With transatlantic flight restrictions between North American and the UK being lifted on 8th November, let’s talk about developing some itineraries that will really appeal to clients who, by next spring, won’t have been to the UK for over two years!
Culturally minded travellers will relish what I can offer them when using the internationally famous festivals in Brighton and Bath as the hubs for 3-4 nighters before reaching London. Murder Mystery fans will enjoy rubbing shoulders with top crime novelists and some pre- and post-Father Brown/Inspector Morse ‘On Location’ visits. Similarly, green-fingered clients will immediately want to know the dates of travel for the Chelsea Flower Show, especially when you share with them the video I’ve included from His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, patron of the National Garden Scheme. There are four more you can use, which you can show to customers to promote your ideas.
Email me and let’s start developing some UK-bound ideas for next May.
World-class Opera, A Castle, the Surrealists and the Bloomsbury Set
First staged in 1967, the Brighton Festival is now the largest in England. Taking place between 7th May-29th May, it is one of the major milestones in the international cultural calendar and includes music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events. Side trips into the countryside should include the 11th century Arundel Castle, the eclectic collection of artworks at Farley’s Farm, the home of the Surrealists and Charleston, the country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Set and an evening of opera at Glyndebourne.
The Arts, ‘Bridgerton,’ and a Royal Garden
Bath, the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site is alluring any time of year but, in May, the Bath Festival brings something very special to the city. Scheduled for mid-May 2022 (exact dates to be confirmed) and focusing mainly on international music and contemporary literature, it offers rare opportunities to listen to celebrated authors discussing their work and unique live music performances in iconic locations. Make sure to include a ‘Bridgerton’ On Location walking tour, some down time in the Thermae Bath Spa, and a side trip to the royal garden at Highgrove.
Murder, Mystery And Mayhem
For Murder Mystery fans, Crimefest in Bristol (12th-15th May), one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe and one of the most popular dates in the international fiction calendar. Expand the potential by topping and tailing it with visits to locations used in the filming of Father Brown in the Cotswolds, Endeavour, Morse and Lewis in around Oxford’s university colleges and Midsomer Murders in Marlow on the banks of the River Thames. In London, complete the experience with a trail that follows in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes.
There’s Nothing Quite Like Chelsea
An internationally significant show, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the place to see cutting-edge garden design, new plants and to find ideas to take home. Scheduled for 24th-28th May, it draws a truly global crowd and is the ‘haute-couture’ of the international gardening scene. Specialist nurseries reveal new plants for the first time; the best designers from Japan to New York show off their astonishing creations; fashion brands and manufacturers launch their latest lines at the trade stands. Celebrate genius, sip Champagne, and be totally amazed.
Visit Exquisite Privately Owned Gardens
Founded in 1927, the National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,600 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cakes. I rate these gardens very highly as they only open when at their best, and because the owner and Head Gardener (often the same person) are there to share what they’ve created with the visitors. Check out the video from its patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.
Enjoy The Thrills and Spills At Badminton
This internationally renowned five-day event takes place between 4th-8th May at Badminton House, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort, near the royal garden at Highgrove in the south Cotswolds. Put together a list of clients who are into horse riding, check out the local riding schools and equestrian centres, and ask me for the Badminton Horse Trials itinerary I’ve created. Then, share these action-packed videos that are guaranteed to build interest and bookings for a customised tour to London and the Cotswolds for next year’s event.
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.