The British countryside has inspired painters, writers, and many other artists throughout the centuries. Today, escaping to the countryside is the dream of many city dwellers, so in this article we have listed some of the UK’s best-rated (and less crowded) rural destinations. You are guaranteed to find a place that tickles your fancy whether you are coming from the North, the capital, or the West of the country.
Tourists flock to Cumbria to explore the Lake District National Park, which is one of the finest examples of natural beauty in the United Kingdom. The attractive towns and villages of the area offer visitors the possibility to stay in charming cottages or in rural retreats.
However, if you want to beat the crowds and enjoy the peacefulness and splendor of the Cumbrian countryside, head to the Pennines, a spectacular mountain rage that rises almost 3,000 feet above sea level. This is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty made up of valleys, moorlands, limestone caves, and a few picturesque villages, like Alston or Garrigill, where visitors can stay overnight.
Although the Home Counties might be listed as one of Britain’s top tourist destinations, the area is not short of attractions, especially for lovers of rural life and traditional English heritage. Bedfordshire is home to several outstanding market towns, such as Ampthill, Biggleswade, and Sandy. Bedford itself has been a market town for over eight centuries. Woburn Abbey is also worth stopping by, as this fine estate is surrounded by 30 acres of carefully manicured gardens and by a 3,000-acre forest and deer park.
The Luton Hoo Hotel in Bedfordshire is a good base for visitors interested in touring around the Bedfordshire countryside. This 5-star hotel, golf resort, and spa is conveniently located a few miles away from Luton, although its location amidst 1,000 acres of woodlands means that the venue is perfect to escape the pressures of everyday life.
The Black Mountains
Located right at the border between England and Wales, the Black mountains are generally overlooked by tourists. Narrow valleys, ridges, hiking and cycling trails, medieval castles and priories, and delightful villages are some of the area’s attractions. The charming market town of Hay-on-Wye is a pleasant stop for those travelling to or from the Black Mountains. The town (also known as the United Kingdom’s book capital due to its large number of bookstores) offers an interesting range of accommodation options, which includes inns, lodges, hotels, and bed and breakfasts.
Other places worth visiting in the area include the town of Talgarth, where you can go pony trekking and gliding in and above the mountains, and Crickhowell, a quaint market town half way between the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park.
If you are planning to visit Bodh Gaya on peak season you should reserved hotel/guest house in advance. You should know too that guest house is expensive in Bodh Gaya than in other city you previously visited. My husband booked reservation at Welcome Guest House, at first I didn’t know that the name of the guest house is Welcome.
The guest house was owned by a young entrepreneur guy (sorry I forgot his name), he owns the souvenir shop and clothes shop seen on the picture. He is friendly and entertaining, the guest house was good location because it was just few minutes walk to the main temple and there are few restaurants below the row building.
France is quite well known for its beautiful scenic views and drives. The old films showed it much better than any photographs can depict, but the fun thing is to travel and visit for oneself. One of the most scenic places in France is the Route des Grands Crus. It is a must-have experience – a necessary item for any travel lover’s bucket list. Everyone likes vineyards, after all!
The region is famous for its Burgundy wines and is filled with beautiful vineyards. Wine production in the region has been established since the times of Charlemagne, so the vineyard owners are justifiably proud of their little, or not so little, vineyards. This region is also very easy to reach from some of the main cities of France. Located at a distance of approximately 1.5 hours by car from both Paris and Lyon, the Route des Grands Crus is a major attraction of Bourgogne. For tourists desiring to make this trip, there are many popular car rental agencies in both Paris and Lyon, like Alamo and Avis.
The Route des Grand Crus, situated in Burgundy is a scenic route stretching from Dijon to Santenay for 60 kilometers. This spectacular route has became a famous tourist drive over the years. Covering 37 villages and towns, this gorgeous drive covers many vineyards producing different kinds of grapes used in Burgundy wine production. Each vineyard is small, only about 10 – 15 hectares, so they are very well maintained and a pleasure to watch as they flash by. The road is well paved and there is also a cycling path for those who want to ride there in summer, enjoying the nice breeze, and feeling the warmth of the mild sun.
Not only are the vineyards beautiful to watch, but the small stops in the villages on this route are worth the experience. Each village has its own tradition of wine making and its own history, and the local people are quite proud to explain why their way is superior.
At times during the drive, the vineyards give way to beautiful hills, forests and cliffs. The drive passes through certain historical spots as well, the most famous among them being the Vosne-Romanée chateau, famous for the Romanée Conti wines. Another famous spot to check out along the way is the amazing steep coloured-tile roof of Château Corton-André. The Château de La Rochepot, also located on the route, is worth a visit. Many of the small villages have old churches and community buildings still standing.
For those preferring a more athletic experience, there are several hiking trails set in various parts of the route, like the Sentier des Roches which moves across the Baubigny cliffs.
For information and assistance in undertaking a trip to the Route des Grands Crus, the Burgundy Today website is an excellent resource. This is certainly an experience worth having!
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, and is located just off the western coast of Greece. This beautiful stretch of land has one of the highest tourist rates in Europe, and that’s because the views from the hills and shores are second to none. Although Kefalonia lies in the heart of an earthquake zone, there hasn’t been a major earthquake here since the 1950s.
Argostoli, Kefalonia’s major settlement, is the most densely populated region on the island. With an Elevation of over 1600m, Mount Ainos is Kefalonia’s highest mountain, and one of the most popular attractions on the island. Towering above the Paliki mountains, it overlooks Lixouri which is the main town in Kefalonia.
Lixouri is the second largest community on the island of Kefalonia, and it is also the capital of the peninsula. Situated just west of Argostoli, the city was founded after residents abandoned the old town and started a new one at the end of the 16th century.
Records show that the oldest document sent from Lixouri was in 1534, and it was to the Senate of Venice from the Lixouri local authorities. In 1867, many houses were reduced to rubble during a devastating earthquake; however, this hasn’t stopped many members of the Royal Family of Greece holidaying on the island over the years.
Andreas Laskaratos, the famous Greek satirical author and poet, was born and grew up in Lixouri. Writing about life in his home town, Laskaratos published a number of books revealing the secrets of the sea and the soul of Kefalonia. “Death of a Town”, written in 1954 by author Kay Cicellis, describes one of the many earthquakes the island has suffered over the years, and also in 1954, Petros Katsaitis wrote and directed a play that was set in Lixouri, “Iphigenia in Lixourious”.
Near to both the airport and the town, Lassi lies just three miles to the south of the island. Its beaches are some of the best on the island, and it is home to the best fish restaurants too. From cafés to bars, this tranquil town is a must see if you’re planning a trip to Kefalonia, and it provides a wealth of activities for families and couples alike.
Kefalonia’s south coast is home to Lourdas, one of the remotest parts of the island. If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet then this is the place for you. Stretching for over a kilometre, the Lourdas beach is rarely busy, and a small high street with some bars and restaurants is only 100m away. Lourdes also has a number of taverns, famous for their local Greek beer. With scenic views and beautiful surroundings, Lourdas is a picturesque village.
Previously an old, cultural village, Skala has been turned into the biggest resort on Kefalonia. Many tourists flock here to see the expanse of fine shingle and sand that runs into the sea. With taverns branching off the high street, and a small mini-mart only 100m from the beach, Skala is more of a haven than a tourist destination.
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The city of Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates in an Emirate also called Dubai and is one of the major economies in the Middle East. The city’s main income now comes from tourism, however if you did not think there was much to see or do in Dubai, then think again. Follow our tips for how you can easily spend 24 hours in this unique city and find plenty to occupy yourself.
One of the main pastimes in Dubai is the shopping, however it is the experience that is unique rather than the stores themselves, which are all familiar to those who have shopped in other worldwide cities. Some of the unique shopping experiences on offer in Dubai include Souk Madinat in the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, where you can travel by water to and from the various shops, bars, restaurants and hotels. Meanwhile, the Mall of the Emirates even includes an indoor ski slope with real snow in case you want a break from shopping. For a different shopping experience, visit the gold souk, where it is possible to haggle for gold, platinum and diamonds.
[Image from cntraveller.com]
Eating and drinking.
Eating and drinking will be part of any 24 hour visit to Dubai and it is possible to eat a variety of cuisines, from cooking by chefs with Michelin stars in the top hotels to the more traditional street food that is served in areas such as Al Dhiyafah Road. Places here will serve you with fresh grilled meat and fish as well as traditional salads. Due to the fact it is a Muslim state, alcohol can only be served in hotels, but the large number of hotels and bars within them means that it is not hard to find. On Fridays (the holiest day for Muslims), many city restaurants hold ‘champagne brunches’ where alcohol and food are available to consume to excess.
Other things to do.
Although it is a hotel, the 7 star Burj Al Arab has become something of a legend as not only is it the World’s tallest hotel, but it is also renowned for its opulence. However, if you are not a guest, then the only way to have a look around is to eat in one of the restaurants. For further examples of the extravagance on offer in Dubai, visit one of the reclaimed islands that the state is in the process of developing with luxury accommodation. Although Dubai prides itself on being a modern city, there is one part of the original city left. The Bastakia Quarter contains many old buildings and streets that are now home to art galleries and cafes. In addition, the textile souk also offers something of the more traditional Dubai. No visit to Dubai would be complete without a visit to some sand. Whether it is a public beach such as Al-Mamzar or a beach that charges a fee such as the Jameira Beach Park. Alternatively, take a visit out to the desert on a four wheel drive safari. The main sporting pastime on Dubai is golf and there are some famous and stunning golf courses if you want to practice your swing.
So, anyone with 24 hours to spare in Dubai will definitely find plenty of things to do and even if you have longer than that, you will be struggling to fit it all in.
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