Travel and Holidays

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win a £50 Marks & Spencer Voucher

Are you a Solo Traveller?

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Silver Travel to offer five lucky readers the chance to win a £50 Marks & Spencer Voucher!

Our friends at Silver Travel Advisor have a favour to ask – they would be delighted if you could complete their survey on your holidays habits and preferences. And if you do, you’ll be in with a chance of winning one of five lots of M&S vouchers to the value of £50.

The results of this survey are used to inform the travel industry about what solo travellers are looking for.

For Your Chance to Win

Click Here!

And Complete the Silver Travel Survey Now!

You could be a lucky winner! Good luck!

Woodland Holiday Homes

4 Woodland Holiday Home Destinations That Will Have You Trading Sand for Trees

Picture your ideal holiday home location, does it consist of white sandy beaches? Most people jump straight to the coast when they think about the perfect location for their holiday home. Sun, sea and sand – the combination everyone longs for. However, these destinations can’t always guarantee a relaxing holiday; particularly in peak season.

Those looking for complete relaxation should consider trading sandy shores for verdant trees. A woodland holiday home is the ideal way to escape the bustle of everyday life, allowing for affordable getaways at the drop of a hat.

Forests and woodlands, unlike the beach, are multi-seasonal. While a fantastic destination in the summer, not many will want to brave the coast during the bitter chill of winter. Forest destinations, however, offer new blooms and wildlife in spring, shaded but warm walks in the summer, the fiery colours of autumn and the frosted glitter of winter – the perfect excuse for multiple weekend breaks and holidays.

Here are a few idyllic UK woodland destinations that make the ultimate location if you are considering investing in a staycation property.

The New Forest

Recently discovered to be the most instagrammable forest in the UK, the New Forest has a lot to offer those looking at investing in a holiday home in the South.

The New Forest is the largest royal woodland in the UK. Its historical roots date back to the Norman conquest when in 1079, William the Conquer proclaimed it to be a royal forest, used primarily for hunting royal deer.

Nature lovers, or those looking for a literal breath of fresh air, can enjoy the 219 square miles of woodland that make up this impressive national park. It also boasts more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths, from short strolls to long-distance trails. But what makes holidays in the New Forest a completely unique experience is that visitors are likely to walk alongside the free roaming ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer along their exploration.

It isn’t all about walking and cycling though, there is plenty to do away from the forest itself. Adventurous older children and adults can partake in many activities in the area, such as archery, horseback riding and water sports.

Families, including those with younger members, can enjoy the large offering of local attractions surrounding the forest park, for example the New Forest Wildlife Park and Paulton’s theme park.

There is plenty to see and do in this beautiful UK location; making a holiday home in the New Forest worth the investment. 

The Lake District

Nothing will make you feel a world away from urban life like a break in the Lake District. Its rolling hills, dense forests and wide stretches of lakes will help you forget the troubles of daily life and unwind.

The Lake District offers accessible routes for all, including those in wheelchairs and those with buggies. There are 48 Miles of Without Stiles routes across the National Park. These laidback routes will allow those who need wheel-friendly tracks to enjoy the stunning views this destination has to offer.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once you have finished walking, there are plenty more activities and attractions to suit all ages. Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at kite surfing, mountain boarding and abseiling while families can explore caves, try a treetop trek or even visit the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. There is no chance of anyone getting bored here, whether you visit once, twice or even five times a year.

Those looking for something a little different can even give ghost hunting a go. The Lake District is renowned for spook spotting, so those interested in the paranormal can try to see some for themselves. Will you spot Bjorn, a thirteenth century outlaw that haunts the Styhead Pass? Or maybe a ghostly galloping horse carrying a coffin in Wasdale Head?

The Royal Forest of Dean

The second largest royal forest in the UK, the Royal Forest of Dean is a fantastic woodland destination to consider if looking for a family holiday home.

The forest offers a range of natural and man-made attractions for all types of weather. On sunny days why not plan a visit to Puzzlewood, a fairy-tale like day out? Puzzlewood is an entrancing, ancient woodland, packed with fantastic tree and rock formations to explore. It is also a popular TV & film location, including Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. This attraction makes the woodland a thrilling place to be for a younger audience.

On rainy days you can visit the Clearwell Caves, these ancient iron ore mining caves are exciting and atmospheric. They contain interesting and informative displays throughout showing visitors how the ore and ochre has been mined here for over 4,500 years.

Although worrisome for a few, the wild boar that live in the forest are likely to interest animal enthusiasts. They are primarily nocturnal but can sometimes be seen out and about during the day. However, they should be appreciated from afar and not approached, as they are wild after all! As well as boar, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the forest, surrounded by the impressive stature of the conifers, oak and beech trees.

Argyll Forest Park

Can you believe you can drive to the Rough Guides’ 2017 most beautiful country in the world? That’s right, no need to fly, Scotland is accessible by car and the perfect place for a break. To fully immerse yourself in Scotland’s beauty, a holiday home near Argyll Forest Park is ideal. 

The forest park was the first forest park to be created in the UK in 1935. It includes differing landscapes from fresh and seawater lochs to high peaks to thick, tall forests. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot rare red squirrels in Glenbranter or perhaps get a glimpse of red deer in Corlarach.

With this location holiday home owners wouldn’t actually have to choose between the beach and the woods, as Argyll Forest Park gives access to both.

Stroll along Cowal’s longest sandy beach in Ardentinny and explore the many interesting trails in this area, there is also a trail suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, making it accessible for all. 

Although the forest park has a range of exciting activities nearby, Argyll Forest Park offers visitors the chance to truly escape, appreciate the sounds of nature and enjoy a peaceful slice of the UK.

So next time you are day dreaming about your ideal holiday home destination, will you be thinking of sand or trees?

For more information about Away Resorts click on www.awayresorts.co.uk 

Dine and Stay Holiday Deal

Dine and Stay Offer at The Hope and Anchor in Lincolnshire

One of Lincolnshire’s leading restaurants with rooms has unveiled an exciting new dine and stay deal. The award-winning 19th century Hope and Anchor, overlooking the Humber estuary at South Ferriby, is offering guests the chance to enjoy a room for £99 and receive £30 towards their meal.

The offer is valid until Friday 31st May 2019 and is subject to availability.

Email info@thehopeandanchorpub.co.uk and include a daytime contact number.

For further information or to browse the menus please visit the website at www.thehopeandanchorpub.co.uk

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Silver Travel
December 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. 

You can read about the latest special offers and holiday discounts too. 

December Prize Draw

Win 12 Days of Christmas Prizes from Silver Travel Advisor and their partners

December sees the fabulous 12 Days of Christmas Prizes from Silver Travel Advisor and their partners. 

There will be the opportunity to win a UK short break, a delicious Hotel Chocolat hamper, a super soft navy bathrobe, rucksacks filled with holiday must-haves and £500 worth of vouchers towards an escorted tour. 

Plus plenty more travel goodies to make you smile!  You really would be delighted to win any one of these prizes, and you have 12 chances to do so. 

Why not sign up as a member (it’s absolutely free), write a review, post a comment on one of the articles or get involved on our Forum

These are all easy ways to enter the prize draw!

Take a look at what our winners won last Christmas and throughout 2018. You could join the list! 

Click Here to Enter the Prize Draw

Terms and Conditions 

Enter the Fabulous
12 Days of Christmas
Prize Draw Now!

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

Historical Day Out

See the Hidden Side
of Blenheim Palace
 

Blenheim Palace is inviting visitors to take a privileged peek into the Private Apartments which have been lived in by the Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough for 300 years.

The behind the scenes guided tours of some of the Palace’s most opulent and luxurious rooms provide an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ look at life in the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The rooms, which are normally off-limits to visitors, provide a fascinating insight into family life at the Palace with their mix of precious antiques, tapestries and artworks amongst modern living items and family photos.

The intimate tour begins with climbing the Main Stairs and peeking into the Dressing Room and through the Duke’s Corridor taking visitors on a tour of family life, with views into the Master Bedroom and Dining Room. The tour also takes in the Sitting Room where His Grace and family relax and mixes priceless heirlooms with modern technology.

Walking through the ornate corridors, visitors will be led to the Smoking Room which contains full size tapestries from the Alexandra the Great series which were commissioned by the 1st Duke.

The Smoking Room is also home to the famous Stubbs Tiger painting, which is based on a real tiger which lived at Blenheim Palace from 1763 and was gifted to the 4th Duke by Lord Clive, Governor of Bengal.

Visitors will also be taken around the Grand Cabinet, a room full of unique historical artefacts and family heirlooms. The Visitor’s Book will also be on display, and visitors can see the list of illustrious guests who have stayed at the Palace, from royalty to celebrities.

Amongst many rare and incredible historical artefacts, visitors will be able to see His Grace’s Dining Room laid with Winston Churchill’s own private china set. Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace in the West Wing, regularly used the Spode Copeland and Spode Maritime Rose, set which dates from 1891 to 1900.

Guests must book in advance online or at the Welcome Desk or Great Hall on the day; Palace, Park and Gardens ticket is also required.

Private Apartment Tours at Blenheim Palace start from 10th February

See the East Wing of Blenheim Palace, learn about the 300 years of history in the rooms.

General admission: Tour £5.00 + Palace, Park & Gardens Ticket: Adult £26.00

Concession £23.00 Child £14.50 Under 5s free.

For details visit www.blenheimpalace.com

Festive Foodie Getaway

Enjoy a Festive Foodie Getaway for Christmas

The award-winning School of Artisan Food and Ye Olde Bell, a beautiful 17th century hotel and spa, are offering the perfect foodie getaway this Christmas.

For food lovers and home baking enthusiasts, Christmas is the perfect time of year to share delicious homemade treats with family and friends. The hands-on Christmas Baking course offered by The School of Artisan Food is the ideal opportunity to get into the festive spirit, while learning how to bake a selection of Christmas favourites to perfection.

Taught by the award-winning author and internationally renowned baker, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, food lovers will create a selection of festive treats, including a German inspired stollen and a modern twist on the traditional mince pie as well the skills to make puff pastry, marzipan and enriched doughs.

Now The School, based in the former fire stables in a beautiful secluded countryside setting, in the midst of the Welbeck estate, Nottinghamshire, has teamed up with Ye Olde Bell to offer a fabulous festive getaway.

The festive package is on offer for Sunday November 11th or Sunday December 9th. In addition to enjoying the course guests will be able to stay at Ye Olde Bell, located a short 20 minute drive away from the school in the rural village of Barnby Moor. You can choose to stay the day before or same day of the course and the package also includes traditional English breakfast at the hotel.

The hotel is on the borders of Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire has been passionately restored and renovated by its current owners. It features 59 beautiful rooms, suites and lodges, all individually styled with period furniture, luxurious fabrics and contemporary bathrooms.

Dining at Ye Olde Bell ranges from classics and contemporary Rosette dishes served in the elegant Restaurant 1650 or the relaxed St Leger Bistro and Bar to hearty Sunday roasts and traditional afternoon teas.

Last year the hotel opened a new multi million pound spa, which includes a host of thermal experiences, to stimulate the body and mind, indoor/ outdoor vitality pool, the delicious Herb Garden Brasserie, gorgeous alpine inspired outdoor relaxation area, individually style treatment rooms and hair and beauty salon.

The course is being offered at £125 when booked with the hotel (normally priced at £175) and Ye Olde Bell are offering special room rates of £119 double/twin; £89 single per night including full English breakfast.

To make a booking call 01777 705121 and quote ‘School of Artisan Food Christmas Baking’.

To learn more about the School visit www.schoolofartisanfood.org

Road Safety Campaign

Say No to Driving Blind

Support New Road Safety Petition

A national campaign to stop UK motorists ‘driving blind’ and save lives is winning support from road safety, MPs, community activists and the media. Sixtyplusurfers can now sign a special petition to offer their own support.

Shockingly, UK drivers can pass their test without having a vision examination by an optician to prove their eyes are roadworthy, then drive for the rest of their lives unpoliced.

The Driving Blind Campaign is petitioning the Government to act to cut road accidents caused by drivers with defective vision, a behaviour pattern linked to 3,000 casualties every year.   It needs 10,000 signatures for politicians to respond.

It follows a high-profile case in March 2017 when three-year-old Poppy-Arabella Clarke was killed at a pelican crossing as she crossed the road with her mother, Rachel. The driver admitted he had not seen the red light or the pelican crossing.

Campaign spokesman Nigel Corbett is presenting a new manifesto for a change in legislation to legally require drivers to be tested by an optical professional before their driving test and at licence renewal applications.

“To its shame, the only assessment of a driver’s visual capacity is a basic vision test by a non-medically qualified driving test centre worker which only considers their ability to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres,” says Nigel Corbett.

“They can then drive for the rest of their lives without ever having to prove their vision is fit for purpose.  We need drivers to provide evidence from an optical professional that their eyes are roadworthy before they get behind the wheels.

“Having campaigned in the high street, we know our best supporters are older, so we know that Sixtyplusurfers will rally to our cause and support us on social media too.”

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and one of the first to sign the petition, says, “Few Brits know that UK regulations for drivers’ eyesight are among the weakest in Europe and rely on self-regulation and reporting. The UK test ignores other essentials such as peripheral vision.”

Campaign supporter Viscount Simon, formerly vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety, has said, “The British public is serious about making roads safer by stopping people driving blind.  A serious political re-think at the highest level is now required. That is why I’m saying no to driving blind”.

Police and road safety veteran Martin Cooke and campaign supporter explains, “As a police officer I dealt with a number of totally unnecessary crashes caused entirely by drivers’ bad eyesight.”

Corbett adds, “Unlike most of Europe, the DVLA relies on drivers self-reporting and self-regulating their vision, despite evidence showing that often eye-exams are neglected.

Mike Killpartrick, Optician (left), Nigel Corbett (centre) and Martin Cooke (right)

In September 2018 three police forces ran road side eye tests for a month. West Midlands Police confirmed that one in twenty drivers tested during that time were unable to pass the current, basic vision screening test to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres.

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) warned that roadside tests show drivers can fall below the required standard as their eyesight changes, often without realizing it. 

Figures obtained from the DVLA indicate that nearly 50,000 motorists had their licence revoked or refused in the period from 2012 to 2016 due to poor vision.

A Brake study in 2014 showed that 1.5 million UK motorists had never had their eyes tested.  A Direct Line study in April 2016 revealed that 37% of people had not had an eye test in the previous two years. The World Health Organisation has declared poor eyesight as a main risk factor in road crashes.  

Corbett’s manifesto would bring the UK into line with countries like Italy, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Serbia and Turkey.

Support the Campaign

Discover how to support the campaign at www.drivingblind.org.uk

Join the editor in supporting @DrivingBlindUK on Twitter and Facebook quoting the hashtag #DrivingBlind. 

Sign the petition and share it with friends, family and your local MP.

Just Click Here and sign today!

Strictly Come Dancing Break

Shearings Launches Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour Packages

Anyone loving the return of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night TV should grab their sparkly jacket, put on their dancing shoes and book now for the Live Tour, which returns in January 2019. Tickets have just gone on sale and Shearings Holidays has created a range of packages ideal for any keen fans of the show.

The 2019 tour will be hosted by former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, directed by TV judge Craig Revel Horwood and will feature some of the best-loved dancing stars and professional dancers from the 16th series of the award-winning BBC One show.

Audiences will enjoy an all-new celebrity line-up, show-stopping routines with amazing choreography, incredible live music, and have the power to decide who wins the Glitterball Trophy at the end of each show

Two and three night short breaks are available that include tickets to see the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham or London.

Birmingham – Two days from £139pp – Departing 19 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation, ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Birmingham Arena, plus a visit to Stratford en-route. Based on two sharing.

Liverpool – Two days from £139pp – Departing 28 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation, ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at the Echo Arena, plus a visit to Stratford en-route. Based on two sharing.

Manchester – Three days from £199pp – Departing 25 January 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation plus ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Manchester Arena. Based on two sharing.

London – Two days from £149pp – Departing 7 February 2019, price includes all coach travel from various pick up points, overnight accommodation plus ticket and transportation to the Strictly Come Dancing live show at Wembley Arena. Based on two sharing.

For more information visit the Shearings website at www.shearings.com

Or call 0344 874 8220

Mini Cruise to Amsterdam

Sail Into 2019 in
Style With DFDS

Award-winning ferry operator DFDS is encouraging customers to book cabins now to celebrate New Year at sea on an extra special 3-night mini cruise to Amsterdam.

Sailing from Newcastle on 30th December and returning on 2nd January, passengers can enjoy exclusive entertainment, three evening meals, 2 breakfasts and a lavish gala with an all-you-can-eat menu. All of which can be enjoyed while indulging in a free bar and watching Amsterdam’s amazing fireworks display at midnight on New Year’s Eve, with complimentary sparkling wine.

A selection of specially arranged on board entertainment will include a spectacular magician and a live performance from crooner Jason Isaacs, a Newcastle-born jazz and blues recording artist who has performed across the world.

With two days in Amsterdam and up to five hours each day to explore, with included coach transfers from ship to city centre, you can choose to visit a vast selection of attractions. Stroll round some of the famous museums including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, or soak up the atmosphere of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities at one of the seasonal ice rinks.

For more information, or to book visit: www.dfds.co.uk/NYE

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