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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French flavours: The gastronomic hub of Lyon is the setting for a new food and wine holiday

Summer 2012: French favourites

Brittany's south coast is the setting for Les Jardins d'Arvor, a new complex of 134 family friendly apartments at Bénodet that is being sold through Brittany Ferries (0871 244 1444; brittanyferries.com/holidays).

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.

Plan your summer holiday with The Independent's summer 2012 travel guide

Get set for summer 2012

At last the sun's come out - and the prospect of summer holidays spent basking under blue skies, or swimming in the sea, or walking among flower-filled valleys seems possible once more

Private practice: The Isle of Eriska Hotel Spa & Island costs £10,000 a night

Summer 2012: Money no object

Check into one of the new Tree House Suites in the grounds of country-house hotel Chewton Glen (01425 282212; chewtonglen.com) at New Milton in Hampshire.

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).

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