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Today

Volume 13 Issue 5 2020

Heart of Scotland London Guide for Groups ing Plann ent em Suppl 1 202

Group Get-Aways We’re Open & Good to Go Ireland

Johnsons Journal plus Special Feature - Gibraltar

shutterstock Philip Birtwistle

Travel Group


Free

Museum

Factory

Lifestyle

Café

OF STYLE ICONS

TOUR

STORE

EXPERIENCE

Visit our free museum housing a memorable collection of couture design, artifacts and fashion items that once belonged to some of the greatest style icons of modern times including Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe & many others. Immerse yourself in Hollywood glamour.

Take a guided tour of the working factory floor and meet the people behind the traditional craft practiced at Newbridge Silverware since 1934. Learn about the time honoured processes and true-life stories at the heart of one of Ireland’s most wellknown and treasured brands. Advance booking essential.

Browse through the complete range of much loved Irish designed products in our stylish showroom. Here you will find all of the collections on offer from our jewellery and giftware to homeware and tableware. Tax free shopping for eligible customers from outside of the EU.

The award winning Café features freshly prepared local food with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or a sumptuous afternoon tea in a relaxed, stylish and friendly ambience. Indulge in freshly brewed artisan coffee in our partially covered glorious gardens.

Newbridge Silverware, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Visitor Centre

Only 40 minutes from Dublin. Junction 10/12 on the M7. Open 7 days a week. Free coach and car parking. Groups welcome. Online booking available.

www.visitnewbridgesilverware.com


Comment

Group Travel Today

flexibility from enjoying themselves, many of you have been in touch commenting on how much you have enjoyed your group outings despite the obvious restrictions, face masks, temperature monitoring, a reduction in numbers etc. So many GTO’s and their groups want to get out and about and support their local coach operators who are doing there upmost to make group travel as safe as possible, their measures have come at a considerable cost, air purifiers, infrared thermometers additional cleaning and sanitation of the vehicles and a reduction in passenger capacity,

GTO Pauline Johnson AKA “The Bandit” Once again, I hope to find you all safe and in good health. What a roller coaster of a year it has been, a year that has taught us what is truly important, we’re coming up to Christmas a time usually spent with friends and family, a time for special treats, the theatre, hotel break or a big family meal in a restaurant or 15 people crowded around a dining table that usually seats 6! The government has decided on a 3 tier system to help reduce the spread of Covid -19, so depending on what part of the country you live in your social interaction will be at various levels ( Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have a different system) There’s talk that over the Christmas period a national tier for all should be introduced, my fear is that we would all be put into the most severe restrictions category. This would be a step back, so many venues and attractions have worked hard to get the VisitEngland “ we’re good to go “ accreditation all that can’t be allowed to be in vain, we need to ensure that the Group Travel Industry survives and then thrives. I don’t believe that the British people would begrudge those with more

Without the support of the Group Travel Market, the Coach Operators future looks grim, they need support now through the pandemic, or unfortunately when thing are back to “normal” and your group want to arrange a great day out, weeks holiday, a day at the races, the list is endless there won’t be anyone to transport you. On a brighter note it’s great to hear that a recent report highlighted the rise of the domestic “staycation” driven by travel restrictions and consumers less willing to go abroad meant that both Butlins and Centre Parcs saw increases of more than half (51%) year on year in the height of the summer and August was a bumper month with amusement parks such as Thorpe Park and Alton Towers up 29% and museums a whopping 55%. . I wrote this piece just before the news broke of the lock down coming into force in England in November, but what I didn’t want to do is fundamentally change the message it contains, yes this is a slight set back, however the evidence proves that people do want to get out and enjoy themselves probably now more than ever so we can expect 2021 to be a much better year for all sectors of the travel, group and leisure market. Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Nigel

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Contents News

4

Agto

8

Where in the World

9

Johnsons Journal

10

Wish You Were Here

12

Gibraltar

14

Planning Supplement 2021

20

Heart of Scotland

34

We’re Open & Good to Go

38

London Guide For Groups

42

Awesome Accommodation

44

North East

46

Group Get-Aways

48

Ireland

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Front Cover shutterstock Philip Birtwistle River Bela on a Cold Frosty Morning The River Bela is a short (approximately 4 miles (6.5 km)) river in the county of Cumbria, England. It is in the ancient county of Westmorland.

With the current Covid 19 pandemic evolving situation please check with attractions to confirm if any restriction will apply Beau Business Media Group Ltd Publishing House, Windrush, Ash Lane, Birmingham, B48 7TS Tel: 0121 445 6961 Fax: 0121 445 4436 email: beaubusinessmedia@gmail.com Sales: Emma L Middleton Brett James Kirby Tel: 0121 445 6961 Contributors: Pauline Johnson, Simon Walton Design: Alexina Whittaker & Paul Hemsley Production: Laura Collins Managing Director: Nigel Whittaker


News

Bakers Dolphin re-open their shops

Bakers Dolphin has opened its stores in The Arcade at Broadmead in Bristol and in Weston-super-Mare’s Sovereign Shopping Centre. The company has just published its Summer 2021 UK & Continental Coaching Holidays brochure and its team of specialist advisors is looking forward to once again welcoming people back into their shops to help them find their perfect getaways for nextyear. The shops have been closed since March because of the Coronavirus pandemic but are now ready to welcome people back – in controlled conditions, of course. New screens have been installed in the stores and only two customers will be allowed in at any one time. They will also be required to sanitise their hands before entering the shops. Amanda Harrington, Sales and Marketing Director at Bakers Dolphin, said: “Our brochure is packed with fabulous destinations and we have included departures from January right through to October 2021. “We are so pleased to be able to reopen our shops. “We have a

lot of customers who prefer talking to someone face-toface to make their travel plans, rather than do it on the phone or the internet. Now, finally, we can welcome them back and help them find that perfect get away for next year. “We fully understand that booking a holiday represents a significant financial commitment during these uncertain times, and we take this responsibility extremely seriously. “As a fully-bonded tour operator, we can assure all our customers that their money is fully protected in the extremely unlikely event that we cannot meet our financial liabilities. “For addition reassurance, we are also now able to offer Covid19 insurance holidays.” For several months, the Bakers Dolphin fleet of some 70 coaches was unable to operate because of lockdown restrictions. The company was then awarded the new national ‘Good To Go’ charter mark, which verifies that it follows all the government and industry health and safety requirements, and at the end of July was able to get back on the road. Amanda added:“Since then, we have successfully operated more than 60 holidays. We are delighted to be back on the

road and the feedback we have received has been amazing. “We are so grateful to our customers for their continued support and loyalty during these times, which have been among the toughest in the history of this company, which has been running for more than 130 years. “We’re particularly grateful for the support from those customers who were not able to take the holidays they had hoped for in 2020 but who did not request refunds.Instead, they said they would want that money to go towards a holiday when they were able to

Group Travel Today

go. “These customers gave a great vote of confidence to us, and we can’t thank them enough. “Hopefully,everyone will be able to have the holiday they want, need and have earned, in 2021.” As an added bonus, anyone who books a summer 2021 holiday of four days or more before 30 November 2020 will receive a discount of £15 per person. Details are included in the brochure. To get your brochure and to book your next holiday, visit www.bakersdolphin.com,call 01934 415 000 or visit one of their shops.

Eden thrilled to welcome groups back great time to start planning a group visit to Eden. They are offering groups 40% off on standard admission prices with no deposit required and free entry for one driver and one group organiser, tour escort or Blue Badge Guide per coach or minibus. All the prices for group visits until February 2021 are available on theirr website.

With a range of affordable packages for everyone from

They’ve introduced timed tickets and are limiting their guests each day, to allow visitors to experience Eden and their wide open spaces as they’ve never seen it

coach trips through to smaller groups of 15, it's a

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before. And the great news is, that, once visitors are there, they can stay all day. Playing your part In adherance with the government's new 'rule of six' guidance, they’re asking that on arrival, groups visiting the Eden Project split into parties of no more than six people for their time with them If you have any questions for the team, please do get in touch with them on groups@edenproject.com
















Welcome to Summergrove Halls







Away from the hustle and bustle but with plenty to see and do Summergrove Halls makes it easy to get away from the hustle and bustle to a part of England with  scenery and  easy access to  the Western   Lakes and the Cumbrian  fantastic coast. The area is packed  with things to see and do but without the crowds. At Summergrove, guests can create a package to suit them – from renting a room with no frills to booking fully serviced hotel rooms. Fully equipped kitchens are available to self-cater so, as there’s no need to bring the kitchen sink, there’ll even be room for the dog. Our Grove restaurant offers a selection of dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements and the bars stock a range of local beers. (there’s even a gym to help you work off the calories!) With plenty of free parking, a launderette and free superfast Wi-Fi there’s no reason not to give us a call.

Tel: 01946 813328, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 8XZ www.summergrovehalls.co.uk Email: info@summergrovehalls.co.uk




News

Group Travel Today

Silver Travel Awards success from Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel picked up some awards at the virtual Silver Travel Advisor awards September 2020.

They won Best City Breaks Operator and Best River Cruise Line, whilst being Highly Commended in the

Best Escorted Coach Tour Operator category. rivieragroups.co.uk

Bodmin Jail opens its doors to discover the new Dark Walk Following a multi-millionpound redevelopment, Bodmin Jail will open its doors for people to discover the new Dark Walk experience.

largest investment south of Bristol since the Eden Project.

The cost of the redevelopment will be around £40 million and will include the creation of a new, 70-bed hotel which will be ready to recieve guests within the next few months.

Visitors will be able to experience what life was like for prisoners. The Cells inside Bodmin Jail have special effects and cutouts of prisoners Each cell in Bodmin Jail tells a woeful tale giving visitors a glimpse into Cornwall’s dark past.

This new attraction is the

www.bodminjail.org

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines looks ahead to inaugural fleet get-together as one-year countdown launched for ‘Four Ladies in Lisbon’ Fred. Olsen’s four ships Bolette, Borealis, Balmoral and Braemar between them hosted ‘Four Ladies in Lisbon’, with support from the Port of Lisbon and organisations within the city.

It is the third time that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has hosted such an event, but the first time with new ships Bolette and Borealis, which joined the fleet earlier this year.

both on our ships, the quayside and within the wonderful city itself. Previous years have included a treasure hunt, inter-ship contests and live music. Of course, we have extra factors to consider for next year to ensure the safety of our guests and crew, but the event is set to be packed with fun and festivities to bring our fleet together in style.

“These cruises are already proving popular with our guests, and we can’t wait to see so many faces, both familiar and new, in Lisbon next October!”

The sailings are featured in this week’s Virtual Cruising programme on the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Facebook page, and until 6th November guests can book

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service, said:

“Our fleet get-togethers are always incredibly exciting, both for us and for our guests. This one will be even more so as it will be the first time our new-look fleet will be together after setting sail again, and the first time that our guests will be able to see them all together for themselves. “The team here is busy making a programme of exciting plans for the day,

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with up to £150 off the advertised price by quoting “VCOFFER”. For group bookings and enquiries, please contact Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ dedicated Group Sales Department on 01473 746169 (Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm) www.fredolsencruises.com


35 Years of Tailor Made Holidays for Groups

Our new 2021 brochure is out now, with all your favourite Airedale destinations plus over 40 new tour ideas! Please call us on 01924 276135 or email info@airedaletours.co.uk for your copy.

Glorious Gardens

Taste Sensations

UK & Ireland

Europe & Worldwide

Great gardens for every season, including private ones not open to the public!

Tasty trips to proud producers for the best food and drink in stunning scenery!

Coast or Country, we’ve got Britain and Ireland covered. And our islands too!

A sensational selection of holidays from our Europe and Worldwide travel experts!

Airedale Tours – Tel 01924 276135 – www.airedaletours.co.uk

Great Holidays for Groups 2021


AGTO MATTERS

Group Travel Today

Supporting your local coach operator It’s not been a great time for GTOs. The ongoing uncertainty about local and regional lockdown measures means most GTOs and their groups are simply staying at home. Wendy Hartley-Scarff, chief executive of AGTO, the Association of Group Travel Organisers, explains why it’s important to find a way to support your local coach operator. So, some online Zoom activity? Perhaps even a short visit to a café to meet with friends? You might have looked on with no little envy at news reports of people jetting off to foreign shores, seemingly without a care in the world. But in general, are you mostly staying at home?

If you think that times are tough, spare a thought for Shirley Winn. Covid-19 has taken away the business of IOW Tours, the awardwinning Isle of Wight-based holiday company that Shirley has led and built up for over 30 years. You may have travelled with them, and you’ll certainly have seen their smartly turned out coaches in coach parks across the country. Talking to local news outlets Shirley said that over 90% of her trade for the year had been wiped out by Covid-19, She explained that the company had tried hard to keep going for her customers, but was just unable to keep its head above water. But what struck me in reading Shirley’s comments was the absolute disappointment in the situation she found herself in, through no fault of her own. “We loved doing what we did,” she said. “I’m absolutely devastated.” Her final message to her customers was this: “We want to thank you for allowing us to have looked after you. Some of

our customers have been loyal to us for all 31 years we have been trading. We have laughed together, cried together and enjoyed each other’s company over the years, and we are really going to miss each and every one of you.” It doesn’t make for easy reading. I mention this, not because Shirley and the IOW Tours team are alone in this, they’re not. It’s not just because they were an AGTO Associate member, so I knew them well. Across the country there are hundreds of small and medium-sized familyowned coach operators really struggling at the moment. They’re doing their best. They’ve bought air purifiers for their coaches. They’re spending significant sums of money on hand sanitisers and infra-red thermometers to check passenger temperatures. They’re having to pay their drivers more because the drivers are working longer hours because of the need to clean and sanitise coaches before heading

out. So it’s really good to see that more and more coach operators are restarting day trips, and a few domestic holidays. Coaches are generally going out half full to ensure social distancing and to give passengers confidence they’ll be safe. So coach operators are doing their best. But what they really need now is you. Some of your group may feel confident in travelling by coach. Some may be feeling they simply can’t put their lives on hold for ever. Talk to your local coach operator. See if they’ll put a tour together for you, or better still, take a few of your group on a scheduled day trip. It might cost you a few pounds per person more, but it will undoubtedly help them survive. Watching Shirley Winn’s tears on the news was indeed heart-breaking. Let’s support our coach operators. www.agto.co.uk

Reassuring customers that it’s safe to travel is vital to restarting group travel. A driver with Johnsons Coaches of Warwickshire uses an infrared thermometer to check passengers’ temperatures before boarding.

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Group Travel Today

Where on Earth? Proof, a Pint of Guinness is as Good as a Meal It would appear the Russians were on to something, indeed Russia only classified beer as an alcoholic drink in 2011. Remarkably before then any drink with less than 10% alcohol was considered a ‘foodstuff’. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that drinking Guinness can reduce blood clots and the risk of heart attack. Guinness contains antioxidants like those found in red wine and dark chocolate, which are not found in other beers.

We’ve Heard of Getting a Note from your Mother… Don’t panic if your train is delayed and you might be late. Japanese railways hand out ‘certificates’ for delays of more than five minutes. Japanese trains, apparently the most punctual in the world, issue passengers with a ‘delay certificate’ if a train is running more than five minutes behind schedule. The documents can be shown to bosses or teachers to explain a passenger’s lateness. I’m not sure if these notes would get you out of PE though.

Room for One More New York they say it’s the city that never sleeps, no surprise that it’s hard to get a good nights sleep with all those people if Texas was as densely populated as New York City, the entire world's population could fit into it. We wouldn’t have all that much room, but, with the rest of the planet uninhabited, there’d be plenty of places to go to escape the crowds.

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Johnsons Journal

Group Travel Today

The continuing, amazing adventures of Pauline & Ken, on their travels

There is still a reluctance at present with the majority of my group to travel anywhere in 2020 or early 2021 but our April Cornwall tour is fully booked, helped by low deposits and a willingness by both the tour operator and the hotel to help us. Our local coach operator is also doing his bit by keeping the cost of all rescheduled coach bookings to 2020 prices. As far as concert and theatre bookings go, whilst some people won’t even think about rescheduling, the vast majority are being positive

Ken entitled this Guru wear for social distancing, our friends called it The Bandit.

I think the most important lesson we as GTO’s should all take on board from this pandemic is to ensure, not just by asking but by checking, that any tour operators and coach companies we use are Bonded or have Trust funds set up. Don’t be afraid to go to the company and get it in writing and if you can’t verify things with the trade bodies go back and ask again. With so many household names going under and business in the hospitality industry suffering it is better to be safe than sorry. As GTO’s we are

Alnwick Gardens Bit by bit the hospitality industry is trying to get back to normal. Ken & I have been on one of the first trains to run on the Great Central Railway on a round trip from Quorn. We have visited Statfold Barn Railway on an open day and been to the Gloucestershire Warkwickshire Steam Railway - with a meal afterwards at National Trust’s The Fleece. All socially distanced and following government guidelines and, with a bit of planning, possible for a small group. In all cases we rode in

a compartment to keep us in our ‘social bubbles’. Masks were worn on the platforms, cleaning regimes were in force before and after we got off the trains and we felt comfortable to be out. So confident were we of the measures put in place to keep us safe that 27 of the original group of 42 have now rescheduled our April lunch aboard the ‘Midlander’ train from Loughborough to 2nd December this year. A small but vital step back to normality.

because they really miss live entertainment. Hence we have rescheduled two Sonning Mill dining theatre visits and a Classical Spectacular at Symphony Hall Birmingham into May and November 2021. Group Line, who we booked Pretty Woman through for December this year, are gradually rescheduling into 2021 and they also have been very helpful, especially with written reassurances about refunds for those who cannot or will not reschedule.

Lindisfarne and causeway to the island

As we have 92 people booked on this trip that is a weight off my mind.

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custodians of our members’ money, which also means we should make sure we ourselves have adequate GTO Insurance. Also, make sure you read the Companies’ Terms & Conditions. It is surprising how they differ as far as cancellations and refunds are concerned. The tour operators themselves are also subject to the T&C’s of the hotels and other venues and this can affect when deposit and final balances are due. I was quite surprised to find that one company I once used had NO refunds at all once the final payment had been sent 12 weeks prior


Group Travel Today

make sure you check the tides so you can walk across the causeway.

Vindolanda

to the departure date. One or two of my members have booked into hotels in the UK and reported back that as long as you take responsibility for yourselves then the hotels are doing their bit to keep you safe. Ken & I will be testing that in October when hopefully we are able to travel to South Shields. We intend to visit Beamish and one or two other places that we have planned for a County Durham group visit in July next year. Which brings me nicely to the second of my articles about my favourite places –Northumbria, encompassing County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Teesside. It’s not just the landscape or the history but the people who make this such a wonderful area of the UK to visit. OK, sometimes it’s difficult to understand what the locals are saying at times because of the local dialect, but it all adds to the charm. Ken’s Mother’s family were coal miners who lived at Burnopfield, just up the hill from the gardens and parkland of NT’s Gibside. There’s a sad history to this estate when the daughter of George Bowes inherited a fortune and was said to be the wealthiest heiress in Georgian England. You can read all about it in the Chapel.

If you are into Roman history then there are various sites. We very much enjoyed Vindolanda where you can watch archaeologists at work and they have a very good museum. Corbridge is a much-visited Roman town. One of it’s features are the houses, many of which were built with stone from Hadrians Wall. Arbeia Roman Fort at South Shields, which was discovered by local people in 1875, is said to be the finest Roman reconstruction in England. This is a venue where I consider a local

Auckland Pass you can visit the various art galleries on site. You could even have a train ride from Stanhope to Witton le Wear on the Weardale Railway, which was in danger of closing, but has now been bought by the Auckland Trust, but is not included in the cost of the pass.

to wander and stretch your legs, could be ideal. There is plenty of scope for scenic tours in Northumbria and having a Blue Badge guide on board can enhance the experience through their extensive local knowledge of the area. There are so many more places to visit so get a copy of the Northumbrian Groups guide and start planning! As a group we have visited in winter, when the snow was so heavy we nearly had to cancel the tour, spring, summer and autumn. If you go in July you really must plan a visit to The Kynren. Treat yourself to top price

Auckland Castle

Another railway nearby is the Tynedale Railway starting at the highest market town in England, Alston. The station is at the bottom of the hill where your coach can park. A round trip takes you to Slaggy Head. Newcastle upon Tyne, and Gateshead across the river with it’s Sage theatre, can make an excellent City break. From a base here you can visit Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle and gardens. A guided walk around the gardens I think is a must. We have visited Lindsfarne several times but

guide from its museum to be a must. If you want to know more then ‘YouTube’ has a good video posting. South Shields also has some lovely beaches, which, for those of you who like some free time

Cragside

The Beamish Open Air Museum is a firm favourite and you need a full day here. The newly restored Auckland Palace at Bishop Auckland is well worth a visit and if you purchase an

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seats (which are padded) and sit back and enjoy a remarkable pageant with Auckland Palace as its backdrop. My favourite place in this area? National Trust’s Cragside.


Wish you were here...

Tahiti You will find this bungalow on Tahiti which is the largest island in French Polynesia, the SouthPacific archipelago. Shaped like a figure-8, it's divided into Tahiti Nui (the larger, western section) and Tahiti Iti (the eastern peninsula).We’re not being flippant but I’m sure none of us would mind a bit of self-isolation with a measure of social distancing thrown in as long as the cocktail cabinet had at least 14 days supply!


shuttersrock guigaamartins


Gibraltar - The Rock

Although it’s not the biggest place in the world, Gibraltar is home to many fascinating attractions. From the 56 kilometres (35 miles) of tunnels that weave through its Rock and its famous Barbary apes, to a quirky old town and the dolphins that swim in its waters.


Group Travel Today

and is only a 15-minute walk from the airport. A series of narrow lanes surrounding the central thoroughfare of Main Street, it is a piece of England in the sun: highstreet stores such as Debenhams and traditional British pubs tell you that you’re in the UK, yet the curious blend of architecture and the spotless blue skies remind you that you that you’re in the Mediterranean. One of Gibraltar’s oldest buildings, Main Street’s Convent dates from 1531 and was originally used as a dwelling for Franciscan friars. It retained its name after 1728, though, when it was converted into the official home of the Governor of Gibraltar. Seemingly, a fairly robust constitution is required for this job, as the former convent is said to be one of the most haunted public buildings in Europe. The Rock

Apes One of the unique experiences to be enjoyed in Gibraltar is visiting its famous Barbary macaques – the only wild monkeys living in Europe The 230-odd strong population live at the top of the 400-metre Rock and can be reached by cable car, but these mischievous residents have been seen all in other parts of the territory. Though they are harmless, it’s recommended that you keep your valuable possessions close to you, as some of them are expert pickpockets. It is said that when the macaques die out or migrate elsewhere, Britain will lose control of this intriguing territory.

ducking and squeezing as you go, it’s incredible to think that most of these subterranean pathways were dug by sledgehammer within the space of a few weeks, contributing to the Rock’s eventual defeat of its French and Spanish assailants. The Gibraltar Museum The Gibraltar Museum dedicates itself to the territory’s rich cultural, military and natural history. It is here you can learn about the different peoples who have occupied the Rock from Carthaginian times to the present, all of which have contributed to Gibraltar’s unique character.Some areas focus on the territory’s natural and prehistory, and in the basement are the remains of what was once an Arabic bathhouse.

The geographical feature from which Gibraltar takes its full name is a 400-metre cliff, from the top of which you can take in spectacular views of three countries (Gibraltar itself, Spain and Morocco) and two continents (Europe and Africa).

Ocean Village Ocean Village is a neighbourhood located in and around the trendy marina of the same name, in which most of the residents live on boats. It feels a little like smaller version of Marbella, with its waterfront bars and restaurants, an enormous luxury yacht hotel and exclusive private vessels bobbing up and down on the quayside, complete with G&T terraces on which to see and be seen. This is also where most of Gibraltar’s nightlife is, with Bruno’s bar a popular local hangout, and the Casino Sunborn.

St Michael's Cave, Gibraltar

Great Siege Tunnels Old Town The Rock of Gibraltar houses miles of underground tunnels, the earliest of which were dug during the 1779– 83 Great Siege of Gibraltar. As you wander around this attraction,

One of the most interesting, some would say bizarre, parts of Gibraltar is its old town, which occupies the northwestern corner of the territory

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Gibraltar’s most impressive geological attraction is St Michael’s Cave, a series of limestone chambers and tunnels so deep they were once believed to run


It is a piece of home in the sun: high-street stores such as Debenhams and traditional British pubs tell you that you’re in the UK


Group Travel Today

under the Straits all the way to Africa. They consist of an upper section that is linked to a lower level of concavities by drops of up to 45 metres below which narrower tunnels descend up to 62 metres in depth. These breathtaking underground chambers were used for defensive purposes by the Moors and Spaniards and were prepared (although never used) as a hospital during the Second World War. Today, the Cathedral Cave houses a 600-seat auditorium. The caves also feature some stunning stalagmites and stalactites. Mediterranean Steps If the cable car isn’t running to the top of the Rock because of high

winds, and if you’re feeling fit, you can walk almost to the top using the Mediterranean Steps.

Dolphins The waters off Gibraltar – particularly in the Bay of Algeciras – are abundant with marine wildlife, including whales, blue-fin tuna and a large population of dolphins. One of the most moving sights given by a trip here is seeing the dolphins cruising and leaping through the clear blue waters, often with their young by their sides, as the sun sets over the Bay of Algeciras (a time when they are particularly active).. Regular tours are run by Dolphin Adventure and Dolphin Safari.

Originally used by the British military to access their various bases, this difficult pathway starts at the Jew’s Gate at the southern end of the Nature Reserve and climbs up a twisting stone staircase.

Many locals use it as a means of getting super-fit, and time their ascents. Although walkers with an dislike of heights might find some sections a little hairy, from the viewing platform at the top the north coast of Africa is clearly visible across the Straits. Allocate a good two hours for ascending and descending.

The Windsor Suspension Bridge Opened last year, the Windsor Suspension Bridge is the newest addition to

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Gibraltar’s tourist scene and a must for visitors seeking an adrenaline rush. Covering a 70-metre (230-feet) wide and 50metre (164-feet) deep gorge in the territory’s precipitous nature reserve, it sways in the wind and is definitely not for those without a head for heights. Appropriately, it forms up part of the Thrill Seekers Trail on the Upper Rock, a path that also allows you to explore the fauna and flora of this beautiful protected area.

Photographs courtesy Gibraltar Tourism www.visitgibraltar.gi


Group Travel Today

Planning 2021

Some say failure to plan is planning to fail, we say you and your group can’t fail to enjoy these destinations. Monkey World, at all times apart from in designated catering seating / picnic areas. Group Bookings: Group bookings are currently being processed over the phone only. If you would like to book a group in (10+), please call the office on 01929 462537. Strawberry Field Strawberry Field is an inspirational heritage attraction, immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever, which opened in September 2019. The attraction, which

Peter Beales Garden Centre Conveniently situated just half a mile off the A11 at Attleborough, is the beautiful Peter Beales two acre display gardens. Specialising in the preservation of old fashioned roses, they provide a chance to see unique, historic, rare and contemporary roses growing in unison with other complementary plants - a ‘must see’ for any visitor to the region. Arguably one of the best destination garden centres in the area, Peter Beales provides seasonal garden tours, advisory courses and hands-on workshops on a range of topics with group guided tours and refreshment packages; starting from as little as £5.50 per person. Coach drivers receive complimentary refreshments. The popular Rosarium restaurant offers a freshly prepared menu suited for all; whether it’s tea and scones, a light lunch or a delicious hot meal from the weekly

specials board. A wide range of quality gardening tools and many locally handcrafted gifts are also found within the garden centre gift shop. So, if you’re looking for a place to visit in East Anglia or in need of a relaxing welcome break stop onroute to another destination, Peter Beales Garden Centre is the place to visit. Cheltenham Farmers: 2nd & last Friday 9:00am - 2:00pm Promenade, GL50 9SA Craft ftss: 3rd Saturday 9:00am - 5.00pm Promenade, GL50 9SA Cirencester General Retail : Monday 10:00am - 4:pm & Friday 9:00am - 3:00pm By the Ghurch, Market Place, GL7 2NW Craft ftss: 1st Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm Market Place,GL7 2NW Farmers: 2nd & 4th 9:00am - 5:00pm Market Place Fairford General Retail : Wednesday 9:00am - 1:00pm Market Place, GL7 AAB Moreton in Marsh General Retail : Tuesday 9:00am - 3:00pm High Street, GL56 0AW

For further information please contact Events on 01953 454707 or events@peterbealesroses.com Monkey World Monkey World is open to the general public for prebooked tickets only. It’s been a long, difficult few months for all so they are looking forward to seeing visitors.

Tewkesbur y General Retail : Wednesday & Saturday 9:00am - 3.00pm Spring Garden Car Park, GL20 5DN Farmers’and Craft ft:: 2nd Saturday 9:am - 1:00pm Gander Lane Car Park, GL20 5PG

The park is limiting visitor numbers to ensure safety and no-one will be admitted at the gate without prebooking,It is mandatory for all visitors aged 3 years old and over to wear a face mask / covering/ visor when visiting

COTSWOLD MARKETS Telephone:01608 652662 trade@cotswoldmarkets.com 20


Rediscover the romance of the rose... Conveniently situated just half a mile off the A11 at Attleborough, is the beautiful Peter Beales two acre display gardens. Specialising in the preservation of old fashioned roses, they provide a chance to see unique, historic, rare and contemporary roses growing in unison with other complementary plants - a ‘must see’ for any visitor to the region. Our popular Rosarium restaurant offers a freshly prepared menu suited for all; whether it’s tea and scones, a light lunch or a delicious hot meal from the speciality board. A range of quality gifts, many handcrafted by local

artisans, are found inside the shop; can only enhance your visitor’s experience. Workshops and events are regularly held throughout the year and garden tours are available from April catering for small groups to large coach parties. Coach drivers receive complimentary refreshments. So, if you’re looking for a place to visit in East Anglia or in need of a relaxing welcome break stop on-route to another destination, Peter Beales Garden Centre is the place to visit. RHS CHELSEA GOLD MEDALIST

Attleborough NR17 1AY

01953 454707 www.classicroses.co.uk

SPECIALIST ROSE & PLANT CENTRE GIFT SHOP RESTAURANT GUIDED TOURS Please quote this publication when contacting us.


Group Travel Today

has achieved the Good to Go’ accreditation, and its famous garden and new exhibition welcomes prebooked groups. One of The Guardian’s ‘Fab Finds of the Year’, Strawberry Field won ‘Tourist Attraction of The Year’ at the inaugural Staycation Awards. Previously the site of a former Salvation Army children’s home, Strawberry Field offers an exciting and emotional visitor exhibition and garden tour with media guides. The interactive exhibition is the place where ‘nothing is real’! Stories are told of the site’s history, John Lennon’s childhood and the writing and recording of the famous song as told by his close friends and family. The media-guided tour extends into the gardens where John played as a child – and visitors will be following in his footsteps. The original iconic red gates of Strawberry Field can now be found in the gardens. Strawberry Field has wide appeal from John Lennon/Beatles and music fans to those who love gardens, nature, outdoors and exploring heritage sites. There is also an appeal for wellness tours and faith groups. Strawberry Field is a great example of responsible tourism in action. Income from the visitor experience helps fund the Steps to Work training work placement scheme for young adults with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment. Strawberry Field has been awarded Visit England & Visit Britain’s industry wide health & safety standard for visitors – We’re Good to Go. Visitors must book ahead to enable the team to control capacity across the exhibition, garden and shop, and social distancing of 2m must be adhered to on site. The site is currently operating limited visitor numbers.

Temperature checks are being conducted upon entry and in line with the current UK government guidelines regarding wearing of masks, all visitors to the exhibition and retail store are kindly asked to wear a face covering in these areas.

Thursdays and weekends initially. Social distancing, hand sanitizing, PPE for staff, screens at information points

Full details of health & safety standards can be found at www.strawberryfieldliverpool. com/visiting-us-duringcoronavirus

and tills, take-away catering service, and one-way directional guidance with no interactives in exhibitions, are some of the measures which the management team have

Home to Golf’s History

All groups must be prebooked in advance call 07958 448 002. You can also get advice on the catering offered and discuss all the requirements of the group.

Museum • Shop • Café

The award winning British Golf Museum uses a mixture of highly visual displays and exciting interactives to explore over 500 years of golfing history.

Group organiser/leader free of charge. Coach drivers/ leaders receive a free hot drink. Dedicated staff to organise all aspects of your visit. Full details of health & safety standards can be found at www.strawberryfieldliverpool. com/visiting-us-duringcoronavirus

For more information call 01334 460046 or visit www.britishgolfmuseum.co.uk

Crich Tramway Village Is Open Crich Tramway Village, home to the National Tramway Museum, is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays,

THE BRITISH GOLF MUSEUM, BRUCE EMBANKMENT, ST ANDREWS, FIFE, KY16 9AB. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews Trust. A Scottish Charity SCO 07857

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SITUATED NEAR MATLOCK AND ONLY 8 MILES FROM M1 JUNCTION 28

Delight your group with a tram ride through time

The Gardens at Renishaw Hall are open Online Booking Required

Crich Tramway Village is an ideal destination for all ages. Visitors can ride our world renowned vintage trams through our unique period street and out into the open countryside for spectacular views, explore fascinating exhibitions and watch as trams are restored from our workshop viewing gallery. This captivating journey into history is made complete with a stroll on our woodland walk and sculpture trail and a trip to our unique Red Lion pub, café and shops.

• visit acres of award winning gardens to explore • open Friday to Sunday 10.30 - 1.00pm & 1.30 - 4.00pm • book online renishaw-hall.co.uk/garden-entry WE WILL HELP YOU PLAN

• vineyard tours & wine tasting on selected dates • view our Covid-19 statement in full on our website

visit www.renishaw-hall.co.uk

Now reopen

or call 01246 432310

A GREAT DAY OUT!

• FREE parking, admission and meal for coach driver • Special group and coach tour discounts • Guided tours on request

Crich Tramway Village, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5DP Tel: 01773 854 321 Email: enquiry@tramway.co.uk

www.tramway.co.uk

Contact us for special group rates

Visit the world-famous botanic garden

kew.org/groups groups@kew.org 020 8332 5648


Group Travel Today

implemented. The trams, which are crewed by a team of volunteers, will be limited, and face coverings should be worn as per the national guidance for public transport. Members of the public will need to book a timed ticket for tram rides on arrival, and there will only be one stop for getting on and alighting the trams, to help ensure the safety of passengers, volunteers and staff. Face coverings will also be required to be worn in the shops. They hope these new health and safety measures provide their visitors with confidence and eagerness to visit their attraction. They recommend that you pre-purchase your tickets via their website, tramway.co.uk where possible. (If you do not want a tram ride, other ticket options will be available on arrival. See the website tickets page). Biggin Hill Fully Open

From September They are fully open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. A few things have changed since they were last open,their goal is to provide you with a quality visitor experience and respond to existing and any new Government guidance. To ensure that social distancing restrictions can be maintained,they do have a new admissions procedure that applies to all visitors. They have taken care to ensure the way they reopen is in line with Government Guidance and sector specific advice to make it safe and enjoyable to visit for you, as well as a positive environment for their team.

They have carried out a Risk Assessment, have complied with the Government’s Guidance of managing the risk of Covid-19 and have received Visit Britain’s We’re Good To Go Covid-19 industry standard and consumer mark. Group Visits They welcome groups, for full details of group restrictions and discounts please visit bhmm.org.uk

Clifton Suspension Bridge Tourism & Visiting

pandemic, since re-opening on 4th July 2020.

They're delighted to announce their Visitor Centre is open to the public from September. As safety is their main concern, they will be resuming services in a limited, safe and socially distanced way. Staff have started to return to the bridge to make the necessary preparations for the phased reopening. Their permanent exhibition and shop will both be returning, with their tours programme to follow at a later date.

They operate cruises throughout the year in the calm and sheltered waters of the River Exe and during the 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.

Their focus is on ensuring that they have the right measures in place to offer the safest, most enjoyable experience possible when they open their doors, all in line with the latest government guidance and sector advice. They have arranged comprehensive training for their team, rigorous cleaning schedules and changes to building capacity. After this long closure period they are incredibly excited at welcoming visitors back into their building. For full details of group visit numbers please visit cliftonbridge.org.uk

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 and have been proudly welcoming groups throughout the COVID_19

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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! Choose from a diverse range of cruises, from 1-hour circular cruises to full day trips and book with confidence, knowing that your


Welcome back! South Devon railway

far more than a steam train ride

AWARD-WINNING CRUISES

Operating year-round, even Christmas Day!

A first class destination and a warm welcome for coaches and groups. Easy access from the A38 and free coach parking at Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0DZ

Discounted group rates and bespoke packages to suit your group's requirements

Ask us about... ...and our other joint ticket options.

Ask us about joint packages with other top attractions in Devon for a great value full day out! Call 01395 222144 or email info@stuartlinecruises.co.uk to discuss ideas and options.

Buckfastleigh • Staverton • Totnes www.southdevonrailway.co.uk 01364 644370

Christmas For Everyone Try our all new table service restaurant

Christmas lunch menu all throughout November & December

Wheelchair access to every corner of the site Large Christmas displays with 1000’s of products to choose from Fantastic offers all year round Friendly and helpful staff on hand With so much to see Polhill is a great day out. Or if you’re limited for time our restaurant and facilities make us the perfect pit stop

London Road Badgers Mount Sevenoaks Kent TN14 7AD

JUST 3 MINUTES FROM J4 / M25

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

FACILITIES AVAILABLE

AMPLE FREE PARKING

P

Award winning Farm Shop and Butchers

Please Book In Advance* *Please try your best to book in advance. At the time of creating this advertisement we are only able to accept coaches 30 people and no more than two coaches per day, therefore, forward planning is much appreciated. Thank you.

www.polhill.co.uk


Group Travel Today

passengers will experience consistently outstanding customer service from their friendly Crew. Group bookings with Stuart Line Cruises are bespoke, so please get in touch with their friendly team info@stuartlinecruises.co.uk 01395 222144 for more information.

Seaton Tramway

Brewing company ensures there’s a‘Swift Half’ on tap to celebrate new vessel

at Bowness. Founded in 2016 by Ryan Bailey and Liam Convey, the company has enjoyed success both locally and nationally, having won several awards including a SIBA National Silver award in the dark beers category, and boasts two CAMRA accolades.

A North West-based brewing company has launched a special beer to celebrate the arrival of Windermere Lake Cruises’ brand new boat, ‘MV Swift’. ‘Swift Bitter’ has been created using a new recipe by The Northern Monkey Brewing Company, and is available now at Boaters Bar

Ryan says, “The aims and ambitions of the Northern

Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon's glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life. The coastal resort of Seaton is now a gateway town to the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whilst the historic town of Colyton is described as "Devon's Most Rebellious Town" for its part in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. 2021 Tickets Currently Available Visitor favourites have returned with a few new events & experiences. More may be added soon. Please note all events & Experiences will be subject to Covid Restrictions at time of departure. The 2021 events currently available are: The Story Tram The Fairy Special The Dinosaur Tram Adventure The Pirate Tram! Days & Experiences Driver's Eye Experience Birdwatching Trips Tram Driving Lessons Mother’s Day Father's Day Easter They also offer a great selection of evening entertainment. For full details and to book please visit www.tram.co.uk

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Monkey Brew Company remain the same as the day we first started, which is to make great beer and take enormous pride in representing our Northern heritage. Windermere Lake Cruises fits perfectly with our love and respect for all things northern, and we’re really excited to be launching ‘Swift Bitter’, inspired by the launch of MV Swift.”


Unmissable coach tour destination in north Norfolk

River trips in the Broads National Park

Discover the Broads A cruise with us is the perfect way for your group or coach party to discover the Broads.

Spectacular colour, delicious homemade teas, plant stall

We offer: Generous group discounts Free coach parking adjacent to boarding points Live commentary, refreshments and licensed bar Manual wheelchair access on all boats – let us know if you’ll need this when you book Scheduled river trips are available from Easter - 31st October. At other times of the year we can arrange a special trip for your group (minimum numbers apply).

Open 1pm - 5pm all Sundays in May and midweek by appointment

Give us a call on 01603 782207 and we’ll help you arrange the perfect day out. Details of our safe sailing policy can be found on www.broadstours.co.uk

14-acre Rhododendron and Azalea gardens at Stody Lodge near Holt An expansive open-air site adhering to strict Covid -19 safety regulations ensuring a safe and enjoyable visit for all

Includes the magical Azalea Water Gardens - the UK’s largest planting of Azalea mollis Entrance is £8, no concessions

Please call 01263 863994 or email enquiries@stodyestate.co.uk for bookings www.stodylodgegardens.co.uk

Broads Tours The Bridge Wroxham NR12 8RX  HSPVQT!CSPBETDPVLXXXCSPBETUPVSTDPVL Get involved with us on social media



Invites you for a great day out for all the family. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the National Park. From an ideal position - in a narrow gauge steam train! Travel in one of our all-weather observation carriages behind a vintage steam locomotive to Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons. Trains run from February to the end of October and at Christmas. Enjoy our licensed tearooms, gift & souvenir shop, steam museum, lakeside cafe, picnic areas, children’s play area, model railway, locomotive workshop and restoration, special events, children’s birthday parties, free car and coach parking.

Brecon Mountain Railway, Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 2DD | Tel: 01685 722 988 | www.bmr.wales


Group Travel Today

and most dramatic rhododendron and azalea gardens in the country each May and, through their unique selection of commercial and residential properties, the opportunity to live and work in the beautiful Glaven Valley. The Estate also has extensive farming, conservation, forestry, water management and renewable operations as well as a strong commitment to education and local charities. Stody Lodge is renowned for its extensive collection of rhododendrons and azaleas which burst into spectacular colour each spring. A walk through its stunning four-acre Azalea Water Gardens, believed to be the largest single planting of brightlycoloured azalea mollis in the country (over 2,000 plants), is a truly unique experience. Stody Lodge Gardens will next open to the public in May 2021.

Sales and Marketing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Jennifer Cormack, says, “We’re really excited by the launch of Swift Bitter and delighted that MV Swift was the inspiration of this new beer. It was created by Ryan and his team and launched at the Boaters Bar in Bowness to celebrate our fantastic

traditional roots.” Vice Chair of Cumbria Tourism Dan Visser (pictured with Boaters Bar Manager Paige Murphy), adds, “This is another great example of very different businesses inspiring others to come up with something new and exciting. Windermere Lake Cruises has always set a

welcome this latest example of how one business is inspiring another, which has never been as important as it is right now.” Stody Estate Stody Estate, a family-run, diversified and ever-evolving estate located in the heart of

Private group visits are available by appointment Monday to Friday. Please contact 01263 863994 or email enquiries@stodyestate.co.uk for further visitor information or to make a booking.

Polhill Garden Centre Polhill Garden Centre in Kent is a family-owned and dayto-day run business with over 50 years of gardening experience. More than just a garden centre, Polhill is a family and a community; a great place to meet up with loved ones especially at their fantastic restaurants where guests are invited to relax, enjoy light snacks and afternoon teas.

investment for the future, and the traditionally-crafted ale perfectly reflects our own

great example by collaborating with other businesses and I certainly

North Norfolk’s finest rolling countryside. They offer visitors access to one of the largest

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Winner of multiple awards, there is truly something for everyone at their fantastic shopping village, whether you’re looking for the ideal garden furniture or need to find a last-minute gift. their brand new children’s play area features all-weather


s t R a i l w ay e r o F n a e D Steam Train Journeys most Wednesdays & Weekends throughout 2021 PLUS Cream Teas | Evening Dining Trains | Murder Mysteries Fish & Chip Suppers | Afternoon Teas options for private group hire available for evening trains 01594 845840 | www.deanforestrailway.co.uk | groupbookings@deanforestrailway.co.uk | Forest Road, Lydney, Glos. GL15 4ET

EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE AT THE WORLD-FAMOUS JODRELL BANK OBSERVATORY Open Monday - Sunday 10am - 5pm Discover the giant Lovell Telescope!

Photography by Craig Strong

Plus: Interactive exhibits and displays, 35 acres of gardens and arboretum, Planet Pavilion Cafe and gift shop, playground and picnic areas, year-round events and activities


Group Travel Today

surfaces with slides, climbing frames, go-karts, boats and crazy golf, meaning there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at Polhill; it’s truly a great day out for everyone. During the coronavirus pandemic, they have experienced various challenges that had to be overcome. One of these being the possibility of allowing coaches into their premises without over congesting certain areas and allowing social distancing. As a company, they are now in a place to begin accepting coaches back, albeit, slowly and in a safe way. For full details please visit www.polhill.co.uk

board the evening steam train ride through the forest. Santa Specials

Dean Forest Railway Enjoy a relaxing journey along the Dean Forest Railway behind one of their steam locomotives.Their 4 1/2-mile line runs through beautiful woodland and countryside, offering you a chance to experience the relaxing pace of a typical country branch line. With five stations along the way, you have time to explore the local area, taking in woodland walks and country pubs or venturing down to the Severn estuary to explore Lydney Harbour with its fantastic views across the Severn. Throughout the year they hold a number of special events and experiences which include: Murder Mystery on a Steam Train

Visit the Dean Forest Railway this Christmas for your chance to ride behind a real steam engine and visit with Santa and his elves! With presents for the children and a miniature for the adults…So whatever your group fancy this coming year there's bound to be something for all interests their volunteers work hard to ensure you have a great day out, for full details of upcoming events and experiences visit deanforestrailway.co.uk

The South Devon Railway has a great range of excursions designed for group travel operators, with something to suit groups of all kinds.

Evening Steam Beer Train Enjoy locally brewed beer on

At Buckfastleigh, there is a

Your evening starts at Norchard Station at 18:00. You are introduced to your suspects before travelling in style on board our steam train, with a two-course meal served on board.

Cathedral campus spans over 1000 years of history, from the early medieval craftsmanship still visible on the ruined Old Cathedral to the innovative 60’s design of Spence’s casket of jewels.

If you are looking for a range of easy to book options, the railway offers a great variety of entertainment at very attractive prices.

Your group will experience a warm welcome before embarking upon an engaging and informative tour from one of their expert guides, which will take in both buildings, their history, the story of the Coventry Blitz and the rebuilding of the Cathedral and the arts and architecture contained within.

This includes ‘3 Great Attractions, 1 Amazing Day’ joint tickets for the railway and the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, adjacent to the railway’s station at Totnes, and/or Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies, next to the station at Buckfastleigh. Other options include the Devon Boat Train, combining a steam train journey with a boat trip from Exmouth with Stuart Line Cruises and Trains and Caves with Kents Cavern in Torquay. More details are at www.southdevonrailway.co.u k, email trains@southdevonrailway.co. uk or call 01364 644370 for full details.

STEAM AND SCENERY IN BEAUTIFUL SOUTH DEVON

At its heart is a delightful 14mile return steam train journey along the valley of the river Dart, through some of Devon’s most beautiful and hidden countryside. The trains take you on a leisurely journey from Buckfastleigh, just off the A38, midway between Exeter and Plymouth, to Totnes and back again.

riverside walk and picnic area, gardens, museum and a well-stocked shop and refreshment rooms. There is plenty of coach parking with easy, flat access to the platform.

Coventry Cathedral 2021 will see Coventry’s turn in the spotlight as ‘City of Culture’ and Coventry Cathedral will be right at the heart of the action.Perfectly placed in the city centre, the

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Coventry is easily reached by rail and road networks, and sits alongside some of Coventry’s other visitor attractions so you can really make a day of it! They can cater for groups of any size and they'd love to welcome yours. www.coventrycathedral.org.uk

Vale of Rheidol Railway

Are you looking for a group activity next year? The Vale of Rheidol Railway re-creates the Edwardian spirit of adventure. Step aboard one of their restored steam trains for 12 miles of some of the most breath-taking scenery


West Somerset Railway

VISIT CHURCHILL’S ‘STRONGEST LINK’

Experience Britain’s most famous fighter station, and discover the unique stories of the men and women who served and lived there, at the place it all happened. www.bhmm.org.uk

STEAM TRAINS TO THE SEASIDE

Between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead

20 miles of steam train travel through the countryside and along the coast. Places of interest include Dunster with its Castle, Cleeve Abbey in Washford, the historic harbour town of Watchet and Minehead beach.

A great day out for all the family

For more details contact us today on 01643 704996 or visit us at

WWW.WEST-SOMERSET-RAILWAY.CO.UK

Photos courtesy of Visit Somerset & Don Bishop

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Book onlinne:: www.rheidolrailwaay..co.uk or caall us 01970 625 819 8


Group Travel Today

in Mid Wales. Since opening in 1902, millions have enjoyed the scenic trip as you travel through wide-open meadows, woodland and rugged mountain scenery. The narrow track gauge allows the railway to follow the contours of the terrain with many sharp curves and steep gradients which add to the railway’s charm. Listen to the sound of a powerful narrow gauge steam locomotive working hard to climb 700ft (200m) during the 12 miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. Birds of prey such as Red Kite and Buzzards are regularly seen soaring high above the valley floor and breathtaking views can be enjoyed by all. Whether it’s a relaxing day out or a heart-pumping trek around the amazing waterfalls in Devil’s Bridge, the Vale of Rheidol Railway is a great place to visit. All trains will run from the new Edwardian style Great Western Heritage Station constructed as part of the station’s £1.6 million development project. Coach parking is free at their terminal car parks with plenty of access and space. Currently closed due to the

Covid-19 pandemic they will re-open in March 2021 for all the latest news visit www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

celebrate 35 years, but meanwhile we have made the ‘Airedale Bucket List’. You can travel with us from Lands End to John O’Groats on one tour, island hop around the Hebrides, cross the Arctic Circle to the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’ by train or cruise ship, or we can even charter your group’s own small ship, cruising Croatia’s Adriatic islands. It is a deliberately tantalising collection. After all, after 2020 we all need something exciting to look forward to next year. And to prepare for the time when we are back travelling again we wanted to show Group Travel Organisers that Airedale really can take your group anywhere; the world is your oyster!”

Airedale marks 35 years with a 2021 brochure and new tours galore. Airedale Tours has launched its 2021 brochure and biggest ever programme, with over 40 new tour ideas for groups in the UK, Europe and beyond. Commercial Director Rob Carroll told us, “It has been a tough year for those of us whose passion is travel, but we look forward to better times with this expanded brochure. All the Airedale Favourites are there, but we have augmented our selection to include exciting events, ‘Glorious Gardens’ tours in conjunction with the National Garden Scheme and even a series of ‘Taste Sensations’, where you can taste tapas on the Andalusian coast, make pasta at a hands-on cookery class in the Tuscan hills, or sample the wines of the Wolds whilst staying at a Yorkshire castle.”

For your copy of Airedale’s 2021 brochure call 01924 276135 or email info@airedaletours.co.uk

Broads Tours Everyone should see the Norfolk Broads! And the best way to appreciate the Broads is from the water with AwardWinning Visitor Attraction, Broads Tours of Wroxham.

Managing Director Linda Schulz added, “We are so grateful to our loyal customers for supporting us through 2020, with many groups rebooked already for next year. We are planning a number of special events to

Choose a Broads Tours river trip, sit back and do it in style

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with entertaining live commentary, light refreshments and a licensed bar. Alternatively, pack a picnic, hire one of their day boats, and enjoy the freedom of doing your own thing. Their fleet of passenger trip boats offers a fabulous opportunity to discover the Norfolk Broads. A full commentary from the skipper will ensure you don’t miss a thing, explaining the origins of the Broads, identifying points of interest along the way and showing you the abundance of local water birds as they come into view. Of course, during the pandemic, to get their Broads boat trips up and running again, they have had to make some changes. Dependant on availability you will be able to book a section of the passenger trip boat suited to the size of your party, up to 8 at this present time, as we go into 2021 this will be reviewed to run a near-normal service and experience. For full details and to book, please visit www.broadstours.co.uk


A place for quiet re ection in 2020

...and a chance to get out of your house and safely explore

We’re good to go for visits this year ...and roll on 2021 for our City of Culture


Heart of Scotland

Group Travel Today

Scotland a mist-shrouded land of mountains, fells lochs and lakes. Think golf, hiking, fishing, falconry and the water of life, let's go!

Glamis Castle Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372, the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret. Glamis Castle is currently closed due to Covid -19 but you are able to purchase a virtual tour to enjoy from the comfort of your own home for only £8.50 for full details and to book a tour please visit www.glamis-castle.co.uk

Dunvegan Castle Any visit to the Isle of Skye is incomplete without enjoying the wealth of history on offer at Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years.

Originally designed as a fortress to keep people out, the castle was first opened to visitors in 1933 and has become one of Skye’s most famous award-winning 5* visitor attractions. On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred Banner has magical powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Another of the castle’s great treasures is the Dunvegan Cup, a unique

visitors including Sir Walter Scott, Dr Johnson and Queen Elizabeth II and they look forward to welcoming you.

‘mazer’ dating back to the Middle Ages. It was gifted by the O’Neils of Ulster as a token of thanks to one of the clan’s most celebrated Chiefs, Sir Rory Mor, for his support of their cause against the marauding forces of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1596.

www.dunvegancastle.com

Today visitors can enjoy tours of an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take a clinker boat trip to see the seal colony, enjoy an appetising meal at the MacLeod Tables Cafe or browse in one of its four shops offering a wide choice to suit everyone.

Over time, they have given a warm Highland welcome to

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You can also browse their online shop which is full of fantastic products ideal presents for Christmas and birthdays. They are confident that they will be open in Spring 2021 where Glamis Castle will welcome groups to experience a full day of history, beautiful scenery, great gift shopping and a meal in their restaurant.


A WARM HIGHLAND WELCOME FOR GROUPS AT SKYE’S 5* HERITAGE ATTRACTION • FIVE ACRES OF FORMAL GARDENS & WOODLAND WALKS TO EXPLORE • AWARD WINNING BOAT TRIPS TO SEE THE LOCH DUNVEGAN SEAL COLONY • HOMEMADE FRESHLY PREPARED FOOD AT MACLEOD TABLES CAFE WHICH SEATS OVER 72 • THREE FABULOUS SHOPS WITH A RANGE OF HIGH QUALITY SCOTTISH GIFTS • DEDICATED COACH PARKING

FR 2h

RS U ed TO end ED omm ID rec U e G ll tim EEr dwe

OPEN: 1 APRIL - 15 OCTOBER 10AM - 5.30PM (LAST ENTRY 5PM) DUNVEGAN CASTLE, ISLE OF SKYE IV55 8WF T: +44 (0) 1470 521206 E: INFO@DUNVEGANCASTLE.COM WWW.DUNVEGANCASTLE.COM

Spectacular state rooms t 'BNPVT#FMHJBO UBQFTUSJFTtGuided castle tours • Walled gardens Glasshouses open to the public Formal Millennium Garden • Gift shop 5FSSBDF $BGĂ?and Deli Shop • Cafes • WalkstCycle trail • Adventure playground Annual passes available Castle & Grounds open daily from UI"QSJMoUI4FQUFNCFS October (weekends only) Walled Garden and Terrace CafĂŠ open daily all year round Always check the website for updates, event news and Castle closures.

Floors Castle | Kelso | TD5 7SF | 01573 223333 | www.floorscastle.com


Group Travel Today

and Guides on each floor to answer your questions. Guided tours are available and are subject to availability - therefore, advance booking is necessary. Tours take approximately 1 hour. For full details please visit www.inveraray-castle.com

Gretna Gateway Outlet Village offers a tax-free shopping experience with iconic British brands such as Clarks and Radley London as well as designer favourites Polo Ralph Lauren, BOSS and Nike, all with up to 60% off the recommended retail price.

DESIGNER DISCOUNTS AT GRETNA GATEWAY OUTLET VILLAGE

There is a dedicated on-site coach park for group trips. Coach drivers and tour guides will also benefit from Gretna Gateway’s coach driver incentive, including a food voucher and gift cards from £21 per 2 hours stay. These gift cards can be used in any of their stores on site or sign up to their Savings Account and top up every time you visit Gretna Gateway Outlet Village.

Conveniently located just minutes from the M6 and M74 on the border between Scotland and England, Gretna Gateway Outlet Village is a designer outlet boasting world-leading brands in over 50 stores and restaurants. An ideal stopping point for groups, Gretna Gateway is the first shopping centre as you head into Scotland, on a direct route to both Glasgow and Edinburgh and just 30 minutes away from the Lake District National Park.

Inverary Castle Inveraray Castle, home of the Dukes of Argyll and the seat of the Clan Campbell. Inveraray Castle is first and foremost a family home, its very existence reflects the part played by the Campbells in the rich tapestry of Scottish and British History. The contents of the Castle span many generations of the family and will give you a glimpse of their heritage and the way their ancestors lived. The Inverary Castle season

www.gretnagateway.com

comes to an end this October, but make 2021 the year that you and your group visit this beautiful castle and family home.

Inveraray Castle & Gardens

Groups

1st April - 31st October 10am-5pm A 20% discount is available on groups of 20 or more persons, special arrangements can be made for school parties, details will be provided on application.

Gr Grou Gro Group Bookings B Bo Boo Book Booki Bookin Booking available out with these dates and times by request Gift Gi Shop S Sh Sho and Tear T Tearoom Tearoo Tearo Tea e with group lunch options available Dis D Discount Discoun Discou Disco Disc i available for groups, please enquire: 01499 302551 or headguide@inveraray-castle.com

Castle Tours Tours of the Castle are selfguided, with guide cards

Inveraray Castle, Inveraray, Argyll PA32 8XF

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FI FIN FIND US U AT A DG16 5GG | GRETNAGATEWAY.COM


Group Travel Today

We’re Open & Good to Go

These venues are open and most definitely good to go, all they need now is you and your group.

Holidays makes it easy to get away from home with allinclusive trips to many popular holiday destinations, including Kendal, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Eastbourne, Llandudno, Newquay, Torquay, and the Isle of Wight. For over 40 years, the UK has relied on them to provide the best domestic holidays with clean, comfortable hotel accommodations and firstrate coach transportation. Book a Group Holiday Why not arrange a group holiday and enjoy a wellorganised break with your extended family, club or

Rediscover England’s First Cathedral No visit to Kent is complete without exploring the wonderful Canterbury Cathedral – UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Founded by St Augustine in 597AD, Canterbury is England’s First Cathedral. A site of pilgrimage for centuries, the Cathedral welcomes visitors from across the world, introducing them to the array of treasures within, from stunning medieval stained glass to beautiful stonework. The Cathedral’s history spans over 1,400 years, telling thrilling stories that have shaped England, King Henry IV and the Black Prince are

society? They can tailormake a coach holiday to any of their hotels on whichever dates best suit you. Groups travelling to Daish’s hotels come in many shapes and sizes from smaller groups of 15 joining an existing Daish’s tour in one of their usual pick-up areas to whole hotel bookings. Groups can travel to Daish’s hotels using their fleet of coaches or using their own coach. We have even welcomed Vintage Car clubs using their own Vintage cars and motorcycles. www.daishs.com

We Look Forward to Welcoming Your Group

entombed here - and 2020 marks the 850th anniversary of St Thomas Becket’s murder in the Cathedral. A new Visitor Centre, Viewing Gallery, shop and exhibition spaces are opening this year, and – subject to Government guidance on coronavirus groups will soon be able to book private guided visits, ‘behind the scenes’ tours to learn more about the Cathedral’s world-leading conservation work, and even exclusive private evening events. There has never been a better time to include a visit in your itinerary.

UNESCO World Heritage site Over 1,400 years of history to discover

canterbury-cathedral.org www.canterbury-cathedral.org melodie.robson@canterbury-cathedral.org

Daish’s If you’ve ever wanted to take a coach holiday in the UK, now’s the time. Daish’s

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N O W 21 NO 20 LE SA

GREAT FOR

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.

FREE

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 10 fantastic hotels spread across 9 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 daishs.com Isle of Wight Blackpool

facebook.com/daishsholidaysforgroups Newquay

Bournemouth Llandudno

Torquay

Lake District

@daishs4groups Weymouth Scarborough


Group Travel Today

chocolatey treats at The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop located onsite. Discounted entry rates are available for groups of 15 or more with free onsite coach parking available and complimentary admission for one driver. Groups of 20 or more also receive free admission for the group organiser. In line with government guidelines, Cadbury World has introduced a number of additional hygiene and safety measures. These include reducing the numbers of guests admitted, social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning regimes, plus hand sanitising stations available. A day choc-full of festive fun at Cadbury World Cadbury World is inviting guests to step into a winter wonderland with a chocolatey twist this Christmas as it opens its doors for a memorable day that’s choc-full of festive fun.

enchanting pantomime Sleeping Beauty returns on weekends in the run up to the big day, as well as 27th30th December. All entertainment is included in the standard admission price. Groups can also stock up on souvenirs, gifts and handcrafted festive

On weekends and selected dates across November and December, Santa will take centre stage in the deerlightful Santa Show and provide a gift for every little helper in attendance. The Bournville-based attraction is also providing a sweet treat for visitors as

For more information on group visits to Cadbury World, please visit www.cadburyworld.co.uk/sc hools-and-groups or call 0121 393 6004.

Visit the award winning Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in the heart of South Shropshire where you can meet the Shropshire mammoth and see a panoramic film over the Shropshire Hills in the new and improved Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition.

Home of Caithness Glass

Explore 30 acres of meadows, with all ability access paths, and enjoy delicious local cakes and lunches, all made from scratch on the premises in the licensed cafe. 01588 676060 Just off the A49 in Craven Arms info@shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk

Crieff Visitor Centre is a popular visitor attraction set in the heart of the beautiful Perthshire countryside on the outskirts of Crieff. It is easily accessible from all directions and has extensive FREE coach parking. Enjoy meandering around our Gift Shop, Garden Centre, Antique and Art Gallery, before experiencing the wonderful homemade food on offer in our spacious 180-seater Restaurant. Enjoy breakfast, morning coffee and cake, lunch or an afternoon treat. We welcome coach parties all-year round.

£5 coach driver voucher to spend in the café. Quote code GTT20. Expires 30/06/21. *please bring this advert to redeem o er.

Muthill Road, Crieff PH7 4HQ (A822). Tel: 01764 654014 E info@crieff.co.uk Open 7 days from 9am - 5pm

www.crieff.co.uk

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Group Travel Today

London Guide for Groups

The world’s greatest city (although we would say that, perhaps we’re a little bias) needs little introduction, other than to say that whatever type of day out, short break or holiday you are after, if you can’t find it here it doesn’t exist. Royel Opera House Whether you're new to ballet and opera or you've loved them all your life, they have something for you. It's not just about opera and ballet you’ll be amazed at what other activities are available, here we showcase a few. Their doors are open every day from 10 am. Grab a coffee, enjoy a meal, join a workshop, glimpse backstage or catch a performance.

atmosphere at the home of The Royal Opera. Crafternoons Work with the talented crafts people of the Royal Opera House to learn new skills using real materials, tools, processes to make ballet- or opera-themed pieces that you can keep.

JERSEY BOYS is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

Tea Dance

The delicious feast will cater for a variety of dietary requirements and will also feature live performances by a Royal Ballet pianist

Tango, waltz and quickstep around the stunning Paul Hamlyn Hall at one of their Tea Dances. Come dancing and cha-cha-cha along to the Royal Opera House Dance Band, in beautiful surroundings that combine grandeur and elegance. Dances run through the Season, and tickets include complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.

Sing at the Royal Opera House

For full details visit www.roh.org.uk

All ages and abilities are welcome to join in and sing in an opera chorus. Bring your friends, family and colleagues and explore some of the world's biggest tunes in a fun and lively

Jersey Boys

How about a Swan Lakethemed Afternoon Tea?

new multi-million pound reinstated Trafalgar Theatre, with a new, larger auditorium and stage (formerly known as Trafalgar Studios), on Wednesday 21 April 2021, following previews from 14 April. Tickets are now on sale.

Trafalgar Theatre 14 Whitehall London SW1A 2DY Performances: Between 14 April & 31 May:

The beloved Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning smash hit musical JERSEY BOYS returns to London’s West End, opening at the

42

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm with no matinee on Thursday 15 and 22 April 2 June onwards: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm with no performance on Tuesday evening Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm Sunday 4pm Tickets: from £19.50 Box Office: 0844 871 7632


ROYAL OPERA HOUSE TOURS BACKSTAGE TOUR Visit Backstage at one of the world’s leading theatres COVENT GARDEN LEGENDS AND LANDMARKS TOUR Step back into history and discover about the Royal Opera House and the legends of London’s Theatre Land in and around Covent Garden PRODUCTION PARK TOUR Discover the fascinating world of the craftspeople who create stunning costumes, scenery and sets VELVET, GILT AND GLAMOUR TOUR Enjoy a 45 minute tour of the auditorium BOOK TODAY Group rates available +44(0)20 7304 4002 Group catering quotes restaurants@roh.org.uk roh.org.uk/tours


Group Travel Today

Awesome Accommodation

Whatever filters your group do or do not wish to include, you’re sure to get a perfect night’s sleep and these fabulous hostelries.

Skiddaw Hotel A warm and welcoming atmosphere awaits you in the four-star Skiddaw Hotel this festive season. Located in the heart of the picturesque market town of Keswick, the Skiddaw Hotel is the ideal hub to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Lake District while experiencing the joys of Christmas.Although you will find the welcome you recieve just as warm at any other time of the year. The hotel has recently undergone a full ground floor refurbishment in January 2020, revealing a contemporary interior that oozes style. The new look is made even more impressive by spectacular Christmas displays and twinkling lights that span the hotel both inside and out.

They can offer 64 en-suite bedrooms, which are constantly being updated, many have Sea Views, Balconies, Air Conditioning, and or King Size Beds. leisure facilities Include Indoor and Outdoor Heated Swimming Pools, Tennis Court, Table Tennis, Snooker and a Fitness Room. The hotel also has a 323 square metre, Ballroom one of the largest in the southwest.

72071 email sales.skiddawhotel@lakedistri cthotels.net or go to www.lakedistricthotels.net/sk iddawhotel

The Langstone Cliff Hotel The Langstone Cliff Hotel was originally a lodge for the Earl of Devon and is situated in 19 acres of Devon woodland overlooking the sea and Exe estuary approximately 25 minutes from Exeter and 30 minutes from Torbay.With good access to the M5 and A30. There is ample onsite parking for cars and coaches. There is a coach stop outside the hotel gates and Dawlish Warren station is approximately 400 metres away.

They also offer a range of Holistic and Beauty Therapies and have a Hairdressing Salon. The Lincoln Bar is open all day and offers a wide range of food and drink which can be enjoyed in the spacious lounges or on the Verandah

The award-winning AA Rosette restaurant, Brasserie 31, provides an unforgettable dining experience through imaginative, seasonal menus – each with a festive twist throughout November and December. Whether you’re in the mood for a festive lunch or dinner, or fancy trying the Yuletide Hiker’s Afternoon Board – a savoury twist on the traditional afternoon tea – there’s something to suit all appetites at the Skiddaw Hotel. The 43 en suite bedrooms all include tea and coffee making facilities and flat screen TVs. Free coach parking nr Booths supermarket (min numbers apply). For more information, call Sales Manager on 017687

44

overlooking the sea. The Lincoln Restaurant is open every day for Breakfast and Dinner. Their number one priority is the safety of 46 guests, and to that end, they will be following government guidelines and regulations. Their current policies regarding the general operation of the hotel and its facilities will be reviewed regularly, with the latest government advice implemented as soon as it is practical. To book visit: www.langstone-hotel.co.uk


Your Welcoming Place By the Sea

• • • • • •

Superb Sea Views Bars & Restaurants Snacks, Lunches, Dinners FREE Wi-Fi Extensive Grounds Heated Indoor & Outdoor Pools

• • • • • •

320sq Metre Sprung Floor Ballroom Fitness Room Tennis Table Tennis (Indoor & Outdoor) Snooker 64 En-Suite Bedrooms

• • • • • •

Air Conditioned Bedrooms Available King Size Beds Available Entertainment Hairdressing Beauty & Holistic Therapies FREE Car & Coach Parking

Telephone 01626 868000

Mount Pleasant Road, Dawlish Devon EX7 0NA

www.langstone-hotel.co.uk

@LangstoneCliff

langstonecliffhotel

RELAX IN THE LAKE DISTRICT

The four star Skiddaw Hotel, in the centre of Keswick, is the ideal base to explore the Lake District and all it has to offer. After receiving a full ground floor refurbishment in 2020, this charming hotel is perfect for a relaxing short break, meal stops and much more!

• Lunches & light snacks • Evening meals • 43 en-suite bedrooms • FREE meal or stay for your driver (T&C’s apply) • FREE coach parking nearby • Convenient for the M6

To book call 017687 72071 or email sales.skiddawhotel@lakedistricthotels.net

Main Street, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5BN

www.lakedistricthotels.net/skiddawhotel


Group Travel Today

North East

Sandy beaches, castles and portcullises, miles and miles of natural terrain that's divided and dominated by Hadrian’s Wall, but also includes 3 vibrant and cosmopolitan cities and of course the birthplace of Ant and Dec who it would appear we can't get enough of. and picturesque villages of Ford and Etal, this privatelyowned country estate offers a fabulous day out for groups visiting Northumberland or the Scottish Borders. An area rich in history, Ford & Etal can be found in the far north of Northumberland, a stone’s throw from the Scottish Border and within easy reach of Berwick-uponTweed and the Northumbrian coast. It is home to a multitude of attractions, tearooms, antiques, gift and craft shops and the only thatched pub in Northumberland, set amid beautiful countryside with stunning views towards the Cheviot Hills and into Scotland.

Welcome Back to Bamburgh Castle Experience Northumberland at a different level with a visit to magnificent Bamburgh Castle, England’s finest coastal castle. Towering 150 feet above the coast with outstanding sea views, come and explore nine acres of unique Northumberland with a history dating back thousands of years..

Your safety and the welfare of their team is their top priority. VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ standard approved, they've lots of measures in place so you can enjoy a visit to Bamburgh Castle with confidence while still enjoying an unforgettable day out in Northumberland.

To ensure safe social distancing Bamburgh Castle is open with restricted visitor numbers. Pre book tickets While limited tickets will be available to buy on the day you can purchase pre booked advance tickets online to get fastrack access. Please note that it is not possible to pre book times. Check their website These are new times for all,they'll continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and update you with any changes to their plans on their website and on social media. For full details please visit www.bamburghcastle.com Ford & Etal - The Hidden Gem of North Northumberland Centred round the peaceful

46

Their attractions, activity providers, accommodation and hospitality venues are all open and welcoming visitors, and they would like to thank everyone who has visited so far and has been respectful of all the Covid-19 safety measures that they have in place. The Estates host a variety of events throughout the year, so whatever you and your group are interested in there is something for everyone. For a full list of events and attractuions visit www.fordand-etal.co.uk


Ford & Etal

One destination, over 20 attractions Northumberland’s hidden gem – a unique country Estate with picturesque villages and historic attractions amid stunning countryside. • FREE coach parking • DISCOUNTED group rates • FREE admission for driver and group leader • FREE pre-visits for Group Travel Organisers • Bespoke itineraries, tours and talks • Local foods, arts and crafts • Traditional tearooms • Within easy access of A1 and A697 • Close to Scottish border and Northumberland coast

01890 820338 tourism@ford-and-etal.co.uk www.ford-and-etal.co.uk Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland TD12 4TJ


Group Get-Aways

Group Travel Today

Time to talk travel,these tour operators offer some of the best holidays around, they take the organistion out of Group Travel, so sit back and take the credit wherever your group choose to go. country, so you can still enjoy everything you love about a Riviera group holiday - just a little bit closer to home.

Norman Allen Group Travel With Covid Insurance You’re Good to Go With tours returning to the road Norman Allen Group Travel (NAGT) are pleased to share good news with clients. The award winning tour operator and wholesaler is now accredited as Good to Go in addition to offering a passenger insurance policy to include cover for covid 19. All travel insurance, purchased through NAGT now includes cover for covid 19 at no extra charge. All passengers who have already purchased travel insurance from NAGT will have their policy upgraded to include covid 19 cover at no extra charge. Passengers do not need to contact NAGT as all policies will be automatically upgraded with any required paperwork distributed in due course via group travel organisers. Full details of the improved cover are available on request. Commercial Manager, Andy Holmes, commented, “We are pleased to see that our

suppliers continue to support us in offering travel solutions to groups in times which have tested us all. This move is another important step in helping group travel organisers plan for the future beyond covid 19.” NAGT is an Appointed Representative of ITC Compliance Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their firm reference is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts.

information supplied to departing groups will include details of the covid 19 compliant measures in place for all hotels, coaches and excursion venues that form part of the tour itinerary. Commercial Manager, Andy Holmes, commented, “We believe this scheme to be a positive industry message enabling groups to travel with confidence in the knowledge that measures are in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday.” E-mail info@group-travel.com

Norman Allen Group Travel are also pleased to announce the company’s membership of Visit England’s “We’re Good to Go” Industry Standard Acquiring the Industry Standard mark means that Norman Allen Group Travel have followed government and industry covid 19 guidelines, have a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Everything you love about a Riviera holiday on your doorstep Whatever the weather, our passion for travel shines on, and our love of discovering, exploring and learning about somewhere new is as strong as it’s ever been. With this in mind, Riviera Travel are proud to unveil a brand new collection of UK tours to some of the most spectacular regions within our very own historic and beautiful

In support of this, final

48

The seven fascinating new tours include four classic itineraries and three Walk & Discover style holidays, to fully immerse you in the history and culture of the area. Explore the magnificently rugged coastline and picturepostcard fishing villages of Cornwall, the unspoilt, tranquil beauty of the Norfolk Broads or the spectacular wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Hear the echoes of Belfast’s turbulent past as you wander its historic streets, soak in the atmosphere of Norwich’s medieval heart and take an exhilarating ride on the Jacobite train along one of the most scenic steam railways in the world. Walk in the footsteps of our forebears as you uncover treasures of the British Isles on foot, with the three new UK Walk & Discover holidays. See the iconic dramatic peaks of Snowdonia, be enchanted by the quirky charm of picturesque Portmeirion, the rugged meadows and clear waters of the Lake District or the romantically wild moors of North Yorkshire. Immerse yourself in the echoes of our own history as you wander the elegant streets of Harrogate, or the twisting cobbled lanes of York. The inspirational UK escorted tours collection, new for 2021, include the very best of Britain and Northern Island, the Riviera way. Where will you go with your group? For group enquiries call 01283 742 322, visit rivieragroups.co.uk or email groups@rivieratravel.co.uk.


Discover the Jewels of the British I sles

NEW FOR 2021: UK TOURS

From the picturesque fishing villages of Cornwall and Yorkshire’s coastal roads to the enchanting Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland’s maritime heritage, discover the best of British on our brand new UK tours. The seven fascinating new tours include four classic itineraries and three Walk & Discover style holidays, to fully immerse your group in the history and culture of the area.

Reassuringly Riviera:

Because you mean the world to us

We understand that recent changes to the way we travel mean you need that extra bit of confidence to book a holiday again. That’s why we have introduced a policy to allow you to change your booking for free up to 45 days before you travel when you book a new UK, European or Worldwide escorted tour or river cruise by 18 December, 2020.

• Change your booking for free up to 45 days before travel • COVID cancellation protection as standard

• Happy by day two or we’ll bring you home with a refund • 24-hour UK-based assistance throughout your holiday

Call 01283 742322 rivieragroups.co.uk

Contact our groups team: groups@rivieratravel.co.uk

Don’t forget to mention your ‘Group Travel Today Dec 2020’ when you call or book

s

Riviera Travel, New Manor, 328 Wetmore Road, Burton on Trent, Staffs, DE14 1SP. ABTA V4744 and ATOL 3430 protected. Some elements are not commissionable, including room/ travel upgrades and supplements, insurance premiums and bookings made through a third party (to include travel agents, online booking sites or any dedicated media partner departures) and any bookings where less than 10 people travel. The commission will be paid back to the group leader, for all that travel on any holiday/cruise booked from our programme. A commission invoice will be requested from the group leader in the month following that of the departure, for all that travel, and payment is usually made within 28 days of receipt of invoice. Free amend up to 45 days before departure is only valid for entirely new bookings made between 1st September and 18th December 2020 and can only be used once.

ABTA No. V4744


Group Travel Today

Ireland

So you’ve been thinking about taking your group to Ireland, that’s great, you’re going to have a great time, you can expect the welcome you receive to be as vociferous, voluminous and verbose as ever. Newbridge Silverware You will not have a more intriguing experience anywhere else.... The Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre is a contemporary shopper's paradise, highly recommended on the tourist trail of Ireland's Ancient East. The Visitor Centre houses the complete range of Newbridge Silverware products and incorporates the award-winning Café Carleton, the famous Museum of Style Icons and the unique guided Factory Tour which is currently closed due to Covid -19 however, The Lifestyle store, Museum of Style Icons and Café Carleton are open at the Visitor Centre.

finest crystal continues to be made by skilled craftsmen at the Waterford Crystal factory situated in the heart of Waterford City, in Ireland’s Ancient East. A significant tourist attraction, the House of Waterford Crystal welcomes 210,000 visitors annually from across the world.

accuracy, and they are then cut, sculpted and engraved.

On the tour, visitors witness mould making – a technique at Waterford that has remained unchanged throughout the centuries, as the Master Blowers shape the

While getting this behind the scenes sneak peak of this highly skilled method of crystal manufacturing, visitors also see the high standards that the Waterford Crystal has for each piece that leaves the factory. The crystal is inspected at each stage of production, so each piece goes through six inspections, and if it fails to reach the Waterford Crystal standards at any stage it is smashed and returned to the

molten crystal flawlessly with the use of wooden moulds and hand tools. The next part of the tour is truly magical, as visitors enter the blowing department where they see glowing balls of crystal transformed into majestic shapes as they are put through the 1300-degree furnace. The Waterford Crystal pieces are then hand marked for precision and

furnace to be re-melted so that the piece can be started again. Visitors next witness the cutting department. The Master Cutter must rely on his own skill to judge the amount of pressure that is required to hold the crystal to the wheel; too much pressure will cause a cut through to the other side. Their craftsmen have trained for a minimum of 8

years to master their craft. They are responsible for giving each piece the clear and sparkling cut that is the distinctive hallmark of Waterford. The final stages of the tour are the engraving and sculpting departments. Master Sculptors at Waterford work three dimensionally, using their skill to sculpt the desired piece from solid blocks of crystal. Days, weeks and even months can pass before a sculpted piece is completed. The type of

NOW OPEN - NEW ARTISAN FOOD HALL Shop their new artisan food hall, with an emphasis on high-quality produce. Indulge yourself with a coffee to go brewed for you by Ground Control Coffee Co. Enjoy their beautiful gardens with optional covered seating. Perfect for a leisurely weekend. Exclusive Autumn Discount Package Enjoy an unforgettable shopping experience at Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre and Kildare Village with an exclusive package offering unmissable savings at 100 fashion and lifestyle boutiques and exclusive benefits to enhance your shopping experience. visitnewbridgesilverware.com

House of Waterford Crystal A luxury collection of the

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copper wheel engraving used at Waterford is called 'Intaglio', which means reverse. It can take from hours to days to complete the engraving on international sporting trophies and limited-edition inspiration pieces. For full details and to book please visit www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com


See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal manufactured before your eyes Guided Factory Tours Daily

C: +353 (0) 51 317000 E: houseofwaterfordcrystal@fiskars.com W: www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com


NEW

more rooms open and ‘new’ furnishings

Athelhampton HOUSE & GARDENS

The perfect destination in Dorset for your Group. Athelhampton is one of England’s finest Tudor Manor Houses set in inspiring historic gardens. 12 acres of formal gardens over 16 historic rooms to view

Excellent visitor facilities, including tea room, restaurant & gift shop. Pre-book for discounted group rates & tours. Ample Free Coach Parking.

Easily found, just off the A35 / A31 between Dorchester & Poole / Ringwood Athelhampton House, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7LG 01305 848363

groups@athelhampton.co.uk www.athelhampton.co.uk

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