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 3, 2016

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In pictures: 8 places that look like they’re from another planet...

In pictures: 8 places that look like they’re from another planet

Ever dreamed of leaving this world behind and venturing into the great unknown of outer space? Well, it turns out there are some very enticing Earth-bound alternatives until those shuttle services are up and running. These eight extraordinary landscapes right here on this planet have more than a hint of the intergalactic about them, writes Sally Coffey. 1. Lapland, Finland To fully appreciate this mind-boggling collection of snow sculptures you must visit in the depths of Finnish winter...

Apr 25, 2016

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In pictures: 9 of the biggest and best national parks and gardens worldwide...

In pictures: 9 of the biggest and best national parks and gardens worldwide

There’s something positively calming about the great outdoors. From the meticulously-clipped hedges of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, to the rugged peaks of Yosemite, California, the world is packed full of awesome parks and gardens to lose yourself and your thoughts in for an hour or two. Even Shakespeare himself once mused “the earth has music for those who listen”. And listen we shall, Will. This year, across the pond, America celebrates 100 years of its own magnificent national parks,...

Apr 18, 2016

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10 incredibly glamorous grand old world hotels...

10 incredibly glamorous grand old world hotels

Every day, somewhere, a boutique resort opens, or a swanky steel-and-glass tower for business travellers, or some hipster-friendly hostel. But some of us prefer that tiny elite of unique, stylish, time-honoured hotels that outlive fashions, trends and passing tastes. Why these glamorous old-timers survive is hard to pin down. It might be the building, VIPs who ate and slept there or a novel penned in the bar. For travellers after historical romance – or indeed the honeymoon variety...

Apr 10, 2016

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11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks...

11 things you probably didn’t know about holiday parks

Think holiday villages are all about cramped caravans, cabaret shows and freezing cold shower blocks? Think again! Thanks to a huge makeover in 2015, Butlins Minehead resort has more in common with a luxury hotel, and here are some others which are a world away from the holiday villages of yesteryear, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. They don’t all look the same Butlins Minehead, Somerset, UK Our favourite part of the Butlins Minehead makeover last year? The rainbow-hued chalets,...

Apr 5, 2016

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Forget Oktoberfest! 9 of the best worldwide beer festivals...

Forget Oktoberfest! 9 of the best worldwide beer festivals

Oktoberfest is the undisputed heavyweight champion of beer festivals – there’s no denying that. But it’s not the only big beer festival in the world. Not by a long shot. Our planet is full of pale ales, pilsners, craft lagers and stouts; you just have to be willing to seek them out. Whether you missed out, went last year or just want a new location for your beer-inspired break, here are some of the biggest and best alternatives...

Mar 21, 2016

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Banish boredom! Fun-filled days out this Easter...

Banish boredom! Fun-filled days out this Easter

The Easter holidays are almost upon us. That means chocolate, chocolate and, usually, more chocolate. And if the thought of a week or two off with hyperactive kids on a sugar-high is filling you with dread, we’re here to help bust boredom. There are plenty of Easter-themed events going on across the UK as well as other fun-filled family days out. So we’ve rounded up some great holiday activities, whatever your budget. London: Lions and sweet treats London will be...

Mar 21, 2016

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10 reasons to read your travel insurance small print...

10 reasons to read your travel insurance small print

You’ve spent weeks planning your holiday, weighing up all of the options to find the perfect break for you. You’ve finally booked. Now what? It’s time to buy your travel insurance. OK, so this might not be the most exciting part of your getaway but it is essential to take out a comprehensive policy as soon as you book so you’re covered for everything from medical costs and lost possessions to cancellation. And  it’s a false economy to simply opt for...

Mar 21, 2016

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12 of the UK’s most unusual and unique places to stay...

12 of the UK’s most unusual and unique places to stay

From a green bus in the middle of a field to a fort in the middle of the ocean – take your pick from these weird and wonderful accommodation options, writes Simon Heptinstall. 1. A water tower Where: Sandringham, Norfolk How much: From £500 for four nights (sleeps four) Queen Victoria had this 60ft (18m) octagonal water tower built on the edge of her Sandringham Estate, topped by a 32,000-gallon (145,500-litre) cast-iron water tank and viewing platform. Now you,...

Mar 1, 2016

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The world’s most spectacular underwater attractions...

The world’s most spectacular underwater attractions

In February, Europe’s first underwater museum was unveiled in the waters off Lanzarote. The museum is a collection of works by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and the finished work will include statues of a couple taking a selfie and a rubber dingy filled with refugees. It’s a timely reminder that some of the world’s greatest sights can now be found below sea level. Not convinced? Tamara Hinson donned her diving mask to find out more. Il Cristo degli...

Feb 16, 2016

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Nine of the best ski resorts for a weekend break...

Nine of the best ski resorts for a weekend break

You don’t have to use up all of your holiday to make the most of the ski season, writes Jessica Bown. You can access many of Europe’s best ski resorts within just a few hours. And, with a bit of careful planning, a short break in the mountains can be just as rewarding as a week away. Here’s our pick of the best resorts for weekend skiing… Best for families: La Clusaz, France Nearest airport: Geneva Journey time:...

Feb 16, 2016

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Bag a bargain! 7 sunny beach holidays for £250 or less...

Bag a bargain! 7 sunny beach holidays for £250 or less

We don’t know about you, but the recent cold snap means we’re already counting down to the long sunny days of summer and lazy holidays on the beach. And, the good news is, getting away for a dose of vitamin D doesn’t need to cost a fortune. To help you escape for less, we’ve done some digging to reveal seven early summer deals for less than £250 per person (pp). So, read on and get ready to relax! 1....

Feb 9, 2016

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Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?...

Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?

The mercury has dropped, the thick socks are out and your commute time has almost doubled due to bad weather. All of which can only mean one thing: time for a cheeky winter sun escape. And, although the UK is currently battling with weather warnings, there are plenty of places all over the world enjoying endless sunny days and warm weather. Some sunny spots are a short flight away, while others require more of an investment in time. But, one thing...

Feb 9, 2016

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9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites...

9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites

Planning on treating your other half to a break for Valentine’s Day but not sure where to go? Worry no more, writes Tamara Hinson, because we’ve come to the rescue with our guide to the world’s most jaw-droppingly romantic hotels suites. Galaxy Sanctuary, Jade Mountain, St Lucia Price-tag: From £1,837 per night Highlights: Breathtaking views of St Lucia’s Pitons, enormous infinity pool and “wall-less” room design to make the most of the views Forget about rooms with a...

Jan 7, 2016

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Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up...

Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up

Some legends achieve a fame so great that they never really die: Elvis is one of them. And this year, on January 8, the King of Rock and Roll turned the tender age of 81. In true Elvis style, a big party is taking place at Graceland this weekend to celebrate, complete with birthday cake and tours of the Graceland mansion. While a trip to Graceland has to be one of the greatest musical pilgrimages in the world, he’s not the...

Dec 22, 2015

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Nine of the world’s wildest New Year parties (and how to see 2016 in twice)...

Nine of the world’s wildest New Year parties (and how to see 2016 in twice)

As the last few days of 2015 make way, it’s almost time to cast a wary eye forward to the New Year – but not before one last big blow out. Whether you greet the New Year with “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou” in warm Waikiki, “Gleðilegt nýtt ár” in freezing Reykjavik or “Feliz Ano Novo” on a Rio beach, there’s a party to suit you somewhere around the world. Or possibly two: you could theoretically fly from one of...

Dec 15, 2015

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Got a spare £33,000? Christmas hotel stays with the wow-factor...

Got a spare £33,000? Christmas hotel stays with the wow-factor

For many people, Christmas consists of a family get together, plenty of turkey and an uncle who always has a bit too much Buck’s Fizz. And, if you think it’s indulgent to squeeze in one extra mince pie on Christmas Day, think again! From elephants and private butlers to waking up with an enviable view of the Eiffel Tower, here’s where some the wealthiest travellers will be celebrating Santa’s arrival this year. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel New York, New...

Dec 15, 2015

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Britain’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations...

Britain’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations

Got no plans for New Year’s Eve yet? Don’t worry! There’s plenty going on across the UK – and you don’t have to pay a fortune to enjoy it. We’ve picked out some of this year’s best best New Year’s events, so look out for celebrations near you and get ready to link arms and start the countdown… London – see the fireworks for free For the last two years, London’s famous New Year’s Eve firework display has been ticketed due...

Dec 14, 2015

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9 last-minute gifts for the traveller in your life...

9 last-minute gifts for the traveller in your life

Sorry to break it to you, but Christmas is nearly here again. That means less than two weeks left to get all those last presents bought, wrapped and sent off to Santa. Don’t panic though, you’ve still (just!) got time and we’re here to help. Here’s some inspiration on the best travel gifts available this year to get you going, whether you’re buying for a seasoned globetrotter or a casual holidaymaker. 1. Best for gadget addicts: Morphie powerstation mini In days of old,...

Nov 24, 2015

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Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations...

Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations

Shopping abroad has a glamour that can’t be matched by pounding the pavements of your local high street. In these heavenly shopping hubs, you’ll want to browse and barter your way from gleaming mega-malls and exclusive designers to late-night markets. Because ‘shop until you drop’ is for quitters, writes Anita Isalska. Best for all that glitters: Dubai Record-breaking skyscrapers, palm-shaped resorts and indoor ski slopes make Dubai a playground for the ultra-rich. But the city-state’s smorgasbord of malls and...

Nov 16, 2015

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10 top holiday bugbears

10 top holiday bugbears

When we go away for a well-deserved break, we like to think it will all be smiles, relaxed times and fun for everyone. But holidays are just like life: they have their annoying bits, too. Oddly enough, studies have been conducted into those annoying bits, showing precisely what we find most irritating about travel. So, we’ve compiled the results of various surveys, thrown in a few anecdotes and distilled the rants of the best travelled types at the TravelSupermarket...

Nov 14, 2015

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The 10 worst holiday blunders to avoid...

The 10 worst holiday blunders to avoid

Booking a holiday is an exciting time – so exciting, in fact, that it’s easy to get carried away and end up making a mistake or two that could spoil your break away. Here, we round up 10 of the worst holiday blunders and how to avoid them. 1. Booking the wrong destination/date In 2014, one couple booked flights to the Caribbean for what they thought was a bargain £800, but were turned away at Birmingham airport because their...

Nov 2, 2015

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In pictures: 10 airports you’d actually want to get stuck in...

In pictures: 10 airports you’d actually want to get stuck in

Arriving at the airport to find your flight has been delayed can put a real dampener on your holiday. Hours of waiting in soulless airport purgatory stretch ahead as you sit hopefully watching the departures board. But believe it or not, there are airports around the world where you might actually wish you could stay longer. Airport hell? Try these 10 examples of airport heaven (well, OK, close to it) instead. 1. Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain For the superb...

Oct 19, 2015

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10 fun things to do for under £10 this half term...

10 fun things to do for under £10 this half term

Keeping the kids entertained on the cheap during half term can be a challenge. But being strapped for cash shouldn’t mean you have to be short on ideas. There are plenty of things to see, do and experience this October half term – and not one of our suggestions will cost you more than a tenner. Here are a few ideas for cheap and fun activities during half term: 1. Venture into the great outdoors Okay, so the...

Oct 13, 2015

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If luxe could kill! 8 amazing ski chalets to stay in this season...

If luxe could kill! 8 amazing ski chalets to stay in this season

Where would you spend your next ski holiday if money were no object? With luxurious bedrooms, jaw-dropping design features, indoor pools and private nightclubs, one of these fabulous chalets or ski hotels should fit the bill, writes Jessica Bown. Chalet Marco Polo, Val d’Isere, France Price-tag per week: £40,900 to £136,400 Highlights: Indoor pool, massage rooms (hydro and classic), private nightclub Fancy taking a dip in a gold leaf pool before inviting your friends round for a party...

Oct 12, 2015

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Ski holidays: The guide for absolutely everybody...

Ski holidays: The guide for absolutely everybody

Beginners, budget skiers, families and even those who prefer après-ski to ski… we’ve found a resort for you. By Alf Alderson. For a great break on a budget: Bansko, Bulgaria Bansko features high on many a list of budget ski options and, while the overall skiing experience isn’t generally as slick as resorts in the Alps or Rocky Mountains, it’s improving all the time – in recent years, new lifts have been installed and the resort has plenty of skiing...

Oct 12, 2015

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Skiing pricey? Seven tips for a budget break on the snow...

Skiing pricey? Seven tips for a budget break on the snow

Think ski and snowboard holidays and you might think: expensive equipment, wince-inducing baggage charges… and Prince Charles at Klosters, writes Jessica Bown. In other words, holidays to keep your wallet away from. But be savvy, and you can have plenty of fun on the snow for less. Here are our top tips for winter sports holidays on a budget. 1. Get kitted out for a bargain Even just preparing for a winter sports trip can make a big...

Oct 6, 2015

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8 of the best places to see Santa this year...

8 of the best places to see Santa this year

When was the first time you met Father Christmas? Maybe it was at school. It could have been down at your local shopping centre. More often than not, it was just your dad in a cheap Santa outfit. But remember how much you loved it? Well, as it’s almost the season to be jolly, it’s time to start planning a trip to see Santa with the kids. Near or far, there are some great festive places to meet...

Oct 5, 2015

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Luxe for less: 10 budget UK hotels with the wow factor...

Luxe for less: 10 budget UK hotels with the wow factor

Fancy a night in a posh hotel but don’t want to splash the cash? Love your luxury toiletries, locally-sourced breakfasts and claw-footed bath tubs but don’t want to break the bank? Tamara Hinson has done some digging to find 10 of the UK’s most luxurious hotels with a price tag of £100 or less. Carden Park, Chester, Cheshire Price: From £99 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis This beautiful 196-room hotel recently underwent a £4...

Sep 21, 2015

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9 places to visit before Christmas

9 places to visit before Christmas

Even by British standards, this summer has been brief. And now we’re on to autumn. Before you know it, it will be Christmas and then it’s time to start thinking about 2016’s big holiday. But there’s still plenty of time to get one more break in before the festive season. Here are a few hand-picked treats to put in your pre-Christmas stocking – you’re welcome. 1. Where: London When: Saturday November 14 Why: For a start, it’s the 800th Lord Mayor’s...

Sep 18, 2015

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Unusual sporting events around the World...

Unusual sporting events around the World

Forget the football World Cup, give Wimbledon a wide berth, and let the Olympics have the cold shoulder, we’ve pulled together a collection of some of the most unique, bizarre, and sometimes perilous sporting events from around the world. Let’s start close to home, with a traditional autumnal event… The World Conker Championships, Oundle If you fancy a unique day out in October and are partial to a bit of childhood nostalgia, you should head in the direction...

Sep 7, 2015

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From castles to clifftop cottages: 10 of the world’s most amazing holiday homes...

From castles to clifftop cottages: 10 of the world’s most amazing holiday homes

Whether you’re after a crash pad fit for a Bond villain or a cosy, clifftop cottage, the following holiday homes won’t fail to impress. So, round up your nearest and dearest and get ready for a getaway to remember, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. The Homestead, Stellenbosch, South Africa Sleeps: 12 Price: From £675 per night This gorgeous property is perfect for wine lovers. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Banhoek Valley, just an hour’s drive from Cape...

Aug 26, 2015

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How to book hotels for less

How to book hotels for less

If you’re looking to book a hotel for a short break, work or even just a night out with friends, it’s always worth considering how you can cut the cost of your stay. Follow my top tips and bag a bed for less. 1. Do your research Finding the right hotel takes up the majority of my time when I’m booking a trip. It’s important to get it right so I use a good guide book or website to...

Aug 24, 2015

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12 ideas for days out this August bank holiday...

12 ideas for days out this August bank holiday

Wondering what to do over the coming bank holiday weekend? Whether you fancy learning how to waggle dance or you’re keen to discover how chocolate shaped one of England’s oldest cities, these fantastic days out are sure to keep boredom at bay, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. Best for shaking your tail feather: Africarnival, Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London Price: free Get your groove on at this free urban festival, which takes place on August 30. Visitors can expect a...

Jul 30, 2015

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Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips...

Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips

There’s only one place in the world to be in August, and that’s Edinburgh. Home to the world’s largest arts festival, the city’s population doubles as people flock to experience comedy, theatre, dance and almost every other type of performance imaginable, writes Owen O’Leary. The Edinburgh Festival actually comprises six events taking place in the city this month. The daddy of these is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Aug 7-31), an anarchic, sprawling celebration of the arts that takes...

Jul 28, 2015

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9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses...

9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses

True Arabian Nights adventures, alpine valleys lost in time and the epicentre of Balkan boogie. Read our guide to the elite of off-the-beaten-track escapes – and then get there before word gets out. 1. Best for travelling back in time: Albania Why go now? The secret’s out and hotels are going up in some of the prettiest spots. It may be more than 30 years since the Albanians got rid of their dictator Enver Hoxha but they still haven’t...

Jul 28, 2015

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The top 10 free and cheap days out with the kids this summer...

The top 10 free and cheap days out with the kids this summer

It can be difficult to keep the kids entertained over the long summer holidays – not to mention expensive if you’re not careful. But there are plenty of very cheap and even free events happening all over the UK throughout July and August. Catherine Cooper rounds up some of the best. 1. Play in the park If the sun’s out, take a ball, kite or a frisbee and head for your nearest outdoor space. If you’re near South...

Jul 21, 2015

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Nine ways to make the most of the August bank holiday...

Nine ways to make the most of the August bank holiday

Not got plans for the August bank holiday yet (August 31)? This year, you’re spoilt for choice, thanks to recently launched flight routes, some fantastic new restaurants and a rather unusual music festival. Which means the only problem will be working out how to cram everything in, writes Tamara Hinson. 1. World Bog Snorkelling Championship, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales Marathons and triathlons are overrated! The World Bog Snorkelling Championship, which takes place on August 30, is ideal for fitness...

Jul 20, 2015

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12 clichéd holiday snaps we could all do without...

12 clichéd holiday snaps we could all do without

Social media has made would-be photographers out of all of us. It’s almost like if we don’t upload our holiday snaps on Facebook the second they are taken, we’ve never even been away. We’re all a bit vindictive too; we want others to see the fun we’re having. We thrive off the thought of their green-eyed jealousy as they sit at their desks while we sun ourselves shamelessly, selfie stick in one hand, cocktail in the other. The only...

Jul 14, 2015

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We’re all going on a summer holiday! The top last-minute deals...

We’re all going on a summer holiday! The top last-minute deals

With summer in full swing and schools starting to break up, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all holidays are booked up already. But fear not! We’ve rounded up some late summer deals for families and couples who want to get away before the August bank holiday. Get your sunglasses and sun-cream at the ready! 1. Majorca from £376pp This firm favourite with holidaymakers is just over two hours from the UK. Choose between cute little sandy coves or...