The GTW team look at a selection of coach-friendly destinations and attractions, both in the UK and continental Europe.
At Boundary Mill Stores, the philosophy is to offer quality branded goods at discounted prices. There is always something new and exciting to tempt passengers on group days out. In short, it’s about quality shopping at affordable prices in fashion and home – and all under one roof.
There are many interesting events and promotions throughout 2014. Key sale activity is during June and August – with Season Launch Events at the end of this month and September. Late Night Shopping starts from November 24 and runs throughout December prior to the Boxing Day and January Sale.
Boundary Mill stores are conveniently located in Colne, Grantham, Newcastle, Walsall and Sheffield – all of which feature catering outlets which can comfortably accommodate groups.
All stores offer a ‘meet and greet’ facility, with each party being welcomed by a friendly Coach Co-ordinator. A variety of all-inclusive tours are also available – details can be obtained on request. Contact details of the Coach Co-ordinator at each store can be found on the website.
Keen to attract groups, Boundary Mills offers incentives to drivers and organisers alike. If the coach is carrying a minimum of 20 passengers and stays for over two hours, the driver will receive £10 cash and the Group Organiser is given a £10 gift voucher.
There is plenty of free parking for coaches at all stores. There are no restrictions on how many times coaches can visit Boundary Mill Stores. Vouchers and cash will be given upon registration inside the store on arrival.
If a traditional buzzing market, packed full of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, fish and meat is your thing – not to mention clothes, stationary and seemingly everything else under the sun, Bury Market is a must-visit for your group. Indeed, the Black Puddings of Bury are said to be amongst the finest in the UK.
In recent years the Greater Manchester market town has done much to make itself an attractive destination for groups. Its efforts have thankfully not gone unnoticed either – being crowned ‘Most Coach Friendly Local Authority 2012’ at the UK Coach Awards, while the market won the ‘Most Coach Friendly Shopping Attraction 2011.’
The market is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the north of England – its 370 stalls drawing in the crowds from far and wide, attracting over 1,500 coaches a year.
The market hall is open daily except Sundays. The popular fish and meat hall are open daily between 0900 and 1700hrs, except Tuesdays and Sundays. The busiest and best days however, are on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The market is all on one level and accessible to all with disabled facilities centrally located in the modern market hall. There are 25 free coach parking spaces and excellent facilities for group comforts (toilets, refreshments etc). Coach drivers are offered a £5 lunch voucher redeemable at seven cafes and a newly opened coach drivers lounge/rest room. Brown tourist signs and pedestrian signage highlight the coach parking areas.
The market is situated off Junction 2 of the M66 – follow the signs to Bury’s Famous Market. The postcode is BL9 0BJ.
To boost an itinerary, GTW suggests travelling on the East Lancs Railway, which runs from nearby Bolton Street Station in the morning and go round the market after lunch. There are plenty of good places to eat lunch around the town. To receive a free information pack please contact Bury Markets Management.
Every August for more than a century, the annual Shrewsbury Flower Show has proved a popular draw in the heart of Shropshire's county city centre.
On August 8 and 9, the beautiful 29-acre Quarry Park, with The Dingle, a magnificent sunken garden providing a colourful centrepiece, will be awash with wonderful flowers, fabulous food and live entertainment – in short the ultimate summer day out. The show is one of the country’s premier flower show events, attracting top exhibitors from all over the country. As a result, group visitors can expect fantastic floral displays, horticultural competitions and high quality trade stands.
With celebrity chef, Tom Kerridge heading up the line of top quality entertainment, there will be plenty to do and see.
T: 01743 234058 W: www.shrewsburyflowershow.org.uk
Imagine a place that has shaped our attitude to the wonders of nature. A place which played a part in the evolution of the theory of evolution itself. A place where learning and fun come vividly to life. A visit to ZSL London Zoo is much more than just a walk around some fascinating exhibits – it’s a trip through time. Now London Zoo is inviting groups to discover the stories behind the world’s first scientific zoo.
Its new history tour is a fantastic addition to a group visit to the park. Accompanied by an experienced guide, groups hear stories of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking work, follow the friendship of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, discover the history of the many Grade I and Grade II listed buildings, and much more.
Tours will be conducted on the last Friday and Saturday of the month – advance bookings are essential. The 45-minute guided walking tour concludes with a tea and coffee reception. Visitors will then have the rest of the day to explore the immersive exhibits around zoo at their own pace.
Past Perspectives; London Zoo
With the announcement of London Zoo’s new historical tour, we thought we’d look back at the past. The Giraffe House was built in 1837 and still serves its purpose today. The doors are 16’ (5m) in height and 21’ (6.5m) at the eaves. Giraffes can be as tall as four and a half meters so the scale of the building’s proportions is a direct response to the height of its residents.
Winnie, an American black bear was deposited at the zoo in 1914 by a Canadian lieutenant at the start of the WW1. She was visited by A.A. Milne and his son Christopher and lives on in the stories of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin.
Finally, the original penguin pool. Built in 1934, the architects envisaged the enclosure as a stage set. Based on an egg shape, the enclosure has two spirally intertwining ramps, apparently inspired by plane propellers. While the penguins have moved to a larger, more natural habitat, the structure is listed.
T: 0844 414 5728 W: www.zsl.org
Spring may only have just started, but the River Cruise Line is advising group leaders to book well in advance for departures of its popular programme of short breaks to the European Christmas markets this year.
The cruises are a wonderful way to get into the festive mood and stock up on unusual gifts, plus enjoy plenty of traditional festive food and glühwein. Departures are available between late November and mid-December on a choice of three Christmas market itineraries.
The four-day ‘German Christmas Markets’ itinerary travels along the Rhine aboard the ‘Lady Anne’ vessel from Andernach. Included are visits to the picturesque town of Rudesheim – at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers – and the cathedral city of Cologne, home to no fewer than seven Christmas markets spread around the city. Prices start from £269 per person for departures on December 5 or 12.
The four-day ‘Christmas Markets Extravaganza’ itinerary offers a chance to visit some of the biggest and best markets in Europe – in France, Germany, Holland and Belgium, cruising aboard the ‘Amsterdam’. The itinerary includes visits to Lille, Hasselt, Liège, Maastricht, and Bruges, with an optional excursion to Valkenburg. Prices start from £279 per person for departures on November 30 or December 4, 7, 10, 13 or 16.
The five-day ‘Magical Moselle Christmas Markets’ itinerary offers something a little different for those keen to explore beyond the bustle of the Rhine. Cruise aboard the ‘Lady Anne’ through one of Germany’s prettiest and famous valleys, soaking up the winter scenery. The itinerary includes visits to the markets in Koblenz, Cochem, Zell and Alken. Prices start from £339 per person for departures on December 1, 8 or 15 and include full board accommodation on board, return ferry crossing, transport from regional joining points nationwide, and services of a cruise manager.
T: 0844 544 6587 W: www.rivercruiseline.co.uk