Take me there: Quimper, Brittany
With its wild coastline, surf beaches and fishing villages, Finistère in Brittany is often hailed as the French answer to Cornwall, minus the traffic jams and public schoolkids. From next month a new BA flight from London City to Quimper will make this fascinating region, steeped in Breton culture, more accessible than ever. For somewhere stylish to stay, try one of five houses renovated by British couple Claire and Andrew Bernard (frenchberry.com), from a château gatehouse near Quimper to a rustic-chic stone cottage on the Crozon peninsula, a short stroll from one of Brittany’s best surfing beaches. Flights start 30 May, from £65 one way (ba.com).
Travel clinic: spring gardens break
The dilemma My mother and I are keen gardeners. Can you recommend somewhere for the weekend in May with lots of gardens to visit? Felicity, Telford
Joanne replies Tucked away in a peaceful location in the Malvern Hills, Weobley Cross Cottage (bedandbreakfastmalvernhills.co.uk) makes the perfect base for green-fingered forays. Not only is it within easy reach of some of Worcestershire and Herefordshire’s finest gardens, but the BB’s owners, Anne and Peter Haywood, are passionate gardeners and their beautiful garden has become something of an attraction in its own right. Part of Alastair Sawday’s Garden Lover’s collection (sawdays.co.uk/accommodation/britain/gbb), the BB has just two comfortable guest rooms and breakfast is served in the conservatory overlooking the flowerbeds. In May, the RHS Malvern Spring Gardening Show (10-13 May, threecounties.co.uk/springgardening) will be in full swing, providing enough show gardens, workshops and talks to satisfy the most ardent horticuturalist. The gardens of Hampton Court (hamptoncourt.org.uk) near Leominster, Sudeley Castle (sudeleycastle.co.uk) and Painswick (rococogarden.org.uk) are all within easy striking distance. Double rooms from £65 per night.
If you have a travel dilemma, email Joanne O’Connor at email@example.com
Three of the best: alfresco arts events
Stately homes and historic attractions will be enticing visitors with their outdoor events this summer, from film screenings to classical concerts. Here are our favourite cultural highlights:
1. Borderlines Film Festival, Herefordshire Watch The Artist on the lawns of the NT’s Berrington Hall and Casablanca on a WW2 airfield. 4-20 May (borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk)
2. Black Beauty on tour An open-air production of Black Beauty will tour the UK’s stately homes, kicking off at Woburn Abbey on 7 July (blackbeautylive.co.uk)