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