Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Summer Sun and Sunflowers

November 28, 2011

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As the weather descends into winter here in the UK my mind starts to wander to next year’s family holiday.

My children will be 14 and 11 and are keen to go surfing – Polzeath in Cornwall being their favourite spot so far.

Being a cyclist, I find the lanes of Cornwall a little hectic at times so whilst I can run on the coastal path or find quiet lanes to ride on my thoughts are leaning towards a holiday spent in Ste Catherine de Fierbois a few years ago where I spent many happy hours navigating the quiet roads amongst the sunflowers.

I’m sure Cornwall will win for August 2012, but I do have another thought – the 2012 Tour de France visits the North East coast and Boulogne, so perhaps I can squeeze in a Gallic trip to see how @markcavendish is warming up for the Olympic Road Race?

A short break in Wales

November 25, 2011

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Mountain Bike Rider magazine has just awarded the Doethie Valley in Wales their “Trail of the Year” award, and I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in the area last month with ten friends.

With liberal car sharing we made our way across the Severn Bridge on Friday evening and awoke the next morning to crystal clear skies.

Saturday was to be a guided ride, ably led by Carl of Bike Brechfa and he did a marvellous job of showing us the best the region has to offer.

Now, due to my recent change in jobs, I’ve been riding a train a lot more than riding a bike, so of the eleven of us, I was near the tail end of the group for most of the weekend.

We were a disparate group, from XC whippets on £4k of Ibis Tranny, to weekend warriors on £400 Specialized Hardrocks the fitness and skill levels varied just as much, and Carl nurtured us throughout the day.

Just as the light started to fade we popped out of the end of the Doethie Valley and had a refreshing drink at The Royal Oak Inn (Royal Oak) in Rhandirmwyn, before the short trip back to our rented cottage.

A great day in a fantastic location, with impeccable guiding and good, Welsh hospitality.

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“Eco” Hotels ?

November 18, 2008

“Greenwashing” is one of my favourite “mot du jour” at the moment.

I’d love to be “green” – but with a family of four, two cars and a job working for a subsidiary of an airline my carbon footprint is the size of a yeti! (Note: Car No.1 turns into a rail season ticket in 2 months time).

As with most middle class suburbanites in 2008 I will apply salve in the form of some eco products when I next shop at my local multi national supermarket.

I will also consider staying at the “aloft Lexington” next time I’m in Boston (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/hotels/index.html).

It looks pretty cool, and with a light dusting of eco credentials, I’ll report back on how “eco” is “eco” !

aloft

Washington DC Hotels still available for 20th January 2009…..just!

November 6, 2008

If you want in on what is almost universally being hailed as an epoch defining moment then you should move swiftly. Reports are saying that Washington DC hotels are full for the inauguration (news report).

Kimpton Hotels are a great value option where you get class beating service and facilities. Their Hotel Madeira is still showing availability for Inauguration Day, but act sharp !

DC is a great destination for a leisure break at any time and is easily reached from anywhere on the Eastern seaboard. If you don’t mind trundlin a little further then its one of the most connected cities in the world!

L’Etape Du Tour

November 1, 2008

It’s been announced! The venue is Mont Ventoux – Hardly a trundlin destination. L’Etape Du Tour is heading up “The Giant of Provence” at the end of a gruelling 172km route.

L’Etape follows the route of a single Tour de France stage every year and this one is a cracker. Enter now and start training, for the experience of a lifetime!

www.letapedutour.com

www.lafuga.cc

www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk

Autumn Colour (or Fall Color?)

October 20, 2008

One fine way to see the autumn leaves turn is from the saddle of a bicycle. Rolling for 469 miles through the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway would make for a great fall road riding route. Visit www.blueridgeparkway.org for maps and info.

Twixt Seattle and Vancouver…..

October 17, 2008

……lies Bellingham, one of those places in the Pacific Northwest that constantly features in magazines’ “Best towns to…” features.

Check out the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism website’s outdoor recreation page for an idea of what you’re missing .

A touch of luxury

October 14, 2008

Sublime trundlin.

The trundlin ethos is part eccentricity, part sustainability, part luxury and part frugality. This recommendation has no sense of frugality, the tiniest soupcon of sustainability and a nod to eccentricity.

The 16th century Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa (www.palladiohotelspa.com) on Giudecca Island in Venice is rated #13 of 410 hotels in Venice by tripadvisor.com users – a testament to its quality. With design attributed to Francesco Palladio the hotel is a core part of Venice history.

Being situated on an island 50m from St Mark’s Square the hotel provides a water shuttle to “mainland” Venice. The B Mare solar powered shuttle boat trundles across the Giudecca Canal with no carbon footprint at all. A small nod in the direction of sustainability, but an important one in vulnerable Venezia!

Being across the water from the bustle of Venice, in the dawn light or evening glow you can sit on the terrazzo and admire Venice – eccentric in character and location – trundlin perfection!

……Or fiddle while Rome burns!

October 8, 2008

Stock markets fall, companies fail – perhaps what you need is luxury rather than solitude?

How about kicking back at http://www.thecarnerosinn.com/thecarnerosinn/ for some serious R&R if you need to escape from the economic meltdown and you call California home.

Chill out, and if San Jose is still open for business when you return home all the better!