Green list news live: Latest travel updates

Fully jabbed Britons may not have to quarantine when they return home from amber destinations this summer, according to reports.

Ministers are working on plans to allow quarantine-free holidays this summer.

Meanwhile, Malta and the Balearic islands of Spain are slated for the green list, which is due to be updated tomorrow.

There are currently 11 countries on the green list, most inaccessible to British tourists.

It comes as the travel industry lobbies the government in a Travel Day of Action, putting pressure on the government to support the beleaguered travel industry.


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Cathy Adams23 June 2021 13:06


Airlines join legal action

More airlines on Wednesday joined legal action against the Britain over its travel curbs, adding to pressure on the government to relax restrictions that are putting businesses and jobs on the line.

EasyJet and tour group TUI said they had joined the action led by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) aimed at challenging the government for an alleged lack of transparency over travel rules.

The two airlines join the country’s other biggest travel firms Ryanair, British Airways-owner IAG and Virgin Atlantic as interested parties in the case.

A spokesman for MAG, the claimant in the case, said the court had accepted its application for an expedited hearing and the government, specifically the transport minister and the health minister, had until Monday to file a defence.

“We cannot comment on legal proceedings,” said a government spokesperson.

A date for a hearing is likely to be set either later next week or for the following the week, added the spokesperson.

The travel industry remains effectively closed as rules require 10 days quarantine for arrivals from all European Union countries and the United States. Government advice also warns against travelling to most countries.

British pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other workers are urging politicians to reopen foreign routes with protests and demonstrations across the country on Wednesday.

The government said in an emailed response its travel rules sought to balance the reopening of international travel with safeguarding public health and protecting the country’s vaccine programme.


No quarantine for double jabbed tourists this summer?

Government ministers have confirmed they are “working on” plans to facilitate holidays in “amber list” countries.

The move would see the mandatory 10-day quarantine for travellers upon their return to the UK scrapped in favour of testing – but only for those who are fully vaccinated.

He claimed he is “in favour of moving forward in this area”, and swapping the current quarantine restrictions for some sort of daily testing instead.

Read the full report here.

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:49


What the loosening of restrictions for vaccinated travellers could mean for your holiday

The move, confirmed by the health secretary, would mean tourists and business travellers could visit amber destinations without having to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.

Matt Hancock said he is “in favour of moving forward in this area” and replacing quarantine with daily testing.

“This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it,” he told Sky News.

What could this relaxation of restrictions mean for you summer holiday?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Helen Coffey23 June 2021 12:19


More Brits feel safe to travel in next six months, says new poll

There has been a six-fold increase in the number of British travellers who would feel “safe” going on a beach holiday in the next six months, compared to how they felt last October.

Research from AllClear Travel Insurance found that 30 per cent of more than 2,000 British respondents would feel safe travelling, up from 5 per cent last autumn.

The insurer also found that southern Europe emerged as the top destination that British travellers would feel safest in within the next six months, despite the fact that almost all of Europe is graded “amber” by the UK government and requires 10 days of self-isolation.

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:11


Poland tightens curbs on British travellers

It’s not all good news for UK travellers today, as Poland tightens curbs on Britons.

British travellers to Poland must quarantine for seven days in a bid to try to curb the spread of the Delta variant, the country’s health ministry announced.

“The decisions made on quarantine for travellers arriving from Great Britain are intended to reduce the risk of transmission of the Delta coronavirus variant from the endangered area,” health minister Adam Niedzielski was quoted as saying by state news agency PAP, reports Reuters.

“We must take care of our citizens and their security.”

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 12:05


Pilots’ union Balpa comments

Commenting on Travel Day of Action, Brian Strutton,  acting general secretary of the pilots’ union Balpa, said:

“The government has to decide if this summer it will make or break the UK travel industry. Pilots are meeting politicians across the UK today to urge them to put pressure on the government to act now and save not only the summer but the future of UK aviation and travel.  

“With a robust and open approach to the data we should be able to use the science to open-up safe travel routes with the US and many European destinations, just as other European countries have done. This would give the travel industry and passengers a chance to make something the best of the summer and start to stem the decline. Extending the furlough scheme and direct support to airlines and airports would save jobs and companies as we head into the winter, so that we have a leisure and business travel industry ready to bounce back quickly post-pandemic.” 

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:59


The full amber list

If the government does drop the requirement to self-isolate after visiting an amber country, which nations would they be?

As it stands currently, every territory in Europe bar Gibraltar and Iceland are rated amber. The US is also graded amber.

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:47


Independent travel businesses show support for Travel Day of Action

Speaking as part of the Travel Day of Action, Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group, which represents 1,200 independent travel businesses, said:

“Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for sector-specific financial support and clarity on the roadmap towards free international travel have not been met. Over the last 14 months we have seen our members’ revenues drop to a fraction of 2019 levels and a number of our members have sadly closed their doors for good.

“While much of the of the economy reopens, businesses in the outbound travel sector have been left out in the cold with a lack of financial support and ambiguity about a safe route to international travel. Alongside colleagues across the travel industry we’re asking the government to allow international travel to return safely in a risk-managed way, implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system. This should see the green list expanding in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.

“We are also asking for a package of tailored financial support, including extension of the furlough scheme, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

“Time is running out for UK travel businesses and we hope that the government will listen and respect the contribution we make to the UK economy.”

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 11:32


And what about the Greek islands?

Covid data expert Tim White has crunched the numbers for the Greek islands, and analysed the possibility of a handful of them being added to the green list tomorrow.

Here are the current 7-day infection rates/100k for the Greek islands:

#Crete 25.1
#Corfu 13.7
#Andros 10.8
#Chios 0
#Ikaria 83.1
#Kalymnos 6.2
#Karpathos 0
#KeaKythnos 0
#Kefalonia 2.8
#Kos 92.8
#Lefkada 0
#Lemnos 0
#Lesbos 21.8
#Milos 0
#Mykonos 78.9
#Naxos 21.0
#Paros 87.5
#Rhodes 44.2
#Samos 12.1
#Santorini 25.9
#Sporades 0
#Syros 4.6
#Thassos 14.5
#Tinos 0
#Zakythos 0

His prediction is: “But #Corfu seems certain to me. I am also hopeful for #Chios #Kefalonia #Milos #Samos #Santorini #Sporades #Syros #Tinos #Zakynthos.”

Read his full thread below.

Cathy Adams23 June 2021 10:42

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10 things to eat, see, and do in Huntington County

I moved to Huntington in 2006 as a college freshman at Huntington University. Little did I know that I would fall in love with my small, quirky college town and decide to pursue employment there when I graduated in 2010. Now, 11 years later, my family and I are proud members of the Huntington community. Danielle Shafer moved to Huntington in 2006 as a college freshman at Huntington University.

When most people think about Huntington County, well-known businesses like Antiqology, Joseph Dequis, Nick’s Kitchen, and Two EE’s Winery probably come to mind. (And for good reason!) But for the purposes of this story, I wanted to highlight 10 things to eat, see, and do in my hometown that people in Northeast Indiana might not be as familiar with. 

I’m a stay-at-home mom for three little people, married to my college sweetheart, and we do a lot together as a family. So I wanted to create a list of our favorite places to visit and interesting things we’ve discovered here. 

I hope you enjoy this small town community as much as I do!


Markle’s Pancake House has a large menu with low prices and generous portions.

Looking for a restaurant that offers breakfast all day? Markle’s Pancake House at 165 N. Clark St. is the place to go! They offer a large menu with low prices and generous portions. Plus, if you can’t decide between a savory or sweet breakfast, you don’t have to! This hometown diner offers the option of pancakes or toast with your meal. My kids love the Mickey Mouse pancake, and you can explore some unique breakfast items, such as the gyro omelet. 

During our most recent visit, when I was brave (or maybe crazy) enough to venture out alone with my three children, someone paid for our meal. Nothing beats that good ol’ Midwest generosity. 

If you enjoy Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Chava’s Mexican Grill.

If you enjoy Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Chava’s Mexican Grill. Located at 102 Frontage Rd. in Huntington, this family-owned restaurant offers some amazing daily specials to satisfy any appetite. Years ago, when I had street tacos for the first time, I fell in love. Two corn tortillas, meat, cilantro, and onion makes for the perfect taco. But, I had to travel to Fort Wayne to enjoy such delicious cuisine. That’s until Chava’s came to Huntington. 

I was truly over-the-moon to discover street tacos on their menu! As an added bonus, you can get their amazing street tacos for just $1.50 on Fridays. My brother-in-law, who lives in Northwest, Ohio, is adamant that we dine at Chavas every time he visits. He says they are the “best tacos” he’s ever had! 

Insider tip: Don’t prefer street tacos? Hit up Chava’s on Tuesdays for their classic $1 tacos. You can also get an order of arroz con pollo (rice with chicken and cheese) for $5 if ordered between 3-6 p.m. any day of the week. It’s my 2-year-old’s favorite. 

If you’re looking for more lunch options, try Taste of Philly on Hwy 24 in Roanoke at 4227 E. Station Rd.

Taste of Philly gets their bread and meat is shipped in from the East coast.

My husband and I discovered this spot years ago and have always been so pleased with our experience. Although I’ve never been to Philadelphia to experience a true Philly cheesesteak sandwich, I’m confident that it can’t get much better than what I’ve eaten right here in Huntington County. 

Not only are the owners transplants from the Philadelphia area, but their bread and meat is shipped in from the East coast. And so are the fries! Fresh cut every day. I like to get my sandwich loaded with mayo, cheese, banana peppers, and jalapenos. Everything is so, so tasty. The bread is chewy, and the flavor combination is simply perfect. If cheesesteaks aren’t your thing, be sure to check out their case of deli meat and cheese! 

Insider tip: You can get a 6” cheesesteak and small fry for $6 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.! 

The Copper Still is a classy 21-and-up establishment offering whiskey flights, cocktails, wine, and more.

Interested in grabbing a drink with friends or having a kid-free date night? The Copper Still is the place to go. Located at 165 S. Main St. in Roanoke, this classy 21-and-up establishment offers whiskey flights, cocktails, wine, and more. If you’re interested in more than just drinks, be sure to check out their line-up of charcuterie boards. I’ve tried nearly all of them and have loved every one! 

The Copper Still offers comfortable indoor dining and charming outdoor dining on their year-round patio. I visited The Copper Still a couple times while pregnant and was pleased to find a list of “mocktails” on their menu. There is truly something for everyone! 

A 4 oz. ball of mozzarella at the Golfo Di Napoli Dairy Caffè.

If you’re in the mood for Italian food or ingredients for your next dinner party, check out Golfo di Napoli. When I heard that an Italian dairy was coming to Huntington County, I could hardly believe it. How lucky are we to have an amazing cheese factory right here? 

Golfo di Napoli is located in Warren on State Rte 5 at 7916 S. Warren Rd. It’s easy to forget that you’re in rural Indiana when you’re there. The building is beautifully decorated, and they offer wonderful indoor and outdoor seating. I was lucky enough to take a tour of the factory back in 2019, and it was so interesting to learn about the cheese-making process. 

Golfo di Napoli offers a wonderful menu full of charcuterie boards, paninis, pizzas, gelato and more. How cool to know that the mozzarella, ricotta, or provolone on your pizza or sandwich is made right here in Northeast Indiana?

Little Sweet Spot opened in downtown Huntington in 2019.

I have a major sweet tooth, so I feel lucky to have not one, but two candy shops right here in Huntington! Both are located downtown. The Party Shop and Little Sweet Spot are great places to visit if you enjoy sweet treats. 

The Party Shop at 413 N. Jefferson St. is a Huntington favorite that has been around since 1920.

The Party Shop is a Huntington favorite that has been around since 1920.

Homemade chocolate turtles, freshly popped caramel corn, and creamy milkshakes are just a few of the delicious options to choose from. But dessert isn’t the only thing they offer! The Party Shop also serves all of your favorite coffee and espresso drinks. If you’re like me and don’t prefer coffee, be sure to try their chai! As an added bonus: The owner, Lynette, may just be the nicest person you’ve ever met. 

Insider tip: If you become regulars (like my family), you can open a tab! 

If chocolate isn’t your thing, be sure to check out Little Sweet Spot! This bright and colorful candy shop opened in downtown Huntington at 321 N. Jefferson St. in 2019. When you walk inside you can’t help but notice the giant gumball machine, vast collection of cotton candy flavors, and the wall of Jelly Belly jelly beans. They also offer an extensive assortment of saltwater taffy, gummies, suckers, and more.

Little Sweet Spot opened in downtown Huntington in 2019. 

My kids affectionately refer to Little Sweet Spot as the “new candy store” and are always thrilled to make a visit. 


The Ice Cream Vault on Main Street in Andrews features a mural of a Farmyard Hoedown by Bryan Ballinger.

Fort Wayne isn’t the only city with murals! Here in Huntington County, you can find murals in Huntington, Warren, and Andrews–with more murals on the way in Roanoke and Markle later this year. 

Grab your family or friends, and explore Huntington County by touring the area’s public art. Huntington was the hometown of Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States. Thus, you will find a beautiful quail mural on Market Street painted by America Carillo. You can also find an incredible sloth mural in the children’s section of the Huntington City-Township Public Library painted by Bryan Ballinger. 

My favorite Huntington County mural can be found on Main Street in Andrews. Painted on the side of The Ice Cream Vault at 63 N. Main St., Bryan Ballinger’s Farmyard Hoedown gives an ode to good ol’ rural Indiana. 

While visiting the mural, be sure to grab some ice cream, too! The Ice Cream Vault carries ice cream from Good’s Candy Shop in Anderson, Indiana, and it is GOOD! During our most recent visit, my son and I shared the lemon ice cream. It was unbelievably creamy and the perfect balance of tart and sweet. 

If you know an elementary student in Huntington County, you might even find their artwork hanging on the wall! The Ice Cream Vault was recently named one of the best ice cream shops in Indiana by

Forks of the Wabash in Huntington features several historic buildings, a paved trail, and an incredible suspension bridge.

One of my very favorite places to spend time with my family is Forks of the Wabash in Huntington at 3011 W. Park Dr. This park features several historic buildings, a paved trail, and an incredible suspension bridge. While it’s a popular field trip spot for local elementary schools, my family simply enjoys visiting for a chance to move our bodies and spend time outside. It’s a beautiful park located on the Wabash River, so it’s not uncommon to see photographers on site. 

Load up your bikes, scooters, strollers, or whatever you might need to enjoy a nice stroll through the park any season of the year (even winter!). A highlight for my kids last summer was finding a baby turtle! And a personal highlight for me was the Splash on the Wabash event that happens every summer. Grab some friends, rent an innertube, and spend 90 minutes floating down the river. It was a blast! 


There are five courses in Huntington County.

One of my husband’s favorite pastimes is disc golf. It’s an amazing sport for people of all ages, and we are lucky enough to have five courses right here in Huntington County. 

My husband was introduced to the sport through a nine-hole course on Huntington University’s campus. But his most-played course includes 18-holes at Memorial Park in Huntington. Every Tuesday evening, from April through October, the Huntington County Disc Golf League competes at the various county courses. 

Whether you are a disc golf lover, or trying the sport for the first time, be sure to check out the courses at Evergreen Park in Huntington, Tower Park in Warren, and The Wildcat in Markle. 

Drake Goetz Memorial Park has giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life.

One great addition to Huntington County in 2020 was Drake Goetz Memorial Park. Located next to Union Church at 4082 N. 350 E., this park is absolutely spectacular. The park offers giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life. 

Drake Goetz Memorial Park has giant slides, opportunities to climb, and a smaller playground to accommodate the toddlers in your life.

One of my favorite features of the park is the soft turf ground. It’s truly one of the nicest playgrounds I’ve ever been to, and I’m so grateful to have it right here in Huntington County. The park also offers a pickleball court, basketball court, soccer field, and walking track! It is truly a park for the whole family. 

TCB games is located in downtown Huntington and carries console games, board games, and card games.

I was pretty uninterested in strategy games until I was introduced to Settlers of Catan in college. I’ve never looked back! 

My husband and I are big gamers and have a closet full of our favorite strategy games. So we feel so lucky to have an amazing game store right here in Huntington. TCB Games is located in downtown Huntington at 44 E. Park Dr. and carries console games, board games, and card games. But, if games aren’t your thing, you can also find a collection of disc golf frisbees, comic books, movies, and more. The Pokemon stuffies are my son’s favorite part of the store. If you are a Magic the Gathering fan, be sure to check out TCB Games on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.! 

Insider tip: Coming soon to TCB Games is Bear & Beak Bakery. Located in the lower level, Bear & Beak will offer delicious cupcakes, cake by the slice, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more! 

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Government ‘not writing off’ summer holidays to Spain, Greece and US

An attempt to break the 36-year-old record for the fastest train journey between London and Glasgow will be made today, reports the PA.  

Avanti West Coast will run a non-stop service from London Euston to Glasgow Central to highlight “the ease of travelling between the home nations” as Britons look set to spend the summer exploring on home soil.

The existing record for the quickest train journey between the two cities is three hours, 52 minutes and 40 seconds. That was set by British Rail in December 1984. Currently, the quickest regular services on the route take around four-and-a-half hours.  

For the record attempt, a nine-carriage Pendolino train named Royal Scot will run at 125mph – the maximum permitted speed on Britain’s mainline railway – for as much of the 401-mile route as possible.  

Wishing those involved luck, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our rail network binds our Union together, and today’s attempt underlines why our clean, green railways is a great way to see the UK.”

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HURRICANE CENTER: System Continues To Form, Next Name Is Claudette

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The early Thursday morning map from the National Hurricane Center. The red oval shows where a system may develop, not necessarily a direction of travel.


BOCA RATON, FL ( (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The system that forecasters are watching in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to do little today, but there is a 90 percent chance that it will develop over the next five days.

The system, according to the early morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center, is interacting with land, but will likely emerge and grow. The next name on the 2021 list is Claudette.

While no threat to Florida at this point, anything in the Gulf is worth watch. The red oval in the official map, above, indicates where the storm could develop — not a direction of travel or a cone.

From the National Hurricane Center early Thursday morning:

1. A broad low pressure area located over the eastern portion of the 
Bay of Campeche is producing widespread cloudiness and disorganized 
showers and a few thunderstorms.  This system will move little 
today, and little if any development is expected during that time 
due to interaction with land and unfavorable upper-level winds.  
However, the low should begin to move northward by this afternoon, 
and a tropical or subtropical depression is likely to form by late 
tonight or on Friday when the low moves across the western Gulf of 
Mexico.  An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft is 
scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, if 
necessary.  Regardless of development, heavy rainfall will continue 
over portions of Central America and southern Mexico during the next 
few days.  Heavy rains should also begin to affect portions of the 
northern Gulf Coast on Friday.  Please consult products from your 
local meteorological service for more information. 
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent. 
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

Content copyright © 2021 Metro Desk Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. We vigorously protect our intellectual property and journalistic product. Broadcast stations must credit on air. Print must refer to Online must link to We have agreements with several organizations. Contact news (at)

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Travel news latest: Portugal set to scrap costly tests week after green snub

Prices of holidays to Portugal have nosedived a week after it was announced the destination was to be dropped from the UK’s green list.

The average cost of a summer break in Portugal, in July or August, fell by 64 per cent following last Thursday’s news, compared with the previous week. Search interest in the destination also plummeted by 85 per cent, according to data from TravelSupermarket.

A family of four is now able to secure a seven-night package holiday to amber-listed Portugal during the school holidays for as little as £180 per person, according to the comparison website.

The Mediterranean nation has also reportedly dropped the requirement for all arrivals from the UK to have proof of a negative PCR test – instead saying travellers will reportedly be able to use antigen tests, including lateral flow tests, which are significantly cheaper to buy, to enter the country. This follows news that Which? consumer group has found travel testing firms have been advertising misleading prices, prompting a review. The tests must, however, still be organised privately – not through the NHS.

While the Government advises against holidays to amber-listed countries, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not advise against travel to Portugal, meaning it is not against the law to visit and travel insurance will be valid. Former Prime Minister Theresa May has called the current rules “chaotic,” warning “we will never be able to travel abroad ever again” if things didn’t change. 

Scroll down for more updates.

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Hunt for RI’s rare state rock while hiking in Cumberland

Bring a magnet along to find a sample of the iron- and titanium-rich mineral named Cumberlandite, only found in abundance on four acres in this northern RI town.

CUMBERLAND — Two prominent families, the Blackalls and the Ballous, farmed, raised livestock, rode horses and lived for years on a rural stretch of woodland and low hills in the northern part of town.

Over the decades, urban sprawl, including apartments, houses, a commercial strip and a corporate park, crept toward the fields and forests.

But local conservationists managed to save 184 acres as the Blackall/Ballou Preserve. A natural oasis in the midst of development, the sanctuary offers family-friendly trails and reminders of the old farms, including miles of stone walls that separated pastures, wood lots and orchards. 

The preserve also has a unique feature — large piles of small rocks, including pieces of Cumberlandite, the official state rock of Rhode Island. It’s fun to try to find a specimen, but you need a magnet. (More on that later.)

Outdoor fun: From beaches to trails, there’s plenty to do in RI this summer

Walking RI: Cultural connections on a Berkshires road trip

There are several entry points to the public preserve. I set out on a path at the southern end of the property, just off the parking lot for the Dollar Store on Mendon Road where the Benny’s used to be.

A blue birdhouse marks the start, followed by a set of 15 timber-lined stairs down to a series of wetlands. Depending on how much rain has recently fallen, the lowlands could be bone dry or swampy enough to attract bugs in warm weather. There are several wooden boardwalks and plank bridges that cross muddy areas covered with ferns and skunk cabbage.

Walking RI: Hollywood wow factor on Hopkinton trail

Walking RI: A green getaway in the thick of Providence

At an intersection, I went right on the wide, blue-blazed trail that stays mostly flat and meanders under oak and maple, with some beech, pine and birch trees. The trail then climbs a small hillside along some outcroppings, with private property on the right. I heard songbirds in the bushes and could smell honeysuckle.

After about a half mile, the path exits at another trailhead with signage on West Wrentham Road. The trail turns west, passes a few more birdhouses and continues under a powerline, with wildflowers growing on the cleared ground, before reentering the woods.

The path then comes to a junction. I turned right on a red-blazed connector trail that ran uphill for a short stretch before joining a yellow-blazed loop. I turned right, and soon noticed a white-blazed trail that runs east and may have been a horse path that leads to another trailhead on Old Wrentham Road, where the Blackall family had a farmhouse.

I stayed on the yellow-blazed trail and circled north until I reached the tip of the property, where I found a large, tall pile of stones that are too small to build walls but were probably cleared from the fields by farmers. I’d read that some of the stones are Cumberlandite, a rare iron- and titanium-rich mineral only found in large concentrations on four acres in Cumberland and in traces scattered throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed.

Cumberlandite, originally called rhodose, was formed 1.5 billion years ago when a small volcano melded 24 minerals and molten rock. The Nipmucks believed the rock was sacred, and early settlers mined it at a quarry just north of the preserve. At a nearby iron works, the ore was turned into farm tools, weapons, cannons and cannonballs during the Revolutionary War, but the casts were of poor quality and prone to cracking.

In 1966, the General Assembly declared Cumberlandite the official state rock.

Because of its high amounts of iron, Cumberlandite is slightly magnetic. I collected several charcoal-gray rocks with white flecks from the pile and passed a magnet over them. Eventually, one of the samples stuck to the magnet.


I pocketed the stone and continued on the yellow-blazed trail that turned south and crossed a narrow stream, one of three I passed that are easy to rock-hop over. On the right, beyond stone walls and through the trees, I could see many buildings.

The western half of the Blackall property was sold and developed as Highland Corporate Park for CVS and other companies. The eastern half was conserved as open space.

I followed the trail along a ridgeline downhill, back to the red-blazed connector trail that returned me to the blue-blazed loop. I went right and crossed a marked natural gas pipeline and the power line again and followed the trail on a slight jog west to another trailhead. The path then ducked back into the woods and along the banks of a small, quiet pond that may have been a watering hole for livestock. From there, I returned to where I started.

Walking RI: A hiker’s guide to rediscovering your state (and yourself)

In all, I walked 3.5 miles on the well-marked trails maintained by the Cumberland Land Trust, including 0.3 miles on the entry trail, 1.39 miles on the blue loop. 0.7 miles on the red connector and 1.15 miles on the yellow-blazed loop.

After the hike, I drove north on West Wrentham Road and took a left on Elder Ballou Meeting House Road to a historic cemetery. I walked about a hundred yards on a path behind the cemetery and found the abandoned quarry, with outcroppings of Cumberlandite.

It seemed a fitting end to a memorable morning hike, and I headed home with a souvenir in my pocket as a reminder.

Trail Tip

John Kostrzewa will discuss Walking Rhode Island and recommend easy and moderate trails during a presentation Aug. 3 at the Cranston Public Library. For details, go to

John Kostrzewa, a former assistant managing editor/business at The Providence Journal, welcomes email at

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Latest Dorset travel updates for A35, A354, A31, A37 as roads expected to be busy – Bridport and Lyme Regis News

Latest Dorset travel updates for A35, A354, A31, A37 as roads expected to be busy  Bridport and Lyme Regis News

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Amanda Holden shares ‘stunning’ bikini snap and fans tip her for one big Hollywood role

It’s getting to that point in the year where a lot of us would love to be on holiday right now, although overseas holidays are looking hard to come by as travel restrictions change regularly.

That’s no problem for big celebs like Amanda Holden though who is currently on her jollies with husband Chris Hughes and daughters Lexi, 15 and Hollie, nine, who she shared a rare snap of earlier this week.

The family are currently sunning it in Portugal but will have to hurry back before June 8 when the Iberian nation goes back onto the amber list if they want to avoid quarantine.

In her latest snap the I Can See Your Voice and Britain’s Got Talent panellist can be seen emerging from the see in a stunning fishnet one-piece swimsuit, hair slicked back, sunnies on and a smile spread wide across her face.

Amanda captioned the post simply: “Fancy a dip?! #familytime.”

Clearly loving the chance to spend some quality time away from work with her nearest and dearest, as well as soak up some beautiful Portuguese sunshine.

Fans of the Heart Radio DJ were loving the snap and said so in the comments.

“Absolutely stunning,” wrote one.

“Flippin ‘eck love,” added another, clearly lost for words.

There were also a few fans who noticed something familiar about the shot which set their minds whirring and suggested a possible new role and fresh career prospects for Amanda.

“Seriously Bond has found his new Bond woman,” one declared.

“Bond film springs to mind,” another agreed.

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“Waiting for that Bond Girl contract like…” joked a third.

Many thought Amanda was harking back to Honey Ryder’s iconic scene in 1962’s Dr No, during which she emerges from the ocean and piques the interest of Sean Connery’s titular super sleuth.

What do you reckon, could Amanda find herself cast in a future Bond? Let us know in the comments here.

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Sanya, China Takes Home One Silver and Two Bronzes at IAI International Travel Awards Ceremony

“STPB has taken an open and novel approach to exploring the integration of culture and tourism as a part of its ongoing efforts to promote Sanya as a travel destination,” said STPB executive deputy director Wu Xiaolin during her speech at the ceremony. “With an open mind, we welcome any and all proposals for new products and campaigns based on a joint marketing model. We will continue to grow the brand by expanding on the reasons that a traveler might choose Sanya as a destination, whether it be the value proposition or the lifestyle options that the city offers, or simply the many ways that holiday makers can have fun there. We actively seek to bring on board high-quality projects, develop new tourism models based on the most demanding of standards while continuing to amplify the message that has successfully branded Sanya in both domestic and international markets as a travel destination of choice. The aim is to make contributions to the development of Sanya as a world-class tourism locale alongside the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Port.”

STPB launched the promotion campaign themed Wonderland Sanya in December 2020 after completing an analysis of traveler preferences and segmenting source markets based on an in-depth study of the local tourism market. Targeting major consumer groups in the 18 to 35 age bracket in tandem with themes that are more relevant to young consumers, the campaign has attracted an increasing number of domestic travelers who had given up their international travel plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The creator of the campaign leveraged the city’s tourism resources in a move to attract the targeted younger demographic, which, in turn, helped to boost the development of the market.

As for marketing communications, STPB has rolled out a new joint marketing model by integrating product and media resources in tandem with market needs. With an increased focus on the collection of tourism-related data and updates to the subsidy policy, alongside the city’s branding efforts and public-private joint marketing, the Board is proving successful in facilitating the rapid recovery and return to steady growth of the tourism market.

Going forward, STPB plans to raise awareness worldwide of Sanya as a warm-climate, seaside travel destination by adding the following to-dos to its roadmap:

  • Constantly research and put into action marketing models that are in line with the current development trends of the local market;
  • Combine the hosting of innovative offline marketing campaigns with the construction of an online platform that re-enforces the messaging that highlights the uniqueness of Sanya as a travel destination;
  • Create different promotional themes for each target market, including, among others, as a spot for destination weddings, health and wellness tourism, as well as a vacation destination with something to offer every member of the multi-generational family.

SOURCE Sanya Tourism Promotion Board

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10 Most Unique Wine Tastings In The World

There is wine tasting, and then there is wine tasting. There is nothing wrong with visiting a vineyard, looking at the neat rows of vines, and marveling at the large barrels before sitting down at a table to sample the goods. Add in a superb location, a nice restaurant offering wine pairings, or a quirky souvenir shop, and you have a little something extra.

But there are places that go even further to make sure you do not get bored while tasting your wine. Some offer an unusual way to sample the wine; others offer a unique way of making the wine or a location that is just as exciting as the wine itself.

Here is a list of some great experiences that even your non-wine-connoisseur traveling companions will appreciate. If you are looking for a truly memorable experience, then read on.

1. Marathon Des Châteaux Du Médoc, France

Let’s start with probably the strangest way of drinking wine ever: while running a marathon. Each year, the Marathon des Châteaux du Médoc takes place in and around the town of Pauillac in the wine region of Bordeaux. Runners, often donning fancy dress, take to the track to complete 26 miles punctuated by 23 stops. At each stop, they sample some of the region’s finest cheeses and other snacks and drink a glass of wine. Needless to say, closer to the finish line there are barely any runners left, and people walk along in various states of inebriation, but they’re full of cheer! For an unusual event with friends and some superb memories made along the way, why not try it?

Pro Tip: While you are in the region, head down to Cap Ferret, just west of Bordeaux, for some of the loveliest beaches in France.

Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour, one of the best ways to discover Franschhoek Valley in scenic landscape of Wine Region, near Cape Town, South Africa.
Photo Credit: Benny Marty /

2. Franschhoek Wine Tram, South Africa

Much more sensible than running is sitting in an old-fashioned double-decker tram as it trundles through the South African wine country and stops at regular intervals to let you explore the vineyards. This is a safe and leisurely way of wine tasting, with transfers from Cape Town to the tram stop and back, leaving you without worries about drinking and driving. This is a hop-on, hop-off tram, so you can either move on to the next wine estate or stop for longer at one with a good restaurant for lunch.

Pro Tip: There are several tram routes taking in various vineyards, so it pays to do your research before you start sampling.

3. Submarine Wine Tasting, San Francisco

Yes, it is a bit of a gimmick, but this is about unusual places and ways to sample wines. And the Sottomarino Winery, which arranges tastings in an old United States Navy training submarine on Treasure Island near San Francisco, is about as unusual as it gets. Sottomarino means “submarine” in Italian, and the wines are grown from Italian varieties in California. Treasure Island, a man-made island built in the 1930s for the Golden Gate International Exposition, offers lovely views of the skyline of San Francisco and makes for a nice day out.

Pro Tip: Learn more about the island at the Treasure Island Museum before heading back to the city. 

4. Royal Wine Cellar, France

Built in the 18th century for King Louis XV’s wine steward, this cellar next to the Louvre is a historic, unique, and very appropriate setting for a wine tasting. It’s a complete sensory experience! Learn about French wines on a guided or self-guided tour, at a private wine tasting, or at a dinner with wine pairings in one of the underground rooms. You’ll even meet the resident oenologist.

Pro Tip: Once you have learned some and tasted some, why not hunt down a few of the hidden vineyards in Paris to round out your experience? 

5. Underwater Winery, Croatia 

Located roughly an hour north of Dubrovnik on the stunning coast of Croatia, you’ll find a wine cellar that’s truly different. Underground we are used to, but underwater? Edivo Vina stores its bottles, sealed in amphorae, at the bottom of the Adriatic, and, if so inclined, you can don scuba gear and dive down to pick up your bottle. There is even a sunken ship nearby. Reportedly the even temperatures and quiet underwater benefit the wine — you can see for yourself when on dry land again.

Pro Tip: You can also book a private wine tour on the peninsula and be safely dropped off at your hotel at the end of the day.

Whales of grapes under snow in winter. Grapes are covered with snow
Photo Credit: Evgeniy Goncharov photo /

6. Ice Wine, Canada

Originally from Germany and Austria, ice wine is a sweet riesling or vidal blanc wine product. It’s called ice wine because the grapes are left on the vines until after winter and are allowed to freeze, making them much sweeter. The Ice House Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of many vineyards in Ontario, but it’s the only one that produces ice wine, even selling ice wine slushies. Sounds perfect for a summer day, doesn’t it?

Pro Tip: This winery is a couple of miles from Niagara Falls you can decide if the falls or the wine is the main attraction. 

7. Wine And Chocolate, Australia

Hahndorf, just inland of Adelaide in South Australia, is a quaint old German settlement that transports you to Bavaria, complete with southern German architecture, restaurants, and events. It’s a good spot for a day out, and you can add to the fun by booking a wine and chocolate pairing at the Hahndorf Hill Winery. At this perfect event for both chocoholics and wine connoisseurs, you’ll get to sample not just local wines, but also Australian and French chocolates made from Australian-grown cocoa beans.

It’s great fun spending the day meandering through little Hahndorf, shopping for local goodies like their superb honey, and then relaxing over some chocolate and wine before heading to a local restaurant for a good German sausage.

Pro Tip: Hahndorf is the gateway to the lovely Fleurieu Peninsula and a mere 15 miles from Kangaroo Island, a must-visit in the state.

8. Vineyard Cycling Tour, Italy

Umbria, a province in the heart of Italy located roughly halfway between Florence and Rome, is studded with vineyards and wineries. The region is best explored by bicycle. Umbria by Bike offers various cycling itineraries, but the Montefalco Vineyards tour is hands-down the most cultured. You’ll cycle around 60 miles through five main wine regions, stopping at each to sample the goods. Running between March and November, the tour is appropriate for beginner cyclists, with the paths mostly on asphalt. There are various bikes available for hire, even electric ones to make life a little easier. 

Pro Tip: This is a round-trip tour starting and finishing in Montefalco, so why not book yourself a room at the delightful Orto degli Angeli, a palazzo with a gorgeous garden and four-poster beds. It’s the perfect place at which to relax after a day out on a bike. 

A girl picks grapes in Portugal Algarve
Photo Credit: Sergio Sergo /

9. Residential Wine Resort, Portugal

If buying a château in France to run your own wine estate is a little out of reach, you can always buy a vacation home in the Algarve in Portugal to have a go at running your own vineyard. The Vines is a new concept of turnkey properties set in vineyards. Together with your vacation home, and within sight of it, you can own or rent your very own private vineyard and start producing your personal label. Local experts are on hand to teach you all you need.

Pro Tip: The Vines is located along the Algarve Wine Route on the southern edge of Portugal. It makes for a perfect road trip, meandering between beaches and coastal towns and select wineries. 

10. South Pacific Tasting, Tahiti

A vineyard on a South Sea island? Yes — on the Rangiroa Atoll, more than 3,000 miles away from any mainland, there is a vineyard. Vin de Tahiti was started by a Frenchman in the 1990s and now produces some 3,000 cases of wine from two or three harvests each year. It’s a 55-minute flight from Tahiti itself, so getting to the vineyard takes dedication, but this is a truly special wine experience. Rangiroa is also a top location for scuba diving, for beaches, and for an idyllic getaway literally thousands of miles away from civilization.

Pro Tip: This distant region of the world lends itself perfectly to cruising, which will allow you to discover more than just one island while you are there. Choices range from straightforward cruises to Paul Gaugin-inspired tours to budget-friendly boat trips.

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