Beyond the stereotypes, Ireland and Northern Ireland are as characterful and fascinating as is any of their most colourful depictions. Take the time to explore; away from the city centres lie dramatic scenery perfectly suited to outdoor action and water sports, plus isolated secret spots to rival anywhere in the world. Whether it's escaping to Kerry's coast or marvelling at the Giant's Causeway, there's a host of unforgettable experiences in store Here's our pick of the highlights. Read more about Explore the Emerald Isle
"The bigger the wave, the bigger the dram," says our skipper, Nicol, dispensing socking great measures of whisky to those of us huddled on the rear deck of his tiny boat. Adrenaline is coursing through my body, but so far my newly acquired sea legs are holding out, no small thanks to the warm smack of the liquor. I'm on a terrifyingly choppy ride through the waters off the Hebridean Isle of Jura, heading straight for Corryvreckan, the third biggest natural whirlpool in the world; this 50-minute journey is a race against time to see the swirl at its most dramatic. Read more about Experience Jura’s Whisky and Whirlpool
Nestled in the lush Hampshire countryside is the peaceful town of Stockbridge, an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stockbridge has fresh air, scenic walks and some of the UK’s best sparkling wine. You can shelve any idea of being on a diet, as local, seasonal produce is big on the menu here, so the food is incredible.
Pack your walking boots for a country ramble. Stroll around Stockbridge Marsh next to the River Test to spot water voles scampering along the riverbanks, or wander vast and hilly Stockbridge Down for sweeping rural views. Read more about A Weekend in Stockbridge, England
By the second week of the New Year it's a fair bet that any after-effects of New Year's Eve partying will have worn off - unless you're in the Gwaun Valley in West Wales, where you'll just be gearing up for the New Year celebrations in mid-January. Read more about Celebrate the New Year Twice, Visit Gwaun Valley, West Wales
At this time of year many skiers and snowboarders start booking and planning their ski break, with most of us heading to Europe in search of winter adrenaline thrills. This year we need not waste the airfare, as Scotland can offer good to excellent skiing experiences, which comes wrapped in some of the finest mountain scenery anywhere in the world. Read more about Try Scotland's Ski Wonderland
Dundee has come a long way. The city on Scotland's east coast has been named one of Lonely Planet's top ten European destinations. It is now on the same list as Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, Cantabria in northern Spain and chic Provence in France. This is due in part to the city's blossoming status as a cultural centre - the beacon of which is down to the new V&A Dundee museum with its Kengo Kuma design inspired by the cliffs of Scotland. The V&A is cited as an international centre for design, discovery and education.
Waterfront walks Read more about Dundee, A New European Hotspot
With more than 800 miles of rugged coastline to experience, you'll find so many invigorating opportunities to dip your toes in Welsh waters and help celebrate the Year of the Sea. The waters that lap this special segment of Britain have shaped the landscape over countless centuries - not just in geography, in carving out tall cliffs, gorgeous bays and soft beaches, but in their effect on the people who live alongside the waves. Read more about Celebrate Year of the Sea in Wales
A sunset can be enjoy from many places but none is like what you will enjoy if you are in London. Therefore, we have located eight of London's coolest places to enjoy its sunsets, from the heart of the city to its outskirts. And the best part of it is, most of them are for free; all you need is your travel card and you can be there, watching the changing colours of the London skyline as the city say by to another day. Read more about 8 Places to Watch the Sunset in London
The British summer social scene and sports calendar wouldn't be the same without Royal Ascot. In a changing world, this is a national treasure of which we can always be sure. It raises the bar with a distinguished sense of occasion - a horse racing festival par excellence that has earned our affection and respect. Traditional, yes. Predictable, no. If you think it's all top hat and tails, with more starch than your local dry cleaners, think again. Read more about Have a Star Day Out at the Royal Ascot
BADWATER 135, CALIFORNIA USA
Traditionally referred to as 'the world's toughest foot race', Badwater was forced to alter its traditional route through Death Valley in 2013. The Death Valley Park authorities placed a ban on strenuous events taking place during the summer months, when air temperatures (in the shade) reach over 48 degrees. So organisers came up with an alternative route, one with more than 5,200m of cumulative vertical ascent (compared to 3,962 in the previous route), and 3,900m of cumulative descent (compared to 1,433m). While temperature might not reach the sizzling heights of Death Valley (ultra-runner Dean Karnazes once reported that between his team car handing him a cheese sandwich and him eating it, said sandwich became a toastie), the world's toughest foot race just got tougher.
Race facts: The race takes place in July; 135miles(217km); Maximum 48 hours, there is an entry fee. Read more about Run One of the World's 10 Toughest Marathons