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Travelling alone need not be lonely. And there’s a unique freedom about jetting off somewhere on your own and then being open about whom you might meet along the way. Make your own decisions, set the timetable, linger at your leisure — even when opting for an escorted tour there’s the choice of being with others or keeping your own counsel.

A tour also allows all the organisation to be lifted from your shoulders. Thankfully, there are a growing number of companies specialising in solo travel — with no financial penalties. ‘The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready,’ said the American naturalist Henry David Thoreau. Here’s our guide to some of the best solo adventures…

SAIL AWAY

Solos Holidays is offering a week aboard the sleek 18-cabin M/S Invictus taking in Brac Island (pictured), Korcula, the Mljet National Park and finishing in Dubrovnik

Solos Holidays is offering a week aboard the sleek 18-cabin M/S Invictus taking in Brac Island (pictured), Korcula, the Mljet National Park and finishing in Dubrovnik

Croatia’s Adriatic coast has become popular for very good reason — brilliant blue waters, dramatic rocky landscapes, pristine marine national parks and reliable weather make this one of Europe’s premier destinations.

This solo holiday is a week aboard the sleek 18-cabin M/S Invictus taking in Brac Island, Korcula, the Mljet National Park and finishing in Dubrovnik.

Solos Holidays specialises in a variety of trips including long-haul, short-haul and cruises. There are also ClubSolos holidays with an emphasis on socialising with other travellers.

DON’T MISS: A stroll around historic Korcula town, the birthplace of Marco Polo.

DETAILS: Seven nights’ B&B from £1,169 pp including some other meals, excursions and flights. Book for May, July or September 2022 (solosholidays.co.uk).

SRI LANKA REVEALED

One Traveller's 15-night tour of Sri Lanka stops off at the capital of Colombo. Pictured is the city's vibrant Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

One Traveller’s 15-night tour of Sri Lanka stops off at the capital of Colombo. Pictured is the city’s vibrant Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

Long-haul travel is back on the radar and Sri Lanka is just the ticket. This trip takes in plenty, including the capital Colombo, scenic train rides, the Royal Botanical Gardens, spice markets, colonial charm in hill country, game drives and Indian Ocean beaches.

The tour operator, One Traveller, is aimed at mature holidaymakers offering trips to destinations around the world.

DON’T MISS: The Elephant Transit Home; a sanctuary run by the Born Free Foundation.

DETAILS: A 15-night small group tour, full-board including excursions and flights, is from £4,550 pp. Book for February 25 or November 4 at onetraveller.co.uk.

ANCIENT CYPRUS

Takes in Cyprus' ancient sites, including the island of Salamis (pictured), on Jules Verne's 'cultural' tour of the country

Takes in Cyprus’ ancient sites, including the island of Salamis (pictured), on Jules Verne’s ‘cultural’ tour of the country 

Cyprus has a fascinating history, ruled variously by the Romans, Persians, Crusaders and Venetians. This cultural tour takes in the ancient sites, including the port of Salamis, the Vouni Palace and the Abbey of Bellapais — all while based in the city of Kyrenia. It’s a full exploration from the island’s south to north and a great way to experience Cyprus.

DON’T MISS: Cypriot delicacies including Kofte, Kleftiko (a lamb dish) and Borek (a pastry).

DETAILS: Seven nights’ half-board from £1,195 pp including flights with departures on September 5 and November 7. Groups from six to 25 (vjv.com).

INTO THE VALLEY

Cruise along the Douro River (pictured) on Saga's seven-night escorted tour of Portugal’s Douro Valley

Cruise along the Douro River (pictured) on Saga’s seven-night escorted tour of Portugal’s Douro Valley

The Saga itinerary features a guided tour of the baroque sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, pictured, in Lamego

The Saga itinerary features a guided tour of the baroque sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, pictured, in Lamego

Aside from the wonderful scenery, Portugal’s Douro Valley is famed for its vineyard-covered hills and wine industry. This tour begins in the dramatic, bridge-filled city of Porto and includes both a rail journey through the Portuguese country as well as a cruise along the Douro River.

There is also a day in the highlands at Castro Daire, a trip to Lamego town and guided tour of the baroque sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Remedios.

DON’T MISS: A day of wine tasting at Quinta da Padrela.

DETAILS: Seven-night escorted tours half-board from £929 pp including excursions and flights. Trips run from May to October (saga.co.uk).

HISTORIC BREAK

Just You's half-board tour of Jordan takes in attractions such as the valley of Wadi Rum (pictured) and the Citadel of Amman and Jerash

Just You’s half-board tour of Jordan takes in attractions such as the valley of Wadi Rum (pictured) and the Citadel of Amman and Jerash

Historic: On a trip to Jordan, don't miss the lost city of Petra (pictured) - it's the country's 'most spectacular' attraction

Historic: On a trip to Jordan, don’t miss the lost city of Petra (pictured) – it’s the country’s ‘most spectacular’ attraction

Tour operator Just You claims to be the UK’s best singles holiday firm (it was voted to be so by the British public) and has an airport private chauffeur service.

Jordan is filled with ancient and biblical history, including attractions such as Wadi Rum, Shobak Castle, the Roman amphitheatre and Citadel of Amman and Jerash, and this eight-day tour takes in many of them.

Also included are a traditional cooking class, a mosaic-making lesson, visit to a Bedouin village and a day bobbing around in the Dead Sea.

DON’T MISS: The lost city of Petra, Jordan’s most spectacular attraction.

DETAILS: Eight days’ half-board, including activities and flights, from £2,799 pp. Book for departures March-October 2022, maximum group size 30 (justyou.co.uk).

THE EMERALD ISLE

Abercrombie and Kent's tour of the Emerald Isle kicks off at the Dromoland Castle, pictured, in County Clare

Abercrombie and Kent’s tour of the Emerald Isle kicks off at the Dromoland Castle, pictured, in County Clare

Pictured is the Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle. For those hoping to visit the fortress, Abercrombie and Kent's five-night tour of Ireland costs from £3,189pp

Pictured is the Brian Boru Suite at Dromoland Castle. For those hoping to visit the fortress, Abercrombie and Kent’s five-night tour of Ireland costs from £3,189pp

Too often UK holidaymakers ignore Ireland in favour of Mediterranean beaches or far-flung hotspots.

But the Emerald Isle has plenty to offer from rich, riveting history, great food, plush hotels and world-class golf courses (if that’s your thing).

And this trip — for those who want to splash out — combines all the best of these elements.

It can be tailored but begins at the Dromoland Castle in County Clare and finishes in Dublin on day five.

DON’T MISS: A tour of Kilbeggan Distillery, the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.

DETAILS: Five nights from £3,189pp for dates year round. This solo trip can be altered as desired (abercrombiekent.co.uk).

SEA AND SAFARI

Pictured is Tsavo National Park, where visitors have a good chance of seeing lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo and rhinos. The park features on Friendship Travel's eight-night tour of Kenya

Pictured is Tsavo National Park, where visitors have a good chance of seeing lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo and rhinos. The park features on Friendship Travel’s eight-night tour of Kenya 

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SOLO TRAVEL

  1. Take it easy on the first night. There’s plenty of time to get to know everyone.
  2. Don’t hold the group up by continually being late for excursions.
  3. Stay safe. Keep friends and family informed about where you’re going (an app such as Find My Friends offers extra reassurance).
  4. Open up. Smile and start a conversation.
  5. Ask how many single people and how many couples will be on the trip. Too many of either is not advised.
  6. Take pride in booking a solo holiday — many people wouldn’t have the courage.
  7. Swot up on where you’re going. It will boost confidence.
  8. Keep a diary and indulge in how you are really feeling about life.
  9. Offer to take photos of other guests with their phones (anything to avoid a selfie culture).
  10. Don’t be scared. Take advantage of every moment of freedom.

There is no more reliable safari destination than Kenya — it’s also one of the most straightforward African countries to reach.

An added bonus is that there are some spectacular beaches with the resorts to match.

Bounce between the Tsavo National Park, where visitors have a good chance of seeing the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo and rhinos), and the Kenyan coastline.

Safari camps overlook the Sante River while the beach resort is surrounded by baobab trees filled with colobus monkeys. Friendship Travel has 20 years’ experience and offers reasonably priced trips for smaller groups.

DON’T MISS: Watching animals drink at the watering hole from your room at Ngutuni Lodge.

DETAILS: Eight nights with some meals, flights and most activities included from £1,825pp. Trips depart in February and April (friendshiptravel.com). Group sizes are smaller but depend on demand.

UP HIGH

There’s no better way to experience the dramatic scenery of Tenerife than on a walking tour. Explore the leafy forests of Anaga amid the volcanic landscape of this island, which is also home to the Barranca Canyon and the petrified lava formations of Las Canadas del Teide.

There are also boat rides, wine tasting and time to enjoy the beaches.

DON’T MISS: Exploring the village of Masca in Tenerife’s Teno mountains.

DETAILS: Five nights’ B&B costs from £713 pp including some meals and all excursions, flights excluded. Book for departures from May, groups are small (gadventures.com).

MEXICAN WAVE

See the ancient settlement of Chichen Itza, pictured, as you 'explore the heart of Mexico’ with Intrepid

See the ancient settlement of Chichen Itza, pictured, as you ‘explore the heart of Mexico’ with Intrepid

Adventure travel company Intrepid claims that more than 50 per cent of its customers are solo. So you will be with like minds on one of the company’s trips.

Explore the heart of Mexico’s Aztec, Maya and Spanish cultures on this holiday.

The tour covers the relaxed shores of the Yucatan Peninsula and seeing the ancient settlement of Chichen Itza while also allowing time for swimming, hiking and snorkelling.

DON’T MISS: Spending time with the local guide — present on all Intrepid trips.

DETAILS: 15 days from £1,140 pp, flights must be booked separately. BA (ba.com) London to Cancun from £632 return. Trips run throughout the year (maximum group size 16) at intrepidtravel.com.

HEART OF ITALY

Sample Puglia’s signature pasta - orecchiette (meaning little ears) - in Ostuni (pictured) with Riviera Travel

Sample Puglia’s signature pasta – orecchiette (meaning little ears) – in Ostuni (pictured) with Riviera Travel 

Puglia is perhaps slightly underappreciated — but this southern region, in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s ‘boot’, has plenty to offer.

The usual suspects are all there — great food, wine, fascinating ancient sites, spectacular baroque churches and a proud culture. Add to this Matera’s ancient caves, the Adriatic Coast and whitewashed towns such as Alberobello and you’ve got a great trip.

DON’T MISS: Sampling orecchiette (meaning little ears) — Puglia’s signature pasta — in Ostuni.

DETAILS: Eight days’ half-board, including flights, from £1,174 pp. Book from May, small groups (rivieratravel.co.uk).

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Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Take the ultimate Royal palaces tour with Robert Hardman










This two-night tour will give you a fascinating glimpse into the lives, homes and history of the Royal Family.

Celebrate the capital’s regal connections and prepare for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee on visits to Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle, where you’ll go behind-the-scenes on a private tour of the State Apartments and enjoy a champagne reception.

From Henry VIII to the present Queen, the British monarchy features some of history’s most captivating figures – as well as its most grisly tales – and these iconic palaces on the Thames are the ultimate seats of power. So who better to give you a unique insight into them than our very own Robert Hardman?

Grisly secrets: The Tower of London on the banks of the Thames, once a prison for traitors, now home to the Crown Jewels

Grisly secrets: The Tower of London on the banks of the Thames, once a prison for traitors, now home to the Crown Jewels

OUR SPECIAL GUEST  

You will be joined by Robert Hardman

You will be joined by Robert Hardman 

A journalist for more than 30 years, Robert Hardman is one of the UK’s leading authors and commentators on the Royal Family. His books include Monarchy, Queen Of The World and Our Queen, and he has written and produced documentaries including Prince Philip – The Royal Family Remembers, Anne – The Princess Royal At 70, George III – The Genius Of The Mad King, Charles At 60 and The Queen’s Castle for the BBC and ITV. He now writes the How I See It column in the Daily Mail.

As a Royal writer, commentator and film-maker, he has had privileged access to the Family and the Household for more than 25 years and can give you an insider’s view, on their past, present and future. Robert, a much loved Mail columnist, will join you for an exclusive talk and Q&A.

You will also receive a copy of Robert’s book Queen Of Our Times: The Life Of Elizabeth II (one per booking) which he will happily sign for you.

Don’t miss your chance to explore these four magnificent palaces and celebrate 1,000 years of regal history on the ultimate Royal tour of the capital.

REASONS TO BOOK

Exclusive talk by Robert Hardman: As one of the UK’s most respected Royal reporters, Robert Hardman will give you an extraordinary insight into the workings of the modern British Royal Family in a private talk and Q&A session. He has covered more than 60 international tours and has interviewed many members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles, and is the author of the forthcoming biography Queen Of Our Times: The Life Of Elizabeth II.

Royal castles and palaces: The walls may not be able to talk, but you will hear astonishing true tales of the monarchy in the most important Royal houses across the city: Westminster Abbey, which has witnessed the coronation of every monarch since William the Conqueror; the Tower of London, the mighty fortress that is now the permanent home of the Crown Jewels; and Buckingham Palace (exterior view only), the official Royal residence in London since Queen Victoria’s accession in 1837.

Hampton Court with Robert Harding: You’ll enjoy a fascinating guided tour of Hampton Court, forever associated with Henry VIII and the Tudor court. Admire the magnificent Great Hall and the huge Tudor kitchens, and walk down the infamous Haunted Gallery to the State Apartments.

Behind the scenes at Windsor Castle: Another highlight will be Windsor Castle, a Royal stronghold since just after the Norman Conquest, where you will journey through 1,000 years of Royal history on a private tour of the State Apartments at a time when the castle is otherwise closed to the public. You’ll also enjoy a glass of champagne at the end of the tour.

Historic hotel stay: You’ll be based at The Talbot, a charming former coaching inn in the historic Surrey village of Ripley. It has many period features from its 500-year history and was reputedly visited by Lord Nelson – it is said his love affair with Lady Hamilton blossomed here.

WHAT’S INCLUDED 

  • Two nights’ bed-and- breakfast at the four-star Talbot Ripley Hotel in Surrey. 
  • First- and second-night set menu dinner at the hotel restaurant.
  • Exclusive talk and Q&A with Robert Hardman.
  • Private, after-hours tour of Windsor Castle and champagne reception.
  • London palaces tour including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace exterior and the Tower of London, and all admission fees.
  • Coach transfers.
  • Services of a tour manager throughout.

YOUR ITINERARY: DAY 1 Check-in, afternoon tea and Windsor DAY 2 Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, National Gallery and exclusive talk with Robert Hardman DAY 3 The Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace

HOW TO BOOK

The dates: October 10 to 12 and 17 to 19, 2022. The price: From £649pp*.

Call 02045 719 750 quoting ref MOS HARDMAN.To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/royaltour.

Terms and conditions: * Price based on two sharing a twin/double room. Single supplement: £112. Itinerary subject to change. Transport to hotel not included. Our travel partner, Travel Editions, is ABTA-bonded. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/royaltour.

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The view of Hereford Cathedral from the River Wye

The view of Hereford Cathedral from the River Wye

With pretty villages renowned for 14th Century black-and-white timbered homes, historic market towns and swathes of undulating, unspoilt countryside, Herefordshire is undoubtedly one of England’s best-looking counties.

Yet it is also one that has fallen under the radar of mass tourism, making it a draw for those seeking a slice of England away from the crowds. The allure, apart from top-notch places to stay, is the growing foodie scene. Herefordshire produces some of this country’s most delicious fayre, from succulent beef and juicy blackcurrants to phenomenal beer, gin and cider.

And as well as familiar big names such as Westons Cider, Chase gin and Tyrrells crisps, there are hundreds of smaller producers and restaurants serving up culinary feasts to tuck into any time of the year.

CORE ATTRACTION 

Apples are the most famous of the county’s many crops, and Herefordshire makes fabulous cider. Recently introduced ‘cider circuits’ are a great way to tour the area’s best producers.

Each self-guided circuit starts and ends at Hereford Cathedral, covers about 45 miles and can be done by bike or car.

The Market House on the main shopping street in Ledbury. It's possible to go on a cider and perry 'tour and tasting' in the town

The Market House on the main shopping street in Ledbury. It’s possible to go on a cider and perry ‘tour and tasting’ in the town

Glorious: A crop of apples heading to cider-makers. Recently introduced ‘cider circuits’ are a great way to tour Herefordshire's best producers

Glorious: A crop of apples heading to cider-makers. Recently introduced ‘cider circuits’ are a great way to tour Herefordshire’s best producers

Or call in on cider and perry producers such as Westons Cider Mill at Ledbury for a tour and a tasting (westons-cider.co.uk).

It’s also worth looking out for regular apple-themed menus and activities in pubs, hotels and restaurants across the region. That way you know you’re getting the freshest and tastiest local produce.

Settle in at the Green Dragon Hotel in the heart of Hereford and close to the cathedral, where its 83 rooms have been brilliantly refurbished in bold and bright jewel colours. B&B from £89 per room per night (greendragonhotel.com).

BERRY TASTY

Another local drink to sip is White Heron’s British Cassis – blackcurrant liqueur. It featured on the BBC show Dragons’ Den and is now sold everywhere from Waitrose to Fortnum & Mason.

Take a fascinating tour of 700-acre Whittern Farms in Lyonshall to see how it’s produced. You’ll get to see behind the scenes, visit a blackcurrant plantation (the finest berries head to Ribena) and bottle up your own cassis to take home.

The two-hour tour, which includes a 200ml bottle of cassis and a cocktail, costs £50 arrangement fee plus £20pp.

The estate also has holiday cottages which sleep four to eight guests, some with access to an outdoor pool. Or there’s The Colloquy, a luxurious property with squash court, sauna and hot tub. Prices start at £2,500 for a two-night stay for 16 people (whiteheronproperties.com).

Another estate offers an even grander place to relax. The old pigsty and outbuildings of the Whitbourne Estate have been reborn as Crumplebury and will take your breath away.

Whittern Farms in Lyonshall has holiday cottages that sleep four to eight guests, some with access to an outdoor pool (pictured)

Whittern Farms in Lyonshall has holiday cottages that sleep four to eight guests, some with access to an outdoor pool (pictured)

Heavenly attraction: Pictured above is Lyonshall's St Michael and All Angels church

Heavenly attraction: Pictured above is Lyonshall’s St Michael and All Angels church 

Fine dining at Pensons on the Netherwood Estate near Bromyard

Fine dining at Pensons on the Netherwood Estate near Bromyard

The out-in-the-wilds property now includes the renowned Green Cow Kitchens fine dining restaurant plus an exclusive-use state-of-the-art wedding and events venue with uber-luxurious on-site accommodation. The restaurant makes the most of the meat produced on the estate and fresh herbs such as wild garlic which are foraged from the fields by the chefs.

B&B costs from £165 per night (crumplebury.co.uk).

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

What better way to celebrate a special anniversary or event than an unforgettable Michelin-starred meal at Pensons on the Netherwood Estate near Bromyard.

Showcasing the best local produce, the tasting menu features cured sea trout with carrot, orange and saffron, monkfish, venison, spiced red wine pear with vanilla panna cotta… need I say more?

The cost is £440 per night for two guests, including the five-course tasting menu, breakfast and a courtyard bedroom – that’s actually a bargain.

The estate also has several luxurious large houses to rent (pensons.co.uk).

Or check in to The Baiting House in Upper Sapey, a small village close to the Worcestershire border. The pub was stylishly refurbished by a local couple in 2015 and now offers beautifully simple rooms and self-catering lodges with private patios and hot tub. The locally sourced menu changes daily, but examples include dishes such as chicken liver parfait and beer-battered hake and chips. Rooms from £75 per room per night (baitinghouse.co.uk).

The Baiting House in Upper Sapey, pictured, offers beautifully simple rooms and self-catering lodges

The Baiting House in Upper Sapey, pictured, offers beautifully simple rooms and self-catering lodges

The locally sourced menu at The Baiting House changes daily. The pub, pictured, was stylishly refurbished by a local couple in 2015

The locally sourced menu at The Baiting House changes daily. The pub, pictured, was stylishly refurbished by a local couple in 2015

Tasty: A Beefy Boys burger, made with super-succulent, 21-day-aged Hereford beef

SO-JUICY BURGERS

Want to taste probably the juiciest beefburger in the world? 

Head for The Beefy Boys in Hereford – but you may need to book ahead.

Set up in the Old Market in 2016, the restaurant serves burgers made with super succulent, 21-day-aged Hereford beef, freshly ground each day and available in all shapes and flavours. 

Go for the original Beefy Boy with its secret sauce or tackle the Dirty Boy with bacon, cheese and beef dripping onions. 

Milkshakes come in hard or soft varieties (with or without alcohol) and are to die for (thebeefyboys.com).

GIN THAT’S A TONIC 

The town of Ross-on-Wye, pictured, is home to The Bridge House B&B. It boasts 'spacious gardens and river views'

The town of Ross-on-Wye, pictured, is home to The Bridge House B&B. It boasts ‘spacious gardens and river views’ 

Chase produces vodka that’s so good it is exported to Russia!

You’ll learn more fascinating facts on a tour of the Chase Distillery in Preston Wynne, just 20 minutes outside Hereford, including how owner and entrepreneur William Chase switched from growing potatoes for supermarkets to making high-end Tyrrells crisps to producing outstanding vodka and gin.

You’ll be invited to taste classic GB Gin, made with ten botanicals including ginger and liquorice root, and the zesty Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin. Tickets cost from £20pp (chasedistillery.co.uk).

Alternatively, make your own gin at Black Mountains Botanicals, from £120pp using your own still with the help of a master distiller. Tastings included, naturally (blackmountainsbotanicals.co.uk).

Stay at The Bridge House, Ross-on-Wye, a lovely B&B with spacious gardens and river views, from £110 per room per night (bridgehouserossonwye.co.uk).

GET AROUND AND A BITE 

Foraging for food turns out to be another great way to explore Herefordshire’s stunning countryside. The spoils change with the season, and include mushrooms, nuts, herbs, berries and other fruits.

Local foraging expert Liz Knight teaches guests how to recognise each one and where to find it. Private two-and-a-half-hour walks for a group of up to 12 people cost £250 (foragefinefoods.com). Stay at gourmands’ heaven The Riverside at Aymestrey, with Herefordshire snails, free-range chicken and juicy Hereford beef on the menu. B&B from £95 per room per night (riversideaymestrey.co.uk).

CURRYING FAVOUR

Rayeesa Asghar-Sandys teaches an Indian cookery class in the village of Mordiford (pictured), near Hereford

Rayeesa Asghar-Sandys teaches an Indian cookery class in the village of Mordiford (pictured), near Hereford

Tuck in: Afternoon tea at Castle House hotel can be spiced up with a glass of fizz

Tuck in: Afternoon tea at Castle House hotel can be spiced up with a glass of fizz

Learn how to spice up your life on an Indian cookery class in the farmhouse kitchen of Rayeesa Asghar-Sandys in Mordiford, near Hereford.

Rayeesa, a former Met police officer who appeared on Dragons’ Den with her range of curry sauces, Spiced by Rayeesa, will show you how to select the finest Herefordshire ingredients to create scrumptious main dishes and sides. Her next class, the Essential Indian on January 25, costs £175pp (spicedbyrayeesa.com).

Stay at the stylishly refurbished The Greenman in Fownhope. B&B from £70 per room per night (thegreenman.co).

TWICE AS NICE  

The Nest near Ledbury isn’t just a gem of a cafe, it’s a delicatessen stuffed with a tempting smorgasbord of Hereford goodies for the larder, plus a local art gallery and plant centre (nestledbury.co.uk).

It is also home to the Handmade Scotch Egg Company, so lunch must include at least one – how about Braveheart, featuring pork with chilli and fresh lime? So tasty and it definitely represents a substantial meal.

Stay at The Feathers in Ledbury, a cosy black-and-white Tudor coaching inn. B&B from £110 per room per night (feathersledbury.co.uk).

TEA TIME 

Castle House is a perfect place for afternoon tea – a luxurious, elegant hotel tucked away in a quiet spot beside Hereford’s old moat in which you might spot otters playing.

Tea, from £16pp and served Wednesday to Saturday, includes finger sandwiches, savouries, scones and cakes washed down with locally blended teas and coffees – and you can add a glass of fizz for a tenner. Do treat yourself to an overnight stay – B&B from £155 per room per night (castlehse.co.uk).

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New sneak peek pictures have been released from inside the hugely-anticipated Game of Thrones studio experience.

One of the photographs shows how fans will be able to step across the flagstones of the Great Hall at Winterfell – retracing Jon Snow’s footsteps in the scene in which he was proclaimed the ‘King in the North’.  

Other pictures show how the tour will house a reconstruction of the production design department and elaborate displays of original costumes from the fantasy series.

New sneak peek pictures have been released from inside the hugely-anticipated Game of Thrones studio experience

New sneak peek pictures have been released from inside the hugely-anticipated Game of Thrones studio experience

One of the photographs shows how fans will be able to step across the flagstones of the Great Hall at Winterfell (pictured)

One of the photographs shows how fans will be able to step across the flagstones of the Great Hall at Winterfell (pictured)

In the Great Hall (pictured), fans will be able to retrace Jon Snow's footsteps in the scene in which he was proclaimed the ‘King in the North'

In the Great Hall (pictured), fans will be able to retrace Jon Snow’s footsteps in the scene in which he was proclaimed the ‘King in the North’

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will open on February 4, 2022, at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland – where parts of the acclaimed HBO series were filmed.    

The £24million interactive tour promises to ‘transport fans into the very heart of Westeros’, bringing ‘visitors closer to the Seven Kingdoms than ever before’. 

Previously released pictures showed that Daenerys Targaryen’s ‘imposing’ Dragonstone throne is among the props that will feature in the 110,000-square-foot (10,219 metres sq) experience. Daenerys’ white fur coat will also be showcased – its layered design was inspired by the scales of her beloved dragons. Fans will also be able to view Sansa Stark’s wedding dress and Jon Snow’s winter furs.

Lifting the curtain on what happened behind the scenes during the making of the series, visitors will be invited to learn about the craftsmanship that helped to ‘bring the show to life’, from makeup artistry to set decoration. 

One of the sneak peek pictures shows an elaborate display of original costumes from the fantasy series

One of the sneak peek pictures shows an elaborate display of original costumes from the fantasy series 

The above image shows how the tour will house a reconstruction of the production design department

The above image shows how the tour will house a reconstruction of the production design department

Fans will get the chance to learn about visual effects that went into the series, before ‘testing out their acting skills’ in an interactive green screen experience. 

Visitors will also hear ‘the tales behind the creation of the iconic arms’ that appear on the Game of Thrones battlefields, from Valerian steel to dragonglass. 

A statement previously revealed: ‘The immersive and sensory-based experience utilises cutting edge design and technology to bring Westeros to life and will evoke the show’s epic scale – from King’s Landing, Winterfell, Dragonstone, The Wall and the lands beyond.’  

A 'production design' display in the tour, which will open on February 4, 2022, at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge

A ‘production design’ display in the tour, which will open on February 4, 2022, at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge

The £24million interactive tour, pictured, promises to ‘transport fans into the very heart of Westeros’

The £24million interactive tour, pictured, promises to ‘transport fans into the very heart of Westeros’

After working up an appetite, visitors can stop at one of two onsite cafes – described as ‘the perfect places to power up for your tour’. 

Earlier this month, Peter van Roden, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment, said: ‘Knowing you are in the very same spot where some of the series’ most memorable moments were filmed is an incredible feeling and we know fans of the franchise will feel the same when they see the rich detail in the sets, costumes and props up close and personal.’

Andrew Webb and David Browne, Executive Directors at Linen Mill Studios, added: ‘After many years as a closed and “off limits” film studio, it is now time for fans from across the world to step inside the Seven Kingdoms and make their own personal journey through the world of Westeros at Linen Mill Studios.’

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will house props such as Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragonstone throne (pictured)

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will house props such as Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragonstone throne (pictured) 

Daenerys' white fur coat, its layered design inspired by the scales of her dragons, will be showcased at the new attraction

Daenerys’ white fur coat, its layered design inspired by the scales of her dragons, will be showcased at the new attraction

Game of Thrones is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by US novelist George R R Martin. It tells the story of nine families in mythical and magical Westeros and their fight to gain power in the region. 

The series, which debuted in 2011, ran for eight seasons and made international stars of the likes of Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.

It was primarily shot in Northern Ireland, but locations across Europe – from Scotland to Iceland – were also used. 

Props on display in the tour. Visitors will be invited to learn about the craftsmanship that helped to 'bring the show to life', from makeup artistry to set decoration

Props on display in the tour. Visitors will be invited to learn about the craftsmanship that helped to ‘bring the show to life’, from makeup artistry to set decoration 

‘The immersive and sensory-based experience utilises cutting edge design and technology to bring Westeros to life,' a statement reveals

‘The immersive and sensory-based experience utilises cutting edge design and technology to bring Westeros to life,’ a statement reveals 

With the opening of the Studio Tour looming, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Over the past decade, Northern Ireland has welcomed fans from around the globe to the “real-world Westeros” – home to the stunning landscapes, coastlines and mountains that have featured in some of the show’s most memorable scenes.’

He added that the tour ‘will bring the Seven Kingdoms vividly to life, in the place where it all began.’

Tickets for the Game of Thrones Studio Tour are on sale now, with prices starting from £39.50 for adults. For more information, visit gameofthronesstudiotour.com.

Pictured is Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in the acclaimed series, which debuted in 2011

Pictured is Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in the acclaimed series, which debuted in 2011

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