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  2. Adelaide isn’t called The Festival City for nothing. In the months of February and March, the city comes alive with the sound (and visuals) of the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide and – of course – the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Fringe Festivals take place all over the world – with Adelaide clocking in as the second-biggest (after Edinburgh) as well as the largest in the southern hemisphere. It’s an open-arts festivals where artists and performers of various disciplines can apply and are chosen at random rather than by a panel of curators. March time is – unsurprisingly – Adelaide’s busiest time for visitors, with roughly 2.7 million attendees at 2018’s Fringe Festival. If you’re planning to visit 2019’s Festivals in the city, here’s everything you need to know before you go. When and where? The next Adelaide Fringe Festival will be held between 15th February and 17th March 2019 – with 400 venues participating, Adelaide Festival opens 1st March and runs through to 17th March with the headline performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute and iconic WOMADelaide a 4-day festival celebrating music, arts and dance from 7th to 10th March. If you’re planning on visiting, remember that this is late summer for Adelaide with temperatures reaching highs of a gorgeous 28°C. The city is bursting with culture, flavours, events and entertainment throughout the period and golden beaches can be found on Adelaide’s doorstep. Taste your way through world-famous wine regions only minutes away, soak up the sun, join the party at our immersive festivals and events or spend the night exploring Adelaide attractions and a thriving restaurant and bar scene. Who’s performing? The official guide won’t be released until December, but Adelaide Fringe has confirmed that 125 acts have been booked already. Every year the acts cover a wide range of disciplines ranging from theatre to dance, and comedy shows to cabaret. There are also always shows that cater towards family and children. In the first programme announcement for Adelaide Festival, Barrie Kosky’s electrifying contemporary take on Mozart’s The Magic Flute – a blend of live opera with Tim-Burton-style animation and a silent film aesthetic – is set to be a highlight of the 2019 line-up. How do you book tickets? Individual performers look after their own tickets, but when the schedule is ready it will have links to any online ticket websites, click here for details. There are both free and paid performances. Adelaide Festival tickets can be booked here from 22nd August. Are there any other festivals on at the same time? Yes - it isn’t called Mad March for nothing! The Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide, and Adelaide Festival of Arts are all on at the same time. Are there any side events on? Events are still to be formally announced, but there’s usually an Opening Night Street Party and nightly street markets. How do I get to Adelaide? To get from the UK to Adelaide you will need to stop over somewhere else (perfect excuse for two holidays in one!). The most popular places to stop over are the Middle East and South-East Asia. What should I pack in my day bag? If you’re heading out to a full day of shows, take what you would in your normal handbag. Remember lots of physical money though, as some food vendors won’t have card machines, and some venues won’t allow opened bottles of liquid.
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  5. jack

    Say Hello!

    Hello, my name is Jack and I'm a solo traveller! Nice to meet you all :)
  6. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to India

    India is undoubtedly a bucket list country for many people - but its vast size can be intimidating for first-time visitors. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled the below guide to help you out. Whether your perfect trip to India involves the bustling New Delhi, the beaches of Goa or the beautiful architecture of the Taj Mahal, all your questions should be answered below. Leave us a question if we haven’t covered it. Popular places to visit India is usually best explored as part of a tour - with so many amazing places it would be a shame to stick to just one place. Here are five must-visits. Taj Mahal You can’t visit India and not stop by its most recognisable building. Found on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra, its complex includes a mosque, guest house and formal gardens. New Delhi Home to the world’s biggest Hindu temple, the country’s largest mosque, and South Asia’s largest shopping mall, New Delhi has grown beyond its own boundaries. But it is also a city with a lot of history, having been the capital for at least seven civilizations – each leaving behind its own monuments. And despite its intimidating size, you’ll find plenty of green space too! Jaipur If it’s history that you are looking for then Jaipur definitely needs to be on your list. It was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city and is home to some of India’s best historical sites, including the City Palace, Govind Dev ji Temple, Vidhan Sabha and Birla Temple. Goa Goa is the India destination for anyone looking for a beach! Choose between the contrasting North and South Goa; as a rule, North Goa is for parties on the beach while south Goa is for relaxing on the beach. We’ve previously blogged about the two here so you can pick the best one for you. You can even fly direct to Goa from the UK for a week long beach holiday, but it also make for a nice beach break after the buzz of New Delhi or Mumbai. Kerala India can be a lively place and if you’re looking to unwind after the buzz of New Delhi, Kerala is a great option. Stretching along the south-west coast for 600km, its beaches are white and backed by palm trees, while inland you’ll find fragrant hills where tea and spice grow, as well as tranquil backwaters that have earned the region the nickname “Venice of the East”. Getting there and getting around India’s top five international airports are Delhi Airport, Mumbai Airport, Chennai Airport, Bangalore Airport and Hyderabad Airport. New Delhi remains the busiest airport in India and offers a direct flight to London Heathrow. As we’ve mentioned already, India is a country to tour. One of the most iconic ways to do so is on board the Deccan Odyssey, which offers six inspirational itineraries. All the routes start from Mumbai, and can take you to the beaches of Goa or to the exotic Ellora Caves. Escorted tours are also readily available in India, and you can book many of them through Barrhead Travel (you can see some on our website here, but we have more available if you speak to a Travel Consultant in one of our branches). Other important information India’s currency is the Indian Rupee (INR) and is a closed currency so you’ll need to withdraw cash when you arrive. India is still a cash country so always carry money on you. Remember to haggle! UK visitors need a visa to enter India. You’ll need either a Type C (two-prong plug) or Type D (three-prong plug). Hindi is the official language of India, but English is widely spoken in the major tourist hubs. It is recommended that you discuss vaccinations with your doctor
  7. Ross mc farlane

    Say Hello!

    My name is Ross and my wife and I have just returned from belamadena which was recommended by Colette and Tina from Barrhead travel in Saltcoats. We stayed at the hotel balmoral which was a great hotel for families and couples alike. Staff were very friendly and the food was a good choice of dishes. The hotel was central to all shops bars and transport. They also had a kids club which was a good idea for,younger ones and had two pools one for older people and a smaller one for toddlers. All in all a goos holiday and we could not be happier with the information given by the staff in Barrhead travel in Saltcoats
  8. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to Washington, DC

    Washington, DC requires no introduction. Its monuments, buildings and landmarks have been seen on television sets across the world and are instantly recognisable. But every television broadcast in the world can’t prepare for you for how fascinating the city is in real life. We recommend that everyone should visit at one point in their lives. Here’s our guide to making the most of it. National Mall If it’s historical monuments and museums you want to visit, then you need to head to The National Mall. It’s a lot longer than most people anticipate and it’s a good idea to schedule aside a whole day just to explore. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to visit everything, so here are our top picks. Lincoln Memorial Honour the legacy of the 16th President of the United States, and the man who ended the American slave trade. Found at the western end of National Mall, the famous 19-foot statue of Lincoln attracts the most attention. But remember to admire the neo-classical architecture and visit the museum inside. On the steps, you’ll also find the words “I Have a Dream” engraved on the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr presented his famous and powerful speech. Washington Monument Lying at the other end of the Lincoln Reflection Pool is the tallest structure in all of Washington, DC. It stands at 555ft and took so long to build that the original quarry ran out and you can see the change in colour two-thirds up. Currently, the monument is closed for renovations until 2019, but when it does re-open, you’ll need a ticket to get in and it is generally recommended that you book in advance. Smithsonian Museums The Smithsonian Institution is a world-renowned museum and research complex that consists of 17 museums, galleries and the National Zoo. Access to all of these museums is completely free. Several of them are dotted along the National Mall – including the Smithsonian National Museum of Air and Space, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and National Museum of the American Indian. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum While this is a must-see on National Mall, it is humbling and sometimes difficult to take. The main exhibition starts with the identity cards of Holocaust victims, then their harrowing story is gradually revealed. You also find The Hall of Remembrance, the museum’s official memorial to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. If you’re visiting with children, there’s instead Remember the Children: Daniel's Story. It’s lighter than the main exhibition and tells the story of Daniel, a fictional child based on a collection of true stories about children during the Holocaust. National Gallery of Art Found on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, lies one of North America’s largest art museums. It is comprised of two buildings – that are connected by an underground passage – with the original neoclassical building showcasing European art and the modern East Building exhibiting contemporary pieces. Entry is free, but you’ll need to set aside a good chunk of your day if you want to get around everything. US Capitol Since 1800, this is where both the lower House of Representatives and the Upper Senate meet to debate and write legislation. There’s an underground visitor centre below the East Plaza, which includes a tour of various chambers. In order to watch Congress in Session, however, you’ll need to take your passport to the House and Senate Appointment Desks on the upper level. District Wharf Welcome to Washington, DC’s newest neighbourhood. Set along the waterfront, here you’ll find a mile-long stretch of restaurants, retailers, nightlife, sports and activities for kids. It’s also home to local events, including concerts, food markets, and outdoor yoga sessions. You’ll find it only a few streets along from The National Mall. Food & Drink Washington DC’s foodie scene has a reputation for focusing on power breakfasts and colossal steaks. While these two cuisines are readily available within the city, the city is much more eclectic than its reputation. Many TV chefs have restaurants in the city, and famous-faces are not a rare sight. Washington, DC’s most famous chef is José Andrés and you need to make sure you stop by one of his restaurants - whether it’s Jaleo, Zaytinya, or the upscale Barmini. It also probably comes as little surprise that Washington, DC is also home to 14 restaurants that have earned Michelin Star status. This includes minibar by José Andrés (which specialises in molecular gastronomy), Blue Duck Tavern (featuring a rotating seasonal menu focusing on farm-to-fork), and Métier (a 36-seat restaurant with a $200 seven-course tasting menu). There’s also a diverse mix of international cuisine, including flavours you may not have stumbled upon before. Try Lao food for the first time at Thip Khao, or even Ethiopian at Dukem and Etete. But perhaps the most unique dining experience in Washington, DC is the Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian. The menu contains foods that are indigenous to the Americas from wild salmon and forage mushrooms to bison chilli and fry bread. If you’re unsure where to start, Washington, DC boasts a selection of culinary tours. These range from brewery tours, to trips around different Farmers Markets. With the Family Washington, DC is also a great place to visit with children. Across the city, you’ll find child-friendly museums, open spaces and restaurants with kids’ menus. Here are our top picks! International Spy Museum Kids will love pretending to be their favourite spy character at this interactive museum. There’s an immersive experience called Operation Spy, where the kids play the part of a secret agent who has to retrieve critical intelligence and escape from a high-security compound. Children ages 6 and up get in for free. U.S. Botanic Garden The U.S. Botanic Garden is already a great day out anyway but is extra enjoyable with little ones. Firstly there’s a scavenger hunt where kids have to find specific plants. There’s also a Children’s Garden where your mini-me can jump around in the playhouse, pump water, dig with shovels, water plants and, on occasion, help the staff plant flowers. The National Zoo You can spend an entire day wandering around this 163-acre park that is home to over 2,000 animals (25 per cent of which are endangered). You’ll find it in the residential area of Woodley Park neighbourhood, with the entrance on Connecticut Avenue. It’s part of the Smithsonian Institution, so admission is free. The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned museum and research complex that consists of 17 museums, galleries and the National Zoo. Access to all of these museums is completely free. Madame Tussauds Madam Tussauds requires no introduction, but at Washington, DC you’ll find more historical and political figures than usual – including all 45 U.S. Presidents (alongside your favourite A-list celebrities, like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé). The Daily Grill When it’s time to fuel up, take your little ones to this All-American restaurant. In addition to its extensive kids' menu, it also offers healthy options for the adults. There’s a restaurant in both Dupont Circle and Georgetown. How to get there and finding your way around There are direct flights from the UK to Washington, DC that run multiple times a week – including a non-stop route from Edinburgh to Washington Dulles International Airport with United Airlines. Once you’re there, the Metrorail and Metrobus are the most convenient ways to get around Washington, DC. Though there’s also The DC Circulator bus– which is only $1 per ride and runs six specific routes designed for easy-on, easy-off access to popular sites. But saying that, Washington, DC is a very flat and walkable city. Other important information Summers are hot in Washington, DC and the capital is on the same latitude as southern Europe Many consider spring to be the nicest time of year to visit due to the cherry blossoms. The currency used is the US Dollar English is the national language and widely spoken
  9. Trivanks Vinks

    Travel photography

    I love photography visit The Best & Affordable Sydney Hotels Near Your Location take more click amazing photos.. there also Enjoyment is an indispensable part of human life and without a hint of doubt, no human on this globe can survive without doing activities like travelling and enjoying themselves. As the world has come closer travelling has also surged as an important and wonderful activity for humans. ☺️ http://hugetravelhub.com/sydney-hotels-near-me/
  10. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A foodie’s guide to Costa Rica

    As a destination, Costa Rica has become synonymous with adventure and eco-tourism thanks to its beautiful natural landscape. So it probably comes as little surprise that its food scene is hearty, energising and locally grown. With all the adventure you’ll be experiencing while on holiday in Costa Rica, you’ll require plenty of fuel – so here’s some traditional Costa Rican dishes to treat yourself to. Casado A popular dish with locals is the Casado. The word translates to marriage in English, and is an unpretentious dish that is a balance between rice, beans, meat – it could be fish, chicken or red meat - and green or pasta salad. It’s easy on the purse-strings, but it’s nutritious and will fill you up for a day of exploring. Soda When you wander through Costa Rica looking for somewhere to eat, you’ll see two types of dining establishments: restaurants and sodas. The restaurants are what we are accustomed to in the UK and cater to international tourists. Sodas, however, are a traditional Costa Rican affair where you’ll get served like a local (including the traditional Casado). Fruit It probably comes as no surprise that a tropical country like Costa Rica is ripe with fresh fruit. Some varieties you’ll have heard of (such as mangoes, bananas and coconuts). But some you won’t have – such as guanábana, mamones, guayaba, maracuyá, and granadilla. Make sure you try at least one while on your visit. Coffee Costa Ricans take their coffee very seriously. So much that only one type of coffee bean can be legally grown in Costa Rica. It’s called the Arabica bean and it isn’t the easiest to grow, requiring high altitude and mild temperatures - something Costa Rica excels at. Make sure you have a cuppa while in Costa Rica as even the budget-friendly cafés come equipped with espresso machines. Other drinks If you’re not a coffee drinker, there are other refreshing options. One of the most popular is refrescos, a fruit smoothie made from the water of milk. There’s also agua dulce: water sweetened with sugar cane, which is a common drink for kids. If you’re looking to let your hair down, we recommend either guaro (a fiery sugar cane liquor) or the national beer, Imperial. Desserts To finish off your Costa Rican dining adventure, treat yourself to a very sweet dessert. One of the most popular (and named national dessert by National Geographic Magazine) is the tres leches. It’s a cake that is typically prepared as a moist sponge or butter cake that is then soaked with a trio of different kinds of milk (evaporated, condensed and whole milk). Despite the very soggy-sounding description, tres leches is anything but soggy and is actually delicious. Oh, and remember to try a Costa Rica flan.
  11. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    9 reasons to visit Kissimmee, Florida

    Kissimmee, Florida is famed for being the best of both worlds: close enough to the thrilling rides of Orlando, but far enough away that you can unwind in peaceful surroundings after a day of theme park fun. But that’s not the only reason why Kissimmee is an excellent base for your Florida holiday. Below we’ve rounded up 9 reasons why you should consider a holiday to this sunny destination. Have we missed your favourite reason to stay in Kissimmee? Let us know in the comments! 1. Spacious villas Villas and holiday homes are the accommodations of choice in Kissimmee and popular with groups of friends and larger families. Many of the villas also have their own private pools – perfect for cooling off in the Florida sun! 2. World-famous theme parks With Walt Disney World® Resort just ten minutes away, plus an assortment of popular theme parks within a short driving distance including Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Parks & Resort™, and LEGOLAND® Florida, Kissimmee offers easy access to thrills and fun for all ages. 3. Explore Florida’s natural environment Kissimmee’s surrounding natural environment is authentic to when the city was first established in 1883. Book an iconic airboat ride through the headwaters of the Everglades and explore the natural beauty of Florida, from the wildlife to the wetlands. 4. Its assortment of alligators Alligators are Florida’s original inhabitants, and Kissimmee offers incredible opportunities to encounter these reptile residents up-close. Visit Gatorland, a 110-acre park where you can meet alligators of all breeds and sizes and even fly over them on the Screaming’ Gator Zip Line. 5. The historic downtown area If you’re looking for an afternoon of shopping or enjoyable evening dining, Downtown Kissimmee features an eclectic assortment of shops and restaurants. Home to antique shops, family-friendly dining options, and the nearby Kissimmee Lakefront Park, this walking district is the perfect place for an evening with the family. Great golf Florida is well-known for its year-round sunshine and golf, and Kissimmee is no exception. Some of the most popular courses include Kissimmee Golf Club, Reunion Resort Golf Course, and Celebration Golf Club. 7. Adventures in the air Hot air balloon rides are a must-do experience in Kissimmee – but you can also fly a jet plane or take control of a WWII-era fighter plane with Warbird Adventures at Kissimmee Gateway Airport. 8. Close to the coastline Kissimmee is less than two hours from both the east and west coastlines of Florida. You can take a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on the Atlantic Coast, or visit the beaches on the Gulf Coast. 9. Easy access Kissimmee is only 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport, and you can easily hop in a shuttle bus or taxi to arrive at your hotel or holiday home.
  12. Hi everyone, My children (aged 9 & 8.)and I are booked to go on a Mediterranean Cruise with NCL on the Norwegian Star at the end of this month. I received an email from them a few weeks ago advising me of their changes to the ship i.e. removal of the slides at the pool and how they have upgraded to a wonderful adult only area. They were very boastful about how wonderful this is and how it will enhance the experience for all their guests. I feel that this is wonderful if your an adult but if your a family with children, this was the main feature on the ship that was of interest to my kids. If I had known such renovations were taking place I would not have booked this ship but they failed to disclose it at time of booking or before I paid my holiday in full. NCL are claiming this is a minor change (not to me it’s not) and therefore I am not entitled to any change of holiday or refund etc. This is a major change for any family with young kids travelling on this ship and it seems to me that they wish to cater more for adults only and not families. This is our first time cruising and I’m put off before I’ve even had a chance to go! Anyone else ever been on this ship? What other facilities are there for children to enjoy with their parent, I’m not into putting my kids into clubs, we like to spend our time together and the kids clubs are usually pretty rubbish for their age group. Also anyne ever experienced such changes without prior notice? If so where did you stand? Thanks Gill
  13. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so you’ll want it to be perfect. One of the easiest ways to reduce the stress is to have someone else organise it for you. Thankfully there is an endless amount of hotels with beautiful wedding packages that take care of everything - so you literally have to turn up on the day. Whether you’re looking to get married in the Caribbean or somewhere closer to home; a lively resort or a secluded cliff-side hotel, there’s something out there to suit you and your sweetheart. Here are just 10 hotels that cater to couples looking to marry abroad (and all of them 5-star!). Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico If you’re looking for an upbeat (but luxurious) wedding venue in Mexico, then we recommend Moon Palace. The five-star resort offers facilities for all couples and guests, including world-class restaurants, a lavish spa, and a 27-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Their wedding package is also just as exciting. Aside from a beautiful beach-side ceremony, the wedding package also includes a coordinator, bridal bouquet, wedding cake, sparkling wine, gift registry, complimentary honeymoon package – plus that all-important marriage license and certificate! Luxury Bahia Principe Esmerelda, Dominican Republic If a laid-back wedding in the Dominican Republic sounds like the correct combination for your wedding, then have a look the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmerelda. This elegant resort has Bavaro’s stunning white-sand beach right on its doorsteps, making it a perfect choice for a romantic wedding. Their Sunshine Wedding Package includes all the basics such as a wedding coordinator, wedding cake and Honeymoon breakfast in bed. However, it also includes extra touches like a semi-private dinner reservation for 30 people, 15% spa discount and 10 digital photos. Grand Bahia Principe in Jamaica This resort hotel boasts its own private beach – so no wonder it’s a popular choice with sweethearts tying the knot. There’s also three swimming pools, three whirlpools, buffet restaurant, water sports, volleyball, and evening entertainment. The Sunshine Wedding Package includes all the usual – wedding co-ordinator, decorated ceremony location, bridal bouquet, recorded music for the ceremony, wedding cake, and honeymoon breakfast in bed. On top of that, it also includes 10 digital photos, 15% spa discount, late-check out for the couple, and dinner reservation for 30 people. Maritim Resort and Spa Mauritius This luxury resort is a favourite with people looking for upmarket family weddings, romantic honeymoons and other special occasions. There’s an 800-metre beach on its doorstep and, in the resort itself, you’ll find four restaurants, three bars, large swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, boat house with water sports, and a fitness centre. The Wedding Package itself includes a coordinator, decorated ceremony location, candlelit dinner for the couple, a bottle of sparkling wine, wedding gift – plus legal fees, marriage certificate and transport to Port Louis to complete the wedding declarations. Olympic Lagoon Resort Nissi Bay, Cyprus This stunning hotel is perfect for couples looking for a lavish wedding. On-site you’ll find three swimming pools (including a lagoon pool), buffet restaurant, outdoor Cypriot restaurant, American-style diner, cocktail bar, and a gym. The Wedding Package here is also just as extensive. You’ll have all the basics like a wedding coordinator, ceremony, bridal bouquet, marriage license, and honeymoon breakfast in bed. But you’ll also be treated to a decorated bridal table, 15% spa discount, and the taxi transfer to Town Hall to sign the documents. There are also a few extras that are subject to availability including late check-out, room upgrade, and cocktail reception. Coral Beach Hotel Resort & Coral Beach Suites, Cyprus Offering undisturbed views of the landscaped gardens and the coast, this hotel is the perfect backdrop to a romantic wedding. The wedding package itself has all the basics (ceremony, co-ordinator, candlelit dinner, marriage license, and honeymoon breakfast in bed) and a few extras like 25% spa discount, facial for the bride and bathrobes in your room. The wider resort has all the facilities needed for you and your family to relax after the wedding. There’s an outdoor pool, kids’ pool and indoor pool. There’s also a squash court, gym and sauna. For food and drink, there’s a buffet restaurant, poolside snack bar, beach bar, lounge bar and nightclub. There’s also Wi-Fi and on-site reps who visit twice a week. Stella Place, Crete If you’re looking for a family-friendly resort hotel with plenty of activities, then look no further than Stella Place. Here you’ll find a whopping two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor swimming pool, and three kids’ pools (two with waterslides!). On the food side of things, there’s one buffet restaurant and two a la carte restaurants. For children, there are three children's clubs that covers ages 3-15. There is also a playground, high-chairs and cots. Hotel Grecian Park, Cyprus Perched on a hillside, this small but elegant resort provides a breath-taking backdrop for your big day. The hotel itself is modern and comes equipped with everything you need for a relaxing honeymoon. There’s a small collection of sports, three pools, a pool bar serving snacks and a Japanese restaurant serving sushi (as well as the main restaurant). The wedding package here is simple but stylish. You’ll be treated to a ceremony, bridal bouquet, single-tier wedding cake, and sparkling wine on arrival. Register’s fees and marriage certificate are also included. Liberty Hotels Lykia, Turkey Nestled between beautiful mountains and azure seas, this self-contained resort might be the world’s most beautiful place to get married. Your wedding package itself includes everything you need (co-ordinator, marriage license, bridal bouquet, single-tier wedding cake, honeymoon breakfast in bed and candlelit dinner) but you’ll be treated to VIP check-in on arrival, late check-out until 6 pm, and the option to hire one of the hotel’s speciality restaurants. The hotel itself might have a remote location, but there’s plenty to do on-site to keep you and your guests entertained. There’s archery, volleyball, water polo, tennis, aerobics, aqua aerobics, and darts. There’s also a gym and sauna, as well as 10 swimming pools – one of them a mini on-site waterpark! When it’s time to wind down, there’s a buffet restaurant, tennis café, and four bars, as well as evening entertainment. DB Seabank Resort & Spa If you want to combine the beautiful landscape of Malta with a contemporary hotel – then this place ticks the box! Set 50m from a sand-and-shingle beach, this hotel has plenty to keep the loved-up couple and their guests busy. There’s a main swimming pool, kids’ pool and indoor pool, as well as volleyball, mini-golf, French bowls, beach football, and a gym. Food-wise, there’s the main buffet restaurant, Italian restaurant, Jungle-themed American restaurant, Brazilian restaurant, and Asian buffet restaurant. The wedding package here covers all your basics including cake, venue and legal documents. But you can upgrade to the Superior Wedding Package that includes a white dove release, red carpet for the aisle, bridal hair and make-up, and fresh flower centrepiece.
  14. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    10 things you didn’t know about Canada Day

    The most important holiday in the Canadian calendar is fast approaching. On July the 1st, Canadians will take to the streets, parks, clubs and bars to celebrate their nation’s birthday. This year they will be celebrating 151 years as the country we recognise today. If you’re not familiar with Canada Day and its history – we’ve got 10 facts that you can impress your friends with. 1. It’s not actually about Canadian Independence Canada Day marks the anniversary of when the British Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia , joined Ontario and Quebec to become the Dominion of Canada. Canada didn’t achieve full governmental independence from the U.K. until 1982. 2. Some of the other provinces didn’t join until the 20th Century Manitoba and Northwest Territories joined a few years later in 1870. Then British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, the Arctic Island joined the Northwest Territories in 1880, and then Yukon joined in 1898. The 20th Century then witnessed Alberta and Saskatchewan join in 1905 and Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949. Finally, in 1999, the Northwest Territories were split in order to create the new territory of Nunavut. 3. Niagara Falls has two firework displays in one week The USA celebrates its own birthday just three days after Canada, so if you’re staying in Niagara Falls you’ll have the chance to watch two firework displays at the border. 4. Detroit even gets in on the action The famous city of Detroit lies just across the lake from the Ontario town of Windsor, and they have joint Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations. It’s called The International Freedom Festival. 5. There are famous Canadians born on Canada Day Most notably Pamela Anderson and Dan Ackroyd. 6. It is sometimes celebrated on July the 2nd Under the Federal Holidays Act, Canada Day is observed on July 1, unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday. Even in the case of the 2nd becoming the legal holiday, celebrations will still happen on the 1st. 7. It marks the start of Canada History Week In 2013, the week after Canada Day was named Canada History Week and is when Canadians are encouraged to explore their nation’s history. 8. It was originally called Dominion Day The year that Canada achieved independence from the U.K. was the same year the Canadian Parliament changed the name to Canada Day. 9. It’s the anniversary of other major events in Canadian History Such as the first national rail hook-up by the Canada National Railway in 1927, the flooding of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958, the first colour television transmission in 1966 and the establishment of O Canada as the country's national anthem in 1980. 10. The celebrations haven’t changed much The very first Canada Day (then called Confederation) was celebrated with the ringing of the bells at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, with bonfires, fireworks, military displays and music — pretty much the same way it is celebrated today.
  15. It’s June so that means we’re officially into Pride month. Across the globe, LGBTQ+ communities will be celebrating with festivals and marches – many of them attracting crowds larger than some countries! Pride parties can range from small gatherings that are only a few years old, right through to decades-old festivals that are so big, streets need to be shut down for the event. But if it’s big – or historically important – that you’re looking for, we have rounded up five Pride Festivals that need to be on your bucket list. 1. New York City Back to the place that sparked the modern LGBTQ+ movement. In the early hours of June 28th, 1969 police raided a small bar in Greenwich Village that was popular with the local LGBTQ+ community. Tired of the raids, this time the customers fought back and the Stonewall Riots made their way into the history books. A year later the world’s very first Pride Parade was held in New York City. This year’s event will be held on the 24th June, and (aside from the main march) you can attend dance parties, cabaret shows, comedy shows and even a climbing event! 2. Sao Paula Pride made its way to Brazil in 1997, and a decade later it became the world’s biggest Pride festival – even making its way into the Guinness Book of World Records. The city has just hosted its 2018 celebrations and is it reported that 3 million people were in attendance. 3. Toronto In 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world (and the first outside of Europe) to legalize same-sex marriage. So it’s no surprise that it knows how to organise a Pride Parade - and Toronto Pride is arguably it's best. The main event every year is the main parade, and the corresponding Dyke March and Trans March. Though there are other events throughout the city (both official and non-official) including dance, film and book events. 4. Madrid If you’d like to stay closer to home, head to Spain’s capital for the biggest Pride party in Europe. Past parades have attracted up to 2 million people, and in 2017 there were 11 parties over 9 days – including a massive outdoor all night long party at Ciudad Del Rock! This year’s Pride will be held on the 7th of July. 5. Antarctica We’re not pulling your leg – Antarctica will be holding its first Pride event in 2018! Technically it will just be the 10 employees of McMurdo Station, but it could open the doors for larger events in the future. Whether that’s the employees of the other workstations or the cruise liners that sail in during the year (it’s definitely bucket-list worthy for sure). What’s the best Pride Festival you’ve ever attended? Have we missed your favourite?
  16. Pauline Saunders

    China

    WENDY WU CHINA FAM TRIP 21ST-30TH MAY 2018 Hosted by John ***** from Wendy Wu, assisted by Local guides Ricky, Grace and Tracy 6 Barrhead Travel sales staff on the trip FLIGHTS We travelled with Emirates on all four of the international sectors and Air China on one domestic flight. Emirates were fantastic, the cabin crew were helpful and friendly, they staff the aircraft with crew from a range of different countries so they speak a multitude of different languages. Seating is very comfortable especially on the airbus A380 aircraft which we flew to and from Dubai to China. There is a range of seatback entertainment to choose from, the latest release movies, tv shows, games and music. Drinks are free of charge and meals are served twice on each flight. We flew economy on all sectors from Glasgow to Dubai, Dubai to Beijing, Guangzhou to Dubai and Dubai to Glasgow. The Air China domestic flight was a short two hours from Chengdu to Guangzhou, it was on time, an inflight meal was served and soft drinks were available. No issues at all with the aircraft, the cabin crew spoke English and the safety demonstrations and announcements were made in both Chinese and English. AIRPORTS All of the airports we visited were very modern, clean, had a good range of shopping facilities as well as food outlets. In each one there are lengthy walks involved from check in to the departure or arrival gates so anyone with walking difficulties would definitely need airport assistance. TRANSFERS All clients on a Wendy Wu tour are met at the airport by a local guide and a driver. They are met in the arrivals hall and walked to their transfer vehicle. The local guides are very easy to spot they will be wearing Wendy Wu polo shirts and/or holding a board with the logo. HOTELS Beijing – Novotel Peace hotel – 3 nights This is a modern 4* hotel in a really good location in Beijing. The surrounding area is very modern with shopping malls and restaurants in the area. It is very safe to walk out from the hotel and visit the local shops. There is a restaurant in the hotel which serves breakfast with a good selection of both western and Chinese dishes, there are few staff who speak English but most understand tea/coffee etc.....We didn't eat in the restaurant in the evening so I can't comment on the food at dinner. The rooms were well equipped with a safe, mini bar, tv, iron and ironing board. The bathroom was very modern with a large walk in shower, the rooms were well lit with two comfortable beds and were well serviced by numerous lifts to all floors, you have to use your room keycard in the lifts. There is a small bar on the ground floor and an ice cream vendor, bar prices are reasonable you would pay around the same in the UK Xian – Novotel Xian SCPG – 2 nights Another modern 4* hotel located in the city centre. This hotel has a shopping mall below and is surrounded by very modern malls and restaurants, it feels like it is in a very upmarket area. You check in on floor 8 and the rooms are above, the restaurant is on floor 7 for breakfast and the bar on floor8. Bar prices here are lower than they are in Beijing. Breakfast again is a mix of western and Chinese but there's not as much choice as there was in Beijing, most people though will find something that they like to eat. The rooms again are very modern with a big walk in shower and nice comfortable beds. If you have clients in this hotel try and request rooms facing the rear of the property as there was some road noise in the front facing rooms. The public facilities are fantastic and very clean public toilets. Again English is not widely spoken in the hotel but for example in the bar you are given an i-pad to choose your drinks so it is well managed for overseas tourists who don't speak Chinese. Chengdu – Tianfu Sunshine Hotel - 2 nights 4* hotel, not as modern as the previous two certainly the rooms are slightly dated and the bathrooms are well worn with shower in bath and fabric shower curtains but the public areas are very nice. There is a restaurant and a bar on the ground floor and an outdoor swimming pool. The bar prices again are very reasonable and were the best priced out of all three hotels. Breakfast again the usual mix of both western and Chinese, staff again spoke limited English. The hotel appeared to be in a nice central area although we didn't get the chance to explore much outside due to time constraints. SIGHTSEEING We travelled as if we were part of a Wendy Wu tour group, in each place we had a local guide and a driver dedicated to our group. In Beijing we had Ricky, in Xian it was Grace and in Chengdu we had Tracy. Each guide was absolutely fantastic, they had a wealth of knowledge about their respective cities and were a credit to Wendy Wu. You felt completely safe in their hands and each one had a perfect understanding of both spoken and written English. They answered any questions we had quickly and honestly, I felt that they were all very passionate about their cities and that they genuinely loved their jobs as tour guides. In Beijing we had three wonderful days of sightseeing, we visited the Forbidden city, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Summer Palace, we even had a master class with a Tai Chi master. The tours are all well organised and leave the hotel early morning usually between 7-9am. There is a LOT of walking involved, please make your clients aware that they need a reasonable standard of fitness and good comfortable walking shoes as they will be on their feet for sometimes 3-4 hours at a time. Each site is very very busy with tourists, we have been advised that your clients avoid Chinese holiday times such as the first week in October as the sites are all doubly busy at this time, for example a two hour drive to the Great Wall would take almost four hours during this time. In Xian our main visit was to the Terracotta warriors, this again is done early morning to try and avoid the crowds, it is a magnificent site which will take around 3 hours to fully appreciate. In Xian you also have the opportunity to cycle along the city wall, visit the museum where they carve the warriors and go to a chinese dumpling dinner with dancing show. In Chengdu our main focus was visiting the park where the giant pandas are housed. This site gets very very busy early on, we were there just after 9am and the crowds had already formed. You can see and learn about the Pandas, its a great experience which again involves a lot of walking so expect to be on foot for around 3 hours again. There are large looking golf carts which can carry the less mobile up to the top of the hills if required. Our sightseeing trips were all wonderful we really packed so much into the 7 days we were there, we did everything from rickshaw rides, to visiting bar street in Xian to learning about the way Chinese mothers set their children up on dates to drinking authentic Chinese tea in a tea house. I felt we were really immersed in the local culture and completely appreciated the way Wendy Wu manage their tours. FOOD As you can imagine we ate mostly Chinese food. Breakfast in all hotels was a good mixture of western and local dishes, for lunch and dinner we mostly ate Chinese style. The way this is presented on a Wendy Wu tour is you visit a local restaurant, sit at a big round table with a 'lazy Susan' in the middle, the guide orders lots of different dishes which are put on the table and you help yourself to these. They make sure they are ordering a range of foods from vegetables to noodles to rice and meat dishes and they range in flavour from mild to spicy. I though the food was all really good and I enjoyed the experience of eating at every mealtime. I also felt secure that the guides were always on hand if you had a question or weren't too sure about what you were eating, at no time at all did I experience an upset tummy due to the food so I'm completely confident we were eating in good restaurants. Drinks (apart from local tea)are not included at mealtimes on Wendy Wu tours and are purchased as an optional extra. WHAT TO PACK For a Wendy Wu tour, casual, casual, casual. The weather in China gets very hot in the summer months, I wouldn't recommend visiting in the summer months and would say April/May time is an ideal time to visit for weather. When we were there the average temperature was around 30 degrees but it gets hotter and more humid in July/August so sightseeing then would be draining. Based on the temperatures take light causal clothes and very comfortable walking shoes because you'll spend a lot of time on foot. There isn't anywhere you go on an evening excursions which would involve dressing up so it's not necessary to take any really smart clothes. All hotels had hairdryers and in room body lotions/shampoos/soap etc so you wouldn't have to take those if you didn't want to. It is essential to take suncream/mosquito spray, a hat and a hand held fan if you can!!! I would take a back pack for carrying essentials such as water during the day. Please be warned that on all Chinese internal flights and on the bullet trains Aerosols are strictly limited to one per person but I cannot guarantee these won't be confiscated from you at security even on the bullet train, if you can advise clients to take creams and gels rather than sprays that would be better, some of our group had their sprays confiscated at security at the bullet train in Xian. TOP TIPS Avoid travelling on an organised tour during the hot summer months and during peak holiday times for the Chinese. For woman please advise most toilets apart from a disabled loo or the odd western toilet are mostly squatting toilets, they are best to carry tissues with them, wipes and hand sanitiser as the loos are often not to our standards. Take very comfortable walking shoes and have a reasonable level of fitness as there is an awful lot of walking involved. These tours are not for anyone with any mobility issues. Avoid taking aerosols if you can when travelling by air or train internally. Learn to use chopsticks before you go!!!! OVERALL EXPERIENCE It has to be a 5 out of 5 – Wendy Wu were absolutely fantastic and have a very well organised set up in China. Everything went like clockwork with them and the local guides really made the trip very special. China as a country is huge, at times overwhelmingly busy but it really has sights and sounds so unique that to experience these truly was an honour.
  17. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    5 things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake

    You’ve heard of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist town, but have you heard of Niagara-on-the-Lake? Located only 25 minutes from the famous waterfalls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a well-preserved 19th-century village - with beautiful Colonial-style buildings - which looks out onto the scenic Lake Ontario. It’s the destination of choice for travellers who want to be within easy reach of the iconic Niagara Falls but desire somewhere more peaceful than the bustling Toronto or Niagara Falls Town. While the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is quaint and not overrun with glitzy attractions, there is still a generous helping of relaxing ways to spend your day. Here are the top five things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1. Shaw Festival If you’re a huge theatre-fiend visiting between April and October, then this is a must-do. The Shaw Festival is a major charitable theatre festival and is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America. 2018’s programme includes performances and re-enactments of The Magician's Nephew, A Christmas Carol, Grand Hotel and The Hound of the Baskervilles. 2. Wineries Niagara-on-the-Lake is the heart of Ontario’s wine region. There are 39 wineries that call this town home – all with their own unique and distinctive story. There’s Andrew Peller Limited who produced many of the brands you’ll see in Canadian wine shops, through to Frogpond Farm which is Ontario’s first certified organic winery. Most of the wineries offer tours but require advance booking. There are also tour companies that offer days out stopping by different wineries by bike! 3. Fort George Fort George National Historic Site is a historic military structure that was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. It was built by the British Army in 1796 and became their HQ after it was completed in 1802. Today it consists of earthworks and palisades, along with internal structures, including an officer's quarters, and blockhouses for other military and their families. The Powder Artillery is the only original structure still standing. And remember to look out over the water where you’ll see historic Fort Niagara in New York State. 4. Outlet Collection Even though Niagara-on-the-Lake isn’t a big city, it is still home to a big outlet-style mall that North America is famed for. Outlet Collection at Niagara is an open-air outlet shopping mall found on Queen Elizabeth Way and Glendale Avenue. Here you’ll find all you need for a shopping day trip: from big-name brands like Adidas, Kate Spade and The Body Shop, to restaurants like Subway, Bear Sushi, and Big Smoke Burger. 5. Niagara Falls We can’t forget about the famous Niagara Falls, can we? Only a 25 minute drive away, you’ll be exploring the iconic falls and the surrounding town in no time. Remember to book yourself a ride on the Hornblower for a close-up view!
  18. Spent £6000 with Barrhead travel on a honeymoon to Las Vegas and Hawaii. Just arrived tonight in Hawaii to find that again we have been booked into a room with twin beds. When we booked with Barrhead travel we stated it was for a honeymoon, do Barrhead travel not understand that newlyweds don’t want to start married life in separate beds? It was the same ion the first few days of our honeymoon in Vegas, twin beds again. Extremely disapoointed with the service from Barrhead. I came on holiday to relax and spend time with my new wife but will be spending tomorrow morning trying to get a different room if one is available and checking that Barrhead haven’t screwed up the rooms in the other hotels we will be staying in.
  19. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to Colorado

    Colorado is one of those USA states that has something for everyone. For the outdoors enthusiast, there is the Rocky Mountains. For the foodies, there is the locally-owned restaurants and breweries in cosmopolitan Denver. If it’s old western cowboy charm you’re after, there are the rustic towns of Durango and Silverton. If it’s outdoor adventure, then there’s the world-famous Rocky Mountains, as well as four National Parks. Oh, and if it’s a romantic or relaxing holiday you’re looking for – there’s plenty of soothing hot springs to choose from. Let’s learn more, shall we? Things to Do Mesa Verde National Park The Mesa Verde National Park is the perfect blend of beautiful scenery and ancient history. Aside from its scenic hiking trails, it is also the largest archaeological preserve in the United States where you’ll find ancient villages made out of (and set in into) the stone that surrounds them. Taste some local food Colorado has a rich foodie scene. You can find everything from fine dining, to fusion food, and good old-fashioned BBQ. But make sure you try the local Denver Omelette, prepared with cheddar cheese, diced ham, onions, and green bell peppers. And if you’re a seafood fan, you need to try the Rocky Mountain Oysters. On top of that, Colorado is home to the largest concentration of craft breweries in the United States. Most of them also offer tours and beer tasting. Denver Known as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a city that still relishes Old West culture and outdoor pursuits. It is the home and final resting place of Wild West hero Buffalo Bill, and you can explore his life at the interactive Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. The city also offers a mix of diverse neighbourhoods. Head to Lower Downtown (LoDo) for hip bars and restaurants and make sure you stop by the historic Larimer Square for shopping and take a moment to people watch at the newly revamped Union Station. While The River North Arts District (RiNo) is made up of historic warehouses and factory buildings full of street art and craft breweries. Outdoors fun in the Royal George Region For the adrenaline junkies why not ‘canyon’ a waterfall or camp on a cliff? Or, for those who prefer keeping their feet on the ground, you can head out for a scenic hike and spot the local wildlife including moose, elk and bears. There’s also plenty of camping (and glamping) opportunities. Relax in the hot springs After a day of outdoor fun and touring craft breweries, you’ll need to unwind. Thankfully, Colorado is home to some soothing natural hot springs. Even in the winter, Mother Nature still does her job and is one of the few places in the world where you can soak up warm water while snowflakes fall around you. Experience a bird’s eye view…in a hot air balloon For the most incredible views of Colorado’s exquisite landscape, book yourself a hot air balloon ride. There’s plenty of companies in the cities and resort towns that offer these, and they really are the best way to experience the beauty of Colorado. How to get there and getting around You can fly to Denver non-stop from London with three airlines, or one-stop from other regional UK airports. Colorado is a must for any multi-state fly-drive itinerary. Or, for those that prefer to travel by train, you also have the additional option of travelling to Colorado on Amtrack’s California Zephyr that connects Chicago to San Francisco! Once you’re in Colorado, the best way to switch between the different regions and cities is by hiring a car. Other important information • Colorado is the highest altitude state in America so remember sun cream, a sunhat and drink plenty of water. • Colorado weather can change very quickly so remember to pack a variety of clothes • Tipping is customary in Colorado with 15 and 20 per cent of the bill being the norm • Colorado is on Mountain Standard Time, and is seven hours behind the UK. • The currency is the USA Dollar, which you can exchange in advance.
  20. nscutaru

    Family problems

    Hy ,I have some family problems , and is m not sure if I will still by abble to can go for the trip that I booked in September. I gest wondering if the money I pay will have by any chance refund ,if the thing's don't sort out with my family. Tks for the answer!
  21. Chicago is home to everything you would expect from a large American city: sky-scraping towers, fusion cuisine, impeccable shopping and eclectic nightlife. But the thing that sets it apart from other cities is its beautiful lake-side setting. Along the Chicago-edge of Lake Michigan, you’ll find a plethora of activities – many of which you wouldn’t typically associate with a bustling city. You also have two options for exploring it. You can walk the entire distance along the Lakeside Trail (it’s 18 miles long) or you can hop in a rental car and drive along the Lake Shore Drive and stop off where you want to. There’s also the option of a boat tour! No matter how you choose to explore this scenic part of the city, you need to make sure you stop by these 10 things along Lake Michigan in Chicago. Millennium Park If you’ve seen pictures of a silver bean structure in Chicago – this is where you’ll find it. Millennium Park is also home an outdoor art space, ice skating rink, outdoor theatre, and a 50 feet fountain. The park is also cleaned regularly and has won awards for its accessibility. Beaches The words beach and city don’t typically go together, but in Chicago they do. The city’s beaches typically open for the summer months between May and then close again for winter on Labor Day. Oak Street Beach is one of the most popular, boasting volleyball tournaments, a restaurant, bike rentals and watersports. Lifeguards are also on duty. Lincoln Park Near the northern end of Lake Shore Drive you’ll find Lincoln Park. Clocking in at 1,200 acres, it is home to Lincoln Park Zoo, beaches, a golf course, soccer fields, bird sanctuaries, a nature museum, picnic grounds, boat harbours and a tomb from 1857. One of Chicago’s most renowned restaurants, North Pond, is also located here. Buckingham Park In the middle of Grant Park, you’ll find what many consider to be America’s greatest water fountain. Originally dedicated to Clarence Buckingham, it was designed in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles. It was also featured in the title sequences of TV shows Married with Children and Crime Story. Navy Pier Navy Pier is perfect for both foodies and history buffs. While these days it is a promenade filled with patio restaurants, theatres, tour boats and land-based rides (including a show-stopping Ferris wheel), it has been – at different times – a port, a warehouse and a University of Illinois campus. Adler Planetarium On Northerly Island, you will find America’s very first planetarium. Dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics, it is home to three full size theatres, extensive space science exhibitions, and the Doane Observatory (the only place in Chicago where the public can see planets, stars, and galaxies up-close). Belmont Harbour Chicago is home to several harbours, but Belmont Harbour is definitely the most scenic (and biggest). Located in the neighbourhood of Lincoln, it is surrounded by parks and the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Museum of Science and Industry Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is one of the few buildings still in the city that were built before the city’s 1893 World’s Fair (which many of Chicago’s modern buildings were built for). The museum spans a wide range of themes, but its most notable displays are the Apollo 8 lunar module and a captured German U-boat from WWII. 13 different neighbourhoods The Lakeside Trail is so long that it actually passes through thirteen different neighbourhoods: Edgewater, Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Old Town, Gold Coast, Streeterville, Loop, South Loop, Bronzeville, Kenwood, Hyde Park and South Shore. A beautiful sunset There’s 59 miles between Chicago and the other side Lake Michigan. With no landmass visible from the city there’s a clean line for the sun to slip behind every night – creating a sunset you would typically associate with a tropical island. Make sure that at least once during your Chicago adventure you head out to edge of the lake for a perfect sundown. What’s your favourite attraction along Chicago’s Lake Michigan Shoreline? Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed your favourite!
  22. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to the Philippines

    If you’re looking for a south-east Asia destination with sandy beaches, beautiful underwater reefs and foodie adventures - that isn’t a massive tourist hub - we recommend the Philippines . This collection of more than 7,000 islands is still little known to British travellers. Despite bringing together everything that makes South-East Asia so popular (food, culture, beautiful beaches and warm weather), it also has a few unique quirks. English is widely spoken, the architecture is significantly different and the people are some of the friendliest you will meet. Here’s everything you need to know before your first visit. Where to go and what to do With over seven thousand islands, you won’t get to see everything – so we’ve narrowed it down to the following five things. Swim with whale sharks If you still haven’t ticked swimming with whale sharks off your bucket list, now is the time. Head to Donsol Bay on Luzon Island or Oslob in Cebu. Get sporty Sporty types are well catered to in the Philippines. Not only does its never-ending coastline naturally cater to watersports, but the hilly inland is also popular with hiking and mountain biking. Fun fact: the Philippines is also the unofficial zip-line capital of the world. Island hop in Palawan Island hopping is a must for any beach-bums visiting the Philippines – with Palawan being the number one option. This was actually where the author of The Beach (later turned into a film with Leonardo DiCaprio) was living when he wrote the book. The turquoise waters, colourful reefs, and the secluded location definitely get the imagination going! Banaue Rice Terraces If you’re looking for a beautiful hidden gem to add to your travel scrapbook – head to the Banaue Rice Terraces. These 2,000-year-old terraces – that were built by indigenous tribes - are a beautiful shade of green and the air is a lot cooler here. Remember to pay a visit to the nearby town of Sagada; enjoy a couple of days caving, spelunking and hiking! Keep your eyes peeled for tarsiers These funny looking creatures are native to the Philippines and have to be seen to be believed. They are actually endangered though – and being only five inches tall makes them really difficult to spot in the wild. The Tarsier Sanctuary in Bohol is the best place to meet them. Food and Drink Thanks to the country’s Spanish history, most dishes favour a sour or vinegary taste as opposed to the spicy flavours of other Asian nations. The most famous dish is adobo: a rich stew with garlic, soy and vinegar with some local meats or seafood. Pork is the most popular meat in the Philippines, but fresh seafood is also very common and the mangoes are meant to be some of the best in the world! How to get there A direct flight to Manila runs from Heathrow and takes just under 14 hours. However, the Philippines makes for a great twin-centre break with a stopover somewhere else on the way. Dubai is a popular choice, where you can combine a few days in the glittering city before relaxing on a white-sand beach on a remote Filipino island. Domestic flights are very easy to come by as well and are often the best way to see different parts of the country. When to go December to February are the best months to visit the Philippines. Though the shoulder seasons of November and April are still pleasant and offer great value for money. The wet season is between May and October, but the rain isn’t constant and you will still see sunny days. Other important information Tagalog and English are the two primary languages The currency is the Philippine Peso (which you can pre-order from Barrhead Travel) Boracay Island will be closed to tourists from 26th April 2018 for 6 months for environmental rehabilitation You can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days (you can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59-day stay) Check with your GP about two months before you travel to see if you need any vaccinations (this can depend on which area you visit) Tipping in the Philippines is usually around 10%
  23. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to Dutchess County

    You might not have heard of Dutchess County , but you’ll certainly have heard of nearby New York City. Located only 72 miles north of The Big Apple, Dutchess County is a relaxing contrast to the bustling city. Here you can unwind, eat fresh produce, and explore some of New York State’s fascinating historic sites. Plus, the county is also close to New York Stewart International Airport. Here’s everything you need to know before your first trip to Dutchess County. Things to do Treat your taste buds Dutchess County is a foodie haven brimming with a wide variety of cuisines including Farm Markets, fine-dining restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs. At the helm of the culinary scene is The Culinary Institute of America, ranked as the leading culinary school in the United States. They offer student-guided tours and four student-staffed public restaurants. Farm culture is massive in Dutchess County and if you drive along any road you’ll likely pass a family-owned farm where you can stop and pick-your-own produce, shop their farm stands, or join them during family-oriented festivals. Locally owned vineyards offer tasting sessions – and sometimes even relaxed outdoor concerts. The Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail features award-winning wineries, distilleries and breweries where you can tour and taste a wide variety of locally produced handcrafted spirits. Soak up some culture Dance, drama, film and music all have a home in Dutchess County. In fact, Dutchess County is home to numerous international celebrity film stars and musicians and serves as the location for multiple movies and television shows. During the day there are museums and art galleries to explore, including Dia:Beacon one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to large installations by world-renowned artists from the 1960s to the present. At night you’ll find bars and restaurants with live music. For something a bit different, you can also visit glass-working studios and watch artisanal glassblowers perfect their craft. Walk through history In Dutchess County you get to choose which historical period you visit. Will it be the pre-Revolutionary War, the Gilded Age, or the early 20th century? Bannerman Castle Island on the Hudson River is a unique attraction but the National Historic Sites in Hyde Park are some of the most popular in all of New York. There you can tour Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage (the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady), the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt (who is the only president elected to four terms), the gravesite of Franklin and Eleanor in the Roosevelt Rose Garden, and explore the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, America’s first presidential library and the only one used by a sitting president. Fun with the family Dutchess County also has its fair share of family-friendly activities. Some of the best include Soukup Farms where you can tour their maple-making process and sample their pure maple syrup, the Dutchess County Fair, Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, SplashDown Beach Waterpark, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome with biplanes and airshows featuring vintage aircraft, and Trevor Zoo, caring for more than 180 animals including 8 endangered species as the country’s only accredited zoo managed by high school students. Explore the great outdoors Make the most of Dutchess County’s beautiful landscape with an impressive range of outdoor recreation that includes biking, hiking, horseback riding, golf, kayaking, archery and skeet shooting. If you’re looking for something a little calmer, there are a number of scenic parks that are perfect for a picnic and afternoon stroll including the not-to-missed Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Shopping Dutchess County features antique, boutique, handcrafted and indoor mall shopping and is located close to Woodbury Premium Common Outlets, one of the largest outlet centres in the world. How to get there Dutchess County is primarily served by New York Stewart International Airport, which is also a major airport hub for New York City itself. Budget airline Norwegian Airlines runs direct flights from Edinburgh. If you’re doubling-up a stay in the Hudson Valley with NYC (which many people do) you can jump on a train for a scenic ride along the Hudson River from Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station. Where to stay Dutchess County is all about relaxation and that is what most accommodations offer. Lodging options include private bed and breakfasts, historic inns, budget-friendly motels, and family-oriented campgrounds. Three hotels that we recommend are the Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast, Beekman Arms Delamater Inn and the Hyatt House Fishkill When to go Dutchess County is a year-round destination, however many people choose to visit between early and mid-October when the autumn hues are at their best. Other important information Dutchess County is considered the dividing line between downstate New York, and upstate New York. Like all the United States you need to arrange your visas in advance, the official language is English and the currency in US Dollars. Dutchess County is easy to reach by train (only 90 minutes) from Grand Central Terminal (Metro-North Railroad) and Penn Station (Amtrak) in NYC. Car hire in Dutchess County is simple with rental service pickup from local train stations and makes Dutchess a great hub to explore the Hudson Valley and other regions of New York State and neighbouring New England.
  24. Daniel@BarrheadTravel

    Ras Al Khaimah

    RAS AL KHAIMAH Ras al where? Ras Al Khaimah is still a relatively unknown Emirate in comparison to the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In just 45 minutes you are in the heart of this truly authentic Emirate. Amazing hotels, unique excursions, unbelievable views, miles upon miles of beautiful beaches – Ras Al Khaimah has it all! There is so much on offer that makes this very liberal Emirate the ideal alternative to Dubai. Things to sea: Bedouin Oasis Camp – An authentic experience. Camels, great food, belly dancing, henna and so much more take you back in time to life as it once was. Golf – Two golf courses with Al Hamra being the most well known. Zip Line – No trip to Ras Al Khaimah is complete without a visit to the worlds longest Zip Line. Iceland Water Park – Large water park Shopping – There is several large shoping malls which have a wide range of shops including international brand – even a cinema showing movies in English! Jebel Mountatins – Breath taking views to be had. For those a bit more daring there is also the opportunity to climb this. What to Pack Sun Cream is very important with the temperature being so high. It can be a little more windy at the top of the mountains on the Zip Line so a light jacket/jumper. Beachwear Nothing too warm or heavy for night Top tips All Inclusive if possible – saves money in the long run and allows use of some A la Carte restaurants Suitable for: There really is something for everyone. Priding itself on being a more liberal Emirate there is very few if any restrictions at Ramadan. Can be great alternative to Dubai for those wanting a short stop over for a couple of nights. Also very good for honeymooners. Families are well accomodated for both in terms of room size and facilities/entertainment for the kids. Hotel Recommendations Waldorf Astoria – 5* Luxury for those wanting the very best. The Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach – Great for those simply just wanting to relax. Could be ideal for honeymooners too. The Ritz Calrton Al Wadi Desert – An authentic Desert experience. Stables on site for those who like to horse ride, archery, fishing, gazelle roaming free. This makes for an action packed experience to remember. Hilton Ras All Khaimah Resort and Spa – Beautiful Sandy beaches and fantastic facilities for children. Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort – Amazing beaches, facilties and popular with golfers. Cove Rotana – Large complex which is built on culture. Great All Inclusive option. Rixos Bab Al Bahr – Marjan Island Hotel with great All Inclusive facilities. My rating - 5/5 A fantastic alternative to Dubai and perhaps even people who can't quite stomach the flight to the Caribbean. A very good value for money destination which has something whither you be a thrill seeker or beach lover. A place I know I can sell with confidence.
  25. Thomas

    Isabel

    Hi I'm new to this site I'm a big cruise fan i have been on a few Thomson and Fred Olson, we preferre to stick to the not to large. ships.we've just booked to go on the Discovery on June the 10th leaving from Newcastle.we don't particularly like flying,so we. are looking forward to it 😎
  26. stephanie obyrne

    Ras Al Khaimah

    Holiday Date 6/5/18 Destination Ras Al Khaimah Overview Ras Al Khaimah is the most northernly part of the Emirates. With over 7000 years of history and culture it is the perfect getaway for everyday life. It offers magnificent landscapes, breahtaking coastlines and rich, terracotta desrt planes and is the UAE's most authentic destination. It offers year round sunshine with 64 kilometres of white sandy beaches and is around 45 minutes from Dubai. This area focuses very much on their natural assets like the Jebel Jai mountain range and is a very outdoors resort with everything from the worlds longest zipline to kayaking. This emirate is also the easiest Emirate to buy alcohol and can even buy from a local shop and this is the same even during ramadan. Things to see Via Ferrata- Rock climbing on the Jebel Jais the UAE's highest mountain Jebel Jais flight- Home to the worlds lonest zipline Iceland Waterpark- The UAE's largest waterpark Bedouin Oasis camp- An authentic reproduction of Bedoin life as it used to be Golf- There are 2 golf courses here...AL Hamra is an eighteen hole course and plays host to the famous European Challenge then there is also Tower Links which is an eighteen hole course. Shopping- The resort has 5 shopping malls to choose from with international brands, cinemas and endless dining options Al Wadi Eduestrian Adventure- A dedicated equestrian and adventure centre What to pack Beachwear, some outdoor clothes for the excursions and some light clothes for night as still warm Top tips Try and get a half board dine around or all inclusive dine around so the a la carte restaurants in the hotels are included Suitable for This area is suitable for all different types of customers. There main markets are UAE, Germany, UK, India and Russia. For families it is a very friendly destination with all the hotels we visited having kids clubs and kids pools and they also offer a lot of family suites or adjoining rooms. For honeymooners this is also an amazing destination Hotel Recommendations Waldorf Astoria- Beachside location where you will feel like royalty Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Hamra Beach- An island escape which is the ultimate beach retreat. Cove Rotana- A traditional Arabian resort which is a popular family resort Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert- Tranquil and committed to the environment, this resort is a natural sanctuary in beautiful surroundings with gazelles and oryx roaming around Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa- Distinctly arabesque and offers a private bay of 1.5 kilometres of beautiful sandy beach. Hilton Al Hamra Beach- This hotel offers a range of world class dining options and sits in beautfiul landscaped gardens Doubletree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island-As one of the first hotels on Marjan islands this sets the bar high for people in search of their next dream holiday to the Emirates Rixos Bab Al Bahr- Located on Marjan Island this offers luxury accommodation and all inclusive services Holiday Experience 5 stars as there is so much to do other than just lie at the beach and I feel this resort could work well for us due to the market demand. They have every board basis from bed & breakfast to all inclusive and star ratings which are mainly 4 and 5 star. The resort can get really warm so to give the customers the best experience I would suggest travelling outwith July and August
  27. If you live in Northern Ireland, a lot of the time you’ll need to travel to Dublin if you want to fly somewhere exotic. But that isn’t always the case. While Belfast International Airport mostly flies to other European airports, it does offer a few long-haul flights to far-flung places. Here are six places you can fly to from Belfast that aren’t in Europe. 1. Cuba Cuba is becoming more accessible to the rest of the world, including Belfast. Flights are available to Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (also known as Varadero Airport), which is just under two hours from Havana. 2. Mexico If it’s a fun-filled beach holiday you’re looking for, then you can’t do much better than Cancun. Home to numerous all-inclusive resort hotels, the beaches and nightlife in Cancun are world-famous. If it’s history you’re after, however, the ancient city of Tulum is only a day-trip away. 3. Orlando Orlando is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world – and it’s not hard to imagine why. Home to world-famous roller coasters and theme parks, there’s plenty to keep the children entertained morning to night. Away from the parks you’ll find amazing shopping and dining – plus, there’s the other side of Florida that often gets forgotten about. Cities like Kissimmee, St Pete’s and Tampa are only an hour’s drive away, and offer a different experience than the one you’ll have in Orlando. They’re perfect for a few days of relaxation before you fly back. 4. Las Vegas If you’re looking for an all-night party, then you need to book a flight to Las Vegas. The famous 4-mile strip is lined with casinos, A-list entertainment and an infectious atmosphere – all essential ingredients for a night out. Then during the day there’s always a pool party happening somewhere. 5. NYC New York City is somewhere that requires no introduction. Full of shopping, entertainment, famous landmarks and delicious food – there are several reasons why people return to this buzzing metropolis year after year. Flights run twice a week to Newark Liberty International Airport. 6. Boston If you’re after an American city break but are looking for something that is more chilled than NYC, Las Vegas or Orlando, we recommend Boston. A great city for anyone interested in America’s rich history, you can spend your days wandering between different museums. Plus, seafood lovers will adore the coastal restaurants.
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