Walking in Newcastle travel tips

There's lots to see and do in Newcastle. The ‘new castle’ which lends its name to the city is centuries old: it dates from the reign of King Henry II, 840 years ago. You can climb its steep, honey-coloured stone steps to visit the great hall before watching a video that explains the role of the fortress through the ages: for centuries it stood as a bulwark of royal authority against Scottish invasion into England.

15 things to do in Winnipeg in winter

During February, the francophone St Boniface district of the Winnipeg hosts the Festival du Voyager, western Canada’s biggest winter festival.Thanks to the seasonal weather, finding a place to chill in Winnipeg in winter isn’t difficult. However, chilling at Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature has a whole different meaning — it’s a chic spa with saunas and steam rooms ranged around a four outdoor pools of varying temperatures.

Best Riga city break

The city, which was an European Capital of Culture in 2014, is characterised by cobbled streets and still has pockets where you can see traditional wood-built buildings with peeling facades on its periphery. There’s also many Art Nouveau-influenced buildings in Riga — the style is known as National Romanticism in this part of the world. Several were designed by the celebrated architect Michael Eisenstein.

Visiting the Lumiere Durham festival of lights

“Lumiere was born in Durham in 2009 and became a blueprint for later festivals elsewhere. Each festival is different as all the installations are site specific and respond to the cityscape, such as buildings, bridges and rivers. But Durham always feels like home,” said Helen Marriage MBE, the director of Artichoke, the creative agency that initiated Durham Lumiere in 2009, and the Lumiere Artistic Director. The event spawned Lumiere London plus a festival in Northern Ireland’s second city.

Durham Miners’ Gala

“I think it’s a celebration of working class life in the north East. The pits have gone but it hasn’t broken the spirit of people or the communities. It’s now become a great festival, a carnival. Some people come for the fun fair, some people come for the speeches, some people come for the bands, some people come for the banners, some people come for the laughs. It brings people together,” said Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror, talking after the 2016 Durham Miners’ Gala.

Learning scuba diving in Portugal

Haliotis is a PADI-affiliated dive shop and diving school located at the north beach of the Portuguese fishing port of Peniche, 89km from Lisbon. The staff at Halitios are passionate, experienced divers and competent instructors; it’s here that I learned to dive.