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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Award-winner: the Curve theatre in Leicester

Countyfile: Leicestershire - The stage is set for an all-action summer in the Midlands

Leicestershire's struck gold. At least it has in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012. At last month's prize-giving ceremony, Leicester Theatre Trust, the body behind the city's performance space, Curve (0116 242 3595; curveonline.co.uk), picked up a gold Access for All Tourism Award for its commitment to theatregoers with disabilities. You can take a closer look at Curve on one of its fortnightly guided tours (the next one is on 23 June, adults £3, under-18s £2), while, front of house, this month's performances include the family favourite Horrible Histories, performed by the Birmingham Stage Company on 11-13 June (tickets £14).

Downhill all the way (almost): The former industrial railway line, now Via Verde (greenway), in Sant Esteve d'en Bas

Freewheel with the family along the greenways of Catalonia

Spain's abandoned railway lines have a new lease of life as cycling trails, says Kate Simon

Sand Dance: Bedruthan Beach is the location for site dancing

Cornwall, as the Adventure Butler saw it

From ballet on the beach to harvesting a hedgerow, a new company shows Kate Simon how to get the most from a UK holiday

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.

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

LittleLife's new Animal Wheelie Duffles, in Ladybird and Turtle designs, will delight your little ones and nurture a sense of responsibility. The 20-litre bag has a zip top and telescopic handle; £39.99 (littlelife.co.uk)

Summer 2012: 10 great family travel gadgets

LittleLife's new Animal Wheelie Duffles, in Ladybird and Turtle designs, will delight your little ones and nurture a sense of responsibility. The 20-litre bag has a zip top and telescopic handle; £39.99 (littlelife.co.uk).

Child's play: a Junior Suite at the Hesperia Lanzarote in Puerto Calero

Summer 2012: Family friendly hotels

Children's rooms take on a different meaning at Hesperia Lanzarote (00 34 828 080 800; nh-hotels.com), in Puerto Calero, where seven new Junior Suites have been colourfully redecorated, furnished with bunk beds dressed in themed bed linen, and supplied with toys and a healthy "mini bar".

Some like it hot: the Mount Cinnamon Beach Club and Resort in Grenada

Summer 2012: Sun guaranteed

Head to the far south of Italy for sun-drenched days on Puglia's beaches. Long Travel (01694 722193; long-travel.co.uk) is offering free B&B at Masseria Torre Coccaro, near Fasano, for children aged up to 12 this summer. This 39-room five-star hotel is set in a 17th-century masseria that counts a chapel among its charming buildings.

Knight vision: Medieval magic in Gotland, Sweden

Summer 2012: Family-friendly festivals

Jousting knights and juggling jesters will help recreate the spirit of medieval Sweden at the Medeltidsveckan Festival (00 46 0498 29 10 70; www.medeltidsveckan.se), in the walled city of Visby on Gotland island from 5-12 August. Sunvil Discovery (020-8758 4722; sunvil.co.uk/discovery) has a week from £1,385 per person including return flights on SAS Scandinavian Airlines from Heathrow via Stockholm to Visby, accommodation with breakfast and car hire.

Boating for beginners: Wilderness Scotland offers activity holidays in the Highlands

Summer 2012: Active family adventures

Ride the rapids of the spectacular Tara Canyon in Montenegro on an adventure holiday that also features hiking along the Bay of Kotor.

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