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Kate Humble is a writer and broadcaster who presents the BBC's Springwatch,
Lambing Live and most recently The Spice Trail. She is the founder of
Stuff Your Rucksack which puts travellers in touch with charities, NGOs
and projects throughout the world that need anything from clothes, to
footballs, to books. The website's slogan is 'Pack a Bag, Change a Life.' It
works. These are some of Kate's favourite websites.
I have to be honest and confess that I don't spend much time on the web.
When I was asked to be a guest editor my first thought was that I would have
to refuse because I simply didn't know enough websites to suggest. So I put
the word out to friends; what would they recommend? I checked out some of
their suggestions and have over the last few days signed up to some really
fantastic, innovative sites that I may never have come across. So the list
below is a mixture of some sites I know and use regularly and some new
Sawdays - I became a devotee of Alastair Sawday's special places to say
books before the internet even existed. These charming and personal
guidebooks lead travellers to homes, guesthouses, pubs and tree houses that
all have one thing in common. There is nothing institutional or corporate
about them; they are all unique and I have never had a disappointing stay in
any of the ones I've chosen. Sawdays makes the sometimes stressful and
onerous task of finding somewhere lovely to stay fantastically easy.
Etsy - The friend who pointed me to this site was a little unsure whether
she wanted anyone to know about it. As soon as I visited it I could see why.
It is a site that sells the most wonderful collection of ephemera, household
items, toys and presents from all over the world. Visit this site at your
The Week - I subscribe to this weekly magazine about which Dawn French
said was perfect for people who are too busy or too lazy to read all the
newspapers. She confessed to being both and I'm afraid I am too. It is an
inspired idea that collates the main news stories of the week and how
they've been reported, but also includes some of the best foreign articles,
gossip, tabloid tittle-tattle, science, art, film reviews and a recipe.
Spotify - My husband signed me up to this justifiably popular music site.
I hate the question 'what sort of music do you like?' because I never really
know how I should answer. I love listening to music but rarely buy it,
relying on my very musical husband to fill the house with an eclectic mix of
sounds, from Bach to Sarah Bareilles to Mumford & Sons. This site is perfect
for someone like me to experiment, try new artists as well as find old
Walkopedia - Going for a walk is one of life's great pleasures and I am
lucky to live in one of the best bits of the UK for indulging that pleasure.
Walkopedia does not just help you find a great walk in Britain, with links
to maps, guidebooks and places to stay, but its aim is to provide
suggestions for walks in every country in the world. It's doing quite well,
with suggested walks in places as diverse and far flung as China and Chile,
Bhutan and Norway.
Very Short List - Thank you, thank you Wendy for introducing me to this
gem of an idea. I signed up instantly. Every day this website sends you a
very short email recommending a great film, or TV show, book, art
exhibition, some form of entertainment or media that they think worthy of
attention. It might be new, it might be vintage, but it won't be something
that has been endlessly hyped everywhere else. Brilliant!
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