Category Archives: Travel Guides
Starting in St. Petersburg and ending in Moscow, linked by high-speed train, it
unites classic and modern. From St. Petersburg’s Theatre of Youth to the iconic
Kremlin in Moscow, you will experience the heart of this amazing country
Russia’s two sides come face to face on this ‘twin city’ sightseeing break. Starting in St. Petersburg and ending in the metropolis of Moscow, linked by high-speed train, it unites classic and modern.
It’s Insider moments like… mingling with Russian dancers as you relax with canapés and drinks at St. Petersburg’s Theatre of Youth. Welcomed earlier by their Director, you’re able to chat with the dancers you saw performing on stage as you toured their beautiful theatre
Your visit helps fund their education – and the search for the next Nureyev. It’s the second encounter with Russia’s passion for opulent arts that day, after exploring its world-famous Hermitage Museum with guests
Arrive St Petersburg 4 Nights
Welcome to the magnificent city of St. Petersburg! Relax and unwind after your journey
Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception with a light dinner at your hotel. Then a short evening orientation drive will be the perfect introduction to this magnificent city
Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)
St Petersburg Sightseeing and Leisure
Admire the landmarks of St. Petersburg during your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert. View the , Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the statue of Peter the Great
Explore the Peter and Paul Fortress on your included visit. Later enjoy a unique Be My Guest dining experience during your visit to the St. Petersburg Theatre of Youth
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)
Hermitage Museum Visit and St petersburg Leisure
Today enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing visit to the Hermitage Museum to see one of the world’s largest and most valuable art collections. The museum occupies five impressive buildings on the banks of the River Neva in the heart of St. Petersburg
Featuring over 3 million artefacts, the collection represents the development of world culture and art from the stone age to the 20th century. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. This evening, perhaps visit a theatre to see a Russian Folklore show
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)
St Petersburg Lesiure
Consider joining an optional experience to visit the fabulous gardens and spectacular fountains of Peter the Great’s summer residence at Petrodvorets
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)
St Petersburg High Speed Train to Moscow
After a hearty Russian breakfast enjoy some free time before taking a train trip towards the Russian capital. Arrive later in Moscow, your home for the next three nights
An heroes and victorious battles, Moscow is a cauldron of creativity and culture. The capital of Russia and the largest city in Europe, its metropolitan area is vast
Located on the Moskva River, Moscow is the country’s political, economic, religious and financial hub, and home to the largest number of billionaires in the world
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)
Hotel: Marriott Tverskaya
Moscow Sightseing and Leisure
Marvel at Red Square and St. Basil’s cathedral with its colourful domes with a Local Expert
Enjoy a visit to the Kremlin, the fortified residence of the Russian President. Afterwards there is plenty of time to shop for souvenirs and explore the city on your own
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)
Today is a full day at leisure to explore the city further. Consider visiting one of the city’s museums or take an optional experience to Zagorsk, the largest religious and cultural centre in Russia
Tonight celebrate with your Travel Director and companions at a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant
Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)
Say goodbye to this unique country at the end of a remarkable trip of discovery. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
Please visit our website for details on our Russian escorted tours and other great value European and worldwide coach travel.
The Escorted Travel Experts
Distinctively British fun…………….
Up Helly Aa, Shetland, Scotland
Up Helly Aa is the largest fire festival in Europe. As if the torchlight processions weren’t spectacular enough, local residents dress up in full Viking regalia — winged helmets, armour, you get the idea — and the evening culminates with the burning of a Viking longship. A traditional celebration of the end of winter and the coming of spring, it’s a truly memorable occasion.
Learn more about Up Helly Aa
Maldon Mud Race, Essex, England
Ink black mud, 250 competitors, and a mad dash for the finish line. It’s not going to be pretty, and we advise against hugging the winner afterwards. Race through the mire of the Blackwater Estuary in Essex if you feel up to the challenge, or stand back and watch if you prefer to keep dry. Either way it’s a lot of fun.
Learn more about the Maldon Mud Race
Man vs. Horse Race, Powys, Wales
In Britain, discussions over a pint can lead to many things. One such discussion in Powys led to the Man vs. Horse Race being dreamt up by the then landlord of the Neuadd Arms, Gordon Green. The 22 mile race over hills and rough terrain pits man against horse, and believe it or not, the horse doesn’t always win. In 2004, Huw Lobb crossed the finish line first, a full two minutes ahead of his four-legged adversary.
Learn more about the Man vs. Horse Race
World Pea Shooting Championships, Cambridgeshire, England
Pea-shooting involves propelling a pea through a tube with a quick burst of air from the lips. And in Witcham it’s evolved into an annual tournament that draws participants and crowds from across the globe. It’s pretty riveting stuff – watch the marksmen compete for the title of World Champion, and enjoy a bit of local cuisine at the village fete while you’re at it.
Learn more about the Pea Shooting Championships
International Worthing Birdman, West Sussex, England
As if jumping off a pier into the sea wasn’t enough fun, The Worthing Birdman combines the thrill of falling with spectacular fancy dress and even a bit of engineering. Part of the fun involves eager jumpers donning home-made flying machines and trying to ‘fly’ the furthest in the hopes of bagging a £30,000 prize. The other part of the fun is simply watching people in silly costumes jumping in the sea while you enjoy an ice-cream from a safe distance.
Learn more about the Worthing Birdman
World Hen Racing Championships, Derbyshire, England
Who has the fastest hen? It’s an important question that’s given rise to an annual event in Derbyshire. Head to the Barley Mow pub in Bonsall to discover the year’s speediest fowl as they’re put through their paces over a 30 feet track. You can enjoy gorgeous views of the Peak District and some good local ale while you do.
Learn more about hen racing
Race the Train, Tywyn, Wales
Man takes on machine in Tywyn’s annual Race the Train event. Competitors run alongside the Talyllyn Railway on its route to Abergynolwyn and back, fighting their way through all kinds of terrain, from quiet lanes to farmland and rough pasture. In a fun twist, the train is often carrying plenty of the runner’s supporters, so he or she can hear the cheers whenever he’s near his ‘opponent’.
Learn more about race the train
World Bog Snorkelling Championships, Powys, Wales
Every August, competitors from around the world flock to Waen Rhydd peat bog on the outskirts of the smallest town in Britain, Llanwrtyd Wells. This is where one of Wales’ most famous races takes place, the 115 metre World Bog Snorkelling Championship. It’s murky, it’s muddy, and you probably won’t see it anywhere else.
Learn more about bog snorkelling
The Porthcawl Elvis Festival, Porthcawl, Wales
When it comes to unusual spectacles, the Porthcawl Elvis Festival probably wins some kind of award. Thousands upon thousands of Elvis fans, many of them dressed as The King himself, descend upon the seaside town of Porthcawl to watch Elvis tribute acts and over 100 Elvis-related shows. Weird, wonderful, and definitely lots of fun.
Learn more about the Elvis festival
World Stone Skimming Championships, Argyll, Scotland
Skimming stones is probably one of the most fun things you can do with stones. In Argyll they couldn’t agree more, and hold the World Stone Skimming Championships each year. They do it properly too – with selected Easdale slate skimming stones, and with a minimum of three bounces required for a throw to count.
Learn more about the World Stone Skimming Championships
Best Value UK Tours
10 most beautiful places in Britain
Britain is renowned for being a naturally beautiful country, with its rolling hills, dramatic coastlines and towering mountain ranges. Whether you want to explore a nature trail, gaze out at breath-taking views, or simply spend the day relaxing in the presence of natural beauty, here are 10 of the most picturesque spots Britain has to offer.
The Lake District
Situated in the North West of England, the picturesque Lake District is the physical manifestation of Britain’s famous nineteenth century Romantic Movement, having inspired some of the most renowned poems of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Blake. The landscapes that make up this area are full of enormous crystal clear lakes, including Windermere, which is the largest natural body of water in England. Bordering these vast bodies of water are dense green forests that take stillness and serenity to levels you never before thought possible.
The mystery of Stonehenge is one that may never be solved, despite the best efforts of historians all over the world. This enigmatic landmark is thousands of years old, and consists of a circle of around 30 standing stones. Although undeniably breath-taking during the day, the best time to visit Stonehenge is at sunrise or sunset. During this time the site takes on a whole new persona, with dramatic shadows forming as the low sunlight meets with the jutting monoliths.
Isle of Skye
The inner and outer Hebrides are a series of islands off Scotland’s east coast, the largest of which is the Isle of Skye. Walkers will be in their element on this picturesque island, with a huge array of routes and paths to pick from. Whether you choose the island’s sweeping coastline, the dramatic Cuillin mountain range further inland, or the rolling highlands dotted with ancient castles, Skye is sure to impress.
White Cliffs of Dover
For thousands of years the imposing sight of the White Cliffs of Dover looming out of the Atlantic has greeted invaders and visitors alike as they arrive at Britain’s south coast. These striking white chalk cliffs are flecked with jet-black veins of flint, creating one of Britain’s most distinctive natural landmarks. Take a walk along the cliffs and you’ll be met with stunning views all the way to France on clear days, as whispering winds caress the coast around you.
The Brecon Beacons
Taking their name from the burning red sandstone peaks that surround the area, The Brecon Beacons are arguably the pinnacle of Wales’ abundance of beautiful scenery. The surrounding national park is full of fascinating natural landscapes, as well as a variety of wildlife including wild mountain ponies and sheep. The Brecon Beacons Railway is the ultimate way to see the park, passing through the mountains and past the reservoir on an authentic steam locomotive.
Starting along the banks of the River Twiss on the boundary between North Yorkshire and Lancashire, the Ingleton Waterfall trail follows a series of cascading waterfalls set against intertwined woodland, before joining the River Doe. Along the way you’ll also see the famous money tree of Swilla Glen. This huge fallen tree is embedded from top to bottom with decades-old coins, which were hammered into the tree over time by people making wishes.
Often referred to as the ‘Glen of weeping’, Glen Coe is not quite as depressing as its grim moniker would suggest. Quite the opposite in fact. This U-shaped valley in the Scottish Highlands offers picture-perfect scenery that almost seems too good to be true. Divided by the winding form of the River Coe, the glen is filled with towering mountain ranges, glorious expanses of greenery, and imposing waterfalls. Rolling fog frequently seeps its way into the valley, making for impressively dramatic vistas as you climb the glen’s lofty peaks.
The Peak District
Picture an image of a stereotypically idyllic British countryside and it’s likely you won’t be far off the Peak District. Equal parts rugged and resplendent, this national park designated area in central England draws visitors from all over the world, and for good reason. Split into the limestone-filled White Peak and the imposing Dark Peak areas, the Peak District offers variety and distinction like no other region of Britain, and makes for the perfect relaxing day out.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in south-east London are a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of life in the capital. Explore these enormous (121 hectares in fact) gardens, and you’ll be awash in a wave of floral beauty, with dazzlingly colourful displays on offer wherever you turn. The gardens have been gradually expanded since they opened in 1759, and now contain a Japanese garden, a huge greenhouse, and even a palace.
A large section of Wales’ south-west coast is made up of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which is a lengthy expanse of coastal paths, coves, cliffs, and white sandy beaches. Considering its popularity, the area is impressively clean and undisturbed, so there will be nothing to ruin the calming atmosphere as you wander the trails. Dotted along the coast are quaint seaside villages, where you’ll be able to stop for a well-earned lunch break as your explore Pembrokeshire.
Needless to say we offer tours to all the above detinations
Travel Editor: www.BestValueTours.co.uk
What better way to get acquainted with England than by reading someone else’s adventures? Here are some of our favourite books about English travel, along with a few tomes exploring the quirkier side of this sceptred isle.
Notes from a Small Island is a bestselling memoir by the American-born author Bill Bryson, based on trips around Britain in the 1970s and ’80s. Employing Bryson’s trademark fussy style and self-deprecating wit, it’s incisive, observant and very funny.
In Search of England by HV Morton is one of the classic prewar English travelogues, written by a veteran Daily Express columnist in the 1920s. The language is old-fashioned, but it makes a fascinating companion to more modern texts.
Nigel Cawthorne’s The Strange Laws of Old England explores lots of weird and wonderful laws on the English statute book. Required reading if you’re planning on entering Parliament in a suit of armour or transporting corpses in a London cab.
In England: 1000 Things You Need To Know, Nicolas Hobbes examines lots of quintessentially English things, from the people, legends and events that have shaped the nation’s history through to the origins of stilton, roast beef and the Royal Mail.
Another investigation into ‘Englishness’ is In Search of the English Eccentric by Henry Hemming – a poised, perceptive and frequently hilarious exploration of some of the nation’s eccentrics, including crop-circle makers, a man who thinks he’s the reincarnation of King Arthur, and Captain Beany, who likes to spend his days bathing in baked beans.
Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North is a whimsical journey through England’s northerly counties by British radio DJ Stuart Maconie, a ‘Northerner in exile’, who returns to his roots to discover the truth about life Up North.
Paul Gogarty’s The Water Road travels along England’s canals between London and the Humber, Severn and Mersey, colloquially known as the ‘Cut’ or the ‘Grand Cross’. It’s a mix of historical account and modernday travelogue; Gogarty relates a similar trip around English shores in The Coast Road.
More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here
Travel Editor – www.BestvalueTours.co.uk