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Treehouse Hotel, Port Lympne Reserve, Kent: hotel review

They’re not actually in trees, but new Treehouse suites offer a very stylish option at this Aspinall Foundation safari park. But pity the toddler at risk of getting her fingers bitten off by an out-of-control door

Having never been on a proper African safari before, or even to a safari park, I feel quite excited as I pass through the gates of Port Lympne – disproportionately so for a journey from Ashford International that isn’t Paris-bound. This is mainly on behalf of my 22-month-old daughter, who for the first time will get to see animals that aren’t ratty park pigeons or cats, but also on account of the fun safari-camp vibe that is apparent as soon as we enter the wildlife park.

Khaki-clad staff from the bush-lodge-style reception toss our bags into an open-sided truck and we’re driven to our digs down a bumpy lane beneath thick foliage, passing monkey enclosures and two rhinos in a field.

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Our coastal punk poet: John Cooper Clarke on his love of seaside towns

The National Trust has commissioned the poet to write verse in praise of the coastline he has circumnavigated ‘thousands of times’ and where he first experienced the wonder of rock’n’roll

Most of us harbour a desire to shoot off to the seaside when things get hot and crowded in the city. You head to the coast, where there’s a bit of a breeze. My poem describes the seaside as “a world away from the working week”. Unless you’re a fisherman, in which case that doesn’t apply.

I can’t remember having a bad time at the seaside. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Although I do remember a lot of punch-ups … rite of passage that.

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