Becky Howard



Seven new wonders of the world

If you’re really looking to impress friends with your latest travel tales, you need to look beyond the classic sites and attractions. Travel writer Becky Howard reveals seven new places to add to your bucket list


Geysers worth gazing at in Reykjavik

Tick off all the most exquisite phenomena in Iceland with a trip on The Golden Circle, a tour incorporating the top, gasp-inducing sights. Marvel at the geysers, Geysir and Strokkur (the latter still erupts water to nearly 100ft every five minutes), the Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park. By the end of the day, you’ll have run out of superlatives.


An architectural joy in Johannesburg

It’s rare that a building can make you smile the moment you see it, but that’s the effect the multi-coloured Soweto Theatre has. Reflecting its creative and diverse environment, it’s composed of three large ‘boxes’ (actually the theatres) in bright red, yellow and blue and undulating angles that surprise the eye from all perspectives – it’s crazy, but it works. An aspirational architectural gem in the heart of Jo’burg’s most famous township. 


A picture-perfect volcano in San José, Costa Rica

If you’re nervous about safety, now’s a great time to visit Arenal Volcano – the once-regular eruptor has been dormant since 2010. Marvel at the 5,437ft-high conical wonder, set amid lush green pastures, and try to take a photo that’ll do it justice (spoiler alert: you can’t). The volcano isn’t the only lure here – visit hot springs, follow hiking trails or go whitewater rafting in the shadow of this stunning sight. 


A moving memorial in New York

A visit to New York isn’t complete without paying tribute at The National September 11 Memorial. Twin pools stand in the exact footprint of the former towers, and feature America’s largest man-made waterfalls. Next to the memorial is the new One World Trade Center. It’s the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere, where you can soak up views from the 102nd floor. 


A traditional temple in London

Proof that London offers endless surprises, in an ordinary north-west suburb lies a truly staggering sight: the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, known as The Neasden Temple. A traditional Hindu stone mandir – the first one of this scale ever created outside India – 5,000 tonnes of marble have been hand-carved into an exceptional, intricate beauty. With free entry and guided tours, you can suffuse yourself in its peaceful atmosphere.


A view from the top in Hong Kong

If you feel giddy at the Ozone Bar, it may not just be down to your expertly mixed cocktail – you are, after all, in the world’s highest bar. Set at 1,608ft above sea level, the futuristic interior gives it a suitably other-worldly vibe, enhanced by incredible views. Arrive just before 8pm to catch the nightly Symphony of Lights show from your unsurpassable view 118 floors up.


Swimming in style in Singapore

Perched on top of the Sands hotel, the Marina Bay Sand SkyPark infinity pool combines incredible views with a luxury experience. The rooftop pleasure playground, 57 floors up, is a feast for the senses: swim up to the edge and take in the views of the city from the water. 

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This article has been tagged Destination, Travel Tips