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23 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka celebrates 70 years of independence, we highlight 23 spectacular reasons to visit the country.<p>1. To get wild<p>Dive with blue whales in season or watch spinner dolphins leap about in Kalpitiya. Sri Lanka also has 5,800 wild elephants ambling about and the biggest concentration of leopards …

Why Alpe d'Huez is the perfect ski resort for families

It turns out that selecting swimming trunks from a public vending machine can be quite daunting for a chap. I certainly felt a generous dollop of status anxiety as I vacillated between petit, moyen and grand before feeding a €20 note into the slot and pressing the relevant button. The stylish …

Cycling the North York Moors – a galaxy on my doorstep

Looking for an adventure with a cosmic feel, our writer reckons a new cycling centre in the wonderfully named Great Fryup Dale will fit the bill<p>The best trips, I reckon, are those where you arrive home feeling like you’ve been to the other side of the cosmos. And the strange thing is that those …

North York

Is Sri Lanka the perfect beach holiday destination?

“Where’s the runway?” asked my six-year-old son Senan as we sat under the shade of the tin-roofed hut that served as the terminal at Dickwella, on Sri Lanka’s south coast. The answer came with the sudden buzz of engines, and the Cinnamon Air seaplane swooped and landed on the surface of the Mawella …

The best ski apps to download this winter

The 30 best summer holidays for children aged 4-12

Once children are in full-time education, holidays can seem even more important than ever: this is the uninterrupted family time you all crave. What you want is easy-access fun – a house by the sea, manageable waves, organised activities – and straightforward travel, so you can focus on having fun …

Top 10: the Lake District's best pubs and inns

Autumn is a special time of year in the Lake District. The fells and and forests blaze with colour, the summer crowds have left for home, and the weather provides plenty of atmosphere – from misty mornings to crisp, blue-sky days. Walkers will find plenty of space, even on the more popular routes …

31 reasons why we love Scotland

Top 10: the best Lake District hotels for walkers

An insider's guide to the best hotels in the Lake District for walkers, including the top places to stay in Ambleside, Buttermere, Coniston, Stonethwaite, Langdale, Ullswater, Keswick, Grasmere and Troutbeck, featuring cosy rooms, crackling fires, real ales, stupendous views and great food.<p>The …

The ultimate ski bucket list: the top things do on a ski holiday before you die

From indulging in the finest cheese fondue money can buy to a week pigging out on powder in a Canadian heli lodge, we’ve put together the ultimate snow-sports bucket list, so you don’t have to. Here's our pick of the best must-do experiences.<p>1. Brave the Hahnenkamm downhill course<p>The weekend of …

The 25 best European city breaks for spring 2018 and where to stay

Our experts offer a guide to the top 25 destinations for a city break in 2018, including what to do and where to stay in Venice, Amsterdam, Florence, Lisbon, London, Barcelona and Reykjavik.<p>Italy<p>Rome<p>Rome's mild Mediterranean climate is a persuasive draw for visitors from the cool north, but the …

10 of the best ways to see the Northern Lights

The season for aurora watching is well under way, so we’ve picked out 10 of the best options this winter, from cruises along the Norwegian coast and a husky safari in Greenland to snowmobiling in Alaska and a glass-roofed igloo in Finland.<p>1. On a no-fly cruise<p>Take a 12-night Norway and Northern …

The 10 best Northern Lights cruises

Our fascination with nature’s grand illuminations never wavers. An Arctic Circle cruise not only brings the Northern Lights within reach, but also offers a holiday that’s enjoyable in so many other ways, not least through participation in some truly out-of-the-ordinary excursions and …

The world's greatest ski runs

Did you know about the secret Welsh valleys where you can watch fighter jets?

A fighter jet was the last thing I expected to see in the rear-view mirror. But there it was: black, pointy-nosed, utterly menacing – and it was, unsurprisingly, gaining ground on us.<p>It tore through the valley, engines screaming, careering so close to the car that I could have sworn I felt it …

Top 10: The best family-friendly hotels in Orlando

An expert guide to the best family-friendly hotels in Orlando, Florida, featuring the top places to stay for access to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld; themed family rooms; amazing swimming pools; kids' clubs; character breakfasts and activities for all ages.<p>Four Seasons Resort …

North Coast 500: Does 'Scotland's Route 66' live up to the hype?

“Scotland's answer to Route 66.” That is the pitch for the Scottish tourist board's latest attempt to tempt visitors to the Highlands: North Coast 500. The circular route, launched last year, skirts the very top of the United Kingdom and offers visitors “fairytale castles, beaches and ruins”, …

Chasing waterfalls: Stunning photographs reveal Iceland's epic natural wonders as you've never seen them before (with the Northern Lights and golden sunrises almost stealing the show)

• <b>Photographer Arnar Kristjansson captured the breathtaking images while on a trip away with his girlfriend Simona</b>• <b><br>The mesmerising shots show the</b> …

New York: what to see and do in winter

Some cities suit a season. For me, <b>New York</b> comes into its own in winter. Sure, it gets cold (colder than, say, London) but the sky is an electric blue, the sun shines, and when it snows it buckets down, no half-measures, covering the streets and parks in a blanket of serene white. The city seems …

United Kingdom

• Our 300 travel experts offer unrivalled insight and independent advice.<br>• Every hotel has been tried, tested and recommended by our experts.<br>• We work with trusted travel partners.

Top 10: the best family-friendly hotels in Cornwall

An insider's guide to the best family-friendly Cornwall hotels, featuring the top places to stay for swimming pools, bodyboarding, surfing lessons, children's clubs, tennis coaching and babysitting, in locations including Newquay, Penzance, St Mawes, Magwan Porth and Fowey.<p>Bedruthan Hotel & …

Britain's most affordable sea views: 20 great coastal campsites

Imagine it's one of those bright, blue-sky summer mornings. You wake to the sound of birdsong and the odd sheep. Outside, you catch a glimpse of a green swathe of grass with glittering sea beyond. It's the sort of view you'd pay a fortune to bag if you were staying in a hotel - but it's yours for …

Scotland

14 incredible cruises from UK shores

When you consider the hassle-free nature of cruising from British shores – no lengthy security checks, no luggage restrictions and car parks at almost every port – it should come as no surprise to find that more people than ever are choosing to sail from the UK. Last year 912,000 travellers – …

Cruise Ships

14 things to do in Cuba before it changes forever

Top five safari parks for seeing lions in the wild

<b>1. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia</b><p>Renowned as the home of walking safaris, this beautiful wooded valley offers the opportunity of approaching lions on foot – albeit from a safe distance. Or you can see them on a regular morning or afternoon game drive. Lions share the Valley with a big leopard …

How to become a ski instructor in your gap year

"Most people come back from their gap year with a tattoo; I returned with two ski instructor qualifications and a job." Wise words from 20-year-old Will as he sips a beer in the Living Room bar in the Swiss resort of Laax. "I'm living the dream as a qualified instructor here in Laax, earning Swiss …

Skiing

Top 10: Edinburgh's best restaurants

Timberyard<p>The Radford family are creative, experienced restauranteurs and it shows in their clever conversion of a former warehouse into this surprisingly intimate space, with a wood-burning stove and rugs for the winter and a sheltered, sunny courtyard for summer. Committed to quality and …

30 places in Europe you must see in your lifetime

Britain's 50 greatest days out (perfect for half term)

The Midlands<p><b>1. Alton Towers, Staffordshire</b><p>Among the stomach-churning highlights are Nemesis, Air and Oblivion (a vertical drop of more than 180ft). This year saw the launch of the first “virtual reality” rollercoaster, “Galactica”, where riders use headsets to experience a space adventure.<p><b>Price:</b> on …

Everything you need to know about visiting Oktoberfest

The Munich Oktoberfest justly lays claim to being the world’s largest folk festival (yes, it’s not just about drinking beer). Over the past decade it has attracted an average of around six million visitors a year, who between them consume almost seven million litres of beer and munch their way …