Travel agenda: From tea ceremonies in Japan to pampering in the Algarve


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The Independent Travel

1. Girl guides

A new tour of Japan caters for female travellers. Departing on 6 December, with more dates in 2015, the seven-day Elegance Japan tour will focus on fashion, beauty and culture in Tokyo and Kyoto, with a private geisha performance, a tea ceremony, a massage session and five-star hotels. From JPY750,000 (£4,375)pp, flights extra. 

2. France fall

Flybe is selling specific departures in September and October at very low fares. Southampton to Nice on 30 September for six days is £80 return; Birmingham to Bordeaux on 1 October for a week is £70. Book by 25 August.

3. Scotch hop

On 21 September, when the autumn timetable takes effect on the West Highland Line, an extra stop on the Caledonian Sleeper between London Euston and Fort William will be made at Glasgow Queen Street. The effect will be to provide an additional departure between Scotland’s largest city and the West Coast adventure hub.

4. Free wheel

London’s “Boris Bike” scheme is free this weekend. On 16 and 17 August the normal £2-a-day charge is waived for the capital’s cycle-hire system. Credit or debit card registration is still needed, but as long as the trips are kept under half-an-hour the card will not be charged.

5. Chill out

Neal’s Yard Remedies has launched an organic wellness week at the Vivenda Miranda hotel in the Algarve. Taking place from 11-18 October, the “Cleanse & Revitalise” holiday will offer pampering alongside healthy nutrition, with a variety of expert-run workshops and cookery classes. From £1,395pp, flights extra.

6. Geneva hiver

Starting this winter – on 14 December – Eurostar will connect with Lyria trains at Lille to offer four onward services to Geneva on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.Bookings will open in early October.

7. Walk on

Guernsey’s autumn Walking Week gets under way from 6-21 September, offering the chance to join one of 46 guided hikes around the scenic Channel  Island. Options range from strolls through the capital, St Peter Port, to themed historical wanders and coastal ambles that take in the white-sand beaches around Castel. 


8. Day tripper

Until next Friday, 22 August, a day trip anywhere on the South West Trains network costs £15 for adults, £7 for children. Weymouth, Bournemouth and Poole are among the resorts on offer. There are some peak-hour restrictions to and from London Waterloo.