February is drawing rapidly to a close, and since it’s been a month of downpours and sodden shoes, we could all do with a look at what’s going on in the world of travel. But should coverage of the West Country floods put you off your Cornish beach break this year? Read on to find out, plus more on the revival of the TV travel show and whether the Channel Tunnel has really changed the way we travel to Europe…
UK holidaymakers encouraged to head south-west
We’ve all seen the dispiriting pictures of the floods in Wales and the South of England over the past few weeks and there’s no doubt that many lives and livelihoods have been affected. But as the crucial summer season approaches for many West Country coastal resorts and rural villages, visitors are shying away from what they see as a drowned landscape.
There may well still be water aplenty in the Somerset Levels, but Cornish favourites such as Newquay and Falmouth, and much of the Devonshire countryside remain accessible and as picturesque as they have ever been. People are remaining resilient and encouraging others to visit, as one Somerset local, Phoebe Judah told the Independent: ‘People feel that the whole landscape down here is a no-go area; but my property is completely approachable and the views of the glimmering water – and all the wildlife it brings – are beautiful.’
The return of travel TV
As the BBC prepare to air their new travel programme, simply called The Travel Show, it seems appropriate to reflect on how our consumption of travel information has changed, along with advances in technology and holiday preferences. At one time, we might have switched on Holiday or Wish You Were Here to see presenters like Judith Chalmers and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen strolling down a beach front in the Costas; now we scroll the web to find the best deals on Brazil surfing holidays or climbing in the Austrian Alps.
This is not to say UK holidaymakers have given up their love for Mediterranean hotspots, travelling in their millions to Spain and Greece last summer. But travel is more about tailored choices and individual itineraries now, as well as utilising the wealth of information that only the internet can provide. So can The Travel Show compete with more proactive forms of gathering travel information? Let’s watch this space.
Has the Channel Tunnel changed our holiday habits?
The Channel Tunnel – or ‘Chunnel’, as it’s affectionately known – will be twenty years old this May. It was officially opened in 1994 and at the time, it was assumed that the cross-channel ferry would soon be a thing of the past. Fast-forward to the present, and there are even more ferry operators running trips between Britain and France, with the Dover-Calais route being the most popular. Alternative ports in France have given UK visitors direct access to the French countryside, with the line between Portsmouth and Cherbourg providing a gateway to the Loire Valley vineyards.
Of course, L’Eurostar is still unrivalled when it comes to a 35 minute journey to Paris, with routes on to Lille, Brussels and Bruges, not to mention connections to just about anywhere on the Continent, making travel to Europe much more feasible for a long weekend. So if you fancy a few days in France or Belgium, check out Holiday Hypermarket’s full range of Eurostar city breaks.
What are your opinions on this month’s travel news stories? Will you still be heading to the West Country for your summer break? Would you rather take the ferry or the Eurostar to Europe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!