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Travel

British tourists will be allowed to visit Spain from next week

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The Spanish Foreign Ministry has announced the country will be reopening to international tourism this week, by allowing visitors from EU member states.

The news created confusion for tourists from the UK and Ireland, as they initially weren’t included, but the Spanish Foreign Ministry has now clarified that as the UK is in the transition phase of leaving the EU, it is still in this group that will be allowed.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced yesterday: “The recovery of tourist activity is key for this government.

“Spanish will lift border controls with the EU member states from June 21st and on July 1st it will re-open borders to other countries. Tourism and health security will go hand in hand.”

Willian Justen de Vasconcellos/Unsplash

A Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman said today: “As it’s in a transition period, it’s considered that the UK is included in the announcement that Pedro Sanchez made yesterday and can return to Spain along with EU nationals when border controls are lifted from June 21st.”

However, the Benidorm Town Hall claimed holidaymakers from the UK would not be allowed to return to the Costas until at least July 10th. 

A Spanish government has also told the Telegraph that they could change the UK entry rules ‘if the epidemiological situation in Britain requires this.’

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Borders across Europe are reopening, however, Brits are being told to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK if they chose to travel abroad.

EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair have started legal action against the British government’s quarantine policy to try have it overturned. 

The Foreign Office advise against international travel that is non-essential still remains. 

Travel

The best campsites near Manchester for the ultimate staycation this summer

Get back into nature this summer

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With just a couple of hours drive, you could be breathing in some sea air or taking in the stunning views of the Lake District. 

With current restrictions meaning a holiday abroad might be a tricky affair this year, people are opting for a staycation in one of the UK’s many beauty spots – and there’s a lot to chose from.

If you’re not a camper, check out our list of the most unique places you can stay on Airbnb in the UK – which includes a literal jet plane, windmills and even a couple of castles. 

Or if you’re a fan of Disney, how about Snow White’s house

Turner Hall Campsite Ltd/Facebook

Turner Hall Farm in Seathwaite Cumbria 

A no-frills campsite surrounded by the beautiful Cumbria landscape. Perfect spot for tents and camper vans and a big old lung full of fresh air. 

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Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn

Bit of Glamping for all you glampers this one. The Shepherd’s Huts have got everything you need for a cosy night under the stars. And if you’re really hard, this is set in the grounds of the Black and White Hall, which is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the UK. 

Waterside House Campsite, Ullswater

I’m putting this one in because I went last July and I can tell you first hand I had a cracking experience. This was actually the view from my tent each morning and you really can’t complain about that, can you?

Headswood On The Wall/Facebook

Headswood On The Wall, Hadrian’s Wall

Another posh one that’s not really camping, because you stay in lodges drinking Prosecco in a hot tub, but you’re outside in the wilderness and that’s near enough to camping for us city folk, init?

coolcamping.com

Aberafon on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd

Over to Wales for this one, right in the heart of the most famous thing to come out of the country (after Gavin & Stacey), Snowdonia National Park. Cracking views and a nice bit of fresh sea air to brush the lockdown cobwebs off! 

National Trust

Low Wray Campsite in Ambleside, Lake District

Another one in the Lakes, this time Windemere. It’s a National Trust campsite so you know you’re in good hands. Plenty of water-related fun to be had including paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, rowing and skimming stones. 

Camping and Caravanning Club

Delamere Forest, Cheshire

More for you caravaners than campers this one, but there is still space for tent pitches. Plenty of fun to be had nearby too including walking trails, cycling, Go Ape and Chester Zoo. OR just head straight to the pubs in Chester – I would.

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Travel

Spain to welcome back British holidaymakers from June

Have you got a foreign holiday planned this summer?

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Portuguese Gravity / Unsplash

Spain’s tourism minister has said the country will be welcoming tourists back this summer, including travellers from the UK.

The European Union has plans to use coronavirus vaccine certificates to let holidaymakers back in, with Spain saying it is currently trialling a digital certificate scheme – their plan is to see a wider roll out in June.

Under the EU scheme, Digital Green Certificates will be accepted as ‘proof’ that someone has either had the Covid-19 vaccine, received a negative test result, or recovered from coronavirus.

Mikey / Flickr

Spain’s Tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst told a travel and tourism conference in Mexico: “I think the best thing that governments right now can provide to travellers is certainty, give the proper information and the security that they can travel and they can come back to the countries.

“In those terms, in the European Union, we put in place a system … that provides us with a digital certificate.

“Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.

“We are going to give all these travellers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”

Drew Graham/Unsplash

In regards to international travel from the UK returning in May, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the data ‘continues to look good’.

He told Sky News: “The earliest possible unlock is May 17th, so stage three of the unlock, we won’t have international travel before that.

“I have to say that so far the data does continue to look good from a UK perspective, notwithstanding those concerns about where people might be travelling to and making sure we’re protected from the disease being reimported.

“I will set out towards the beginning of May … which countries fall into the various different categories.”

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However, when it came to travel to Spain specifically Shapps wouldn’t commit to an answer as to whether British tourists will be able to travel there this summer, saying the public will have to ‘wait and see’.

He told Times Radio: “Spain specifically, I’m afraid I just don’t have the answer to that because the Joint Biosecurity Centre will need to come up with their assessment and we can’t do that until a bit nearer the time.

“So we will need to wait and see.”

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Travel

Take a look inside UK safari lodges where you spend the night with elephants and cheetahs

‘Guests will be able to get closer than ever before to our wildlife and make friends with their animal neighbours’

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West Midland Safari Park

If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night next to elephants and cheetahs then now’s your chance.

A collection of brand new luxury safari lodges have opened in the UK, and families can now book a holiday there.

West Midland Safari Park’s lodges offer the only overnight stay with elephants in the whole country, with the option to spend the night next to the cheetahs as well.

West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park

The lodges were originally scheduled to open last summer but the pandemic delayed this – bookings did initially open last year before being forced to pause due to the massive demand.

There are eight suites available, with six located in the elephant park and two next to the cheetahs, with fantastic close up views from your bedroom.

Each lodge can accommodate five guests, and feature open-plan living rooms with outdoor seating and balconies, as well as a king-size bedroom on the lower floor and room for three people to sleep on the upper floor, with the option to add a cot.

From your suite you’ll be able to watch elephants like the young male Sutton, his aunt Latabe and mum, Five, while two of the lodges overlook the cheetah area, where cheetahs like Asrael and Bappe – recently brought over from France – live.

West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park

Chris Kelly, Managing Director at West Midland Safari Park, said: “It’s been a long journey, but we are absolutely delighted to have finally opened our doors and welcome guests to our Safari Lodges experience.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved, in delivering beautiful accommodation to offer guests the opportunity to stay onsite for the first time, but also in upgrading stimulating and enriching environments for the wonderful animals we have in our care.

“Our lodges are going to offer a special and unforgettable Safari-stay right here in the Midlands. Guests will be able to get closer than ever before to our wildlife and make friends with their animal neighbours.

“Being located on our reserves, guests will also have the chance to spot some of our other species and experience all the great attractions we have to offer, making it the perfect retreat for all the family.”

West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park

Chefs based on-site will prepare your breakfast and dinner and deliver it to your room, so you can eat while taking in the fantastic views.

For the price of the lodge, you’ll also get admission to the park and wristbands for the rides at the theme park, with prices starting from £147 per night for children and from £171 per night for adults.

West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park

While availability for the rest of 2021 is now limited due to huge demand, there are still lots of options available for next year.

You can check out the West Midland Safari Park website here for more info.

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