Coach Touring Magazine issue 1, 2022

Page 1

the modern voice of coach tourism

Issue 1 2022 £3.50

The World Of Shakespeare

Sublime South

Groups and Coaches Always Welcome

Halls,Cathedrals & Abbeys


Boats of Britain The Coach Tourism Association

South East & Kent Showcase In this issue: Comment, News, Features and much much more...

Shutterstock juliaST

CoachTouring TM

23 E 20 AL & NS 22 O 20 W NO


Groups Why not join the hundreds of groups that travel with us every year and discover all the benefits of Daish’s Holidays for yourself.


All our hotels are accredited as COVID safe under the Visit Britain good to go scheme

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A choice of 12 fantastic hotels spread across 10 locations

Great value half board breaks including nightly entertainment

Fleet of 26 luxury coaches to provide comfortable travel

Dedicated groups team to support you from booking to arrival

Over 40 years of award winning customer service

Get in touch with us Today! Call 01202 638 841 or visit


Isle of Wight








Lake District


Contents 4-



Coach Tourism Association


Groups & Coaches Always Welcome


World of Shakespeare


South East & Kent Showcase

18 - Sublime South Wales 20 - Halls, Cathedrals & Abbeys 22 - Boats of Britain


Welcome to the first edition of the Coach Touring Magazine 2022, the CTA Conference and Workshop was held in Liverpool on 6th – 8th February, this is the top event and is one of the most important B2B occasions in the coach tourism sector here operators and suppliers work together to develop great holiday and excursion programmes. I couldn’t attend but it must have been great to meet up with friends old and new in the flesh, I’ll bet there were a few stories to tell about the last two years.

23 - Excursions

this should be a bounce back year for Coach Travel. Coach Touring Magazine would like to thank all it’s advertisers and contributors over the last two years your sheer resilience and determination has been tremendous.

PS I love the TV advert that’s been running, it looks a very relaxing way to travel # we love coaches

Well, here’s to 2022, with travel getting back to some sort of normality, with restrictions dropping at this end and more countries allowing travellers back there’s room for cautious optimism, if the current stampede to book holidays by the British public is any indicator

Happy Travelling Nigel

24 - Shopping & Markets 26 - The Golden Age of the Glorious Train 30 - Gardens & Flower Shows 32 - Aberdeenshire

Page 3 Pictures: Top shutterstock Ververidis Vasilis Middle Left Sandwich Middle Right shutterstock trabantos

Sales: Brett Kirby Tel: 0121 445 6961 Production: Julie Callaghan Design: Alexina Whittaker Front Cover: Publishing Director: Hugh Cairns Managing Director: Nigel Whittaker Beau Business Media Group Ltd Publishing House, Windrush, Ash Lane, Birmingham, B48 7TS Tel: 0121 445 6961 Fax: 0121 445 4436 e-mail: Coach Touring is a controlled circulation publication and freely available to qualifying applicants. Care is taken to ensure that the information contained within the magazine is accurate. However, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors or omissions, no matter how they arise. Readers are advised to get facts and statements confirmed by suppliers when making enquiries. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those as the publisher. All rights are reserved. No reproduction of any part of this magazine may be carried out without the consent of the publisher being obtained in the first instance.


Trade Talk

Coach Touring

Plymouth to host an array of epic events for 2022 and parades, including a dedicated parade of veterans to recognise the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War. Visitors can enjoy live performances throughout the day before a free evening concert takes to the stage, with an amazing headliner set to be announced soon.

some of the city’s most popular free events. After two years of forced cancellations a buzzing programme is planned for 2022. The family fun begins in May, with the return of Pirates Weekend Plymouth (7 and 8 May) promising a swashbuckling two days of fun inspired by the high seas and continues throughout the month with free activities for families to enjoy at Lord Mayor’s Day (21 May). From pirates to pyrotechnics, live music to military moments and food festivals to family fun, Plymouth’s 2022 calendar is jam-packed with unmissable events. Britain’s Ocean City is set to host an epic line-up of events this year, from the return of some beloved events on the waterfront and throughout the city centre to exciting new additions and

There’s also an impressive line-up of live music to enjoy over the summer. The Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend will see the 1 Big Summer music festival take to Plymouth Hoe

(2 to 4 June), with the line-up set to include an epic range of music including Basement Jaxx, Years and Years, The Libertines and Supergrass. The largest park in Plymouth, Central Park, is also set to host two global music superstars this July: singersongwriter Paloma Faith (9 July) and chart-topping band Simply Red (10 July). There are many events being held throughout the year. For all the latest details about what’s on in Plymouth please see

Another popular event coming back to Plymouth Hoe this year is Armed Forces Day (25 June). As a proud military city, it’s a great opportunity for Plymouth to show support for the military community, from serving troops to veterans, cadets and their families. The day includes a packed programme of entertainment, with arena displays, interactive activities

Elton Hall Winner Choice Garden of the Year 2021 Elton Hall was delighted to win the Historic Houses Judges’ Choice Garden of the Year Award for 2021. Since 1980, Lady Proby has created a new garden on the imprint of a longvanished 17th century garden, last re-designed before the outbreak of the First World War. Today, hedging of hornbeam, yew and box create structure and divisions in the garden. The tired Edwardian rose garden finally succumbed to rose sickness and has been replanted with bold herbaceous beds surrounding a dramatic modern fountain. The sunken Lily Pond has been enclosed by a retaining wall and

planted with unusual plants giving year-round interest. The Orangery, built to celebrate the Millennium, sits in a Mediterranean garden and a rose arbour was completed to mark the Golden Jubilee. Unseen by day visitors but open for private tours, the Wilderness Garden is crisscrossed by small paths surrounded by lush plantings of flowering shrubs. Two main paths lead to fine specimen trees and the third, to a Hermitage. A forty-year labour of love has created a garden which has finally come into its own, carefully tended over the years by dedicated, hard-


working gardeners. Acknowledging the award, Lady Proby said:

very heartening to receive appreciative comments from our visitors.”

“It has been a lifetime’s work but it has given me enormous pleasure and it is

Time to unwind The Islands of Guernsey have an abundance of attractions, restaurants and hotels that cater for small, medium or larger groups. We are here to help, and can offer advice to help produce tailored itineraries. In under an hour you can enjoy quality time with the people you love, in a place that feels safe and welcoming.

If you are a Group organiser go to: Please check our latest travel guidance before booking.

Sausmarez Manor

Tours of the late 12th Century Manor, Sculpture tours, sub tropical gardens & more

Rocquette Cider Tours

Walking tours followed by local cider tasting session

Outdoor Guernsey

Kayaking, Coaststeering, SUP & more

Island Coachways

Round island sightseeing coach tours given by trained tour guides

Coach Touring I The Coach Tourism Association

The Coach Tourism Association shutterstock Valdis Skudre

It’s a message that we need to continue to shout about.

Maximising the opportunities for coach tourism as we look to ‘live with Covid’

By the time this edition of Coach Touring drops on your desk, we will have held our first in-person event for the Coach Tourism Association for two years with our Workshop & Conference held in Liverpool.

season, we are all hoping that this will be the year for recovery. We know that customers are enthusiastic to travel. They have demonstrated this again and again over the past two years for the periods when we have been able to operate. But if we really are looking to ‘live with Covid’ and return to some kind of normality, then coach tour operators will be able to plan ahead with more confidence. And of course, we are also looking forward to the time when we can restart continental programmes which are very popular products with coach customers and groups.

Alongside the opportunities ahead, there will inevitably be challenges. Few of us have yet had to deal with the impacts of Brexit since continental tours have been largely impossible for two years. And we need to continue to promote the strong environmental case for coach tourism to central government, local councils and the wider public. Travelling by coach is by far the greenest option with one vehicle taking the road space of 4 cars, while carrying as many passengers as 20 cars, and producing one sixth of the CO2 emissions per passenger, compared to car journeys.

Robert Shaw Chair, Coach Tourism Association

shutterstock Dan Breckwoldt

The Workshop & Conference is our flagship event and is one of the most important B2B occasions in the coach tourism sector where operators and suppliers work together to build even better holiday and excursion programmes. But it is also a chance for members to network informally and share experiences, and they have all been very enthusiastic to meet up again in person. We also have many loyal longstanding CTA members across the attractions and hotel sector in the city who have been desperate to demonstrate a very warm Liverpool welcome for coach business. And we have had great support from our CTA Partner members - CalMac Ferries, DFDS, Tourism Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales.

Over the past two years, I have been humbled by the sheer determination and resilience of the coach tourism sector. Operators and suppliers have worked together to overcome the obstacles of running coach trips during periods of Covid restrictions, while providing mutual support to each other in the periods when we were all under lockdown. And now we can see some light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to move on and create a better future together.

As we prepare for the 2022


Coach Touring

Groups and Coaches Always Welcome Take a look at these venues and attractions you’ll be sure to find a great reception, they can’t wait to welcome back groups and coaches.

Strawberry Field Gates Open To All. Strawberry Field, the worldfamous site immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles hit, “Strawberry Fields Forever” is open to groups. Strawberry Field is home to an interactive visitor exhibition, café, shop and gardens. The exhibition is the current home to John Lennon’s Steinway piano, this piano helped John to create Imagine, the anthem for peace. It has been loaned to Strawberry Field with the kind permission of the George Michael estate. George owned and composed on the piano. Following his passing it was his wish for the piano to bring hope to those around it. Previously a Salvation Army children’s home where John came to play and escape, Strawberry Field is open to groups and visitors who wish to discover what lies behind the iconic gates. With responsible tourism and wellbeing at its heart, this award-winning heritage site now leads the way in being accessible to all, with full wheelchair access, tours for the visually impaired and features to support the hard of hearing and other disabilities, as well as a multilanguage media guide and a Changing Places toilet facility. The attraction is aiming to be the UK’s Number 1 for accessibility in its field, thanks to a series of upgraded and innovative features. Through research and focus groups, the team have upgraded elements of the visitor experience to ensure that everyone is welcome. Inclusivity is at the forefront of the vision and the upgraded

features are now in place, making visiting even easier for wheelchair users and those with visual, hearing and other disabilities. The newly introduced spectacular tour for the visually impaired has had a tremendously enthusiastic response. Much of the innovative technology has been provided by Imagineear, a world leading developer of multimedia content. Guests can enjoy a spoken word tour lead by a member of the Strawberry Field exhibition team. The tour will allow guests with a visual impairment to experience all the exhibition and garden has to offer through a fully guided tour which incorporates the media guide information and experience.

Changing Places facilities. Changing Places toilets provide more space and equipment than conventional wheelchairaccessible WCs, to meet the needs of people of all ages who need help to deal with their intimate hygiene. Kathleen Versfeld, Mission Director at Strawberry Field says: “I am delighted with the progress we have made in making our attraction open to all. It fits well with our ethos within Strawberry Field and The Salvation Army of being totally inclusive. In the next year we hope to provide further facilities with tours for

The exhibition, café, shop and washroom facilities are all at ground floor level with stunning views over the garden. The garden is a place of reflection and relaxation. The sweeping, wide ramps make accessing this space a pleasure as visitors are guided onto the main walkway of the garden.

those with Alzheimer’s and autism” All proceeds from Strawberry Field sales goes to help fund Steps at Strawberry . Groups over 10 are welcome to book the exhibition experience. Groups over 5 who may require further support are welcome to book the enhanced exhibition experience. For further information/ enquiries/ group bookings contact Ginette GoulstonLincoln, Travel Trade Consultant, Strawberry Field www.strawberryfieldliverpool. com

Ga Gate Gat Gates Open O Op Ope fo Groups for G Gr Gro Grou Group

There is space to enjoy the surroundings, visit the original gates of Strawberry Field and reflect in nature as guests take time to relax. There are picnic benches and outdoor seating available to enjoy refreshments plus a lift to allow access from the lower ground garden level to the ground floor level. Visitors can find the Imagine More café serving fresh produce and drinks plus the shop to purchase a gift made and supplied by our local suppliers.

Discover Strawberry Field, the award-winning heritage site, previously a Salvation Army children’s home and immortalised by John Lennon. Groups can enjoy an interactive visitor exhibition complete with media guide, featuring interwoven stories of the home, John’s childhood and history of The Salvation Army. Learn about what inspired John and the famous song and see his ‘Imagine’ piano on display. Guests can relax in the peaceful gardens where John found solace as a child and take time in the cafe and shop. Probably the most accessible UK attraction with responsible tourism and well-being at its heart, Strawberry Field ticks all the boxes for today’s traveller.

For travel trade information, please contact: Ginette Goulston-Lincoln +44 (0)7958 448 002 or

www.strawberry #GatesOpenForGood #GatesOpenForGroups

Strawberry Field is one of the first UK attractions to offer

/StrawberryFieldLiverpool @strawberry eld

@strawberry eldliverpooluk

The Salvation Army is a Church and registered Charity in England (214779), Wales (214779), Scotland (SC009359) and the Republic of Ireland (CHY6399)


THE MAGIC OF LIVE THEATRE AT YORK THEATRE ROYAL We’ve been here since 1744, welcoming and entertaining visitors from far and wide. Our beautiful listed building offers accessible facilities and a friendly welcome to all. We have a packed programme of live shows from big productions to fringe theatre, dance, opera, musicals and a renowned family pantomime. You can discover all our shows by visiting


TUE 26 APR - SUN 01 MAY Award-winning Mischief’s hilarious new show direct from the West End. A hapless gang of magicians are staging an evening of grand illusion to raise cash for charity. But as the magic turns to mayhem, accidents spiral out of control.


This Olivier Award-winning comedydrama from Jim Cartwright has earned international acclaim across the globe. With humour, heart and countless powerhouse ballads all performed live on stage.


After delighting audiences with Cinderella, we’re thrilled to reveal our pantomime next year will once again be co-produced with Evolution Productions. Expect a fun-packed swashbuckling family adventure, with laughter, music and more. WE OFFER GROUP DISCOUNTS FOR ALL SHOWS IN OUR MAIN HOUSE: • 10+ TICKETS - 10% OFF • 30+ TICKETS - 15% OFF • 50+ TICKETS - 20% OFF • 100+ TICKETS - 25% OFF PLUS ONE FREE DRIVER OR GTO TICKET FOR GROUPS OF 30+ To find out more about group rates, contact our Box Office:

Coach Touring

York Theatre "York Theatre Royal has been around since 1744, welcoming and entertaining visitors from far and wide. Their beautiful, listed building offers accessible facilities and a friendly welcome to all, with a packed programme of live shows. From big productions to fringe theatre, dance, opera, musicals, a renowned family pantomime and more. Highlights coming up this year include: Footloose, 28 Mar – 02 Apr; BBC Big Band: The Music of James Bond, 19 Apr; Magic Goes Wrong, 26 Apr – 01 May; Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, 16-21 May; The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, 04-09 July; Girl From the North Country, 05-10 Sep; and All New Adventures of Peter Pan, 02 Dec – 02 Jan. You can find their full line-up of incredible shows by visiting The theatre offers group discounts for all the shows in

Healthy Sunflower Oil at Bizzie Lizzie’s for Gluten Free Fish & Chips

·delicious golden chips suitable for both vegans and vegetarian

Good news for vegans, vegetarians and everyone aiming for a healthier 2022. Skipton’s best loved fish and chip restaurant has added a ‘cooked in sunflower oil’ option for their gluten free fish and chips.

· crispy gluten free battered fish for anyone with a gluten intolerance

Get Healthy A stand-alone fryer, uses high quality sunflower oil, one of the healthiest frying oils available:

their Main House, with 10% off for groups of 10+, 15% off for 30+, 20% off for 50+, and 25% off for 100+. And they provide one free ticket for a driver or Group Travel Organiser for groups of 30+. To find out more about their group rates and enquire about booking, contact their Box Office:

·100% high oleic sunflower oil

Love Fish & Chips, Love Bizzie Lizzie’s

· rich in antioxidants · very resistant to breakdown at high temperatures Try Tasty Two separate baskets, one for chips and one for gluten free fish, cook some of the tastiest fish and chips around:

Love Bizzie Lizzie’s

Coach Parties Welcome Free meals for Coach Drivers Senior Citizen Discount Group Booking Discount (12 or more) Booking essential Available at Swadford Street & High Street Car Park Restaurants

‘Click and Collect’ now available at Swadford Street Now Available at Swadford Street Restaurant and Takeaway Gluten Free Fish and Chips cooked in Sunflower Oil Accredited by Coeliac UK

Voted one of the top 10 fish and chip restaurants in the UK, now everyone can enjoy Bizzie Lizzie’s award-winning fish and chips at Swadford Street, Skipton.

· guaranteed to be GM free

York Theatre Royal is located in the centre of historic York on St Leonard's Place. YO1 7HD."

Love Fish and Chips…

· other vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and calorie counted dishes also available

accredited by

High Street Car Park, Skipton 01756 794531 Mon-Sun Restaurant and Takeaway 12pm - 8pm Swadford Street, Skipton 01756 701131 Mon-Sun Restaurant 12pm - 8pm Takeaway 12pm - 9pm

b i z z i e l i z z i e s . c o . u k














BELVOIR CASTLE One of the UK's most historic family homes, featuring stunning landscaped gardens, opulent interiors, exhilarating events and much more. THE ENGINE YARD SHOPPING VILLAGE Home to authentic artisan foods, local crafts, gardening goodies, boutique interiors as well a charming cafe & gin bar. Email for exclusive discounts Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, NG32 1PA

Stunning views, gardens, 18th-century home + masses to explore ENJOY A PERFECT DAY OUT at HAREWOOD WITH YOUR GROUP

Registered charity in England no 517753

For information plus special groups offers, tours, and more visit, call 0113 218 1017 or email

Coach Touring

The World of Shakespeare Visit Stratford -Upon - Avon, see where it all began, and after all that culture and history, why not try a tipple or two at the distillery named after the great bard himself. Shakespeare Distillery

by Tripadvisor.

Shakespeare Distillery is a unique craft Gin & Rum producer. Alongside their award winning Gins & Rums they offer seasonal specials at the Distillery and in their shop in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. They opened their doors as a visitor centre in 2019 and along with their onsite shop, they offer a suite of popular experiences including Tours, Gin Schools, Gin Cruises and Cocktail Masterclasses. Their visitor centre was awarded Gold in the New Tourism Business category at the 2020 West Midlands Tourism Awards and has received a 2021 Traveller's Choice Award

Contact: Jane McKay, Travel Trade Manager jane@shakespearedistillery.c om 07775 587663 Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is the most iconic & fascinating building in Stratford-upon-Avon. At over 600 years old, it has weathered plagues, both ancient and modern, seen the Catholic Guild lose its power during the Reformation and watched young William Shakespeare inspired through his education and his first acting

opportunities to become the greatest playwright the world has ever known. Finally opened to the public in 2016, this ancient building offers state-of-art, interactive technology to engage and fascinate visitors. They look

‘A fantastic experience, a wonderful piece of history with well informed guides. NOT TO BE MISSED’

forward to welcoming your groups in 2022 and beyond. Contact: Jane McKay, Travel Trade Manager. or call 07775 587663


‘Best place to visit in Stratford-upon-Avon’

W E L O O K F O RWA R D T O W E L C O M I N G Y O U R G R O U P S T O O U R S TAT E - O F -T H E - A R T




“The tour was informative, interesting and the staff made it enjoyable and funny. The tasting session was situated in another room which resembled a nice cocktail bar. Plenty of taste tests and

the spiced rum was delicious. The shop then offered 10% discount


which of course had to be taken advantage of. Really lovely treat.”

Jane 07775 587663





S T R A T F O R D - U P O N - AV O N


BOOK NOW The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund

Henry VI: Rebellion and Wars of the Roses are supported by RSC Production Circle members Susan Tomasky and Ronald J Ungvarsky, and Marcia Whitaker Next Generation Act Company bursary places are generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship RSC Next Generation is generously supported by GRoW @ Annenberg and Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation The Shakespeare Nation adult engagement work is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Royal Shakespeare Theatre Productions sponsored by

Coach Touring

South East & Kent Showcase Taking in the capital, the home counties and much of the south coast as well as mysterious marshlands,breathtaking countryside, medieval towns and castles these two areas blend together perfectly. Dover Castle©DDC

with boat trips departing regularly.

together with fascinating heritage sites, conjure visions of literary romanticism, connecting visitors organically to a famous and historic corner of Kent.

White Cliffs Country has a captivating allure, from the wild beauty of the White Cliffs’ coastline to its seductive secluded beaches and breathtaking views. This unique natural environment,

Deal in White Cliffs Country is date-night-central. A quaint, quirky seaside town and foodie’s paradise, Deal is brimming with bespoke bistros and beachfront eateries, with locally produced food and drink a major draw. From its awardwinning high street of friendly, independent retailers to its unspoiled Georgian seafront and panorama from its famous pier, Deal is arty and intoxicating. Deal Castle makes an interesting visit, with views of the notorious Goodwin Sands from the

Visitors love Sandwich, a beautifully preserved medieval oasis and original Cinque Port. The origins of Sandwich unfold on a town centre tour, at the Guildhall Museum housing the town’s Roman relics and Charter of the Forest and with aweinspiring views from St Peter’s Church tower. From the peaceful quayside, visitors can cruise to see seals at Pegwell Bay or the remains of Richborough Roman Fort,

parapets. Vibrant Dover is most famous for its White Cliffs, a spectacular feature of Kent’s Heritage Coast - and for Dover Castle, from where the Dunkirk evacuation was masterminded, in secret tunnels deep below the stronghold. The regeneration of Dover’s town centre and sustainable tourism initiatives in development across White Cliffs Country were recognised by Lonely Planet, which listed this region in 4th place for “Best In Travel 2022”. Make this world class destination a must for your itinerary. Email










Incentive Package available for 2022 Contact us for further information

Contact the friendly team at the Visitor Information Centre on 01206 282920 VisitColchester

Coach Touring

Sublime South Wales The smallest part of the Principality of Wales,there’s everything to enjoy south of the line of the Brecons, all neatly packaged into a narrow strip between the Valleys and the Bristol Channel. The Royal Mint

monarch to reach this remarkable milestone. Visit the exhibition to find out more about the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee and Queen Elizabeth II’s reign through her coins.

The Royal Mint is nestled in the beautiful Rhondda Welsh Valley. Located 4 miles from the M4 and just a short drive from Cardiff Centre. Rated as one of the best attractions in South Wales and winner of Trip Advisor Traveller Choice Award for 2022.

At The Royal Mint they offer ample free coach parking and complimentary entrance for coach drivers.

Home to over 1,100yrs history, with their guided tours you are guaranteed a memorable visit.

Speak to their dedicated team today on for more information.

Celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at The Royal Mint Experience, where they’re bringing out the bunting for a number of activities to mark this very special occasion.

*Extra charge applies, available until 18th March 2022 after which a new coin will be available.

Explore their NEW for 2022 Platinum Jubilee exhibition, strike the UK 50p coin created for this once-in-alifetime event* and why not pre book and enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea as a group? Their Platinum Jubilee Exhibition begins on 6 February 2022 – the day Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British

earthworks and standing stones. Down on the Taf estuary is the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, where the poet lived for four years and wrote much of his work – including some of Under Milk Wood. Groups are welcome at the

Carmarthenshire Dylan Thomas, a national botanic garden and miles of beautiful coastline are just some of the reasons why Carmarthenshire makes a great and accessible destination for groups. This beautiful part of the principality – two hours from the Severn Bridge – also boasts its fair share of castles and historic houses as well as being rich in archaeological remains such as forts,

tea room but at the time of going to press the boathouse was closed and is due for opening before Christmas. To the west lies the county town, Carmarthen, and aside from being the reputed birthplace of Merlin, it offers a slew of historic buildings including a statue of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton – once revered, yet, now in the sights of the ‘cancel culture’ movement. Those who are slightly more energetic will have many opportunities to go on walks of all shapes and sizes as well


as combining wildlife appreciation. Your groups might like Pembrey Country Park, Carmel National Nature Reserve or the Wetlands Centre in Llanelli. Please visit their respective websites for detailed information The ‘petrolheads’ of all ages will, doubtless, know of

Pendine Sands, a seven mile beach where Malcolm Campbell set a world land speed record with Blue Bird in 1924….they film parts of Top Gear there, too. The local council says construction is ongoing for a new modern state-of-the art Museum which will replace the Pendine Sands Museum of Speed (closed in 2018). The green-fingered brigade in your party will love the National Botanic Garden of Wales with its 400 acres to enjoy and explore. There’s also a café, gallery and shop. If your coach group is looking


Group visits at The Royal Mint Experience! Available from the 6th February 2022: Enjoy a quintessentially British Afternoon Tea Platinum Jubilee Temporary Exhibition (NEW for 2022) Discount on group bookings Contact for more information.

Coach Touring

for a base to tour the area, The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli will ensure they have a wonderful stay from which to do so. With parking for five coaches, a personal greeting from a hotel manager or supervisor, groups will find a warm welcome at this iconic Llanelli landmark. The 50 ensuite bedrooms in this country style mansion have a unique character with period features and idiosyncratic style. Groups not resident at the staying are welcome for lunch or afternoon tea but please make a reservation as the hotel is popular for such events. Call 01554 756156 or visit For more details on Carmarthenshire;

Cyfathfa Park With spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons, Cyfarthfa Park provides a great day out for the whole family, come rain or shine! The park is set in 160 acres of parkland and has something for everyone, from relaxing sensory gardens and woodland walks, to an exciting state-of-the-art Splash Pad and Playground. The woodland walks and nature rambles are accessible and will introduce you to the variety of animal, bird and plant species that make Cyfarthfa Park so special. The park is also a fantastic event destination and frequently plays host to events such as horse shows, craft demonstrations, concerts, charity events and fun run. Contact Picton Castle An enchanting 13th century castle surrounded by a spectacular 40 acre RHS Partner Garden, Picton Castle and Gardens is full of surprises for all the family.

Take a tour of the castle, discover its rich history and admire the elegant rooms with their magnificent fireplaces and fine works of art, including the controversial ‘Picton Renoir which was recently featured on the BBC’s series of Fake or Fortune.

Escape Rooms and also boasts a delightful art gallery, a Lawnmower Museum, an exceptional gift shop, plants for sale and Maria’s@Picton – a hugely popular Courtyard Restaurant and Deli. Open all year round, an impressive schedule of events complements this award-winning castle and

garden for all seasons. Dogs on leads are always welcome.

Hanes wedi’i atgyfodi

History brought to life

The stunning gardens contain rare trees and plant collections from around the world and and include one of the largest and most magnificent rhododendrons in the world. Shady woodlands, an exotic jungle garden and colourful walled garden packed with medicinal herbs and Mediterranean flowers, thrive alongside living willow dens, family trails and an engaging adventure playground. The wildlife is abundant and there's plenty of space to run or simply relax on a garden seat and enjoy the tranquility. Picton is also home to The Welsh Owl Garden & Zoo, The Mansion of Mystery

Profwch fywyd fel yr oedd yn y 1640au

Experience Life as it was in the 1640’s

Cynhelir teithiau rhyngweithiol, 90 munud o hyd, o ddydd Mawrth i ddydd Sul.

Our interactive 90 minute tours are running Tuesday to Sunday.

Banbury Photography

01443 412248 • Gelligaer Road, Nelson, CF46 6ER 16879


Cyfarthfa Park @VisitCyfarthfa #DiscoverCyfarthfa @VistCyfarthfa #DiscoverCyfarthfa Look our new new walks, walks, talks talks and and workshops! workshops! Look out out for for our Visit:

The Diplomat Hotel Restaurant & Spa, Carmarthenshire, Llanelli - great for groups The Diplomat is a family run hotel,operated with charm, warmth and generous hospitality, ensuring that any visiting group receives a warm welcome and wonderful stay. This iconic Llanelli hotel was built in 1810, and today its bedrooms feature stylish décor, with TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee facilities and private bathroom. The Diplomat Hotel also boasts a modern health club with full service spa and indoor heated swimming pool. Guests can relax in the luxurious New Eden Spa, with facilities including a sauna, steam room, hot tub, gym and indoor pool. A range of health and beauty treatments are also available. Trubshaws Restaurant offers a modern menu for Lunch and Dinner. Traditional Welsh and lighter continental breakfasts are served each morning.The Diplomat hotel is in the perfect location to explore Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, the Gower Peninsula and all of south Wales.

For details of group rates call 01554 756156 or visit

Just off the A470 at Merthyr

Coach Touring

Halls,Cathedrals and Abbeys Majestic, mystical and marvelous , there’s no doubt that here in the UK we have more than our fair share of wondeful historical workmanship to wonder at.

Drawing on 1400 years of history, the new guided tour tells tales from King Ethelbert, the first British king to convert to Christianity, via accounts of Elizabeth I’s lavish birthday celebrations, the wedding of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence and Henry II’s disputes with Archbishop Thomas Becket, which resulted in a shocking murder.

of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip which were unveiled in 2015.You can even combine your tour with the Cathedral’s new afternoon tea options for a ‘Best of British’ experience fit for a queen! For more information contact

On this private guided tour your groups can hear these stories and more as they discover monarchs immortalised in stone, wood and stained glass which adorn the Cathedral’s walls, including the special statues

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds Explore one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey in Britain at Kirkstall Abbey. Set in wonderful parkland along the banks of the River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey boasts historic architecture amid a haven of wildlife and greenery. As a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, the abbey has long provided inspiration for historians, artists, and visitors to Leeds. Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre tells you more about the lives of the 12th century monks and contains the touch table, a unique catalogue of images of the abbey from the 18th century to the present day. Kirkstall Abbey is directly across the road from Abbey House Museum and together provides a great opportunity to enjoy a full day out across two historic sites. There is a café situated across the road, set in the

original abbey Gatehouse, which serves a selection of hot and cold lunch items, drinks and cakes, as well as a growing vegan menu.

Rediscover England’s First Cathedral

To make your visit extra special you could make a weekend of it and enjoy browsing the stalls of our scenic markets which are held at the end of each month March – October. Kirkstall Abbey markets showcase local producers, makers and creatives in the beautiful setting of the abbey cloister. New Group experiences including garden tours

Canterbury Cathedral Launches New Royalty Themed Guided Tour for 2022!

Uncover 1,400 years of history at a UNESCO World Heritage site

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Year, Canterbury CathedralUNESCO World Heritage Site and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury- is launching a very special guided tour for groups, telling stories of royals through the ages.

Discover the oldest stained glass in Britain For more information:


A dramatic day out in Leeds • • •

Bespoke guided tours Lunch in the Gatehouse Scenic parkland views

Find out more and book at

Coach Touring

Boats of Britain There’s never been much of a gamble when it comes to water bound activities, you’ll be guaranteed to be onto a winner.

Windermere Lake Cruises Offer visitors the perfect way to spend a day exploring England's largest lake and the surrounding area - right in the heart of the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taking a trip means passengers can experience the full length of the lake, from Lakeside at the southern tip, right up to Ambleside at the top - while taking in Bowness and other stops along the way. As one of England’s most popular ‘paid-for’ attractions, Windermere Lake Cruises also offers passengers convenient access to several award-winning family attractions, including their sister-attraction The Lakeland Motor Museum.

summer months, they cruise East Devon’s magnificent Jurassic Coast, South Devon’s glorious English Riviera and Europe’s oldest working ship canal, into the heart of the Cathedral City of Exeter.

Kentish Lady The Kentish Lady River Boat is synonymous with Maidstone and is one of Kent’s premier excursion providers, between Spring and Autumn they provide unique experiences of the Upper River Medway, including 1hr trips at weekends & selected school holidays, 3hr lunch/supper cruises for groups and

With regular services all yearround and more than 100 daily sailings at the height of the summer season,Flexible day tickets

Their fleet of modern vessels are immaculately clean and exceptionally wellmaintained, boasting open-top decks and covered and heated lower decks, offering year-round comfort, whatever the weather!

You don't have to tell them which outbound and return departure you want to travel on. Your ticket is valid for the day of travel – pick any boat you want on that day.Among their fleet are the three famous ‘steamers’

Choose from a diverse range of cruises, from 1-hour circular cruises to full day trips and book with confidence, knowing that passengers will experience consistently outstanding customer service from their friendly Crew.

More information is available at or by calling 015394 43360.

As long-standing members of the Coach Tourism Association, the company remain engaged in and truly understand industry demands, ensuring that they can provide the best experience for organisers and their customers.

Stuart Line Cruises Stuart Line Cruises is an award-winning, family-run passenger boat company based in the iconic seaside town of Exmouth,East Devon. They operate cruises throughout the year in the calm and sheltered waters of the River Exe and during the

individuals during the week, plus a truly unique & exclusive visit to the magnificent Allington Castle. Private charter of the Kentish Lady is also available for special occasions such as weddings and social functions. The Kentish Lady operates from their riverside refreshment's & ice cream kiosk at the rear of the Archbishops Palace, in addition they are now operating 3 small day boats for Self-Drive Hire. For more information and to book please for their 2022 season starting at Easter visit

Hire Cruisers Ltd, Undercliffe Boathouse, Bishops Way, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6XG Telephone: 01622 753740 Email:

Take a peaceful cruise along the medway

• 1 hour trips to Allington Lock • 3 Hour cruises, with lunch, to Teston

Group bookings with Stuart Line Cruises are bespoke, so please get in touch with their friendly team / 01395 222144 for more information.

• Unique and exclusive visit to Allington Castle • Fully licenced bar

Take in the sights and splendour of the River Medway and Maidstone from the comfort of your own seat aboard the Kentish Lady River Boat. Also a perfect venue for a wedding reception or private party.

• Private hire for all occasions


Coach Touring

Excursions™ 2022, the most exciting and varied exhibitor list yet! passengers to take in the scenery and discover the fascinating history of the area. Shakespeare’s England will treat visitors to a new exhibition at Shakespeare’s Birthplace plus the return of on-site programmes, including live Shakespearian performances.

Excursions™ 2022 will feature the show’s most exciting and varied exhibitor list yet. The popular group travel show will take place on 19th March 2022 at its new home of Twickenham Stadium.

for the group travel market, and others celebrating historic milestones with a series of special events and activities. Exhibitor highlights include:

Pre-register now for free show entry at and book your coach transfer direct to Twickenham for just £5pp.

Visit Windsor who will mark the extraordinary milestone of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a series of special events and displays.

This year’s exhibitors are showcasing a fantastic range of group travel products from across Great Britain and near Europe, with many launching new tours, offers and benefits, specifically tailored

Mersey Ferries new 2022 Liverpool Bay cruises allowing



Visit Aberdeenshire help groups to discover a true taste of Scotland with castles, dramatic coastlines, majestic

landscapes and authentic experiences. The Royal Mint Experience one of Wales’ top attractions – will headline the South Wales Attraction stand together with Hensol Castle Distillery and the Tudor Llancaiach Fawr Manor.

Keeping the group travel industry inspired and connected


19 March 2022

TWICKENHAM STADIUM The Home of England Rugby




> World Rugby Museum Tours > Twickenham Stadium Tours

> Transfer Coach Programme > Visit Richmond Weekend Fam Trips


Coach Touring

Shopping and Markets Now for a little retail therapy, it’s time to get off line nd get in line at one of these top destinations and grab youself a bargain.

short walking distance and the whole of the market, and the tour are on the flat. Groups (15+) can pre book, Tea, coffee and biscuits, English breakfast rolls, Traditional English fish and chips, a 2 course Italian lunch or a Cream tea. Included in your shopping trip are Jubilee Market discount wristbands for use on all the traders’ stalls.

Oswestry Award Winning Markets - Open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Markets are held every Wednesday and Saturday. The market has now been extended into the street which has had a really positive effect on both the market and the town itself. The local Artisan Market is also held on the last Friday of each month. Explore the stalls of the indoor market where over 40 traders sell bespoke gifts mixed with retro goods, antiques and plenty of street food or simply enjoy a coffee on the market square amongst the outdoor market.

Oswestry is a border market town steeped in history. Markets in Oswestry date back some 800 years and remain one of the town’s biggest attractions, drawing visitors from far and wide. They boast a spectacular, mysterious Hillfort which is over 3000 year old and one of Britain’s oldest settlements. Sitting proudly on the North West corner of Shropshire right on the Welsh border Oswestry often has the feel of a Welsh town in England. Today, this thriving market town enjoys a growing reputation for award-winning independent shops along with a bustling festival and arts culture. On a traditional market day, the street scene hasn't much changed in years. Certainly Wilfred Owen, the Oswestry-born famous WW1 soldier and poet, would recognise it still.

Oswestry Markets received a great accolade in being awarded the Best Local Council Market for 2013 by the National Association of British Market Authorities. This acknowledged the huge investment that the Council has made in the Indoor Market in terms of facilities and promotion. Go to for further details on Oswestry’s markets and Oswestry.

The Indoor Market is open each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and Outdoor

They have a central drop off point ideal for the market, visitor centre, museum and

toilets. To book and to be personally welcomed contact David Clough on 01691 680222. JUBILEE MARKET SHOPPING TRIPS Covent Garden’s historic indoor Jubilee Market has plenty to offer Groups for a fabulous shopping trip. You can book a 45-minute walking tour of Covent Garden Market and include a refreshments package too. There is local coach drop off, public toilets are within a


The last Thursday of each month there are free lunchtime concerts in the Jubilee Market square. It could be anything from a Cockney sing a long, or music from London’s musicals. Other local attractions include the London Transport Museum, Royal Opera House, or Trafalgar Sq. which is a short walk away. You will have lots of free time to enjoy your shopping experience, relax, take a tour or explore the local area. The Jubilee Antique Market is on a Monday, the General Market is Tuesday to Friday, and there’s a bustling weekend Arts and Crafts Market.

Destination Shopping Norfolk W ! NE NUE E V N OPE Y EVERY DA

Britain Bigges’s Beer S t hop

Monday - Thursday 9am - 6pm

-10pm FRIDAY & SATURDAY 9am Sunday 10am - 4pm

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Craft B eer, Spir its, Ciders (incl. glu Wines, ten free )

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Oswestry Market Days OPEN

•Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays •Ample Free Coach Parking •New central coach drop off point, booking essen)al on 01691 680222. Toilets •Loads of Independent Shops •Award Winning Park

Oswestry the birthplace of famous war poet Wilfred Owen

Antiques Centre

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Garage Lane

At , SETCHEY, King’s Lynn, PE33 0BE (Just off the A10 - turn at JSW Car Sales)

Ample Ample Parking Parking

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Wheelchair Friendly Friendly welcome Wheelchair welcome in in Antique Antique & Staff Friendly Friendly Staff Steiff Shop & Steiff Shop Garden & Beer Tel:01553 Tel:01553812000

SHOPPING GUIDED TOURS GROUP DISCOUNTS EVENTS SNACK BAR RESTAURANT Covent Garden’s historic indoor Jubilee Market has plenty to offer groups for a fabulous shopping trip. You can also book our 45-minute guided walking tour of Covent Garden and include a refreshments package. @jubileemarket @jubileemarket75


Coach Touring

The Golden Age of the Glorious Train All aboard, the age of steam lives on in the heritage railways across the UK. It’a a multi million pond business that more than pays its way for our tourism industry

unique experiences at each of its seven stops, all of them the ideal starting point for a fantastic day out. Whether you want to absorb some culture at one of the many museums dotting the Irwell Valley, tickle your tastebuds with a bite to eat at a café or restaurant, enjoy a quality pint of locally brewed ale or just go for a stroll around the scenic surrounds, the ELR represents the best way to do it in style. East Lancashire Railway Get set for unforgettable experiences over two hundred years in the making

at the East Lancashire Railway. More than just a superb visitor attraction in its own right, the 12-mile heritage railway line offers

family friendly events to Rail Ale Trails, Photography Experiences and more, every stop at the East Lancashire Railway is the start of a new adventure. The railway is also home to the Bury Transport Museum which makes for an ideal bookend to a day exploring Lancashire. Find out more by visiting or by calling on 0333 320 2830.

There are also a wide range of options available for those wanting to “stay on track”, from delicious Dining with Distinction experiences and

Wensleydale Railway

Our line runs through the Yorkshire Dales and is one of the most scenic railways in the country with wide open views across the Wensleydale landscape or visit our heritage trail and see what station life was like in the 1920’s.


Groups can enjoy: ● Special group rates ● Guided tours ● Delicious group lunch or afternoon tea options ● Joint visits with other Sussex attractions ● Free coach parking

Safe and Enjoyable

Coach Touring

Preview 2022 Some say failure to plan is planning to fail, we say you and your group can’t fail to enjoy these destination, put them on the calender now.

Magical Woodland 2022

Chester , Stoke , 11 milefrom J19 M6 / 10 MILE J10 M56 .

Spread the Magic The Magical Woodland 2022 is in its amazing 5th year . In 2021 they had over 50k in 2021 visitors to the magical woodland event . They offer two events , the Autumn Magical Woodland Oct 2022 and The Magical Woodland at Christmas NOV/ DEC 2022 . The events are great for families and groups, they are around 90 minutes long in the woodland,time to enjoy the woodland food court ,toasting marshmallows and licenced bar . Alongside Blakemere Village which also has a fairground and an array of shops to enjoy before your entry into the woodland . Set in 15 acres,Cheshire Woodland the immersive experience brings together an interactive outdoor experience of dazzling lights and sound . Their SEE THE WOODSCOME ALIVE truly means the guests have a fantastic evening in the Great Outdoors. The autumn event theme for 2022 is slightly spooky in the woodland with a whole range of installations to really enjoy the magic . The Christmas event brings all the sparkle and Christmas Magical with a true festive feel to the experience, with avisiting Santa in the woodland till Christmas Eve , then the Grinch works his wit and charm after Christmas Day till the end of the event . They truly offer the best light trail experience in the county with their own unique Magic for customers to experience . Being alongside Blakemere Village they can offer coachcompanies , discounted tickets , free parking for the event , and a driverincentive package . The event held in Cheshire is only 45 min from Manchester ,Liverpool ,

Call 01606 88 22 23 or email to Coldharbour Mill: Bringing the past to life! Group Leisure & Travel Awards Finalist 2021 Immerse yourself at Coldharbour Mill as they bring the industrial revolution to life. Largely untouched since Victorian times Coldharbour today remains in production using heritage looms, wool spinning machines, power sources and machinery to produce beautiful yarns and textiles. Recognised by Historic England "probably one of the best-preserved textile mill complexes in the country. It retains the full range of buildings and power system features which characterised the development of the 19th century textile mill with much of the machinery that was used at the site in the 20th century." visitors can explore how introducing steam and waterpower proved to be the turning point in history – revolutionising not only production but every part of daily life. Whether your group is interested in heritage, steam power, social history, crafts, or military history Coldharbour Mill can promise a visit that your group will love. A visit to Coldharbour will give you the opportunity to see a full range of heritage machinery in action and trace how wool is turned into yarn and fabrics, with options for a selfguided or guided tour to enhance your visit.

the Mill leat, where there are choices of tea, local cakes, and light lunches from the group menu. There is also the Mill shop which is stocked full of the yarns, rugs, bags, and fabrics produced in the mill, and no visit would be complete without picking up a souvenir.

easily accommodate coaches, makes Coldharbour Mill a great day out or perfect for a quick stop-off. Exceptional coach driver package. Book now by visiting:

All this with easy access, just 2 miles / 5 minutes from the M5 Junction 27 and a large, free car park that can

See web site for opening times –

There are also a chance to take your group back into an era of Steam and book for your group to visit on one of the regular ‘Steam Days’, when they light the Lancashire boilers and run the original mill engines and historic Beam Engine. You can enjoy the onsite Grist Mill Café bar, which is able to seat 60, with additional outdoor seating situated by the calming waters of

Over 60 aircraft on display, themed display areas, 446BG history


23 E 20 AL & NS 22 O 20 W NO


Groups Why not join the hundreds of groups that travel with us every year and discover all the benefits of Daish’s Holidays for yourself.


All our hotels are accredited as COVID safe under the Visit Britain good to go scheme

places for groups over 20 people

A choice of 12 fantastic hotels spread across 10 locations

Great value half board breaks including nightly entertainment

Fleet of 26 luxury coaches to provide comfortable travel

Dedicated groups team to support you from booking to arrival

Over 40 years of award winning customer service

Get in touch with us Today! Call 01202 638 841 or visit


Isle of Wight








Lake District


Coach Touring

Gardens and Flower Shows There can’t be a better way than enjoying what nature has to offer outdoors in a glorious garden or at a fabulous flower show, or indeed buying all the tools and accessories you’ll need at an award winning gardening centre.

Helmsley Walled Garden Helmsley Walled Garden is five glorious acres in the North York Moors National Park. A patchwork of small, intimate gardens is planted up with beautiful displays of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Used as one of the locations for the new film version of The Secret Garden, it is full of colour and corners to explore as well as places to sit and relax. The garden is fully accessible and dogs are welcome on leads. Stroll along the Hot Border which zings with colour in summer, discover medieval medicinal herbs in the Physic Garden. Find out about their collection of Yorkshire apple varieties or just relax under a tree in the Orchard. The award-winning Vine House Café provides a range of delicious cakes and lunches with a changing specials board and a collection of specially curated gins. Their garden shop and plant centre have a range of plants propagated in the garden as well as gifts, cards, books, food and drink made in Yorkshire. Enjoy a day at this beautiful

garden in the North York Moors. Group admission (minimum fifteen people) rates are – entrance only £7.50 per person. Entrance and guided tour £10.00 per person.

present garden was laid out in 1913, but by the 1980’s a large proportion had fallen into disrepair. Since then, the programme of restoration and improvement has been continuous. A flower garden has replaced the rose garden, along with a new sunken garden, a shrub garden and wilderness area. The Gothic Revival Orangery was built to celebrate the Millennium and the arbour was completed to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Visitors arrive through a small arboretum created between the two entrance drives. In recognition of the work of the past 40 years, in 2021 Elton Hall was winner of the Historic Houses Judges’ Choice Garden of the Year Award.

www.helmsleywalledgarden. Elton Hall Elton Hall has been home to the Proby family since 1660. Every room is packed with magnificent treasures from important works by Old Masters to remarkable 19th century works by Millais and Alma-Tadema. In addition, visitors can enjoy works by world-renowned British artists such as Reynolds, Constable and Gainsborough. Each generation of the Proby family has collected books and the Hall now has three libraries containing a collection of over 10,000 books. There is a Prayer Book given to Henry VIII with inscriptions by him and his three children up to early twentieth century hand printed books.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens The award-winning Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is set over 180 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside and world famous for its arboretum and gardens. The Gardens are conveniently located just off the M3 & M27 with several other top attractions on the doorstep. Only 10 miles from the magnificent Winchester Cathedral. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is

Elton Hall sits in 200 acres of parkland bound by the River Nene. The shape of the


home to one of the most important modern plant collections in the world. Established in 1953 by the distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, the magnificent collection of over 42,000 plants from temperate regions around the world grow in a variety of superb themed landscapes set over 180-acres of rolling Hampshire countryside. This incredibly beautiful Garden is home to 14 National Plant Collections and over 600 champion trees. Every year the collection is added to with many plants and trees from around the world. Open throughout the year, the Gardens offer four seasons of beauty, inspiration and discovery. Attractions include one of the largest Winter Gardens in Europe, Spring Walk, Magnolia Avenue, Rhododendron and Azalea woodland, Himalayan Valley, Gurkha Memorial Garden and the ‘Centenary Border': a specular 250 meter long, mixed double edge border, hosting over 30,000 plants in 800 varieties - and at 250 meters long is one of the longest in the county! The Courtyard Café on arrival offers fine views of the collection and surrounding countryside and features; a stylish licensed Garden Restaurant for table service brunch, lunch and decadent afternoon teas prepared by in-house pastry chefs and chocolatier. Open-air terrace dining, art gallery, gift shop and free coach parking.

Elton Hall and Gardens


Elton Hall, Elton, Nr Peterborough, PE8 6SH Telephone 07949 495422 / 01832 280468 Email:

Coach Touring

Majestic Aberdeenshire - has the royal seal of approval The north-east of Scotland has been a favourite holiday destination of kings and queens for generations. Follow in royal footsteps as you uncover the treasures of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

From castles, new attractions and iconic architecture to the famous sparkling silver granite of Aberdeen, miles of rugged coastline and golden sands, you can be assured of a red-carpet welcome and a feast of accommodation, with group dining options and activities to suit all budgets. Getting there is easy, too, and as befits those who move in royal circles, Aberdeenshire is well connected by road, rail, air and sea. Getting here is easy too and as befits those who move in royal circles, Aberdeenshire is well connected by road, rail, air and sea.


oldest building, Provost Skene’s House and the Maritime Museum, charting Aberdeen’s seafaring past and more recently, its reputation as the energy capital of Europe.

Begin in the Granite city, named after the sparkling silver stone from which so much of its historic architecture is crafted. A compact city, Aberdeen is one of contrasts – old world charm and bustling modern shopping centres, lush green parks and open spaces and a mile of golden sandy beach within easy reach, where you may even spy dolphins at play, all within easy reach.

Be sure to visit the Gordon Highlanders Museum, which tells the stories of the extraordinary men of ‘The Finest Regiment in the World’, from the Napoleonic Wars to The Cold War. There’s a replica WWI trench and the largest collection of Victoria Crosses outside the Imperial War Museum. Follow the cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen, to the huge twin spires of the 15thcentury St Machar’s Cathedral and the

The recently revamped art gallery – named as Scotland’s building of the year – offers panoramic views and houses an art collection spanning 700 years. Nearby is the city’s


University of Aberdeen which dates back to 1495. To see another side of the city’s historic roots, meander through the quirky old fishing quarter of Footdee which was designed by the same architect behind Balmoral, John Smith. Castles and Gardens Aberdeenshire has more castles per acre than any other county in the UK so is nicknamed “Castle Country”. From impressive medieval fortresses to sumptuous baronial tower houses and turreted stately homes, many of them now managed by the National

Coach Touring

Centre housed in an old herring barrel store. Royal Deeside

Trust, there is something to delight and enthral groups of all interests. It could be romantic Craigievar - said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle - or spectacular Dunnottar, perched perilously on a cliff and surrounded by seas on three sides. Crathes, meanwhile, is renowned for its sumptuous painted ceilings, fairy tale turrets and links to Robert the Bruce. Beyond the castle itself, wander outside in the historic walled garden where sculpted, 300-yearold yew hedges give way to nature trails and gorgeous views back towards the 16th-century tower house. Drum Castle, one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses, has a 700-year-long history encompassing tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Battle of Culloden. Its headily scented Garden of Historic Roses shows how the blooms were cultivated from the

17th to 20th centuries and guided tours with the head gardener can be arranged on request. Further north, take in Castle Fraser, Garden & Estate, from the parkland trails and traditional walled garden to the panoramic views from the round tower, the secret stone staircases and hidden trapdoors. As well as admiring the 17th-century walled garden and six miles of clipped box hedge, at Pitmedden Garden & Museum of Farming Life, you can explore Aberdeenshire’s agricultural heritage. But if art is more your thing, an impressive collection of portraits by greats such as by Raeburn, Gainsborough and Lawrence adorns the walls of 800-year-old Fyvie Castle. And don’t forget nearby Haddo, designed by Scottish architect William Adam, with its impressive Palladian exterior and Victorian opulence.

Coastline The Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail stretches 165 miles north and south of Aberdeen andoffers glorious seascapes, rugged cliffs, quaint coves and coastal havens like Stonehaven and Portsoy, with its famous ice cream and picturesque harbour which has served as a filmset for classics including Whisky Galore and more recently, Peaky Blinders. Head north to Peterhead, the most easterly town in Scotland and visit Peterhead Prison Museum. Visitors will have an immersive experience of ‘Scotland’s Toughest Jail’ touring the cells and listening to audio from the guards who worked here. Continue north to Fraserburgh, on the north-eastern tip of Aberdeenshire, and Kinnaird Head Lighthouse. Dating from 1787, it was the first lighthouse built on mainland Scotland. The purpose-built


Museum of Scottish Lighthouses brings to life the stories of the engineers and keepers who tended it. Linger a little longer in Fraserburgh to wander along the golden-sand beach and learn more about the town’s history at the Fraserburgh Heritage

Take the route of the old trainline from Aberdeen to Ballater – the nearest railway station to Balmoral – and follow the glorious Dee as it snakes through some of Scotland’s most scenic countryside, pretty villages, whisky distilleries and iconic castles.Stop en route to meet Grace Noble and her photogenic pedigree Highland cattle at Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle. Wander around the Victorian village of Ballater, where the Royal Family has awarded so many Royal Warrants to local businesses that it’s known as a Royal Warrant town. Be sure

Coach Touring

to visit the charming Rothesay Rooms, which serves up delicious food in a sumptuous setting, located in Ballater’s Old Royal Station, the very same station that Queen Victoria used to reach Balmoral Castle. Its most recent Royal connection is to Prince Charles, whose Prince’s Foundation reinstated the station to its former glory. When the Royal Family isn’t

staying (usually from April to August), you can visit Balmoral and discover why the Queen is said to be at her happiest here. Explore the grounds and gardens, see exhibitions, pick up souvenirs in the gift shop and dine in the restaurant.

and you can even have a “dram at the dam, the distillery’s water source. Exclusive tastings under the guidance of the manager are also available. Visit on the first Saturday in September and attend the Braemar Gathering, the oldest and world-famous highland games event with traditional dancers and pipe bands. Otherwise, a visit to the Braemar Highland Games Centre is

Nearby is the Royal Lochnagar Disitillery which gave its first distillery tour to Queen Victoria and her family in 1848. The distillery runs guided group tours

the next best thing. Food, drink and accommodation Ready to eat and drink like a king or queen? You’ll be spoiled for choice in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and with many group-dining options available, you can be assured of quality without blowing the budget. The region also has a fantastic range of accommodation from major brands to privatelyowned hotels to suit all budgets and group sizes. To find out more, visit our travel trade product guide and suggested itineraries or email

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