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Alpine retreats: 10 of the best wellness breaks with spas and mountain views

Give yourself a regenerating boost at 10 of the most energising and uplifting mountain wellness resorts and spasThe first certified bio-organic hotel in the Vorarlberg region, this 500-year-old building is now home to a soothing mountain retreat, combining a programme of outdoor hikes, indoor yoga and spa treatments with plenty of cosy spaces for relaxing...

10 of the best group trips for solo travellers

From wild camping in the Sahara and the Lakes to culinary adventures and tours of Europe, these holidays are also a fun way to meet new people Intrepid Travel’s Real Food Adventures offers the chance to meet travellers with a similar appetite for delving into local cuisine on trips where culture and adventure come with a substantial side of cooking...

‘It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone’: 10 tips for solo travellers

Travelling alone needn’t mean feeling lonely and left out: hostels, guided walks and foodie tours are great ways to both explore and meet new peopleYoung adults, new remote workers and empty-nesters on “gap” years are all fuelling a post-lockdown boom in solo travel. Figures from the website Solo Traveler suggest most of them are women and quite a few...

A solo trip around Europe, with my travel phobia? I only wish I’d done it sooner

My first trip alone was daunting, but the romance and beauty of Paris, Florence and Rome helped me conquer my fearsI’ve never been to Paris before, but it’s living up to its reputation so far. I only arrived a few minutes ago and have parked myself in a posh 1920s-style cafe across the road from Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar train deposits Channel-hoppers...

‘Around here, people want top-end food’: how Lancashire’s Ribble Valley became Britain’s gastropub capital

With villages around the town of Clitheroe now home to three of the UK’s top 50 gastropubs, we celebrate this unique north-western take on excellent pub diningOnly a handful of UK towns can lay claim to being culinary centres. Over the years we’ve had hype as well as hearty reviews for Bray in Berkshire – care of the Roux brothers and Heston Blumenthal....

New York City could lose 10,000 Airbnb listings in short-term rental crackdown

New rules spark furious debate as city tightens regulation of illegal rentals in attempt to defend housing stock for tenantsNew York City’s latest plans to crack down on illegal short-term rentals – which could remove as many as 10,000 Airbnb listings later this year – is sparking fierce debates about housing, hotels, the tourist market and residents’...

Chartbuster: cyclist rides 7,000 miles across every Ordnance Survey map

Mark Wedgwood traverses territory covered by every one of the 204 Landrangers and says none of his trousers fit any moreBeloved by armchair explorers and outdoors enthusiasts alike, Ordnance Survey’s Landranger maps have inspired countless adventures.But for one keen cyclist they sparked a challenge that is almost certainly a first: riding across every...

‘Prepare to be blown away – literally’: readers’ favourite trips in Ireland

Our tipsters confirm that the Emerald Isle’s pubs, cafes and literary hotspots offer brilliant backup for its huge variety of outdoor adventures. Scroll down to see the winnerI was fortunate to spend a few days in the seaside village of Portnoo, which made a great jumping-off point for exploring the multitude of white sand beaches – many of which wouldn’t...

A Bavarian fairytale: hiking, frosty peaks and an ivory castle

The tale of a starry-eyed monarch’s fantasy fortress provides the backdrop to a dazzling walking holiday in Germany’s far southIn a clearing at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, a stoat breaks cover. The little creature flows quickly across the grass, its eyes set ahead, the ice white of its fur broken only by the black tip of its tail. The dazzle of its...

Church camping movement seeks to spread the word far and wide

‘Champing’ has had a record year with people bedding down in churches across England and Wales while throwing a lifeline to these historic buildingsFor millennia, pilgrims have taken time out from their epic hikes to overnight in churches, mosques, temples and monasteries to eat, sleep, pray and meditate while recovering from one day’s hard slog and...

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