Poland as you’ve never seen it before, from epic mountains to fairy-tale castles 

There can be few better adverts for a trip to Poland (when travel reopens) than this set of photographs.

They come courtesy of Karol Nienartowicz, from Krakow, who you won’t be surprised to learn is a professional photographer.

His images capture Poland’s most enticing aspects, from its fairy-tale castles and fascinating cities to its epic mountains, stunning lakes and lush green meadows.

Karol, 35, who is also an author, told MailOnline Travel: ‘Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have only managed to travel abroad a few times. That is why for over a year, I have been photographing places in Poland that I have not seen before.

‘The whole area in the south of Poland is occupied by mountains – these are the most beautiful places in my country. The Tatras – the highest Polish mountains – are a miniature of the Alps. There are many rocky peaks, beautiful blue lakes and green meadows.

‘Poland also has old and interesting cities with a rich history. It has a lot to offer people who like hiking in the mountains and visiting monuments.’ Scroll down to start your Polish adventure…

A jaw-dropping image by Karol of the Tatra Mountains, which stand on the border between Poland and Slovakia. It is the highest range in Poland and the wider Carpathian Mountains, which stretch through countries including Ukraine, Romania and Hungary. The range’s highest point in Poland is Rysy – an 8,200ft (2,499m) peak 

Karol said: 'Autumn is definitely the most beautiful in Poland. We have great colours here in October. In the mountains, it is spectacular in winter, when everything is frozen and frosted.' Pictured are the Tatra Mountains

Karol said: ‘Autumn is definitely the most beautiful in Poland. We have great colours here in October. In the mountains, it is spectacular in winter, when everything is frozen and frosted.’ Pictured are the Tatra Mountains 

Another shot taken by Karol of the Tatra Mountains, this time from the village of Lapszanka. He described the range as a 'miniature Alps' explaining: 'They are very interesting and effective. There are many rocky peaks, beautiful blue lakes and green meadows'

Another shot taken by Karol of the Tatra Mountains, this time from the village of Lapszanka. He described the range as a ‘miniature Alps’ explaining: ‘They are very interesting and effective. There are many rocky peaks, beautiful blue lakes and green meadows’

This breathtaking image was snapped from the top of Trzy Korony, which with a summit at 3,222ft (982m), is the highest peak in the Central Pieniny mountains. It is made up of five crags, with a viewing platform on Okraglica - the highest crag

This breathtaking image was snapped from the top of Trzy Korony, which with a summit at 3,222ft (982m), is the highest peak in the Central Pieniny mountains. It is made up of five crags, with a viewing platform on Okraglica – the highest crag 

The imposing ruins of the 13th-century Ogrodzieniec Castle in Podzamcze, around an hour's drive from Krakow. It sits on top of a 1,690ft (515m) mountain and is open to tourists. As the Polish Tourism Organisation points out, scenes for the 2019 Netflix series The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill, were shot at the castle

The imposing ruins of the 13th-century Ogrodzieniec Castle in Podzamcze, around an hour’s drive from Krakow. It sits on top of a 1,690ft (515m) mountain and is open to tourists. As the Polish Tourism Organisation points out, scenes for the 2019 Netflix series The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill, were shot at the castle

An aerial shot of the beautiful St Basil the Great Orthodox Church in the small village of Konieczna on the Polish/Slovakian border. Karol said: 'Poland has a lot to offer people who like hiking in the mountains and visiting monuments'

An aerial shot of the beautiful St Basil the Great Orthodox Church in the small village of Konieczna on the Polish/Slovakian border. Karol said: ‘Poland has a lot to offer people who like hiking in the mountains and visiting monuments’

A dramatic scene of storm clouds brewing in Pieniny National Park in southern Poland. 'Within its borders are the Pieniny Czorsztynskie, the Trzy Korony massif and the Pieninki' mountains, says the Polish Tourism Organisation. It adds: 'The pride of the park are the butterflies, especially the Apollo butterfly, which is found only in the Pieniny'

A dramatic scene of storm clouds brewing in Pieniny National Park in southern Poland. ‘Within its borders are the Pieniny Czorsztynskie, the Trzy Korony massif and the Pieninki’ mountains, says the Polish Tourism Organisation. It adds: ‘The pride of the park are the butterflies, especially the Apollo butterfly, which is found only in the Pieniny’

A breathtaking image of Poland's Ponidzie region in the south of the country. According to Wildlife Worldwide, its 'landscape and biological interest are protected in three parks, Nadnidzianski, Szaniecki and Kozubowski, and a number of nature reserves which feature meadows, peat bogs, fish ponds and relict steppe vegetation'

A breathtaking image of Poland’s Ponidzie region in the south of the country. According to Wildlife Worldwide, its ‘landscape and biological interest are protected in three parks, Nadnidzianski, Szaniecki and Kozubowski, and a number of nature reserves which feature meadows, peat bogs, fish ponds and relict steppe vegetation’

A stunning snap of the Western Tatras taken just inside Poland's border with Slovakia. To the right, over the border in Slovakia, you can see Bystra, the highest mountain in the Western Tatras at 7,375ft (2,248m). Karol said: 'The whole area in the south of Poland is occupied by mountains - these are the most beautiful places in my country'

A stunning snap of the Western Tatras taken just inside Poland’s border with Slovakia. To the right, over the border in Slovakia, you can see Bystra, the highest mountain in the Western Tatras at 7,375ft (2,248m). Karol said: ‘The whole area in the south of Poland is occupied by mountains – these are the most beautiful places in my country’

This image was snapped on the epic Giewont mountain massif in Poland's Tatra National Park - close to the town of Zakopane.  According to Summit Post, 'it is the most distinctive peak in the area and it has been referred to as the "Sleeping Knight", based on its silhouette and old legend'

This image was snapped on the epic Giewont mountain massif in Poland’s Tatra National Park – close to the town of Zakopane.  According to Summit Post, ‘it is the most distinctive peak in the area and it has been referred to as the “Sleeping Knight”, based on its silhouette and old legend’ 

A mesmerising shot of Wawel Castle in Krakow, a former residence of the kings of Poland and now an art gallery. The building, which stands on a rocky outcrop called Wawel Hill, dates back to the 14th century and usually attracts one million visitors each year

A mesmerising shot of Wawel Castle in Krakow, a former residence of the kings of Poland and now an art gallery. The building, which stands on a rocky outcrop called Wawel Hill, dates back to the 14th century and usually attracts one million visitors each year 

Karol snapped this mesmerising image at the top of Ciemniak, a 6,876ft (2,090m) peak in Tatra National Park, on a freezing morning when temperatures were a bone-chilling -20C

Karol snapped this mesmerising image at the top of Ciemniak, a 6,876ft (2,090m) peak in Tatra National Park, on a freezing morning when temperatures were a bone-chilling -20C

An incredible panoramic image of the Tatra Mountains from the slopes of Babia Gora - one of the highest peaks in Poland and the highest in the Beskid Mountains at 5,659ft (1,725m). It is on the border between Poland and Slovakia

An incredible panoramic image of the Tatra Mountains from the slopes of Babia Gora – one of the highest peaks in Poland and the highest in the Beskid Mountains at 5,659ft (1,725m). It is on the border between Poland and Slovakia 

Karol waits for the moon to rise in this incredible shot taken in the Czerwony Wierchy range of the Tatra Mountains. He said a warm sleeping bag is crucial as there can be a lot of waiting around in cold temperatures to get the right conditions for taking pictures

Karol waits for the moon to rise in this incredible shot taken in the Czerwony Wierchy range of the Tatra Mountains. He said a warm sleeping bag is crucial as there can be a lot of waiting around in cold temperatures to get the right conditions for taking pictures

A stunning image of the Gasienicowa Valley in Tatra National Park. Karol said: 'Poland has an area of over 300,000 square kilometres (120,726 square miles). There is a lot to discover here'

A stunning image of the Gasienicowa Valley in Tatra National Park. Karol said: ‘Poland has an area of over 300,000 square kilometres (120,726 square miles). There is a lot to discover here’ 

Although Karol enjoys taking images of cities, he much prefers snapping landscape shots. He explained: 'I professionally photograph mountains, so landscape is the obvious answer.' He captured this beautiful scene from the village of Lapszanka, which has a population of just 400

Although Karol enjoys taking images of cities, he much prefers snapping landscape shots. He explained: ‘I professionally photograph mountains, so landscape is the obvious answer.’ He captured this beautiful scene from the village of Lapszanka, which has a population of just 400

The beautiful St Mary's Church in Gdansk towers over the rest of the city's rooftops. According to Karol, the port city of Gdansk, on Poland's Baltic coast, is 'one of the most beautiful in Europe'

The beautiful St Mary’s Church in Gdansk towers over the rest of the city’s rooftops. According to Karol, the port city of Gdansk, on Poland’s Baltic coast, is ‘one of the most beautiful in Europe’ 

A striking aerial shot of the ruins of the 13th-century Gothic Checiny Castle in the town of Checiny, north of Krakow. The Polish Tourism Organisation says: 'Currently, the castle in Checiny is one of the most visited heritage sites in Poland'

 A striking aerial shot of the ruins of the 13th-century Gothic Checiny Castle in the town of Checiny, north of Krakow. The Polish Tourism Organisation says: ‘Currently, the castle in Checiny is one of the most visited heritage sites in Poland’ 

The grand Bolkow Castle towers over the town of Bolkow, in south-west Poland. The Gothic castle is thought to date back to the 13th century and one visitor to the castle wrote on Tripadvisor: 'It is indeed an old beauty, if you are in area it's very much worth seeing!'

The grand Bolkow Castle towers over the town of Bolkow, in south-west Poland. The Gothic castle is thought to date back to the 13th century and one visitor to the castle wrote on Tripadvisor: ‘It is indeed an old beauty, if you are in area it’s very much worth seeing!’ 

An amazing shot of Lake Pilchowickie near the town of Jelenia Gora in south-west Poland. It was created as a result of the building of the Bobr Dam in 1912. Poland Travel Tours says: 'There is a railway bridge extending over the lake – it is an especially romantic place for taking photos in the autumn'

An amazing shot of Lake Pilchowickie near the town of Jelenia Gora in south-west Poland. It was created as a result of the building of the Bobr Dam in 1912. Poland Travel Tours says: ‘There is a railway bridge extending over the lake – it is an especially romantic place for taking photos in the autumn’ 

Karol snapped this jaw-dropping image in the Bieszczady Mountains, which run through the extreme south-east of Poland and into north-east Slovakia and are part of the wider Carpathian Mountains. It is a place that Karol often visits

Karol snapped this jaw-dropping image in the Bieszczady Mountains, which run through the extreme south-east of Poland and into north-east Slovakia and are part of the wider Carpathian Mountains. It is a place that Karol often visits 

A beautiful shot of Pieskowa Skala Castle, which is around 17 miles north of Krakow in Ojcowski National Park. Lonely Planet says: 'If you can only do one thing in Ojcow National Park, visit this 14th-century castle, one of the best-preserved castles in the upland'

A beautiful shot of Pieskowa Skala Castle, which is around 17 miles north of Krakow in Ojcowski National Park. Lonely Planet says: ‘If you can only do one thing in Ojcow National Park, visit this 14th-century castle, one of the best-preserved castles in the upland’ 

A breathtaking shot of the Bialka River, a mountain river that runs for 24 miles (40km) through southern Poland from its source in the High Tatra mountains

A breathtaking shot of the Bialka River, a mountain river that runs for 24 miles (40km) through southern Poland from its source in the High Tatra mountains

The Airbnb in the Californian desert that’s shaped just like a flying saucer 

For a holiday that’s out of this world book a stay at the Airbnb in the Californian desert that’s shaped like a flying saucer

  • The pod home is located near Joshua Tree and is the only ‘Futuro House’ in America you can stay the night in 
  • It used to be stationed at the Playboy Club Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and has also been a realty office
  • The Airbnb listing for the pod, which is called Area 55, describes it as  an ‘off-grid glamping experience’ 

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Area 51 is off-limits, but you can visit the next best thing – Area 55, an Airbnb in the Californian desert that’s shaped just like a flying saucer.

The UFO aesthetics of the pod home, located near Joshua Tree, are enhanced further by huge oval windows, a drop-down stairway and four ‘landing legs’ – a bona fide out-of-this-world rental and the only ‘Futuro House’ in America you can stay the night in.

Futuro Houses were the brainchild of Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, who came up with the design in 1968. He intended them to be used as portable ski chalets.

Area 55, an Airbnb in the Californian desert that’s shaped just like a flying saucer.  It is the only ‘Futuro House’ in America you can stay the night in

They had 520 sq ft of inside space and boasted a kitchen, a bathroom and a fireplace, while the front door took the form of an electric hatch.

According to thefuturohouse.com, the 16 parts that made up the house could be assembled on-site or the fully-formed structure could be transported by helicopter – making them look uncannily like spaceships.

However, less than 100 of these houses were ever built as the 1973 oil crisis caused the price of the materials used to build them to soar.

Today, it is believed that around 68 of them still exist around the world, including one that is a home in Houston, Delaware, several in Australia – including one at Canberra University – and one in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The pod's Airbnb listing describes it as an 'off-grid glamping experience' and explains: 'The idea is to disconnect, kick back on the queen-size daybed and enjoy, but still have those perks of having some connected amenities when needed'

The pod’s Airbnb listing describes it as an ‘off-grid glamping experience’ and explains: ‘The idea is to disconnect, kick back on the queen-size daybed and enjoy, but still have those perks of having some connected amenities when needed’

Area 55, built in 1968, is believed to be one of 19 Futuro Houses still in the United States. Its first home was the Playboy Club Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Area 55, built in 1968, is believed to be one of 19 Futuro Houses still in the United States. Its first home was the Playboy Club Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Outside, the Airbnb has an outdoor shower and an outdoor kitchen area, pictured, with a propane grill where you can 'make your favourite food and eat by the fire pit under the stars'

Outside, the Airbnb has an outdoor shower and an outdoor kitchen area, pictured, with a propane grill where you can ‘make your favourite food and eat by the fire pit under the stars’

Close encounters with Area 55 start from $299 (£216) per night

Close encounters with Area 55 start from $299 (£216) per night

Area 55, built in 1968, is believed to be one of 19 Futuro Houses in the United States. 

Its first home was one of Hugh Hefner’s favourite spots, the Playboy Club Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, now the Grand Geneva Resort, reports Thrillist.

After that, its history is unclear, but it is thought to have also been a beauty salon and a realty office before being snapped up by Ronald Jackson, who opened it as an Airbnb in California in 2019.

Its listing describes it as an ‘off-grid glamping experience’ and explains: ‘The idea is to disconnect, kick back on the queen-size daybed and enjoy, but still have those perks of having some connected amenities when needed.’

These perks include solar power to keep electronic devices charged, an in-house Bluetooth sound system and a coffee maker.

The property also has quirky furniture, board games and space-themed comics and VHS movies, such as Alien and Star Wars.

In addition, there’s fresh water for outdoor showers and an outdoor kitchen area with a propane grill where you can ‘make your favourite food and eat by the fire pit under the stars’.

Close encounters with Area 55 start from $299 (£216) per night.

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Anniversary trips: As Wills and Kate mark 10 years of marriage, where to go for romantic milestones

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate their tenth anniversary next week — presumably exchanging tokens of tin

Wedding anniversaries are traditionally marked with a gift between couples that starts with paper after the first year then progresses to diamonds at the 60th.

But why not use the associated present as an excuse to go travelling? 

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate their tenth next week — presumably exchanging tokens of tin — here’s our guide to seeing the world in the name of love…

FIVE YEARS: Wood

SPLURGE: Snuggle up in a luxury log cabin at the Arctic Retreat eco-lodge in Swedish Lapland. 

Four nights including flights to Lulea, transfers and full board costs from £2,471pp (discover-the-world.com).

ON A BUDGET: Have some fun in the forest staying in an off-grid designer treehouse in the Welsh mountains near Machynlleth. From £379 for two nights, self-catering (living-room.co).

TEN YEARS: Tin

SPLURGE: Mexico is famous for its tin art, known as hojalata, crafted in creative cities such as Oaxaca. 

A 14-day ‘Cultural Heartlands to Caribbean Coast’ tour flying into Mexico City and back from Cancun costs from £2,710pp (journeylatinamerica.co.uk).

ON A BUDGET: Slip away to Tintagel on the north Cornish coast, a cliff-top English Heritage site with links to King Arthur. The Landmark Trust has cottages in nearby Coombe from £321 for four nights, self-catering (landmarktrust.org.uk).

15 YEARS: Crystal

For a 15th wedding anniversary, when couples traditionally exchange crystal, head to Prague, pictured, which is renowned for its Bohemian crystal and glass

For a 15th wedding anniversary, when couples traditionally exchange crystal, head to Prague, pictured, which is renowned for its Bohemian crystal and glass

SPLURGE: Sip some Cristal champagne, the flagship cuvee of Louis Roederer, as part of a two Michelin-star dinner at Domaine les Crayeres chateau hotel in Reims, northern France.

Three nights including Eurotunnel crossings, private visits to champagne houses and breakfast costs from £2,355pp (grapeescapes.net).

ON A BUDGET: The Czech Republic is renowned for its Bohemian crystal and glass, which you can pick up on a short break to Prague. Stay at the regal Hotel NH Collection Prague Carlo IV from £122 B&B (nh-hotels.com).

20 YEARS: China

SPLURGE: This anniversary is the best reason to visit this fascinating country, with classic sights such as the Great Wall and Terracotta Army. An 11-night ‘Highlights of China’ tour costs from £2,795pp (bambootravel.co.uk).

ON A BUDGET: Potter through the Potteries on a narrowboat with a stop at Barlaston to visit the Wedgwood store and factory. Starting from Stone, near Stoke-on-Trent, a three-night self-catering break on a canal boat for two costs from £462 (canalcruising.co.uk).

25 YEARS: Silver

Escape to Portugal’s less-visited Costa de Prata (Silver Coast), pictured, to mark 25 years of marriage - a silver anniversary

Escape to Portugal’s less-visited Costa de Prata (Silver Coast), pictured, to mark 25 years of marriage – a silver anniversary

SPLURGE: Celebrate with a trip-of-a-lifetime cruise to Antarctica with Silversea. A 16-day voyage aboard Silver Cloud, sailing from Punta Arenas in Chile with three days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, costs from £12,870pp (silversea.com).

ON A BUDGET: Escape to Portugal’s less-visited Costa de Prata (Silver Coast), which lies between Lisbon and Oporto. Pick up a car and explore independently, staying in pousadas (hotels of historic interest) from £103 B&B (pousadas.pt).

30 YEARS: Pearl

SPLURGE: Head to the twin islands of Ra’iatea and Taha’a in French Polynesia. Here you can visit pearl farms and buy your jewel from the source. Seven nights at Le Taha’a by Pearl Resorts costs from £3,849pp B&B (turquoiseholidays.co.uk).

ON A BUDGET: Normandy’s Cote de Nacre (Mother-of-Pearl Coast) is easily reached by taking a ferry from Portsmouth to Caen then driving west. Hotel Tardif is a handsome property in Bayeux with B&B doubles from £130 (hoteltardifbayeux.com).

35 YEARS: Coral

Coral is traditionally exchanged on 35 years of marriage. The Seychelles has more than 70 coral islands. Pictured is Denis Private Island

Coral is traditionally exchanged on 35 years of marriage. The Seychelles has more than 70 coral islands. Pictured is Denis Private Island 

SPLURGE: The Seychelles has more than 70 coral islands where white sands, superb snorkelling and nesting turtles are assured. Seven nights on Denis Private Island costs from £3,099pp (tropicalsky.co.uk).

ON A BUDGET: Claigan Coral Beach is one of the best sweeps of sand on the Isle of Skye. Four-and-a-half miles away, the Dunvegan hotel is a friendly base with six bedrooms, all with ensuite shower rooms. Doubles from £140 B&B (thedunvegan.com).

40 YEARS: Ruby

SPLURGE: India is a treasury of precious stones including glossy red rubies. A 14-day tour of Rajasthan, including a private visit to the Gem Palace in Jaipur, costs from £3,880pp (greavesindia.co.uk).

ON A BUDGET: Take a spin around the Norfolk Broads aboard Ruby Light, a 29ft luxury cruiser. A four-night break costs from £475 (herbertwoods.co.uk).

45 YEARS: Sapphire

Check into the dazzling white Sapphire suite at Adamant Suites on the Greek island of Santorini, pictured, to mark 45 years of marriage

Check into the dazzling white Sapphire suite at Adamant Suites on the Greek island of Santorini, pictured, to mark 45 years of marriage 

SPLURGE: Sri Lanka has produced some outstanding sapphires. An eight-night tour of the country, including a stop in its jewel capital Ratnapura to see how the stones are made into jewellery, costs from £4,150pp (srilanka-bespoke.com).

ON A BUDGET: Fly to the Greek island of Santorini and check into the dazzling white Sapphire suite at Adamant Suites in Fira, from £242 B&B (adamantsuites.com).

50 YEARS: Gold

SPLURGE: It’s all about sunshine, sport and the beach on Australia’s Gold Coast, an hour’s drive south of Brisbane. Spend a few days here then drive north to Cairns in a motorhome exploring Queensland. Fourteen nights, including ten on the road, costs from £1,299pp (trailfinders.com).

ON A BUDGET: Kate Middleton’s wedding ring is made from Welsh gold — and you can visit the National Trust’s Dolaucothi mine in Carmarthenshire. An hour’s drive north, Nanteos is a Georgian country house hotel with suites from £139 B&B (nanteos.com).

55 YEARS: Emerald

Explore the coves and limpid waters of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), pictured, when celebrating an emerald wedding anniversary - 55 years of marriage

Explore the coves and limpid waters of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), pictured, when celebrating an emerald wedding anniversary – 55 years of marriage  

SPLURGE: Head to the Emerald Isle for some fine Irish hospitality. Forty miles south of Knock airport, Ashford Castle is a splendid country estate that was once the home of the Guinness family. From £594 B&B (ashfordcastle.com).

ON A BUDGET: Explore the coves and limpid waters of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast). Petra Segreta is a secluded luxury resort in the hills above San Pantaleo, costing from £164 (petrasegretaresort.com).

60 YEARS: Diamond

SPLURGE: South Africa is a rich source of diamonds and a terrific place for a winter sun holiday with no jet lag. Seven nights combining a safari at Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve with time in Cape Town, including a tour of a diamond workshop, costs from £2,995pp (africatravel.com).

ON A BUDGET: Walk part of the Diamond Way a 60-mile trail in the Cotswolds. The route starts at Moreton-in-Marsh where the homely Manor House hotel has rooms from £145 B&B (cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk).

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the Scottish Highlands by rail with Carol Kirkwood

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the Scottish Highlands by rail with TV’s Carol Kirkwood

It’s  familiar to anyone who’s watched any of the Harry Potter films – the famous Jacobite steam train, better known as the magical Hogwarts Express. And this is your chance to experience it yourself. Travelling by steam engine is a wonderful experience and there’s nowhere more atmospheric to do it than through the stunning highlands of Scotland.

On this exclusive four-day break, you’ll be joined by Carol Kirkwood, whose grandfather helped to build the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct on the route, which is also seen in the Harry Potter films.

Your 41-mile steam-hauled journey starts near Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, passes its deepest freshwater lake, Loch Morar, and travels over the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct to arrive on the shores of the Atlantic next to Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch in Europe.

Magical experience: The Jacobite crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct

You'll ride on the unique Falkirk Wheel, which is the world’s only rotating boat lift

You’ll ride on the unique Falkirk Wheel, which is the world’s only rotating boat lift

OUR SPECIAL GUEST

TV weather presenter Carol Kirkwood

TV weather presenter Carol Kirkwood

Joining you in her native Scotland will be Carol Kirkwood, left, the weather presenter. Carol, who trained with the Met Office, has been presenting for more than 20 years. She has a regular slot on BBC Breakfast and danced with Pasha Kovalev in the 13th series of Strictly.

You’ll pass through Morar, where Carol grew up, and she’ll tell stories of the Loch Morar monster, as well as her twice weekly train journey to school in Fort William.

Your packed itinerary also includes three unique boat rides: one on The Falkirk Wheel, a trip on the picturesque Loch Katrine, and a cruise through Rob Roy territory on Loch Lomond.

REASONS TO BOOK

Ride the Jacobite

Travelling on what is frequently voted the world’s greatest scenic railway, you’ll puff past rugged scenery, craggy coastlines and beautiful lochs with Carol Kirkwood, on a line that opened in 1901.

Travel with Carol Kirkwood

The TV weather presenter will give a talk about her life, career, love of Scotland and her experience on Strictly Come Dancing. The region will be brought alive as Carol talks about growing up in Morar and her grandfather’s role in building the incredible Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Stay in the Trossachs

The dramatic scenery here inspired both Turner and Wordsworth and you’ll stay in the centre of it at The Winnock Hotel, an 18th Century inn near Loch Lomond.

Scenic Lochs

Enjoy a 90-minute cruise on Loch Lomond and hear the story of Scotland’s celebrated outlaw Rob Roy. You’ll also sail the waters of Loch Katrine.

The unique Falkirk Wheel

This, the world’s only rotating boat lift, will take you from the water at New Port Downie to the Union Canal more than 100ft above.

Scottish history

You’ll also visit the neo-Gothic Inveraray Castle, dating from the mid-18th Century and home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell.

WHAT’S INCLUDED  

  • Return flights from Stansted to Edinburgh – other airports available on request.
  • Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at The Winnock Hotel, Loch Lomond.
  • Journey on The Jacobite from Fort William to Mallaig with Carol Kirkwood.
  • Cruise on Loch Katrine.
  • Exclusive talk and question-and-answer session with Carol Kirkwood.
  • Ride on the Falkirk Wheel.
  • Visit to Inveraray Castle.
  • Rob Roy Loch Lomond Discovery Cruise.
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout.
  • Porterage.
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager.   

YOUR ITINERARY DAY 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, the Falkirk Wheel and Carol Kirkwood talk DAY 2 Journey on The Jacobite with Carol DAY 3 Rob Roy cruise on Loch Lomond, Inveraray Castle DAY 4 Cruise on Loch Katrine 

HOW TO BOOK

The dates: October 22-25, 2021. The price: £1,295pp. 

Call 01334 441 308 quoting ref MOS SCOTLAND. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/scotlandwithcarol

Terms and conditions: *Prices correct at time of going to press. Based on twin/double share. Single supplement of £120 applies. Flights from other airports and/or overnight accommodation before/after the tour available on request, at a supplement. Discount for no flights £100pp. Our travel partner, Brightwater Holidays, is ABTA-bonded and this trip is ATOL-protected. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/scotlandwithcarol.

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Tropical islands available for private hire in Belize, Australia, Madagascar and more

If you’re looking to truly get away from it all when travel reopens, one of these dreamy private islands might fit the bill. 

Drenched in sunshine and surrounded by azure waters, these Robinson Crusoe-esque tropical retreats, from Belize to Australia, are an ideal base to let your cares slip away. 

Scroll down and allow that dampened wanderlust to reignite… 

Little Harvest Caye, Belize – from £1,838 per night

Little Harvest Caye is a delicious slice of paradise off the coast of the Placencia peninsula in southern Belize

The 1.5-acre island can accommodate 12 guests in five well-appointed private suites

All of the lodges boast sublime sea views and feature a blend of traditional and contemporary furnishings

 All of the lodges boast sublime sea views and feature a blend of traditional and contemporary furnishings

There's a communal building with a bar, kitchen and a freshwater pool with a sundeck

There’s a communal building with a bar, kitchen and a freshwater pool with a sundeck 

Little Harvest Caye is a delicious slice of paradise off the coast of the Placencia peninsula in southern Belize. 

The 1.5-acre island can accommodate 12 guests in five private suites that all have a blend of traditional and contemporary furnishings – and sublime sea views. There are only seven structures on the island after all.

There’s also a communal building with a bar, kitchen and a freshwater pool with a sundeck. 

All stays include a private chef, daily maid service and the use of paddleboards and kayaks. For those who want to stay in touch with the outside world, the island has Wi-Fi and the fishing village of Placencia is just a five-minute boat ride away. 

Talacanen Island, Philippines – from £1,615 per night

Up to 16 people can stay at a sublime resort on Talacanen Island in the northern Philippines

Up to 16 people can stay at a sublime resort on Talacanen Island in the northern Philippines

Airbnb host Philipe tells MailOnline Travel that guests love the privacy of the island

Airbnb host Philipe tells MailOnline Travel that guests love the privacy of the island

In total there are eight lodges nestled amid lush foliage, with natural materials used throughout, from bamboo to hardwoods

An ensuite nestled amid the island rock and vegetation

In total there are eight lodges nestled amid lush foliage, with natural materials used throughout, from bamboo to hardwoods

Stays include meals, water that has been ferried from the mainland, and the use of snorkelling and kayaking gear

Stays include meals, water that has been ferried from the mainland, and the use of snorkelling and kayaking gear

Up to 16 people can stay at this sublime resort on Talacanen Island in the northern Philippines. 

Airbnb host Philipe tells MailOnline Travel that guests love the privacy of the island, which is blessed with white-sand shores. In total, there are eight lodges nestled amid lush jungle, with natural materials used throughout, from bamboo to polished hardwoods.

Stays include meals, water that has been ferried from the mainland, and the use of snorkelling and kayaking gear. Massages can be arranged for an extra fee, along with tropical cocktails. The island can also be booked for weddings and private events. 

Nosy Saba, Madagascar – from £12,936 per night

Described as 'one of the most seductive spots in Madagascar', Nosy Saba island is located in a Unesco Marine Reserve six miles off the country's northwest coast in the heart of the Mozambique Channel

Described as ‘one of the most seductive spots in Madagascar’, Nosy Saba island is located in a Unesco Marine Reserve six miles off the country’s northwest coast in the heart of the Mozambique Channel 

The island, which can accommodate up to 100 guests, can be accessed by boat or plane

The island, which can accommodate up to 100 guests, can be accessed by boat or plane

There are 27 suites scattered around the shores in varying categories and each of the chic eco-lodges includes a king-size bed, an ensuite bathroom, a terrace with direct access to the beach and a spacious garden

There are 27 suites scattered around the shores in varying categories and each of the chic eco-lodges includes a king-size bed, an ensuite bathroom, a terrace with direct access to the beach and a spacious garden

For nature lovers, there are some spectacular dive sites around the island and the forested mainland is home to many endemic species, including blue-eyed lemurs

For nature lovers, there are some spectacular dive sites around the island and the forested mainland is home to many endemic species, including blue-eyed lemurs

Described as ‘one of the most seductive spots in Madagascar’, Nosy Saba island is located in a Unesco Marine Reserve six miles off the country’s northwest coast in the heart of the Mozambique Channel.

There are 27 suites with room for 100 guests and each of the chic eco-lodges includes a king-size bed, an ensuite bathroom, a terrace with direct access to the beach and a spacious garden. 

Other amenities include two restaurants, a spa, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a watersports centre. For nature lovers, there are some spectacular dive sites around the island and the forested mainland is home to many endemic species, including blue-eyed lemurs. 

It’s available to rent through Vladi Private Islands. Visit www.vladi-private-islands.de, call +49 40 33 00 00 or email [email protected]

Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge, Panama – from £1,020 per night 

Sleep amid the mangroves on this peaceful island, which is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama

Sleep amid the mangroves on this peaceful island, which is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama

The adults-only Urraca Private Island Eco Resort has six hot pink overwater bungalows with traditional thatched roofs 

Four of the lodges sleep two, one is designed for honeymooners and a larger hut has been designed for groups of up to six 

The property has a 'lobster garden' where guests learn how to catch their own crustacean for dinner

The property has a ‘lobster garden’ where guests learn how to catch their own crustacean for dinner

Sleep amid the mangroves on this peaceful island, which is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama.

The adults-only Urraca Private Island Eco Resort has six hot pink overwater bungalows with traditional thatched roofs. Four of the lodges sleep two, one is designed for honeymooners and a larger hut has been designed for groups of up to six people. 

All rooms include electric fans and there is free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Other perks include decks for sunbathing and yoga, a shallow natural pool with a volleyball net, complimentary kayaks and snorkelling gear and an enclosed ‘lobster garden’ where the team can teach you how to catch your own crustacean for dinner.  

Lissenung Island, Papua New Guinea – from £1,727 per night

A dreamy combination of white sand beaches, palm trees, fragrant flowers and magnificent sunsets await you on this tiny private island off the coast of Papua New Guinea

A dreamy combination of white sand beaches, palm trees, fragrant flowers and magnificent sunsets await you on this tiny private island off the coast of Papua New Guinea

The adults-only resort, which can be hired exclusively for 16 guests, started life in 1996

The adults-only resort, which can be hired exclusively for 16 guests, started life in 1996

A description for the outcrop on the Vladi Private Islands website states: 'Other than a handful of local staff, you won't see another soul [and] you can easily circumnavigate the entire island in about 15 minutes'

A description for the outcrop on the Vladi Private Islands website states: ‘Other than a handful of local staff, you won’t see another soul [and] you can easily circumnavigate the entire island in about 15 minutes’

There are four two-bedroom bungalows featuring thatched roofs and traditional woven walls

There are four two-bedroom bungalows featuring thatched roofs and traditional woven walls

A dreamy combination of white sand beaches, palm trees, fragrant flowers and magnificent sunsets await you on this tiny private island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. 

The adults-only resort, which can be hired exclusively for 16 guests, features four two-bedroom bungalows with thatched roofs and traditional woven walls. Other structures include an open-sided dining room with local specialities, including mud crabs, crayfish and octopus, on the menu. 

A description for the outcrop on the Vladi Private Islands website states: ‘Other than a handful of local staff, you won’t see another soul [and] you can easily circumnavigate the entire island in about 15 minutes. A bottle of wine on the beach at sunset time is the perfect way of ending an exciting day of diving.’ 

It’s available to rent through Vladi Private Islands. Visit www.vladi-private-islands.de, call +49 40 33 00 00 or email [email protected]  

Wilson Island, Australia – from £6,046 per night

Play at being a willing castaway on the white sand shores of Wilson Island. This photogenic outcrop is located around 50 miles off Gladstone on Australia's Queensland coast

Play at being a willing castaway on the white sand shores of Wilson Island. This photogenic outcrop is located around 50 miles off Gladstone on Australia’s Queensland coast

There are nine safari tents that blend into the surroundings, with the luxury dwellings featuring sea views and private terraces

There are nine safari tents that blend into the surroundings, with the luxury dwellings featuring sea views and private terraces

The toilets and washrooms are located in separate cabins, but every tent has its own shower

The toilets and washrooms are located in separate cabins, but every tent has its own shower

Play at being a willing castaway on the white sand shores of Wilson Island. This photogenic outcrop is located around 50 miles off Gladstone on Australia’s Queensland coast.

When it comes to nature, this coral cay scores top marks, with its pristine waters host to a wealth of marine life. On land, there is a green turtle nesting site and rare bird species nest amid the foliage. 

There are nine safari tents that blend into the surroundings, with the luxury dwellings featuring sea views and private terraces. The toilets and washrooms are located in separate cabins, but every tent has its own shower.

On the food front, there is an open-sided dining room called the Longhouse and sunset drinks and canapes are served each evening on the beach.  

It’s available to rent through Vladi Private Islands. Visit www.vladi-private-islands.de, call +49 40 33 00 00 or email [email protected] 

Matamba Island, Colombia – from £1,626 per night

Hop over to Matamba Island off the coast of Colombia for unparalleled sea views and friendly hospitality

Hop over to Matamba Island off the coast of Colombia for unparalleled sea views and friendly hospitality

Emily, who stayed at the Airbnb in 2019, said in her review: 'If you are looking for an exclusive island experience with impeccable service and gourmet food, Isla Matamba checks all of the boxes'

Emily, who stayed at the Airbnb in 2019, said in her review: ‘If you are looking for an exclusive island experience with impeccable service and gourmet food, Isla Matamba checks all of the boxes’

This private outcrop can sleep up to 16 people across six lodges

One of the lodge's quirky bathrooms

This private outcrop can sleep up to 16 people across six lodges – with quirky furnishings as standard

The living areas have a charming, rustic feel, with natural woods and glazed tiles that match the colour of the sea

The living areas have a charming, rustic feel, with natural woods and glazed tiles that match the colour of the sea

Amenities on Matamba Island include multiple sundecks, a putting green, a hot tub, a kitchen, and an open-sided dining room

Amenities on Matamba Island include multiple sundecks, a putting green, a hot tub, a kitchen, and an open-sided dining room

Hop over to Matamba Island off the coast of Colombia for unparalleled sea views and friendly hospitality. 

This private outcrop, which can sleep up to 16 people across six lodges, is described in the Airbnb listing as a ‘heavenly place’. The rooms have a charming, rustic feel, with natural woods in abundance and turquoise tiles that match the colour of the sea. Many of the bedrooms look out over the jewel-hued waters. 

Amenities include multiple tanning decks, a putting green, a hot tub, a kitchen, and an open-sided dining room. Emily, who stayed at the Airbnb in 2019, said in her review: ‘If you are looking for an exclusive island experience with impeccable service and gourmet food, Isla Matamba checks all of the boxes.’  

Bungalow les pieds dans l’o Rangi, French Polynesia – from £163 per night

Plonk yourself on the shores of this picture-perfect island and soak up the serene atmosphere without breaking the bank

Plonk yourself on the shores of this picture-perfect island and soak up the serene atmosphere without breaking the bank

This private outcrop, which is available on Airbnb, features a bungalow that can accommodate two adults and a child and stays come in at £163 per night

This private outcrop, which is available on Airbnb, features a bungalow that can accommodate two adults and a child and stays come in at £163 per night

And relax: There's not much to do other than soak up the prime sea views

And relax: There’s not much to do other than soak up the prime sea views

Plonk yourself on the shores of this picture-perfect island and soak up the serene atmosphere without breaking the bank. This private outcrop, which is available on Airbnb, features a bungalow that can accommodate two adults and a child and stays come in at £163 per night. The interiors are simple but have a colourful and homely feel and there’s not much to do other than soak up the prime sea views. 

For those who fancy a break from being castaway, the nearest village is 20 minutes away by boat. Danil, who stayed on the island in November 2020, left a glowing review, writing: ‘If you’re looking to spend some time away from civilisation, with nobody nearby and no connectivity, this is the place. You’re surrounded by water, Ilona’s amazing dogs, and no people!

‘Ilona is a wonderful host who showed us how to catch urchin, eat it raw, contacted local tour agencies for us, took us around the island and so on. This was a trip we’ll never forget.’  

Forsyth Island, New Zealand – from £1,724 per night

Forsyth Island is one of the largest entirely privately owned islands in the South Pacific, with 1,853 acres to explore

Forsyth Island is one of the largest entirely privately owned islands in the South Pacific, with 1,853 acres to explore

In terms of accommodation, there is a three-bedroom lodge (pictured) serving up wonderful panoramic views

In terms of accommodation, there is a three-bedroom lodge (pictured) serving up wonderful panoramic views

This island serves as an ideal base for outdoor types, with hiking, fishing trips, dolphin watching tours, kayaking, and more on the menu. Above, views from one of the lodge's bedrooms Above, views from one of the lodge's bedrooms

This island serves as an ideal base for outdoor types, with hiking, fishing trips, dolphin watching tours, kayaking, and more on the menu. Above, views from one of the lodge’s bedrooms Above, views from one of the lodge’s bedrooms 

Forsyth Island is one of the largest entirely privately owned islands in the South Pacific, with 1,853 acres to explore. 

It is situated in the Marlborough Sounds, a helicopter ride from New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. In terms of accommodation, there is a three-bedroom lodge serving up wonderful panoramic views and a charming cottage that sleeps four located on the beach.

For outdoors types, this island serves as an ideal base, with hiking, fishing trips, dolphin-watching tours, kayaking and more on the menu.

Available to rent through Vladi Private Islands. Visit www.vladi-private-islands.de, call +49 40 33 00 00 or email [email protected] 

China’s ‘bendy’ glass bridge that’s so extraordinary some didn’t believe it was real 

For some, this is a bridge too far.

These pictures show a double-deck glass bridge in China with a mind-boggling undulating design that is just too scary for some people.

When video footage and pictures of the structure – called the Ruyi Bridge – emerged on social media channels some users said they’d never have the courage to set foot on it. And some were so incredulous they declared that the bridge, which sits 459ft (140m) above a ravine, was fake.

The Ruyi Bridge, pictured, is a double-deck glass bridge in China with a mind-boggling design that is just too scary for some people

After seeing drone footage of the bridge on Twitter, Dan Grassi wrote: ‘If this is real there would be a location (lon/lat), so I call it fake.’

And after seeing a clip of the crossing on YouTube, ‘oceans’ demanded: ‘[The] latitude and longitude of this “bridge” or it didn’t happen.’ 

Posting a video of the bridge, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield joked on Twitter: ‘I’d want better handrails.’ In reply, Coleen said: ‘And an adult diaper changing station at either end.’

The bridge is 328ft long (100m) and spans the Shenxianju valley in Zhejiang province

The bridge is 328ft long (100m) and spans the Shenxianju valley in Zhejiang province

The crossing actually consists of three undulating bridges and part of its deck is made from transparent glass

The crossing actually consists of three undulating bridges and part of its deck is made from transparent glass

The bridge was designed by He Yunchang, a steel structure expert who was also involved in the design of Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics

The bridge was designed by He Yunchang, a steel structure expert who was also involved in the design of Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics

 Wyn on Twitter wrote: ‘I’d want a lot of persuasion and a harness.’

While Paul De Rego added: ‘Architecturally beautiful! Functional and artistic! Love it!’

The bridge, which is 328ft long (100m) and spans the Shenxianju valley in Zhejiang province, actually consists of three undulating bridges and part of its deck is made from transparent glass, reports Zhejiang China.

Posting a video of the bridge, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield joked on Twitter: 'I'd want better handrails'

Posting a video of the bridge, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield joked on Twitter: ‘I’d want better handrails’

Since its opening last September, more than 200,000 people have visited the bridge

Since its opening last September, more than 200,000 people have visited the bridge

It’s called the Ruyi Bridge as it has been designed to look like a jade ruyi – a ceremonial spectre that is a symbol of good fortune in China.

According to Arquitectura Viva, the bridge was designed by He Yunchang, a steel structure expert who was also involved in the design of Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.

Since its opening last September, more than 200,000 people have visited the bridge and it has become one of the area’s biggest attractions. 

Some of China’s other scary bridges… 

The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China's central Hunan province. It is suspended 300 metres (984ft) above a sheer drop

The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China’s central Hunan province. It is suspended 300 metres (984ft) above a sheer drop

This glass-bottom bridge is one of the highest in the world.

It is suspended 300 metres (984ft) above a sheer drop, linking the sides of a canyon that divides two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie Park, in China’s central Hunan province.

The bridge spans approximately 430 metres (1,400 feet) and the structure is six metres (19ft 8in) wide and made of some 99 panels of clear glass. When it opened in 2016, thousands of tourists queued up to cross it and the attraction became so busy that you could barely see the dizzying drop below.

Hongyagu Scenic Area Bridge 

Spectacular: The bridge in the Hongyagu Scenic Area, which hangs 755 feet above the ground between two cliffs, roughly the height of a 66-storey building

Spectacular: The bridge in the Hongyagu Scenic Area, which hangs 755 feet above the ground between two cliffs, roughly the height of a 66-storey building

This 1,601ft-long bridge in the Hongyagu Scenic Area opened to the public in December 2017 – and proved a massive hit with visitors.

At the time, it was the longest glass bridge in the world and had been designed to ‘sway a little’ when tourists walk on it, according to reports on Chinese state media.

The 6.5-foot-wide walkway hangs 755 feet above the ground between two cliffs, roughly the height of a 66-storey building.

Shapotou Suspension Bridge

Part of the Shapotou Suspension Bridge is covered by 3D art - just to add to the thrill

 Part of the Shapotou Suspension Bridge is covered by 3D art – just to add to the thrill

This glass-bottomed bridge in China crosses the notoriously fast-flowing Yellow River.

Called the Shapotou Suspension Bridge, tourists apparently struggled to cross the 328-metre-long (1,076 feet) bridge when it opened in 2017 as they could see the water gushing right under their feet.

In addition, part of the terrifying walkway has 3D art on the floor, including that of a huge waterfall. Management hopes it provides daredevil visitors with the ultimate adrenaline rush. 

Yalong Bay Walkway

The 400-metre-long vertigo-inducing glass-bottomed bridge that is suspended over Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park in Hainan province

The 400-metre-long vertigo-inducing glass-bottomed bridge that is suspended over Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park in Hainan province

Suspended over the lush hills of the Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park in Hainan province is this vertigo-inducing glass-bottomed bridge.

The 400-metre-long structure features several circular glass observation decks that jut out of the mountainside, the highest at an altitude of 450 metres (1,400ft).

Built with triple-tempered laminated glass panels that are each 3cm (1.2in) thick, visitors feel as if they are walking on air. 

The A-shaped bridge

This glass-bottomed walkway is built on the side of a cliff face at a height of 390ft and extends 262ft into the air

This glass-bottomed walkway is built on the side of a cliff face at a height of 390ft and extends 262ft into the air

This terrifying transparent walkway extends more than 80 metres (262ft) from a cliff face above a vertigo-inducing 120-metre drop (390 t) at the Wansheng Ordovician Theme Park in Chongqing.

The £4.5million attraction extends a staggering 69.6 metres (228ft) from the rock, providing exhilarating views towards the valley underneath.

The walkway’s total length is nearly 200 metres (656ft) and no more than 30 visitors are allowed to stand on the bridge at any one time.

The 1,049ft tower that’ll soar above Miami and become the tallest residential building south of NYC

The Miami skyline is set to be transformed in spectacular fashion.

Renderings have been released of a sensational new tower that will rise 100 stories and 1,049ft (319m) above the city in Biscayne Bay, becoming the tallest residential building south of New York City and the loftiest building in Florida, taking the crown from Miami’s 868ft- (265m) tall Panorama Tower.

The property – Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami – is being billed as an ‘architectural wonder’ and will consist of 360 private residences costing from $1million (£724,575), as well as 205 guestrooms and suites within a five-star hotel.

Renderings have been released of a sensational new tower that will rise 100 stories and 1,049ft above Miami, becoming the tallest residential building south of New York City

The property - Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami ¿ will consist of 360 private residences costing from $1million (£724,575) as well as 205 guestrooms and suites within a five-star hotel

The property – Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami – will consist of 360 private residences costing from $1million (£724,575) as well as 205 guestrooms and suites within a five-star hotel

The building, which will be located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard, will be made up of nine spiralling offset glass cubes that will ‘transform Miami’s skyline and distinguish the property’s architecture from anything on the east coast’.

It has been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects in collaboration with Carlos Ott, with the interiors by California-based interior design firm BAMO.

Mr Ott said: ‘The unique nature of this project largely comes from not only creating an iconic building but a distinguished sculpture that will permanently alter Miami’s skyline with height and design never seen before.’

While Charles M. Sieger, of Sieger Suarez Architects, added: ‘To fully evoke the feeling of transcendence throughout the property, we proportioned the floorplans and offset the cubes to provide viewers with the illusion that the building is even taller than it is.

‘We’ve captured views at Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami that residents and travellers have yet to experience in this city.’

The hotel, the first Waldorf Astoria to open in Miami, will feature a resort-style pool deck with private cabanas, a spa and fitness centre, meetings and boardrooms, indoor and outdoor function spaces and a speciality restaurant called Peacock Alley.

A rendering showing what one of the residences inside the tower could look like. The building has been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects in collaboration with Carlos Ott, with the interiors by California-based interior design firm BAMO

A rendering showing what one of the residences inside the tower could look like. The building has been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects in collaboration with Carlos Ott, with the interiors by California-based interior design firm BAMO

One of the architects who has designed the tower said: 'We've captured views at Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami that residents and travellers have yet to experience in this city'

One of the architects who has designed the tower said: ‘We’ve captured views at Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami that residents and travellers have yet to experience in this city’ 

Meanwhile, all of the residences will offer ‘the latest smart-home technology with custom mobile app access to concierge service’.

The app will feature ‘a full menu of available offerings, including dining reservations, 24/7 room service, spa and fitness treatments, house car reservations, access to valet service, package delivery service and dog-walking services’.

The project is being developed by real estate development firm PMG, Toronto-based private equity firm Greybrook Realty Partners, global investment company Mohari Hospitality, S2 Development and Hilton – the owner of the Waldorf Astoria brand. The timetable for construction is dependent on sales of the residences, but developers are optimistic they’ll break ground in 2022. 

Ryan Shear, managing partner of PMG, said: ‘Miami has become a true global city, drawing in a high concentration of international buyers and travellers, as well as those domestically predominantly from the Northeast, Midwest and California.

All of the residences will offer 'the latest smart-home technology with custom mobile app access to concierge service'

All of the residences will offer ‘the latest smart-home technology with custom mobile app access to concierge service’

The timetable for construction is dependent on sales of the residences, but developers are optimistic they'll break ground in 2022

The timetable for construction is dependent on sales of the residences, but developers are optimistic they’ll break ground in 2022

‘Waldorf Astoria’s rich history and heritage combined with Miami’s flare has evoked an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from a new generation of luxury consumers, as well as generational Waldorf brand loyalists around the world.’

While Kevin Maloney, also a managing partner of PMG, added: ‘Waldorf Astoria is one of the only five-star hotel brands worldwide, and we’re honoured to expand this timeless portfolio to Miami.

‘We feel confident with our renowned partners on board, Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami is poised to lead the new development cycle and deliver a completely one-of-a-kind, priceless experience to South Florida.’

Peter Politis, CEO Greybrook Realty Partners, said: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure working with PMG, Hilton and the entire project team of very talented professionals to design this truly remarkable building in which every detail has been carefully considered and meticulously designed.

The building will be located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard. The hotel will be the first Waldorf Astoria to open in Miami

The building will be located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard. The hotel will be the first Waldorf Astoria to open in Miami

‘We are very excited for the reveal of this iconic building that is a symbol of Miami’s growing prominence on the world stage and is sure to attract discerning buyers seeking a luxury lifestyle experience that is in a league of its own.’

Dino Michael, senior vice president and global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, explained: ‘We are incredibly excited to partner with PMG to bring the first Waldorf Astoria to Miami, one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan destinations that draws discerning travellers from around the globe.

‘Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences Miami will not only transform the city skyline but usher in a new level of service to the Miami market, creating unforgettable experiences for every resident and guest.’

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the new RHS garden with designer Tom Stuart-Smith

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Explore the new Royal Horticultural Society garden with designer Tom Stuart-Smith

It’s one of the biggest gardening projects in Europe – the new Royal Horticultural Society garden at Bridgewater. And you can be one of the first to visit when it opens in May during this exclusive four-day tour.

The opening has been delayed by the pandemic – but that has allowed Bridgewater’s dedicated team of gardeners to make it even more spectacular. A core, socially-distanced group has spent the lockdown planting thousands of specimens, meaning that 40,000 more plants than originally planned will be ready for the revised opening date.

Bridgewater, in Salford near Manchester, will be the fifth RHS garden, and to make this trip even more unforgettable you’ll be joined by the man behind the vision for the project, landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, who will take you on an exclusive tour. This will be followed by afternoon tea, a talk from Tom and a question-and-answer session.

Heavenly: The newly created Paradise Garden at RHS Bridgewater

The itinerary includes visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall and Tatton Park (above)

The itinerary includes visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall and Tatton Park (above)

MEET OUR SPECIAL GUEST

You will be joined by Tom Stuart-Smith

You will be joined by Tom Stuart-Smith

Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith designed the Queen’s Jubilee Garden at Windsor Castle to mark the Golden Jubilee and Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire, as well as the masterplan for the RHS gardens at Bridgewater, which is the largest new garden project in the UK.

Tom says: ‘I have known the amazing site that is to become RHS Garden Bridgewater for some time and it is really remarkable. It is a great honour and a huge challenge to be able to contribute to this very exciting project.’

Your trip will also take in some of the finest gardens in the North West of the country, including the Trentham Estate – which also features gardens designed by Tom – Dunham Massey and Tatton Park, whose gardens have developed over 200 years.

You’ll visit Ness Botanic Gardens in the Wirral, with their own weather station and historic Arley Hall, where a pair of herbaceous borders were first laid in 1846.

REASONS TO BOOK

Exclusive events with Tom Stuart-Smith: Tom, who has designed eight gold medal-winning gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show, will join you for a tour of RHS Gardens Bridgewater, the plan for which he designed. He’ll also deliver an exclusive talk and answer your horticultural questions.

Be among the first to visit: The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater is one of the most significant events in the 215-year history of the RHS and its first new garden for nearly 20 years.

Its centrepiece is the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, one of the UK’s biggest, covering the same area as six football pitches and comprising 11 gardens, including The Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden, Community Wellbeing Garden and Community Grow Garden.

Tour Trentham Estate: You’ll begin your break with a visit to the Staffordshire gardens where the contemporary revival of Italian Gardens was led by Tom himself. Explore the Piet Oudolf-designed Rivers of Grass and Floral Labyrinth and the Trentham Lake, which was created by Capability Brown.

Discover delightful gardens: The year-round Ness Botanic Gardens feature lilies, primulas and terrace gardens with climbing plants, herb and water gardens in the summer months. Dunham Massey was planted in regimental fashion by the 2nd Earl of Stamford and Warrington before being abandoned in 1856. The architect of Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton, designed aspects of Tatton Park and you’ll end your trip with a visit to the beautifully maintained gardens at Arley Hall.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Tour of RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith.
  • Talk by Tom Stuart-Smith and question-and-answer session.
  • Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Queen at Chester Hotel, Premier Collection by Best Western, Chester.
  • Afternoon tea.
  • Visits to Trentham Estate, Arley Hall, Dunham Massey, Tatton Park and Ness Botanic Gardens.
  • Comfortable coaching throughout.
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager.  

YOUR ITINERARY: DAY 1 Pick-up, Trentham Estate DAY 2 Ness Botanic Gardens, RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith DAY 3 Dunham Massey, Tatton Park DAY 4 Arley Hall, return to pick-up point.

HOW TO BOOK

The price: From £695pp* for four days. The dates: July 25-28 and August 8-11, 2021.

Call 01334 441 880 quoting MOS Bridgewater. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: * Price based on two sharing. Single supplement available (£120pp). Supplement for August date (£20). Subject to availability. Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and at the tour manager’s discretion. This trip is exclusive to Mail Travel and selected other titles. For full T&Cs, visit mailtravel.co.uk/tomstuartsmith

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Staycation: A review of Devon’s Cricket Inn pub with rooms, which has views that’ll bowl you over

Bowled over by The Cricket Inn: Inside the Devon pub with rooms that has a seaside location that’ll knock you for six

  • The Cricket Inn is located in Beesands, Devon, which is popular with walkers exploring South Hams
  • Rooms have a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels and views of Start Bay 
  • Breakfast covers everything from fresh fruit and granola pots to smoked salmon, eggs and fresh kippers

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When you hear that on winter nights, high tides can send waves over the roof of The Cricket Inn, you’ll get just how close it is to the sea.

Weather is everything here in Beesands, and so is The Cricket Inn, which opened its doors in 1867 to serve the thriving fishing community of 100 residents. Today, catches of plaice, crab and scallops from fisherman Alan Steer put seafood at the heart of its menu.

It’s family-run with attentive staff and, between lockdowns, is bursting with customers. Family parties tuck in to lunch and dinner, with all ages covered in the light, bright restaurant.

Heart of the community: The Cricket Inn, Beesands, opened its doors in 1867 to serve the thriving fishing community of 100 residents

Ahoy there! Each of the rooms has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels

Ahoy there! Each of the rooms has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels

After being recommended as a stopover during his solo cycling holiday, one chap was happily eating amid the throng. If you want a break alone but still to feel in the thick of an intimate, lively scene then this is just the place.

Rooms, each with a cricketing reference such as Lord’s or the Botham Suite, are located above the bar, so guests remain part of the pub.

Beesands is on the South West Coastal path, and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams. Go beyond the views of Start Point lighthouse and take the path along gorse-filled clifftops to find yourself at Hallsands Beach in 15 minutes. Packed lunches are available from the bar if you order the night before (£11pp).

Beesands, pictured, is on the South West Coastal path and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams

Beesands, pictured, is on the South West Coastal path and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams

The Cricket Inn is in a world of gorse-filled clifftops, holiday cottages and delicious seafood

The Cricket Inn is in a world of gorse-filled clifftops, holiday cottages and delicious seafood

Stroll for miles along the quiet beach and you’ll be tempted to pick up the smooth slate pebbles that line the shore. There are few residents – only a smattering of tiny holiday cottages and fishing boats.

The only other place to find vittles in Beesands is the Britannia, a cafe where delicious takeaway fish and chips were welcome on a blustery day.

At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast.

Sarah writes: 'At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast'

Sarah writes: ‘At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast’

Five of the seven rooms at The Cricket Inn have views of Start Bay (pictured). Sarah writes: 'Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views'

Five of the seven rooms at The Cricket Inn have views of Start Bay (pictured). Sarah writes: ‘Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views’

The USP: The location of the only hostelry in Beesands will knock you for six. To reach the village along a single-track lane, there is an unofficial one-way system. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

The rooms: Five of the seven have views of Start Bay. Each has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels. Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views.

The food: Even light fare is heartily served: delicious white onion and thyme soup or crab soup comes with hunks of fresh bread and aioli. Dinner of whole plaice, courgette gratin and Greek salad was enough to bowl me over. Breakfast covers everything from fresh fruit and granola pots to smoked salmon, eggs and fresh kippers. 

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Cricket Inn, Beesands, Devon. B&B costs from £120 to £160 per night based on two sharing (thecricketinn.com).

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Take the plunge at Britain’s best lidos, from Plymouth to the Peak District 

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the leg-work so you don’t have to. This week: Britain’s best outdoor pools.

The turnstiles at England’s outdoor swimming pools will – hopefully – spin again from March 29 as lockdown rules ease. Pools in the rest of the UK are planned to reopen soon afterwards.

However, numbers of swimmers will be limited to ensure social distancing, so to book a session as soon as they become available sign up now to your chosen pool’s website or app.

On your marks: General admission tickets for Jubilee Pool in Penzance, above, are on sale now via its website

The first lido off the mark is Jubilee Pool in Penzance. Jump in and swim surrounded by the beautifully restored Cubist-style architecture of the complex.

Move fast and you can also buy the last few limited-edition T-shirts produced to celebrate the pool’s 85th anniversary last summer (jubileepool.co.uk).

Serious swimmers in East London can head to Hackney for 50m laps at the Olympic-sized London Fields Lido. 

Built in 1932, steam rises from the heated water while the jaunty reds, blues and yellows of the poolside lockers add a nautical flavour. 

London Fields Lido, pictured, in Hackney, East London, is where swimmers can complete 50m laps

London Fields Lido, pictured, in Hackney, East London, is where swimmers can complete 50m laps 

Jump to it: Book early for pools such as Charlton Lido, above, as social distancing rules will limit numbers

Jump to it: Book early for pools such as Charlton Lido, above, as social distancing rules will limit numbers

Book swims at better.org.uk where there are also details of the 50m heated Charlton Lido, south of the Thames in Greenwich.

Egypt is in the air in Bristol where motifs from the country’s temples are set amid the restored Victorian grandeur and modern extension of the city’s lido buildings.

Bristol Lido was opened in 1850 and in the 1930s was the first in the country to be heated by electricity. As the lockdown rules relax, spa treatments will also be offered. Find out more at lidobristol.com or go to the pool’s sister site thameslido.com for heated outdoor swims in Reading.

Holidaymakers heading to the Peak District this summer could pop along to Hathersage, known as ‘the little village with the big attraction’ – the attraction being a 30m heated pool complete with a nearby bandstand that dates back to 1936.

Bristol Lido, pictured, first opened in 1850 and in the 1930s became the first in the country to be heated by electricity

Bristol Lido, pictured, first opened in 1850 and in the 1930s became the first in the country to be heated by electricity

The 30m Hathersage open-air swimming pool in the Peak District, which dates back to 1936

The 30m Hathersage open-air swimming pool in the Peak District, which dates back to 1936

In previous years, managers arranged special events, including ‘dive-in movies’ where you watch films from a lilo, and aim to announce some for 2021 soon. Details of the reopening are at hathersageswimmingpool.co.uk.

By the sea in Plymouth, watch boats, yachts and ships sail by as you swim in the semi-circular Tinside Lido, another Art Deco gem from the 1930s. 

The salt-water pool is not heated, but regulars say its rich blue tiles make it feel like the French Riviera (it’s regularly voted one of the most stunning in Europe) and compensate for any chill. Book swims at everyoneactive.com.

Tinside Lido in Plymouth is regularly voted as one of the most stunning in Europe, even though it's a little chilly

Tinside Lido in Plymouth is regularly voted as one of the most stunning in Europe, even though it’s a little chilly 

The 33m Portishead Open Air Pool in North Somerset, which attracts close to 50,000 visitors each season

The 33m Portishead Open Air Pool in North Somerset, which attracts close to 50,000 visitors each season 

It’s not just swimmers who are waiting patiently until Chesham Moor’s 25m heated pool reopens – staff are getting ready to restart their popular aqua fitness classes at the same time.

It’s not all noisy fun though – the pool is surrounded by trees where red kites nest and fly overhead. Bookings for swims and fitness classes will be taken from March 22 at cheshammoorfitness.org.uk.

A few weeks later, Portishead Open Air Pool in North Somerset, which is run by a charitable trust, is set to reopen after an extended break for maintenance. The water in the 33m pool is heated by a biomass boiler, and attracts close to 50,000 visitors each season. Swims can be booked soon at portisheadopenairpool.org.uk