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Not horsing around: donkey trekking in rural France

Accidental detours are embraced on a family break amid the Lot valley’s forests, abbeys and wildlife – all in the company of Lulu, their trusted donkey companion

A riding holiday used to be my ultimate dream: for 30 horse-mad years, I stared out of car windows and imagined galloping across moors and fields, fast and free. But middle age and a bad fall have done their insidious work and while I still love horses, I can’t shake the feeling they can be too unpredictable to trust. Time to test a more sedate kind of equine holiday: donkey trekking in rural France, walking with, rather than riding on, the donkey.

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History lesson: Nuremberg rebuilt – a summer tour of Germany, part two

Continuing his tour, Kevin Rushby finds great art and cultural attractions in a city known for rallies and trials – and which has restored more than its medieval centre

Part one: Bavaria | Next week: the Baltic coast

On my way into Nuremberg, I read an article about modern art in which a theatre production is called a “Nuremberg rally of artistic desecration”. How, I wonder, can a city deal with becoming a byword for slavishly marching to the wrong beat? That was before the war, I remind myself, almost beyond living memory.

That first evening I head into the medieval city from the station and find I’ve chanced upon a music festival: the streets are packed with buskers – everything from a young lad sawing uncertainly through a violin concerto, to slick rock bands selling CDs. The crowd is mainly German and they have packed every bar and restaurant to the rafters. It feels like the entire city is pulsing with excitement, determined to extract every ounce of pleasure from a fine summer evening.

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