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Spring into action; Travel.

The school holidays are almost upon us again. Winter has been a long haul, but spring is so nearly here. So where to make the most of both? In the sunshine, or the big outdoors? Home, or abroad? We round up some cracking ideas

Stargazy pie

Cottage in Mousehole, Cornwall

Mousehole is one of those villages that encapsulate all that's best about Cornwall. Three miles from Penzance, the village has views out over Mounts Bay to the Lizard - England's most southerly point. It rises up the hillside in a pattern of slate rooftops above a small but perfectly formed stone harbour, where families can reel in crabs and paddle in the sheltered and safe waters of two tiny sand beaches. The lanes are full of quirky shops and delis which sell Mousehole's own stargazy pie, made with pilchards landed by local fishermen. A place for gentle browsing and coastal walks. THE DEAL: Pilot's Cottage is in the heart of the village and sleeps five. An Easter week starting March 30 costs PS865 with beachretreats.co.uk.

Sandy view Landal Gwel an Mor, Cornwall Spring comes early to the West Country, but while families with youngish children may be making sandcastles on the beach, the sea itself will be chilly. You'll need a base with facilities when the weather gets temperamental - a place like Landal Gwel an Mor, a holiday park with luxury lodges and sea views at Portreath, halfway between St Ives and Newquay. Here there's an indoor play area, a swimming pool, tennis courts and outdoor adventure playground to keep the energetic entertained. And for parents there's a fishing lake and the UK's only all-weather green and tee golf course.

But hopefully the sun will shine and you'll be on the beaches of Porthtowan and Hayle Towans, learning to surf.

THE DEAL: A log lodge that sleeps five costs PS1,195 for a week starting April 8 - go to gwelanmor.com Peak retreat Yurts at Uppergate Farm, Yorks UK camping at this time of year can be risky - but not when you've got underfloor heating and a log stove. These craftsman-made Yorkshire Yurts, set in 10 acres of secluded woodland on the edge of the Peak District, offer a break with a difference for a couple looking to get away from it all. The yurts are brimming with modcons, including a fully equipped kitchen and shower room, plus those all-important heat sources. Outside there's a hot-tub on a spacious deck, and a heated swimming pool a short walk away. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the Peak District, striding out along the breezy escarpment of Stanage Edge, and then plunging into sheltered valleys to visit glorious stately homes such as Chatsworth. THE DEAL: A five-night stay for two at Uppergate Farm arriving April 6 or 7 costs PS492 via premiercottages.co.uk.

n Celtic crossing Houses in Co Wicklow, Ireland There's nothing quite like a good ferry crossing to raise the level of excitement, especially when the ferries have kids' entertainment centres. But you wouldn't necessarily want to drive for hours at the other end, which is why the Aughrim Holiday Village in Ireland's County Wicklow is ideal. The west of Ireland takes the brunt of the island's wild weather, while the emp At Bal east coast remains calm and clear. And Aughrim, mid-way between Dublin and Rosslare, is perfectly placed for discovering Ireland's Ancient East. Sail from Holyhead or Pembroke then visit sites like Glendalough, the beach at Brittas Bay and the Vale of Avoca. Aughrim's attractive, modern centrally heated houses sit in landscaped grounds, with the Wicklow Mountains a stone's throw to the north. THE DEAL: A family (two adults and up to three children) pay from PS608, including crossing, for seven nights in Aughrim starting any day over Easter (from 30 March). Go to irishferries.com.

aMT Tcs sEOASTv Orange blossom A resort in Majorca, Spain Spring is the time to see this island at its best. The beaches are not crowded, the inland villages are not rammed with traffic, and the SUNSHINE: Viva Cala Mesquida lanes are ideal for cycle adventures. Many of the almond and orange orchards will be sending each other powderpuff kisses of pink and white blossom and there should be enough sunshine for T-shirts and shorts. The four-star Viva Cala Mesquida is a family-friendly hotel within easy reach of Capdepera with its stunning castle, Arta and the former fishing port of Cala Ratjada, surrounded by fine white sand beaches and pretty coves. The hotel has two pools and entertainment to keep everyone occupied.

d a THE DEAL: Seven nights' B&B, based on two adults and two children sharing, flying from Manchester on April 2, costs from PS345pp on loveholidays.com.

SA ATh At ha pr an pl Bu A rical Stir crazy Action-packed Azores, Portugal The Azores are easily overlooked, out in the Atlantic, but this mysterious nine-island archipelago has volcanic landscapes and historic settlements, produces half of Portugal's milk, has its own wines, and is visited by a huge variety of whales. It's a place for hikers and lovers of unsullied landscapes. But that doesn't mean it's spartan: the Antillia apartments in the historical centre of main town Ponta Delgada are ideal for families, with an outdoor pool and sun terrace, plus a health spa. You can also book your canyoning, rock-climbing, swimming with dolphins, kayaking etc.

THE DEAL: On March 31, a seven-night self-catering LOBTAILS: holida for sharing) holiday costs from PS712pp (four sharing), including flights and transfers with sunvil.co.uk.

Sleepy sun House party in Sicily, Italy Good food, crystal clear seas, the vineyardcovered slopes of volcanic Mount Etna, still smoking, in generous helpings of spring sunshine. This is a place for slow living, with the island's east coast towns of Taormina and Acireale great f shopp Etna rid vi pr MAc Eas cost places for people-watching and windowshopping. For more excitement nearby Etnaland has rollercoasters and rapids rides and a separate waterpark. Rent a villa like Casa Gialla, a three-bedroom property with a pool set in leafy Mediterranean gardens between Acireale and Taormina. THE DEAL: An Easter week in Casa Gialla (sleeps eight) costs PS1,405 via wishsicily.com.

CAPTION(S):

GLAMP IT UP: Yorkshire yurts

SUNSHINE: Viva Cala Mesquida

LOBTAILS: Azores whales

IRISH GIG: Cute Aughrim Holiday Village, Wicklow

SPRING TIDE: Marjorca is perfect around Easter

LEAFY MED: Sicily's Casa Gialla sleeps 8

TAKE A HIKE: Volcanoes in the beautiful Azores

UNSULLIED: The Azores are islands of beauty

MOUSE HOUSE: A cottage in Cornwall

ON YER BIKE: Gwel an Mor in Cornwall

PARK HERE: Lodge at Gwel an Mor
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Feb 25, 2018
Words:1104
Previous Article:History & heritage Europa Hotel, Belfast; HOTEL inspector.
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