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Sunday, January 8, 2017
The wooden Zenkov cathedral

Mike Pickup and his wife weren’t entirely sure where they were even going when they signed up to a trip to Kazakhstan - and even had to open the Atlas to check, as he reveals.

Nueva, Asturias - cheese stall at the market

Roger Hermiston and Eileen Wise found more riches than they could have imagined exploring the Northern Spanish coast.

Dorf Andermatt

Switzerland is a land of contrasts. And this year the Swiss are celebrating the completion of one of the world’s greatest engineering projects that connects two strikingly different parts of the country, writes James Marston.

The pistes blend into one another in Courchevel

The main streets are littered with designer names including Dior, Prada and Chanel, the pavements are heated and only the best champagne is served.

Relaxing in the garden spa

Amid the tears, tantrums, snotty faces, tense negotiations, inane chatter and bribery, lies a beautiful concept, writes Naomi Gornall.

Relax and unwind

When the weather is as glorious as this, you want to do nothing more than sit back and relax.

Norwegian fjords

So many holidays can seem ruined before they even begin because of airport hassle. So, why not chill out and try a no-fly cruise? Just drive to the cruise terminal and hand over your un-weighed cases. 
Your holiday begins with lunch on board your ship, and you’ll be amazed where you could end up. The main departure points are Southampton, Dover and Tilbury. You don’t have to get there until after mid-day so no need to be up at the crack of dawn either.

Scenic Crystal, Budapest

Let’s start with the fun bits, writes Mike Pickup after a trip to Budapest, in Hungary.


We hadn’t flown from Southend before and were pleasantly surprised at its peaceful, laid-back atmosphere compared to the stress and hassle of Heathrow and Gatwick, writes Mike Pickup.

City Palace Udaipur

With temperatures soaring into the 50’ – that is Celsius – in Rajasthan at present, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a place to be avoided!

Luxor Las Vegas

Squeezing as much as we possibly could out of our holiday time, we were going away over the popular Easter period, writes Andrea Powell.

Blue Crater Lake

If you love Lakes and Mountains holidays then you will adore the Azores. But why? asks Andrea Powell.

Modershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat - the 25m vitality pool

Sitting in a bubbling vitality pool with a glass of prosecco in hand, and surrounded by nothing but the picturesque rolling hills of Staffordshire, reality seemed but a distant memory.


Disembarking our cruise ship and all its comforts, we were quickly on board the “luxury” bus that was to drive us through the thick, green, overgrown forests of the Costa Rican countryside, writes Andrea Powell.

Monks at ceremonies, Bhutan

It’s called Gross Domestic Happiness, writes by Roger Hermiston and Eileen Wise


We all have favourite holiday destinations, top hotels and even choice airlines, but Andrea Powell has a favourite airport.


You can’t possibly have a two week holiday in Australia,” according to, well, Everyone.

Aquamarine Waters

I think it is fair to say that Malta is not the place to go for beach bums – although of course there are some very nice coves and beaches to explore. Rather, though, this is a place for culture, history and of course sun. And so it proved….


Andrea Powell felt like a film star on her rail experience through the Rockies. And despite all the trees, leaves on the lines were never a factor, it seemed...

Bangkok sunrise

These days we are all keen on ensuring value for money – and none more so than with holidays. And for those people, I would always recommend a visit to Thailand, writes Andrea Powell.

View from above Hong Kong

We were only in Hong Kong for a day, but this was enough to whet my appetite for a return, writes Andrea Powell.
For a start, the drivers were so polite! One advantage of a cruise ship tour meant that where others had to walk, we got to use the bus up the steep hill to see the Big Buddha - and I was impressed to note how our slow bus gave way to every car behind it. From someone who has spent endless hours on the old A12 to Lowestoft and the A140 to Norwich crawling at 20mph, I could not help thinking how great it would be if we adopted a similar idea here!

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