• SPOTLIGHT ON: Cortina

    A ski resort so famous they named a car after it.

    Despite a reputation as the playground of the well-heeled, it turns out you can a-Ford Cortina (if you can pardon the pun) – whether you ski, snowboard or just love shopping, this Dolomite town is well worth the drive from Venice…

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  • The Brexit Brits

    A new series on travel-loving Brits who backed away from life in the UK well before Brexit.
    They tell us their tales of expat life and explain what it’s really like in destinations as varied as Vienna and Vancouver.

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  • Weekend Shortcut

    In this series I aim to get back to travel blogging basics by explaining how to have a perfect, easy to organise weekend away, whether right here in the Uk or further afield.

    Let’s leave you to concentrate on enjoying your break – rather than Googling the heck out of hotels & activities – because let’s face, the research phase can be a real holiday buzz kill…

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  • Oh Canada

    Come with me as I explore the country I called my second home – from exploring British Columbia’s biggest city to the ice skating on Manitoba’s frozen river via days spent at rodeos and weekends camping and crabbing…

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Christmas Travel: Does Devon Have The UK’s Most Historic Mince Pies?

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Christmas Travel, Continents, Devon, England, Europe, Food, UK Staycation

historic mince pies

Munch on mince pies made with flour dating back to the Domesday Book

I travelled to Devon this December to discover the festive history behind the first Christmas card ever designed.

But while in the southerly English county, famous for its beautiful beaches and picture postcard villages, I discovered the area has another incredible – and edible  – Christmassy claim to fame.

Devon’s Otterton Mill is the producer of mince pies made at the oldest recorded bakery on the planet, making these the world’s most historic mince pies…

Travel To The Home Of The First Christmas Card

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Christmas Travel, Continents, Devon, England, Europe, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

The First Christmas card

The first Christmas card was born at Orestone Manor, Devon, England

Christmas crackers, the Queen’s speech, mince pies, Boxing Day, Christmas pudding England has plenty of festive traditions which are regarded with complete puzzlement by the rest of the world.

England also has an even bigger Christmas claim to fame – one that is somewhat of a secret.

The first Christmas card was invented right here, conceived and designed in the English county of Devon.

The manor house where the ultimate Christmas tradition was born is now a luxury countryside hotel; so what better place to eat, drink and be merry and get into the spirit of Christmas than the original home of Christmas greetings

Find Your Sea Legs With These 4 Marvellous Maritime Museums

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Italy, Opinion, Sweden, USA, Worldwide Vacation

Boat in Genoa's Porto Antico

A boat in Genoa’s old port

Let’s face it the idea of visiting maritime museums on your travels could make you feel a little bit sea sick.

I love all kinds of museums and galleries, and have been to plenty with nautical themes, but I have to admit that while some are leagues ahead of the competition and give you a fantastic insight into travel by boat others make you want to bail when you find your interest levels sinking fast.

So while I’m no more of a salty sea dog than the average traveller, I find life on – and under – the ocean strangely fascinating.

So if you’re into sailing and want to fit some mu-SEA-ums into your travels (sorry!) here are some ideas…

Tobago Time: My Memories Of The Happy Island

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Caribbean, Continents, Tobago

tobago time

These guys are on Tobago time.

Ever since the British winter took hold, I’ve been reminiscing more than ever about my time on the Caribbean Islands.

The ultra laid-back – and happiest  – of all the Caribbean islands is Tobago and even thinking about my time there makes me smile.

These are my personal highlights of being on Tobago time

3 Things I Learned On A Luxury London Dessert Tour

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Europe, Food, London, News, Opinion, Shopping, United Kingdom

London dessert tour

Fortnum & Mason on my Urban Adventures London dessert tour

I turn tourist for the day and try out one of Urban Adventures’ London day tours.

And despite covering some well-trodden West End ground, I learn 3 things that even as a native Londoner I had NO idea about – until now – all while munching on lovely Ladurée macaroons along the way.

Read on to see if you’ll learn something new too…

Discerning Traveller’s Guide to Visiting Mallorca In Winter

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Balearic Islands, Europe, Ibiza, Majorca, Spain, Worldwide Vacation

Mallorca in winter

Sailing in Mallorca

As Autumn turns to Winter, it may not be the most popular time to take to the skies for a flight to the Balearic Islands, which are of course better known as summer holiday spots – but for the discerning traveller that very fact makes it perfect.

I share a few thoughts on why I think an off season break to Mallorca makes a lot of sense, where to go on the Mediterranean’s biggest Balearic Island and explain why I’ve always found Mallorca in Winter, and in fact any of the Balearic Islands off season, especially appealing…

Going Glamping: A South East Safari At Kent’s Port Lympne

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Camping, Continents, England, Europe, Photo Journeys, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

Port Lympne

6 week old baby rhino Zuri

I’ve been looking forward to writing about my short break safari at Kent’s Port Lympne Reserve ever since I got home.

But every time I sit down to tell you about the experience, I end up getting distracted by all my photos of the cute baby rhino, ickle giraffe and all the other animals they have roaming around the Romney Marsh.

I’ve used all my willpower today to stop oohing and ahhing over the wildlife photos for 5 minutes to explain why an overnight trip sleeping under the stars at the South East’s wild animal park is an amazing excursion for anyone.

For animal lovers like me, who want an inspiring, as well as an indulgent, weekend away it is amazing to think this is all little more than an hour away from London

The Real Life Brexiter: Swapping the malaise for Malaysia

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Asia, Continents, Europe, Guest Posts, Malaysia, News, Opinion, The Real Life Brexiters, United Kingdom

brexiter

This month’s featured Brexiter lives in Kuala Lumpur

Brexit has caused more Brits than ever to start turning dreams of living overseas into a reality.

So I decided to start a series asking real life Brexiters – those who’ve already left the UK for pastures greener – what life is really like after Blighty.

First in the series was Brexiter Katja – a Somerset girl who now lives in Mexico, and this month I talk to Worcester native Simon, who has moved on to a new life in Malaysia

Road Trip Checklist: 6 Practical Things To Know Before You Go

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Camping, News, Opinion

road trip checklist

I’ve just bought my first car, and for a traveller like me, that must mean more road trips!

It may not be anything fancy but it is the first car that’s ever had my name on the registration papers, so I’m pretty keen to take good care of it.

And I’m also keen to take good care of myself while I’m in it, so as someone who doesn’t know too much about mechanics I decided to ask around and compile an easy to understand road trip checklist before I start road tripping around Europe.

I hope it is useful for you too…