One hour from Vancouver

Everything stops for (English) tea in BC

Take a colonial heritage tour or go whale-watching on Canada's Pacific coastline.

Take a colonial heritage tour or go whale-watching on Canada's Pacific coastline.

Victoria

British Columbia's capital on Vancouver Island oozes a very English appeal, with its double-decker buses and slap-up afternoon teas at the Empress Hotel. It is easy to get about on foot, and no visit is complete without a waterfront tour and a stroll through the 50-acre Butchart Gardens, which boast more than a million plants.

By seaplane: take the Floatplane from Canada Place; journey time approx 35 mins.

Bowen Island

The island's heyday was in the 1930s, when couples whooped it up at the largest dance pavilion in BC. Today, visitors come to stay in its charming guest-houses. Take a guided hike through one of the last four remaining temperate rainforests in the world, and trek to the top of Mount Gardiner for a view of the surrounding islands.

By car and boat: take the Upper Levels Highway 99-1 to Horseshoe Bay, then the ferry; journey time approx 45 mins.

Squamish

Rock climbing, white-water rafting and windsurfing are all on offer in this area, which from November to January also sees the world's largest gathering of bald eagles. The 335-metre Squamish Falls are the highest in Canada.

By car: take the Sea to Sky Highway 99 from the North Shore; journey time approx 45 mins.

Fort Langley

Built in 1827, Fort Langley was the administrative centre for the Hudson's Bay Company. Through its gates passed pioneers seeking furs and, later, gold. Today, it is a living museum where costumed staff demonstrate barrel-making, blacksmithing and pioneer cooking.

By car: take the Trans Canada Highway 1; journey time approx 45 mins.

Steveston Heritage Village

Once the world's busiest fishing port, Steveston is still home to almost 1,000 commercial fishing vessels and is the largest fishing harbour in Canada. Visit the cannery museum, tuck into deliciously fresh seafood, then take a trip with Vancouver Whale Watch.

By car: take the Sea to Sky Highway 99, followed by the Steveston Highway; journey time approx 25 mins.

Travelbag (0870 890 1456; www.travelbag.co.uk) offers seven nights in Vancouver from £440 per person, including return flights from Heathrow with KLM and accommodation on a room-only basis. Seven days' car hire is available for an additional £155.

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