What’s hot: October 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot in the travel world for October


Barking to be a Barcelona on Thames
The Spanish city of Barcelona is famed for its medieval Gothic quarter, modernist architecture and world class football while the east London suburb of Barking is best known for, er, its parish church St Mary’s and Morrisons Local store – an opening that was likened to the arrival of Harrods.
However Barking locals believe that their town is about to be put on the map thanks to the recent approval by the council of a new masterplan for one of Europe’s biggest regeneration schemes at Barking Riverside.
“Barcelona and other cities around the world have developed under-used wharves and harbours into vibrant waterfront attractions. I see no reason why Barking Riverside cannot draw on the best of these developments,” says Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham council.

London is open

and London, which would also be hit if EU residents stayed away

The capital is enjoying a remarkable Brexit boom as tourists take advantage of the pound’s fall in value. Hotels, attractions and airlines alike have all reported an increase in bookings not only from overseas tourists but from Brits deterred from travelling abroad owing to the increased cost in the aftermath of Brexit. Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways’ parent company IAG, told London’s Evening Standard newspaper: “London continues to be a destination that is attractive to tourists and workers, which is good for our business.”

Dining with a local
Eating with a local is arguably the best way to get under the skin of a city but if you don’t have friends in your destination du jour, don’t panic! There’s an array of new apps that allow you to book a home cooked meal and an evening of conversation with natives, wherever you are. VizEat is one such app. Founded by French man, Jean-Michel Petit in 2014, the app connects travellers with locals who will cook dinner. Other contenders include EatWith – expect a communal-table experience – Feastly (where local chefs invite travellers into their homes for a gourmet meal) and AirDine. The latter is, in essence, a foodie version of Airbnb. The appeal, as Petit puts it, lies in the fact that we “no longer want to just be tourists – we want to understand local life and to experience it for ourselves.”

Making for Manchester
Manchester Town Hall

Hip London hotel chain, Zetter – a favourite with A listers like Benedict Cumberbatch and model Daisy Lowe – is to open its first outpost outside the M25 on Manchester’s grade 11 listed London Road. The property will be the fourth in the Zetter franchise, joining Zetter Hotel and Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell and a second Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone. Expect playful interiors (both Zetter Townhouses are decked out in the style of Zetter’s fictional Great Aunt Wilhelmina and unscrupulous Uncle Seymour). www.thezettergroup.com

Seeking out Saudi Arabia
Could Saudi be the Middle East’s next biggest destination? It’s not as improbable as it sounds as the Kingdon has announced it will introduce a limited tourist visa scheme for the first time since 2010. Anyone plannning on heading to Saudi should put Jeddah, the Sarawat, Mad’in Saleh – aka the rock city and Saudi Arabia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site near the top of their itinerary.

Saying hola to Santiago
photo 2
When it comes to South American cities, Santiago tends to get overlooked partly becase it’s neighbours Rio (with its raw energy) and elegant, emotional Buenos Aires are such big characters. And partly because the Chilean capital is the furthest South American city t from the UK.However, as of the first week of 2017, the city will be a little more accessible for Britons, thanks to the launch of a direct British Airways flight between London Heathrow and Santiago. The flight – which will  become BA’s longest route at 14 hours and 40 minutes overtaking the 13 hours and 50 minutes it currently takes the carrier to fly between Heathrow and Buenos Aires – will begin on 3 January and run run four times a week. Fancy flying to Santiago? Check out our guide here

Bopping in a bath
Fancy partying in a pool when night falls? Well if you’re Budapest bound this month, you can splash (sorry!) about in Szechenyi Baths. DJs will be spinning the tunes from 10.30pm allowing JAT readers the chance throw some shapes in the thermal pools to a backdrop of Neo-Baroque architecture and a laser show. Book tickets at spartybooking.com

Dinner with a difference
Fancy attending THE dinner party of the year? Make for Modena in Nice where, for one night only (27 October), Massimo Bottura – head chef of Ostera Francisca (voted the world’s best restaurant for 2016) – will be cooking up a storm at the Michelin starred Miramar restaurant on the Cote d’Azur. Tickets cost 250 Euros from mirazure.fr


Breakfast boozing on Jet2

The airline Jet2 has announced that it will no longer sell alcohol on early morning fights following a spate of onboard incidents. “We believe stopping sales of alcohol before 8am will ensure an enjoyable and comfortable journey,” said the airline which has been forced to barr more than 500 passengers in the past year owing to drunken behaviour.

Going to Greece
Visits to the Greek island of Lesbos fell by 65% over the summer as tourists staying away because they believe the destination is packed full of refugees. While 15,026 tourists travelled to Lesbos in June 2015, only 4,825 people visited in June 2016 with only one in 10 hotel rooms occupied. Lesbos and its neighbour Chios reportedly receive approximately 50 migrants a day.

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