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Well, it was lovely while it lasted. After 1.5 years of flying, Virgin Atlantic's regional subsidiary Little Red is calling it quits. The goodbye will be a long one, however; the airline won't send its last A320 into the UK skies until September of 2015, making its total lifespanfrom launch in April 2013 to close in September 201529 months.
Issues contributing to the demise include too much point-to-point travel versus connecting to Virgin Atlantic long-hauls from London, and too few slots to truly compete with British Airways on the routes. Both of these reasons go against the whole goal of starting Little Red, which was to offer travelers connecting flight service from other UK town into the Virgin Atlantic long-haul jets in London, and to offer "consumer choice on key domestic services after British Airways' takeover of bmi gifted them a monopoly on these routes."
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Drop everything and watch this. Do not be put off by the video's 7.5-minute length; it is worth every moment. You see, pro trials cyclist Danny Macaskill puts his biking skillz to the test over waterfalls, cliffs, sharp ridges, andnot even kiddingmountain peaks in the clouds around his home region, Scotland's Isle of Skye.
The premise is simple, and thusly laid out by the video's brief description:
For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.
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Saturday night's big wedding — and wedding night — episode of Outlander has some brides fantasizing about their own Scottish ceremony.
Most of the Outlander nuptials were filmed in Ayrshire, but Historic Edinburgh's Royal Mile and Edinburgh’s Old Town also play an important role in the Outlander stories as the place where Claire and Jamie reunited.
VisitScotland is taking full advantage of the hype surrounding the new Starz series Outlander by launching a map of Outlander locations for fans of the books and the show.
The online guide brings visitors to genuine locations from Diana Gabaldon's first two novels and includes Scotland's must-see historic sites. Some of the highlighted locations include the Holyrood Palace, Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, and Fort William, which plays an important role in the novels.
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With the Starz series Outlander about to debut, there is more interest than ever in the books which inspired the show, not to mention the Scotland locations where both are set.
There are several tour companies throughout Scotland now offering Outlander tours, including Vacation Scotland's Outlandish Adventures, a 7-day exploration of book locations, from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye.
We usually turn our attention towards New Mexico when it comes to space travel and space tourism, as that’s where Virgin Galactic has been preparing and planning for the last few years. However, there’s another spot to add to your space race map; the United Kingdom have their own sky-high dreams and they're focusing them on Scotland.
Those looking for something a little more interesting this summer have a few new options, and despite the name it won’t be bland, dull, or boring. Three towns that share less than welcoming names are joining forces on a little bit of a tourism campaign, as they try to ensure that travelers stop in for a visit rather than driving right on through.
Boring, Oregon joined forces with Dull—it’s over in Scotland—a couple of years ago, as they figured that they might be able to score some tourist dollars if they teamed up on a little bit of a campaign. Boring and Dull souvenirs have apparently been a little bit of a hit, and they’ve been enjoyed the sales of t-shirts, mugs, and other goodies.
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What a difference a year makes! Last January, we profiled the longest and shortest regularly scheduled commercial flights, with Singapore Airlines taking the cake for traveling from Singapore to Newark in 19 hours. SIA has since ceased these flights, making room for a new top dog.
As of November 23rd 2013, Qantas flight 7 now claims the title for longest flight, hauling passengers from Sydney to Dallas aboard a Boeing 747-400. From block to block, the flight takes about 15 hours, 25 minutes to fly from down under to the Lone Star State. The total distance traveled spans 8,578 miles, edging out the second longest flight by a mere 139 miles.
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The start of a new year means a zeroing-out of frequent flier qualifying miles and hotel loyalty program balances. Thus, there's no better time to plan for 12 more months of travel. To help with some inspiration, we're sharing the places and events we're most excited about for 2014.
More new months in the year means more chances to party at the buzziest events or simply witness a historical occurrence. Keep this list handy as you map out your itineraries for this year:
Last year, Ireland experimented with a tourism marketing program called "The Gathering" that attempted to bring Irish Americans to the country on the basis that they could discover their "roots." The idea took criticism in the beginning, but it ended up being a huge success, bringing in an additional 220,000 visitors as of September of 2013 (its goal is 325,000 by the end of 2013).
As a result, it is no surprise that other countries have begun to wonder if they might find similar results with a similar campaign. Scotland is apparently chomping at the bit. Visit Scotland and Tourism Intelligence Scotland are encouraging firms to "take advantage of the growing sector," especially surrounding well-known events such as the Ryder Cup.
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Yang Guang limbers up
Maybe Edinburgh is that kinda town, because it wasn’t just Richard Branson getting frisky in Scotland last week; bumping Little Red’s arrival down the news agenda were the two pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, whose slow and steady journey to mating season has been vicariously lapped up by the British press.
Not because they’re creeps, see; but because a panda pregnancy will be a feat against all the oddsthe female is in season for just 48 hours. Also, the couple have only known each other for just over a year, so although it’s not quite celebrity speed, it’s pretty quick. Last year, they tried to breed unsuccessfully. This year, we were told when we visited last week, Tian Tian has been calling to Yang Guang with “much more urgency,” making the scientists think they might just hit the jackpot.
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Little Red's check-in desks at Edinburgh Airport
Little Red flies three routes: from London-Heathrow to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester, all intended as feeder destinations to get locals to Heathrow for Virgin Atlantic's long-haul flights. There are 26 flights a day in totalsix each way on the Edinburgh route, three for Aberdeen and four for Manchester. All are perfectly timed to connect with the rest of VA's network.
There’s a launch sale on right now that means you only pay the taxes. Unfortunately, since this is the UK, that means you’re not getting a bargain; it ends up £98 for a return flight between London and Scotland, and £103 return from Manchester.