Grace Murphy

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Forget the Med: five stunning stretches of coast in northern Europe

Travellers flock to the Mediterranean shores of Italy, France and Spain, but for deliciously different places to dip your toes, look a little further north on your map of Europe. You’ll need a sweater if you visit outside the summer, but the views, dunes and magical history are worth a slightly …

Amsterdam's most unique bars

While Amsterdam's pulsating Red Light District and party hubs like Leidseplein need no introduction, the Dutch capital has some wonderfully diverse bars away from the raucous stag parties and tourist crowds.<p>Many offer dining too, although just stopping by for a drink is fine. Here are 10 of the …

A thrillseeker’s guide to Vietnam

Dense jungles, brooding mountains, endless waterways, towering cliffs, hairpin bends: the potential for adrenalin-fuelled adventure is limitless in Vietnam. Whether you prefer to scale the heights of jagged peaks or plumb the depths of coral reefs, Vietnam will deliver something special. Heck, just …

Europe’s hot springs: 20 of the best spots for a soak

Sliding into a bathtub after a long day is one of life’s little luxuries, but there’s nothing quite like the restorative buzz garnered by a dip in a proper thermal pool. From Iceland’s idyllic Blue Lagoon to Switzerland’s most chic spa, here’s a rundown of some of Europe’s best hot springs.<p><b>Blue</b> …

Winter sports in weird locations

Alpine huts, chocolate crêpes, outdoor hot tubs and gallons of glühwein. These things probably spring to mind when you conjure up images of ski or snowboarding resorts.<p>But what about active volcanoes, African sunsets and a warming plate of rogan josh at the end of an invigorating day on the slopes? …

20 free things to do in Amsterdam

It's easy to spend a fortune in the Netherlands' stylish capital, but the city has plenty of gratis goodies up for grabs.<p>Check out our pick of the freebies on offer.<p><b>1. Canal Ring</b><p>More canals flow in Amsterdam than in Venice, and get this: the 400-year-old waterways are a UNESCO World Heritage site. …

The world's best secret islands

Looking for a romantic spot that's (almost) all yours? Here’s a list from our brand new <i>Best in Travel 2011</i> guide to reignite your love affair with desert islands, with picks from across the globe.<p>1. Torres Strait Islands, Australia<p><i>Image by Killer White Fluff</i><p>As far as you can go in Oz without …

Viva Las Vegas (on a low-roller's budget)

Hey, big spender - think a weekend in Vegas means blowing your life savings at the blackjack table? The glittering Strip may conjure up images of slick card dealers, Dom Perignon, and Demi Moore rolling around on a hotel bed covered with hundred-dollar bills, but you can live it up in Sin City on a …

Island-hopping down Central America’s Caribbean coast

You don't always need suitcases full of cash to enjoy the Caribbean Sea – cradled in its western corner lie a number of idyllic island groups that are surprisingly easy on the pocket. Here's our guide to navigating this captivating region sure to bring out the adventurer in you.<p><b>San Blas Islands,</b> …

Top experiences in Bali: making the most of paradise

Immerse yourself in the colour and sound of a traditional festival, dine on local specialities, snorkel beautiful reefs, watch craftspeople at work, wander through lush rice fields, or just relax and be pampered at a Balinese spa. There's an awful lot to do in paradise and it's not all about the …

A guide to the eateries of France

There's a vast number of eateries in France. Most have defined roles, though some definitions are becoming a bit blurred. Here's a quick guide:<p>Auberge<p>An <i>auberge</i> (inn), which may also appear as an <i>auberge de campagne</i> or <i>auberge du terroir</i> (country inn), is usually attached to a rural B&B or small hotel …

Driving Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

The 'Wild Atlantic Way' driving route neatly packages the abundant attractions of Ireland's west coast, from West Cork to Donegal. The well-signed, easy-to-navigate route includes 157 'Discovery Points', where drivers can stop and learn more about the must-sees and lesser-known diversions of this …