Despite the previous evening’s nightcaps, we woke early (6:30am) and headed up to breakfast in the hotel’s open air dining area. I decided against a Sri Lankan breakfast – not because I didn’t feel well, but we had a five and a half hour train trip ahead, and I...
Tunis holidays Tourism is on the rise in Tunisia after the 2015 terror attacks, but international visitors remain in short supply in its capital, leaving its Roman ruins and key attractions largely empty   ‘With cafes, bookshops and art spaces that cluster around a waterfront and beach, La Marsa is a...
Summer holidays How to find the best rental deals, avoid the hard sell and ensure you’re not hit with rip-off charges   Driving a rental car along a coast road overlooking Sissi beach near Malia, Crete. Photograph: Alamy Car hire has turned into a major annual chore for holidaymakers, with a bewildering array of...
California holidays The Observer The quiet, unpretentious San Buenaventura is only an hour from Malibu – but a world apart   California dreaming … Ventura beach. Photograph: Alamy The San Buenaventura state beach is all but empty of sunbathers. The only bodies on display are the ones at Surfers Point, where a constant churn of...
London holidays British boltholes In east London’s Whitechapel, this converted textile factory weaves a spell with its sensitivity to local culture, design quirks – and Marco Pierre White-devised menu   Feeling fresh … a bedroom at the former factory which is now the New Road Hotel, Whitechapel, London Everything you need and nothing you...
Brussels holidays A local's guide The Belgian capital isn’t all boring Eurocrats: a cast of creative types are busy doing their arty things – often with humour and a social conscience   Palatial grounds … Parc d’Egmont, Brussels Parc d’Egmont Veer sharply left by the Chanel store on Boulevard de Waterloo and you’ll find yourself...
Kraków holidays A local's guide It’s Kraków’s striking medieval old town, one of the finest in Europe, that attracts visitors, but the city’s youthful restaurants, bars and cultural hangouts are well worth checking out, too   Chill factor … Forum Przestrzenie is one of the best places to hang out in Kraków of...
Beach holidays The beach is a pebble’s throw from the doorstep of these stylish, self-catering holiday homes. And all have availability for summer 2018 Gimme shelter … Penarvon Cabin, Cornwall. Photograph: Mike Henton/National Trust All prices are peak summer rates.   Penarvon Cabin, Helford, Cornwall Sleeps two From £841 for seven nights A cabin among the trees, overlooking...
 India holidays On an epic rail journey, our writer joins 800 Hindu devotees and, thanks to their kindness and friendship, enjoys life on board as much as visits to spectacular temples   An Indian Railways’ train en route from Hyderabad to Tamil Nadu. Photograph: Alamy ‘Don’t worry, she’s lighter than a feather,” said the...
Scotland holidays A local's guide The city’s beautiful waterfront is being reinvigorated thanks to a £1bn makeover, with the stunning new V&A museum, the first outside London, as its centrepiece   Designed to thrill … Dundee’s new V&A Museum with the RRS Discovery. Photograph: Iain Masterton/Getty Images On the waterfront Dundee and the River Tay come...
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