Darren Branston

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12 places to escape the smog: the world's best car-free islands

Canary Islands

9 Adventures of a Lifetime in Eco-friendly Denmark

The Danes love the outdoors and are particular about their work-life balance – which means plenty of picnics, sunbathing, cycling, swimming and an …

Blackcurrant and crème fraîche tart recipe

A simple but spectacular tart with a luscious filling of blackcurrants and crème fraîche<p><i>Serves eight</i><p>Tarts and pies made with blackcurrants require less fruit than other fruity puddings because blackcurrants have such a strong flavour. They're also particularly good in creamy tarts as they provide …

Jordan is spectacular, safe and friendly – so where are the tourists?

With tourism to the Middle East in decline, visiting Jordan’s mesmerising sights is now a solitary experience. But the silence and emptiness only add to their allure<p>“You are safe and sound here,” the gift shop owner said, as he handed over some change. At breakfast, the waiter had been similarly …

Travel

Ten Places That Deserve More Travelers

Head off the typical tourist trail to explore these surprising destinations.<p>Armenia<p><b>The Situation on the Ground:</b> Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the tiny Caucasus country of Armenia has often been associated with conflict. The country’s Nagorno-Karabakh war with Azerbaijan over a …

Make a DIY Grout Cleaner Out of Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

If the grout lines between your kitchen or bathroom tile have seen better days, this DIY cleaner should do the trick. And you probably already have …

Italy: 12 Fairytale Villages in Tuscany You Can’t Help Falling For

Tuscany seems like it has been painted from the brush of Michelangelo with a dash of Da Vinci thrown in for good measure. Tuscany, a green travel …

Luang Prabang, Laos, in three days: holiday itinerary

DAY ONE: TEMPLES AND SHOPPING<p><b>Morning</b><p>Luang Prabang means “city of the Golden Buddha Phra Bang”, a 83cm statue of which is believed to be the source of the city’s protection since the 14th century. On his marriage to a Khmer princess, warrior Fa Ngum was given the diminutive statue by his …

Asia Travel

48 hours in Gothenburg: hotels, restaurants and places to visit

Why go now?<p>Sweden’s second city, a civilised, stylish port on the south-west coast, is worth visiting at any time of year but comes alive in autumn …

European Travel

22 European cities you'd never thought to visit (but really should)

10 of the best luxury hostels in Europe

It is possible to enjoy a budget city break without compromising on comfort and facilities, as this selection from a new guide by Kash Bhattacharya shows<p><b>Les Piaules, Paris</b><p>Parisian hostels are pretty average so Les Piaules, in an art deco building in trendy Belleville, is welcome. Opened during a …

Hostels

Warth, Austria: welcome to the snowiest village in the Alps

The big news for the coming ski season is a new set of lifts in Austria’s Arlberg area. They’ll link glitzy Lech and raucous St Anton but will also benefit treasures like tiny, snowy Warth<p>It is 3pm in the Arlberg, Austria’s premier ski area. In glitzy Lech, expensively clad skiers cosy up under …

Skiing

Walking the new St Hilda’s Way: a journey of lost souls

St Hilda’s Way is a new 40-mile walking trail across the North York moors to Whitby that takes in the churches inspired by the seventh-century saint • Plus: 5 more pilgrims’ trails<p>‘As pilgrimages go, that’s not too taxing,” I said when I came across the newly fledged St Hilda’s Way, which opened in …

North York

10 of the best national and regional parks in France

France’s green spaces provide the chance to see magnificent wildlife, explore mountain villages or just have a great hike or bike ride<p>Vanoise national park, Rhône-Alpes<p>The first (1963) and largest of France’s mainland national parks, the Vanoise is in the French Alps, becoming the Gran Paradiso …

France

Thirty-clove garlic and onion soup

Garlic’s anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antibiotic and antiviral properties make it an incredibly important ingredient in the defence against digestive assaults of all varieties.<p>SERVES<p>3-4<p>INGREDIENTS<p>3 garlic bulbs, whole, unpeeled<br>• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil<br>• 2 tbsp unsalted butter<br>• 1 large onion, …

The world's 20 fastest growing cities

China

East Germany’s old mines transformed into new lake district

Despite a €2.2bn regeneration programme, the Lusatian Lake District project, on land once occupied by the GDR’s industrial heartland, remains relatively unknown to non-east Germans. So we took a tour …<p>‘This was once one of the dirtiest areas in East Germany,” says Sören, my tour guide from IBA …

CrissCross

Stuffed butternut squash with tomatoes and feta

<b>SERVES</b> <br>4<p><b>TOTAL TIME</b> <br>15 minutes<p><b>INGREDIENTS</b><p>2 small butternut squash, 700g (1lb 9oz) each, halved and seeded<br>• 2 red peppers, halved and seeded<br>• 3 tbsp olive oil<br>• 75g (3¾oz) quinoa<br>• 1 red onion, finely chopped<br>• 1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped<br>• 300g (10½oz) tomatoes, peeled and chopped<br>• 2 garlic cloves, …

Top 10 cool campsites in England and the Isle of Wight

Looking for somewhere different to camp in the UK this summer? Here are ten of our favourite pitches in England and the Isle of Wight, taken from the …

Isle of Wight

Go Ahead, Drink The Water!

The magnificent fresh water reservoir of Montsouris (<i>Le réservoir de Montsouris</i>), inside the belly of Paris, is one of the several receptacles the large city keeps under check to make sure all Parisians and visitors alike can get a glass of clean water.<p>The Réservoir, sometimes also called <i>Le</i> …

France

The world's 50 most Instagrammable pools

6 cool eco-friendly hotels in Thailand

You don't have to sacrifice comfort for sustainability in Thailand; a fact proved by these beautiful green hotels that make for a special stay in the …

Chiang Mai

Bored of roast chicken? Try our tantalising twists on the classic Sunday roast

How we British love a Sunday roast: they're familiar, comforting and offer a great opportunity to gather the whole family together. But perhaps, like many of us, you've begun to grow tired of your go-to Sunday roast chicken.<p>We've spiced things up a little with our all-time favourite recipes. From …

Ecotourism in Thailand

For the villages of eastern Thailand, sustainable tourism is helping to preserve a way of life under threat, proving that ethical travel is good for …

Asia Travel

Baked salmon with hummus and herbs

The inspiration for this came from a recipe I saw for a pasta salad with salmon and hummus. The combination really resonates, because of the Middle Eastern vibe with a sort of wacky Australian-hybrid approach. Ultimately, though, it is a London creation, because it really came together when I first …

Take the high road to harmony in Austria's Vorarlberg

Tucked away in Austria’s far west – bordering Switzerland Liechtenstein and Germany – the Vorarlberg is one of the country’s smallest but most charming regions. Better known among skiers, the scenic mountains are also enjoyable in summer. Between the 3,000m peaks and the blue waters of Lake …

Beyond Machu Picchu: 10 amazing ways to see Peru

From the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca, the allure of Peru for many visitors is its unchanging, timeless quality. More than most other South American countries, Peru has kept up links with its pre-Columbian past, from practising traditional terrace farming and llama-rearing to …

Roasted beetroot tart with thyme, olives and Parmesan recipe

This beetroot tart with crème fraîche and Parmesan is a real winner<p>If you can’t find beetroot still with the leaves on, a couple of handfuls of spinach is a worthy alternative. I like to use the pretty pink candy cane beetroots for this recipe, but the deep red ones are also</b> …

Laos holiday guide: plan the perfect two-week trip

Laos has so much to offer it can’t be ‘done’ in a fortnight, so focus on one region or cherry-pick from our list of its top sights, treks, homestays, tours and even the Most Secret Place on Earth<p>Laos readers’ tips and the best places to stay in Vientiane and Luang Prabang plus more itineraries in …

Asia Travel