Ask Frank: Where to find post-Christmas dinner exercise and an epic rail adventure

Do you have a travel query that you can't find the answer to? Or just need advice on a specific destination? The Mail on Sunday's Frank Barrett probably has the answer...

A couple walk their dog

Boxing clever: Why not get out and enjoy an organised National Trust walk?

QUESTION: We're going to be in Shropshire for Christmas this year. Can you suggest a good outing for someone keen to enjoy a little fresh air and post-Christmas dinner exercise? Max Bryant, by email

ANSWER:  The National Trust ( has an extensive programme of Christmas/ New Year walks billed as ‘winter wonderland trails’ in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In Shropshire, you can enjoy an organised walk at Attingham Park on Boxing Day from 11am to 1pm.
The Trust says the beautiful grounds of the estate will also be open to independent walkers until dusk.

Normal admission charges apply, and there is an event charge of £6 per adult and £3 per child for the organised walk.

For more information, call 01743 708123. Booking is not required

There is also a Boxing Day walk at the Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate in Cheshire from 10am to 12pm where you can hike along the riverside, and through farmland and woodland, in the valley of the River Bollin. Booking is not necessary for this event. For more details, call 01625 445845.

QUESTION: My wife and I travelled by train across Russia last year and enjoyed it immensely. This year, to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we are after something a bit special. Can you recommend any other particularly unique journeys by train? Steve Wicks, Manchester

ANSWER: The 1,000-mile trip from Brisbane to Cairns on The Sunlander is a great experience and listed by the Society of International Rail Travellers as one of the world’s 25 great train journeys.

It takes up to 32 hours but a choice of overnight sleepers, dining, lounge and club cars makes it a smooth and relaxing trip. You could even team this with a stopover in Sydney to make it a truly unforgettable journey.

A laid table in the restaurant car of The Sunlander train

Memorable: A laid table in the restaurant car of The Sunlander train which makes a 1,000-mile trip from Brisbane to Cairns

Wexas Travel offer tailor-made packages, including flights and accommodation, year-round and are
currently offering free return flights with Qantas to Sydney or Brisbane with every journey booked in the premium ‘Queenslander’ class.

Tickets on The Sunlander are available from £525pp based on twin share. Details from Wexas Travel
(0845 643 6568,

‘We can help you to salute your hero’

Sukey Cameron, the Falkland Island Government representative in London, writes in response to the enquiry last week from a reader wishing to travel to the islands to visit a grave of a family member killed during the war in 1982: ‘There are a number of plans to help people visit the islands next year and two organisations, the South Atlantic Medal Association ( and the Falkland
Families Association (, can offer advice on how to go about making the necessary arrangements.

‘We can also help with enquiries here if your correspondent wishes to contact this office directly – the telephone number is 020 7222 2542.’

Meanwhile, Leslie Tranter of Market Rasen writes to say the Royal British Legion is running Battlefield Tours to the Falkland Islands in conjunction with Leger Travel. Information on pilgrimages can be obtained by visiting or calling 0844 686 2442.


Drop him a line at Ask Frank, Mail on Sunday Travel, Northcliffe House, Derry Street, London W8 5TS;; fax 020 7938 2894. We regret that due to the large number of requests we receive, we may not be able to reply personally to all correspondence.

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