Five of the best castle stays in Scotland

Five of the best castle stays in ScotlandThere's no more Scottish an image than that of a castle surrounded by swirling mist, and most of Scotland's castles ooze a colourful and turbulent history ... the stuff of swashbucklers, legends and ghost stories. All the classic imagery can be found in abundance: secret passageways, spiral staircases, dungeons, haunted rooms, four-poster beds, old oil…

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discovery

We walked back to our lodgings simply wondering if a better day could be had – anywhere. And already tomorrow was beckoning

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discoveryWe crossed over the stone causeway connecting the mainland to St. Michael’s Mount, just as the tide waters were beginning to lap at its seaward foot. We decided to walk along the beachfront to Penzance. It looked about five km on our map. All along the beach, as far as we could see, there were…

Looking for the Pirates of Penzance in Cornwall

With St. Michael’s Mount on the horizon, a grand walking tour awaits

Looking for the Pirates of Penzance in CornwallPenzance! Already associated in our minds with the famous Gilbert and Sullivan 1879 operetta The Pirates of Penzance, it’s also the last town of any size on the southwestern tip of the British isles. I was alerted early on by my Cornish-born grandfather to its magnificent white sand beaches, mild, sunny weather, and a human…

Ireland’s local storytellers spice up the discovery tour

There are plenty of Irish storytellers to guide you through a tapestry of intrigue, battles, and years that were, by turn, lean, hungry and ultimately triumphant.

Ireland’s local storytellers spice up the discovery tourLong tales and reimagined truths create a theme for your journey through Ireland set on a stunning backdrop of rugged coastlines and emerald foliage. There are plenty of Irish storytellers to guide you through a tapestry of intrigue, battles, and years that were, by turn, lean, hungry and ultimately triumphant. Two kings briefly raged a…

Put down your tech and Travel Like This

Put down your tech and Travel Like ThisTake our advice, and travel like this. We live in the golden age of travel. Never have so many world destinations been more accessible and more affordable. Budget-minded travellers can find affordable alternatives to hotels through internet-based services, like VRBO and AirBnB. Uber and Lyft have cut the price of ground transportation. And discount airlines…

Guernsey is a hot spot for Second World War buffs

Channel Islands were only British territory occupied by Nazis

Guernsey is a hot spot for Second World War buffsIn Guernsey’s darkest hour, Canadians rushed to help. Today’s visitors to this lively, lovely Channel Island, just off the Normandy coast, can’t help but be reminded of that. The Channel Islands were the only British territory to suffer Nazi occupation during the Second World War. For German leader Adolf Hitler, the islands – which include…

Travelzoo’s top 2019 picks for deal-seeking Canadians

And one Calgary hotel helping you keep up your fitness resolutions while on the road

Travelzoo’s top 2019 picks for deal-seeking CanadiansYour news feed has no doubt been peppered with lists aimed at inspiring your travel choices in 2019. But here’s a list that speaks to what many Canadian travellers hold dear: good value. Travelzoo, an international publisher of exclusive offers and experiences for 28 million members, has curated a list of six diverse destinations around…

Discovering Monet’s lifelong fascination with architecture

London’s National Gallery exhibit offers rare glimpses into the artist’s examination of the play of light on human structures

Discovering Monet’s lifelong fascination with architectureOne of the great things about being a retired museum and art gallery CEO is that you know most of the basic tricks of the trade. For instance, you can get a very quick gauge of an exhibition’s successes and high points by talking with the gallery security staff. So as soon as we had…

A minibus ramble through Scottish Highland history

As our minibus pulled to a stop, I felt suddenly that my grandmother’s love of the Highland landscape was surrounding us all

A minibus ramble through Scottish Highland historyI count myself lucky to have had a Scottish grandmother. She was a Graham of Montrose, and came from humble beginnings. I remember her describing something called a byre, and explaining that her mother lived in a crofter’s house with the cattle. From the moment I learned this, I have wanted to travel to northern…

The hardships of Orkney link to Canada’s early days

Displaced from their homes, many citizens of the Orkney islands ended up in Canada working for the Hudson Bay Company

The hardships of Orkney link to Canada’s early daysThe Standing Stones of Stenness on Mainland, the main Scottish island of Orkney, date back to approximately 3,100 BC. Stonehenge, to put the Orkneys in time perspective as a Neolithic parent to western Europe, was constructed from 3,000 to 2,000 BC. What was it about these outpost islands that attracted the earliest agriculturalists to their…