Top Coastal Attractions in Norway

This is the beautiful town of Reine in  the Lofoten Islands.

First off, the Norwegian coastline is absolutely filled with picturesque villages, the most breathtaking natural scenery imaginable and ancient cities. This coast is spectacularly long—it extends for more than 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles) from the Swedish border in the south to the Russian border in the far northeast. As great as that sounds, the downside is that you’ll most likely have to ... Read Full Article

A Book Lover’s Tour of London

Daunt Books has a quiet hushed atmosphere.

The English do love to read. And nowhere is this more evident than in London Town’s plethora of bookshops. Although I long ago tapped out London’s most noteworthy tourist sights (and many of a lesser degree) I still schedule a hedonistic day or two of book shop browsing when I’m passing through London. Bookshops are spread widely throughout London’s suburbs, so you can waste a lot of subway ... Read Full Article

The Splendours of Southern Iceland

Skógafoss drops 200 feet (60m) off a vertical cliff next door to the folk and transportation museums where I explored for over an hour.

I wave farewell to sunny Akureyri as I fly south to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. I’m aware the weather is greyer and wetter there and wonder if I’ll need my rain suit. Its late September, after all. Sure enough it’s raining as I land, and clouds darken when I reach my hotel. Perhaps my good fortune has evaporated after three weeks of sunshine. The tour of Reykjavik this afternoon proves otherwise ... Read Full Article

A Memorable Stay at Ruthin Castle in North Wales

White gravel pathways meander through the castle grounds, separating circular arrangements of brightly colored flowers and purple lavender blooms

Sometimes it’s where you stay that makes traveling so memorable. I often remember more about my hotel or resort than I do about my actual destination. And this is especially true of my stay at Ruthin Castle, an ancient luxury hotel on a brilliant green Welsh hilltop, overlooking a delightful, tiny stone village. There’s something relaxing and inspiring about staying in a castle where ... Read Full Article

Northern Iceland is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Hverarond is an area of intense geothermal activity east of Lake Myvatn bordered by the burnt orange slopes of Mount Námafjall on its western side. Many consider this is the best attraction in Iceland.

The land steams. Volcanoes erupt. Earthquakes rumble. Mud boils. Geysers gush. And, water at 100C to 200C (212F to 392F) pours right out of the earth. Iceland is the only landmass that straddles the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Their junction is called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that runs north-south splitting Iceland in two. The geology is so temperamental because the plates are ... Read Full Article

Stonehenge and Bath: Time Travel in the West Country

Stonehenge dominates Salisbury Plain

Time played a major role in my day trip from London to Stonehenge and Bath. It meant getting up early, for a start, an activity that has never been one of my strong points. But such is the allure of Stonehenge and Bath that I made the effort to roll out of bed in time to join the tour at Victoria Coach Station in central London for a tour that would cross the country and take us back roughly 5000 ... Read Full Article

Posh London Has a New Home: The Beaumont Hotel

The lobby of the Beaumont Hotel in London

London: globally significant for being a central hub of finance, culture, history – not to mention shopping. As such, there is no shortage of fabulous places to stay when hopping across the pond. However, we’ve fallen especially hard for one newly opened hotel, with a crush so intense we can only compare it to seeing Love Actually for the first time or slathering clotted cream across a scone. ... Read Full Article

In Dublin’s Fair City You’ll find Guinness and Beer Aplenty

The Temple Bar- the most photographed pub in the world

Faith and begorrah! Conquering Dublin’s renown Temple Bar pubs just can’t be done. To be sure, it’s not really the sort of place where you should attempt to stagger from bar to bar, slugging back a quick beer at each (although many have tried and failed). It’s more the place where you go to sit and enjoy the friendly ambience of an authentic Irish pub for an evening, before trying another on the ... Read Full Article

The Subtle Palette of Scotland’s Isles of Harris and Lewis

As the fog dispersed we saw a typical inlet of The Bays region on Harris’s southeast coast.

I ripped open my package from the Isle of Harris. As I pushed my nose into the fabric, it smelled of lanolin and scratched my face. I had chosen it a month before because its color would forever remind me of the heather, sky, and rock that cover this Hebridean island. The fog was thick as my husband and I awaited the ferry to take us to the most northerly of the Western Isles. This ... Read Full Article

Edinburgh’s Rose Street—A Beer Aficionado’s Nirvana

the Kenilworth, one of Rose Street's most popular bars, named after a novel by Sir Walter Scott

The medieval stone city of Edinburgh boasts a staggering 700 pubs for its population of just under 500,000, the highest concentration of pubs in Great Britain. And the epicenter of Edinburgh’s beer sampling scene, as any local will tell you, is Rose Street, only a brisk 10-minute walk down the hill from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Now a lively pedestrian walkway, Rose Street lies between ... Read Full Article