Welcome to our official TripAdvisor UK blog. This is where we aim to share our thoughts, quirky updates, new research and anything else we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Top Beatles Attractions for 50th Anniversary of Debut Hit

Top Beatles Attractions for 50th Anniversary of Debut Hit
It will be music to the ears of all Beatles fans to know that this week, the new musical, Let It Be, opened in London’s West End.  And, true fans will know that a big anniversary is just around the corner – 50 years since the release of the band’s debut hit ‘Love Me Do’ on 5th October 2012. To pay homage to the iconic band, TripAdvisor has come up with a list of ten outstanding Beatles attractions throughout the world*. These sights celebrate the musical legacy of the Fab Four. 

1.       Abbey Road, London, England

Known as the backdrop of The Beatles’ eleventh studio album cover, the iconic crossing on this North London street is a perfect place to snap a photo. After visiting the world famous zebra crossing, travellers can check out nearby Abbey Road Studios, where the Fab Four recorded many of their hit songs. One TripAdvisor traveller said, “If you are a Beatles fan, you must go there and cross the street while somebody takes a picture of you, even if you're alone.”

2.       The Beatles Story, Liverpool, England

This museum celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles. On display, Beatles fanatics can see clothing worn by the band as well as some of the instruments they played. Guests can also view the Fab4D film which takes its audience on a trip through the history of the Liverpool legends. “A must for every Beatles fan and those who are not as well!” commented a TripAdvisor traveller.

3.       Strawberry Fields, John Lennon Memorial, New York City, New York, USA

Located between 71st and 74th Streets in the Big Apple, this two and a half acre memorial named after The Beatles’ song, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” commemorates the life of musician and peace activist, John Lennon. Also nearby is the famed black and white “Imagine” mosaic which has been captured in several works of art. A TripAdvisor traveller said, “Such a beautiful and peaceful site within New York City's absolutely grand Central Park.”

4.       The Cavern Club, Liverpool, England

Known as one of the first venues The Beatles performed at, the Fab Four took to the stage of The Cavern Club on February 9, 1961 and soon established themselves as the club’s signature act. Today live music can be seen on the stage which is open seven days a week starting at 10 a.m. A TripAdvisor traveller said, “It was like going back to the days of The Beatles. Music was great, drinks were not overpriced, and a great atmosphere.”

5.       Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Located in “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Capital of the World”, this museum features a Beatles exhibit that showcases nearly 70 artifacts, including George Harrison’s striped suit from the 1966 U.S. tour, Ringo Starr’s red military-style jacket from the “Strawberry Fields Forever” promo film and more. “The Beatles exhibit and films were our favourite parts, but really, we enjoyed the whole experience,” commented a TripAdvisor traveller.

6.       20 Forthlin Road – McCartney Home – Liverpool, England

Known as the “Birthplace of The Beatles,” visitors to Paul McCartney’s childhood home can tour the places where the Fab Four composed and rehearsed some of their earliest songs. Travellers can also view family photographs taken by Paul’s brother. One TripAdvisor traveller commented, “I loved Paul's home as it had a real sense of family about it and to be able to sit on the couch and look around was great.”

7.       The Beatles – Love – Cirque du Soleil – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Using master tapes from Abbey Road Studios, directors George Martin and Giles Martin created a unique sound score that brings the Fab Four’s hits to life. This three-time Grammy-winning musical tribute is full of vibrantly coloured costumes, impressive set changes, and thrilling stunts. “Made me feel as though I was on some sort of trip through The Beatles years floating on a cloud,” commented one TripAdvisor traveller.

8.       Videy Island – Reykjavik, Iceland

Travellers visiting this small island can see the Image Peace Tower created by Yoko Ono. This outdoor work of art that bears the words “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages, was unveiled October 9, 2007 which would have been Lennon’s 67th birthday. Each year, the tower is illuminated from his birthday to 8th December; the day of the music legend’s passing. A TripAdvisor traveller noted, “Yoko Ono’s peace light sculpture is a must see when it’s lit.”

9.       St. Peter's Church – Liverpool, England

While waiting to perform at a dance, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were first introduced on the grounds of this 19th century church during the summer of 1957. Today, travellers can walk in the footsteps of the boys and view the gravestone of Eleanor Rigby, rumoured to be the inspiration for the band’s hit song of the same name. A TripAdvisor traveller commented, “A historic and beautiful church. Good for Beatles fans in lovely Woolton.”

10.   Lennon Wall – Prague, Czech Republic

Since the 1980s, the surface of this cement wall has been decorated with art inspired by the legendary musician and peace activist. Displaying poetry and song lyrics, the images are continuously evolving and visitors are able to contribute their own musical musings. A TripAdvisor traveller said, “It’s definitely worth seeing as it has become a famous site in Prague. It's free and only takes a short walk in Mala Strana to see this modern work of art.”

For more information on these attractions, visit www.TripAdvisor.co.uk
*The Beatles attractions list is based on feedback from TripAdvisor travellers and as chosen by TripAdvisor editors





Wednesday, 26 September 2012

TripAdvisor reveals the UK’s most talked about restaurants

TripAdvisor reveals the UK’s most talked about restaurants

They say the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about and this list of restaurants we’ve put together have certainly created a buzz. As the most talked about restaurants on TripAdvisor in 2012 these eateries have really got chins wagging.

From celebrity-hang-outs to a family-run Indian restaurant, here are the top 10 restaurants with the most traveller reviews in the UK this year.*

“With the number of restaurants across the UK diners are spoilt for choice, but these restaurants have clearly created a buzz among the nation’s diners. With over 66,500 British restaurants listed on TripAdvisor, it’s fantastic to see such an eclectic mix make it into the 10 most talked about restaurant list,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

1.       Oxo Tower, London, England
Located on the South Bank of the Thames on the eighth floor of the OXO Tower boasting breath-taking views of the city, diners can enjoy superb pan-Asian and modern British cuisine from the spectacular 250-foot terrace. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The food was fabulous and it is truly an unforgettable experience.”

2.       Magpie Café, Whitby, England
Overlooking the harbour in the historic port of Whitby, Magpie Café is in a prime position for diners to take in the fabulous views of the seaside. The restaurant serves the finest fresh local fish and seafood using specially selected ingredients. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The service was excellent and we ate the best fish and chips we’ve had in a long time.”

3.       Rustique, York, England
Specialising in French cuisine made in a rustic cooking style, Rustique has a vibrant, bistro atmosphere offering a varied selection of meat and fish dishes cooked using local produce. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Wonderful food at a reasonable price, with courteous and helpful staff.”

4.       The Ivy, London, England
Established in 1917 by Abel Glandellini and Mario Gallati, The Ivy is one of London’s finest and most sought-after restaurants, also offering a private dining room and private members club. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The food was so good and I have rarely experienced service like here. Best in London.”

5.       Kismot, Edinburgh, Scotland
A family-run restaurant serving traditional and authentic Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine, Kismot is a modern establishment set in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The food was fantastic, really tasty and very affordable. I would recommend it to everyone.”

6.       Charcoals, Glasgow, Scotland
Serving Indian cuisine from recipes handed down from father to son for generations, and cooked on large charcoal grills in front of diners, Charcoals offers a fun and entertaining experience. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The food is imaginative and full of flavour, and the staff are very helpful and friendly.”

7.       Rick Stein's The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall, England
Styled with pale woodwork, an eclectic collection of art and shelves of fine wines, The Seafood Restaurant is a haven for lovers of a fresh catch. With a seafood bar in the centre of the restaurant, diners can marvel as the chefs assemble platters of oysters, sushi and langoustines. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The restaurant is relaxed and the food is superb. Our expectations were exceeded.”

8.       Jamie Oliver's Italian, Inverclyde, Scotland
Serving rustic dishes from simple, fresh ingredients, based on much loved recipes, Jamie Oliver's Italian is a warm and relaxed environment which feels like you have prime place inside a traditional Italian kitchen.  As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “We love Italian food and found this restaurant very authentic, and we also loved the atmosphere.”

9.       San Carlo - Manchester, England
With high standards of service and food of the highest quality, San Carlo is a favourite with diners and the culinary industry. The restaurant offers an intimate feel with white décor and red accents throughout, . As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “San Carlo is totally unique with a fantastic setting and great menu.

10.   Petrus, London, England
Adorned with modern, light interiors and highlighted with touches of claret red throughout the room, Gordon Ramsey’s Petrus is a sensation for the eyes. Serving modern French cuisine, classic flavours are expertly combined with beautiful presentation. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “A superb restaurant, and the food, service and quality is second to none.”

To see a list of the UK’s most talked about restaurants, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/InfoCenter-a_ctr.mostrestaurantsUK


*Most talked about restaurants were determined using an algorithm that measured highest amount of reviews by travellers from the UK, in the period 18th July 2011 –18th July 2012.







Monday, 24 September 2012

New holiday rental properties on TripAdvisor: September

TripAdvisor, home to more than 275,000 holiday rentals, is constantly adding new properties to the site, helping ever more travellers to find their perfect holiday home. Here’s a taster of the great new additions over the last month, including everything from a Catalonian farmhouse an Anglesey cottage.
Mas Ferran, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
Mas Ferran is a 17th century Catalan farmhouse in a peaceful, rural setting, yet only a few minutes’ drive to the nearest town where visitors will find shops, bars and restaurants. The property comes complete with modern conveniences, but retains its rustic charms through the original stone walls, vaulted and beamed ceilings, antique furnishings and terracotta tiled floors. The expansive outdoor area includes a garden, floodlit pool, Jacuzzi, sunny and shaded terraced areas and more.

Sleeps 9 (four bedrooms), from £1,596 per week, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3376313

 Large, luxurious cabin, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
Located in Granite Ridge, this quaint cabin boasts cosy mountain décor, a private outdoor hot tub and wood burning fireplace. Situated at the bottom of the resort, the cabin enjoys stunning views from nearly every room in the property. The location offers easy access to Granite Ridge Surface Lift and whether there to ski in the winter or relax in the summer, this lovely home offers an idyllic retreat.
Sleeps six (three bedrooms), from £249 per night, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3373150
La Zoca di Strii, Lake Como, Italy

Nestled amongst the mountains and valleys of the Lake Como region, this four bedroom property is in the town of Schignano and offers outstanding views over the famous lake. The property has been converted from a farm into a beautiful holiday home, featuring new décor, hardwood floors throughout and a private bathroom for each bedroom, as well as a large terrace.

Sleeps 12 (four bedrooms), from £80 per night, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3373007

Loft apartment, Paris, France

An ideal and affordable base from which to explore Paris, this loft-style apartment is on the second floor of a building in a private courtyard just steps away from a metro station. The apartment features two bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, making it ideal for families.

Sleeps six (two bedrooms), from £758 per week, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3373004
Country stone house, Burgundy, France

This 19thcentury stone cottage is completely surrounded by pine forest and pastures on which Charolais cattle graze, giving visitors a true sense of rural life in the south of France. The property’s idyllic location, overlooking a medieval chapel, means there are plenty of walks to do in the immediate area. The house features a large fireplace, terracotta tiled floors, antique furniture and a large garden.

Sleeps ten (2 bedrooms), from £38 per night. www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3373611

Catalina Apartment, Pacific Beach, California, USA

Catalina is an apartment inside the beautifully restored Villa Blanca. The property, in Pacific Beach, is in a peaceful location just steps from the beach and the boardwalk. The apartment offers sea views and is close enough to the beach that guests will fall asleep to the sounds of crashing waves.

Sleeps three (one bedroom), from £565 per week. www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3376265
Cohoba House, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

This large villa is located within the desirable Belmont Estate on Tortola’s northwest coast. The property, set in beautifully tended and terraced gardens, stands on a hillside and benefits from ocean views over the beaches at Long Bay and Smuggler’s Cove, as well as the outlying islands of Jost Van Dyke and Sandy Cay. The house, consisting of three pavilions, features a cathedral ceiling, integrated sound system and an outdoor area spanning the width of the villa, which includes a beautiful deck and pool area, as well as ample space for al fresco dining.

Sleeps eight (four bedrooms) from £2,182 per week, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3384385

The Old Farmhouse, Clun, Shropshire, England

The Old Farmhouse is a 300 year-old stone house situated in the beautiful Clun valley, located in an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty. Next to a working farm, it is an ideal location from which to walk or visit the many nearby historic market towns in this tranquil part of Shropshire. The house is set in the hills, about half a mile above the town of Clun, where guests can enjoy the local pubs.

Sleeps nine (four bedrooms), contact owner for rates, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3405040

The Granary, Jedburgh, Scotland

This semi-detached cottage is a converted steading set on a hillside overlooking the town of Jedburgh in the Scottish borders. The area offers plenty for visitors, including pubs, award-winning restaurants, shops, lovely walks and attractions such as the Mary Queen of Scots visitor centre, as well as the Abbey. The cottage, which sleeps eight people, features a large garden, vegetable patch, decked area, patio area and barbeque.

Sleeps eight (four bedrooms), from £360 per week, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3420597

Chapel House, Anglesey, Wales

This lovely cottage benefits from outdoor space, stylish décor and an excellent location from which to enjoy Anglesey and the surrounding area. The cottage is in the small village of Llanddeusant, home to the only remaining working windmill in Wales where visitors can see corn being ground in the traditional way, followed by refreshments in the windmill’s tea room. Other activities include fishing, bird-watching, golf, climbing and watersports.

Sleeps eight (three bedrooms), from £305 per week, www.tripadvisor.co.uk/3420592


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tourism Interest in Downton Abbey Home increases by 78% following new series

If you're a fan of Downton Abbey it's likely that you would have been sat on the edge of your seat eagerly awaiting the first episode of the new series on Sunday night.
Following the premiere of series three, TripAdvisor can reveal that interest in Highclere Castle’s attraction listing, the stately home where Downton Abbey is filmed, has increased by 78% after the first episode pulled in an audience of 9 million. In addition, the 24 hours immediately following Sunday’s broadcast saw the most visits to the Highclere Castle attraction listing on TripAdvisor in history.

 “Downton Abbey has a huge following, but clearly a weekly installment on TV isn’t enough, with some fans interested in visiting beautiful Highclere Castle where the show is set and all the on-screen actin happens”, commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.

Highclere Castle in Newbury, Berkshire is a 19th century stately home, and is open to tourists. The attraction has an average rating of 4 out of 5 on TripAdvisor.

*Data based on session counts to the Highclere Castle attraction page on Tripadvisor.co.uk between 16th - 17th September 2012 compared with 9th – 10th September 2012.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Boozy Brits: More than a quarter of Brits drink four times the daily recommended amount on holiday

Boozy Brits: More than a quarter of Brits drink four times the daily recommended amount on holiday
With the summer holiday period drawing to a close, as Britain gets back to normality TripAdvisor has surveyed the British public to find out their approach to health whilst on holiday and the results are in…

Of over 2,500* British travellers surveyed, our research found that 60% of Brits admit to indulging in more alcohol on holiday than they normally would, and while holidays are undoubtedly a time to unwind, 28% of British respondents admit to drinking five or more alcoholic drinks every day – four times more than the recommended amount[1].

It seems we are far from shaking off the reputation of boozy Brits abroad - when it comes to the number of alcoholic drinks we consume per day on holiday, British holiday-makers drink on average more than our French, Italian, Spanish and German counterparts. The Italians have the most restraint, with only a quarter (24%) drinking more on holiday than they normally would.

When it comes to weight, the changing shape of Britain is always a contentious topic, and clearly holidays play a significant part in expanding waistlines, with 58% of Brits admitting they over-indulge on food while on holiday. However, this is still lower than the 68% of Italians who admit to the same.

Holidays should be the perfect opportunity to recharge the batteries, yet a third (34%) of British travellers claim they don’t feel refreshed or re-energised at all following a break, with 11% claiming they actually feel less healthy and more tired after a holiday.

The results also reveal that British holiday-makers aren’t too worried about suffering from a health issue on holiday, with half (50%) claiming the healthcare facilities of a destination do not influence their holiday choice. And, almost a third (29%) of Brits admit they don’t bother to check out the healthcare available at a destination before travelling.

“Leading busy, stressful lives often means that a holiday is the only time Brits can really let loose and relax. While recharging the batteries is a great idea, British holiday-makers need to be careful that they don’t always need another holiday to recover from the excesses of the last one,” says TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.

*Survey carried out on 6,258 Europeans (including 2,508 Britons), between 3rd August – 10th August.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Top 5 trendiest hotels for London Fashion Week

If you’re a self-confessed fashion fanatic, you’ll be on the edge of your (front row) seat waiting to see what trends appear on the catwalks during London Fashion Week (14 September – 18 September 2012). But why stop with clothes, shoes and bags? If you really want to up your game in the style stakes take a break at one of the UK’s top five trendiest hotels as selected by TripAdvisor Travellers:
1.     Myhotel, Brighton
Located in the quirky and vibrant North Laines of Brighton, Myhotel is a funky, psychedelic delight. Designed by Andy Thrasyvoulou and New York designer Karim Rashid the interior combines bold design with the core principles of feng shui which make for a match made in heaven. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The rooms are just fabulous. Retro and modern with great attention to detail.”
In the heart of Edinburgh, Hotel Missoni is the only 5-star hotel on the famous and historic Royal Mile. The hotel boasts all of the Missoni style hallmarks with lashings of dramatic monochrome features throughout. A technology lover’s dream, the hotel offers Nespresso machines, iPod docks, LCD TV’s and high speed internet in all guest rooms. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Amazing cool hotel, great service, design and ambience.”
3.     CitizenM, Glasgow
In the heart of Glasgow, CitizenM’s style is edgy, with bright flashes of bold colour splashed in all the right places. Megalomaniacs will love the touch screen MoodPad which controls a whole host of festures in the room, from the television to coloured lighting for creating the desired atmosphere. As on TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The rooms were very modern and hi-tech, with a good use of space.”
4.     Velvet, Manchester
Located in Manchester’s city centre on bustling Canal Street, Velvet looks and feels luxuious. The hotel is designed with sumptuous fabrics and opulent colours and boasts added touches such as baths big enough for two and an iPod docking station in each room. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “This really is a chic trendy hotel, beautifully decorated with lots of attention to detail.”
Officially London’s trendiest hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street is home to a number of stylish hang-outs including a champagne bar and Japanese restaurant Miyako. No stranger to celebrities, Andraz has played host to many, including the likes of Mark Ronson. As one traveller commented, “Mega-trendy and convenient.”
To see a list of the UK’s trendiest hotels, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Hotels-cTrendy
* TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice winners are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.  The Trendiest hotels were determined using an algorithm that measured highest ratings by travelers taking into account the classification of “trendy” on the TripAdvisor hotel review form.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Favourite travel brands and products - as voted for by the world’s largest travel community

LONDON, UK – 4 September, 2012 TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announces the winners of its inaugural Travellers' Choice Awards for Travel Favourites. The awards honour the essential things that travellers insist on having with them wherever they go, from luggage and cameras to e-readers and sunscreen.

The Travellers' Choice Awards for Travel Favourites are based on the votes of thousands of travellers from the UK and around the world. This year, the awards cover 15 categories, with winning travel brands and products in the UK, United States, France, Italy, and Spain.

Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, commented: “We asked the world’s largest travel community to tell us what they simply can’t travel without, and so our Travellers' Choice Awards for Travel Favourites were born. The valuable feedback from our vast community has enabled us to recognize these favourite brands and we’re delighted to award the winners with the prestigious TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice seal of approval.”


UK’s Travellers' Choice Awards for Travel Favourites

GPS / Satnav
Insect Repellent
Jungle Formula
Private Eye
Rain Jacket
The North Face
Marks & Spencer
Travel Guide
Lonely Planet
Travel Magazine
Lonely Planet Traveller
Walking Shoes


 Lainey Franks, VP Marketing at Lonely Planet Americas, says: “We are thrilled that Lonely Planet was recognised in the Travellers’ Choice Awards. Lonely Planet is the number one travel publisher in the world and we are honoured to have such loyal fans passionate about our brand.”  



Award methodology:

Surveys were conducted in each country using a total panel of more than 7,000 TripAdvisor travellers to select a shortlist of brands/products in each category. A total of 23,706 travellers (including 5,276 Britons) then selected their favourites from the shortlists.