Explore Scotland from a Linlithgow, West Lothian base – stay at Aran House

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in Places to visit | Posted on 14-10-2010

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Linlithgow in West Lothian is ideally situated for exploring everything that Edinburgh, Glasgow and central Scotland has to offer. In fact Edinburgh is just 15 miles to the east while Falkirk is 15 miles to the west so it really is a convenient holiday base.

Linlithgow itself has royal connections dating back to the the 16th Century including being the birth place of Mary Queen of Scots in 1542.  Not surprisingly a lot of the ancient royal burgh of Linlightgow has long since disappeared but you can still find Linlithgow Palace which is a superb 15th Century ruin set on the edge of the Loch (it is open April to September).  The palace is well worth visiting and children will also love all the nooks and crannies, spiral staircases and rooms to explore.

Within easy each from Linlithgow in the Lothians, is a whole hose of attractions including the Falkirk Wheel, Boness & Kinnel Railway, Forth Road Bridges, Deep Sea World,  Hopetoun House, St. Michaels Parish Church, Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura, The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Our Dynamic Earth,  Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Zoo and the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens.

If you are looking to stay in Linlithgow then Aran House provides a good base.  Aran House has decor and furnishings of an antique traditional style and the Lounge and Dining Room area have large windows offering both plenty of light and wonderful views of the local countryside.

A truly relaxing time on The English Riviera – Cloudlands in Torquay

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in Places to visit | Posted on 01-10-2010

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Although first used by the Victorians, we suspect that the Devon tourist board are responsbile for the continued use of the ‘Riviera’ phrase but while the weather can not always be said to match the more famous south European Riviera’s the popular Devon resort still has  much to offer.

The English Riviera refers to the popular coastal resort of Torbay, which is an amalgam of Devon towns Brixham, Paignton and Torquay.  Of the three, Torquay is probably the closest to carrying off the Riviera phrase, helped in no small way by the palm trees and ambient lighting of the harbour at night.

Built on seven hills Torquay is now a stylish resort with its main focus being around the harbour, marina and waterfront where you will find lots of activity including restaurants, cafes and bars.  There is plenty to do including the Beacon Quay, redeveloped on the site of the World War II slipways, where you will find a number of shops and cafes in a beautiful setting overlooking the Bay, as well as Living Coasts, an aquatic zoo full of marine magic.

There are of course miles of sandy beaches close by – in fact over 22 miles of it in this area, with the main Torquay beaches being Abbey Sands and Meadfoot Beach.  Less crowded beaches in the area include Babbacombe, Wacombe and Maidencombe.  The well known Paignton Zoo is a short derive away from Torquay.

If you are looking to relax in Torquay then head for Cloudlands a delightful Victorian villa which was built in 1881 and still maintains many of its original features. Cloudlands still retains the ambience of a private Victorian home, and yet at the same time all the amenities of a 4 star guest accommodation. Cloudlands is set in a peaceful conservation area close to the sea front, and within walking distance to the Riviera Conference Centre, Cockington Village, town centre, and Torquay railway station. With regular services to Paignton, Newton Abbot, Dawlish, Exeter, and further afield.

And, for complete relaxation Cloudlands offers a fully equipped, dedicated reflexology treatment room run by their in-house, fully qualified, reflexologist.