In early September, Jackie Ring took a group of 25 from the Woking Area U3A to Belfast for a long weekend. She worked with specialist group travel tour operator Greatdays of Cheshire, who took care of flight, hotel and excursion bookings. Jackie says, “Greatdays were very helpful and I’ve used them before and will again. They have a good knowledge of Ireland but I was able to suggest elements I wanted included in the itinerary so it suited my group. Their expertise was essential in working through timings, but they coped with any changes I needed to make to the booking and also, helpfully, sorted out insurance for one member of the group.”
The early morning flight with Aer Lingus from Heathrow to Belfast meant the group were on a sightseeing bus going around the city by early afternoon. The U3A stayed at the four-star Malone Lodge, which, Jackie says, was excellent and offered a low single supplement rate.
The trip included two full-day coach trips – one travelling up the beautiful Antrim coastal road to the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Bushmills Distillery. The second was to visit Mount Stewart and Hillsborough Castle. Jackie adds, “Our guide for the two days, booked by Greatdays, was extremely informative, telling us about the area with serious explanations and anecdotes.”
Looking back over the weekend, Jackie says, “We felt we had fitted so much into the trip. Belfast has a lot to offer groups and the people we met were extremely friendly and welcoming.”