3 of the Greatest Summer Escapes

Some say that where there’s a will there’s a way. However, we say that where there’s a rubbish summer in dear old Blighty, it’s time to jet off to better climes.

Indeed, the great British summer is likely to be filled with more rain than the monsoon season in the Amazon rain forest. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few escapes from dreary weather. You’ll probably have heard of these grand locations before, but you certainly won’t realise the breadth of scope available to you in each. That’s why we went exploring them (a cross we had to bear for you, of course). We dropped off our cars at the Stansted meet and greet, hit the purgatorial departure lounges and flew off to some cracking locations.

Here’s what we found.

Sydney

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

A few shrimps on the barby, Skippy bouncing past a koala and more warm cans of Foster’s lager than a brewery – even in its most clichéd form, can you think of a sunnier wonderland than Sydney, Australia?

Yet, even the less obvious cultural locations in this sprawling Australian city are well worth a visit.  For a pure immersion of culture, visit the Art Gallery of NSW, a varied gallery contained in a building with lovingly detailed Greek architecture. Inside, you’ll find a huge repository of original Australian art, as well as probably the most comprehensive collection of Aboriginal art in existence.

If you’re only searching for a place to lounge in the sun, the Royal Botanic Garden is the perfect picnicking location in the entire city. So, sit back, enjoy a sandwich and soak up some Aussie rays.

Amsterdam

One of Amsterdam's 17th century canals

One of Amsterdam’s 17th century canals

Lilting canal routes, labyrinthine streets and the claustrophobic beauty of Dutch architecture are the hallmarks of Amsterdam. Moreover, it’s where the vices of drugs and prostitution flaunt themselves freely and legally.

Although the Red Light District might be a notorious spot for grubby mac-wearers everywhere, there’s a whole lot more to do in the capital of the Netherlands. For a start, the Van Gogh Museum offers an impressive collection of the pioneering painter’s works, including his world-famous interpretation of sunflowers.

When all you want to do is kick back and relax, why not hop on a canal boat and take a tour of the wonderful sights and sounds that make Amsterdam such a tourist hotspot?

Rome

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Centurions, chariots and psychotic rulers – if Rome were trapped in its classical period, it would still be a fascinating city to visit.

Indeed, it’s a city of beautiful wrecks, with grandiose, rundown landmarks. The Colosseum alone attracts millions of visitors every year. Beyond the magisterially craggy architecture, Rome offers cuisine that makes your mouth water. Head down almost any side street, and you’ll find freshly cooked pasta covered in zinging sauces.

One of the finest eateries in the city is Armando al Pantheon, one block away from the Pantheon. Here you’ll find Italian recipes made with all the love of home cooking. The menu might sound basic, but it’s bursting with more flavour than most other chefs can offer.

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