Northern spirit inspires

Jay Bee Travel stop for a photo on Newcastle’s Millennium Bridge.

Jay Bee Travel stop for a photo on Newcastle’s Millennium Bridge.

A few years ago, Canterbury-based Jenny Barling, Chairman of the GTOA Southern Branch, put together a trip to Newcastle for the organisation and, after falling in love with the city, decided to return in 2014 with 28 members of her own group, Jay Bee Travel, for a six-night holiday.

To help organise the trip, Jenny called upon Steve Plummer from Holidays and Cruises for You. Jenny comments, “Steve arranged our coach travel and booked us in at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, a fantastic hotel located in the centre of Newcastle between the famous Tyne and Swing bridges.”

For two days of the holiday, Founder and Managing Director of tour operator Northern Secrets, and Blue Badge guide, Alex Jacobs accompanied the group. Jenny recalls, “Alex brought Newcastle to life with his excellent fact-filled coach tour and then took us to see the sights of Durham and Gateshead.” Jenny continues, “We also ventured to the village of Bamburgh in Northumberland, where we visited the Woodhorn Museum, home to the work of the Ashington Group of Pitman Painters.”

Other attractions on the itinerary included the open-air Beamish Museum in County Durham, and the Northumberland properties Alnwick Castle and the National Trust’s Cragside.

Rounding up the trip, Jenny says, “Newcastle and the surrounding areas have really embraced tourism; it’s a fabulous region to visit!”