Great Britain Bucket-List #2!

Ding Ding! Round two! If you didn’t manage to find your list-topping bucket-list idea last round, read on to see if it features this time round. Alternatively, get inspired by the many fantastic experigleences available to our guests in 2018 throughout the stunningly beautiful countries of England, Scotland and Wales

Walk Along Hadrian’s Wall

Built as a defensive fortification by Roman Emperor Hadrian during AD 122 Britannia, parts of the originally 80-mile-long Wall have stood the test of time for the modern-day tourist to enjoy. Conveniently located just North of Carlisle and the Lake District National Park, park up at Birdoswald Roman Fort and enjoy a leisurely stroll back through time, discovering the history of the 16 forts designed and constructed to prevent the Picts from heading South.

If visiting Hadrian’s Wall takes your fancy, check-out our most popular self-drive tour, The Great Britain Tour by clicking here.

Watch a Premiership Soccer Game Live

Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, the list of top-English soccer teams each with their own special sporting history is endless. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of the sport, getting those elusive match tickets can prove tricky. Being based on the ground here at adeo Travel, we have increased chances of getting great seats at the best games. Grab a pint of ale, order a pie and sit back and watch some of the world’s best players on show; from Manchester City’s Belgian playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, to Spurs’ English sensation Harry Kane. With Tottenham Hotspur currently playing at the iconic Wembley Stadium, there has never been a better time to attend a match. Alternatively, many stadiums offer tours on non-match days for a reasonable price.

For the best chance of getting match tickets, we recommend one of our London city-breaks!

Attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

From May 22 to Saturday 26, 2018, one of London’s greatest events returns for another fabulous showcase. Hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society and situated within the grounds of the Royal Hospital in the affluent borough of Chelsea, Britain’s best horticultural show features multiple award-winning exhibits, such as last year’s fantastic display of 300,000 individually crocheted poppies, covering nearly 2,000 square metres and designed by talented Phillip Johnson.

With visits to Saville House, Wisley Gardens and of course the main event itself, why not board our small-group, unique experience, the Chelsea Flower Show, available for once week only in May.

Take the Skye Bridge to the Isle of Skye

With record numbers of guests visiting the Isle of Skye each year, a quick Google Images search will reveal the unimaginable beauty of this peaceful and idyllic island. Arriving onto the Isle across the Skye Bridge, explore the many corners of the landscape from the quaint port town of Portree, to the Trotternish Peninsula with its natural features such as “Kilt Rock” and “the Old Man of Storr”. Spend the balance of your time visiting Dunvegan Castle, or by strolling through the coastal waters where you can spot seabirds, dolphins and seals.

Many of our tours visit the Isle of Skye, Scotland’s best attraction! Look no further than our Skye and the Highlands driving tour, or for those who like to sit back and relax check-out our appropriately named Isle of Skye Tour, one of our many Scotland small-group experiences.

Stay in a Castle

A common bucket-list idea, embrace your British ancestry with a stay in a traditional castle. With the vast history Britain withholds, castles built in previous eras can be found sprinkled around the whole of the England, Scotland & Wales. Frozen in time, these castle hotels stand regal, often set within beautiful gardens engulfed in breath-taking surroundings. Even in this day they have the most original features still intact, creating a truly fascinating and authentic experience!

Celebrating something special? A wedding anniversary, honeymoon, birthday milestone, retirement or perhaps just looking for a vacation with a difference? Whatever your special moment, why not consider experiencing a night in a castle hotel in the UK, which could be the perfect way to mark the occasion and make your vacation truly special. Our Castles and Manors tours feature England, Wales and Scotland individually or combined, and offer some of the best castle accommodation across Britain.

Hike the Lake District

Our second bucket-list article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Lake District, as no visit to England is complete without a stay in the scenic county of Cumbria and the awe-inspiring landscapes it has to offer. Take time to explore the many lakes, their surrounding fells, woodlands, stone walls and the quaint lake-land villages such as Windermere and Grasmere. More and more we are receiving requests from guests who wish to base themselves in the beautiful area in order to hike England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike. Those that complete the trek are rewarded with breath-taking views of the area. Reward yourself with a traditional pub dinner after, along with perhaps an ale or two as the sun goes down over Lake Windermere.

Take a look at one of our many tours that visit the Lake District, our self-drive Yorkshire and the Lake District by clicking here.

Can’t find your bucket-list item? Check back soon for our final list of the most popular ideas in Britain. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch here and we can help make any dreams a reality.

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When is Best to Visit Britain?

With enquiries coming in thick and fast for 2018 vacations in Britain, we are receiving one of our most commonly asked questions here at adeo Travel – when is the best time to visit England, Scotland and Wales!? As with many questions, there is no simple response, as the answer will be different for every guest depending on what is important to them for their trip. Here I do my best at outlining some of the things to think about when planning your vacation to enable you to make the best decision for yourself on when to visit our beautiful country!

Weather     

The weather is famously unpredictable in Britain and we can experience all four seasons in one day, however most people like to travel when there is the best chance of good weather; mild or warm temperatures and a lower chance of rain often make for a more enjoyable sightseeing experience. Therefore, many of our guests choose to visit in England’s Summer months (June, July and August). However, the shoulder season of Springtime and early Autumn can also offer some beautiful weather; April and May can provide crisp mornings and cool evenings but if the sun’s out its strength is good and will offer a pleasant temperature for getting out and about during the daytime. Likewise, September and early October can offer stretches of sunshine if we encounter an “Indian” Summer.

Public/Bank Holidays

Here in Britain we have eight days public holidays (or Bank Holidays) as we call them when the vast majority of British people get a day off work (usually a Monday). On these weekends, the locals often choose to getaway on a short trip to the coast, countryside or for a city-break which means that the roads and public transport can be congested and hotels will be busier or more expensive than at other times – many will impose minimum 2 or 3 night stays to ensure that they maximise their profits across the course of the holiday. Whilst the local atmosphere is good at these times it can be more difficult for overseas visitors who want to get from point to point or stay just one night in a destination so you may choose to avoid these dates. The four main bank holidays in 2018 are the Easter weekend (Mar 30 – Apr 2), May Day Holiday (May 5 – 7), Spring Bank Holiday (May 26 – 28) and the August Bank Holiday (Aug 25 – Aug 27).

Scenery and the Seasons

If you have a particular landscape or vista that you want to experience then ask your adeo Travel Britain expert when is best to see it. If you plan to visit some of England’s beautiful stately homes with formal gardens or RHS gardens then springtime and early Summer (April through June) is a great time to see the flowers in fresh bloom. The heather comes out in Scotland and across the moors and dales of the English Lake District and Yorkshire in late August and early September whilst if crisp frost covered hillsides and snow-capped mountains are your thing then the Winter months or early Spring (November through March) are the best time for your visit.

Local Events and Festivals

Similar to public holidays, local events and festivals can mean a spike in overnight visitors to a particular destination. The most notable is the Edinburgh Festival and Tattoo which takes place throughout the month of August – whilst the city enjoys an incredible party atmosphere, hotel availability is sparse and prices can more than triple throughout the period due to the high demand. To a lesser extent, popular festivals such Glastonbury Music Festival, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Chelsea Flower Show and the York Races can have similar effects. Our advice is that unless you plan to attend yourself then avoid the destination during the event, if your dates are flexible then you may be able to move your trip a little or alternatively, simply ask your adeo Travel representative and they may be able to suggest an alternative overnight destination or juggle your itinerary to visit at a quieter time.

Sightseeing and Daylight Hours

Some people like to combine relaxation with their sightseeing but if your major aim of your vacation is to cover a lot of different areas and hit as many visitor attractions and towns as possible then you’ll want to make sure that you have the daylight hours to achieve it. In the Summer months, the sun will rise from 6am and it can stay light until 10pm on bright sunny days, ideal for those who want to enjoy long evening drives. In the Winter months it can be dark by 5pm which better suits people who want to enjoy shorter daily journeys and atmospheric dinners in the hotel restaurants or evenings curled up by open fireplaces with a local tipple in the hotel lounge-bars.

Price and Value

Compared with some nations, Britain’s hotel, rented accommodation and car rental capacity can be quite low for the numbers of visitors we experience. This limited car and bed-stock means that hotel pricing can fluctuate significantly dependent on availability and demand – the Summer months are invariably more popular so hotels command a higher nightly rate whilst in low-season properties naturally drop prices to compete for business. If budget is important to you then the low or shoulder seasons provide more competitive pricing and you’re more likely to bag a real bargain for your trip. At adeo Travel, we’ve negotiated the best rates are happy to scour our systems for great deals year-round.

So, the best time to travel in Britain really depends on your own priorities from the purpose of your trip, to your personality and interests, to your budget and your flexibility in terms of travel dates. Hopefully the information above has helped a little but if you want further advice when planning your trip then please do not hesitate to get in touch and your adeo Travel will be happy to share their own local insight to ensure you get the most out of your trip!

For a full list of our fully customizable self-drive tours, click here.

 

Liverpool – My Home City

As I’m travelling back up to the North of England to my hometown of Liverpool this weekend for a baby shower for my younger sister, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about what’s great about this city full of character, and what makes Liverpool stand out from other

Beatles Story Exhibition, Liverpool
Beatles Story Exhibition, Liverpool

cities in the UK as well as the events for 2017!

If you look back at our other blog from 2013 “Liverpool – A Capital City” you’ll find a great introduction in Liverpool, from its history as a major port during the industrial revolution, to its dedication to the infamous Beatles, as well the friendly atmosphere the people of Liverpool create.

Crowned the “Capital of Culture” title in 2008, Liverpool is famous for many other reasons other than the Beatles, including of course the football teams Liverpool & Everton (a great game when against each other… named the Merseyside derby), the Grand National at Aintree Race course (the biggest horse racing championships in the UK, established in 1839 – you can catch this year’s Grand National on the 6/7th April 2017) as well as its great universities, restaurants, bars and music events…

Renowned for its Victorian Albert docks, a major port which a lot of people are unaware has a strong part to play in the history of the Titanic and was considered her home port. The story being that Titanic’s managing company, the White Star Line, had its head office in James Street, Liverpool. White Star’s main New York service sailed from Liverpool until 1907, when it was transferred to Southampton which is where Titanic departed from in 1912.

Albert Docks and Liver Building, Liverpool
Albert Docks and Liver Building, Liverpool

Today, the Albert Docks demonstrates the largest single collection of Grade 1 listed buildings in the UK made entirely out of cast iron, brick and stone is home to a few key museums of Liverpool including The Beatles Story, the Merseyside Maritime Museum as well as the International Slavery Museum. It is also home to a selection of great restaurants and cocktail bars, stylish and slick in their decoration with fantastic views of the docks… the international Mersey River festival is hosted this year on the 23rd-25th June 2017 which demonstrates a series of narrow boats & tall ships, as well as sporting tournaments including polo, and demonstrates a great selection of music and entertainment from local artists.

“Ferry across the Mersey”, a song by Gerry and the Pacemakers, was made famous by the Beatles and then was even later turned into a film was based on the Mersey Ferry which runs along the river Mersey along the docks & through to the Wirral Peninsula, and still runs today it can now be experienced by guests to Liverpool.

You’ll also find “The Super Lambanana”- what exactly is a Lambanana you ask? It’s a bright yellow sculpture located in Liverpool, weighing almost eight tons and standing at 17 feet tall. Created by Japanese based artist Taro Chiezo, it stands in front of John Moors university and during the year that Liverpool help the European Capital of Culture local community organisations and businesses invested in 125 individually designed replicas that can be found in and around Merseyside and one in North Wales. The artwork was designed reflecting Liverpool’s history as a port city, trading in commodities such as Lancashire wool and Fyffes bananas, and in my opinion is quite reminiscent of the artist Jeff Koons, and his sculptures of balloon animals.

Not far from the docks you’ll find its “three graces” which consists The Cunard Building, The Port of Liverpool Building as well as famous Royal Liver Building which portrays the Liver birds (mythical creatures symbolising Liverpool), all of which are great examples of Liverpool’s architecture.

If you’re visiting the UK this year, take a night or two to experience Liverpool, with Chester not far away and the breath-taking Lake District just an hour and a half’s drive, it’s a great taste of northern attitude, culture and history.  The perfect driving tour for this region would be our driving tour of the North of England; Yorkshire and the Lake District Tour.

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adeo Guides: The Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh is the world’s leading festival city with 12 major annual festivals but August is a particularly special time of year in the capital of Scotland! It’s a time where the whole city is transformed into a venue for the world’s largest annual cultural festival, playing host to a hundreds of artists from all disciplines including theatre, music, comedy, opera and dance.

Edinburgh - Castle TattooThe festival was first established in 1947 in order to create ‘a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ and enriching the cultural life of Scotland and it has been inspiring artists and enthusiasts from around the globe ever since. Today the festival includes 3000+ events, 25,000+ performers and 4.2 million attendances from 70 countries worldwide. The event is outsold only by the Olympics and the World Cup.

Today the so-called ‘Edinburgh Festival’ consists of about 10 separate festivals which are all held in the city at around the same time each year. The most notable are the Edinburgh International Festival which is devoted to classical music, theatre, opera and dance and the Edinburgh Fringe which is an open access festival and includes a wide variety of shows including comedy, circus and cabaret. World famous comedians including Hugh Laurie, Mike Myers and Eddie Izzard can credit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their big breaks.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival - David Cheskin/PA Wire
Edinburgh Fringe Festival – David Cheskin/PA Wire

Also popular is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which is a series of Military Tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International Military Bands on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. This extremely popular show has been seen by an average of 217,000 people each year since the 1970s and has sold out in advance for the last decade.

Other festivals taking place in August include the Edinburgh Art Festival, celebrating visual art, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Edinburgh Mela, celebrating world music and dance. There is well and truly something for everyone!

Edinburgh - TattooAlready a popular tourist destination, the population of Edinburgh quadruples during the Festival and touristy areas like the Royal Mile will be crowded with flyer pushing performers touting their shows. However, most visitors really enjoy the frenetic atmosphere, the buses crowded with performers in weird and wonderful costumes including Zulu dancers, Shetland fiddlers and Indian folkloric groups and the infinite choice of entertainment among the thousands of shows and events.

Want to visit Scotland during festival season? Why not try a adeo travel self-drive or rail tour? Pick one of the suggested itineraries from our website or contact us directly for a unique tailor-made itinerary.