Visit the X Factor judges’ houses on your gap year: Part 1

We’ve had the sob stories, the room auditions, the Wembley auditions and on the weekend we will find out who, out of the remaining hopefuls, will be making their way to the live shows. But the one thing we really want to see is the amazing locations of the X Factor judges’ houses. Here is The Gap Year Travel Guide’s lowdown on each of the judges’ houses.

Louis Walsh – Bermuda

The setting where Louis Walsh usually brings joy or misery to has always been his native Ireland, so it came as a massive shock to everyone involved when it was reported that this year, Louis had decided to go rogue and send his group to an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, such warm climate forced Walsh into a pair of shorts, but the less about that, the better.

Bermuda is the ultimate place to relax and take a break from it all. As well as prevalent British culture due to a sizable amount of Irish, Scottish and English migrants, the isles also have a strong Caribbean influence. This has made for a unique place to explore.

Dance as an art form is of great importance to the people of Bermuda, and  Gombey Dancing a perfect example of how different cultures in the island have amalgamated. During the summer months it is not uncommon to see events that involve dancers of the Gombey style.

For a small place, Bermuda has a vibrant art scene. It is notable for its local contributors in the form of sculpture and watercolour paintings. Additionally, the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda includes art from the natives from islands, as well as offerings from the international community.

In terms of chill out time, there is nothing on earth better looking than a Bermudan beach: pink sand, beautiful cobalt waters – what more could you ask for?

Mel B – Riveria Maya, Mexico

As way of perhaps buffering the harshness of Mel B’s critiques will be the Rivieria Maya in Mexico – a place of unrelenting beauty.

Mexico is, of course, known for its amazing history: the ancient civilization of the Aztecs and the area still has many ruins that are available for the public to see. However, in the Rivieria Maya, there is something very special: Talum. The city is of breathtaking beauty and is the location for the only ruins that were built by the country’s waters, so whilst taking in an ancient structure, you will be surrounded by astounding scenery.

Now, you may not be able to book yourself into the Occidental Grand Xcaret Resort where Mel B stayed, but you can still find yourself in a lavish locality.

Akumal, as an example, is an area synonymous with turtles, being a place where eggs are laid and newborns begin their journeys. But what makes this even more amazing (if seeing turtles hatch isn’t a luxury enough) is that Akumal’s beaches consist of gorgeous white sand as well as amazing reefs.

With Playa del Carmen a place where one can spend a few hours eating and drinking in trendy restaurants and bars after a long day seeing the sights, Riveria Maya is a true paradise.

Which place do you like the sound of most? Let us know via Twitter or Facebook, and come back tomorrow when we have a look at where Cheryl and Simon took their groups.

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