So here we are, back at Universal Orlando Resort. We’ve already covered the resort hotels and CityWalk but the chances are if you are in Florida and visiting Universal, you are there for the rides? Is that right? Yep, thought so. In that case, let’s take a tour of the Universal Orlando theme parks and rides.

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‘In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.’ John Muir

California has long been Number 1 on my list of ‘return to’ destinations since my first visit in 2003. Embarking on a long road trip covering cities, theme parks, the coast, deserts and mountains there is such a wide variety of landscapes to visit meaning there is always something to return for.

One place I have visited on several occasions is Yosemite National Park. If I had to describe this place in one word, that word would be majestic. The scale and grandeur, the beautiful meadows, the lush pine forests, the roaring waterfalls and gigantic granite cliff faces leave me awestruck every time I enter the park. I’m sure that most of you will have seen the famous black and white Ansel Adams photos of Yosemite, or certainly seen images of landmarks such as El Capitan and Half Dome. As stunning as these photos can be, they do nothing to provide a sense of scale of what you will see.

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Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey

Winkworth Arboretum is the only Arboretum in the National Trust’s portfolio, and has been maintained by them for the past 60 years. Created in the early 20th century by Dr. Wilfrid Fox, it is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and shrubs, many of those rare.

Located in the Surrey countryside near the town of Godalming, much of the  Arboretum is planted on steep slopes down to the shores of Rowe’s Flash Lake at the bottom of the valley. There are many woodland trails covering the large property, some with apt names such as Spring Walk and Bluebell Wood most suited to (yes, you guessed it) spring, but given the time of year I had come to visit for the autumn colours.

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