As one of a handful of UK-based members of the Travel Institute, it’s a privilege to share with you five important considerations which hallmark the imaginatively themed and customized UK/Ireland tours I put together for independent travelers and groups flying or cruising in and out of Britain.
After clearing Immigration and Customs and instead of joining the slow-moving traffic heading into London and hotel rooms not ready until 2pm, I recommend your clients head in the opposite direction and park their jetlag for 3-4 nights in the English countryside. This will ensure they’ll get a lot more out of their tailor-made tour and that they’ll be much more bright-eyed and bushy tailed when they reach finally our capital city.
So That Clients Can See More…
With less time travelling, your clients will have more time to enjoy their carefully chosen hotel and discover the attractions and restaurants in the city they’ve chosen as the hub for their 3-4 night stay. They’ll also be well placed for visits to nearby castles, stately homes gardens and other must sees that have been selected to match their specific interests. Attention is always given to selecting historic country pubs where they can rub shoulders with the locals over a leisurely lunch.
And Enjoy Value Added Experiences
For independent travelers, this might mean visits to fascinating less well-known places in their chosen destination, staying on for Choral Evensong after a private cathedral tour or changing the date so they are there during an arts/music festival. For groups, it means activating my network of stately home owners, head gardeners, curators and other experts who add bubble, fizz and pleasant surprises to every handcrafted itinerary.
Make the Going Easy
Many of your anglophile clients will thank you for easing their way into the UK by routing them through a user-friendly regional gateway like Manchester. Airside curbside takes less than 45 minutes and with the ancient walled city of Chester close by, 45 minutes later they can be setting out on a walking tour led by a Roman Centurion wearing authentic armour and equipment. Also on Manchester’s doorstep there are the 12th century castles in North Wales, three Royal golf courses, the Beatles, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, Beatrix Potter, James Herriot, Brideshead Revisited and centuries of master craftmanship at Wedgwood.
Bring the Experience to Life
If the budget’s there, a Blue Badge driver guide will always ensure that your clients get the very best out of their bespoke trip. However, to stay within budget, a combination of our very good national train network and the use of locally based driver guides invariably leads to a program that checks all the boxes.
Paull Tickner, UK based member of the Travel Institute is an expert in developing customized special interest travel programs for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Check out his website at www.customgb.co.uk and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.