Day 1. A short break in Girona

We'd arranged a short break to the Spanish city of Girona with a lunchtime flight from Bournemouth Airport on Dorset's south coast. It was our third time using this airport and it's always a pleasure as there are plenty of airside facilities and no queues. Our Ryanair flight departed on time with a full load …

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Day 14. Our final day in Palermo, Sicily

Our final day in Sicily began slowly with a leisurely breakfast on our shady balcony. As our British Airways return flight to London wasn't due to depart until 20.30 we had arranged a late check out, enabling us to have access to our apartment until late afternoon. We started the day with a stroll along …

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Day 13. Sferracavallo, Sicily

Wondering where to visit on our final full day in Sicily, I came across some photos of Sferracavallo which appeared to be an idyllic fishing village nestled below some rugged cliffs, so we decided to head there. It's located 13km north west of Palermo in the Capo Gallo Nature Reserve. It's quite close, but very …

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Day 12. Trapani, Sicily

We woke to yet another hot, sunny morning and decided to spend the day in the port city of Trapani. Getting to Trapani from Palermo is by Segesta Express bus and this service departs from the left hand side of the railway station. Return tickets cost €14.10 each and do not need to be purchased …

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Day 11. Mondello, Sicily

A lazy start to our Sunday morning with a relaxing breakfast out on our terrace. Feeling ready to set off, we wandered through Palermo's historic quarter, passing the vast Teatro Massimo and continuing along to the newer part of town with its designer shops. Soon, we arrived at the Teatro Politeama in the Piazza Ruggero …

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Day 10. Monreale, Sicily

Our plan for the morning was to visit the small town of Monreale which sits perched on a cliff top above the city of Palermo. Getting to Monreale is quite easy as AMAT Bus 389 departs from Piazza Independenza taking just 20 minutes to the hilltop town. When travelling on Italian buses it's necessary to …

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The Pheasant Inn, Highclere, Hampshire

Location This picturesque 17th century inn is located in the village of Highclere, Hampshire close to the Berkshire border. Highclere Castle, where most of the filming for Downton Abbey took place, is just up the road and the attractive market town of Newbury a fifteen minute drive away. The Pheasant has ample parking and for …

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Day 9. Cefalu, Sicily

Our plan for the day was a trip to Cefalu, an easy 59 minute train journey from Palermo. Tickets cost €11.20 each return by regional train and we opted for the 9.38 a.m. service as the next departure was not for a further two hours. Our train departed on time and for the final 30 …

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Day 8. Exploring Palermo, Sicily

A leisurely start to the day with breakfast on our terrace. It was almost 10.00 a.m. when we stepped out of our apartment strolling the short distance to the nearby Ballaro outdoor market which seemed much larger than when we briefly visited the previous day just as it was about to close. I was tempted …

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Day 7. From Catania to Palermo, Sicily

We were up bright and early for our 9.35 a.m. train to Sicily's capital, Palermo. After checking out of our apartment we trundled our luggage along to Catania Centrale station and purchased two single tickets at a cost of €13.50 each. There is no need to buy the tickets in advance as the tickets remain …

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