Newmarket Holidays

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Reservation System Issues

We’re sorry to report that we’re currently experiencing technical difficulties with our reservation system. As a result we are unable to take bookings online or over the telephone, take final balance payments, or make changes to existing customer bookings.

We are working to rectify the problem, and expect to be back online later on today. If you have an urgent query, please do call us, and we will do our best to help.

If you are travelling this weekend, we’d like to reassure you that all departures will be going ahead as scheduled.

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Meet the team behind our popular coach breaks

MW_Lindisfarne 094_NMCoach EDIT

The trend for ‘staycations’ – and the idea of an easy, affordable way to tour the UK and Europe’s favourite places without having to drive – is making coach holidays ever more popular. They’re among Newmarket Holidays’ most successful holiday types and we have a wide variety on offer, so we caught up with the people behind them – our Product Director Teresa Taylor and Product Manager Sonja Okpu.

How long have you been Product Managers, and prior to this, what was your travel industry background?

TT: 30 years along with other things. Before that I worked for Stardust Mini Holidays and before that for a hotel company.

SO: 6 years with Newmarket but prior to that I worked with the Disney product and brand for 15 years, which has helped give me an eye for detail. I’ve also worked for a coach wholesaler and for hotels.

What makes a good coach holiday product? How do you choose them?

TT: Having a mix of things to see and do, and where possible, a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions in case the weather’s bad. We get ideas for holidays from a variety of sources, such as suggestions, TV programmes and topical events. When the Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned, for example, we began tours to Edinburgh to see her. More recently, we heard that they were opening the Coronation Street set. Railway journeys are also always good on coach holidays because you only need to travel in one direction. The coach will pick you up and you can go a different route home – think the Wise Men!

SO: As we have to work so far in advance for the majority of our tours, our eyes and ears always have to be open. Together with our experience, this helps us to predict what customers will want in 12-18 month’s time. Having great relationships with our suppliers and partners is also essential to developing new ideas and bringing them to life.

Which are your favourite Newmarket coach breaks?

TT: The Edinburgh Tattoo is really fab. There’s a lot of travelling if you live in the South/Southwest, but it’s well worth it because the event is unique. Also, I love the Royal Albert Hall concert breaks – it’s such a very special venue.

SO: In Europe, it would have to be our Monet’s Gardens and Paris tour . It’s incredible value for money when you consider everything that it includes and it’s a tour for which we get consistently good reviews. In the UK, dare I say that my heart lies with our flower show tours? I love going to check these out each year and they’ve helped me discover my green fingers!

What are your travel tips?

TT: Don’t take too much luggage – and always travel in flat, comfortable shoes and loose clothing.

SO: Organising a holiday isn’t always as easy as it looks, so my top tip would be to let someone else do all the hard work for you and just sit back, relax and enjoy – et voila!

Finally, what new tours can we look forward to in the future?

TT: We’re doing an overnight break to a new Elvis exhibition at the 02 which will feature over 300 artefacts direct from Graceland. I think it’ll be fascinating whether or not you’re an Elvis fan.

SO: I’m really excited about Longleat in 2015, both for summer and winter. For summer we have a tour that includes Longleat’s House, Gardens and Safari Park, plus a gorgeous scenic tour of the Cotswolds and time in the beautiful city of Bath. Then for next winter we’re doing an amazing Christmas at Longleat and Salisbury’s Christmas Market tour. It combines Longleat’s ‘Festival of Light’ with a visit to Salisbury, which is stunning. Both have so much to see and do!

Click here to see all of our coach holidays, including Sporting Events by coach, Royal and Historic Tours, Midweek Breaks and more!

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A moving journey to the Battlefields of World War One

How one man was able to reconnect with his family’s past…

UntitledJames Mullan was a soldier in the Sixth Battalion Royal Irish Regiment during the First World War. He died on the 10th August 1916, shot by a sniper, at just 25 years of age. James had one child during his lifetime, a son who went on to have 10 children of his own.

Almost exactly 100 years later, one of James’s grandchildren Dominic, travelled with us to the historic Battlefields of World War One and became the first member of his family to visit James’s grave to pay tribute to the incredible man and the sacrifice that he made for his country.

We spoke to Dominic’s close friend Brenda, who travelled with him on the trip…

‘It’s something he’s always wanted to do. He’s said for a few years now. So when I saw this tour by Newmarket Holidays in our local paper, I thought it looked like it would possibly go somewhere near the area in which grandfather’s grave would be.

‘So it went from there. What I said to Newmarket was: “Is it possible that you could put us in touch with someone who can help us to visit Dominic’s grandfather’s grave?”, even if it meant taking time out or funding the detour ourselves. They were absolutely excellent in putting us on to David Maclennan, the Newmarket tour guide, who was so helpful… beyond belief. He was absolutely amazing!

The whole trip was absolutely superb, it really was. Everything went so well. I’ve never ever been on a trip where everybody gelled and bonded so well. A lot of it was to do with David Maclennan and Dave the coach driver. They were just so good with everybody.Untitled1

‘When we got there, David had done a lot of research. And so on the last day of our trip, we were actually able to stop off at the graveyard, and Dom did what he’d wanted to do for all these years. Everybody got off the coach and came to honour Dominic’s grandfather. First off, Dominic went to the grave on his own, he’d brought a little cross and a memento that he wanted to leave. When he’d done that, the other guests on our tour came forward and told us how lovely it had been to be a part of such a personal occasion. It was really moving.

Everything you see on this tour is awesome. It’s humbling. It’s an amazing thing to do really. ‘

Since his trip, Dominic has been in touch with the Menin Gate Last Post Association in Ypres. They have agreed for Dominic and two more family members to attend their 100-year ceremony next year, and lay a wreath to honour James Mullan and the other fallen heroes.

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Win a copy of James Rebanks ‘The Shepherd’s Life’!

Herdy Shepherd
Like many others, we were inspired by James Rebanks, giving city dwellers and countrymen alike a small glimpse into the life of a shepherd in the Lake District. Coming from a long line of shepherds, James regularly shares updates from his herd with his Twitter following of more than 60,000.
In his book The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District, readers can enjoy the simple pleasures of this way of life along with photography and documentation of the stunning landscape and history of the Lake District. James also shares his passion for nature and wildlife and his vision for the future of sustainable farming. The book is worth £16.99 and has had excellent reviews across the board.
We at Newmarket Holidays loved hearing James’ story and we want to share it with you. Join our 1 day spot prize competition, on the 28th May, for your chance to win.


1) Share our Facebook post of the book publicly to your wall (private votes will not be visible to us)
2) Retweet our Tweet on the competition publicly 

If you love this beautiful part of Britain’s landscape and heritage, find out more.
Terms and Conditions

These competition terms and conditions are applicable to the ‘The Shepherds Life’ 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 (28th May 2015) and before the closing time (29th May 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 Shepherds Life’ by James Rebanks. 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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#BestOfBritish Botanical Getaways


The wait is over. Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, but above all – Britain’s flora is beginning to flourish. Here at Newmarket Holidays we are thrilled to see the arrival of Spring. It’s the best time of the year to see Britain looking its best, so here are our top five #BestOfBritish botanical getaways.

1. The Tatton Park Flower Show

Cultivated over the last 200 years, Tatton Park today offers a variety of gardens to explore, including a kitchen garden, Japanese garden, as well as beautiful pleasure gardens popular with younger visitors. Once a year, the park turns into a hub for garden enthusiasts with breathtaking flower displays and expert gardening advice. The park is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and attractions such as the RHS National Flower Bed Competition, Show Gardens and Floral Marquee.

tatton park

Read more about this two-day inspirational get away.

2. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

For those of you accompanied by little ones (or the young-at-heart),the Lost Gardens of Heligan offer the best of two worlds: playful and exotic garden designs with local wildlife. Their history stretches as far back as the 1200s when the Heligan Manor was first built. The garden, however, wasn’t developed until the late 1700s when the walls of Flower Garden and Melon Yard were built. Today, you can experience plants from around the world, spot birds such as the Rare Green Heron or cross the new 100ft jungle rope bridge.

lost gardens of heligan

This family retreat and the Eden Project are part of our four-day visit to Cornwall. 

3. Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Join the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, coinciding the 500th anniversary of the palace itself! Along with the stunning traditional rose displays, this year’s show will celebrate its Silver Anniversary in floristry with a display that time-travels through its historical gardens. Also unique to the Hampton Court are their water gardens.

hampton court flower show

Get inspired on our two-day tour, which also includes a visit to Royal Windsor. 

4. Kew Gardens (and Chelsea Flower Show)

Founded in 1759, The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the world’s leading botanic research institutions. Over the past 250 years, Kew has shared its knowledge about plants and their benefits for mankind. Current projects involve research in global plant and fungal diversity and providing evidence for global scientific research.

Apart from being educational, a visit to Kew Garden is also a visual feast, offering landscaped lawns, formal gardens and over 30,000 plants. This time of year you can look forward to see magnolias, chionodoxas and camellias come alive.

kew gardens

Our tour of Kew Gardens includes entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – a real treat for the true garden enthusiast!

5. Alnwick Garden

Neighbouring the second largest fortress in England is the magnificent Alnwick Garden – also known as the home of one of the country’s largest collections of European flowers. The once derelict site has been transformed into a world-class attraction, thanks to the Duchess of Northumberland’s bold vision and the landscaping talents of Capability Brown (who also landscaped Kew gardens!). Today, visitors from all over the country come to experience striking arrangements of geometric flowerbeds, secret gardens and one of the world’s largest tree houses.

alnwick garden

Discover the Alnwick Garden as a part of our three-day coach holiday. 

Photos by marcas_and_sue, Farrukh, Hannah Hawke, Damian Entwistle and Duncan Hull @ Flickr.

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Help us choose the Nation’s Sweethearts!

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Last month we asked you to nominate a truly inspirational couple as the Nation’s Sweethearts – a pair who had been through it all, with a loving marriage that stood the test of time year after year – and we wanted to give our community the chance to give their favourite couple a second honeymoon in Lake Garda.

It could have been friends, neighbours, family – or you and your partner. We’ve now received some absolutely amazing entries about couples who, truth be told, could all earn the title.

After careful deliberation to shortlist our 20 favourites, we now need your help to choose our winner. Click here to read some of the inspirational stories and vote for the couple you think deserve to be sent on their second honeymoon courtesy of Newmarket Holidays!

Voting will be open until April 22nd, with the winners announced in the same week. Whoever you choose as the Nation’s Sweethearts will be whisked away for an eight-day holiday on the shores of the beautiful Lake Garda in Italy, with all flights, transfers and accommodation at Hotel Drago provided. We can’t wait to see who you pick!

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Our top five castles around the world

In Britain, we really do love castles. Full of history and drama, every castle has a few good stories to tell. To celebrate these magnificent structures, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite castles from Britain and beyond.

1. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Char Warwick

This medieval castle, situated in the town of Warwick, was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was refortified during the Hundred Years War, and in 2014 it celebrated its 1100th birthday.

The castle has been a popular tourist site since the end of the 17th century. It, boasts a collection of armoury on display that is second only to that of the Tower of London.

‘These walls have seen something of the splendour of every generation of our [English] story’

– Arthur Mee

Explore this magnificent, medieval castle on this festive tour.

2. Scaliger Castle, Sirmione, Lake Garda

Marco Lazzaroni Sirmione

This 13th century castle, also known as Rocca Scaligera, is a rare example of a medieval ‘port fortification’. Unlike most castles, it was not occupied by the nobility, but was instead used as protection against threats, both from enemy nations and locals.

The picturesque castle is completely surrounded by water and can only be entered by two drawbridges.

‘Gazing at the Lydian laughter of the Garda Lake below

Sweet Catallus’s all-but-island, olive-silvery Sirmio!

– Alfred Tennyson

Discover everything this 13th century castle has to offer on our Italian Lakes tour.

3. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Ronnie Macdonald Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle sits atop Castle Rock, towering over Edinburgh city. Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since the Iron Age (2nd Century AD). There has been a royal castle on the rock since the reign of David I in the 12th Century. As one of Scotland’s prized strongholds, the castle has been involved in many historical conflicts – including the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th Century and the Jacobite Rising in 1745.

Castle Rock is actually the plug of an extinct volcano, estimated to have risen about 350 million years ago.

‘The Castle of Edinburgh …this gigantic rock lifts itself above all that surrounds it, and breaks upon the sky with the same commanding blackness of mingled crags, cliffs, buttresses and battlements’

– JG Lockhart

This tour of Edinburgh, the Highlands and the Caledonian Canal visits one other castle alongside Edinburgh castle.

4. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

cangaroojack trakai island castle

This castle was built on the largest of three islands in the Lake Galvė. Construction began in the 14th century but the castle suffered major devastation during an attack by the Teutonic Knights in 1377. It was finally completed in the 15th century.

The striking castle is made out of red bricks characteristic of brick gothic architecture. However, due to the multiple phases of construction, the castle also possesses some Romanesque features, making it look much like a real-life fairytale castle.

‘Old castle! Long centuries echoed your name!

Great men rose to glory with you!

You saw the Great Vytautas’ power and fame,

His regiments on a review.’

– Maironis

This unique castle is just one of the highlights on our Jewels of the Baltic tour.

5. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Disneyland Paris

Loren Javier Disney

Although it isn’t the oldest on our list, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is also a very popular tourist attraction. Each Disneyland around the world features one of these recognisable landmarks. The castle in Paris was completed in 1992, inspired by various castles and other structures from across Europe, including the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and the Mont Saint-Michel monastery in Normandy, as well as the castle from the Disney film of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, of course.

The castle is also home to a dragon – 27 metres long from head to tail. In the park you can walk through the dimly lit cavern where the dragon sleeps. You can even hear the dragon puff smoke and growl occasionally.

‘Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.’

– Walt Disney

If you have children or grandchildren, a Disney Summer Magic tour would make their year.

Photos by Flickr users Char, Loren Javier, Marco Lazzaroni, Ronnie Macdonald.


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