. N. i~ ‘asa happening i; p k ~ - for 16-35 year olds
Can a new website change all that? ‘.‘.’:;.~:s.Donald Reid
Garrloch, now converted to one of Scotland's most remote and unusual backpacker guesthouses. Picture Perfect Take a different look at the View hy Joining a photography course on Skye or the under-exposed north-west toast. Heart Break Stay at one of Skye's most romantic guesthouses, the House-Over-By attached to the well- known Three Chimneys Restaurant, for less than £100 per couple per night. Piping Hot Balnarn House In Inverness rs an ahsorhrno hands-on museum about H|(]lll(ill(l music old and new; the downstairs Cellar Bar has impromptu sessions going on most evenings and live bands on a Friday and Saturday night. The 'Sesh' Inn JOin in one of the infamous I've sessions at the Glenelg Inn on the road to Skye. There's even a comfy bed ll the party finishes that early.
More details at Wl. vw. wannabethere. com
'l‘hen there‘s escape. l‘inding out where the eoaehes (tuft go. Shouldn't the \yeh he just the Plaee for those \yho‘ye got a plaee oil the heaten traek to ad\ertise how little they lime to ol'l‘er‘.’ And partying: a elassie example ol‘ the mental harriers of eonyentional tourism. \Vannahethere might he stretehing it a hit
elaiming the Highlands as the historic home ol‘
hedonisin. hut hey. it‘s a good line. On this section ol‘ the site are puhs with regular folk inusie sessions. plaees where you might find the latest teehno-hagpipe outlit roeking tip a l-‘riday night. alternatiy e lestiyals. eyents. and
just plain good-time plaees. l’unny it's taken so
long to find out that l'olk in the Highlands don't spend all their e\enings in knitting \yoolly
jumpers or earying kiiohhly \yalking sticks.
“links so eneouraging ahout \yannahethereeom is not just that it's hringing a mueh more appealing and releyant Highlands to our notiee. hut also that it has emerged li'otti one ol‘ Scotland‘s mueh-maligned. morihund. unwieldy area tourist hoards. ()perators \yho haye heen working for years trying to appeal to a market no one else seems to helieye is there haye suddenly heen giy en long—oyerdue reeognition. .ltist as importantly. other operators who formerly helieyed life began at 40 are starting to tailor their produet to appeal to a younger market.
Signs of life yet in Seottish tourism? Something to he inspired hy'.’ Someone intist have been laeing the sliorthread.
Festivals, flights and fabulous fares
BIG NEWS IN the world of discount airlines is that British Airways has decided to sell 60. It’s announced that the airline has made a profit every month this year, but it remains to be seen who will move to acquire the airline.
SKI AND SNOWBOARDING enthusiasts can take advantage of some special deals from STA Travel. If you book before 31 December, you could benefit from free or half-price ski-lift passes and £60 off chalet and hotel accommodation in France, Italy and Andorra. For further details pick up a Ski And Snowboard brochure from your local STA branch, check out the website on www.statrave|.co.uk or call 0131 226 7747.
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CLOSER TO HOME, a new Glasgow hotel is aiming to set new standards in the city. Langs Hotel in Port Dundas Place boasts several unusual features including the 'Oshi' spa, which is billed as ’an oasis of calm for the mind and body', offering Aveda beauty treatments. Room rates start at £65 and features include CD players, PlayStations and ISDN links. If you're looking for that little bit extra there are three themed suites (pop art, natural and metallic) on the top floor offering views of the city. Check out www.langshotels.co.uk or call 0141 333 1500 for details. See Food page for restaurant report.
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Passage To Juneau (Picador £6.99)
It is rather difficult to see why this nautical tale of the adventure to be had by travelling from Seattle to the Alaskan capital received so many plaudits and hyperbolic travel book award nominations. As always Raban casts himself as a character somewhere between Rimbaud and Scott of the Antarctic, but he actually comes on like an unbearably snobby, vaguely aristocratic drunken uncle remembering the bliss of the colonies. Burdened with an uninspired historical parallel to a 1792 British voyage and a lot of soporific shipping detail, Raban stabs around the ice trying to give meaning to his story by pulling out myths of hardship and deprivation. He also seems to be working out some ideas about identity and belonging, ideas that are obvious to anyone but the coldly over-educated. Like the ancient wrecks that litter the inside passage, this really doesn't hold water. (Paul Dale)
Passage To Juneau rs out now
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