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JUNE 2014 £3.95

God’s own country Group destinations in Yorkshire

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY The best locations for all ages

DOING SCIENCE Technological attractions


xxxxxxxx Full report Miss Saigon extension after record-breaking from the GTOA EGM bookings



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● GTW reader offer for Ripley's Believe It or Not!

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EDITOR’S LETTER Group Travel World, First Floor, 3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX Switchboard: 01733 293240 Fax: 0845 280 2927 Web: ISSN: 2048-3392

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Leicester Cathedral has set aside over £1m to provide Richard III with a raised tomb

Peace for King Richard?


was drawn to the story surrounding the remains of Richard III this month. He was the last king of England to lose his life in battle, during the war of the roses, but he doesn’t seem to have had a great deal of peace in death either. Archaeologists are claiming he was buried in a small church not far from where he fell in battle. The church has long since been demolished and replaced with a car park where the remains were found after a dig. Just when it looked like he might finally be put to rest in Leicester Cathedral, a group of distant relatives calling themselves the Plantagenet Alliance sued to have him moved and buried in York Minster instead. It’s debateable as to how tenuous these links to the king are, but many have criticised them for wasting public money on the debate. The basis for many arguments to see the remains moved was that Richard III was commonly known as ‘Richard of York.’ However, I’ve seen sources online which have claimed this viewpoint is one of ignorance and the

king was actually known as ‘Richard of Gloucester.’ If this is true, it would certainly show that Richard’s extended family doesn’t know him very well. After his identification, the Leicester Mercury claimed Richard III could bring a £14m tourism boost to Leicester, after 28,000 people visited a temporary exhibition in the space of a month. When he is finally buried in the Cathedral, assuming there are no appeals to come, is his tomb something which would encourage you to take a group to the city? Turning to the magazine, we have a GTW exclusive reader offer this month (p7) for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London, where your group can get a 55% discount if you book soon. If you’re interested in weird and wonderful attractions, there’s no better time to get a group together for it. We’ve also started a classified section this issue which we will be building up over the coming months. Be sure to keep an eye on this to see the best offerings from our supporters. James Day — Production Editor June 2014 l Group Travel World


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Current affairs within the world of travel and tourism


Ideal attractions for accommodating school groups or families in particular


Detailing what select venues offer for corporate groups


An extensive diary of UKinbound’s latest activities


Latest tourism developments within the capital


The latest theatre news and stories


Information regarding touring theatre and current West End shows

TICKETMASTER Kieran Roberts, Creative Director for ITV Studios, talks Coronation Street The Tour

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A glimpse at some of the most informative attractions to visit within the UK


Regional feature outlining popular attractions for groups in the area


Britain’s best markets and what they have to offer for groups


A selection of alcohol producers offering tours of their premises


The trade association’s recent news and stories

GTO GRAPEVINE Useful tips for GTOs including five of the best


GTW’s classified advertising section


An interview with Sylvia Saxon, GTO for the NHS in Dorset

COVER PICTURE: Rievaulx Abbey, an English Heritage site in the North York Moors National Parl. VISIT ENGLAND, TRACY PHILLIPS CONTENTS: Denbies Wine Estate


Group Travel World ● June 2014

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GTOA Extraordinary General Meeting Majority of GTOA members vote ‘yes’ to change. Members from the Group Travel Organisers Association (GTOA) gathered in Central Hall Westminster to take a vote on whether crucial changes should be made to its Articles of Association. GTW’s Amy Moore attended the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on June 2, 2014, which saw the majority of attendees voting in favour of the changes. The event followed the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Sunday January 19, 2014, in Swindon, where it was revealed that all major developments since GTOA’s incorporation in 2011 were “null and void” by law. Legally, any changes made to the association required 75% approval from the entire membership (including proxy votes). Instead, it came to light

l a m i A n the

that decisions were being passed by two thirds of the voting majority present. Following the AGM, it had been reported that considerations should be made towards changes and improvements via a new constitution; featuring input by members and the Steering Group (appointed to review decisions made by the GTOA). It was suggested at the meeting that the old association should be allowed to ‘die’ before it can move forward. The GTOA itself was set up as an independent organisation by former editor of Group Travel Organiser Magazine (GTOM) Peter Stonham, with an aim to represent the interests of Group Travel Organisers (GTO’s); including an objective “to negotiate various travel and leisure related services for the benefit of all GTOA members and the organisations which they represent.”

Both resolutions voted on at the AGM passed with a significant majority

The EGM was held at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster

h t n o M of

Visitors to the Georgian Farm Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire are witnessing one of the most successful rarebreed protection projects, and getting up-close-and-personal with rare animals. The attraction, which is managed by Staffordshire County Council, was awarded a prestigious ‘Rare Breed Status’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) – putting it in an exclusive club of only 20 to have achieved this status in the whole of the UK. What this all means to visitors is that there is an opportunity to see some very recently-born Soay Lambs, which are actually


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as rare to find these days as the Giant Panda! Recognised for its Downton Abbey style upstairs-downstairs experience, Shugborough’s working Georgian Farm is especially popular during the spring and early summer when it becomes a maternity ward for some of the world’s rarest breeds of pigs and sheep. The Boreray Sheep, of which

Shugborough has three, is the Estate’s rarest animal and is on the RBST ‘critical list’ with less than 300 breeding animals left in the entire world. Leicester Longwool Sheep, classed as endangered, Middle White Pigs, Soay Sheep and Berkshire Pigs are some of the other rarest breeds now being nurtured at the Estate’s farm. With so few Soay Sheep left,

there was much to celebrate at Shugborough when two Soay Lambs were born at the end of April. Another half dozen are expected this season. As a Rare Breed Survival Trust farm park, this means that not only is Shugborough a fabulous family attraction, but also that it is helping to protect some of the rarest breeds of pigs, sheep and cows in the world. Peter Titley of the RBST says: “We are very pleased with the work that Shugborough is doing to conserve these rare breeds and their awareness raising activities amongst the public. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is committed to increasing populations of the UK’s rare and native breeds of farm livestock and it’s great to have Shugborough on board to help us achieve this. We were particularly impressed with the way the farm staff have been working closely with farmers from across the county and region to spread the genetics of some of our rarest breeds.”

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The organisation is currently working in affiliation with more than 200 supplier members; spanning touring and hotels to destinations and attractions. “I think everyone wants to make plans to see the association move forward and spend much more time on progression rather than the status quo,” said David Steele, Associate Membership Secretary for the GTOA. The meeting was declared

open by Chairman Phil Taylor with voting held by proxy and present members of the GTOA in attendance. Special resolution No.1 to amend the Articles of Association saw 109 votes for, three votes against; with a further five abstentions. Special resolution No.2 to amend the Constitution of the Group Travel Organisers Association saw 107 votes for, four votes against; with a further three abstentions. Following the final decision, the association will “move forward” and make plans for a new Board of Directors due to commence from 1st September. The new Board will comprise of 16 members in total, with representatives from each of the seven branches and seven associate members. The final verdict was announced via GTOA’s Twitter feed @GTOAUK saying; “The results are in: the resolutions have been accepted by a large majority!” David Steele, Associate Membership Secretary for the GTOA, commented: “This process that we’ve reached today actually started nearly 18 months ago.”

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“I think everyone wants to make plans to see the association move forward and spend much more time on progression rather than the status quo. John Bullock, Rondo Travel, added: “One of the guiding principles was that the articles of [association] were kept to a bare legal minimum thus enabling the board and the organisation to operate in the way it sees fit. “When it came to the constitution, we actually took a lot of the word ‘will’ and changed it to the word ‘may,’ because we wanted that document to be flexible and to facilitate things happening in the future. “I think we have to choose the right people to represent you, to go to that board and trust them to know when decisions have to be made urgently by themselves and when it has to come back to the branches for decision making.” As it stands, the future is bright for the GTOA following an overall positive reception from members, who are no doubt looking forward to seeing these changes put into action.

Special reader offer for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London As you will read in GTW’s Employee Benefits feature on p25, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London has recently launched a corporate affiliate scheme providing preferential rates to members as well as their family and friends. However, Ripley’s is offering readers of GTW a very special offer which goes beyond this – place a group booking online for 10 or more people between now and July 18, 2014 for a visit on or before October 31, 2014, and pay just £11.95 per person. This is a massive saving of up to 55%

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compared to on the door prices, plus these tickets will include entry into Ripley’s Mirror Maze and Laser Race, as well as Fast Track admission! To take advantage, all you need to do is book online by visiting GTWoffer and your tickets will be emailed to you for extra convenience! But hurry, this offer is subject to availability and with prices this low, it’s bound to be popular. For more information and general enquiries, email groups@ or call 020 7494 6818.

June 2014 ● Group Travel World


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Richard III remains to be l e v Tra s... buried in Leicester Cathedral Tidbit ●

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum has unveiled a highly anticipated and newly designed trophy display in the Museum, where visitors can experience the trophies like never before. The new display area features two large showcases containing the iconic championship trophies. The world famous Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles trophies can now be viewed, while a third showcase features the Doubles trophies, the runners-up salvers, and examples of the miniature trophies presented to the players. Tactile interactive focus on decorative details from the trophies and a new scrolling interactive about the Champions enables visitors to find every winner from 1877 to the present day for all five Championships. Group bookings of 15 or more should be made in advance, and tours are available in a variety of languages including, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malay and Indonesian.

ZSL London Zoo has launched its history tour, looking back at across the timeline of the ‘world’s oldest scientific zoo.’ Guided history tours of the zoo are on offer on the last Friday and Saturday of every month until November, except in July when they take place on the second to last weekend and August when the tours will not take place. A trip from the humble beginnings of the Zoological Gardens in 1826 through to the modern day, the tour is a glimpse at the zoo’s rich 188-year history.

In the May edition of GTW, credits were mistakenly omitted from the Colchester Zoo images in ‘Animal Magic’ feature. Both images are credited to Steve Davey.


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Distant relatives lose legal battle to have reburial in York Minster

The remains of Richard III, the last King of England to die in battle, are to be buried in Leicester Cathedral, high court judges have ruled. The bones were found under a council car park in Leicester in 2012 and identified as belonging to the king through DNA tests and bone analysis. Plans were immediately drawn up to reinter the remains in the city. Relatives who make up the Plantagenet Alliance had argued the monarch should be buried in York Minster and fought to hold a wide-ranging consultation on his final resting place. However three judges said there were no public law grounds for interfering with the plans for reburial at Leicester Cathedral. “It is time for King Richard III to be given a dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest”, they said. Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary, condemned the Alliance legal action. He said: “I have been very clear from the start that the decision to grant an exhumation licence for Richard III was taken correctly and in line with the law. “I am frustrated and angry that the Plantagenet Alliance - a group with tenuous claims to

The cathedral has set aside over £1m to give the deceased monarch a burial in a raised tomb. VisitEngland/Jim Marks being relatives of Richard III have taken up so much time and public money. “This case, brought by a shell company set up by the Alliance to avoid paying legal costs, is an example of exactly why the Government is bringing forward a package of reforms to the judicial review process.” Matthew Howarth, lawyer for the Plantagenet Alliance, said: “We obviously respect and accept today’s verdict, and are grateful to have had the opportunity to raise this matter before the courts, but are naturally disappointed at the decision, which we regard as highly regrettable. “Also disappointed will be the many thousands of people who

expressed the desire to have the decision as to where King Richard III’s remains should be reburied revisited.” Leicestershire County Council said it would press ahead with its burial plans. Nick Rushton, leader of the council, said: “It has been a very undignified time as you must remember this is the body of a man - and a king of England. “He deserves to be buried with dignity and honour in Leicester Cathedral. “Next year it will be 530 years since Richard III died at Bosworth - the last King to die in battle – and it will be with great pride that the people of Leicestershire will be part of the ceremony.”

Heathrow’s brand new Terminal 2 opens More than 4,000 passengers passed through the new purpose-built £2.5bn Terminal 2 at Heathrow in its first eight hours of operation on Wednesday, June 4. The terminal is undergoing a phased introduction of services which will eventually see the terminal handle all 23 Star Alliance carriers using the London hub. When fully operational, there will be 330 flights a day to 50 destinations by 26 airlines. The London Tourist Coach

LTCOA criticised some of the terminal’s signage Operators Association identified some potential future issues with the terminal on a preview visit prior to its opening. The body’s primary concerns were

inadequate signage for arrivals looking for chartered coach services and not enough coach bays. While the terminal took the group’s advice on signage, which has been at least partially rectified, the coach pickup bay remains only large enough to be practically used by two coaches and a minibus, down from the six bays at the old terminal 2. Whether this will cause significant problems for coach groups in the future remains to be seen.

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Fun and thrilling sightseeing tour on London’s River Thames

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For further information or to book a tour visit or call 0207 118 1181 or email to discuss your enquiry

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Rebecca Ferguson to headline Blackpool Switch-On festival Special guests include Atomic Kitten and Liberty X The first details of Blackpool’s new Illuminations Switch-On Festival Weekend have been revealed. Singer Rebecca Ferguson is set to headline the closing night finale – and it has also been announced that weekend-long festival passes will go on sale for £20 per adult. VisitBlackpool has announced that the event, which will be staged on Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland, will include three nights of entertainment starting with a free Switch-On concert on Friday, August 29. The Friday night event will include a star-studded line-up of chart acts, culminating in the official celebrity switch-on of the 2014 Blackpool Illuminations. This will be followed on Saturday night by a West End-themed musical ‘extravaganza’ and a pop concert on the Sunday night featuring Rebecca Ferguson, with special guests including Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, 911 and Damage. Early bird tickets for the

Singer Rebecca Ferguson was an X-Factor runner-up in 2010 weekend are now on sale at £20 per adult, £10 per child, with the first 5,000 purchasers getting guaranteed free wristband to the Friday night Switch-On event. Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet

Member for Tourism and Leisure for Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted to announce the first confirmed acts for the Switch-On Festival Weekend. “The Sunday night features a

Novotel London Wembley hotel opens Novotel London Wembley, the 32nd Novotel hotel in the UK, opens this month. The 235-bedroom hotel, which also includes 12 long-stay apartments, is located next to Wembley Park Underground station and is within easy reach of Baker Street, Euston, St Pancras, Liverpool Street and Westminster via the Jubilee or Metropolitan underground lines. The hotel is ideally located for sporting and concert events throughout the year. Each bedroom is spacious, with space to work, rest and play, and includes satellite TV and free WiFi, available throughout 10

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the hotel. The hotel also includes the Elements Restaurant & Bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, or offering a lounge in which to relax with a drink and light bite. For those travelling on business, the hotel can cater for meetings of up to 140 delegates in the Wembley Suite and the business centre offers a quiet zone for business travellers to make the most of the hotel’s free WiFi and meet in privacy. Commenting on the new Novotel hotel, Jonathan Sheard, SVP Operations Luxury, Upscale & Midscale Hotels, Accor UK & Ireland said: “The Novotel London Wembley hotel is a

fantastic addition to the UK network, at the heart of all the sports, music and entertainment on offer at Wembley’s world-renowned venues, and well placed to explore the rest of central London. “Wembley has seen a considerable amount of development in recent years, particularly with the opening of the London Designer Outlet at Wembley Park. “We are delighted to be part of the area’s transformation and the growth of central and greater London. London continues to be one of the most exciting cities in the world to live, visit and do business.”

fantastic line-up that will appeal to people of all ages. And this is only the start – over the next few weeks there will be more announcements for the Friday and Saturday nights that will make this an unmissable event.”

Royal Mint to welcome group visitors The Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales is to welcome group visitors for the first time with the development of guided tours and its visitor centre. Next year the mint will open its doors, providing behind the scenes access to the people and processes which create the British currency. GTOs have the opportunity to book a tour of The Royal Mint, which currently makes coins and medals for approximately 60 countries worldwide.

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Book at or call 0845 094 9684

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Portsmouth hosts first shopping festival

WTM extends opening hours

Portsmouth is hosting its first Shopping Festival this autumn from September 12 to 28. Spread across the city’s key shopping locations, Portsmouth Shopping festival aims to showcase Portsmouth’s unique shopping experience. It aims to attract local residents, as well as day visitors living within one or two hour’s travelling time, and short breakers planning to combine a shopping trip with visits to the city’s many attractions and cultural venues. The dates also coincide with a fresh intake of students at the city’s university. Retailers, bars, restaurants, hotels, attractions and cultural venues are all being encouraged to run special offers, discounts and incentives only available during the festival period. There will also be street markets and free live entertainment in the Guildhall Square and other areas across the city for shoppers to enjoy. Indoor venues planning to run special events to coincide with the Festival include the Kings Theatre, Wedgewood Rooms,

The festival covers all of Portsmouth’s shopping locations, from shopping malls to the Southsea Farmers Market New Theatre Royal and the Guildhall. The city’s historic connections with great writers will also be highlighted, through the introduction of a Sherlock Holmes detective trail structured to encourage movement around the city between the shopping centres. It will be possible to preregister interest in the Festival

via the Visit Portsmouth website and Facebook page to receive discount vouchers and event updates. There will also be incentives to encourage evening dining and overnight stays. Visit www. or call 023 9282 6722. Follow Portsmouth on Twitter @ visitportsmouth

World Travel Market (WTM) is extending the opening hours of WTM 2014 to facilitate even more business as part of its 35th event celebrations. WTM launched in 1980. WTM 2013 saw more than 50,000 senior industry executives attend signing business deals worth more than £2.2bn. The exhibition will now open at 0900hrs on each of the four days of WTM 2014 (November 3-6). Previously, the exhibition opened at 1000hrs. Furthermore, the event will stay open for an extra two hours to 2000hrs on the Wednesday evening, giving exhibitors the opportunity to showcase the culture and vibrancy of their destinations. WTM, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “World Travel Market is firmly established as the event where the global tourism industry conducts its business deals. “WTM 2014 will see a greater amount of business negotiated and signed than last year’s record £2.2bn thanks to opening the event an hour earlier each day. “These events will also give exhibitors the opportunity to showcase the culture and vibrancy of their destinations to their key buyers and visitors.”

Hever Castle opens permanent Anne Boleyn exhibition A fascinating new permanent exhibition looking at the life of Anne Boleyn and the connection to her childhood home can be seen at historic Hever Castle and Gardens in Kent. ‘The Life and Times of Anne Boleyn’ opened in the Long Gallery this Easter. It brings 16th century Hever Castle vividly to life with costumed wax figures illustrating three key events in Anne’s life. The first installation shows Anne in 1505 at four years old playing with a Tudor doll while her governess looks on. It portrays Anne’s early years at Hever Castle where she grew up with her sister Mary. The second installation is set in 1523 when Anne was forbidden to marry Henry Percy, her childhood sweetheart. Henry VIII stands nearby with his mistress, Mary, ‘The Other Boleyn Girl.’ In the third installation, Anne is reading a love letter written by Henry VIII after she returned to Hever to escape rumours surrounding the King’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. 12

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The new displays replace waxwork figures of Henry VIII and his six wives, which had been at the castle for over 20 years

for Hever Castle by H&H Sculptors. The fabulous bespoke costumes are authentic in style and fabric, with the footwear being made by the same person who constructed the shoes for the BBC’s upcoming production of Wolf Hall. It replaces the waxwork figures of Henry VIII and his six wives that were returned to Angels the Costumiers after entertaining visitors and school children for over 20 years. Castle curator, Anna Spender says: “The display of Henry and his six wives was a firm favourite with our visitors for many years, but it is time to develop and update the exhibition. Hever Castle was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home and we felt it was fitting to commission a display of figures relating to significant events in her life at the Castle.”

Their ill-fated marriage in 1533 was to change the course of England’s history. The exhibition has been put together

For further information, visit www. or call 01732 865224.

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Delight Your Group With A Tram Ride Through Time! Crich Tramway Village is an ideal destination for all ages. Visitors can ride our world renowned vintage trams through our unique period street and out into the open countryside for spectacular views, explore fascinating exhibitions and watch

as trams are restored from our Workshop Viewing Gallery. This captivating journey into history is made complete with a stroll on our Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail and a trip to our unique Red Lion Pub, tearooms and shops.

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Barclays predicts boom in Lake District ‘Staycations’

Tourists spent £9.5bn last year in the area in and around the Lake District. Visit England/Blacks The bank says annual tourism spending in the area could hit £12bn by 2017 Tourism in the Lake District will profit from another boom in ‘Staycations’ – holidaying in the UK rather than going abroad – Barclays has claimed. The bank predicts that between now and 2017, tourists will have more holidays in the North West including Cumbria and the famous national park. The amount of money they spent on holidays in the North West could hit £12bn by 2017 – up

from the £9.5bn spent last year, the firm claimed. Barclays said hoteliers, B&B owners, pubs and restaurants are expected to reap the biggest benefits. The bank said growth in tourism from this country to the area will be driven by ‘continuing pressures on the cost of living, with many financially under-pressure consumers opting to bypass overseas travel in favour of domestic locations.’ Michael Hartig, Managing Director of Barclays Corporate Banking in the North West,

said: “The economy is improving and confidence is certainly growing and, while this will lead to a gradual rise in the number of consumers looking to holiday abroad again, it is unlikely to precipitate a return to the holidaying habits we were seeing prior to the downturn.” Ian Stephens, MD for Cumbria Tourism, said: “We must continue to invest in quality and to proactively market ourselves as the destination of choice. “We need increased levels of investment in our tourism

businesses to satisfy the needs of a wide range of visitors, many of which are discovering the county for the first time. “We need to communicate and showcase what we have at every opportunity in particular better using web technology.” Mr Stephens said the tourist board would be discussing some ‘radical ideas’ at its annual general meeting on June 25, which is held at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith. He said this would include exploring ways that the tourism industry can become ‘more proactive to work on growth opportunities.’

Middleport Pottery to open in July BHA responds to TripAdvisor concerns From July 1, 2014, Middleport Pottery will be fully open as a major visitor destination in the heart of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. This is a long-awaited day for The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, which bought the site in 2011 to save and restore it with a three-year, £9m regeneration project. It is also an important event for the local area, which is hoped to bring wider regeneration by attracting tourists and by turning the site into a creative hub in the town. The public funding sources 14

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include English Heritage and the Regional Growth Fund. Middleport Pottery, the home of world-renowned Burleigh pottery, is the last working Victorian pottery in the UK. The Grade II listed site was purpose-built in 1888 by ceramics manufacturers Burgess & Leigh who moved their business there. The trademark ‘Burleigh’ is a combination of the two names. The pottery business is now operated by Denby Holdings Ltd, which acquired it in June 2010.

The British Hospitality (BHA) Association has responded to reports of blackmailing issues on the tourism review website TripAdvisor. Martin Couchman, Deputy Chief Executive of the BHA, who is in talks with TripAdvisor about hotel and restaurants concerns, said: “People threatening restaurants and hotels with bad reviews to extort freebies is a problem which has been growing. “While it’s hard to put an

exact figure on how widespread the problem is, it is clear there is a small minority of online reviewers who are either directly or indirectly blackmailing for their own gain. “Even just one or two bad reviews can have huge consequences for a business’ reputation. “For example, people may attempt to blackmail during the meal. We would advise owners don’t respond. They should contact TripAdvisor.

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Family Friendly F A M I LY F R I E N D LY

Attractions N

amely one of the largest inhabited castles in England, Alnwick Castle invites families of various sizes to attend an authentic medieval re-enactment. The historical setting may prove familiar to some, as the venue was used as the set for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. The ‘Knight’s Quest’ in particular provides the opportunity for children to dress up as their favourite characters from the era; the pretty princess to the noble knight, with hundreds of costumes to choose from. Traditional games can be enjoyed in the mock market square, with a craft display erected featuring something different to make each day. An additional ‘Dragon Quest’ activity invites those daring enough to attend its lair. Open daily throughout the warming summer season, guests can enjoy the

Deciding how to accommodate a school group or perhaps entertain the kids one weekend can be a chore for many. But fear not, as below are a handful of destinations selected for the more active, adventurous bunch or alternatively, the more educational and artistic variety castle’s stunning surroundings at their leisure, with select tickets valid from 12 months of purchase. School visits are well accounted for, with special rates on a number of tailored activities for children of all abilities, mostly dedicated to a Harry Potter theme. Discounted rates for families of four are available when booked online. T: 01665 511184 E: W:

In mind of the more adventurous, Awesome Walls Climbing Centre in Liverpool offers taster sessions for a minimum group of two people within a venue that could comfortably accommodate parties of 10 or more. Prebooking is essential to secure a spot. The popular concept is slowly expanding, with additional climbing sites located in Sheffield, Stoke and more recently Dublin. Kid’s parties in particular give this venue a family friendly seal of approval, with

Tailored activities for children often follow a Harry Potter theme. Alnwick Castle

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F A M I LY F R I E N D LY various activities organised throughout the changing seasons, including half term and outdoor events. A designated party room is available to book at an additional cost. Four week courses aim to educate those seeking to strengthen their climbing ability, with first timers instructed to book a training session before embarkation. The lowest wall height starts roughly at 2m. Paying members can enter without a booking and for groups especially, a one off session or block booking is on hand, which can be tailored to specific needs if required. The attraction’s website is updated monthly with the latest deals and discounts. A viewable diary of upcoming events is convenient for visitor’s consideration. T: 0151 2982422 W: climbing-centres/liverpool Ranked the number one attraction in London on TripAdvisor, clueQuest boasts an intriguing concept which has



Fishbourne Roman Palace Remains one o f the largest Roman homes in Britain received rave reviews from the majority of participants. The attraction has recently welcomed its third mission entitled ‘Operation Black Sheep,’ inviting a creative spin on the classic escape game genre, with an intimate group of three to five people challenged to escape a locked room as the dominating clock ticks down from 60 minutes. Families are welcomed, with children over the age of 9 allowed to take part.

Moors Valley Country Park

The New Forest is renowned for its hub of woodland walks with Moors Valley Country Park established as one of the most popular parks to visit in the South of England. With approximately 750,000 attendees each year and growing, the attraction is highly commended for its child friendly facilities. A designated Tree Top Trail has a superb view from above, with an all new family trail established called ‘Percy The Park Keeper,’ based on the beloved children’s novel. The venue is home to the forest adventure course Go Ape. A junior version invites children to get involved, featuring three routes including 20 individual crossings and a spectacular zip wire finish. In regards to family fitness, a number of designated cycle lanes welcome those of all abilities, bringing their own bike or perhaps choosing one to hire. Transport is made even easier through the venue’s authentic steam railway, with a track that accommodates 17 steam engines and an additional two diesel locomotives constructed on the premises and fuelled the old fashioned way. Group discounts are available for those looking to embark and it is advised that parties of 20 or more book in advance. Opening times vary throughout the year, with the earliest opening of 0800hrs until dusk. GTW recommends visiting at the very start of the day or early evening for the most impressive views. The peaceful setting within an

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expanded 82 acre farm is maintaned by East Dorset District Council. The park strictly follows the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) and remains in affiliation with Countryside Mobility South West, working to improve countryside access to those with limited mobility. A strong focus on education is provided through ranger led visits and a host of student projects. Group visits are well catered for, with on-site facilities suitable for birthday party management, private functions and even corporate visits. Goody bags can be organised in advance with a small charge for coach and minibus parking, which will also need to be pre-booked. When grabbing a bite to eat, there are plenty of picnic areas to perch. For larger groups specifically, Seasons Restaurant offers a tasty selection of condiments, including a cooked breakfast to start the day. T: For Moors Valley Visitor Centre call 01425 470721; For ‘Go Ape’ call 0845 643 9215 E: W:

Suited to a team building exercise, the concept is ideal for smaller groups specifically. Larger groups looking to attend are advised to book two rooms within the same time slot, inviting the opportunity to compete against one another. Bookings are currently being taken up to September and it is suggested that those seeking a slot during peak times should book at least 4-5 weeks in advance. The game is hosted on the ground floor and therefore has easy access for those with restricted mobility. A select number of puzzles are on hand for those with limited vision, though special requirements should be detailed at the time of booking. T: 07546055220 E: W: The most intriguing venue on the list, the Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast, is a must see for those interested in the weird and wacky. The now considerably worn building first opened its doors as a working prison in 1845 with a design said to have been based on the domineering layout of the Pentonville Prison in London. Since its closure on March 31, 1996, it has been renovated to stand as a key visitor attraction in the area. Its star like appearance is characteristic from above, with two elongated corridors maintaining the image of wings. Guided tours of the confined interior boast a black and white circular spread, inviting a trip through the underground tunnel which connects the structure to the Crumlin Road Courthouse. Open seven days a week, the first tour is available to book at 1000hrs, with the majority lasting a little over an hour. Group rates are available upon request and prebooking is advised regardless of situation. On site facilities can accommodate parties of 175 people or more. Evening events are available to book, such as movie screenings and live performances in the concert hall. T: 028 9074 1500 E: W: With its award winning schools and education programme, Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens near Chichester, June 2014 ● Group Travel World



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Participants big or small can select a washable and non-toxic item to paint and design, an experience made better with a warm hot chocolate decorated with cream and marshmallows inspired by the sentimentality this activity maintains. T: 01903 893353 E: mambo.jambos@ W: mambojambos

Planet Hollywood provides a unique dining experience remains one of the largest Roman homes in Britain. There is a wide range of events hosted throughout the year, from cheering Gladiators, with their spectacular displays of conquest, to archaeology, suitable for aspiring archaeologists of all ages because no previous experience is required. October and February half-term events include joining the Fishbourne Roman Army and learning about life in the Roman era. Assuming an educational stance, school parties can pre-book workshop sessions, which include life experiences such as meeting a Roman Soldier; a spine tingling hands on approach for any child visiting. Adult groups are provided with specialized guided tours, as well as illustrated talks about the history of the venue and its collections. These days should be booked in advance and can be specifically tailored to group requirements. Bookings can be made up to a year in advance, giving GTO’s especially, time to plan a detailed itinerary. The attraction is open every day from 1000hrs from February through to December, with special admission prices for parties of 15 or more. T: 01243 785859 E: W:

memories with a host of collectables on display. Once entered, participants big or small can select a washable and non-toxic item to paint and design, an experience made better with a warm hot chocolate decorated with cream and marshmallows. For the more sentimental perhaps, capturing imprints is a highlight, with baby hands and feet proving popular. A series of adult courses for individuals or groups are handy for those looking to sample the more advanced side of design, with additional themed party evenings injecting a more personalised element. A designated party room on the premises hosts an array of perks for groups specifically, including a signed party plate by all attended, with select pottery included in the booking price. Groups of 10 or more are awarded the studio fee half price. Play zones within the grounds provide an adequate distraction for younger visitors. Once the experience is over, guests are guaranteed to leave

New Forest Wildlife Park was originally constructed in mind of a Butterfly Farm, but what sets this venue apart is the abundance of wildlife on display. Information regarding first hand animal encounters is available on the attractions website, although this may be subject to change. It is advised that those keen should contact a member of staff. Like any nature reserve, the destination promotes strict dedication to conservation, housing giant otters registered on the IUCN endangered species red list. For children, a particular highlight would be to watch some of their favourite animals being fed, with daily keeper talks guaranteed to keep the little ones entertained. Go Wild adventure playground has been tailored to suit all ages, with a miniature version nearby consisting of a spacious sandpit and diggers. An annual family pass is available to purchase upon entry, which can either cover the conventional two adults, two children or one adult and three children. Woodland’s Restaurant is situated near the entrance and is freely accessible, ideal for sitting out in the summer and enjoying a delicious New Forest ice cream. Packed lunches are specially made for children, helping to make family visits as hassle free as possible. T: 023 8029 2408 E: or W: With a logo derivative of the resort and casino in Las Vegas under the same name, Planet Hollywood boasts the world’s only dining experience inspired by the glamour of Hollywood. Open in London since 1993, the restaurant is the ideal venue for pre and post group

New forest Wildlife Park was originally a butterfly park. Kate Drummond

Families are unlikely to resist a more upmarket trip to their local garden centre. GTW highly recommends Mambo Jambos Pottery Painting in West Sussex, as a fun filled attraction for any size group, the perfect way to spend a dull afternoon. The venue’s rustic charm denotes fond 20

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F A M I LY F R I E N D LY meals, especially or perhaps as part of a sightseeing itinerary suited to all budgets. There is also partial or private hire of a number of themed rooms. Those usable include The British Room, The Bond Room and Cabanas, each with a unique theme. Movie memorabilia and props are displayed throughout the venue’s spacious interior, with 18 screens featuring up to the minute film trailers, keeping it fresh and interesting for restaurant guests. There’s a fully stocked souvenir shop selling a variety of merchandise, where groups are made to feel a part of the show. Additional touches include on-screen welcome messages upon arrival or personalized messages for any group member celebrating a birthday. Hassle free group dining, accompanied by an attractively timely food service, means the attraction is guaranteed to keep adults and children alike entertained for hours. T: 020 7024 8455 E: W: Bringing the sights and sounds of the rainforest to the heart of London’s Piccadilly Circus, The Rainforest Café demonstrates dedicated support to such

The rainforest café is suitably tailored to the imagination of children

environmental concerns as deforestation, with the venue working in close affiliation with the World Land Trust and The Aspinall Foundation. Centrally located in the West End, approximately 5 minutes from Leicester Square tube station, families could perhaps stop off for a bite en route to a renowned theatre performance. The restaurant is open until late every weekday and has been suitably tailored to the imagination of children specifically. Each floor features moving models of animals surrounded by mock waterfalls, tropical fish tanks and fresh water aquariums. Strobe lighting is used every



29 minutes to simulate a storm. The venue can comfortably accommodate up to 650 guests, with two smaller themed areas eating a further 25-30 or 85-100 guests. The attraction specialises in lunch and dinner for larger groups of 15 or more, completely flexible for those on a tight budget. The divergent menu emits creativity, with such starters as ‘Jungle Safari Soup of the Day’ and mains entitled ‘Rainforest House Salad.’ A designated kid’s menu invites a specialised meal deal with activity pack at an additional price. T: 020 7437 1799 E: W:

The Animal Action Sports Tour at Truckfest 2014

The first Truckfest event of 2014 opened the gates at 0900hrs at Peterborough Showground on May 4 & 5, 2014, with over 2,000 trucks competing. Located at the popular East of England Showground, visitors could set up camping from Friday until Tuesday where evening entertainment started with a parade and fireworks display on Friday night, a Slade tribute band, ‘Slyde’ on Saturday night, with Sunday night’s entertainment including top Queen tribute act ‘Mercury.’ Exhibitors were located by category, proudly displaying their vehicles. Eddie Stobart showcased a large variety of their companies and guest drivers such as Tim Fox and Mick Leech appeared for signings. Celebrity guest appearances included Joey Essex on Sunday and Michelle Keegan on Monday. The main arena also featured motorbikefreestyle experts Broke FMX, monster truck stunts, displays from PRDC. Guest appearances also include ‘Lizard Lick’ stars Ron, Amy and Bobby at upcoming South West, Edinburgh, Ireand and South Coast shows. Another attraction at the show was the Animal Action Sports Tour, featuring moutain bike and BMX stunts. There was also the chance to purchase merchandise from a collection of stalls selling truck themed clothes, sweets, tools and other products. There were also fairground rides attracting children and a Mercedes -Benz family activity arena.


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Dalton-in-Furness Cumbria LA15 8JR

24 hour Info: 01229 466086

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Your group,our hotels. .

Stay individual

Alton Towers Resort Hotel provides superb onsite accommodation


Employee benefits & corporate incentives At a glance, employee benefits may seem like a broad concept, with an aim to appeal to a wide range of group businesses; from conferences and meetings to rewards and rates. Under this corporate umbrella fall the employees, who are offered a vast range of organised event scenarios and negotiated offers. Amy Moore outlines a generous selection of companies that provide superb group accommodation, with many others commended for their adequate team building facilities

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THEME PARKS Alton Towers Resort offers a ‘business with a twist’ type affair, featuring a deluxe choice of corporate and entertainment venues for groups to choose from, having been labelled one of the best conference venues in the midlands. If fine dining is on the itinerary, a spacious conference centre is on hand which caters to groups in the hundreds, commended especially for corporate awards dinners. Attached is The Stateroom, which can seat a further 320 people in a layout of choice. Smaller groups could perhaps choose to enjoy an underwater themed event, courtesy of a glass aquarium overhead. Other additional venues include The Towers Suite, boasting a panoramic view of the attraction itself, with a 500 acre park available for corporate hire, estimated to house around 2,000 people and recommended

itself is available to hire for parties of 5,000 to 15,000 guests and promotional activities are on hand for businesses looking to expand. Thorpe Park Resort boasts a centralised events venue located 30 minutes outside of London, specially designed for businesses looking to entertain clients or reward their staff. Residing within a 940 square metre resort, the appeal lies in the generous availability of attractions, inviting businesses to reach for the sky. The Thrill Day Picnic package is perfect for parties of up to 3,000 guests, inclusive of entry to the resort, use of the private garden between select hours, unlimited soft drinks and prefilled lunches for guests to enjoy on the premises. For smaller groups, a 2 course BBQ luncheon is available to book, with groups able to upgrade to the Exclusive Thrill Day package, acquiring

Residing within a 940 square metre resort, the appeal lies in the generous availability of attractions, inviting businesses to reach for the sky for hosting concerts or similar large scale events. On-site accommodation welcomes one of the most impressive waterparks in Europe, with The Splash Landings Hotel in particular boasting 216 individually themed bedrooms and four additional suites, perfectly suited to a beach hut theme with authentic driftwood furniture. In regards to hospitality, The Dragon Bar hands guests a unique taste of the orient, with the venue catering to a range of high end needs, perhaps washing down a succulent steak or marinated chicken breast from the meatier bar and grill. The range of corporate packages included aim to provide ease to access, with tailored itineraries to suit any budget. The resort

priority access throughout the resort. A ride and dine feature tailored to groups invites evening use of the private garden, with additional access to a select number of rides on an hourly basis. Groups can upgrade to gold to increase ride access, or platinum to include a dance floor, disco and DJ in proceedings, inviting the ideal environment to comfortably network. In consideration with official meetings and conferences, a full day or half day package is available to book, each providing a two course buffet lunch to accompany any form of corporate entertainment. A complementary stationary kit injects a personal element into an otherwise professionalised environment. Team June 2014 l Group Travel World



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Alton Towers Resort , home to one of the most impressive waterparks in Europe building exercises with a creative twist are what set this venue apart. The Thrill Bill challenge, for example, invites teams to locate as many hotspots around the resort as they can. Of course apps and tablets are supplied, with the activity recommended for 50 guests or more. Chessington World of Adventures is well suited to businesses travelling long distance, with the resort located a short drive from London’s Heathrow Airport. Seek comfort in the resorts specialised hotel accommodation, kitted out with air conditioning for comfort and a 24 hour dining service for convenience. Following its mantra ‘business gone wild,’ animal lovers in particular are guaranteed a memorable experience via the Ultimate Adventure package, boasting exclusive hire of the theme park and zoo alongside. For something a little subtler, the Adventure Day package invites a dedicated event manager to aid organisation, with primary access to the designated venue and accompanying patio. A spacious conference centre consists of six modernised meeting rooms which could easily accommodate up to 300 guests at a time. Corporate rates are available on select venue hire, with the Day Delegate Rate inclusive of complementary WiFi, an LCD screen and projector for presentation and flipcharts, pads and pens gifted to

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delegates. Groups can choose to upgrade to a 24 hour package and enjoy a full English breakfast the following morning. A complete park buyout gifts group access to the thrilling rides and rollercoasters this spectacular venue has to offer (All retail outlets and restaurant openings are subject to availability). The resort works in close affiliation with event organisers ‘Wildgoose’ to ensure those visiting are provided with the highest quality experience. Team building exercises such as The Chessington Challenge invites those participating to embark on an adventurous treasure hunt. Groups can upgrade to a full day if required.

providing preferential rates to members as well as family and friends. Accompanying business opportunities include the increased flexibility to creatively cater upon request, with personal touches added to enhance a guest’s experience. Caterers and event coordinators are able to work alongside for breakfast or evening launches, with a designated VIP area on the premises tailored to larger groups in particular. VIP perks include a complementary glass of bubbly, served by a delectable selection of canapés before embarking on a personalised guided tour. Smaller groups can enjoy a contained mini-venue ideal for the standard meet and greet scenario or team building activities. Private functions allow earlier closing times to the public, with groups acquiring full access to the venue. Specialised travel trade programmes aim to cater to a variety of markets, featuring exclusive rates and fast track entry for clients. Most packages are subject to availability, so those eager shouldn’t hesitate. As the venue is situated in the West End, the attraction welcomes direct access to a range of theatre hotspots and a vibrant nightlife should the event be a huge hit.



Arguably one of the UK’s most extraordinary attractions, Ripley’s Believe It or Not in London is the largest of its kind, with a little over 25,000 square feet of display. Born from Robert Ripley’s collective interest in the weird and wacky, the venue boasts late night opening seven days a week, offering an extensive collection of exhibits spread across six floors, with ample space to welcome a total of 450 guests. The attraction has recently launched a corporate affiliate scheme

Park Plaza Hotels offer a deluxe range of group business facilities ideal for any occasion, from miniature meeting rooms to the larger banqueting sized conference room. Part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, guests are guaranteed to receive the upmost professionalism when organising an event, with a designated hotel team on hand to assist. Booking groups can take advantage of the Club Carlson for Planners programme which spans more than 1,070 hotels in Europe. Specialised deals are

Groups travelling long distance could stay in resort accommodation


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ith nine luxury shopping destinations located within an hour of Europe’s most iconic destination cities – and capacity for groups of 10–2,500 – the Collection of Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe have become popular venues for groups, events and incentive programmes of every size. At the Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages, attendees can enjoy a unique combination of luxury brand experiences, distinctive settings and superior hospitality services, integrated into bespoke groups, events and incentives programmes. In 2013, the nine Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe hosted 483 events and welcomed more than 36,400 attendees from 51 countries. As word spreads in the MICE community of the unique Groups & Events (MICE) offer at the Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages, the venues have become increasingly popular choices for groups, events and incentive programmes. In the first quarter of 2014 (January – March), there has been a 75% increase in attendees compared to the same period last year, showing the growing popularity of luxury brand shopping as a MICE activity. Much like the Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages themselves, the groups and events programmes attract a wide range of international guests: so far this year, delegates from Asia have accounted for 62% of groups and events at the Villages, and 57% of attendees. As an investment in this growing aspect of its business, Chic Outlet Shopping® has now developed an online booking platform for its Groups & Events (MICE) offer (which can be viewed here), to offer a best-in-class approach to bookings and enquiries. Through the platform, clients can view pages that clearly define the Groups & Events (MICE) offer at each Village, engage with channel and corporate clients, and book groups and events activities.

Chic Outlet Shopping® recently announced the appointment of Marcelo Molinari as its Head of Groups & Events (MICE). Mr Molinari has considerable professional experience in the events sector, with a particular focus on business development and promotion in the meetings and events industry, in which he has more than 15 years’ experience working for both institutions and private corporations. In his new role, Mr Molinari will be

implementing the Chic Outlet Shopping® strategy to promote groups and events across the Collection of Villages in Europe. About Groups & Events (MICE) at Chic Outlet Shopping® The nine Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe are all within an hour of major city destination. The Villages welcome groups of all sizes – from large-scale reward and recognition programmes for up to 2,500 to smaller VIP groups. Each enjoys the unique location, ambience and facilities of the Villages, including private VIP Lounges, meeting rooms, areas for catering functions and, in many instances, space for bespoke events. Each Village is home to between

60 and 140 luxury outlet boutiques offering the previous seasons’ collections of leading fashion and lifestyle brands with up to 60% off the recommended retail price. Chic Outlet Shopping® partners with corporate and agency organisations, congress centres, and communication and brand experience agencies to link their event objectives to the world-class brands located in the Villages. About Chic Outlet Shopping® Chic Outlet Shopping® is a unique concept in outlet shopping created by Value Retail, the only company to specialise exclusively in the development and operation of luxury outlet shopping destinations, the Collection of Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages. The Villages offer the previous seasons’ collections of leading luxury fashion and lifestyle brands with savings of up to 60%, and sometimes more, on the recommended retail price, all year round. Within easy reach of some of Europe’s favourite gateway cities – London, Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Bologna, Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, and from 15 May 2014 Suzhou in China – the Villages are defined by high fashion, superior service and hospitality, a calendar of celebrated events, and exceptional value for money. Located in regions of cultural and historic renown, the Villages have become international tourist destinations in their own right. Value Retail's new venture – Value Retail China – to bring the distinctive Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages to China will see the first Village – Suzhou Village™ – located in historic Suzhou, 50 miles west of Shanghai. As with other members of the Collection, Suzhou Village will be defined by its offer of international luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, together with an exceptional level of service.


In September, the prestigious conference venue Olympia will play host to Employee Benefits Live

Park Plaza London

Clockwise from top left; Park Plaza Victoria executive lounge, Park Plaza County Hall meeting room, Park Plaza Riverbank boardroom, Park Plaza Victoria meeting room (Theatre style)

available for conferences and meetings, further accompanied by discounted rates on hotel rooms. Perks include a dedicated meeting specialist, a personalised web page set up as well as any other day to day requirements needed. The London branch specifically, boasts five contemporary conference venues, approximately 80 meeting rooms and an additional 2,200 guest rooms for those perhaps seeking an overnight stay. Each is conveniently placed within close proximity to transport links and an array of popular attractions around the capital. The function space provided proves highly flexible, with rooms designed for up to 30 delegates. Additional perks include a vibrant display of fresh fruit. Those looking to attend could choose to download the regional meetings and events brochure online. Alternatively, a designated events team is on hand for group requests of 10 or more. Groups of less than 10 are advised to contact the hotel directly.

A LOOK FORWARD: EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LIVE In September, the prestigious conference venue Olympia will play host to Employee Benefits Live, aptly labelled one of the largest reward and benefit events in Europe. Introduced by leading publication Employee Benefits, the ever popular trade show invites professionals from all over the globe to meet and network. The editorial driven conference is usually exhibited over two days, meeting this year on September 24 & 25. Free tickets can be booked online in advance of the event, which is guaranteed to keep businesses ‘ahead of the times.’ Such companies in attendance span the UK and beyond with

USEFUL CONTACTS l ALTON TOWERS RESORT Contact the Events Team on 0871 702 7048 Or visit l THORPE PARK RESORT For General Enquiries call 0871 663 1673 For Corporate Events email Or visit l CHESSINGTON WORLD OF ADVENTURES Call the Conference and Events Team 28

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l RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT For Corporate Venue Hire and Special Events contact 020 7494 6800 Email

British Airways, American Express and the British Red Cross having made an appearance. For those looking to exhibit, the event provides an ideal base to promote. Information and advice regarding transport and nearby accommodation is available on the event’s website. More news is to be announced nearer the time. Looking to attend? Contact Samantha Keating, Marketing Assistant, on 020 7970 4583or alternatively email marketing@

l PARK PLAZA HOTEL For reservations call 0800 169 6128

Looking to exhibit? Contact Juliette Losardo for all sales enquires on 020 7943 8066 or alternatively email

on 01372 734 600 Or alternatively contact the Business Team on 0844 318 8234

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UKINBOUND NEWS By Amy O’Donovan, Marketing & Events Executive UKinbound

A break in the Scottish Capital


dinburgh, what a beautiful city! I recently enjoyed a short break to the Scottish capital for the first time and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city centre. Thanks to Historic Scotland, I had the opportunity to visit it. From the castle grounds, there are amazing views of the city; all the way from Arthur’s Seat and over to the harbour. It holds over a thousand years of history and remains in such good condition. There is so much to see once inside the grounds; the Prisons of War exhibition, St. Margaret‘s Chapel, The Great Hall and most impressively, the Scottish Crown Jewels. My trip was enhanced by my stay at the Macdonald Hotel, Holyrood. The staff were most helpful; giving me tips on where to go and what to see. With a spacious swimming pool, as well as its ideal location close to Arthur’s Seat, it is a perfect spot to stay. I experienced the magnificent tour of Real Mary King’s Close. I learned that under the Royal Mile (the main street in Edinburgh runs from the Castle to Holyrood Palace) lies a series of lanes and alleyways, where the old town folk made their residences. The tour involves one particular close that still exists under the Royal Mile today. It is truly incredible to do this tour; with a costumed character tour guide based on a one time resident. You canexplore the underground site, hearing these fascinating stories. It was a truly unique experience and well worth a visit. During May, we held a Sport is GREAT

showed its importance to the UK. One of our members, La Tasca, undertook a few refurbishments to their popular venue in Covent Garden recently. They celebrated their re-opening with a lovely evening of sangria, tapas and paella. Having lived in Madrid before, I am a huge fan of tapas, and La Tasca really delivered quality Spanish food. They have restaurants throughout the UK, so keep an eye out for them! Finally, I went to see Once - The Musical at the Phoenix Theatre. The performance of the two main characters was stunning, with their voices capturing the true meaning of the lyrics. I loved the film and even bought the soundtrack, as Glen Hansard’s voice is extraordinary. I had high expectations of this show and it was really enjoyable. That’s it from me. We are busy in the run up to our Summer Ball which is taking place on June 18 at Chelsea FC, so until next month! ■ Arthur Darvill (Guy) and Zrinka Cvitesic (Girl) in Once breakfast briefing at Strada, Panton Street, which hosted a yummy breakfast with some delicious bacon butties! Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the Rugby World Cup, as well as understanding how Visit Manchester uses sport to enhance their destination product. We had some of our own London sporting attractions members speak about the importance of sport to Lord’s Tours, Rugby Football Union and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis. Although sport is a niche market, it attracts thousands of visitors to the UK annually and our event really


Events Calendar Schedule our events in your diary with our Events Calendar www.

Follow us on Twitter Join us on Twitter and check out our news updates @UKinbound

Become a member For inquiring about membership, email

Edinburgh Castle


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LO N D O N N E W S Francesca Corradini Marketing Executive

London News is brought to you by London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for London. For more information on London go to: astonishing theatrical experience will stay with you forever.

The Woman in Black – at Fortune Theatre Until June 10, 2015 Since 1989, over seven million people have lived to tell the tale of one of the most exciting, spooky, gripping and successful theatre events ever staged. Unanimously acclaimed by the critics, Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. It is a formula that provides audiences with an evening of unremitting drama as they are transported into a terrifying and ghostly world.

London’s Theatreland


ondon is known around the world for its fantastic theatre scene. Alongside Broadway in New York, West End theatre represents the highest quality theatre in the world. There are around 40 theatres in London’s ‘Theatreland,’ with performances that centre around musicals, classic plays and comedies. Choose from a wide range of West End shows, from musicals like Wicked, Memphis and Billy Elliot to plays like The Woman in Black and The Mousetrap.

From October 23, 2014 to January 3, 2015 The incredible sounds of Memphis the Musical are coming to London. Don’t miss the hit Broadway show, which tells the story of underground nightclubs in 1950s Memphis, Tennessee. Inspired by real life events, the plot follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to revolutionise the world. Joined by a club singer who is ready for her big break, played by Beverley Knight, the pair find themselves at the exciting dawn of a new musical era.

Billy Elliot the Musical – at the Victoria Palace Theatre Until May 2015 One of the most celebrated, award-winning musicals on stage today, Billy Elliot has been dazzling London’s West End since 2005. Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984-85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. With unforgettable music by Elton John, sensational dance and a powerful storyline, this

Going out once a month and featuring the latest news and information from London for the travel trade, the newsletter is delivered to key travel trade contacts across the globe. Sign up now at traveltrade

Victoria Until April 25, 2015 Wicked is a smash-hit musical about the early life of the legendary witches from L. Frank Baum’s classic story ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’ The prequel is based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, which re-imagines the stories and characters. Acclaimed as one of the most popular West End musicals, this London production has now been seen by more than five million theatregoers since its premiere in 2006.

Follow us on LinkedIn Our LinkedIn group, ‘London & Partners – Travel Trade’ is constantly growing. Join us for up to the minute news and discussion with your peers in the travel trade.

Travel Trade Website Our travel trade website is designed to help you sell London to your clients, check it out now!

Memphis the Musical


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Travel Trade Newsletter

Wicked – at the Apollo

– at Shaftesbury Theatre

The Mousetrap – at St Martin’s Theatre Until January 3, 2015 Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the longest running play in the world. Who’s the murderer? Come and find out! Written by Agatha Christie, the queen of the crime novel, The Mousetrap is a traditional English murder mystery. Expect the usual twists, turns and double-bluffs as you try to work out which character is responsible. After the show, you’ll be asked to keep the identity of the killer a secret so the play remains a mystery...

Shaftesbury Theatre was designed by Victorian architect Bertie Crewe

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Great Group Rates

• New Anne Boleyn exhibition • Exclusive tour and refreshment packages • Free coach parking • Free entry for organiser and driver

For more information visit T: 01732 861701 E: Hever, Near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG Please quote ref: GRP/GTW/JUN14

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn

PIC CAP: The new production has eclipsed previous records for single day ticket sales (IN FEB EDITION)

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T H E AT R E // N E W S

Miss Saigon extended after recordbreaking advance bookings

Disney Theatrical’s The Lion King has extended its booking period at the Lyceum Theatre through to January 4, 2015. The Lion King opened in the West End’s Lyceum Theatre on October 19, 1999, following previews from September 1999, to critical acclaim. The show celebrated its 14th anniversary in London in October 2013 and is currently the eighth longest-running musical in West End history. The show has a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. It is directed by Julie Taymor and designed by Richard Hudson, with lighting by Donald Holder and choreography by Garth Fagan.

Extension follows a celebrityfilled sell-out opening Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of the classic SchonbergBoublil musical Miss Saigon, which recently opened at the West End’s Prince Edward theatre, has now extended its booking period to April 25, 2015. It was originally booking through to October 25, 2014. The musical has attracted record-breaking advance bookings, which are reportedly from an ‘incredibly young’ audience who had not seen the show when it ran previously. The production broke the record for the largest single day of sales in West End and Broadway history when it went on sale last September, with takings of £4.4m on the first day. This was far ahead of the amount taken by The Book of Mormon, which set the previous record in March 2013 when it took £2.1m in one day. The musical opened on Wednesday, May 21 to a packed audience including a number of celebrities. Attendees included Stephen Fry, Miranda Hart and film director Tom Hooper. Miss Saigon is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, with music by Claude-Michel

ENGLISH TOURING THEATRE AND THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY have announced a coproduction of Thomas Middleton’s comedy A Mad World My Masters, which will arrive at London’s Barbican Theatre for a two-week run at the end of April 2015, following a national tour. Exact dates, casting and ticket prices were yet to be announced as GTW went to press, however, London Theatre

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Lion King extended to January

The show took £4.4m on the first day tickets became available Schönberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It tells the story of an orphaned Vietnamese girl who falls in love with an American GI during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon.

reported that the run will begin the week commencing April 27, 2015. Tickets will go on sale in September 2014. This version of A Mad World My Masters has been edited by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, and features scenic design by Alice Power, with sound and music by Ben and Max Ringham. Sean Foley said: “In creating the show, we wanted to make sure that nothing got in the way of communicating Middleton’s seething delight in exposing how hypocritical we can all be, so we set it at a time which is still within touching distance of us now. London is timeless,

Miss Saigon premiered at the West End’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1989 and ran for 10 years to 1999. The role of The Engineer is played by Jon Jon Briones, who was in the original 1989 London cast as part of the ensemble.

and 1950s Soho seemed to offer a stylish and recognisable stand in for London 1605: a post war world, where everyone is worried about sliding morals, the position of women, a changing class system, immigrants - and where on earth to get the next drink.”

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT has announced three new cast members. X Factor finalist Lloyd Daniels will make his musical theatre debut in the title role of Joseph. Lloyd was the youngest contestant in 2009’s

The Lion King opened in the West End in October 19

competition. Joining Lloyd is BBC’s Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope. Following her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and a successful year as Eponine in Les Misérables in London’s West End, Hope will be playing the role of Narrator in Joseph. Matt Lapinskas will play Pharaoh in his first musical theatre role. Matt is famed for playing Anthony Moon in EastEnders. The new tour opens at Theatre Royal Windsor on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

June 2014 ● Group Travel World


05/06/2014 15:55

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T H E AT R E // N E W S

White Christmas to appear at Dominion Theatre in November Production to star Aled Jones and Tom Chambers, replacing long-running ‘We Will Rock You’ White Christmas, a musical starring Aled Jones and Tom Chambers and directed by Morgan Young, opens at the Dominion Theatre on November 12, 2014, following previews from November 8 running to January 3, 2015. Aled Jones will play the character of Bob Wallace and Tom Chambers will play Phil Davis. The cast also includes Wendi Peters (Martha), Graham Cole (General Waverley), Rachel Stanley (Betty Haynes) and Louise Bowden (Judy Haynes). White Christmas tells the story of two ex-army friends

A previous production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas appeared at The Lowry in Manchester in November 2012

as they team up with a pair of sisters to put on a show to save their former General’s remote Vermont ski lodge that’s fallen on hard times. The show, which is based

on the Paramount Pictures film starring Bing Crosby, has music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. It includes many well known

songs such as ‘Let Yourself Go’, ‘Sisters’, ‘The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing’ and the classic ‘White Christmas’. The Dominion Theatre is due to be refurbished prior to the limited eight-week run of White Christmas. Aled Jones, who has become best known as a television presenter, will be making his West End musical theatre debut. Like Bing Crosby, Aled Jones has also enjoyed success with a song that gains airplay every Christmas – his version of The Snowman’s ‘Walking In The Air’ became a top 10 hit in 1985. Tom Chambers last appeared on the West End stage in ‘Top Hat,’ which ran at the Aldwych Theatre from April 2012 to February 2013.

Terry Gilliam opens bizarre opera Terry Gilliam has made an anticipated return to the English National Opera, directing the production of Benvenuto Cellini, featuring music from composer Hector Berlioz, conducted by Edward Gardner. Announced as part of the English National Opera’s 2013-2014 season, the play opened on June 5, 2014 with plans to run until June 27, 2014. Cinema screenings will be available throughout the UK on June 17, 2014.

One of London’s oldest theatres, THE OLD VIC, is to see acclaimed director Matthew Warchus become its new Artistic Director. Warchus will be taking over the role in Autumn 2015, from Kevin Spacey who plans to step down after a decade in the position. Warchus currently


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The opera’s story follows the autobiography of 16th century goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini through an interwoven plot of love, intrigue, disguise and mistaken identity, allowing the imagination of Gilliam to run wild. He is renowned for his eccentric and quirky style. Gilliam is already well known for his iconic screenplay ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ starring Johnny Depp, with further writing accreditations as ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ starring the late Heath Ledger, though

remains The Artistic Associate at the venue, having worked on over 70 productions in London and on Broadway. His current works include the musical Matilda and upcoming feature film Pride. The pair has worked together previously, with Warchus having directed Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in Speed-the-Plow in 2008. Matthew Warchus said; “I am excited and honoured to be following Kevin’s galvanising

Terry Gilliam’s quirky, eccentric style comes through in the production

admittedly he is most well known for his standing as part of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Other stage accreditations include ‘The Damnation of

tenure at this wonderful building. He has re-established The Old Vic as a globally important theatre and I look forward to continuing to develop it as a hub of invigorating creativity.” DOWNTON ABBEY star Joanne Froggatt has been cast in the UK premiere of David Lindsay Abaire’s Tony-nominated drama Rabbit Hole, which will begin previews on September 11, 2014,

Faust’ in 2011, which proved to be a sell out. For more information visit cellini

with an official opening set for September 24. It continues until November 22, 2014. Ms. Froggatt will be directed by Olivier Award-winning Actor Nigel Harman, whose West End acting credits include Shrek the Musical, I Can’t Sing! and A Chorus of Disapproval. Joanna Froggatt will play the role of Becca Corbett in Rabbit Hole. Her other theatre credits include All About My Mother and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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T H E AT R E L I S T I N G S / / L O N D O N

Theatre Listings On these three pages lists the major UK shows currently open, or about to open on the West End and beyond. Always check the details before making any arrangements

Booking Codes: EN Arts Theatre

Great Newport Street


Booking to: August 2014 Times: Fri 2000, Sat 1700 & 2000, Sun 1600 & 1900 Length: 1hr 20mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM Vaudeville

The Strand WC2


Booking to: August 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 15mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL TM Harold Pinter

Panton Street, SW1


Booking to: September 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: TBC (Opens July 17) Booking Codes: AM EN GL Duke of York’s

LONDON Victoria Palace

Victoria Street SW1


Booking to: May 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 3hrs Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM Prince of Wales

Coventry Street W1


Booking to: August 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 20mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL TM Adelphi

Strand WC2


Booking to: August 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 30mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM Aldwych Theatre

Aldwych WC2


Booking to: September 2014 Times: 1930hrs on selected days Length: 3hrs 5mins Booking Codes: EN GL Theatre Royal

Drury Lane WC2


Booking to: May 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 30mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM Palace

Shaftesbury Avenue W1


Booking to: April 2015 38

l June 2014

038_41_GTW_June14 Theatre Listings.indd 38

St Martin’s Lane WC2


Times: Tue-Fri 1930, Sat & Sun 1500 & 1900 Length: 2hrs 30mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM

Booking to: September 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 10mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM



Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D


Denmark Street W1


Booking to: February 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 45 mins Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM

Booking to: February 2015 Times: Tue-Sat 1930, Tue & Sat 1500, Sun 1700 Length: 2hrs 35 mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM



Strand WC2


Shaftesbury Avenue W1


Booking to: March 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 35mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL TM

Booking to: April 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: 3hrs 00mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM

Trafalgar Studios


Booking Codes: AM AP DY EN GL SE TM Adelphi

Strand WC2


Booking to: March 2015 Times: Mon – Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1500 Length: TBC (Opens November 5) Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM Novello

Whitehall SW1


Booking to: January 2015 Times: Tue – Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: TBC (Opens October 15) Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM Old Vic


Main House


Booking to: September 2014 Times: Mon, Wed-Sat 1930, Sat 1500, Sun 1530 & 1900 Length: 2hrs 20 mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM

The Cut SE1

Booking to: December 2014 Times: Mon – Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1500 Length: TBC (Opens October 1) Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM

Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue W1


Booking to: September 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1945, Thu & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 15mins Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM

Leicester Place, WC2


Booking to: September 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu 1500, Sat 1600 Length: 2hrs 00mins


Aldwych WC2


Charing Cross Road WC2

Catherine Street WC2


Booking to: January 2015 Times: Tue-Sat 1930, Weds, Sat & Sun 1430 Length: 2hrs 45mins

Booking to: April 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1945, Thu & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 30mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM Cambridge

Earlham Street WC2


Booking to: May 2015 Times: Tue 1900, Wed-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430, Sun 1500 Length: 2hrs 40mins Booking Codes: AP DM EN GL SE TM Shaftesbury Theatre Shaftesbury Ave WC2


Booking to: March 2015 Times: Mon – Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: TBC (Opens October 23) Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently booking through to May 2015

Prince EdwardOld Compton Street W1


Booking to: April 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 40mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM St Martin’s

West Street WC2


Booking to: January 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Tue 1500, Sat 1600 Length: 2hrs 15mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM Playhouse Theatre Northumberland Ave


Booking to: August 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: 1hrs 40mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM Phoenix

Charing Cross Road WC2


Booking to: July 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 20mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM Shaftesbury Shaftesbury Avenue WC2


Booking to: September 2014

038_41_GTW_June14 Theatre Listings.indd 39

Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1500 Length: 2hrs 40mins Booking Codes: AM EN GL SE TM

Booking Codes: AM AP GL TM

Apollo Victoria


Her Majesty’s

Booking to: March 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 2000, Wed 1500, Sat 1600 Length: 2hrs 00mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM

Booking to: April 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 50mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM

Haymarket SW1


Booking to: April 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 30mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM

Piccadilly Circus W1V


Garrick Duchess

Booking to: February 2015 Times: Wed-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430, Sun 1500 & 1900 Length: TBC (Opens September 14) Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM Noel Coward


Catherine St. WC2


St Martin’s Lane WC2


Booking to: October 2014 Times: Mon-Sat 1930, Wed & Sat 1430 Length: TBC (Opens July 23) Booking Codes: AM DY EN GL SE TM

Charing Cross Road WC2

Booking to: February 2015 Times: Mon-Sat 1945, Sat 1430 Length: 1hr 40 mins Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM Lyric


Booking to: April 2015 Times: Tue-Fri 1930, Sat 1600 & 2000, Sun 1530 & 1930 Length: 2hrs Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM New London


West Street WC2


Booking to: December 2014 Times: Mon, Thu-Sat 2000, Thu & Sat 1500, Sun 1500 & 1800 Length: 1hrs 40mins

Shaftesbury Avenue WC2

Drury Lane WC2


Booking to: February 2015 Times: Mon 1930, Tue 1900, Wed-Sat 1930, Thu & Sat 1430 Length: 2hrs 40mins Booking Codes: AP EN GL SE TM

Wilton Road SW1


Aldwych Theatre

Aldwych WC2


Booking to: September 2014 Times: 1400 & 1930 on selected days Length: 3hrs 20mins Booking Codes: EN GL SE TM Fortune

Russell Street WC2


Booking to: January 2015 Times: Tue-Sat 2000, Tue & Thu 1500, Sat 1600 Length: 2hrs 00mins Booking Codes: AM AP EN GL SE TM KEY TO BOOKING CODES AM Ambassador Groups AP Applause Groups DY Disney Theatrical TM Ticketmaster Groups

GL Groupline SE SEE Groups EN Encore Tickets

When booking, please mention

June 2014 ●


05/06/2014 12:19

T H E AT R E L I S T I N G S / / T O U R I N G

What follows is a list of theatre productions touring the UK. All dates listed are at least three months away. Some earlier dates may be available. ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

Glasgow Royal: Sep 2-6 Wimbledon Theatre: Sep 9-13 Aberdeen His Majesty’s: Sep 16-20 Torquay Princess: Sep 30 – Oct 4


Cork Opera House: Sep 4-6 Portsmouth Kings: Sep 8-12 Birmingham Alexandra: Sep 16-20


Shrewsbury Severn – Sep 26 Andover Lights – Nov 8


Leicester Curve: Sep 5-13 Bristol Hippodrome: Sep 16-27 Southend Cliffs Pavillion: Sep 30 – Oct 4 Wycombe Swan: Oct 7-11 Wimbledon New: Oct 14-18 Edinburgh Playhouse: Oct 27 – Nov 1 Hull New: Oct 21-25 Manchester Palace: Nov 4-15 Aberdeen His Majesty’s: Nov 18-22 Bradford Alhambra: Nov 25-29 Woking New Victoria: Jan 20-24, 2015 Wolverhampton Grand: Jan 27-31 Nottingham Royal: Feb 3-14 Newcastle Royal: Feb 17-28


Dublin Bord Gais: Sep 29 – Oct 11 Birmingham Hippodrome: Oct 13-25 Leicester De Montfort Hall: Oct 27 – Nov 1 Glasgow King’s: Nov 3-15 Darlington Civic: Nov 24-29


Newbury Watermill: July 17 – Sep 6 Plymouth Royal: Sep 16-20 Edinburgh Playhouse: 23-27 Cheltenham Everyman: Sep 30 – Oct 4 Nottingham Royal: Oct 7-11 Cardiff New: Oct 14-18 Bristol Hippodrome: Oct 21-25 Truro Hall for Cornwall: Oct 28 – Nov 1 Woking New Victoria: Nov 4-8 Milton Keynes Theatre: Nov 25-29 Malvern Theatres: Dec 1-6, Dartford Orchard: Jan 27-31, 2015


Birmingham Hippodrome: Sep 9-27


Southampton Mayflower: Oct 15-18 Oxford New: Oct 28 – Nov 1 Bristol Hippodrome: Nov 4-8


London Aldwych – Oct 23 – Jan 3 2015


Glasgow Kings: Aug 26 – Sep 20 Milton Keynes Theatre: Oct 21 – Nov 8 Oxford New: Dec 9 – Jan 3 2015 Eastbourne Congress: Jan 13-24 Sunderland Empire: Jan 27 – Feb 14 Edinburgh Playhouse: Feb 24 – Mar 14 Cardiff Millennium Centre: Mar 17-28 Liverpool Empire: Apr 7-25


Woking New Victoria – Sep 8-13 Darlington Civic – Sep 15-20 Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall – Sep 22-27 Bradford Alhambra – Sep 29 – October 4 Milton Keynes Theatre – Oct 6-11 Birmingham Alexandra – Oct 13-18 Malvern Festival Theatre – Oct 20-25 40

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038_41_GTW_June14 Theatre Listings.indd 40

Ipswich Regent – October 27 – Nov 1 Edinburgh King’s – Nov 3-8 Coventry Belgrade – Nov 10-15 Cardiff New – Nov 17-22


Plymouth Royal – Nov 10-15 Glasgow Royal – Nov 19-22 Salford Lowry – Nov 25-29 London Sadlers Wells – Dec 2 – Jan 11 2015 Woking New Victoria – Jan 13-17 Nottingham Royal – Jan 20-24 Liverpool Empire – Jan 27-31 Norwich Royal – Feb 3-7 Birmingham Hippodrome – Feb 10-14 Milton Keynes Theatre – Feb 17-21 Bradford Alhambra – Feb 24-28 Southampton Mayflower – Mar 3-7 Cardiff Millennium Centre – Mar 10-14


Southsea Kings : Sep 6-11

05/06/2014 16:14

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BGE Dublin: Oct 21 – Nov 19 Oxford New: Nov 10-23 Manchester Palace: Dec 1 – Jan 11 2015 Aberdeen his Majesty’s: Jan 21 – Feb 8 Canterbury Marlowe: Feb 11 – Mar 1 Newcastle Royal: Mar 11-28 Glasgow King’s: Apr 29 – May 17 Sheffield Lyceum: May 27 – June 7 Southampton Mayflower: July 8-26 Plymouth Theatre Royal: Aug 28 – Sep 15 Milton Keynes Theatre: Aug 19 – Sep 16


Bradford Alhambra: Sep 2-13 Southampton Mayflower: Sep 16 – Oct 4


Manchester Palace: Oct 8-11 Milton Keynes Theatre: Nov 11-15 Liverpool Empire: Nov 18-22 London Coliseum: Jan 7-18 2015


Southampton Mayflower – Feb 12-28 2015 Newcastle Royal – April 1-18


Milton Keynes: Aug 26 – Sep 6 Newcastle Royal: Sep 9-20 Aberdeen His Majesty’s: Sep 23 – Oct 4 Edinburgh Festival: Oct 7-18 Wolverhampton Grand: Oct 21 – Nov 1 Nottingham Royal: Nov 4-15 Bristol Hippodrome: Nov 18-29 Leeds Grand: Dec 23 – Jan 4 2015 Cardiff Millenium Centre: Jan 14-24 Sheffield Lyceum: February 24 – March 7


Shrewsbury Severn Theatre: Sep 29 – Oct 4 Kings Lynn Corn Exchange: Oct 13-18


Manchester Palace: Sep 4 – Oct 4 Edinburgh Playhouse: Oct 8-25 Stoke Regent: Oct 28 – Nov 8 Hull New: Nov 11-22 Sunderland Empire: Nov 25 – Dec 6 Birmingham Alexandra: Dec 9 – Jan 4 2015 Canterbury Theatre: Jan 20-31, 2015


Stoke Regent: Sep 15-20 Bromley Churchill: Sep 22-27 Carlisle Sands: Oct 7-11 Liverpool Empire: Oct 14-18 Manchester Palace: Oct 21-25 Norwich Royal: Oct 28 – Nov 1 Darlington Civic: Nov 17-22

038_41_GTW_June14 Theatre Listings.indd 41


Liverpool Empire: Sep 10-13 Canterbury Marlowe: Sep 24-27 London Sadler’s Wells: Oct 7-11 Cardiff Millennium Centre: Oct 22-25 Newcastle Royal: Nov 5-8 Norwich Royal: Nov 19-22 Bradford Alhambra: Dec 3-6


Southampton Mayflower: July 11 – Sep 6 Sunderland Empire: Sep 18 – Nov 1 Cardiff Millennium Centre: Nov 6 – Jan 11


Riley Theatre: Sep 13 Hunlset Club Leeds: Sep14 Stanley & Audrey Burton: Sep14


York Grand Opera House: Sep 1-6 Southampton Mayflower: Sep 8-13 Dublin Bord Gais: Sep 15-20 Belfast Opera: Sep 22-27 Hull New: Sep 29 – Oct 4 Cardiff New: Oct 6-11 Oxford New: Oct 20-25 Sheffield Lyceum: Oct 27 – Nov 1 Southend Cliffs Pavilion: Nov 10-15 Wimbledon: Nov 17-22


Bath Royal – Nov 12-22 Manchester Opera House – Nov 25-29 Liverpool Empire – Dec 2-6 Eastbourne Congress – Dec 8-13 Glasgow Royal – Dec 15 – Jan 3 2015 Southampton Mayflower – Jan 6-10


Liverpool Arena: Nov 28 Glasgow Arena: Nov 29 Manchester Arena: Nov 30 Nottingham Arena: Dec 2 Newcastle Arena: Dec 3 Birmingham LG Arena: Dec 5 Leeds Arena: Dec 6 Cardiff Arena: Dec 7-8 Bournemouth BIC: Dec 10-11 London O2: Dec 13 Brighton Centre: Dec 14-15


Birmingham Hippodrome: Aug 9 - Sep 6 Liverpool Empire: Sep 16 - Oct 11 Southampton Mayflower: Oct 21 - Nov 15 Edinburgh Playhouse: Dec 19 - Jan 10, 2015 Plymouth Royal: Jan 20 - Feb 14, Bristol Hippodrome: Feb 18 - March 21, Sunderland Empire: Mar 31 - Apr 25, Aberdeen His Majesty’s: May 5-30, Salford Lowry: Jun 3 - July 25 When booking, please mention

Bristol Hippodrome: Aug 19 – Sep 17 Nottingham Royal: Sep 10-28 Belfast Opera House: Oct 8-19 June 2014 l


05/06/2014 16:14


Kieran Roberts

– Coronation Street

This month, Ticketmaster Groups went along to the world famous cobbles of Coronation Street to chat to Kieran Roberts, Creative Director for ITV Studios, about the long running soap and what fans can expect from a visit to the tour.


What’s your favourite Coronation Street moment?

There are so many unforgettable moments over so many years that it’s almost impossible to single one out. However, one that certainly stands out for me was the climax of the Richard Hillman storyline in early 2003, particularly the episode in which Richard confessed his crimes to Gail. It was the culmination of a story that had been running for more than a year and had gripped a huge audience. John Fay’s wonderful script was beautifully directed by Ian Bevitt and magnificently performed by Brian Capron and Helen Worth. If I had to choose a single moment from that episode it would be the unforgettable line, bringing gallows humour to a tense and emotional confrontation, in which Gail accused Richard of being “Norman Bates with a briefcase”.


What are the differences between the old and the new set?

The new set is a loving and faithful recreation of the old but there is a subtle though important difference of scale. Our new 7.7 acre site gives us more space to play with, so we’ve slightly increased things like the size of the houses and the width of Coronation Street itself. What we have now is more realistic and gives us much more flexibility in how

we choreograph and shoot scenes. And of course the extra bedroom window in the Rovers must be a relief to Steve and Michelle, who no longer have to share a room with Liz!

can people expect from the tour? Q What A

Coronation Street was produced from Quay Street for 53 years, which adds up to a huge number of episodes, stories, unforgettable characters and magical memories. To me, the tour is about sharing those magical memories of Coronation Street with the public and the fans of the show. From the stars’ dressing rooms to the props and costumes featured in great storylines to the iconic sets and the famous cobbles… this is a fun and fascinating journey through 53 years of the history of the nation’s street.

do you think your fans are so dedicated to the soap after 53 years? Q Why A

We never take our viewers and our fans for granted and are always hugely grateful for their support. I think they remain dedicated because we try very hard never to forget the history and the roots of the show. We are fortunate to have actors who have been with Coronation Street for many, many years and provide continuity with the early years. And we keep in close contact with the show’s creator, Tony

Warren, who keeps us on our toes and makes sure that we don’t forget what Coronation Street is, and always has been, about. Having said that, we work hard to keep the show fresh and relevant to a modern audience and we tell stories about life in contemporary Britain. Hopefully by keeping one eye on our rich heritage and the other on the modern world around us we can continue to create a show steeped in history but packed with engaging modern stories.

What inspires you with the storylines? Is it topical issues or do you get ideas from Q elsewhere?


Our guiding principle is that all stories should be character-driven, so we don’t go out looking for issues or for stories in the news. However, sometimes one of our characters naturally goes on a narrative journey that allows us to explore issues that matter to our viewers. The heart-breaking story of Hayley’s terminal illness last year was a good example. Of course it touched on important issues and sparked debate, but at its heart it was entirely true to her character and history and to the nature of Hayley and Roy’s unique and wonderful relationship. But all our stories are principally inspired by the characters themselves. And then created and delivered by an amazing team of writers and storyliners.

do you see Coronation Street in 10 years? Q Where A

I hope Coronation Street will still be hugely successful abroad as well as at home. Of course, we cannot take continued success for granted but we have a fantastically talented and hard-working team and a fabulous new state of the art production base in MediaCity UK. With those resources we have every reason to be optimistic that Coronation Street will remain Britain’s best-loved soap.

do you think makes Coronation Street the Tour so appealing for groups? Q What A

The tour is a fun and fascinating experience for anyone interested in the rich history of Coronation Street. But what better than to share that experience and that rich history with others? This unique opportunity is available for a limited time only, so call our dedicated Reservations Team on 08444 539000 for more information now.


Group Travel World ● June 2014

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The National Space Centre allows visitors to get close to space rockets. National Space Centre, Leicester



scientific Britain has been the birthplace of a plethora of technological inventions and scientific breakthroughs, from military vehicles to the World Wide Web. James Day examines the UK’s attractions looking to pass on this knowledge to interested groups


The strange exterior of the Space Centre. National Space Centre, Leicester

045_049_GTW_June14_Science.indd 45

or me, the most fascinating science has always been that which is focused beyond our own world. The UK might not have the climate or space programme for its own equivalent of Cape Canaveral in Florida, but we do have the National Space Centre in Leicester, the UK’s largest attraction dedicated to space exploration and space science. The building is filled with rockets, satellites, Martian surfaces and other amazing artefacts. The building also houses experts and a full Space Communications team. In the past the Centre has worked with BBC, CNN, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, National Geographic and many other media outlets to provide content and location for news and educational pieces. The museum features six hands-on galleries, over 150 interactive challenges, the UK’s largest planetarium and details on the amazing past, present and future of space exploration. Two packages are offered for groups. The Mercury Mission Package includes

entry into the galleries, free coach parking, fast track entry, a space crew briefing and free entry for the coach driver and organiser. This costs £8.50 per person, a saving of up to 35%. For an extra 50p per person, groups can opt for the Jupiter Mission Package, which adds the Planetarium show and 3D SIM ride. Group packages are also available for the site’s café. A wide range of school programmes are also available. For more information on these, visit the space centre’s excellent education website at education. T: 0116 258 2111 E: W:

The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Manchester, has a vision to be internationally recognised for its creative exploration of how science, innovation and industry have created and sustained modern society. The museum explores where science and industry met and June 2014 ● Group Travel World



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The museum also offers the ‘From Pong to Pokémon’ presentation, an exciting look at the history of gaming from the early 70s to the late 90s

S C I E N C E & T E C H N O LO GY the modern world began. MOSI’s newest gallery, the Revolution Manchester Gallery, opened on January 29, 2011. The gallery is divided into six sections: Transport Revolutions, Computer Age, Engineering, Energy, Cottonopolis and Structure of Matter. Each tells a story running from the past to future, detailing major technological developments which have happened in the city. Visitors to the Revolution Manchester Gallery get a bar-code card that activates a series of games and challenges. By registering your card, you’ll become part of the Gallery when your photo is displayed on a huge digital sculpture, alongside the people behind Manchester’s revolutionary achievements. You’ll also be able to revisit your gallery experience through your own web page. Any size of group is always welcome at MOSI, and talks or demonstrations can be arranged. Special offers for groups include discounted tickets to Special Exhibitions, plus free entry for the Group Organiser and a group welcome pack. On-site parking is available for minibuses (16-seat maximum) costing £7.00 before 0900hrs, £5.00 after 0900hrs and £3.00 after 1500pm – each of which must be reserved in advance. A convenient drop-off point is available for coaches. The museum will also plan an itinerary to suit your group. T: 0161 832 2244 W: Being a self-confessed nerd, I couldn’t in good conscience look at science and technology without finding something related to computer games. For groups with similar interests to myself, the Centre for Computing

Catalyst has a large premises which includes an observation platform History in Cambridge is a fine destination, with a variety of artefacts from the history of games consoles to general computing and information technology. Established as a pioneering educational charity to tell the story of the information age, the centre has an excellent offering for school groups. It is the only museum dedicated to the social and historical impact of computers in Europe. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1000 until 1700hrs (Sundays 1100 – 1600hrs). The museum welcomes school visits. Admission charges are £5.00 per student, with one free staff place for every ten students. School groups of 15 students or more are provided with a guided tour, which lasts for approximately one hour. Entertaining as well as informative, this presents an overview of computing

Catalyst offers a number of hands-on workshops

history and acts as an introduction to the collection. On top of tours of the museum, schools are offered a selection of workshops to allow children to be more involved with the subject. Learn to Program Workshops last for one hour and are conducted in the Hauser Studio, which is kitted out to resemble a 1980s classroom. Here, the museum has a number of specially modified BBC Micro computers ready for students to explore the basics of computer programming. Using the tried and tested BBC BASIC language, students will be taught to write and understand simple computer programs. Crucially, they will learn how to break down a problem into logical steps. The museum also offers the ‘From Pong to Pokémon’ presentation, an exciting look at the history of gaming from the early 70s to the late 90s. Students explore the social, historical and cultural impact of iconic games from Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Elite through to Sonic, Mario and Pokémon. A free option is the BBC Domesday System. The museum offers students the opportunity to explore the UK as it was in the mid-eighties using the iconic computer of the era. The BBC Domesday System presents thousands of pictures and descriptions of everyday life in the UK. It has interactive video, newsreel footage and information about practically every town and village in the UK. The museum’s original Domesday System, along with its exclusive PC based version are available, allowing children to use the original system and make comparisons with the modern equivalent. T: 01223 214446 E: W: For those looking for something a bit more science-fiction, the Doctor Who Experience in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay,

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S C I E N C E & T E C H N O LO GY is an interactive journey where visitors step through a crack in time and help the Doctor escape from his foes, fly the TARDIS and come face to face with the monsters from the famous, long-running TV show. The experience features exclusive filmed sequences with Matt Smith and is packed with special effects for a full multisensory experience. After the action-packed journey with the Doctor, there is much more to see and explore. The world’s most extensive collection of original Doctor Who props and artefacts includes the entire collection of the Doctors’ iconic costumes from 1963 to the present day; the David Tennant TARDIS set and the Doctor’s arch foes through the ages. Specially created sets, images and interactive experiences allow visitors to discover first-hand what happens behind the scenes of the iconic television series, how the special effects are created and even how to walk like a Doctor Who monster. Group tickets are available, priced at £13 per adult and £9 per child aged 5-16, with children under 5 going free. Family tickets are available at £38 which cover two adults and two children. For every 10 tickets purchased, an 11th is added free. For schools, tickets are priced at £7.25 each. One teacher ticket is provided per five students for primary schools and per 10 students for secondary schools, with additional teacher tickets priced at £9.25. T: 0844 801 3664 E: contact@doctorwho W: Those interested in military technology may wish to pay a visit to the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME). The REME Museum of Technology, located next to the Arborfield Garrison near Wokingham, was founded to preserve the heritage of REME and promote a broader understanding of the functions of the Corps, its interaction with society and its role of technical support to the army. To this end, it has a large number of exhibitions and galleries, including vehicles, aircraft, paintings and uniforms. Its military vehicle collection in particular is amongst the largest in the country. The museum has plenty to see to warrant a lengthy visit, including an onsite café for refreshments. The café serves light lunches from 1000 to 1330hrs, Monday to Friday. Seating is available for 24 people inside and another 24 on the veranda, though more outdoor seating may be available in the summer months. General group rates are £4.50 per head for a group of 10 or more, or £6.00 per head with a guided tour included. The museum regularly hosts education

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The experience features exclusive filmed sequences with Matt Smith and is packed with special effects for a full multi-sensory experience

The thrilling Doctor Who experience is perfect for fans of the show

The REME museum hosts many high-tech military vehicles. REME Museum

The Centre for Computing History includes many past artifacts from video gaming sessions for visiting school groups between 1000 and 1400hrs. The museum is open from 0900 – 1630hrs Monday to Thursday, closing half an hour earlier on Fridays. It opens from 1100 to 1600hrs on Sundays, but is closed on Saturdays. T: 0118 976 3375 E: W: Catalyst, in Widnes, Cheshire, is an interactive science centre and museum devoted to chemistry and how the products of chemistry are used in every day life. The museum aims to make science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and to inform them about science based industries and their role in our lives, past present and future. The centre has an educational focus, and schools can visit during term time to take advantage of its curriculum based education programme. During school holidays everyone can take part in special

events and activities. The museum boasts three interactive galleries with over 100 different exhibits to tug, tease and test. Visitors can also enjoy panoramic views across Cheshire from the rooftop Observatory reached by a scenic glass lift. For a hands on experience, Catalyst includes the Catalytic Discovery Lab, with activities such as ‘Spies and Codes’ and the ‘Catalyst Crime Scene Mystery.’ The site also hosts the Alchemy Theatre, where interactive shows with 3D and individual voting make each showing unique. Offers for groups include guided tours, hands-on workshops designed around the scout or brownie science badge, trail work booklets for children, free coach parking and reduced rates of £4.45 for adults and £3.55 for children and concessions. Workshops, films and guided tours add cost and must be pre-booked. T: 0151 420 1121 E: W: June 2014 ● Group Travel World



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From seaside to dales: English Heritage offers up the best of historic Yorkshire at castles and country houses CONISBROUGH CASTLE REOPENS FOLLOWING £1.1M RENOVATION

Conisbrough Castle (DN12 3BU) near Doncaster has just re-opened, offering much more for group visits, with a brand new visitor centre, state of the art interpretation, permanent exhibition, and shop. Inside Conisbrough’s unique octagonal castle keep, groups can now ‘meet’ larger than life wall-projected characters portraying medieval life and enjoy a range of audio visuals, films, models, furnishings and display panels which tell the history of the site, including the story of Hamelin Plantagenet, illegitimate half-brother to King Henry II, and his strong-willed wife, Lady Isobel de Warenne. The keep also houses a new exhibition, with artefacts ranging from an elegant medieval seal belonging to Lady Isabel to a 21st century fish and chip box featuring the castle on its packaging. Groups can also see a 1.5m high digital model of the castle keep, cut away to reveal an animated interior, with furniture, fixings, roaring fires and people going about their daily activities. 50

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There is also a virtual tour available for those unable to ascend the keep. ● LOCATION: Conisbrough Castle is NE of Conisbrough town centre, off the A630. ● COACH PARKING: Parking for four coaches off site, drop off area near the visitor centre. Further information: email or visit


Brodsworth Hall & Gardens (DN5 7XJ) also near Doncaster, offers the opportunity to explore the changing fortunes of a wealthy Victorian family and their servants in their beloved Yorkshire country house. And this year, during the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, groups can view the poignant exhibition ‘Duty Calls’, which looks at the impact both World Wars had on those who lived and worked at the hall and on its estate. Using a wide range of materials, from

An unusual array of objects on display at English Heritage sites across Yorkshire – from an elegant medieval seal to more modern trappings of everyday life, like biscuit tins and fish and chip boxes - reveals Yorkshire’s history through the centuries to visiting groups estate and personal archives, to oral histories recorded by those who remember the house through the years, the exhibition – which runs until March 2015 - brings the wartime stories of Brodsworth to life. Many young men left their jobs in Brodsworth’s household, gardens and estate to serve in the First World War, some never to return… amongst them Gardener John Smeaton. Amongst the artefacts on display, groups can see John’s ‘Death Penny’ sent after his death to his family, together with a letter from King George V. Brodsworth Hall is no glossily restored historical showpiece, frozen in grandeur. ‘Conserved as found’ in the 1980s, today it reflects its original opulence, but it is well-worn… and full of surprises, with 1,000s of objects, fixtures and fittings – from biscuit tins, to beds and electric fires and magazines – returned to their exact position. Outside, the restored gardens, planted as they would have been during the 1890s, offer all-year interest, with a fern dell, planted with unusual specimens and an alpine garden, inspired by the travels of

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Easily combined with a trip to Whitby Abbey is nearby Scarborough Castle, which has for centuries defended the shoreline from the prominent headland over Scarborough Bay the estates wealthy Victorian owners. Pre-booked guided tours for groups of 11–50 lasting around 1½ hours - including morning tours outside normal opening hours - are available at a small extra charge. Light refreshments are available in the Victorian tearoom – it is advisable to pre-book. l LOCATION: In Brodsworth, five miles NW of Doncaster, off the A635 Barnsley Road; from Junction 37 of the A1 (M). l COACH PARKING: three free spaces on site. Further information: Email brodsworth.hall@english-heritage. or visit uk/brodsworthhall

OTHER MUST-SEE ENGLISH HERITAGE SITES IN YORKSHIRE Stunningly beautiful and atmospheric, Rievaulx Abbey (YO62 5LB) at Rievaulx near Helmsley, draws thousands of visitors to experience the special tranquillity of the ruins of what was one of the most powerful monasteries in Europe. There is a museum and exhibition to enjoy and delicious Yorkshire fare is available in the self-service tearoom. Pre-booked themed tours are also available for groups of 11-50. l LOCATION: 2 miles N of Helmsley on Stokesay Road (B1357). l COACH PARKING: Available in the site car park – must be pre-booked. Further information: Email rievaulx. or visit rievaulxabbey Whitby Abbey

Organisers taking a group to the Yorkshire seaside resorts should schedule

in a visit to the dramatic ruins of Whitby Abbey (YO22 4JT). Sitting high above the town, the abbey was Founded by St Hilda in 657, and became a shining light of Christianity in a powerful ‘Dark Ages’ kingdom. However, it is nowadays perhaps best known for being the place where the Synod of 664 decided the date of Easter and the inspiration behind the story of Dracula. An indoor History Gallery reveals the fascinating history of the site with archaeological artefacts, interactive displays of personalities from its past and digital reconstructions of the abbey through history. l LOCATION: On the cliff top on the side of Whitby, follow signs to Whitby Abbey. l COACH PARKING: Coach parking in Abbey Headland car park (charge payable). Drop off at the front of the visitor centre or in Abbey Headland car park. Further information: Email whitby. or visit whitbyabbey Easily combined with a trip to Whitby Abbey is nearby Scarborough Castle (YO11 1HY), which has for centuries defended the shoreline from the prominent headland over Scarborough Bay. The walls of this 12th-century ruined fortress have seen a turbulent history from the Bronze Age up until the Second World War. An exhibition explores key historical moments and houses archaeological finds unearthed at the site, including a spectacular Bronze Age Sword. A self-service tearoom serves a selection of snacks, and hot and cold drinks. l LOCATION: On Castle Road, E of Scarborough town centre on the headland between the N and S bays of Scarborough. l COACH PARKING: Drop-off point at bottom of the hill. Coach parking in town centre. Further information: Email or visit

Groups of 11 or more people receive a 15% discount at English Heritage properties (10% at Stonehenge). A tour leader and coach driver are admitted free with each group. Free familiarisation visits can be arranged for the travel trade. Special themed tours are available for pre-booked groups at many properties. To discuss opportunities for group visits, or to order a complimentary copy of the 2014/15 Group Visits Guide, call 020 7973 3529 or email Brodsworth Hall and gardens

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The draws of Yorkshire

The Mill, Batley houses a number of big brands


he Mill, Batley has over 40 retail stores under one huge roof. Customers enjoy an eclectic mix of independent stores and outlet shopping in a department store environment. The extensive range of furniture, homewares and gifts, supports a wide fashion offer of favourite brands at outlet prices; Klass, Alexon, Planet and Jacques Vert all enjoy a permanent and minimum 30% discount off recommended retail price. Other offerings include sweets, stationery, luggage, wholefoods, outdoor gear, sportswear, leisure and footwear. The Mill’s shopping experience is enhanced by a choice of four restaurants – two of which are licensed and have outdoor terraces. Group visitors enjoy a 20% discount on all food purchased in their restaurants. The restaurants are: l Massarella’s Restaurant – the biggest and a family friendly restaurant; l Hannah’s Traditional Tea Rooms – specialising in patisserie and high teas; l Deli Blue – an authentic pizzeria and deli counter; and l Café Nova – for gourmet coffees and light bites. The Mill’s group benefits package includes a meet and greet service, exclusive offers for group visitors with extra discounts at many stores throughout the centre and a £15 cash payment and meal voucher for the coach driver. The centre is an all-weather covered site and is accessible to all. T: 01924 423172 E: W: The National Coal Mining Museum provides a great day out with a unique opportunity to travel 140m underground down one of Britain’s oldest working mines. Situated in a rural setting, it provides a genuine insight into the hardworking lives of miners through the ages. The Museum is open daily from 1000 until 1700hrs. Admission to the museum and underground tours is free, with tours running regularly from 1000 until 1515hrs. A highlight for many visitors is the chance to go back in time, deep underground to discover the hidden world of mining through the centuries. There are various options for a group visit to the Museum. You may wish to explore the galleries, displays and buildings independently, some or all of the


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group might like to go on an underground tour. You could choose one of the museum’s themed visits, which include a talk or a tour by one of the curators, guides or living history interpreters, or if you have a special interest (or limited time) the museum can design a bespoke visit. Groups are advised to allow around three hours for their visit. The Underground Tour takes approximately one hour and 20 minutes, although shorter tours can be pre-arranged. Familiarisation visits by group organisers are welcomed. For pre-booked groups a ‘meet & greet’ service is available. Coach drivers receive a free drinks voucher and, if a catering package is booked for a minimum of 10 people, a free meal voucher for the driver is also available.

The National Coal Mining Museum offers a number of tailored talks, tours and demonstrations for pre-booked groups, a great way to delve deeper into an area of special interest. Underground tours are in parties of up to 19 people plus a guide. Staff will divide the party at the Museum. If your party consists mainly of children there should be at least two adults with each group of 17. Children under five years old are not permitted underground. Underground tour notes are available in English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Urdu. Special catering packages/menus can be arranged for morning coffee, afternoon tea, hot and cold lunches and out-of-hours visits. The Café seats up to 80 people. Function rooms are available for bigger groups or private dining.


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The Deep, in Hull, describes itself as ‘the worlds only submarium’ T: 01924 848806 E: W: The Deep is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world and is home to 3,500 fish and water creatures, including sharks and rays, a colony of Gentoo penguins (new for 2014) and Europe’s only pair of green sawfish. Located in Hull, The Deep tells the story of the world’s oceans through the marine life on display and interactive and audiovisual presentations. As an education and conservation charity, The Deep is dedicated to informing visitors about the world’s oceans and the challenges they face. The Deep offers a group booking

discount for parties of 10 or more paying visitors (a saving of £3 per ticket). Essential carers are admitted free of charge on a 1:1 basis for visitors who have additional needs. The Deep can be busy, both in term time and during the school holidays, so large groups are advised to consider visiting later in the day (from 1300hrs onwards). As well as discounted entry, groups can also benefit from fast track entry, free coach parking, free coach driver entry and a free coach driver lunch. Bookings must be made two weeks in advance. The Deep offers special packages for school groups, welcoming over 30,000 primary and secondary school pupils annually to its purpose built learning centre. A visit including an educational

York Archeological Trust York Archaeological Trust’s attractions; Jorvik, DIG, Barley Hall and The Richard III & Henry VII Experiences uniquely bring all of York’s rich history together to create a distinctive day out in the city – all at an exclusive price. York Archaelogical Trust’s attractions have undergone a series of major refurbishments over the last few years to ensure groups are properly catered for. All of the attractions now offer guaranteed


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entry time with pre-booking, as well as free familiarisation visits for group organisers, free admission for group leaders and coach drivers and group discounts for groups of 15 or more. Jorvik is the most famous of the attractions. The centre is built on the site of one of the most famous discoveries from modern archaeology – a series of houses, workshops and backyards from the Viking-age city of Jorvik as it stood

workshop relevant to the pupils’ key stage costs just £6 per pupil. T: 01482 381000 E: W: Over 900 years old, Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. Visitors can explore every corner of the castle, which withstood a three-year siege from 1643-5 during the English Civil War. Even now, historic finds are being discovered. Recently, an ancient well was uncovered, helping to explain how the castle garrison survived the siege. Every visitor to the Castle is given a comprehensive Tour Sheet (available in 10 languages) with 40 drawings and

1,000 years ago. As a special incentive for groups, Jorvik can offer groups their very own Viking tour guide for an extra £1 per head, or give access to the ‘set’ of Jorvik, guided by a host, to see up-close details which enabled the city to be recreated. This experience costs an additional £5 per head. DIG is an interactive experience where visitors can grab a trowel and excavate a replica dig site. This is followed by a 3D audiovisual tour of what life would have been like in the Roman, Viking, Medieval and Victorian periods investigated. Micklegate Bar Museum allows visitors to delve into York’s bloody past, looking at the battles which have taken place within the city and the surrounding countryside, from the Viking invasion to the English Civil War. Barley Hill is a stunning medieval townhouse once home to the Priors of Nostell and Mayor of York. The building was restored in the 1980s and has been decorated to replicate what it would have looked like as the Snawsell home in 1483. Exclusive offers for groups include a mead reception in the great hall for £1 per person, along with the same group discounts and entry offers as the Archaeological Trust’s other attractions.


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Some of the world’s favourite products are developed by York’s renowned chocolate-making families, including Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s YO R K S H I R E descriptions of interesting features. Skipton Castle offers National Curriculum related activities and worksheets for History, Science, Technology and Geography and a Teachers’ Resource Pack. School parties of all ages can visit from £4.50 per head, with one free supervising teacher per five children. Guides are available for pre-booked parties of 15 or more at no extra cost. T: 01756 792442 E: W: York’s Chocolate Story, located in the heart of the city, offers groups an engaging and informative guided tour through the history of York’s most famous confectioners. Some of the world’s favourite products are developed by York’s renowned chocolate-making families, including Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s. Groups

Visitors can learn how to taste like an expert can learn all about chocolate’s origins, how to taste it like an expert and even try their hand at creating a chocolate treat to take home and enjoy. There is so much for groups to do all year round at Chocolate Story, including

chocolate-making demonstrations from skilled chocolatiers in the Chocolate Kitchen and a host of fascinating chocolate artefacts to see. Once groups have explored chocolate-making and its history, they can shop and indulge in the attraction’s café and shop. Throughout December, groups can immerse themselves in all things Christmas at Chocolate Story. Stock up at the delicious festive fayre in the shop – perfect for filling stockings, or enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine in the café and get acquainted with characters from Christmas past. The attraction is also working with Castle Howard to offer groups an unforgettable day out at two award winning Yorkshire destinations with a 15% package saving. This festive tour is available from November 22. T: 0845 498 9411 W:

Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall Estate Nestled just a short distance from the M1 and A1 motorway in Leeds, Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall both offer enchanting days out with historic houses, picturesque parkland and gardens, evocative collections, bespoke tours, gift shops and cafes. Often described as the ‘Hampton Court of the North,’ Temple Newsam House and Estate is a truly impressive TudorJacobean mansion set within a Capability Brown landscape. It is home to one of the most important collections of decorative art and has 40 beautifully restored rooms open to view. Explore the treasures of silver, ceramics, fine art, Chippendale furniture and original wallpaper and discover the stories of the people who lived there. Next door is Home Farm where you can see a variety of rare breed animals, then explore the stunning lakes and designated collections of plants with delphiniums, phlox and rhododendrons and lastly take time to visit the gift shops and Stable Courtyard Tea room. At the charming Edwardian country estate of Lotherton Hall, groups can explore the Edwardian house once owned

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by the Gascoigne family, with a treasure trove of fine art collections, 52 hectares of grounds, including a red deer park, elegant formal gardens, medieval chapel, an award winning bird garden with 150 species, historic stables and carriage displays, café and gift shop. Two exhibitions are also on display including ‘Duty Calls’ (until Dec), which looks at the theme of Family Duty and Honour and tells the story of members of the Gascoigne family of Lotherton and the war that touched their lives. Running alongside this is ‘Dressed for Battle’ which

explores how clothes and style have been affected by war. This exhibition will close in September in order for the space to be completely refurbished and from March 2015 it will be the home to the Leeds Fashion Galleries with a debut exhibition titled ‘Fabulous Fifties Fashions.’ At both attractions, dedicated teams are available to discuss group needs and tailor bespoke visits. Admission charges are reduced for pre-booked groups of 15 people or more.

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Markets are great destinations for those looking for bargains or local produce


Marvellous Markets


ritain’s markets have formed the backbone of the country since the Middle Ages. People gathering to trade formed the towns and cities that we see today and luckily for us, some of those original markets are still going strong. Visiting a traditional market not only supports the local community but also makes for the perfect day out perfect for people watching, sampling new food and drink, and buying interesting, locallymade products that you simply couldn’t find anywhere else.

RURAL GEMS The countryside towns of Britain often retain that original marketplace feel, where you can almost feel yourself stepping back in time. Match that with beautiful rural scenery and you’ve got the makings of a great day out. Wyre’s markets are brilliantly set up for group travel, with several drop-off points and designated parking at Fleetwood. The area’s council is very proud of the fact that there’s a local market for almost every day of the week. The stalls of Fleetwood bring in the crowds on Tuesdays, Thursdays, 58

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We’ve gathered together some of the UK’s biggest and most popular markets, all of which can be easily visited by coach. So, where’s first on your list?

Fridays and Saturdays to peruse the mixture of household goods, clothing and foodstuffs. Why not take a stroll along the prom and dip your weary toes in the sea afterwards? Also in Lancashire, Bury Market has been the centre of this thriving town for over five hundred years. A fantastic wet weather market, most of the 370 stalls are under cover and there is also a more informal space for casual sellers in Market Parade. Flogging everything from footwear to household items and jewellery, this is a bargain-hunters paradise. It’s also big on food, with the Meat and Fish Hall forming the centrepiece to the market. The best days to visit are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Nearby is the lovely Burrs Country Park – perfect for a spot of relaxation – as well as the East Lancs Steam Railway and the Fusilier Museum. As you would expect


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MARKETS from the winner of Most Coach Friendly Shopping Attraction 2011, there’s free coach parking, a passenger drop-off facility and a new resting room for drivers. Abergavenny is a very pretty little town which holds its well-visited market every Tuesday – one of the major markets in Wales, with around 200 stalls filling indoor and outdoor positions to showcase a wide range of wares. Coaches can drop off and park at the bus station just around the corner. The town is surrounded by the gorgeous rural scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park and if you have time, it might be worth stopping to visit Caerphilly Castle, which offers discounts for group bookings.

FIT FOR FOODIES London’s Borough Market is the undisputed queen of the UK’s gourmet food markets. Historic

A little market history d trading centres. Towns grew up aroun the right to hold a es, From Medieval tim ly by the Crown, often market was given on ries. By Elizabethan ste to lords and mona commonly run by a times, markets were s by a particular me eti corporation, som guild of merchants. eloped, buildings As market towns dev the 1700s, grand were created and by h as those in Leeds suc – corn exchanges e architectural and Bristol – added som Covered gs. din glamour to procee specially hin wit d use ho ts, marke s, formed the first constructed building first of these was e Th ts. rke ma d covere rket in 1822. Ma n’s Liverpool’s St. Joh

Leicester Market is the largest covered market in Europe and bursting with modern influences (ostrich egg omelette, anyone?), farmers have regularly set up stall here since the Romans first built London Bridge. Nestled under the arches, you’ll find lots of delicious food and drink to sample, eat and take home, from marshmallow and liquorice to wheatgrass shots, pies and cured meats. It is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Coach parking is available nearby on Southwark Street and just off Tooley Street. In the north, Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market takes the crown. This is the biggest market in Scotland from which shoppers can gaze up at the city’s beautiful castle: a dramatic setting. It’s open every Saturday with over 50 stalls. The real treats are the local specialities such as Arran cheese, salmon and heather honey, as well as the more unusual foods reared and produced in the area, such as water buffalo and fruit wines. It’s not just food and drink on offer though;

visitors will also find stalls selling local wool and knitwear, cosmetics and leather goods. Coaches can drop off and pick up passengers a short walk away in Waterloo Place with parking available on Regent Road or in one of the city’s designated coach parks. The award for the UK’s biggest farmers’ market goes, however, to Winchester’s fantastic offering. Everything sold on site must be grown within 10 miles of the Hampshire borders. It’s allegedly a favourite hunting ground for chef Rick Stein, and sells plants, shrubs and trees alongside food and drink. It runs on the second and last Sunday of the month from 0900 until 1400hrs. Coaches can set down and pick up nearby on the Broadway or Sussex Street, with parking available at Worthy Lane near the train station. If you’re thinking of heading that way in the autumn, why not time your trip to coincide with the Winchester Cathedral Harvest Festival? Held across the first weekend of October, there’s not just food stalls but

Leicester Market has a strong multicultural feel

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p00_GTW_0614 Monmouthshire 05/06/2014 15:41 Page 1

Abergavenny Market


Open Tuesday Friday and Saturday Flea Market Every Wednesday For a full list of our markets and events Craft – Antique - and Car boot Sales Please Phone Geoff or Adam on 01873735811

Caldicot Market Open Every Tuesday and Saturday Phone Mac on 07764 362599

Monmouth Bridge Market Shire HallMarket Every Saturday Phone Darren on 07825 761900


Every Friday and Saturday

Traditional British market wares G



are These blood sausages r 100 years old. ove ipe rec al ion dit tra arkets all over They are sold in superm buy them the country, but you can at Bury’s Open rce sou the m straight fro Market.


sta Feast your eyes on the ian sarees Ind al ion dit tra g lin sel d you’ll be in Leicester Market an er world. Buy them oth an to ed ort nsp tra asion or to make to wear for a special occ into cushion covers.

LAMB KIRKGATE’S WHOLEkgate Market Kir The butchers of Leeds seriously and take their work very er a service are always keen to off . Where else n’t the supermarkets do b, have it lam ole wh a y bu could you ked for the pac d prepared, dressed an s? eye ur yo of nt fro freezer in

Wyre’s Markets are convenient for group travel entertainment such as falconry displays, horse drawn carts and tractor rides!


CITY STALLS Exploring market stalls is an unbeatable way of soaking the flavour and atmosphere of a city. You’ll hear accents, the local turn of phrase, and find locally produced items to take home. Don’t let travelling in a large group put you off visiting some of the fantastic city markets around the country. Most are highly accessible and have waiting points convenient for the market places. Leicester Market offers something a little different with its strong multicultural flavour. Not many realise it’s the largest covered market in the whole of Europe and its influences reach far beyond the continent, with traders from 25 countries and 300 stalls. As well as local and exotic fare for sale the brand new food hall, you’ll find clothing, restaurants, coffee shops and a huge haberdashery within its limits. The indoor market is open from Tuesday

of org Choose from a range de using hops ma s ale d vegan bottle s. They sell at grown in the Cotswold on the 2nd and t rke ma rs me Stroud far nth. mo 4th Saturdays of the

Bury market has everything from jewelry to footwear until Saturday and the first Thursday of every month is the fantastic farmers’ market. Plus, for one Sunday each May, the Summer Food & Drink Festival takes over the market, welcoming 20,000 visitors through the doors for a food lover’s celebration with live music and entertainment.

In Bristol, St Nicholas’ Market has been going strong since 1743. The surrounding Georgian architecture of the Glass Arcade lends this particular market a unique character and atmosphere. The normal market runs Monday to Saturday. GTW suggests stopping by on a Friday or Saturday when The Nails Market joins the party with traders selling a wide range of gift items such as artworks, jewellery and vintage clothing. Although St Nicholas is right in the centre of the city, coach dropoff points are available a few streets away, on either King Street or Colston Street, with coach parking at Cabot Circus just five minutes away. The ancient city of Durham has held markets since Norman and Saxon times. Now, the indoor stalls are housed within a beautiful cast iron-roofed market hall built in the 1600s. Perfect for a rainy day, the fifty or so stalls sell all manner of items, with favourites including lace, traditional sweets, fossils, children’s clothing and even Turkish lamps! Locals love the oldfashioned tobacconist. There are lots of other things worth seeing in the city once you’re finished. The interior of the cathedral is definitely worth a visit. Coaches can pick up and drop off passengers just up the road on Freeman’s Place and there is plenty of parking available around the city. ■

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B R E W E R I E S , D I S T I L L E R I E S & V I N E YA R D S

Brewery, distillery and wine tasting tours for groups


A vast range of activities are on hand for groups looking to sample some favourite tipples at their leisure. Amy Moore details a generous selection of appealing attractions within the UK and beyond

arefully crafted since 1780, the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin is a destination steeped in local history and heritage, voted one of the top attractions in the area on TripAdvisor. Having been established by a man of the same name, its bottle is now characteristic with deep greens and velvet burgundy’s stamped with the archaic crest, associating a rather regal feel to the brand. An insight into the three tier distillation system has been routinely set in place for groups, offering those the opportunity to stand witness to the old kilns previously used to manufacture, as well as the iconic water wheels and antique warehouse. Visitors will be taken on an expert led route accompanied by unforgettable architectural scenery. Each tour lasts a little over an hour and includes complementary refreshment, with an additional invitation to sample whisky tasting. Reduced group rates are convenient for parties of 15 or more. Why not stop off at the attractive Jameson Bar on your way out? Serving a delectable choice of blended coffees

and cocktails, some complemented with ginger and lime; guaranteed to be any regular’s drink of choice. For smaller groups, the Clann Day Out package provides a guided tour, whisky tasting and a two course luncheon at the venue’s deluxe Malt House Restaurant. For larger groups specifically, the ‘Shindig’ package boasts much of the same, with live Irish entertainment thrown in for good measure. T: +353 (21) 4613594 E: Or alternatively email W: York Brewery first opened its doors to the public in May 1996 and has since remained pivotal in producing top quality ale, brewing within the city walls after a 40 year absence. York is indeed naturally renowned for its localised heritage, with the venue set mere minutes from the historical entrance to the city. That’s a reason to visit in itself, with a site that dates back to the late 16th century. Once inside the building, guests are welcomed by an astounding 20 barrel brewing plant, six open top

Denbies Wine Estate boasts a sublime setting amidst the splendid Surrey hills

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B R E W E R I E S , D I S T I L L E R I E S & V I N E YA R D S fermenters and five conditioning tanks. A heightened viewing platform has been tailored to guided tours primarily; offering a voyeuristic view of the main fermenting room. Such beers brewed include York Minster Ale, Guzzle bottled beers and the classic Nordic Fury, accompanied with floral taste. Tailored tours are a highlight for any group visiting, as guests are welcomed into the authentic taproom bar to enjoy a drink at their leisure. Each tour lasts approximately 40 minutes in total, routinely operated on a rotary basis of four times a day. Tours are not recommended for those with limited access due to stairs en route. For corporate groups specifically, meeting rooms dominated by Victorian style bay windows are conveniently located within the city centre, comfortably accommodating 2-30 people at a time. All packages can be tailored to group requirements, with those attending receiving a whopping 50% off brewery tours. T: 01904 621162 E: W: One of England’s best known vineyards, the Three Choirs Vineyard boasts a sublime setting within the idyllic Cotswold countryside; housing a number of wines, ales and ciders. Established in 2003, Whittington’s Brewery is located within the spacious estate, which has been aptly named after the well-travelled Dick Whittington. This extended passion is reflected in inspirational quotes dotted throughout the venue’s website. A visit would not be complete without a standing in the impressive five barrelled brewing plant; making use of the mash tun method formulated to produce the ever

Focus The Famous on Grouse Experience

Recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence, The Famous Grouse Experience remains on record as a renowned 5 star attraction which offers a unique taste of Scotland. Established in 1775, each tour is hosted at Scotland’s oldest distillery to date, with the venue


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Wadsworth Brewery employs working Shire horses to help deliver its ales popular beer brand. A detailed emphasis is placed on naturally sourced and local ingredients throughout, with the business promoting a strong association with The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), which strives to consistently improve the quality of produce. Wine created on the premises is available to purchase;

denoting a suitably rustic charm that is both characteristic and quirky in nature. A vast improvement has been made to the venue’s group facilities, as guests can behold a magnificent blending mechanism, which uncannily mimics the bottle neck of the branded whisky. The recognisable ‘grouse’ mascot has been dotted throughout, keeping visitors on their toes. Other highlights include having a picture taken with the largest whisky bottle to ever be produced. Of course, a seasonal favour will be available to purchase upon departure, with an additional option to add a personalised message, the perfect souvenir or gift. Home to one of the country’s favourite Scottish blended whiskies, the ever popular venue is said to welcome an average of 120,000 visitors per year with its modernised art deco appeal. It is no doubt a growing hot spot for groups, with dramatic refurbishments made to its café and bar area, as well as its welcome

accompanied by special discounts for bulk orders. British cuisine is served at the inhouse restaurant or for an alternative fine dining experience, groups can settle for a dainty wine and cheese affair. For meat lovers, a hearty BBQ is hosted on the terrace of the Vine Room, with the deluxe restaurant featuring a special set menu on a Sunday.

lounge, where visitors can simply stroll in and book a tour. A new tasting bar has been opened, allowing visitors a closer view of the whisky blending process. The Famous Grouse Suite sets out to comfortably accommodate group businesses. T: To book a tour call 01764 656565 E: SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS W:

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Denbies Wine Estate inhabits 265 acres of planting plot produced from the orchard to the bottle. After the Tour there is an opportunity to sample some of the ciders and perries and purchase some cider to take home. There is a restaurant and a tea room on site and visitors can incorporate lunch, a cream tea or a ploughman’s lunch with a tour, using one of the mill’s tour packages. The shop, tea room and restaurant are all set in a beautifully restored 17th century courtyard based around the Henry Weston garden. T: 01531 660108 W:

The beautifully restored Westons Cider Mill restaurant area Parties of up to 25 are well catered for with a 4 or 5 course meal should it be arranged. In the winter months, packages come inclusive of a two hour cookery demonstration followed by wine tasting and tour. A hotel and guest lodge on-site is available to book should a longer break be desired. T: 01531 890223 E: W: Family run since 1984, the Denbies Wine Estate proposes a collective charm, with a vineyard that dates back a little less than 30 years. Situated amidst the splendid Surrey hills, guests are amply welcomed by an abundance of woodland walks and trails surrounding the plot. The spacious estate inhabits 627 acres in total, with a dedicated planting plot comprised of 265 acres of chalky soil renowned for its past agricultural accreditations. The Surrey Hills Brewery welcomes those who find themselves in the area to enjoy a good old fashioned brew, perhaps before embarking on one of the three tours available. Located at the tail end of the estate, new purpose built equipment aims to provide the highest quality standard beverage. The attraction is easily accessible by car, train, bus and bike for the more adventurous, with flexible opening hours dependent on the changing seasons. Indoor and outdoor tours are available to book, with group discounts on a

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select number of wine tasting experiences. Why not hop aboard the authentic outdoor train? Estimated to provide a round trip of 50 minutes with reduced rates on groups of 10 or more. Stop off at The Gallery Restaurant for a stunning panoramic view of the vineyard and beyond, with group reservations catering for parties of 10 or more. Bringing nature indoors, The Conservatory Restaurant invites a unique dining experience seated amidst tropical plantations and a super water feature with exotic fish display. Additional group booking information is available to view on the venue’s website. T: For group bookings call 01306 742002 or for brewery tours call 01306 883603 E: To make a group reservation email or to book a brewery tour contact enquiry@ W: or www.surreyhills. Groups can go behind the scenes and discover how Westons Cider is made at Westons Cider Mill. Westons Cider has been produced in the Herefordshire village of Much Marcle for over 130 years. The attraction’s experienced tour guides will take groups behind the scenes and through the heart of this thriving cider mill. Hear how cider is

Wadworth Brewery is located in the heart of the thriving market town of Devizes, the most central town in Wiltshire. Established in 1875, this independent family owned brewery is steeped in history, heritage and traditional skills, as well as a wide collection of carefully hand crafted ales. With an on-site sample bar, brewery shop and visitor centre, there’s certainly much more to Wadworth than meets the eye. A visit to see the brewery’s award winning working shire horses, which are responsible for delivering ales across town each week day, is highly recommended. Scheduled tours are available daily at 1100 and 1400hrs, catering for up to 60 people, with prices starting from £6.00 per person. Brewery Tours include a visit to the main production areas, the on-site Sign Studio – where guests can gaze at unique hand painted pub signs, followed by a visit to the stables. The tours then finish with a tutored beer sampling session. The brewery offers complimentary places for the group organiser and coach driver, with refreshments included. Coach parking is also available free of charge on site with prior arrangement. The visitor centre is an ideal rest stop for any group party, with refreshments and Wadworth’s famous 6X beer fruit cake available Monday to Saturday from 10001700hrs. The visitor centre is free to enter and is home to a well stocked gift shop, bar and self guided exhibition, taking visitors from 1875 through to the present day. T: 01380 732277 E: W: June 2014 l Group Travel World


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and picking-up by coach couldn’t be easier in Norwich

Since its foundation 25 years ago the CTC has become the leading organisation for promoting travel and tourism by coach

C TC B U L L E T I N From Paul Ovington, CTC Public Relations

2014 Mintel UK Coach Holidays report


he 2014 Mintel Coach Holidays UK report has just been published, and while much of the information and statistics it reveals are well known within the industry it does contain some useful insights into future trends for coach tourism. However somewhat surprisingly important elements such as London theatre visits and cross Channel ferry traffic are largely ignored which means the overall picture presented by Mintel is not necessarily comprehensive. “The coach holiday industry has suffered even more than

other travel sectors during the past five years,” it says. “However, when economic storm clouds finally lift, longterm prospects appear to be good, due to the demographic boost of an ageing population. Competition for the over-55 travel pound will be tough, but coach package tours offer a high level of convenience and a sense of ‘secure adventure’. Coach tours are never going to be to everyone’s taste, but should remain a thriving niche market. “As with many other holiday sectors, growth is likely to be highest at the premium and budget poles of the market. Premium escorted tours

offering more adventurous itineraries travelling on luxury coaches should see strong demand over the coming years.” Mintel estimates that in 2013 there were five million overnight holiday trips involving coach/bus travel at home and abroad and the total value of all expenditure on these holidays was estimated to be almost £1.6bn. Some 41% of those who have taken coach holidays over the past five years are currently retired. Between 2013 and 2018, the over-65 population is expected to increase by 9.7% and in the longer term the number of

CTC at the CoralEclipse day

VisitEngland Coach Prospectus We are working with VisitEngland to produce a best practice guide to help destinations grow their coach and group tourism businesses. The report due out this month will provide guidance and examples of best practice to help local authorities, resorts, destinations and attractions understand the needs of the coach and its passengers and what they need to do to welcome what for many is an untapped yet profitable market. It’s still a surprise to find our market ignored through a lack of understanding of what coach operators and group travel organisers need. Indeed many local authorities continue to put up barriers to welcoming coaches and have introduced measures to stop coaches having dropoff zones as well as closing central and even out of town coach parks.

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over-60s is forecast to rise by 45% between 2014 and 2034, reaching an estimated 21.7 million. Especially fast growth is projected for the over-75 group, expected to rise by 78% by 2014, boosted by the postwar baby boom and by rising longevity. However attitudes towards coach holidays are generally positive among those who go on them – of those who have taken a coach holiday in the past five years, two thirds agree they ‘offer good value for money’, half agree they ‘offer a relaxing way to see different places’ and 37% see them as ‘great for avoiding transport hassles’.

CTC members were guests of Newmarket Racecourses at their annual Group Race Day in May. Pictured from left are Kelly Holmes, Groups on Track, Stephen Gray and Kay Bennett of Grays Travel, Margaret Wright and Robert Easton of Eastons Coaches and Michelle Kerr of Newmarket Racecourses.

Consumer website The CTC’s consumer website which exclusively promotes coach operator members, has been redesigned and rebuilt and launches this month.

The site has seen visitor numbers more than double to a peak of more than 20,000 in the summer thanks to the widespread publicity we gain for coach tourism in national and regional consumer media as a result of our highly successful press trips. The site is visually more attractive

Groups On Track and Jockey Club Racecourses are inviting CTC operators to join them for the Coral-Eclipse Day at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher on Saturday, July 5, for what is the pinnacle of the Surrey racecourse’s racing and social calendar. The day will include a welcome and introduction from Groups On Track and Jockey Club Racecourses, optional tour of Sandown Parks facilities, a private suite for the day overlooking the Parade Ring and a buffet lunch.

and easier for visitors to navigate, while members will be able to input their own late availability and tour highlights directly, to keep content fresher. For further details on all CTC events contact admin@

June2014 ●


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For Group Travel Organisers, a page with useful tips, tourism gossip and travel product reviews


5 of the best: historic rock locations in London FROM BRYAN O’ REGAN, CITY MUSIC TOURS

The Beatles’ final gig 3 Savile Row

Elvis’ secret visit to London

Tin Pan Alley Denmark Street, Soho

The Hard Rock Cafe Vault

Soho Square It was here, on a cold January day in 1969, that the curtain finally fell on the spellbinding career of music’s most famous foursome, The Beatles. Having just finished their final album Let It Be, the sessions of which are immortalized in the Michael LindsayHogg film of the same name, the four embers and blues legend Billy Preston gathered together on the open rooftop for an impromptu 42 minute set.

150 Old Park Lane

It is claimed that Tommy Steele, widely regarded as Britain’s first teen idol and rock and roll star, spent a day with Elvis in London in 1958, which would make that the second time The King had ever set foot in the UK (apart from a quick fuel stop on his way to the US after completing his army service). Steele is rumoured to have showed Elvis the sights of London but the story is still being disputed to this day.

From 1911 to 1992, Tin Pan Alley was the home of British music publishers, many songwriters and the renowned Giaconda Cafe. This cafe was frequented by David Bowie, who camped outside in his converted ambulance in an effort to meet the right people in the area. At 4 Denmark Street , the Rolling Stones recorded their first album in 1964 and two doors up was an apartment once occupied by members of the Sex Pistols!

The Vault houses the most valuable pieces of memorabilia in the Hard Rock Cafe’s collection. Items on display include Jimi Hendrix’ Gibson Flying V, Clapton’s silver suit, Sting’s Fender Precision Bass, Madonna’s bustier and the first ever guitar owned by Sex Pistols’ guitarist Glen Matlock – on which he came up with the riffs for their controversial punk anthem “Anarchy In The UK”.

Brit Pop landmark Berwick Street, Soho Photographer Michael Spencer Jones chose this central London street for the cover of Oasis’ classic 1995 Britpop album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The album was Oasis’ most enduring commercial success, staying at no. 1 for 10 weeks in the UK. It has sold more than 14 million worldwide. Probably second place to that famous zebra crossing at Abbey Road for snap happy visitors.

Fred. Olsen to offer GTO visits Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is inviting group travel organisers to attend exclusive GTO ship visit events. The cruise operator is welcoming GTOs to two of its ships on three dates to display what it has to offer for groups. Fred. Olsen’s ship visit events take place in regional departure ports around the UK in 2014, with check in at 1015hrs and disembarkation at 1330hrs. The three events, all in 2014, are: ● On board the Braemar on Thursday, July 10 in Dover; ● Again on board the Braemar from

Dover on Monday, August 4; and ● On board the flagship Balmoral on Friday, October 10, in Southampton. The day will include a champagne reception, presentation by a member of the cruise line’s group sales team, a guided tour of the ship including cabins, with the opportunity to ask questions, and a buffet lunch with wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Space was available for all dates as GTW went to press. Those interested should call the agency sales team on 01473 746164 or email cruise.sales@

News Regional Attractions s

Group Rate




For the latest news, reviews and exciting features ● June 2014

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Inspirational Days Out & Holidays

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To advertise contact Johanna Treasure 01733 293245

C L A S S I F I E D Scottish Borders

Located in the 18th century Deanery and open throughout the year between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday for breakfast, light refreshments, lunches, afternoon tea and take-away. 01634 810076 The College, The Precinct, Rochester, Kent ME1 1SU

Tel: 01896 822308 Email:

• Blackpool Hotel on the South Promenade • Between Central and South Piers • From £23 per person BBEM per night • Driver free of charge • FREE onsite coach parking • 31 en-suite bedrooms • Unbeatable prices for 2014

• Warm and friendly atmosphere • Licensed all-day bar • Nightly entertainment with bingo and raffles • Blackpool Illumination dates available • Turkey and Tinsel • Bookings now being taken for 2015 season

Please contact Chris or Karl for more information on: Tel: 01253 343050 Email: Website:

West Sussex


Abergavenny Market


Rochester Cathedral Tea Rooms

In the heart of Melrose in the Scottish borders – a 300 year old coaching inn Family run hotel with 32 bedrooms + driver’s room, all en-suite 2 large car parks – one for coaches. Dining and function rooms and beautiful indoor garden. Excellent real ales, over 80 malt whiskies and 20 original gins.




Comfortable & Affordable Runnacleave Road, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 8AR 01271 862446


Experience The Household Cavalry Story in London’s Royal Heartland


Open Tuesday Friday and Saturday Flea Market Every Wednesday For a full list of our markets and events Craft – Antique - and Car boot Sales Please Phone Geoff or Adam on 01873735811

Caldicot Market Open Every Tuesday and Saturday Phone Mac on 07764 362599

Monmouth Bridge Market

The Inglenook HOTEL, RESTAURANT AND FREEHOUSE 253/255 Pagham Road, Nyetimber, Pagham, W.Sussex • OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • Bookings taken for parties of up to 120 for lunch, tea or dinner, pre-Christmas parties. Coaches by prior appointment

Tel: 01243 262495


Two Bridges Hotel is situated in the beautiful Dartmoor reserve, has 32 luxury rooms to choose from. For that special mini break away from the hustle and bustle, serving modern British cuisine. Contact: 01822 892300 Email: Web:


Shire HallMarket Every Saturday Phone Darren on 07825 761900


Every Friday and Saturday

Classified advertising can start from as little as £30.00 a month !! For more information contact Johanna Treasure – 01733 293245

Open daily from 10am The Household Cavalry Museum Horse Guards Whitehall London SW1A 2AX Tel: 020 7930 3070

Inspirational Days Out & Holidays

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Some of the group at the Rendezvous Hotel in Skiptom, Yorkshire

Up and Close



Silvia Saxon, GTO for the NHS in Dorset, provides this week’s interview Best group trip you have ever been on? This is a surprisingly difficult question. Only last week, my youngest son Rob sent me an app and I had to fill in the countries I have visited with my group and I was astonished to discover we have already covered half the world. In the 14 years I have been organising trips both home and abroad for Dorset NHS it came as a shock. Top 10 has to be South America, South Africa, India, Jordan, Dubai, Canadian Rockies, USA, Spain, China and Italy, which is always popular for a short break. My favourite will appear a bit later...

And the worst? I am afraid I will have to say Belgium. Apart from Bruges, we have found our visits disappointing, not enough to see and do. A few years ago I was with the group on a tour of Hollywood and the guide said to us, when she was a little girl her dad always said to her; “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.” She then proceeded to tell us we were coming up to Barbara Streisand home, and a five minute

silence followed. I feel like that about Belgium, maybe I have just not been to the right parts. I am a big Streisand fan, more of that later.

Favourite UK destination for a group? London every time, my favourite city in the whole world. I love the place, my group love the place, we go often, usually a package offered by Groupline which includes a two course meal and visit to a top London show, with enough time for some retail therapy or sightseeing. My people love the fact there is so much to see and do. I could talk forever about London and all it has to offer the group organiser.

What makes a good trip? Always use a first class tour operator, mine is The Travel Adventure. Our group has travelled to over 50 countries with them and they are with us every step of the way. In Cuba our second hotel was not to the standard our group expects, our discerning bunch were very surprised at the condition,

A recent group trip to the Yorkshire Dales so the following day we were moved without question, you could not get a better service than that. Lots of my members have travelled many times and know I escort every trip and work closely with the tour operator to ensure everything is thoroughly researched. I try to guarantee everything is hassle free from the moment people leave home, everyone has peace of mind. Guides are also essential to a successful adventure and as we are adventurous, it is great to have someone who knows the area and can make recommendations on restaurants, pharmacies and ATMs.

What do you always pack?

ia Afternoon tea in Cambod


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My passport, copies of my groups passports, money, insurance details, full itinerary, iPad (I always take a book, but never get a chance to read it), sunglasses, suntan lotion, insect repellent, small first aid kit, mobile and one of these cubes you can put your clothes into. When rushed it makes things so much easier to find. I try not to take too much, but it can be difficult, like when we had a two city break to Dubai and Hong Kong. Dubai was very hot

and in Hong Kong it rained the whole time.

And what do you always leave out? As above, don’t over-pack. Not to many shoes. I now take my iPad for photos. I am a keen photographer but find taking my big camera too much. A light purse with security chain and only one debit card. Light suitcase if possible and lightweight waterproof jacket rather than a big coat.

Your favourite trip last year? This has to be my favourite trip of all time – Vietnam and Cambodia. 18 days of adventure, fun and amazing memories. Wonderful destination, beautiful scenery, friendly people, good healthy food, 5 star hotels, and so much to see and do. We travelled by all means of transport – sailing boat, junk, speed boat (into Cambodia), coach, taxi, tut tut, bicycle, rickshaw, moped and pleasure steamer. Our local guide, Tom, stayed with us throughout Vietnam. He was incredible and made our trip such an amazing experience. Footnote – The Travel Adventure even arranged a trip to Vegas for us to see Barbara Streisand, so we didn’t miss out.

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Group Travel World June 2014  
Group Travel World June 2014