Saturday snippets: 14th June 2014

By | Category: Travel news
sheep racing on Sark

sheep racing on Sark

With the glorious weather most of us have been having you may decide the beach is for you this weekend. If that’s the case, avoid Cornwall’s Fistral Beach in Newquay. Bathers have been banned from swimming during high tide because sharp rocks have been exposed as a result of the winter storms. Red flags are being put in place to warn beach users not to swim. Apparently at low tide, you will be able to see the rocks it’s your own fault if you cut yourself!

Synonymous with days out  and good weather are picnics and next week is National Picnic Week. The idea is to encourage people to get outdoors and discover the picnic sites available in their local area. Since it is run by a PR company you could forgiven that there must be something they want to plug. I can’t find one which makes me think I must have missed something. Nonetheless if you are picnicing over the weekend, enjoy yourselves.

CoronationST100kThe new Coronation Street tour has only been open two months but the 100,000 visitor has gone through already. For a limited time only Coronation Street The Tour offers visitors an opportunity to go behind the scenes to see dressing rooms, selected interior sets and even stopping for a photo in the Rovers Return. Upon stepping out onto the hallowed cobbles, guests can spend as long as they would like exploring the street, gardens and even the ginnel.

Tickets have gone on sale for the much anticipated King Richard III Visitor Centre: Dynasty, Death and Discovery in Leicester which will open its doors to the public on 26th July. Britain’s newest visitor attraction is expected to draw people from across the world. Over 100,000 people expected through the doors in its first year of operation. The announcement of the opening date of the visitor centre follows the recent ruling that King Richard III will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral. The re-interment will take place in spring 2015.

It’s a month away to France’s national day, July 14th, and London’s largest free Bastille Day festival will celebrate the day with an extravaganza of all things French but on Sunday 13 July in London’s  Bankside from midday until late. Celebrating French food, culture and music, the festival will include food and drink sampling and French artisan food stalls. Throughout the day and evening Borough Market will be joining in with celebrations with great food from their array of French traders, wandering performers and a French themed demonstration kitchen. Street entertainment include promenading performance artists and musicians.

The French police have updated their guide to visitors on how to stay safe in Paris. They have also announced extra patrols in the most visited areas. I mention it because I am unaware that we produce anything similar. If we do, someone will e-mail me but in the meantime there is a lot of common sense in this document that will apply to wherever you travel to or holiday in. As an aide-memoire (it that French link again)  it is useful to have it around even if you do think you are talking all the precautions you can. And there is an English language version that you can download. Just click on ‘Guide to staying safe in Paris’ in the website link. So far 151,000 copies have been distributed to people.

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Better Easter weather and two May bank holidays helped boost Snowdon Mountain Railway passenger numbers, say bosses at the Llanberis tourist attraction. Figures until 31 May are 50% up on 2014, with more than 30,000 people travelling on the railway since March.

Staying in Wales, the pair of ospreys in Powys have become parents again after one of their two eggs hatched. Monty and Glesni were sitting on the eggs in their nest in the Dyfi Valley, near Machynlleth.The first chick hatched last Saturday. They are the only breeding pair of ospreys that can be visited by the public in Wales. A pair has also bred in the Glaslyn Valley, near Porthmadog, since 2004. Thousands of people will be heading to see the chick so be prepared for busy roads in the area.

Looking for an unusual UK festival this summer? Head to the annual Sheep Racing Festival on the Channel Island of Sark. From 19th-20th July, the tiny island in the English Channel holds an ‘Ascot Day’ and ‘Newmarket Day’ with two days of sheep racing. With all the refinement of Ascot, Sark’s Sheep Racing weekend assumes the character of a prestigious race meeting.  In between the races the punters place bets with ‘Dodgy Dave’ or retire to the Baa for a consolation drink. There are six races per day each featuring six runners.



The Jamaica Tourist Board is seeing more British visitors. There was a 6% increase in UK travellers from November 2013 to February 2014 on the previous year. Elizabeth Fox, Jamaica Tourist Board’s Regional Director for UK and N. Europe, comments; “Our UK visitor figures for the start of the winter season are highly encouraging. They come on the back of the very strong British stopover figures for summer 2013, when we saw an increase of 13% on summer 2012. With new hotels opening and our increased cruise offering, coupled with further increases in airlift from the UK this year, Jamaica is set to retain its position as the UK’s favourite Caribbean destination.”

Finally with the sad news this week of the death of the comedian, Rick Mayall, came the news that a blue plaque had been spotted in London’s Hammersmith Broadway commemorating him. Not an official plaque some joker – and Mayall would have appreciated this – placed it there commemorating the time Mayall punched Ade Edmondson in the sitcom, Bottom, in the crotch. The blue plaque system, is paid for entirely by public funds and administered by English Heritage. But why can’t people place their own as this joker did? Why must English Heritage be the arbiter of what can and cannot appear?


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