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Faima Bakar

Faima Bakar

Contributing writer

Faima is a freelance news and features writer for Time Out’s UK team. She was previously on staff at Metro and the Huffington Post.

News (136)

This tiny remote island off the coast of Wales is looking for a new warden

This tiny remote island off the coast of Wales is looking for a new warden

It might not be the Caribbean or the Maldives, but Flat Holm, in the middle of the Bristol channel, has a lot to offer. The 86-acre island, just to the south of Wales, is where the first radio signal was sent across water and has been home to monks, Vikings and World War II soldiers over the years. And if you fancy a bit of isolation yourself, now the island needs a new warden. The current caretaker has decided to move on, and so now the role has opened up, meaning the island needs someone to watch over it and maintain the upkeep of the land. Flat Holm also features a 100-foot Grade II-listed lighthouse, two helipads and some gun batteries. While it might get lonely on the island, which is visible from the pier in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, it does have its fair share of tourists looking to learn about the history of the place. And secluded though it is, the island does have its own pub. A Victorian cottage has been converted into a pub called The Gull and Leek. The previous warden said it’s ideal for nature lovers looking for some solitude, adding that it’s a ‘great place to take your ecological studies to the next level because of the resources all around you with no distractions’. Tempted to apply? Get in touch with the Flat Holm Project here. Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.

Gatwick has added new routes to loads of amazing destinations for 2023

Gatwick has added new routes to loads of amazing destinations for 2023

British Airways isn’t the airline you’d first think of when considering a short-haul flight to Europe. But that could soon change. The carrier is planning to offer many more trips to Mediterranean holiday hotspots from Gatwick Airport in 2023. The carrier’s main base is Heathrow but since the pandemic there has been tension between the two caused by this summer’s travel chaos and the airport’s controversial passenger cap. Now BA is exploring other options. While BA does have a sizeable number of slots at Gatwick, it had leased out hundreds of these positions to other airlines including 118 to its sister jet Vueling, plus 230 to EasyJet. Now, however, BA will be taking some of these back, increasing the regularity of existing services and also adding several brand-new destinations. These include:  Bordeaux, France Cagliari, France Dalaman, Turkey Heraklion, Greece Ibiza, Spain Kos, Greece Santorini, Greece Thessaloniki, Greece Venice, Italy Meanwhile, new long-haul destinations will include Aruba, Georgetown (Guyana), Cape Town, Las Vegas and Vancouver. ICYMI: we might actually be getting a white Christmas this year (yes, really). Plus: 100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week.

How to watch the England-Wales 2022 World Cup game

How to watch the England-Wales 2022 World Cup game

The World Cup is in full swing and we’re almost at the end of the group stages. The last matches will be played this week, with England and Wales battling it out to decide who will make it to the last 16. We can expect the two UK nations to pull out all the stops to make it to the knockout stages of the tournament. England smashed Iran with a 6-1 victory in their first match, then drew a subsequent one with USA, while Wales lost 2-0 to Iran and also drew with USA. With Wales fighting to avoid crashing out (it will depend on a few factors including the outcome of the USA-Iran game) and England hoping to come top of the group, it’s sure to be an interesting match. Here’s everything you need to know. When is the England versus Wales match? The game between England and Wales will take place on Tuesday November 29. What time does the match kick off? The match kicks off at 7pm and pre-kick-off commentary will be available before the game.  How can I watch the England versus Wales game on TV? The BBC will be broadcasting the match on BBC One and BBC Sport with commentary available before the 7pm kick-off. You can also watch it on the Welsh broadcaster S4C. Is there a live-stream of the England versus Wales game?  You can watch the game live on BBC iPlayer, provided you have a TV licence. Can I listen on the radio? The match will also be broadcast on the radio. You can listen on stations such as talkSPORT and BBC Radio 5 Live. Where is the match being played? The match is being playe

‘Highly contagious’ diphtheria is apparently on the rise – here are the symptoms to look out for

‘Highly contagious’ diphtheria is apparently on the rise – here are the symptoms to look out for

Most of us have been vaccinated against diphtheria since inoculations were introduced in 1942. But the respiratory infection may now be on the rise. At least 50 cases have been detected over the past year and the disease could spread further unless action is taken. According to the Health Security Agency (UKHSA), there were around 50 cases identified among asylum seekers who arrived in England over the past 11 months, compared with an average of 2 to 11 cases in the country per year over the past decade. The government has been criticised for the overcrowded and ‘wretched’ conditions at a migrant holding facility in Manston, Kent, where cases of the disease have been found. Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that affects the nose and throat, and sometimes the skin. It can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of diphtheria, which usually kick in two to three days after infection, include: a thick grey-white coating that may cover the back of your throat, nose and tongue a high temperature (fever) sore throat swollen glands in your neck difficulty breathing and swallowing ICYMI: a ‘Beast from the East’ is on the way and we might be getting four inches of snow. Plus: 100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week.

How to watch all of England’s 2022 World Cup games

How to watch all of England’s 2022 World Cup games

Are you feeling the World Cup spirit? Sure, there’s been a whole load of controversy this year, but it’s happening now, isn’t it? And we may as well try and enjoy it regardless (while still calling the alleged corruption and human-rights abuses of the host nation). The event got under way on Sunday (November 20), with hosts Qatar losing out to Ecuador, and now the rest of the teams will be playing their group-stage games too. Here’s everything you need to know about England’s games (and how you can watch them online and on TV). When are England’s next World Cup fixtures?  England versus the USA will take place on Friday November 25 at the Al Bayt Stadium at 7pm GMT. And England versus Wales – the big one! – will take place on Tuesday November 29 at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at 7pm GMT. How can I watch the games on TV? Half of the World Cup games will be broadcast on the BBC and half on ITV. You can watch the Iran game on BBC One, the USA game on ITV1 and the Wales game on BBC One. You’ll also be able to tune in online via iPlayer and ITV Hub. Is there also a live stream? The BBC will stream 33 live matches on BBC iPlayer across the 28 days of the tournament. BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds will also provide coverage of all 64 matches in Qatar. ICYMI: here’s why 2022 was a breakthrough year for Welsh-language music. Plus: these amazing ‘Maldives-style’ floating pods in Devon are now available to rent.

We might actually be getting a white Christmas this year (yes, really)

We might actually be getting a white Christmas this year (yes, really)

You may have heard yesterday that the ‘Beast from the East’ is back, with a load of freezing weather heading our way over the festive period. And you know what that means? For once, we could actually be getting a white Christmas. Meteorologists say high pressure from Europe is on its way towards the UK, pulling in strong winds all the way from Russia. Up to four inches of snow could fall in some parts of the country next week, according to the Met Office. With the cold snap starting at the beginning of December, we could apparently be covered in snow by Christmas. James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said the possibility of a white Christmas is currently ‘high’. He said this is ‘something that we need to keep an eye on for nearer the time’. In the meantime, we’re more likely to see high winds and lots of rain. ICYMI: 100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week. Plus: here’s everything you need to know about the UK’s December rail strikes.

A ‘Beast from the East’ is on the way and we might be getting four inches of snow

A ‘Beast from the East’ is on the way and we might be getting four inches of snow

It might be the most wonderful time of the year but it’s also going to be cold as hell. That’s because a ‘Beast from the East’ is heading our way next month, bringing with it plummeting temperatures and (quite possibly) snow. Meteorologist Jim Dale, of British Weather Services, said high pressure from Europe is on its way toward the UK, pulling in strong winds all the way from Russia. This movement marks a ‘transition zone’ meaning we’re heading towards a period of prolonged cold weather, likely to start at the beginning of December. The Met Office said up to four inches of snow could fall in some parts of the country. Dale said: ‘Then high pressure comes in for the start of December, and this is when we are expecting it to start building over the UK, with the first freezing plunge going into Europe and then, if it comes off, bringing easterlies into the UK. ‘The beast has opened its eyes, and the signals are still there for a possible [...] early blast of winter during the first half of December.’ You may remember the original Beast from the East, which began on February 22 2018 after Anticyclone Hartmut brought a cold wave to the UK and Ireland. No doubt that if another is on the way, we’ll be talking about it for months or even years to come. ICYMI: 100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week. Plus: here’s everything you need to know about the UK’s December train strikes.

100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week

100 British companies are introducing a permanent four-day working week

How dreamy would it be to work just four days a week? Well, that’s now a reality for employees at 100 companies in the UK that have permanently adopted the shorter working week – without any loss of pay.  The move comes after more than 70 companies signed up to a trial led by the 4 Day Week campaign which is advocating for fewer hours of work without a pay cut and without increased workloads on working days. These 70 are separate from the 100 firms that have now adopted the shorter week permanently. Two big companies that are included are Atom Bank and global marketing firm Awin, according to a spokesperson from the 4 Day Week campaign. In September, around half-way through the six-month trial, 88 percent of companies that took part in the survey said it had gone well, while 95 percent said productivity had either improved or stayed the same. Some of the companies that took part in the pilot scheme have been recognised by the 4 Day Week campaign as they have made genuine efforts to make sure employees are not loaded with extra work. Employers that took part said the scheme has helped with employee satisfaction and retention. The effects of the scheme have also been monitored by researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston College and think tank Autonomy. Joe Ryle, campaign director of 4 Day Week UK, said this model of working could also appease workers who are unable to get a pay rise at work. He added: ‘With many businesses struggling to afford 10 percent

Now for sale: this idyllic cottage owned by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Now for sale: this idyllic cottage owned by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes fans, assemble: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s old haunt is up for sale. Bignell Wood, a rural retreat in the New Forest, Hampshire, was one of the author’s main abodes between 1925 and 1930. It’s believed that his wife Jean Leckie loved the property so much that the esteemed writer decided to buy it as a gift for her.  Interior designer Jane McIntyre and her family have lived in the property for the past 16 years and have now decided to put it on the market. When McIntyre first moved in, the building was in a pretty dire state but has now been restored with modern-day fittings, featuring some nods to the author.  One of the rooms, for example, is painted in red in a nod to Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’, which he may have written in that very room.  The property also has some not-so desirable features (or desirable, depending on who’s looking). The author is believed to have carried out seances in the house, and since his death, some occupants have said they’ve heard footsteps in the attic. According to a BBC video, some guests claimed to have even seen a ghost of the author himself.  The house has an asking price of £2.9 million. You can find out more on the official property listing here. ICYMI: here’s everything you need to know about the UK’s December train strikes. Plus: a third of Windsor Castle’s swans have died from bird flu in less than a week.

More train strikes are on the way before Christmas – here’s everything you need to know

More train strikes are on the way before Christmas – here’s everything you need to know

It’s that time of year again: twinkly lights are lining high streets, John Lewis has released its annual blockbuster ad and turkey baguettes are back on the shelves in Pret. Christmas is almost upon us. Sadly, so are more rail strikes. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has just announced further strikes in December, close to Christmas and in the run-up to the new year. The announcement comes after union members at Network Rail and 14 train companies voted in favour of further industrial action last week. Chances are, the strikes are going to impact travel for people heading home for the holidays pretty badly. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming strikes. When are the UK train strikes over Christmas? There are four periods of strike action taking place between December and January. Each period will last 48 hours. The days affected are December 13, 14, 16 and 17, and January 3, 4, 6 and 7. The strikes will affect 14 major railway operators. On November 26 there will also be train strikes, organised by the Aslef union. These walkouts will impact Avanti Coast, Southeastern, Chiltern and CrossCountry, with other lines running limited services. In a separate dispute, the RMT said it will be holding strike action on Avanti West Coast services on December 11 and 12. To make things even more confusing, major repairs are being made to various rail routes, which is likely to cause disruption, and there are also bus strikes coming up in

This surprising destination has been named the world’s best place to visit in 2023

This surprising destination has been named the world’s best place to visit in 2023

News just in: the UK is officially the world’s top travel destination. Sure, we’re a little biased, but that’s not just our opinion – it’s that of the folks at Travel & Leisure, who have crowned this humble nation the best place to visit in 2023. The US magazine gave a shout-out to British TV shows loved by millions, namely The Crown, Ted Lasso and The Great British Bake Off, but it was our pubs, hotels and landscapes that bagged us the title of 2023’s top travel destination. The magazine’s editors wrote: ‘Our editors and contributors have crossed England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in search of what is truly great in the UK right now.’ They credited the ’innovative chefs, groundbreaking galleries, majestic landscapes, stylish hotels and cosy pubs that make the nation more inviting than ever’. And they’ve really done their research too. Writers have visited the Lake District, York, the Grampian Mountains, Bath, Game of Thrones set locations in Belfast and many other wonders this country has to offer. Anyone else suddenly want to book a staycation? ICYMI: Greggs is launching in Cornwall, the land of pasties, and locals aren’t happy. Plus: everyone is really, really into the Welsh national anthem (and the passion of the fans).

Fancy getting away from it all? England’s ‘loneliest house’ has just hit the market

Fancy getting away from it all? England’s ‘loneliest house’ has just hit the market

How much do you hate your neighbours? Or socialising with people, generally? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘a lot’, perhaps England’s ‘loneliest house’ could be the place for you.  This nineteenth-century shooting lodge is right of the middle of Skiddaw Forest in the Lake District, and has just hit the market. It’s a whopping 1,500 feet above sea level and is only accessible by foot or 4x4. Mitchells Land and Property, the estate agents selling Skiddaw House, say this is an ‘exciting and unique opportunity to purchase the most remote house in England’. They add: ‘If you crave isolation and simplicity, Skiddaw House has it in spades. As the only dwelling in the 3,000-acre Skiddaw Forest, Skiddaw House is the ultimate bolthole. ‘Possessing endless views, Skiddaw is a source of perpetual inspiration, a place to create art, find peace and live in the sky.’ The property is currently used as a youth hostel and schools’ field centre. The house can only be viewed by appointment and it’s on sale (along with all that land) for a hefty £10 million. You can find out more here. ICYMI: these amazing ‘Maldives-style’ floating pods in Devon are now available to rent. Plus: two of Europe’s cheapest places to visit are apparently right here in the UK.

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