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Discover Hidden Gems at Winchester’s Independents Market

Winchester will be showcasing its wonderful range of independent shops, businesses and eateries from across the city at a special Independents Market on Sunday 22 July from 10 am until 4 pm.

The market will line the city’s cobbled High Street in a celebration of the city’s local independent business community.

Winchester has a unique shopping culture with 50% of its retail businesses being independently owned and managed. This helps to put Winchester on the map as a shopping and leisure destination for people throughout Hampshire. Together with its independent restaurants and the city’s rich heritage, it is also a foodie and tourist hotspot.

The Winchester BID (Business Improvement District) fully supports the city’s independents and aims to create a thriving, clean and safe environment for residents, visitors and all of the businesses which operate in the city.

Gary Whiter, a member of Winchester BID’s Independent Advisory Group and co-owner of The Cabinet Rooms, said: “At a time when some big brands are struggling on the high street and internet shopping is hugely popular, we’re proud that Winchester is thriving with a busy and bustling community.

“The city not only enjoys an enviable location and is steeped in history, but it is fortunate to boast a fantastic selection of locally-run businesses. The Winchester Independents Market is about demonstrating just that.

“Whether you’re browsing or buying from an independent business, you’re guaranteed a fun and friendly experience with people who daily demonstrate their expertise and passion for what they do. We hope that people of all ages will come along on 22 July to love their local and maybe discover a new favourite shop or cafe along the way.”

The Independents Market will take place on Winchester High Street and will showcase Winchester BID member independent businesses. It is part of a calendar of events which will be taking place in Winchester throughout July to mark Independents Month, including a children’s ‘Independent Street’ and an ‘Indie Trail’ for people of all ages.

Jonnie Talbot-Weiss of Eat Drink and Be on Winchester High Street said: “The key thing about the number of Independents in Winchester is it gives the city a different dynamism. We aren’t a formulaic high street like you might see up and down the country. It’s different and it has a vibrancy.”

For more information, visit Winchester BID or search #IndieWinch on social media.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

To learn more or to arrange interviews, please contact Polly Buckland at The Typeface Group on 01256 614921 or email polly@thetypefacegroup.co.uk

Winchester is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business-funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The vision of Winchester BID is to create a vibrant, exciting and successful business community to make an attractive, clean and safe destination for customer and clients, shoppers and staff, residents and visitors. This is to help Winchester to be a profitable place in which to do business.

Upgrade Your Happy System: Happy Tech Seminar Teaches You to Banish the Blues

Imagine raising your default level of happiness. Easily. And instantly.

Well, now you can! Certified NLP, leadership and mindfulness coach Dan Gerrett has launched the Happiness Technology Seminar to help you build a more joyful state from within.

This audio-visual feast of fun dives into brain-disrupting exercises to boost your confidence and create lasting self-esteem. Besides sparking healthy behavioural patterns that shatter mental barriers, the four-hour interactive experience trains you to use Instatools – the quickest way to flip a bad day and rewire your entire way of thinking.

The Buddhist Bomb, for example, leverages the power of awareness to freeze negative thoughts in their tracks before blasting them away. Better yet, you’ll discover how to trigger these tools with such ease that they become second nature!

“Negative thought patterns often stop us from being the best version of ourselves,” Dan said. “But if you employ this simple, effective technology in your day-to-day life, not only are you going to help yourself become more fulfilled but also those around you.”

To bring it all together, Frances Trussell, best-selling author of You Are Not Your Thoughts: The Secret Magic of Mindfulness, will be the event’s guest speaker. One of the UK’s leading mindfulness meditation teachers, Trussell has helped hundreds of people live happier lives.

Save the Date: Saturday 21 July, 2 – 6 p.m., Court One, Kennington Courthouse
Ticket Price: £147 (includes fresh coffee, teas, cakes and snacks)
Early Bird Bonus: £99 for a limited time.

Learn more at happytech.tv or book your place in the Happiness Technology Seminar.  

About Dan Gerrett                                                                                                                         

Dan Gerrett is a certified NLP, leadership and mindfulness coach, and public speaker who specialises in the pursuit of happiness. Through light-hearted, easy-to-follow methods based on research and experience, he shows people of all ages how they can be happier and more successful.=

Connect with Dan online: youtube.com/happytechtv & facebook.com/happytechtv

 

Winchester’s Tourist Information Centre modernised for visitors and local event goers

The newly refurbished Winchester Tourist Information Centre (TIC), located in the ground floor of the Guildhall Winchester, will officially reopen its doors on Thursday 12 July with a community celebration.

Visitors and residents are invited to an opening event from 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm, where they can explore the new range of products and services the TIC now offer. They can also try some local produce with tasters available from Winchester Distillery Gin and Great British Biscotti and enjoy a range of family-friendly activities, including free face painting.

The new-look TIC offers a much greater choice of gifts and souvenirs including local produce. Any purchases made during the event will include a discount at the Guildhall, Winchester café eighteen71 that can be redeemed throughout the month.

Cllr Robert Humby, Portfolio Holder for Business Partnerships at Winchester City Council, said:

“Through the modernisation of the TIC we have been able to enhance the welcome to Winchester for visitors and provide even more information on what the District has to offer – from local events, attractions, accommodation and tours to travel information. We are also able to support local businesses with digital promotion opportunities, a new box office and by selling local produce.”

Enquiries: Helen Power, Media Officer, Winchester City Council, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LJ

Tel: 01962 848 361

The UK’s Ultimate Space Adventure Lands at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium This Summer

The Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium invites families to embark on a mission to tour the galaxy on-board Explorer:Space, a brand new 600 m2 interactive space zone opening to the public on 20 July.

Explorer:Space is an immersive space experience that will take families on an epic adventure through the universe. This new, dramatic staff-led zone includes amazing hands-on exhibits covering everything from meteorites to stardust, robots to coding and atmospheric pressure to human space flight.

“Explorer:Space is a permanent new addition to the Science Centre designed to wow families and ignite their curiosity in space,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre. “We have never had an exhibition like this before – the impressive set takes up the entire ground floor of the Science Centre and represents the biggest investment we’ve made since the opening of our planetarium in 2008.”

To complement the new zone, the Science Centre’s Curiosity Team will deliver space-themed activities and a brand new live science show, Destination Space, from 20 July to 03 September. Audiences will explore the story and science of satellites, complete with fiery demonstrations and bottle rocket launches.

A fantastic programme of 360° fulldome planetarium shows is also scheduled for the summer, including the new film narrated by Sean Bean, Faster than Light. Visitors can enjoy the sunny weather in the outdoor picnic and play area, which has direct access to the Magdalen Hill Down Butterfly Conservation reserve. The reserve offers amazing views of the South Downs National Park.

Explorer:Space and the summer holiday space-themed activities are included in the cost of general admission. The Destination Space live shows will run daily at 11 amnoon1 pm and 2 pm inside the Space Marquee. Free tickets can be reserved online in advance. New prices from 16 July provide a 25% discount on general admission when booking online at least three days in advance.

To find out more and book tickets, visit winchestersciencecentre.org

Special Invite – Media Launch

Tuesday, 17 July, 4 pm – 6.45 pm

Members of the press are invited to attend the official launch of Explorer:Space by Michael Foale, the most experienced British-born astronaut in the history of human spaceflight.

To better meet your requirements, all interviews, filming and photography should be arranged in advance. Call Lisa Preston to discuss on 07980 923531 or email lisa@amplify-pr.co.uk.

Dive DIRECT into Mexico’s Pacific Coast!

Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, and Riviera Nayarit, in the state of Nayarit, span over 200 miles of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Home to some of Mexico’s most famous beaches, these are thriving regions with no shortage of fun water activities for all to take part in. See the top 4 water sports you won’t want to miss this summer!

Diving: Puerto Vallarta offers some of the hottest diving spots along the central pacific coast and an underwater paradise for those who venture below sea level. June to October is low season for diving experiences, but this is a great time for beginners, with significantly warmer waters.

Yet, experienced divers can venture out to Chimo, where you may be lucky enough to spy humpback whales and their calves until December. Meanwhile, Los Arcos National Marine Park is home to the deepest point in Banderas Bay, complete with caves and a flourishing reef. Divers can explore underwater caves, reefs teeming with tropical fish and see everything from turtles, octopus and seahorses to dolphins, manta rays and more.

Surfing: Surfing lessons around the region are readily available at very reasonable prices for beginners, making this a great family treat.

Riviera Nayarit’s Punta de Mita, Sayulita and San Blas are year-round top spots for beginners to pro surfers, seeing visitors from all over the globe come to enjoy the destination’s quality breakpoints and reef breaks. Lunazul in Sayulita is a must-try for quality lessons and the chance to enjoy top waves in the most beautiful hippie town. Chacala in Riviera Nayarit, where beaches are hidden and adored by locals, is also a hot spot for surfers.

SailingBanderas Bay is also a premier sailing destination, and like so many of the other activities you can do here, there are excursions suitable for all skill levels. Unparalleled coastline, warm waters and friendly winds provide the perfect setting for your sailing getaway.

Vallarta Adventures offers both private and group sailing charters on fishing boats, sailboats and catamarans for a number of memorable excursions. While away the evening on a sunset cruise, take in the night breeze and incredible surroundings of the destination with a cocktail in hand.

Snorkelling: Another great way to discover these warm Pacific waters is to take a snorkel trip. Join a group of experienced snorkellers on a boat trip and explore this land of tropical eco-systems, stopping at secluded spots and coves along the way.

Off Riviera Nayarit’s coast, the Marietas Islands are a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site offering many opportunities for exploration and adventure. It’s here you’ll find the ‘Hidden Beach’ – a secluded paradise of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters reached only by swimming or kayaking. Book with Vallarta Adventures for a day to remember.

The abundance of water experiences in both Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are second to none. Too much to choose from? Book a 2-week direct stay, to enjoy Mexico’s Pacific Coast at its very best.

Getting There

Direct flights to Puerto Vallarta International Airport are available via TUI from London Gatwick and Manchester or AeroMexico via Mexico City from London Heathrow. British Airways runs direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, offering codeshare on its One World partner, American Airlines.

 

La Gomera: Family Fun in Nature’s Favourite Canary Island

Fancy a summer break that promises you and your kids a great time? La Gomera is the perfect destination for families travelling with children. Safe, gorgeous and full of adventure for all ages, nature’s favourite Canary Island has everything to keep the little ones amused and the parents impressed. See a few of the possibilities.

Walks on the Wild Side

A nature hike is a wonderful way to kick off your family holiday in La Gomera. Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that owes its name to the impossible love between Princess Gara and Prince Jonay. Along with legendary stories, the park has plenty of walking trails with different degrees of difficulty, and they all have their own specially prepared route.

As you take in the lush scenery, you may be lucky enough to see the sea of clouds over the laurel trees. This permanent humidity makes the forest ideal for any adventure: the mosses and lichens hanging from the trees, the intense green of the ferns and the carpet of colourful leaves join walkers wherever they go. This same laurel forest is the oldest in Europe, living proof of those who existed during the Tertiary period millions of years ago.

Garajonay also holds the history of giants: the “Roques” rise thousands of feet from the depths of the earth, setting the stage for the richest stories in a child’s imagination. In the heart of the park, there are viewpoints to observe these natural monuments in all their glory, such as the Los Roques viewpoint. Or, if you visit Vallehermoso, you can see the Roque Cano. All of these viewpoints tell excellent tales about the volcanic origin of the island.

Beach Days Away from the Crowds

After all that hiking, you’d probably like to cool off, and the beaches of La Gomera won’t disappoint. Most are away from the crowds with safe, natural pools and beaches for all tastes. Some of them have fascinating stories to teach children, like the beaches of San Sebastián de La Gomera, which are tied to expeditions of Christopher Columbus. Other beaches offer older kids the chance to snorkel, paddleboard, kayak and scuba dive. Even the most adventurous types will find deep reef and caves to explore.

If you’re looking for a quieter bathing spot for the kids, Charco del Conde is a safe bet. Set in Valle Gran Rey, the pool provides an enjoyable lake for all ages to swim in at high tide. And when the surf starts to ebb away, smaller children can play in a pool that is protected from the open seas. The nearby village centre adds the final touch to a day of family fun, sun and relaxation.

Swimming With Dolphins

There are few sights more impressive than a school of dolphins playing for an eager audience or a pod of whales breaking the water’s surface to greet you. And thanks to its warm coastal waters, La Gomera can virtually guarantee sightings of 30 different species all-year round.

Boat tours from the port of Veultas, San Sebastián and Playa Santiago take you past scenic valleys and secluded inlets into the open Atlantic. Dolphins and whales often come out to play near the coast, providing a unique opportunity to get close to these impressive mammals. Curious kids can learn from their experience through a special education programme from Oceano.

Getting There

Fly your family into Tenerife and get a 50-minute ferry to La Gomera. A short flight from Tenerife will get you there too.

Family-friendly hotels and restaurants are easy to find once you touch down, most within easy reach of the beach. Fishing village Playa de Santiago serves up a selection of friendly harbour bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, Valle Gran Rey’s volcanic backdrop is a fantastic base for families that love the great outdoors.

Up for more family holiday ideas in La Gomera? Go to lagomera.travel/en.

Golf Courses With a View: Why You Should Golf in Seychelles This Year

 

Stunning natural surroundings, year-round sunshine, welcoming hospitality and world-class golf courses make Seychelles a golfer’s dream. With the island of Praslin hosting the grand finale of the MCB Championship Tour from 14 to 16 December, more than ever do golfers have a reason to visit. Find out about two courses with a view that cannot be missed!

The Lemuria Championship Golf Course

Winding along 6,105 yards of dazzling ocean coastline, the Constance Lemuria Resort boasts a championship par 70 18-hole golf course. The course has been carefully crafted through tropical woodland and has amazing views of three golden beaches along immaculately terraced greens.

Due to the elevated tees, water hazards and wide fairway, the course is considered a challenge for golfers at all levels. Particularly extraordinary is the 15th hole, featuring a 54-yard drop to the green in the valley below from the men’s tee, making it extremely difficult to land the ball on the green.

Being a five-star resort facility, Lemuria has a spa and wellness centre, multiple outstanding restaurants and bars. Golf lessons and many other activities are also offered.

Golfers regard Lemuria as the perfect golf course of Seychelles. A five-minute drive from Praslin Airport, it’s certainly worth a day trip from any of Seychelles’ islands

The Seychelles Golf Club

Just a 10-minute drive from the Seychelles International Airport lies The Seychelles Golf Club, formerly Le Reef Hotel and Golf Club. As you’re drawn in by coconut palms, verdant hills and mangrove marsh, you could easily forget you have come here to play.

The Golf Club is the only golf course on the island of Mahé and is open all year round. It is 4,992 yards with nine holes at par 68 and a challenging course, partly due to its lack of roll.

With all the amenities you could want, including a clubhouse with a bar, a restaurant, tennis courts and a swimming pool, it may prove difficult to ever leave the course. Visitors are also welcome to participate in the sponsored competitions.

The Seychelles Golf Club is part of a wildlife sanctuary, so rare migratory birds are regularly seen. But watch out for the sneaky red crabs that live in some of the hazards as they like to run away with your golf balls.

Visit seychelles.travel for more information.

ENDS

Seychelles to Host Final Swing of Staysure Tour in December 2018

The Seychelles Tourism Board has announced that the 2018 Staysure Tour season will end in the island of Praslin at Constance Lemuria, one of Seychelles’ most exquisite golf courses. Staysure Tour members will compete for almost £600K (US$800K) in prize money at the MCB Tour Championship from 14 to 16 December.

This is the first time the Seychelles will host a golf tournament of such calibre, and the archipelago is bound to impress. Stunning natural surroundings, year-round sunshine and warm weather, welcoming hospitality and world-class golf courses make the Seychelles a golfer’s dream.

Sherin Francis, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said: “As a golf and leisure destination, Seychelles has a lot to offer, and we are looking forward to welcoming all the golfers, delegates and families to our shores.”

Previously the European Senior Tour, the 2018 Staysure Tour is the men’s professional golf tour for members aged 50 and older. The MCB Tour Championship will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

David MacLaren, Head of the Staysure Tour, said: “We have to acknowledge the commitment from the Seychelles Tourism Board. Their desire to host the Staysure Tour has created the opportunity to bring a thrilling climax to the season in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.”

First Timer’s Guide to La Gomera

With so many low-cost flights to the Canary Islands, there’s never been a better time than now to visit La Gomera. There are plenty of attractions to explore, including natural wonders, black sand beaches, historic sites and more. If you’re here for the first time, this guide will help you out.

Garajonay National Park

One of the first attractions to see is Garajonay National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect setting for a picnic in nature or cooling off in El Chorro de El Cedro, the island’s highest waterfall.

The park’s habitats are rich and diverse in flora and fauna, with plants and animals exclusive to the island. For example, the Rabiche and Turqué pigeons thrive in by eating fruits of the laurel trees, making for great birdwatching opportunities.

La Gomera is also unique because it offers a choice of walks for all ages and abilities, and almost every one of them leads to incredible views.

Remarkable Lookouts

La Gomera is home to the world’s most spectacular landscapes, and lookout spots (miradors) provide the best views around. These viewpoints leave even the most well-travelled sightseers impressed.

Alto de Garajonay is the island’s highest point at an altitude of 1,487 m. It’s high enough see almost the entire island on clear days. You might even be able to see the silhouettes of La Palma, El Hierro, Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the distance. On some summer evenings, the sun sets behind the ‘mar de nubes’, which translates into ‘sea of clouds’.

In southern La Gomera, Mirador de Igualero looks across the landscape of Orone. The main highlight is La Fortaleza, a tabletop-shaped mountain that was a sacred site of the island’s original inhabitants.

Charming Towns

While Garajonay National Park and miradors are must-sees, you’ll also want to catch a glimpse of the island’s traditional towns.

Valle Gran Rey is a delightful village in western La Gomera, notable for its pastel-coloured houses and terraced hillsides, or as the locals call it, ‘the walls of La Gomera’. You can also soak up the sun and cool off on beautiful black beaches nearby, such as Playa de Vueltas. The water is calm and protected from the wind, so it’s ideal for young children and watersports.

Another highlight is Vallehermoso, where you’ll come across scenes full of ravines and intense greenery. Traditional houses dot the palm groves, and you can buy local products from the town’s orchards. Circular routes throughout the valley lead to many other interesting places, such as Alojera, a pristine beach and the island’s main producer of palm honey.

Island Flavours

La Gomera’s dishes are based around local products such as palm honey, bread, cheese, fish and wine. Others come in the form of stews, sauces and soups like potaje de berros, a wholesome watercress soup served on wooden plates of juniper or holly. There is also a great variety of meat and fresh fish.

For cheese lovers, almogrote is too good to miss. It’s traditionally made by mixing mature hard cheese, garlic, pepper, chillies, tomatoes and olive oil into a chunky dip.

Wine enthusiasts will be pleased to try vintages from full-bodied whites to well-balanced reds. Some of the wines aren’t produced anywhere else in the world and are protected by the Guarantee of Origin, Vinos de La Gomera.

There’s a lot more for you to discover! Whether you want to visit authentic towns, watch a fantastic sunset or see nature in its wildest state, La Gomera welcomes you with open arms.

How to Get There

Fly into Tenerife and get a 50-minute ferry to La Gomera. A short flight from Tenerife will get you there as well.

Best Time to Visit

La Gomera is blessed with great weather all year-round.

Currency/Language

Euros/Spanish. Many Gomerans also speak Silbo, a beautiful and ancient whistling language.

Learn more at lagomera.travel

FLY DIRECT from the UK to a Magical Mexican Summer

When you imagine a summer holiday, chances are you think of golden sandy beaches, bowing palm trees, endless sunshine, delicious food and a crystal-clear sea to cool off in. Turns out – you’re imagining the paradise of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco and Riviera Nayarit  in the state of Nayarit!

Set on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, these neighbouring regions provide the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and enjoy land and sea adventures bundled with history and culture.

The best part? You can fly DIRECT from the UK!

Soak up the Sun

With more than 200 miles of dazzling sandy coastline, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit boast the perfect spot for beach-bum fanatics. Whether it’s lounging with a cocktail, snorkelling in the reefs or surfing the waves – these beaches can’t be beaten.

Nuevo Vallarta is one of the most exclusive beach destinations in Riviera Nayarit, home to 5km of sandy shore. Along with lounging, NV provides an array of adventure-fuelled activities, including scuba diving, surfing and snorkelling. The destination is also home to stunning hotels, wellness retreats and award-winning golf courses.

If you’re a keen explorer of hidden gems, head down to Chacala’s beach in Riviera Nayarit, where you’ll see locals splashing in the waves and enjoying their weekends. The grilled fish in the thatched-hut restaurants is a mouth-watering experience.

One of the most famous beaches in the region of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Los Muertos is ideal for a family-fun day out in the hustle and bustle of excitement. But if you’re keen on a more tranquil and secluded day out, Boca de Tomatlán and a trip to Las Caletas will leave you breathless.

Top Tip: no matter what beach you’re on, make sure you take out your earphones and listen to the wildlife sounds (whilst wearing a sombrero).

Ride on the Wild Side

Nature and wildlife frame the beauty of the destination and will leave you with once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Starting with the marine life, Banderas Bay is home to groups of whales between the season of December – March dolphins and sea turtles that love to play. These beautiful creatures are looked after by the regions, respected and cared for – so much so that they come into human contact in the wild. Take a trip with Wildlife Connection, where professional biologists give an educational boat tour to seek out the sea-life.

Top Tip: the dolphins like to play with the whales, so look out for some big splashes and noisy sprays!

Adrenaline Junkies’ Dream

Whether you head out on the water or stay dry on land, there is adventure to be found at every turn within both regions.

Watersport fanatics can kayak, jet-ski and kitesurf in the bays of Riviera Nayarit and some of the world’s best surf spots. Sayulita rocks a cool hippy vibe and is the perfect base for your surfing and paddle boarding adventures.

For one of the best snorkelling spots where the marine life is unparalleled, head out with Los ArcosNational Marine Park in Puerto Vallarta and become one with the sea-life.

If you want to stay out of the water – or rather ABOVE the water – head up the Sierra Mountains for mountain biking, jeep safaris, horseback riding and bungee jumping on slopes and waterfalls. Vallarta Adventures offer great excursions.

Top Tip: wear a go-pro on your head whilst flying on a zip-line for epic footage!

Tease Your Taste Buds

Mexican cuisine has been replicated all over the world, but no matter how good the tacos and tequila you’ve had before, nothing will prepare you for the real thing!

For a fantastic foodie day out and a hands-on experience, check out Gaby’s Restaurant Bar in Puerto Vallarta and embark on a cooking class. It includes a walking tour to the local markets, picking out fresh ingredients, raicilla tasting, endless food and a lot of fun!

If you want a full day of food (who doesn’t?), check out Vallarta Food Tours and their array of excursions. You’ll enjoy everything from cheese-crusted shrimp tacos and yellow fin tuna to cold Pacificos beer and pescado zarandeado, best served with red snapper and handmade tortillas.

Love fish? Head over to El Barrcuda in Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit  –  home to the most delicious ceviche and shrimp pastors. There is also a branch on the beach at Playa Camarones in Puerto Vallarta if you want to enjoy some light bites whilst tanning.

Top Tip: try the super-moreish mole sauce at Gaby’s or the famous pineapple mezcalita cocktail at El Barracuda.

 

Book your DIRECT flight from the UK NOW!

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