Making my peace with William Wordsworth

Darlington and Stockton Times: The ‘luxiously cosy’ Dale Lodge Hotel

10:04am Friday 31st October 2014

AS a pretentious student of literature I detested William Wordsworth. I spent much of my twenties telling anyone who’d listen – not that there were many – that the nationally revered poet was nothing more than a damned sell-out.

A winter wonderland in the Banff National Park

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of someone ski-ing in Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park, Canada. See PA Feature TRAVEL Canada. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Bell Pottinger. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Cana

11:14am Friday 24th October 2014

WHEN our instructor Kenji asks us to check each other's noses for frostbite, I assume he must be joking. Only Everest climbers get frostbite, right? But as it turns out, coming home from a skiing trip with two less fingers is an actual possibility when the temperature is -27.

Grand designs, not to mention the buns

Darlington and Stockton Times: Bath (11311779)

12:41pm Friday 17th October 2014

As I bite into my afternoon treat, it's pure pleasure with every forkful.

Yoga, massage and other earthly delights

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of yoga practice at Fonatan Pool at Zening Resort in Latchi, Cyprus. See PA Feature TRAVEL Cyprus. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Cyprus. (10777560

10:04am Friday 3rd October 2014

LOCKING my gaze into the splintered grooves of a pine tree, I try to hold my balance as I totter on one leg with my hands in an Anjali Mudra pose.

Splash out on a trip to English Riviera

Darlington and Stockton Times:

2:36pm Friday 26th September 2014

Chris Moran and family head south to discover the delights of Devon

Culture, grandeur or some je ne sais quoi

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of Domaine de la Baume in Provence, France. See PA Feature TRAVEL September Breaks. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout/Tristan Shu. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL September Breaks. (1

4:53pm Friday 19th September 2014

Sarah Marshall and colleagues seek some late September sunshine in Europe from Provence in France to Lodz in Poland.

Cha cha in the Med on board the Azura

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of travel writer Catherine Wylie taking part in a Samba class with her mother on P&O's Azura. See PA Feature TRAVEL Strictly Med. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Mike O'Dwyer. WARNING: This picture must only be used

2:25pm Friday 12th September 2014

Peering over a balcony, I admire the dancers below. I'm not sure what dance they're performing, but it looks like they know what they're doing.

Lapping up sunshine

Darlington and Stockton Times:

3:34pm Friday 29th August 2014

Sarah Marshall discovers the alternative delights of Lapland in summer, with not a flake of snow in sight

Islands of adventure for young at heart

Darlington and Stockton Times:

12:26pm Friday 22nd August 2014

I IMAGINE children who have grown up by the sea have a natural ability to scramble over rocks like sure-footed crabs and leap across gullies with lightening ease. Unfortunately, I spent my formative years inland, and so I lag woefully behind the rest of our group on a coasteering expedition exploring Guernsey’s coastline.

Wand-erful place for all Harry Potter fans

Darlington and Stockton Times:

3:26pm Friday 15th August 2014

WALKING along a cobbled alley, I come a across a Victorian pet shop with a huge snake in the window.

Shows on every corner

Darlington and Stockton Times:

4:37pm Friday 8th August 2014

David Wilcock previews the delights of Edinburgh during the festival season

Appetite for Alentejo

Darlington and Stockton Times:

3:06pm Friday 1st August 2014

Chris Wiltshire finds all kinds of enjoyable reasons to visit the Alentejo region of Portugal

A zest for life in the hills of Sorrento

Darlington and Stockton Times:

4:24pm Friday 25th July 2014

USING the same care and attention a jeweller might employ to handle precious stones, farmer Peppino Nunziata examines the plump, waxy lemons hanging from wooden pergolas in his 10,000 square metre garden.

Colourful country perfect for families

Darlington and Stockton Times:

2:48pm Friday 18th July 2014

Although it is a busy time for Barbados, the resort’s 750 acres, gorgeous greenery and vast facilities mean you barely see a soul, says Claire Spreadbury

A Boston getaway

Darlington and Stockton Times:

4:12pm Friday 11th July 2014

THE United States of America is 238 years old this year. But from the youthful squeals of glee that fill Boston on July 4, you wouldn’t know it.

The loveliest spot

Darlington and Stockton Times:

1:41pm Friday 4th July 2014

Christine Fieldhouse and her family enjoy a short break by the shores of Grasmere

Monastery break not all work and pray

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of monastery. See PA Feature TRAVEL Austria. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Austria. (7325401)

3:10pm Friday 27th June 2014

By Avril Cadden, Press Association

Luxury on the move

Darlington and Stockton Times: DUTCH ICONS: Windmills on the bank of a waterway

4:07pm Friday 20th June 2014

ADMIRING the last drops of sunlight sparkling on the canals of Amsterdam, it is hard to believe that just two days ago I was sipping champagne as I watched the sun go down behind the impressive skyline of Cologne in Germany.

Make yourselves at home in the Lakes

Darlington and Stockton Times: GLORIOUS SETTING : Topiary is a feature of the hall’s garden

3:36pm Friday 13th June 2014

ONE of the great treats of staying at the newly restored Askham Hall, in Cumbria, is the chance to leaf through the family photo albums.

Saddle up and enjoy a Veneto bike break

Darlington and Stockton Times: GARDA SCENE: Visconti Bridge in the village of Borghetto

1:09pm Friday 6th June 2014

THE narrow medieval streets of Borghetto are packed with cyclists. A woman walks past me, wheeling a mountain bike, her Lycra outfit splattered in mud.

A Swedish city break with no urban stress

Darlington and Stockton Times: MARITIME MAGIC: The peace of Gothenburg harbour

4:52pm Friday 30th May 2014

CYCLING around the picturesque streets of Styrso, an island in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago, the cool sea breeze whips through my hair and provides muchneeded relief from the soaring heat of the sun.

Arabian adventure of luxury and hedonism

Darlington and Stockton Times: RELAX IN LUXURY: The pool at the Talise Ottoman Spa in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai, whose guests have included film stars John Travolta and Susan Sarandon

3:29pm Friday 23rd May 2014

Catherine Wylie dons her fluffy bathrobe and samples the serenity of a break in Dubai luxury

Hot time on island of forty volcanoes

Darlington and Stockton Times: Undated Handout Photo of Aragonese Castle in Ischia. See PA Feature TRAVEL Ischia. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Lauren Taylor. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Ischia. (6052343)

2:55pm Friday 16th May 2014

DINING outside on a balmy summer evening, I watch luxury yachts bob up and down in the marina as a guitar player gently strums away.

The perfect time to enjoy Egypt charms

Darlington and Stockton Times: SLOW PACE: The Sahara Desert meets the gently flowing river Nile near Aswan, Egypt

3:24pm Friday 9th May 2014

Stephanie Maskery takes to the water to discover the timeless beauty of the sights of the River Nile in Egypt

Great quality food is at heart of Puglia’s charm

Darlington and Stockton Times: OLIVE ROAD: Cyclists riding past large olive trees in the outskirts of Lecce, in Puglia

4:19pm Friday 2nd May 2014

IF THE way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, few places offer more pulling power than plentiful Puglia.

Time refuses to stand still in a city of contrasts

Darlington and Stockton Times: BREATHTAKING: Hagia Sophia, a former church, mosque and now a museum in Istanbul

3:25pm Friday 25th April 2014

WALKING through the narrow streets of Istanbul’s Old Town, I’m overwhelmed by the smell of roasted chestnuts and fragrant Turkish delight.

Heading north in search of fantastic lights display

Darlington and Stockton Times: COLD COMFORTS: The Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, where guests snuggle down in sleeping bags for a night on the ice

2:28pm Friday 11th April 2014

A glimpse of the Northern Lights in all their glory would be near the top of most things-to-do-before-you-die lists. But northern Norway has much more to offer, as Vicki Henderson found out

Hotel is Holmes from home for Sherlock fans

Darlington and Stockton Times: 221B OR NOT 221B? : The Sherlock Homes Museum is enjoying a revival thanks to the latest television series

3:37pm Friday 4th April 2014

I OPENED the bedroom door and Benedict Cumberbatch was inside staring straight at me. Not in person, I should add, before his fan posse of “Cumberbitches” go into a frenzy of delight, but on the cover of a glossy men’s magazine on a table in the room.

Grand ‘Dev’ proves a gastronomic delight

Darlington and Stockton Times: COUNTRYHOUSE SPLENDOUR: One of the bedrooms in the Old Wing of The Devonshire Arms

2:42pm Friday 28th March 2014

AS we were driving to the Devonshire Arms, near Skipton, from our home near Darlington, I couldn’t help pondering the hotel’s name.

Traddock Hall is a quality refuge from the storm

Darlington and Stockton Times: AWARD WINNING: Traddock Hall from the gardens on a good weather day

4:15pm Friday 21st March 2014

I LOVE the towns and villages of North Yorkshire – seriously, I do. Richmond, with its stately castle and wide, cobbledmarket place, Settle (more cobbles), the bustling port of Whitby and lively markets of Masham and Leyburn, to name but a few. So I looked on a visit to Skipton as a real treat. But maybe not on this particular day.

Texas hits right spot for cowboys and girls

Darlington and Stockton Times: ECO-FRIENDLY: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas

3:54pm Friday 14th March 2014

I THINK from now on we'll call you Bang Bang Bailey, says the friendly receptionist at the Mayan Dude Ranch in Texas.

Children in dreamland with Disney-on-the-sea

Darlington and Stockton Times: WELCOME ABOARD: Captain Mickey on the Disney Magic Cruise Line

11:21am Friday 7th March 2014

AS someone whose childhood did not involve a lot of Disney, those Mickey ears are a constant source of amazement.

Former gallows spot now fizzing with life

Darlington and Stockton Times: Scottish gem: part of the Grassmarket

3:12pm Friday 28th February 2014

ON the other side of the castle from Edinburgh’s highclass shopping streets lies the Grassmarket district of Scotland’s capital.

Marathon recovery is historical experience

Darlington and Stockton Times: HISTORY: The gateway to Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia

4:18pm Friday 21st February 2014

THE temperature is rising sharply with the morning sun and my legs are feeling heavier than I would like. It is still just 7am and I am beginning to wonder if I will have the energy and strength to pull myself round the last six miles to get to the finish line of this half-marathon course.

Northern lights and a steppe into the ice age

Darlington and Stockton Times: REMOTE: A picturesque traditional farmhouse in Iceland - agriculture has declined dramatically because of soil erosion

3:38pm Friday 14th February 2014

NOW darkness has engulfed the gnarly volcanic landscape, it’s hard to determine where land ends and the sky begins.

There’s a getaway to suit any sort of lovebird

Darlington and Stockton Times: TASTEFUL: The Sir Francis Terry Suite at Middlethorpe Hall and Spa

2:10pm Friday 7th February 2014

Treat your loved one to a naughty – or nice – weekend away this Valentine’s Day

Aski resort that is fit for the Spanish royal family

Darlington and Stockton Times: WINTER WONDERLAND: The church of St Eulalia in Unha Village, Val d’Aran

3:41pm Friday 31st January 2014

I’VE been to Barcelona on several occasions, but spent most of my time sitting on the beach rather than seeking snow.

Cobbles, kippers and a carefree walk along river

Darlington and Stockton Times: SUNSHINE BOYS: Jack (right) and George with Eric Morecambe

4:09pm Friday 24th January 2014

NEVER judge a book by its cover, my mum told me regularly when I was growing up, and for most of my life I’ve heeded her wise words. How I wish I’d remembered them when we arrived at our hotel for our weekend away in Lancaster.

Time to leave any troubles behind and let yourself be pampered

Darlington and Stockton Times: VENUE: Raithwaite Hall is an idyllic spa hotel a few minutes’ drive north of Whitby

3:33pm Friday 17th January 2014

SATURDAY, December 7: one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But as increasingly desperate gift-hunters headed for the MetroCentre or Amazon, my wife and I set a rather different course.

Where eco-tourism is not just a buzz word

Darlington and Stockton Times: BLUE BEAUTY: Baros, in the Maldives, is one of the oldest diving centres in the Indian Ocean

4:25pm Friday 10th January 2014

BREAKING off the beautiful, fragile coral, his flippers creating a cloud of debris which muddies the water, Arnie doesn’t even look up at the divers observing his wanton destruction of the reef that everyone else is trying to save.

An audience with the Queen of the ice desert

Darlington and Stockton Times: NATURE HOLDS THE REINS: A tourist in the Arctic desert, Spitsbergen

4:07pm Friday 3rd January 2014

GRIPPING their harness tightly, I try with all my might to stop the eager pack of husky dogs from tearing loose. But not even a fleet of armoured tanks could halt these powerful animals and dampen their desire to run.

Madness of Tunisia is definitely for the birds

Darlington and Stockton Times: A-MAZE-ING: The Medina is well worth a visit

12:32pm Monday 6th January 2014

THE falcon's timing was mercifully impeccable.

Falling on my feet in a wonderful Alps resort

Darlington and Stockton Times: VIEWS: The Swiss Alps overlooking the village of Commeire Valais in Switzerland

11:21am Friday 20th December 2013

LYING on my back with my legs in the air is a predicament I’ve became accustomed to on ski trips. And just a few hours after arriving in the Swiss Alps, I find myself in that all-too familiar position once again.

Daughter’s delight at the yellow submarine

Darlington and Stockton Times: RELAXING: The ‘Martian’ looking landscape at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote

12:59pm Friday 13th December 2013

WHEN you book a holiday in sundrenched Lanzarote, you may not expect to end up on a submarine. But that is exactly where we found ourselves, to the delight of my three-year-old daughter Evie.

Copenhagen: a tasty place for a quick visit

Darlington and Stockton Times: ATTRACTION: Colourful Nyhavn, a waterfront popular with tourists in Copenhagen

3:04pm Friday 6th December 2013

AS host to one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe, Copenhagen has always been a popular winter city break destination. But thanks to a dynamic food scene and the opening of several world-class restaurants and cafes, there’s now even more reason to head to the Danish capital.

Partaking in a very Portuguese passion

Darlington and Stockton Times: INDULGENCE: The 15th-century Convento do Espinheiro, which has been converted into a hotel

2:26pm Friday 29th November 2013

I AM sitting in the cloisters of a 15th century convent sipping wine and eating a rustic dish of tender partridge, flavoursome chorizo and Portuguese rice. No, I have not joined a religious order, I am in what is now a luxurious five-star hotel, on a culinary tour of Portugal’s Alentejo region. In other words, I am in food heaven.

Archer makes tragedy of Mary Rose hit home

Darlington and Stockton Times: NO TOLL: Visitors can view the ship’s bell from the Mary Rose

3:38pm Friday 22nd November 2013

STANDING tall in a glass cabinet, his skeleton cuts an imposing figure – dominating the room as he would have done more than 450 years ago.

Gazing in awe as Northern Lights put on a show

Darlington and Stockton Times: LIGHT FANTASTIC: the Northern Lights on the Vesteralen Islands of northern Norway

12:03pm Friday 15th November 2013

IT’S pitch dark and I’m flat on my back on a frozen lake in the middle of nowhere. Above me, it seems that almost half the sky is lit up with a sash of minty-green light that appears to ripple and dance.

More fun than meets the eye in Blackpool

Darlington and Stockton Times: HANGING ON: The Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

1:13pm Friday 8th November 2013

WINSTON Churchill is looking disapprovingly at us and Harold Wilson is smoking his pipe.

’Tis the season to go to the markets

Darlington and Stockton Times: ALL THE FUN: The funfair at Hamburger Dom

12:02pm Friday 1st November 2013

AS a Segway zips past, I almost choke on my chestnuts when I realise who’s behind the wheel.






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