Travelling makes philosophers of us all. When you’re away there are good times, there are brilliant times and then occasionally there are the not so much talked-about sad and bad times too. How you deal with these is really a matter of personality and experience, but in my INFINITE wisdom (just call me Descartes, or something) I’ve put together some advice — some sensible, some mawkishly sentimental — about how to pick yourself up when times are hard and generally make the most of your time away. When you feel overwhelmed… …find a safe and peaceful spot, then take a…

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I’ve already admitted to being fairly lazy when it came to exploring Budapest’s nightlife, but what of its culture? The city is an ideal location for a museum marathon, if that’s the kind of break you’re after, but to really understand Budapest’s culture you can quite happily eschew the lot — providing you’re willing to strip off. With thermal springs bubbling under the city, public bathing is very much in the water here, so to speak. It’s medicinal too… or at least so they say. To me all this ‘taking the waters’ business stinks of Georgian quackery. I can’t prove…

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  I’m sad tonight. I’m sad because tonight is one of the few nights this week I’m not propping up the bar in Szimpla Kert, the most famous of Budapest’s ruin pubs. These grungy, mostly outdoor bars have sprung up all over the city’s Jewish district in buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Szimpla Kert was the first and is still the most famous of them, but is it also the best? Obviously, I don’t live in Budapest, so it’s a question I’m not really in a position to answer – but I could have tried at least. I’m a…

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The word hostel means different things to different people. If you’ve never stayed in one, but saw that movie then it’s unlikely you ever will. I imagine though, that if you’re under 30 and have ever travelled independently of a tour operator, you’ve probably stayed in one at some point. I won’t lie — they’re a mixed bag, hostels are, and everyone who stays in them has their limits. For me, that means avoiding sleeping in mixed dorms when I’m travelling alone, wherever possible. If you’re on a budget though, you’ll end up in a situation every now and then…

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If you were determined to get a taste of traditional, rustic, eccentric old England, there are plenty of places I could recommend you go. The Nantwich cheese show perhaps, or the Tissington well dressing. But never would I have suggested you could find English country charm in London — and in zone 1, no less — until now. This bank holiday I headed to Little Venice, one of my favourite areas of the city, for a gentle, genteel and outdoorsy knees-up. The Canalway Cavalcade has been running for 20 years now, gathering barges from all over the country in the…

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