What’s hot: July 2011

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions


CD Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month Cardiff, Chicester and Chernobyl all get the thumbs up but trips to Tibet are more fizzle than sizzle


Forget the Caribbean. It’s Cardiff that has been voted one of the top ten travel destinations for summer 2011 by none other than National Geographic magazine. The Welsh capital was voted sixth best alternative hotspot behind Muskoka Cottage Country (Canada), Patagonia (Argentina), San Juan Islands (Washington), Minneapolis (Minnesota) and Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska).

Chichester is renowned for its annual festival which attracts leading names from the worlds of classical music, comedy, rock, jazz and literature amongst others. Catch the action while you can: the festival runs until July 10. For the full programme, visit www.chifest.org.uk


Borodudura, an ancient religious site in Java, Indonesia was recently named one of the 10 prettiest places in the world by Yahoo Travel. Amazingly, it’s still not really on the travel radar but, if you’re into places like Angkor Wat, this ancient seat of Buddhist and Hindu tradition is a must. It was built in the eighth century and consists of a truly massive temple built in a clearing in the jungle. Behind it, the smoking crater of Mount Merapi makes for a brilliant backdrop. When you get there, stick around until late afternoon when you can catch an amazing sunset from the top of the stupas.

Carlton Tower Hotel
2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Carlton Tower Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge. When it opened in 1961, it was the capital’s tallest hotel, and one of its most expensive: standard rooms started at £5 per night – the Tower Suite cost £50. Find more information on the Carlton Tower Hotel at www.jumeirah.com/JumeirahCarltonTower

Despite the fact that Japanese travel has been down following the Fukushima disaster, the event has given an unexpected boost to tourism at Chernobyl. Folks are flocking to the infamous Ukrainian post meltdown ghost town, where they can take a gilded tour of its environs, and have lunch in the nuclear plant’s cafeteria. Radiation levels are carefully monitored, though I’m not sure about common sense.


Summer holidays
A poll by ING direct has revealed that more than 17 million Britons are sacrificing their summer holiday (be it a vacation or a staycation) this year in an attempt to reduce debts. NG Direct chief executive Richard Doe said: “It’s clear that a tough economic climate is causing consumers to pull off a very difficult balancing act – cutting down on debt while dealing with rising prices – so it’s not surprising that the summer holiday is often being sacrificed.”


Planning a trip to Tibet? Think again. Tourists have been banned from entering the Chinese occupied region for the second time this year. The ban has been imposed to mark the 60th anniversary of China’s rule over the Himalayan region and is scheduled to last until July 26 although there are reports that tourists won’t be allowed into Tibet until mid August at the earliest. Chinese citizens, however, have not been included in the ban.

Climbing on the Trafalgar Square lions
Tourists could and should be banned from climbing onto Trafalgar Square’s lions, according to consultants conducting surveys for the Greater London Authority (GLA). The inspectors say that that people are causing considerable damage to the 144 year old four sculptures, which have sat at the foot of Nelson’ Column for 144 years, and are calling for a no climbing ban.

School holidays
Education secretary, Michael Gove, has called for a change to the current school holiday system. If Mr Glove gets his way, state educated children will enjoy a four week break in the summer instead of a six week one. Mr Glove’s reforms would lead to the shortest summer holiday in Europe. What do you think of Mr Glove’s plans? Post a comment below and share your thoughts with other CD Traveller readers!

Virgin Atlantic

Usually its BA’s staff that are striking but the beleaguered British airline seems to have sorted out its cabin crew dispute. Not so Virgin Atlantic where pilots are refusing to back down from a walk out. Strike dates haven’t as yet been announced but it’s likely that a first walk out will take place this month and will affect those flying to Australia, California, the Caribbean, Florida and the Far East. Lets hope that Sir Richard Branson can make his pilots, The pilots, who earn up to £110,000 a year, see sense – and soon.



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