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Travel

You could be able to go on a staycation from early July under further lockdown easing

Fingers crossed…

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Brits may be able to visit hotels and holiday parks as early as July 4th as ministers make efforts to start the holiday season.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make big announcements to lockdown easing on Tuesday, June 23rd, which might include the possibility of ‘staycation’ trips. 

The domestic travel industry which creates, on average, £130bn a year had to close like many other industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has yet to announce an official reopening date for the industry.

However, Whitehall officials have been told to prepare for the announcement tomorrow, according to The Mail on Sunday.

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Former Environment Minister Owen Paterson told the Mail on Sunday: “To have any hope of saving this summer season for our tourist industry, the Government must announce this week what the arrangements will be for reopening on July 4.

Mr Paterson added: “The Government must say this week that there will be a reduction in the social distancing guidance to one metre. Everything depends on that.

“People are not going to go to restaurants, pubs and holiday parks in our beautiful tourist areas unless we cut the rule to one metre. If we don’t, large numbers of hospitality businesses just will not survive. The Government must also say that the quarantine arrangements will end on July 4, too.”

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Boris Johnson is said to be on the brink of easing the two-metre social distancing rule, telling the nation to ‘watch this space’ regarding an announcement. 

Many bosses in the hospitality industry have called for the government to confirm when the tourism industry can return to trading.

Cornwall Council said it would lose £630m by the end of June due to the lack of tourism in just that area. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade body UKHospitality, added: “We need confirmation of the reopening date for hospitality businesses without any further delay.

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“Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again.

“This is particularly important for hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance.”

The news also comes as the government is drawing up plans to form air bridges with Spain, Greece, Portugal, France and Australia which will see the 14-day quarantine rules scrapped in each country for visitors. 

The government has said no final decision has been made as of yet but many people are expecting updates on domestic tourism tomorrow. 

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Travel

This gorgeous Greek island is paying people €500 a month to live there

Fancy packing up your family and moving to a secluded paradise?

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@ikleau_besancon / Instagram & Marco Verch / Flickr

The stunning Greek island of Antikythera is welcoming new inhabitants and will pay them €500 a month to live there.

This idyllic 20 sq km paradise has plenty of beautiful empty beaches where you’re sure to find a peaceful spot all to yourself.

There is something a little disconcerting about taking a lone ferry ride to a remote island and stepping foot onto eerily quiet shores as the boat heads back to civilisation, leaving you among just a few dozen residents already living there.

@ikleau_besancon / Instagram

In stark contrast to the bustling and noisy holiday resorts in Greece and its popular islands that fill up especially during the summer holidays, this island is so quiet there’s no continuous droning of traffic and you may even be able hear your own pulse.

If you’re not much of a people person and you’re very happy spending time in your own company, this offer could be the one to entice you.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get away from the hustle and bustle and live life a little slower, in a serene and simple paradise?

Marco Verch / Flickr

Well, you’re in luck because the small remote island of Antikythera is ready to move new families to its gorgeous land and make it their home.

Not only that, you will be paid to make the move. Antikythera will pay families an allowance of €500 a month to live there for three years, as well as receiving housing and land. 

While moving your family to a remote Greek island isn’t to everybody’s taste, the cash incentive might help those with a bit of an adventurous streak to take the leap of faith and give it a try.

@panemorfa_topia_ap0_thn_ellada / Instagram

While it doesn’t have any supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, ATMs or even taxis, the island is currently under development. It does have its own source of water, an autonomous power station and internet connection for those wondering. 

Antikythera, a two-hour ferry ride from Crete, only has one coffee shop – a kafeneion – which also serves as a grocery store and meeting place for its current islanders. 

The boat which supplies the island with food and gas cannot dock in especially stormy seas – which is, apparently, a fairly common occurrence in winter.

@filoklis.d.pileidis / Instagram

One interesting fact about this island is the discovery site of one of the oldest analogic computers ever found, the Antikythera Mechanism. 

Built sometime around 150 and 100 BC, its gear wheels and clockwork mechanism were used to predict astronomical positions, eclipses, orbits, and even mark the four-year period between each Olympic Games.

The selection process for families could take a good while to complete, so you can sit back and relax – once you’ve packed your life up – in the meantime.

Be sure to do your homework and make sure this is the right move for you and your family if you’re thinking about it.

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Travel

Shrek’s ‘moss-covered’ swamp home is now available to rent on Airbnb

Fans now have the opportunity to stay in his humble abode free of charge

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Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Shrek fans can now live out their dream and stay in the huge, green ogre’s swamp home – now listed on Airbnb.

The ‘mud-laden, moss-covered’ real-life recreation of Shrek’s Swamp is located within the grounds of Ardverikie Estate, in the Scottish Highlands.

The idea for the cosy forest hideout is inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek film series, released between 2001 and 2010.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Airbnb released the listing on Tuesday, with Shrek enthusiasts able to book overnight stays from Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 29th.

The live-in tree stump features a studio layout with two beds and one bathroom, where up to three guests at a time can make a reservation for free.

The short and long-term home stays firm said the offer is ‘a nod to the priceless refuge Shrek’s Swamp has provided fairytale creatures of all kinds’.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

The murky den features ‘Danger’, ‘Beware Ogre’ and ‘Stay Out’ signs on the path leading up to the quirky property. But once inside, it is delightfully snug and inviting.

The unusual listing is hosted by Shrek’s animated sidekick, Donkey, who has agreed to ‘swamp-sit’ in his absence.

About the charming mossy refuge, Donkey posted on Airbnb: “Shrek’s Swamp is lovely. Just beautiful. The perfect place to entertain guests.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

“You know what I like about it? Everything. The overgrown landscaping, the modest interiors, the nice boulders, all of it.

“I can’t wait for guests to experience this muddy slice of paradise for themselves.”

To coincide with the launch, Airbnb will make a donation to HopScotch Children’s Charity, which provides some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with respite breaks through nurturing and dynamic holiday trips

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Anyone interested in staying in Shrek’s Swamp can request a reservation from 6pm on Friday, October 13th.

To book a stay, visit the Airbnb website, HERE.

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Travel

First look at new Legoland holiday park opening in the UK next year

Young ones can play on climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses

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Legoland

Legoland in Windsor has revealed a first look into its brand-new holiday park, opening in 2024.

The newly built Woodland Village with over 130 lodges and 20 camping barrels will open to the public next May, with overnight stays on sale now. Prices to stay on the 10-acre site start at £295 or a family of four.

While most lodges sleep up to five guests, with 10 premium lodges able to sleep up to seven people.

Legoland

Features at the Woodland Village include The Clubhouse Restaurant & Bar, which will serve up campfire-inspired grub in a woodland-themed setting.

Youngsters can explore the several woodland-themed play areas equipped with climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses.

The family attraction will also have brick-building activities, nature trails, an entertainment hub, and colourful new Lego characters.

Legoland

Helen Bull, Division Director at Legoland Windsor Resort, said: “The LEGOLAND Woodland Village has been a long time coming and we’re incredibly excited to now be taking bookings ahead of the official opening in May 2024.

“This moment marks years of planning and unwavering dedication to providing a magical experience for all our guests.

“The LEGOLAND Woodland Village is part of a significant transformation for the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and we look forward to welcoming families to this new way to stay next year!”

Legoland

But this isn’t the only exciting new addition to a Legoland-themed attraction, as an adventure golf attraction will be opening this October.

Also next month, the Legoland Discovery Centres in Birmingham and Manchester will be hosting their own Monster Parties, with a series of spooky attractions for Halloween.

Meanwhile, the Legoland theme park is set to close the Viking River Splash – one of its most popular rides – by the end of the month. The park haven’t given a reason as to why, but the ride will become part of Viking history.

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