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Alsace, City Attractions Ideal for a Short Break

Top city attractions include the World Heritage site of Strasbourg, the old districts of Colmar and the stunning museums of Mulhouse. Whatever the choice, every city guarantees a unique experience, luxury hotels and a wide choice of restaurants to enjoy the fine wines and traditional food of Alsace.

Strasbourg , Top City Attractions for a Short Break

At the heart of Alsace, Strasbourg is a delightful city to explore on foot. The Old Town is a world heritage site, all waterways, quaint bridges and pretty lanes lined with traditional flower-draped buildings. The tanners’ house in Petite-France and Maison Kammerzel on Cathedral Square are among the most photographed.

The Gothic cathedral is one of the finest in France, with a 142 metre high façade, a superb rose window, outstanding sculptures and an astronomical clock. The nearby museum is devoted to medieval and Renaissance art and includes original statues and treasures from the cathedral. On the bank of the Ill is the elegant 18th century Chateau des Rohan, a former bishops’ palace now housing several museums.

Strasbourg shares with Brussels the seat of the European Parliament which may be visited at certain times. [Read more…]

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Business Class Anyone?

On one of my recent flights the inflight entertainment system was down throughout the entire journey, for all passengers. I thought to myself, thank god I didn’t pay for a Business Class seat. Whilst staring out of my window and passing the time, I started to think of the perks of Business Class, and how different the experience is compared to economy.

I’ve never personally paid for a Business Class seat, but I have been fortunate to have had a couple of free upgrades and some work trips in Business Class. If you’ve not experienced Business Class travel, here’s my take on sitting on the other side of the curtain:

Getting airside is hassle free

Having a Business Class ticket makes you feel a little like royalty even before you board the plane, with your own check-in queue, and even your own passport control queue at some airports. No standing behind the tracksuit family or the guy emigrating with dozens of huge boxes that clearly can’t be checked in.

Free food and drink at the lounge

We all know that airports can be expensive places to eat and drink whilst you wait to board, but not with a Business Class ticket. For those who have splashed out the four-figure sum for their journey, each airline provides a nice quiet comfy lounge for its executive passengers where they can enjoy plenty of free food and drink, including alcohol, before heading to the departure gate. [Read more…]

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Ten things to see and do in South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire covers over 150,000 hectares, overlapping the Peak District National Park and including many types of landscapes, from densely populated urban cities to vast moorlands. A population of over 1.3 million people live in the four boroughs of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

south-yorkshire

Barnsley is nestled in the heart of South Yorkshire and in the past it has been home to industries including linen weaving, glass making and of course, coal mining. You will find cafes, theatres, museums and art galleries across the borough as well as a vibrant town centre with a range of shops – from independent stores to national brands. There’s also Barnsley’s market which has a long history as the commercial and social heart of the town.

Doncaster was one of the largest coal mining areas in the UK and coal mined in Doncaster was used in steel production in Sheffield and Rotherham then transported along a vast canal and river network. The town has excellent transport links and many attractions such as Cusworth Hall, Doncaster Racecourse and the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.

Rotherham is well known for its industrial heritage, particularly the cast iron and steel industries, and today is at the forefront of advanced engineering in the UK. The Rotherham Renaissance project, started in 2007, continues to create a vibrant town centre including a new theatre, cafes and shops. Rotherham is home to the famous Magna Science Adventure Centre, Clifton Park, Rotherham Minster and Minster Gardens.Sheffield is one of England’s largest cities with an economy built on steel, engineering and cutlery, all of which have an established worldwide reputation. This reputation continues today through Sheffield’s manufacturing industry and advanced engineering. This ethnically diverse city has a thriving cultural and creative industries sector. The music industry is particularly well represented and Sheffield has been the home of several well known bands and musicians. Culturally rich, the city has two major theatres, two art galleries and several museums. The city also boasts some of the finest tree cover, woodlands and countryside in England with a third of Sheffield lying in the Peak District National Park. [Read more…]

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It’s Not Too Late for an End of Summer Holiday!

Children back in school? Drat, we guess that means you won’t be able to go anywhere. Actually, that’s not true at all. It’s never too late for a holiday, but you might have to modify when you go, how long you’re going to be gone, and what you plan on doing. The weather is changing, so paying attention to the weather reports is going to be more important. But just because you’re getting a little gloomy at home doesn’t mean that you can’t chase the sunshine!

If the kids are due back in school soon, you still have some time to plan things out. On the other hand, if they’re already back in school, you may have to weigh your options. Usually, if you talk to the teacher you can get all of their work, so that their absence won’t count against them. If the teacher seems hesitant, talk to the office staff. A lot of people take a few days of, but they just have to cover for the time missed. Your children are the same way. Unless the teacher has something that they absolutely have to be in class for, it’s usually okay to miss one or two days.

End of Summer Holiday

From here, you just have to decide where you’re going to go. This is the time of year where flights start to get cheap, because people are expected to be at work or at school. So if you wanted a weekend holiday, you could definitely take one of those.

We always remind people to take out travel insurance, but they don’t always listen. Please understand that you’re always free to make any decision you’d like, but carrying proper travel insurance goes a long way towards peace of mind. Make sure that you don’t mess that up by getting great travel cover well ahead of the time before your trip. You can get quotes online pretty quickly, so there’s really no excuse not to have travel cover these days.

We want you to have a good time and bring back memories you’ll love sharing with your friends. So don’t overthink things, okay? Pick a holiday getaway, check rates, make the reservations, don’t skip the travel insurance and certainly pack a digital camera or two. You’re bound to have a great time!

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Building the Best Holiday in Greece

Holidaymakers, start booking your getaway: Greece’s economy may be in trouble, but that doesn’t mean that tourism is going to come to a complete halt. If anything the time is now to start traveling to the country. If you’ve never made holiday to Greece before, you’re truly in for a treat. Plenty of beaches, great sun, great people, and the food is out of this world. Some of the best wines in the world are found in the Greek Isles, and that alone is well worth taking the time to plan a trip.

Of course, if you’re looking for good deals it goes without saying that you need to do a little bit of research. Sensationalist headlines in the press means that everyone will be trying to get you to go to Greece for a holiday through t heir channels, which may or may not be the best deal. Here are a few things that you need to know in order to score the best deals, as well as have the best experience once you land.

holiday to Greece

First and foremost, make sure that you budget how much money you need to spend upfront. As the bailout situation for Greece looks dire, you have to also realize that infrastructure may take a bigger hit than you realize. For example, you probably think nothing about getting your money from a bank. But if you’re going to Greece, you’re going to have to think about taking the money you need with you. You cannot count on the exchange service to take care of you, and you will not be able to get money out of an ATM.

The solution? Carry cash with you into the country. Many in the hospitality industry are asking for cash up front anyway, so you might as well bring it with you. If you’re worried about reaching some kind of limit for traveling money as you enter or exit Greece, don’t worry. While there is no set limit on how much you can take in or out of the country, you still need to declare everything that you’re taking with you. So it makes perfect sense that you’d want to take what you can. [Read more…]

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Top 4 Places to Visit in Europe

Europe is a vast and magical continent with dozens of stunning and picturesque countries to visit. Unfortunately, visiting all of these countries can be incredibly expensive, which is why it’s important to choose the ones you really want to see. Whether you’re travelling with your family, friends or spouse, there are many places to visit that will appeal to just about anybody. Here are some of the best places to visit in Europe:

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona

Barcelona lies in the heart of Spain, to the north-east of the country, and is a beautiful place to visit. You can take a trip to the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, a landmark which has beautiful architecture inside and out. You can also visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, which is a must-see when visiting this city. There are also various museums that you can take a trip to, including those which features the works of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Camp Nou is a football stadium, so the football fans can pay a visit to Spain’s largest stadium.

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels

Brussels is the home of the European Parliament, but it is also a lovely city to visit if you’re in Europe. It’s a great place to visit with your family, and has plenty to offer, including Mini Europe, an attraction which displays the main landmarks in Europe in miniature form. The Musical Instrument Museum offers affordable admission prices, and you can view more than 8,000 instruments under this roof. To end your day, you can visit the famous Mannekin Pis and make a wish.

Paris, France

Paris

The city of love – the perfect place to visit with your partner, is located in France and has much to offer. Whether you take a romantic stroll along the canal or take a trip up the Eiffel Tower for a beautiful view of the city, Paris is nothing short of spectacular. While you’re there, don’t forget to try out the wonderful French cuisine, cheese and wine and other local dishes.

London, United Kingdom

London

The capital of the United Kingdom, this city is full of hustle and bustle whatever the time of year. Among the things to do include a visit to the waxworks museum Madame Tussauds, a ride on the London Eye and a walk around the incredible Westminster Abbey. Don’t forget to finish off your trip with afternoon tea or a traditional British meal in a local pub.

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A guide To Visiting The North Yorkshire Moors

Just north of York and slightly inland from the north Yorkshire coast, the wild terrain of the North Yorkshire Moors rises with a desolate almost entirely untouched beauty. You’ll find most of the world’s heather moorland in Britain, and the largest expanse of that moorland is right here in Yorkshire. The land is hilly, with vast green valleys dipping into ancient roadways and quaint flower filled villages with weather beaten crosses to mark the way. The people are very friendly so forget about the ‘up north’ cliches of flat caps and whippets – but do pay attention to the larger than life Yorkshire dialects, the clean air and the fact that the beer is quite simply..much better.

Walking The Moors

Rosedale Mineral Railway route

The moors are of course a walkers paradise with trails stretching from Ampleforth in the west and close to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east Yorkshire coastline. Most of the walking routes are very well signposted making it easy to join and leave a route at your leisure. There are several routes with easy access – our favourite of which is the Rosedale Mineral Railway route which offers sublime panoramic views of Rosedale and follows an old railway line which once fed the 19th century ironstone mines. If you’re a more seasoned walker looking for something a little more challenging then take the 11 mile route from Ravenscar to the beautiful Robin Hoods Bay – where you’ll pass through classic moorland scenery before following the old Scarborough to Whitby railway line and the infamous smugglers den of Robin Hood’s Bay. The views from the clifftop over the farmland and onto the North Sea is phenomenal.

Wildlife in the North Yorkshire Moors

Yorkshire Moors

The flora and fauna found across the Yorkshire Moors is diverse to say the least. In the woodlands it’s possible to spot everything from deer, adders and foxes to the elusive pine marten and goshawks, while on the coast there’s white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and seals in the waters and puffins and garnets on the cliffs. If you’d prefer a more hands on approach than simply watching from afar then you can try a spot of sea fishing, or scour the the coasts of seaside towns such as Brunswick Bay and Staithes with a fishing net (great option for young families) to find all kinds of crab, barnacles, cockles, butterfish and sea hares. There are some great wildlife safaris that take in the best bits of both on and off land – these start in the spring and are generally started from Seamer station near Scarborough. The end of the seamless that tub obj bb

Activities

north-yorkshire-moors-railway

Start by planning your visit by train. A number of rail companies offer a scenic route to and around the North Yorkshire coast including the North Yorkshire Moors. Train tickets to Yorkshire are available online all year long and the journey will give you plenty of time to take in some of the breathtaking scenery. Once there, cycling has always been popular in Yorkshire… Yes, even before the Tour de France had it’s opening stages here in 2014, and many of the best routes are in the North Yorkshire Moors. Our favourite route is the Moor to Sea network which connects several larger towns – both seaside and land – to moorland, forest trails and bridleways. The route takes riders across 150 miles of scenery and can be easily broken down into several stages for longer cycling holidays. If horse riding is more your pace then head to the beaches at Saltburn and Sandsend which are open to horseriding, while those with a more seafaring spirit should head to one of the sailing club’s between Whitby and Guisborough for a spot of sailing (be sure to check out the annual 3 day sailing regatta held in Whitby every August) or to Whitby or Saltburn for a bit of surfing. If you’re up for it, then you should take a shot at a bit of rock climbing at Winston’s or for some of the most stunning views available in England – take a glider tour from Sutton Bank and fly over the iconic Kilburn White Horse. [Read more…]

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Top 10 European Destinations

With the largest concentration of different cultures and countries than any other continent it’s no surprise that Europe is the most popular travel destination.

Each country is worthy of a visit itself and the fact that it’s so easy to go from city to city and country to country means tourists are spoilt for choice on their dream holiday.

More and more people are choosing to take Europe tours as they can get so much more value from their money. Once in Europe visiting other European countries is a breeze. There are loads of cheap flights and airlines willing to take you anywhere in Europe at the drop of a hat.

There’s obviously far too many destinations and countries to talk about in one go but these are the Top 10 European Destinations which are simply a must visit.

1: France

France

Start off in the city of love with cheap flights to Paris making it the perfect first stop on your European adventure. Visit the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and all the other attractions which make this one of the most popular countries on the planet!

2: Spain

spain

To the south you can move into Spain and there’s no better example of the cross section of cultures right nest to each other. Visit the beaches, experience the nightlife and if you time it right even run with the bulls!

3: Italy

Italy

To the east you’ll find Italy and with it some of the most glorious food and wine anywhere in the world. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local life and eat until you can’t eat any more!

4: Greece

Greece

After Italy you’ll want to relax and what better place than a gorgeous Greek beach. Get the true Mediterranean experience and hope from Athens through the Aegan Sea, if you’re up for it maybe even Ibiza!

5: Germany

Munichs Oktoberfest

Change pace once more and head back north to the heartland of Germany. The museums and historical tours are a must visit but so to are the Bavarian plains and of course Munich’s Oktoberfest! [Read more…]