The Chelsea Flower Show, Agatha Christie, Ceramics, and the Goodwood Revival | Travel Research Online


The Chelsea Flower Show, Agatha Christie, Ceramics, and the Goodwood Revival

To celebrate my 100th article for Travel Research Online, and in the hope that planes start crisscrossing the Atlantic in the summer, here are seven magnificent tour ideas that will resonate strongly with anglophile clients who’ve been deprived of a UK tour – for far too long. Use the videos and websites to whip up interest and then, between us, let’s encourage them to play their part in the renaissance of GB-bound travel.


The RHS Postpones 2021 Chelsea Flower Show From May to September

For the first time in its 108-year history, the Royal Horticultural Society is postponing the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from May 18th-23rd to September 21st-26th at its normal venue of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. This date change offers a huge opportunity for enterprising travel advisors to generate some valuable new business and to set the ball rolling, organise a meeting with your gardening contacts and get them enthused by inviting them to attend last year’s Virtual Chelsea Flower Show. Ask me for details on the two tours I’ve created specifically for this famous flower show. One is based in the southeast of England, with the other centered on the Cotswolds.

The David Harber and Savills Garden. Designed by: Nic Howard. Sponsored by: David Harber and Savills. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Stand no. 322

The Jane Austen Festival And Downton Abbey

With Highclere Castle currently showing 7th September as the final day of their 2021 summer season, I’ve created an itinerary that starts with a visit to Downton Abbey and other on-location venues related to the TV series. It then includes the great, treasure-filled stately homes of Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor before heading to Bath for the first two days of the Jane Austen Festival. You’ll get to see the Regency Costumed Parade, and the private walking tour will be based on locations used in the filming of Bridgerton. Alternatively, I have another itinerary up my capacious sleeve, which concentrates largely on the Jane Austen Festival itself! Either way, contact me for details.

The Burghley Horse Trials

Celebrating their 60th anniversary, this is the world’s greatest 5-star equestrian event, acknowledged globally by leading riders as their ultimate competitive goal. Three Day Eventing is a comprehensive test of the all-round ability of the horse and rider, comprising Dressage, Cross Country and Jumping with Burghley at the pinnacle of the sport. Track down riding schools, equestrian centres, and clients you know who are into horse riding and share with them these perspectives on the 2019 Burghley event. Tell them that you have the expertise to make it happen for them. Encourage them to attend this year’s three-day event, and then start a conversation about the Cotswolds-based Badminton Horse Trials May 4th-8th, 2022.

Discover the Queen of Crime Writers

The International Agatha Christie Festival is scheduled for September 11th-18th and, to help you promote it, select a handful of clients and invite them to attend last year’s virtual event (International Agatha Christie Festival). Normally, thousands of people attend the Festival and this year, they’re going to pull out all the stops by extending it from 5 to 7 days – with some very special events in and around the English Riviera, aka Torquay, centered on the main venue at historic Torre Abbey. Other unusual venues include the museum at Dartmoor Prison and on board a full-sized replica of the Golden Hind, the ship in which Sir Francis Drake sailed round the world nearly 500 years ago.

The British Ceramics Biennial

The World Capital of Ceramics, aka Stoke on Trent, will be staging this important event between September 11th and October 17th. Comprising an ambitious programme of exhibitions, site-specific installations, events and hands-on activities, the exhibition will once again be situated in the China Hall on the former Spode factory site, where it will be presented as the centerpiece for the British Ceramics Biennial. Working with international artists, the Biennial will present new ideas, new works and new forms of expression with clay – which extend the understanding and appreciation of contemporary ceramics. Complete the experience by following the Ceramics Trail around the latest attractions, such as World of Wedgwood and the Emma Bridgewater and Middleport Potteries.

The Annual Roald Dahl Day

This annual event will help anyone interested in developing an inspiring, fun-filled, family-friendly tour. Taking place on his birthday on 13th September, this ‘unofficial holiday’ celebrates many of the characters he created including Willy Wonka, the Oompa Loompas, Matilda, Agatha Trunchbull, The BFG, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Use the Roald Dahl Day to promote a London and countryside Children’s literature tour (Paddington Bear, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, the Wind in the Willows etc) by creating a Mischief and Mayhem event in your local library or bookstore, encouraging the reading (or rereading) of his more popular works or organising a Roald Dahl themed party where guests dress up like characters from his books.

The Goodwood Revival

This fantastic motor racing experience (September 17th-19th) recreates the golden age of the Goodwood Motor Circuit between 1948-1966, when legends such as Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart regularly battled it out on the stunning and spectacular track. Much more than just a recreation of the past, the Revival celebrates the timeless ethos of ‘repair and re-use’, promoting a spirit of sustainability which is more relevant now than ever. Expect to see some of the most beautiful and valuable cars of all time in genuine, no-quarter-given racing in favourites such as the RAC TT Celebration, and the newly renamed Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy. The photo was taken before COVID-19 social distancing.

Photo credit Goodwood Road & Racing

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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