Newmarket Holidays

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Holiday inspiration – The Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List 2015

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

That most eminent source of travel tips and information, The Lonely Planet, recently released its ‘Ultimate Travel List 2015’, a list of the top 500 destinations in the world.

500 destinations is probably beyond all but the most seasoned and financially ‘gifted’ of travellers and frankly we’re not sure how interested we are in the 500th most ‘must-see’ destination on the planet. The top 10 though, they’re sure to be interesting.

So which of these incredible sites can you see on a Newmarket Holidays break? Well you could start at the very top of the list; the incredible Angkor Wat, which is part of our 15 day ‘Follow the Mekong’ tour. Sitting surrounded by jungle in northwest Cambodia, Angkor Wat is reputed to be the largest religious monument in the world – though it is not alone in the jungle. The central wat is just one of many monuments, some of which have partially succumbed to the pervading force of the jungle and are now beset by enormous tree roots – a la the Lost City in Disney’s Jungle Book. A trip to Angkor Wat also offers the chance to experience the nearby Siem Reap with its melding of Chinese and French influences.

If your wallet has the fortitude, you could continue to tick off the world’s best sights with a cruise to number two on the list, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 1400 miles and boasting over 600 types of coral, the reef is uniquely bio-diverse, providing a home to numerous species of shark, dolphin, turtle and fish. The reef is considered to be at risk from rising sea temperatures and pollution; our advice is to see it while it is still in its prime and tread as lightly as possible while you’re there.

Back on dry land, join us for number four on the list, the Great Wall of China, as part of a 16-day ‘Highlights of China and Yangtze Cruise’ tour. Or choose number five with a hop over to India, to see the smaller, though no-less grand, Taj Mahal in the Indian city of Agra.

Those wanting a bit of dazzle with their springtime break should consider number six, the breath-taking Grand Canyon. 18 miles across at its widest point and some 277 miles long, the canyon is an incredible sight to behold. The sight is even better combined with a quick trip to the bright lights of Hollywood and Las Vegas – giving your trip that bit of sparkle.

Position seven is occupied by the magnificent Colosseum. The ancient stadium is estimated to have held up to 80,000 spectators at its peak. Completed late in the first century AD, the Colosseum is fast approaching is 2000th birthday – for which it is looking rather fine. Combining a visit to the world’s most famous stadium with an exploration of wider Rome and Pompeii, as on this eight-day break, offers great insight into the workings of both the Roman Empire and modern-day Italy.

Staying in Europe, number nine on the list is the continent’s finest example of Moorish architecture, Alhambra, located in Spain’s Granada. The Palace was originally constructed in 889 but was significantly renovated in the 1100s by the Emir of Granada. Today the enormous complex sits with the city at its feet on three sides, looking out towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  See the beautiful Alhambra and its equally stunning backdrop on the ‘Seville, Granada and Classic Spain’ six-day break.

The top ten is completed as it started with another religious monument-turned-museum, in the form of Turkey’s Aya Sofya. The one-time Christian church, one-time Islamic mosque was the largest cathedral in the world for almost 1000 years. Today Aya Sofya, with its grand dome, is open to all as a museum. Though only considered tenth most worthy of a visit, the site is monumentally impressive and as deserving of your time as any other on the list. Visit Aya Sofya on one of our Mediterranean cruises.

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Her majesty the Queen opens Borders Railway

Scottish borders Railway

The new Borders Railway was opened by the Queen on the day that she became Britain’s longest serving monarch

September marked the re-opening of the railway line connecting the city of Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders. The new route is the longest section of domestic railway to be introduced in over 100 years, and marked a significant occasion for the people of the Borders.

The original line was closed in 1969 – prompting a number of campaigns to re-establish the link between the Border towns and the major city of Edinburgh. Works began in early 2013 to build the new line, with many local people working hard to bring the project to fruition.

Celebrations took place throughout the railway’s opening week, with a number of lucky travellers snapping up ‘golden tickets’ to ride the day before the line was publicly opened. The week was topped off with a royal opening by Her Majesty the Queen. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, joining her for a traditional steam-powered journey along the route, stopping off at Newtongrange in Midlothian before carrying on to the new railway’s final stop, in the Borders town of Tweedbank.

The event took place on a particularly special day for the Queen; it was the day on which she became Britain’s longest-serving monarch. She takes the mantle from her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria – who reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes according to calculations by Buckingham Palace.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, said that it was a “great honour” that the Queen led celebrations, “it is fitting that these two such historic events coincide. This will be a double celebration, and we are also ensuring that the people who have campaigned, worked hard and shown such patience throughout this process are able to play a full part in the celebrations, with a separate day dedicated just to them.”

Though the Queen asked that no formal celebrations be organised for the event – instead arrangements are already being made for her next birthday – it was a truly historic day for both Her Majesty and the people of the Borders. Newmarket Holidays customers will be happy to know that the new line is set to feature on our new Durham, Edinburgh and Classic Railway Journeys break, available to book now.

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WIN a copy of Great British Bake Off: Celebrations to add a sweet flourish to your festivities


Like so many, we’re big fans of the Great British Bake Off. Do you, like us, watch with baited breath each week as the contestants produce towering, mouth watering baked creations? Does your mind boggle at the thought of producing such delights for your own friends and family this Christmas? If so, then you’re in luck. New book Great British Bake Off: Celebrations provides baking inspiration for every occasion whether you’re looking to create your own showstopper to top off your roast dinner (perhaps the 16 layer Mocha Torte?) or a delicious failsafe bake to surprise some guests with (like the classic Citrus Madeira cake).

The book contains recipes from Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and even the contestants from this year’s Bake-Off. You can also find inspiration for all of the important holidays coming up this autumn and winter; from a Gingerbread cake haunted house for Halloween to a nut-topped Christmas cake for the festive season.

To win a hardback copy of this handy recipe book, full of fantastic festive treats and baking inspiration-galore, enter our one-day competition on October 7th!


  • Either: Share our Facebook post about the competition to your wall publicly (private shares will not be visible to us) and comment or like our post to let us know you’ve entered
  • Or: Retweet our tweet of the competition publicly on your own timeline

And while you’re in the Christmas spirit, explore our festive breaks here.


These competition terms and conditions are applicable to the Great British Bake Off: Celebrations giveaway as detailed above and act as the competition rules. By entering the competition, entrants are bound by these rules. The promoter of this competition is The Newmarket Group of Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0BP. You may only enter the competition after the opening time (7th October 2015) and before the closing time (8th October 2015). Entries cast outside of this window will not be counted. The possible routes for entry to the competition include the following:

  • Facebook Share: To enter by Facebook Share you should share Newmarket Holiday’s Facebook post about the competition and link to this blog post. Please note that writing your own post about the competition without mentioning Newmarket Holidays or linking to this page does not constitute as an entry, nor does sharing any other post by Newmarket Holidays.
  • Twitter Retweet: To enter by retweet you should retweet Newmarket Holiday’s tweet about the competition and link to this blog post. Retweeting a post by another user or any other post by Newmarket Holidays does not constitute an entry. However, you may produce your own tweet mentioning the competition as an entry, details below.
  • Original Tweet: You may also enter by writing your own tweet about the competition. To be considered a valid entry your tweet must
  • Mention the @newmarkethols twitter
  • Link to this page showing the details of the competition
  • Talk about the competition rather than relating to any other subject matter
  • Not contain any inappropriate language or profanity

Each Facebook and Twitter user can only submit one entry for the competition. You may submit one entry from Facebook and one from Twitter if you would like to. If you submit multiple tweets about the competition, this will still count as only one entry. The user that has submitted the entry must be the one to accept the prize. It is not permitted to transfer the prize to another user. If you are unable to receive the prize you may turn it down and we will select another winner. Newmarket Holidays reserve the right to disallow entries if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent bulk entries have been cast. Newmarket Holidays also reserves the right to disqualify entrants or award the prize to another winner if we subsequently discover that an entrant has not complied with the rules of the competition in any way. The competition is open only to UK residents. Newmarket Holidays reserve the right to disallow entries if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have been made from outside the UK. Employees of Newmarket Holidays or any company that Newmarket Holidays deems to be too closely connected to Newmarket Holidays are not eligible to enter the competition. Winners will be selected at random within 7 days of the competition closing. Winners will be contacted by Newmarket Holidays or a representative from Newmarket Holidays. Should we be unable to contact the winner or the winner does not respond within 7 days, another winner may be selected at Newmarket Holidays’ discretion. The winner must provide Newmarket Holidays with their full name and a UK address where they can receive the prize. If they are unable to provide this information, another winner may be selected at Newmarket Holidays’ discretion. Any personal data relating to entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and best practice. The prize for this competition is a copy of The Great British Bake Off: Celebrations. There is only one prize on offer. The prize is non transferable and there is no cash alternative. The prize is subject to availability and Newmarket Holidays reserve the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value at any time in its sole discretion. We may pass winners details to a third party agency for the purpose of fulfilling prizes. These terms and conditions (and any matter or dispute of whatever nature connected to these rules) shall be governed and construed in accordance with English Law and the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction. For any enquiries relating to this competition, please contact us at: 0330 160 7852

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100 Trips with Newmarket Holidays – and Counting

100 trips and counting

Having just booked her 100th – and 101st – trip with Newmarket Holidays, Jean, who lives in the south-west of England, has become our first client to break the ‘century’.  We caught up with her to find out a bit about her, her love of travel and her reasons for returning to Newmarket Holidays again and again – and again.

Have you always been an avid traveller?

I have always enjoyed travelling. When I was working it was a major part of my job and at that time I travelled extensively throughout England. My travelling extends beyond Newmarket Holidays, since I take several longer holidays with my husband throughout the year, local day trips and weekends away by rail.

You’ve reached your 100th trip with Newmarket Holidays, what keeps you coming back?

I believe that Newmarket Holidays offer value for money. The trips are easy to book, either by telephone or online.

It gives me a chance to see and visit many concerts, events and locations, which I would not be able to do in such a convenient manner. In fact, if I did not go with Newmarket Holidays, I probably would not have seen many of the concerts and events, nor indeed the different places in the UK and Europe.

Even though I have travelled many times, the tour managers and drivers still treat me in the same manner as other passengers. The phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ certainly does not apply. Over the years, I have learnt many interesting things from your excellent tour managers and coach drivers.

You’ve been travelling with us for over 10 years now; can you pick a favourite from your 100 trips?

I have many favourites, but if I was to pick one or two, it would have to be the André Rieu concerts in Maastricht and the Daniel O’Donnell concerts in Ireland. Both combine fantastic concerts, along with great tours of the areas.

Among your plethora of long and short breaks with us, there are a few trips that keep popping up year after year. What is it about these holidays that you find so enjoyable?

There are many areas where it is possible to go back again and see other things which were not possible within the time allowed previously on a short break. In addition, even if it is the same trip, different experiences can be enjoyed depending on the route, weather conditions, etc. The Dutch bulb fields trip at Keukenhof Gardens is a prime example – each year the theme, atmosphere and displays are totally different from the previous year.

Have you made any lasting friendships on your travels with Newmarket Holidays?

Yes, I have made many lasting friendships over the years. Some of these people travel with me, some I see regularly throughout the year for social occasions, and some I meet again when they are travelling on Newmarket Holidays.

On average you take a trip with us every seven weeks or so, what is it that you enjoy about a coach holiday?

Coach holidays are convenient and with the local pick-ups I do not have to travel two or three hours before my holiday begins. I board a coach and then everything is organised by the tour manager and the driver. I do not have to worry about the route, traffic, parking, etc. Therefore, as soon as I board the coach I can relax.

On different occasions, I travel with my husband or friends, but often I travel on my own. When I do travel on my own, I feel that I am always in a safe environment. Compared with other ways of taking holidays, coach holidays are very cost effective. Coach holidays allow me to further pursue my love of the theatre and music.

Do you have plans for future trips with us – beyond those already booked?

Definitely, yes! I am always on the lookout for new concerts and events. If they were available from my area, I would also like to book Emmerdale – The Tour trip, Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth House and the Tatton Park Flower Show.

Is there anywhere in the world that is still on your ‘bucket-list’?

Yes, to attend the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall – I shall be there this Saturday, 12th September 2015!

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A Double Dose of Daniel O’Donnell

Newmark Holidays Daniel O'Donnell ©Nigel Schermuly

Newmark Holidays Daniel O’Donnell ©Nigel Schermuly

Daniel O’Donnell is set to dazzle Newmarket Holidays’ customers more than usual during 2016. Not only do we have a series of great breaks to see him live in concert, but we’ve also just heard that he is to star in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing this winter.

Newmarket Holidays customers can already book a two-day coach break to Bournemouth or a five-day trip to Kilkenny, both featuring performances by the man himself but – with a bit of luck – we will soon be able to confirm that our annual Strictly Come Dancing Live coach trip will also offer the chance to see Daniel on stage – albeit for a slightly different style of performance.

For some, the wait for the union of the nation’s favourite dance show and ‘Wee Daniel’, as he is affectionately known, will almost be too much to bear. But it is sure to be worth it. And the record-breaking performer is certain to gain a significant new following during his time on screen, making his 2016 tour more popular than ever.

Those not wanting to miss out during 2016 can grab tickets to see Daniel as part of a short break to either Bournemouth or Kilkenny online here. [].

And be sure to watch this space for Strictly updates!

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Open for business!

Marco Polo cruise ship Newmarket Holidays

Marco Polo cruise ship Newmarket Holidays

This bank holiday Monday – August 31st – our customer services and sales teams will be available between 11:00am and 3:00pm.

In a change to our regular business hours, our dedicated sales team will be at the end of the phone, to help you with any enquiries, this bank holiday August 31st. It will be your last chance to benefit from our buy-one-get-one-free offers across a range of cruises. So whether you’re looking to book a 121-day world-cruise, a 16-night cruise around the Canary Islands and Madeira, or a week-long trip through the Fjords, we’re here to talk you through our range of special offers and reserve your perfect break for you.

Visit us at or call us on 0330 160 7700 to take advantage of our great deals on cruising.


British Travel Awards Nominations 2016


We’re delighted to announce that Newmarket Holidays has, once again, been shortlisted in the annual British Travel Awards. Alongside sunny evenings, barbecues, Pimm’s and the fortunes of the Brits at Wimbledon and the Tour de France, the BTA nominations are a real summer highlight for everyone at Newmarket Holidays. These nominations and the votes that are cast give us the chance to find out how our customers feel about their holidays and about their experience booking with us.

Given that it’s our fifth year on the shortlist, it seems appropriate that we’re nominated in five different BTA categories:

•             Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company
•             Best Coach Holidays Company
•             Best Holiday Company to the Italian Peninsula and Malta
•             Best Holiday Company to Canada
•             Best Holiday Company to Southern Asia

We’ve had a great track record in the awards over the last few years, winning Best Coach Holiday Operator in 2011, Best Tour Operator to the Italian Peninsula and Malta in 2012, and Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company twice – in 2013 and 2014. But these victories have only been possible with your help, because it’s public votes – your votes – that have carried us to victory in the past. There’s no secret panel of adjudicators behind the scenes, no special assessment process, just the votes of you and other people like you.

How to vote
The organisers of the British Travel Awards have worked hard since last year to streamline their voting process. So, now, all you need to do is click on the picture above, or go to, fill in your contact details and tick to vote for us in any (or even all!) of the categories listed.

Why you should vote
Apart, of course, from the chance to have your say (and the chance to make everyone in the Newmarket Holidays very happy) voting in the British Travel Awards will automatically enter you into the annual BTA voters prize draw, so your votes will give you the chance to win:

•             A seven-night villa holiday in Kefalonia
•             Four return flights to South America or the Caribbean
•             A week-long catered chalet ski holiday
•             A trip for two to Barcelona

As well as many, many more prizes. You can even double your chances of winning by filling in the British Travel Award’s voter survey after you vote!

Voting is open from 6th July until 30th September, and we really hope that you choose to vote for us.


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