WKH ZRUOG¶V ¿QHVW courses, while at the same time sampling all the other delights of life at sea. It is also the ideal holiday for golfers with non-playing partners, who can revel in the cruise experience, whilst the golfers get down to some serious play. They then get together after to enjoy the social activities on board. One of the best parts of the world IRU D JRO¿QJ KROLGD\ PXVW EH WKH &DQDU\ Islands. The islands boast so many superb courses – well-designed, challenging yet enjoyable, and taking in some stunning scenery – along with a balmy and mild climate year-round. Fred. Olsen’s Flagship Golf package features on many Canaries cruises and some of these also take in North African ports like Agadir and Morocco. The Flagship Golf package is made up of no fewer than four rounds of golf ashore, plus onboard tuition and practice sessions, with social activity for golfers and their non-playing partners. Green fees and transfers between ship and course are also included. There is a PGA professional in residence on each of the Fred. Olsen cruise ships, who will host the programme. He or she offers one-to-one tuition for

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those taking part in the programme. You can also use the onboard nets for practice, in between going ashore to play. In each port with a Flagship Golf session planned, you and your fellow players will be transferred to the course to enjoy a round at one of the superb courses featured in the programme, before re-joining the ship. In addition, there will be fun competitions, a cocktail party and a get-together for prizegiving at the end of the cruise. Partners are welcome at all these social events.

Casablanca – Mohammedia Royal Golf Club This has a fairway between pines and eucalyptus trees surrounded by a restless sea and white dunes. It is a windswept and challenging course.

La Gomera – Tecina Golf This course is on the south side of the LVODQG LQ WKH VPDOO ¿VKLQJ YLOODJH RI %HDFK Santiago. It boasts balmy temperatures, soft winds and wonderful views of nearby Tenerife.

Lanzarote – Golf Costa Teguise A lush green course, like an oasis on this island of volcanic rock, the green fairways are fringed by swaying palms. It is an 18-hole, 72-par course with level terrain for easy walking.

Las Palmas – Campo de Golf de Maspalomas Tenerife

Here are just a few of the superb courses included in the Canary Islands Flagship Golf programme:-

Agadir – Golf Club Med Les Dunes A well-landscaped course of international standard with three loops of nine holes, this course is a fair test of any golfer and very enjoyable to play.

Casablanca – El Jadida Royal Golf Set in a 300-acre site on the Atlantic coast, this is an exceptional course with superb views.

A course bordered by dunes with light breezes, this course boats an innovative two-storey driving range with a reach beyond 300 metres.

Madeira – Palheiro Golf 10km east of Funchal, with great views of the town and bay, this 18-hole 72-par course is set in the estate and parkland of Quinta do Palheiro and offers a worthy challenge for all handicaps. Full details of all the courses and the cruises offering Flagship Golf can be found on the website at The full Flagship Golf package is charged at just £375 per player on Canaries cruises. It must be pre-booked and golfers are

March/April 2010


Gran Canaria

glorious Canary Islands olf welcome to bring their own clubs, or they can hire them at the various golf clubs if they prefer (but they MUST have their own golf shoes). On those rare occasions when you are not playing golf or practicing on board, the small but elegant Fred. Olsen ships offer many attractive facilities and activities. There are spacious, elegant lounges for relaxing or taking in the entertainment, ample deck space to stroll or just enjoy the views in warm weather, plus swimming pools, hot tubs, D ¿WQHVV FHQWUH DQG EHDXW\ VDORQ ZLWK spa treatment rooms – not to mention an internet room, card room, library and much more. A full programme of activities – quizzes, deck games, lectures and talks – is offered on board daily. There are also many shore excursions in each port of call, so non-playing members of your party can explore the pretty white-washed towns and take in the striking volcanic scenery of the islands. Sumptuous meals are served in elegant dining rooms – there are both formal and informal options – and every night there will be a programme of entertainment to enjoy encompassing all kinds of music, comedy and dance.

March/April 2010

Sample cruise:Braemar has a 13-night cruise to the Canary Islands from Dover departing 5th October 2010, which offers the Flagship Golf package. This cruise visits Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Lisbon, returning to Dover. Funchal, Madeira’s capital, is famed for its beautiful botanic gardens and also the cathedral where Columbus prayed before setting off to cross the Atlantic. Tenerife is also a very popular island, with its black sand beaches, sheer cliffs, tropical forests DQG WKH PDJQL¿FHQW 0RXQW 7LHGH ZKLFK DW 3,700 metres high looms over the islands. In La Palma there are Spanish-style whitewashed houses with ornate balconies and shady courtyards and the island is a delight to explore. Prices for the cruise (excluding Flagship Golf) start from £1,124 per person, based on two sharing an inside twin cabin. The price includes all meals and entertainment on board and port taxes. Flagship Golf is an extra £375 per player.

To participate in Flagship Golf you must have relevant golf insurance, as well as a YDOLG KDQGLFDS FHUWLÂżFDWH



tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine


coming next + competition

■ Santorini island, Greece


WIN one of five copies of the new thriller, blueeyedboy, by Joanne Harris

Don’t miss out on the May/June 2010 issue of

Peter Ellegard

getting to know the Greek Islands Greece is the word

Focus on “the Venice of the North” – from clogs to canals

Open Golf Club, France

escape to Amsterdam pack your clubs

on your doorstep

The Scilly Isles – an island paradise

let’s try

Voluntourism PLUS – all our other regular features,

Swing across the Channel to the courses of Northern France

Projects Abroad

America’s spectacular Pacific Northwest region

Amsterdam Toerisme & Congres Bureau

off the beaten track

f you enjoyed reading the Azores feature by Joanne Harris and are a fan of her bestselling novels, which include Gentlemen and Players and The Lollipop Shoes as well as Chocolat (which was turned into a movie starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), you will love her brilliant latest novel. A gripping psychological thriller, blueeyedboy is a dark and cleverly-plotted tale of synaesthesia; deceit; revenge; a chillingly dysfunctional family; a blind child prodigy who “sees” music and a murderer who is not what he seems. BB, or blueeyedboy, is a middle-aged man in a dead-end job, who lives with his mother in Malbry, the Yorkshire town first encountered in Gentlemen & Players. To escape his humdrum life, BB re-invents himself online and plays out his murderous fantasies by means of a website called badguysrock. Through this virtual community he manipulates online friends and enemies alike. The scope for deception and fantasy offered by the internet fits perfectly with Joanne Harris’s spellbinding narrative skills and with blueeyedboy she reaches new heights. Unsettling, anarchic, audacious, compelling, and with more than a dash of black humour, this is Joanne Harris – with a twist. Published on April 1 by Doubleday, blueeyedboy costs £18.99. But you can win a copy free through TLM. We have five copies to give away in an easy to enter competition.


How to Enter

special offers, competitions and giveaways

For your chance to win one of five copies of blueeyedboy, simply answer the following question:

Out May 2010

Question: What is the name of Joanne Harris’s teenage daughter?

Subscribe to TLM and save Want to guarantee getting every issue of TLM? Then take out a subscription: just £10 for 6 issues – a saving of over 30%. Go to for details.

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To enter the competition, please go to and click on the competition & giveaways button. See the website for terms & conditions. Closing date is April 30, 2010. The first correct entry drawn will win.

March/April 2010

■ Rochester’s cathedral and castle


Visit Kent

on your doorstep ■ maritime kent


The beguiling charm of Kent’s coast has long held Peter Ellegard under its spell, despite living all his life across the Thames in Essex. It’s an affair of the heart, he readily admits or as long as I can remember I have gazed across the wide expanse of the Thames Estuary at it; the low hills and green fields beckoning, the lights of Whitstable twinkling at twilight just beyond Sheppey’s eastern edge, and on clear days the twin towers of Reculver’s ancient church visible in the far distance. I even cut my teeth on that view. As a lad we lived on Southend seafront, and while looking out across the Thames one day I slipped and chipped my front teeth on the pebbledashed window ledge. Essex born and bred I may be, but Kent, and particularly its coast, has always filled me with fascination. And, OK, envy. Whenever winter brings snow off the


March/April 2010

North Sea, the clouds always seem to skirt my little corner of East Anglia and dump their load on Kent, piling it high on fields and roads while all we get is sleety or snowy drizzle – what we call snizzle. Conversely, in summer, the sea breezes keep us cool while over in Kent they bask in tropical heat. My first visits were back in the days of the paddle steamers from Southend Pier, which took day trippers to Herne Bay, Ramsgate and Margate. On school trips I sailed across to the Medway, marvelling at Rochester’s castle. The Medway towns still draw me back. Urban sprawl may have grown around Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester, but there are still hidden gems to discover.

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


on your doorstep ■ maritime kent

On a recent visit south of the Dartford Crossing (why isn’t it the Thurrock Crossing?) I spent a delightful evening exploring the pretty village of Upnor. It is only just downstream from Chatham across the Medway as it sweeps round in a huge arc, but it felt a world away as I sat with my pint in a pub garden by the sea wall and watched the warm sunset glow light up the moored boats bobbing on the river.

■ View of Canterbury Cathedral

Peter Ellegard


Coastal gateway Canterbury has always been the principal gateway to the Kent coast and pilgrims have flocked to its ornate cathedral ever since Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered there in 1170.Today it is tourists who come in pilgrimage, for its 12th century spire and stained glass, and the tomb of the Black Prince. Canterbury Cathedral ( is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church. Step back to medieval Canterbury and join Geoffrey Chaucer’s pilgrims on their journey from London at the Canterbury Tales attraction ( Take a guided walk or self-guided tour of the city’s maze of side streets, visiting the oldest Franciscan building in Britain – Greyfriars – and ruined Norman castle among other treasures, or take a boat tour on the River Stour. Just outside the city is Howletts (, a 90-acre animal park with gorillas, elephants, tigers, bison and rare monkeys.

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At the bottom of the cobbled High Street is Upnor Castle, a well-preserved Elizabethan artillery fortress which is open from April to October. Its guns failed to stop the Dutch sailing up the Medway in 1667 and attacking the British fleet at anchor off Chatham. With its 113ft (34m) high keep, the tallest in England, Rochester Castle is even more impressive. Its gardens and moat area host events throughout the year, including open-air concerts. Both castles are run by English Heritage (, as is Temple Manor, a 13th century Knights Templar house in nearby Strood. Rochester Cathedral is England’s second-oldest, with 1,400 years of history. No longer a working naval port, Chatham’s maritime heritage is preserved in the Historic Dockyard (, which marked its 25th anniversary in 2009. Set in 80 acres of Georgian and Victorian architecture, costumed guides help brings its 400 years of maritime history alive for visitors. Attractions include the three-masted sloop, HMS Gannet, built downriver at Sheerness in 1878, as well as a submarine and the destroyer, HMS Cavalier, which is berthed where Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, was built. You can also see how rope was made, watch steam engines and sail on venerable paddle steamer Kingswear Castle (, which operates Medway cruises and even occasionally visits Southend. Shopaholics have bags of choice at the Dockside Outlet Centre ( at Chatham Maritime, next to the dockyard, with more than 40 brand-name shops offering discounts. Charles Dickens spent part of his childhood in Chatham and the last 13 years of his life living near Rochester, and he is celebrated at Dickens World (, also alongside the dockyard. This indoor complex is based around the life, books and times of Dickens, taking visitors on a journey back to the streets, sounds and smells of the 19th century. More Dickens history can be seen at the free Guildhall Museum in Rochester (

Oysters Hop across to market town Faversham to tour Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, which has been brewing since 1698 ( You can go sailing for a day on the veteran, 1892-built Thames Barge, Greta (, from Faversham. Whitstable, on the North Kent coast, is famous for its oysters (it has the country’s largest commercial hatch-

March/April 2010

on your doorstep ■ maritime kent

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Peter Ellegard

■ Whitstable beach

■ HMS Gannet at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham ■ St Margaret’s Bay

ery) and you can sample them on the beachfront at the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company ( On balmy summer days, nothing beats a picnic on the beach looking across to Essex followed by a promenade stroll and a pint at the Old Neptune pub ( or a local brew from a seafront kiosk. Buy fresh oysters and fish at the harbourside fish market and browse the work of local artists at the next-door harbour market. You can also walk or cycle the Crab & Winkle Way; it traces the route of the world’s first regular steam passenger railway, which linked Whitstable Harbour with Canterbury between 1830 and 1952 and was engineered by George Stephenson and his son, Robert. Beyond Herne Bay and Reculver lies Thanet, the sticky-out corner of Kent that takes in the county’s three top seaside resorts – Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Between them, they offer 15 sandy beaches and bays, 10 of the beaches holding the European Blue Flag award, as well as the longest continuous stretch of chalk cliffs and the only Royal Harbour (at Ramsgate) in Britain. Explore quaint streets, hunt out boutique bargains and laze over coffee at seafront cafes.

March/April 2010

■ Oysters at Whitstable harbour

Visit Kent

Peter Ellegard

Roman invasion Just south of Ramsgate is one of Britain’s most important, yet unsung, historic sites. Almost 100 years after Julius Caesar’s first expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54BC, the Romans invaded in AD43 on the orders of emperor Claudius. They landed at a site called Rutupiae (now Richborough), on the Wantsum Channel which then cut the Isle of Thanet from the rest of Kent and linked to the

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


■ Richborough Fort ruins

maritime kent facts

Thames Estuary at Reculver. Forts were built at both. Two miles from the sea today, Richborough was the gateway to the new Roman province of Britannia and was the starting point of Watling Street. It became a busy town and port, built around a massive triumphal arch clad in white marble which was erected in AD85. But by AD275 the town had been cleared and the arch pulled down to incorporate into the walls of the fort, and by the early 5th century troops were no longer stationed there. Today, the thick fort walls, foundations and ditches are all that remains of this once-vital link in the Roman Empire. It is managed by English Heritage. Sandwich also owes its existence to the Wantsum Channel, which created the natural harbour that helped it become a major port, notably between the 11th and 13th centuries. It was one of the five Cinque Ports, along with Dover, Romney, Hythe and Hastings. They wielded power and wealth third only to the Crown and the Church. Sandwich later became a weaving centre and market town. Its rich heritage includes remnants of the Old Town Wall, Fisher Gate and its Elizabethan-era Guildhall. A stroll through its narrow, medieval streets yields delights such as Holy Ghost Alley. You can also take a cruise from the quay.

Getting around A car is easiest way for getting around, but you can explore the Medway area on Arriva’s Medway Mainline bus services with the Arriva Inner Medway Ticket allowing you to hop on and off at various places. Tickets can be bought from bus drivers or at the Medway Visitor Information Centre in Rochester.

Accommodation Kent’s coast has accommodation to fit every budget, from luxury hotels to seaside B&Bs and self-catering. Get a real local flavour by staying in a pub. Just outside Sandwich in the pretty village of Worth is the St Crispin Inn, a traditional 15th ■ Sandwich century pub offering four-star B&B accommodation in six rooms and home-cooked food.

Events There are many festivals and other events around Kent’s coastal region. Rochester ( stages an annual Sweeps Festival (May 1-3 this year), celebrating chimney sweeps’ traditional May Day holiday, and an annual Dickens Festival (June 4-6).The Sandwich Festival ( is a week of cultural, music, sporty and fun events in August (2010 dates tba).

Information Find out more information on Maritime Kent from Visit Kent (

White cliffs Nearby Royal St George’s Golf Course is one of England’s premier courses and hosts The Open for the 14th time in 2011. Also close by is the Rare Species Conservation Centre (, home to a unique collection of rare and endangered animals. Deal and Walmer castles were built by Henry VIII in the shape of a Tudor rose, as was Sandown Castle north of Deal – now all but gone. Visit Dover Castle and explore secret wartime tunnels deep in the cliffs below. All the castles are English Heritage. This part of the Kent coast is White Cliffs Country (, and Dover’s famous cliffs offer wonderful walks on the National Trust-managed clifftop chalk grasslands. St Margaret’s Bay, where Noel Coward and Ian Fleming both lived, hides an

60 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Peter Ellegard

■ St Margaret’s Bay

Visit Kent

■ Broadstairs Rail: Southeastern trains serve the Medway towns, north and east Kent coasts from London. High-speed trains also now link Medway with London’s St Pancras International station. Road:The Kent coast has easy access via the M2/A2 and M20 motorways. National Express coaches run from London Victoria to the region.

Peter Ellegard

Peter Ellegard

Getting there

enchanting little treasure at the foot of the towering cliffs. Watch the ferries bustling in and out of Dover as you feast on exquisite local food at the Coastguard pub restaurant ( But leave space for the cheese platter . Beyond Dover lies Folkestone, Hythe and Lympne, where the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park ( has the largest herd of captive-bred black rhinos outside Africa. Then there is the flat expanse of Romney Marsh, best enjoyed from the miniature carriages on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway ( It runs to Dungeness, where you can climb the Grade II-listed Old Lighthouse ( for glorious views of the Channel and countryside. I’m not sure what it is about this coastal siren that keeps drawing me back, but I know one thing; from where I sit, the grass is definitely greener over in Kent.

March/April 2010

london life ■ the south bank

beautiful South

visitlondonimages/ britainonview/ Pawel Libera

■ The London Eye and County Hall lit up at night


London’s South Bank show is a real eyeful


things to do The Merlin Entertainments London Eye Riverside Building, County Hall, SE1 7PB One of London’s favourite attractions, this iconic landmark is a must-do for unrivalled views of the city. All tickets now

from a marshy expanse of slum housing to warehouses, factories and entertainment venues in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the railway dominating the area. Second World War bombing raids devastated the area but, ultimately, were responsible for its regeneration when the bombed-out riverside was cleared and built on for the site of the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Royal Festival Hall remained as a permanent legacy and after a recent major refurbishment now makes up part of the 21 acres of the South

include the new 4D Experience, a 3D film featuring spectacular in-theatre effects such as wind, bubbles and mist, and adding an amazing fourth dimension. Throughout March to celebrate the Eye’s 10th birthday, all 10am flights can be booked for £10 per adult and £5 per child.

62 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Open: October-March, daily 10am-8pm; April/September, daily 10am-9pm; May/June, Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri & Sat 10am-9.30pm; July/August, daily 10am9.30pm. Cost: £17.88 per adult, children 4-15 years £9.50. Family tickets £49.28. Book online and save 10%.

Bank Centre, along with the 1960s-built Hayward Gallery, the largest public art exhibition space in the country, reopening after essential repairs on June 19 with the Ernesto Neto exhibition. Other essential art viewing is at the imposing Tate Modern, formerly a power station. From shopping and meeting friends for lunch, to a riverside walk taking in the views of the city or indulging your artistic side at the many arts and theatre venues, the South Bank is an area destined to be explored.

Tel: 0871 781 3000 SEA LIFE London Aquarium Riverside Building, County Hall, SE1 7PB The jewel in the crown of the UK’s SEA LIFE centres, the London Aquarium has been redesigned with new dis-

■ The Tate Modern gallery

plays including a stunning glass Ocean Tunnel where

March/April 2010

visitlondonimages/ britainonview

ome of London’s most iconic buildings line the south side of the River Thames. From the London Eye to the OXO Tower and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and with a wealth of attractions, shopping and restaurants, not to mention a vibrant arts and cultural community, the South Bank is an area of unique contrasts. Originally isolated and defined by the Thames, the South Bank developed very differently from the affluent north side, moving

london life ■ the south bank

VisitLondonImages/Pawel Libera

■ The South Bank

restaurants/ dining Think of any dining experience and you can find it on the South Bank. Stop for an alfresco lunch or snacks at Gabriel’s Wharf,

March/April 2010

OXO Tower Wharf Barge House Street, SE1 9PH A riverside landmark since the 1930s, the OXO Tower’s renowned restaurant bar and brasserie makes an ideal meeting spot for drinks or dinner with friends with fabulous views over the Thames. Tel: 020 7803 3888 output/Page128.asp Pieminister 11 Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP Open seven days a week, Pieminister’s branch at Gabriel’s Wharf serves delicious, award-winning handmade pies from just £3.75, or £5.50 adding mash and gravy. A British tradition to be upheld! Tel: 020 7928 5755


Did you know? ● The London Eye is the fourth-tallest structure in London at over 440ft, the equivalent of 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other. Its spindle and hub weigh in at 330 tonnes – over 20 times heavier than Big Ben. ● The letters that spell out OXO on the OXO Tower are in fact stained glass windows, and were designed to circumvent strict exterior advertising laws. ● Most of the labour on the current construction of ■ The OXO Tower Waterloo Bridge, opened in 1945, was carried out by female workers due to labour shortages. ● The original operating theatre of St Thomas’s Hospital was built in the roof space of St Thomas’s Church, purpose-built to maximise the light from above.

getting there

Watch those pennies: Premier Inn London County Hall, County Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 7PB Tel: 0870 238 3300

● For families: combine a visit to the London Aquarium with a Thames river cruise. ● For couples: take a romantic champagne night flight on the London Eye. ● For value: view the best in British art for free at the Tate Modern. ● For luxury: enjoy the fabulous five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu at the OXO Tower Restaurant.

■ Gabriel’s Wharf

Train: Waterloo, Waterloo East Tube: Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee and Northern lines), Southwark (Jubilee Line), Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines)

staying there

Suits you

From the splendour of Harvey Nichols to an eclectic mix of boutiques and arts-related shops, shopping on the South Bank is an unqualified pleasure. David Ashton G2 OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street,

Game of Graces 6 Gabriel’s Wharf, SE1 9PH Luxurious ladies wear for any occasion designed by Irena Lane and featuring elegant 1950s style dresses and vintage skirts, tops, jackets and accessories. Tel: 020 7928 4050


BFI Imax 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, SE1 8XR Immerse yourself in the ultimate cinema 3D experience; with a screen over 65ft high, plush seats, including double ones for very close friends, 11,600 watts of digital surroundsound and the most sophisticated motion-picture projection system in the world, you will literally feel like you are in the picture. Costs and film times vary, check with BFI Imax for full details. Tel: 020 7199 6000

be a theatre lovey taking drinks or a pre-theatre supper at one of the many arts centres, or enjoy great views from the OXO Tower.


visitors can admire graceful green turtles. The tunnel leads to a dramatic shipwreck, and the nail biting Shark Walk offers a fitting finale to your visit. Don’t miss feeding the stingrays. Open: Open daily except Christmas Day. MonThurs, 10am-6pm, FriSun 10am-7pm. Cost: £17.50 per adult, children 3-14 years £12.50. Family tickets £54.00. Tel: 0871 663 1678

SE1 9PH High-quality, precision handmade jewellery made using primarily diamonds, sapphires and rubies, with pieces being made on commission. Tel: 020 7401 2405

Splash out: London Marriott Hotel County Hall, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7PB Tel: 0207 928 5200 Brand new: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, 200 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7UT Tel: 0844 415 6780 hotels/gbwestmi

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


london ■ news

■ Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

■ The stego saw us? Inset: Dino fan

t’s not every day that a visit to Oxford Street could also mean encountering a diplodocus or a stegosaurus in a Jurassic forest but the new Dinosaurs Unleashed animatronic attraction at Parklife Oxford Street brings 24 life-size creatures to the streets. This full-scale lifelike prehistoric exhibition is ideal for all the family, particularly young budding palaeontologists, with interactive games and displays and creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods as well as the world’s first prehistoric aquarium. Running until April 30, Dinosaurs Unleashed tickets can be pre-booked online or over the phone, saving £1 per ticket, although a booking fee is payable. Pre-booked tickets also give priority entrance. Prices start from £15 per adult

Charles Hosea


Olympic parklands s London gears up for the 2012 Olympics, plans have been outlined for the London 2012 Olympic Park which will transform east London after the Games. With work already underway to create the largest new urban park in the UK for over 100 years by creating around 250 acres of parklands, further plans include “hanging gardens” above the footbridge from Stratford City with meadows, lawns and shrubs and

and £11 per child aged 4-14. Dinosaurs Unleashed Open: 10am-6pm Tues-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun, 10am-6pm March 29, April 5 and April 12 (allow 30-90 minutes; this is a walk-round experience and not a show). Parklife Oxford Street 33b North Row, W1K 6DE Tel: 0844 847 1770

Theatre & show news

The annual Night of 1,000 Voices event celebrates its 10th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, May 2 with tributes to musical theatre and Stephen Sondheim. ■ Royal Hosted by Aled Jones in aid of the Albert Hall Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity, tickets start at £17.50 from


■ Artist’s impression of Olympic Park

rows of trees at the entrance to the park. ● For more information

64 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Charles Hosea

Dino might on view

on how plans for London 2012 are progressing, go to

Marcus Ginns

Discover the colourful past of the Old Royal Naval College and Maritime Greenwich in the new £6 million contemporary cultural venue, Discover Greenwich. Opening March 23 and using state-ofthe-art interpretation techniques, the story of Maritime Greenwich and 500 years of history from Henry VIII’s Tudor Palace,Wren’s Royal Hospital for Seamen and the Royal Naval College is explored through displays of historic objects on show for the first time. Highlights include the reconstruction of a Tudor window from Henry VIII’s palace using original stonework and the installation of eight ■ Glass painting at Greenwich giant copper brewing vessels at The Old Brewery, a new restaurant and bar containing a micro-brewery. It continues the ancient tradition of brewing on the exact spot of the 1832 brewhouse.

Discover Greenwich

Discover Greenwich

Naval gazing

For an evening with a difference, visit the Wam Bam Club at the Cafe de Paris on Piccadilly Circus any Saturday in March and April for comedy, magic, music and burlesque in a fresh, fun and wildly unpredictable show.Tickets start at £35 online or £50 on the door, with dinner packages also available.

March/April 2010

Experience the Household Cavalry Story in London’s Royal Heartland

Open daily from 10am

2 for 1 entry on a £6.00 adult ticket with this advert. Offer ends 31/08/10

The Household Cavalry Museum Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX

March/April 2010

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine 65

best for ■ hotels

■ View of Cliveden on arrival

von Essen Hotels

Grand designs Checking out: Cliveden,Taplow

House guests Actually hotel is the wrong way to describe it. When you reach the side gate – the main gate is used by National Trust visitors, as the house and grounds are owned by the National Trust with the house leased to von Essen – a small notice next to the automatic gate welcoming “house guests” is the only sign that you have arrived at the right entrance.

March/April 2010

Chandeliers Dining is an epicurean experience. I ate in the Terrace Dining Room, resembling a great library with chandeliers. There is also the flagship restaurant, Waldo’s, or the less formal Club Room. Outside, Cliveden’s walled garden and heated outdoor pool, adjacent to the chiming clock tower, also featured heavily in the Profumo scandal. A Pavilion Spa has since been added, with an indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpool spas. There are also indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a gym. Or you can simply work off your meal with a stroll around the glorious grounds, while red-tailed kites hover in the wind above trees swathed in mistletoe. Peter Ellegard

factbox Cliveden Taplow, Berkshire SL6 0JF Tel: 01628 668561

Best for ● Romantic escapes ● Pure indulgence ● Feeling like royalty ● Fine dining Could do better ● Fix those clanking pipes

■ The Terrace dining room

■ The Great Hall

tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine

Peter Ellegard


And what an The interior is arrival! The gravyet more ornate. el drive sweeps You are led you past the through the lavishlysumptuous carved Great Hall, Fountain of complete with Love and on dark oak panup the grand elling, rich tapavenue towards estries and its the 1851-built, richly-decorative ■ Terrace statue Grade I house, where 16th century stone Peter Ellegard your bags are promptly chimneypiece, up oak-panwhisked away by footmen (note, elled stairs with newel posts not bellboys). Again, inside just a topped by carved figures. small plaque discreetly welcomes A terrace looks out over the house guests parterre (formal garden) and

von Essen Hotels

t has burnt down twice, been home to three dukes, an earl and a Prince of Wales, and has played host to virtually every British monarch since George I. It was where the world’s rich and powerful came to stay and party. And it was the setting for one of the biggest scandals to rock British politics. As the home of American Socialite Nancy Astor it was a social hub, entertaining guests including Charlie Chaplin, President Roosevelt and George Bernard Shaw. Winston Churchill learnt to punt on the Thames, which flows past the extensive grounds, while staying there. But today, anyone can stay at the grand Italianate mansion, as Cliveden is one of the jewels of the von Essen Hotels collection.

down to the Thames below, as well as the beautiful Berkshire countryside beyond. This stretch of the river, between Windsor and Henley, is said to be the prettiest. In weather warmer than during my stay, you can cruise from the mock-Tudor boathouse on Cliveden’s fleet of vintage launches for a riverside picnic. Close by is the Tudor-esque Spring Cottage, which you can rent complete with personal butler. Showgirl Christine Keeler was staying here in 1961 when she met married Cabinet minister John Profumo and they began a sexual relationship.


for luxury day spa and retreats

The Lorrens Ladies Health Hydro Cary Park, Torquay 01803 329994

Best Western

Situated in the centre of Banchory the hotel is ideally located for touring the North East of Scotland and the City of Aberdeen. The hotel is within easy walking distance of Banchory Golf Club and numerous local attractions. Ample parking to the rear. * 18 en-suite bedrooms * 2 lively Bars serving Bar Meals * 2 Function Suites for Weddings, Dinners and Parties * Wining and Dining in the restaurant to suit all tastes. 25 High Street, Banchory, Aberdeenshire AB31 5TD Tel: 01330 824944 68 tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine

Norton Grange Coastal Resort I I I I I I I I I

Inclusive half board short breaks Beautiful secluded setting Spectacular Solent views En Suite Chalet Accommodation Live entertainment & cabaret Leisure Facilities Exclusively for adults Ferry inclusive breaks available. Weekend breaks from just ÂŁ139pppb, quote 22TG8 Halletts Shute, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0SD Tel. 01983 760323 Fax. 01983 760468 March/April 2010

March/April 2010

tlm â– the travel & leisure magazine 69

out & about ■ what’s on and where

Shiver your timbers – and win

■ The bar at the Crown Inn

The Crown

FREE LEGOLAND® family tickets

Little chefs

■ The kitchen at the Olde Bell

70 tlm ■ the travel & leisure magazine


valid from March 20-November 7, go to and click on competitions and giveaways. Terms and conditions apply. Closing date April 30, 2010.

READER OFFER Cut out the voucher below to get a FREE child entry when accompanied by a full paying adult:

The Olde Bell

Get your children into the kitchen with a series of cooking classes for children at two of the UK’s most historic coaching inns while they are off school.The Olde Bell in Hurley, near Henley-on-Thames, has been an inn since the 12th century and this Easter will see the first two of eight cookery classes taking place during the 2010 school holidays. Bread will be the focus in the first class, on April 6, followed by chocolate on April 13, with chocolate fondant the featured recipe. Future classes will focus on sugar, vegetables, fish, pasta, fruit and potatoes.The Crown, a 16th century inn in Amersham, has a bread cookery class on April 15. It is also offering egg blowing for children at 11am on April 3, at £10 per child. The cookery classes are suitable for children of all ages.They start at 11am and cost £10 per child. Only 15 places are available, so early booking is essential. Call the Olde Bell on 01628 825881 or the Crown on 01494 721541. Go to for more information on the inns.

f you have any budding Jack Sparrows in the family, set sail for LEGOLAND® Windsor to visit the new Pirates Landing, the park’s third new land in three years. As well as the new Jolly Rocker swinging pirate ship, a huge LEGO galleon that swings to nearly 60 feet (18 metres), wannabe pirates can take to the high seas on the Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench water ride and experience explosive effects and water cannons. Children can learn swashbuckling and seafaring skills at Pirates Training Camp and watch the exciting new stunt show, Pirates of Skeleton Bay. As well as over 55 interactive rides, live shows, workshops and driving schools, LEGOLAND Windsor has 55 million LEGO bricks, all set in 150 acres of parkland. Go to for opening times and prices. ● For the chance to WIN one of three sets of four one-day tickets to the park,

March/April 2010

out & about ■ what’s on and where

Eggciting Easter events

● Go Easter Ori-egg-teering at Hadleigh Castle Country Park, near Southend, and navigate your way round the park to find the eggs and chicks. April 5, 11am-1.30pm, £4 per child, to include a prize.Tel: 01702 551702;

Essex County Council

■ Marsh Farm Country Park

■ Oxburgh Hall

● Marsh Farm Country Park at South Woodham Ferrers has an Easter fun

Scudamore’s Punting Company Ltd

weekend with hunting from egg to egg, a chance to meet the bunnies and make an Easter bonnet to take place in the parade. April 2-5, 10am-5pm.Tel: 01245 321552; ● The 15th century, moated Oxburgh Hall, near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, has an Easter trail as well as egg and spoon racing and traditional egg-rolling.

Punt and hunt NTPL/Matthew Antrobus

■ Hadleigh Castle

Essex County Council

Easter events abound in the South East, including several in Essex country parks. Take your pick from these:

■ Punting on the River Cam

April 3-5, 11am-4pm, £1.50 per child for the trail.Tel 01366 328258; ● Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, historic site of secret British code breaking activities during World War II, is holding an Easter Eggstravaganza family event including Easter egg competitions, games and toy workshops April 5, 10.30am-5pm.Tel: 01908 640404;

Fancy an Easter treasure hunt with a difference? Then board a punt in Cambridge for an Adults Easter Challenge or Children’s Easter Bunny Hunt.The children’s event leads teams to their own chocolate bunny or egg by answering questions located in town and on the river. For adults, the Easter Challenge follows a punting and walking route with questions and team tasks. Organised by Scudamore’s Punting Company and Visit Cambridge, the treasure hunts take place from Friday, April 2, to Sunday, April 18.The Easter Bunny Hunt costs £35 per group per punt for up to 75 minutes self-hire punting and an edible prize, while the Easter Challenge is £50 per group per punt for up to 90 minutes plus a prize. Go to for details and conditions. ● Readers can get a £5 DISCOUNT on tickets in advance by calling 01223 359750 and quoting TLM.

Night at the museum 2 pend a spooky night as museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK including the South East open their doors for the annual after-hours Museums at Night events. Over the weekend of May 14-16 you can investigate a murder, tour a cathedral and sleep in a bunker. Go to for more information. Events include:


A Murder in the Mast House Ghost Investigation The Historic Dockyard, Chatham The Historic Dockyard in Chatham hosts an overnight Ghost Investigation in the Mast House and Mould loft, reputed to be haunted since a murder there in 1875. This overnight stay looks into the murder and offers the

March/April 2010

chance to experience possible ghostly goingson. May 14-16, 9.30pm-3am, £30 per person (not suitable for children). Tel: 01634 823814.

Cathedral Tour and Guildhall Sleepover Norwich Cathedral/ Guildhall Take a night time tour of the cloister and labyrinth of Norwich’s 900-year old cathedral or witness a mock trial of a Protestant martyr ■ Norwich Cathedral burned for heresy during the 15th century, part of a spooky

sleepover in the medieval Guildhall. Cathedral tour, May 14, 8-10pm £2.50 per child, adults free (suitable for over 8s). Tel: 01603 218320 or 218327. Guildhall Sleepover, May 15, 7pm-9am, admission tbc. Tel: 01603 599577.

A Night in the Bunker Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, Whitehall Spend the night in Churchill’s atmospheric World War II shelter beneath the streets of Whitehall. ■ Churchill's bedroom As in the Blitz, participants must bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. The evening includes dinner, breakfast and a cash bar. May 14, 6.30pm-7am, £45 per person (over 18s only). Tel: 020 7930 6961.

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March/April 2010

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travel and leisure directory Budget Accommodation

Channel Islands



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Motor Homes Motorhome hire in Scotland 2, 4, 5 and 6-berth motorhomes. Ideal for touring within Scotland and further afield. All vehicles are fully equipped (bedding optional). Our package includes unlimited mileage, full insurance, AA cover. End-of-season motorhome sales For brochure contact Brown’s Motorhome Hire, Garrion Bridge Larkhall ML9 2UD (nr Glasgow)

To advertise in the travel & leisure magazine please call 01737 735587

Tel/Fax: 01698 886255

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Welcome to the new look TLM.After many years as The Travel & Leisure Magazine,we felt it was time for a change. So we have given the magazin...