Outdoors Information

How to Grab a Bite to Eat and Help the Planet


You CAN grab something to eat, enjoy every bite, AND help the planet...

How to Save Money AND help the planet


Don't all of us love to have the money to do the fun things that bring us joy? Not that all fun things require money, mind you, on the contrary! But have you ever wanted to read that awesome-looking new book, eat at that new green restaurant in town or throw a party for friends and family...only to be short a little cash?

Spanish Courses in Spain


Spain: sun, sea, sand and Spanish... discover us! Spain, a golden country in the heart of Europe and gateway to the Americas. A mini continent blessed with sunshine and charisma and overflowing with culture, history, art, flamenco and mouth watering tapas.

Maples for Autumn Colour


As the weather cools in late summer and the days shorten noticeably so the deciduous trees and shrubs begin to withdraw chlorophyll from their leaves in preparation for the winter shutdown. With less of that vital green pigment to mask them, the other colours within the leaves begin to show through. While the best of the autumn color may be over for this year, the coming winter months are the time to consider how best to prepare for next years autumn glory.

Too much to do in London!


No one can truly say they know London well. To know London completely is impossible. London changes faster than pigeons descending into the fountains of Trafalgar Square. Home to inhabitants for over 2,000 years now London has grown from the protective circle of the Tower to a sprawling metropolis, the ideal platform for constant illustrious activity. Always where there is history there are tales to tell. Tourists are naturally drawn to the regular tourist attractions, yet it is the true travellers that seek deeper to find the gems of a 2,000 year-old town. It only takes a very small amount of investigating to find something more rewarding, more interesting, more inspiring in London, than the London Dungeons (although it must be said ? is a damn good laugh if you can bear the hour long queues!). For instance, not even a minute?s walk from the London Dungeons is the Hay?s Galleria. This gem is for some totally bizarre reason hidden from all guidebooks and tourist information ? no doubt to preserve its lack of thousands of tourists making it a less exclusive haven. Please go there! It?s a beautiful indoor/outdoor menagerie of a few select shops, with a vast concourse of cafes, market stalls, bands, presentations, and of course, it overlooks a beautiful part of the Thames. Turn right from Hays Galleria and you find yourself in a Thames-side walkway next to the newest buildings in town. The architecture is phenomenal, and these lord-mayor buildings are still so new that you can imagine that the cellophane has just freshly been peeled off all the windows. You are welcome to enter the Lord Mayor?s building (it?s the one shaped like a golf ball), go to the top and marvel at the mind-boggling roundness of it all ? plus of course see the spectacular views of the HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge & the Tower of London. Continue strolling directly into the I-Witness open-air gallery, before maybe snacking on a hot-dog in the mini-fairground. Walk past the green that previously hosted many Hollywood film premieres in giant marquees, the David Blaine in-a-box episode, plus many other varied events, and you are literally underneath Tower Bridge, keep walking and you are now in Shad Thames, a true delight of traffic-free, cobbled streets full of people, giving you a precise feeling of how the London streets felt hundreds of years ago. It is as if these streets have been restored from long ago, thus delivering to the traveller a wonderfully rich blend of old and new in the same vicinity. Circle around Shad Thames, past the ever-changing Design-Museum, and find yourself in Butlers Wharf, a charming quay-side collection of bars & restaurants all overlooking the Thames opposite the equally picturesque St Katherine?s Dock. Trust me when I tell you that Butlers Wharf is the ultimate in romantic settings. Hays Galleria to Butlers Wharf is one walk of quite possibly hundreds to choose from, in fact ? that?s a whole day right there! There are equal delights even if you turned left out of Hay?s Galleria instead, especially the Clink Street Prison Museum, Vinopolis (Wine Museum), Borough Market, Southwark Cathedral, I could go on?. Great streets, great walks, great museums (forget the big-ones ? go to the Children?s museum in Bethnal Green for a real treat). It is frustrating to think that the bulk of visitors to London wind up staying in some of the least interesting areas. Paddington & Bayswater are both great areas, being so close to Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens (now home to the finally-completed Princess Diana shrine). Kensington & Earls Court have their highlights too, but there is more to London than the tried and tested tourist routes. I recently stayed in a five star hotel in the middle of the city on the weekend for less than one hundred pounds a night, and was amazed at exactly how completely empty the city of London was. I was in heaven! There I was in the middle of one of the oldest cities around, and I had it all to myself! City hotels are notorious for being completely empty on weekends, hence the great rates. I am sure tourists pay over the hundred pounds per night threshold to stay in ?trendy? Kensington etal, when they could easily stay next to Tower Bridge, St Paul?s, Millennium Bridge etc, for much less. Needless to say that the City of London (the financial centre) is absolutely coloured with history, everywhere you go there are buildings proclaiming their 16th century origins, and they are in abundance. I was recently taken to what is supposedly one of the oldest London pubs in existence. Again, this pub is not only hidden from the guidebooks and the common information sources, it is also hidden from the public! I had to be taken there, as I would never have been able to find it unless accompanied. This pub is hidden from the world. It is sandwiched between two narrow streets and therefore completely obscured from any main thoroughfare. It has its own courtyard and as you stand supping a pint outside, it is as if you are in Victorian London. Look down the misty streets and it is easy to conjure up an old bobby on the beat blowing his whistle, or Jack the Ripper lurking in the shadows. Oh - and there?s a 150 year old tree growing through the building, to add to the oddity of the pub. Hampstead is another great area waiting to be discovered. Covered in green spaces, Hampstead (North London) is perfect for the idyllic setting combined with the close proximity to the big-smoke. Steeped in its own folklore, Hampstead was home to Dick Turpin (apparently he was born at the Spaniard?s Inn ? hugely popular and famous pub on the Heath) of which his ghost still roams Kenwood house, and the surrounding woodlands. The high streets of Hampstead, Belsize Park, and the immaculately kept Primrose Hill are possibly the last untouched-by-commercialism streets in London (no Starbucks here!). If you want breath-taking views of the city, historical sites detailing the ?first entry point into London?, combined with al-fresco dining, and an altogether more relaxed atmosphere, Hampstead is the place, and less than 15 minutes on the tube to the city centre! Now do you see why it seems frustrating that tourists stay in less desirable areas when they could stay in an altogether more inspiring location, just as close to all the major attractions? Of course, Hampstead is one of London?s many beauty spots, yet the city is not all about beauty. As with any home to approximately 10 million people, varied activity is rife. London events cannot help but affect all, every Londoner has an opinion on the congestion zone, on the ill-fated Millennium Dome, on Tony Blair, in fact on any topic you care to mention. Start a conversation with any London black-cab driver ? typically famous for their outspoken views, and you will find yourself immediately thrown into the debate of the day. So, when visiting London do not even attempt to see it all ? you cannot. In a city where already this year a Roman road has been uncovered a mile below ground level dating back to 1 AD, and where Paddington workers uncovered Brunel?s first iron-bridge ? one they didn?t know existed - London is forever creating wonders on a regular basis. enq@VisitHotels.com www.VisitHotels.com

Shark Pictures Not The Real Thing


Pictures of a massive dead Great White shark on the back of a bakkie are doing the rounds on email with the subject line saying "Caught at Monwabisi and Strandfontein Beach yesterday" - but experts have dismissed it as a hoax.

Japanese Garden of Monaco


Have you ever seen an authentic Japanese garden? Well, I had the chance of seeing the one in Monaco and was really impressed too. Wanna taste a little Japanese culture? Stepping on this ground is escaping from the real world into a fantasy land. You suddenly find yourself in a typical Japanese natural setting like the ones you see in marvelous paintings. The only thing that's missing is the fog. Instead, the Mediterranean sun reveals all minute details in a warm light.

Greek Food


A meal in Greece is highlighted with a selection of hot and cold plates known as mezedes. Soups are few but they are meals by themselves.

Ultralight Backpacking Versus Traditional Backpacking


Contrary to what many think, ultralight backpacking is not just about the freedom to hike more miles or to take your whole pack up the mountain with you. It is also about comfort and safety. Backpackers with heavy loads work too hard and threaten their joints too much. Challenges may add to the experience, but why suffer more than is necessary?

Side-Tripping in Montana


Nightlife in Big Sky, Montana is more exciting than you would think. Especially for a pair of happy-go-lucky California girls in town just for the heck of it, on a spur-of-the-moment vacation in search of a Western adventure. Not the kind of west-coast adventure you?d find on a sunny San Diego beach covered with half-nude bodies dripping with SPF 15 tanning lotion. Or the kind you?d find on a Big Bear ski slope watching bikini babes race down the black diamond hills with sun screen-covered noses.

Three Places to Interact with Dolphins in Hawaii


Visitors to Hawaii frequently see dolphins from shore or on a whale-watching cruise or fishing boat. Visitors sometimes happen to be in the water snorkeling or kayaking when a pod of dolphins swims by. Some visitors even seek out dolphins, either by frequenting areas where dolphins live and play, like Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, or by taking a boat tour that frequents areas where dolphins live and play.

Where to Find Some of the Best Beaches in the World


We think that Cape Town has some of the best beaches in the world.

Review: Russell Shortos The Island At The Center Of The World


Up to now the preponderant view held by many historians is that Dutch contribution to American history and particularly to that of New York has been one of irrelevancy. As we no doubt realize, the winners write history, and unfortunately, whatever the losers may have contributed, it seems to be lost or forgotten in the shuffle.

Amazing Trek Across TIbet!


Today Bookpleasures and Sketchandtravel are pleased to have as our guest, Brandon Wilson, author of Yak Butter Blues.

Traveling To and Around Hawaii, A First-Time Visitors Primer


Six different islands in Hawaii are open to tourism. Most first-timers planning a trip to one or more than one island have numerous questions relating to where exactly to go and how exactly to get there. This primer will answer those questions.

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New York Times

For Exercise, Nothing Like the Great Outdoors
New York Times
Long walks can improve moods and reduce anxiety, but the benefits may be greatest if the walks take place outdoors rather than in a gym, according to a new study by researchers in Austria. And while the Alps may be a particularly fine place to hike, ...



The Evening Sun

Outdoors: Looking for family fun over the holiday? - The Evening Sun
The Evening Sun
Looking for some family fun on the July 4th holiday? Try fishing.

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LancasterOnline

Outdoors calendar for Lancaster County, week beginning July 1
LancasterOnline
This program blends a story book with the outdoors with fun for children ages 2 to 10. $5 per child. For more information or to register, email governordick@hotmail.com; call 717-964-3808. Fort Indiantown Gap regal fritillary butterfly and grassland ...



News & Observer

When July 4 arrives, so does Free Fishing Day
News & Observer
Dig out the fishing pole or borrow one. It's time for North Carolina's annual Free Fishing Day. No fishing license is required to fish in public waters, including saltwater, around the state on July 4. Any resident or non-resident can fish without a ...

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Bay Nature

José González on Growing Latino Outdoors
Bay Nature
In the circle stand two families with a handful of kids and teenagers, a few adults, state park employees, volunteers from the nonprofit Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) to guide the kayaking trip, and the leaders of Latino Outdoors, a ...



Philly.com

Program shows kids the great outdoors - right in Philly
Philly.com
“This is a way to give kids access to the outdoors that's local. So it's right in the community.” Vismita Holavanahalli, 10, a Penrose pupil, said she wanted to come to the camp because the program's leaders “teach really fun stuff about animals and ...



New places to dine outdoors in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... balls in the beer garden down at Portogallo Peppers N'at. Bob Portogallo moved his Swissvale shop — home to some monstrously big sandwiches — down to a Braddock location at 28 Braddock Ave. with a large outdoor area, both covered and uncovered, ...



KSAT San Antonio

Smart grills help people cook outdoors without guesswork
KSAT San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO - There's an app for just about everything, including some new grills. New high-tech gadgets claim to take the guesswork out of grilling. But are they worth the price? If grilling is your thing, but if you're stumped by when the food is ...



Panthers, Academy Sports + Outdoors offer equipment grants
Panthers.com
The Carolina Panthers and Academy Sports Outdoors are offering $5,000 in equipment grants that will provide new football equipment for youth football programs in the Carolinas. Any youth football organization in the Carolinas that is a USA Football ...



DesMoinesRegister.com

Outdoors Dan's thoughts on mineral usage - The Des Moines Register
DesMoinesRegister.com
I heard you say that you were putting out trail cameras this week. Thanks for the tip on funnels and travel corridors. What do you think about mineral usage?

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