Great Britain Bucket-List #1!

It’s almost time to start planning your dream 2018 vacation, which means one thing: time to tick-off a box or two from your bucket list! England, Scotland and Wales have a vast arrange of must-do attractions, with some truly special sights to see and do to make your trip as enjoyable and memorable as possible. Here is just a few of the many possibilities:

Board the Jacobite Steam Train across the Glenfinnan Viaduct:

Rail enthusiasts and Harry Potter fans rejoice! Many of our rail tours of Scotland offer the chance to ride the Jacobite through the Scottish Highlands and over the Glenfinnan Viaduct towards the fishing town of Mallaig. This locomotive attracts visitors from the world-over and is famous for offering some of the very best views Scotland has on offer. Ride along the famous track with Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain looming high in the backdrop. The two-hour Jacobite experience over the West Highland Line really is the greatest rail journey in the world.

For our popular Explore Scotland by Rail tour, click here.

Follow in Doc Martin’s Footsteps at Port Isaac:

Famed for being the home of the hit BBC drama Doc Martin, Port Isaac attracts both young and old with its quintessentially Cornish charm. Wander around this beautiful, quaint fishing village and stare-out over the Celtic Sea. Explore the narrow, winding streets lined with grade-A listed, white-washed houses before grabbing a truly authentic Cornish pasty and watching the fishermen and women take to the harbour for the evening catch.

Dreaming of a trip to Cornwall? Travel in style with our best-selling small-group tour, Corners of Cornwall, which visits Port Isaac alongside many other picturesque Cornish villages and towns.

Uncover the Mystery of Stonehenge:

Famed the world-over, no trip to Britain is complete without a visit to Stonehenge. Luckily, many of our self-drive, rail and escorted tours visit the attraction. Walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors and explore the history of the stone circle. With archaeologists dating Stonehenge as far back as 3000 to 2000 BC, the same age as the Pyramids of Giza, a stroll around the Salisbury-based attraction really is a step-back in time. Take time to visit the new interaction exhibition centre, before perhaps heading on to visit the lesser-known stone circle at Avebury.

For more information regarding our tours that visit Stonehenge, look no further than our new Country Pubs of England tour.

Go “Nessie” Hunting in Scotland:

Despite the infamous Loch Ness Monster picture being proved a fake in 1975, thousands of people a year visit Scotland’s most famous loch in search of finding the mythical creature. Incredibly, around 20 sightings are recorded every single year, so a visit to the Scottish Highlands comes with the chance to be the one to get that elusive and authentic photograph of the country’s recently named “most famous Scot”. You may arrive seeking the famed beast, although perhaps may leave the most famous person in Britain! Be sure to head out on a Loch cruise for an even better chance of success.

The vast majority of our tours visit Loch Ness. Why not check-out our many of our small-group tours of Scotland here.

Gaze Upon the White Cliffs of Dover:

A beacon of the South East of England, the White Cliffs of Dover offer stunning views out over the English Channel. Join our many visitors each year looking to brave the howling winds atop the cliffs with an ice-cream in tow. Make sure to bring your camera for that album covering photograph of the Beachy Head Lighthouse that guards the Cliffs. A walk along the Coast will bring you to another popular attraction, the majestic Dover Castle, complete with a military museum and labyrinthine war-time tunnels.

Take a look at our fantastic Garden of England tour here which spends the afternoon at the Cliffs.

Can’t find your bucket-list item? Check back soon for more 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.

Save

Save

Save

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.

 

Guest Feedback 2017

After record numbers of guests travelling this summer, it is time to share just some of the feedback we have recevied from our guests. Those that have travelled so far have offered fantastic feedback, both constructive and helpful, allowing for further development of our tours and an even better experience for those looking to travel in 2018.

Here’s what some of our adeo Travel guests have had to say so far:

  1. “Thank you so much for planning such an incredible trip… it was exceptional”.

Teresa Larada Horner-Miller, London and Beyond, New Mexico, USA

  1. “Your service and advice was great”.

Tim Ross, Best of Britain, West Virginia, USA

  1. “Service was very good and the pre-travel advise helpful, very good information, all events we attended we were very happy with”.

Diane Hinton, Heart of England Tour, New Zealand

  1. “All in all, a great trip. Thank you so much”.

Cate Root, England by Rail, Canada

  1. “We would definitely use your services if the need arises and would recommend these to others”.

Sudha Kalyanpur, Scotland Small Group Tours, New Jersey, USA

  1. “Everything went well on our self-drive in the UK recently which you organised for us… the Hotels you selected were great and we enjoyed our stay in all of them… all in all we had a great time and once again thank you for organising all this for us-we really appreciated your expertise”.

John Whimpey, England Self-Drive, Australia

  1. “Hotel accommodation was generally of a high standard… on the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the tour”.

Judith Merryweather, Outer Hebrides and Skye Tour, Australia

  1. “I must thank you for the wonderful organization of our holiday…. we had a wonderful holiday thanks to you and I want to say how much we appreciated all the work you put into giving us a great schedule”.

Louise Pilon, Multiple Small Group Tours, Canada

  1. “Our trip was fantastic! The rail pass worked perfectly! The itinerary plus trips to the Lake District and Orkney Islands were fabulous!”

Lauren Clarke, Great Britain by Rail, Oregon, USA

  1. “We had a wonder tour of Great Britain. Our travel contact was Darryl Walters, I spoke with him several times while planning this trip. He was very helpful, and kept in contact with us as the trip got closer… the printed information was very helpful and we relied upon it throughout the trip… we had a great time, and hope to work with you again in the future on another tour”.

Michael Benson, Highlights of Britain, Illinois, USA

  1. “If we travel to the UK again which is our intention we will certainly be in touch”.

Sean O’Sullivan, England Self-Drive, New Zealand

  1. “We had a fantastic trip. We certainly saw a lot of Scotland and the weather was actually very cooperative”.

Julie George, Scotland Self-Drive, New Hampshire, USA

  1. “We thoroughly enjoyed touring through Wales and its wonderful monuments and landscapes”.

Diane Bissen, Wales Explorer, Germany

  1. “A big thank you for arranging the trip for us – it was certainly a “trip of a lifetime”. There are NO complaints whatsoever – everything went well and smoothly with all the trip… and we were lucky enough to see Obama and the Queen”.

Nigel van Cuylenburg, Great Britain Tour, Australia

  1. “Overall great… adeo and Darryl did great job and offered continual support through trip…”

Pippa Wiley, England Self-Drive, Texas, USA

  1. “We really enjoyed the trip to Scotland. The services that adeo provided were very good, the printed info was helpful”.

Marcia Parry, A Scottish Journey, New York, USA

  1. “Everything was satisfactory. Prior to tour all communication was excellent. We appreciated all the prompt emails and tour itinerary as well as the literature received from our guide. Itinerary, coach and guide were excellent”.

David Stahl, Private Group Tour, Florida, USA

  1. “Thanks again for all of your help. The trip was fantastic and we will have many beautiful memories for years to come”.

Toby Mandelman, Great Britain Tour, Canada

  1. “We had the most fabulous time in the UK… your suggested itinerary pointers were very helpful in conjunction with our own list of “must see” places to go… we were blown away by the quality and nature of the accommodations you booked on our behalf… we will definitely make contact for our future trips to the UK”.

Joanne Link, Castles and Manors of England and Wales, Australia

  1. “I was really happy with the itinerary you provided and the suggestions for things to see or do. As far as I was concerned it was just right… the hotels were great, all handy to everything, well done. Keep doing it the way you are, it is obvious you know what you are doing, your experience and knowledge shows. You respond promptly to messages and emails and I felt like a valued customer… thanks for helping to make Scotland so enjoyable for me”.

Jack Barker, Explore Scotland by Rail, Australia

  1. “We so enjoyed the trip that we would certainly use you again… the pre-tour pack arrived on time and was relevant and useful, especially the maps, and your communication in response to queries was very quick”.

John Crocker, Wonders of Wales, New Zealand

  1. “We had a wonderful time and agreed that even after 18 days, we weren’t really ready to come home and that is definitely a first. I have already recommended Adeo to several acquaintances who are interested in doing something similar. We had a wonderful time”.

Susan Sieloff, Great Britain by Rail, Massachusetts, USA

  1. “Our trip was great, thanks to your planning. Used all your planning info and appreciated your input into side trips etc… hotels were all great locations, clean and very helpful staff… thank you again for a well-planned holiday in your beautiful country”.

Louise Stafford, England and Wales by Rail, Canada

  1. “The trip went very well. Car hire service was excellent could not be faulted. Likewise, the accommodation you selected was first class and very enjoyable and thank you for booking Rick Steins in Padstow it was all we expected and more”.

Allan Hilless, West Country Legends, Australia

  1. “I am pleased to report that our trip to Scotland and England was a great success! All four of our traveling party were impressed with the accommodations and services provided through adeo Travel, and would give a highest rating to our travel package”.

Leland Anderson, Scottish Dream Coach-Tour, Idaho, USA

  1. “Patti and I would like to sincerely thank you for the superior customer service and attention to detail your team provided for our recent vacation in the U.K. adeo Travel provided an affordable, exciting vacation to beautiful and unforgettable locations while always making themselves available for questions and concerns. I’ve travelled a lot over the past 30 years… adeo Travel is second to none! 4 Stars! Thanks so much!”.

Barbara Hurt, Great Britain Tour, Idaho, USA

  1. “I would like to thank you for all your efforts in arranging all aspects of this trip. We had a great time… our travel contact was outstanding in their efforts to provide all we wanted and accommodated all our additional requests during the planning stage and gave us helpful advice”.

Allan Wilcock, Great Britain Tour, Australia

  1. “We received fantastic service from our Adeo travel contact, Amy, who answered all of our questions patiently. She gave accurate and comprehensive information about the tour, sights and travel information. She also went the extra mile to provide additional guidance for getting from place to place, which turned out to be absolutely essential for us”.

Shin Min Thng, Wales Self-Drive, Singapore

  1. “We really had a great time in Scotland!… overall with the entire trip we are WELL satisfied and happy with the services you and your company provided. I thank you and your team for everything you have done. We will definitely be in need of your assistance on our next trip. Thank you adeo and thank you on a very personal level to Shane. Amazing!”.

Sherry McNett, Scotland Self-Drive, Florida, USA

  1. “The trip was great, long drives along the countryside with pitstops to take photos. We had an amazing time and we truly wouldn’t have been able to plan it all without your help”.

Sara Cheong, British Journey, Hong Kong

  1. “Your booking process and correspondence prior to our trip was exceptional. Very efficient and thorough. The suggested itinerary and directions were great… overall we had a great time and plan to go back to Wales in the future. We are also likely to book one of your Scottish Tours and would certainly recommend Adeo Travel to our family and friends”.

Graeme Carpenter, Castles and Manors of Wales, Kent, England

If the above comments have made you dream of following in their footsteps, why not get in touch and we can discuss a potential trip to Britain? We cater to both guests looking for self-drive tours, and those who would prefer to travel to rail, small-group or coach.

New to 2017, we now have city breaks in locations such as Cardiff, London and Edinburgh!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Top Ten Tips for Driving in the UK!

The vast majority of our guests here at adeo Travel choose a driving-tour of Britain; it is the simply the most flexible and convenient way to explore the countryside, villages and historic sites of England, Scotland and Wales at your own leisure. Driving on the “wrong” side of the road can come with its own concerns – but worry not, most of our clients tell us they get used to it remarkably quickly and with our extra tips you’ll be taking to driving on the left like a fish to water!

10. Book an Automatic Car

The vast majority of people here in Britain drive manual transmission (or stick) vehicles; for this reason automatics are more rare with rental agents and carry a supplement. We’d recommend an automatic transmission for overseas visitors – not having to change gear gives you one less thing to think about when adapting to driving on the other side. Simply request one and we’ll include it in your proposal.

9. Bring a GPS

Basic road directions to each of your overnight accommodations are included in your travel pack as standard on any adeo Travel driving tour, however using a GPS (or Sat Nav as we call it here in Britain) can give you that extra reassurance when navigating. GPS systems can be hired from the car rental desk on arrival but can be costly, so we recommend bringing your own device – just don’t forget to download maps for the UK in advance of your trip.

8. Embrace our Roundabouts

Here in Britain we share most of the same rules of the road as in North America and Australia; but one thing often noted by our clients is that we have many more roundabouts (or road-circles / rotary junctions). They may seem confusing at first but they actually work well to ensure a smooth flow of traffic; you simply have to heed or “give-way” to vehicles already on the roundabout (coming from the right). When it’s clear you can proceed on to the roundabout system and continue clockwise until you reach the exit you need. The beauty of a roundabout is that you can continue round as many times as you like until you find the right exit.

7. Stay Left, but not too much!

Here in Britain we drive on the left so don’t forget to stick to the correct side of the road! However, when you’re sat in the opposite side of the vehicle it can sometimes feel a little like you’re erring too much in to the middle of the road; obviously you don’t want to be driving towards oncoming traffic but fight the urge to hug the hedgerow or curb too much – you don’t want to scrape the left-hand wheels or clip anything in the verge.

6. Don’t go for the smallest vehicle

Our roads here in Britain can be smaller and narrower than many in other parts of the world, especially once you get off the beaten track and in to the country’s more rural areas. It can therefore be instinctive to go for an economy (smallest) class of vehicle. But we would recommend something larger like a compact model (Ford Focus or similar). We find this size of vehicle is better for touring offering greater luggage room and more power for the highways, whilst still not feeling too large to handle on our country roads.

5. Take your time

The beauty of England, Scotland and Wales is our wonderful natural landscapes; however roads that traverse rolling hills and through historic villages are inevitably slower than flat straight highways! Give yourself plenty of time to take your daily journeys so that you can travel at a comfortable pace for yourself. And of course, you’ll want to have plenty of time to make sightseeing stops en route!

4. Understand your car

When picking up your vehicle you may be eager to get on the road to start exploring, but taking your time at the rental office can save time and concern later. Make sure you fully understand the vehicle; where are the headlamp and windshield wiper controls? What type of fuel does the vehicle take? And how do you operate the Air Con? Ask lots of questions to the rental agent or if need be, take a drive around the parking lot to get used to the particular model. Either way, ensure you’re comfortable before heading out on to the open road.

3. Buy a Highway Code

The entire rules of the road in the UK can be found in one book – the Highway Code. This little book can be picked up in any bookstore here in Britain for just a couple of pounds or can be purchased in advance by ordering online or in any good bookstore in your home nation. Either skim read ahead of time or use as a handy reference during your travel just to clarify if there are any road-signs or markings that you’re not sure of.

2. Use your Road Map

GPS units are great for detailed directions when you’re in a town and searching for a particular address, but they will always give you a most direct route, the beauty of a driving-tour of Britain is taking the quieter backroads or more scenic routes. When booking a self-drive tour with adeo Travel we always provide an overview driving map in your travel pack perfect for advance planning, plotting potential sites or routes and gaining your bearings on your daily itinerary.

1. Know your speeds and Distances

Unlike pretty much the entire rest of Europe, here in Britain we measure our distances in miles, and therefore our speed limits in miles-per-hour. This will be natural for some of our overseas guests and not so for others. Speed-limits are usually clearly signed but if in doubt it is generally 30mph in

Self Drive Tour Scotland
Self Drive Tour Scotland

built-up areas, 60mph on country single-carriageway roads and 70mph on our motorways (highways).

Hopefully now any doubts you had regarding driving in Britain have now been allayed and you’re raring to go on your driving tour of the UK. However, if you do have any questions about driving, there is plenty more information on our website here or simply rest-assured that your experienced adeo Travel agent is on hand to offer their expert advice. So why not let us know which areas you want to explore and we’ll help you put together your perfect driving tour itinerary for your trip to Britain!

Check out our driving tours here.

Driving in Britain not for you? We offer a range of rail, traditional coach tour or small-group itineraries, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise on what tour would be best for you!

Save

Save

Where To Stay In Edinburgh – #AdeoOnTheRoad

This week we flew up to one of our favourite Scottish cities, Edinburgh! This cosmopolitan capital city is a must visit for any visitor to Scotland. Edinburgh is packed with medieval history, surrounded by spectacular scenery and is also the leading festival city in the world.

We want our guests to have the best possible experience in all aspects of their vacation so we took the opportunity to inspect some of the hotels we send our guests to. Read on for the inside scoop on where you could be staying in Edinburgh if you book with adeo:

Braid Hills Hotel

Dating back to 1886 this hotel is full of classic Victorian character including turrets and stained glass windows. The wood panelling in the Edinburgh bar and 1886 restaurant will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and the views are simply to die for.

You’ll love it if: You love traditional character and authentic Victorian charm.

The Bothy Restaurant and Drinkery at the Murrayfield House Hotel
The Bothy Restaurant and Drinkery at the Murrayfield House Hotel

Murrayfield Hotel

The Murrayfield is a hotel with community spirit! The Bothy Restaurant and Drinkery, the hotel’s stylish Scottish restaurant, is open to the public and fills up in the evenings with locals and hotel guests alike. Plus, its located right on the bus route from the airport to the city centre – what’s not to like?

You’ll love it if: You’re in search of an authentic local experience.

Thistle Edinburgh King James

This quirky hotel can be found inside a shopping mall! Its location directly opposite the train station makes it perfect for anyone arriving on a late night train.

You’ll love it if: You’re a shopaholic!

The Place's sunny terrace
The Place’s sunny terrace

The Place Hotel

This historic hotel is an oasis of calm in the centre of the city. Its unique terrace area with retractable roof is the perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing whatever the weather. There’s also a contemporary bar with an extensive wine list and cocktail selection – yum!

You’ll love it if: You’re looking for a restful retreat after your sightseeing.

The Mercure Princes Street

This hotel seems uninspiring from its main entrance but the hotel’s best feature becomes quickly apparent after climbing the stairs to the hotel’s reception where you can see through to the restaurant which features panoramic views of the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

You’ll love it if: You want a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach.

Classic oak panelling inside the Royal Scots Club
Classic oak panelling inside the Royal Scots Club

The Royal Scots Club

You’ll feel like royalty staying at this private members’ club in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. Careful though, only members may use the main entrance; plebs like us have to enter through a side door. There’s also a strict ‘No Jeans’ rule for the Dining Room.

You’ll love it if: You want to feel like an aristocrat.

The Inn Place

It’s all about location, location, location at The Inn Place! The Place Hotel’s sister hotel is situated two minutes from Waverly station, just off the Royal Mile. You won’t get much of a view from your room but you couldn’t find a better location for sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking.

You’ll love it if: You want to be at the centre of the action

The Roxburghe

The Roxburghe
The Roxburghe

You’ll feel relaxed the moment you step into this luxurious 4-star hotel featuring gorgeous, spacious reception rooms including a peaceful central courtyard. At the hotel’s Balance Spa and Leisure Club you can take a dip in the heated pool or treat yourself to a massage.

You’ll love it if: You’re feeling travel fatigued

 

 

 

If any of these hotels tickle your fancy just let us know and we would be happy to book it for your stay in Edinburgh! And why not travel to Edinburgh on one of our fully customizable Scotland self-drive or rail tours! I recommend Simply Scotland or Explore Scotland by Rail.