Adventure, America, Countries, Europe

Get on your bikes – cycling around the world

It’s obviously not how cyclists would have planned it but after years of being pilloried THEY now rule the roads.

Back when I was nearer Sir Chris Hoy’s age than Eddy Merckx’s I would cycle everywhere in Edinburgh.

And take my life in my own hands like the time I was cut up at the roundabout by an elderly driver.

I was cycling straight on while Mad Motorist was on the outside lane but decided to turn left.

Not a car to be seen in Amsterdam

Picking myself and my bike up from the ground I was met by s screaming pensioner telling me I should have signalled!!!

Or there was the time I was waterbombed by some hoodlums from a tenement flat.

Ridden off the road

While I was also sprayed in the face with party foam while cycling through Edinburgh’s New Town.

Mmmm… I’d like to see them try any of those stunts in Amsterdam.

When in Amsterdam

Where you’d probably be pushed into the canals by locals shouting CYCLISTS!

But they have a culture there, properly wide and thought-through cycle paths, and lanes separated by small walks beside dual carriageways.

Dutch driving

Which makes it a pleasure for all to enjoy the city with your IAmsterdam city pass www.iamsterdam.com Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

Le Tour de Murty: The Pyrenees

France prides itself as the home of cycling where families cycle together The Boat D’Azur and https://uk.france.fr/en.

Or if they’re holding you back then you can always climb the mountain to Le Pic du Midi.

Tour de force

Where cyclists either climbing or whizzing down the mountain have right of way.

The same applies in Scandinavia and Northern Europe where the bike is often the preferred mode of transport.

The best cycling culture in the world probably: Denmark

And where my old University pal New Yorker Tom turned up for our meeting by old Hans Christian Andersen’s statue on his bike.

Wonderful Copenhagen

See https://www.visitcopenhagen.com and fit a day in on your MSC Cruises trip around the Norwegian fjords https://www.msccruises.co.uk and https://www.msccruises.ie. The call of the fjords.

Tom’s own New York may not immediately strike you as a shining example for cyclists but we’re probably thinking Manhattan here.

Staten Island Bicycling Association http://www.sibike.org

And that’s another reason to explore the five other boroughs… for example Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.

American cycling dream

While when you do do Manhattan and The Bronx I’d recommend walking tours and here’s where you can get a start Old New York: Hamilton. And www.nycvb.com.

Look at the space you have to cycle

California is all about the outside life where cyclists don the latest fashions and pose on their two wheels.

On the Venice Beach www.venicebeach.com and Santa Monica https://www.santamonica.com/things-to-do/santa-monica-beach/… And My Weekend With Marilyn. And www.visitcalifornia.com.

With a Paralympic champion in Quinta do Lago

Sportugeezer

And my cycling experiences? Showing off on my Sporting break at The Campus in Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

And took a straight road too sharply.., https://www.quintadolago.com/en/sports-wellness/the-campus/. And SPORTUGAL

Remember too in these days of social distancing if you are a driver give cyclists some space.

America, Countries, Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Old New York: Hamilton

There is much more that’s old about New York than new.

It’s just that we don’t always see it.

Walk through Broadway as I did en route to my Kimpton Hotel in Little Brazil, or 130 W 46th Street and you can’t fail to notice the giant billboard for Hamilton.

It is, of course the hip-hop musical that has taken the world by storm and it is playing at the Richard Rodgers Theater.

It’s the hottest ticket in town and you’d almost need to be the President or Vice-President to get one.

Where dreams are made of: Manhattan

Veep Mike Pence did, and such is the status that the actors in Hamiton have that they felt empowered enough to lecture him on his politics.

His big pal, the Greatest Living New Yorker, wasn’t impressed and dissed their stand on Twitter demanding – hilariously – that they apologise.

Shame there’s no evidence he’s ever seen the production because The Alexander and The Donald have much in common.

Messing about on the river: On the Hudson

Both are big business, both half-Scottish and both ladies’ men, both egotists and both bestrode their age.

And yet just before the musical reconnected Americans with Hamilton, appartchiks were planning to have him replaced on the $10 bill.

It would have been a particular kind of humiliation for the man who saved the nascent Union from bankruptcy and set up the financial system.

The one that has served The Donald and countless others so well.

The city that Alexander built

And yet other than on Broadway and on the $10 bill where in New York will you find ‘The Greatest Ever New Yorker’?

The best place to start is Central Park.

Another Central Park celeb

You’ll see a steady flow of tourists stopping by to pay tribute to John Lennon who only actually lived here for a few years.

He was always going to go back to England anyway and wouldn’t have been any good in a war.

He’d be lying back in bed talking about, well ‘giving peace a chance.’

Where would the New Yorkers and the Americans have been with someone like him?

My relatives came by here

Hamilton, by contrast, fought bravely in the defence of New York.

And represented them proudly in government, both here when New York was the nation’s capital from 1875-1878.

And in Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Where is Hamiton, though?

He’d appreciate a visit.

His statue is in Central Park, on East Drive, opposite 83rd Street, on the way to Harlem.

And seeing as you’re in the neighbourhood and it’s a Saturday then why not sign up for Jimmy Napoli’s Outside In Hamilton tour http://www.hamiltonsnewyork.com in Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights.

But not on this ship: A submarine on the Hudson

And find out more about this larger-than-life character.

Visit the actual Morris-Juliet Mansion that Washington chose as his HQ at the Battle of Harlem Heights.

And where Hamilton was by his side.

Hamilton history

It was later the home of one-time Vice-President and our hero’s nemesis Aaron Burr.

And it was from here that Washington and Hamilton looked down the peninsula to Manhattan burning in the distance.

Some bigger buildings would block their view today.

Jimmy’s hour-long, one mile walking tour will take you to other important landmarks in The Great Man’s life, including the restored Hamilton Grange National Memorial.

The McNultys, my mum’s people (Irish and American).

If there’s anything he’s missed out – and there won’t be – you can always catch up at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 226 W 46th Street.

My VIP pal

Again you’d probably need to be pals with the President or Veep to get a ticket.

Good job I am.

The Commander-in-Chief has a pitch on Times Square, near the Naked Cowboy, but more appropriately near Hamilton.

And it’s a beautiful pitch… a beautiful pitch.

Travel facts

How to get there: New York is served by airlines from airline.
And you can get pre-clearance from Ireland. And by bus and trains if you are in the US. I took a Peter Pan bus from DC. It takes nearly five hours.

Where to stay: Kimpton Muse has an executive room, one king bed, two adults from the equivalent of €307.66 for the sample dates of Friday, August 4, to Saturday, August 5. See http://www.kimptonhotels.com. Also visit http://www.nycvb.com.

I’ll revisit New York, mine and my Irish family’s entry like so many others, to America in this blog.

This article was first published in the Irish Daily Mail in 2017.

It is part of a series America’s Capitals that also includes Washington DC http://Easy DC and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/philadelphia-freedom/

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Bring us your tempest-tost to America

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, 1883

And earlier in the poem dedicated for the new Statue of Liberty which would sit on the Hudson Bay, a gift from America’s old allies France…

‘Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand. Glows worldwide welcome.’

Today those same French must wait at least 30 days along with the rest of the European Union, or those in the Shengen free-travel zone.

Before they can re-enter America.

The UK, now out of the European Union, is exempt.

While Ireland is a special case.

Which will allow me (for now) to visit the Florida Keys in a week and a half… https://fla-keys.com.

But what will be when the American Travel fair, IPW, throws open its doors in Las Vegas I’ll just have to wait and see.

And hope that my friends who I meet up with every year in an American city will be there.

Swede Agnetha, who I first met in the Czech Republic www.visitczechrepublic.com and was the first journalist I met in Washington Easy DC and have seen every year since.

There was the coachload in Colorado The New Frontiersmen and https://www.colorado.com.

Of Chinese, German, Jordanian and a very annoying Australian Alpha Male although in the spirit of the New Colossus I’d let him back in

While I always look forward to seeing Dutch Martin, my Blues-loving pal from our Deep South odyssey… The Promised Land, The story of the Blues, The King of Kings.

Who I met in Los Angeles https://www.discoverlosangeles.com and www.visitcalifornia.com last year.

I know Lady Liberty has her arms outstretched for us all and let’s hope the 30-day suspension achieves its aim.

And that this tempest-tost traveller, and those like me, will all be toasting our favourite country with our favourite people…

In Vegas https://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic, in June.

Africa, America, Europe, Ireland

Elections – a general view around the world

Ireland has a proud record as a democracy, one of the oldest in Europe with its first elected MP, Constance Markiewicz.

Your choice

And this weekend Ireland goes to the polls although whichever parties form the next government they will have to do it without me.

Contender: He’s had three parties already

Because I’ll be back in Scotland… anything happen in the 13 years since I’ve been gone?

I always vote.

Man down

Not just because it’s hard to keep me quiet but because of the struggles my forebears and others have endured for this privilege.

Gone, but not forgotten: Saddam in Jordan in the Middle East

I heard first hand from the black South Africans in the Eastern Cape how they queued overnight in the Voting Line in 1995.

Any visit to South Africa will bring you nose up to the glass of Apartheid history. www.southafrica.net

Port Elizabeth’s Voting Line

And where better to start than in Nelson Mandela’s home province of the Eastern Cape… What’s new pussycat?

Where you can learn the unique Xhosa clicking language… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KZlp-croVYw.

With Freedom Fighter Amos

Of course democracy is a fragile way of life.

And it is eerie to think that you can see Saddam Hussain propaganda in peaceful Jordan… The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

On a G Adventures trip www.gadventures.com to Jordan www.visitjordan.com.

Well, he is half-Scottish

I had also been around four years previously with la famille.

For a New York Halloween www.nycvb.com where they were carving Obama’s face into pumpkins.

They prefer ski jumping here

And visited the Austrian Tirol on the day of their election. And Gamisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria where Hitler held the 1936 Winter Olympics.

With Topflightforschools… www.topflightforschools.

But this on German National Day where it was as quiet as a monastery.

MEET YOU IN THE BOOTH

Adventure, Countries, Culture

This Sporting Weekend – Touchdown Vegas

Celtic relocate to Dublin, Liverpool to London… what madness?

But not in the Oo Es of Eh http://www.visitusa.ie where sports franchises up and move across the continent at the drop of a helmet.

The Brooklyn Dodgers’ flit from New York http://www.nycvb.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ to LA in the Fifties will always remain the most controversial.

But who can blame them? Not me when I visited. http://www.visitcalifornia.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/.

But sports teams have been relocating since as far back as 1902 when the Milwaukee Brewers moved to St Louis.

To become the St Lous Browns.

While American Sports’ most famous team, the New York Yankees, started life as the Baltimore Orioles, the original iteration in 1903.

High-rollers have been coming and going out of Washington DC much like politicians. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/obama-washington-dc/

Before the Nationals took on Montreal Expos’ place in 2005… and went on last year to win the World Series.

Visit http://www.washington.org.

Although the fans didn’t feel in the mood to hail the chief Donald Trump, preferring to give him a slow handclap.

The Redskins aren’t figuring at the business end of the NFL season with the play-off games coming up.

Of course Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will win the whole thing again this year.

But next year?

There is much excitement about Vegas getting football for next season.

Because they hit the ground, or ice, running.

The puck stops here

When the Las Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season.https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/vegas-strip-the-light-fantastic/

Visit http://www.lvcva.com

Only to lose to the Washington Capitals.

And because you know that when I travel I go to where the locals play and pray then I’ve treated you to a few pics of me…

At Anaheim Angels’ ground where they like to get their Mickey out.Visit http://www.nhl.com.

With Elvis in Vegas,

Some thoroughbreds at Denver Broncos’s ground… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/go-west-denver-buffalo-bill/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/29/the-new-pioneers/

And http://www.denver.org.

Hitting it out of the park at the Washington Nationals’ stadium.

Icing with Wild Wing at the Anaheim Ducks’ Honda Arena,https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/03/stair-wars-3/

Visit http://www.visitanaheim.org

And getting ready to dunk it with the Memphis Grizzlies… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/

Visit http://www.memphistravel.com.

MEET YOU AT THE GROUND

 

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Forget the Fairytale… my Christmas song

Now this qualifies as treason here in Ireland, and it’s probably because I’m a contrarian but…

The Fairytale of New York is not the best Christmas song of all time.

In fact it doesn’t represent New York City https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ and http://www.nycvb.com.

There is no NYPD choir, for example.

And the ‘Irish’ pipe band didn’t know Galway Bay (obviously) so did the ‘Mickey Mouse Club March’ instead.

Now I love Da Mouse and Da Minnie Why I love The Donald and Stair Wars. And http://www.visitorlando.com and http://www.disneyland.disney.go.com and http://www.disneyworld.disney.go.com .

Enough Fairytale already… here’s what I call a Christmas song.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gjYWYJudTPE

Yes, Johnny Mathis’s When A Child Is Born.

Talk the talk

Too scmaltzy for you, the lyics, particularly Johnny’s spoken lyics?

But I love it and I love a talky interjection.

So hit it

And all this happens because the world is waiting,

Waiting for one child

Black, white, yellow, no one knows,

But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter,

Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbour

And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten for ever

The Christmas Office Party Bore

Now you’ve probably met the office bore at your Christmas party who gives out about Jesus being wrongly portrayed as white.

When he was born in the Middle East.

And how the whole Christmas story is wrong.

But what really matters is not what Jesus was: white, black, yellow, red, but that he WAS.

Bah, humbug, white liberal intellectuals should just see how the Christmas story is celebrated in the Caribbean….

The ‘other’ Jesus

I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago and www.visittobago.gov.tt.

And in Mississippi… http://www.visitmississippi.org and The Promised LandThe story of the Blues and http://the king of kings

Though I’d be flabbergasted to think Jesus was an earlier incarnation of Phil Collins.

The West Indians have their own slant on the Christmas songs and put a calypso or Soca rhythm to it.

Put the two together with just the right amount of sauce and you get parang, an example of which is….

Scrunter’s ‘Want ah piece ah pork’ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FLpEvkj9jTc.

Now Christmas can be a challenging time for many.

And although it was never written as a Christmas song, it has entered the pantheon for its lines:

Wish I was at home for Christmas

No more war

Jona Lewie’s anthem was, of course, an anti-war song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2HkJHApgKqw

And as we move further away from the centennial of the end of the First World War In Flanders fields and http://www.visitflanders.com

Lest we forget amid the commercial gluttony of a 2019 Christmas those for whom an extra mince pie and some grog.

A peaceful Christmas

And some respite from being bombed and shot at.

And the chance to have a kick-about with the opposition on a muddy battlefield was Christmas gift enough.

Let me know what your favourite Christmas song is… mmmm mmmm mmmm!

A CHILD IS BORN… MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Holiday Snaps – Black Effing Friday

Thirty years working to a deadline and Black Friday can feel like a pressure I don’t need. Which is why I’ve latched onto Click&Go… http://www.clickandgo.com.

Who see the day as a springboard for their offers.

I dipped my toe again in Barcelona’s waters this year, 17 years after my first foray there.

And I found Christopher Columbus, arms open, just as welcome as ever.

Click&Go has three nights in the 4* Onix Ceo Hotel with return flights from Dublin from €189pp. For Travel in January.

And when you go you must pop into this restaurant, just off La Rambla, http://www.myfuckingrestaurant.com . And find out more about Barcelona with http://www.barcelonatourisme.com.

As I did… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/ or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/30/hes-from-barcelona/

Of course Chris has been America’s longest-running cheerleader and points out in that direction from his plinth in La Rambla.

Though like a certain Travel blogger we know and love his sense of direction wasn’t great.

Because he fell on America when he was trying to get to India while this statue doesn’t direct you there at all.

We know our way there and know to go with Click&Go.

Photo by TheUknownPhotographer on Pexels.com

They have three nights in a double room in the 4* Row NYC Hotel in New York. With return flights from Dublin to New York.

From €499pp based on two people sharing for Travel in January.

And if you’ve got tickets for Hamilton can you give me your contact? In return I give you http://www.nycvb.com.

If not you can still see Hamilton all round town… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

We’ve got American friends of my favourite cousin who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland which is really the outskirts of Washington DC in town so I’m off to talk America.

I will report back and until then enjoy your Black Friday deals and…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Holiday Snaps – Snappy dressing in New York

Now Macy’s is many people’s shopping dream and indeed for many women fashion is a key part of their New York trip…

Heck in this, the last rock in the Atlantic before Ireland which we like to call Ireland, weekend shopping breaks across to the Big Apple are a must-do.

For those who can afford it…

And for those who can’t.

I wouldn’t put my own Dear Old Mum in that category though very fashionable she is, even at 91.

Which reminds me of the last time we were in New York together, for my cousin’s wedding… here’s our extended clan above.

We had been assigned a very specific task by my brother to get chinos.

And having lived in North America he knew the exact American sizes.

When I asked my cousin where the nearest mall to him on Long Island was he said the black mall was nearer than the white mall.

I was aghast but he wasn’t being racist it’s just the way it is.

And another thing: the shoppers were super-super-sized.

Probably because they were tanking into the fast food.

It’s an economic thing where the poorer you are the more fast food you eat.

I’d had this reaffirmed to me in Mississippi, one of America’s poorest estate and home to the most popular drive-through burger joint. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/

But back to the other end of the spectrum to Macy’s and the woman I call Mum because that’s her name.

Browsing through the Guess coats in Macy’s http://www.macys.com for my Scary One Mum scoffed at my choice of a green coat.

And that she wanted me to tell her she had no part in its selection…

And Guess what, she’s still wearing it ten years later!

All of which nonsense is s roundabout way of flagging up Cassidy Travel’s Shop till you drop offer from €579pps.

That’ll be a three-night break with flights from Dublin.

Stay at the 3* the Manhattan at Times Square Hotel.

Flight departs December 9. http://www.cassidytravel.ie.

Start spreading the news

And here’s a different twist on NY… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

And while you’re there, or before you go, check out https://www.nycvb.com and the excellent New York City Pass http://www.citypass.com.

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I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps


— Read on jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/

Everyone’s gone to the moon. The biggest Travel blog in the galaxy and the most popular with extra-terrestrials. By your Travel Editor of the Year.

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I’m wired to the moon – Holiday Snaps

It’s been said and will be again.

And I did get offered a chance this week to talk to VIPs who were wired to the moon this famous day 50 years ago.

And the special event is being held at the very minute too 50 years ago when President Nixon made his historic phone call to Neil Armstrong.

Just follow me: NASA astronaut Commander Jon McBride

Unfortunately I couldn’t hotfoot it over to the Richard Nixon Library in California for the exclusive event this evening with such short notice.

But we are friends from our meeting at IPW, the American Travel Fair in Anaheim, and I’ll get there next time.

Amid the great outpouring of national joy at America beating the Soviets to the moon some thought that Richard Nixon was being rewarded for what was John F. Kennedy’s great vision.

But that’s where the Nixon Library will put you right… the Nixons and the Kennedys despite standing against each other in the 1960 election became great friends.

North Alabama tourism project

Dick and John were both Cold War warriors, genuinely liked each other and Pat invited Jackie and the kids back to the White House when they moved in.

It is a myth that America is short on history – well, I would say that being an American History graduate.

And the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, 37 miles south-east of Downtown LA is where to go. Visit http://www.nixonfoundation.org to learn everything you need to know about the only Californian-born President.

And http://www.visitnasa.com for everything NASA related… there are 14 Visitor Center and space shuttle locations to complete your passport.

Guten Morgan

The final straw: After five cocktails

No, I’m not going all German on you though there would be no harm in that.

It’s just that the Morgan Hotel celebrated its first birthday since its reopening with a gala night and I awoke giddy of head and ready to share with all I met.

Alas this time breakfast wasn’t in the hotel, as it was back in February, but back home here in Greystones where The Scary One was scaring up some poached eggs on toast to soak up the FIVE cocktails from the previous evening.

If you want a reviving breakfast after a night on the town then The Morgan is ideal. It is a positive oasis from Temple Bar.

You’ll sleep like Rip Van Winkle with nary a sound from outside and the staff are super-friendly even remembering us from our visit in February.

The Morgan is continuing in real birthday mood with a sale with rooms for €149 per night. Book by July 31. Visit http://www.themorgan.com.

And watch out too for my review from earlier this year of The Morgan Hotel which I’ll get to work on soon. Well, it is the weekend!

The Travel Bible

It’s the definitive Book of Irish Travel.

Travelbiz.ie and its The Irish Travel Directory & Diary 2019.

If you’re not in it you’re not in Irish Travel and there I am – and I swear it was the first page I opened to.

Close your eyes and pick

Reach for the sky: Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

Do you do the same?

Close your eyes in the departure lounge in the airport and when you open them fix them on the first destination you see on the board and decide to go there.

I’ll tell you what… I cheat too and look for the American destinations.

American Holidays has bumper family holidays for next Easter.

You’ll build memories that last a lifetime and myself and Daddy’s Little Girl will always have our ice skating experience at the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

American Holidays has New York Family Easter Break from €909pp with flights from Dublin to New York, five nights at the Sheraton New York Times Square, travelling April 2020. Based on two adults and two children sharing.

Visit http://www.americanholidays.com or call (01) 673 3804. Also visit http://www.nycvb.com. And I would also recommend a City Pass http://www.citypass.com.

We’re all big kids

I dare say La-La went to a good home but the Son and Heir was beside himself in Donegal when he was a toddler and the Yellow One went walkabouts.

As dutiful parents we did, of course, return to where we thought he’d dropped it but it was late and so it was a case of Good Night Teletubby.

It has seemed like it’s been Good Night Teletubbies too for today’s toddlers with Peppa Pig moving in on their manor.

But that’s probably premature. The Teletubbies ARE alive and kicking at Alton Towers Resort and CBeebies Land just two and a half hours from Holyhead, and Irish Ferries will get you there and give you this great offer.

So that’s a return car ferry, two-day park passes to Alton Towers Resort & CBeebies Land and a three-night stay in the Tillington Hall Hotel. From €595 for a family of 4.

You’ve got 12 themed areas that contain 40 different rides of attractions. CBeebies Land is located within Alton Towers and has 14 rides and attractions including the Teletubbies Big Band Live Show and the Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop ride.

Valid until 16 August – Call 0818 300 400.  Visit www.irishferries.com/alton.

You can wait to the last minute

Jump in, Majorca’s lovely: Photo by Mariia Kamenska on Pexels.com

Well, if Majorca’s good enough for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Don’t be put off by the Magaluf of this world, Majorca is a varied and beautiful island, full of unspoiled beaches, great culinary delights, olde world towns and stunning mountains.

TUI has seven nights Dublin to Majorca, staying at the 3* Protur Bahia Azul Apartments in Cala Bona from €489pps for August 27. To book visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

And the Champion Golfer is…

I’m up in Royal Portrush for the weekend for The Open. And staying in the Clayton Hotel in Belfast tonight ahead of tomorrow’s final round.

With bumper crowds over these four days of competition it will be a reminder to those of us who already love the north and an introduction to those who don’t of all it has to offer.

Portrush itself is a gorgeous town and it’s worth going even when the golf isn’t on so that you can get a chance to check out Portrush Whiterocks Beach, Barry’s Amusements, Dunluce Castle and the Causeway Coastal Route.

I’ll share with you the tips I give to the winner when I return.

But in the meantime check out http://www.tourismni.com. http://www.claytonhotelbelfast.com, http://www.theopen.com.

Or if you’re there at the course, I’m the one in the bandana…

MEET YOU ON THE COURSE