Travel tips: skate Canada’s Rideau Canal
If you’re after something a little more challenging than the local skating rink, head to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and glide along the frozen 8km Rideau Canal Skateway. The time to go is during the Winterlude Festival, which runs from January 29 to February 15, where you’ll find everything from learn-to-skate clinics to ice sculpture displays, as well as Snowflake Kingdom, billed as North America’s biggest children’s snow playground. A three-night break there with flights and room-only accommodation costs from £679pp (01342 888024, canadiansky.co.uk).
Scotland by train
Love train travel but can’t be bothered with multiple timetables? This new 14-night grand tour of Scotland lets you travel independently while someone else takes care of the details. The journey includes visits to the islands of Skye and Orkney as well as trips on the Jacobite steam train and the Strathspey preserved railway. Stay along the way at small hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. It costs from £1,875pp, including train travel and B&B (0141 3088009, seescotlanddifferently.co.uk).
Portugal’s pousadas in winter
For a budget winter holiday, take a look at this new fly-drive holiday around Portugal’s historic pousadas. From just £398-£419pp, you get flights from Gatwick, car hire and B&B on one of four different itineraries, depending on which part of the country you want to explore (we recommend the Alentejo). What’s more, you can travel any time between now and the end of April — apart from over new year and Easter. Book on 020 8758 4722, sunvil.co.uk.
Bargain hotel in South Africa
The weak rand means you’ll get a great bargain at this new boutique hotel in South Africa’s wine and foodie centre of Franschhoek. Leeu House, which opens on Tuesday, has just 12 chic rooms and a 15-metre heated pool. At the moment, the 2,600-rand-a-night price means you’ll pay just £121 per room, B&B — which includes soft drinks, local spirits and house wines, complimentary laundry, and a wine tasting. Book on leeucollection.com.