What’s hot: June 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot in the travel world this month …


Popping into Harry Potters house

Harry Potter in Herts

Harry Potter in Herts

Harry Potter fans finally have the chance to step inside the boy wizard’s home. For a limited time only, No 4 Privet Drive – where JK Rowing’s hero was forced to live with his relatives, the dreaded Dursleys – is being opened to the public.  From 27 May, visitors to the Harry Potter studios in Leavesden will be able to wander insider the Dursley’s living room. The tour will also showcase costumes for the Dursley family from the film franchise.

Making for Machu Picchu

Macchu Pichu in Peru

Macchu Pichu in Peru

Peru has increased the number of permits it issues for the Inca Trail by 250 a day. The new permits are for the ‘mini Inca Trail’ – basically a shorter, six hour hike to Machu Picchu that still allows you to arrive through the famed Gateway of the Sun.
Reaching the land of Paddington Bear has just got easier too thanks to BA’s new twice weekly (and three times in the summer months) direct Gatwick to Lima flights, which launched last month.

Sliding down the Olympic Park Orbit Tower
Tickets for the shelter skelter slide down Anish Kapoor’s Orbit Tower, next to the Olympic Stadium, are now on sale. The £3.5m ride in east London – which measures 584ft in length and 249ft in height , will take adrenalin seekers on a 40 second ride. Designed by German artist Carsten Höller, who last year designed slides which ran outside the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank, the attraction opens on 24 June and costs £17 (£12 to access the sculpture and £5 to slide down) or£15 if you book in advance. The high ticket prices should help The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)recover the money spent on building the slide.

Next stop: Egypt?

The Egyptian Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Yehia Rashed, has welcomed the UNWTO’s call for the lifting of any unnecessary bans on travel for tourists. He said: “I fully support the UNWTO’s positive message today that all unnecessary bans on travel and tourism should be lifted. Egypt has taken significant positive steps in addressing security issues and the UNWTO’s support is to be warmly welcomed. I call upon all those countries who currently possess flight restrictions to consider the UNWTO’s request positively. The support of such an influential United Nations body inviting the world to Egypt marks the start of a great opportunity for Egyptian tourism. With Egypt chairing the UNWTO Executive Council for the next 12 months I look forward to many more positive developments.”

Ready, steady, go… to Tenerife!

Time for a trip to Tenerife?

A new edition of the Tenerife Bluetrail – the island’s most popular (and extreme) long-distance mountain race – is set to take place on Saturday 11June. Over 1,000 athletes from all over the world have already signed up to run from sea level to an altitude of over 3,550 metres in Spain’s highest race.Under the slogan “trail running for all”, the Tenerife Bluetrail features five different trails – Ultratrail (97 km), Trail (66 km), Marathon (43 km), MediaTrail (20 km) and adapted trail called ‘Challenge’ (8 km) – so runners of all abilities are welcome. The time to beat is 13 hours and 2 minutes; the current record for an athlete traversing the 97 km which connect these two locations – achieved by Spanish athlete Carlos Pascual in 2015.

Splashing the cash in London
When a man is tired of london
New data released by the Office for National Statistics shows that tourists spent more than £36.4 billion in London – higher than Scotland, Wales and the South-West combined. Official figures show that £18.8 billion was spent in inner London and £17.6 billion in outer London. Scotland (£12.4 billion), Surrey, east and west Sussex (£17.6 billion) were the next most important regions.
London has also recently been named the most popular tourist destination in the world for the second year running by MasterCard in its Global Cities Index report, while the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions says that nine out of the top 10 most visited tourism attractions in Britain are in London.

Naming your baby after an airline

A woman who gave birth  during a three hour flight from Singapore to Yangon, Myanmar has named her child after the airline carrier. Baby Saw Jet Star was successfully delivered during Jetstar Asia flight 3K583, thanks to the crew and three doctors who, as luck would have it, were on the flight. The plane was commencing its landing when the Burmese woman began experiencing labour cramps.
“Our crew are trained to respond to all kinds of events on our aircraft, and we’re proud of the way they assisted with the help of generous doctors onboard to ensure the safe delivery of our youngest ever passenger,’ said a Jet Star spokesperson.


Big Ben

Big Ben

Big Ben

The clock at the top of the Elizabeth Tower – known to most people as Big Ben – will stop ticking for several months to allow vital repairs to be carried out. Designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, The Great Clock was installed in the tower in April 1859. However after more than 157 years of service, parts of the Great Clock now have rust and leaks and there are “high risks” the clock would fail if it isn’t assessed soon.
The three years repair and investment programme will costs £29 million and see scaffolding erected around the 96m tower. But panic not: at least one clock face will continue to be on show.

Adios old Cuba


In the aftermath of Obama’s visit to Cuba, the island has opened up to American tourists – and the Cubans are cashing in on the American invasion. Prices for accommodation in Havana have soared, with private landlords now charging as much as £500 a night for a flat sans swimming pool or Wifi. What’s more they’re demanding payment in full before arrival… Hotel room rates have doubled too, as have taxi fares and they are likely to increase even more. Our advice? Don’t leave it another year or two. Book that trip to Cuba now.

Saying farewell to Tsukiji fish market
Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market has long been a favourite destination for visitors to Japan, who flock here in their drives to watch the live tuna auctions. The famed fish market has become more than just a market: it’s a cultural landmark. However the market – which shifts 2,000 tonnes of seafood a day – will have a new home as of 7 November 2016. Tokyo’s top tourist attraction is moving from its current location, near the centre of the city, to a former gasworks south of the city. However the relocation plans do not include the Outer market – a collection of stalls, shops and restaurants.

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