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ABTA No. V4744
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 grouptraveloffers.com for cut-price
a floral thread, from our lavender
tickets to hundreds of attractions.
cover to our guide to Britain’s
■ See grouptraveloffers.com for cut-price attraction tickets ■ Plus visit our new jobs site traveljobsworld.com Group Travel World Magazine, 3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX Switchboard: 01733 293487 Web: www.grouptravelworld.com – and www.grouptraveloffers.com for attraction tickets ISSN: 2048-3392 EDITORIAL
Editor: Helen Milbank
Until next month...
Designer: David Hiles E: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Client Manager: Paige Fraser T: 01733 293245 E: email@example.com Sales Executive: Karen Newton T: 01733 293489 E: firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTIONS/MARKETING
Marketing Subscriptions Executive: Emma Parkes T: 01733 293487 E: email@example.com Marketing Executive: Emily Dougall T: 01733 293483 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
GROUP TRAVEL OFFERS
Trade account managers: 0800 024 8070 MANAGEMENT PIXABA Y
General Operations Manager: Harley Denham T: 01733 293249 E: email@example.com Publisher: Jonathan Taylor E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAIN COVER IMAGE: PIXABAY
© 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 www.facebook.com/grouptravelworld 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.
COACH COA OACH TOURISM T
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
003 GTW Mar 18 Welcome.indd 3
16 Enjoy summer in the Swiss Alps
26 Visit glorious Leighton Hall in Lancashire
62 Cruise Italyâ€™s Lake Como
28 Explore Britain by heritage railway 4 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
004-005 GTW Mar 18 Contents.indd 4
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
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
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
004-005 GTW Mar 18 Contents.indd 5
6 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
006-007 GTW Mar 18 Lets Go.indd 6
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 www.scenic.co.uk
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
006-007 GTW Mar 18 Lets Go.indd 7
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 www.nationaltrust.org.uk
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
by the National Trust for Scotland. Surprisingly
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
VISIT BRITAIN. INSET IMAGE: GROUP LEISURE & TRAVEL SHOW 2017
The picture postcard Biddulph Grange near Stoke-on-Trent
in North Yorkshire is owned by English
fairies (evidence of Furzey’s fairies litter the garden). See www.minsteadtrust.org.uk
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 grouptravelshow.com
is a National Trust
Thursday October 11
8 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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ARRIVING SPRING 2018
WMSP.CO.UK Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcs, DY12 1LF FP Template.indd 9
VISITENGLAND/WOBURN SAFARI PARK
A new exhibition at Woburn Abbey celebrates visionary gardener Humphry Repton’s designs
Get your FREE Group Travel Offers brochure to access cheaper tickets to a range of UK attractions. Email harley@group traveloffers.com
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 www.worldrugbymuseum.com
10 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 10
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D AY S O U T AND H O L I D AY S BY S T E A M
ow Call n ur o for y f ree e ur br och
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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 email@example.com 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 www.albatrossgroup.com
For train enthusiasts there’s a five-day
Entry is just £3 per person, visit www.fielddogfairs.com or see www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk
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
firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy,
(dads get in for half price). Find out more at
stories of Scotland’s illustrious history.
or go to www.newlanark.org/groups
The campaign, called ‘Spinning a New Yarn’,
12 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 12
THE FAMOUS FIVE Â© 2017, Hodder & Stoughton Limited. All rights reserved.
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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 www.grouptravelshow.com
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 merseyferries.co.uk
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
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
more at www.devilsporridge.org.uk 14 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
010-014 GTW Mar 18 News2.indd 14
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: Groups@shakespeare.org.uk T: 01789 201806 SHAKESPEARE.ORG.UK Registered Charity Number 209302 FP Template.indd 15
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
SWITZERLAND TOURISM/MATTHIAS TAUGWALDER
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
16 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
016-018 GTW Mar 18 Summer in the Alps.indd 16
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
(www.chezvrony.ch), 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.
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 (www.vaanyc.com).
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
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
016-018 GTW Mar 18 Summer in the Alps.indd 17
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 (mont-rouge.ch/fr). 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
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
(www.lesetagnes.com/en). 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...
18 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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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
ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST/© HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2017
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
WHAT’S IN IT FOR GROUPS?
June 24, 2018, and will be complemented
Groups co-ordinator Rosie Bradford helps
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
THE BFG IN PICTURES
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
020-022 GTW Mar 18 The Bowes Museum.indd 21
ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST/© HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2017
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. org.uk
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. email@example.com 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
COVER ARTWORK FOR ‘THE BFG’ (JONATHAN CAPE, 1982) © QUENTIN BLAKE.
Monday to Friday, subject to availability,
22 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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.
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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
alcoves, including a 4.5 billion-year-old
arches are adorned with a total of 78
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
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).
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of the quirkiest museums in the UK...
THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, GREENWICH
(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
beach photography by some of Britain’s best
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 museums.org.uk
PORTSMOUTH HISTORIC DOCKYARD, HAMPSHIRE
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 www.leightonhall.co.uk
has to offer, see www.rmg.co.uk
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
THE POSTAL MUSEUM, LONDON
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 www.historicdockyard.co.uk
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 www.postalmuseum.org
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 www.coffinworks.org
MARTIN PARR MAGNUM PHOTOS
Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry Museum is a living Museum in the heart of Horse Guards in Whitehall, London. Find out more at www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk
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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.
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The 200-year-old Ffestiniog Railway
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 www.festrail.co.uk
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 www.llangollen-railway.co.uk
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 www.gwili-railway.co.uk 28 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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MAP ARTWORK: SHUTTERSTOCK
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
028-034 GTW Mar 18 Railways & tramways2.indd 29
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 www.svr.co.uk
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 www.gwsr.com
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 www.bodminrailway.co.uk 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 rockymountaineer.com and let the good times roll
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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
www.rhs.org.uk/groups 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. www.rhs.org.uk/groups RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262
Living wonder Brimming with horticulture, science and royal heritage
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Contact us for special group rates kew.org/groups 020 8332 5648
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 www.nymr.co.uk
with a cruise on the Broads. See www.bvrw.co.uk Step back in time at the National Tramway Museum
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 www.tramway.co.uk/plan-yourvisit/group-booking-form
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 www.lynton-rail.co.uk
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, from the village of Clayton West via Skelmanthorpe to Shelley Woodhouse, through the foothills of the South Pennines. See www.kirkleeslightrailway.com
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 www.nvr.org.uk
32 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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THE DINOSAUR TRAM ADVENTURE
8th & 14th April 7 , 27 & 28 May, 29th July Every Sunday in August & Bank Holiday Monday. th
HALLOWEEN TRAM OF TERROR
20th - 28th October
The Fairy Special
6th & 13th April 6th & 31st May & 1st June Every Friday in August & 9th & 25th August
THE PIRATE TRAM
5th April, 30th May, 31st July 18th, 21st, 28th August
THE POLAR EXPRESSâ„¢ TRAM RIDE
30th November & Selected dates between 1st - 24th December
24th March - 28th Oct 27th - 31st Dec 24th Feb - 18th March
QP Template.indd 33
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
VISIT ENGLAND/VISIT RUTLAND
museum with charitable
Find out more at www.rocksby-rail.org
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
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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,
WR, THE MAINLINE
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
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
QP Template.indd 35
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
VISIT ENGLAND/DIANA JARVIS
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 (boundarymill.co.uk). But
out is The Mill Outlet & Garden Centre in Batley,
as a guide, you can expect free gift vouchers
West Yorkshire (www.themillbatley.com).
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 -market.co.uk
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 www.labelsshopping.co.uk
Combine a visit to Boundary Mill Stores in Grantham with a trip to the glorious Belton House
36 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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: www.burymarket.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org : @BuryMarket SatNav BL9 0BJ
Labels Shopping, Ross On Wye, Herefordshire, M50/J4, Sat Nav: HR9 7QQ
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
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).
NENE VALLEY RAILWAY Wansford Station, Old Great North Road, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LR
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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 www.sterlingmills.com
OVER TO YOU…
PUT A SPRING IN YOUR STEP
website for details. And for more on Serpentine
Group Travel World magazine
Here at Group Travel World magazine HQ,
Green visit www.serpentine-green.com
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 springfieldsshopping.co.uk to
Choo (see www.bicestervillage.com), 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 www.mcarthurglen.com
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
38 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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Shopping THIS MONTH WE LOVE... Our pick of the best new travel gadgets and gear to hit the shelves
£148 Wingback Leather Travel Wallet, www.wingback.co.uk
Loveday Belt Bag by Lisa Lemon in caramel, www.lisalemon.com
£39 Odyssey Greenwich Passport Holder in deep purple, www.greenwich.design
£45 £26 Centi Slim Bifold Leather Wallet, www.greenwich.design
£18 Havainas His n Her’s Love Bird Flip Flops in blue, www.havaianas-store.com
Havainas His n Her’s Love Bird Flip Flops in pink, www.havaianas-store.com
£148 Loveday Belt Bag by Lisa Lemon in grey, www.lisalemon.com
40 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
036-040 GTW Mar 18 Shopping.indd 40
The Ultimate Shopping Destination Home To Hundreds Of Famous Name Brands At Discount Prices
70% OFF RRP
NEW LOOK NOW OPEN
NEW NOW OPEN
To book your visit call 01282 856200 or email email@example.com Visit our website for store opening hours and brand directory. Brands, styles, departments & menus may differ from store to store. Grantham (Fashion Only)
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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 www.belvoircastle.com
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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!
IN BLOOM IN YORK, JULY 5-8
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
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
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.”
head to www.visityork.org MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 43
Days out HUMPHRY REPTON AT WOBURN ABBEY FLOWER SHOW, JUNE 23-24
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 www.thorpperrow.com
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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 twycrosszoo.org).
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 spacecentre.co.uk
HILL CLOSE GARDENS A unique local attraction including 16 hedged Victorian gardens with summerhouses
Office). Find out more at chick room. www.delapreabbey.org 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 www.cottesbrooke.co.uk. 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 thewicksteedpark.org. self-guided walking Visit co.uk). 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 thewww.silverstone.co.uk formal penshurstplace.com 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 www.hillclosegardens.com Bread and Meat Close, Warwick, CV34 6HF
March 2017 ●
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 www.penshurstplace.com
© Jigsaw Design & Publishing
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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
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:
■ Malvern Spring Festival: ■ Chelsea Flower Show:
■ Chatsworth Flower Show: ■ Harlow Carr: June
■ Hampton Court Palace Flower Show:
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
grouptraveloffers.com – 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 grouptraveloffers.com
more at www.woburnabbey.co.uk
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
46 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
042-046 GTW Mar 18 Flower shows.indd 46
Inspiring days out for groups at RHS Gardens
Save up to 50% on repeat visits*
Start planning your group visit today
www.rhs.org.uk/groups 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. www.rhs.org.uk/groups RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262
Living wonder Brimming with horticulture, science and royal heritage
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Contact us for special group rates kew.org/groups 020 8332 5648
“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
48 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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 channelsestate.co.uk
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
TEA AND TURRETS
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
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
day at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where
Britain’s top heritage railways
Shakespeare courted his future wife?
FOR A CUPPA THAT REALLY STEAMS...
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
www.cadburyworld.co.uk ■ Dartington
co.uk/groupbookings ■ Embsay
& Bolton Abbey Steam Railway:
www.embsaybolton abbeyrailway.org.uk ■ Kew
www.powderham.co.uk ■ Royal
www.royalalberthall.co.uk ■ Shakespeare’s
www.shakespeare.org.uk ■ Woburn
www.woburnabbey.co.uk And for more tea-related inspiration, see: ■ www.afternoontea.co.uk ■ www.creamteasociety.co.uk ■ www.tearoomsdirectory.co.uk
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 • www.llancaiachfawr.co.uk
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23/02/2017 09:05 08/03/2018 16:07
MRC/EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS AND NEY & PARTNERS
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
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GREAT YARMOUTH Perfect for short breaks & day visits
Contact us today on 01493 846 346 or visit great-yarmouth.co.uk
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.
Visit great-yarmouth.co.uk/ group-travel or contact us via telephone 01493 846346
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Plan your route for London
Guide to London - to request your free copy email emma.parkes@ grouptravelworld.com
online listing for jobs in travel
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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 www.britishairwaysi360.com
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
HISTORY AND HERITAGE
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 www.wellscathedral.org.uk
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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
HIS SUMMER GROUPS can enjoy
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
70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
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 setting for ceremonial occasions and
Room – perhaps the most beautiful of all
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
www.royalcollection.org.uk, 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. org.uk
56 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
056 GTW Mar 18 Royal collection.indd 56
THE STATE ROOMS BUCKINGHAM PALACE
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. www.royalcollection.org.uk 0303 123 7322
FP Template.indd 57
E-mail enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heathcliff and Cathy in the new Wuthering Heights film, due out on Emilyâ€™s birthday in July
58 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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“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 www.bronte.org.uk
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
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
times to the modern day. Find out more at www.newcastlecastle.co.uk
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 www.planethollywoodlondon.com
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.
60 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
060 GTW Mar 18 awards.indd 60
AWARD WINNING GROUP DINING
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
FOR ALL YOUR LONDON GROUPS
Booking essential to make the most of your visit. Durham Cathedral, Durham DH1 3EH Groups: 0191 374 4050 General: 0191 386 4266 email@example.com www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
leighton hall THE HISTORIC SEAT CARNFORTH
OF THE GILLOW FAMILY LANCASHIRE
M6 Exit 35 Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9ST T: 01524 734474 www.leightonhall.co.uk
“Brief Encounter” at Leighton Hall & Carnforth Station
GALLERIES • EXHIBITIONS • SHOPPING • HOUSE TOURS BIRDS OF PREY • PRETTY GARDENS • WOODLAND WALKS
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
firstname.lastname@example.org planethollywoodlondon.com 57-60 Haymarket SW1Y 4QX
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
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
62 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
062-064 GTW Mar 18 Lake Como cruise.indd 62
Mike’s boat awaits...
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
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
Cruise holidays Get me there ■
TUI Lakes & Mountains
(call 0208 610 3139; www.tui.co.uk/ 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
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
64 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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2019 Cruises for Groups Scenic cruising holidays from 11 UK ports
BUY ON E GET ON E
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
PLUS GRO UP DEALS PLUS FRE E PLACES
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: email@example.com Visit: www.cruiseandmaritime.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.southquaytravel.com
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. co.uk 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
A FIRST FOR THE UK
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
BRINGING THE WORLD CLOSER
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.”
66 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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
show originally ran in the West End for 15
much-admired works of George Gershwin,
years. It’s since played in 36 countries, to an
embarks on its UK tour next month.
April 22 at St David’s Hall, Cardiff
April 29 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester
With music, song and dance, the show celebrates one of the world’s greatest
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
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,
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
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 www.raymondgubbay.co.uk
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 ChicagoWestEnd.com
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 www.balletboyz.com
Shrewsbury, Reading, Wolverhampton,
68 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
068-069 GTW Mar 18 Theatre news.indd 68
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
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,
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
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
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
mile to make everyone feel welcome.”
inventive theatre companies, Improbable, will
■ Find out more at www.greatdays.co.uk GTW
Among the highlights of this year’s festival are
out more at www.nnfestival.org.uk
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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
ECHOES OF GREATNESS
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
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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
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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Hit show STOMP is playing at the Ambassadors Theatre
Theatre YOUR TRIP TO THE WEST END STARTS HERE – VISIT OUR SITE GROUPTRAVELOFFERS.COM FOR THE BEST TICKET PRICES ALADDIN
Prince Edward Theatre Booking to: May 2018 Times: Mon-Sat 19:30; Thurs & Sat 14:30
14.00 & Part Two 19:30; Thurs
Part One 19:30; Fri Part Two
SCHOOL OF ROCK
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,
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
THE BOOK OF MORMON
Adelphi Theatre Booking to: September 2018
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
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY
Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;
Her Majesty’s Theatre
Booking to: May 2018
Weds & Sat 14:30
Booking to: May 2018
Times: Tues-Sat 19:30; Sat
Booking to: October 2018
14:30; Sun 15.00 & 19.00
THE LION KING
Booking to: May 2018
Booking to: June 2018
Weds, Sat & Sun 14:30
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
Times: Tues-Sat 19:30,
Novello Theatre Booking to: October 2018 Times: Mon-Sat 19:45; Thurs & Sat 15:00
MATILDA – THE MUSICAL
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
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
Booking to: September 2018
Booking to: May 2019
Times: Tue-Sat 19:30; Sat
Apollo Victoria Times: Mon-Sat 19:30;
14:30; Sun 15:00 & 19:00
Weds & Sat 14:30
THE WOMAN IN BLACK
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
72 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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Living Li i the h nation’s i ’ hi history since i 1348
◆ Groups welcome
◆ Free museum
◆ Royal refuge
◆ Daily guided tours
◆ 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 www.thecharterhouse.org
Telephone: 020 3818 8873
GREAT GROUP RATES AVAILABLE 2 JULY – 25 AUGUST
8 – 29 SEPTEMBER
Matt Lucas Caroline Quentin
Clare Burt Joanna Riding Gary Wilmot
ME AND MY GIRL
Book & Lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber Book revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent Music by Noel Gay
FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS
Based on the novel by Paul Gallico Book by Rachel Wagstaff Music & Lyrics by Richard Taylor
QP Template.indd 73
cft.org.uk/groups 01243 812909
Touring theatre THE UK’S BEST MUSICALS AND SHOWS HAVE HIT THE ROAD. CATCH THEM ON TOUR HERE... Hairspray is on tour
SHREK THE MUSICAL
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 www.sisteractlivechoir.co.uk
74 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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
A gem in the very heart of ceremonial London
Open daily from 10am
VISIT ENGLAND/DOUG HARDING
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 www.bateauxlondon.com/windsor – Sylvia Saxon, founder and chairman of New Meridian
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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. bateauxlondon.com
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
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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
VISIT ENGLAND/MARK MCNULTY
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 www.floatinggrace.co.uk – June Ferreday, Cheshire
RIVER SEVERN CRUISE AND CREAM TEA
(named after the battle between Henry
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
‘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 www.sabrinaboat.co.uk – and check
group deals, as well as ideas and
– sails from Victoria Quay in Shrewsbury,
out grouptraveloffers.com 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 directory.grouptravelworld.com GTW
78 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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GROUP TRAVEL WORLD WHEN BOOKING
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 email@example.com | london-stadium.com @londonstadium | #londonstadiumtours
LST A4 adverts.indd 3
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
HP Template.indd 79
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hospitalityline.co.uk 07/03/2018 13:35
PHOTOS: VISIT BRITAIN; VISIT ENGLAND/LEEDS & PARTNERS/MARTIN BRENT & HAREWOOD HOUSE TRUST/SAM ATKINS
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 royalarmouries.org
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 fazenda.co.uk/leeds).
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
co.uk/restaurants/leeds); a Carluccio’s
established shopping centre; Briggate (the
actually in the Trinity Leeds (see carluccios.
city’s main pedestrianized high street);
Leeds’ historic Kirkgate Market, as well as
scores of other fantastic eateries.
the designer label-filled Victoria Quarter.
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JUST NOT LIKE ANY WATERPARK YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE
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 www.leeds.gov.uk/groupvisits
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.
WWW.ALPAMARE.CO.UK OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK, 365 DAYS A YEAR. 10AM-10PM*
*Opening hours may var y outside of school holidays. Please check our website before visiting.
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.
QP Template.indd 81
Days out DINING OUT
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 www.jamieoliver.com/ italian/restaurants/leeds); Tiger Tiger in Albion Street (see www.tigertiger.co.uk/leeds); and Browns Brasserie and Bar in The Headrow (see www.browns-restaurants.co.uk). For more ideas see www.visitleeds.co.uk
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 www.malmaison.com/ locations/leeds We can also recommend the trusty Premier Inn network, with three ‘good nights sleep guaranteed’ hotels in Leeds city centre (see www.premierinn.com).
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 harewood.org
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 www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall 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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£18* PER PERSON
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
www.LEGOLAND.co.uk /plan /groupsoffer or Email Group.Enquiries@LEGOLAND.co.uk 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
Blocks away! JAMIE LAWRENCE
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
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
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
085-088 GTW Mar 18 Theme parks.indd 85
For further information on our group offers please call +49 7822 77-14400 or visit europapark.com/groups
N U F D E IDE T W I D L R M O I KW L R A P N E U HEM T T S E B T THE 8 A
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
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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
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 (www.blackgangchine.com) 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 www.altontowers.com MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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).
“THERE’S SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO!”
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 www.efteling.com/en
in nicely with the release of the Peter Rabbit Movie this month. Visit www.kew.org Find Peter Rabbit at Kew Gardens this Easter
Heading abroad? Europa-Park is Germany’s largest theme park. Plan your trip at europapark.de/en
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Step it up
90 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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...
OASTEERING TURNS THE art of
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 www.gowhitewater.co.uk
Pembrokeshire coast. Children as young as eight can take part, see www.tyf.com 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
(www.ukbungee.co.uk), 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 email@example.com 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
iflyworld.co.uk) has centres in Manchester,
wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids, then
Milton Keynes and Basingstoke.
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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. co.uk
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.
A BRIEF HISTORY
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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Tried & tested
GET ME THERE:
On a recent day trip to Bath, Jade Smith enjoyed some R&R at the plush Thermae Bath Spa
‘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
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
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.
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.
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
DINE IN STYLE
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
My personal favourite was the Ice
Thermae Bath Spa’s fantastic rooftop pool
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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.
SUBSCRIBE IN 3 EASY STEPS
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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 www.discovernewmarket.co.uk
– 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...”
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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 .co.uk/group-visits/
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
co.uk). If you prefer, you can make a short break of it, as Gulliver’s also offers accommodation – see www.thegullivershotel.co.uk
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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 CTA’S INVALUABLE
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
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. bbc.co.uk/tours
Chris (left), Ollie and from BBC Tours David from AGTO
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GTWM-BBG134x190mm_Layout 1 08/02/2018 14:45 Page 1
• Famous Sites • Museums and Galleries • Walking Tours • Themed Tours • Contemporary Britain
BOOK A BLUE BADGE GUIDE respected by discriminating tour operators and travel agents throughout the world.
Blue Badge Guides are entertaining and informative, reliable and professional with local and up to date knowledge.
Whether it is for an individual or a group, business or pleasure, a Blue Badge Guide makes a good experience great!
The Blue Badge is a symbol of excellence in tourist guiding. Their wealth of experience is
To book a Blue Badge Guide visit www.britainsbestguides.org T: +44 (0)20 7403 1115 E: email@example.com
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.
£10 £11 per person
Exclusive access to Trainer yards and studs
Meet the National
Palace House Fun family - more than days at top just a attractions! Museum
visit www.discovernewmarket.co.uk call 0344 748 9200
QP Template.indd 99
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ABTA & ATOL Bonded
Weekends in Europe Grand Tours of Italy or Spain Cruising the Rhine & Moselle Winter Sun in Benidorm
England’s Coast Heritage Channel Islands Ireland
(1 in 30 & 2 in 40)
Call our experienced friendly groups team today for more information, or just for a chat Omega Holidays and Just Go Holidays are part of the JG Travel Group. All holidays are subject to terms and conditions which can be viewed at either www.justgoholidays.com or www.omegabreaks.com. All holidays offered are subject to availability and prices to fluctuation. Errors & Omissions excepted. All prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single supplements apply.
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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
ONDON’S UNIQUE ATTRACTIONS seem
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
GET HERE BY...
communications flowing for more than
75 years. Visit postalmuseum.org
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,
LONDON CANAL MUSEUM
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
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
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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
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
WHY FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
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 www.ukinbound.org or email email@example.com 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
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.
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.
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
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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
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
(aspoliceclub.co.uk) 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
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 www.grouptraveloffers.com
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 www.brightwaterholidays.com
Take a garden tour with Brightwater Holidays
Green Park stations, and played a crucial role in
104 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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 www.ncl.com
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
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
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.
106 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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Ragley Hall Park & Gardens, Warwickshire, B49 5NJ firstname.lastname@example.org 01789 762090 www.ragley.co.uk
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! email@example.com www.stowehouse.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bowood.org
QP Template.indd 107
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 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
108-109 GTW Mar 18 GTO.indd 108
E ARE VERY different to other group
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. gemmaway.com
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.
A FANTASTIC SUPPORT NETWORK
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…
PHOTO: PIXABAY. AS TOLD TO ANGELA YOUNGMAN
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!”
MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
108-109 GTW Mar 18 GTO.indd 109
Over to you
We want to hear from you!
Write, Facebook, Tweet or email email@example.com
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 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
110-111 GTW Mar 18 Readers' letters.indd 110
Your shout Kynren 2018 takes place from June to September, see www.elevenarches.org
MINI TRIED & TESTED
Kriega R15 rucksack
Trip the light fantastic
Contact: kriega.com 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
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.
Clare Smith, via email
like to shout about? Email the details to
a favourite travel product you’d
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@ grouptravelworld.com 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 www.grouptravelworld.com follow Facebook.com/grouptravelworld and on Twitter @GTWMagazine
Vanessa Hardy, Cambridgeshire MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
110-111 GTW Mar 18 Readers' letters.indd 111
Test your grey matter – answers on page 113
Try our quizzes and brain teasers every month
VISIT ENGLAND/HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES
This royal palace was originally owned by which king?
SEARCH Find the words below in the grid – all are well-known stately homes & gardens...
CHATSWORTH BLENHEIM WOBURN LONGLEAT BOWOOD BURGHLEY HATFIELD PENSHURST
C X A Q T V X P B T
H A T F I E L D L S
A N A E O X M X E R
T R E I E Z B H N U
S WO R T U B OWX L G N O L G RO E G D A Y DO XO K Z U L XOQU I K P WX H E I MO H S N E P
H L Y E L H G R U B
Where’s Harvey? Find where the lovely Harvey’s hidden in this issue and you could win a prize. To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org before April 1, 2018.
112 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
112-113 GTW Mar 18 Puzzles.indd 112
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) Babyâ€™s feeding bottle cap (6) Sicilian volcano (4) Clarets (4)
FILM & TV QUIZ 2
Q Actor Ian Reddington starred as Tricky Dicky in which soap?
VISIT BRITAIN/BRITAIN ON VIEW
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.
Answers MARCH 2018 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD
112-113 GTW Mar 18 Puzzles.indd 113
And finally... Find out more about Cirque du Soleil’s shows in the UK and abroad at cirquedusoleil.com
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
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 GROUP TRAVEL WORLD MARCH 2018
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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
Gretna Green - A4 Travel Advert.qxp_Layout 1 08/03/2018 08:56 Page 1
ive s u l c n i Themegdes available packa or more details Call f
Shop Dine Visitor Attraction Museum Whisky Tasting Stay Famous Blacksmiths Shop
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ates From Â£3 Exclusive 0 per person* reader of Book a 4 fer! Night bre a ka T nd ea 2 night&s lCoffee on arriv receive: ive entert al * Rates a i n are per m ent! Subje person, p er nig ct to a Terms vailability ht apply
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