Posted by: StonehengeNews | January 29, 2021

Backpacking in 2021 – Top 10 Countries for Budget Travel.

2021 is full of hope, it’s time to dust off your backpack and think about the best countries for budget travel. 

Especially for the first-time visit to some of these amazing countries, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. Most people go traveling hoping to see something new, and visits to landmarks, historical sights, and activities usually cost money.

Even if you’re trying to do most things on your own to save, many places like temples and some nature reserves require you to go with a guide. So, your budget depends a bit on your pace, and whether you do an organized activity every day or not.  Keep in mind that paying the local guides is a great way to support the local economy so don’t be afraid to loosen the purse strings a bit and to splurge now and then.

But, by traveling in countries where food, supplies, accommodation, and transport are cheap, the savings really do add up. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than paying rent and everyday living expenses at home! That means you won’t have to restrict yourself unnecessarily when you are supposed to be living your life to the fullest. After you figure out a cheap way to get there, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful places on earth for about $20 a day.

Without further ado, here is our updated list of the best countries for budget travel in the coming year.
Read the full story and view the top 10 countries here

The Backpacker Tour Company
Doing it once? Do it properly!
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Posted by: StonehengeNews | April 30, 2020

What European countries will open for tourism in summer 2020?

There is ongoing discussion among tourism ministers in the European Union over measures to potentially open borders to tourists this summer. So what does this mean for holidaymakers?

It’s still too early to say, these are unprecedented circumstances and there is still so much we don’t know about COVID-19 infection and immunity. There is a risk that IFovernightopening too soon could lead to further outbreaks, and infection clusters. Governments will err on the side of caution. Health and safety will rule all decisions. Social distancing will be observed in almost every part of the travel experience; many bars, restaurants and cultural sites will remain closed this summer, and pre-flight medical testing may be introduced. There’s even talk of introducing a bloc-wide “Covid-19 passport“, a type of medical certificate to confirm the holder’s health status, though details are still being worked out and it’s not a sure-thing. That’s because there is still no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune from a second infection.

For now, cross-border operations within the EU are minimal. On 17 March, officials called on member states to keep external borders shut until mid-May, ruling out all but essential travel from outside the bloc into 26 nations, plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. An official opening date hasn’t been announced, and French president Emanuel Macron hinted last week that EU borders could remain closed until September.

However, some EU countries that have managed to keep the virus reproduction rate low are starting to test the waters. Below is a list of who’s doing what and when. Though these are just proposals and they could be retracted at any time. It’s important to check the most up-to-date government advice before making any decisions regarding travel. It’s likely that staycations will be the order of the day for summer 2020.

Visit the Lonely Planet website for full story

Visit our European travel page for great summer offers

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Doing it once? Do it properly!
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Posted by: StonehengeNews | November 7, 2018

Let the adventure begin !

See the very best of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe on a budget with our Backpacker Travel Network. Choose from a wide selection of scheduled excursions including day tours to Britain’s top attractions, extended tours, jump on, jump off tours, short break weekend packages and activity /adventure tours.

Fun filled 18-35’s adventures for all budgets

Most of our tours are ‘small groups’ tours – the perfect size for the best experience. We use only recent model vehicles and our guides will ensure a memorable visit of the ‘real’ England. We challange you to travel Britain cheaper by public transport ! We offer a full telephone support service once a tour reservation is confirmed. Many of the tours on offer are recommended in the popular guide books including ‘Lonely Planet’ and ‘Rough Guides’.

Save time and money by booking in advance – don’t risk waiting until the last minute – remember most of the tours are ‘small groups’. Our ever increasing extensive links page is designed to help you save time and money in our country and our U.K Facts page is designed to offer an insight into ‘whats happening’.

Make your choice from the widest range of backpacker budget tours on the web offered by the best British Backpacker Tour Company.

The ‘Backpacker Tour Team’

Here at ‘Backpacker Tours’ we have the ultimate team to find and arrange your perfect budget tour or special event. In addition to operating our own tours we spend our days scouring the UK and Europe to find stuff that otherwise just doesn’t get discovered so there are always heaps of amazing, one of a kind trips to choose from, all available on line and on one site. We offer more tours of the UK and Europe at the best possible prices than any other tour operator.

The guys and gals here all play a huge part in finding fantastic experiences for you to enjoy and each member has his specialist area, which means you get the best experience possible from a getaway put together by someone who really knows about it! Needless to say we offer full telephone telephone support once your tour is booked should you have further enquiries or need to make any alterations.

Amazing Small group adventures across the U.K and Europe


Experience a truly magical Christmas in Great Britain, on our guided tours of England, Scotland and Wales.Taking place over the festive season, these tours offer an unforgettable winter vacation for families, couples and singles.

Click here to view our festive Christmas and New Year Tours

xmas-toursIn addition to our usual festive favourites we are proud to offer a wide selection of weekend getaways, bank holiday specials and some new exclusive short trips from London.

All of our tours are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals

Spend Christmas in a way you will always remember!

The Backpacker Tour Company
Doing it once? Do it properly!
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Posted by: StonehengeNews | September 26, 2016

5 Tips to Plan a UK Backpacking Trip

The kids are out of school, many businesses in Europe are closed, flights are packed in elbow-to-elbow. Ah, it must be August. I arrived in the United Kingdom in the late summer, and this is a rough time of year. Although it’s a beautiful time to visit, it’s also stressful for budget backpacking. Because my yearlong trip was only lightly planned, I learned the hard way that you have to be on your game if you plan travel around the country on a backpacker budget.

It’s possible, but it’s a lot of work!

budget travel UK

You see, tourists from the United States and from all over Europe head to Scotland from July through September; cheap accommodation is booked up quickly and tours and food are all at a premium. And although I had my trusty UK Lonely Planet, which had the budget tips, it only halfway works when you’re backpacking quickly during high season. Things like most of the sites in London and elsewhere are free. You can visit all the museums, and you can hike in the Lake District without spending a penny. But the accommodation and transport prices are brutal if you’re not prepared.

There are the five key points I wish I had known before planning a trip to the UK during the summer months. These ones helped me not only save money, but made it possible to find transport and affordable food everyday and somewhere to sleep every night.

big ben, london, england

1. Book Ahead.

I’m definitely a fan of spontaneous travel and arely do I fully book my trips advance. When I land in a new place, my MO is usually to book the first two nights of hostels. The rest? I leave that up to whim, luck, and the advice of other travels. For traveling the U.K. during high season, that style of travel is extremely difficult. Budget accommodation is booked up, particularly on the weekends.

What’s more, even the cheapie beds are expensive. Some hostels in London raise the prices on the weekends. The only way you will find the affordable hostels is a bit of advance planning. For me, as an American, every price is then exchanged from my home currency into the dominating pounds sterling. If you’re traveling on a low budget, the difference of a few pounds extra stacks up quickly. When I first arrived in the U.K., lack of pre-booking meant I ate up a three-day budget in one heartbeat. All because I had to float myself for a few days until the hostel had openings.

All of the usual hostel sites work for pre-booking. I usually use Hostelworld orAgoda. Also consider local listing like the Scottish Independent Hostels site — it has heaps of highly tailored local information, as well as local accommodation. Using sites like Couchsurfing take a whole lot of time to make work, but if you are willing to invest the time into searching and requesting, you can find free couches too. If you still want to be spontaneous, consider just booking your accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights. For traveling families, hostels are still a great choice by the way. Independent hostels especially are family-friendly. Staying in a private room as a family not only costs less for the room, but your family saves money by cooking occasional meals (making breakfast at the hostel is one of the best ways to save money in your food budget!).

2. Take the Bus!

Citylink budget travel option for EnglandTrains are faster to be sure, but buses are the way to go in both England and Scotland if you have the time. The UK train system is both extensive and expensive. Seriously expensive. Buses, on the other hand, offer rock-bottom seats if you book in advance, as low as 1 GBP between cities. I never booked months in advance, so my seats were around 10 GBP.

The United Kingdom has a lot of bus options. Megabus is the cheapest by far. It’s also perfectly good if it run betweens the cities you’re visiting. But note that Megabus has has limited routes and runs mostly between the UK’s major cities. CityLink is more expensive but still cheaper than the trains. I found Traveline Scotland incredibly helpful in planning a route from one city to another. The site gives precise directions and timetables for taking public transport, and you can even select whether you want to include walking, buses, trains, and metro.

If you have the budget, or if you simply prefer the trains, use the National Rail site to plan out your train travel. It’s imperative that you book online, however, and book a month in advance if possible. If you don’t, the peak pricing can cost double or triple at the ticket counter.

And if you’re really going to do it right, then a rental car would probably be most ideal. This is actually a cost-effective option if you are traveling with friends. The cost of splitting a rental will equal out when split among you. If you’re solo, you can get that same experience in part by booking one of the hop-on, hop-off buses that run around Scotland.

exploring london

3. Plan Your Food.

Nearly all hostels have kitchens — and they are often surprisingly well stocked! With that in mind, I highly recommend cooking your own dinner at least a couple of times a week. Head to the nearest Tesco Lotus (it’s the most reasonable of the UK’s grocery stores). I found the easiest options for a good mix of eating out and eating in was to cook breakfast and often lunch. Pick up some fruit, yogurt, and muesli. Then you could even do sandwiches for lunch, or plan to eat while you are out exploring and cook pasta and veggies for dinner.

It’s also possible to eat affordably in the UK. Head to the pubs for the daily special, this is a great option for lunch or dinner as the specials run at a time of day where you can often use the meal as either one. I used this tip from London to Edinburgh, and I always found something tasty and hearty. As a vegetarian, eating out is a bit harder. The pubs always have vegetarian options, but it sometimes lacks much imagination beyond glorified pasta. For this reason, I actually enjoyed cooking for myself, at least in the tiny towns I backpacked through.

Also look for ethnic restaurants. In London, there are many Asian and African restaurants where you can find a meal for perhaps 6 GBP. Or if you do meat, fish and chips and kebabs are plentiful.

4. Bring an Umbrella.

It rains, it pours, in short: the country is wet. You’re shrugging right now and thinking, “Huh, of course it’s wet, this girl is crazy to recommend this as a tip.” It’s even wetter than you imagine. Budget travelers need a poncho, a rain cover for their packs, and a rain jackets. As a budget travel tip, this comes into play because you will be out in the elements waiting for the public transport. Though the big cities will have covered spots, there’s little chance you will find covered bus stops in the Scottish highlands. I met some travelers who had to abandon their travel plans because they had spent hours standing in the rain and were either sick or just plain tired. Plan ahead and you’ll be much more flexible and happy as you crisscross the UK.

London Skyline at night

5. Plan to Spend More.

One of the beautiful things about exchange rates is that you just don’t know what’s going to happen. From the time that I started planning my RTW trip to the time I arrived, the exchange rate from the US dollar to Pounds Sterling fluctuated nearly 50 cents on the dollar. I a lot spent more money than I had initially anticipated. I also had a cushion in my RTW budget, and that meant that I was able to still enjoy my time and not spend the entire visit pinching pennies too closely. Plan for a budget trip, but then add in a cushion in case you go over-budget.

Think of it in terms of the range of fluctuation. In Asia, when the exchange rate fluctuates it makes on a tiny impact on the amount you end up spending on accommodation. In the UK though, a change of 20 cents easily mean $4 more a night just for accommodation. Stretch that change across several weeks and you could be grossly over budget going into the rest of your travels.

The United Kingdom is gorgeous — I do not regret for a second adding this place onto my itinerary for my round the world trip. It might have been, however, a poor choice as a budget traveler. I decided to visit the UK solely to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I had visited during college and only remembered hemorrhaging money. I did better this time around, but I could have also stayed longer in other areas without the huge expenses associated with traveling the UK. It might have made more sense to save it as an isolated trip, rather than a part of my RTW trip. As an independent/shorter trip it would have been less of a financial strain. Without the worry about my budget holding out until the end, I might have more readily enjoyed a few more pints along the way. That being said, I learned a lot and will be back. Budget backpacking has a learning curve, but there are ways and resources and even budget backpacking books to help.

Inspiring UK Travel Reads

  • Round Ireland with a Fridge: A very entertaining book about a guy named Tony and his adventures around Ireland, with a refrigerator.
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot: This is a fascinating and gripping read about one man’s journey. Robert shares his adventures as he walks from the chalk downs of England up to the Scottish northwest, as well as journeys in Palestine, Spain, and the Himalayas.
  • Notes from a Small Island: In this book Bill Bryson writes about his life and adventures after moving to Britain in 1973. A fun read that will have you searching for flight deals to the UK.
  • Lonely Planet Great Britain: Though I have tried all the guidebooks, I continue to use the Lonely Planet. I think it’s laid out the best and has the most thorough budget travel recommendations. Their transportation sections to and from cities are also what allowed me to visit the tiny towns in Scotland.

Content and original content by Shannon ‘O’ Donnel
Read here excellent travel Blog here

The Backpacket Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | January 23, 2016

2016 Backpacker Adventure Tours

We offer Backpacker Adventurous Tours which cover the best of the England, Scotland, Ireland and Europe for a fraction of the cost. Are you between the ages of 18 – 35 years and looking for a fun filled holiday or just an exciting getaway with like-minded people?

Please visit our Backpacker Travel website for 2016 events and new tours including;


Royal Ascot Race Day 
St Patricks Day in Dublin
Easter in Paris
La Tomatina  Festival in Spain
Pamplona Bull Running
Munich Beer Festival
Gap Year Adventures
and much, much more………………….

In addition to our usual favourites we are proud to offer a wide selection of weekend getaways, bank holiday specials and some new exclusive short trips from London. All of our tours are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals!

Choose from a wide selection of scheduled excursions including day tours to Britain’s top attractions, extended tours, jump on – jump off tours, short break weekend packages and activity /adventure tours PLUS exciting tours to some of Europe’s greatest cities in 2015. All of our tours are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals. Please take the time to view our ever increasing range of tours and our comprehensive travel links with free information for the backpacker in England!

 Would you like to do nothing else than travelling the world and experience it all? Than you should book one of the backpacker tours with Xtreme Gap Year. You can experience the best and coolest adrenaline loaded trips you will ever find! There are plenty of options available for you if you are looking for a backpacker tour, usually the first difficult decision is deciding where to go.

Our Tours are known to be one of a kind and a memorable experience you will never forget!

The Backpacker Tour Company
We offer the largest selection of budget tours in the UK, with simple SECURE OnLine booking forms and no booking fees.
Experience the difference!

Posted by: StonehengeNews | November 27, 2015

Christmas in Amsterdam – 4 Day Tour

Thursday 24th December – Sunday 27th December 2015

Join our special 4 day Christmas tour to Amsterdam. Travel by luxury coach with visits to both Brussels and Bruges. (book here)

A 4 day Christmas tour to Amsterdam, with visits to Brussels and Bruges also included. Accommodation options include the excellent Winston in the City Centre or a very good quality 3 star hotel less than 10 minutes tram from the main attractions.

Tour Highlights: A fantastic tour to Europe’s most unique city. See Van Gogh Museum, take the Red Light District walking tour, join the excursion to the Cheese and Clog makers, taste a beer at the Heineken Brewery, tour Anne Frank House or simply experience the cafe culture. On day we include a visit to Brussels, and on day 4 a visit to medieval Bruges.

Day 1 – Coach pick up points in London (Hammersmith, Great Portland Street, Embankment and Lewisham),  Cambridge, Canterbury, Ramsgate and Dover. From Folkestone we depart on the 09:20am train (Eurotunnel) to Calais. Our first major stop is the capital of the European Union – Brussels. During the Christmas period Brussels is home to a fantastic Christmas market. On arrival join the guide for short walking tour, followed by some free time in the famous Grand Place to enjoy the market. We arrive in Amsterdam early evening where we check in to one of the excellent accommodation options we have for you:

St.Christophers at the Winston –  A unique hotel in the heart of Amsterdam, located between Dam Square and the Red Light District, walking distance to the vast majority of major attractions the city has to offer. The Winston also has Amsterdam’s one and only Belushi’s bar with great food and drink promotions all year round and a funky nightclub ‘The Winston Kingdom’ where you can sample some great live entertainment.

Westcord Art Hotel – 3 Star Hotel  – Upgrade to our 3 star hotel for only £40 per person per night. The hotel is located in Amsterdam centre, a short 10 minute tram ride to the main attractions. All rooms are nicely decorated and offer all the comfort one can expect from a hotel of this standard. The hotel has a bar, restaurant and 24 hour reception.
After check in meet the guide for an optional evening walking tour of the Red Light District (included in tour cost).

Day 2 – After breakfast we begin the day with a morning coach excursion to Volendam. If it is typical of Holland you will find it here. Windmills, Cheese-makers, Clog makers and typical Dutch dress.
We then head back to Amsterdam in time for the canal cruise to see this amazing city with our local Dutch guide from the comfort of one of Amsterdam’s famous tour boats. then a free afternoon in the City Centre. Attractions open on Christmas day include Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House, and spend some time in the famous Dam Square. Rest of evening free to enjoy the nightife of this unique city.

Day 3 – A free day in Amsterdam centre. Enjoy a Diamond Factory Tour, enter one of the many fantastic museums (including Van Gogh Museum) and galleries, visit the Heineken Brewery or simply enjoy the famous cafe culture in this unique city.

Day 4 – We depart Amsterdam after breakfast for the drive to Bruges, the ‘Venice of the North’. One of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, and your chance to buy some Belgian specialties, beer and chocolate!!! We depart Bruges late afternoon for our return train (Eurotunnel). Drop offs in Canterbury and Ramsgate between 19:30-20:00, in London 21:00-21:45 and in Cambridge 23:00-23:30

Your Accommodation
The Winston – click here to see the website – 129 Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam
Your accommodation is included in the price of your tour on a bed and breakfast basis. All rooms are multi bedded ensuite rooms. Single travelers will share a room with other travelers (of the same sex) form the tour group.

Westcord Art Hotel – click here to see the website -
3* Hotel option. All rooms 2 bedded ensuite, bed and continental breakfast basis.
If you have any questions on the rooming please contact our office staff.


  • 4 days use of executive touring coach plus return Folkestone-Calais Eurotunnel Crossings
  • 3 nights bed and breakfast in your chosen accommodation in Amsterdam. Ensuite rooms in the Winston (4-6 bedded) and the 3 star hotel (twin/double). Twin/double rooms available at the Winston for £25 per person per night supplement
  • Walking tour of Amsterdam highlights, including Red Light District Walking Tour.
  • Canal cruise in Amsterdam with guided commentary
  • Visits to Brussels and Bruges to enjoy the Christmas markets
  • Services of a professional tour guide for a walking tour in Brussels, 2 days in Amsterdam and walking tour in Bruges.

Departure Details

04.15am Cambridge from outside Police Station, Parkside
05.45am London, Hammersmith tube station
06.05am London, Great Portland Street tube station
06.20am London, Embankment tube station
06.55am London, Lewisham High Street (outside Police Station)
07.05am Ramsgate Train Station
07.45am Canterbury East Train Station
08:30am Dover Eastern Docks Bookings Hall

Before booking this tour, please check that you have a valid passport and travel visa (if your nationality requires one).


More great value festive tours here

The Backpacker Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | September 9, 2015

Christmas and New Year Hogmanay Tours 2015

No one celebrates Hogmanay quite like the Scots! From traditional fire festivals and torchlight processions to street parties with live music and fireworks, we’ve got it all.

  1. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year inhogmanay-tour the Scottish manner.
  2. Nobody knows for sure where the word ‘Hogmanay’ came from. It may have originated from Gaelic or from Norman-French
  3. Historically, Christmas was not observed as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland. The winter solstice holiday tended to be at New Year when family and friends gathered for a party and exchange presents, especially for the children.
  4. ‘The Bells’ is the phrase used to describe the midnight hour when New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day.
  5. Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight, not just in Scotland but in many English-speaking countries.
  6. The Guinness Book of World Records lists ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as one of the most frequently sung songs in English. The song is sung or played in many movies, from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to ‘When Harry Met Sally.’
  7. To sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ a circle is created and hands are joined with the person on each side of you. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands.
  8. An important element of Hogmanay celebrations is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and of course a kiss to wish everyone a ‘Good New Year’. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.
  9. ‘First Footing’ – the ‘first foot’ in the house after midnight is still very common is Scotland. To ensure good luck, a first footer should be a dark-haired male. Fair-haired first footers were not particularly welcome after the Viking invasions of ancient times. Traditional gifts include a lump of coal to lovingly place on the host’s fire, along with shortbread, a black bun and whisky to toast to a Happy New Year.
  10. To first foot a household empty-handed is considered grossly discourteous, never mind unlucky!
    More Hogmanay facts here

Our usual choice of Christmas and New Year favourites and some new exclusives. All are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals.

Spend Christmas and New Year in a way you will always remember.
Contact us for more information

The Backpacker Tour Company
Est. 1997

Posted by: StonehengeNews | April 11, 2015

Jack-in-the-Green 2015

The Company of the Green Man

Winchcombe 2013 55

Not long to go before the traditional Jack-in-the-Green awakens across Britain. Below are the most up to date details of this years events. Sadly a few Jacks won’t be going out this year but there will still be plenty of wonderful events taking place. Don’t miss out on this wonderful and magical annual tradition, go out and support your nearest Jack and please send us in your pictures and experiences of the event to share with others. If you know of any events I have missed please do get in touch.

2015 Jack-in-the-Green events

Blue Bell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

Jack is awoken by Motley Morris (the custodians of the Jack) and various other Morris sides at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area surrounded by twelve bonfires.

Motley Morris

Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack was revived in 2009 as…

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Posted by: StonehengeNews | January 15, 2015

Early Bird Deals: Save up to 40% on Europe tours

Save up to 40% on our European Adventure Tours

As a large-scale seller of Europe tours and Adventures, we are able to offer you unbeatable prices and unparalleled value. Once you have found the discounted Europe tour of your choice, please call our tour consultants to book your vacation and save money with our first-choice personalised service! Book your Europe tour today with, your U.K discounted tour experts.


We are one of Europe’s largest travel agencies offering massive discounts on tours and adventures. We offer the best personal service plus prices so low we are often not allowed to advertise them. Email us or request an online quote to see our great deals.

Europe Backpacker Tours

Check out our handpicked selection of fun tours and backpacker-geared transportation options that include hostels, camping or budget hotels.

Whether you are backpacking Europe or focusing on a region or two, there’s an option for you!

Ask Expert Bob

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Latest Backpacker Discount Deals
Get 10% off all Busabout Hop-on, Hop-off Passes. Save from £50-£150. See individual tours for further details

Get 10% off all Haggis Adventures tours of Scotland, Wales and England. Save up to £50. See individual tours for further details

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