The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
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The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf



In this edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Getting to know Thailand, Escape to Salzburg, cruising, Golf in Murcia, Visiting the Channel Islands, Coaching Holidays, London's Parks, Kwazulu-Natal ...

In this edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Getting to know Thailand, Escape to Salzburg, cruising, Golf in Murcia, Visiting the Channel Islands, Coaching Holidays, London's Parks, Kwazulu-Natal South Africa. Plus win some cool travel products.



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    The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf Document Transcript

    • T R A V E L FROM THE EDITOR HOME OR AWAY? W elcome to the s u m m e r- t i m e issue of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Traditionally, it is when we Brits make our annual pilgrimage to soak up the sun on distant beaches. But, according to several surveys, more of GETTING TO KNOW Thailand bling and buy 6 us are choosing to stay in the UK this year – either to cut down on the expense of going abroad, or to enjoy the “bar- TRAVEL UPDATE Travel news 15 beque summer” promised by the Met Office. Wherever you head, we hope you will take ESCAPE TO Salzburg – city of music 18 this issue with you. As ever, it is packed full of ideas for holidays, both overseas and at home. ALL ABOARD Cruising from UK ports + News 23 And with an eye on the weather, we look at London’s glorious parks and see what’s going on during the summer beyond the capital. OFF THE BEATEN TRACK KwaZulu-Natal 28 We head to Thailand, a perennial favourite for its beaches and good-value shopping, and sing LET’S TRY Escorted coach holidays 34 the praises of music city Salzburg. We also go on the buses to see how coach holidays have PACK YOUR CLUBS Spain’s Murcia region + News 41 changed. The Channel Islands are the focus for our look at holidays on your doorstep. Keeping the theme close to home we highlight cruises ON YOUR DOORSTEP The Channel Islands 47 from UK ports, which are growing in populari- ty. And we tee it up in Spain’s Murcia region for IN YOUR FLIGHT BAG 53 our golf spotlight. WIN – A stylish Travelwrap worth over £200 Sit back, enjoy the read – and catch those rays while they last. IN YOUR SUITCASE 54 Peter Ellegard PLUS – 5 Yale Travel Safes to give away BEST FOR Hotels news and review 68 4 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • L E I S U R E EDITORIAL TEAM OUT & ABOUT What’s on outside London 56 Editor Peter Ellegard Writers Peter Ellegard, Keeley Gordon, Sara Macefield, Dave Richardson, Debbie Ward and COMING NEXT What’s in store in the next issue 59 Frank Partridge Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Jeannette Cumbers, Beverley LONDON REVIEW London’s parks + London news 60 Sennett & Elaine Smith Admin/Accounts Wendy Barfoot Production Keeley Gordon, Loretta Prince Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey FREE BOOKS for new READERS’ Published bi-monthly by Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd subscribers – see page 59 First Floor, 103 Cranbrook Road, Don’t forget the LETTERS Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU Tel: 020 8477 1529 Fax: 020 8514 4536 next issue of The We want to hear Email: Printed by Wyndeham Heron Travel & Leisure MAY/JUNE 2009 from you. Let us £2 where sold © Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited 2009 Magazine will be have your available from The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. r Timeless wonde thoughts on & MARCH/APRIL 2009 £2 where CALYPSO sold REYKJAVIK CRUISING Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to Travel September 2009. le Cool – and affordab n Caribbea FUNTASTIC island hopping ROCKofSTAR Wight FLORIDA TEE TIME IN & Leisure Magazines Limited is done so at its owner’s The Isle TRAVELLING IN STYLE The Travel & A real family affair SCOTLAND days in Perfect the home of golf risk and neither Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited nor railway Magical journeys WIN AVON CALLING NEWFplaygroundLAND Shakespeare OUND Subscription price £6 Leisure Nature’s Country its agents can accept any liability for loss or damage. KENYA Away from it holiday for two worth £4,000 to #A week’s all safaris Newfoundland Canada’s CUT£1,500 of Pride of Britain hotel vouchers # TO Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited is a completely inde- Guide 2009 copies, for 6 issues plus THE CHASE and more PLUS: Steam Heritage Magazine’s Royal Albert Hall Tornado hunters CRUISING tours WIN pendent company and can hold no responsibility for the Head for the Med receive a FREE Travel LONDON Theatres in focus MARRAKECH Book. new look, or # #A week’s holiday A city with souks Marrakech riad for two in a luxury appeal actions of outside agents. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent. A seven-night Continental camping trip PLUS: Time Out guides, Billy Connolly Rough Guides, DVDs, riding lessons and more on any topic. All private advertisers are totally responsible for their own wording within their advertisement, and Travel & Leisure Take out a subscription The best letter will win a STAR PRIZE. Magazines Limited can therefore take no responsibility as Call 020 8477 1529 to their content. Please seek legal advice and thereafter 6 issues just £6, inc postage. SAVE 50% Email us at verify all the details of your purchase in writing before proceeding. Front cover photo: Bournemouth Tourism July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 5
    • Karst away in bling and buy paradise From its gorgeous beaches and craggy karst islands to golden palaces, jungles and great shopping, it is hardly surprising Thailand is such a popular holiday spot. Debbie Ward is a Thai dyed-in-the-wool fan… “T here’s the big- paddle tour of scenic rock climbing; there’s a headed ghost” mangroves at Thailand’s cultural side – if you join said my guide, southerly resort of the monks (and the flashing the beam Krabi. My small monkeys) at the nearby of her torch into kayaking party not Tiger Cave Temple; Main photo and inset:Tourism Authority of Thailand the upper reaches only took in the “big- and, of course, there’s of the cave. I could make out a striped headed ghost cave” but some of the world’s most snake-like creature with a bulge and an eye also tunnels hung with gorgeous beaches to lie at one end. I did what any tourist would do, stalactites and leafy corri- your towel upon. I took a photo. dors where brightly-coloured I Wat Pho Buddha Low-key Krabi may not be As I was wearing flip flops and my only crabs crawled up exposed tree Thailand’s most popular resort (it means of escape was a kayak it’s just as well roots. lags in that respect behind Phuket and this was no malevolent monster but a 2,000 Krabi could be considered a small-scale Koh Samui) but if your mental image of the year-old cave painting, given its nickname showcase of the tourist appeal of whole of country is craggy limestone karst islands and by Thai fishermen. Thailand. There’s adventure – with kayak- long-tail boats decorated with ribbons in a My brush with ancient spirits came on a ing, jungle hikes to hot springs and even turquoise sea, this is where the photos you’re 6 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • getting to KNOW THAILAND recalling were mostly likely taken. The icon- ic karst islands were made famous when one I Long-tail boats and karst island off Krabi was used as a location for the villain Scaramanga’s hideout in the 1974 Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Now popu- larly known as James Bond Island, Koh Tapu (translating as Nail island as it is virtually vertical) is in Phang Nga Bay and can be reached on a day trip from Krabi or Phuket. Island hopping Krabi’s main strip, Ao Nang, has something of a waterborne rush hour each morning as Debbie Ward long-tails start their noisy outboard motors to whisk day-tripping tourists into karst- studded Phang Nga Bay. My partner and I joined one of the island-hopping excursions By night we enjoyed browsing the restau- By day, when we weren’t on excursions for a lazy day of sunbathing and snorkelling rants at the quieter eastern end of Ao Nang, we made shorter hops, using the long-tails on and around five beaches of increasing checking out the catch of the day displayed as a ferry service to the attractive neighbour- loveliness. Some of the places we stopped on iced trays before tucking our legs under a ing beaches of Railay and, my personal at were nothing more than sandbars but bamboo table and tucking in to three or four favourite Thai beach, Phra Nang. Here, at enterprising Thais had turned their long- colourful stir-fry or curry dishes for under one end of the cliff-framed white sand strip, tails into floating cafes serving milkshakes, £10. Afterwards we’d head for a cocktail at a I found another surprise waiting in a cave – sandwiches and fruit. bar converted from an old VW campervan. rows of brightly-painted wooden phalluses. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 7
    • While it may be a giggle for tourists, some locals believe this cave contains the spirit of a drowned princess – and I kept a respectful distance from the devotees offering prayers before the unusual shrine. Friendly people Thailand’s predominantly-Buddhist spiritu- ality is part of what makes it so famously friendly. Thais consider it a loss of face to resort to argument and you’ll rarely hear raised voices. The short-lived violence at the government protests of late last year was out Tourism Authority of Thailand of character in this usually-peaceful country. Buddhism also gives Thailand some of its most colourful sights, such as gold bell-shaped temple stupas and saffron-robed monks. My beach shrine was a far cry from the country’s more glitzy places of worship, the most I Relxation, Thai style revered of which lies within Bangkok’s key tourist attraction, the Grand Palace. On my visit I had my own lie down for a tance are the Bridge over the River Kwai, the You haven’t seen bling until you’ve wan- very affordable kneading at the massage so-called Death Railway built by WWII pris- dered this sprawling complex of gold leaf- school in Wat Pho’s grounds. oners of war, and Ayutthaya, the site of covered, jewel-encrusted buildings set Bangkok’s other must-sees, the pottery Thailand’s former royal capital. At the sec- beside the city’s Chao Phraya River. Despite studded temple of dawn – Wat Arun – and ond of these I was charmed to discover the the crowds it’s a peaceful place to be, with the small Royal Barges Museum are close odd crumbling stone Buddha statue respect- Thais making incense and lotus blossom by and reached on a river boat tour. Just fully clothed with saffron robes or patched offerings and kneeling before the precious beware of locals telling you the attraction with gold leaf among the restored temples statue that’s the focal point of the Temple of you seek is closed for lunch, flooded or oth- and atmospheric ruins. Most people arrive the Emerald Buddha. Next door to the erwise unavailable and helpfully suggesting at Ayutthaya by road but it’s possible to Grand Palace, Wat Pho is home to a giant, alternative sights. They’re invariably drum- make a romantic two-night, three-day jour- reclining Buddha with feet inlaid with moth- ming up business for a mate with a tuk-tuk! ney aboard a converted rice barge er of pearl. Out of Bangkok but within day-trip dis- ( G When visiting Bangkok’s Royal Palace wear enclosed Cultural tips shoes or sandals with straps around the heels to save queuing to hire appropriate footwear. G It is considered rude to point your feet at people in G Be prepared to cover your shoulders and remove shoes Thailand and especially at images of Buddha.Take care to inside temples. tuck your feet behind you when sitting on the floor, G The Thai royal family is highly-revered, so derogatory particularly in temples. comments about them and disrespectful treatment of G It’s also taboo to touch someone’s head, or to touch Baht notes bearing the king’s image will not be monks. appreciated. Tourism Authority of Thailand I The Royal Palace, Bangkok 8 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Thai massage I Traditional Thai massage. Below left: Thai massage ingredients Thailand’s unique and effective form of massage combines stretches with reflexology-like stimulation of pressure points. Much attention is focused on the feet but the masseur will also pull your pyjama-clad limbs into slightly scary but ultimately muscle-easing positions, which is why this technique is sometimes called “passive yoga”. If you’re nervous, start with a foot massage or the more gentle Thai treatments involving warm herbal poultices.Whatever you choose, your relaxation will be aided by the low cost.While you’d commonly pay £1 a minute for a massage at home, £4 an hour is more typical in Thailand’s clean street or beachside centres (look out for the reflexology charts outside) and as little as £30 in a plush hotel spa with a range of international treatments. All photos:Tourism Authority of Thailand Cycling tour inside what looks like the belly of a bright from recycled animal feed sacks and eating On another visit to Bangkok, I made my white space ship. Glamorous skyscraper-top dinner under a chandelier hung with Barbie escape from the city on one of the capital’s bars such as Sirocco Sky Bar dolls. While not everyone will love the new cycling tours. Thankfully this didn’t ( at State Tower or quirkiness of this place there are several route me through Bangkok’s traffic-choked Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar boutique hotels in the capital where the style streets; instead, our small group was led by ( atop the Banyan is more traditional, meaning you no longer the guide along quiet paths through nearby Tree offer a different perspective with city have to go large for a bit of city chic. farming areas, creating our own refreshing views that stretch to the horizon. breeze as we went. During an enlightening Bangkok’s hotels also pack that wow fac- Bargain shopping day, we stopped to ask farmers the secrets of tor and nowadays size isn’t everything. I recommend hitting Bangkok last if you the famously-stinky durian fruit and called I’ve been lucky enough to stay in several can. Not only will you have shed in at a local infant school to watch an plush marble-lobbied giants on the your jetlag in a more relaxed English lesson in progress. Flinging our riverfront over the years but, on environment but you’ll mountain bikes into a boat for a short ride my last trip, I chose to down- have got to grips with up river, we ended up at Koh Kret, an island size to Reflections Rooms I Shop for haggling and the known for its pottery making and where we (, local crafts exchange rate watched freshly-moulded incense burners a bizarre and very afford- before you hit the being loaded into kilns. able establishment where a capital’s shopping While the big sights of Bangkok are about host of artists have been highlights. history, one of its other key attractions – its given free reign with the Most tourists nightlife – is bang up to date. Among the decor. I found myself beat a path to the most famous venues is Bed Supper Club crunching my way across my rather seedy streets (, where you can room on silver bubble wrap around Patpong for dance, or recline to eat and sip cocktails flooring, sitting on a sofa made the ever-popular night 10 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • to see Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat tem- ples is another great combination. Here’s a regional round-up of Thailand’s key resorts: Andaman Sea Krabi and Phuket both front the spectacular island-studded Phang Nga Bay, a scenic playground of beautiful beaches, caves and cliffs for lazing, kayaking and snorkelling. Phuket, Thailand’s most popular resort, is by far the liveliest of the two. This is the place to come for big resort facilities, party action and international fast-food favourites. The large island, linked to the mainland by road bridge, has also gained some peace- ful and stylish retreats in recent years, par- ticularly on it’s east and north-west coasts. For divers, Phuket is the gateway to Thailand’s world-class sites of the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and Burma Banks. Quieter Khao Lak, on the mainland just above Phuket, is even closer. Classy resorts have sprung up on some of the islands in Phang Nga Bay, including Koh Lanta, Koh Racha and day-trip favourite the Phi Phi islands – famous as the filming site for The Beach. Gulf of Thailand While most of Thailand is best visited in the winter months, sheltered Koh Samui to the south of the Gulf of Thailand has an opposite season. It’s a honeymoon favourite so there’s plenty of romantic accommodation while I Elephant riding in northern Thailand family attractions like a training centre for coconut-picking monkeys are strung along the island’s loop road. Offshore, you can market. While I’ve had fun singing along to bites put paid to the mas- tour around Angthong National Marine Park Tom Jones impersonators at Radio City bar sage marathon I had or linger on neighbouring islands Koh Pha and snapping up a few bargains here in my planned on my last visit, I Ngan – famous for its full moon parties – time, for serious browsing I head to still got to make like a celebri- and Koh Tao, a top spot for beginner Chatuchak. This colossal weekend market ty by having a Bangkok tai- divers. (also known as JJs), beside the northern lor (most are concentrated Just around an hour’s drive from SkyTrain stop of Mo Chit, boasts over around Sukhumvit Road Bangkok, brash Pattaya is a party 15,000 stalls. and top hotels) run resort with big-name facilities. Its You’ll find bargain silk scarves, hand- me up silk skirts seedier side has been somewhat made candles, wood carvings and ornate and blouses to my cleaned up in recent years and it’s cutlery sets but half the fun is the spectacle. own designs. a well-established favourite with This is where Thais shop for anything from The classic families who stay at quieter furniture to pets to plastic fruit. I once even Thailand holiday Jontiem beach and enjoy nearby spotted a monk choosing a hamster! combines Bangkok attractions such as water parks, If you prefer the air-conditioned comfort with a beach and go-karting, an Elephant Village of a mall, you’re spoilt for choice with giant sometimes a third stop and Sriracha Tiger Zoo. shopping centres catering for trendy teens to in the green and cul- Golfers flock to Pattaya, too, the well-heeled clustered around Siam tural North. The as there are several quality Square and surrounding streets. country is also courses nearby. The great thing about buying anything in often linked with Hua Hin and Cha Am, Thailand is that it’s very affordable. This is its neighbours on also within driving distance one of the few places in the world I can enjoy tours of South East of Bangkok, are quiet neigh- my favourite indulgences, cocktails and spa Asia. A Thailand hol- bouring resorts favoured by treatments, on a daily basis. While mosquito iday with a side trip the Thai royal family, while July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 11
    • Chic & boutique I The funky Dusit In recent years,Thailand’s decorative cultural D2 hotel at Pattaya traditions have been given a twist and the country has become something of a hotspot for chic contemporary design – not least in its accommodation, with attractive new boutique hotels making a particular splash. Just some of the stylish offerings include: G The funky Dusit D2 brand hotels at Chiang Mai, Pattaya and, soon, Koh Samui ( G Philippe Starck-designed The Yamu, opening on Phuket this year with a chocolate room and a recording studio ( G Back-to-nature and spa-focused Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, on the island of Koh Kood in the gulf of Thailand ( G Minimalist The Racha on Koh Racha, off Phuket ( G And the cheery, oriental chintz-themed Dusit D2 Shanghai Mansion, in Bangkok’s Chinatown ( the large, up-and-coming island of Koh Thailand facts Chang offers a mountainous interior and day-trip possibilities around its 50-plus When to go: neighbouring islands. Koh Samui is best from June to September and the rest of Tourism Authority of Thailand Thailand November to March. Thailand’s North Not everything worth seeing in Thailand Visa: comes with a sea view. The country’s lush UK passport holders do not need a visa for stays up to 30 days. and mountainous North is packed full of adventure and culture. Getting there: Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai, is the Thai Airways (, EVA Air (, gateway to the North and is famed for its night British Airways ( and Qantas ( fly direct. market, handicraft villages and sanctuaries for You can also go direct to major resorts on charter flights. elephants that once worked in the logging industry. Farther north, Chiang Rai is a small- Tour operators: er hub and close to the Golden Triangle where UK operators featuring Thailand include: Kuoni (,Travel Thailand, Laos and Burma meet in scenic 2 (, Funway Holidays (, splendour around the Mekong River. Jasmine Travel (, Premier Holidays, You can trek to visit hill tribes in the ( and Silverbird ( North though the tourist path is pretty well- worn these days. Soft-adventure experiences Getting around: like mountain biking and white-water raft- Bangkok Airways ( and Thai Airways ing are also centred in the region as are some ( have extensive domestic flight networks. good golf courses. To head North in style, Beat the gridlocked daytime traffic in Bangkok by taking the SkyTrain, take the Eastern & Oriental Express underground, or river ferries. Iconic three-wheeled tuk-tuks are fun for ( from Bangkok short trips (haggle the price beforehand) but metered taxis (check the to Chiang Mai, or, if you’d rather chill-out meter is on) are safer and more affordable.Take the less-congested toll somewhere up-and coming, consider the laid TL expressways in Bangkok. Cycling tours are offered by Bike & Travel back retreat of Pai in Mae Hong Song ( and Spice Roads ( province. Ferry services and cheap long-tail boat taxis operate to the islands. A travel journalist for over a decade, Tourist information: Debbie Ward writes for numerous Tourism Authority of Thailand: call 0870 900 2007 or visit publications. She has a wardrobe full of Thai clothing from her many Thailand visits. 12 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 13
    • 14 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • TRAVEL update Does my tum look BIG in this? W hen it comes to shopping, highlights the trends in the USA’s top five women are the natural champi- inbound markets: Canada, Germany, Japan ons. After all, a girl can never and Mexico plus the UK. have too many shoes. Or dresses. Or hand- Most British shopping travellers are bags. repeat visitors, it reveals, and good value and And that lovely, sparkly jewellery is just variety are the most important elements of perfect for those new outfits... their shopping experience. New York City is Yet it seems the tables are turned when the top destination for British shoppers, at we go on holiday to the USA. New research 39%, followed by Orlando (20%) and Las shows that men outshop the girls once they Vegas (14%). cross the Atlantic, and by some considerable Shopping accounts for 25% of British margin, too. visitors’ spending on US trips, averaging The International Shopping Traveller $968 out of a total trip spend of $3,845. Study shows that for almost 50% of British G Chelsea Premium Outlets opens its visitors shopping is either the key reason for Cincinnati Premium Outlets in August and the trip or is a factor in their choice of desti- has just completed The Promenade exten- nations – with men representing 56% of sion to Camarillo Premium Outlets, near British shoppers, compared with just 44% Los Angeles. Extra discounts on labels for women. such as Hugo Boss, Diesel and Brooks I Step aside, girls: men are the biggest bargain hunters The survey, unveiled at the recent Pow Brothers as well as boys toys favourites Wow international travel trade marketplace company Taubman Centres in partnership Sony and Bose are available by visiting show in Miami, was commissioned by the with the US Department of Commerce and joining Shop America Alliance and shopping mall Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. It the VIP club. Flagging up Britain’s Ferry good value – and Fido can go, too best beaches Take an Irish Ferries cruise from Holyhead to Dublin or Pembroke A record 184 to Rosslare in July and August and awards have enjoy a free night and three-course been given to dinner at Wexford hotel Carlton Millrace and UK coastal areas in Kildare hotel Carlton Abbey. Prices, from £214 recognition of high qual- per person, include three nights with breakfast ity under the Blue Flag and return Sunday-Thursday ferry crossings. See beach award scheme – which is good news for If the dog needs a holiday too, DFDS Seaways the five million Britons ( now offers the DEFRA Pet Travel Valerie Cameron planning to holiday in Scheme (PETS) on both its Newcastle-Amsterdam the UK this year. I Thanet’s Blue Flag- and Harwich-Esbjerg routes, with pet travel from Although this year’s winning Minnis beach £19 each way. Pets, which can include rabbits, mice 72 Blue Flags is down by and rats, must be booked in advance and fulfil the 10 on 2008, mainly due respectively), followed G The Greek island of DEFRA scheme criteria. Call 0871 882 0885. to flooding, it is still a by Thanet on 11 (seven/ Rhodes has more Blue huge increase from the four) and, both with 10, Flag beaches than any EARLY BIRDS: Early-bird offers in Funway 45 awarded in 2002. A Southend (three/seven) other European island, Holidays’ expanded 2010 Far East brochure total of 113 Quality and Scarborough (two/ at 33. Greece is second include a 14-night Thailand tour from £969 per Coast Awards were also eight). Bournemouth in the world rankings, person this autumn, with three nights in Bangkok made to British beaches. and neighbouring Poole with 424 Blue Flag and a free city tour, three nights in Chiang Mai and Top areas, with a total each have four Blue beaches, behind Spain eight in Phuket, with flights, for bookings by of 14 each, were the Isle Flag beaches. Visit (493). In all, 3,300 September 30. New for 2010 are Vietnam, of Wight (two Blue Flags beaches around the Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, China, Japan, South and 12 QCAs) and for a list of all award- world have the presti- Korea and Taiwan. Torbay (five and nine winning UK beaches. gious accolade. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 15
    • TRAVEL update Maldives specials T he perfect ideal of sun, (approximately £78) per villa sand and sea, the per night including breakfast. Maldives are now even more accessible – and afford- Nineteen individual houses I Save on stays at stylish Naladhu able – with a new three-times- make up the stylish and exclu- a-week winter flight series from sive Naladhu resort, visited by ( is offers 28 nights in a Soneva Gili British Airways and special celebrities such as Wimbledon offering 14 extra nights free on top Villa suite from £6,675 per per- offers from some of the islands’ champion Roger Federer. On its of a two-week stay, in return for son, including flights and transfers top resorts. own private island and equipped four days of community work at – saving £5,800 per person. Book a beach villa at the 52- with antique furnishings and a the Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili G British Airways also has new acre Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi personal butler service, you can resorts. Up to December 22, winter services from Heathrow Resort & Spa private island get 25% off if you book 60 days guests can help by doing things to Las Vegas and from Gatwick before August 17 to travel in advance. Prices start from including teaching at local schools to Montego Bay (Jamaica), before August 31 and take $989 per room per night. or hospital volunteer work. Punta Cana (Dominican advantage of its two-for-one Elegant Resorts (01244 897517, Republic), Sharm el Sheikh offer; prices start from just $129 Soneva by Six Senses (Egypt) and Innsbruck (Austria). I Atlantis, The Palm Anyone for tennis? I nspired by this year’s Wimbledon championships? Retallack Resort and Spa, Cornwall’s five-star self- catering resort, is offering budding ten- Dubai kids don’t nis stars the opportunity to hone their game on holiday. A new tennis coach- need to buy ing programme provided by experi- enced Lawn Tennis Association- licensed coaches costs from £4.50 per For a family holiday with with two paying parents. person for a group lesson or £37 per a difference this year, Many restaurants also person per hour for private lessons. take advantage of the have free kids’ meals. Prices start from £600 a week for a Kids Go Free campaign Dubai attractions are two-bedroom lodge. Visit in Dubai. From now also offering free entry I Tresco I Flying Boat Club cottages until September 20, to children under 16, for more details. bedroom Emirates is offering a among them Sega Tennis is also on beach-front houses on free return flight to Republic, Dubai offer at the stylish new the site of the old Royal Dubai for one child Aquarium and Under Flying Boat Club on Naval Air Station. under 16 travelling with Water Zoo and Dubai the island of Tresco, in Guests have use of the both parents, and 75 top Ice Rink; while Atlantis, the Scilly Isles. Prestige indoor swimming pool, hotels, including the The Palm is offering free Holidays is offering a gym, steam room and Ritz-Carlton, Grosvenor entry to its attractions three-night package there free tennis on the Astroturf House and One&Only and children can eat this autumn from £315 per courts as well as free golf on Royal Mirage, are free at any Atlantis person, including return helicopter the nine-hole St Mary’s course. offering three nights’ restaurant when dining flights from Penzance to Tresco and For more information contact free stays for one child with an adult. heliport transfers. Prestige Holidays on 01425 480600 or You can rent one of the 12 luxurious visit 16 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 17
    • Music City of I Mozart Dinner Concert in St Peter’s Cellar From Mozart to the von Trapps, there’s no escaping Salzburg’s musical heritage. With its beautifully-preserved centre and lots to see beyond it, you don’t have to be music mad to enjoy a visit – but it helps. Peter Ellegard sings its praises V isit the pretty Austrian ing different genres during the year. Hence – a traffic-free pedestrian precinct apart alpine city of Salzburg its soubriquet, the Festival City. And even if from early-morning deliveries. Tour groups and you will find it isn’t you’re not a particular fan, there are plenty swarm in front of the building like bees just the surrounding hills of other things to do and see which make the round a honeypot, and the rest of the street that are alive with the city a great escape for a long weekend. also throngs with visitors day and night with sound of music, it is the There’s far more to Salzburg than its ancient buildings, quaint alleys and hid- whole city itself. Mozart, of course, but the two are inextrica- den courtyards full of cafes and restaurants. For Salzburg is not only where much of bly intertwined, as visitors soon discover. The cramped building houses numerous The Sound of Music was set and filmed, but The imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, exhibits including his original instruments, it is also where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which stands guard on a clifftop high above letters and family portraits. was born, in 1756. the ancient rooftops and church spires, may Mozart’s Residence, the family home The whole city went Mozart mad three be the city’s most visited attraction, but the from 1773, is a more spacious affair in years ago to celebrate the 250th anniversary next most popular sites are the two museums Markplatz and was where he wrote a num- of the birth of its favourite son, with a year- set in Mozart’s homes. And even in the ber of his works. It has also been preserved long series of concerts, operas, exhibitions fortress you can’t escape the maestro. as a museum to him. and other events. For those with a real appetite for the great But even though the celebrations are long Quaint alleys man’s music, you can choose from several gone, the city is still one of the best places to Mozart’s Birthplace, where he lived for 26 themed dinner concerts during the summer go if you love music. Salzburg has more years, is in the heart of the old city on its tourist season. The Mozart Dinner Concert than 4,000 music and theatre events cover- historic, narrow main street, Getreidegasse offers a three-course dinner prepared from Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard I Hallstatt village I Old Town, Salzburg I Salzburg Cathedral 18 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • ESCAPE to… SALZBURG city. Many of its magnificent architectural landmarks were used, and you can take a Sound of Music Tour to visit outlying vil- lages, lakes and mountains where other familiar scenes were shot. Whether you are a fan of the musical or not – and I must admit I am not – it is well worth a visit to nearby Hellbrunn Palace, one of the settings used in the movie. Its ornate palace and beautiful gardens are a delight for all ages, notably for the ubiqui- tous fountains which spring many surprises for the unwary. I won’t spoil the surprise, other than to advise not wearing your Sunday best and to visit on a warm day when clothes will quickly dry. We made the mistake of visiting on a rainy day… Year-round appeal Salzburg can be visited any time of year and the experience will be just as enjoyable. Key attractions are open year-round and there Salzburg Tourist Office are events in all seasons. In winter, the rooftops twinkle with fresh snow – a taster of what lies in store at the many ski resorts less than two hours away – and the 500-year-old Christmas Market (Salzburger Christkindlmarkt) livens up the recipes of the 17th and 18th centuries, served claim to fame revolves around The Sound of Cathedral Square (Domplatz) in the heart of in the Stiftskeller St Peter (St Peter’s Cellar) Music. A whole new generation of fans has the Old Town from late November with craft – the oldest restaurant in Central Europe, been created by the latest stage production stalls, choirs, gluhwein and roast chestnuts first mentioned during Charlemagne’s visit of the musical, currently touring Britain, and and almonds. The annual 10-day Mozart in 803 – during the intervals of a recital by the successful BBC series, How Do You Week music festival ( musicians in period costume. Solve A Problem Like Maria?, which made takes place each January, featuring many Connie Fisher an overnight success, repris- international artists. High on Mozart ing the role originally made famous by Julie Spring brings crisp days, flowers galore and My wife and I opted for an alternative din- Andrews. ner and concert in the 930-year-old Based on pre-war events Hohensalzburg Fortress, dining on high which happened to the local von with stunning views across fields and ham- Trapp family, the movie lets to the nearby mountains, followed by a was filmed in and Mozart performance in the elegant State around the Rooms overlooking the city. A magical experience, made even more special by the glorious setting sun lighting up the rooftops, cupolas and towers with streaks of gold. Salzburg’s more recent Salzburg Tourist Office Salzburg Tourist Office I Mirabell Palace I Salzburg and the Salzach River July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 19
    • A day trip into Germany’s Sound of Music country Bavarian Alps can include a boat trip on Konigsee lake Fans of The Sound of to St Bartholoma chapel Music can tour some of and a visit to pretty the locations in the mountain town countryside beyond Berchtesgaden with views Salzburg used in the film, to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which was based on the mountain-top fortress real-life story of the retreat. singing von Trapp family. A village north of Salzburg You can even sing along to has another musical claim the music as the original to fame.The boatmen’s soundtrack is played church of St Nicholas in the during the four-hour tour, village of Oberndorf was which visits the beautiful where Christmas carol Salzkammergut lake district. Silent Night was first sung Highlights include: Salzburg Tourist Office in 1818.The town was later Leopoldskron Palace, the moved upstream after a front exterior of which was lake, as well as the villages devastating flood, but a used as the von Trapp family of Gosau,Abtenau and Silent Night Memorial home; Hellbrunn Palace, Golling, and the 9,855-foot Chapel was built on the site notable for its trick summit of Mount Dachstein, of the original church in fountains; Fuschlsee lake, Styria’s highest mountain. 1937.A four-hour tour featured in the film’s Salzburg was founded on takes in the chapel and opening sequence; the the fortunes of salt, first Silent Night Museum in pretty village of Gilgen on mined in the nearby nearby Arnsdorf. the shores of Wolfgangsee mountains by the ancient Zell am See is another lake; and Mondsee Celts.The 450-year-old popular excursion.A five- Cathedral, where the Salzwelten Salzburg salt hour trip visits the lake- wedding scene was filmed. mines at Bad Durrnberg side town and 11th century Longer tours also visit the are open year-round and a Hohenwerfen Castle, with World Cultural Heritage guided tour features a raft a cable car ride up to the Site village of Hallstatt, by ride on a subterranean salt Schmittenhoehe mountain Peter Ellegard the shores of Hallstattsee lake. summit. trees bursting with blossom in and around the vivid reds and yellows of trees adding tlement once stood. city. And more music, of course. The Salzburg splashes of colour to the city’s majestic Allow plenty of time to explore the won- Easter Festival (www.osterfestspiele- architecture. The Salzburger Kulturtage derful Old Town area in the heart of is an annual celebration of classi- (, a more Salzburg, designated a UNESCO World cal music and opera. intimate version of the main Salzburg Heritage Site in 1997. Most of it is a traffic- Summers are usually long and warm, Festival featuring a series of concerts, free pedestrian precinct. I have spent hours with the odd rainy day. Plus the avant- opera and theatre, takes place in October. wandering through the labyrinth of streets, garde dance festival, SommerSzene alleyways and squares as well as venturing (, over 14 days Easy to explore into some of the many stately buildings in June and July, which also features the- Salzburg is easy to explore, both on foot or which grace the skyline. atre, films and visual arts as well as music. by bus – and the good-value Besides the Getreidegasse, other lovely That is followed by the Salzburg Festival SalzburgerLand Card gives free entry to all old streets to amble along, window shop or (, the the city’s major attractions as well as free gaze up at facades include Judengasse, city’s long-established music and drama travel on the city’s buses and the Goldgasse, Kaigasse, Linzergasse and festival in July and August which includes Hohensalzburg Fortress cable railway. Steingasse. Their buildings cover the Middle a concert broadcast on an open-air screen The Salzach River cuts the city into two Ages, Romanesque, Baroque and in the city’s Kapitelplatz. halves and is spanned by bridges including Renaissance periods, as well as elegant and Autumn hints at the winter to come the pedestrian-only Mozart, Makart and classical monarchy-era burghers’ houses. with its cooler days (although October is Mulln footbridges. The left bank comprises You can also take in the Old Town sights on the driest month) and chilly nights, the the older part of the city where a Roman set- a traditional fiaker horse and buggy. 20 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Salzburg facts When to go Any time of year is good to visit Salzburg, with festivals and events throughout the calendar. Be prepared for all weathers and pack a brolly, sweater and warm jacket. Getting there British Airways ( and EasyJet ( fly direct to Salzburg from Gatwick during the summer. Ryanair Peter Ellegard ( flies from Stansted. Winter charter flights operate for skiers I Ornate rooftops heading to nearby resorts.You can also fly to nearby Munich, with services operated by BA, EasyJet, Lufthansa ( and Aer Lingus ( from London area airports. Accommodation There are a number of hotels in the old part of Salzburg and across the Salzach River.The Blaue Gans boutique art-hotel ( makes an excellent base.The oldest inn on the historic Getreidegasse street, this stylish 74-room design hotel is set in one of the city’s oldest houses. Peter Ellegard Tour operators Many operators offer short breaks to Salzburg, including Kirker Holidays I Residence Square (, Inghams (, Crystal (, First Choice ( and Fregata Travel ( I Salzburg has many fine, old buildings Getting around/attractions Grand edifices Salzburg is walkable, but it is worth Squares include Residence Square investing in a SalzburgerLand Card. It (Residenzplatz) with its ornate equine fountain, combines free entry to 190 sights and Old Market Square (Alter Markt), University attractions in the city and neighbouring Square (Universitatsplatz) and Mozart Square SalzburgerLand region, with free use of city (Mozartplatz), which has a memorial to the buses and discounts off car rental, tours and musical maestro and a tourist information office. cultural events. A six-day card costs 43 Then of course there are its grand edifices. euros for adults and 21.50 euros for Besides the Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) and children, with 12-day cards costing 52 and Peter Ellegard Hohensalzburg Fortress, must-sees include 26 euros respectively. Buy it online at the Residence Palace (Residenz), St. Peter’s, or from Abbey (Stift St Peter) and its fascinating I Hellbrunn Palace local information centres and some hotels. cemetery, and Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) with its romantic gardens on the Tourist information right bank of the Salzach. This is one of the Salzburg Tourist Office (Salzburg city): city’s most popular places for taking pictures. SalzburgerLand Tourist Office (Salzburg region): But perhaps best of all is to relax with a coffee Austrian National Tourist Office: 0845 101 1818, or beer in a street-side café/bar or beer garden TL and just let the world go by as you gaze out across one of the world’s most beautiful cities. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 21
    • 22 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • all ABOARD CRUISING FROM THE UK Home waters Forget the hassles of flying off for the start of your cruise holiday and join the growing numbers of passengers setting sail from Britain. The choice of departure ports and cruise itineraries is surprisingly large, as Sara Macefield explains I Queen Victoria at Southampton H ow do you fancy starting no escaping the buzz and anticipation as the your next holiday from departure time nears and the ship’s band strikes Cruise tips Southampton, Dover, up for the traditional “sailaway” party on deck. G You can take as much luggage as Harwich or even Tower The excitement grows as the funnel blasts you want on ex-UK sailings Bridge? Not only will you and the ship starts to move away from the because there’s no baggage limit, miss out on the stress and quayside. Passengers waving flags and drink- but remember that it’s got to fit in hassles of flying and battling through airport ing brightly-coloured cocktails add to the your cabin. security queues, but you’ll be joining the party atmosphere as they celebrate the start of G Beware the Bay of Biscay. Cruises growing band of British holidaymakers who a journey which, in some cases, will take from the UK to the Mediterranean have discovered the benefits of taking a cruise them from UK shores around the world. have to pass through this, so if from the UK. you’re at all prone to sea-sickness, After all, what could be easier than load- Where can you go? take precautions. ing up the car, driving to, say, Southampton There’s never been a bigger choice of cruises G On Med cruises, pick a ship which and simply stepping aboard? from the UK. has plenty of onboard facilities so It really is as simple as that. All you need Holidaymakers who don’t want to fly can you won’t get bored on the sea to do is drive up to the port terminal, hand now choose from a huge variety of different days spent sailing to and from the over the car keys to a parking attendant and cruise lines and sailings that start at various UK. check in. points around the country. G If you’re sailing south to the sun, Don’t worry about struggling on with suit- These can range from a two-night mini- remember to take some warm cases as they get sent to the cabin separately, cruise to Bruges or Amsterdam right up to a clothes as it can still be chilly in leaving passengers free to go aboard, settle in three-month world cruise or a transatlantic the English Channel. and explore. crossing to New York. The holiday starts immediately, and there’s But the most popular sailings are to the Cunard July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 23
    • Ex-UK cruise facts I Deck quoits is a fun way Sample ex-UK cruises: to pass the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (01473 746175, is time offering a one-week Norwegian Vistas sailing from Newcastle on September 12 from £647 on its ship Boudicca. It calls at several ports in Norway including Alesund, Olden, Flam and Bergen. Specialist website Sail From UK (0808 202 6104, which only sells cruises that sail from UK shores, features a 12-night sailing to Europe with P&O Cruises on October 5.The voyage, on Oceana, Fred Olsen departs Southampton and sails to the Canary Islands with calls including Madeira, Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Vigo. Prices start at £1,099 and include a £50 onboard credit. Other useful cruise contacts: Celebrity Cruises (0845 456 1520, Cunard Line (0845 678 0013, Crystal Cruises (020 7287 9040, Holland America Line (0845 351 0557, P&O Cruises Hebridean Island Cruises (01756 704700, Hurtigruten (0845 225 6640, MSC Cruises (0844 561 7412, Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 658 8010, Oceania Cruises (01344 772344, P&O Cruises (0845 678 0014, I Artemis in the fjords Princess Cruises (0845 3555 800, Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005, Swan Hellenic (0845 246 9700, Silversea Cruises (0844 770 9030, Hebridean Island Cruises St Helena Line (020 7575 6480, Thomson Cruises (0871 231 4691, Transocean Tours (0845 430 0274, Voyages of Discovery (0845 018 1808, I Hebridean Princess in London Make sure you check out the website of the Passenger Shipping Association, which represents all the main cruise lines, at Mediterranean or around northern Europe. such as Civitavecchia (for Rome) or Naples such as La Coruna or Bilbao, or French towns Voyages that go south to the Mediterranean before having to turn back. Cruises of 16 including St Malo, the pretty town of Honfleur generally last for at least 12 days – they have nights have time to go a little farther east, and and the port town of Le Havre. to as they need to include the two days it takes will sail as far as Greece. In Germany, stops include Hamburg or to sail between Britain and the Med at both Other popular ports of call that pop up on Bremerhaven, while the Dutch ports of ends of the cruise. itineraries include Malaga, Alicante, Cannes, Rotterdam and Amsterdam are popular ports. Most cruises tend to be for 14 nights and Marseilles and Barcelona. Scandinavian cities such as Copenhagen or concentrate on the western Mediterranean as Some ships stay in northern Europe and Bergen also feature in cruise itineraries, as do time simply doesn’t allow for the sail northwards to the Baltic States of the Shetland Isles, and the Channel Islands in ships to sail any farther east. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, sometimes con- the south. In the west, Irish ports such as Cork Thus ships will generally get tinuing on to St Petersburg. and Dublin add plenty of craic. as far as Italy, calling at ports Alternative destinations include Iceland, Then there’s good old Blighty itself, where Norway and its spectacular fjords and ships may call at Tilbury, Greenwich or (if the Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle, famous for ship is small enough to get right up the Thames) spotting polar bears. Tower Bridge for London. Liverpool and These more northerly ports are particularly Newcastle also feature on cruise ship itineraries. popular around midsummer when the long Cruise passengers wanting to go farther Fred Olsen daylight hours lend themselves to Land of the afield can take their pick from the regular Midnight Sun cruises. six-day transatlantic crossings by Cunard Some ships stay closer to home, offering Line’s Queen Mary 2 or, if they want to sailings around northern Europe that stop escape for longer, round-the-world voy- along the northern coast at Spanish ports ages offered by P&O Cruises and Cunard. 24 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • I Norwegian Gem at Dover UK cruise departure ports and cruise lines (2009) Southampton – Cunard Line, Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International,Thomson Cruises Dover – Crystal Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Swan Hellenic. Harwich – Royal Caribbean Peter Ellegard International, Celebrity Cruises, Thomson Cruises,Voyages of Discovery London (Tower Bridge) – Silversea Cruises, Hurtigruten London (Tilbury) – Transocean Tours London (Greenwich) – Holland America Line Portland – St Helena Line, Hebridean Island Cruises Portsmouth – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Port of Tyne (Newcastle) – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines,Thomson Cruises Liverpool – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Greenock – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Rosyth – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Oban – Hebridean Island Cruises Scrabster – Hebridean Island Cruises Fred Olsen I Boudicca at Valletta, Malta As several ships are based in the UK for sailings or long voyages; and Fred Olsen, ports to appear this year is Portsmouth, which the summer, there’s always the chance to jump which offers Christmas markets sailings and is being offered by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. aboard when they reposition themselves to the northern Europe and Canary Island sailings. Caribbean or elsewhere across the Atlantic for Who are the main cruise lines? the winter – as long as you don’t mind having Where can you cruise from? Riding the waves of the ex-UK cruise market to fly back. Southampton is the granddaddy of them all is P&O Cruises, which has six ships that are Cruisers looking for a different experience when it comes to cruising from the UK. The all based at Southampton, while Cunard altogether can cruise on the RMS St Helena, South Coast port is easily the most estab- Lines has two ships – the Queen Mary 2 and the last working Royal Mail Ship that offers lished and the biggest and this is where most the Queen Victoria – based there. trips from Portland in Dorset to the Atlantic cruise ships are based during the year; some Several American cruise lines, such as island of St Helena, Namibia and South Africa. are here year-round. Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, Some cruise lines offer British-focused This is where most Mediterranean cruises also have ships in Southampton during the itineraries. The small, upmarket company, depart from, along with transatlantic voyages. summer. Hebridean Island Cruises, operates a South Dover is the second-most popular, having The biggest ship in the world, Coast cruise with calls including Cowes on grown rapidly over the last few years, and it’s Independence of the Seas, owned by the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Dover, from here that lines tend to depart for northern American line Royal Caribbean International, while Cunard’s QM2 is sailing a special Europe, Baltic and Arctic sailings. is based at Southampton. Round Britain voyage this autumn, calling at Harwich is probably the third-busiest, with Other major players offering several voy- ports such as Greenock and Liverpool. a mix of cruises offered from here. ages from UK ports include Fred Olsen During winter, the number of cruises sail- Some ports are served by just one cruise Cruise Lines, Thomson Cruises, MSC Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises. TL ing from the UK drops rapidly, leaving Cunard line which may only depart on a handful of Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Voyages of and P&O Cruises offering round-the-world occasions during the year. One of the new July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 25
    • CRUISE news CRUISE CLIPS Have you ever fancied going behind the scenes to see how UK cruises make a splash C cruise ships function? Princess ruises from the UK have never been so Cruises and Norwegian popular. The latest market figures show Cruise Lines are now offering that more British cruisers than ever before special ship tours that are taking voyages which sail from local ports. According to industry body, the Passenger Shipping Association, the number of passengers opting for a cruise that starts from the UK increased by 23% last year compared with 2007. This means that four out of every 10 cruises now booked by Brits sails from a UK port. A record number of cruise lines, ships and pas- NCL sengers also visited UK ports last year, calling at promise to take passengers points such as Dover, Tower Bridge and Newcastle to areas normally off-limits, as part of longer sailings around northern Europe. such as back-stage in the The popularity of cruising holidays generally theatre, the galley (kitchen), seems unstoppable with nearly 1.5 million trav- Peter Ellegard engine control room, the ellers opting to spend their holidays on a cruise I CL’s Norwegian bridge, medical centre and ship last year. Gem at Dover even the funnel. Prices start Overall, one in every 12 foreign package holi- at $55 for a two-hour tour days booked in the UK is now a cruise – 10 years with NCL and $150 for a ago this figure was just one in every 26. prices have also fallen. three-hour tour with The Mediterranean remains the favourite cruise More than one-third of all cruises cost less than Princess. destination, but voyages to northern Europe and £1,000 in 2008 and this year there were expected the western edge of Europe have become more to be more cheap deals. Crystal Cruises has come popular and risen to second place, overtaking the “The inclusive nature of cruises with meals, up with the perfect solution Caribbean. accommodation, entertainment and, of course, for people who are The good news is that the credit crunch and multiple destinations, means they are great value,” bamboozled by the latest hi- fierce competition between cruise lines means said PSA director Bill Gibbons. tech gadgets. It is introducing “technology concierges” on its ships to train and Scottish launch for Cosmos H educate guests oliday company Cos- on everything mos Tourama is dip- from Apple ping its toe into unfa- iPods and miliar waters with the launch of BlackBerry its first-ever UK cruise to meet smart demand from customers want- Research in Motion phones to ing to stay closer to home this wireless summer. devices and It is offering four-night navigational Autumn in the Scottish aides. Highlands sailings this October Cosmos Tourama on the MV Lord of the Glens, a vessel built in the style of a clas- I MV Lord of the Glens Bargain-hunters looking for sic, luxury yacht. a last-minute deal should go It will sail between Fort to MSC Cruises’ website at Augustus and Oban in the heart Ness, Loch Linhe, Tobermory and and from Glasgow Central of Argyllshire, travelling past the Neptune’s Staircase, an eight- Station. where it has launched a Deal dramatic loch landscapes of the stage ship lock. For more information contact of the Day offering special Great Glen and the picturesque The cruise costs from £609 Cosmos Tourama on 0871 423 offers on specific voyages. coast of the Isle of Mull. and includes full board and 8695 or visit the website: Cruise highlights include Loch refreshments plus transfers to 26 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 27
    • ZULU dawns ing though it was at the time for the nation. From its moving Zulu and Boer War battlefield sites, to Never before had a native army taken on and superlative wildlife parks, stunning beaches and annihilated such a powerful, well-armed and magnificent scenery, South Africa’s Zulu Kingdom is trained fighting force. Yet, another battle fought later that day, January 22, 1879, less a world-class destination, which will soon be welcoming than 10 miles away has gone down in legend. the world. Peter Ellegard reports Victoria Cross That battle was Rorke’s Drift, celebrated for I t was one of the most moving place 130 years ago were vividly brought to the fact that 139 British soldiers holed up in moments I can ever recall. We were life by our guide, using his baton for effect as a tiny, fortified mission camp held off thou- sat on chairs on a hillside plateau, he reconstructed that infamous day in breath- sands of Zulu attackers for 12 hours until overlooking a sweeping plain dom- taking detail. A few hundred yards away reinforcements arrived. Eleven Victoria inated by a craggy hill directly in another group was equally fixated as their Cross medals were awarded to the valiant front of us and with a long escarp- guide regaled the same desperate tale. defenders, more than for any other single ment in the distance. For we were on the battlefield of one of battle in history. And it inspired the iconic Small, white stone cairns dotted the land- the worst defeats ever inflicted on the British 1964 blockbuster film, Zulu, which starred scape all around us, the highest concentration Empire – Isandlwana. An entire garrison a young Michael Caine. Whereas around the base of the crag, where there were comprising over 1,000 of the British Army’s Isandlwana, where three VCs were won, was also several larger monuments. There was a finest had been overwhelmed and wiped out depicted in the follow-up flop, Zulu Dawn. chill in the December air despite it being by 20,000 Zulu warriors, and the white-paint- So captivating was the recounting, it summer in the Southern Hemisphere, but it ed stones marked where they had all fallen. almost felt as though we were witnessing the was nothing compared to the chill I felt in my Few other than historians would recognise battle itself. But then much of it had been spine as the tragic events of that desolate the name of that bloody episode today, shock- passed down by word of mouth from Zulus 28 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • off the beaten TRACK KWAZULU-NATAL Roger de la Harpe I Zulu dancers I Rorke's Drift memorial Peter Ellegard Roger de la Harpe Peter Ellegard I Isandlwana battlefield site I Rorke’s Drift who had actually fought there. The near eye- Zulu battlefields duty soldier and keen amateur historian. witness accounts had been collected by his- The Anglo-Zulu War battlefields were There are many Zulu and Boer War bat- torian David Rattray, who spent many hours among the highlights I had been looking tlefield sites you can visit, particularly sitting overlooking the battlefield as we did, forward to seeing on my trip to South around Ladysmith (famous for its siege in talking to an elderly Zulu chief. Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, other- 1899) and Dundee, the nearest city to Tragically, the man locals called the wise known as the Zulu Kingdom. They Rorke’s Drift. Provincial capital Durban is “white Zulu” was killed in a robbery at the more than lived up to my respectively 235km and 173km from them, Fugitives’ Drift lodge he ran with his wife expectations and I about three hours or so by road. Nicky and three sons, near Rorke’s Drift, in would highly With Durban one of the host cities early 2007. We had lunch at the lodge later, recommend and met Nicky. I was sorry I didn’t get to anyone think- meet her husband, especially having listened ing about to his spellbinding narration from a recorded visiting radio series while en route to Isandlwana on there to the bus. include them On the way to the lodge we had spent an on a tour itin- all-too-brief 20 minutes at Rorke’s Drift. erary. Months Having listened to David’s graphic recorded later, I did just portrayal of events there, the graveyard and that when I was in a museum were just as emotional an experi- pub in the middle of ence, even if the original buildings no longer nowhere in Scotland’s Trossachs region and survive. Perhaps the most poignant sight was overheard the people on the next table being the bronze Zulu memorial, consisting of a told about the Battle of Isandlwana by an Roger de la Harpe leopard resting on a stack of warrior shields. enthusiastic member of their party, an off- July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 29
    • I Superb beaches for the 2010 football World Cup, this south- eastern part of South Africa is likely to see a lot of interest and increasing visitor numbers in the next year or so. Durban itself is undergoing a huge ren- aissance, with many new facilities being added (including a superb new stadium to stage the World Cup games) and major investment in its infrastructure. The beaches in the city and along the neighbouring coast- line are some of the best in the world and they enjoy the warmest sea temperatures in South Africa, reaching up to 28ºC. Its hotels are second to none, too. Few places pamper you as much as the beachfront Suncoast Hotel & Towers. Sadly, my group’s timing Roger de la Harpe could have been better. We played golf near- by the day we checked in – and our late arrival meant we just missed the poolside swimsuit parade at the hotel for the Miss World contestants, who were in Durban at Action and the same time as us. adventure Sharks That night, we dined alongside a giant aquarium full of menacing sharks in one of The Zulu Kingdom is heaven for adrenalin the most unique dining environments I have Toruism KwaZulu-Natal junkies. It offers some of the best diving in encountered, set in an imaginative “rusting” the world, notably for encounters with ship’s hulk at the uShaka Marine World sharks. park ( Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoals, This coastline is famous for its sharks. respectively 90 and 45 minutes south of The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Durban, are the prime shark-diving areas ( has been protecting the off KwaZulu-Natal. Divers can encounter beaches off Durban for swimmers and species such as non-aggressive ragged- surfers for over 40 years with netting. It is tooths, known affectionately as Raggies, the only organisation of its kind in the world, which go to Protea Banks in spring and you can visit its HQ in Umhlanga Rocks (August/September) to mate and to learn about sharks with an audio-visual congregate in schools of up to 60 at Aliwal demonstration followed by a live dissection, from July to October, as well as Zambezis, after which you can view lifelike replicas of great whites and hammerheads.You can sharks, fish and rays, including that of a Peter Ellegard even free dive with dangerous tiger sharks 892kg great white shark. at Aliwal, where operators “chum” the KZN (as the province is often shortened water with bait to attract them. to) is known for other wildlife too, and we Sodwana Bay is Africa’s most southerly got the chance to see some of its most noted coral reef, and also marks the wildlife which provide the thrills. Besides inhabitants on water and game safaris. southernmost area where giant whale Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, other game reserves We took a boat tour of the iSimangaliso sharks are found, their range extending up where you can see them include Phinda, Wetland Park, the new name for UNESCO to Mozambique. Another incredible Thanda and the Tembe Elephant Park. World Heritage Site the Greater St Lucia spectacle is the annual Sardine Run And if you want sports action, there is Wetland Park, and got some fantastic between May and July, when huge shoals golf of the highest calibre on courses close-up views of hippos wallowing in the up to 15km long migrate up the KwaZulu- including Princes Grant shallows. A short drive took us to Natal coast. (, Durban Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, one KZN’s most cele- The former Greater St Lucia Wetland Country Club (, brated game reserves and one of several Park, now iSimangaliso, has boat safaris to Selborne ( and where you can see the Big Five. Once the see hippos and many different bird species. Champagne Sports Resort hunting grounds for Zulu kings, they intro- On land, it is the Big Five animals and other ( duced the first conservation laws there, in 1895. It was in the reserve that the white 30 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 31
    • I Zulu woman Roger de la Harpe Peter Ellegard I Elephant encounter rhino was saved from extinction, in the KwaZulu-Natal facts 1960s. The weather was so cold as we clambered When to go aboard our open-sided safari trucks that we The Zulu Kingdom enjoys a sub-tropical climate with year- needed blankets over our legs to keep warm. round sunshine, and rain generally in November and March. But we were rewarded with the immediate Peter Ellegard Game viewing is best in winter (June and July). Sea sight of an elephant as we entered the gates. temperatures averaging 22ºC make it a great family destination. And as we were driven around the reserve we were lucky enough to see another one Getting there almost within touching distance, but so busy Durban is a one-hour flight or easy six-hour drive from Johannesburg, eating juicy leaves we were scarcely noticed. which is served by direct flights from London by South African Airways We also spotted lots of antelope and zebra, (, British Airways ( and Virgin Atlantic some water buffalo, warthogs, giraffes and a Airways ( Flight time: 11 hours. pride of resting lions with playful cubs. Getting around Rich culture KwaZulu-Natal is easy to get around, with excellent roads. Most attractions Arriving for our overnight stay at our near- are within a three or four-hour drive of Durban and each other. Car rental by hotel, the Protea Umfolozi, we were companies include Avis ( treated to an energetic display of traditional dancing by local Zulu boys. You can see Accommodation dancing and other Zulu culture throughout You can find top-quality accommodation throughout the province. Among the province, visiting a rural Zulu village or South African hotel groups with properties are Southern Sun enjoying organised cultural experiences (,Three Cities ( and such as Shakaland or Duma Zulu. Protea Hotels ( are also lodges including Besides its battlefields, wildlife and rich Fugitives’ Drift ( and resorts such as culture, KwaZulu-Natal is rich in natural Champagne Sports Resort ( and beauty. Nowhere is that more evident than in Selborne Hotel, Spa & Golf Estate ( the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, where you can go hiking, mountain biking Tour operators or horse-riding. We were there for another A number of tour operators feature KZN, including Virgin Holidays activity – golf. Staying at the Champagne (, Somak Holidays (, Jetset Sports Resort, the mountains reared up dra- Holidays (, Premier Holidays matically just beyond the course and behind (,Tropical Sky (, our chalets. With an elevated clubhouse deck Kuoni ( and Audley Travel ( giving sweeping vistas, few golf resorts can Local tour operator Thompsons Africa ( has enjoy such glorious surroundings. an extensive programme of KZN tours. All too soon, our week-long stay in KwaZulu-Natal was over. It was a truly mes- Tourist information merising destination, yet one I feel I have TL Visit the Zulu Kingdom’s website on barely scratched the surface of. One thing’s for sure – I will definitely be back. 32 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 33
    • Cosmos Tourama I Cosmos Tourama’s Platinum Explorer in Europe Holidays on the buses Coach tours have something of an unwarranted, old-fashioned group, and plenty of names and addresses were exchanged on the return ferry trip image – but things are very different these days with vehicles across the Channel. bristling with the latest creature comforts. Dave Richardson Old-fashioned image tells it like it really is … Many people would never think of joining a coach tour, but I enjoyed it even though I W e were told it would Brussels); four nights at Lake Garda, near haven’t yet repeated the experience. Coach be a long day of Verona; and two nights taking a different tours are stuck with an old-fashioned image, travelling, with only route back. just like holiday “camps” – especially a couple of stops Day two was to be the killer, a slog along among people who have never been. and not to expect Germany’s autobahns and over the Austrian A modern coach can cost up to £250,000 dinner until 9.30pm border to a village near Innsbruck. It was with all the latest comforts, and advanced – over 12 hours away. I was already cross- boring, but there were three stops and we safety and fuel-efficiency measures. Coach ing my legs, although there was a toilet on arrived in good time for dinner at 8pm. tour market leader Shearings has bought 45 board. That’s when I realised our two coach drivers new Setra coaches this year of the same type It was day two of a nine-day Leger were good at psychology – make it seem used for the England football team – no Holidays coach tour called Verona Opera bad, and if it’s better then you’re happy. wonder it’s saying “Bus it like Beckham”! Experience, which we had joined near our I was in my mid-40s but I felt young, The hotels used are generally much home town in Oxford. Two nights would be with all the other passengers over 50 and improved too, and you may well stay at spent on the way (the first was near many well over 60. But we gelled well as a chain hotels such as Holiday Inn rather than 34 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • ?? ? ? let’s TRY… ESCORTED COACH TOURS Leger Holidays I The Burlington Hotel, Eastbourne I Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock Shearings Shearings I Coach holidays are relaxing Faraway tours Some people who wouldn’t be seen dead on a coach tour are happy to take an escorted tour somewhere exotic – where most of the travel is likely to be by coach. The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are particularly popular, while South Africa, Japan and China are on the up. In larger countries you will probably Grand UK Shearings I A Grand UK tour fly over long distances before picking up I Shearings has invested in new coachess manager and client a coach again, but you could also use trains and river boats. McGrotty’s – especially in cities. There are hotel for most of the holiday with the coach Cosmos Tourama is operating more still plenty of seaside hotels in Britain where operating excursions. holidays to special events, such as the the floors creak as badly as their guests’ But there’s still a place for the grand tour, New Orleans Jazz Festival and the Harbin joints, but most have been smartened up and and with operators such as Snow and Ice Festival in China. Costa make a genuine effort to please amid the Cosmos, Insight Vacations Rica, India/Bhutan and Mexico have also faded grandeur. and Trafalgar, that can be a been added. The entertainment seems to belong to very cosmopolitan experi- The credit crunch doesn’t seem to be another age, but as the Baby Boomer gener- ence with passengers affecting escorted tours, according to ation hits 60 you are more likely to hear The from many parts of the another large operator,Travelsphere. It Beatles in the ballroom rather than the Joe world trying to “do describes its customers as “debt-free, Loss Orchestra. Europe”. Leger is thrill-hungry culture vultures”, and The most popular destinations are the also seeing operates over 700 holidays in 80 scenic countries of Europe – especially increased demand countries. Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Some of the for “Grand larger tour operators, including Cosmos Explorer” tours Tourama, can also fly you out to join the like Arctic coach abroad – cutting out some tiring trav- Circle and elling, but with airport hassle and luggage The Land of restrictions to be factored in. Eurostar is an increasingly-popular option, with high- speed rail travel as far as Paris or Brussels. Easy-going trend There’s also a trend towards more easy-going itineraries, which Cosmos calls Leisurely. Rather than packing and unpacking every day, you will be based at one I Fall guys: a Cosmos Tourama Platinum Explorer coach in New England Cosmos Tourama July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 35
    • Leger Holidays I Leger Holidays’ Silver Service Luxury coaches Some of the biggest coach operators offer premium coaches on some Cosmos Tourama departures, for a reasonable supplement. They are generally used on longer I A Cosmos Platinum European or North American tours, but Explorer coach in Europe could turn up closer to home. Shearings has the Grand Tourer the Midnight Sun – once in a lifetime expe- has launched a website to encourage (previously operated by its rival Wallace riences that people want to take despite the younger people to explore family history Arnold, which it took over) and Euro credit crunch. ( Tourer. Cosmos Tourama operates the Many tours nowadays are themed, espe- Platinum Tourer and Leger the Silver cially short breaks which are a good way of Going for a song Service coach. seeing if a coach tour is for you. Gardens, Shorter and more-themed tours tend to The basic premise is the same – steam railways, castles, photography, paint- attract a slightly younger age group, but remove one or more rows of seats and ing and spas are examples, plus visiting within the UK most coach customers are everyone has more leg-room. A standard places made popular by TV series such as still 60-plus. It’s no coincidence that coach usually seats between 48 and 56 Heartbeat or Last of the Summer Wine. Shearings customers have voted Cliff passengers, whereas Shearings seats 42 in Leger is a leading operator of tours to the Richard’s hit, Summer Holiday (1963), as a Euro Tourer and only 36 in the Grand World War 1 and 2 European battlefields, their favourite holiday song, and Shearings Tourer. with an expert guide to visit places such as is making this and other holiday hits avail- Premium coaches usually have a lounge Flanders, the Somme and Normandy (for able as a download on online music store area at the back where people can meet, the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings iTunes. onboard drinks and snacks, and this year). Interest in battlefield tours is still Shearings expects a lot of people to entertainment including DVD player and increasing, but Leger switch to a UK holiday this year, and has 49 sat nav display. of its own hotels which you can travel to independently rather I St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow Leger Holidays Grand UK 36 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Tips G You don’t need to join in everything, but if you’re not a sociable person, a coach tour probably isn’t for you. G You will generally eat as well as travel as a group, but some more pricey tours give you an a la carte allowance. G Some tours keep down headline prices by limiting the number of excursions included, so consider what you might want to do as it might be more expensive to buy on the spot. G If you don’t fancy a long road trip, join a tour that starts with a flight or rail journey. G Some operators make big efforts to attract single travellers. Romance might even bloom… than taking a coach tour. Grand UK Holidays has nine of its own hotels, in popu- Grand UK lar resorts such as Torquay, Skegness, Blackpool and Llandudno. Grand UK operates exclusively for the over-55s and has a high volume of single Coach tour facts travellers, with no single-room supplements payable on most holidays and a dedicated Solos programme so like-minded people can Most coach tour operators are small and local, with travel together. It offers a complete luggage only a handful of national names.The Coach Tourism handling service, taking this element of Council (0870 850 2839, worry out of a holiday, and also offers tours is a good way of Europe including river cruise combina- of finding them as it has nearly 150 operator Cosmos Tourama tions. members, both large and small. Grand UK offers Ruby and Golden wed- Wallace Arnold Worldchoice (0845 365 6747) is an ding anniversary holidays for couples to agency specialising in coach holidays and operates a renew their vows, and more than 500 cou- bookable website at ples have taken them so far. As I journeyed back from Italy I won- Major operators include: dered what kind of holidays I might fancy in Shearings (01942 824824, 30 or 40 years’ time, and I was reminded of Leger (0844 504 6342, a distant relative who remarried at the age of Cosmos Tourama (0871 423 8647, 90 after meeting his new “gal” on a coach. Grand UK (01603 619933, The psychology was still going strong as Travelsphere (0800 567 7372, we left the party, waved off by our cheery drivers who still had another 300 miles to Sample prices: go. Leger’s D-Day Landings in Normandy tour costs from £199 bed and “If you had a good week, we’re Roy and breakfast for four days. A five-day tour from £299 is by luxury Silver Service Ian,” they said. “If you didn’t, we’re Bill and coach, available on selected dates. Ben.” TL I did, thanks partly to Roy and Ian. I’ll be Best of Western Canada is a 14-day holiday by Cosmos Tourama, costing back on the road some day. from £2,015 including return flights.Visiting Vancouver and the Rockies, it includes many excursions plus rail and cruise trips, but not meals. Dave Richardson started taking day trips by coach at the age of 12 and was soon taking Grand UK’s North Wales Coast holiday is based at its own Grand Ash overnight trips to various parts of the country. He Hotel in Llandudno, costing £269 for five days with half-board, including two went on to try his first coach tour to Europe and is planning an escorted tour of the US in 2010. full-day excursions. 38 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • 40 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • pack your CLUBS MURCIA, SPAIN Golf with star appeal Peter Ellegard I La Manga Club hotel Spanish region Murcia is synonymous with Brits favourite La Manga but, thanks to an explosion of golf facilities, it is now Spain’s fastest-growing golf destination. Peter Ellegard recently returned to where it all began… W ith my golf bag slung over one shoulder and my other arm clutching golf shoes, the lift buttons were tricky to reach. Thankfully, another hotel guest who got in behind me spared my contortions, asking which floor I wanted and pressing the button. Recognising the voice, I looked round and suddenly realised who my lift partner was – just managing to avoid blurting out something stupid, like “aren’t you Glenn Hoddle?” It was just after Hoddle’s tenure as England football manager some 10 years ago and we were at La Manga Club, in Spain’s Murcia region. But star-spotting is nothing new there. For more than 35 years, the sprawling leisure complex has not only been a byword for holidaying Brits, but has also been a mag- net for celebrities. Many have bought luxury villas alongside its golf courses. A frequent La Manga visitor, I have previ- ously spotted actress Patsy Palmer – Bianca from Eastenders – sunning herself poolside and seen former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell, a villa owner, setting off in a golf Peter Ellegard buggy for a leisurely round. Other regulars include David Coulthard, Kenny Dalglish, Sir I Driving off on La Manga’s North Course Cliff Richard and Alan Hansen. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 41
    • Home from home The home-from-home feel is hardly surpris- ing; it was owned and run by British institu- tion P&O for a quarter of a century until late 2004. To many, La Manga was and is Murcia, and vice versa. But La Manga no longer has a monopoly. Murcia’s golf facilities have expanded rapidly in recent years. Now Spain’s fastest-growing golf destination, it has 17 courses with more under construction or planned. Newcomers have dramatically enhanced Polaris World Murcia’s golf resort scene. They include the 27- hole Mosa Trajectum resort and resort operator I Nicklaus Golf Trail course El Valle Polaris World, which has linked with golf leg- end Jack Nicklaus to create the Nicklaus Golf emies, several villa complexes all with their lies also found on its siblings – and large Trail – a circuit currently comprising four own pools, over 20 bars and restaurants, greens with wicked slopes. courses and which will eventually boast nine. shops, banks, a pharmacy and even its own The West Course is the prettiest, snaking Other Murcia courses have designs by the petrol station. A private beach in a rocky cove through a more rural setting of hills and pine likes of Dave Thomas and Spain’s own Seve overlooked by a restaurant is accessed by a trees, to finish with a towering 18th tee giving Ballesteros. road blasted through the towering sea cliffs. grandstand views of La Manga and the Med. All of which is bringing more golfing visi- Top football clubs use its extensive training With numerous blind shots, it demands target- tors to this south-eastern corner of Spain, facilities and many sports stars take part in golf precision. tucked between the provinces of Alicante and charity golf tournaments. Almeria. Most courses are along the coastal La Manga’s three courses are both a joy Nicklaus Golf Trail strip, known as the Costa Calida. Visitors and a challenge. Easy resort golf it isn’t. Created by Polaris World with golf legend arrive via Alicante or Murcia’s tiny San Javier Originally designed in 1971 and remod- Jack Nicklaus, the Nicklaus Golf Trail is a airport, just 20 minutes from La Manga. The elled in 1992 by Arnold Palmer, the champi- unique circuit of courses bearing the stamp of sleepy little airport I recall from early visits onship South Course features wide, palm- the Golden Bear. Of the four courses already now bursts at the seams at peak times. fringed fairways and water hazards on 15 of open, three are 18-hole layouts. Two more A brand new airport opens next year at the 18 holes, including some new ones added courses are under construction and work will Corovera, 20 minutes from the provincial cap- in a multi-million renovation that I discovered, soon start on the other three. ital, the city of Murcia, to cope with the influx. quite literally, on my recent visit. The trail courses open so far are: The more aesthetically-pleasing but shorter La Torre Best Golf: a short 18-hole, par 68 Return to La Manga North Course is partly laid out on higher ele- course with wide fairways, suitable for inter- A recent return to La Manga gave me the vations, with challenges provided by palm mediate or high handicappers. chance to see it for the first time since it came trees, lakes and barrancas – natural storm gul- El Valle Best Golf: a desert-style, 18-hole, under Spanish ownership, and since the hacien- par 71 course featuring lakes, waterfalls and da-style former Hyatt Regency hotel became clusters of bunkers set amid rocks and abun- the independently-operated La Manga Club dant native vegetation. Principe Felipe earlier this year. Off course Hacienda Riquelme Best Golf: this larger I was heartened to see the resort was than average 18-hole, par 72 course enjoys little changed from my last visit, a Murcia’s coastal stretch, the Costa Calida, offers a Mediterranean setting surrounded by decade ago; if anything, it was better. unspoilt white sandy beaches, picturesque towns, fishing olive trees with several large lakes. The hotels rooms were better- ports where you can dine on tasty local catches, natural Mar Menor Best Golf: a nine-hole appointed than I remembered, and beauty spots, and two seas offering water sports galore – the course currently being extended to new facilities had been added. Mediterranean and the enclosed Mar Menor, protected by a long 18 holes, its wide fairways and Among them an impressive spa finger of land edged by beaches.This is La Manga strip, a favourite large bunkers are ideal for begin- overlooking the vast resort, from holiday spot for the Spanish with hotels, apartments, shops, bars and ners and learners. where you can truly appreciate La restaurants. Trail courses still to open Manga Club’s scale. The city of Murcia, the regional capital, claims to have more festivals include: the 18-hole, par 72 Las Three times the size of Monaco, than any other Spanish city. September’s Moors and Christians Terrazas de La Torre, a desert-style it encompasses three 18-hole golf parade sees an effigy of the Virgin Mary carried to a mountain course with dunes encasing greens; courses, a golf academy, an 18-hole shrine and bull fights in the city arena.While Roman the Condado de Alhama, a signature Par 47 pitch and putt course, 28 tennis stronghold Cartegena – where Hannibal grew up – course designed by Jack Nicklaus him- courts, football centre with eight pitches, holds a 10-day Carthaginians and Romans Festival self with sharp elevations; and the Bear’s two cricket pitches, rugby and Gaelic football each September, with camps, battle re- Best I and II 18-hole duo, with differing facilities, a Junior Club and junior sports acad- enactments and chariot races. styles reminiscent of Florida and the Arizona 42 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Murcia GOLF facts Peter Ellegard Tourist information For information about Murcia and its golf courses, visit the Murcia Tourist I La Manga’s South Course Board website, Weather Murcia’s semi-arid, sub-tropical climate is ideal for golf year-round, with an average temperature of 21ºC and more than 300 sunny days a year. Hacienda del Alamo Getting there Many flights by charter airlines, scheduled airlines and low-cost carriers go to Murcia’s San Javier airport and nearby Alicante. Monarch I Hacienda del Alamo ( serves both, with flights to Alicante from airports including Gatwick and Luton, and flights to Murcia from Gatwick and other desert but both featuring replica holes from regional airports. Fares start from £46.50 one-way (£76.99 return) to some of the 240 Nicklaus Design courses. Alicante and £52.99 (£88.50) to Murcia. Polaris World offers extensive self-catering accommodation as well as two five-star Golf packages InterContinental hotels, overlooking the Mar Tour operators offering Murcia golf packages include Your Golf Travel (0800 Menor and La Torre courses. 043, 6644, La Manga prices start at £295 per person for three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel La Manga Club Eco-golf Principe Felipe, with three rounds of golf, or £229 on the same basis at the Three nine-hole layouts (Stone, Olive and Las Lomas Village apartments or townhouses.Three nights’ self-catering at Pine) giving three 18-hole combinations are Polaris World with three rounds of golf on the Nicklaus Golf Trail cost on offer at Mosa Trajectum Golf – Murcia. from £130 per person. Prices exclude flights. Each nine is different in character. The resort also has a nine-hole, par 3 Challenge Course. Mosa Trajectum claims to be Spain’s first completely-ecological golf course, with a drainage system which collects all rain and Polaris World Peraleja Golf waste water and diverts it to the resort’s own purification plant. I Wildlife abounds at Peraleja I The Nicklaus Trail will have nine courses Of Murcia’s other courses, Dave Thomas designed Roda Golf Course, part of the De Courses Roda Golf & Beach Resort Vere Hotels-managed Roda Golf and Beach La Manga Club Resort where a hotel opens in 2010, the semi- private Altorreal set on hills above Murcia city, Hacienda del Alamo and Hacienda del Alamo. Surrounded by cit- Nicklaus Golf Trail rus, olive and almond groves, a second course is planned there. Altorreal Golf Wildlife is a key feature of Seve Ballesteros- Mosa Trajectum Golf – Murcia designed Peraleja, which opened in 2007. More than 60% of the resort’s 780-acre area is pro- tected, with resident bird species including Peraleja Golf Bonelli eagles, red kites and eagle owls. A five- star hotel and spa opens soon. Peter Ellegard Future openings feature several big-name golf Hotels designers. Among them are: two Greg Norman- Hotel La Manga Club Principe Felipe designed courses at the 3 Molinos Golf Resort; the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed Corvera Golf & Country Club course opening in 2010, which Hotel Intercontinental Mar Menor Golf Resort will become the winter HQ and overseas base for the PGAs of Europe; and Novo Carthago, a resort alongside the Mar Menor featuring two Hotel InterContinental La Torre Golf Resort Murcia Robert Trent Jones Jr courses. er 10 years before I go back to Murcia. TL One thing is certain; I won’t leave it anoth- July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 43
    • golf NEWS GOLF CLIPS The K Club, Ireland’s 2006 First brochure E Ryder Cup host resort, is urope’s fastest-growing breakfast with two rounds of celebrating its 18th birthday golf travel company has golf at Belmont Lodge Hotel & with some special offers.They launched its first Golf Club in Hereford. Overseas include bed and breakfast in a brochure. More than 180 holidays cost from £115 per per- superior room for £180, with resorts, hotels and golf courses son for three nights in an apart- 18 holes of golf or 180 in 19 destinations around the ment on Portugal’s Algarve, minutes of spa treatments. world are featured in the inau- with three rounds. Peter Ellegard The offer is valid all year. Call gural 2009 brochure from Your Your Golf Travel managing 00 353 1 601 7200 or visit Golf Travel, which was previ- director Andrew Harding said: ously online only. I Your Golf Travel offers Celtic Manor breaks “We wanted to build on the phe- As well as UK and Ireland nomenal growth the company Dubai’s Majlis Course has breaks, the brochure offers holi- tured are China’s Mission Hills, has enjoyed since its inception been voted the top golf days in European golfing the world’s biggest golf complex in 2005 and launching this course in the Middle East by hotspots France, Portugal, with 12 courses, Players brochure is the best way to do leading US golf publication Spain, Turkey and Cyprus. Championship venue Sawgrass that.” Further afield, it offers South in Florida, 2010 Ryder Cup host For a copy of the brochure, Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Celtic Manor in Wales and 2014 call 0800 043 6644, and for more Egypt, Mauritius, the Caribbean, host Gleneagles in Scotland. information, visit the website the US and China. UK breaks start at £36 per (, Among notable courses fea- person for one night’s bed and which has over 1,500 venues. Join the club Dubai Golf I 8th hole on the Majlis Golf Digest. Designed by Karl W Litten and opened in 1988, ith Florida property the course is part of the prices at their low- Emirates Golf Club and hosts est for years and the PGA European Tour- the dollar still good value, sanctioned Dubai Desert British golfers might not have a Classic, won this year by better opportunity to buy a Rory McIlroy. home there with top-notch courses on the doorstep. One of south-west Florida’s A new rooftop deck has most prestigious country clubs been added at the Old is aiming to attract more over- Course Hotel, Golf Resort & seas members, particularly from Spa in St Andrews.The terrace the UK. completes the luxurious Grey Oaks Country Club, in Naples, already has several British members. Director of Peter Ellegard membership Ann Marie Ashline believes its beautiful setting, I Grey Oaks’ Palm Course home-away-from-home atmos- Kohler Co I The Old Course Hotel’s rooftop deck phere and extensive facilities – which include three golf cours- at Grey Oaks, where three-bed- facilities. Members get 80% of fourth floor of the hotel and es, one by top architect Bob room villas sell from around the current equity value back if guests can enjoy a drink or Cupp – particularly appeal to the $800,000, but it also offers equi- they resign. meal while looking out over British. Other facilities include ty golf membership for non-res- Interested British golfers are the Old Course,West Sands two clubhouses, two driving idents. That costs $175,000 welcome to try out Grey Oaks’ and Firth of Forth. ranges, tennis, social events and (Grey Oaks property owners pay golf as guests. Call 00 1 239 262 a fitness centre. $150,000) plus annual dues of 5550. More information: Many members have homes $11,400, giving full use of all 44 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • on your DOORSTEP CHANNEL ISLANDS tranquillity Fortresses of Depending on your viewpoint, they’re a little piece of France I Fort Grey, Guernsey that will remain forever English, or an extension of the Normandy coast that are French in all but name. The fact is, writes Frank Partridge, the Channel Islands have a character and style all of their own I was enjoying a round of golf on the each other, and coveted by the Third Reich island of Alderney, third largest of as stepping stones towards European domi- the Channel Islands and so close to nation, Alderney and its two bigger sisters, France that you can make out the Jersey and Guernsey, have been floating traffic on the coast road of the fortresses for centuries. Now, at last, peace Cherbourg Peninsula, when I was reigns in this lovely corner of Europe. faced with a tricky “blind” shot to the Tourists can clamber safely over the military green. “No problem,” said my local com- relics as they’re gently reclaimed by nature – panion, “just aim for that gun emplacement and (good) golfers can use them to sharpen Visit Guernsey up on the high ground there, just left of the their aim. observation tower.” These aren’t the sort of landmarks that Bygone traditions come into play on a golf course in, say, Peace and quiet – of a kind southern Britain I A painter on Surrey or Hertfordshire, but in Alderney hasn’t experienced since the 1950s – is the Jersey’s north they define the landscape, nearly 70 years special quality of Sark and Herm, the fourth coast after Hitler’s occupying forces fortified the and fifth islands of the group. Spectacularly island in readiness for an Allied attack that beautiful Sark jealously preserves its never came. bygone traditions and unhurried pace of I took aim, sliced my shot into thick life. Cars are banned in this dreamy place of bracken, and spent five minutes looking for hidden coves and beaches, luxuriant vegeta- my ball and considering the accidents of tion, tea and craft shops. It would have been Jersey Tourism geography and history that make the the perfect location for an Enid Blyton Channel Islands unique. Stuck between two novel, and is best explored on bike or foot. great powers who were forever warring with Sark’s most striking feature is the narrow, Main picture: Visit Guernsey July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 47
    • I Horse and cart transport in Sark Visit Guernsey I Jersey’s Battle of Flowers I The Durrell Wildlife Centre Festivals & events Battle of Flowers Both Jersey and Guernsey celebrate their main export with spectacular floral processions, when locals compete to Jersey Tourism build the best mobile float. Jersey’s carnival ( is from August 13-14; Guernsey’s ( is August 26-27. I Floral Guernsey Alderney Week 130 events and entertainment for all ages in the island’s annual carnival, from Jersey Tourism/Stuart Abraham August 1-9. Sark Celebration of the Sea Visit Guernsey Seafood, music, family entertainment and fireworks from noon to midnight on September 12. natural causeway that links the two halves on Herm, including some shops, holiday cot- Guernsey, which means they’re effectively of the island, running nearly 300 feet above tages, a school and a post office, is run as a governed from the island’s capital, St Peter the waves on either side. There are sturdy business by a tenant family, who ensure that Port. Jersey is also a bailiwick (derived from hand-rails, but it’s no place to go if you suf- litter and noise are kept to a mini- an old French word meaning an fer from vertigo. mum, and that everyone without area of jurisdiction) and the Herm is less than two miles long and a a permit to stay overnight is two big islands have a mile wide, with a population of less than 100 safely on the last ferry back remarkable degree of that swells twenty-fold in the summer to Guernsey, 20 minutes independence. Each months. Some are content to stay within the away. Outside July and has its own constitu- luxurious confines of the island’s only hotel, August, this is the ulti- tion, parliament, tax but the day-trippers make a bee-line for two mate get-away-from-it-all system, currency, of the finest beaches in the British Isles: retreat. stamps and excise Belvoir Bay and Shell Beach. The latter’s bril- duty. The UK is liant white surface is a beachcomber’s delight, Independence responsible only for with an unending supply of shells deposited Herm, Sark and Alderney all I Dancers at Jersey’s their defence, as depend- on the island by the Gulf Stream. Everything belong to the Bailiwick of Battle of Flowers parade encies of the British Crown. Jersey Tourism 48 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • I Children rock pooling on Jersey I A German coastal artillery observation tower at St Brelade Jersey Tourism Did you know? G The island that became world-famous for its “Guernsey Toms” built its first giant greenhouses in 1792 - for the production of grapes.Tomatoes weren’t introduced until the 1860s. G Assuming victory in World War II, Adolf Hitler planned to turn Jersey into a giant holiday camp, as part of the Third Reich’s “Strength through Joy” programme. G Herm has a unique set of regulations. Visitors are forbidden to pick flowers, own a house, play loud music on the beach, or wash their clothes between noon and midnight – to save electricity, which the island generates itself. G Alderney has the only working railway in the Channel Islands, and one of the oldest in the British Isles. A diesel locomotive pulls two former London Underground carriages, which celebrate their 50th birthday Jersey Tourism this year. It didn’t feel like that in 1940, when the Occupation reminders military museum and hospital, and an Nazis earmarked the Channel Islands as a On the golf course, and pretty much every- Occupation Museum depicting the day-to- key brick in their defensive Atlantic Wall, where else, you’re reminded of the four day grind of island life in those desperate that stretched from Norway to Spain. years and 10 months of occupation, when times. Emerging into daylight, they make Britain, at the height of the Blitz, was in no food ran so short that the German soldiers the elegant, quaint streets and alleys of St position to help, and the islands were aban- were reduced to eating domestic cats and Peter Port look all the more beautiful, doned to the enemy without a shot being dogs. Alderney is an easy-going place now, although Guernsey has nothing quite to fired. The Germans brought in slave labour with its notably relaxed attitude to the match Elizabeth and Mont Orgueil castles from Eastern Europe to shore up their licensing laws giving rise to the saying that on Jersey – the two most imposing buildings defences; Alderney was virtually cleared of it’s “two thousand drunks clinging to a of the Channel Islands, dramatically floodlit people to make way for four concentration rock”, but it was a grim place in the war at night. camps. Churchill was advised that recaptur- years, and the period is superbly captured in ing Alderney alone might cost a quarter of a the island’s museum in St Anne, the quaint, Gallic influence million Allied lives, and the “dear Channel cobbled capital. Jersey is the biggest, wealthiest and most Isles”, as he called them, were left to fend Guernsey has plenty of evocative war populous of the islands, and although its for themselves. memorabilia too, including an underground capital, St Helier, lacks the charm of the July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 49
    • Channel Island facts Getting there There are at least 12 flights per day to Jersey and Guernsey from London. Aurigny Air Services Jersey Tourism ( flies to both Jersey and Guernsey from Gatwick and Stansted, and to Alderney from Southampton, and operates between the three main islands. Flybe ( flies to Jersey and Guernsey from Gatwick and Southampton, with additional services to Jersey from Luton and Southend. Blue Islands ( flies from Southampton to Jersey, Visit Guernsey Guernsey and Alderney, plus inter-island services. New weekly Air I St Peter Port, Guernsey Southwest ( flights serve Jersey from Oxford. other main towns, there are plenty of beauty Condor Ferries ( operates a fast car ferry spots within easy reach. Nearly half the service year-round from Poole and Weymouth to Jersey via Guernsey, and a island’s 50-mile coastline is sandy beach, direct service from Poole to Jersey in summer. A traditional ferry sails from and 350 miles of narrow, hedgerow-fringed Portsmouth to Jersey, with a journey time of 10 hours 30 minutes. roads make it seem much larger than it is. There’s a speed limit of 20mph most of the Accommodation and information way, but the byways are so mazy and divert- All the islands have a wide range of accommodation, ing that you’ll be pushed to exceed it. from luxury hotels to self-catering cottages and Rainy-day highlights are the Jersey well-appointed campsites.The islands’ tourist Museum in St Helier, where the star attrac- information websites have details of current tion is Lillie Langtry, the island-born vacancies and deals, as well as online search socialite who scandalised London in the late facilities and email booking services. Jersey Tourism 19th century, and the world-famous zoo, Jersey: founded 50 years ago by Gerald Durrell, Guernsey: who was a generation ahead of his time in Alderney: realising that exotic wildlife must be pre- Sark: served, and not merely caged. Herm: “French yachtsmen Health insurance Because the Channel Islands are not part of the EU, visitors are not sail over for lunch covered by the European Health Insurance card and need to ensure they have adequate personal insurance in case they need health treatment. at French-owned Attractions restaurants” Jersey G Jersey Zoo ( celebrated its 50th birthday on July 12. Jersey is just 14 miles from mainland G Jersey Museum & Art Gallery ( – a quarter France, so it’s no surprise to find a strong of a million years of history and some fine Surrealist art under one roof. Gallic influence in its cuisine, dialect and G Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey ( – stunning place names. French yachtsmen sail over for views and 600 years of history at the island’s most photographed site. lunch at French-owned restaurants. The most celebrated incomer to the islands was the Guernsey French Romantic writer, Victor Hugo, G Hauteville House, St Peter Port ( – Victor Hugo’s whose exotically-decorated house in Guernsey home from 1856-70 features an astonishing display of Guernsey is open to the public. But don’t be eccentric furnishings, and is preserved by the City of Paris. misled. In a dozen visits to the islands, I’ve G German Military Underground Hospital ( – seen a forest of Union flags and scarcely a an eerie reminder of the wartime occupation, the Channel Jersey Tourism single French tricolour. The Channel Islands Islands’ largest construction was hewn out of TL might feel like abroad, but their heart will the rock by thousands of slave workers. always be close to home. Alderney Frank Partridge writes and broadcasts G Wartime memorabilia helps tell the island's story about travel and will happily visit any at the Alderney Society Museum country with a golf course and a vineyard ( within easy reach. He frequently misses planes and knows certain airports – especially Luton – like the back of his hand. 50 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • 52 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • in your FLIGHT BAG Ultra hip with a Flip T he Flip Ultra is the world’s first point-and-shoot cam- corder and a hit with celebri- ties such as Oprah Winfrey and Stella McCartney. You can record 60 minutes of footage, connect directly to your com- puter via the flip-out USB arm and upload to YouTube, MySpace etc. The Flip Ultra comes in black, silver, orange or pink and retails at £99.99. For the man who Available from, Carphone Warehouse,, has everything Currys, PC World, and The Travelwrap for him is so luxurious it will make even the hardest person to buy for feel special. For further information go to The classic look and sharp colours will never go out of fashion and the quality and finish of the Scottish cashmere will make everyone feel at home wearing it.The Travelwrap for him is available in plain shades of charcoal, oatmeal, silver, Freshen up your gums black and an eclectic choice of charcoal/silver stripe and makes the perfect travel accessory to take onboard a flight, cruise or simply for relaxing F eel fresh onboard air- Gingidex toothpaste with anti- at home or in the garden. craft with this oral bacterial agents and aloe Travelwrap for him is the deluxe wardrobe health travel kit vera, a natural ingredient investment for the discerning man and will soon from Sunstar. Featuring well known for its hydrating make it to the top of his list of favourite travel top quality dentally rec- properties, to help protect items, along with the comfy T-shirt, the linen ommended products, the and maintain healthy gums. trousers and the vintage leather wash bag. transparent, waterproof The GUM Travel Kit is The Travelwrap costs from £191 and comes with a wash kit contains: the available from selected phar- protective linen bag beautifully wrapped in the GUM travel brush, macies and online from signature Travelwrap Company box – a gorgeous coated with an anti-bac- or gift for someone special. Or maybe you would like terial protection; a mini spool contain- by calling 01677 424 446. to treat yourself – Travelwrap is also available for ing 10m of GUM expanding dental For details of all the GUM products women and children. Go to floss; and a tube of the latest GUM go to for further details or phone 0844 800 1296. Beautiful, stylish – and eco-friendly! WIN a stylish Travelwrap E nvirosax eco-totes come with a over your shoulder, yet are tiny when We have teamed up with small price tag of just £5.99 and folded away. Envirosax graphics bags The Travelwrap Company are ideal for keeping in your are 100% waterproof and washable and to offer one lucky reader flight bag to carry your duty free, jack- will match just about any outfit. For fur- the chance to win this ets and snacks. They come in an array ther information and stockists go to gorgeous Tree of Life of designs from the feminine florals of Travelwrap from the the Botanica range to the bold and Eclectic Collection, worth funky black and purple hues of £221.To enter, go to the new Candy series; there is one to suit every fashion taste. and click on competitions Envirosax bags can cope & giveaways.Terms & with up to 20kg of shopping per conditions apply. Closing bag; they have wide straps so they date August 31, 2009. can be comfortably slung July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 53
    • in your SUITCASE Smokin’ look – with Ergo sums it up to take minimum make-up a weight off your mind Impress with less with the new Smokin’ Eyes Kit from B Benefit, which is beautifully eing overweight gage item and lift it off compact and includes can be costly – at the ground to get an everything you need for the least with your accurate reading (within sexiest smoky eyes and luggage. 0.1kg). You can then beautiful brows. If your suitcase is just arrange your souvenirs The kit contains: one kilo over the airline’s and gifts in the comfort G Three smokin’ shadows: weight allowance, it of your hotel room rather pink highlight shadow, could cost you, on aver- than in front of strangers pewter base shadow, age, an extra £5 at the at the airport! deep charcoal shadow check-in desk. Weighing just 229g and G Smokin’ liner, dark black pencil But now the measuring a small G Brow zings, shaping wax Balanazza Ergo helps G Eye bright, cream eye brightener you take control before G Fluff shadow/hard angle brush you fly. G Tiny tweezers for discreet touch-ups The Balanzza Ergo G A lesson to talk you through each step digital luggage scales So don’t waste your luggage allowance on lots of can help avoid heavy make-up, when all you need is Smokin’ Eyes! excess weight sur- Smokin’ Eyes is priced £26.50. For stockists go to: charges, by enabling you to weigh luggage 13x7x2.5cm, the Ergo is The Balanzza Ergo before heading to the air- perfect to pop into your is available online at port. Simply attach the suitcase to be there when Keep your valuables safe strap securely to the lug- you really need it., priced £19.99. on your travels The security experts at Yale have introduced a handy new portable Travel Safe that can be Head to Boots for those attached to any fixed objects in your hotel room or while you’re out and about to keep your holiday necessities belongings safe. B Available in black or white, the slim-line safe oots is great for can hold your passport, spending money and holiday essentials, mobile phone, and comes with a steel cable, which whether you’re can be securely locked around a wardrobe rail, camping in Cornwall or parasol or even a restaurant table. cruising in the Designed to fit in your handbag or travel bag, Caribbean. The Soltan the safe comes with a four-digit combination lock mini sunscreen is ideal and has a strengthened casing for further for keeping in your bag protection against attack and theft. throughout the summer The Travel Safe retails at £9.99 and is available months. from It won’t take up much space in your suitcase G We have five Yale Travel Safes and, with UVA & UVB to give away.To enter, go to filters to reduce the sun’s Smile Totalcare Most of them are and burning effect on the skin, Mouthwash Coolmint, miniatures so that you click on competitions & it could be your most 75ml 79p; Botanics don’t have to take a giveaways.Terms & conditions treasured handbag item. Cooling Foot & Leg month’s worth of prod- apply. Closing date August 31, Other vanity case Spray, 150ml £3.99; uct for a one-week holi- 2009. must-haves from Boots Extracts Mini Body day – and they fit per- include: No7 Quick Butters, 50ml £2.45; and fectly in your luggage Thinking 4-in-1 Wipes Extracts Mini Body or in your beach bag. (30 wipes) £6.90; Boots Washes, 75ml £2.45. 54 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Out about Hamilton launches Mercedes Driving Academy for youngsters & What’s on... and where B ritish Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has opened the world’s first Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy at Mercedes-Benz World, in Weybridge, Surrey. With young drivers among the most vul- nerable on the roads, the academy promises to coach its students to become good driv- ers, not to just pass their test. Young people from the age of 12 (with a minimum height of 1.5 metres) can now learn to drive on the handling circuits at Mercedes-Benz World, following a curricu- lum-based programme which is built on rec- ommendations from a series of EU road I Lewis Hamilton with young safety research projects. It also includes peer drivers at Mercedes-Benz World group discussion sessions, real-life scenario role play on the track and psychological For further information on the Mercedes- take a walk around the exhibitions and get evaluation. Benz Driving Academy, go to up close to the famous Gullwing and The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Maybach. offers three main modules: pre-road module Mercedes-Benz World offers the perfect In the cinema, you can learn about the (age 12-17), provisional licence module (age day out for the family aside from the driv- history of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in 17+) and post-test module (for those who ing experience. You can have lunch in the the simulator you’ll be transported down a have already passed their test). Prices start at Gullwing Restaurant overlooking the cir- production line. To plan your day, go to £40 for a half-hour session on the track. cuit, get hands-on with the latest models, forest home completes the day Tickets for LaplandUK 2009 are on sale now and because parents or guardians have already LaplandUK, Kent’s award- gingerbread in Mother provided Father Christmas winning, magical Christmas Christmas’s kitchen, go ice- with all the information he experience for families, will skating, meet husky dogs, see needs (via the website), he open for the second year reindeer, send a postcard from “magically” knows everything running next November. the North Pole Post Office, about his little guests. The magic begins when work with the elves in the toy LaplandUK is open from children receive a personalised factory and visit the mystical November 14 until Christmas letter from Father Christmas Sami for traditional Nordic Eve and tickets are priced from requesting their help to make storytelling at their woodland £57.50. Bookings must be I Santa returns to Kent this year toys with the elves in the encampment. made in advance, either online snowy, “Arctic” landscape of Estate, in Kent. A personal visit to Father at or LaplandUK, at Bewl Water Children can decorate Christmas himself in his snowy by calling 0871 221 9627. 56 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • out and ABOUT Battle of I Is it a bird? No, it's a birdman the airshows V isitors to the world’s biggest free seafront airshow will have four chances to see crowd favourites the Red Arrows as the famous fast jets zoom through the Eastbourne skies on every day of the Flying high! town’s Airbourne event. Not to be outdone, Bournemouth, Spectators can watch Taking place over the with three appearances from the Red in amazement and weekend of August I Eastbourne Airbourne 2008 Arrows, is the region’s premier event horror as 48 human- 22/23, the Worthing for this year’s Fly Navy 100 celebra- powered flying International Birdman tions for naval aviation’s centenary. More Bus Bournemouth Air machines throw event attracts over This is how they line up: Festival, August 20-23 themselves from a 25,000 people to the Airbourne: Eastbourne Inter- Bournemouth’s fun will continue into specially-constructed seafront and it is free national Airshow, August 13-16 the evening with Night Air. Taking platform on Worthing for spectators. Eastbourne is keen to uphold its reputa- place in the Lower Gardens, this will Pier – many of them To find out more tion as the biggest international seafront include a hot-air balloon show accom- attempting to fly over about the Birdman airshow with displays from the F16 US panied by a laser show on Friday and 100 metres with the event and to meet fighter – known as the Fighting Falcon Saturday night, displays by the Royal possibility of winning Wilde the Birdman – plus the Eurofighter Typhoon, mak- Marines Combat Display Team and the jackpot of mascot, go to ing it a truly international event. fireworks on Saturday night. £30,000. For more information go to For more information visit Posh picnics Kids go free in August Relax this summer with a classic English at RHS gardens picnic concert at Kenwood House, London and Audley End, Saffron Walden. F or the second year running, the I Pirates and Arrive at the English Royal Horticultural Society is pansies at the Heritage venues from Last Night of the RHS offering children aged 16 and 2.30pm and 5.30pm to Kenwood Proms under the chance to discover the fun of enjoy the grounds and features one of Britain’s frolicking in the garden free of charge. gather friends for a top tenors,Alfie Boe. It From pirate fun and treasure trails to picnic on the lawn. takes place on August teddy bear picnics and storytelling, Artists include 22 and also concludes there are plenty of free activities to Carr, Harrogate, August 29. If you are Russell Watson, Simply with a spectacular keep children entertained at RHS gar- heading to Yorkshire, kids can dress up Red, Jools Holland and fireworks display. dens throughout August. as a pirate on Pirate Day as part of the Will Young, while the Advance tickets are Plant Hunting and Pirate Family Fortnight, from August 16-31. Last Night of the available through The Spectacular: RHS Garden Wisley, Adult admission: £7. Audley End Proms on Times box office on Surrey, Bank Holiday Weekend, Sunday, August 2, is 0844 209 1922, through August 29-31. Visiting families will harlowcarr/index.asp headlined by Katherine See Tickets on 0844 412 get a treasure map to follow a trail of Teddy Bears Picnic: RHS Garden Jenkins and features a 2706 or via Ticketmaster great Victorian plant explorers, finding Hyde Hall, Essex, August 23. Bring thrilling Spitfire display. on 0844 847 1637.You clues and battling pirates, leading to your teddy bear for a picnic with story- All concerts at can also visit their plant treasure. Adult admission: telling, garden games and a special Audley End conclude £8.50. teddy bear’s hospital. Adults: £5.50. with a stunning for tickets and more gardens/wisley/index.asp fireworks finale.The information. Pirate Day: RHS Garden Harlow hydehall/index.asp July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 57
    • 58 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Coming Next Subscribe and WIN Subscribe to The Travel & Leisure Magazine now to win a FREE travel guide FREE travel guide for the first 5 new subscribers... Fill in the subscription form below to get The Travel & Leisure Ontario Tourism Magazine delivered to your door every two months – be one of the first 5 new subscribers and you will receive a travel guide worth at least £10 Don’t miss out on the September/October 2009 issue of Plus – you can win fabulous holidays and other prizes Plus – great reader giveaways and special offers How to order Simply call our Credit Card Order Line 020 8477 1529 (9am–5pm Monday to Friday) and quote reference T&L0709 OR complete the coupon below and send it, with your payment, to: GET TO KNOW Peter Ellegard Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd. First Floor, 103 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex THE CANARY IG1 4PU – Your subscription will start with the September/October 2009 issue. ISLANDS Spain’s year-round sunshine islands THE TRAVEL & LEISURE MAGAZINE SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION OFFER – PACK YOUR 6 issues for just £6 Save 50% CLUBS Portugal’s rising star, the Peter Ellegard I I would like a subscription Lisbon Golf Coast MY DETAILS Mr/Mrs/Miss/Other Initial Surname OFF THE Address BEATEN TRACK Peter Ellegard Sri Lanka is back in Postcode Telephone (optional) vogue once again E-mail Date of birth (optional) Please ensure you have completed the details as payee on the form above Egyptian State Tourist Office LET’S TRY I wish to pay by (please tick) Reference T&L0709 Learn to dive holidays I Cheque/Postal Order for £ Cheques payable to: Travel & Leisure Magazine Ltd. Please print your name and address on ESCAPE TO the back of your cheque. Toronto and Niagara I Please charge £ to my credit/charge card (please tick below) Falls Visa I MasterCard I Delta I Switch I Starwood Hotels & Resorts Card number ON YOUR DOORSTEP Follow in Wordsworth’s Expiry date Valid from footsteps to the sublime Issue number (Switch only) Security code Lake District (Last 3 digits on signature panel) Signature PLUS all our other regular features, Date special offers, competitions and giveaways 59 Please tick here if you do not wish to receive promotional offers from other companies I July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine
    • Park Life London’s Royal Parks I Strolling by the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park visitlondonimages/ britainonview Escape the blur and There are eight Royal Parks in London and one Open: All day, year- round. enjoy green days cemetery that is looked after by the Royal Parks agency Event/activity: Guided Walk – Mansions of Green Park, August 24, ( 1-2pm. Limited places; L ondon is the greenest city in the world – thanks to its open spaces, heaths, commons and greens, with park, with something for everyone. It has 350 acres of historic landscape, over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse They are: St James’s Park book through the park office on 020 7930 1793. eight Royal Parks leading the way. You rides, a playground, an education centre Hyde Park visitlondonimages/britainonview can actually walk from the Houses of and a range of catering outlets. Tube: Lancaster Gate & Parliament to Kensington Palace, a dis- Acquired by Henry VIII from the Marble Arch (Central tance of about three miles, just through monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536, Line), Hyde Park Corner Royal Parks. Hyde Park was a private hunting ground & Knightsbridge Start in St James’s Park, London’s until James I permitted limited access. (Piccadilly Line). oldest Royal Park and surrounded by Charles I opened it to the general pub- Open: 5am-midnight, three palaces – Westminster (the lic, in 1637. Tube: St. James’s Park year-round Houses of Parliament), St James’s Before reaching Kensington Palace, (District/Circle Line). Event/activity: Punch Palace and Buckingham Palace, where savour the delights of Kensington Open: 5am-midnight, and Judy, August 17-21, you can catch the daily Changing the Gardens, once part of Hyde Park. year-round. 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Free Guard ceremony in spring and summer. Queen Caroline, wife of George II, cre- Event/activity: Feeding with admission to the Next is a royal favourite, Green Park. ated the Serpentine and the Long Water the pelicans. Wildlife Lido (£4 adult, £1 child King Charles II acquired land between from a stream in 1728, resulting in the officers feed the park’s age 3+, £3 concessions Hyde Park and St James’s so he could gardens’ present form. pelicans daily at 2.30pm. and £9 per family). travel between them without leaving A well-loved feature is the bronze visitlondonimages/britainonview royal soil, put a brick wall around it and statue of Peter Pan standing on a Green Park called it Upper St James’s Park. Today, pedestal covered with climbing squir- Tube: Green Park the park is a peaceful refuge from the rels, rabbits and mice. The Diana, (Jubilee, Victoria & blur and bustle of modern London and Princess of Wales Memorial Piccadilly Lines), Hyde is popular with walkers and joggers. Playground and seven-mile Memorial Park Corner (Piccadilly Cross to Hyde Park, the people’s Walk were both opened in 2000. Line). 60 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • LONDON Review PARKS Did you know? G Royal Parks hosting London 2012 Olympics events are: Greenwich Garden squares G In 1665, many London citizens Park (Olympic & Paralympic Garden squares are a great way for city workers to fled the city to camp at Hyde equestrian events; modern pen- enjoy London’s open space and are perfect for Park, to escape the Great Plague. tathlon elements), Horse Guards lunchtime escapes. Lincoln’s Inn Field, the largest public G The chapel on the Fulham Road Parade (beach volleyball), Hyde square in London, is a short walk from Covent Garden side of Brompton Cemetery was Park (triathlon; open water swim- and is a popular picnic spot for office workers. used in GoldenEye (1995), Pierce ming) and Regent’s Park (road Postman’s Park is a small memorial garden created in Brosnan’s first Bond movie. cycling). 1880, near St Paul’s. A wall in the park has 47 hand- G Richmond Park is London’s G King Charles II introduced the painted tiles paying tribute to everyday people who largest Royal Park, covering 2,500 game of Pelle Melle, with players sacrificed their lives helping others and was featured acres, and is home to 650 free- using a mallet to hit a ball through in the movie, Closer. roaming deer. From its heights a hoop, from France. The courts there is an uninterrupted view of in St James’s Park gave their St Paul’s Cathedral, 12 miles away. names to present-day Pall Mall and The Mall. Heaths and commons The rugged landscapes of London’s heaths and commons offer a less formal way to enjoy the Kensington Gardens Fresco, August 9, begin- outdoors. Originally an agricultural resource, they are Tube: Lancaster Gate & ner classes 1-2pm, social now a haven for wildlife and perfect for lazy sunny Queensway (Central dancing 2-6pm, The afternoons and energetic mornings. Line), Bayswater Broadwalk. £10 for class All offer different qualities and facilities, from outdoor (District Line), High and social dancing. swimming at Hampstead Heath or visitlondonimages/britainonview Street Kensington (Circle Tooting Common to the pretty & District Lines). village, shops and pubs that visitlondonimages/britainonview Open: 6am-dusk, year- Bushy Park surround Blackheath. round Train: From Waterloo to Event/activity: The Teddington/Hampton Serpentine Gallery, fea- turing modern and con- Wick/Hampton Court, then a short walk. Large parks temporary art, has a per- Open: 24 hours for London has plenty of large parks worthy of a whole- manent display dedicated pedestrians (8am- day visit.They include: to its former Patron, Open: 6am for pedestri- 10:30pm September & G Hampton Court Palace Gardens, East Molesey, Diana, Princess of Wales. ans, 7am for traffic. November). Vehicle Surrey (Train: Hampton Court). Open daily during exhi- Closing times vary. access 6:30am-dusk, G Eltham Palace, Greenwich (Train: Eltham & bitions, 10am-6pm. Free. Event/activity: 7pm in winter. Mottingham). Heatwave – a family cul- Event/activity: The G Syon House and Gardens, Brentford, Middlesex Richmond Park tural feast from noon- park has a distinct rural (Train: from Waterloo to Kew Bridge then bus. Tube/Rail: Richmond 6pm on July 26, The character. Spot wildlife Tube: District Line to Gunnersbury then bus) Station (Rail or District Bandstand. Take a blan- including red and fallow Line), then 371 or 65 bus. ket and picnic. deer, sandpipers, herons, G Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond (Train: Open: From 7am in woodpeckers, warblers Kew Bridge.Tube: Kew Gardens). summer and 7.30am in Regent’s Park and finches. winter, until dusk. Tube: Regent’s Park Event/activity: Caters (Bakerloo Line), Great Brompton Cemetery to sports including Portland Street Tube: West Brompton Picnic spots cycling, orienteering, (Hammersmith & City, (District Line). Family fun: Dulwich Park, SE21. Open: 9am-6pm. cross-country running, Circle & Metropolitan Open: 8am-8pm sum- rugby, horse-riding, golf, Lines), Baker Street mer, 8am-4pm winter. Hidden secrets: Battersea Park, SW11. Open: fishing and power kiting. (Hammersmith & City, Info: The only Crown 8am-dusk. Circle, Jubilee, Cemetery covers 16.5 Sunday farmers market: Alexandra Palace Park, Greenwich Park Metropolitan & Bakerloo hectares in the Borough N22. Open: All day. Tube/Rail: North lines), St John’s Wood of Kensington and Fountains and sunken garden: Thames Barrier Greenwich (Jubilee Line) (Jubilee Line), Camden Chelsea. Among those Park, E16. Open: From 7am. Closing times vary. then 188 bus, Greenwich Town (Northern line). buried in this haven of (Rail or Docklands Light Open: 5am-dusk, year- peace and beauty are 13 Open-air theatre: Holland Park,W8. Open: Railway), Cutty Sark round. holders of the Victoria Dawn-dusk. (DLR) Event/activity: Tango al Cross. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 61
    • LONDON Review NEWS & WHAT'S ON New Covent Garden walking tour Th e a t r e r e v i e w A self-guided tour of the Visitors will be guided past UK’s first-ever public historical sites such as the café I believe in fairies square, dating back to where legendary author Charles JM Barrie’s Peter Pan 1630, has been launched in col- Dickens wrote his weekly mag- Kensington Gardens laboration with world- azines, the eerie site of the first Until August 30 renowned historian and novel- plague victim’s burial and the Stars: Ciaran Kellgren, Abby ist, Peter Ackroyd. Lamb & Flag pub where fero- Ford and Jonathan Hyde The Covent Garden Walking cious bare knuckle boxing once Tour highlights the area’s fasci- took place. Fly through the nating heritage and breathtaking architecture and The Walking Tour can be downloaded from air as the magic details enthralling events witnessed throughout or you can of Neverland its history. pick up a copy from the Market Building. comes alive in this new production of Peter Pan, Anyone for Cricket? taking place in a state-of-the- L ondoners are being bowled over this summer with out- door screenings of the Ashes art theatre pavilion, constructed in Kensington Gardens. battle between England and Be amazed by the Australia. Part of a Great breathtaking 360-degree British Summer themed pro- projected scenery as you fly gramme of events taking place over London with Peter, across three of London’s shop- Wendy, Michael, John and, of ping and entertainment destina- I The first capsule being replaced by the dummy pod course, the fiery Tinkerbell, tions, it is completely free – just who is possibly the scariest turn up, pull up a deckchair and Eye pod shuffle little fairy I have ever seen! enjoy the atmosphere. A £12.5 million upgrade is underway for the London Eye, with The show is fairly long at For daily screening times check the first of the attraction’s 32 capsules replaced by a sheathed, just over two hours (including the websites of the three locations: non-operational one. Each of the capsules will be removed and interval) and I think it would G Cardinal Place, Victoria refurbished in turn over the next three years, being floated be best seen with children Street, SW1. down the Thames to Tilbury for the cross-country journey to (over five) but if you believe the Worcester workshop and replaced by the dummy capsule. in fairies you will love it G New Street Square, New anyway – and the flying scene Fetter Lane, EC4. see hit shows such as Wicked, definitely has a wow factor. Hairspray and the brand new The theatre seats 1,100 G Bankside Mix, Southwark musical in town, Sister Act. people and it’s 100% Street, SE1. The ticket deal is simple – one rainproof. Restaurant, bar and child aged five to 16 will be able picnic facilities open two After England scraped a draw to go free to any participating hours before the show for in the first Test Match, the remain- show when accompanied by a you to enjoy. ing dates are: Second: July 16-20; full paying adult, and another two Keeley Gordon Third: July 30-Aug 3; Fourth: Aug children can go for half price. 7-11; and Fifth: Aug 20-24. Go to Travel from the dark depths of When: Tues-Sat 7.30pm; and sign up to the Family the forest floor to the heady Tues,Thurs & Sat matinees Kids go FREE to top Bulletin to find out all the latest heights of the tree canopy and 2pm; Sun 3pm London shows Kids Week news and booking experience the magic and beau- Tube: Lancaster Gate information. Booking lines are ty of live butterflies and other (Central Line) N ow in its 12th year, Kids Week offers chil- now open. Flutter by the jungle rainforest creatures. Tickets to this exciting new exhibition are now on sale. For Ticket prices: £47.50; £42.50; £32.50; £22.50. Under-16s get 25% off all dren the opportu- more information go to: ticket prices, except Sat nity to experience in London Tickets: the magic of London theatre for FREE! From August 14-28, head to London’s West End for D iscover the secrets of the rainforest with a visit to the Butterfly Jungle at the When: Daily until September 27, 2009, 10am-6pm. Admission: Adult £5.40, child or See Tickets, on 0871 386 1122 a fortnight of theatre fun and Natural History Museum. £3.50, senior £3.50. 62 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
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    • BEST for… # HOTELS ## # The spa’s the star HOTEL NEWS Checking out: The Quay Hotel & Spa, Conwy I How rooms at the Park Plaza F or a truly indul- Westminster Bridge will look gent break, a stay at The Quay Hotel London’s biggest new hotel & Spa is a must. in 40 years will soon welcome From the moment guests with stunning views you enter the over the Thames to the hotel you are immersed in lux- Houses of Parliament and Big ury, style and quality. Set on the Ben.The Park Plaza idyllic Conwy peninsula, there Westminster Bridge London are breathtaking views of the opens in early 2010 on the magnificent North Wales South Bank, just minutes from scenery and it is in easy reach the London Eye, National of Snowdonia National Park. It I View from The Vue restaurant Theatre and Royal Festival is easily accessible from Hall. It will offer 1,021 rooms, Chester and the North West. including 54 suites and With ESPA as its partner you penthouses.Amenities will can be guaranteed a truly relax- include six restaurants and ing, luxurious experience in the bars, a spa and fitness centre, spa, with a large range of high- with a 15-metre pool. quality treatments on offer, including relaxing facials and massages. The adjacent swim- ming pool and Quay gym offer activities to suit all levels of fit- ness and motivation, for the more energetic. Each of the well-designed bedrooms offers sumptuous fur- nishings combined with the lat- I Spa treatment room I Fritton House est technology, including inter- active TV and wi-fi access, with Suffolk brewer Adnams many offering views of the peninsula. The well-appointed factbox has taken over Fritton House, a 16th century former coach bathrooms offer a range of com- The Quay Hotel & Spa house near Lowestoft which plimentary luxurious toiletries to Deganwy Quay reopened as a “restaurant use during your stay. Deganwy, Conwy with rooms” in July.There are The Vue restaurant offers a North Wales Ll31 9DJ seven double rooms and one wide range of award-winning Tel: 01492 564100 I Hydrotherapy pool suite. Double rooms cost culinary treats against back- from £120 mid-week. In the ground views of the dramatic, centre of Fritton Country UNESCO heritage site of Best for Park, the lake and acres of Conwy Castle and the Isle of G Stunning views woodland and parkland offer Anglesey. The delicious food is G Relaxing spa break plenty of activities including complemented by the extensive G Delicious food rowing, cycling and wine list and combined with Could do better horseriding. More information excellent service offers a memo- G The room key system at rable dining experience. could be improved I Hotel exterior Peter Lewsey 68 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Travel and Leisure Directory Cornwall Essex Hampshire Devon Kent Norfolk July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 69
    • Norfolk West Wales Highlands & Islands Channel Islands Glenurquhart ALDERNEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS Lodges L’HARAS GUEST HOUSE Newtown Road,Alderney Situated between Loch Ness and Glen Affric Channel Islands GY9 3XP in a spectacular setting ideal for walking, touring or just relaxing in this tranquil location. All rooms have CH, H&C water, Four spacious chalets all fully equipped for six tea/coffee-making facilities and people set in wooded grounds. Owner’s hotel adjacent where guests are most welcome in colour TV; most are en the restaurant and bar. suite.Contact Mrs Jansen. Near Drumnadrochit, Inverness IV63 6TJ Tel/Fax: 01481 823174 Tel: 01456 476234 Email: Sussex South Wales Canary Islands Channel Islands 70 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Canary Islands Florida Cyprus July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 71
    • France Portugal North Cyprus Spain 72 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
    • Caravan & Camping Caravan & Camping PRIMROSE COTTAGE CARAVAN PARK Golden Hill, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3AR 01227 273694 Small, quiet site with views of the sea. Superstore, chemist and cafe close by, coach/bus stop walking distance. Pitches for tents and touring caravans with electric hook up points, level site. Pets welcome.Toilets, showers, chemical disposal unit. Tourist information. Agent for Calor Gas. PLUS! 6/7 berth static caravans for hire July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 73
    • Caravan & Camping Travel Accessories Museums & Days Out Budget Accommodation 74 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009