News Column

Travel: Corkboard

August 9, 2014


Take a leaf out of Huckleberry Finn's book and while away sunny days on a raft. A moored raft with a two-storey wooden cabin, that is. Sleeping four, The Raft at Chigborough, Essex, has a rowing boat for splashing around in, or for heading over to tea rooms on the bank. Run on solar power, it's cosy inside, and there's a proper barbecue so you can cook outdoors. There's also a wood-fired hot tub for a relaxing soak under the sky. * 0117 204 783,, from pounds 195 a night

Travel trend

Dronies - short videos shot by drones - are the new selfies. Now Tourism New Zealand is sending a fleet of drones to ski slopes on South Island, the adventure centre Queenstown and Lake Tekapo, to capture sporty visitors in action.

* Find the drones, share your dronies and win prizes at

What's new?


On Sumba, pictured, a little-known island in eastern Indonesia, many islanders still observe the Marapu religion and build enormous stone tombs to bury their dead. It's one of the only surviving megalithic cultures in the world, and a new tour from Asian firm Backyard Travel offers the chance to visit. The beaches

are pretty special, too.

* From pounds 232 for four days' B&B, including guided tours and two lunches but not flights,


Fans of 1990s TV series The Darling Buds of May can now stay on the farm where it was set. The original oast house at Buss Farm in Bethersden, Kent, has been converted into self-catering accommodation, as has the cart lodge; the farmhouse will soon follow suit. The 35-acre farm includes the meadow where Charley and Mariette courted - perfick.

* From pounds 695 a week for the lodge (sleeps four) and pounds 995 for the oast house (sleep eight),


Cinecitta World is a new theme park 25km from Rome that celebrates the history of the studios that came to be called Hollywood on the Tiber. Providing an alternative to Disneyland, it offers a combination of roller coasters, replica film sets and stone-baked pizzas (no greasy burgers on the menu).

*, adult euros 29, child under 10 euros 23

Adrenaline rush

Via ferrata, the climbing method that originated in the Dolomites, has gone indoors, at Kendall Wall in Cumbria, offering the fun of climbing, but none (or little) of the danger. Using iron rungs, bridges and ladders, expect to follow a route full of vertical tunnels and terrifying traverses - with a death-defying drop at the end.

* Adult pounds 22, child (over-10s only), pounds 20,

Family fun

Explorer-themed rooms, live animal displays and even wake-up calls from Mojo the macaw are on offer at a new hotel opening at Chessington World of Adventures on Monday. The new Azteca hotel has 69 rooms, including family suites with a bunk bed area sleeping up to three children.

* B&B from pounds 169 for a family of four, packages available,

Culture watch

Adrenalin junkies heading to the Rocky Mountains can also get a shot of culture from this weekend, with the opening of the Aspen Art Museum. Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shiguru Ban's building has a sculpture garden on the roof and 33,000 sq ft of exhibition space, with glass lifts and walkable skylights.

*, free


With scores of ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran operators, planning a Greek island-hopping trip can be a headache. A new portal has brought together information from 85 companies plying 13,440 routes, making it the most comprehensive Greek ferry schedule in English. Simply enter your start and end destinations, and your date of travel, to plan your journey.

* Find the portal at

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Guardian (UK)

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