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by arrangement with Great Ormond Street _Hospital Children's Charity Celebrating the summer, top tourism professionals joined together at the award-winning Regent's Park Open Air Tneatre for their incredible production of Peter Pan. Peter Pan kicked off the Open Air Theatre's season which also boasts Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Shakespeare's romantic comedy As You Like It, and for families, Dinosaur World Live. Completing the · season is the much-anticipated Little Shop of Horrors, featuring

Marc Antolin·, Forbes Masson, Jemima Rooper, Vicky Vox and Matt Willis somewhere that's (truly) green I · ,·


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Set within beautiful fairy-lit grounds, and with a host of pre-performance dining options tci complete your experience, summer wouldn't be 1 summer withoGt ltrip tb1 this iconic London venue, but be sure to check ou t


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One of the many advantages of a coach holiday - at home or in Europe is that you don't hove to drive, con hove a nap and a few drinks with lunch or supper. It also means that you won't get ripped off hiring a car, or as on a recent trip to Canada, a motor home. After completing all the necessary (and endless) documentation at the Calgary depot, the good lady and I were soon on the way to Jasper, stopping for an overnight in Bonff. The holiday was going wonderfully well until the penultimate day when I hod the misfortune to hit a stationary car.

type of collision· . Never again Also - and without preaching to the converted - another wonderful advantage of travelling by coach, is that your passengers do not hove to endure the dire process of getting out of a country and into another through airports. The hours spent wasted at either end, through the endless bureaucracy and ridiculous jobsworths whose epaulettes would look at home on any Colombian general's shoulders, make the whole process, for me, a crashing bore. More good news from VisitBritoin as the UK sow strong growth in 2017 from a mix of overseas visitor markets including Chino, Australia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Indio and the US, underpinning a record year for inbound tourism. If this continues and the expected "Stoycotion" situation carries on, 2018 could be one of the best years yet for domestic tourism

The only way of catching a train, I ever I took the bumper off a 2000 registered discovered is to miss the train before (old banger) of a Nissan X Trail, whilst causing little or no damage to the motor G.K. Chesterton home. In fact, without being told where the collision hod impacted on the motor Happy travelling Hugh home, it was almost impossible to spot any damage with the naked eye. I duly called the police, who inteNiewed me and advised that the damage to both vehicles was not great, i.e. the bumper ·.. could be re-fitted to the car and the ,, ·. ' ( � scratched paintwork on the motor t. 4 :.,,.. � .• home could be carried out for ·only a .� ,.. . •..' i . ··', ... . ,... -·· . ' ' .; . few hundred bucks". Imagine my horror, .• 1, •• �-:''..!_-:, -. '·..-:::, .. ..ff'.' . �-. "':)-.._ . ') )'f, therefore, when upon the returning the :\ ... .;; .,. motor home, not only did the staff try to I'd rat her go by coach suggest that the motor home hod suffered more damage than it actually hod, I then hod to pay a further $2,200 dollars - approximately £1300 - to cover the potential repair costs. This, of course, was on top of toking out insurance when I collected the vehicle. Yet, apparently, despite being told, "you ore covered, Sir", I needed another level of insurance to cover this • different

Contents 4-



Coach Tourism Association

10- Spotlight on Devon 16- Wish You were here 18- Christmas Specials 30- Heritage Railways 32 - Historic Houses 34- Christmas Shopping 38- Museums 40- Theme parks 42 - North West 44- South West 46- Heart of England 48- Days Out


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Soles: Mortin Greenwood and Belinda Ashley Tel: 0121 4456961 Prodlcfion: Louro Collins Contributors: Carol Dowe Davies Desig,: AJexina Whittaker Front Cover. Helen Hotson/ Managing Director: Nigel Whittaker Publishing Director. Hugh Cairns Beau B usiness Media Group lid Publishing House, Windrush, Ash lane, B irmingham, 848 715 Tel: 01214456961 Fax: 01214454436 e-mail: Coach rCH.fflgil a conSohd dlclAalonpublealonand fl�avalable to qualifying applconls. C:C.• I• taken lo en11J1• lhat 1M lnlol'marloncontaen.d within the� II occutat.. How...,,.., hpd:)I� cannot acc�l labltty lof •non cw omluioN, no matt. how Ny mke. lleocMf• C11e odvtMCI to gel laeh and 1tat.rn....t1 corftmed by supph,s when mating en�•s.. The opHons ot lhe ouh>I 01e not MCeAOfNy lhoN01 the�- Al Jl ghbOle , ...v� No 1ep1oduclond any pa,t d thi s moplne may be carried out wtlhoul the consent ot l'le �beinv�ln hllfsflmlcnc.,

Coach Touring Trade Talk

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms at the British Library A landmark exhibition on the history, art, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England will open on October 19th running until February 19th, 2019. Spanning six centuries. from the eclipse of Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest, highlights from the British Library's outstanding collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts will be presented alongside a large number of exceptional loans at Anglo­ Saxon Kingdoms, their major exhibition opening in autumn 2018. Book a group visit and you'll receive a 10% discount

on your ticket price and special offers in their on-site restaurant and cafes. Groups of ten or more organising a group visit to one of the library's major exhibitions will enjoy a l 0% discount on the ticket price. Simply add the number of tickets to your basket on the booking page and your discount will be added automatically. Make even more of your outing with up to 20% off in the on­ site eateries too. Just show your group ticket at any one of the Graysons outlets at you'll receive 10% off. Or, when booking an Afternoon

Tea for your groups, a reduced price starting at just £10.80pp - that's a 20% saving on the full price - is


020 7412 7639 or e-mail

Well read - bring your glOllp lo Ille 111111h 11:)ay


The Spitfire Sisters and Festive Afternoon Tea

Hospitality Line is offering an exclusive deal to see The Spitfire Sisters packaged with afternoon tea for groups of 50+. The Spitfire Sisters are an acclaimed vintage-inspired band with a repertoire of 1940s and modern songs with a seasonal twist. Available Dates are Tuesday 27 November until Monday 17 December. A sample menu for the Afternoon Tea includes Sandwiches: Turkey & Cranberry, Cucumber. Smoked Salmon. Egg Mayonnaise, Cheese & Tomato; Cakes & Scones:

Mince Pies, Victoria sponge, Cupcakes, Macaroons, Mini fruit tart, Sultana scones with cream & jam; and unlimited tea/coffee. Prices for groups of 50 are £45.00 per person. Another Afternoon Tea deal from Hospitality Line is packaged with the Shrouds of the Somme event at Crowne Plaza Docklands on Saturday 10 November. Sunday l l th, Friday 16, Saturday 17, and Sunday 18 November, as well as Friday 9 November at the Holiday Inn Stratford.


Strong growth in inbound tourism from mix of overseas markets in 2017

The UK saw strong growth in 2017 from a mix of overseas visitor markets including China, Australia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), India and the US, underpinning a record year for inbound tourism. New figures from VisitBritain show double-digit growth in visits and spend last year from China, the world's most valuable outbound market, with visits up 29% on 2016 to a record 337,CXX) and spending of £694 million, up 35%. Visits from the US, the UK's most valuable market for tourism spend. grew 13% to 3.9 million in 2017, the highest since 2CXX). Visitors from the US spent a record £3.6 billion, up 9%. Records were set for

visits and spend from the GCC and India. There were 562,000 visits from India, up 35% with visitors spending a record £454 million. There were a record 812,000 inbound visits from the GCC in 2017. up 5%, with spend up 55% to a record £2.2 billion.

are working hard to sustain this excellent growth and encourage international visitors to travel around the UK, ensuring that more communities can benefit.· In 2017, inbound tourism visits across the English regions. outside of London, reached a record 16.5 million, up 3% with spending equalling the previous record of £7.8 billion. Records were also set for the number of visits to London, up 4% on 2017 to 19.8 million. with spending up 14% to a record £13.5 billion. There were l. l million inbound visits to Wales, with spending of £369 million. Inbound visits to Scotland were up 17% to 3.2 million, with a record spend of £2.3 billion, up 23%. Tourism

There were l . l million visits from Australia in 2017, up 11%, with spending of £1.2 billion, up 13%. Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said: "Britain's tourism industry is booming. Last year was another record-breaker and we welcomed more people than ever from important markets including China. India and the Gulf states. "We 4

is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.

Coach Touring I The Coach Tourism Association

The Coach Tourism Association

All the essential news and information for Coach Touring Association operators, suppliers and members, let's keep those wheels moving.

£250,crrJ to buy a new one. The great shame is that it will be the school trip business that will be most badly affected, being very cost­ sensitive and I can see a definite dip in educational tourism to centre London in the future. The good news here is that, once those ULEZ coaches are in service they represent an extremely green form of transporting 50 or so people around the country, not only in terms of emissions but also the simple fact that one coach means at least 25 less cars cluttering up the roads and car parks of destinations.

Some six months after being elected Chairman of the Coach Tourism Association, John Wales takes stock of the state of the industry today and what he feels could be the way forward. Having been a CTA board member for over six years, I know only too well just how entrenched the idea of a coach holiday Is in the British public's mind. Whether It's the traditional day out, or a Continental tour, there is something very enduring about enjoying the countryside and letting someone else do the driving as you are wafted onwards to your hotel or resort. In fact it is a testament to the popularity of the coach tour that, despite many predictions of gloom when the jet-based package holiday to Spain started to take over the Summer holiday market, it is still in rude health. Looking back to my days at Townsend Thoresen in the 1980s, and having been so closely involved with the industry since starting Encore Tickets in 2,000, I think a theme becomes clear. Whilst

nationwide - and well organised by group travel organisers. As the coach touring industry's representative body I am clear that the CTA can help members grow and develop their products by facilitating relationships with suppliers, encouraging new commercial relationships and continuing to promote the benefits of travel by coach. Travel which, no doubt will one day be electrically powered! www.coachfourism

My belief is that operators will be able to attract younger people if the right products are there to be bought. To some extent this is already happening with advent of high quality boutique hotels and themed tours that appeal to specific groups - a sector of the market that is vital to CTA members

in some respect holidays have become every more adventurous, thanks to the rapid growth of long haul, we have also seen very strong business for city tours and short breaks - both of which feed naturally into the coach market. At the CTA's conference in Blackpool in February many delegates and speakers talked about the growth of domestic trips, encouraged by the sterling's weakness against the Euro, and also the steady increase in business from the over-50s sector.


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Joho Woles wllh the CTA's Sue Rooney -•

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Whilst both these factors are critical in keeping the bookings flowing in, my belief is that the industry cannot afford to rely on historical sources of business alone if it is so overcome some of the challenges ahead. And make no mistake, for coach tour operators developments such as the new Ultra-Low Emissions Zone - whilst laudable from an air pollution perspective - will make life very tough. For example, it will cost £20,crrJ to upgrade a single old coach to Euro 6 standards, or 8



Coach Touring I Christmas Specials production/nutcracker/

LLANGOLLEN CANAL Welsh Canal Holiday Craft Ltd has been operating trips on the Llangollen Canal for 130 years. Today they operate modern boats complying with all the latest safety regulations. The Motor Boat Thomas Telford operates all year round but in November and December it is available daily for Mulled Wine Special Trips. These 2 hour trips on the centrally heated narrowboat include a full commentary on the history and scenery of the World Heritage Site and include a crossing of the world famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct. The boat is decorated for the Christmas season. The Group rate for the trip is ÂŁ12.00 for adults and ÂŁ10.00 for children. This includes a glass of Mulled wine and homemade Mince Pie. Trips usually operate at 12.15pm and 2.30 pm but in November and December the times can be varied to

such as Joules, Barbour and Edinburgh Woollen Mill, along with gift ideas for young and old.

suit the requirement of the tour operator. Couriers go free of charge and there is free coach parking in the centre of Llangollen. Full details of the trips can be found on the website.

Santa's Grotto is set to be a wonder for all ages this year with a snowy, North Pole theme, whether visiting Santa or not you will still get to enjoy the stunning scenery. The restaurant can take large bookings for their festive menu to celebrate Christmas with delicious food.

For more information, call 01978 860702 email uk or go to


The store also has a department store filled with gifts, cards and wrap for all ages including toys, toiletries and housewares. The friendly staff are on hand to help with any enquiries and help you may need.

Highway Garden and Leisure is a must visit Christmas destination. With so much to offer it can be a full day out or a stop off for a stretch of the legs and a coffee. The Christmas decoration display is a beauty to behold, with room displays of seven themes, it is full of inspiration for all customers. Prices range from pence to several hundred pounds, so if your coach party want a small Christmas token or something more extravagant then they will find it here. The store is also home to a great fashion and footwear offering including brands




be open from October and remain so throughout the Christmas period - including on New Year's Day! The huge indoor Shopping Halls will be lavishly decorated, offering everything the Christmas shopper could desire. Alongside the magical Christmas displays, Hayes are renowned for the breadth of their general retail offering; visitors will find everything from fashion to footwear, decorative homewares, cookware, books, cards and all manner of Christmas gifts and accessories. The Four Seasons Terrace Cafe can comfortably accommodate over 200 people and Manager, Chris Lawrence and his team, offer a wide range of festive catering options to suit all budgets, from a modest mince pie and a coffee to a full Christmas lunch. Chris told Group Travel Today that they had seen a huge increase in the number of autumn and winter coach visitors they have welcomed in recent years.

Coach Touring I Christmas Specials through 56 acres of paths beside frozen streams and ponds and, if you're lucky, the whole arboretum tokes on a magical quality when covered in a coating of ice. It's a wonderful chance to see a wild garden and arboretum in all its deep midwinter glory, with the colourful stems of cornus and magnificent structure of the trees - the stars of the show. You'll find delicious lunches, afternoon teas and cokes in the Gorden Terrace Cafe; everything you need for the garden and allotment from the garden centre and unique gift ideas from Batsford's gift shop and woodturner. SOAK UP THE MAGIC OF WINTER AT BATSFOR D ARBORE TUM

While Botsford Arboretum may be famous for its spectacular autumn colour and beautiful spring blossom, there's plenty to enjoy in the depths of winter too. Wrap up worm and meander

Special rates for groups of 20 or more, meet and greet, free coach parking and driver incentives available. Botsford Arboretum & Gorden Centre, Nr. Moreton-in­ Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AD. Tel 01386 701441. Email arboretum@batsfordfoundati Visit




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Travel across 3 routes to Europe witli1 your coach, and discover ttil"e _ stunning Christmas markets.





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Coach Touring I Theme Parks

Theme Parks

It doesn't matter how old you are, there's nothing like a trip to a theme park, that inevitable thrill as your stomach travels at I 00mph in a vertical motion, don't be the one in your group holding the bags, be with the rest queuing to go on again! THORPE PARK

Thorpe Park is a theme park located between the towns of Chertsey and Staines­ upon-Thames in Surrey and Greater London. but it's not just any old theme park, it has many exciting rides and events to suit all tastes. so whether its Rick and Michonne or Danny and Jack who float your boat you're onto a winner with a visit to Thorpe Park! So. you've obsessed over the smash-hit ITV series, now it's your turn to experience life as a real Islander as Love Island Lates launchesd on the, 21st July at THORPE PARK Resort Join in at Thorpe Park Resort from £10 as Love Island Lates takes over Amity Beach at 6pm every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 21st July until 1st September and immerse yourself in the UK's only Love Island fan experience. - Unlock exclusive snapchat filters & lenses - Enjoy cocktails themed around Love Island quotes· - Hit the dance floor (or water) with their live DJ spinning the best beats - Get all glittered up for those instagram worthy selfies with the Glitter Bar - Take on love Island inspired games and challenges for the chance to win prizes - SURPRISE visits from this years and past Love Islanders (Keep an eye out on our facebook!) - Upgrade to VIP and receive an exclusive VIP area complete with your very own Love Island themed beach hut and more - Details coming soon. A hoard of zombies have invaded the woodland on the outskirts of THORPE PARK Resort and they need YOUR help to hunt them down and eradicate them before they

have an epidemic on their hands! Grab your mates and take on this family-friendly interactive laser blaster quest to defeat the zombies and regain control of THORPE PARK Resort Zombie Hunt is a timed event. tickets will be available on the day, but once they're gone. that's it there won't be any more available so they encourage wannabe hunters to pre­ book online for £1.50 to guarantee their fight back against the Zombies. For further details and to book tickets please visit


Set in 280 acres of parkland, a fun-filled day out is guaranteed at the award­ winning Drayton Manor Park near Tamworth, Staffordshire. Maelstrom. Apocalypse and Shockwave are some of the adrenaline-pumping rides visitors can experience at the family owned and run theme park. There's also Europe's only Thomas Land™ with over 25 themed rides and attractions. the park's 15acre Zoo and a new film at the immersive 4D cinema, Ice Age: No Time For Nuts. With the Drayton Manor Hotel on-site, there's also the option of adding an overnight stay to relax in one of the hotel's four-star rooms. Free parking for coaches and mini buses, familiarisation visits for organisers (maximum two per year and to be pre­ arranged) as well as complimentary meal vouchers are provided for coach drivers too. The attraction offers fantastic packages for coach and group bookings. For more information, or to book tickets, please contact the team on


Coach Touring I Days Out

Days Out

Coach Touring takes its regular look around the UK at what's hot and new for groups around the UK


the Duke Humfrey Library, the oldest reading room in the University and the Divinity School, a medieval masterpiece of English Gothic architecture. The 90minute tour also visits the iconic Radcliffe Camera (Camera, meaning "room" in Latin) which is known to locals as "the Rad Cam" or "the Camera". There is also the option to take a self-guided audio tour of the Divinity School (as featured in the Harry Potter films) and Quadrangles (often seen in the Inspector Morse series). Further information can be found here

A visit to the Bodleian Libraries is where you can enjoy a number of guided tours; the 30 minute and 60minute tours include visits to

Combine your tour with a visit to the newly refurbished Weston Library, where there

Dodleian Libr:nies

will be an exhibition of J.R.R Tolkien's work. For further information please visit hftps://tolkien. Welcoming Groups and Coach Parties

hffps:// uk/whatson/visit/tours or by calling 01865 287400

CRICH TRAMWAY VILLAGE Crich Tramway Village offers

Bodleian Libraries

one of Derbyshire's great family and group days out and a step back in time. Vintage trams run along a period street, climbing a mile and a half of track that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Derbyshire countryside. Experience the fascinating Woodland Walk & Sculpture


Discover one of the world's great libraries.

The ORIGINAL sightseeing boat trip on the river Avon

Avon Boating is one of England's oldest and largest traditional boating companies. offering boats for hire and public cruises on one of the finest rivers in the country, the Avon at Stratford. Our heated function boat Titania and our fleet of classic Edwardian passenger vessels are available for private. or group bookings. Please get in contact for group rates and for any further information visit our website

You can enjoy a number of tours which take you to the Duke Humfrey Library, the oldest reading room in the University and the Divinity School, which featured in the Harry Potter films.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO TOUR available on our River Crusies

E: T: 01865 287400

I 01789 267 073

Avon Boating ltd. Swan s Nest Boathouse. Swans Nest Lane Stratford Upon Avon Warwickshire. CV37 ?LS


Coach Touril'")g I Days Out Trail, which winds its way back to the village, or remain on the tram and be dropped off outside The Red Lion Pub and Tearooms, before visiting the fascinating Exhibitions and Workshop Viewing Gallery. There ore new additions to the sculptures this year, with the installation of a series of First World War commemorative sculptures, designed by award winning artists, Musson+Retollick. The Great Exhibition Hall features at Century of Trams, from horse drown to the electric era and smaller exhibitions Include Arms to Armistice, detailing the challenges women faced to be treated as equals working on the trams, as well as their quick dismissal when the men returned from the First World War. The tram depots hove also been extensively refurbished to house the collection of operational trams. There ore also picnic areas and indoor and outdoor play areas to keep the children entertained. For a spot of retail therapy, The Forge Gift Shop offers mementoes of your visit and the traditional sweet shop

enigmatic in the autumn. While the Memorial, with its stunning views over the Channel to the French coast is a place for quiet reflection, The Scramble Experience is on interactive, multi-media extravaganza that brings the Bottle to life. The site is also home to the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Woll, a replica Hurricane and Spitfire and a number of other features. The site itself is free, although there is a small charge for The Scramble Experience. Pre-booked coach parking is free.

enables you to by your old favourites by the quarter. Details about our special events throughout the season con be found on our website. Pre-booked groups of ten or more receive discounted rotes and coach parties are welcome. Cooch drivers receive free admission and a refreshment voucher and there is free parking close to the entrance. Group rotes for 2018 ore £10.50 for adults and seniors and £7.00 for children aged 4 - 15 years. Under 4 's ore admitted free of charge. An Access Tram for wheelchair users runs twice a day on request, and there is disabled access to oil the facilities. For



more details Tel: 01773 854321 visit uk.

Your link to the Isle of Wight Just three miles yet a whole world away, the Isle of Wight is the ultimate destination for a coach trip. And with Wightlink, your coach party con be there in just 40 minutes. From a Royal palace to the UK's oldest theme park; from beaches and countryside to on illuminated gorge and ancient rock formations; there's on attraction for every type of group.

RAF As the RAF celebrates its centenary year, there's never been a better time to visit the Battle of Britain Memorial at Copel-le-Ferne, just outside Folkestone in Kent, i This atmospheric site is home to the Notional Memorial to the Few, the RAF aircrew who won such a decisive victory in 1940, and is perhaps at its most

Bringing a large school party? The Island is a great education destination, providing opportunities to learn in on interesting and varied environment. Whether your group hos just hours, a day, a weekend or a week to spend on the Isle of Wight you'll experience something you've never seen before. And with more ferries on more routes going more often than any other Isle of Wight operator, no one is better placed than Wightlink to toke care of your ferry travel. Coaches con choose from two convenient ferry routes; Portsmouth to Fishbourne or Lymington to Yarmouth Check-in is just 30 minutes before departure at their spacious ports offering a range of facilities for coach passengers. Dedicated Soles Support team and easy booking by phone for short timefrome bookings. NEW for Autumn 2018 introducing their new hybrid energy ferry, Victoria of Wight Call their friendly team on 023 92 855242 and quote "Coach Touring" for a 10% off with their introductory offer* ·rarms and conditions at Wight/



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Relive this country's finest hour with a visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial. Our interactive Scramble Experience brings to life the skills, bravery and sacrifices of 'the Few' in 1940, while the clifftop site offers opportunity for reflection and remembrance. Look for well-known names on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, admire the replica Hurricane and Spitfire, shoot down enemy aircraft from a mock-up Hurricane cockpit in the Scramble Experience and enjoy a coffee and unrivalled views of the Channel from our first floor cafe.

Registered charity No. I 169005

For more information, please call +44 (0) 1303 249 292, email

or visit


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