Ten memorable London jaunts in 2014 1) London Borough Tops: My summer diversion involved climbing 33 highest points, on a fascinating cross-capital safari. [photos] 2) Around London by bus: A ludicrous quest, obviously, but a fascinating 25-route orbit all the same. 3) Tour De France: It chucked it down, and the peloton splashed through in seconds, but what a sense of occasion! [photos] 4) Olympic Park south: Since it opened in April, my local park has wowed the crowds. [photos] 5) Stockwell Bus Garage: A rare Open Day inside south London's concrete masterpiece. [photos] 6) Open House: Always a top weekend, this year including ascents of Tower 42 and the Balfron Tower. [photos] 7) Mayfield Lavender: The purple fields of deepest Sutton are gorgeous, if you time your visit right. [photos] 8) The Cornershop: Lucy Sparrow's pop-up textile shop really impressed its visitors (I bought a Double Decker). [photos] 9) Aquatics Centre: I was most impressed by the building the weekend it opened to the public (shame it hasn't opened similarly since). [photos] 10) Nairn's London: Following in the 1966 footsteps of the esteemed architecture critic proved most illuminating.
Ten favourite Out-of-London destinations 1) Isle of Man: This magical (and very varied) kingdom in the midst of the Irish Sea made for an excellent long weekend. [photos] 2) The Severn Bore: I've always wanted to see it, so traipsed to Gloucester for a 5*, only for high rainfall to make the whole thing more flood than wave. [photos] 3) Folkestone Triennial: Every three years, this coastal festival is an artistic must-see. [photos] 4) Fawley Hill: A steam fair and a ride on the private railway in Lord McAlpine's back garden. [photos] 5) Leith Hill: I climbed the highest hill in SE England, in downland Surrey, and it was damned nice. 6) Isle of Grain: Home to (cough) Boris Airport, this Kentish peninsula was a remote eye-opener. [photos] 7) Jack in the Green: May Day merriment in Hastings proved an unforgettable spectacle. [photos] 8) Hull: Back to my one-time hometown, now more of a tourist Mecca than you might think. [photos] 9) Samphire Hoe: I timed my visit to the Chunnel spoilheap to observe a rockfall from the crumbling chalk cliffs. [photos] 10) Heath and Hill: A Country Walk, 1970s style, across Epsom racecourse and around the Surrey Hills. [photos]