As 11-year-old schoolgirls, Jacquie Elliott and I went on our first Christmas shopping trip to the local Woolworth’s to buy Lily of the Valley bath cubes and soap for our favourite aunts. Once we had Saturday jobs our finances improved so we progressed to choosing vinyl records aRead More »
For history fans, there's plenty to see you and do in Berlin – after all, it was at the heart of much of the turbulent 20th century. The city is also a welcoming destination for families thanks to a wealth of green spaces, sparkling lakes and a generally child-friendly infrastructure. But for a bit of light relief, you can't beat a sumptuous soak in a five-star spa. It was only recently, with the opening of the Vabali Spa, that Berlin really got the wellness temple it deserved. In the meantime though, the city’s hotels have been filling in the gap with a slew of luxurious spas spanning pools, steam rooms and saunas, and a swathe of cosmetic treatments. Here's our pick of the best spa hotels in Berlin.
Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has told The Independent that he predicts the UK will remain in the single market – partly to preserve access to cheap air fares.After the scale of the Conservatives’ victory in the general election became clear, Mr O’Leary said: “Congratulations on finally making a decision.
A flight had to divert after an “unusual odour” was detected on board, leading to three passengers being taken to hospital.Tigerair flight TT644 from Adelaide to Sydney in Australia on 12 December landed instead at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport at around 8.10pm local time.
Staying safe when skiing or snowboarding in the mountains is crucial – an important part of that is being aware of the risk of avalanche where you are, being prepared when heading off piste, and knowing what to do should an avalanche happen.
Sydney has a reputation for being beautiful yet shallow, but scratch the surface a little and you'll see that Sydney has a lot more going for it than just the way it looks. Beaches that bedazzle, windswept coastal walks overlooking whale-dotted waters, hole-in-the-wall bars, weekend farmers' markets and a thriving food and wine scene are among the drawcards that keep the locals happy and the visitors flocking.
Newsflash: some of us (myself included) don’t have Instagram. Not that I can’t snap a decent picture. My favourite shots include one of a monkey, posing in the style of Rodin’s Thinker, on a boulder in Zambia. For me, the fun of photography is the need to act quickly – to nail that perfect shot before the opportunity passes, and to take a photograph that provides some kind of insight into the destination in question.Which is why I politely declined the opportunity to take a picture sprawled over the stack of super-sized, plastic, pastel-coloured lollies I recently came across in Salvador, Brazil. I found the offending ice creams in a beautiful Bahian house dating back to the 1900s. In 2017, it was purchased by ice cream entrepreneur Natanael Couto, who spent £500,000 restoring it, before turning it into the Solar Amado Bahia Museum of Ice Cream. Its fantastic selection of carefully curated exhibits, including ancient ice cream freezers, made the presence of the plastic lollies, dumped carelessly in a room stripped of all its original features, even more random – a fact acknowledged by my sheepish-looking guide. “They’re for the Instagrammers,” he said, rolling his eyes.
After the Tories’ landslide victory in the General Election, many desperate citizens up and down the country may well be worrying about the future of the UK and their place in it. For those who think a change of scene might help, it’s actually possible to buy citizenship for a number of other countries (caveat: it doesn’t come cheap).Forget needing to be born there or having to dig out your maternal grandmother’s birth certificate; individuals can purchase a second passport via Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs), offered in a number of destinations.
*/ A member of cabin crew prevented an aircraft taking off with a build-up of ice on its wings – averting what they called a “situation which potentially could have ended in disaster”.The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reported that the plane was already on the runway when the pilots abandoned the planned departure.
Stuck for somewhere to see in the New Year? Look no further than these four hotels, in the world capitals of fun...
How well did your election prediction go? Wide of the mark, perhaps, like mine.Well, here’s a travel prediction for you that I believe will come true over the next few months and years. It will have a profound effect on the aviation industry, or at least on those airlines that devote themselves to cosseting passengers with premium products.
High on the ski area, more than 1,000m above the Austrian resorts of Kitzbühel and Kirchberg, conditions were grim. Snow was falling, but it was wet and sticky; and visibility was so poor, anyone unfamiliar with the mountains was reduced to following other skiers in the hope that they knew where they were going. It was the sort of day when you just want to get off the mountain and do something else. So that’s what I did.
Imagine. You are in one of the world’s great ski resorts. It’s the last day in November but the season is about to start. It has been snowing steadily for three weeks and there is already a deep base in the resort and higher up the mountain. As you wake up and your eyes begin to focus, you can see that it is going to be a clear blue day. The snow is luminous in the early light and the tip of the highest peak is already burnished with gold as it catches the first rays of the rising sun.
New Orleans’s reputation as a party town, thanks largely to the annual celebration of Mardi Gras, looms large. Bourbon Street, plastic beads and bawdy revellers sum up many people’s image of the city. As anyone who has been here knows, though, this is only a tiny part of life here. Its historical influences are celebrated daily: this American city is also part European, part Caribbean and part African. Music, food and culture here developed like nowhere else in the United States, and gave us jazz, Cajun and Creole cuisine and publicly celebrated traditions that you won’t find anywhere else in the country. Add to this one of America’s most historic and evocative neighbourhoods in the shape of the French Quarter and a liberal attitude to living and entertaining, and you have a city that’s primed to seduce its many visitors, even when it’s not Mardi Gras season.
Third-class travel at significantly lower fares: that is the plan for a new low-cost, high-speed train service that will start running between Madrid and Barcelona on 6 April 2020.Spain’s Ave network, with trains travelling at almost 200mph, has been in operation for nearly three decades. But it has traditionally had high fares, comparable with flying, and has limited appeal except for the business traveller.
Norfolk's vast sandy beaches are its chief draw for visitors: even on the busiest summer day there is always space for games, kite-flying or a family picnic in the dunes. Boating, crabbing, digging for cockles and wading in creeks provides hours of entertainment for all.
If “visit a European Christmas market” is on your travel to-do list, then it doesn’t get more festive than a trip to the alleged home of the first decorated public Christmas tree. Here’s what you should get up to in Riga, Latvia’s excellent capital.Christmas-tree spotting Riga claims to have had the first ever Christmas tree (Getty/iStock) There is a bit of debate as to which country can lay claim to having the very first Christmas tree. But in Riga you can visit a stone marker in its medieval Town Hall Square near Blackheads House that declares (in eight languages, no less) that this is the sacred spot (dated 1510) where the first one stood – and each festive season, Latvia’s capital goes all out to prove it. From early December you’ll find creative interpretations of the tree theme all over the city, thanks to students from the Art Academy, via light installations and all kinds of materials. The tourism information centre even compiles an interactive map to help you find them all.
A new English Heritage exhibition, Your Stonehenge, showcases almost 150 years of photography by visitors to the famous monument.
EasyJet will fly to Tunisia next year for the first time since the Sousse terror attack in 2015 that left 38 people dead.
Half-term week on the slopes is one of the busiest of the season, especially in big name European ski resorts. The key week when most UK pupils will be on holiday in 2020 is from Saturday, February 15. A few areas have half term the following week, but the majority of school children will be off from February 17-21.
Amsterdam is its canals: a cobweb-shape of waterways, lined by gabled houses, cut through by side streets crammed with little shops and cafés. It’s a cobweb that has trapped some of the world’s greatest art, starred chefs, zany designers, and a ragbag of folk who respond to the city’s adventurous, creative spirit. A hotel in the Canal Belt, with a waterside view, takes you to the heart of Amsterdam. From the quietly elegant or showily grand, to the cosily homely or engagingly quirky, here's our pick of the best canal hotels in Amsterdam.
Vilnius Airport in Lithuania may have just created the least festive Christmas tree of all time – comprised of knives, bullets, scissors, lighters and blades.The 1.5m curiosity took just over a fortnight to construct, and features green scissors in place of branches, and a diverse array of decorations, lighters and Swiss army knives among them.