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  • Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of

    Posted 2022-01-20 07:00:16 by: bossgate

    If Chamonix is beyond your budget, don’t despair – there are plenty of small but charming resorts in the Alps and beyond. We round up some of the bestThe recent change in travel advice allowing UK citizens to travel to France again has put the country back on the agenda for the ski season. While skiers scramble to secure packages to the famous mega-resorts, there are dozens of smaller, lesser-known ski villages that offer excellent value for money while combining thrilling skiing with old-time charm and glorious natural surroundings. Here are a few that offer a change of scene and pace. Continue ...

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  • From bees to bins: how a London hotel aims to become truly net-zero

    Posted 2022-01-19 07:00:05 by: bossgate

    A stay at Chiswick’s room2 casts light on its claim to be an entirely sustainable hotel, from its rooftop wildlife to the revolutionary bins. Plus, four sustainable hotels across EuropeWe’ve all seen that sign in hotels where we are encouraged to reuse our towels for the sake of the planet. Often it’s just lip service. But what if that idea is taken a level upwards – to make your whole hotel sustainable?That’s the premise at room2 in Chiswick, west London, said to be the world’s first net zero “hometel”. It’s forecast to be 89% more energy efficient than a typical UK hotel and has a host of sustainable measures, from solar panels to recycled furniture, zero food waste and a wildflower roof. Continue ...

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  • Tell us about your favourite winter cycling route – you could win a holiday voucher

    Posted 2022-01-18 11:30:19 by: bossgate

    Whether it’s a sunny ride in southern Europe or a muddy cross-country pedal in the UK, share details of a great cycle route – the best tip wins £200 towards a Sawday’s stayThe UK and Europe are home to some of the world’s most spectacular cycling routes, through magnificent mountainous regions and places steeped in history to more leisurely routes meandering through peaceful villages and towns. Whether it’s a few days riding along the Parenzena, a beautiful cycle route that runs between Trieste in Italy and Poreč in Croatia, pootling along the Monsal Trail in Derbyshire or having an epic adventure exploring foothills of the Albanian Alps, we would like to hear about your favourite winter cycle routes.If you have a relevant photo, do send it in – but it’s your words that will be judged for the competition. Continue ...

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  • Walkers of the world unite! The last Clarion House, a radical rest for ramblers and cyclists

    Posted 2022-01-18 07:00:49 by: bossgate

    Near Nelson, Lancashire, a refuge built in 1912 for mill workers to meet in nature is still open for tea and leftwing sympathy You can clearly see Clarion House from high up on the ridge between Barrowford and Roughlee. Not only because it stands alone on a green slope, nor because it is handsome and proud, though it absolutely is. No, you can see it because of the red – bright, beautiful, luscious scarlet, the glowing red of the Red Flag, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) logo, the Lancashire rose and the clenched fist of International Socialism.I saw Clarion House for the first time by chance as I was driving back from Roughlee, after showing my brother and nephew the metal statue of Alice Nutter. She was the one Lancashire “witch” who had more than two ha’pennies to rub together but was nonetheless hanged for her sex, or her stubbornness. There, by the roadside, was a pretty single-storey red-and-white building, with a simple trumpet for its logo and a fascinating information board about the local Labour movement, and about radical rambling and cycling. I didn’t loiter but I was curious. Why hadn’t I been taught about the Clarion Houses before? Continue ...

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  • All systems glow: 10 of the UK’s best winter light festivals

    Posted 2022-01-17 07:00:13 by: bossgate

    Gaze upon shimmering forests and postapocalyptic sunsets, chase the northern lights or let ancient tales guide you along city wallsLight trails and shows are more popular than ever this Covid-ridden winter: inventive and mostly outdoors, they brighten the long, dark nights. For those of us drawn to their sparkle, the good news is they’re not just for Christmas. These cities, gardens and resorts are hosting illuminated trails and festivals of light in January, February and March. Book ahead, and wrap up warm. Continue ...

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  • A local’s guide to Bologna: from belt-busting pasta to craft cocktails

    Posted 2022-01-16 13:00:52 by: bossgate

    Lonely Planet writer Kevin Raub offers a tour of the Italian city, taking in parks, museums dedicated to local heroes and artisinal bakeriesKevin Raub is an American travel journalist based in Bologna. He is co-author of more than 100 Lonely Planet guidebooks. Continue ...

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  • Ten great guided walks in the UK

    Posted 2022-01-16 11:00:50 by: bossgate

    Boot up, pack your thermos and step out to discover some of the country’s best kept secretsHead to Anglesey this winter and learn how shipwrecks, princes and tragic lovers shaped this idyllic island. Formerly a Bronze Age copper mine, then (thanks to its fertile soil), the breadbasket of Wales, Anglesey today has a nibbled coastline of tiny coves and fishing harbours, fronting a bosky interior where red squirrels thrive. You can fashion your day to suit your interests, or combine that guided hike with a headrush of thrilling experiences – all offered by Knowdownia, North Wales’s new, itinerary-free tour company. Try out the world’s fastest zipline, surf in remote bays, or admire Snowdonia’s mountain range while thundering over twisty dirt tracks on a gravity-driven quarry kart.Guided walks available all year. A one-day experience costs from £325 for four people and includes pickup and drop-off anywhere in North Wales; knowdonia.com Continue ...

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  • Uphill hikes and downward dogs in the Black Mountains of Wales

    Posted 2022-01-15 13:00:22 by: bossgate

    A women’s yoga and fell walking break in the Welsh borders leaves our writer with aching muscles but a heart full of joyBruce Chatwin was 15 when he first cycled through the Vale of Ewyas, a place he would later refer to as “one of the emotional centres of his life”. Wordsworth and Turner also loved this rough knuckle of mountains abutting the England-Wales border. I was 20 when I first visited, and was so smitten by the swooping hills that I leapt out of the car and ran barefoot up Hay Bluff, seized by a reckless delirium.Two decades later I’m on a new yoga and fell walking weekend here, with Chatwin’s beloved valley unfurling below. The packing list had included sun cream – but this is Wales, in winter, and the weather isn’t playing ball. Rain pitter-patters on still-green leaves. Boots squelch in oily mud. Mist shrouds a seam of oaks. Continue ...

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  • All well and good: 10 top healthy retreats in the UK for 2022

    Posted 2022-01-15 11:00:20 by: bossgate

    Our wellbeing breaks, from chic Richmond to remote Cairngorms, all include some yoga, but add camping, foraging, swimming and even pottery to the mixJust outside Brighton, in the South Downs, Luna Wilds is a new, off-grid wild spa and retreat built with reclaimed materials by local yoga teacher Laura Brown and her partner Mike Lord. As well as regular day events with spa treatments and time in the wood-fired sauna and outdoor tubs, there’s a choice of weekend options. On a Wild Creativity break, guests learn pottery and practise yoga and meditation. Food is plant-based and plentiful, there are evening campfires, time in the spa and a guided South Downs walk. Book a basic pre-pitched tent with blow-up mattress (£30) or bring your own.Next Wild Creativity break 13-15 May, £325 (£300 if booked by 31 January), lunawilds.co.uk Continue ...

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  • A great walk to a great pub: the Drover’s Rest, Cumbria

    Posted 2022-01-14 07:00:04 by: bossgate

    A warm, cosy hostelry with splendid sausage sandwiches rewards walkers on this Solway coast stroll through Roman, medieval and Victorian historyStart The Drover’s Rest, MonkhillDistance 8 milesTime 4 hoursTotal ascent 70 metresDifficulty: Moderate Continue ...

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