The Group Leisure & Travel team have been here, there and everywhere throughout 2023. We’ve picked out one of our favourite visits from each month to help inspire your next group trip. 

January: Visiting the island of Madeira

Graham Yandell: Madeira is a wonderful island and one of my favourite destinations. A few days away saw blue skies and warm sunshine, with temperatures regularly between 23 and 25 degrees each day. Wonderful food, welcoming people and the Savoy Palace Hotel was superb. A visit to the hotel’s Sky Bar, particularly at happy hour, was a real treat. We were also there for the switch on of the famous Christmas lights in Funchal. Great fun and excellent value when visiting off-season.

Graham Yandell in Madeira

Graham enjoyed soaking up some sun in Madiera.

February: A fascinating day at the Eden Project

Paige Phillips: My partner James and I stayed in Liskeard for a long weekend with our friends at Forest Holidays’ Deerpark. With the Eden Project only 30 minutes away we decided to visit as I had never been there before. It was such a great day with lots to see and learn. We didn’t have the best of weather but it didn’t matter too much as we spent the day inside the incredible giant biomes. There’s the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, each with a diverse selection of incredible plants. It’s an ideal day out for groups too with a range of packages and discounts for parties of 15 or more.

Paige Phillips at the Eden Project

All smiles as Paige and her partner discovered the wonders of the Eden Project.

March: Britain’s peculiar past at the Tower of London

Harry Rogers: As someone who loves history, I’m embarassed to say that I’d never been to the Tower of London – but that changed in 2023. The Tower, which is one of the many spectacular sites looked after by Historic Royal Palaces, was everything I hoped it would be and more. Whether it’s historic carvings on the wall left by former prisoners, a legendary Yeoman Warder Tour (my guide from Essex was incredibly funny), seeing the shiny Crown Jewels, or exploring the White Tower which has stood watch over the city for nearly 1,000 years, it was a visit full of discoveries. My favourite fact of the day? King Edward III was gifted a polar bear that lived at the Tower, and it’s suggested that the king would tie a long rope to the bear, allowing it to hunt for fish in the Thames!

Harry Rogers at the Tower of London

The ancient White Tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks.

April: Exploring the home of England’s champions

Harry Rogers: Modern football stadium tours are becoming more and more creative and a great example is when I found myself in a press conference with Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola at the team’s home – The Etihad Stadium. Ok, it may have been a virtual Pep, but it was incredibly life-like. Just like the team in blue, the experience was first class, involving all the favourites you’d expect from a behind-the-scenes visit such as the changing rooms, hospitality zones, press areas and the dugout. If City do go on to claim another Premier League title, I’d like to think it will be because of the tactics I discussed with a computerised Pep on the day. 

Harry Rogers at Manchester City

Football-mad Harry loved getting a glimpse behind-the-scenes at the Etihad Stadium.

May: A moving experience in Flanders

Keeley Rodgers: I was fortunate enough to be among the first visitors to the For Evermore exhibition at the In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres. It was the ideal starting point to learn about the cemeteries in the area and the history of their locations, construction and architecture as well as some of the moving stories of the dead buried there. We also went to Talbot House in Poperinge, Hooge Crater, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele and Tyne Cot Cemetery. 

Keeley Rodgers outside the In Flanders Field Museum

Keeley visited In Flanders Field Museum in Belgium to learn more about World War One.

June: Brilliant Burghley

Ivana Perkins: I loved my visit to Stamford - a charming market town in Rutland. We followed the popular Stamford Town Trail which takes you along the river and through the town’s quaint passageways and market squares. There are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and retailers to tempt you, however the main draw for me was the beautiful Burghley House. The Elizabethan estate boasts 18 magnificent State Rooms which feature awe-inspiring works of art and priceless treasures. There are a variety of specialist talks and tours on offer for groups which can be packaged up with afternoon tea in The Orangery Restaurant. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Ivana Perkins at Burghley House

Ivana enjoyed exploring history at Burghley House.

July: Mamma Mia! Mykonos you beauty

Ivana Perkins: I visited the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos at the start of June and I almost felt as though I was transported to a set from the Mamma Mia! movie. With its iconic Cycladic windmills, narrow winding streets, incredible restaurants and stunning sea views, Mykonos is one Greek destination you won’t want to miss. My number one recommendation would be to check out the breathtaking views of the sunset from 180° Sunset Bar which overlooks the beautiful Aegean pelagos. Enjoy a range of live music and ballet performances as the sun finally sets and you will feel as though you’re in another world.

Ivana Perking in Mykonos

Ivana enjoyed a much-need break to the welcoming island of Mykonos in Greece.

August: Celebrating Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Cherish Westbury: It was a pleasure to attend the Faulty Towers - The Party with my colleague Vicky recently, all in aid of celebrating 15 years of Faulty Towers The Dining Experience in the UK. It was a brilliant event which was made even more special by getting to hear from those behind the scenes who deserve all the plaudits for producing such a fun and entertaining show. Luckily, Basil and the gang were on their best behaviour during the event, but I can’t wait to go back for the actual dining experience soon to see what they get up to. 

Cherish and Vicky at the Faulty Towers Dining Experience

Vicky (left) and Cherish enjoyed a celebratory evening in London.

September: Stunning salt mines in Kraków

Rob Yandell: I flew to Poland to spend a long weekend in Kraków and was blown away by the quality of its restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. The Wieliczka Salt Mine was a highlight; seeing how it was created and worked in over 800 years was incredible. St Kinga’s Chapel, located 101 metres underground, is the undeniable show-stopper. I also visited Auschwitz to tour the concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany during World War Two. A sobering experience and a story everyone should know. 

Rob Yandell at Wieliczka Salt Mine

Rob spent time exploring Poland’s link to the salt industry.

October: A wild time at Longleat

Gavin Seljamae-Waite: My family and I enjoyed a trip to Longleat Safari Park. The park has a free and very useful app which narrates your journey around the safari from the comfort of your vehicle, providing lots of interesting information about the animals as you pass them. An absolute treat for us was being able to feed the majestic deer though our car window. The zoo part of the park was also lots of fun, the undoubted highlight being able to see England’s only koalas. There are plenty of play areas for children, plus the largest hedge maze in Britain to get lost in. Whether you ride on the miniature railway, feed the sea lions from the boat safari, or take a guided tour of the historic Longleat House, this is a day out to please the whole family, and they love welcoming groups.

Gavin outside Longleat

Gav and his daughter outside the famous Longleat House.

November: Merci, Paris

Joanna Thomson: From the peak of Montmartre, Paris resembles a Van Gogh painting: a sky of vivid blues and indigos adorned with the bright, twinkling orbs of streetlights and activity below. It’s the ‘city of light’ for a reason. Every street is lined with stone facades, iron-wrought balconies, and mansard roofs. It’s a city that has been built and mythologised by artists to such an extent that, at times, it becomes hard to distinguish between the views in front of you and those hung within the frames of its various Musées. If you visit Paris, which I strongly recommend you do, all you need is a bottle of something and a few glasses. Sit down on the Champs de Mars or on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and look out at this picturesque city. It’s a painting you can lose yourself in for hours. 

Joanna Thomson in Paris

Joanna says the views from Montmartre in Paris are like a Van Gough painting.

December: The wonder of Waddesdon

Keeley Rodgers: It’s not Christmas season until I’ve got a mulled wine and a mince pie in each hand. And where better to soak up the festivities than at the magnificent Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire? Inside, the Manor has been transformed with the most beautiful decorations and trees, inspired by three classic tales, Alice in Wonderland, the Snow Queen and Peter Pan. Outside, I could have watched the light projections on the facade over and over plus there’s a new light trail to explore through the Aviary gardens. Think a canopy of orbs, lit-up trees and twinkling starbursts. There are also ‘tap boxes’ so you can have a go at creating your very own light show! It’s a wonderful experience. 

Keeley Rodgers at Waddesdon Manor

Keeley (mulled wine in hand) at Waddesdon Manor.

If you’ve had a particularly enjoyable visit with your group somewhere, we’d love to see a picture, get in touch with us by emailing