This is a medieval market town, famed for its tapestries. It was destroyed in the war but so well restored that the Grand Place and the Place des Heros look very much the historic part. Flemish gabled buildings, quaint squares, fine restaurants, a rich heritage and lively vibe combine to offer an interesting Flemish-Gallic experience. Visit the fine arts museum, Musée des Beaux-Arts (entry €7.50) to see an ornate collection of horse drawn carriages donated by the Chateau de Versailles in Paris. The town is also known for its underground tunnels, such as Wellington Quarry where 1500 soldiers lived during the First World War.
From Calais: 90 minutes via A26 motorway
With so many cheap hotels in Paris, it’s the perfect excuse for a getaway.
Paris is a world-renowned and revered destination and it isn’t hard to see why. This romantic city is a cultural hub with a dizzying array of attractions and sights, as well as offering plenty of things to do for the young and energetic who want to while the nights away in a club. Best of all, visitors from the UK can get there by simply hopping on the Eurostar from London and travelling right into the heart of the great city. Alternatively, the Channel Tunnel will take you to Calais and Paris is just a drive away. Given the cheap and fast transport, there’s no reason not to book any of the number of cheap hotels Paris offers to enjoy either a weekend break or an extended holiday.
The idea of a cheap hotel instils fear into many people who hold the antiquated belief that ‘cheap’ is a byword for tatty rooms, unchanged bedding and surly staff. In actual fact, the reality is vastly different. Cheap accommodation can offer the same standard of living
In both the top resorts and smaller ones there’s a host of new runs, accommodation and lift pass offers for the 2011 season. Here’s a rundown from P&O Ferries’ skiing holidays expert Nicky Holford.
If you’re thinking about family ski holidays, France is pretty hard to beat. Most ski resorts in France can be reached in a day if you cross the channel early or overnight. Check out what’s new for 2011.
Value for Money
Don’t dismiss smaller French resorts, particularly those that link into large ski areas, as they are better value both on and off the mountain. This year Flaine, one of the best family ski holiday resorts has undergone a complete renovation of its main gondola. There’s a new slope that reduces traffic on the nursery slopes, and two new apartment complexes, Terasses de Veret and Refuge du Golf, are due to open. Flaine links with resorts such as Samoens, (where a new six-man chairlift opened last season), Morillon and Les Carroz in the Grand Massif. In Les Carroz (which is actually bigger than Flaine) a beginner lift pass has been extended to cover the
Brighten up the dull days of winter with an exciting city break or a luxury weekend away from it all! Whether you fancy hitting the shops and the bright lights of London or escaping for a feast of fine dining and relaxation at a country retreat, check into one of our award-winning luxury hotels for a weekend to really remember.
Bright Lights, Big City
There’s nowhere quite like London and it’s not surprising that this great capital city is home to some of the best hotels in the world. If you’re looking for a weekend of shopping and dining to banish your winter blues, it’s got the lot. How about adding some glamour to your winter wardrobe? Head for Knightsbridge and hit the department stores. Harvey Nichols hosts regular fashion nights, perfect for getting an insider view on the latest designer styles. And Harrods has just launched a new men’s designer department and an extended wine shop, where you’ll find handy wine tips and classy vintages. If you’re shopping for kids, the place to head for is Hamley’s on Regent Street. For more unusual gifts don’t forget the markets: Portobello Road for interesting
Forget screaming kids and grumpy teenagers, if you’re looking for the ultimate romantic break for two with no interruptions, why not try one of our luxury villas in Greece?
Shop around now and you could pick up some great late villa deals too, so you’ll have more to spend on fine dining and champagne…
Just us two
If you’re looking for a holiday hideaway well away from the madding family holiday crowds, many of the Greek islands offer a tempting choice of chilled out havens and quiet coves tucked away from the more boisterous resorts. And to really enjoy some couple time, choosing a villa rather than a hotel provides you with your own little home in the sun, with breakfast just for two by the side of your own private pool. You’ll be spoilt for choice with villas in Greece, but if you’re in the mood to make your next holiday extra special, take a look at our luxury properties situated in upmarket resorts on the dreamy islands of Kefalonia and Lefkas.
Two of the best
The pretty Ionian island of Kefalonia with its golden sands, picturesque fishing
European cities are a cultural feast. There’s so much to see, it’s tempting to want to do it all and hang the expense. But you don’t need to blow your budget in order to have a great time – just follow a few useful tips.
TIP: Theatre and concert tickets in Europe can cost an arm and a leg but there are plenty of free and cheap entertainment options. Summertime is great for arts and music festivals and parades. Amsterdam has lots of free concerts and London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden sometimes has free outdoor screenings in the cobbled courtyard of what’s happening onstage – a great atmosphere! In Paris (where you can nab an opera ticket for as little as 5 euros), pick up a copy of Pariscope at newsstands for weekly listings including free events, and in London, check out Time Out magazine.
TIP: Apart from entrance fees to many major attractions, you’ll likely fall victim to the souvenir shop and it can rapidly get out of hand and maybe even tip you over into excess baggage charges if you buy too much stuff. Keep costs down by setting a
Founded over 80 years ago, Leading Hotels of the World represents more than 430 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas in 80 countries across the globe, from stately palaces to luxury tents.
Leaders Club – Join the club that the world’s most luxurious hotels are proud to be members of.
Leading Hotels has just announced some exciting new benefits for members of its Leaders Club – a guest loyalty programme designed to make the travel experience more personalised and enriching.
The prestigious club is designed to make trips more fulfilling, and personalises luxury travel experiences at over 430 utterly unique independent hotels and resorts worldwide. In addition to their existing benefits – ability to earn free nights; early check-in, late check-out; room upgrades; welcome gifts and exclusive rates – Leaders Club members will now be able to enjoy daily complimentary continental breakfast for two and complimentary Internet access at all Leading Hotels.
The Sukhothai Bangkok
The Sukhothai Bangkok
Leaders Club members also have the opportunity to earn a complimentary night for every five qualifying stays made before 31 December 2011.*
Leaders Club members enjoy these generous
When you’re stuck in the office, and dreaming of jetting off somewhere exotic on holiday, it is easy to forget that there are hundreds of fascinating and enchanting sights to see in the UK. While some of these sights are well known, there are plenty of hidden gems that you will not be familiar with. In this article, we travel from north to south and highlight the must see attractions of three of the UK’s most vibrant and cultural towns and cities.
Sitting on the UK’s west coast, the city of Liverpool is a perfect mix of rich history and bustling modern day city life. Once the most important port city in Europe, Liverpool is also synonymous with many of the country’s most famous icons, from footballers, to the Beatles. However, if you look beyond the obvious attractions there is a wealth of things to see. Follow our footsteps in this three step guide to the city.
1.Church of St Luke: Designed by John Foster and consecrated in 1831, the Church of St Luke stands as a reminder of the hardships and conflict that Liverpool experienced during the
If you are planning a holiday on sunnier shores, it pays to spend time ensuring your cash will stretch as far as possible. If you save consistently, in just a few months you could save enough to book your ticket –and take advantage of a multitude of other methods to cut the cost of a trip abroad.
If possible, avoid charging the cost of heading to warmer climes to a credit card – and start saving instead. You might be surprised how much you can squirrel away in a short space of time in preparation for a trip.
There is an array of savings accounts to choose from that you can use for any spare cash. If you want to know you can access your cash at any time, make sure you opt for an instant access savings account. If you’re able to keep up the savings habit over several months, you could consider a regular savings account to encourage you to set aside, say, £100 a month, or whatever you can sensibly afford.
Use comparison sites
Once you’ve got the money to take the plunge, the first
If you are a bona fide shopaholic, then there are plenty of opportunities across the world to indulge your habit, particularly if your first love is fashion. From Tokyo and Hong Kong to the traditional European couture capitals of London, Paris and Milan, there’s a wide world of styles out there.
But for many, New York is at the top of the list for retail enthusiasts. As the backdrop to innumerable films and TV shows, New York is instantly recognisable – even to those who have never set foot on the main island of Manhattan.
Barneys, Bergdorf and Bloomingdales The ‘3 Bs’ form the bedrock of swanky New York shopping. Anyone who has enjoyed the fashionista excesses of Carrie Bradshaw and the Sex and the City girls will feel right at home in Barneys, Bergdorf and Bloomingdales – though remember that they also cater for men and children.
Barneys is revered as the headquarters of the über-luxurious shopping experience, and is a temple for fashion-obsessed New Yorkers – it’s very much a shop for the girl who knows her Christian Louboutins from her Manolo Blahniks.
Bergdorf Goodman is another shop
Europe has become much more expensive to visit in recent years, but it’s still possible to eat well and save money. Try local foods and beverages for the best bargains and your taste buds as well as your wallet may get a pleasant surprise.
TIP. Shop at farmers’ markets and small grocery stores to sample local produce. The ancient UK city of Bath is a big draw for American tourists. Get up early and explore the dazzling array of local produce at the Saturday farmers’ market at Green Park Station in the city centre. In London, head for bustling Borough market (London Bridge or Borough tube stations). France has a great tradition of farmers’ markets with some of the very best in Provence, including Carpentras market which has been going since the 12th century. Snap up local breads, cheeses, meats and fruits and picnic in the park. You’ll be hard pressed not to leave with an armful of colorful flowers too in summer. You’ll need cash here so withdraw some at an ATM using your Visa Debit card.
TIP. Eat on the hoof. You may want to sit down for
Dublin is a city for all tastes and all seasons, but this January, nights of glowing pub doorways and amber-lit cobbles will be the perfect host for the city’s biggest traditional Irish music festival. From céilís to galleries, literature to theatre, the capital has it covered.
Dublin’s cultural quarter, creative hub, if-there’s-something-going-on-you-can-be-sure-it’s-here hotspot, is undisputedly Temple Bar. The cobbled streets of galleries, theatres and lively pubs are, on any given day, filled with visitors and long-lunching locals.
So the area has the perfect credentials to kick-start Ireland’s legendary festival calendar on January 25th with Temple Bar Tradfest. Combining cosy pub sessions with outdoor concerts, street performers with pipe bands, and film screenings with storytelling – Tradfest promises nothing less than an Irish music and culture extravaganza. Now seven years old, the five-day schedule is growing in ambition and accessibility – over 200 events are free. (http://templebartrad.com/)
Legendary folk group The Dubliners anchor the festival, and are set to perform in the hauntingly beautiful Christchurch Cathedral. The iconic City Hall is another atmospheric venue hosting exhibitions and recitals.
The programme caters to for all levels of interest – you can immerse yourself
With scores of flights per day from a number of airlines, Thailand is the most accessible and affordable holiday destination in Asia. Its tropical climate, fabulous beaches, fascinating cities and culture also make it one of the most desirable.
Favourite holiday islands
If beaches are your thing, Thailand has some of the best in the world, with silver-white sands and crystal-clear water fringed by swaying palms – and romantic resorts to go with them. Favourite holiday islands are Koh Samui and Phuket but the mainland beaches around the Gulf of Thailand are just as good and accessible by road transfer from Bangkok. The resorts are all different, so read up before you book and be sure to talk to a travel adviser such as Freedom Asia whose staff have experienced Thailand first-hand.
Twin centre Thailand
You’ll find more to Thailand than just great beaches and, for twice the fun, try a professionally arranged twin centre holiday. You can combine the bright lights of Bangkok with the royal beach resort of Hua Hin, the hill tribes of Northern Thailand with the holiday playground on Phuket and
This winter has seen some of the best ski conditions yet, with powdery slopes gracing all areas of the French and Swiss Alps. Take advantage and book an unforgettable ski escape with Club Med. With great savings, there’s never been a better time to book.
Ski from the door
When it comes to ski holidays, Club Med is frequently regarded as a pioneer of the all-inclusive concept. A brand you can trust, Club Med believes that peace of mind is key, whether you’re travelling with family, in a couple or with friends.
A Club Med all-inclusive holiday really does include everything you could possibly need with flights, accommodation, gourmet food, unlimited wines, beers and spirits, lift passes, lessons, children’s clubs, non-ski activities, après-ski entertainment and so much more!
Club Med Villages are ideally situated in 23 locations around the world. From the Olympic runs of Val D’Isere to Les Trois Vallées and Le Grand Domaine, there are resorts to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Most of the resorts are ski from the door, allowing more time to enjoy the slopes.
Club Med offers premium all-inclusive holidays to over 80 exclusive resorts all around the world.
With Club Med all-inclusive you can expect stunning locations, superb accommodation, gourmet food, endless snacks and drinks from the bar, fantastic children’s clubs from babies to teens and a multitude of sports and activities. It is all included, so why not learn how to water-ski in Greece, sail in the Maldives, or just sip cocktails on a Caribbean beach…
With a Club Med holiday, expect a premium all-inclusive that is truly all-inclusive…
· Choice of accommodation
· Flights and transfers
· Full-board gourmet cuisine
· Open bar and snacks throughout the day
· A wide range of sports and activities
· Group classes and tuition
· Evening entertainment
· Children’s clubs from babies to teens
· ATOL and ABTA protected for peace of mind
There’s never been a better time to choose Club Med.
Club Med Olympic Games Guarantee
Everyone’s in the sporting spirit this summer. At Club Med you can still enjoy the Olympics from a sun soaked destination. All our resorts will be showing the games and with special Olympic themed events and activities, the whole family can get involved.
Metropolis, with its blend of 1930s architecture and futuristic glass-and-steel skyscrapers, is every inch a city reborn; a super destination for those looking for a taste of history and a glimpse of the future.
Visitors will enjoy landmark buildings such as the Daily Planet headquarters with its rotating globe, the iconic LexCorp tower and the island financial district of New Troy.
For the complete experience take an excursion to Suicide Slum where the infamous Ace O’ Clubs Bar still serves those brave enough to venture inside. Or see how the other half lives by visiting exclusive St Martins Island or Hell’s Gate, whose oceanside apartments are home to the impossibly wealthy.
And for those seeking a break from the bustle, towns like Smallville are easily in reach, a short Greyhound bus ride away from the Turkish Airlines terminal.
And then there’s Gotham City, once a byword for crime and urban decay, has risen above its past to once again stand tall as an economic powerhouse of manufacturing, shipping, and financial trading.
It’s a city of contrasts, an eclectic mix of old and new, something no better illustrated than by the way the historic architecture of its art
Finland’s Lake Päijänne is a peaceful, ancient place. It turned up when nature had a change of heart about its earthly décor during the Ice Age when a land-lift left in a lake in its place.
It’s a scenic place with a body of water that is broken up with small tufts of green islands and edged by the eccentric curves of a heavily forested shoreline.
It is best explored by boat, but then again, for the ultimate in waterside flexibility you may as well hire a houseboat and sail wherever you like and never have to worry about getting back home.
You can rent a houseboat from the base at Jyväskylä harbour. No experience is needed to drive it and you won’t need a licence. Just turn up, pick up a map and you are free to float along the waterways at your leisure. When you get bored with one view, set sail for another.
The water is pure, and home to perch, pike and zander so you can let your inner angler loose and have a good chance of catching a fish.
Perhaps take a dip, then sunbathe
St Pancras International is not just a railway station, it is a permanent home for the high-speed terminus to Ashford thanks to Southeastern, the Continent thanks to Eurostar, and with its accompanying five star Renaissance Hotel, it may well be the grandest railway station in the world.
Dressed in towering and exuberant Victorian red-brick and coloured stone, this dazzling piece of Gothic architecture looks reminiscent of a Cathedral with its clock tower and spiralling turrets.
Its sprawling interior is a hub for transport both overground and underground, but it is also a hub for humanity: around 48 million travellers and visitors per year set off or stay put to enjoy the retail, dining and cultural opportunities.
Originally built as the Midland railway in 1863 it housed Sir William Barlow’s train shed which looked awesome with high arches made of iron and glass and was one of the great engineering feats of the Victorian age. By 1873 the accompanying hotel Midland Grand Hotel was completed.
Once earmarked for demolition, it was restored instead and in 2007 it became the frontage to a vast gateway for