What’s hot: October 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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

These Kiwi boots were made for walking

Okarito lagoon in New Zealand’s South Island

Do you love walking and New Zealand in equal measure? Then get excited for the new Paparoa Track, due to open on December 1 on South Island’s rugged West Coast. Crossing the Paparoa Range, the 35-mile trail takes in rocky landscapes, rainforests and alpine peaks. Newzealand-in-depth.co.uk

All aboard for booze

London has its first London Bar Bus, courtesy of The Original Tour Company. Expect a 44-seat mobile roof garden serving up beer and gin and tonic on tap and spectacular views as you cruise around London. Tickets (over 18s only) cost £25pp. For the full low-down, visit theoriginaltour.com

Say goodbye to bad service stations
Sick of the sight of uninspiring service stations when you’re on a British motorway and in need of a pit stop? Don’t despair: the good news is that there are plenty of alternatives from characterful cafes to farm shops. The Extra Mile has rounded up nearly 350 independent, local food producers which, happily, are all within 15 minutes of most motorways. Theextramile.guide

London’s latest attraction… the Fire Station Museum

Firefighters are set to become living exhibits in a museum dedicated to the emergency service.The multi-million-pound plans to transform the old grade 11-listed fire brigade HQ on London’s Albert Embankment will allow visitors to see the day shift being called out on 999 jobs, while simultaneously showing off more of the station’s collection that stretches from the Great Fire in 1666 to the present day.
If permission for the site is granted by Lambeth council, the new museum is expected to open in 2023 replacing a pop-up museum which has been in Lambey High Street since 2016.

Checking out a wooden First Lady
A wooden effigy of Melania Trump, the current First Lady of the United States, has been unveiled near her childhood hometown of Sevnica in Slovenia. The model is the work of local sculptor Ales ‘Maxi’ Superv who was born in the same month, year and hospital as Melania. Any new found tourist income from the sculpture (which was born out of a linden tree) will go towards supporting local traditions like bee keeping and gold digging.

Edinburgh Fringe named UK’s top experience

Edinburgh Fringe
Fringe crowds in a previous year

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe  has been named the UK’s top experience by Lonely Planet, in a new ranked list of the 500 most memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling experiences to be had across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe staked its claim to the top spot because “the Fringe floods the city with art and nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale… There is theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, opera, music and spoken word, and whatever the time of day, an acrobat, trapeze artist, contortionist or tried-and-tested bagpiping busker will be pleased to entertain you…”

Walking the Perspektivenweg path
Architecture firm, Snøhetta, recently completed the Perspektivenweg path which winds through Austria’s Nordkette Mountain Range, allowing walkers to stop and experience the scenery. Each of the 10 architectural inventions – think an amphitheatre, yoga platforms, benches or stairs – have been strategically placed to offer fresh perspectives on familiar landscapes. The route starts at the Seegrube cable car station and the features are adorned with quotes by local philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, such as “Don’t think, look!”

Feel flush at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace in autumn.

Visitors to Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill’s childhood home, will have the chance to sit on a solid 18ct gold toilet.
Created by Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan, the toilet is on display at the Oxfordshire stately home until 27 October. Visitors are able to book a time slot to sit on the attraction that’s anything but bog standard.

Welcoming William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce has come home to Hull. One of Hull’s most famous sons, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, was born in the city on 24 August 1759. Fittingly, Wilberforce has come home to Hull for the 260th anniversary of his birth, as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s initiative, which sends major portraits to places associated with the subjects. Sir Thomas Lawrence’s iconic portrait is on display in Hull for the first time, at the Ferens Art Gallery from now until the 19 January 2020.

From London to Russia, with love

St Petersburg in Russia

Wizz Air is launching two new services from its London Luton base to Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, and Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg as of today (1 October). Fares on both routes start from just £25.99. Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK said: “Moscow and St Petersburg are each steeped in culture and history, having seen some of the most momentous events in world history and should definitely be on everyone’s list of places to visit.”

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