Gallery: blowing the cobwebs away at Druridge Bay
Just a few miles north of built-up post-industrial Tyneside lies the wide expanse of Druridge Bay. Its seven miles of sands are lined with sand dunes and are just perfect for a winter walk. The landscape is an interesting mix, with wind turbines visible in the distance but otherwise feeling rather remote.
Gallery: an ode to beautiful Northumberland (shhh!)
Are there places you know and love which you hesitate to tell others about, because you are tempted to keep them to yourself? Places relatively unknown that you fear might become spoiled if discovered by too many? And yet, they are so lovely you can’t resist singing their praises!
The black lava beach of Reynisfjara
On Iceland’s beautiful, but dangerous Reynisfjara black lava beach signs warn of the risks of getting too close to the water’s edge where ‘sneaker waves’ have been known to catch out unwary tourists and drag them out to sea. This has to be one of the classic Icelandic landscapes.
A short (hot) walk around Guiones
While the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica’s southwest is remote and wild, the Nicoya Peninsula in the northwest is rather more developed as a tourist destination. Nevertheless Pacific waves still pound its shores and there are quiet corners to be found. After all, ‘developed’ in Costa Rica is a relative term!
On the Pacific coast in Drake Bay
Would you name a place after a notorious pirate who had ransacked your coastline and hid out here, evading capture? To our surprise we discovered that is exactly what happened here in the south west of Costa Rica; Bahia Drake is named for Sir Francis Drake.
Gallery: not just any day!
In recent years I’ve been fortunate to celebrate my birthday in a number of different places. A memorable day in Ecuador visiting Cotopaxi, which was somewhat spoiled by an attack of altitude sickness! An even more memorable one in Ranthambore National Park in India, where a guide promised to find me a birthday tiger – and did! A day spent travelling to the Atacama in Chile, one of my dream destinations. A number of birthdays in Paris, including my 40th when my husband surprised me with a weekend visit. And…
Stunning landscapes of Iceland: the day the sun shone
We had learned to dance in the rain on Iceland’s Golden Circle; now today we were dancing in sunshine! Well, OK, not exactly dancing but certainly smiling. The sun was shining for the first time in several days. We, all friends from the Virtual Tourist community, were enjoying each other’s company at a wonderful weekend gathering. And we were off to explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, so packed with scenic spots that it has been dubbed ‘Iceland in Miniature’.
A village built on shells
Fadiouth is an island village, and a rather unique one. It is also known as Shell Island, and the reason for this is pretty obvious; it is built on layers and layers of shells. These have accumulated over the centuries as the locals subsisted on cockle fishing in the shallows of the mangrove lagoons and simply discarded the shells, or used them as building materials.
Kippers and castles: a walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh
One of the most memorable and striking sights along the Northumberland coast is Dunstanburgh Castle. Its ruins stand on a remote headland, reached by a beautiful coastal walk from the nearby village of Craster. It is this distance from any other building, any other sign of human habitation, that makes Dunstanburgh seem rather magical.
Gallery: at the edge of England
For those who like a coastline to be photogenic rather than picturesque, and who are more interested in exploring than lying on a beach, Dungeness is close to perfect. But don’t come here expecting to swim, to eat ice cream and to make sandcastles. Dungeness is for fishermen, walkers, photographers and lovers of the wild and windswept. Oh, and it just happens to be Britain’s only desert.