Have Coach Will Travel

GTW has selected 12 of the best coach-friendly attractions in the UK. Book ahead for good value days out for your group.

When choosing a venue for a day out, passengers appreciate when the trip runs as smoothly as possible, and having good access for the coach and convenient parking nearby can make all the difference.

Groups can now visit both Woburn Abbey and Gardens and Bletchley Park.

Woburn Abbey & Bletchley Park

A historic partnership is being celebrated with a joint discount for groups. Pre-booked groups can now visit both Woburn Abbey and Gardens and Bletchley Park.

Start your tour at the historic home of the Duke of Bedford, where the Women’s Royal Naval Service were billeted for their vital war work at Bletchley Park. After your morning and lunch here, head to Bletchley Park to explore the complex that was Churchill's Secret Intelligence and Computers Headquarters. As well as discounted tickets, there’s free entrance for the group organiser and coach driver.

This offer is available from March 18 to October 31, 2016. To book contact Lisa Weaver, Groups Co-ordinator at Woburn Abbey and Gardens, on 01525 292101 or email lisa.weaver@woburn.co.uk. For more information visit www.woburnabbey.co.uk.


A Welcome at Weston-super-Mare

The Somerset resort of Weston-super-Mare, famous for its vast beach, prides itself on being coach-friendly. To launch their in-resort driver and passenger incentive scheme and new website ‘Visit by Coach,’ Love Weston commissioned an international sand sculpture festival team to carve a coach out of Weston-super-Mare sand. Their offers include meal deals and discounts aimed at passengers, along with offers for coach drivers and tour guides, and a resource for group travel organisers to pass on to their clients. Weston has a coach drop-off point on the seafront, plus a choice of car parks with coach spaces.

The Weston Sand Sculpture Festival opens on March 25 and runs to October 9 (www.westonsandscuplture.co.uk). A coach tourism consultant can offer ideas for itineraries - ianfromburnham@gmail.com. For more information visit www.loveweston.com. Coach Tourism Consultant, Ian Jefferies, on 07903 463700 or email ianfromburnham@gmail.comCoach Tourism Consultant, Ian Jefferies, on 07903 463700 or email ianfromburnham@gmail.comCoach Tourism Consultant, Ian Jefferies, on 07903 463700 or email ianfromburnham@gmail.com




Holkham Hall, located on the north Norfolk coast, is home to the Earls of Leicester and Coke family. It is a magnificent 18th century Palladian house containing stunning art, furniture and classical statuary.

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall has improved its visitor facilities with the launch of a new ticket office, gift shop and larger cafe.

Holkham say they have improved their visitor facilities with the launch of a new ticket office, gift shop and larger café in the Stables Courtyard. The courtyard is also home to a new, state-of-the-art Field to Fork farming exhibition, telling the story of Holkham’s unique agricultural heritage. Informative private guided tours bring Holkham’s history alive and locally sourced food can be enjoyed in Holkham’s brand new Courtyard Café.

Pre-booked groups of 15 or more people visiting Holkham benefit from a 20 per cent discount on the normal admission price, along with group rates on the exhibitions, free admission for the group travel organiser and coach driver – the latter also receives a voucher for complimentary refreshments.

Holkham is open to groups from March 20 to October 31, 2016. The Hall, which requests that coaches access via the South Gate, is open on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 12pm to 4pm. Private guided tours are available out of season and when the hall is closed. The exhibition, walled garden, Courtyard Café and gift shop are open daily from 10am to 5pm.

To book call 01238 713105 or email Emma Bushell at e.bushell@holkham.co.uk. For more information visit www.holkham.co.uk.




Group travel organisers can book their visit to Shrewsbury via Sabrina Boat.

Group travel organisers can book their visit to Shrewsbury via Sabrina Boat.

Destination Shrewsbury

Original Shrewsbury (www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk) has unveiled a new groups and coaches brochure, which offers group travel organisers the opportunity to book their visit to Shrewsbury via Sabrina Boat, one of the town’s most popular attractions. Shrewsbury itself has free coach parking, as well as drop-off points.

Included in the brochure are a number of different day itineraries, including cream teas at garden centres and farm shops, and a tour that includes the Town Crier taking the group on a tour of the sights of Shrewsbury.

Sabrina Boat can accommodate up to 60 people and offers group discounts and a free place for coach drivers and group travel organisers, with tea, coffee and biscuits.

To book call 01743 369741 or email info@sabrinaboat.co.uk. For more information visit www.sabrinaboat.co.uk.



Herstmonceux_Castle Rear

Herstmonceux Castle is set in beautiful parkland with Elizabethan-style gardens.

Herstmonceux Castle is set in beautiful parkland with Elizabethan-style gardens.

Herstmonceux in East Sussex is renowned for its magnificent moated castle, set in beautiful parkland with Elizabethan-style gardens. Built originally as a country home in the mid-15th century, Herstmonceux Castle embodies the history of medieval England and the romance of renaissance Europe.

The woodland walks will take you to the remains of the 300-year-old sweet chestnut avenue, the rhododendron gardens, the waterfall (dependent on rainfall), and the 39 steps leading you through a woodland glade.

Castle tours can be arranged, along with refreshments and discounted entry. To book call 01323 834457 or email Caroline Harber at c_harber@bisc.queensu.ac.uk. For more information visit www.herstmonceaux-castle.


The World of Wedgwood offers numerous opportunities for shopping.

World of Wedgwood

The award-winning World of Wedgwood is located in the Staffordshire countryside and has numerous attractions that brings to life Wedgwood’s 250 years of heritage in the ceramics industry. Visitors can discover the story of Josiah Wedgwood and his lasting influence on industry, society and local infrastructure, then take a factory tour to see all aspects of Wedgwood’s production processes and techniques.

You can try your hand at the potter’s wheel and learn all about the traditional and modern methods of production that are still used today, and even design a plate pattern. There are numerous opportunities for shopping, with a Wedgwood Flagship Store stocking all of the latest designs and ranges, a Museum Shop and a Factory Outlet store. Afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room is served on elegant bone china. Alternatively, visitors can enjoy lunch in the worker’s canteen-inspired dining hall. Special menus for groups are available.

To book call 01782 282 986 or email bookings@worldofwedgwood.com. For more information visit www.worldofwedgwood.com.


Scone Palace boasts significance as the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce.


Scone Palace boasts significance as the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce.


 Scone Palace

Located above the River Tay in Perthshire, Scone Palace overlooks the Highlands in the north and east towards the coast. It has a colourful history as one of Scotland's most important stately homes. Fifteen hundred years ago, it was the capital of the Picts. Since then, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce.

The Palace houses a collection of antiques, paintings and rare artefacts, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland. Coach tours are welcomed, and drivers and organisers have free entry and receive a meal and gift voucher for use in the catering and retail outlets. There are a number of options for group dining, including morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea in the Old Kitchen Restaurant.

Ideal for horticultural groups and gardening clubs, private tours around the grounds and gardens with Head Gardener Brian Cunningham, who has regularly featured on BBC Beechgrove Garden covering a variety of gardening projects, is available.

To book call 01738 552300 or email visit@scone-palace.co.uk. For more information visit www.scone-palace.co.uk.


BEAMISH_Have your photo taken in Edwardian costume

Have your photo taken in Edwardian costume at Beamish.

Have your photo taken in Edwardian costume at Beamish.

 Back In Time At Beamish

Beamish offers visitors a route back in time to explore the rich heritage of North East England, visiting period homes, shops and workplaces and meeting costumed folk from the past.

Pop into the 1940s farm, call at the Co-op shops and experience life in the 1900s Pit Village and Colliery. Explore life in Georgian times at Pockerley Old Hall and enjoy a ride on a steam train on Pockerley Waggonway.

New for this spring is a Chemist’s Shop and Photographer’s Studio where visitors can watch traditional remedies being made, sample the aerated waters and visit the photographer to have your photo taken in Edwardian costume. There are exclusive midweek offers for groups and – planning ahead - Christmas lunch served in a private room overlooking the award-winning town. Events and festivals take place throughout the year at no extra charge.

Great news if you’re planning a visit to Beamish this year – group rates are being held at 2015 rates. Coach drivers and organisers are admitted free of charge. Contact the Group Bookings Team on 0191 370 4026 or email bookings@beamish.org.uk. For more information visit www.beamish.org.uk/group-visits.



The National Memorial Arboretum is a living centre of remembrance.

National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum is a living centre of remembrance, and a place of national and historical significance. It offers a great value day out for groups with a range of packages to choose from, including lunch, guided tours and learning activities.

You’ll find details regarding special group packages on the website - www.thenma.org.uk/plan-your-visit/visiting-as-a-group. Parking is free for coaches, and coach drivers enjoy free admission and a refreshment voucher.

Visits could be timed to coincide with one of many events held throughout the year. To book call 01283 245143 or email groups@thenma.org.uk. For more information visit www.thenma.org.uk.


 Rheged Visitor Centre

Just two minutes from the M6 (J40) Penrith, at the gateway to the Northern Lakes and Ullswater, Rheged provides a variety of options for groups. Designed to resemble a lakeland hill, with free coach parking and free entry, Rheged is a good option for a light lunch, or coffee and tea stop, which can be combined with a visit to on-site shops and photography, craft or art exhibitions, the majority of which are free.

Alternatively, you could organise a visit to take in an hour-long film in the Imax style cinema – for example, in May they’ll be showing daily a new film about nearby Blencathra Mountain. The cinema also streams live performances from the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, Royal Shakespeare, as well as tours of some of the most impressive exhibitions in London and beyond.

Rheged offers discounted rates for groups of 10 or more and driver incentives. To book call 01768 868000 or email enquiries@rheged.com. For more information visit www.rheged.com.



Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is the perfect place to celebrate the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. For 40 years, Britannia sailed over a million miles as both an ambassador for the Commonwealth and a floating home for the Royal Family.

Now located in Leith, Edinburgh, Britannia has been rated Scotland’s best visitor attraction for the past 10 years. All five decks are fully accessible, with Britannia offering coach-friendly drop off, free parking, flexible booking and complimentary refreshments for coach drivers. Highlights of the tour include the State Dining Room where Her Majesty entertained world leaders, such as President Nelson Mandela, as well as the gleaming Engine Room. Follow in the footsteps of royalty and discover why The Queen famously said that Britannia was the ‘one place I can truly relax’.

To book call 0131 555 5566 or email enquiries@tryb.co.uk. For more information visit www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk.


 Stoke Bruerne

Discover Britain’s canals on a visit to Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire. From the great engineers and navvies who created them to the boat families, leggers and lock keepers who lived and worked on them, there are fascinating things to learn.

A group visit could include coffee and a welcome talk in the museum café, a browse around the museum including a viewing of canal archive films, a trip on a canal boat, lunch at a nearby pub, a canal-side walk (including audio guide option), tea and cake and a visit to the museum shop.

Groups are offered discounts on museum entry and organisers can request advice and support when planning their visit. To book call 01604 862229 or email stokebruerne@canalrivertrust.org.uk. For more information visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.


National Coach Tourism Awards

The winners of the 2016 National Coach Tourism Awards will be announced this month (March). This year’s judges have had to choose from a record number of entries, with almost 200 coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, hotels, and tourism industry suppliers competing across 19 specialist categories.

Previous winners, including Liverpool, Woburn Abbey and Gardens, Ashton-under-Lyne Market, The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare, Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, Windermere Lake Cruises, Irish Ferries, Albatross Travel, Edwards Coaches, and Epsom Coaches, are among the top names on this year’s shortlists.

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