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Where to Visit at Easter

It’s Easter again! If you didn’t get a chance to get away this year or you’re planning ahead and wondering where you should visit next Easter, look no further!

 

Florida

For warm weather, white sandy beaches, unique landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, and some of the best theme parks in the world, Florida is difficult to beat. Whether you’re interested in visiting the art-deco neighbours of Miami, finding an alligator amongst the mangroves of Everglades National Park, or tracking down a famous mouse is more your thing, get planning your next trip to the Sunshine State.

 

Coachella (California)

Coachella is one of the biggest and best-known music festivals in the world which takes place every April in the Coachella Valley. Away from the festival itself though, the city of Palm Springs is full of fun and exciting resort hotels, championship golf courses, amazing hiking trails and a noteworthy dining scene. The city is also close by the starkly beautiful landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park.

 

Toronto

By the end of April, Canada’s largest city welcomes Spring again and the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, making for Instagram-worthy views across the city. While here, make sure to spend time in the Distillery District, the place to go for some of the best food and drink in the city. Of course, no visit is complete without a trip to the top of the CN Tower, and perhaps a road trip to the iconic Niagara Falls.

 

Charleston

Lorded as one of the friendliest cities in America, perhaps a trip to Charleston (and its neighbouring city of Savannah) could be your next springtime visit to the USA? Soak up the cobbled streets, antebellum trees, horse-drawn carriages, and the colourful Georgian homes of Rainbow Row. Don’t leave without trying oysters on the seafront and enjoying some of the amazing jazz music that the Deep South is so famous for.

 

Texas

Much like the Deep South, summer in Texas can be very hot, so it is often though that Spring is the time to catch the best weather here. With no shortage of cosmopolitan cities in Houston, Dallas and Austin, authentic ranch experiences, sandy beaches and vast open spaces and National Parks, what’s stopping you?

 

Hawaii

Take part in a traditional luau on a New Years trip to Hawaii; an experience completely unique to the island state. A popular option is the Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Also worth considering is the ‘Party of the Year’ Aloha Tower Marketplace, where you’ll find rides, food trucks, DJs and live music before a firework display at midnight.

 

To celebrate Easter a little differently next year, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to get planning your Spring 2023 trip!

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Celebrating New Year in the USA & Canada

New Years' Eve is the ultimate excuse for a party all around the world, and while things may be a little more muted again this year, there’s nothing to stop us planning a future New Year holiday in some of the most amazing spots across the USA & Canada.

 

Niagara Falls, Ontario

As a location, very few destinations can beat Niagara Falls. There are usually concerts set up throughout the area, which are free to attend, and fireworks, a great line up of musical guests and of course Niagara Falls lit up in her best colours, from Queen Victoria Park.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans is known as a party city year-round, especially Mardi Gras in February and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Head to Jackson Square in the famed French Quarter where bands and entertainers play through the night, watch fireworks over the mighty Mississippi River and enjoy the afterparty at the bars and clubs up and down Bourbon Street.

 

Orlando, Florida

Spending New Years Eve at Disney World in Orlando is sure to be an experience unlike any other. Disney offers New Years Eve packages at many of their hotels, including the chance to watch the fireworks from California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and attending the celebrations at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.

 

New York City, New York

New York’s infamous ‘ball drop’ is arguably the most iconic of the world’s New Years’ Eve celebrations. The tradition began in 1907 and, though it may be a little different this year, it usually attracts around a million visitors to the city. If you don’t fancy being in Times Square, there are many hotels which offer New Years’ packages, including The Knickerbocker, where you can watch the celebrations below from their rooftop.

 

Whitehorse, Yukon

What could be a more memorable way to bring in a New Year than by being with your loved ones, witnessing one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)? This could be your reality on a holiday to the Canadian territory of the Yukon.

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

Take part in a traditional luau on a New Years trip to Hawaii; an experience completely unique to the island state. A popular option is the Waikiki Starlight Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Also worth considering is the ‘Party of the Year’ Aloha Tower Marketplace, where you’ll find rides, food trucks, DJs and live music before a firework display at midnight.

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

In Las Vegas, you could be forgiven for thinking that any night was a celebration, so on New Year, the city must do something special. In a ‘normal’ year, you would expect to find celebrity-hosted nightclub parties and world-class dinner shows. Many casinos also have firework displays at midnight that can be viewed from throughout the Strip.

 

Banff, Alberta

Banff is a staple winter destination, but have you considered celebrating New Year there? You can enjoy many winter activities, including some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, dog sledding and ice skating. On the big night itself, watch fireworks and countdown to midnight with other revellers on Caribou Street.

 

Nashville, Tennessee

Music City Midnight is the centrepiece of celebrations in Nashville, featuring great, well-known musicians, before the city’s own icon ‘Music Note Drop’ of confetti cannons and of course, a firework display. For something a little different, you can also attend a New Years event at the famous Ryman Auditorium or of course, many of the city’s bars and clubs.

 

If you’d like to experience some of these New Year celebrations for yourself next year, we would love to help you plan a holiday to remember, please do get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Dark Sky Reserves in North America

Between them, the US and Canada boast more than 50 accredited Dark Sky Parks and Reserves; wilderness areas where light pollution is controlled and limited so that the true beauty of the night sky can be appreciated, making for some unforgettable memories and enviable photographs.

 

We’d love to tell you about some of our favourites …

 

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park was designated a gold tier Dark Sky Park in 2015, joining the 4 other ‘Mighty Five’ national parks in the state: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion. Attend night sky ranger programs to learn more about the stars you’ll see and even look through a telescope to get a better look.

 

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend, in western Texas and close to the Mexico border, encompasses approximately 800,000 acres of the Chihuahuan Desert. Here, you’ll likely encounter few fellow tourists and even less light pollution. If you’d rather not explore alone, join a guided moonlight walk with a park ranger.

 

Death Valley National Park, California & Nevada 

America’s hottest and driest national park sits across the California-Nevada state line. Not only does exploring the park at night make for a cooler experience, but it also means the opportunity to see thousands of stars with the naked eye. It is recommended that visiting during a new moon will enhance your visit even further and there is a Dark Sky Festival held here every spring.

 

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Few destinations evoke imagery quite like the Grand Canyon. While the views during the day are extraordinary, the dark skies make it well worth looking up too. You may be lucky enough to see a meteor shower, star cloud or even catch a glimpse of Saturn or Jupiter.

 

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes is affectionally known as America’s sandbox, but much of the park’s beauty is seen after dark. The neighbouring Sangre de Cristo mountains shelter the park from nearby light pollution, making near perfect conditions for viewing up to 15,000 stars.

 

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree’s distance from any major city means that it is one of the best places in the world to go stargazing. For the best conditions, visit between April and September, make your way to the east of the park (where the closest source of light pollution, Phoenix, is about 300 miles away), and try to visit alongside a new moon.

 

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta & Montana

Waterton-Glacier is special, not just for its dark sky status but also because the park straddles an international border between Montana in the US and Alberta in Canada. The best spots for stargazing, according to park rangers, include Cameron Bay, which is just walking distance from town, the Red Rock Parkway, and the Bison Paddock Overlook, which shows off the prairie’s skies in all their glory.

 

Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland

Terra Nova became Canada’s 20th Dark Sky Preserve in 2018 and Parks Canada recommends four key destinations within the park for the best views. Sandy Pond is thought to have the darkest skies in the area; Ochre Hill was originally used as a fire-watch station and is now a great place for panoramic views, Blue Hill is the tallest point in the park and at the Visitor Centre you can get a great view of the stars reflected in the water of Newman Sound.

 

Jasper National Park, Alberta

At 11,000 square kilometres, Jasper is the second largest Dark Sky Reserve in the world. It hosts the Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival every October, which includes talks from prominent star-gazers and events including ‘Symphony Under the Stars’.

 

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

As well as being a certified Dark Sky area, Fundy National Park is known for having the highest tides in the world. To combine the beauty of the tides with the night sky, try to visit during the first or last quarter of the moon to really appreciate the movement of the water at night.

 

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

At Kejimkujik National Park, join a telescope stargazing session if you visit in summer, at a purpose-built aboriginal ‘Sky Circle’, enhancing your appreciation of the night sky. As well as the stunning skies, the darkness will also mean that nocturnal animals such as bears and coyotes aren’t bothered by human lights, so will be much more active than in other, more polluted areas.

 

If you would love to visit any of these amazing dark sky areas with your family and friends, please contact us, we would love to help you plan an unforgettable star-gazing experience.

 

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The Spookiest Haunted Houses of North America

Spooky Season is well and truly here … and it is a BIG deal in the USA and Canada. To celebrate this most creepy of seasons, we wanted to share some of the best real haunted houses on the continent with you.

 

Are you brave enough to incorporate any of these into your next road trip, or have you experienced any paranormal activity at any of these locations? We would love to hear! 

 

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA

According to legend, this rambling Victorian mansion is haunted by the ghosts of everyone killed by a Winchester rifle, the gun that was developed by the home’s owner William Winchester and his father before they died within 4 months of each other in 1880. To appease the spirits, William’s widow Sarah began creating a labyrinthine house filled with halls that lead nowhere, doors that open onto sheer drops, sloping floors, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms and 9 kitchens.

 

Since her death in 1922, the home has hosted tours for those willing to walk among the Winchester ghosts. Would you dare?

 

Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, IA

Back in 1912, the Villisca Axe Murder House in Iowa was the site of a horrifying crime that left an entire family dead by axe. There were several suspects, but no one was ever charged with the horrific crime.

 

The family’s ghosts are said to remain in the house and visitors after a taste of the supernatural can book tours of the site and you can even spend the night in the home if you feel brave enough.

 

The Sallie House, Atchison, KS

This unassuming home in Kansas is rumoured to be the dark lair for a demon who takes on the form of a little girl. Several of the houses’ former residents reports strange phenomena including flickering lights, possessions, unexplained voices and even strange scratches, marks or burns on their bodies.

 

Today, the infamous house now offers self-guided tours or special overnight visits.

 

The Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, MA

The Borden family home, and site of Andrew and Abby Borden’s brutal murder in 1892, has now been turned into a museum and bed & breakfast where guests can walk in the footsteps of the family and even stay the night in one of its reportedly haunted rooms.

 

Andrew & Abby’s daughter Lizzie was long suspected of committing the crime but was never charged, due to a lack of evidence.

 

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC

The castle, built in the 1890s by Robert Dunsmuir, is one of Victoria’s most loved tourist attractions and one of its most haunted. Visitors have reported hearing a mysterious piano playing and others claim to have seen a woman in white, supposedly Mrs. Dunsmuir, looking out the window. Many attribute the castles’ supernatural proclivity to Dunsmuir’s untimely demise just a year before the building was completed.

 

The house is now open for self-guided tours – visit and keep an eye out for any ghostly activity!

 

House of Death, New York, NY

The brownstone in Greenwich Village is said to be haunted by 22 people who have lived or died within the walls of the home, on West 10th Street, including that of a 6-year-old child who was beaten by her adoptive father. There are also claims that author Mark Twain once called the address home and is known to visit from time to time.

 

The home is now apartments so you can’t tour the interior but many ghost tours of the city stop by the building.

 

The Whaley House, San Diego, CA

Back in 1852, James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was hung for the crime of grand larceny. A few years later, Thomas and Anna Whaley built a house on the spot where Robinson died, and it has since been said that Yankee Jim’s footsteps can be heard clumping around the house. The Whaley’s and even their family dog are also said to haunt the home.

 

If you visit and tour the home on your travels, we’d love to hear about it!

 

The Keg Mansion, Toronto, ON

Now a Keg steakhouse in downtown Toronto, the mansion was once the home of industrialist Hart Massey and his family. Legend has it that after the death of Massey’s daughter in 1915, their maid was so distraught that she completed suicide in the building.  

 

Many diners have reported having seen the maid and several other spirits. So much so, in fact, that the staff at the restaurant keep a ‘ghost log’ to document encounters. 

 

If you want to go and explore any of these haunted houses for yourself as part of your next road trip, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to help you put together a spooky fly-drive!

 

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A Touch of Luxury ... at Home

Since we are all spending more time at home, we thought we would share with you some of the best hotels in the UK, as voted for by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller. From the Highlands of Scotland to Land’s End, you do not have to go aboard to enjoy a touch of luxury!

 

LONDON - The Dorchester

Located in London’s West End, the hotel has large, comfortable rooms decorated in an English country house style and décor that brings the outside, in. While away an afternoon people watching from the Promenade Restaurant and make sure to enjoy the afternoon tea before you check out!

 

THE COTSWOLDS - Dormy House

A converted farmhouse decorated in a sleek, contemporary style, it boasts good food, excellent service, and a truly fantastic spa. Some of the rooms, in the older farmhouse section of the hotel, have a cosier atmosphere while rooms in the newer parts of the property offer spacious, modern rooms.

 

HAMPSHIRE - Heckfield Place 

Set on 430 acres of Hampshire countryside, this Georgian manor has 45 rooms which boasts original features such as fireplaces and chandeliers as well as modern touches in the room accessories and art. The hotel also has its own farm, which provide two restaurants with fresh ingredients.

 

DORSET - Summer Lodge Country House Hotel

This hotel, located in the depths of the Dorset countryside was original built to plans drawn up by the author Thomas Hardy in 1893. It has since been modernised by still boasts four acres of manicured gardens as well as swimming pool, spa, and restaurant.

 

YORKSHIRE - Grantley Hall

Grantley Hall is a cosy property with touches of contemporary design, set on 38 acres of the North Yorkshire countryside. It has recently received an extensive refurbishment and now has state-of-the-art facilities, including a cryotherapy chamber, underwater treadmill, and spin classes in an altitude-adjustable studio.

 

MANCHESTER - Hotel Brooklyn

Opened in 2020, The Brooklyn might be Manchester’s newest and coolest hotel. The lobby features a drive-in style film projector and guests check themselves in on iPads. The rooms are decorated in a modern style with floor to ceiling windows and there are wildflowers on terraces to attract bees.

 

SOMERSET - The Newt

The Newt is made up of a Georgian mansion and converted outbuildings, all of which are individually decorated; the stable rooms even have quirky beds in the stalls. The land surrounding the hotel, including woods, orchards, and a deer park, is open to guests to wander. They also have a chef’s garden, which produces some of the best food in the area.

 

GUERNSEY - The Duke of Richmond

The Duke is arguably Guernsey’s grandest hotel, with fantastic views across the sea and an outdoor pool during the summer. The rooms are large and beautifully decorated. The biggest draw though is the Leopard Bar & Restaurant, which takes its name from its décor and serves incredible fresh seafood.

 

THE HIGHLANDS - The Torridon

Located 50 miles west of Inverness on the banks of Loch Torridon, The Torridon is a former shooting lodge dating back to 1887. The interior has been lovingly restored but remains in keeping with its history and stunning surroundings, including a pine-panelled whiskey bar, which has an option for every day of the year.

 

THE LAKE DISTRICT - The Linthwaite

A black-and-white-gabled Edwardian mansion in the Lake District, it is within walking distance of Bowness-on-Windermere, which means it offers amazing views, and is surrounded by 14 acres of landscaped gardens. The restaurant and bar have a great reputation too, especially the South African-dominated wine list, inspired by the property’s owners.

 

If you would love to visit any of these amazing hotels with your family and friends, please contact us, we would love to help you plan an unforgettable UK break!

 

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