Window on Britain

By Paull Tickner

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As you know where untapped sources of new business can be found, use this small selection to:

  • Convert Masterpiece Theatre and Movies into customised On Location tours
  • Commemorate the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom in WWII
  • Celebrate newly acquired skills at a 5-star Cookery School
  • Create value added travel experiences for culturally minded clients


The Great Detectives

The UK’s longest-running contemporary detective drama returned to our TV screens last Sunday as Midsomer Murders celebrates its 20th anniversary year. No doubt it will be heading your way before too long so let’s use it to create an On Location tour that includes DCI John Barnaby and the picturesque locations that make up Midsomer country, tucked away in rural Buckinghamshire and South Oxfordshire, Father Brown (mostly filmed in the Cotswolds), Endeavour (the young Morse) Inspectors Morse and Lewis (all of them in and around Oxford), Grantchester (largely centred on Cambridge) and a number of different permutations of Sherlock Holmes in London. With Olivia Colman winning the Best Actress Award at the Oscars, The Favourite was filmed among the elegant parterres and treasure-filled interiors of Jacobean Hatfield House. Let’s talk about an On-Location tour that includes Father Brown, Inspector Morse, Harry Potter, the new Shakespeare movie ‘All is True’ and a leisurely visit to Hatfield House.


D Day 75th Anniversary

In early June, the city of Portsmouth will host commemorative events to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Discover the role being played by Southwick House where a tour of the house includes the library (where Eisenhower famously announced, “We go” at 4:19 a.m. on June 6, 1944); a drawing room and the map room, which to this day still houses the original “D-Day Map” and can be visited by prior arrangement. Also playing key roles will be the re-enactments at Southwick village, the D-Day Museum, home the Overlord Tapestry, a 20th century version of the Bayeux Tapestry, Portsmouth Cathedral and the Historic Dockyard. Away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and a short ferry ride across Portsmouth’s busy harbour is Little Woodham, a living history village in Gosport. It’s where you can step back in time and meet and talk with the ‘villagers’ dressed in period costumes and watch them demonstrate the historic skills of the blacksmith, lace-makers and weavers from 17th Century England. 


New Cookery School Opens

A new cookery school has opened at the luxurious 5-star Grand Hotel York. Led by expert tutors, sessions range from half-day to full day courses on how to prepare authentic dishes, with fresh local produce at the heart of each creation. Choose from a selection of classes from international cuisine and Modern British classics, to bread making and dinner party dining. Use it as the centre-piece for a gourmet tour that visits artisan food makers and vineyards in the north of England. If you think this is too far off the beaten track, check out the direct flights to Manchester from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Newark, New York. Use the airport’s fast airside kerbside service one as your gateway to the Beatles in Liverpool, Beatrix Potter in the Lake District, Wedgwood in the World Capital of Ceramics, the Romans in Chester, the Vikings in York and the Celts in Wales.


Pilgrimage, Paintings, Sculpture and Stained Glass

St Albans Cathedral is often missed as travellers speed their way out of London towards Cambridge and points north and this needs to change. The burial place for the first recorded British Christian martyr, it has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for over 1400 years. They offer 3 specialist tours, on Pilgrimage, their fine medieval wall paintings and their Stained Glass. Nearby, the sculpture gardens and studios at Henry Moore’s former home in Hertfordshire, are the best place in the world to appreciate the artist’s work, offering you the chance to discover more about the life and work of one of Britain’s most famous sculptors. You can also visit the artist’s family home, Hoglands, where he lived with his family for over 40 years. A new exhibition on Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s most celebrated artists opens shortly at the nearby St Alban’s Museum and Gallery. Running between 23rd March and 8th September, it introduces sculptures, drawings and archival material, reuniting works that have not been seen together since they were first created.


Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or 

E-mail ptickner@customgb.co.uk