I’m often asked where’s the one place I’ve visited that has totally blown me away, and I have to say, that’s a tough question to answer.  I’ve seen so many wonderful places and each has their own special memories.  But, in terms of one country where I felt totally privileged to experience it, where I got access to a culture not many people get to see and where I travelled through some spell binding scenery, it has to be Bhutan.  The Buddhist culture also drew me in as I’m a sucker for that whole spiritual stuff: monks in burnished red robes, stunning temples and making a wish as I spin the multi-coloured prayer wheels.

Bhutan will soon be displaying its beauty to the world when (Prince) William and Kate visit the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” this spring, as part of a larger trip which will also take in the sights of India.

What makes Bhutan so special is that this tiny landlocked  country (tucked away between Tibet and India) was isolated from the outside world for many years and only opened up to visitors in 1974; even now it carefully manages the number of tourists that visit the country so as to preserve its unique culture and traditions –  men are expected to wear local dress of a knee length robe, there are laws prohibiting smoking and billboards, and the nation supports Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product; visiting this Kingdom will certainly enhance your general net happiness.  Read more

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Forgive me for making a sweeping statement, but for guaranteed winter sun with a less than 8 hour direct flight from Manchester, don’t most people just press the Dubai default button?  Of course, Dubai is great if you want a city that shouts at you 24 hours a day and has a sort of “look at me” feel about it.  And of course it does have rather a lot of good hotel options. But that’s the thing about Dubai, there’s just a lot of everything – hotels, skyscrapers, people, bling. For something a lot calmer and with less crowds my preference is Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s less brash neighbour.

Here are some of the reasons why I think it’s time to consider ditching Dubai as the default for winter sun and maybe give Abu Dhabi a whirl instead: Read more

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Holy cow – family friendly India……really!

by Lesley-Ann on February 5, 2016

If you’re looking for an exciting family holiday in a vibrant country, that will leave you and your children with amazing memories, then look no further than India.  This multi-faceted country crackles with energy and colour and is totally unique: from cities like Mumbai and Delhi, to forts and palaces, desert ranges, tiger reserves, the beaches of Kerala and Goa, and astonishing sights like the iconic Taj Mahal.  But, with so much to see and do and long distances to travel between many of the sights, you really don’t want to bite off more than you can chew in one trip, unless you want to spend the whole time in planes, trains and automobiles.  And believe me, once experienced, India will captivate you and you will want to return. Read more

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Where will 2016 take you?

by Lesley-Ann on January 7, 2016

With another year all wrapped up, and one where I did the most travelling ever (yes, really!), I need to challenge myself by setting the “travel bar” even higher in 2016.  I have quite a few things already planned and some things I’ve left room to hopefully squeeze in, whilst I continue to arrange some amazing trips for my clients.  I hope you might find some inspiration from this short list of travel related things I’m looking forward to in 2016.  Or, maybe you have some wonderful ideas of your own?  Either way, I’m here to help make 2016 a fabulous travel year for you too.

As for me, in 2016 I will be: Read more

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Ten Travel Temptations – Pure and Simple

by Lesley-Ann on December 10, 2015

PURE is an invitation only annual travel show in Marrakech. This November I got my first invite to the event thanks to the testimony of some of my lovely suppliers. I returned with a suitcase full of business cards and a head full of ideas. Here are my top ten – of a very long list – of inspiring and exciting travel experiences which hopefully will set you daydreaming about your next trip: Read more

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