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Travel

Brits could go on a UK holiday as early as July, according to government minister

Fingers crossed!

Proper Manchester

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Holidays within the UK could return from the start of July if the R rate is kept down. 

There’s been much uncertainty on when people will be able to go on holiday again, and many people have asked about the possibility of a staycation in the UK. 

Travel restrictions have been imposed and flight schedules massively reduced to stop people in the UK making visits to other countries. 

Currently, businesses that provide holiday accommodation including hotels, B&Bs, hostels, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses and short term lets are remaining closed for leisure-related stays. 

According to government guidelines, no person should stay overnight away from their own home for a holiday or any other purpose other than a few very specified instances. 

The Culture Secretary has said that holidays within the UK could return as soon as the beginning of July if the spread of coronavirus can be kept down.

Oliver Dowden has previously suggested that staycations may be permitted this summer, saying in a Downing Street press conference: “I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.

“We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.”

Speaking later in the House of Commons, Mr Dowden added: “Self-let accommodation has a lower risk, so I would hope that is at the front of the queue.”

Northern Ireland’s hotels can reopen from July 20th as long as the rate of infection is under control, Stormont economy minister Diane Dodds has said.

Travel

Harry Potter fans can now stay in a Gryffindor common room-inspired cottage

This looks magical!

Alex Watson

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North Shire

Potterheads will be pleased to hear about a Gryffindor common room-inspired cottage that you can now stay in.

Live out your wildest wizarding dreams at this new UK cottage inspired by the Gryffindor Common Room.

Guests will stay in four-poster beds in a room decked out in the red and gold Gryffindor colours. Each bed also comes with curtains for that little sprinkling of privacy.

The dorm room, tucked away in The North Shire in Liverton, also has a cosy living room and a fireplace so you can easily get in touch with Sirius. 

North Shire

North Shire

The large plush red sofas are perfect for sinking into, Harry Potter book in hand and the fire crackling in the background. 

There’s also huge stain glass windows specially commissioned to depict the blonde mermaid that mesmerises Harry in the Goblet of Fire in the bathroom. plus you’ll also find large gold shell-shaped sinks to really bring home the mermaid theme from the scene.

The cottage can comfortably sleep six people in the single beds and there’s also a kitchen for you to whip up Cornish Pasties and snack on Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

North Shire

North Shire

You won’t even need a Bellatrix-sized vault at Gringotts to stay here with prices starting at just £50pp per night.

North Shire is also home to the Grounds Keepers Cottage so you can stay in a Hagrid inspired cottage. 

Complete with cosy beds and living rooms, a huge (not quite big enough for Hagrid) copper bath plus loads of other magical features. 

You can find out more here

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Travel

New geothermal heated sea pool like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has opened in Cornwall

Perfect for a staycation!

Alex Watson

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badwolfhorizon & porthlevenholidaycottage/Instagram

The UK’s first geothermal sea pool has now opened up in Cornwall and we need to go asap!

The pool is set at a lovely warm 35C and will be heated all year round making it a perfect destination for a weekend away in winter.

The pool has opened up in the old art deco Jubilee Pool in Penzance, and is giving Iceland’s Blue Lagoons a run for their money.

The warm water is heated through a geothermal well which transfers the cooler water back into the ground and the warm water into the pool.

The pool also offers fantastic sea views, including a glimpse of St Michael’s Mount across the water. 

Around 50 people will fit into the pool at once, making it the UK’s largest lido. Currently, due to social distancing measures, only 15 are allowed to visit at a time. 

Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering Limited, told local media: “The system we have drilled and installed is one of the lowest forms of carbon heating available and is part of the growing movement to use sustainable heating sources across the UK.

“I’m delighted that the geothermal pool at Jubilee Pool, Penzance, is now open. It’s the first geothermally-heated lido in the UK and is a flagship for geothermal energy in general.”

The pool is part of a wider project worth £1.8m, which was supported partly by the local community which provided £540,000.

First to swim in the pool were the family of local swimmer and project supporter, Joyce Cooper. Joyce was at the opening of the original lido 85 years ago but sadly died before she got the chance to see the project completed. 

All ages are welcome to visit the pool during the afternoon, with kids under four going free. An adult ticket will start from £11.75. 

There are also dedicated adults-only spots for the pool between 10am and 12:30pm, and select evenings after 5:30pm. 

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Travel

Thomas Cook is set to relaunch ‘in the next few weeks’ but with some big changes

The UK’s oldest tour operator could be back soon…

Alex Watson

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Anna Zvereva/Wikimedia & Brian Robert Marshall/Geograph

Thomas Cook, the UK’s oldest tour operator, could be making a return to the travel industry a year after the company folded. 

The owners of Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, saved the brand from completely vanishing after it went under in September last year. 

According to some reports it looks like Fosun could be bringing back Thomas Cook as a travel agent. 

Sky News has reported that Fosun is awaiting necessary regulatory approvals and for any quarantine updates on British citizens.

Jan Hagelskamp1/Wikimedia

Thomas Cook looks set to relaunch as just an online travel agent and will be dropping the Thomas Cook airline, high street shops and branded hotels previously operated by the company.

The relaunch is reportedly set to go ahead this month, exactly a year after the company collapsed. 

The firm filed for administration on September 23rd last year. The news left 150,000 UK holidaymakers stuck abroad and caused the biggest peacetime repatriation of Britons abroad, totalling to an estimated cost of £150m. 

The 178-year-old firm was bailed out by Fosun. Chairman Jiannong said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.

“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”


Ken Fielding/Flickr

He added: “Following the acquisition, the group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the group.”

The Chinese firm bought the assets including the trademarks, domain names, software applications, social media accounts and licences. However, 555 stores were sold for just £6m to rival Hays Travel. 

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