Cllr Carl Smith (right), Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, announce the joint bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025, at Somerleyton Hall - just one of the many attractions across the two areas which will feature as part of the bid's cultural and heritage offering.

Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk Councils in bid to become UK City of Culture 2025

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Great Yarmouth Borough and East Suffolk Councils have this week launched a bid to showcase the region's rich and multi-layered culture, its diversity, its people and their creativity, experiences, buildings and landscapes, opening them up to be enjoyed and engaged with by all and creating a cultural legacy for future generations.

Aiming to create a groundswell of enthusiastic support and engagement amongst everyone involved, it will play a key role in the efforts of both communities to overcome the challenges of low social mobility and disadvantage in the area, helping it to recover from the effects of the pandemic and forge new opportunities ahead, especially for young people.

The bid focuses on the resort towns of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft which all have centuries of connection with the sea and the world beyond. Exemplars of the great British seaside, they are thriving visitor destinations which continue to welcome millions of visitors each year.

These towns are integral to the UK's renewable energy industry and are also centres of fertile creativity, rich heritage and cultural distinctiveness. Beyond them,  there is also a rich heritage and culture – both natural and man-made – from Aldeburgh and the Suffolk coast northwards to Winterton-on-Sea, coastal resorts and inland market towns, the Norfolk Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Great Yarmouth's cultural offering features everything from street performance and festivals, to the circus and Golden Mile, mediaeval town walls and iconic entertainment venues, as well as fine sands and a fascinating maritime history with links to Nelson and the great herring fleets of the 19th century; while East Suffolk's picturesque coastal and rural centres host renowned music events with a landscape which has inspired the works of authors, composers, artists and choreographers, and it is the place where each day's new dawn rises first in the UK.

UK City of Culture 2025 is the first time a collection of linked or neighbouring towns have been eligible to apply together, and the joint bid has won the support of the New Anglia LEP, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Norfolk Community Foundation, Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, the area's three local MPs and many other major regional public sector stakeholders, arts and community organisations. A decision on whether the bid has made it onto the long list will be announced in early September 2021, with the UK City of Culture 2025 winner being announced in May next year.

HF Holidays announced as the best recommended WHICH? Escorted Tours provider for fourth time

It's a fourth consecutive Which? Escorted Tours honour for HF Holidays

Thursday 1 July 2021

HF Holidays, the specialist walking and activity tour operator, has been named Which? Recommended Provider for Escorted Tours for its fourth consecutive year, ever since the Escorted Tours category was introduced in 2018.  

Which? Recommended Providers are companies that are both rated highly by Which? Members and have products or services that meet the high standards of Which? Researchers. Researchers are set strict minimal standards for these services and speak to UK consumers to make sure they rate highly. Only the best performers will receive a Which? Recommended Provider endorsement.  

This year’s review used the customer scores from the 2020 survey as a starting point and only companies that were Which? Recommended Providers in 2020 will be eligible for the licence in 2021.  

HF Holidays were one of the top scoring holiday companies in the July 2021 Which? Travel Magazine on the best and worst holiday booking policies for flexibility and met the Which? strict criteria related to refunds and amendments this year. The article review says: “HF Holidays tops the table for escorted tour companies. It is also taking the stress out of changing traffic lights by refusing to operate to red or amber countries, offering customers a full refund.”  

Commenting on this accolade, David Harrington, CEO said: “The Team are delighted to receive this acclaimed recommendation from Which? It is an independent review and a huge testament to the hard work from everyone in the HF Holidays Team, during this most difficult year - we will continue to strive to be better each year!”  

HF Holidays re-opened their 17 UK country houses in May and welcomed guests back with their award-winning service and hospitality. Their selection of guided walking routes, self-guided flexibility and family adventures is vast; all offer different walking options each day, great food and hospitality in stunning UK locations.  

HF Holidays is getting ready to begin overseas departures from September 2021 with a fantastic Winter Sun range and a selection of new European destinations for 2022. All 2022 European and Worldwide holidays are available to book now.  

To download a copy of our brochure:  To start planning your next holiday with HF Holidays visit

Do you fancy a virtual tour of Bruges Triennial 2021?

A virtual tour of the Bruges Triennial 2021 is released

Friday 25 June 2021

Whilst travel to Bruges restrictions at present, might pose a challenge to that much anticipated visit to Bruges this summer, a new preview of this year's Bruges Triennial has now been made available, with the help of a new digital platform offering unique 360° images of the installations. 

For those unable to visit at present, this contemporary art and architecture festival will stay on display until 24 October 2021 and the virtual guide offers a glimpse of what is on offer this year. Users can choose to view various individual installations from an aerial view a with 360° pictures ,descriptions and associated links.

At the same time, press can register to join the dedicated media site containing a number of images, interviews with the artists and press releases about this year's festival. The new platform is an initiative of Visit Bruges and with the support of VISITFLANDERS.

CEO, Peter De Wilde said: "The symbiosis of heritage and contemporary art, thrives in Bruges. We are delighted to support this initiative because the Triennial is truly a source of inspiration for those who can and may travel."

For a link to the new virtual platform please visit

Denmark gets ready to welcome fully vaccinated Europeans

Denmark welcomes fully vaccinated Brits 

Wednesday 9 June 2021

While the argument rages on regarding travelling abroad and the problems encountered by those holidaying in Portugal who had to cut short their holidays to beat the rule changes imposed by the UK Government this week, Denmark has announced that it has opened its borders to fully vaccinated visitors. 

Fully vaccinated means that they've had an EMA approved vaccine and that it has been at least 14 days since the final dose. There are no longer any restrictions in terms of proving a 'worthy purpose', testing and quarantine in Denmark for this group. However it's worth pointing out that Denmark is currently on the UK Government's 'amber' list. 

LEGO has created the world's largest football. It's more than four metres tall and built out of 173,600 LEGO bricks. The world's biggest football has been created by employees at LEGO House during lockdown and can be experienced for free at the LEGO House Square in Billund until the European Football Championship ends on 11th July.

On 30 June, the new H. C. Andersen's House will open in the author's birth town Odense on the island of Fyn. Follow in the footsteps of the famous Danish writer around the island with the Hans Christian Andersen trail app. Along the way, you'll find 15 castles and manors with stories to tell. 

Did you know that you're never more than 52km from the ocean in Denmark? Explore the many beautiful beaches along Denmark's coastline. One of them has even been selected as one of Europe's best beaches in Lonely Planet!

Lulworth House Hotel is just yards away from Lulworth Cove on Dorset's beautiful rugged Jurassic coast

Top walking holiday company gets ready for a return to the great outdoors

Friday 14 May 2021

HF Holidays is looking forward to the re-opening of their UK country houses from Monday 17 May and have been working hard to ensure that everything is ready for the long-awaited return to welcoming guests and facilitating great holidays.All their 17 UK country houses will of course continue to employ procedures to keep guests, leaders and house teams safe.

In preparation of the return to operations, HF Holidays have refreshed the houses, which are all COVID compliant and have been accredited by the We’re Good to Go initiative set out by Visit Britain. Freshwater Bay House on the Isle of Wight was the first on the Island to get the full marks as a Covid secure property with impressive Covid Standard Operating Procedures setting the standard for other venues around the island.

HF Holidays food offering has also got a fresh look with a new weekly menu for guests to look forward to, providing a weekly view of the delights awaiting them after each day of walking! This also supports HF Holidays sustainability initiative and helps cuts food wastage. The new menus include a variety of delicious dishes including vegetarian and vegan options, which are all made from scratch on site.  There are also great recipes inspired by local history and the people cooking them, to celebrate local history and heritage.


SOUTHERN SNOWDONIA SELF-GUIDED WALKING Southern Snowdonia is home to Cader Idris and the deceptive terrain of the Rhinogs. At lower levels there are splendid views of the Mawddach Valley from the New and Old Precipice Walks and lovely coastal walks to Harlech. 3 nights from £349 £249pp SAVE £100 PER PERSON  Depart: 28 May 2021 All meals included

BRECON BEACONS SELF-GUIDED WALKING Whether you want to climb high or explore low, the Brecon Beacons offer stunning, wild scenery of rock and water. Popular options including climbing Pen y Fan and The Sugar Loaf or following the Four Waterfalls Walk. 3 nights from £249pp   SAVE £100 PER PERSON  28 May 2021  All meals included

PEAK DISTRICT SELF-GUIDED WALKING Stride out to reach the top of Mam Tor or Kinder Scout, walk along The Roaches or admire the grandeur of Chatsworth House as you walk through its grounds. Enjoy the beauty of the Dovedale Gorge, visit Ilam Park or follow the Tissington Trail - the choice is yours! 3 nights from £249pp SAVE £100 PER PERSON  28 May 2021  All meals included  

SOUTHERN YORKSHIRE DALES SELF-GUIDED WALKING  Winding paths across the Dales lead to pretty villages and quaint market towns. Popular sites in the area include the rocky magnificence of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, the gushing waters of Janet’s Foss Waterfall and the yawning maw of Gaping Gill. 3 nights from £259pp SAVE £100 PER PERSON  28 May 2021  All meals included

SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS - SELF-GUIDED WALKING The Scottish Highlands offer stunning panoramic vistas of soaring Munros (peaks over 3,000ft) and sparkling lochs. The wild landscape provides wonderful walking challenges including the option to summit Ben Nevis – the UK’s highest peak – or walk part of the West Highland Way. Forest trails lead to gushing waterfalls and coastal walks reveal a different side to the area's natural beauty. 3 nights from £249pp - SAVE £100 PER PERSON 29 May 2021 - All meals included For last minute holidays and great UK offers take a look at our latest availability.

*Terms & Conditions apply. Download a copy of HF Holidays new brochure:

The stunning HF Holidays' Derwent Bank hotel close to Keswick in the Lake District

HF Holidays set to introduce new UK Guided Day Walks from next month

Thursday 18 March 2021

Leading walking holidays tour operator HF Holidays is excited to announce a range of UK Guided Day Walks for walkers to join from 12 April, in line with the next phase of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

HF Holidays 17 UK country houses remain closed for overnight stays until 17 May, however, outdoor activities such as walking in a small group will soon be permitted, so for a short period of time in April and May HF Holidays will be offering 46 different Guided Day Walks from 16 of their UK country houses, offering a choice of different grade walks from gentle right up to challenging, and led by an experienced walk leader.

The new range of small group Day Walks has been designed to appeal to walkers of all abilities and countryside enthusiasts and perfect for solos, couples, friends, as well as families. They are a superb way of exploring the countryside while HF Holidays wait to be able to operate their standard walking holidays again.

There is a wide range of walks on offer, from classic challenges such as climbing Catbells in the Lake District or Cadair Idris in Snowdonia, to good days out on the South West Coast Path or Pennine Way, and gentle strolls in Shropshire's Carding Mill Valley or between the Slaughters in the Cotswolds. There are mountain climbs, moorland rambles and coastal walks, all of which start and end at an HF Holidays country house throughout England and Wales.

Partnering with Eventbrite, the guided Day Walks can be booked easily online. Guests simply choose a walk at their desired location on the date of their choice, register and reserve their place. There is no membership requirement or hidden fees. Walks will run with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 14 guests plus the relevant amount of HF Holidays walking leaders (depending on group ratio). Prices start from £17.50 per person. 

Free parking is provided at all country houses (apart from Lulworth). HF Holidays has ensured every possible measure has been made to ensure Day Walking groups are COVID-safe and will follow the British Mountaineering Council's guidance for groups of hill walkers, as well as the government guidelines concerning social distancing.

Rachel Ashburner, Head of Product at HF Holidays, commented about the new Day Walks: “We are really excited to be able to launch this new opportunity of guided day walks from our country houses and invite walkers to join us on 100 days of walks of iconic routes and also some lesser known gems that are off the beaten track and an utter delight to discover.  

"All our walks are led by our fantastic local volunteer walking leaders who cannot wait to get back to the great outdoors! With a huge variety of different routes and levels this is a fun way to re-engage with our members, guests and new walkers whatever their experience and post lockdown fitness levels! We will re-open our country house hotels in May but until then we will enjoy walking day by day."

Along with many other UK holiday companies, HF Holidays have experienced an increasing appetite for their walking holidays and staycations for 2021, with significant growth of 50% in their Trails & Island-Hopping holidays, which has inspired an additional seven new destinations to an already vast collection.  Also popular is their Guided Walking and Self-Guided Walking holidays. 

In anticipation of further demand, HF Holidays have worked hard to ensure all 2022 holidays for the UK, Europe and further afield, are available for guests and members to book online now.  For full details and to book a HF Holidays UK Guided Day Walks visit hfholidays/daywalks Terms & Conditions apply.


As an award-winning Tour Operator with over 100 years’ experience, HF Holidays understand the importance of trust and assurance for guests when making any booking or travel arrangement.  Guests can book with confidence with the knowledge that their money is protected, as all HF Holidays’ trips without flights are protected by ABTOT, and by ATOL for holidays with flights.

HF Holidays ensure guests have peace of mind when booking a holiday and have introduced these additional measures:

• Guests can transfer or defer a UK holiday for FREE, up to 14 days before departure • If HF Holidays cancel a holiday, guests can transfer for free or request a refund

• Bookings are fully protected: all our holidays benefit from ATOL or ABTOT bonding

• All UK houses received ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification from Visit England & Visit Scotland

• HF Holidays only work with partners who are ‘Covid-compliant’

• Will only travel to FCDO ‘Covid-safe’ destinations  

This assurance, as well as their Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 support and emergency contact service, is why members and guests continue to feel safe and secure when travelling with HF Holidays. This is ever evident in accolades such as the FEEFO Platinum award, which was retained for a second year in 2021 and the WHICH recommended provider award, of which HF Holidays has been recognised for the last 3 years.

For HF Holidays full Book in Confidence policy visit: https://www.hfholidays/bookinconfidence And for all the latest offers and details on all holidays visit:

Charlestown Harbour is a Cornish gem

Discover shipwrecks and sunken treasure in Cornwall's historic harbour

The historic harbour town of Charlestown is the perfect destination to discover Cornwall's rich and mysterious seafaring heritage. Originally a fishing village, the port played a vital role in the late 19th Century China clay industry, transporting the precious mineral from the nearby quarries around the world.

Today it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its Grade II listed granite quay and resident tall ships provide the perfect backdrop for period dramas and pirate tales ranging from BBC's Poldark and Treasure Island to Alice in Wonderland.

The town is also home to the fascinating Shipwreck Treasure Museum. Located just above the harbour, it houses one of Europe's largest collections of shipwreck treasures. The Shipwreck Treasure Museum offers a fascinating insight into the story of shipwrecks, telling the tales of their ill-fated final journeys and their amazing re-discoveries.

Children exploring the 'Cabinet of Curiosities' at the Shipwreck Museum in Charlestown.

The museum showcases over 8,000 finds recovered from the seabed, ranging from Ancient Egypt and Rome to surprising modern-day discoveries. It's also home to the world's only intact barrel of coins to ever be recovered from a shipwreck.

Curated over the last 40 years, the museum is a treasure trove of unusual and interesting items, unlike any other open to the public. Visitors can travel back through time to view artefacts from Henry VIII's famous war ship, The Mary Rose, and props from the blockbuster Titanic, including the 'Heart of the Ocean'.

For an in-depth museum experience guided tours with our resident historian are available and give visitors the chance to ask questions they may have whether they're concerning sinking, to seabed, to salvage. Groups are welcome at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum with advanced booking for groups of 10 or more.

Coaches are able to use the drop off and pick up area outside the Merchants of Charlestown, which houses the Shipwreck Treasure Museum, and drivers can make use of free entry to the museum. The town is also home to an array of eateries including cafes, restaurants and pubs; many with views overlooking the sea. Charlestown's also the perfect place to pick up local crafts, an antique or even some country lifestyle inspired clothing at Joules.

Eurostar celebrates its 25th birthday

Celebrating 25 Years of Eurostar

Wednesday 14 November is a very special birthday for Eurostar – it turned 25! Thanks to a revolutionary feat of engineering achieved by 13,000 workers, the undersea tunnel - the longest in the world - was opened in 1994. Since that date, the company has carried over 200 million passengers and counting.

To mark the special occasion, Eurostar has been getting all misty-eyed with nostalgia while looking back at your favourite moments of travelling – from meeting your future partners to taking your daughter on her first family trip.

To top it off, just in case you think you know everything about them, Eurostar have some fun facts that will blow your mind. Of course, a celebration wouldn’t be a celebration without a special cake – so we have compiled a list of the perfect pâtisseries for you to indulge in.

Paris is a city of pâtisserie obsessives, from perfectionist pastry chefs to opinionated locals, who love a precision-piped Mont Blanc or yuzu-spiked tarte au citron. The best addresses possess both style and substance, combining real artistic flair with impeccably sourced ingredients. Special occasions always call for something particularly delicious – though really, you don’t need any excuse to indulge yourself in Paris.