Filming Locations in the UK

You may have wondered around New York City or Monument Valley and felt like you had stepped into the silver screen. Here in Britain, this feeling is frequently felt all around our country. Whether it be from the mesmeric Cornish Coast and the setting of Poldark, to the rolling hills and shimmering lochs of Scotland used as the backdrop for some of the Harry Potter movies’ most famous shots, you are never too far from a piece of movie history.

Here is a top 6 of the best filming locations for you to enjoy:

6) CARDIFF – SHERLOCK, DOCTOR WHO, TORCHWOOD

Nestled on the South Wales coast, Cardiff is home to many iconic moments from the BBC in recent years. Housing one of the major studios for the British Broadcasting Corporation, Cardiff has seen its fair share of moments on the screen. From the beautiful Cardiff University main building being used as a backdrop for London in Sherlock, to the Cardiff Bay homing the Torchwood team in the highly rated Doctor Who spin-off, there’s something for everyone to see in this up-and-coming city receiving a modern upgrade, whilst still retaining the history and culture associated with South Wales. The Bay is also home to the Doctor Who Experience, a must for any fan of the show. If you’re lucky, you may even visit on a filming day. Our Capital City Tour allows you so see the highlights of this fantastic city.

5) PORTMEIRION – THE PRISONER

Hidden away between Mount Snowdon and the Welsh coast, Portmeirion is a gem that should not be missed. Multi-coloured buildings once played host to the filming of the Prisoner, an flagship show during the late 1960s. The series follows a British former secret agent who is held captive on a mysterious, albiet tranquill coastal village resort. Starring Patrick McGoohan, this classic should be watched in association with a trip to the resort, conveniently located for anyone visiting North Wales on one of our Welsh self-drive experiences.

4) PORT ISAAC – DOC MARTIN

Martin Clunes’ fantastic portrayal of a surgeon who has developed haemophobia is matched only by the incredibly stunning seaside town of Port Isaac, the filming location for this hit BBC show. In Port Isaac enjoy authentic Cornish Clotted Cream, scones, and traditional British fish and chips. The food and scenery go hand in hand. As the sun sets over the coast, watch as the fisherman descend on the port walls to catch their evening meal fresh. With our fully customisable trips to Cornwall/Devon, make sure to include Port Isaac as one of your top stops along the way.

3) NOTTINGHAMSHIRE – THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY

The Nolan Batman trilogy re-energised DC Comics from 2005-2012.  A short drive away from Nottingham you will find Wollaton Hall. The historic Elizabethan mansion is a popular attraction, hosting many scenes during the Dark Knight Rises, including the opening garden party scene in which Gary Oldman delivers a eulogy of Harvey Dent, some 8 years after his death. A visit today will see you looking around a constructed gravesite, in which Michael Caine delivers one of the more heart-warming scenes from the final movie. At Wollaton Park, also find the resident herd of red deer, which roam around the magnificent gardens and parkland.

2) CAMBRIDGE – THEORY OF EVERYTHING

At number two, we feature the recent Academy Award nominated film, the Theory of Everything. Starring British talents Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as Mr and Mrs Steven Hawking, the film centres around the couple’s early years in amongst the early stages of ALS. Set in the stunningly gorgeous university city of Cambridge, the film utilises the stunning buildings (such as King’s College Chapel) in its backdrop. Local areas to visit range from the Roman fort of Duroliponte on Castle Hill, to St Bene’t’s Church, the oldest standing building in Cambridgeshire. When on one of our many fully-customisable self-drive tours of England, be sure to check out Cambridge, conveniently located between York and London. A perfect stop on the final day of a perfect trip to the UK.

1) SCOTLAND – HARRY POTTER

Iconic and magical, the filming locations for Harry Potter are primarily located in among the Scottish lochs and highlands. The standout, to begin, must be the Glenfinnan Viaduct, used in the filming of the famous Hogwarts Express vs flying car

Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West highland Rail Line.
Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West highland Rail Line.

scene from the Chamber of Secrets. If the earlier films are more to your taste, then how about a visit to Loch Shiel, where Buckbeak dips a toe into the water whilst Harry soars around the sky on his back. Departing Scotland, in the North of England find Alnwick Castle, the location for Harry’s first broom flight under the guidance of Madam Hooch. Visit Scotland and these locations today on one of our Scotland tours, booking now for 2017!

If the above filming locations have piqued your interest, enquire today either online or by phone regarding a trip to England, Scotland or Wales!

Christmas in the UK

It’s that wonderful time of year again. The temperatures are colder (especially in Scotland, the North of England and Wales), the food tastes better, and relatives bombard you with gifts of deodorant/after-shave sets and socks. Whilst clear similarities are there between the UK and the US, our Christmases differ on several obvious, but also a number of lesser-known traditions. For this blog, we will focus solely on these differences and traditions that are unique to Britain!

Here are seven examples:

1) Christmas Eve – More recently, Christmas Eve has primarily been adopted as a day of celebration away from your family. Whilst our transatlantic cousins have Thanksgiving to catch up with friends who have perhaps moved away, Brits use the day before Christmas to meet with friends and reminisce over a drink or two. Furthermore, and to the point a lot more traditionally, adults frequent their local pub in the late morning of Christmas Day to celebrate with local friends/patrons, not too dissimilar to New Year’s Eve.

2) Christmas Crackers – For those unaware, and perhaps hard to explain the popularity of such an item, a Christmas cracker is like a Thanksgiving wishbone. Two people hold onto one side each of a soft cardboard tube, and with a quick pull, one person will take more of the cracker than the other, along with hearing a loud bang. Inside the victor’s majority is a joke (undeniably terrible, e.g. What do they sing at a snowman’s birthday party? Freeze a jolly good fellow); along with a coloured hat in the form of a crown. Even grandparents must wear them throughout Christmas dinner if not all of Christmas day. Tradition is tradition after-all.

3) Christmas Lunch/Dinner – Whilst Brits frequently refer to the main meal as “dinner”, the general eating time is usually around 1-2pm. This difference means a different Christmas Day to that in the US. In Britain, relatives generally spend Christmas Morning in the comfort of their own homes, before immediately preparing the feast or driving on the empty roads to friends and family’s houses. Once there, the food differs to that in the US. One example, Brits roast their potatoes, whereas in the US mashed potatoes are preferred. We also include various other British traditional Christmas foods, these include: Yorkshire puddings (not actually puddings), chutney, pork crackling and pigs in blankets (sausage wrapped in bacon). Most importantly though, whereas Americans prefer a Christmas ham, Brits do not celebrate Thanksgiving, therefore choose Christmas Day as the day for turkey, or if desired goose.

4) Elongated Festivities – Without Thanksgiving, the British Christmas starts earlier than in the US. Supermarkets begin digging out the Christmas playlists from as early as the beginning of November, Christmas cards and wrapping paper hit the stores even earlier, and Santa’s grottos begin popping up in shopping precincts. If proof is required of our desire to extend the festive period for as long as possible, in Love Actually (2003), the Christmas countdown starts six weeks prior to the 25th December, which is a very accurate portrayal of life in London during the hectic festive period.

5) Christmas Sales – Similarly to the last point, more recently, aside from the 12 Days of Christmas, the festivities have extended well into the new year with the January Sales. Adapted to start from Boxing Day (December 26th) more recently, our sales mirror Black Friday in the States. Shoppers descend on retail stores with their Christmas money/vouchers in hand in search of a winter bargain. Holiday seekers also take this time of year, with the multitude of public bank holidays, to plan and book their trips in anticipation of the new year, looking forward in a much more positive manner on what hopefully will be many relaxing breaks.

6) TV Scheduling – Whilst American football fixtures sometimes fall on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the UK gets a day off sport (soccer in particular resumes on Boxing Day and bank holiday fixtures). Instead, once the lunch has been eaten, a countrywide broadcast of the Queen’s Speech begins around 3pm (almost compulsory viewing in Britain!). In the evening, following many Christmas or animated films shown on the BBC, there is an annual Doctor Who Christmas special. This year, Brits are being treated to a Great British Bake Off special, along with the eagerly awaited return of Sherlock, over the Christmas/New Year period.

7) Christmas Markets – adopted from Europe’s finest cities, many British cities/towns are now opening markets in the same vein. From our very own market in the capital of Wales Cardiff, to cities including Bath and York to the fabulous Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, there’s truly something for everyone. The mulled wine/hard cider, craft huts and ice-skating are just several popular attractions of such events, and let’s not forget the Rockefeller Center-esque illuminations and celebrations throughout the country.

If the above differences have piqued your interest in experiencing Christmas in the UK, then follow this link to our uniquely special tour, Christmas in Scotland, booking soon for 2017. Also, our other tours offer similar destinations and experiences, so if Christmas in the UK has been lingering on your bucket list, do not hesitate to enquire online or by phone today (toll-free from the US/Canada 1-866-209-4554) for a quotation and tailor-made quotation – we look forward to hearing from you!

Driving in Britain Tips

One of the more frequently raised topics regarding our self-drive tours here at adeo Travel are concerns about driving in Britain, namely about operating a vehicle on the left-hand side of the road during your time here.
This blog should help quash some of your fears about driving in our country and make you feel a little bit more relaxed before your Britain vacatioCar on country roadn.

When you enquire for a self-drive tour here at adeo Travel, as standard we will include a rental car with an automatic transmission. Although the majority of cars here in Britain are of manual transmission, we feel that having an automatic car will give our guests a smoother transition into driving in Britain.

Although we give you directions to each of your hotels in your travel documents that you will receive prior to travel, you may still wish to consider including a GPS navigation system with your car rental. If you have a GPS system instruct you on where you are going, this will allow your focus to be on getting used to the differences in our road systems – you also have less chance of getting lost which is always a bonus!

Driving on the other side of the road to what you are used to may seem fairly daunting at first, but feedback from our past guests tell us that it is easier to get used to than you would think! The fact that the driver’s seat is on the opposite side of what your brain is used to will straight away make you aware that something is different, which makes it much easier to adapt. If you do wish to go exploring the backroads here in Britain, our country roads can often be as narrow as a single-lane anyway, so there really is no need to fret!

Another key difference of British roads are roundabouts (or traffic circles). Roundabouts may appear daunting on paper, but as long as you remember to get into the correct lane for the direction you are heading and give way to the right then you will have nothing to worry about.

There is no ‘right on red’ equivalent here in Britain. Instead, we have filtered traffic lights. Do not proceed forward unless the light is green and there is no traffic or the designated filter is green for the direction you wish to go.

This blog has covered some of our frequently asked questions about driving in Britain – if you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist.

A variety of our self-drive tours can be found on our website, each quote will have car hire included as standard. We look forward to hearing from you!

When Should I Travel in Britain?

Here at adeo Travel, we are always here to help if you have any queries before, during or after travel. One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive is to do with when to travel in Britain. This blog should help answer some of the questions you might have.

If you are a fan of hot weather, our temperatures reach their peak in July & August so consider enquiring for these months if you want to attempt to catch a tan while on your travels (the heat here may not be as intense as where you are from!).
Certain events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo only occur in August so if you are interested in being immersed in Scottish culture then this month is definitely for you.

For those of you that wish to avoid the crowd, perhaps consider travelling in May or June. In these months we still have pleasant weather, but sights and attractions will be less busy due to schools still being in session. There is also likely to be enhanced availability for accommodations and tours during these months which may benefit you.

If weather isn’t a concern to you, why not consider travelling in winter? Travel in December will see you be able to visit the famous markets of Bath and York. There is also the potential of snow which will get you right into the mood for Christmas.

If you are after an authentic experience in England, Scotland or Wales, you could consider aligning your travel dates with the days of the patron saints. For travellers in England, St George’s Day is April 23rd, St Andrews Day in Scotland is November 30th and St David of Wales’ day is March 1st.

Another important thing to bear in mind when enquiring for your Britain vacation is that we have a set of Bank Holidays throughout the calendar year. On these days, most attractions will be closed and demand will be fairly high due to most of the population being off school and work. Below are the scheduled Bank Holidays for 2017 in Britain:

Monday 2nd January – New Year’s Day (substitute day)
Friday 14th April – Good Friday
Monday 17th April – Easter Monday
Monday 1st May – May Day
Monday 29th May – Spring Bank Holiday
Monday 28th August – Summer Bank Holiday
Monday 25th December – Christmas Day
Tuesday 26th December – Boxing Day

Hopefully this information has helped you in deciding which dates you would like to visit our country. Enquire today and we will happily send you a no obligation tailored quotation – we look forward to hearing from you!

Highlights of Britain Small-Group Tour – My Experience

As you may have seen from my last blog, recently I had the opportunity to go on one of our more popular group tours the ‘Highlights of Britain’.

Oxford UniversityWe had an early start from the centre of London, where everyone met in a timely fashion. Once the luggage was loaded onto the mini-coach, we headed straight for Oxford.
It was here that we had our own personal walking tour of the city by a local resident who was very knowledgeable of all the sites and answered all questions our group had with accuracy.
It was especially great to learn about the history of the famous Oxford University while inside the buildings themselves and having plenty of picture opportunities.
After the walking tour, we were allowed two hours to ourselves to explore the city privately. There was an opportunity to get food before exploring landmarks such as Blackwell’s Bookshop, which stocks over 200,000 books and its Norrington Room is the largest single room devoted to the selling of books in Europe at 10,000 square feet.
Departing Oxford, we headed to the Cotswolds where we got to see Bampton, famously used as a fictional village in Downtown Abbey.
Our stay for the evening was in the lovely Three Ways House hotel, where we treated to a three-course meal before becoming dessert connoisseurs by taking part in their famous ‘Pudding Club’.

Leaving the Cotswolds on day two, we headed north to Worcester Cathedral; it was here that we had a tour by a knowledgeable and charismatic historian. The Cathedral houses the tomb of the infamous King John and there were plenty of photo opportunities in this stunning builIronbridgeding.
After the tour concluded, we headed to Much Wenlock where we had an hour to get food and explore the quaint and picturesque village.
After our stomachs were satisfied, it was back on the mini-coach and up to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge which was a stunning sight. The bridge was the very first bridge in the world made with an arch-shape out of cast iron. Again, picture opportunities were in abundance and I am still using the photo I took of Ironbridge as the wallpaper on my phone to this day!
After a long day of sightseeing, we crossed the border into North Wales where we retired for the evening.

After a lovely breakfast on day three, we departed our hotel and headed for the Area of Outstanding National Beauty known as Snowdonia Park, home of the impressive Mount Snowdon. The weather was good to us on the day that we visited; the lakes a beautiful blue and the valleys gorgeous green in colour.
Departing Snowdon, it was up to the island of Anglesey where we crossed the Menai Suspension Bridge to visit the famous village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and of course we all took turns trying to pronounce it!Snowdonia
Coming back to mainland Wales across the Britannia Bridge, we visited Bodnant Welsh Food Centre where we had a lovely three course meal followed by a Welsh cookery lesson and a tour of the centre itself.
It was then that we headed back to our hotel after a thoroughly enjoyable day of sightseeing in North Wales.

At the beginning day four, it was time for me personally to leave the tour and return home, but the tour itself lasts nine days and continues through Britain where the rest of the group got to see places like Chester, York, The Lake District and Scotland, concluding in Edinburgh.

With the dates for 2017 recently released for the Highlights of Britain tour, what better time is there for you to enquire to book with us today – I couldn’t recommend this tour enough!