Entries Tagged as 'Lifestyle'

Let’s talk about summer with P&O Ferries


We’re taking a look at some of the things that might draw you to Holland this summer. An overnight P&O Ferry from Hull to Rotterdam could be the saving grace of the season. Readily affordable and easy to schedule passage out of the country allows you to make summer travelling easy and you’ll get to explore all the tantalising pleasures of the Netherlands.

Amsterdam is host to 15 Michelin Star restaurants in 2018. There are four 2 star and 11 single star restaurants to choose between giving the city a total of 23 Michelin Stars. Tourism is at its height during the summer months so be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

If you’re seeking a shorter weekend break you won’t have to sacrifice eating experiences however the Port of Rotterdam has three listed waterfront restaurants:

C.E.O bas sen het flees loosely translates to Boss of the Meat. We’ll skip the vegetarian jokes. This restaurant has received plenty of accolades for it’s premium meat selection including Japanese Kobe Wagyu beef and Black Angus shipped from America. The venue boasts an American grill which will give you the best US style beef dishes this side of the Atlantic.

Kwiezien: is a highly commended restaurant staffed by professional cooking students. They a range of Dutch and seafood dishes with carefully selected wine pairings. This restaurant caters to modern pallets with new and exciting flavour combinations.

Allure: a special place to eat, this restaurant lives up to its name, encompassing dining atmosphere with culinary excellence. Allure is now owned by staff who were once employees of the restaurant and have capitalised on their portfolio of customer care and fine cooking to polish up the restaurant to make it the outstanding establishment it is.

With P&O Ferries you and a partner could take a mini cruise from Hull to Rotterdam for as little as £80. Take in some fine dining, explore the city a little and be back on the boat in a day or two refreshed and planning your next adventure.


What’s summer without a good beach party? If you’re going to Holland this year then Bloemendaal’s beach parties are well worth the trip. Bloemendaal is on the coast near Amsterdam and you can get night buses for a woozy return to the capital after a hard night’s rave.
These beach parties begin in late May and run each weekend with a different theme all the way through to mid September. Take special note some of the themed parties will have strict dress codes and door policies.

The North Sea isn’t what you would normally think of for a beach holiday but the coastline of Holland makes for a fantastic getaway. If you’re staying in Amsterdam the coast is just a short drive away you’ll see the dunes that protect the flat mainland from flooding before the sea comes in to sight and then all you have to do is set up base camp before enjoying your day at the beach.

The coast of the Netherlands is divided in to three parts, Noord-Holland the more inhabited area where you’ll find the parties, bars, clubs and generally more vivacious atmosphere. It should be noted though that there’s also a quieter side of flower fields and picaresque Dutch villages.

Zeeland has to offer a more classical beach experience scenic views, and fantastic sunsets. It’s location has been used historically as a military position so you can explore some of the medieval forts. It’s also a good spot for kiting, surfing and wind surfing.

Finally the Wadden Islands are comprised of more natural beaches. This is an area of great importance to the wider ecosystem as the tide goes out a layer of fertile silt is left across the mudflats attracting wildlife from afar to come feast. You can cross the mudlfats on foot and take a close look at the abundance the sea has to offer. Take a hiking guide with you for added safety and they’ll be able to tell you in depth what it is that makes the Wadden Islands so important.


P&O Ferries offer a pet service if you can’t bear to be parted from your dog or cat. A beach holiday will be made all the more satisfying if you don’t have those nagging doubts about your prized pooch in a kennel back in the UK.

For £17 per trip you can bring your cat, dog or ferret with you on board the ferry. It will have to be in the kennel area for the voyage though you can go with staff to check on your pet, they are looked in on every 2 hours. Certain provisos must also be adhered to such as a pet passport and vaccinations – to find out more click here .

The overnight passage from Hull to Rotterdam is open for bookings now, we look forward to seeing you in Holland this summer!

Image Credit: Marcelo Campo , Robert Hertel

2018 Holidays in France with P&O Ferries


The festive season passes all to quickly (or maybe non to quickly depending on your point of view) but nevertheless as human beings it behooves us to keep our lives celebratory, adventurous or even carnivalesque if it’s our wont. So join P&O Ferries in 2018 to see what you can discover on your travels.

One of the other major Winter events in France is the City of Nice’s Carnival. Make your way to the south coast for one of the brightest spectacles in Europe this side of Summer. The theme for 2018 is King of Space what better way to rid yourself of winter’s cobwebs then taking a trip down to the riviera for a bit of mediterranean sun and a festival fun? In 2018 February 17th to March 3rd a grand parade of floats bursting with colour and music will proceed throughout the city of Nice with thousands of dancers and musicians. To draw you in to the pulsing crowds float rides engage in flower battles’ wherein flowers are thrown at the onlooking crowd raining colour on the whole procession. Absolutely something not to miss for more details go to the Nice Carnival website.

It will certainly be worth booking well ahead for accommodation. This festival draws people from all across the world and after this long winter a bit of frivolity in the sun is what most people have a hankering for.

2018 marks the centenary of the close of the The Great War. As the site of much of the Western Front, the scars across the landscape of France have rightly never been forgotten. More details about the ceremonies dedicated to the fallen of this conflict will follow but expect busy travel and around Armistice in November, the Spring Offensives in March, Amiens and Meggido in late summer and autumn

You may be one of the many ferry travellers seeking to take advantage of duty free in what is lovingly known as a ‘booze cruise’ and why not? After all with current political upheavals it may not even option in the near future.

So if you are looking for something to do whilst waiting for your ferry, or feel that something a bit more edifying may be in order then Calais has a gilded cultural reservoir that may just provide a touch of illumination.

The Burghers statues are spread out across Europe and have a fascinating story behind them originating in Calais where Rodin’s original bronze statues are.

When Edward III laid siege to Calais after the battle of Crecy in 1346 the town was forced to surrender because the people were starving. The King demanded that 6 of its leaders submit to him, presumably for execution, wearing nooses around their necks and bearing the keys to the castle.

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One of the richest town leaders Eustache de Saint Pierre was the first to volunteer followed by 5 other burghers. Burgher is a medieval term for citizen mainly denoting a member of the bourgeoisie or intelligentsia.

Edward’s wife, moved by this show of self-sacrifice, asked for mercy to be given since it would be a bad omen for her unborn child and the burghers were spared.The nobility of these men in the face of crushing defeat, willing to give up their lives in order for Calais to be spared, is now remembered in the form of Rodin’s sculptures.

Rather than set the burghers up on pedestals he has given them true human form, exhibiting the frailty and despair that the burghers must have felt. He felt it important that they not be raised up too high because it is their humility that has immortalised them. The statues are located at the front of the town hall of Calais, it was Rodin’s wish that a passersby could come across them almost unawares and feel a certain solidarity with the once saviours of Calais.

In the winter months the burghers, as an artwork, can proffer consolation to the reflective soul. As we all anticipate the coming of spring and new life; that which is hoped for for the coming year, though in all probability it will have its slings and arrows, can be weathered if we are but steadfast and just maybe a touch of human dignity, fey yet coarse though it may be might impart itself on you as you approach these unpresuming sculptures.

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France has something for everyone, a family holiday to Disneyland, a romantic minibreak to Paris, a decadent food to tour for the gourmand, bacchanalian for the wine connoisseur, challenging genuflection for the artists and sublime vistas for those who glory in panorama.

P&O Ferries hopes to see you in 2018, voyages from Dover to Calais exeunt multiple times a day. A service is also provided form Hull to the ports Zeebrugge and Rotterdam in Belgium and the Netherlands

Image Credit: xk1lime , Dennis Jarvis , nickodoherty

Christmas and New Years in Holland with P&O Ferries


It is now just a short few weeks until Christmas and the best way ensure the ‘most wonderful time of the year is indeed wonderful is with a little bit of planning. Here is a look at all the goings on in Holland over the last few months of 2017. Book now for your mini break or holiday in Holland with P&O Ferries.

Dutch Christmas Markets

There is an excellent and varied selection of Christmas markets for holiday shoppers to peruse opening late November and running right through to the New Year. Here is a guide to some of the markets not to miss this season. With P&O Ferries’ Hull to Rotterdam crossing you can visit these events with ease and comfort with overnight passage, you can bring your car to load up with Christmas goodies and depart on the day of your choosing. For more information click here

Magical Maastricht the furthest in land Christmas market from the port in Rotterdam, this is one of the grander busier Christmas markets Holland has to offer. The giant ferris wheel and ice rink in Vrijthof Square are difficult to miss but be warned large crowds are expected. The market is held throughout the entirety of the month of December, opening seven days a week, for more details on opening times view their website here.

If you plan to buy presents have no fear for the logistics, there’s underground parking for you to stow your gifts and return to all the fun of the market unencumbered. The market is set up as a series of wooden chalets for you to explore with hand made wares to delight the even most discerning of recipients.


Starting December 16 is Maastricht’s Magical Culture Festival. If you seek a little more than lights and shopping for your Christmas break then the 200 performances, workshops, guided walks, concerts and plays, not to mention museum and gallery events will surely have something to offer you. The programme is set to be released any day now.

For weekend trips or holidays with less travelling involved, bear in mind you can cross most of Belgium in a few hours, the Dordrecht Christmas Market is a viable option. It is however just a three day event so plan carefully to be there from December 15th. This is a beautiful event in the harbour due south of Rotterdam. over 200 stalls are established in the 2.5km market, the largest in all Holland. An excellent choice for boat lovers, the old harbour is bedecked with history and you’ll have the chance to sea Dutch maritime history in action. As a port market this event has a unique feel that you just won’t get in other major cities as much of the good for sale are shipped in from around Europe. Dordrecht market takes place on the Friday of the third weekend of December so with P&O Ferries you could plan a wonderful weekend retreat around this event.

For many of us what constitutes Christmas was solidified in the Victorian with much kudos going to Charles Dickens. Now it may seem strange to leave Britain to celebrate one of its most renowned authors but hey it’s Christmas – roll with it. On the 16th-17th December, Deventer hosts its Dickens Festival.


Deventer is a relatively small city, populated by about 5000 people, it is however rich in history and wealthy in 19th century architecture making it perfect for that Victorian Christmas feel. The Dickens Festival sees characters brought to life with upwards of 950 characters set to amble the market performing set pieces and gibing with the public. There’s plenty of time for you to read up on some of your favourite tales so as not to miss a thing. This is a popular event hosted annually with well over 130,000 people in attendance last year so prepare for queues. It will be well worth it though, the atmosphere dreamt up by the crowd will give you a sense of nostalgia and wonder that could catch even the meanest of Scrooges by surprise.

For literature fans, history buffs and anyone with an active imagination the Dickens Festival certainly shouldn’t be missed.

Other honourable mentions worthy of your consideration for Christmas 2017 is the Alkmaar Winter Festival returning for its fourth year. This city is famed for its cheese markets and we are sure you will be able to find some stashed away somewhere. The fair focuses on authentic Christmas fair with shopkeepers and performers alike pulling out all the stops to provide a lively and fun atmosphere for Christmas revelry. The fair opens on December 10th.

The Dutch capital is naturally the place to be for New Year’s Eve there is a lot going on in the build up. The central museum square is built in to a Christmas village for you to meander through on your way to and from galleries or restaurants. There is also the Light Festival, illuminating the city streets and canals with professional light engineers competing to bring a little wonder to nightly sojourners. And multiple markets with different themes are dotted throughout the month for you to pick and choose at your leisure. For full details click here

Book now for your ferry to Holland this December, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from P&O Ferries!

Image Credit: Ralph Peter Reinmann , shadowgate , Kevin Dooley

Belgium October/November/December

Love it or loath it Christmas is on its way. Book ahead for fast filling accommodation especially around New Year’s. We take a look at what you can get up to during winter breaks this year in Belgium with P&O Ferries.


As we all lament the loss of the summer weather and rue though the loss of daylight as the clocks go back (though we must admit it has its benefits) the time to batten down the hatches for yet another winter season is upon us. If you, however, are susceptible to the winter blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder: yes it actually spells out ‘sad’) one means of tackling it is to find something positive to focus on. We’ll grant that’s not always so easy, but treating yourself this festive season may be just the ticket to see you through, or raise a smile on your loved ones face.

Belgium is an ideal country to visit during the winter months because of its close proximity to the United Kingdom as well as the fact that areas of outstanding natural beauty aren’t so far situated from the comforts of urban environment. For such a relatively small land mass there is an exorbitant wealth of cultural, historical and gastronomical pursuits to make even a brief stint fulfilling.

Travel to Belgium via P&O Ferries Hull to Zeebrugge overnight ferry, you can book at your convenience since it ships out daily. Fairs cost as little £139 for a return and if you prefer the mini cruise prices start as low as £49 giving you a round trip with shore leave to visit the port city Zeebrugge. For more information, and to book: Click Here


A lot of the winter tourism in Belgium is due to the Christmas Markets all the major cities have them, the three major draws are to Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent. Belgium’s border with Germany means there is a fair amount of teutonic influence on the seasonal festivities, since much of ‘traditional’ Christmas fare comes from German convention where better to turn for Christmas fun?

Brussels Christmas Market opens November 24th to New Years’ Eve. It is hosted right in the heart of the Belgian capital at the Grand Place the cities central square. A fantastic destination for couples looking to enjoy the season, there’s skating rink and ferris wheel for lots of hand holding and warm embraces, the cold weather with warm lights and merry atmosphere makes any trip here special with just that touch of romance.

If you tend to struggle with Christmas shopping but want to find something a little bit special these markets offer an excellent selection. You’ll find even something small such as a decoration can become a treasure, brought out each year when most generic gifts have long lost their legs. The market in Brussels has upwards of 200 wooden chalets specially constructed to bring a bit of countrified Christmas village feel to the bustling metropolis. It’s an excellent site to partake in the countries ales with chocolate abound and warm waffles to delight both young and old.

The Christmas market in Ghent opens a little later in the year on the 8th of December As a major city there is naturally a certain degree of traffic but you’l find Ghent’s market a little less crowded than the one in Brussels. The stall holders here remind us that Belgium is considered a crossroads of Europe and therefore there is a more international feel to the market, though it still retains its Belgian charm. The wares for sale and foods available to eat are all from around the world so you could find some uniquely unusual, or perhaps unexpected gifts for your loved ones.


The third top Christmas market in Belgium for you to visit this winter is in Bruges. This is desirable destination for the winter months. Like Ghent, Bruges is rich in history but its architecture and general feel make it really strike the soul. From the cobbled alleys to the ringing church bells Bruges really is a remarkable place for the short stay visit. The canalled streets are a brilliant way to soak up early evening, savouring the season before reservations. The Christmas lights illuminate centuries old byways, you get the feeling that so much has happened there and just about any twist of fate might befall you if you’re open to it, there is mystery in Bruges.

If we have persuaded you to see the delights of Bruges for yourself with P&O Ferries then the Christmas Market opens there October 24th right through to New Years’ Day.

If you are hoping to bring in the New Year in Belgium this year, and why not they throw one hell of a party, then make you’re booking early accommodation and passage tends to fill up fast. We hope to see you this Christmas.

Book now with P&O Ferries to get you through the winter months, the Hull to Zeebrugge overnight crossing awaits!

Image Credit: Martin de Lusenet , Rod-20 , Susanne NiIlsson

P&O Ferries mini breaks and holidays this autumn


Just because summer has passed doesn’t mean that all holidays are on hold until Christmas or even next year. Now is the time for those mini breaks, to stop by the cities you’ve always wanted to visit for a long weekend or surprise your partner with romantic treat, just to remind you why you work so hard. In this post we are examine some of the main reasons why you should be travelling with P&O Ferries to France this autumn.

Halloween starts early in Disneyland Paris, in fact it lasts all autumn. October first to fireworks on Bonfire night in November sees the return of Disney’s Halloween Festival. The entire park is given a makeover to draw out the chilling delights of the clandestine and darn right ghoulish side of Disney.

Everyone who’s drawn to the dark side will get a thrill at Disneyland this October, the bad guys will be out in force with daytime parades and a Halloween inspired dress up corner. Come the night of October 31st Disney’s Halloween Party. This event will grant you late access to the park from 5PM, make sure to pre-order your tickets, just £38 each and you will have the run of the park and all it’s special spooky surprises until 1AM. There is of course one proviso – everyone attending the party has to be in fancy dress, and since it’s Disney you know attendees are going to go all out, so be ready for some cosplay. For more information on costuming in Disneyland click here.


Autumn is also harvest season and since flavour and freshness go hand in hand (most of the time), when better to visit a country famed for its gastronomy? It is likely you’ll find a heightened foodie clientele on your P&O Ferry. This is the time of year when being out doors doing things becomes less important due to the drop in temperature, and looking around for something tasty to eat with a glass of wine in your hand becomes of paramount importance. So if a Dionysian holiday is what you are looking for, France could certainly could certainly oblige you.

So we’ll start with something decidedly un-French in concept – Paris’ Oktoberfest commencing early October 5th – 14th in Paris Event Center. This will be the third iteration so all the kinks will have been worked out such as a paltry 15,000 litres of beer being swilled at the original 2015 event, we’re sure this volume will be overthrown now the occasion has garnered some momentum.

Tickets are required for entry so book ahead, though the day opens at 4PM children aren’t permitted past 6:30PM and you will need to purchase beer tokens a is custom at beer festivals (money can cause problems). Book your tickets early for discounted prices and enjoy a taste of Bavaria.

For a taste of France you might like to try a wine tour. Since this is the time of the grape harvest wine merchants will be touting their wares and it’s a good time to get the skinny on how the season has been before pre-purchasing a case of something that might be worth a fortune one day. Of course their is the tried and true alternative of getting yourself to a distillery for a tour and plenty of free samples, both equally respectable pursuits.

The major wine regions in good proximity to the port of Calais where your P&O Ferry will deliver you are Champagne, Burgundy and Loire, these being the most northerly and conveniently bordering Paris. Fans of Chablis may find it worth their while to venture a bit further south. Wine tourism in France is big business so you won’t need our help finding trusted tour bookings, most major vineyards cater for tourism and it does make for a fascinating day out.


Montmartre’s Grape Harvest festival Fete des vendages is an excellent alternative to trekking cross country in order to drink wine. Vintners ship their wines to the capital so it may cost more but it’s the same wine. Montmartre is one of those illustrious corners of a city that teeters on the verge of total collapse under the weight of its own fame. Down and out artists, the Moulin Rouge and some some incredible views of the city attract a fair footfall to this region of the city and is therefore a brilliant site for the wine festival.

Admission is free and you can expect upwards of 40 bars and restaurants to be taking place in the festival. Montmartre’s artistic heritage makes this a lively affair with dances, shows and live performances. There is a traditional ‘Not Getting Married’ ceremony wherein couples can make a pledge to continue to live in sin and the event with a display of fireworks. Make your bookings now for the Grape Harvest Festival 11th-14th October.

Visit France this Spring with P&O Ferries, multiple channel crossings daily from Dover to Calais.

Image Credit: Ryan Blyth , Chad Sparkes , Glen Scarborough

P&O Ferries post-season Holidays in Holland


Your casual holiday goer expects to travel when the sun is at its zenith in the height of summer. The trouble is, this is not a unique thought. That’s why you find prices slightly inflated over the summer months, crowds that little bit busier and let’s face it, hell is other people. That is precisely why late summer and early autumn are ideal times to visit those places you’ve always wanted to see. Children have gone back to school and since tourism season is waning most venues are actually glad to see you rather than fretting that all the wheels are turning sufficiently.

In this post we’re taking a look some of the major venues in Holland you’ll be pleased to find ‘surprisingly’ accessible now that the main summer hubbub has diminished. Of course when you venture to a major city’s major attraction there will always be some footfall but you’ll certainly find them less populated given the season.

If you are drawn to Holland for its historical and cultural reservoirs then you will undoubtedly find succour in the major cities, namely Amsterdam. Though you should be wary that some of the less renowned museums are little more than shops that you pay to enter. To avoid this stick to the established and well listed museums they assuredly will not disappoint.

Perhaps the ichiban (no.1) museum you’ll find listed in Holland is the famous Rijksmuseum perhaps the largest museum in Holland, as an institution it began over 200 years ago in The Hague before moving to the modern capital in the late 1800s. It boasts a million pieces in it’s inventory dating back to the year 1200. It is home to masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals.

Rijksmuseum is in close proximity to the other major art gallery in Amsterdam, which is perhaps most tourists’ first port of call the Van Gogh Museum. Both museums can be found on Museumplein ‘Museum Square’ in the southern borough of the city. The Van Gogh Museums attracts nearly 2 million annual visitors and is home to all the iconic pieces that Van Gogh’s name summons to the minds eye.

The third museum we would suggest is the Wereldmuseum or World Museum. As a country with a proud naval tradition many treasures from across the globe were collected by interested parties. These parties formed the Royal Each Club in Rotterdam and welcomed merchants, explorers scientists and the like each of whom would pick up curiosities while they worked abroad. Eventually these items formed a broad enough collection to warrant one of the great ethnographic museums in Europe.


The final museum you may probably have heard of is Anne Frank’s House. Amongst the splendour of Amsterdam’s famous canals and idyllic walkways is a place of real history with a story continues to captivate. For more information on this museum click here Though it may bring a solemn pall to your vacation you’ll find it resonates as a human experience which is immensely rewarding.

With the summer months waning you may still be fortunate enough to see the sights of Amsterdam by water and in the sun. Amsterdam may not have the romantic celebrity of Venice but its architecture is still beautiful to behold and it is transformed with autumnal colours to make a view which easily matches Poets Walk in New York’s Central Park.

You can also take in the seasonal changes in Vondelpark. This park situated right in the heart of Amsterdam, constructed during the era of formalism which gives it an exacting and elegant landscape for you to enjoy. Water also runs through it so you may like to take to a boat for a relaxing afternoon.

If you favour a bit more open space than a city park then Hoge Veluwe Holland’s national park is a broad expanse due east of Utrecht. Its 21 square miles of country is perfect for a late summer picnic or hike in the country. The real draw of Home Veluwe is its sheer diversity of habitat. Ranging from dunes to dense forest if you have a mind to the spectrum of wildlife preparing for winter will make a trip to this nature park truly rewarding. You can also hire bikes to get around a bit quicker.


Hoge Veluwe is home to two museums the Kroller Mueller museum houses artworks by Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Renoir and many others. The gallery itself was constructed as a means of meshing art and nature, indeed there is a sculpture garden outside to reinforce the concatenation. The other major museum of the park is the Museonder an underground museum, that’s not to say few people know about it, the exhibition itself is a journey of the world beneath our feet. You can learn all about the subterranean world as well as findings of animal bones and the lives of underground creatures as well as the systems of trees.

Book now for your late summer holidays to Holland. P&O Ferries’ Hull to Rotterdam overnight service is at your service.

Image Credit: Roman Boed , bertknot , Shepard4711

P&O Ferry trips to Belgium this Summer


There’s still a lot of summer left for you to get some fun in this year, here’s a look at some of the exciting goings on in Belgium this August and September

P&O Ferries’ Hull to Zeebrugge ferry is an overnight service costing £129 each way, with on board entertainment as well restaurants, bars and arcades for you and the family to enjoy during the crossing. A range of cabins are available depending on the level of comfort you require from basics with a shower and place to rest your head to premium cabins with sea views television and room to privately relax. Zeebrugge itself makes a great initial destination with a lively marina plenty of cafes to restore yourself after the crossing. While the summer sun still shines you might like to stop by Zeebrugge’s beaches that travel all the way up the coast to Ostende, on a good day these open expanses make for an excellent place to sun yourself, you could even forget that you’re looking out on to the North Sea when the temperatures are up.

Perhaps it would be remiss of us to declaim that Belgian beer season is here, since there is usually at least two beer festivals going on per month throughout the entire year. Belgium is famed for its brews for a very good reason after all, namely that their beers are . However beer drinkers should be made well aware that the latter part of summer in Belgium is very tightly scheduled with back to back beer festivals. Which some might consider strange seeing as Belgium is a relatively small country but it has a long and rich history of brewing and certainly more breweries per capita than you are likely to find anywhere else. That is why drinking beer in Belgium could be seen, from a certain perspective, as part of a cultural education – though that may not fly should you fail to dabble with the vast wealth of culture (arts, architecture, history etc.) that is on offer in Belgium. If you have your doubts about attending events dedicated to alcohol, rest assured they are not weekend long binges, it’s not about inebriation. The quality, variety and history of the Belgian brewing tradition and its products are what makes these events popular and necessary, you’re far more likely to run in to a connoisseur than someone who’s unaware of their limits.


TheNorth Sea Beer Festival is the third beer related event in August alone, occurring on the last weekend of the month between the 25th and 27th. The venue is Ostende’s Leopoldpark not a long stretch away from the beach and just opposite the De Grove Post cultural centre. This is only the third edition of the North Sea Beer Festival which welcomes visitors from all countries that have ports on to the North Sea. Upwards of 35 Belgian breweries will be plying over 200 varieties of Belgian beer only €12 for entry, which includes a glass and three tokens entitling you to drinks, more can be purchased at €2 a pop. For more information
click here

Beer Weekend is hosted by beer tasting association De Lambikstoemper an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Belgian beers. On the last weekend of August De BierWeekend the eighteenth edition of this festival will be taking place in at the visitors centre in Alsemberg. This town is just south of Brussels, near Waterloo and 3 star accommodation is as low as £59. De Bierweekend is one of the smaller festivals attracting a footfall in the hundreds rather than thousands but this simply means less queues. If the weather holds the terraced visitors centre makes an excellent spot for beer sampling in the sun.

What makes this event remarkable is that it’s the product of Belgian beer aficionados working to promote the products they love. There is a focus on the Lambic brewing tradition which focus’ on producing beers with wild airborne yeasts from the Senne River valley. Whereas most industrial scale brewers have carefully isolated and quantified yeasts to assure control of the final product, Lambic brewers eschew such manipulations. It certainly produces a product like no other. Here is a link to the website


There is an intermittent Hop Picking Beer Festival on De Plukker Hop Farm Brewery, not quite the grand stage of the next festival but on August 27th you’ll get to see how craft brewing can develop to a prospering business. An organic farm has developed its own brewing tradition and now exports it out to the world, this event will surely have a convivial atmosphere and offer lots to those interested in brewing.

Following on from the small stage comes the grandest even in the Belgian beer calendar. Belgian Beer Weekend is being held on the first weekend of September and attracts all the major brands and brewers. On Friday 1st in Brussels’ centre square the Grand Plaatz after an initial inauguration and academic graduation of brewers the event will be open to the public at 6pm. For a full list of their program click here

Book now for your P&O Ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge for your getaway with the last of summer’s sun in Belgium this year.

Image Credit: kmf186 , Matt Lewis , Lex Kravetski

Summer 2017 in France with P&O Ferries


During the summer months you simply have to get out there for that vital vitamin D it will put you in good stead for what is sure to be another, seemingly endless winter. With P&O Ferries the delights of northern France, and beyond, will be opened up to you and with the ferry crossing you get the comfort and familiarity of bringing your own car along with you should you prefer not to opt for a rental.

Passage to France with P&O Ferries is 90 minute journey from Dover to Calais and you bring up to 9 nine passengers per car with most tickets, this includes any time day tickets so you won’t have to worry about arriving at the port for a specific time. You can currently book long stay tickets for as little as £39 each way.

Traditionally the south of France’s Riviera area has been where summer tourism reaches its peak, after all who doesn’t enjoy a mediterranean beach in the sun? This does tend to come with a premium however, be it the cost of travel, accommodation or gastronomy. You may not wish to go so far south having arrived at such a northerly point as Calais so there is an alternative in a little place that tends to attract a fair footfall of tourists even in the off season, namely Paris. On the banks of the river Seine a free to access beach is established complete with cocktail bars, sun loungers and sand castles. It called the Paris plage meaning ‘beach’ and is set up for the sunniest time of the year mid July to mid August. If you are drawn to France for the delights of its capital then, as you might expect a bustling major city can get a bit stifling during the height of summer so reclining at Paris Place can be just the ticket to cool you off.

It is also worth noting that some of the museums and galleries of France adjust their schedules for the summer months. Since the schools there are also closed throughout the entire month and a lot of the citizens of France use this period for their own summer holidays, cultural sites are keeping their doors open for longer to encourage more people to visit. So if you are visiting a major city in France this year you’ll be able to access notable galleries such as the Picasso Paris until late in the evening.

It makes for an excellent post evening meal opportunity to do a bit of leg work whilst feasting your eyes, and under 25 are even getting free access.

Speaking of 25 year olds, this year Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Which we have mentioned in previous posts, for more information click here The major deal is a whopping 20% off of hotel and ticket package deals. This involves a certain amount of terms and conditions but if you are booking a family trip to Disneyland this summer then it offers a good means for taking the edge off costs. Just be sure to have your booking in by July 19th. Fret not if this is all a little too short notice there are early booking deals for you to take advantage off well in to next year.


Besides Disneyland Paris another major draw for tourists to France is its gastronomy. These summer months are by far the best time of the year to take a gourmand’s grand tour of France. The best time to enjoy the produce of France is at summer from small towns food fairs to major city food festivals you will without a doubt be able to find the best range of cheeses, meats, fresh baked goods and even sea food cuisine with a summer holiday to France. Of course France is also famous for its wines and around this time of year after Beaujolais Nouveau when the latest vintages are uncorked you are sue to find sommeliers, festivals such as the Champagne Route Festival and the White Wine and Oysters Festival exceedingly tantalising and a lot of fun once everybody has had a few.


Tourists planning on July holidays should be forewarned that the Tour de France begins July 1st lasting until the 23rd this can make accommodations and travel troublesome not to mention that slight feeling of shame one always feels when surrounded by super fit cycling types. This year it begins in Dusseldorf heading south through a mountainous route before it bends back up to Paris. This event does peak a certain level of excitement through France though the local populace is quite used to it, if it does coincide with your trip to France making the effort to see it go past is still rewarding.

Book now for your summer holiday to France with P&O Ferries. The Dover to Calais service runs multiple times daily and can get you there in just 90 minutes

Image Credit: Tommie Hansen , Domaine Rickaert , Martin Thomas

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