Category Archives: England

What to do in Bath on a Winter Weekend Break

It’s no surprise that Bath is a popular destination for a weekend break, as this historic city is bursting with culture and atmosphere. Small enough to explore on foot, Bath’s cobbled streets are full of hidden delights whether you are a history buff, art aficionado, shopaholic or a food and drink connoisseur. Here are our favourite must-dos in Bath this winter. Continue reading What to do in Bath on a Winter Weekend Break

Predicted Brexit Tourism Boost Has not Materialized

It was hoped that the United Kingdom would see a significant rise in tourism due to the slumping of Sterling as a result of the Brexit vote. However, online UK travel agency Sunshine has revealed that this rise has not materialized. Rather, there has been a 2% increase, which was in line with the overall long term growth expected in the industry. Continue reading Predicted Brexit Tourism Boost Has not Materialized

hotel in York, iknow-UK

Sampling York’s Nightlife Scene

When they said York was a fun destination for the entire family to enjoy, whether together or individually, they really meant it! When the sun goes down and the big kids come out to play, they have a lot of fun in the dark to take their pick from with an assortment of some of the most happening nightclubs, live music spots, comedy clubs and bars to indulge in.

Nightclubs

If you haven’t heard of Kuda then you really aren’t a nightclub sort of person, are you? This is the biggest of York’s nightclubs, with the premises covering three floors of the Clifford Street old York Institute building. Even if you think you’re not a nightclub sort of person, there is something here to enjoy for everyone as all tastes in music are catered to. So whether you want to strut your stuff on the dance floor to some House Music, Club and Dance or if you want to enjoy a little more of chilled-out vibe while you kick it to some R&B tunes, Kuda is the place to be. Hey, I’m forgetting the Hip-Hop lovers, which I really shouldn’t be… You can also book the venue for a stag or hen do, or for any serious private partying complete with a VIP booth if required.

Comedy

If you’re up for some up-and-coming as well as well-established comics to leave you in stitches, York’s fine selection of comedy clubs won’t disappoint. The Monkbar Hotel plays host to the Sitting Room Comedy Club, while The Basement houses the Wozzon Comedy Club. The Duke of York (King’s Square) hosts a free monthly gig (The Duke’s Comedy Night), while The Black Swan makes for the venue for the Burning Duck Comedy Club.

Two of York’s largest venues in the Grand Opera House and the Barbican host equally big names sometimes in the likes of Dara O’Brian and Jimmy Carr, to name but just two, so go out and get your laughs.

Live Music

Some of the big bands which roll into town and local ones entertain fans at the Barbican, while Fibbers makes for the scene of some of the gigs which go out live more regularly, including local acts and touring bands. The live music vibe in York is more intimate and personal with smaller capacity venues such as the 1900-seater Barbican, while the Fulford Arms, the Crescent and the Spread Eagle make for the scene for niche acts carving out a market for themselves as well as some of the more established local bands.

Bars

I sort of left this for last to sort of simulate how the typical sequence of enjoying a night out-and-about follows, so after painting the town red from club hopping, enjoying some live music or recovering from a comedy event, you can take your pick from the many bars littered all across York for your nightcap. The likes of Kennedy’s, Bobo Lobo, Sotano, 1331 and The Biltmore come to mind as just a tiny sample of what’s on offer, otherwise, you really don’t have to walk too far to find the next bar.

If you want more information on the best way to experience York, check out this really cool article that tells you everything you need to know about planning a trip to York:

http://www.iknow-uk.com/article/ultimate_guide_to_york

Tempers fray as stranded British tourists wait for rescue flights

Stranded British tourists clashed with hotel staff in Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday amid confusion over when they would be returning home.

The estimated 20,000 Britons stuck in the Egyptian resort were still waiting to find out when they would be flown back to Britain, as the government announced flights would resume today.

Hundreds of tourists who had come to the end of their holidays were told to go to the airport, where they waited hours with no information before being ferried to temporary rooms in other hotels.

The first batch of tourists will return today, after easyJet said it was planning nine British flights — including five specially provided aircraft — to Luton, Gatwick and Stansted. A tenth easyJet flight is bound for Milan.

Monarch said it was operating five planes — three rescue flights and two scheduled services — as part of a plan to bring back 3,000 customers from the Red Sea resort. Thomson was planning seven flights today.

Any passengers flying back will not be allowed checked-in baggage and will be able to bring only hand luggage on the flight. The airlines have said the luggage will follow on a different flight.

A No 10 spokesman said: “We advise British nationals in Sharm to check with their airline or tour operator on their travel plans. The additional security measures will include permitting passengers to carry hand baggage only and transporting hold luggage separately.

“We are working with the airlines to ensure there are suitable arrangements in place to reunite passengers with their belongings as soon as possible.”

BA announced that it would resume flights home from Sharm el-Sheikh “with significant extra security measures”. The airline said the flight due to return to Gatwick today would instead leave tomorrow.

In a further disclosure, most major airlines were suspending all flights to the resort for at least a week. EasyJet, Monarch, Thomson and Thomas Cook said flights to Sharm el-Sheikh had been grounded until next Thursday, pending further advice from the Foreign Office. More than 3,500 British holidaymakers had been due to depart for the Red Sea resort yesterday.

Emma Smyth, 41, who is staying at the resort’s Aqua Blu hotel, said one family responded angrily after being ordered to pay extra to remain in their rooms. “One man grabbed one of the managers,” she said. “They ripped his shirt, ripped his name-badge off and everything. English people are frustrated and upset. They are taking it out on the staff here, which is not fair.”

An argument broke out in the Royal Albatross hotel after staff refused to accept any suggestion that a bomb brought down the Russian airliner.

George Dix, 19, from Norwich, said: “The hotel is quite calm. The only arguments have been when staff dismissed the cause of the plane crash as a bomb. No one will tell us anything. It’s only through the news we are finding out about everything.”

James Marney, from Newton Abbott, Devon, said he was surprised there had not been more security. “Guards, army . . . I would have thought there would have been a lot more. This is serious, they [the Egyptians] are treating it like every other day. I don’t feel safe. A major aircraft has gone down, and who can you see?” he said pointing around to one guard at the airport entrance.

There have been many reports of lax security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport since the incident. Verna McKeich, a British tourist, said she was “shocked” to see a man on the scanning machine playing on his mobile phone.

Sarah Stratton, of London, said: “You’d think there’d be more guards on the door because this is a prime target. I’m a little bit nervous to be honest.”

There was also praise, however, for the staff on the ground. Scott Wright, from Devon, said: “The Egyptians in our hotel made a fantastic fuss with the girls, there was nothing they ever said no to, they were always willing to help.”

It is feared that the flight ban may continue into next month — throwing the Christmas holiday plans of tens of thousands into chaos. All tourists due to fly to the resort in the next week have been offered a full refund or the opportunity to book on another flight or holiday package.