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Which Venues have Re-opened Nearby?

These next few weeks are very important for venues as they start to re-open to the public. Looking at the venues’ websites, it is clear that they are very aware of staying Covid-secure. Only if they can open safely will our groups feel safe in returning to them for days out.

Pallant

Chichester

Arundel

Castle

Subtitle

Borde Hill

Gardens

We are blessed in Sussex to be so close to so many excellent National Trust properties. They have re-opened 135 properties around the country. They are limiting the number of visitors. Tickets go on sale on Friday. Mostly tickets have to be bought by 3pm at the latest on the day before the visit.

Chichester: (read a review)

  • Festival Theatre: www.cft.org.uk Has started to advertise outdoor plays and cinema. Highlighted so far is a multi-star run between 28th August and 31st August.
  • Pallant Gallery: www.pallant.org.uk Re-opens on 5th August. Read a review
  • Planetarium: Is open again with limited numbers.
  • Canal Trips: sadly canal trips, with their famous ‘fish and chips’ and ‘pie and mash’ themes, are still suspended
  • Weald and Downland Museum: www.wealddown.co.uk. A trip back to the middle ages is open but you need to pre-book. Read a review here.

Arundel: (read a review)

  • The Castle: www.arundelcastle.org Their fantastic gardens have suffered in the lock-down but with the help of technology the castle has been able to give a view of the mind-blowing work undertaken by the garden team. The castle re-opens from 5th August.
  • The wetlands and boating lake are open

East Grinstead

Handcross

Haywards Heath

Leatherhead

Lower Beeding

  • Leonardslee Gardens: After a considerable financial investment, the gardens are back for the public to savour! Leonardslee Gardens is open and you don’t need to pre-book. Read a review here.

Ardingly

  • Wakehurst Place: www.kew.org/wakehurst Famed for its seed bank but as beautiful as any of our fantastic local gardens. Open but you need to pre-book a slot. Read a review here

Amberley

Balcombe

  • Wings Museum: This delightful, volunteer-run museum has had to postpone some of its more adventurous events (such as re-starting an original Merlin engine). It is open now. Pre-booking is needed. Read a review here.

Tangmere

Petworth

Not everywhere is open yet and we await the figures to see whether it is safe again for more vulnerable people to start to return.

Holt coaches, which normally carry 16 or 19 people, can carry up to 10 passengers maintaining a metre distance between each. Masks should be worn. Hand sanitiser used when getting on the coach. The re-circulating air-con will not be used. All hard areas are sanitised after each journey. Embarking will be less of a scramble, filling up the back seats first.

To recognise the lower capacity on the coaches we are offering reduced prices for bookings made before 1st September 2020 for the remainder of the 2020 season.

  • Trips in Surrey and Sussex – £200
  • Trips in Kent and Hampshire – £245
  • Pick up from Heathrow Airport – £245 (plus pick up fee)
  • Pick up from Gatwick Airport – £190 (plus pick up fee)
  • Trips in London – £275

(Subject to availability. New bookings only. Offer can be withdrawn without notice). If you think now is safe for you to start visiting again, we can help with your coach transport.

Holt Services Ltd

Where is now open to the public?

Through limiting numbers and imposing distancing policies, and so without putting lives at increased risk, many venues are now hoping that groups feel safe enough to start visiting again. The common-sense of the great British public (most of them anyway) are sticking to social distancing and helping in our recovery. Here are a few of the venues that have re-opened over the past few weeks:

Kew

Hever

Wisley

Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place – book a time slot online

RHS Wisley and Hyde Hall – book a time slot online

Windsor (including Windsor Great Park, Savill Gardens, Virginia Water and Valley Gardens) – book tickets online. The castle is open from 23rd July.

Winchester Cathedral (excluding the Kings and Queens Tour) is open from 10am til 4pm.

Hever Castle opened again 4th July. Book tickets online

Leeds Castle has not fully re-opened but some of their amenities are still available to visit.

Cutty Sark, London looks fantastic again. Pre-booking online required

Somerset House, London has re-opened with access to their courtyrad and the amazing Mushroom exhibition.

Holt coaches can carry up to 10 passengers maintaining a metre distance between each. Masks should be worn. Hand sanitiser used when getting on the coach. The re-circulating air-con will not be used. All hard areas are sanitised after each journey. Embarking will be less of a scramble, filling up the back seats first.

To recognise the lower capacity on the coaches we are offering reduced prices for bookings made before 1st September 2020 for the remainder of the 2020 season.

  • Trips in Surrey and Sussex – £200
  • Trips in Kent and Hampshire – £245
  • Pick up from Heathrow Airport – £245 (plus pick up fee)
  • Pick up from Gatwick Airport – £190 (plus pick up fee)
  • Trips in London – £275

(Subject to availability. New bookings only. Offer can be withdrawn without notice). If you think now is safe for you to start visiting again, we can help with your coach transport.

Holt Services Ltd

Green Shoots of a Return to Normality?

Without doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest shock the Boomer generation has experienced. But we are now hearing of more and more venues re-opening with excellent displays and CV-Safe management policies in place. We are all hoping to see the green shoots of a return to normality

Prairie Gardens

Our first wonderful day out in months and it was unbelievably good!

It was really worth going and so nice to see that whilst the world was locked down, nature and the skills of the gardeners at Prairie Gardens in Henfield have produced a truly beautiful day out.

The cake was brilliant too!

If you are thinking of going on a trip to Prairie Gardens in Henfield with your friends and colleagues, Holt Services can provide the coach for you. https://www.holtservices.co.uk/contact-us/

Prairie Gardens in Henfield: Maybe see the green shoots of a return to normality?

Curious about Guildford

Curious about Guildford? Explore, discover and enjoy Guildford with two unique, heritage walks with an optional treasure hunt. Starts: Millmead Lock,, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4BE

Looking for an unusual and quirky activity which gets you out in the fresh air whatever the weather? Take one of the self-guided walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Guildford a unique place to explore.

You’ll get everything – detailed directions, maps, clues (with answers in the back!), and interesting snippets about the history of Guildford and the people that have shaped it.

Buy in booklet or instant download format to use on your mobile device or to print at home, just click here and explore in your own time. One booklet is enough for four people of all ages to enjoy

Discounts – curious about Guildford

Enter code VISIT20 at checkout for a 20% discount on any two or more purchases.” To “Enter code VISITSEE20 at checkout for a 20% discount when you spend over £12

Opening Times

Winter hours: 27 Oct 2019 – 28 Mar 2020
Monday – Sunday10:00 – 16:00
Summer hours: 29 Mar 2020 – 31 Oct 2020
Monday – Sunday09:00 – 18:00
Bank Holiday09:00 – 18:00
Winter hours: 1 Nov 2020 – 28 Mar 2021
Monday – Sunday10:00 – 16:00
Bank Holiday10:00 – 16:00

If you wish to visit Guildford with Holt Coaches click here

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Beaulieu Motoring Memories

Beaulieu Motoring Memories: Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum in Hampshire will be sharing memories of much loved toys in its new exhibition called Motoring in Miniature – The Toys of our Childhood. The exhibition opens from Easter 2020.

Many a person will remember the shiny toys that beckoned from the toy shop window. Birthdays and Christmas’ were incomplete without them. Then the delight in constructing make-believe motorways across the carpet, before parking up in a cardboard garage. So be they tin-plate, wooden or die-cast, hot wheel cars, pedal cars, friction driven, radio controlled or scale models, the imagination was let loose and formed the basis of a lifetime’s fascination and motoring memories.

The main museum tells the story of British motoring through its world-famous collection of over 280 (full sized) vehicles. These include record breakers, such as Bluebird CN7, motor sport, race and rally and the world of motorcycling.

See Del Boy’s Reliant Regal from only Fools and Horses, Mr Bean’s Mini and the Jaguar XKR from James Bond’s Die Another Day.

In addition, motoring gatherings in Beaulieu’s picturesque parkland include:

  • International Autojumble September 5 and 6
  • Spring Autojumble May 15 and 16
  • Beaulieu Supercar August 8 and 9
  • Firework Spooktacular October 31.

Pre-booked groups of 15 or more enjoy a generous group discount. Beaulieu, as well, can create a bespoke programme if desired. Click here for details

To arrange travel to Beaulieu on a Holt’s coach click here

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Hever Castle and Gardens

Group visitors to historic Hever Castle and Gardens can find out more about Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn. Discover the different theories of her downfall. It is part of the new interactive exhibition of her childhood home from April to November 2020.

This romantic, double-moated castle is in the Weald of Kent. It is popular and much beloved of Tudor historians. Anne was the mother of Elizabeth I and an instigator of Henry’s break with Rome. For instance visitors can learn of various theories as to why she was executed.

The day has more to offer, however, than just history. The castle has award winning gardens. Highlights include the Italian Garden with its 38 acre lake and facsimile of the Trevi Fountain.

Special Events include:

  • Hever in Bloom June 29 – July 5: An opportunity to experience the English Rose Garden at the height of its summer splendour with free guided tour.
  • Craft Fair September 10 – September 13: 120 exhibitors from the UK’s finest designer makers and contemporary artists
  • Autumn Colour From October 1: Enjoy the spectacular autumnal tints. The castle is reputed to be at its most photogenic during the autumn months when the Boston ivy on the front turns a vivid shade of red.

Above all, a day out to Hever Castle is a very special excursion and one that won’t be quickly pasted into the faded-memory file. For more information on what the castle has to offer read more here.

Groups of 15 or more get special rates.

Booking information can be found here or call 01732 861701

So contact Holts Services for coaches to Hever Castle

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I Spy Bletchley Park

I spy Bletchley Park: The secret facility that remained a secret for long after the war had ended. Such was the dedication of the young men and women who helped the Allies win that it is really only in the last decade that it has been opened up to the public. In such a short period of time it has become one of the UK’s top destinations.

The design is perfect to help you step into the shoes of those extraordinary people. Not only did they help win the war, but set the scene for the digital future.

It is open every day. Highlights include the restored code breaking huts, with their WW2 interiors faithfully recreated, the Mansion and hands on displays in the blocks. The grounds can be explored, there are interactive multimedia interfaces, soundscapes, galleries and exhibitions.

I Spy Bletchley Park

The signature venue is Hut 11A. The Bombe Breakthrough exhibition demonstrates how the Polish inspired machine helped the Allies to break into the Enigma code used by the Axis forces. Thousands of lives were saved by these technological breakthroughs.

The cinematic experience includes D-Day: Interception Intelligence, Invasion which explains in appropriate detail how the intelligence produced at Bletchley Park directly impacted on the Normandy landings.

The Trust’s own collections include personal items from Veterans, such as diaries, letters and recollections, and oral histories that add a unique personal insight into the wartime code breaking activities. In addition, Bletchley Park is a repository for objects and documents on long-term loan from GCHQ’s historical collection. These include many of the key items that relate to the code breaking story, such as relevant cipher machines and original paperwork.

Celebrations

Given that 2020 is the 75th anniversary of VE, Bletchley Park has chosen to put on a celebratory weekend in May. They also have popular concert dates in August for VJ Day.

The whole journey can be topped off with afternoon tea taken in the iconic mansion.  Private tours can be booked which includes lunch.

The journey from here in West Sussex to Bletchley Park is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. A blink of the eye compared with the quantum leaps they made here 80 years ago.

To hire Holt’s luxury 19-seater coach for an excursion to Bletchley Park, the cost is just £350

Contact Holt Services

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Highlights of 2019

To see our personal highlights of 2019 Click Here. In all Holt has been to over 50 venues in 2019. This is our 10 Ten Trips, in no particular order and in no way does an absence in the list denigrate the other 40!

Highlights of 2019

These are just a few of the excellent day trips for which Holt Service provided the coach transport last year. Each has been enjoyable for its own reasons. Mostly down to the entertaining and hearty customers who have employed Holt’s services.

Every year something new comes onto the agenda. Aldingbourne Country Park comes to mind for their excellent tea and cake!

The furthest journey was to Aston University; into the heart of Peak Blinder territory /:-).

Most frequently visited was Gatwick Airport. A very convenient place but lacking the visual appeal of many of the other venues and facilities!

Thinking about 2020 excursions

Here are a few ideas for you to consider for your 2020 excursions

Windsor Great Park – Savill Garden

Bletchley Park

Salisbury Cathedral

Bicester Shopping Village

Isle of Wight – Osborne House

Book your coach The period between March and October fills very quickly. If you have an idea of when you wish to go, make a call and get a quote as soon as you can.

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South Down Planetarium stars in a great day out

South Down Planetarium stars: The skies in Sussex may have been greyed out by the wintry clouds but the Vintage Years group saw the stars with their visit to the Planetarium in Chichester. The quality of the talk, the comfort of the seats (recliners recovered from a vintage airliner apparently), the clarity of the projection and the interesting nature of the subject all added to a 5 star day out.

You can contact the Planetarium in Chichester by clicking here. Let South Down Planetarium stars in your great day out too.

The day started with a visit to the Brick Kiln Garden Centre, just eight minutes away from the Planetarium. The carvery lunch was exceptional value at just £12 for 2 persons. There was delight too at the the pianist who skillfully provided melodies – a bit of boogie-woogie, some rock and roll and a few tunes from the 50’s too. You can contact the Brick Kiln Nursery by clicking here.

Holt Services took a group of 19 people from Upper Beeding and Steyning. Leaving mid-morning and return late afternoon with a number of drop off points along the way. To participate conact Steyning Vintage Years.

Vintage Years Club 01903 813012
First Friday of Every Month
13.45 – 16.00 Steyning Centre – Fletchers Croft

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