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Author: Jerry Smith

Top 5 things to do in Canary Islands

Top 5 things to do in Canary Islands

Several companies offer short cruises between and around the islands. Enjoy food, drink, swimming, and the chance to see whales, dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat. Check around to see which boat cruise best matches what you want to see or do – you can charter a fishing boat if you would rather do some fishing, for example.

Go Windsurfing or Kite Boarding

Enjoy the wind, the waves, and the beautiful coastlines of the islands by windsurfing or kiteboarding. Popular islands for this include Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Visitors may buy or rent the necessary gear. Lessons for beginners to windsurfing or kiteboarding are also available. The best time of year to visit for these activities is between spring and late summer when winds are strongest.

Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

Those who have never snorkeled will be awestruck at the beauty to be found beneath the surf. Snorkel or scuba dive in waters off the Canary Islands and expect to see a beautiful underwater landscape, colorful fish and maybe even a dolphin or whale, if you are lucky. If you have never been snorkeling or scuba diving before, you can sign up for lessons at many of the dive shops. Some also offer package deals, which include boat trips and snorkeling or scuba gear along with the lessons.

Take a Day Trip to Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo is a well-known rock formation located on Gran Canaria. Rent a car, bicycle (if you are very fit) or take a bus up the road to this huge monolith and be prepared for stunning views of the land below. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the fantastic view. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers that you can add or remove clothing as you go. Temperatures at higher elevations can be significantly cooler than the beach.

Visit a Canary Island National Park or Botanical Garden

The Canary Islands not only offer great beaches, but they are also home to lush forests, breathtaking mountains, and gorgeous botanical gardens. Teide National Park, on Tenerife, is known for a large volcano. Garajonay (Parque Nacional de Garajonay), located on La Gomera, is best known for its lush forests. Loro Park, located on Tenerife, offers not only beautiful tropical flowers but also parrots. Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura are also home to popular botanical gardens.…

Top 5 Country Cottages in Scotland

Top 5 Country Cottages in Scotland

Scotland is legendary for its rich history and its stunning wild countryside. If you’re considering a vacation to Scotland, why not immerse yourself in a local community, by renting your own cottage in the Scottish Highlands? There is a multitude of Scottish country cottages to consider. Here are a few of the best cottages on offer.

1. Jocky’s View – Northern Highlands

Jocky’s View may look like a traditional fisherman’s cottage from the outside, but its interior is spacious and modern. This is the perfect cottage for a couple or small family. Jocky’s View also lives up to its name and boasts panoramic views of popular Brora beach and the nearby Sutherland hills.

Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to the activities on offer. Jocky’s View is within walking distance of a well-maintained golf course and a picture perfect Scottish village. Those who enjoy long walks will also enjoy walking alongside the picturesque river Brora.

2. The Sheiling – Isle of Skye

If you seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city life then book a stay at The Sheiling, a pine-clad cottage for two which is nestled amongst seven acres of private land.

Guests who choose to stay at The Sheiling also have the unique privilege of being able to stroll across the cottage’s private beach. Needless to say, The Sheiling is extremely popular options for newlyweds looking to book a cottage for their honeymoon.

3. Strathlene Lodge – Moray

Strathlene Lodge is a warm and inviting detached cottage, which is suitable for up to four guests.

Strathlene Lodge is popular with tourists as it’s located right on the waterfront. The cottage itself boasts huge rear windows which give guests an impressive panoramic view of the ocean and the seals who are often caught swimming in the nearby bay.

4. Boxy’s Croft – Loch Ness

If you plan on searching for Nessie the legendary Loch Ness monster, then Boxy’s Croft would make the perfect base.

Boxy’s Croft is a charming two bedroom cottage which overlooks Loch Ness. The bathroom even boasts unobstructed views of the loch, so it’s possible to keep an eye out for Nessie even while you’re taking a shower.

5. The Old Smiddy – Inverness-shire

If you love character cottages you’ll fall in love with The Old Smiddy a detached stone cottage with a fascinating history. Over 250 years ago The Old Smiddy was home to the village’s local blacksmith, although it’s since been lovingly restored and decorated for the comfort of modern day guests.

The Old Smiddy is the perfect option for families or groups, as it can comfortably accommodate up to six people. The Old Smiddy also allows pets so if you live within driving distance of Inverness-shire you can take your beloved pet with you on holiday.

If you’re interested in finding out more about any of these cottages, simply search for highland holidays with There really is a cottage to suit every group and budget. So go on, why not visit the Scottish Highlands and discover the legendary hospitality of the Scottish people?…

A Narrow Boat Holiday on the Broads

A Narrow Boat Holiday on the Broads

In modern-day Britain, a family summer holiday or a long weekend away with the kids more often than not means jumping on a plane and jetting off to foreign shores. However, while air travel to far away climes is easier and more convenient than it’s ever been, for a fraction of the cost, you could stay here in the UK, where it is possible to enjoy unique adventures, like a family boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads. The Broads offer a relaxing break with your children, while your husband is on deck playing captain, and there won’t be a grumpy custom official in sight.

Paying for your trip

Although a boating holiday with the family on the Broads won’t break the bank, it still won’t hurt to raise a few more funds to help cover expenses. An easy way to earn some cash is to trade on the internet on auction websites. I tried it out to offload my phone and I had considerable success. Selling my old iPhone was easy and I came into a little bit of money as a result. If you don’t happen to have any old iPhones just lying around, however, you can try a few other items, like clothes, board games, and films.

Narrow Boats

Barges come with basic amenities, including a toilet, kitchenette, and beds, sd well as a surprising amount of room in the living area. However, the real fun when you’re on a narrowboat is up on deck, where children can help to steer the vessel and jump on land to navigate the many locks of the Broads.

The Broads

The lakes and rivers that make up the Broads were once thought to be natural features of the landscape of the area in East Anglia. However, it was discovered following research carried out during the 1960s that the area was actually flooded peat excavations, created during Medieval times. Today the remarkable region, which covers much of the eastern territory of Norfolk and Suffolk, serves as one of the nation’s most popular boating holiday destinations.


The peacefully winding waterways of the Broads are home to a huge variety of wildlife. The reedbeds and marshland lining the rivers are home to lots of water birds, which wade close to the bank looking for food, while songbirds chirp in among the reeds. Ducks and swans are regular river mates on the calm waters, paddling beside the barges. There have even been reported sightings of otters, mink and Chinese water deer on the biologically diverse lands of the Broads.


Narrow boats do have their own mini kitchen, however, if you feel like a night off from cooking, then there are other options available on land. During a holiday on the Broads, you’ll pass through a number of places, including Ludham, Horsey and Coltishall, all quaint villages replete with pubs, restaurants, and cafes, helping you to make your family cruise down the Broads as relaxing as possible.…

6 Incredible Gardens from Around the World

6 Incredible Gardens from Around the World

Keukenhof Gardens

You may not know but the Netherlands are famed worldwide for their flower growing industry, most specifically of all the huge variety of Tulips the country grows.

These flower gardens cover an area just over 30 hectares (around 300,000 square meters). This may not seem like that much, but it actually makes Keukenhof the largest flower garden in the world. To put things into perspective it’s estimated that around 7 million new flowers are planted in the park every year. Funnily enough no one has got round to counting how many individual flowers the park contains, but you can bet it’s in the tens of millions.

Butchart Gardens

Incredible despite receiving over a million visitors a year and having been declared a National Historic Site of Canada these gardens are still privately owned by the same family that founded them over a hundred years ago.

The Butchart Gardens have been consistently renovated and expanded over the last century, evolving from a small Japanese tea garden to include an Italian style garden, a dedicated Rose garden and a collection of rare bird and animal statues.


A list of some of the world’s best gardens would be sinful if we didn’t mention a prime example of a famous Japanese Zen garden (and honestly can you find one with a better name that The Temple of the Dragon at Peace?). Ryoan-Ji is also the first garden on our list to officially be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Temple and its gardens are very old (likely over 600+ years) and during this time they have served as the burial place for some of Japan’s emperors. Despite this rich history no one is certain of the exact date of their construction and who originally built them.

The Zen garden (or rock garden) itself comprises of a space approximately 25 meters by 10 meters, containing 15 large rocks of varying sizes surrounding by gravel. The garden is meant to be viewed from a specific position on the veranda of the temple where it is only possible to see 14 of the 15 rocks. The monks say that only by achieving enlightenment is an individual able to see all 15 rocks at once.

Kirstenbosch Gardens

The only entry on our list from the continent of Africa (unfortunately 40 degree + heat isn’t great for maintaining healthy petunias), Kirstenbosch recently celebrated its one hundredth birthday.

The gardens are one of a family of gardens, nine in total, that were established in South Africa to help preserve the nation’s unique flora. In fact it’s the first botanical garden in the world established for this purpose and even to this day, over a hundred years later, the gardens still only display and cultivate indigenous species from South Africa.

As if this wasn’t impressive enough, the gardens are also situated at the foot of Table Mountain, the scenery is utterly breath taking.

Yuyuan Garden

Our fifth entry takes us back to Asia to visit another garden with a deep history. First conceived in the early fifteenth century the Yuyuan Garden contains an incredible 5 ton boulder as its centrepiece. The mammoth stone was originally meant to be housed in the imperial palace, but a shipwreck saw it recovered and placed in the gardens instead.

The Gardens are a prime example of the Suzhou style (a style that dominated Asian garden design for nearly a thousand years). The style involves the organic placement of rocks and trees to accurately mimic the natural landscape of South East Asia. There is also a heavy emphasis on small buildings, bridges, towers and other features. The Yuyuan Garden itself has over 35 such features crammed into 2 hectares.

Villa d’Este

Okay so technically speaking this is a mansion with gardens, but we’ll do our best to focus on what’s relevant here. Both house and grounds are listed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and both are prime examples of Italian Renaissance design.

This garden design places emphasis on symmetry and order, with set rows and courtyards of plants, hedges and fountains. Originally developed in the late 15th century this style would go on to heavily influence garden design around Europe for some time to come – most notably in England.

Originally commissioned by a cardinal of the Catholic Church, the gardens to this day operate over five hundred individual fountain heads and boast a wealth of marble statues, fountains and decorations dating back to the 16th century.

5 American Theme Parks You Should Visit

5 American Theme Parks You Should Visit

Ask the average person to name an American theme park and they will undoubtedly say ‘Disney World’. The world’s largest theme park resort has made Orlando into a tourist hotspot, anchored by the Magic Kingdom Park, which is the world’s busiest theme park, attracting over 17 million people annually. Florida is especially popular with Brits, who flock not only to visit Disney’s four parks and two waterparks, but also the Universal and SeaWorld parks.

However, America is a massive country and there are so many more theme parks worth visiting. Sure, Orlando is great. It’s a tourist haven, home to some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. Many people count themselves as repeat visitors, choosing Orlando as their ultimate holiday destination. But, to put it simply, they are missing out.

America is widely regarded as the capital of theme parks and amusements, with hundreds of parks scattered from coast to coast. Here are some theme parks that are off the beaten track for the typical British tourist, but these hidden gems are certainly worth a visit!

Cedar Point

Known as ‘America’s Roller Coast’ Cedar Point has been voted the world’s best amusement park by the Golden Ticket Awards for the past 16 consecutive years. Located on a peninsula in Lake Erie in Sandusky, OH, Cedar Point is famous for its skyline of tall coasters and rides that entices you in as you drive along the road across the lake.

What makes Cedar Point so special is that it offers plenty of rides for people of all tastes, and it boasts a waterpark as well as many miles of beaches with golden sands. It is home to many ground-breaking rides, including Magnum XL-200, the first coaster taller than 200 feet, Millennium Force, the first taller than 300 feet and Top Thrill Dragster, the first taller than 400 feet.

Some of the park’s newest rides include Windseeker, which spins you round a central tower over 300 feet high, and Gatekeeper, a thrilling ‘wing’coaster where you sit on either side of the track with nothing above or below you.

Luna Park at Coney Island

For a slice of Americana, head to the famous Luna Park at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. This seaside park is most famous for its Cyclone coaster, which dates back to 1927 and is one of the world’s most popular roller coasters.

The park has plenty of other thrilling rides, including the Soarin’ Eagle flying coaster and the launched Steeplechase coaster. Visit Deano’s Wonder Wheel Amusement, smack bang in the middle of Luna Park, and ride the ever popular Wonder Wheel, that has rocking cars that slide along a track, adding extra moments of pure thrills.

Try some delicious hotdogs from Nathan’s Famous, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, or relax on the beach, which stretches for over 2.5 miles.

Holiday World

This family-oriented theme park can be found in Santa Claus, Indiana, and is famous for its friendly staff, numerous industry awards, and free soft drinks! This charming theme park has an enviable reputation and really does put its customers’ needs first.

It is divided into four sections, each of which is themed after a different holiday (Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July) and boasts an impressive line-up of attractions, with something for everyone in the family. One of the park’s standout rids is The Voyage, which is one of the world’s longest coasters and boasts more air time, the moment you experience weightlessness and fly out of your seat, than any other coaster.

There’s also the Splashin’ Safari waterpark, with offers an ever-growing selection of waterslides, including some of the world’s longest and most thrilling.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Located in Valencia, California, Six Flags Magic Mountain is an adrenalin junkie’s haven. Among its stellar line-up of 20 roller coasters are some of the world’s wildest, tallest, fastest and most innovative creations.

Take a perilous flight on Tatsu, the world’s tallest, fastest and longest flying coaster, where you get a bird’s eye view from over 150 feet up in the air. Get flipped upside down in every which way possible on X2, a stomach-churning coaster whose seats rotate forwards and backwards on a 360 degree axis. Catch your breath as you are launched forwards and backwards on the newest coaster, Full Throttle, then admire the stunning views on Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom before plummeting 400 feet to the ground.

Kids can enjoy a plethora of kiddie rides in Bugs Bunny World and Whistlestop park while just next door is the Hurricane Harbour waterpark, which boasts an array of thrilling slides and pools to cool off in when the Californian sun is out.


Disneyland is a must-see for any ardent Disney fan. Boasting a line-up of classic attractions, as well as some more modern additions, Disneyland was the very first Disney Park and the only one to have been opened while Walt Disney himself was still alive.

The park is steeped in history and has welcomed over 650 million guests since opening day back in 1955. When you walk through this park’s many themed lands, you cannot help but notice its charm and character. Each attraction is expertly and whimsically themed to help bring its story to life. Stop by the Haunted Mansion to greet the 999 happy haunts, explore the deepest corners of Space Mountain on a rampant roller coaster ride and cool off with a 5-storey plunge on Splash Mountain.

Part of the magic is that you can meet some of your favourite Disney characters, who will happily pose for photos and sign autographs. If that’s not enough, there’s another park, Disney California Adventure, right next door!…