Claire Martin

Claire Martin

Claire Martin has worked within the travel industry for over 12 years and in December 2012, became the Coach & Events Manager at Boundary Mills’ flagship store in Colne, Lancashire. Boundary Mill Stores provide the perfect opportunity for a day of retail therapy for groups irrespective of the weather and there is a choice of five stores to visit: Colne, Grantham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Walsall. Each store offers big brands in fashion and home with up to 70% off and is conveniently located next to major routes. All stores offer complimentary coach parking in addition to eating establishments that can comfortably accommodate groups.

DESCRIBE THE BEST GROUP TRIP YOU’VE BEEN ON AND WHY?

A walking holiday where we stayed at a youth hostel in Yorkshire. The hostel was featured in the Victoria Wood sketch “Val De Ree.” We saw some fantastic scenery whilst walking at Malham, Ingleborough and up Pen-y- Ghent. The experience allowed group members to learn a lot about each other, particularly due to the mixture of weather conditions that tested us during the week.

DESCRIBE THE WORST GROUP TRIP YOU’VE BEEN ON AND WHY?

I have vivid memories of one group holiday in a previous role when two passengers went missing during an excursion. Everyone on the coach was advised what time they needed to be back, but when the driver did the head count two of his passengers were missing. After 45 minutes of unsuccessful searching including the involvement of the tourist information centre, police and local hospital, the driver had no choice but to continue with the journey. Later that day, the passengers arrived back at their hotel completely unaware of the concern and angst caused. They had simply decided to make their own way back to the hotel in a taxi without telling anyone.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE UK DESTINATION FOR A GROUP DAY OUT?

It would have to be Chester, because it offers something for everyone and everything is easily accessible. There is nothing better than walking around the city walls, along the River Dee and back through Grosvenor Park. You can time your trip to ensure you arrive at The Cross to see the Town Crier, before spending the afternoon enjoying retail therapy in the Rows or visiting Chester Cathedral.

A warm welcome from the team at Boundary Mill

A warm welcome from the team at Boundary Mill

 

WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS PACK?

My camera, comfortable shoes and a good book.

WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS LEAVE OUT?

I like to be prepared so struggle to pack ‘light,’ however being an eternal optimist I often leave out an umbrella.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A GOOD GROUP EXPERIENCE?

Due to my previous experience, combined with working with organisers and operators on a daily basis in my current position, I would have to say preparation. Building rapport with the organiser or operator helps to obtain knowledge about the group and organise an appropriate itinerary. Providing information and details in advance of the trip and ensuring that everything runs smoothly certainly makes for an enjoyable experience.

WHAT MAKES BOUNDARY MILL STORES THE PERFECT DESTINATION FOR GROUP VISITS?

Each store has a dedicated team that takes care of groups, providing a warm and informative ‘meet & greet’ service upon arrival, in addition to availability throughout a visit to ensure it operates smoothly. To thank groups for choosing Boundary Mill Stores, we provide excellent incentives for the driver and organiser. Valerie Jeffrey and I are the perfect team to look after any groups visiting the Colne store. We can design itineraries that cater to individual requirements, including the fantastic coach party meals at Banny’s Fish & Chip Restaurant or afternoon tea at Bannisters Restaurant so everyone can recharge their batteries during the shopping spree. The store location lends itself to ‘Inclusive Tours’ that we offer including scenic guided tours, a sailing with Foulridge Canal Cruises or a demonstration at The Chocolate House. I also organise a number of special events for Bannisters Restaurant including Floral Demonstrations, which particularly appeal to our local flower clubs. The personal and quality service that we provide sets us apart from our competitors, confirmed last year when we were a finalist in the Group Travel and Lancashire Tourism Awards, in addition to being voted ‘Best Shopping Retail Outlet’ at the Group Leisure Awards 2014. n