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Europe Uncharted: 5 European Destinations Off The Beaten Track

Europe is undoubtedly the most popular summer destination. But beyond London’s shopping or Rome’s history or Italy’s canals, the continent is home to innumerable hidden treasures that are still unknown to most travellers. These five destinations offer a unique perspective of Europe – from Soviet sights to Mediterranean islands, from Mongolian tribes to Greek mythos, from mountainous excursions to Norwegian fjords. Here’s Signature’s selection of the finest unknown destinations of Europe, for a journey right off the beaten track...

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England: In the spotlight this summer for hosting the biggest sporting event of the year!

A hidden canal in London; ghost hunters in York; pub crawls in Manchester – our destination experts round up the best experiences around popular cricket venues across England.

With England set to host the biggest sporting event (this side of the Atlantic); the kingdom is once again in the spotlight. If you’re traveling to UK this summer, we have the “inside edge” on experiences you should not miss out on! We asked our destination experts for their top picks around the most popular cricket venues of England, so you can enjoy your love for the game along with your love for travel. Here’s what they had to say:

The Oval, London: Explore the hidden gems of the city: London is so much more than the Big Ben and Madame Tussauds. It’s also full of underground bars, hidden alleys, elusive canals and many other rare gems that travellers often miss on their first visit. Fortunately, there are ways to get on these off-beat tracks for a walk around neighbourhoods you might not have seen otherwise. Our favourites include the canal tour from Camden Lock to Little Venice; a rock ‘n’ roll tour featuring Jimi Hendrix’s flat and the Beatles Abbey Road; the eerie ruins of St Dunstan’s church; and secret bars like the Prohibition-themed Bootlegger.

Headingley, Leeds: Spend a few days in nearby York: Viking dungeons, Roman relics, Gothic churches and haunted legends, enclosed within a stunning circuit of medieval walls; York is a place where you can easily slip back in time. One of those rare cities that still retains its old-world charm, York’s landscapes are as charming as its warm people. History is intertwined right into the fabric of life here – from the medieval Shambles, a street so narrow that the houses almost kiss each other, to Ghost Walks where guides will tell you about York’s murky past or the city walls that are still used as an easy way to get across town.

The Rose Bowl, Southampton: Cruise to the Isle of Wight : The windswept cliffs of this little island off the coast of Portsmouth are perfect for some relaxing days in the sun. A mild climate, scenic beaches and hordes of outdoor activities have attracted travellers, especially families, here for many years. June is also when the island fills up with crowds attending the popular Isle of Wight music festival. For a more rustic taste of the island, visit The Pepperpot, England’s only surviving medieval lighthouse or travel to West Wight Alpacas for a chance to see and stroke some cuddly llamas!

Old Trafford, Manchester: Spend a cultural evening : Manchester is a haven for culture buffs – from live music venues to the artistic Northern Quarter where you can even participate in an artisanal coffee crawl. For theatre, you can head to The Lowry, an erstwhile abandoned quay, which is today a top destination for world premieres. Spend the evening tasting some of the best craft beer in the country at a local brewery. Or step into what’s been termed as the “hippest” neighbourhood in the UK, Ancoats, with picture-perfect streets featuring hipster cafes, independent workspaces, gorgeous street art and the best pizza in town!

Pro-Trip: Take a road trip in Scotland: If you have some time, we highly recommend hopping across the border to the stunning countryside of Scotland for one of the highest rated road trips in the world. Drive from Edinburgh to Glasgow and take the scenic route to Oban via the Banockburn Stirling Castle and Tyndrum, one of the greatest Scottish drives. This is also a great spot for island excursions to nearby Mull and Iona. And drive along the legendary Loch Ness to Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands.

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Signature Suggests

Summer Destinations For Every Mood

When we say, “travel your passion”, it’s about finding those little-known treasures of local life that inspire your unique taste for travel. Be it a love for food; a fascination with wildlife; the call of the unknown; or a yearning for history. We spoke to our destination experts to find out the best summer destinations and experiences for varied interests. Here’s what they had to say:

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Your Travel Dose

In the United Kingdom, 12 museums and galleries have collaborated with the Royal Collection Trust to stage simultaneous exhibitions of Leonardo da Vinci’s finest drawings, from 1st February to 6th May. These drawings will now be brought together in the largest collection display of the maestro’s works in 65 years at The Queen’s Gallery in London, from 24th May to 13th October.

In Sydney, the latest sensation of Endless Lights has taken Instagram by storm! A mesmerising light installation which offers ultimate illusions and photo opportunities, #EndlessLights is inspired by the vast Sydney skyline as seen from the Observation Deck. Open until mid-June, the installation creates the optical illusion of height, making the guest feel like they are floating above an endless floor.

In Orlando, the world-famous Sesame Street is now open to guests at SeaWorld. For the first time ever, guests can walk around the fictional neighbourhood and meet the entire furry gang! The immersive experience will feature colourful characters, popular spots from the show like Hooper’s store and lively interactions, bringing the fun and learning to life.

The fascination Reunion Island has caught the attention of global travellers as an adventure destination. Located in the depths of the Indian Ocean, between Mauritius and Madagascar, the island is a dramatic land of fiery volcanoes and steep forested cliffs. Visitors can now stay here inside bubble hotels – glass domes that offer spectacular views of the forest around and starry nights above.

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Road Trip Through Iceland

If you’ve had Iceland on your bucket list for a while but can’t decipher what routes to take, we have you covered with this 16-day journey through the spectacular coastline of the island. Hike across glaciers, step inside 1000-year old caves, listen to Viking folklore, experience life “North of the Wall” and taste unique Icelandic flavours; with stay options that will leave you enveloped in the lap of luxury.

Reykjavik

Day 1:
Pick up a rental car from the Reykjavik airport and drive into the city. This coastal corner is best explored on foot by day.

Day 2:
Opt for a helicopter ride over the black sand beach and landmarks such as the technicolour mountains around Landmannalaugar, landing on a glacier for a hike you will never forget.

Stay: Canopy by Hilton, located ideally in the city centre and inside one of the most colourful neighbourhoods of the city.

Hvolsvöllur

Day 3:
Head out of the city towards the south coast, exploring the Golden Circle on route i.e. Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir National Park, and visit the Secret Lagoon.

Day 4:
Explore the fascinating 800-year-old ice caves of the south coast and continue to the majestic waterfall Skogafoss before heading onwards to the beaches of Reynisfjara and Dyrhólaey.

Day 5:
Visit a private island today, off the southern coast, for a more intimate experience of the untouched beauty of the area, with an exclusive dinner.

Stay: The charming Skálakot Manor Hotel in the countryside.

Jökulsárlón

Day 6:
Head further south and stop for snowmobiling on top of Eyjafjallajökull glacier, ideal for first timers, with spectacular views of the southern coast.

Day 7:
Take a day-trip to the beautiful Skaftafell National Park, a green oasis wedged between sand and glacier and a place known for its geology that is an interplay of "fire and ice".

Day 8:
Ride a kayak across the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to get close to 1000-year old icebergs and for magnificent views of the ice caps in the area.

Stay: Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon, located right into the midst of nature.

Egilstaðir

Day 9:
Leave the Höfn area and head towards Egilsstaðir, where you can stop for lunch before driving to the Hengifoss Waterfall for a hike.

Day 10:
Explore the lush wilderness on a horse ride, the trusted Viking transport, across a glacier river via an elevated ropeway to an abandoned farmhouse. There are highlands, canyons and hot springs to explore here.

Stay: Wilderness Centre, an authentic and peaceful hideaway located at the edge of Northern Europe´s biggest wilderness.

Lake Myvatn

Day 11:
Drive further north to the Lake Myvatn area. The landscape remarkably changes colours here. Come evening, enjoy a relaxing swim in the Myvatn geothermal baths.

Day 12:
Explore Lake Myvatn with a local guide as you taste bread baked with the geothermal heat of geysers, smoked arctic char and lamb. And end at Höfði region, famous as the land “North of the Wall” in the TV series Game of Thrones.

Day 13:
Start your day by driving to Ásbyrgi and the mighty Dettifoss waterfall inside the Vatnajökull National Park. Take a whale watching tour from the charming fishing village of Húsavík.

Stay: The eco-friendly Fosshotel Myvatn, situated near the lake.

Reykjavik

Day 14:
Drive to Akureyri, with a stopover at Godafoss (waterfall of the gods). Return your rental at the domestic airport and take a short flight back to Reykjavik.

Day 15:
Hike in the Blue Mountains for a surreal exploration of deep craters and deeper caves. Take a signature spa treatment in the evening and relax on your last night in Iceland.

Day 16:
Return to the Reykjavik airport for your flight back home.

Stay: Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, about 45 minutes from the city.

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