The modern world may well be characterised by global connectivity and 24/7 availability but, increasingly, people are realising that unwinding and de-stressing are important elements of staying physically healthy and mentally sharp.
I’m convinced that Durham, in north-east England, has much to offer for a weekend break. As a local, though, you might think I’m biased?
Belem’s close associations with Portugal’s Age of Discoveries make it an obvious choice as the location for the Museu da Marinha, the Portuguese National Maritime Museum.
The Ashes cricket series, contested between England and Australia, is one of the world's great sporting rivalries. Lord’s Cricket Ground in London holds the original urn and, even if you can't get your hands on match tickets, it's possible to take a look behind the scenes within the famous venue.
In the Greek town of Ouranopolis I’m drawn to the window of an attractive, smartly designed shop selling soaps, natural products and religious icons. Even to my unschooled eye these icons look to be of far better quality than those that I saw minutes ago, on sale near the jetty.
The Monument to the Discoveries is today as just as much a part of the Belem landscape as the nearby Hieronymites Monastery (the ‘Mosteiro dos Jerónimos’ as it is known in Portuguese), the ornate Manueline structure which is today classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Portugal’s history, like that of all nations, is peppered with significant dates. The 1st November 1755, for example, is infamous as the day the Great Earthquake struck, resulting in fires and tidal waves that destroyed much of Lisbon and wreaked significant damage on a several other towns and cities.
Over recent years Greece has taken a lot of stick about the way it has managed its economy. For all the shortcomings regarding macroeconomic management, Greeks certainly know how to be outstanding hosts and make their guests feel welcome.
My legs feel weak and heart is thumping. Vikki looks into my eyes and offers calm words of encouragement; she’s come to rescue me from the practice loop of the ropes course at Tree Top Adventure, near Betws-y-Coed in North Wales.
Think of Greek holiday islands and it’s normally the likes of Kos, Crete and Rhodes that spring to mind. Ammouliani, in Greece’s Halkidiki region, is, by comparison, far smaller and much quieter.