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Sax and the Citadel

Taking care to enunciate his vowels, Stuart Render takes a breather next to the man who invented Charlie Parker’s instrument of choice – and visits the House of Sax……………. Walking through the streets of the picturesque southern Belgian (Wallonia) town of Dinant you spot a bench up ahead. Ah, time to rest your weary feet.…

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Islandwana Adventure

You’ve done Kruger and the Cape: now try South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal, writes Ben West….. Whenever I meet someone who has holidayed in South Africa, chances are it’s the same old places, such as the Kruger and the Cape. However, there’s a region of the country so often overlooked yet just as alluring: KwaZulu Natal,…

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How and when to do Dubrovnik on a short break

Croatia is a turquoise-watered, pebbly-beached hit among many Guild members. It has  a fascinating history, lashings of sunshine, the freshest seafood, and a rapidly maturing wine scene. The star of the show in terms of destinations is easily Dubrovnik, whose UNESCO-certified medieval Old City pulls people from all over the globe. Why it’s not all…

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Famous gardens revived

  Peter Jolly reports on the restoration of the once hugely popular Leonardslee Gardens Not content with buying one of the most prestigious golf clubs in Sussex and turning part of it into a wine estate, South African-based entrepreneur Penny Streeter has now acquired another local icon, nearby  Leonardslee, whose gardens are considered among the…

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Sardinian indulgence

  Sardinia hopes to attract more UK visitors out of season – but what can it offer in the cooler months? Rupert Parker joined a group of Guild colleagues invited to find out: In summer, Sardinia is busy with tourists heading for its glorious beaches. But this is March. The easyJet flight from Luton to…

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Leipzig – Bach to the present

Bryn Frank has travelled widely in Germany, but has a special fondness for the less well known east and north east of the country. It was probably sparked off by an unlikely detour he took in 1985.  We hadn’t expected so much snow – and we are cold and wet. Now three ‘Vopos’ (Volkspolizei) are…

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Norwegian Bliss – NCL’s latest 4,000-guest cruise ship

Last week Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) took possession of their latest cruise ship, Norwegian Bliss, during an on board signing ceremony at which ownership was transferred from the Meyer Werft shipyard to NCL and their respective flags were changed. An hour later the first guests – mostly journalists and agents, including half a dozen members…

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Zimbabwe: Tourism renaissance?

In November 2017 Zimbabwe experienced a change of president. Robert Mugabe, who spent almost 30 years as the head of state, was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. What impact is that having for the tourism industry? The Guild’s Stuart Forster went to find out: Bryan Rocher, general manager of Zambezi Cruise and Safaris, said the perception…

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Upskilling in the Kitchen: Guild members go back to school

Masterchef finalists? Maybe not yet. But a Guild group left a favourable impression in the teaching kitchen at Chewton Glen, the luxury hotel and spa in Hampshire. Ferne Arfin – who also took the pictures -reports: We travel writers have lots of experience in eating well…but can we cook? That was the challenge facing eleven BGTW…

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5 Scottish islands you’ve probably not been to

Robin McKelvie is an Edinburgh based member of the BGTW. He has written over a thousand articles about Scotland for magazines and newspapers across five continents, runs a Scottish travel website and the second edition of his National Geographic guide to Scotland was published in January. Click here to get in touch with Robin on…

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Secrets of the New Forest

A January day in Hampshire, in the wake of the Guild’s AGM in Brockenhurst, proved an eye-opener for Bill Birkett….. It was a dampish morning and the itinerary didn’t sound all that exciting – ‘Visit to Commoners Smallholding and walk’.  As it turned out it was an experience that touched the beating heart of the…

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Black Balsam and Kremlin limos – snapshots of Riga

In December 2017, the British Guild of Travel Writers visited Riga and Sigulda, in Latvia. Here, Simon Willmore relives the first half of the trip, to the country’s capital: Having being buzzed in beyond an inconspicuous door, we stepped in from the threatening snowstorm and entered the champagne boutique – there’s a sentence I wasn’t expecting…

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On a wing and a prayer – Brexit threat to air travel

If the Government appears to be heading for a European divorce on a wing and a prayer, how apt is that metaphor when it comes to air travel post Brexit, says Roger Bray. The European Commission has confirmed that on the day of Britain’s departure, “UK airlines will no longer enjoy traffic rights under any air…

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Another fine meze

On a culinary odyssey in Istanbul, Isabel Conway goes in search of the world’s finest kebab… Ottoman ruler Sultan Mehmet II did nothing by halves. A legendary gourmet with a penchant for indulging in lavish feasts prepared for himself, his mother, the harem and favoured guests he employed more than a thousand chefs in a…

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Marco Polo’s Favourite Island

Where better to take a holiday than Sri Lanka, where the locals are experts? The people of this tiny Ireland-sized island in the Indian Ocean enjoy a world-record 26 public holidays a year. In its favour is the climate: set at the southern tip of India at between 5 and 10 degrees north of the…