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Valerie Singleton

If you could revisit a place, where would you go? Would it be somewhere that holds a special memory or a place with so much to do that you didn't get round to doing it all the first time round?

Former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton shares the places that she would love to revisit if she had a spare week.

Bruges

Bruges is a gorgeous city, with a long history and much wealth in the Middles Ages, so the architecture and style of the centre reflects this period, with the Burg and the Markt being well worth spending time in.

Bruge

The Gothic Town Hall, the Stadhuis and the Belfry are not to be missed either. Bruges has a wonderful café life, some beside the pretty canals, and here you can enjoy one of the refreshing beers Belgium specialises in producing.

Lace is, of course, one of Bruges’ most famous industries, centuries old, and beautiful pieces can be bought today, although they can be very expensive. If you’d rather look than buy, The Lace Centre has displays and demonstrations. For art lovers the Groeninge Museum houses a good exhibition of Flemish paintings.

As a small city, Bruges is easily walked around, and the diameter is about 3km, so this is a pleasant way to spend half a day. The Tourist Information office provide information on a variety of walks.

Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen in Austria, is a super place to visit in the summer, full of traditional wooden architecture which is charming, and whilst it’s a low resort at just 650m, the mountains rise all round it creating a glorious backdrop.

Mayrhofen

It has a real Tyrolean atmosphere and style. If you do want to ski in the summer there is snow above 3000, and of course, the glacier guarantees this too.

The Penken lift transports visitors up the mountain to enjoy fabulous views and sitting in a café relaxing whilst taking in the air and the stunning mountains is a total joy.

There is some serious hiking to be done too on the 4 big peaks. However for those who prefer a less arduous experience, there are plenty of wonderful walks lower down, where normal fitness levels would be more than sufficient. Many of the hotels organise accompanied walks as do various walking companies based in the town. I took a highly enjoyable walk one day to a reservoir called the Stilluper Stause.

Viareggio

Viareggio conjures up images of Italian ice cream, hot sunny days and pavement society. And it’s true! The long sandy beach spans 20km of flat straight coastline on the North West coast of Tuscany, which is partitioned into individual sections, each taking on a particular style and colour. These are facilities you have to pay for, however the organisation and well planned approach of the beach makes the fee worthwhile.

In true Italian style, the promenade is filled with shops and beach cafes, just the place for strolling and people watching, especially in the evening before or after dinner. It’s flat enough to be great for cycling too, bikes are easy to rent. Viareggio was a highly fashionable town between the world wars, so the buildings are decorated in a lavish and rather glamorous way.

The mountains surrounding the town, the Apuane Alps, are magnificent and in their foothills is Pietrasanta, famous for its artistic community, going back centuries to Michelangelo. It’s home to a whole range of exhibitions and interesting galleries. For further art, Lucca is not far and Florence is about 80km away.

Torre del Lago, where Puccini had a home, which is now a museum, is only a few miles inland and as the name suggests, is beside a lake. In the summer each year, the renowned Puccini festival takes places, showcasing a different Puccini opera each night in the romantic, atmospheric theatre by the water, which was built to commemorate the great composer.

So, 3 wonderful places to return to and each one, very different, although all are easily reached from the UK.

This article is brought to you by Silver Travel Advisor, the travel reviews and information website for the over 50s.

For short breaks, celebrations and anniversaries to European towns and cities, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Kirker Holidays.

For trips to the mountains, all year round, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Inghams.

 

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174