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The star quality of New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island
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The off-grid island 90km off the coast of Auckland is a Dark Sky Sanctuary ideal for star gazing – and the views by day are heavenly too

I was glad I had such terrible jet lag. Wide awake at 3.30am with my nine-year-old daughter on our lodge balcony, I stared for hours at the most incredible night sky I’ve ever seen before the dawn slowly started to rub out the stars on the horizon and the multiple shooting stars faded away.

We were going to my girlfriend’s big family reunion i...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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The decline of Club 18-30 isn’t all about sex, sex, sex you know | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
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It’s easy to see why Thomas Cook is considering the raunchy holiday club’s future – the golden age of the package holiday is over

Hang up your mankinis, turn off the foam machine, silence the DJ Ötzi, let the mourners come, for it looks as though Club 18-30 is approaching its demise and with it, the great British holiday as we know it. Thomas Cook, which owns the raunchy holiday club for young adults, is reportedly consideri...

www.theguardian.com/comment...
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A local’s guide to Brussels: 10 top tips
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The Belgian capital isn’t all boring Eurocrats: a cast of creative types are busy doing their arty things – often with humour and a social conscience

Veer sharply left by the Chanel store on Boulevard de Waterloo and you’ll find yourself in a tiny oasis among Brussels’ busiest shopping streets. The gardens of the elegant Egmont Palace (now the home of Belgium’s foreign ministry) are a public park, one of the most secret in Brussels. It’s home to a charming little statue of Peter Pan,...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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National Beekeeping Centre Wales, Conwy: ‘Connect kids with ecology – because the bees need us’ – review
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A free attraction in glorious countryside that teaches children about the importance of honeybees – with the chance to try lots of local honeys

This low-key and friendly visitor centre is a champion for Welsh honeybees, which are increasingly under threat from climate change and loss of wild flower meadows. It raises visitors’ awareness of environmental issues and illustrates the 4,000-year history of beekeeping and honey-making, from the ancient Egyptians via the Romans. A Hive Aid...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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'Breathtakingly beautiful': Kew's Temperate House reopens after revamp
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Five-year project involved moving 10,000 plants and replacing 15,000 panes of glass

After five years, 10,000 plants uprooted and replanted, 15,000 panes of glass replaced, 69,000 sections of metal, stone and timber repaired or replaced, enough scaffolding to stretch the length of the M25, and £41m spent, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world is ready to open its doors again. The Temperate House in Kew Gardens is once again, as the naturalist Sir David Attenborough describes i...

www.theguardian.com/science...
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Music festivals and mixology: how cruises got cool
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They have always been associated with the grey pound, but now cruise ships are trying to attract a millennial crowd. Will smaller boats, late-night stop-offs and better brunches tempt young people on board?

aThink of cruise holidays and a whole host of images spring to mind. Endless buffets. Crushed velvet upholstery. Sex on the beach (the cocktail, obviously). His and hers dressing gowns. Jane McDonald. And, most of all, lots and lots of older people, from well-heeled fiftysomething...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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Holiday guide to Basilicata, Italy: what to see plus the best restaurants and hotels
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‘Tourist hordes’ is not a phrase you’re likely to hear in Basilicata but given its rich cuisine, stunning national parks, ancient towns and great beaches, it’s hard to fathom why this seductive region remains so quiet

Imagine a region that has miles of white sand beaches on one coast, picturesque rocky bays on the other, two mountainous national parks, and one of the world’s oldest cities. Add lots of warm sunshine plus fine food and wine and you might expect the area to be a tourist...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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Ice cream parlours are booming – and it's not only because of Instagram and teetotalism
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Offering everything from liquid nitrogen-frozen creations to vegan sundaes, a new breed of dessert bars are changing the way people socialise – and date

Built in the Victorian era and now a sedate enclave of independent cafes and shops, Cardiff’s Castle Arcade does not look like a crucible of radical innovation. Enter Science Cream, however, and you step into a world of Heston Blumenthal-st...

www.theguardian.com/lifeand...
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'Ego travel' – your guide to the narcissistic heart of modern holidaying
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Millennials have replaced the sun, sea and sex of the Club 18-30 holiday with Insta-friendly trips featuring toad licking and ayurvedic smoothies. Have you become one of them?

After 50 years of putting the “shag” in Shagaluf, Club 18-30 could be coming to an end. According to Thomas Cook, the tour operator that owns the infamous holiday brand, millennials are more interested in “ego travel” than pairing off with like-minded singles over buckets of cocktails, with their tastes being s...

www.theguardian.com/travel/...
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A radical way to cut emissions – ration everyone’s flights | Sonia Sodha
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An individual cap on air travel, that people can trade with each other, would help to reduce the impact of flying

Maybe it’s just because I’m back from a bank holiday weekend in north Wales that was filled with glorious Mediterranean-style sunshine. But reading about a new study that says global tourism now accounts for 8% of carbon emissions, three times more than was previously thought made me think– sure...

www.theguardian.com/comment...