in the middle
Located high up in the snow-crested Himalayas of India and close to the Tibetan border, Leh is home to several Buddhist temples and is a great base for organising treks into the mountains. Narrow streets thread their way through the old town's mud-brick houses, and at its peak sits a Tibetan-style palace. This palace overlooks a frenetic bazaar filled with souvenir shops - this is a touristic city, and it's easy to see why it has become so popular.
The main attractions in Leh include Shanti Stupa, a white-domed shrine where you can appreciate panoramic views of the landscape. There's also Sankar Gompa monastery, which is just outside the town and can be visited in the mornings and evenings.
You can fly to Leh from London and Birmingham with Air India and Jet Airways. There are no direct flights from the UK, so you'll most likely have to stop in Delhi on the way there. Flight time varies depending on how long your stopover is, but generally ranges from around 13-30 hours. The airport is just a 10-minute drive from the city, so you'll have no trouble getting to your hotel.
Leh's winters are long and harsh, with temperatures dropping from December - March. It gets hot in summer, however, and temperatures peak at around 34°C from June to August. The best times to visit if you want to avoid both extremes are March - May and September to November. April is the start of the tourist season, so prices for accommodation tend to increase then. But this is also a good time to visit because it's when the trekking routes begin to open.