ONE of Ballymoney’s top tourist attractions has closed its doors. Leslie Hill Farm which brought thousands of visitors to the Borough since it began in 1989 was not opened at Easter and a message on the website said:“Unfortunately, Leslie Hill will not be opening for Easter 2013 and will remain closed throught June, July and August.“We thank you wholeheartedly for your visits in previous years and are sorry to disappoint you at this time.”A council spokesperson confirmed that they had been contacted to not include the Farm on their tourist information brochures.A member of the family, Mr. John Leslie, said his parents who ran the farm since it opened, were both over 80 and had “done as much as they could.” He added that they had wanted to retire.Mr. Leslie said it was regrettable that the Farm had to close but did not rule it re-opening in the future.Councillor Bill Kennedy said the news had saddened him. It was, he said, a very popular and well … [Read more...] about LESLIE HILL FARM CLOSES
Garda town tourist information
Says who? Says you - our readers - who voted it so in last year's Reader Travel Awards (vote now in this year's awards, and you could win one of seven holiday prizes). While hotspots like Rome and Venice, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast have captured our hearts, however, they have also captured something else… mushrooming crowds. Overtourism is now a mainstream issue, and Venice, in particular, is one of its poster children. A small city visited by some 30 million people a year, it has taken to fining tourists for dawdling on bridges, swimming in canals and attaching 'love locks' to monuments. Big cruise ships are being banned from the old centre. With just 55,000 locals now calling the historic city their home, some believe La Serenissima is in danger of dying. In peak seasons, you'll have noticed the crush in other Italian destinations too. So what can visitors do? Is it possible to have our cake and eat it? Well, one trick is to travel off-season, in winter and shoulder … [Read more...] about The Italian Insiders: Our ultimate guide to Italy without the crowds
Driving through County Donegal, somewhere south of Ballybofey, we turned left on to a narrow lane. After a few miles we came to an old stone bridge over a tumbling stream. It was wide open country, with forestry plantations and mountains in the background, but a foreground of pure Irish bog. No one in sight; no sound but the wind. And none of the paraphernalia of a border. The sharp-bend sign on the far side was British-style black-and-white rather than Irish black-and-amber. And on the other side was an un-British 80kmph speed limit sign. The only other indicator was the phone flipping from network to network. I stood alone on the bridge: king of the wild frontier. This being Ireland – one way or another – the first passing driver stopped to say hello. Her name was Sarah Conaghan. She was in the holiday cottage business and as local as they come. But round here that is not a simple proposition: she lives in Donegal, in the Republic, but grew up in Tyrone, where we now … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightA view from the border: Ireland on the brink of Brexit
Classy George Clooney is a man of impeccable taste, be it in film roles, posh coffee, wives or properties. So when I set off for Lake Como, the heartthrob actor’s home for the last 17 years, I expected it to be pretty special. Perhaps even as easy on the eye as Gorgeous George himself. But nothing could have prepared me for the jaw-dropping beauty, dramatic scenery and magical romance of this Italian pool of dreams. It’s no wonder artists, aristocrats and A-listers have been flocking to the watery wonderland for centuries in search of glamorous relaxation. But, as I discovered on a short break with tour firm Shearings, Brits on a budget can also live it up amid Lake Como’s many delights. 5 reasons why Italy's Lake Como is such a hit with celebrities from George Clooney to Declan Donnelly and Chris Smalling The drive to Lake Como itself We flew to Milan’s Malpensa airport and, after half an hour of boring motorway, hit the lake road. And I spent the next 45 … [Read more...] about Best things to see and do in Lake Como including discovering its Hollywood links
I'm in Bardolino on the eastern side of Lake Garda, with my wife and friends. We are here to explore Italy’s largest lake, talk about our grandchildren and boast about how many pills we take! No scenic clichés do the lake justice. Its stunning beauty has been an inspiration to some of history’s most famous literary figures. Tennyson, Byron, Dante, have all had their say about the lake and DH Lawrence, who lived and wrote here for a while, described Lake Garda as a “lake as beautiful as the beginning of creation”. However there is much more to Lake Garda than just soaking up the sun in this paradise with ice cream!The first place we explored is Bardolino, our base for the week. We are staying in the unpretentious but sophisticated 4 star Nettuno hotel located just metres from the lakeside promenade and just five minutes walk into town. Gathered around a tiny harbour, and located just 25 kilometres north of Verona, Bardolino is an elegant tourist town, that … [Read more...] about Lake Garda, an Italian paradise… with ice cream!