UK tourism to thrive despite Brexit challenges

Posted: Fri 9 November 2018 at 11:00

UK tourism is going to thrive despite Brexit, claims Michael Ellis, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.

Writing an opinion piece in the City AM newspaper, the MP said that the World Travel Market, held in London earlier this month, was a fantastic success. He added that deals worth some £3 billion were thought to have been made there.

Ellis wrote: “We have so much to offer international visitors – beautiful landscapes, world-class culture, and unique heritage sites. We are a global country, and have always been a must-visit destination.  We are a global country, and have always been a must-visit destination.”

He explained that he expects UK tourism to continue to thrive despite our exit from the European Union. He pointed out that three quarters of the visitors to the UK in 2017 came from EU member states. Maintaining a good relationship with the EU following Brexit makes sense not just for the UK, but also for other countries who benefit from our tourism Euros, he added.

The World Travel Market saw London’s Excel host some 5,000 travel companies from all over the World between 5 and 7 November. “It has been a great opportunity to show buyers that our destinations, products, and services are worth investing in, and that the UK is, and will continue to be, fully open for business,” said Ellis.

 

Royal Wedding Exhibition Proves a Hit at Windsor Castle

Posted: Sat 3 November 2018 at 11:28

The wedding outfits worn by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at their wedding back in May are now on show at Windsor Castle.

Millions of people around the world watched as the glamorous couple married on that beautifully sunny Saturday earlier in the year. Now, those of us that didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of Meghan and Harry in person can see their wedding outfits up close and personal at the Windsor Castle exhibition.

The ‘A Royal Wedding: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ exhibition will undoubtedly draw in crowds from all corners of the globe. Visitors will be welcomed through the Green Drawing Room in the Semi-State Apartments. They will then view the famous wedding dress and Household Cavalry uniform in the Grand Reception Room.

The outfits are shown alongside those worn by bridesmaid and pageboy Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Visitors will also be able to see the sketches drawn up in the design stages of the dress. Perhaps the most impressive part of the exhibit, however, is the Duchess’s five-metre-long veil, embroidered with fauna from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

Speaking to the Windsor Express, exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut commented: “While the dress is very simple, very structured, very tailored, she wanted the veil to have a drama.”

“When we look at the final design, what creates the dress and what makes it so successful is the attention to detail,” she added.

Visiting England: UK ranked fifth most powerful tourism destination

Posted: Fri 26 October 2018 at 12:39

A new study has ranked the UK as the fifth most powerful nation for tourism and travel, showing that visiting England is still extremely popular.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) looked at a range of factors to rank countries for their tourism power. The factors included foreign visitor spend, domestic visitor spend, growth in tourism over recent years and total tourism contribution to GDP.

China came out on top, while the US, India and Mexico ranked in second, third and fourth place. However, the UK was ranked as more powerful than tourism heavyweights such as Australia, France and Spain.

The WTTC’s chief executive officer, Gloria Geuvara, explained:  “WTTC’s new report outlines power and performance rankings which showcase countries that have been most successful in growing their tourism sectors across the board.”

Tourism to the UK has benefited greatly from an influx of Chinese tourists who want to experience the charm of our historic, traditional towns and cities, such as London, Edinburgh, Windsor and Oxford. Historic sites such as Windsor Castle saw record numbers of tourists this year. Meanwhile, domestic tourism in the UK has soared this year thanks to the unseasonably warm summer and lack of rain.

Geuvara pointed out that 12 of the top 20 countries on the list were members of the G20. She added that this illustrates, “the importance of travel and tourism both to mature markets and the global economy.”

Programmes Like The Crown Help To Attract Visitors to the UK

Posted: Thu 18 October 2018 at 12:17

Tourism to the UK is being boosted by the success of British productions like The Crown and Paddington.

The international success of some British programmes are helping to attract overseas visitors to the UK, who are keen to soak up some of the country’s iconic history and landscapes. The Crown, an award-winning Netflix show about the British Royal Family, is a phenomenal success and has added to the appeal of visiting Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and other Royal residences.

Paddington and Paddington 2 have also been box office smashes and have led to an increase in visitors to London, all of whom are keen to experience first hand the idyllic London streets it portrays.

Margot James, the Minister for the Creative Industries, said:  “The UK is a creative powerhouse for producing many award-winning films, shows and video games enjoyed by millions globally.” As a result of this more tourists arrive in the UK, spending some £266.2 million a year, according to the British Film Institute.

Meanwhile, VisitBritain has reported this week that UK inbound tourism targets for 2020 have already been met in 2018 – two years early. A record 40.9 million overseas visitors have come to the UK so far this year.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said that Brexit does present a challenge but: “we are absolutely committed to helping the industry continue to grow, promoting the country as a must-visit destination and ensuring that local communities benefit.”

Windsor Farmers Market to Expand Following Public Consultation

Posted: Mon 8 October 2018 at 10:20

Following a consultation with people living in Windsor, it has been agreed that Windsor Farmers Market should return bigger and better than ever.

Anyone visiting Windsor on the first Saturday of the month can enjoy the wonderful local market that winds its way down St Leonard’s Rd between 9am and 1pm. The market has been a firm fixture of the southern part of Windsor town centre since 2005, but the organisers recently decided to ask the public whether they wanted to keep the market as it is.

The public consultation took place recently and locals made it clear that they not only wanted to the market to stay, they wanted it to attract more stall holders. The organisers said they will now relaunch the market with new stalls to attract more Windsor visitors and locals to try the fresh local produce.

The new stall holders who will sell their wares each month include Hartland Fudge, Maplewood Bakery and Howe Farm Flowers. The petting zoo for children will also make a welcome return to attract families with young children to the market.

Anyone wishing to visit the market by car can park at East Berkshire College off Trinity Place, but it is also easily walkable from Windsor Town Centre.

Sharon Van Geuns, the spokesperson for the market, told the Windsor Express: “We are a fantastic local market with a great range of produce and we urge everyone to come along, but especially those who haven’t been along before.”

Countess of Wessex to Unveil Plaque at Beloved Windsor Department Store

Posted: Wed 12 September 2018 at 11:34

Cherished Windsor department store, Daniel, will be hosting Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, on Monday 17th September as part of its centenary celebrations.

The department store has taken pride of place on Peascod Street since 1918. Holidaymakers staying in Windsor accommodation, as well as locals, are won over by the store’s traditional yet contemporary feel.

Now, after 100 years of serving the Windsor community, the store is marking its special birthday with a plaque to be unveiled by the Countess of Wessex, who is a Windsor local herself.

The plaque unveiling will be accompanied by music from Windsor Boys School and Windsor Girls School – two of the town’s most popular high schools.

The department store has held various other events throughout the year to mark its centenary including a charity evening, where it raised £2,000 for the Mayor’s charities.

The very first Daniel department store was opened in Ealing by Walter James Daniel in 1900, followed by the Windsor store in 1918. The store holds a Royal Warrant from the Queen and is used to supply gifts to the royal household.

It is still a very much a family-run business, with chairman Peter Daniel, the grandson of Walter James Daniel, at the helm.

London and Windsor Tourist Attractions Report Bumper Summer

Posted: Tue 14 August 2018 at 10:12

Tourist attractions in the Capital and beyond have seen a massive surge in bookings this summer, with Windsor Castle reporting a 92 per cent increase in ticket sales following the Royal Wedding in May 2018.

This is according to online tour booking service Isango, which sells a range of tours around the historic castle, with many of its customers coming from all corners of the globe.  Isango examined their booking data from 1,000 customers and found Windsor Castle to be their top attraction in the UK, followed by bus tours of central London, Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway and boat cruises down the Thames.

Those visiting Windsor during the heatwave have opted to buy tickets for Windsor Castle as it offers a break from the heat, but also has beautiful gardens to explore in the sunshine.

The summer’s heatwave has resulted in a booming trade for many of London’s outdoor attractions this year, with general sales up 56 per cent, according to Isango.

Particularly popular this summer were attractions such as Hampton Court, London Zoo and Greenwich Park, which all reported increased ticket sales thanks to the warm weather.

Restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos in London’s West End have reported enjoying bumper summer, following a six-month period of depressed sales.  The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions reported a 4 per cent increase in ticket sales this year so far, compared with last year, which was, itself, a record-breaking year for London tourism.

The Queen Gifts Windsor Home to Harry and Meghan

Posted: Tue 14 August 2018 at 09:30

The newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be moving to Windsor soon, to set up home at Adelaide Cottage in the grounds of Windsor’s Home Park.

Reportedly, the Queen has gifted the residence to the couple following their wedding at the Castle in May.  

The house itself is a much-loved property that has an interesting history. It was first built in 1831 for the wife of King William IV, who was known as Queen Adelaide. The interior features some elaborate motifs, including gold dolphins, and there are also said to be Greek-style marble fireplaces within the cottage.

Queen Victoria would often take her breakfast or tea at the cottage, according to reports, while Princess Margaret’s lover, Peter Townsend, who she was apparently unable to marry due to Royal traditions and protocols, is another notable past-tenant.

The happy couple have been living in the grounds of Kensington Palace at Nottingham Cottage since their marriage, but are said to favour Windsor as a location. They are reported to like the idea of the privacy that Adelaide Cottage could offer them, while maintaining a level of proximity to London.

Newspapers claim that Harry and Meghan have already been to view the cottage and are excited to be making the move to Windsor very soon.

The Windsor Wedding!

Posted: Mon 14 May 2018 at 18:10

We are very excited this month as Windsor hosts the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. Georges Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle this Saturday 19th May 2018.

We are expecting the town to be buzzing with excitement – in fact it has already started with bunting going up throughout the town and images of Harry and Megan adorning various shop doorsteps and pub windows!

There are huge screens going up along the Long Walk and Alexandra Gardens and the procession route has been mapped out to allow for maximum viewing pleasure!  The royal couple will leave Windsor Castle and proceed down Windsor High Street, along Sheet Street and onto Kings Road, Albert Road then they will turn onto the Long Walk and go back up to the Castle greeting thousands of well-wishers along the way.

There will be food and drink and entertainment on tap and many visitors to Windsor and local families are making a day of it.  The atmosphere is sure to be electric – let’s hope the weather holds out.

We are aware of road closures in the town from 10pm on the day before the wedding on certain roads in the town centre and other main roads into Windsor closing from 6am on Saturday 19th May until around 4pm.

For more information on this please see www.roadworks.org and type in Windsor and the date to see a map showing where each road is closed.

Despite road closures this event will be such a joyous occasion and we hope that the royal couple will be very happy as they start their married life – who knows, there may even be the patter of tiny feet in a few years!

If you have already booked accommodation with us then you will be aware of the road closures as we have emailed you but please do keep an eye on the roadworks site for any last-minute changes.  There are parking spaces at The Review Ground which need to be reserved – the price is £30 per car and we understand there might be a 20 minute walk from there to The Long Walk.  Book parking here

Our top tip for the day – travel light, leave plenty of time to get here as there are likely to be queues.  There are extra trains laid on for the big day so leave the car at home and stay overnight to avoid the traffic!