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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. 

@thehamletsamlesbury

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 issues update on £85 a day rule for British tourists

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

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Rab Lawrence / Flickr

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.

Julian Dik / Unsplash

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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British tourists visiting Spain will need to prove they can spend £85 a day

A number of Spanish resorts are also restricting alcohol consumption among British tourists

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Emil Kalibradov / Unsplash

Tourists heading to Spain this summer will need to prove they have adequate spending money under new travel restrictions.

Holiday-goers will now be required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday. They may also need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

These requirements follow a U-turn on Spain’s decision to ease airport congestion for holidaymakers by allowing all UK passport-holders to use automatic e-gates to enter the country.

British travel firms have criticised the tough new policies, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

Julian Dik/Unsplash

The Spanish Ministry del Interior said on the new entry requirements: “Foreigners from third countries must prove – if required to do so by the officials in charge of controlling the entry of people into Spanish territory – that they have economic resources for entering the country.

“This could be through cash, traveller’s cheques, payment letters, or credit cards, which must also be proven to have sufficient funds available on them.”

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

The UK Foreign Office added: “At Spanish border control, you may need to show a return or onward ticket, show you have enough money for your stay, show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property, or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family.

“The Spanish government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitation’ is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.

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“Tourists may also be asked to provide evidence that they are able to spend a minimum of €100 each day of their holiday, equating to £85.22 plus an additional minimum of €900.”

British tourists are also reminded to check their passport stamps to see if they enter or exit the EU Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

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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Manchester named second friendliest city in the ENTIRE world

Manchester ranked highly on a number of factors

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William McCue / Unsplash

Time Out has released its fifth annual list of the world’s best cities to visit right now, and Manchester has ranked highly on a number of factors.

Manchester has been voted the second friendliest city in the world, with a rating of 74% (Glasgow was first and Dublin third).

Our city was also named the second most resilient in the world with a 67% rating, while New York came in first and Manila third, with San Francisco and Amsterdam making up the rest of the top five.

And if that wasn’t enough, we are also the third most progressive city in the world (65%), although, sadly, of all of the global cities surveyed Manchester received the least votes for its beauty (only 11% of residents surveyed rate its looks).

ChrisClarke88 / Wikimedia

Edinburgh was officially named the world’s best city to visit right now, with the city ranking highly across the board, topping the global chart as the most beautiful and the most walkable city.

All in all, around one fifth of the top twenty are in the UK, with Edinburgh (1st), Glasgow (4th), Manchester (13th) and London (17th) all having top rankings.   

Every year, Time Out surveys thousands of global city-dwellers about life in their hometown right now, using their responses to compile its annual ranking of the world’s best cities – the Time Out Index.

Last year the list focused on how cities pulled together through the pandemic, focusing on community spirit and resilience, but with limited travel back on the agenda, Time Out added extra weight to things that make cities great places to visit as well as live for 2022.

Dr Neil Clifton / Wikimedia Commons

So the top cities this year excel at nightlife, eating and drinking, art, culture, and museums, as well as rating highly for fun, beauty and not being boring, overly expensive or overrated – the top picks also score well for practical stuff like walkability, good public transport and safety, as well as sustainability. 

Dave Calhoun, Chief Content Officer North America & UK at Time Out, said: “The Time Out Index 2022 combines the experiences and opinions of more than 20,000 people in hundreds of cities around the world and – for the inside scoop – we’ve also tapped into the expertise of Time Out’s global network of local editors and city experts to capture and celebrate what makes a city great right now.  

“This year, we are showcasing the cities that locals, and our editors, not only love living in, but that we think everyone should be visiting. Many people will be planning their first city break in a long time, and our list of the Best Cities in the World provides the ultimate travel bucket list.”

Here’s the top 20 best cities in the world to visit right now:

1) Edinburgh

2) Chicago

3) Medellín (new entry)

4) Glasgow

5) Amsterdam

6) Prague

7) Marrakech (new entry)

8) Berlin

9) Montreal

10) Copenhagen

11) Cape Town

12) Madrid

13) Manchester

14) Mumbai

15) Melbourne

16) Taipei (new entry)

17) London

18) Porto

19) Lyon (new entry)

20) New York

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