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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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.

Finnish line: Stay at the Klaus K hotel on a visit to Helsinki

Summer 2012: Short and sweet

Go on a tasty trip to Cadbury World in Birmingham, which has joined up with the Ramada Encore to provide overnight breaks for a family of four for £99. The deal includes B&B and tickets for two adults and two kids for the attraction, which tells Cadbury's delicious story.

Aegean Escape: Five star Levante Beach, Rhodes, is the latest resort offered by Mark Warner

Summer 2012: Island life

Snap up a half-price holiday in the Balearics with Mallorca Farmhouses (0845 800 8080; mallorca.co.uk), which is offering savings on last-minute bookings throughout summer.

Original feature: Every room at The Bell in Ticehurst, has a silver birch tree trunk in it

Summer 2012: Close to home

The best of British is on offer on a Champagne, Bucket & Spade Break at Hawke's Point (01726 884072; hawkes-point.co.uk) in St Ives, Cornwall.

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