How to travel without flying

How to travel without flying
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Having a wonderful holiday doesn't necessarily mean boarding a plane - here's our round-up of the best ways to travel without flying.

At home

Get a taste of Europe – right on your doorstep

Beautiful beaches

We can’t guarantee the weather will be comparable to Europe, but the beaches of Tenby in Pembrokeshire are truly second-to-none. Leave behind the hustle and bustle with a break in the historic town, wandering the sandy shoreline or taking a horse-drawn carriage ride. 

You can even experience an island escape – take a boat to neighbouring Caldey, Ramsey and Skomer. Stay at Trefloyne Manor to enjoy an 18-hole golf course too.

Cosy cabins

Have an alpine experience by snuggling up in a wooden cabin in one of the UK’s prettiest forests. The cabins, some of which sleep up to 10 people, are the perfect way to get back to nature (without having to put up a tent!) – just open the balcony doors and look out over the woods. For extra decadence you can book in-room spa treatments and extra activities, including cycling, horse riding, rambles with forest rangers and canoeing. Some cabins come with their own private hot tubs too, which is an ideal way to unwind.

Unspoilt skies

Leave the earth - in mind if not in body - with a visit to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory in Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, Ayr. Nestled on a rugged hillside, you can view the universe through two large telescopes or listen to various special guest speakers. 

The park itself is well worth a wander, with its glens, lochs and the highest hills in southern Scotland. 

The lack of light pollution means you’ll be able to see thousands of stars with the naked eye, or possibly the rings of Saturn with just binoculars.

Abroad

Two-wheeled adventure

While trains, cars and coaches are all perfectly pleasant ways of reaching France, the truly adventurous should seize life by the handlebars, with an amazing London to Paris bike ride! Discover Adventure offers 5-day trips, complete with scenic routes through the Kent countryside, ferry crossing, and a winding voyage through the villages of Northern France, staying in hotels along the way. 

The trip will then culminate near the Eiffel Tower, and you’ll have a day to celebrate in Paris before taking the Eurostar back to London. While you need to be relatively fit (able to cover 56-76 miles per day) it’s at a relaxed pace.

  • Keep an eye on the website for future trips or alternative bike adventures. Trip costs £874 including accommodation, transport and most meals, plus support along the way. Call 01722 718444 or visit www.discoveradventure.com

All aboard!

Explore historic Holland without the airports, with a railway adventure. Starting in St Pancras, you’ll take the Eurostar to Brussels and change trains to reach Rotterdam. Picturesque Delft, famed for its pottery, is a short coach ride away, and you’ll get to enjoy a guided tour of its porcelain factory. 

Visit the Vermeer Museum, admire the tulips of the Keukenhof Gardens and take a steam train to Hoorn, all before an excursion to Amsterdam. You’ll have plenty of time to wander the canals, pop into the many galleries and museums and partake in a spot of shopping, before you begin the return journey.

  • 6 days from £735 per person, some meals included. Various dates available from March 2017. Call 01904 521 936 or visit www.greatrail.com

Skipping the departure lounge doesn’t mean missing out on warm weather – a rail tour to St Tropez, Nice and Monte Carlo means you’ll feel the sun on your shoulders over a blissful eight days. 

Starting from the Eurostar and continuing on the TGV, you’ll visit various the most glamorous spots on the Cote d’Azur – keep your eyes peeled for film stars - and the quaint cobbled village of St Paul De Vence. 

Messing about on boats

Set sail on a Nordic adventure on the good ship Britannia! Starting in Southampton you’ll journey to the former Viking colony Stavanger, before travelling the picturesque Flaam, and Sognefjord – the longest navigable fjord in the world. 

Sail past Norway’s snowy mountains, tumbling waterfalls and fairytale forests – you’ll forget your troubles in an instant.

  • Seven nights, full board start from £699 per person. Departs April 30 2017. Call 0843 374 0111 or visit www.pocruises.com