Gran Canaria - All
My name is Elaine Simpson: I live in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire with my husband, Rod Bailey, who is a retired fine art lecturer.
My passion is Australia - I’ve been a Tourism Australia Aussie Specialist for many years, visiting over 20 times; plus I’m a New Zealand Kiwi specialist and an expert in Round the World journeys.
My 40+ years travel experience started in university travel offices which gave me an unrivalled knowledge of airline and rail routes and off-the-beaten-track destinations, as a lot of the students and lecturers came from, or travelled to, some far-out places!
In 1989 I started my own travel agency for independent travellers and was presented to HRH the Prince of Wales having won a competition for start-up businesses in the Calderdale area. Late in June 2008 I closed that business down and joined Travel Counsellors - the best decision I have made in my career.
I’ve travelled widely throughout Australasia, North America, Asia, Europe, Mexico and South Africa; have specialist accreditations also for Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai etc, so I can offer a comparable service to all regions with the extensive and highly professional support of Travel Counsellors.
Despite travelling extensively, my own wish-list never gets any shorter: in the past few years I have spent most winters in Tenerife and have visited India, Morocco, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Barbados, Mexico, Thailand, New Orleans: and I’ll go anywhere else given half a chance!
When I’m not booking travel, or travelling, I love to draw and paint and many of my pictures are inspired by the people and places I have met and seen along the way. When travelling I like to get off the beaten track and try out new experiences with a combination of action and relaxation and that is the kind of trip I excel in arranging. Therefore, whatever your idea of a good time, talk to me about it and together we’ll find the perfect trip for you!
There’s a place in everyone’s life for a little self-indulgence and hedonism - we all need times to chill out - whether you find it in 5-star luxury or in a simple beach hut, I’ll go that extra mile to find the perfect place for you to relax and recharge your batteries.
Whatever your travel needs I’d be delighted to help and can either meet you or arrange it via email or phone- so distance is no object in more ways than one!
I look forward to hearing from you.
Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:-
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.
12 October 2019
Day 1 We arrived at Melbourne Tullamarine airport early afternoon then travelled cross-country to the Great Ocean Road, stopping for a late lunch in Forrest, a popular mountain-biking area with a superb brewery and café. At the coast we stretched our legs with a walk down the 86 Gibsons Steps to view rock stacks from the beach; then viewed sunset over the 12 Apostles - a magical experience. On the way to our hotel in Port Campbell the guide entertained us with tales of past human dramas along this Shipwreck Coast Day 2 After breakfast we were driven to the...
06 October 2019
Corroboree is a huge event run by Tourism Australia every two years, which brings together Aussie Specialist travel agents from around the World with Australian tourism operators for over 100 face to face appointments over 3 full-on days and in 2019 it was held in Perth, WA. I travelled from Manchester with Singapore Airlines along with other travel agents on great flights with good connections. In Perth met the other members of the group – the Wombats – who I would be travelling with throughout the stay in Perth and afterwards on the road trip in Victoria, none of whom I...
09 July 2019
In October 2017 I travelled to Brisbane to attend Tourism Australia’s Corroboree held on the Gold Coast. I travelled with Singapore Airlines: their economy seats are comfortable with more space than other airlines: 9 seats across instead of 10. Good food plus an entertainment system with a huge range of films, TV, music and games to keep you occupied on a long flight. Both flights were 100% full but it was a good journey with 2 hours in Singapore to stretch the legs. We stayed at the Star Gold Coast, a huge hotel within walking distance of the conference centre and the...
22 June 2019
The Big Easy or NOLA: a short action-packed 4 days. Day 1 Jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters in a secret courtyard. Fabulous food and service accompanied by clarinet, banjo and double bass, a great start. Our city tour guide tells it’s fascinating history: French, Spanish, American with large doses of unwilling Africans, willing Irish and enthusiastic Italians; a huge port with all the diversity that brings. A city of women, owning property and voting here long before anywhere else. A city of two religions: Catholicism and Voodoo an exhilarating mix! Parks and public spaces; unique burial rites, film...
16 December 2018
Our cruise from Santa Cruz de Tenerife took us to La Palma, Madeira, Morocco, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and back to Tenerife, all in a week in December 2018. First stop was the island of San Miguel de La Palma – La Isla Bonita is well named - it is very pretty and unspoilt. Criss-crossed by hundreds of kilometres of marked paths it is a heaven for walker; it doesn’t have the mass-market attractions of the better-known Canary Islands but there are now direct flights from Europe so that could change in the future. Our local guide was quite passionate about the local...
19 April 2018
IIn March 2018 I was fortunate to travel to Thailand with 24 other Travel Counsellors. We flew with Emirates. The flights were great: ample leg-room, good food, wide range of complimentary drinks, superb entertainment system with films, TV, radio, music and games which kept me occupied for the whole journey. Arriving late, our first stop was the roof-top bar at the Centara Grand Ladprao where we all got to know each other – most had never met - but it didn’t take long to break the ice. Our guide, Anun, kept us fully informed about all things Thai on the trip...
15 February 2018
In November 2007 I travelled to the top end of the Northern Territory en route to Perth for Corroboree with a group of Aussie specialist travel agents. We started with an overnight stay in Darwin, the smallest and most tropical of Australian cities, where we were taken on a city tour to acclimatise, ending the day with a spectacular sunset over the sea. Then we toured: first going to Litchfield NP, viewing amazing termite mounds, swimming at the beautiful Florence Falls, and visiting other great swimming spots. We then travelled on to Kakadu where we stayed overnight before viewing aboriginal art sites,...
11 January 2018
In June 2012 I was one of a group of 21 who travelled to the Ningaloo Reef before attending the Australian Tourism Exchange in Perth as part of the Tourism Australia UK delegation. The Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, and in places is only 100 metres from the shore, making snorkelling from the beach an easy option: it also has a vast array of some of the world’s most iconic marine creatures, such as the largest fish in the sea - the whale shark. After a day in Perth, getting to know each other, experiencing the joys of the...
31 March 2017
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife – my second home. About 15 years ago we first visited Puerto for some relief from the relentless grey of the British winter. First a long weekend, then a week, then 10 days: each year it got longer and longer. Around 5 years ago we realised that, with Travel Counsellors fantastic technology and better broadband than at home in Cragg Vale, it’s just as easy for me to work there as it is in the UK and as my husband is retired there was nothing stopping us. So, we tested the water and rented an apartment with...
11 February 2017
8 Aussie specialists arrived very early in Sydney. We were whisked off by bus via the Coathanger - Sydney Harbour Bridge, raising a huge cheer from the group! In the Blue Mountains we travelled to Leura, a little village with interesting shops including Bygone Beauties Teapot Museum - the largest private collection of teapots in the world. There were over 3,500 spanning three centuries in a wonderfully packed curio shop which is also a tea-room. Their homemade Devonshire Tea was yummy! At Echo Point is Waradah Aboriginal Centre: an excellent show with explanations of weapons and artefacts, then a superb dance...
30 December 2016
Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island at around 155 kilometers long, lies off the South Australian coast south of Adelaide. It has only 4,000 inhabitants, most of whom are farmers, fishermen or otherwise occupied in food or beverage production and it’s a pristine environment with clean air, a few empty roads and a fabulous mix of farmland and wildlife. The ferry goes from Cape Jervis at the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula to Penneshaw and we have a nice calm crossing. The wildlife-spotting starts as soon as we land! On the drive to our hotel, our driver points out distinctive dark brown...
28 December 2016
Day 1 On our first day, we were picked up by Ben Neville from Off-Piste Tours, our local guide to this beautiful, unspoilt region, less than an hour’s drive south of Adelaide. First stop was for our second breakfast of the day, of freshly-baked artisan bread, superb local cheese, and a snifter of local wines overlooking a stunning beach totally empty but for a couple of locals walking the dog. A tour of the coast showed us miles of similarly unspoilt beaches and ended with an exhilarating drive along the beach at Silver Sands. This region is awash with wineries and...
27 December 2016
Every couple of years, the event of Corroboree is held by Tourism Australia, in a different city each time, for several hundred European travel agents to meet around 100 Australian tourism suppliers and learn all about what they offer to the travelling public. In 2015, it was held in Adelaide and I was chosen as one of the UK delegates: We travelled with Singapore Airlines, with a day seeing the sights of Singapore before travelling overnight to arrive in Adelaide on the morning of 25th April – Anzac Day – a huge day in Australian life. To keep us awake after such...
13 October 2016
I had heard good things about this company and I have some clients who really like to travel by rail, so when I heard about this short famtrip I wanted to experience their services; and despite living in Yorkshire I was successful and joined the group, most of whom had never been to God’s Own County. We each arrived separately in Harrogate where we stayed for 2 nights at the Holiday Inn a very good, central hotel, large enough to cater for groups. On the first day we travelled by rail to York where a local guide took us on...
29 June 2016
I had been to Mexico before: around 11 years ago I toured Mexico City, Oaxaca and Tasca and visited many Mayan archaeological sites. This was a very different experience: travelling with a group of fellow Travel Counsellors and staying at or visiting six all-inclusive resorts operated my AM Resorts along the Caribbean coast close to Cancun. We flew with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick, the flight takes around nine hours and I chose to upgrade to premium economy to experience the difference from standard economy. I do think that the additional space and comfort is well worth paying for on a flight...
14 October 2014
My first trip to India and well overdue. I thought I knew a bit about it, having booked lots of trips, but there is certainly no substitute for the real thing! Landing in Delhi during a state visit by the Chinese PM meant that many roads were closed partly because of demonstrations by Tibetan refugees and sympathizers: so my first impression was of traffic – crowded, chaotic, noisy, smelly and more than a bit scary, with bikes, mopeds, cows, goats, people, trucks, buses and cars weaving in and out without any obvious ‘rules of the road’. Taking 2 and a half...
11 October 2013
There comes a time, even for the most intrepid traveller, when the possibility of visiting multiple destinations whilst only having to pack/unpack once, become very tempting indeed. I, along with many of my regular clients, have reached that time when cruising offers that tempting opportunity; all that remains is to select the right cruise. This was my first experience of 'proper' cruising: previously I've cruised on very small ships with 120 passengers or less, and when this opportunity arose to sample cruising on a larger scale with a group of other travel agents I thought it was time to check it...
11 September 2013
Barbados - the land of sun, sand, sea, music and rum punch: but that's not all! This was my first visit to the island. I didn't quite know what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised - there is so much more to be enjoyed here, something for all tastes! I was one of 10 Travel Counsellors who were fortunate to win a place on a week's educational trip to the island sponsored by British Airways, Elegant Hotels and the Barbados Tourist Board, and it certainly was an education! The first treat was that BA upgraded us to Club Class, a rare...
30 April 2012
I’d never visited Morocco so offered a quick visit to Marrakesh with 12 other Travel Counsellors I jumped at the chance: the aim is familiarization with the city, plus hotel inspections so that we can recommend them to clients. Day 1 The flight to Marrakesh’s bright modern airport is only 3 hours, the drive into the city around half an hour and my first impressions were of a clean and verdant environment – with beds of flowering roses bordering the highway. After freshening up we were driven the short distance to the Medina – the old city - and began our walking...
06 October 2010
Cyprus – the island of love – the birthplace of Aphrodite. By no means just a beach resort: with it’s colourful history it is a fascinating mix of cultures but with a strong and unique Cypriot character; and there are a wide range of attractions to tempt visitors of all kinds to the island. We stayed first at the Dome Beach Hotel in Makronissos, Ayia Napa, set on a promontory with 2 beaches and 2 pools it’s a lovely hotel, perfect for families and those who don’t want to be in the heart of Ayia Napa, which can be a...
05 May 2010
The Magnificent Europe cruise takes 15 days from Amsterdam to Budapest, we joined the ship for the last 5 days, travelling from Passau to Budapest. Day 1. Arrive in Salzburg and meet the cruise director, Christian, who explained that due to a problem in Germany the sailing schedule was 2 days behind: but they were making up time by the ship continuing sailing during the onshore tours and would soon be back on schedule. After a pleasant couple of hours in Salzburg this led to an hilarious and extended cross-country journey trying to find where the ship was moored, but find...
26 September 2009
New Zealand – Aotearoa – the Land of the Long White Cloud, the youngest country on Earth, home to the Hobbits of Middle Earth and a hot-spot of geothermal activity… I’d been itching to get back there after visiting, far too briefly, in 2001 and I finally got a chance in September to go with a group of 12 other travel agents who soon became friends on the Air New Zealand economy flight to Auckland. In 8 days we were to travel throughout the country with a different bed every night. Our destinations were the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Waitomo Caves...
02 June 2009
In June 2009 I was fortunate to be chosen by Tourism Australia as one of the UK Premier Aussie specialist delegates to attend ATE – The Australian Tourism Exchange. It's a huge travel trade event held annually and that year, it was held in Melbourne. The event itself runs for three days and tourism buyers and sellers have around 100 meetings during that time, It’s a fantastic way for tourism professionals to learn about all that Australia has to offer. Before the event, our group was taken on a three-day familiarisation trip around Victoria, taking in Melbourne, the Yarra Valley...
02 June 2009
After winter in Melbourne for ATE [a travel industry event], a few of us decided to go to the Sunshine Coast for a few days – believing that the name might promise some guaranteed sunshine. How wrong we were! After the cool but mainly dry days in Victoria, we were to have almost constant rainfall and our guides were frequently frustrated by taking us to viewpoints that should have provided panoramic vistas only to gaze into inpenetrable cloud. Just goes to show, we Brits can take our own weather wherever we go! We stayed in Noosa for a couple...
22 December 2007
One of my favourite Aussie experiences – sailing around the Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast. There are 74 islands, some pristine and un-inhabited, a few resort islands, some tiny, some big enough to have their own airports: all are beautiful and it’s a joy to travel between them under sail. There are sailing craft of all sizes – you can choose the experience that takes your fancy. I love the tall ships: they're ideal for those who appreciate a relaxed and slower pace of life. We flew into Proserpine and...
Sent in by Nancy Schwoyer
HEBDEN BRIDGE, 29 August 2021
Elaine is the best travel agent we have had in more than 50 years of traveling. She is professional in giving information and she is very prompt in responding to requests, questions and concerns. Thank you Elaine.
Sent in by Ruth Brace
HIGH PEAK, 07 August 2021
Using TC takes all the hassle and worry of booking in these uncertain times Elaine had been brilliant with her knowledge and helpful suggestions Thank you
Sent in by Derek Morgan
Alicante, 16 January 2020
Once again everything you organized went well, The hotel in Barcelona was great can fully recommend it. The flights from Barcelona to Brisbane were all on time as usual Singapore airlines were great, and boy can we recommend business class!!!
Sent in by Diana Holmes
Leeds, 14 November 2019
Elaine provides the most efficient, thoughtful and friendly service. Consulting her took all the hassle out of organising my trip.
Sent in by Graham Plews
Halifax, 01 May 2019
Just at Singapore airport ready for our long flight back to Manchester. The whole trip from Hawaii to Myanmar has gone like clockwork. Myanmar was truly amazing and your team did a fantastic job. Thanks for helping to make the trip so special. We haven't been asked for feedback on our Myanmar trip which was truly outstanding from beginning to the end. Every detail was taken care of and matched our requirements perfectly. We'd appreciate it if would convey this to your colleagues who put this together. Thanks also to you for managing the process from this end.
Sent in by Margaret May
Hebden Bridge, 03 April 2019
Could not have asked for better service. Elaine listened to my requirements and came back with just what I wanted. She took all the hassle out of the arrangements and I know I am in safe and reliable, and friendly, hands.
Sent in by Michael Rooze
Grassington, 26 November 2018
It's always been an outstanding service; personal friendly and very efficient.
Sent in by Christine Starkie
Todmorden, 31 August 2018
Lovely. Perfectly understood our requirements and helped me navigate my way through all the arrangements at a very emotional time. Thank you Elaine
Sent in by Chris Sands
Sowerby Bridge, 23 January 2018
Just brilliant, yet again! Elaine makes everything so easy.
Sent in by Janet Pedder
London, 25 September 2017
I have already recommended Elaine Simpson to friends. She provides an extremely knowledgeable and professional service. She has organised quite a few holidays for us and the experience has always been perfect.
Sent in by Maureen Hannon
Accrington, 18 September 2017
Nobody does it better. That is why we always book with Elaine
Sent in by Claire Liang
Ilkley, 07 September 2017
I would recommend Elaine to anyone. She was efficient, friendly, and assisted with a complex travel itinerary which other travel agents had struggled to accommodate and fumbled around with. Elaine made the process so easy, affordable and even arranged my visa application as a complimentary service.
Sent in by James Hedley
Bradford, 07 September 2017
Elaine was very very helpful and so efficient.
Sent in by Ruth Hughes
York, 07 September 2017
Elaine couldn't have been more helpful in trying to find just the right hotel for us in Venice. Thoroughly recommended!
Sent in by Clare Wells
Hebden Bridge, 09 July 2017
Excellent - would not use anyone else!
Sent in by Helen Cross
Mytholmroyd, 09 July 2017
Elaine has always been very efficient and helpful and more importantly patient with us. We have been very satisfied with hotels, tours particularly in Australia, she certainly knows her business.
Sent in by Alison McCallum
Hebden Bridge, 09 July 2017
Elaine was very helpful and arranged our flights quickly, taking into account our requests. Very professional.
Sent in by S B
Leeds, 28 June 2017
Outstanding and highly personalised service, consistently and reliably, at the highest professional standards.
Sent in by Tracy Marshall
Hebden Bridge, 20 May 2017
Elaine is just brilliant!
Sent in by Anne Wyke
Hebden Bridge, 28 April 2017
Always great prompt service and Elaine gets excellent deals for us. I would highly recommend using her services.
Sent in by Janet Jackson
Halifax, 28 March 2017
Elaine was excellent, professional, helpful beyond her remit and very patient with us as we chopped and changed our ideas along the way. I would have no hesitation in recommending Elaine.
Sent in by Sandra Wade
Skipton, 18 March 2017
Elaine was so helpful. She had been recommended by a friend and I was so pleased with the service I received. I shall always use travel counsellors in the future. Thank you.
Sent in by Edward Estlin
Warrington, 15 March 2017
Excellent and thoughtful service as always!
Sent in by Heather Crabtree
Manchester, 15 March 2017
Hi Elaine, thank you so much for organising our holiday in Havana. It was perfect from the Air France flights, to the hotel & taxi service. So glad we stayed @ the Deauville Hotel - it was quirky & a bit tired but suited our needs - the walk along the Malecon into the Old Town every morning was wonderful. Thanks again for your excellent advice. Regards Heather x
Sent in by Susan Jackson
Brighouse, 07 March 2017
Elaine is always successful in delivering what we have requested, at a price we cannot match, even if we search the internet ourselves. We feel confident that the journey we embark on will run smoothly because any questions we may have had will have been answered or dealt with. A personal, friendly service, thank you!
Sent in by Hazel Shellens
Huntingdon, 27 February 2017
Excellent service. Would be 10 but many of my friends do it themselves for short trips.
Sent in by Janet Pedder
London, 12 February 2017
It's a great service because it is tailored to the individual and Elaine has so much knowledge and experience to share.
Sent in by Michael Rooze
Grassington, 12 February 2017
In general I NEVER voluntarily recommend services to people and would not do so here, but would tell them what an excellent, personal and speedy service I have received.
Sent in by Brenda Taylor
Keighley, 12 February 2017
Elaine has been faultless in her help with organising trips.. I and my friends have always been very grateful.
Sent in by Barbara Mason
Nelson, 12 February 2017
Elaine is a fantastic Travel Counsellor
From the pristine white-sand beaches of Thailand’s idyllic islands to the sprawling wide-open roads of the USA; the historic and breathtakingly beautiful architecture of India to the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Maldives – there’s a world of wonder out there and it’s just waiting to be explored.
Contact me on 01422 897490