What better way to start the next season afresh than by rejuvenating at some of the world’s most gorgeous destinations? From the heights of Edinburgh Castle to the lush lowlands of Costa Rica, here’s a bucket-list on where to go with the family this year.
A land of kings and queens, musicians, magicians and muggles (as the novels of J. K. Rowling prove!), celebrate the arrival of spring by experiencing the best of Britain. From exploring Harry Potter’s London, to staying in a real castle and even learning about life as a Roman solider while patrolling Hadrian’s Wall, there’s plenty to see and do in every corner of the country. This little island has had a huge impact on history, so why not visit some of its most influential places? Stroll around the university city of Oxford – renowned for being one of the world’s finest seats of learning – or see the birthplace of the rockin’ rollin’ Beatles in Liverpool. After soaking up the delights of England, travel up to Scotland and visit the historic city of Edinburgh, which specialises in tales of bravery, treason and intrigue.
Start by tracking the “Big Five” in an exciting family safari in the Kruger National Park, and end the holiday exploring the vibrant, multicultural city of Cape Town. In between, try to keep an eye out for the five fastest land animals that live in South Africa – these include the cheetah, the wildebeest and the lion. Alternatively, stop at Storms River to view the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge (towering some 130 metres above the fast-flowing waters), and visit some of the unique bird and monkey sanctuaries that ensure some of the most vulnerable animals stay out of harm’s way.
Few places evoke eternal beauty quite like Italy. From the baroque flourishes of the Trevi fountain to the illustrious statuary of central Florence and the picturesque lagoons of Venice, this is a nation that can leave anybody enraptured. Get stuck into its past by trying your hand at sword fighting with a gladiator, or creating your own Venetian carnival mask. Or, take it a little easier and relax with an espresso or a slice of pizza and simply watch the world go by.
Pick out Stetson, pull on some cowboy boots, and don your favourite chequered shirt because it’s time to hit the American West for an adventure to remember! Yes, in this movie-worthy recreation of the Wild West there’s hearty BBQ lunches, covered wagons and mile upon mile of the majestic Rocky Mountains to admire. And when would-be cowboys or cowgirls cross the Old Oregon Trail and hit the historical town of Jackson, the first thing they’ll notice will be the landmark arch of tangled elk antlers. Walk through them, envisage yourself as John Wayne and have a saloon shoot-out with friends or family in a cowboy dream to remember.
If you take delight in the sights and sounds of the jungle, and love relaxing by calm thermal pools, you’ll be in seventh heaven on a trip to Costa Rica. Bustling with every kind of wildlife under the sun, from sea turtles and monkeys to river otters and manatees, it’s like the Garden of Eden never went away. Once you’ve had your fill of the jungle, collapse by the warm Pacific, where there’s the opportunity to snorkel, see dolphins or sea turtles, before dining on some Gallo Pinto – the nation’s favourite chicken dish.