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By: David Tatham
The choice of holiday is always a very personal, subjective view. Some of us may prefer to spend our time in the rolling hills and rugged coastline of Devon; others may prefer the Highlands of Scotland. The basic desire for a holiday however always remains the same. People wish for relaxation, fun, sometimes adventure, a change from their daily routine lives.

These days in our technologically advanced world, many holiday makers look to distant places such as The Maldives, Vietnam, Thailand, and Bermuda. Travel can enrich both mind and spirit as we learn and experience the way of life through the eyes of local people.

For those who do not wish to travel to such exotic locations, yet wish a change of scenery from the Great Britain we all know so well, Europe can make a very interesting and fulfilling holiday. From the northern regions of Scandinavia, with its beautiful countryside and clean air, to the warmer climates of France and Spain, each country is so diverse and has much to offer the visitor.

Spain is by now well known for the sunshine and 'Benidorm' type atmosphere. Not everyone's 'cup of tea' (or full English breakfast), but still a destination for many thousands of Brits every year. Travelling into the interior of Spain can reveal some amazing scenery and villages that have remained unchanged for most of the last century. So a holiday in Spain doesn't necessarily mean a sunburnt cabaret evening after a plate of egg and chips and five pints of 'Watneys Red Barrel'. Spain holds a wealth of culture and has a fascinating history that oozes from its architecture and language.

France is and has always been a favourite holiday destination for the British tourist. The weather can be most agreeable particularly in the southern regions, and the quiet easy going pace of countryside life can appeal to many looking for natural pleasures, not to mention the obligatory sampling of the regions multitude of wines and the French obsession of gastronomy.

A particularly appealing area is in the South West of France known as Dordogne, many English people find this one of the most delightful regions. It is well known for its production of Foie Gras, and the area is rich in truffles (a world class delicacy) and walnuts. The summer months are generally long and hot which gives plenty of time in the evenings for those wishing to enjoy a barbeque, or evening meal by the pool.

Life appears to move at a much slower pace than in the UK, which of course is perfect for a holiday. This particular region has many lakes, and is quite a favourite with people that enjoy fishing, whilst many prefer to stroll through the countryside or explore the many quaint villages on market day.


David Tatham has travelled extensively throughout France and lived in the country for several years. He has a wealth of information and knowledge on the culture, the food and the wine. His website can be viewed at
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