Travel GLAMPING THE last thing I felt like after such an exhausting day was sleeping in a tent but that is because I hadnt yet seen the fancy yurts at the Falling Waters resort (50 per night, falling- watersresort.com/yurt_village), the last stop on our road trip. The yurts, which stand on wooden stilts, come complete with beds, couches and refrigerators. This is definitely my kind of camping, I mut- tered to myself as I sank into the hot tub. Pass the moonshine, James. America As You Like It offers a seven-night fly-drive package, including return flights from Gatwick to Charlotte and seven days car hire from 575pp. See americaasyoulikeit. com and uk.visitnc.com DOWNONTHERANCH WE HEADED a couple of hours into the Appalachian mountains to the Cataloochee Ranch (108 per night, cataloocheeranch.com). For once I was silent as we drove through the majestic peaks. Just when I thought life couldnt get any more fabulous, out of the dusk appeared the twinkling lights and wooden buildings that were about to become my very favourite part of North Carolina. I dont just want to return to the Cataloochee ranch as a guest, I want to live there in a gorgeous log cabin. ADVENTURE ATALMOND LAKE ONCE the town of Almond, Almond Lake was the result of intentional flood- ing in the Forties. The church, cemetery and buildings remain untouched somewhere under the 10,000-acre lake, disturbed only by the occasional fishing or jet boat. We also went off-roading in a humvee just over the border in Tennessee (26, offroadvoyages.com). London Lite Friday, 9 October 2009 13 Shell out on this SHELLFISH fans should go west to the Falmouth Oyster Festival to hone their shucking skills. The 13th festival takes place from 13-18 October, with cookery demonstrations, shell painting, sea shanties, oyster shucking competitions and more. Arriving 16 October, a week at the Lock House (sleeps five) a three-storey townhouse is now 78pp (389 total -- was 555 total). Book through Classic Cottages at classic.co.uk Malaga celebrates THIS month Malaga is celebrating the birth of its most famous son, Pablo Picasso. There are street festivals, concerts, workshops and new exhibitions. Festivities culminate on 25 October, as residents and visitors come together to celebrate the 128th anniversary of the artists birth. Monarch Holidays is offering two nights B&B at the Barcel Malaga and return flights, leaving 21 October, from 199pp, based on two sharing. See monarch.co.uk Checkout Beijing EXPLORE Hong Kong and Beijing on an eight-day, twin-centre holiday for just 599pp. It includes three nights at the three-star Metropole Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, five nights at the three-star Days Inn Forbidden City in Beijing and return flights from Heathrow with Cathay Pacific. The offer is valid for bookings before 31 October for travel between 15 February and 15 March. For more information see travelbag.co.uk. Fun in winter sun SUMMER is undeniably over so nows the time to book some winter sun. How about lounging around for seven nights in Antigua for 529 -- a saving of 320? Virgin Holidays is offering seven nights accommodation at the 3V Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts, including flights from Gatwick and transfers. Price is based on two adults sharing a standard room and departures from 1828 November. Book at virginholidays.co.uk Takingoff... IN NORTH CAROLINAS STUNNING APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS EDITED BY OLIVIA WALMSLEY GLAMPING oftownthe AlmondAlmond, resultthewasLake flood-intentionalof church,TheForties.theining remainbuildingsandcemetery Asheville Cool Springs Hunting Lodge, Statesville DrexelCataloochee Ranch, Maggie Valley Almond Lake Falling Waters resort, Bryson City APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS N Carolina against bird hunting but I had mis- understood the concept of a field trial and had not realised that shots were actually going to be fired. Holy smoke! He just blew that bird up! I gasped, as my knees buckled. Being a redneck wasnt coming as naturally as Id hoped. COUNTRYMUSIC NEXT stop was the Drexel Barber Shop (The Barber Shop, Drexel, NC 28619), where wed been told the local men congregate every Saturday to play bluegrass -- country music played on stringed instruments -- and get away from their wives. As I wasnt familiar either with bluegrass or barber shops, I wasnt sure what to expect but I was blown away by what we found. The shop itself was a veritable antique, with Fifties-style chairs, a wood-burning stove and ancient bottles of hair tonic on display. We were pointed through to the back room which was heaving with musicians whose fingers were flying over their banjos. Blending in: Alice with the locals at the Drexel Barber Shop, and, below, off-roading index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html