Travel Special: REMOTE POSSIBILITIES
Sunday 11 January 1998
IT IS THE most isolated and often the most simple cottages that get booked up first according to the National Trust, which offers 241 holiday cottages in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Longstone Cottage on the Isle of Wight, for example, is so remote that it has no electricity. The lighting is powered by gas, heating is by two open fires and access is across a field which doesn't suit many types of cars. But Longstone Cottage is an ideal hideaway for some.
Equally remote, Bird How Cottage, high on the fells in the Lake District is described by the Trust itself as "challengingly spartan", with a local stone open fire and an Elsan lavatory. Scar House, a 300-year-old farmhouse in Yorkshire is so out-of-the-way that daytime arrival is suggested. The neighbourhood has Quaker connections and JB Priestley was a regular visitor to Hubberholme nearby.
Conservation charity, the Landmark Trust specialises in rescuing historic and often eccentric and remote buildings. If you really want to cut yourself off, there's no phone and no television in the Trust's properties on extraordinary Lundy Island. The most remote is the Admiralty Lookout: no electricity, bunk beds only. At least there's a tavern on the island.
FURTHER INFORMATION The National Trust's (01225 791199) Isle of Wight cottage sleeps six and costs from pounds 192 to pounds 495 a week; Bird How in Cumbria can take four and costs pounds 137-pounds 261, while Scar House which can take up to eight costs from pounds 192 to pounds 495. On Lundy Island, the Radio Room, sleeping one, costs from pounds 91 to pounds 323 a week. The Admiralty Lookout for four costs from pounds 207 to pounds 503, both from the Landmark Trust (01628 825925).
RENT YOUR OWN ISLAND
IF YOU NEED an island to yourself and are prepared to be tough and adventurous, there's nothing but a lighthouse and sheep on Norway's Vik Island. And you can only reach it by rowing boat. You can hire the lighthouse - built in 1875 but modernised since. Civilisation lies about 400 yards away in the fishing village of Skudeneshavn, an old centre of the fishing industry. Fishing, birdwatching and boating (you can hire motorboats for pounds 10 a day) are the major attractions; but "take plenty of books" advise Inntravel who also have a selection of remote cottages and harbour houses for hire in the Lofoten Islands and deep in the fjords.
FURTHER INFORMATION Inntravel (01653 628811) offers the Lighthouse on Vik for pounds 350 to pounds 480 each for a party of two for seven nights, and pounds 79 to pounds l69 for each extra adult. (The property can sleep up to seven). Children under four go free, and those aged between four and 16 pay pounds 40 to pounds l00 each. Prices include ferry fares for car and passengers between Newcastle and Bergen.
MAROONED IN AN OASIS
THERE ARE 50,000 islets in the 9,000 square mile oasis of the Okavango Delta, one of the world's geological freaks - a watery wilderness marooned in one of the driest places on earth, the Kalahari desert. Accessible only by tiny plane or canoe, it's known as Old Africa's last refuge. There are a few small camps and lodges in the delta which take a maximum of only 12 or so people at a time. The humans are statistically irrelevant beside the 600 or so species of birds which include lilac-breasted rollers, Carmine bee-eaters, colonies of Maribou storks and solitary vultures. Rare aquatic antelopes appear to walk on water, elephant and lion, buffalo, kudu and giraffe thrive away from the minibus safari brigade. In one of the most teeming spots in Africa, humans feel awe-inspiringly alone.
FURTHER INFORMATION Specialist firm Africa Exclusive (01604 28979) offers tailor-made safaris, birdwatching, fishing, horseback and general sightseeing trips to the Okavango Delta from around pounds 2,000 for two weeks including flight and full-board. Jill Crawshaw
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Iain Duncan Smith's expenses credit card is suspended after he runs up £1,000 debt to taxpayer
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck to divorce and end their 10-year marriage
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?