Saturday snippets: 12th September 2015

By | Category: Travel news
a lobster in Staithes © Tony Bartholomew

a lobster in Staithes © Tony Bartholomew

Should you happen to be walking through the North Yorkshire Moors this weekend and come upon the fishing village of Staithes and spot two erect giant blue lobsters don’t rub your eyes, they really are there. The nine foot lobsters, one coral coloured and the other a striking aquamarine are exhibits in the ‘sculpture by the sea’ exhibition in this year’s Festival of Arts and Heritage which takes place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September. The galvanised and powder coated metal ‘Coronation Catch’ exhibit reflects the continuing importance of lobster fishing in the area. This weekend, Staithes becomes one huge art display with 145 artists transforming cottages, shops and outdoors spaces into 90 galleries. The festival kicked off last night with an illumination trail that included a giant deckchair, traditional coble boat and a stained glass Reliant Robin as well as lanterns made by locals out of plastic bottles. It will be repeated tonight

There is less than a week now to Bristol’s Grape and Grain Festival which takes place next weekend. You would expect there to be craft beers, ciders and wines from across the south west of England nd the rest of the world as well but music and entertainment are laid on as well. Drinks have played an important part in Bristol’s history, with a long standing record of wine and sherry importing.  Grape and Grain will be offering port, beer and wines from some of the many international cities that Bristol is twinned with, including Bordeaux, Hannover, Oporto, Tbilisi and Guangzhou.

from the oldest vine?

from the oldest vine?

One thing Bristol will not have is the oldest vine in the world. That is to be found in Slovenia. The world’s oldest grape vine, as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, has been growing fruit for over 400 years. The town is also renowned for its fantastic wine and boasts some of the biggest and oldest classic wine cellars in Europe with more than 20,000 per square metre. There is a chance for you to own a bottle of wine harvested from this vine because at the Old Vine Festival being held in Maribor from the 4th of October until the 11th of November, because there will be an auction during the festival.

The Korean Tourism Organisation is running an unusual competition within a competition. Outside Grumman’s Chinese in Hollywood film stars have their names immortalised in cement for all to see. The KTO has followed this lead and offers the chance for 23,000 people from around the world to have their names engraved on ‘Sang sang Gil.’ (Imagination Road.) Sang Sang Gil is located in the city of Changwon on the southern coast of Korea. Changwon has become a cultural hot spot for up-and-coming artists, especially in areas like Changdong Art Village, which is full of tradition and artistic content. Participants who personally visit the “Sang Sang Gil (Imagination Road)” can receive a small souvenir prepared by KTO as well. Every entry could be your first steps to visit Korea, as there will also be six chances to win a trip to Korea. To participate go to http://www.imagineyourkorea.com/write-your-name and follow the instructions.

Upolu, Samoa Image by Alejandro MC photo collection/Moment Open/Getty Images

Upolu, Samoa
Image by Alejandro MC photo collection/Moment Open/Getty Images

Using the obvious, “Beautiful Samoa,” the Samoa Tourism Authority have launched a new campaign to get us to visit the south Pacific island for our holidays. Although the campaign has categories, they are ones that almost any island tropical paradise or destination might use; – Adventure, Romance, Experience, Family and Culture. And there is the obligatory video. If it wants to position it as a premier visitor destination in the South Pacific, then it must come up with something different. If Korea can come up with a street with the handprints of 23,000 people and Queensland with a world-wide competition for an island ranger, Samoa must come up with something that makes holidaymakers look up and notice. Maybe negative advertising would work; something like “Samoa. It’s not Benidorm.”

If you holidaying inn Kentucky next week, you might want to head to the town of Bardstown. Since 1776, they have been making Bourbon and, today, it is referred to as the Bourbon Capital of the World. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival, takes place from 15th – 20th September and offers six full days of Bourbon, food and entertainment, including the world championship bourbon barrel relay on 19th September and live music on the lawn to end the celebration on the final day, of course with a healthy dose of Kentucky hospitality thrown in for good measure.

The UK is the fourth most important market for Austria, after Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Last season the number of arrivals from the UK increased by 3.7%, with the resorts and regions of Ötztal (+11.2%), Ischgl (+20.3%), Stubai (+17.6%), Alpbach (+8.4%) and Innsbruck (+4.4%) enjoying some of the highest overall increases. Despite these increases St Anton remains the most popular resort for UK visitors during the winter season, followed by Ӧtztal (Obergurgl/Sölden), Mayrhofen, Wilder Kaiser (Söll, Ellmau, Scheffau and Going) and Ischgl.

Yesterday at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire the ground was broken for the Arboretum’s new, national Remembrance Centre. Having raised £10.7 million towards the £15.7 million gaol, The National Arboretum – part of the Royal British Legion – forecasts that when it opens, half a million people a year will visit it.

A Sri Lankan tea estate which helped them to organise a world record tea party

A Sri Lankan tea estate which helped them to organise a world record tea party

In Sri Lanka, the head of the tourism board, Dr Athukorala, has said that the country made a mistake by concentrating on attracting Chinese visitors. In Europe, destinations are falling over backwards to attract them unlike Sri Lanka which will reduce its effort. At one travel show after hearing so much about Chinese visitors, one Italian journalist got up and pointed out that visitors come from elsewhere and what news was there about non-Chinese travellers. She got a round of applause.

I am not a caravanner but hundreds of thousands of Brits are. What night convert non caravanners to adopt this holiday type is the fact that research from the Caravan Club has discovered that caravanners, motorhomers and campers are more likely to feel happy and satisfied with life, and feel less anxious than the rest of the British population. When asked, 42 per cent of The Caravan Club’s members rated their feeling of happiness as more than nine out of ten compared with the same question posed to the British public by the Office for National Statistics with just 33 per cent responding positively.

Staying with surveys, Back-Roads Touring, the tour operator that runs escorted tours, says that Londoners are the most adventurous travellers who are the most likely to travel abroad and on long-haul trips at that. Conversely, the Welsh are the least likely to go abroad, preferring the company says, to holiday in Wales. Those from Yorkshire are more likely to have visited the most counties in the UK compared to residents of other areas but they also preferred to travel shorter distances. Is it a surprise though to see that those in Midlands are the most likely to head for beaches and the seaside? After all they are the furthest away from the sea.

an empty Transpennine train - unlike the rush hour ones to Manchester Airport

an empty Transpennine train – unlike the rush hour ones to Manchester Airport

The Goodwood Revival takes place this weekend – Ok, it started yesterday – and this year, not only will celebrate its 50th Anniversary, but will also be the first opportunity for over 50 years for fans of the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe to see the car in Europe. As readers will know, this annual festival is a celebration of historic motor racing and is set to attract over 150,000 spectators.

Three out of the ten trains that were listed as being the most overcrowded in the UK are ones linking Manchester Airport. Is there any significance in this despite the caveats announced? Yes because they are trains running at peak time and will collect commuters as part of their journeys. First TransPennine should seriously consider lengthening their trains by coupling two usual formations together.

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