International Day of Forests: 6 reasons to go for a walk in the woods

It sounds far-fetched, but there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that spending time in the woods has huge health benefits.Celebrated on the 21 March every year, the UN’s International Day of Forests seeks to remind the global community of the benefits of forests.
Taking a walk in the woods is a great way to combat the stresses of modern urban living. There are also a number of health benefits attached to “forest bathing” – indeed, in Japan it is considered standard preventative medicine.
Dr Saima Latif, a chartered psychologist, says that even looking at pictures can help: “Just viewing a

13 beautiful palaces where guests are welcome, in Britain and beyond

Hazel Plush takes a look at the magnificent palaces where guests are welcome.1. Gstaad Palace, Switzerland
The magnificent Gstaad Palace is nestled in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, its flag-topped turrets flanked by snow-capped mountains. The building itself is over a century old, an imposing grand dame when viewed from the outside – but its chic interior keeps it cosy.

In its 1960s heyday, Hollywood stars flocked to this quaint corner of Switzerland, just to stay at the Gstaad. The likes of Louis Armstrong and Marlene Dietrich would spend their days on the ski slopes around the hotel, before letting their hair down in its

Six ways to stop your children moving back home – and what to do if they come anyway

Kit Hesketh-Harvey explains why the ‘boomerang generation’ keep on coming back to mum and dad – and offers a survival guide for those who’d rather they didn’t.Just look at the property section of this website. Oh, you already did? Real attention-grabbers. Enormous houses, up and down the kingdom, with ancillary accommodation, lodges, cottages, barns, annexes, staff wings and attics for conversion. Touch them, stroke them!
Surveys reveal — oh, you don’t hide from our boys — that you, dear reader, have a decent chance of having benefitted from the boom in UK property prices that began in the 1980s. You never dreamed,

Why is it special? More than 5 ml Euro of Realitalia homes reserved in the last 4 weeks

If you follow Realitalia you might have noticed that in the last few weeks we reserved several properties in Limone, for a combined value in excess of 5 ml Euro.
Earlier in the month the holiday home Chalets no 7 and no 5, Front Chalet and Grand Chalet 1 were reserved. Last week also Chalet 5 and Chalet 4 of the Ski-Chalets on the Slopes of Limone 1400 went under offer.
One of the reasons is probably that the project of Villa Almellina is proceeding very well. Fantino Costruzioni is completing the first level of garages, proceeding in accordance with the plan.

A remote Scottish island home that’s the stuff of dreams

A magical setting, a beautiful house: this speck on the map just off the Isle of Lewis is gloriously romantic.The dream of a gorgeous home tucked away on a remote island is a gloriously enticing prospect for anyone with a romantic streak. And they don’t come any more tucked away, or more romantic, than Tigh na Sith, on a rocky outpost of the Isle of Lewis called Great Bernera.

The views are simply breathtaking. There’s a picturesque, raised wooden area which offers views out to the Atlantic Ocean, and also a pretty garden. If you feel the need for more outdoor space to call

A house for sale which produced one of Darwin’s fellow trailblazers in genetics

This former rectory was the birthplace of Thomas Laxton, plant breeder and correspondent of Charles Darwin. A classic country house launched earlier this month by the Market Harborough office of Strutt & Parker is the beautifully renovated Old Rectory at Tinwell, near Stamford, Rutland, for which ‘offers over £2m’ are being sought. Historically owned by the surrounding Burghley estate, from whom the present owners purchased it some 16 years ago, The Old Rectory, listed Grade II, stands opposite Tinwell’s lovely All Saints Church, with its unusual saddleback roof, added in about 1350.
The former rectory was the birthplace of Thomas Laxton,

20 wonderful ways to treat your mother on Mother’s Day, from afternoon tea to flamingoes

Mother’s Day is coming soon on Sunday 26th March – our guide will help you find the perfect way to show your appreciation. For the mother who deserves an afternoon tea treat…
London’s iconic Savoy hotel has a very special afternoon tea for a Mother’s Day treat. It’s a traditional afternoon tea for two in the magnificent surroundings of the Thames Foyer, plus a bouquet of Savoy flowers and a bottle of Penhaligon’s new eau de parfum, Savoy Steam. £200 for two people, and bookable until August if you can’t make it on the day itself.

Down in Sussex, the vineyards at Bolney Wine Estate are offering a Mother’s Day guided

German (un)elegance: Berhnard Roetzel helps debunk a few myths

When it comes to ranking countries by how well the average man is dressed, Italy undoubtedly ranks #1, while Germany probably ranks close to last! Is the term ‘German elegance’ just another oxymoron, like the phrase ‘military intelligence’ ? As someone who was married to a German, and as father of two German-speaking boys, I’ve been able travel across Germany as a native would, rather than as a tourist. I can objectively confirm the stereotype about the average German man …

Thirlestane: A majestic 16th century castle being saved by heroic by 21st century efforts

John Goodall looks at the ongoing saga of sustaining Thirlestane Castle in Berwickshire through the centuries.There have been Maitlands at Thirlestane since the mid 13th century. The family formerly occupied what is today a ruin about two miles from the present castle at Old Thirlestane. This became the seat of the so-called Barony of Blyth, which was constituted by charter in 1563/4. The foundation of Thirlestane Castle followed some 30 years later at the hands of Sir John Maitland.
In the 1580s, he enjoyed a brilliantly successful Court career and was appointed to the offices of Secretary of State, Keeper of

My favourite painting: Daniel Libeskind

‘I find it inspirational to look at and think about how wondrous Rembrandt was to be able to capture God, music, light and silence in one scene.’ David in Prayer, 1652, by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69), 5½in by 4¾in, Collections various.
Daniel Libeskind says:
This little etching was generously given to me by my wife, Nina, as a birthday present a few years ago. It hangs on the wall of our house in New York and I look at it every day. It depicts David kneeling by his bed with his hands in prayer and there is a lyre next to him