Keep the Great Barrier Reef Beautiful Forever

According to environmentalists and experts in ecology, the Great Barrier Reef is in danger due to development in the area, overfishing and divers who take plants and animals and fail to take proper care of the area. In addition, storms and strong weather patterns in the vicinity have decimated the coral population, which endangers plants and animals.

 

Without many of this flora and fauna, people lose food sources, exports, and tourism in Australia suffers. And experts say that at least two decades are needed to restore the coral reefs to their former shape and size.

 

People all over the world can help with efforts to repair and protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian government is taking strides to protect the area by enacting legislation that ensures that people are respecting the reef and the plants and animals that call it home. This includes improving the water quality and passing laws to prevent overfishing or removing specimens as souvenirs. In addition, big name activists, such as the World Wildlife Federation and Greenpeace, are also working to raise funds and recruit volunteers to take measures for ensuring the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

 

The Earthwatch Institute works with scuba divers all over the world to promote awareness and carry out recovery tasks where needed. It also engages in extensive research of the Great Barrier Reef so that new ways can be found to protect the species that live there, while also continuing to make it a safe and profitable diving spot for the country of Australia. People who want to get involved can undergo the required assessment to determine their eligibility.

 

Coral disease is another major cause of loss in the Great Barrier Reef and is something that divers aren’t causing. That makes it concerning because the solution isn’t always as easy as legislative changes and rules that divers must follow. According to the Earthwatch Institute, black band disease is the most widespread problem and is currently being studied for clues and solutions for stopping it from decimating the coral in the area.

 

Climate change also affects the Great Barrier Reef, and researchers are studying how it works against the plants and animals in the reef in the hopes that a solution can be discovered and adjustments made to how we treat the environment before it’s too late.

 

Anyone, whether experienced in the field or not, can help the ecological wonderland that can be seen from outer space. Donations to fund research are the single best way to get involved if you can’t join research or dive teams. Any money raised is used to further the knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef and to create viable methods of protecting the species that live there. Anything you can and want to do is sure to help.

 

The Great 8: The Grand National Monuments of Utah

Utah is one of the best states to visit if you are a fan of the great outdoors. Not only does it have five national parks, but it is also home to no fewer than eight National Monuments. Here are details of the monuments that you can see during your time in the state.

1. Grand Staircase National Monument

Grand Staircase National Monument was created in September 1996 and consists of an area 1.7 million acres in size. It is filled with countless fascinating formations and features, and its paleontological sites are well known. This remote and rugged region is perfect for exploring for those who enjoy the great outdoors, and the geological formations are spectacular.

2. Pipe Springs National Monument

The Pipe Springs National Monument makes for a fascinating day trip. The Paiute tribe used to live in this area, and they were followed by Mormon settlers. You can still see the old Mormon cattle ranch, called Windsor Castle, on a tour.

3. Timpanogos Cave National Monument

This National Monument is the furthest north of the monuments, and if you are staying in Park City Utah lodging you will find it very easy to reach. The others are all accessible by driving a few hours, but this is the best if you don’t want to travel far. It is located in the Wasatch Mountains on Mount Timpanogos, and it comprises three caverns. There is a 1.5-mile hike to the cave, and when you arrive you will find many impressive formations inside, including stalactites and stalagmites.

4. Natural Bridges National Monument

There are only a few natural stone bridges that have been carved by streams in the world, and three of them are found here. They are called Sipapu, Kachina and Owachomo, and you can see them all during your visit. You will also find stunning canyons and a number of hiking trails, as well as a visitor center and a camping ground.

5. Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge is the largest natural bridge on Earth, standing at 290 feet tall. It has been carved from red sandstone, and it is sacred to the local Navajo tribes. It attracts 300,000 people every year, and you can see it by either hiking, going on horseback, or on a boat cruise.

6. Cedar Breaks National Monument

Dixie National Forest surrounds this monument, which consists of a natural amphitheater that reveals numerous geologic levels in the Markagunt Plateau and contains a number of impressive limestone formations.

7. Hovenweep National Monument

The ruins of towers at this national monument look like castles. They were built many centuries ago by an ancient culture that was in the area from about 500 BC onwards. They are some of the best examples in the country, and the Square Tower is the most impressive. There are also many hiking trails to enjoy.

8. Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument is a 200,000-acre area where a huge haul of Jurassic-period bones were discovered in 1909, which included new dinosaur discoveries. You can now go to the visitor center and there are also over 2,000 bones still exposed in the wall. You can also go hiking, and whitewater rafting on the Yampa River is also popular.

Discover the Fascinating National Monuments of Utah

Utah is blessed with so many stunning National Monuments, and you can see them all during your time in the state. Wherever you are based, you won’t have trouble traveling to all of these monuments, so discover them for yourself while you are here.

Mary Adams is an instructor at a ski school. She likes writing about indoor and outdoor activities. Her articles can be found on many vacation and travel websites.

Whistler, BC: Walking, Running and Riding Your Way Around Blueberry Park

Whistler, BC is a playground for those who love activities and want to break a sweat. But, if you’re not a native and planning a vacation, it’s best to consider the lay of the land in order to make the most of time there. Below, you’ll read information related to navigating the Blueberry Park terrain.

Proximity

Blueberry Park is nestled within two kilometers from Whistler Village. Those who have visited Rainbow Park may have noticed piers across Alta Lake. Blueberry Park extends from the public piers to the other side of the woods. The area connects Whistler Cay and Alta Vista. The proximity inspires a number of joggers, runners, and walkers who stay at Whistler vacation homes to enter the woods.

View

Blueberry Trail stretches from one side of the forest to the other, and in between, natives and tourists enjoy a view of Mount Sproatt. Those who live in the area may remember Blueberry Park as a dirt trail, yet new sections and trail signs have been added to offer more appeal and attract newcomers.

Landscape

As mentioned, a number of revisions have been implemented since 2013, but those visiting for the first time need to note most of the trail is steep and rocky. Moreover, the forest is thick and dark during the day (and just about non-navigable at night). Actually, the fallen trees, boulders, and dense thickets are enough to make you forget ‘civilization’ is only a short walk away.

Dogs

Blueberry Park, and most of the Whistler, BC area, is very dog friendly. However, a number of rules maintain order and ensure owners pay respect to the surroundings. Keep your dog on a leash, pick up waste, and do not allow the animal to be a nuisance to other visitors.

Accessibility

The trailhead sign is noticeable from St. Anton Way. The three piers serve as a great access point for runners and hikers who want to avoid the crowds roaming Lost Lake Park, Wayside Park, and others. If you’re looking to take a hike amongst terrain similar to the grassy fields and amenity-filled pathways found at Rainbow park, then Blueberry Park, with its massive amount of wilderness, is not for you. From the piers, backtrack and take the right fork after St. Anton Way. The narrow trail leads deep into the Blueberry Hill forest.

Trajectory

End to end, the Blueberry trail is 1.4 kilometers and extremely steep. That means the trail is not safe for some dogs, and it is not advised to bring baby strollers regardless of larger wheels. Rising quickly, the trail brings joggers to a vista point, hanging high above the lake. The trail offers more beautiful views to the left and descends at Crabapple Drive.

Alternatively, turning right onto the Valley Trail will take you along the Whistler Golf Course and leads into the Village. Turning left brings you to the Valley Trail at the end of Lorimer Road, with the road splitting once again. Left leads to Rainbow Park and right makes way to Meadow Park.

Charles Fitzpatrick works as a travel consultant. He likes writing about his travel insights online. You can read his posts mostly on vacation and travel blogs.

Man Meets Beast: The Cozy Caleche Rides of Mont Tremblant

It can be a burden to travel, but not when a fine beast is conveniently trailing you and family around quaint neighborhoods. Such is the setting for those who take chaleche rides in Mont Tremblant. There’s much to do there, but you must reserve time to see Old Montreal from a cozy caleche.

30 or 60 Minutes

You may tour for thirty or sixty minutes. The condensed tour takes you around the more popular areas of Old Montreal, Place D’Armes and Place Jacques-Cartier. The extended tour is more thorough as guides use anecdotes and pictures to give a full ride around Old Montreal. If you’re traveling with younger children, you may want to opt for the quicker ride in case they get a bit antsy. However, if friends and family members love history, then they will adore the full tour. Of course, some of your party may stay back at your Mont Tremblant luxury rentals while enthusiasts take the tour.

Guides

Tour guides are well prepared and must undergo training in order to get the job. The extended tour is divided in 10 sections and supplemented with photographs and anecdotes. Tour guides memorize sixty-five ‘capsules’ of information and also provide resources such as web sites, so you can further your education about Old Montreal afterward.

Horses

Horses are fully trained and drivers stay in control at all times in addition to using whips to keep horses disciplined and trotting. While some people in the area do not like the idea of horses being used for pleasure rides, the proper authorities ensure the welfare and fair treatment of the animals.

Be Mindful

Unfortunately, some charlatans try to take advantage of tourists, so be mindful when deciding to take a ride, or else you may ‘get taken for a ride.’ Since tour guides do invite people on the sidewalk for rides, it’s best to reserve a caleche beforehand. That way, you can check the web for reviews and any negative sentiments about a particular provider. Also, ask if it is appropriate to tip the rider or if such gratuity is already included in the price of the ride.

Accommodations

Rides are available day or night and given amid an array of weather conditions. You don’t want your lack of comfort to take away from the experience, so come prepared. While some services supply riders with blankets and warm drinks, you may want to bring along a heavier jacket or sweater in addition to a blanket, especially for younger friends and family members. Also, consider filling a thermos with hot chocolate, soup, or other beverage that will keep you warm.

French or English

Caleche services are well aware of the numbers of tourists that come to Mont Tremblant, and most caleche services provide tours in English or French. While some speak both languages, if you’re not an expert in speaking French, references or language may deter from complete understanding of the provided information. To be sure there will be no communication barriers, ask your service provider beforehand if tour guides are equally proficient in English and French.

Denise Washington works as a vacation planner. She likes to write about her experiences on the Internet. Look for her articles on many vacation and travel websites.

The Nature and Wildlife Tours of Jackson Hole, Wyoming

One of the reasons Jackson Hole is so popular as a vacation destination is that there is so much on offer for people who love the outdoors. With both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park nearby, as well as a huge variety of stunning natural scenery outside of the parks, there is so much to see and discover.

One of the most popular activities is to go on a nature or wildlife tour, and visitors will find many private tours operating in the area. Here are some of the best, along with what to expect when you head out into the wilds.

EcoTour Adventures

EcoTour Adventures provides wildlife tours of Grand Teton National Park as well as the National Elk Refuge. It specializes in small groups, and both half-day and full-day tours are available where you will get to spot eagles, elk, moose, bison, and other wildlife.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris

Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris provides a variety of tours that allow you to connect to the natural beauty of the area. Local guides with lots of experience take out small groups and provide explanations about the history of the region and the geology. Tours go to Grand Teton, the National Elk Refuge, and Yellowstone, and hotel pickup is available, making it a convenient option if you are staying in one of the Jackson Hole luxury hotels.

Wildlife Expeditions of Teton Science Schools

This experienced tour provider provides snowcoach tours of Yellowstone in the winter where you can visit Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as well as other highlights. The trained and experienced guides will take you to areas where you are likely to see the wild animals, and tours also run in Grand Teton. Keep an eye out for moose, bison, mule deer, grizzly and black bears, eagles, hawks, and more on half-day, full-day, and multi-day tours.

Yellowstone Day Tours

Yellowstone Day Tours provides full-day guided coach tours to Yellowstone where you will go around the Lower Loop. You will see highlights including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and you will learn about the history, wildlife, and geology of the area at the same time. Tours are also provided in Grand Teton, and in winter snowmobile tours are available.

Brushbuck Tours

Brushbuck Tours provides guided tours of Grand Teton where you will be able to spot wildlife and learn about the history of the area. It provides a variety of tours including the African-style tour, dawn and dusk tours, and river tours. Winter tours are also available, during which you can enjoy a sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge.

Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures

Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures offers a variety of tours in Grand Teton, including sunrise and sunset tours. Depending on your tour, you may cross Jenny Lake on the ferryboat, visit the Teton Raptor Center, or even go on a whole-day tour on Snake River. Yellowstone tours of the Lower Loop are also available.

Discover the Natural Wonders of Jackson Hole and the Surroundings

Jackson Hole attracts visitors throughout the year, many of whom choose to go on summer and winter tours to see the wildlife and enjoy the stunning scenery of the surrounding area. Whether you want to spot wildlife or discover the beauty of the national parks accompanied by an expert guide, and whether you travel here in the summer or the winter, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for adventure in Jackson Hole.

Peter O’Reilly works as a travel agency associate. He likes to share his travel insights on the Internet. You can read his posts on various travel sites.

Top 5 Unusual Expos for Vacation Fun

Trade shows and expos come in all varieties. Here we count down events that are not so run-of-the-mill, offering a unique twist or an experience completely out of the ordinary.

  1. SXSW Gaming Expo

For the ultimate gamer, SXSW provides games on every platform imaginable and showcases the cutting edge in gaming tech. Mixing the old-school with the up-and-coming, there’s something here for every age and ability. Panel talks at the Geek Stage, demos, crazy parties and free entry make this expo a slice of heaven for the avid gamer. Held in March in Austin, Texas, exact dates for 2016 are yet to be confirmed, the 2015 having come and gone with great success.

  1. Surf Expo

With over 10,000 booths and storefronts and 26,000 attendees in 2014, Surf Expo is growing into a gigantic promiseland for all things surf. Packed to the brim with fashion shows, the best in surf equipment and fashion, this expo in Orlando, Florida, is a must-visit for every wave enthusiast. With surf, sup, skate, wave and wind accessories, the huge variety of world-leading equipment here is second to none. Running from Sept. 10 – 12, 2015, there will be plenty of activities, shopping and shows to fit in just three days.

  1. Interlift

Come to Augsburg Trade Fair Centre, Germany, for all things elevator. With a wide range of exhibits on elevators and how they work, escalators, parking systems, hydraulics and all sorts of technical details, Interlift can satisfy your curiosity for the age-old question, “How does it work?” With over 500 expert exhibitors and nearly 19,000 visitors in 2013, Interlift 2015 aims to be even bigger and better. This year’s event takes place Oct. 13 – 16 and draws elevator professionals from all over the world.

  1. The Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo

Part of the Festival of the Dead, held in the infamous Salem, Massachusetts, this expo puts on show the City’s most gifted psychics, practicing real-life witches and array of magical paraphernalia for you to take home. Book a tarot, palm or past life reading, or get a Spirit Medium to contact your angels, spirit guides and departed loved ones. Stop off at the Enchanted Alley to browse through wands, incense, spell books, voodoo dolls, crystals, jewelry and much more for sale. Running from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, 2015, there is plenty of time to cast away your inhibitions and delve into the world of the unknown.

  1. Celebrity Impersonators Convention

Imagine walking into a room and seeing Cher, Bill Clinton and Lady Gaga having a drink together. Well, now you can. Held in the Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, you can expect a huge range of look and sound alike talent to take the stage for your entertainment delight. If you are in the impersonation business yourself, send in a video clip to the convention organizers for your chance to jump on stage and show the world your talents.

A Tick List for the Best Family Holiday

Planning a family holiday can be stressful but the overall emotion should be excitement. Taking your family away for a fortnight in the sun or on an action-packed adventure will be the highlight of your year. It is a time to forget the stress of work, bond, and create some great memories. The best way to enjoy the anticipation of a family holiday is to prepare as thoroughly as you can on the run-up to your time away. Here I’ve listed the most important factors you need to consider in preparation for your holiday. So make a list and don’t forget the bucket and spade!

Weather

A week in the blistering sun is not the ideal holiday for all families. You may be a group of especially light-skinned people who struggle to cope with baking heat or you may be winter sports fanatics. If the former is the case perhaps consider a holiday closer to home. The south of England has some warm weather which does not get overwhelming as does the north of France.

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Activities

If you have young children they will need to be kept occupied during a week or two away. A holiday such as the ones provided by UK Breakways to various Pontins destinations are perfect for keeping the kids entertained. Having face painting, tennis, and go-karts all organised for you is a hassle-free way to make sure they are kept busy. Alternatively, you could plan a family cycling holiday or even go on a city break.

Down time

If this is your only holiday of the year you may need to prioritise some relaxation time. It is not pleasant returning to work after a week away and not feeling like you have had any time to recharge your batteries. By having at least a few days somewhere where the kids will be kept occupied but you are able to kick back at the end of your holiday always works for me.

Food

Do you have fussy eaters in your family? It’s a common issue. Probably best to avoid a remote Indonesian island where chips are not on the culinary radar. However, most holiday destinations these days are accommodating to the majority of diets.

Insurance

Make sure you get the boring bits out of the way well in advance. Websites such as Money Supermarket are great for finding the best deals on travel insurance. Also, check your passports to ensure they are in date. It’s a surprisingly easy oversight to make!

Travel

If you have young kids you may want to avoid long haul flights. You may also want to factor in airport transfers if there are family members who suffer from travel sickness.

Packing

Make sure you have all the essentials way ahead of packing. Holiday wardrobe, toiletries and medication should be on shopping list well in advance of the packing phase of your preparation.

Home

Pets and plants may need to be taken care of while you are away. Organise this with a neighbour or friend well long before you go away. Remember they may have a holiday planned for the same time.

5 Top Delaware Destinations You Shouldn’t Miss

Delaware might be small in stature, but tourists planning a trip to the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast shouldn’t let it speed by on the way up or down I-95. The First State has a fascinating bevy of attractions on offer — some historical, some cultural, some scenic and some just plain weird. Here’s a look at five top Delaware destinations that deserve a spot on your itinerary.

1. The (Almost) Big City Lights of Wilmington

Though traditionally known as a regional center of banking and finance, Wilmington is coming into its own as a cultural destination for families and fun-loving young adults alike. From locally supported organizations like OperaDelaware and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra to the myriad brewpubs and restaurants that line the Delaware Riverfront, there’s something for everyone here.

2. The Delaware History Trail

As the First State, Delaware is serious about its history. What better way to get the full measure than with the Delaware History Trail? This engaging string of historical attractions takes visitors from one end of the state to the other, stopping at some or all of the 36 recognized landmarks along the way. Trailgoers see such varied sights as museums filled with early American art, the shore that saw the first boatload of English explorers set foot on what would become the United States, and the hall where the Constitution was first ratified.

3. Rehoboth Beach

One of the most popular things to see in Delaware is Rehoboth Beach, a quirky seaside town with a laid-back atmosphere and a stunning range of seasonal businesses, including popular souvenir shops, pubs and art galleries. A word of warning: Rehoboth Beach’s population swells by nearly 20-fold in the summer, so plan your trip for the still-mild shoulder seasons if at all possible. (Lodging deals are generally better then, too.)

4. The Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail

With a name like that, it’s better not disappoint. Fortunately, Delaware’s Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail lives up to its promise, thanks largely to the enterprising craftspeople and favorable climate of the First State. The DBWST traverses nearly the entire length of Delaware, hitting craft beer favorites like Dogfish Head and sophisticated wineries like Harvest Ridge along the way. The catch: To make the most of the DBWST, you need to download a “passport” from Delaware’s official tourism website and visit at least eight of the destinations on it, making sure to get an employee’s signoff at each one. Once you amass eight, send your passport to the state tourism bureau and watch the mail for your prize — a shiny new wine glass or beer mug.

5. Dover International Speedway

NASCAR fans, take heart: Dover International Speedway sits in the heart of Delaware, near the center of the state’s government. It routinely hosts NASCAR events and other competitions throughout the year, but “the world’s fastest one-mile oval” is a great place to check out regardless of what’s on the schedule. Your car-loving kids will definitely appreciate a stop here.

Are you already planning your next trip to Delaware? What sights are you most looking forward to seeing?

Places to Visit on a Trip to Tanzania

Tanzania is a very popular African tourist destination. There are many different types of vacations available there, from organized tours to self-catering holiday homes. Tanzania has something to offer for everybody and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

About Tanzania

Tanzania is truly multicultural. However, it is probably best known not for its diversity in people, but rather its diversity in wildlife. There are coral reefs for those who like marine life and various safari parks for various animals. And, of course, it is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent.

Additionally, it is home to Zanzibar, the infamous spice island. Here, you can hear tales of ancient merchants and pirates. The country is fully of cultural vibrancy that is above and beyond what you will find in any other country.

Serengeti National Park

Most people have heard of the Serengeti National Park. It is the oldest of its kind and believed to be the best refuge for wildlife in the work. When you visit the Serengeti with Tauck Tours, for instance, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful open plains of the park and hope to spot all of the big five animals.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

You can also visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This has a very interesting archaeological site at the Olduvai Gorge and at the Ngorongoro Crater. This crater was once an active volcano. Now, however, it is the home of over 30,000 animals, including rhino, buffalo and zebra. There are also various lakes to attract further wildlife.

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

If you fancy a climb, you could try to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. Very few people manage to do it, with the majority succumbing to altitude sickness before they reach the top. However, even if you don’t make it, or don’t even try it for that matter, the park itself is absolutely amazing.

Zanzibar

Visiting Zanzibar is also a fantastic experience. It was built by Indian and Arab merchants, using coral stone. The town was built in the 19th century and you will be able to see some of the most amazing architecture in the world, enjoying dilapidated buildings and beautiful remnants of the once all-powerful Omani Arab and Persian empires. The scent of the various spices is something that you will never forget. Do also make sure that you visit the old slave market and the ruins of the Sultan’s Palace for a true historical experience.

These are just some of the amazing things you can experience on a tour to Tanzania. There is so much to see and do that you may want to decide to come back more often. It is a place of wonder and mysticism, of ancient and modern cultures, of history and natural beauty. It is impossible to spend even a single moment being bored in this fantastic country. You are guaranteed to have an amazing time, particularly if you go on an organized tour.

Unique holiday experiences in traditional settings

These days the world seems ever smaller, with national and international flights opening up stunning destinations in all corners of the world. It often seems like there are no hidden secrets left, no unexplored lands, or uncharted areas that haven’t promoted, written about, mentioned on social media, blogs and TV.

But has this push to venture further, to get to the latest “must see” attraction, to acquire that special passport stamp, left holiday makers missing some of the more beautiful, undisturbed and traditional locations around the world?

The mention of a traditional holiday will conjure up different memories; camping with parents in a cramped tent, staying in unusual B&Bs, long coach or car journeys (caravan hitched behind), playing on the beach and eating sandy food, or winter ski holidays that guaranteed fun in the snow every year.

With the availability of cheap flights, the draw of sun filled resorts, and tours that are so organised all you need do is roll out of bed in the morning, it’s easy to forget some of the natural wonders that can be found in oft forgotten locations (and how new attractions and experiences can be had in apparently traditional locations).

Take Scotland for instance. Often overlooked in favour of trips to Europe, London or tours around England, the landscape of Scotland offers so much variation it’s impossible to summarise concisely. The lowland hills of the Scottish Borders that run along the northern border with England, offer beautiful rolling farmland, forests, heather cover moorland and views over the famous River Tweed in the east. A largely rural area, farms, fortified houses, castles and ancient churches dot the landscape, and the wealth of history and monuments is staggering (due to the numerous battles fought between Romans and Celts and the Scots and English).

Charming village pubs, idyllic sandy bays, steep coastal cliffs, quiet woodland walks and tranquil river paths await the visitor, as do historic county towns, annual festivals, horse racing, picturesque golf courses and more vigorous activities such as kayaking, surfing and downhill mountain bike racing.

Tours include textile mills (where the famous Tweed fabric has been manufactured for over a hundred years), whiskey distilleries (you can’t come to Scotland without tasting a wee dram) and visits to historic country estates. And if historic tours, quiet woodland walks, or speeding down a hill on a bike aren’t your cup of tea, how about trying some traditional Scottish fieldsports? Local guides can arrange archery courses and clay pigeon shooting packages, or for those with a stronger stomach, activities such as salmon fishing on the famous River Tweed or an introduction to game shooting or deer stalking can be arranged.

Out of the Borders and further to the north, the more populous “central belt” runs between Glasgow and Edinburgh (the capital city) where culture and nightlife abound. Fabulously historic city centres, bespoke shops, award winning restaurants, internationally renowned comedy clubs, museums, art galleries and, of course, Edinburgh Castle looming over Princes Street.

A trip around Scotland wouldn’t be complete without venturing further north into the Highlands. Stunning mountain scenery awaits, with wooded glens, heather topped hills, rugged distant peaks, and locks ringed by pasture and woods (and more than likely, a castle or two). Trips to the islands offer a feeling of remote beauty and serenity, with golden white sands, crystal clear waters, unique flora and fauna, and the opportunity to dive ancient wreck sites. If seals, deer, buzzards, osprey, ealges, otters and highland cattle aren’t enough, a trip across to Inverness (stopping at Loch Ness along the way) will allow you to venture out into the waters of the Moray Firth where you might be able to spot dolphins or even a whale!

So if you’re planning a holiday and want something new, how about considering a traditional destination? I’m sure when most people think of Scotland, Michelin starred restaurants, dolphin spotting and fieldsports don’t come to mind – but they could be new experiences for you on your trip to a traditional destination.