10 Great British spring breaks

Daffodils, blossom and lambs are all starting to make an appearance – so it's time to shake off winter and get outdoors, says Kate Simon

The Rosewood opened recently in Holborn: its inventory included nearly 2,000sq ft of Manor House Suite

Super suites: If you have something to say ... say it big

The jewel in a hotel's crown was once its penthouse suite. Now, London is going larger and better, says Mark Jones

The white stuff: The Marie-Anne Suite

B&B and beyond, Casa Bianca, Montreal

A century-old townhouse overlooking Mount Royal Park provides Juliet Kinsman with a fittingly distinctive base

Coming soon: The John Muir Way is a new trail that will be opened officially in April

Walk of the month: East Lothian coast - Great strides towards conservation

John Muir, who helped create the USA's national parks, was born in Scotland. Mark Rowe follows a new trail in his honour

Weald view: The House’s charming exterior

Stay the Night: The House, Kent

This large, listed 16th-century property creaks with history and impresses with eclectic décor, says Sophie Lam

The kitchen, complete with angle poise light

B&B and Beyond: Fab Guest, Brighton

Refinement rules in Kemp Town, says Tracey Davies, as she checks into a haven of antiques and designer wallpapers

Around the world in a day: Eat your way from Sweden to the States in six meals

Who needs a passport when you have a Travelcard? There is now no cuisine you can't find in the nation's capital, says Gillian Orr

Thomas moved to New Quay to escape war-ravaged London, and to find the quiet he needed to develop his career

A pint with Dylan Thomas: Mark the centenary of the great poet's birth with a trip around the west coast of Wales that inspired him

'People say that Dylan Thomas spent a lot of time in pubs, but I think he spent a lot of time on paths." Less breathless than me, and more used to the gradient, the poet Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch is striding up a steep, narrow track that winds towards a panoramic hill-top vista. Below us lies the little port of New Quay in Ceredigion on the west coast of Wales.

Total eclipse: The living room at Moon Shadow

Stay the Night: Moon Shadow, St Ives

This stone-fronted fisherman's quarters has been given a thoroughly modern makeover inside, says Emily Dugan

Hannah and Chico take the long way round Wales

One woman and her donkey in Wales

How one travel-writer's innovative journey round the Welsh coast led to a starring role for her four-legged companion

Walk of the month: Swaledale - a winter’s tale of nature in fifth gear

From Richmond in North Yorkshire, Mark Rowe traces a fascinating trail beside the fastest-flowing river in England

Beak season: Pink-footed geese are found inland

Wildlife Weekend: Wintering birds in the Kingdom of Fife

Spend most of the first day in Largo Bay, south-west of Kirkcaldy. There may be no finer location to watch the wintering seaduck for which Scotland is renowned. If the tide is high and the sun shining, start with the light behind you at the bay’s eastern edge, Ruddon’s Point. Look westwards for dense black rafts of scoters, mainly common scoter. A flash of white wings draws your attention to velvet scoters secreted among them. Check the flock carefully and you could even see surf scoter. There is no more regular British site for this North American visitor.

Travel special 2014: Hit the pause button on the rail'n'sail route from London to Dublin

I start by making some calculations to soothe myself. Using the Rail & Sail combo route from London via Holyhead to Dublin takes nine or so hours; to fly between the two cities takes 50 minutes – but a few hours have to be added on for the to-ing, fro-ing and faffing at airports. A one-way rail/sail ticket costs about 30 quid all in – a flight is double that, unless you're very organised or lucky. Even if you're very disorganised, the rail/sail option can be bought just before you travel at no extra cost.

Travel special 2014: Soak in the scenery on a train journey from Newcastle to Carlisle

The train between Newcastle and Carlisle runs parallel to Hadrian's Wall and offers a window on some of the most spectacular scenery in England. But the 60-mile Tyne Valley Line is itself a part of history, built in the 1830s during the first era of nationwide railway expansion. Following the path of the Tyne inland from Newcastle, the line passes over two listed viaducts and through five listed stations, including Hexham, which dates to 1835, making it one of the world's oldest purpose-built railway stations.

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