10 group travel ideas: trips for special interests

Date Posted: 06/08/2014

U Boat story.

Pictured: At the U-Boat Story in Liverpool.

A selection of excursions for special interest groups. 

1. Maritime and Military

If your party has a passion for war and maritime history, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Liverpool with Mersey Ferries and U-Boat story.

At Woodside Ferry Terminal, gain an insight into life onboard a submarine during wartime and learn the story of World War Two German submarine U-534 at U-boat Story.

Visitors can then jump on-board a Mersey Ferry for a 50-minute river explorer cruise, accompanied by commentary exploring the river Mersey’s past, and present.

2. Zoology

Bedfordshire’s wing of the Zoological Society London, Whipsnade Zoo is a much larger zoological experience for groups, set in 600 acres.

There’s plenty of animal action to get involved with, from seeing the elephants on their daily walk around the zoo, to getting a glimpse of the chimps in the Chimpnasium, an indoor gymnasium for Whipsnade’s primates to exercise in.

Groups of ten or more can claim a 25 per cent discount from tickets purchased online. 

3. Winston Churchill

Step back in time and discover the secret underground headquarters that were the nerve centre of Britain’s war effort at Churchill War Rooms in Westminster.

Autumn events at the IWM venue include a new Churchill Lecture series and Lates at the War Rooms.

4. Food

From 6th September to 12th October, the Eden Project’s Harvest Festival returns for its third year.

The five-week programme of events starts with a fortnight of demonstrations hosted by a range of celebrity chefs and experts from their field including butchery, smoker and pickling.

The final three weeks play host to the themes of baobab (a tropical fruit), beer and all things boozy, a chilli festival to spice things up and a week dedicated to fungi.

5. Gardening

The RHS offers a variety of talks and tours, where you can discover the history of how they came to be and see what’s looking good in the garden.

A Stab in the Dark Murder Mysteries.

Pictured: A scene from A Stab in the Dark Murder Mysteries.

RHS Garden Rosemoor offers a variety of tours, including one which covers the garden’s seasonal horticulture in-depth or can be tailored to a specific plant or aspect of the garden.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall offers one-hour garden tours, where key areas such as the Rose Garden, Dry Garden and Courtyard Garden will be included, with ample opportunity to ask questions along the way.

6. Murder mysteries

A Stab in the Dark Murder Mysteries aims to keep the closet Marples and Poirots amongst you intrigued. Its murder mystery events allow groups to quiz the suspects and the inspector over a three-course meal or over an entire weekend if you choose.

Everyone can get dressed up in fancy dress for plots that range from the 1920s and 1950s through to a deadly Caribbean cruise, a sci-fi convention, and special Halloween and Christmas stories.

7. Historical artefacts

A collection of over 153,000 English Heritage historical artefacts - ranging from small buckles, brooches and coins, to fireplaces, staircases and even an enormous crane used for changing street light bulbs - have been brought together into a new storage facility at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.

Guided tours with volunteers take groups behind-the-scenes for a sneak peak at some of the fascinating treasures in the collection. 

8. American History

The American Museum in Britain, based in Bath, aims to inform visitors about the cultural history of the United States to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Its decorative arts collection comprises over 200 historic American quilts, Shaker furniture, folk art paintings and sculpture, Native American objects, and Renaissance maps of the ‘New World’.

Pre-booked groups of 15 or more can take advantage of discounted entry, and private tours - including those with a textile focus - can be arranged for an out-of-hours visit.

A camp and drill display at the American Museum in Britain.

Pictured: A camp and drill display at the American Museum in Britain.

9. The Edwardians

Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the sights, sounds, smell and atmosphere of a vintage Edwardian Fairground at the Hollycombe Working Steam Museum on the Sussex/Hampshire border.

The attraction stages its annual evening openings on 13th, 20th and 27th September, then again on 4th, 11th and 18th October. Steam-driven rides such as the Razzle Dazzle (considered to be the world’s first ‘white knuckle ride’); the Gallopers; and Swingboats will be available.

And, after enjoying the rides, you can sit back and relax in the Bioscope – a pre-cursor to the modern cinema.

10. Dancing

Constantinou Bros Hotels is holding a familiarisation trip for GTOs in November.

The trip will give organisers the opportunity to sample the facilities of its four-star hotel located in Paphos, Cyprus for a complimentary four-night stay which includes full board, bowls, dance sessions and a local excursion.

Dancing is a speciality of the hotel which offers sequence, ballroom and Latin dancing with resident dance leaders.

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