Category Archives: UK Tourist News
Regular sightseeing flights around London have started for the first time from Battersea Heliport.
The flights last 20 minutes and cost £200. Up to 15 flights could be operated a day.
Neil Constable, from The Globe Theatre, said the sightseeing helicopters can disrupt performances and added that he would like a limit put on the number of helicopters which operate over the Southbank.
Chris Mann, from The London Helicopter, says it will try and avoid performances at the Globe and that it will operate responsibly.
Watch a Film clip: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22376880
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.BestValueTours.co.uk
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
Best Value Tours have launched a free travel concierge service for visitors to the UK
How do we get to Paris ?
Need help planning your trip ?
Not sure of the best European tour option ?
Not sure the best way to visit Scotland ?
Coach tour or train tour ?
Budget or luxury ?
We are here for you………….
Simply email us or fill out our simple online form and one of experienced U.K travel staff will reply with a competent swift reply.
OUR BIG PROMISES TO YOU ARE
CHOICE: The best possible choice of sightseeing tours, transport and attraction
ADVICE: Simple, impartial advise to help find whats best for you
PRICE: Prices that match or beat the operators
SUPPORT: Support before, during and after your experience, you have experienced our services
Award Winning Travel Team Our dedicated and experienced reservation team know more about the sightseeing tours we offer than anyone else and always on hand to help with any enquiries and help you plan your trip. We go the extra mile to ensure your booking process is smooth, and guarantee to respond to all enquires within 6 hours.
U.K Travel Experts
Our extensively and on-going trained , professional British travel staff will respond with best advice to any of your queries , concerns and requirements. They will help you with anything from planning your U.K. itinerary , to assisting you with the booking , helping you to save precious time and money. Nothing is too much trouble even if it’s just a question of the best clothes to bring or general information to get the most out of your booking
Expert destination knowledge
Our expert Tour Consultants have all travelled extensively throughout the U.K and Europe. We have the experience to make travel arrangements of the highest calibre.
Excellence comes as standard
Best Value Tours
In the UK, Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on many goods and services. Tax Free Shopping allows travellers leaving the European Union (EU) to get a VAT refund on goods they buy here and take home. It cannot be used for services. (including sightseeing tours)
VAT refunds for visitors to the UK
In the United Kingdom, Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on many goods and services. If you are visiting from another country you may be entitled to a refund of the VAT on goods you buy from shops that offer Tax Free Shopping (also known as the Retail Export Scheme).
Tax Free Shopping allows travellers leaving the European Union (EU) to get a VAT refund on goods they buy here and take home. It cannot be used for services.
This guide explains when you are entitled to a VAT refund and what you have to do to get one. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/overseas-visitors.htm
Best Value Tours UK – www.BestValueTours.co.uk
What’s New in Britain for 2013
From special anniversaries to cutting edge exhibitions, enticing attractions to mouth-watering musicals, the hottest hotel openings and brand new events for your travel calendar, VisitBritain presents its guide to What’s New in 2013 across London, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
So – what’s new in Britain?
2013 is a year of GREAT anniversaries. The 200th birthday of the publication of Pride and Prejudice will celebrate Regency Bath and Austen’s Hampshire as much as the timeless tale of wit and romance between Darcy and Elizabeth; while the 60th anniversary of the Royal Yacht Britannia coincides with the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. It’s the perfect time to visit the Britannia – the only place you can sneak a peek into Her Majesty’s bedroom.
2013 is a year of GREAT events. The Year of Natural Scotland will celebrate all that’s exciting about the great outdoors making it the best time to explore the country’s rugged landscapes and beautiful scenery. Meanwhile the first UK City of Culture will be Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland, tipped as one of the top 10 places to visit in 2013 by Lonely Planet. Join in a year-long programme of world-class music, art, dance and sports events, and discover a vibrant new visitor destination.
2013 is a year of GREAT culture. On stage Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw (aka M and Q in Skyfall) star in new play Peter and Alice; Helen Mirren reprises her role as The Queen in The Audience; and the award-winning play War Horse tours the UK, starting in Devon, where the original book is set. The Welsh National Opera takes on Madame Butterfly, Berg’s Lulu and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen while fans of musicals will be happy with Hairspray at the Wales Millennium Centre and Wicked, which tours the UK in Autumn.
For art lovers there’s Lichtenstein at Tate Modern in February, The Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber at Hampton Court Palace, Vikings! at the National Museum of Scotland, a retrospective on David Bowie at London’s V&A and lots more fantastic exhibitions throughout the year.
2013 is a GREAT year to bring the kids to Britain. With a new Children’s Literature Festival in Cardiff, the launch of the £3.6million Tiger Territory at London Zoo and the tastiest musical of the year, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – directed by the man behind Skyfall, Sam Mendes – there’s plenty to keep children entertained in 2013.
2013 is a year of GREAT attractions. From 1 February The View from Shard will be a new must-do for visitors to the capital, while iconic and ancient attraction Stonehenge will benefit from a dramatically improved visitor experience, opening in Autumn.
Plus, read about exciting hotel and accommodation news: the opening of the much-anticipated Shangri-La at The Shard, restored castles in Wales Ruthin and Glandyfi and a new Malmaison in Dundee opening next year ahead of the arrival of a new V&A in Dundee, due to open in 2015.
In addition to fantastic new openings, don’t forget Britain’s GREAT annual events. Download VisitBritain’s guide to 2013’s annual events calendar here.
Visiting the U.K in 2013 ?- Plan ahead and save money !
Best Value Tours
Celebrate the end of London’s year like no other and welcome 2013 with a bang, watching the Mayor’s spectacular, free New Year’s Eve fireworks
The night skies will be a blaze of light and colour on Monday 31 December 2012 with a display of stunning pyrotechnics by the London Eye on the famous South Bank.
“Our New Year’s Eve fireworks will cap a triumphant year for London. As we welcomed the world to the magnificent celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the glorious success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London was at its very best. From the thrilling sporting action to the breathtaking cultural celebrations, it has been an unforgettable year and I am immensely proud of the contribution that our Ambassadors made to that success. As we go into 2013 with a spectacular fireworks display I hope we can build on that energy and enthusiasm to make ours the best big city in the world.” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Staying in London ?
We have a range of Sighteeing Tours and Attractions:
Best Value Tours
THE World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is set to open doors once again from November 5-8 at ExCel, London. Reed Travel exhibition director World Travel Market Simon Press highlights some of the new initiatives in store for exhibitors and buyers this year.
Over the years, WTM has witnessed an increase in the number of exhibitors registering for the event. How has the response been this year?
World Travel Market has gone from strength to strength in recent years, visitor numbers have outperformed expectations year on year even with the global economic downturn. The numbers are a testament to the importance of the event in the calendar of more than 47,000 global trade professionals who attend WTM.
There has been an excellent response to registration this year, with pre-registration figures currently ahead of the equivalent point this time last year. We expect that these strong pre-registration figures will convert into actual attendees at WTM 2012 in a few weeks’ time.
Which exhibitors will make their debut this year?
We have a number of exciting new exhibitors making their debut at WTM in 2012; leading car hire agency, Autorent Car Rental, a Dubai based company has operations that stretch across the Middle East. UK based luxury car rental company; Season Car Hire also comes to WTM for the first time this year, with some exciting plans for their stand at the show.
Can we expect to see a strong delegation from the Middle East too?
As in previous year’s we are again seeing a strong contingent of exhibitors from the Middle East represented at WTM 2012. There is a strong presence from tourism authorities, hotels, resorts and attractions from the UAE especially, as the industry looks to the prosperous Middle Eastern market as an area for growth.
Abu Dhabi signed a three year Premier Partnership deal with World Travel Market covering WTM 2010, 2011 and 2012. Abu Dhabi is booming in terms of hotel and resort openings and visitor arrivals. We’re delighted to see our strong partnership is reaping rewards for the destination and looking forward to helping it showcase its latest developments.
What was the need for an extra Speed Networking Event this year? How can WTM Meridian Club members make the most of this?
After the phenomenal success of our Speed Networking sessions over the past here events, it was decided that, new for 2012, World Travel Market is introducing an extra Speed Networking session on Thursday 8th November. This newly incorporated session will offer Meridian Club members a final opportunity to network, generate new business deals and ensure their business opportunities extend beyond WTM.
More than 200 (204) buyers and 438 exhibitors took part in the Speed Networking the Monday morning of WTM 2011. The event took place before the exhibition opened to give exhibitors and buyers from the WTM Meridian Club even more time to discuss and conclude business deals. It hoped that this strong attendance is replicated at WTM 2012.
For Meridian club members attending this event, to make the most of this opportunity, the best advice would be to research exhibitors in attendance and scope out early those of interest; have an agenda and make sure your intentions and objectives are clear.
What are the emerging trends at WTM this year?
World Travel Market is at the forefront of industry insight and opinion, providing a unique platform on which global trade professionals can find out about the latest trends and issues impacting the industry from leading industry figures.
As pre-empted in our strengthening WRTD programme at WTM, the on-going challenges of implementing responsible tourism practises is likely to remain high on the agenda for 2013. Although support in the industry is already strong, more active participation in initiatives promoting this cause is needed.
The importance of technology and social media in the sector is becoming increasingly relevant as internet usage increases, both in mature and developing online markets. We see the return on the extremely popular Social Travel Market programme taking place on November 7 and 8.
With the launch of WTM Latin America have participants from the US reduced this year? Looking ahead, what is your strategy to ensure that does not happen?
WTM Latin America is targeted at the booming Brazilian and Latin American travel and tourism industry. It is estimated that the number of tourists travelling to Latin America will increase by 5.2 per cent a year to more than 55 million in 2021 from just over 33 million in 2011. The event will fuel the growth of tourism within the region, and make the industry aware that Latin America is one of the most important and emerging tourism destinations in the world.
Due to the scale and importance of World Travel Market, it was never felt, in launching WTM Latin America, that it would pull focus away from WTM in London.
Global trade professionals come to WTM not just to network and conduct business with more than 5,000 exhibitors under one roof, but also for our unparalleled events programme lead by industry experts.
“I am delighted that the amount of business conducted at World Travel Market continues to increase, firmly positioning WTM as a must-attend exhibition for national and regional tourist boards, global brands and technology companies”
Best Value Tours (www.BestValueTours.co.uk)
900,000 spectators came to UK for big matches last year, with one in five going to Manchester United
Nearly a million overseas visitors travelled to Britain last year to watch football matches, according to research confirming the popularity of the UK as a leading sports tourism destination. Despite the high price of tickets and the problems of violence and racism in the game, new figures from the national tourism agency reaffirm the global allure of British football, particularly the Premier League.
Figures compiled by VisitBritain show that 900,000 football supporters visited Britain last year, a figure tourism bosses hope will be further supplemented by the sporting success of the Olympics.
Hugh Robertson, the minister for sport and tourism, described the Premier League as “one of this country’s most successful exports”. He said: “It is no surprise that it has become a big draw for tourists who want to experience the most exciting league in the world.”
Football tourists collectively spent £706m, or £785 per fan – £200 more than the average visitor to Britain – with many arriving during the traditionally quieter period for tourism between January and March.
The allure of British football is most keenly pronounced in Norway, with one in 13 visitors from the country – 80,000 – watching a match. Other countries generating high numbers of football spectator visits include Ireland (174,000), the US (61,000), Spain (54,000) and Germany (48,000).
Four in ten of those who attended a match said watching sport was their principal reason for visiting the UK. Football was also found to encourage visitors to explore beyond London, with the stadiums attracting the largest number of overseas fans in the north-west.
Almost one in five watched a game at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground, followed closely by Anfield, home of Liverpool.
In terms of armchair support, the Premier League is already established as the biggest continuous annual global sporting event on television in the world, with matches viewed in 212 countries and coverage available in some 720m households.
Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, said: “It is now the most watched and supported football league in the world and there’s a huge amount of effort being made to connect with our 900 million international fans. Our clubs have worked very hard to make Premier League grounds more welcoming and are striving to deliver a first-rate experience for all fans.
“Little, though, beats the thrill of a Premier League match day and it’s very encouraging to hear that football can play an important role in increasing the numbers of international visitors to this country.”
The research also found that around 1.3 million tourists travelled to Britain for a live sporting event last year, four per cent of all visits, with the estimated total spend calculated as £1.1bn.
The greatest number of spectators for golf came from the US, rugby was popular with the Irish and French, while cricket attracted the most visitors from Australia.
Mark Townsend – The Observer, Sunday 21 October 2012
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/oct/21/football-tourism-premier-league
Stadium Tours: http://www.sightseeingtours.co.uk/london-tours/london-attractions
Sport Tickets: http://www.sightseeingtours.co.uk/search-discount-sport-event-tickets–169
Football Match Tickets: http://sightseeingtours.tickets-partners.com/dock/competition/premier-league
Best Value 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
IT WAS promoted as an opportunity to appreciate the splendour of your own country while saving a pound or two. Yet the “stay-cation” has failed to make a lasting impression on the British public, according to a new poll which found that holidaymakers are better at recognising foreign landmarks than one in their own country.
Despite having some of the most iconic buildings and scenery in the world, such as Edinburgh Castle and the white cliffs of Dover, British landmarks faired poorly in a new survey that sought to discover the most recognisable tourist icons among British holidaymakers.
While not a single person out of the 1,714 British holidaymakers polled by sunshine.co.uk, an online travel agent, failed to recognise the Eiffel Tower, only 77 per cent recognised Stonehenge, it is claimed.
To add insult to injury, places such as the Sydney Opera House and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge were more recognisable than Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.
Only Big Ben in London and Stonehenge made it into the top ten of the most recognised landmarks in the world. While 98 per cent recognised the Pyramids, 96 per cent identified the Statue of Liberty in New York and 95 per cent recognised the Great Wall of China. Big Ben had a “score” of 93 per cent but Trafalgar Square and the London Eye failed to make it into the top ten of most-recognised landmarks.
The Great Wall of China came fourth with 95 per cent of those polled recognising it, while the Taj Mahal came in sixth with 84 per cent.
The top ten most recognised landmarks for UK holidaymakers was completed by Stonehenge in seventh place, the Sydney Opera House in eighth place, the Colosseum in Rome in ninth place and San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge in tenth place.
Yesterday, Chris Clarkson, the co-founder of Sunshine.co.uk said: “I actually can’t quite believe that more UK-based landmarks didn’t feature in the top ten here. To see that more people recognised the Golden Gate Bridge above the likes of the London Eye and Trafalgar Square is a bit of an eye opener.”
However, Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said it aimed to make people more familiar with Scotland’s landmarks as well as the more out-of-the-way places in the country.
He said: “One of the main aims of our ongoing marketing campaign, Surprise Yourself, is to encourage more Scots to get out and about and explore what’s on their very doorstep.
“From iconic landmarks, such as Edinburgh Castle or Loch Ness, to hidden gems that you won’t find in the guidebooks, VisitScotland is working hard alongside Scotland’s tourism industry to promote every area of our stunning country and make sure Scots staycationers have every reason to stay close to home for their autumnal break.
“No matter how well you think you know Scotland, the beauty of it is there’s always something new to discover.”
1. Eiffel Tower – 100%
2. Pyramids – 98%
3. Statue of Liberty – 96%
4. Great Wall of China – 95%
5. Big Ben – 93%
6. Taj Mahal – 84%
7. Stonehenge – 77%
8. Sydney Opera House – 71%
9. Colosseum, Rome – 69%
10. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – 65%
By ANGUS HOWARTH – http://www.scotsman.com
Published on Monday 8 October 2012 00:00
Best Value Tours – www.SightseeingTours.co.uk