What’s hot: November 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

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


Hiking the Gobbins Coastal Path
Northern Ireland’s famous Gobbins Coastal Path has had a £7.5 million revamp and reopened in Islandmagee, Country Antrim. Consisting of walkways, tubular and suspension bridges and more, the two mile cliff hugging route is located approximately 40 miles from Belfast. Part of Northern Ireland’s iconic Causeway Coastal Route, the path was first hiked by the Edwardians. For the full low-down on Gobbins Coastal Path’s new look, visit www.thegobbinsclifffpath.com

Strapping on the iBackPack

Travel loving Apple aficionados rejoice. There’s a new Apple object to lust over: enter the iBackPack which should make travelling with technology that bit easier. The new gadget can contain both a laptop and a tablet plus has four USB ports, a GPS system, Bluetooth speakers, a wi-fi router that transforms the bag into a portable mobile hotspot and more… Of course, this nifty new backpack will make a dent in your bank balance with the smallest version starting at £96 but if you’re a frequent flyer, it’s probably a price worth paying…ibackpack.co

Keeping tabs on travellers
Students at the University of Michigan have designed a new travel app – called ‘Companion’ – which allows the user’s family and friends to follow their adventures overseas. It works like this: the traveller enters their location and destination and designates a contact as a ‘companion’. The app then regularly checks into ensure that the user is ok and if they don’t respond, the contact will be alerted. Staying safe while travelling just got easier… Download the app at www.companion.io


Packing for Puerto Rico
It shouldn’t take much to make you hop on  plane to Puerto Rico on each of winter sun – not with Norwegian Air’s new, fantastic value – one way tickets start at just £179 – route to the Caribbean island. The birthplace of Ricky Martin boasts scores of Bounty ad beaches meaning that sun bathers and surfers alike are catered for, as well as realms of unspoilt rainforest. Norwegian Air’s new route launches on 4 November. www.norwegian.com

A taste of the Middle East
Ferrari Essence Oud Packaged Email
Stuck at your desk without a holiday in sight? Let Ferrari Fragrances be your fragrance escape. The fabulous folk at Ferrari have launched several new aromatic, woody and spicy fragrances to conjure connotations of warmth and compliment the colder weather ahead. Our favourite thought is arguably the Oud – a sensual scent expressing the strength and character of the Ferrari FF car. The fragrance is enriched by leather and the Middle-Eastern Labdanum cistus plant while its heart note of Oud resin is so rare, it is said to be more valuable than gold. Essence Oud’s blend of strength and serenity is finished with opulent rose, exotic saffron and elemi while lighter spiced tones of olibanum and cumin bring out the typically masculine power of Essence Oud. Find it in Fenwicks, House of Fraser, Harrods,Camp Hobson, Bentalls and Jarrold.

The suite life
Sick of surfing the net for fabulous yet affordable accommodation? We hear ya. Fortunately help is at hand. Enter Doris & Dicky – a new hotel website founded by a couple called Richard (Dicky) and Roxanne (Doris). The site features a handpicked collection of the best budget boutique hotels from around the world for under £100 a night. So  whether you fancy a stylish beachside shack in Mexico, a B&B built into an ancient Turkish cave or simply the best value Parisian bed, bookmarkDoris & Dicky… dorisanddicky.com


Best book: Travelling To Work
Travelling to Work-Pbk j-peg of cover
Looking for a great winter read? Turn to Travelling to Work (£12.99, W&N) – the third volume of Michael Palin’s diaries which open in September 1988 with Michael embarking on Around the world in 80 Days. Palin’s latest diaries show a man grasping every opportunity and they deal candidly with the doubts and setbacks along the way. As ever, his family life, with three children growing up fast, is there to anchor him. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page and prove that, in Palin’s own words, “I’m drawn to risk like a moth to flame. Someone grounded and safe who can be tempted into almost everything.” W&N

Escaping to Eilean Shona
Following the release of Pan starring Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevingne and Rooney Mara, Eilean Shona – the private Scottish island which was an inspiration for the fictional Neverland – has re-launched.
Eilean Shona, which calls itself Neverland Found, was much-loved by the author and playwright, J.M.Barrie and now six of its holiday cottages and the main house, a former hunting lodge have been refurbished. J.M. Barrie rented the island in the 1920s and it was there that he created the screenplay for Peter Pan.  During Barrie’s stay, he wrote of Eilean Shona, “We have mountains and lochs and boats and tennis and billiards and most of the Western islands of Scotland lying at our feet.” For more information or to make a booking, visit www.eileanshona.com

Renting a room via Ruumi
With average rents in London hitting £1,500 per month for the first time ever, trying to find a place to rent that is both suitable and affordable is now harder than ever before. Which is why we’re loving Ruumi –  a new social platform and service that aims to take the stress out of finding the right place to rent in the capital. Billed as ‘Airbnb-meets-Tinder’ as users are matched to compatible housemates – and amazing places to rent – based on interests, lifestyles and living preferences. And just like Tinder, “you only start chatting when you’ve matched – so no wasting time messaging people who aren’t interested,” explains Jack Archer, the brains behind Ruumi. Ruumi is available in Tower Hamlets and Hackney Borough with plans for a full roll-out across London imminent.


Living in London
There’s good and bad news for Londoners this month. Official figures reveal that the capital’s residents are much happier than they were three years ago. However on the flip side, they remain among the most miserable people in the country, as well as the most anxious (an accolade London shares with the North East). The capital has consistently performed poorly in the government’s ‘happiness index’ which was launched by David Cameron as an alternative way of measuring national well being.
If these new statistics haven’t put you off living in the capital, consider Enfield – a North London suburban borough that ranks as one of the calmest in the country. Or head to Hounslow or Newham, both of which recorded a high happiness score. Conversely avoid Islington which had the lowest average happiness score.

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