Something to declare: BHX to DXB in style; a walk through North Wales; free culture in San Francisco; Bank Holiday railway shutdown

Bargain of the week: BHX to DXB in style

You can get a cut-price upgrade to Indian Ocean and other destinations worldwide – but only from Birmingham airport (BHX), and you'll downgrade to economy at Dubai (DXB).

Emirates dispatches two wide-bodied Boeing 777s each day from Birmingham to Dubai. Judging from its latest promotion, it is very keen to fill the business-class cabin (for which the standard fare is just under £2,000 return). Its Emirates Tours (020-7590 1485; emiratestours.co.uk) offshoot is offering cut-price packages mixing Birmingham-Dubai flights in business (in both directions) with onward connections in economy. A week at The Residence in Mauritius is £2,129 per person for stays up to the end of September, while the One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives (above) is £2,809.

Destination of the week: A walk through North Wales

The North Wales Pilgrim's Way, a long-distance footpath linking St Winefride's Well at Holywell with Bardsey Island, is now open for business. The website, pilgrims-way-north-wales.org, provides an excellent guide to the 110-mile trail – which is divided into short sections – and suggests places to stay. "Visit the past, where Iron Age people settled, where Romans trod, the holy shrines and wells of pilgrims, and the tracks of medieval travellers," says Ron Williams, who helped create the pilgrimage.

Tip of the week: Free culture in San Francisco

When you plan a trip to the Californian city, writes Sue Mills, aim for the start of the calendar month. Many of San Francisco's top museums and galleries offer free admission on a particular day in the first week of each month, which can save you more than $75 (£50) in total.

The first Tuesday (this year including 6 September, 4 October and 1 November) is your best bet. You save $15 (£9) on the Museum of Modern Art, $10 (£6) on both the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, while visiting the Exploratorium science museum on the first Wednesday saves $14 (£8.50).

Warning of the week: Bank Holiday railway shutdown

Passengers with Virgin Trains and other operators face disruption on the West Coast Main Line on all three days of the holiday weekend. Next Saturday and Sunday, the line between Warrington and Wigan will close, causing delays between London and Glasgow. Travellers to and from Chester and North Wales will also be affected, because their Virgin Voyager diesel trains are being used on some diverted services. On Sunday and Monday, the line between London and Rugby will be disrupted. Bus replacement services will be running. Most engineering work is due to finish at lunchtime on Monday. See virgintrains.co.uk/updates for details.

Services to and from Birmingham New Street will be subject to delays, affecting passengers with Virgin, Cross Country and London Midland – buses will run between Birmingham International and New Street.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all