The Loire’s Castles and Gardens

Chateau Villandry

Touring in the Loire Valley means you don't have to travel far to see the grand chateaus and pretty villages that dot the landscape. John and I stayed in one place, Chenonceaux, and found a multitude of treasures on short day trips along and over the rivers that wind through this green, broad valley. The farthest we drove was to Fontevraud Abbey. Fontevraud was high on my list because I'm ... Read Full Article

Out and About in Paris – Part I: Les Jardins

Rodin Museum - The Thinker

My week in Paris would be marked by record cold and rainfall, not the most fortuitous of forecasts. But I can be a sweaty, sun-baked tourist anywhere. As I soon discovered, there’s something about exploring the city wearing a trench coat, gloves, and scarf, hunkering beneath an umbrella and seeking sanctuary at any number of awning-covered outdoor cafes, that’s really kind of ... Read Full Article

Visit Gardens in the UK While Keeping the Non-Gardener Happy

Falkland Palace

  Compatible traveling companions do not necessarily share every interest, but it can be trying to spend your precious holidays being dragged around to boring places. You may assume that you have to go golfing even though you read a notice about the Elizabethan doll exhibit at a village museum. You may try to ignore those eyes rolling when you suggest a visit to one more cathedral. But ... Read Full Article

English Gardens: Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before?

Stourhead_garden

Spotting British actors we’ve seen in TV shows and movies is a favorite pastime at our house, but even better is spotting the UK locales where our favorite shows and movies were filmed. Here's a little rundown of where some of the more popular films and TV shows were filmed in England Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen fans have their own favorite version of this classic, but for locations, my ... Read Full Article

Exploring the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, England

heligan-formal-garden1

  Located near the village of Mevagissey in Cornwall, England, the Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of Cornwall’s must-visit gardens. Originally owned by the Tremayne family for over 400 years, the gardens fell into a state of neglect after the First World War when many of the gardeners sadly lost their lives. It wasn’t until 1990 that the derelict gardens were discovered by Tim Smit ... Read Full Article

Italy’s Lake Como: Spectacular Villas, Gardens and Active Sports

varenna

Lake Como, about 25 miles north of Milan, is a hugely popular spot, and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous blue lake, 30 miles long, surrounded by mountains, is Europe’s deepest and has a 106-mile shoreline. There is no limit to the activities available, including bicycling, mountain biking, hiking, sailing, kayaking, and climbing. You can swim, paraglide, windsurf, ride horses and, in the ... Read Full Article

Villas and Gardens of Italy’s Borromean Islands

Isola dei Pescatori

  The amazing sculptures and gardens on Isola Bella and Isola Madre, in Northern Italy's Lake Maggiore, show what aristocratic taste and plenty of money could do in the 17th century. The islands are two of the three main Borromeans set in the largest of the Italian lakes. The Borromeo family still owns some of the islands. Isola Bella, named after Countess Isabella, was once a ... Read Full Article