Wednesday, 09 December 2015

Places to Go in 2016

A look at some exciting new destinations, experiences and places in the news next year

Written by Wendy Gomersall



travel-590-4Edinburgh, Scotland's magnificent capital

Three special exhibitions, Fashioning A Reign: 90 Years Of Style From The Queen’s Wardrobe, will be held in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday and staged at each of her official residences during 2016, including the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for her birthday on 21 April 2016, as well as at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace in August, and Windsor Castle in September. The exhibition at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will highlight the use of tartan in royal dress.

0131-556 5100,


travel-590Chatsworth in Derby

Next year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, who designed gardens at some of our greatest stately homes, including Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth and Highclere Castle. A festival and programme of events is planned with the opportunity to visit more than 150 Brown gardens and sites. Farm Stay UK has launched a Capability Brown collection, highlighting more than 300 places to stay near a Brown garden or landscape. There’s also the Capability Brown Garden Trail, a weeklong, self-drive route combining stays at rural B&Bs, with visits to Brown gardens in Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Farm Stay UK: 01271-336141,


Next 28 July is the 150th anniversary of the birth of author Beatrix Potter. Best known for her children’s books, Potter was born in London but spent most of her adult life on her farm near Sawrey, Lancashire. Pride of Britain Hotels has three Lake District hotels: Holbeck Ghyll (from £160 per room), which hosted actress Renée Zellweger when she filmed Miss Potter; Armathwaite Hall (from £200 per room), and Gilpin Hotel & Lake House (from £255 per room).

0808-163 9093,


travel-590-7Galgorm Resort and Spa

The region has declared 2016 the Year of Food. Northern Ireland is renowned for its local food producers and delicacies such as Lough Neagh eels, Dulse (a salty, seaweed snack) and Ardglass potted herring. Stay at the recently refurbished Galgorm Resort and Spa (from £260 per person for a two-night package), a 30-minute drive from Belfast and well placed for Northern Ireland’s key attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway. The hotel’s River Room restaurant has a 3AA Rosette rating.

028-2588 1001,


travel-590-3Laugharne Castle in Carmarthenshire

The artsy/creative festival not to miss next year is Laugharne Weekend in Carmarthenshire, from 1 to 3 April. The line-up for 2016 so far includes Ian Rankin, Brix Smith Start, Alexei Sayle, Tracey Thorn and Keith Allen, with his famous annual ‘Laugharne’s Got Talent’. Tickets cost £88 with booking fee. The pretty coastal town of Laugharne was famously the home of Dylan Thomas. Stay at Mansion House (B&B from £125 per room, per night), a newly renovated 19th century mansion above the beach village of Llanste an.

Laugharne Weekend tickets:
Mansion House: 01267- 241515, www.mansionhouse llanste


Next year’s Channel Islands Heritage Festival (25 March to 10 May) will mark the 150th anniversary of Victor Hugo’s novel, The Toilers Of The Sea. Visitors can take a guided walk of the Guernsey  shing port that inspired the tale, and see Hugo’s home, Hauteville House. The festival will also focus on the islands’ maritime heritage, with museums and lighthouses to explore, and vintage bus tours around the islands.


travel-590-6Iceland's Vatnajokull glacier

It will be easier to get to east Iceland next year when specialist Discover the World launches a direct  ight from Gatwick to Egilsstadir. The service is scheduled to run on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 28 May to 24 September. Egilsstadir is a gateway to spectacular attractions such as Seydisfjordur, Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss and Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier.


Kotor in Montenegro is next year’s must-visit city, says Lonely Planet’s The Best In Travel 2016. A Unesco-listed heritage site, Kotor has an amazing 4.5km of ramparts and a lovely beach just five minutes’ walk from the old city. Prestige Holidays offers a week at Hotel Monte Cristo (from £586 per person), with flights from Gatwick.




The Trans-Siberian Express reaches its centenary next year. To celebrate, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains is offering one-off journeys along this route between Moscow and Vladivostok, including a Trans-Siberian Express Siberian Discovery trip, departing 26 July. The price, from £9,895 per person, includes 12 nights on the train, two nights’ hotel stay, meals, drinks, excursions, transfers, tour manager and gratuities. Flights extra.

0161-928 9410, 



Rio de Janeiro and Brazil may be grabbing attention due to the 2016 Olympics, but Costa Rica is bracing itself for a wave of interest, thanks to the new British Airways direct flights to San Jose. Scott Dunn offers a one-week Costa Rica experience, from £2,750 per person based on two sharing on a B&B basis, including six nights at the Alta Gracia hotel and return flights to San Jose from Gatwick (from 4 May).

020-3468 3329,

Contact Wendy at
Prices are correct at the time of going to press.

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