In the world of customised UK/Ireland tours, I never know what’s going to appear overnight on my laptop. Requests in the past few days have been for a Public Broadcasting Station tour to Cornwall (Doc Martin and Poldark), a food and whisky tour of Scotland, a post cruise 3-nighter to the Cotswolds and a Methodist church interested in next year’s 350th anniversary of Susannah Wesley, mother of her 2 famous sons, John and Charles. More on that shortly.
I also created a small group tour for an action-filled 3 days at Europe’s largest Viking Festival in York which made me curious to learn more about some of the other living history events that fill the UK’s calendar each year. What I’ve discovered is a nation-wide Aladdin’s Cave of edge-of-your-seat historical re-enactments and living history experiences that add something memorable to any customised tour of Britain. Read the rest of this entry »
This Window on Britain illustrates not only the scope of what the UK has to offer but also the untapped sources of new business already close to where you live.
Clients who have enjoyed their visits to Colonial Williamsburg will be thrilled by the action-packed York Viking Festival, while others interested in Foodie Tours will be keen to learn more about the new cookery school opening at the 5-star Grand Hotel in York and the Gourmet Tour of Northern England. Anyone interested in horseback riding will fancy the Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping at the Badminton Horse Trials, while railway enthusiasts will like the nostalgic look of the North Wales and North of England Festival of Steam.
Other stories will interest cruise clients sailing in or out of Southampton, shoppers wanting to buy direct ex-factory in the World Capital of Ceramics and fans of Midsomer Murders, Poldark, Doc Martin and All Creatures Great and Small will enjoy my final three updates.
Read on and apply your imagination. Read the rest of this entry »
What do Father Brown, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders and Downton Abbey all have in common? They can all be incorporated into one eye–catching, travel less, ‘see more’ on-location tour, based in the Cotswolds, one of the most attractive regions in the UK. Having lived there for over 5 years, it’s somewhere I know well and can put together customised tours as a 4-nighter arriving and departing from London or as a shorter pre/post cruise sailing in or out of Southampton. Take a look at a map and you’ll see how well the region is placed for London Heathrow and the great seaport on England’s south coast. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago, my Agent Perspectives article focused on sources of valuable business, already ON YOUR DOORSTEP. In case you missed it, take another look at it here because this week’s eclectic mix ‘n’ match medley will give you inspired suggestions for clients who are fans of Masterpiece On Location tours in general and Doc Martin/Poldark in particular, spectacular flower shows in Paris and London, tea rooms and stately homes in the Cotswolds, Methodist Heritage and literary anniversaries.
To see an Aladdin’s Cave of conversation-starting UK tours that can be customised to meet your client’s interests, time frame and budget have a look at www.customgb.co.uk. Read the rest of this entry »
For more years than I care to remember, I’ve been a great believer in two things. The huge untapped potential for customised UK travel that’s on every travel agent’s doorstep and that YOU are the person who’s best placed to find it.
What you may not have had at your fingertips is a product range that can help you to develop it into high yield results. Feel free to utter the words Abracadabra but as you do so, click here and enter an Aladdin’s Cave of imaginative new ways of looking at your old friend Britain. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago, I put together a summary of early spring UK garden festivals and to complete this unique and very useful calendar, I’m focusing on the major Royal Horticultural Shows (RHS) between May and September along with some other bright ideas for your green fingered clients. Read the rest of this entry »
With garden clubs returning to their normal schedule of monthly meetings in September, make an appointment to present them with some eye-catching new itineraries that they have not seen before?
Orchid Societies will relish Kew’s annual Orchid extravaganza in February. While other gardeners, too busy to travel in the spring, might say ‘yes’ to a Poldark/Doc Martin infused Cornwall garden tour in March. Scotland’s Rhododendron Festival blended with a few castles and distilleries may draw the attention north of the border, with others liking my suggestions for the Keukenhof in Holland, Floralia in Belgium and some of our English tulip festivals. The mid-May RHS Malvern Flower Show is also a very good reason for a “travel less, see more” visit to the Cotswolds. Read the rest of this entry »
A recent headline in our national newspapers about long delays at London Heathrow reminded me, to remind you, about the growing number of non-stop flights to Manchester, England’s northern gateway. Check your listings because for 2019 there are non-stop flights to Manchester from Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Newark, JFK, Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami and Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry »
Bustling and colourful Christmas markets in historic settings, treasure-filled castles and stately homes in full festive mode, carol singers, sparkling and highly decorated Christmas trees, mulled wine, mince pies, and ice skating outdoors at famous London attractions. Welcome to an exciting series of tour ideas that can be gift-wrapped to generate valuable extra commission in the run-up to Christmas in Britain. Read the rest of this entry »
We have a saying, ‘you wait ages for a bus and then 2 or 3 come along at the same time.’ It’s sometimes like that with big-potential fueled new ideas for UK travel and this week’s edition showcases a couple of examples, namely the ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ Exhibition at the V&A in London and the long-awaited film version of the hugely popular Downton Abbey. The exhibition starts in February, but the movie’s launch date is still to be confirmed. Both will attract extensive media coverage which will make offering the tours I’ve created much easier to sell. Read the rest of this entry »
I confess that perhaps like you, I’m a great fan of TV detective dramas like Sherlock, Inspector Morse, Grantchester and Foyle’s War. Over the weekend I watched a very good Poirot and enjoyed the Cotswolds scenery in a Father Brown. When any of these shows appear on PBS, dozens of your customers stay at home, avidly following the twists and turns of the current plot. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, Her Majesty The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markel) made their first official, joint engagement to Chester. If you’ve never visited the ancient roman city, why don’t you follow their example? Poldark also appeared on our TV screens which means that later this year, he’ll appear on yours. Talk to me about an On Location tour to Cornwall.
Elsewhere this week’s updates focus on product developments you may not hear about, but which will appeal to anglophile and culturally-minded clients.
Welcome to another salvo of bright ideas which you’ll probably not hear about anywhere else. Among them you’ll find an update on Highclere Castle, an On Location visit to the recording of the BBC’s Antiques Road Show, a Whisky Festival, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Poldark, some heroic gardens and an English Afternoon Tea at Wedgwood.
The really good news is that I know exactly how to piece together all of them (and many other visits) into customised and saleable UK travel experiences that will generate valuable commission for you and, because you’ve come up with the goods, further cement your relationship with your valued clients.
If you, like me and around 2 billion others around the world, watched Saturday’s magnificent Royal Wedding here are a few very good reasons why you should choose the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as a hub for tours in Britain. Indeed, Windsor is worth very serious consideration as the starting point for tailor-made tours and pre- and post-cruise extensions.
Traditionally, when you get to Heathrow, you then join the weekday traffic jam heading into London. The alternative suggestions in my top three stories will resonate with all your anglophile, frequent travellers to these shores.
If you’re a fan of Doc Martin, Poldark, the legends of King Arthur and Cream Teas, check out my top story which can be customised for independent clients or small groups.
If developing higher end UK-bound business is on your agenda, with my help, the new Best Loved Hotels’ Travel Guide should become a well-thumbed guide to some of the best in British in British hotel keeping.
With non-stop flights into the Manchester gateway on the increase, I’ve added a few bright ideas that will add something extra to tours heading for the great heritage cities of York and Chester and some imaginative suggestions for North Wales, the Land of the Red Dragon.
If you like customising UK tours, take a look at some of the exciting travel experiences that can be blended into tailor made tours for families, pre or post cruise extensions and imaginatively themed special interest tours. These and other bright ideas will transform your itineraries and help you impress your clients with your knowledge and connections.
Putting together these and other pieces of the Great British Jigsaw Puzzle is what I do as I transform your wish list into a unique “travel less, see more” value added UK tour…
Starting with a Seaweed Festival and a Giant Peach, here we go!
With Virgin Atlantic offering regular direct flights from Atlanta and New York to Manchester, make a note of their new services from San Francisco (3 per week from 22nd May) and Boston (2 per week from 23rd May). As many of you have clients who’ll relish the idea of avoiding LHR (at least for the outward journey), my top story suggests a different approach to encouraging them to use this great northern gateway.
Britain in Brief
If you’re working on a customised UK tour for a couple of clients or thinking seriously about developing a small group tour for a niche market, take a close look at this eclectic mix of bright ideas. One, or more, of them could be just what you’re looking for. The news gets even better as there’s plenty more where they come from.
When putting together the shopping list for a customized UK-bound family holiday or special interest tour, it will invariably include some of our many great castles, treasure-filled stately homes, beautiful gardens, majestic cathedrals and ancient pubs where the real ales are all served at the correct temperature!
Visit Britain’s recent announcement about a global campaign focusing on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations has given me a lot to think about. Including places on and off the beaten track are hall marks of the tours I customise for independent travellers and groups and in this small island of ours, you don’t have to travel far to find them. The examples here are all within easy striking distance of the south coast city of Portsmouth, the flagship of maritime England and home to HMS Victory and The D-Day Museum. Experiences like this can be found all over the UK and while they might not yet appeal to first, second, or third time visitors, anglophile travelers will thank you for including unexpected visits in their tailor-made itinerary. Take a look at:
If you have clients who are looking for a customised UK tour or you’re thinking of making a pitch to a group of Master Gardeners, your local garden club, rose or herb society, this week’s collection of privately owned gardens will knock their socks off!
To set your ideas apart from the rest, use as a starting point my 4 word mantra of TRAVEL LESS, SEE MORE and to make these and other horticultural masterpieces work, here are some other tips for you to consider.