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TopDog Newsletters - 2015

New routes in 2016

Published: 31 December 2015

The arrival of 2016 not only brings with it the tradition of making (and trying to keep) all those New Year’s resolutions, it also means a whole new set of annual leave days are now available. Rejoice! Given our appetite for discovering and exploring new places, airlines have responded by introducing plenty of new routes in the year ahead. This hopefully means that for many of us there will be less need to travel such a long way to the airport in the first place or having to endure annoying stopovers just to get to your destination of choice.

New places to ring in the New Year!

Published: 23 December 2015

New Year’s Eve is one of the calendar’s biggest events, celebrated with enthusiasm and ceremony the world over, from lavish fireworks displays over a city to a merry gathering of friends at home. Iconic destinations such as Edinburgh, New York, London, Paris and Sydney are typically flooded with locals and tourists alike, all looking to take in the atmosphere and anticipation of the clock striking midnight. The great thing as well is that the party often doesn’t stop once the new year dawns, as many of the ensuing revelries will typically go on into the small hours.This is helped by some local authorities subsidising public transport, making it free to wend your way home after a glorious night of festivity and fun.

Jolly holidays!

Published: 15 December 2015

December’s here and the magic of Christmas-time is upon us! The imminent arrival of Santa, carols hanging in the air, a feast roasting in the oven, the joy of indulging with family and friends are some of the things that many of us are fortunate enough to look forward to. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festive season and myriad Yuletide traditions can be found across the world. While the big day is just around the corner, there’s still time to dig out your passport, pack a bag and head abroad to spend your winter break partaking in the merriment of the season and experiencing how others celebrate Christmas

A galaxy not so far, far away

Published: 08 December 2015

17th December 2015 is a date that many around the world have marked in their diary… 38 years after the first film in George Lucas’ space opera stunned global audiences, we’re on the cusp of being able to experience a new trilogy in the series. The rights may have passed to Disney but what we’ve seen from the trailers and TV spots seems to show that J.J. Abrams, noted for his sci-fi work on projects like the new Star Trek films and acclaimed TV series Lost, may well have captured the flavour of the beloved original trilogy.

Take the paths of a Europe less travelled

Published: 29 November 2015

The fairytale-esque architecture of Prague, the bazaars of Istanbul, the historic monuments of Rome, the artistic ramblings of Barcelona, the vibrant culture of Amsterdam. These are a few of the cities that tend to instantly spring to mind when thinking about where to go on a short European break. That these places draw millions of visitors each year is testament to their long-standing attraction. The flip side of this, though, is that popularity equals busy and, at times, overcrowded, as you take in the same sights, atmosphere and culture as thousands of others with the same intent.

Treading the boards

Published: 21 November 2015

For around three and a half millennia people have been entertained via the medium of theatre and theatrical performance, in all its various forms, continues to be a vital part of world culture. Indeed, several styles have already been enshrined on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, including kabuki from Japan, Italy’s opera dei pupi (puppet theatre) and sbek thom (Khmer shadow theatre) from Cambodia.

Destinations that are 00-heaven!

Published: 13 November 2015

He never seems to pack a suitcase, his cure for jetlag is a martini (shaken not stirred) and it's highly likely that many of his shenanigans wouldn’t be covered by his travel insurance policy. But, undoubtedly, James Bond is as much a world traveller as he is a world-famous secret agent. Since the 1962 release of Dr No, Agent 007 has made 146 visits to 49 countries; from the Far East to the west coast of the United States, his globetrotting antics have been impressive by anyone’s standards. However, we were surprised to learn that the on-screen Bond has yet to visit popular destinations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Scandinavia. Bond #25, perhaps?

An open road to your holiday horizons

Published: 05 November 2015

The opportunity for real flexibility and freedom is one of the greatest appeals to heading out on a road trip. No need to stick to a standardised tour, you can experience what you want at your own pace and maybe catch some interesting sights that would otherwise be missed on a more straightforward package tour or city break. Drawing up an itinerary that caters to your expectations and desires is part of the fun and the prior research can give you a good sense of investment in the adventure to come.

Up, up and away…

Published: 31 October 2015

The origin of mankind's desire to fly is lost in the distant past. There are many legends of men strapping birdlike wings, stiffened cloaks or other devices to themselves and attempting to fly, the Greek legend of Daedalus and Icarus being one of the most well-known. However, the hot air balloon is probably the oldest form of flight that has successfully allowed humans to leave the ground. In 1783, a balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers, made the first manned untethered flight carrying it's passengers an impressive 8km.

Offbeat collections

Published: 26 October 2015

One of the highlights of an urban holiday is the chance to indulge in the collective culture and history of your chosen destination. And chances are you’ll want to spend some time visiting its various museums and galleries. These spaces, in particular those that include national archives, provide significant insights into the events and philosophies that have shaped the culture in question.

On top of the world

Published: 21 October 2015

Hiking is a fun outdoor activity that allows an individual to become one with nature. Though some trekking destinations require training, and in some cases expensive equipment, there are several places around the world where hiking is a viable option. Reaching the top of the mountain after several hours (or in some cases days) of hiking can be an extremely satisfying experience not just for the sense of achievement but, even more so, for the awe-inspiring views, both on the trek up and of course at the summit, that will make your endeavour more than worthwhile.

The wonder of winter lands

Published: 16 October 2015

One of the most beautiful sights you can wake up to is that of a fresh layer of powdery white snow covering everything for as far as the eyes can see. And if the air is crisp and the sun is shining it’s easy to understand why some folk consider this type of vista exhilarating. Whilst often cold and grey, winter can be quite a magical time too, especially if you’re planning to spend some of it in a picture perfect winter wonderland. Apart from the usual snow based pursuits on offer at such destinations, there’s generally a range of different experiences and activities to enjoy.

Great stretches for a spot of kayaking

Published: 11 October 2015

If you're a lover of the great outdoors, dramatic scenery and spending time on water, then kayaking is a beautiful way to indulge in all of these. As you paddle your way across serene waters or through wild rapids you can truly appreciate the power of your body and the stunning environs. From reservoirs to lakes, from sea lanes between tropical islands to white-water rivers, kayaking comes in various guises, depending on where around the world you choose to partake.

Actively seeking adrenaline

Published: 06 October 2015

For many travellers with an adventurous streak, their holiday time is a chance to stretch their limits and senses. Whether you’re riding turbulent rapids, bungee jumping off a bridge or hurtling down a snow covered mountain, adventure sports and activities get pulses quickening and spirits soaring. It’s also a chance to get out into nature and explore this wonderful planet and its varied environments that give rise to all these active opportunities.

Park yourself here for thrills and amusements!

Published: 01 October 2015

There’s nothing quite like suspending reality for a while and letting a different kind of world occupy your time. So what better way to spend your vacation than allowing your inner-child to run free in a world of fun – the world of the theme park! Full of wonder, colours and thrilling rides there are hundreds of amusement parks located across the world to choose from covering myriad themes which offer visitors a fun packed way to get away from the norm.

Amazing Antiquity

Published: 26 September 2015

Archaeological sites all over the world have attracted explorers and tourists alike for hundreds of years. Acting as links to our past, they provide a great insight into the lives and cultures of the people of that time. Some of them are shrouded in mystery and archaeological experts are still trying to piece together why they were built, what events took place there and, sometimes, why they may have been abandoned. Whatever they may signify, there’s no doubt that these places are fascinating to visit.

Lakes and the art of serenityLakes and the art of serenity

Published: 21 September 2015

A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable -- William Wordsworth.
Sit yourself down by a lake and let the tranquillity wash over you. Watch calm waters reflect the sky and lose yourself to the charms of nature’s mirrors. Lakes come in all shapes and sizes and have proved inspirational to writers, poets and travellers the world over, most notably the Lake Poets of 19th century England, such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.

Banking on good snow festivals

Published: 16 September 2015

If you have young children or are a fan of musicals, you're probably very familiar with Idina Menzel's dulcet tones singing "Let It Go" from the amazingly popular snow-themed film Frozen, but snow can be fun for all ages! Children delight in its arrival, spending many hours building snowmen and indulging their imaginations as the magical flurries from the sky settle. Adults too like to indulge, with the snows heralding the winter sports season, letting them try their hand at everything from skiing to ice skating.

A holiday with strings attached

Published: 11 September 2015

If you head down to the British seaside, one of the sights you’re still likely to see is the traditional Punch and Judy show (albeit with the story updated for modern audiences). These puppeteers ply their trade to entertain children and adults alike with colourful figures and stories, whilst keeping alive this great performing and storytelling institution.

Star treks for adventure!

Published: 06 September 2015

As a way to explore nature and the myriad of wonderful landscapes our world has to offer, trekking offers fantastic opportunities to the adventurous traveller. Be it alone or in a group, a trek might open up fascinating animal sightings, visits to amazing places, spectacular views or just trying a novel activity. Whatever route you take, there’s bound to be something that will pique your interest and make for an enjoyable trip.

Lighting up your travels

Published: 01 September 2015

Fire and light in its various forms have long been an integral part of human celebrations. From fireworks that illuminate the sky and the candles of Chanukah to the twinkling lamps of Diwali and the burning of effigies in festivals around the world, we’re fascinated and entranced by the warmth and glow that they bring. And some of the most fantastic presentations of this can be found in the various lantern festivals celebrated around the world.

A different kind of sun and sand

Published: 27 August 2015

Taking a holiday amongst the wonders of the natural world usually involves escaping into the mountains, camping in a forest or spending time exploring the sea. But one option most people don’t often consider is venturing out to explore our world’s deserts. You can find sandy deserts on nearly every continent on Earth. And if you spend any time experiencing them, you’ll see the bleak but striking beauty of these vast expanses and delicate ecosystems. Alongside the wind-sculpted architecture of dunes, some areas are taking advantage of the touristic opportunities available to offer adventures in sand surfing and dune buggy racing.

Wonders just below the surface

Published: 22 August 2015

One of the most fantastic activities to do on any beach or island holiday is exploring the underwater world around your chosen destination. Seeing bright coral architecture, amazing marine life, mesmerising schools of fish and even the occasional shark makes for an unforgettable travel experience. While scuba diving lets you go to significant depths it often requires training, licenses and expensive gear, putting it beyond a casual ’have-a-go’ experience.

Fun and flames in the desert

Published: 17 August 2015

The iconic Burning Man festival is held every year in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, USA. Lasting for a week, this massive open-air party takes place at the end of August and attracts fantastic numbers of people. The 2014 festival recorded in the region of 65,000 people in attendance.

La Tomatina – Let’s paint the town red!

Published: 12 August 2015

On the last Wednesday of August every year, the streets of the little Spanish town of Buñol in Valencia are deluged by a sea of bright red tomato slush. Alas, the townsfolk aren’t making giant Bloody Marys, they’re hosting the annual La Tomatina festival, a fun-filled fete of tomato-throwing. Billed as the biggest food fight in the world, participants throng the streets and pelt each other with overripe tomatoes making it the messiest and undoubtedly one of the most fun Spanish festivals!

Festivities from faith

Published: 07 August 2015

These days it’s great to have the flexibility to be able to travel pretty much anywhere across the globe all year round. However, while you may know where you want to travel to, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint when the best time to visit a destination is. Whatever your viewpoint on religion as a whole may be, visiting a country during a religious celebration is a great time to experience the colour, sights and sounds of a particular place as it provides a unique insight into a country’s culture.

The call of the African wilds

Published: 02 August 2015

When it comes to holiday destinations, for many, vibrant and vivacious Africa remains uncharted territory beyond the tourist resorts of the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts. This year we suggest listening to the ‘call of the wild’ and indulging in one of these specialities - an adventurous safari! Embarking on an expedition into the savannah is an experience offered in a number of countries, particularly in East Africa. The thrill of spotting animals in their natural habitat is an unforgettable endeavour and helps remind us of some of the grandeur our world offers.

Reefs not to be missed!

Published: 28 July 2015

For centuries, the waters of our planet have attracted curious minds and adventurers eager to explore their depths. Some of the most prized attractions of this underwater world are corals and the reefs that their coming together creates. Far from being just brightly-coloured pieces of rock, corals are fascinating invertebrates that live in colonies made of polyps.

Watch out for whales!

Published: 23 July 2015

Sighting a whale in the wild is not an experience you’re ever likely to forget. These magnificent creatures live migratory lives as they swim the oceans, feeding and seeking out the warm currents where their young are birthed. Many whale species are considered to be greatly intelligent and largely social as well, choosing to live in communities called pods.

Secret sandsSecret sands

Published: 18 July 2015

There’s a lot to love about beach holidays – the caress of a gentle sea-breeze, beautiful stretches of sand, the soothing sound of the waves as they lap the shore plus water sports and swimming if you want to indulge in some activities. These are the sort of things that have people eagerly planning trips to enable them 'to experience many of the world's best beaches'.

Draughts in Deutschland - German beer festivals of 2015

Published: 13 July 2015

Germany may be considered one of the economic powerhouses of Europe but that doesn’t make it a dry place to visit. In fact, Germany has a rich regional gastronomy and an even more renowned brewing heritage. A visit here would be much the poorer for not sampling some of the many types available. With the recent resurgence in interest in craft and foreign beers, it’s easier to come across brands like Oettinger, Paulaner and Erdinger outside of the country but for the best experience, you really need to head to the source.

Surfing the best sites

Published: 08 July 2015

Successfully riding a wave as it breaks onto the shore is probably the best thrill you can experience when you’re learning to surf. There’s the excitement as you paddle up to the wave, a rush of adrenaline as you get into position, sheer elation as you somehow manage to maintain balance, all topped by exhilaration as the power of the sea carries you to shore. It’s enough to spark off a serious fixation on this pastime.

Camp out in style

Published: 03 July 2015

Forget the stereotypical (and outdated) images of flimsy plastic on uncomfortable ground, grey skies and lackluster facilities; camping these days is often a much more pleasant affair. Unless you’re heading into the true wilderness, campsites are more than just somewhere to pitch your tent and fill your canteen. Indeed, even this area of the travel market hasn’t gone unnoticed by those looking to provide boutique or luxury travel.

The height of luxury

Published: 28 June 2015

As an iconic image of childhood, the treehouse presents a long-held source of imagination for many. Dreams of owning one, your very own secret hideout in a fantasy world or a base for adventures and derring-do, probably came to a lot of us. And this would have only been reinforced by depictions in literature and popular culture, such as the base of operations for the Lost Boys in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and the desert island home of the shipwrecked Swiss Family Robinson. More recently, the Lord of the Rings films showed the elves of Lothlórien living high above the forest floor in elaborate and elegant bowers.

Bargain hunting in Paris

Published: 23 June 2015

Shopping in Paris is an experience that many dream of – the city inspires a level of commercial romanticism that is unmatched by almost any other place. From fashion to food, the French capital brings travellers from all over to indulge in retail tourism. The reputation is generally well-deserved as the city is home to a large number of chic high-end haute couture boutiques, les grands magasins (‘big department stores') and renowned speciality kitchenware suppliers like E.Dehaillerin.

Actively Australia

Published: 18 June 2015

Travelling to Australia is on many folks’ long-term lists – the lure of the far away and the exotic somewhat makes up for nearly a whole day of travelling. If it’s on the cards, then a great time to go is between August and November which is when spring is truly in the air in the Southern Hemisphere and the weather is at its most agreeable. It’s also one of the best times to visit Australia since there are a number of spring activities to visit and even participate in.

Jazz it up in Europe this summer!

Published: 13 June 2015

Jazz originated in the late 19th/early 20th century in the African-American interpretations of American and European traditional music entwined with African folk songs and focussing significantly on performances. One of the greatest appeals of the genre is that the composition and style changes with each performer's personal interpretation and improvisation – and definitely something to be experienced in the moment.

Gourmet Italia

Published: 08 June 2015

Italy, with its vibrant culture, rich history and gorgeous landscapes, attracts tourists from around the world eager to sample the delights of its heritage. And that includes literally – as Italian cuisine is one of the world's most popular. So it's not surprising that people flock here for mouth-wateringly delicious, wholesome food, filled with great flavours and fresh produce. The Italians take their food very seriously and delight in showcasing the deep richness that comes from simple but high-quality ingredients.

Backpacking on a budget

Published: 03 June 2015

Travelling the world on a limited budget can be quite an adventure. If you’re willing to forego the best of creature comforts, backpacking holidays can be easier on the pocket and filled with the kinds of experiences you may never encounter as a regular traveller. So how do you tell if you are a true backpacker at heart? If you’re the sort of person happy to pick up their life and carry it around, save on accommodation by spending a night at the airport or train station or always factor a ‘visa run’ into your itinerary, then maybe this is for you.

Top destinations for 2015!

Published: 29 May 2015

Every year brings with it the search for somewhere new, something new to pique the interest of that year’s travellers. Whilst increasing globalisation means that there are few places that are truly ‘undiscovered’, there are still locales that are either the road less travelled or are due their time in the sun. Be they the new ‘in destinations’, old locations given a new lease of life by the release of a major blockbuster or simply a new airport enabling travellers to have easier access – unless you are the most jaded of travellers, there is bound to be something you haven’t seen or experienced yet.

Spiritual indulgence in Europe

Published: 24 May 2015

Stressful jobs, hectic schedules and always wanting (and having) to do more things than any of us really have time for can take a toll on the mind, body and general well-being. Which gives us solid reasons for choosing travel – it’s good to get out of the daily rut and have opportunities to ‘stop and smell the flowers’ every once in a while.

Sound choices for summer!

Published: 19 May 2015

Music has the capacity to transcend borders and bring people together like almost nothing else. Indeed, many consider it to be as fundamental a universal principle as gravity! Most people have a favourite song or preferred genre, something that they can give themselves over to and really enjoy. And nowhere is this better expressed than at a music festival, where you can see and experience the love of music truly shining through.

Spiritual sojourns on the subcontinent

Published: 14 May 2015

Teeming with stunning landscapes, majestic monuments, a rich history and an overwhelmingly vibrant culture, travel in India is often seen as a smorgasbord of fascinating (and at times, chaotic) experiences. India’s culture is among the world’s oldest, as civilization here developed around 4,500 years ago, resulting in a unique melange where everything from language to religions, dance to architecture and food to customs differs between regions.

Let Iceland inspire you in 2015!

Published: 09 May 2015

If you’re looking for adventure this year, look to Iceland and its deserved fame for the natural attractions it has on offer. Eerily spectacular, awe-inspiring or simply beautiful to behold, this island nation is home to some magnificent sights and incredible experiences. The best time to visit Iceland is during the summer, when darkness never truly comes, letting you witness the magic of the ‘midnight sun’.

Great train journeys

Published: 04 May 2015

For many people, there’s a romantic and old-fashioned appeal when travelling long-distance by rail that just isn’t matched by flying or driving. Wending your way along scenic tracks gives you a chance to experience and interact with areas in a completely different way. There are plenty of rail journeys across the world for you to try, all offering some unique sights or interesting perspectives.

Explore festive Spain!

Published: 29 April 2015

The Spanish know how to celebrate life. In most cities, towns and villages across the country throughout the year, you can find some sort of festival that gets people together and enjoying themselves. Unsurprisingly, many of these are religious, full of the colourful pomp and ceremony that herald a saint’s day or other holy time.

Balmy Bermuda

Published: 24 April 2015

It’s probably testament to both the attractive beauty of these islands and to how little credence is paid to legends that the islands of Bermuda continue to attract travellers to their shores. Sitting at the top point of the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the area has long held intrigue as a place where aircraft and ships disappear under mysterious circumstances. However, a 2013 report from the World Wide Fund for Nature identified the world’s 10 most dangerous waters for shipping and the Bermuda Triangle was not among them. Whilst we may never know what happened to the crew and passengers of the Mary Celeste, we can rest easy knowing that such an accident is unlikely to befall today’s shipping.

Great parks of Europe

Published: 19 April 2015

If you’re looking for an invigorating walk, horse ride or cycle through scenic wooded trails, one of the great ways to do so is to visit a national park. Here you can stroll, enjoy the fresh air with acres of open space and perhaps even sit down with a delightful picnic. The world’s most visited national park in 2014 was the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina/Tennessee in the USA, with visitors numbering around 10 million. However, there’s no need to venture so far afield if you’re a little time-stretched or operating more on a budget.

Movie inspired travel

Published: 14 April 2015

There are many things that can bring on the urge to travel – books, pictures, a nostalgic chat with friends or even certain foods. But movies are possibly the ideal medium to generate that desire, embodying escapism at its best. Many are set in or against exotic landscapes giving you a taste of adventure and imbuing a real sense of wanderlust.

A taste of Thai lands!

Published: 09 April 2015

Known as a ‘land of smiles’, the Kingdom of Thailand is well-regarded as a nation of genuinely friendly, happy and smiling people with a rich cultural heritage and a unique serenity. It’s said that Thailand is a place which cannot be explained, only experienced. And the nearly 25 million visitors to the country last year would appear to support that allure. Part of its appeal comes from the hundreds of idyllic islands that float in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, with their pristine beaches, contemplative isolation and abundance of natural beauty.

Ways to make some holiday savingsWays to make some holiday savings

Published: 30 March 2015

There’s no denying that taking that well-earned holiday or even just getting away for a few days can stretch the wallet. If you’re keen to shave a few pounds from those bills, then a little preparation and some legwork can really save you money and get you a good deal. These days many travellers are much more savvy than before and know just what it is they want out of a holiday. After all, who knows better how you’re going to relax and enjoy yourself, than you? By making sure you know what you’re looking for, you can ensure that you’re not stuck doing things you don’t want to or lumbered with ‘holiday benefits’ you’re not going to use.

Cool wining and dining

Published: 25 March 2015

Whilst on holiday, if you are always looking for quirky charming cafes and restaurants then we have just what you are looking for. Close to home you can find Inamo’s at Regent Street where every table has a custom projected display where you can order food, a drink and taxis. Choose a virtual tablecloth and play battleships against the person opposite.

Hunt down a hideaway

Published: 20 March 2015

If crowded Spanish beaches aren’t really your thing and you’re looking for a new travel experience this year, one that’s slightly out of the ordinary, then perhaps it’s time to seek out a hideaway! There are still plenty of places out there that remain relatively unknown to many people and offer the chance to dive into new and uncharted waters

Excellent Easter breaks!Excellent Easter breaks!

Published: 15 March 2015

Easter’s just a few weeks away, on the first weekend in April, so it’s a great time to make the most of the school holidays and take a well-deserved break. It’s estimated that 7% of the adult population look to take an overnight trip in the UK and a further 9% are pondering about whether to take a trip over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Travel smart

Published: 10 March 2015

Making your money go as far as possible is often one of the fundamentals of holiday planning. And with the sterling doing well against the euro and low fuel prices at the moment, if you’re planning a trip then Europe is a particularly good idea! Holidaymakers changing £500 can get around €67.50 (£52) more than they would have a year ago - a tidy sum that’ll do nicely to cover an enjoyable meal for two!

Bitten by the travel bug

Published: 05 March 2015

Meeting new people. Getting to study historic places and significant events up close and personal. Brand new experiences to exhilarate all the senses. Adventures, both cultural and physical. The reasons for travelling are many and varied, so it’s easy to see why so many people have such a passion for it that as soon as one trip is done, they’re hankering for another.

A different bed to lay your head

Published: 28 February 2015

One of the joys of travelling is finding somewhere or something that’s unusual, some element that makes it different from other holidays you’ve been on and makes for interesting conversations when you get home. In particular, where you choose to bed down can dramatically affect the quality and style of your trip away. These days, choosing your accommodation doesn’t have to mean identikit hotels or featureless campsites.

Revel in these sunny revelations!

Published: 23 February 2015

Just the vaguest thought of warmer and brighter climes is enough to send us to the travel catalogues and websites at this particularly inclement time of year. There are probably few amongst us who wouldn’t be happy to hang up the raincoat or stow the gloves, even for a short time, at the moment. The American city of Yuma, in southwestern Arizona, is the sunniest place on Earth, recording over 4,000hrs of sunlight per year and roughly 90% of daylight hours see it shining through a clear blue sky. A perfect place to forego the raincoat and work on your tan!

Safety on the slopes

Published: 18 February 2015

With the winter sports season now well under way, aficionados may have been following Channel 4 series, The Jump, where various celebrities try to master a range of snow and ice-based disciplines, and be thinking of trying their hand at some of the activities too. From the soaring thrill of ski jumping to the daredevil speeds of skeleton, there’s a whole host of wintery adventures out there to be experienced.

Fantastic fountainsFantastic fountains

Published: 13 February 2015

Water, in all its forms, has long held a collective fascination in our consciousness, particularly in the intersection of the power it holds in nature and our intimate dependence on it. So it’s unsurprising that urban planners and architects have sought inspiration - from waterfalls to geysers - to incorporate water features and similar phenomena into our everyday environments.

European river cruises

Published: 08 February 2015

The sedate passage of vistas changing from rolling fields to deep forests to spectacular valleys is just one of the advantages on offer when you opt for a scenic river cruise. This is one of the fastest growing travel sectors and with an abundance of serene waterways to choose from, Europe’s aquatic wealth cannot be denied!

Attractive new sites for 2015!

Published: 03 February 2015

Sometimes the desirability of your holiday destination is not so much where you’re going, but what you’ll see when you get there. So for travellers, both experienced and new, 2015 is bringing some great new attractions to be visited and marvelled over. According to reports from the World Tourism Organisation, more tourists are hitting the road, going further and wider afield with a 5% increase in global tourism in 2014 over the previous year.

New sights with new flights

Published: 29 January 2015

Despite recent issues and headline-grabbing stories, air travel remains our primary holiday transport and to cater to ever more consumers, airlines and holiday companies are on the lookout for new destinations to add to their rosters. And 2015 is no different, as airlines launch many new flight routes from the UK to destinations all around the world.

Making the most of a short stay

Published: 24 January 2015

For many, the rigmarole and routines of daily life place a lot of stress on our bodies and minds and so we seek time away to do what we can to reinvigorate ourselves. Given the way schedules work out, it can be difficult to find an opening to take the traditional ‘two weeks off’ and, actually, this may not be the best way to relax. Often several short breaks spaced out over the year can be better for you than taking all your holiday in one lump.

Beat a retreat in 2015!

Published: 19 January 2015

The festive season is a time for pleasure and indulgence… and, for many of us, overindulgence! Things like ‘recommended daily calorie counts’ go out the window for a little while, particularly on the big day itself. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to just get back into shape and regain some vitality in one easy go? Unfortunately, as we all know, it’s not quite that easy. But there are steps we can take to make a good start and more interesting than just resolving to use that gym membership more.

Hotels coming soon!

Published: 14 January 2015

After the whirl of the festive season, life is settling back down into its usual routines. And it’s only natural to be looking ahead to the next adventure already, to the next time that we can relax and shake off the stresses of the everyday. If you’re still looking for a neat reward for those New Year’s resolutions, there’s a veritable treat to be had in some high-end holiday living!

Gateways of faith

Published: 10 January 2015

Right from the earliest days of organised religion, priests and worshippers have seen the importance of having a focal point for their worship as well as presenting a symbolic monument to their faith. Many also serve as important civic places such as homeless shelters, town halls and contact centres, particularly in small or remote communities. Ancient religious natural sites and more modern raised buildings have become major tourist attractions in their own right, adding to the attractive cultural capital of a country.

2015 holiday hotspots

Published: 04 January 2015

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful festive break and are ready for the challenges and joys that 2015 will bring.
If you’re still in the mood to party, then the Lunar New Year Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) pops up in February. Celebrated around the world, it’s another 15 days of festivities. And it’ll go off with a bang if you’re in Hong Kong at this time, as Victoria Harbour hosts a massive celebratory fireworks party!

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