Tag Archives: uk holidays

Bournemouth (Part 2)

Thanks for coming back. I hope you enjoyed the first part on Bournemouth.

Things to do:
Bournemouth has a number of exciting festivals. The Bournemouth Carnival Week was originally known as Bournemouth Regatta Week and has been over a hundred years. Activities take place on the beach, Pier precinct and Pleasure Gardens, where musicians, dancers and actors come to compete and perform.

‘ Bourne Free’, Bournemouth’s annual gay Pride Festival takes places every July and in August you can see the spectacular air displays at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Go up in the air with the Bournemouth Eye, where tethered balloon flights give you a panoramic view of Bournemouth from 500ft up. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, walk along the coast and explore the Chines, curious ravines that have formed in the cliffs. The most impressive are Boscombe Chine and Durley Chine.

If you’re looking for something a little more educational, Bournemouth Oceanarium has ten recreated environments and displays about the ‘Global Meltdown’, along with an interactive dive cage to make this a fascinating place to visit.

There are concerts and exhibitions held regularly at the Bournemouth International Centre, as well as political party conferences.

Getting around:

Bournemouth is very accessible by road and rail. By bus, it takes about two and a half hours from London and there are frequent trains from London, Poole and the Midlands, with trains coming from Manchester via Birmingham New Street, Nottingham and Newcastle.

Shopping:

There are lots of choices for shopping, with all the well-known high street names in the centre, but also many independent shops. Larger stores like Beales, Dingles, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers are all represented. The Castlepoint Shopping Centre is some way out of town, but easily accessible by public transport. The Boscombe area is renowned for antique shops and vintage and designer clothes shops. Westbourne also offers a selection of designer outlets.

So whether you’re looking for something more special like menswear for the larger gentlemen, Hunts Clothing can help you, or for the more ordinary, there’s a good open-air market open Thursdays and Saturdays.


Where to stay:

Bournemouth has a huge choice of accommodation. For the budget conscious, the Whitehall Hotel in the Westcliffe area has had several good reviews. With views over Studland Bay, it has large rooms and is very handy for the town centre and beaches. If you want to splurge, the Boscombe Spa Hotel is only 500 metres from the beach and has comfortable en suite bedrooms and also comes recommended.

Bournemouth

Traditionally a retirement town, Bournemouth has become a thriving centre for students and as a popular seaside town is now attracting many tourists.

Places to see:

Whether you have come for the sandy beaches or some sightseeing, Bournemouth is a good place to visit, especially for families. Bournemouth Pier includes a theatre and Boscomber Pier is found a bit further down.

There are a couple of castles that are well worth visiting. Sherbourne Castle was originally built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, but has since 1617 been home to the Digby family. Much older is Corfe Castle which was built in the 11th century and dominated the gap in the Purbecks. It’s just 14km (9 miles) away from Bournemouth and commands an impressive view across the sea.

If you’re looking for museums, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum displays art from the last century and Japanese artefacts. The interior of the museum is very attractive and well worth a good look in its own right.  

About 40km (25 miles) away from Bournemouth is Salisbury Cathedral, a fine 13th century cathedral with the tallest spire in Britain.

Eating out:

Being by the sea, it’s no surprise that fish figures highly on the menu. Voted the best chippie in Britain, Chez Fred has traditional fish and chips won’t burn a hole in your pocket. If you want to spend a bit more though, and fancy really good fish, the Atlantic Fish Restaurant comes highly recommended. There’s a wide range of international cuisine, from spicy and cheap southern Indian curries at Dosa World to more upmarket Spanish tapas dishes at Tapas Plus.

Please come back tomorrow to read about things to do, shopping and where to stay in Bournemouth.

Brighton

Close to London, Brighton is a popular seaside resort that‘s been a favourite since the 19th century when George IV made it popular with his Royal Pavilion.

Places to see:

Relax or visit the sights, there’s plenty to see. Walk from Brighton Pier, with all the usual arcade attractions to Brighton Marina. Packed with yachts, you can stop for a drink or continue a little further to the beach used by surfers.

Brighton was made famous by the Royal Pavilion. John Nash turned this into the sumptuous palace you can see today, with its Indian-style façade and Oriental feel inside. Preston Manor is a former manor house just outside Brighton where you can see a collection of fine art, ceramics and furniture.

There are several museums including the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and for children, the Toy and Model Museum. The oldest working aquarium in the world is the Sea Life Centre with a covered walkway to see into the aquarium.

Eating out:

As you’d expect of a seaside town, there are lots of seafood stalls on the seafront serving fish and chips, freshly cooked in front of your eyes. Brighton boasts a wide choice of restaurants from all over the world: Indian, Japanese, Italian, New York-style restaurants and burger bars. For example, Hell’s Kitchen handily located in North Laine, is famous for its hot salt beef and potato latkes and serves up New York deli-style bagels.

If you want something a little more special, try La Cave à Fromage on Western Road that serves excellent cheese and wine platters. Also with a branch in Kensington, it has an unrivalled selection of cheeses sourced from all over Britain and Europe, it has excellent reviews.

Please come back tomorrow to read about things to do, shopping, getting around and where to stay in Brighton.

How to organise a staff weekend away

Many perks of staff across the UK is not just how enjoyable office or workplace life is, but on extra provisions provided to improve communication and trust within the company. For this reason, doing a team building weekend away can be the perfect solution to uniting the team and further increasing your team’s incentive to be as productive as possible. Luckily we live in a country where there are many incentives equipped to deal with staff trips out!

Firstly, establish what your goal for the weekend is. Perhaps you have noticed that with your company targets your employees are feeling under pressure and that all they need is a boost through a trip away to the countryside.  Perhaps you have noticed that your staff members are not communicating with each other as well as they should be and need to get to know one another outside of the office to come to some understanding. Organising an event in which as many can take part in as possible is the key to ensuring that your business is a fun place to work and that the staff are all on good terms and more willing to help each other out.

Activity breaks are often the best way for helping staff to establish connections with each other. Doing outdoor sports such as water sports and climbing will not only give your staff the chance to get outdoors, but also to support each other through physically challenging tasks and helping each other to overcome new heights or fears, which will essentially be a trust building exercise.  Avoid doing competitive sports such as races or matches, as this may cause unwanted rivalry in the company and may undo the objectives which you set out with.

Head to one of the UK’s many national parks where there are many outdoor activity centres, which often have nearby accommodation. When choosing a place to stay, try and make it a unique experience for your staff. Avoid hotel chains; as if you make it an annual trip, your customer loyalty may be rewarded financially or service wise by smaller companies who will go to greater lengths to get you back as you are bringing them large business. Also make sure you have a variety of rooms available. Some of your staff may be willing to share a room with your coworkers whilst others may not be so keen, so make sure that there is the option to be in a single or shared room, but encourage staff to stay together so as to build stronger relationships.

When choosing food, make sure that there is food available for special dietary requirements. Whilst making your reservation, ask your staff to submit their food preferences and any foods they need to avoid so that your caterer can be well prepared to provide for vegetarians and people with allergies!

Finally as a word of caution, remind yourself and your staff that although this is a bit of a holiday and should mostly be treated as such, that good behavior is still necessary as it reflects upon your company. Avoid drinking too much in front of your staff, as any misdemeanors under the influence may leave you having to recover your reputation for many years after!