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Summer is right around the corner, which means cities across the country are gearing up to host major music festivals. With top talent like Ariana Grande, Twenty-One Pilots, Tame Impala and Childish Gambino touring, there’s really no shortage of performances to enjoy. With CheckMyBus, you can quickly find the cheapest deals, avoid crowded parking lots and have more money to spend at the festivals!
When: 8 – 9 June
Who’s Performing: Cardi B, George Ezra, Solange, The Streets, Migos, Khalid, Disclosure, Christine and the Queens, Eric Prydz, Major Lazer Sound System
Originally the Mad Ferret Festival in Rusholme, the event then moved to Heaton Park in Manchester where it’s jointly organised by multiple groups, like the Warehouse Project.
When: 26-30 June
Who’s Performing: The Killers, Stormzy, The Cure, Kylie, Janet Jackson, George Ezra, Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers, Vampire Weekend
As the biggest festival in the UK, Glastonbury offers an atmosphere unlike any other. In addition to its headliners, the festival features comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other performances to reach a variety of interests.
When: 7-12 August
Who’s Performing: Bedouin Soundclash, Kabaka Pyramid, Nova Twins, Lauryn Hill, Che Lingo, Four Tet, Hak Baker, Little Gay Brother, She Drew the Gun and This is the Kit
Set in the sprawling hills of Hampshire, this four-day annual music festival has a capacity of up to 60,000 people at the Matterley Estate.
The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be taking place in France this year. For the first time in the competition’s history, the Hexagonal will be hosting the best women’s football teams from 5 continents from 7 June – 7 July in iconic stadiums throughout France. Thanks to CheckMyBus, you’ll be able to travel cheaply by bus to every corner of the country and attend all the matches to cheer on your favourite team.
With the exception of Lyon, which will only host the semi-finals and final match, the following host cities will feature group matches, then matches in the eighth and quarter-finals:
As is tradition, the French capital will host the opening match between France and South Korea on 7 June at the Parc des Princes. Among the group matches that will take place, Scotland’s team will face off against Argentina on 19 June. Other matches from around the world that will play in Paris, include South Africa vs. China on 13 June, Argentina vs. Japan on 10 June, and defending team, the United States vs. Chile on 16 June. Paris will also host knockout rounds on 16 and 24 June as well as a quarter-final on 28 June.
Famous for its ski slopes, Grenoble will host matches at the Stade des Alpes, including New Zealand vs. Canada on 15 June. Other competing teams in this picturesque city include Nigeria, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, and Jamaica, which will play twice on the 9 and 18 June. Finally, Grenoble will host an eighth-final match on 22 June.
Germany, whose women’s football team already boasts two World Cup victories, will face South Africa at the Stade de la Mosson on 17 June. Other group matches will include teams from around the world, including Cameroon vs. Canada on 10 June and then New Zealand on 20 June, and Australia will be playing against Brazil on 13 June. The last chance to view a Women’s World Cup match in Montpellier will be on 25 June in the round of 16.
On 8 and 17 June, the Champagne Capital’s Stade Auguste-Delaune will host the Norwegian women’s team for matches against Nigeria and South Korea. On 11 June, the current US world champions will face off against Thailand. Finally, two games will pit Europe against the Americas with Jamaica-Italy on 14 June and the Netherlands-Canada on 20 June. On 24 June, an eighth and final round will take place between groups B and F.
The port city’s Stade Océane is among the venues to host the most matches, both in the group matches as well as the eighth and quarter-finals. England will face off against Argentina on 14 June and New Zealand will play against the Netherlands on 11 June, and Sweden will oppose the United States on 20 June. Among the teams present at the start of the competition are Spain, which will compete with South Africa on 8 June then China on 17 June. To top things off, Le Havre will be the scene of an eighth-final on 23 June and a quarter-final on 27 June.
Proudly bearing its Breton name, the Roazhon Park in Rennes opens up to the world during the Women’s World Cup. The stadium will host Scotland’s match against Japan on 14 June. Other matches include: France vs. Nigeria on 17 June, China’s match against Germany on 8 June and Chile against Sweden on 11 June and Thailand on 20 June. Additionally, Roazhon Park will have two knockout matches: an eighth-final on 25 June and a quarter-final on 29 June.
The Stade du Hainaut will host the match between Italy and Australia on 9 June and Brazil on 18 June. Germany will play against Spain on 12 June, and the Netherlands will face Cameroon on 15 June. On 23 June, a game of the eighth-final will take place and a quarter-final will be hosted here on 29 June.
The match between France and Norway will be taking place 12 June, at the Stade de Nice. For the English, strolling the famous walk will be secondary to the epic match against Scotland. England will be up against Scotland on 9 June then will face Japan on 19 June. On 16 June, Sweden will face off against Thailand. During the finals, Nice will acquire a special status compared to other host cities, with the first match of the round of 16 kicking off on 22 June as well as the small final round for third place on 6 July.
The Olympique Lyonnais is at the top of the national ranking as well as the European ranking of women’s football clubs. With twelve league titles in France, five in Europe and being in the Champions League, Lyon is an obvious choice to host the decisive World Cup games. The Parc Olympique Lyonnais will welcome the best international teams for the semi-finals on 2 and 3 July as well as the final match on 7 July. The atmosphere will be intense so don’t delay in booking your bus ticket to cheer on the winners!
When planning a long-distance trip, it’s natural to prefer a direct route over one with a layover. However when searching for cheap flights, those with layovers are often the cheapest. Whether you’re looking to save money or there’s no other alternative, why not make the most of your layover? Here are some of our tips to pass the time during a layover at the airport, stay productive and ward off boredom while you wait for the next leg of your journey.
1. Be Prepared
You know you’re going to experience a layover so get prepared! Bring your favourite movies on your PC or Tablet, a book or kindle to keep yourself busy. Travelling with children? Don’t let them be bored! Pack toys, games and movies to keep them sufficiently occupied. Airport food can be expensive, so if you want to save some money, bring your own food. If it’s a particularly long trip with an extended layover, keep a small toiletry bag with you so you can freshen up, keep clean and change clothes if needed. If you’re travelling for business, take the chance to catch up on work or prepare for an upcoming meeting.
2. Explore the Airport
Most airports are built with extended layovers in mind. You can often find plenty of places to pass the time. The Amsterdam Airport for example, features a meditation room and many airports offer spa facilities, which is perfect for people who might feel particularly stressed while travelling. If you want to keep active after such a long period of sitting down, then see if there’s a gym. If you want to relax with your travel companions or maybe meet some other travellers, see if there’s a bar or restaurant to grab a drink. Of course, there are almost always lounge areas to unwind and make yourself feel at home.
3. Leave the Airport
If your layover is especially long, why not get out and explore a bit? Especially if it’s near a major city you’ve never visited, you could try making a small city-trip out of it or even grab some local cuisine for a nice meal. It’s a great way to stretch your legs a bit and break up your journey with a bit of adventure! Many airports offer lockers to store your luggage in the meantime. Just make sure you allow yourself enough time to pass through security when you re-enter the airport.
4. Be Productive!
No time has to be wasted time! Use the extra time to do the things you never quite get around to doing. You can delete blurry and old pictures from your phone, answer old messages or get in touch with friends and relatives you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s also a great chance to get yourself organised and maybe get rid of any extra papers in your bag. Once you complete some of these little tasks, you’ll feel great going into the rest of your trip!
5. Plan Out Your Trip
If you haven’t fully planned out your holiday, there’s no better time to figure out your itinerary! Often, while planning vacations, we tend to make broad strokes with where we want to go and what to do each day, but this can be the best opportunity to iron out the details. Check out reviews on local restaurants and make a list of the ones you most want to check out or see if there are any hidden gems in your destination that are worth exploring. Have you considered how you’re going to get from A to B? Are there buses or trains that go to the hotel? You can use the CheckMyBus app, available for android and IOS, to search for all the bus routes you might need and even book your trip online, so you’ll be good to go before you even land.
6. Book an Airport Room
It’s not the cheapest way to spend your layover, but if you know it’s going to be a long time or you’re really in need for a good rest, some airports offer hotel rooms within the airport or very nearby. You can book a room for a whole night or just for a few hours to get some quality rest and a shower with maximum privacy.
CheckMyBus Tip: Search for Cheap Flights and Airport Shuttles
With our search engine, you can compare the cost of flights and find the best deals. Search for flights from airports all over the UK to travel to destinations all over the world. Start your trip by comparing affordable airport transfers to get to the airport.
Make sure you’re realistic about the time you have. There’s a difference between an hour-long layover and a six-hour layover, so do what you can with the time you have. Give yourself enough time to orient yourself, find where you need to go and make it through airport security if you plan to leave the airport. Keep an eye on your boarding time and see if there are any delays or gate changes once you get there. As long as you’re mindful, there’s no reason your layover can’t be a good use of time!
Spring is right around the corner and as the days get longer and warmer, the idea of taking weekend trips to the continent becomes more appealing. The good news is that you can travel between European cities by bus without spending a lot of money. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed city break or want to see and do as much as you can cram into a long weekend, below are our suggestions for the best European holidays!
Oh Vienna! The Austrian capital has been named the city with the highest quality of living multiple years in a row. With elegant imperial buildings, Vienna is full of amazing sights, like the Schönbrunn, Belvedere and Hofburg palaces, its world-renowned opera house and the towering Stephansdom. More than half of the metropolitan area consists of green space, with 280 parks to choose from! Be sure to sample the city’s myriad coffee shops and taste some delicious sachertorte.
A slow pace of life, welcoming locals and budget-friendly prices, Lisbon makes a perfect holiday destination for anyone wanting a warmer climate. The city’s unique architectural style and coastal location offer some Instagram worthy views. Fresh sea food, such as Dourada (also known as sea bream), bacalhau (salted cod) and sardinhas are a few traditional staples you can get for less than €10. Be sure to try a glass of ginginha, a mix of chocolate and cherry liquor. The city’s slow-pace allows for a more relaxed holiday.
With one of Europe’s best preserved medieval old towns and the largest castle complex in the world, Prague is truly a feast for the eyes. What’s even better is that the Czech city is one of the cheapest European capitals to visit with an unlimited monthly transport ticket costing just €20 and a standard beer costing about €1.20. These prices let you fully explore the city’s museums, pubs and sights without putting a major dent in your wallet. Make sure to see the world’s oldest astronomical clock while you’re there!
There’s never a lack of concerts, sporting games, exhibitions, festivals, shows or just about any other event you can think of in Dublin. Explore ancient buildings, visit historical sites and enjoy a variety of street art as you make your way through the city. Fitting for the emerald isle’s capital has plenty of parks within its limits, like the Iveagh Gardens and Europe’s largest centre park, Phoenix Park. Outside the city, walking routes overlooking the Wicklow mountains and stunning coastline. James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Samuel Beckett and U2 are among the many famous Dubliners who have left their mark on the city.
Famed for its “faded beauty,” due to its historic buildings lacking the same amount of restoration efforts as other European countries, Budapest is a fascinating city with a colourful culture and thriving nightlife. From the grand parliament building to the lavish State Opera House, there are so many architectural gems. Get your fill of delicious Hungarian food with goulash soup and palinka, fruit brandy that’s sure to pack a punch. At night, there’s a whole spectrum of bars, clubs and party venues in the Gozsdu Passage within the city’s Jewish Quarter. If you need a recovery day, visit the city’s famous thermal baths for a day of relaxation!
While not as elegant as Paris or Rome, Germany’s capital has a grit and alternative flair that makes it one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. It’s tumultuous 20th century history is on full display, with visible architectural differences between the East and West, remnants of the Iron Curtain can still be found as well as the vibrant counter culture of the time painted on its walls can still be seen in the East Side Gallery. When it comes to nightlife, it’s tough to beat Berlin with alternative clubs, bars and pubs all around, from the exclusive Berghain to an indoor beach party. The best part is that the prices are far cheaper compared to cities like London, Paris or Munich.
Known as the “Eternal City,”Rome is a history buff’s dream come true. Reminders of the grandeur of one of the world’s largest empires can be seen all around in ancient columns, cobbled streets and modern buildings incorporated around old ruins. There are so many sites, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican (a country within the city!), and the Trevi Fountain, that it’s quite difficult to cram them all in one weekend. Wandering the city is more like exploring dozens of distinct charming villages than an overwhelming metropolis. Last but certainly not least is Rome’s cuisine, with a wealth of options from Roman-style pizza, a vast array of pastas, and of course decadent gelato. You really can’t go wrong!
Who hasn’t thought of visiting the city of love at some point? From the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Champs-Élysées, France’s capital makes for an enchanting holiday. Art lovers will be overwhelmed by the variety of choice from the world-renowned Louvre to more than 150 art exhibits spread throughout the city. Explore the roots of Bohemianism in the colourful district of Montmartre or catch a show at the Moulin Rouge. Paris is a mecca for shopping, centered around the Golden Triangle of “Haute Couture” and a seemingly endless number of trendy boutiques. You can’t leave Paris without sampling its cuisine, among the most celebrated in the world. From Michelin-starred restaurants to family-owned bistros, try some fresh croissants, pains au chocolat, macarons and so many mouthwatering dishes.
An extensive network of canals, renaissance buildings and delicious Stroopwafels await you in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam is commonly known as the Venice of the North and lives up to that title well with gorgeous water markets and even boat parades on the canals. It’s easy to rent and travel by bike, and you’ll likely see more cyclists than cars on the city’s streets. Art lovers have to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Jordaan’s artsy community, full of galleries, boutiques and attractive green spaces. From the boundless festivals and events during the day to the city’s bars and clubs, like Tolhuistuin and Sugarfactory, there’s no excuse to be bored! Of course, one of the biggest draws to Amsterdam is its embodiment of Gezelligheid, a Dutch word that roughly translates to quaint, cozy, friendly and warm.
If you want an action-packed party trip, then there’s no better place than sunny Barcelona! From the famous street Las Ramblas to Vila Olimpic or Barceloneta, the party never stops. During the day, annual festivals such as Sonar, Circuit Festival and one of Europe’s biggest Pride events transform Barcelona’s streets into a massive celebration. Does a relaxing trip to the beach sound more like your cup of tea? Barcelona has miles of beaches to choose from! Recently elected the “World’s Best Summer City,” Barcelona is just the place for a sunny getaway at your own pace. Compared to other European destinations, Barcelona has much lower prices, for instance you can have a beer, locally known as a caña, and tapas for very cheap. The city’s colourful architecture is really unique to the city, particularly the beautiful Sagrada Familia cathedral.
While travelling is often associated with far off places, different cultures and a change of scenery, there’s usually plenty of adventure to be had in our own back yards. Looking at how people in nearby cities live can be eye-opening and help you reevaluate your own city, and for people looking to move somewhere new, it’s a great idea to keep your options open! Below are ten of the most livable cities in the UK based on factors, such as housing prices, the availability of green space and healthcare costs. You can reach all of these destinations cheaply by coach.
Belfast has come a long way over the past decades and offers visitors and residents a truly cosmopolitan experience. From the award-winning St George’s Market to the expansive trails of Black Mountain, the scores of concert halls like the Waterfront, The Limelight and Belsonic, and the variety of acclaimed restaurants, Northern Ireland’s capital truly has something for everyone.
The Welsh capital is the best city for outdoor lovers with more green space per capita in its centre than any other city in the UK. Cardiff is also close to the natural beauty of Brecon Beacons and the beaches of Gower. Residents can find the city has a cozy feel, more like a small town than a city, which makes it easier to meet reoccurring faces and make lasting friendships.
High employment rates, quality mental health care and good 4G coverage are among the reasons Bristol gets top marks for livability. The coastal city also has a thriving art scene, particularly as the stomping grounds of street-artist and activist Banksy, whose colourful graffiti can be seen throughout the city. Bristol is also home to plenty of green spaces, from College Green to Brandon Hill and is the perfect place for people who love some good cider!
This northern city may be smaller than other cities on this list, but is heavily concentrated with theatres, pubs, museums, galleries, clubs and just about any entertainment venue you can imagine. Leeds has a very young atmosphere with four different universities and tons of restaurants and establishments that cater to student needs. With an abundance of parks and the Yorkshire Dales on its doorstep, Leeds offers the best of both worlds when it comes to city living.
Scotland’s historic capital is the most visited city in the UK outside of London and boasts some truly beautiful architecture. The city’s become a popular destination for startups with office costs at half the price of London. Edinburgh’s people are very welcoming to outsiders and has a thriving community of expatriates, bringing a multitude of culinary and cultural offerings with it. As if there wasn’t enough for Edinburgh’s residents to be happy about, the city prides itself on low levels of air pollution.
Scotland’s biggest city is often named one of the best cities for students with highly ranked universities, affordable housing prices, and a large variety of pubs and clubs to choose from. Glasgow offers plenty of opportunities for shopping, and despite rumours of deep-fried mars bars, the city’s got an up and coming culinary scene that’s worth keeping an eye on. Outdoor lovers can easily escape the hustle and bustle at the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow Green or Kelvingrove Park.
A thriving night life, tons of shopping outlets, museums and galleries and the UK’s premier football stadium, Manchester offers a big city experience at a fraction of the cost of London. Foodies should also be aware that Manchester has the fastest growing food and drink scene in the country, with local microbreweries and more established names, like Brightside or Marble. University students will be in good company with 80,000 students calling the city home. With the cost of living being four times cheaper than London despite the average salary being £24,908 vs. London’s £33,550, young professionals can go a lot further with their money.
Sheffield is another university city that offers affordable living costs, with the average house costing just over 180K. Residents and visitors can also enjoy an abundance of green space, as Sheffield is in the Peak District and is surrounded by plenty of beautiful natural sights, like the Wyming Brook.
If it was good enough for the Beatles, then Liverpool is absolutely worth a visit. The coastal town has a beautiful historic waterfront at the Albert Dock and unsurprisingly has a thriving music scene. What truly makes the city stand out however is its people, which were voted the kindest in the UK by Travelodge, the friendliest by a YouGov poll and the most honest by the Daily Mail. They’re sure to make you feel right at home!
1. Newcastle upon Tyne
A study from Startup.co.uk has named this northern city the best place in the UK to work in terms of cost and ease of working. Students and young professionals can enjoy Newcastle upon Tyne’s expansive transport links and travel cards priced at just £50 a month compared to London, which start at £134.80. This lets residents enjoy the multitude of coffee shops and bars even more!
When travelling to far off places, it’s easy to get lost in your own experience, from the romance of seeing so many exciting new locales to the hustle to get from place to place. However, an exciting excursion to you is everyday life to someone else, and the choices we make as tourists can drastically affect local communities and wildlife. With these ten tips, you can travel responsibly and help break stereotypes about “bloody tourists.”
Tip 1: Do Not Take Sand and Seashells from Beaches
A pretty keepsake to us can be home to a variety of marine life, from fish to hermit crabs. A 30-year study found a direct correlation between increased tourism and decreased shells. Though modern machinery and beach grooming are largely to blame, leaving seashells behind can help a lot!
Tip 2: Don’t Haggle Too Much in Developing Countries
No one wants to get ripped off. While it can be frustrating to fall into tourist traps, haggling with local businesses can cause a whole lot of hurt. Keep the currency conversion in mind, especially in developing countries. Saving a pound or 50 pence doesn’t help you much but can really hurt locals.
Tip 3: Don’t Support Venues that Exploit or Abuse Animals
Ever dream of riding an elephant in Thailand? A cool experience for tourists can have a dark reality for locals and wild life. Many parks and exhibits that allow people to interact directly with animals, like riding elephants or swimming with dolphins involve brutal taming techniques that harm the animals. Instead consider animal parks and refuges that protect endangered species, like the Happy Elephant Home in Chiang Mai.
Tip 4: Say No to Plastic Straws!
Next time you order a drink, skip the straw! Plastic straws often end up in the ocean, affecting delicate eco-systems there, and can harm animals. Going without a straw or having a reusable straw can make a big difference since the average person can go through 38,000 straws in 60 years!
Tip 5: Eat and Shop Local
Go for the most authentic experience possible. Eating and shopping local is a major boost to the local economy and is the best way to find something you can’t get anywhere else. As an added bonus, it helps reduce your carbon footprint since goods don’t need to travel as far!
Tip 6: Watch Where you Flick Your Cigarette Butts
Cigarettes are actually the ocean’s biggest contaminant and can cause a lot of damage to marine wildlife. Make sure to put out any smoke before disposing of butts in the garbage, and not the ground. As Toronto’s campaign suggests, “Don’t be a flicking idiot.”
Tip 7: Don’t Give Money to Begging Children
Seeing a wide-eyed child on the street begging for money can be hard to turn down, but it’s often the best thing long-term. Some are exploited to make money by gangs, and even in less severe cases, it gives children less incentive to go to school when they can make money from tourists. Instead, it’s a better idea to donate to NGOs and charities to try to solve the problem at its cause.
Tip 8: Be Careful When Buying Souvenirs
While it’s great to support local shops, make sure what you’re buying is ethically sourced and doesn’t involve the exploitation of animals or people. Be particularly wary of products made from ivory, teeth or bones, quills, beaks or other animal products.
Tip 9: Respect the Local Culture and People
A little research can go a long way! Learn the customs, traditions and faux pas of where you plan to visit and try to pick up some key phrases in the local language. It’s also important to read up on what clothing is considered appropriate in different cultures. In the age of the internet, there’s no reason not to be prepared when you travel!
Tip 10: Spread the Word!
Lead by example and share why you’re making certain choices. Shedding some light on these issues to friends, neighbours and family can really open their minds to issues they haven’t thought about. At CheckMyBus, we always encourage people to travel as much as they can to discover the world by helping them find the cheapest transportation. But we also want people to travel in a smart and responsible way. So, spread the word!
Unless there is an extension, on 29 March the United Kingdom will leave the European Union whether an exit deal is in place or not. No matter what happens, the travel terms between the United Kingdom and the EU will change. In the event of a no deal Brexit, it’s essential for passengers to be prepared for travel changes to not be caught off guard when planning trips or crossing the border.
Our search engine allows users to compare available bus connections from multiple companies and helps users to find connections regardless of the current uncertainty. We have analysed and compiled three risks that passengers could face when travelling between the UK and EU in the event of a no deal Brexit as well as possible solutions to navigate them.
Coach Travel from the UK to Europe Could be Interrupted
What to Know: After leaving the EU, the UK will need to renegotiate its membership in the Interbus Agreement to continue bus travel between the UK and EU members. This agreement will also have to extend to include regular intercity coach routes for UK companies to continue scheduled connections to and from EU countries.
The Solution: If there is a period of time where UK buses are restricted from travel to the EU, the UK will allow European companies, such as Ouibus to continue cross-border routes to minimalise disruption. Be sure to check out timetables from European as well as UK companies to see which ones will be in operation. With our search engine, you can compare all available bus connections for cross-border connections, so you’ll only see results from companies that are allowed to operate these routes.
Passports May Not Be Deemed Valid for Travel
What to Know: The European Union will be allowing visa-free travel for UK nationals for short term trips and will be allowed to travel for up to 90 days over a 180-day period. It’s also important that UK nationals make sure that their passports are valid prior to travelling.
The Solution: UK nationals should make sure their passports are valid for at least six months prior to travelling to the European Union. Expats living in an EU country should check with the authorities of the country they reside in to confirm their right to stay and/or the need to apply for residence permits.
Airlines Could be Denied Access to the EU
What to Know: Both European and UK airlines will need two associated permissions to operate between the UK and EU. UK-licensed airlines would need permission from the country to which they operate as well as a safety authorisation from the EASA. European airlines will require a foreign carrier permit as well as a UK safety authorisation. While the government is working to create bi-lateral agreements, delays and disruptions could occur after 29 March.
The Solution: It’s imperative to check airlines if you’re planning to travel after 29 March. Making sure that companies, like easyJet are “Brexit Ready” is the best way to know if your flight will be operational during this time. Similarly with buses, you should compare flights from different airlines to find which ones are operating.
Rolling hills, lush meadows and winding rivers, the Cotswolds is among the most romantic places in the United Kingdom to spend with your partner. Back in 1966, the region was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the region’s wonder is only enhanced by quaint hamlets, towns, and small cities throughout the region. Simply put, the Cotswolds exemplify some of the best sights that Britain has to offer with plenty of scenic gems to share this Valentine’s Day. Travel to the following towns with affordable coaches and spend more money on your getaway.
The Cotswolds’ Unofficial Capital, Cirencester
Deemed the unofficial capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is at the heart of the region, and is a great starting point for visiting the area. Much like many of the small towns nearby, Cirencester boasts a rich history that dates to the Roman times with an abundance of charming old buildings. Some notable attractions include the Roman amphitheatre, and the Cornium Museum, which is full of countless historical treasures and features gorgeous Roman mosaics. Looking for a gift for someone special? The town’s New Brewery Arts is a great place to look for unique keepsakes, with hand-made wares from artists, like Hazel Atkinson, Rosie Keogh and Sally Ratcliffe.
Frequent Festivals and an Abundance of Shopping in Cheltenham
Known for its abundance of shopping options and frequent festivals, Cheltenham draws in tourists throughout the year and is a great destination for a day trip. The town has a continental feel with a vibrant café culture, tons of independent restaurants, bars and pubs to choose from. The Brewery Quarter marries old world charm with modern entertainment venues, including a multi-screen cinema, bowling alley and live gigs open throughout the week.
A Wealth of Historical and Cultural Offerings in Bath
Home to its namesake, the famous Roman Baths, Bath boasts a long and rich history with stylish Georgian architecture. The city sits at the foot of the Cotswolds and is perfect as a romantic getaway on Valentine’s Day. Speaking of romance, the city was once the home of renowned novelist Jane Austin and is the site of the Jane Austin Museum. While the Roman Baths exist now more for show, the nearby Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop pool is a great place to unwind. Once you’re feeling relaxed, visit the numerous galleries, museums and parks the city has to offer.
Romantic Strolls in the Cathedral City of Gloucester
Having played an important role in the country’s history, the small cathedral city of Gloucester is made up of half-timbered houses and Romanesque architecture. The high gothic cathedral is a must-see as the burial place of important kings, and the city’s docks and quays were practically made for romantic strolls. While there, be sure to visit the Gloucester Waterways Museum, Prinknash Abbey and Monestary as well as the Jetage Museum.
The self-imposed goal of a punctuality rate of 82% in long-distance traffic is, according to railway CEO Richard Lutz, in the distant future. Time and time again, there have been delays. In August 2018, only 70% of long-distance trains arrived at their destination on time. Passengers affected by a train delay currently receive a maximum of 50% of the ticket price. This should change from 2020 according to the European Parliament.
The EU wants to significantly increase passenger rights, which were last updated in 2009. In the future, travellers should be able to get back half of the ticket price in the event of a delay of more than 90 minutes. With a delay of up to two hours, passengers will then receive 75 percent of the price back. If the train is delayed for more than two hours, travellers should then be reimbursed the full ticket price. This should apply even if the train is used despite the delay. Even those who change and independently make two separate bookings should be compensated in the future as it had been a single booking. If, for example, the TGV is delayed, and a traveler misses the connecting ICE, they should be able to take the next train free of charge.
Compensation from 2020
> 60 minutes: 25% of the fare paid
> 90 minutes: 50% of the fare paid
> 120 minutes: 50% of the fare paid
90 to 120 minutes: 75% of the fare paid
> 120 minutes: 100% of the fare paid
Train operators and long-distance coaches should not be able to continue relying on extraordinary circumstances. The controversial clause has already provided enough uncertainty and anger from frustrated airline passengers; if a flight is delayed due to external circumstances, such as storms or strikes, travellers have no right to compensation.
In addition, the European Parliament calls for travellers to be better informed about their rights. Including a note on the ticket is a conceivable solution for this. The process is also to be simplified: it cannot be that passengers can easily book and pay for their tickets via an app but must apply for their compensation in the event of a delay by completing a form.
The European Union also wants to ensure that there are more bicycle seats on trains and will require that travellers in need of assistance should be able to request support for boarding or loading luggage in a quicker manner.
However, before passengers can enjoy these added rights, they must first be negotiated with the EU Council as well as the EU Commission before being implemented in 2020.
The United Kingdom has no shortage of cultural and natural wonders to behold. Between London’s multitude of sights, Stonehenge, the Lake District and Scottish Highlands, there are tons of lesser known attractions to discover. Quaint historic towns, scenic waterfalls, legendary castles, a dramatic coastline and even a toxic blue lagoon are among the UK’s countless hidden gems. Many of these places are easily accessible by the UK’s extensive coach network, or can be reached via local transport from larger cities and towns.
Visit Buxton’s Toxic Blue Lagoon but Don’t Swim!
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly crystal blue waters of the toxic blue lagoon in Buxton, England. Often referred to as a “toxic soup,” the lagoon harbors rubbish, dead animals among other vile ingredients that make it not safe for swimming. In fact, at one point the lagoon was even dyed black to discourage visitors from taking a dip. Nonetheless, it is still a beautiful sight and there’s no charge to visit.
Visit the Origin of ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ at St. Michael’s Mount
Like something out of a fantasy novel, St. Michael’s Mount is a beautiful island topped with a castle that can be accessed by foot during the low tide. The little island has a rich history of sieges, religious visions and has been used as the set of numerous films, such as James Bond and Dracula. It’s also the birthplace of the fairy-tale ‘Jack the Giant Killer,’ since it was once believed to be the home of a giant before being slain by a local named Jack.
Henrhyd Falls, also known as Sgwd Henrhyd, located on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons is the highest waterfall in the South. Hiking down to the falls entails taking a winding path through scenic tree-lined gorges and is a must-see for outdoors enthusiasts. Nearby trails, such as Graigllech Woods and Nant Lech river are also offer exquisite views. The whole area is known to be a part of Wales’ Waterfall Country.
Travel to the Country’s North Eastern Edge to see Scotland’s Sentinels
The small town of John O’Goats is famous for being Britain’s most north eastern point, and is near the impressive coastal rock formations, the Stacks of Duncansby, also known as Scotland’s Sentinels. While there, the Duncansby Head Lighthouse is also well worth a visit.