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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Light up: husky sledding in Finland

Walking (and lots more) in a winter wonderland

Fancy a frosty escape? Leave your skis at home. From festivals to snow-shoeing, ice hotels to sleigh safaris, there's plenty of excitement away from the pistes this season

Sights and sounds: Ponte Vecchio

Love opera or hate it – Florence is the perfect place to find your voice

Kate Simon enjoys an Italian city break with a difference on a weekend that combines the history of music with singing lessons

Rafting in the Dominican Republic

Hot but healthy Caribbean holidays

Forget lazing around on a sunlounger. It's easy to get a bit more out of a Caribbean break. From ziplining, to hiking, to horseback tours, here are the best ways to stay active under the tropical sun

Core values: apple pressing at Sharpham Estate

Countyfile: Devon - In the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, go west

Celebrate the season today at the 30th Autumn Festival and Apple Pressing event, which takes place at the Sharpham Estate (01803 732542; sharphamtrust.org; free) between 11am and 4pm. The 18th-century Palladian villa overlooking the River Dart at Ashprington provides a fine setting for this celebration of the apple harvest. But, thanks to the poor weather, the organisers need a little help this year, so take your own windfalls for turning into juice to help boost the estate's slim pickings. There'll also be an Apple Olympics and live music.

‘A growing number follow the locals to the east, a place of wild beauty’

Traveller's guide: Barbados

White sands and turquoise waters are just the start. This Caribbean island has much more to dazzle visitors, with forests, caves and historic landmarks, says Kate Simon

Family frolics: Akyaka

Winter getaways: Leave it all behind

Summer may have slipped away, but don't let the longer nights and chilly days get you down. Now's the time to book a cosy romantic escape, or chase the sun on a Caribbean cruise. From ski trips to last-minute half-term deals and budget-blowing Antipodean adventures, winter's never looked so appealing, as Kate Simon reveals

Countyfile: Suffolk

Take the Sailor's Path for a taste of Aldeburgh
Green peace: the river Meuse near Sedan

Traveller's Guide: French Ardennes

The autumnal treasures of this wooded region are often overlooked by British visitors. It's time that changed, says Kate Simon

Polkey's Mill, Reedham on the Norfolk Broads

Countyfile: Norfolk - Far from flat, with its history, circus and food festivals

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are among the competitors racing in this year's Tour of Britain Cycle Race. Cheer them on today at the Taste the Best of Norfolk Food & Drink Festival (01603 881939; norfolkfoodfestival.co.uk). They are expected to cross the finishing line of the Norfolk leg at the Showground in Norwich at 2.44pm, but the free event has a packed schedule which runs from 11am to 4pm.

Newcastle, as you've never seen it before

In a bid to uncover the region's wilder side, Kate Simon sets off to explore on two wheels

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