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Bristol is a quirky British city with beautiful hilly vistas and plenty of historic sights to explore. Anyone interested in ships will have a blast aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first great oceanliner, and the Matthew, a replica of the ship upon which John Cabot sailed to America in the 15th century. The graceful Clifton Suspension Bridge is another must-see.
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.
Cheltenham was just your average, sleepy town until the discovery of a spring in 1716, after which it became Britain's most popular spa town. (Like Palm Springs without the casinos.) Local Cheltonians have a reputation for being wealthy and respectable, and a walk along the Promenade will give you a first-class view of their wonderful houses, shops and gardens. After taking in the waters at the Pittville Pump Room (great name for a spa), check out the Art Gallery and Museum to learn about the social history of Cheltenham.
<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>
So-called because of the honey-coloured stone used to build its villages, the Cotswolds offers visitors the quintessential English experience. The area spans five counties and boasts some of England’s most impressive country houses, castles, and landscapes. Plus, plentiful pubs make it easy to experience authentic English hospitality.
With half a million people, Nuremberg is Bavaria's second largest city. While its history dates to the 11th century, Nuremberg is most often linked to the 20th century (specifically World War II). It first served as the site of many pre-war Nazi rallies, then was nearly levelled by Allied bombing, then was the site of the famous post-war Nuremberg Trials. The city has much to offer today's visitors, including the rebuilt Nuremberg Castle and the world-famous gingerbread at Hauptmarkt. Hansel and Gretel would have loved this place.
Galas, regattas, the Film Festival and an outrageously attractive and affluent set characterize Cannes. Vast yachts obscure the view and the town lives up to its motto, "Life is a festival." People-watching is the activity that brings most visitors to Cannes, and hotel-lined La Croisette provides a fine promenade. First popularized by Coco Chanel, Cannes beaches are a huge draw. Get expensive seaside food and drinks service on hotel sand or opt for the free public beaches, Plages du Midi and de la Boca.
Over 15 million gallons of water bubble daily into Budapest's 118 springs and boreholes. The city of spas offers an astounding array of baths, from the sparkling Gellert Baths to the vast 1913 neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa to Rudas Spa, a dramatic 16th-century Turkish pool with original Ottoman architecture. The "Queen of the Danube" is also steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. Get your camera ready for the Roman ruins of the Aquincum Museum, Heroes' Square and Statue Park, and the 300-foot dome of St. Stephen's Basilica.
The Ionian Islands are splendid, cinematic paradise. The waters are bluest blue, the sands are achingly silky and smooth. Everything looks heavily Photoshopped. But that's just Mother Nature, in all her unspoiled glory. Zakynthos is the largest of the Ionian Islands, and it's as fruitful as it is beautiful, boasting a bounty of crops like olives and grapes. Music is a huge part of the local culture—you can catch a concert or festival almost any night of the week, and you'll be captivated by the sights and sounds of Zakynthos performers.
Ultramodern towers define Riyadh's skyline, hinting at the Saudi capital's sophisticated culture, shopping, and dining. Prayer times set the pace for life in one of the country's most conservative cities, and gleaming architecture blends with historic landmarks from the kingdom's earliest years.
We've heard Toronto described as "New York City run by the Swiss," and it's true—you can find world-class theatre, shopping and restaurants here, but the sidewalks are clean and the people are friendly. The best place to start is literally at the top—the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.
Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal. While a good part of the city's action centres around the fun and festive Harbor area, where street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks and parades abound, the surrounding neighbourhoods offer all sorts of interesting landmarks, unique shops and delicious restaurants. Wander around Fells Point, the oldest part of Baltimore, reminiscent of an old English village, complete with pubs and cobbled streets. Take the kids to the aquarium and check out the imaginative creations at the American Visionary Art Museum. Or visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum for an in-depth look at the Great Bambino's life. Baltimore is also renowned for its African-American heritage sites, plus festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the year. From historic places and harbour cruises to family-friendly attractions and fabulous neighbourhoods, Charm City is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly beach destination—which means in addition to great beaches, there’s plenty to do when the kids are sick of making sand castles. Amusement parks, water sports and golf courses are nearby. And family-friendly dining and hotels abound.