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.

 

Windsor Celebrates Second Royal Wedding of the Year

Posted: Tue 23 October 2018 at 12:11

The Royal wedding of Windsor local Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank took place at Windsor Castle earlier in October, showing off the very best of our historic town once again.

Hundreds took to the gusty streets on Friday 12th October to wish the happy couple well. Visitors also perhaps hoped to catch a glimpse of the many celebrity guests attending.

Former supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell were in attendance. Pop icon Robbie Williams, Hollywood actor Demi Moore and model Cara Delevingne were all also invited. The sheer number of high profile guests lead some to suggest that this wedding was more star-studded than that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in May.

St George’s Chapel, within the grounds of Windsor Castle, hosted the Royal wedding. The newly married couple set off on a carriage ride around the centre of Windsor shortly after emerging as man and wife.

Eugenie’s dress proudly showed off the scar on her back from the operation that corrected her scoliosis when she was 12. She topped off her beautiful gown with the Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which was made by Boucheron in 1919.

A formal reception at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen followed the ceremony. There was then a less formal evening reception in Eugenie’s family home of York House within Windsor Great Park.

Ricky Tick Revival on the Cards at Windsor’s Old Court

Posted: Sat 20 October 2018 at 09:08

A night celebrating Windsor’s legendary R’n’B club, the Ricky Tick, is being held at the Old Court arts centre in November.

Anyone who has lived in Windsor since the 1960s will remember the club, which hosted live performances from some of the biggest names in music, including the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.

Now, in an attempt to revive the Ricky Tick many decades after its closure, the Old Court is hosting the club night once again. In the live room, grandson of Rolling Stone Brian Jones, Joolz Jones, will be playing alongside folk legend Donovan and Kim Wilde’s sister Roxanne Wilde. In the DJ room in the basement, Chelsea Singh will be headlining the decks, with other VIP DJs appearing throughout the night.

The Ricky Tick Revival is taking place from 2pm on Saturday 10 November and tickets can be purchased in advance from the Old Court for £20. Profits from the night will go towards setting up a fund for emerging artists in the area.

The night is being hailed as a relaunch for the club night and the Ricky Tick may well become regular fixture for Windsor nightlife lovers once more!

Spooky Halloween Goings-on in and Around Windsor

Posted: Mon 15 October 2018 at 08:58

Love it or hate it, Halloween in Windsor is upon us again and there’s plenty of events all around the area to help anyone staying in one of our apartments to celebrate the spooky season – and it’s not all just for the kids!

The best of the kids’ events

This year, Halloween coincides happily with half term, which means little nippers can fully immerse themselves in all things ghoulish for an entire week! Here’s a couple of the highlights from a long list of kids’ Halloween activities happening in the area over half term.

Get back to nature with Cliveden Bat’s Lair Halloween Trail

Cliveden National Trust property is a favourite ‘haunt’ for Windsor families and nature lovers. This year, to mark Halloween, the folks at Cliveden are hosting a children’s nature trail called the Bat’s Lair. Kids are encouraged to wear fancy dress and complete the trail and series of challenges within an allotted time.

The idea is to learn about the gardens and the wildlife at Cliveden, which is home to an astonishing ten types of bat. The trail costs just £3 per child on top of the usual entry price and there are different levels of difficulty to suit little ones from ages 2 to 13.

Legoland’s Brick or Treat event

Halloween in Windsor wouldn’t be the same without a visit to Legoland. From 18th October to 2nd November Legoland will be celebrating Halloween with some spooky events – topped off with fantastic firework displays, held on 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th October, and 2nd November.

The park will be hosting its Brick or Treat trail, which encourages youngsters to find missing potion ingredients and try to win a treat. There will also be a kids’ disco at the miniland stage between 10am and 5pm daily, where children can dance with Frankie, Legoland’s resident Frankenstein monster. There’s also a spooky Hill Train ride to the Enchanted Forest, a costume competitions and the chance for little ones to build their own lego pumpkin for an enormous pumpkin patch display.

And for the big kids…

How about a touch of Halloween luxury?

Halloween in Windsor isn’t all about trick or treating and pumpkin carving!Adults can enjoy a luxurious Halloween experience at the beautiful Oakley Court hotel between 26th and 31st October in the form of a Halloween Afternoon Tea complete with themed food and drinks and a glass of Champagne for £41.50 per person. There’s also a children’s version for just £17.50.

Or Halloween at the racecourse?

Windsor Racecourse host some really fantastic events throughout the year, but their Halloween event, complete with drive-through cinema, firework display, fairground, light show, Ghostbusters themed attractions and Halloween-themed food and drinks is going to be one of the highlights of 2018. Family ticket packages start at just £43 for a family of four and include food and drinks vouchers.

Windsor Contemporary Art Fair Set to Return in November

Posted: Thu 11 October 2018 at 09:25

Anyone staying in Windsor this autumn who wishes to purchase an original and affordable piece of art should make their way to Windsor Racecourse in November for the return of the ever-popular Windsor Contemporary Art Fair.

Bringing artworks from some 160 artists to the local area, the art fair offers a great chance to shop for unique pieces in one location. Prices start from as little as £40 and rise to around £4,000, so there really is something for everyone, no matter how deep your pockets.

The Contemporary Art Fair doesn’t just offer paintings either, there are sculptures, prints, photography and even ceramics to purchase for those who are looking for something a bit different for their home.

Tickets cost from £8 to £10 depending on when you buy them and entry includes access to painting demonstrations, a Children’s Art Quest and various workshops giving you an insight into how some of the beautiful works of art are created.

Last year, the event organisers commented on how many visitors were actually making purchases, many of whom probably expected just to browse and have a day out. The artists also reported being overwhelmed with the business they drummed up at their stalls, selling many more pieces than they anticipated.

The event runs from 9-11 November 2018.

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.”

Windsor and Eton Brewery Promote Special Ascot Race Day Ale

Posted: Fri 14 September 2018 at 09:57

The ever-popular Windsor and Eton Brewery has launched a special contest to promote the beer it is making for British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse.

The team at the brewery are challenging beer and racing fans to #dothefrankie. This involves taking a picture of themselves impersonating Frankie Dettori’s flying dismount. An image of the flying dismount is featured on the pump clip for Champions Day Ale, the beer that has been specially brewed for the event.

Anyone game enough to have a go at the #dothefrankie challenge will stand a chance of winning themselves a ticket to the event. One lucky person will bag a hospitality package worth £1,000, while an entire pub’s staff can win a prize for the best landlord’s entry.

Champions Day Ale is brewed using Windsor Farm barley. The brewery adds that it has also included: “a stable blend of English and New World Hops that provides a pacey finish.”

Anyone who actually posts an image or video of them ‘doing the Frankie’ will receive a code that they can exchange for a discounted ticket to the race day. Prize giving will be carried out on 12 October and the event itself is held at Ascot Racecourse of 20 October.

Will Calvert, Director at Windsor & Eton Brewery,  told the Windsor Observer: “Flat racing and good beer always go well together – and we think we’ve brewed a champion beer for QIPCO British Champions Day, that will inspire our customers to do the Frankie, and enjoy the special day.”

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.

Six Weeks of Freedom!!! What’s Going on in Windsor for the Kids This Summer?

Posted: Tue 7 August 2018 at 11:59

It’s that time of year again – children are jumping for joy and parents are reaching for the gin: it’s the summer holidays! Don’t worry though, we’ve got some great tips on how to keep the little ones entertained in and around Windsor this August.

Kids Cinema in Windsor

Windsor is once again home to a great cinema, thanks to the lovely folk at The Screen who have been putting on a great selection of films at the Old Court on St Leonard’s Rd since the beginning of July. With the school holidays in mind, they have three kids films showing in August so check out their website for times and how to book.

Liquid Leisure Aqua Park

Liquid Leisure has, once again, brought its epic inflatable assault course to the Thames at Datchet. For kids aged 6 and above, providing they can swim well, it’s a huge amount of fun. Tickets for a 50-minute session are £15 in advance and £20 walk-in.

Kids Theatre

Children’s theatre is a great way to introduce your kids to something a bit more cultural this summer and we are lucky enough to have a wonderful production of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale playing at our very own Theatre Royal Windsor this summer. There are several performances between 13th and 15th August, but be sure to book soon as it’s bound to sell out.

Fierce Ladies and Naughty Knights at the Castle

Throughout the summer holidays, Windsor Castle is hosting some special activities aimed at children. The activities, which include art workshops, talks and dress-up sessions, are largely themed around knights and kids will get the chance to learn more about this fascinating side to Royal history.

Windsor Leisure Centre

During this long hot summer we’re enjoying, swimming is an extremely popular activity and the fantastic leisure pool at Windsor Leisure Centre is very busy during the holidays. However, with a little planning (like coming in the middle of day, around lunch time) it can be a little quieter. The flumes and wave machines will be running between 10am and 6pm every day during the holidays, but check the website for last-minute updates.

Legoland

No summer in Windsor would be complete without a trip to Legoland now would it? There are always some great offers for buy-one-get-one-free tickets, which make a visit to the theme park slightly less damaging to the wallet. Also, for locals with an Advantage Card, entry is half price – another reason to get yourself down to the library or the leisure centre with proof of address.

This summer, Legoland is hosting a Summer of Fun beach party-style event complete with the UK’s largest water play structure and play beach, so be sure to bring towels and spare clothes for the little ones. The special summer events will take place every day until 2 September.