Sent by Laurel Byrne
Based in Liverpool
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Here to help make your dream holiday come true with a unique travel service.
Remember how easy it used to be to go on holiday? When someone else took care of everything? Travel is so personal that you deserve your own expert committed to finding you incredible holidays.
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Award-winning service, gourmet meals and unforgettable excursions all included, 5-star luxury comes as standard on a Scenic river cruise
Postcards - A special film from Travel Counsellors
5 Reasons To Trust Me With Your Business Travel Plans
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No matter what, I will always go above and beyond to deliver a service that exceeds expectations.
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Uniworld - Elevating luxury river cruising to an entirely new level
What if you could combine the beauty of the wilderness with the ultimate in luxury?
The definition of a holiday is different to everyone and that’s why I take the time to get to know you.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
21 November 2022
Wow, where do I even start with this one? When most people think of Australia, they probably think of kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef. That's all fine and well, but really the first thing that you need to know is that Australia is incredibly diverse and pretty huge. How huge, you ask? Australia spans over 2.9 million square miles and comprises of 6 time zones. You're probably not going to be able to explore those 2.9 million square miles in one lifetime, so I've decided to help you out. Here are my top 10 reasons why you need to visit Australia as a matter of urgency. 1. Marvel at Australia's Sydney Opera House A marvel of architectural design, the Sydney Opera House is widely recognised as a world class performance centre. Inspired by yacht sails and surrounded by water, the majestic curves dominate Sydney Harbour and look impressive from all angles. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can enjoy a performance here, dine at one of the restaurants or take a stroll around the base of the structure. 2. Watch turtles hatch in Queensland Watching tiny turtles emerge from their eggs and scamper into the sea has got to be one of the best experiences to add to your bucket list. There are few places where you can witness this happen; Heron Island is a National Marine Park. If you visit throughout October to March each year, you can witness these beautiful creatures come ashore to lay their nest. To minimise disturbance there are guidelines in place for viewing of hatching turtles: no handling of the turtles, remain still and low and no lights. 3. Visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of seven natural wonders of the world Great Barrier Reef Did you know this natural wonder is one of the largest living structures on the planet? It is so vast, you can see it from outer space. This bucket list destination is perfect for diving, surfing, snorkelling and fishing. Visitors have many options for visiting the turquoise waters; cruise around the islands, hop aboard a sightseeing flight or snorkel and dive the reefs. Explore the natural beauty that Queensland has to offer. 4. Drive the Great Ocean Road Located in Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic and best-driven roads in the world. Perfect for a self-drive adventure, the road stretches for more than 300 kilometres between Torquay to Allansford along the rugged south-west coastline. Experience the Twelve Apostles rock formations rising majestically from the ocean, chiselled out of limestone over 10 million years ago. You can tackle the Great Ocean Road in one day, taking just less than 6 hours, or break the journey up over a couple of days, which is what we suggest doing. 5. Discover Uluru, the heart of the Red Centre Deep in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith that is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, forms the centrepiece of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, standing at 348 metres. Considered the spiritual heart of the country and is a sacred site. Take an Aboriginal guided tour to learn more about the traditional way of life. Sunset and sunrise at Uluru are magical moments you cannot miss out on when visiting Australia. 6. Swim with unique marine life Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, feed manta rays at Lady Elliot Island or snorkel with sea lions off Port Lincoln. Experiencing Australia’s marine life is a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you enjoy diving, swimming, or snorkelling, there are plenty of options for you. Get up close and personal in Australian waters with these majestic creatures. 7. Take a ferry to Rottnest Island, home of the friendly Quokkas The natural beauty of Rottnest Island is second to none, experience stunning landscapes and unique wildlife during your stay in Australia. Situated only 19km off the coast of Perth, the island offers visitors picturesque scenery and a rich cultural heritage to discover on a day trip or extended stay. The Quokkas can only be found on Rottnest Island, and as they are nocturnal the best time of day to see the smiley animal is in the evenings. 8. Embark on an Australian motorhome holiday Explore the Sunshine State in all its glory by witnessing some of the world’s most stunning views such as the stunning coral garden that is The Great Barrier Reef, the lusciousness of the Daintree Rainforest and the crystal blue waters of the Arlie Beach. On your Australia campervan holiday, you can also immerse yourself in the beauty of Fraser Island – a heritage site and the world’s largest sand island stretching over 120km with amazing panoramic scenery. See our Beaches, Reefs & Rainforest itinerary where you will explore the Sunshine State’s glorious beaches, stunning reefs and amazing rainforest on this self-driving tour of Australia from Brisbane to Port Douglas. 9. Island Hop in the Whitsundays The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland are comprised of 74 islands with beautiful scenery, each boasting endless white beaches and crystal-clear. From adrenalin-inducing water sports to romantic sunsets, Hamilton Island offers something for everyone. Slow down and enjoy the island vibe or take a helicopter ride, exploring the iconic Heart Reef from the air. Dent Island is the place to be if you’re an avid golfer, start the day with sunrise yoga in this blissful destination. 10. Explore a nature's playground in Kangaroo Island 13 kilometres off the coast of South Australia and 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide, you will find Kangaroo Island, which boasts an array of native wildlife, some of which aren't found anywhere else. Known as nature’s playground, Kangaroo Island is one of the world’s most peaceful retreats. More than a third of the island is protected by conservation areas and national parks, wildlife encounters are pretty much a given here. Kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, echidnas, wallabies, goannas and marine mammals are plentiful, along with many species of birdlife. If you are after wildlife, then Kangaroo Island won’t disappoint. Inspired to take a trip down under? Contact me today to start planning your trip!
04 November 2022
If you enjoy travelling to less crowded beaches, booking a trip in November will allow you to beat the crowds and experience these amazing destinations in off peak times. While November heralds the arrival of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is one of the most pleasant months to travel in the Southern Hemisphere. For this month, my top 5 destinations to visit in November are Tasmania, New Zealand, Cape Town, Florida Keys and Mauritius. Read on to discover the reasons why these 5 destinations are our best options to travel in this month. 1. Tasmania, Australia Explore the scenic beauty, deserted beaches and snow-capped mountains that Tasmania has to offer. Bursting at the seams with natural beauty, Australia’s rugged island state is top on our list of places to visit this month. Beat the crowds and head over in November before summer truly kicks in. Whether you embark on a scenic self-drive or an escorted tour, discover Hobart the gateway to historic Port Arthur, the wildlife of Bruny Island and the breathtaking Wineglass Bay in Freycinet. 2. New Zealand With November being the last month of Spring, visiting New Zealand in November brings the warmth of summer and the blooming spring landscape. From escorted touring to motorhome, self-drive to wildlife viewing, New Zealand has something for every traveller. Eat, drink and be merry at the annual Dunedin Craft Beer Festival, go out with a bang on Bonfire night or go hiking, fishing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, skydiving and more before the busy high season begins. 3. Cape Town, South Africa Marking the beginning of South Africa’s summer, the average temperature in November is 18°C. It is the perfect time to drive the Garden Route, and you can still see whales off the coast before they migrate south. Expect short downpours of rain in Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal, this means fewer visitors on your safari trip. I recommend discovering the Garden Route and Safari on a self-drive tour arriving in Cape Town, driving east to Paarl, then Oudtshoorn and onto Kynsna. 4. The Florida Keys, USA These small islands off the coast of Miami are connected by one long highway, the last leg of the country-spanning US-1. Unlike other parts of the United States, The Florida Keys have consistently warm temperatures. Popular areas included Key Largo and Islamorada with Key West being the most well-known of the 800 ‘keys’. 5. Mauritius Famed for its palm-fringed beaches, crystalline waters and volcanic mountain backdrops, Mauritius is undeniably a luxurious beach getaway, but there’s so much to explore on the island. Experience stunning beaches, authentic cuisine, and championship golf courses. Located 1250 miles off the African coastline, why not pair an island stay with Cape Town and enjoy some beach time after your touring holiday. Two holidays in one trip, what could be better?
30 September 2022
TOP HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS TO GO IN OCTOBER Travelling in October has so many advantages. Not only does this month fall in the off-peak season prices, but it's also less crowded as the kids are back at school, the weather is still good and it's the perfect month to escape the daily grind to discover a new extraordinary destination. For this month, my top 5 holiday destinations to visit in October are Manitoba, Yukon, Queensland, New England and the Maldives. 1. Manitoba, Canada - Manitoba Polar Bears Known as the “polar bear capital of the world”, Manitoba is also home to wolves, caribou, moose, beluga whales, three species of bears (polar, black and grizzly), Arctic and coloured fox, wolverine, beaver, pine marten and a myriad of bird life. Located in the heart of Canada, discover hundreds of beautiful lakes, world-class museums, the Northern Lights and its untouched natural beauty. Manitoba is a real alternative for well-travelled Canadian adventurists wanting to avoid streams of tourists. 2. Yukon, Canada - Yukon Northern Lights Situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, next to Alaska, the Yukon is Canada’s most accessible northern destination. Home to Canada’s highest mountain (Mount Logan) and the planet’s largest non-polar icefields located in Kluane National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage site - breathtaking doesn't describe the vastness of the beauty! In fact, close to 80% remains pristine wilderness with 5,000-metre peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife. The first thing that springs to mind when you think of Yukon is the Northern Lights and the fascinating gold rush history along the North Klondike. 3. Queensland, Australia Australia’s “Sunshine State” is home to some of the icons of Australian life; the long sandy beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, Fraser Island and the cosmopolitan city of Brisbane. Then there are the true delights in the north; the Atherton Tablelands where the platypus is found, the tropical rainforests running down to the Coral Sea and the gem of them all, the Great Barrier Reef. No visit to Australia can be complete without a trip to this multi-coloured underwater paradise. 4. New England, USA - New England in fall With so many places to discover, New England is the perfect destination in Autumn. Taste the fresh seafood in New England and drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National park. Experience breathtaking views of mountain ranges and pristine forests with beautiful autumn colours. In addition, don't miss out on the spectacular scenery of the White Mountains, the “rooftop of New England,” a landscape dotted with historic villages and enchanting covered bridges. 5. The Maldives - Niyama Private Island Resort Maldives The Crescent Discover the ultimate in-island escapism and barefoot luxury with a holiday to the Maldives. Warm clear blue sea, colourful atolls and palm-fringed pure white sand beaches. Spread over 90,000 square kilometres, this idyllic string of Indian Ocean islands is the ultimate luxury beach holiday destination. The crystal-clear water and shallow lagoons are perfect for snorkelling, whilst the reef walls offer a fabulous collection of sea life for more experienced divers. The islands have a vast variety of marine life, with colourful corals and hundreds of different fish species including rays, moray eels and even whale sharks. The varied topography, great natural beauty, perfect weather, and cultural diversity make the Maldives the perfect destination to go to in October.
09 December 2022
Having been fortunate enough to be invited to cruise with Holland America to the Norwegian their new Fjords as part of the naming ceremony for their new ship ‘Rotterdam’ I was intrigued to see what she and Holland America offered the luxury cruise market and I’m delighted to say I wasn’t disappointed. She’s a truly stunning vessel, medium sized and very easy to navigate the various entertainment venues, bars and dining options available during the trip. The art collection onboard is extensive and each of the lift lobbies, stairwells and many public areas feature quirky and though-provoking items that often catches your eye. The ship has a beautiful 2-storey main dining room at the aft of the ship that is centred around a striking, sweeping art sculpture. Open for breakfast, lunch (sea days) and dinner, with plenty of variety each day to avoid having the same meal twice!! The Lido Market is the onboard buffet and features a range of themed cooking stations – breakfast featured the usual fare of fruits, baked goods, cooked-to-order eggs/omelettes. Lunch featured made-to-order salads, various meats, vegetables, fresh sushi, Mexican cuisine, sandwiches. In the evening one of the speciality restaurants – Canaletto – is conveniently located next to the Lido Market Casual dining is also available by the pool. The Dive In Burger is well known as one of the best burgers at sea – these are all cooked to order and are complimentary (ideal for a quick bite after a morning shore excursion). There’s also a handmade pizza/sandwich bar. There’s plenty of speciality options: Canaletto offers Italian fare and specialises in larger, sharing plates. Tamarind has an extensive Asian-fusion menu plus the restaurant offers a small, sushi bar with delicious food prepared freshly to order (My personal favourite of the specialty dining experiences) Pinnacle Grill is the steakhouse and has everything a carnivore could desire (my tip would be try this at lunch on a sea day, a cheaper cover charge but still an amazing menu and experience). And Rudi’s Sel de Mer where the feel is a chic, Parisian seafood restaurant. The food and service were superb and easily worth the approx. $50 surcharge (the other speciality options are generally much cheaper). Rotterdam doesn’t feature a traditional theatre but the ‘World Stage’ a circular stage with large screens that wrap 180 degrees around it offers song and dance shows of extremely high quality. There’s an exclusive at-sea partnership with BBC Earth and this was a spectacular way to spend an evening in the ‘World Stage’ - you get to see some of the most amazing scenes from recent BBC documentaries and a soundtrack, created specifically for Holland America, is played live by the onboard 5 piece ‘orchestra.’ Many bars also feature live music, plus this ship features the Music Walk where you’ll find Rolling Stone Rock Room, Billboard Onboard (featuring duelling pianos) and the Lincoln Center Stage & B.B. King’s Blues Club, each offering a distinct style of music until the early hours... something for everyone The cabins and suites are tastefully decorated, I was lucky to be allocated a Vista Suite which came with a queen-size bed, spacious veranda, floor to ceiling glass doors and a large sitting area. Room service is complimentary 24 hrs/day and the stateroom TV features free of charge on-demand movies. Rotterdam feels modern and luxurious and there’s a touch of the Holland America Dutch feel to her. If you want clever, well-designed voyages where the focus is on destination discovery, a wide variety of on-board activities with a relaxed atmosphere than found on larger ships and brands, superb food and a mix of international guests - Holland America would be an excellent choice.
16 July 2020
Why now is the perfect time to review your Travel Policy During these strange times its often travel spend that is first on the list of cutbacks. Reducing or limiting travel and adapting to new technologies might and could well be the new normal but nothing will ever beat face to face relationships. One thing you can be sure of is that if you’re not sitting in front of your clients someone will be. So, now is the ideal time to review or if you’ve not got one put in place a Travel Policy. Worldwide travel is disrupted, there’s no escaping that but you can be prepared and ready to spring back into action by updating or implementing your Travel Policy now. Demonstrate to your clients and employees how much they mean to you and that you’ve future proofed your travel plans to ensure their needs are met. Experience tells me that companies who implement a travel policy not only save a huge amount of time and money, they have more satisfied staff who know where they stand whilst representing their company on their travels. And, let’s not forget the client, the biggest reason why you travel. Its so important to maintain and build those personal interactions with face to face meetings where you can increase understanding and reduce miscommunication. The objective of a Travel Policy should be to ensure that the travel requirements of your company are managed in a manner which: - - Has concern for the welfare and safety of your employees travelling on behalf of the Company - Fulfils the needs of the business - Fulfils the requirements of the traveller - Maintains cost effectiveness and ensures that best value for money is achieved at the least level of inconvenience to travellers. - Takes maximum advantage of agreements with all major airlines and hotel chains. Be ready for the future and don’t let a rival sit in front of your client. Contact me to discuss your current policy or to learn more about setting up a Travel Policy. Telephone – 01704 877893 Arrange a Zoom meeting Email firstname.lastname@example.org Socially Distanced Appointment
21 November 2019
Thinking about making the leap from a mainstream mega-ship to a more intimate luxury vessel? Here's my favourite Luxury Cruise Lines Regent Seven Seas Cruises® offer the MOST inclusive luxury experience. This is cruising as it was meant to be where everything is included; return flights and transfers, unlimited shore excursions, all fine dining and beverages, unlimited Wi-Fi and even gratuities and service charges - without exception, without compromise. Carrying 490-750 guests, their four perfectly sized, ultra-luxury, all-suite, all-balcony* ships offer spectacular gourmet restaurants and with an enviable staff-to-guest ratio that makes queuing and waiting a thing of the past, there’s no better way to experience luxury travel. With Regent Seven Seas Cruises® your customers really can have it all. Silversea Cruises focus on the truly upmarket, luxurious end of cruising. The ships of the Silversea cruise line are purpose-built to meet and indeed exceed the demands of luxury clients. Silversea cruises are among the very best, as has been reflected in the numerous prestigious awards the line has received over the past several years. While most cruise ships keep getting bigger and bigger, there is something uniquely satisfying about the smaller ships. The intimacy, the close-knit camaraderie, and the excitement of exploring secluded, rarely seen harbours are where true adventure lies. That is why Silversea Cruises continue to sail against the trends with intimate boutique ships that offer a meaningful and life-enriching travel experience for their guests. Distinct among luxury cruise lines, Silversea personalises a variety of “big-ship” activities with small-ship ambience. Choose to join the daily happenings or decide to do nothing at all. All suites have ocean views, and most include a private teak veranda. Regardless of the ship or suite category, all guests will be pampered with the personalised services of an attentive butler. Cruising with Seabourn is unlike any other form of travel. The experience is luxurious, yet relaxed... elegant, yet casual... sumptuous, yet understated. These intimate ships, each accommodating no more than 600 guests, are the perfect blend of glamorous elegance, impeccable service, exquisite cuisine and highly personalised worldwide destination experiences, earning Seabourn some of the most coveted awards in travel. In May 2018, a 5th ship, Seabourn Ovation arrived, crowning a fleet that is already the newest, most modern and most acclaimed in ultraluxury. From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well. Celebrity Cruises fleet of elegant, modern ships combines relaxing accommodation, award-winning cuisine and outstanding service - taking your customers to the world’s top cruise destinations in unparalleled style. Celebrity Cruises offer voyages to worldwide destinations including Alaska, the Caribbean, Australia and the Far East. They also sail directly from the UK to Europe and the Mediterranean during the summer months. Celebrity’s five stunning Solstice Class ships have taken Celebrity Cruises brand of modern luxury to extraordinary new heights and have been lauded as ‘a new benchmark in cruise ship design’ by the International Interior Design Association. Each Solstice Class ship features a host of innovations and attractions, from the ice-frosted Martini Bar to the rejuvenating AquaSpa by Elemis® and the top-deck Lawn Club - a half-acre of freshly manicured real grass. Celebrity’s Millennium Class ships have recently undergone a $140 million revitalization, taking them to the same superlative standard. Discerning travellers choose Crystal cruises. From the moment you step on board, and friendly smiles welcome you to your home upon the sea, you’ll find that the difference is in the details. Experience life on board Crystal Cruises and two of the world’s most luxurious cruise liners with the award-winning Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Consistently recognised as one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines, Crystal Cruises offer lavishly appointed stateroom and suite accommodation, delightful cuisine from around the world and friendly, attentive service. It’s the little details that make the difference - and with Crystal Cruises, singular attention is paid to every aspect of a customers holiday. The Cunard Line has carried guests on voyages around the world in unparalleled style for over 170 years. Cunard cruises offer traditional British elegance, gourmet cuisine and luxurious accommodation, all enhanced by their renowned White Star Service. Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria offer voyages direct from Southampton to a variety of destinations including Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Asia and Australia while Cunard Line’s magnificent flagship Queen Mary 2 remains the only cruise liner to still operate regular Transatlantic voyages between Southampton and New York. Azamara Club Cruises exemplifies destination cruising at its finest, with two elegant and intimate ships offering voyages to some of the world’s most enchanting locales. Azamara Club Cruises will take your customers to the more off-the-beaten-track destinations, with more overnight stays in port and more time to explore and experience the local culture and hidden treasures, far from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hotspots and in the company of knowledgeable experts. Once in a lifetime experiences are a key feature of Azamara Club Cruises. Your customers will be immersed in the sophisticated luxury and comfortably relaxed atmosphere on board, as they visit inspired destinations across the globe. No matter where in the world, your customers will feel at home on an Azamara ship, thanks to the hand-crafted ambience and personalised service that are the cruise line’s hallmark.
19 November 2019
Ever wondered which cruise operator would be best for your family holiday but never knew where to start - here's my favourites! Royal Caribbean International At Royal Caribbean, family comes first. They've thought of every little detail to give you an unforgettable family holiday, from start to finish. Discover breath-taking family holiday destinations around the world, staying in family-friendly staterooms or suites. There are slides, pools and splash parks, a carousel, rock climbing, ice skating, surfing, ziplining, video games, bumper cars and more. And with almost everything included in the one price, you know you’re always getting great value for money. Disney Cruise Line A Disney cruise brings families together to create long-lasting memories with original, musical live shows, dazzling deck parties, incredible destinations like a private island and so much more. Behold Broadway-quality live shows, dance beneath fireworks at a Pirate-themed deck party and come face-to-face with popular Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters. Looking for a relaxing retreat or an extravagant suite? All staterooms feature innovative comforts and modern amenities for families looking to travel the high seas in high style. Savour artfully-prepared, gourmet specialities, abundant buffets and quick-service bites inside restaurants peppered with Disney magic and delight in the convenience of 24-hour room service. Splash it up with the entire family in themed pools and at aqua play areas and make waves riding twisting water slides. At Disney Castaway Cay exclusive to Disney Cruise Line Guests, you’re invited to find your place in the sun at our expansive family beach, snorkel in sparkling lagoons, glide down water slides and feast on a mouthwatering barbecue lunch. MSC Cruises Your children are always made to feel special on MSC Cruises also designed for kids. From activities like excursions, to clubs and events that give both kids and their parents time for themselves and an opportunity to make new friends. MSC Cruises is a family company and pay special attention to the needs of children and their parents. Along with activities that the whole family can enjoy together, they have a number of kid’s clubs onboard all their ships with dedicated activities and facilities. Some kids clubs are developed together with LEGO® and Chicco, to entertain kids of all ages from toddlers to teens. Norwegian Cruise Line Experience an unforgettable family holiday with Norwegian Cruise Line. From dodge ball to cupcake decorating, there are lots of activities all over their ships for every age group. Plus, kids can learn to juggle at Circus School in Splash Academy and teens have the coolest themed parties in Entourage - the complimentary youth programmes. These are the moments you’ll remember. Cruise Norwegian and see why they were voted Best Family Experience by Travel Weekly. P&O Cruises Why not try out their range of family-friendly ships and kids clubs included in the price of your holiday? Each ship will be slightly different, but you'll still find enthusiastic and qualified Reef Rangers in each Reef club, with programmes and activities suited to the age group. School holiday cruises for you - there's a selection of family-friendly cruises in the school holidays, from half-term breaks and summer holidays to Easter escapes and Christmas cruises, you can find the perfect cruise holiday for all the family to enjoy. Celebrity Cruises Onboard Celebrity Cruises® there are activities and venues designed for every age group. The fully customisable Camp at Sea programme features uniquely designed activities, meaning your kids will enjoy a new Camp at Sea experience on every Celebrity cruise. Add in family-friendly dining options, sports courts, pool-volleyball, and shore excursions, and you've got the perfect family holiday. They'll take care of your crew so you can relax. Discover your perfect family holiday across the Easter or summer school holidays onboard this award winning fleet, including brand new Celebrity Apex. Princess Cruises Princess makes it easy to sail together in comfort. There is a wide selection of staterooms accommodating up to four guests, and you’ll enjoy substantial savings on your third and fourth guests. There are also connecting stateroom options, as well as Two Bedroom Family Suites, with room for up to eight guests, which offer more living space, a balcony and two bathrooms, including a full bath tub. Get more out of your family holiday when you sail with Princess. Instead of amusement park attractions on board, Princess offers a variety of programs that brings the colours, cultures and flavors of the places you visit on board, as well as ashore through immersive shore excursions. From Discovery at SEA activities to local cuisine, regional entertainment and mind-expanding activities, you'll see the world in a whole new way and come back new.
18 April 2019
One of the benefits of this job is that I get to visit some amazing places to help me promote, sell and recommend to my clients and earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Boston. It's a beautiful city and I got to see it from a different angle and one I would recommend - by bicycle with Urban AdvenTours. The Urban AdvenTours Boston City View Bicycle Tour is a classic tour for those looking to get a great overall introduction to Boston. On this tour, you will discover the unique character and charm of each community up close, in person, only possible by bicycle. This comprehensive tour covers all of Boston’s best sites, including: Historic Fenway Park, the Christian Science Center, Boston Common, the beautiful brownstones in Back Bay and the South End, the Rose Kennedy Greenway – Boston’s newest public park, the Charles River Esplanade, the North End – Boston’s oldest residential, Italian neighbourhood, and Copley Square, where you’ll see the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and the John Hancock building! From the bustling streets of downtown, to the serene bike paths on the Charles River, this tour truly brings you the Best of Boston by bicycle It's very easy going and one I would recommend for all ages (one small hill to negotiate). The guides are extremely informative and ensure everyone is safe and not left behind! It's a good half day with regular stops for photos, explanations and questions. Seeing it this way allows you to understand the history and get your bearings to help you explore the rest of this city on foot. If you'd like to discover more about this trip, Boston or Massachusetts please get in touch.
27 November 2018
I had the opportunity recently to visit Canada, specifically Ontario and Quebec, to experience this amazing country first hand. And it really didn’t disappoint! The itinerary ahead was packed, spending 1 night each in Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Gatineau-Ottawa, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Montreal. We were met at Toronto Airport and whisked away for the hour and a half car journey to Niagara Falls for our overnight stay at the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel where we had Falls View rooms (an absolute must, views are stunning day and night) After a short walk around the Falls to take in the atmosphere, noise and sheer enormity of this wonderful attraction we had dinner at Element on the Falls restaurant located inside of the Table Rock Complex. Each evening at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured masterpiece and I got the opportunity to change these at the Illumination Tower next to Queen Victoria Place, not a well-known attraction but good fun and adds to the magic of the trip. Our first full day in Canada was amazing and filled with so many wonderful memories. Starting with breakfast at Doc Mulligans next to the Best Western Cairn Croft, its reputation goes before it and claims to serve the best breakfast in Niagara (it was pretty good to fair!) First up after breakfast was the Journey Behind the Falls experience were the sound is like thunder and the sight is awe-inspiring (and you get very wet, use the ponchos provided) after drying off it was time to get up close and personal with the Falls from the front and Hornblower Niagara Cruises provide this. A 30-minute boat tour of the great gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and you really do get up close to the thundering water, awesome power and amazing mist of the mighty Horseshoe Falls. (again, the ponchos are a must). Lunch today was at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, based in the Embassy Suites and providing more stunning views of the Falls (I recommend the Prime Rib – delicious). If seeing the Falls from behind, upfront and personal wasn’t enough the other alternative is from above and Niagara Helicopters offer this stunning experience. The flight lasts approx. 10 minutes and is another memory of a fantastic day I’ll never forget. Niagara Falls is beautiful and if you’re visiting Toronto then take a night or two out of your itinerary to visit this amazing place. Overnight was spent at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, perfect location in the city, opposite Union Station. This landmark hotel is perfect for downtown shopping, entertainment and sightseeing. An exciting, modern destination and a gateway to Canada, Toronto is where the excitement is! It’s Canada’s largest city, most visited destination, where people come for big ticket events. It’s the country’s entertainment and cultural centre, with the most restaurants, music, culture, festivals, and sports. And the CN Tower remains the thrilling architectural marvel at the heart of it all! Diverse, progressive, and innovative, Toronto is modern Canada at its best. People from around the world call Toronto home, bringing with them new ways of thinking, seeing and experiencing the world. So, it’s no surprise that Toronto is also one of the most progressive and innovative cities in the world. Take in St. Lawrence Market, one of the world’s great markets. And a visit to the Distillery Historic District, a neighbourhood that’s a national historic site, a favourite destination for locals and tourists and contains numerous cafes, restaurants and shops. No visit to Toronto is complete without going up the CN Tower. Defining the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower is Canada's most recognizable and celebrated icon - must see for anyone visiting Toronto. Spectacular views from floor-to-ceiling panoramic window walls, a world-famous glass floor, SkyPod and glass fronted elevators with glass floor panels and EdgeWalk is the CN Tower’s most thrilling attraction in its history, and the first of its kind in North America. It is the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 5 ft (1.5 m) wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356m/1168ft (116 storeys) above the ground. Next door to the CN Tower is Toronto’s newest iconic attraction, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Immerse yourself in a world of 15,000 aquatic animals and discover your own underwater adventure. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada features North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel, more than 5.7 million litres of water and over 100 interactive opportunities including three touch pools featuring horseshoe crabs, sharks, and rays. This awe-inspiring attraction consists of nine carefully curated galleries showcasing a cross-section of saltwater and freshwater environments from around the world. Tonight, we head to Ottawa for an overnight stay at the Ottawa Marriott. We took the Via Rail service from Toronto, a gentle 5-hour train journey with meals and refreshment included in the First-Class service. Very comfortable, it’s a great way to relax and unwind and see the Canadian countryside. The next day we took advantage of a local city tour provided by See Our City Services who provide number of services that welcome visitors to Canada's capital! These services include step-on guides for city tours, historical walking tours, customized sightseeing tours, meet and greet services and destination representatives for the delivery of single and multi-day itineraries. See Our City Tour Services takes pride in delivering high-quality services by showcasing the city's landmarks and presenting the history, culture and tradition that make Ottawa so unique. Canada is all about nature. The beautiful vistas and wildlife you expect to see, and a visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature is perfect. Just minutes from Parliament Hill, the Museum features world class galleries: See iconic mammals, Canada’s original collection of dinosaur fossils; an enormous blue whale skeleton; and a new Arctic Gallery that opened June 2017. Also, worth a visit is the Canadian Museum of History. You can discover the Canadian Museum of History’s new signature exhibition, the Canadian History Hall. Occupying more than 40,000 square feet, the Hall traces Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day. Through authentic artefacts and fascinating stories, come face to face with the events, movements and personalities that have shaped this country.
27 November 2018
The second half of the trip focused on Quebec....... A short distance outside Ottawa is Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa. Imagine a place so serene, yet so conveniently close to Canada's capital. First built in 1838, the Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa is now a charming, four-star country boutique hotel surrounded by the splendid Gatineau Park and the picturesque village of Wakefield. It offers 42 unique guest rooms, a dining room specializing in fine cuisine québécoise, The Heron Room Bistro restaurant, a full-treatment spa with outdoor massage tent, two outdoor hot tubs and swimming pool, as well as a cosy fireplace lounge. Not far from here is the stunning Nordik Spa-Nature. Located at the entrance of Gatineau Park, only 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa-Gatineau, Nordik Spa-Nature is a relaxation haven. Focusing on treatments and rituals inspired by Scandinavian countries, Nordik Spa-Nature offers a truly reviving experience surrounded by nature. Nordik Spa-Nature is the largest spa in North America. This evening was spent across the river from Ottawa at the Best Western Plus Gatineau-Ottawa Hotel it offers an incomparable panoramic view of the national capital, the BW PLUS Gatineau-Ottawa is in the heart of Gatineau-Ottawa region. Today was another one of those days that you don’t forget in a hurry, a visit to the beautiful Parc Omega where you can follow a winding 15-km road through this 890-hectare wildlife park (the only one of its kind in Quebec) and observe wild animals in their natural habitat. You'll see bison, wapiti, bears, fallow deer, white-tailed deer, moose, wild goats, wolves, and more! If brunch is your thing then a visit and stay at the Fairmont le Château Montebello is a must, conveniently located halfway between Montreal and Ottawa, the world's largest log castle truly represents what you would expect of a "true Canadian experience". Beautiful surroundings and year-round activities offer over 40 exciting adventures. Lunch is served in the most spectacular and largest log cabin of the world, each of the recipes is filled with simplicity and freshness, offering many varieties of flavours and colours where regional recipes prevail. If those two experiences weren’t enough then you must visit the sugar shack Sucrerie de la Montagne where the family that own it make it a wonderful experience. These traditional log cabins are set in a 120-acre maple forest attached to a sugar shack that holds demonstrations of maple syrup production. Overnight tonight is at the Château Vaudreuil, a stone throw from Montreal. This waterfront hotel offers tranquillity, breath-taking lake views and charming French castle ambience. The 116 suites capture the essence of simple elegance and charm in a beautiful natural setting. Surrounded by 25 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens and grounds at the edge of Lac des Deux Montagnes, Château Vaudreuil is only 45-min from Montreal. If you want to understand how Canada developed then a visit to the Exporail, Canadian Railway Museum helps. Established in 1961 the museum maintains the largest collection of railway equipment in Canada with over 140 pieces of rolling stock. Our last stop on this whistle stop tour of Quebec is at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal and one of the best views of the city can be had opposite the hotel from the Observatoire Place Ville Marie where you can see Montreal from the top! A unique viewpoint of the city, 185 meters above ground. The Old Montreal district is lovely neighbourhood, plenty of restaurants to choose from and you can Take a seat in La Grande Roue de Montréal for an unforgettable experience. A panoramic view 60 meters high, with a breath-taking view of the river, Old Montreal, downtown and the mountains! The final day before flying home was spent exploring this beautiful city and worthy of a visit are: - Golden Square-Mile - Once home to Canada's Anglophone, predominantly Scottish, upper class, this beautiful neighbourhood—named for the square mile it covered—is lined with gorgeous Victorian homes, leafy parks and trees and a plethora of architectural masterpieces. Mont-Royal – The Mountain - A true forest in the heart of the city, Mount Royal Park is a popular spot among Montrealers. Westmount - Bordering the western edge of downtown, Greene Avenue has a typically British aura, with red brick sidewalks adorned with magnificent flowers. Outremont - The Outremont neighbourhood of Montreal conjures up images of beautiful parks, large, tree-lined streets and dreamy mansions. It is also a great neighbourhood for a culinary outing with friends or family or a day of shopping in its chic boutiques. Wander along Bernard Street and Laurier Avenue West in Outremont - Both of these arteries are renowned for their French cachet and their many boutiques. Gourmet shops and bakeries selling fine chocolates, fresh breads and local cheese also dot the streets, while their array of restaurants and cafés are the perfect place to indulge and linger. We crammed a lot into 6 nights, and it was worth it. I left Canada with some amazing memories and can highly recommend visiting each destination for an amazing experience. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and if you’d like me to tailor make your perfect trip to Canada please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more inspiring holiday ideas and offers please visit and like my Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/DavidAshworthTC/
25 September 2018
The flights and hotel have been booked for ages and finally the time is here for our flight to Palermo, Sicily from our local airport (Liverpool). Not a great start as the conveyor belt was broken so after two long queues we finally cleared security and had a brisk 20 minutes to check out duty free before boarding our flight with EasyJet. The flight was great, took off on time and landed 20 minutes early. The scenery and coastline of Sicily as you land in Palermo is absolutely stunning and really whets your appetite for the time ahead. We’ve hired a car, this time for the week, and plan on seeing a little of Sicily along with a few lazy days around the pool. The car hire collection was seamless and within 15 minutes we were out of the airport heading along the coast to our base for the week, Citta Del Mare Holiday Village just 20 minutes from the airport. The holiday village is a large resort of low rise buildings with plenty of facilities and entertainment for everyone. A couple of pools, tennis courts, volleyball court, 5 aside pitch, water slides into the sea, hourly entertainment programme, water sports plus plenty of sunbeams are just a few of activities on offer. Our room is close to reception and is large but basic and boasts a lovely sea view from the massive balcony/terrace. A large double bed and two singles for the kids, air conditioning plus dressing table and TV make up the room as well as a basic bathroom with shower. The rooms are clean and bright and will do us for the week. Our first afternoon is spent around the large Olympic sized swimming pool and it’s not long before the afternoon entertainment programme starts with water aerobics followed by dancing lessons by the pool bar finished off with water polo. The pool bar does what it says on the tin offering drinks and snacks throughout the day. The snacks mainly consisting of local sandwiches and paninis. As is tradition for us the evening starts with a sundowner watching the sunset and this was just as beautiful as anywhere we’ve been, the sun setting over the mountains across the bay from our hotel. Day two and after a little lie in we head to breakfast, again buffet style with usual offerings of bread, cheese, fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, bacon, bread, croissants, jams, juices etc. A lazy day today, we found a great space by the large pool and relax for the morning and join in with the occasional pool activity. Joanne and Lauren take part in the dancing by the pool bar. This afternoon Corey and I take an afternoon stroll to explore the complex and find the kids pool and second pool, crazy golf and the pontoon complex. The pontoon was a nice stroll down but hard work coming back up the hill, even Corey found it a strain on the legs. Down at the pontoon is access to the sea along with the toboggan set of pools down to the sea. Corey gave these a bash later in afternoon and had tremendous fun. There’s also plenty of sunbeds and a small snack bar if you want to stay down for the morning, afternoon or all day if you wished. Day three was an early start as we drove to Palermo. Simple enough and straightforward from the hotel to the edge of Palermo (approx. 40 minutes) and then the fun begins where it’s each man (or car) for himself. You learn quickly to go with the flow and stick to your guns when choosing a lane or direction. We headed for the Marina where there’s free parking (be careful, there are hustlers trying to take money off you to look after your car). We then had a 15-minute walk to the Ballaro Market, a pretty large open-air street market selling fresh fruit, veg, meats, fish, spices household goods etc. It’s noisy - each stall owner trying to get you to their stall. It’s a great experience. Morning snack was an ice cream and here we witnessed the famous Sicilian tradition of ice cream in a bread bun - we didn’t have one but plenty of others did. Next, we headed to the cathedral and it’s stunning, plenty of history with all different religions having laid claim to it at one time or another in the past but the crowning glory is the rooftop walk. It’s €5 per person and a lung busting walk to the top but boy is it worth it, amazing panoramic views of the city. Next, we visited the palace a very short walk from the cathedral and then under the palace’s shadow we lunched at a traditional trattoria. Finally, we walked the length of the main street in Palermo back to the harbour before heading back to our accommodation. It’s a lovely city, lots of personality and well worth a city break. There’s lots of little side streets to explore and, as you’d expect, for Italy the architecture is beautiful. The rest of the afternoon is spent around the Olympic pool with Corey heading to the toboggan slides for more fun. Day four was a lazy morning by the pool for us all. For lunch today, we head out to one the coves along the coast, a small beach called Piano Inferno Marina, a restaurant/snack bar at each end a couple of restaurants in the car park. Most of the property seems to be holiday villas or personal homes. A simple 10-minute drive that even I managed to get right (just about) along the coast and the views were stunning. We’ve split up early afternoon, mother and daughter time around the Olympic pool whilst I supervise adrenaline boy on the toboggan slides. Day Five was a real lazy day today, as we just stayed around the pool all day. On day six we spent the morning by the pool before heading out for lunch to Castellammare del Golfo, 20 minutes down the coast and rumoured to be the prettiest harbour/marina in Sicily. It’s difficult to disagree. Small windy streets take you down to the harbour where there’s houses and hotels built up the hillside overlooking the stunning marina which is lined either side by restaurants and cafes. It’s really beautiful and I’d love to wake up in one of the small hotels overlooking the marina and sit on my balcony watching the world go by. On day seven we enjoyed a morning by the pool followed by lunch in Trappeto, a large fishing village in a bay opposite the hotel, approx. a 15-minute drive away. A lovely promenade with restaurants and bars. Back to the hotel for the afternoon.
16 July 2018
With this glorious weather we’ve been having, we decided to take a short break and see some of the beautiful countryside we have here in the UK. We’re normally your traditional Lake District visitors, sticking to the usual hot spots, but we decided to try our hand a little further afield and booked a three-night break with Hoseasons on the border of the Lake District in the Cumbrian Valley with stunning views of the Pennines. It was perfect for us and something onsite to keep us all entertained, an outdoor pool, bistro and bar area, games arcade and play areas. In the local area is a golf course and plenty of opportunities to go fishing. Plus, the area is ideal for walking and cycling. From the site we walked for about four miles in a round trip to a stunning waterfall called Rutter Falls. The view was amazing - a nice reward after the little stroll. Appleby in Westmorland is a short drive away and this beautiful market town is a pretty as any other in the Lake District. Slightly further away is Kirkby Stephen and this has great little railway station that is currently being restored and has a steam train that you can ride on for a short journey (Stainmore Railway). There was plenty of other places of interest in the area but in the short time we had there this kept us busy and it’s a great way to keep tourism going here in the UK.
28 June 2018
I was looking forward to this trip. After recent back surgery this short break was a chance to re-charge the batteries and put the past few months behind us. Also, it was the first package holiday abroad we took as a family in the Eighties. My parents used to live in the area and they were keen to show off their old haunt. We loved it then, but would my kids love it now? Going back to a place you went as a teenager with your own children left me feeling a little nervous. What’s changed over the thirty years? Is Cascais still the same little fishing village? Are the egg custards as good now as they were then? Is Lisbon as accessible as you remember it? Will my kids love the food it as much as I did? Will I still love the place? – these plus many more questions were bothering me before we went. I needn’t have worried, it’s still beautiful! Let me tell you more about it. We flew out Monday evening from our local airport – Liverpool to Lisbon and, credit where credits due, EasyJet were superb. As we boarded our little bus to shuttle us from the terminal to the aircraft we were ushered back in to the building, ‘sorry you’re going nowhere for now, more details to follow’. Naturally our hearts sank, we were due to leave at 19.30 and we immediately feared we’d be stuck for hours in the airport or sent home. Unfortunately, one of the cabin crew had fallen ill and the Captain wouldn’t leave without a full complement of cabin crew. Communication from EasyJet was outstanding and within half an hour we were boarding our aircraft whilst we waited for a new crew member to arrive and we departed within the hour to arrive slightly behind schedule in Lisbon. Cascais is only 31 kilometres from Lisbon and after a short 30-minute private transfer, we were checking in to our hotel, the 4* Vila Gale Cascais. We’d booked a Junior Suite and weren’t disappointed - two beds made up in the very spacious lounge area, a separate double bedroom, bathroom and a kitchenette would be perfect for our four-night stay. We woke the following morning to a beautiful sea view from one side of the huge L shaped balcony and a view of the Marina from the other part of the balcony, a great start to the holiday. The next challenge would be breakfast. Will it offer enough variety to satisfy my kids? Again, we weren’t disappointed, breakfast was amazing with a huge choice of hot and cold from full cooked breakfast with egg station to cereals, juices, cold meats and cheeses, pastries etc. The weather was fantastic, not a cloud in the sky for the whole time we were there. Warm enough for Joanne and Lauren to top up their tans for the winter around the hotel pool which had plenty of sunbeds and seating plus a small poolside bar that served well priced tasty lunch and snacks offering local and international dishes. The Vila Gale is located just outside the town centre and is a casual 15-minute stroll into town with some amazing views up the coast towards the Boca do Inferno cliff formations or the luxury yachts of the Marina. There’s a small beach in front of the Hotel Baia as you arrive after your short walk which offers stunning sea views or larger beaches further up the coast towards its neighbour Estoril. There’s plenty to keep you occupied in Cascais from a coffee in a beach bar above the pretty Praia da Rainha beach or wander the pedestrian shopping street of Rue Frederico Arouca to exploring the historic centre filled with shops, restaurants and cafes. Visit the restores Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort, admire the expensive yachts in Cascais Marina, relax in the Parque Marechal Carmona and visit the Santa Marta house and lighthouse. Follow the cliffs of the coastline to the Boca do Inferno or visit the Casa das Historius Paula Rego art museum. Close by is Estoril where you can visit the Casino Estoril and Park Jardim do Estoril and if you fancy venturing a little further afield there is a direct train which connects Lisbon to Cascais which departs from the Cais do Sodré train station in Lisbon. Cais do Sodré is the final stop on the green metro line and is only a short walk from the popular tourist district of Baixa. A single train ticket costs €2.15/€1.10 (adult/child) and is charged to the Viva Viagem card.
26 April 2018
This was the first of many events I’ve got planned to interact with you (my clients) to introduce new ideas, destinations and travel providers that will hopefully inspire your future travel plans and achieve those dreams and help make lots of memories. Kelly-Marie from Regent Seven Seas was my first guest speaker and delivered a wonderful presentation to around 30 guests, who as well a lovely glass of Prosecco on arrival enjoyed Afternoon Tea and the chance to question Kelly-Marie in more detail about Regent Seven Seas. I got the chance to spend some much-valued time with my clients. As an exclusive, they’ve offered Travel Counsellors and my clients a fantastic event offer of ‘up to £500 off selected sailings, plus a low deposit of 10% on all sailings’. You didn’t have to attend the event to take advantage of this amazing deal, so please contact me ASAP to enquire which sailings this offer applies to. Please note this offer is only valid for the next 10 days and will expire on 5th May 2018. Regent Seven Seas pride themselves on being ‘The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience’. They really do offer a wonderful experience - cruising as it was meant to be. Even the most sought-after amenities are included: FREE return flights*, FREE unlimited shore excursions, FREE Wi-Fi, and much more. Guests enjoy unparalleled hospitality and impeccable service by professional staff in a sophisticated ambiance. They delight in the expansive spaciousness of all-suite accommodations, indulge in the exquisite cuisine of the finest dining experience at sea, and explore the world's greatest destinations without limits. Guests really can have it all aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. Regent Seven Seas Cruises Fares includes... • Free return flights • Free return business class flights on European voyages * in Penthouse Suites and above • Free unlimited shore excursions • Free one-night pre-cruise hotel package* • Free unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits • Free open bars and lounges plus in-suite mini-bar replenished daily • Free pre=paid gratuities • Free speciality restaurants • Free transfers between airport and ship* • Free unlimited Wi-Fi • Free 24-hour room service • An extraordinary staff-to-guest of at most 1 to 1.5 • Our intimate, luxurious ships feature no more than 375 suites, resulting in stellar service, no lines and no waiting • All-suite accommodations, 98% with private balconies • World-famous Canyon Ranch Spaclub® Fitness Centre and steam and sauna rooms • A sophisticated ambience and an elegant casual dress code • The comfort of smoke-free environments throughout almost the entirety of the ships • Enticing voyages to more than 450 destinations around the world, aboard perfectly sized ships that can access the world’s most intimate ports that larger vessels cannot reach
15 June 2017
For our latest adventure, we took a last-minute decision to visit a European city during the May half term school holidays. Available from our local airport Liverpool, we saw Berlin had some great flights to make the most of two nights away. Joanne and I had visited Hamburg in the past to visit the Christmas Markets and I’ve been to Munich, but as family we’d never considered Germany for a break. We chose the Novotel Berlin Mitte, located right on the River Spree, only a short walk to Alexanderplatz and the old East Berlin. The hotel welcome was first class. We received a gift for the kids, a map of the city and some tips on how to get around Berlin. Clear directions to the room, which for a family of four was a decent size, which was clean and had everything we needed. A complimentary drink, jar of sweets and a personal welcome note from the manager was left for us in the room, which was a wonderful first impression. Drinks were reasonably priced for a city centre hotel and the bar area was easy to relax in. On the first day, we took a taxi to Brandenburg Gate, where we joined a free two-to-three hour walking tour of the Old East Berlin. It was a brilliant tour showing you the key locations during the Second World War followed by the Cold War. The tour guide was extremely informative, giving some great information on the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Fuhrers Bunker, Topography of Terror, Checkpoint Charlie and finishing in Gendarmenmarkt and the Konzerthaus Berlin. We had lunch in the Gendarmenmarkt square in a lovely and excellent value for money restaurant called Amici., where you can buy full-sized pizza for five Euros. After lunch, we walked to the Humboldt Universcity, home to some of Europe's finest brains over the years, the Berlin Cathedral, the Hackescher Markt, followed by a trip to the top of the TV Tower for some spectacular views of Berlin. To round off the afternoon, we took an early evening river cruise on the Spree, costing 30 Euros for a family ticket. There were some lovely sights and the hour was well narrated. In the evening, we returned to the Hackescher Markt, which contains lots of restaurants to choose from. We ate in a steak house called Escados, a good menu for the whole family, and prices comparable to the UK. To me the Old East Berlin is very relaxing and cultured, people don't seem to be in a rush and there's a lot of cyclists. Despite the traffic and trams, there's plenty of crossing opportunities and walking the city on foot is easy, as all the main attractions are well sign posted. Day two and time to visit the rest of the City that was the Old West. We took the opportunity today to use one of the excellent Hop on Hop Off buses. Firstly, we visited the beautiful park Tiegarten Berlin. Close by is the Victory Column and the Presidents home, Bellevue Palace, then we headed over the Kurfurstendamm, a boulevard where shopaholics are in their element. You’ll find all your favorite brands, countless hotels, restaurants and cafes here. For lunch, we headed to Potsdamer Platz; a bustling square right in the heart of Berlin with plenty of shops and restaurants. Lunch was in a typical German restaurant serving lovely local dishes. The rest of the afternoon we spent on the bus listening to the narration as we went around the city, before returning back to the hotel to check for our flight home. The kids really enjoyed the trip and would have loved to have done the two-and-half-hour river cruise. Next time I’d like to spend more time seeing the countless museums and learning even more about the history of this fascinating city. For me, the highlight was the free guided tour, It was informative, well planned and certainly whet your appetite to explore the rest of the city.
06 April 2017
For our family holiday this year we decided to go back to the Middle East, after visiting Dubai last May we thought we’d try another Emirate resort, Abu Dhabi. We took the opportunity to visit at the end of March beginning of April, the temperatures were perfect for us averaging 35 degrees and not a cloud in sight. Overall, we were away for a week taking advantage of the overnight flights we flew from Manchester and had the full day ahead to relax around the pool. Likewise, on the return flight left Abu Dhabi in the early hours of the morning and were back into Manchester at 07.15am. We wanted to balance our time on day trips and time spent around the pool and found that Yas Island was perfect for this. Only 15 minutes’ transfer from the airport plus Yas Mall, Yas Marina, Ferrari World and Yas WaterWorld were on our doorstep. The Radisson Blu Hotel offered all the facilities we wanted and was well priced for our budget. We spent a couple of days away from the pool and visited Ferrari World and Yas WaterWorld. Ferrari World today is approximately 5 minutes from the hotel and costs 15AED in a taxi. There’s 5 main roller coasters with some smaller rides for the younger members of the family and a few 3D rides. All indoor out of the heat, so very pleasant when having to queue. There’s also plenty of other experiences you can pay a supplement for i.e. change tyres, photo opportunities, drive a Ferrari, race simulators. It has lots of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Each little section has its own souvenir shop. Queues were good the day we visited but I can imagine it gets very busy. Our ticket was a two-day pass for Yas WaterWorld. Yas WaterWorld, again very close to the hotels on Yas Island and will cost up to 15AED in a taxi. We had a lovely day here, something again for all the family. 42 slides and rides for all types of thrills. Lots of sunbeds and shade plus a variety of cafes, snack bars, drinks. Very good value for money if you buy the two-park pass. Eating out in the evening we found plenty of choice at Yas Mall, the second largest Mall in the UAE or with stunning views of the Viceroy Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Marina. Taxis are very cheap in Abu Dhabi and one evening we took one downtown to the Corniche area and visited the Marina Mall. The highlights of the trip for me was our visit to the Grand Mosque, I can't speak highly enough of the free tour at 5pm. It’s in English and explains the building, it’s meaning and existence of the mosque. The tour finishes just before sunset and the place looks stunning as the sunsets behind it. You've then got to have a cocktail in Li Jiang the Asian restaurant at the Ritz. Ask for the outside area and continue to watch the sunset as the Mosque is lit up, completely amazing views. Eating out was reasonably priced, with plenty of choices to suit all budgets and tastes. There was plenty of international restaurants and chains. At Yas Mall try and eat by the Ferrari World entrance and ask for an outside table overlooking the fountains, there’s 5 or 6 restaurants with this view all with different themes. Drinks prices varied depending on where you where, around the pool a beer or cocktail was priced around £7, soft drinks £4. Although the hotel pool bar had a happy hour between 18.00-20.00 each day. The main bar inside the hotel was similarly priced and had 3 different happy hours each evening depending on your choice of drink. Overall, we had a fantastic holiday in Abu Dhabi, perfect temperatures, wonderful flights and service from Etihad Airlines. Because every building and taxi is air conditioned you only feel the heat whilst sunbathing and makes the temperatures extremely bearable. The service at the hotel, in the shops, restaurants and attractions is first class and make this destination perfect for a family holiday.
11 November 2016
For our family holiday this year we visited Dubai for the first time. Using Emirates Airlines we took the overnight flight on the A380 from Manchester. The service, in flight entertainment and overall comfort were excellent and we arrived refreshed and ready to start our holiday. We stayed in the fantastic Ritz Carlton Jumeirah Beach. With its beachfront location and stunning views of the Palm and Dubai skyline we found it perfect for the whole family. The room was plenty big enough for two adults and two children. There are several swimming pools to choose from and an amazing choice of restaurants - we ate in a different restaurant every night but our favourite was the Palm Grill. We had some great days out including Atlantis Waterpark, visiting the shopping malls and took in a city tour. No trip to Dubai is complete unless you visit the Burj Khalifa Tower and stay to watch the daily fountain show in the evening.
11 November 2016
I was lucky enough to visit the capital of the UAE and it is a land of true contrasts. Over the few days I was there I experienced the cultural highlights of Abu Dhabi City and its islands and beauty of the surrounding desert. Our base for the trip was the luxurious Ritz Carlton situated on the Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, 20 minutes from the airport with stunning views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. During the trip we visited some beautiful hotels, each offering something different:- Crowne Plaza Yas Island - Enter the vibrant deep blue, turquoise and gold designed lobby at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island and relax in the lavish spherical booths hanging from the high ceiling or head to your suite for a soothing snuggle in luxury bedding. The Palm, Dubai's spectacular palm-shaped island, is the emirate's pre-eminent landmark and at its apex stands Atlantis, The Palm: a hotel in a class of its own. Emirates Palace - Emirates Palace offers unprecedented luxury in the heart of Abu Dhabi, with a 1.5km private beach, 85 hectares of landscaped gardens, private butlers, 302 luxury rooms and 92 opulent suites. St Regis Saadiyat - Situated on the peaceful shores of Saadiyat Island and only 30 minutes from the airport. 377 rooms and suites, all with balconies, a championship golf course nearby, five swimming pools and the signature St Regis Butler Service, all readily available. There's plenty to see and do in Abu Dhabi and my highlights were:- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s - Home to record-breaking roller coasters! Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Voted one of the Top 10 Must-Visit landmarks of the world by Trip Advisor, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has a capacity for an incredible 40,000 worshippers.
19 June 2013
Disneyland Paris is a fantastic short break for all the family. We drove via the Eurotunnel and stayed at Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch. It's a short five minute drive away from Disneyland and gives you the flexibility of self-catering and the ability to drive to the massive Val d'Europe shopping mall with plenty of restaurants and a huge supermarket. Disneyland Paris at this time of year is amazing - decorated for Halloween with the characters in similar attire. It appeals to all ages, adults included!
19 June 2013
Oktoberfest is a must do for all stag parties, beer enthusiast's or simply for an alternative city break weekend. We stayed in the Winters Munich City Centre Hotel, a 15 minute walk from the festival location and right opposite the train station which offers a direct rail service to the airport. Oktoberfest can only be described as huge! The site itself is massive, a huge fairground with 10 beer tents scattered around. The steins are huge, the food portions huge and the pretzels huge. The atmosphere is amazing; the locals take it very seriously with everyone wearing the local Bavarian costumes. Pre-booking a table is recommended for large parties but smaller groups can get a seat inside or outside the tents.
19 June 2013
This is a wonderful resort for families. This resort is perfect with it’s lovely long sandy beach with plenty of activities, fun parks and entertainment for the younger children, pubs and restaurants with family entertainment and great offers to suit all tastes. We stayed in the Morito Hotel, set back one block from the main street and two blocks from the beach. The family room was great for our needs, the food was excellent and the hotel offered evening entertainment. Cala Bona is a short walk away along the promenade and Sa Coma a couple of minutes away in a taxi or for the more energetic a small bike ride (lots of places to hire in resort). All round it’s great for couples and families.
12 April 2011
The impressive LykiaWorld Antalya is set in a beautiful location overlooking the Mediterranean, with Taurus mountains as its backdrop. It offers a superb range of facilities including waterslides, a vibrant activity pool and a relaxation pool; as well as gourmet cuisine from around the world; plus an extensive spa and wellness centre which provides a haven of relaxation. All this and more ensures that there is no shortage of things to do for both families and couples at this stylish and luxurious holiday resort.
West lancs 25/06/2018
Aldershot Hampshire 16/06/2017
Formby Liverpool 03/12/2015
High Wucombe 13/12/2011
Leighton Buzzard 11/11/2011
Formby, merseyside. 19/10/2011