Gaspard's Foxtrot is a delightful tale about Gaspard, a cute fox who follows his friend on an 88 bus and takes an adventure around London's West End.
Beautiful illustrations take the reader on a journey to Museum Street, China Town, Piccadilly Circus and finally his last stop- Hyde Park where he experiences an orchestral performance and even trots on stage to become a star for the day!
This gorgeous book is ideal for any London lovers who will enjoy looking at the beautiful illustrations of some of London's best known and beloved locations.
Gaspard's Foxtrot by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew published by GRAFFEG is available from graffeg.com for £12.99.
I've long had a love affair with Italy and it seems I'm not alone. With its stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine and friendly people, it's easy to see why it has remained such a popular travel destination. Fine art photographer and bestselling author Gray Malin also fell in love with Italy, which inspired this beautiful photography book bursting with lust-worthy images, which captures five road trips he took over the course of six years, shooting from land, sea and air. Not exactly a rough gig, if you ask us!
If you've never been to Italy, this tribute to the Italian Riviera in all its dazzling decadance will make you want to hop on the next plane; if you're no stranger to its charms, it will reignite your passion for La Dolce Vita. From crowded marinas along the Amalfi Coast jam-packed with seriously stylish speedboats, to hidden beaches, to otherworldly landscapes such as the limestone cliffs of Scala Dei Turchi in Sicily, this book captures the sun-drenched glamour of the most fabulous Italian destinations.
All of the wonderfully colourful photographs capture the vibrance of the landscapes he visited - from eye-popping sun parasols to the sparkling azure sea, this book is a ray of sunshine that instantly transports you to the beaches of Italy. Enjoy with an Aperol Spritz and it's all you need to make the gloomiest of days that little bit brighter.
Gray Malin: Italy published by Abrams & Chronicle Books is available from Amazon.co.uk (£20.29 for a hardcover).
If you're one of those people who are always looking for the 'hidden gems' when you visit a city, then you'll love Don't Be a Tourist in Paris, which is dedicated to unveiling the best that Paris has to offer - outside the tourist traps.
I've been to Paris on several occasions, but after having read this book, it makes me want to visit all over again - and this time I'll ensure I do it properly by avoiding the usual haunts.
Recommendations within the book cover everything from hotels to bars, restaurants, clubs and bistros to creative haunts such as bookshops and galleries. I loved the playful tone of some of the headings within the book like where to go if you're 'feeding a broken heart or a hangover' and 'Top 5 for a detox (after two much wine and cheese)', which let's be honest, we can all relate to! There are also tips on how to find French village life in the city and where to 'eat like a local', to ensure you'll find some authentic treasures along the way.
When I next board the Eurostar, I'll be clutching my copy of this book ready to explore all of the wonderful places that Vanessa has taken the time to painstakingly explore, so that we can all feel like cool Parisians - even if it's only for a weekend.
Don't Be a Tourist in Paris is published by ROADS Publishing and is available from Amazon.co.uk (£25.00 for a hardcover).
Good things come in small packages. At least that's the premise of this book dedicated to tiny campsites. Featuring more than 80 tiny campsites across the UK (determined by its size being less than an acre in size), this useful holiday guide provides camping lovers with full details for each campsite, so they're armed with all of the information they need to find the tiny campsite that's perfect for them.
The guide provides a wealth of information including an overview of the facilities, nearby pubs and supplies, contact details, a list of nearby rail stations and recommendations for what to see and do in the local area.
We've rounded up our favourite tiny campsites...
This campsite in a small forest glade in Inverness-shire even comes complete with an outdoor bush shower. There is also an independent, mountain-hut style hostel sleeping up to 8 people privately, which is great for families and small groups.
Located near Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire, Walkers Cottage Camping boasts a 180-degree view of the picturesque Wye Valley. Here campers will be able to mix with the local wildlife including a field of sheep and beehives hidden amongst wildflowers. Given its location on the edge of the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve, you'll be rewarded with stunning starry nights.
At Ten Acres Vineyard guests will be able to camp amongst the vines. Animal lovers will also love the pigs that live on site whose job it is to graze the grass amongst the vines - aww.
Tiny Campsites by Dixe Wills is published by AA Publishing and is available from Amazon.co.uk (£11.99 for a paperback).
To commemorate its 80th anniversary, Butlin’s has created a gorgeous coffee table book, The Nation’s Host: Butlin’s and the Story of the British Seaside, which showcases many never-before-seen images from Butlin's archives.
Butlin’s developed the book in collaboration with The History of Advertising Trust (HAT), the largest archive of British advertising and marketing communications in the world, and acclaimed seaside historian Katherine Ferry, who was granted unique access to the archives to tell the incredible inside story of Butlin's and the British seaside.
The book reveals the tale of the brand's origins in a British society still reeling from the economic downturn of the 1920s, to its heyday in the mid-twentieth century, and the challenges posed by the arrival of overseas package holidays to the company’s plan for reinvention in the present day.
Since its inception in 1936, Butlin's resorts were seen as aspirational, yet within reach of the average person - in other words, affordable but not cheap. Billy Butlin, the founder of Butlin's resorts, was a true entrepreneur who helped revolutionise the travel industry by making travel accessible for all, offering a week's holiday for a week's wages.
Butlin's has long been renowned for it wealth of activities under one roof - perfect for the unpredictable British weather - and visitors could take advantage of all activities on offer - at no additional charge. From an amusement park to fitness classes, dancing, waterskiing, and much more, there really was something for everyone to enjoy. In addition to these activities, Butlin's also offered performances from top singers and musicians, with many stars cutting their teeth at Butlin's such as Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Ringo Starr, and Annie Lennox, to name a few.
During the wartime years (1939-1945), Butlin's resorts were transformed from holiday bungalows into housing for soldiers from The Royal Navy. After the war, Butlin's welcomed back tourists, which was made easier thanks to easier access from new railways that had been built. For people who had become accustomed to queuing for rations, the promise of no queues at Butlin's was an enticing one.
By the late 1950s, a prosperous era returned and Butlin's had come to symbolise the affluence of the working class, with people being able to enjoy leisure pursuits once again. By 1963, Butlin's had welcomed 1 million visitors in one season - a long-held dream for Billy Butlin.
Today, Butlin's continues to delight its guests with a variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained. If you're a history lover, a seaside lover or simply a fan of Butlin's resorts, then this is a must-read book.
The Nation's Host: Butlin's and the Story of the British Seaside is available from Butlin's store for £20.
Stylish stays around the UK
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to stay in any ‘ol tent, then you’ll love Cool Camping’s latest edition of ‘Glamping Getaways’. From tree houses to yurts, safari tents to lodges, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding your perfect glamping retreat.
Although all of the recommendations in the book are amazing, we’ve whittled it down to help make your choice even easier.
Here are our top five favourite glamping experiences across the UK...
Longlands Glamping, North Devon
Located near the picturesque coastal town of Combe Martin, this glamping location features five luxurious safari tents. Each tent comes equipped with a kitchen with a wood-burning stove, a show room, a separate en-suite bathroom, games to keep you occupied and a private BBQ, so you can cook a rustic meal, weather permitting. Guests also have access to the Longlands Larder, which is stocked with milk, cheese and chutney, available 24 hours a day.
Prices from £575 for a midweek stay to £595 for a weekend stay. Open mid-March – November.
Secret Meadows Glamping, Suffolk
Secret Meadows comprises six luxurious lodge-style tents spread across an 115-acre farm. Each tent has a double bed, two singles, a fully equipped kitchen with a Belfast sink, a slate worktop, fridge and traditional kitchen dresser. The tents also come equipped with a BBQ, a loo and a shower.
Prices from £545 for a 3-night weekend stay or from £369 for a 4-night midweek stay. Open March – November.
Wild Luxury, Norfolk
Located in North Yorkshire, with its prairie like flatness and wide, open skies, you’ll find seven luxury safari lodges in a fenced-off field. The lodges are completely off-grid, there’s no electricity and all water is stored on site, but each lodge comes equipped with hot showers and a flushing toilet, making it a great option for those who want to ‘live wild’ but still maintain some of life’s little luxuries.
Prices from £269 for a two-night weekend break in the low season to £1,495 for a week during the summer holidays.
Alde Garden, Suffolk
This campsite boasts a diverse variety of camping options including two yurts, one gypsy caravan, one stilted tent, five small tent pitches and a year-round holiday cottage. There is also a ‘jungle shower and an outdoor kitchen with gas cookers, straw-bale seats, cutlery, crockery, pots, pans, tea and coffee. Conventional loos and showers are also available in an outbuilding nearby.
Prices from £75 for two nights in The Hideout to £125 for two nights in the Bell Tent to £170 for two nights in the gypsy caravan to £180 for two nights in a yurt. Camping is also available from £14 per night.
Roulotte Retreat, Scottish Borders
This glamping location has seven seriously sexy ‘roulette’s’, which are French gypsy caravans that are bursting with character. Many couples find it difficult to prise themselves away from the romantic caravans, deciding to hole up for a bit of l’amour. Each roulette comes equipped with a power shower, a modern toilet, a cooker, a wood-burning stove, a BBQ and independent heating.
Fitness lovers can also book in for a yoga class with the owner, Avril, who hosts one-to-one sessions or group bookings upon request.
Prices from £95-£135 per night in the low season to £105-£165 per night in the high season. Eco hot tubs are also available for an additional fee.
I was so inspired by our recent review of Cool Camping Europe (Second Edition), that I wanted to discover what fabulous camping options there were to be had a bit closer to home.
Living in London, the pull for country life is strong, particularly after a trying week when one's daily routine consists of being squashed like a sardine on an overcrowded tube carriage with a million strangers. So, it was lovely to settle down this evening with a cuppa and the latest edition of Cool Camping Britain (Second Edition), so I could start planning my next rural escape - even if the summer months seem hopelessly far away during the long rainy days of December!
The guide is bursting with recommendations for inspirational campsites across the UK, ensuring that there is something for all camping enthusiasts to enjoy, whether you prefer glamping or more traditional no frills camping.
We've rounded up our top five favourite UK campsites featured in Cool Camping: Britain (Second Edition):
1. Treen Farm Campsite, Penzance, Cornwall
This traditional campsite in Cornwall is low on frills but high on outstanding natural beauty. Some of Cornwall's most breathtaking beaches are within walking distance. Other nearby attractions include the stunning outdoor theatre at Minack Theatre and Land's End.
2. Ninham Country Holidays, Isle of Wight
This family run campsite is perfectly situated for exploring Shanklin, a popular resort town on the Isle of Wight. The site's 230 pitches are divided into two fields, which helps to create a sense of privacy, without any distractions.
3. Glendaruel, Argyll, Scotland
This 22-acre escape in Argyll is perfect for those wanting to get away from it all. There are only 10 pitches for tents and there is also the Little Camping Lodge on site, which sleeps up to four people. Nearby walking trails and cycle routes provide healthy entertainment for the family.
4. Lochness Shores, Inverness-shire, Scotland
This 99-pitch campsite on the shores of Loch Ness rewards its visitors with the stunning natural beauty that surrounds it. From forests to mountains, nature doesn't get much better than this. Offsite adventures include canoeing and river kayaking adventures.
5. Rothiemurchus, Inverness-shire, Scotland
This award-winning woodland campsite is a must for forest lovers and is the best place to enjoy the Caledonian woodland. Offsite activities include archery, hiking and canoeing at the nearbyRothiemurcus Centre.
For more cool campsites, visit www.coolcamping.co.uk. Cool Camping Britain: Second Edition is available from Amazon for £14.86 (paperback).
There's nothing better than escaping the stresses and strains of city life than to make time to relax in the great outdoors. While my own relationship with camping has typically been a bit apprehensive, largely due to a fear of non-existent showers and toilet facilities, even I have come round to the joys of embracing the great outdoors - tent and all.
Coolcamping: Europe (Second Edition) is a gorgeous book featuring a variety of hand-picked campsites and for the more precious amongst us (glamping experiences), to provide a wealth of inspiration for your next camping holiday.
From teepees to gypsy caravans and everything in between, you'll be amazed at the sheer amount of fabulous camping experiences that are to be had when you know where to go. Countries (and their stand out campsites) featured within the guide include: Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.
The guide is broken down into helpful sections including 'campsites at a glance', 'campsite locator' and 'useful words and phrases' in a variety of languages, such as 'sleeping bag' ('saco-cama' in Portugese or 'un saco de dormir' in Spanish) and 'campfire' ('un feau de camp' in French and 'kampvuur' in Dutch), just in case you were wondering.
Each campsite entry is accompanied by a selection of gorgeous images to provide you with a sense of what you can expect to find when you arrive. Each entry also gives you a low down on the site's 'cool factor', an overview of the types of people that are likely to choose that particular campsite, camping rates, food and drink options, details on how to find the campsite and recommendations for offsite day trips.
So, which campsites featured within the guide are on our must-visit list? Check out our recommendations below...
Best campsites in Europe - The top 5 campsite holidays we're lusting after...
1. O Tamanco (Casas Brancas, Portugal)
Rustic charm and a variety of camping options including glamping tubes, tents and yurts, make this campsite truly unique. It's located near the Silver Coast, which boasts fishing villages, castles and monastries.
2.Lima Escape (Ponte de Barca - Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
Located on the edge of the Peneda-Geres National Park, you'd be hard pressed to find a campsite with more stunning natural beauty. Hiking and biking enthusiasts will love exploring the surrounding mountain treks and paths.
3. La Fresneda (Teruel, Spain)
This small but perfectly formed campsite with only 25 pitches is set in a stunning valley. Outdoor lovers will love exploring the rugged canyons and mountainsides as well as the natural rock swimming pools, which are only 15 mins away. Guests will also enjoy the onsite restaurant Bar La Roca, where guests can indulge in local tapas.
4. Forest Days (Catalonia, Spain)
Poised on a beautiful farmstead surrounded by mountains and fertile farmland, this really is glamping at its best. The site features four fully furnished bell tents, each featuring a super kingsize bed, a woodburning stove, an outdoor dining space and a hammock for two. With a campsite this well equipped, you'll never want to leave...
5. Il Collaccio (Perugia, Italy)
Deep in the valleys of the Umbrian hills is where you'll find this breathtaking campsite. This camping complex combines a family-owned truffle farm with a modest hotel, a pool, chalets, cabins and teraces for campers, caravans and tents. There is also an on-site restaurant and lots of activities to keep you busy including tennis, volleyball, table tennis and petanque.
For more cool campsites, visit www.coolcamping.co.uk. Cool Camping Europe (Second Edition) is available from Amazon.co.uk for £15.88 (paperback).
One of the greatest luxuries of all is having the time to relax with a great book.