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FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE 2 APRIL 2019 | ISSUE 45

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Welcome to the latest edition of Inside Flintshire magazine......

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Well it officially Spring and my favourite time of the year, now the clocks have gone forward we can all look forward to lighter evenings after a long day in work. Lot’s of new businesses added again this month so please, if you use their services, give us a mention so we can keep this free magazine coming through your door. So what do we have in this months issue? we start off with our monthly holiday review and a look at the perfect Greek islands for families on pages 6-7. For all you tech savvy people out there, this month we take a look at smart TV’s and all you need to know about them, pages 10-11. With the Easter holidays coming up this month we thought we would take a look at the new SC2 Rhyl, it sure does look like a fun place to go, see pages 18-19 to find out what you can expect on your visit. We’ve added a new feature this month all about fashion and what better place to start than Spring fashion on page 14. Lots more going on inside so please take the time to have a look and then pop the magazine in a draw as you never know when you might need one of the local businesses within.

The perfect Greek islands for families

lidays Ho

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he best Greek islands for families, whether your children are after sandy beaches, wild water sports, unspoilt island life or history and culture.

Rhodes, Dodecanese If you’re after a bit of R&R, Rhodes’s east coast has a 30-mile stretch of well-maintained golden-sand beaches with warm, shallow water down its eastern coast. One of this coast’s big modern hotels, with their all-inclusive packages, should be just the ticket: everything is on your doorstep – kids’ clubs, water sports facilities, babysitting, wellness, restaurants and cafes, so you can switch off and truly relax

Recommended Hotel Trinity Boutique Hotel: Originally a Knight’s house, located within the castle walls of Rhodes Old Town, the privately owned Trinity Boutique Hotel has been restored to a six-suite boutique hotel offering outstanding dÊcor with original features from the Ottoman era. Suites for two or four people offer accommodation for couples or families.

Crete Europe’s oldest civilisation built palaces decorated with magnificent frescos and enjoyed the curious sport of bull leaping on Crete from

10

early every TV on the market calls itself smart. But how smart are they? What do they offer, and how does it vary from one brand or model to the next? Is a smart TV really better than a dedicated streaming device? And what about privacy concerns? We’ve got answers to all your most frequently asked questions about smart TVs.

The sandy and abundant beaches are the primary draw to Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades, but its high-quality and largely native produce make for wonderful food (, and the range of activities available on the island is impressive – especially considering the fact that it has none of the major resort-hotel complexes that clog up the coastlines of other parts of Greece. From riding horses on the beach with the British-owned riding school, to windsurfing and pedalo trips at Plaka,

Recommended Hotel Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort: Small Luxury Hotels of the World member Mykonos Grand fully lives up to the adjective, especially since a full 2013-15 renovation. Staff here make the place; nothing seems too much trouble, including snaring rare island taxis for guests.

Lefkada, Ionian islands

more than 60, is the connoisseur’s choice for variety. Best for small children is Koukounaries, on the south coast, a half-mile-long swathe of golden sand giving onto calm shallow sea, and equipped with sun beds, water sports and cafes.

Due to its position on the Ionian and its topography, Lefkada is Greece’s top water sports destination. Besides having a large marina in Lefkaka Town, used as a base for dozens of yacht charter companies, Lefkada is a prime spot for windsurfing. Vasiliki Bay, in the south, is exposed to local thermal winds, creating conditions perfect for beginners in the mornings, and more experienced surfers in the afternoons. It’s also possible to try sea kayaking in Vasiliki. Meanwhile, back in the north, near Lefkada Town, you have kitesurfing at Milos (aka Agios Ioannis).

Reviews and advice on recent tech innovations

People with larger homes should also double-check their Wi-Fi coverage. If the Wi-Fi router is on the second floor and the smart TV is in the basement, for example, the set may not be able to stream video from Netflix or other providers without experiencing hiccups. If your smart TV isn’t getting a strong enough wireless signal, you have a few options to

Originally called “connected TVs,� these sets were later branded as “smart TVs� by companies such as Samsung and LG. The term has come to denote any TV that can be connected to the internet to access streaming media services and that can run entertainment apps, such as ondemand video-rental services, internet music stations and web browsers. A growing number of models now include voice recognition tools, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, for switching channels and searching for programmes. Most smart TVs will work with the smart speaker you already own, and a few will offer some or all of that same functionality built right into the TV. Smart TVs are also gaining more integrated smart home features. Many TVs are compatible with other connected devices in the home, including lights, door locks and other sensors, and some TVs even include a dedicated dashboard for controlling all of the devices in your connected home. Samsung’s SmartThings - which comes built into Samsung Smart TVs - is a current favourite, but similar offerings are available on LG and Sony smart TVs.

Video. However, some sets offer only a handful of apps that rarely change, while other models deliver several screens of offerings. As smart TVs have become more prominent, the number of dedicated streaming apps has also grown, with apps offering

How do smart TVs connect to the internet? A smart TV uses your home network to provide streaming video and services on your TV, and smart TVs use wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi to stay connected.

live news and streaming shows and movies for free. The lowerpriced models of some manufacturers offer only the most popular apps, while higher-priced sets provide a much more complete array of services.

remedy the problem. If your router is more than three years old, a good Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11ac could do the trick. Wi-Fi range extenders are also available from companies such as Netgear, but these devices require some time and patience to set up and install.

Mandraki Village: A boutique, gardenset hotel near the western end of Skiåthos, not seaside but within walking distance of a half-dozen excellent beaches. Creditable food, several grades of appealing rooms including family suites, and good service mean it’s deservedly popular and thus often full.

While all the Greek islands we’re recommending for families have fantastic beaches, Skiathos, which has

Will my smart TV maker regularly update the software with new features? That depends. For the most part, TV manufacturers are adding and customizing apps on their own. Some TV companies are quicker than others at fixing the occasional bug or working with developers to improve apps. Nevertheless, most major manufacturers perform software updates periodically. You may even find manufacturers updating the entire operating system. And don’t worry about getting left behind; if one company adds a popular service, such as Netflix, the rest of the manufacturers generally follow suit.

Can a smart TV crash or hang like a PC? Definitely, and they do. Smart TVs require computer chips to juggle video processing, upscaling, multiple screens and an internet connection. These sets also use memory to buffer streaming video and music, and need additional processing power to deal

with graphics. Just as phones have become computers, so, too, have smart TVs. However, the sets are getting better, with quad-core processors that can better handle the tasks that are becoming common. On the other hand, simply turning a set off and then on usually resolves the issues.

Can you surf the web on a smart TV? Some, but not all, smart TVs let you go online. This requires a special browser that is both compatible with all the HTML standards that websites use and able to convert and display those sites properly on a big screen.

Can my smart TV be hacked or contract a virus? In theory, the answer is clearly yes. So-called white-hat hackers have brought attention to the issue by demonstrating ways to break into a smart TV connected to the internet and do things like steal passwords and change channels. To be safe, avoid doing anything sensitive on a smart TV, such as online banking or shopping with a credit card. Smart TVs are simply not as safe as computers.

Can a smart TV watch you?

If you want to surf the web on your TV, make sure your set has its own browser. Also, ask if there’s a wireless-keyboard option, which is far less common.

Yes, it can. Information you share on a Facebook app on a TV or when ordering on Amazon or Netflix on the big screen is shared in the same way as when you conduct such business on a PC or a smartphone. In addition, companies can collect private information about you and your viewing habits from a smart TV. In late 2013, for example, LG admitted that it had received information about what channels owners were watching, even after those users turned on the privacy setting. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

OPEN IN APRIL

the NEW SC2 Rhyl

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ocated on the promenade in Rhyl, this £15 million waterpark, which includes Wales’ first TAGactive play arena, is Denbighshire Leisure’s flagship facility. As the centrepiece of Rhyl’s waterfront development programme, SC2 is expected to attract an extra 350,000 visitors per year to the town and will also create an 65 new jobs. The amazing water park offers both indoor and outdoor water play for all ages and abilities. With breathtaking flume rides, beach style paddling, slides for all ages and themed cafes, there really is something for everybody. There will also be a bar and terrace open seasonally.

FOOD & DRINK

TAG ACTIVE

Even the most energetic visitors to SC2 need to refuel and we have choice of fantastic food outlets.

THE FIRST AND ONLY TAGACTIVE IN WALES

The Rainforest CafÊ, situated close to the reception area, is the largest eatery within SC2. With a wide variety of healthy snacks and meals on offer, the CafÊ caters for breakfast, lunch and tea. Children will love the selection of kids meal deals available and of course, the CafÊ will be available as part of any children’s waterpark party booking at SC2.

Come and challenge yourself on the first TAGactive arena in Wales. This fantastic indoor multi-level play area has taken all the best features from your favourite TV events and brought them into one exciting experience. The timed activity zones test your skill, your fitness and your bravery.

If you don’t want to waste time away from the rides, but need to recharge your batteries, take a quick trip to the Watering Hole. Situated inside the Waterpark itself, this is the ideal venue for a snack, drink or ice cream. Then it’s straight back into the water for more fun!

OUTDOOR SPLASHPAD OUTDOOR FUN IN THE SUN The complete holiday experience on your doorstep. While the children are busy enjoying the water, adults can relax in the sun (or shade) on our outdoor terrace or seating areas.

FIND US Located on Rhyl’s Promenade near the Sky Tower.

WATERPARK AT SC2 WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERY VISITOR, WHETHER YOU’RE A THRILL SEEKER, A PADDLER OR JUST WANT TO PUT YOUR FEET UP AND RELAX

SC2 is located on the B5118, West Parade, close to the western limit of Rhyl’s Promenade. It is situated near to the Sky Tower, which is clearly visible on approach and also the Vue Cinema. The Promenade is signposted clearly from within the town centre.

With plenty for everyone to explore and do, our all day tickets mean you don’t have to watch the time – just lose yourself in SC2’s world of fun and adventure. The main waterpark area is suitable for all ages and abilities.

SC2 will be offering birthday party packages, discounts for school and group bookings. A visit to SC2 is the perfect day out, but with so much to do and see, our visitors will want to come back again and again.

sc2rhyl.co.uk         

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General knowledge quiz

Kastraki Epavlis: This villa idyll combines luxurious accommodation with wild views of the Corfiot countryside and Ionian Sea. Fivebedroom Kastraki Eplavis is perfect for groups or family meet-ups, with access to a private pool and gardens in a dreamy hilltop location on Corfu’s east coast.

The arrangement of the apps also varies. Some smart TVs use a single scrolling row of icons to display options; others use full-screen menus with rows of options to chose from. Several manufacturers are also adding support for popular voice assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. It allows new smart TVs to understand a wider array of voice commands, offer deeper content search and even control compatible devices ranging from thermostats and webcams to lights and locks.

Poor wireless signal? A good Wi-Fi router should solve the problem.

is getting ready to open Wales’ newest and most exciting leisure attraction our ďŹ rst visitors. its doors in Spring 2019 and we can’t wait to welcome

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Recommended Hotel

Recommended Hotel Andronis Luxury Suites: The flagship of the Andronis hotel group, whose relentless quest for unabashed luxury changed the face of Santorini and spawned many imitators. However, the

Skiathos, Sporades

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

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Corfu, Ionian islands Make like the Durrells and head to Corfu for a spot of swimming and sunbathing on one of its varied beaches: sandy Glyfada, on the wild west coast; nearby Paleokastritsa, with its sheltered pebble coves; or Sidari on the north coast, with its peculiar rock formations and warm shallow sea. There’s also Aqualand water park in the island’s lush green interior. After dark, kids will relish the openair summer cinema (films in original version, with Greek subtitles) and ginger beer (a Corfiot speciality).

Santorini, Cyclades Home to Greece’s most luxurious boutique hotels (read about the best here), Santorini is dramatic, with the cliff-top villages of Fira and Oia overlooking a huge sea-filled volcanic crater. Take the kids on trips to the archaeological sites of ancient Thira and Akrotiri, and to Vlychada beach, backed by pumice stone cliffs. The clifftop village of Oia is a magical place to watch the sun set.

What services do smart TVs offer, and how do they differ from one another? There is no standard operating system or interface for smart TVs. Nearly every smart-TV maker uses different software and a different graphical presentation. Some companies use a variety of operating systems and interfaces depending on the model. Most smart TVs support such popular services as Netflix and Amazon Prime

combination of impeccable service, lavish style and incomparable location still leaves competitors trailing far behind.

Recommended Hotel

Recommended Hotel Katouna Suites: The ten contemporary Katouna Suites have been designed with real flair and imagination. Cut cleverly into this dramatic landscape, all our generous and sophisticated suites have a terrace or balcony overlooking the dazzling waters, and are beautifully appointed, with sumptuous beds and luxury fittings. And if you are looking for something above and beyond, the two magnificent penthouse suites offer unbeatable panoramic views and are extremely spacious, both inside and out.

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

What is a smart TV?

1 First man to run 100m under 10 seconds 2 Ace Ventura, Pet Detective 3 Isambard Kingdom Brunel 4 Anti-lock Breaking System 5 Instagram 6 India 7 Lake Superior 8 Armenia 9 Chris Evans 10 Neptune

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Mykonos is famous for its flamboyant nightlife, but the island also makes for a wonderful family destination if you stay in one of the quieter resorts, such as Agios Ioannis, with its lovely sandy beach beach, immortalised in the film Shirley Valentine (1989). Days spent by the sea will ensure that young children are ready for bed come sunset, after which you can head into Mykonos Town for dinner, then round off with either drinks overlooking the harbour in Little Venice or even a boogie at one of the island’s glitzy beach clubs.

Naxos, Cyclades

Tech talk

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Copyright No part of this publication may be reproduced, resold or stored in a retrieval system without the express permission of “Inside Flintshire Magazine� Adverts When providing advertising copy, artwork or photographs from existing sources, it is our customers’ responsibility to ensure that all the appropriate permissions regarding copyright have been obtained from the originator :Inside Flintshire Magazine accepts no liability for copyright issues regarding adverts published in good faith. For full terms and conditions see our web site www.insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk

Crossword

Mykonos, Cyclades

Recommended Hotel Porto Veneziano: This three-star hotel, which is open all year round, easily merits an extra star for comfort, situation and service. Fronting Chania’s glorious Venetian harbour, this property has the advantage of being close to the main sights, but far from the city’s noisy cafÊs.

Smart TVs: All you need to know

We are really excited to be opening Wales’ first TAGactive arena. This fantastic indoor multi-level play zone has taken all the best features from your favourite TV events and brought them into one exciting experience. For younger children there will also be a Junior Tag structure.

Reg - Editor Inside Flintshire Magazines T: 01352 870 760 E: reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk

Easy Sudoku

the island’s beautiful long sandy beach which is perfectly designed for children young and old, there’s plenty to do.

Recommended Hotel Santana Beach: This family-run hotel is ideal for those seeking a convenient beach holiday. Situated on the sandy shore of Agia Anna, one of Naxos’ prettiest shorelines, guests are steps away from a beach bar and restaurant, complimentary sunbeds and a lively yet relaxing atmosphere.

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Brain Workout Answers

3000BC to 1400BC. The Minoans’ capital, Knossos, was partially (and controversially) reconstructed by early archaeologists, making it unusually accessible to children. Finds from Knossos, such the bizarre Snake Goddess, are displayed at Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Kids will also love visiting the (slightly spooky) Dikteon cave on the Lasithi Plateau, which the ancients considered the birthplace of Zeus, with its stalactites and stalagmites.

The Golf makes a huge leap forward

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he new Golf will be everything people loved for years. People want a Golf - it’s iconic - but now there’s a huge leap forward in the digitisation inside it. It’s still a Golf, but now digital. It’s kept everything people have loved and moved it to the next phase.

Performance The range kicks off with an 84bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder (TSI 85) petrol engine but, as it’s rather slow, with barely any payback in fuel economy over the more powerful 113bhp 1.0-litre (TSI 115), we suggest you give it a miss. By contrast, the 113bhp version could become a favourite. It’s still no speed machine but revs keenly and feels livelier than you might imagine for such a small engine. That applies even when you’re on the motorway; you just need to work it a bit harder than some of the

more powerful alternatives. Stepping up to the four-cylinder petrols brings more effortless performance. The 128bhp 1.5-litre (TSI 130) is our favourite engine because it delivers a bit more mid-range oomph than

is much stronger when overtaking. The even more powerful and decidedly brisk 182bhp 2.0-litre (TDI 184) is available only in the sporty GTD trim level, with the GTI and the R models catering for hot hatch fans.

Ride

Motoring the 1.0-litre - helpful when laden with passengers and luggage - but there’s a more powerful 148bhp 1.5-litre (TSI 150) as well, should your needs dictate. As for the diesels, the 113bhp 1.6-litre (TDI 115) is a little lethargic. If you can stretch to it, we recommend the 148bhp 2.0-litre (TDI 150) diesel which

The Golf rides more comfortably than most other family cars. You’ll find it a lot smoother than the Vauxhall Astra, Skoda Octavia or Seat Leon along rough roads, thanks to suspension that’s supple enough to take the worst out of big bumps and potholes. The ride remains brilliantly composed over the sort of scarred and patched-up surfaces you find in most towns and cities, too: only the Toyota Corolla and Audi A3 come close. However, it’s worth noting that Golfs with the 1.0 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines use a rather less sophisticated rear suspension system than other models in the range. They still ride very well

Interior layout Whatever your shape or size, you should be able to find a comfortable driving position behind the wheel of a Golf. You get seat height adjustment, steering wheel rake and reach adjustment and a front centre armrest across the range. Once you’re are sitting comfortably, you’ll notice that all the buttons and knobs on the dashboard are well positioned, including physical climate dials that make it easy to tweak the temperature on the move. VW’s Active Info display is an option on most models, and one that’s well worth adding. It’s 12.3in digital screen replaces conventional analog dials and can be set up to display a multitude of information in a clear and concise fashion. Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

compared with the competition, but aren’t as supremely comfortable as Golfs with more powerful engines.

Handling Few cars in any class handle as securely and predictably as the Golf. Despite its supple suspension, body sway is kept neatly in check through tight twists and turns and you always feel confident that the car is going to respond exactly how you want it to. There’s plenty of grip, too, and you can hustle the Golf along a twisty B-road surprisingly swiftly. True, it isn’t quite as fun or as sharp as the Audi A3 or Ford Focus, but the Golf’s steering is nicely weighted, accurate and tells you everything you need to know about what the front wheels are doing.

Equipment Entry-level S trim isn’t lavishly equipped; you get air conditioning and four electric windows (or two on threedoor models) but there are no alloy wheels and few other niceties. The SE adds 16in alloy wheels,

automatic lights and wipers, a leathertrimmed steering wheel, power-folding door mirrors and adaptive cruise control, plus added driving aids and infotainment upgrades.

Safety and Security Seven airbags are fitted as standard to every Golf, including full-length curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Rear side airbags are available as an option on every five-door version. SE models and above also get automatic emergency braking, which, at speeds below 19mph, can automatically apply the brakes if an impending collision is detected. Comparing the Golf for safety against more modern cars, such as the Ford Focus and Mercedes A-Class, is tricky, because the later tests those rivals have been through are much tougher. Lane-keeping assistance comes as part of a reasonably priced pack that also includes traffic sign recognition.

Running costs The Golf’s on-the-road price starts at less than £20,000 and is very

competitive against premium rivals such as the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. In fact, it’s priced roughly in line with the Ford Focus, although you’ll still get more change from a comparably equipped Vauxhall Astra or Skoda Octavia. Don’t forget to factor in resale values, though; the Golfs look particularly strong after three years and could actually cost you less in the long run than cheaper alternatives if buying privately. This can make the Golf an attractive option on PCP finance, and insurance and servicing bills are generally quite competitive.

Verdict The Volkswagen Golf continues to be a favourite among family cars. It’s practical, tidy to drive, comfortable and the infotainment system is very well equipped and easy to use. If you are looking for something that’s plusher than the Skoda Octavia, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, but has a bit of upmarket presence and feel, then the Golf merges those two worlds very well indeed.

Space The Golf’s roomy interior dimensions allow a pair of six-footers to sit relatively comfortably in the back, although things get a bit tight when a third occupant is introduced. Because of a raised tunnel that runs along the centre-line of the car, the middle occupant is rather short on foot space. Otherwise, there’s a decent amount of leg and head room but not as much as you’ll find in the cheaper Skoda Octavia or Ford Focus. The rear door pockets are narrow, so a 500ml bottle is a bit of a squeeze. However, go for SE trim or above and you gain a couple of cupholders in the rear centre armrest, along with storage pockets on the rear of the front seats. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

ARTWORK

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The perfect Greek islands for families

lo idays H

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he best Greek islands for families, whether your children are after sandy beaches, wild water sports, unspoilt island life or history and culture.

Rhodes, Dodecanese If you’re after a bit of R&R, Rhodes’s east coast has a 30-mile stretch of well-maintained golden-sand beaches with warm, shallow water down its eastern coast. One of this coast’s big modern hotels, with their all-inclusive packages, should be just the ticket: everything is on your doorstep – kids’ clubs, water sports facilities, babysitting, wellness, restaurants and cafes, so you can switch off and truly relax

Recommended Hotel Trinity Boutique Hotel: Originally a Knight’s house, located within the castle walls of Rhodes Old Town, the privately owned Trinity Boutique Hotel has been restored to a six-suite boutique hotel offering outstanding décor with original features from the Ottoman era. Suites for two or four people offer accommodation for couples or families.

Crete Europe’s oldest civilisation built palaces decorated with magnificent frescos and enjoyed the curious sport of bull leaping on Crete from

6

3000BC to 1400BC. The Minoans’ capital, Knossos, was partially (and controversially) reconstructed by early archaeologists, making it unusually accessible to children. Finds from Knossos, such the bizarre Snake Goddess, are displayed at Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Kids will also love visiting the (slightly spooky) Dikteon cave on the Lasithi Plateau, which the ancients considered the birthplace of Zeus, with its stalactites and stalagmites.

Recommended Hotel Porto Veneziano: This three-star hotel, which is open all year round, easily merits an extra star for comfort, situation and service. Fronting Chania’s glorious Venetian harbour, this property has the advantage of being close to the main sights, but far from the city’s noisy cafés.

Naxos, Cyclades The sandy and abundant beaches are the primary draw to Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades, but its high-quality and largely native produce make for wonderful food (, and the range of activities available on the island is impressive – especially considering the fact that it has none of the major resort-hotel complexes that clog up the coastlines of other parts of Greece. From riding horses on the beach with the British-owned riding school, to windsurfing and pedalo trips at Plaka,

the island’s beautiful long sandy beach which is perfectly designed for children young and old, there’s plenty to do.

Recommended Hotel Santana Beach: This family-run hotel is ideal for those seeking a convenient beach holiday. Situated on the sandy shore of Agia Anna, one of Naxos’ prettiest shorelines, guests are steps away from a beach bar and restaurant, complimentary sunbeds and a lively yet relaxing atmosphere.

Mykonos, Cyclades Mykonos is famous for its flamboyant nightlife, but the island also makes for a wonderful family destination if you stay in one of the quieter resorts, such as Agios Ioannis, with its lovely sandy beach beach, immortalised in the film Shirley Valentine (1989). Days spent by the sea will ensure that young children are ready for bed come sunset, after which you can head into Mykonos Town for dinner, then round off with either drinks overlooking the harbour in Little Venice or even a boogie at one of the island’s glitzy beach clubs.

Recommended Hotel Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort: Small Luxury Hotels of the World member Mykonos Grand fully lives up to the adjective, especially since a full 2013-15 renovation. Staff here make the place; nothing seems too much trouble, including snaring rare island taxis for guests.

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements


Lefkada, Ionian islands Due to its position on the Ionian and its topography, Lefkada is Greece’s top water sports destination. Besides having a large marina in Lefkaka Town, used as a base for dozens of yacht charter companies, Lefkada is a prime spot for windsurfing. Vasiliki Bay, in the south, is exposed to local thermal winds, creating conditions perfect for beginners in the mornings, and more experienced surfers in the afternoons. It’s also possible to try sea kayaking in Vasiliki. Meanwhile, back in the north, near Lefkada Town, you have kitesurfing at Milos (aka Agios Ioannis).

Recommended Hotel

more than 60, is the connoisseur’s choice for variety. Best for small children is Koukounaries, on the south coast, a half-mile-long swathe of golden sand giving onto calm shallow sea, and equipped with sun beds, water sports and cafes.

Recommended Hotel Mandraki Village: A boutique, gardenset hotel near the western end of Skiáthos, not seaside but within walking distance of a half-dozen excellent beaches. Creditable food, several grades of appealing rooms including family suites, and good service mean it’s deservedly popular and thus often full.

Katouna Suites: The ten contemporary Katouna Suites have been designed with real flair and imagination. Cut cleverly into this dramatic landscape, all our generous and sophisticated suites have a terrace or balcony overlooking the dazzling waters, and are beautifully appointed, with sumptuous beds and luxury fittings. And if you are looking for something above and beyond, the two magnificent penthouse suites offer unbeatable panoramic views and are extremely spacious, both inside and out.

Santorini, Cyclades

Skiathos, Sporades

Andronis Luxury Suites: The flagship of the Andronis hotel group, whose relentless quest for unabashed luxury changed the face of Santorini and spawned many imitators. However, the

While all the Greek islands we’re recommending for families have fantastic beaches, Skiathos, which has

Home to Greece’s most luxurious boutique hotels (read about the best here), Santorini is dramatic, with the cliff-top villages of Fira and Oia overlooking a huge sea-filled volcanic crater. Take the kids on trips to the archaeological sites of ancient Thira and Akrotiri, and to Vlychada beach, backed by pumice stone cliffs. The clifftop village of Oia is a magical place to watch the sun set.

Recommended Hotel

combination of impeccable service, lavish style and incomparable location still leaves competitors trailing far behind.

Corfu, Ionian islands Make like the Durrells and head to Corfu for a spot of swimming and sunbathing on one of its varied beaches: sandy Glyfada, on the wild west coast; nearby Paleokastritsa, with its sheltered pebble coves; or Sidari on the north coast, with its peculiar rock formations and warm shallow sea. There’s also Aqualand water park in the island’s lush green interior. After dark, kids will relish the openair summer cinema (films in original version, with Greek subtitles) and ginger beer (a Corfiot speciality).

Recommended Hotel Kastraki Epavlis: This villa idyll combines luxurious accommodation with wild views of the Corfiot countryside and Ionian Sea. Fivebedroom Kastraki Eplavis is perfect for groups or family meet-ups, with access to a private pool and gardens in a dreamy hilltop location on Corfu’s east coast.

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

6


Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? advertorial

Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the

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Tech talk

Reviews and advice on recent tech innovations

Smart TVs: All you need to know

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early every TV on the market calls itself smart. But how smart are they? What do they offer, and how does it vary from one brand or model to the next? Is a smart TV really better than a dedicated streaming device? And what about privacy concerns? We’ve got answers to all your most frequently asked questions about smart TVs.

People with larger homes should also double-check their Wi-Fi coverage. If the Wi-Fi router is on the second floor and the smart TV is in the basement, for example, the set may not be able to stream video from Netflix or other providers without experiencing hiccups. If your smart TV isn’t getting a strong enough wireless signal, you have a few options to

Video. However, some sets offer only a handful of apps that rarely change, while other models deliver several screens of offerings. As smart TVs have become more prominent, the number of dedicated streaming apps has also grown, with apps offering

What is a smart TV? Originally called “connected TVs,” these sets were later branded as “smart TVs” by companies such as Samsung and LG. The term has come to denote any TV that can be connected to the internet to access streaming media services and that can run entertainment apps, such as ondemand video-rental services, internet music stations and web browsers. A growing number of models now include voice recognition tools, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, for switching channels and searching for programmes. Most smart TVs will work with the smart speaker you already own, and a few will offer some or all of that same functionality built right into the TV. Smart TVs are also gaining more integrated smart home features. Many TVs are compatible with other connected devices in the home, including lights, door locks and other sensors, and some TVs even include a dedicated dashboard for controlling all of the devices in your connected home. Samsung’s SmartThings - which comes built into Samsung Smart TVs - is a current favourite, but similar offerings are available on LG and Sony smart TVs.

How do smart TVs connect to the internet? A smart TV uses your home network to provide streaming video and services on your TV, and smart TVs use wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi to stay connected.

live news and streaming shows and movies for free. The lowerpriced models of some manufacturers offer only the most popular apps, while higher-priced sets provide a much more complete array of services.

remedy the problem. If your router is more than three years old, a good Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11ac could do the trick. Wi-Fi range extenders are also available from companies such as Netgear, but these devices require some time and patience to set up and install.

What services do smart TVs offer, and how do they differ from one another? There is no standard operating system or interface for smart TVs. Nearly every smart-TV maker uses different software and a different graphical presentation. Some companies use a variety of operating systems and interfaces depending on the model. Most smart TVs support such popular services as Netflix and Amazon Prime

Poor wireless signal? A good Wi-Fi router should solve the problem.

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The arrangement of the apps also varies. Some smart TVs use a single scrolling row of icons to display options; others use full-screen menus with rows of options to chose from. Several manufacturers are also adding support for popular voice assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. It allows new smart TVs to understand a wider array of voice commands, offer deeper content search and even control compatible devices ranging from thermostats and webcams to lights and locks.

Will my smart TV maker regularly update the software with new features? That depends. For the most part, TV manufacturers are adding and customizing apps on their own. Some TV companies are quicker than others at fixing the occasional bug or working with developers to improve apps. Nevertheless, most major manufacturers perform software updates periodically. You may even find manufacturers updating the entire operating system. And don’t worry about getting left behind; if one company adds a popular service, such as Netflix, the rest of the manufacturers generally follow suit.

Can a smart TV crash or hang like a PC? Definitely, and they do. Smart TVs require computer chips to juggle video processing, upscaling, multiple screens and an internet connection. These sets also use memory to buffer streaming video and music, and need additional processing power to deal

with graphics. Just as phones have become computers, so, too, have smart TVs. However, the sets are getting better, with quad-core processors that can better handle the tasks that are becoming common. On the other hand, simply turning a set off and then on usually resolves the issues.

Can you surf the web on a smart TV? Some, but not all, smart TVs let you go online. This requires a special browser that is both compatible with all the HTML standards that websites use and able to convert and display those sites properly on a big screen.

Can my smart TV be hacked or contract a virus? In theory, the answer is clearly yes. So-called white-hat hackers have brought attention to the issue by demonstrating ways to break into a smart TV connected to the internet and do things like steal passwords and change channels. To be safe, avoid doing anything sensitive on a smart TV, such as online banking or shopping with a credit card. Smart TVs are simply not as safe as computers.

Can a smart TV watch you?

If you want to surf the web on your TV, make sure your set has its own browser. Also, ask if there’s a wireless-keyboard option, which is far less common.

Yes, it can. Information you share on a Facebook app on a TV or when ordering on Amazon or Netflix on the big screen is shared in the same way as when you conduct such business on a PC or a smartphone. In addition, companies can collect private information about you and your viewing habits from a smart TV. In late 2013, for example, LG admitted that it had received information about what channels owners were watching, even after those users turned on the privacy setting. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Spring N

Fashion

ew York Fashion Week has officially closed and next year’s fashion trends are already presenting themselves. Designers are thinking in tie dye, reworking western classics, and freeing the nipple in ways you’ve never seen. Check out the biggest trends of spring 2019, and make sure to check back for updates to our guide as fashion week moves on to London, Milan, and Paris this month.

Big Eveningwear Go big or go home next time you have a formal event—literally. Designers turned up the volume when it came to evening wear, looking to ruffles galore in taffeta and chiffon.

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Tie dye Take a trip this season, tie dye is reaching new heights. There’s California cool courtesy of R13 (approved by Kaia Gerber), art school appeal at Eckhaus Latta, and more interpretations of the trend anyone can dabble in.

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From fresh face Laquan Smith to established houses like Oscar de la Renta, designers are freeing the nipple with sheer appeal. Are you ready for this risqué trend next summer?

Matchy-matchy Planning your outfit has never been easier, proven by Mansur Gavriel and Tory Burch. Match your bag to your dress...and then to your shoes with next season’s latest set of coordinated goods.

Marigold This season’s It-color has presented itself, and it’ll brighten your day. A saturated and sunny yellow was seen all over the catwalk, and we can’t wait to test it out.

Neon Neon brights are all over the runway this season, and our eyes are anything but sore. Jeremy Scott, Milly, and more presented full-on outfits in every shade imaginable, akin toa collection of highlighters.

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Fringe

Top off your look next season with this statement style. ‘70s headscarves, groovy bucket hats, and resort-ready headwear is everywhere this thanks to Michael Kors Collection, Kate Spade New York, and more.

This is not a trend seen on the fringe, but front and center. The detail reworked classic western style, was cut into modern maxis, and fashioned as easy, daytime accessories.

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OPEN IN APRIL

the NEW SC2 Rhyl

is getting ready to open Wales’ newest and most exciting leisure attraction me our first visitors. its doors in Spring 2019 and we can’t wait to welco

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ocated on the promenade in Rhyl, this £15 million waterpark, which includes Wales’ first TAGactive play arena, is Denbighshire Leisure’s flagship facility. As the centrepiece of Rhyl’s waterfront development programme, SC2 is expected to attract an extra 350,000 visitors per year to the town and will also create an 65 new jobs. The amazing water park offers both indoor and outdoor water play for all ages and abilities. With breathtaking flume rides, beach style paddling, slides for all ages and themed cafes, there really is something for everybody. There will also be a bar and terrace open seasonally. We are really excited to be opening Wales’ first TAGactive arena. This fantastic indoor multi-level play zone has taken all the best features from your favourite TV events and brought them into one exciting experience. For younger children there will also be a Junior Tag structure. SC2 will be offering birthday party packages, discounts for school and group bookings. A visit to SC2 is the perfect day out, but with so much to do and see, our visitors will want to come back again and again.

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TAG ACTIVE THE FIRST AND ONLY TAGACTIVE IN WALES Come and challenge yourself on the first TAGactive arena in Wales. This fantastic indoor multi-level play area has taken all the best features from your favourite TV events and brought them into one exciting experience. The timed activity zones test your skill, your fitness and your bravery.

OUTDOOR SPLASHPAD OUTDOOR FUN IN THE SUN The complete holiday experience on your doorstep. While the children are busy enjoying the water, adults can relax in the sun (or shade) on our outdoor terrace or seating areas.

WATERPARK AT SC2 WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERY VISITOR, WHETHER YOU’RE A THRILL SEEKER, A PADDLER OR JUST WANT TO PUT YOUR FEET UP AND RELAX With plenty for everyone to explore and do, our all day tickets mean you don’t have to watch the time – just lose yourself in SC2’s world of fun and adventure. The main waterpark area is suitable for all ages and abilities.

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FOOD & DRINK Even the most energetic visitors to SC2 need to refuel and we have choice of fantastic food outlets. The Rainforest CafÊ, situated close to the reception area, is the largest eatery within SC2. With a wide variety of healthy snacks and meals on offer, the CafÊ caters for breakfast, lunch and tea. Children will love the selection of kids meal deals available and of course, the CafÊ will be available as part of any children’s waterpark party booking at SC2. If you don’t want to waste time away from the rides, but need to recharge your batteries, take a quick trip to the Watering Hole. Situated inside the Waterpark itself, this is the ideal venue for a snack, drink or ice cream. Then it’s straight back into the water for more fun!

FIND US Located on Rhyl’s Promenade near the Sky Tower. SC2 is located on the B5118, West Parade, close to the western limit of Rhyl’s Promenade. It is situated near to the Sky Tower, which is clearly visible on approach and also the Vue Cinema. The Promenade is signposted clearly from within the town centre.

sc2rhyl.co.uk         

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r e v o c s Di

Bath

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uilt for pleasure and relaxation, beautiful Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, housing the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in. Bath’s compact, visitor-friendly centre is overflowing with places to eat and drink, plus some of the finest independent shops in Britain, making it the ideal city break. Immerse yourself in Bath’s remarkable collection of museums and galleries, and enjoy year-round festivals, theatre, music and sports. Bath’s stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight from a Jane Austen novel highlights include the iconic Royal Crescent and the majestic Circus. 22

Pulteney Bridge

The Roman Baths

The Jane Austen Centre

Constructed in around 70AD as a grand bathing and socialising complex, the Roman Baths is one of the bestpreserved Roman remains in the world, filled with 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water, reaching 46°C.

Celebrating Bath’s most famous resident, the Jane Austen Centre offers a snapshot of what it would be like to live in the Regency times - the fashion, food, society - everything that would have inspired Austen’s timeless novels.

The Roman Baths is the site of extensive ruins and an interactive museum filled with many treasures and visual snippets that transport you back to Roman times and the lives of the Aquae Sulis people. Walk on ancient pavements as the Romans did 2,000 years ago, and explore ancient chambers historically housing changing rooms and tepid plunge pools.

The Centre is set in a classically decorated Georgian townhouse, where your very own Austen experience will begin with a friendly welcome talk from a knowledgeable and helpful member of staff. After the introduction you’ll be free to wander around the intriguing exhibition at your own pace.

After your exploration you can take a sip of the spa water in the Pump Room containing 43 minerals, which for centuries has attracted visitors to Bath for curative purposes. This is a unique opportunity to get a real taste (literally!) of Roman Bath. If that doesn’t quite take your fancy then opt for afternoon tea in the Pump Room restaurant accompanied by music from the Pump Room Trio.

Get into the Jane Austen spirit and feel as if you’re really in Pride and Prejudice by dressing up in the exhibition’s Regency costumes, including bonnets, top hats, shawls, fans and dresses. The Centre has a waxwork which, for the first time in history, creates a lifelike portrayal of what Jane Austen would have looked like. Once you’ve finished exploring, head upstairs to The Regency Tea Rooms for afternoon tea.

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Touring Bath Don’t know where to start your sightseeing? With so many things to see in and around Bath it can be difficult to navigate the maze of options. Make life easier by joining one the many guided tours of Bath. A popular option is an easy Bath bus tour. See the city at your own pace with a hop-on, hop-off journey taking in all of our iconic sights. Along the way, knowledgeable local tour guides will tell the story of Bath’s rich history and fill you in on fascinating and unusual facts about the city. Join a walking tour to see things from street level. Bath is a compact city, designed to be explored on foot, and there is a great range of walking themes and options. Take a guided tour of the city’s architecture, discover Bath’s hidden gardens, sample a culinary stroll around the best places to eat or see the dark side on a spooky ghost walk. If you prefer to go it alone, you can download audio guides that lead you through the World Heritage Site of Bath and in the footsteps of Jane Austen.

The Roman Baths The Jane Austen Museum

Prefer to ride, not walk? Saddle up for a guided bike tour, with easy cruises around the city sights to longer trips out into the countryside around Bath.

The Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent One of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, the Royal Crescent was built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger. This impressive landmark is arranged around a perfect lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park and forms a sweeping crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses. It is without doubt one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture anywhere in the UK. The 500-foot-long crescent has an impressive ha-ha, which was designed to keep grazing animals out of the more formal areas of the garden.

Pulteney Bridge One of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides, Pulteney Bridge was designed in 1769 by Robert Adam. The bridge is named after Frances Pulteney, wife of William Johnstone Pulteney. William was an important

man in Georgian Bath, owning a lot of land in the surrounding area. He had grand plans to create a ‘new town’ to rival that of John Wood’s on the west side of the city. His grand scheme needed a new bridge and he didn’t want just any old bridge, he wanted a spectacular bridge, one which everyone would talk about.

The Holburne Museum The Grade I listed building is home to an extensive collection of fine and decorative art. The fascinating pieces that adorn one of Bath’s most beautiful buildings vary from Renaissance treasures to masterpieces by Gainsborough. There is so much to see and explore that even a regular visitor can discover something new with the continuallychanging temporary exhibitions. Discover more about the history of Bath as the works exhibited embrace Bath’s history as a fashionable and artistic spa city. William Hoare and Thomas Gainsborough lived in Bath

and examples of their work can be found at the Holburne.

Hire a Narrowboat Experience the magic of the Kennet and Avon Canal by hiring a Bath Narrowboat. Hiring a day boat offers a great day out with family and friends, and with each boat holding between six and ten people, the experience also offers great value for money. Bath Narrowboats offer the largest selection of day boats available on the Kennet and Avon Canal, with five boats to choose from, offering a personalised service for those wishing to enjoy peace and tranquility. Book a half day, a full day, lunch until evening in the summer. Relax and enjoy getting close to wildlife, country pubs, historic towns and the heritage of the canal system. The truly delightful canal is one of Bath’s best kept secrets. In the spring, the woods are full of kingcups and bluebells. There are flower-strewn water meadows in the summer. And later in the year, the colours of autumn are really brought to life on the canal.

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PRIZE

COMPETITIONS WIN two tickets to see

The World Famous Elvis Show starring Chris Connor (from Oldham)

at Middleton - Arena: Saturday May 4, 2019 If you were not lucky enough to see Elvis live, you will walk away from this concert feeling that you have! Many Elvis fans are left emotionally moved when they leave the show. There is only ONE Elvis Presley, however fans all around the world are talking about CHRIS CONNOR who is remarkably so very very close to Elvis in both looks and voice and mannerisms. ● Endorsed by The Telegraph as ‘The World’s greatest ELVIS tribute Show’. ● Awarded ‘Elvis Tribute of the year’ by a land scale result of thousands of worldwide Elvis fans. Presented with this award in Memphis Tennessee. ● The fastest rising Elvis performer to date in a short period of only 8 years. A quote from Joe Espisito (Elvis’ best friend and road manager) who, after watching the show, said: “Wow that boy is good, he looks like Elvis, with the same energy”.

One quote from an Elvis actor: “Chris Connor is to me the closest thing to the King I’ve ever heard and ever seen in my life. I’m in shock, it’s simply amazing….”

Martin Fontaine - (Performer in the Elvis Story, Montreal, Canada) The World Famous ELVIS Show starring the world renowned Chris Connor - with his 13 piece band, with backing vocals by ‘The Sweet Harmonies’. A 2 hour show, with Live screening and video projection throughout, authentic lights and sound. This show has the highest production value around compared to any other Elvis tribute show to date. With FREE meet and greet after every show! You will have a front row feel, wherever you are sitting! Guaranteed! Book your tickets now before it is too late, as all shows are complete sell outs!! Making newspaper headlines! Come and see for yourself what the world wide rave reviews of this show are all about.

You will not be disappointed! That is a guarantee!!

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

“What Northern English town is Chris Connor from?”

Saturday May 14, 2019; Middleton - Arena; Box Office No: 0300 303 8633; Tickets: £26.50; Doors: 7.00pm; Website: https://link4life.org/book-tickets/events/ElvisMA2019/details

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday April 15) 26

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WIN two tickets to see

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

at New Brighton - Floral Pavilion: Sunday May 12, 2019 There has never been anything quite like The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, from their formation in 2002 and a cameo appearance at T in the Park in 2004 with The Darkness to opening the main stage in their own right in 2014.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

“What is the name of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ World Tour?” The past fifteen years have seen the Red Hot Chilli Pipers become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet... ever! Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and a show that carries its own health warning.

The band’s achievements have reached incredible heights with their groundbreaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/ pop anthems, which they proudly call “Bagrock”. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a genuinely unique experience. The Chillis have never been more in demand for their infectious style of feel good music which

appeals across all age ranges and has gained them fans all over the world. They have collected together an impressive group of musicians, dancers and singers from Scotland and further afield, many holding World Championship titles. You can see them in action when their ‘Fresh Air’ World Tour comes to New Brighton Floral Pavilion!

Sunday May 12, 2019; New Brighton - Floral Pavilion; Box Office No: 0151 666 0000; Tickets: £26.50; Doors: 7.00pm; Website: www.floralpavilion.com/en-GB/shows/red%20hot%20chilli%20pipers/events

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Who am I?

Born on 9th December 1934, she is an English actress who made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she performed in several of Shakespeare’s plays, in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She drew strong reviews for her leading role in the musical Cabaret in 1968, and over the next two decades she established herself as one of the most significant British

Guess the identity of our mystery celebrity and you could WIN £25 CASH!!

theatre performers. She received critical praise in television during this period, in the series A Fine Romance from 1981 until 1984, and As Time Goes By from 1992 until 2005, in which she held a starring role. Her film appearances were infrequent, and included supporting roles in major films such as A Room with a View (1986), before she rose to international fame as M in GoldenEye (1995), a role she continued to play in James Bond films until Spectre (2015). A seven-time Oscar nominee, she won the Academy Award for Best

Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998) and has received nominations for her roles in Mrs Brown (1997), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006), and Philomena (2013). She has also received many other accolades for her acting in theatre, film and television; her other competitive awards include six British Academy Film Awards, four BAFTA TV Awards, seven Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award.

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday April 15) Last months winners on page 4

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Your monthly

Brain workout Easy Sudoku Use this area to work out your answers

General knowledge quiz 1. US sprinter Jim Hines was the first man to achieve which world renowned athletic feat? 2. In which 994 film does Jim Carrey attempt to rescue the Miami Dolpins’ mascot? 3. Which British architect is best known for the original Thames Tunnel and the Clifton Suspension Bridge? 4. In a car, what does ABS stand for? 5. Which ‘I’ is a internet image

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sharing app purchased by Facebook in April 2012? 6. Lib Dem politician Paddy Ashdown was born in which country? 7. ‘HOMES’ is a mnemonic for recalling the Five Great Lakes of the USA. Which lake does the ’S’ represent? 8. Yerevan is the capital city of which eastern European country? 9. Which BBC television and radio presenter wrote an autobiography

entitled ‘Call the Midlife’? 10. Triton is the largest of the satellites orbiting which of the solar system’s planets?

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Quick Crossword Across 1. Forsaken 5. Theatre doctor 9. Incessantly (2,3,2) 10. Turn over 11. Tropical fruit 12. Daunt 13. Enthusiasm 15. Fight off 17. Throat lump, ... apple 20. Young fox 21. Vitality 23. False beliefs 27. Drug raids 30. Pancake topping, maple .. Answers on page 4

32. Mindful 33. Loud 34. More aged 35. Swirling 36. Annulled 37. Airstrips

Down 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Increase Coat collar parts Haitian withcraft Cul-de-sac (4,3) Holstered weapon (4,3) Park warden Pitch tent Illegal cricket deliveries (2,5)

14. Himalayan region 16. Delegate 17. Bank cash dispenser (1,1,1) 18. Singer, ... Garfunkel 19. Anti-terrorist group (1,1,1) 22. Leave behind 24. Surrendered 25. Weightier 26. Coils 28. Slalom sport 29. Coyest 30. Campaign motto 31. Mideast shipping passage (3,3)

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Advertising Advertising Feature Feature

moneytalks

I've just read that HMRC collected record inheritance tax payments of £4.9bn

It’sinfair to that for most2017 of us there isn’t shortcut toillusions financial security, and “The purpose of modern life iswhich to live a life without while not the 12say months to April was aa 4% increase on the previous year. I’m fairly certain that most, if not all of you reading this weren’t born to royalty becoming That's andisillusioned”. awful lot of money which for the most part has already been taxed oralong vast inherited so obtaining that security is achieved througheither hard as the waywealth (possibly several times) as its been accumulated,

Now there’s a thought, particularly at a time I do anything else is to understand my clients work and careful planning. income tax when it was earned in the first place, more income tax if it's been when probably the whole feels particuvision of their future. isn’t always aswith easy Ifonafter all this, you areThis still tempted to deal Fsaved, ortunatelycapital me, Igains knewcountry this going to be or arealised taxwas if the asset aisofprofit and inheritance Uncertainty inforthe markets about the economy what treated as afinally, business expense. This larly disillusioned by our politicians and politics! as it sounds, as most of us have some vague government tax policy, willthe often presentleaves obstacles is particularly valuable directors companies scam, trying to effectively steel my personcoil! you have neverformet, and hasofcalled you tax atsomeone 40% when owner this the mortal about possibly retiringbusiness early orintrying and challenges, ashad we asaw last year, but as I’ve thoughts trying capital a tax pension pot, and good idea of what would of to theextract blue, then do from checkathem out on the some very simple you can dotheir tobuilding ensure I'vemany not times written about this subject forhaving a with longa toout over the past ten years, efficient way, whilstthings atathe same time I said was given this quote at a meeting I attend get a bit more of return on capital, come next in terms of the caller trying to reel me in. Financial Services Register and not the details they up time, mainly until this year, there have with wealth thetopeople who matter plan and being because disciplined enough to keep taking ayour pension potpasses for thetoas future. All bigger too often I hear some business owners recently, and it really no real thought the picture. guessing that ofinheritance you plan reading you. to You can do this by company theI’m steps tomany stick that can get you give the words “my business is entering myI pension” which been noneeded changes to theto taxthis nil have rate the most you. For example, writethe a lot aboutwill made sit want up and think. whilst regular victims of attempted at some point, either to been where you to be. always depend upon there is their a buyer bandme for some years, andtheft toSo, be fair, the fact that name, retirement planning, and as much offor the persons namewhether whokeeping called you, FCA readers are used to me explaining the merits by theastime someone has plucked up in theto the business when thefor owner actually wants though various banking scams, emails, between or even Often, the nil rate band is now transferable your capital you can, as long as you can As we approach the end of another tax year, the registration number (if they have one) or a postcode. retire! of good quality financial planning advice, which courage to look over that wall, and see the othletters telling allityou spouses, means that the oldwon adage of "use or Ifa they pension "wrapper" incredibly taxregister, efficient, opportunity to you buildthat upyou’ve capital in the taxlottery, advantaged are genuine, theyiswill be on this as are of such course many, most of my articles talk side, no amount of with planning is going allow lose it" is is nosend longer aPension worry. have to do payment to an account number areas as ISAa or also draws to a er so often when I undertake cash flow modelling, Tax breaks associated pensions are sotoefficient am I, and as is the other qualified Adviser who works close, at least the 2018/19 tax year, won so I thought that they willdrawing inevitably government I'll suggest onremain otherunder capital about specifics such and Pension Planning, to skip over it because without abefore magic to release theforfunds you’ve apparently without Reading these figures though reminded me of them in my team. I would offer a timely reminder of how, coupled scrutiny, and so changes cannot be ruled in the pension capital. Many people don't realise even having bought a or ticket!! taxever efficient investments, considerations for wand, and the job didn’t come with eitherout a that wand how I felt when I had to write out a cheque to with good quality financial planning advice, these future. If you can then, making the most of reliefs gifts from surplus income don't eat into the nil atwo specific need, for example when loved a crystal theyPension have simply left it too late. thetaxInland Revenue many years aago onone the or Despite the ball, so called Simplification Rules efficient areas can support financial allowances whilst they are still available would Unfortunately though, many of these your fraudsters are and rate band, so if your income is building up, death of my My residential father hadcare. pre- I seem has to move intomother. permanent met with someone recently who clear wellbeing. to make good financial sense. were implemented in 2006 andhad the a2015 sounding andsome more16 plausible andsadly so, in passed a slight which diverting this to a savings or investment product deceasedmore her by years, she view of their future, they were going to retire implementation of the Pension Freedom Rules, this According tofrom HMRC, as ofarticle, 2018, over Iforstarted by saying that inheritance the majority a child,this canpiece help reduce the final departure my usual I wanted to make away rulebySeptember change allowing the inof 12 This is abefore bit of the ain ISA’s departure then, but adults, withmonth’s time, have a inherited couple of holidays £608 billion isofheld overwhich 22 million us have massive wealth, area ofwon’t financial planning remains complex, tax bill on your estate, whilst building up capitalbut you aware some of the things should send of aindeceased spouses unused nil their rate regular readers will know the importance yettransfer only one five subscribers maximise I place out doubt links into the “solutions” above. abroad a year, change the car, have meals out are making decisions about to enable awhen child you to perhaps put down a deposit warning lights agoing regards to particularly band,allowances result, hefty IHT bill£20,000 on anwith estate which current ofoff, upparticularly to per annum on spend intergenerational planning, and its worth When we think of how we run our lives, whethand more time with the grandchildren on a property paythere offsavings. a isstudent loan insaving years your or pension Advice often in today wouldn't even a glimmer of hope in accessing your pension savings. which is then free fromraise income and capital gains remembering that scope forwill to come. er business or Ipersonal, too often weannual work (not even on this comes without a cost as theOfRevenue's eye's. all be needed, butbehalf please on the front foot, findany a tax. course, appreciate that maximising pensions ofbechildren, with a maximum • First all, nonow, reputable Financial Adviser is going grandparent inallowances the hereofand course do.everyone’s Somewill tell you) all£2880 with very limited every year,ofwon’t be we within current annual contribution of being topped qualified regulated Adviser yourself, or ask someone It's fair to say that one size definitely does not fit It'stoclear though, from the announced coldhad call youhave offering afigures review, soby if up to £3600 reach, but you been able to do so since thanks to and relief. times then, those walls ofpension disillusionment or five tomajority wait all, and in what be ayears complex area unis you knowadvice, hassavings, done so . tax Incan my practice, the that many people are still falling foul of pension theHMRC start of the ISA regime in 1999, you would you haven’t asked for one, I suggest you hang andthiseven disappointment buildandupit'saround tilof state pension, which was considerably less to my mind essential. If you would like more Please remember that an investment with St. our clients come to us as a result of referrals from most unpalatable of taxes, equally have up. been able to have sheltered £213760 and James’s Place be linked the information on will this, or directly any other area us until can longer see overthe them. their current levels of income. Asto of I’ve clear towemestock thatno with some sensible planning with average market returns over same than existing clients. performance of the please funds selected fall financial planning, give us amay call on as discussion, those of worth youon who may said, period, your fundmanages would now be considerably the job doesn’t comedo with a and magic wand!! •andIf the caller to keep you the phone, well as 840738 rise, which means 28907 you may get me back less 01948 or 075959 where and more than this. Finally, if you deal with a firm or individual who is not inadvertently betalk making HMRC one your I than What we really need to do,accessing and I include mythinkyou its safe to say that this instance whatof they will often about your of pension invested, and thein levels and bases my team will be helpoptimism you. main beneficiaries, mayand beflexibility able toaremove them, regulated, you mayhappy notcan beto covered by self infunds this, isoffer to age stop take peep over once have been blind will Whilst ISA’s greater in you terms of may taxation and reliefs change at the anyFinancial time,now and before 55. This is simple, can’t, or at the very least considerably reduce their access, pension contributions have a clear depends upon an individual’s circumstances. Ombudsman Service of the Financial Services The value of an investment with St. James's that wall to what we want our future to look most definitely be disillusionment, which beagain hang up. "inheritance" you. advantage, whichfrom is tax relief. Everyone receives Compensation Placemore willisn’t be directly linked to the performance Scheme. like, understanding that in looking to the fu- lieve me, a position I want anyone to be For information please do contact us in. on basic relief of 20% on their pension contributions, • Assuming they still have you on the phone, you of the funds selected andme may fallmy as well as will rise.be Of course, some of you reading this may not 01948 840738 where and team ture, not everything will work out exactly as which means that for every 80p paid in, the The value of a pension with St. James’s Place will be mayand words like “pension liberation, pension You may getlikeback less than the amount to help. mind inhear the if 20p. more estate government adds a further Ifofthe a your business is Ifhappy planned, thatslightest this is just part of process. you would to chat through ways to help directly linked to the performance underlying invested. The levels and bases of the taxation and passes to the revenue than your children, or loophole, free reviews, unique, environmental making the contribution for an employee, the relief your plans for the future flourish and thrive, reliefsselected from taxation at any and and reduction that is of course and maycan fallchange as well as rise.time You may friendly, or ethical, by corporation nowyour yourchoice. alarm is grandchildren, given by aoverseas 20% in tax funds PartIf that's of mynot role aseventual a financial before please give us a callcircumstances. on 01948 840789. is dependent on individual your aim planner, though, there are do

‘‘‘

bells should really be ringing, so please, hang up.

get back less than you invested.

Carolyn Ling Financial Planning Ltd represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management lc (which is authorised and Carolyn Ling Financial Planning Ltd represents only James’s Place Wealth Management plc is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Carolyn Financial Planning LtdConduct only St. St. James’s Wealth plc (which (which is on authorised and regulated by the the Financial Conduct Carolyn Ling Ling Financial Ltd isrepresents an Appointed Representative of andManagement represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is regulated by thePlanning Financial Authority) for Place the management purpose ofproducts advising solely the Group’s wealth management Authority) for the of solely on Group’s and services, more details of are the Authority) for the purpose purpose of advising advising solely on the theAuthority) Group’s wealth wealth management products and services, more detailswealth of which which are set set out out on onproducts the Group’s Group’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s management and products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website at www.sjp.eo.uk/products. website website at at www.sjp.co.uk/products. www.sjp.co.uk/products.

services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.


Carolyn Ling Financial Planning Ltd 01244 01948 840738 075959 28907 01948 561323 840738 // 07469 075959871283 28907 alexander.smith@sjpp.co.uk carolyn.ling@sjpp.co.uk carolyn.ling@sjpp.co.uk www.sjpp.co.uk/carolynling www.sjpp.co.uk/carolynling www.sjpp.co.uk/carolynling

Quality Quality is is never never an an accident…. accident…. Based Based locally locally on on the the Shropshire/Cheshire Shropshire/Cheshire border, border, Based locally in Hawarden, we work closely where where II have have lived lived for for most most of of my my life, life, II work work with our clients and their families to fully closely closely with with my my clients clients and and their their families families to to fully fully understand their financial aspirations, hopes understand their understand their financial financial aspirations, aspirations, hopes hopes and and and concerns. concerns. concerns. Ourbusiness businesshas hasquality qualityand andservice serviceat itscore core Our Our business has quality and service atatits it’s core and we would like invite to invite readers to find out and and II would would like like to to invite readers readers to to find find out out for for for themselves our personal approach to themselves themselves my my personal personal approach approach to to financial financial financial planning. planning. planning.

It It is is always always the the result result of of intelligent intelligent effort effort WHAT WHAT MY MY CLIENTS CLIENTS SAY SAY

“The level support, and “The level ofprovided support, help help and advice advice “Alex hasof trustworthy Carolyn provides to my Carolyn provides to me me and my family family and sound advice. Heand explains goes far beyond what we have goes far beyond what we have everything in a clear and easily experienced the experienced inmanner. the past. past. Nothing Nothing is is too too understoodin much much trouble trouble and and she she and and her her team team are are I have complete trust in his always always available. available. We We have have complete complete advice and I would not hesitate trust trust in in her her advice advice and and have have no no in recommending Alex to hesitation hesitation in in recommending recommending her” her”

anyone.”

Fred Farmers Fred & & Jill Jill Dimelow, Dimelow, Farmers P. Reilly

Investment Investment Planning Planning Retirement Retirement Planning Planning Protection Protection Inheritance Inheritance Tax Tax Planning Planning Long Long Term Term Care Care Fees Fees Planning Planning

Carolyn Carolyn Ling Ling Financial Financial Planning Planning Ltd Ltd represents represents only only St. St. James’s James’s Place Place Wealth Wealth Management Management plc plc (which (which is is authorised authorised and and regulated regulated by by the the Financial Financial Conduct Conduct Authority) Authority) for for the the purpose purpose of of advising advising solely solely on on the the Group’s Group’s wealth wealth management management products products and and services, services, more more details details of of which which are are set set out out on on the the Group’s Group’s website website at at www.sjp.co.uk/products. www.sjp.co.uk/products.


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Recipe Method

Easter nest cake Bake a showstopping cake for Easter. This one is so easy and the kids can decorate it by filling the pretzel nest with their favourite chocolate eggs.

1 Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line two 20cm round cake tins. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb, sugar and a large pinch of salt to a bowl. Mix, squeezing any large lumps of sugar through your fingers, until you have a fine, sandy mix. 2 Whisk the oil with the buttermilk in a jug. Stir in the vanilla and eggs, then pour the ingredients in and mix.

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins. Test the cakes by inserting a skewer into the centre - if there is any wet mixture on the skewer, return the cakes to the oven for 5 mins more, then check again. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool fully. lace for 1 hr or until doubled in size. 3 Next, make the nest. Clean one tin and line it with some oiled baking parchment. Put the marshmallows and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 1 min, stirring halfway through (or heat gently in a pan on the hob). Continue microwaving in 20-second blasts until you get a runny mixture. Stir in the cocoa, pretzels and

shredded wheat until well combined. Tip the mixture into your lined tin and use the back of your spoon to create a nest shape. Leave to cool at room temperature for a few hours, or chill in the fridge if you need it to set faster. 4 To make the icing, beat the butter, cocoa, icing sugar and milk together until smooth, adding more milk if the mixture is too stiff. Assemble the cake by stacking the sponges with icing in between, topping with more icing and the nest. Fill your nest with as many chocolate eggs as it will hold, then serve. It may be easier to cut the cake if you remove the nest – you can then chop the nest into chunks and serve alongside the cake.

Ingredients

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● 200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin ● 250g plain flour ● 6 tbsp cocoa powder ● 2 tsp baking powder ● 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda ● 280g soft light brown sugar ● 250ml buttermilk ● 2 tsp vanilla extract ● 3 large eggs

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For the nest ● 200g marshmallows ● 100g butter, chopped into chunks ● 2 tbsp cocoa powder ● 75g salted pretzels, crushed ● 4 shredded wheat biscuits, crushed ● chocolate eggs, to decorate

For the icing ● 150g slightly salted butter, softened ● 2 tbsp cocoa powder ● 300g icing sugar ● 4 tbsp milk

Easy Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

Prep: 45min

Cook: 30min


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How to convert your garage It’s been dubbed the new loft – the garage is the latest room being considered for conversion by families who are running out of space, but who can’t - or don’t want to move. According to a recent report, of the 9.3 million private garages in the UK, 650,000 have already been turned into bedrooms, as well as home offices, kitchen extensions, utility rooms or sitting rooms. And a further 470,000 are going to be converted into extra living space. Converting a garage into usable living space is an affordable and relatively simple job. But before you start, you’ll need to consider a few things.

How much will it cost? It’s esimated that the average conversion costs £6,300, once it’s been plastered and decorated. That works out much cheaper than moving home, or the £30,000 it costs to convert the average loft. If you have an integral garage, the job should be quite simple and could even be taken on by a competent DIY-er. If you need to make structural changes or if your garage is detached, it will be a more complex job involving knocking down walls, for example, and will cost far more. A local builder is often the cheapest option, but a specialist firm, such as the Garage Conversion Company, should provide a guarantee and architectural service, charging around £10,000 to convert a single garage and £15,000 for a double.

Do I need planning permission? Permission isn’t usually required for a garage conversion, provided the work is internal and doesn’t involve enlarging the building. However, you must check with your local authority’s planning department first.

Do I really need to convert my garage? Before getting too excited about the extra space, do consider whether losing your garage will devalue your home. For two-car families in an area where parking is zoned or at a premium, a garage will be more valuable than an extra room, but if you have plenty of space off road to park your car and the job is well done, converting your garage will pay dividends.’

More things to consider before converting a garage 1. The build quality of your garage Not all garages can be converted some are old, shoddily built and could be asbestos-ridden. However, if yours was professionally built in the last 25 years, is made of brick or block and is structurally sound, there’s a good chance you could convert it with very little fuss. Start by getting advice from a surveyor at the Building Control department of your local council.

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2. The practicalities of the job Garages are often on a different level from the house, so you may need to raise or lower floors or ceilings if you want your new room to flow on from the rest of your home. You’ll need heating and insulation to make it usable all year round; plumbing, lighting and security also need to be assessed.

3. How will you use the space? If you’ve earmarked the new room as an office or a hobby room, you may want to keep it separate from your main living space; if it’s going to be a living area or kitchen it will need to flow seamlessly from the rest of the house, so you may need to knock through an interior wall.

4. Will you need to move a boiler or electricity meter? Moving the boiler or electricity meter to another room adds thousands of pounds to the cost, so box them in with pale-painted wooden units. Using a pale cream colour on the boxing avoids the stark, narrow feel some garages can suffer from.

5. Will it spoil the exterior of my house? You could, so it’s worth careful consideration. For example, bricks and windows need to be matched as closely as possible to the rest of the house.

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Films

The pick of this month’s movies

Hellboy

Hellboy is back, and he’s on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola’s seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary halfdemon superhero (David Harbour, “Stranger Things”) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.

Released: April 11, 2019 Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Neil Marshall Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich

Avengers: Endgame Pet Sematary In a classic Stephen King plot, a normal family moves to a remote area and gets in all sorts of hairraising troubles. This time, the drama happens after the family cat gets run over by a truck, and the father, Louis, decides to bury it in the nearby “pet sematary” that neighbours have been telling him about. And as it turns out, spelling is not the only thing that is wrong with the place.

The Avengers prepare for a final showdown with Thanos. A culmination of 22 interconnected movies, the fourth instalment of the Avengers saga will draw audiences to witness the final turning point of this epic journey. Our beloved heroes will truly understand

how fragile this reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it.

Released: April 25, 2019 Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Brie Larson, Chris Hemsworth

Released: April 5, 2019 Genre: Horror, Thriller Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer

Cast: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz

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The Golf makes a huge leap forward

T

he new Golf will be everything people loved for years. People want a Golf - it’s iconic - but now there’s a huge leap forward in the digitisation inside it. It’s still a Golf, but now digital. It’s kept everything people have loved and moved it to the next phase.

Performance The range kicks off with an 84bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder (TSI 85) petrol engine but, as it’s rather slow, with barely any payback in fuel economy over the more powerful 113bhp 1.0-litre (TSI 115), we suggest you give it a miss. By contrast, the 113bhp version could become a favourite. It’s still no speed machine but revs keenly and feels livelier than you might imagine for such a small engine. That applies even when you’re on the motorway; you just need to work it a bit harder than some of the

more powerful alternatives. Stepping up to the four-cylinder petrols brings more effortless performance. The 128bhp 1.5-litre (TSI 130) is our favourite engine because it delivers a bit more mid-range oomph than

is much stronger when overtaking. The even more powerful and decidedly brisk 182bhp 2.0-litre (TDI 184) is available only in the sporty GTD trim level, with the GTI and the R models catering for hot hatch fans.

Ride

Motoring the 1.0-litre - helpful when laden with passengers and luggage - but there’s a more powerful 148bhp 1.5-litre (TSI 150) as well, should your needs dictate. As for the diesels, the 113bhp 1.6-litre (TDI 115) is a little lethargic. If you can stretch to it, we recommend the 148bhp 2.0-litre (TDI 150) diesel which

The Golf rides more comfortably than most other family cars. You’ll find it a lot smoother than the Vauxhall Astra, Skoda Octavia or Seat Leon along rough roads, thanks to suspension that’s supple enough to take the worst out of big bumps and potholes. The ride remains brilliantly composed over the sort of scarred and patched-up surfaces you find in most towns and cities, too: only the Toyota Corolla and Audi A3 come close. However, it’s worth noting that Golfs with the 1.0 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines use a rather less sophisticated rear suspension system than other models in the range. They still ride very well

Interior layout Whatever your shape or size, you should be able to find a comfortable driving position behind the wheel of a Golf. You get seat height adjustment, steering wheel rake and reach adjustment and a front centre armrest across the range. Once you’re are sitting comfortably, you’ll notice that all the buttons and knobs on the dashboard are well positioned, including physical climate dials that make it easy to tweak the temperature on the move. VW’s Active Info display is an option on most models, and one that’s well worth adding. It’s 12.3in digital screen replaces conventional analog dials and can be set up to display a multitude of information in a clear and concise fashion.

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compared with the competition, but aren’t as supremely comfortable as Golfs with more powerful engines.

Handling Few cars in any class handle as securely and predictably as the Golf. Despite its supple suspension, body sway is kept neatly in check through tight twists and turns and you always feel confident that the car is going to respond exactly how you want it to. There’s plenty of grip, too, and you can hustle the Golf along a twisty B-road surprisingly swiftly. True, it isn’t quite as fun or as sharp as the Audi A3 or Ford Focus, but the Golf’s steering is nicely weighted, accurate and tells you everything you need to know about what the front wheels are doing.

Equipment Entry-level S trim isn’t lavishly equipped; you get air conditioning and four electric windows (or two on threedoor models) but there are no alloy wheels and few other niceties. The SE adds 16in alloy wheels,

automatic lights and wipers, a leathertrimmed steering wheel, power-folding door mirrors and adaptive cruise control, plus added driving aids and infotainment upgrades.

Safety and Security Seven airbags are fitted as standard to every Golf, including full-length curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Rear side airbags are available as an option on every five-door version. SE models and above also get automatic emergency braking, which, at speeds below 19mph, can automatically apply the brakes if an impending collision is detected. Comparing the Golf for safety against more modern cars, such as the Ford Focus and Mercedes A-Class, is tricky, because the later tests those rivals have been through are much tougher. Lane-keeping assistance comes as part of a reasonably priced pack that also includes traffic sign recognition.

Running costs The Golf’s on-the-road price starts at less than £20,000 and is very

competitive against premium rivals such as the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. In fact, it’s priced roughly in line with the Ford Focus, although you’ll still get more change from a comparably equipped Vauxhall Astra or Skoda Octavia. Don’t forget to factor in resale values, though; the Golfs look particularly strong after three years and could actually cost you less in the long run than cheaper alternatives if buying privately. This can make the Golf an attractive option on PCP finance, and insurance and servicing bills are generally quite competitive.

Verdict The Volkswagen Golf continues to be a favourite among family cars. It’s practical, tidy to drive, comfortable and the infotainment system is very well equipped and easy to use. If you are looking for something that’s plusher than the Skoda Octavia, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, but has a bit of upmarket presence and feel, then the Golf merges those two worlds very well indeed.

Space The Golf’s roomy interior dimensions allow a pair of six-footers to sit relatively comfortably in the back, although things get a bit tight when a third occupant is introduced. Because of a raised tunnel that runs along the centre-line of the car, the middle occupant is rather short on foot space. Otherwise, there’s a decent amount of leg and head room but not as much as you’ll find in the cheaper Skoda Octavia or Ford Focus. The rear door pockets are narrow, so a 500ml bottle is a bit of a squeeze. However, go for SE trim or above and you gain a couple of cupholders in the rear centre armrest, along with storage pockets on the rear of the front seats. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Spring has sprung in the garden! Spring is finally in evidence as daffodils and flowering trees start to bloom. Expect the inevitable April showers this month but with sunny days too, when you can turn your attention to the lawn. It’s an exciting month, with indoor-sown seeds well into growth, and it’s also time to start sowing outdoors. Just watch out for frosts...

Climbing roses are not self-clinging and need supports of trellis or horizontal wires to which the shoots can be tied. Set the lowest wire 45cm (18in) off the ground and space subsequent wires 30cm (1ft) apart. If training roses up pillars, arches or pergolas, twist the main shoots gently around the uprights, keeping them as horizontal as possible, to encourage flowering shoots to form low down.

Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors

April’s top garden jobs Keep weeds under control All weeds can be controlled without weedkillers, but persistent or deep rooted weeds may be very difficult to eradicate. Ongoing control is likely to be necessary. Annual weeds (which only live for a year) and epehemeral weeds (which live for less than a year) are the easiest to control, as they are usually shallow rooted. However, they can scatter seed prolifically, so usually reappear and require further control. Deep-rooted perennial weeds (which die down in the winter and re-grow each spring) will re-grow from their roots if the tops are removed or burned off. They can be difficult to dig out and may grow up through weed barriers in time. Weeds can be controlled whenever they are troublesome, which is usually in the spring and summer months. It is a good idea to put weed barriers in place in late winter or early spring, as they work better as a preventative than when an existing problem requires suppression.

Protect fruit blossom from late frosts Depending on the fruit, measures may have to be taken to protect vulnerable growth from late winter through spring.

Most soft fruit and top fruit, with the exception of figs, are very hardy while dormant over the winter as temperatures do not fall low enough to harm these trees in Britain. Gardeners in more severe climates may need to choose cold-resistant rootstocks and cultivars. Frost occurs when temperatures fall below 0ºC (32ºF) and objects near the ground then become chilled and freeze. Cold air naturally flows downward on sloping ground, collecting at the lowest point or against a barrier. If this barrier is a fence or hedge consider creating a gap, or remove some of the lower growth to improve air drainage. If there is no alternative, plant the larger fruit trees at the bottom and the smaller ones on the higher ground.

Tie in climbing and rambling roses Climbers are routinely pruned in winter, after the flowers have faded, between December and February. Long whippy shoots can be shortened or tied in during autumn, to prevent strong winds from damaging them. Renovation can be carried out at any time between late autumn and late winter. It is easier to see what you are doing when the rose is not in leaf, plus there is a better response from the rose, which should grow back vigorously the following spring.

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Sowing seed outdoors, directly into final growing places, is ideal for gardeners who do not have much room to raise seed indoors in trays or propagators.

You also don’t need to start seed sowing as early in spring as when you sow outdoors. As long as the soil is warm and moist, seed can be sown and it will germinate quickly. In practice, this usually means either midspring to early summer (April-June), or late summer (September). If you can provide the crop with protection, such as cloches or fleece, sowing can begin in early spring. Likewise, regular watering will make it possible to raise rows of seedlings in the height of summer.

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April Horoscopes Aries (March 21-April 19)

You could subject yourself to some much-needed self-scrutiny this month. If you are feeling the strain of working too hard, then take some time out. If a relationship is not working, then end it. During this time you can be as decisive as you like, as you are unlikely to make a bad decision.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Watch out for muscle strain, muscle weakness and leg pain this month. You are likely to be physically restricted in some way. The affliction is only temporary, but it will mean that your physical development will be strong and you are likely to be very sensitive to others’ needs

Gemini (May 21- June 20)

You may be feeling a little fragile - maybe because of work-related stress, family problems or simply because your work/life balance is out of kilter. Either way, those born under the water sign of the crab could find alternative therapies very helpful.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) There are enjoyable times in store for Cancerians, particularly in affairs of the heart and in familial relationship matters. It is an excellent time to try for a baby as your compatibility with partners and spouses will be especially harmonious.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

If you’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps, maybe due to exhaustion, now is the time to put on a brave face and embrace all the changes going on around you. Everything has an upside and a downside. If you focus more on the positive, things will get better in the long run.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

You could feel in need of a time out this month so that you can relax and revive. If your body is tired through overwork, then allow it to rest. If your mind is racing, then you will benefit from allowing yourself some downtime.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

If you are tempted to overspend this month, try to resist the urge. This is likely to be a very social period in your calendar and you may need to watch any potential strain on your finances. You will be in great demand on the social circuit and others will seek out your company.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Your patience could well be put to the test this month. There could be a situation where you will need to forgive and forget, rather than harping on about something that has irritated you. Your emotions may be up and down but mentally you will remain strong and able to deal effectively with whatever may happen.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

This could be a profitable period for those born under the sign of the archer. You will be confident enough to take risks where others wouldn’t dare. If you make investments this month, they may prove profitable in the future. If you approach your bosses about a pay rise they might actually listen to you.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Capricorn charts show you may need to slow down and take more care of your health. If you are prone to skin eruptions (which many born under this earth sign are) your skin could be telling you to avoid junk foods and eat a more healthy diet.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

This is likely to be a steady period for Aquarians. You are going to experience a certain amount of fulfillment where your career is concerned and there will be much satisfaction to be gained from doing well and achieving your goals. Others will seek you out for advice, which they will follow.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

You will be dealing with a lot of money-related issues during this period and your horoscope predictions suggest that any financial speculations you make will be fruitful. You will not indulge in impulsive spending; rather, you will be taking a more measured and careful approach to your finances.

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In this month... 1912

1961 Yuri Gagarin conquers space

On April 12, Russian Astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space and the first to orbit the Earth. His flight was a major landmark in the race for space supremacy between the US and the Soviet Union.

Sinking of the Titanic

In one of the worst maritime disasters in history, the “practically unsinkable” British luxury passenger liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank during the night of April 14-15th, 1912. Of the 2,207 people on board, only around 700 survived.

The first banana appears in England

1945 The liberation of Belsen

1882 The killing of Jesse James Shot in the back of the head as he adjusted a picture on the wall of his home, the slaying of the most famous outlaw in American history caused a national sensation on April 3, 1882. His killer, fellow gang member Robert Ford, was subsequently charged, sentenced to death and pardoned in the space of one day.

1606 Britain adopts the Union flag

On April 12 the new flag was specified by Royal decree after James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones and, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland in a personal union.

On entering the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen, near Hanover, on 14th April British troops found piles of dead and rotting bodies and thousands of prisoners suffering from typhoid, typhus, tuberculosis and starvation. Nearly 30,000 of the camp survivors died after the liberation.

Thomas Johnson, an enterprising herbalist, botanist and merchant, somehow managed to procure some for sale, displaying them in his shop window in Snow Hill, London on April 10, 1633. It wasn’t until the early 20th century, however, that they became widely available commercially.

1633

Martin Luther King assassinated

The US civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. King, who was only 39, was shot dead by James Earl Ray, who was later sentenced to 99 years in prison for the crime. King’s killing sparked race riots throughout the United States.

1968

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1770 Captain Cook arrives in Botany Bay

On the first of his three Pacific voyages as commander, the then Lieutenant James Cook landed at Kurnell, on the southern banks of Botany Bay, on Sunday 29 April 1770, after navigating his way up the east coast of Australia on his ship, HMS Endeavour.


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Fitness

The benefits of cycling

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he benefits of cycling are almost as endless as the country lanes you could soon be exploring. If you’re considering taking up cycling, and weighing it up against other potential activities, then here are ten reasons whhy it could be the best option for you.

1 Cycling improves mental well-being There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood: there’s the basic release of adrenalin and endorphins, and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things (such as completing a sportive or getting closer to that goal). Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. You can ride solo – giving you time to process worries or concerns, or you can ride with a group which broadens your social circle.

2 Cycling promotes weight loss Cycling burns calories: between 400 and 1000 an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight. Of course, there are other factors: the make-up of the calories you consume affects the frequency of your refuelling, as does the quality of your sleep and of course the amount of time you spend burning calories. Assuming you enjoy cycling, you’ll be burning calories. And if you eat well, you should lose weight.

3 Better lung health You won’t be alone if this point seems contradictory to common sense. But a recent study suggests that people who ride a bike are actually exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. A recent study saw air pollution detectors fitted to a driver, a bus user, a pedestrian and a cyclist using a busy route through central London. The results showed that the driver

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experienced five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist, as well as three and a half more than the walker and two and a half times more than the bus user. Long story short: the cyclist won.

4 Cycling cuts heart disease and cancer risk Cycling raises your heart rate and gets the blood pumping round your body, and it burns calories, limiting the chance of your being overweight. As a result, it’s among a selection of forms of exercise recommended by the NHS as being healthy ways to cut your risk of developing major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

5 Cycling saves time Compare these three experiences: l Get in the car, sit in traffic, queue to get into the car park, park, pay to park, arrive l Walk to bus stop, wait for bus, complain about bus being late, get on bus (pay), watch as it takes you roundthe-houses, arrive, about half a mile from your destination l Get on the bike, filter past traffic, lock the bike, arrive Short journeys contribute massively to global pollution levels, and often involve a fair amount of stationary staring at the bumper in front. Get on the bike and you’ll save on petrol or cash on public transport, as well as time.

6 You’ll sleep better

It probably isn’t rocket science to suggest that tiring yourself out on the bike will improve your sleep but researchers at the University of Georgia studied men and women aged 20 to 85 over a period of 35 years, and found that a drop in fitness of 2 per cent for men and 4 per cent for women resulted in sleep problems. Looking for causes behind the link the scientists suggested it could be a reduction in anxiety, brought about by exercise, that elevates the ability to sleep. Exercise also protects against weight gain with age, which is another cause of sleep dysfunction.

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