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Top 5 Travel Destinations in United Kingdom This Summer

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Cornwall steam railway

Cornwall Steam Railway, photo taken by J D Mack

This is another article in United Kingdom travel series. It is vacation time again as the summer season is coming very soon. This is also the time when most of the travel and hotel agencies would be coming out with schemes and special offers to attract more tourists. In this article I will also suggest you ways to make your trip cheaper.

Which destination will you chose for your summer holidays?

I have been to London many times during my educational trips. It used to be my base station from where I traveled to most of the parts of the United Kingdom. In this guide I will be covering the full length and breadth of the UK from East to West and from South to North in two separate trips. Try If you are lucky you might get some good deals to grab online that will make your trip even cheaper. I would recommend you to go through Expedia travel vouchers and browse through the coupons and vouchers that suits you well.

Starting from London I will move in the South west direction to a seaside town of Weymouth where I will explore world heritage Jurassic Coast and award winning sandy beach. From Weymouth I will make a turn to North West to another seaside resort town of Woolacombe which is famous for blue flag and premium seaside beach. Continuing the zig zag trend, I will move towards south west to Cornwall where I will have a seaside train ride as well as a ride on the steam train through beautiful landscaped countryside.

1. Weymouth

Weymouth is a beautiful seaside town with its award winning beaches and world heritage sites and picturesque traditional harbour. The place is livelier in summers when the sun is up and sky is clear, the beach sand shines and the water sparkles in the ideal sunny day. The water is crystal clear and the place was chosen for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for conducting sailing events. There are ample of sports facilities available like kite surfing, wind surfing, diving and sailing. Each area is marked with flags indicating whether it is safe to swim in that area or not.

weymouth beach
Weymouth Beach, photo taken by Elliott Brown

Weymouth beach is perfect for families and couples and offers a lot of other things to do like amusement, rides and snack stands. Arriving at the beach is very easy, large number of buses and shuttle services ply on the road between various holiday resorts and the beach. You may also come by your own vehicle, but finding parking space can be difficult and time consuming.

White sand on the beach is amazingly soft, the beach is clean although you may find cigarette butts. I went to the right end of the beach near the viewing tower and amusement, the sand is even more softer and beautiful. I really enjoyed walking along the esplanade, and I was surprised later as the sun was settled we had a light show. There are variety of snacks available at various snack stands, but if you wish to save money you can bring your own lunch or snacks and have a nice homemade food at the sea shore.

Jurassic Coast
Jurassic Coast, photo taken by Rach2k

Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast is another special thing about this place. It is England’s first natural world heritage site. The Jurassic Coast which is an offshore bar consists of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous cliffs, spanning the Mesozoic Era, documenting 180 million years of geological history. The oldest rocks along the coast can be found at Exmouth and are as old as 250 million years whereas the youngest are at Studland Bay at around 65 million years old. The site shows excellent examples of landforms, among them is the natural arch at Durdle Door, the cove and limestone folding at Lulworth Cove and the Isle of Portland. Chesil Beach is a tombolo (a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar).

Moving from Weymouth to Woolacombe takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes on a 170Km long journey. Woolacombe is not one of the well known travel destinations in UK, but it has started receiving tourists recently, most of them stop by to see the Woolacombe bay. Plymouth and Bath have been more popular destinations in the region.

2. Woolacombe

Woolacombe was voted the Best British Beach in the Mail On Sunday and also holds the ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort. Although not much popular, Woolacombe’s profile is as strong as any other popular summer destination. Woolacombe can be best reached by road. The roads are largely very rural and quite narrow which may become very congested during summer as people queue up to get into one of the two large car parks which are situated close to the beach.

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe Beach, Photo by Gary Huston

Its three mile long golden sand beach has won both the blue flag and Premier Seaside Beach award. It is voted one of Britain’s best beach and lies between Morte Point and Baggy Point. There are four beach within a five mile walk. And all can be very crowded in the summer making it difficult to find a parking space which is £5 for a whole day.  It would be better to walk to the beach from the beautiful streets enjoying the beautiful view. Try to book a hotel near the beach so that you do not have to walk much. You may be lucky to grab few appropriate deals through travel vouchers and coupons.

I was saddened to hear the news that the beach lost the blue flag status recently in 2012 due to water quality issue. However, it still retains many other awards. You stand at the beach looking at the Atlantic Ocean waves touching your feet, behind you lies the highlands that surrounds you from the rest of the sides, creating a very beautiful scenery.

The beach is also famous for various sports activities like kite surfing, wind surfing etc. The beach also provides a designated area for dogs. I found a little kid there who was making a sand castle, it was fun to sit with her and help. When the sun had settled down and it was dark, we went up. Walking back to my room, I saw the sand castle intact, and the waves striking the coast even harder. The sound of the waves were louder which can make anyone happy specially me who loves sea and beaches.

Continuing my journey, I am heading to another seaside place Cornwall. The place not only has beautiful sand beach, but also has picturesque landscape and beautiful coastline which can be explored by train. One of the reason of coming here for me was riding in the trains here.

3. Cornwall

Great Scenic Railways of Devon and Cornwall passes through some of the most beautiful places, From mesmerizing coastal views to green countryside, clear river crossings to densely wooded valleys and the almost moon like landscape of the Cornish china clay industry.

Cornwall Steam Railway
Cornwall Steam Railway, Photo taken by J D Mack

I felt travelling in this train was very off the beaten tourist path, and I am glad I did, the train passes through beautiful town, small villages, historic mountains and bustling cities, it is a vital link for the locals, but the way it passes through is so stunning that it has gained popularity as a tourist train.

There are six lines of Great Scenic Railways of Devon and Cornwall mainly Maritime Line, Looe Valley Line, Tarka Line, St Ives Bay Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Tamar Valley Line.

Train Fare:
Looe to Plymouth £5.40
Liskeard to Newquay £5.80
Truro to St Ives £6.30
St Austell to Looe £7.60
Falmouth to Plymouth £9.50
Penzance to Plymouth £9.50

These fares are applicable for adults, children between the age of five to fifteen may take ticket for half price, and children under five years can enjoy the ride for free. Also if you take GroupSave option, four people in a group would be able to travel for the price of two adults Off Peak Day Returns on First Great Western trains.

Cornwall also has steam trains running through beautiful countryside. I went to Bodmin which is the prime station and junction of Cornwall’s steam railway. The station was beautifully revamped to give a look of 1950s. The main station building is old by centuries and was constructed by Great Western Railways in 1887. Again there are a number of steam railway lines on different routes which are quite small but good enough to spend time and admire the beauty of Cornwall sitting in the vintage train, a unique experience. Various lines are Launceston Steam Railway, Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Lappa Valley Steam Railway, and World of Model Railways.

Refreshing views, clear sky, warm sun, clear water, soft and warm sand in West England is what makes it a great destination for spending your summer vacation. My trip to western region ends here, returning to London and from their I will move towards north exploring the spectacular Lake District and beaches in the extreme north UK; Durness, Scotland.

4. Lake District

The Lake District is also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland as there are a number of lakes in the mountainous region. Lying in the North West England, this place is a combination of picturesque forests, lakes and mountains, Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England is also situated here. The place is famous world wide and has its associations with the early nineteenth-century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.
Lake District UK
Lake District, photo taken by Steve Pyke

Lake Derwent is one of the most visited lake in the Lake District. It is a very picturesque lake surrounded by lots of woodlands and fells sloping down towards the water. I walked around the lake little bit which is an 8 and a half mile long walk and tried my hand at boating. There are many companies ready to provide you the boating experience. There is a pastureland overlooking the lake where the sheep and lambs play. I took some delightful photos of them grazing and at play. It is hard to tell if the lake is more beautiful from the lake level or viewing it from above when hiking in the area. Either way, it’s a treasure and worth visiting.

Once you are there you can have your packed meal, or buy a snack. You may visit the National Trust shop, take a boat trip or hire a row boat. Perhaps the ducks and geese along with the sheep and lambs catch your eye. If you wish to, you can even buy bags of bird food.

Catbells Lakeland Hike is easily reachable from Keswick and is famous for its views over Derwent water. The hike might take nearly two hours up and down and may be even three if you would stop everywhere like me to take photos. To reach up catch the Keswick Launch across to Hawes End and climb up Catbells over Skellwith Bank, there are little steep climbs and easy challenges but the view from the summit is probably one of the best in the Lakeland for so little effort. If you still feel energetic at the summit you can walk further  up on to Maiden Moor and come back down different views. When you come down arrive at Hawes Gate  and walk back to catch the Keswick launch, along the Lakeside.

Moving further north I will enter Scotland, another kingdom in the United Kingdom. Durness  is a village and in the north-west Highlands of Scotland. Famous for its Smoo cave and unspoilt beaches backed by cliffs.

5. Durness

Durness is famous for Smoo cave, when I reached there I had not expect this cave to be as awesome as it was. It was really easy enough walk down to it as their is a wooden fence to hold on to and steps. There are flood lights which still makes it look great even if the weather isn’t that good. There is a huge cavern and you can imagine living there centuries ago. The second cavern leads to a tremendous waterfall full of cold sprays making it almost impossible to take a photo of it. During rainy season, the caves are wet and  you may find water dripping through the roof at various points.

Durness beach
Durness Beach, photo taken by Lluís Ribes Portillo

Durness beach is  fantastic sandy beach with stunning black rocks embedded in the sand, beautiful bluish green sea and rocky cliffs. The place is very photogenic and can make a day promising! I walked all the way along the length of the beach and then I moved up at the end to a lighthouse from where the view is even more spectacular. The beach accompanied by a waterfall at the edge of the bay makes it even a better place for those who loves natural photography.

Sango bay in Durness made me just take my camera out when I saw rock formations sticking out of the stand. Pristine golden sands with the projectiles of Rock on them gave the experience of being in totally another planet. Huge waves crashing on the shore and on the rocks creating splash of waters formed so many rainbows. I have not seen so many rainbows before all at once. The place is really cold in winters and you may expect the right time to go there only after May, if it is not raining.

Indeed it was such a long tour. I did not complete this journey in one single trip, but in two consecutive summers. I tried to merge my trip into one so that I could help you decide which one or two locations would you like to visit this summer. Coming back to my base location London, I finish the tour of Top 5 Summer Destinations in UK. Let me know which one of the place would you like to go this summer. Subscribe to my updates an follow me on my path.

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Ibiza: not only a destination for young people but also a natural paradise with dream beaches, exclusive locations, and luxury villas

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Ibiza spain travel

Ibiza is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This stunning island is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its paradisiac beaches and historical monuments. Traditionally, Ibiza has been associated with party tourism, which means that young people would visit the island due to its famous nightclubs or electronic music scene. However, since 2015 the government has stepped in to try and make Ibiza a more family friendly place to visit. With so many beautiful landscapes to discover and luxurious family friendly villas to stay in, Ibiza is without a doubt, one of the best options for your next summer vacations.

The best places to stay in Ibiza

The first and most important you need to decide when planning any trip is where you are going to spend your stay during the travel. Traditionally,when we travel to a foreign country we tend to look for our lodging at hotels. However, in places as touristic as Ibiza, you will often find hotels overcrowded during the summer season. Thankfully, there is a more private alternative for your stay: luxury villas. You can find numerous luxury villas available for rental spreaded across the island, but the ones which users recommend the most are the ones offered by IKH – Ibiza Luxury Villa Rentals. IKH villas offer everything you may need for a luxurious vacation. They are located near some of the most beautiful beaches and villages in the island, such as Es Cubells, Sant Josep, Talamanca, Cala Jondal, Rocallisa, as well as in Ibiza Town, the main city in the island. These villas are family friendly, and most of them either include sea views or are located at a very short distance from it. IKH villas are often equipped with everything you may need for your holidays, such as a fully functioning kitchen, internet and TV service, air conditioner to survive the Spanish heat, etc. 

The luxury features of these stunning villas and the amazing reviews from its customers make IKH villas an option you should definitely consider for your next Ibiza holidays.

The most stunningly beautiful beaches

The main attractive of Ibiza is, without any doubt, its gorgeous beaches. Blessed with pristine waters and white sand, these beaches make out for an otherworldly seaview. The whole island is surrounded in beauty, but if you are looking for some stunning views, we can not stop recommending you check the following beaches during your travel:

  • Es Cubells: this beautiful beach is surrounded by nature. Located near the mountains, it offers the perfect mixture between civilization and untouched nature. This beach is located beyond a cliff, which makes it harder to access. However, this can work as an advantage for us, since with a little more of effort we will have access to a stunning beach away from the main crows, which makes up for the recipe for a perfect beach day.
  • Sant Josep: this place groups some of the most stunning beaches in Ibiza, such as Ses Salines, D’Hort Cove, Compte Cove or Vedella Cove. It is near the international Ibiza airport and the natural reserves of Ses Salines, which means that this zone has an easy access. The beaches in this zone have turquoise waters and fine sand, which makes them some of the favorites among tourists
  • Talamanca: thanks to its easy access and calm waters, this beach is one of the favorites for families with kids. If you do not have access to a rental car, this beach is one of the easier to reach by bus. 
  • Cala Jondal:  a stunning beach of turquoise waters which shore has pebbles instead of sand. This makes up for a stunning beach view. This beach is located near some luxurious clubs, where you will be able to relax and have fun while watching the sea. 
  • Llonga Cove: this cove is located near the luxurious urbanization of Roca LLisa. Its calm waters make it a favorite among families and young people looking to practice water sports
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Dolphin Discovery is the only park with the AZA accreditation in Punta Cana

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The Dominican Republic is a country that has one of the richest biodiversities in the world. This biodiversity manifest itself in Punta Cana, the main tourist area in the country. Most tourists visiting this country do so in order to enjoy its otherworldly beaches with crystalline waters and white sand. But if you want to discover the country’s biodiversity, we invite you to swim with dolphins in Dolphin Discovery, the only dolphin park with the AZA accreditation for the ethical treatment of the animals in Punta Cana.

The importance of the AZA accreditation

The acronym AZA stands for Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This association stands up for animals welfare and demands the higher standards of quality in institutions that work with them. Institutions all around the globe try every year to get their AZA accreditation, but the requirements are so high that only a low percent of the applicants pass the cut. 

In order to get this accreditation, Dolphin Discovery first had to fill an application that would place them on the list of institutions with a pending visit from the AZA expert team. 

During the AZA team visitation, every aspect of Dolphin Discovery Punta Cana was carefully examined in order to determine if they were keeping their quality standards high enough to ensure that the dolphin’s were treated ethically and in the best possible conditions. The AZA experts checked, among others, the following aspects:

  • The safety of the guests that visit these installations
  • The wellbeing of the dolphins, ensuring that they were being taken proper care of
  • The conservation efforts in order to prevent any damage to the biosphere
  • The educational programs to raise awareness about the living conditions of the animals to the visitors
  • The veterinary medicine programs in order to make sure that the animals are healthy and can receive the proper medical care as soon as they may feel ill
  • The organization financial stability, since a lack of resources would affect the dolphins welfare directly.

It is worth to mention that even if Dolphin Discovery earned this accreditation, its validity lasts only for 5 years, so in the future they would have to prove again to be among the best on their field. 

If you are planning to visit any recreational park that works with dolphins during your travel to the Dominican Republic, Dolphin Discovery is definitely the best option since it is the only company in the whole country that received an AZA accreditation. After all, when we visit a foreign country, it is important to be responsible and look out for the local fauna and flora. 

Swimming with dolphins

Dolphins are really fascinating animals. Their high intelligence and natural elegance make them some of the most loved animals in the world. If you want to make memories that will last forever during your visit to The Dominican Republic, we recommend that you try and  Swim with dolphins Punta Cana. On Dolphin Discovery you will be able to find different programs that involve swimming with these majestic creatures. These programs are designed always keeping the needs of the visitors in mind, so you can find the program that will fit you perfectly. Among the most popular visitor programs you will be able to find the following ones:

  • Dolphin Encounter Program: this program is perfect for families with kids, since it was especially designed for all ages. This program includes a small platform for people who can not swim properly, and during the session you will be able to hug and handshake the dolphins.
  • Dolphin Royal Swim Program: during your session you will be able to enjoy the dolphins acrobatic maneuvers, but what really makes this program so special is that the dolphins are trained to do you a foot push, lifting you out of the water. This will make up for a really fun experience you will not be able to forget.
  • Dolphin Swim Adventure Program: on this program you will be able to hug the dolphins, give them a handshake and then swim with them. You will be allowed to hold to the dolphin as he carries you around the beautiful Punta Cana waters.
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Azul Talavera Hotel: the perfect place for your next holidays in Puebla

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Puebla mexico hotel

Puebla is a beautiful and charming city you should check out for your next holidays. 

Located in the heart of Mexico, Puebla is the most visited coastless city in the country, and there is no wonder why. This city has a very rich history and a lot of monuments for visitors to discover. People wanting to visit this city can count themselves lucky, for there is an hotel with professional staff and an idyllic location: Azul Talavera Hotel. 

An hotel with a lot of history

Azul Talavera Hotel originally opened its doors as Rosewood Puebla Hotel back in 2017, and since then, it has earned its rightful spot as one of the best hotels in Puebla Mexico. The hotel went under this name transition back at 2019, but it was ran smoothly and without causing any inconvenience to the customers. On Azul Talavera Hotel, customers are always the staff priority. Because of that, during the transition the hotel kept its doors open, without affecting in any way at all the previously scheduled bookings or events. The hotel also kept the same staff team, which means that this transition did not affect the quality of the services provided.

But what really makes this hotel a historical place is its building. Azul Talavera Hotel was built  on 3 historical buildings placed in the charming neighborhood of San Francisco. This neighborhood is located right at the city’s historical center and it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. 

History is key in Azul Talavera Hotel. The hotel is proud of its history and the country’s traditions. Because of that, you can find decorations with traditional mexican themes all across the hotel, and the suites include items of local craftsmanship to reflect Puebla’s traditional market. 

Enjoying the best Mexican cuisine

One of the perks of choosing Azul Talavera Hotel as your place to stay during your holidays, is that you will be able to enjoy one of the best gourmet restaurants in Mexico. The hotel’s restaurant is named Pasquinel Bistrot and it is the perfect place for you to enjoy the best Mexican food. This luxurious restaurant serves original dishes you will not be able to find anywhere else, since the food here mixes local ingredients with European cooking inspirations. 

Let your wedding be handled only by the best professionals 

Puebla has become a popular wedding destination over the last decade. Getting married on a beautiful city abroad is something that each day becomes more and more appealing for many future brides and grooms. In Azul Talavera Hotel they are aware of that, and they have made their best effort to become a referent on Puebla weddings

Azul Talavera Hotel has four different wedding venues to fit the wedding of your dreams: Trinitarias Garden, Patio Azul, Patio Rosa and Patio Verde. All these venues mix traditional mexican elements with modern architecture, all hand in hand with nature. The hotel includes everything you may need to exchange your bows, from a glamorous ballroom to an antique courtyard that features a 300 year old private chapel.

But Azul Talavera Hotel is more than beautiful wedding venues. What makes this place really stand out is its team of professional wedding planners. The hotel’s staff will manage every detail needed in order for your wedding to be perfect. Their catering team will make sure you and your guests enjoy the most delicious food, while their wedding planners will guide you on every step of the process. Azul Talavera Hotel has also a partnership with professionals all across Puebla, from photographers to decorators or entertainers.

This will take a lot of stress away from the future bride and groom, which means that they will have more time to relax at the hotel Spa. It is named Cobalto Spa and it includes beauty and wellness treatments for the bride, groom and the whole bridal party.

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