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Travel News: October

Autumn's best in Estonia

Autumn in the Baltic states usually features mild temperatures that allow travellers to explore forests, wetlands, islands, gardens and cities, with the  bonus of vivid seasonal colour. 

In autumn, Estonian dishes revolve around nature's bounty: forest mushrooms are foraged, wild game like elk appears on tables, apples are picked from orchards and root vegetables mature. 

What cannot be served fresh is preserved and enjoyed throughout the winter thanks to ahge-old methods such as salting and marinating. For mushrooming and berry pricing, Estonia's hotspot is Soomaa National Park.

Estonia has some of the most untouched nature in Europe, featuring magnificent wetlands, long-stretched coastlines, more than 2000 islands and over half of its land covered in forests.

Autumn is one of the best times to see wildlife, as elks are mating, brown bears are gathering food for the winter, ringed seals are assembling and wolves are teaching their young to hunt.

... but lakes break is great, too

Small-group tours company Rabbie's is offering three to five-day tours departing form London or Edinburgh to explore the Lake District. 

A Windermere, Lancaster and Lake District one-da tour is also available form Manchester from £41 per person. 

Autumn in the lake District is one of the best times to fo 'leaf-peeping' as the North Americans call it. Because of the density of deciduous trees, the area explodes into colour from early October to mid-November.

The weather is mild and on a crisp sunny Lake district day there is nothing finer than to take a walk along a lake or through a wood to experience Autumn at its photo-ready best. 

For more information, see:

Let the magic of Kells weave its spells

Less than an hour's drive from Dublin port, where Irish Ferries has up to six arrival a say, lies County Meath at the heart of Ireland's Ancient East.

The town of Kells is famous for Ireland's greatest cultural treasure: the illuminated Gospels known as the Book of Kells, now exhibited in Dublin but created at Kells monastery in the ninth century.

Kell;s round tower and four Celtic crosses are just a few minutes' walk from the Headfort Arms Hotwlw on the High Street. It;s a good base for discovering other celebrated sights, including the Newgrange Iron Age tomb, the Hill of Tara, Trim Castle and Mellifont Abbey. A three night break, including ferry travel, costs as little as £213 per person based on two sharing. That is Irish Ferries' package price for any three nights- including weekends- at the family-run hotel, which offers a warm Irish welcome and awared-winning food. 

The Headfort Arms has 45 hour-star rooms and four dining options: Cafe Therese, The Lounge, Kelltic Bar and the contemporary Vanilla Pod restaurant. 

The package includes an Irish breakfast each morning. The hotel is regularly placed in Ireland's Top 100 places to Eat list. Irish Ferries suggest that guests allow time on the return trip to Dublin port to see the Book of Kells, bow displayed at Trinity College.

For more information, tel: 08717 300400; website:

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