This week’s short stories focus on several bright ideas for September 2020, and I’ve kicked off with a very tasty offering for the York Food and Drink Festival. Just under 2-hours north of London and easily accessible with Virgin Atlantic direct flights into the northern gateway of Manchester, it includes a class at the Cookery School at the 5-star Grand Hotel. Beer, tea, and wine-themed tours come next – followed by an absolutely fabulous garden tour to the Wisley Flower Show, the flagship home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Plus, for this year only folks, the floral extravaganzas at fairy tale Leeds Castle and in majestic Salisbury Cathedral. For fans of murder mystery novels, I’ve closed with a heads up for the International Agatha Christie Festival on England’s Riviera.
|Foodie Tour in York
Topped and tailed with some time in London, I’ve created special tour for the York Food and Drink Festival (18th -27th September). It includes a half-day course at the York Cookery School, the city’s chocolate trail, the Malton Food Trail, English Afternoon Tea in 2 fabulous locations and a couple of optional side trips.
|Mine’s a Pint of Wychwood Hobgoblin
This is a great, small group idea for a September/October UK tour that enables husbands to visit 4 different breweries while their wives go to interesting places nearby. It’s based in the Cotswold countryside and finishes with a couple of nights in London. And yes, there really is a beer called Wychwood Hobgoblin.
|Tea Rooms and Treasure Houses
Think of your favorite local tearoom and then talk to the owner about a September tour to the Cotswolds and London for 6-8 of their best customers. As they probably watch Masterpiece, they’ll enjoy the day that includes locations used in the filming of Father Brown. Travelling before 8th September, we could include Downton Abbey.
Located just north of London, treasure-filled Waddesdon Manor is staging its inaugural Wine Festival on 20th-21st June. Waddesdon Uncorked is a celebration of boutique vineyards, spirit makers and artisan food producers from the county of Buckinghamshire, Britain and beyond. Meet the producers, taste some exquisite wines and discover the story that makes each of them special.
|The Four Seasons on Display at Wisley
These larger-than-life busts by contemporary American sculptor and filmmaker Philip Haas, will go on display at RHS Garden Wisley for its major 2020 art exhibition. Opening on 9 March and running until 30 September, they will be there for the RHS Wisley Flower Show tour which includes the floral extravaganzas at Leeds Castle and Salisbury Cathedral.
|A Treasure Trove of English Gardens
If you look closely at my tour suggestions, you will see that I frequently recommend starting a UK visit with 4-5 nights in the English countryside. This programme encourages customers to park their jetlag amidst the castles, stately homes, gardens and country pubs of Kent and Sussex — so that they are on GMT when they reach London.
Permanently anchored in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, you can now see areas of this iconic, Victorian iron-clad ship as it is re-imagined in a new way. You now board the ship as it carries out its round Britain tour of 1863, with actors bringing it to life and providing a chance to see the human face of Warrior.
|The Great Detectives
If your clients are fans of Masterpiece Theatre, they will really enjoy rubbing shoulders with other Agatha Christie fans at the 15th-19th September Festival – full programme tbc shortly. It will also include visits to locations used in the filming of Inspector Morse, Father Brown, Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders, Sherlock Holmes and a performance of The Mousetrap.
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.