The 2014 hot list: which destination has the most buzz?

Persepolis, Iran

Need a little holiday inspiration for the new year? We’ve scoured the weekend supplements to see what the top tips are for 2014. From brave new frontiers to hot beach destinations, there’s a good spread of new horizons to tackle. Not enough recommendations below? Then check out the Manchester Evening News’s list of the best places to take a selfie in 2014, which is either … [Read more...]

Placecrush: Walk the picturesque Boudicca Way in Norfolk

St Mary Magdalenes church Pulham Market Norfolk

Getting a boat to explore the Norfolk broads is a well-documented pasttime - but have you ever thought about exploring the county on foot? The Boudicca Way takes up 36 miles through south Norfolk, the ideal size for two or three days’ walking as a quick city break. The picture above is from the picture-postcard village of Pulham Market. The route takes in others like … [Read more...]

Placecrush: Take up residence in a Cornish bolthole

The Tide House

Despite the best efforts of property developers all over the country, weatherboarded New England-style properties just don’t quite look right in the damp old UK. Well, we think we’ve found the exception that proves the rule: The Tide House in St Ives. It was once St Ives’ oldest hotel, dating from 1540, but has now been updated to a cute little romantic getaway spot. We’re … [Read more...]

Comet-chasing and Saturn spotting at the UK’s first dark-sky park

A picture of a lunar eclipse captured by Mike Alexander

Comet Ison may have hit the headlines with its close encounter with the sun but it isn't the only heavenly body you can spot this winter. With auroras, meteor showers, planets and galaxies whirring overhead, Tim Clark headed to the Galloway Astronomy Centre to delve into deep space... The knock on the door is so muted it seems almost embarrassed to break the silence. Being … [Read more...]

Is Iona the most video game-like place in Britain?

Iona cross

Packing lots of different ecosystems and landscapes into one small place has a magical effect of making a visit there feel like you’re getting so much more out of it. We were curious to see Jaunted touting Hawaii as a place to see loads of ecosystems in one day, so here’s an idea for you: is Britain’s answer the windswept island of Iona? The Hebrides island may not have the … [Read more...]

Sark: just what is dark skies status like?

Aerial view of Sark

Northumberland is looking to secure status as a dark skies park, but what is the night sky like when it is really dark? I’ve never been to one of the international dark skies parks, but I have been to Sark, which was named the world’s first dark skies island in 2011. Even by day, the Channel Island is known as a world to itself: the island has no public street lighting, … [Read more...]

Northumberland hopes to secure dark skies status

Northumberland dark skies

Northumberland is trying to become the world’s third-largest dark skies territory. 400 square miles is up for the status, which is awarded by the Arizona-based International Dark Skies Association. Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Northumberland National Park Authority are working together to try and land the title. There are currently 12 … [Read more...]

Rub Diner

'Set in bustling Finsbury Park, Rub will serve marinated, slow cooked meats in a fun, eclectic designed space. Our vision is to bring lovingly seasoned and marinated slow cooked food, killer milkshakes and delicious cheesecakes to the masses.' So declares the new Rub Diner, riding the wave of enthusiasm for Southern Comfort food currently swilling over the country like the … [Read more...]

The world is starting to notice Glasgow. How is it looking?

Hydro stadium in Glasgow

It’s always odd looking at cities you know well through the eyes of others. But it perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise how the world is choosing to view Glasgow: industrial city rediscovers itself. It’s something we’re going to have to get used to over the next eight months, as Glasgow nears the start of the Commonwealth Games in July. This thought occurred to me when reading … [Read more...]

Five amazing UK places to stay on Canopy & Stars

AirBnB is great as a catch-all way to find somewhere cheap to stay when you're away, but what if you want to find somewhere in the country that's that little bit more special? That's where Canopy & Stars comes in, the woefully undersung database of great cabins, yurts, treehouses and more for places around the UK and Europe. Don't believe us? Here are five of the most … [Read more...]