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Set in the beautiful south Cotswolds, the market town of Stroud sits at the meeting point of five valleys, overlooked by the open hillside of Rodborough Common with walks and stunning views over the town. There’s a lively and creative feel here, that has born writers like Laurie Lee and attracted artists and crafts makers to the town, with a book festival and plenty of cultural activities. On Saturday when we visited the farmer’s market was in full swing, with artisan foods from the local area and the smell of sizzling bacon in the air (organic and sustainable of course!

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Grenada may have its share of white sand beaches, but this Island of Spice also offers a more adventurous side for those looking to connect with the wild beauty of the Caribbean. The northern and central parts of Grenada are the place to explore its lush forest reserves, cascading waterfalls and hot springs. I spent a week on the island during the Grenada Chocolate Fest but was also keen to experience some of the hiking in Grenada, with my hiking guide Simon who could take me to some of the beauty spots that are known only to the locals.

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With formal gardens, water features and 265 acres of parkland, Kensington Gardens must be one of the most beautiful of the London parks. While open to the public, it somehow has an intimate feel, due to its association as the ‘back garden’ of Kensington Palace, home to many members of the Royal Family. I took a walk to discover all the things to do in Kensington Gardens, as well as visiting Kensington Palace, which you can read about below in my guide on what to see and do during your visit to London.

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Aberdeen was a city that surprised me! In the north-east of Scotland, with an economy that’s entwined with the oil industry, it’s known as the Granite City, yet the colourful street art and painted doors brighten up the streets. There’s an ancient university quarter, a long sandy beach and plenty of trendy cafes and restaurants, making Aberdeen an ideal destination for a weekend city break.

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The City of London is the capital’s financial and historic heart, where the Romans established their city of Londinium. Locally known as The Square Mile, this compact business district is a mixture of medieval alleyways and cutting edge modern architecture, with an affluent and more formal feel than other parts of London due to the smartly dressed “city slickers” in their suits and ties. There’s a surprising amount to see and even if your budget isn’t funded by a city salary, I found plenty of free things to do in The City of London.

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Paddington Station is a constant buzz of activity, as passengers travel through Brunel’s landmark of Victorian engineering on their way to and from the west of England. But it’s worth pausing a little if you are visiting London, as the neighbourhood of Paddington is an excellent place to stay with easy access to all the major attractions. There are plenty of things to do around Paddington Station, not to mention the connections with a certain marmalade loving bear.

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With luxurious boutique style, Azamara Pursuit is the latest ship to join Azamara Club Cruises and I was delighted to be invited along to the naming celebrations and a short cruise from Southampton to Cherbourg. I’d previously spent a week cruising in Greece and Turkey on Azamara Journey and absolutely loved the small ship atmosphere with under 700 guests and the focus on the destinations – what Azamara calls Destination Immersion. Azamara Pursuit is essentially the same size and style of ship as her sisters Quest and Journey but with every new launch, Azamara is looking to enhance and improve the guest experience, so read on for my guide to luxury cruising on Azamara Pursuit and everything we enjoyed on board.

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