The Armchair Traveller: How to explore the world from home

The Armchair Traveller: Seeing great cities through the eyes of a blind man and discovering the Amalfi coast with Pierce Brosnan – how to explore the world from home

  • BBC’s Peter White charts his travels in the podcast Blind Man Roams The Globe 
  • The movie Love Is All You Need is set in both Copenhagen and the Amalfi Coast 
  • A webcam live streams footage of Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful  

Prepare to be swept around the world on a tide of pure joy in a series of glorious, half-hour podcasts from BBC reporter Peter White. 

Blind since birth, 73-year-old White’s travelogues have him walking the streets of great cities including San Francisco, Washington DC, Budapest and Marrakesh.

Along the way White chats to bus drivers, barmaids and barbers, bringing cities to life through casual conversations with their quirkiest residents. Join the laughter and share White’s infectious enthusiasm in Blind Man Roams The Globe on the BBC Sounds app and other podcast sites.

Fun in the sun: Pierce Brosnan, who stars in the offbeat romcom Love Is All You Need. The movie is set on the Amalfi coast 

Actor Sam Devereaux also takes us round the world as he plays flying doctor Ben MacFarlane and narrates the medical memoir Holiday SOS: Lifesaving Adventures Of A Travelling Doctor. The newly released audiobook follows the young doctor as he tries to save lives in holiday hotspots from Morocco to Monte Carlo and from Cairo to the Canary Islands.

A different medical drama awaits Pierce Brosnan in an otherwise very sunny film: Love Is All You Need. The offbeat romcom from 2016 starts in achingly cool Copenhagen but is mostly set in a picture-perfect Italian farmhouse near Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.

The plot centres on a wedding (just as in Brosnan’s Mamma Mia! outing) so there’s plenty of dancing in ancient town squares, romantic walks through lemon groves and riotous family dinners under the stars.

Closer to home, our own beautiful National Trust properties may be closed for now, but you can get a flavour of them in the fabulously funny National Trust Book Of Scones, by Sarah Clelland.

In hardback or e-book, it promises ‘50 delicious recipes with odd crumbs of history’ as Clelland taste-tests afternoon teas in Trust cafes and reveals the best recipes.

Rudyard Kipling is mostly associated with his birthplace of India, but he travelled the world and spent time in America in 1889 on his way from Rangoon to London. He wrote that a highlight of the trip was seeing Old Faithful erupt in the newly created Yellowstone National Park.

A livestream webcam allows people to watch eruptions from the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park from anywhere

These days, the Livestream Webcam at (search Yellowstone Webcam) lets us see Old Faithful’s eruptions from anywhere – there are normally about a dozen a day. Click on other webcams on the site and you may see elk, bison or other animals strolling by.

If you want to relive your travels at home, make some space for the poster-sized Scratch The World Map Print from 

Every country on the map is covered in golden paint and you use a coin to scratch off the places you’ve visited. The £17.95 map is made in Britain and looks fantastic in a frame.

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Nasa holds contest to find the best picture of Earth taken from space

Which is YOUR favourite? Nasa is running an out-of-this-world knock-out photography competition – featuring amazing pictures of Earth taken from space

  • The contest, which has been set up by Nasa’s Earth Observatory, is called Tournament Earth 
  • A total of 32 pictures were chosen to be entered into the knock-out style photography competition
  • Photos date back to 1968 and show volcanic eruptions, fierce hurricanes and the dazzling Southern Lights 

The competition is fierce in this public-vote photography contest – because all the entries are out of this world.

Nasa’s Earth Observatory has opened up an archive of pictures of Earth taken from space and is asking the public to vote for the winner in a knock-out-style competition.

The contest is called Tournament Earth and has been set up to mark the 20th anniversary of the Earth Observatory, as well as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

An initial set of 32 incredible images were chosen for the contest and the first round of voting has already taken place. Voting in the second round is currently underway with the polls closing on April 6 (Monday).

The photos date back to 1968 and show volcanic eruptions, fierce hurricanes, the sparkling lights of Paris and the spell-binding Southern Lights. 

Scroll down to see a selection of the photos that Nasa put up for a public reckoning. 

A Nasa camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory captured this unique view of the moon as it passed between the spacecraft and Earth in August 2015

This awe-inspiring image was captured by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station in December 2013. It shows the eruption of the Klyuchevskoy volcano – one of a chain of volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula

This shot, captured in February 2012, shows the site of an underwater volcanic eruption near the fishing village of La Restinga on El Hierro in the Canary Islands. The scene was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite

Captured in January 2001, this satellite image shows sand and seaweed beds in the Bahamas, which have been sculpted by tides and currents

This satellite image taken in July 2013 shows a remarkable series of ridges that dominate the landscape in the Tien Shan mountains in northwestern Xinjiang province, China. The highest mountain is 3,900ft

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An astronaut on the International Space Station snapped this image showing flashes of lightning above Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in December 2013. Nasa says that across the atmosphere of Earth, lightning flashes about 50 times per second

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the on Landsat 8 satellite captured this mesmerising image of what appears to be a swirl of marine bacteria in the Baltic Sea in August 2015

A jaw-dropping image of planet Earth’s Western Hemisphere, which was created using a composite of several pictures captured by satellites between 1994 and 2004

In July 2012, an infra-red camera on the Suomi NPP satellite snapped this view of the Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, across Antarctica’s Queen Maud Land and the Princess Ragnhild Coast

This image dates back to September 1977 and shows the Earth from directly above Mount Everest. It was taken by the Voyager 1 space probe, which was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida the same month

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this spectacular aerial image of Paris in April 2015, around midnight local time. Street lights mark out the road grid system and the River Seine can be seen snaking around the city

This incredible black-and-white photo taken by the crew of Apollo 8 shows a view of the Earth from the moon on Christmas Eve 1968

Taken by the Deep Space Climate Observatory in March 2016, this fascinating image was one of a series taken during a solar eclipse

This image, which was captured in 2016, has had all natural light removed from it so that Nasa scientists can chart the pattern of human settlement across the planet

Astronauts on the International Space Station shot this dramatic image of the Southern Lights while passing over the Indian Ocean in September 2011

A view above the Glen Canyon, which covers Utah and Arizona, in 2016. An astronaut onboard the International Space Station took a series of images of it to create this mosaic

This fascinating image shows the abrupt transition of sand dunes giving way to land in Africa’s Namib Desert. It was taken in November 2019 by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite 

In September 2014, the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this dramatic image of an eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland

This image, created in 2012 using sensors, shows vegetation growing across the arid Wadi As-Sirhan Basin in Saudi Arabia. The green dots indicate new vegetation while the dry fields are rust-coloured

This image, taken in June 2016, shows the New Siberian Islands, which are bisected by the Sannikov Strait in Siberia. The picture was captured by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite and shows the seawater melting as summer approaches

Taken in July 2014, this false colour image, which was taken by the Operational Land Imager on a satellite, shows the retreat of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska

The North Caspian Sea is pictured in this image from April 2016. Scientists believe that the crisscrossing lines may have been created by trawlers

Taken in February, this satellite image shows the view across the melting ice cap of Eagle Island in Antarctica, when the region was experiencing record-breaking temperatures of 18 degrees 

Dissolved organic matter from the forest and wetlands can be seen flowing into Rupert Bay in Quebec, Canada, in this image taken by a satellite in July 2016

An astronaut on the International Space Station snapped this image of the Atafu Atoll in the South Pacific in January 2009

The so-called ‘Meeting of the Waters’ in Brazil can be seen in this aerial image captured by a satellite in June 2012. It shows the confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões

This satellite image from November 2019 shows the Andaman Sea near Burma and its internal waves, which are caused by tides, currents, gravity, and Earth’s rotation

This incredible image taken by Nasa’s Terra satellite shows Hurricane Florence 400 miles off the coast of North Carolina in September 2018. The hurricane brought with it winds of up to 125 miles per hour 

This image, captured on the morning of June 22, 2019, shows a rare eruption of the Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The picture was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station 

This model image, created using data from sensors, shows the tiny particles that were floating around the Earth’s atmosphere on August 23, 2018. Causes of these particles included tropical cyclones, dust storms, and fires

Taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, this image shows what tropical cyclone Bansi looked like from space in January 2015. The photo was taken when the ISS was east of Madagascar

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The Japanese competition that sees gardens built on mini TRUCKS

The bizarre competition in Japan that sees exquisite mini gardens built on the back of TRUCKS

  • The annual  Kei Truck Garden Contest sees landscaping taken to the next level
  • Competition entrants only have hours to transform their trucks into gardens
  • Judges mark entrants on planning, design, expression and execution

In Japan they’ve twigged that one of the country’s most popular type of truck makes for a handy canvas – for creating exquisite gardens.

Every year green-fingered landscaping fanatics take part in the Kei Truck Garden Contest, which sees them design and build gardens on the back of ‘keitora’ vehicles (mini utility vehicles) in just a few hours. 

And as these images show from recent competitions, the standards are exceptionally high.

Competition entrants only get a few hours to design and build their gardens 

Gardeners are given free rein to push the boat out and create something original and creative

Japanese gardens are known for their distinctive features and touches.

And the annual competition sees the entrants go for broke, with some fabulous designs that encompass everything we associate with pretty Japanese gardens.

From tiny paths to delicate water features (even aquariums) and from miniature huts to rock formations and wooden benches, these mini-marvels show shovel-loads of imagination and creativity. 

The backs of these utility vehicles have never looked so beautiful 

Competitors use a whole array of features to make sure their garden stands out from the crowd

After the entrants finish their frantic few hours of designing and assembling, it’s time for the judges to cast their eyes and dig out a winner.

Judging criteria include planning, design, expression and execution, according to

The competition is run by the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors. 

It’s not certain yet whether the coronavirus crisis will lead to 2020’s contest being cancelled. 

Do you dig it? Even outlandish features like aquariums are added

Japanese gardens are known around the world for their zen-like qualities 

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Four passengers die on the Zaandam

Holland America said that four “older” passengers have died
on the Zaandam, as the ship continues sailing to Fort Lauderdale. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are
doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time,” Holland
America said in a statement.

A two-week South American cruise that departed Argentina on
March 7 has turned into an ordeal, with ill passengers aboard and South
American ports refusing to let the Zaandam dock.

On Thursday, several patients with respiratory symptoms were
tested for Covid-19 after the tests were delivered by another ship, the
Rotterdam. Two of them tested positive. 

The Zaandam is now off the coast of Panama, transferring
healthy guests to the Rotterdam. Health screenings are being conducted before guests
are transferred, and priority is being given to passengers in inside cabins and
guests over age 70. Once aboard Rotterdam, all
guests are to stay in their staterooms until disembarkation. 

Holland America says 53 guests and 85 crew members have
reported to the Zaandam’s medical center with influenza-like symptoms. The
Zaandam has 1,243 guests and 586 crew members onboard. 

The Zaandam rendezvoused with the Rotterdam at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday. Panamanian officials gave them permission to transfer medical
supplies and medical staff. 

On March 22, when several guests reported to the medical
center with flu-like symptoms, all guests were quarantined to their staterooms.
On Thursday, all guests and crew members were given face masks. 

No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas,

Other ports in Chile and Peru did not allow the ship to
disembark, though the ship was able to refuel in Valparaiso, Chile, and pick up

The ship is trying to get approval from Panamanian
authorities to transit the Panama Canal for a sailing to Fort Lauderdale. The ship is due to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, but does not have permission to disembark.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, there are 305 American aboard the Zaandam. 

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PODCAST: The Value of Travel Agents on Full Display

The TravelPulse Podcast is back with the first-ever quarantined episode.

Hosts Eric Bowman and Dan Callahan are practicing their social distancing and are recording from home this week.

Last week the two did not record as Dan was on his honeymoon in paradise. Listen in to see why he and his new wife made the choice to continue on with their honeymoon vacation in the midst of a global pandemic.

The focal point of today’s episode is all about showing the value that travel agents and advisors bring to travelers, with perfect examples showcasing how they saved the day for the clients.

Be sure to subscribe to the TravelPulse Podcast at Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify and Stitcher.

Have any feedback or questions? Be sure to contact us at [email protected]

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The best UK farms to stay at during the joyous lambing season

Family breaks that come woolly loaded: The best farms to stay on during the joyous lambing season

  • Here is how to enjoy one of the most joyous parts of the farming year
  • Visit places such as Mudchute Park in London to see newborn lambs in the fields
  • Stay Lambing Live, in Cumbria, is a popular place to stay in lambing season 

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week, he looks at visits to family-friendly farms.

Spring is finally in the air and this year’s main lambing season is set to coincide with the school Easter holidays. Soon, flocks of photogenic gambolling lambs will be seen across the country. Here is how to enjoy one of the most joyous parts of the farming year.

Lambtastic cottages

Adorable: Children and lambs enjoy feeding time (stock image)

Farm stays can be magical in lambing season and are often booked a year in advance. You can stay in a cottage, converted barn or farmhouse – and hardier souls may consider a springtime stay in a yurt or on a glamping site as well.

The most popular places to book include the Cumbrian cottage that hosted presenters Kate Humble and Adam Henson for the BBC’s Lambing Live in 2011 – a three-bed property called Stay Lambing Live. Four-night midweek breaks start at £845 in lambing season.

In Cornwall, the lambing shed opens its doors to guests staying at The Olde House cottages on the 550-acre Penpont Farm.

Other well-recommended farm stays include Hare Farm in Sussex, Millmoor Farm in Cheshire and Hicks Farm in Powys. The BBC’s Countryfile magazine has a guide to the best farm stays in the different seasons.

Cuddles and feeds

Day trips to National Trust sites, where most gardens are still open, are another way to see lambs up close. Last spring the 13,000-acre country estate at Wallington in Northumberland even offered Lambing Shed Live events, where visitors took a tractor ride before helping cuddle and feed the babies. 

The estate also offered Lambing Apprentice days, with a full shift volunteering in the lambing shed to get a feel for life as a farmer. Down in Devon, there are plenty of lambs gambolling around the Trust’s elegant Arlington Court estate on the edge of Exmoor, and free talks by farmers planned for April evenings will hopefully be rescheduled for later in the year. Details will be on the National Trust website.

Country in the city

Visit places such as Mudchute Park, above, in London to see newborn lambs in the fields 

City farms can share the magic for those who can’t manage to get out to the countryside. The newly reopened Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is one of many urban farm projects to offer a little taste of the country. London has nearly a dozen city farms, including Mudchute Park, across the River Thames from the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Owners say a lack of funds for promotion and advertising means many locals have no idea what’s on their doorstep. Visit places such as Mudchute and you can have the extraordinary experience of seeing newborn lambs in the fields, even as you walk down neighbouring city streets. You can buy locally produced wool and fleece from the flock on the farm’s online shop. 

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Cancun Closes Bars, Clubs, Theaters and Casinos

Officials in Cancun, Mexico have ordered the temporary closure of all bars, clubs, movie theaters and casinos in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to The Riviera Maya Times, Cancun mayor Mara Lezama Espinosa said that some essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals will remain open but are being asked to keep customers and patients at least a meter-and-a-half (about five feet) apart.

“We cannot allow the virus to spread, we must put up barriers, which is why we are working with all sectors, hoteliers, restaurateurs, shopping malls, street vendors. We have to act based on a strategy and in an orderly manner,” said Lezama Espinosa.

“Everyone agrees we need to take whatever actions need to be taken. You have to establish social isolation and there are businesses that will have to close,” she added. “It is not about creating panic, but it is a global pandemic…and we are living it. The most important thing is health, hence preventive measures must be applied.”

The news comes as the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory urging Americans to avoid all international travel for the time being due to the global impact of COVID-19. “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the U.S. should arrange for immediate return,” the U.S. government advises.

On Friday, President Trump announced the restriction of all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Mexican border.

While the pandemic has already had a devastating impact on travel worldwide, a promising new forecast from Oxford Economics projects rapid economic recovery once the threat eventually diminishes.

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An Open Letter From the World Travel & Tourism Council

WHY IT RATES: The WTTC is recommending tax cuts, stimulus and incentives and loans with no interest.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer

No one can doubt that we are in uncharted territory. The coronavirus pandemic means the world is facing a threat on multiple fronts not seen in peacetime. The Travel & Tourism sector is uniquely exposed, and we estimate 50 million jobs globally are at risk. To put it bluntly, Travel & Tourism is in a fight for survival.

Travel is the backbone of economies around the world. It brings in essential currency and inward investment, creates jobs and stimulates every sector. WTTC figures show Travel & Tourism contributes to 10.4% of Global GDP and 320 million jobs. It is responsible for creating one in five new jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.

Without Travel & Tourism, economies around the world face an existential threat.

To counter this, WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, is calling upon governments of all countries to take immediate action to help ensure the survival of this critical job-creating sector. Not soon. Not in a few weeks. NOW. Any delay will be costed in millions of lost jobs and almost incalculable damage worldwide.

Now is the time to take action. We propose three vital measures, which in addition to recovery funds, will protect the survival of the millions of people who rely on Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods and welfare in the turbulent weeks and months ahead:

Firstly, financial help must be granted to protect the incomes of the millions of workers in the sector facing severe economic difficulties.

Secondly, governments must extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to global Travel & Tourism companies as well as the millions of small and medium-sized businesses as a stimulus to prevent them from collapse.

Thirdly, all government taxes, dues and financial demands on the travel sector need to be waived with immediate effect at least for the next 12 months.

Travel & Tourism companies are playing their part to protect their employees.

Together, these measures could save a sector which is already facing collapse.

We are calling upon the world to take urgent and immediate action to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a worldwide economic catastrophe. Doing nothing is not an option.

We implore every government to take drastic and decisive action now to preserve and protect the contribution of the Travel & Tourism sector, on which more than 320 million people and their families depend on for their livelihoods.

For more information, visit

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Why glorious Galway is the perfect getaway

Irish eyes are smiling on its culture capital: Why glorious Galway is the perfect getaway

  • Ireland’s most westerly city has been crowned the Capital of Culture for 2020 
  • Galway is famous for its lively pubs, music and bohemian atmosphere
  • Need somewhere to stay? 7 Cross Street has trendily deigned rooms from £61

Galway is the capital of Ireland’s wild Atlantic coast and is famous for its lively pubs, music and bohemian atmosphere. Now Ireland’s most westerly city has been crowned its Capital of Culture for 2020, making it one of the best places to visit for art and music this year.

Galway already has ten art galleries and 31 museums. And thanks to a £34 million budget, there will be something for every type of culture-lover, from actors reading Homer’s Odyssey on remote beaches to an exhibition of traditional tapestries.

There are daily events from now until next January and best of all, most are free.

Galway is the capital of Ireland’s wild Atlantic coast and is famous for its lively pubs, music and bohemian atmosphere

Big public-funded arts programmes like this are always full of avant garde extremes, of course. In Galway, visitors to a wooden ‘ephemeral temple’ can ‘register their memories’, after which the site will be burned down. Thankfully, those with more conventional tastes have plenty to see too, including theatre premieres, open-air dances, poetry readings and a film festival. For music-lovers, there will be everything from bluegrass to a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Galway Cathedral on December 12.

In September, more than 1,000 locals will help make a floating ‘city of lanterns’ in the harbour in a venture that sounds picturesque, if not quite fine art.

Visitors can’t help noticing the fierce River Corrib flowing through the middle of Galway. Its vigorous white-water forms one of the shortest (four miles) yet fastest rivers in Europe.

And the Corrib will host another ambitious spectacle in June. A group of 400 volunteers will attempt to break a world record by crossing its mouth on circus high wires over a period of 2,020 minutes.

Galway is a charming waterside city, with old cobbled streets and pretty, pastel-painted bars. Its shops are gloriously individual and quirky, such as Kenny’s gallery and bookshop (with 750,000 books for sale and local art on display), while many of its restaurants are highly rated. Two of them, Aniar and Loam, have Michelin stars.

For more fine-dining, try the Pullman Restaurant – two beautifully restored former dining cars that featured in Murder On The Orient Express are now located in the gardens of the Glenlo Abbey hotel. Don’t miss the Cleggan crab with toasted almonds, or pork with lovage meringue.

Visitors can’t help noticing the fierce River Corrib flowing through the middle of Galway

If you stay overnight at Glenlo, you’ll discover sumptuous bedrooms overlooking the gardens, golf course and the bay beyond. Double rooms on a B&B basis cost from £133 a night (

Galway also has a great cafe culture, including McCambridges, which has been a landmark for a century. Visitors can salivate over home-made soda bread, Aran Island seaweed pesto, and home-baked ham with beetroot mayo.

At the unpretentious Dockside Deli lining the harbour, you’ll find dishes such as Clarinbridge oysters and mussels, or chowder with seaweed bread. The deli is also the starting point for fishing trips – guests can eat what they catch once they return.

For a pint of slowly poured Guinness, nip into Keane’s Bar. The ivy-covered inn in a picturesque riverside spot has been run by the Keane family for more than 60 years.

Need somewhere to stay? The medieval 7 Cross Street ( has trendily designed rooms. The hotel is set on a cobbled street in the heart of Galway’s lively ‘Latin Quarter’ and double B&B rooms cost from £61 a night.

Alternatively, the Harbour Hotel ( is a smart, modern site with unfussy rooms, great views and a AA-rosette restaurant. Double B&B rooms cost from £74 a night.

  • Simon Heptinstall was a guest of

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10 of the best immersive family travel experiences at hotels

Once upon a time, a swimming pool and a kids menu were as far as most hotels went to cater to young travelers. Today, hotels and resorts around the world recognize that children and their parents seek enriching vacation experiences that they can’t get at home.

The days when crayons and a coloring book at check-in satisfied are long gone. Savvy young vacationers crave out-of-the-box, hands-on experiences that dive into local culture. Hotels are raising the bar, going way beyond the traditional kids club.

Here are 10 amazing, immersive experiences that can be found at hotels.

Beekeeping at Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel, California

a person standing in front of a cake: Beekeeping at Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is a 500-acre resort nestled in a patchwork of gardens, vineyards and hiking trails. The ranch is home to its own apiary with thousands of Italian honeybees.

Explore numerous aspects of beekeeping – from hive science to honey tasting – when you join A Bee’s Life. This 90-minute class starts at the organic garden where you’ll learn about the connection between plants and pollinators. Next, suit up in protective gear and head to the apiary to watch the bees in action before you dig into the luscious honey.

Dog sledding at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

Ely, Minnesota

a woman that is standing in the snow: Dog sledding at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

Wintergreen is a rustic lodge and a gateway to the scenic Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Guests stay in lakeshore lodges connected by snow-dusted trails. After a hearty breakfast, participants of all ages bundle up and learn to drive a team of Canadian Inuit dogs under the guidance of experienced instructors.

For those who love animals, there are plenty of opportunities to feed and care for the 65 resident pups.

Horse whispering at The Resort at Paws Up

Greenough, Montana

a person standing next to a horse: Learn the art of horse whispering at Paws Up

Paws Up is a luxury property planted on 37,000 acres of an authentic working cattle ranch. You can join a professional wrangler and step into the pen with a wild mustang in Horse Whisperer 101. The goal is to establish trust with the horse through appropriate demeanor, voice modulation and subtle movement.

The program is offered throughout the summer months.

Cricket at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels


a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach: Cricket on the beach at Crystal Cove in Barbados

Crystal Cove is an 88-room hotel on Barbados’ Platinum Coast. The island was a British colony for several hundred years, gaining independence in 1966. Even after generations of autonomy, locals maintain some very British traditions, including a passion for cricket.

Those who vacation here have the opportunity to learn to play cricket on the resort’s sandy beach. The friendly staff is on hand to teach the basics during regularly scheduled games. You’ll be swinging a bat like an islander in no time.

Surfing at the Hotel del Coronado

San Diego, California

a man carrying a surf board walking on a beach: Learn to surf at the Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego has been hosting travelers at its beachside location for over a century.

For those who dream of hanging ten, the resort offers both group and private surf lessons. Surfboards and wet suits are even included. It’s a coastal plunge that’s straight out of a Beach Boys song.

Organic gardening at the Woodstock Inn & Resort

Woodstock, Vermont

a person sitting in a garden: Gardening at the Woodstock Inn

The Woodstock Inn sits in the middle of a quaint New England village. A short distance from the inn is the certified organic Kelly Way Gardens. Master Gardener Benjamin Pauly grows heirloom vegetables, 60 varieties of tomatoes and edible flowers, supplying the inn’s kitchen with just-picked ingredients.

In summer, guests can nibble their way through the garden with the Master Gardener himself during the Family Tasting Tour. It’s a hands-on opportunity for children to connect with their food source.

Falconry at Sea Island, Georgia

a man holding a bird: Falconry at Sea Island

Sea Island is a private resort island off the Georgia coast, surrounded by an Atlantic beach and a salt marsh. It’s a serene setting to learn about falconry, the ancient art of training hawks to hunt.

The hour-long Hawk Walk allows participants to feel the sensation of a bird of prey perched on a gloved fist. These trained-but-still-wild creatures possess incredible strength yet are deceptively lightweight. It’s a fine introduction to this nuanced activity that can take a lifetime of dedication to perfect.

Train dolphins at Hawks Cay Resort

Duck Key, Florida

a person in a pool of water: Work alongside a dolphin trainer at Hawks Cay

Hawks Cay is a vacation haven midway down the chain of Keys. Several Atlantic bottlenose dolphins call this Florida resort home.

Budding marine biologists and junior animal behaviorists shouldn’t miss the Dolphin Trainer for a Day program. Guests work alongside professional trainers, caring for and learning to communicate with these intelligent mammals in their natural environment.

Participate in a traditional tea ceremony at Hotel Gajoen

Tokyo, Japan

a person in a blue suitcase: A Japanese tea ceremony at Hotel Gajoen

In Japan, the tea ceremony is more than just a beverage, it’s a window into the cultural.

The art-filled Hotel Gajoen in Tokyo’s residential Meguro neighborhood hosts an authentic tea ceremony each afternoon. The tea-maker’s meticulous care and thoughtful preparation is paramount to the guest experience.

The kimono-clad hostess encourages youngsters to ask questions as she explains how this venerable ritual is rooted in the country’s history. Traditional sweets accompany the tea, making it as mouthwatering as it is fascinating.

Fly fishing at Vermejo, Ted Turner Reserves

Raton, New Mexico

a person standing next to a body of water: Fly fishing at Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve

Vermejo is a 550,000-acre outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Hundreds of mammals roam freely; it’s not unusual to spot wild horses, bald eagles, bison, elk and more.

Guests have their choice of numerous fresh-air experiences in this spectacular setting, with fishing being one of the most popular. The reserve’s 19 fishable lakes and 30 miles of pristine streams make it a special place to learn fly fishing and deep nymph skills from expert instructors.

10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network, providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world, in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.

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