Alexandra Palace, North London venue for Excursions

Alexandra Palace, North London venue for Excursions

Excursions™ the UK’s longest established national, one-day group travel show – will be celebrating its 40th-anniversary in 2016, with the exhibition held on Saturday, January 23 at Alexandra Palace, North London, between 1030hrs and 1600hrs.

With an expected attendance of 1,300 quality trade buyers and around 300 exhibitors from the UK and Europe, Excursions™ 2016 will be the place to meet, network and pick up new inspiration for group day trips, short breaks and holidays.

Free Coach Transfers

The show is once again extending its successful programme of free coach transfer services for visitors, with the addition of one route and eight new pick-up points. This increases the number of coaches to 14, transferring visitors from 57 locations to Alexandra Palace.

Excursions coach arriving

Excursions coach arriving

The new coach will call at two points in and around Bristol, while the new pick-up points will extend coverage of major towns across the Midlands, South East and East Anglia. There is also a return service from six central London mainline railway stations.

These popular coaches are organised in partnership with the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK and members of the Coach Marque Quality Scheme.

Although the coach travel is free, it is essential to pre-book a seat. Full details and a Booking Form can be found on the show’s website – www.excursions2016.com – or call 02380 625 506.

Familiarisation Weekends

A visit to Excursions 2016 can be combined with an informative sampler weekend, experiencing group products and discovering some special places for days out and short breaks.

Excursions in Great Hall at Alexandra Palace

Excursions in Great Hall at Alexandra Palace

Two new familiarisation trips to the Cotswolds and London are being arranged for group travel organisers, with packed itineraries planned around a day at the show on Saturday.

The first, three-day trip around the Cotswolds includes two nights’ accommodation at the four-star Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel with dinner the first evening in a country pub and the second back at the hotel.

Coach travel is provided throughout, with visits to the Corinium Museum, Brewery Arts Centre, Batsford Arboretum, Cherwell Boat House and the city of Gloucester.

The second weekend provides a good source of inspiration for group travel organisers planning a London itinerary. Spread over two days, it includes a one-night stay at the four-star Best Western Palm Hotel and takes in tours of HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe and Wembley Stadium.

There’s also afternoon tea aboard City River Cruises and dinner with a guided tour at the RAF Museum. Coach travel is provided courtesy of Buzzlines.

Everyone joining a familiarisation weekend will be treated to a VIP welcome upon arrival at Alexandra Palace with fast track entry, complementary drinks and a goody bag.

To book a place priced at £99 per person for the Cotswolds trip, or £85 per person for the London itinerary based on two sharing a room (single supplement applies), contact the Excursions team on 02380 625516.

Register For Free Entry

Group travel organisers, operators and itinerary planners can pre-register their attendance to the exhibition online at www.excursions2016.com. You can also follow Excursions™ 2016 on Twitter @Excursionsshow for news and updates or visit the show’s Facebook page at Excursions: Group Travel Trade Exhibition.

Exhibitor Highlights

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Visitors to Excursions™ 2016 will be able to discover more about Shakespeare’s 400-year legacy with exhibitors paying homage to the world famous playwright’s death in 1616.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is transforming New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon – the site of Shakespeare’s home for the last 19 years of his life and where he wrote 26 plays – into a new heritage landmark. This project is the most significant Shakespearean project anywhere in the world to commemorate his legacy.

New Place was demolished in 1759 by its former owner Reverend Francis Gastrell, who was annoyed by visiting Shakespeare enthusiasts. The re-imagined New Place is scheduled to open on April 23, the date of Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

Brighton i360

First time exhibitor, the Brighton i360, will be showcasing details of its new observation tower opening summer 2016.

Visitors will be able to glide slowly up to 138-metres as they enjoy breathtaking, 360-degree views stretching up to 26-miles from the world’s first vertical cable car, conceived and designed by London Eye architects, Marks Barfield.

They can also dine in Brighton i360’s beach building at the base of the tower, which will incorporate a brasserie, heritage tea rooms, hospitality space, an exhibition, shop and kids play zone.

Visit Maidstone

UK Electric Bike Hire based in Biddenden is offering a self-guided day out for groups to help them explore the Kent countryside. The region’s quiet country lanes with orchards, hop gardens, oast houses and vineyards make this a wonderful place to discover in this different way.

The bikes are easy to ride and the electric engine takes away the hard work of climbing hills. Tearooms, coffee stops, pub lunches and wine tastings can all be fitted into a day itinerary.

Royal Academy of Arts

In January 2016, London’s Royal Academy of Arts will present Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, a major exhibition examining the role of gardens in the paintings of Claude Monet and his contemporaries.

With Monet as the starting point, the exhibition will span the early 1860s to the 1920s – a period of tremendous social change and innovation in the arts – and will include Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Avant-Garde artists of the early 20th-century, bringing together over 120 works from public institutions and private collections across Europe and the USA.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Hampshire’s south coast has some exciting new events planned for 2016, including an exhibition to mark the centenary of the First World War’s Battle of Jutland; one of the greatest naval battles ever fought.

A new visitor journey is available aboard HMS Victory and the final reveal of the Mary Rose hull, as the last walls come down for a clear and uninterrupted view of the Tudor treasure.

Liverpool FC

Visitors to Liverpool Football Club’s interactive museum will be able to tour a brand new exhibition showcasing the Steven Gerrard Collection. Here, the former captain has donated his personal collection of footballing memorabilia for his fans to enjoy.

See Steven’s match-worn LFC and England shirts, signed opposition shirts, medals, trophies and awards, England caps and match items from Istanbul 2005.

Love Sussex

Hastings and 1066 Country will be commemorating the 950th-anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 2016 with a number of events throughout the year, building up to the three-week Root 1066 International Festival in late September.

This multi-art event will offer new perspectives on the history and legacy of 1066, including a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings on the battlefield, which lies behind Battle Abbey (English Heritage) on October 15-16.

Visit Epping Forest

After a £2-million extension and complete redisplay, Epping Forest District Museum is reopening to the public in early 2016.

Epping forest District Museum is reopening early 2016

Epping forest District Museum is reopening early 2016

The newly redeveloped museum features seven galleries with exciting new displays, step-free access throughout the building and views into the new collections storage space, giving visitors the opportunity to peer behind the scenes into the art and costume stores for the first time and see people at work caring for the collection.

Along with the new display areas, there will be a programme of events and activities for groups including tours, behind the scenes visits, temporary exhibitions and talks.

Pashley Manor Gardens

Located on the border of Sussex and Kent, Pashley Manor Gardens is an ideal destination for groups of garden lovers, art and history enthusiasts.

Its annual Tulip Festival – initiated to mark the 400th-anniversary of the bulbs’ arrival in Europe from Persia – will take place between April 22 and May 7.

Over 25,000 bulbs in more than 100 varieties are planted throughout the gardens in carefully themed colours to create a stunning effect; from the vibrant red and hot orange coloured tulips in the herbaceous borders to the cream, white, pale golden-yellow and apricot tulips in the Elizabethan Garden and the pink and white tulips along the terrace.

South Quay Travel

South Quay Travel will be presenting their new programme of holidays and short breaks for groups at Excursions™ 2016 along with their Disneyland® Paris offer. Packages by air include an escorted 11-night tour to Montenegro with boat trips on Lake Skadar and Lake Perast, as well as visits to caves, historic monasteries and a royal residence.

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