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Check out our
Did you know In this issue
We focus on Glorious
Yorkshire is big?
land of the little Dragons
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Staycation Great British
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23 E 20 AL & NS 22 O 20 W NO
Groups Why not join the hundreds of groups that travel with us every year and discover all the benefits of Daish’s Holidays for yourself.
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Get in touch with us Today! Call 01202 638 841 or visit daishs.com
Isle of Wight
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This is the year of the Staycation! Northern Ireland Apart from fun, fun, and more fun, according to our Irish hosts, British groups cannot enough of activities and attractions. So, when you bring your band of brothers and sisters to Ireland, you can expect to engage fully with a whole host of tours and heritage.
Yorkshire is big. Very big. So big that it makes all other counties seem tiny, this is not surprising, as it has the largest area of national parkland in the UK, historic houses aplenty, charming towns and villages and of course proper tea!
Wales Cardiff and Swansea, and Wrexham and Llandudno. Snowdon mountains and the Brecon Beacons, three national parks, five areas of outstanding natural beauty, two languages over 400 castles and only 3 million people, which means they can squeeze a few more in.
Scotland From Highland peaks to Lowland shores, whether your interested in extreme sports, or the softer side of adventure, Scotland has it all, the size of the country makes it so easy to combine a more traditional holiday or city break with an element of adventure. All this and whisky galore!
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Happy traveling Nigel
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Contents Page 6. Northern Ireland Bring your group to journey along the stunning shorelines nestled between the sparkling waters of the Irish Sea and spectacular Strangford Lough. Page 18. Yorkshire Simon Walton finds out that the Alaska of the UK may be big, north and cold in winter but, like its galactic counterpart it is … mainly harmless. Page 22. Wales The Land of the Little Dragons Wales is a playground of natural splendour. It’s also a fantastic area for indoor explorations. Page 31. Inspirational Scotland Tour your group through the majestic, unique, unforgettable nature of Caledonia.
Page 34. Editors Choice A round up of our editors pick for this issue Page 37. Devon Supplement Whether you’re looking for adventure, experiences, accommodation, somewhere to grab a traditional cream tea or to see what events are taking place during your visit, you can find everything you need in Devon.
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Lukasz Pajor Shutterstock
Lukasz Pajor Shutterstock Jiang Shutterstock
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Northern Ireland So you’ve been thinking about finally taking your group to Ireland. That’s great news, and you’re going to have a great time.
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Ulster and Beyond Around Northern Ireland
dismissed: they still have mastery of the Glens, allegedly. It’s advisable to say hello to the little people before you pass over one of their bridges and give due respect to thorn trees, for you never know who may be living just underneath its spiky branches. Housing is obviously at a premium in this part of Ulster.
befell Colonel John Magee McNeille and his coachman and horses in 1898 when the notoriously fickle Lough overfilled the road and drowned them all.
A long and leisurely tour to Londonderry, the famous walled city, would take you from the bustling shops of Belfast, out of the big city, and into the drama of Ulster’s Causeway Coast, one of the most spectacular routes in the British Isles. With the Irish Sea to the east, and the rolling glens inland to the west, it’s no surprise that heritage, culture and visitor attractions abound. Ruins of ancient churches and castles stud the landscape, while cliﬀs and shorelines, islands like the National Trust’s Rathlin, and the unique Giant’s Causeway, also in the care of the NT, make up the seaward side enchantment. From the outskirts of Belfast, just a few miles along Newtownabbey’s Loughshore, is the pretty seaside town of Carrickfergus. Overlooking the marina is Ireland’s oldest and best preserved Norman Castle built in the twelfth century as a defence against marauders. Travel onwards to the busy commercial centre and ferry-port of Larne, where from the tip of the peninsular Islandmagee, dazzling views of the Scottish coast unfolding across the North Channel.
The town of Cushendall, the ‘capital of the Glen’, with its unique town-centre tower house is well worth a meander, before moving on to Cushendun, a relaxing ‘time-capsule’ village of pretty Cornish-style cottages owned by the National Trust.
Head further west, to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway, a wonderful honeycomb of almost 40,000 mainly hexagonal volcanic columns, packed together from the cliﬀs right down and into the sea and echoed again on Staﬀa and the west coast of Scotland. The folklore would have you believe that the giant Finn McCool built the causeway as a road to meet a Scottish enemy, and it’s told in detail in the National Trust visitor centre. After all that, take a steam train ride a few miles to Bushmills, the home of the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, established in 1608. Have them enjoy a ‘wee Bush’ and learn the secret of the water of life.
Next northwards, Glenarm is a pretty village at the mouth of the first of the glens, which bears the same name. In this area fairies and folklore are not to be
From here you could take the ‘straight’ road to the seaside town of Ballycastle – but be careful not to fall prey to the mysterious ‘vanishing lake’ of Loughareema – a fate the
From Bushmills the road runs by the magnificent cliﬀtop castle of Dunluce, at its best in the setting sun. The road leads on to the blue-flag beach resort towns of
Pressing on, Ballycastle is the ferry port for Rathlin Island, and a seasonal service to Campbelltown in Scotland. Next up - and we do mean up - is the infamous rope bridge at nearby Carrick-a-Rede which swings over an 80 foot chasm.
There are eight other recognised glens, including Glenariﬀ, with its stern high cliﬀs and tumbling waterfalls, regarded as the ‘Queen of the Glens’. The upper reaches of the glen also embrace one of Ireland’s great forest parks with a network of scenic walks by tumbling rivers and panoramic viewpoints. Take the opportunity to divert inland through the flower filled village of Broughshane, and clamber up Slemish Mountain, where Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, is said to have tended livestock as a fifth-century slave boy.
Portrush and Portstewart. After a long walk along Portstewart Strand, divert for a brief encounter with the beautiful Bann Valley, Drumaheglis Marina and the market town of Ballymoney. Continue on to Coleraine to enjoy shopping in relaxed fashion in the town’s attractive pedestrianised centre. Returning on to the Causeway Coastal Route head by way of Castlerock to towards Limavady. Look out for the glorious Mussenden Temple, the clifftop folly said to have been inspired by the Temple of Vesta at Rome. Descend into Downhill, Benone or Magilligan, any of which make an ideal recreational stop. ‘When you take a path, the path takes you’. It’s an old Irish saying, and it may well have in mind the Antrim Causeway Coast route. Belfast city keeps changing Visit Ireland and you keep coming back to the Titanic, celebrated in the Titanic Quarter, the former heart of Belfast’s liner building yards. Do everything from walking the newly-commissioned decks, to voyaging to the depths of the ocean and uncover the fate to the world’s most famous liner. Board Titanic’s lesser sister, SS Nomadic, which ferried passengers to the mighty ship. It’s not all ships though. Belfast may be a shipbuilding city, but there’s plenty more
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Travel along the world famous Causeway Coastal Route and discover a land shaped by sea and stone. Visit top attractions along the way such as The Gobbins Cliff Path, Carrickfergus Castle and Slemish Mountain. Travel on a path less known and uncover hidden gems along the route for a truly unforgettable and unique experience.
The Gobbins Cliff Path
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Queen’s Quarter shops, cafés, bars are the perfect foil to a visit to the Ulster Museum and the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Then there’s the outdoor pleasure of the grounds of the Stormont Parliament Buildings in the east of the city. Tour inside and wonder at the opulent Great Hall, historic Senate Chamber and the Assembly Chamber. Tours allow for a coﬀee break in the Members' dining rooms. If that’s not enough culture, visit the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter, the heart of Belfast’s preforming arts community. Check out the famous Big Fish sculpture, known as the Salmon of Knowledge, where every scale is a tile, and every tile tells a Belfast tale. If that’s worked up an appetite, head for the world-famous St George’s Market, or take in a Belfast Food Tour to meet local producers, visit traditional bars, and just get filled up, until you burst. Hillsborough Well known for its part in the complicated politics of Northern Ireland, the late Georgian mansion known as Hillsborough Castle has a
much longer history all of its own. Built in the 1770s by Wills Hill, first Marquis of Downshire and later remodelled, it remains a working royal palace functioning as the oﬃcial residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland. It has been the home of the Secretary of State since the 1970s, who occasionally entertains the most demanding of house guests. A tour of the house includes the elegant State Rooms, Drawing Room, and, prosaically titled Throne Room. There’s also an extensive gallery and plenty to see in the 96 acres of beautiful gardens. Advance booking is required, unless you’re a Windsor, in which case the Secretary of State will get the kettle on, regardless hrp.org.uk/ hillsborough-castle There’s more in the county at the Down County Museum, where the areas rich heritage is brought to life in exhibitions, events, and hands-on activities for all ages www. downcountymuseum.com There’s a well respected education programme too. Visitors can explore the history of the old Gaol, enjoy permanent and temporary exhibitions, bringing forward objects from the large stored collections. The museum was recently extended, adding three new permanent galleries and a new tearoom. Like all Ireland, it’s as pretty as a picture and well worth making it your destination.
attractions readily signposted. Head east though, for an undiscovered country just waiting to welcome visitors by the score. Shored up between Belfast and Strangford, there’s the land lough’ed peninsula of Ards and North Down. Places you’ve always wanted to visit but always puzzled over the map to find, are right here, on the eastern doorstep of Belfast. Revel in the historic panoramas of the Ulster Folk Musuem, or take in the natural panorama from Windmill Hill Viewpoint. It’s all yours to enjoy. The warm welcome goes without saying, and extends into the wealth of traditional, modern, historic and family attractions. From water lovers, to nature lovers, explorers, creatives and wanderers, there is a remarkable portfolio to explore. When all that’s said and done, the range of gourmet experiences will leave you struggling to board the coach afterwards. A pride of award-winning eateries seem sure to suit all tastes. Just try and limit yourself you’ll fail. Take the Walled Gardens of Bangor Castle for example, the subject of a popular guided tour. Enjoy the exquisitely kept grounds of the castle, which is actually a baronial mansion, was once a friary and now the oﬃces of the local authority. Then there are the summer markets of the Ards and North Down. Famous throughout Ulster, the markets in the latter half of June celebrate the first feast of summer with authentic food and drink experiences. Come and visit unique
Spotlight on Ards and North Down Visitors arriving in Belfast harbour - either by ship or by air - have north and west 10
inshore. Take the very special Belfast City Hall. A free public tour highlights the building’s stained glass windows, artworks, historical artefacts and, yes, connections to the Titanic. Within the Grand Opera House, a Belfast cultural and architectural gem, you'll find the Crown Liquor Saloon, a masterpiece Victorian gin palace, and not really quite the same experience as Belfast’s famous pubs - for which there are popular walking tours.
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Spotlight on Mid and East Antrim In uncharted areas cartographers used to write: “here be dragons”. Little did we know, that when it cones to Antrim, they were right. Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones country has far more to it than an epic drama series - but let’s face it, having a multi-million pound global hit filmed in your back yard is hardly a bummer when it comes to bringing in the visitors. Daenerys Targaryen might be a bit feisty, even for the Derry Girls, but her taste
in pets can’t be questioned. Not if you want to avoid being barbecued that is.
book a trip to Antrim and be done with it. It would have saved all that soul-searching and globe trotting.
Ancient castles, timeless history, spectacular mountains and valleys, picturesque old harbours, towering cliﬀs and beautiful and unspoilt countryside where unspeakable acts of brutality were filmed on a daily basis (including the obligatory screen killing of Sean Bean) help make Mid and East Antrim the ideal family visit - especially for fans of napalm-breathing dragons, and exceptionally fiery ways to dispatch your enemies.
Dramatic cliﬀs give way to beautiful valleys, sprinkled with medieval castles, just right for an epoch-spanning tale of family feuding, shame walking and dragon training. Mix that with picturesque old harbours and an endlessly surprising countryside. You could be heading for a countryside lunch stop, with the added delight of a magical incantation or a fullblooded savage sword battle. Enough though about last orders at Bushmills. Alternately, you might just settle for a quiet cuppa and high tea. We’re sure Sean would have preferred that.
Seriously though, when the producers of Game of Thrones were scouring the planet for the ideal backdrop for a medieval fantasy series, it’s a surprise they didn’t just
glens of Antrim meet the spectacular Causeway Coast. The land still bears the mark of centuries of real-life. How closely do those conflicts between warring clans mirror those between the Houses of Stark and Lannister and their rivals for the Iron Throne. Well, they probably didn’t have dragon mistresses back then and not many folk were given a helmet of molten gold to see them oﬀ. You’re more likely to get a piping hot cuppa to warm your tonsils. Go back further, and you’ll find yourself exploring a country shaped by elemental forces over eons. Immerse yourself in a culture shaped by millennia of history (and a cuppa). Find out more at shapedbyseaandstone.com.
Take a popular drive around the coast, where the hills and
venues, filled with local produce. Many events are free (some ticketed) and all of them showcase the very best of Ards and North Down’s food and drink. More details at www. visitardsandnorthdown.com
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is big, very big
The Hitchhikers Guide to thy Yorkshire Yorkshire is big. Very big. So mind-bogglingly big that it makes all other counties seem like a quick nip down to the chemists by comparison (with the possible exception of Perthshire - but there aren’t any chemists in Perthshire, we think). Simon Walton finds out that the Alaska of the UK may be big, north and cold in winter but, like its galactic counterpart it is … mainly harmless. Unlike Alaska, there are roads in Yorkshire, and the very first of them - the A1 brings you to Wetherby. A town so egalitarian in outlook, it might as well be French. Oui, Wetherby sits precisely 201 miles from London, and 201 miles from Edinburgh. The halfway point without half measures. Famous for so much more than its Cluster of Nuts Coach and Car park, Wetherby epitomises the Yorkshire blend of rugged charm, market town pleasantness and modern convenience. Why settle for a service station when, for the
expenditure of a few minutes oﬀ the gloriously wide trunk road-cum-motorway, you can delve into the Saxon, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian charms of Yorkshire and England’s midway point, and dozens of places just as easily accessible.
shop window. … and food … and Sheﬃeld Yet, man does not live by shopping alone. The staﬀ of life is evident throughout Yorkshire in this year of celebrating the cultural comestibles of the tripartite county, in the Yorkshire Menu. From street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, farm shops to tea rooms, vineyards to distilleries, local produce to international cuisine, market stalls to delicatessens, one can eat around the world whilst remaining within in the county. By all means have a cuppa as you go, but let’s just gloss over the cringe-worthy adverts with Sean Bean, shall we.
All roads lead to Leeds… Access then, the lost city of the Icas. The Eldorado of the North. The largest city in West Yorkshire. Yes, the bright lights of Leeds have been called many things, but none of the afore mentioned. Except the largest city thing which is true. Indeed, why invent new strings to pluck, Leeds has a symphony to play already. The Royal Armouries, Roundhay Park, the Edwardian celebration of The Good Old Days still ringing out from the City Varieties Music Hall, and the gilded Victorian splendour of the Queens Arcade may be part of the elegant furniture to the denizens of metropolitan Leeds, but will turn your head as you marvel at the intricacies of the ironwork - and the boutique delights on oﬀer in every
Aspiring for foodie capital of the county, and with strong opposition, Sheﬃeld aims to cast a new reputation as a furnace of food, forged in the very heart of the steel city. Amidst the former foundries, find foods halls with multiple kitchens, all serving distinctive delights to diners at tables spread throughout the indoor warehouse landscape. A rebirth redolent of the rebirth of the city, as 18
Sheﬃeld shrugs oﬀ its past and embraces a high-tech, haute-cuisine future. Chapeltowns art thou Let there be praise for all the Chapeltowns in Yorkshire. The one that sits as an altar between Sheﬃeld and Barnsley may take the crown. Forego the mall delights of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, and jump on a conveniently close train for the one-stop to a world away from air-conditioned ease. Step out on to the platform above the distinctive viaduct and explore a diﬀerent, outdoor world. Let there be Happy Hares (crafting and sewing in a charming courtyard a few steps oﬀ the beaten track). There are flowery fairies painted on the florists, and you may even encounter a pony with a pink tutu - as the resident community of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain set oﬀ for another fun-filled fair engagement. Descend the railway station steps straight into a hundred shops, a weekend market, and the bustling heart of Sheﬃeld’s undiscovered northernly neighbourhood.
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Staycation There’s also a chapel don’t you know.
Brontë by the book and summer wine too
You’ll find many Sheﬃeld stalwarts here. Drop into Beres or Crawshaws for a snack that will leave you thankful the three main shopping streets are all on the level. Alternatively, sit down for a more formal feast. Try the Oak House, or Come-a-Casa, the neighbourhood’s newest Mediterranean fusion restaurant. Yes, Mediterranean fusion in suburbia is all part of the Yorkshire Menu. For a traditional respite from the summer sun, and a warm welcome from the winter chills, The Commercial, known to all as The Commie, is just one of Chapeltown’s historic inns. Follow the ale trail to find them all. As the home of Sheﬃeld’s Showmen, prepare to be taken for a Chapeltown ride, maybe even on a pony with a pink tutu.
Dozens of towns and neighbourhoods rival Chapeltown for charm. Keighley among them, the gateway drug to a life-long addiction to the Yorkshire countryside. Rolling hills in the distance - the Pennines of course - and the rolling mills of the industrial cities behind you, Keighley is but a start to the rural hinterland that so inspired Brontë after Brontë, after Brontë. So pull up all of your underskirts, straighten your top hat and all of your moustaches, and jump on a steamer from the Worth Valley Railway, to better convey you to Haworth. Climb the Wuthering Heights of the steeply cobbled streets for a pilgrimage to the Parsonage, where Little Women, Pride, and not forgetting Prejudice, all began their lives, literally.
similarly sounding Holmfirth. More than an hour away, yet still in West Yorkshire, the even more precipitous township has made Last of the Summer Wine a cultural icon. So, pull on your wellies and bobble hat, and make yourself fit in nicely in the home of Cleggy, Compo and Foggy (three of the lesser known Brontë sisters). Dracula by the Sea and a right Shambles Cross the North York Moors - on foot or by steam railway. Night rides in an illuminated steam train make the journey from Grosmont to Pickering magical in the extreme. For a story book ending, many trains travel on to Whitby were the cliﬀs match the drama of Dracula, whose Transylvanian taste for blood should really have been put to rest with a traditional Yorkshire Black Pudding maybe served in a traditional
Not to be confused with
One of the Finest views in England (Sutton Bank Thirsk. Alf Wight from his books)
Yorkshire Pudding. A much more amiable bite, for sure. Moors we may have seen, but keep your eyes open to admire the Moorish excellence of the Alhambra Theatre of Bradford, so often not spotted by visitors to the National Science and Media Museum directly opposite. The centre of Yorkshire’s sub-continental community, Bradford adds spice to your Yorkshire experience (hint: we mean “try a curry”). Nor have we even touched on the gothic marvels of York Minster, the chaotic celebration of the Shambles in the county town, nor even put down a punt on a winner at York, Doncaster, Catterick, Ripon, Thirsk, or back where we started - at Wetherby. If you haven’t considered Yorkshire yet, it’s time to get under starters
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Spotlight on ... Situated in Thirsk it’s the town’s keynote tourist attraction that welcomes people from all over the world. It tells the story of Alf Wight, OBE ( James Herriot) who became the most famous veterinary surgeon in the world after the publication of his books about his life and experiences in rural North Yorkshire. The multimillion-selling books spawned two Herriot films and the BBC TV Series ‘All Creatures Great and Small”, the longest running ‘must watch’ Sunday night television series of its era. A new Channel 5 TV series, The Yorkshire Vet renewed this TV exposure and now a remake of All Creatures Great and Small also on
Channel 5 is attracting a new audience.
in the books, films and TV series, oﬀer the same Yorkshire welcome that guests receive at the World of James Herriot and which is the headquarters for the Group.
Groups Welcome The World of James Herriot team love to welcome groups and it is a unique experience for visitors to learn the story of Alf Wight OBE, ( James Herriot) and has much to oﬀer educationally, includes an interactive learning centre, the veterinary rooms, with artefacts from the veterinary world of the period. There are studio sets from BBC Pebble Mill studios, the original lounge, study, dining room, kitchen, dispensary and treatment rooms, two Austin 7 cars plus from the TV series, gardens with the Alf Wight statue that was installed to commemorate his 100th birthday anniversary in 2016.
“ The books, films and television series brought worldwide attention to Thirsk and North Yorkshire which has become 'Herriot Country'. The Herriot Country Tourism Group provides the wider area focus for the Herriot story and partners of the Group cooperate to welcome group guests. The hotels, tearooms and other attractions in the area, many in locations
All Creatures Great and Small”, the longest running ‘must watch’ Sunday night television series of its era.
The World of James Herriot
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the Land of the Little Dragons Cardiﬀ and Swansea, and Wrexham and Llandudno. Snowdon mountains and the Brecon Beacons. The Prisoner at Portmerion and The Doctor in Tiger Bay. Books at Hay and racing at Chepstow. Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and male voice choirs. The Stereophonics gravelly tones, the Manic Street Preachers designed for life, and firstgeneration rockers will never forget the 68-Guns of The Alarm. We almost asked Mike Peters to do a foreword, just to prove that, if think you don’t know Wales, think again. Croesò i Cymru. Your group might not be a multi-platinum album rock group, but Wales can still swing to your tune. Anyway, the most common pyrotechnics are not from the stage at Steelhouse Rock Festival in Ebbw Vale. They’re from the dragons. Yes, it’s Wales: Here really do be dragons. You’ll see this fearsome creature on road signs, railway signs, in newspapers, on buses, in shops, on clothing, and on the flag of Wales - a bold red dragon prancing on the green fields with the white sky above. Spot it behind the DJ in the famous video: “Utah Saints Something Good ’08”. Eight million views is not to be sniﬀed at. Some people usually other British people, not blessed with Welsh
birthright - say the sky in the flag is white because it’s raining. It’s actually bleached white because the sunshine is so bright. Dragons are not the only fire breathing creatures in the mountains of Wales. There are others. Hot with red fire; hissing with noise; with steam and smoke from their breath. You can see them and hear them coming from far, far away. Their roar echoes around the valleys and the hillsides … and children love them! These are the famous Great Little Trains of Wales the only dragons with a collective website greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk Fiery little steam engines that puﬀ up and down the Welsh hills, pulling romantic little trains, from lovely little towns and villages, deep into the countryside, and high up into the mountains. These little railways were all built to help extract minerals from the mountains in the north. Iron, stone, and slate were all found in great abundance, but they were often high up in the hills, or far away from the coast or a main railway. To get to market, the miners built railways to transport their raw materials. We could mention coal, but that’s a whole diﬀerent level of massive fire-breathing massiveness. Get your minors 22
along to see the miners at The Big Pit National Coal Musuem at Blaenafon, for a fabulous insight into the fuel that fired Wales www.museum.wales/bigpit It’s free, by the way. Big trains for the big pits, but small ones for those slate quarries and everything else. Those little trains have worked for nearly two hundred years, and are still working hard today. No longer hauling heavy mineral loads, they all carry passengers for pleasure. Your group can ride too. Most journeys are one or two hours, and visit lovely little villages and romantic countryside. Your whole journey completed with a little Welsh dragon pulling the train and breathing fire all day. If you’re convinced to got to Wales, start practicing your Running Man right now. Your freshest moves, ever; floating on air, see. Those eight million viewers can’t be wrong. North Wales From Chirk to Portmerion. From fantastic hilltop redoubts to idyllic seaside villages, North Wales is the principal part of the Principality, designed for coasts and castles. The traditional playgrounds for generations of hard-working northern families have retained their timeless
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Staycation charms, and added a spice of the twenty-first century too, making them even more accessible. Great for: Castles; beaches and sandbars; great little trains; islands; Snowdonia; The Marches, and sheep. Mid Wales Mountains, forest and lakes. There’s plenty of natural wonder in the region of Wales that could lay claim to the most indigenous part of the Principality. Valley passes and vantage points means there’s one thing guaranteed in abundance … castles. Great for: Castles. Yet more castles; ancient Welsh capitals and redoubts; Welsh culture; mountain scenery; Hay-on-Wye literary festival, and castles. South Wales Gallop away the day. From horse racing to anything but hoarse singing. The silks of the jockeys at Chepstow to the silky sounds of a traditional Male Voice Choir - or maybe just All Saints performing live at Chepstow Racecourse. If you think South Wales is all about forgotten mining towns and implausible Dr Who locations, it’s time to think again. Great for: The cities Newport, Cardiﬀ and Swansea, coal mining heritage; rugged coastlines; cathedrals; and even more castles. Populous South Wales. You could be forgiven for thinking that everyone lives south of the line of the Brecons, and is squeezed into
the narrow strip between the Valleys and the Bristol Channel. It’s not quite true. Though this may be the smallest part of the Principality of Wales, there’s room enough for everyone, and room enough to enjoy the countryside and coastline, along with all the urban and urbane attractions that make a visit to South Wales both fascinating and rewarding. Dramatic coastlines. Dramatic valleys. Historic castles. Historic towns, and a sprinkling of rugby heritage for good measure. South Wales is ready for your group to discover.
Site architecturally important area. This is where you’ll find The Big Pit. A former coal mine, you’ll get a real taste of what it meant to go down in the cage and prepare for a day’s hard labour in the dark. A guided visit will let you see what it was like to work at the original coal face, almost 100 metres underground. Black Gold at the Bay Coal mining is always associated with South Wales. Although the mines are now all closed, there is a long history of mining in The Valleys, and Cardiﬀ was the focus for all that industry. There’s even a red-brick building on the Cardiﬀ Waterfront which was once the World Coal Exchange. Such was the wealth of the South Wales coalfield, that this was at one time the most important financial centre in the world. In this building, which is now the luxury Exchange Hotel, traders signed the world’s first one million pound deal, in 1902 when a hard working wage was still in single figures annually.
All Saints at Chepstow Pull hard on the reins as you cross the Severn, or you’ll gallop right past Chepstow Racecourse. Four fine fillies also known as All Saints - are under starters orders for Ladies Evening on 12 July. When they’re not putting on pop concerts, Chepstow is a lovely country setting, with the hills in the distance and the horses coming round the home straight. Best frocks not always required, but enjoy a group day out, whether you’re all hooked up or not.
From The Big Pit, It is about one hour back down the Valleys to Cardiﬀ. About three hours by train from London, the modern-day capital of Wales has seen a renaissance in recent years, and that’s particularly evident in the former Tiger Bay area. No longer is it a post industrial wasteland, the Bay is probably the most recognisable part of modern Cardiﬀ.
Newport, just along the M4, is definitely a place for architecture and industrial heritage buﬀs. The Art Deco Civic Centre and unique Transporter Bridge come readily to mind. However, if you want to see what life was like for miners in the Welsh coalfields, turn north, through Pontypool and head on until you reach Blaenavon Industrial Landscape. This isn’t just an architecturally important area, this is an UNESCO World Heritage
Yet there is still plenty of history to see. Cardiﬀ Castle is a fantastic piece of history in the city centre. Take a 24
stroll through the public space of Bute Park to admire the size of the magnificent walls. Inside there is a fascinating story, telling over 2000 years of Welsh history. The castle is also a place for performances, including costume banquets, medieval battles and live music and theatre. Those docks of Cardiﬀ have been regenerated and restored. The Waterfront is now a popular tourist attraction, and a leisure destination too. This is even where the Welsh National Assembly sits as the devolved legislature. It’s a striking building and groups can visit. If your group would rather vote for shops, it’s a short trip to Mermaid Quay, or back to the Victorian arcades in the city centre. Will you spend as much as those traders from 1902? Probably. The Royal Mint - Money Money Money You can bank on a short trip outside Cardiﬀ to give your group value for money with a visit to The Royal Mint. It’s one of the most popular visits in Wales. It’s much more than just minting money - although that’s quite popular of course. There’s plenty of history, special coins and rare historical memorabilia. As with all good attractions, there’s plenty of context to add colour to the story. Not many buildings have 1,100 years of history - and this isn’t one of them. The Royal Mint however, did move from the Tower of London out to Wales. Well, the rent’s lower. You won’t get a gong for visiting, but medals are something else
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that gets stamped here. Is a visit worth its weight in gold? Worth as much as that 1902 deal down in the docks? Definitely. See www.royalmint.com Glamorgan - Drawing a Vale over it Now, if you were wondering what that nice green bit is, between Cardiﬀ and Swansea, wonder no more. It’s the Vale of Glamorgan, and you’ll be doing your group a favour if you absolutely don’t draw a veil over it. Get away from the motorway routes and enjoy this coastal destination just west of Cardiﬀ. Boasting the dramatic Glamorgan Heritage Coastline, the Wales Coast Path, and a whole handful of traditional Victorian seaside resorts, cliﬀ tops, overlooking golden beaches, and remote coves. Remote because they’re inaccessible at the bottom of cliﬀs, obviously. Still, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is fourteen miles of unspoilt coastline and breathtaking scenery. Watch out for that famous tidal range, the dramatic limestone Blue Lias Cliﬀs, and some pretty stunning seascapes www.visitthevale.com Barry For many, of a certain age, Barry, and Barry Island, means the place where all the steam engines went to die. Long lines of rusting hulks doesn’t sound much like a fun visit. Fortunately, the reality is somewhat more picturesque. Firstly, Barry is the largest administratively designated town in South Wales and full of rich maritime history, shopping centres, beautiful parks and
the famous Barry Island resort - which is what the oﬀshore bit is really famous for. It’s been around since 1870, and is certainly not a rusting hulk. So enjoy a bit of a thrill, before heading on to fashionable Cowbridge. It’s sophisticated shops and food festival draw visitors from far and wide - none of them put oﬀ by the fact that it’s the birthplace of Hannibal Lecter. Well, Sir Anthony Hopkins, who has played the serial killing cannibal.
filled with weaving streams, waterways both natural and man-made - then they’ll not find disappointment. You can learn much more about the country from the website www.visitwales.com. Neath Least you hurry through the historically industrial town of Neath, spare a moment to remember that this modest community gave us dozens of statesmen, sportsmen, and some of the biggest names in entertainment, including the dialling M for murder Ray Milland, the spy who came in from the cold Richard Burton, both departed; the very much totally with us and still totally eclipsing the heart, Bonnie Tyler; and dancing her way to the stars Catherine Jenkins.
Minus the cannibal portraying actor, but plus a cracking heritage in stone buildings, Llantwit Major is a delightful maze of narrow streets, friendly cafes and local produce. Did we mention Penarth’s pier? Well, if you haven’t planned a trip across Cardiﬀ Bay, it may be well worth considering, for a nostalgic visit to a food and shopping destination that brings back a memory or two.
Add to all that plans for Afan Valley Adventure Resort, set to rise on a 325-acre former forestry plantation. With 600 trail lodges, and a 100room spa hotel, there should be room for your group. Expect all the expected forestry fun and adventure, and some more extreme activities overseen in design by some adrenaline-fuelled nutcase called Bear Grylls. It’s in the early planning stages right now, so one to watch and remember where you heard it first www. afanvalleyadventureresort.com
Green Spaces If your group would prefer to be above ground, the scenery of South Wales is both spectacular and environmentally important. Much of Wales has been designated as either a National Park (like Brecon and Snowdonia) or as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From Cardiﬀ, it is easy to take a trip to the Brecon Beacons National Park, the biggest single designated protected area in South Wales. This natural wonderland is very diﬀerent from the city and the docks of Cardiﬀ, and is very popular as a place to escape for the day or the weekend. If your group is out to see wildlife and the landscape,
Swansea It is about one hour from Cardiﬀ to Swansea. Many visitors head straight for Swansea’s Maritime Quarter and visit the National Waterfront Museum (it’s free). The Museum tells the story of the industrial revolution through the eyes 25
of the people who lived and worked in Swansea at the time. There are working machinery exhibits, and cafes and gift shops overlooking the harbour. In short - it’s a varied visit and there’s plenty to do. It’s a busy place, but there’s plenty more where that came from. There are many other museums to visit in the Maritime Quarter. The Quadrant Shopping Centre and Swansea Market are both nearby. So, if not heritage there are the shops. Meanwhile, not far from the city centre, and you’ll be on the Gower Peninsula. Hardly does it need an introduction. Winfred Vaughn Thomas and all that. Of the majestic ruins, Oystermouth Castle is probably the most famous. Then again, the most famous part of all is the seaside village called Mumbles. The village has a famous Pier, built in 1898 and still run as a family business. It even once had its own railway. It’s still a popular tourist attraction today. Llanelli Skipping past Swansea and the Gower and the M4 will bring you to Llanelli, six times host of the Welsh National Eisteddfod. The what? The competitive celebration of everything culturally indigenous to Wales, that’s what. Like the Mod in Scotland, but without the Gaelic, obviously. By the way, after this August’s Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, which is within sight of Conwy Castle, it is on, next year, to Tregaron, a village deep in the beautiful Mid-Wales hill country. Meanwhile, back in Llanelli or Tinopolus as it once was
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Staycation called in reminiscence of its industrial heritage - there’s an important game going on. Llanelli is forever a rugby town. Home of the Pro14 Scarlets, and the eponymous Welsh Premiership team, it’s a hive of rivalry on match days. Llanelli could lay claim to the spiritual; home of Welsh rugby, but that’s only a title that every other hamlet, village, town and city in Wales would wish to lay claim. Then again Llanelli is also the place to go for the Old Castle Works leisure village and a dozen other unexpected charms, from churches to coastal paths. The national hunt racecourse at Ffos Las is nearby and, if you venture a little further, there’s a horticultural treasure awaiting that’s never been galloped upon.
Twenty miles north from Llanelli you’ll find Aberglasney, a delight of gardens and partly ruined mansion house (aberglasney.org). Made famous by the BBC television series “A Garden Lost in Time”, which followed its restoration, Aberglasney oﬀers the opportunity to explore ten acres of top grade gardens and the restored ground floor of grade two Aberglasney Mansion. There’s tea too, overlooking the Pool Garden. You’ll wonder why you’ve not been here before.
www.stradeyparkhotel.com On a hillside location, the view is locally renowned, and the spa is a special treat. It’s a nice four-star experience for your group too. Pembrokeshire We’ve covered Wales from top to toe and, with one destination to go, it’s a case of saving the best until last. With the famous Welsh coastal path at its best in Pembrokeshire, you could be forgiven for missing a few of the other inland delights of the county. Try your best to make time through, you’ll be well rewarded. Often overlooked is historic Haverfordwest, a classic little market town with two ruined castles. That’s quite a
You’ll wonder why you didn’t decide to stay. So you could consider staying at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli
lot of castles, even for Wales. On the coast, there’s Tenby, with its medieval walls and elegant seaside properties. If you do make it all the way to Pembrokeshire - and you should - then make it to St David’s. It may be Britain’s smallest designated city by population, but its importance to Wales is as big as it gets. Step into the most important cathedral in Wales. In the city that’s named for the Principality’s patron saint, it’s no wonder then, when you look up from the nave of the impressive Gothic building, that more than one visitor is moved to say: “Croesò i Cymru.” You may well be among them.
Spotlight on ... interactive content for all ages and allows visitors to explore the history of the Manor in as much or as little detail as they like.
Llancaiach Fawr Manor Llancaiach Fawr Manor is a living history museum set in the turbulent times of the Civil War. Visitors to the manor are welcomed by the servants of Colonel Pritchard who are dressed in the costume of the period, speaking the old fashioned English. As they show you around the house they talk freely about the turmoil and
They can accommodate up to 90 individuals on a tour of the Manor and similarly if catering facilities are required. They also provide indulgent Afternoon or Cream teas, lunches or dinners in the Conservatory Restaurant.
impact the civil war is having, the lives of their Master and Mistress as well as folklore and customs. After your tour you can explore the recreated 17th Century gardens and then relax in the Café for a spot of lunch or cup of coﬀee and cake.
For more details see www.llancaiachfawr.com or contact 01443 412248 to make a booking. Carmarthenshire
The new state of the art exhibition which is due to be launched in July will provide
Dylan Thomas, a national botanic garden and miles of beautiful coastline are just 26
some of the reasons why Carmarthenshire makes a great and accessible destination for groups. This beautiful part of the principality – two hours from the Severn Bridge – also boasts its fair share of castles and historic houses as well as being rich in archaeological remains such as forts, earthworks and standing stones. Down on the Taf estuary is the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, where the poet lived for four years and wrote much of his work – including some of Under Milk Wood. If your coach group is looking for a base to tour the area, The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli will ensure they have a wonderful stay from which
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the hotel is popular for such events. Call 01554 756156 or visit diplomat-hotelwales.com
Dewch i gwrdd â gweision y Cyrnol Prichard Pobl gyffredin yn byw mewn cyfnod rhyfeddol!
For more details on Carmarthenshire; www. discovercarmarthenshire.com
Meet the servants of Colonel Prichard Ordinary people living in extraordinary times! 01443 412248 • Nelson, CF46 6ER
The Diplomat Hotel Restaurant & Spa, Carmarthenshire, Llanelli - great for groups The Diplomat is a family run hotel,operated with charm, warmth and generous hospitality, ensuring that any visiting group receives a warm welcome and wonderful stay. This iconic Llanelli hotel was built in 1810, and today its bedrooms feature stylish décor, with TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee facilities and private bathroom. The Diplomat Hotel also boasts a modern health club with full service spa and indoor heated swimming pool. Guests can relax in the luxurious New Eden Spa, with facilities including a sauna, steam room, hot tub, gym and indoor pool. A range of health and beauty treatments are also available. Trubshaws Restaurant offers a modern menu for Lunch and Dinner. Traditional Welsh and lighter continental breakfasts are served each morning.The Diplomat hotel is in the perfect location to explore Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, the Gower Peninsula and all of south Wales.
For details of group rates call 01554 756156 or visit www.diplomat-hotel-wales.com 27
to do so. With parking for five coaches, a personal greeting from a hotel manager or supervisor, groups will find a warm welcome at this iconic Llanelli landmark. The 50 en-suite bedrooms in this country style mansion have a unique character with period features and idiosyncratic style. Groups not resident are welcome for lunch or afternoon tea but please make a reservation as
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Staycation Rhondda Cynon Taf If you’re looking for unique places to visit with groups, look no further than Rhondda Cynon Taf in South Wales. Nestled between the Brecon Beacons and Cardiﬀ, Rhondda Cynon Taf is home to some of the most entertaining venues in the UK. They have history, heritage, culture and more than a touch of adventure all within our very scenic mountains and valleys. Visit A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park and listen as the ex-coal miner coal guides take you underground and tell tales of mining life from an era when coal from the Rhondda powered the world. In addition to the tour there are fascinating exhibitions and the café is a perfect place
to stop for refreshments. Just a short drive away, The Royal Mint Experience oﬀers tour groups the chance to take a look at how coins are made. Visitors can take a look behind the scenes, spend time in the interactive exhibition areas and also strike their own coin as a souvenir. Another great place for history lovers is Nantgarw China Works – the oldest surviving china works in the UK. This hidden gem oﬀers a fascinating tour and welcomes groups from all over the UK.
Tower is also home to the Tower Coaster and Cegin Glo which serves amazing food – and views!
gins on oﬀer and everything can be found in the very Welsh gift shop. If your tour group is feeling adventurous, Zip World Tower is the perfect place to visit. Zip World’s only site in South Wales is home to Pheonix – the world’s fastest seated zip line. Nestled in the stunning Rhigos mountain range, Zip World
For the whisky lovers, a tour at Penderyn Distillery is a must where the tour takes you through the distillery area and into the tasting bar where the award winning whisky can be sampled. Penderyn also has some great
For further information on all that Rhondda Cynon Taf has to oﬀer, please visit www.visitrct.wales
T HE ORI GI NAL M AK E R
Group visits at The Royal Mint Experience Discover some of the most amazing stories in coinage history through a wide range of awe-inspiring exhibits at The Royal Mint Experience. – See the official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals – – Discover The Queen’s reign through coins in our Platinum Jubilee inspired exhibition – – Create your very own commemorative coin as a memento of your visit – Children go for £5 with a Group Discover more at royalmint.com/the-royal-mint-experience/group-visits/ email@example.com
0333 241 2223
C E L E B R AT E | C O L L E C T | I N V E S T | S E C U R E | D I S C O V E R
Looking for a new tour package? Look no further! Coin, Coal and Cheers is a brand new tour for group travel n South Wales. Three of South Wales’ leading attractions have joined forces to create a new tour package for group travel. Coin, Coal and Cheers will allow clients to visit A Welsh Coal Mining Experience, the Royal Mint Experience and Hensol Castle Distillery for a fascinating day trip.
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Taith Pyllau Glo Cymru A Welsh Coal Mining Experience
Mae Rhondda Cynon Taf, sy'n cynnwys rhai o'r golygfeydd mwyaf mawreddog yn y DU, yn daith o ddim ond 30 munud mewn car o Gaerdydd, prifddinas Cymru. Mae'n hawdd cyrraedd Rhondda Cynon Taf o'r M4, ac mae nifer o atyniadau unigryw gall grwpiau eu mwynhau. Ewch dan ddaear a darganfod ein treftadaeth ddiwydiannol unigryw yn Nhaith Pyllau Glo Cymru ym Mharc Treftadaeth Cwm Rhondda. Beth am ymweld â Phrofiad y Bathdy Brenhinol? Dyma gyfle i chi wylio darnau arian Y Deyrnas Unedig yn cael eu creu. Ewch ar daith yn Nistyllfa Wisgi Penderyn a blaswch gynnyrch sydd wedi ennill gwobrau yn y Bar Blasu. Ewch ar daith o amgylch Crochendy Nantgarw cyn mwynhau te, brechdanau a chacennau yng Nghrochendy hynaf Y Deyrnas Unedig.
Featuring some of the most majestic scenery in the UK, Rhondda Cynon Taf is a mere 30 minute drive from Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Easily accessible from the M4, we have lots of unique attractions for groups to enjoy. Go underground and enjoy a tour of Welsh Mining History at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience. Zip World Tower
Visit the Royal Mint Experience and watch as UK coins are made. Tour Penderyn Whisky Distillery and enjoy award winning products at the Tasting Bar. Take afternoon tea and a tour at Nantgarw China Works, the oldest surviving china works in the UK. Fly the Phoenix – the world’s fastest seated zip line at Zip World Tower. Profiad y Bathdy Brenhinol The Royal Mint Experience
Gwibiwch drwy'r awyr ar gefn y 'Phoenix' - gwifren wib gyflymaf y byd â seddau yn Zip World Tower. Distyllfa Penderyn Penderyn Distillery
Amgueddfa Crochendy Nantgarw Nantgarw China Works Museum
RHAGOR O WYBODAETH AR EIN GWEFAN: FIND OUT MORE AT:
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Inspirational Scotland From Highland peaks to Lowland shores, Scotland is a canvas of stirring landscapes. Tour your group through the majestic, unique, unforgettable nature of Caledonia. Getting high in the Lowlands On the excitimometer, where does your calibrated adrenaline level lie? Are you right up their with ‘junkie’ or somewhere nearer to ‘occasional user for recreation purposes’. Where else but in Scotland can you experience so much in one day, the highs and lows, all in one manageable, exciting trip? Take the South West. It’s where Scotland begins for so many visiting groups. Standing on the shores of the Solway Estuary, with the wide open tidal flats in front of you. Behind you, the Galloway hills and glens, every bit as dramatic as the Highlands. All around, surrounded by fertile green fields and welcoming towns, each with their own character and attractions, there’s a land to discover that really should take your attention. Dumfries and wildlife
Mr Nai Shutterstock
From the parks of Dumfries, where Robert Burns spent much of his life, to the book shops of Wigtown, there are places throughout South West Scotland that make it a unique visit. Seafood suppers in a traditional inn can be a charming way to experience the region. Maybe your group will enjoy the gardens of Castle Douglas, or the artworks of Kirkcudbright the home of artist EA Hornel and his coterie of ‘Glasgow Boys’. Everything
and everywhere paints a picture of Scotland that is unique to you. There are plenty of accommodation options - so we’ll pick just one. Holiday Inn Dumfries has a spot of character to go with a recent refurb. Enough rooms for a coach party too. Wildlife thrives here, as it does throughout Scotland. Encounters with eagles, discoveries with deer, sightings with squirrels (red ones) it’s all possible in Scotland. Among the agencies with a remit for the wild, RSPB Scotland have a range of guided walks on oﬀer providing something for everyone as well as an abundance of fresh air. From early morning sunrise goose walks at Loch Lomond, to leisurely high-tide guided walks at Crook of Baldoon Nature Reserve in Newton Stewart, there are opportunities in abundance to explore the range of wonderful natural landscapes and wildlife in Scotland. Devilish explosion A colossal explosion lights up the sky to the north. Moments later, a cacophony assaults the ears. It can mean only one thing. The nightmare of a huge accident at the biggest munitions factory in the world. Fortunately, it’s a nightmare that was never realised. Yet, your group can visit The Devil’s Porridge Musuem, between the towns of Gretna and Annan, and learn about the explosive past of this corner of Scotland.
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Hidden away, out of reach of Zeppelin raids, this was the unlikely source of British munitions in the Great War. Take your adventurous group for a devilish delve back into the early years of the twentieth century. Explore this little known slice of Scottish history. Not only is this region famed for its gardens and its pints of prawns. You may be eloping to Gretna, but even the hammer on the anvil would be as nothing to the unending toil of the war eﬀort. You’ll find no explosives in Gretna Gateway, but you’ll find shopping goes down a bomb at the famous outlet mall. Not to be confused with the nearby village and perennial betrothal spot Gretna Gateway satisfies your lasting love with the bargains of fashion. If your group are the sort who find a haggle in the aisles preferable to being walked down one, this is a marriage made in heaven.
famous viaduct, looking out on the sea loch that once bore the would-be air to the British throne, the rebel Bonnie Prince Charlie. His monument, in the valley below, the only such memorial to a genuine rebel on British soil, is testament to the deep history that pervades this magical landscape. Yet, as your party cruise by, behind an authentic steam locomotive, it is likely the fictional young wizard, rather than the Young Pretender that will be evoked most often.
Yes, amid the fairy glens and magical mountains, what inspiration it was to place the young Harry Potter in such spellbinding surroundings. There has been magic in the land and waters of Scotland for generations, and for generations before that. Wave the magic wand of time travel, and before your very eyes, you can journey way back, to when the ice age sculpted a landscape that makes modern day Scotland such a dramatic canvas.
Ben Nevis views As the line twists and turns, rises and falls, hugging the shores of lochs and skirting round munros, including the mighty Ben Nevis, the drama of the landscape equals anything on screen. There will be time to ponder at a station or two, as the regular services pass by, carrying folks from Mallaig to Fort William and on to Glasgow. Your party can settle back into the relaxed surroundings
Perhaps nowhere is that more so apparent than in the green and blue and hazy vista of Glenfinnan. Take in the view, from the picture windows of a West Coast Trains Jacobite express, steaming over the
Leonid Andronov Shutterstock
West Coast Wizardry
Move the canvas further up the West Coast, and the picture remains just as breathtaking, though not quite as explosive. Subtract the chemistry of war, and add the alchemy of warlocks and wizards. Maybe even introduce a young sorcerer too.
of your own special train, named Jacobite after that rebel prince. Its appearance on screen as the Hogwarts Express may have brought new fame to the train, but you’ll know it more for the journey and the destinations. Like everywhere in Scotland, even Mallaig need not be the end of the line. For sure, it’s as far as the rails travel, but that just means it’s time to change to another mode of transport. From Mallaig, that almost always means a ferry. Not quite the ‘grand central’ of ferry traﬃc represented by Oban, this terminal is nevertheless busy with traﬃc to a whole array of destinations. One exciting option looms large on the horizon, literarily. Isle of Skye castles The misty Isle of Skye has plenty of reasons to visit. From Mallaig, it’s a gentle crossing over the Sound of Sleat to the southern pier at Armadale. Astute travellers will have spotted that of
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Staycation Armadale there is a surfeit in Scotland. Whatever the one in West Lothian, or the one in Sutherland may have in abundance, this island Armadale - or ‘elongated valley’ as the name derives - is the only one with a Gaelic language university, notable gardens, a clan centre, and a fabulous ruined castle. Well worth the sea crossing. Making Armadale the start of an inspiring adventure on Skye is an astute choice. The fourth biggest island in the British archipelago commands more than a day to visit. It’s over sixty miles, around the foothills of the challenging Cuillin mountain range, to Dunvegan, the next most notable fortification on the island. Home to the historic Fairy Flag of the Clan Macleod, legend has it that
the unfurled standard will protect the clan and their allies in times of great danger. This power is said to persist for three occasions and, in the centuries since the flag came to reside at the castle, it has only been so displayed twice in the face of grave danger, or the approach of an invading army. Who knows when it might be unfurled for a final time, that its charm may save the day one more time?
display the whole point.
Private army at Blair You’ll find Blair Castle about ten miles north of the victorian spa town of Pitlochry. You can’t miss it, even as it nestles in the coniferous woodland of the Caledonian Pine Forest. Then again, built not as a fort, but as an ostentatious display of feudal financial power, isn’t conspicuous
Invading armies may not be a threat these days, but Scotland is not without armed castles - even today. Blair Castle, ironically built as a baronial mansion in the fashion of a fortress, but without any real military pediments, is home to the only private army in Britain.
Meanwhile, back on the train, there is more to the timetable than the fishing village and ferry port of Mallaig. The west coast is not the only destination for West Coast Railways. Rather belying their name, they organise frequent eastward excursions to Edinburgh, departing from many English towns. For the highest of railway experiences, the Northern Belle luxury train is in their care too, with ultimate destinations including Glamis Castle on Royal Deeside. No luxury gap to mind on this regal railway excursion. Memorable group experiences for sure.
Spotlight on ... Lothian Motorcoaches operates two signature day tours providing everyone visiting Edinburgh the chance to explore further afield. The Loch Ness and the Highland experience tour oﬀers you the chance to see some of Scotland’s most iconic sites. Travelling North, they travel through the Trossachs National Park stopping at Callander followed by Glencoe before arriving in Fort Augustus in time for lunch looking out over the famous Loch Ness. Here you have the option of a boat tour - keep your eyes peeled for Nessie! The final stop of the day is at the beautiful town of Pitlochry, reputed as Queen
Victoria’s favourite highland town and sure to become yours too!
local shops at the Scottish Wool Centre. In the afternoon, heading towards some of Scotland’s most historically important sites Stirling Castle and The Wallace Monument.
The Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle tour oﬀers the opportunity to enjoy another iconic Scottish Loch. Journeying west, heading to Loch Lomond where you can take a tour of the loch’s south basin enjoying views of the magnificent Ben Lomond. Alternately, there is also plenty to delve into in Balloch, with nearby Loch Lomond Shores – home to shops, cafés and the Sea Life Loch Lomond Sanctuary. From there it’s just a short journey to the traditional village of Aberfoyle where you find a variety of places to enjoy lunch and an opportunity to browse the
Tours depart from Charlotte Square in Edinburgh city centre and their luxury coaches oﬀer free Wi-Fi, USB charging and air conditioning. The dedicated tour guide will be on hand to share the history of each of the landmarks, as well as advice on the best selfie locations along the way! For more information or to book, please visit www.lothianmotorcoaches. com or give them a call on 0808 169 8888. 32
Scotlands Secret Bunker 100 ft underground with the entrance hidden in an unsuspecting farm house is RAF Troywood. An "R3" style ROTOR bunker built by the RAF in 1953 in response to the threat of Nuclear War with the USSR. Troywood is 24,000 sq feet of Command Centre incorporating the radar technology of the Cold War era, dormitory, plotting rooms and mess, to name a few. www.secretbunker.co.uk
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Editors Choice ...
A quick look at some of our favoirtes around the UK range of independent shops and cafes. The halls also have a direct link to the Westlakes Science & Technology Park via a woodland walkway. The hotel is also conveniently located near Sellafield for anyone working there, or visiting workers there. The Grove restaurant serves delicious food every evening, with a warm and friendly atmosphere it’s the ideal place to relax after a long day, or if you’re feeling energetic, why not work out in their fully equipped fitness studio. Kew Gardens Set in 326 acres of beautiful grounds containing the largest living plant collection in the world, Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site less than 30 minutes from central London. The Gardens’ famous glasshouses provide hours of fascinating discovery whether it’s a tropical rainforest in the iconic Palm House; a journey through ten climatic zones in the Princess of Wales Conservatory or giant lily pads in the Waterlily House. The jewel in Kew’s crown, the Temperate House, is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse which recently reopened after a huge five-year restoration project. Over 10,000 plants from the world’s temperate regions are housed in this veritable cathedral of glass.
Nestled amongst beautiful gardens, Summergrove Halls oﬀer quality, aﬀordable and modern accommodation providing a great base for exploring the beautiful West Cumbrian coastline or the Western Lake District.
A soaring Treetop Walkway oﬀers the chance of a bird’s eye view of the Gardens, whilst those without a head for heights can discover beautiful botanical art in our galleries, or step back in time at Kew Palace, the former summer residence of George III and Britain's most intimate royal palace. In contrast, The Hive is a contemporary architectural installation which came to Kew in 2016. This extraordinarily beautiful and immersive 17-metre-high structure examines the importance and plight of the world’s bees.
Close by is the starting point of the coast to coast route in the historic town of Whitehaven with its amazing harbourside marina and wide
www.kew.org/groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8332 5648 A truly unique place to stay Summergrove Halls 34
They also have on site laundry facilities and fully functional kitchens for selfcatering. So whether you’re visiting the area for work or holiday they have all you need to oﬀer you a truly unique and comfortable place to stay. www.summergrovehalls.co.uk
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Contact us for special group rates
Visit the world-famous botanic garden
kew.org/groups email@example.com 020 8332 5648
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Bespoke guide to
Devon for UK Groups
A Beau Business Media Publication
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WORKING WOOL MUSEUM
Forward Is your group planning a trip to Devon and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, Visit Devon is there to take all the stress out of planning your holiday. Simply head online to visitdevon.co.uk - your one stop shop for all things Devon. Find accommodation, attractions, activities, events, accessibility information and just about everything else you can think of. Whether you’re looking for adventure, experiences, accommodation, somewhere to grab a traditional cream tea or to see what events are taking place during your visit, you can find everything you need on Visit Devon. You can even find and book accommodation without having to leave
the site! Simply fill in your requirements on the home page and let them take all the stress out of holiday planning. Visit Devon’s extensive facility search allows you to find things to do and places to stay allowing you to truly book the holiday that best suits your groups needs and budgets. Visitors to the region who are interested in visiting the town of Sidmouth or the North Devon region, can make use of Visit Devon’s two micro-sites where you can similarly research all the attractions and accommodation that are on oﬀer. Want to keep up to date with all things Devon? Make sure to sign up to their monthly newsletter and to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the latest news and what’s on, you’ll be able to enter exclusive competitions to win prizes, including short breaks, dining experiences and more.
Picture credits Top downwards Crab Shutterstock, Visit Devo, English Riviera BID Company, Alex Graeme, Compass, Shutterstock Sunset, English Riviera BID Company shutterstock_Helen Hotson Front cover picture credits Nigel Whittaker, English Riviera BID Company, Shutterstock Helen Hotson, Hadrian Richards Alex Graeme, Shutterstock skyearth, Alex Graeme Tony Cobley Photography
Sales Emma Middleton Tel: 0121 445 6961 Production: Laura Collins Design: Alexina Whittaker Beau Business Media Group Ltd Publishing House, Windrush, Ash Lane, Birmingham, B48 7TS Tel: 0121 445 6961 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a controlled circulation publication and freely available to qualifying applicants. Care is taken to ensure that the information contained within the magazine is accurate. However, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors or omissions, no matter how they arise. Readers are advised to get facts and statements confirmed by suppliers when making enquiries. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those as the publisher. All rights are reserved. No reproduction of any part of this magazine may be carried out without the consent of the publisher being obtained in the first instance.
Visit North Devon
Spotlight on North Devon
Devons Top Attractions
Spotlight on South Devon
Spotlight on Exeter
Welcome to the English Riviera
English Riviera BID Company
English Riviera BID Company
English Riviera BID Company
English Riviera BID Company
Visit Devon Located in the South West of England, between Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall is mother nature’s playground, also known as Devon. Diverse landscapes - check Two coastlines - check Two cities - check Two national parks – check Five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – check A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – check A UNESCO Geopark – check A UNESCO World Heritage Site - check The UK’s first surf reserve check The UK’s first dark sky reserve – check The true inventors of the pasty and the only ones who can correctly eat a cream tea – check. Devon really is so much more than you might think. Not only do you get the best of both worlds in terms of coastal resorts and rural retreats, but you can also enjoy bustling cities, traditional West Country charm, inspirational myths and legends, incredible locally sourced food and drink and a host of attractions suitable for the whole family! at’s not even touching on the various nature reserves, Sites of Scientiﬁc Interest, an abundance of Blue Flag beaches, and of course, the bustling market towns and pretty villages. Everywhere you look, you’ll ﬁnd ancient geology, fascinating history, inspiring art, and cutting-edge entertainment. It’s such a diverse landscape, the
question isn’t should I come to Devon but rather, where do you want to explore ﬁrst!
thoughts of sandy beaches, melting ice cream and nostalgia for British summers gone by. No matter where you are in Devon, you’re never too far from the beach, whether you want to spend the day sunbathing in South Devon, exploring the hidden coves and bays once frequented by pirates, challenge yourself to some water sports in North Devon, where you’ll ﬁnd the UK’s ﬁrst surf reserve, or explore the region’s fascinating geology along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As of 2021, Devon was awarded fourteen Blue Flag Awards for their beaches. Blue Flag awards are given to areas that are recognised as being clean, safe and accessible, which is why Devon is a top choice for family-friendly holidays. You can ﬁnd the most recent Blue Flag beaches at Blackpool Sands, Broadsands Beach, Challaborough Beach, Dawlish Warren Beach, Exmouth Beach, Meadfoot Beach, Oddicombe Beach, Preston Sands, Sandy Bay, Sidmouth Town Beach, Teignmouth Town Beach, Torre Abbey Beach, Westward Ho! Beach and Breakwater Beach. You’ll also ﬁnd Britain’s best beach here, at Woolacombe, so it is no wonder that Devon reminds us of beach holidays and sunshine – but it is so much more than that.
Perfect for those seeking to relax, those wanting some adventure, those wanting to discover something new with every visit and those who want a bit of everything, Devon is the perfect destination and the best bit? You don’t even have to leave the UK! With its own micro-climate making it one of the warmest places in the UK, and everything on oﬀer from walking an alpaca to rock climbing to crabbing to sunbathing, Devon really does oﬀer something for everyone. Endlessly dog friendly and full of family attractions, bars, Michelin star restaurants and so much more, there is always something to discover in Devon. is is a county of adventure, discovery and delicious food and drink. Here is where you will ﬁnd an abundance of fresh ﬁsh and seafood, oen served the same day it is caught, wonderful homegrown meat and fresh fruit and vegetables and of course, lots of clotted cream – perfect for a cream tea – something that Devon is particularly famous for, just remember, it is always cream ﬁrst! When you think of Devon, chances are you conjure 6
With two coastlines and its old-world charm, it is easy to recreate your childhood holidays for your own families. In North Devon, you’ll ﬁnd unparalleled coastal views and the region known as Little Switzerland, which has inspired romantic poets for generations. Not content with being the UK’s favourite surf spot, North Devon is also home to the UK’s ﬁrst Dark Skies Reserve, something that is celebrated every year on Exmoor. is incredibly unique festival is one of the region’s must-visit events and is a great way to truly experience the night sky. at isn’t the only fascinating festival you can enjoy in Devon, see a West Country tradition by visiting Ottery St Mary in East Devon around Bonﬁre Night – it is the only place in the UK that still takes part in Tar Barrel Rolling, where residents make their way around a route while carrying burning tar barrels. It is also in Ottery St Mary where you can witness the annual banishing of the village’s pixies on their Pixie Day every Summer. Other unique events include a worm charming festival, the reenactment of hunting an earl and the British Firework Championships which takes place in Plymouth.
LUNDY ISLAND Enjoy a wonderful day trip Three miles long and half a mile wide, Lundy lies 10 miles o the coast of North Devon where the Atlan c Ocean meets the Bristol Channel. Sail on our classic passenger ship, MS Oldenburg, and have 4-6 hours to explore this beau ful island.
Stunning gardens and coastal views Nature and tranquility away from the crowds Coaches welcome: Prices from £3.00pp (min 15 people) Garden & House tours available at extra cost T: 01271 860897
Please check our website or Facebook for more information
C H R I ST I E E STAT E S . C O .U K
Bookings: 01271 863636
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Devon Aside from the full event’s calendar, the county boasts a number of top attractions, including the South West’s biggest roller coasters, water parks and some of the most famous zoos in the country. West Country traditions and animal conservation is a huge part of the way of life in Devon and you can join in by visiting otter sanctuaries, donkey sanctuaries, working museums, the oldest gin distillery in England and even hitching a ride on a horsedrawn barge! Whether you’re travelling as a group or looking for a romantic getaway, there are plenty of things to see and do in the region, along with some incredible accommodation options, including the world’s best B&B – you’ll ﬁnd it in Torquay.
haves are real West Country cider, much of which can be found on tap, ﬁsh and chips, made with the ﬁsh fresh from the ocean that day and gin – especially if it is from England’s oldest working distillery which continues to make gin using an original recipe and traditional methods.
Speaking of Torquay, families love visiting the English Riviera’s best-known town. With its palm trees and childfriendly atmosphere, this area is steeped in maritime history and plays host to a number of festivals and sporting events, as well as having its own UNESCO Geopark and being the birthplace of the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. Perhaps Devon’s most famous export, Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and had a holiday home at nearby Greenway, now run by the National Trust, whether you’re a Christie fan, a bibliophile or
love a good mystery, there are plenty of ways to channel your inner Agatha while in and around Torquay. Torquay is also where you’ll ﬁnd popular resorts, including Paignton, Brixham and Teignmouth and can even spot the locations used in Christie’s books, something you can also ﬁnd In South Devon, where there is fantastic countryside and coastline and the iconic sea tractors providing access to the beautiful Burgh Island. is is the place to be for gentle walks, water sports and relaxing in the sunshine and is full of award-winning bars and restaurants to enjoy. At last count, Devon was home to four Michelin Star eateries and even more recipients of a coveted Michelin Plate and Taste of the West Awards, so whether you are on the hunt for a meal for a special occasion, a quick bite or a light lunch, you can guarantee a quality dining experience. e majority of Devon’s eateries are committed to celebrating the county’s rich, seasonal produce and menus will change constantly during the year to take advantage of the incredible food and drink that you can ﬁnd here. While here, make sure to sample a traditional Devonshire Cream Tea, available at eateries and hotels all over the county and with plenty of varieties, including those that swap the tea for champagne, perfect for a spot of luxury. Other must-
amazing shopping opportunities, music venues and more, while the seaside resorts and countryside towns have charming independent stores and a plethora of activities which really celebrate the county’s West Country routes.
As it is a wonderfully diverse county, Devon has many diﬀerent areas to explore, with long beaches of golden sands, rugged moors, bustling cities, rolling hills, pretty villages and pastel-coloured seaside towns. Much of Devon’s diversity comes from the fact that it is an incredibly old county full of traditional West Country charm. e oldest human remains in the UK were discovered in the county and you can see evidence of the past, from Iron Age hill forts on Dartmoor to Roman Roads in Exeter and even a Sherman Tank to commemorate the county’s role in WWII all over the county.
Exeter is where you can see the world-famous cathedral, stroll along the quay, indulge in some retail therapy and can enjoy a bustling nightlife. Plymouth is the home of the region’s maritime history and features the Royal William Yard, Plymouth Hoe and a maritime conservation area, plus a host of entertainment venues. Devon’s cities are the ideal destination for anyone wanting to experience the culture and vibrancy of a city break, while also having the opportunity to escape into a quieter and more leisurely way of life. Both cities are surrounded by charming coast and countryside, making them an ideal compromise for the travellers who want a bit of everything.
While the tranquillity of the countryside and the lures of the coast are huge draws for visitors, they aren’t for everyone – and Devon is equipped to suit those visitors too as it features two cities; Exeter and Plymouth. Both unique and each bustling and full of history and culture, they are both well worth a visit. e two cities provide
If being in the centre of the action appeals to you, Devon has plenty to oﬀer, especially in the Mid Devon region, which is equidistance from the coastlines in both the North and South of the county and the two National Parks. is region is the perfect location to explore the whole of the county and with mainline train stations, you
can easily access the towns, villages and cities all over the county. Not only that, but Devon has the most roads of any other county in England, so exploring has never been easier! e Mid-Devon region is well known for its rolling hills, woodlands and wildlife, so it's ideal for anyone who loves being outdoors. In fact, the whole county is full of outdoor adventures, on Dartmoor and Exmoor there are companies oﬀering everything from orienteering, abseiling, and rock climbing, plus there are loads of other activities, from rambling, photography and spotting the famous wild ponies. Both moors feature their own herds of ponies, highland cows, sheep and other creatures – you can even see a herd of mountain goats on visits to Lynton! Speaking of the moors, these are great places to visit for anyone who wants to ﬁnd out more about West Country traditions and to experience a new way of life. Wherever you choose as your base during a visit to Devon, you can expect a unique charm and a friendly welcome, allowing for a completely diﬀerent experience each time you visit. For an olde world atmosphere, try one of the chocolate box villages like Cockington or for a traditional market town, choose somewhere like Tiverton. For bustling harbours, visit Ilfracombe or
for somewhere historical, try Clovelly, or for a gentler pace, make Dartmoor and Exmoor a priority. Dartmoor in particular is a must for those of you looking for some inspiration – it is the home of a host of terrifying and intriguing myths and legends featuring everything from giants, ghosts, witches and devilish dogs. It was these stories that inspired the best known of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures, so who knows what you might encounter when traversing the wilds of Whistman’s Wood or climbing one of the tors.
can follow the adventures of Tarka the Otter by walking or cycling the Tarka Trail where you can see some of the most picturesque places around Bideford and Barnstaple. If you want to come to the region for some R&R, why not book into one of the region’s spas, with an abundance of spa hotels oﬀering the ultimate relaxation and retreats giving you the chance to escape and reset, you are never too far from somewhere you can take time for yourself. Whether you are looking for something intimate and quiet for a couple’s break or something for the whole family, there are a range of amazing accommodation options across Devon to suit every need and budget. With selfcatering cottages, hotels, B&Bs, holiday parks, camping sites and even glamping and alternative accommodation options, you can choose anything from the traditional to the more unusual. ere are even properties perfect for guests with additional access needs. With coastal views, countryside escapes and city centre boutiques, you can ﬁnd the perfect home from home. Want to bring your dog with you – that’s not a problem, you’ll ﬁnd plenty of accommodation options so the whole family can enjoy a holiday. You won’t only ﬁnd places to stay, Devon is full of dog-friendly attractions too. If there is something that dogs
While there is an extensive road network across Devon, one of the best ways to enjoy the sights of the county is by public transport or by foot or bike. e rail lines in the county take you through some of the most picturesque views, especially the English Rivera line. For something a little more nostalgic, why not visit one of the region’s steam or cliﬀ railways for even more incredible views? Another way to explore the county is by following the South West Coast Path, the UK’s longest national trail which runs the entire length of both Devon’s coastlines, so no matter where you are in the county, you can easily access the path and explore. It isn’t just the South West Coast Path oﬀering the chance to see more of the region, in North Devon, you
and humans have in common, it’s loving the feeling of warm sand between their toes – something else you can enjoy with your dogs in Devon – the county is full of beaches where there are dog-friendly sections during the peak months and even a couple that welcome dogs all year round! What could be better than watching a sunset and enjoying ice cream together? ough Devon is one of the mildest places in the UK and many of the most popular activities take advantage of the outside environment, you don’t have to worry about rain stopping play here. e county has a host of indoor attractions and activities to keep you amused on a typical British day – in fact, several of the region’s top attractions feature all-weather activities, so no matter what time of year you choose to visit, your day doesn’t have to be as dull as the weather! Devon truly is a county of adventures, relaxation and discovery, so whatever you are looking for from a UK staycation, you can be sure of a world of discoveries and experiences. It is a county where you can create memories that will last forever. With an abundance of natural beauty, culture and history spread out across intriguing towns, villages, moorland and coast, Devon is the ultimate place to explore and discover. Saunton Sands
English Riviera BID Company
Visit North Devon Known as the surfing capital of the UK, home to the UK’s first Surf Reserve and nicknamed Little Switzerland
Located in the South West of England, bordering Somerset and parts of Cornwall, North Devon features everything the West Country is famous for and more. With delicious, locally sourced food and drink, including regional favourites like cider and the traditional Devonshire Cream Tea and beneﬁting from its own warm micro-climate. Full of popular coastal towns and villages and accommodation options, the beautiful coastline of the area falls within North Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which features many award-winning stretches of coast, popular towns and even Britain’s best-loved beach, Woolacombe.
As well as the coast, North Devon is home to the Exmoor National Park, Exmoor features Britain’s highest coastline making it ideal for beautiful coastal walks, parts of which are included along the South West Coast Path. It is this part of the world that was fondly nicknamed Little Switzerland by the romantic poets that used to reside here, like Percy Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth who used the spectacular views as inspiration for their works. Looking around, it is little wonder that they managed to conjure such beauty, the villages of Lynton and Lynmouth and natural phenomena like Valley of Rocks have to be seen to be believed. e whole of Exmoor is home to a host of wildlife, including the famous Exmoor Ponies which wander wild around the moor and provide an iconic backdrop for your visits. e region is also populated with a herd of wild mountain goats, who are a joy to see frolicking around the rockier outcrops.
make deliveries along the steep, cobbled streets and down to their picturesque harbour. e region is full of traditional ﬁsherman’s cottages, particularly in places like Appledore and lovely seaside resorts like Ilfracombe, Woolacombe and Westward Ho!, the only place in the UK that has an exclamation point in its name. It is also the only place to have been named aer a book, the novel Westward Ho! was written by local author, Charles Kingsley, who also wrote the Water Babies and lived in nearby Bideford. While those that love a bit of hustle and bustle alongside historic markets should visit Barnstaple, the region’s oldest and largest town. is isn’t the only literary link you can ﬁnd in North Devon. ose of you who love getting out and about and exploring should head to the Tarka Trail, a purpose-built route which follows the journey of Tarka the Otter around some
of the prettiest spots located around Barnstaple and Bideford. Wherever you are in North Devon, there are wonderful places to explore, and no two towns and villages are the same. North Devon has much to be proud of when it comes to the region’s natural beauty. Not only does it have that incredible coastline, but it is also home to a UNESCO Biosphere, one of only six in the UK, which centres around the Braunton Burrows and extends out from the River Taw out towards Lundy Island. e Reserve has over 60 Sites of Special Scientiﬁc Interest and contains lots of rare wildlife and is home to the largest sand dune system in the UK. While in the region, why not escape the every day by catching the ferry over to Lundy Island. Located just oﬀ the North Devon coast and was once home to a colony of pirates but nowadays is more popular with sea birds. e island has
It isn’t just the coastline that deserves a visit, North Devon is full of charming market towns and quaint villages that attract visitors by the thousands every year. Here you’ll ﬁnd the historic village of Clovelly, which is completely vehicle-free, instead, using donkeys to
nown as the surﬁng capital of the UK, home to the UK’s ﬁrst Surf Reserve and nicknamed Little Switzerland, there is much to love about North Devon, a region thought of as Britain’s Adventure Coast. ere is much more to this spectacular and diverse region than meets the eye. e entire region is famed for its beauty and the diversity of the landscape meaning that whatever kind of adventure you want to have, you’ll ﬁnd the perfect location in North Devon.
ough known as the Adventure Coast, North Devon isn’t just an area for the outdoorsy types, the region has a host of amazing popular attractions, perfect for groups.e region is particularly popular with foodies, especially in becoming one of the best foodie hotspots in the southwest. e region is famed for the quality of its seafood and a lobster festival is held every year. If you’re looking for some retail therapy, you’ll ﬁnd big named brands right through to small, independent retailers and everything in between. Here you can ﬁnd theatre performances and live events, as well as the south west’s biggest surﬁng festival which takes place on the beach at Croyde every year. Whatever the weather, you can take your pick from theme parks, water parks, heritage attractions, spas, leisure centres and golﬁng opportunities amongst other activities. In fact, while North Devon is known for surﬁng these days, previously, it was more famous for its connections to golf. e Royal North Devon Golf Course in Westward Ho! is 150 years old and has the
oldest links in England. e course is one of the top 100 in the world and is widely regarded as being the St Andrews of the South. e course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links and being the oldest golf club in England is well worth a visit.
ere are a whole host of events taking place all over the region. Whatever your interests or your age, there are a host of attractions and activities here whether you're a thrill-seeker or looking for a peaceful retreat. With gardens to stroll around, museums to visit and spas to relax in while overlooking award-winning beaches, North Devon really does have something for everyone.
North Devon has a wide variety of attractions on oﬀer, from all-weather attractions to award-winning zoos, intriguing museums, beautiful parks and gardens and shopping opportunities to rival any large destination. Across the region, you can ﬁnd big named brands and familiar high street stores nestled among independent retailers and a huge focus on arts and antiques, particularly on the Hartland Peninsula, home to one of the most dramatic views in the area. As the region is well served by both main roads and the national road network, you’ll ﬁnd that this is an easy and accessible holiday destination that is easy to explore.
North Devon has a wide variety of attractions on oﬀer, from all-weather attractions to awardwinning zoos, intriguing museums, beautiful parks and gardens and shopping opportunities to rival any large destination.
the only ones to be found in the South West. At certain times of year, you can witness these beautiful birds building nests along the rockface. Lundy Island is a site of marine conservation and there is no electricity or WIFI anywhere on the island. If you fancy going oﬀ-grid, this is the perfect North Devon location, there are accommodation options and plenty of activities throughout the year, including rock climbing, surﬁng and more.
BYGONE BROTHEL TOURS
When it comes to accommodation, North Devon has everything groups could ask for, cottages, holiday parks overlooking the beach, sprawling country estates and just about everything else in between. North Devon’s holiday providers are committed to welcoming visitors of all ages and abilities, you’ll also ﬁnd that the area has a range of accommodation and attractions to suit travellers with disabilities and additional needs. Many of the beaches and the Exmoor National Park oﬀer all-terrain wheelchairs, allowing everyone who visits to get the most out of their time in North Devon.
Stories of Devons rich and varied warrior women. Sharing fascinating, tragic , amusing and enlightening true stories of prostitutes enterprising ways and how they survived being reviled by many and made use of by others. Other tours I write and host are Haunted History tours of Devon. Walking tours sharing fascinating and often unheard of true stories of the crimes, the prison and workhouse tales. focusing on real people, how and why they ended up where they did and what became of them. Hauntings mentioned are the experiences of local people in their homes and businesses. (these are not persons leaping out of trees and inducing cardiac arrest tours)
Talks are also available, (especially if clients have mobility problems although all tours are wheelchair friendly) where photographs and
Tours are currently booked through The plough arts theatre www.theploughartscentre.org.uk I am happy to host private tours at other times. to contact me Susan Pengelly 07855402410 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spotlight on... some of the best on oﬀer in North Devon Tapeley Park Tapeley Park situated between Instow and Bideford is one of North Devon’s best kept secrets, Take in the magniﬁcent views over the Torridge Estuary to the sea beyond, and on a clear day you can even see Lundy Island from the front lawn. e grounds are renowned for their beautiful gardens, particularly the Italian terraces where you can sit and relax in the peace and tranquillity that is Tapeley Park. Wander down to the Permaculture garden (one of the oldest in the country) or take a stroll to the monument with stunning views, just two
of the many areas their visitors are able to explore. e History Rooms gives you an insight through the generations of Tapeley from its humble beginnings to the present day where the current custodian Hector Christie has made Tapeley Pesticide and Herbicide free for over 15 years. One of the only gardens in North Devon that done is.
Garden and house tours are also available at an extra charge. Inspection visits welcome. www.christieestates. co.uk/tapeley-park/
eir Tea Rooms serve snacks and drinks and whenever possible it uses produce grown here at Tapeley from the large Kitchen Garden. ey welcome coach parties and all will have a complimentary talk.
Visit the magnificent Lundy Island Lundy lies oﬀ the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Bristol Channel with nothing between it and America, a granite outcrop, three and a
half miles long and half a mile wide. With the pressures of the modern world, it is a place apart, peaceful and unspoilt. It is diﬃcult to pin down why the island has such an eﬀect on people, what is noticeable is the visitors' enthusiasm. It is true that Lundy is diﬀerent from any other island and that it is in a wonderful part of the country. If you want to relax on holiday and be busy doing nothing, this is the place to be! With 23 self-catering properties to choose from, Lundy is a unique destination for those special occasions like Christmas and St. Valentines, birthdays, and anniversaries. A warm welcome awaits you in Marisco Tavern, oﬀering a good selection of beers and wines, excellent meals using Island produce and a friendly atmosphere. Travel to the island as a day visitor or for a holiday on the handsome supply and passenger vessel the MS Oldenburg, they sail from Bideford or Ilfracombe, sailings are until the end of October. During the winter short breaks are available by Helicopter from November to mid-March, ﬂying Mondays and Fridays from Hartland Point, North Devon. In just six exhilarating minutes, enjoying the aerial views, you can escape the rigours of mainland life.
Lundy Island WELL BEHAVED DOGS ON LEADS WELCOME
Tea Room & Walled Garden Nursery
Unique and unforgettable experience awaits at Quince Honey Farm A visit to Quince Honey Farm, the UK’s largest honey farm, is sure to be a unique and unforgettable addition to any tour itinerary. Situated just oﬀ the A361 North Devon Link Road, it is ideally located for both tour group visits and quick refreshment breaks, both of which are welcome throughout the year.
A guided tour promises to show you the highlights of Quince Honey Farm, where the friendly and informative host will talk you through the wonder of honeybees, the beautiful pollinator-friendly gardens and oﬀer you the chance to do some honey tasting! You’ll also be able to visit the Shop and the awardwinning Nectary Restaurant.
Nestled in the heart of North Devon, Marwood Hill Garden is a hidden gem Home to four National Plant Heritage collections, this private valley garden spans over 20-acres and showcases three stunning lakes, rare trees & shrubs, and colourful surprises throughout each season. Not only a haven for wildlife, the garden is also the perfect environment to explore and be inspired. Enjoy a day of inspirational and relaxation for the whole family. Catch up over coffee and homemade cake or a cream tea in the picturesque Garden Tea Room or take a bit of Marwood magic home with you from our Walled Garden Nursery and Plant Sales.
Enquiries & Tea Room 01271 342528 Plant Sales & Nursery 01271 342577 e email@example.com w marwoodhillgarden.co.uk Marwood Hill Gardens, Marwood, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4EA
If you are simply looking for a great and convenient place to rest a while as you make your way through North Devon, then look no further than the farm’s Shop and Restaurant.
place to relax with a hot drink or wholesome homemade lunch. Your group are sure to enjoy a browse in the Shop which stocks the farm’s own range of honey, beeswax
Free to enter and with ample free parking and toilet facilities, it oﬀers the perfect
Aerial view of Quince Honey Farm
candles, honey skincare, gis and homeware. Pre-booking is required for all large groups via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01769 572401. For more information visit www.quincehoneyfarm.co.uk
Lundy Island is a granite outcrop, three and a half miles long and half a mile wide. With the pressures of the modern world, it is a place apart, peaceful and unspoilt.
For more information and bookings please call or visit visit www.lundyisland.co.uk or call 01271 863636.
Devon Bygone Brothel Tours
A foreign visitor to England amazed at how many prostitutes England had once said, you could have any kind of women here, dressed up, bound up, tight laced, loose, painted or raw, scented, in silk or wool, with or without sugar.
A unique and rare chance to step back into the early 1800’s and experience the Industrial Revolution in action Immerse yourself at Coldharbour Mill as they bring the industrial revolution to life. Largely untouched since Victorian times Coldharbour Mill today remains in production using heritage looms, wool spinning machines, power sources and machinery to produce beautiful yarns and textiles. Recognised by Historic England as one of the best preserved textile mill
I started to research the Victorian prostitutes because they were much maligned by history so they were bound to be interesting. I found they were incredibly brave, resilient, feisty and in the face of the workhouse or starve
Victorian factory with the opportunity to trace how wool is turned into yarn and fabrics. Mill Shop – an opportunity to browse their yarns, rugs and fabrics. Easy access – just 2 miles / 5 minutes from the M5 Junction 27 And more! Coach Drivers meal voucher, free access to hot drinks, free admission and £5 voucher to spend in the mill shop and 10% discount in the shop for groups. Prices for Groups range from £10.00 pp to £15.00 dependant on day of visit, minimum numbers apply. Check here for more details www.coldharbourmill.org.uk/ groups
Welcome to Marwood Hill Garden.
they chose to go on the street on their terms. Women looked aer women. ey shared everything they had which was almost nothing at all. A tiny sliver of cracked mirror. Half a comb. Twenty nine drops of laudanum cost one penny. So a customer had to be serviced before a girl could get some laundanum to make the rest look like Brad Pitt. I tell their oen hilarious and moving stories because each one was someone’s daughter and they deserve to be remembered. Susan Pengelly 07855402410 email@example.com
Nestled in the heart of North Devon, Marwood Hill Garden is a hidden gem. Home to four National Plant Heritage collections, this private valley garden spans over 20-acres and showcases three stunning lakes, rare trees & shrubs, and colourful surprises throughout each season. Enjoy a day of inspiration and relaxation for the whole family. Created by and home to the late Dr Jimmy Smart MBE, VMH, a much-celebrated 20th
complexes in the country, visitors can explore how introducing water and steam power proved to be the turning point in history – revolutionising not only production but every part of daily life. Whether your group is interested in wool, heritage, steam power, social history, cras or military history they can promise a visit that your group will love. Tours to include: Regular ‘Steam Days’ when they light the Lancashire boilers and run the mills engines and historic Beam Engine. (Limited dates, book early to avoid disappointment, see below) Fully working 16
century plantsman, Dr Smart drew inspiration from his extensive travels to Australia & New Zealand creating the wonderful garden we see today. With its own delicious Tea Room, oﬀering a wide selection of homemade and locally sourced food, with stunning views across the garden, it is the best location for a catch up over coﬀee and homemade cake or a light lunch. ey also have a plant nursery where their team of experienced gardeners are always available to provide support and advice. Many of the plants for sale are propagated from the rare and unusual specimens admired in the garden. Enjoy a day of inspiration and relaxation for the whole family. www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk
Devons Top Attractions
evon is a stunning county with two coastlines and 300 miles of beautiful Devonshire shoreline. It has two National Parks and ﬁve oﬃcial Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Find beaches of every description – for every type of water sport or simply relax in the sun or stroll along the cliﬀs on the Southwest Coast Path. BUT there’s so much more. Delve into Devon further and discover some of the UK’s top group friendly visitor attractions. Destination Devon is great
for groups, whether it be a coach party, small group, or educational visit. Devon has so many things to do and a huge choice of top-quality visitor attractions, making itinerary planning an easy job. All the attractions are annually inspected and approved to the highest quality standards. ey oﬀer a whole host of interesting and varied days out, with discounted prices for groups and extra group facilities. Plus, some attractions work together to oﬀer some great value, joint ticket options.
but don’t just take our word for it. e county continues to excel in the groups market and is actively visible exhibiting at most of the UK domestic group travel shows and Devon won the Best UK Destination Award in 2019 at the Group Leisure and Travel awards and has been a ﬁnalist two years either side of this date. Devon's Top Attractions represent the top attractions across the whole of Devon. eir mix of top attractions includes mysterious castles, botanical gardens and impressive stately homes,
Devon is Great for Groups! Devon is great for groups
award winning steam railways, narrow gauge trams and spectacular boat cruises that sail along Devon’s beautiful rivers and coastline. ey have award winning museums, and magniﬁcent abbeys. Not forgetting the younger generation, they have a great selection of award-winning theme parks, farm parks and anything from animal encounters to adrenaline-packed adventures. ere really is something for everyone.
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Devon Visit Devon and we know you will be back for more!! Devon has a wonderful choice of top-quality visitor attractions and venues, ideal for groups and that suits all ages and interests and the county overﬂows with a huge wealth of heritage, history, and culture. A group visit to one of its two vibrant cities Exeter and Plymouth always makes for a winning itinerary option. e cities are steeped in history so why not soak this up and get into the trendy city vibe, taste the great food and drink and do some shopping!
Coldharbour Mill - Is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK having been in continuous production since 1797. Originally owned by world-renowned textile producers Fox Brothers, the Mill took ﬂeece from all over the world and transformed it into yarn, cloth and textiles. Today the rich heritage lives on as one of the ﬁnest working wool museums where visitors are not just able to relive the sights and sounds of the industrial revolution but also see cras men and women making traditional textiles, beautiful knitting yarn and handwoven rugs. Great oﬀers for Groups www.coldharbourmill.org.uk
History & Heritage If you’re interested in history and historical days out, then they have some interesting attractions that will be sure to engage and enthrall. Devon’s distinct identity has evolved from a history going back many millennia, plus a rich traditional culture which still lives and breathes through the sites and scenery found throughout the county today. Powderham Castle is located in a unique, picturesque setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. Six hundred years of history are
Steam Railways, Boats and Trams
Devon is a year-round destination, whatever the season, it oﬀers spectacular scenery and enjoyment to its visitors. With year-round accommodation and attractions open for business, Devon is a great choice for groups for coach and touring holidays. Devon continues to delight visitors with its popular food and drink festivals, music festivals and the famous Devon County Show. Devon’s Top Attractions also oﬀers a ‘one stop’ information shop, created speciﬁcally to make it life
contained within the walls of one of England's oldest family homes. Currently home to the 19th Earl & Countess of Devon and their family. e magical setting and convenient location make it the perfect venue for group oﬀering a wonderful day out. www.powderham.co.uk
easy and accessible for Group Travel Organisers and coach and tour operators. It oﬀers quick and easy access to information about all the attractions. is friendly and eﬃcient service also oﬀers local knowledge, an image bank and useful contacts and organises regular familiarisation and journalist visits. For more details on this contact Anne Blackham firstname.lastname@example.org What type of group friendly attractions does Devon have?
Enjoy a day out on one of the beautiful railways in Devon. As someone very wise once said … “It’s not about the destination, but the journey.” ere’s a lot to be said for travelling by train or pleasure boat. Just imagine … sitting back, relaxing and watching rolling hills, riverbanks and coastal views that most people never get to see. By railway and tram, which means wide horizons of rolling hills, riverbanks that are home to otters and kingﬁshers, awesome viaducts, and blue sea edged with colourful beach huts. By boat, you see even more of hidden Devon: rarely seen seabirds nesting on cliﬀ edges, protected ﬂora ﬂourishing in hidden crevices, and even the occasional leaping dolphin or basking seal. South Devon Railway e multi award-winning South Devon Railway is the West Country's oldest heritage steam railway and the scenic, seven-mile line hugs the beautiful River Dart almost all the way from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Visitors will be transported back in time to the bygone era of the old Great Western Railway, they can enjoy fantastic views along the valley and take in the unmistakable sights, sounds and smells of real steam trains. Group rates and joint ticket options with other attractions oﬀered. www.southdevonrailway.co.uk Seaton Tramway - Award Winning Seaton Tramway is a great day out for all ages. e narrow-gauge heritage trams operate alongside the beautiful Axe Valley estuary
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Destination Devon is great for groups, whether it be coach party, small group, or educational visit. Devon has so many things to do and a huge choice of topquality visitor attractions, making itinerary planning an easy job.
Devon travelling through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life. An all-weather attraction with open toppers and enclosed saloons gives added comfort and enjoyment. Seaton is the gateway town to the Jurassic Coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great for groups and Joint tickets available with other Devon attractions. www.tram.co.uk Stuart Line Cruises roughout the year you can sail on the river Exe, home to thousands of migrating winter birds and year-round residents. During Summer you can sail the Jurassic Coast Line viewing 250 million years of history. e river Exe is sheltered oﬀering year-round opportunities to view the stunning scenery and wildlife and hear about the history from the informative commentary. Joint tickets available with other Devon attractions. www.stuartlinecruises.co.uk Museums World of Country Life located in Exmouth and is a family farm park but it also boasts an extensive museum of working farming machinery as well as a recreation of a Victorian street complete with butcher's shop, hardware store and pub! e Hall of Transport features a large collection of vintage vehicles, including the ornycro Charabanc from Downton Abbey and the Daimler from Mr Selfridge! Great for groups and joint tickets available with other Devon attractions. www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk
at the model village as you explore 4 acres of awardwinning gardens showcasing hundreds of model scenes, vehicles & people. Great for Groups and the restaurant terrace overlooks the whole site with fantastic views. www.model-village.co.uk
Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) – Exeter’s world-class museum has stunning displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions, and modern amenities. e displays reveal Devon ad Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight visitors, and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the World. Also a Free entry attraction. www.rammuseum.org.uk
Bygones Bygones is an independent attraction, created and run by three generations of the Cuming family. It may not look big from the outside, but Bygones has 3 ﬂoors packed full of nostalgia waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. ey include Victorian Street, see, smell and hear the bustle of Bygones, life size Victorian street over 15 shops, and 9 period rooms. Packed full of authentic display. See the Railways, Wartime Britain, Vintage amusements, Fabulous Fiies and e Collections, all under one view. Great value for groups and dog friendly too. www.bygones.co.uk
Torbay Attractions A visit to Torbay oﬀers three super group friendly visitor attractions which are all in close proximity to each other, two of which are just a short stroll from each other. Kents Cavern - Step into the Stone Age and discover Britain’s oldest home by exploring the extensive cave system, once occupied by Prehistoric man, hyenas and cave bears. A stunning natural cave, Kents Cavern is an award-winning attraction, notable for its archaeological and geological features and situated in Torquay on the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. Oﬀering tours, shop, restaurant, and visitor centre. Kents Cavern oﬀers several joint ticket options with other Devon attractions. www.kents-cavern.co.uk
North Devon Attractions RHS Garden Rosemoor Enjoy a visit to the magniﬁcent gardens and get some inspiration for your own garden. Rosemoor is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and the gardens are set in over 100 acres of woodland with the river Torridge running along the western border. Rosemoor is a beautiful place whatever time of year you visit and blends formal and informal plantings to magically stunning eﬀect. ey also oﬀer seasonal activities, workshops and events and their Christmas glow event is something not to be missed where the gardens are
Babbacombe model village - Since the village opened in 1963 the park has continued to expand the number of features on display. e village portrays English life and culture over the last 6 decades and is sure to bring to life those childhood memories! Feel like a giant 22
illuminated to stunning eﬀect. Group tours available. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/ rosemoor Dartington Crystal Dartington Crystal is a lovely mix of a factory tour, visitor centre and factory shopping experience. As the UK’s only remaining glass factory, a visit here is a unique and fascinating experience. Discover the story and development in the exhibition centre, watch skilled glass makers in action on the factory ﬂoor and the master engravers, then make your way to experience the factory shopping and the relaxing café and restaurant. Dartington Crystal oﬀers a good value groups package and events throughout the year. www.visitdartington.co.uk Clovelly Village is picturesque, historic, ﬁshing village, is steeped in maritime history and atmosphere, promising a wonderful half day out. It is a calm reﬂection of the days when speed, noise and stress were not what they are today. e views are breath-taking, the traﬃc-free cobbled street unique with its donkeys and sledges and the working harbour a scene that everyone will capture as a treasured memory. Group tours of the village can be booked and there is a land rover service available to get you back up the hill if you don’t want to go under your own steam. www.clovelly.co.uk Quince Honey Farm Groups make a bee-line for Quince Honey Farm. A
working honey farm based in South Molton. ey moved to a new site a few years ago and this is a completely new attraction and they have just won a top Devon tourism award. Learn about how bees make honey, enjoy a honey tasting session and roll your own beeswax candle. You can join a tour and get a close up and see how honey is extracted from the hive and then bottled and then you can buy it in their wellstocked shop. See the Bee Shed and the interactive hives and see millions of bees at work safely behind glass. e centre piece of the attraction is the beautifully landscaped Nectar Gardens where you can wander through the hexagonal plots, each with a diﬀerent theme. www.quincehoneyfarm.co.uk The Big Sheep – Brewery Tour - e Big Sheep doesn’t just oﬀer world-famous fun for children it is an adult’s playground too. And is home to the Country Life Brewery – for grown-ups only! Established in 1998 and producing some awardwinning ales. e Big Sheep also has its own Gin Distillery, run by North Shore a small batch, hand craed artisan distillery, working with the uniqueness of botanicals and producing special edition gin. Enjoy this unique Brewery and distillery tour experience with some world-famous sheep racing thrown in too! www.thebigsheep.co.uk/fo od-drink Free entry days out Donkey Sanctuarye Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, is open 365 days a year. ere are hundreds of
donkeys waiting to meet you here so take a glimpse of what their little corner of Devon has to oﬀer. An ideal stop for groups with their new restaurant looking down towards the sea and a chalk donkey in the hillside gives a great stop oﬀ place to enjoy the freshly prepared, seasonal dishes using local, while enjoying the spectacular coast and country views. Discounted group menus are available for pre-booked groups of 10 or more, including a complimentary meal for the driver, free entry, ample parking, and guided tours. www.thedonkeysanctuary. org.uk/visit-us/sidmouth
of Exmoor Zoo, home of the Exmoor Beast. Experience wildlife from around the world from creepy crawlies of the Amazon to the wobbly wallaby joeys of Australia. ere’s plenty of hands-on activities keeper talks, animal encounters and lots more for groups. www.exmoorzoo.co.uk Wildwood Escot – Immerse yourself in wildlife and explore the 200 acres of parkland, ﬁnd threatened native species including red squirrels and the secretive water vole who have found sanctuary in surroundings steeped in history and ﬁlled with beautiful plants and trees. Great place for groups and families. www.devon.wildwoodtrust.org
Buckast Abbey A working Benedictine Monastery welcoming visitor to enjoy its tranquillity and beauty. As well as the magniﬁcent Abbey, enjoy the beautiful gardens, shops, hotel, and restaurant. Nestled in the shadow of Dartmoor, in a beautiful, wooded valley beside the river Dart it oﬀers visitors a tranquil refuge from the hectic pace of everyday life. Free entry and free guided tours with ample coach and car parking. www.buckfast.org.uk
Canonteign Falls Is a stunning natural attraction in the heart of Devon. Oﬀering peaceful walks among the waterfalls and lakes and family fun in the gardens. Escape the crowds and experience the highest waterfall in Dartmoor National Park. www.canonteignfalls.co.uk Becky Falls Situated in a beautiful spoton Dartmoor and is an iconic landmark. Visit this attraction and breathe some of the purest air in England and then explore the 50 acres of ancient woodlands and stunning falls. www.beckyfalls.com
Animals and Nature Take a trip to one of the many wildlife and animal parks that Devon has to oﬀer for a fun and educational day out with our furry, slippery, hairy and hoofed friends. You will get the chance to get hands-on with the county’s fascinating wildlife – and some from more exotic climates too in one of the local Zoos!
Family days out Devon theme parks have evolved from their modest beginnings and expanded over time to oﬀer a whole day of excitement and enjoyment
Exmoor Zoo - Enjoy a tour 23
for all the family. Devon features some of best theme parks and family attractions in the UK. From rampaging rollercoasters to thrilling toboggan runs, these Devon amusement parks have got it all wrapped up into oﬀering some of the very best days out in Devon. ey magically cater for all ages from the tiny tots with lowkey fun to some pretty terrifying white-knuckle thrill seeker ride experiences. Devon’s Top family days out include Crealy eme Park and Resort, Woodlands Family eme Park, the Milky Way Adventure Park and e Big Sheep Farm and eme Park and Watermouth Castle. Gardens and Parks Home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the country, Devon is known for both its coastal views and its inland greenery, including some stunning parks and gardens.Right across the county there are some delightful green spaces to enjoy from formal city gardens to some of Devon’s top garden and park attractions located in picturesque and natural settings. ere are tranquil places to stroll and enjoy the peace, dog-friendly parks where the dog can get a good run and some wonderful gardens where you can admire the splendors of beautiful ﬂowers and trees but where the children can let oﬀ steam on outdoor play while exploring all around them. Devon’s Top Attractions www.devonstopattractions. co.uk
South Devon South Devon is ideal for group travel and coach trips and welcomes parties of all sizes to come and share what this amazing region has to oﬀer.
o two places are the same in South Devon and you can easily and quickly travel between coastal communities and rural locations, visit the moors and a beach, discover historical sites or visit up market shopping centres all within the same day. is makes it the ideal destination for groups who are looking to explore as many diﬀerent types of landscapes, villages and attractions as possible without having to spend too long on a coach. Whether you’re a group with keen historical interests, are looking to explore gardens and stunning landscapes or want to enjoy the buzz of city centre shopping and nightlife, you can build your perfect coach trip itinerary in South Devon. From coastal water sports to countryside adventure activities such as kayaking, sailing, climbing and mountain biking routes. From days out at the races and spa retreats to visits to historical castles and grand houses, boat trips, steam train rides or hot air balloons, the list is endless. Visits to vineyards and breweries for the older guests and farmyard adventures and theme parks for younger ones, every type of interest
can be catered for in South Devon. With so much on oﬀer, your group or coach party can visit the county time and time again and will never be short of places to explore or new destinations to add to your itinerary.
with luxury caravans and lodges to boutique hotels, as well as aﬀordable and group friendly spaces, no matter if you want to book your group in to a coastal, countryside or town centre setting, South Devon has a great range of group travel accommodation on oﬀer. If you’re looking for inspiration of where to visit in South Devon, make sure you’re following thier Instagram account here where they share stunning images of this beautiful region. And if you’ve got photos you’d like to share with them, use#southdevon, #visitsouthdevon or tag us using @visitsouthdevon, we might even feature your picture on their feed!
Coast and Countryside With a stunning coastline which incorporates sheltered coves and stretches of wide open beaches as well as rugged cliﬀs, picturesque harbours and bustling coastal communities. All ﬂanked by miles and miles of some of the country’s best countryside, including three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a National Park, your choice of coach party stopping points are endless. You could look to combine overnight stays or day trips in a mixture of rural or seaside locations or spend the majority of your time discovering just what one of these natural gems has to oﬀer. But no matter where you choose to visit, one of South Devon’s many fabulous towns, villages or one of their two majestic cities won’t be far way. With such varied attractions and scenery on oﬀer it should come as no surprise that the accommodation you can ﬁnd here is just as wideranging. From holiday parks
For more information on Group Travel in South Devon please visit Group Travel and Coach Parties to South Devon (visitsouthdevon.co.uk) Dartmoor National Park. Dartmoor is breathtakingly beautiful, but it’s not just about the landscape; there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s not just about the wild ponies or the tors, the history or the heritage — but that’s a good start. It’s about getting out there, experiencing new things. is living, breathing, working landscape holds the secret to a past that stretches 24
back over the centuries, and a future that is both sustainable and green. From rare birds and butterﬂies, Neolithic monuments and ancient woodland, to tradition, folklore and farming on horseback, Dartmoor has it all. Leading the way for the arts, all things organic, a haven for literary greats and explorers, you will be walking in some awesome footsteps. Dartmoor has the largest number of archaeological remains in Europe. So, if it is stone circles, menhirs, stone crosses and ancient villages that get you excited, Dartmoor is the place to be. To ﬁnd out more and to understand what makes Dartmoor tick, check out their archaeology page. Dartmoor is home to all manner of wildlife, from Dartmoor ponies wandering the moor, to the rare marsh Fritillary Butterﬂy. If birds, bees and beasts draw your interest, look at their Nature page. Dartmoor truly has something for everyone — nature lovers will ﬁnd an unrivalled choice of walks and cycle routes, and countryside to explore plus wildlife to try and spot. History buﬀs can visit their museums to learn about the area’s unique local myths and legends or try exploring on a guided walk or cycle ride.
FREE ENTRY FREE PARKING •
A Jewel in Devon’s Crown
The monks welcome you to their home and hope you find here, peace and tranquillity. Enjoy the Abbey's beautiful architecture and gardens, restaurant and shops and stay overnight in Northgate House Hotel. Groups welcome. Call to discuss how to make your group booking special, booking essential. Groups: 01364 645532 or Accommodation: 01364 645630 and quote BEGDTDEVUKGPS22
Please go to our website to check opening times before you start your journey Abbey Church • Working Monastery • Gardens • Shops • Restaurant • Hotel & Conference Centre • Well behaved dogs on short leads welcome
Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0EE • www.buckfast.org.uk
Buckfast Abbey is a registered Charity No. 232497
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For centuries the Dartmoor folklore and legends have encompassed tales of pixies, ghosts, witchcra, weird happenings and a host of deep-seated beliefs. ese have been passed down through the generations via ﬁreside stories, books, and local tradition all of which have played their part in keeping the tales alive today. Today they have a wealth of tales all of which relate the various strange events which took place somewhere in the Dartmoor landscape. No matter whether it’s a deep bottomless pool or a sleepy moorland hamlet there will be a story to be told. e fascinating thing is that due to Dartmoor’s unspoilt landscape it is possible to visit many of the places which relate to the various tales and see them as they
were when their events unfolded. So, when visiting Dartmoor why not take some time to journey into the past and witness for yourself the many mysterious places of the moor? ey have listed 15 of the locations here and on the Dartmoor Myths & Legends Trail to make it easier for you on their Myths & Legends page. Food & Drink. ere is a fantastic choice of restaurants on Dartmoor, and they hope you get to enjoy some of them during your stay here! Wherever you go on Dartmoor, there will be a restaurant, pub, hotel or tearoom where you will be assured of a warm and friendly welcome, the highest quality food, wine and service. What could be better
at the end of a day exploring the extraordinary beauty of wild Dartmoor, or a day spent messing about on the rive with the kids, than a gorgeous meal, served in beautiful surrounds, that you did not have to cook yourself !
various Dartmoor Commoners, (the farmers and residents of the Moor who have grazing rights on the open moor), and with these rights comes the responsibility of seeing that the herds of ponies are kept healthy.
Things to Do on Dartmoor.
ere is no more iconic sight on Dartmoor than a herd of ponies grazing together, with stunning, majestic Dartmoor as their backdrop. ey have been here a long time, hoof prints found on Dartmoor during an archaeological dig were found to be 3,500 yrs. old! Written records of ponies on the moor go back as far as AD1012, and in the mid 1800s ponies were used to transport granite from the moorland quarries. All the ponies are owned by
If you want to be active, their website’s ‘Get Active’ section has got plenty of information on cycling, climbing, horse riding, walks to suit everyone and opportunities for water sports and ﬁshing. You can even try their Letterboxing, where walkers can ramble across the moorland hills in search of boxes containing a stamp for the journey and a visitor’s book to leave their own mark. It’s ideal for families too, with lots of great attractions for a day out,fun activities to Blackstone Photo
Folklore & Legends.
TEIGN HERITAGE CENTRE 'Teign Heritage Centre is home to Teignmouth & Shaldon Museum. Learn about Brunel's Railway, shipbuilding on the Teign, Haldon Aerodrome, and much more.'
AWARD-WINNING DEVON CRUISES
More than just a boat trip...
Operating throughout the year, come rain or shine! Discover Devon’s dramatic coastlines and the Exe Estuary from the comfort of our modern vessels Discounted group rates and bespoke packages to suit your group’s requirements.
For group bookings contact: email@example.com otherwise no need to book www.teignheritage.org.uk
Call 01395 222144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
and delectable dining at The Palace Hotel.
THE HEADLAND HOTEL
A 78 bedroom hotel in the heart of the English Riviera, sitting majestically on the headland looking out to sea. Set in two acres of magniﬁcent grounds, o ering stunning views.
THE PALACE HOTEL
This 55 bedroom hotel is situated in a desirable location on Paignton’s Esplanade and directly opposite the seafront, with secure parking and tastefully decorated bedrooms.
headlandtorquay.com • 01803 295666
Discounted rates for groups at all our hotels!
palacepaignton.com 01803 555121
Relaxing indoor heated pool at The Queens Hotel.
THE QUEENS HOTEL
This cosy 75 bedroom hotel enjoys a ﬂat level position just 200 yards from Paignton town centre and seafront. Comfortable interior, restaurant, and entertainment lounge.
sea views at The Headland Hotel & Spa’s terrace.
queenspaignton.com • 01803 551048
Devon Tony Cobley Photogra-
Where to Stay? Regardless of your taste or budget, you’ll ﬁnd somewhere perfect to stay for your Dartmoor holiday.eir towns have luxurious boutique hotels, while there are lots of cosy B&Bs and holiday cottages in their villages and across the national park. If camping and caravanning are more your style, you’ll ﬁnd the perfect place to pitch up. Dartmoor has child-friendly hotels, where you can relax and let the smaller ones enjoy themselves too, and dogfriendly hotels, which understand what you need when you bring your best friend on holiday. Whatever type of accommodation you’re looking for when you start planning your trip to Dartmoor you will find it here - www.visitdartmoor. co.uk/stay
Written records of ponies on the moor go back as far as AD1012, and in the mid 1800s ponies were used to transport granite from the moorland quarries.
get you outdoors and active and a wide choice places to stay no matter your budget or taste. You won’t ﬁnd communities as welcoming anywhere in the country, with Dartmoor’s towns and villages oﬀering up numerous great places to visit. Each community has its own distinct charm and things to do, so you’ll never be short of great ideas and days out. Upon visiting Dartmoor to ﬁlm scenes for his 2011 hit ﬁlm War Horse, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said that “I have never before, in my long, eclectic career, been gied with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced ﬁlming War Horse. With two and a half weeks of extensive coverage of landscape and skies, I hardly scratched the surface of the visual opportunities that were oﬀered to me.”
Your Place By the Sea
DISCOVER DEVON’S HIDDEN GEM • • • • • • • • •
Group discount & driver goes free
Superb Sea Views Bars & Restaurants Snacks, Lunches, Dinners Sprung Floor Ballroom 19 Acre Grounds Heated Indoor & Outdoor Pools Fitness Room Tennis Table Tennis
• • • • • •
Snooker FREE Wi-Fi Entertainment 64 En-Suite Bedrooms Hairdressing Beauty & Holistic Therapies
• FREE on site Car & Coach Parking
Registered charity 1181976
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-4:00 Beck’s Square, Tiverton EX16 6PJ @LangstoneCliff
Telephone 01626 868000
Mount Pleasant Road, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish Devon EX7 0NA
GR GROU GRO GROUP TRAVEL TR TRA TRAV TRAVE T Explore Devon and Cornwall with us
With hotels located across Devon and Cornwall, we provide tailor-made getaways that embrace every aspect of group travel tours, themed breaks, and luxurious hand picked hotels for a truly personal escape
To book you group travel escape call 01271 340000 or visit email@example.com
Spotlight on... some of the best on oﬀer in South Devon The Donkey Sanctuary e Donkey Sanctuary is an award-winning visitor attraction home to hundreds
Packed with unique donkeydesign items and souvenirs, you will ﬁnd something for everyone.
World of Country life World of Country life in Exmouth Devon have welcomed groups for many years – and with many regular visitors we think they must be doing something right! With lots to see and do – extensive outdoor grounds and over two and half acres under cover - you will enjoy a whole day of fun.
of friendly donkeys just waiting to meet you. Besides the furry residents, explore everything the sanctuary has to oﬀer, from daily talks and scenic walks to award-winning gardens and engaging exhibits. Take sanctuary in e Kitchen restaurant and enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce alongside unparalleled coast and country views. Great value menus are available for pre-booked groups, with every penny of proﬁt helping donkeys and mules around the world. Before heading home, browse the Gi Shop at leisure in the knowledge that every purchase goes towards helping donkeys in need.
Visit the museum of farming, stroll down memory lane in the Victorian Street, have a chat in the pub, peek in the shops and see what was in fashion over the decades, do you remember the WW2 ration books and memorabilia on view?
From humble beginnings as a UK rescue mission over 50 years ago, e Donkey Sanctuary has grown into one of the world’s largest equine welfare charities. e sanctuary is open from 9am, 364 days a year, with free admission and parking including dedicated coach lane for easy drop-oﬀ. Coach drivers eat free and a guided tour or talk is included with all group bookings. Pre-booking is essential with a minimum one week’s notice. For more information or to book a group visit, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary. org.uk/sidmouth or call 01395 578222.
Don’t forget to check out the Hall of Transport - with over 40 vehicles on display it’s one of the best Classic Car and Vintage Vehicle collections Hall of Transport
in the South West. You should be able to pick out the superstar vehicles that have appeared in ITV’s Downton Abbey & Mr Selfridge and BBC’s Parade’s End – toot toot! ere is a daily activity programme which includes a Bird of Prey ﬂying display, the amazing Deer Train Safari* where you get up close and hand feed a Red Deer, then there is the hilarious animal racing event – all magical memory making experiences. Take a well-earned break in Farmer Lee’s Food Barn where you can enjoy hot or cold snacks or a delicious cream tea – you are in Devon aer all! Meet and greet for your guests can be arranged along with a suggested itinerary for your group by prior arrangement.
Ancient Woodland Park
Walk the trails Meet the animals Licensed Café & Gift Shop Just £5 per person*
*Groups of over 25 people, weekdays during Devon term time only (usual group rate £7 per person)
Manaton, Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9UG. T: 01647 221259 W: beckyfalls.com
SIDMOUTH, EX10 0NU
Open Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 12th Feb - 30th Oct 2022 Pre-booking essential!
A registered charity
ere is plenty of Free parking plus the all important free coach parking and a complimentary food voucher for the coach driver in Farmer Lee’s Food Barn. It’s so easy to book take a look online wocl.co.uk/memorylane where you can download a group booking pack or give us a call on 01395 274533 World of Country Life is just 10 miles from the M5 junction 30 e Park is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm from 12th March – 30th October 2022 ere are also joint tickets available with Stuart Line Cruises also in Exmouth or with Seaton Tramway in Seaton – check out the deals on wocl.co.uk/memorylane Dartmouth Steam Railway Dartmouth Steam Railway steam trains travel seven miles along the South Devon coastline (right beside the beach in places!) then into
the Dart Valley and the beautiful village of Kingswear which sits opposite the pretty Port of Dartmouth. Dartmouth River Boats operate on the River Dart oﬀering regular scheduled services to the historic town of Totnes (nine miles upriver) and 1-hour circular river cruises operate daily from Dartmouth - plus
years. In her heyday the impressive ship was the life blood of the river Dart, carrying almost 500 passengers between Totnes and Dartmouth! www.dartmouth railriver.co.uk Steam and scenery in beautiful South Devon
Plymouth, to Totnes and back again. At Buckfastleigh, there is a riverside walk and picnic area, gardens, museum and a well-stocked shop and refreshment rooms. ere is plenty of coach parking with easy, ﬂat access to the platform. If you are looking for a range
day trips from Torquay to Dartmouth (including some which oﬀer return by steam train).
e South Devon Railway has a great range of excursions designed for groups, with something to suit everyone.
eir famous Round Robin is an award-winning full day excursion - a steam train journey, ferry crossing, river cruise and bus ride. ere are many diﬀerent options available so you can choose the itinerary that suits you best, spending time exploring the towns along the way.
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. e trains take you on a leisurely journey from Buckfastleigh, just oﬀ the A38, midway between Exeter and
2013 stirred some fond memories in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. e River Dart, which for centuries provided a transport highway up and down this Devon waterway, regained the last coal ﬁred paddle steamer carrying passengers in the UK, the Kingswear Castle. She was built in 1924 at Philip & Son of Dartmouth, and returned home aer an absence of 47
of easy to book options, the railway oﬀers a great variety of entertainment at very attractive prices. is 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.
South Devon railway
Sarah Anne Harvey
Wheelchairs and a mobility scooter are available on free loan from reception (advanced booking necessary). An accessibility map of the park is available on request and there is a hearing loop available in reception. ere are accessible toilets and disabled parking spaces, assistance dogs are permitted on the park and if people in your party require a carer, the carer would be entitled to free entry on production of DLA paperwork or similar. A group of 20 or more will be entitled to a group booking rate of as well as a special reduced rate* to ride on the Deer Train Safari.
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A world of memories from days gone by!
ANIMALS | PLAY | MUSEUMS | ENTERTAINMENT Call us now on 01803 555872
(01395) 274533 wocl.co.uk/memorylane
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for a great day out A first class destination and a warm welcome for groups. Easy access from the A38 and free coach parking at Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0DZ
Ask us about...
Buckfastleigh • Staverton • Totnes www.southdevonrailway.co.uk 01364 644370
Devon Verandah overlooking the sea. e Lincoln Restaurant is open every day for Breakfast and Dinner and for lunch on Sundays or by appointment. www.langstone-hotel.co.uk
More details are at www.southdevonrailway. co.uk, email trains@southdevonrailway. co.uk or call 01364 644370 for full details. The Langstone Cliﬀ Hotel
Princess Theatre in Torquay
Since 1947 the Hotel has been expanded and improved many times and now features 64 en-suite bedrooms, which are constantly being updated, and a wealth of leisure facilities. Including Indoor and Outdoor Heated Swimming Pools, a Tennis Court, Table Tennis, Snooker and a Fitness Room. All of the hotel bedrooms oﬀer
high speed wi-ﬁ, Sky Sports and tea and coﬀee making facilities. Many of the rooms are air conditioned, and, or have sea views or balconies.
Holistic and Beauty erapies and have a fully equipped Hairdressing Salon oﬀering a range of ladies & gents’ styles.
e hotel also has a 323 square metre, sprung ﬂoored, air-conditioned ballroom.
e Lincoln Bar is open all day, every day, and can oﬀer a wide range of food and drink which can be enjoyed in the spacious lounges or on the
ey can oﬀer a range of
Becky Falls Set within a spectacular ancient valley, Dartmoor’s famous Becky Falls has been attracting visitors since 1903, and no trip to Devon would be complete without a visit. Take time to explore over 50 acres of woodland and streams which are rich in wildlife. ere is a choice of three circular walking trails. Choose the Blue Trail for a gentler walk through the ancient oak woodland. e Red Trail is where you will discover our stunning waterfall and its dramatic 70 drop at the heart of the park. For the more adventurous, why not have a go at our notoriously fun boulder scramble and if you enjoy that, carry on to the Purple Trail for views of the beautiful lower falls on more rugged terrain. Along with all this, relax and treat yourself in our licensed woodland café. ere’s something for all appetites, we have everything from cakes and cream teas to lighter snacks and hearty burgers. Not forgetting our small zoo and exotics house, including Meet-theKeeper talks throughout the day. We also have a children’s nature trail, where every child wins a prize. Manaton, Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9UG. T: 01647 221259 W: beckyfalls.com
South Devon’s largest regional theatre, the Princess eatre in Torquay showcases the best West End and touring productions from across the UK. Oﬀering a wide and varied programme including ﬁrst class dance, music, famous names, drama, musicals, opera, comedy, and children’s shows. ey welcome groups of all sizes to their theatre. eir weekly plays and musicals oﬀer great groups discounts. From a bakers’ dozen group oﬀer available for Footloose in August to the annual
English Riviera BID
e 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.
Explore 4 acres of award-winning gardens showcasing hundreds of model scenes, vehicles & people.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for discounted group rates Babbacombe Model Village, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3LA
Devon break with Brend Hotels. Made up of 11 three and four star hotels across Devon and Cornwall, their portfolio of venues are proudly individual but share the same commitment to memorable experiences and impeccable service. ey provide tailormade getaways that embrace the stunning coast, countryside and bustling market towns - all of which lend themselves well to group travel.
Princess Theatre from Rock Walk
Babbacombe Model Village is equally as famous for its glorious gardens that help to set it aside as one of Europe’s Premier Model Villages. e gardens provide a stunning backdrop for the hundreds of
Panto in December and even looking ahead to e Cher Show and e Mousetrap in 2023, we’re sure to have something for every group. If you are simply visiting for the Bay for a day, why not take in the stunning views from their Bistro top deck, with coﬀee and a cake or add pre-theatre dining on to your theatre visit.
Visit www.atgtickets/torquay to see details of their shows and you can call their dedicated groups line on 020 7206 1179 or email torquaymarketing@theamb assadors.com
eir friendly and experienced group reservations team will help you plan all the details for your group booking and make sure your group trip to the South West goes smoothly. Plus, when you book directly with them, fantastic rates are available alongside several other
Babbacombe Model Village Feel like a giant as you step through the small entrance and the vast miniature world opens up before you. Explore 4 acres of award-winning gardens showcasing hundreds of model scenes, vehicles & people.
miniature models and animated scenes. For an added twist there are always fun characters to search for as you explore the gardens.
Bring back those magical childhood memories as you explore a quaint and quirky representation of England through ﬁve decades at Babbacombe Model Village. Meander your way through four acres of beautiful miniature gardens and discover many fun characters and animated features - from trains to moving vehicles and even a ﬁre-breathing dragon.
Groups (model-village.co.uk) Brend Hotels- explore Devon and Cornwall with them For fantastically fun, worryfree, above-and-beyond stays, consider booking your next 36
superb beneﬁts which include a complimentary visit for you to inspect the property, a complimentary guest for every 25 booked, a dedicated group specialist who will assist with all your administration and a tailormade itinerary to suit all of your requirements. So what are you waiting for? ey have a group accommodation solution to suit you perfectly. Get in
Beautiful views at Brend Hotels
touch with them today! www.brend-hotels.co.uk
Providence Hospitality Are you looking for the perfect base whilst exploring Torbay and the South Devon coastline? Well look no further than their beautiful hotels in Torbay. e Queens Hotel with 75
bedrooms situated a ﬂat level position just 200 meters from the seafront and Paignton town centre with indoor heated pool.
78 bedrooms situated high up on the headland overlooking the beautiful South Devon coastline with Hydro Spa leisure facilities. Each hotel oﬀers delectable dining options and an array of excellent evening entertainment, all on site of the hotel you choose. With a huge variety of attractions just a stone’s throw from each property
e Palace Hotel in Paignton with 55 bedrooms boasting a seafront position opposite Paignton Pier and indoor heated pool and leisure facilities, and e Headland Hotel & Spa in Torquay with Providence Hospitality
there is something for everyone to enjoy! ey look forward to welcoming you! For more information please do not hesitate to contact the hotels directly for group pricing. Providence Hospitality also operate group hotels in Minehead and Grange-over-Sands if you are looking for a destination further aﬁeld. For more information, please visit www.providencehospitality. co.uk Buckfast Abbey Free to enter, the historic monastery of Buckfast Abbey, founded in 1018 and rebuilt stone-by-stone on its medieval foundations between 1906 and 1937, is home to a working community of Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks. Located on the picturesque banks of the River Dart on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, the Abbey is a haven of peace and tranquillity.
Renowned for its stunning Abbey Church with its dramatic Lantern Ceiling, and its extensive grounds and gardens, visitors can also enjoy recitals of choral and organ music by internationally renowned choirs and organists; as well as the delicious lunches and cream teas oﬀered in e Grange Restaurant. Even larger groups can enjoy ﬁnding individual contemplation and quiet when strolling through the Abbey’s grounds. Buckfast Abbey can arrange bespoke tailormade tours, booking is essential. e Abbey also has three shops which oﬀer an extensive range of items produced by monasteries all over the world, from gis, cards and books, to food and
drink. For events and meetings, the newly refurbished Schiller Hall (part of St Cuthbert’s Conference Centre) is an inspirational space for hosting and is capable of catering for up to 120 delegates.
Abbey is conveniently located just oﬀ the A38 Devon Expressway. Open between 10am – 4:30pm and there is ample free parking for coaches and cars. www.buckfast.org.uk
For longer stays, visitors can explore the surrounding countryside from the comfort of the attractive and comfortable 33-bedroom onsite Hotel – Northgate House. Accommodation in Grangehurst House, a ﬁybed group accommodation block, is also available, oﬀering an ideal base for groups taking part in activity holidays, such as canoeing, rambling and ﬁshing.
Seaton Tramway is a great day out for all age groups, and even more fun
dining and/or meeting area for groups can seat up to 80 people. It takes half an hour to travel from end to end. ey recommend a break at Colyton or Seaton to explore these interesting towns. Colyton station includes the well-stocked shop, which has a wide range of tram-related souvenirs and unique gis. Your visit to can be made even easier by booking a joint ticket with one of their friendly East Devon neighbours. Enjoy your morning at Seaton Tramway and then add on a trip to the lovely Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, or the exciting World of Country Life in Exmouth. Just contact them today to book your next trip. www.tram.co.uk/groups or 01297 20375
Seaton Tramway Tiverton Museum Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is a treasure trove
Easily accessible from Exeter, Plymouth, and many other surrounding areas, Buckfast
whenyou're travelling with a like-minded group! ey have open toppers and enclosed saloons, giving a comfortable ride. Whatever the weather groups will enjoy a leisurely trip on the Tramway.
e Garden Room at Colyton Station is a great place to enjoy the Tramstop Cafe delights, this separate 38
of fascinating objects and quirky artefacts that weave incredible stories about the people who lived in Devon’s heartland. e galleries show everything from lace making to laundry, bicycles to brewing and carts to costume. Don’t miss their transport gallery; hop on board the footplate of the Tivvy Bumper steam engine,
ground ﬂoor gallery tells the story of the ﬁshing industry and the port, the Newfoundland connections, and boatbuilding along the Teign. Also on show are cannons and other artefacts from the Church Rocks wreck, a 16th century Venetian vessel discovered by
Sarah Anne Harvey
put on a driver’s cap and pull the whistle! All of this and much more reveals what makes Mid Devon so special. e museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users; a li is available. e museum oﬀers a discounted rate to pre-booked groups of 10 or more people. e
Teign Heritage Centre
charges can be found on the website www.teignheritage.org.uk For more information and group bookings email: email@example.com Fursdon House Tiverton Museum
museum is easy to ﬁnd in the centre of Tiverton; the entrance is on Beck’s Square, next to the short stay car park, just a few minutes’ walk from the bus station(where coaches can drop oﬀ ). e town’s Tourist Information Service is housed in the museum and provides information on what else to do locally, and manages the free coach park for Tiverton email tivertontic@tivertonmusem .org.uk. e museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:004:00 January to Christmas.
a young diver in 1975. Learn about Admiral Pellew and the Bombardment of Algiers in 1816. e ﬁrst-ﬂoor gallery tells of the growth of Teignmouth and Shaldon into a popular tourist resort, the coming of Brunel’s railway in 1846, the
Historic Fursdon House, home of the Fursdon family since 1259, is once again delighted to be able to welcome groups to visit the House, Gardens and Tearoom. e family will happily work with you to arrange the perfect visit for your group, to include
Teign Heritage Centre, Teignmouth & Shaldon museum is a small local history Museum run entirely by volunteers. First opened in 1978 and extended in 2011 the two main galleries display the social history of the Teign Estuary. In the large foyer, alongside the small shop and coﬀee area, there is a restored bathing machine to explore and pier machines to play on. e
pier and Haldon Aerodrome. ere is a roof terrace on the top ﬂoor which has views of the hills above the town. Teign Heritage Centre has a li to all ﬂoors, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. Full details and admission
fascinating guided tours of their home, independent time to wander in 4 acres of beautiful and varied hillside gardens and of course, delicious home baking at the charming Coach Hall Tearoom and courtyard.
Hidden deep in the hills of rural Mid Devon, Fursdon is truly oﬀ the beaten track, with stunning views looking over grassy parkland to the Exe Valley, Dartmoor and beyond. e unspoilt and tranquil location, the delightful gardens, the palpable sense of living history and the very welcome refreshments all combine to make Fursdon a very special place to visit. Group visits are welcome between Easter Monday and the end of October, morning or afternoon on a Monday and mornings only on a Wednesday and Thursday. Minimum group size 20 people. House and Gardens £11.50 pp, Gardens only £5.50 pp. Please contact Becky, Estate Administrator on 01392 860860 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.fursdon.co.uk
Devon theatre representative, so your groups theatre experience is managed in a manner that enables you quality care and attention. is personal service is overseen by the theatre manager, Marie Chapman and if prior to your groups visit you’d like more details regarding the operation or the shows, please email, boxoﬃce@ matpro-show.biz or call on 01803 328385 Coach drivers will be advised where they can park their coaches safely during a performance and your passengers can be assured, we can provide access to wheelchair users with an accessible toilet. ey do have some wheelchair spaces and a loop system also. Pecorama
Fursdon Babbacombe Theatre Situated on the English Riviera's beautiful Babbacombe Downs in Torquay, arguably the Babbacombe eatre is one of the most popular theatres in the Southwest. e venue is renowned for producing highly acclaimed productions, that not only caters well for the tourist and locals alike but is well supported from Feb to Jan by the coaching hotels, as their visiting coach operators, take
advantage of the mid-week shows that caters so well for their passengers. With the theatre included in the TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame, boasting the latest Travellers Choice Award, and ranked not only as the No1 theatre on the English Riviera, but as the No1 ‘ings to Do’ when visiting Torquay, patrons can be conﬁdent to expect 5-star entertainment which will be ‘Fun’ & ‘Fabulous’ Every tour operator/driver and passenger will beneﬁt from direct contact with a
Pecorama attracts over 30,000 visitors a season to visit arguably the best 7.25 inch ride-on steam railway in
forms a complex, convoluted circuit now one mile in length. Passenger trains start and ﬁnish at the terminus of Much Natter Station, just inside the main garden entrance. e route starts oﬀ through the award-winning gardens and includes many over and under bridges, extensive sidings and a lengthy dark tunnel. Following this, the trains venture out into the countryside and pass the new Deepwater station. Here passengers may choose to alight to enjoy the tranquillity of Lake Charlotte, the beautiful wildlife pond in Wildway Park, where there is also a nature walk and ﬁtness trail. e train then passes a branch line which zig-zags down very steep gradients to the Beer Mine. Pecorama is also proud to showcase its award-winning gardens and children’s entertainment areas, which include crazy golf, outdoor
the country. For over 45 years, the charming and sleepy ﬁshing village of Beer in Devon, has been home to the Beer Heights Light Railway, which travels through the stunning grounds of its popular visitor attraction. Having been gradually extended over the years, Pecorama’s BHLR train line 40
play areas and a zip-wire. ere is also a free-to-enter model railway exhibition with interactive indoor and outdoor trains to operate, as well as a souvenir and model shop. e park has several refreshment and food outlets, as well as oﬀering high-teas on its luxurious 70 year old Pullman Orion carriage, for every oﬀering a day out
Daish’s Hotels If your group is looking to get away, then why not get in touch with thier dedicated group booking team who can tell you all about the great value group oﬀers. ey can tailor make a coach holiday to the Devon Hotel in Torquay to and subject to minimum numbers, you can be picked up and transported to your hotel of choice in one of their comfortable and stylish coaches from any location in the UK. eir award-winning and friendly groups team will be on hand to guide you through every step of your group holiday to make sure your group experience is as
peaceful lounges and garden terrace provide a choice of relaxing spaces to unwind aer a day's sightseeing. You can enjoy a walk with a sea view down the hill to the town centre, but if you don't fancy the walk back up the hill, there is a regular bus service that stops at the hotel. ere's also a Blue Flag beach just a 10 minute stroll away. For Full details of all their holidays visit www.daishs.com
smooth and straight forward as possible. Whether it's assisting with a rooming list, conﬁrming pick up points or handling all those little cietais that can really make the diﬀerence, their team will be happy to help. Many of these groups travel with us year aer year-in fact many of their groups have more than one break a year with them. Devonshire Hotel in Torquay e Devonshire is an ideal choice for a relaxing stay on the English Riviera. e hotel occupies a beautiful 1900's building set atop a hill overlooking the Tor Bay and the hotel gardens. e hotel boasts an outdoor heated pool which is available in the summer (open May-Sept). While the
No two places are the same in South Devon and you can easily and quickly travel between coastal communities and rural locations, visit the moors and a beach, discover historical sites or visit up market shopping centres all within the same day.
member of the family – and dogs are welcome too! www.pecorama.co.uk
Visit South Devon
a great destination for groups
DARTMOUTH TIVERTON TOTNES
Visit Dartmouth The beautiful town of Dartmouth situated on the mouth of the River Dart e beautiful town of Dartmouth situated on the mouth of the River Dart is one of South Devon’s most popular and enchanting towns. With its charming historic streets, scenic river location and surrounded by South Devon countryside you have to go a long way to ﬁnd a town as pretty. e beauty of the landscape, the historical buildings, and the exceptional local produce all make Dartmouth the perfect group destination.
e River Dart is the ideal water sports playground sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boat trips and more are all on oﬀer - you can even learn to surf at one of the nearby beaches, or spend a lazy day enjoying the views. One of the country’s top beaches Blackpool Sands is just a short drive from Dartmouth and is not to be missed. Dartmouth is full of history and heritage, no trip to Dartmouth would be complete without visiting Dartmouth Castle, or Agatha
Christie's Greenway National Trust Holiday Home. Dartmouth is very accessible by water, catch one of the many ferries and head there from Torquay or Totnes or
just enjoy a trip around the river mouth. You could even catch the steam train from Kingswear for a nostalgic trip through the South Devon Countryside. For more information on things to see and do for groups in Dartmouth please visit www.discoverdartmouth.com
Destination Plymouth Welcome to Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City
Plymouth has an impressive waterfront which is completely unmissable. With quaint, historic spots, delicious food and drink and beautiful natural spaces to enjoy, there’s
plenty to explore. Beneﬁtting from a variety of transport access points from land, sea and air, Plymouth is the perfect destination for group day trips and short breaks. Plymouth is home to some incredible group friendly attractions, with something for everyone to enjoy - from the UK's largest aquarium to historical boat trips around Plymouth Sound and exciting museums like e Box which can oﬀer some inciteful Curator Tours, plus a visit to the famous Plymouth Gin Distillery, to see how this world-famous gin is
Welcome to Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, here you’ll discover hundreds of years of history, from Sir Francis Drake to the Mayﬂower Pilgrims and the story of a city rebuilt aer World War II, alongside vibrant arts and culture, incredible food and drink and the most incredible views you’ll see anywhere in the South West.
made and learn about the history. e city has an interesting and varied maritime history, and there are some fascinating local sites to be visited in the area
PLYMOUTH FOR GROUPS
WWW.VISITPLYMOUTH.CO.UK/TRAVELTRADE Plymouth is a vibrant waterfront city packed full of group friendly attractions, accommodation, activities, shopping, entertainment and sightseeing.
dating from the 15th century onwards such as the famous Mayﬂower Steps where the Pilgrims set sail in 1620. ey have some great itineraries for your groups showcasing the Mayﬂower story in city and their rich maritime heritage. For more information on things to see and do, group friendly accommodation and itinerary ideas for groups please visit their new Groups and Travel Trade website www.visitplymouth.co.uk/ traveltrade
Visit Exeter Tony Cobley Photography
With a touch of buzzy, big city atmosphere and a thriving arts scene, Exeter is one of the most vibrant cities in the south west.
Its compact size means it is easy to explore on foot, with narrow historic streets, wonderful architecture and fascinating heritage attractions to discover along the way. Start at the magniﬁcent Cathedral. Dating back 900 years, it is one of England's most beautiful medieval cathedrals and one of the ﬁnest examples of decorated Gothic architecture in this country. It is most famous for its two Norman towers, impressive west front carvings and the longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world. e Quayside is a ten-minute stroll away, an ideal place to try an irresistible Devon cream tea at one of the waterside cafes. Visit the
Custom House Visitor Centre and discover the city’s fascinating 2,000 year-long history, then browse the antique and cra cellars here. ere are plenty of opportunities to get active on the Quayside, hire a bike or canoe to explore Exeter’s ship canal, or scale the south west’s largest indoor climbing wall!
something diﬀerent to see every visit, from community displays and ﬁne art from the city’s collection, as well as an extensive programme of national touring exhibitions, talks, workshops and activities.
Red Coat Guided Tours of the city operate daily and can be pre-booked for groups. ese walking tours are the perfect way to explore Exeter, by discovering the city's sites of interest and hidden treasures. A variety of tours are available, each one focusing on a diﬀerent aspect of Exeter's history, from ghosts and legends to the city’s forgotten history.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) should not be missed. ere’s more in Exeter’s award-winning museum than you might imagine, its 16 galleries of displays take visitors on a voyage of discovery from prehistory to the present day and from Exeter all around the world. With three special exhibition spaces, its changing programme means there is likely to be
Discover how clean water was transported through the city during Medieval times at the fascinating Exeter 44
Underground Passages. Visit the heritage centre before your guided tour, packed with interactive exhibits and interpretation. Cast your eyes around St Nicholas Priory, one of Devon’s oldest dwellings, or pay a visit to the University, home to rare plants and sculptures. ere are new plays to catch at Exeter Northcott, or the latest in contemporary art at Exeter Phoenix. In Exeter, literature is an important part of our culture - the city became the only UK destination in 2019 to be awarded UNESCO City of Literature status! Head to Exeter Cathedral and admire the Exeter Book, a 10thcentury anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry and riddles, explore the Devon and Exeter Institution’s two unique libraries ﬁlled with historic books or explore the Custom House Visitor Centre, home to a number of Quay Words Writers-InResidence, and learn some fascinating facts about the history of the area. Enjoy some well-deserved ‘you time’ at the brand-new rooop GAIA Spa at St Sidwell’s Point, now open! Melt away tension with the sauna, saunarium, salt vapour room, drench and monsoon showers, spa pool, heated
High Street runs parallel to Princesshay and the Cathedral area, and features all the popular store names, including a large John Lewis. e Guildhall and Harlequins undercover shopping centres are home to more high street names and small individual businesses.
cluster of specialist shops and ﬁne restaurants.
e West Quarter is full of quirky unusual shops situated in attractive historic buildings and interesting arcades, leading downhill towards the River Exe. On the edge of Exeter's city centre lies Magdalen Street, great for local food and drink, and just 4 miles from Exeter, the estuary town of Topsham oﬀers an eclectic
Exeter is enjoying a food and drink revolution with more and more great eating establishments opening in the city – it is now renowned as one of the top dining destinations in the south west. Head to Queen St Dining for international cuisines and a street food
market. Princesshay has the popular big name restaurants, or head to the Cathedral Quarter or Gandy Street for cafes and teashops in charming historic buildings, restaurants and bistros with great views and independent restaurants serving top quality Devon produce.
If you're eating on the go,
Explore independent shopping quarters and browse popular high street brands. At the heart of the city is the award-winning Princesshay Quarter with a great choice of shops, cafes and restaurants. Head to the Cathedral Quarter to ﬁnd classic independent shops, and don't miss the cobbled Gandy Street with its trendy clothing and jewellery shops. It's just oﬀ High Street in the
Castle Quarter which is also home to the famous Cavern Club and Exeter Phoenix.
stone beds and foot spas. Enjoy organic GAIA treatments; from crystal facials to restorative body scrubs, to hot stone massages and group pamper packages – all designed to nourish your mind, body and soul. St Sidwell’s Point is the ﬁrst leisure facility in the UK to be built to the ultra-energy eﬃcient Passivhaus standard.
English Riviera BID Company
Matt Austin Images 2013
Admire the endless natural beauty that surrounds Exeter. On one side, the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, on the other, the mystical moors of Dartmoor National Park. www.visitexeter. com/things-to-do/ group-visits
there are delicatessens and markets oﬀering seasonal local food - pick up a delicious pie or pasty from the Exeter Farmers Market every ursday. Follow the Exeter Food & Drink Trail to discover the wealth of local produce in this region.
Many of Exeter's pubs have been serving visitors and locals for hundreds of years you can taste real ales and ﬁne wines in the historic pubs around the Cathedral Yard and High Street, reputed to have once been frequented by Sir Francis
Drake and Charles Dickens. ere are also smart wine bars in the city, nestled amongst independent boutiques. Whatever the weather, whatever your taste, there's food for every occasion. 46
welcomes group tours
From Easter Monday to the end of October (Monday’s, Wednesday’s & Thursday’s). Minimum group size 20 people. Fascinating house tours, beautiful gardens, wonderful views & delicious homebaking.
One thousand years of
in the heart of Devon
exeter-cathedral.org.uk #ExeterCathedral #1000YearsOfWonder
FURSDON, CADBURY, DEVON, EX5 5JS www.fursdon.co.uk 01392 860860
This drawing is dedicated to my friend Bill Lovell who painstakenly restored this building throughout the 1960s 70s I hadthe priveledge of of working with Bill at the time.
Visit the historic city of Exeter in the heart of Devon, to experience its 2,000 year history, beautiful quayside and top quality food & drink.
aylwyn bowen ©
aylwyn bowen ©
Spotlight on... some of the best on oﬀer inland and around Exeter ‘Architecture as theatre’ in the heart of Devon Recently described by Simon Jenkins in e Guardian as “architecture as theatre,”* Exeter Cathedral has stood at the heart of Devon for nearly a thousand years. Aweinspiring beauty and a fascinating history makes it a popular group travel destination, and Trip Advisor’s top-ranked ‘thing to do in Devon.’** Visitors can explore the building and learn more about Exeter Cathedral’s history with a choice of
entertaining tours (including roof tours), and audio guides in English, French, Italian and German. ey can discover a unique gi collection in the Cathedral Shop, and enjoy locallyproduced drinks and refreshments at the Ten Fiy café.
treasures dating back over a thousand years.
For a truly unique experience, the cathedral hosts a vibrant calendar of events, performances, exhibitions and inclusive services to suit all tastes. Groups can also make an appointment to visit the Library & Archives and see
To ﬁnd out more visit www.exetercathedral.org.uk/ plan-your-visit or email email@example.com
Special admission rates for groups of ten or more start at £5.50 per person for an unguided visit, or £6 to include a standard tour. Special tours are available from £8 per person.
Further information about coach parking near Exeter Cathedral can be found at
bit.ly/exeter-coaches * e towers and the glory: Simon Jenkins’ favourite cathedrals in Europe, e Guardian, 13 November 2021. ** Trip Advisor ‘ings to Do in Devon’ ranked by traveller favourites, 27 April 2022. Royal Albert Museum Exeter’s world-class museum has stunning displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions and modern amenities. e displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and
We are Making History! Visit Exeter’s awardwinning museum and be a part of Devon and Exeter’s long, rich history. FREE ENTRY Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX Visit rammuseum.org.uk Call 01392 265858 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Tue-Sun, 10-5pm Closed bank holidays
global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the world. Fieen galleries of displays take visitors on a voyage of discovery from pre-history to the present day, from Exeter all around the world. With two special exhibition spaces, its changing programme means there is something diﬀerent to see every visit, from national touring and contemporary shows to ﬁne
art from the city’s collection. Permanent displays draw from the city’s collection including glassware, West Country silver, clocks and watches, local history and archaeology. Exotic animals, birds and butterﬂies and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from across the planet.
AWARD-WINNING DEVON CRUISES
Situated between Rougemont and Northernhay Gardens, and the city’s busy high street, the splendid Victorian building has full wheelchair access and there’s a light and airy café providing light meals, snacks and drinks and a superb shop. With so much to do and see groups can easily spend 2-3 hours in the museum, and entrance is free.
More than just a boat trip...
Operating throughout the year, come rain or shine! Discover Devon’s dramatic coastlines and the Exe Estuary from the comfort of our modern vessels Discounted group rates and bespoke packages to suit your group’s requirements.
Call 01395 222144 or email email@example.com
www.rammuseum.org.uk or call 01392 265 858
Royal Albert Museum
Welcome to the English Riviera Voted a Top 10 UK Destination, few locations oﬀer as much choice and value for Groups with the English Riviera being a very popular year-round Group Destination.
Babbacombe Model Village With its 4 acres of awardwinning gardens, hundreds of model scenes, vehicles and people. Babbacombe Model Village is one of Europe’s premier model villages. ere’s a tearoom plus a shop.
historic building, an ancient scheduled monument dating back to 1196 set within 18 acres of garden and parkland. Greenway (Holiday Home of Agatha Christie) Greenway, also known as Greenway House, is world famous estate on the River Dart and was once the home of the world’s greatest Crime Writer Agatha Christie and now owned by the National Trust. Visits to the house and stunning riverside gardens are very popular with Groups.
parking on site. Paignton Steam Railway A ‘must-do’ is the hugely popular heritage steam train that runs from Paignton to Dartmouth via foot passenger ferry along the stunning English Riviera coastline passing famous places including Greenway, the holiday home of Agatha Christie. Bygones Victorian Village Bygones is perfect for groups with a life-sized Victorian Street and 3 ﬂoors of pure nostalgia. Guided tours are available. e main exhibition on the ground ﬂoor is accessible to wheelchairs. Enjoy the station-themed cafe oﬀers light lunches and cream teas.
Cockington Village and Craft Centre Many villages lay claim to being picturesque, but the delightful Devon village of Cockington is the real deal. Take a walk back in time along Cockington’s narrow lanes, lined with thatched houses and you’ll experience a quiet charm that is quintessentially English. Everything about Cockington
Torre Abbey and gardens Torre Abbey is Torbay's most
oozes with history – there’s a water mill, a forge and even the cricket pitch was once a medieval deer park. It’s an unforgettable place to visit and now has a quality Cra Centre. Golden Hind Groups will love the full-size replica of Drakes world famous Golden Hind, a splendid 5deck museum ship that takes pride of place in Brixham’s picturesque inner harbour. Brixham is famous for it’s World Class Fish Market, picturesque, coloured cottages and independent shops, cafes and restaurants and a great place to just wader around. Group Accommodation For groups looking for a warm welcome, a great choice of group accommodation in Devon and a wealth of friendly group attractions and facilities and more information about all English Riviera BID Company
For groups looking for a warm welcome, a great choice of group accommodation in Devon and a wealth of friendly group attractions and facilities, the English Riviera and seaside towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham has it all. e English Riviera is a fantastic year-round destination for a group holiday in Devon with accessible Coach parking available across the resort. For groups of all sizes looking for the perfect holiday spot, Devon’s English Riviera really ﬁts the bill with a huge range of attractions ideally suited to your needs. You’ll receive a warm welcome at these worldclass year-round attractions, which include:
Kents Cavern Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year and a gateway site to the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. ere is a gi shop and large restaurant with views. All groups over 20 get a private tour and there is free coach 50
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within an hour’s drive should you wish to explore further, Devon has so much to oﬀer.
the Group Accommodation available, many of which oﬀer special Group Rates can be found on: www.englishriviera.co.uk/acc ommodation/groupaccommodation
Please remember that the English Riviera Visitor Information Centre is on hand all year-round to help Group Travel Organisers ﬁnd hotels and help with developing itineraries. ey can provide free copy right images and videos to help you promote the English Riviera. More information can be found on www.englishriviera.co.uk or by calling 01803 211211
the English Riviera with the new South Devon Highway cutting travel times to just over 30 minutes from the end of the M5 at Exeter, making the English Riviera the perfect touring base for a great Group Holiday. Dartmoor National Park, Plymouth and the cathedral city of Exeter are all
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Getting to the English Riviera It’s never been easier to get to
Support for Group Tour Operators (GTO’s)
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23 E 20 AL & NS 22 O 20 W NO
Groups Why not join the hundreds of groups that travel with us every year and discover all the benefits of Daish’s Holidays for yourself.
All our hotels are accredited as COVID safe under the Visit Britain good to go scheme
places for groups over 20 people
A choice of 12 fantastic hotels spread across 10 locations
Great value half board breaks including nightly entertainment
Fleet of 26 luxury coaches to provide comfortable travel
Dedicated groups team to support you from booking to arrival
Over 40 years of award winning customer service
Get in touch with us Today! Call 01202 638 841 or visit daishs.com
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