Roses, Caber Tossing, The Fab Four, and James Herriot | Travel Research Online


Roses, Caber Tossing, The Fab Four, and James Herriot


Your guess is as good as mine as to when scheduled transatlantic flights will lift off once again but, in the hope that normal service resumes in the spring/early summer, here are six bright ideas that will resonate well with dozens of your anglophile customers. They are, in addition to Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, Alice’s Day in Oxford and the Open Golf Championships at Royal St George’s in Kent.

The Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Flower Show

Packed with gardening inspiration, and stunning floral displays and workshops, the majestic setting of Tudor Hampton Court Palace will once again host the annual RHS Garden Festival. Taking place between 6th-11th July, it promises a magical mix of gardens, plants, flowers, shopping, live music and delicious food. Spend a day exploring fabulous Show, Lifestyle, and Global Impact Gardens filled with ideas to try at home and visit the famous Floral Marquee where you can chat with a range of expert plants people and view beautiful and unusual blooms of every colour. Don’t miss the sweet-smelling Festival of Roses, where you can indulge in tea and cake surrounded by 2021’s Rose of the Year winner. To prepare for what will be a very full day, park your jetlag in the Cotswolds for 3-4 nights before reaching London.

RHS Letters and dahlia planting at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019.

The Royal International Air Tattoo

There are few annual events that rival the intensity, drama, and spectacle offered by this spectacular event at RAF Fairford (between Oxford and Bath). Recognised as the world’s largest military air show, the nearly eight-hour flying display features over 300 fast jets, giant transporters, historic aircraft and the chance to get close to the aircraft and meet crew members. The Air Tattoo returns this year for what will be a truly spectacular celebration of its 50th anniversary from 16th-18th July. Make time to include a visit to the Jet Age Museum in the nearby cathedral city of Gloucester, which focuses on the area’s rich aviation heritage from the early days of flight and the birth of the jet age – to the engineering genius of Sir Frank Whittle and present-day aerial feats.

HMS Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance

After reading a recent press release from the annual Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, I discovered that dozens of Gilbert and Sullivan Societies in the USA and Canada regularly perform The Mikado, The Gondoliers, The Yeoman of the Guard and other operettas, to hundreds of people who love their music. Maybe you are one of them? Along with the Theatre Friends, you have a large target audience for a proposal for the 2021 or 2022 Festival in the spa towns of Buxton (31st July-7th August) and Harrogate (8th August-22nd August). There are evening performances followed by Festival Club which offers cabaret, bar, and hot food in the Festival Club until the wee small hours. Add to this, memorable visits to the stately homes of Chatsworth and Harewood, Castle Howard and Ripley Castle, a shopping spree at the World of Wedgwood, and some time in the great heritage city of York.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Massed Pipes and Drums and Highland Dancing

The month of August is perfect for a tour that’s totally based in Scotland. Marching into its eighth decade, the Tattoo (August 6th-8th) is an iconic Edinburgh institution with music, dance, and precision displays with the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes, and singers. The Edinburgh Fringe (August 6th-30th) provides an incredible array of music, theatre, comedy and opera; while the Edinburgh Book Festival (August 15th-31st) brings together around 900 writers and thinkers from over 60 countries who take part in more than 800 events. To experience more of what Scotland has to offer, let me create an itinerary that includes visits to some of Scotland’s finest castles, which will also include tastings at your client’s chosen distilleries – timed to coincide with a day of caber-tossing, tug o’ war, hammer throwing, dancing, and music at a Highland Games.

In the Footsteps of the Fab Four

This year’s International Beatles Festival (25th August -31st August) will celebrate 50 years of Let It Be, 50 years since the start of The Beatles fab solo careers, and celebrating over 30 years of Liverpool’s fab four festival with over 70 bands from 20 countries. They will also be remembering John Lennon in a very special show. As well as live gigs, there are exhibitions, memorabilia sales, guest speakers, video shows, sightseeing tours and a convention. Although the lead time is short, it has to be worth talking to a contact at a Golden Oldies Radio Station, or similar, about a customised tour that can include visits to John and Paul’s childhood homes, a Magical Mystery Tour and Strawberry Field and an audience with Roag Best, brother of Pete Best, the Beatles’ original drummer.

Image Credit Channel 5

All Creatures Great and Small

Are you watching the Channel 5 remake of All Creature Great and Small? If so, create a list of clients who are also likely to be James Herriot fans and let’s offer them a customised fiction into reality tour of the Yorkshire Dales. Time it to coincide with one of the local agricultural, country and village shows, which are an important part of summer in the North York Moors. They’re all different, some with show-jumping, others with brass bands, drystone walling demonstrations, fell running or fairground rides. You don’t have to be a farmer to enjoy the finer points of pedigree cattle, shire horses, sheep, or fruit and vegetables; but they all have one thing in common. Everyone is there to have a good time, enjoy the local food and drink, and meet up with old and new friends, just as they did in James Herriot’s time.

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 or email him at

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