2000

All stories

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Cheryl Mullin goes on a girls' weekend to London, and discovers the perfect location to explore the capital's delights in peace

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Travel: Lanzarote - a downhill struggle?

A nervous Jane Haase embarks on her first family ski holiday in the French Alps

Airbnb apartment in Berlin

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Cruising on South Walsham Broad

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Nigel Thompson cruises along the Norfolk Broads and finds big skies, wildlife... and a water-borne bishop

TRAVEL Austria Monastery

Enjoy an oasis of charm and calm in Austria

If you want a relaxing break, book in at a monastery says Ann Stenhouse

The Perry Green room at The Craven Heifer, Addingham

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The Craven Heifer on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales celebrates the region's famous sons and daughters as well as fine food

The boat ride along the gorgeous coast of Amalfi.

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Nigel Thompson heads to spectacular Sorrento in Italy to confront one of the world’s most twisting roads... and an awful lot of steps

Peckforton Castle

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The American Bar at The Stafford London by Kempinski

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Mike Lockley spends an elegant afternoon at The Stafford, quintessential London hotel that borders the capital’s royal landmarks

The sunset from Pinchos restaurant

An undiscovered Caribbean gem you won’t be able to help falling in love with

Aruba remains undiscovered by British tourists. Mary Griffin takes a trip to the Caribbean to see what we’re missing

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A holiday lodge at Sandy Balls

Having a ball exploring the New Forest national park

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of Sandy Balls. Adrian Caffrey dodges the double entendres while enjoying the outdoor life...

Princes Street Gardens looking up towards Edinburgh Castle

Mixing history with luxury on a city break in the Scottish capital

Julia McWatt pays a visit to Edinburgh, where she falls in love with the historic city - and the luxury apartment she temporarily calls home...

Bournemouth, Dorset

Britain's best beaches: Seven golden shores you can't afford to miss

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Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Bustling Kathmandu works its magic on adventurous visitors

Most visitors to Nepal pass through Kathmandu on their way to Mount Everest. But stop and spend time in this vibrant city,  urges Fiona Woottom

Experience [REC] at Portaventura

Halloween horror trips that are terrifyingly good...

If your idea of a good time is being scared silly this round up of horrifying Halloween trips is your one-way ticket to terror...

St Anton offers superb ski runs to suit all abilities

Keep the drinks on ice and hit the slopes in glorious St Anton

It may boast some of  the very best après ski around, but Gill Martin still finds time to hit the superb slopes of St Anton

York Minster is just one of many attractions in the historic city

Shopping, history and romance on a long weekend in York

There's plenty to explore in historic York, as Cheryl Mullin discovered in a visit to one of Britain's most romantic hotels...

Royal Princess sailing out of Southampton. The ship is on her maiden season around the Mediterranean

Cruising the high seas in a ship that's fit for a princess

A cruise ship christened by the Duchess of Cambridge must surely be fit for a future queen? Emma Wilson joins the Royal Princess on her maiden season to find out...

White Mountains during the Fall season in Maine

Turning over a new leaf as green turns to gold in New England

Summer may be over,  but autumn is a time to rejoice in Massachusetts says Richard Jones, who joined other 'leaf peepers' to admire the changing vegetation

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Videos & Photos

Durham Cathedral gives up its secrets as Open Treasures attraction takes shape

First look inside Glass House - Newcastle's luxury whiskey, wine and champagne bar

L-R Dr Edyta Roszko and Dr Claire Sutherland at the Vietnam exhibition at Durham University's Palace Green Library

Durham University's Palace Green Library hosts Vietnam: A Nation, not a war exhibition

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2000

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer
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Boxing Day Dip sees thousands brave icy North Sea + GALLERY

COLD and wet weather did not deter brave swimmers from plunging into the North Sea to take part in a festive tradition.

The Anuual Boxing Day Dip in the North Sea at Whitley Bay
The Anuual Boxing Day Dip in the North Sea at Whitley Bay

COLD and wet weather did not deter brave swimmers from plunging into the North Sea to take part in a festive tradition.

The annual Boxing Day Dip saw thousands of hardy swimmers plunge into icy water on beaches across the region.

More than 100 people took part in the event in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, yesterday – helping to raise more than £1,000 for the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards.

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The dip has been organised every year since 1998 and, while some donned their bikinis and swimsuits, others wore fancy dress costume.

It was the first time that friends Gemma Mitchelson, 30, of Tynemouth, Ruth Munro, 42, of Gateshead, and Anna Richardson, 35, of Heaton, Newcastle, have taken part in the fun event.

Gemma, who teaches English as a foreign language, was dressed as a donkey for the occasion.

She said: “I watched the event last year and I thought that this time I would give it a go.

“It’s been good fun but the water was so cold that I couldn’t feel my legs.”

Mother-of-two Ruth, who was dressed as an angel, said: “It was brilliant and I would possibly do it again.

“It is nice to know that by doing the dip we are helping raise money for charity.”

Anna, who also teaches English as a foreign language, added: “I wanted to do the dip because it seemed like a good way to see out the old year and see in the new one.”

Families gathered on the beach to support and encourage the fundraisers as they made their way into the freezing sea.

Some participants wore Santa hats, while others were dressed in elaborate costumes such as superheroes Batman and Wonder Woman.

Those taking part splashed around in the North Sea for between five and 10 minutes.

Seasoned Boxing Day dippers Craig Mulvaney, 36, Erik Coleman, 49, and Shaun Malarkey, 44, have been taking part in the event for six years.

The trio were dressed as women and wore wigs and skimpy swimming costumes as they frolicked in the waves.

Dad-of-three Craig, and IT consultant from Whitley Bay, said: “We have been doing the dip for six years and dress up as women. It was extremely cold but it wakes you up, and it’s a bit of fun.”

Erik, a print manager, of North Shields, was at the event with the support of his wife Tracey, 47, a civil servant.

The dad-of-two said: “It is something that we have done for years and it’s always a laugh. We sometimes do the New Year Dip as well, but we’ll have to wait and see if we do it this year.”

Shaun, a civil servant, from Whitley Bay, added: “It was a little warmer this year and the waves weren’t as bad this time.

“The event can be a thing of dread, but when you get to the beach and get in the sea it’s good fun.”

Meanwhile, 1,000 brave swimmers took part in the 38th annual Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn, near Sunderland, to raise money for good causes.

Newly-engaged couple Phil Harrop, 37, and Kay Thompson, 31, took the plunge dressed as penguins after they made a pact during their proposal.

Phil proposed to Kay on Christmas Eve as they enjoyed a romantic getaway at a log cabin near Driffield, East Yorkshire.

But, as a condition of saying yes, Kay, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, had to agree to take part in the Seaburn dip.

Kay, a special needs teacher who also runs her a dance school, said: “We dressed up as penguins because we love dancing and the film Happy Feet. Both me and Phil like extreme things, we’ve been bungee jumping, white water rafting and I’ve even walked on fire, so when he mentioned we had to do the dip, I thought it was a great idea.”

 
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Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer