School's out, so take them out

By Gretta Schifano, July 21, 2016

Six glorious weeks of summer holidays lie ahead - if you're a child. Six weeks of entertaining if you're a parent. But whatever your budget and whatever the weather, there are some great family-friendly activities.

ArcelorMittal Orbit slide


France: Gloats from a small island

By Lianne Kolirin, July 15, 2016

As a mother of three sons, it has never occurred to me to incentivise my children with the promise of a spa treatment.

The idea of any of my boisterous trio relaxing in a cosy candle-lit room with whale music in the background has, unsurprisingly, never crossed my mind. Until now.


Switzerland: Standing on top of Europe

By Sarah Ebner, July 8, 2016

It is the beginning of summer and all around me I can see bright, white snow. I am not cold, but instead surprisingly warm: the sun is shining and there is no wind.

I'm standing on the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, the highest point you can reach by train in Europe. It is utterly beautiful, with an expanse of white valley laid out in front of me.


France: Bordeaux uncorked

By David Gerrie, July 1, 2016

Mention Bordeaux to most people and they'll struggle to picture anything apart from a tempting glass of red. In fact, most Brits travelling through France give this beautiful city a miss altogether as they hare down to the south.

Which is odd, because Bordeaux has had stronger links with our nation than perhaps any other French city, dating back to the 12th century.


Fast train to Japan

By Beverley DeSilva, June 23, 2016

While all eyes are on the football for Euro 2016, it's Japan which will be stepping into the sporting spotlight shortly, with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games, both in Tokyo.

And with a weaker yen and cheaper flights cutting the cost of this traditionally expensive destination, now is the time to visit, ahead of the crowds.

There's plenty to discover outside Tokyo as well.


Four mini-moon hotspots

June 21, 2016

Ski in Italy

Head to Adler Mountain in the Unesco world heritage site of the Italian Dolomites.


Paris - and all that jazz

By Naomi Firsht, June 17, 2016

In Paris you can have a perfectly wonderful weekend just wandering the streets indulging in the fine Parisian art of "flanerie" (strolling around). But if you are looking for a deeper connection to the City of Lights then I suggest you give your trip a soundtrack.


Down New Mexico way

By Anthea Gerrie, June 17, 2016

The Silicon Valley capital, San Jose, is now the closest gateway to the beauty spots, vineyards and cultural treasures of central California. But San Jose is also a great jumping-off point for the national parks of the west and south-west in a year when New Mexico, just two super-scenic states away, is attracting art aficioadoes to the landscape made famous by artist Georgia O’Keeffe.


Lights, camera, action - the sky is the limit

By Barry Toberman, June 10, 2016

There are two dozen of us standing on an otherwise deserted Norwegian beach in sub-zero temperatures staring up at the nocturnal sky. Not the standard finale to a short break. But then not every vacation programme holds out the tantalising prospect of a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

The lights - or Aurora Borealis, to give them their formal title - are a capricious beast.


Feel anew in the forest

By Lianne Kolirin, June 1, 2016

There is nothing new about the New Forest. Covering 120 square miles in southern England, the region has a proud history dating back almost a thousand years.

Taking its name from the Latin nova foresta, it was designated a royal hunting ground by King William I in 1079. New laws ensure plentiful fresh meat for the Crown, as well as good sporting opportunities.