Top 5: Great journeys of the world


The gap year may have become a bit less fashionable these days, and no one in their right mind still uses the phrase 'trying to find myself' unless they really are completely lost. However travelling is still one of great joys of life. So for anyone without plans for the weekend, here are our top five epic trips.

1 Agatha-free Orient Express

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be but a trip on the Orient Express, now the Venice Simplon Orient Express, remains the gold standard of travel with proper luxury and spectacular views.

Orient Express-ish

Topping off the experience, if you’re not topped along the way, try a trip on a Venetian gondola, with or without the Wall’s ice cream.

2) Space travel’s in my blood

It’s not for the fainthearted, or the poor, but Tim Peake has inspired us all. If you don’t have The Right Stuff and don’t want to run a marathon while you’re up there, how about at trip into space with a commercial operator.

'A seat to space with Virgin Galactic and membership of the Future Astronaut community requires the full price of US$250,000 to be paid as an up front deposit.' But it’s only dollars. If it was pounds that would be expensive.

3) Way to go

The Camino de Santiago known in English as the Way of St. James, is the classic Catholic pilgrimage trail across the North of Spain to the magically named Santiago de Compostela (Saint James of the field of stars) in windswept and wet Galicia.

In the centre of the city is the fabulous and historic parador the Hotel de Los Reyes Católicos. Built by Ferdinand and Isabella (the Catholic monarchs) to host pilgrims who have made the trip, it still offers them a special rate. The Camino featured in the 2010 film The Way, starring Martin Sheen and his real-life son Emilio Estevez, who directed it.

4) It’s the Riviera, honest

The Riviera Line runs very close to the sea

Perhaps the most thrilling and spectacular rail journey in England is the route from Exeter to Paignton in Devon, branded the Riveria Line. The rail track goes very close to the sea, sometimes too close.

The Settle to Carlisle Railway isn’t bad either.

5) Get your kicks on a route that doesn’t exist

Established in 1926 the famous Route 66, connecting Chicago with the Pacific Ocean at LA,, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. It was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System. That doesn’t stop you travelling the route, though.

While you’re in California, why not try the Sideways trail, a real route based on a fiction novel and a film.

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