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Enjoy a compelling glimpse into the epic history of Stirling and its surrounding area by going back in time at Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument, and the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Then explore other family-friendly attractions and the vibrant, independent boutiques around the Old Town and the Victorian Stirling Arcade. And be sure to budget time to visit majestic Loch Lomond – Britain’s largest body of water – and the Trossachs National Park, just a short ride away.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals.
Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
A jumping-off point for ferries to the Hebridean Islands, the port town of Oban offers a picturesque bayside setting. It's worth catching a later boat to take in the town's stately Victorian architecture, bounty of seafood restaurants, and good pubs.
Highland Perthshire places some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery within easy reach of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Pitlochry is the most geared-up base from which to enjoy it. It’s been a bustling mountain resort since the railways arrived in 1863, and these days manages to be both a cozy favourite for tourists who enjoy browsing in its woolen mills and taking in the repertory of plays at its famous Festival Theatre, and a magnet for adrenalin junkies in search of bungee jumping, canyoning, tubing and white water rafting adventures. Visitors of any age will be intrigued by the Pictish carvings on the huge Dunfallandy stone at nearby Ballinluig and, after a bracing mountain walk or visit to the famous salmon ladder, adults can enjoy a warming dram of malt whiskey after a tour at one of the two local distilleries, Edradour and Blair Athol.
Known as the Home of Golf, pretty St. Andrews appeals to even those with no interest in the game. Set on a wide bay, the town is dotted with medieval ruins, stately architecture, and—thanks to its large student population—plenty of cozy pubs.
Known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William is at the heart of a wide range of exciting activity centres. Visitors enjoy easy access to exhilarating hillwalking, mountain climbing, snow sports and water sports — as well as the gentler pleasures of a refreshing day spent fishing, walking in the country or cycling. Capture the spirit of the Scottish Highlands by taking in its stunning landscapes, tasting the area’s authentic whiskies and ales, and exploring its fascinating museums.
Cumbria's valleys and fells (as the low mountains are known) are home to idyllic villages, high moorlands and picturesque lakes. Literary buffs will enjoy Wordsworth's Dove Cottage (go in March to see daffodils), and if you've got kids in tow, visit The World of Beatrix Potter. Or just enjoy a leisurely drive through beautiful scenery.
Harrogate is also known as "The English Spa." For centuries, visitors have flocked to the mineral hot springs. Today, those springs still soothe the body while the placid RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and Yorkshire Dales national park stimulate the soul. Tea rooms, architecture, and art galleries are the main pastimes in this pleasant town. With four rail stations for easy transport, travellers can board trains running between Harrogate and York, Leeds, Knaresborough, and London.
Just two hours north of London by rail, the city of York holds 1900 years' worth of history in its ancient walls. The Romans built the city in 71 AD, and the Vikings captured it in 866 AD. Stop by the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens for a look at what the Roman and Vikings left behind (they must have packed light when they left). From there, move on to the York Castle Museum for a not-so-quick overview of the most recent 400 years.
Reigned over by a 12th-century castle, the seaside town of Scarborough centres around a pretty, horseshoe-shaped bay lapped by the North Sea. Sandy beaches, surfing opportunities, and hearty Yorkshire fare have made Scarborough a family favourite for more than 400 years.
In the city that inspired great minds from Charles Darwin to Stephen Hawking, you'll find one of the world's oldest universities, the 1871 Gothic- revival All Saints Church and the gardens favoured by 17th-century poet John Milton. Cambridge is also home to ADC Theatre, the oldest university playhouse in England. Evenings are perfect for taking in the mix of traditional pubs and contemporary restaurants. Climb the tower of the University's Great St Mary's Church for sweeping views of the city.
Known for its restorative wonders, Bath was once the home of Jane Austen. Sure, you could attempt to conjure up this elegant city by reading Pride and Prejudice in your tub, but as Bath has a lot more history than your bathroom (we assume, anyway) you'd be missing out. A stroll through Bath is like visiting an open-air museum, with roughly 5,000 buildings in the city drawing notice for their architectural merit. After your stroll, soak in the natural hot waters of the Thermae Bath Spa, once a favourite of the Celts and Romans.
From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one. The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.
<div id="VR_GEO_BLURB_TITLE">Devon Cottages - The Ultimate in Relaxing Breaks </div><div id="VR_GEO_BLURB_CONTENT"><p>From the wilds of Dartmoor to the wooded hillsides of the Lyn Valley, Devon is undoubtedly one of England's most beautiful counties. Its overwhelmingly rural landscape means that catered accommodation is restricted to over-subscribed Bed and Breakfasts and hotels which are mostly concentrated in towns like Exeter and Barnstaple. </p><p>Devon is a great location for a family holiday in the great outdoors, with everything from beach resorts at Ilfracombe to rambling in the hills of Exmoor and tors of Dartmoor. It is a large county, but whether you want to follow the Tarka Trail, or walk down the Doone Valley, you can be sure there will be cottages open for holiday rentals nearby. </p><div>Devon's Cottages, All Mod Cons </div><p>Most of Devon's holiday rental cottages started as farm buildings of some sort, and planning restrictions mean that many of them retain their rural charm on the outside. However, the cottages are generally renovated to 21st Century standards inside, with double glazing, TV, washing machines and fully-equipped kitchens. Families are well catered for in the higher end properties with games rooms, sometimes including full-size pool tables and large gardens for children to explore. </p><p>Despite the unpredictability of Devon's weather even during the summer months, the comfort of these properties gives great peace of mind. Moreover, a week's holiday rental of a cottage in Devon can cost as little as £300 - £400. During the peak season you can spend as much as £900 a month for one of the larger or more luxurious cottages, which still works out to be cheaper than a lot of hotels, especially if you have to book several rooms to accommodate a family of four or five. </p><div>Town Mouse or Country Mouse </div><p>To get the best of Devon's startling countryside and its friendly communities, renting a holiday cottage near Lynton and Lynmouth can be a good start. It is a useful base from which to explore North Devon, and is within walking distance of several beauty spots, such as Watersmeet (complete with a small but impressive waterfall) and the Valley of the Rocks. Separated by a steep cliff, you can travel up a funicular railway from coastal Lynmouth to clifftop Lynton, with plenty of stunning walks, shopping opportunities and several beaches and boat trips to nearby coastal attractions. </p><p>The twin villages also boast a concentration of well-equipped holiday cottages, from modest fisherman's cottages on the path to Watersmeet to grander hillside houses on the way to the Valley of the Rocks. Whatever your budget, Lynton and Lynmouth can provide some tempting accommodation options for your first Devon holiday. </p></div>
Londoners have been traveing to Brighton for beach getaways ever since the railway arrived here in 1841. The pebbled beach, Brighton Pier's amusement arcade and the Royal Pavilion are the main sights, but you'll also find hundreds of pubs and clubs catering to an energetic crowd.