Our 5 Favourite Christmas Markets

Our 5 Favourite Christmas Markets
October 02, 2017/0 Comments/in Vacations/by

Christmas is a special time of year and what better way to get in the spirit and prepare yourself for the big day than to go to a Christmas market. Here you can get fantastic boutique gifts and the best food and drink around, whilst having a great day out for yourself.

We offer a range of great value trips to Christmas Markets and here are a few of our favourites:

Manchester’s world famous Christmas Market is the perfect choice and is getting bigger and bigger every year. It includes gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, toys and an array of food and drink. Treat yourself to anything from Dutch mini pancakes, to Hungarian goulash to Spanish paella to French profiteroles. Relax with a hot chocolate, German or Spanish beer, or French wine. Soak up the atmosphere of a truly international event with a uniquely Mancunian flavour. You can also visit the Manchester Trafford Centre for some extra shopping!

Winchester is a must-visit destination for all those wishing to experience a traditional Christmas. The city justly claims to be England’s Christmas Capital and its Cathedral is at the heart of the festivities with a stunning Christmas Market and real Ice Rink dominating its beautiful and historic Close. From its relatively modest beginnings, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market now attracts over 350,000 visitors each year and has achieved a reputation as being amongst the very best in Europe. Within the stunning surroundings of the Cathedral’s historic Inner and Outer Close you’ll find over 100 attractive wooden chalets brimming with goodies.

Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market features 150 stalls selling handmade gifts and the best food and drink the region has to offer. Wooden toys, artisan jewellery, homeware, fine clothes & accessories are all here in abundance. Enjoy live music including brass bands, choirs, buskers, and an old time barrel organ, alongside a huge traditional carousel, children’s art and craft activities, Victorian games, real ale tavern, micro brewery and the Waterways Museum.

With more than 40 stalls from across 4 continents, Liverpool’s Christmas Market is a always a firm favourite and is guaranteed to put you in the festive mood. From mulled wine through to handcrafted gifts and seasonal food, a visit to Liverpool Christmas Market will be a memorable experience.

Looking for a truly fantastic festive shopping experience? Look no further than the award winning and beautiful Bath Christmas Market. Each year the centre of Bath is transformed into a magical Christmas shopper’s paradise, as over 170 chalets packed full of gorgeous Christmas gifts line the streets surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. Soak up the sights, smells and sounds as you wander around the market; we guarantee the aroma of warming mulled wine and freshly baked mince pies, enjoyed with a generous sprinkling of cheering carols that will get even the biggest of humbugs into the Christmas spirit!

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Vote for us in the British Travel Awards 2017

Vote for us in the British Travel Awards 2017
July 03, 2017/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

Once again Leisuretime has been shortlisted in several categories at the prestigious 2017 British Travel Awards. We are asking for your votes to help us achieve our aim of winning in our chosen categories. Voting will only take 2 minutes and you could win a great prize! - please follow the guidelines below...

Go to page:

Scroll down the page and enter your details:

First name*
I am a UK resident*
Email address*
Confirm Email address*

When complete, click submit (log in is not required)

You will then see the voting categories - Leisuretime is in 3 categories as follows:

A12: Best Coach Holiday Company

A34: Best Independent Travel Agency

Please select Leisuretime in both categories

Click submit once complete

Complete the survey if you would like to enter the prize draw (this is not required).

Click submit votes 

Thank you for your support! The British Travel Awards take place in Londonlater this year - we'll let you know how we get on!

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Leisuretime announce a new sponsorship deal with Motorsport’s Toby Davis of Team-HARD.

Leisuretime announce a new sponsorship deal with Motorsport’s Toby Davis of Team-HARD.
March 27, 2017/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

Following yesterday’s first F1 race of the season in Austrailia Leisuretime are delighted to announce that they have confirmed a deal to support Toby Davis and Team-HARD. racing during season 2017. Toby will race in the VW Cup, which is a one make national championship that races alongside the prestigious British GT championship.

Cardiff based Leisuretime operates coach holidays to destinations across the UK and Europe with coach joining points in South Wales, West Wales and the South of England. The company also has partnerships with a wide range of operators offering cruises, package holidays, hotels and flights. Customers can book a holiday in any one of their high street stores, over the phone, via the website or at one of Leisuretime’s travel agent partners.

George Johnson, Director said: "We are absolutely delighted to be supporting Toby and Team-HARD. during the forthcoming season. We are already proud supporters of a number of high profile sports teams across South Wales and this partnership further enhances our position as one of the region’s main supporters of local sport. This partnership also coincides with us increasing the number of Motorsport trips we will be able to offer our customers in 2017."

Toby Davis said: "I am a young racing driver who lives in Cardiff. Last year I won a fully-funded scholarship with Team-HARD. to race in the VW Cup, out of 130 entrants into a competition they put on to find the best young talent in the UK. For many years I've been struggling to find the budget to race with my father, and we've only been able to compete in karts until last year, so I'm enormously grateful to Tony Gilham at Team-HARD. I am also delighted to be working with Leisuretime and I am so grateful for their support which has helped turn the dream of being a car racing driver into reality.”

“There are many benefits to being affiliated with Team-HARD. but one of them is that they have cars in a variety of championships, including the British GT and BTCC, which is watched by over 500,000 unique viewers live on ITV4 every round. My goal for 2017 is to continue the learning curve from last season and compete for the championship, whilst providing a great platform for partners to get involved with myself and the team and, above all else, enjoy the HARD experience!"

Team-HARD. was formed by an elite group, fronted by BTCC driver Tony Gilham who wanted to revitalise and bring something unique to Race/Track car preparation industry.

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Our Top 10 new UK Destinations for 2017

Our Top 10 new UK Destinations for 2017
February 15, 2017/0 Comments/in Vacations/by

To celebrate the launch of our new UK Coach holiday product for 2017 we have compiled a list of ten brand new holidays for this year. Why not check them out, let us know your thoughts and maybe even join us as we explore new regions of the UK!

Cheshire, Llangollen and Port Sunlight

Its' bewitching beauty and unique atmosphere make Chester one of Britain’s most popular places for an unforgettable short break. The city is famous for many things and attracts visitors from all around the world for that very reason. Chester has the most complete city walls, the oldest racecourse, and largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, plus a 1000 year old cathedral and 700 year old unique shopping rows. It is also home to the UK's number one zoo, book your tickets here to see the most visited visitor attraction outside of London.

Black Country Explorer

Come and be surprised by the beauty, heritage and talent hidden within the Black Country. Heroic, surprising, ingenious - just a few minutes west of Birmingham is the beautiful Black Country, cradle of the Industrial Revolution and home to many talented artists and craftsmen. Including towns such as Wolverhampton, Dudley, Smethwick and Walsall as well as the surrounding countryside and villages, The Black Country might have earned its name from its history as the original home of British heavy industry and manufacturing, but it is a surprisingly beautiful breath of fresh air to visit.

King Richard III's Story & Warwick Castle

Burton upon Trent, the largest town in the National Forest, is internationally known as the capital of British brewing. The River Trent and the Trent and Mersey canal wind their way majestically through the town. Michael Bass, who became Lord Burton in the 19th century, gifted the town with many of its fine buildings, the most prominent is the Town Hall, together with St. Margaret's Church and the beautiful St. Paul's. The parish church of St. Modwen's, is generally acknowledged to be one of the finest examples of Palladian type Gothic architecture in the country. Standing near the Trent, it was built in the early 18th century, on a site used for Christian worship for over one thousand years; and is dedicated to the founder of the first Christian settlement at Burton in the 7th century. Good views of the river can be enjoyed from the three bridges, the main Burton Bridge, the old wood and iron ferry bridge and the footbridge which connects the town centre to Andresey Island, one of the town's parks. Burton is also renowned for formal and informal landscapes set alongside the River Trent . Enjoy the floral displays in beautiful Stapenhill Gardens, before strolling through the wonderful Trent Washlands, or take a trip on the River Trent in the delightful "Dingle Belle".

North Yorkshire Moors Railway & Eden Camp

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the world’s greatest heritage railway experiences with thrills and family fun at its heart. Climb on-board a steam or heritage diesel train and experience 24 miles of Yorkshire’s amazing scenery at this must-see visitor attraction.

Llandudno & Snowdon Mountain Railway

An area of outstanding natural beauty, Snowdonia offers diverse landscapes, from the highest mountain ranges, tranquil lakes, fast-flowing rivers and a wealth of forest trails, to miles of golden sandy beaches on the Llyn Peninsula. Snowdonia is one of the eleven National Parks of England and Wales, and is the second largest. Our holidays include the opportunity to reach Snowdon’s summit on its unique railway, and on our 4 day holidays, pay a visit to the picturesque, Italianate village of Portmeirion. We stay in the seaside resort of Llandudno.

Welsh Borders, Castles, Gardens, Steam & Cruise

The Welsh Borders, where Shropshire meets Wales, is a wonderful area to visit and explore, with many historic towns, picturesque villages and attractions on both sides of the border. The borders run from the Dee estuary in the north to the Severn Estuary in the south, and on this new tour based in a 4 star hotel, you'll enjoy a nostalgic steam train ride through the Dee Valley, a relaxing canal cruise and a visit to the magnificent Powis Castle and Gardens.

Welsh Highland Steam & Puffin Island

Based in the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno, this little gem of a tour explores some of the ‘hidden’ treasures of this beautiful part of the British Isles. The Isle of Anglesey has a history spanning thousands of years, and from beautiful Beaumaris we’ve included a sea cruise to magical Puffin Island. Another highlight is a visit to Portmeirion - built as a tourist holiday destination in the 1920’s in Italianate style, and nowadays one of Wales’ premier tourist attractions.

Royal Scotland & the Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are famous the world over and this fabulous tour offers you the opportunity to take in some of the region’s most iconic locations. The sheer majesty of this region is reflected in the love affair that so many visitors including the Royal Family have conducted with the Highlands for centuries and this tour ensure that you will get to experience first-hand everything that has made it so special!

Fort William, Skye & Loch Ness

Fort William and Lochaber is a huge rural area in the west Highlands of Scotland with the principal town Fort William lying on the shore of Loch Linnhe below Ben Nevis. The area features the most westerly point in Britain - Ardnamurchan Point; the second deepest loch - Loch Morar; the highest mountain and the most infamous Highland glen - historic Glencoe with its amazing scenery. Perhaps the most famous glen in Scotland - Glenfinnan - where the Clan Cameron gathered there to meet Bonnie Prince Charlie from France, to lead the historic Jacobite Army.

Magical Manx

It was once believed that the Isle of Man’s location in the centre of the Irish Sea was because an English giant stole a woman away from an Irish giant, Finn McCool, who was so furious that he threw rocks at his rival. He clearly did not use sufficient force, however, and the rocks landed in the sea, midway between Ireland and England. And hence the magical story of the Isle of Man begins. Come with us on an inspirational tour of this remarkable, self-governing island with its Viking and Druid ancestry and a unique culture and history of its own.


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Leisuretime opens up the magic of Hogwarts for families at Ty Hafan

Leisuretime opens up the magic of Hogwarts for families at Ty Hafan
January 10, 2017/1 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

One of Wales’ most successful holiday providers has just opened up the magic of Hogwarts for a number of families at Ty Hafan. On Sunday 08 January Leisuretime took the families to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London where they were able to step on to the authentic sets and relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.

Leisuretime were able to offer Ty Hafan up to 20 complimentary entrance tickets to the Studio and free return coach travel which was provided by Thomas of Rhondda Coach Company. Setting off from Ty Hafan at 07.30am the families enjoyed an afternoon at the magical Studio before returning home by 7.00pm.

George Johnson, Director at Leisuretime, said; “We did some really wonderful things with Ty Hafan last year and we're extending our partnership into 2017. To be able to offer the families a fabulous day out on us is a real privilege and it’s been the perfect way to start what we hope will be another successful year for Leisuretime and Ty Hafan.”

Natalie Whyatt of Ty Hafan said: “At Tŷ Hafan, we focus on relieving the burden of 24/7 care so that families can spend quality time together, creating precious memories. Leisuretime has helped us to achieve this by giving these families a magical experience that they will treasure forever. We are so grateful for their support. Thanks also to Thomas of Rhondda Coach Company for providing free transport.”

Glyn Thomas of Thomas of Rhondda said; “We were delighted to supply a coach and driver for this fantastic day out and will always do our best to support Leisuretime and Ty Hafan when they do these wonderful activities.

Leisuretime is a leading travel company, specialising in operating UK and European holidays by coach, as well as cruises and package holidays. The well established company offers customers access to its exciting deals through its website and has a number of stores throughout South Wales for holidaymakers to speak with friendly team members and book their dream break.

To find out more about Leisuretime and browse its range of UK and European holidays, visit the website:

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5 top European destinations for solo travellers

5 top European destinations for solo travellers
December 19, 2016/0 Comments/in Holiday Tips/by

Travelling solo has many benefits and after trying it once, many avid explorers are eager to visit further new destinations alone. Heading off to a new city or rural location means you get to enjoy all the things you’re looking forward to at your own pace without having to worry about somebody else. If you’re looking to expand your circle and meet new people, travelling solo is ideal too and you’ll find others in the same position, friendly locals and groups of travellers to chat to as you head out on tours, grab a bite to eat or simply relax.

Whether you’re new to solo travelling or a seasoned veteran, picking out your next holiday destination can still be a challenge. But there are beautiful historic sites, stunning scenery and unique cultures to experience across Europe that are perfect for the solo traveller.

  1. Paris – While Paris, France, might have a romantic reputation you shouldn’t discount it if you’re a single traveller. Paris is magical and beautiful, especially for those wandering the streets and simply soaking up the atmosphere in the City of Light. You can take advantage of the world-famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, fine dining and rich art history during a stay here, all at your own pace.
  2. Vienna – The Austrian city of Vienna is full of grandeur and elegance and a tour of the centre certainly won’t disappoint. It’s ranked as one of the safest destinations in Europe and solo travellers will have a wonderful time getting lost in the city, whether they’re searching for a traditional café, visiting the famous opera or taking in the spectacular scenery that can be found just outside Vienna.
  3. Berlin – Berlin, Germany, seamlessly blends the modern and cutting edge with historic beauty. As a solo traveller, you’ll be able to fully explore all the city offers, whether you want to walk along the remnants of the Berlin Wall or take in a Prussian palace you’ll be well catered for. As you walk around the bustling city don’t forget to sample the local delicacies.
  4. Bruges – Called the Venice of the North, the charming city of Bruges, Belgium, combines a medieval town with the hustle and bustle of a popular beach resort. Bruges can transport travellers into a fairy tale thanks to its picturesque surroundings and historic sites. You’ll feel right home wandering around the beautiful area sampling famous cafes, visiting attractions and generally taking in the sights as you stroll through the cobbled streets.
  5. Venice – Italy is full of hidden delights both in its cities and in rural areas and Venice is no different. The canals and history are all around you as you explore this truly beautiful and one-of-a-kind city. There are plenty of opportunities to create memories, sightsee and explore the many attractions waiting around every corner and across every bridge.

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Leisuretime adds to community support with local referee society

Leisuretime adds to community support with local referee society
December 07, 2016/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

Leisuretime, one of the Wales’ most successful holiday providers, is continuing its commitment to the area by supporting an integral part of Cardiff’s community. The coach holiday giants has announced their support of the Cardiff Referees’ Society, one of the most prominent groups in Cardiff football, in order to help train individuals and raise the profile of the sport.

The south Wales based company will support the society by contributing to grassroots football, training individuals and will assist in supplying kits, which will enable them to grow and better support the football industry in and around Cardiff.

George Johnson, Director at Leisuretime, said, “Following on from Wales’ resounding success at the Euro 2016 competition, the whole country has really taken football into their hearts. Interest in the sport has never been higher in Wales, and as a result, it is important to support the sport from the ground up, which is why we have partnered with the Cardiff Referees’ Society.”

The Cardiff Referees' Society was founded in 1898 to share the latest industry news, best practice and ideas. It is a member of the Referees' Association and affiliated to the South Wales Football Association and boasts around 70 members who hail from Cardiff and the surrounding area.

George, added, “Working with sports teams across Wales is a key part of our commitment to support community activities and we are honoured to be working with Cardiff Referees’ Society.”

Leisuretime has a long history of working with and supporting local organisations and charities in equal measure. The caring company has most recently been supporting local children’s hospice, Tŷ Hafan, where it has helped to raise £10,000 for the donation-reliant charity.

Leisuretime provides a wide range of coach holidays, to both the UK and Europe, for people of all ages. The company has grown significantly over the last couple of years and now boasts a number of shops in and around Cardiff, as well as a comprehensive website where holidaymakers can book their dream trip with ease.

To find out more about Leisuretime and browse its range of UK and European coach holidays, visit the .

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European travel experts to send competition winners to Italy

European travel experts to send competition winners to Italy
December 06, 2016/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

Leisuretime, one of the UK’s finest providers of European coach holidays and cruises, is pleased to announce the winners of their latest competition. Set to travel to one of Europe’s most-loved destinations, the lucky winners got to choose from any one of Leisuretime’s European destinations, and chose the stunning Lake Como, Italy.

The inclusive trip will see the adventurers travel in style, in one of Leisuretime’s luxury coaches, stay in incredible accommodation and indulge in some of the finest cuisine Italy has to offer.

George Johnson, Director, said, “We set up Leisuretime in order to make it easier and more affordable for people to explore all four corners of Europe. As an island, we often forget that we are part of this incredible continent as it is harder to travel to different parts of it. Yet Europe has so many wonderful destinations, all offering something a little bit different.

We love giving back to our customers and competitions are a big part of that. By offering them the chance to choose their own destination, it enables them to visit somewhere completely new, or re-visit an old favourite.”

The competition was offered as a joint venture between Leisuretime and Coach Holiday Shop. Boasting an incredible array of destinations, the coach experts ferry thousands of holidaymakers to some of the most stunning, cultural and relaxing destinations Europe has to offer.

Leisuretime is known for their competitions and incredible prizes offered to their customers, as well as their continued support of local charities. The company is sending a lucky couple to New York later this year, after they won a competition to celebrate the start of Leisuretime’s travel by air. They also continue to support local children’s hospice, Ty Hafan, with fundraisers and incrediblegetaways for the children to Disneyland Paris and fun day trips to theme parks.

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Customers Love Leisuretime As Welsh Holiday Company Wins Two Prestigious British Travel Awards

Customers Love Leisuretime As Welsh Holiday Company Wins Two Prestigious British Travel Awards
November 29, 2016/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

Leisuretime has won two awards in both the Best Coach Holiday Company and Best Local Travel Agency categories at the prestigious 2016 British Travel Awards following a massive public poll.  The announcement was made on 23 November at a glamorous Gala Awards ceremony, held in London and attended by close to a thousand travel industry professionals, all anxious to find out how the 775,000 public votes had been cast.

George Johnson, Director of Leisuretime said: “As a business that has expanded significantly over the last few years, we are still very much in touch with our customers and are so grateful to them for voting for us. It is a huge honour to win these prestigious awards and a credit to the dedication and enthusiasm of the entire Leisuretime team.”

British Travel Awards Chief Executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “Leisuretime is to be congratulated on winning Best Coach Holiday Company and Best Local Travel Agency.  Competition was fierce this year with more companies entering the competition than ever before - but ultimately it is the travelling public who decide the winners by voting for the travel companies they consider the best in the business. The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK and to win is truly an accolade and testament to the great products and services travel companies offer to their customers.”

Leisuretime was established 21 years ago by Founder Ceri Johnson and now combines a well established coach tour operation with its own branded network of retail travel agencies. This unique combination has allowed Leisuretime to offer its clients all kinds of holidays, including cruise, rail and air, along with the best prices and top-notch customer service. All holidays are ABTA protected and Leisuretime’s own tours all benefit from a no currency surcharge guarantee with its’ 2017 European range currently being offered for a deposit of only a penny!

The British Travel Awards is a proudly independent organisation, verified by leading global business practitioners, Deloitte.

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Coach Holiday Shop celebrate their 1st birthday in Merthyr!

Coach Holiday Shop celebrate their 1st birthday in Merthyr!
November 23, 2016/0 Comments/in Leisuretime News/by

To celebrate the birthday of their Merthyr Coach Holiday Shop, Leisuretime gave customers the chance to get involved with the two-day festivities and win some amazing prizes instore over the weekend.

Over the 18th and 19th of November, the leading coach travel providers invited customers to wish them many happy returns, have a slice of cake and get in the running for some incredible Leisurecart prizes. Merthyr RFC captain James Howe was even on hand to spin the prize wheel!

Leisuretime also gave all customers a special birthday gift, with a limited time only 10% discount on a selection of six tours booked in store on the 18th and 19th as part of their celebrations.

Ceri Johnson, Director of Leisuretime said, “We are thrilled to reach another milestone with the birthday of our Merthyr store, and we wanted to thank all of our customers who have made our continued growth and success possible over the years. We couldn’t think of a better way of showing our gratitude by opening up the party invite to everyone and celebrating with some incredible giveaways and discounts.”

Customers who filled out a Merthyr store’s birthday card will have their details entered into a prize draw to win a mystery tour for two people to one of Leisuretime’s wide variety of locations, which span the UK and Europe.

Whilst the birthday giveaways and discounts might be over for another year, get involved on social media for more exciting competitions and events coming up in the near future.

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