Kate Simon

Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.

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Irish safari: One of the luxury tents at Dromquinna Manor

Summer 2012: Under canvas

Pitch up at the new luxury campsite at Dromquinna Manor (00 353 64 664 2888; dromquinnamanor.com) on the south-west coast of Ireland. A dozen safari tents, including five suitable for families, are the latest accommodation on offer at this waterside estate in Co Kerry. Swimming, cycling and horse riding are among the activities on offer and there's a daily water-taxi to nearby Kenmare. Two-bed family tents cost from €150 (£120) per night for two adults; children under 16 pay €15 (£12) per night. Return ferry crossings from Pembroke to Rosslare cost from £330 with Irish Ferries (0818 300 400; irishferries.com).

Champion: Thomson Al Fresco is running Summer Games at seven parks

Summer 2012: Holiday parks

Siblu (0871 911 2288; siblu.com) is hoping to lure weary parents to its holiday parks in France with the promise of bolstering a family holiday with a health and wellbeing break. Saunas, hot tubs and massages feature at a number of its venues, such as Le Bois Masson, in St-Jean-de-Monts in the Vendée. Seven nights here cost from £735 for up to six sharing a two-bedroom chalet. Treatments are extra.

Eccentric escape: The House in the Clouds, a five-storey clapboard tower, is now an unusual holiday rental

Thorpeness: The Suffolk holiday village that sailed to success

With a boating lake at its heart, it is a century-old Utopian escape, says Kate Simon

La Croisette

Cannes: Feel the glamour on the Mediterranean's glitziest seaside strip

As the Cannes Film Festival prepares to roll out those red carpets for the A-list, Kate Simon explores the city's illustrious and sun-drenched streets

Book keep: Sudeley Castle will be hosting literary events

Great British Escapes: Summer 2012

The Olympics and Diamond Jubilee will take centre stage, but there's much more on offer, says Kate Simon.

Springtime bloom: The Secret Gardens of Sandwich
Rules the wave: Cornwall hosts surfing championships

Countryfile: Catch a wave and celebrate 50 years of British surfing

Cornwall blazes a new tourist trail this weekend with the launch of Heartlands (01209 722322; heartlandscornwall.com; admission free).

Set sail: Queen Mary 2

Cruising: There's never been a better time to take to the high seas

A cruise offers the chance to enjoy a grand tour of exciting destinations without endless unpacking. Don't let recent events put you off these good-value holidays

Countyfile: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

It's all wings, wheels, water and walks along the South Coast
Park life: many holiday parks organise pool activities

Carry on camping

Holiday parks go well beyond a tent pitch or caravan – now you can expect swimming pools, circus skills, nature walks and even spa facilities

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor