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Ullswater in the Lake District
As 2014 quickly comes to a close, there's no better time than now to think through exactly where we want the next 12 months to take us. Forget trend pieces trumpeting generic destination hotspots; over the next week, we'll share with you where our own Jaunted contributors personally want to go in 2015.
Iím UK-based, and though I love traveling further afield, I never fail to be overwhelmed when I come back to Europe. So as much as I want to go to other places next year (Taiwan! Dallas! Detroit!), Iíll stick closer to home for this list:
1: Salamanca. I never traveled to Spain when I was younger because I studied Italian and spend all my Med time there. Over the past couple of years Iíve been visiting and realizing how much Iíve missed out on. This year I have promised myself to make it to Salamanca, which Iíve been obsessed with the idea of visiting since watching Denzel Washington in Vantage Point, way back in 2008. Loads of frilly old buildings and a vast university mean two of my holiday musts Ė architecture and cocktails Ė should be well catered for.
We usually turn our attention towards New Mexico when it comes to space travel and space tourism, as thatís where Virgin Galactic has been preparing and planning for the last few years. However, thereís 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.
Volunteer Travel / England Travel / UK Travel / Historical Travel / Arbeia / Roman Empire / → All Tags
Earthwatch.org is giving would-be anthropologists a chance to unearth the Roman Empire in an unlikely location.
More than 2,000 years ago the Roman Empire stretched to northern England and one of its busiest forts in that area, the Arbeia, still stands today.
Train Travel / Harry Potter / UK Travel / Orient-Express / Orient Express / Literary Travel / Movie Travel / Tours / → All Tags
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Orlando may be working on building a full-scale Hogwarts Express train, but little do they know one already exists.
Over in the UK, the famously opulent Orient-Express "Northern Belle" train attempts to recreate the Hogwarts Express experience on special kid-friendly departures that include more than just a choo-choo ride; the train actually transports its passengers to and from Hogwarts or, well, the Harry Potter Studio Tour experience outside London, where the movies were filmed.
Curious to see what exactly goes down in the Studio Tour? What a coincidence! We recently visited it ourselves.
Airport News / London Heathrow / The Queen's Terminal / LHR / London Travel / Airport Construction / UK Travel / T2 at LHR / → All Tags
This summer hasn't even officially begun and we're already looking forward to a European trip in 2014, thanks to the opening of the newest and flashiest new airport: Heathrow's Terminal 2. Besides the fresh new airport smell, the building will walk through the halls of The Queen's Terminal, the official name of the modern building.
The countdown is officially on for The Queen's Terminal as we are just under 12 months until the ribbon cutting, with the first passengers arriving on a United flight June 4, 2014. The terminal will hearken back to the airport's history; Queen Elizabeth opened the original building in 1955, just 3 years after she took the throne. Since then, that structure was demolished to make way for a sustainable airport that will grow with the amount of tourists planning to head to the UK and transit through the mega-hub.
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Forgive the obvious train headline pun.
You wake up and inevitably roll over to check your phone. Emails, Twitter replies (none), and finally Facebook. Based on what you see there, you're going to have your first instinct on calling it a good day or a bad day.
Well, my friends, today's already one of those bad days as the first bit of news we caught was the end of Britain's Virgin Trains. You can read all the details behind the line's impending closure at BusinessWeek, but essentially Virgin Trains rebid to continue running their services on the privatized west coast lineslines they've been running for 15 years at currently 30 million passengers per yearand LOST.
Virgin will continue running until December, when the switch will take place to see Virgin out and UK rail company FirstGroup in. This means the end of slick, red-painted tilting Virgin Pendolinos on routes including London to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and Liverpool (our favorite).
"It takes how long from London?!" is the usual response we get when suggesting that our friends visit Cornwall, Britain's most southwesterly county.
Stuck out into the Atlantic as it is, it's either an hour's flight from Gatwick to Newquay, a five hour day train, or our favorite: the overnight sleeper train that lets you save a night's hotel costs while being rocked to sleep by the clickety-clack of the rails.
Go to bed in London...and wake up on the Cornish Riviera, Britain's version of the CŰte d'Azur, with sea, surf, sand andif you're lucky, because it's still the UK, sun.
Money / Customs / UK Travel / Luxury Travel / Luggage / → All Tags
Mo money, mo problems. Sounds like a problem we all wish to have, if at least for a minute.
Even millionaires, billionaires, and trillionairs have cash problems and Christo Wiese is no exception. Back in 2009, South Africa's third wealthiest man ran into some issues with border officials in the UK when he tried to fly from the London to Luxemburg with 3 suitcases full of cash. We're talking full of cash to the tune of the equivalent to $1 million US dollars.
Airline Mergers / Airline News / BMI Baby / BMI / British Airways / Iberia / IAG / UK Travel / → All Tags
We all know that bmi ownership has changed hands from Lufthansa to IAG, the parent company to British Aiways and Iberia. When the merger is complete, bmi will be no more, a casualty in the battle that is the European aviation industry. But first, we bid a fond adieu to bmi's low-cost little brother, bmi baby.
With all the necessary signatures put to paper, IAG is starting to figure out the best way to combine operations and surge to airline dominance. The baby painted planes are the first ones to get the axe and it's all happening very quickly.
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Perhaps you have people on your holiday shopping list for whom you completely dread finding gifts...or maybe it's you falling into that category on your loved one's lists. Whatever direction the holiday shopping stress is coming from, British Airways has a solution.
Last week, BA decided to spice up Black Friday and tweeted about gift ideas, like vouchers for the general public to get into their Flight Simulator Experiences.
It all sounds like something right out of the Nieman Marcus Fantasy Gift section in their catalog, with prices to match. Normally reserved for their own flight crews, the simulators are offered to any self-proclaimed aviation geek. Vouchers are available from £399 for a 1-hour flight on a Boeing 737-400, to £1,347 for a 3-hour flight on a 747-400. Sorry Airbus fans, aircraft options are limited to Boeing only and also include 757-200, 767-300 and 777-200.
Traveling with Children / Travel Safety / Historical Travel / Europe Travel / UK Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
First things first. Here at Jaunted, we like kids. Hecksome of us even have them! Thus we don't typically advocate the use of kid-leashes because they look stupid, are dehumanizing, and keeping kids in line shouldn't require strapping something around them. On the other hand, we understand their practicality in certain tourism-related settings. Here's the top three places it may be okay to put your kid on a leash:
· At a medieval castle
It was in one of the eight tall turrets at Conwy Castle in Wales that we first noticed the high percentage of little kids on leashes, and for once it all made sense. These turrets have very thin, steep steps. The walkways can be precipitous, not to mention scarily uneven. Parents had prepped for the outing by breaking out the harnesses, and we watched in awe as they easily navigated their way down spiral staircases and around the medieval layout (with a 91' deep well!) knowing their children wouldn't fall into the many abysses at any moment.
Are you ready for this? British Airways has just announced that they will soon introduce a "signature brand scent" onto their airplanes, to make flyers think of luxury stores or anywhere other than a metal tube full of passengers with questionable hygiene. How do you prefer your airlinepowder fresh or mountain spring? Finally we can say this: "We like our airlines like we like our deodorants: unscented."
The scent details haven't yet been released, although we're guessing a top note of bacon roll is off the table. Likely Eau de BA will follow in the fresh trend of the scent already found throughout British Airways' Heathrow lounges, that of cut grass and ocean.