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Travel

Chester Zoo unveils plans for overnight safari lodges with giraffe feeding stations

The grounds will boast an authentic Savannah-style habitat where giraffes can roam freely

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Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo has today unveiled plans to open a range of overnight safari lodges overlooking spectacular animal habitats.

The conservationist zoo has resubmitted plans to build the lodges in a grasslands zone next to the A41 Moston Road on the approach to the car park, an area that is currently land owned but not actively used by the zoo.

The original plan for forty-two lodges and tents was submitted and approved in 2019, but never went ahead thanks to issues caused by the 2020 Covid pandemic.

But now, Chester Zoo has submitted a revised plan for sixty-three lodges of varying style and size to be built around the perimeter of a ‘large body of water’, alongside a restaurant, bar and wildlife pond.

Chester Zoo

According to the planning documents, an authentic Savannah-style habitat will be created within the grounds, meaning many guests will be able to see giraffes grazing right by their windows.

To maintain this habitat, trees appropriate for the African savannah landscape will be sporadically planted, while a denser and greener islands zone will be created to provide greater species diversity for wildlife.

Read More: Chester Zoo officially crowned best large visitor attraction in the country

There will also be two giraffe feeding stations extending out to the Bachelor Giraffe paddock, with one being accessible to all guests and the other a private viewing and feeding area for two of the lodges.

An ‘island’ space in the centre of the new lake would act as a focal point for events, social gatherings, functions and storytelling.

Chester Zoo

The on-site restaurant would seat up to 120 people and have breakfast, lunch and dinner services, with the first-floor views overlooking the lake and the giraffe enclosure.

Guests will be able to stay overnight in a number of four and six-person lodges, all of which will include a variety of king size beds and bunk beds.

Chester Zoo has since been given the green light for its revised proposal, and it is hoped that the lodges will be complete by mid-2023.

Make sure to head over to the Chester Zoo website for news and updates.

Travel

You can hire a huge party house with its own nightclub and games arcade near Manchester

The property can sleep up to 26 people across 13 en-suite bedrooms

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The Travel Chapter

If you’re looking for a quick getaway with your mates, look no further.

Just a stone’s throw away from Manchester in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, stands a secluded party house complete with its very own nightclub and games arcade.

The property, available from just £75 per person per night, can sleep up to twenty-six people across thirteen en-suite bedrooms, all of which are accessible from an external and spacious courtyard.

The Travel Chapter

The Travel Chapter

The courtyard boasts a pond and picnic areas for the warmer months, and hot tubs for the chillier winter evenings.

Inside, there are a mix of double and twin bedrooms, with the en-suite bathrooms featuring luxury toiletries and a rainfall shower.

Concierge service can also be arranged, with a whole host of services ranging from a private chef, live entertainment, spa treatments and even a Turkish barber available to attend the property.

But the undisputed selling point of the property is its own private nightclub, which comes complete with a built-in sound system, disco lights and a bar area with a fully-functioning beer dispense system.

The Travel Chapter

The Travel Chapter

There’s also a fully-functional games room boasting classics like air hockey, pinball, driving games and two retro arcade machines.

The property’s listing page describes the property as being the perfect venue for stag-dos, hen parties, or company team-building events, as well as for family and friend getaways.

To see the property’s availability and to get it booked, click here.

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Travel

New date set for when UK tourists will need to pay to enter Spain, Greece and Portugal

Here’s everything you need to know…

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The date for when British tourists will have to pay to enter European holiday hotspots has changed, the European Union has confirmed.

It was originally announced that anyone from the UK travelling to one of the twenty-six countries in the Schengen States will have to apply and pay for a visa from September 2023. 

However, the launch of the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) has been delayed, with it now being expected to come into force from November 2023.

From then, any British tourist travelling to any of the twenty-six Schengen State countries will have to apply via an official website and/or app for mobile devices with a fee of €7.

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The ETIAS has been designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone, which includes popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.

They will be required for anyone over the age of eighteen and under the age of seventy travelling to one of the countries, whether it be by airplane, boat or car.

Read More: Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

Tourists will need a passport or equivalent document to apply, and it’s estimated that for the majority of people, ETIAS will be approved within minutes.

However, those who are flagged as a potential risk could face a wait of up to ninety-six hours.

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An ETIAS will cost €7 (£5), with successful applicants being permitted to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to ninety days per 180-day period.

There are 26 countries in the Schengen Area, all of which will fall under the new visa system:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

For more information and to see if you’re eligible to apply for the new ETIAS visa, visit the official ETIAS website here.

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Spain issues update on £85 a day rule for British tourists

According to officials, it isn’t a new rule…

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Spanish officials have addressed the controversy surrounding the country’s new policy regarding British tourists’ spending money.

According to various reports last week, holiday-goers are now required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday.

It was also suggested that tourists will need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

A number of British travel firms criticised the alleged new policy, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

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But now, Spanish officials have dismissed these reports and clarified which rules British tourists need to be aware of.

A statement on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office said the rule was not new and had in fact been in force since January 1st. It added that the regulations were not confined to Spain and applied to visitors from most nations outside the EU-Schengen border-free travel area.

Read More: Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

Manuel Butler, the Spanish Tourist Office director, said: “The requirement for UK travellers to be able to illustrate sufficient means for the duration of their stay and the return is established in the Schengen Borders Code and is not a Spain-specific requirement.

“This is not a new requirement and has been in place for some time for visitors from outside of the European Union or Schengen area. When entering Spain, these checks are not systematically carried out for every traveller.

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“Likewise, travellers coming to the UK are also required to show that they have specific means to support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the trip and the ability to pay for the return or onward journey.”

The UK Foreign Office guidelines states: “Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.”

Read more about the government’s entry advice for Spain here.

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