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Southwest of London is Southampton (Soton to the locals), a metropolitan area centered around the port. However, tucked away on the side streets are ancient gems such as the Tudor House, Mottisfont Abbey, and "God's House," a museum located in a tower in the medieval wall. The ultra-modern Sea City Museum celebrates Southampton's seafaring past and the RMS Titanic. Looking for nightlife? Travelers can dance the hours away with bars, clubs, and live music, all accessible by public transportation.
Presided over by its cathedral, where Jane Austen is buried, and medieval castle, home to King Arthur’s Round Table; Winchester wears its history on its sleeve. A maze of cobbled lanes and half-timbered buildings harbour old English pubs, traditional cafés, lively markets, and artisan shops.
If you need a word to perfectly describe New Forest, “welcoming” would be it. The lowland (i.e. no mountains) park is filled with scenic views and wide trails that beg to be explored as they wind through centuries-old woodlands. Visit Bolderwood, a protected forest and deer sanctuary that was once the hunting grounds of the Norman kings. Fish at Moors Valley before heading skyward for a treetops walk. Prefer the country-house life? Head to Beaulieu, where you can get lost in the Victorian-era at the Palace House before following in the footsteps of medieval monks at the property’s abbey.
Swanage was a popular seaside resort in Victorian times, and families today continue to enjoy its shallow, calm beach. The recently restored Swanage Pier is a popular spot for fishing. Diving trips and boat tours also depart from here. Don’t miss a trip through the local countryside on the Swanage Steam Railway.
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.
In the "city of dreaming spires", academia takes centre stage. Gaze out at Oxford's world-famous colleges from the top of St Mary's Church tower before heading into the city's pedestrian-friendly streets. The University's Botanic Garden and Ashmolean Museum are Britain's oldest. Follow your nose to the Covered Market for the makings of a picnic to enjoy on a punt or in the University Parks. Mix the historic and modern with visits to the 12th- century village church of Iffley and trendy Cowley's ethnic shops and music venues.
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.
<p>A holiday in Norfolk is not a glamourous break. While the Norfolk Broads of East Anglia are a beautiful part of the UK, they represent a relaxing rural getaway rather than a high-powered city-break. Although its reputation is mostly rural, with people associating the county mostly with the wetlands of the Norfolk Broads, there are also towns such as Norwich and King's Lynn to visit, both of which provide shopping opportunities, nightlife and entertainment. Norfolk also contains a large stretch of coastline, and seaside destinations such as Cromer and Great Yearmouth mean there are great beaches to be found as well. Many areas of the Norfolk Broads and the coastal region are sites of outstanding natural beauty, and are also protected as bird reserves, so take a pair of binoculars on holiday. There are also popular wildlife attractions such as Banham Zoo, with a great collection of big cats, and Great Yarmouth's Sea Life Centre, one of the biggest of its kind in the country, complete with tropical sharks and conger eels. And of course, if any of your family are interested in boating, you'll need to rent a boat and explore the waterways of the Broads themselves! </p>
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.
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.
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.
In progressive Berlin, the old buildings of Mitte gracefully coexist with the modern Reichstag. Don't miss top historical sights like the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz.
It’s nicknamed the Eternal City for a reason. In Rome, you can drink from a street fountain fed by an ancient aqueduct. Or see the same profile on a statue in the Capitoline Museum and the guy making your cappuccino. (Which, of course, you know never to order after 11 am.) Rome is also a city of contrasts—what other place on earth could be home to both the Vatican and La Dolce Vita?
The fjords and mountain ranges of Tromso are simply magical. Here, the northern lights sparkle across the same navy blue sky that's illuminated by the midnight sun. You'll be spellbound by Tromso's enchanting fishing villages, fragrant botanical gardens and crystalline waterfalls. Music is a major part of the Tromso culture, particularly techno and electronic music, which adds some thumping thunder to the city once a year during the annual Insomnia Festival.
One of Islam’s most holy cities, Medina, is a sprawl of minarets and shops wrapped around the landmark, the Prophet’s Mosque. Like the rest of central Medina, it’s for Muslims only and is surrounded by plenty of hotels and eateries to welcome the pilgrimage crowd.
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.
The first time you go to New York, go ahead and be a sight-seer—everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty, the Met, Times Square, etc. But on a return trip, pick a neighbourhood and go deep. You’ll find hole-in-the-wall bars, great delis, quirky shops… exploring the non-touristy side of New York is an incredibly rewarding experience for a traveller.