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Our 5 Favourite Christmas Markets

Our 5 Favourite Christmas Markets
October 02, 2017/0 Comments/in Vacations/by david.roberts@leisuretime.co.uk

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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Our Top 10 new UK Destinations for 2017

Our Top 10 new UK Destinations for 2017
February 15, 2017/0 Comments/in Vacations/by david.roberts@leisuretime.co.uk

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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Llandudno and the Risboro Hotel

Llandudno and the Risboro Hotel
November 10, 2015/0 Comments/in Vacations/by david.roberts@leisuretime.co.uk

Llandudno as an area is very beautiful in both weathers. The hotel was situated in the centre of town and was literally a 2 minute walk to shops and the sea front.

There were plenty of gift shops and restaurants and also amenities such as outdoor tobogganing and a mountain railway / cable cars.

Although the shops and restaurants did close earlier on a weekend, however the hotel had everything there.

We were greeted by the friendly staff upon arrival and shown to our rooms, then we were shown around the hotel. The hotel boasts a beautiful dining room overlooking the heated indoor swimming pool and easy access to the first of the hotels two bars.

The hotel had plenty of relaxation areas at the front. It also has a fully working lift for disabled guests (and the lazy ones like us).

Downstairs was the ballroom with full dance floor and stage, and also the second bar which was the largest of the two. The bar stocked a very good range of alcohol and with a bar deal was cheap, however the bar price without a bar deal is quite expensive, but good quality alcohol.

The entertainment is by far the biggest draw to the hotel, there were live singers and tribute acts, discos and even a fully themed cabaret sit down dinner night involving the hotel owner as a drag artist. The best way to market this hotel is by its entertainment, nowhere else puts on a show filled with comedy, good music, singing, dancing and crowd interactivity.

The hotel has plenty of rooms including rooms for disability, I was very impressed with the baggage service provided for customers, if struggling to take cases from their rooms downstairs, a service was offered whereby customers leave their cases outside their door and the staff would take them downstairs for them.

Around the area there is a wide array of potential attractions for younger people as well as older, as seen in the leaflets at the front desk.

  • Llandudno Cable Car, the longest cable car in Britain.
  • Go Below, the underground cave adventures in Snowdonia and underground trampolines
  • Zip Wire, Europe’s largest zip wire over the Snowdonia Mountains
  • Longest Toboggans in Wales
  • Go Ape, tree trekking 100ft high

In short the trip was lovely, the only points to work on would be not having too many excursions.


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My Leisuretime trip to Disneyland Paris

My Leisuretime trip to Disneyland Paris
November 10, 2015/0 Comments/in Vacations/by david.roberts@leisuretime.co.uk

In March, I got the opportunity to go to Disneyland Paris with my girlfriend as a birthday treat to spend some quality time together in the French capital. I had always wanted to go to Disneyland, and so did my girlfriend, and so this was a fantastic opportunity for this once in a lifetime experience.

The Coach journey to Paris was comfortable with plenty of legroom, which I think is probably the most important thing whilst travelling. Travelling to Paris was quiet and peaceful with no problems. When we arrived, the hotel was very comfortable with great themes and decoration for the younger visitors. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful, going above and beyond what is expected.

The accommodation was literally 5 minutes walk from the theme park, so there were no concerns about getting lost, and when we were carrying heavy bags from shopping, or just tired, there was a shuttle bus to get around on.

Disneyland Paris truly is a magical place, with plenty of activities for child and adult alike (and those adults who are just big kids!). There was in fact so much to do, that four days probably wasn’t enough to cover everything. The park includes all of the characters and rides you would expect and is abundantly fun.

In the evenings, we decided to travel to Paris, which is one short train journey away to the centre of the city. From here, we were able to explore the sights and sounds of the romantic city and a very good price. Everything from the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph and exploring the many restaurants and shops.

On the weekend we visited, it was St David’s Welsh Weekend in Paris, so we got enjoy a little bit of Wales abroad whilst we were there too, exploring the markets and watching the celebrations.

I would definitely go back to Disneyland Paris in a heartbeat!


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Majorca

Majorca
September 25, 2015/4 Comments/in Vacations/by administrator

I went to Majorca over the half term holiday with my family in May. The staff in the Leisuretime store made the booking process so easy and looked after everything from, pre-booking my seats and parking at Cardiff Airport. Flying from Cardiff was really easy and helped especially with younger children.

We stayed in the Resort of Sa Coma in the Coma Gran. This is a Thomson Family hotel, so it had a Full entertainment programme, daytime and evening.

It had a variety of children's clubs and there was a water park & splash park on site for the children. There was a good sized swimming pool as well which made those afternoon's very relaxing.

Sa Coma is the perfect resort for families. It has enough bars and restaurants and a variety of entertainment that you can eat your way around the world. We did travel to the resorts of Cala Millor & Cala Bona which were only a few Euros on the Bus. If you are looking for a nice restaurant then Visit the Marina Area in Cala Bona.

I would definitely go back to Majorca as it perfect with the short flight from Cardiff with young children.


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