Punting, Daffodil Day, Bangkok beds, Ecuador by train, Triptease, Pack Mate, Inntravel, and sports calendars
Saturday 16 March 2013
Tomorrow, Hartland Abbey in North Devon celebrates the onset of spring with Daffodil Day (11am to 4pm). Visitors may not be able to wander lonely as a cloud, but they will be able to admire blankets of the flowers about which Wordsworth once rhapsodised. A new circular walk through the gardens explores corners that are normally closed to the public (adults £4; children free; hartlandabbey.co.uk).
Check into Bangkok's newest digs, the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel, the design of which was inspired by "new Thai colonial style". Nineteenth-century Thai furniture sits next to Starck Ghost chairs. There's a tropical garden with a pool, as well as a restaurant and tea lounge. Doubles from 5,500 baht/£124 ( huachangheritagehotel.com).
Ecuador's railways have been revived with $280m (£187m) of investment. A new luxury train journey, launching in June, will be the icing on the cake. The Tren Crucero, hauled by a restored steam locomotive, will travel from the capital, Quito, through the Andes to Guayaquil on the coast over four days ( trenecuador.com).
Triptease.com is a new, image-led travel review site. Upload photos, add short text for cities, meals, hotels; also has free iPad app.
The big squeeze
Roll a week's clothes into hand luggage with Pack Mate. Stuff it with clothes, seal and roll to push out air via special valves (from £4.99; packmate.co.uk).
Inntravel marks 150 years since the first package holiday from Thomas Cook in 1863. Inntravel's 12-night tour traces the route from Leukerbad to Lucerne from £1,740pp ( inntravel.co.uk).
Brand USA, the nation's tourism marketing body, has launched an online sports calendar with ESPN. Visitors interested in baseball, basketball and American football can search the site to discover which sporting events are taking place during their stay ( bit.ly/USgames).
The number of propulsion devices required to punt on the moat at Leeds Castle in Kent; £4 for adults, £2 for children ( leeds-castle.com).
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
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Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
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