CTA Bulletin July 2018

CTA CEO Chris Wales caught up with Westminster Abbey’s Lucy Hillyard this month for an update on coach groups at the Abbey. Here he is pictured with Lucy and Abbey marshal Jamie Pooley.
Thanks to CTA partner Towergate for pointing out that the government has published its formal guidance on the new Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.

The Tourism Alliance (of which CTA is a member) has also produced a handy guidance note interpreting the regulations which explains that the regulations apply when there is a linkage between two or more of the following four elements: Transport; Accommodation; Motor Vehicle Hire, Other Tourism Service (this can include anything from tickets to an attraction, a meal in a restaurant, or a spa treatment to a round of golf).

The Tourism Alliance has also provided details on the information that must be supplied to customers, both before and after a contract is agreed and a template for adaptation by operators.

With the largest collection of ancient castles in England, English Heritage is asking summer visitors to help conserve them by giving a donation in exchange for a flag at its key sites around the country. As a charity, it is raising funds to help protect its 66 magnificent castles from the ravages of time for the centuries to come.

Groups visiting English Heritage castles and other top sites during August can get involved in the conservation campaign by looking out for special castle-shaped collection boxes during their visit, where they can pick up flags to show their support, in exchange for a small donation.

Take a photograph of your group members waving their flags during your visit and send it to English Heritage by Monday 24 September to be entered into a prize draw for the chance to receive a free visit for a group of 11 to 50 people, to a castle of your choice during 2019.

Photographs should be sent by email to traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk with ‘Fly the Flag Photo’ in the subject line. Include your name, contact details and the date and place of your group’s visit. The winner will be notified by Monday 8 October.

Groups of 11 or more people receive a discount at English Heritage properties and events. One tour leader and one coach driver are admitted free with each group (and do not count towards group numbers). Free familiarisation visits can be arranged for the Travel Trade. Special themed tours are available for pre-booked groups at many properties.

Meanwhile, English Heritage has completed a £1.3million re-design and upgrading of the gardens and added a café at Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens in North Yorkshire.
An Arts and Crafts garden, designed by celebrated gardener Chris Beardshaw, is among the new features of the revived attraction and other garden highlights include a newly-planted monk’s cell garden which is believed to be the only example in the country.

www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on for details
www.english-heritage.org.uk/mountgracepriory

For groups planning a visit to Liverpool in 2019, a Summer Evening Cruise can be a great addition to any itinerary. Mersey Ferries’ two-hour Summer Evening Cruises feature live music featuring local talent, a fully licensed bar and unrivalled views of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront.

A Group Rate of £12 per person is available for groups of 20 or more.

2019 Sailing Dates: Sat 18 May; Sat 1 June; Fri 14 June; Sat 29 June; Fri 12 July; Sat 27 July; Fri 9 August; Fri 16 August; Fri 6 September; and Sat 28 September.

Cruises depart from Liverpool at 7.40pm and coaches can drop-off and pick-up on Canada Boulevard just in front of the Mersey Ferries’ Pier Head Ferry Terminal.

Reservations are now been taken, please call 0151 330 1420 or email groups@merseyferries.co.uk

CTA member made is promoting a range of exhibitions at the British Library which offer a special group entry discount of 10 per cent (10 or more) plus up to 20 per cent off Afternoon Tea in the Terrace Restaurant.

Among the attractions at the British Library that could make an interesting group visit are two exhibitions:
James Cook: The Voyages is open until 28 August and features Cook’s journal, early depictions of kangaroos and maps charting the voyages.

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, which opens on 19 October includes the Domesday Book, gems from the Staffordshire Hoard and the St Cuthbert Gospel.

And the Sir John Ritblat Treasures of the British Library Gallery features Jane Austen, Magna Carta,The Beatles and Shakespeare. Discover stories that shape the world.

Find out more here.

Christmas is always a special time at Waddesdon, and 2018 is no exception. This year its Christmas Carnival will feature a light show at dusk on the front of the house bathing the ornate façade in rainbow colours, while the two giant candlestick sculptures, Lafite, by artist Joana Vasconcelos, will also be illuminated. A winter light trail winds around Aviary Garden and at the Stables visitors will be treated to another 6-minute imaginative light and sound performance projected onto the exterior walls using the latest in video projection mapping technologies created by video design students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Festive shopping will again feature at Waddesdon this Christmas, including the beautifully decorated Manor Shop and the Wine Shop, which is a perfect place to pick up a Rothschild wine. And the Christmas shop in the Old Coach House at the Stables offers both traditional and contemporary decorations and unusual Christmas gifts.

A Christmas Fair, located on the North Front of the House, with the illuminated house as its backdrop, will this year feature more than 80 exhibitors across five weeks starting Sat 10 November, and includes local artisan producers and independent traders from around the country with unusual Christmas gifts and festive foods.

Christmas at Waddesdon runs from 10 November to 2 January, 11am-6pm, Wednesdays to Sundays and additionally Monday 31 December and Tuesday 1 January. Closed 24-26 December. The Christmas Fair runs from 10 November to 16 December, 11am-6pm, Wednesday to Sundays.

Visit www.waddesdon.org.uk

MBNA Thames Clippers is promoting its ‘Park and Glide’ service as part of its ticket price which gives passengers the chance to ride the popular Thames river bus while allowing coach operators to park for free at The O2 and avoid the central London traffic.

“Our Park and Glide service has been well-received since it was introduced in 2015,” says Geoff Symonds, chief operating officer, MBNA Thames Clippers. “It is a great feature for city-break companies because a trip on our boats is a fantastic way to view London’s famous landmarks.

“Operators partnering with us will have the benefit of free coach parking for the day and can incorporate our sailings into their itineraries. It is a fun way of getting clients to the theatre or any number of other attractions.”

Park and Glide passengers can be dropped at any of the key London piers for their journeys on the river. Operators can choose single or return tickets, as well as River Roamer tickets which allow multiple hop-on, hop-off opportunities all day.

The offer is available for a minimum of 20 passengers per coach, or 15 passengers per minibus. Parking is available all day with pre-booked River Roamer tickets and for up to six hours with pre-booked single tickets.

Visit www.mbnathamesclippers.com

Tourism Ireland has some new suggestions for groups visiting the Emerald Isle, including the spectacular Giant’s Causeway Clifftop Experience which is a partnership between the National Trust and local tour company, ‘Away A Wee Walk’. The walks depart daily from the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre at 10.30am and take around 3.5 hours to complete.

In addition, Glen Keen Farm on the Wild Atlantic Way can offer your customers a true Irish experience from immersive trad sessions to sheepdog herding and wool spinning experiences, and the re-opened Gobbins Cliff Path is proving a popular stop along the Causeway Coastal Route. Due to the popularity of the spectacular guided walk it is advisable that visitors book in advance.

Coming up in the Autumn is A Taste of West Cork Food Festival (7-16 September).
The festival celebrates not only West Cork’s unique food culture, but also the people and land that produce that food. A joy to the senses, the festival is a culinary adventure with 255 events through the dramatic backdrop of 41 local towns, villages and 8 islands.

Visit www.tourismireland.com

Step back in time at the Queen’s House, Greenwich and get a glimpse into the clothing worn by the Tudors and Stuarts in the latest offering for groups at Royal Museums Greenwich.

‘Undressing the Tudors and Stuarts’ is an interactive demonstration, talking through the significance of clothing and the importance it played within society. Discover how clothing was worn in the past in this fascinating demonstration and learn about fashion trends that dominated that era.

Royal Museums Greenwich offers dressings at £100 per group and £80 for student groups with a maximum of 20 per group – and for a limited amount of time it is offering a flat rate of £80 if you book your group before 31 August.

Please email TravelTrade@rmg.co.uk to organise your visit. There is a complimentary space for registered Blue Badge and Greenwich guides when accompanying a group. Tours of the Queen’s House are also available as an add-on, at an additional cost.

View preview of ‘Undressing the Tudor and Stuarts’ video.