Download this cracking free ebook on luxury hostels

Luxury hostel guide

There have been enough trend pieces on high-end hostels that go beyond the itchy sheets and mouldy bathrooms of yore - but where exactly are they? That's the question asked by Kash Bhattacharya, who decided to answer it with a 186-page ebook - that you can download for free. He's documented dozens of hostels around Europe with strong design principles, services like … [Read more...]

Placecrush: Stay in a spherical treehouse on Vancouver Island

Free Spirit Sphere

It’s safe to say we’re suckers for unusual spots to stay (just check out these places in the UK and Europe), but here’s one a little further afield: spherical treehouses on Vancouver Island. Climb the 14-odd feet of steps, enter the cunningly engineered curved door, and climb into one of the Free Spirit Spheres, which hang on webs of ropes that keep the four vessels off the … [Read more...]

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: See where Noah’s Ark set sail

Mount Ararat

Mount Ararat is A 5km high-mountain located in eastern Turkey. It is supposedly the place where Noah’s Ark set sail. But although the mountain may be in Turkey, the best place to see it is just over the border in Armenia. Heck, the Armenians like it so much it’s on their flag. (Lenin gave the mountain away to Turkey as a gesture of goodwill, as one does.) Welcome to the Khor … [Read more...]

Placecrush: Stay in a Nazi holiday camp

Prora hostel

Want to get away to the beach, but also want to take in some history and architecture at the same time? Here’s an unexpected solution: Prora, on Rügen Island in Germany - a massive holiday camp built by the Nazis. It never saw use as a holiday camp, but it has now been reborn as a massive hostel. (Not the whole thing, mind; it’s three miles long and six stories … [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: Get lost in the Czech Republic’s Bohemian Forest


We’ve had our curiosity piqued about the Czech Republic’s Bohemian Forests - near the German border, and known locally as Šumava - ever since seeing these astounding photos of the mist-covered landscape on Colossal last week. They’re part of the largest wooded area in Europe, with ancient forests and clear lakes as far as they eye can see (head for the hidden Black Lake for … [Read more...]

Placecrush: Get into the orbit of Poland’s Torun, Copernicus’s birthplace


There are vast tracts of central Europe where the only city architecture you see is post-war. Torun is one of the few cities in Poland where you can see medieval architecture so good it is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town that bears the UNESCO status was a trading town, giving a remarkable town hall to the area. There’s also the ruins of a 13th-century … [Read more...]

Christmas in Cairo: snow falls in Egypt’s capital for first time in 112 years

The Pyramids in Egypt

Christmas has come early for the city of Cairo after snow fell on Egypt's capital for the first time in over a century. The Middle East has been hit with a fierce weather system which has seen the normally tropical countries such as Egypt, Israel and Syria covered in a light blanket of snow. The white flurry started settling in Cairo's suburbs on Friday to the … [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...]