Lonely Planet 30 Great Euro­pean ex­pe­ri­ences

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - LONELY PLANET 30 GREAT EUROPEAN EXPERIENCES -

23 Get on the real ale trail in Eng­land’s Lake District Cum­bria is the beer garden of Eng­land, and the scenic, 11km Lakes Line wends its way through the very heart of it. De­vised by the Cam­paign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the Real Ale by Rail trail links dra­matic lakes-and-fells coun­try­side with coun­try pubs and craft breweries serv­ing proper beer with none more than a 15-minute walk from a rail­way sta­tion.

The trail takes in Water­mill Inn (www.wa­ter­millinn.co.uk) in the bu­colic vil­lage of Ings, where a pint pulled from one of the 16 hand pumps can be en­joyed fire­side or out­side on the sunny ter­race, and the Hawk­shead Brew­ery (www.hawk­shead­brew­ery.co.uk), with its ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of beers such as Cum­brian Five Hop and Lake­land Gold. Find the free trail at tp­ex­press.co.uk/ rail-of­fers/at­trac­tion-of­fers. Stay: Astroll away from Lake Win­der­mere, The Elleray is a cosy pub with lo­cally sourced food on the men­uand smart rooms up­stairs (eller­ay­win­der­mere.co.uk). 24 Stay at a vine­yard in Bordeaux Sit­ting in a deckchair on the sunny ter­race of a charm­ing 17th-cen­tury chateau sur­rounded by 5ha of mer­lot, caber­net franc and mal­bec vines there are few places in the world where a glass of try­ing the monks’ cheeses and beers at l’Au­berge de Poteaupr (chi­may.com). Stay: In Chi­may, Le Petit Chapitre is a B&Bhoused in a tur­reted, wis­te­ri­adraped build­ing full of an­tiques (www.lep­etitchapitre.be). wine could taste bet­ter. In the hands of the Charmet-Thomas fam­ily since the 1830s, Chateau Les­tange is a work­ing vine­yard, its abun­dant grapes used to pro­duce a red AOC Pre­mieres Cotes de Bordeaux. Cur­rent in­cum­bent Anne- Marie Charmet also rents out rooms fea­tur­ing softly faded paint­work, orig­i­nal floor­boards and an­tique mir­rors and por­traits to wine-lovers want­ing a base for fur­ther ex­plo­ration in the re­gion (chateau-les­tange.com). Bordeaux is 24km down the road, and the wine es­tates of Saint-Emil­ion are less than an hour’s drive away. 25 Be­come a kitchen whiz in Ire­land A pri­vate is­land just off Ire­land’s west

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