Archive for the ‘weekend’ Category

A Short Break That’s Just Too Long

December 2, 2011

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Next Wednesday, a group of friends are heading up to Cumbria for three days of walking in the hills.

Last year I was one of the group, and the winter weather made for a wry memorable weekend. Using Keswick as a base we had magical snow all around.

This year, I’m back working in the travel industry, and more precisely, in the world of IT. For me this means that November/December is spent trying to shoehorn improvements into our systems in time for the peak booking season that everybody in the industry hopes will materialise as usual.

This means that I won’t be going on the road trip from the south coast to Cumbria, but will have to vicariously enjoy the hills via texts/tweets and browsing the excellent Striding Edge website.

If you’re considering a visit to the Lake District then I also heartily recommend www.golakes.co.uk which won a Travolution award recently for Absolute Media. It’s the “official website of Cumbria Tourism” so is an ideal place to start your research.

I’ll be heading into the South Downs National Park for some trail running on my traditional two day weekend, so I won’t be too hard done by….

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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” !

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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!

Inspired by The Clash…..

October 25, 2008

Should I stay or Should I go?

A couple of days in San Fran or stay at home for some R&R – perhaps a lightning trip to Snowdon?

How to decide? Aha, back to the Trundlin equation – a complex algorithm of time, money, weather and relationships.

For the moment I’m pondering……

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!