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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.
Famed for its football team and music scene, which has produced the likes of The Smiths and Oasis, this centre for sports and the arts is a down-to-earth and friendly city. The so-called Capital of the North has overcome industrial decline, bombing (in WWII and by the IRA) to become a confident and cosmopolitan city of well over two million. It is well served by a bus and light rail network. Top attractions include the Lowry art complex, arcade Affleck's Palace and Canal Street gay village.
This town in the very center of England is perhaps best known for its association with the legend of Robin Hood. The men in tights are long gone, though—today, you’ll find a modern city with a fantastic playhouse, ice hockey arena, and many, many shops and clubs.
The UK’s favourite holiday resort continues to attract millions of visitors. Families and couples, young and old, Blackpool’s unique appeal is that it appeals to everyone. Whether you’re looking for thrills and excitement, family entertainment and historic gems or beautiful gardens and stunning beaches, Blackpool has it all. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool Zoo, the Blackpool Tower, the Illuminations and a packed year-round events calendar all add to the charms of this seaside spot.
Liverpool's fortunes have historically been tied to shipping. But imports and exports like sugar, spice and tobacco pale in comparison with Liverpool's most famous export of all — The Beatles. Relive the hysteria at The Beatles Story Experience, and check out Paul's childhood home, but also leave time for exploring Liverpool Cathedral and the Walker Art Gallery.
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.
You've probably heard that Guinness tastes better in Dublin (fresh from the factory), but what you may not know is that Dublin is a perfect destination for the whole family. No, we're not suggesting you let the kiddies drink a pint. Instead, take them to the Dublin Zoo, to feed the ducks in Stephen's Green or on a picnic in Phoenix Park. Scholars enjoy walking in the literary footsteps of such writers as Yeats and Joyce, while discerning shoppers have their pick of designer boutiques.
Ibiza: Old Spanish for "party 'til you drop." Perhaps not literally, but this is definitely one of Europe's favourite nightlife playgrounds. Ibiza boasts more than 100 miles of coastline with some 50 beaches, plus plenty of restaurants, bars, and water sports—and clubs, of course. Fit in a little culture and visit Ibiza's UNESCO-designated old town.
Bask on four miles of golden beaches, hit the Mediterranean Sea on water skis or stroll along Benidorm's promenade and revel in its seaside charms; it's a true Spanish beauty of the Costa Blanca. Originally a fishing town, the city's historic center wows with its blue-domed 18th-century church and picturesque alleyways. Panoramic views reward those who climb into the surrounding Canfali hills, and nearby rocky coves reveal underwater riches for scuba enthusiasts. End a day in the sun with a feast of local seafood.
Strongly influenced by the tribal culture of the Guanches (the original inhabitants), Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago. It's home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak, and to the popular beach resort of Los Gigantes. Today visitors flock to Loro Park to see tropical birds, to Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park and to Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide's volcanic rock formations. Explore by car or with a "bono bus" ticket, which offers reductions on regular prices.
Belek, a resort town on the Turkish Riviera, is known for very clean, white-sand beaches surrounded by pine forests. History buffs should plan day trips to the Roman ruins at Perge and the Aspendos amphitheater. Or if you’d prefer a round of golf, bring your clubs—there are excellent courses in the area.
Your biggest daily decision in Side may be whether to head east or west. The town’s West Beach is closer to hotels, has calm water and fine sand, offers watersports, and is (not surprisingly) popular. If you’re craving a more relaxed day, though, head in the opposite direction. The East Beach is a bit rockier, but it’s less crowded—you’ll find the locals here.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.