What’s hot: July 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world

High tailing it to Tallin

Looking for a new destination this summer? Take a trip to Tallinn – capital of Estonia  – courtesy of British Airways new flight to what is easily one of the best walled cities in Europe. This charming Eastern European city is choc full of ancient church spires, colourful wooden houses, quirky bars and fab flea markets. Returns from £90 at www.ba.com

Make a beeline for Bristol
The south west’s largest city has reinvented itself as a hub of culture and creativity. Case in point? In a recent survey by online travel company Travel Bird, the birthplace of Banksy was ranked the fourth most inspiring city in the world – just behind Miami, Burges and San Francisco and 39 places above London. And the accolades don’t stop there: Bristol has also been hailed the best place to live in the UK by The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Chicago: your kind of town?

Chicago skyline

“Each time I leave, Chicago is tugging my sleeve
Chicago is The Wrigley Building,
Chicago is The Union Stockyard,
Chicago is one town that won’t let you down
It’s my kind of town”

So sang Sinatra back in 1964. Old Blue Eyes wasn’t wrong. Nowhere beats Chicago – both metaphorically and literally (it’s the home of the skyscraper). And happily it’s easier than ever to be blown away by the Windy City thanks to Wow Air. The Icelandic low-cost carrier will jet you to Chicago (via Reykjavik) from £139 one way meaning you have more moolah to spend on Chicago food staples such as Deep dish pizza (a three inch pizza crust piled with gooey cheese and chunky tomato sauce), hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

London love story
Move over Manchester. So long Liverpool. London is the only place on people’s minds –  at least when it comes to photos. The UK capital is more than 10 times as popular as its nearest rivals Manchester and Liverpool on photo-sharing social network Instagram, according to  new data by Iconosquare. The social media analytics company tracked the number of hashtag mentions of each city in posts on Instagram since the image-sharing platform’s launch back in 2010. London features at the top of the list with 72.5 million mentions over the period – that’s more than double the mentions of all other cities in the top 10 put together.

A is for Andy Booth

Ex-banker, Andy Booth, has received an OBE for ‘services to Cambodian children.’ All profits from ABOUT Asia Travel (www.aboutasiatravel.com) go towards helping school children in rural Cambodia. Check out our interview with Andy – in which he shares his tips for travelling in Cambodia’s capital, Siem Reap, here: http://www.justabouttravel.net/2011/06/05/cambodia-the-comeback-kid/

Grape read
Following the success of his debut book, Rice, Noodle, Fish, Matt Goulding is back to celebrate the delectable and sensuous culture and cuisine of his adopted home, Spain.
Grape, Olive, Pig (Hardie Grant; £20; out now) is Matt’s homage to the country he fell in love with as he uncovers the key regions as you’ve never seen before. From the barnacle hunters of Galicia to the shepherds of Andalusia, this is an intimate portrait of the people he meets and the incomparable cuisine. Explore the moveable feasts of small plates and late nights in Madrid, join the 3,000 year old hunt for Bluefin tuna off the coast of Cadiz, delight in the avant-garde creations of the Basque country and learn all you need to know about sherry, vermouth and the acorn fed ham of Salamanca.

Hitting the high notes

Love music and travel? Then you’ll be happy to hear that Airbnb is branching out into music. The bespoke programme called Music Experiences will offer exclusive access to intimate gigs, plus the chance to meet artists, in 13 cities around the world.

 Golden Year for ‘England’s finest stone town’
Described by Sir Walter Scott as “the finest sight on the road between Edinburgh and London”, Stamford in Lincolnshire – with its 600 listed buildings, unspoilt Georgian streets and mellow picture postcard limestone architecture – is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its award as Britain’s first urban conservation area.
Heritage groups, architectural specialists and community organisations have joined forces under the banner of Stamford50 to organize new town trails, talks, events, a heritage skills fair and even a themed beer. The summer and autumn programme will culminate in the town’s biennial Stamford Georgian Festival in September, organised by South Kesteven District Council.
For information on Stamford, see www.southwestlincs.com. For the full programme of events and information about September’s Georgian Festival, visit www.stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk

Flying violinists
Etihad has become the latest airline to ban violins in hand luggage. Translation? Travelling violinists now have to either buy an extra seat for their stringed instrument or – gulp – risk throwing it in the hold…


Teddy Bear Museum

Among the items most commonly left behind by holidaymakers are teddy bears, according to a survey by spain-holiday.com. Subsequently the rental site has launched a new #NoTeddyLeftBehind service which aims to reunite lost teddy bears with their owners.

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