Take me there
Time to dig out your fetish boots, fingerless gloves and fishnet tights for the Whitby Goth Weekend. Ever since Bram Stoker’s Dracula came ashore here on a stormy night, this Yorkshire town has been a magnet for fans of all things ghoulish. Thousands of black-clad folk will descend on Whitby for the festival of live music, club nights, “bizarre bazaars” and posing among the gravestones (4-6 November, whitbygothweekend.co.uk). English Heritage will enter into the, ahem, spirit of things, by putting on a series of spooky events in the ruins of Whitby Abbey, including ghost tours, creepy craft activities, twilight falconry displays and Victorian funerals with costumed undertakers and hangmen (until 6 November, english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/whitby-abbey).
THE DILEMMA I want to take my husband somewhere nice for our silver anniversary, but he refuses to put our labrador into a kennel, so I need somewhere dogs are welcome. Jean
You’re in luck. Sawdays, the guidebook publisher that specialises in rootling out special places to stay, is about to launch Dog-friendly Breaks in Britain (£14.99, sawdays.co.uk). It’s not the first guidebook specialising in canine travel, but it’s certainly the most stylish, featuring more than 160 hotels, B&Bs, inns and holiday cottages which have been vetted (sorry) for their willingness to cater for four-legged friends – places such as the Prince Hall Hotel in Devon, which has six acres of woodland and will provide everything from doggy biscuits to spare leads and maps of local walks. And if that’s not enough to get tails wagging, Britain’s first travel company featuring luxury travel for dogs (and their owners) has just launched. Chien Bleu (chienbleutravel.com) specialises in tailor-made breaks for pampered pooches at UK hotels, so whether you want room service for your rottweiler or a wake-up call for your whippet, they’ve got it covered. Check out the Scottish Rover Safari at the Trigony House Hotel in Dumfries, which includes wildlife tracking expeditions by Jeep and on foot, with a fireside meal of haggis in the evening.
Three of the best … theme parks you’ve never heard of
It’s best to avoid the big-name parks during half-term, especially if you have very young children. Here are three low-key (and low-cost) adventure parks perfect for a family day out.
1 Sundown Adventureland, Nottinghamshire: Retford’s answer to Disneyland is perfect for the under-10s. Cheesy and charming. £10 (sundownadventureland.co.uk)
2 Twinlakes Park, Leicestershire: An antidote to Alton Towers. Huge indoor play area, farm and covered ice rink. £12; toddlers £6.99 (twinlakespark.co.uk)
3 Wicksteed Park, Northhamptonshire: Old-fashioned charm and lovely park setting. Ride wristbands £10 October half-term; parking £6 (wicksteedpark.co.uk)
• If you have a travel dilemma, email Joanne O’Connor at email@example.com
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