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It’s a National Trust property which means an entrance fee is requested if you are not a member, but it's worth to do.

In the winter only the short walk to the White Lady Waterfall is opened between 11 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Devil’s Cauldron and the gorge can get closed by a gate.

Lydford Gorge can get closed by a gate

In spring and summer, the whole gorge is opened from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Check the opening hours first. The gorge can get flooded and is closed after several days of heavy rain.

Crowds

The short waterfall trail is very popular and gets crowded during weekends and bank holidays and especially in the pleasant summer months. Also, the gorge trail can get busy. Fewer people hike the trail mid-week and rain keeps the crowds away. Luckily, the hike is arranged in a one-way system clockwise due to the narrow and often slippery path. Start the hike at the waterfall entrance on weekends at 10 a.m. to enjoy the White Lady Waterfall before it gets too crowded.

Lydford Gorge - White Lady Waterfall

Throughout spring and summer wildflowers like the bluebell and wood anemone both in May and also wild garlic are in bloom along the trail.

Top Tips
  • Often they leave the gate open. This enables you to start the hike early morning before or in the evening in summer after the crowds. There is a donation box to put in the entrance fee.
  • We recommend staying in Lydford for one night to hike to Widgery Cross which is still a hidden gem. Check out the place just around the corner. We highly recommend the Lydford Country House 15 minutes walk from the gorge. 
Climate Tavistock (south of Lydford)

Lydford experiences a temperate climate. July and August are the most pleasant months with almost 20°C on average, but 30°C can occur in the summer. May, June, September, and October are cool with temps between 10°C and 17°C. November to mid-April are cold on average 3°C to 8°C. Usually, the temps in winter are above 0°C. The wettest months with drizzle and precipitation are October to March. Anyhow, don't forget your rain jacket. Rain may occur throughout the year. 

Waterfall
GB United Kingdom
5

The Kozuf Mountain is located in the southern part of Macedonia (or FYROM). The best access to the base of the mountain is from the town of Gevgelija on the east.

The best time to safely visit the place would be from the beginning of May till the end of September. The snow should be melted by this time and the access road should be safer to move on. If you are planning to walk from Smrdliva Voda to the range it will be a two day trip - the distance is almost 20 km one way. Check the weather forecast before you go. The weather can change very quickly in the mountains.

Hiking
MK Macedonia
4

The Dachstein is located in the Salzkammergut in Austria. It’s a great destination for hiking, climbing, and caving.

The cave is open daily from late April to late October at 9.20 a.m. and closing at 3.30 p.m. in 2017 from 29.04. until 10. June and 11.9. until 29.10. In summer from 11.06 until 10.9. the cave is open until 4 p.m.

The cave is located on 1.455-meter above sea level. Therefore, you are dependent on the cable car operating hours from Obertraun on 609-meter above sea level to Schönbergalm section I. The season for the cable car starts end of April and last until late October. The last mountain ascent is at 3 p.m. and in summer at 3.30 p.m. The last valley descent is shortly after 5 p.m. At poor weather conditions, the cable car might not run. 
Check the opening hours first

Crowds:
A cave visit is a great option if the weather turns bad but expect more visitors having the same idea. It’s less crowded during nice weather when people think of outdoor activities.

Special events:
Every year in August unique concerts are held in the Parsifal Dome.
Schedule about the offered concerts and booking. 

Cave
AT Austria
5

The Blue Tier Forest Reserve and the Blue Tier giant tree also called big tree are still a hidden gem and one of the lesser-known walks. The forest is well known for its mining history.

The Blue Tier Forest Reserve is still under pressure to get logged. This mystic rainforest is a must-see. The 3.2 km long trail can be walked almost the entire year. If it is too rainy, it might be difficult to get to the trailhead by car. The last part of the gravel road is a bit rough.

Update December 2019: It makes us very sad, but now it is fact; Forests that are increasingly at threat of logging, including the Blue Tier Giants, from April 2020 they are taken out of reserve status. We will lose old grown forests in the northeast of Tasmania. Please share this post and make comments. The Blue Derby Wild, The Friends of the Blue Tier, and the residents are fighting for their native forests, but it looks like we all lose this hidden treasure trove forever.

Gravel Road to the Blue Tier Giant in Tasmania

In April (autumn) it might be a lovely walk with different species of fungi along the trail.

Crowds

The Blue Tiers are still a hidden gem; remotely located and not leading along of any popular tourist route. Very view hikers visit the blue tier giant the reason that we enjoyed the whole forest for ourselves. 

Weather

This area is often cloudy or overcast. Summer brings pleasant temps, mostly around 20°C. In the winter, most days with single-digit temperatures, frost can occur, and most rainfall with its peak in August during this time of the year. The driest months are from December to March. Nevertheless, it's Tassie so be prepared for rain when you visit this outstanding destination.

Forest
AU Australia
5

The former National Socialist (NS) „Ordensburg“ Vogelsang is located at Urft river dam and Urft reservoir in the heart of the National Park Eifel.

The Visitor Center and Ordensburg Vogelsang are opened year-round from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. In December 24th and 31st open until 2 p.m. It is beautifully situated in the Eifel National Park.

Highlights (Tower, Exhibition, Hike) 

The 48 meters high tower is accessible from April until October and closed for the remaining months. Visiting the tower is only possible guided from Monday until Friday at 1 p.m. At weekends and public holidays, every hour from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed in bad weather conditions. This 45 minutes guided tour has an ascent of 172 steps. It’s a 360° scenic view from the top to the whole Vogelsang area, The price is 6 € p.p. Maximum 15 people per tower ascent are allowed.

The tower of Ordensburg Vogelsang in the National Park Eifel

Don't miss the exhibition of the German History from 1930-45. It gives you an honest view how Hitler planned to create a "master race". It leaves you poignant. The exhibition is an exhortation that it never gets repeated. Audio multimedia guides are offered in different languages. 

There is a 16 km hike which can be done all year. We came here in October and enjoyed the fall foliage.

Fall foliage at River Rur Dam

Avoiding Crowds

Vogelsang is very popular nowadays and is even more crowded at weekends, bank holidays and summer holidays in July and August. In September 2016 the Vogelsang reconstruction was finished, and two permanent exhibitions were established. Fewer people come here mid-week.

Top Tip - Sites Nearby

If you are into nature, you will love to stay here for a couple of days. Vogelsang is situated in the National Park Eifel at the River Rur Dam.

  • It's an excellent location for hiking in the National Park and the nearby Ardennes, High Fens in Belgium. Boardwalks are leading through the bog. Top Hikes in the Ardennes
    Hiking in the Ardennes, High Fens on a boardwalk
     
  • Don't miss the historic town Monschau with its half-timbered houses. 
    Half-timbered Houses in Monschau
     
  • Visit the historic Mustard Mill close to Monschau just half an hour drive from Heimbach. It's a family run manufacture. They are famous for their huge variety of mustard and the restaurant Schnabuleum. Have a closer look and try the different mustards. It's always a perfect present to bring back home.
  • Stay in a quiet hotel at the Rur Dam. Enjoy the waterfront views, the local cuisine on a high standard, and the spa. Experience the area in the hotel Der Seehof with included breakfast buffet. 
  • It's just a 10 minutes drive to the Mariawald Abbey from the hotel Der Seehof and 15 minutes from Vogelsang. The Abbey is the only Trappist Monastery in Germany. It's famous for the home cooked pea soup. Open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.
    Mariawald Abbey a 15 minutes drive from Vogelsang
Historic Site
DE Germany
5

Cheow Lan Lake is man-made and surrounded by mountains and rainforest. It was made by the flooding of a large valley in 1982 for the hydro-electric power station.

The best time to visit this fantastic region is the dry season from December to late April. It’s Thailand’s wettest region with an annual rainfall of 3.500 mm. The reason is the limestone mountain range from north to south. It gets hit by the monsoons from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand between late April and end of November. In the rainy season, it’s very rare to spot wildlife at the lake. Trails are slippery; it’s cold and wet on the one or two hours boat rides. The famous Nam Talu Cave is closed in the rainy season since it got flooded and people died.

Boat transfer on the Cheow Lan Lake in the Khao Sok National Park

The boat tours which are usually offered are for bigger groups, and it takes around an hour to get to one of the raft houses. These groups visit the easy accessible Coral Cave (Pakarang Cave) mostly as we did instead of the adventurous water flooded Nam Talu Cave. Ask before booking! Overall these trips are utterly worth to do to get an idea of the immense size of the lake. The price p.p. in a group for one day visit is roughly 1.500 Baht / 40 € / $ 45 plus 300 Baht / 8 € / 9 $ National Park fee.

Weather

Beautiful limestone karst formations on the Cheow Lan Lake

The dry season lasts from December to late April. Anyway, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temps up to 34°C and even more and high humidity. The rainy season starts roughly late April until the end of November. Most precipitation from May to July and from October to November.

Crowds

The lake pier is always crowded, but as soon as the longtail boat leaves the dock, the crowds disappear. There are plenty of boats with tourists, but they have good timing not too many people visit one of the caves at the same time. Lunch is served on one of the many floating raft houses. It was very well organized that people can enjoy the marvellous scenery. 

Top Tip

To experience the amazing rainforest, wildlife, and birds it's recommended to book a private tour far to the north-west. To get there, it takes a minimum of two hours by boat. The only available accommodation is basic and running by the National Park. Early morning you may spot wildlife by boat along the lake. Of course, independent tours are expensive and need to be booked in advance. Another option book a combined tour where the Khao Sok and the Cheow Lan Lake are combined. You get a pick up from your hotel in Krabi, Phuket, or Khao Sok and experienced guides will show you the amazing rainforest and lake. You can relax and enjoy this fascinating landscape. 

A Great Place
TH Thailand