12 of the best beach towns in southern Europe

Quiet islands, Venetian harbours, sumptuous seafood and golden sands … these seaside towns in France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Portugal are ingrained with the spirit of summer

Take the kids to … Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Cornwall

With miniature steam engines, a special Santa train, a lake and maze, this charming small attraction near Newquay is a great day out for families with younger children

Making light work: grand designs at Bodø’s Stormen library and cultural centre

This Norwegian town, hastily rebuilt after second world war bombing, now has a vibrant and innovative arts centre in pride of place on its waterfront

Great Brittany: discovering the Crozon peninsula

If you’re going to Brittany – keep driving west. You’ll find huge uncrowded beaches, plenty of delicious seafood and some fairly dodgy festivals