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Group Leisure & Travel - May 2018

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The magazine for group travel organisers • May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Planning for…
Autumn
& Winter
PLUS
Best of Yorkshire
Zoos & Animal Encounters
Group Trips to Paris
Former GTO Winner Jim Godsell
Group Leisure
& Travel Awards
2018
Votes and
nominations are
now open
SEE INSIDE
West End
THEATRE
Interview with Motown’s Jay Perry
PLUS Tina Musical Review and more
Iconic
Britain
Your guide to the most historic
and unique attractions, venues
and wonders
2019 Cruises for Groups
BU Y ON
E
G ET O N
E
FR E E
PLUS GRO
UP DE A L S
PLUS FRE
E PL ACES
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You must book your group by 31st May 2018
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[YHKPUNHZ*Y\PZL4HYP[PTL=V`HNLZ Editor’s Note
Volume 24, number 5 • ISSN: 2515-0278
Highlighting
the best
here’s something very special about being able to shine a
spotlight on the most deserving people who expect it the least.
Three ways...
his month, to celebrate the launch of the 21st Group Leisure
& Travel Awards initiative, we’ve been delving into the
archives and catching up with previous winners.
...to celebrate the Royal Family
(and new additions)
Nine years ater GTO Jim Godsell won the coveted Group
Travel Organiser of the Year Award, he has taken his group
from strength to strength.
Jim, who despite being in his 80s, is as busy as he was in 2009,
continues to bring heaps of fun and laughter to his members.
We’ve also caught up with a more recent winner, Harold
Burke, who was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution
to Group Travel Award last year. Harold, who’s a true credit
to the industry, has been telling us why the accolade was the
highlight of his career to date. Read his interview on pg. 72.
And, yes, that’s right. We’re now on the hunt for more Harolds
and Jims, and others, to receive the 2018 Group Leisure &
Travel Awards. Voting and nominations are now open; tell
us who’s struck a chord with you and who deserves to be
recognised for their work this year.
Photo credit: The Deans & Canons of Windsor.
At St George’s Chapel in Windsor
See where Prince Harry and Meghan
Markle are tying the knot.
Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces.
Royal wedding history
Explore treasured objects at a special
exhibition at Kensington Palace.
Head to pg. 28 for all the details and visit
www.groupleisureandtravel.com/awards to take part.
We look forward to highlighting even more fantastic
individuals, companies, destinations and attractions in 2018.
Free entry for namesakes
Keeley Rodgers
Editor
groupleisureandtravel.com
At Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and
Guildhall on 19th May, if your name is
Harry or Meghan/Megan.
May 2018
3
Contents
2018
Front cover photo credit: Hadrian’s Wall ©VisitBritainThomas Heaton
May
06
Bulletin Board
14
Picture This
17
Theatre / Stage /
Entertainment
25
Scrapbook
26
Events Diary
Photo credit: Peter Packer.
55
Editor:
Keeley Rodgers
Events & Exhibition Assistant:
Lauren Buckley
Associate Editor:
Rachel Bailey
Exhibition Sales Manager:
Sharon Yandell
Editorial Assistant:
Laura Sexton
Accounts:
Sharon Atkins/Tracy Brown/
Justine Cozza
Editorial Contributors:
Julie Peasgood/Sarah Holt/
Robin McKelvie
Business Development Manager:
Ivana Perkins
Media Sales Executives:
Lorna Goodings/Devon Luffrum
Publisher:
Rob Yandell
Managing Director,
Yandell Media Group Ltd:
Graham Yandell
Design Team:
Gareth Davies/Gavin Seljamae-Waite/
Lydia Ricketts
Advertising Production:
Trevor Templeman
66
4
May 2018
Circulation:
Ingrid Hansford
Events Organiser:
Emma Cash
(A division of Yandell Media Group Ltd.)
PO Box 5122, Milton Keynes MK15 8ZP
Telephone: +44 (0)1908-613323
Website: www.groupleisureandtravel.com
E-mail: editorial@groupleisureandtravel.com
E-mail: sales@groupleisureandtravel.com
groupleisureandtravel.com
Contents
Photo credit: VisitBritain and Thomas Heaton.
27
Journey with Julie,
by Julie Peasgood
28
Group Leisure &
Travel Awards 2018
34
UK Focus: Yorkshire
41
Explore: Paris
43
Explore: Bratislava
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan.
45
17
45
Autumn & Winter Planning
55
Iconic Britain
66
Zoos & Animal Encounters
72
Interview: Harold Burke
76
My Group & I
78
Grumpy Group Organiser
ABC Application Approved.
Readers of Group Leisure & Travel magazine are advised to contact bonding and licensing
authorities directly, in order to qualify their consumer protection and financial security.
We regret that Group Leisure & Travel cannot guarantee the advertisers, wholesalers
and operators mentioned within the magazine, adhere to statutory and package travel
regulations, issued on January 1st, 1993.
Group Leisure & Travel is published 12 times per year. Subscriptions for print editions are
available at £50 per annum UK, £75 Overseas, £100 Airmail. The editor welcomes editorial
contributions, which can be supplied by e-mail. All content is protected by copyright laws.
For terms and conditions when sending materials for editorial inclusion go to the website at
yandellmedia.com for particulars. Produced and published by Yandell Publishing Ltd. Printed
by The Magazine Printing Company, Middlesex.
Copyright Yandell Publishing Ltd 2018 - all rights reserved.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Offical media partner of
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Organisers of
&
May 2018
5
Bulletin Board
A round-up of news and ideas to help you organise brilliant group trips and holidays...
• Explore the wildlife of South
Africa with a Fred. Olsen cruise.
Amazon and South
Africa on Fred. Olsen’s
2019 programme
In 2019, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will be
offering ‘journeys of a lifetime’ on crafted
sailings from the UK, as well as Grand Voyages
and fly-cruises that feature some of the
greatest destinations around the globe.
Groups can choose from itineraries that take
in the incredible wildlife of the Amazon, South
Africa and the Indian Ocean islands; uncover
the ancient sites of Asia and Arabia; and seek
out Australian icons, from the Great Barrier
Reef to Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
www.fredolsencruises.com
Opening date
ÊÃăØ—“
¡ÊØ,HB
The Chameleon Tree has opened to the public
at Longleat in Wiltshire. It gets its name from
its tree-like structure, can cater for up to 420
people inside at any one time, and aims to
offer visitors wholesome, contemporary food
in a welcoming environment.
Blackpool Pleasure
Beach has announced
the oicial
opening date of
its anticipated
new rollercoaster,
ICON, as Friday
25th May. Work on
the new £16.25m
rollercoaster
commenced in
December 2016. It will
reportedly be the UK’s
irst ever double-launch
rollercoaster, and will see riders in
an open seat on top of the ride with arms and legs free.
www.longleat.co.uk
www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com
Revamped restaurant
for visitors to Longleat
6
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Bulletin Board
he Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum
has opened in Dorchester, Dorset, and explores
the history of law and order.
Powis Castle in Wales has welcomed a House of
Portraits exhibition, running until 27th January 2019
and showcasing portraiture from history.
www.shirehalldorset.org
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden
Iron Bridge walkway
provides unique view
of preservation work
Groups visiting the famous Iron Bridge in Shropshire
before 31st August will be able to enjoy an exclusive
look at the work being done as part of a £3.6 million
project to preserve the landmark. English Heritage
has opened a temporary visitor walkway beside the
Iron Bridge enabling visitors to get up close to the
vital conservation work currently underway.
Once completed, the project will see the bridge
restored back to its former glory – visit to which
can be paired with trips to any of the ten Iron
Bridge Gorge museums nearby, which include the
Coaldale Museum and Blists Hill Victorian Town.
AÊãÊôá—ó—Ø
Galloway has revealed its latest coach design in
partnership with London media agency, AKA, to
showcase Motown the Musical. With West End shows
one of the most popular options offered by Galloway,
there are plenty of departures from locations including
Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk for groups to take advantage
of to go and see the show in London.
Top tip: Turn to page 22 to read
GLT’s interview with Jay
Perry who is playing
the lead role of
Berry Gordy
in the show.
www.ironbridge.org.uk
www.english-heritage.org.uk
Discover your
inner-adventurer
in Birmingham
The NEC will welcome a new action-packed
experience this autumn, created in partnership
with adventurer Bear Grylls. The Bear Grylls
Adventure will comprise an 8,000 square metre
attraction opening as a permanent feature at
the NEC, where thrill seekers can experience
challenges such as climbing, indoor skydiving,
and taking on a free-roam high ropes course.
www.beargryllsadventure.com
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
7
Here today...
From the publishers of
The magazine for group travel organisers
The magazine for group travel organisers • April 2018
The guide to coach friendly destinations throughout
the UK and beyond for groups
Sailing through
nature on a
groupleisureandtravel.com
Festivals,
shows &
events
FAMILYFRIENDLY
attractions for your
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you won't
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Comforts & culture onboard the
NEW CMV
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PLUS
Discover Australia
The Great Outdoors
Picture-Perfect Cotswolds
Interview: My Group & I
DINING
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Leisure
Delights
From
room hhi
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Thousands
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Air shows, museums and exhibitions
to mark the milestone year
The Best
No-Fly
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from the publishers of
The Best of the UK • Great Places for Groups • European Highlights • Itinerary Suggestions • Useful Tips & Contacts
...here tomorrow!
From the publishers of
The magazine for group travel organisers
The magazine for group travel organisers • April 2018
The guide to coach friendly destinations throughout
the UK and beyond for groups
Sailing through
nature on a
groupleisureandtravel.com
Festivals,
shows &
events
FAMILYFRIENDLY
attractions for your
next group trip
you won't
want to miss
RAF
Centenary
PLUS
Discover Australia
The Great Outdoors
Picture-Perfect Cotswolds
Interview: My Group & I
DANUBE
RIVER VOYAGE
Comforts & culture onboard the
NEW CMV
COLUMBUS
DINING
in Group
Leisure
Delights
From
rom
om
m hhig
hiigh-end
gh-end
nd cu
cuissine
sine
innee to
to
informa
nforma
nfo
orma
mal
ma
al res
rest an
restauran
ant
nts
nt
tss
Thousands
of Group Travel
Ideas & Contacts
Air shows, museums and exhibitions
to mark the milestone year
The Best
No-Fly
Cruises
from the publishers of
The Best of the UK • Great Places for Groups • European Highlights • Itinerary Suggestions • Useful Tips & Contacts
Some publications can be here today and gone tomorrow
and others make promises, while we deliver on ours.
Make the most of the market leading group travel magazine and its
portfolio from the family business you can trust.
For information about advertising contact Ivana Perkins on 01908 613323
or email her at ivana.p@yandellmedia.com
Bulletin Board
British Library to celebrate
James Cook anniversary
This year marks 250
years since Captain James
Cook’s ship the Endeavour
set sail from Plymouth,
and the British Library in
London is hosting a major
exhibition to coincide
with the milestone. James
Cook: The Voyages, running
until 28th August, will tell
the story of Cook’s three
great voyages through
original documents, many
of which were produced by
the artists, scientists and
seamen on board the ship.
ONLINE
OUR PICK OF
THE BEST
20 Stories: A new reason for
groups to visit Manchester
www.bl.uk
Photo credit: British Library Board.
Royal inspiration to offer ideas for
your next group trip
Six unique tea
experiences for groups
Beekeeping workshops launched in London
he St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster, which is home to over 350,000
buckfast honeybees, will hold a series of taster urban beekeeping
workshops this summer. he workshops, running on selected dates, are
also available for groups to book privately throughout the year. Each
session will be led by a beekeeper; last two and half hours; and teach
participants how best to site hives in gardens or allotments.
www.sterminshotel.co.uk
groupleisureandtravel.com
GLT’s top picks:
Five walking holidays
Read all of these features
and find many more at
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
9
Bulletin Board
York Dungeon has welcomed a new character,
Cartimandua, the Queen of the Brigantes, as the
irst in a show series exploring characters from
Yorkshire’s history.
www.thedungeons.com/york
Group Tourism & Travel magazine, formerly Coach
Monthly, has closed, the second groups publication to do
so in seven months. he magazine was only re-branded
last spring. It follows the closure of Great for Groups
Magazine (previously he Pass) last year.
Riviera Travel
creates new
culinary holidays
A new collection of Taste
Break holidays have
been launched by Riviera
Travel, comprising
tailor-made short jaunts
to some of Europe’s
most enticing foodie
cities. Berlin, Bologna,
Copenhagen, Lisbon, and
Lyon are amongst the
list of cities available
with the new collection.
Ph
ot
o
www.tastebreaks.co.uk
cr
e
n
:A
dit
dre
tler, Highgrove.
w Bu
Norwegian’s newest
ship debuts in Europe
Norwegian Cruise Line has launched its new
Norwegian Bliss in Germany, ahead of sailings to
Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
Brightwater Holidays
unveils royalty-themed tours
A collection of new holidays have been launched by
Brightwater in response to this year’s Royal Weddings,
and will offer groups the chance to walk in the footsteps
of the Royal Family. he new tours can include visits to
Highgrove House, the country home of Prince Charles;
Braemar, Blair and Menzies Castles in Scotland; or the
romantic gardens of Sissinghurst.
www.brightwaterholidays.com
10
May 2018
Beginning next month, Norwegian Bliss will spend
her summer cruising seven-day voyages to Alaska,
and autumn season cruising to the Mexican Riviera
from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018, she will
sail the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019
autumn/winter season she will cruise from New
York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
On board, guests will be able to experience some
new first-at-sea offerings, including a competitive
driving race track, and an open-air laser tag course.
Plus, there will be an entertainment programme
that includes Broadway musical, Jersey Boys,
and ¡Havana! – an original musical theatre show
created and produced specifically for this ship.
www.ncl.co.uk
groupleisureandtravel.com
Bulletin Board
Frida Kahlo
exhibition at the V&A
This summer, the V&A in London will explore
how Frida Kahlo, one of the most recognised
and significant artists and women of the 20th
century, fashioned her identity. Running from
16th June until 4th November, Frida Kahlo:
Making Her Self Up is said to be the first
exhibition outside of Mexico to display her
clothes and intimate possessions.
www.vam.ac.uk/FridaKahlo
Photo credit: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th
Century Mexican Art and The Verge, Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.
GLTS blog
offers heaps of group
travel inspiration
grouptravelshow.com/blog
If you’re feeling impatient for this year’s Group Leisure
& Travel Show to inally come around in October,
never fear – the regular GLTS blog has masses
of travel inspiration to keep you and your
group occupied in the meantime.
From helping you make the most of your
visit to the GLTS, to ofering posts that
aim to enthuse, educate and help
GTOs and coach operators with a
wide variety of group travel plans,
the platform ofers a great resource.
More from the GLTS
he Group Leisure & Travel Show
is supported by a portfolio of
websites, annuals, the Group
Recent posts have ranged from
Leisure & Travel Awards, and of
GLTS exhibitors explaining what
course, Group Leisure & Travel
they’re most looking forward to
magazine itself. As media sponsor
at the show, to expert advice on
to the show, GLT magazine has
ct
g
accessible travel. You can also discover
been established for nearly 25 years
ob
in
m
e
r
the most interesting facts about the
and
continues as market leader in the
r 20
i
18 • NEC B
Seminar heatre celebrity speakers, and ind
group travel sector.
a host of fantastic location-led posts for ideas on
where to holiday.
Visitors can now register for free entry to the show
at www.grouptravelshow.com/register and take
Find everything you need and more besides, by visiting
advantage of a free parking ofer.
grouptravelshow.com/blog, plus keep up to date with
every new blog post by following the Group Leisure &
For information and advice about exhibitor bookings
telephone Sharon Yandell on 01908-613323 or e-mail
Travel Show on Twitter at @GroupTravelShow or on
sharon.y@yandellmedia.com.
Facebook at @grouptravelshow
O
May 2018
ha
th
11
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m
&
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groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
13
picture this
Photo credit: Tabatha Fireman_Getty.
The latest news in photos.
1
3
14
May 2018
2
groupleisureandtravel.com
4
1. Poppies: Wave, a World War One centenary
art commission, is currently at the Royal
Armouries, Fort Nelson, where it is free to
visit until 24th June.
www.1418now.org.uk
2. Sea Life Manchester’s new deep-sea attraction,
Lair of The Giant Crab, features two enormous
Giant Japanese Spider Crabs.
www.visitsealife.com/manchester
3. On 26th March the Prince of Wales visited
Cumbria to officially mark the Lake District
National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
www.lakedistrict.gov.uk
4. Staffordshire-based Drayton Manor Theme Park
opened for the 2018 season with celebrations
for the tenth anniversary of Thomas Land.
www.draytonmanor.co.uk
5. One of the 33 different designs of the LED
‘Dreamscape’ atrium onboard Carnival Cruise
Line’s newest fleet addition, the Carnival Horizon.
5
www.carnival.co.uk
Photo credit: Steven Barber.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
15
THEATRE
Stage / Entertainment
The big news
this month...
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6KDNHVSHDUHDQ7KHDWUH
Shakespeare’s Rose heatre will host a
‘summer of Shakespeare’ in York with
tickets on sale now for four major
productions: Macbeth, Romeo and
Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and
Richard III. he season, from 25th June
until 2nd September, will be performed
by two companies of actors.
www.shakespearesrosetheatre.com
• An artist’s impression of the Shakespeare
Rose Theatre.
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To celebrate Dusty Springfield’s birthday, further casting
has been announced for Dusty, the new musical about her
life which will have its world premiere at Theatre Royal
Bath in June. Joining Katherine Kingsley in the title role,
will be actor, comedian and presenter Rufus Hound (Dirty
Rotten Scoundrels, The Wind in the Willows) as Dusty’s
manager Billings and Roberta Taylor (The Bill, EastEnders)
as Dusty’s mother Kay.
www.dustyspringfieldmusical.com
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
17
Theatre / Stage / Entertainment
ROUND-UP
Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz.
18
REGIONAL THEATRE
LONDON THEATRE
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he show, which has been adapted
from Kazuo Ishiguro’s book by
the same name, will open at
Northampton’s Royal & Derngate
theatre on 23rd February 2019.
Following its run in Northampton,
the show will embark on a national
tour of which details will be
announced in due course.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has
announced that the New London
heatre is to be renamed in honour
of the trailblazing choreographer
Dame Gillian Lynne. Dame Gillian
has made a major contribution to
the arts world; from classical ballet
to featured dance performance in
theatre, film and television.
he Agatha Christie play which is
currently being staged at London
County Hall has released more
tickets, taking its booking up to
31st March 2019. Along with the
extension, a new cast has joined the
production, including Harry Reid as
Leonard Vole and Lucy Phelps
as Romaine.
www.royalandderngate.co.uk
www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk
www.witnesscountyhall.com
May 2018
LONDON THEATRE
groupleisureandtravel.com
Theatre / Stage / Entertainment
Photo credit: Specular.
REGIONAL THEATRE
LONDON THEATRE
LONDON THEATRE
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he stage adaptation of Lisa
Genova’s novel, Still Alice, will tour
the UK from September 2018.
he play follows 50 year-old Alice
Howland (Sharon Small, pictured)
a linguistics professor at Harvard
University, as she battles with
early-onset dementia and explores
the effects it has on her life.
he producers of Jim Steinman’s
Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical have
already announced an extension for
the show, which has now oicially
opened at the Dominion heatre.
he new booking period is from 30th
July to 27th October. he musical
incorporates iconic songs from
Meatloaf ’s Bat Out Of Hell albums.
Hackney Empire has announced
Aladdin as its 2018 pantomime
and 20th anniversary production
which will arrive this Christmas as
the venue marks its landmark year
with the classic tale. Aladdin will
run from 24th November 2018 to
6th January 2019 and will feature a
cast from the West End.
www.stillaliceplay.co.uk
www.batoutofhellmusical.com
www.hackneyempire.co.uk
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
19
Theatre / Stage / Entertainment
In fact, the audience’s enthusiasm for the
show was as commendable as the show
itself. And I’m sure future audiences will
react in the same way, because there is
no escaping how terriic this show is,
and how energised the music of Tina
Turner makes you feel.
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan.
Hits including Proud Mary, River
Deep, Mountain High, Private Dancer
and We Don’t Need Another Hero were
lawlessly executed by Warren, who
doesn’t break a sweat
despite belting out over 20
hits in just over two hours.
LONDON THEATRE REVIEW...
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan.
Tina: The Tina
Turner Musical
A tribute to a true star, by a
true star: Adrienne Warren
truly dazzles as pop legend Tina
Turner, says Rachel Bailey after
watching the show.
P
“
henomenal”, “amazing”, and “like watching
Tina Turner herself ”; just some of the praise I
was privy to hearing from fellow Tina audience
members – and that was just from the interval.
With so much press hype in the build up to this
show, there was always a chance it might fall short of
expectations but that wasn’t the case at all. Tina Turner
herself has had a hand in making this biographical
production of her turbulent upbringing and rise to fame,
but at no point does it feel narcissistic.
In fact, the show as a whole is very self-aware, with
injections of humour that break up what, at times,
is quite a harrowing tale of domestic abuse and the
pressures of being a celebrity. You don’t need to be a Tina
Turner fan to enjoy this – I knew a handful of songs and
that was enough. It’s the story that keeps you captivated,
and of course, Adrienne Warren, who was undoubtedly
the star of the show as Tina.
Her irst appearance on stage, in that iconic red leather
dress with her wild statement 80s hairstyle, incited a
hysteria throughout the audience akin only to seeing a
headline band at a music festival. he roar that illed the
(newly refurbished) Aldwych heatre was incredible.
To watch Warren is to
watch Tina Turner herself
– her facial expressions,
movements, and tone of
voice are performed down
to a T. Oten with musicals
it can be easy to forgive
the acting if the vocals
are impressive; however,
in this case there was no
need. A force of excellence
was displayed by all cast
members, from Lorna
Gayle as Gran Georgeanna
to Claudia Elie as Young
Anna Mea (child Tina).
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
(pictured inset with Warren) who played Ike Turner, Tina’s
abusive husband, put on a performance that was well on par
with that of Warren. He pulled off the irrational and violent exhusband with almost-disquieting ease, and so it was somewhat
infuriating at the end when the audience booed as he took his
bow. his show isn’t a pantomime and despite Ike being the bad
guy, his performance was truly inspiring. Of course, you could
also say it was a positive thing – the audience was clearly so
captivated they believed he was the real Ike.
Overall, I’d describe Tina: The Tina Turner Musical as a timely
retelling of a story that promotes the strength of a woman
who despite her age, race and gender, deied the expectations
of many to become a national treasure; not just in her own
country but in many others too.
Groups, don’t miss this, it’s an absolute gem of a night out
and one I anticipate will be in the West End for many
months to come. hankfully an extra 140,000 tickets have now
been released, but still, I’d be quick.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is playing at the Aldwych
Theatre until February 2019. Group rates are available
for parties of eight or more and 20 or more
through www.nederlander.co.uk.
www.tinathemusical.com
20
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
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groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
21
Theatre / Stage / Entertainment
Take a bow..
Jay Perry
From understudy to taking on the lead
role of Berry Gordy in the hit show
Motown the Musical in the West End,
Jay Perry, former S Club Juniors star,
tells us about his incredible journey
and why he’s loving every second.
Jay, tell us how the lead role of Berry Gordy came about?
I was in the cast last year and part of the ensemble. It’s
been a weird transition; I was the third cover for Berry
Gordy but I never managed to get on and so it has been
an amazing journey. I’m actually quite happy that I
didn’t perform in the role last year because it
has given me chance to make it my own.
Describe your version of Berry
Gordy, how have you encompassed
him in your performance?
I wanted my Berry to be eager
and hungry for what he wants to
achieve, especially in the first half
of the show. I display that in the way
that he sings and speaks to people; I
wanted to show that he was somebody
who has these huge aspirations and
actually achieves them. Then as he
gets older, you see the journey of
decline and he really slows down in
all aspects.
How did you prepare for the role?
Everyone knows the songs but the
actual story behind Motown and that
of Berry Gordy, is less well-known.
People come to the show and don’t
expect to discover the story behind
the concept of Motown music. I’ve
watched countless documentaries
and read his biography which gave
me a great insight.
Photo credit: Tristram Kenton.
22
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Theatre / Stage / Entertainment
• (L-R) Lashane Williams, Mireia Mambo, Jay Perry,
Chanice Alexander-Burnett, and Timothy Benjamin.
Who was your musical inspiration growing up?
Photo credit: Tristram Kenton.
Definitely the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder
and Michael Jackson. I had a video of Thriller when
I was young and it used to terrify and excite me in
equal measures. It’s amazing to think that Berry
Gordy founded all of these legends, and started
their careers. he songs are just iconic.
What’s it like performing with the other new
cast members?
It’s been a real joy to learn with a new cast,
especially Diana (Natalie Kassanga) because we
work so closely together. Neither of us have done it
before so didn’t have any pre-conceptions. It’s a new
relationship and it’s really nice.
It’s a big responsibility playing somebody with such
an incredible story. How do you deal with that?
What three words would you use to describe the show
for those who haven’t seen it?
Yes, playing somebody who is a real person and very
much alive is strange. I try to tell Berry’s story truthfully
and honour the legacy that he has created. he best way to
do that is to enjoy it. Every time I’m up there on the stage
I’m having a great time.
Fun. Infectious. Heart-warming.
What has the reaction from the audience been so far?
It has been great. It’s always nerve-wracking because
you want the audience to enjoy it as much as you do but
they all seem to be having a fantastic time. I love having
that connection with the audience and having those
moments when it takes them back in time. It’s such a
show of nostalgia.
There are so many highlights, any particular moments
that stand out for you?
I really enjoy My Girl – I used to sing it last year. It’s such
an iconic song. I only get to sing part of it now but I also
get to witness the audience enjoy the performance. When
you hear the first opening eight bars, everyone knows
what’s coming and you can feel the excitement in the
audience. hese are the songs of people’s lifetimes.
You come from a musical background and in fact
started singing at the age of ten. Were you a fan of
Motown music growing up?
My dad is music-crazy so I grew up on Motown songs.
For me to be part of a show like this feels almost full circle.
To have my dad there and share that experience with him
is really important to me and it’s such an honour.
groupleisureandtravel.com
“I love those moments that
take the audience back in time.
It’s such a show of nostalgia.”
Your career has been quite a journey so far, you must
feel so proud to be where you are now?
I’m really just trying to enjoy this moment and take every
day as it comes. I’m loving where I am at the moment. I’ve
been working at this for a while now and I’m super proud.
Who knows what’s next; where I am now is a joy and I’m
loving every second of it.
If there was any role you could play, what would it be?
I couldn’t say right now. When I was younger I wanted to be
Simba in The Lion King. When I was growing up it was the
first musical I ever saw and the first one I saw with a black
lead. he sky’s the limit.
Motown the Musical is currently booking at the
Shaftesbury Theatre in London until 5th January 2019.
Group rates are available Monday to Thursday.
www.motownthemusical.co.uk
May 2018
23
The GLTS offers exhibitors
the joined up experience
Staged at
Supported by
&
O
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m
11
ct
ob
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in
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T H E B I G G E S T E V E N T F O R G RO U P S F RO M T H E B I G G E S T P ROV I D E R
L I N K E D T O T H E P R E S T I G I O U S G LT A W A R D S
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T H E B E S T C O N T E N T F O R G R O U P S A V A I LA B L E
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F RO M T H E E X P E RT S
S O C I A L M E D I A TO E N G AG E T H E M A R K E T
F U L L CA S T O F C E L E B R I TY S P E A K E R S TO CA PT U R E
T H E I M A G I N AT I O N O F V I S I TO R S
S U P P O RT E D B Y A F U L L M A G A Z I N E P O RT F O L I O A N D M A R K E T I N G C A M PA I G N
Book your stand now! Contact Sharon Yandell today.
t. 01908 613323
e. sharon.y@yandellmedia.com w. grouptravelshow.com
Scrapbook
What’s the GLT team been up to?
Whatever the weather
12th April
Keeley Rodgers: he weather
didn’t put us off visiting the
tranquil RHS Hyde Hall in Essex.
It’s an exciting time for the glorious
360-acre site with a new restaurant
and activities barn opening soon,
plenty for groups to enjoy. We
had a great guide, horticulturist
Brendan Arundel who told us his
favourite area of the gardens was
the Dry Garden.
• Keeley (right) with
colleague Ivana Perkins
and horticulturist
Brendan Arundel
www.rhs.org.uk
And all that jazz...in London
17th April
Laura Sexton: Recently I went to see Chicago in the
West End at the Phoenix heatre, ater it announced
its extension into October. he show is full of razzle
dazzle, familiar tunes, and comedic scripting, and
groups will love the popular story of Roxie Hart
and Velma Kelly. For an evening of jazz, laughs and
songs that’ll remain in your head for a good while
ater, Chicago is certainly worth seeing! Group rates
are available.
www.chicagothemusical.com
A spring
i ttrip
i tto LLongleat
l t
21st April
Ivana Perkins: I recently enjoyed a family visit to Longleat
in Wiltshire. I would particularly recommend the jungle
cruise, where we managed to catch a glimpse of the lake’s
resident hippos, cruised past the gorilla colony and enjoyed
feeding time with the sea lions. If you fancy taking a break
from the hustle and bustle of the Main Square, Longleat
offers group discounts on aternoon tea in the Orangery,
which overlooks a stunning view of Longleat House.
www.longleat.co.uk
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
25
Events diary
August
4th-5th
For more listings and future dates be sure to
visit groupleisureandtravel.com/eventsdiary
Event: Beaulieu Supercar Weekend
Location: Beaulieu, Hampshire
www.beaulieu.co.uk
September
August
Event: Jane Austen Festival
Location: Bath
www.janeaustenfestivalbath.co.uk
Event: East Midlands Food Festival
Location: Melton Mowbray
www.goleicestershire.com
October
Photo credit: VisitEnglandOwen Benson.
6th-7th
14th-23rd
Event: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Location: Bristol
www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk
9th-12th
Photo credit: VisitEnglandDestination Bristol.
Event: Llandudno Christmas Fayre
Location: Llandudno
www.llandudnochristmasfayre.co.uk
26
May 2018
November
Event: The Enchanted Illuminations
Location: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk
15th-18th
October
17th-28th
Photo credit: VisitBritain Gary Latham.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Journey
with
Julie
Tips, ideas and stories from
travel expert, Julie Peasgood.
I
always pack too much. Try as
I might, when I arrive at my
destination, I’m invariably
alarmed by the amount I
have stufed into my suitcase.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never
been ‘overweight’ (well other than
needing to shed a stone or
so on a personal level)
and in fact luggagewise, I’m usually
just under
the limit.
Anyway, Patrick’s dressing room was a
tad dingy, so I thought I’d brighten it up
as a surprise. his involved replacing the
slightly moth-eaten curtains adorning
his huge window (which had obviously
been in service for the entire run
of the play.)
But back to packing. I mean to lay
everything out on the bed - I really
do - it just somehow never happens.
Which is why I currently have two
pairs of shoes too many, a stupid
amount of leeces, and trousers
that are never going to it ater the
lobster, scallop and salmon feast our
lovely hosts gited us last night. (I
can heartily recommend ‘Cartwheel
Bothy’ by the way - unfortunately
not suitable for groups, as it’s a
tiny self-catering haven for two on
Scalpay, of Harris, with the most
breathtaking views.)
Fast forward to a street
market in Amsterdam,
where I discovered a
pair of the jolliest,
whitest curtains,
with quite a
his is ine for
butch pattern
any outbound
on them. (OK,
light, but
butch might be
very tricky
an exaggeration,
• Julie’s travel-musts: sock
on a return
but they certainly
teddies ‘Perfect’ and
journey when I
weren’t twee.) Boy,
‘Almost’, made by her
can guarantee to
here are items I would never be
were
they heavy
husband Patrick.
be laden with presents
without on a trip of course, and I’m
though, and I had hand
and souvenirs. My husband,
sure you all have yours. Mine are Oil
luggage only on that occasion
Patrick, despairs at yet another frock
of Olay (a staple for the last 40 years)
(a rash mistake).
for our granddaughter, or why I
CK One and TCP; Benadryl because
might need a third Harris Tweed
I sneeze a lot; my alarm clock; a
So I wore them home. I did, honestly.
handbag (I’m writing this in the
notebook and pen, and last but not
All six metres of them (it was a big
Outer Hebrides and trust me, they
least, ‘Perfect’, the treasured sock
window) draped around me like I
are gorgeous).
teddy Patrick made me, and who
was sporting some sort of bridal toga.
travels with me everywhere.
EasyJet probably thought I was bonkers,
I have come to the realisation
but other than looking strange and
though that I will never stop
As always, I’d love to hear from you,
sweating profusely, I got them safely
supporting the local economy, so
with any must-haves you carry and
back with no excess charges. (And I did
other than travelling everywhere by
invaluable packing advice.
take them of on the plane.) Although
train or coach, it’s a case of curbing
Patrick has since moved on, to our
my initial packing or inding
You can e-mail me your tips at
knowledge they are still gracing that
ingenious ways to carry my stuf
Julie@groupleisureandtravel.com
window; a little bit of Holland masking
home. Preferably both.
and we’ll print your best photos
a less than glamorous view of central
and suggestions.
London dustbins...
My best solution yet was on a light
back from Amsterdam. I was minus
Patrick, who was busy at the time
Honoured by the Royal Television Society with the Television Personality of the
performing in he Mousetrap, the
Year Award, Julie Peasgood has had a multi-faceted career as an accomplished
West End’s longest running play
actress and TV presenter, an award-winning author, travel writer and columnist,
(now in its 66th year and if you
a leading voice-over artist and a popular public speaker and events host.
haven’t yet seen it I urge you to go,
it’s perfect for group bookings too).
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
27
Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2018
Rewarding the best
in group travel
Drumroll please… our annual reader
awards are now open for votes, so it’s
time to have your say in the Group
Leisure & Travel Awards 2018.
T
he group travel sector is one
to be proud of; whether it’s the
best attractions, experiences
or travel operators. And there
are some incredible individuals
who go the extra mile for their members,
customers and colleagues.
hat’s why Britain’s biggest and most
prestigious Awards event continues to
shine a spotlight on the best of the best
and reward excellence.
Who can vote?
Anyone who organises group
holidays or trips can vote, but
we don’t take votes from travel
trade professionals working for
suppliers and operators, such
as hoteliers, tour companies
and tourist boards.
How do you vote?
he annual GLT reader Awards initiative,
now in its 21st year, will culminate in
the black tie dinner on Wednesday 10th
October at the Hilton Birmingham
Metropole, located near the NEC.
You cast your vote by going to
groupleisureandtravel.com/awards
and writing who you think should win
next to each category. here are a number of
categories you can vote in and you do not have to vote
in every one if you do not wish to.
Time to get involved and have your say…
Click ‘submit’ when you’re done.
Click here to vote online
Voting closes on Monday 2nd July 2018. Any votes received after this time will not be counted.
Category finalists revealed in advance for first time
For the first time ever, all of this year’s category finalists will
be announced in September, prior to the awards ceremony and
dinner in October, with the winners being revealed exclusively
only on the night.
Group Leisure & Travel Magazine editor Keeley Rodgers said:
“We’re very excited about the change to this year’s Group Leisure
& Travel Awards. It will be the first time the awards have worked
in this way and we anticipate that it will create even more
excitement in the run up to the ceremony in Birmingham on
10th October.”
28
May 2018
New categories
for 2018
Best Museum or Gallery: Tell us
about the venues that stand out for
your group; consider the booking process,
the tours available as well as the quality of
the exhibitions and catering facilities.
Best Historic Attraction or Venue:
Castles, palaces, stately homes and
heritage sites - where have you
taken a group that has
really delivered?
groupleisureandtravel.com
Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2018
Glitz and glamour at the ceremony
The 2018 award categories are…
The Group Leisure & Travel Awards initiative takes place
throughout the year, from the launch through to the
voting period and interviews, culminating in the dinner and
ceremony, this year on Wednesday 10th October
at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel.
Best Attraction For Children & Families
Best Museum or Gallery
Best Historic Attraction or Venue
Best Coach or Tour Operator - UK Tours
Tickets and tables are now on sale and include a
drinks reception, followed by a delicious dinner
including wine; live music by party band Fully Funktional,
and the opportunity to network and enjoy the evening
with the travel trade and GTOs.
Best Ferry or Fixed Link Operator
Best Event for Groups
Best Christmas Experience
Best Guided Tour
The ceremony is a sell-out event each year,so to secure a
table or tickets visit www.groupleisureandtravel.com/tickets
or call Emma Cash on 01908-613323.
Best Accommodation for Groups
Best Group Dining Experience
Best Theatre Production
Best Cruise Line
Best Ticketing Agency
Best UK Destination
Best International Destination
The Excellence Award 2018
Best Group Tour Operator – Short Haul
Best Group Tour Operator – Long Haul
Best UK Attraction
Group Travel Organiser of The Year 2018
For a handy guide to all of our award categories
go to groupleisureandtravel.com/awards and
click on ‘Category Guide’ in the left-hand menu.
A special thanks to our official
award partners for 2018
Holiday of a lifetime, every time.
There are limited opportunities available to become an official Awards Partner.
For information contact Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or e-mail sharon.y@yandellmedia.com
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
29
Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2018
Celebrate excellence
Nominations are now being taken for The Excellence
Award 2018 which celebrates great service.
How does the award work?
• Nominate online at
groupleisureandtravel.com/excellence.
H
ave you worked with
somebody who pulls all the
stops out when it comes to
group travel and leisure?
Oten GTOs choose certain tour
operators or companies because of the
people, and the great service they ofer.
• Support your nomination with a brief
explanation as to why your chosen
person deserves to win.
• Nominations close on Monday 2nd
July, after which time the team at
Group Leisure & Travel magazine draw
up a shortlist of four people, having
considered all the candidates.
The Excellence Award aims to
recognise the individuals who go above
and beyond to make sure GTOs and
their groups get exactly what they want
and a memorable experience.
• The four finalists are then featured
in the magazine and through
groupleisureandtravel.com, and readers
are then asked to vote for the winner.
Past winners have worked for tour
operators, coach companies, ticket
providers, racecourses, and even
world-class orchestras.
• The winner will be announced at
the Group Leisure & Travel Awards
ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham
Metropole on 10th October.
Who can
nominate?
Group travel organisers
can make as many
nominations as they
want. Suppliers and
people working for
a company in the
travel trade can
nominate a maximum
of one colleague.
Who can win?
The winner will be
someone from a
commercial or charitable
supplier to group travel
organisers. GTOs don’t
qualify for this award,
and besides, they have
the GTO of the Year to
aim for – see page 32.
Click here to nominate online
Last year’s winner
• Celebrity magician Ben Hanlin (right) presents The Excellence
Award 2017 to Glen Thomas with award sponsor Clive Tilley
from Wightlink.
Glen Thomas, head of group sales at
Travelsphere, Just You & G Adventures,
was crowned winner of The Excellence
Award 2017 and the volume and quality
of testimonials spoke for themselves.
GTOs described Glen as the “personification
of excellence in the travel industry” as well
as a “true professional” and “reliable, friendly
and generous”.
The award recognised Glen’s 30 years of service in the travel industry and after winning the accolade, he said:
“To be rewarded for what you love is amazing”.
Do you know someone who deserves this year’s award? Nominate them at groupleisureandtravel.com/excellence.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
31
Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2018
Who will be the 20th
GTO of the Year?
IIt’s
t’s time to get your votes in for this very special award, which will
rrecognise a very special GTO. You can now enter or nominate the
2018 Group Travel Organiser of the Year.
T
How to enter or make a nomination, in three easy steps
1. Simply click to groupleisureandtravel.com/gtooftheyear
organiser o
l
ve
award
he award was set up with the
intention of shining a spotlight
on great GTOs, hearing their
stories, learning about the people
they organise for, inding out where
they go and what they do. he winners
over the years have been inspirational, fun and
seriously organised.
2. Choose the entry form if you are a GTO
putting yourself forward, or the nomination
form if you are nominating somebody
else for the award. You can nominate
as many GTOs as you like.
year
he
ft
It will be presented at
the Group Leisure &
Travel Awards ceremony
on 10th October at the
Hilton Birmingham
Metropole hotel.
group tra
he Group Travel Organiser of the Year
Award has been recognising amazing
people since 1999 and nominations
and entries are now open for this
year’s award, which comes
with a irst prize of £2,000 to spend
on a familiarisation holiday.
3. Complete the form and follow
the instructions.
Entries and nominations received
will then be followed up by the team
at Group Leisure & Travel and all
GTOs contacted about the next step
of the competition.
GTOs shortlisted must be available for a final
judging day in London during the late summer, and
to attend the Group Leisure & Travel Awards dinner on
10th October at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel.
Travel
The Group the
of
Organiser in
Year will w d
spen
£2,000 to
ay of
on a holid .
e
their choic
32
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2018
Who can enter or nominate?
People who organise group trips and holidays, a.k.a
group travel organisers, can enter themselves into the
competition. his can be a volunteer, someone who
organises as a hobby, for a full-time job, or a person
who operates as an independent travel organiser.
Note: his is an award for an individual and not for a company
and we do not accept nominations for tour operators. Other
categories within the Group Leisure & Travel Awards enable
GTOs to vote for their favourite suppliers, while he Excellence
Award is for an individual from the travel trade.
We accept nominations and encourage travel trade
suppliers to put forward the great GTOs they work
with so they can get some deserved kudos and
perhaps even win the big prize itself.
Deadline: To be eligible for this year’s award, nominations and
entries must be received by Monday 2nd July 2018. Terms and
conditions apply, available at groupleisureandtravel.com/awards.
Nominations will also be accepted from fellow
GTOs and group members.
Need help? If you have any questions about the award the editorial
team at Group Leisure & Travel are here to help. Telephone 01908
613323 or send an e-mail to editorial@groupleisureandtravel.com.
Click here to enter or nominate online
What have previous winners got to say?
“Winning has had such a positive effect on my role and the business it
generates. It’s had a great impact on interest levels, and gives me a very
professional look.”
Lin Wilson, GTO of the Year
Ye 2013, Solent Events & Leisure / Solent Events on Tour
“M group suddenly realised what a tremendous achievement it was
“My
fo
for me and how much I was organising – it was really just wonderful
re
recognition of everything. It was great to win, I was so chuffed.”
Andy Booth, GTO of the Year 2011, Sainsbury’s Staff
“To win is amazing. My group are thrilled that I won the award;
they feel special that I’ve been able to put them on the map.”
Marian Durbidge, GTO
TO of the
th Year 2017, Herts Theatre Club and Go Together
Travel Club
ub
“I wen
went in with no expectations, just to have a nice time, and when I won it
just like “oh my god!” A great number of my group were so determined
was ju
w
that I was going to win, that they all sent in nominations.”
Pauline Johnson, GTO of the Year 2010, Hinckley Social Theatre & Travel Club
www.groupleisureandtravel.com/gtooftheyear
If nominating a GTO, you can choose to remain anonymous or allow the organisers to know you have put them forward.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
33
r
o
f
t
l
i
po
Schoice
UK Focus: Yorkshire
• A view of the magnificent York Minster.
With historic cities to miles of
stunning coastline and scenery,
Yorkshire is the perfect
destination for groups.
T
here aren’t many
counties that can
lay claim to their
very own day in
the calendar. But
not only does Yorkshire have its
own day, 1st August if you were
wondering, it’s also home to the
longest city walls in England, three
Areas of Outstanding Beauty and
more Michelin-starred restaurants of any
other region outside London. Booked your
trip yet? We ind out why the largest county in the
UK is a must for group bookings.
34
May 2018
Photo credit: Visit England / Diana Jarvis.
Inspiring city culture
• Scarborough
Open Air Theatre.
From bustling York to the likes of Sheield, Hull,
Leeds, Ripon and Wakeield, you’ll be spoilt
for choice of where to take your group for
culture, heritage and shopping.
Starting in York, which was named
the best UK destination at last year’s
Group Leisure & Travel Awards, you
can’t go wrong. Dominating the city
is the magniicent York Minster and
for the irst time in nearly a decade
this year, visitors are able to see one
of its most famous works of art – the
Great East Window – which has been
revealed after a major restoration project.
Groups can book guides of the Minster, for
no extra cost, and the more active members can
climb the 275 steps up to the tower, with unrivalled
views across the city.
groupleisureandtravel.com
UK Focus: Yorkshire
• Enjoy fish and
chips on the
coast in Whitby.
Not too far away is the seaside town of Whitby
with some of the best ish and chips around.
Head to the Captain Cook Memorial Museum
which has a new exhibition giving visitors an
insight into life in the 18th century. If you’re
interested in literature explore the haunting
remains of nearby Whitby Abbey, inspiration
for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Even heading away from the coast, there’s plenty
of sealife, especially at he Deep in Hull, the
“world’s only submarium”. Groups of ten or more
can receive a discount for pre-booked visits.
Heritage sites
Photo credit: Visit England / Rich J Jones.
Groups can combine a visit to Helmsley Castle in
the North York Moors with trips to nearby Mount
Grace Priory House and Gardens and Rievaulx
Abbey. Mount Grace Priory House and Gardens
is ideal for a group itinerary and has undergone
signiicant improvements and a redesign led by
gardening presenter Chris Beardshaw.
Heading east? Don’t miss the hidden gem
that is Burton Constable House & Gardens.
Set in 300 acres of natural parkland, it ofers
visitors unrivalled access to 30 rooms of faded
splendour, illed with ine furniture, paintings
and sculptures. here are various options for
groups including a Capability Brown Parkland
Tour for those with 15 plus.
Photo credit: Visit England / Iain Lewis.
• The Deep, Hull.
For more stunning panoramic views, head to Cliford’s
Tower which stands proud on its high mound, raised by
William the Conqueror. Ater you’ve worked up an appetite,
head to York’s Chocolate Story, which as well as satisfying a
sweet tooth, takes you on a delightful journey, with plenty
of tastings along the way.
he York Pass, which ofers free entry to over 40 attractions,
including the Jorvik Viking Centre, tours and museums as
well as a free guidebook and exclusive special ofers, is a
great way to ensure your group its in the major attractions.
Coastline and sealife
he resort town of Scarborough is home to Europe’s
largest open air theatre, Scarborough Open Air heatre,
which now has a new standing area and plays host to some
of the biggest names in the music industry. he season
begins next month with Lionel Richie and welcomes Nile
Rodgers, II Divo and he Script among other stars on
the line-up.
groupleisureandtravel.com
GLT on tour
GLT editor Keeley
Rodgers spent time
exploring the historic
city of York, taking
in just some of the
attractions including
• Keeley at York’s
York’s Chocolate
Chocolate Story.
Story and climbing
the steps to the top
of the tower at the Minster. She also visited RHS
Harlow Carr and tried out the famous Betty’s
tearooms for herself.
Head to www.groupleisureandtravel.com/articles
to find out her tips for groups and why it’s her
new favourite destination.
May 2018
35
T H U R S D AY 2 1 J U N E
F R I D AY 2 0 J U LY
THE SCRIPT
PETE TONG
IBIZA CLASSICS
PRESENTS
S U N D AY 2 4 J U N E
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& CHIC
S A T U R D AY 2 1 J U LY
STEPS
IL DIVO
JAMES ARTHUR
S AT U R D AY 3 0 J U N E
S A T U R D AY 2 8 J U LY
ALFIE BOE
EMELI SANDÉ
BASTILLE
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F R I D AY 2 9 J U N E
T H U R S D AY 2 6 J U LY
T H U R S D AY 0 5 J U LY
S AT U R D AY 1 1 A U G U S T
S AT U R D AY 1 8 A U G U S T
JAMES
to book tickets
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36
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
UK Focus: Yorkshire
Photo credit: RHS and Lee Beel.
• RHS Harlow Carr.
Below: Exploring
Studley Royal
Water Garden.
Photo credit: National Trust Images Chris Lacey.
Gardens galore
Yorkshire is well-known for its stunning scenery
and dales; there are also plenty of gardens to explore,
including RHS Harlow Carr, set on the outskirts of
Harrogate in 68 acres of glorious wooded valley.
he northernmost of the RHS’s four beautiful
gardens is well worth the trip, capturing the essence
of Yorkshire whatever the time of year.
Others for your itineraries include the beautiful
Botanical Gardens in Sheield and the World
Heritage Site of Studley Royal Water Garden. Groups
can pre-book guided tours for both the water garden
and the abbey.
Get up close and ‘pawsonal’
While in the area, be sure to check out one of the
world’s largest collections of famous teddy bears
at Newby Hall near Ripon. Gifted by none other
than broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, who is cohosting this year’s Group Leisure & Travel Awards
as well as speaking at this year’s Group Leisure
& Travel Show, the collection is on permanent
display in a new purpose-built Bear House.
Steaming through countryside
his year marks 50 years since the re-opening of the
Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, a ive-mile long
heritage railway line in West Yorkshire. he anniversary
itself will be marked by a week-long celebration in June
but groups visiting the rest of the year can get special
packages, for a minimum of 20 people, including those
including catering options.
Another heritage railway you won’t want to miss is the
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a living link back to the
pioneering early days of steam travel. Groups travelling
from Pickering can stop off at Goathland Station, home
of Hogsmeade in the irst Harry Potter ilm.
Photo credit: Craig Szlatoszlavek.
Entry to the exhibition is included in the garden
entry price and groups of 15 or more can benefit
from a special group rate.
• Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
• Gyles Brandreth with a collection
of teddy bears at Newby Hall.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
37
UK Focus: Yorkshire
Seen on screen
A must for anyone staying in North
Yorkshire is a trip to the World of
James Herriot. Groups, of all ages,
are welcome at the former home
and surgery of the world’s famous
vet. Based in hirsk, the attraction
covers the life and books of the 20th
century vet and author.
One of Britain’s inest historic
houses and estates, Castle Howard
• A tour of Castle Howard.
has been used as a location for many
Photo credit: Visit England.
ilm and TV productions, not least
Brideshead Revisited and Victoria.
Photo credit: Visit England / Yorkshire.com.
Don’t miss the new art exhibition, Mat Collishaw’s The
Centrifugal Soul, and the immersive Great Gatsby show,
this year. Special group rates are available.
Of course a trip to the Dales wouldn’t be complete without
an Emmerdale experience. Groups of 15 or more can step
into the drama itself at the former ITV studios in Leeds
with special rates and beneits including free admission and
refreshment voucher for coach drivers, free fam visits and a
coach drop-of point at the front of the attraction.
Groups visiting the ever popular town of Beverley will also be
interested to note that the Minster doubled as Westminster
Abbey and St James’ Palace in the ITV hit series Victoria.
www.visityork.org • www.yorkshire.com
• The Yorkshire Dales.
The ‘Real Yorkshire Experience’
The team at the family-owned-and-run Rendezvous
Hotel in Skipton has launched a selection of itineraries
to suit groups’ specific requirements.
Those opting for the three-night Skipton Discovery
trip will have the opportunity to discover more
about the market town, the ‘Gateway to the
Dales’, visit Skipton Castle and the museum,
and enjoy a two-hour relaxing cruise on the
Leeds Liverpool Canal. You’ll take a nostalgic
ride on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam
Railway, visit the magnificent Bolton Abbey,
take a scenic tour of the Yorkshire Dales as
well as a guided tour of the popular Dales’
market town of Grassington.
38
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
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Best River Line Itineraries
May 2018
39
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• Disneyland Paris is Europe’s number one tourist destination
• Something for everyone (from teenagers and tots to great grandparents)
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Paris
France
Words: Robin McKelvie.
Factfile...
Best time of year to go: Spring or autumn
when it’s less crowded and cooler.
Best for groups
Seine Boat Trip: The legendary bateaux
mouches are Parisian icons. These classic cruisers
feature glass roofs so you can make the most of
a cruise by the Louvre, under the Pont Neuf and
by the dreamy banks of the river in the shadow
of Notre Dame. Myriad vessels ply the Seine
these days, with options for groups of all shapes
and sizes.
Private Louvre Tour: This epic gallery can be
daunting for first timers. Make the most of it by
enjoying a private guided group tour. This allows
you to hone in on certain periods and artists
without wasting time battling the crowds looking
for things and then running out of time.
Versailles trip: The centre of Paris can get a
little intense, especially in summer. Flee like a
French king out to the countryside retreat of
Versailles. This is the Mothership of all French
chateaux with group guided tours revealing the
little secrets of the palace and gardens that could
so easily be missed on your own.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Did you know? The Eiffel Tower was only
meant to be a temporary installation,
intended for 20 years.
Tourist office: en.parisinfo.com
Top tip: Travel itineraries
for tours of the city
Group getaways to
• The Sacré Coeur.
the city have never
been easier with
a number of
tour operators
offering packages.
Itineraries
organised by South
Quay Travel, for
example, include Paris
by Rail, when you’ll
have two nights to explore
highlights like the Eiffel Tower,
Louvre, Sacré Coeur and Notre Dame Cathedral;
and Breakfast in Paris, a one day trip where
you’ll take the Eurostar, enjoy brunch on a river
cruise before spending some time in the city and
then getting the train back home.
May 2018
41
Explore: Paris
• Jardin Tuileries, a public garden located between
the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde.
What’s new
he recently opened La Grande
Epicerie Rive Droite is a triple-layer
temple to ine food and wine that
cuts straight to the glorious foodie
heart of this famous gastronomic
destination. Whether it’s delicious
charcuterie or a bottle of Meursault,
it’s all here in impressive abundance.
Where to stay?
Shangri-La: There is no better
bolthole if you want to visit Paris in
serious style, with luxurious rooms
boasting views out over the Eiffel
Tower, smooth service, real opulence
and not one, but two Michelin star
restaurants, on site.
Victoria Palace: This 62-room
four star bolthole in a brilliant
location offers a sense of luxury
without breaking the bank on
the famous Left Bank – previous
guests include Oscar Wilde and
Queen Marie-Josee of Italy.
Hotel Beaumarchais: Ideal
for lively groups looking to
enjoy the vibrant nightlife of
Menilmontant, with chic rooms
thoughtfully decorated in a
range of vivid colours, funky
furniture and striking art.
www.shangri-la.com/paris/shangrila
www.victoriapalace.com
www.hotelbeaumarchais.com
Essential sights
1
The Eiffel Tower: Visiting is, of course, a cliché, but a brilliantly
enjoyable one for groups. The edifice itself, originally designed to be
just temporary, is utterly unique, but it is the views that are the most
spectacular part of all as the ‘City of Light’ unfurls all around. To complete the
experience book ahead to savour lunch or dinner at this world famous icon.
2
Ile de la Cite: This glorious island is where it all really began as a
small settlement grew on the banks of the Seine in Roman times.
Some of the city’s most dramatic buildings, such as the Notre Dame
Cathedral, still reside here and the views all around form a picture postcard
perfect scene (ideal for a group guided tour).
3
Musee D’Orsay: It’s one of the city’s most dramatic buildings,
commanding a stretch of the River Seine, and the collection of
avant-garde art and sculpture makes it unmissable for groups
looking to get under the city’s cultural skin. Look out this year for the
much-anticipated Blue and Rose Picasso exhibition, which runs from
18th September to 6th January 2019.
Live like a local
Every Sunday a massive lea market bustles into life in the north of the city
at Clignancourt. Forget the credit card melting fancy boutiques of the Grand
Boulevards and instead join savvy Parisians sifting through antiques and all
manner of bric-a-brac. Make sure to spend time in a café soaking it all in.
42
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Bratislava
Slovakia
Words: Sarah Holt.
Essential sights
1
Bratislava Castle: Bratislava Castle takes
its pew on the top of a rocky outcrop, a
ten to 15 minute walk from the Old Town.
The views here rival any IMAX movie. You can
peer out over the Danube, past the towering
UFO restaurant that looks like something from
a War of the Worlds film set, and beyond to
the countryside of three countries – Slovakia,
Hungary and Austria – in the distance.
2
Michael’s Gate: With its turban-shaped
roof that leads into a spire, Michael’s
Gate is one of the oldest buildings in
Bratislava. Its foundations were set around 1300
and it once served as one of a handful of heavily
fortified entranceways into the city, when the
rest of Bratislava was corralled by thick defensive
walls. You can climb to the top of the tower for
grandstand views of The Old Town.
3
Man at Work statue: Emerging from a
man hole at the crossroads of Rybárska
brána and Panská in the Old Town, there’s
a workman with a cheeky smile on his face.
He’s made of copper and one of several life-size
statues around the city. Touching the top of his
helmet is said to be good luck, so reach out and
make a wish while you’re here.
• Michael’s
Gate.
www.visitbratislava.com
Factfile...
Journey time: Ryanair flies direct from London
Stansted to Bratislava in two hours 15 minutes.
Direct regional flights are also available from
Leeds Bradford Airport.
Currency: Euro.
Best time to go: Spring and autumn are great times
to visit Bratislava. At these times of year there is less
tourist footfall on the cobbles and hotel prices are a
bit cheaper.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
43
Explore: Bratislava
• The Man at Work statue.
Food & drink
Where to stay?
Paris has its madeleines,
Lisbon has its pastel de nata,
Bratislava, meanwhile, has
its Bratislava Rolls. In the
shape of crescent moons,
they’re un-laky pastries that
are illed with either walnut
or poppy seed paste. hey’re
especially dunk-able when
served alongside a cofee latte.
Austria Trend Hotel:
Teetering on the edge of the
Old Town, this hotel is a dab
hand at welcoming groups.
Rooms are modern and there’s
an omelette chef on stand-by
at breakfast.
he rest of the world hasn’t
cottoned on yet, but Slovakia
is also home to a new wave
of cutting edge wine makers
like Berta, owned by two
brothers, whose bottles
are recognisable by their
ingerprint logo. Small groups
of 20 to 40 can take a tour of
Slovakian wines by booking
a tasting at Grand Cru Wine
Gallery in the old Town.
www.austria-trend.at/en
Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel:
Plumb in the heart of the Old
Town, this elegant hotel has
168 rooms and the capacity
to cater for groups of 1,000
people at a time.
www.radissonblu.com/en
Hotel Devin: Views of the
Danube and Bratislava Castle
are part of Hotel Devin’s box
of tricks. As are a spa and
private event spaces.
www.hoteldevin.sk/en
Live like a local
On the weekends, locals make a
beeline to the Fresh Market to catch
up while enjoying street-style eats.
Less than ten minutes from the city
centre by tram (get of at the Bratislava
Nove Mestro stop), this food market
is located inside a converted IKEA
building. Vendors sell everything from
gourmet hot dogs to traditional potato
soup with sausage over the counter,
and groups join to eat together at large
benches in the centre.
• Bratislava Castle offers great views of the Danube.
Best for groups
Old Town walking tour: A gold
crown the size of a VW Polo, the
former home of Beethoven’s muse, and
the building where Mozart played a
concert at the age of six are just a few
of the places you’ll see on an hour-long
walking tour of Bratislava Old Town.
You’ll also learn the tale of the queen
who was crowned a king and the story
of the hidden treasure of the Primate’s
Palace. Bookings are taken at the
Tourist Information Oice.
44
May 2018
Danube Cruise: Hop on a
sightseeing boat at Bratislava
Passenger Port and loat along
a section of Europe’s second
longest river. Bob east to
Devin Castle with its toothy
ruins that date back to the
9th century or cruise to the
Danubiana Art Museum in
Čunovo. It’s an island-based
art museum full of
contemporary works.
Konditorei Kormuth: his Old
Town café is the Sistine Chapel
of cofee and cake. Its ceilings,
walls, and even the toilet bowls
are painted with Renaissance-style
murals and motifs. Everything is
an antique here, from the cherub
shaped light holders to the porcelain
cups and sugar dispensers. House
specials include the blueberry and
cream cake, and the tiered walnut
and raspberry cakes.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Autumn & Winter Planning
Autumnal awes
wonders
Photo credit: VisitEngland and Woburn Safari Park.
We’ve got your autumn and
winter travel plans sorted, with
ideas ranging from river cruises
and new museum openings to
city food tours and long-haul
walking breaks.
groupleisureandtravel.com
S
o what if the nights draw in earlier and the days
get colder? Autumn and winter hold so much
potential when it comes to group trips, from
warm indoor tours to frosty morning rambles.
Not to mention the choice of group holidays you
can go on, both at home in the UK and overseas.
Be inspired by the following ideas, many of which can be
enjoyed in 2018 as well as in years to come.
May 2018
45
Autumn & Winter Planning
End of year getaways in the UK
Autumn and winter are superb times to take a
break, especially if your group is all about avoiding
the summer crowds and seeking out the beauty of
the British seasons.
Start by making the most of any good weather
with HF Holidays. A guided walking break at
Church Stretton in October will discover the
rolling hills and rugged moorland of Shropshire,
from a cosy base at Longmynd House, a fourstar country house ofering great walks on
your door step.
Potters Resort, located on the border of Norfolk
and Sufolk, ofers a wide variety of Midweek,
Weekend and One Night Breaks throughout
the year. Bungalow or hotel accommodation is
available, as is a variety of entertainment to suit the
time of year. Exclusive rates are available for 20 or
more people.
all the hotels, and a free place for groups for 20 or more are
further highlights.
On the edge of the South Downs National Park, groups can
stay at the Holiday Inn Winchester. Guests will stay in one
of 141 air conditioned bedrooms, all ensuite and ofering
Wi-Fi. he local area ofers a wealth of attractions within a
short drive of the hotel, such as Winchester Cathedral and
Winchester College.
For Daish’s Holidays’ eight hotels, the 2018 season is
currently in full swing, and now is as good a time as ever
to consider an autumn or winter stay. here are game show
themes breaks in October, and turkey and tinsel breaks in
November and December. Every Daish’s holiday includes
breakfast and a three course evening meal followed by live
nightly entertainment.
Groups might also opt for a stay with Strathmore
Hotels. he chain, with accommodation from
Cumbria to Oban in Scotland, has a variety of
new group packages this winter. An all-inclusive
package will see your group will receive three
complimentary drinks vouchers per day, and
dinner, bed and a full breakfast. Room upgrades at
• Left: Strathmore Hotels’
Cumbria Grand Hotel.
Above: Walking with
HF Holidays in Church
Stretton in Shropshire.
46
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
FREE ENTRY
AND DRINK
for driver/
organiser
HALLOWEEN
22.09.2018 – 04.11.2018
• Over 100 attractions and shows
• 13 rollercoasters and 5 water attractions
• Dreamlike overnight stays
ASON
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Join our friendly guides on a fascinating journey
through the Hall’s unique history, incredible
architecture and legendary performances
24.11.2018 – 06
*except 24./25.12.2018
europapark.com
Choose from 72
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A must see attraction for your group. Start your visit
to Portsmouth on a high – our stunning bird’s eye
view offers the ideal introduction to the city.
TO BOOK
Contact our Group Bookings team on 023 9285 7520, option 3
or email groupbookings@spinnakertower.co.uk.
AWARDS
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May 2018
47
Autumn & Winter Planning
• Autumn cruising on the Rhine.
battleields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drit, a full
day guided safari in Kruger National Park, and a
three-night stay in Cape Town.
Cultural visits for the seasons
Inevitable bursts of autumn rain and winter snow
will see your group pursuing shelter, and museums
are great places to stay warm and dry, and to learn.
Scotland’s irst design museum, the V&A Dundee,
will open in September. Groups will get to see
permanent galleries of Scottish design, as well as
an international schedule of changing exhibitions.
he museum will be free to enter, with charges for
temporary exhibitions.
Experience autumn
and winter overseas
Chase the winter sun by opting for a group holiday abroad.
he River Cruise Line is currently running special ofers
for groups on a series of departures this autumn. he ms
Serenity, for example, will sail an eight-day Colours of
Autumn cruise from Cologne to Amsterdam in October similar sailings will be available in 2019, too.
More river cruising can be enjoyed with CroisiEurope,
which owns and operates 50 ships and hotel barges. here
are a number of itineraries ideal for both autumn and
winter including cruises celebrating the grape harvest and
gastronomic highlights. CroisiEurope ofers discounts for
groups of 20 or more; plus from November through March,
groups of 80 plus can privately charter the ships.
Riviera Travel also runs a number of long-haul holidays
for the winter months. Popular with groups is South Africa;
a 16-day tour includes a tour of the legendary Zulu War
• The Royal Academy of Arts (RA).
48
May 2018
he D-Day Museum in Portsmouth has rebranded
as he D-Day Story and undergone a major
refurbishment. Said to be the only museum in the
UK dedicated to the Allied Invasion of June 1944,
it ofers groups of 15 or more a special rate.
In Bristol, Being Brunel has recently opened
at the SS Great Britain. he £7.2m new visitor
attraction is dedicated to the engineer Isambard
Kingdom Brunel and features six galleries setting
out some 150 of Brunel’s personal artefacts. Entry
to Being Brunel is included in the admission
price for Brunel’s SS Great Britain - group
discounts are available.
And he Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London
will open a new campus to the public on 19th May
as part of the celebrations of its 250th anniversary
year. Groups will be able to explore dedicated
galleries and changing exhibits, all accompanied
by a range of free tours, taster talks and object
handling stations.
Photo credit: Hayes Davidson.
groupleisureandtravel.com
N
O W
19 O
20 LE N
SA
Great for Groups
Why not join the hundreds of groups that travel with us every year and
discover all the benefits of Daish’s Holidays for yourself.
FREE
A choice of 7
fantastic seaside
locations spread
across 8 hotels
places for groups
over 20 people
Great value half
board breaks
including nightly
entertainment
Fleet of 22 luxury
coaches to provide
comfortable travel
Dedicated
groups team to
support you from
booking to arrival
Award
winning customer
service
Get in touch with us Today!
Call 01202 638 841 or visit daishs.com
Isle of Wight
Torquay
Bournemouth
facebook.com/daishsholidaysforgroups
Eastbourne
Llandudno
@daishs4groups
Newquay
Weymouth
Exceptional Value Inclusive Short Breaks
at Potters Resort
T H E NU
U M BEE R O N E CH
H OICEE F O R GR
R OU
U PSS OR
R C L UB
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Our dedicated Group Sales Team will be delighted to hear from you and talk you through the excellent benefits available. Enjoy great savings
and free places for your club or group on a wide variety of Weekends with Friends, Adult Breaks or Family Breaks. The Group Team offer
a professional service with promotional support and tailor made paperwork to ensure a smooth and easy booking process.
Full Board; 4 Meals a Day • Comfortable Accommodation • Exceptional LIVE Entertainment every evening
A host of inclusive Sport & Leisure facilities • A full programme of Activities to enjoy
For full details and your FREE 2018 BROCHURE call 0333 3207 474 or visit www.pottersholidays.com
POTTER
R S RESORT • COASS T ROAD • HO
O PTON-O
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K • NR31 9B
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groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
49
GROUP ACCOMMODATION &
COACH INCLUSIVE BREAKS
1 FREE PLACE FOR
GROUPS 20+
Special rates for groups
All bedrooms en-suite
Annual refurbishment
programme
Entertainment
Great locations
Dancing, festive,
all-inclusive, seasonal
breaks and more
Packed lunches, coach
coffee stops and high teas
Coach travel can also
be arranged
HARROGATE
LAKE DISTRICT
The Cairn Hotel
The Cumbria Grand Hotel
135 bedrooms
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Explore the wonderful South
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Great Accommodation, Food and Drink
The Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club
The Alexandra Hotel
113 bedrooms
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141 air conditioned en-suite bedrooms, including family and
accessible rooms. 2 AA rosette award winning restaurant serving
lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, prepared using local produce by our
team of expert chefs.
Great Location
Perfectly located just 2 miles from the historical centre of Winchester.
Within easy reach of many attractions including the village of
Chawton, the location of Jane Austen’s House and Chawton Library.
Great packages are available for the upcoming 200th anniversary of
her death. The Nethybridge Hotel
The Royal Hotel
The Salutation Hotel
70 bedrooms
91 bedrooms
84 bedrooms
S T R AT H M O R E
To book your stay with us, please visit the website
or call us on 01962 670700
Call us to discuss your requirements on
H O T E L S
01355 266886
OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE
groupsales@strathmorehotels.com
www.strathmorehotels.com
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With more than 100 years’
experience providing sociable
walking and activity holidays we’re
the perfect choice for exploring the
UK, Europe and the World.
Knowledgeable leaders, delicious
food and a choice of 18 UK country
houses in areas of outstanding
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unforgettable holiday. For those
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0345 470 7557
7HUPVDSSO\6DYLQJVRƩQLJKWKROLGD\VLIJURXSQXPEHUVGURSEHORZ\RXUSULFHPD\FKDQJH'HWDLOVFRUUHFWDWWKHWLPHRIJRLQJWRSULQW1RQPHPEHUDVVRFLDWHIHHRIeSSPD\DSSO\2ƩHUVDQGGLVFRXQWV
FDQQRWEHXVHGLQFRQMXQFWLRQZLWKDQ\RWKHURƩHUDUHVXEMHFWWRDYDLODELOLW\DQGFDQEHZLWKGUDZQDWDQ\WLPH9LVLWRXUZHEVLWHIRUIXOOWHUPVFRQGLWLRQVŠ(XURSHDQDQG:RUOGZLGHJURXSVVDYLQJVVWDUWDWRUPRUH
50
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Autumn & Winter Planning
• Views from the
Spinnaker Tower.
Tours for special interests
Poor weather can also be avoided on a guided tour, be it
at a sports stadium or even underground. Manchester
City Football Club has just introduced a new group tour
that visits both Manchester city centre and the Etihad
stadium in one go. Groups will learn about the history
and culture of the city, then hop on a tram to the Etihad
campus to see all the stadium has to ofer. his tour is
suitable for 20 or more people.
Take a diferent kind of tour at the Real Mary King’s
Close in Edinburgh. his social history tour ofers groups
the opportunity to discover a warren of streets frozen
in time, underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile.
his autumn, he Close has a number of added-value
packages available for groups, where GTOs are able to
choose the tour duration, and their character guide.
Foodie fun can be enjoyed in Bath where Savouring
Bath tours take in many culinary delights around this
Somerset-based city. Privately booked parties can be split
up into groups of 15. Guilty Pleasures, Food Heroes, and
Local Flavours are some of the tour options – the latter,
for example, includes a visit to the Bath Farmer’s market,
seeking out the city’s best artisan products.
Music fans won’t want to miss a look around the Royal
Albert Hall, where special interest tours are available
on request for groups of 15 or more and span a range
of subjects including the sufragettes and television.
Plus, the autumn and winter programme is packed with
exciting acts, and most shows have special group rates.
With the royal wedding currently a hot topic, it would be
a crime to miss out on a guided tour linked to the royal
family. he Royal Collection Trust looks ater a number
of properties linked to the British monarchy, from
Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to the Palace of
Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Top events: Halloween, Guy Fawkes,
light displays and more…
Find your horticultural passions at the Great Dixter
Autumn Plant Fair, running on 6th and 7th October.
Specialist nurseries from the UK and Europe will congregate
at this East Sussex attraction to sell all manner of plants and
garden products.
Alternatively, head to one of the RHS gardens, where Glow
events take place each year. he evening spectaculars (dates
to be conirmed later this year) bring the winter evenings
alive with fantastical giant flowers, dramatic installations
and brilliant illuminated trees.
Head to Europa-Park in Germany for Halloween, when
the theme park transforms into a mysterious autumnal
landscape. he attractions, the parade, and the show
program all adopt to the spooky season; dates will be
conirmed later this year.
Beaulieu in Hampshire will hold a Fireworks Spectacular
on 27th October. Said to be one of the biggest ireworks
displays in the south and choreographed to music, this year’s
theme is Back to the Eighties.
Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth is also worth considering
for ireworks displays. he landmark stands at 170 metres
tall and boasts interactive screens which tell you about the
view. At the top of the tower the ‘Sky Garden’ can be found,
which during the colder months is home to a wooden cabin
serving hot drinks to enjoy whilst admiring the view.
May 2018
51
Autumn & Winter Planning
Photo round up:
Autumnal glory and
frosty winter mornings
Photo credit: VisitEngland and Alex Hare.
• Above: Walkers in the Borrowdale Valley.
Top: Grasmere, Cumbria.
I
s there anything more glorious than the rich red, gold
and burnt orange of the English countryside at the turn
of the year? Or the crisp crunch of footsteps on frosty
grass as winter descends?
here is no end of choices when it comes to getting
outdoors – just be sure to don woolly hats and scarfs when
the weather turns chilly.
Sherwood Forest, Nottingham: his forest (with ties to
Robin Hood) covers a huge area, with plenty of walks and
cycle tracks to catch seasonal displays.
Borrowdale Valley, Cumbria: his valley runs for ten miles
from the high fells, with the 977m Scafell Pike the highest
summit, down to the shores of Derwentwater.
52
May 2018
Chatsworth, Derbyshire: he Chatsworth Park
covers 1,000 acres and is home to red and fallow
deer, sheep, cattle and many wild animals. Groups
are welcome at the estate, home to a mansion
and gardens.
Grasmere, he Lake District: Grasmere village
has associations with the Lake Poets, and there are
plenty of trails of many lengths, in and around the
quaint shops.
New Forest National Park, Hampshire: Here
you’ll ind a wealth of woods and parks. he best
way to see the area is by foot and there are plenty of
footpaths, as well as guided walking tours available
for groups wanting a journey with more direction.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Autumn & Winter Planning
• Views at Latrigg near Keswick.
Christmas
planning?
We know how important the festive
season is for group travel plans, and
that’s why we run a dedicated guide,
which will feature in our August
edition. It will include all the inspiration
needed for an abundance of
Christmas and New Year trips
this year and next.
Photo credit: VisitBritain and Thomas Heaton.
Photo credit: VisitEngland.
• Right: Ponies in the New Forest.
Far right: The Major Oak at
Edwinstowe, Sherwood Forest.
Photo credit: VisitEngland and
Experience Nottinghamshire.
• The Chatsworth Estate.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
53
ORDER, ORDER
Come and take a fresh look
020 7219 4114
Twickenham Stadium behind-the-scenes tour
New World Rugby Museum visit
Special Interest tours options
BOOK YOUR GROUP VISIT TODAY
Private tour. 10% discount for groups of 20+
Free coach parking. Free group organiser orientation visit.
020 8892 8877 . museum@rfu.com . worldrugbymuseum.com
Rugby
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54
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Iconic Britain
The best of
Britain
We pick out some of the most iconic
and unique British attractions.
Treated like royalty
W
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle has been the family home of
British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years.
From September to March each year, visitors can
also walk through the sumptuous Semi-State
Apartments, which served as the private rooms of
George IV in the 19th century.
ith two royal
weddings
this year,
there’s no
better time to visit Britain’s
royal and historic sites:
did you
know?
Windsor Castle contains
around 1,000 rooms
as well as several
dungeons.
Photo credit: Peter Packer.
Buckingham Palace
Bamburgh Castle
Buckingham Palace serves as both the oice and
London residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Visitors to the Summer Opening of Buckingham
Palace will be able to enjoy a special display of
over 100 works of art personally selected by The
Prince of Wales, to mark His Royal Highness’s
70th birthday.
Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland reigns supreme
over the surrounding landscape and seascape. Groups
can explore the State Rooms, discovering thousands of
items in a collection containing furniture, porcelain,
works of art, arms and armour. A separate museum
tells the story of 1st Lord Armstrong and contains
Aviation artefacts.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
55
Iconic Britain
King Richard III Visitor Centre
Using design and 21st century technology, the
Centre in Leicestershire tells the incredible
story of the king’s life and death, and reveals
one of the greatest archaeological detective
stories ever told. hrough interactive displays
and exhibitions, visitors can delve deeper into
topics such as the War of the Roses, and the
Houses of Lancaster and York.
did you
know?
Houses of Parliament
Tickets are now available for Voice and Vote:
Women’s Place in Parliament, a major public
summer exhibition between 27th June and
6th October 2018. It uses immersive and
interactive technologies to tell the story of a
century of women’s voices in Parliament, the
journey towards universal sufrage and the first
female MPs.
Photo credit: UK Parliament, Catherine Bebbington.
King Richard III was
the last English king
to die in battle and
was the first to be
DNA tested.
Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces.
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace’s Victoria Revealed exhibition is now open
to visitors and includes a suite of gems specially commissioned
for Victoria by her beloved Albert. Among the most personal
of these treasures are the spectacular gifts the couple
exchanged, from the moment of their engagement in 1839
and throughout their 21-year marriage, which are on show in
London for the first time.
• Left: A display in the Victoria Revealed exhibition.
56
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
Bamburgh
The King of
Castles
amazing
X
X
X
X
X
X
1-2 Hour visit includes guided tour
of the castle rooms
Armstrong & Aviation Museum
Live archaeological digs
Dedicated entrance for coach parties
Free admission and refreshments
for drivers
62-seat Cafeteria and Gift Shop
offering locally-sourced products
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Free inspection visits
Provision of publicity images
Only 4 miles from the A1
Out-of-hours tours by appointment
20% Off walk-up price
Direct access to sand dunes
and village from car park
Easy walk around base of the castle
walls with interpretation
[DAYS OUT]
OPEN all year round, weekend
opening in winter. Free guided tours
and introductory talks. We offer a
variety of tailor- made packages,
including live music, tastings and
specialist talks should you wish to
add a little extra to your visit.
To make an enquiry or a booking please
contact the Main Office:
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
NE69 7DF Tel 01668 214208
Email administrator@bamburghcastle.com
www.bamburghcastle.com
Living wonder
Brimming with horticulture,
science and royal heritage
groupleisureandtravel.com
Contact us for
special group rates
kew.org/groups
020 8332 5648
May 2018
57
Lose yourself in
the Crown Jewels
The treasures that
united the kingdom.
Contact us for group bookings
020 3166 6000
groupsandtraveltrade@hrp.org.uk
www.hrp.org.uk
Royal Collection Trust © 2018 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Iconic Britain
did you
know?
Beautifully British
B
ritain is home to a wide range of glorious
countryside and beautiful attractions just
waiting to be explored.
• A lion at Longleat.
There are 15
National Parks in
the UK, which cover
about 8% of its land.
Snowdonia
The Welsh mountain range which includes Wales’
highest mountain, Snowdon, is worth visiting especially
for groups who love the outdoors. From a variety of
treks, to the Snowdon Mountain Railway, you’ll be able
to see from great heights when visiting.
Stonehenge
Stonehenge is now even more accessible for groups
with a new 52 vehicle coach park and a Groups
Reception Building. Plus, the new exhibition Feast! looks
at the builders of the site and what they would have
cooked and eaten.
Hadrian’s Wall
Longleat
When visiting Longleat in Wiltshire, groups can
enjoy both the safari and Longleat House which
is packed with antiques. Longleat also represents
a prime example of ‘Capability’ Brown’s exquisite
style. His works, although not untouched, still
largely remain at the estate.
Snaking for 73 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s
Wall is a monument with some extraordinary tales
to tell. The four attractions along the way include:
Corbridge Roman Town, Birdoswald Roman
Fort, Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, and
Housesteads Roman Fort.
Photo credit: ©Hufton+Crow.
The Eden Project
The Eden Project’s covered biomes in Cornwall house the largest rainforest in
captivity, Mediterranean landscapes, an array of plants,
crop displays, art installations, exhibitions and
stories, which serve as a backdrop to the
contemporary outdoor gardens,
summer concerts and
year-round events.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
59
Iconic Britain
London’s life and soul
L
ondon is the heart of Britain, and
with plenty to do from theatres to
sky high attractions, you’ll never get
bored of visiting:
did you
know?
The name ‘Big
Ben’ does not refer
to the clock but to
the bell.
The Coca-Cola London Eye
Museum of London
he structure stands at 135-metres tall and gives
you views stretching across London and further.
Each rotation takes about 30 minutes and private
capsules can be hired out too. Groups with ten or
more can beneit from special discounts.
his year at the Museum of London, you can learn all about
female suffrage in a range of exhibitions and free galleries.
Running until 6th January 2019, Votes for Women features
iconic objects from the museum’s Suffragette collection and
looks into the struggle to get women the vote.
The View from the Shard
The View from The Shard offers 360-degree
panoramic views, stretching over 40 miles of
London’s skyline. Guests can enjoy a glass
of bubbles at London’s highest Champagne
bar or head up to the open-air sky deck.
The View from The Shard
also offers two virtual
reality experiences.
The British Museum
The British Museum is free to enter and features a
variety of collections. An exhibition, Rodin and the
art of ancient Greece is now running, among many
others such as Money and medals open until 30th
September. Groups with ten or more can arrange
special visits involving a special group entrance and
dining and tour packages.
62
May 2018
Shakespeare’s Globe
his Shakespearean theatre, a rebuilt version of the
original which would have stood nearby, has a rich
history and still includes a standing area as it would
in Shakespeare’s era. here’s always shows running
along with talks and tours throughout the year.
Upcoming shows include As You Like It, Othello
and Hamlet.
groupleisureandtravel.com
T H E F U N FA M I LY D E ST I NAT I O N . . .
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DISCOVER
SOMETHING
NEW
every time you visit
Groups go further at Eden
For bookings and enquiries:
groups@edenproject.com | 01726 811903
edenproject.com
w w w . e s s e x - s u n s h i n e - c o a s t . o r g . u k
The Eden Project connects us with each other and the living world.
Reg. charity no. 1093070 (The Eden Trust).
DISCOVER THE CONTROVERSIAL
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KING RICHARD III VISITOR CENTRE
NEW GROUP TALK FOR 2018
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FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:
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groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
63
A major new photography exhibition
11 May – 11 November 2018
Group discounts and exclusive curator tours available
Book now
museumoflondon.org.uk/londonnights
Media Partner
Piccadilly at Night © Estate of Bob Collins
ROMAN
DEAD
25 MAY – 28 OCTOBER 2018
DEATH AND
BURIAL IN
ROMAN LONDON
MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS
MUSEUMOFLONDON.ORG.UK/ROMANDEAD
Canary Wharf
West India Quay
FREE ENTRY. ENHANCE A VISIT WITH AN EXCLUSIVE CURATOR TOUR FROM £10 PER PERSON.
Iconic Britain
Experiences like no other
F
rom the iconic to the more unusual,
Britain ofers attractions with
experiences to remember:
Photo credit: VisitBritain, VisitScotland.
Loch Ness
The Loch Ness monster is a myth that nearly everyone has heard
of. When visiting the area in Scotland with your group you might
like to take a trip on your coach around the loch or take walks
around parts of it. Plus, there’s the Loch Ness Visitor Centre which
features information and displays about the Loch and ‘Nessie’.
Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast is said to be the world’s largest
Titanic visitor experience which explores the
story of the Titanic. It features nine interactive
galleries which look at the ship and its history
as well as architectural displays looking at the
building of the attraction. Group bookings are
available and a number of group hospitality
packages such as dining can be arranged.
Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham Stadium is the Home of England
Rugby. It opened in 1909 under King George
V and has played host to rugby’s greatest
heroes ever since. Explore Twickenham with
a rugby expert on a behind the scenes tour
and journey through rugby history in the new
World Rugby Museum.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Visitors to Kew Gardens in London can now enjoy
thousands of plants from the temperate regions of the
world in the Temperate House. Many of the featured plants,
from as far-a-field as Australasia, South East Asia, South
Africa and the Americas. Visitors can explore the gardens
too, taking in the exotic and colourful plants that bloom.
did you
know?
During World War
One, Twickenham
Stadium was used to
graze horses destined
for service.
May 2018
65
Zoos & Animal Encounters
Attenborough
fever
A look at some of the best attractions to take a wildlife-themed trip to,
with a focus on immersive experiences available to group visitors.
P
lans for a new wildlife television
programme fronted by Sir David
Attenborough plus a continued public
interest in the natural world make this
the perfect time to shine a light on trips
focusing on animals. And birds, and insects, and
everything lufy, furry, scaly, slithering and noisy
in between.
here’s no end of attractions to take your group
to, especially ones that ofer close-up or hands-on
experiences where visitors are able to get near to
their favourite creatures.
Safari is one way to do this, and attractions such
as Longleat in Wiltshire, Woburn Safari Park in
Bedfordshire and West Midlands Safari Park all
ofer epic drive-through experiences (perfect if
you’re a group visiting on a coach).
Did you know that Longleat was the irst safari
park to open in the UK? It celebrated its 50th
anniversary in 2016. On a visit, look out for animals
including lions, wolves, girafes and monkeys, plus
many more, and take advantage of group rates for
both the safari park and the rest of Longleat’s estate.
Close encounters with all kinds of creatures are the
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s speciality. It runs
nine wildlife visitor centres around the UK and
ofers a 15% discount for groups and the option
66
May 2018
to pre-book guided tours, walks and talks. Bird
feeding, Landrover safari and canoe rides are
great options when it comes to getting close to
the wildlife.
Groups seeking something new this year should
head to Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire which
has just opened a new enclosure, a £3.5 million
Chimpanzee Eden. For the irst time, this sees
the zoo’s chimpanzees living together in an
immersive jungle-like habitat. Snow leopards
and Humboldt penguins are among the other
must-see residents at the zoo, where discounted
rates for 20 or more people apply.
Try something a little diferent by visiting
ZSL Whipsnade in Bedfordshire – for an
overnight stay. Groups are able to book out
the zoo’s collection of Lookout Lodges, located
next to the white rhino enclosure. Exclusive
ater-hours tours of the zoo at sunset, animal
feeds, dinner and breakfast can be arranged
as part of the experience.
More fun can be found at Amazona Zoo in
Norfolk, which houses species from South
America including jaguars, lamingo and
caiman. Groups can enjoy watching feeding
sessions throughout each day, plus take
advantage of discounted rates for pre-booked
groups of 20 or more.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Zoos & Animal Encounters
GTO favourites…
“My favourite animal park for large drive-through animal
encounters with great other attractions is the West Midlands
Safari Park. And my favourite small park which you walk
around is Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. The latter
has a great viewing area right next to the tiger enclosure,
where you can book afternoon tea and watch the tigers”.
Gordon Hadden, B & B Group Leisure
Photo credit: ZSL.
groupleisureandtravel.com
• A Lookout Lodge
at ZSL Whipsnade.
• Feeding time with the
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
May 2018
67
Zoos & Animal Encounters
• A flight display at the Hawk Conservancy Trust.
he zoo at Sewerby Hall and Gardens in Yorkshire
is home to a range of over 60 mammals and birds,
with favourites including the Eclectus parrot, the
Humboldt, and the cute raccoon dogs. New for 2018
are extra animal feeding times for lemurs, coatis,
penguins, goats and alpacas. A visit to the zoo is
included in the admission to Sewerby Hall and
Gardens estate.
In Cambridgeshire, groups might like to visit
Hamerton Zoo Park which houses a collection of
over 100 diferent animal species, from aardwolves
to zebras. his zoo specialises in breeding rare and
unusual species, and ofers group rates for 15 or
more people when booked in advance.
GTO favourites…
“Manor Farm and River Hamble
Country Park in Hampshire is a
working Victorian Farm, so when I
took my group we added a history
theme to the trip and actually had
a short lesson there. It’s also where
they filmed the Wartime Farm for the
BBC for a year. I just love it”.
Mary Abraham, Bitterne Local History Society
Bird-themed fun can be expected at the Hawk
Conservancy Trust in Hampshire. Witness over
130 birds of prey amidst 22 acres of woodland
and meadow, plus enjoy spectacular lying
demonstrations. Pre-booked groups (15 or more) can
also admissions discounts, and free coach parking.
three fascinating facts
about some of the UK’s
animal attractions:
1
2
Chester Zoo in Cheshire is home to what
is thought to be the largest snake in
Europe – a reticulated python called Bali,
who measures over 6.5m long.
Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre
in Dorset rescues all apes in need and
does not limit itself to take only a few
of each species. Because of this, it is currently
home to what’s said to be the biggest group
of chimpanzees outside of Africa.
3
Marwell Zoo in Hampshire has just
unveiled its new immersive and
sustainable Energy for Life Tropical
House, which will become the first in the UK
to generate energy using zoo poo.
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
69
Zoos & Animal Encounters
At Dudley Zoological Gardens in the West
Midlands, over 1,000 animals, many exotic and
endangered, inhabit an ancient wooded hillside
around the ruins of the 11th century Dudley
Castle. Look out for lemurs, tigers, birds of prey
and everything in between. Groups can handfeed Rainbow Lorikeets pots of nectar.
For something reptile-based, head to
Crocodiles of the World in Oxfordshire. his
all-weather attraction brings visitors face-toface with some of the world’s most prehistoric
predators, including crocodiles, komodo
dragons and monitor lizards. Talks, feeds and
animal encounters take place throughout the
day, and groups of 20 or more receive a 10%
discount on entry.
Want to take a real walk on the wild side?
Take your animal encounter one step further
by stepping into the true wilderness of East
Africa. Venture Uganda runs mountain gorilla
tracking experiences through the Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park. Your group will
trek through the forest to ind gorilla families,
and get to watch them in their natural habits.
• Spot gorillas in the
wild on a tour with
Venture Uganda.
GTO favourites…
“A great possibility for groups would be to combine Dudley
Zoological Gardens and the fabulous Black Country Living
Museum, also in Dudley. There is the possibility of a boat
trip on the Dudley Canal incorporated into the Museum
Campus. These three attractions have a great deal to
commend them for all age groups.”
Harry John Stratton, Friends in Retirement
Bob Streatfeild, head of VIP
experiences at Woburn Safari Park
in Bedfordshire, on group visits:
“Woburn offers a great opportunity to see amazing
animals including bears, wolves, tigers, lions, rhino,
giraffe, monkeys and many more wandering right next
to your vehicle. There are also numerous restaurants
and venues for groups to hire out for private lunches
on their day out.
“A guided tour is really important to ensure group
visitors get the most from their day at the par,
especially if it is their first visit. Adding this extra onto
a coach drive definitely helps to ensure that visitors
have the best experience.”
the group organiser plus free entry (maximum
numbers apply); and 10% off all retail and catering
purchases at the Park during a visit.
At Woburn Safari Park, groups can take advantage
of discounted rates; a free familiarisation visit for
Read our full interview with Bob online
n ine
nli
nline
nee
at groupleisureandtravel.com/articles
ccles
cle
ess
70
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
We‘ve got it all
HOUSE • GARDENS • ZOO
Near the beautiful seaside resort of Bridlington
www.sewerbyhall.co.uk
SewerbyHall
groupleisureandtravel.com
May 2018
71
Interview: Harold Burke
An outstanding
contribution
to group travel
• GLT publisher Rob Yandell presenting
the Award to Harold Burke, with
magician and co-host, Ben Hanlin.
he emotion and shock of receiving the award, only
the second such accolade to be given in the 20 years
that the Group Leisure & Travel Awards initiative
has been running, is still apparent when speaking to
Harold today.
He said: “It was such a proud moment for me and
for it to happen with so many industry friends in the
room, who I admire and respect made it extra special.
No words can express how appreciative I feel towards
Group Leisure & Travel for choosing me as the
recipient for this prestigious Award which is without
doubt the highlight of my career.”
For somebody who ended up working in the travel
industry “by sheer luck”, Harold has had a very
successful career to date. His irst job was at the
local Co-op shop, but through what he says was
the connection, combined with his football team
allegiance, a young Harold was eventually offered a job
in the company’s group travel division, based in his
home town, Manchester.
Six months after being honoured for his
contribution to group travel we catch
up with Harold Burke, sales director
for The UK Holiday Group about his
success and the future of group travel.
T
he look on Harold’s face when he realised that
the words about the winner of the Outstanding
Contribution to Group Travel Award were in
fact about him, said it all. And six months ater
being given the accolade at the Group Leisure &
Travel Awards ceremony in Birmingham last October, it still
hasn’t quite sunk in.
“I don’t think it ever will, especially considering there
are so many other worthy candidates in this industry”, a
modest Harold tells us, despite so many friends, colleagues
and customers telling him the award was indeed,
very “well deserved”.
72
May 2018
He said: “he manager, Ray Clarke, was a big Man
City fan so in short I was nailed on for the job! hat
lucky twist of fate, back in 1971, is how I ended up in
travel and I haven’t looked back since.”
Ater 15 years at Co-op, Harold was head-hunted by
Pontin’s to lead the group travel operation and had
a spell at Parkworld Resorts (incorporating Butlins,
Haven and Warners) before joining Norwich-based
he UK Holiday Group (which includes just for
groups! Grand UK, Sunrise Direct and Glenton
Holidays) as Sales Director in 1999.
“Over the years I have become more and more
involved in the group travel side of the business”,
Harold said. He added: “Group travel has always been
my passion so the more time I can spend with them,
the better.”
From humble beginnings to his current role, Harold
has achieved so much over the years. On receiving his
award he said that he’d seen the travel industry grow
from one without an identity to what it is today.
groupleisureandtravel.com
Interview: Harold Burke
• Harold in New York.
Have your say in the Group Leisure
& Travel Awards 2018
Voting and nominations for all 20 categories,
including the GTO of the Year Award, is now open.
Turn back to pg. 28 for details or visit
www.groupleisureandtravel.com/awards
When asked about the major changes he had witnessed over
the years, Harold said: “I must have started in the group travel’s
dinosaur’s period and evolution has taken me from ground
zero through to developments including the introduction of
the calculator (yes I am that old), fax machines, direct phone
lines, trade shows, publications and the internet…the list goes
on and on.
“By and large it has all been good for the industry as a
whole and groups are now just as likely to book trips to
Barcelona, or even Las Vegas, as they are to Bournemouth.”
And Harold is just as excited about the future of the group
travel industry, especially as the role of the group travel
organiser continues to evolve.
• Picking up the
gong at the GLT
Awards 2017.
• Exploring Venice.
Harold on…
The future of group travel: The most interesting,
and important, aspect is how the role of a group
organiser will evolve. Back in the 70LRs a big
proportion of the groups I had were Darby & Joan
Clubs or Age Concern. Today’s 60-year-olds are
literally ‘young of mind’ and have the world at
their finger-tips booking far-flung destinations or,
if like me, their next Caribbean cruise!
groupleisureandtravel.com
With such a genuine passion for what he does, Harold
has shared some sound words of advice to others in the
industry: “Remember that
without the group leader there
is no industry so we must value
them above everything else. I’d
like to personally thank all the
group leaders who have kept
me in gainful employment for
almost - dare I say it - 50 years.
I simply could not have done it
without you.”
What he loves most about his job: The feeling of success
is one of the best feelings. Knowing that, as a team, we
have had a productive year and continue to grow – simply
because that only happens if you are delivering a quality
product and keeping your valued customers happy.
Advice to people starting out in the industry: Other than
to listen and learn the main advice I’d give is that ‘only you
can make it happen’. You have to stand out from the crowd
and can only do that by using your initiative and building up
a relationship based on trust with the group leader.
May 2018
73
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My Group & I
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Photo credit: Adam Gasson Destination Bristol.
In good company
Back in 2009 Jim Godsell won the
coveted GTO of the Year Award.
Nine years later we find out how
his role as an organiser has changed.
he interesting thing is, my group is quite unique. It’s not a
society or a club - they’re friends that my wife Denise and I
have gathered over the years since being married.
What types of trips do you do?
Jim, how have you been since winning the award?
Well I’ve still been busy organising – probably far too
much for an old man (laughs). But we have a lot of fun,
that’s the main thing!
How many trips do you
run each year?
Far too many and I do a
range of things. I call them
events really because it can
be theatres, luncheons,
meals and cabarets. But
last year I did 19 events.
Jim Godsell at a glance...
Group Name: Jim Godsell and Friends
No. of members: 150
Based in: Birmingham
Time organising: 60 years
76
May 2018
Denise and I are both in our 80s now and of those 120 or so
who normally go on one of our trips I know that 48 are also
in their 80s. So, over the years I’ve done things that will suit
elderly people. I won’t plan any trips abroad now because of
that. But there is so much to do in England to keep us busy.
I keep saying I need to start calming down but here I am
booking for 2019.
Have you been to any West End shows recently?
We live in Birmingham and we’ve got two good theatres –
the Hippodrome heatre and the Alexandra heatre. So,
there’s shows, musicals, bands, and of course plays and
all the arts. And even though I’m not going to London so
much these days we did see he Lion King again last year,
which if you haven’t seen it, will blow your socks off. And
I’m doing Aladdin this year too.
Are there any British attractions on your bucket list?
I think I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to! Some years ago,
I went on a fam trip with Group Leisure & Travel and we
went on board the SS Great Britain.
groupleisureandtravel.com
My Group & I
Jim recommends…
There’s nothing quite like a West End Show but
Kilworth House in Leicestershire has an open-air
theatre and the shows are West End quality. Also,
Warner Leisure offers a total holiday experience for
groups, great for both a fun and quality mini holiday.
• Open-air theatre at Kilworth House, a favourite outing
with Jim and his group.
We went into their irst-class dining room and I thought
“One of these days I’d love to do a lavish banquet here”
and never thought it’d happen but I actually achieved that
recently. We took a group and had a lavish banquet on the SS
Great Britain and I don’t think many GTOs have done that.
Does your wife Denise help with the organising?
Yes she does. She sort of underlines everything. I am a bit
unrealistic sometimes and she brings me back down to earth.
• Jim with friends on a Warner Leisure holiday.
So what advice would you give other GTOs?
Do you remember the first trip you ever organised?
Be dedicated and thorough - those are the main qualities.
And use all the wonderful things that are at our disposal,
like Group Leisure & Travel magazine which has so much
information inside.
The irst trip I ever organised was back in 1958. I actually
took a group on a day trip to London and we saw a
show called Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. Barbara
Windsor was in it and she was only in her 20s then.
How did it feel when you picked up the GTO of the Year
Award back in 2009?
Tell us a memorable tale from one of your trips
It was just a nice recognition and greatly received. It was
totally unexpected I must admit. I loved the awards
evening. It was really special.
What changes do you see for the group travel industry
in the future?
And finally, do you have any words of wisdom for
finalists of the GTO of the Year Award this year?
Be honest. Be thorough. Be enthusiastic. Be prepared.
Prove worthy and aim high.
ganiser
l or
o
ve
award
year
he
ft
group tra
I would like to see the travel industry taking the lead in
inluencing hotels to realise that they need to reconsider their
singles policy. Because more and more people in groups are
ageing, so year on year we need more single rooms.
We went to Alvaston Hall, one of Warners’ adult only
hotels. They have events during the day, one of which is
Pop Choir. We had such fun with choir practice and had
a record number of 110 choristers. The entertainments
manager there was so impressed he asked us to perform
on the inal night of our holiday.
Entries and nominations are now
open for the 2018 GTO of the
Year Award
You can now enter or nominate the 2018 Group
Travel Organiser of the Year. The winner will
receive £2,000 to spend on a future trip and will
be presented with the award on 10th October at the
Hilton Birmingham Metropole.
Enter or nominate at:
• Jim Godsell (middle) collecting his award
in 2009 from Colin Wilson, formerly of
Travelsphere, and Awards co-host Tina Hobley.
groupleisureandtravel.com
www.groupleisureandtravel.com/gtooftheyear
May 2018
77
Grumpy
group organiser
Making off with hotel TVs and clubbing advice this month...
‘Accidental’ hotel
thefts make the mind boggle
You can sleep soundly tonight knowing that residents
in Liverpool are the most moralistic when it comes to
taking items from a hotel room, with half of residents
considering it as theft compared to just 29% of
holidaymakers from Southampton and Bristol. What
are they smoking down there? The findings come from
a piece of marvellous research from travel insurance
company, Columbus Direct. There are millions of
pounds lost each year by hotels, suffering at the hands
of unscrupulous guests who make off with things
like slippers and dressing gowns. Are these
people stupid or just naive? You rarely
get anything for free these days; how
often have I had to call Reception for an
iron or died of thirst first thing in the
morning because there is no Teasmade?
Even when I’m blessed with a fridge,
half the time there’s nothing in it. That’s
probably down to the 1.6 million Brits who
take alcoholic drinks from the mini bar and
refill them in the hope they are not detected.
Please everyone think before you check-out; do
you really need another television or
hairdryer? I’m serious; these are also
some of the items taken, according
to the research that found that
2.5 million of us have swiped
music players, alarm clocks, and
telephones too. If this is the
world we live in, I think I’ll
stay in bed.
Mega rip-off
When you have graced the motorways of Britain you have
probably noticed a Megabus or two. The popularlity of these
services for groups continues to grow I am led to believe.
Travel expert, Simon Calder even referenced this at last
year’s Group Leisure & Travel Show (he’s back this October
too, what a result!). But be warned, when being lured by
deals not everything may be as it seems. Megabus adverts
Photo credit: Party Hard.
How to avoid partying
hard this summer
he top destinations to avoid for summer 2018 have
been revealed with Kavos on the Greek island of Corfu
hitting the number one spot. Actually it’s been named
the number one party destination, known for its wild
nightlife with young Brits heading to the isle in droves
to enjoy its beach, boat and paint parties. I have never
been to a paint party but it sounds rather serene. I can see
myself sitting in front of my easel with the vista before
me as I create my masterpiece. he paint parties in Kavos,
though, are somewhat diferent.
he second most popular party destination for summer
2018 is Malia, on another of the Greek islands, Crete,
followed by Ibiza, Zante, Ayia Napa, Sunny Beach and
Magaluf. So our thanks must go to clubbing holiday
brand, Party Hard Travel. Perhaps you do organise for a
group who want to reach for the lasers… if so good luck
to you and don’t call me, I’ll call you.
that promote fares from £1 have been banned by the
Advertising Standards Authority after the company owned
up that as few as one seat per coach was available for a
mere quid. For example, only 3% of fares for the London to
Bath route were found to be available at £1 despite adverts
promoting this seemingly amazing price. Companies that
use an asterisk and hide behind T&Cs in this way should be
ashamed of themselves. Transparency is the best policy to
earn the trust of your customers. Perhaps if it sounds too
good to be true, it is. How depressing.
The views expressed in this column are not necessarily the views of the publisher.
78
May 2018
groupleisureandtravel.com
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and five-star river cruises, exciting journeys by rail,
once in a lifetime tall ship adventures and our new
transatlantic cruises - something to suit everyone’s
taste and budget, whether travelling as a
group or as an individual.
WHY CHOOSE
RIVIERA TRAVEL?
✓ Unbeatable value, such as four days in
Paris from £279pp
✓ No hidden extras and a ‘No Surcharge’
guarantee
✓ An extensive programme of excursions all
included in the price
*
✓ Award winning tours with unbeatable service
✓ Full financial protection through ABTA and ATOL
✓ Regional flights and rail connections†
5%
C O MMISSION
WITH GRO UP S
O F 10+
✓ Escorted throughout by professional and
knowledgeable tour managers
To request a brochure, please call:
01283 742322
www.grlriviera.co.uk
For group enquiries: groups@rivieratravel.co.uk
Web:
Please mention Group Leisure Magazine April when you book.
Riviera Travel, New Manor, 328 Wetmore Road, Burton on Trent, Staffs, DE14 1SP. ABTA V4744 and ATOL 3430 protected. Prices are
based on two people sharing a twin room. *Some elements are not commissionable, including upgrades, insurance premiums and
some supplements – ask for full details. †At a supplement on selected tours and dates. Additional entrance costs may apply.
A commission invoice will be requested from the group leader in the month following that of the departure.
EA R N
ABTA No. V4744
GREAT FOR
GROUPS
Book at JET2HOLIDAYS.COM/GROUPS
visit your LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT or call 0800 408 0774
SAVE
*
£100
PER
PERSON
**
*T&C’s apply. See Jet2holidays.com/promotions for details. **T&C’s apply. See jet2holidays/terms-and-conditions.
^Free name change applicable for groups of 10 or more, outside of two weeks from departure. See jet2holidays/terms-and-conditions for full terms and conditions.
^
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