Ray Spiller, group organiser for Broomfield Coach Trips in Essex, reports back from his group’s first ever holiday to the Isle of Wight.

Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Source: Visit Isle of Wight

The group enjoyed visiting the pretty town of Shanklin.

Our first ever holiday began on Friday 11th August when our coach arrived to pick up the 53 passengers who had booked within weeks of the Isle of Wight visit being advertised. 

The ferry was ready for us from Portsmouth to Fishbourne and in no time we were checking at at Norton Grange (Warners) on the Isle of Wight. The weather was good, the rooms and food were up to the usual Warners standard and of course, the entertainment was second to none.

The following day we had arranged to have an island tour and visited Ryde, Shanklin and The Needles Landmark Attraction - which everyone enjoyed although the strong winds did put a few people off from going on the Cable Car down to the beach to see the Needles up-close. The chairlift even celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. 

Top tip: there is plenty of coach parking space at the Needles Landmark Attraction, as well as a sand shop, glass blowing factory and Sweet Manufactory.

About Broomfield Coach Trips

Ray and wife Jan wanted to do something for the benefit of the local community and bring people together again after the pandemic. So Jan formed a Knit and Natter group and it was such a success that she wanted to take them to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

Broomfield Coach Trips

She decided to hire her own coach and within 72 hours she had sold all 53 places and managed to get discounted tickets for the show.

The intention was to have two or three days out last year, but by the end of December, the pair had hired 27 coaches for different outings and sold out 19 of them.

They only wanted a hobby and now it’s a full-time business… in their words “you’re never too old to try something new.”

Read our full interview with Ray by clicking here

On Sunday we had a morning visit to Osborne House, the family home of Queen Victoria, and what a beautiful house and gardens it is. It was a real treat and everybody was delighted that we had arranged this extra tour.

Top tip: Osborne House offers visiting groups discounted admission for those of 11 or more people. There is also free entry for the GTO and coach driver.

The Needles, Isle of Wight

Source: Visit Isle of Wight

The Needles is possibly the most famous landmark on the Isle of Wight.

Sunday afternoon was time for a rest for most, although a good number spent the afternoon at nearby Yarmouth. On Monday we said goodbye to the island after some free time in Newport before jumping back on the ferry.

Everybody enjoyed their time, so much so that a few have booked for Cricket St Thomas in September.

We’ve also got the ball rolling and have planned two future holidays: Christmas in Lancashire and in June next year we have a five day break at Durham - 51 of the 53 places have already been booked.