Something To Declare: Virgin Trains/Sri Lanka/Rajasthan Express/GoLearnTo


Bargain of the week: Virgin makes good TO Manchester and beyond

Britain, as you know, has the most expensive trains in Europe; the standard open single from London to Manchester on Virgin Trains costs £115. Yet we also have the cheapest tickets. If the open fare is too high, how about £1?

The train operator has started selling such tickets, on a trial basis, on www.virgintrains.com, and only for the London Euston-Manchester Piccadilly route. Book in advance, print out your own ticket, and you can travel for between £1 and £9 each way on selected trains. You can book between one day and five weeks in advance for this so-called P@H (Print At Home) option.

Virgin Trains is also being benevolent towards people who were caught up in the overrunning engineering works on the West Coast Main Line, which disrupted Virgin services to and from London from New Year's Eve to 3 January. If you have proof that you booked a ticket to or from Euston on one of these dates, you could be in line for a free first class return ticket to anywhere on the network. "This one's on us," says the company; see www.thisonesonus.com for more details. You must mail in with your ticket/proof of purchase by 10 March; you'll then get a PIN that will enable you to book the luxury round trip. You can take the free trip up to 16 March and between 28 March and 30 April.

Warning of the week: Sri Lanka

"There is a high threat from terrorism," says the Foreign Office in the third bulletin of travel advice released to cover the Indian Ocean island this week. "Recent attacks have specifically targeted civilians, including on public transport."

Over last weekend, there were four bomb attacks in three days in areas where travellers might find themselves.

On Saturday, a bomb on a Kandy-to-Anuradhapura bus killed more than 20 people. On Sunday, the main station in the capital, Colombo, was targeted: 10 people were killed, and more than 100 injured. On the same day, an explosion at Dehiwella Zoo in Colombo injured four people. And on Monday, a bomb killed 12 people at Welioya, 120km north-east of Anuradhapura.

Destination of the week: Rajasthan Express

The Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad is soon to launch a one-stop link from Heathrow or Manchester to the "pink city", Jaipur – the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan (pictured, above left). Etihad (0870 241 7121; www.etihadairways.com) has yet to announce a launch date, but it will offer connections in Abu Dhabi from its frequent Heathrow and Manchester services. Etihad will also fly to Kozhikode (formerly known as Calicut), its third destination in the southern state of Kerala.

Innovation of the week: sun, sea and skills

"Get more from your holiday" is the slogan of a new enterprise, GoLearnTo. This London-based company (0845 625 0465; www.golearnto.com) offers trips that combine travel with acquiring a new skill.

"A course can enhance your holiday," says the managing director, Vanessa Lenssen.

"It can kick-start you into beginning a new hobby, pursuing an existing interest or learning something that ignites a passion that will stay with you forever."

In Spain, for example, you could learn how to kitesurf, how to do flamenco dancing or guitar-playing, or simply study the language in situ.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model of a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
    She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

    Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

    The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
    American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

    Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

    James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
    Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

    Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

    Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution