Rail bosses have apologised to MPs for the botched introduction of new train timetables last month. Charles Horton, outgoing chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and David Brown, managing director of Arriva Rail North, had been summoned to face the Transport Select Committee over the thousands of delayed and cancelled trains since 20 May. The rail industry had adopted a “big bang” approach to bringing in new schedules in southeast and northwest England.
On the eve of Royal Ascot 2018, race-goers have been told “to allow extra time for their journey and be prepared to queue” as a result of various strikes. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has called another three-day strike on South Western Railway over the role of guards when new trains are introduced next year. Trains normally depart every half-hour for the 52-minute journey to Ascot.
Britain is facing a new run of rail strikes this week, promising further summer transport disruption. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union working for Arriva Rail North (Northern Rail) are staging industrial action to express their opposition to driver-only trains. Northern Rail will be operating a reduced service across its routes between 7am and 7pm on Tuesday 19, Thursday 21 and Saturday 23 of June, with widespread delays expected into Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool.
One clear night in central Oslo, after the sun set quickly and a slight chill materialized in the air, about two dozen people gathered to enjoy a meal and discuss the future of food. The host site, an urban farm known as Losaeter, wasn’t like any farm I’d seen before: fields full of heritage grains, highly productive terraced gardens and an outdoor communal planting space that also serves as a local green education initiative surround the bakehouse, a spectacular hybrid sculpture and gathering space that’s been constructed from an old boat frame topped with a green roof. A group of cooperatives – led by the Futurefarmers, Flatbread Society and the Future of Food collective – is using this thriving urban farm, which has steadily developed over the last five years, to raise questions about how to responsibly grow food and eat it.
Northern Rail has confirmed that further strike action will significantly affect services this week. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are planning to strike on 19, 21 and 23 June in the ongoing dispute over driver-only operated trains. The strikes are the latest in a wave of industrial action by RMT members working for Northern Rail and follow similar walkouts in January, September and March.
“Oh! The pollution, the heat, the stinky – sweaty people… India is a horrible place to visit.” No, this is not what I heard some foreigner saying. This is what I got as response from my NRI relatives every time I asked them to visit India and spend some time with us over summer vacations, Durga puja, Christmas and New Year holidays. It was heartbreaking to hear the 5 year old say in his accented Bengali, “India stinks of cow dung”.
Europe’s biggest budget airline has announced a new base at Southend Airport in Essex – taking on its arch-rival, easyJet, and sounding a warning to Stansted, its main hub. Ryanair will base three aircraft at Southend from summer 2019, with nearly 60 weekly flights to 13 destinations in eight countries. Since a £100m project to turn Southend into a 21st-century airport, easyJet has established a base there.
As airlines prepare for another round of strikes by French air-traffic controllers, two of Europe’s leading airline bosses have demanded action to reduce the damage caused by air traffic control (ATC) problems. Eurocontrol in Brussels said: “This local strike will induce significantly decrease to the ATC capacity of Marseille ACC area. The centre covers the southeast quarter of France and a large tranche of Mediterranean airspace.
The national football team’s last great moment was over half a century ago. In that far-off festival of football, aviation did not figure in ferrying players or fans around England: the most distant stadium from Wembley was Roker Park in Sunderland, little more than 200 miles away, and trains and buses were quite sufficient. Russia 2018 is partly run on rail, with fans heading for Yekaterinburg travelling on football specials the route of the Trans-Siberian.
Hotels don’t get more well-placed than the Tivoli. It’s located on the Avenida Liberdade, Lisbon’s answer to the Champs Elysee: a long, wide road in the city centre which is prettified by an avenue of leafy trees running down the middle. High-end designer shops mingle with hotels here – head south and you’ll get to more touristy streets and high-street brands, before eventually hitting the Tagus river.
When in Mexico, do as the North Americans do. That’s the advice on tipping in all-inclusive resorts on the Riviera Maya from “Timbuktu Timmy”, who hands over a dollar for each all-inclusive drink. “Not because I necessarily want to or think it’s deserved,” he says, “but just to get served, as otherwise you get ignored whilst all the Americans and Canadians are served around you.”
A medieval walled city, packed with genuinely unique sights within a compact area – it’s no wonder York is one of the UK’s most popular city breaks. The oldest continuously inhabited house in England, dating back to 1091, this tranquil boutique hotel is a few steps from York Minster, right in the heart of the city. Silk wallpapers, reproduction Louis XIV furnishings and crystal chandeliers wouldn’t naturally make you think “child and dog-friendly”, yet both are welcome.
New York may be the city that never sleeps but when you’re paying top dollar for a hotel room, you’re going to want some quality shuteye. As a hotel-obsessed journalist and travel specialist who has closely chronicled New York’s whirlwind hotel scene for more than a decade (I also grew up just 30 minutes outside of the city), I can confidently say the luxury lodging options here continue to be better than ever. The sexy Edition brand, created by Studio 54 legend-turned-boutique-hotelier Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott Hotels, caters to sophisticated travellers who are after high design and exciting nightlife, rolled up in five-star service.
Copenhagen is a city that delivers style in spades – effortlessly cool, with slick design everywhere you look. The increase in visitors has prompted a surge in new hotels, but Copenhagen can still be an expensive city, and choosing the right hotel is vital.
Popular as it is for weekend breaks, Copenhagen is also notoriously expensive as a destination. It is totally possible to stay in style on a budget in this brilliant capital. There is one shower room, one toilet and two basins for guests, but you also have access to the same facilities as those in the hotel rooms – meaning 24-hour room service, free gym access and a daily wine hour between 5pm and 6pm.
Paris: so much to see, do eat, shop, admire and ogle, so why bother splurging on an expensive bed for the night when you’re hardly going to be there? Enter, then, a host of fantastic hotels, hostels and even a campsite where it’s possible to find a chic abode for less than €100 a night, while the newly opened Hoxton Paris provides tough competition with its 172 rooms, three bars and an excellent restaurant.
It may rank high on the list of destinations for stag and hen dos, but Amsterdam has so much more to offer than an inebriated weekend browsing its (in)famous coffee shops. The last few years have seen a wave of new hotels arriving in the city, seriously expanding the range of interesting options to stay within – and, most encouragingly, beyond – the well-trodden cobbled streets of its immediate historic core. Here are 10 of the best hotels in Amsterdam at the moment.
The City of Lights: it’s the place to stroll down boulevards, gaze at world-famous art and eat like a king – but where should you bed down when it’s time for lights out? As the capital city of the world’s most-visited country, the choice of where to stay in Paris is mindboggling, with thousands of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels, and B&Bs to self-catering apartments. From London’s Experimental Cocktail Group comes Hotel des Grands Boulevards, a chic new property located in a 300-year-old manor house close to some of Paris’ best shopping streets, which opened in December 2017.
Unesco just confirmed it: the Lake District is a place you need to visit. The newly declared World Heritage Site offers extraordinary landscapes, fantastic walks, peerless views - and some fantastic hotels to go with it all.
If there’s a question I get asked more than any other, it is: “Where should I stay in New York?” The challenge with choosing where to splash out for some shut-eye in the city that never sleeps is that there’s no shortage of places to rest your head – especially since each district of this dynamic city has its own distinct personality, and discerning travellers can now stray from Manhattan’s thoroughfares in almost any direction.
Choosing a hotel in Venice can be a labyrinthine process. An annual influx of 28 million tourists (compared to just 55,000 locals) means the calli are crammed with hotels, B&Bs, Airbnbs and self-catering options. Some are mind-blowing, others distinctly mediocre. How to sort the wheat from the chaff?
The couple were discovered by a fisherman returning from work on Wednesday at 6am local time, the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã reported. Rui Pereira da Terra, the head of the rescue service at the Cascais port near Lisbon, told the paper that authorities suspect the man and woman had been trying to take a picture together when they fell, or that they could have been trying to retrieve personal possessions that had been dropped. This one, taken by Lee Thompson, the founder of solo travel company Flashpack, is among the most stomach-churning.
A standard 34-page adult passport costs £75.50, a jumbo 50-page adult passport costs £85.50, a child’s passport costs £49 and for those born before 2 September 1929 can obtain passports for free. If you’re in the UK you can renew or replace your passport and change the details on your passport. You can track your passport application immediately if you apply online, or after three weeks if you apply by post.
When planning your holiday, it’s vital to be clear about the baggage allowance you’re entitled to. EasyJet passengers can take one bag on board as hand luggage. There’s no weight limit, but it must not exceed 56cm by 45cm by 25cm (including handles and wheels).