Out! Brian Johnson – Thomas
Finally, perhaps, just maybe, a little relaxation is in sight and we, probably, will be able to take some sort of a holiday this year…..but where and how exactly are still a little up in the air. Not the most promising of situations therefore but let’s look a little deeper into the matter.
Frankly, it seems that we can forget most air travel – even if flights do resume, how many of us fancy sitting in an overcrowded cabin for several hours wearing masks, gloves and what-have-you ? And that’s even supposing we’re allowed in (Greece, for example, is allowing foreign tourists from mid-June, but not from the three ‘bad boys’ of coronavirus, ourselves, the Americans and the Russians, also the Spanish have now also said that they don’t want us...) not to mention the daunting prospect of a fortnight’s quarantine when we return.
However it’s likely that there will be some exceptions to the quarantine rules and a likely candidate is France. This is interesting because this also opens up the possibility of selfcatering holidays, which I feel are the way forward at the moment. Let’s face it, the days of a big buffet breakfast at hotels are, alas, a distant memory and, in any case, we’ve all got used to being in our own little bubbles of close family and friends.
It so happens that I’ve been able to find a British lady, Sarah Bing, who has several luxury self-catering cottages in northern France, easily accessible from the port of Calais. If you combine that facility with a crossing using Eurotunnel then you can get all the way from Pershore to your French holiday home-from-home without breaking out of your comfort zone because Eurotunnels’ check in and boarding procedures keep you in your car.
Sarah tells me that, to implement fully all the Covid recommendations and to reassure her guests “we have decided to leave 24 hours between each booking and all the cottages will undergo a deep clean. We’ve bought two new steam cleaners with attachments for steaming the soft furnishings, the sofas and mattresses on all the beds and the curtains and blinds. We have ordered brand new duvets for each bed which will be laundered every week ensuring that each guest has a fresh duvet. We have spent a small fortune on approved cleaning products! As Covid 19 is a respiratory disease we have decided not to provide pillows or pillowcases for 2020 and ask that guests bring their own. All guests will be offered an artisan mask on arrival, they are handmade and can be washed and disinfected many times. It could become the norm over here so we want our guests to be both safe and stylish as they explore this fantastic region”
For more details see her website at http://campagne-countrycottages.com/ For Eurotunnel details and prices (from £31 per car each way) see www.eurotunnel.com
For those of us who fancy going a little foreign without leaving the Queen’s domains then I’m told that Condor Ferries will resume services to Jersey from Poole on the 19th of this month, however capacity will be limited to enable social distancing measures. Other safety measures include self-service for food and beverages and distancing measures for shopping. An enhanced hygiene procedure is to operate which involves regular cleaning in line with up to date guidance on sanitation.
At Poole, Jersey and St Malo ports passengers will be asked to check in earlier than usual to ensure safe embarkation. See www.condorferries,co.uk for details.
As we go to press news just in is that English Heritage are this week opening some 200 of their free-to-enter sites throughout England. Full details are available on their website at www.english.heritage.org.uk/visit /places but just to whet your appetite, local-ish places available include:- Acton Burnell Castle in Shropshire; Arthur’s Stone in Herefordshire; Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire; Belas Knap round barrow near Winchcombe; Cirencester’s Roman Amphitheatre; Clun Castle; Deddington Castle near Oxford; Edvin Loach old church in Herefordshire; Great Witcombe Roman Villa in Gloucestershire and the old Greyfriars in Gloucester itself. All these locations, though perhaps lesser known, have the advantages of being both free and unusual!
Also just in is an offer for October half term from the family friendly five star Trevornick Holiday Park in Cornwall, giving a family camping break for as little as £99 (see https://trevornick.co.uk for details of all their offers).
But, wherever you go and however you get there, have a good time!
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