Wellness abounds at Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls wellness unmatched

Winding your way up the long drive is like driving into a 3-d postcard.

Cedar Falls Manor has always offered wellness
Cedar Falls Manor offers wellness retreat

The 18th-century red sandstone mansion is the essence of beauty. Situated amidst 44 acres it’s a park with its gardens, woods, and lakes.

 Health farm and spa 

Designed as a health farm and spa, Cedar Falls has been offering wellness retreats since 1982. But the “health” tone has changed. Originally, you had to earn your way to the fabulous meals via diet and exercise.
 

Today’s guests retreat to relax and renew. Most guests are female visiting

Gardens offer a lovely place to walk or relax and unwind in nature
Cedar Falls Gardens

alone or with friends. Every year a high percent of them return for an annual retreat.

 
The atmosphere is that of a manor home, not a hotel. Built in 1830 it has been completely restored to better than original by local craftsmen. The detail of the craftsmanship is a visual delight. Luxury but deliberately unpretentious.

Wellness unmatched 

Cedar Farm doesn’t see themselves as a hotel with a spa. Instead, the focus is the health farm. Wellness abounds. Lots of nature to lure you out for a round of golf. They offer a 9 hole 18 tee golf course. The natural features make it fun and challenging for all levels of golfers. The golf course is complete with its own cabin to cater to the needs of the golfers.
 
A diversity of outdoor opportunities to encourage you to stretch and move:
  • Body conditioning

    The outdoor pool is open all summer for guest exercise
    Outdoor pool for exercise and restoration
  • Pool (summer only)
  • Pilates
  • Country walks alone or organized walk
  • Photography in the gardens or terraces
  • Tennis court
  • Golf
    Yoga and Pilates in the former ballroom
    Yoga and Pilates room

     

Or head to the gym to work out. Need some help? Your personal fitness trainer will guide you into the right moves.
Too cool for outdoors? Relax in the indoor hot tub, pool, and conservatory.
 

The focus is wellness and relaxing restoration.

Forget business. Lounge in your lovely plush robes and slippers. You are welcome to wander throughout the home and to the pool, spa or conservatory. No need to get dressed until you are ready for dinner.

Indoor spa offer wellness year around
Indoor Pools and conservatory
 

The spa is first class with a wide diversity of treatments and facilities. Enjoy its friendly caring approach and superb guest services.

Guests can relax and enjoy a beverage in the spa lounge
Spa lounge and beverage bar
  • Beauty treatments
  • Body treatments
  • Body wraps
  • Facial treatments
  • Hot stone therapy
  • Hairstyling services
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Spray tanning
  • Natural therapy treatment
  • Mother-to-be treatments
  • Men’s specialty treatments
 
Natural therapies are a unique twist. Their goal is to help you feel better about yourself inside. Back problems, headaches, depression are all dealt with. Likewise work-life balance, stress reduction, re-energizing and nourishing your spirit.
 
Guests can come and spend a health spa day, or opt for overnight packages. The Spa Stay package includes your room, meals and their most popular treatments. The Spa Overnight package includes your room and treatments of choice – build it yourself.
 

Groups

For small groups of up to four, they have the option of the South Lodge. It is self-contained and includes full access to all the facilities of the main house.
 
Groups can also reserve the spa for their private use in the evenings. It is a great option for a special event and to experience a sampling of what Cedar Falls Spa offers.
 
The Spa features Clarins and Espa products. Treatments are very popular. Advanced booking is strongly recommended.

 

Oasis of Tranquility is designed for enhancing wellness
Oasis of Tranquility
Take a break and visit the Oasis of Tranquility. This quiet zone is designed in the style of a Turkish Hammams. Enjoy sumptuous decor and lounging beds. Salt lamps, the furnishings, and aroma help you switch off and restore. Beware – this is a technology free zone. No phones or other devices allowed.
 

Dining is a healthy indulgence.

Meals here are healthy choices prepared to gourmet tastes and enhanced by views of nature
The dining room offers soothing nature vistas and healthy food choices

Lunch is a tempting buffet. Traditional afternoon teas, cakes, and pastries will tempt you. Want something more than coffee or tea? The bar is open with offerings for your pleasure.

 
After you change from your robe and slippers you can enjoy an amazing dinner. Enjoy the exquisite food while you relax with stunning garden views from its generous windows.
 
Dinner a three-course foodie’s delight. Savory rich Venison Terrine, Five Spice Sea Bass Fillet, and seasonal specialties. The menu brings you the best of fresh local produce and regional offerings. Be advised… desserts are decadent.
 
After dinner relax on your own or join other guests for an evening talk in the drawing room at nine pm. Guests enjoy a wide diversity of wellness and local topics. After the evening talk, things go quietly. In its rural setting, it’s a serene tranquil spot for a great night’s sleep. Snuggle into that comfy bed and let your stress dissipate and your body renew.

Fishmore Hall SpaShell

 SpaShell at Fishmore Hall

Fishmore Hall has brought the unique SpaShell concept to the historic

Fishmore Hall is located outside market town of Ludlow
A mile from historic Ludlow is the restored manor Fishmore Hall

market town of Ludlow. Tucked just a mile down the road from the edge of town, Fishmore Hall is a lovely Georgian manor.

The property owner, Laura Penman, lovingly rescued this elegant home and restored it. The bedrooms are contemporary, the en-suite baths luscious. The result is warm, welcoming and delightful.

Adding a spa

When I visited the property last

Part of the back gardens were prepared for the spa with minimal disruption to guests
Part of gardens prepared for spa
Fishmore Hall Dining with view of spa gardens

August they were excitedly awaiting their new spa.  The spa is a real bonus as the nearest existing spa is 26 miles away.

As with any hotel, remodeling or construction can be a challenge. It can interfere with the guest experience. Noise, mess, workers. Ms. Penman wanted to add a spa but didn’t want to impact her guests.

She met Alistar Johnson of Spa Creators UK, Ltd. at a trade show.  With over 20 years of designing, developing and managing spas he offered a brand new concept. SPAShell. It solves many problems.

SpaShell project

The project includes five years of total management to assure its success.  With over 20 years experience, the SPAShell business model has proven successful. It allows properties to add a revenue stream with strong ROI. The facility itself increases the asset value of the property.

The turnkey concept comes complete with the spa and five years of total management. What truly makes it unique is the construction.  All off site!  Construction includes top end materials expected in any high-end spa.  But manufacture is done in a modular format.

l
Exterior of SPAshell at Fishmore Hall

The spa location is prepared and groomed simultaneous with construction.  Then they load the spa pods onto lorries (trucks) and deliver. Completion of set-up is usually about two days scheduled for minimal impact to hotel guests.

SpaShell facilities

Both one and two story designs are available. This single story spa has four treatment rooms. Each pair of treatment rooms opens to create a double room for couples services.

Each SpaShell treatment room has an en-suite shower and can be opened to create a couple's duo
SpaShell Treatment room

You will find all the expected amenities. Inside are a steam room, sauna, shower, locker room, reception and the treatment rooms. Outside is an outdoor Cedar wellness pool, lounge area. There is also an oversize hammock for snuggling. For the adventurous, there is a stimulating bucket and monsoon drench.

The SpaShell relaxation room offers guest views of nature and a cozy place to relax
SpaShell Relaxation room with view of cedar spa in background

A wide diversity of massage, facial, manicure and pedicure services.  They feature Elemis products and equipment. Packages also include Afternoon Tea or lunch and beverages from the highly rated restaurant.

The Spa nestles in the gardens next to the manor.  Here spa-goers enjoy lovely views across Shropshire’s rolling hills. There is a strong sense of serenity, relaxation, and privacy to enjoy the amenities. Built of natural materials, the spa blends beautifully into the countryside surrounding it.

SpaShell Cedar Spa gives guests a great evening retreat in a quiet relaxing setting
Cedar spa at night with Shropshire view in background

Since opening in late 2016, the spa has become popular with locals as well as guests. It has exceeded Laura’s hopes. Guests are now choosing to stay at Fishmore Hall to enjoy the spa.  Lunch and tea guests view the spa just outside the windows and are scheduling their own visits.

Spa Creators UK, Ltd. plans on

Drench Shower

offering SPAshell to boutique properties across the UK and Europe. For more information on SpaShell or Spa Creators, visit their website: http://www.spashell.com/.

Experience it yourself

To see and experience the Spa for yourself, visit http://www.fishmorehall.co.uk.   Arrange for a great room, fabulous food, and a delightful relaxing spa experience. Booking directly with Fishmore Hall will assure you the best value for your pounds.

Plan to spend several days… there is a lot to see and do in this beautiful area. Watch for my upcoming blog – what to see and do in Shropshire.

Here is a video on SPAshell with views of the spa at Fishmore Hall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g10FOEaMJoE&feature=youtu.be

The Old Vicarage has hospitality, great food and a fascinating story

The Old Vicarage

The lovely Old Vicarage house has a unique story of a vicar with an untimely end.  But it’s also a wonderful Bed and

The Old Vicarage, West Witton, Leyburn, UK
Front of Old Vicarage, West Witton

Breakfast.  It’s small – only 5 guest rooms, located in the quaint town of West Witton, Leyburn, UK. We met family there and stayed three delightful nights in August 2016.

They made us feel welcomed and comfortable. We had tea in the afternoon while we gathered up and visited in the guest parlor.

The main floor houses their kitchen, parlor and the breakfast room along with a private area. Upstairs you can gaze across the countryside. Some rooms view the gardens others the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

From the front porch, you can see Castle Bolton across the valley.  In the back, the gardens welcome you to sit with a cup of tea or coffee.  Cozy, homey, friendly – just like your hosts.

Morning brings a custom cooked English breakfast

Old Vicarage parking and gardens are at the rear of the house
Old Vicarage parking in rear, the garden near the house is great for a morning cup of coffee

In the morning Kirsteen will be your chef. Husband Roddy your server. Breakfast is a full, or part, custom cooked English breakfast. Relax, visit while they tease you with fabulous aromas floating in from the kitchen.

While you wait, enjoy the cold cereal, fruit, and yogurt… or save room for what is a generous spread.   Want something different? They have other English favorites like smoked salmon or kippers and eggs to go with lots of great coffee or tea.

They don’t serve evening meals. But you’ll find an excellent pub and restaurant less than two blocks down the street.

Need wi-fi? Head to the parlor, I found the signal to be strongest there.  While visiting, ask them to tell you the story of the Vicar who used to own the house and his untimely end.

Whether you want to hike, shop, or just wander the villages, the Old Vicarage is a great place to stay. We look forward to our next visit there.

For the best pricing, be sure to contact the owners directly. www.oldvicaragewestwitton.co.uk/

Cowshed Spa… you have to see this

Spa in a Cowshed?

In planning a recent trip to the UK, I came across a spa called  The

Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz
Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz

Cowshed Spa.  This I had to see.  Was it in a barn?  I was in for a delightful visit and a few surprises.

Cowshed Spa is actually a chain of spas. The very first spa opened at Babington House, Somerset, UK in 1998… in the old cow shed. Since then they have stayed true to their vision to offer beautiful spas. Cowshed products are organic based and designed to be effective.

In addition to Cowshed spas, they are also located in the Soho group chain in the US, the UK and Europe.

Cowshed Spa, Trebetherick, Cornwall

I visited the Cowshed Spa in the lovely San Moritz hotel in Trebetherick in

Cowshed St. Moritz retail and reception
Cowshed Spa, San Moritz retail and reception

Cornwall, UK. A beautiful, coastal location, it teems with tourists during the summer. When the crowds die down, the locals book again. They have the enviable position of little to no slow season.

Cowshed calls themselves “sociable” and for good reason. Beautiful and elegant, the mood is relaxed, friendly and social.  You’re invited to come with friends, have services, visit and make new friends. They’re famous for detail manicure-pedicure area invites chatting and visiting.

Purposeful with a bit of whimsey

Treatment and product names are whimsical… Udderly Delightful, Udderly

Cowshed St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax
Cowshed Spa, St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax

Gorgeous. But don’t let the names fool you.  Each product meets a purpose.  All have high levels of essential oils for therapeutic results. Botanicals come from their own gardens.

Seven different mood blends focus on client’s needs and the goal of the therapy.  Tired, try Knackered Cow.  Stressed – Grumpy Cow. In a well, playful mood – Horny Cow.  The list goes on.

Dirty Cow, Grubby Cow or Mucky Cow wash skin clean and leave it conditioned.

The treatment menu is impressive.  Face, body, hands feet, waxing and a variety of packages. Men get their own special attention treatments.  The Udderly Gorgeous treatments were the most unique.  Indulgent, relaxing, pampering and designed for clients that are 12 weeks pregnant or more.

They have taken every need of the pregnant client, and their safety, into consideration. Furniture, cushioning, positioning. After the first trimester, Moms-to-be may have services until the big event.

Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room
Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room

Post-delivery treatments are also available to help the new mom de-stress… and get her skin back in condition.

When you are visiting Cornwall, London, Somerset, Oxfordshire, or near a Soho property, relax and have a little fun at the Cowshed.

 

Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Ginger Tree offers holistic health and beauty
Ginger Tree Clinic

The Ginger Tree sits amidst the most beautiful, serene area in England. The Yorkshire Dales.  Ginger Tree is a short 1.5-mile drive from Richmond. It attracts visitors and locals from across the area. Peaceful, quiet, secluded, it prompts relaxation.

Aske Stables

Ginger Tree is located in an impressive Victorian building. Originally built as the horse stable for a nearby mansion. Walking in the stone paved courtyard, you expect the clatter of hooves.

Aske Stables renovated into a business park with all the amenities and a gorgeous view
Aske Stables now a business park with amazing views

Renovations took place in the late 1990s. They retained the gorgeous stone exterior. Insides were redone to meet modern needs. State of the art, eco-friendly Ascot Stables opened in 2000. Now over two dozen companies call it home.

A place to escape

Ginger Tree owner, Kathy, selected Ascot Stables for the tranquil setting. She loves the relaxing gardens and ample parking.

Aske Entry and Courtyard diverse businesses get to enjoy this amazing architecture every day
Aske Entry and Courtyard stunning and serene and ample parking.  It has great proximity to local towns.  It was a winning decision and her clients love it.

Kathy is an escapee of London’s hectic pace. She brought her extensive training and skills to the peace of the Dales.

Pamper yourself with a massage, facial or body treatment. Stay groomed with natural nail care. Enlist her as your makeup artist for your special event. She even helps with hair. Here you will find what you need.

Kathy is a strong believer in natural and organic. Products must be at least

Ginger Tree Treatment Room for holistic beauty
Ginger Tree Treatment Room

70% natural and organic ingredients.  To treat the unique needs of each client she maintains diversity.

  • Environ  – physician developed therapeutic skin care for dramatic improvement.
  • Pink Boutique –  handcrafted organic aromatherapy.
  • Neal’s Yard -organic skin care.
  • Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup.
  • SpaRitual – eco-friendly vegan nail care.
  • Advanced Nutrition Program – supplements for beauty from the inside out.

Customized therapies encourage you to relax, renew, rejuvenate.

Wellness Center

Ginger Tree reception area with original fireplace now used as decor
Ginger Tree Reception with original fireplace

Her vision has been for a total wellness center. In September 2016 this came to fruition. The Ginger Tree facility expanded.

It now includes:

  • homeopathy
  • Yoga
  • pilates
  • reiki
  • reflexology.

Locals are lucky to have such a well thought out holistic center nearby.  It is the trend of the future, today!

US & UK food terms you need to know

US and UK food terms

Well, we do all speak English, but UK food terms are a little different. My husband has newly emigrated from England. Our conversations have included many of these confusing terms.

Whichever side of the “pond” you live on, here are some food terms you want to know. They will help you get what you were hoping for when you place that food request.

UK Food terms:

Food term order chips in the UK when you want fries
Food term order Chips you’ll get fries

French fries – ask for chips

Potato chips– ask for crisps

Biscuits – are scones or cookies

In the UK crisps are the food term you use to get potato chips
Food term Crisps gets you potato chips

Biscuits and gravy – strictly a US phenomena. However, they do serve gravy with fries or on potatoes.

Mushy peas are not sweet peas.  They are a dried marrowfat pea cooked like a dried bean.

Pudding is not the American blend of milk, sugar and a thickener.  In England, pudding can be sweet or savory. Most commonly, it refers to a desert course, but it can also be part of the main course.

Desert puddings are fatty starch or dairy based. They include rice pudding, steamed cake puddings, or with dry fruits added, Christmas pudding.

Savory dishes include Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding,

Food term Yorkshire Puddings are a savory bread prepared in a special way
Food term: Yorkshire Puddings

and steak and kidney pudding.  In northern England, the traditional Sunday dinner includes roast, vegetables, potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding.

If you are truly craving an American pudding for desert, try this. Ask for a custard (egg-based), blancmange (starch based), or jelly (gelatin base). The names come from the type of base.

US and UK Breakfast terms

Breakfast in the UK is traditionally served between 7 – 9 AM.  You will find this still common in many hotels, inns or guesthouses.  While most British no longer have a “full English breakfast” regularly, you will find it in public lodging.

An English or Full English breakfast includes eggs, bacon, sausage, fried bread or toast, baked beans, tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms.  Some include black pudding, (meat, fat, and oats).  You will also find a selection of cereals and fruit or fruit juices available along with coffee or tea.

Food term Full English Breakfast was designed to last a worker all day
Full English Breakfast is a food term for a meal designed to last all day

While I saw breakfast puddings on almost every menu… most guests omitted them.

The good news is most hosts are happy to let you pick what you’d like on your plate. It’s a good way to keep control of your diet.

Like the traditional American Breakfast, Full English kept a worker fueled up.  If you want to maintain your weight on holiday, control your plate.

US and UK meal terms

In the US, lunch is traditionally the mid-day meal. Supper or dinner is the evening meal. Dinner is usually a little more formal and sometimes later. But both terms are interchanged.

Dinner is generally the largest meal of the day on both sides of the Atlantic.  Agricultural workers, commonly had dinner at noon They needed the bigger meal to last the day.  Sunday dinner is any time in the afternoon.

In the UK the mid-day meal is dinner.  Probably historically, this is based on the same reasons as in the US where the term is used.  If the dinner (noon) meal was light, people got hungry before a 7:30 evening meal.  The habit of having a bite to eat along with tea became common and afternoon tea got its name.  There are several varieties of tea.

Tea terms

If you visit any tea shop or bakery shop in the UK, you can enjoy a cup of tea along with perhaps soup, cakes or other pastries.

Cream tea has nothing to do with cream in the tea. It is afternoon tea

Food term Clotted cream and scone is creamy decadance
Food term: Clotted cream and scone

served with a freshly made scone, fresh fruit preserves, and clotted cream.  Clotted cream is nothing like the name sounds.  No lumps here.  Smooth, velvety richness. A cross between butter and ice cream. It uses whole milk like butter. The milk is cooked at a low proofing temperature until the cream sets. Not low calorie, but divine decadence.

  • High tea can be a more formal affair that offers tea, champagne, finger
Afternoon tea is one food term for tea with something to eat
Food term: Afternoon tea

sandwiches and bite size desserts. Avoid asking for high tea at 2 PM. It labels you as a tourist. Wait until 3 or be safe and check the menu for options.

Tea also refers to a lighter earlier evening meal served between 5 – 6:30 PM.  In the old days when the workers did not get afternoon breaks, they were starving by the time they got home. So they would have cheese, meat pies, scones and more.

They call a later evening meal at home supper. A more formal or dining out evening meal is dinner.

George and Dragon Inn 17th century coaching inn and great place to stay in the Yorkshire Dales

George and Dragon Inn

George and Dragon is a 17th Century coaching inn
George and Dragon Inn & Black Sheep Pub

The George and Dragon Inn is a 17th-century coaching inn located in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales National Park, UK.

After nearly a 24 hour  5000+ mile journey, it welcomed me for a much-needed rest. You never know what to expect when stepping inside a historic pub, but the George and Dragon is a fabulous find.

Visiting here is a visit of history. Narrow country roads make you slow down and enjoy the views. And the views are spectacular.

George and Dragon Inn, Aysgarth

Situated on the edge of quaint Aysgarth village, the George and Dragon

Rich dark woods dominate the pub at the George and Dragon Inn
Pub at George and Dragon Inn

has been greeting travelers for over 300 years.  Called a coaching inn, it was a place the carriages stopped to give weary travelers a break. Friendly, casual, welcoming.  When you step inside you step back in history. Rich dark woods, brass, vintage decor in a classic Dales pub style. Eclectic collections adorn the walls. Fun.  Step back in time and slow down.

Friendly, comfy, delightful

The manager and staff were excellent hosts. Upstairs, the generous queen

Your room at the George and Dragon Inn offers lovely views of the Yorkshire Dales.
View of the Dales from a room at George and Dragon Inn

bed was super comfy. The building may be old, but the amenities are modern. Complete with wi-fi. All rooms are en-suite!

The food in the Black Sheep Pub was delightful. From classics like fish and chips or meat pies to gourmet pub food, choices are diverse.  Don’t forget to try a local brew.

Guests are also treated to great breakfast options. Start with the cereal bar then pick your customized hot breakfast from a part or full English and more.

There is a car park on the hotel property.  If you are campers, there is a camping area nearby.  Hikers were stopping past the pub for a brew on their way back home.

It’s a central location for exploring the area.

Wensleydale cheese factory, Cover River

Bolton Castle is an easy drive from the George and Dragon Inn
Bolton Castle viewed from across the Dales

Bolton Castle, Aysgarth Falls.  Lots of spectacular scenery. Great hiking.  Shopping.  If the landscape looks familiar it’s been in the movies. Both Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and All Creatures Great and Small were set here.  Nearby, you can find the building that still bears the Harriott name.

Not sure what to see?  Just ask, they will be happy to make recommendations based on your interests.

Thanks much for a great visit!! We look forward to returning.  For the very best prices, contact the inn directly and ask about specials.  http://www.georgeanddragonaysgarth.co.uk/home

Explore the Yorkshire Dales enchanting in any season

 Yorkshire Dales

Rolling Yorkshire Dales offer a magical wellness escape
View across Yorkshire Dales

The locals call it “God’s country”. The Yorkshire Dales is unique and enchanting. Remove the cars, you’d swear you are transported back 150 years or more.

Life in stone cottages, Manor houses or castles. It’s a countryside as remote and secluded as it comes in England. The landscape is crisscrossed with stone fences that have stood for hundreds of years.

From the Vale of York to the top of the Pennines

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is in the ancient county of Yorkshire. The Dales stretch across the steep glacially rounded Pennines, that form the backbone of England. Sprawling across 680 square miles, the park was created in 1954 to conserve its beauty for the future.

Giant domes loom above green valleys and sparkling rivers. Soft peaks and sharp slopes. Dry stone walls, limestone scars, and lofty craigs. Lush pastures, heather moorlands. Among the mountains are dozens of interconnected valleys (dales). Their individual personalities blossom amidst the harmony of this National Park.

Lodging

Stone-built villages dot the landscape.  No hotel chains here. Building

Yorkshire dales fields are crisscrossed with stone fences and farms
Yorkshire Dales is dotted with stone farms

codes are enforced to maintain the history.Inns, small hotels and bed and breakfasts are the norm. There are also places to camp or park caravans (recreational vehicles).

Inns, small hotels and Bed and Breakfast homes are the norm. There are also places to camp or park caravans (recreational vehicles).

Your inn may be from the 17th, 18th or 19th century,  but you will find all the modern facilities within.  While there are some exceptions, most rooms are en-suite. Do expect steep stairs and sometimes a low ceiling.

Friendliness abounds. A warm greeting and a fabulous stay. Most properties include full breakfast. Inns and hotels also serve meals throughout the day.

Explore the Yorkshire Dales

Roads are narrow, the pace is slower. Whether you chose to drive, walk or

Bolton Castle is an easy drive from the George and Dragon Inn
Bolton Castle viewed from across the Dales

cycle there are paths for you.  Be aware this is farming country. Watch for agricultural vehicles – and animals. This is where they live and work.

For hikers and cyclists, you have lots of choices.  Choose a day trip from your inn. Or elect to follow one of the circular tours.  These tours will take you from one inn to the next. There you will find a comfortable bed and good hot foot to welcome you at the end of the day.

Whether you choose a leisurely meander or something more challenging options abound. Books and maps will help you pick your route. Check the tourist information sites if you want to plan in advance. The Three Peaks tour is popular with the more adventurous.

Stone bridges cross every stream or river.  They were designed for horse-drawn carriages. Approach these with courtesy as they handle one car or truck at a time. In other parts of the world, they might have replaced and modernized to meet the demands of the auto.  The Dales is about protecting and history.  Enjoy, photograph, savor.

So what’s to see beyond the spectacular landscape? Rushing rivers, waterfalls, stone walls crisscross every field, sheep, hay, cattle. Visit castles, gardens, museums and stately homes. Wensleydale Cheese Factory, artisan candle makers, brewery tours, shops of all manner.

Small friendly places where the locals go.  Lots of great tea rooms, pubs, and foods of all sorts.  Don’t miss a farmer’s market where the locals go to visit, buy and sell. How about a ride on one of the railway routes that connect the many towns?  Choices are many, scenic and nostalgic including steam powered trains.

Enjoy Yorkshire Dales History

This is James Herriot Country. Herriot is the world’s most famous vet.  He brought the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the lives of the locals to life for readers all over the world. Although he created a fictitious setting, the places where he lived and worked are strongly featured. For a feel of his home visit Hawes, Richmond, Leyburn, Middleham, Swaledale, and Wensleydale. This is the area the BBC used for the filming of the popular TV series “All Creatures Great and Small.”

If you are a classical novels buff the place may feel familiar. Charlotte Bronte lived and worked here. Charlotte’s childhood and experiences as a governess were her inspiration. Moors, manors, highlands. Jane Eyre and many other works live in the Yorkshire Dales.

Regardless of the season, the place is pure magic.  Choose to see it during peak summer season or visit in the winter when you feel you have it to yourself.  Want a cozy getaway spot? Try Middleham.  A castle in your backyard, pubs across the square. Choose an inn or a private “to let.” Every morning the race horses clop their way up the cobblestone market square and up onto the hills for their workout.

Plan ahead for the summer as the locals flock to the area for holiday. Some of the attractions don’t run year around so it’s good to investigate. Regardless of when you go, you will be greeted warmly and served great hot food often near a cozy fireplace.  Locals think it is the best place for great beer.

Restore Yourself on Amorgos a Magical Greek Island

Restore Yourself on Amorgos – a Magical Greek Island

Experience stillness and harmony amid the mind-blowing scenery of the

Restore yourself at the Gem of the Aegean, on the island of Amorogos
Restore yourself at Aegialis hotel and spa Amorgos

Aegean.  Welcome to the Greek Islands.  On Amorgos, you’ll find a welcoming Five-Star Resort. Aegialis Hotel and Spa encompasses all of the hospitality Greece is known for. Here they focuses on wellness, nature and personal restoration.

The islands are connected to mainland Greece by a ferry system.  A leisurely cruise allows you to enjoy views of the islands, dinner and a glorious sunset. Only a few minutes ride from the ferry dock you will be warmly welcomed by Aegialis staff.  

You will awaken to a stunning view of the Aegean sea and islands beyond. Honeymooners, couples, and families all rank Aegialis a place to enjoy and come again.

Time to relax and restore…

Aegialis on Amorgos is an exquisite place to restor
Enjoy sunset at Aegialis a place to restore

Relax on your balcony or by the pool. Pause and take inspiration from the hypnotic blue waters. Let them lull you to tranquility.

Hike, enjoy the vistas, the quaint towns. Make the climb to the monastery. Take a donkey ride, enjoy yoga classes. You may find one of the owners teaching cooking classes. Go for a swim, sail,  snorkel, or scuba.

Learn about the unique ecosystem and the plants that survive on dew. Take the botanical tour to learn about Amorgian herbs known for their quality and medicinal properties.

Ask your hosts about special adventures, extended off-season stays or personal wellness options. Join the locals for their weekly musical gathering in the classical Greek style. Learn a dance, enjoy the music.

For centuries Amorgos has been known for its healing and transformative energy.  Visit the monastery be sure for a glimpse into the life of the past. While there, ask to see the place of the ancient waters.

Dining

Ambrosia restaurant offers choices.  Comfortable inside dining or an outside terrace with vistas of the sea be a backdrop for your dining experience. They will delight your palate with delicious traditional Amorgian dishes as well as International ones.

Fresh and locally sourced ingredients abound. The chef specializes in traditional Greek foods. He incorporates recipes from owner’s grandparents. In 2016 Alpha Guide listed them as one of the best restaurants in Greece.

Spa

Lalon Idor Spa takes its’ name from the story of the ancient water oracle dedicated to god Apollo. Here visitors came seeking clarity and answers in prophetic water readings.  

Today you will find peace of mind in a nurturing and peaceful atmosphere. Tranquility and well-being are easy to attain.

Let their therapists work their magic.  Their nurturing hands will guide you to a state of stillness and rest. Let the voice of the sea soothe your mind away from your daily routine.

The treatment menu offers a generous selection of Spa Journies. They combine Eastern and Western healing arts with classical spa treatments. They will invigorate you and help you unwind. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and restored.

Go, play, restore

Choose active or quiet, adventure or pampered. The sheer beauty and magic of this place is balm to your soul.  Go, play, restore.

Aegialis Hotel and Spa is waiting for you.  Contact them directly for the very best rates. Want to save?  Ask about off-season specials.  http://amorgos-aegialis.com/

Useful Tidbits you may not know about Scotland

Tidbits About Scotland…..

Want to visit the land of your heritage? Just love Scotland? Here are some

Eileen Donan Castle is one of the most photographed in Scotland
Eileen Donan Castle

tidbits you might enjoy.

Scottish History

The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae is the oldest in Britain. It’s the oldest building, located on Orkney Island dates to 3100 BC. Orkney is one of about 790 islands in Scotland located to the far north of the country.

Roman invasions marked the beginning of modern history. Unable to defeat the locals, they finally withdrew and settled for building the Antoine wall to keep them in out of England.

The Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded in the 6th Century. In the next century, an Irish missionary founded a monastery and introduced Celtic Christianity to the pagan Scoti and Picts.

Places to visit in Scotland

Like tall places? Visit Ben Nevis, the highest point at 4406 feet. The ancient Scottish mountains have been glacially sculpted. You’ll feel like you are in an alien landscape, majestic and stark.

Narrow road leading to ferry landing to take you from Skye to the mainland
Narrow Scottish road on the Isle of Skye looking to the mainland

Prefer fishing? You’ll find more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes. The deepest is Loch Morar at 1077 feet. Legends still exist of giant sea monsters lurking in the deep lochs.

Don’t miss the distilleries making Scottish whisky. Whisky is synonymous with Scotland. It’s who they are. Currently, there are 98 active distilleries. They employ over 10,000 people and account for 85% of the Scottish food and beverage exports.
Did you know? Scotland didn’t invent whisky. It was invented in China. The Irish monks started distilling it in the 1400s and it reached Scotland about 100 years later.

Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe. You can discover the twisted yew in Fortingall where it has grown for 3000 years.

Over 2000 castles were built in Scotland. Many now are only historical documents or ruins. Others remain in private ownership. Historic Scotland cares for over 300 properties including 65 castles. These are open to the public.  Be sure to take a raincoat or umbrella as it rains frequently in Scotland.

Be sure to take a raincoat or umbrella when touring here as it rains frequently.

Where to live

Most of Scotland’s 5.2 million people live in the lower 30% of the country. They account for 8.5% of the total UK population.

What’s in the upper 70%? Glacially sculpted mountains and valleys, hardy farmers, lots of heather and sheep.

Did you know?

Keep meeting Americans with Scottish ancestry? Not surprising. There are as many Scottish people in America as in Scotland with about 5 million claiming Scottish ancestry.

You’ll hear not one but three official languages spoken. English, Scottish and Scottish Gaelic.

Kilts, tartans, and bagpipes are an integral part of Scottish culture. But history notes evidence of them in Central Europe dating to the Bronze Age. Bagpipes may have come from ancient central Asia.