In my last post I asked how travellers can cope with the extreme weather in Europe this summer.
Here are Tammy’s top tips for travellers to Britain and Europe coping with strange variations in the weather!
Escaping Britain’s rain
Go back in time: If there is one thing Britain is still great at it is the heritage industry. The National Trust is brilliant at offering historic hiding places to dive into when it’s tipping down.
Get arty: London boasts some excellent art exhibitions this summer from Damien Hirst and Eduard Munch at the Tate to Picasso at Tate Britain and the British Museum – and the Summer Exhibition @ the Royal Academy.
Become a drama queen: Whilst in London, take in an afternoon matinee for a play or musical, another sure fire way of escaping the hideous weather.
Festival feast: The Edinburgh Fringe and Festival (August) is brilliant for offering a movable feast of indoor entertainment. I recommend hunkering down at the Pleasance where there are 22 venues with everything from comedy and cabaret to drama and kids’ shows (plus loads of bars). There’s also dozens of venues across the city – nearly all offering indoor relief from the cold and wet.
Drink and be merry: It could be time to revisit Britain’s fine real ales with a trip to a historic inn or pub. Personal favourites include Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (Nottingham), the Crown Posada (Newcastle u Tyne), the Feathers Inn (Northumberland – gastro pub of the year), The Ship (Low Newton beach, Northumberland), the Church Inn (Cheadle Hulme, Manchester), the Old Dungeon Ghyll (Langdale, Lake District) and the Old Bridge Inn (Ripponden, Yorkshire).
In London there’s a veritable wealth of drinking holes including the Old Cheshire Cat, The Lamb and Flag (Covent Garden) and The Anchor (near The Globe).
Wine lovers can while away a couple of hours at London’s Vinopolis museum which has tasting tables as you move through each exhibition area!
Be prepared: As Wainwright once said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
Pack a suitcase full of clothing ranging from shorts and T-shirts to jumpers and kagools. Never forget that British summer ‘must have’ – the umbrella.
Hiding from the heat – southern Europe
Get religion: If the heat is too much for you, dive into an old medieval or Baroque church or cathedral to sample its artistic delights and cool air! Italy and Spain are stuffed with them. Some even boast super-chilly undercrofts and subterranean caves – see my Rome posts for more details.
Culture vulture: Look out for galleries with great air conditioning and world-class art. France, Italy, Germany and Spain are particular good places for an art attack with the extra chill factor.
Become a bar fly: This is the ideal way to expend minimum energy whilst having the most fun, people watching and getting slightly tipsy. Mediterranean countries with long lunch siestas – especially Greece, Italy and Spain – are ideal for this slug-like existence.
Water babies: Take to the sea or swimming pool. Greek islands, Spanish beaches, Portugal’s Algarve and Italy’s Neapolitan Riviera are all top of my water baby list. It may seem obvious but a cold splash is the best way of chilling down.
Go underground: Visit a subterranean attraction such as the Catacombs in Rome (or Paris), the Paris Sewers, or a cave system like the Oriveto grottoes in Italy. Guaranteed to make you feel refreshed!