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Rural Experiences: Off the beaten path

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Sometimes the smallest of towns can provide the most meaningful experiences to be had, this is what many call quality travel.
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2-4 Gold Hill, Shaftesbury SP7 8LY, UK
The Salt Cellar is perched at the top of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury with sweeping views across the Blackmore Vale. This very picturesque hill is really steep and has been used in films. This is a very popular cafe with locals and sits underneath the...
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Grand Manan, NB, Canada
There's a little slice of New Brunswick, Canada, off the coast of Maine, and it's well worth a visit. Grand Manan Island is accessed by ferry from Black's Harbour NB. The island is only 34km long and 18km wide, so it doesn’t take long to explore...
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Sommarøy, Norway
Situated upon the northern tip of Norway, Tromsø is an arctic gem well worth hopping on that 2 hour flight from Oslo. The city itself is reflective of its inhabitants; friendly, slow-paced and possessing a beauty so natural and fresh you have to...
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Via della Rotonda, 45, 36100 Vicenza VI, Italy
One of the best “strolls” I have ever had the privilege to take was in Vicenza, Italy. Actually, to be more specific, it was from the centre of town up into the hills over looking Vicenza. Hiking up steps is a requirement to reach the various...
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Viale Battaglione Val Leogra, 44, 36100 Vicenza VI, Italy
I found that I preferred the small towns of Italy as opposed to the vast city of Rome. Vicenza was no exception. This charming town offers a plethora of options for history, art, and architecture lovers. The Teatro Olimpico: Designed by Andrea...
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Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona VR, Italy
This is one the oldest of the ancient Roman Coliseums, but it is not a relic - it still hosts concerts and the Verona Opera. An amazing venue to enjoy a live performance.
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802 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
I fell in love. I fell in love with the town of Marfa. Safari tents. Stand alone bathtubs. Vintage trailers. Twinkle lights. Hammocks. An off the beaten path campground takes you to another world. You can choose to stay in one of their hip vintage...
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Big Sur’s winding roads, plunging cliffs and canyon-spanning bridges may cause nausea but they provide some of the most striking scenery in the country. After miles of lush green forests and sapphire blue oceans, the palm trees and turquoise...
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Viale Te, 13, 46100 Mantova MN, Italy
Mantova may sound familiar. It's where Romeo was exiled from fair Verona in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It may not sound like an obvious choice as an artistic hidden gem, but when Shakespeare wrote his play Mantua was a swamp land. The Palazzo...
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3625 1 St, Naramata, BC V0H 1N0, Canada
Just a short hour drive away from Kelowna, and only a 5-10 minute drive from Penticton, Naramata sits hidden with acres of green vineyards cascading off of clay cliffs into Lake Okanagan. In the heart Naramara is the historic Naramata Heritage Inn...
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Valbjor Gard is a working farm owned by the same family for 800 years. The 12 cottages are beautifully restored and rustic, yet with running water and tiny bathrooms. They have little kitchens, seating areas, a table, and cozy beds. The fireplaces...
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Ürgüp/Göreme/Nevşehir, Turkey
On a visit to Cappadocia, it's a good idea to schedule some roaming around time. In all the canyons, there are adjoining valleys and everywhere little abandoned cave homes, old carved churches, gardens (still in use by the locals), grape vines,...
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56360 Le Palais, France
Inspired by the inscription on the back of a little painting I bought at the Paris flea market, I set off on an adventure to Belle-Île en Mer, an island off the coast of Brittany. What an adventure it was...on a cold day where it was raining...
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Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 37/39, 36100 Vicenza VI, Italy
The Palazzo Chiericati was designed by Andrea Palladio and was meant to be a home for the powerful and popular Chiericati family who lived in the Veneto region of Italy. The Palazzo's construction began in 1550 but was not completed until 1680....
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Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5NW, UK
Sometimes the best experiences are the simplest ones. After a couple of business days in Birmingham, my wife and I rented a car and drove out into the Costwalds. We expected to see charming little towns, which we did, but we did not think we'd be...
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1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E4, Canada
You may not know but British Columbia has a wine region that is a worthy rival of Napa and Tuscany. Mission Hill Winery is one of the stellar estates that not only has some of the best wine in Canada but also serves the best food with matching...
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You'll have never seen a place more green. Hundreds of shades of it, with waterfalls and babbling brooks. Gleninchaquin is something out of a dream—yet it's the beautiful reality in Southwest Ireland. This family-owned park, overseen by Donal and...