Saturday snippets: 13th June 2015

By | Category: Travel news
some of the celebrations from the Tour de France last year in Harrogate

some of the celebrations from the Tour de France last year in Harrogate

Today marks the beginning of National Picnic Week which runs until the 21st of June. This week aims to provide people with the opportunity to get together over a picnic, enjoy our countryside, our beaches and our cities. As part of the week, the website gives tips, advice and recipes to picnicking. It also says that “picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions…” It is but maybe not this weekend given the forecast! It is also National Bike Week so combine the two and cycle off to a picnic.

One place that got exceptional coverage from the Tour de France last year was Harrogate and it is celebrating National Bike Week in a big way. It is holding its own festival of cycling, the Harrogate Big Bike Bash next weekend with competitive races and leisurely cycling events as well as entertainment and refreshments on Harrogate’s famous Stray. For those of a higher standard and a more competitive disposition, The NSPCC Tour of Yorkshire held that same weekend starts and ends in Harrogate but covers 151 miles in the intervening period.

Slightly less strenuous and definitely designed for the whole family is another bicycle themed event. The 3 day Eroica Britannia festival runs from the 19th until the 21st of june reaching its climax on the third day when 3500 riders take to the tracks and trails of The Peak District National Park on pre-1987 road bikes. The cyclists will be wearing flamboyant vintage clothing and will travel between villages of the Peak to replenish and re-fuel at ‘feast-stops’ where villages put on huge spreads of local food and drink turning their village hearts into mini festivals in their own right with music, entertainment, singing and dancing along the route.

It has been announced that the popular tour around the lot of Coronation Street in Quay Street, Manchester will close at the end of the year. It isn’t because the tour hasn’t proved to be very popular that it is closing as well over 500,000 people have visited in just over a year. The area is due for redevelopment and that is why it has to close. Filming of Coronation Street has moved to Media City nearby but the promoters of the attraction might well be looking at other sites where they could recreate the success they have had in the last year.

Japan's Mt Fuji

Japan’s Mt Fuji

Expect your local travel agent to start putting posters of Japan into their windows soon. The reason is that a new series, “Japan –Earth’s Enchanted islands” began this week on BBC 2 and television always seems to boost visitor numbers. Look at the success of “The Killing” which with even its dour scenes of Sweden encouraged so many of us to visit the bleakish landscape. So the travel industry will undoubtedly make a lot of this series on Japan to urge you to visit the laces you see in the three-part series.

How successful are campaigns to get us to visit destinations? Visit Britain has been plugging domestic holidays for three years now and has produced figures suggesting that they have been very successful. They estimate that the campaign has now generated £520.6 million in incremental spend for the domestic tourism industry and over two million domestic overnight holiday trips. Who said that we weren’t important to the tourism industry as a whole?

From Scotland comes an idea for a new attraction on the Isle of Lewis. The old Ministry of Defence and Nato buildings there are redundant so the local community has come up with an idea for their re-use. Because of the island location they think that a hydrophone dropped into the sea would allow people listen to whales and the buildings could be used as a listening station. But rather than limit themselves to just one idea, they have another. Because there is so little artificial light in the area, they think that the area could also be used to promote space tourism with an observatory and let people look at the stars. Given how far north Lewis is, the other possibility could be that apart from the stars, you might also be able to see the northern lights if you are lucky.

HMS Hermes, the very first specifically designed aircraft carrier was laid down in 1918 before WWI ended. Twenty-four years later, in 1942, she was attacked and sunk by a force of at least 32 dive bombers of the coast of Sri Lanka near Batticaloa. The wreck is still, there today and has proved to be one of the attractions to dive off the coast of Sri Lanka. With clear waters, the ship plus countless others that have been sunk or foundered over the centuries, the country has attracted thousands of divers very year. It is estimated that there over 200 ships, some dating back hundreds of years and many don’t require permits to dive around them. A useful place to start so you can plan where to dive is to visit the site,
the Runneymede memorial which has been refurbished and will,b e re-dedicated

the Runneymede memorial which has been refurbished and will,b e re-dedicated

A final reminder to you all that this weekend is the culmination of the Magna Carta celebrations. It might have been an English document but many clauses have been freely adopted aroun d the world. there are celebrations in australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States, Macedonia,  Italy to name just a few. Here the big celebrations are on the Thames and at Runneymede in Surrey.






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