Discover Whitby in the United Kingdom this year

Whitby in the United Kingdom is home to this abandoned abbey

Photo by CC user Bay Photographic on Flickr

Although it doesn’t come up conversation much, Whitby is a town that often catches visitors to the United Kingdom by surprise. With its charm and amazing sights, it makes for a great base for those looking to explore the northern portions of England.

After looking into some beautiful hotels around Whitby and booking one of them, check out the paragraphs below for some ideas of what you can do while in this corner of Yorkshire during your upcoming trip to the UK this year.

Explore the James Cook Museum

One of the world’s most famed explorers, James Cook, was born and raised in the Whitby area. As such, there is a museum in town dedicated to the life and times of this sea captain, who contributed a great deal of knowledge about the South Pacific to the public record.

During his voyages, he established the first contact with the peoples of many Polynesian islands, New Zealand and the east coast of Australia.

In the museum honouring him, you will find many letters that he wrote, his maps, and model ships that he commanded during his celebrated career as an explorer.

Walk through the ruins of the Whitby Abbey

History buffs will also want to make their way out to the remains of the Whitby Abbey. Abandoned since Henry VIII dissolved monasteries in 1540 and left to the ravages of the elements, it has since fallen under the care of English Heritage, which has preserved what remained of what used to be a grand church.

A particularly haunting place to be close to sunset, those that head up here during golden/blue hour will be sure to get some truly remarkable photos of the arches and facades that have stood tall against the forces of nature and man (it got shelled by accident in World War I by the Germans) for centuries.

Stroll along Sandsend Beach

If you need to clear your head during your time in Whitby, nothing will get the job done quite like taking a leisurely stroll along the length of Sandsend Beach.

Framed by rocky headlands at either end, there are numerous opportunities for avid photographers to snap some amazing photos.

If you’d rather get involved in something a bit more active while here, you’ll be happy to learn that the swells here get high enough for surfing to be a viable activity throughout much of the year.

Climb the 199 Steps

Finally, those looking for a panoramic view of the town of Whitby will want to climb the vaunted 199 Steps.

Famous along with the ruins of Whitby Abbey ruins for helping to inspire Bram Stoker to write his famous novel Dracula, it is a tradition that you count each of the steps on the way up to ensure that there are exactly 199.

Errors aside, there is a controversy on whether there is actually 199 or 200, as it depends on whether you count the bottom step or not. Either way, there are great shots to be had from the top, so make sure you capture them before moving on to other destinations in the UK.

Inspiring cruises that you should take in 2017

Itineraries that include the Faroe Islands are part of the cruises that you should take in 2017

Photo by CC user Erik Christensen on Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to relaxation, no travel provider gets it right as often as cruise lines. Built to take much of the guesswork out of travel while allowing its passengers to kick back and unwind, signing up for one in 2017 could prove to be a great reward for a job well done in your career, or to mark a special occasion in your life.

So, if you are looking to go on an amazing world cruise or on one in a specific part of the globe, check out the suggestions that we have for you below.

1) Faroe Islands/Iceland/Greenland

If visiting chilly landscapes is something that intrigues you, then taking a cruise route that will take you through the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland will provide you with plenty of amazing destinations to visit.

Discovered and populated over the years by descendants of the Vikings, the inhabitants of these three islands will charm you with their hospitality.

Equally captivating is their desolate but beautiful landscapes, as they have plenty of waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanoes that will provide plenty of photo opportunities.

Don’t miss the chance to visit hot springs like the Blue Lagoon when in Iceland, as their steamy waters will allow you to relax after the high volume of attractions that you will visit during the course of this cruise.

2) Eastern Canada

With our Canadian cousins celebrating their 150th year of nationhood, there is no better time to discover some of its cities and attractions than now.

There are cruises departing from the British Isles that call on cities such as St. John’s (considered by many to be the oldest city in North America), Halifax (home to the greatest concentration of drinking establishments in Canada), Charlottetown (the city where Canada was born), and Montreal (the largest French-speaking city in the world outside France).

From charming multi-coloured houses in St. John’s, to the presence of an 18th century citadel in the middle of Halifax, there is plenty of history and culture to be witnessed in this part of the country, making it a great cruise for those concerned with these topics.

3) Caribbean/Brazilian Amazon/Azores

If you are looking for a cruise itinerary that includes warmer destinations, then signing up for one that takes you through the islands of the Caribbean, into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, and a stop in the Azores on the way home should be considered.

The gorgeous vistas of Saint Lucia (The Pitons), the decadent beaches of Barbados, the intense flora and fauna of the Amazon, and the temperate paradise of the mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago will all be on the schedule during this 42-night odyssey.

If you are looking for adventure you’ll never forget, start setting aside money for this sailing.

4) Around the world epic adventure

Want to tick off a huge bucket list item? Consider going on an around the world cruise. While these journeys take 121 nights (quite a bit longer than going around the world in 80 days), and cost in excess of $13,000 per person at a minimum, pulling together the money and time to make this trip happen will give you and any travel partners memories that will last a lifetime.

Visiting places such as the Caribbean, Colombia, French Polynesia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean will give you tonnes of different experiences, so if you can pull it off, what are you waiting for?

The essential Vietnam itinerary: what you shouldn’t miss in this captivating country

The essential Vietnam itinerary includes Ha Long Bay

Photo by CC user Disdero on Wikimedia Commons

Finally planning that trip to the Far East, just like you said you would one day? If you are having a hard time picking a specific country, we suggest going with Vietnam.

Full of culture, natural wonders, and a fascinating but tragic history, booking a holiday of a lifetime to Vietnam will create memories that you will treasure for the rest of your days.

Wondering what you should see during your time there? This post will highlight three spots you shouldn’t miss if you can help it.

1) Saigon

Start your grand tour of Vietnam in Saigon. Known officially as Ho Chi Minh City, this country’s most populous city has a number of attractions worth your time.

Start with the Reunification Palace, where the president of South Vietnam resided until the North crashed through its gates with a tank in 1975, officially ending the Vietnam War.

Largely kept as it was back in the 70’s, this building offers a glimpse into how the elites of South Vietnam lived back then.

The War Remnants Museum offers a more sobering look into the realities of the Vietnam conflict, as displays show how it impacted everyday civilians and the environment.

There is also an assortment of military hardware on display inside the building and out, from machine guns and mines to planes and tanks.

Before departing Saigon, be sure to go on a day trip into the Mekong Delta, where you’ll get a chance to see how rural Vietnamese carry on their day-to-day lives in a place where there is more water than dry land.

2) Hoi An

Located in the central portions of the country, Hoi An is a city whose preserved architecture and artistically-talented citizens have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

The centre of the Cham Kingdom for almost 2,000 years, its role as a trading port has kept it relevant to this day, as tailors here still engage in the art of crafting amazing clothing in accordance with the wishes of their customers.

The best time to experience this town is after dark, which is when its multi-coloured paper lanterns create an atmosphere that you won’t soon forget.

Those looking to get in a day at the beach will also want to take advantage of its underrated frontage on the South China Sea, as it goes largely unnoticed by tourists that are (rightly) obsessed with the aforementioned attractions.

3) Ha Long Bay

In the north, many visitors are often split on whether to go to Sapa or Ha Long Bay. While both have their charms, we recommend the latter if you are pressed for time.

Held up by many in Vietnam as a wonder of the world, the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay are spellbinding when first encountered by those that approach them.

While in Hanoi, book a cruise that will give you at least a couple of days out there, as the natural beauty of this spot will make it hard to leave after just one day.