Travel: What to do and where to go in 2015

Ruth Jackson reviews the must-see places to visit this year.


Spot a solar eclipse

The hot ticket this spring will be viewing the last total solar eclipse visible in Europe before 2026, says Julia Brookes in The Times. The prime position on20 March 2015 will be Spitsbergen,on Norway's Svalbard archipelago.

While waiting for the eclipse you could "go wild in the Arctic Circle", snowmobiling, ice caving, dog sledding, as well as hunting for the Northern Lights March is an equinox month, so "tip-top for aurora activity".

Celebrations in Singapore

Singapore has been named the number one place to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet the country celebrates 50 years of independence, making it a great time to go. New attractions include the National Art Gallery and the Singapore Sports Hub.

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Gorilla-spotting in Congo

A perhaps more surprising entry in the Lonely Planet's Best of Travel 2015 yearbook is the Republic of Congo. It has been ranked sixth on their list of countries to visit next year. The Republic of Congo not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo is deemed an up-and-coming destination thanks to better roads and general improvements in tourism infrastructure, along with new safari opportunities.

The country offers visitors the chance to see elephants and gorillas in the wild. "Foreign tourism is as rare as an albino gorilla, but the Congolese government is keen to change that," says Lonely Planet. The Republic of Congo, "with its stash of national parks and other protected areas covering enormous swathes of barely touched rainforest", has the potential to become one of Africa's finest ecotourism destinations.

Understated pleasures in Iceland

There are "a million reasons" to go to Iceland this year, Owen Gaddis of Absolute Travel tells Forbes. It's "like being transported to a parallel world where every waking moment is filled with adventure, incredible landscapes, folklore and understated pleasures".

London's best new hotel

If you feel like treating yourself to a luxury break in the capital, you should stay at the Beaumont in Mayfair it was the best hotel opened anywhere in the world in 2014, according to Luxury Travel Intelligence, a membership-based travel agency. It's "perfect it feels like it has been there forever, and the Art Deco inspired rooms and suites are warm and welcoming".

The hotel restaurant, the Colony Grill Room, "is outstanding and deservedly one of the hottest reservations in town".

Enjoy a boat safari off the beaten track in Sri Lanka


"If you're looking for off-the-beaten-track wildlife viewing in Sri Lanka, it doesn'tget much more remote than Gal Oya National Park in the southeast," says Julia Brookes in The Times. You can take a boat safari to watch "the Crossing": wild elephants swimming from island to island on the vast Senanayake Samudra lake.

And while it might be out of the way, you don't have to rough it in terms of accommodation book into the newly-opened Gal Oya Lodge, which has just nine bungalows with outdoor showers and huge floor-to-ceiling windows that open up on to verandas.

A six-night trip costs from £1,935 per person with Black Tomato (; 020-3740 9981) including breakfasts, flights and safaris.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.