Posted by: StonehengeNews | October 1, 2013

Budget Travel: Day trips from London

 Bth budget Tours: TNT

Bath time: relax in a Roman spa

Want to get away but can’t afford a hotel stay? All you need is a train  ticket and a day to spare

One of the beauties of England is that it’s so teeny tiny. Simply jump on a  train for a maximum of two hours and you can spend the day in one of these  top spots.

Brighton

Get there: The 8.57am train from London Bridge gets into  Brighton at 9.55am. Advance Saturday return fare, £10.

Morning: Take a stroll up the Victorian-era pier, pausing to  shoot some zombies or win loads of 2p coins in the arcade. Next up, scream in  the haunted house or on a ride that turns you upside down 40ft above sea level,  literally.

Afternoon: Get a take-out of vinegar-soaked fish and chips,  make a ‘bum nest’ in the pebbles on the beach and enjoy – just beware of the  food-stealing gulls. Take an obligatory ride on the Ferris Wheel and then enjoy a tour of the  stunning, if confused (Indian on the outside, Oriental on the  inside) Royal Pavilion.

Evening: Dodge the hen parties roaming the streets clutching  inflatable penises and head for the cool and quirky Black Dove for a chilled-out drink before you  head home.

Get back: Last train is at 11.37pm, arriving in LBR at  12.51am.

Cambridge

Get there: Get the 8.59am train from King’s Cross, arriving  in Cambridge at 10.03am. Advance Saturday return fare, £16.

Morning: Meander around the pretty town and see how the rich  folk live. Admire the university campus buildings – and its students. These  teens look like they’ve stepped straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad  (surely they can’t be that hot and English).

Afternoon: Hire a punt (try scudamores.com) and take turns standing on the end  to push it along the riverbed with a long pole. If you would like to learn a bit  about what you’re seeing – or you reckon your mates will push you in if you punt  – you can do a guided tour, but wait until the last trip at 5.30pm, when they  halve the cost to £10pp.

Evening: Sip sundowners at the rooftop bar at The  Varsity before eating steak at The River Bar. It’s expensive  but so worth it.

Get back: Last train is at 11.15pm, arriving in KGX at  1.09am.

Bath

Get there: Get the 8.30am train from Paddington,  arriving in Bath Spa at 10am. Advance Saturday fare, £28 for two singles.

Morning: See Bath from a unique angle and stop off wherever you fancy by  hiring a narrowboat. Try Bath Narrowboats, which offers half-day hire on a  boat that holds up to six for £85.

Afternoon: After returning your narrowboat, be sure to  check out Britain’s only hot spring (Bath ain’t called Bath for nothing). The  temple that the Romans built around it still remains; take a tour before  grabbing afternoon tea in the 18th-century Pump Room.

Evening: The water at the Roman Baths is considered unsafe  for bathing, but Thermae  Bath Spa has siphoned off the hot waters for its pools,  including an amazing one on the rooftop. Go for a twilight session to watch the  sun sink over Bath’s rooftops while you bathe.

Get back: Last train is at 10.43pm, arriving in PAD at  12.33am.

Birmingham

Get there: Get the 8am train from Marylebone, arriving in  Birmingham Snow Hill at 10.09am. Advance Saturday fare, £12 two singles.

Morning: With more miles of canals than Venice, take a  stroll along the water’s edge, stopping for a spot of early lunch at  bustling Brindley Place.

Afternoon: It’s not often we’d send you to a shopping  centre but The  Mailbox, formally a Royal Mail sorting office, is a great  spot, plus it houses the BBC Public Space, where you can watch live broadcasts  and even have a go yourself (not live, though).

Evening: Catch a flick at the retro Electric, the oldest working cinema in the UK – it even has  an interval organ.

Get back: Last train is at 9.34pm from Birmingham New  Street, arriving in Euston at 12.40am.

Photos: Thinkstock; Getty; Facebook
TNT LINK: http://www.tntmagazine.com/travel/uk-trip/be-a-day-tripper-4-top-travel-spots-to-visit-near-london/page/2

UK Day Tours: http://www.backpackertours.co.uk/uk-tours.htm

Save time and money: Follow https://twitter.com/BackpackerTrips

Bob (The old travel expert)
The Backpacker Tour Company

 

Posted by: StonehengeNews | August 29, 2013

Spanish town charges for La Tomatina food fight

The town hosting Spain’s annual tomato-throwing festival, La Tomatina, on Wednesday is charging a fee for the first time.

TOMATINASome 20,000 people from across the world – mostly Australians, Japanese and Britons – will pack the eastern town of Bunol, many wearing goggles to protect their eyes from the stinging juice, before launching into a gigantic one-hour food fight.

This year, for the first time, they are paying a minimum of €10 (£8.60) for the privilege of pelting each other with tomatoes in streets that end up flooded in red juice.

The price rises to €750 (£647) to get up on one of the six trucks that will bring in a record 130 tonnes of tomatoes.

Some 5,000 free tickets have been set aside for Bunol residents.

Organisers have cut the number of participants by half citing safety concerns over the size of crowds.

This year, the festival will count on 180 safety officials, 50 private security as well as police and organisers. Emergency services will have nine ambulances, and several helicopters.

“This is the first year we are charging for access to this popular festival due the need to limit the crowd for safety reasons,” Bunol town hall said in a statement.

“We have had a problem for the past eight or 10 years: the Tomatina is not controlled, we don’t know how many people are going to come,” Bunol Mayor Joaquin Masmano Palmer told Spanish media.

But the town also says organising the food fight represents a “heavy cost” for public finances.

For the first time, a private company, SpainTastic, has been charged with selling entry tickets to the Tomatina, sparking concern that recession-hit Spain’s town festivals may be on the path to privatisation.

Days before the festival, almost all tickets offered by SpainTastic were sold out.

Among the top ticket buyers were Australians with 19.2 per cent of the total, Japanese with 17.9 per cent, Britons with 11.2 per cent, Spaniards with 7.8 per cent and Americans 7.5 per cent.

About 60 per cent of the tickets went to people aged between 18 and 35. The oldest was 82.

Tourists also will be able to buy official Tomatina T-shirts, caps and coffee mugs.

Spain’s leading daily El Pais said Bunol town hall had a debt of 4.1 million euros and the tomato fight would cost 140,000 euros.

The mayor has reportedly said the town hall hopes this year’s food fight will bring in economic benefits exceeding last year’s estimate of €300,000 because paying for entry “changes the level” of participant.

Though the origins of the event are unclear, it is thought to have its roots in a food fight between children during a parade in the mid-1940s.

It has grown in size as international press coverage has brought more and more people to the festival.

After the fight, many of the revellers head to the local river to wash off the pulp.

Full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10270489/Spanish-town-charges-for-La-Tomatina-food-fight.html

Tomatina Tours: http://backpackertours.co.uk/La-tomatina-tomato-festival-august-tours.htm

The Backpacker Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | June 2, 2013

Travel diary: Summer Solstice at Stonehenge – June 21, 2013

Into magical, spiritual, cosmic unity? Peace and love?  Yeah?

Then join the 20,000 like-minded souls who are expected to descend on  Stonehenge to watch the sun rise on the longest day Stonehenge Summer Solstice Celebrationsof the year. This is also  the once-a-year occasion when the the central Altar stone aligns with the Heel  stone, the Slaughter stone and the rising sun to the northeast.

Why: The Summer Solstice festivities have had their ups and  downs over the years with numerous clashes between authorities and revellers.  Nowadays everyone’s welcome to celebrate, but there’s a hard line taken on drugs  and loud music and large quantities of booze are forbidden.

Do it because: Stonehenge is believed to have been used as a  religious site by early Britons 4000 years ago – that’s quite a tradition to be  a part of. There’s going to be an amazing atmosphere, and no end of brilliantly  barmy characters to hang out with.
June  21 english-heritage.org.uk
http://blog.stonehenge-stone-circle.co.uk/2013/06/01/stonehenge-summer-solstice-celebrations-2013/

Photo: Getty | By Helen Elfer | http://www.tntmagazine.com

Ben @ The Backpacker Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | May 11, 2013

Cheap Travel to London

Planning your journey to London? Budget travel options are available whether you’re arriving by plane, train, ferry or bus

Budgt Travel London

Backpackers on the Tube © VisitBritain/Eric Nathan

Driving to London is often costly, time-consuming, and stressful. So why not let someone else take the strain? Here are our top tips for cheap travel to London.

Travel by Plane

Stansted Airport is the main hub for budget airlines, but they also operate from Gatwick and Luton. Read more about London Airports. Some of the larger carriers such as British Airways offer great deals so it’s well worth shopping around.

Budget operators serving London include:

  • easyJet is one of the main budget airlines serving the UK and Europe
  • RyanAir this major, low fare airline flies to the UK, Europe and other popular holiday destinations
  • Air Berlin connects Stansted and Gatwick to airports in Europe, the UK and beyond
  • German Wings fly from Stansted and Heathrow to a range of European destinations
  • WizzAir links Luton to Central and Eastern Europe
  • Monarch Airlines fly into Gatwick and Luton from popular holiday destinations in Europe and beyond
  • Aer Lingus fly into Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US
  • Flybe is one of Europe’s biggest regional airlines, serving UK and European destinations from Luton and Gatwick

If you can book well in advance, and avoid peak times such as Christmas, you’re more likely to get a cheap flight to London. Keep an eye out for airline sales and special deals from travel agents such as FlyThomasCook and Expedia.

Travel by Coach

Although slower than other transport methods, coaches offer one of the best value routes to London. Try the following companies for the best fares:

  • National Express Cheap fares to London are available from more than 30 UK cities, with prices from £1
  • Megabus offers cheap travel to London from UK destinations from £1 plus 50p booking fee
  • Berry’s Coaches run frequent services between the West Country and London
  • Oxford Tube and the X90 are cheap coach services between Oxford and London.
  • Green Line Coaches connect the Home Counties to London.

Find out more about coach options and journey times on our Coaches to London page.

Cheap Train Travel

Booking in advance and travelling off-peak help to keep fares to London down. Two single tickets may work out cheaper than a return. To plan your route and book rail travel try these websites:

Eurostar to London

Eurostar is a fast and economic rail service linking London to continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel. Book in advance for the best prices and look out for train and hotel deals. Visit the Eurostar website

Ferry Deals

The UK is well connected to the rest of Europe by ferry and sea ports have excellent transport links to London. The best ferry deals can often be booked online. Again, advance booking is crucial. See our page on Ferry Connections to London.

Budget Travel Within London

Walking is one of the best ways to take in London’s breathtaking sites. And, like cycling, it’s free! Find out more information on our Walking in London and Cycling in London pages. If you decide to use public transport, Oyster cards are a cheap, fast and easy way to access the public transport network.

For more advice on affordable London see our Budget Day Out page, browse Budget Hotel Chains or get a local’s perspective with our Budget London feature.  Budget adventure tours

More advise from VisitLondon: http://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/travel-to-london/cheap-travel-to-London

Travel Editor
Backpacker Tour Companywww.BackpackerTours.co.uk

Every year, thousands of Kiwis and Aussies make the journey from their sun-soaked homelands to the freezing former battlefields of Gallipoli.

For many, a night spent camping in the bitter cold, remembering the Australian and New Zealand forces who perished here during World War One, is the ultimate tribute on Anzac Day (April 25) – and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you want to be a part of this huge coming-together, there are plenty of ways to do it.   You can join a whistlestop tour, which includes all the commemorative events held in Gallipoli, or take the time to explore the rest of Turkey on a longer trip to learn more about the history and pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives 98 years ago. Here’s everything you need to know to be part of this amazing annual pilgrimage.

australians-at-anzac-memorial

Gallipoli:  We will remember them: the history

“The beach was piled up with ammunition, stores, among which lay dead and  wounded, and men so absolutely exhausted that they had fallen asleep in spite of  the noise and excitement around them.

“Other parties were wandering about in the darkness and being directed up the  hills by their officers. On the hills above there was a perfect inferno of rifle  fire, and shells bursting. In fact, the air was buzzing with bullets, like a  drone in a bee on a hot summer’s day.”

This stirring account of April 25, written by war correspondent Ellis  Ashmead-Bartlett, gives a glimpse into what Anzac forces experienced at  Gallipoli in 1915. Sent as part of the Allied expedition that set out to capture  the peninsula, the troops landed to find the resistance from the Turkish  defenders far stronger than had been anticipated.

But rather than accept defeat, and in spite of casualties and sickness, they  hung on, making small, hard-fought advances and enduring endless setbacks over  the next eight months. At the end of the year, the remaining forces’ retreat was  as courageous as the fighting that had resulted in the deaths of more than  11,400 Anzacs.

The campaign may not have been a military success, but the efforts of the  soldiers have been a symbol of great national pride since

On the battlefields: what to expect

Most visitors spend two to three days in Gallipoli before continuing exploring the rest of Turkey – enough time to see the main memorials, scattered at various sites.

These include the Canakkale Martyrs’ Memorial and British Memorial at Cape Helles, the Australian Memorial at Pine Ridge, and the New Zealand Monument and Ataturk Statue at Chunuk Bair.

Traditionally, campers pitch up on the eve of Anzac Day on the main battlefields at Anzac Cove, where documentaries are shown on big screens and bands play renditions of WW1 songs until late in the evening. Most people then stay awake all night. It can be a gruelling experience, but many say they wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

The following day, a bugle sounds at first light ahead of the Dawn Service – a simple but poignant ceremony. Prayers are said and the Turkish, New Zealand and Australian national anthems are sung by the 10,000-strong crowd huddled together at the foot of the hill known as the Sphinx.

Aussie Kris Chegwidden visited in 2009: “It was freezing and incredibly uncomfortable. We were unprepared for the cold, sleep deprived and emotional. When the Dawn Service began, we at least had almost an inkling of how unprepared [the troops] must’ve been for the whole situation. The best part is that the Turks, Aussies and Kiwis all respect the day.”

Soon after, the crowds make their way up the same path the troops themselves took nearly 100 years ago, more than 3km up the steep hill from the cove to Lone Pine for the Australian national ceremony, then heading to Chunuk Bair for the Kiwi tribute. At both sites, wreaths are placed, emotional letters from soldiers are read out and heart-wrenching stories about great acts of bravery are told.

Fran MacKenzie, also from Australia, went to Gallipoli for Anzac Day in 2010. “It was the most amazing experience of my life … Anzac Cove and Lone Pine were just filled with every emotion – pride and heartache that you could only sample by being there,” she said.“I felt so in unity with everyone around me. It was completely amazing.”

Exploring Turkey; Istanbul

Since alcohol has been banned at commemorative sites out of respect for the occasion, most people get their partying in early. This means there’s one a hell of a piss-up in Istanbul in the nights before Anzac tour groups head to Gallipoli. But when you’re not hitting Istanbul’s late-night bars and clubs, there’s plenty of sightseeing to do.

The Grand Bazaar is an incredible sight, whether you’re shopping or not. The covered market, which is more than 500 years old, is a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with silver jewellery stores, sacks of pungent spices, bright lanterns, embroidered carpets and fabulously carved antique furniture.

There are more than 5000 shops along the 60 streets inside the huge two-domed building, the first of which dates back to 1455.

Also, don’t miss a walk around the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque, which is probably Istanbul’s most iconic sight. It’s nicknamed because of its 20,000 handmade blue Iznik tiles, but these are on the inside, so don’t be confused by the white and grey exterior.

Troy

The ancient city of Troy is a Unesco site, renowned for being the site where the legendary Trojan War – made famous by Homer’s Iliad – took place.

Enough ruins, such as the Roman amphitheatre and eminent walls, remain to give you a sense of what the city might have looked like in its heyday. And, of course, there’s a reconstructed giant wooden horse much like the one in the Hollywood movie – sadly, there’s not a shirtless Brad Pitt in sight.

Recommended tours

Turkey Adventure

Want to squeeze as much out of your trip to Turkey as possible? Opt for  Busabout’s tour, which takes in cultural Istanbul and the Anzac events at  Gallipoli, followed by excursions to Troy, outdoorsy activities in Saklikent  Gorge and more, all topped off with a three-day Aegean Sea cruise.

Length: Nine days

Price: From £549pp
Book:  busabout.com

Anzac Express

Short on time? First Festival Travel offers a super-speedy whistlestop trip,  which starts with a pre-tour drinks session in Istanbul before heading to  Gallipoli the following day to take part in all the Anzac Day events.

Length: Two days

Price: From £109pp

Book: firstfestival.com

Anzac Digger

On The Go Tours also offers a trip taking in Istanbul and Gallipoli, but it’s  spread out over five days to give you more time to explore the Old City and  nightlife. Optional bolt-ons include an ‘Istanbul by night’ extra with a  bellydancing show and dinner: great for getting to know your fellow  travellers.

Length: Five days

Price: From £329pp

Bookonthegotours.com

Essential Turkey

If you have the days to spare, it’s worth taking the time to go deeper  into Turkey on a lengthy tour. You can really get under the skin of the country  with Travel Talk’s package, which includes a visit to the “fairy chimney” rock formations of Cappadocia and the hot springs of Pamukkale. The  Anzac events fall at the end of the holiday.

Length: 12 days

Price: From £529pp

Article by Helen Elfer – http://www.tntmagazine.com

Anzac Tours – Click here

Bob the Travel Expert
Backpacker Tour Co.

 

Posted by: StonehengeNews | March 9, 2013

The Backpacker Tour Company. Let the adventure begin !

The Backpacker Tour Company is now under new management and delighted to launch their new website and will soon have over 500 budget adventure tours to choose from: www.BackpackerTours.co.uk
BackpackerTours.co.uk

We will find the best current deal and as we have pre-paid allocation for most tours we can often release tickets when others can’t. Our close working relationships with all local tour operators mean we can negotiate the best prices and exclusive deals for our customers— exclusive discounts not available on any other websites!

UK travel and tours can vary a great deal and, whilst it’s important that you are getting good value for money, it is equally important that you are choosing the right tour to suits your needs.

The Backpacker Tour Company is an established British company (1995) operating in London. We are commited to offering the most extensive range of quality backpacker tours of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. British Owned and Operated!

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.

No one does it cheaper or better!

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 grop adventures across the U.K and Europe

Ben – Travel Team

Posted by: StonehengeNews | March 2, 2013

St. Patricks Day. Celebrating all things Irish

In 2012, the St Patrick’s Day Festival (March 16-20) in Dublin is celebrated in style, with music, street theatre, family carnivals and up to 4000 performers joining the fun. The theme for this year’s quizzical parade is ‘How? What? Why?’, exploring the wonder and curiosity of science (we’re intrigued already!).

3-Irish-Music-NightsLimerick’s hot on Dublin’s heels with a, ahem, spring in its step with SpringFest, while over in Galway, things really hot up with performers taking part in the city’s fabulous leg-stretching wonder – the walking parade. In Northern Ireland, Armagh and Downpatrick pay tribute to St Patrick with the largest celebrations of the patron saint, plus those looking to embrace the countryside can also take part in the annual St Patrick’s Day walk around the part of County Down known as St. Patrick’s Country. Cork goes wild with excitement, with a fiesta of colours and flights of fancy; while Belfast becomes a captivating carnival city for the duration.

Celebrations big and small happen all over Ireland, turning the island into one, big, awesome, party, so no matter where your St Patrick’s Day takes you you’ll be treated to a delightful dose of Irish tradition and festive spirit. All in green of course.

St Patricks Day

St Patrick was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things in Ireland

The Story of Saint Patrick

  • Born in Wales to wealthy parents at the end of the 4th Century, at the tender age of 16, young Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders and whisked across the Irish Sea, where he spent the next six years in captivity working as a lonely shepherd. His religion was his solace, and so he became a devout Christian.

Link Source: http://www.discoverireland.com/
Ireland Tours: http://www.backpackertours.co.uk/irelands_tours.htm
Ireland Tours: http://bestvaluetours.co.uk/ireland-tours

The Backpacker Tour Team

From food fight festivals to a town on fire and camel riding, tick off as many of these must-do adventures as you can this year

If you’ve just touched down in London (welcome!) we’ll bet one of the things you’re most looking forward to this year is hitting up all those juicy destinations that are now right on your brand-new doorstep.

TOMATINAAll of Europe’s wildest festivals are just a short hop over the Channel, while within a few hours of London you can reach sizzling Egyptian desert, snowy Alpine slopes, and sparkling Adriatic seas.

And best of all, you won’t have to remortgage your house to afford to get to any of them.

So we’ve done all the legwork for you, with this handy list of unmissable trips. Now, how you fit them all in is your problem

Unmissable festivals

A two- or three-day bender at one of Europe’s maddest and baddest festivals  is the ultimate opportunity to let your freak flags fly.

Here’s where to watch charging bulls, throw tomatoes at each other and get  doused in buckets of wine.

Las Fallas

Head to sunny Valencia in Spain for a fiesta that’s every bit as hot as its  name suggests.

Las Fallas, meaning ‘the fires’, is a pyromaniac’s dream come true, featuring  fireworks displays, and ‘ninots’ – huge effigies that are displayed in the  streets and then set on fire at midnight on the final day of the event.

In addition to these beautiful flaming pyres, live bands, street performances  and parades are all part of the festivities, held in honour of St Joseph.

More: Las  Fallas runs March 15-19.

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Valencia from £55 return  with Ryanair .

La Tomatina

The humble tomato becomes a weapon of war in this epic mess-fest. La Tomatina  in Bunõl, Spain is essentially one giant tomato fight, where tens of thousands  of combatants fling around 150,000 mushed fruits at each other, skidding around  in the swamps of juice that cover Bunõl’s streets, and ending up covered head to  toe in red goo.

Must be a good reason? Nope – there are a few contested explanations, but  there doesn’t seem to be any religious or historical significance.

More: La Tomatina is held on the last Wednesday of August,  which this year falls on the 28th (spain.info/en).

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Valencia from £55 return with Ryanair.

La Batalla Del Vino

Let’s face it, most festivals are a thinly veiled excuse to get rat-arsed,  and no one knows that better than the villagers of Haro, Spain.

These guys don’t just like to drink Rioja, they love it so much that they  host an annual wine battle, where they lob buckets of the stuff all over one  another, glug it from huge aluminium wine bags and splash it all over the  streets.

Join them this year for the Wine Battle and a night out in London will look  positively tame for evermore.

More: La Betalla Del Vino is on June 29 (spain.info/en).

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Santander from £55 return  with Ryanair.

Pamplona

Known as the Running of the Bulls, this event is an incredible sight.

At 8am, rockets are launched, and brave locals wearing the traditional garb  of white clothes and red neckerchiefs speed off ahead of a group of bulls, who  charge after them.

It’s an old-fashioned way of getting the bulls from the city centre to  bullrings and a run usually lasts between three and four minutes.

If watching that doesn’t get your adrenaline going, nothing will.

More: The Running of The Bulls takes place every day between  July 6-14 (bullrunpamplona.com).

Go: Fly from London City Airport to Pamplona via Madrid from £326 return with Iberia  Airlines.

Oktoberfest

This mega beerfest is one of the most shamelessly indulgent festivals Europe  has to offer – steins brimming with frothy amber nectar, all the hearty German  grub you can stuff down, plus leather trews for the chaps and bosomy blouses for  the ladies.

You can get stuck into Oktoberfest celebrations all over the world, but the  best parties are in Munich.

More: Munich’s Oktoberfest runs from September 21- October 6  (oktoberfest.de/en).

Go: Fly from London Luton to Munich with Monarch Airlines  from £76.50 return (bookflights.monarch.co.uk).

St Patrick’s Day

Part-time Paddies, join the grand old tradition of pretending to be Irish  once a year and head to Dublin for a weekend of facepaint, leprechaun hats and  all the Guinness you can get your hands on.

If you can bear to put your drink down, don’t miss the People’s Parade  through the city, either.

More: March 17 is St Patrick’s Day, but festivities in  Dublin run from March 14-18 (stpatricksfestival.ie).

Go: Fly from London Gatwick to Dublin from £71 return with Aer Lingus .

Anzac Day

Be a part of the annual Anzac Day memorial services at Gallipoli this year,  commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli  in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Most visitors choose to see the battlefields, camp out and attend the Dawn  Service while they’re here, and there are loads of guided tours available that  take in other Turkish hotspots, too.

More: Anzac Day is April 25 (anzacsite.gov.au).

Go: Fly from London Heathrow to Istanbul from £160 return  with British Airways (ba.com).

Visit the fantastic TNT Travel magazine for more information: http://www.tntmagazine.com/

Backpacker Tour Company
www.Backpackertours.co.uk

 

New Year’s Day gets a bad rap as the festive season’s tail-end, best suited to slobbing out, watching bad TV and bowing to the whim of your hangover. It needn’t be so.

London New Year Party

After a kick-ass 2012, London isn’t slowing down for a second come January 1 – 2013 is set to be as mega and action-packed as the past 12 months.

Leading the charge is the 27th annual London New Year’s Day Parade from midday, which sees 50,000 people line the two-mile route to celebrate the year that was in the city. The theme for this year’s parade is Hats Off To London – Celebration Capital of the World.

“I wanted to embrace the fact that our capital city is without doubt the greatest in the world,” says parade executive director Bob Bone of this year’s event, in which each of London’s 32 boroughs will be represented among the floats, marching bands, decorated double-decker buses and cheerleaders.

“London’s New Year’s Day Parade will take the form of a special tribute to the city and its people. I can’t wait to see how the boroughs will reflect this.”

As well as raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity, and being broadcast live around the world, the parade will feature 400 of the performers and gamesmakers who made the Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies such a special global, eye-catching success.

“London struck gold!” Bone says emphatically of London and Team GB’s on and off-track success, which he’s keen to harness in the procession.

“The flame may be extinguished but the passion and warmth still radiates. These wonderful volunteers were the outstanding performers of the Olympics. We wanted to let them take a curtain call on a world stage.”

If you’re planning on taking a more debauched approach to your end-of-year partying, London proves itself more than suited to the task.

While NYE is the big night for most, there are all sorts of parties and day-to-night raves on New Year’s Day, so you can keep dancing all the way through to January 2 and beyond.

Ministry of Sound is hosting The After Party from 6am to 2pm, with four rooms hosted by the likes of Connected, Staunch and Trix.

Brighton party-starters Kerfuffle bring their New Year’s All-Dayer back to Brixton’s Jamm from 2pm to 2am, with underground house, electronica and techno from a host of stars, including Alison Marks, Daren Nunes, J Jeff and Tom Baker. And none other than the godfather of UK house and techno Eddie Richards will be a special guest headliner.

“I’m always happy to be invited to play for Kerfuffle,” Richards tells us. “It’s been around for nearly as long as I have and over the years has hosted many DJs who have gone on to become international names. It’s a London house music institution!”

So the new year needn’t be dictated by your hangover and the holidays shouldn’t die out with a whimper
–  see in 2013 with a bang!

New Year’s Day Parade |  Free |  W1J 9BR
Tube: Piccadilly Circus | londonparade.co.uk

The After Party. MoS. | 6am-2pm. £10+  | SE1 6DP
Tube:  Borough |  ministryofsound.com

Kerfuffle New Year’s Day All Dayer | Jamm. 2pm-2am | £10 | SW9 6LH
Tube: Brixton | brixtonjamm.org

Article: For a full update visit TNT: http://www.tntmagazine.com
O
ther New Year Tours and Events: www.BestValueTours.co.uk

Happy New Year from the Backpacker Travel Team

The Backpacker Tour Company (Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BackpackerTrips)
www.Backpackertours.co.uk

Posted by: StonehengeNews | November 18, 2012

Royal Highland Christmas Party Tour

There are many places in the world to spend the Festive season but few can match the experience you get by celebrating them in Scotland. Our Christmas trips are now world famous. Up there on the ‘must do’ scale, many a traveller has joined us for the best way to celebrate this side of the planet. Just think…when will you ever get the chance to party in a stunning Victorian Highland hotel? Food, wine, men (and woman!) in kilts and a load of mistletoe. Need we say more…?

3 Days – Departing Edinburgh

  • Christmas in a Royal Highland hotel, once frequented by Queen Victoria herself
  • Mulled wine by the Grand Staircase (which inspired the design for the staircase in the Titanic!)
  • Traditional Scottish Ceilidh night
  • Christmas dinner and all the trimmings
  • Party night in Inverness, Capital of the Highlands
  • Loch Ness and eerie Glencoe
  • The biggest snowball fight of your life (snow permitting!

Day 1: Christmas Eve

We leave Scotland’s capital and head past the capital of Stirling, home to legends such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and scene of many of Scotland’s most famous and bloody battles in the Wars of Independence. Our route north takes us through dramatic Glencoe, the ‘Weeping Glen’ and site of the massacre of 1692.  From here, we follow Loch Ness and hunt for the monster, then further north to our magnificent accommodation in a plush Highland Hotel in Inverness, Capital of the Highlands. Once frequented by Royalty, the hotel can boast Queen Victoria as a past guest. Tonight it’s the welcome party!

Day 2: Christmas Day

Christmas Day will never be the same again. Depending on the unpredictable Highland winter weather we may head to a wee town on the coast called Dornoch and take in the fresh sea air to fight off any remaining hangovers or head inland in search of a site for a battle of our very own….with snowballs!  A few snow-angel and snowman building attempts will set us up for the slap-up Christmas feast awaiting our return to the hotel. After loads of grub and wine you can grab a partner and work off some of your Christmas indulgencies with traditional Scottish Ceilidh dancing in ‘The Wallace Ballroom’ with its classic furnishings, antique portraits, works of art and glorious crystal chandeliers.

Day 3: 26th December

We leave Inverness and head to sweeping and eerie Culloden, sight of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite uprising. Heading south we make our way to Dunkeld with its mighty cathedral in Macbeth country before crossing the Forth Road Bridge on our return to Edinburgh.

(If you are in Edinburgh on the 23rd December, join us at our legendary HAGGiS Christmas party to meet your fellow festive travellers)

Christmas Backpacker Tours: http://backpackertours.co.uk/britain_uk_england_tours/special_events_christmas.htm
Christmas Luxury Tours: http://www.bestvaluetours.co.uk/tour-of-england/london-uk-christmas-tours

The Backpacker Tour Company – www.BackpackerTours.co.uk

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