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Two hour travel

Two hour travel

City guide: Manchester

Most people I know don't "get" Manchester. They either labour under folk memories that the city is gritty and poor, a victim of collapsed industry. Or they think it's made up of endless terraces as seen on Corrie, or filled with council estates like the one on Shameless.

Travel: The Dakota Hotel, Glasgow

There is a point in life - around the time you start selecting bars on the basis of seating capacity and noise levels - at which you realise the true worth of the mini-break.

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Travel: West Lothian

Friday, 5pm Arrive at the Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel near Livingston, a 16th-century tower house.

Costume charmer

ENTER DASHING MR Darcy from stage left. Is he en route to meet Elizabeth Bennet, rather than the harridan Lady Catherine de Bourgh? The background looks familiar. It may be because this film set is based in picture perfect Stamford.

Skim a stone and win

There can't be many people who haven't tried their hand at stone skimming. There's just something about a smooth pebble that seems to cry out, "Throw me at the water and if you're lucky, I'll bounce." But for everyone who has absent-mindedly skimmed a stone on rare occasions there are others who have honed their technique to perfection.

An acre of magic

I WAS listening to Gardeners' Question Time on Radio 4 as I drove towards Lea Gardens. Enthusiasts in Essex were complaining about salt breezes off an estuary. Salt breezes? Estuary? They want to try salt storms off heaving seas.

Free way

Americans love cars and your average US citizen would always walk before taking a bus, and prefer to catch a cold than a train. Attitudes on mobility are most firmly entrenched in Los Angeles, where the car is king and getting on a bus just isn't cool.

It's a shore thing

From Glasgow to Windermere

Animated adventures

IF the cultural chic of downtown Paris starts to lose its appeal - or if you’re being pestered by the children - take a trip to Disney’s resort just outside the city, with two parks that are ideal for escapists. Disneyland is themed around the traditional cartoons, while the Walt Disney Studios takes inspiration from the movies and animation. The Disney difference is the attention to detail.

Lazy afternoons

From Edinburgh To Amsterdam

A world of its own

From Edinburgh, Prestwick and Glasgow airports to Ronaldsway airport, Isle of Man

Port of call

From Aberdeen to Esbjerg, Denmark

French leave

From Edinburgh or Glasgow to Paris

Welcome to the Pleasure Beach

Setting the scene

Irish cream

From Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow to Belfast

Northern delight

From Aberdeen to Vagur, Faroes

Join the cultural revolution

Setting the scene

Gallery walk

CINDY SHERMAN

Heat treatment

From Glasgow to Keflavik (the airport for Reykjavik)

Light & Eire

From Edinburgh or Glasgow to Cork

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