Sent by Wendy Cox
Based in Eton Wick
Hi, my name is Linda and, for over 25 years, I have been providing my clients with specialist advice and planning holidays they will never forget. My clients come back again and again because they value the personal service, attention to detail and the hassle-free experience I provide them with every time they have a trip to arrange.
I have travelled to quite a few places myself, Canada being one of my favourite countries for the sheer beauty and size. I saw bears, whales, dolphins. I even ventured on one of the worlds fasted zip lines down a mountain in Alaska when I went on a cruise. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are another firm favourites. South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia including Borneo to see Oran Utans. I have also travelled extensively in Europe, the Greek Islands being a firm favourite there.
I am passionate about my job. I really enjoy doing a complicated itinerary for someone whether its to New Zealand, Australia Canada, South Africa or anywhere, I research everything so my clients receive competitive quotes from reliable suppliers. Along with my personal bespoke service to ensure their holiday goes without a hitch.
I am at the end of the phone should you have a problem whilst you are away, so you have peace of mind, knowing I am available at any time.
You could book all the elements yourself - but if you don’t want to spend hours on the internet, phone or in the travel agents and you want the reassurance of total financial protection. Why not try giving me a call about your next trip? Call me on 01753 202920 and let me take away the pain of planning and the risk of getting it wrong.
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.
19 March 2019
After a hectic trip round Sri Lanka, a week in the Maldives is the perfect combination. Only an hours flight from Colombo to Male and the tiny airport is right by the ferry port. We did not have long to wait before we were escorted to our ferry for our 55-minute trip to Meeru Island in the North Ari Atol. We chose this island as we felt it was a perfect size. Not too small where we might get bored, and not to big where we could not experience a true Maldivian Island. It has 284 rooms, ranging from the Garden Rooms to the Jacuzzi Water Villas. Even though 284 rooms sound a lot, it was not crowded. We were lucky to see about 6 people in the sea near our villa. We stayed in a Jacuzzi Beach Villa and it was perfect. The island has two reception areas. The main reception near the jetty and another smaller one at the north end of the island which is for guests over the age of 18. There are also two main restaurants. The Farivalhu in the centre of the island and the Maalan at the North end. Both serving a vast menu catering for all tastes. In addition to them, there is the Asian Wok restaurant at the south end of the island and the Hot Rocks Restaurant at the North end. Neither of these restaurants are included in the board basis, whether you are on HB or AI. We dined at the Asian Wok restaurant one night and it was not expensive. There is also the Meeru Café where you can get snacks and ice cream during the day. Included in the AI option. If you want more to do then swimming and sunbathing, you can hire a bike to cycle round the island, but it only takes about 45 minutes to walk round. There is a gym, a 9-hole pitch and putt. A tennis court, volley ball, a football pitch where once a week they have a match with staff against guests. Children are well catered for with a kid’s club and a teens club, where they have pool tables, darts and table tennis. Plus of course there is the snorkelling and you can rent a kayak and paddle round the island. We opted to go on the 'Sunset Punch Cruise' one evening. We were thrilled when the crew pointed out a pod of dolphins, which ended up swimming alongside our boat. These are Spinner Dolphins and they were only too happy to show us how they were given that name, by leaping into the air and spinning. Thrilling. There are various trips you can go on. one of the most popular was the Manta Ray trip. You can snorkel or dive with these magnificent creatures. At the end of a busy day you can visit the Duniye Spa. They have two of these on the island also, one of them over the water where you can watch the tropical fish whilst having a massage. In fact there is so much to do a week is not long enough. We did not want to leave this fabulous island, and I have promised myself 'I will be back'.
18 March 2019
I have been selling the island of Sri Lanka for about 25 years now, and finally decided to visit myself. I am so glad I did, what a wonderful country! We decided to tour with a private car and driver as I am not good on coaches. Our driver met us at Colombo airport and drove us to Bentota, about two hours’ drive away for an overnight stop. This was purely to break the journey down to Yala NP. We stayed at Centara Ceysands Bentota. This is quite a unique hotel as the reception area is on the mainland and then you go over by a boat to the actual hotel which is on a strip. Our room was lovely and there is a choice of restaurants besides the Buffet Restaurant which is the main one if you are on HB. Early the next morning our driver was waiting for us at the reception for the 4-hour drive to Yala NP. I was so glad we had a driver and did not decide to attempt the drive ourselves. It is mad. So many tuc tuc's and motorbikes. Plus, hundreds of dogs that just wander into the road. On the way down he pointed out paddy fields and explained how they harvest the rice and how they lived. He made the journey go really quickly. They drive on the same side of the road as us, and I was surprised to see nearly all the signs were in English. Obviously from when it was a British Colony. On arrival at Jetwing Yala we were quickly checked into our room, which was amazing. It is at the far south of the country and borders a beach through the trees. We were advised not to wander down there after dark. We soon discovered why as there was a lone elephant eating the bushes right outside of the hotel. Plus, the next day we saw a herd of wild pigs walking through with their babies. The first evening we went for our safari into the park. We had our own driver for this, along with Roshan our guide. It was not long before we saw a small herd at the side of the track. The biggest problem with Yala NP is the number of vehicles allowed in. As soon as we saw the elephants, we were inundated with other jeeps all converging. It did spoil it a bit, but we were so excited to be so close to the elephants we decided it was worth it. Early the next morning (5.30 am) we went off for our morning safari. If we thought there were a lot of vehicles the evening before, we were stunned to see how many were lining up to enter the park for the morning one. It was like Piccadilly Circus in rush hour. But, once again, it was worth it as, as soon as we were in the park, we saw a leopard walking along the track. You could practically touch him. He completely ignored everyone though, clearly used to it. On the third day we made our way north to Nuwara Eliya, another 4-hour drive. This time we were in the mountains and it was beautiful. This is Sri Lankas tea growing region and the town itself still has a very colonial feel to it with some of the buildings. We decided to only stay here for the one night. Again, Roshan pointed out places of interest along the way, stopping at a waterfall so we could stretch our legs and have a wander. This was a very green and lush environment. I was even more glad of Roshans driving as the road twists and turns as it climbs and they do not drive slowly. The next morning, we began our drive to Kandy, back down the mountains for a three-hour drive. Kandy is a very busy bustling city full of noise. We chose to stop at the Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya just outside of Kandy. A much-needed break from the hustle and bustle as it was so beautiful, and we enjoyed our walk around here. We had 2 nights in Kandy and the next day Roshan collected us in the afternoon for a visit to the Temple of the Tooth. One of Sri Lanka's prime tourist attractions. He advised that we fist enjoyed a cultural show before heading into the Temple to experience the nightly 'puja' which is a ritual of offerings to the Buddhist Monks. Roshan explained the origins of the Buddhist Tooth. What was once the Buddhits Bath House is now the local police station. From Kandy we drove to Sigiriya and the famous Lions Rock. We stayed here for two nights and could have stayed longer as there is so much to see and do in this area. which is known as the Cultural Triangle. The rock is 656 ft high. Once again Roshan told us the history of this amazing site. We did not climb the rock, we left that to the younger visitors. The next day we visited Minneriya NP. This area forms part of the Elephant Corridor that connects the surrounding areas. Once again, we saw herds of elephants. some with babies. It was not nearly as hectic as Yala was. Our last day we visited Dambulla Caves Temples. Wow. There are 5 caves in all, each one as amazing as the last. How on earth they carved the beautiful statues out of the granite rocks is beyond me. We found this very moving. We ended our journey in Negombo for an overnight stop before flying to the Maldives the next day. There was so much of Sri Lanka we did not see, and I would definitely go back. But it’s the people that make this country as wonderful as it is. Their hospitality knows no bounds. Everyone is smiling. I wish I had not waited so long to visit this fabulous country.
28 October 2012
I recently enjoyed a trip to Gran Canaria, an island I have never visited. We flew out to Gran Canaria, where the journey from the airport to our hotel in Maspalomas took about 25 minutes. We stayed at the Seaside Hotel Palm Beach. This is a 5* hotel between Maspalomas and Melonaras . It is in an excellent location, right on a promenade where you can walk to the town. There is a large choice of bars and restaurants. All rooms either look over the pool or the sea and the rooms themselves are quite large with walk in showers in the bathroom. The food here was excellent, especially the breakfasts, with plenty of choice from a freshly cooked omelette to fresh fruit or pastries. On our first day, we drove to the capital of Las Palmas where we picked up a guide and drove into the mountains just outside of the town. The views were amazing, and we learnt so much about the island and especially the capital. We walked around the Old Town and visited Christopher Columbus’ house. We were taken to a tapas bar for a fantastic lunch, one I don’t think we would have found without the guide! In the evening we went for dinner at the Sheraton Salobre, another 5* hotel. This is situated inland from Maspalomas, about a 15 minute drive away. It has two 18-hole golf courses and is a really modern hotel. They have a shuttle bus available that takes you to the beach or you can stay at the hotel and enjoy one of their 7 swimming pools. While in Gran Canaria, we had the chance to travel to the south of the island. We stopped in Puerto Mogan, known as Little Venice, and I could definitely see why. It is such a pretty town with little bridges over small canals. The beach is quite small here but it wasn’t crowded. We had lunch at the Cordial Mogan Playa, a 4* hotel which is set out like a village – it’s perfect for families. We also had chance to visit the Gloria Palace Amadores, another 4*. This has two swimming pools, one reserved just for adults. The rooms here are a generous size, perfect for 2 adults and 1 child. Although this is set on the cliff, there is a lift that takes you down to the promenade and beach. We were able to try their Thalasso Pool here, perfect to wipe away any aches and pains. We had dinner in the Gloria Palace Royal, one of my favourite hotels on the trip. We had a superb meal and the rooms and the hotel itself were lovely. We enjoyed a trip into the middle of the island to visit another hotel. The route itself was fantastic and the scenery just kept changing the higher we went. The Parador Cruz de Tejeda was fabulous. It wouldn’t really be suitable for children, but if anyone wants somewhere away from the hustle and bustle or loves walking, then this is the ideal place. On our final day we walked into Maspalomas and visited the Baobab Hotel. This is a 5* family hotel based on an African Theme. It’s a really big hotel but not ideal for couples. Lunch was served at the beautiful Grand Hotel Residencia. It’s a very glamorous hotel but I wouldn’t recommend this to families either as it’s very quiet and there are no facilities for children. You can walk to a nearby beach in about 10 minutes. I will definitely be visiting this fabulous island again. It has so much to offer and would suit anybody looking for culture, scenery or beautiful beaches.
19 July 2012
I am sure most of us have a 'Bucket List' and on mine was a trip to see the Northern Lights. As this year was supposed to be one of the best years to actually see this phenomenon, my husband and I decided it was now or never. There are many ways to view the Lights, most people opt for a cruise, but I wanted to make sure that we had the very best opportunity to see them so decided on a land based trip for a week. This was a fully organised package with flights, accommodation, food and various trips. We decided to visit the Lights inMarch as it was a few degrees warmer then, although they supplied us with warm suits and boots which was a great help. We stayed in a cabin, fairly basic but comfortable and warm, we even had our own sauna. The weather was fantastic, most days blue sky, and really pretty. The meals were taken in the Main Lodge, these were plentiful, if a bit basic. They catered for everyone, and always had a vegetarian option. It was served buffet style so no gourmet dining. The staff were brilliant. Mainly English and all young. Very friendly and made us all feel very welcome. The highlight of the trip, apart from the lights themselves, was a Husky Ride. My husband was the 'Musher' so I was a bit apprehensive as it is not his day job!!!. We had great fun and the dogs were gorgeous. One evening we went out on Skidoos, again hubby driving. We travelled for about 10 kms, in the hopes of seeing the lights, but we were unlucky that night. Another great trip was to see to a Reindeer farm, where we were taught how to lasso a reindeer, could come in handy one day I suppose, and we also went for a reindeer sleigh ride. Other trips were a visit to an Ice Castle, and cross country skiing. something I have never done before although I used to ski. I soon discovered this was totally different and I had the bruises to prove it. I expect most of you want to know whether we actually saw the lights, and the answer is YES we did. Breathtakingly beautiful. We had arrived on the Sunday evening, and on the Monday we were taken for a walk up the hill near the Lodge. We were given a talk about the local wildlife and also about the Lights themselves. Unfortunatley we did not get to see them that night. On the Wednesday we walked up the hill ourselves, armed with a camera, and this time we did get to see them. Disaster struck though and my camera did not work. I was told I should have taken a Tripod, but my camera would just not capture the colours in the sky. On our last night there, Saturday, we were all in the main lodge when someone came in to tell us to get outside quick. It was MAGNIFICENT, It was as though they said' Come on it's their last night, let's put on a show' I cannot describe it only to say it was the most amazing site I have ever seen. Our neighbours in the cabin next door had a brilliant camera and he managed to get some lovely photos, which are the ones I am showing on my web site. I only wish I could say that I took them, but I didn't. BUT I did see them exactly as it is shown in the photos. If anyone has ever wanted to see the Northern Lights, then I can highly recommend this trip. You don't have to do the trips although for me they were all part of the beautiful country we visited. We had a lot of fun and met some great people. I would love to do it again one day, but my 'Bucket List' is still very long and I don't want to run out of time.!!!!
06 October 2010
As it was a 'special' birthday for me this year, I wanted to do something memorable. After a great deal of discussion with my husband, it was agreed that we would do an Alaskan Cruise. I can honestly say it was an amazing experience. We flew to Seattle for an overnight stay. We chose Celebrity Millenium, as this was giving us the dates we wanted and I had cruised on her before, so knew the ship and loved it. The following day we flew to Anchorage and went by coach down to Seward to board the ship. It was a long but beautiful drive. The scenery was as I expected, lots of snow and stunning scenery. We decided to have an ocean view cabin, which is a must in my opinion. We would have liked a Balcony cabin but finances did not stretch to that as we wanted to do quite a few excursions, and decided to spend the money on these instead. The cabin was very comfortable and had plenty of room to move around in. That evening we found our table and was delighted that it was right by a window, and as it was still light we had wonderful views of the passing scenery. Our first stop was at the Hubbard Glacier. It was incredible how close the ship got to this huge Glacier which is 6 miles wide. It was freezing cold and we had to go in at one stage to thaw out, but soon went back on deck to take more pictures. The following morning we arrived in Juneau. It was like arriving in a different country as the sun was out and no sign of snow on the ground. This was our first excursion and we chose to do the Whale Watching trip plus a Salmon bake. We saw Hump Back Whales, in fact one went right under our boat, I was so excited I forgot to take a picture. The Salmon bake was lovely too, nothing like the salmon we get back here in England. From here we went to Skagway, this was the highlight for me. Again the sun was shining and everyone we met kept telling us how lucky we were. Unfortunately we had booked a helicopter trip onto the glacier and then a Husky ride, but the mountain was shrouded in mist so the helicopter could not take off. We waited all morning and then at 1.00pm we were given the go ahead. Wow. The helicopter trip itself was fantastic, there were 6 of us in the helicopter, and the views were stunning. There were hundreds of Huskys on the glacier, they live there all summer and love to race. We had 2 to each sled, a 'Musher' and a passenger. My husband was a Musher but I struck lucky and got a hunky Canadian instead. (Another poor girl got hubby). It was only a short ride but we learned all about the huskys and cuddled 2 pups that had just been born a few days earlier. This was an experience I shall never forget. Day 4 was a stop at Icy Strait Point, I must admit this was another excursions that we chose, and I was beginning to regret. This town is known for the longest Zip Wire ride in the country. It took us 45 minutes just to drive up there and when I saw the view from the top, I started to shake. There were 4 'seats' next to each other, they strap you in a bit like a baby bouncer seat, you are told to lift your legs, then it is 3 2 1 and go. No time to think. All I can say is I would do this again. It did not feel as though we were going fast, yet we reached the bottom in less than 60 secs, and was travelling at 45 mph. The only time I felt scared was when I saw the ground rushing up to greet me at the bottom, but we stopped okay and I was elated. I looked up and could not believe that I had actually come down on that. Our final destination was Ketchican. We decided to just stroll around the town and visit the Creek area, known for its 'dancing girls' at the height of the Gold Rush. Finally we arrived in Vancouver at the end of am amazing trip. Would I do this again? In a second I would!
23 April 2008
Western Canada, and the Rockies in particular is one of my favourite destinations. To celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary I planned a self drive trip across from Calgary to Vancouver Island. We had been before, so I planned a slightly different route this time. One place I did not want to miss though was Lake Louise. The pictures you see of this beautiful place do not do it justice. Just to sit in front of the Chateau Lake Louise, gazing at the lake itself is so calming. It changes before your very eyes. If you can afford to stay here then it is worth having the lake view, I can guarantee it is a view you will never forget. If this is outside your budget there are plenty of other places you can stay nearby. We drove from Calgary to Banff which only takes about 1.5 hours. Banff is a lovely town and a trip up Sulphur Mountain in the Gondola is a must. Followed by tea at the Banff Springs Hotel, or maybe a soak in the Banff Hot Springs at the base of the mountain. If you love wildlife and walking then this is the place to go. We drove from Banff to Lake Louise which only takes an hour, stopping en route to walk up the Johnsons Pass. When you first enter the National Park you are given a newspaper detailing all the beauty spots to stop at for that picture opportunity, and also various walks; it even grades them for you. We have been to Jasper on our last trip so decided instead to drive across into Alberta on the Trans Canadian Highway. Despite the name this is not like the M25. The scenery is breathtaking and we made various stops en route before arriving at another favourite destination of ours, Lac Le Jeune. This is a very basic looking hotel that sits on the edge of the lake itself. The position of this, and the friendliness of the staff, more than makes up for the fairly basic accommodation. The food was excellent also. Onwards to Vancouver where we stayed for a couple of nights. One of the 'must see' trips here is Capilano Canyon. If you are brave enough to walk across the rope bridge straddling the canyon, then you will not regret it. There is so much to see and do in and around Vancouver. Grouse Mountain, yes another Gondola ride, has a refuge for endangered wildlife. On our first visit we saw 2 baby grizzly bears, on this trip we were thrilled to be able to see one of them, Boo, now a 5yr old bear, in his own mountain refuge at Kicking Horse. Other trips you can do from Vancouver is whale watching, take a trip up to Whistler, or stay put in Vancouver.How about hiring a bike to cycle around Stanley Park, stopping at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, where you can see a Beluga Whale? If you have the time then finish your trip over on Vancouver Island. You can take the ferry over to Schwartz Bay just outside of Victoria. Its a beautiful town, and full of history. We did our whale trip from here and saw a pod of Orcas with their young. It was so exciting. The highlight of our whole trip though was flying on our first sea plane out of Campbell River in the north of the island, over to Knight Inlet. We had 2 nights here and it was heaven on earth. I am passionate about wildlife and the one thing I had never been able to spot was a bear in the wild. I was certainly not disappointed on this trip. We were taken by boat to a Hide overlooking a Salmon Ladder. As soon as we got there we saw them. I cannot describe how excited I was. We watched them catching the salmon and playing together in the river. There must have been about 5-6 adults in all, and then out of the woods came two bear cubs. It was such an amazing experience. I did not want this holiday to end. It was a fantastic trip and I will be going back for a third time. If anyone loves beautiful scenery, walking and wildlife, then give me a call and we can discuss an itinerary to suit you.
20 May 2008
I had always wanted to travel to Malaysia, and when some very good friends of ours mentioned they also wanted to go, that was enough for me to make the decision and not to put it off any longer. We travelled from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpar and from there took a connecting flight to Langkawi. We decided that this was going to be a twin centre and we would have a week in Langkawi and a week in Borneo. With my love of wildlife, this was a must as I had always wanted to see the Orang Utans. The end of April is the dry season in Langkawi, however as we were in the middle of a rain forest it did not mean we were without rain, in fact it rained most days but it was short and heavy. It certainly did not spoil it for us. We stayed at the Andaman in Langkawi, a really beautiful hotel right on the beach. You are warned not to leave any windows open as the monkeys venture in from the rain forest and steal anything they find. One day as we were sitting by the pool, I noticed several people suddenly clambering about, I looked round and about 4 ft away from me was a very large Iguana. He was about 3 ft long, he walked right past my sunbed, climbed into the pool, swam across and got out the other side and walked into the forest. Apparently he does this most days, but this was the only time I actually saw him. You don't see that happening in many places. Langkawi is a beautiful island, and the people were lovely. We took a taxi everywhere we went and it was never too much trouble for them to drive anywhere you wanted. They are very proud of their island and are very keen to show it to you. We took the cable car up the summit of Gunung Kraf Budaya, and visited a local craft village. They are very gentle people and when our week was finally up, we did not want to move. However the thought of seeing the Orang Utans was a good incentive. We flew to Kuala Lumpar and then on a connecting flight to Kota Kinabalu; the capital. From here we drove to our next hotel which was surrounded by 400 acres of gardens and boasts its own nature reserve. This is where I was going to see my Orang Utans at last. They only have a few baby ones here, that have been rescued, usually because their mothers have been killed. They rehabilitate them before sending them off to Sandakan and releasing them into a much larger area, where hopefully they can spend the rest of their lives in safety. I cannot describe how excited I was to see the little babies clambering above me and swinging from the trees. They were gorgeous. We ended our stay with 2 nights in Kuala Lumpar. Its a very busy city but the public mono rail system was brilliant, and so cheap. We went all over the place for just pennies. The only fly in the ointment was when we collected our luggage in Kuala Lumpar airport on our way back from Borneo, I said to my husband, 'Can you smell fish?' Of course he couldn't smell anything. I did notice several people looking at me, but again I was so busy talking - as usual - that I really did not take much notice. That was until we tried to put my case in the taxi. The driver suddenly started shouting at me and pointing to my case. He wanted to know if I had fish in my case. When I bent down to sniff, I was nearly knocked out with the smell. They must have been carrying fish in the plane with the luggage, and I can only assume the fish container must have burst open and most of it landed on my case. We were staying in a 5* hotel in Kuala Lumpar and I was most embarrassed checking in. They were wonderful however, and took my case, wrapped it in cellophane, contacted the airline and arranged for a new case to be sent. Now thats what I call service. This is a place that I most definitely want to go back to, we only scratched the surface of this wonderful country. I shall just make sure they are not carrying fish next time I go.
Waltham Abbey 14/03/2022
Taplow, Maidenhead 12/07/2021
Datchet. Berkshire 22/05/2020
Ashford. Kent 06/02/2020
Waltham Abbey 15/01/2020
Winscombe, Avon 15/01/2020
Eton Wick 22/11/2019
Caernarvon, North Wales 02/05/2019
Newport. South Wales 29/04/2019
Datchet, Berkshire 12/02/2019
Burnham, Bucks. 11/10/2018
Wraysbury. Staines. 22/08/2018
Bramley Surrey 30/07/2018
Slough, Berkshire 04/07/2018
Newport. South Wales 18/06/2018
Ascot, Berkshire 15/05/2018
Oldlands Common. Bristol 15/02/2018
Newport South Walels 05/10/2017
Winscombe, Bristol 28/09/2017
Ascot, berkshire 31/01/2017
Winscombe, Avon 28/01/2017
Caernarvon, North Wales 26/01/2017
Pyrford, Woking, Surrey 13/12/2016
Newport, South Wales 24/06/2016
Rhiwlas, Near Bangor, North wales 23/06/2016
Winscombe, near Bristol 24/11/2015
Winscombe, Avon 19/05/2015
Englefield Green 29/01/2013
Launceston Cornwall 29/01/2013
Maidenhead Berkshire 30/10/2011
High Wycombe 27/10/2011
Winscombe , North Somerset 24/10/2011
Clapham, London 11/03/2009