Posts Tagged travel news

‘Sounds’ of Britain to encourage visitors

Big Ben picture by Flickr user tjuel

Big Ben picture by Flickr user tjuel

Sounds can evoke strong memories or associations, and VisitBritain is hoping to harness this power with it’s new sound-based ad campaign.

The £2.5 million TV and online ad campaign features the ‘sounds’ of Britain. These will include the pouring of a cup of tea, a black cap beeping and, of course, the chimes of Big Ben.

It’s been launched across key tourism markets: USA, Brazil, China, India, Gulf states, and throughout Europe.

The digital version will allow users to customise their own advert and itinerary set to the ‘sounds’ of Britain, and Rudimental’s song ‘Feel the Love’. They can also share the result with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Joss Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain said: “We want to involve people in creating their own British experience – first online where they can become the director of their own bespoke tourism ad, and then in reality following their individual journey across Britain according to their own interests and inspirations.

“This ad is something a little bit different and we hope it conveys the humour and character of a modern, confident Britain.”

If you’re visiting the UK, make sure to include Holiday Cottages in your Great British holiday plan!

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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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In-flight entertainment with a twist

There will be in-flight entertainment with a twist if you catch a Virgin Atlantic Little Red flight in the next couple of months. The twist being that the entertainment will be live throughout the flight!

No getting away from it, it’ll be a truly captive audience as the airline treats its passengers to a line up of stand-up comedy and music on flights between London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Depending on your point of view, it will be a delightful or dreadful extra, as this month stand-up comics heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival test out their material at 30,000 feet. In September, music will dominate the line up with a series of acoustic gigs paying homage to the “rich music scenes” in Scotland and Manchester.

Virgin president Sir Richard Branson said: “We launched Virgin Atlantic Little Red to shake up domestic flying in the UK and this latest activity highlights why our customer service is second to none.

“In true Virgin Atlantic spirit we’re doing something a little different and providing our passengers with a line-up of gigs to ensure we offer a truly unforgettable flying experience on Little Red.”

Acts will be announced through the Virgin Atlantic Facebook and Twitter channels, but the exact flights they’ll be performing on will remain a secret until the day.


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Holidays more expensive when schools decide term dates

September 2015 marks a change in the school holiday system as all schools will be able to decide their own term dates.

Currently, term dates are set by the council, but the plans are being put in place to give schools greater autonomy and to allow for more blocks of working time. This could see many state schools switching away from the traditional long summer holidays in favour of shorter ones spread more evenly across the year.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) says it will cause problems for families with children in different schools and it claims that holiday firms will take advantage and extend the peak booking period in order to encompass all dates.

Christine Blower, head of the NUT, said: “Holiday companies will almost certainly just expand the period over which they charge premium rates so there will be no benefit to families, or indeed the general public who will have fewer weeks of less expensive holidays.”

An education department spokesman said: “It is right that all schools are free to set their own term dates in the interests of parents and pupils.”

Academies already have the power to decide their term dates. The changes to state schools will mean that they can change their term dates but must operate within the minimum of 190 school days per year.

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Yorkshire ‘not a destination’ according to Visit England

Beautiful Yorkshire Dales picture by Flickr User Fields of View

Beautiful Yorkshire Dales picture by Flickr User Fields of View


Visit England has refused to give Welcome to Yorkshire any of the money set aside to boost British tourism, because it said Yorkshire is ‘not a destination’.

Welcome to Yorkshire, which supports tourism in the region as a whole, has complained to the Government over the decision, claiming that Cumbria, Northumberland and Cornwall have all benefited from the Regional Growth Fund, so Visit England’s reason does not stand up.

Welcome to Yorkshire said: “They’ve consistently told us that there won’t be money for Welcome to Yorkshire to support Yorkshire as a whole because we’re not a destination. Try telling that to the thousands of visitors who choose to holiday in Yorkshire every year, or the many tourism businesses who know how important the Yorkshire brand is in helping them to attract visitors.”

Before any proud Yorkshire folk get too irate about there being no funding at all, Visit England has allocated £500,000 each to York and Leeds to help with promotion. However, as anyone in the county will know, these two cities are not all it has to offer. Proof of this must be in the gold medal Welcome to Yorkshire won in the World Travel Awards earlier this year.

Welcome to Yorkshire claim it has boosted the visitor economy from £5.9bn to £7bn and created 4,000 jobs. It also claimed that last week, the former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt singled out the county as “an excellent holiday destination”.


What do you think to Visit England’s decision? Is it fair? Please post your comments below.

Don’t forget to visit Holiday Cottages for a huge range of holiday lets in Yorkshire.


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The Lakes get Hollywood visitors

Beautiful Lake Windermere picture by Flickr User byrion

Beautiful Lake Windermere picture by Flickr User byrion


Anyone who has ever been to the Lake District will have to agree that it is one of the most beautiful areas to visit in the country. We went to Lake Windermere a couple of years ago on a particularly glorious day and were stunned by the picturesque scenery; it really felt as if we’d been dropped into the middle of a postcard picture.

The area’s reputation is already strong, but is about to get even better as one of the most famous celebrity couples, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are reported to be going to Windermere with their six children on holiday.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Hollywood stars have booked a boathouse for a few days rest in between Jolie’s work schedule. A source told the newspaper that their choice of location was because Jolie was supposed to be shooting the film Maleficent nearby, but this was changed to a more convenient location closer to Pinewood Studios.

“They’d already booked a few days off though, and they didn’t want the kids to miss out on their trip up to the Lakes, so they decided to go,” said the source.

A rush of visitors to the location is expected now the news has broken. If you want to follow in Brangelina’s footsteps and visit this beautiful area of the country for a holiday, make sure to check out Holiday for a wide range of  cottages to suit your needs.


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