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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Mango House, Galle Fort

Galle has some lovely places to stay, but one of the nicest things about the town is that  you can find great places to stay at every price point. There are plenty of beautiful but expensive options like the luxe Amangalla where we enjoyed a late afternoon drink, but it's also possible to find small boutique  hotels and guesthouses in converted colonial buildings which offer great value.

We stayed at the recently opened Mango House which I found on I find myself using the site more frequently because  the reviews are particularly reliable - you can only review a property on if you've stayed there, unlike Tripadvisor which is open to manipulation.

Mango House is  a lovely small guesthouse, a modern, stylish renovation of a traditional colonial home. Open, bright and charming it was an excellent value at $80 a night plus tax, including a superb breakfast. I appreciated the public spaces, their small environmental efforts, such as shampoo and soap in refillable pottery containers and the fact that they put us in a better room at no additional charge. The owners were extremely hospitable and could not have been nicer. They let us stay very late the next day (as we had an evening flight) and helped us sort out our onward plans. Here's the first room, before we moved to a larger room with a small patio. Apologies for the blur, as you can see I took the photo on my iPad!
As you can see the garden at the front of the house was charming too. If you are looking for a nice place at a reasonable price I can recommend the Mango House.