Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
The Canadian Maritime provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia are the closest point of North America to the UK; renowned for their ruggedly beautiful coastlines, lush forests, abundant wildlife, intriguing Viking past and unique blend of French, English, Irish and Scottish heritage. This is one of the best places in the world for whale-watching, too, while its picturesque fishing towns are a delight to explore. And with direct flights from London to Halifax taking around six hours, all this is so much closer than you’d think!
Nova Scotia’s vibrant capital, Halifax, offers the perfect introduction to Atlantic Canada. It’s a lively and welcoming place, with inviting restaurants, bars, shops and museums lining its attractive waterfront area, and it makes a good base for exploring the rest of this small province. Nova Scotia is famous for its lighthouses, with more than 160 dotted around its coastline. One of the most popular day-trips from Halifax is to the little seaside village of Peggy’s Cove, where you’ll find perhaps the best-known, and most photographed lighthouse in Canada perched on a rugged granite coastline.
Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering a vast area of forests, bogs, dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, waterfalls and freshwater fjords. It is home to a thriving population of moose and caribou, as well as black bears and beavers, and has numerous hiking trails for those who wish to explore further. You can also take a boat trip around the park’s coast to spot the local marine wildlife.
Follow the old Viking Trail to Newfoundland’s northern coast, and you’ll find Iceberg Alley, in the coastal waters of St Anthony. Humpback, minke and fin whales, and dolphins, can be found playing here amongst the drifting icebergs. There are very few places in the world where you can sail among icebergs, so a cruise through Iceberg Alley is one of the real highlights of a visit to Atlantic Canada.
And finally, don’t miss Newfoundland’s charming capital, St John’s. It’s the most easterly town in North America, and one of the oldest. Take a walk along George Street, lined with restaurants, bars and live music venues, relax in the flower-filled Botanical Garden or learn about the province’s history and culture at St John’s premier cultural centre. The Rooms houses the city’s museum and art gallery.
Jenny’s passion for culture and wildlife has taken her across the world. Favourite experiences so far have included snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, sailing on the Ganges in Varanasi, hiking through Norway and spending many hours on safari in Kenya and India spotting a menagerie of wonderful creatures.
Jenny | About the author
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