Category Archives: Travel tales

At least we'll be safe in Yemen

If you’ve been put off holidaying in traditional hotspots like Thailand, Greece, Turkey and Israel this summer by varying bouts of civil unrest, perhaps you are looking for somewhere new. How about Yemen, tucked at the bottom of the Arabian peninsula? There’s tonnes of history, it’s hot, there’s sand (lots of it) plus the Arabian [...]

Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open today – first pics

In a few hours time, Virgin Holidays customers will be the first people into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventures in Orlando – the rest of the not-so-wizarding world gets in from June 18. Lookswise, the new park is pretty spectacular – see some of the pics below – but [...]

Exclusive: first pic of cast members at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This morning, Harry Potter film stars Robbie Coltrane, Matthew Lewis, Emma Watson, and Oliver and James Phelps began their sneak peek tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter by entering Hogsmeade. The group was invited to Universal Orlando Resort for a first-look at the immersive environment, and will spend the day visiting many of [...]

A first look at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I’m currently over in Orlando for Virgin Holidays 25th birthday celebrations and managed, along with a couple of other journalists, to get a sneak preview of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The ‘theme park within a theme park’ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure opens next week to special Virgin Holidays preview customers with [...]

Guest post: A note from the front of a Chinese orphanage

Around six months ago, I received an email from Susan Baller-Shepard. Susan has an adopted Chinese daughter and was planning to embark on a trip to volunteer in a Beijing orphanage. I asked her to send me a guest post of her experience and she agreed. True to her word, she responded with a suggested [...]

V.Hols in V.big travel writing cock up

Why on earth do people think that just anyone can be a travel writer? Because if you’re one of the dozens of scribes trying to scratch out a living at a time when newspapers are cutting commissioning budgets, the latest announcement from Virgin Holidays can only be seen as yet another  insult to the profession. Apparently, [...]