Monday, 31 March 2014

More for the weary traveller / 5....

For everyone who has ever had an evaluation - just remember, it could have been worse.
These are actual quotes taken from Government employee performance Evaluations somewhere in the world:

21. "One neuron short of a synapse."

22. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

23. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60-minutes."

24. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.”

25. “His parents were happy when he left home.”

Go Holiday news

All aboard for the age of steam

HERITAGE rail operator The Railway Touring Company is to run 77 steam trains during the six months from April to September, with 17 historic locomotives lined up to offer travellers the nostalgia of the golden age of steam.
Scenic and challenging rail routes featured include the Settle & Carlisle Railway, which this year celebrates 25 years since being saved from closure in 1989.  Climbs into the Welsh Mountains to Blaenau Ffestiniog and sortees along the Heart of Wales line to Llandrindod Wells offer hardly less stunning rail journeys.
Magnificent Giants of Steam to be put to work hauling The Railway Touring Company's vintage trains include the 1927-built No. 46115 Scots Guardsman, star of the classic 1936 GPO documentary, Night Mail.  The A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa, seen at the National Railway Museum last year, is also to be in service on several dates.
Trains will depart from across England, Wales and Scotland, with destinations including Pembroke Dock, Bangor, Holyhead, Carmarthen, Fishguard Harbour, Paignton, Edinburgh, York, Chester and Minehead.
For a full listing of UK day trip and rail tours, go to

Go Holiday news

More help from Helpful Holidays

THIS year’s second colour supplement from West Country cottage specialists Helpful Holidays is their largest ever featuring 57 self-catering properties across Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, which increases the agency’s portfolio to 690 special places to stay.

Everyone taking a break with Helpful Holidays will get a free What shall we do today? booklet containing 84 money saving vouchers for use at visitor attractions throughout the West Country. It also gives information on local farmers’ markets plus recommendations for the best beaches, coast and country walks, places to eat and quirky events.

Go Holiday news

Go Holiday news

BMI REGIONAL has been named the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline for the ninth consecutive year, placing it ahead of British Airways, Ryanair, Flybe, and easyJet.

The latest figures for 2013 from show that bmi Regional achieved an On-Time Performance of more than 92 percent in the previous twelve months, a better performance than BA CityFlyer, KLM, CityJet , SAS, Aer Lingus, Flybe and easyJet.  

A flight is recognized as being on time if it departs or arrives within 15 minutes of its published schedule.

Go Holiday news

Sunday, 30 March 2014

That was the day that was..............

MOTHER'S DAY...........

Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he'll end up hating you.  Jill Bennett

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.  Peter De Vries

All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.  No man does.  That's his.  Oscar Wilde

Best wishes from Go Holiday news

Course upgrade at Quinta Do Lago

QUINTA DO LAGO has unveiled plans for a major renovation of its North Course to match the other first-class golfing facilities at the resort in Portugal's Algarve. The course is scheduled to re-open in October, with a new design by the renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

Greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation and drainage systems and cart paths are being re-built using the latest state-of-the-art technology.

While the routing of the course will not change, Quinta do Lago says that golf course strategy will be addressed to make the par-72 lay-out significantly more playable for all golfers while still being challenging for the better players. The reduction of grassed areas will lessen the impact on the environment and the new design will include the creation of some new animal and plant habitats. 

Go Holiday news


It's MOTHER'S DAY...........

Children are the anchors of a mother's life.

My mother is a walking miracle.
Leonardo DiCaprio

A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.

Honore de Balzac

Best wishes from Go Holiday news

An accolade....................

It's MOTHER'S DAY...........

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

Jewish Proverb

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.
Stevie Wonder

A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
Victor Hugo

Best wishes from Go Holiday news

A celebration.....

It's MOTHER'S DAY...........

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.

Stevie Wonder

Best wishes from Go Holiday news

New flights to Pula

AIR LINGUS will launch two weekly flights from Dublin to Pula, Croatia, on Tuesdays and Saturdays in April. Pula joins Dubrovnik as Aer Lingus' second destination in Croatia. 

Go Holiday news

A celebration..............

It's MOTHER'S DAY...........

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.

Robert Browning

Best wishes from Go Holiday news

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Classic motorcycle club events to watch....

GET ON YOUR BIKE!   Want to watch folks racing around tracks on motorbikes? Here’s your 2014 calendar of classic motorcycle club events in England and Wales:
Pembrey – April 19/20
LLanelli, Carmarthenshire
Tel: 0844 693 0106
Lydden Hill – May 17/18
Wootton, Canterbury
Tel: 01304 830557
Anglesey Trac Mon  – June 13/14/15
Ty Croes, Anglesey  
Tel: 014078 11400
Brands Hatch  –  July 5/6th
Fawkham, Longfield, Kent
Tel: 01474 872331
Donnington Park – August  8/9/10 
Castle Donnington, Derby  
Tel: 0844 693 0106
Cadwell Park – September 6/7
Louth, Lincolnshire
Ticket hotline:  0843 453 9000
Snetterton, – October 11/12 
Thetford, Norfolk
Ticket hotline:  0843 453 9000

Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Cadwell Park are all part of the Motorsport Vision Group and offer a range of other activities  including  track days, track experiences, plus other car and motorcycle racing events. Donnington Park has a motor sport museum featuring famous F1 cars. Lydden Hill is the home of UK rally cross, and has track days and testing sessions. Pembrey in South Wales also offers a range of additional experiences including driving, flying, motorcycling, and hot air balloon flights.  In North Wales, Anglesey’s Trac Mon has a car and motorcycle events during the year.

The app for city tours

CITIES TALKING is a new way to discover your favourite cities … for less. Showcasing the best of Europe’s city culture, Cities Talking – which has been dubbed the “anti-tour guide” – has been designed to offer a solution to expensive, uninformative city tours, with the help of some famous voices.

Free to download, the app allows you to explore cities on your own schedule. Instead of regurgitating the same mundane facts on which many tour guides rely, the app uses an interactive GPS which targets your location and provides compelling facts designed to inspire, educate, amuse and entertain – whether it’s Christopher Biggins guiding you around the streets of London or comedian Gordon Kelly taking you on a tour of medieval Edinburgh.

Says Julie-Anne Uggla, founder of Cities Talking: ‘In Venice, we paid a premium for an excruciating tour of the city – it was so busy we couldn’t hear the tour guide speak, what we did hear was completely uninspiring and we couldn’t even stop for a water break in the baking heat. At that point, I thought surely there’s a cheaper, more exciting way to explore a city than this,  which is when Cities Talking was born!”.

Walks are currently available for ten cities: London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Amsterdam, Budapest, Florence, Paris, Venice, Bruges, and Prague.

Go Holiday news

Drive back through time...

A NEW-LOOK Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset, opens to visitors on April 16.

After ten years of planning, two-and-a-half years of building work and a £5 million investment, the new museum will have three new exhibition halls – Minis and Micros, Century of Supercars, and Motorcycle Mezzanine – plus themed rooms and a children’s adventure play zone.

Established in 1985 by John H. Haynes OBE with 33 cars, the new museum will have more than 400 cars and motorcycles from around the world, including a working replica of the first production car ever made – an 1885 Benz.

Go Holiday news

New flights to Malta

BRITISH AIRWAYS is starting daily direct flights from London Gatwick to Malta as from March 30.

Hand-baggage-only tickets in Euro Traveller (economy) will start from £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges.

Alex Incorvaja, Director UK & Ireland of the Malta Tourism Authority says: ‘We are delighted to have BA flying back to our shores. The introduction of this flagship carrier to Malta further reinforces our commitment and strategy of making the islands even more accessible to the British traveller, be it for leisure or business.’

Go Holiday news

Friday, 28 March 2014

Travel matters......

Vacation:  Two weeks on the sunny sands - and the rest of the year on the financial rocks.

Go Holiday news

Go fishing in Florida

FLORIDA'S Gulf Coast and in particular, the Boca Grande Pass, is known as the world's Tarpon Capital, attracting anglers from across the globe. The sport is celebrated every May with the World's Richest Tarpon Tournament, when teams compete to catch and release the most tarpon. This game fish can reach up to 8ft in length, weigh up to 280 pounds and are exciting to catch with their incredible fighting spirit when hooked.  

The tournament sees 50 boats in teams of six compete for a cash prize of £28,800 for first place, £16,800 for second, and £11,500 for third.

The tournament this year is on May 15/16 May. Teams can enter at

Go Holiday news

Greece expects …

GREECE’S tourism industry is expecting an upturn in the number of German holidaymakers visiting their country this year.

‘2014 will be the year that Greece sees a complete re-instatement in demand for travel to Greece on the part of the German market,’ says Andreas Andreadis of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (AGTE). ‘We anticipate that arrivals from Germany will range between 2.5 and 2.7 million this year, up from 2.3 million in 2013. Beyond the impressive increase in demand, we have also observed a clear turn-around in the way Greece is viewed in the eyes of German visitors … as a travel destination with superior attributes and improved value for money in comparison with the past.’

A decision to open 30 of Greece’s most significant museums and ancient sites, which attract 90 percent of total visitor numbers, from 8am to 8pm between April and October has made a particularly positive impression on potential visitors, says Mr  Andreadis.

Go Holiday news

From bathtubbing to gravy wrestling …

FORGET London, Sochi and Brazil …. if you want to be entertained by top-class athletes putting their bodies on the line in search of sporting immortality, look no further than Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales, and the World Alternative Games.

Created after it was announced that London would be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, the World Alternative Games has become famous for the wide variety of unique and fascinating events, including everything from Worm Charming to Chariot Racing, from the Bathtubbing Championships to  the Wife Carrying Championships.

Perhaps the most popular and well-known events are the World Bog Snorkelling championships, the Man vs Horse race and the Gravy Wrestling championships.

The opening ceremony for this year's games in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, takes place on August 8.

Go Holiday news

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shark teeth on the beach

HEAD to Venice in Sarasota County on the gulf coast of Florida to experience shark's teeth-strewn beaches at the annual Shark Tooth Festival. Families can see and collect from the millions of fossilized shark's teeth washed up on the beach and enjoy live music, entertainment and street food at this quirky carnival taking place from April 11-13.

Go Holiday news

See Moscow by boat and bus

THE Russian office of City Sightseeing Worldwide and the Moscow-based Capital River Boat Tour Company planning a joint tour excursion operation on boats and double-decker buses, which will be the largest city tour programme in the Russian Federation.

Founded by Stalin in 1933, the Capital River Boat Tour Company is the oldest and largest water transport organization in the Moscow region.

The programme will have 15 buses and 40 boats in Moscow.

“By combining the two largest excursion carriers, Moscow residents and its visitors will benefit from a single combination ticket, which will allow passengers to use the services of both companies for an unlimited number of times during two consecutive days. The cost of the combo ticket will be as low as 1,300 roubles (£21.70)”, says President of City Sightseeing Russia and Azerbaijan, Mr. Sergei V. Lavrebtyev. “Passengers will be able to buy a combo ticket on board either the bus or boat, or at any ticket office located on the Moskva river piers.”

Go Holiday news

Take a journey back through time

A PLAN to develop more than 500 tourism villages has been published by the Indonesian government. The aim is to help visitors discover traditional life in villages where residents maintain indigenous cultures and live just as their ancestors did centuries ago.

Each village will receive IDR75-100 million (£3,950-£5,260) in funding, plus training sessions in foreign languages, art, culture and culinary skills to support low-income residents and enhance tourists' enjoyment of the rural area.

Spread throughout Indonesia, traditional villages offer the chance to explore places where age-old beliefs, rituals and practices still dominate daily life. The people who live in these areas maintain ancient ethnic customs, wear traditional clothes and produce exotic arts and crafts, such as intricate batiks, allowing visitors to experience distinctive cultures that remain free from the influences of modern life.

Go Holiday news

Ryanair launches new winter routes

RYANAIR’s London Stansted 2014 winter schedule includes eight new routes and increased flights on 36 other routes.

The new winter destinations are: Athens, Basel, Bordeaux, Bucharest, Perpignan, Prague, Rabat, and Skelleftea in Sweden.

The company says the new winter routes with multiple daily frequencies are aimed at business passengers and families booking a winter sun or ski get-away. 

Go Holiday news

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

APD cut for long haul flights

UK PASSENGERS going to countries such China, Brazil and Australia could save up to £23 on an economy class ticket and £46 on a first class fare from 2015 after changes to Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates announced by Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer in his 2014 Budget.

APD, which applies to flights from UK airports, will be simplified and reduced for many long-haul destinations, the Chancellor said, in an effort to boost trade with economies such as China.

Go Holiday news

Best beaches!

MILLIONS have spoken: Florida is beach heaven, with ten Sunshine State beaches rated by TripAdvisor travellers among the best 25 in the US. The ten seaside beauties range from north-west Florida's pristine Navarre Beach to historic St. Augustine Beach on the north-east coast and south to Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.

Said VISIT FLORIDA Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps: ‘The Sunshine State has 825 miles of beaches, and they all have won people's hearts, from the wild beauty you find at St. George Island to the urban sophistication of Miami's South Beach.’

The state’s Top 10 beaches are:

Siesta Key Public Beach
St. Pete  
Caladesi Island State Park
St. Augustine
Bahia Honda State Park and Beach
Panama City 

The planet’s Top 10 beaches according to TripAdvisor travellers are:

Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii
Rhossili Bay, Swansea, Wales
Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Go Holiday editor David Kernek writes: I know a world-class beach in north-west Crete that isn’t on this list. It’s secret is safe with me!

Go Holiday news

Go slow in Suffolk

THE wool trade once made Suffolk one of England's richest counties, and today's visitors seeking a quintessential East Anglian experience will not leave feeling short-changed. Suffolk, low-lying but rarely flat, is a landscape dominated by its countless villages, each with their own church, and by its Anglo Saxon heritage.

Suffolk is the latest title in Bradt's Slow Travel series. It has been written by Laurence Mitchell, a freelance travel writer and photographer who, when not wandering around his home patch of East Anglia, specializes in places well off the beaten track.

Price: £9.99.

Go Holiday news

Take the dog!

WEST COUNTRY holiday cottage agency, Toad Hall Cottages is offering more than 275 pet-friendly properties for rent throughout the region this spring. Most properties charge a fee of £25 per week for pets.

Go Holiday news

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Funny asides.....

& Quick quips.....

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Go Holiday news

UK hols down,but spending up

HOLIDAYMAKERS are taking fewer trips in the UK and Ireland but are spending more when they do go away for a break, according to research by Euromonitor International.

The number of domestic trips dropped by one percent to 132 million holidays in 2013 compared to 2012, but holiday spending went up by two percent. Two thirds of domestic trips taken last for fewer than three days, suggesting many are one or two nights in length.

VisitEngland’s strategy and development director Louise Stewart says the UK’s tourism  industry will face a harder challenge now that spending is on the rise, with the temptation for holidaymakers to head overseas again. But she adds that trend for holidaying at home had revived the British tourists’ love for their country.

‘The trend to holiday near home will naturally tail off and holidaymakers will go to the sun but England is still in their repertoire. People have changed how they holiday and England is still among the choice of breaks,’ she said.

Go Holiday news

BA boosts Berlin flights

BRITISH AIRWAYS has increased its London flights to Berlin for winter 2014 by adding another direct service to the German capital. From October, the airline will increase daily Monday to Friday flights to Berlin’s Tegel airport from six to seven, and at weekends from five to six.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK & Ireland sales, said: ‘Berlin is a brilliant city for business and leisure travel and I know our English and German customers will be pleased with even better connections and a greater choice of seats every day.’

Go Holiday news

Jazz on Tobago

THIS year’s Tobago Jazz Festival runs from April 19 to April 27, and the headline act will be Earth, Wind and Fire.

To book your tickets and for further information, go to

Go Holiday news

Monday, 24 March 2014

Hey! - It's a universal law.....

Law of the Alibi;

If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tyre, the very next morning you will have a flat tyre.

Go Holiday news

Air miles compared

WITH recent reports questioning the value of air miles and some airlines introducing changes to their policies, Airport Parking and Hotels ( has compiled a guide comparing frequent flyer schemes across all major airlines.

The research highlights the disparities between frequent flyer schemes across 19 airlines including British Airways, Flybe and Virgin Atlantic, and compares the different tiers within the schemes, qualifying requirements, the benefits and rewards, as well as the terms and conditions.

Some airlines, including Cathay Pacific and British Airways, stipulate that membership is limited to individuals who are 18 years of age and above, whereas others allow membership for anyone aged two and above.

The guide is available in the Know Before You Go section at

Go Holiday news

Liam speaks out for Ulster

HOLLYWOOD actor Liam Neeson has signed up to help promote tourism to his home nation of Northern Ireland. Neeson, who was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, has provided the voice-over to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s latest advertising campaign.
Neeson’s recognizable voice encourage viewers to “discover the real deal” with actress Bornagh Gallagher, Hothouse Flowers’ lead singer Liam Ó Maonlaí and tour guides also appearing in the ads. 
‘I’ve always maintained that Northern Ireland is the world’s best kept secret, both in the character of its people and its scenery. I’m delighted to be part of this exciting campaign to promote the treasures of my homeland,’ Neeson said.
Go Holiday news

IoW launches pre-summer campaign

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT is putting money into a new campaign to boost tourism numbers ahead of the traditional peak holiday season. A total of £210,000 has been gathered by the tourism board, council and industry partners to promote the island across press and radio, with the destination also part of a VisitEngland campaign.

‘We saw good growth in the late spring and summer last year and whilst visitor numbers have been challenged by poor weather over the winter, we have still performed far better than the mainland seaside resorts,’ said David Thornton, chief executive of Visit IoW. 

Go Holiday news

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Where’s your ‘Chinese welcome’ mat?

‘GREAT China Welcome’ is VisitBritain’s initiative to make Britain the most welcoming destination in Europe for Chinese visitors. Supported by government ministers, it aims to encourage UK tourism and hospitality businesses to sign up to a charter which proves that their products and services are right for Chinese visitors.

China is now the world’s largest outbound tourism market and provisional data for 2013 suggests that the number of visitors to Britain from China hit 200,000 for the first time. Spend figures are even more remarkable, with Chinese visitors parting with more than £400 million during the first nine months of 2013 alone.

A GREAT China Welcome Chartermark will help Chinese visitors to find attractions and tour operators which offer information in Mandarin and other tailored services. VisitBritain hopes it will also encourage more British tourism providers to invest in making their products more suitable for the Chinese market.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive officer at VisitBritain, said: ‘The GREAT China Welcome Charter will help differentiate Britain from its European neighbours and work towards our target of welcoming 650,000 Chinese visits a year by 2020 - worth nearly £1.1 billion annually to the UK economy.’

Go Holiday news

Hang out by the Gulf

THE HANGOUT is a one-of-a-kind music festival that takes place on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, each May. The 32 miles of white sand on Alabama’s Gulf Coast attracts more than 35,000 music lovers who want to experience a beach party atmosphere featuring more than 70 bands across six stages. This year’s line-up includes The Killers, Outkast, Jack Johnson, The Black Keys and Tom Odell.

This year’s event runs from May 16 to May 18, and the advance purchase general admission for the three days starts from $209 (£125) plus booking fee.

Go Holiday news

Go native in London

GO NATIVE offers a fresh take on London breaks, focusing on neighbourhood experiences unique to each area of the capital. The Go Native’s range of more than 800 self-catering apartments spans the city’s most desirable postcodes, from Square Mile warehouses and stucco-clad Hyde Park residences to a Mayfair pied-a-terre. Guests can immerse themselves in local London life.

In historic buildings, each apartment reflects the local area, be it urban minimalism set against a backdrop of sky-scrapers or old-world elegance  in a Mayfair mews.

Go Holiday news

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Travel matters.........

The alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see.

Go Holiday news

Scottish tourism will survive independence...survey result

TOURISM consultancy Dunira Strategy has published the results of a survey which shows that fears of a drop in Scottish tourism in the event of Scottish independence are unfounded.

Conducted across the British Isles, respondents were asked a single question: “Thinking about Scotland as a tourism destination, if it became an independent country, would this affect your decision to go there?” The vast majority (85 percent) said that “it would make no difference”.

England is Scotland’s most important market. In 2012, it generated six million visits and £1.7 billion in direct expenditure, spending an average of £281 per person per trip. Visitors from England are 40 percent of Scotland’s tourism market by volume and 39 percent by value. It is therefore vitally important to understand whether independence represents a threat to Scottish tourism.

Said Dunira Strategy’s Managing Director Benjamin Carey: ‘A number of commentators have argued that independence could jeopardise growth in the UK staycation market, which is a key component in the recovery of Scottish tourism following the economic crisis. This survey shows that these fears are unfounded.’

Go Holiday editor David Kernek writes: The notion that the Scottish tourism industry would fall apart if the country were to be independent is the latest scare story churned out by those who appear to believe – quite wrongly in my opinion – that a Yes vote would signal the end of British (or English) civilization as we know it.

The Scots are being told that if they opt for independence, big companies would decamp to England, they’d be chucked out of the European Union (that might be a blessing!), and they wouldn’t be able to use the English £. Now they’re being warned that the English, Welsh and Irish wouldn’t want to have holidays there.

What nonsense this is. Who rejects the idea of a holiday in the United States because it had the temerity to exit from the British Empire? Who says they won’t go to France or Greece because they are run by a foreign governments … or the EU, which is much the same thing?

My bet is that  Scotland’s culture, heritage, landscapes – and it fine amber liquids – will continue to attract as many, if not more, visitors as it does now, whether or not it’s a “foreign” country.

Go Holiday news