The river that runs deep

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - YOUR TRAVELS -

Thoughts on the Thames, plus the at­trac­tions of north­ern France; Span­ish driv­ing; and the beauty of Ro­ma­nia

stor­age tanks and chim­neys on the Isle of Grain – these are not to every­one’s taste, but I found the in­dus­trial land­scape beau­ti­ful. Dead­man’s Island and the yachts at Queen­bor­ough were soon left be­hind as we crossed ship­ping lanes busy with cargo ships head­ing to­wards London and tow­er­ing car trans­porters en­ter­ing Sheer­ness docks.

We landed at Southend with time to walk the long pier to the seafront for fish and chips be­fore our re­turn.

The Kingswear Cas­tle has re­turned to the River Dart, but the Waver­ley, which is the last re­main­ing seago­ing pad­dle steamer in the world, con­tin­ues to make an­nual vis­its to the Thames. HILARY SPON

Swan song

Nearly half a cen­tury ago, my hus­band took me for lunch to the Swan at Streat­ley, whose build­ings and grounds lie along­side the Thames at Gor­ing. It was then owned by Danny La Rue. Now a ho­tel, the Swan has a small pri­vate barge which, two years ago, we hired for the day to cel­e­brate my 80th birth­day with our chil­dren and seven grand­chil­dren. It was a won­der­ful party in truly ex­cep­tional sur­round­ings. MAR­ION SMITH

Low cost in France

I agree with Nick Trend’s sug­ges­tion of north­ern France for a late bar­gain

Lost in Tran­syl­va­nia

I en­joyed Rhi­an­non Ed­wards’ ar­ti­cle on her whis­tle-stop tour of Ro­ma­nia (“Who dares wins in Drac­ula coun­try”, June 17) – but there is so much more to see in this lovely part of the world.

We have just re­turned from a two-week tour of Tran­syl­va­nia, Bu­cov­ina and Mara­mures in the north of Ro­ma­nia. Such beauty, such hos­pi­tal­ity, such wealth of wildlife, hos­pi­tal­ity, tra­di­tion and (“No hol­i­day? There’s still time to take the plunge”, June 17). It may not have the kudos of Provence, but there are huge sandy beaches near Caen and Le Tou­quet, plus lovely vil­lages and scenery along the Seine to­wards Paris. Fur­ther south the Loire of­fers chateaux and, over to the west, are places such as the Quiberon penin­sula and La Baule. The charm. Or­gan­ised by a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in sus­tain­able tourism (Dis­cover Ro­ma­nia), our tour took us to tra­di­tional “Hansel and Gre­tel” home­s­tays fur­nished with lo­cally spun and wo­ven linens, rugs and hang­ings. We were treated to home and lo­cally pro­duced food, not to men­tion the home­dis­tilled plum schnapps and wine with ev­ery evening meal.

We saw ar­ti­sans of ev­ery sort: spoon-carv­ing, weather may be less pre­dictable – though south­ern Brit­tany has plenty of sunshine – but you will spend fewer hours driv­ing and more time dis­cov­er­ing some­where new. DIANA COODE

Driv­ing in Spain

Fur­ther to your cor­re­spon­dence about wool-spin­ning, weav­ing, slip­per mak­ing. There were proud yet sad Saxon churches crum­bling into dis­re­pair, fairy­tale wooden churches, and monasteries with beau­ti­ful fres­coes. And bears and wolves lurk­ing in the forests…

If you love be­ing close to na­ture and want a taste of what you thought was a lost world, then visit Ro­ma­nia. It won’t dis­ap­point. HAZEL BAI­LEY WINS A £250 RAILBOOKERS VOUCHER driv­ing to Spain and the re­sponses of driv­ers there to those in cars with GB num­ber plates (Travel views, May 6 and May 20), we have just been on a driv­ing tour of south­ern Spain and found driv­ers no dif­fer­ent to those in any other part of Europe, and in gen­eral a lot less ag­gres­sive than in Eng­land. AN­THONY WILD

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.