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ABTA No. V4744

08/03/2018 10:42


A word from the editor I

’M LUCKY IF I can keep a cactus alive, so

We’ve also gone all bicentenary this month,

I’ve always harboured a deep respect for

with 200 being the magic number for garden

anyone with the patience, time and vision

lovers at Woburn Abbey (which is celebrating

to be creative in the garden. People like the

garden designer Humphry Repton’s bicentenary

team at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS),

this month, see page 10), as well as fans of

who entertain thousands of visitors every

Emily Brontë. As a new film of Wuthering

year at their gardens and shows across the

Heights hits cinemas in time for Emily’s

country – and who are on hand to answer

birthday, we celebrate the life and times of one

your questions in our special expert Q&A section on page 106.

of our greatest writers – see page 58. Whatever you get up to this month, we

They’re one of the many reasons

can help you save money too – just head

why we decided to give this issue

to for cut-price

a floral thread, from our lavender

tickets to hundreds of attractions.

cover to our guide to Britain’s

■ See for cut-price attraction tickets ■ Plus visit our new jobs site Group Travel World Magazine, 3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX Switchboard: 01733 293487 Web: – and for attraction tickets ISSN: 2048-3392 EDITORIAL

Editor: Helen Milbank


Until next month...

Designer: David Hiles E:

best flower and garden shows on page 42.

Contributors: Adam Jacot de Boinod, Naomi MacKay, Louise Murgatroyd, Sue Parslow, Mike Pickup and Angela Youngman RHS


Advertising Manager: Julie Cousins T: 01733 293242 E:

Page 42

Client Manager: Paige Fraser T: 01733 293245 E: Sales Executive: Karen Newton T: 01733 293489 E: SUBSCRIPTIONS/MARKETING

Marketing Subscriptions Executive: Emma Parkes T: 01733 293487 E: Marketing Executive: Emily Dougall T: 01733 293483 E:

Page 108


Trade account managers: 0800 024 8070 MANAGEMENT PIXABA Y

General Operations Manager: Harley Denham T: 01733 293249 E: Publisher: Jonathan Taylor E:


© 2018 GTW Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or system or in any means without the written permission of the directors. This is considered a breach of copyright and action will be taken where this occurs. This magazine must not be lent, sold, hired or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any authorised cover by way, or by trade, or annexed to any publication or advertising matter without first obtaining written permission from the directors.

This month sees our cover star, lavender, come into bloom at gardens across the UK

Join the discussion on Twitter by following us at @GTWMagazine, find us on Facebook at and join our Linkedin group Group Travel World Magazine

Group Travel World magazine is read by

leading UK and European coach operators, as well as active group travel organisers, representing more than 1,000,000 travellers.




003 GTW Mar 18 Welcome.indd 3


01/03/2018 12:05



16 Enjoy summer in the Swiss Alps

26 Visit glorious Leighton Hall in Lancashire

62 Cruise Italy’s Lake Como

28 Explore Britain by heritage railway 4 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018

004-005 GTW Mar 18 Contents.indd 4

01/03/2018 12:32

Contents Regulars

Special offer! Save up to 60% off theatre and attraction tickets at grouptraveloffers .com

6 Let’s go...

Take a polar Christmas cruise with the penguins

8 News

What's new in the world of travel

67 Theatre news & reviews The latest from theatreland

98 Industry insider

News from the Coach Tourism Association

94 Head to Bath for a spa day like no other

102 London & Partners

Explore the London borough of Islington

103 UKinbound

News from UKinbound’s recent convention

104 Expert Q&As

Your travel questions answered

110 Readers’ letters

You share your news and photos

112 Puzzle pages

Try our quizzes and puzzles every month

114 And finally...

We meet West End theatre wardrobe manager Emma Mansfield

Features 16 Summer in the Alps

58 Celebrate Emily Brontë’s bicentenary

We take to Europe’s highest mountains

20 A certain je ne sais quoi

Visit a French chateau in the north of England


24 The wonders of nature

Explore the Natural History Museum

28 Make tracks

Our guide to Britain’s best heritage railways

36 All over the shop...

Top spots for bargains, plus travel must-haves

42 On show

Our pick of 2018’s best flower shows

48 “I’ll pour!”

Enjoy the great British tradition of afternoon tea

52 On a real high

Why the south of England oozes adventure

56 Music to our ears

Celebrate the UK’s rich musical heritage

58 Brontë celebration

We celebrate the life and times of Emily Brontë

62 The Italian job

Holiday like a film star on Lake Como

76 Take to the water Take a lunchtime cruise

80 24 hours in Leeds

Explore this West Yorkshire gem of a city

76 Step it up a gear

Days out for adrenalin lovers

42 Visit the UK’s top flower shows

92 Relax in style

Spa breaks tried and tested across the UK MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

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01/03/2018 12:32


006-007 GTW Mar 18 Lets Go.indd 6

01/03/2018 12:36

Let’s go...


Iceberg ahead! Wake up to scenes like this next Christmas as you explore breathtaking South Georgia island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, as part of Scenic Eclipse’s Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica cruise. The 21-day voyage, which leaves Buenos Aires in Argentina on December 17, 2018, will venture close to the region’s best-known inhabitants – the thousands of king penguins who call this remote outpost home – as it re-traces the footsteps of famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, from his first arrival on the east side of South Georgia island. Fares will set you back a cool £19,745, but it certainly beats Christmas afternoon watching old Bond films on TV... ■ Find out more at


006-007 GTW Mar 18 Lets Go.indd 7


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Gardens of plenty

Gardening presenter Chris Beardshaw spoke to visitors at the Group Leisure & Travel Show at the NEC in October and recommended a few of his favourite gardens....


N THE UK we have more gardens open to

■ Biddulph Grange

the public than anywhere else in the world,

brings you the entire world in just one garden.

Revival estate near Wraxall in North

with a staggering 2,700 gardens of national

It’s home to an Egyptian pyramid, an American

Somerset. See

importance. We’re spoilt for choice, and here

arboretum, Japanese water gardens, you

are just a few that are well worth a visit...

name it... I always think it’s like a series of

■ Furzey Gardens

picture postcards. See www.nationaltrust.

Forest was created in 1922, later fell into

disrepair and was rescued in the 1970s. It’s

■ Crathes Castle

in Aberdeenshire is owned

near Stoke-on-Trent

by the National Trust for Scotland. Surprisingly

■ Tyntesfield

is a Victorian Gothic

in Minstead in the New

famous for its rhododendrons as well as its

for such a northerly spot, its plants are well

■ Wollerton Old Hall Garden

sheltered from the icy blast of the North Sea,

is a world-class example of an English garden,

and the garden’s home to many tropical plants

set around a Tudor house. It comprises of a

that actually revel in the soil here. There’s a

series of compartmentalised spaces, which

great walk through the arboretum too. See

are awake from early spring to the first frosts.

For more inspiration...

Started in just 1984, the garden’s a real

Chris was talking at the

credit to its owners, Lesley and John Jenkins.

Group Leisure & Travel


Show 2017. This year’s

■ Mount Grace Priory

in North Allerton


The picture postcard Biddulph Grange near Stoke-on-Trent

in Shropshire

in North Yorkshire is owned by English

fairies (evidence of Furzey’s fairies litter the garden). See

show takes place on

Heritage and tells the story of the UK’s

■ Hidcote Manor

monastic gardens. There’s a manor house

garden in North Gloucestershire, made up

at Birmingham’s NEC,

to explore, as well as a true arts and

of a series of garden ‘rooms’. It’s one of the

and its guest speakers

crafts garden that sits on the edge of the

UK’s best known arts and crafts gardens,

include gardening guru Carol Klein.

moors. It’s fantastic throughout the year,

and was the first to be acquired by the

Turn to page 14 for more on the show


National Trust in 1946. Find out more at

– and see


is a National Trust

Thursday October 11



008 GTW Mar 18 15 Mins With.indd 8

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08/03/2018 10:44



A new exhibition at Woburn Abbey celebrates visionary gardener Humphry Repton’s designs


Grand designs

Get your FREE Group Travel Offers brochure to access cheaper tickets to a range of UK attractions. Email harley@group

exhibition that celebrates the work of a man whose prime object was to beautify the land

This month will see gardening expert Alan

than 400 designs and schemes

surrounding a fine country

Titchmarsh MBE open a new exhibition at

for gardens great and small, but

house, and help both house and

Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire to celebrate

of these, he stated, “None were more

the bicentenary of Humphry Repton.

fully realised than at Woburn Abbey”.

Recognised as the first person to invent

The new exhibition, called Humphry

garden work in harmony,” says Alan. ■ To

find out more, visit the website

and use the title landscape gardener, Humphry

Repton: Art & Nature for the Duke of Bedford,

– and turn to page 44 for news of Woburn’s

regarded himself as the rightful successor to

opens on March 23 and runs until October

2018 flower show. Plus see the Abbey’s

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. He produced more

28, 2018. “I’m delighted to be opening an

afternoon tea packages on page 48.

A killer exhibition

The new World Rugby Museum at Twickenham

This month sees the launch of Longleat

Expect a scrum...

Safari Park’s new Predator exhibition, which will see visitors coming face to face with the

A new World Rugby Museum has opened at

commentary, film and match footage,” says

planet’s most effective killers, from great

Twickenham, with more than 38,000 exhibits

the museum’s curator, Phil McGowan.

white sharks to Venus flytraps. Prehistoric

to explore in cutting-edge interactive displays.

The museum began life as the Museum of

predators will also be brought back to life,

The museum, which is now housed in the

Rugby in 1996, before being re-branded as

with a sabre-toothed cat and a 10-metre-long

South Stand at Twickenham Stadium, displays

the World Rugby Museum in 2008. Flexible

Baryonyx dinosaur wandering the park.

memorabilia from around the world, and from

start times are now available for both group

From March 24 to September 3, find out

all eras. “It houses the world’s most prestigious

travel organisers and educational visits – find

more about the Wiltshire attraction at

collection of rugby memorabilia, including

out more at


010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 10

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10% disco f o r g u nt r ou p s


ow Call n ur o for y f ree e ur br och


VISIT 701 FP Template.indd 11

CALL 014 83 2 0 9 8 8 8 Terms and Conditions apply 08/03/2018 10:45

News Join us for a great day out... Group Travel World magazine’s new sister company, Group Travel, is going on tour! We’re offering coach trips across the UK this summer and beyond, with luxury coaches, exclusive on board raffles and prizes.

We’re here to help!

Full steam ahead

Click on Group Travel World magazine’s online directory for essential information on the UK’s top attractions to help you book your next group trip. See directory. grouptravelworld .com

Email or call 01733 293249 for details of all the day trips on offer and to book online – or book in-store at Visit Peterborough’s Tourist Information Centre.

Antiques hunt The British Motor Museum in Warwickshire has announced the return of its popular antiques

Albatross Travel, which specialises in providing

fairs in 2018. The indoor fairs will run from

itineraries for coach operators and the group

Eskdale Railway in Cumbria (pictured here)

April 7-8 (with the BBC filming for Bargain

tourism industry, has launched an extensive

and a guided tour and lunch at Muncaster

Hunt on April 7), July 7-8 and November

selection of new tours and hotels as part of its

Castle; while other winter tour ideas include

24-25. Each event will offer a wide variety

Winter Tours 2018/2019 programme.

a four-night half board break in Blackpool

of stallholders from the world of antiques

with afternoon tea at the famous Blackpool

and collectables with an eclectic range of

half-board break this November, which

Tower Ballroom. For more on these and all the

items to suit all tastes and budgets.

includes a journey on the Ravenglass &

new tours, see

For train enthusiasts there’s a five-day

Entry is just £3 per person, visit or see

Bombs away! It’s been called the spiritual home of the RAF, was at the centre of the UK’s fledgling

Lincoln’s The Collection museum will tell the story of thousands of women, known

aviation industry, home to the world’s

as ‘munitionettes’, employed in previously

first military air academy and known

male-only engineering jobs to build Britain’s

as Bomber County during the Second

first fighter aircraft. While the spirit of 1940s

World War... The county of Lincolnshire was

Britain will be celebrated with two days of period and vintage activities and displays

also Dambusters country, while today its

at the annual Lincoln 1940s Weekend

skies are home to one of the world’s greatest

(August 11-12, 2018), part of the citywide

air display teams – the RAF Red Arrows

commemorations of the RAF centenary.

– as well as The Battle of Britain Memorial

For more on all the county-wide

Flight. So it’s no surprise that the county

attractions, as well as a sample aviation

will be at the centre of the national RAF

heritage itinerary, see the website

centenary celebrations this year.

Spinning a yarn... New Lanark World Heritage Site, a unique

Monkeying about Monkey World in Dorset has announced its spring and summer events, including an

“New Lanark is one of only six UNESCO

Easter Eggstravaganza from March 30 to

18th century mill village located by the Falls

World Heritage Sites in Scotland, and it’s a

April 2 (with free Easter eggs for the first

of Clyde in Scotland, has launched a new

real opportunity for groups to see how people

100 children through the doors); Melon

campaign to attract more group visitors.

lived, learned and worked in the 18th and

Madness from May 5-7 (every child who

19th centuries,” says Scott McCauley,

brings a melon for the primates receives a free

aims to highlight the connection between

Chief Executive of the New Lanark Trust.

Monkey World badge over the bank holiday

New Lanark’s cotton and yarn spinning

A new group visits guide is available – email

weekend); and Father’s Day on June 17

heritage, and how today’s attraction reveals for a copy,

(dads get in for half price). Find out more at

stories of Scotland’s illustrious history.

or go to

The campaign, called ‘Spinning a New Yarn’,


010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 12

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THE FAMOUS FIVE © 2017, Hodder & Stoughton Limited. All rights reserved.

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08/03/2018 10:45

News Learn from a gardening guru Gardening expert Carol Klein has been confirmed as a speaker at this autumn’s Group Leisure & Travel Show (GLTS), which takes place on Thursday October 11 at the NEC, Birmingham. “I’m delighted to be joining this year’s exhibition at the NEC and look forward to sharing my passion for gardens and gardening with the visitors,” says Carol. “I hope to inspire group travel organisers to take their members more at


■ And

talking of the GLTS... in our feature with

Bringing history to life

newsreader Nicholas Owen in the February

The 19th century Lowther Castle (pictured

as well as an introductory historical talk.

issue, we forgot to mention that he was

here) has launched a series of special

For the green-fingered, Lowther’s head

speaking about his love of train travel at the

group offers and garden talks for 2018,

gardener Martin Ogle has also announced a

2017 Group Leisure & Travel Show.

which includes discounts for groups of 10

series of monthly tours, with a different theme

or more, free entry for the organiser and

depending on the season. Find out more at

coach driver, refreshments on arrival,

Sign of the times

Take to the water

Five-star visitor attraction The Scotch Whisky

Last year, 16,000 people cruised the

Experience has become the first in Edinburgh

Manchester Ship Canal with Mersey Ferries

to offer whisky tours in British and American

– and tickets are now on sale for this year’s

sign language. The Royal Mile attraction

season. The six-hour cruise, which travels

has invested more than £50,000 in multi-

through the heart of the north west on the

functional audio guides. Find out more at

famous inland waterway, explores 100 years of

history. Find out more at

Meet Carol at the GLTS in October

Let battle commence back to its medieval roots this spring when it

Join us at Brooklands

plays host to the International Medieval

Group Travel World magazine is excited

Combat Federation World Championships

to announce that it has joined forces with

from May 10-13. Thousands will descend on

Steve Reed Tourism to support its 2018

the historic attraction when it hosts the

line-up of Group Travel Forums as its

championships for the first time in the UK

media partner.

Scone Palace near Perth in Scotland is getting

(they take place every three years at historic

Join us at the Group Travel Forum South

venues around the globe). Find out more at

at Brooklands Museum in Surrey on

April 30, and the Group Buyer Forum North

A nuclear first

and Midlands at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on October 22. The Group Travel Forums put real

For the first time ever, members of the public

buyers directly in touch with sellers, and

will be able see inside a nuclear power station

are free for GTOs to attend, though places

where plutonium and tritium were produced

are subject to eligibility and availability.

for the atomic bomb.

The Hogsback Hotel near Guildford

A fascinating 360° virtual reality tour at Scotland’s first nuclear power station during the height of its activity will be the key

will host buyers the night before the Group Travel Forum South event. To register your interest, call

feature of a new exhibition at The Devil’s

01420 560288 or visit

Porridge Museum near Carlisle. Find out


Brooklands Museum is hosting the Group Travel Forum South in April


to gardens up and down the country.” Find out


010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 14

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace & FAMILY HOMES Offer your group a unique Shakespeare-centred experience with visits, tours and special interest talks at the beautiful historic houses and gardens of Shakespeare’s Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon. Treat your group to a range of refreshments at the picturesque cafes with options for all tastes and budgets.

BOOK AHEAD AND SAVE UP TO 25% To book contact our Group Sales Team: E: T: 01789 201806 SHAKESPEARE.ORG.UK Registered Charity Number 209302 FP Template.indd 15

08/03/2018 10:41


Alps in the

on the Mediterranean beaches as on

the Swiss Alps but, instead of crowds and traffic, there’s the stark contrast of the silence, space and relaxation that comes with being in Europe’s highest mountains. What I liked about Zermatt was its authenticity. It’s still a working community with the men in short woollen trousers and the women in long thick woollen dresses; it’s not solely a tourist resort. There are parades and festivals, singing and yodelling, squeezeboxes and zithers. These days this German-speaking town has a Portuguese community that’s 3,000-strong alongside the original Zermatters (2,000) and other foreigners (1,000). At the main church there’s mass at 10am for the Germans, at 4pm for


Adam Jacot de Boinod takes to Europe’s highest mountains for a true breath of fresh air


OT ONLY IS it the same sun that shines


016-018 GTW Mar 18 Summer in the Alps.indd 16

01/03/2018 13:00

Switzerland the Italians and at 5pm for the Portuguese.

“It’s not the mountain we have to conquer,

steeply uphill. From one ‘peak bashing’

This progressive harmony is similarly

but ourselves”. I got the just deserts of a

competition to the next, as Nendaz, my

evident in the lack of rubbish and graffiti.

lunch at the perfect food stop, Chez Vrony

next destination, was similarly having a

There are no cars, only electric taxis, and

(, a family-run restaurant

summer contest that was equally bracing

the electricity is all powered by local water.

on the Sunnegga side, close to a charming

and demanding. No granny trails for them.

AN EARLY ROLL CALL The summer season, from mid-June to the end of September, is a third less busy than its

18th century chapel. And I was able to put

At Nendaz I stayed at the Chalet Etoile.

my feet up, literally, on a lounger wrapped in

It’s part of the Hideaways Club (www.

wool as I took in the views and a local beer., membership

I was to stay at Chalet Les Anges, courtesy

to which allows access to a portfolio

December to April winter counterpart. It took

of Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and

of properties all over the world. And

me a bit of time to adapt to the altitude, but

Apartments Abroad (

it’s great for kids. Many say how much

20 yawns later and I was ready to explore. It’s

It’s open plan and spacious with a grand

their children preferred the many

all about early rising. And for the goats too,

piano in the corner, and it has an indoor-

activities on offer to a beach holiday.

who come directly through the village at 9am.

outdoor feel. I pulled back the curtains to

I took myself off on a hike up the mountains, along the supposed ‘granny trail’

see the Matterhorn towering over the town. Before leaving I witnessed runners

Nendaz is famed for its historic bisses, small irrigation canals that are still such a vital water source it all reminded me vividly of

that turned out to be a little steeper and more

from all over the world competing in a

the Jean de Florette film. They also offered

arduous than I had bargained for. I was told,

marathon, pacing themselves as they ran

a refreshing dip for Kelsie, a lovely huge

The view from Muottas Muragl to St Moritz and Celerina


016-018 GTW Mar 18 Summer in the Alps.indd 17


01/03/2018 13:00



The church of Ronco sopra Ascona on Lake Maggiore

fluffy St Bernard who escorted me half the

dinner courtesy of the manager Onno,

length of my bisse walk from the tourist

one of the impressive dawn raiders.

office to Planchouet. Much more a ‘granny

On next to Interlaken. It’s easy to see why

GET ME THERE: ■ Classic

Collection Holidays (0800 047

trail‘ I thought, being an hour and a bit along

this tourist resort is so popular. It is uniquely


level paths. For those with families, I suggest

set between two of the great mountains, the

offers three nights at Victoria-Jungfrau

the engaging qualities of trails and treasure

Eiger and the Jungfrau, and two of the larger

Grand Hotel & Spa from £1,049 per

hunts devised by the local tourist board.

Swiss lakes, the Brienzersee and Thunersee.

person. Prices based on two adults

For a true dining out treat I highly

But the real delight of Interlaken is its ‘glacier

sharing a superior double room on a

recommend the passionate creations of chef

milk’. This beautiful aquamarine channel of

bed and breakfast basis, including return

Loris Lathion and sommelier Romain Arnaud

water unites the two lakes and is so stunning

flights from London Gatwick to Zurich

at Le Mont-Rouge ( Loris

it deserves the following explanation. When

and first class rail transfers.

is known also for his variety. “If I have to

temperatures warm up during the summer the

■ Seven

do the same thing for too long, I go crazy,”

snow on the Alps begins to melt and cascade

Grand Hotel & Spa costs from £2,416

he says. “That is why I change my menu at

to meet tiny particles of rock. It results in a

per person. Prices based on two adults

least six times a year”. Passionate indeed.

green, cloudy appearance by the time it enters

sharing a superior double room on a bed

the rivers and streams and hence the name

& breakfast basis and includes return

‘glacier milk’, a type of blue that I had only ever

flights from London Gatwick to Zurich

witnessed in the seas of the South Pacific.

and first class rail transfers.

INFECTIOUS SPIRIT I watched other enthusiasts and found the mountain dwellers very infectious. They

nights at Victoria-Jungfrau

My final resting spot was at Interlaken’s

are unbelievably fit and healthy. I met two

foremost hotel the Victoria Jungfrau Grand

people who as a matter of course would be

Hotel and Spa (www.victoria-jungfrau.

awake at 5am to climb 2,000 feet to the

ch/en). Which has a state-of-the-art

non-showy, undramatic characteristics.

top of a peak before roller skiing back down

Nescens Spa and is the perfect way

All formed, I felt, by the environment.

for a day’s work.

to finish a day up the mountains.

I took the romantic walk from my

I got to appreciate how the Alps form the

It seems so odd that people are prepared to arrive in hordes to the Mediterranean to

chalet down the piste, before a challenging

backbone of Europe and to see the fairytale

search for their overcrowded beach holiday,

walk back up to Restaurant Les Etagnes

charm of the farm buildings amongst the

when for children as well as adults there is so

( It’s well

patchwork of pasture and tilled land. It’s all

much more variety and opportunities to relax

positioned at the bottom of the slopes

green and abundant. The Swiss literally carve

in the sun, take in the fresh air and come back

for all the après-ski crowd, and it’s where

out their existence from the Alps. They also

fully restored from a summer holiday in the

I had a wonderfully healthy and hearty

have developed robust, healthy, grounded,

Swiss Alps. Even for laggards like me...



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TE GTW CRETE A4 JAN 18.qxp_. 19/01/2018 14:24 Page 1


8 days from £599

Crete is known for its wonderful scenery, fantastic climate and warm welcome that makes it a favourite sun holiday destination, but it has so much more to offer... from botany and cuisine to history and archaeology with a limitless number of sightseeing options.

We can tailor-make all tours to your group’s specification - from travel options to hotel selection, itineraries etc. Call us on 020 7251 0045 or email to discuss your requirements. 5195

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Travel Editions Group Limited, 3 Young’s Buildings, London EC1V 9DB T: 020 7251 0045 E:

08/03/2018 10:46

A certain je ne sais quoi

A French chateau in the north of England, The Bowes Museum in County Durham is full of surprises

the Lens with images by Chris Moore, and Skin Deep by artist Jonathan Yeo.

QUEEN VICTORIA IN PARIS An exhibition of watercolours, loaned by Her

Words: Sue Parslow


Victoria in Paris; Catwalk: Fashion Through

Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, HE NORTH OF England’s very own taste

items covering an extensive range of styles

will open in March. The museum is one of only

of French chateau life, The Bowes Museum

and periods, along with exhibits of interest to

four venues in the UK to stage this exhibition

lovers of women’s fashion and interior design.

of watercolours commissioned by Queen

is full of surprises – not least the fact that it was built as a museum and not a stately home. Today, it houses a collection of decorative

This unique museum, which last year

Victoria as a souvenir of her 10-day state visit

celebrated its 125th anniversary, has a

to Paris in August 1855, and the paintings

art and artefacts, including furniture, paintings,

variety of captivating new exhibitions

provide a fascinating record of the opulence

sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other

planned for 2018, including Queen

and pageantry surrounding the trip.


020-022 GTW Mar 18 The Bowes Museum.indd 20

01/03/2018 13:07

Days out

John and Joséphine Bowes built the greatest private collection of fine arts in the north of England – and had this magnificent ‘palace’ built to house them

This period in history coincides with the time when John and Joséphine Bowes were living in Paris and gathering


A watercolour from the collection commissioned to record Queen Victoria’s visit to Paris in 1855

for Roald Dahl’s classic story The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant). The exhibition, curated by Quentin

the collection that would become The

Blake, will contain 40 original artworks,

Bowes Museum, and it’s thought they may

including unpublished illustrations.

have attended some of the festivities. The exhibition runs from March 24 until


June 24, 2018, and will be complemented

Groups co-ordinator Rosie Bradford helps

Be dazzled..

by a programme of events.

group organisers plan a day out tailored to

One of the stars of the show at Bowes is

their group. There’s a free preview visit for

The Silver Swan, a stunning silver musical

the GTO and a guest, then free admission

automaton. Take your seat beside its

The BFG in Pictures, which runs from July 14

when they attend with their group, as well

glass case – but be prepared to stand and

to September 30, 2018, is an exhibition of

as a complimentary guided tour. There’s free

watch it move at 2pm every day.

original Quentin Blake illustrations, prepared

admission and a Café Bowes voucher for the



020-022 GTW Mar 18 The Bowes Museum.indd 21


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Days out


The museum’s home to a world-class fine art collection

coach driver, as well as free coach parking for groups. Groups of 20 or more can enjoy free exclusive use

Plan your visit at www. bowesmuseum.

One of the iconic BFG images that will be on display during the exhibition

of the Jubilee Room, which is decorated with silks, and has countryside views. Groups are also able to visit Café Bowes at their leisure. Specialist groups can book a gallery talk by a curator. These are available and are charged at £60 per hour. An education team can tailor visits for school and college groups. Contact Rosie on 01833 694615 or email rosie. The museum is open daily (closed only on December 25 & 26, and January 1). Based in Barnard Castle, the town centre is just a short walk away, so groups with a more relaxed itinerary can enjoy exploring this historic market town. For more things to do locally visit www.thisisdurham. com/discover-durham



Monday to Friday, subject to availability,


020-022 GTW Mar 18 The Bowes Museum.indd 22

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GATEWAY TO EUROPE Take a group on any of our daily, overnight sailings between Newcastle and IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, for a convenient starting point for a trip to Europe. DFDS offer great-value deals for groups. • Mini Cruise - 1 in 10 go free FROM

£32pp Travel with your coach & no charge for your coach or driver FROM

£20pp* Meal packages FROM



NEWCASTLE-AMSTERDAM DFDS.CO.UK/GROUPS Prices subject to availability. T&Cs & credit card charges apply. *Min 20 persons. **Inc 1 buffet breakfast & 1 buffet dinner.

FP Template.indd 23 2175 - Group Ad.indd 1

08/03/2018 10:47 20/12/2017 09:15

Days out The Hintze Hall is home to Hope, a 25.2 metre long blue whale skeleton

The wonders of nature The team behind the world-famous Natural History Museum in London share why the attraction’s a must for groups and families this summer

Planning a special event? The museum’s larger spaces and more intimate galleries are available for private hire. Call 020 7942 5434

GTW: Any tips for making the most

GTW: Any quirky facts you can share

of a visit to the museum?

about the museum?

NHM: Last year the museum revealed – as

NHM: While you’re wandering through

part of the biggest transformation in its

the magnificent Hintze Hall, don’t forget

136-year history – a new-look Hintze

to look up. The museum’s largest space

Hall, featuring Hope, a 25.2m blue whale

boasts 162 individually decorated ceiling

skeleton suspended from the ceiling

tiles, all hand-painted with a unique design

and spectacularly diving into the space.

that feature plants from all over the world.


While visiting this new arrival, don’t miss

As you cast your gaze upwards, you may

The museum’s summer schedule of

the 10 additions to the ‘Wonder Bay’

also notice three of the hall’s Romanesque

exhibitions includes:

alcoves, including a 4.5 billion-year-old

arches are adorned with a total of 78

■ Venom:

meteorite and a Mantellisaurus skeleton.

monkeys ornately carved into the walls.

May 13, with visitors invited to enter the

See the world as never before

Killer and Cure, which runs until

realm of poisonous creatures and discover GTW: What can we expect to see?

health and role in the natural world.

collection alone contains around 500,000

■ Wildlife

rocks, gems and minerals, not to mention

which runs until May 28, with its display

2,000 meteorites, while the entomology

of 100 images, selected from over

collection holds an incredible 34 million

50,000 entries taken by both amateur

specimens of insects and arachnids. Also not to be missed, on the last

Whether it’s a family visit or corporate do, the museum is the ideal venue

their surprising connections to human

NHM: Lots! The museum’s mineralogy

Photographer of the Year,

and professionals across 92 countries. ■ The

Art of British Natural History

Friday of the month from 6-10pm,

exhibition, which runs until July 1,

school groups and group bookings can

where you can admire more than

arrange for special sleepovers to truly

200 original illustrations.

experience a night at the museum (call 020 7942 5555 to find out more).


024-026 GTW Mar 18 Museums.indd 24

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08/03/2018 10:48

Days out

History repeating



of the quirkiest museums in the UK...


(only four miles

The nation’s love affair with the seaside is


celebrated in the National Maritime Museum’s

home of the

special exhibition for 2018, which showcases

famous Gillow

beach photography by some of Britain’s best

furniture making


family. After a

Leighton Hall in Lancashire

Don’t miss Bristol Museums’ five attractions – the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, M Shed, the Georgian House Museum, the Red Lodge Museum and Bristol Archives. See www.bristol



light meal or afternoon

Take an audio tour of HMS Victory to learn

from the 1960s to the present, launches this

tea, your group can enjoy the grounds and

about the fall of Admiral Nelson during the

month, running from March 23 to September.

gardens, fascinating house tours, priceless

Battle of Trafalgar, and see the exact spot

It explores our changing relationship with the

pieces of furniture and birds of prey displays.

where he fell; step on board HMS Warrior – a

The Great British Seaside: photography

seaside over the past six decades, including

Just two miles from the M6 Junction

warship that never fired a shot in anger – or

images from the archival collections of each

35, there’s ample free parking at both

go even further back in time to learn about the

of the photographers and news film, as

destinations, and the experience costs

excavation of the Mary Rose and life on board

well as some never-before-seen images.

just £16 per person including a hot

Henry VIII’s favourite ship, before taking a tour

drink, afternoon tea or a light meal.

of the harbour.

Groups of 12 or more can buy exhibition tickets for £9.80. For more on

Call 01524 734474 for more details

this and all Royal Museums Greenwich

and see

has to offer, see


LEIGHTON HALL, LANCASHIRE For a nostalgic day out on the edge


The 45-minute Harbour Tour is a must. This mini-excursion, included in your all-attraction ticket, takes you around Portsmouth harbour


and the naval dockyard, offering unrivalled views of the modern Royal Navy, with glimpses

Discover the delights of cryptic Victorian

of the UK’s largest-ever aircraft carrier, HMS

of the Lake District, your ‘Brief Encounter’

Valentine’s Day cards, try a mail coach game,

Queen Elizabeth, when she’s in her home

experience starts at the Heritage Centre at

see examples of 20th century graphic art,

port. See

Carnforth Station in Lancashire, where groups

and find out about the development of

can discover a range of exhibition areas, a

the world’s first adhesive stamp, which

retail shop outlet and the famous Refreshment

transformed the way letters and parcels

Rooms, where the iconic movie Brief

were sent. You can even ride the Mail

Encounter was filmed.

Rail miniature train through underground

Birmingham company in the old Jewellery

tunnels... See

Quarter that produced some of the world’s

Then it’s full steam ahead to Leighton Hall


COFFIN WORKS, BIRMINGHAM Take a step back in time to the 1960s

with a trip to Newman Brothers – a

finest coffin furniture, including the fittings for the funerals of Winston Churchill and the

The Great British Seaside celebrates photography from the ’60s to the present day

Queen Mother. Exclusive guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more. Costumed guides will lead you around the factory where you’ll experience the sights, sounds and smells of factory life. You can also have tea and cake in the 1960s-style waiting room, designed to capture the atmosphere of the Newman Brothers’ staff café. Combined tickets to the nearby Pen Museum are available, see



Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry Museum is a living Museum in the heart of Horse Guards in Whitehall, London. Find out more at


024-026 GTW Mar 18 Museums.indd 26

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Cliveden’s stunning house and Cliveden’s stunning house and Cliveden’s stunning house and Cliveden’s stunning house and gardens are the perfect gardens are the perfect gardens are the perfect gardens are the perfect destination for agroup day out. destination for day out. destination for a agroup day out. destination for a group group day out. There's beautiful seasonal floral There's beautiful seasonal floral There's beautiful seasonal floral There's beautiful seasonal floral displays, an outstanding sculpture displays, outstanding sculpture displays, ananoutstanding sculpture displays, an outstanding sculpture collection and guided tours. collection and guided tours. collection and guided tours. collection and guided tours. Cliveden welcomes group visits throughout the year, from Monday Cliveden welcomes group visits throughout year, from Monday Cliveden welcomes group visits throughout thethe year, Monday to to to Cliveden welcomes group visits throughout thefrom year, from Monday to Saturday. We recommend you allow three to four hours to see the Saturday. We recommend you allow three to four hours to see the formal Saturday. We recommend you allow four to hours see the formal Saturday. We recommend youthree allowtothree fourto hours to see the formal formal gardens and have enough to stop for lunch or gardens have enough time to stop for lunch or tea. gardens andand have enough time totime stop for lunch tea. gardens and have enough time to stop foror lunch or tea. tea. Cliveden offers pre-bookable guided tours for groups who to find Cliveden offers pre-bookable guided tours for groups who wish to find outout Cliveden offers pre-bookable guidedguided tours for groups who wish towish find out Cliveden offers pre-bookable tours for groups who wish to find out a bit more about the House or Garden. a bit more about the House or Garden. a bit more House Garden. a bitabout morethe about the or House or Garden. Free admission NT £10 per non-member adult. Free admission NT members, per non-member adult. Free admission forfor NTfor members, £10£10 per non-member adult. Free admission for NTmembers, members, £10 per non-member adult.

FP Template.indd 27

08/03/2018 10:51

The 200-year-old Ffestiniog Railway

Make tracks

Steam through the UK with our guide to Britain’s best heritage railways


3 The LLangollen Railway

Travel with Ffestiniog & Welsh

town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. The neighbouring

Highland Railways across the

Welsh Highland Railway – the UK’s longest

glorious Snowdonia National

heritage railway – runs for 25 miles from

Park. The 200-year-old Ffestiniog Railway

Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon

takes you on a 13-mile journey from the

through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and

harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying

on to Porthmadog. See

See Snowdonia aboard the Welsh Highland Railway

In North Wales, check out the Llangollen Railway, which cuts through one of Britain’s most scenic valleys – the Dee Valley – with the Berwyn Mountains towering above on either side as it follows the course of the River Dee. See


The Gwili Railway operates a standard gauge preserved line, from Bronwydd

near Carmarthen along a short section (four miles) of the former Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway that originally closed for passenger traffic back in 1965. The line follows the picturesque River Gwili, passing alongside the Gwili Falls. Plan your trip at 28 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018

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Days out






028-034 GTW Mar 18 Railways & tramways2.indd 29


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Days out


The Severn Valley Railway takes day-trippers on a 16mile journey from Bridgnorth

to Kidderminster, cross the Shropshire/ Worcestershire border as it follows the course


of the River Severn. See



The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway offers a 25-mile round trip

between Laverton and Cheltenham Racecourse, through some of the most spectacular scenery the area has to offer


– taking in the 15-arch Stanway Viaduct and passing close to Tewkesbury Abbey. See



Cornwall’s Bodmin & Wenford Railway allows groups to re-live steam travel’s 1950s heyday,

as they enjoy the 13-mile return journey from Bodmin General Station to Bodmin Parkway in the Glynn Valley, and Boscarne Junction in the Camel Valley. See West Somerset Railway


With its 22-plus miles

from the county town of Taunton) and

of track, West Somerset

Minehead, passing through the Quantock

Railway is hailed as the

Hills – which is an Area of Outstanding

longest heritage railway in

Natural Beauty – and between Exmoor

England. It runs steam and vintage diesel

and the Bristol Channel. Find out more at

trains between Bishops Lydeard (four miles

The famous Rocky Mountaineer carves through the Canadian Rockies, with glass domed ceilings offering panoramic views. Plan your journey at and let the good times roll


028-034 GTW Mar 18 Railways & tramways2.indd 30

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Inspiring days out for groups at RHS Gardens

Save up to 50% on repeat visits*

Start planning your group visit today 020 7821 3170

*Terms and Conditions; 50% off is applicable on the standard groups admission price only, based on groups of 10 or more guests. Applicable only to repeat visits to RHS Gardens Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Wisley and Hyde Hall between the 1st October 2018 and the 31st January 2019. See website for full terms and conditions. RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Living wonder Brimming with horticulture, science and royal heritage

QP Template.indd 31

Contact us for special group rates 020 8332 5648

08/03/2018 11:33

Days out


The North Yorkshire Moors Railway takes in an 18mile stretch from Pickering


Bure Valley Railway in the Norfolk Broads is the county’s longest narrow gauge railway,

to Grosmont Stations, with the option

running between the market town of Aylsham

of a further six-mile hop into the seaside

and Wroxham on an 18-mile round trip

resort of Whitby. The route cuts straight

through the Bure Valley countryside. Groups are

through Heartbeat country, which was

welcome, with special packages including a ‘train

filmed in and around Whitby and the

and cruise’ deal, which combines a train journey

North York Moors. See

with a cruise on the Broads. See Step back in time at the National Tramway Museum



High up in the sweeping Derbyshire


countryside overlooking the famous Derwent Valley, is Crich Tramway Village, a period hamlet that’s also home to the National Tramway Museum (NTM).



While watching the vintage trams and trolley buses ply their way up the old-fashioned main street (replete with tea rooms and shops) is undoubtedly a treat, riding the beauties is the real joy, especially as many of them trundle out into the open countryside. Be sure to have a pint with some of the costumed characters in the


Red Lion pub before you leave. The NTM offers a discount for groups of 10 or more, see


The Lynton and Barnstaple

to Killington Lane Halt, where you can either

Railway is a narrow gauge

hop off to explore the local countryside, or

railway that cuts through Exmoor

stay put and wind your way back to Woody


Running for three-and-a-half miles, the Kirklees Light Railway in West Yorkshire

on a two-mile round trip from Woody Bay

Bay as you’re pulled up the 1 in 50 gradient

runs along the track bed of the former

Station in Parracombe, Devon. All trains run

hill. See

Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, from the village of Clayton West via Skelmanthorpe to Shelley Woodhouse, through the foothills of the South Pennines. See


The Nene Valley Railway runs for seven-and-a-half miles from Wansford station

near Stamford to Peterborough, with visitors able to enjoy a steam-driven round trip, or the choice to hop off at Ferry Meadows Country Park. It’s the home of Thomas the Tank Engine, which makes it hugely popular with children, see



028-034 GTW Mar 18 Railways & tramways2.indd 32

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8th & 14th April 7 , 27 & 28 May, 29th July Every Sunday in August & Bank Holiday Monday. th




20th - 28th October

The Fairy Special

6th & 13th April 6th & 31st May & 1st June Every Friday in August & 9th & 25th August


5th April, 30th May, 31st July 18th, 21st, 28th August


30th November & Selected dates between 1st - 24th December


24th March - 28th Oct 27th - 31st Dec 24th Feb - 18th March

QP Template.indd 33

08/03/2018 11:19

Days out

The train that rocked...

If trains and heavy machinery make the wheels go round for your group, book a day out in Rutland at Rocks by Rail

are examples of steam and diesel locos preserved in varying states of repair.

BE A DRIVER FOR A FIVER Visitors can climb aboard for a short train trip along the half-mile stretch of line. Even better, you could step up onto the footplate and become a ‘Driver for a fiver’ on a classic quarry diesel locomotive. For those with a burning ambition to get hands-on and spend the day as a quarry person, there are ‘Dig-it’ days

Words: Sue Parslow


in the Simon Layfield Exhibition Centre

in which participants can enjoy driving, EYOND RAILWAY CROSSING style gates

status. It offers visitors the opportunity to

firing and shunting a steam engine and

is an extensive collection of quarrying

experience an industrial landscape and get

operating a mechanical shovel.

hardware, including diggers, cranes and locomotives, all relating to Rutland’s quarrying

up close to industry-specific machinery. You can discover the story of quarrying in

Visitors can also enjoy drinks and snacks in the 1960s-style café (named after the

heritage. Rocks by Rail occupies part of the

a guided tour by acting curator Robin Bickers.

famous crane) while watching machines

branch line that once serviced the village of

Take a look at the model of the then-world’s

and industrious volunteers at work.

Cottesmore’s ironstone quarry, as well as

biggest dragline crane which, when its time at

Rocks by Rail is an excellent venue for a

two neighbouring quarries, and the ore they

Exton Park quarry was up, ‘walked’ 14 miles

group outing for visitors of all ages, including

produced was loaded into wagons bound

to Corby in 1974. When you see one of the

school children. It also has plenty to capture

for Scunthorpe’s steelworks in the north.

restored driver cabs outside you’ll get an idea

the imaginations of amateur photographers.

Sitting in 19 acres of reclaimed railway

of the scale of this giant mechanical monster.

land, Rocks by Rail started life

At the Sundew Café, in an original ironstone workshop, you’ll

in 1979 as The Rutland Railway Museum, and is an accredited private


museum with charitable

Find out more at

see locomotives undergoing

Curator Robin says they can be flexible about days and activities, and there’s the option of taking a short nature trail, which follows the route of the former branch line towards

careful restoration, while

Ashwell, with views over the Vale of Catmose

across the railway tracks

and crossing the disused Oakham Canal.


Combine a visit to Rocks by Rail with a stroll along the lakes of Rutland Water


028-034 GTW Mar 18 Railways & tramways2.indd 34

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Rail travel n The St Ives branch line – travel from St Erth to St Ives along the cliff edge with views of St Ives bay. n The Looe branch line – head from Liskeard to Looe as the line dives away from the mainline and then reverses to follow the East © ROB THOMAS

Hit the rails Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery on board GWR’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains


Looe River down to the seaside town of Looe. On this line the train stops at the level crossings to make sure there’s no traffic! n The Gunnislake branch line – see the extent of the Royal Navy base at Devonport, and Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge from beneath,


and an at-seat refreshments

few years, and this additional

as the line flirts with the Tamar

operator between London,

service with complimentary items

capacity will catch up with

and Tavy rivers.

for first class passengers.

existing demand and offer scope

n Kemble to Stronehouse – the

south west England and south

for the operator to promote

mainline drops into the Golden

the introduction of its new fleet

will also see the transfer of its

group travel on some routes that

Valley and offers some great

of Intercity Express Trains.

more modern fleet of local trains

have become very busy.

scenes of Cotswolds rural life.

Wales, is progressing well with

These will replace GWR’s fleet

GWR’s renewal programme

to the south west, where it will

GWR operates some of the

n Chippenham to Bath Spa – one

of HSTs during 2018. This is

bolster regional and branch-line

finest scenic railway lines in the

for the Brunel enthusiasts as the

great news for groups, with the

services, as well as commuter

UK, with highlights including:

Bristol mainline drives through the

new trains offering more seats,

routes in the regional cities of

n Exeter to Newton Abbot

Box Tunnel before entering Bath.

greater leg room and more seats

Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.

– travel along the estuaries

n Plan your journey at www.

of the Rivers Exe and Teign and

at a table. There’s also free Wi-Fi

GWR’s Devon and Cornwall

and power sockets in standard

branch-lines have experienced a

and the famous stretch of sea

for all the group travel discounts

and first class accommodation,

real renaissance over the past

wall in between.

call 0345 766 0228.

far more than a steam train ride Great Rates for Groups

Friday 9 March to Monday 5 November 2018 Friday 16 March to Sunday 4 November 2018 Thursday 29 March to Sunday 4 November 2018

B u c k f a s t l e i g h • S t a v e r t o n • To t n e s

w w w. s o u t h d e v o n r a i l w a y. c o . u k

Thursday 29 March to Sunday 4 November 2018

C a l l : 013 6 4 6 4 4 3 7 0

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08/03/2018 11:24


All over the shop…

The Mill Outlet & Garden Centre is just a short hop from Last of the Summer Wine country


T’S ONE OF the UK’s largest mill store

bonus, the chance to work with the staff at

retailers, with five outlets across the UK, up to

each of the centres to arrange a shopping


The best spots in the UK for bargains and more, plus we round up the latest must-have travel gear

70% off clothing and homeware, free parking

trip with a twist, be it an added guided tour

and tea rooms galore. Welcome to Boundary

in the local area or visit to an attraction. We

Mill Stores, which offers a fantastic day out for

love the Grantham store’s offer of a shopping

groups and families at its centres in Grantham,

trip followed by a visit to nearby Belton

to turn your shopping trip into a lengthier day

Colne, Newcastle, Sheffield and Walsall.

House, but the opportunities, and extras, on

trip or weekend away. You’ll find all the group

offer are pretty impressive at all five sites.

discounts and offers on the website, and fam

Each store has its own special benefits package for groups of 20 or more, so see the

Another mill keen to give groups a great day

website for details ( But

out is The Mill Outlet & Garden Centre in Batley,

as a guide, you can expect free gift vouchers

West Yorkshire (

for certain members of the group, discounts across many of the stores and, as an added

One of the UK’s oldest street markets (dating back to the 13th century), Romford Market is home to more than 150 longstanding market traders, with markets held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. See www.romford

Expect four huge floors of fashion, furniture,

visits are welcome. From the glorious Yorkshire countryside to the Wye Valley now, and if you like your outlet centres to come complete with fantastic

homewares and gifts, all with up to 70%

views, you’ll love the Labels Shopping outlet

off the usual retail prices, as well as four

centre in Ross-on-Wye. It mixes designer

restaurants and a huge range of group

labels with the great outdoors, thanks to its

discounts if you’re going in a group of 30

very own farm that’s just a short drive from

or more. With three national museums on its

the main centre. Here, much of the produce

doorstep – including the National Coalmining

for Labels’ café and farm shop is produced

Museum in Wakefield, the Yorkshire Sculpture

– and Café Label offers great views over

Park, and Holmfirth (best known for being

the south Herefordshire countryside. Find

Last of the Summer Wine country) it’s easy

out more at

Combine a visit to Boundary Mill Stores in Grantham with a trip to the glorious Belton House


036-040 GTW Mar 18 Shopping.indd 36

01/03/2018 13:22

Labels Shopping home | women | men kids | seafood restaurant

FREE Information Pack For Coach Operators & Group Organisers FREE Coach Drivers Lunch Voucher Situated Just Off Junction 2 Of The M66 Coach Drop Off/Pick Up Point adjacent to the market Disabled facilities FREE dedicated Coach Parking

Free lunch available for coach drivers

Awarded Best UK Market Attraction of 2015 by NABMA 2014 National Coach Tourism Awards Winner

Visit us any Wednesday, Friday or Saturday for a great day out Bury Market Management: Tel: 0161 253 6520 Web: Email: : @BuryMarket SatNav BL9 0BJ

Labels Shopping, Ross On Wye, Herefordshire, M50/J4, Sat Nav: HR9 7QQ

PE8 6

Steam the Nene Valley between rural idyll and historic city


1/2 mile from A1


1 mile from A47 junction


8 miles north of Peterborough


Group rates


Drop-off area... Ample parking


Shop, Museum and CafĂŠ

Combine with the Georgian beauty of Stamford, Burghley House or historic Oundle (8 miles away). Or Peterborough Cathedral and Queensgate Shopping experiences (8 miles away).

01780 784444

NENE VALLEY RAILWAY Wansford Station, Old Great North Road, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LR

QP Template.indd 37

Charity 262617

08/03/2018 11:28

Shopping Up in Scotland, the Sterling Mills Outlet Shopping Village offers fantastic views over the glorious Clackmannanshire countryside. Find all your favourite brands at a fraction of the price, grab a coffee and relax knowing bargains are there for the taking. Based in Tillicoultry, see



website for details. And for more on Serpentine

Group Travel World magazine

Here at Group Travel World magazine HQ,

Green visit

readers and staff share their favourite

we’re big fans of two fantastic local shopping

places to shop

centres – Serpentine Green in Peterborough


(home to the UK’s biggest Tesco store, as well

Here in the UK we’re spoilt for choice

“I’m a big fan of the new Rushden Lakes

as a new M&S foodhall, Costa, Next and more),

when it comes to designer outlet centres,

Shopping Centre in Northamptonshire. It’s

and Springfields Outlet Shopping & Festival

with many the envy of the world and a

got a great range of shops, from Joules to

Gardens in nearby Spalding in Lincolnshire. The

magnet for foreign tourists. Bicester Village

House of Fraser, and I’m looking forward

latter just keeps getting better, with more than

in Oxfordshire is home to more than 160

to seeing what they do with the centre

50 big name brands, including Radley, M&S,

boutique stores and the world’s best loved

over the summer months, as it borders a

Gap and Game.

designer labels, from Burberry to Jimmy

huge lake and there are lakeside bars and

Become a Springfields VIP for free (simply

restaurants, as well as walks (it’s been too

visit the website at to

Choo (see, while the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets have

nippy to try these whenever I’ve been!)” Helen Milbank, GTW editor

register) and you’ll be entitled to extra savings,

six centres across the UK, offering fantastic

exclusive offers and more. From Easter, you can

discounts on clothing and homeware. You’ll

catch a waxi – or water taxi – from the centre

find centres in Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire

“The McArthurGlen outlet centre in York

to the centre of Spalding, and groups arriving by

Oaks, the East Midlands, Swindon and York.

is my favourite. My daughter loves the

coach get a range of incentives – again, see the

Find out more at

Build-A-Bear Workshop as she gets more for her pocket money and I love the fact I can get designer gear from the likes of Guess and Jaeger that would normally be way out of my price range.” Eve LaBelle, GTW reader “It’s always Clarks Village in Somerset for me. Great shops, great vibe and good offers to be found in the restaurants too.” Sarah Kisby, GTW reader

Here in the UK we’re spoilt for choice, with fantastic outlet centres offering top brands


036-040 GTW Mar 18 Shopping.indd 38

01/03/2018 13:23

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08/03/2018 10:52

Shopping THIS MONTH WE LOVE... Our pick of the best new travel gadgets and gear to hit the shelves


£148 Wingback Leather Travel Wallet,

Loveday Belt Bag by Lisa Lemon in caramel,

£39 Odyssey Greenwich Passport Holder in deep purple,

£45 £26 Centi Slim Bifold Leather Wallet,

£18 Havainas His n Her’s Love Bird Flip Flops in blue,

Havainas His n Her’s Love Bird Flip Flops in pink,

£148 Loveday Belt Bag by Lisa Lemon in grey,


036-040 GTW Mar 18 Shopping.indd 40

01/03/2018 13:23

The Ultimate Shopping Destination Home To Hundreds Of Famous Name Brands At Discount Prices



All Stores







To book your visit call 01282 856200 or email Visit our website for store opening hours and brand directory. Brands, styles, departments & menus may differ from store to store. Grantham (Fashion Only)

Colne FP Template.indd 41



Shef eld

Walsall 08/03/2018 10:54


On show… Our pick of 2018’s best flower shows, including two brand new events THE BELVOIR FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL, JULY 14-15 New for 2018, this new garden party-style festival will play host to a variety of companies

designer – he’s staged 22 show gardens at RHS shows – he’s the force behind the East Midlands Flower Show at Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. He tells us he’s long held the ambition to stage a large-scale garden show east of the M1, and is delighted to have found an ideal location in the Leicestershire home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. “Its position, with Belvoir Castle as a

Words: Sue Parslow NEW FOR 2018!

Tatton RHS shows. A well-respected garden

backdrop and the Capability gardens and show gardens, an educational area, and craft

lakes, means it’s in the middle of horticultural

and floral marquees. There’ll be live music too,

history,” says Andy. “The eight show gardens

as well as top quality locally-produced food

will be the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the show.”

and drink. Organiser Andy Tudbury of Halcyon

The show is supported by Perennial (Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund) who will

and gardening societies showcasing their

Garden Events has deliberately chosen to

receive a percentage of the ticket sales. For

services and products, divided into zones, with

stage his show between the Harrogate and

full details, go to


042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 42

01/03/2018 13:48

Days out York’s Middlethorpe Hall will be part of the city-wide Bloom festival

This year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place from July 3-8 NEW FOR 2018!



For expert advice and inspiration to help you plan your next garden trip, turn to page 106, where the team at the RHS answer your questions

The York Medical Society Rooms will be one of the featured ‘hidden gardens’ of York

says: “York will become a riot of colour

Here’s just a taste of what you can expect:

with a series of large-scale, show-stopping

■ The

A brand new festival, Bloom, is planned for

installations, smaller floral displays, window

the chance to discover the secret green spaces

York in 2018. The innovative four-day festival

dressing competitions, beer garden make-

hidden behind the walls of some of York’s

in July will celebrate horticulture and flowers,

overs and hidden garden open days.”

great buildings – and make their way through

marking the 250th anniversary of the Ancient Society of York Florists.

Events planned include story-telling

Hidden Gardens of York will give groups

some of the less-visited gardens – with this

sessions, afternoon tea with a floral twist,

self-guided tour on all four days of the festival.

garden-themed film screenings and children’s

■ Royal

the city. Lotte Inch, Festival Curator, tells

gardening workshops. Several projects will

a demonstration and talk on Friday July 6

us: “Bloom! will be a city-wide festival for

remain in situ far beyond the four days.

There’ll be events and installations across

florist Simon Lycett will be doing

(this is a ticketed event).

absolutely everyone. It will be for adults,

John Galvin, Secretary of the Ancient

children, hipsters, academics, foodies and

Society of York Florists, says: “Our annual

of the Ouse will be held on Saturday July 7,

history buffs. For those who love gardening

July show will be held for the first time in

complete with floral ornamentation and

or those who can’t keep a cactus alive, as

Parliament Street, showcasing plants and

botanical themed arts and crafts.

well as for those who wish that they could!”

flowers grown by Yorkshire enthusiasts.

The festival is a partnership project


Parisian-style Art Market on the banks

Lotte sums it up: “It’s great for York.

This will be a brilliant opportunity to

There will be something for absolutely

between Make It York and York BID. Steve

tell people about our history, which no

everyone!” For more information

Brown, Managing Director of Make It York,

other society in the world can match.”


042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 43


01/03/2018 13:48


Woburn Abbey Flower Show returns in June

One of the biggest celebrity gardeners of all time will be a focus of attention at the 2018 Woburn Abbey Flower Show – as a special exhibition within the Abbey will mark landscape designer Humphry Repton’s bicentenary. This colourful event, which prides itself on being a ‘gardener’s garden show’ is particularly keen to offer a personal welcome to groups (12 or more). Woburn’s Lisa Weaver handles all group bookings and she and her colleague Melanie Owen will be on hand to welcome visitors as they arrive in their coaches, and bid them farewell at the end of the visit and pick up any feedback. There are group discounts for the Flower Show (£9.25 for adults and £8.25 for concessions) and for the Abbey, as well as for a variety of catering options. Melanie explains that this garden show is unique in that the event is staged within the gardens — so visitors can wander the Chinese garden for example, and marvel at the large scale planting schemes. TV garden experts Pippa Greenwood and

“Whether you have a huge garden or

It’s a shopper’s delight (yes, you can get

are looking after a modest plot, it’s a very

help transporting your plant purchases back

pleasurable show for everybody,” says Melanie.

to the coach!), as apart from a vast range

Adam Frost will be giving talks and answering

“Even if you’ve yet to develop green fingers,

of garden plants and essentials, there’s a

questions, while Woburn Abbey’s own

you’re sure to enjoy looking at the beautiful

food hall, a gift hall and a craft section. As in

gardeners will be on hand to offer advice too.

plants on sale from the UK’s top suppliers.”

previous years, Bedford Town Band offers a musical accompaniment to each day. Melanie adds: “Groups always really enjoy it. It’s just a lovely day out! We’ve had loads and loads of positive feedback over the years. “Our booking process is unique as we offer one point of contact for the full process from enquiry to the actual event day. All coaches will receive a personal welcome where we give information to ensure visitors make the most of their day. All group visitors are issued with tickets on arrival. A flower is printed on

Head to Bedale Covering 100 acres, Thorp Perrow Arboretum in Bedale, North Yorkshire, boasts one of the largest collections of shrubs and trees in the north of England, including five National Collections. Its Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre offers flying demonstrations and the chance to meet the resident meerkats, wallabies, pygmy goats and Shetland sheep – and a packed diary of events includes seasonallythemed trails and activity weekends, as The rockery and pavilion at Woburn Abbey Gardens

well as expert-led tours and walks. Find out more at


042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 44

01/03/2018 13:48

Garden delights

Daily talks run throughout the day to give you a better understanding of what life for these animals is like. There are also discounted prices for groups of 20 or more (visit

Nasa astronauts. Groups can expect a day of exploring space from the past, present and future and watch a film explaining the big bang theory.” Find out more at

HILL CLOSE GARDENS A unique local attraction including 16 hedged Victorian gardens with summerhouses


Office). Find out more at chick room. Charlotte Gore from A short drive away, take a Tropical Birdland explains look inside the 18th century what visitors can expect Cottesbrooke Hall & Gardens, when visiting: “We’re open home to the Macdonaldall year-round, but my main Buchanan family. It’s home to tip would be to visit from one of the finest collections Easter onwards so it’s a little of sporting art in the world, warmer! known as the Woolavington “Our birds are out all Collection, which includes year round and we have an artwork from George Stubbs, outdoor picnic area and we Ben Marshall and Sir Alfred welcome visitors to bring Munnings. Exclusive group their own packed lunch. visits can be arranged, see While here, keep an eye out for my favourite bird, Basil, the black-headed Caique. He AN ADVENTURE sits on the wall by the gift PLAYGROUND shop and is always singing Wicksteed Park stretches a tune or wolf whistling at over 147 acres of customers. For groups we can countryside near Kettering, provide a guide who will talk with its rollercoasters and about the different species of attractions. For adrenaline birds on site. junkies there’s the RUSH “At the end of your visit zipwire, one of the longest there is a parrot path, where and fastest in the UK, and parrots are out on perches the park has launched a and you have the chance to Tree Top Walk – a 90-metre hold and feed them..” walkway suitable for both Just a short drive away, children and adults. Also adventure zones, a red new is the Meerkat Burrows, rooster zoo farm and a an underground tunnelling phoenix bird of prey centre HEjust HISTORIC ‘rooms’, providing a gardens is the experience with pop upancient are some of the things walled and areas historic parkland viewing to allow youof you cangardens see within thevariety 100 of foliage to see the park’s meerkats of countryside that bloom throughout the Penshurst Place areacres the jewel in the up close. Groups of over 20 make up Twinlakes theme estate. There are two crown of Penshurst the year. Garden people get discounted tickets. park (see www.twinlakespark. Place in Kent. With highlights include self-guided walking Visit There are numerous For a different type of and thrill events on throughout the 100-metre Peony trails available, records dating back head in to Silverstone Circuit, a that blooms each year Penshurst to year, 1346,and theygroups are a receive Border one of the best-known discount when booking for 20 superb example of late May, providing a isinhome to a maize racetracks the world. You or more people. spectacular array of maze – a summer of Elizabethan garden can follow in the footsteps NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Damon Hillhighlight and drive a car for families. pinks and fuchsias design. Visitors to Opening to the public for round the world famous F1 Plan your trip at www. the gardens will find for the early summer. the first time in 900 years track. Find out more at 11isacres of garden grade Away from formal the beautiful ■

Take a trip to historic Penshurst Place


Entry: £4.50, Child(5-17)£1 HCGT & RHS Members free Open every day April-Oct: 11am-5pm i h Te r m S , S d H lM Open weekdays Nov- March: 11-4pm Self-ser i e refreshme s T: 01926 493339 Bread and Meat Close, Warwick, CV34 6HF

March 2017 ●

088_091_GTW_Mar17_Warwick.indd 91


23/02/2017 11:41

The ancestral seat of the Sidney family since 1552, The stately home of Penshurst Place boasts an awe-inspiring medieval hall nearly seven centuries old, beautiful staterooms and 11 acres of charming Elizabethan gardens to explore. Groups welcome throughout the year

For more information and to book, call us on (+44) 01892 870 307 or visit

© Jigsaw Design & Publishing

QP Template.indd 45

08/03/2018 15:51

Days out


Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Hello petal!

Head to the NEC for Gardeners’ World Live

For gardening inspiration, from spring right through to autumn, enjoy one of the many RHS flower shows... ■ Flower Show Cardiff:

April 13-15

■ Malvern Spring Festival: ■ Chelsea Flower Show:

May 10-13

May 22-26

■ Chatsworth Flower Show: ■ Harlow Carr: June

June 6-10


■ Hampton Court Palace Flower Show:

July 3-8

the ticket and the same flower displayed in the windscreen, to assist passenger return. “There are several catering options for groups, which can be pre-booked, and the requirements for each group will be discussed at time of booking. Groups can upgrade their ticket to include a visit to the Abbey, and the new exhibition on the

GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE, JUNE 14-17 – with group tickets

most realised landscape. Visitors to the

This year’s Gardeners’ World live at the NEC

you can buy now, pay later (see the website

exhibition, which begins on March 23, will be

in Birmingham is guaranteed to be a hit with

for details). If you’d prefer to chat to someone

able to see the Red Book containing his designs,

lovers of all things green and beautiful – and

on the Group Travel Offers team to book

as well as watercolours of garden features that

we’re excited to announce that for the first

your tickets – and discover all the benefits

can be seen within the gardens today. Find out

time ever you can now book your group

of booking through

more at

tickets to the event through our sister site

– call Harley on 01733 293249.

life and work of Humphry Repton.” The gardens at Woburn Abbey are Repton’s

from just £17.50, and the added benefit that



042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 46

01/03/2018 13:48

Inspiring days out for groups at RHS Gardens

Save up to 50% on repeat visits*

Start planning your group visit today 020 7821 3170

*Terms and Conditions; 50% off is applicable on the standard groups admission price only, based on groups of 10 or more guests. Applicable only to repeat visits to RHS Gardens Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Wisley and Hyde Hall between the 1st October 2018 and the 31st January 2019. See website for full terms and conditions. RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Living wonder Brimming with horticulture, science and royal heritage

QP Template.indd 47

Contact us for special group rates 020 8332 5648

08/03/2018 15:57


“I’LL POUR!” Discover the best spots in the UK for that great British institution, the afternoon tea... Words: Sue Parslow


HE RITUAL OF afternoon tea with

offering the perfect excuse to gather friends

sandwiches was popularised in the 1840s

or extended family together to enjoy the

by the Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th

traditional afternoon tea that Woburn’s

Duke of Bedford, whose home was Woburn

become renowned for. Your group (which

Abbey in Bedfordshire. At that time, dinner

must be a minimum of 12) could combine

was served between 7pm and 8.30pm, so

a visit to Woburn Abbey and Gardens.

this light meal of tea, sandwiches and cake

The Duchess of Bedford is said to have

filled the time gap, so to speak. Soon, thanks

introduced her new meal to her friend, the

to the Duchess and her friends, afternoon tea

Duchess of Rutland, while staying at the

parties became fashionable in high society.

latter’s home, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

At the Duchess’ Tea Room in Woburn

Your group can also enjoy afternoon tea in the

Abbey’s grounds the tradition continues,

traditional tearoom at this magnificent hill-top

Kew Garden’s The Botanical


048-050 GTW Mar 18 Afternoon tea.indd 48

01/03/2018 13:54

Dining out Visit the original home of the afternoon tea, Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire

Channels country estate in Little Waltham, Essex is open for afternoon tea over the Easter weekend. Groups can also enjoy a Royal Afternoon tea from May 18-20; Independence Week-themed afternoon teas from July 2-8; and a Spooky Halloween Tea from October 29 to November 2. See

castle from March until October. The castle was

can book a deer park safari and spot deer

glassware using methods that have remained

given the French name Belvoir (pronounced

and other wildlife for a small extra charge.

the same for decades. Afternoon tea can

beaver) meaning beautiful view, and it is one of

If your group is Devon-bound you might

be taken in the Pavilion Café and discounts

the most striking Regency houses in England.

also like to add a Dartington Crystal Cream

Groups of 20 or more can enjoy tours of the

Tea & Tour to your itinerary. Here you’ll

castle and the beautiful formal gardens, much

discover the fascinating history of the glass

style afternoon tea to remember in the

of which were designed by Capability Brown.

industry and Dartington Crystal itself, which

historic setting of The Shakespeare Family

recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, before

Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon? You could

watching craftsmen skilfully create decorative

take a seat with a stunning view of


are available for groups of 15 or more. Alternatively, how about a Shakespearian-

Powderham Castle is literally the home of Devon – the Earl and Countess of Devon! And here, afternoon tea with homemade scones,

Dine like it’s the 1800s

cream and jam is naturally taken seriously.

Nestled in the heart of the historic

It’s a great venue for groups. Inside the

city of Chester, The Chester Grosvenor

castle you’ll discover over 600 years of

dates back to the 18th century. It’s been

family history and see some magnificent

offering tiered trays of treats since 1882,

architecture and fine interiors. If you’re lucky,

and today groups can enjoy traditional

the guided tour might even be led by the

fare or the heartier ‘Gentleman’s

Earl himself. Outside, there are extensive

Afternoon Tea’. Find out more at

gardens to explore and visitors can enjoy far

reaching views across the deer park to the


Exe estuary. If your group is outdoorsy, you MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

048-050 GTW Mar 18 Afternoon tea.indd 49


01/03/2018 13:54

Dining out Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street,

year, up to seven days a week in the

or step into the doctor’s house at Hall’s Croft

summer and most bank holidays). The

and dine in the very house Shakespeare’s

railway is incredibly popular with groups,

daughter Susanna and her physician husband

so it’s essential to book ahead.

John Hall once lived. Or why not enjoy a

■ Turn

day at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where

Britain’s top heritage railways

Shakespeare courted his future wife?


to page 28 for more on

LONDON’S FINEST There’s so much to see and do at Kew Gardens, London’s largest UNESCO World

Take to the rails on the Embsay & Bolton

Heritage Site, including afternoon tea served in

Abbey Steam Railway to enjoy afternoon

The Botanical, in the heart of the Gardens, with

tea with scenic views of the Yorkshire

views of the Palm House and lake. Although

countryside from restored Victorian and

there’s no group discount for afternoon tea,

Edwardian carriages. The volunteer-run

groups can benefit from a discount on entry

preserved heritage railway is on the route of

into the gardens.

the old Midland Railway route and runs from

Tea and scones at Powderham Castle

While over at London’s Royal Albert Hall,

best afternoon tea venues in London, groups of 10 or more can take advantage of

Embsay Station to Bolton Abbey Station,

groups have the option to experience a

special rates on freshly made sandwiches,

where there’s a large café.

live performance by an opera singer while

cakes and sweet treats. A tour of the

they enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant

iconic building will complete your visit.

Groups are welcomed on all operating days (every Sunday throughout the Tuck in at The Chester Grosvenor

Verdi restaurant. Voted in the top 10 of

A SWEET ALTERNATIVE And finally, where better to experience a tasty treat than at the home of chocolate, Cadbury World. At just £21.95 – including admission into the famous Bournville-based attraction – its afternoon tea is great value, with the traditional fare given a chocolatey twist. You can walk off the calories exploring Cadbury World’s award-winning attractions, including its 4D interactive cinema. Afternoon tea can be booked up to midday on the day before your visit, and is available Monday to Friday (excluding school holidays).

Get me there: ■ Belvoir


■ Cadbury

World: ■ Dartington

Crystal: www.dartington. ■ Embsay

& Bolton Abbey Steam Railway:

www.embsaybolton ■ Kew


■ Powderham

Castle: ■ Royal

Albert Hall: ■ Shakespeare’s

Birthplace: ■ Woburn

Abbey: And for more tea-related inspiration, see: ■ ■ ■


048-050 GTW Mar 18 Afternoon tea.indd 50

01/03/2018 13:54

Fonmon Castle & Gardens - South Wales 800 years of history and stunning Georgian interiors - just 25 minutes from Cardiff and M4 Open year round for pre-booked tour groups: ● Exclusive group castle tours with experienced tour guide ● Delicious home cooked teas served in the beautiful Rococo library ● Visitors free to wander and explore the delightful gardens ● Ample free on-site parking, drivers receive complimentary refreshments ● 201 Offers: Organiser goes free

Llancaiach Fawr Enjoy Afternoon Tea for groups At the Five Arrows Hotel on the Waddesdon Estate, a new catering venue at Waddesdon Manor open all year round. For more information email or telephone 01296 653209

Y lle perffaith ar gyfer… The perfect place for … Hanes yn dod yn fyw

History brought vividly to life

● Teithiau Ysbryd ● Cinio a swper ● Te Hufen

● Ghost tours ● Lunches and dinners ● Cream teas

01443 412248 •

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Banbury Photography

23/02/2017 09:05 08/03/2018 16:07

Head south


On a

real high

An artist’s impression of how Tintagel’s new bridge will look

From new, state of the art walkways to sky-high attractions, the south of England oozes fun and adventure


HIS YEAR WILL be an exciting one

throughout this summer, before construction

for Tintagel Castle as work begins

work begins in the autumn. Once complete,

on a spectacular new footbridge to

it will enhance the Tintagel experience for

help improve access to the ancient and

our visitors by opening up the island to

popular tourist destination, linked to

more of those who find the current access

the legendary tales of King Arthur.

via many steep steps too challenging.”

The historic castle will remain fully open to

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit

visitors throughout the spring and summer,

Cornwall, adds: “This is an incredibly

before closing for the construction of the

positive move for one of Cornwall’s most

bridge from October 2018 (the bridge is

important historic sites. Not only will the

due to open to the public in spring 2019).

new footbridge help make the castle more

“We’re thrilled that our planning proposal

accessible to visitors, but it will also provide

for this stunning bridge has been approved

an enticing new experience that’s sure

and that we’re now able to start the next stage

to bring many visitors to this spectacular

of the project,” says English Heritage’s Head

stretch of the north Cornwall coast.”

of Operations in Cornwall, Georgia Butters.

The dramatic footbridge will span the gap between the castle’s mainland and island, and

we now need to make that vision a reality.

has been designed to recreate the historic

“This is an ambitious project, and we’ve

route into the castle, which was connected

worked hard to keep the castle fully open

by a bridge until at least the 16th century.

The Emirates Spinnaker Tower soars 170m above Portsmouth harbour


“The bridge has been beautifully designed and


052-055 GTW Mar 18 South coast.indd 52

01/03/2018 13:56

GREAT YARMOUTH Perfect for short breaks & day visits

Contact us today on 01493 846 346 or visit

Where the sea meets the broads, Norfolk’s premier seaside resort will keep your group entertained, with excellent group rates at seafront and countryside attractions.






From theme parks to the model village, bowling alley, racing, bingo, casinos, zoos and a Sea Life Centre, great group rates are available all over the borough.

The busy market place is surrounded with all the usual high street chains as well as lots of different independent shops unique to Great Yarmouth.

Discover maritime history at the awardwinning Time & Tide, English heritage’s Row Houses, the National Trust’s Elizabethan House, and the Nelson Museum.

Sea air makes you hungry and food always tastes better on the coast. Locally caught smoked kippers, cream teas, and local seafood are always on the menu.

The Greater Yarmouth coastline has fifteen miles of clean, wide, soft, sandy beach, perfect for sea views and settling down in a deckchair to enjoy the Norfolk sunshine.

The Perfect touring base for Norfolk and Suffolk. Great Yarmouth is the ideal touring base for your coach holiday. Norwich, North Norfolk, the Broads and Suffolk all within easy driving distance.

North Norfolk Follow the coast road to north Norfolk for stunning views stately homes, big skies and big beaches, a myriad of quiet country lanes, traditional market towns and countryside villages.

Norwich Just 45 minutes drive, this medieval city has a Norman castle and two cathedrals, excellent shopping and great al fresco dining, perfect for day trips inland from the coast.

The Broads Just inland from Great Yarmouth, charter a paddle steamer, pleasure craft or doubledecker passenger boat and discover the Broads National Park.

Suffolk Coast For fantastic country houses, maritime museums, charming seaside towns and the southern Broads, travel down winding country lanes south into Suffolk.

Great Yarmouth

Visit group-travel or contact us via telephone 01493 846346

FP Template.indd 53

08/03/2018 10:57

Plan your route for London



Guide to London - to request your free copy email emma.parkes@

online listing for jobs in travel

Discounts Visit for discounted tickets to popular UK and European events

Exclusive trip

Access to

Travel Jobs



Subscribe www.grouptravelworld. com/subscribe

Group Travel Organisers plus a guest, test out the trip before taking your group

Visit us on stand A15 First 50 will receive a free gift!

Subscribe today Call Emma Parkes on 01733 293487 Email Visit

HP Template.indd 54

08/03/2018 16:08

Head south Groups of 11 or more receive a discount

houses a 400-seat brassiere for breakfast,

on the menu at the British Airways

lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, an outside

included. One tour leader and one coach

i360 in Brighton – the world’s tallest

beachside terrace, plus heritage tea rooms

driver are admitted free with each group,

moving observation experience.

in an original 1866 West Pier toll booth.

and free familiarisation visits can be

Created by the same architects responsible

The building is also home to an exhibition,

arranged. See www.english-heritage.

for the Coca-Cola London Eye, this is the

shop, indoor kids’ soft play area, and

highest viewing tower in the UK outside of

hospitality rooms. Pre-booked group visitors

London. Visitors take a slow glide up in a

have priority entry and discounts. Find out

glass-viewing pod to 450 feet, where they can

more at

TOWERING INTO VIEW With fantastic views over the Solent to the

enjoy breathtaking 360° views of the Regency

Isle of Wight, be on a genuine high at the

city and surrounding South Downs and Sussex


Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

coastline, from Bexhill-on-Sea to Chichester.

Hailed as ‘the most poetic of the English

Simply gaze at the sights or grab something


Seaside views from up high are also

at all English Heritage properties, Tintagel

Up to 200 visitors at a time can travel in

cathedrals’, Wells Cathedral lies in the heart of

to eat in The Waterfront or sky-high Café in

the pod, which is air-conditioned in summer

England’s smallest city and is the earliest to be

The Clouds, a heady 105m up. Book online

and heated in winter. There’s bench seating in

built in the Gothic style, with its foundations

to save 15% off the price of admission, with

the centre and it is accessible for wheelchairs.

firmly rooted in the 12th century. For anyone

a general admission ticket valid all day, so

Included is a handheld multimedia tour, which

heading to the south west it’s a significant

you can come and go as you please. Afternoon

tells guests more about how the tower was

landmark, and the cathedral’s been awarded

tea, guided tours and other special packages

built and the history of the landscape around

‘Coach Friendly’ status thanks to its first-class

for groups are available. Find out more at

them. And if you’re peckish after your ride,

facilities and approach to group visits. Plan

the beach building at the foot of the tower

your trip at


Wells Cathedral


052-055 GTW Mar 18 South coast.indd 55


01/03/2018 13:56

Days out

A very regal tour As Buckingham Palace opens for groups this summer, get set to explore its magnificent State Rooms, works of art and brand new exhibitions


Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This year the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will also include an exhibition marking the 70th birthday of HRH The Prince of Wales.

DINE IN STYLE Following a visit, the Palace’s Garden Café offers the perfect location to enjoy a selection of light refreshments while taking


the finest English and French furniture in the

in panoramic views of the lake across the

Buckingham Palace for 10 weeks, from

world. The rooms predominantly reflect the

lawn, before visiting the Garden Shop.

July 21 to September 30, 2018. The Palace

taste of George IV, who commissioned the

A visit to the State Rooms can be

serves as both the office and London residence

architect John Nash to transform what had

combined with a Garden Highlights Tour,

of Her Majesty The Queen, and is one of

previously been known as Buckingham House

which takes in the beautiful Herbaceous

the few remaining working royal palaces

into a grand palace.

Border, the wisteria-clad summer house

in the world today. Each summer, when the Palace is not being


and Rose Garden, the enormous Waterloo Vase and the Palace tennis court where

used in its official capacity, visitors can enjoy

Visitors to the Summer Opening of

King George VI and Fred Perry played in

the 19 magnificent State Rooms that provide

Buckingham Palace will see the White Drawing

the 1930s.

the setting for ceremonial occasions and

Room – perhaps the most beautiful of all

official entertaining.

the State Rooms with its spectacular crystal

a 10% discount on the price of admission to

Groups of 15 people or more receive

chandelier – the Music Room, where guests

the Palace, which includes a multimedia tour

greatest treasures from the Royal Collection,

are presented to The Queen on the occasion

in nine languages.

including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens

of a State Visit, and the Throne Room, which

and Van Dyck, sculptures by Canova, exquisite

was the setting for the formal photographs, or over the

examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of

following the wedding of Their Royal

telephone on 0303 123 7321.

The rooms are furnished with many of the

Groups can pre-book online at GTW


Plan your visit at www. royalcollection.


056 GTW Mar 18 Royal collection.indd 56

02/03/2018 10:17


BUCKINGHAM PALACE STATE ROOMS AND GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR Enjoy a leisurely day out at Buckingham Palace and combine a visit to the State Rooms with a guided tour of the famous Palace garden. The Garden Highlights Tour explains the history of the garden, taking you to the beautiful Herbaceous Border, the wisteria-clad summer house and Rose Garden, the enormous Waterloo Vase and the Palace tennis court, where King George VI and Fred Perry played in the 1930s. 0303 123 7322

FP Template.indd 57

E-mail enquiries:

08/03/2018 10:55

Heathcliff and Cathy in the new Wuthering Heights film, due out on Emily’s birthday in July


058-059 GTW Mar 18 Emily Bronte.indd 58

01/03/2018 13:59

Brontë celebration

“He’s more myself than I am” As a new Wuthering Heights film is set to launch this summer, we celebrate the life and times of one of Britain’s greatest female writers Words: Sue Parslow


HIS YEAR MARKS the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Brontë, and events to mark

this milestone are part of Brontë200, a fiveyear programme celebrating the bicentenaries of the births of four of the Brontës. Anne’s will take place in 2020, plus in 2019 they’ll mark 200 years of Rev Patrick Brontë taking up the role of parson in Haworth. Emily was born in Thornton, just outside Bradford, the fifth of six children. (The property, on Market Street, has a plaque on the wall and is currently a bistro.) After the loss of her mother in 1821, and her two oldest sisters in 1825, she, Anne,

The Parsonage Museu m at Haworth is the Brontës’ former home

Charlotte and Branwell, with only five years separating them, became very close. Emily

Twomey, will be on display as part of an

died of TB aged 30 in 1848 two months

installation next year.

after the same illness killed her brother.

The geographical location for Wuthering

The Brontë Parsonage Museum, their

Heights fits with a now ruined farmhouse

former home, contains the world’s largest

known as Top Withins, although it bears

collection of Brontë memorabilia, including

no resemblance to the house described in

the writing desk where Emily wrote her

the novel. Instead it is more like the real-

famous novel. The museum offers a range

life Ponden Hall, which is situated next to

of activities for groups, including themed

Ponden Reservoir a short distance from

‘talks and walks’, while school groups can

Haworth. Nearby Ponden Kirk is said to

enjoy Brontë-themed craft workshops. Call

have been inspiration for Penistone Crags

01535 640192 to discuss your ideas.

in the novel. From here visitors can take in

Marketing officer, Rebecca Yorke, says: Our staff have a wealth of Brontë research, knowledge and enthusiasm; they

panoramic views of the Yorkshire moors, and see the village of Haworth in the distance.

are passionate about the Brontës’ story


and are eager to share it with visitors.”

Haworth is a cobblestone village situated


The Brontë Society lists all the events being staged in Emily’s honour at

Emily’s only novel, Wuthering Heights, has been described as the greatest, most terrifying love story of all time. Throughout

above the Worth valley on the edge of the Pennines, near Bradford. After a visit to the Parsonage Museum, groups can explore Main Street with an array of places to eat and drink, as well as shops and art galleries. Energetic groups may like to walk part of

2017 visitors to the Parsonage

the Brontë Way, a waymarked trail linking

created a brand new manuscript

key locations associated with the family,

of Wuthering Heights, a handwritten sentence added one line at a time. The finished version, produced in conjunction with artist Clare

including the Brontë Waterfall and Brontë Bridge. A number of local companies offer guided tours and themed walks, as well as meet and greet services. MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

058-059 GTW Mar 18 Emily Bronte.indd 59


01/03/2018 13:59

GTW Awards

On winning form


Our Group Travel World Magazine Awards celebrate the attractions, restaurants and holiday companies that go the extra mile to make groups feel welcome. So drum roll please as we announce this month’s winners...

To nominate a hotel, attraction, restaurant or holiday company for our 2018 awards, email helen.milbank@ grouptravelworld. com

The castle brings history to life


Newcastle Castle Built on the site of the fortress that gave the city its name, Newcastle Castle welcomes groups keen to explore all this 13th century attraction has to offer. Explore the ancient passageways and chambers where kings walked and villains were imprisoned and find the marks left by the inhabitants through PETER ATKINSON

the ages. Exhibits guide visitors through the castle’s history over the years, from Roman Newcastle Castle


Planet Hollywood

times to the modern day. Find out more at

Travel to the far corners of the world with Riviera Travel

With a group- and family-friendly menu, Planet Hollywood is big on glamour, having been launch in New York back in 1991 by the likes of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Big on fun, there’s a real buzz about the place – and groups of six to 160 can dine in style. The only For all the latest offers for groups see


UK branch is in London’s Haymarket BEST HOLIDAY PROVIDER

Riviera Travel Offering European and worldwide escorted

Its tours, all escorted by professional,

tours for groups, as well as luxury river

knowledgeable tour managers, travel

cruises and exciting journeys by rail, few

to destinations as diverse as Budapest,

companies know and love the groups market

Peru, Bali and Madeira. Find out more at

quite like Rivera Travel.



060 GTW Mar 18 awards.indd 60

01/03/2018 14:01


A UNESCO World Heritage Site with breathtaking Norman architecture, the Shrine of St Cuthbert and the tomb of the Venerable Bede. - Group packages - Guided tours & behind the scenes talks - Open Treasure exhibition experience - Undercroft Restaurant & Cathedral Shop


Booking essential to make the most of your visit. Durham Cathedral, Durham DH1 3EH Groups: 0191 374 4050 General: 0191 386 4266




M6 Exit 35 Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9ST T: 01524 734474

“Brief Encounter” at Leighton Hall & Carnforth Station


Nostalgic ith DAy Out w ea T n o o Aftern

Includes time at the home of ‘Brief Encounte r’ and a guided tour of a stunning Lancas hire historic house.

available for Pre-Booked groups throughout 2018. Only £16.00 per person.

QP Template.indd 61

020 7024 8455 57-60 Haymarket SW1Y 4QX

08/03/2018 15:26



Mike Pickup holidays like a film star on glamorous Lake Como


times that amount. However, our guide told us

it’s bordered by high mountains, creating

that in Italy price, and indeed ownership, of

spectacular lake and mountain scenery

properties is a secret and can only be

– a bit like the Norwegian Fjords, but with

discovered if the owner offers the information.

the temperature turned up and the prices

She illustrated this with a story about Richard

turned down.

Branson, who was on a cruise on the lake when

I too took a villa-spotting cruise, and while

EORGE AND AMAL Clooney were at

a guide mentioned that one of the villas was

chez Clooney is a lovely place, it’s not as

home in the 18th century Villa Oleandra

owned by him. The next day he Tweeted that

imposing as some other properties on the

on Lake Como, although the invitation to pop

he enjoyed the cruise, but was surprised to

water’s edge, most of which are in private

in for a Nespresso must have got lost in the

learn that he owned a villa!

ownership. A few are open to the public,

post... Initially costing a modest $10m in 2001, it was rumoured to be on the market for 10

Lake Como is shaped like an inverted Y,

and I took the opportunity to visit Villa

and unlike the larger Maggiore and Garda,

Balbianello, bought in 1974 by Count


062-064 GTW Mar 18 Lake Como cruise.indd 62

01/03/2018 14:05

Cruise holidays

Mike’s boat awaits...

Villa Balbianello

Explore Bellagio’s winding streets

Guido Monzino. He carried out many


and has famous botanical gardens with over

expeditions to far-flung lands, culminating in

My cruise included a short stop at Isola

150 species of rhododendrons, azaleas and

leading the first Italian expedition to climb

Comacina, a small island just off the lake shore.

camellias, plus old cedars and sequoias. It

Everest. He overhauled the villa’s interior

It’s home to a restaurant, a collection of

provided a shady interlude on a hot afternoon

and filled it with treasures from his journeys,

archaeological sites and three artist houses.

and the museum exhibitions were beautifully

including his sleigh from his 1969 expedition

There is also a small bar with lovely views,

presented. They include Antonio Canova’s

to the North Pole.

where a large glass of wine cost me just three

Palamedes and The Muse Terpsichore, Eros

euros and included a bowl of crisps. You really

and Psyche by Adamo Tadolini and Franceso

including Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode

don’t need a film star income to enjoy the

Hayez’s The Last Adieu of Romeo and Juliet.

II, and, as with other Italian villas, the gardens

hospitality here.

The villa has featured in a number of films,

get as much attention as the building itself, with Villa Balbianello’s grounds no exception.

The villa was a few minutes’ walk from my

Villa Carlotta was also on my visit list. Built

hotel, the Britannia Excelsior, in the village of

in the 17th century it contains many treasures

Cadenabbia. My room was large, comfortable MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

062-064 GTW Mar 18 Lake Como cruise.indd 63


01/03/2018 14:05

Cruise holidays Get me there ■

TUI Lakes & Mountains

(call 0208 610 3139; holidays/lakes-and-mountains) offers a week’s all-inclusive holiday at the three-star Hotel Britannia Excelsior including flights from Gatwick and transfers from £702 per person all-inclusive. Direct flights from most regional airports are available at a supplement, starting from £20. ■

Group discounts are offered

on bookings of 10 or more, and there is a dedicated groups team, call 0203 451 2684. Holiday Extras offers trusted Meet

Hotel Britannia Excelsior


Lunch at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Across the lake from the hotel is Bellagio (the

overlooking the lake was a memorable

and Greet services at all major UK

hotel in Las Vegas is named after it) and I took

experience. The hotel is owned by the Swiss

airports. To book, visit HolidayExtras.

the free boat service from the hotel to visit this

Bucher family and contains many of their

com or call 0800 1313 777.

tranquil, elegant and largely pedestrianised

personal art treasures. They live on site but

town. The old buildings, shop-lined cobbled

keep out of the way of guests.

steps, boutiques, cafes and formal gardens put

Famous visitors to the hotel in the past

and the balcony provided a shady spot to sit

Bellagio on the ‘must see’ list for visitors. The

have included JFK and Winston Churchill,

and admire the view. And what a view it was, as

composer Franz Liszt lived there for a while with

who have suites named after them.

good if not better than that offered by any of

Marie d’Agoult and their daughter, Cosima,

the villas I had seen; sorry George. The hotel is

went on to marry Wagner.

on the lakeside road, providing easy links to

For hundreds of years the area was

I also strolled through the manicured gardens of Villa Melzi, which line the shore of the lake, once again proving that, in this part of Italy at

lovely nearby villages such as Menaggio, and

renowned for the production of silk, thanks

least, impressive gardens are as important as

there are ferry links to other lakeside locations.

to the local mulberry trees. Although for

the imposing villas. Belllagio is certainly one of

economic reasons silk thread is now imported

the most romantic spots on the lake.

Because of the steep sides of the lake, building land is in short supply, so the hotel has

from China, the local industries of weaving,

two pools and sun decks that float on the lake,

printing and producing silk items are still

villas, gardens, stunning scenery and glorious

giving guests a spectacular location to soak up

recognised as some of the best in the world.

sunshine and it was soon time to leave this

the sun and sights. The hotel is all-inclusive, and

Many of Bellagio’s boutiques have stunning

delightful spot.

with the temperature over 30°, cold beer, wine

and unique items at very affordable prices and

and Prosecco were much in demand.

are well worth closer examination.

My visit flew by in a haze of boat trips,

No wonder George and Amal decided to stay on here for a while...


George and Amal Clooney’s 18th century Villa Oleandra


062-064 GTW Mar 18 Lake Como cruise.indd 64

01/03/2018 14:05

2019 Cruises for Groups Scenic cruising holidays from 11 UK ports


Our fleet of traditional style cruise ships, sailing from 11 British ports, offer a warm welcome to all types of groups.


Scenic cruising holidays to...Norwegian fjords – Baltic Cities – British Isles – Iceland – European Cities & Rivers – Canary Islands & Madeira – Scottish Islands – Spain & Portugal – Northern Lights – Christmas Markets – Christmas & New Year and Worldwide voyages


Exceptional value group benefits • A group booking constitutes just 12 adult guests • Extra 5% group discount on our BOGOF Fares • Book 20 adult passengers and we will offer you one FREE place and an EXTRA free place if you book 40 adult passengers* • Special welcome aboard cocktail party** You must book your group by 31st May 2018 to enjoy these benefits. So hurry to avoid disappointment.

0844 998 9272

Email: Visit:

Prices are from and per person based on two adults sharing a twin cabin. Excludes gratuities at £7pp per night. Single occupancy cannot be guaranteed and is subject to availability. *Free places can also be exchanged as a credit based on the lowest cabin category booked. **The special welcome aboard cocktail party will be organised for groups of 30 plus passengers on cruises of 4 nights or more. Terms & Conditions apply. Subject to availability and may be withdrawn without notice. Calls will cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge. Operated by South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd trading as Cruise & Maritime Voyages. 4147

Short Breaks by Rail Avignon


£419 per person



£339 per person



£319 per person



£566 per person


£415 per person



£289 per person

Set departure dates, call for further information. Book by dates apply. Price based on two people sharing. All transport based on standard seating - upgrades available on request, at a supplement.

01708 802 388

Get a 5% Discount when you quote GTWRAIL18

Tel Gateway House, Stonehouse Lane, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1NS



Part of the Cruise & Maritime Travel & Leisure Group

4147 Group Travel World a4 +3mm bleed.indd 1 FP Template.indd 65

02/03/2018 10:58 09:27 08/03/2018

Going places ‘Would you go to bed with me?’ If it saves hours of dull travel the answer’s yes!

Save your day... ALAN AIM


Find out more at www.travelbyknight. or follow them on Twitter at @travelbyknight

...Travel by Knight. Discover how a new sleeper coach service could transform the way your group travels

HE BRAINCHILD OF businessman Alan


instead of flat, with draw curtains, a magazine

Aim, Travel by Knight is a new venture that

“The idea was sparked by tales of people trying

rack, a reading light, and a mobile phone USB

hopes to revolutionise the way groups and

to travel on the cheap and coming unstuck

charger port. Fully air-conditioned, travellers

families travel. The premise is simple: you hop

when it took hours and hours,” says Alan

can expect Travel by Knight-branded face

on board one of Travel by Knight’s comfortable

“Those long journeys; having to waste your

cloths for the mornings, and an on board

sleeper coaches in the evening and wake up

entire day. I used to do it myself as a student

microwave for warming up a breakfast wrap,

where you need to be. No more uncomfortable

at university, travelling between Orkney and

with bottles of water or juice also provided.

days spent cooped up on a coach as you trek

Edinburgh. Travelling from Orkney all the

to your destination by road; no more arriving

way down to Edinburgh was a day in itself.

was previously used on the tour band circuit

at the airport at 6am, having been up all

You could fly, but it’s actually cheaper to fly

and sleeps up to 14 (complete with memory

night; no more wasting lengthy chunks of time

from Scotland to Amsterdam than it is to go

foam mattresses, an entertainment system

travelling when you could be enjoying yourself.

from Edinburgh to Orkney, and I was always

on the upper deck and a kitchen area).

travelling on a student budget.” Alan’s sleeper mini coach has 12 berths

Also in the fleet is a double decker, which

Alan’s answer was to produce the UK’s


first sleeper mini coach. It’s fitted with 12

Based in Dundee, Alan and his team are the

berths, each designed in a ‘reclining’ position

ideal match for smaller groups who need to travel long distance in the UK over

Alan’s fleet of sleepers includes a double decker former tour bus

night so they can make the most of limited time in the day. “It’s early days, but my ambition is to have a network of sleeper buses that could connect Glasgow all the way to Beijing,” says Alan. “I think the concept of getting on a vehicle at night, travelling 500 miles and waking up in a new destination after you been rested is very much achievable. “Then you have the whole day in that new destination to sightsee or visit family.”



066 GTW Mar 18 Minibus Man.indd 66

01/03/2018 14:38

Crazy for Gershwin goes on tour next month


West End first for US star Oscar winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr will be making his British stage debut this month – as well as his musical debut – as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the award-winning Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End. Following a successful UK and international


Strike up the band

tour, and after a five-and-a-half year absence from London, Chicago will launch at the Phoenix on March 26. Already the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, the

Crazy for Gershwin, a celebration of the

Dates include:

show originally ran in the West End for 15

much-admired works of George Gershwin,

■ Saturday

years. It’s since played in 36 countries, to an

embarks on its UK tour next month.

■ Sunday

April 22 at St David’s Hall, Cardiff

■ Sunday

April 29 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester

With music, song and dance, the show celebrates one of the world’s greatest

■ Friday

April 14 at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

May 4 at the Symphony Hall,

audience of an estimated 31 million people. Cuba (pictured here) rose to fame as Tre Styles in the 1991 hit drama Boyz n the Hood,

composers, with classic orchestral


before winning the Academy Award for Best

compositions alongside a selection of

■ Saturday

Supporting Actor in 1996 film Jerry Maguire.

show-stopping numbers that were written


Recently, he’s best known for his portrayal of

in collaboration with George’s lyricist brother,

■ Saturday

OJ Simpson in the FX drama series The People

Ira – including Rhapsody in Blue, They Can’t


Take That Away From Me, Strike Up the Band

■ For

and I Got Rhythm.

or call 0844 847 2319.

BalletBoyz in the house!

May 5 at the Bridgewater Hall, May 19 at the Philharmonic Hall,

tickets see

BalletBoyz goes on tour next month

The International Emmy Award-winning, all-male dance company BalletBoyz are set to tour with their latest production, Fourteen Days, which opened at Sadler’s Wells

v O J Simpson: American Crime Story, for which he got a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. ■ Find

out more at

For the best ticket prices to West End shows see our sister site grouptraveloffers. com

last autumn. The production will tour Poole, Bristol, Darlington, Nottingham, Colchester, Cornwall, Worthing, Swindon and Wycombe from April 19 to May 29, as well as returning to Sadler’s Wells in London. ■ Find

out more at


Shrewsbury, Reading, Wolverhampton,


068-069 GTW Mar 18 Theatre news.indd 68

01/03/2018 14:11

Theatre news

Wicked’s here to stay... Hit musical Wicked, which tells the story of the Witches of Oz, has extended its run for the 25th time, making it the seventh longest running show currently playing in London. The musical is now booking until May 2019 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, and has already been seen by MATT CROCKETT

8.5 million people. ■ Find

out more at www. Wicked’s Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) and Sophie Evans (Glinda)

Enjoy a night out under the stars


Park life

Lunch in style Greatdays Travel Group has launched its

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has

2018 programme of exclusive, themed

announced details of its 2018 season,

‘Entertainment lunches’.

which includes Peter Pan, As You Like It,

The programme, which is available for

Dinosaur World Live, Little Shop of Horrors,

groups or individuals, takes place throughout

and The Turn of the Screw, a co-production

the year, based in four-star hotels across the

with English National Opera.

north and south of England. Themes include

The season opens with Peter Pan (from

St George’s Day, traditional music and songs,

May 17 to June 15) – a revival of the

to the fantastical lagoons and pirate

theatre’s 2015 Olivier Award-nominated

ships of Never Land, allegories of the war

production. For the wounded soldiers of

they’ve left behind are ever present.

parties for 12 years,” says Greatdays

the First World War, imagination is their

■ Find

executive director Paul Beaumont. “Over that

only escape, yet as they’re transported

out more and plan your night out at

Sixties’ summer sensations and the Carpenters. “We’ve been organising themed lunch

period we’ve recognised the demand among group travel organisers, coach operators and other tour planners for a ready-made party

A festival of the east

package where all the group has to do is turn up and everything else is done for you.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival – the largest

present the world premiere of their new

arts festival in the East of England and one

production The Paper Man, seeking to explore

the north and south of England to give

of the four largest in the UK – will run from

what we do when fascism comes to town.

group travel organisers a choice. Each

May 11-27.

New festival director Daniel Brine says:

“We deliberately choose hotels in both

event follows the same popular format,

“We’re hugely excited to be able to announce

welcoming up to 200 people and combining

performances from hit circus company, Barely

some of the first shows for the 2018 festival.

first-class entertainment and great food.

Methodical Troupe, who will headline the

The programme showcases a fantastic mix

There are no minimum numbers, so you

Adnams Spiegeltent with the world premiere of

of international artists, exciting UK companies

can send two people or 40. Our own team

gravity defying performance, Shift. While at

as well as local artists, residents – and our

is present at every event, going that extra

Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of the UK’s most

landscape too.”

mile to make everyone feel welcome.”

inventive theatre companies, Improbable, will

■ Find

■ Find out more at GTW

Among the highlights of this year’s festival are

out more at


068-069 GTW Mar 18 Theatre news.indd 69


01/03/2018 14:11

Hell on wheels

The soundtrack of many a teenage year, Bat Out of Hell starts its West End run this Easter. Naomi MacKay’s all set to rock out


here too – an allusion to the rock fantasy that Jim Steinman had planned at one time. The kids are called The Lost and they’re frozen in time at the age of 18, while the righthand man of hero Strat (played by American Andrew Polec, who also picked up the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award for his efforts) is called Tink. Set in a futuristic dystopia, ruled by the sinister Falco, Strat makes the mistake of

ACK IN THE summer of 2017, thousands

by Brit comedian Ben Elton; Mamma Mia, and

falling for his daughter, Raven, in a Romeo

of Bat Out of Hell fans logged on

the appearance of a number of other stage

and Juliet/West Side Story-inspired plot,

for a live online showing of the musical’s

shows based on ’80s acts, including The Spice

that is only going to lead both into trouble.

last performance in London, all waiting

Girls and Take That. Like Queen, a musical

for news of the final special surprise...

based around the iconic Bat Out of Hell album

clever set allows the audience to be at once

that the show, featuring the music of

was always going to appeal to those who liked

in the bedroom of young Raven (the child of

Jim Steinman and rock singer Meat Loaf,

rock rather than pop – but would it be able

dysfunctional but powerful parents), while

was set to return to the UK in 2018.

to live up to the expectations of loyal fans?

seeing her close-up via a video camera that

The album Bat Out of Hell was the

But the staging sets it a world apart. The

projects images onto the back of the stage.

soundtrack of my teenage years, so I was


excited when the show was first announced.

The story has echoes of We Will Rock You,

I won’t spoil for you – but think bike and car

Though it was no surprise given the success of

a lost tribe of young people who live on the

crashes and underwater transformations.

the Queen musical We Will Rock You, written

fringes of society. There’s a hint of Peter Pan

There are also some spectacular scenes that

By the time I saw the show towards the


070-071 GTW Mar 18 Theatre review.indd 70

01/03/2018 14:13

Theatre review

Bat Out of Hell The Musical runs from April 2, 2018 at London’s Dominion Theatre, with special rates for groups of 10 or more. See batoutofhellmusical .com

The story has echoes of We Will Rock You

end of its first run in London, the show had already enjoyed a debut in Manchester and it was clear that it had earned a cult following, with theatre-goers who’d come to see it on multiple occasions. Throw in a chance to have your picture taken astride the iconic motorbike and it’s every has-been and would-be rocker’s dream night out. Loved it, can’t wait to see it again? You took the words right out of my mouth...


Clever futuristic staging sets the show apart


070-071 GTW Mar 18 Theatre review.indd 71


01/03/2018 14:14

Hit show STOMP is playing at the Ambassadors Theatre



Prince Edward Theatre Booking to: May 2018 Times: Mon-Sat 19:30; Thurs & Sat 14:30

14.00 & Part Two 19:30; Thurs

Cambridge Theatre

Part One 19:30; Fri Part Two


Booking to: February 2019

19:30; Sun Part One 13.00,

Times: Tues 19:00; Weds-Sat

New London Theatre

Part Two 18:30

19:30; Weds & Sat 14:30hrs,


Sun 15:00



Adelphi Theatre Booking to: September 2018

Shaftesbury Theatre

Booking to: May 2018

Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;

Booking to: January 2019

Weds & Sat 14:30

Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;

Prince of Wales Theatre Times: Mon-Sat 19:30, Weds & Sat 14:30


Thurs & Sat: 15:00



Queen’s Theatre

Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;

Her Majesty’s Theatre

Booking to: May 2018

Weds & Sat 14:30

Booking to: May 2018

Criterion Theatre

Times: Tues-Sat 19:30; Sat

Booking to: October 2018

14:30; Sun 15.00 & 19.00



Booking to: May 2018

Booking to: June 2018

Weds, Sat & Sun 14:30

Savoy Theatre

Times: Mon-Sat 19:30; Weds & Sat 14:30

HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD (parts 1 & 2) Palace Theatre

Booking to: November 2018 Times: Weds & Sat Part One

Lyceum Theatre

Times: Tues-Sat 19:30,


Novello Theatre Booking to: October 2018 Times: Mon-Sat 19:45; Thurs & Sat 15:00


Times: Mon-Sat 19:30; Thurs & Sat 14:30

Booking to: January 2019 Times: Mon-Sat 19:30, Thurs & Sat 14:30; Sun 15:00

STOMP Ambassadors Theatre Booking to: May 2018 Times: Mon, Thurs, Fri & Sat 20.00; Sun 18.00; Thurs, Sat & Sun 15.00

THRILLER LIVE Lyric Theatre Booking to: September 2018 Times: Tues-Fri 19:30; Sat 16:00 & 20.00; Sun 15:30 & 19:30



Booking to: September 2018

Booking to: May 2019

Duchess Theatre

Times: Tue-Sat 19:30; Sat

Apollo Victoria Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;

14:30; Sun 15:00 & 19:00

Weds & Sat 14:30



Theatre Royal

Fortune Theatre

Booking to: December 2018

Booking to: January 2019

Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;

Times: Mon-Sat 20:00;

Weds & Sat 14:30

Tues & Thurs 15:00; Sat 16.00


072_GTW March 18 London Listings.indd 72

01/03/2018 14:16

Living Li i the h nation’s i ’ hi history since i 1348

◆ Cemetery

◆ Groups welcome

◆ Monastery

◆ Free museum

◆ Royal refuge

◆ Daily guided tours

◆ Mansion

◆ Gift Shop

◆ Great charity

◆ Thackeray’s Coffee House Visit the Charterhouse and steep yourself in six centuries of history “A tranquil oasis in the heart of London” “Everything a real gem”

The Charterhouse, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AN

Telephone: 020 3818 8873




Matt Lucas Caroline Quentin

Clare Burt Joanna Riding Gary Wilmot


Book & Lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber Book revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent Music by Noel Gay


Based on the novel by Paul Gallico Book by Rachel Wagstaff Music & Lyrics by Richard Taylor


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Bristol Hippodrome: March 5-10

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre: Until March 11

Hull New Theatre: Until March 3

Edinburgh Playhouse: March 12-17

Northampton Royal & Derngate: March 14-25

Sunderland Empire: March 20-31

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre: March 19-24

Sheffield Lyceum Theatre: March 28 - April 8

Glasgow King’s Theatre: April 3-14

Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre: April 10-22


Manchester Opera House: March 26 - April 7 Milton Keynes Theatre: April 9-14 Liverpool Empire Theatre: April 16-21 Hull New Theatre: April 23-28 Venue Cymru Llandudno: April 30 - May 5 Canterbury Marlowe Theatre: May 8-12 Southend Cliffs Pavilion: May 14-19 Wycombe Swan: May 21-26 Cheltenham Everyman Theatre: May 29 - June 3

Stoke Regent Theatre: May 2-13 Blackpool Winter Gardens: May 15-27 Woking New Victoria Theatre: May 30 - June 10 Liverpool Empire: June 12-24 Canterbury Marlowe Theatre: July 11-22 Milton Keynes Theatre: July 25 - August 5 Bristol Hippodrome: August 8-19 Llandudno Venue Cymru: August 21 - September 2 Leeds Grand Theatre: December 18 - January 6, 2019

Hull New Theatre: March 6-17 Leeds Grand Theatre: March 20-31 Newcastle Theatre Royal: April 3-14

Northampton Royal & Derngate: May 29 - June 9 Nottingham Theatre Royal: June 12-23 Glasgow King’s Theatre: June 26 - July 7 Edinburgh Playhouse: July 10 - July 14

MISS SAIGON Southampton Mayflower: Until March 17 Manchester Palace Theatre: March 21 - May 12

Bristol Hippodrome: April 17-28

Bristol Hippodrome: May 16 - June 23

Birmingham Hippodrome: May 1-12

Plymouth Theatre Royal: July 4 - August 4

Plymouth Theatre Royal: May 15-26

Norwich Theatre Royal: August 15 - September 15

The Sister Act Live Choir Show is now touring at cinemas across the UK. See the film like never before, on a huge screen while a live 35-piece gospel choir and band accompanies the on-screen nuns as they sing hit songs from the film. For a full list of dates see


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01/03/2018 14:20

Household Cavalry

Meet the Household Cavalry A gem in the very heart of ceremonial London

Meet the Household Cavalry

Meet the you’ve –– your your secret secret entrance entrance to to aa famous famous building building you’ve always always wanted wanted to to explore... explore... with with daily daily guard guard changes changes and andHousehold garrison garrison inspections. inspections. We We house house the the best best items items from from one one of of the the world’s world’s finest finestCavalry regimental regimental collections, collections, offer offer aa window window into into the the workling workling regimental regimental stables stables and and reveal reveal some some fantastic fantastic stories. stories.

Meet the Household Cavalry

A gem in the very heart of ceremonial London

– your secret entrance to a famous building you’ve always wanted to explore... with daily guard changes and garrison inspections. We house the best items from one of the world’s finest regimental collections, offer a Groups Groups rates rates available. available. Ask Ask us us about about ourworking new newregimental multi-venue multi-venue tickets. tickets. window into our the stables and reveal some fantastic stories.

Groups rates available. Ask us about our new multi-venue tickets.

A gem in the very heart of ceremonial London Open daily from 10am

gem in the very heart of ceremonial London – your secret entrance to a famous building you’ve always wanted to explore... Open dailyA from 10am The Theand Household Household Cavalry Cavalry Museum, Museum, Horse Horse Guards, Guards, Whitehall, Whitehall, London. London. with daily guard changes garrison inspections. We house the –best youritems secret entrance to a famous building you’ve always wanted to explore... The Household Cavalry Museum, with Horse Guards, Whitehall, London. daily guard changes and garrison inspections. We house the best items from one of the world’s finest regimental window into the Tel: Tel: 020 020 7930 7930collections, 3070 3070 offer Tel: a020 7930 3070 from one of the world’s finest regimental collections, offer a window into the workling regimental stables and reveal some fantastic stories. workling regimental stables and reveal some fantastic stories.

Groups rates available. Ask us about our new multi-venue tickets.

Groups rates available. Ask us about our new multi-venue tickets. QP Template.indd 75

08/03/2018 14:24

A gem in the very heart of ceremonial London

Open daily from 10am


Take to the


With Britain’s rivers ripe for the exploring, there’s never been a better time to book a lunchtime cruise. Here, you share your favourites...

SET SAIL TO EXPLORE WINDSOR’S SIGHTS “Windsor’s a fantastic location for groups. Everything’s within easy reach, a lot of it is walkable, and all the staff at the attractions – from the river trips on the Thames to the castle – are helpful and kind. “Bateaux Windsor Cruises offer a luxury dining experience on the Thames as you set sail to explore Windsor’s sights. Lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and special events can be catered for.” Find out more at – Sylvia Saxon, founder and chairman of New Meridian


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Dining out

Famous for their lunches on the water, Bateaux London Cruises take you past the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London while you tuck into three courses on the hourand-a-half trip. See www.

Cruise the Thames at Windsor with Bateaux Windsor Cruises

GOOD FOOD AND GREAT VIEWS “I’ve just come back from a fantastic day trip to London with my extended family. Eight of us took a Thames lunch cruise with City Cruises, and as it was low season (February) we got 20% off, which

Dine with City Cruises on its Thames lunch cruise

meant it was only £25-ish each for a near-two-hour cruise, two-course meal and live commentary. “As we set off from Tower Pier we

heading towards Canary Wharf. The food was

My only criticism is that it all went too fast!”

cruised past the Tower of London, Tower

great, as were the views, and despite the cold


Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye, before

and drizzle we were nicely snug in the boat.

– Jemma Chowings, Surrey


076-078 GTW Mar 18 Lunch cruises.indd 77


01/03/2018 14:23

Dining out Enjoy lunch on the Mersey as you cruise past Liverpool’s waterfront

LIVERPOOL’S FIRST FLOATING RESTAURANT “The Floating Grace is hailed as being Liverpool’s first floating restaurant – and it offers great views of the docks. We went for a Sunday lunch cruise, and for £25 each got a two-hour trip, a glass of fizz and a two-course lunch. “There were 12 of us in our party and the service was great and very friendly, especially when you consider they’re


working in a tiny on board kitchen. We loved the captain’s commentary, and you’re made to feel very much like a family guest rather than purely a customer. If you get chance, go!” See – June Ferreday, Cheshire


(named after the battle between Henry


‘Harry Hotspur’ Percy and Henry IV 600

Thinking of taking to the water? Here

“It’s not a lunch cruise per se, as you get

years ago), plus a 45-minute cruise on

at Group Travel World magazine, we’re

off the boat to eat! But we loved Sabrina

board the Sabrina Boat, complete with

on a mission to make life easier for

Boat’s ‘farm shop cream tea and cruise’ deal.

live commentary. Fantastic value.”

anyone who’s searching for the best

The boat – which carries up to 60 people

See – and check

group deals, as well as ideas and

– sails from Victoria Quay in Shrewsbury,

out for discounted

inspiration. See our website for a link to

and for just £10 each we had cream tea

Sabrina boat tickets.

our Directory, which puts you directly in

at Shrewsbury’s Battlefield 1403 farm shop

– Graham Gunner, Worcester

touch with the attractions, accommodation providers and wholesalers who can

Sabrina Boat cruises the River Severn

help you plan your next trip. See GTW


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MATCHDAY TOURS NOW AVAILABLE Exciting interactive tour Go behind the scenes at London Stadium Historic London 2012 Olympic venue Home to West Ham United and UK Athletics See the changing room, indoor running track, players’ tunnel, pitch side and much more Enjoy beautiful parklands in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Ideal for individuals and groups | @londonstadium | #londonstadiumtours

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Exclusive Themed Cruises with Hospitality Line The Cockney Cruise

Featuring the Pearly King and Queens!

Includes Live Entertainment, River Cruise Through London, Knees-up/Flag Waving Atmosphere and Traditional Pie and Mash Group rate (10+) £39.50pp

For more information, or to reserve your group’s place today, simply call, email or visit our website: F2034 Thames Cruise ad 190x134 Art.indd 1

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The Tall Ships Festival Fireworks Cruise

Includes a Prosecco Reception, Specially Prepared Buffet, World Renowned Tall Ships and London’s Famous Firework Display Group rate (10+) £49.00pp

020 8289 9595 07/03/2018 13:35

08/03/2018 16:21

Days out





Leeds Docks

Enjoy a day well spent in this West Yorkshire gem of a city


galleries. Have a go at firing a crossbow, experience what it would have been like to fight in battles over the centuries, and

Harewood House is just a short hop from the city centre

take a tour of the War Gallery, which charts the development and the art of warfare from early history to the 20th century.

TART YOUR TRIP with a visit to The Royal

A brand new Early Medieval section has

Armouries Museum in Leeds Dock, just a

plate and mail armour on display, and free

quick walk from the main city centre and home

daily talks enhance the visitor experience.

to the national collection of arms and armour.

Find out more at

Admission’s free, and there are more than 8,500 objects to explore in six themed

Wallet still intact after all the wonderful freebie-ness of The Royal Armouries Museum, you can afford to splash out on lunch. Great


reviews abound for the group-friendly, super-

Appetite sated you can hit the shops, of

stylish Fazenda Leeds in Granary Wharf. Plush

which, you may not be surprised to learn,

leather furnishings and authentic décor give

there are many – Leeds was named the best

guests a taste of the gaucho experience.

shopping destination in the UK by the Rough

But it won’t break the bank, with lunch

Guide to Britain, and its city centre has more

just £18.50 (see

than 1,000 shops.

If you’d rather have more of a posh

Best known are the aforementioned

café lunch, there’s a Bill’s restaurant in the

Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre in the heart

historic Albion Place, next door to Trinity

of the city between Briggate and Albion

Leeds Shopping Centre (see bills-website.

Street; the Merrion, which is Leeds’ longest; a Carluccio’s

established shopping centre; Briggate (the

actually in the Trinity Leeds (see carluccios.

city’s main pedestrianized high street);

com/restaurants/leeds/trinity), and

Leeds’ historic Kirkgate Market, as well as

scores of other fantastic eateries.

the designer label-filled Victoria Quarter.


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Enjoy a day out at Lotherton The Edwardian country estate of Lotherton boasts a treasure trove of fine art collections, Fashion Galleries and enjoys 52 hectares of breath-taking grounds. Build your bespoke group package today by visiting

From the Alps to the Scarborough, Alpamare is the a waterpark unlike any other. An enormous wave pool, a stunning outdoor infinity pool, four state-of-the-art slides, 35 degrees of heat - this is the ultimate waterpark experience.






*Opening hours may var y outside of school holidays. Please check our website before visiting.

ALPA1003_10313-02_PressAd_210x297.indd 1

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is for... You can run or relax, climb or dine, ride or ramble at Wicksteed Park. Do whatever you enjoy in our beautiful park grounds and activity zones.

Bring your friends or family – big group or small, there’s something for all! Visit our website for more information or come on down and find out for yourself.

Wicksteed Park, Kettering, Northants NN15 6NJ. Registered charity number 1142103.

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The Royal Armouries Museum

You’ll have earned dinner after a day spent exploring Leeds, and spoilt for choice as to where to go. Rated highly are Jamie’s Italian in Park Row (see italian/restaurants/leeds); Tiger Tiger in Albion Street (see; and Browns Brasserie and Bar in The Headrow (see For more ideas see

AND SO TO BED Where to stay in a city famed for its top-notch night life and hotels? We can fully recommend the fantastic Malmaison, part of an upmarket chain set in quirky, historic buildings. This one is housed in a former bus and tram company office, with chic, comfortable rooms, fantastic cocktails (raspberry rose gin and tonic, anyone?) and a stylish restaurant. Look out for special Sunday night deals, and see all the hotel has to offer at locations/leeds We can also recommend the trusty Premier Inn network, with three ‘good nights sleep guaranteed’ hotels in Leeds city centre (see

UP BRIGHT AND EARLY... ...and it’s time to venture out into the countryside with a visit to the fantastic, group-friendly Harewood House in the nearby Harewood Estate, just seven miles from the city centre. The seat of the Earl and Countess of Harewood, this Georgian country house

himself, who was commissioned to furnish

one of the best collections held in Britain.

was designed by John Carr, with interiors

Harewood House in the 1750s.

The house re-opens this month for its summer

by Robert Adam and grounds by Lancelot

Today, Harewood is still home to a vast

‘Capability’ Brown. Though it’s best known

collection of Chippendale furniture, and

for being furnished by Thomas Chippendale

specialist tours give groups unique access to

season – find out more at

HURRY, HURRY! Still got time to squeeze another quick visit in?

The Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre

Then make it lunch in the café (and, if you have time, a quick tour) at Lotherton Hall. Based in Aberford, just outside Leeds, this Edwardian country home re-opened this month, and is hugely popular with groups keen to discover its history and explore its manicured gardens. There are discounts for groups of 15 or more, two guided tours a day (at 11am and 2pm), and loads of events held throughout the year. Find out more at And if we haven’t yet exhausted you, there’s masses we haven’t had time for. Think Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds City Museum, Temple Newsam House, Thwaite Mills... Twenty four hours just isn’t enough, but all we’re really after here is a flavour of what’s on offer. There’ll be other weekends, and other great attractions. Until then, happy travels.



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Join us for the 60th Birthday of the LEGO® Brick! 2 Free Pre-Visit Tickets for Uniform Groups Visit during Easter Holidays and keep a look out for LEGO® Eggs! Don’t forget the exclusive Groups Pop Badge and LEGOLAND® Lanyard! Celebrate LEGO® Star Wars™ Weekend with us and Feel the Force! Have an awesome visit during the Summer Holidays “Get Spooky” at Brick or Treat and watch the amazing Fireworks on selected dates in October! Experience the magic of LEGOLAND® at Christmas!

*Subject to availability. T&Cs apply.

LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration, the Minifigure and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2018 The LEGO Group. SP6219

For more information visit /plan /groupsoffer or Email 6219_LLW_Groups Advert a4.indd 1 Untitled-1 84

01/02/2018 15:32 08/03/2018 16:09

Days out Welcome to Miniland USA

The LEGO Reef opens this year


Jamie Lawrence, Schools & Groups Executive at LEGOLAND, reveals what’s new at the world-famous resort for this summer and beyond

GTW: What makes LEGOLAND a great

resort. The park will open again on March 9,

for our Halloween celebrations, and our

destination for groups and families?

where guests will be able to visit Miniland

popular Christmas event in December.

Jamie: LEGOLAND Windsor Resort has

to see our two new areas: USA and Explore

a lot to offer for smaller and larger groups

the World, which will take guests from

GTW: Any tips for group bookings?

alike. With more than 55 rides, attractions

New York, along Route 66, and across the

Jamie: Arriving early at the resort is a

and shows on offer there’s something for

globe to India, China, Russia, and Australia.

good way to pack in a full day of brick-

everyone – from group activities, such as

Miniland already offers fantastic miniature

themed activities. Another tip is to make

the Atlantis submarine ride where groups

LEGO versions of some favourite UK and

sure groups are booking through our group

can ride together in their sub and explore an

European attractions, as well as NASA space

page for the best value, at www.legoland.

underwater world, to the Heartlake Express, a

station, so to have these global additions

train that leads the group around the resort.

will really expand what it has to offer. Guests can walk from the Taj Mahal to Sydney Opera

GTW: How can we make the

such as LEGO City, which includes the new

House, and over to the Golden Gate Bridge

most of a day at the park?

LEGO NINJAGO World. This features LEGO

in minutes.

Jamie: There’s so much to see and do that

Groups can also explore our many lands,

We’ll also be opening a new LEGO Reef,

the ideal itinerary stretches over two days,

the UK to use 4D effects of heat, smoke

where guests can build their own sea creatures

allowing time to explore all of our lands as

and wind, alongside state of the art Maestro

out of digital LEGO bricks, before casting off

well as experience what the fully LEGO

hand gesture technology, enabling riders to

their creation into a floor-to-ceiling interactive

themed hotels have to offer. We now have

virtually throw fire balls, shock waves, ice

digital aquarium.

two hotels on site, the LEGOLAND Windsor

NINJAGO The Ride – the first attraction in

Resort Hotel, and the Castle Hotel. Guests can

and lightning using nothing but their hands. GTW: Are there any special events

choose from Pirate, Adventure, LEGO Friends,

GTW: What will be the big attraction

planned for this year?

Kingdom, Knights, or Wizard themed rooms.

at LEGOLAND this year?

Jamie: This year we have a jam-packed

The hotels also offer three LEGO themed

Jamie: 2018 is a really exciting year, with

special events calendar, including Star Wars

restaurants, evening entertainment, character

awesome new attractions coming to the

days in May, Brick or Treat and Fireworks

meet and greets, and a Pirate themed pool. MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD 85

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For further information on our group offers please call +49 7822 77-14400 or visit


MMER U S M O NEW FR 201 E’ C FRAFN A L NCH E E R V I W ‘V THE NE AREA D EP18_TP_006_Group_Travel_World_Anzeige_SST18.indd 1 Untitled-1 86

In the spirit of Moulin Rouge® Paris


25.01.18 10:08 08/03/2018 11:06

Days out Blackgang Chine celebrates its 175th anniversary this year

Park life

Family-friendly attractions should be fun for everyone, not just the kids – and these parks and museums have got the wow factor sussed BLACKGANG CHINE Isle of Wight The UK’s oldest theme park is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Blackgang Chine ( on the Isle of Wight opened its doors when Queen Victoria had been on the throne for just six years. Fast forward to 2018, and the park, which is set on a cliff top with stunning sea views, is filled with an eclectic mix of attractions, theme worlds and rides. This year visitors can take part in a brand new adventure as the story of Blackgang Chine & the Curious Timeboat unfolds. Expect to meet a mischievous pirate from a bygone era and an eccentric, scatterbrained inventor as they soar through time on a mission to collect magical fuel for their enchanted time-travelling vessel. The adventures and celebrations continue throughout the season (from now until November) with Victorian hunters, dinosaurs at a prehistoric dinner party, live action shows and Wild West shenanigans.

ALTON TOWERS Staffordshire At Staffordshire’s Alton Towers they’re going retro this year with the first new wooden rollercoaster to be introduced in 21 years. The Wicker Man has been in development for four years, fuses wood and fire and is due to open this spring, see MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

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01/03/2018 14:36

Days out FANTASY ISLAND Lincolnshire Located in Ingoldmells on the sunny east coast

Efteling Theme Park Resort

of Lincolnshire, close to Skegness and just a stone’s throw from the beach, Fantasy Island is the ultimate destination for the whole family. Exhilarating rides and coasters will test even the bravest thrill seeker’s nerves, while those looking for something more family-friendly will have plenty to choose from. The little ones will be spoilt for choice with attractions including rides, a soft play area and live character shows during the high season. 2017 also saw the introduction of Island Beach and Bar, where parents can relax while the kids are at play. Following investment in excess of £6m, 2018 is all set to be the attraction’s best season to date. And Fantasy Island is also home to Europe’s largest sevenday Market (boasting over 300 stalls).



Bringing a world of fantasy to the

75-room hotel, as well as 65 themed

Netherlands, Efteling Theme Park attracts

holiday houses, including tree houses built

nearly five million visitors every year.

on stilts. Though my favourite place to stay


“This year, families can experience

is Bosrijk Village, sleeping in a woodland

Enjoy all the fun of a traditional British seaside

Efteling’s newest attraction, Symbolica

cottage surrounded by trees and birds.

funfair at Dreamland Margate – an amusement

– Palace of Fantasy, which opened in the

park and entertainment centre that’s home to

summer of 2017,” says Claire Hancer,

to see it all in one day So ideally spend a

rides, special events and more Plan your trip at

Efteling’s Country Manager for the UK &

night in one of the Efteling hotels or villages

Ireland. “The park’s largest and most

and do the rest of the park on day two. This

expensive ride to date, having cost 35 million

way you will hopefully experience all the

euros, it takes guests on an adventure

thrill rides, wander the Fairytale Forest and

through the hidden rooms of a royal palace.

ride all the attractions you fancy.

KEW GARDENS London Not such a thrill-seeker? Hop along to Kew

“Groups and families can also stay in the

“There’s so much to see and do it’s tricky

“As always we’ll be welcoming groups in

Gardens for a botanical bunny adventure

park’s newest accommodation – Holiday

2018 with a special group discount of 15%

with Peter Rabbit from March 30 to April 15,

Village Efteling Loonsche Land. Located

off the standard priced single park ticket.”

2018. The themed Easter festival will include

within walking distance of the park,

activity workshops, games and crafts. It ties

Loonsche Land is a holiday village with a

To find out more, email groups@efteling. com or visit


in nicely with the release of the Peter Rabbit Movie this month. Visit Find Peter Rabbit at Kew Gardens this Easter

Heading abroad? Europa-Park is Germany’s largest theme park. Plan your trip at


085-088 GTW Mar 18 Theme parks.indd 88

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08/03/2018 16:10

Step it up

a gear


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Go for it! Is now a good time to mention I’m not a keen swimmer?!

White water’s on the menu at Lee Valley

For some, a tour of a stately home just won’t cut it. They’d rather cling to the side of a cliff or dangle hundreds of feet up in the air...



introduced to your raft guide who’ll help you

clambering from cliffs to rocks, jumping

navigate the drops and eddies of the rapids.

in and out of the sea, into a sport – and the

The raft can hold up to nine people,

good folk at the TYF Group pioneered it some

and if you want to stay for the weekend,

30 years ago. They call it Pure Ocean Play, and

camp or glamp in cosy cocoons and

you can join them at their base in St David’s,

cabins at Lee Valley Campsite. Find out

as part of a guided group on the beautiful

more at

Pembrokeshire coast. Children as young as eight can take part, see And if you have a head for heights you’ll

FLY LIKE A BIRD If you’re going to throw yourself out of a

also love tackling the world’s highest indoor

plane, you want someone with you who

bungee jump at The Abyss @ Magna. This

knows what they’re doing – and who could

jump, run by the UK Bungee Jump Club

be better than a member of Great Britain’s

(, is housed

Competition Skydiving Team?

at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.

SEE THE WHITE... Enjoy a quiet kayak down the river, but Surf, fly, race and want to step it up a gear? Discover how shoot at Twinwoods fast your reactions are as the water Adventure near Bedford, pummels your canoe and the spray hits where you can have a go your face at Lee Valley White Water at indoor skydiving and surfing, Centre, just outside London. be a racing driver for the day This is your chance to tackle the actual and try the new, fullycourse used in the 2012 Olympics. immersive VR 4D Skydive You can choose to master the white experience. See waters in a canoe, a hot dog (inflatable twinwoodsadventure kayak) or hydrospeed (a cross between a .com

UK Skydiving Adventures are the people who organise such things. Imagine leaping into the unknown, safely secured to your tandem instructor, while members of the British Team hold your hand and build formations around you... The company specialises in organising group skydives and can, subject to their training schedule, organise jumps with the British Women’s Formation Skydiving Team, who are five-times World Champions. Contact If you’re feeling brave, but not that brave, try indoor skydiving. Using a giant wind tunnel, you get the feeling of diving


float and a bodyboard). Or go for the white

through the air, while in reality you’re only

water raft experience, which is great for

a few feet off the ground. iFLY (www.

groups and parties. You’ll be kitted out in has centres in Manchester,

wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids, then

Milton Keynes and Basingstoke.



090-091 GTw Mar 18 Extreme sports.indd 91


01/03/2018 14:41

Ladies of the manor

Harley Denham and Paige Fraser head to the glorious Kent countryside for an indulgent day at Champneys’ Eastwell Manor Hotel & Spa


URROUNDED BY BEAUTIFUL landscaped gardens, Eastwell Manor Champneys

The relaxing vibe hits the moment

variety of drinks and a healthy lunch option.

you arrive. We signed up for a luxury spa

We opted for the three-course menu, and I

Hotel & Spa sits in acres of parkland in

day and were greeted by friendly staff

chose the soup of the day and grilled corn-fed

Ashford, Kent. The newest addition to the

who were on hand throughout to make

chicken, while Paige enjoyed the goat’s cheese

Champneys family, the hotel has 62 luxury

our stay as enjoyable as possible.

crème brûlée and braised rolled shoulder of

bedrooms and suites, two restaurants and a

Soon we were changed into our robes and

lamb. We decided to return later for the desert! The spa facilities include a pool, heated

spa – its impressive leisure facilities including

en route to the spa restaurant, which offers

a fantastic 20-metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi,

plenty of seating and is able to accommodate

Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and luxury beds

steam room, sauna, gym, all-weather tennis

birthday groups and hen parties, as well as

with curtains to give a cosier feel. After

courts, nine-hole golf course and more.

families and couples. The restaurant offers a

a long swim and time spent in the sauna


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Tried & tested

The 20-metre swimming pool

Find out more at www. eastwellmanor.

Fine dining, Champneys-style

we were ready for our treatments. You

including Queen Victoria and the future Edward

can find gym and classes available, such

VII. It was later damaged by fire, but has now

Prepare to relax

as yoga, aqua fit, bootcamp circuits and

returned to its former glory as a Champneys

As well as Champneys’ Eastwell Manor

Pilates. The treatment area is upstairs, again

Spa Hotel, complete with on-site golf course.

Hotel & Spa in Kent there are four

with plenty of seating and two relaxation

The manor offers a variety of room types,

Champneys Spa Resorts based around

including classic, superior and luxe rooms. The

the UK, at Forest Mere in Hampshire,

suites give a royal feel, with a separate seating

Tring in Hertfordshire, Champneys

massage, which made our stay the ultimate

room, bedroom and views of the surrounding

Springs in Leicestershire and Henlow

relaxation experience. Other treatments

countryside. Also on site is Eastwell Mews, a

in Bedfordshire, as well as a number

on offer include manicures, pedicures,

range of cottages converted from stables with

of city spas. See the website to

facials, beauty treatments, Indian head

terraces and spacious living accommodation.

plan your next spa experience at

rooms, which you can use at any time. Paige and I chose a 50-minute full body

massages and special treatments for mums

Groups can enjoy a classic afternoon tea,

to be. Check out the full range at www.

which is served between 1pm and 5pm in the

restaurant and lounge, or out on the terrace.

The Eastwell Manor Tea costs £23.50 per

(a £3 supplement applies at weekends). If

person, the Eastwell Manor Pimm’s Tea costs

you prefer something more substantial, the

In its previous life, Eastwell Manor was used as

£25 per person, and the Eastwell Manor

hotel offers top quality dining too, made

a royal manor house, with its frequent visitors

Champagne Tea costs £29.50 per person

from locally sourced produce.



092-093 GTW Mar 18 Spa.indd 93


01/03/2018 14:48

Tried & tested

And relax…


On a recent day trip to Bath, Jade Smith enjoyed some R&R at the plush Thermae Bath Spa


■ The

‘Thermae Welcome’, which

consists of a two-hour spa session and use of a towel, robe and slippers, is £36 Mon-Fri and £40 Sat-Sun, with each additional hour costing £10.

’LL START WITH a disclaimer: I’m not a

Chamber, which has an audio track of the

■ For

spa person. Before visiting Thermae Bath

north wind and is infused with an invigorating

is available from Monday to Thursday .

Spa (TBS) I had never set foot in a steam

peppermint scent. It was also one of the

■ The

room, Jacuzzi or rooftop pool. That being

quieter rooms, as most visitors appeared

is available for the exclusive

said, I think TBS has set the bar pretty high

to prefer to lounge around in the hot steam

use of groups of up to 10.

for any other spas I visit in the future.

rooms rather than rub ice into their skin.

■ Thermae

Upon arrival, I was given a white robe,

A close second was the Infrared sauna,

groups of 8-12, a 10% discount stand-alone Cross Bath

Bath Spa is open every

day, except Christmas Day, Boxing

matching towel and some rather fetching

which I found to be more comfortable to spend

Day and New Year’s Day.

turquoise flip flops, which I elected to take

time in than the traditional steam rooms.

■ See

home with me rather than dispose of at

The heaters emit energy waves so the heat

the end of the day. A smartband was also

is less penetrating than traditional saunas.

provided, which would be the only other

item allowed in the spa itself (aside from


on the ‘lazy river’ in the Minerva Bath in

swimwear, obviously). It allows access to a

I was told that TBS attracts between 500

order to more easily bob around the pool.

locker to safely stow away your belongings,

and 700 visitors a day, and that the quietest

and acts as a tab for the restaurant, so no

times are Monday through to Thursday.

all weather, and my visit to the café proved

cash has to be handled during your stay.

The Wednesday morning I visited was quiet,

TBS has a good selection of both healthy

but there was a noticeable increase in

and splurge items (including champagne),

visitors by noon.

with gluten-free options available.

ICE, ICE BABY TBS sports a blend of traditional and modern

Accessibility throughout the spa is

The roof-top pool offers views of Bath in

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

décor throughout, with areas such as the

excellent, with lifts to all floors and electric

It’s whetted my appetite

Roman steam room in the Wellness suite.

chairs to lift people in and out of the pools

for spas in general, and if

In contrast, the Celestial Relaxation room

if required. Lifeguards are at every pool,

I ever find myself in Bath

are futuristic with glowing LEDs.

and pool ‘noodles’ are provided for added

in the future I’ll certainly

buoyancy. I recommend using one of these

visit again.

My personal favourite was the Ice

Thermae Bath Spa’s fantastic rooftop pool


094 GTW Mar 18 Bath Spa review.indd 94

01/03/2018 14:51

Subscribe to Group Travel World magazine today for your chance to WIN!

WIN A VIP DAY OUT AT ONE OF THE RHS GARDENS! We’re giving away two entry tickets to the garden of your choice, including a free guided tour and cream tea for two. RHS Gardens offer a wonderful, world-class day out for groups and families, with four dotted around the UK: • RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire • RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon • RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex • RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey *T&Cs: Prize is only for use by the winner and a friend/family member only - not for resale

To enter, see below, before the closing date of April 1st, 2018.


Call Emma Parkes on 01733 293487 Email Visit ENTER ONLINE AT Untitled-1 95

08/03/2018 14:42

The mane attraction Harley Denham meets the future stars of the racing world on a trip to Newmarket


ANT TO COME and meet some foals?” asked Discover Newmarket. In true comedy style,

I was there before the sentence had ended... Discover Newmarket is the Suffolk town’s official tour guide, employing an experienced team (including 17 expert tour guides) to offer visitors the opportunity to see behind the scenes at racing’s world-famous headquarters. They’re on hand to arrange guided tours for groups, families and individuals over half a day, a full day or longer, and will even arrange accommodation too. Attractions include The National Stud, where this chap pictured here lives, Newmarket Racecourse and Palace House. Find out more at

– and grab next issue’s magazine (the April issue) to read more on Newmarket, as well as the highlights of the 2018 racing calendar across the UK.

“When I grow up I want to win the Derby...”


096-097 GTW Mar 18 Team on tour.indd 96

01/03/2018 15:08

GTW news

Group Travel World goes on safari Julie Cousins trekked to the African plains (well, Bedfordshire’s equivalent of) on a

fantastic day out whatever the weather. “My grandson Finlay loved the monkeys,

half-term trip to Woburn Safari Park. “The

who sat on the roof of the car in the

big café. Groups of 15 or more get

weather was terrible, most of the animals on

drive-through and tried to disappear with

special discounts, and there are also deals

the safari drive-through were hiding from the

a few aerials, and the indoor play area is

for families and school groups.”

rain – and still we had fun!” says Julie. “That’s

fantastic. There are slides galore, a soft play

the great thing; there’s so much to do it’s a

area, a separate area for younger kids and a

Ruby and Freya make some new mates

A land of giant adventures Emma Parkes releases her inner child at Gulliver’s Theme Park

Find out more at www.woburnsafari


HIS HALF-TERM I headed to Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes, my daughter Ruby in tow

as well as her friend Freya and my fellow ‘big kid’ – Freya’s mum, Sam. We were greeted by music, smiling friendly staff and two pirate characters, including a pirate pig. Standard! Gulliver’s Lilliput Castle was a lovely warm haven to grab a drink and hot food – much needed on a freezing cold February day – and we explored Adventure Land, Gully Town and Discovery Bay. We also enjoyed the thrills of the roller-coasters, got a traditional soaking on the log flume and a good old stomach churning on the pirate ship. With three parks – Gulliver’s World in Warrington, Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes and Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath – the chain celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, with news that it’s planning a fourth resort in the Rother Valley area of Sheffield. This family-owned park is aimed at children between the ages of two and 13, and there are special group rates (see www.gulliversfun.

Emma with Freya (left) and Ruby If you prefer, you can make a short break of it, as Gulliver’s also offers accommodation – see



096-097 GTW Mar 18 Team on tour.indd 97


01/03/2018 15:08

Industry insider Goodbye from the BBC...



Chris Wales from the CTA and David Steele from AGTO wished Ollie Burton farewell from his role at BBC Tours recently. Though, as Ollie explains, although the London Broadcasting House tour no longer runs, there are still tours from many BBC locations in the UK. BBC Tours run 11 tours in eight locations across the UK, in Cardiff (including Welsh

Melanie is now a proud member of the Gardiners NMC team

language tours); Bristol – home of the world-famous Natural History Unit; Birmingham, home of Radio

Hit the road MELANIE COX


Melanie Cox, Board Director of the CTA and General Manager of Gardiners NMC, reflects on her career in coach tourism and the future of the industry

4’s The Archers; Newcastle; and MediaCityUK in Salford, with the opportunity to take the CBBC Interactive Tour. The BBC is also based in Belfast and its flagship Scottish Broadcasting Centre in Glasgow. In addition, summer tours are available of the set of BBC Scotland’s popular continuing drama, ‘River City’. BBC Tours give visitors

T’S BEEN A turbulent 12 months

Silver Travel Advisor Debbie

continue until we have sailed

for me, with the announcement

Marshall, CPT Tourism and

through the Brexit storm and

a fascinating behind the

last April that Epsom Coaches

Coaching Executive Simon Smith,

come out the other side.

scenes insight into one of

would no longer be operating

and Philip Welsh, Head of Visitor

holidays or day excursions from

Economy at Visit Blackpool.

June 2017. Thankfully, I was

I find the industry offers a safe


the world’s most famous broadcasters. All tours

One of the highlights of my year

also include hands-on

contacted by Adrian Smith, MD

and secure way to visit places of

is attending our Reunion Break.

interactivity, giving guests the

of Gardiners NMC, who expressed

outstanding natural beauty and

This year we stayed at the Best

opportunity to experience

an interest in taking on the

interest. Organised and operated

Western Ipswich Hotel, and top

broadcasting for themselves.

programme and, as a result, was

by dedicated, knowledgeable

marks to Sharron Eaton and the

The majority of tours run

able to offer myself and some of

organisations, coach touring

team at the hotel. It was a great

throughout the year. Groups

my colleagues a job.

offers a unique opportunity to

venue for groups, the food was

of 15 or less can book online

make new friends for life and gain

excellent, and nothing was too

– and groups of 15 or more

though we’ve always been part

interesting, well-researched

much trouble. We had a brilliant

should phone BBC Tours’

of the Gardiners team. Our very

knowledge about the areas

weekend, and our group enjoyed

dedicated group booking line

loyal customers continue to travel

visited. It’s a privilege to work in

visits to Bury St Edmunds,

on 0370 901 1227.

with us, and continue to enjoy the

an industry where customer

Lavenham, Snape Maltings and

same high levels of service that

service is the number one priority.


they’d become accustomed to.

At Gardiners NMC bookings are

Now, eight months on, it’s as


As an operator I find being a

flooding in for holidays and day

member of the CTA invaluable.

excursions. UK destinations are

It offers excellent networking

I have been a Coach Tourism

proving to be a favourite – with

opportunities. As well as the

Association (CTA) Board Member

many destinations in the West

conference and AGM in

for six years. Our annual conference

Country and Wales featuring in

Blackpool there is a Summer

has just taken place in Blackpool,

our list of top 10 choices. Sadly,

BBQ and Christmas Social

hosted by the Imperial Hotel.

Europe is proving to be a hard

organised too – details to follow

Guest speakers included BBC

sell, but this has been the case for

soon on www.coachtourism

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani,

a few years and I imagine this will


Find out more at www.

Chris (left), Ollie and from BBC Tours David from AGTO


98 GTW Mar 18 CTA.indd 98

01/03/2018 15:11

GTWM-BBG134x190mm_Layout 1 08/02/2018 14:45 Page 1

• Famous Sites • Museums and Galleries • Walking Tours • Themed Tours • Contemporary Britain

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The Blue Badge is a symbol of excellence in tourist guiding. Their wealth of experience is

To book a Blue Badge Guide visit T: +44 (0)20 7403 1115 E:

Go Behind the Scenes Discover Newmarket offers a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes at racing’s headquarters to learn about the fascinating history, heritage and culture of the town.

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visit call 0344 748 9200

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08/03/2018 12:13


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Call Emma Parkes on 01733 293487 Email Visit Untitled-1 100

08/03/2018 16:25


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QP Template.indd 101

08/03/2018 12:17

London & Partners

Re-live the history of the world’s first ‘social network’ in the new Postal Museum

Discover London Neighbourhoods: Islington Step into North London’s borough of Islington – the perfect area to enjoy world-class museums, shopping and nightlife



complimentary hot drinks and meet LSO

almost endless, if you know where to look.

musicians at private interval receptions.

As part of London & Partners’ initiative to showcase top neighbourhoods city-wide, we


are focusing on a different area each month,


providing our insights into the top experiences

Re-live the history of the world’s first ‘social

and hidden gems for your groups to discover.

network’ in the new Postal Museum, home to

This month, step into North London’s

a vast archive of mail-related content spanning

London & Partners is the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency. ■ Sign up for its monthly travel trade newsletter at londonandpartners. com/travel-trade ■ Join its trade group on Linkedin: ‘London & Partners - Travel Trade’ ■ Find out more at londonandpartners. com/travel-trade

borough of Islington, the perfect area for

400 years, such as a confiscated version of

shopping and nightlife with its slew of theatres,

James Joyce’s Ulysses and telegrams sent

clubs and independent boutiques. Read on

by passengers on the stricken Titanic. For

to find out about a quirky new attraction

an extra thrill, travel back in time on the

the towpath led by a museum guide, as part

– a subterranean rail ride that was at the

popular Mail Rail ride through the original

of a longer day’s programme that lets the

heart of the London postal system for 75

tunnels under the museum. Enjoy a 20-minute

visitor see a new perspective on London.

years in its previous life. For more ideas for

ride on this specially adapted subterranean


London itineraries, visit our travel trade site

train network, which stretched from

Whitechapel to Paddington and kept London’s


communications flowing for more than

■ Tube:

75 years. Visit

the Northern Line (Angel) and Victoria and

BARBICAN CENTRE & LSO Enjoy a diverse range of art, music, theatre,

Islington can be accessed through

Overground Lines (Highbury & Islington).

dance and film in Europe’s largest arts centre,


all under one roof. The Barbican’s facilities

Explore this unique museum housed in a

include a concert hall, two theatres, three

former ice warehouse built in the nineteenth

and Hammersmith & City lines.

cinemas, two art galleries and shops, as well as

century. Discover the history of the ice trade

■ Overground train:

a somewhat surprising conservatory brimming

as well as the colourful story of London’s

Islington provides overground services.

with beautiful green plants. It is also home to

canals, their people, their cargoes, and the

Whereas Farringdon in Clerkenwell connects

the London Symphony Orchestra, for which

horses that pulled the boats and carts on the

services from Bedford, Brighton and London

all groups of 10-plus receive a 20% discount

streets. Groups of at least 10 people enjoy

Luton and London Gatwick airports.

on tickets, free concert programmes, and

a discounted entry rate. The museum can

■ Bus:

can make use of convenient coach drop-off

help tour operators to arrange boat trips in

and 259 all connect Islington with

and pick-up points. Larger groups can enjoy

conjunction with a museum visit, or a walk on

the centre of London.

Clerkenwell’s Farringdon tube station connects to the Circle, Metropolitan Finsbury Park in

Routes 4, 19, 29, 253, 254 GTW


102 GTW Mar 18 L&P.indd 102

01/03/2018 15:13

UKinbound news UKinbound’s 2018 Annual Convention played host to a number of key speakers

The future’s bright Cindy Ng reports on UKinbound’s annual convention, which posed the question: what’s next for tourism?


ORE THAN 260 delegates

Chairman Mark McVay outlined

of local suppliers, including The Royal

converged on Cardiff last

future goals and advocacy

Mint Experience, Surf Snowdonia,

priorities for UKinbound.

and Wales Millennium Centre.

month for the 2018 UKinbound Annual Convention to hear from

A panel debate with Denis

industry leaders, attend seminars,

Wormwell, VisitEngland; Steve

to attend seminars, including

enjoy a glamorous awards evening

Ridgway, British Tourist Authority;

developing bookable product

and, importantly, win new

Jason Thomas, Welsh Government;

by VisitBritain; connecting with

business, make new contacts

Sean Taylor, Zip World; and

travellers in the digital age by

and catch up with old friends.

moderated by Ian Taylor of Travel

Google; a VAT and legal update

Weekly, covered topics from the

with Travlaw and Elman Wall

been held annually since 1983,

impact of Brexit, particularly on

Bennett, and The Wales Way

returned to Cardiff for the first

the workforce, to the challenges

by VisitWales.

time in 14 years to coincide with

of securing accommodation, the

Wales’ Year of the Sea – a perfect

importance of a solid digital and


opportunity for Wales to

transport infrastructure, and

A CEO roundtable was held with

showcase its tourism offer,

increasing consumer knowledge

Stephen Darke, Acting Deputy

including the recently launched

of regional product.

Director for Tourism Heritage &

The three-day event, which has

Wales Way. Focusing on the question


Delegates had the opportunity

UKinbound is the only travel trade association to focus solely on the interests of the UK’s inbound tourism sector. Representing a diverse membership of over 390 businesses, it engages with Government and the media to highlight the importance of inbound tourism to the economy, and help its members to grow their businesses. Visit or email for more information, and follow UKinbound on Twitter: @UKinbound

Cultural Diplomacy at DCMS,

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

and Rob Holt from the Welsh

(Accommodation Provider of the

of ‘What’s next for tourism?’,

Keynote speaker PY Gerbeau,

Government in attendance. Issues

Year), and Cutty Sark (Individual

delegates heard from Chief

Visiting Professor at London

discussed included Brexit, airport

Attraction of the Year).

Executive Deirdre Wells, who

Business School & Imperial College,

capacity, taxation, the UK’s visa

acknowledged how far the

drew from his experiences

regime and regional visitation.

Association has come since its

heading the UK’s largest leisure

founding as BITOA in 1977, while

company to give insights on the

Excellence Gala Dinner took place

Outstanding Contribution to

essential qualities a tourism

on the final evening at the

Tourism was won by Karin Urban,

business needs to survive.

stunning National Museum Wales,

Non-Executive Director of Tour

Namely, being adaptable and

where delegates were welcomed

Partner Group.

flexible, locking up enough

by Welsh Tourism Minister Lord

resources to ensure the company

Elis-Thomas. Comedian Rod

experience delegates set off on a

can weather a crisis, and

Woodward entertained guests

selection of fam trips on the final

understanding that front-line staff

after dinner and compèred the

day, including a day visit around

are the most important asset.

awards ceremony.

Cardiff, a tour of mid and south

UKinbound is delighted to announce that its 2019 Annual Convention will be held in Glasgow - follow #UKiCon19 for the latest updates

Day two consisted of a B2B workshop alongside an exhibition

VisitAberdeenshire took the Judges’ Commendation Award, while the Chairman’s Award for

The annual Awards for

Winners included AC Group (Tour Operator of the Year),

To round off the Wales

Wales, and a three-day tour of north Wales.



103 GTW Mar 18 UKinbound.indd 103


01/03/2018 15:14

Do your research to find a ski resort that has lots going on for everyone

Your travel questions answered by experts SWISS-IMAGE.CH

Explore London’s hidden tunnels GROUP TRAVEL

Fun on the pistes QAny tips for booking a successful


Going underground

I’ve found the best time to go to ensure

(and safe) group skiing trip? We’re a mixed

the resort’s got enough in the way of snow

bunch experience-wise, and I don’t know

is later in the season at the end of February

where to start when it comes to finding a

or beginning of March.

resort that’s going to cater for us all.

I always works with a group travel company

Millie Sleight, Lincolnshire

to organise ski trips, as they do all the hard work and can help put the trip together.

this summer. Any ideas?

A Patsy Steadman of the Avon and

Somerset Constabulary Force Club

organising a group trip for the first time,

Lucy Leonard, Surrey

( says: We go skiing

wherever that is, is to start off small – don’t

A Group Travel World magazine’s editor,

every year, and, like you, I find this is the

run before you can walk.

QWe’re looking for a quirky London tour

My general advice for anyone who’s

hardest trip to organise as it involves the

Do small, shorter trips to start with and

Helen Milbank, says: I’d recommend London

unique task of finding something suitable

don’t go cheap, but instead look for quality.

Transport Museum (LTM’s) underground

for every type of skier – beginners who want

Check out hotels and the surrounding area

walking tours, exploring the hidden network

easy slopes, intermediates who want a range

before you go – you can check them online

of tube tunnels that were closed in the 1960s.

of slopes and advanced skiers looking to

and look at Trip Advisor comments before

go off-piste.

booking. And again, ask your chosen group

LTM’s Hidden London tours give groups the chance to explore these forgotten tunnels and

I always look for a ski resort where there’s

travel company for advice.

learn the history behind the development of

not much travel involved to get to the slopes

the tube network. The ‘lost’ tunnels of Euston

– ideally ski-in and ski-out – where there’s

■ See

are now open to small groups for a guided tour

a lot of entertainment at night, where there’s

for discounted short break and attraction

on selected days of the year.

good hotels and enough snow!

tickets – and the option to buy now, pay later.

In addition, LTM also offers tours of Clapham South station, Down Street and 55 Broadway: ■ Opened to the public in July 1944, Clapham South deep-level shelter had over a mile of subterranean passageways. These can

A garden lovers’ tour QWe’re members of a hardy plant society

now be explored on a guided tour, giving

and we’d love to take our gardening passion on

groups an insight into the lives of the people

tour! Any suggestions for who could help?

who sheltered here 70 years ago.

Becky Seal, North Lincolnshire

■ Down Street in Mayfair is Churchill’s secret station. It sits between Hyde Park Corner and

A GTW’s editor Helen Milbank says:

Specialists in escorted garden tours, the team

helping to win the Second World War when it

at Brightwater Holidays offer shorter coach tours

was covertly transformed into the Railway

across the UK and Ireland, as well as longer

Executive Committee’s bunker.

overseas trips. Typically, tours include transport,

■ Known as London’s first skyscraper, the

accommodation and entry to gardens and other

towering Art Deco 55 Broadway was the

specialist attractions to suit your requirements.

Underground’s former headquarters.

Find out more at

Take a garden tour with Brightwater Holidays


Green Park stations, and played a crucial role in


104-106 GTW March 18 Q&As.indd 104

01/03/2018 15:20

Your Q&As Tour Iceland on two wheels

One of NCL’s single studios CRUISE HOLIDAYS

Cruising for one

QWill it cost me a fortune to cruise as a

single traveller, or are there deals to be found? Joan Swynar, Cornwall

A Travel writer Mike Pickup says: As a

general rule, if a single passenger occupies

a double cabin they’re going to have to pay around twice the ‘per person’ fare. Most cruise ships do have a small number of single cabins that are priced appropriately, but Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has addressed both the financial and social issues of single travellers. Its most recent ships have exclusive areas dedicated to single passengers with over 100 single studios and a lounge and bar area, so you can be assured your fellow guests are also travelling alone. See


Set the (bike) wheels in motion QAny ideas for where we should head on

So, instead of heading south, why not turn

our next en masse motorbike tour? We’ve

your sights in the opposite direction? Iceland is

done France and Spain.

perfect for a unique group riding experience,

Mark Hardy, West Lothian

with glaciers, lava fields, volcanoes, tundra,

A Kevin and Julia Sanders of

geysers, waterfalls and fjords all there for you

are experts in global motorbike tours.

mainland Europe, but you won’t need visas,

They say: If you’re looking for something more

specialist insurance or vaccinations – and there’s

challenging than Europe for your group biking

virtually no traffic. Following a route around

I’ve been warned there are hidden extras.

trip, the usual next stage would be to head

the coastline will take you on an 1,800 mile

Fern Brett, Northumberland

south. Ride down to Turkey and cross into

journey, which is comfortably achievable over a

Asia, or head through Spain and it’s a short

couple of weeks. If you fancy riding to Iceland,

hop across the Mediterranean to North Africa.

you’ll need to travel to Denmark and catch the

A cruise fare normally includes

However, there are a few drawbacks to both

GlobeBusters (

to explore on isolated roadways. It’s different from anything you’ll find in


A fare deal...

QWhat’s included in the fare on a cruise? A Travel writer Mike Pickup says:

ferry, which takes three nights to make the trip.

accommodation, meals and a range of

those destinations. First, you’ll need to sort

It’s much easier to fly – just three hours from

entertainment and on-board activities.

out specific insurance (for the bikes and their

London – and have your bike delivered by a

Many ships have large theatres and some

riders) and all sorts of other hurdles like a

shipping company (here at GlobeBusters we

will put on shows that would do credit to

carnet de passage and vaccinations, etc. But

use Moto Freight, which specialises in bikes and

any West End theatre. Extras will usually be

perhaps top of the list is the road conditions

handles all the paperwork). Bike hire is available

items like excursions, spa treatments and

– don’t expect Western standards of

in Iceland, although choice is limited as it has a

internet access which, on many ships, can

maintenance for road surfaces or vehicles.

similar number of inhabitants to Leicester.

be slow and expensive. MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

104-106 GTW March 18 Q&As.indd 105


01/03/2018 15:20

Your Q&As

Proudly sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society


MEET OUR EXPERT Melissa Hackney is Groups

Sales & Marketing Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

For those looking to enjoy the spicy side of

Q What special deals are on offer

life, there is a wonderful Chilli Festival at RHS

for groups across the RHS Gardens?

Garden Rosemoor in Devon – which has a new

Oscar Tomson, Cumbria

date this year from 14-16 September.

A Melissa says: For 2018, we have

The new Garden Room will house more than

QWhat new or special events do you

30 top chilli producers from all over the UK,

have planned for this year at the gardens?

with chilli plants, chilli sauces, chilli chocolate

our four fabulous gardens. It means you can

June Olafsson, Cornwall

and fudge and chilli preserves to try and buy,

combine a spring or summer visit to one

A Melissa says: We are continually adding

as well as talks and live music.

garden with a visit later in the year, either

to our annual calendar of events around our

Garden Harlow Carr. In addition to the Autumn

afield. Group organisers who make a repeat

four gardens, as we know these are a really

Sculpture trail, which runs from 1 September,

booking to any RHS Garden within 2018

popular option for groups and we want to be

to 31 October 2018, the Taste of Autumn

will save 50% on their second visit between

sure there are inspirational reasons to visit all

and Real Ale Festival, which runs from

October 2018 and January 2019*.

through the year. Highlights for 2018 include

28-30 September, offers the chance to

the new Floral Fantasia at RHS Garden Hyde

discover the delights of autumn and celebrates

of events at the RHS Gardens, there is

Hall, which runs from 1 June to 30 September.

the colours and produce of the season.

plenty of inspiration to choose from,

In partnership with Thompson & Morgan,

Learn all about the woodland trees,

There is also a new Autumn Festival at RHS

introduced a new incentive for groups across

to the same garden or perhaps go further

With a superb year-round calendar

ranging from Flower Shows to seasonal

this fabulous display will feature more than

traditional wood crafts and the kitchen garden

Glow events, as well as enticing tailor-

1,000 annual bedding plants displayed in

harvest at this event, with the chance to try

made options created specifically for

pots, containers and hanging baskets. The

a range of interesting Yorkshire ales, wines,

the interests of the individual group.

sunflowers look set to be a real treat!

ciders and food.

We have also included an added incentive for groups who will receive a £5 retail voucher per person to spend in one of the

Q Where are the best places to take

well as a floral themed craft market. One

my group to see roses this year?

aspect of the Festival is the Rose Weekend,

Winnie Mansfield, London

which has proved so popular it now runs from

A Melissa says: All our gardens and shows

Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June 2018. RHS Garden Hyde Hall has wonderful

RHS Shops. (*Minimum spend applies.)

Experience the ultimate gardening day out with the RHS at its four wonderful

feature this iconic flower. RHS Garden Rosemoor

roses in its hilltop garden, with a Rose Walk

gardens – RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey;

in Devon boasts the largest rose gardens in the

and a Modern Rose Garden. There is also the

RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North

south west, and in the summer it has a five

incredible collection of roses in the Bowes-

Yorkshire; RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex

week Rose Festival from 16 June to 22 July.

Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Garden Wisley.

and RHS Garden Rosemoor in North

Enjoy guided walks and talks, tips and advice

Here, winding paths allow you to explore

Devon. Special group prices are available.

on rose growing, a wide selection of David

choice roses alongside an array of plants,


Austin Roses and rose related gifts for sale, as

bulbs, shrubs and topiary.



104-106 GTW March 18 Q&As.indd 106

01/03/2018 15:20

Ragley Hall Park & Gardens, Warwickshire, B49 5NJ 01789 762090

Family home of the Marquess & Marchioness of Hertford. Group Tours available all year round with optional Cream Teas, Lunches and Head Ga Gardener talks.

Discover the hidden secrets inside ...

With over 300 years of history there is something for everyone at Stowe House!


Photos by Alan Longworth and LouiseSmithPhotography

A warm welcome awaits you at Bowood House & Gardens Open 28th March to 4th November 2018 Group rates and guided tours available Bowood House & Gardens, Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 OLZ 01249 810 961

QP Template.indd 107

08/03/2018 15:22

“We love


With more than 20 years’ experience in the travel trade, Laraine Tresser of Gemmaway Travel has created a successful niche dealing with expatriate groups

Laraine takes groups all over the world, but has a particular soft spot for Venice


108-109 GTW Mar 18 GTO.indd 108

01/03/2018 15:23

Real life


E ARE VERY different to other group

Expert tip

travel organisations in that we target

the expatriate community in the UK, working

“Lots of people think they can simply

with the American Embassy, the Canadian

organise tours via the internet, but you

military and other expatriate groups.

need experience to know how much you can fit in over a day,” says Laraine. “A

I got involved in this market because I had

Gemmaway Travel offers fully guided tours to the UK and Europe, see www.

friends who worked in the US Embassy who

professional tour organiser will know just

were interested in doing tours. Demand grew,

what is possible, and have the contacts to

and people now ask us to organise tours.

find different places. We now work with certain hotels and attractions because we

We personally escort every tour we do,

know they’ll help us as much as they can.”

and they involve a lot of work. They have to be carefully arranged to meet the very specific requirements of our groups, which can include families and children. On fam

Venice. As we love travel, all destinations

trips I’m always the person looking for family

are wonderful with their own challenges.

rooms; it’s a very different market when

However, Italy is always my favourite

you’re dealing with families and children

destination. I love Italy. I love the food, the

as well as adults. You have to constantly

destinations, the scenery and the people.

think what everyone would enjoy.



Our big tour this year is a two-week trip across

It’s important to belong to a trade organisation

Europe, exploring the Reformation and Martin

where you can meet other GTOs and

Luther. I did a tour of Britain for an American

exchange experiences and ideas. We belong

church pastor and his group and he kept my

to New Meridian, whose members are

card. When they decided to do this tour, they

all active group organisers.

contacted me. It’s a very intensive itinerary,

We’ve known Sylvia Saxon, who is the

covering many coach miles and visiting four

Chair, for many years. She lives and breathes

countries with a different hotel each night.

travel 24/7! She organises great trips for

We’re working with Ellen from Travel

her own groups and helps put together

Editions, who’s helped us put this tour

some really interesting fam trips. Last year

together, booking the coach, the hotels,

we joined her and the group for fams to

local guides and flights. She has also found

Madeira, Cyprus, Windsor and Skipton. I did a fam trip of south Wales in 2017

an experienced Reformation tour manager/ guide as it’s important to get the right people.

with Steve Reed Tourism, which was very

We do a lot of military-related tours.

useful, and have since organised a trip to

We’re doing one for the Canadian military

the region for my Canadian clients. They

in June, which is carefully targeted to

could only spare a weekend so it was very

meet their interests by spending time on

intensive. On day one, we visited Tintern

Juno beach and the Canadian memorials.

Abbey, made a picture stop at Monmouth,

My husband is a military expert and he

included a quick visit to Caerleon and finished

provides the background information.

at Caerphilly for the castle. The next day

Our target market is very specialised,

we took an early morning tour of Cardiff, a

and they want as much history as they

Cardiff Castle tour and then visited St Fagans

can get. Popular tour areas are always

National Museum of History. It was a lot to

Normandy, the Edinburgh Tattoo and

do when you’re just staying overnight!

All destinations are wonderful, but Italy is always my favourite. I love the food, the destinations, the scenery, the people…


WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG… “Problems at Calais are a big issue for group

ferry was trying to dock. They said it

organisers, and there have been times when

would be delayed by two or three hours

we’ve come back from Normandy and

but that we would be sailing. I looked at

haven’t been sure whether we will get to the

the sea and the harbour and was worried.

tunnel in time, or if our train will be running,” says Laraine. “One time, coming back from a Christmas

“I managed to book the coach to use the tunnel, paying extra to do so, and it was good choice. The next day I heard

market, we were due to travel back on the

that the ferry we should have taken was

ferry, but the weather was very bad and the

still trying to land at Dover!”



108-109 GTW Mar 18 GTO.indd 109


01/03/2018 15:23

Over to you

We want to hear from you!

Write, Facebook, Tweet or email

We love... ...this shot of Poppy the cat watching Countryfile. She’s owned by Group Travel World magazine’s Emma Parkes. Maybe she could give Harvey the dog a run for his money. Taking of which, have you found him yet? ■

See page 112 for details.

Fun in the sun Group Travel World magazine came with me on a recent trip to Barbados. Fab holiday reading! Meg Harrington, Cambridgeshire


A picture paints a thousand words… Here’s me (far left) after I bumped into

owned (though sadly not go in it), see

Group Travel World magazine’s editor,

Willy Lott’s house, as seen in the Hay

Helen, and one of the magazine’s writers,

Wain, and more. Well worth a visit.

Becky Statham, at Flatford Mill in Suffolk.

Katy Islip, Northamptonshire

We got chatting, she asked if I’d be up for appearing in the mag, and here I am! None of us had been to Flatford before,

A WORD FROM THE ED: Fantastic to meet you Katy, and I second

and it really is like strolling through a

all that! Flatford really is well worth a look,

Constable painting. It’s all owned by the

and there are some great walks along the

National Trust, and you can wander past

river from the hamlet – plan your trip

the mill John Constable’s dad and brother



110-111 GTW Mar 18 Readers' letters.indd 110

01/03/2018 15:25

Your shout Kynren 2018 takes place from June to September, see


Kriega R15 rucksack

Price: £109

Trip the light fantastic

Contact: Tested by: GTW reader John Milbank

It was great to read Angela Youngman’s feature

but we were all blown away by the theatrics –

on Kynren in the Winter issue of Group Travel

I loved the galloping horses. And it was a good

Great for: Ideal for city

World magazine. We went for the first time

excuse to spend a couple of days exploring

day trips, lengthy walks

last year and thought it was fantastic. It was a

County Durham.

or any situation when

cold night (great British summer and all that),

Elissa Hill, South Yorkshire

you need a few extra layers/drinks/supplies to hand, Kriega’s clever

A-maze-ing day trip

harness system spreads the load

I just thought I’d write in to give a shout out

of your kit across

to Wistow Maze in Leicestershire. I took

your chest, rather

my kids last summer and it was brilliant.

than just over the

In a nutshell, it’s a giant eight-acre maize

tops of your shoulders.

maze with a quiz trail hidden within miles

Verdict: It’s not cheap, and it should be

of pathways. It’s open from mid-July to

pointed out that it’s not waterproof, with

September, with a new design each year,

rain able to enter through the top where the

and there’s a café and garden centre

straps go into the bag. But it’s extremely

opposite, as well as a model village, art

tough and very well made, backed up by a

gallery and shops. I’d definitely recommend

10-year guarantee. Along with large ventilated

it if you’re looking for days out or school

back panels to keep you dry when things get

trip ideas. And entry’s good value (just

sweaty, the R15 is built to last, and ideal for

£5.95 for children, £6.95 for adults).

carrying a day’s worth of gear.


■ Got

Clare Smith, via email

like to shout about? Email the details to

a favourite travel product you’d

Bear essentials

Keep in touch...

Can I just say a big thank you to the team

We want to hear from you!

at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, who

Write to: Group Travel World magazine,

made the children of our primary school in

3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder

Peterborough hugely welcome on a recent

Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX

year four trip to the park. They loved the safari drive-through, especially when one of the bears lay right by the wheels of the bus with his feet up on a log!

Email: helen.milbank@ Advertising query? Call Julie Cousins on 01733 293242

Subscription query? Emma Parkes is here to help. Call her on 01733 293487 Need attraction & show tickets? Call Harley on 01733 293249 Visit follow and on Twitter @GTWMagazine

Vanessa Hardy, Cambridgeshire MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD

110-111 GTW Mar 18 Readers' letters.indd 111


01/03/2018 15:25

Puzzle time

Test your grey matter – answers on page 113

Try our quizzes and brain teasers every month



This royal palace was originally owned by which king?


SEARCH Find the words below in the grid – all are well-known stately homes & gardens...








Where’s Harvey? Find where the lovely Harvey’s hidden in this issue and you could win a prize. To enter, email before April 1, 2018.


112-113 GTW Mar 18 Puzzles.indd 112

01/03/2018 15:30



ACROSS 6 8 9 10 14 17 20 21

Relinquish a throne (8) Tibetan oxen (4) Mayonnaise (5,8) Expert in atmospheric conditions (13) Rebirth of the soul in a new body (13) Meteorologist (13) Unknown (4) Freeze (8)

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 7 11 12 13 15 16 18 19

Turkish currency (4) Outlaw (6) Breakfast food (6) Power of vision (8) Related by blood (4) Blind system of writing (7) Lack of variety (8) Belonging to us (3) Exhibitionist (4-3) Prejudice against old people (6) Baby’s feeding bottle cap (6) Sicilian volcano (4) Clarets (4)



Q Actor Ian Reddington starred as Tricky Dicky in which soap?





Q BBC drama Poldark is set in which county?

Q Which royal couple married in Q Name the hit TV show that

Westminster Abbey in 1986?

has made this couple famous.

Picture quiz answer: Hampton Court Palace belonged to Henry VIII in the 1500s Film & TV quiz answers: 1. EastEnders 2. Cornwall 3. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson 4. Strictly Come Dancing (Down) 1 Lira, 2 Bandit, 3 Cereal, 4 Eyesight, 5 Akin, 7 Braille, 11 Monotony, 12 Our, 13 Show-off, 15 Ageism, 16 Nipple, 18 Etna, 19 Reds.

Crossword solution: (Across) 6 Abdicate, 8 Yaks, 9 Salad dressing, 10 Climatologist, 14 Reincarnation, 17 Weatherperson, 20 Anon, 21 Solidify.


112-113 GTW Mar 18 Puzzles.indd 113


02/03/2018 11:44

And finally... Find out more about Cirque du Soleil’s shows in the UK and abroad at

Cirque du Soleil is currently touring the world, while its sister show, Crystal, tours the US

Backstage pass EMMA MANSFIELD


As a wardrobe manager for global and West End shows, Emma Mansfield gets paid to dress the theatrical world’s biggest names

IGHT NOW, I’M working on Cirque

now have a combination of crampons and

arenas. Flights are chartered for us if we

du Soleil’s new ice show in the US,

spikes drilled into the soles of their shoes,

have to go a long way between venues, but

called Crystal. It’s Cirque’s first show

which allow them to grip and slide – but

if it’s a six-hour drive or less we travel on

on ice, combining skaters and acrobats.

not hurt each other when they do the lifts.

tour buses. We’re put up in hotels, and I like

We’re touring North America and Canada

The basic costume they have, which is worn

Doubletree by Hilton best as they always

for the next couple of years, then the

repeatedly, has also been coated in a custom

have hot cookies at reception for guests!

plan is to head to Europe and Asia.

print to ensure it’s waterproof on the ice.

We’ve had to adapt all the shoes to

There are around 100 people on the

This is my first stint working in the US as I’m usually UK-based in the West End.

enable the acrobats to work on ice. Thanks

tour, which is made up of the performers,

But wherever I am in the world, it’s my

to months of research and development

the wardrobe department, the stage and

job to shop for clothes, tailor them to fit

by Cirque’s shoe department, the acrobats

tour management team, the PR team, the

the cast and make running repairs and

merchandise department,

Derren Brown was a consultant on one of the shows and I met him a few times backstage. He was very quiet and polite, but I was scared to chat to him in case I ended up clucking like a chicken!

the video, lighting, sound,

alterations throughout the show’s run. I’ve worked on some huge productions,

automation and rigging

including 2015’s run of American Buffalo

teams, as well as the

at the Wyndham’s Theatre, and Impossible at

carpentry crew. We also

the Noel Coward Theatre.

have a tour catering team, which is great. We move weekly

The illusionist Derren Brown was a consultant on the show and I met him a few times backstage. He was very quiet and

to a combination of

polite, but I was scared to chat to him in case

hockey and basketball

I ended up clucking like a chicken!



114 GTW Mar 18 And finally.indd 114

01/03/2018 15:34

Live it up, down by the sea Dreamland Margate is the seaside day out with a twist. A minute from Margate’s golden sandy beach, Dreamland offers a festival experience every day, with rides and vintage arcades, art installations, delicious street food, eclectic bars, a roller disco, pop-up entertainment and a whole host of music events throughout the year. There’s something for everyone, no wonder our visitors return again and again!

Groups enjoy: • Coach parking • Discounts on ‘unlimited ride’ wristbands • Exclusive use of VIP Beach huts or Treetop Bar • Combined attraction visits with Turner Contemporary and other local partners

For further details and to book your group, visit WWW.DREAMLAND.CO.UK

Untitled-1 115

08/03/2018 15:54

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Gtw march  
Gtw march