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How TripAdvisor changed travel

The world’s biggest travel site has turned the industry upside down – but now it is struggling to deal with the same kinds of problems that are vexing other tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter. By Linda Kinstler

Should one be so unlucky as to find oneself, as I did, lying awake in bed in the early hours of the morning in a hostel in La Paz, Bolivia, listening anxiously to the sound of someone trying to force their way into one’s room, one could do worse than to throw a chair under the doorknob as a first line of defence. But this is not what I did. Instead, I held my breath and waited until the intruder, ever so mercifully, abandoned his project and sauntered down the hall. The next morning, when I raised the incident with the hostel employee at the front desk, he said the attempted intrusion had just been an innocent mistake, a misdirected early-morning wake-up call gone wrong, and what was the big deal, anyway? Fuming, I turned to the highest authority in the world of international travel, the only entity to which every hotel, restaurant, museum and attraction in the world is beholden: I left the hostel a bad review on TripAdvisor.

TripAdvisor is where we go to praise, criticise and purchase our way through the inhabited world. It is, at its core, a guestbook, a place where people record the highs and lows of their holiday experiences for the benefit of hotel proprietors and future guests. But this guestbook lives on the internet, where its contributors continue swapping advice, memories and complaints about their journeys long after their vacations have come to an end.

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The Farm at Tatton Park, Cheshire: ‘The field-to-fork story, Horrible Histories-style’ – review

Farming heritage, rare breed animals, a woodland trail and an honest approach to provenance are all part of this family day out

The Field to Fork story at the revamped working farm at Tatton Park was opened for the summer holidays. The £1.3m attraction, in the grounds of the country estate, aims to reconnect families with where their food comes from by bringing to life Cheshire’s farming history through heritage and hands-on events. Costumed actors bring to life characters from the farm’s past and there’s a mill, maize maze (seasonal) and farm machines to explore, too. The attraction includes a rare-breeds farm, play barn and woodland trail for little ones, plus visitors can swot up on agricultural skills, such as cheese-making and beekeeping. The Tatton estate also has a stately home, gardens and a deer park.

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