London – Bath – Oxford – York – Manchester
The story begins in London and ends in Manchester, this Visit Britain famil was a whirlwind trip of 8 retail agents and 2 Infinity Hosts. Starting in London, we stayed at The Cumberland in Marble Arch, the largest hotel in London and a shopper’s dream (soon to be the first Hard Rock Hotel in London). Right on the Tube line and opposite Hyde Park (speaker’s corner) everything is in easy reach.
Then we caught a 1st class train from Paddington to Bath, where the seats are large and the snacks are free. Using a Britrail pass, it was simple to activate and seamless boarding the train.
In Bath, we hopped on and hopped off the sightseeing bus, which covered the lovely city including the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the Jane Austen Museum, the Royal Crescent and more. A sight inspection at The Francis Hotel was well worth the visit to this boutique and unique Georgian style hotel.
We hired a car with Hertz and meandered through the Cotswolds – there was still snow on the ground left behind from the ‘Beast from the East’ the week before. A lovely lunch in a local pub, in front of the open fire saw us through before we travelled on to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.
This place was amazing! The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, home to Princess Diana’s ancestors and much more, definitely recommend this to your customers if they love royal history. Then we dropped the car off in Oxford – P.S. Don’t let your customers buy the full tank of fuel for short journeys, as the needle didn’t leave full for our two day drive!
Again we hopped on and we hopped off around the city, exploring the alleyways where C.S. Lewis found the idea for The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, wandered through the many colleges of Oxford University and learned of how Cambridge University was born out of rivalry.
On the tracks again, we travelled to York. A visit to the York Dungeon was too much for some as the story of York jumped out at us in the dark, and had us lost in mirrored rooms. A great way to learn of the history of this interesting city from the Vikings and the 2000 years that followed. Staying at the Hilton York, was the perfect location to walk within the city walls (over and over again), visiting The Shambles, where Harry Potter fans are in line to visit The Store that Shall Not be Named or popping into the many tea houses or pubs from the 1600s there is so much to do in York.
The last train ride took us to Manchester – our final stop. We were wow’d with a stadium tour of Old Trafford, home of Manchester United Football Club. From the dressing rooms, to the field, the museum and even the press room, no stone was left unturned – an amazing experience for any sport lover.
Singapore Airlines swept us all home again 7 days after arriving, and rounded out the fantastic trip to Visit Britain.
By Shannon Arnold, Infinity Holidays Promotions Team Leader