Sunday, 30 November 2014

Jazz on the coast

THE South Coast Jazz Festival (January 23-25) celebrates world-class talent with appearances by both established and up-and-coming artists, plus adult and junior jazz improvisation workshops, a photography exhibition, and a guide to essential jazz tracks from a top jazz broadcaster.

Where? Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-By-Sea, Sussex.


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Picture Credit: www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

Travel trends, as seen by Lonely Planet

TRAVELLERS will favour face-to-face recommendations instead of online reviews, according to Lonely Planet. Holidaymakers will also demand more ‘unplugged travel’ and secret escapes as the pace of modern life continues to get faster.

Top of Lonely Planet’s list of predictions is that travel will soon become fully integrated into our lives as opposed to a special event. The increasing volume of commercial flights has brought a large shift in travellers’ mind-sets and Lonely Planet argues the concept of travel as a rare treat is disappearing, replaced by travel as a lifestyle choice.

Lonely Planet also predicts that green travel is on the rise as a new generation of travellers builds sustainability into every step of their journeys.

Sourcing online reviews remains second-nature for travellers, but hunger for local secrets is emboldening them to embrace face-to-face or local recommendations. Lonely Planet experts suggest online reviews will remain part of a traveller’s toolkit, but a local recommendation – whether from a taxi driver or in-the-know café owner – has never been more highly prized.

The pressures of modern life are also recognized, as Lonely Planet expects an increase in ‘unplugged travel’. With no e-mails or mobile signal, guests can immerse themselves in their destination and truly forget about work and everyday life.


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Millions ready for winter dashes to the sun



MORE than 12 million people in Britain are set to take a winter holiday during the coming months according to research by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), with similar numbers still considering holiday plans.

As temperatures drop, winter sun is the most popular option with 43% of people planning a winter break heading to sunnier climes. While city breaks have overtaken beach holidays to be the most popular type of holiday throughout the year, they take the second spot for winter holidays. A further 18% are planning a winter sports holiday, with an increase in numbers since 2012 due in part to so-called ‘lapsed skiers’ planning a return to the slopes as the economy recovers.

For winter sun, popular destinations include the Canary Islands and North African countries including Tunisia and Morocco. Antigua, The Maldives, Mexico and Thailand are among the most popular long haul winter sun destinations.

Favourite European city destinations are 
  • Berlin, 
  • Frankfurt, 
  • Paris, and 
  • Vienna with 
  • London, 
  • Edinburgh and the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham all popular in the UK.


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Picture Credit: From Top: "Imagebysafa2" by Safa in la but uploaded by Mardetanha - http://www.safainla.us via Wikimedia Commons; "Playa de las canteras palmas gran canaria" by Fernando Carmona González (Madrid) via Wikimedia Commons

Xmas in Chester

CHESTER has its own elf – ChELFie – to guide festive shoppers around the city’s historic streets and give prizes to people who spot him in shop windows.


The Chester Christmas market in the town hall and library squares will have a family-friendly activity area to entertain children while parents go shopping at the stalls. 


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Saturday, 29 November 2014

The art of luxury



ART DE VIVRE has launched its winter sun designer villa rental collection, which showcases properties in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Indian Ocean. 

The themes are Back to Nature, White Cube and Masterpiece Design.

Art de Vivre is a British family business with more than 20 years of experience in luxury villa rentals. It also has a range of designer chalets for rental across the Swiss and French Alps.

www.artdevivre-collection.com/collections/aw14/autumn-winter-villa-collection


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Picture Credit: 'VILLA MEXICO 702, PUNTA MITA' via artdevivre-collection.com

Berlin, the capital of fun

BERLIN has narrowly beaten London to the title of “most fun” city in a poll of travellers commissioned by travel review site GetYourGuide and – er, Berlin-based – GoEuro. 

The German capital was among 1,800 cities ranked according to categories such as “bars”, “clubs”, “shopping”, “adult entertainment” and “activities”. Factors such as the average price of a beer were also taken into account.

While it did not finish top in any of the major categories – London’s clubs and concerts, Tokyo’s bars and shops, and New York’s activities were voted the world’s best – it did enough across each area to get to the number one spot. Berlin’s beer was also the cheapest of the top 25 cities.

Paris came in at number three.

Says Paul Sullivan, the Daily Telegraph’s Berlin expert: ‘Berlin’s nightlife is justly world-renowned thanks to unpretentious dress codes, an inherently low-key/low-hype culture (many clubs are hidden away and don’t allow photography of any kind) … and a propensity to stay open until the last person is more or less stretchered out.

‘From slick spots like Watergate and Weekend to industrial behemoths like Berghain and Stattbad Wedding, the party never seems to end here, and the beers and eventual taxi home won’t break your wallet either.’


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Picture Credit: "Berlinale palace" by Flickr user Solar icon  via Wikimedia Commons

Top nosh

ACCORDING to a 2014 TripAdvisor poll, these are the ten best restaurants on the planet:

1. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

2. Midsummer House, Cambridge, England

3. Maison Lameloise, Chagny, France

4. The French Café, Auckland, New Zealand

5. Alinea, Chicago, Illinois

6. El Club Allard, Madrid, Spain

7. Epicure, Paris, France

8. Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, England

9. Le Gavroche, London, England

10. Martin Berasategui, San Sebastian, Spain

How many of them have you been to?


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Picture Credit: GoHolidayMagazine

Xmas on Gozo …




Gozitano Agricultural Village – December 12-21 


THE Gozitano Agricultural Village, Xewkija, will be transformed by music, illuminations, and stall offering food and drink, including wines from 17 countries.

Other Gozitano attractions will be traditional Christmas sweets produced by the Institute of Tourism, which will also be displaying a crib hand-made entirely from chocolate.

Artisan Christmas Village, St George Square – December 12-14

St George’s Square will have festive wooden huts offering a wide range of Christmas merchandise, including decorations, cribs, crafts, and seasonal food. Plus story sessions for children.


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Picture Credit: "Xewkija2" by Ramessos - Own work - via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 28 November 2014

Step out on the Kangaroo island wilderness trail



A WALKING trail showcasing Kangaroo Island’s unique natural environment has been officially named, the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It’s in the state of South Australia, 70 miles south-west of Adelaide. 

The trail will give walkers the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Flinders Chase National Park, the Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area, and the Kelly Hill Conservation Park.

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Picture Credit: "Sonnenaufgang Kangaroo Island- South Australia" via Wikimedia Commons; "Australian sea lion 03" by Peterdownunder - Own work.via Wikimedia Commons

Do UK-bound tourists face an entry charge?

AIRLINES have criticized suggestions that a Labour government in Britain would impose an entry charge on visitors from countries the citizens of which are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK.

The income would fund 1,000 additional border force staff, says the country’s opposition Labour party.

The charge – approximately £10 per visit – would affect visitors from the US and 55 other countries with a visa waiver agreement with the UK.

Labour estimates that approximately 5.5 million travellers – many from the US, Australia, and Canada – a year would have to pay the fee.

British Air Transport Association chief executive Nathan Stower said carriers have significant concerns about the proposal. ‘Visitors from countries like the US and Australia already pay the highest air passenger tax in the world to fly to the UK – £71 from next April – contributing billions of pounds to the Treasury. Adding yet another charge will make the UK more uncompetitive in attracting tourists, businesses, and inbound investment.

‘It is not clear how this proposed charge would be collected. The vast majority of visitors who are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK do not currently provide information to UK authorities ahead of their visit.

‘Furthermore, if more money were to be raised from airline passengers alone, it would be only fair for this to fund improvements in the border at airports and not at other ports of entry such as Calais.’

Go Holiday news editor David Kernek comments: The Labour Party hasn’t yet provided full details as to how this entry charge – in reality, a tourism tax – would work. It’s very possible that the full details don’t as yet exist!

In principle, though, I can’t see anything wrong with a tourist tax. A charge of £10 or even £20 is unlikely to deter many visitors. But it couldn’t be imposed only on tourists who travel to Britain by air; that would be seriously unfair. It would also have to be paid by tourists who arrive at sea ports, and those who come here by train from France.


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Up in the Alps


FOR skiers – or people who just like self-catering holidays
in the French Alps.

Adventure Base has a range of high quality chalets and apartments in Morzine 
and the Chamonix Valley, suitable for both winter and summer breaks.

The company can also arrange activities such as road biking, trail running, and paragliding … plus ski lessons - adventurebase.com


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Picture Credit: From Top: adventurebase.com; GoHoliday

Cottage break gifts

COASTAL COTTAGES in Pembrokeshire is offering gift vouchers which can be redeemed against one of its £99 winter short break deals.

The £99 deals are valid between January 5 and March 21 (excluding February half-term), which means recipients can enjoy a four-night winter break in Pembrokeshire as their Christmas gift.

The £99 voucher – valid for couples only - can be redeemed on selected properties, and is based on two people sharing one bedroom in the chosen cottage.

Gift vouchers can be purchased only by telephone are available for any denomination above £10. Reservations: 01437 772760


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Thursday, 27 November 2014

VisitEngland goes north

VISITENGLAND reports that the Sage Gateshead has been chosen as the venue to host its Excellence awards next May. It will be the first time the event has been held in the north-east.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence champion best practice and raise the profile of England as a world-class destination.


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Year-end fun at Australia’s biggest folk fest







FOR those heading to Queensland, Australia, for the Christmas holidays, the annual Woodford Folk Festival returns for its 29th year, from December 27 to January 1

The country’s largest gathering of local and international artists and musicians, the festival explores the full breadth and depth of cultural, artistic, social, and food diversity Australia has to offer. 

This year's festival will see more than 2,500 artists perform across 35 venues

Tickets are on sale at www.woodfordfolkfestival.com


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Picture Credit: www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

Brits lag in Euro holiday league

BRITISH workers average two less annual days leave per year than their European neighbours according to a survey, the Daily Mail has reported.


The survey, carried out by on-line travel organization Expedia, took data from 24 countries and calculated that the average European worker gets 28 days annual leave. 

This compares with UK workers who, although entitled to an average of 26 days, typically take 25 days. 


This could be why three quarters of UK workers polled said that they felt ‘very or somewhat’ deprived of time off.

But when compared to the annual leave that workers in countries outside Europe are entitled to, the UK appears to be positively spoilt. American workers typically get only 14 days off. Thais get only 11 days holiday entitlement, and South Koreans workers take only seven of the 15 days to which they are entitled.


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Picture Credit: GoHoliday Blog - original source unknown.

UK government urged to support family holidays

THE Family Holiday Association (FHA) has called for the UK government to offer more support and funding to help disadvantaged families take a holiday.

The charity’s president Peter Long, who is chief executive of TUI Travel, asked the government to assess public spending and help families that do not get to have a holiday.

He says: ‘As the Prime Minister rightly said recently, the government should do everything possible to support and strengthen family life in Britain today. Therefore, every government department will be held to account for the impact their policies have on families.

‘Whoever assumes power after the forthcoming election, I urge the following to happen: all of the £500 million currently allocated by central government for family breaks must be ring-fenced and not diverted by local authorities, and the government must have a greater understanding and appreciation of the positive impact a simple break can have on family life

He said that more than two million families cannot afford a holiday, and five million people cannot even go on a day out.


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Adelaide barley stars in new botanic beer

BARLEY grown in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens is playing a starring role in a limited edition beer. 

Brewers Coopers have collaborated with the Lobethal Bierhaus to produce Botanic Ale, with all proceeds going to the Botanic Gardens.

Only 2,111 pints of the new beer are being produced. It will be sold through the Lethal Beerhouse and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant in bottles and keg.


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Year’s end in Edinburgh …



St Andrew's Day, November 30:
A packed programme of free events in St Andrew Square.

Christmas
: Santa Land and an ice rink in St Andrew Square around the Melville Monument.

Hogmanay, December 30-January 1: The world's biggest New Year festival presents offers three days of spectacular free and ticketed events. 

The world-famous Street-Party welcomes more than 75,000 revellers to cheer in the New Year beneath the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. It kicks-off on December 30 with a 35,000 strong torchlight procession through the city and ends with a packed programme of events on New Year's Day.

www.thisisedinburgh.com/christmas
www.thisisedinburgh.com/hogmanay


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Picture Credit: From Top: 'EdinburghNYE' by Robbie Shade (Fireworks over Edinburgh) via Wikimedia Commons; 'Scott Monument Portal' by Bluefinart (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

New thrills in Kissimmee

AUTUMN’S cooler weather is paving the way for new thrills throughout the popular Central Florida destination.
  • The Walt Disney World Resort has a brand new “Frozen” attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot that will replace “Maelstrom.” 
Get close to Florida's natural beauty by spending the day at The Paddling Centre at Shingle Creek. 

This eco-attraction offers a variety of ways to enjoy natural Florida from tandem kayaks, single kayaks, aluminum canoes, and large paddle boards.


  • The national travelling exhibition Great Balls of Fire lands at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex and shares the story of the origins of our solar system, asteroids, comets and their possible impacts and risks. 
  • The Al-Marah Interactive Horse Experience gives visitors the chance to learn how to care for Arabian horses on an 80-acre property just minutes from the Kissimmee destination. The four-hour programme allows guests to groom, feed, ride, and learn about these animals, regardless of their horsemanship level. Participants must be five years or and older in order to ride.
www.ExperienceKissimmee.com

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Picture Credit: 'Shingle Creek Park' (WT-shared) Jtesla16 via Wikimedia Commons

More Brits choose Mauritius



IN August 2014, Mauritius welcomed 11,857 arrivals from the UK, a 20.5 percent increase year-on-year compared to August 2013 and higher than any other month in the past five years.


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Picture Credit: "La-preneuse-beach-mauritius" by Contrarianmind - Own work. via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

London office to lead Falkland Isles tourism push



THE Falkland Islands Tourist Board has announced plans to open a London office next year.
The tourism board is also planning to recruit a director of international communications to lead promotion and marketing of the islands in the UK, US and emerging markets.
Says the board’s managing director, Tony Mason: ‘Having a strong base in the United Kingdom and continuing to develop partnerships in the United States and with emerging markets will ensure the message gets out that the Falkland Islands are truly the most beautiful and unspoilt nature and wildlife offering in the world.’

UK visitor arrivals are expected to reach 3,000 this year, up 20% on 2013.

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Picture Credit: From Top: "Falkland Islands Penguins 40" by Ben Tubby - flickr.com. via Wikimedia Commons; "Pot Stanley Cathedral" via Wikimedia Commons

Italy lights up for Xmas

 ITALIAN CITIES light up for the festive season, with Christmas markets combining Mediterranean flavours and German traditions.

Here are some of the best:

VERONA – The city hosts a Nuremberg Christmas market in the central Piazza dei Signori. The German–style market will have all the traditional huts serving specialities such as mulled wine, Stollen and Lebkuchen cakes, and bratwurst.

TRIESTE – In Trieste, you can feel the charm of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire empire in its Christmas market in Piazza Sant'Antonio and the surrounding streets. There’ll be Trieste food and wine, songs and music.

ROME – The Piazza Navona (Pictured above) is swamped by a bustling market, selling cribs, decorations and sweets.

VENICE – Christmas fairs in various piazzas. 

FLORENCE – Mercato Tedesco di Natale, Piazza Santa Croce. This market (pictured here) is inspired by the tradition of the German city of Heidelberg. Wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations, and handicrafts.

NAPLES – Via S. Gregorio Armeno. The Christmas market in this narrow street is famous for its handcrafted nativity crib figurines, from the traditional to the most sophisticated, and for traditional Neopolitan food and cakes. 

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Picture Credit: From Top: 'Piazza Navona (Roma) - Mercato Natalizio 05' by Nicholas Gemini (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons; 'Piazza Santa Croce with german market' by Freepenguin (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Wanted: London’s guest of honour

VISITLONDON.COM and the GREAT Britain campaign have launched an international search to find London's Official Guest of Honour. 

The winner will be invited to London in February and will:

  • Open Tower Bridge
  • See a West End musical
  • Have afternoon tea at Lord's Cricket Ground 
  • Visit the Science Museum with Professor Stephen Hawking
  • Tour the Royal Opera House with Placido Domingo and Darcey Bussell
  • Walk the red carpet at a film premiere 
  • Meet Tim Henman for a VIP tour of the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon Championships.

Entrants – who must be 18 or older – must go to Visitlondon.com, submit an image or a short film, and in 70 words describe their perfect day in London. 

The closing date is December 9.



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Picture Credit: From Top: "Queens.guard.buck.palace.arp". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons; "Towerbridge1". Licensed via Wikimedia Commons; "Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 - geograph.org.uk - 1125595" by Christine Matthews - via Wikimedia Commons

From Belfast to Split ….

NORTHERN IRELAND is to get a summer air link to Croatia with weekly easyJet flights to Split. The service will be the airline’s 26th route from Belfast airport and will operate during the summer season from May next year.
One-way fares start at £26.99.
The easyJet service will be the only regular direct air link to Split from the island of Ireland.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Island campaign

THE first VisitGuernsey television advertisements in a decade will be part of a promotions campaign in February. 

The advertisements will focus on gastronomy, scenery, and history.

A joint heritage festival with Jersey is also planned for next year to help boost visitor numbers.


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Picture Credit: "LeDehusTombArt sr1" by Richard Scott-Robinson via Wikimedia Commons.

Take tea with the dolphins

TEMPTATION SAILING in South Australia is offering an afternoon tea experience with a difference: the chance to take tea in the company of dolphins. 

Visitors sail from Glenelg’s Marina Pier (15 minutes from Adelaide city centre) on board a 58-foot catamaran. 

The cruise offers dolphin-spotting opportunities with an afternoon tea platter. Prices start from AU$50 (£27.85) per person.

http://dolphinboat.com.au





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Picture Credit: dolphinboat.com.au

Up in the air............

UK’s aviation sector worth £52bn in GDP … and 960,000 jobs:

The UK’s aviation sector is worth £52 billion in overall GDP, 960,000 jobs and £8.7 billion in tax revenues, according to study by Oxford Economics.

The study, commissioned by leading players from the aviation and tourism sectors, shows that all three elements of the sector’s contribution to the UK economy have grown.

Essaouira......Morocco:

THE Moroccan port resort of Essaouira will move a step closer for British travellers next year with the launch of direct flights from London Luton Airport ...... easyJet will start the service on May 1.

Currently British holidaymakers visiting Essaouira must head first to Marrakesh, before taking a two- to three-hour taxi transfer to the coast – at a cost of up to £100 each way – or fly via Paris or Brussels.

New Belfast-Barcelona service:

EUROPEAN airline Vueling will start a twice-weekly Belfast-Barcelona service next May.


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Flybe to open new base at Bournemouth

FLYBE is to open operations at Bournemouth Airport next March. 

Two 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft will be deployed to meet demand for key routes to and from Bournemouth. The airline’s summer 2015 schedule will start with a new year-round, double daily service between Bournemouth and Glasgow.

The airline will also be starting new services to Amsterdam, Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Jersey, Dublin, Deauville, Toulon, and Biarritz.

www.flybe.com


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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Accolade for .....

LETTINGS agency holidaycottages.co.uk is one of the shortlisted finalists for two  2014 British Travel Awards (BTA): best UK holiday cottages/self-catering company and the BTA award for excellence in customer service.

The winners will be announced at the BTA Gala Awards dinner in London on November 26.

Based in the south-west, the independent family-owned company has more 35 years’ experience in holiday lettings and a portfolio of more than 2,000 properties across Britain.

Says James Morris, the company’s managing director: ‘It’s fantastic to know that these awards have been chosen by members of the public and that all these votes have come from our customers.’

www.britishtravelawards.com


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Island luxury





DUSIT THANI MALDIVES is promoting its new two-storey, three-bedroom Beach Residence.

Described by the company as a “world of opulence amidst the tranquility of Mudhdhoo Island” designed for “discerning couples and families”. 

Features include an entertainment lounge, large swimming pool, a private beach pavilion, and – of course – a bedroom for a personal butler or maid.

Price: Approximately £9,000 a week: www.dusit.com/dusitthani/maldive

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Picture Credit: DUSIT THANI MALDIVES




Bristol on ice

AT-BRISTOL, the harbourside science centre, is again hosting an ice rink on Millennium Square this autumn and winter. 

The rink - which opened earlier this month stays open until January 6 – has sessions for the general public, school groups, evening discos, and the under-eights.




Tickets are priced at £8.50 for adults, £7.50 for concessions and £6.50 for children, with reduced entry rates for group bookings and a discount for booking online. 

Opening times vary, so please visit www.at-bristol.org.uk/icerink

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Picture Credit: From Top: 'Millenium Square at night' - Bristol city centre by Joe D via Wikimedia Commons; "January-scene-skating-early-1820s" - Licensed via Wikimedia Commons

When Charles I surrendered ...



BRITAIN’S first National Civil War Centre will open in Newark, Nottinghamshire, next spring.

The £5.4 million centre will be housed in the 16th century Old Magnus Building, now being restored. 

The centrepiece theme will be the deadly struggle for power in 17th century England and Scotland - aptly illustrated in this 1829 painting 'Charles I receiving a rose from a young girl when about to be brought as a prisoner to Carisbrooke Castle, where he was soon be condemned and executed' by the artist Eugene Lami (1800-1890)  

The fight to control Newark – a Royalist town – was one of the defining events of the English Civil War*. It was near here that Charles I surrendered to the Scots Army, which was allied to Cromwell’s Commonwealth forces.

*Also known by some historians as the English Revolution.

www.civilwarnewark.co.uk



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Picture Credit: 'Charles I receiving a rose from a young girl when about to be brought as a prisoner to Carisbrooke Castle, where he was soon be condemned and executed' - 1829 by the artist Eugene Lami (1800-1890) via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Head south for music

THE Savannah Music Festival – Georgia’s largest musical arts event – runs from March 19 to April 4 next year.

The music: opera, jazz, classical, jazz, blues, gospel, rock, and bluegrass.

The place: Savannah’s historic downtown .. Go2www.savannahmusicfestival.org

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Picture Credit: 'Pink Martini - 2012 Savannah Music Festival' by Bruce Tuten via Wikimedia Commons; 'Logo' courtesy www.savannahmusicfestival.org

Ibiza aims to stretch season



IBIZA is hoping new British Airways flights and niche offerings will extend its tourism season past the summer months.
The Spanish island has already seen a boost during the off-peak ‘shoulder season’ months after some tour operators started services in April this year instead of May or June. But with British Airways planning five flights a week from London City year round and new resort developments, the island hopes to increase tourist numbers in the spring and autumn.
‘We want to see an increase in visits during the shoulder season and show that Ibiza is not just about the beach and nightlife,’ says Carmen Ferrer, Minister of Tourism for Ibiza. ‘The 50+ market is particularly a sector we hope to attract.’

Arrivals in Ibiza increased by eight percent in September with UK numbers up by five percent. British visitors account for more than 25 percent of the island’s tourist numbers.

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Picture Credit:From Top: "Cala Bassa (Ibiza) (190295961)" by Eduardo Pitt via Wikimedia Commons; "Ibiza night" by Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Müller) via Wikimedia Commons

Spa treats in Wales

QUALITY COTTAGES has started a spa treatments service for holidaymakers in Wales. Its Cottage Spa Experience package will give customers staying in its luxury cottages the chance to have a treat often associated only with luxury hotels.

Therapists offer a range of treatments from deep tissue massage to hand and feet treatments - 
www.qualitycottages.co.uk/cottage-spa-experience

‘We recognized that the treatments needed to be for the whole party,’ says Tim Rees, general manager at Quality Cottages, ‘so kids don't miss out with nail polish treats, teenagers have their own range, and a mum-to-be gets the proper treatment for her and her bump.

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£10m government funding to help north

TOURISM bodies have welcomed news of £10 million worth of funding to develop a strategy for northern England.

The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will be invested in tourism in the north of England.

Previous RGF funding saw VisitEngland secure £19.8 million to implement a three-year Growing Tourism Locally project in 2012. To date, this has generated £527 million in additional tourism spend and created 9,800 jobs.

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Beresford said: ‘We are committed to supporting all areas of the country to ensure that tourism in England thrives.’


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Friday, 21 November 2014

Top cities for romance!



IN a survey of more than 2,000 Londoners by travel money provider International Currency Exchange, Paris, Rome, and Venice were voted the most romantic holiday cities in Europe. 


Paris also scored highly for value for money, just behind Amsterdam, which was voted top for those on a budget.


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Picture Credit: From Top: 'Notre-Dame île de la Cité' by Benh LIEU SONG (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons; "Amstelpark water" by Arthena - Own work via Wikimedia Commons

Where’s best for low-cost skiing?



BANSKO in Bulgaria offers the cheapest family ski holiday this season, according to new research by Ipsos Mori, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A family of four can spend a week in the resort for an average cost of £1,631, not including travel, a third of the cost of the most expensive resort, St Anton, Austria, where a week costs £5,026.

The research compiled the average cost of a week's hotel accommodation, equipment hire, lift pass and lessons, plus dinners and drinks over a week.


Other resorts deemed good value in the survey include Sierra Nevada and Formigal in Spain and Arinsal, Ordino Arcalis and Soldeu in Andorra. Host of this year's Winter Olympics, Sochi in Russia, was the third cheapest, with a week's family costs of £2,205.


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Picture Credit:"Skier-carving-a-turn" by Me - Méribel, France. via Wikimedia Commons

Top spots …

  • THE Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester has been voted the UK’s top tourist attraction by the British Guild of Travel Writers. Runners up in the UK category were the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, and the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Wiltshire.

http://www.leicester.gov.uk/kingrichardiiivisitorcentre/index.html
http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/sam-wanamaker-playhouse
http://www.stonehenge.co.uk/


  • The Andreasstrasse Memorial & Education Centre, Erfurt, Germany, took top honours in the European section. The centre commemorates resistance in Thuringia to East Germany’s communist government and the secret police from 1949 to 1989. The government ran a pre-trial detention centre in Erfurt, where more than 5,000 people who had opposed the regime were imprisoned. 
http://www.thuringia-tourism.com/travel-hotel-holiday-tour/index.html


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