Heathrow Express rail strike information - February 3

Due to planned industrial action, Heathrow Express services to and from Heathrow will be disrupted on 3 February.

Passengers are advised to use Piccadilly and Elizabeth line services for journeys to and from Heathrow, which will be running as normal.

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Stuart Messham
Airlines and routes, Shopping, Food and drink,
 
Christmas might be over and sunlight may be in short supply, but via Heathrow you can kick them winter blues into a cocked hat by swanning off to some of the most beautiful – and warm! – destinations in the world. Here's three of the best…
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Goodbye, frostbite. Hello, beach life!

Rockin’ Rio

Rio rocks all year round and January is its warmest month of the year: two sure-fire reasons that you should be considering a winter break to these unparalleled shores. Start off on Old Year’s Night with some wild celebrations on the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and enjoy a blasé New Year’s Day slurping cocktails with your toes in the sand watching the Azure waves swathe in under the watchful gaze of the defining symbol of the city, Christ the Redeemer himself. The figure stands 704m high on the summit of Mount Corcovado and hiking up there from Parque Lake takes about three hours there and back.

Beaches and bossa nova aside, if you’re into your history you should visit Pedro do Sa and Jardim Botânica. Rio’s Botanical Gardens also represent a calmer side to the city with oodles of exotic greenery to gawp and beautiful walks to undertake. Rio also plays host to the Parque Nacional da Tijuca: a 15 square mile rainforest in the heart of the city that’s sometimes to referred to as “the world’s largest urban forest”.

There’s plenty of ways to wash away the winter blues in the River of January. (The literal translation of Rio de Janeiro is “River of January” because it was discovered on 1 January 1502 by its Portuguese founders.)

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Goodbye, icy leaves. Hello, Azure seas!

Marvellous Mauritius

Is there any better antidote to the rigours of a UK winter than the paradisical backdrops of this tiny island in the Indian Ocean? We think not.

Does it boast some of the most delectable fine-sand beaches in the world with warm waters all year round? Of course, sir.

Is it a veritable haven for water sports lovers where you can throw off the shackles of England's icy roads in exchange for water-skiiing, scuba diving, kite-surfing and sea-karting? Affirmative, madam.

Is there more to it than just loafing about on the beach and larking about on the ocean? Most definitely.

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden is one of the world's best botanical gardens. You can spot rare birds – such as Pink PIgeon and Mauritius Kestrel – as you quad bike around the gorgeous Heritage Nature Reserve. Find hidden caves on a boat trip around Le Morne Brabant Mountain. Enjoy the French colonial-inspired architecture and the wonderful shopping and dining in the capital, Port Louis. And generally while away your days in lightweight accoutrements poring over your next island adventure.

How wonderful.

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Winter blues? What winter blues?

Irresistible India

January is cool and dry in India making it one of the best times to visit the country – and with so much to do, you’ll want to spend the whole month there basking in its heterogenous glory.

You could embark on a fantastic train-hopping tour across the country. You could take educational tours through the historic state of Rajastahn. You could indulge in some laidback sightseeing in Delhi (Republic Day parade on 26th), Agra or Jaipur. You could holiday horizontal on the beaches of Goa. You could take on the daunting Chadar Trek in the Himalayas or go skiing in Auli. You could go to the Mamallapuram Dance Festival or visit the temples in Madhya Pradesh.

There's far too many awesome things to do in January in India to list here, just make sure you have a flexible itinerary, plenty of time to explore and a sense of adventure, and you'll be fine.

Keep on reading:

Thailand and Vietnam also constitute a wonderful antidote to the winter blues.
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