“Following the Romantics”

A group of 44 enjoyed a quality coach tour by Bibby’s of Ingleton. The travellers mainly came from the north of England, from Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, although there was at least one from North Wales.

The tour was entitled “Following the Romantics”. This harked back to the river Wye tours that were offered from the mid-18th century, mainly from Ross on Wye to Chepstow. There were stops at the highlights: Symonds Yat, Monmouth, and Tintern. Even though Yorkshire has stunning Abbeys such as Fountains Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey, the visitors were still extremely impressed with the grandeur of Tintern. They could appreciate why Wordsworth from Cumbria wrote his major poem about Tintern, and Turner did his famous water colours at Tintern!

Bibby's Tour at Tintern
Bibby’s Tour at Tintern


Fletchers of Malton coach tour

Fletcher’s Coaches is a friendly, popular, family-run company based in Malton, Yorkshire. Their customers enjoyed a day-trip to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. Their guide met them at Chepstow where they had good views of Chepstow Castle and the River Wye. They travelled up and up, and up the twisty road to to Wyndcliffe Court where they enjoyed “elevensies” in the tea room set in a sculpture garden.

One of Fletcher's of Malton's coaches
Fletcher’s of Malton

A highlight of all Fletcher’s tours is the presence of Charlie, the famous white Scottie dog, who accompanies the driver on all the tours. This well-travelled doggy was delightful company for all, including the guide.

Blake’s tour from Devon visits Forest of Dean

Visitors from Devon enjoyed an informative whirlwind tour in the Forest of Dean in May. The coach tour started at Bell’s Hotel in Coleford, where the guide expertly described the flora, fauna and history of the area. The lucky visitors stopped for lunch at the Dean Forest Railway, Norchard, where they then boarded a train and travelled on a steam train to the terminus in Parkend.

Dean Forest Railway
Dean Forest Railway

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

American university students from various states came to the Forest of Dean as part of a tour to prepare for a study of book 7 of the Harry Potter series. The Forest plays a prominent part in the book, as Harry finds a vital wizard artefact in a pond when he is hiding out against the forces of Voldemort. The visitors went by Cannop Ponds and Soudley Ponds, but agreed that the artefact was most likely hidden in a more discreet area!

Visitors went to Symonds Yat rock to get a good view of the River Wye, which appears in the film. They were taken on a tour of the Wye Valley, going through JK Rowling’s village of Tutshill. On the way they experienced the beauty of Tintern Abbey, St. Briavel’s Castle and Chepstow Castle.

To top it off, the Orepool Pub served an excellent roast dinner, where the guide was asked to explain how Yorkshire Pudding differed from popovers!

University Students studying Harry Potter
Harry Potter students at Symonds Yat

“They never stopped talking about how good it was”

val's coach tourForest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour guides escorted two two groups of retired GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) staff in coaches from Worthing around the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. GSK was once an important employer in the Forest of Dean, with a factory in Coleford manufacturing Ribena. This factory was recently taken over by the Japanese company Suntory. However, there is another historic GSK connection in the Forest: Horlicks, manufactured by GSK in Slough, was developed in the forest village of Ruardean by bothers James and William Horlick! The groups stopped for coffee  in the historic Verderers Court, part of the Speech House Hotel, and lunch in the market town of Monmouth. The tour organiser from GSK was thrilled with the arrangements and praised the two tour guides for their entertaining commentary and depth of knowledge of the area. “They never stopped talking about how good it was”, was the organiser’s comment about the groups’ experience of the tour.