Consider it the adventurer’s ultimate European road trip: a 16-day, 4,660-mile winter tour of 10 northern European countries, with anachronistic rules attached. Driving on motorways is out, using GPS is forbidden and drivers’ cars must be at least 15 years old. “Don’t forget to pack your Arctic boots and nerves of steel,” warns a friend, laughing, when I tell him that my photographer partner and I will be the first media to join the Baltic Sea Circle Winter circuit, one of the boldest rallies in the world. Although it was inaugurated last year, this intrepid winter rally can trace its origins to 2011 when Germany's Superlative Adventure Club (SAC) launched a summer rally that began in Hamburg and continued via Denmark and Sweden to Norway’s North Cape before heading back down to Germany via Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Back then, five teams took part – nowadays it is more like 200. The … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Arctic sights and Northern Lights on Baltic Sea Circle Winter, the world’s northernmost adventure rally
Saunas and hot tubs
Keeping mum happy should be everyone’s priority on Sunday. Ciara McDonnell rounds up some getaways to put a smile on her faceAt Your ServiceAllow Francis and John Brennan take care of you and your mother by booking a restorative stay at The Park Kenmare. Their one night SÁMAS Experience package takes in the gorgeous onsite spa, including their three hour SÁMAS Experience.This treatment smorgasbord begins with an hour in the thermal suite, where you can enjoy the steam rooms, ice fountain, and utterly gorgeous outside vitality pool. From there, you’ll head off to enjoy one of the spa’s Essence of SÁMAS Body Treatments and Sisley Facials before whiling your last hour away in the spa’s relaxation area. If you have a yen for the outdoors after your spa visit, feel free to engage in a spot of tennis or croquet on the hotel lawn before you enjoy a five-course meal in the Dining Room. The package costs from €280 per person, staying in a Superior … [Read more...] about The best mum and daughter breaks
HOTELS might be your default choice when it comes to booking accommodation for a holiday. But as these stunning properties reveal, find the right rental home and you could wake up to stunning views of mountains, forests and lakes. Glamping rental website Glamping Hub have revealed some of the most unusual properties that are available to rent. From a floating cabin in France to a hanging treehouse in Sweden, here are a few you might want to book. This secluded dome on the South Island of New Zealand is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature. It starts from £176 a night for four people, which works out to just £44 each. Northern Lights chasers should choose this glass cabin in Iceland, which features entirely exposed walls and ceilings. Fortunately, the toilets are sheltered from view. It sleeps just two though, working out at £236.50pp. For the ultimate holiday home, this treehouse in Lapland is designed to blend in. Up to five people can enjoy the amazing view of … [Read more...] about Book these amazing holiday homes from just £34pp per night – and the views are unbeatable
It is Hull’s newest and swankiest leisure facility which opened to grand aplomb last year following a multi-million pound refurbishment. With two new pools, a terraced café and a state-of-the-art gym, Woodford Leisure Centre is a star attraction in the city – but not everyone is a fan. Just months after opening, disgruntled visitors to the venue have slated it on Trip Advisor with the centre currently having a 1.5 star rating out of five based on 31 reviews. Small lockers, “jobsworth” staff, cold pools and changing rooms and “manky, filthy” facilities are just some of the criticisms levelled at the Holderness Road premises. But is it really as bad as people are making out? Hull Live reporter Alex Grove decided to head down to Woodford Leisure Centre to see what it is really like and to see whether people’s concerns are worth taking note of or whether it is all a load of codswallop. First impressions Many people use Trip Advisor as a gauge … [Read more...] about Is ‘manky, filthy and unloved’ Woodford Leisure Centre that bad?
‘THE Lakes’ first come into view on the driver’s side from Dumfriesshire as we head south from Cairnryan, having disembarked from Stena 90 minutes earlier. It’s not strictly speaking ‘The Lakes’ but across the glistening sandbanks of the Solway Firth are the northern peaks of Cumbria’s Lake District. Within the hour we’re on the banks of Ullswater checking in to Another Place, a quirkily named hotel that promises a “relaxed, active and social ethos” – an approach that perfectly encapsulates a visit to this beautiful part of northern England. The Lakes have a human history dating back to the ancient Celts, while the Romans were also very active in the region, building a road – the so-called High Street – over several peaks in order to service the western end of Hadrian’s Wall. The area first became popular as a tourist destination in the early 19th century, its deep lakes and high mountains – known … [Read more...] about ‘Relaxed, active and social’ sums up the lure of England’s lovely Lake District