Well yes, and probably more than once since pets were permitted into Irish restaurants, pubs and cafés following a rule change that brought Ireland into line with EU Regulations last December. The welcome remains at the owner’s discretion, of course, but it’s opened up all sorts of options for people, like me, who travel with their pets. Here are my highlights! DublinEat: The Fumbally (thefumbally.ie) has always been ahead of the pack when it comes to welcoming dogs indoors in Dublin. Pup-obsessed MVP Bar (mvpdublin.com, pictured) serves top craft cocktails to humans and “doggy beer” to well-behaved dogs, with pet projects like Dogchella and Pupperween to boot. For a doggy day out, grab the Dart (small dog-friendly) to The Dog House (thedoghousehowth.com) in Howth, and chow one of its wood-fired pizzas. Stay: The five-star Dylan (dylan.ie) offers one of the most desirable pup-friendly pads in the country, with welcome treats and balcony views as standard … [Read more...] about Pet-friendly Ireland: 100 great places to eat, stay and play with your pooch!
Friendly village mobile home park
Kids need to be close enough to feel safe, and yet not close enough to make turning on a light or communicating in anything noisier than a WhatsApp message impossible (as friends I know resorted to on one holiday, when they were forced to remain in the room with their children after bedtime). Largely, this delicate balance has seemed to preclude holidaying in hotels. Self-catering is the way forward. Mobile homes with outdoor decks from which the children's room can remain in line of sight. Houses or apartments where the communal areas are within comfortable distance of bedrooms. A friend and I once took our combined offspring on a skiing holiday and the room the four of us shared included a steam room off the bathroom - where, after bedtime, we enjoyed a glass of wine and a chat. Locked in with our children, but far enough away to actually speak. The parenting holiday jackpot. In the main, hotels seem to just offer up the option of parents sitting outside in the corridor once the … [Read more...] about Killenard: Living it large in child-friendly Laois
In June 1968, state Sen. Dennis J. Collins, R-DeKalb, looked out at the small trickle of Indian Creek, open farmland and rural homesteads, and envisioned what it could be: a state park for DeKalb County. Collins was giving a tour of what would become Shabbona Lake State Park to William Lodge, state director of conservation. According to a 1968 Daily Chronicle story, Lodge “liked what he saw” and “said it was perfect.” As Collins neared retirement, he wanted to leave behind a legacy. He loved the outdoors and wanted to share his love of nature with others. “My father loved to promote the outdoors, and one of his lifelong goals and legacies was to bring a state park to DeKalb County,” said Dr. Dennis Collins, the senator’s son. Collins retired from the Illinois Senate in 1972 after 42 years of service. He died unexpectedly in 1974, four years before the opening of Shabbona Lake State Park. Although he never saw the completion of the park, … [Read more...] about Outdoor oasis: Shabbona Lake State Park a 40-year success story
“If everyone’s stomachs are up to it, we can go see the elephants,” said Rian Labuschagne, his voice crackling through my aviation headset. Receiving the thumbs-up from his three passengers, Mr Labuschagne, who was then manager of Zakouma National Park in Chad, steered the fixed-wing Cessna C180 towards a spot 12 miles south. Earlier that morning, his rangers had spotted the elephants there. It was precisely these elephants that had drawn me to this remote Central African park. Although few Westerners have heard of it, Zakouma is home to one of the most stunning conservation success stories in Africa. Unchecked poaching had previously rendered the protected area a near war zone: as rebel factions attempted to overthrow the government from 2005 to 2010, poachers took advantage of the country’s lawless state to massacre 90 per cent of the park’s elephants. Read more Black rhinos return to Chad 50 years after poaching wiped them out But after … [Read more...] about How Zakouma National Park is getting a grip on poaching and saving Chad’s elephant population
Wikkelboat in Wijnhaven, Rotterdam. Photo: Yvonne Witte / Wikkelhouse Who would want to live in a space the size of a shed at the mercy of the elements? Deborah Nicholls-Lee finds out why the Tiny House movement is gaining ground in the Netherlands. Sometimes a queue forms outside Marjolein Jonker’s Alkmaar home. She enjoys showing people around her house, but at just 20m², only a few visitors at a time can fit inside. Co-designed with students from the TU Delft and parked since 2016 on grassy wasteland where a gas factory once stood, Marjolein’s Tiny House was one of the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Marjolein (42) co-founded Stichting Tiny House Nederland in 2015 and is one of the most active voices in the Tiny House movement here which, in times of sky-high property prices and massive personal debt, is gathering momentum (see map). Tiny Houses are cleverly-designed homes, no more than 50m², which make efficient use of a small space. Most, like … [Read more...] about Could a custom-made Tiny House be your affordable new home?