Tuesday, 30 June 2015

London’s highest garden space opens

THE sky deck at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building has been transformed with more than 2,000 plants and flowers. The View from The Shard has officially opened London’s highest summer garden space, 800ft above the city.

National floral favourites including poppies, fox gloves, lavender, marigolds, and birch trees have been planted.

Guests can book a Sky-High Tea picnic from Fortnum & Mason with their visit, or have gin-and-tonic flavoured ice-cream while taking in the views of up to 40 miles.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38504095@N00/14789075505">The Shard - Photo24-0807-Edit</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)

End of the British two-week holiday?


THE NUMBER of people taking a two-week holiday has decreased by 46% over the last five years, according to a study by Travelodge, which surveyed 3,000 British adults about their holiday plans for 2015.

It found that UK holidaymakers are opting for one week away, with four shorter breaks spread out throughout the year. This year, 70% of Britons are planning a domestic break, with less than one in five (19%) taking a two-week holiday.

But the traditional #seasideholiday is back in vogue as more than half (56%) of Britons are heading to the coast this summer, with top destinations including Cornwall, Devon, Blackpool, Brighton, and Bournemouth.

The next most popular type of holiday is the #ruralescape, with 35% exploring the UK countryside in places such as the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Scottish Highlands, Norfolk Broads, and Cotswolds.

The number taking #citybreaks has fallen this year to 25%, from 37% last year. Top city break destinations for 2015 include London, Edinburgh, York, Bristol, and Liverpool. 

A Travelodge spokeswoman said: ‘Our 2015 holiday index has revealed an interesting trend, with Britons taking more multiple breaks throughout the year, which suggests the end of the traditional two-week break.’


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13806091@N00/3835319180"></a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)

Villa Martinez - Late Availability for August

Villa Martinez, Ciutadella , Menorca, Spain

#LateAvailability Monday 24th August for 7 nights £740 for the week (for 2 people) then an additional £30 p.p.p.n

In a quiet, residential area, this villa with its own private pool comfortably accommodates 4 adults, 2 children and 1 infant.

The villa is 10 minutes' slow walk from the pretty cove/beach at Cala'n Blanes and Cala'n Bruch's beautiful cove with bathing platforms.

Also close by is the busier atmosphere of Cala'n Forcat with its picturesque cove, sandy beach, Aqua Park and shops, bars & restaurants etc.

http://govillasandcottages.co.uk/property/9077084081049079081061061/villa-martinez-ciutadella-menorca.html


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28842017@N00/1805392775">Port de Ciutadella</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Car hire in Spain? Beware those hidden extra €s


HOLIDAYMAKERS renting cars in #Spain this summer need to be most on their guard for ‘sneaky tactics’ used by suppliers, says car hire broker Economy Car Hire, which has identified six ways in which consumers could be caught out.

They are:

• Admin fees: Some suppliers offer what's known as a ‘full-full' policy, but slap on an admin charge. This means you when you collect the car it has a full tank and you must return it with a full tank. When you return the car, you get a refund for the tank, minus the admin charge which is typically €25-€40 (£18.40-£29.50). 

• Credit card charges: You're told to pay for extras such as a satnav or child car seat in sterling at a very poor exchange rate.

• Pre-existing damage: You're made liable for damage which was already on the car when you collected it.

• Diesel surcharge: You're hit with a €10-€15 (£7.35-£11) surcharge when you're given a diesel car, even though you didn't ask for one.

• Sealed agreements: You sign your rental agreement digitally and the printed copy is handed over in a sealed envelope, so you only spot any nasty surprises when it's too late.

• Insurance hard sell: You're pressured take out local cover, even though you bought it before travelling.

The firm also highlights tactics used in other countries, such as the UK, US, France, Turkey, Italy, and South Africa which range from charging for damage that was already on the car through to ‘out of hours’ vehicle collection fees.

Economy Car Hire managing director, Rory Sexton, said: ‘Dirty tricks are more prevalent in certain countries than others, with customers reporting fewer issues in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Switzerland. 

If you are going somewhere where sneaky tactics are often used, make sure you scrutinize the terms of their booking in advance, and read the rental contract carefully when collecting the car. It's always a good idea to book through a broker in the UK which will provide the protection of UK consumer law.’

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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8329215@N04/5192918769">YSSY IMG_0455</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Up in the air ...

BALKAN HOLIDAYS has announced additional flights from UK regional airports to Bulgaria for its summer 2016 programme.

These are:
  • A weekly Thursday flight from Glasgow to Bourgas 
  • A weekly Monday flight from Aberdeen to Bourgas 
  • A weekly Saturday flight from Glasgow to Varna 
  • A Friday flight from Belfast to Bourgas 
  • Saturday flights (high season) from Gatwick and Manchester to Varna
  • Monday night flight from Birmingham to Bourgas 

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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/82543970@N00/1341496473">Budva Montenegro</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)

Monday, 29 June 2015

Cornwall, Scotland top holiday choices


CORNWALL and Scotland have tied as this year’s two most sought-after UK vacation destinations, according to the Post Office’s Travel Insurance Domestic Holidays report. 

Wales was third most popular choice, with Devon in fourth place.



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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50144889@N08/14488637723">St.Ives Panorama 14. Nikon D300s. DSC_3416-3619.</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license), 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43145783@N00/3318938203">Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license

Sydney upgrades


INFRASTRUCTURE developments in #Sydney – including the biggest change to Darling Harbour in 25 years – are set to transform the city's skyline and attract even more visitors.

Major infrastructure projects include the transformation of Darling Harbour including Australia's largest exhibition and convention centre, a harbourside development at Barangaroo, significant upgrades at Sydney Airport, and the regeneration of The Bays Precinct.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said: ‘Sydney is a global city offering world-class events, leading hotels, and a spectacular harbour. These significant investments led by the New South Wales government will ensure Sydney continues to compete on a global scale in attracting international and domestic visitors.’

www.visitnsw.com
www.sydney.com


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13523064@N03/8598501061">Sydney Landmarks</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)

Most of those murdered in Tunisia beach attack believed to be British; tour companies cancel upcoming departures

THE British death toll in last week’s Islamic terrorist attack in Tunisia is likely to exceed 30, according to the UK and Tunisian governments.

The number of confirmed British deaths stands at 18. At least 12 Britons are still listed as missing. The UK’s Foreign Office says delays in identifying victims were in part because they were ‘dressed for the beach’ and, therefore, did not have identifying documents such as passports with them.

Thirty-eight sunbathing holidaymakers on a hotel beach in Sousse were murdered by a gunman, a Tunisian student who killed by police shortly after the attack.

Thomson and First Choice said their customers were among ‘a number of fatalities’, and they had sent 10 aircraft to bring home 2,500 UK holidaymakers.

The TUI Group operators said the two hotels at the centre of the attacks – the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba and the Bellevue – were part of their package programmes.

The companies have cancelled all Thomson and First Choice holidays to Tunisia for this week.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/7383352148">Tunisia Grunge Flag</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Greek Islands last-minute bookings surge

GREEK euro crisis or no Greek euro crisis, online travel agent On The Beach reports a sharp rise in last-minute bookings for holidays on the country’s most popular islands. 

#Zante (also known as Zakynthos) leads the way, with sales up 115% on the previous year. Other islands performing particularly well include Crete (+62%), Corfu (+47%), Kos, (+42%), and Rhodes (+30%). 

Last-minute holiday bookings to #Spain are also performing well, up 54% on the previous year. The Costa Brava region looks like being the overall Spanish winner, with bookings up by almost 200% on 2014. 

Other destinations proving popular for #last-minuteholidays include the Turkish resort of Bodrum, the Balearic island of Menorca, and Paphos in Cyprus.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/105314487@N06/10527292125">Patmos bells</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)

Guernsey reports rise in tourism arrivals in Q1


#VISITGUERNSEY has reported a 7.3% increase in staying visitors for Q1, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

The latest figures show that staying leisure visitors to the island increased by 8.4% year-on-year.

The island saw a significant increase in visitors by sea year-on-year, with an upsurge of 37%, while the number of visitors arriving was down by 1.4%.

Mike Hopkins, director of Marketing & Tourism at VisitGuernsey said: ‘We are delighted to announce a positive start to the year, especially for the all-important, value-generating, staying visitors. It is encouraging to see this growth in Q1, which is traditionally a quieter time on the island for tourism.’


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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays land in Malta

JET2.COM and Jet2holidays have landed in #Malta for the first time. Jet2.com, whose first aircraft arrived from Newcastle, will also be operating low fare flights from East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, and Glasgow airports.

‘The addition of #Jet2.com and #Jet2holidays summer programme enhances Malta’s offering to its biggest tourism market, the United Kingdom,’ said Malta International Airport CEO, Alan Borg. ‘We look forward to welcoming many new passengers this year.’


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Tourism award for Haynes Motor Museum


HAYNES INTERNATIONAL MOTOR MUSEUM, near Yeovil, Somerset, has won the Museum/Collection of the Year trophy in the South West Tourism Awards, fighting off competition from other venues in the region, including River Cottage and Westonbirt Arboretum.

Marc Haynes, CEO of the museum said: ‘We have now put in place the facilities and infrastructure for the museum and the supporting commercial enterprises, including a greatly improved conference and hospitality offering, to significantly help further growth over the next decade and beyond.’

www.haynesmotormuseum.com


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55231259@N00/4363024951">Ferrari F1 car</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Beached in Italy


ESSENTIAL ITALY has a beachside villa in Puglia on its books. 

Beach House Antonetta (sleeps 4-6) is ten miles from Lecce in a part of Puglia rarely visited by foreign holidaymakers.

The villa has a living room, a modern kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, outdoor dining areas, and a roof terrace.

Within a short walk are bars, restaurants, and shops.

Price: £1,350 - £1,550 per week based on six sharing

Flights: easyJet and RyanAir fly to Bari, and RyanAir flies to Brindisi.


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Picture Credit: Essential Italy

Vacation time? Guard your ID!

HOLIDAYMAKERS who used to worry about their homes being burglarized now face a greater threat while travelling: #identitytheft. The increased use of social media, public WiFi networks, ATM machines and mobile devices by families on holiday in the US and abroad have made them prime targets for cybercrime. A free Summer Vacation Guide to Identity Security is now available, offering safety tips for protecting devices, data, and identities.

‘Anyone – adult or child - who uses a computer, tablet or mobile device on a plane, in a hotel room or in a cyber cafe can be a victim of #cybercrime,’ says cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright.

Wright, a former law enforcement officer who has advised the US departments of Justice, Defence and Homeland Security on cybersecurity strategies created the guide in response to an internet safety threat report that reveals a dramatic rise in identity theft, digital extortion, and data corruption.

Among the guide's do's and don'ts are how to identify and avoid:

· Bluetooth and WiFi vulnerabilities

· Social media and mobile app risks

· Malware and ransomware attacks

· Credit card, online banking and ATM scams

Wright recommends that families read the guide prior to leaving on vacation in order to implement some of its recommendations from their secure home internet networks. Then, he suggests packing it along with their travel itineraries as a reminder of cyber safety precautions when on the road.

Copies of his guide can be obtained at www.scribd.com/doc/266503798/Summer-Vacation-Guide-to-Identity-Security



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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90963248@N00/385987068">Scarred thumb</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Guide dogs cleared for Air Malta flights

GUIDE dogs can now travel with their owners on all Air Malta flights, following a change in the airline’s policy.

Fabian Mizzi, Air Malta’s passenger handling executive, said the airline felt the need to update its policy because it was confident that – providing dogs met the full membership criteria of the International #GuideDog Federation or Assistance Dog International and were well trained – they would pose no risk to other passengers.

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Picture Credit: "Rachael Leahcar with guide dog Ella" by Chris Leahstar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Fake Turkey e-visa warning issued

TRAVELLERS to Turkey are being warned to get e-visas only from the official Republic of Turkey website ahead of the summer peak. The alert from travel agents, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Get Safe Online was issued after British holidaymakers purchased fake e-visas.

The fake visas were discovered on arrival in Turkey, at which point authentic visas had to be re-purchased at the airport.

Travellers to Turkey have the option to purchase a visa on arrival, though at a higher cost than online. But this service is due to be phased out, which could leave travellers who have purchased a fake visa unable to enter the country.

The official Turkish e-visa site is at evisa.gov.tr/en

Nikki White at the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said: ‘Fraudulent websites targeting visa applications and other tourism services, such as passport renewals and EHIC cards, are a problem in the industry, so we would always recommend going directly to the relevant official government website. The problem of fraudulent e-visas to Turkey is particularly concerning as many of these sites look bona fide. If you are unsure, check with your ABTA travel company or visit the FCO’s travel advice online to obtain the official website address.’
Get Safe Online communications director, Stephen Sharp, added: ‘What’s confusing is that there are illegal websites that offer fake e-visas, and then there are misleading copycat sites that are causing travellers to unnecessarily pay over the odds. People must be extra vigilant to both and, instead of relying on search engines, always go direct to the official e-visa site.’

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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48119810@N02/4469617417">us passport with stamps</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)

Canal retreat







'Serenity' is not an average narrow boat. It offers a quirky holiday in Warwickshire's countryside.

The boat is unusual because it marries two seemingly incompatible worlds: urban chic and rural canal. With a contemporary interior, she is moored by a Victorian toll house and canal lock. It’s in the middle of nowhere, reached by a farm track over three fields.

It has a small bedroom (for two), a bathroom, a sitting area and a fully-equipped kitchen.
Serenity is permanently moored and cannot be moved.

Children cannot be accommodated, but a small dog is acceptable.

www.qualityunearthed.co.uk/accommodation/boats/narrow-boat-holidays


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Picture Credit: www.qualityunearthed.co.uk

US-Australia flights stepped up






AMERICAN AIRLINES and #QantasAirways plan to expand their joint business by adding services between the US and Australia. Starting in December, there will be flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, operated by #AmericanAirlines, and Qantas flights between San Francisco and Sydney.

Services will initially operate on peak days and ramp up to six times a week in January 2016.

Passengers travelling from Australia can access more than 150 destinations throughout North America on American's extensive network from Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, while those travelling from North America have access to almost 60 additional destinations in Australia and New Zealand when connecting from Qantas trans-Pacific routes from Sydney.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44259454@N00/14263618827">Opera House</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Lake District ready to bid for World Heritage status










THE Lake District’s quest for World Heritage status has reached its most significant milestone in more than a year as 25 of the area’s leading organizations formally endorsed its nomination.

Partners including the National Trust, Cumbria Tourism, and Natural England have agreed the documents that make the #LakeDistrict’s case for being globally important and deserving its place on the prestigious World Heritage list.

Once finalized, these will be submitted to the UK government and Historic England ahead of formal submission next year to #UNESCO in the ‘cultural landscape’ category.

Richard Greenwood, head of operations for Cumbria Tourism, said: ‘We believe there will be real benefits for the county’s visitor economy from World Heritage inscription – for example, just a one percent increase in cultural visitors could boost our economy by about £20 million.’

Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development for the Lake District National Park Authority, added: ‘World Heritage is a huge opportunity for global recognition that will finally, and rightly, put the Lake District on the global map. It will raise its cultural profile, showcase the special relationship between farming and this stunning landscape which will continue to evolve, and create a real sense of community pride.’

There are 1,007 UNESCO sites across the world including East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, Bath in Somerset, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32365888@N05/3462538821">A not so small pond</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Virgin Cruises unveils plans for three ships



VIRGIN CRUISES has agreed a deal to have three ships built to start sailing from 2020 and, the company says, ‘redefine the cruise experience’.

The 2,800-passenger vessels – to be built in Italy – are due to be delivered between 2020 and 2022. Each will be 110,000 tons and also have 1,150 crew.

The first vessel will be based in Miami offering seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, said: ‘This is a very exciting day for Virgin and travellers around the globe.We now have the right partners in place to build a world-class cruise line that will redefine the cruising experience for good.The #VirginCruises approach will appeal to cruisers and non-cruisers alike, and we look forward to being in Miami and delivering an experience for people who want a new way to #cruise.’


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Picture Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/57296780@N05/6998720340">Norwegian Sun and Oasis of the Seas side-by-side</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Lie back and relax . . .








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Dinosaurs back at Eden


#DINOSAURS are roaring back to the #EdenProject this summer 
(July 24-September 2) with a programme of #prehistoric mayhem. Dinosaur Uproar is the follow-up to last summer's Dinosaurs Unleashed season.

The 2015 season features five times as many dinosaurs as last year, including a giant Australovenator that will be regularly rampaging across the Eden site.

The clocks will once again be wound back 67 million years to the Cretaceous period, but this time a whole range of dinosaurs will take over at Eden, from babies to one of the largest carnivorous beasts.

Chris Pritchard, Eden's production manager, said: ‘As well as marvelling at escaped dinosaurs and life-size skeletons, we hope our visitors will leave Eden having learned something new about our ancestors and the world they lived in.’

Eden's Locals' Summer Pass is now available for people living in Cornwall and Devon, giving holders unlimited visits to Eden until October 31, 2015. A pass costs £10 for adults, £8.50 for concessions, £6 for children, and £30 for a family of two adults and two children.

www.edenproject.com


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32075561@N06/7138995013">Dinosaurs Alive!</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Airlines reach agreement on standard carry-on bag size

AIRLINES have agreed an ‘optimum size’ guideline for carry-on bags designed to make the best use of cabin storage space.

A size of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches (or 55 x 35 x 20 cm) means that ‘theoretically’ everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) .

An IATA Cabin OK logo to signify to airline staff that a bag meets the agreed size guidelines has been developed. A number of major international airlines will soon be introducing the guidelines into their operations, and bags carrying the identifying label are expected to be available to buy later this year.

Recognition of the logo is expected to grow with time as more airlines join the initiative, while several major baggage manufacturers have developed products in line with the optimum size guidelines.

IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo, and security, Tom Windmuller, said: ‘The development of an agreed optimal cabin bag size will bring common sense and order to the problem of differing sizes for carry-on bags. We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. This work will help to iron out inconsistencies.’



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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75395187@N00/16534656979">20150304-DSC00223</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)

Thursday, 25 June 2015

End in sight for Coronation Street tours

CORONATION STREET tours at Quay Street, Manchester are to close on December 31 this year.

The tour opened last year for a six month period, but due to public demand it was given an extended run. Since opening, the attraction has had more than 500,000 visitors to the site where #CoronationStreet was filmed before its move to MediaCity.

Visitors can explore behind the scenes of the sound stage studio featuring the green room, dressing rooms, interior sets such as The Rovers Return, and the backlot set of Coronation Street's cobbles.

James Penfold, ITV’s controller of partnerships, said: ‘The tour at Quay Street was always for a limited time, and the demand has exceeded all our expectations. However, all good things have to come to an end.’

Tour tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/coronationstreet, and more information can be found at www.coronationstreettour.co.uk

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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32184789@N00/74661630">Coronation Street</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Where history comes to life in France




THINK of theme parks and #France, and Disneyland Paris comes to mind … but that’s not the only one the French have. It also has Puy du Fou, a park with no rides but which nevertheless won the world’s best #themepark title at last year’s international amusement park awards.

Since 2013, it has been the second-most visited theme park in France (after Disneyland Paris), attracting more than 1.9 million visitors in 2014.


The main attractions are detailed, special effect shows that bring different parts of history to life, from the Vikings and Knights of the Round Table to Richelieu’s musketeers and Gallo-Roman gladiator games.

Highlight shows this year include The Lovers of Verdun set in First World War France, The Organs of Fire, a night-time show about a ghost pianist, and Drones take over Cinéscénie, which involves 50 drones and 3,400 volunteer actors.


The park – an hour’s drive from #Nantes in the Vendee – also has four historical villages, 11 restaurants, and four history-themed hotels.



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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41796286@N07/4972508778">les chevaliers</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license), Courtesy of Puy du Fou

Marrying abroad? Don’t forget these …



DESTINATION wedding experts MarryAbroad.co.uk have listed the things UK couples typically forget when planning to tie the knot overseas.

Leave enough time for the paperwork: Couples should make sure they allow plenty of time to sort out the marriage paperwork, which can take between three to six months to complete, depending on the country.

Most countries require the following legal documents:
  • Passports 
  • Full birth certificates showing both parents' names 
  • If divorced, original final divorce papers 
  • If widowed, death certificate of former spouse 
  • If your bride/groom has changed their name(s), legal proof of the change 
  • If marrying in a non-English speaking country, documents might need to be translated by an official translator and stamped with an Apostille. In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can legalize documents for a small fee 
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (required by some countries). This can be obtained from a local department of foreign affairs, registrar, or embassy in the chosen country 
  • Some countries require UK legal documents to be stamped with an Apostille Stamp, which then makes them legal documents in that country 
  • Certificate of Single Status/ Sworn Affidavit that you are free to marry. These are similar to a Certificate of No Impediment, but instead you have to swear you are single in front of a legal representative, i.e. a solicitor or notary 
Check and compare currencies: When choosing a destination, couples should check and compare currency exchange rates to save on costs. The pound is currently extremely strong against the euro. This in turn makes European weddings much cheaper than last year – approximately 23% cheaper in May 2015 compared to December 2014. Couples should secure quotes from a selection of foreign exchange companies to obtain the best rates to transfer money to their wedding provider … and not forget that rates will usually vary, depending on the amount of money being transferred.

Look out for free ceremonies: Caribbean and North American resorts often offer a free wedding ceremony if couples stay for a certain number of nights or bring a certain number of guests.

Send save the dates: Couples should post save-the-date cards well in advance of the wedding day if they want guests to attend an overseas wedding. The more notice given, the more likely friends and family will be able to fly. Lots of notice also gives them plenty of time to start saving for the trip.

Listen to the weatherman: When choosing a dress, brides should have the weather of the country in mind, at the particular time of year they plan to marry. A heavy wedding dress on a tropical beach might make brides look uncomfortable and overheated in the photos. Hurricane or rainy seasons might not be an ideal time of year for outdoor weddings, which is particularly true of the Caribbean and South- East Asia.

Book in maiden name: Brides who plan to take their husband’s surname (and that’s not mandatory in Britain and the US) should remember to book airline tickets in their maiden name, unless they change their name legally before they fly.

Talk to the airline: Most airlines will allow brides to bring their wedding dress as hand luggage; however brides would need to contact the airline directly prior to booking. Also, while speaking to the airline, if a family is travelling together, the whole party should ask for a group travel rate.

Don’t forget the extras: Apart from settling the balance of the actual wedding abroad, couples shouldn't forget the little extras that need to be budgeted for in the UK, such as travel and wedding insurance, getting documents translated (if required), and getting the correct documents legalised.

www.marryabroad.co.uk is a free information portal for engaged couples, providing marriage legalities, information, and advice on marrying overseas.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/125992663@N02/16380743505">beach wedding</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

London ranked as world's top travel destination


#LONDON has been rated as the world’s most popular travel destination, ahead of Bangkok, Paris, Dubai, and Istanbul.

The UK capital will attract this year 18.82 million international overnight visitors who will spend a total of £13.3 billion, according to the annual #MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index, which puts the city in top place for the fifth time in seven years. 

New York drops out of the top five with 12.27 million visitors.

The index ranks the 132 most visited cities around the world

The MasterCard report predicts a 6% rise in international overnight visitors to London in 2015 and a 2.3% increase in spending, compared to last year, underlining the city’s dominance as a global hub for international business and tourism and a gateway to the rest of the country.


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72739078@N00/137584366">P1080218</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Up in the air …

MANCHESTER AIRPORT and Heathrow have been shortlisted by the US Department of Homeland Security as priority airports to have US security pre-clearance.

Pre-clearance, which allows passengers to clear immigration, customs, and agricultural inspection by US Customs and Border Protection before boarding their flight, means that passengers can avoid waiting in often lengthy queues after landing in the US.

International flights which have been pre-cleared can use domestic terminals at US airports, meaning passengers connecting onto onward domestic flights can do so with shorter transfer times than those who have not been pre-cleared.

Only two other airports in Europe – Dublin and Shannon – allow for pre-clearance.


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Book in for luxury










JAMES VILLA HOLIDAYS has published its luxury villas guide for 2016, featuring more than 150 up-market holiday homes across the Mediterranean and beyond.

The guide also has tips about local markets, culture, festivals, and events.
jamesvillas.co.uk


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Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/128496494@N04/14931906564">Boats, sun, sea, island of Lastovo, Croatia</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Ingenious inventions . . .

NO gas no problem. . . definately one to try on the next camping trip.

                       

















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Picture Credit: facebook