Travel and Holidays

Easy Travel to Perth

More to Explore With Daily Direct Flights from London to Perth

The best that Western Australia has to offer is now closer than ever with the launch of daily, direct Qantas flights between London and Perth.

Just an hour south of Perth by train or car, Mandurah and the Peel Region showcases the best of everything that puts Western Australia at the top of the bucket list for so many UK travellers including stunning beaches and waterways, unrivalled seafood, world-renowned golf courses, spectacular views, history and culture, wineries, breweries, shopping and adventure.

For those heading to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, you can see the Peel Region in all its glory in Ben Elton’s first Australian feature-length film Three Summers, which was filmed right in the heart of this magnificent landscape.

Mandurah is Western Australia’s largest and fastest growing regional city and is set against a backdrop of magnificent beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour.

It has recently been named Western Australia’s Top Tourism Town and is the perfect base to take day trips to explore the wider Peel Region. In an easy half hour drive you’ll find beautiful wineries, breweries, winding waterways, rolling green hills and tiny timber towns nestled in the forest.

Mandurah and the Peel Region is home to one of Australia’s healthiest dolphin populations which you spot on a dolphin cruise or while dining in one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Seafood lovers will rejoice in the number of dining options available from the great Mandurah tradition of a picnic fish and chips on the newly refurbished foreshore to ‘catch and cook’ cruises featuring blue manna crabs, native to Mandurah waters, and rock lobster. If you enjoy a spot of fishing, you’re sure to land a catch in the Peel Region.

Mandurah boasts Western Australia’s own modern Venice, with a network of canals featuring luxury homes. You can hire a boat and cruise them yourself or join an organised tour. The canal homes are particularly spectacular on the warm summer nights of December when the locals participate in a spectacular Christmas lights display.

If it’s a holiday with a difference you’re after, Mandurah is the only place near Perth you can hire a houseboat. Completely unwind and take in the views while slowly meandering down the Murray River or Peel-Harvey-Estuary for days at a time.

Travel Facts

Getting there

Qantas flies daily direct from London to Perth. Mandurah is less than an hour south of Perth. When driving, travel the Kwinana freeway south, easily accessible from many points in Perth, and exit at Mandjoogoordap Drive. Trains and buses operate between the two cities and depart from the Perth city centre.

Click on www.transperth.wa.gov.au

Staying there

Mandurah and the Peel Region has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. There is a choice of resort hotels, caravan and camping facilities, charming bed and breakfast accommodation, self-contained apartments, forest cabins and even houseboats for hire.

Getting around

Buses operate around Mandurah, but if you want to explore the Peel Region extensively you can hire a car or join a tour. Taxis and Uber drivers are also available in Mandurah.

When to go

The Peel Region can be visited any time of the year. Being on the coast, it’s spectacular in spring and in summer. But during winter, the scenery is amazing. You can find something to do all year around.

Further Information on Mandurah and the Peel Region visit www.visitpeel.com.au

Windsor's Floating Restaurant

New Five Course Menu for Bateaux Windsor

Visitors to Windsor’s only floating restaurant will be full of the joys of spring after its chefs unveiled a new, five-course menu.

The catering team on board Bateaux Windsor’s vessel The Melody, at Thames Side, are showcasing British ingredients, from asparagus and English lamb to wild flower honey and watercress.

Evening diners will be offered a five-course meal, starting with artisan bread, farmhouse butter, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, followed by Somerset brie, with panna cotta, brioche crumb and spears of English asparagus.

They can then choose either smoked mackerel rillettes with horseradish mousse and textures of beetroot and radish or a vegetarian option of pickled and salt baked baby vegetables with fromage blanc, wild flower honey and new season leaves.

Main course choices are English lamb rump with aged Parmesan risotto, wild mushrooms, watercress purée and pan jus, or pumpkin tortellini, with sage butter, pine nuts and parmesan crackling.

Dinner will be rounded off with pistachio and apricot torte with apricot coulis, crème anglaise and mint poached apricots, followed by Fairtrade coffee, teas or Infusions and petit fours.

Those stepping aboard The Melody for a lunchtime cruise through the historic town will be served the lamb or pumpkin main courses followed by the torte, tea, coffee and petit fours.

Along with the lunch and dinner cruises, Bateaux Windsor also operates afternoon tea and Sunday supper cruises and The Melody also be privately hired for events such as networking receptions, gala dinners and award ceremonies.

Lunch cruises board at 12.00hrs noon and return at 13.45hrs and cost £36 per adult and £22.50 per child. Dinner cruises board at 19.00hrs and return at £22.00hrs and cost £76 per person.

For further information, or to book, call 01753 202302

Or visit www.bateauxlondon.com

Cruise Holiday to Alaska

Cruise to Alaska

Princess Cruises has revealed its most popular Alaska shore excursions for 2017, following the recent conclusion of ITV’s ‘The Cruise’ documentary. The three-part series was set on the 3,100-guest Star Princess as she sailed across the north American state last year.

Millions of viewers tuned in for ‘The Cruise: Voyage to Alaska’, which has led to Princess’ booking numbers to the region doubling.

The shore excursions will all be available during Princess’ forthcoming Alaska season, which starts next month and comprises seven ships sailing locally, the largest ever deployment:

In Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, the most popular excursion was a visit to the 3,000-year old Mendenhall Glacier. This was followed by watching whales and a host of other local wildlife via a specially-designed catamaran.

In Ketchikan, known as Alaska’s ‘first city’, the best-seller was a trip to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. The show includes the opportunity to watch traditional lumberjack activities including axe throwing, log rolling and a 50-foot tree climb race. Also included is a visit to Totem Bight State Park, which features an ancient Indian campsite complete with traditional totem poles.

And in Skagway, gateway to the 19th century gold rush, most visitors headed to a journey on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. Built in 1898 during the gold rush era, the railroad climbs from sea level to almost 3,000 feet and passes waterfalls, mountains, glaciers and the gold trail itself.

Meanwhile, Princess Cruises has also unveiled a fabulous new Alaska shore excursion for 2018, as a ‘Mendenhall Glacier canoe and Alaska brew adventure’ will shortly be made available. It comprises a two-hour canoe experience offering up-close views of the Mendenhall Glacier, via icebergs and the 115m Nugget Falls waterfall, followed by a visit to the Alaskan Brewing Company.

Other excursions include seaplane tours, fishing, bear expeditions and dog sledding. Tailored activities will also take place onboard, including ‘puppies in the piazza’, where Skagway’s newest sled dogs as well as their handlers visit the ship to meet the guests and pose for photos.

All excursions will continue to be on offer in 2019, when Princess celebrates its 50th anniversary sailing to Alaska.

Princess Cruises is offering a 7 night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise, sailing from Vancouver to Whittier (Anchorage), on Royal Princess from £2319 per person. Departing Saturday May 25, 2019, ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park (scenic cruising) and College Fjord (scenic cruising).

To book visit www.princess.com

Call 0344 338 8663

Or contact your local travel agent.

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Silver Travel May
Prize Draw

At Silver Travel Advisor you can find a wealth of information, impartial reviews written by people like you, as well as suggestions, ideas and destination reports about travel for the over 50’s.

If you have any questions, a team of experienced Advisors who are retired travel professionals are ready to assist at no charge. And you can share your own experiences too by writing reviews. 

It’s easy to enter the prize draw

May Prize Draw

Win a Wonderful Short Break to Guernsey with Silver Travel

This month’s super prize is a wonderful short break on one of the Channel Islands, Guernsey. A quietly beautiful place, now in the spotlight due to the recently released film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. 

Our lucky winner will be able to explore the locations in the movie and find out more about the history of the island, through the fascinating museums. 

Still from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

With pretty beaches, beautiful sub-tropical gardens, quiet roads good for cycling and a mild climate, this is a great place to re-charge your batteries and relax. 

Staying at  the stylish Les Rocquettes Hotel (health suite, indoor pool and beauty salon) on the outskirts of St. Peter Port, for 3 nights B&B, the prize also includes return flights with Flybe from a selected choice of UK airports or return ferry travel from Poole with Condor Ferries for two people and a car .

Discover Island life and all its joys!

Read more about Guernsey 

Read more about the film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  

Enter the Prize Draw

Terms & Conditions

See www.silvertraveladvisor.com for more details as well as terms & conditions and the growing list of holiday prize winners.  

To Enter the Competition

Click on Enter Now 

Peruvian Cuisine & Heritage

Culinary Delights at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Discover the Culinary Heritage of the Incas and Cuisine of the Andes with Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel.

Peruvian cuisine is widely acknowledged to be one of South America’s most exciting and diverse, due to rich native products and ancient cooking techniques used in the Southern Andes for millennia.

The luxury Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel pays homage to these traditions by sharing them with guests and encouraging participation in activities such complimentary cooking demonstrations, Andean flavours tasting menus, and a traditional Inca Pachamanca or ‘earth pot’ lunch.

Pachamanca is a centuries old culinary tradition of the Incas. During this two-hour lunch, the Sumaq team shares knowledge that has been passed down through the generations on how to prepare a meal using an underground earth pot.

Guests will learn how a traditional Andean pachamanca is prepared using stones placed in the earth to form an underground oven. Ingredients such as potato, fava beans, aromatic herbs and meats are placed in the pot and covered with large leaves before the oven is sealed with earth.

As the ingredients heat and aromas begin to fill the air, guests can make a toast to Mother Earth with a glass of Chicha de Jora, a local fermented corn beer.

Peruvian culinary traditions have been evolved and brought up to date at Sumaq’s gourmet restaurant, Qunuq. Qunuq – the Quechua word for ‘warm’ – presents a contemporary interpretation of traditional Andean cuisine using ingredients sourced from Peru’s coastal, highland and jungle regions.

Sumaq’s chef, Ribelino Alegria, interprets classics such as causa and ceviche, alongside a gourmet menu where native ingredients like potatoes from Anta, lamb from Ayaviri, salt from Maras and trout from Lake Titicaca are brilliantly presented in a beautiful dining room with a view of Machu Picchu Mountain.

A new six-course ‘Apucc Mikhuna Andean Flavours at Sumaq’ tasting menu, available for lunch or dinner, gives diners a glimpse of the diversity of Peruvian produce.  

Dishes include Tuber Cappuccino – a cream of Andean tubers with a Quishuarcancha mushroom duxelle sauce, pachamanca style foam and native potato chips; Puca Ceviche – delicate salmon trout cubes in tiger’s milk flavoured with Camu Camu and strawberry; lamb shank slowly simmered in chicha de jora corn beer, accompanied with native potato gnocchi in a Huancaína sauce and fresh criolla; and avocado risotto au gratin, with Andean cheese and Chiclayo duck magret, accompanied by a mix of garlic-flavoured mushrooms with confit cherry tomatoes and fine herbs. 

A choice of desserts includes Lucuma panna cotta with Quillabamba Valley coffee ice cream over a chocolate crumble.  The tasting menu costs USD 118 per person.

For travellers wanting to recreate a taste of Peru when back home, Sumaq’s daily cooking demonstrations that are a complimentary experience for guests.

During the classes, lead by one of the culinary team, guests will learn to prepare a perfect ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish consisting of citrus-marinated seafood, spiced with chilli pepper, as well as the art of mixing a pisco sour — a Peruvian cocktail infused with exotic native fruit.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is privately owned and operated by a Peruvian family with decades of experience in hospitality in the region. The entire hotel team is aware of the positive impact that tourism can have on the development of local communities and producers.

Sumaq sources all its ingredients from local community suppliers, respecting fair trade and encouraging development. Suppliers to Sumaq’s kitchens include the organic horticulturists of Parcaraqui village in Urubamba, who grow all the hotel’s vegetables.

For further information about the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel visit the website at www.machupicchuhotels

Travelling with Pets

New Perks for Pets Travelling on DFDS

DFDS are introducing a new range of pet-friendly perks and products on their ferry services from Dover to both Calais and Dunkirk this summer to ensure furry family members have the best possible journey.

With summer being the peak period for pet travel to the Continent, the ferry operator will be giving away 1,000 Furry Pet Travel Kits that include a pop-up water bowl or travel bottle, a bottle of fresh water, tasty treats and a pet-travel checklist for owners to ensure their pet is safe and ready for departure.

The new pet travel measures were launched at an event attended by a number of canine DFDS ambassadors sporting branded high-viz jackets at the Port of Dover yesterday. A number of competitions were also held to give passengers the chance to win free future pet travel.

The new measures include a dedicated webpage with easy-to-access information on travelling on ferries with pets, a pre-travel text message service that links passengers to the pre-travel checklist online and free window ventilation guards that will ensure airflow while the pet remains in the vehicle during the journey.

Window ventilation guards will be offered on-board the car deck at embarkation and collected at disembarkation.

Steve Garner, Customer Experience Manager at DFDS says, “At DFDS we are always looking for new initiatives to improve the products and services we offer to enhance the customer experience for our valuable guests, certainly not forgetting our furry pet travellers too, it is absolutely essential we prepare and support our customers prior and during travel, we do hope the new additions to our pet travel service will fulfil this.

We could not let this go without a celebration and we brought together our customers, employees and some furry friends to celebrate at the Port of Dover yesterday, along with celebrations by our colleagues in Calais and Dunkirk too, there is nothing better than sharing new ideas and services, and seeing our guests delight at the same time, so much fun was had.

We are looking forward to welcoming all our passengers and furry guests on-board our cross channel services over the summer season.”

Throughout the summer, check-in staff will be loaded with tasty snacks and treats ready to hand out to all feline and canine friends. Passengers will also spot a number of dedicated ‘Pet Pals’ on hand, patrolling the lanes, to answer any customer queries and a local vet will also be available to provide first-aid to any poorly pets. 

Once on-board, passengers are able to visit their pet throughout the voyage so long as they are escorted by a crew member to the car deck. Prices to travel with pets with DFDS start from £15 per pet, per journey. 

For information and advice on travelling with pets visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk

Bucket and Spade Holiday

Visit Scotland’s Beaches this Summer 

Get your bucket and spade at the ready! With stunning coastal views, white sands, waves that are surf-ready, and family-friendly activities, Scotland’s beaches are where it’s at this summer.

Just add in some tasty fish and chips, an ice cream, and perhaps a sandcastle-building competition, and everyone can create holiday memories to last a lifetime – not forgetting your four legged friends!

Not sure which Scottish sands to explore? Here are some great beaches to consider.

Island adventures

Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris is regularly included in lists of the most beautiful beaches and it’s not difficult to see why: with miles of white sandy beach and clear blue water, visitors to the island may be forgiven for imagining they are visiting a Mediterranean archipelago. It is certainly one of the most spectacular beaches in the Outer Hebrides. Incidentally, anyone travelling to the Outer Hebrides can enjoy the unique experience of travelling by plane and landing at the beach airport at Barra.

St. Ninian’s Isle in Shetland is a stunning tombolo (a natural sand causeway with sea on either side) on the west coast of Shetland, linking the South Mainland with the Isle. The beach itself is often compared to beaches in the Caribbean, and there is an archaeological site located on St. Ninian’s Isle. If that wasn’t reason enough to visit, Shetland has been chosen as one of the places in the world with the best sunrises.

Calgary Beach on the Isle of Mull is a haven of white shell sand and blue sea, a picture perfect impression of what a beach in the Hebrides should look like.

Similarly, the stunning beach at the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Orkney should be on everyone’s list of must-visit beaches, being as it is close to Skara Brae, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Coastal discoveries

Film-fans will recognise West Sands Beach in Fife from the opening scenes of the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, set against a stirring Vangelis score. The beach stretches out for two miles, within walking distance of St Andrews town centre and world-famous golf courses.

For breath-taking tranquillity, it would be hard to match Achmelvich beach in Sutherland.  Located on the now legendary North Coast 500 driving route, the unique morphology of the area means there are many nearby walks and climbs, including the famous Suilven, for those interested in hiking.

Family friendly

Kippford Beach in Dumfries and Galloway is the perfect seaside retreat for families located at the friendly town of Kippford, near to Castle Douglas, on the Solway Coast. It is certainly unique as the beach is made up almost entirely of cockle shells.  The coastal walk from Rockcliffe to Kippford is also a great addition to any trip.

North Berwick Beach in East Lothian has long been a favourite seaside escape for families, located only 25 miles from Edinburgh City Centre. With plenty of shops, cafés and the Scottish Seabird Centre close by, a trip to the beach at North Berwick is the perfect day out.

Who knew Aberdeen had dolphins? Yes, visitors to Aberdeen Beach might be lucky enough to spot one of the happy animals in the sea. Aberdeen is home to one of the greatest coastlines in the world. A 165-mile-long strip which includes golden sandy beaches, hidden caves and rugged cliffs. Described by National Geographic as ‘one of the world’s outstanding coastlines’ thanks to its areas of natural beauty, featuring puffins, seals and dolphins, set against an unblemished backdrop of big skies and deep blue seas.

Surfers’ paradise

Surfers’ favourite Tiree is the most westerly island in the Inner Hebrides.  Lovingly referred to as the ‘Hawaii of the north’, Tiree is perfectly placed to catch the swell from the North Atlantic, giving year-round, consistent waves to catch. The island’s many white sandy beaches face every direction, so even if the waves aren’t quite right for surfing on one bay, they’re likely to be ideal on another. There are also plenty of local surfing schools to cater for all levels.

Thurso in Caithness is also an ideal place to hit the waves, as the northerly tip of the Scottish mainland is known for providing the most consistent and best quality waves.

Dog friendly beaches – as chosen by VisitScotland’s Ambassadog George

With sand dunes, a golden beach and a shallow sandy bay, the beach at Applecross in the north Highlands is the perfect place for four legged friends to sniff about, allowing their owners to enjoy gorgeous views across to the Hebrides.

In addition, Irvine beach in Ayrshire has plenty of grassy sand dunes and is far away from the road to let dogs off the lead.  It’s a popular spot for dog meet-ups and dog walking clubs.

Finally, pups will have great fun splashing around at the beach at Luss in Loch Lomond, with their owners having plenty to choose from for dog-friendly cafés close-by, including the Coach House Coffee Shop

For more information on things to do in Scotland visit www.visitscotland.com

Italian Art Holiday

Cinque Terre Art
Walk Italy Holiday

Called a “pastel-hued perfection” by Lonely Planet, Cinque Terre is comprised of five cliff-side villages along the Italian Riviera whose colourful beauty draws thousands of visitors every year.  It is also one of the inspirations for Art Walk Italy, a unique, seven-night walking vacation offered by ‘The Blue Walk’, a vacation specialist with tours in France, Italy and Greece. 

Led by American artist and teacher Leslie Fehling, Art Walk Italy features onsite sketching and watercolour classes combined with daily coastal walks and tours of villages steep in Old World charm. Fehling, recognized in the U.S. and Europe for her lively style, tutors guests in drawing, watercolour techniques, hand lettering, page design, and travel sketching – all while they absorb the scenic beauty of some of the world’s most stimulating environments.

Leslie Fehling, American artist
and teacher, leads Art Walk Italy

Art Walk Italy is available September 22- 29, 2018, with rates starting at $3,350, based on double occupancy.  In addition to art lessons, rates include daily buffet breakfast, a welcome dinner in Rapallo and farewell dinner in Lenno, all hotel taxes, fees, and service charges.  The groups are small, allowing both the new and experienced sketchers to gain valuable insight into their craft through personalized instructions.

“Going to these popular destinations during the shoulder seasons, when they are relatively free of crowds, is the best time to ‘brush up’ on your creative nature,” said Jeannette Candau, co-owner of  The Blue Walk.  “If you’re new to drawing, Fehling is experienced in helping students bring out their best to capture the essence of the quaint village scenes and stunning coastal trails.”

After a night in Milan, Art Walk Italy guests spend three nights in the town of Rapallo, from which they visit Cinque Terre and Portofino.  For the second half of the tour, they take a train and short ferry ride to Lake Como, a playground for the wealthy that sits at the foot of the Alps in Northern Italy. 

Guests will sketch the villas, mountain, and lakeside scenes of the towns of Bellagio and Lenno.  Art Walk Italy also offers an optional three-night extension, September 29 – October 2, which visits Venice, Verona, and Padua in Italy.  Rates for the extension start at $1,095 per person, based on double occupancy.

“The smaller crowds during our visit allow our guests to linger, individually or in groups, at almost any point in their walks to capture some of the world’s most magnificent views,” said Candau.

Candau noted that The Blue Walk tours continue to grow in popularity.  Spring tours are sold out, but there are still spaces in their fall tours. The company is also accepting reservations for their 2019 tours, typically offered in spring and fall. 

About The Blue Walk

The Blue Walk offers small-group walking vacations in unique and undiscovered regions of France, Italy, Greece, and England. Its clients enjoy leisurely strolls along the beautiful coastlines, village squares and open spaces of Europe while staying at luxury four or five-star boutique hotels and resorts.

Each tour includes daily one hour to half-day walks in some of the world’s most serene surroundings. The Blue Walk also offers themed vacations with well-known, talented and creative teachers. Hiking boots and backpacks are optional, as the routes are always “people friendly,” following safe paths that are a unique blend of gentle walking trails, coastal meandering, and urban strolling.

For more information about The Blue Walk visit www.thebluewalk.com

Pet Friendly Holidays

Dogs Welcome at
The
Hydro Hotel

There won’t be a need for kennels anymore as canine friends are now welcome at a popular Lake District hotel. Labradors, terriers, spaniels and plenty of other dog species can all now stay the night at The Hydro hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere.

The Helm Road hotel has created a number of pet friendly rooms meaning owners will not have to worry about using the services of kennels.

Jodi Masterson, Managing Director at Squire Hotels says, The Lake District is a popular area for dog walkers so we are delighted to now offer pet friendly rooms.

“As a dog owner myself, it isn’t always easy to find availability at a kennels, so we are pleased to offer dog owners the opportunity to bring their pets with them. Each room will be thoroughly cleaned after each stay and they’re also be a number of treats in there meaning the dog will feel at home!”

Yummy food and a comfy bed will be part of the pet friendly rooms along with poop bags, toys and food bowls. All of the products have been provided by Beco Pets as part of a new partnership with Squire Hotels, who own The Hydro.

Toby Freeman, Marketing Manager at Beco Pets adds, “It’s so great to be part of the rise of pet-friendly holidays and working with Squire Hotels to make sure pups can be as comfortable as their owners. Beco Foods 100% fresh meat recipes should be a hit with their 5 Star dog diners.”

The Hydro is now accepting booking for its pet friendly rooms, each booking is subject to terms and conditions.

For further information visit the website at www.squirehotels.co.uk

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