What’s hot: March 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot in the travel world right now


lluminated Uluru
Uluru (Ayers Rock) – aka one of the world’s natural wonders – is to be transformed by a monumental art installation as of April. A Field of Light, formed of more than 50,000 stems crowned with frosted-glass bulbs lit by optical fibre, will be installed in the desert ground around Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre. Created by British artist Bruce Munro, the display will light up as the sun does it incredible sinking thing and appear to bloom like flowers. The illumination will be visible every evening from 1 April 2016 until the 31 March 2017.
For the full low-down, visit www.tourismaustralia.com or www.ayersrockresort.com.au

India made easy
2015 was something of an anus horribilus for India – the country hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – but 2016 looks set to be a bigger, brighter year thanks to the new e-visa scheme. Introduced late last summer, the scheme has made the process of visiting India considerably easier (not to mention cheaper) meaning that travellers no longer need to plan trips to the subcontinent ridiculously far in advance (something the lengthy previous process necessitated). Subsequently Just About Travel predicts a surge in bookings – particularly in light of the buzz that surrounds the release of the Jungle Book remake (set in several of India’s national parks) next year.

Monkeying around with the kids in the capital

Wondering what to do with your little ankle biters in London over the Easter holidays? Make a beeline for Battersea- home to high-ropes adventure park Go Ape’s first urban site. Expect the standard canopy walkways and death slides, together with vistas on the London skyline. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to see London landmarks like the London Eye, Wembley Arch and Big Ben as you clamber along the course.
Go Ape costs £25 for kids aged 10-15. For more information or to make a booking, visit www.goape.co.uk/battersea-park

Keeping up with the (Rolling) Stones
When a man is tired of london

Staying in the capital, The Rolling Stones will stage their first ever major exhibition, Exhibitionism, from 5 April 2016. Staged as the Saatchi Gallery, the interactive tour will take fans of Mick, Ronnie et al through the group’s incredible 50-year career. View more than 500 unseen artefacts including costumes, personal diaries and rare guitars. For opening hours and to book tickets, visit  stonesexhibitionism.com

Iran (yes really)
The former Axis of Evil is rapidly becoming the hottest destination of 2016 – we kid you not. This is partly due to the lifting of a Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel ban and improved tourist infrastructure: new hotels and tours are launching left, right and centre. Case in point? Cox and Kings has announced nine new tours to Iran for the year ahead. Meanwhile rumours of a direct flight service to Tehran with British Airways continue to swirl…

Schlepping to South Africa
Huzzah. South Africa has made changes to its oft criticised entry requirements. Previously parents were required to carry original birth certificates for their children, alongside official letters from non travelling parents. The rules were aimed at combating child trafficking but in actuality cost South Africa £66m in lost tourist revenue. Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has now stated that travellers from visa exempt countries (and yes that includes the UK) are no longer subject to the requirements.

Harry Potter heads to Universal Studios
"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood
Calling all Harry Potter fans. It’s time to start making plans to head to Universal Studios Hollywood as The Wizard World of Harry Potter opens on 7 April. Guests will be transported to Hogshead where they can don Quidditch inspired 3D goggles and get their kicks on a ride that’s been named ‘Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey.’ All aboard the Hogwarts Express…

Following in the footsteps of Peter Rabbit
Or head to Hertfordshire where a Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground will be opening on 2 April 2016 at Willows Activity Farm. Kids can explore Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s Kitchen and Peter’s Secret Treehouse in addition to joining Lily Bobtail on a nature discovery. And as if that wasn’t enough for fans of Beatrice Potter’s famous bunny, Peter will also appear daily to meet and greet little ones as well as starring in shows featuring other much loved characters from the books. Check out willowsactivityfarm.com


Popping to Paris
Sacré bleu. Bookings to the French capital have fallen by 50 per cent in the aftermath of the 13 November 2015 terror attacks despite  France’s economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, claim of a “return to normal.” Nonetheless Paris is faring better than Brussels: the four day lock down at the start of the new year has resulted in a slew of cancelled bookings.

Saying “Ready, steady, ski” in Italy
Planning on squeezing in a ski trip to Italy this season? Be prepared to pay for first aid and rescue services this winter. Why? Well that would be because a plethora of cash strapped resorts have scrapped free (or heavily subsided) first aid schemes. Venture to the Valle d’Aosta and the call-out cost is £140. The Alto Adige region is slightly more affordable at £70.

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