Saturday snippets: 18th of August 2018

By | Category: Travel news

train fares go up in January

On Wednesday it was announced that Retail Prices Index measure of inflation fell to 3.2%.This is the index that rail companies use to calculate rail fare increases for next January. It looks as though many fares will rise by that amount despite Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, suggesting that prices should rise by the Consumer Prices Index which rose by only 2.5%. Holidaymakers and day trippers may face higher charges because only regulated rail fares (commuter fares, some long distance fares) are pegged at 3.2% or below. It is only we try and book for after next January that we will find how much the fares are. Remember to check against air fares and coach ones in case they are cheaper.

Beatrix Potter is part of the Storybook Trail

In this, Scotland’s Year of Young People, Visit Scotland has launched, Scotland’s Storybook Trail, a collection of places with links to some of the most celebrated characters in children’s literature. Featured locations include the birthplace of Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie in Kirriemuir, Angus; the Isle of Coll, the inspiration of Katie Morag’s fictional home on the Isle of Struay; the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian where readers can meet some feathered friends, similar to those that feature in the Harry Potter series; and Birnam Arts in Perthshire, the region that inspired Beatrix Potter’s famous creations. The trail, which comprises a colourful map hosted on will be available at selected VisitScotland iCentres , as well as bookshops and libraries across Scotland.

New Caledonia is a French territory in the Pacific Ocean. It is a popular destination for cruise ships and, as such, sees well over half a million visitors a year. This isn’t a great deal but those who come head for the seas and the coral reef. It protect the fragility of the reef, the authorities have imposed restrictions on tourists venturing near them. The reefs are also a sanctuary for hump-back whales as well as other marine animals and fish.

From beach holiday specialist On the Beach, comes survey results showing that Tenerife is the favourite European beach holiday destination by British families. 19% chose the island as their overall favourite over Mallorca, the Costa del Sol, the Algarve Gran Canaria. Cyprus and Lanzarote were tied in the next place as were Costa Banca and Ibiza next. Turkey rounded off the list of top ten destinations. Spain must be delighted have seven spots in the top ten!

Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. The Pope will be in the city next weekend

Next weekend the Pope visits Ireland. Never backward in seizing the opportunity, Tourism Ireland will work its little cotton socks off to portray Ireland to the expected 500 journalists that will cover the trip. Expect to see as many shots of Dublin (which is where the two-day visit will be) as the tourism authority can possible cram in to the coverage. More than a few media outlets will also have footage of the rest of Ireland to run as fillers to the visit!

According to research carried out amongst 7,000 plus people in June and July this year , a company called Decathlon, many of us opting for more active holidays rather than the traditional “lounge on the beach and do next to nothing” holidays. The company says that we increase our rates of activity by 12% during these summer months, with almost a third (32.5%) taking part in sports or physical activity at least twice a week. Only 14% of us favour a lazy holiday. Looking at our local beach on Wednesday that 14% group seems larger!

Yosemite National Park which is in the American states of California and Oregon have now re-opened after being closed for three weeks due to the forest fires that were raging nearby. Smoke hung over the park for much of the time. Those fires are now largely under control but visitors are warned that some of the areas such as the valley floors are still smoke catchments and those with breathing problems and asthma may want to stay away from those parts of the park.

Cooper Motor Co plaque

the new plaque in Surbiton. © English Heritage

In the commuter town with the derisory name – Surbiton – a blue plaque was unveiled this week to the Cooper Car Company at Hollyfield Road. The works building is a rare surviving purpose-built, architect-designed, 1950s motor workshop. Usually we associate the plaques with individuals and in many ways this was as well. Charles Cooper, the founder of the company was the guiding light to constructing cars that won two Formula One World Championships with driver Jack Brabham and which gave its name to the Mini-Cooper the car that was used in the original film, The Italian Job, to drive through drains, narrow gaps and pavements. At its peak, Cooper was the world’s largest production racing car manufacturer yet never had more than 35 employees!. The name still appears on Minis today.

Next weekend (it’s a bank holiday – remember?) Arundel Castle in West Sussex celebrates 12,000 Years of Combat. Known for its mediaeval jousting tournaments amongst other things, the three-day spectacular will showcase the heritage of Sussex and the Castle. There will be combat demonstrations living history groups that will begin with the Stone Age and then travel through the Roman, Saxon, Norman, Medieval and Victorian periods – and beyond. Gladiators, crusaders and knights will clash in a tourney that certainly never happened in the past as all ages will clash in the ultimate ‘who would win’ fight.

coracle racing

traditional events like racing coracles on the Teifi attract visitors

Forgive the late news but I was unaware that as from the beginning of July you couldn’t carry “powder-like substances” in your carry-on luggage on flights to and from the USA if they weighed more than 350ml. The list of things that you can and cannot carry just seems to get stranger and stranger. For example you can carry a bread-making machine in both your hand and hold luggage but not a self-heating meal under any circumstance. I can carry a six inch screwdriver in my hand luggage but not a drill. A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 even if it is a replacement device cannot be carried under any circumstances.

Finally, I am off to enjoy the last two days of our local village festival. Just about every village has some sort of festival and it always surprises me just how well attended they are despite some villages having less than a couple of hundred people. These surely make up a true part of the summer visitors’ enjoyment. I’m off to see the coracle racing whilst supping some beer and munching a hamburger!


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