Albania

The Blue Eye spring in Albania

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The Blue Eye is a natural spring in southern Albania. It holds the bluest, clearest water imaginable. Looking at it from above, the Blue Eye spring forms a swirling vortex that’s hypnotic to watch. The layers of the spring range from clear, colourless shallows to azure waters that border the intense, deep blue centre of […]

Albania

Exploring the Albanian Riviera: an affordable paradise coast in Europe

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Just north of Greece lies southern Albania, and the breathtaking Albanian Riviera. This less touristed coastline shares the same Ionian Sea coast as Greece, and has a rugged, mountainous beauty all of its own. The Albanian Riviera stretches from Ksamil to Dhermi, in the southwestern corner of Albania. There’s a beautifully sited coastal road, which […]

Portugal

Sintra: a land of dreams and fairy tales

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The enchanting town of Sintra lies in the hills west of Lisbon, towards the Atlantic coast. Sintra’s picturesque sights are perched on top of the peaks surrounding the town. Arriving by train from Lisbon, you glimpse glittering Pena Palace and the atmospheric Castle of the Moors from a distance. A very short history of Sintra: […]

Bodmin Moor

Bodmin Moor: Rough Tor

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Rough Tor

Rough Tor is the second highest point on Bodmin Moor, and in Cornwall. It’s a particularly striking and atmospheric feature of Bodmin Moor, as its rocky summit is topped with boulders piled up in a unique way. Climbing Rough Tor gives a great view over the surrounding Cornish countryside. Walking to Rough Tor involves crossing […]

Cambridge

Peterhouse Garden in Springtime

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The garden at Peterhouse has been beautiful over the past few weeks. The college has a large back garden contained within an old stone wall, and the whole lawn has been completely covered with daffodils. The garden lies behind the Fitzwilliam Museum, and extends a long way. I visited Peterhouse garden a few times within […]

Bodmin Moor

Bodmin Moor

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The ancient landscape of Bodmin Moor has been occupied for over 10,000 years. While walking over the moorland you can find the remains of Bronze Age settlements fairly easily, as the stones of round houses are half-submerged in grass. Archeological evidence has shown that Mesolithic hunter gatherers and Neolithic early farmers also occupied this part […]

Cambridge

Old Library, Queens’ College

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The Old Library at Queens’ College was opened to the public for a few weeks in February and early March. This beautiful place is still equipped with its original medieval lecterns. The floor and fittings are made of dark wood, making the library very atmospheric. I love the old volumes that surround you in the […]

Devon

A Cove in North Devon

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  Walking the South West Coast Path is a chance to discover some beautiful and soul-stirring scenery. I explored the coast path in North Devon, and I loved the rocky cliffs, crashing surf, and the pink thrift flowering everywhere. The coastline here is often strewn with fallen boulders that have dropped into the sea from […]

Andalucia

Sand sculpture in Cádiz

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At the far end of Cádiz at Playa de la Caleta, the city peters out into a long pier and the Atlantic Ocean. Wandering here at sunset, I came across a steel drum band playing, and an artist carefully tending his sand sculpture. The sculpture has an amazing amount of detail, and depicts an octopus, […]

United Kingdom

Snowdonian Lakes

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The walk between these two Snowdonian lakes, Llyn Ogwen and Llyn Idwal, was sublime on a blustery summer day. We trekked up towards the mountains in search of the Devil’s Kitchen, a tall jagged rock formation around a dark, boulder-strewn alley. The sunlight reflecting off the surface of the lake gives Llyn Idwal (on the right) […]

Cambridge

Emmanuel College

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Founded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the time of Elizabeth I, Emmanuel College was originally intended as a home for Puritan beliefs. Today Emmanuel is known for its striped formal lawn in Front Court, its Wren chapel (one of only two in Cambridge), its swimming pool, and beautiful large paddock with a pond […]

Wales

The Ugly House, Snowdonia

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On a road through Snowdonia, a unique stone cottage sits on a sharp bend, among quiet trees. Just off the roadside, the cottage is made of stones so large they are almost boulder sized. It is known as the Ugly House, Tŷ Hyll. The Ugly House is situated near a bridge, which runs over the […]

Andalucia

Plaza de España, Seville

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I loved exploring the Plaza de España in Seville. It was my favourite place in the city when I visited in May. Surrounded by lakes, bridges and fountains, the Plaza de España is a sweeping, palatial building full of alcoves that represent each of Spain’s provinces. Beautiful bridges span the ornamental lake. The Plaza de España […]

Croatia

Plitvice Lakes: the Upper Lakes

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In early October I visited Croatia. I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for several years, so was excited to land in Zadar, a coastal city with classical ruins and buildings made of white stone. After exploring Zadar we travelled inland by bus, across beautiful misty mountains and moor. The climate and scenery changed, as we […]

Cambridge

King’s College

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King’s College is one of Cambridge’s most famous colleges, and its chapel has come to represent the city as a whole, as the emblem of the city council and perhaps Cambridge’s most iconic and recognisable landmark. Viewing the city from the castle mound, King’s chapel dominates the Cambridge skyline. The view towards the city centre […]

Cambridge

Autumn colours in Virginia creeper

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The Pitt Building on Trumpington Street in Cambridge has been the headquarters of Cambridge University Press for over a hundred years. The back of the building is covered with Virginia creeper and is one of the best places in the city to observe the colour change into autumn as the foliage changes from green to […]

Cornwall

Old Post Office, Tintagel

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In the heart of Tintagel village, on the Cornish coast, lies this 14th century cottage. The building was a yeoman’s farmhouse for centuries. It became a post office in the Victorian period, when it acquired a licence to be a letter receiving station for the district around Tintagel. Inside the Old Post Office are Victorian […]

Cambridge

Lucy Cavendish College

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Lucy Cavendish is not a well-known college, perhaps to the delight of its students. It is not on the tourist trail, but set among the ‘hill colleges’ near the Castle mound. Even there, it is not a large, obvious college like Fitzwilliam or Churchill, and is tucked away off a little side road. Lucy Cavendish […]

Cambridge

Robinson College

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Robinson College is the youngest college in Cambridge. It was founded in 1979. Robinson College was created after a £17 million gift was made to the University of Cambridge by Sir David Robinson, a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, for the purpose of founding a new college in Cambridge. Constructed entirely of distinctive red brick, Robinson […]

Cambridge

Newnham College

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An incredibly photogenic college, Newnham lies a little way off the beaten track. Newnham College was founded in 1871 by Henry Sidgwick, as Cambridge University’s second college for women. The first women’s college in Cambridge was Girton College, which was founded two years earlier. In Cambridge, Newnham is both the name of a college, and […]