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Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit

Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit Spring arrives early on Scilly and the charm of tiny, sleepy St Martin’s is that there is little-else to do but enjoy its flower-filled moors and coves Golden Mary, Scilly White, Sunrise, Golden Spur, Emperor, Empress, Cheerfulness, Magnificence, Soleil d’Or. There is poetry in the names of daffodil and narcissi varieties sprouting from all corners of St Martin’s. This tiny island, barely two miles long and mostly less than half a mile wide, is filled with flowers in spring. The strong scent of narcissi wafts over the lanes, and the hedgerows and fields burst with dainty pink lilies, enormous tree lupins, purple agapanthus and creamy three-cornered leek. Even the…

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A bike tour of the real Barbados

A bike tour of the real Barbados Kevin Rushby fears Barbados will be too bling for him – until he gets off the beaten track and discovers its glorious beaches, locals’ bars and rich history I’m going for a ride with Randy Licorish. We’ve put the bikes in a pickup truck and are heading through the traffic south of Bridgetown. I have to admit that all I’ve seen since arriving in Barbados the night before are endless low-rise buildings, plus a lot of traffic squeezing down narrow, twisting lanes that were never intended for such vehicles. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kevin Rushby Tweet

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Cuba libre: exploring the island by campervan

Cuba libre: exploring the island by campervan It’s never been easy for visitors to explore this fascinating country independently. But for the first time, state-approved vans give licence to roam Cuba’s mountains, beaches and towns Our campervan passes through Manicaragua, a tobacco-growing (once sugar-growing) town in the centre of Cuba. Manicaragua’s leaves are used for the dense core of Habanos cigars; premium leaves from Pinar del Río form the outer layer. This is a true backwater but in the 1940s and 1950s, before the bottom dropped out of sugar, it had money: there are cinemas and rundown hospitals. We pass by the pitched tin roofs of tobacco-drying houses, and see workers in high straw campesino hats hoeing the red…

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20 best affordable hotels in the eastern Caribbean

20 best affordable hotels in the eastern Caribbean A world away from the cruise ships and all-inclusives, our writer goes island hopping through the eastern Caribbean, staying in small, characterful hotels Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Genie Austin Tweet

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Caribbean islands: readers’ travel tips

Caribbean islands: readers’ travel tips It’s not all rum and reggae; our tipsters pinpoint local-led tours, beach restaurants, wildlife reserves and dive locations from Cuba to Tobago Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian readers Tweet

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A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips

A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips This working harbour town also has a creative buzz thanks to its thriving art school. The result is a winning blend of beach life, bohemian bars and great seafood To understand Falmouth (and arguably the rest of our island nation) you need to understand its relationship with the sea. The cavernous National Maritime Museum Cornwall, a beautiful building in itself, contains several floors of exhibitions that explore the changing influence of the sea on our lives – stories of discovery, survival and tragedy – and an active traditional boat workshop. Highlights include the undersea gallery in which visitors can watch fish swimming in the harbour from the sea bed, and…

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Islas Cíes, Galicia: Spain’s treasured islands

Islas Cíes, Galicia: Spain’s treasured islands They’re home to one of Spain’s finest beaches, but have no cars, no hotels and visitor numbers are strictly limited As with all the best adventures, we never actually intended to go to the Islas Cíes. The beaches of northern Galicia were our destination. Well, they were until my wife clicked her weather app and saw blanket rain for a week. Suddenly we weren’t going north after all. Travelling up from Portugal, we had got as far as the industrial port city of Vigo, which has a sunnier climate than northern Galicia. Without delay, we hit the internet in search of a plan B. One option kept popping up: the Islas Cíes (Illas…

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‘There’s a rock on this beach!’ and other awful tourist complaints

‘There’s a rock on this beach!’ and other awful tourist complaints An idyllic Cornish beach has been criticised for the placement of a rock out at sea. From Ben Nevis being ‘too high’ and the Louvre being ‘not very interesting’, finicky visitor reviews are now commonplace Lusty Glaze beach in Newquay, Cornwall, might have been 2017’s beach of the year, but it has a long way to go before it is beyond criticism. Representatives of the privately owned cove posted on its Facebook page this week to flag up a review from one visitor, who complained about hurting her leg on a rock on the beach. “Something needs to be done about this rock as it is covered in…

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Picture resort: from sandy beaches to stunning art galleries in St Ives

Picture resort: from sandy beaches to stunning art galleries in St Ives The Tate St Ives extension gives art lovers a perfect excuse to revisit this beguiling town St Ives is a British seaside resort like no other. It has sandy beaches, the paradisal kind Brits dream of all winter and habitually get on aeroplanes for. This old fishing town in western Cornwall has not one, but five of them, and on these pebble-free playgrounds you will find retro cafes and chi-chi, cocktail-shaking restaurants. It has utilitarian shops, too, selling buckets and spades and Tupperware, and fancy ones. You can buy jewellery and in one lifestyle boutique you can pick up anything from a nature book to a designer…

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10 classic Mediterranean islands on a budget

10 classic Mediterranean islands on a budget With sunshine, superb beaches and charming towns, Ibiza, Mallorca, the famous Greek islands and other Med hotspots often come with A-list prices. Here’s how to enjoy them without spending too much cash Even the epic photos don’t quite prepare you for Santorini, with its encircling black cliffs. The island was formed by an enormous volcanic eruption in 1600 BC, and the subsequently collapsing caldera formed these sheer faces. Its extraordinary landscapes justly attract hordes of visitors and, unsurprisingly, Santorini, or Thira in Greek, is one of the pricier Greek isles. Stay The island’s volcanic soil produces renowned wine, and at Caveland caves dug from the volcanic pumice to be used as wine…

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