Saturday 29 August 2009

By bicycle in Richmond Park

Richmond Park, located in the west of London, it is the largest of the Royal Parks in London, covering an area of 1,012 hectares (2,500 acres). Despite being surrounded by buildings, once you have walked into it you feel as though you have stepped back in time - the landscape here has remained much the same for centuries. Richmond ParkCharles I had the most influence of any monarch on this land. Escaping from the plague in town, he vistied Richmond, and realized this was land he could hunt. In 1637, ignoring all complaints, he turned it into a hunting park containing some 2,000 deer, and enclosed them inside a 13-km (8-mi) long, brick wall.

Richmond ParkThe deer and the hunt changed the look of the park. Mature trees - some of which still stand today - were pollarded to protect them from being eaten. Ponds were dug to provide water. Later on, planned vistas were designed, and small woods added - fenced for protection. Today some 350 fallow deer and 300 red deer still inhabit the park and continue to shape the landscape. Whilst you relax, you might see exotic looking birds flitting from tree to tree - this is home to a large poputlation of parakeets.

Only with bicycle, you can earlier to go all around the park, head west to Ham House. Built for Sir Thomas Vavasour in 1610, it has a fascinating history. Between 1626 and the end of the century the house, by this time under different ownership, was transformed into a luxuriously furnished villa, and much of its decor and contents can still be seen today. Standing on the banks fo the Thames, Ham House also has magnificent gardens that include a 17th-century orangery and what is believed to be the oldest Christ's thorn bush in the United Kingdom.

Best time to go: a sunny day between mid-March and the end of October.

Finding an accommodation nearby: online booking hotels in London.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Visit Cambridge

Visit CambridgeCambridge, there are few pleasanter ways of passing a sunny summer day than in the cerebral atmosphere of this ancient town of colleges and churches. From the sublime medieval architecture of the city centre to the wildflower meadows along the River Cam, you are surrounded by the echoes of history: there is not a single spot than does not have some story attached to it.

Look around the old university buildings in the city centre. Trinity, St John's and King's are the grandest colleges but the smaller more modest ones like Queens' are just as beautiful in their simplicity of design. Visit the Round Church, built in 1130 and St Benet's Church, the oldest building in Cambridgeshire. The Fitzwilliam Museum, "the finest small museum in Europe" has a superb fine and applied art collection from all over Western Europe and Asia.

Have lunch at The Eagle, the oldest pub in Cambridge, where Francis Crick made the momentous annoucement that he and James Watson had discovered DNA; then hire a punt and spend the afternoon lazily drifiting along one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the country.

The Cam runs along the "backs", behind the colleges. Starting at the Mathematical Bridge (a curious construction of criss-crossed wooden joists fallaciously attributed to Isaac Newton) go past King's College and under the Bridge of Sighs to Magdalene. Follow the river further, through the country meadowland and you will get to Grantchester, immortalized by war poet Rupert Brooke. Read his poem "The Old vicarage, Grantchester" while drinking tea under the trees at The Orchard.

Bring your day to a glorious close by attending Evensong at King's College Chapel. Listening to the voices of one of the world's most famous choirs in one of England's most beautiful medieval buildings as the evening shadows lengthen is pretty close to heaven.

Don't miss
Kettle's yard, an idiosyncratic modern art gallery that feels as though you are in somebody's house. It was the home of Jim Ede, an avent-garde collector. He knocked together several workman's cottages off Castle Street where he held open house and displayed his collection of paintings, sculptures and objects d'art; on retirement he donated the house and all its contents to the University.

Best time to go
From May to September, booking a finest hotel in Cambridge online, as your best choice.

Friday 21 August 2009

Tuscany, a dream holiday

As everyone knows, Tuscany (Toscana) is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in Italy. It is located in central Italy, along the Mediterranean coast. Tuscany is a gently hilly region, well-known for its vineyards and olive groves, with large houses or small settlements scattered around the low hills. Its rich rolling landscape is complemented by towns overflowing with Renaissance art and architecture. The most important river is the Arno, on which Florence and Pisa are situated, although the Tiber also passes briefly through Tuscany.

TuscanyTuscany is one of Italy's best wine-producing areas, with Chianti and Montepulciano among its famous products.

Tuscany is divided into ten provinces: Arezzo, Firenze (Florence), Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.

Tuscany tourist destinations Tuscany
Florence is Tuscany's unmissable crown jewel, with its beautiful buildings, colourful history, priceless art and unique atmosphere. But Tuscany is one of the few Italian regions well-known to foreigners as a tourist destination in itself. For decades a Tuscan villa has been the dream holiday for many travellers. And amongst the vineyards and hills of Tuscany are other lovely historic towns - not as packed with attractions as Florence, but not as packed with tourists either.

Siena is a patrician hilltop town with a past to rival that of Florence, famous for the rivalry between its districts (called contrade) which climaxes in the Palio.

TuscanyPisa boasts not just the legendary leaning tower, but also several other attractions, and good transport links to other parts of Italy. Smaller Tuscan destinations which are popular with holidaymakers include Lucca, San Gimignano (a forest of medieval towers on a hill) and the wine-producing Chianti area.

Where to stay: booking hotels in Tuscany online, is easier to find a suitable accommodation for your dream holiday.

Monday 17 August 2009

A great day in Greenwich (London)

A day out to Maritime Greenwich is a day that everyone in the family will enjoy. Situated on the River Tames, Greenwich is a beautiful spot: the landscape and parkland is serene, with gorgeous views in every direction, and the architecture is spectacular. It is also home to several historic landmarks, of so much significance to Britain's magnificent maritime history and royal past that it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

GreenwichIt will make the day more fun if you travel there and back on different forms of transport and by different routes. You could, for example, take the Docklands Light Railway out, and a riverboot back, so you'd see two completely different aspects of London.

Start with the Greewich Maritime Museum; established by an Act of Parliament in 1934, its collection of maritime art, manuscripts, maps and navigational instruments is the last word on Britain's seafaring history. The old Naval College, close by, is a domed, architectural gem, built by Sir Chiristopher Wren. Inside you can visit the Painted Hall, possibly the finest dining hall in the world, decorated with paintings by James Thornhill. This is where Nelson's body lay in state after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

GreenwichAnother must visit at Greenwich is the Royal Obervatory. From the Observatory you have a great view of the Thames and London. Founded in 1675 by Charles II, it has recently been upgraded and re-developed. This is the site of the Prime Meridian, the place from which everywhere on earth is measured, to the east or west of the line. If you stand with one foot on eigher side, you are standing in both of the world's hemispheres. The new, state of the art Planetarium runs a mumber of wonderful shows; inspiring and educational, there's even one for the under fives.

The Queen's House, designed in 1616 by inigo Jones and site of the Martings, belonged to James l's wife, Anne of Denmark. James I is said to have given Anne the manor of Greenwich as an apology ofr swearing at her in public when she shot one of his favourite dogs in a hunting accident.

Greenwich Park Greenwich Park

Where to stay: to find a suitable and cheaper hotel in London Greenwich, click on it.
LoveTravel recommends you the Hotel De Vere Venue Devonport House, situated on the prestigious World Heritage site in Greenwich, London. This spectacular historic building has been sympathetically restored to offer a fantastic combination of 4-star facilities in traditional surroundings. Room rate from £59 per night.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Weekend in Salisbury

Salisbury: Old Sarum, Heale Garden and Stonehenge.

Weekend in SalisburySalisbury is one of England's loveliest cities. Set in water meadows and swept by trees, it wears its half-timbered alleys and Norman stone splendour with grace beneath the needle spire of Britain's finest medieval cathedral. The cathedral is itself at the heart of England's largest medieval close, a huge green sward edged with trees hiding beautiful houses from different eras. Above them, the tallest spire in the country seems to rise out of green fields. Close-to, you can see its architectural brilliance, and Europe's oldest working clock and a copy of Magna Carta, too. But the Cathedral is very much a place of worship - and to hear music performed there, as you can, is to be transformed.

The transcendent harmony of Salisbury replaced what is now just a colossal earthworks called Old Sarum, on Salisbury's northern edge. Hign on the windswept chalky downs, Old Sarum looks like the ancient hill fort it once was, before Romans, Saxons and Normans made it both castle and cathedral. Its ruins make a fascinating, but bleak timeline of historical suspicion and strife. Contrast it with Heale Gardens, north along the lush Woodofr Valley. They are a perfect example of generations of benign and imaginative eccentricity creating pure magic from flowers, trees and shrubs. Woodland, Japanese, and Kitchen gardens are all touched by the genius of fantasy, timed to bloom in constant seasonal flux.

Drive on to the World Heritage glory of Stonehenge, a series of ceremonial earthworks, mounds and domestic remains clustered round the iconic circular stones of the Henge itself. You may have to fight your way through crowds, and await your timed entry to the actual stones - but whatever it actually is, Stonehenge is unique. It will fire your imagination.

Best time to go: any time of year - except Heale Gardens, which are open between February and October.

Weekend in SalisburyDon't miss: the authentic Japanese Tea House in Heale Gardens, built over a trout stream, which then flows under a red Nikko brige...

Where to Stay: LoveTravel recommends you book in Grasmere House Hotel, is just a short walk from Salisbury and offers superb cathedral views, surrounded by mature gardens. what's more, refer to Hotel in Salisbury online booking.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Lisbon travel guide

Lisbon travel guideLisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugual, it is also the seat of the district of Lisbon and the main city of the NUTS Lisbon region. Lisbon was under Roman rule from 205 BC, when it was already a 1000 year old town.

Lisbon is situated on the north banks of the River Tagus, the charm of Lisbon exists in its strong links to the past; renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle mirror the city's rich cultural heritage. Its eclectic blend of neighborhoods, culture and architecture distinguish this capital city uniquely from the other European capitals and make it a truly fascinating and comprehensive city to visit.

A city set on seven hills, as the legend tells, with its cobble stoned pavements and narrow streets full of Art Nouveau cafés promises a lot to discover: Its downtown, the Baixa, located around Rossio, Praça do Comércio; situated on the hill around St. George’s Castle, Alfama and Mouraria; Lisbon’s most traditional quarters with their typical streets, Bairro Alto and Madragoa, and set on Tagus River, Belém offer an unforgettable experience of city’s past at the present.

Lisbon also hosts a great number of remarkable museums of ancient and modern art, some of which are Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, National Coach Museum, and Carmo Archaeological Museum. But, Lisbon isn't all culture and history; Bairro Alto is the center of nightlife with various restaurants and bars where melancholic traditional Portuguese music, Fado, can also be listened.

The best way to discover Lisbon is to get lost in its narrow streets and up and down roads! Every narrow street will tell you a different story and every story will reach to your heart easily. Night and day, feel Lisbon! Live Lisbon!

Where to Stay: the Hotel Olissippo Oriente is a modern four-star property located in Lisbon's former Expo 98 site, which is now known as the Parque das Nações. One major feature is the hotel's very close proximity to the Lisbon Oceanarium, FIL fairground, Vasco da Gama shopping centre and the city`s new casino. Other convenient offers for hotel in Lisbon, are available in these days for online booking.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Great Greek islands

GreecePLAN your summer trip with LoveTravel's guide, to the best islands in Greece.

In reality, there is no such thing as "best Greek islands". One would definitely find a paradise among the 3000 islands of Greece. Searching is most of the fun of course, here is a list to start with.

SANTORINI (Thera): the combination of breathtaking topography and culture automatically elevate Santorini to a favorite destination. The island's popularity is probably its only flaw. Visiting in May or early June is better to avoid the crowds. Staying at a hotel in Santorini in Ia, or in Fira atop the volcanic caldera is also imperative. The views are unforgettable. Good beaches (Perissa, and Red beach), a great museum of prehistoric art, a unique excavation site at Akrotiri, and the legend of Atlantis would keep any visitors happy.

CORFU: the famous island is green and beautiful but can get very busy in high season. Exploring neoclassical Corfu Town is like getting lost in a museum.
In Corfu island, Lakones is a place where is the very good views and walks; Agios Stefanos and Kerasia are the best beaches in Corfu.

ZAKYNTHOS: the rugged beach-and-cliff west coast is very beautiful; the east coast is overdeveloped. Endangered loggerhead turtles nest in the south-east, sharing beaches with resorts. Stay north, near the dramatic Shipwreck Beach.
Zakynthos Town is rebuilted in original Venetian style after 1953 earthquake.

KYTHIRA: in the Greek imagination, Kythira is as far away as a traveller can go. Here Aphrodite first rose from the sea. Visitors come for the hiking and beaches, the best of which are in the east.

SKIATHOS: exceptionally pretty beaches beneath pine-clad hills. The well-preserved old town has a vibrant waterfront.

SKOPELOS: only slowly being discovered by tourists, the island still feels quiet and Greek with its pretty harbour town, plum and almond orchards, and numerous pebble beaches.

ALONNISOS: a sleepy pine-covered island, the largest of 25 (the others are uninhabited) in the National Marine Park of Alonnisos-Northern Sporades, which protects Mediterranean monk seals. Has waht may be the earliest evidence of humanity in the Aegean.

CRETE: a world unto itself, this large island has glittering resorts (at Elounda) and mountain villages wehre even other Greeks are considered foreigners. For the best overview, head west to the port of Chania, with its lively harbour and well-preserved Venetian architecture, then south into the White Mountains.

Hotel search and booking in Greek islands
For those who don't want to go through a travel agency, is easy to choose and book online a suitable hotel in Greek islands. Special offers are available in this moment of the year.