Duty Free After Brexit

I missed this last week, but the government has published what duty free we will be allowed when travelling after the 1st January. It is being branded as ‘extending duty free to the EU’, but that’s only partially true. We will indeed be able to bring duty-free alcohol and tobacco back into the UK, subject… Continue reading Duty Free After Brexit

Virtual Wanderlust via Trains, Trucks, and Maybe Flying a Cessna Around Borneo

Whilst socially distancing and not travelling all that much, one thing I’ve been doing after a day of staring at computer screens is … staring at more computer screens with a bit of Train Sim World, American Truck Simulator, and Euro Truck Simulator 2. I haven’t played much in the way of computer games for… Continue reading Virtual Wanderlust via Trains, Trucks, and Maybe Flying a Cessna Around Borneo

Pandemic Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express, Swansea East

Unsurprisingly, it has been a little quiet on here of late. Like most of you, I’ve not been travelling all that much since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In fact, I’d hazard that as I don’t have a car and I am able to work from home, I’ve travelled far less than most, the furthest afield… Continue reading Pandemic Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express, Swansea East

BA100 Anniversary Flights

Early in 2019 (I appear to have booked the tickets on 24th January) British Airways celebrated its 100th birthday by offering some long-haul tickets for £100 each way, including taxes. You had to be online at mid-day to grab them, and there were only a few destinations available each day. Instead of trying and failing… Continue reading BA100 Anniversary Flights

The Independent Hotel, Philadelphia

As part of a weekend trip to Philadelphia in September, using flights booked during the #BA100 sale, Lucy and I stayed in The Independent Hotel. Whilst we were planning the trip, it had reasonable reviews and wasn’t badly priced. We had taken the train from the airport, and walked down to the hotel from City… Continue reading The Independent Hotel, Philadelphia

The New Northern Railway Timetable

December 15th saw the twice-yearly reshuffle of the rail timetables. Among the changes, Northern Railway promised more frequent and longer trains. This was welcome, as most of the trains on the Hope Valley line through Reddish North are two or four carriage long Pacers from the 1980s, some of which are still complete with the… Continue reading The New Northern Railway Timetable

ibis Budget Whitechapel

I wasn’t going to review the ibis Budget Whitechapel as I was only there for a night, but the check-out experience tipped my hand, and here we are. My brief stay here followed a night in the rather more upmarket Park Plaza London Riverbank, but I was prepared for what it was supposed to be… Continue reading ibis Budget Whitechapel

Twenty years of travel.

Twenty years ago today, on 6th November 1999, I stepped on a plane for the very first time to leave the UK for the very first time. Was this a long-awaited family holiday? Nope, they never really stretched further than Swansea or — once — Tenby.  It was for IETF 46 in Washington D.C.. The… Continue reading Twenty years of travel.

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Hilton Garden Inn, London Heathrow Terminal 2

Whilst we were still living in South-West London I booked a return for my wife and myself to Philadelphia as part of BA’s 100th anniversary sale.  These were tickets that cost £100 each way in economy, including taxes.  Since then we’ve moved to Manchester, and so to avoid problems with missed connections for the 12:40pm… Continue reading Hilton Garden Inn, London Heathrow Terminal 2

Hampton by Hilton, Belfast City Centre

This is a little review of the Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre, where I stayed for a couple of nights for work at the start of September 2019. I’d flown into Belfast City airport (BHD) and caught bus 600 into the city centre, which dropped me off at the Europa Bus Centre, a journey… Continue reading Hampton by Hilton, Belfast City Centre

Manchester to South Wales (via the Welsh Marches Route)

There are two main routes between Manchester and South Wales. There is the “Heart of Wales” line, which is the very scenic route, and the Welsh Marches line, merely quite scenic. A few (ahem) times over the last couple of months my wife and I have taken the train from Manchester towards South Wales, and… Continue reading Manchester to South Wales (via the Welsh Marches Route)

Dragon Hotel, Swansea

According to the hotel’s own website, the Dragon Hotel is “…this fully airconditioned lesisure [sic] hotel was featured as South West Wales’ premier 4-star hotel.” As someone that was brought up with frequent trips to Swansea to visit family, the Dragon Hotel has always been around, though I’ve never had need to stay there, as… Continue reading Dragon Hotel, Swansea

Spain gets a little bit Moorish.

The Alhambra. Just the name conjures up a mental image of the medieval clash between Europe and the Middle East, between Christianity and Islam, a time of religious quests and bloody battles. These days, the tales of battles are limited to the legendary queues to obtain tickets to visit it, so after a particularly busy… Continue reading Spain gets a little bit Moorish.

A Middle-Class Whinge

I’ve called this post a ‘Middle-Class Whinge’ for reasons that will become obvious as you read it. It isn’t about a matter of great importance, just a couple of disappointing instances of customer service at the end of a long week. I’m not asking for pity, I am just venting. It was the end of… Continue reading A Middle-Class Whinge

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