Based in London

Alison Kent

It's Nice To Meet You

My name is Alison Kent and I’m a Travel Counsellor. I live in Eltham with my partner John, Bill & Ernie, Blossom (dogs), Mabel (Cat), Geoffrey & Coco (Guinea Pigs)

Since I was 5 I wanted to work in the travel industry. When my big brother started dating a very glamorous air hostess, I loved listening to her stories. So here I am now having racked up 45 years in the travel industry.

I started work at Lunn Poly in Vauxhall Bridge Road as a Leisure Travel Consultant, when I left I was Regional Deputy Manager for London South East and Kent. I spent 2 years living in the USA. When I returned to the UK I worked for a student travel company as a Fares & Ticketing Manager.

Then I went to work for P&O Travel as Leisure Manager, from there I transferred to Swan Hellenic Cruises (part of the P&O Group) where I was fly Cruise Manager this role enabled me to work on the ship 4 times a year. From there I went to Travel2/4 one of the UK’s biggest Tailor Made Tour Operators that only sold through the trade, where I was Hotels, Tours and Groups Supervisor, sadly the office relocated to Glasgow and I was made redundant.

I then went to WEXAS Travel, a high end Tailor Made Travel Agent and Tour Operator based in Knightsbridge. My roles were VIP Travel Supervisor then Leisure Sales Manager responsible for 56 staff. My last role there was Product Manger for Indian Ocean, Caribbean and UAE. I got to travel extensively in this role checking out suitable hotels and product for our clients.

I was headhunted by Travel Counsellors in March 2017. It was a bit scary at first however I liked the flexibility it gave me, working from home, running my own business but still having the back up and support of our Head Office in Manchester. Being able to give 100% customer service to my clients and not working a mundane 9-5.30 day.

I have visited 68% of the world and will continue to keep travelling. On my bucket list are Ethiopia, North Korea, Namibia, Botswana, Borneo and Falkland Islands, I had a great time in Albania when I travelled there in October! My favourite destination is South Africa

Here are just a few of my highlights… Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, swimming with dolphins in Oman and turtles in Barbados all in their natural environment, wolf trekking in Spain, volunteering at an AIDS clinic in Uganda, seeing the big 5 in Kenya and Tanzania, crossing the 80 degrees north in the Artic and seeing a Blue Whale, snorkelling in the Barrier Reef, surfing in Hawaii, Yoga on the beach in Bali, staying in a Rokan at Mount Fiji, travelling on the Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore, taking the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Banff, caving in Oregon USA, coffee tasting in Columbia, backpacking in Syria and only being 90kms from Baghdad, being sold a baby in Papua New Guinea!

I’ve met and made some wonderful friends while I’ve been travelling as well as a few celebrities, meeting the legendary Pele, and my hero Judith Chalmers who introduced me at a cruise conference as more travelled than her!

Always living and breathing Travel....making your dreams come true

I look forward to hearing from you and booking your dream trip!

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I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Stunning Serbia

02 May 2024

Day 1 London to Belgrade Excellent service on the Elizabeth line 1hr Woolwich to Heathrow Only had hand luggage but quick security and very friendly staff Had a nice all day veggie breakfast at Prince of Wales good value. Flight was delayed by 1.5hrs Service on board was efficient got a sandwich and water for free. Any other purchases needed to be paid for in euros no card! I paid £11 for emergency exit seat worth the money loads of leg room. Flight was only 1/4 full. Made up time and landed in Belgrade only an hour late. Nice airport, passport control slick and friendly. Pre booked transfer waiting for me; clean vehicle again slick process. Maison Royale Hotel very central upgraded to deluxe balcony room very impressed although short on toiletries amenities. Met my friend who lives in Serbia for dinner. We went to Thyme lovely meal chicken biryani with a Serbian twist, great wine and fantastic service. Good value for money too. All in all, a fabulous day and it helped being 77F. Day 2 - Belgrade Breakfast is taken at the restaurant next door to the hotel from 8-11.30 very good and plenty of choices. Pretty much walked the city 18k steps later with my dodgy leg. So many highlights Kalemgdar Military museum Belgrade fortress Church of St Petka National theatre National parliament St Marks church Walking around and taking the city in Weather was also amazing. Another brilliant day in surprising Serbia Day 3 Private Tour Northern Serbia Picked up at 09.30 by my wonderful guide Jovan so knowledgeable would highly recommend. We visited. Fruska Gora Krusedol monastery Sremski Karlovic Venus wine shop & Tasting Petrovardin Fortress Novi Sad - where I also had lunch at the Gasto Café, excellent food and wine. I would recommend this tour 100% What an amazing 3 nights I had in Serbia Highlights Maison Royale hotel Belgrade city walking Meeting up with Martin Cuff North Serbia tour The people Wine & food I would totally recommend for a short break or as part of a Central Europe tour For further details please contact me on 0203 883 7660 Alison.kent@travelcounsellors.com

Zooming around in Zargreb

24 February 2024

Zagreb – Not your usual pre-Christmas break but wow what an amazing place in fact wanted to keep it a secret as its just a beautiful city! Travelling to Heathrow is easy now as the Elizabeth Line connects straight from Woolwich to Heathrow. This BA flight left from Terminal 3, the Club lounge was a lot less busy than Terminal 5, very smooth transition with Fast Track. Flight was very good, smooth, attentive crew. Arrival at Zagreb was efficient and quick. The journey time from the Airport to the City was approx. 20mins. Arrived at the Dubrovnik Hotel and wow the service was amazing they couldn’t do enough for us. Great location right on the square and with transport links just outside. They were getting ready for the Christmas Lights and market stalls as we arrived so was looking forward to what it would look like in the morning. Had a quick drink in the bar amazing staff! After a great night’s sleep and one of the buffet breakfast the square looked different, tree up, stalls out and what a great atmosphere. We decided that we would visit the Upper and Lower Town as Zagreb is spilt into two over the next 3 days. Here are my highlights of Upper Town Catherines Square Radiceva Street – Great shopping Ben Jelacic Square Dolac – Amazing Market the colors of the fruit and veg were fantastic. The Cathedral Tkalciceva Street – Great Bars Stone Gate Opaticka Street St Marks Square St Cyril & Methodius Street Lower Town Britanski Square Church of St Blaise Republic Square of Croatia Square Ilica Street Petar Preadovic Square Ban Jelacic Square Croatian Nobles Square If there is only one thing you do eat at “Romer Quelle” – The best fish restaurant ever!! The highlights for me were. So much history The amazing people so helpful, kind and very

Doggie Road Trip!

02 January 2024

Day 1 If travelling with dogs the Le Shuttle procedures are slick and professional, they even have a dog park 3hrs to Rouen with a stop. Hotel basic, central, zero customer service, good comfortable bed. Drinks at Antico -Caffe by Cathedral excellent service Followed by dinner at La Petite Auberge -great Would recommend Rouen. Day 2 Tours Left Rouen and made our way Southwest to Tours What a Lovely town Had pre dinner drinks at L’Univers Dinner at Conti great Highlight was drinks at Caffe Leffe with the lovely Louis fabulous waiter. Ibis hotel very central, good secure parking, great friendly staff Basic clean rooms would recommend if on budget. Tours you’ve been a blast and very Dog friendly. Would recommend. Day 3 Left Tours, travelled Southwest to La Rochelle Lovely hotel highly recommend the Ibis budget La Rochelle Nice walk around town Drinks at Pazza Notte Fantastic dinner at “Pass Port” would highly recommend fantastic service by Florian La Rochelle you have been so much fun Day 4 Finally, after a 4-day road trip have arrived at our home for 2 weeks a 5-bedroom villa, at Madame Vacances Villas la Clairière aux Chevreuils Absolutely gorgeous. Private pool however not heated unless you pay an additional cost of approx. Euros250.00 per week Day 6 Long walk over 2hrs via the Nature Reserve to Moilets. Amazing reserve with fishing opportunities. The boys loved their walk and we finished with coffee at the local patisserie. Day 7 Exploring the Complex today There are 3-, 4-, 5- & 6-bedroom Villas available to rent. All with Private Pools and some with enclosed gardens (our one does) for Doggie safety. Day 8 When travelling with Dogs you need to have Tape Worm administered by a vet in the country you are departing from. This can only be done 120-24hrs before arrival back into the UK. It’s good to think ahead so today I made vet appointments for Bill & Ernie! Day 10 - Beach life The beach at Moilets is so beautiful over 20 miles of soft golden sand. Excellent for surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Dogs are allowed on beach in off season. However very disappointed there are no bins so there were areas where rubbish had been left. After you leave the beach there are plenty of bars and restaurants although a lot were closed as its off season but in the height of the summer this would be a real happening place and has that surfer, California feel. Would highly recommend although there is no shade on the beach so recommend taking umbrellas and some sort of windshield as it’s open there. And not for weak swimmers! Day 11 – Soustons Went to the best Hypermarket E.Leclerc in Soustons, approx. 20mins drive from the Villa Great Crémant for 6Euro's !! Then rainy Saturday here in Moilets. Getting Rugby ready! Come on Wales and then come on NZ Day 13 Soustons Market for Gill's last full day with us Really good Market on Mondays and quaint village. Would recommend its approx. 20 mins drive from Moilets. Parking is also free which is a bonus. Had a great Dog and Cat Stall there, boys were spoilt as always. Day 14 So taken out of my comfort zone today. Drove Gill to Biarritz airport to catch her flight back to Gatwick. For Johnboy to arrive on the delayed inbound flight. When he arrived, it was dark so had to drive on opposite side of road to UK 50 miles on the motorway and country roads in the dark. Feel proud of myself. Welcome to Moilets Johnboy xxxx Day 16 My own pool cleaner all the way from Eltham! Puncture on my car there's no Kiwk Fit here however there is a very helpful, friendly local garage called Garage Montier! Finding lots of more shops, cafes and restaurants are closing due to being end of season. Didn't help that we had to wait 3hrs for the car to be fixed sitting outside a closed cafe that attracted a lot of locals who thought it was open. Day 17 Very rainy day in Moilets so just stayed in the Villa. It has been a good experience however would have been made so much better if the restaurants and bars had been open as it clearly is the end of season. Day 18 Today we leave the Villa early and drive Chateau Le Merles in Mouleydier . Firstly, it’s a stop at the vets for Bill and Ernie to get their tapeworm tablets. This is a requirement to enter back into the UK and can only be administered 120/24hrs period to departure. Approx cost is EUR 80.00 for both boys. The journey took just over 4hrs with a couple of stops. But wow! When we arrived the place is amazing, we had a beautiful room which opened onto the patio and gardens just perfect for the boys. That night we ate in the restaurant and just couldn’t fault the meal. This was one of the best places I’ve ever stayed and can’t recommend enough…. Will return! Day 19 An even longer drive of 8hrs to Hotel de Chatenay just outside of Le Mans. Over 4hrs of this drive was across country down winding roads definitely not for the fainthearted! We finally arrived at 7.30pm to be told if we wanted food, we would have to order from Uber eats. I did fin the owner and staff very unfriendly and not helpful ar all. They were happy to supply with wine but no food, which I found strange as at breakfast there was cheese, cold meats, and bread they could have provided this the night before. It wasn’t just us that felt the same way the other guests staying also did. Wouldn’t recommend! Day 20 It was breakfast and up we left to make the journey to Amiens which was about 3.5hrs with a stop on the way. Mostly motorway however the weather was just so awful. When we arrived at Amiens the parking situation was very stressful as it was a public car park and not attached to the Holiday Inn Express. Hotel is very central, clean and staff friendly. That night we ate in the Towers pub opposite the Hotel, great food, friendly service and very dog friendly would definitely recommend. The hotel room was quite small but adequate. Day 21 After a good breakfast that was included in the price, we checked out and made the 1hr 30mins motorway drive to Calais. Once again it was easy with the dogs as long as you have all the correct paperwork. They also have a dog park area which is opposite the duty free and others shops and cafes. As we arrived early I paid an extra £58.00 to put us on an earlier train. Highlights: Rouen, Tours, La Rochelle, Chateau Le Merles, Travelling with my boys! Not so good: Lots of driving, Hotel de Chatenay, times at the Villa and lack of amenities open in Moilets.

Yurts, Dogs and Hot Tub!

03 August 2023

Trying to get my partner John to camp is near on impossible. So, when I found a Yurt in Somerset, I knew that would be a good start and we weren’t disappointed. We left home and took a leisurely drive down to Somerset, stopping a couple of times for Bill & Ernie. We arrived at the Yurt Sanctuary which is between Bath & Wells and was greeted by the lovely host Michele, who showed us to the Yurt our home for the next 2 nights which is named Wildwood. There wasn’t anyone staying in the other Yurt (Little Oak) so the boys had a massive field to run around in at the top of the field was a family of pygmy goats who were so cute. Wildwood has an outside compost toilet and shower (which was lovely and warm) so good facilities. There is also a recreation barn with electricity points for charging phones etc. Good 4G reception but no Wi-Fi. In the barn there is also a microwave and fridge. Also, by the Yurt there is a small building which hosts a kettle, cutlery, plates etc you can boil the water for tea. The highlight was the wood burning hot tub which we used in the evening, we were lucky with the weather as there wasn’t any rain so enjoyed our 2 nights in the hot tub drinking wine and beer whilst star gazing. It was so peaceful and real “get away from it all” so relaxing! And the best part was having the boys with us all the time and knowing they were totally safe. Inside Wildwood was a lovely comfy bed we did have a radio so we could enjoy some music. The next day I had a massage by Dan and that was fantastic really relaxing and really helped my aches and pains ?? would recommend. We also went to Wells which is a lovely little town with some lovely quirky shops, lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants as well as being a Cathedral city. Wells has had city status since medieval times, because of the presence of Wells Cathedral . Often described as England's smallest city. Would 100% recommend and there is plenty of affordable parking. If you would like further information on Yurt Sanctuary, please contact me. We had a fantastic time! Below is what is included and what’s not. • Bedding • Two bath robes and two bath towels • 2 ring gas burners • Crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils • Pots and pans • Cafeteria/coffee/tea/sugar • Eco-friendly hand soap and shower gel • Cool box • Fire pit and BBQ • Battery lanterns • Kindling and one bag of logs (more can be purchased as required) What you need to bring... • Slippers/flipflops (no outside shoes inside the yurt!) • Swimsuit for hot tub • Plenty of tealights for lanterns • Head torches • Wellies (just in case!) If you have dogs, please bring bed, crate or suitable coverings if they are accustomed to going on furniture, plus towels for muddy feet.

Mooching in Mostar

29 October 2022

There are some places that blow you away and Bosnia was definitely one of them! Bosnia has been somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time and I finally got there in October 2022 with my friend. Day 1 – 19 October 2022 - We travelled on Easyjet to Dubrovnik from Gatwick the flight was so empty it was lovely to stretch out, it was a quick trip only 2hrs 10minutes. Arrival in Dubrovnik was easy clearing immigration especially as we only had hand luggage. Once through we took a cab to the Old Town (Euros 40) had a good looked around the walled City and Old Town, it wasn’t too busy as there weren’t any Cruise Ships and being October wasn’t the height of the season however, I can imagine in July and August it would be heaving. After that we found a tour guide named Igor who took us on a 1.5hr city tour (20 Euros per person) we visited Lapad, the Cable Car which has amazing views of Dubrovnik and lots of other small streets that the large tour buses can’t get down. He was very kind to drop us at the bus station ready for our trip to Mostar. We found a lovely restaurant opposite the Bus Station called Pizzeria Piccolo where we had the best pizzas and fantastic Croatian Wine for a very reasonable price! We had pre booked our bus tickets before we left the UK and I would recommend that you do this as there is only 1 bus a day it leaves Dubrovnik at 15.50 (although ours was 50 minutes late). The bus was old and the windows were filthy so you could see out….all part of travelling!! Take food and drink as nothing available on the bus. After 4 border stops we finally made it into Mostar at 8.30pm! The bus station was dark and we headed straight away to the official Taxi rank don’t take anything other than a licensed cab! It was about 10 mins to our hotel The Almeria, when we arrived we were greeted by a very nice lady on the reception we went to our room dumped our stuff and heading out to ger a local beer at price of a Euro!!! Day 2 – 20th October 2022 – After a good night’s sleep, good Bosnian Breakfast we decided today we would spend all day in Mostar on foot We visited the Genocide Museum first this is an absolute must as it gives a good insight into what really happened and how the country has unified. It was harrowing and very upsetting but well worth the2hrs and 6 Euros. From there we visited the Cemetery and local Mosques . We had coffee at Café Terasa which has the most amazing views of the River and Bridge. We then visited the following Mostar Old Bridge – Which had to be rebuilt after the war Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque Karadoz Beg Mosque Bazar Kujundziluk – Great Bargains Kaytaz House Biscevic House Veagic House – One of the oldest buildings in Mostar Mostar Peace Bell Tower Old Bazaar Mostar Nesuh Aga Vucjakovic Mosque Cathedral Of Mary Day 3 – 21st October – We took a tour out to Herzegovina including the Kravice Waterfall, where I went swimming in the lake even though it was only 10C but very refreshing, we also visited the village of Pocitelj which has Ottoman influence dating back to the 15th century and was heavily bombed in the war. Pocitelj is now regarded as one of the most endangered cites of importance. We then visited the village of Blagaj which has the most amazing Devish House dating back to 14th century it is a very pretty village and definitely worth a visit. There is so much Ottoman and Turkish influence in Bosnia. Tonight we had a lovely dinner by the river. Day 4 – 22nd October – Last morning and another beautiful coffee view at Karma Café before our 4hr bus journey back to Dubrovnik and then our flight home to Gatwick You can take the airport bus from the same bus station as the Bosnia bus arrives at. What can I say Bosnia you have exceeded all my expectations, the history, culture, people, food and beauty. There wasn’t one moment you disappointed And most of all outstanding value for money! If you would like to know more about Bosnia and the Hotel Almeria please contact me.

Llamas trekking in Liechtenstein

21 November 2022

Liechtenstein is a small principality between Switzerland and Austria, however, has a lot to offer for a short break which I took in July 2022 Day 1: Flew from Gatwick to Zurich on an early morning Easyjet flight which took off and landed early. Immigration was a breeze and the Swiss are so helpful. Made our way to the train station, which is in airport, bought 2nd return tickets approx. cost £88.00 per person. You take the feeder train from Zurich Airport to Zurich HB these trains run every 15 minutes in peak times, from there you catch the train to Sargans and then a bus from Sargans to Vaduz which does connect with the arrival and departure trains. Total journey time is approx. 1hr 45mins. The train journey was spectacular from Zurich to Sargans passing through small towns on the lakes, watching families enjoy the water sports and making the most of the July sun. Transfer at Sargans was very easy, hop off the train and join the number 11 bus which takes you to Vaduz, again this was a pretty journey as you leave Switzerland and enter Liechtenstein. The bus stopped about a 2-minute walk from our hotel Residence Vaduz. The 4* hotel is situated on a pedestrian street with lots of shops, bars, and restaurants and most of all the best ice cream parlour I have ever visited. After check-in we were shown to our room, it was bright, airy has 2 twin beds with a large bathroom, great views of the street below and Vaduz Castle. The only issue with the room was the lack of air conditioning it was in the high 80’s, there was a fan in the room but nothing like air conditioning! We had lunch at Restaurant Amarone, very nice however 1 pizza and 2 glasses of wine was over £35.00 per person, it’s very expensive everywhere. We walked around the main street – Stadtle, there are also ATM’s should you need to draw out money. Day 2: There is a city train which takes you around the city and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, you can’t get right to the top to see the castle as it has renovations hopefully that will change soon. There are a lot of traditional houses down back streets so after the train journey we did a lot of exploring on foot. I was also surprised how many vineyards there were as they produce a good deal of wines although I don’t think they are exported. That night we had dinner at Engel Ratskeller Restaurant which had great views of the manmade beach in the middle of the town. This was a lovely Thai restaurant and not bad price wise Pad Thai and Beer approx. £25.00 Day 3: After a hearty breakfast at the Hotel, we caught the Number 11 bus from Vaduz Post to Gamprin Grossabunt where we visited the open water swimming pool which is actually a man-made lake. They have great facilities for changing, showering as well as a café. Lots of sunbathing areas all on the grass. It wasn’t that busy when we arrived but later after lunch it was really busy and the best part of all it was free! Would 100% recommend this! Day 4: This was our last day and we had booked to trek with Llamas in Malbun it was an early start as we had to be there by 9am. It is a 30-minute bus journey and very picturesque as you are climbing high up into the mountains. Malbun is a pretty village and is the only resort for skiing in Liechtenstein. It is located at 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) above sea level in the Alps, on a road to Steg and Vaduz, and less than two kilometres from the Austrian border. After being introduced to the Llamas we started our trek which took just over 2 hours and was amazing, the Llamas are lovely animals and my one was very gentle and knew when to slow down. It was approx. £30.00 to do this and well worth the money for the unique experience. After we finished, we went back into the village and had lunch at the Hotel Turna which is a typical Alpine hotel with an amazing restaurant at very reasonable prices, 2 courses and 2 glasses of excellent wine approx. £45.00 per person. I absolutely loved this day such great memories were made. After the bus back to Vaduz we left for Zurich Airport encountering the same beautiful scenery when we made the reverse journey. Back to Zurich Airport and our easyJet flight to Gatwick was delayed by 1hr not getting us in until after midnight. Highlights: Llama trekking, village of Malbun and swimming at Grossabunt, train journey from Zurich to Sargans Low points: No air conditioning in hotel and cost of eating and drinking Suitable: For singles, couples, and families

Memories made in Montenegro

21 June 2022

I must say I was really apprehensive about travelling I hadn’t been on a plane since December 2019. We decided to overnight at the Premier Inn at Gatwick the package that we took included the meet and greet Car Park with Maple Parking Things have really changed since pre COVID, with Maple Parking you drive straight into the car park (by Sofitel) and leave your car so much better. The Premier Inn was very busy and I recommend booking a table for dinner if you are staying there. As busy as it was the staff were amazing especially our waitress Alexandra, it was well organised in the Bar and Restaurant. Day 1 Up at 3.45, in the North Terminal by 4.30am. It was very busy but Easyjet was well organised and the lines were flowing very quickly. Bag Drop was quick and efficient as was security I did think about paying for the Fastrack but it doesn’t open until 5am. Duty Free was back to pre-COVID as were the shops, restaurants, bars and cafes which are exceptionally busy due to customer demand and limited staff. Flight was time, boarding was very good and we were lucky to have a spare seat next to us. No sandwiches or hot food was served on aircraft however, Easyjet do pre warn you about this well in advance. Excellent flight, service and crew were professional and we landed 30mins early! Passport control was quick with very surly staff. Baggage arrived very quickly. We had booked a shared transfer but we ended up with a private one, nice car, water and wipes provided. The transfer was about 45 minutes fun part was we had to cross the lake via ferry. Arrived at the Iberostar Herceg Novi, room wasn’t ready as we were early were told our room would be ready by 3pm so we grabbed a drink at the bar and then had lunch we were on All Inclusive. We explored the grounds, the Hotel has a lovely setting, nice pool and area, private beach with pool bar however, the hotel is not suitable for disabled or people with walking difficulties there are a lot of steps and steep hills. At 3pm we got to our room which was a good size with a lovely large balcony and sea view. Had a lovely swim in the pool and totally chilled out. That night we had dinner all meals are buffet but pretty high end, the wines were French and very good, John said the beer was good too! There is nightly entertainment. Slept so well. Day 2 Woke up to a beautiful day, breakfast runs from 07.30-10.30 so much food! Grabbed a couple of sunbeds if you want to use the hotel towels there is a EUR15.00 deposit refundable when returned. I took the water aerobics class it was great fun. Then lunch which runs from 12.30-14.30 The afternoon was relaxing, swimming and just enjoying the beautiful weather Dinner, which runs from 18.30- 21.30 this really suited us as we like to eat late. The Entertainment that night was fantastic! Day 3 We booked a boat trip to the Blue Cave (25 EUR per person) there is a stand at the Hotel where you can pre book boat tours they only accept cash. The boat departed from the Hotel Jetty it was quite an old boat and very cramped we were very unhappy as smoking is allowed on the boat and this made us feel really sick for the whole of the 2 ½ hr journey. The Blue Cave is amazing I felt the time there was very rushed as we were only given 10 minutes for a swim. On the return journey back to the Hotel we visited a Balkan submarine station and also saw lookout posts these we used in the Balkan War of the 1990’s. There weren’t any bathrooms on the boat and drinking water wasn’t supplied thankfully we had our own as it was very hot. Personally wouldn’t recommend the trip. Back at the Hotel we had lunch at the pool bar and I did some ocean swimming. It was our last night so we enjoyed the entertainment. Day 4 Was picked up at the hotel by 8am this didn’t give us anytime to have breakfast so we took rolls from dinner the night before and kept in the fridge good job we did. This was a shared transfer but only 6 of us we arrived at Tivat Airport approx. 50 minutes later…..what can I say total carnage at the airport no organisation and mayhem, we decided to grab a coffee and let the queue go down as the check in desks weren’t even open, 30 minutes later we made our way to check in all the queues had gone only to be greeted with a mass of people waiting to get through security with one guy on the door! Passport control was quick but again staff were rude. The departure lounge is very small with limited seating, no restaurant, bar or café (cheese rolls came in handy!) very small duty free (very cheap!) where you can get water and crisps. If Montenegro want more tourists they need to think about expanding the airport. Flight was delayed as a passenger had been taken ill on the incoming flight. Finally we are ready to board, flight was full however, service was good. Arrived at Gatwick an hour late but took 1 ½ hrs to receive the luggage. Easy to collect car, pop across to the car park, grab your key and go! Highlights The beauty of Montenegro Lovely Hotel with outstanding service from the staff. Lows Tivat Airport Boat trip Would recommend Montenegro and Iberostar, had a wonderful break and extremely good value for money. Please contact me for further information on this beautiful country ??

60 in Somerset

29 March 2022

Saturday 19th March A leisurely drive with stops for the dogs and us to grab coffees as well as a shop at Asda in Frome took just over 3 hours. Definitely worth doing a shop at Asada’s as there is no online shop delivery here and the nearest Village (Mells) is 2 miles away. Luckington Stables Cottage is lovely very well equipped, clean and extremely dog friendly with a great hot tub!! Didn’t do much just unpacked and had dinner. Sunday 20th March This place is so chilled out we stayed at the cottage and enjoyed the wonderful hot tub. Monday 21st March The big day has finally arrived and I’m embracing my 60th year what a place to celebrate!! We headed to Nunney a lovely little village for a birthday lunch at The George Inn, which I absolutely recommend for food, drinks, service and dog friendless. The weather was an amazing today so had a great time by the river and then a lovely stroll around the village visiting the castle and medieval church. Tuesday 22nd March Headed into Frome a small town but pretty much has everything you need. The weather was so good today it was hot tub and BBQ! Wednesday 23rd March Sad to be heading home however, the traffic has been good to us. Loved this property that I have rebooked for next year. For more information please contact me A Selection of things to do in Somerset Local towns and villages Mells (5 minute drive) This picturesque village finds itself at the foot of Vallis Vale. Starting outside the very welcoming Village Shop and Cafe, this beautiful, shady riverside walk – flanked by evocative crumbled remains of old iron works dating back to the 1700s – leads nearly all the way up to Frome. The historic Talbot Inn, just up the hill from the shop, has a great garden and is famous for its Sunday roasts. Or book for a table at The Walled Garden to enjoy delicious light lunches and woodfired pizzas in its cottage garden overlooking rolling pastures. Frome (15 minute drive) With its artful vibe and compassionate nature (it is home to the country’s first “Share Shop” and community fridge), characterful Frome is another town often lauded in the broadsheets. Peruse the markets in the Cheese & Grain carpark (Wednesdays & Saturdays), browse the artisan shops of steep, cobble-stoned Catherine Hill or grab a homemade ice cream from La Strada, on quaint, medieval Cheap Street, complete with a leat running through it. If you fancy escaping the weather, catch the latest movies at the charming Westway cinema (all tickets just £4). If you don’t, explore the lush meadow and Millennium Green across the river, beyond Willow Vale. Nunney Castle and village (10 minute drive) Castle Street, Nunney, Nr Frome, Somerset, BA11 4LW. Free entry. Once you’ve explored the romantic ruins of this small medieval moated castle – which dates back to 1370 – take the footpath leading out from the top of the castle’s car park for a gloriously lazy riverside walk to neighbouring village Whatley. From there you can continue following the footpath over a bridge and across fields which handily loop back into Nunney. You’ll arrive back into the picturesque village near The George Inn, an inviting 17th century riverside pub. Wells (30 minute drive) Thanks to its imposing Gothic Cathedral – which took an impressive 274 years to build – Wells is the UK’s smallest city. Grab a picnic from the local shops and hit the lush local footpaths, while away a few hours strolling the genteel gardens of The Bishop’s Palace, or wander the city’s historic streets ticking-off film locations – Wells featured as the setting for Hot Fuzz, starring Simon Pegg, as well as various other films and television series, such as Poldark. Dogs are allowed inside the cathedral and the gardens of Bishops Palace Bath (30 minute drive) Whether you want to dive head first into the romantic world of a Jane Austen novel, surrounding yourself with Georgian architecture, or feel like a Roman for the day as you walk through one of the world’s best-preserved Roman buildings, a trip to Bath has something for every curious mind. A city founded in 1AD, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bath is a city that oozes history and culture from every stone. Whether you’re exploring the charming cobbled streets or enjoying a trip to a traditional tearoom, visiting historic sites or gazing upon the iconic architecture, Bath could be the closest thing to time-travel you can get! So get ready to pack as much culture, history and Roman-inspired spa-time as possible into your trip to Bath. Glastonbury (40 minute drive) Home of the iconic Glastonbury Tor, which dominates the Somerset skyline for miles around, the town of Glastonbury is steeped in mysticism and legend offers a cultural clash of weird and wonderful, historic and spiritual. Climb up to the Tor for spectacular views or visit the atmospheric ancient Abbey, With your thirst for history quenched, take in the town’s multitude of specialist shops, where you can find everything from Viking helmets to fairy wings. Street (45 minute drive) Home to Clarks – of school shoe fame – and the formidable Clarks Village outlet, Street offers a shopping experience second to none in Somerset. With over 80 brands under one roof, there’s hours’ worth of retail therapy on offer here. Bruton (25 minute drive) This idyllic tiny town, perched on the ambling River Brue was recently named The Times’ most fashionable place to live. For a wholly sophisticated Somerset experience, explore its lush footpaths up to the ruined Dovecote and across the fields to the world-renowned (and free to enter) Hauser & Wirth modern art gallery and gardens. Join its trend-setting residents and take in a lazy lunch At The Chapel (or just pop in for its delicious takeaway pizzas and baked goods). Or for more of an event, book (way) ahead for a table at the superb Michelin-starred Osip Castle Cary (35 minute drive) One of Somerset’s most attractive towns – and not just the location of a popular Festival train station – Castle Cary is home to many beautiful historic buildings, many of which house high-quality shops, delicatessens, cafes and restaurants. Tuesday is market day, when traders’ wares are sold on the cobbles in front of the 19th century Market House.

Mutts in Margate

11 October 2021

We were in need of a breakaway and didn’t want to travel too far so decided to see what Margate had to offer. I hadn’t been here since 1979 and John had never been, we found a house in the old town which we knew had a lot to offer, bars, pubs, restaurants, quirky shops and dog friendly as well as a blue flag beach. Day 1- 4th October – The drive down was fine apart from heavy traffic on the Dartford/M25 turnoff. We arrived at Smugglers Cottage around 17.45, parking is limited so we unpacked the car got the dogs settled and John found some residential parking (free) just a short walk away. There is a Morrison’s very close by so food wasn’t a problem. Day 2 – 5th October – Weather was ok, so we decided to walk along the Promenade we had coffee at Garage coffee, great service and amazing views. The beach is stunning although a bit too rough for me to swim! As we were walking we saw lots of old buildings in disrepair which was such as shame as they could be bought back to life and be so beautiful. There are some new devolvement’s that are springing up along the beachfront, they are stunning. We went for a lunchtime drink in the Kings Head pub about 2 minutes’ walk from the house, very dog friendly and excellent service but doesn’t serve food. Tonight we had a takeaway from Edessa (Turkish) very good food and reasonably priced. Day 3 – 6th October – Weather was pretty horrendous today with really high winds, took a walk around the town (not old) quite upsetting as its clearly in need of some money and regeneration, such as shame as a lot of places were closed this could be due to COVID or that we are out of season. So glad we are staying in the old town. Day 4 – 7th October – The weather was much better today so we decided to explore the other end of Margate towards Cliftonville but not before we had coffees and pastries at the Seaside Patisserie which is opposite Smugglers Cottage. It was quite an interesting costal walk passing the Turner Museum and various buildings that were obviously beautiful in their era but again so many in disrepair. I had been recommended to stop at the Walpole Bay Hotel we had a drink on the Veranda. This hotel is full of character and old world charm, it’s also dog friendly and clearly very popular with all the rooms having a sea view. Tonight we went to the Lifeboat pub in the old town again very dog friendly and excellent service from the bar staff. They served local Kent ales which according John got the thumbs up! Day 5 – 8th October – We had to vacate the Cottage at 10am so it was an early start. There are some nice parts of Margate however, there are still a lot of areas that still need some TLC. I Have to say that the beach is stunning so I personally think well worth a visit. If you would like to know more about Margate and Smugglers Cottage please contact me.

Dog friendly Cornwall

12 July 2021

Day 1: Leaving London at 9.00am the aim was to arrive at the Cottage by 3pm but no that wasn’t happening it was 7.30pm before we got here the traffic was horrendous and stressful with 3 dogs in the car. But it was worth the wait the Bull Pen is an amazing cottage, the host Kate is fantastic and so helpful. The cottage has everything you need and very dog friendly the garden is amazing Doris, Bill and Ernie think they are in a park!!! The hot tub is a real bonus. I ordered an on line shop with Tesco’s would recommend this as you don’t have to worry about finding shops when you arrive. Day 2: We just chilled out, went for a walk with the dogs and enjoyed the hot tub and football, what a result for England. Day 3: We took the dogs to Par Beach which is dog friendly all year round, I’d say it’s a local beach, the seaweed can be a bit of a problem but the space where the dogs can run and enjoy the beach is amazing. There is a coffee pop up (need to check if seasonal) that serves amazing coffee. This was about 25 minutes from our cottage. The car park is cash only or the JustPark App (subject to change). From Par we drove to Fowey (3 miles) again car parking cash only or the JustPark App. Lovely fishing port however, quite limited on eating and drinking as a lot of places are still closed. There are a lot of steep hills to get to the village not disabled friendly. Fowey is the home of Dapahnne de Maurier. John enjoyed his first Cornish Pastry from the Pastry Shop…. Would recommend. You can take the boat from Fowey to Mevagissey cost approx. £9.00 each way. If you want a feel of a real Cornish Port/Village would recommend. Day 4: Its Bill’s birthday today so we are celebrating! Weather has been grim today with continuous rain, but we did head off to Newquay, which is about 30 mins from the Bull Pen. For me, personally I think the main New Quay area is overrated and expensive, £6.00 for 3 hours car parking. The little beach down by the harbour isn’t that exciting, crowded and not very dog friendly although from here on a good day you can often see Dolphins sadly, not today, but I wanted John to see it .The best beaches in my opinion are Fistral & Porth. We had lunch at The Boathouse – Street Food on the beach, although the food was nice we felt it was quite expensive for 1 squid and 1 cod bite, 2 coffees and 2 dog ice creams it came to £28.00. We walked around the high street still some places not open and not as busy as I have seen it in the past. Day 5: Weather was slightly better today however, we decided to have a day at the cottage just chilling out, enjoying the large enclosed garden and the lovely hot tub. This was followed by a steak dinner home grown beef from Treway Farm which is where we are staying…. They were amazing so thank you Kate! Day 6: Today we went to the lovely fishing village of Mevagissey, I’ve always loved this place however, it is busy and pretty full on. Parking is £5.00 for 4hrs (subject to change). However, in my opinion there should be some traffic free zones here especially if you have dogs and small children. Weather wasn’t much better today but we made the most of it walking around and watching the fisherman with “their catch of the day”. Some great little shops here and another pasty shop tested by John the Fowey pasties get the thumbs up though! We had lunch at the Fountain Inn, I have eaten here before and would definitely recommend for food, service and dog friendly atmosphere. Day 7: Sadly its our last full day in Cornwall so we headed to lovely Padstow, this is one of my favourite places in Cornwall. Would suggest that you park just outside the town it takes about 5/7 mins to walk into town however it is quite a steep walk wouldn’t recommend for people with mobility issues. The car parking prices are quite expensive but well worth it as the town offers such much. After walking into the town we headed to the beach it was amazing the dogs loved it the water was so clear and it was the best day we had, weather wise. We had lunch at the Old Ship Hotel great dog friendly pub serving great fish and chips. There are lots of places to eat in Padstow with fish being the specialty as well as lots of cute shops, coffee bars and pubs most are dog friendly. Without a doubt would highly recommend a visit to Padstow. Day 8: Today we say goodbye to the Bull Pen we have had such a good time, would definitely recommend a stay here. We drove to just outside Yeovil which should be approx. 2 hours 25 min drive however, due to a major accident on the A30 where the road was closed it took 6 hours. Tonight we are staying in a Shepherdess Hut at the Mason Arms. I have stayed here before and totally recommend it. So dog friendly they even have a little dog park where Doris, Bill & Ernie could run around without any worries. Definitely eat at the pub as the food is really good. Day 9: The drive back to London was a bit of a nightmare! A fantastic holiday had by all ??

Pups in Pevensey

03 January 2020

A quick break was needed after the Christmas mayhem! I found a wonderful house on the beach in Pevensey that took my 3 dogs.... Doris, Bill and Ernie. I arrived to a wonderful welcome of mince pies and Prosecco from the lovely host Jo! The house was called 3 Little Ducks and was amazing. The back garden was the beach, the view amazing and I knew I wasn’t going to want to leave! It was very well equipped with 2 double bedrooms, one en-suite and another guest bathroom. The kitchen was very modern and had everything you needed. There was a lounge diner with amazing views overlooking the beach, you could open the patio doors and hear the sound of the sea whilst you relaxed on the large and comfy sofa. There was also free Wi-Fi and parking for 2 cars. My 4 days were spent walking the dogs on the stony beach and eating great food! There is plenty to see and do in the area: 1. Pevensey Castle 2. Pevensey Beach 3. Sovereign Harbour 4. Herstmonceux Castle 5. Bexhill 6. Eastbourne Also plenty of shops if you want to cook rather than eat out so you can stock up on all your favourite foods. There is also lots of dog friendly pubs in the area and the best thing about Pevensey is, it’s a dog friendly beach all year round! Without a doubt would recommend this fantastic property for Couples, Families, and very dog friendly, I cant wait to return! Please call or email me for further details and bookings!

Wandering in Puglia

15 February 2020

When you think of Puglia, you think of something a bit different. Well it certainly didn’t disappoint! We travelled to Bari early December with Easy Jet from Gatwick. The flight was great, on time, excellent on board service and without a hitch! The flight was just over 2 hours. Upon at arrival at Bari the airport was pretty empty although I would imagine this would be very different in the summer. We were met by our pre booked driver and taken to our Hotel Mercure Villa Romanazzi Carducci. The hotel used to be an old Italian villa but now has some modern twists with a lovely swimming pool, really good restaurant and bar. The room and bathroom were huge with plenty of hanging space. That night as we arrived pretty late we ate in the hotel which I would definitely recommend for excellent food and value for money, very traditional Italian food from the region and not a pizza in sight! The next day, we walked to Bari train station approx. 10 mins away and caught the train to Ostuni which is about an hour away. However, when you arrive at the train station, you need to catch the bus that then takes you into town. If you miss the bus, it’s a long and fairly dangerous walk as the roads are very busy and don’t have pavements, we found this out on the return journey! Ostuni is known for its whitewashed old town. Ostuni Cathedral combines Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine elements, while the arched Porta San Demetrio is one of 2 remaining medieval gates. The Civic Museum and Archaeological Park houses Ostuni. As we were there on a Sunday it was very busy lots of the locals attending church and a flea market taking place. It was lovely to wander around the old streets with houses touching each other. There were some lovely shops selling traditional goods from the area. We had a lovely lunch at Il Posto Affianco would definitely recommend the weather was so good we were able to eat outside. After the horrendous walk back to the train station we took the train back to Bari, again as it was quite late we decided to eat in the hotel again, the restaurant was full of locals who just come to eat so a really good sign! Would definitely recommend a day trip to Ostuni - it is a truly beautiful town. Day 3 led us to Alberobello 50 mins by bus from Bari and approx. EUR 6.00 each way. Alberobello has the biggest concentration of trulli, a whole town made of 1500 trulli and a UNESCO world heritage site. This place is amazing so pretty, talking to a lot of the shop owners they said early December was a great time to visit, weather is normally pretty mild and there isn’t the mass crowds you get in the summer. There are plenty of shops selling lovely local products and some nice restaurants although a few were closed as it was a Monday. It was just really nice to wander around and take in the scenery. The only thing that would concern me is the how busy the buses would be in the summer so maybe worth hiring a car if you are staying in Bari or the surrounding areas, however be prepared for the crazy Italian driving!!!! That night we ate dinner in Bari again would definitely recommend and also the little night market they had there, this maybe seasonal though as it was selling lots of Christmas goods. Day 4 we decided to explore Bari as our flight was around 20.00 so it gave us plenty of time to see the City, I must say I was really impressed. Bari is a port city on the Adriatic Sea, and the capital of southern Italy’s Puglia region. Its maze-like old town, Barivecchia, occupies a headland between 2 harbours. Surrounded by narrow streets, the 11th-century Basilica di San Nicola, a key pilgrimage site, holds some of St. Nicholas’ remains. To the south, the Murat quarter has stately 19th-century architecture, a promenade and pedestrianised shopping areas. With designer shops as well as local ones it’s a great City, beautiful buildings especially the theatre set on long boulevard. It has a relaxed feel with the harbour, local fisherman with their catch of the day. I have travelled to most of Italy and I would say Bari is by far my favourite city. You can catch the ferry to Albania another pf my favourite places. If you visit Puglia make sure you visit Bari you won’t be disappointed. Sad to leave, we caught our flight back to Gatwick with EasyJet, again great flight, on time. Would however recommend speedy boarding. Would definitely recommend Bari as an alternative short break, would love to have had more time so we could really explore the beautiful region of Puglia. Please call or email me for further details on this trip and any others . I adore Italy and would love to share my travel experiences with you.

Solo Adventures in Albania

21 November 2019

Check in very quick at Gatwick, the joys of travelling BA Club Europe. The flight was excellent, crew used my name, very professional and outstanding service. We arrived at Tirana and I was met by my driver took about 30 minutes to transfer to the hotel, although traffic was very busy. Arrived at the City Hotel, small hotel in very good location. The hotel was very clean, staff very friendly and professional, room was a good size (single) would definitely recommend as excellent value for money. I took a stroll and did a bit of exploring, there is a Mosque being built near the hotel it will be amazing when its finished. Had a lovely lunch at Artigiano, Italian/Albanian restaurant with a lovely rooftop terrace. The next day the driver picked me up from City Hotel it took around 1.5hrs to reach Shkodra, you see some pretty scenery as its mainly rural. Arrived at Tradita Gege & Toske Hotel, nice hotel very traditional. I have one of the courtyard rooms, spacious and very clean. Exploreing the old town, start by the Mosque, follow the road round and there are some really good street bars and restaurants, I had lunch at the Shkodra Country Club, very good value for money. I met some wonderful street dogs, shame the locals don’t feel the same! Headed back to the hotel where I had a wonderful dinner at the hotel restaurant although service was slow, however a local folk group did play for us which was fun. Took a cab to Rozafa Castle, however its definitely not for the faint hearted as its very steep to reach the entrance and there aren’t any railings to hang on to. Sadly because I suffer from vertigo I wasn’t able to carry on. Took a slow walk back to the old town which took about 50 minutes. Had a drink at the rooftop bar in the Colosseo Hotel it has exceptional views of Shkodra. Treated myself to a massage in the hotel (40 Euros) also had a lovely dinner there too, for a four star hotel the prices were very reasonable. Got up early as I wanted to visit the Site of Witness and Memory, it’s a museum dedicated to the people of Albania who lost their lives or suffered under the Communist regime. It was very emotional as I had no idea this had gone on. The only way I can describe it is Genocide they wanted to make Albania an Atheist country and by doing so they killed a lot of religious leaders and destroyed churches and mosques, anyone who dared to speak out were often killed or imprisoned in awful conditions. The Museum was originally a prison so you clearly see what went on. This is an absolute must if you visit Shkodra it costs just over a £1 as entrance fee and left me feeling very privileged that I had seen what went on and also it was emotional. My driver then came to pick me for my transfer to Durres (approx. 100 mins) the drive was horrendous and I’ll be honest I’ve made a formal complaint about the driver as I wouldn’t want any of my clients to experience this! I’m now at the Bleart Hotel in Durres, it’s a 4* hotel that is kind of retro and I really like it! I have a huge room with a king and single bed, plus a large balcony and sea view. I ate lunch at the hotel it was excellent and very reasonable, I also had a lovely swim in the 25 metre saltwater pool it’s not heated but once you are in its great. Tonight I had dinner in the hotel very good food and wine and excellent value for money. Apart from the horrific road transfer. The next day I took a leisurely walk along the Boardwalk and back along the beach. The beach stretches for miles and is pretty clean most of the way. The sea however is very clear and warm even in October. I’m clearly at the old end of the beach as further up there is plenty of building works taking place and some new glitzy 5* hotels offering all-inclusive and lots of activities this is definitely a very developed area. There are a few shops and plenty of restaurants where I am staying. Had a very chilled out afternoon around the pool and the weather has been amazing. I've spent my time lazing around the pool, swimming and reading. Tonight at the Hotel Bleat I had an amazing dinner of local dips (Beetroot, Saffron, Cucumber all in yogurt) with local fresh bread. Followed by grilled seafood platter (squid, prawns, octopus, crab and lobster) an amazing dessert no idea what it was but it was delicious. I have been amazed by the standard of food in Albania, but I have to say The Hotel Bleart have excelled themselves and the service has been great, even if you don’t stay here I would recommend you have a meal here, the local wine is also very good. Next day I left Durres and travelled back to Tirana (1hr). I arrived back at the City Hotel where I had stayed on my first night and had a really warm welcome and the same room. I would definitely recommend this hotel for its location, service, cleanliness and breakfast. I walked about 25 minutes to Skandeberg Square and the Natural History Museum, if there is only one thing you do in Tirana make sure you visit the Museum, I spent around 2hrs here, I wish I had visited it on my first day as it gives an excellent introduction to the country, people, culture and history. The entrance fee is approx. £1.50 there are some amazing artefacts, there was also an a photography display (this is seasonal). After the museum I spent some time wandering around Skandeberg Square, named after the only Albanian hero! There is also an opera house and small park area where you can sit and watch the world go by. After this I went back to my favourite restaurant Arginto and had a wonderful late lunch. I’m going home! The flight is full, the security at the airport is a nightmare, no priority for business class passengers, the lounge is ok, but I’ve had such an amazing time I don’t care! Highlights: The Museum in Shkodra Food at the Bleart Hotel (Durres) Staff ay the City Hotel (Tirana) National History Museum The people and their hospitality I would definitely recommend Albania, however they need to improve the public transport as hiring an car is not for the fainthearted! This trip has exceeded my expectations, I was dubious about coming especially as I was travelling on my own. I didn’t encounter any problems or difficult situations apart from the drive from Shkodra to Durres. Amazing country, people, culture and history. Please contact me for further details or to book an holiday to this still undiscovered beautiful country.

Romantic Paris in Winter

09 September 2019

I love Paris but Paris in the winter for me is the best time! We left Ebbsfleet on an early morning train, the business first product is great you get a lovely breakfast and great coffee. 2 ½ hours later we arrived in Gare de Nord then headed to the Metro to catch the train to Odeon around 10 stops but direct. When we arrived at the Hotel Baume we were met with the usual exceptional service, this is one of my favourite hotels it never disappoints. We decided to upgrade our room to the Superior room which was well worth it. The Baume is a small boutique property in the excellent location of the St Germaine area with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and within easy access to the Metro, however I personally think the best way to see Paris is by foot. Grab yourself a really good map and guide book and just keep on walking. On our first full day we walked around 8 miles taking in the sights and finding quirky cafes to drink coffee and eat pastries! If it’s your first trip to Paris I would definitely recommend the Hop on Hop off bus tour, you get a really idea of what Paris is like as well as taking in all the sights. Below are my top recommendations to visit 1. The Eiffel Tower 2. Sainte Chapelle 3. The Catacombs of Paris 4. Musee du Louvre 5. The Pantheon - Paris 6. Arc de Triomphe 7. Palace at Versailles 8. Notre Dame 9. Shopping on the Champs Elysees 10. Montmartre 11. Sacre Coeur 12. River Seine Hop-on-Hop-off Cruise 13. Paris Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Would also recommend Le Petit Casimir, a lovely local restaurant opposite the Baume Hotel. After our 2 wonderful nights we headed back to Ebbsfleet on Eurostar. We took this trip in January, when Paris is less busy, lots of sales on in the shops and for me although it was cold it added to the romance of this magical city. Please call or email for further details on trips like this to Paris or other cities.

Dogs and a Roadtrip

14 May 2019

I decided to take my annual staycation to Cornwall this year as I hadn't been there since 1978 and I wasn't disappointed! However, I am travelling with my dogs Doris & Bill so decided to break the journey in Somerset. I stayed at the Mason Arms, Odcombe, near Yeovil. It was a lovely hotel within a pub and extremely dog friendly. The food, service and staff were amazing and couldn't do enough to make you feel welcome.... I would recommend this hotel especially if travelling with your fur babies. After a very hearty breakfast I set off for the Village of St Breward in Cornwall, where I would be staying in the Roost Cottage. The cottage is amazing has everything to make you feel home from home and the views are stunning overlooking Bodmin Moor and very dog friendly. The village and pub (The Old Inn) are a 15-minute walk away, the pub serves really good food and is very dog friendly. I ordered all my food on line with Tesco's and had it delivered to the cottage on Saturday afternoon so there was no need to worry about food shopping as its impossible when you are on your own with two dogs! On Sunday, I decided to visit New Quay it has stunning beaches and views, as it wasn't high season it was easy to get around but could see it would be very different in July and August. I had a lovely lunch at The Harbour Fish & Grill with spectacular views of the beaches I even saw seals whilst I was there.... The restaurant is very dog friendly as is New Quay in general. On Monday, it was Bude where I learnt to surf when I was twelve, to be honest it hasn't changed a bit. Beaches still stunning and the town has a nice relaxed feel and less touristy than New Quay. Today lunch was at The Beach Hotel and Restaurant, again amazing views, excellent food and service, very dog friendly. Would recommend the fish as it was freshly caught! After Bude I drove to Boscastle a lovely little town with a real community feel and some great local shops, just make sure you always have change for the car parks! Tuesday was a visit to Wadebridge a lovely little town on the River Camel, would recommend it has nice shops, lots of coffee shops, bars and restaurants and a good wine shop! We then went on to Padstow, home to Rick Steins restaurants and cooking school as well as his shops. Lovely harbour, lots of nice shops and plenty to places to eat with some great views, plenty of parking and a very dog friendly little town. Wednesday, I decided to have a restful day taking Doris & Bill for a walk in the village and picking up some bits from the grocery store which is also a Post Office and ATM, Jan who works there is so helpful! We had coffee in the Old Inn Pub, then it was back to the Roost for relaxing in the garden with my book and enjoying the beautiful Cornish weather! Thursday, drove to Mevagissey approx. 45-minute drive and most of it is scenic. Mevagissey is an old twin harbour town and dates to the 14th century. It is very pretty has plenty of tea shops and quaint shops. However, there is a problem with the traffic as the streets are very narrow, wasn’t very easy navigating around with 2 dogs. Would recommend a visit though and have lunch at The Fountain Inn…. Very dog friendly. Friday, was back to Bude and catching up on the places I missed on Monday, just love this place and so dog friendly. Saturday, we said goodbye to the Roost and St Breward. This is probably one of the best cottages I have stayed in for a long time. The Cottage itself was of a very high standard and very dog friendly, the views were breath-taking and Kate the owner was always on hand if needed. We drove back to the Masons Arms in Odcombe for our last night. We were welcomed with open arms, they had remembered us from the week before, hope that was a good sign!! After a 2hr drive, Doris and Bill let off steam in the gated run which you can use if you are guests at the hotel. The food, service, staff, accommodation and general ambience is amazing here, so dog friendly will return that’s for sure! If you are interested in a holiday like this, whether travelling with fur babies or not, please contact me.

Birthday at the Hard Rock Hotel - Tenerife

24 April 2019

This year I decided to spend my birthday at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife! To really celebrate in style, we flew British Airways Club Europe from Gatwick. The lounge is a great experience and it’s always good to have a glass of chilled champagne before you depart! I would definitely recommend Club Europe as Tenerife is over a 4-hour flight. A lovely breakfast and plenty of fizz flowing and the crew were very attentive. On arrival at Tenerife Airport, immigration and customs was very quick and we headed towards the counter for our private transfer to the Hard Rock Hotel, which was swift and well organised. Check in at the Hard Rock was excellent and the welcome drink went down well. We were taken to our room straight away, which was lovely, the lovely Joanne Peters (sales manager) had arranged for Cava and a birthday cake in our room. After a swim in the pool we decided to check out the local bars and restaurants would definitely recommend L'Incontro, especially the Paella and house Roja. The next day was my birthday and celebrations were in full swing. After the best breakfast ever with everything you could imagine, it was chill out time. The Hard Rock Hotel has three pools; adults only and two that cater for kids. As it wasn't a children's holiday we decided on the main pool with good music and pool staff always on hand. That night we ate again at L'Incontro. More days at the wonderful hotel also took advantage of the Beach Club which was great. I would also definitely recommend a sundowner at The Sixteenth Tenerife with amazing views. I would also recommend Restaurante Punta Paraiso, the portions are enormous. So finally, all good things have to come to an end. The Lounge at Tenerife is not the best in my opinion; however, the flight home was good in Club Europe on British Airways. I would recommend the Hard Rock Hotel to everyone; families, couples and singles. It's an amazing hotel with staff that always go the extra mile!

Gorrilas in the mist!

15 March 2018

It had been my lifelong dream to visit Rwanda and trek with the gorillas. I finally made the trip in November 2010 and was not disappointed. It was an amazing country and the people are so friendly. The highlight, of course, was to be with the gorillas, as well as trekking to Diane Fosse's grave in the Parc National Des Volcans. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience for me. Favourite accommodation: Virunga Safari Lodge in Parc Des Volcans – Rwanda When I opened the door from my room, the scenery was breath-taking, with mist hanging over uninhabited islands in the middle of the lake. The noise of birds and animals was so exciting, whilst knowing that when I looked at the mountains this was the home of the mountain gorillas made my spine tingle. The staff and service were excellent, and they could not do enough for the guests. The food was amazing, despite the remoteness, drawing on all the local, fresh produce. Most memorable experience As I have mentioned this was my lifelong dream to trek Gorillas in Rwanda. We trekked for two hours each way through mud and thick forest. Every minute was worth it when I reached our final spot and was lucky enough to be surrounded by a family of 15 gorillas. At first it felt like a scary experience but after a short while was the most amazing thing. It was really humbling to be surrounded by such beautiful creatures and even better when a 440lb silverback brushed past my leg!

Antigua

18 September 2017

We travelled to Island of Antigua in the month of November. I had travelled to Antigua before however to different accommodation. We decided to do a two centre so we could get a different feel for the locations and hotels Our first stay was Blue Waters on the northwestern corner of Antigua. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel, it is set in 17 acres of beautiful tropical gardens and has everything to offer the perfect relaxing holiday together with excellent service from the staff where nothing is too much trouble for them. Our 7 night stay here consisted of relaxing on the beach, swimming in the beautiful Caribbean sea, lounging around the pool, playing tennis and eating at the 3 restaurants. Our room was a one of the beautiful Cove Suites. The Cove Suites’ premier services and facilities make them one of the most luxurious accommodations in the entire Caribbean. The Cove Suites are amazing as there is 6 in each block so if there is a large group of friends or family these are ideal as you have seclusion and privacy. The Suites are set apart from the main resort, you will appreciate the Cove Suites’ intimate location, set apart from the main resort. What I liked most was the swimming pool which are exclusive to every Cove Suite building. You have uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea, without ever having to worry about getting up for a drink, as a dedicated bar service is available. Although we did not use the facility during the day it was handy at night when we would go to dinner to call reception and they would send you a golf buggy! Another niche feature is the Concierge Service which is available 8am-6pm. When we checked in we were given a mobile phone to place calls to the concierge, food & beverage operations and the management team, so no matter where you are in the resort, you’ll only be one phone call away from added luxury! Our amazing Suite overlooked the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, we had a huge bathroom and a large living area and the bed was huge and so comfy! Restaurants – we would eat breakfast in the Palm Restaurant which was an amazing buffet, I have never seen so many varieties of fruit - I was in 7th heaven! Lunch would be either in the Palm or Carolyn’s beach bar and restaurant where they serve lunchtime snacks, salads and smoothies and there is also the Pelican Bar or Veronica’s poolside bar for daytime or evening refreshments. Bartley’s restaurant name after Mrs Bartley who has been a housekeeper for over 50 years at Blue Waters and is open 3 times a week. We ate here on those 3 applicable nights, where they serve authentic Caribbean dishes. But our favorite was the Cove the stunning setting, wonderful views and amazing food. The Cove Restaurant offers a traditional fine dining option for dinner only in a fabulous cliff top setting. Blue Waters offers 2 sandy beaches, 3 swimming pools (one for adults only), a Jacuzzi, tennis court, fitness center, complimentary WIFI and complimentary non-motorized watersports including kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and snorkeling. There's also a Spa where they offer a range of Elemis treatments, and for the kids there is a kids’ club operating 6 days a week for ages 4-12 yrs, as well as a crèche for infants (a local charge applies for the crèche). We did decide to venture out one day and visit the capital St Johns, we arranged our transportation through the hotel. The main attraction here is the duty free shopping however the town was full of cruise ships with at least 4 in port. Once the cruise passengers departed the town was much nicer and easier to get around, there’s a cool little market which sells local arts and crafts but other than that not a great deal to see and a few hours is plenty. So after 7 nights at Blue Waters we departed for Curtain Bluff where we stayed for our last 2 nights. The transfer time is approx. 40 minutes as Curtain Bluff is on the South Coast. It has a very laid back feel and the property and surrounding areas are stunning. We were shown to our room which was a junior suite just a stone’s throw from Surf Beach, we sat on the balcony and listened to the sound of the surf - pure paradise. There are two beaches at Curtain Bluff: Surf Beach, this beach has great surf and generally more chilled out with an amazing stretch of golden sand and palm trees as well as the swinging hammocks. Bay Beach has a Café and Bar as well as the swimming pool, basketball courts and Shuffle Boards. The water here is calm and clear, perfect for swimming, sailing a Hobie and kayaking. Restaurants – We had breakfast in the Tamarind Tree, on our first night we ate in Seagrape under the stars and listening to the waves lapping against the shore very romantic. On our 2nd day we took the full day boat trip to Barbuda, you catch the boat from St Johns and we were told it was a 45 minute journey but unfortunately it turned into 2 hours, the crossing was very rough and I would definitely recommend taking travel sickness pills. I did but poor John didn’t and he was really poorly :(. However once we got there it was worth the horrendous journey, miles and miles of pristine sand and clear blue water where you were able to snorkel off shore. We had around 3 hours on the island which also included a BBQ with unlimited drinks on both the BBQ and boat. Thankfully the sailing back was a lot smoother! This was our final night and we were lucky enough to be invited to a private party hosted by the owner of Curtain Bluff Chelle Hulford. It was an amazing night as we were able to meet the tennis players Andrew Castle and Annabelle Croft as they host a tennis clinic every November, together with the legendary West Indian bowler Courtney Walsh. This was a fantastic end to a wonderful holiday. I would recommend Antigua to anyone who wants to enjoy excellent accommodation, fantastic food and a relaxing holiday.

In search of Geysers and the Blue Lagoon

14 September 2017

I had visited Iceland way back in 1993 so thought it was about time I returned, which I did in December 2016 with a good friend of mine. The flight over was excellent with Icelandair on their new aircraft, customs and immigration is quick and efficient. On arrival at Keflavik airport (50kms from Storm Hotel) airport we caught the feeder bus which transfers you to the relevant bus for your hotel. Quick, easy and efficient as well as good value for money as cabs are extremely expensive! We checked into the Storm hotel which is situated between Reykjavik’s main business area and the main shopping street Laugavegur. The hotel has 93 rooms which offer stylish and comfortable accommodation, as well as a breakfast area and nice cosy bar. Would recommend the Happy Hour as drinks are very expensive! That night we decided to explore Reykjavik we walked into the town which was approx. 10 mins, the area felt very safe and friendly. We decided to try the fish as we knew it would be fresh, the Cod was amazing and would thoroughly recommend it, however fish and chips and a glass of wine was £29.00 each. Iceland is very expensive so would suggest a tour that has meals included. The next day we had booked the Golden Circle tour so was up early as we were being picked up at 8am. The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometers (190 mi) looping from Reykjavik, as it was December it didn’t get light until around 10.30am. Our first stop was the Pingvellier National Park in southwestern Iceland about 40kms from Reykjavik. The park is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The park lies in rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid – Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian. To the south lies Pingvallavatan the largest lake in Iceland. As it was as it was December it didn’t get light until around 10.30am when we arrived we were taken to the museum first where you learn about the history and geologic facts of the area, it was very interesting. Finally as it started to get light we were able to see the enormity of the park and the surrounding areas, it was absolutely breath taking. Our next stop was Gullfoss on route we visited some of the sites where they film Game of Thrones and in the distance saw the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that caused disruption with the ash cloud in 2010. Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The waterfall is amazing and the noise is so loud as the water plunges in two stages the average amount of water is 4,900 cubic feet per second! As we approached the falls it felt like the edge was obscured from view and it feels like the river vanishes into the earth! We spent a couple of hours here walking around, climbing where was safe over the falls and just watching the wonder of it all, it was hard to capture the beauty and splendor of the falls by camera! We had lunch here, however a bowl of soup with bread was £12.00 and hot chocolate £7.00. Next stop was Haukadalur which is home to some of the most famous sights in Iceland: the geysers and other geothermal features. The biggest geysers of Haukadalur are Strokkur and Geysir itself, which gave us the word 'geyser'. Strokkur erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, whereas the bigger Geysir nowadays erupts very rarely. There are also more hot springs and mud pots nearby. It was amazing to watch Strokkur erupt and the smell of sulfuric acid was heavily is the air! This was a great photo stop opportunity, also nearby are the Icelandic horses which are indigenous to Iceland and more like ponies than horses but they are so beautiful! We got back to the hotel around 6pm so it was a full day, however I would definitely recommend this tour as you get so see so much of Iceland and especially recommended if you are on a short break like we were. Our guide was excellent very knowledgeable and great sense of humor, I would say this tour is excellent value for money approx. £59.00 per person. That night it was another expensive dinner of pizza and a glass of wine cost £25.00 each! Next day was the Blue Lagoon excursion we had booked for a 10.30 pickup, a lot of people do this trip on the way to or from the Airport as its on route and only 12 miles from Keflavik Airport and if time is limited it’s a great way to do it. The Blue Lagoon Spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field Grindavik. The warm waters are rich in minerals like and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases. It was quite surreal walking around in your bathing suits when the air temperature is about 2C however both myself and Jane swim outside so was kind of used to it, having said that the water temperature is about 38C. There’s no need to worry about hygiene as they have a strict policy of showering prior to entering the Lagoon. There is also a bar where you can enjoy your drink whilst relaxing in the hot water. The whole thing is very organized and a definite must to visit the cost is approx £68.00 per person. Do note though children age 8 and under are only allowed entry with the use of arm floaters, provided free of charge, under 2 years are not allowed in, but it's accessible for wheelchair users with a ramp that extends into the water and a shower chair. Seeing as it was our last night we decided to splash out and eat in Matarkjallarinn an amazing fish restaurant we had a main course and glass of wine and it was £55.00 however the fish pie was excellent and well worth the expense as was the service. Our last day was spent window shopping, before we caught the bus back to the airport and then our British Airways flight to Heathrow. We had a fantastic trip, and saw so much of the country. The weather was nowhere near as cold as we thought it would be and the lack of daylight did not affect our sightseeing. I would definitely recommend Iceland but be prepared its very expensive. Iceland is a winter and summer destination, however regardless of when you travel I recommend pre booking your tours before you leave.

Civil Rights in Alabama

14 September 2017

I visited Alabama in the month of May. I flew into Birmingham via Charlotte. Birmingham - Where we visited the 16th Street Baptist Church for sunday service. This was the site of a racial bombing by the Ku Klux Klan, which took place in September 1963. Four children died as a result. The choir was amazing and gave me goose bumps! This church was a meeting place for Martin Luther King. This was followed by a visit to the Civil Rights Museum, which is next door to the church. We only had a brief tour, but you could spend at least three hours in here. A visit is a must as it really helps you to understand the whole civil rights movement. The thing I found so poignant was that this is very recent history. We then travelled to the Barber Vintage Motor Museum, about 25 minutes from Birmingham. This is full of Motorbikes and although I'm not a big fan of bikes, I found this very interesting. Montgomery - We drove from Selma to the captial of Alabama (approximately 50 miles). I visited the Rosa Parks Musuem and the Freedom trail, where you can walk in the Footsteps of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Jefferson Davis. I also visited the Capitol Building, where we had a detailed tour. It's a wonderful building and the surronding areas are also very interesting. Montgomery is a cool city with lots going on and a really good downtown area which feels safe and relaxed. There's plenty of history as well as a really good entertaniment area called the Alley that has a New Orleans feel to it. We ate at the Central Resturant, great food! They also have the Hank Williams Museum! Montgomery to Mobile via Monroeville (approx 100 miles). Home of the book "To kill a Mockingbird". Visited the Beehive Coffee Shop to get a real insight into this lovely little town. You can also visit the Court Room where the film was made. Monroeville to Mobile via Bayou La Batre (approx 93 miles). Bayou La Batre has to be the best place I have ever had shrimp. This area was heavily affected by Hurriance Katrina, but it has a real community spirit. Bayou La Batre was featured in the movie Forrest Gump - it's where Forest's friend Bubba came from. It's also where the Black Pearl was built for Pirates of the Caribbean. Bayou La Batre to Mobile (approx 18 miles). Upon arriving on Alabama's coastline we made a quick stop at the Historical area of Oakleigh, where they have some amazing houses. Mobile was home to the first Mardi Gras and there is a Carnival Museum. I also visited USS Alabama, a WWII navy ship which you can explore along with the Airforce Museum. We then went on the Five Rivers Delta Tour on the Alabama River, where we saw Alligators and lots of birds. A great little tour for all ages. Mobile to Fairhope (approx 20 miles). I loved this little town as it has some great restaurants and art shops. Fairhope is very like Carmel or Del Mar in California. I'd suggest a couple of nights here and it's only 45 minutes from the fantastic beach of Gulf Shores. Fairhope to Gulf Shores (approx 32 miles). You can stop at the Foley Outlet Shopping Mall on route and 18 miles of pure white sand awaits you at Gulf Shores. There are lots of resturants and bars, but limited hotel accommodation as it's mostly condos. We saw the Island House Hotel though and loved it! My highlights were: • The Fish Club Restaurant in Birmingham, especially the Gazpacho! • Central Resturant Montgomery • Solitaire Jazz club Montgomery • Town of Monroeville, where the book to "Kill a Mockingbird" was based and the Beehive coffee shop, which was a delight • Shrimp in Bayou La Batre • Alligator watching in the Five Rivers Delta in Mobile • Town of Fairhope and the Simply Divine Shop Personal tips for this holiday: Go to a service at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. It is amazing and the Civil Rights Museum gives you a real insight and understanding of the civil rights movement. I'd suggest you make Birmingham your first stop in Alabama. Why should you travel there: To get a real insight into the civil rights movement. At times I was very moved by what I learnt. The civil rights movement happened in the fifties and sixties, so this is very recent history that caused major changes in America and commemorative events will take place in 2013 to mark this. Having lived in America I have travelled a great deal, but never to Alabama. I have to say it was much better than I had expected and I really enjoyed my trip. If you want something a bit different its definitely for you! What is unique about this place: The history, as it changed America. Great food.

One Love Jamaica

12 September 2017

We travelled to the island of Jamaica in the month of November. We had no idea what to expect in Jamaica but we were totally blown away. It is an amazing island with its culture, scenery and people. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff in the hotels, they are genuinely passionate about their country and what they do. All four hotels were totally different and such a good contrast. I recommend that you do at least a two centre to get the feel of the island. I can’t wait to return! Our first stay was at The Roundhill Hotel in Montego Bay. Beautiful hotel, impeccable service, excellent food, amazing views and plenty of water sport and land activities. Our Oceanfront room was bright and airy but what we loved most was the view we had with huge windows, which overlooked the beach and the clear blue Caribbean Sea. You don't have to go far to snorkel and see the most amazing marine fish, it was one of the best places I have snorkelled. I would definitely recommend dining outside as the atmosphere is amazing. This is hotel is suitable for couples, singles and families. Leave Roundhill and Montego Bay and head West to Negril, a 90 minute car transfer. It’s a great way to see some of the island. The Caves are very different to Roundhill as it is set on a cliff where adrenaline junkies can jump or dive into the ocean from a 30-foot cliff! Our room was next to the Blue Hole where, if you’re feeling brave. you can take the plunge into the ocean! The highlight of the stay was the snorkelling. You need to be a strong swimmer but it was worth it as we swam in the Blue Hole - it really was quite something. I recommend experiencing dinner taken in one of the caves - there are candles everywhere and it was so romantic. As we sat enjoying our meal the waves were crashing against the rocks, it truly was awesome. This hotel is suitable for couples, particularly honeymooners. We left the Caves and headed east to Oracebessa and Goldeneye, 3.5 hours’ drive away. Although it was a long drive we saw a lot of the island including the highway that Queen Elizabeth II opened in 1953 and where Christopher Columbus landed in 1494. The weather was certainly changing the further west we went and we were starting to see a storm brewing. Nothing could have prepared us for Goldeneye, it was absolutely amazing and again so different from Roundhill and the Caves. We checked into our Lagoon Suite complete with its own kayak and outside rain shower. The room was huge and we had a very large deck. I’d recommend eating in the Gazebo restaurant and making use of the spa facilities. We were fortunate to see the Ian Fleming Villa where he wrote his novels and a lot of the furniture is the originally pieces. Goldeneye was amazing thanks to the staff that can’t do enough for you as well as the amazing food and the whole environment that you’re in. This hotel is suitable for couples and families. As we set off for the 30-minute drive to Jamaica Inn, we realised how lucky we had been to stay in three of the most amazing properties on the island. We arrived at Jamaica Inn and were met by Inl and Zion the adorable Cocker Spaniels that had me smitten! Jamaica Inn is again totally different from the three other hotels we stayed in. It has an old world charm and the setting is fantastic overlooking the white sandy beach. Our room was an Oceanfront Suite with a huge balcony which overlooked the ocean and we could even see the fish swimming around. Back at the beach bar, Teddy who has been with the hotel forever was ready to serve us our drinks. We didn’t even need to ask him, he was always there with the correct drinks! On our last night at Jamaica Inn but Jamaica too we had a great send off as it was a beach BBQ with more food than you could even begin to imagine. Tables were set up on the beach, we kicked off our shoes and had a wonderful night, and probably one of our best times in the Caribbean. This hotel is suitable for couples, singles and families.

Crystal Cruise - Istanbul to Corfu

03 August 2017

This was my first Crystal and my partner John first ever cruise, we travelled in the month of September. We travelled to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and was very impressed with the food and service. When we arrived at the port Crystal Serenity looked stunning against the backdrop of a cloudy and rainy night in Istanbul. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were taken to our cabin 10115 (Deluxe Stateroom with Veranda). It was bright and airy had a large Queen sized bed, full bath what I loved most was the wardrobe space! Our cabin stewardess introduced herself over the week she couldn’t do enough for us. We had pre dinner drinks in the Sunset Bar and then went to dinner in the Main Restaurant, food and service was impeccable. Then spent the evening in the Avenue Salon listening to the amazing tunes that Marcie Castro was playing on the piano. Next day the ship was still in Port at Istanbul we had great plans to get off and explore but this never happened we just lazed around the pool the service around the pool and in the Bistro was first class and the pool boys soon knew what we drinking we didn’t even have to ask we were greeted with a Latte and Earl Grey, very impressive. We did however decide that we needed some exercise and played tennis on the Wimbledon Court, it was great fun playing on a ship. That night we ate in the Main Restaurant again. A whole day at sea to enjoy the sun and pool areas, which are spacious and no shortage of beds. Another day of playing tennis with great views! Tonight was ate at Silk Road (Nobu), which was amazing especially the Teriyaki Salmon. Again the service was amazing as well as the food, wine and the atmosphere was really good. The next day we awoke to a wonderful hot and sunny day in Mykonos the ship docked at 8am we had breakfast on our Veranda with the Crystal Blue Sea Glistening. We then took the complimentary bus into town, wandered around and grabbed a coffee and just watched the world go by. The town was pretty busy as there were 2 other Cruise ships that had docked but we were still to get around comfortably and saw a little bit of the Island. Mykonos Town has a real café-bar-boutique scene. September is definitely a good time to visit as the locals said July and August is really busy. That night we ate in Prego (Italian) again the food and service were excellent and it became a dilemma where we would eat each night! We arrived in Athens again to hot and sunny day. We decided that we would visit the Greek Capital and all her spectacular historical sights, however this wasn’t to be as there was a problem with the traffic and it was taking 2 hours to get to Athens we decided to leave and make the most of our time around the pool. We ate again in Prego and danced the night away in the Disco! This was our favourite day of the Cruise we had breakfast on the balcony with amazing views of the Nafplio Bay in the Peloponnese, this town has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. We caught the tender to shore and embarked on the most beautiful and picturesque town, it was a Sunday so there were families bustling about going to Church, locals taking in the lovely scenery drinking strong coffees. We found a smart little café down by the port and sipped hot tea and watched the world go by. Later we took a stroll around the little cobbled streets and shopped in the upmarket jewellery shops. We loved this place and definitely recommend it, is a real hidden gem. If you are feeling energetic you can climb the 913 winding steps to the Palamidi Fortress from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand, but really worth doing. Our last full day was spent at sea soaking up the last of the rays and as usual eating and drinking! Disembarkation in Corfu was quick, professional and painless just like everything else Crystal Cruises do! Whatever you want from a Cruise Crystal Serenity offers it all! This six star all inclusive (top brands) ship boasts many activities for every passenger, whether you want to soak up the rays around the pool, play tennis or pro-golf, tantalise your taste buds in the Michelin star restaurants, try your hand at the Casinos, take in a movie, a theatre show or dance to dawn in the disco the choice is yours! The crew work tirelessly 24 hours a day to make your holiday a truly pleasurable and memorable experience. I asked John what he thought of his first cruise he said, "I tried it and now I’m hooked. Take it from me, put this one on your list!"

Arctic Adventures

15 March 2018

It has always been my dream to visit the Arctic and that's exactly what happened in June this year! I left Heathrow and followed the midnight sun to Longyearbyen, a three-hour flight from Oslo. I arrived at 1am to be greeted with daylight which was an amazing experience. The next day didn't disappoint; a morning of sightseeing in Longyearbyen. A must is a visit to the museum where it gives real insight into what the area has to offer and also the history of it. Then it was off to board MS Nordstjernen, the Hurtigruten Expedition ship built in 1956. The ship was small and cosy. If you are looking for luxury and glitz then this isn't for you, but if you want to be laid back and causal its great - I loved it. The cabins are small but adequate. That night I was lucky to see humpback whales. The real highlight was the sightseeing of a blue whale, an amazing creature and so close to the ship. In fact, we anchored so we could get a better view of him. I feel very privileged to have seen such beautiful mammal, this will live with me forever! The next day we took the Zodiac to the shore where we saw walrus and the crew asked if anyone wanted a swim. I was going to until I found out the water was only 2 degrees! The terrain is very rugged and we hiked for about two hours and all the time keeping an eye out for the polar bears. We returned to the ship for a very hearty lunch. The food was excellent: buffet breakfast and lunch, a la carte for dinner and always fresh produce. All the meals were included as well as tea and coffee through the day. Drinks were extra and a small bottle of prosecco was approximately £7.50. In the afternoon, the Zodiac took us to see some amazing icebergs whilst out in the water, one starting calving. The sound was booming as it broke off and started to form large waves. That night a polar bear was spotted on an iceberg. The ship got as close as it could but was still about two miles away so I could only see him with very strong binoculars and sadly I wasn't able to get any photos. The following day took us back on shore again for more hiking. It was freezing (-3) but walking for about two hours warmed me up. That evening we entered the high Arctic crossing 80o North, the furthest point you can go before you reach the North Pole. As I sat on deck at 11.30pm in complete daylight my thoughts turned to what an amazing trip I was having and how lucky I was. It was more land adventures the next day and getting very close to a family of arctic reindeer, which was very cute. That evening we visited the town Ny Alesund, the northernmost functional civilian settlement in the world. There are bars and shops so finally I got to buy my compulsory souvenir magnet! We sailed through the night so we could dock in Longyearbyen just after breakfast. After disembarkation, we were taken to a hotel so we could spend the day exploring and shopping. Although things are quite pricy they are of very good quality. There was a farewell dinner for all the passengers, which consisted mainly of Germans and Norwegians. I was the only English person but met some lovely Welsh and Scottish passengers. I would recommend this trip to anyone who has a sense of adventure, loves wildlife and being off the beaten track!

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Fantastic service - Alison goes above and beyond. I can't fault it.

Sent by Linda Stradling

Always there and Alison goes the extra mile to make sure you get the best possible holiday!

Sent by Tristan Adams

Alison provides an exceptional travel service. From one night in a UK hotel all the way through to complicated tailor made world wide holidays. Whatever we are booking, Alison is professional, knowledgeable and flexible to our bespoke and demanding requests.

Sent by Jan Frankham

Alison is very helpful and will go out of her way to find answers and solutions for you.

Sent by Helen Barrow

Lanzarote was beautiful and didn’t disappoint as always. Alison took all the pain out of choosing our holiday, we gave her our budget, but literally said we’d go anywhere, she gave us a few options, & we chose Lanzarote as we’d been before and knew it would be easy to settle in. However, the hotel far exceeded our expectations, Mynd hotel in Playa Blanca is a relatively new hotel with a new concept, they are very environmentally friendly & focussed on sustainability, even their beer helps save the ocean! The food in our B&B package was awesome, one of the best I’ve ever had, so much fresh fruit, home made yogurt, hot food, great choice of juices and fresh coffee, you couldn’t ask for more. They have a hotel in 2 sections, family zone and adult zone, both have 2 pools and they were gorgeous. I can’t recommend this hotel more. Jet 2 were great too, a slight delay both ways, but efficient. Thank you Alison, you’re the best! Xx

Sent by Joanne Buck

As usual, Alison provided an excellent service and attention to detail. Nothing is too much trouble for Alison and we've booked again for next year!

Sent by Patrick Butler

Alison is conscientious and dedicated travel counsellor to her clients. She responds quickly to requests and usually by the end of the day has come up with an itinerary or flight details. She knows her stuff which she is happy to share with and/or guide her clients. Highly recommend

Sent by James Lowe

We came to Alison quite late in booking a holiday. We had a budget and Alison worked towards it, my wife then took over and worked really hard with Alison and we now have an amazing holiday to look forward to! I hope to have many future holidays using Alison and her amazing team. Thanks

Sent by Junior Simpson

Alison's service is very supportive, emphatic and excellent

Sent by Annabel Dunster

Alison is great. She is really responsive and helpful. Would thoroughly recommend!

Sent by Anthony Brinkman

“Hi Alison, Thank you so much for all of your help/support. We really could not have done this without you. As/when we look to do anything like this again, we will certainly be reaching out.

Sent by Danielle Woolf

Alison made my booking so smooth and easy, whilst also sending all relevant documents and information for my trip. I did not have think twice and could just leave this in her safe hands!

Sent by Lisa Preston

A big thank you to Alison Kent for her efficient service to find us the most convenient flights and an amazing hotel in Malta for September! We had to do nothing except come up with the dates and the country, and then Alison it all happen for us.

Sent by Dean Johnson

Absolutely brilliant service, Alison came up with options for me as I didn’t know what I wanted for my 50th birthday spa break - came up with the perfect package and no issues at all - will be using again for our holidays for sure thanks Alison

Sent by Lisa Pirie

I just wanted to write a post about my sincere thanks to Alison for helping to book my family holiday for next summer! We had a plan in our heads and Alison gave THE BEST advice all the way through - leading us to book a brilliant 10 night stay in the beautiful IBIZA next year... So thankful to her for her guidance and honesty, and would not hesitate to recommend her to my friends or family. She was so patient with us and made the whole experience so easy. Thank you!!!!

Sent by Paul Dean

Very happy with the service I received from Alison from the beginning nothing was a problem, l have already sent Alison details onto other people. I also look forward to booking holidays with Alison in the future glad I got in touch.

Sent by Gregor Kirstein

Overall, great service.

Sent by Sarah Coombs

Alison is always helpful, professional and I would not hesitate to recommend to any of my friends and family

Sent by Pamela Manwaring

I would (and do) absolutely recommend Alison for all travel needs. Not only does she listen, advise and find what you didn’t even know you were looking for, you have complete peace of mind knowing she is there should you need any help with the holiday.

Sent by Andrew Betz

Alison was a pleasure to work with

Sent by Helen Barrow

I’d score 11/10 if I could! Alison takes all the pain away and is always on hand to help and support. Peace of mind is fantastic.

Sent by Helen Barrow

Alison! I wanted to say a big big thank you for all your help with our city break. You are always professional, patient, and so helpful to find exactly what I am looking for. My recent trip to Lisbon you went well above and beyond my expectations. We had a drama on the way home, with easyJet messing around with flight times and political marches in the city centre meant we were seriously up against it to catch our flight, it was Saturday, you put yourself out and made calls, sent emails to ensure everything went smoothly. Absolute Platinum service. I highly recommend Alison for all your holiday needs

Sent by Daniel Pye

Knowledgeable, informative, personalised and tailored service delivered to a high degree of quality.

Sent by Thomas O'Connor

Alison was able to arrange the flights as we wanted. No fuss.

Sent by Marc Pursals Borras

Working with Alison Kent is a real pleasure in addition to ensuring an efficient and very professional treatment. It is not just that she gets the best deals for air/train tickets, but also the fact that she give you the best advise in terms of information on visa requirements, health restrictions, local strikes etc...she helps with on-line check-in processes and she is always reachable in case of any travel incident. I do not see more than great advantages having her services.

Sent by Simon Lord

Seriously First Class service

Sent by Megela Campbell

Alison is very pleasant and has excellent customer service attributes.

Sent by Rachel Widden

Yet again, Alison has made finding and booking our summer holiday an absolute breeze. She listens to our input, replies so promptly, sources some fantastic suggestions and finds us that little gem which will tick all the boxes. Thank you, Alison! We can’t wait for our holiday!

Sent by Eleanor McAloren

Alison was extremely helpful, I have never booked a holiday where I'm not going with my parents. I got referred to Alison and I can’t explain in enough words how happy I am. I gave her my options and basic idea for what I wanted and she delivered! I’ll definitely be using her again for booking my next holiday, thankyou for everything you’ve done! x

Sent by Rufus Rock

Amazing, super speedy service!

Sent by Linda Stradling

Alison always goes the extra mile and finds the perfect holiday location at an affordable price. Marvellous!

Sent by Winifred Walker

Always excellent service

Sent by Irene Hobbs Meyer

What would we do without Alison Kent? We would be lost. Helpfulness beyond duty.

Sent by Selina Campbell

Really quick and friendly service.

Sent by Rita Jobanputra

Alison is highly professional travel advisor. We had just told her where we would like to travel and she came up with an amazing itinerary. She was very thorough, took us throu full itinerary explaining in detail, the excursions we can take, places of interest to visit, shows to see, places to eat, to pack warm clothing due to chilly weather, to be aware of parking charges etc. It is very first time we are visiting Las Vegas & San Francisco so all the help and advise from Alison is highly appreciated. Alison booked whole package for us professionally, the whole experience was smooth. We have now decided to book all our future travels with Alison.

Sent by Giles Thomas

Absolutely excellent service from Alison every single time! She's also been very quick to react in some sticky situations, thank you Alison, we'd recommend you in a heartbeat!

Sent by Tim Munday

Have used Alison a number of times & will definitely do so again. She always makes travelling stress free by dotting all the i’s & crossing all the t’s so I don’t have to.

Sent by Georgina Paixao

What would we do without Alison! We have used Alison for many years she listens to our requirements and goes above and beyond to ensure we have the best holiday from start to finish taking the stress of booking away and we always have the best time! I always recommend her to friends and family! Thanks Ali!

Sent by Jan Frankham

Alison has been fantastic. She always gets back to us immediately and offers good options. Our travel is complicated and she is very good.

Sent by Alexandra Rock

Alison Kent is always brilliant, helpful and it is always joyful to speak to her. We love booking our family travel with Alison. . Thank you!

Sent by Janet Lane

My requests are dealt with very professionally with superb customer service

Sent by Geoff Williamson

Excellent service every time we book through Alison

Sent by Christine Creed

Alison was extremely helpful and understanding with my travel needs.

Sent by Susan Thomas

Friendly efficient service

Sent by Tony Brown

Alison is great and makes our life so easy. It is a simple call into her the rest is seamless. She understands our budgets and makes suitable recommendations on accommodation and transport to helping out getting excursions booked, even local restaurant advice. This is invaluable especially as we have 2 small children and being organised, knowing what we are doing and when makes life easy. Great job, thanks. :)

Sent by Christina Bowden

Alison is so knowledgeable and organised that I know my holiday is always in safe hands and I have no hesitation recommending her service to my family and friends.

Sent by Annabel Dunster

Alison is always very responsive

Sent by Sarah Littley

If anyone is looking to book a holiday, I highly recommend Alison Kent from Travel Counsellors she always goes above and beyond to find exactly what you are looking for, does her best to meet your budget, she’s so helpful from start to finish of the whole booking process, and very knowledgeable in the travel world cos she’s been nearly everywhere ?? Thanks again Alison

Sent by Barbara Nayler

Very efficient and prompt replies to emails.

Sent by Sarah Littley

Alison is always helpful and goes out of her way to meet all requirements A wealth of knowledge in the travel industry Would highly recommend

Sent by Christine Fox

I had the BEST time! For my first holiday outside the UK for three years, I wanted something special, individual to me, but on a fairly tight budget. Alison absolutely delivered. She patiently took the time to get to know a bit about me and find out exactly what I wanted, what I like and more importantly, what I definitely don’t like. This meant she was able to tailor a trip to perfectly meet my needs. Alison’s long service in the travel industry along with her own extensive travels, mean she is uniquely placed to offer advice and guidance based on very personal experience. She found me the perfect spot to explore Athens having discovered my interest in history and my love of Greek mythology and philosophy. Alison recommended Naxos for the relax and revive part of my holiday; an island I had never visited before but which suited me to a tee – quiet beaches, lovely family owned tavernas and wonderfully welcoming people! Where Alison really stood out for me, was when I had to change the dates for personal reasons. Her “no problem” attitude, and efficient service in getting everything pushed back by almost three months meant the whole change was completely stress free. I honestly can’t recommend Alison highly enough, and can’t wait to get chatting to her about my next trip.

Sent by Helen Barrow

Alison is absolutely brilliant! So knowledgeable, helpful and professional. She takes all the pain away and makes the booking experience simple. She’s also been almost everywhere so can always recommend places to visit to make your trip memorable! Well done & thank you

Sent by Luisa Cescutti-Butler

Alison was extremely helpful as we kept on going backwards and forwards with our enquiries and each time she never complained and always remained helpful. I would highly recommend her. In fact I have sent her details to a friend who is looking to travel to New Zealand.

Sent by Rebekah Delsol

Thank you so much for organising our holiday to Greece and even chasing the Easyjet Compensation. We would never have found such an amazing resort without your help and had an amazing time! Thanks again, Rebekah

Sent by Vernon Simpson

Excellent Service

Sent by Holly Alexander

Well what a fantastic time the 14 of us had on the P&O Iona Norwegian Fjords cruise! I wanted to thank you for organising our cruise. Everything was perfect on the Iona. Even our G grade cabin was excellent. We will certainly use your services again, if need be, in the future. Thank you again.

Sent by Marc Pursals Borras

It is the best service. Quick, responsive, helpful and great knowledge on the travel business. Customer feels to be in best hands. Highly recommended.

Sent by Pamela Manwaring

I have complete peace of mind when Alison has booked a trip for us. She really takes care of everything. I always recommend her to friends and family.

Sent by Joanne Buck

Alison is always on the ball and always goes the extra mile to ensure all of my holidays are completely perfect! I will recommend Alison to anyone who ever mentions the word "holiday"!!

Sent by Claire Noyelle

Alison was amazing. Nothing was too much trouble to research or answer questions on & she was incredibly efficient at getting things booked and organised. Cannot thank her enough.

Sent by Catherine Moore

I'm going to Australia, and it is a bit out of my comfort zone, Alison was very helpful and reassuring planning everything down to car transfers., feel confident now knowing Alison is on the end of phone to help with everything..

Sent by Irene Hobbs Meyer

We are so spoilt by Alison , we rely on her.

Sent by Tristan Adams

Everything worked well for the Spain trip, and we all had a great time. The Melia hotel was great, and the Level Lounge access was brilliant. Cordoba hotel was amazing!! The old Roman ruins under the glass floor of the breakfast room at the hotel was incredible. Also, the pool area was fantastic given that the temp was over 40degrees! Alhambra Palace was stunning! Food here was unbelievable! One thing to note (although I'm sure your supplier would advise you if you were booking a tour) was that to visit the Alhambra you need to have your passport with you. So many people were getting turned away, but thankfully the hotel advised us. Appreciate all your assistance as always! Here is a comment for you.

Sent by Candy Adams

A very professional and personal service. Will 100% use for all future trips

Sent by Linda Stradling

Brilliant and reliable service…always!

Sent by Tristan Adams

Once again a lovely holiday Alison. We had an incredible time in Jersey. Everything worked out perfectly. Many thanks for planning all arrangements and providing wonderful assistance throughout

Sent by Chris Stickland

Alison Kent arranged our trip to South Africa some years ago.. We were so impressed with her knowledge of travel overseas and with her efficiency we decided to make use of her expertise to arrange a trip to Maine, Cape Cod and Vermont.. We would certainly recommend her to friends and relatives..

Sent by Elizabeth Bull

Absolutely exemplary service from Alison every time, quick to react and great under pressure. Thank you Alison for being so accommodating with our ever changing travel plans - we wouldn't use anyone else, a real credit to you!

Sent by Bex Burden

Thank you Alison, you take the hassle out of having to trawl the internet for the best deals, saving me time, we will definitely use you again.

Sent by Aydin Doherty

Alison took away all the worry of booking our holiday and made it look easy! She booked our flights to suit us and considered things that would not have occurred to us if we had booked it ourselves. Very professional and would highly recommend and ask her to book all our holidays from now on.

Sent by Gill McFeat

Alison is extremely knowledgeable, very helpful & very efficient

Sent by Rachel Widden

Alison has been superb! She responded quickly to our enquiry, made a number of location suggestions as well as recommendations for when we actually go on holiday in the summer and just generally made the whole booking process pain free! Thank you, Alison!

Sent by Elaine Molloy

Alison has been great and very patient as I did slightly change dates and costs! But I will honestly use her all the time now. Wonderful stress free experience.

Sent by Tony Eeles

Hi Alison. Holiday was brilliant holiday. Hotel was great. And everything else went very well. Weather hot every day. So thank you for everything. And yes will be in touch for more breaks !

Sent by Chanaka Dabare

Alison is an excellent Travel Counsellor and was informative throughout the whole process. Her experience is amazing and I would definitely book with her again. I would highly recommend her to my colleagues and family. Thank you Alison.

Sent by Louise Trott

Alison was very helpful with booking our honeymoon. She has a lot of knowledge and gave us great advice. Alison even gave us recommendations on places to visit and excursions to book which was very helpful . Having Alison at the end of a phone or email made the booking process very easy and took all the stress of booking flights etc away. I would definitely recommend to friends and family.

Sent by Dave Skinner

Friendly and helpful, So full of knowledge.

Sent by Tracey Stewart

We planned our trip two years ago then COVID hit so sadly we had to cancel. Alison was great with every aspect, from booking to arranging credits and refunds and keeping us informed. Two years later we have rebooked, and Alison jumped straight back into it, remembering all our requirements . I would highly recommend Alison for any trip you are planning. She is so knowledgeable, was patient with all our questions and offered tips and suggestions to improve our holiday.

Sent by Jasmine Chapman

Alison is such a friendly and enthusiastic person. She took the time to listen to what my fiancé and I wanted for our unique holiday. Alison not only found a holiday package that matched our requirements but it included even more amazing things which we are really excited to do! I felt comfortable asking all the questions we had in regards to booking the holiday and feel reassured that if I have any further questions at any point I can always ask her. We are really looking forward to our once in a lifetime trip, thank you so much Alison!

Sent by Ryan Wakeman

Alison was so helpful, making sure that we had everything we wanted for all the family and all on budget. The process was so pain-free, no more unless looking through the net, comparing sites and TripAdvisor! Alison had four great choices within a day and was still willing to adjust further to make our perfect holiday. In my opinion, you value a company based on how it deals with issues and Alison is first class. I made an error with the dates and within a day this had been changed to what would work, Alison made a potentially very stressful situation simple. I cant wait to book my next holiday.

Sent by Geoffrey Williamson

Alison has always been on hand to deal with any queries we have in a very timely and efficient manner. All future travel arrangements will be made through Alison.

Sent by Tina Hinch

Alison is very helpful, friendly and patient!!

Sent by Tristan Adams

Alison is amazing! Professional, knowledgeable and friendly. 100% would recommend her services.

Sent by Tanya Baker

Alison has been fantastic, prompt and incredibly knowledgeable. She’s given me guidance where required and has followed i with me when I haven’t replied. It’s so nice to have the support and structure of a holiday counsellor because my boyfriend and I both have very busy lives. Alison, thank you so much. You’re our Travel Counsellor for life now. X

Sent by Christina Bowden

Alison offers a fabulous service and I would have no hesitation recommending her. She has travelled extensively and offered lots of advice and suggestions so that I would get everything I thought I wanted and more.

Sent by Matthew Roper

Very helpful and informative

Sent by Irene Hobbs Meyer

Nothing seems to be too much trouble for Alison Kent. We have come to rely on her advice and assistance. Thank you, Alison.

Sent by Christine Fox

Great advice, great communication, helpful suggestions and attention to every detail.. Alison really listened to what I want from my holiday - and more importantly, understood exactly what I don't want. She came up with the perfect package and well within budget. Will definitely be recommending to friends and family

Sent by Linda Stradling

Alison is Always excellent!

Sent by Giles Thomas

Alison was amazing - going above and beyond throughout. She was fantastic when organising my flight home urgently from South Africa…

Sent by Jodi Eeles

Alison was fantastic! She took a lot of stress off our shoulders in finding our holiday. We tend to start doing the research for a holiday, then hit a few challenges and give up. The then leaves us little time to book anything and prices have rocketed in the meantime. We shall definitely be using you again in the future. Thank you.

Sent by Susan Williamson

Alison has been amazing. From the moment that she took on our first booking, Alison has been completely professional, whilst still being friendly and helpful throughout. She has kept us informed at every step of the way, making us aware of nuances that we did not know about and that were a result of these strange travelling times. When we had to cancel a trip due to covid, Alison managed the whole process from start to finish. On our current booking, the original carrier pulled our flights. However, Alison was able to find a replacement flight for all six of us, and still enabling us to fly on the original date. I cannot recommend Alison enough. We will definitely be booking all our future trips and holidays through her.

Sent by Helen Barrow

Wow! Alison is an absolute find! She made our choices and the whole experience so easy! Her expertise, knowledge of the industry and the world were exceptional. Her professional, kind, helpful approach made the experience a pleasure. I will never book anything without her help again - Thank you! Highly recommended.

Sent by Linda Dyson

Alison was very helpful and efficient. Having never booked a cruise before she made it easy to understand the process of booking, which was swift with no hitches. I would highly recommend her, as she was recommended to me.

Sent by Nicholas Duffill

Alison has been incredible. Throughout this whole pandemic she has kept us updated with progress both here and in the States. The package she has put together for this trip along with the service and price is superb. I’d thoroughly recommend Alison to all of my friends and family.

Sent by Michelle Dowsett

Alison is amazing. She found us a perfect UK holiday in Cornwall in the Summer, booked some trips for our break to Iceland and found the perfect holiday destination for our 2022 holiday. She is very knowledgeable and nothing is too much trouble for her! She goes the extra mile to find you the best holiday to match your needs.

Sent by Gary Johnson

Alison is easy to deal with, professional and prompt in her comms.

Sent by Sarah Coombs

I have already recommended Travel Counsellors. 10 out of 10

Sent by Ewa Skoczylas

Alison always goes the extra mile to accommodate. I've had so many changes with my bookings but Alison is always there to sort any queries out without hesitation.

Sent by Sally Lindsay

Alison is very clear and concise in her dealings with us and we believe she tries to get the best possible deal at the best possible price.

Sent by Sarah Littley

Always so helpful and very knowledgeable, I’ve booked a couple of holidays with Alison now and can highly recommend

Sent by Ronald Lee

I found Alison very knowledgeable, efficient and friendly. I would not hesitate to recommend her to my friends and family.

Sent by David Child

I have used Alison now on many occasions and have always found her to be excellent. Her score is above 10

Sent by Stacey Brown

We can’t thank you enough for your personal and professional attention to detail. You have taken the hassle and stress out of booking and arranging our holiday. We are very lucky to have engaged your services, will be highly recommending !

Sent by Tristan Adams

Excellent friendly and personal service Professional Knowledgeable

Sent by Nici Gardner

A pleasure booking with Alison. She was very professional and helpful.

Sent by Natasha Munday

Quick response, very helpful, great price!

Sent by Dick Goodwin

Dear Alison A huge ‘thank you’ for all your hard work and energy organising our accommodation in Derby. The Hotel was superb! The patience, courtesy and cheerfulness of the staff was amazing. The rooms and food were magnificent and everyone really did have a fantastic time. We are so glad you could join us and see first hand how much joy your hard work bought to everyone involved. With kindest regards on behalf of the Veterans, Drivers and Committee. Taxi Charity for Military Veterans

Sent by Sue Lee

I asked Alison if she could find me somewhere quiet to go for a couple of weeks holiday with my (Boxer) dog, I chose Alison because I had heard of her great reputation and also on talking to her, unlike so many other Travel Agents, she has been to so many places and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. She didn’t disappoint, she has so much patience in what is such a tricky time trying to find appropriate destinations for people. She took the time to talk to me and find out what would be suitable for us, not just trying to flog us a holiday for the sake of it! We are staying in a beautiful thatched cottage in Selsey which is well equipped, full of character and perfect for our needs. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Alison for your next getaway, I will certainly be contacting her for our next trip! 5*’s to you Alison. ??

Sent by Linda Stradling

Alison is brilliant and can always be relied upon to find the perfect location ...and she is always contactable if there is something that you need whilst on holiday. Couldn't recommend her more highly. Linda

Sent by Tristan Adams

At a time when you cannot be certain of anything in this world you can rely on Alison Kent to be professional, knowledgeable, helpful and exceptional at what she does! We provided Alison a brief for a UK holiday for our family. She asked all the right questions to ensure that the recommendations she made fitted the brief and provided suitable alternatives when we changed our minds and adjusted our requirements. The final holiday home that we booked through Alison was just stunning and incredible! The facilities and location exceeded our expectations. Thank you very much. We would certainly recommend that anyone looking to book travel in the UK or abroad (hopefully soon!) should speak with Alison.

Sent by Stacey Brown

Alison was recommended to us by some friends who were so pleased with the service they received from Alison, they encouraged us to speak to her before we booked our main family holiday. We have typically researched and returned to fairly familiar family friendly places. We were delighted when not only did Alison manage to arrange the perfect flights, she also managed to get our family holiday at an extremely competitive price. The service was highly proficient but equally relaxed. Alison has since recommended, researched and priced many further options with patience and care. Her expertise and industry knowledge are second to none. We are very excited and looking forward to booking further adventures with Alison in the future. We would highly recommend for all types of Travel.

Sent by Julian Cartwrigh

Alison Kent has provided us with excellent advice , support and a host of good ideas to help us plan a fairly complex holiday . Which, after all her efforts has now been aborted by the virus. She has helped us unpick and recover our funds and has been a proactive and professional Travel Advisor to us at all times . I would heartily recommend her to any one planning travel once the lock down is lifted, she is a “Gem”.

Sent by Paula Rutter

I would just like to say how delighted we were with the service and care we received from Alison in organising, developing and then delivering the most amazing holiday in Japan! From an initial chat with a just few ideas of what we would like to see and do, she planned and organised a detailed itinerary, hotel stays, train and bus tickets etc. We were met at the airport and received a pack with everything we needed in it. We had such a fantastic time! We won’t hesitate to use Alison again or recommend her to any of our friends.

Sent by Anna Skoczylas

Alison. The service you gave me was exceptional as you went the extra mile , especially coming back to me on a Sunday. I would not hesitate to recommend you as you are so knowledgeable , efficient and nothing is too much for you. I will definitely use your services again

Sent by Kim Burrows

My Travel Counsellor Alison Kent was very helpful when it came to my needs and if anyone I know wants a tailor made holiday Alison would be some-one I would definitely recommend. I had specific requests for my trip and Alison looked into everything for me and found exactly what I was looking for.

Sent by Irene Hobbs - Meyer

I appreciate all the help and assistance I am being given.

Sent by Christopher Chapman

Alison was very prompt in dealing with my travel requirements and sourced excellent deals. I would have no hesitation in recommending Alison or Travel Counsellors. I have already contacted Alison to deal with our next family holiday to South Africa.

Sent by Christine Creed

Alison was extremely helpful with different suggestions and ideas and found what we really wanted.

Sent by Natalie Hannabuss

Alison was very helpful, nothing was to much for her to look into for me and she done her best to accommodate what I was looking for

Sent by Rosalie Galea

A difficult journey made very easy thank you very much

Sent by Simon Morgan

Very good and efficient service from Alison

Sent by Collette Palmer

Alison listened to our needs and found us a perfect family holiday! She was very knowledgeable on different places that would be suitable for our kids! She took the stress away off searching for holidays, when we didn’t really know what we was looking at and could have easy got sucked in to all the hidden cost that some companies hide until the end! Alison was able to find us the best deals and flights! We would definitely be recommending Alison to friends and family, and will be using her for all our holidays in the near future!

Sent by Deborah Hawkins

Alison understood exactly what we were looking for, the process was easy and the app is really useful - we are really looking forward to our trip to Dublin and know we are in safe hands

Sent by Brian Scully

Alison is professional, proactive, organised and calm. Alison managed a holiday for my wife and I to Rhodes, that due to surgery we had to postpone for just over a month. Alison managed the change without fuss or bother and we had an amazing holiday. We have just completed our 2nd booking with Alison, a wedding anniversary family holiday for our entire family, our sons and daughter, their partners and grandchildren. Once again, Alison, managed the whole process impeccably, the package, reserved seats, airport lounge, assistance at Stanstead. Without question, Alison will be managing my future travel arrangements and I would unreservedly recommend Alison to family, friends and colleagues.

Sent by Brian Scully

Absolutely fantastic holiday, perfect with HUGE brownie points! Accommodation was amazing, food oh boy the food it was out of this world. The assistance both ends was perfect, you actually get treated like a VIP, I have never moved through the terminal so quickly., All in all it was great - really did not want it to end. Thank you so much for all your help.

Sent by Pamela Manwaring

Alison made booking a holiday so easy. She listened to what we wanted, found somewhere and took care of everything for us. Will definitely recommend her to others and have already used her again!

Sent by Joanne Buck

I'd just like to show enormous gratitude to Alison Kent. Thank you so much for all your hard work and advice and for organising every last detail of my very last minute holiday! I wholeheartedly recommend Alison's services - she quite literally goes the extra mile!

Sent by Emma Wilson

Hi Alison, it all went amazingly well. Transfers all showed up on time and were lovely and friendly. Everything went really smoothly couldn’t have hoped for better. Thank you so much for all of your help :)

Sent by Alison Perry

Hi Alison We had a really great time thanks, and we have already recommended you to lots of our friends as the whole process of making the bookings was made so easy by being able to email you as questions arose. So, many thanks for your part in ensuring that our time with all the family was memorable.

Sent by Hannah Cann

I would highly recommend Alison! She was very patient with checking multiple different dates for me. She always responded very promptly and the whole booking process was smooth and quick. Alison took all of the effort out of booking a holiday, so that all I have to do now is count down the days until I’m on the beach in the sunshine! Will definitely go to Alison to organise all of my holidays from now on.

Sent by Steven White

Thanks Alison We had an amazing time and just wanted to say thank you for the excellent service and advice , totally happy to recommend you!

Sent by Suzanne Scott

Alison Kent has arranged my last 3 holidays and now I have booked my 4th with her. I can't recommend Alison enough to my family and friends.l She has taken the stress and anxiety out of booking my holidays, I always know that whatever happens before, during and after my holidays Alison is only a phone call away. Which gives me peace of mind. So I can enjoy my breaks away and relax.

Sent by Irene HobbsMeyer

I really appreciate all the help and information I receive from Alison at all hours.

Sent by Rebecca McGinty

Thank you for booking hotel in Brighton - was a last minute request but Alison got it sorted professionally and exactly what was requested! 100% recommend for all booking needs both UK and abroad

Sent by Linda Stradling

Well, so far so absolutely fabulous Alison! Thank you for all your help

Sent by Paula Rutt

Alison was so helpful with us booking a holiday of a lifetime to Japan. She really listened to what we hoped for from our visit, she took time to plan out our route, hotels, travel both there and during our stay. There were one or two things we wanted to change and that was no problem. Great to deal with an expert! Her knowledge helped enhance the trip we have booked! I know it will be everything we hope for!

Sent by Janet Lane

Alison is the best, she has helped us on a number of occasions

Sent by Cathy Dowse

Thanks for organising our trip to Cuba. We had a fantastic time. All the hotels your booked were lovely and the transfers worked out perfectly. We couldn't have arranged such a great trip without you. Thanks.

Sent by Iain Gomes

Alison was absolutely amazing and took all of the stress out of the booking. I'll be using her for every trip now.

Sent by Tasha Lyons

The boys had an amazing time in Las Vegas, thank you so much again for arranging the trip!

Sent by Georgina Cooper

Finally back in the cold UK, had a lovely time in Tenerife. Just want to take the opportunity to promote Alison Kent who is a Travel Counsellor, she does a fantastic job, we went to her with a budget and travel requests and she found the best holiday package, she took care of everything even down to the checking in which took the stress away from traveling!

Sent by Alistair Tudor

Booking a family holiday to EuroDisney was very easy, as Alison Kent negotiated her way around the website for us, and took the stress out of the having to do the booking ourselves. Feeling very confident that everything is now in place for a great family holiday.

Sent by Carlos Vielba

Alison consulted and designed our fabulous honeymoon to Namibia and the Seychelles. Straight from the outset Alison knew exactly what questions to ask and we had every confidence in the arrangements she suggested. Everything was thought about even the extras like hot air ballooning. We'd really recommend Alison for her honesty, passion for travel and her commitment to making it happen. Alison you rock! Thank you

Sent by Lesley Rutt

A very belated thank you for sorting everything out! We just have to practise our Italian ! I saw my friend the other day and she said that she'd booked through you too. I will keep spreading the word. Once we decide where we would like to go next year, I'll come back to you again, Many thanks.

Sent by Steven White

Alison made the whole process so easy it was a pleasure to book our holiday with her and now we can’t wait!

Sent by Niall Dowse

Alison was really helpful and found us something that was spot on. She was quick and efficient and looked outside the box with our price range to help us get the best deal. A great help and I will be using her again!

Sent by Danielle Goouch

Just got back tonight from Disneyland Paris which I booked with Alison. I would really recommend her she's really good at what she does.

Sent by Emma Wilson

Alison was wonderful in organising our family trip. Really looking forward to it. Thanks for all you help.

Sent by Tony Boyle

Alison really went above and beyond. I was looking for a last minute flight out to South Africa. I spent close to 7 hours fighting with airlines and other travel agents, whose prices seemed falsey advertised and changed everytime I called to book. I gave Alison my trip details and within the hour she had come back to me with flight options that suited my needs and she booked me in. Alison kept in contact and handled all my airline affairs such as checking me in for all my flights and keeping me updated with information regarding my trip. 100% recommended.

Sent by Linda Graser

Alison is wonderful to work with and very personable and professional.

Sent by Miriam O'Shea

Alison, my daughter and I had a fabulous time. Thank you so much for putting together an ideal package.

Sent by Nicholas Albert

Alison ensured a smooth and hassle-free process when booking my flights and pointed me in the right direction over a matter I was unsure of. Would highly recommend and will certainly use again in the future. Thanks Alison!

Sent by Georgina Cooper

I wanted to take my mum away for her birthday so I contacted Alison, she was so helpful and put a fabulous package together and we went on our weekend trip to luxembourg. There were no problems, the hotel and location were perfect for a city break. We had a great time and will continue to recommend Alison to my friends and family. Thanks Ali

Sent by Cathy Dowse

Alison was really helpful and came up with a plan for my holiday that I wouldn't have been able to do myself. Would definitely recommend and really looking forward to my holiday.

Sent by Heather Ewin

Efficient and speedy booking.

Sent by Danielle Goouch

Really helpful lovely lady

Sent by Mark Brown

Alison is friendly and works with a willingness to help! She has gone above and beyond is always available to speak about any concerns or questions you may have and I would recommend Alison above any other independent's I have come across

Sent by David Child

My friends and I used Alison who I have known for a number of years to book our holiday in September. She gave us advice on our suggested places but as these were proving difficult due to our wishing to travel from Leeds Bradford Airport she suggested Portugal Alison gave us a multi choice of accommodation and was able to answer all our questions on same.We booked our holiday with her following her suggestions. The whole process was painless for us for it was dealt with efficiently and on time. All communications were dealt with promptly and without fuss. Alison was very willing to discuss all aspects of our holiday whether it be place or accommodation. Nothing was too much trouble. We shall certainly use Alison to book future holidays and would definitely recommend her to others .

Sent by Georgina Cooper

Alison Kent has been absolutely brilliant! She has made booking trips and holidays stress free, I have and will continue to tell friends and family about her great service.

Sent by Collette Palmer

Alison Kent recommended a selection of places for a weekend away and had lots of knowledge of each area. She was amazing at finding us a suitable cottage with everything we needed in Kent and shared her own experiences of the area and recommend places to visit while we are there! Will definitely be using Alison again for booking our next holiday!!! Took the stress and time away from having to research myself! Thanks again!

Sent by Suzanne Scott

My Travel Counsellor Alison Kent, makes me feel so important when I am booking a holiday. Her ideas and advice are always excellent. Alison doesn't care how long it takes, how many questions I ask or phone calls that I make. She always goes that little bit more to make me feel confident in her. I will always recommend her.

Sent by Carlos Vielba

We would defiantly recommend Alison to anyone looking for a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate travel professional.

Sent by Max Curle

Many thanks for all your help, everything worked out so smoothly it was really great we were very impressed. I am sure we will be using you again in the future and will happily recommend your services. Thanks again for everything

Sent by Janet Lane

Alison is professional in her job, she is very understanding of your needs and requests, nothing is a problem for her, will definitely use Alison’s expertise in the future when looking for a holiday

Sent by John Albert

Friendly approach. Very knowledgeable. She's been to more places than Judith Chalmers, now there's a first!

Sent by Jill Knight

Easy to make a booking following some discussion and getting a balanced answer to questions. Friendly and not pressurised.

Sent by Jane Ely

Alison was very helpful and her travel knowledge is fantastic.

Sent by John Deans

Very friendly, willing and accommodating. Available at useful times, after work and weekend etc. Very Knowledgeable about the far east, which is where we are travelling. Really good experience. Very happy with service!

Sent by Sarah Ely

Very helpful and tailored service. Very knowledgeable of the areas and trusted that they were sending us to the best place

Sent by lucy Coward

We had a lovely holiday. All went smoothly in terms of transfers etc. Nice resort, very family orientated yet not too busy...perfect for us. Alvor Village and beach lovely and a genuine 10 min walk. All in all a success! Thanks so much for all your help. Will use you next time and would love to get something booked for next year if it meant we could get a good deal

Sent by Patricia DeBrett

Good service and listened to my needs and requests.

Sent by David Ely

Alison was recommend by one of my friends and very helpful when booking my flights with her and very knowledgeable about where I was going. Would recommend her to my friends and family as she gives that extra customer service that's makes a difference.

Sent by Suzanne Scott

Alison Kent was so helpful in finding a package that fitted my budget. Her customer service is 100%. I felt relaxed in talking to her. I have recommended her to all my family and friends.

Sent by Lucy Coward

The service received from Alison seems to be great so far. She is very quick to reply and the holiday sourced for us looks good. Let's hope it is as good as it seems when we get there. We will be recommending your service if so and will use again!

Sent by Carolyn Ayres

I'm giving Alison a 10. I will defo book with her again she couldn't have been more helpful.

Sent by Brenda O'Toole

Thanks Ali for arranging our Christmas Break, here's a bottle of wine to show how appreciative we are.