October Half Term Breaks

scottish-hills

Scotland Holiday 2013” by David Sim, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Because different parts of the United Kingdom breakup for their October half term breaks at different times of the month, it gives way to a staggered holiday, where no one misses out because of over-booking. It allows families to take a week’s break and get away from the hustle and bustle for a while, escaping to serene places such as Crieff Hydro where there is year round entertainment for the kids at some very affordable rates.

Touring Scotland

Scotland has so much to offer, from stunning and breath-taking scenery to fun things for the kids, architecture and historical interests for adults and some all-round great fun. Staying in a central location like the Peebles Hydro gives you the opportunity to walk the trails of the Scottish Borders and explore the capital Edinburgh on day trips to the city. During the half term break you will be able to indulge the run up to Halloween and take the kids to see the Real Mary King’s Close and other gruesome but fun places.

edinburgh-city-view

 

Edinburgh” by Moyan Brenn, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Taking the Kids on the Cheap

It’s a well-known point that you can usually expect to pay a little more in some areas during the half term because school holidays are always times of peak demand for hotels. However, places such as the Hilton at Coylumbridge offer free places for children under the age of 18, who share the room with their parents. Also, they offer free food to kids under the age of 10. Look out for some great half term deals around Scotland.

Without Kids?

Yes, you can still enjoy a half term break even if you don’t have children! For instance, how about Gleneagles, where you can enjoy a round or two of golf without the children? The home of the Ryder Cup has a luscious and luxurious hotel with everything you could dream of, and if you do decide to bring the kids, there’s plenty to do in the area.

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What to Consider When Organising a Conference in Edinburgh

A business conference is one of the most useful tools in the world of commerce, and they are often responsible for many great deals between people, companies and corporations. Hosting a well organised conference, meeting or marketing event, gives you the opportunity to shine as a business and to make an authoritative impression on potential clients.

business-meeting

Image courtesy of Sebastiann ter Burg

What you need to consider

Successfully marketing your event to the right audience is a fundamental element of making it a success. However, the best marketing in the world counts for nothing unless you have the right venue. You need to know what to look for when you are planning a conference or are charged with finding the right location. Facilities are important, as well as comfort. This is critical if you are inviting delegates to travel a long distance in order to attend your event. For multiple day events where an overnight stay is required, you need to ensure your delegates are properly accommodated and entertained.

Think about how you would want to entertain an important guest who was coming to possibly do business with you. You would want them to have luxurious or at the very least, a very comfortable sleeping space. You would want to offer them the use of a gym or pool, and you would want them to have the best dining experience or catering experience while the conference was happening. The importance of providing your delegates with high-quality accommodation options after a long day at the conference cannot be over-emphasised.

Location is vital too. While you might save money hosting your conference in an out-of-the-way place, for high-powered events there is no substitute for a fully fitted city centre venue.

Edinburgh-International-Conference-Centre

Image courtesy of Geograph

Edinburgh’s Prime Conference Venue

If you are planning a conference, meeting or important event in Scotland, you should give serious thought to The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). The EICC is one of the best places to hold conferences in the UK. Many reputations have been enhanced by the EICC’s ability to offer and consistently deliver events of an outstanding nature.

Hosting your event at the EICC also means you have good local options for plenty of places to stay, including The Dunstane, Channings Hotel, and the Parliament House Hotel, all located in the city centre. Some of these hotels offer excellent deals on multiple rooms for conference events, and all provide the very best in comfort and hotel amenities.

Booking a successful conference or marketing event in Edinburgh takes a lot of pre-planning and consideration, but working with the right venue and accommodation partners makes the process a whole lot easier.

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The Iconic British 10K Run

On Sunday 13thJuly runners from all over the world will be converging on London to take part in one of Britain’s most iconic races: the British 10K Run. The route takes in some of London’s most famous and popular landmarks and draws participants from a wide range of ages and abilities. Unlike the more famous London Marathon, the British 10k is a more accessible for occasional runners and demands less preparatory training, whilst still offering a challenging experience.

Highlights of the route:

The British 10K route has been designed to pass as many of London’s historic landmarks as possible. In total it passes 32 buildings and statues of historical interest, many of which will be instantly recognisable by visitors to the city. Organisers describe the run as the ultimate tourist trail, with the added benefit of adding to your fitness!

Starting close to the Wellington Arch on Piccadilly, the route takes runners along St James’ Street and Pall Mall. Turning to your right you would be able to see the imposing façade of Buckingham Palace as you run past. The route passes St James’ Palace and Horse Guard’s Parade before turning into Trafalgar Square. On running past the famous Nelson’s column the route bends to the left along Victoria Embankment where it passes Covent Garden and Somerset House. Across the river you will pass the old power station now converted into the Tate Modern Gallery and continue on past Tower Bridge to the quintessential symbol of London, St Paul’s cathedral. From here the route doubles back and the runner’s enter the home stretch. If you were taking part you would pass the London Eye on your left and be able to admire Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament as you approached the finish line at Whitehall Palace.

How to take part

Runners interested in taking part should book their place as soon as possible through the British 10k Run website. You will be given the option of whether to run as an individual, or to support one of the many worthy causes sponsoring the event, led by military charity Help for Heroes. Guests of the Royal Garden Hotel who are in London for the race will find the hotel to be easily accessible from both the start and finish posts; and you can be assured of a warm welcome on your return to the hotel!

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Ryder Cup Accommodation in Scotland

Gleneagles Hotel and grounds 2004

                                                           Courtesy of Wikipedia

So, you are thinking of getting tickets for the Ryder Cup, eh? Not a bad idea, to come and visit the home of golf in the same year as the home of the Ryder Cup hosts the tournament. In fact, it’s an excellent idea, so why not book your Ryder Cup tickets now, if you haven’t already done so? And while you are at it, you might like a few ideas about where to stay while you are here.

If you don’t have an old favourite in the area where you like to stay and play gold, you could check out our suggestions for a few ideas. We have listed some of our favourite golfing hotels as well as some ‘off the beaten track’ ideas too.

Mar Hall

Mar Hall is an outstandingly beautiful Scottish Edwardian mansion and golf spa hotel that has some real class. The hotel overlooks the Clyde and the Kilpatrick Hills delivers a most attentive service and offers spa facilities, golfing and romantic getaways.

Mar Hall Hotel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Kingsmill Hotel    The Kingsmills Hotel

The Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury 4* spa and resort where you can enjoy a quiet weekend playing a round of golf or watching the Ryder Cup from the comfort of your own room or suite. Join us at the Kingsmills for a toddy. We are only 15 minutes away from the Airport at Inverness.

 

 

 

 

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Links House at Royal Dornoch is a luxury accommodation with charm, fine dining and a view of the 1st tee at the Royal Dornoch golf club. It is worth spending just a few extra Scottish pounds to experience this place first hand, with the wood panelled library and the Drawing Room filled with antiques and art to ensnare the senses.

Off the Beaten Track

If you fancy a far our experience Turnberry is over on the west coast with their three links courses and high level accommodation, courtesy of Donald Trump. However, if you fancy something completely different we highly recommend Silverdyke Caravan Park, near Anstruther. The brand new family owned and operated park is available for rent and purchase of touring pitches, holiday homes, luxury lodges and caravans. Check them out, or, alternatively, check out the self-catering lodges at Elderburn.

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Things to Do in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games

Glasgow Commonwealth Games

On 23rd July 2014 the opening ceremony in the Commonwealth Games will take place in Glasgow, Scotland. The Commonwealth Games is the Olympic-style competition between all the countries of the British Commonwealth who gather to compete in athletic and Olympic-style games and challenges. This year, the host city is Glasgow and they are expecting hundreds of thousands of extra people in the city especially for the games.

So, what else is there to do?

Glasgow is one of the UK’s most historic cities and next to Edinburgh it is the most populated city in Scotland. Because of this, there are many other things to do while you wait for your next Commonwealth Games event. Clearly you won’t be sitting in the stadiums all day every day, so what can you do in those in-between moments? Well, of course there’s plenty of shopping to be had at the West End and Ashton Lane, but also, here’s a little list of the best things we have come up with to entertain and educate you while you wander around our gorgeous city.

Landmarks of Glasgow

Courtesy of Google

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

The 1888 International Exhibition was largely responsible for the building of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum because it was built from the proceeds. The design takes full advantage of the Spanish Baroque style of architecture and follows in the footsteps of the Glasgow tradition for building with red sandstone from Locharbriggs. If you want to get a real taste of Glaswegian culture and Scottish history, make this one of your primary stops.

The Glasgow Museum of Transport

If you love old buses, trams, coaches, trains and anything transport related, this is the place for you. You could probably get lost in there for a day or two and still not see everything. The UK’s love of historic transport is brought to life in the Glasgow museum of Transport and documents the changing face of transport through the years. Definitely worth a visit.

Places to stay in Glasgow

You obviously need a roof over your head and with the Commonwealth Games literally just around the corner you might want to start thinking about booking because places are filling up fast. Some of the hotels we think would offer good service at a good price are the Grasshoppers Hotel—the classy Penthouse Hotel within Glasgow Central Station. Other classy places are the Mar Hall—the Scottish Edwardian Mansion Hotel in beautiful settings, One Devonshire Gardens—otherwise known as the Hotel Du Vin, The Blythswood, and The Grand Central—grand by name, grand by nature.

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Keeping Safe While Walking in Scotland

Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the United Kingdom and with some extremely challenging terrain. Having said that, it is also popular among hikers and walkers who like to walk the trails and the hills of the Lowlands and Highlands. One thing that most people fail to prepare for is getting lost. It probably sounds a little weird to you because you might be a sensible person with a good sense of direction and a first aid kit, but really, you must understand the seriousness of getting lost out there.

The Highlands, Lowlands and Lost Lands

Are you walking the Highlands, Glencoe, Perth, Peebles or Argyll? It’s a big area and you might have a map and compass but it doesn’t mean you are safe. You should always be prepared for any possible eventuality and by that we mean anything. So, with that in mind we have compiled a safety list of things you should take with you and things you should do before you leave for your trek or walk across Glencoe or the Highlands.

Pass of Glencoe

 Courtesy of Adam Ward

Weather and Planning

You should always check the weather forecast for the day you intend to go for your walk. You might plan a week in advance to walk from point A to point B but on the morning of the walk it could be raining. What do you do then? It’s all worth considering for your own safety. Carry suitable weather clothing with you, such as waterproofs. Your shoes should be suitable and comfortable with a certain level of water resistance.

Planning your route beforehand is advisable and make sure that you plan a trip that you won’t have problems navigating. For instance, you won’t feel comfortable if you walk on difficult terrain that hurts your ankles or knees, so plan ahead on that respect. And, this may sound silly, but tell people where you are going. Give them a route plan and a time plan for each checkpoint so they know where to look for you.

Equipment

If you have a smartphone take it with you. You may not get a signal but most smartphones will still allow emergency calls even if there’s no signal to make a regular call. In addition, many phones have a basic GPS app available that might get you back to family landmarks if you are in a scrape. If you don’t have a smartphone, consider purchasing or hiring a pocket GPS unit for ramblers – and take that, along with a spare, fully charged battery. Carry a first-aid kit. You can never be sorry you brought that with you and it could save a life. If you are planning to camp out, take all the right equipment for safe camping and take plenty of protein based food and stay safe out there!

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Pack your Wellies, we’re Staycationing

It’s time to celebrate the Great British Summer…by getting your wellies out and your Cagoule, and your swimming suit and waterproofs. Come on people, get with it, where’s your British Summer spirit? Well, we have to smile at the weather, don’t we? There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of places for you to take your ‘staycation’ in the British Isles this year.

Try Something Other than the Typical

Of course there are typical places that most people think of, including Alton Towers, Center Parcs, Pontins and other holiday resort type places, but you could also have some fun doing strange and weird stuff with your kids.

Our friends at Talk Holiday have compiled a list of some inspirational ideas for you to do with your little angels, regardless of the weather. We have included ideas and places to stay, so that you are prepared.

Scotland the Brave

One place that you should definitely take your kids to this year is the Blair Drummond Safari Park where you can take your children for the entire day and there will not be a moment of boredom. You can add face painting to the agenda and take them around to see the animals, see Chimp Island, watch bird of prey displays and so much more.  While you are in Scotland you can also take them down to Stirling castle to not only entertain them, but teach them too.

Stirling Castle

     Courtesy of Andrew Smith

If you plan to visit England

Any coastal area is fun for the kids, but there are some places that are more kid friendly than others. Get them to bring their wellies for warm weather in places like Weston-Super-Mere or Brighton, or Torquay. Pack the flip-flops and the bucket and spade so that you can lounge on the beach eating ice cream while the kids build sand castles. Relax at the end of the day in a nice hotel somewhere, but book early in case you miss out.

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