May 27, 2016

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Road trip sweets: which is the nation’s favourite car journey treat?...

Road trip sweets: which is the nation’s favourite car journey treat?

So you’re off on a long car journey. You’ve managed to get everybody into the car, skilfully packed the boot, picked the music and found something to occupy the kids for, oh, about 30 seconds. And of course you’ve bought a bag of your favourite travel sweets to pass round. Whether it’s your own set of wheels or a hire car on holiday, a road trip just isn’t complete without a few sweet treats close at hand. But what kind of sweets do you go for? And what is it about long journeys that speaks to our sweet tooth? Maybe sweets send us back to those epic car journeys of our childhood, the days before tablets and smart phones took over. We were closed off in the back seats and only able to get a low-angle, side-on view of the countryside as it blurred by. Whether we were heading somewhere exciting, like a theme park or the seaside, or not so exciting (sorry Great Aunt Gladys), we wanted to stop off at any opportunity, usually to stock up on more sweets. King of confectionery: which sweets came out on top? So which sweet is your personal favourite for long car journeys? We asked 3,000 people across the UK that very question and here are the top six: 1. Mints: The sensible choice at the top of the pile. Mints come in all shapes, sizes and intensities, like wrapped glaciers, bags of soft and chewy ones or those extra-strong tablets that punish your tongue. 2. Werther’s Originals: A surprise entry. These hard buttery candies come individually-wrapped in crinkly plastic and are famous for those sentimental TV ads. Drivers clearly aren’t too bothered about fiddling to unwrap each sweet. 3. Simpkins Traditional Mixed Fruit Travel Sweets: Harking back to many childhoods and stored in that trusty circular tin. They come in a variety of flavours, are dusted with sugar and there are always some broken candy shards buried in the dust at the end. 4. Wine Gums: Chewy and fruity with different flavours, from tangy lime to everyone’s favourite reds and blacks. Honestly, why don’t they just make bags of red and black ones? Oh wait, they already do! 5. Starburst: For people of a certain vintage these are Opal Fruits. Sweet and fruity, Starburst are wrapped...

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May 24, 2016

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Weird and wonderful ideas for the May bank holiday weekend...

Weird and wonderful ideas for the May bank holiday weekend

Wondering what to do for the upcoming bank holiday? We’ve come to the rescue with some unusual activities and attractions, ranging from a nightclub for kids to an exhibition about underwear. So, ditch the DIY and think differently over the long weekend, writes Tamara Hinson. Take your kids to London’s Ministry of Sound Yes, really. Raves are no longer adult-only events, if this knees up is anything to go by. For a family day out with a difference, head to Rave-A-Roo at London’s Ministry of Sound on May 28. Drop your charges off at the UV tattoo station, sign them up for a neon craft session or take part in a family disco ball game. There will be top DJs and spectacular light shows, along with an electro show by Nickelodeon regulars Go!Go!Go! (No, we haven’t heard of them either but we’re assured any self-respecting little person will know exactly who they are.) Find a cheap hotel in London Take part in Sheep Week at Lee Valley Park Farm, Essex Sheep Week takes place at Lee Valley Park Farm (Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 2EF; 01992 892 781) between May 28 and June 5. Although it might sound like an unusual way to spend the bank holiday, this rural attraction is the ideal destination for animal lovers. You’ll be able to check out shearing demonstrations, cheer on your woolly friends during a sheep race and help bottle feed some orphaned lambs. But there are plenty of other animals to check out too, including meerkats, llamas, guinea pigs, rabbits and even bearded dragons. Compare Essex hotels Learn about street art in Bristol Could you tell a Banksy from an Inkie? Do you know what a skinny cap is or how long it takes to create the average piece of street art? Learn all this and more on one of Where The Wall’s fascinating street art tours of Bristol’s most painted areas. You’ll check out some Banksys and will learn about the differences between street art and graffiti before finding out about the techniques used by a range of artists. If you’re feeling creative, channel your inner Banksy and sign up for one of the regular street art workshops. Compare hotels in Bristol Admire priceless underwear at V & A’s Undressed exhibition, London This exhibition,...

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May 24, 2016

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This summer’s best-value destinations: Where will your pound go further?...

This summer’s best-value destinations: Where will your pound go further?

Uncertainty over Britain’s future within the European Union has helped contribute to fluctuations in the value of the pound against the euro over the course of 2016 so far. The pound’s value dropped to as low as €1.23 in April 2016 from €1.42 in November 2015 (today’s value is €1.30), meaning Brits looking to holiday in Europe could get less for their pound than usual. That’s big news when you’re trying to keep costs down while you’re away. But...

May 23, 2016

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Shakespeare’s Stratford: Walking in the footsteps of the Bard...

Shakespeare’s Stratford: Walking in the footsteps of the Bard

Have you ever said you’re in a “pickle”, have “green-eyed jealously” or called someone “bloody-minded”? Without knowing it, you’re quoting Shakespeare, the world-renowned playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. The way we communicate today is heavily influenced by the Bard of Avon so, while the 400th anniversary of William’s death is being marked this year, I decided to head to his birthplace and old stomping ground to learn more about what made him tick. Want to do the same?...

May 23, 2016

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9 things you probably didn’t know about Lanzarote...

9 things you probably didn’t know about Lanzarote

With golden beaches, year-round sunshine and just enough nightlife, Lanzarote is a beach-break classic, though you probably already know that this Canary Island is a little offbeat. You might have heard about cave-dwelling blind albino crabs and artfully reimagined volcanic bubbles. Perhaps you’ve clapped eyes on the moon-like landscape around the Fire Mountains of Timanfaya, or held on tight as a friendly camel transports you around the dunes of ash-grey sand. Maybe – just as you’ve pigeonholed the...

May 17, 2016

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Top 10 European cities to visit this summer...

Top 10 European cities to visit this summer

If you’re the type of holidaymaker who prefers the faster pace of city life to endless days spent on the beach, or perhaps you have only a few days to get away this summer, a city break could be the ideal option. Whether you’re after culture galore, beautiful scenery or buzzing bars and restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to European city breaks – even if you’ve already visited the big-hitters of Paris, Rome and...

May 16, 2016

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Airline food: The best things to eat at 30,000 feet...

Airline food: The best things to eat at 30,000 feet

Now you can get a head start on indulgent holiday vibes and start your break feeling tip-top by jumping on the latest traveller trend: packing your own delicious plane food, writes Emma Ledger. Venerable luxury-grub purveyor Fortnum & Mason is leading the way with the launch of ‘onboard dining’ hampers from their store at Heathrow Terminal 5. Holidaymakers can choose from five menus designed to taste good when travelling above the clouds. They include some of Fortnum’s most...

May 16, 2016

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Save more than £500 on half term holiday extras – and treat yourself to a free mini break...

Save more than £500 on half term holiday extras – and treat yourself to a free mini break

The countdown to summer is on and it won’t be long until the kids are enjoying time off school with the arrival of the Whitsun half term in a week or two. If you’re planning to use the week off to get away with the family, now is the time to organise all your holiday extras. Not only will this reduce any unnecessary stress in the run-up to your trip but it will also ensure you don’t end up paying over...

May 16, 2016

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European Championships: THE last-minute travel guide for fans...

European Championships: THE last-minute travel guide for fans

We’ve barely had the chance to catch our breath after the most exciting Premier League competition in history and already the European Championships are almost upon us. More than one million visitors from overseas are expected to descend upon France during the tournament, with football fans from all over the continent heading over to cheer on their team. The football festivities kick off on June 10 when the hosts France take on Romania in the opening ceremony and the atmosphere...

May 9, 2016

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Your essential checklist when hiring a car...

Your essential checklist when hiring a car

Renting cars abroad has been popular with Brits for generations and having the freedom to explore the open road can really turn a holiday into an adventure. But renting a hire car can be a bit of a headache if you don’t plan properly. Time and time again, we hear from holidaymakers who’ve been caught out and ended up footing the bill for something they could have avoided. So, to prevent this being you, we spoke to a number of experts in...