We know you are happily engaged in trip planning and likely are looking ahead to help clients with their summer vacations. Therefore, we will continue to provide you with an abundance of destination tips and education. This week’s Hot Tip is packed with fun and creative ideas for your UK/Ireland-bound clients!

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This week’s Hot Tip—brimming with ideas for activities all over Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland—comes from UK-based advisor Paull Tickner, owner of Custom GB.
With families on the move during the summer holidays and with demand for Europe in the ascendant, take a closer look at what your old friend Britain has to offer. There’s no shortage of things to see and do in London, but if you head out into the English countryside, you will be very pleasantly surprised by what you find for every age group.
Harry, Alice, The BFG, and Peppa Pig

A recent family tour request—shaped by the wish list of a six-year-old—opened my eyes to an eye-catching collection of side trips that include the Warner Brothers Making of Harry Potter Studios Tour in Leavesden; the swizzfingingly, flushbunkingly, and glorioumtious Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire; a Paddington Bear photo op in Paddington Station, an evening performance of Matilda, and the Changing of the Guard in London; Queen Mary’s Doll’s House and Legoland in Windsor; opportunities to unearth and handle the past at Stonehenge; a Harry meets Alice walking tour and the Whispering Wood at the Story Museum in Oxford; and the youngster’s favourite: the Peppa Pig Theme Park in Hampshire.

Don’t forget the jousting tournament thrills and spills at Hever Castle (Kent) and Arundel Castle (West Sussex), the Olimpick Games (note the spelling) and Shin Kicking Championships in Chipping Campden and the interactive kids’ activities at the Tewkesbury Mediaeval Festival, both in the Cotswolds. 

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

It’s full steam ahead on Britain’s Heritage Railways from the Jacobite Express on Scotland’s West Highland Line and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway near York to the Great Little Trains in North Wales and the Watercress Line near Winchester. Those magnificent men in their flying machines will be lifting off at spectacular air shows at Fairford, Duxford, and at the Shuttleworth Collection, while (mostly) earthbound speedsters will be tearing round the circuits at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. If you like the idea of messing around in boats, I can recommend the world’s best-known regatta at Henley and the Thames Traditional Boat Festival. Close by, Royal Ascot will be playing host to the finest horse racing, spectacular fashion, and delicious food.

A Pageant of Rose-Tinted Gardens

With many of your green-fingered clients busy in their own gardens in the spring, you can reward them with early summer visits to Bord Bia Bloom (Dublin) and the fabulous Flower Show (Blenheim Palace). In July, the main horticultural event is the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and, if you can slip into the UK through the northern gateway of Manchester, waiting for you is the Tatton Park Flower Show near the Roman city of Chester, the great gardens and 12th century castles in North Wales, treasure-filled Chatsworth, and the recently created Royal Horticultural Society Bridgewater Garden on the western edge of Manchester. Toward the end of July, add a royal flourish to your visit with the Sandringham Flower Show, one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the East of England.

Singing in Perfect Harmony

Lovers of opera will be pleased to know that, in June and July, the Glyndebourne season will be well underway, as will the Longborough Festival in the Cotswolds. In mid-July, the cathedral choirs from Salisbury and Winchester come together with the Chichester cathedral choir at the Southern Cathedrals Festival in Chichester, and the Hereford and Worcester cathedral choirs will join forces with Gloucester at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral. At around the same time, fans of The Mikado, The Gondoliers and The HMS Pinafore will be making their way to Buxton for the 29th Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.

Next step? Run these ideas by some of your Anglophile customers, and let’s put together something special for them for June and July.

Thanks for the many inspiring ideas, Paull!

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