Articles by Abbe Bates

Ravens’ new home at the Tower

Bespoke enclosures have been built to house the legendary ravens at the Tower of London. Commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces, the new accommodation offers more night-time space for the seven ‘Guardians of the Tower’, which roam the attraction’s grounds during the day. New display boards with information on the myths and legends surrounding the ravens

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How German groups enjoy their British visits

Visitors from abroad enjoy the UK as group travellers, just as we do! Germans are amongst the most significant incoming groups and for this issue, Val Baynton investigates what German groups like to do when they are in Britain. She talks to two specialist incoming operators that help them with their plans, and German operators

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Hastings Pier rises from the ashes

Following  a £14.2 million refurbishment and over two years work, Hastings Pier has re-opened to the public. Built in 1872, the attraction was gutted by a fire in 2010, and its renovation has included the replacement of damaged support pillars and steel beams, and the introduction of new decking the length of the 910-foot structure.

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The Maltese Connection

The Mediterranean island of Malta, sitting between Italy and North Africa, is a melting pot of different cultures and influences. Abbe Bates visits to discover what to include on a group trip. alta is the largest of the Maltese islands, which also include Gozo and Comino. Its strategic position in the Mediterranean means it has

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Crime scene investigations

Groups Direct has introduced a new tour exploring locations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire used in the popular TV series Midsummer Murders. Depending on the route taken and length of tour (which can last for up to six hours), locations visited can include Littlewick Green, which has appeared in several episodes, Henley-on-Thames, the current location

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Carpet knowhow

On the way to set up for this year’s Tourism & Attractions Show at West Midland Safari & Leisure Park, Contributing Editor Val Baynton called at the Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster’s town centre. The museum, the only one in the UK dedicated to carpet and carpet-making, is based in the former Stour Vale Mill

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New recruits for Yorkshire blue crew

Groups visiting Yorkshire now have 26 new professional tourist guides to choose from, following their graduation and receipt of the respected Blue Badge qualification from the Institute of Tourist Guiding. All the guides have undergone 18 months of intensive study taking in the whole of Yorkshire, including key towns and cities, national parks, abbeys, churches,

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Jurassic ark in Dorset

A brand new multi-million pound museum is to open in Kimmeridge, Dorset, housing a collection of Jurassic Coast fossils. Set to showcase the life’s work of local collector Steve Etches, it will tell the story of life and death under the seas of Kimmeridge over 150 million years ago. The museum will include an exhibition gallery,

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Stuff and nonsense at Jacksons Lane

Managing Editor Abbe Bates and her son Herbie enjoyed a performance of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears in London recently at the lovely Jacksons Lane theatre in Highgate. The children’s story is brought to life by kids theatre company Stuff and Nonsense with amazing costume, puppetry and acrobatics, and some witty dialogue too. It was Herbie’s

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Restored bus for Acton depot

THE London Transport Museum’s branch at Acton has become home to a Wright Handy DW15 bus, newly restored to its original condition in London Buses Gold Arrow livery. The restoration has been carried out to mark the 70th anniversary of Wrightbus and will be used as a ‘live’ exhibit during rallies and events at the

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