We have a saying here in England, “You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once” – and so it is with UK Tea Room Tours. I’ve been banging on about them for a very long time and this week, 6 small group requests have come in one after another! Give my top story careful thought and then let’s start an email conversation.
Elsewhere, I’m commending a visit to the World of Wedgwood, a lovely hotel just north of London, some new Beatles shore excursions in Liverpool and some terrific flower shows and flower festivals.
|Putting the ‘T’ in the Cotswolds
I recently googled ‘Tea Rooms’ in several North American cities and came across some real beauties. You probably don’t need to do the desk research because you already know where they are. Some of them will be immensely popular and in my book, popularity means that the owners will have a personal following. Talk to them about a customised UK tour to the attractive villages and privately-owned castles and stately homes in the Cotswolds, with London at the end. Check out this conversation-starting tour.
|Fly to China -The Breakable Kind
I recently visited the World of Wedgwood and was hugely impressed by the extent of what they offer. Ensure that you allow at least 3 hours for the Factory Tour, a visit to the Wedgwood Museum, a cup of coffee or English Afternoon Tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room or the Tea Conservatory or lunch in the Dining Hall and time for shopping. Use the non-stop Manchester flights for a long weekend that includes Wedgwood, a special visit to Emma Bridgewater and an utterly absorbing day among the priceless treasures in nearby Chatsworth House.
|It’s All About Seaweed
If a visit to Cornwall for an On Location Poldark and Doc Martin tour is on your client’s bucket list, time the visit to coincide with picturesque Clovelly’s Seaweed Festival (24th May). It celebrates seaweed for its immense health and nutritional benefits and it’s the only one of its kind in the UK. Along with street entertainment, demonstrations, arts, crafts and live music talks, several of the quayside kitchens will be serving a surprising variety of dishes while other stalls will be selling a range of seaweed products.
|Stay on the Waddesdon Estate
For frequent travelers to the UK, looking for a boutique hotel just outside London and in the English countryside, the elegant Five Arrows Hotel stands near the gates of Waddesdon Manor. Recently refurbished throughout, it has 16 beautifully appointed bedrooms, a 2 AA Rosette restaurant and is a delightful mix of English style with half timbering and elaborate Elizabethan chimneys. With easy access to Southampton and Harwich and not too difficult for Dover, it’s a perfect base for a pre-cruise extension.
|New HMS Victory Dry Dock Experience
From April 2020, for clients cruising in or out of the south coast port of Southampton, visitors to HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be given special access to walk under the iconic survivor from the Battle of Trafalgar as part of a brand-new experience. For the first time ever, the dry dock in which she sits, is included on the visitor route and her oldest, rarely seen areas will finally be on display. For those with family who fought for our freedom in WWII, the D-Day Museum is close by.
|New Beatles Liverpool Shore Excursions
If you have clients on Britain cruises that stop for the day in Liverpool, one of these shore excursions will catch their eye. One of them includes a visit to the new Strawberry Field attraction, a former children’s home that inspired The Beatles’ famous song and the new Magical Beatles Museum. The other one visits the Beatles Story and then takes a tour that includes visits to the childhood home of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Email me for full details of these unique close encounters with the Fab Four.
|Chelsea and Chichester
For green-fingered clients who have never been to the Chelsea Flower Show, chat to them about this itinerary which also includes some fascinating visits in and around the cathedral cities of Winchester and Salisbury. They will also get to spend a few hours among the inspired and fragrant arrangements at the Chichester Festival of Flowers. The ‘Realms of Glory’ displays will be based on quotations from the Bible and presented as picturesque tableaux, gardens and pedestal arrangements including a ‘Garden of Eden’, the sailing of the ‘Mayflower’, a Heavenly Feast, and Angels in the Cloisters.
|Two Flower Festivals and the RHS Wisley Flower Show
If your gardening and other contacts can’t get away during the spring, offer them this unique early-September tour which combines the RHS Wisley Flower Show with the Leeds Castle Festival of Flowers, and ‘Confluence’, a floral extravaganza that celebrate the 800th anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral on this site. To add more substance to the theme, the visit will be preceded by a closer look at the once thriving, nearby town of Old Sarum where you will be able to stand in the footprint of Salisbury’s original cathedral.
Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org