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Family cycle ride around Chiang Mai, Thailand

Family cycle ride around Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Breaking a chunk of sticky rice from the centre of a peeled back cylinder of bamboo, I acknowledged the value of guided tours.   Whilst moving at your own pace haphazardly discovering what is around the next corner is my usual preference, it is nice to hand over the responsibility of choosing where to stop and where to go next once in a while. And more than that, the benefit of a local guide can mean going to…

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Thank you, Yosemite National Park – a vast thing of beauty at every turn

Thank you, Yosemite National Park – a vast thing of beauty at every turn

“Warning: Mountain Lion area,” read the black and white poster in the dingy, smelly toilets that were the only nod to civilisation at our campground in Yosemite National Park. Already, on entering Crane Flat, we’d been warned by a ranger that bears had been spotted within the campsite that day and extreme vigilence was necessary to prevent attracting one to our tent. All food and fragranced items had to be stored in the bear locker provided. The metal trunk was…

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Our Golden highlights from three days in San Francisco

Our Golden highlights from three days in San Francisco

Cycling from Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge and a visit to Alcatraz were my highlights of San Francisco. For my seven-year-old son the massage chair and Etch-A-Sketch in the reception area of our characterful accommodation, the couple of hours spent playing with local kids zooming down a concrete slide on a piece of cardboard, and getting a pesky wobbly tooth knocked out during a game of rugby with an American family were also up there. Three days in…

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Get the sweet smell of success with a must-do trip to Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo

Get the sweet smell of success with a must-do trip to Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo

When it comes to smells which leave you with an enduring sense of a great time at a visitor attraction, a farm is surely up against it. But Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo in Pembrokeshire managed it for us. No, it wasn’t that farmyard smell (which wasn’t very evident anywhere) and it wasn’t even the aroma of the candy floss and popcorn from the vintage fairground area. No, strangely enough, the smell which stimulated our nostrils most emerged from…

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The superb Iron Age visitor attraction without the modern-day price tag

The superb Iron Age visitor attraction without the modern-day price tag

A very affordable visitor attraction which leaves you with a feelgood factor is always going to be a winner – and that’s what you get at Castell Henllys. The Iron Age village nestled in the gorgeous Pembrokeshire countryside and managed by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has special themed events throughout the school summer holidays. To be honest, we’d say it benefits from that little extra uplift. The site is a series of reconstructed roundhouses built upon the foundations…

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Why we’re advocating a holiday firm we’re yet to use

Why we’re advocating a holiday firm we’re yet to use

I can’t imagine anywhere in the world being able to offer more as a travel destination than our homeland in the UK. Within 60 miles of the town where we live in the East Midlands there’s more to see and do than life allows and much of it well away from any well-trodden tourist trail. There are woods to run, jump and play in (Bourne / Boston Woods), bustling and unspoiled beaches (Skegness / Holkham), all manner of public parks…

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Why we’re taking the leap into a mid-life family gap year

Why we’re taking the leap into a mid-life family gap year

How did we get to this point? The one where I’ve given up my job, we’ve rented out the house, deregistered our seven-year-old son from his school and stand on the precipice of a round the world trip. At 46 years old, I shouldn’t even be thinking about globetrotting for another 20 years. That’s the right time for poring over motorhome adverts and embarking on carefree travel, isn’t it? It does take a certain mindset to consider a big venture…

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