Traveling the True North: Batanes, Philippines

Rolling Hills_05

It’s the Philippines’ northernmost province, but beyond that fact not many, until recently, knew much about Batanes. The few privileged to have paid a visit to this singular string of islands extolled its myriad virtues, but still Batanes hovered below the average traveler’s consciousness.

Until breathtaking photos of rolling hills, verdant pastures and stunning cliffs started making the rounds. Until word started to spread of a place up north that was unlike any other in the Philippines. A place whose landscapes recalled Scotland or New Zealand; a place, in a tropical country, that counted winter as one of its seasons. A place where people leave their bikes unchained by the roadside, knowing no one would ever dream of stealing them. A place whose nature, culture and values are well-preserved, largely untouched by time.

And just like that, a few years later, Batanes is the Philippines’ best-kept secret no longer.

Here, in photographs, is why Batanes is on everyone’s bucket list — and why it needs to be on yours too.


North Batan

 

Basco Lighthouse and Naidi Hills

Basco Lighthouse_01
Basco Lighthouse_08

 

Fundacion Pacita

Fundacion Pacita_03
Fundacion Pacita_01

 

Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel Chapel_02
Mount Carmel Chapel_03

 

Rolling Hills

Rolling Hills_01
Rolling Hills_06

 

Boulder Beach

Boulder Beach_01
Boulder Beach_02

 

South Batan

 

White Beach

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Boat Shelter Port

Boat Shelter Port_01
Boat Shelter Port_02

 

Alapad Hill and Rock Formation

Batan_09

 

Chawa Viewing Deck

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Chawa Viewing Deck_02

 

Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)

Racuh a Payaman_02

 

Tayid (Mahatao) Lighthouse

Tayid Lighthouse_01
Tayid Lighthouse_04

 

Sabtang Island

 

Sabtang Lighthouse

Sabtang_01

 

Savidug Village

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Sabtang_Savidug Village_01

 

Chavayan Village

Sabtang_Chavayan Village_01
Sabtang_Chavayan Village_03

 

Morong Beach and Mahayaw Arch

Sabtang_04
Sabtang_05

 

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint_02
Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint_03
Traveling the True North: Batanes, Philippines” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: Tower of London

Tower of London | IncMan / CC-BY-SA-2.0 and GFDL / Wikimedia Commons

Tower of London | IncMan / CC-BY-SA-2.0 and GFDL / Wikimedia Commons

Opening Times

  • 01 March – 31 October
    • Tue-Sat 09.00-17.30
    • Sun-Mon 10.00-17.30
    • Last admission 17.00
  • 01 November – 28 February
    • Tue-Sat 09.00-16.30
    • Sun-Mon 10.00-16.30
    • Last admission 16.00
  • Note:
    • All internal buildings close 30 minutes after the last admission.
    • The last Yeoman Warder tour starts at 14.30 (winter), 15.30 (summer).

Tickets

Adult £20.00
Child £10.00

Book here.

When booking online, the default price includes a voluntary donation. You can tick the box that says “Tick here if you would like to remove the voluntary donation from your ticket price.”

Getting There

Nearest tube station: Tower Hill (District or Circle lines) – 5 minute walk from the station, following directional signage to the Tower

Map

Download here.

Official Website

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/

Suggested 1-hr, 2-hr and 3-hr itineraries here.
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“Travel Notes: Tower of London” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge | Myrabella / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL / Wikimedia Commons

Tower Bridge | Myrabella / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL / Wikimedia Commons

Opening Times

Lines open 10:00 – 17:30

Tickets

£9 | £8 if booked online
Book here.

Getting There

Nearest tube station: Tower Hill (District or Circle lines)

Official Website

http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/TBE/EN/
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“Travel Notes: Tower Bridge” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: St Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral | jedyooo / Wikimedia Commons

St. Paul’s Cathedral | jedyooo / Wikimedia Commons

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday
8.30am – 4pm

Tickets

  • £16.50 (online booking £15.00). Book here.
  • Included in the price of admission:
    • Introductory talks
    • Guided tours
    • Multimedia guides

Note: Filming and photography is not allowed inside the cathedral.

Getting There

  • Nearest tube station: St Paul’s (Central Line) – 2 minute walk
  • Stations within walking distance:
    • Mansion House (District and Circle Lines)
    • Cannon Street (District and Circle Lines)
    • Blackfriars (District and Circle Lines)

Official Website

http://www.stpauls.co.uk/
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“Travel Notes: St Paul’s Cathedral” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: Richmond Park

Richmond Park | Airwolfhound / CC-BY-SA-2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Richmond Park | Airwolfhound / CC-BY-SA-2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Opening Times

7:00 (summer) / 7:30 (winter) – 21:00 / dusk

Getting There

Nearest tube station: Richmond Station ( British Rail or District Line)

  • From the station, catch bus no. 371 or 65 to the pedestrian gate at Petersham

Map

Download here.

Official Website

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park
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“Travel Notes: Richmond Park” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market | Graham Jepson / homesandproperty.co.uk

Maltby Street Market | Graham Jepson / homesandproperty.co.uk

Opening Times

  • Saturdays 9am-4pm
  • Sundays 11am-4pm

Getting There

The nearest Tube station seems to be London Bridge (nearly a mile away) but Maltby Street Market is near the Tower Bridge, so you can visit both places on the same day.

Map

Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market

Check Out

http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/25657166-maltby-street-market
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“Travel Notes: Maltby Street Market” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

Travel Notes: Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath | VisitLondon.com

Hampstead Heath | VisitLondon.com

Opening Times

24 hours a day (except for certain areas), 365 days a year

Getting There

Nearest tube stations:

  • Golders Green (Northern Line) – for Golders Hill Park and Heath Extension
  • Hampstead (Northern Line) – for Vale of Health, East Heath and Hampstead Ponds
  • Kentish Town (Northern Line) – for Parliament Hill and Highgate Ponds

Map

Download here.

Official Website

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/hampstead-heath/Pages/default.aspx

Notes

  • CS Lewis was apparently (at least partly) inspired to write LWW after taking snowy walks through HH.
  • Opening scene of Smiley’s People was set here.

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“Travel Notes: Hampstead Heath” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.