We’re based in Manchester [15 minutes from the airport] and we have a place in North Wales too [see our guide to Llyn in the UK section], so we get a bit vexed when we see travel writers only mentioning flights from airports in and around London, even when there are flights available to the relevant destination from Manchester and other regional airports.

So most of our overseas travels start with the premise that we fly from Manchester — or for long-haul — fly via Amsterdam or Paris on KLM or Air France respectively. There’s often deals on these airlines and the no-frills variety too, so we don’t feel restricted by being so parochial and we don’t get stuck with cancelled shuttle flights to/from London.

We do a lot of planning before any trip, particularly for long-haul, devising itineraries to give us a logical round-trip. The itinerary suggestions here are based on our own travel experiences and are offered without prejudice.

We've visited a number of European cities for city breaks. so we've included our experiences in these too.

Please remember, airlines change routes — so do check availability before planning your next trip.

Long Haul

Manchester Airport has scheduled long-haul flights going west direct to the USA and the Caribbean and charter flights to Cuba and Mexico. Middle-east and far-east travellers are also catered for with direct flights to Dubai, Pakistan and Singapore and charter flights to many other destinations.

There are no direct long-haul flights north [over the pole!] or south [southern Africa or South America] but these locations are accessible via hubs in Europe: Helsinki for flights to China, India, Japan and Thailand and Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Paris for everywhere else.

Check out or for flight prices and schedules.

Short Haul

'European City Breaks' are great for experiencing the art, architecture and culture of other countries in Europe and around the Mediterranean — and there are lots of no-frills flights to help keep the cost down.

Some of our favorites we have visited recently are Lisbon in PortugalBilbao, Cadiz and Malaga in Spain and Essaouira, Marrakech and Taroudant in Morrocco.

Some of these cities were starting points for self-drive car-hire tours we organised — two in Portugal: the Alentejo region and a taster trip to the Algarve and western Andalucia in southern Spain.

We've had the opportunity recently to discover parts of our own country that we've never visited, so we recently went east to visit Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, we'll be creating our overview soon.

In this section we also intend to include an introduction to Llŷn, the peninsula in North Wales that juts out into the Irish Sea between Caernarfon and Harlech. It's a fabulous area that we really enjoy.