Category: News

Into the woods: Family activity breaks for Telegraph Travel

Easter holidays then.

Our assignment — should we choose to accept it — was to test drive two new family activity holidays in the UK, based at holiday parks, for Telegraph Travel.

They both are, if you like, alternatives to Centre Parcs, aiming to open up the family activity break with different prices and facilities.

First up was Kingswood Camps and a visit to their facility in North Wales. The Colomendy Camp is located in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

We’re just back from a weekend of caving, archery and woodland laser quest [pictured above]. That and, despite the rain, some family bonding on the night walk.

Next we’re off to try out the new park in the Peak District from the Dutch-owned Landal GreenParks group.

It’s one of two new parks in the UK — the other located in Northumberland.

Will two weekends away bring out our inner Bear Grylls? Read the full feature in May in Telegraph Travel to find out.

The golden age of cruise travel with P&O Heritage

A peek behind closed doors last week.

I was at the London Victoria  offices of DP World, the global logistics company that now owns the lion’s share of P&O (minus the cruises).

It’s also home to the P&O Heritage Division with its extensive collection of ephemera — paintings, model ships, silverware and more.

Some of the most colourful items were the printed menus and postcards from the 1930s [pictured above].

I was there to interview the Senior Curator, Susie Cox, as the company celebrates its 180th year in 2017.

It was amazing to see items rarely accessible to the public that take us back to another age. It’s like Susie told me:

“There’s a huge romance around ocean liners and the aesthetics, the posters, the fashion, the visuals, are all fantastic. That’s why it’s the golden age of cruise.”

Read the full feature in a forthcoming Telegraph Cruise.

Move into the top gear at Cars and Coffee Chester

An early start last Sunday then.

It was the first Cars and Coffee Cheshire meeting of the season and I had been dispatched by the city’s new independent magazine, Tortoise.

Now I’m no petrolhead. In fact, I’ve never seen a single episode of The Grand Tour and I love the Italian job for the scenery — not the cars. But the Chester meeting was surprisingly inclusive with families and onlookers amongst the crowd.

I even had a spin around the Castle Car Park in a souped-up moped courtesy of the ladies from Deva Tuk Tuk [pictured above] and Ronnie the tub tuk dog.

Intrigued? Here’s a preview of my story:

The regal statue of Queen Victoria eyes the eclectic crowd with arch curiosity: petrolheads and boys racers mix with family groups.

There are serious tyre thumpers, blasting techno from behind their darkened windows, a proud owner posing for selfies next to a rare example of an Alfa Romeo 155 and classic car owners taking torque next to the caffeine-buzzing coffee cart.

It’s like an event at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, without the tweed, pencil moustaches and copies of the Daily Telegraph.

Look out for the full article in the next issue of Tortoise magazine.

Celebrate 70 years of the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival marks its 70th anniversary this year. The event runs May 17 to 28.

I’ve always been a French film fan — ever since taking a module in French cinema as a student at Leeds University.

I was in Cannes last weekend, indulging my interest in cinema and French culture, to preview the build up to the festival.

I was there on assignment for France Magazine.

Touring the attractions for a cinephile’s guide to Cannes, I found the handprints of Pedro Almodovar [pictured above], the president of the jury for this year’s festival, outside the Palais des Festivals.

I also followed a trail of film-themed murals around the town, including giant facade-dominating images of Buster Keaton and Alain Delon.

Cannes is not an obvious weekend-break destination for Brits but, I discovered, it’s compact, culturally rich and pleasantly spring like — even in low-season February.

Here’s a preview of my story:

Cannes has been closely associated with the glamour of the world of cinema’s cornerstone event since the origins of the festival in 1939. The red carpet, today rolled out in front of the Palais des Festivals et des Congres just off the Boulevard de la Croisette, retains a frisson of Hollywood glitter. Not bad for the town that provided the backdrop to Meg Ryan’s French Kiss and Mr Bean’s Holliday.

Look out for this and more stories from the trip in May.