I will admit that I did not know what to expect when I was asked to go to Newfoundland for a long weekend but at just five and a half hours from London with a three and a half hour time difference, it’s a great destination for a long weekend. You need to picture Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall when it comes to scenery, history and climate; you fly in to the capital, St John’s, a very pretty seaside location full of pastel coloured wooden clad buildings. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised and the warm welcome I was afforded on arrival made me realise how important tourism is important to Newfoundland.
While the province of Newfoundland & Labrador is quite large, the population is relatively small so if you are looking for vast open spaces, wildlife and getting away from it all without having to travel for miles and miles, this is the place for you. You’ll find yourself surrounded in history and beautifully unspoilt landscape and transported back to a different time; everyone smiles and chats to one another while the bars in St John’s play Cornish or maybe Irish music and encourage participation – it’s convivial and very relaxed.
The unique selling point for me was the icebergs and the puffins and wow…. was I impressed !!
The icebergs come down through Iceberg Alley from spring to early summer. As you move north, the season stretches a bit longer but April, May, June and possibly into early July are the months that you have to travel in for the best chance of seeing Icebergs. We travelled in mid- June and as well as seeing icebergs while travelling in the coach exploring, I have to mention a fabulous half-day trip to Bays Bull. This small bay is approximately 45 minutes south of St Johns and can be reached by car or on an pre-booked excursion. It’s slightly odd that you can be standing in the car park wearing a t-shirt enjoying the warm sunshine and being assured that you really will need the woolly hat, gloves, scarf and warm winter jacket out on the water close to the icebergs; however, they weren’t joking.
During the four days of my trip, a day was dedicated to St John’s, one to Cape Spear and the Avalon Peninsula and one to Conception bay. We did most sightseeing as a group by minibus; the guided tours are by minibus with a maximum of 25 or so people which is a nice size and very informative, so can explore independently if you don’t fancy hiring a car.
It’s a vast province with lots to see; if you like wildlife and wide open spaces then this is the definitely the place for you and we have lots of ideas and itineraries on our website.