Saturday snippets: 2nd June 2018

By | Category: Travel news
panoramic view of the Lake District

the Lake District: the newest UNESCO World Heritage site now has no trains to take tourists there

If you were planning a holiday in the Lake District in the next couple of weeks and were planning on travelling there by train, your journey will be longer than you thought. For at least two weeks, Northern Rail has suspended the rail service on the Lakes Line to Windermere. A bus replacement service will operate from Oxenholme to Windermere. The reason is the absolute mess that GoVia who operate Northern Rail has got itself into with their new timetable. Northern rail aren’t the only ones to service. Thameslink and Southern have also seen train cancellations. Is it GoVia’s fault or Network Rail? Who cares!  It is incompetence on a grand scale and in those immortal words, “something should be done!” To say the local tourism industry is unhappy is an understatement.

the Bronte Parsonage © Natasha Blair

A new literary trail, the Bronte, is being opened just as Emily Bronte fans – the author of Wuthering Heights, celebrate her birth 200 years ago and also her death 170 years ago. Although born at the end of July 1818, the Bradford Literature Festival on the 7th of July is when four stones that mark the trail will be unveiled. Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and Jeanette Winterson have written tributes on three of the stones. On the fourth a singer probably forever more linked to Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush has penned the final tribute. As well as the trail, the Bronte Parsonage Museum will also be staging celebrations throughout the year.

The Kent town of Ramsgate has had rather a chequered history. Heavily involved with Roman, Viking and the Napoleonic and the two world wars it celebrates its history with a three-day event called the Royal Harbour History Festival running from the 15th until the 17th of June. But whilst the festival is looking to raise a considerable amount for a number of charities focusing on community, education and regeneration, one fascinating event that takes place and makes media coverage each year is a cricket match. Taking place on the Goodwin Sands in the English Channel, well known cricketers and celebrities like Sidebottom, Chris Cowdrey, Dan and Peter Snow, David Gower, Henry Blofeld and Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce will play before the tide obliterates the square! By the way, there is also a festival parade, led by the Royal Marines Band, various flyovers and aerial displays, a Royal Marines Concert and a special ‘salute’ by the Dunkirk Little Ships accompanied by the Royal Navy, RNLI and Spitfires and a good weekend should be had by all!

overhanging cliff

Bruce Peninsula National Park In Canada – National parks are one reason why more people visit the country © Parks Canada/ PB Collection

This week is Tourism Week in Canada.  Whilst there will be the numerous back-slapping amongst the travel trade, it is also worth noting that Canada had its best ever year for visitors with 20.8 million people holidaying and travelling in the country. The number of international tourists to Canada grew by 4.4 percent in 2017 and, overall, revenues from domestic and international travellers reached $97.4 billion. The first quarter of 2018 is starting well with 3.1million international traveller visiting. But the proportion of UK travellers has dipped and China overtook the UK as the number-one source of international tourists to Canada—the first time it has topped the list.

At the Flat Iron Square at London Bridge from Wednesday 6th until Friday 8th, you can view a little bit of Las Vegas in London. The city will be providing “an immersive experience bringing the destination to life through exclusive virtual reality art content.” Called Vegas: Alter Your Reality,™  the free show (where visitors wear headsets) is a virtual reality programme created by graffiti artist INSA and visitors stand the chance of a free holiday in the city courtesy of Virgin Atlantic. The event is open from 11am until 11pm on each of the three days.

Great Barrier Reef

the Great Barrier Reef

If you are holidaying off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the next few weeks, then there are ten islands that will be out-of-bounds. The Frankland Islands and Northern Barnard Islands have a rat infestation so the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will use the weeks to eradicate them. Rats are a threat to seabirds, particularly the eggs during nesting time. But these are islands so how did the rats get there? The thought is they stowed o ships that stopped at the islands or travelled there on driftwood after storms. Give it a month and it should be fine to visit the islands again.

Open to all, the Korea Tourism Organisation Lon London has a competition to promote Korea. One lucky winner will receive flights for two and a 3-night hotel stay, while other prizes include a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Korean tea sets, and Korea tourist products. Open to residents in nations covered by the London office – the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – entrants must share why they want to #VisitKorea across the office’s London’s various social media channels. You have until the 29th of June to enter: winners to be announced on the 6th of July.

If you are flying with Ryanair after June 13th be aware that they have reduced the check-in time online by half from four days to just two. The airline says that this is still twice as long as its rivals. (but not including easyJet.) This doesn’t apply to those who have pre-booked seats and those, the airline says, will now have more time to select their preferred seats prior to departure.

image of Singapore skyline

Singapore today. the air route between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is the busiest internationa routel © Singapore Tourism

The flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is the busiest international route in the world. When it was announced in 2016 that a high-speed rail service would link the two cities reducing driving times from five hours to ninety minutes and providing a faster service than airlines could for a city centre to city centre service. Now, according to The Straits Times, the new Malaysian prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to scrap the idea largely on cost grounds.

If you are planning on driving in Europe this summer, you might want to know that there has been an expansion of the automatic toll payment system. According to Sanef Tolling which says they already provide 155,000 UK customers with a tag so they can use the automatic tolls on French motorways, they can now extend the use of their tags to Spain and Portugal but, of course, there is a cost on top of the toll charges that you will have to pay.. The Sanef Tolling VIA-T tag, costs just €10 with a further €20 refundable deposit and then an annual charge of between €6 and €16, depending on how often you use it.

In aviation news, British Airways will fly Heathrow to Marrakech this autumn which will complement its existing service from Gatwick.  The service will operate four times a week – on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – from October 28 which isn’t very convenient for those seeking a weekend break! Jet Airways will fly directly from Manchester to Mumbai in India from November 5th.This will be a three times a week service with onward connection to Jet’s 45 other destinations in India and Asia

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