Category Archives: Destination Features

A touch of winter escapes

From mystical Egypt to sun-bound cruises, Naomi Mackay has all sorts of destination suggestions for your group to find warm sunshine over the winter months

Marquee poolTHE FLORIDA KEYS There’s plenty to see and do in the southernmost tip of Florida. For the only living coral reef off mainland US, head to Key Largo and the first undersea park in the US, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – explore with snorkels, scuba gear or a glass-bottomed boat if you don’t fancy getting your feet wet. Read More »

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Greenwich Fam trip invite

Cutty Sark exterior. Port broadside & port 3/4 view during the day.

Cutty Sark exterior. Port broadside & port 3/4 view during the day.

Perfect for anyone interested in art and architecture, star gazing and astronomy, ships and the sea, or British history and royalty. Royal Museums Greenwich is home of the Royal Observatory and the Peter Harrison Planetarium, Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. Read More »

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A land of kings and castles

Buried kings, historic houses and famous delicacies set the counties of Leicestershire and Rutland apart from the rest. Discover what these rural havens have to offer groups as we take a whistle-stop tour of these counties.

View of Normanton Church at Rutland Water Nature Reserve

View of Normanton Church at Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Its rolling hills are home to historic castles, palaces and halls, quaint market towns and picturesque farms and parkland, which is why visitors to the rural idyll offered by the neighbouring counties of Rutland and Leicestershire come back year after year. Improved rail links (with sleepy Market Harborough just an hour from London St Pancras, and Leicester to central London around an hour-and-a-quarter by train) have helped fuel visitor numbers to the region, and for groups the choice of attractions is many and varied. Read More »

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Located on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Lapland is a land of open fells, lakes and pine forests where reindeer roam. It is also home to every child’s favourite person – Santa Claus! – says Angela Youngman

Sampo I Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland where, during long summer days, it can be surprisingly warm while in the winter temperatures can fall dramatically, at extremes reaching -30ºC. Then it becomes a land of ice and snow, with long polar nights when the moon constantly shines and the sky can come alive with the beautiful, pulsing Northern Lights. Lapland is often described as the ‘land of the midnight sun’ which occurs around June 21. Read More »

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Enjoy the adventures of Early Man (and Woman!)

Dreamhunters at Cox’s Cave is the first new attraction at Cheddar Gorge & Caves in almost a quarter of a century.
Sue Parslow went along to experience it for herself.

‘Follow the running man’ is the instruction you’re given as you enter Cox’s Cave. Step through a door into semi darkness and at the conclusion of a short video introduction, a white figure appears as promised on the wall. In the dark cave a female voice begins a compelling narrative. Something about the tone seems to connect with your inner soul; the part of you that may have come through hundreds of reincarnations and can reach back to a cave dwelling ancestor. Looking around, the sights and sounds appeal to all of the senses,evoking a feeling of those primitive times, crackling fires and distant animal sounds.

Children enjoying Dreamhunters The Adventures Of Early Man.

Children enjoying Dreamhunters The Adventures Of Early Man.

So begins a story of ancient man, his challenges, fears and foes. Read More »

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Destination Bristol

Bristol has a character all of its own, with plenty to interest and entertain groups of all all ages

Balloon Fiesta 2015. CREDIT paulbox © please credit paulbox©

Bristol sits on the River Avon.

A top tourist destination, Bristol is a must-visit city whatever your interest. Hundreds of years ago it was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. Today the modern Port of Bristol lies away from the city on the Severn Estuary and the former dock area is now a centre of heritage and culture. A good way to get to know a city is to take a guided walk. Read More »

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Islands in the sun

ISLES OF SCILLY There are five inhabited Scilly isles – St Mary’s (the largest), Tresco, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes – plus many other uninhabited ones to explore. Each island has its own distinctive personality and all of them are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; home to rare birds, unusual wildlife and beautiful flora and fauna. Hire a bike to explore more than 60 miles of tracks and trails, go on a marine excursion, including a cruise to the Bishop Rock Lighthouse, or join in the Walk Scilly Weekend (Oct 13-17), a long weekend of themed, guided walks across the islands. Tantalise the tastebuds at the inaugural Taste of Scilly festival (September 1-30) celebrating the best in local food and drink. Accommodation ranges from camping to hotels, B&Bs and luxury self-catering. Fly to St Mary’s with Skybus all year from Newquay and Land’s End Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. The Scillonian passenger ferry runs from spring to late autumn. For bookings, call 01736 334 220. Read More »

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Welcome to Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds has seen more glory, turmoil and scandal over the centuries than most small towns can boast. Today it remains a busy and beautiful market town in the heart of West Suffolk with its glorious ‘big sky’ countryside.

The medieval core of the town encompasses the giant ruins of the abbey, awardwinning Abbey Gardens, magnificent Cathedral and historic St Mary’s Church. Once the parish church of the great Abbey of St Edmund, a major centre of pilgrimage in medieval England, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk’s only Cathedral, sits at the heart of the community with the iconic Millennium Tower dominating the skyline of the town. Read More »

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Norfolk & Suffolk

Sandringham Estate

There’s plenty for everyone to enjoy in Norfolk and Suffolk – where else can you find medieval live action gaming, Cold War tanks, magicians, Dad’s Army, a Mississippi-style paddleboat, and an Anglo-Saxon tomb? Let Angela Youngman be your guide.

The counties of Norfolk and Suffolk contain some surprising destinations for groups. Large towns and cities such as Norwich, Kings Lynn and Bury St Edmunds have their own distinctive characters, and there are many pretty villages, countless historic houses, castles, nature reserves, a stunning coastline and the capital of the horse racing industry to visit. On the coast are popular resorts such as Hunstanton, Southwold, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. The little Norfolk village of Thursford is the setting for a Christmas music and dance spectacular attracting groups from all over the country (call 01328 878 477 Read More »

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History has seen it dominate the maritime world, sit as a staging area for the Crusades and play an important role in the rise of Europe’s cultural movement, but today Venice sits – or rather floats – as a major tourist attraction, drawing families, honeymooners and groups keen to explore its unique network of waterways.

Of course, central to the city’s scene are its boats, but first-time visitors are often wowed by the fact that literally everything is carried by water, from fish, meat and fruit to the local police force and fire men. “It’s certainly unique,” says Group Travel World editor Sue Parslow, who’s sampled the sights and sounds of Italy’s best-known islands. “You can arrive from the airport by bus or train, and then suddenly you’re met by a sea of boats, be it a vaporetti (water bus), water taxi or gondola. It’s great to escape the cars, and as you go everywhere on foot it doesn’t really matter if you get lost. Read More »

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