Posts Tagged Scotland

Flybe’s hop-on hop-off service connecting UK

Making it easier to fly to various points across the country, Flybe is to launch a new hop-on or hop-off service between Aberdeen and Jersey in October.

Designed to be used as a ‘shuttle bus service in the sky’, Flyshuttle, will fly between Aberdeen and Jersey, stopping off en route in Leeds and Southampton to pick up or drop off passengers. For those that stop on, the total journey time will be just over four hours.

A spokesperson for the airline said the new service would make the route more viable, and will be reinstating Flybe’s links between Leeds and Southampton. It is also creating a new link between Aberdeen and the cruise port, opening up the cruise market to more customers.

“Rather than offering lots of different routes with low load factors, we are offering one hop-on, hop-off service, similar to the way domestic airlines operate in the US,” said the spokesman.

Paul Simmons, Flybe’s chief commercial officer said: “FlyShuttle is a convenient and affordable concept for the regional marketplace that gives customers extra choice and additional connectivity for everyday air travel.

“Today’s announcement is another significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. Designed to be used as a ‘shuttle bus service in the sky’ all the way between Jersey in the south and Aberdeen in the north, we are again showing that we are ‘the fastest way from A to Flybe’, faster than road or rail – and certainly more affordable.

“By enhancing the number of routes, connections and frequencies we already operate,FlyShuttle is the perfect progression. It’s a product that sets us apart and we are genuinely excited to be shaping the future of regional air travel.”

The service could also mean it will be possible to go for a holiday cottage break in Yorkshire, Scotland, the South coast of England and across to Jersey in much quicker and more convenient time than other forms of transport.

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Flybe launches new domestic flights from London City

Flybe is to launch new domestic and international flights from London City Airport in October. 

Flights are on sale now to Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Exeter and Inverness with departures launching on 27th October. The airline is also planning to offer off-peak leisure flights to selected ski, regional French and Northern Spanish destinations.

Flybe will base three aircraft at regional airports and two at London City, where it expects to carry around 500,000 passengers a year.

Flybe’s chief executive officer Saad Hammad said: “Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.

“Dedicating five growth aircraft initially to these new routes is a major statement of intent and we look forward to building a successful and growing presence there over the coming years.

“Flybe is today already connecting over seven million passengers a year across the UK and Europe. With a major London connection, we reaffirm our place as the UK’s largest regional airline.”

Initially there will be four daily flights to and from Edinburgh and Dublin, three flights a day to and from Belfast and Exeter, and twice daily flights to and from Inverness.

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Top events for 2014

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre timeline picture by Flickr user Dysanovic

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre timeline picture by Flickr user Dysanovic

We’re speeding through January now, so let’s have a quick look at some of the main events in the UK for 2014!

1. This year will be the 450th birthday of England’s greatest poet and playwright, Shakespeare. Celebrations have already kicked off this month at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Candlelit plays, operas and concerts will be performed in the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. On Shakespeare’s actual birthday, 23rd April, during ‘Shakespeare Week’ The Globe will stage its first performance of Hamlet to start a two-year world tour.

2. 5th July will see Stage 1 of the Tour de France Grand Départ get underway in Leeds, Yorkshire. It will continue on through some of the most stunning countryside in the Yorkshire Dales through to the spa town of Harrogate. Stage 2 starts in the medieval city of York, finishing in my home town, Sheffield! Stage 3 sets off from Cambridge, cycling through the Essex countryside to London, leading to a spectacular finish at The Mall. An exciting sporting event, and great to use the route to explore different areas of the country.

3. Scotland gears up for a summer of sport with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, and the golf championship, the Ryder Cup, at Gleneagles in September.

4. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Henley Royal Regatta. For five days from 1st July, teams from across the world will compete in this traditional rowing event across the River Thames. A great event to sit on the riverbank with a picnic in the sunshine.

5. Another anniversary this year, too; the centenary of Wales‘ greatest poet and writer, Dylan Thomas. The actual centenary is 27th October, but year-round events, exhibitions and festivals will celebrate Thomas and showcase Wales as an extraordinary land of artistic excellence.

 

Keep up to date with upcoming events around the UK featured on this blog, or search particular dates and places at the tourist board, VisitBritain.

 

 

 

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Homecoming Scotland 2014

Fort William photo by Flickr user Hotfield

Fort William photo by Flickr user Hotfield

Scotland is marketing itself to itself in a new £500,000 campaign, ‘Homecoming Scotland 2014’.

The campaign will encourage fellow Scots, northerners and the Northern Irish to visit the various events happening throughout the year, right on their doorsteps. There will be a 30-second TV advert, radio, digital, press and other promotional activity to highlight the 430 family-friendly Homecoming events. These include the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, Lochearnhead Highland Games, and the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway.

Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “This year, Scotland will also play host to the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the MTV Europe Awards – which will broadcast to nearly 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels.

“2014 will be an extraordinary year for Scotland and this advert, alongside the Homecoming app and enhanced information on the wider events programme which are also now available, will help us to share it with as many people as possible.”

So with all these brilliant events going on, what better time than to highlight the Scotland section of our Holiday Cottages!

We have lots to choose from, but to start, how about The Logs, a detached Norwegian-style log house (sleeps up to 10) 3 miles north of Fort William. It has panoramic views of Ben Nevis and the ski slopes of Aonach Mor.

The comfortable accommodation includes a spacious lounge with gallery sitting room, dining room, well-equipped breakfast kitchen, 6 bedrooms (2 en suite) and a bathroom. There is a wood-burning stove in the lounge, gas central heating, 2 TVs, DVD, video and CD player. The large garden and patio area is bordered by the remnants of the old Caledonian pine forest. Plus, there are over 70 events and activities listed on the Homecoming Scotland 2014 website including tours, cycling, fishing and lots more!

The Logs outside

The Logs outside

Cosy living room

Cosy living room

 

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Americans love us Brits!

The UK is flavour of the month for Americans, it seems. According to research by TripAdvisor, visits by Americans to the UK are up 23% year-over-year.

Not only are they the largest inbound market to the UK, but they’re also showing as the largest increase in interest year-over-year, with Canadian visitors not far behind, with figures up 21%.

The most popular destinations for our visitors from across the Pond are London, Edinburgh, Yorkshire, the Scottish Highlands and Cornwall

TripAdvisor for Business VP marketing Alison Copus said: “In the year of the post-Olympics afterglow and a new royal baby to celebrate, it is clear that the UK’s place on the world stage is as strong as ever.

“Overall, interest in UK destinations is on the rise, and not just to the traditional holiday hotspots on the coast or in the capital – the UK’s inland countryside is thriving too, with Yorkshire and the Scottish Highlands both holding a place in the top five destinations.”

These figures are certainly promising, however they are in conflict with recent statistics from VisitBritain, which suggest that although the US is the biggest overseas market for the UK, visitor numbers are falling.

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Yorkshire one of top ten global places to visit

Yorkshire Dales by Flickr User Fields of View

Yorkshire Dales by Flickr User Fields of View

The Lonely Planet guidebook has built up a global reputation as one of the most prestigious and recognised guidebooks around, so to have Yorkshire named as one of the top 10 global regions to visit, then that certainly is saying something!

As a proud Yorkshire lass, you don’t have to tell me about the beautiful scenery, cultural quarters and many events and activities taking place in the region. But to have the recognition from such a reputable source, then that can only bode well for tourism in the region, and rightly so.

Yorkshire was chosen because of its “rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs” as well as the fact that Leeds will host next year’s Tour de France grand depart.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity told the BBC: “This is massive for Yorkshire and our thousands of amazing tourism businesses, destinations and events.”

Also included in the ‘must see’ guide is Scotland, named third of the top ten countries to visit in 2014. Another place of outstanding natural beauty, but also chosen because it will host the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next year.

Look out for blog posts about activities and events in Yorkshire and Scotland over the coming weeks to tempt you over for a holiday.

 

Lonely Planet’s top-10 regions to visit for 2014:

1 Sikkim, India

2 The Kimberley, Australia

3 Yorkshire

4 Hokuriku, Japan

5 Texas

6 Victoria Falls

7 Mallorca

8 West Coast, New Zealand

9 Hunan, China

10 Ha’apai, Tonga

Lonely Planet’s top-10 countries to visit for 2014:

1 Brazil

2 Antarctica

3 Scotland

4 Sweden

5 Malawi

6 Mexico

7 Seychelles

8 Belgium

9 Macedonia

10 Malaysia

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Edinburgh trams to airport by May 2014

Edinburgh Airport’s much delayed tram service to the city centre is to be up and running by May 2014. The news has been welcomed by the airport as the date is two months ahead of its most recent forecast for completion.

“This is fantastic news. Trams will offer those arriving in Edinburgh an efficient, consistent and modern way to access the capital,” said airport chief executive Gordon Dewar.

“Not only that, but when the links with our national rail network at Haymarket, Edinburgh Park and importantly Gogar are complete, it will provide real integration and slash journey times across Scotland.”

Test trams will run from the airport to Edinburgh Park Station on 6th October, and testing from the airport to York Place will begin on 9th December. There will be more than 150 tram journeys per day, five days a week over the testing period.

The city council has said that the roadworks that have blighted Edinburgh’s streets for six years will be clear by 19th October.

Ticket prices within the city centre have been revealed to match those of the local bus services and Ridacards will be valid throughout the entire route. Passengers travelling from Ingliston or the airport to Gogarburn will be charged £2.50 adult and £1.50 child fare. A return to the airport from any other stop will be £7.50 adult, £4 child fare.

The tram project has cost £776 million and is well over budget and years behind its original schedule.

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BA and VisitScotland team up

British Airways and VisitScotland have joined forces to launch a television advertising campaign to promote Scotland in the Year of Natural Scotland campaign.

The 30-second advert will run from 20th April and feature BA aircraft and scenic views of Scotland.

BA will also back the campaign with banners on its own website promoting flight and holiday offers to Scotland, with particular emphasis from the sales and marketing team at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: “We’re delighted to have BA on board for our Year of Natural Scotland campaign. The South-East of England represents one of our biggest markets, with the airline already responsible for delivering tens of thousands of visitors each year.

“Hopefully by reminding people that we’re only an hour away this will entice even more people to come to Scotland for a relaxing break.”

We covered the launch of the Year of Natural Scotland with a story about the beautiful Shetland ponies in onesies at the start of the year. See a picture of the cuties and get more information here.

Don’t forget that you can find many holiday cottages in Scotland at our main site.

 

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Flights to Scotland

Flybe is adding flights from Manchester to both Glasgow and Edinburgh this April. The two new Saturday return services will operate from 6th April, with one-way flights from £39.99 including taxes and airport charges.

The airline is also increasing the frequency of its weekday flights from East Midlands Airport to Edinburgh and Glasgow to four flights a day from 1st April.

 

These new services could make flying to Scotland a more feasible option when looking for a quick holiday getaway, cutting down journey times and allowing you to spend more time at your destination.

How about one of these three superb cottages (below) on a 3,000-acre sheep farm set in the spectacular Pentland Hills Regional Park? It might feel like a complete hideaway, but you will only be 10 minutes drive from the city of Edinburgh and 10 miles from the airport. Each cottage caters for a different number of guests, from the Stable which is a wonderful space for two, to Steading which is entered via a stone archway to the open-plan kitchen/dining room at one end and cosy sitting room at the other. Upstairs there are two bedrooms, one double and one twin. Byre has charming exposed beams and an upstairs sitting room. There is a twin and a double bedroom, with the possibility of accommodating two more people on a comfortable double sofa bed. All three cottages have wood-burning stoves to cosy up in front of at night, and stunning views Scotland is famed for.

 

 

Another option would be these three cottages on Cloag Farm, seven miles west of Perth, just north of Methven village. Each cottage sleeps 4 with one double and one twin room. They are set away from the road and have panoramic southerly views. Ideal for exploring Perthshire, or as a base for visiting Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, St Andrews and beyond. Bookings run from “any day” to “any day” and there are discounts available for couples all year. They also benefit from 3 stars from VisitScotland.

 

For these cottages and many more, visit our main site.

 

 

 

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Ponies in onesies, a film festival, and lodges with a private beach

Fivla and Vitamin picture by Rob McDougall, courtesy of VisitScotland

Fivla and Vitamin picture by Rob McDougall, courtesy of VisitScotland

Visit Scotland have jumped on the ‘onesie’ craze, but with a difference – they have chosen Shetland ponies, Fivla and Vitamin to model their specially made onesies made from Shetland wool.

These pretty little models are representing The Year of Natural Scotland, which aims to educate people on the country’s range of biodiversity and to inspire holidaymakers with its beautiful landscapes.

Visit Scotland said: “With Shetland wool and knitwear being so in demand, it seemed like a fun way to celebrate Shetland’s natural landscapes, products and heritage.”

Next month would be an ideal time to visit and combine outdoor walks in the countryside with a trip into the city of Glasgow for its Film Festival 14th-24th February. It includes themed screenings and many tie-in events across the city, to provide plenty to do over a day out or weekend away.

Why not try one of these lovely lodges right on the loch side of Loch Lomond and with a private sandy beach, and only a 50 minute drive to Glasgow. The lodges are perfect family holiday accommodation, with verandah’s complete with lockable gates, perfect if you are visiting with small children or animals.

The lodges sleep six each and are double glazed with a fully fitted kitchen, pay-phone, flat screen TV with freeview, DVD player and hi-fi with iPod functionality.

Beautiful Lodges near Loch Lomond

Beautiful Lodges near Loch Lomond

View from the private sandy beach

View from the private sandy beach

Warm and cosy inside

Warm and cosy inside

 

 

 

 

 

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