Devon - All
Hello, my name is Stephen Bellingham.
After leaving the army as a musician and travelling the world, I followed my passion. With nearly 28 years in travel, I have visited some amazing places and had the satisfaction of creating successful travel experiences for clients by paying attention to detail and going that extra mile. I became a Cruise Master with CLIA in 2015. I have also travelled extensively in the UK so can help with your UK holiday and have excellent COVID19 insurance Zoom meetings are available.
Originally based in Clevedon, Somerset but now in Dorchester, some clients prefer face to face meetings, others are happy to liaise by telephone or in today's environment Zoom. I am available at a time to suit you and often travel to visit my clients at home, as it's more convenient for them.
Whether it's an overnight stay in London or a luxury holiday of a lifetime, I find out what is important and ensure that I match your expectations and more. The feedback and referrals I receive from my clients verify this to be true.
My clients enjoy personalised itineraries; such as a city break, a European sun-break, ocean and river cruises, long-haul itineraries, or an escorted tour. I often 'tweak' trips to make them even more special.
I am a Rocky Mountaineer Specialist. Commodore status with Cunard giving me their highest training rating and also a CLIA Cruise Master, again the highest level of training with them.
Solo travellers use my services as they trust my judgment and feel safe in the knowledge that I am on hand, even whilst they are away.
Using a live airline reservation system is a great asset for booking flight itineraries to select seating, special requests, and last minute availability.
Experience in Saga’s ‘Travel by Design’ department and business travel for TV programs like ‘I’m A Celebrity’ and 'BBC Natural History’ including The Blue Planet means I offer a discreet and confidential service when required, to unusual and remote destinations alike.
As a self-employed Travel Counsellor, I offer a personal service as with any privately owned agency, whilst having the financial support of a large, global organisation. Every aspect of your holiday is financially covered by ATOL and the unique Travel Counsellors Financial Trust.
My passion for travel has taken me to most continents from walking tours to first-class rail, from camping throughout Alaska to cruising the Lei River in Guilin, China. I feel privileged to share this knowledge and experience with clients.
My latest adventures were to Porto, Lisbon, Dresden, Philippines, Malaysia, Borneo, and Ras al-Khaimah and Porto, please do have a read of my blogs!
Now I am also able to use my knowledge of the UK from the highlands and Islands of Scotland to Cornwall and Devon and my home county of Kent the garden of England and personal favorite being Northumbria
For the ideas and inspiration to when or wherever you might like, please give me a call or send an email - 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:-
Is the Antarctic on your wish list? I have just completed some comprehensive training. Let me know if you are interested
This was the view from my hotel room on Kula Lupar totally amazing just had to keep looking. Want to know what hotel it is then give me a call
Excuse the music but enjoy the amazing scenery of the river trip I took in Bohol in the Philippines
Docking in Brooklyn on Queen Mary II after a brilliant transatlantic cruise
Did you know Virgin now do cruises or as they call them Voyages have a look and let me know what you think I see they have a very interesting Transatlantic?
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.
10 September 2020
Although I have travelled extensively throughout the UK, Dartmouth was a town I had never visited. It had been on my ‘wish list’ for a while, not least because of Greenway House, the summer home of Agatha Christie, which had always been a place I fancied exploring. So, with foreign travel temporarily suspended, we decided to head to Devon! We were very lucky to find a self-contained property to stay in, in a quiet village situated equidistant between Dartmouth and Brixham, with a lovely distant view of the sea from our little balcony. I was delighted to find...
06 May 2020
As we are in shut-down, I wanted to make the most of my time in between helping my clients to get home or re-book and book for next year’s travel. I thought I would do something I have meant to do for decades - write up my around the world trip from 1990 that started my amazing travel industry career. This was the only time in my life I have kept a diary! My first stop is perhaps not a city that you might consider, but my cousin was working at the British Embassy at the time. What a way...
23 December 2019
I have long wanted to visit Dresden and I was not disappointed. We arrived on the last day of the Christmas markets - my favourite was the very colourful Medieval-themed one in the palace old courtyard where we enjoyed local food and drink like Spätzle and Bratvurst. Perhaps the biggest surprise was finding a few ‘Medieval’ locals in a hot tub in the ‘altogether’! In the plaza outside the main church on the 23rd they held a vespers church service with full orchestra and choir which was beautiful. With a small Christmas market in the square this was the largest group of...
26 October 2019
Lisbon is a city I have long wanted to visit, and I was not at all disappointed, though there were a few surprises! The saying that Lisbon is built on seven hills may be an exaggeration for advertising purposes (in reality, our walking tour guide told us, it’s built on seven hillsides, which is not quite the same as seven hills!) but gosh, you will know it once you start exploring! With its steep cobbled streets, stairways and elevators, public lifts and funicular trams you won’t be in any doubt that you are travelling up and down hills! The city is very...
12 June 2019
I knew that a transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York on the iconic RMS Queen Mary II was going to be a special experience – but it was all and more than I could have ever expected. The Queen Mary is the world’s only purpose-built ocean liner, capable of navigating any high sea including the Atlantic Ocean. From the embarkation and departure from Southampton, marked by a lovely glass of champagne and music from the Jimi Hendrix tribute band ‘Purple Haze’, I knew I was in for a treat! I had wondered if the fact that we would not be...
20 March 2019
I had for a long time wanted to visit Porto. So, when Travel Counsellors asked me if I would like to represent them at the inauguration ceremony of Croisi Europe’s latest ship on the Douro I jumped at the chance! The weather was exceptionally good. Sitting at one of the many riverside cafes was just magical, with the port barges in front of me and the winding, steep cobbled streets behind. The Douro offers stunning scenery, seen best from one of its ever-increasingly popular river cruises, which must include a stay in the historic and beautiful Porto. The city has...
30 January 2019
I went to Krakow for Christmas, as a white Christmas is what I had hoped for, but it seemed it was not meant to be. With the world’s climate changing the temperature went up from minus 7 to plus 7 degrees in the time that the delightful drones over Gatwick were causing chaos, resulting in my flight being cancelled. Luckily, I know a good travel agent (!) who was able to book me a new flight the next day, so I only lost one night of my holiday. Sadly, however, in that 24 hours it rained, and the snow disappeared. All...
02 October 2018
This year 2018 I was lucky enough to make it to the level of Gold Travel Counsellor putting me with the top sellers of the 1700 of us worldwide. Our trip to Ras al-Khaimah is about the first place that none of my clients had heard of. Although closer to Dubai international airport than Dubai, it is a quieter Emirates closet to the desert and a fascinating place. From desert and falconry to warm sea and food let my pictures take you there. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton originally built as a palace which it was!
02 October 2018
On Friday I was lucky enough to be invited on Oceania’s Marina ship, sister ship to the Riviera. I wanted to see if Oceania lived up to its reputation of the best food at sea and I am pleased to say they did. Here are some shots of the restaurants and food. I also discovered a buffet where you don't serve yourself which means no bun fights and no cross contamination from others. I also found great art including a studio for everyone to learn about it along with a culinary school. With only 1250 guest and 400 staff you...
25 October 2017
Our first night was at the Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. What a most amazing experience - I was very impressed with the hotel. As you will see from the photos, I had a twin Tower View room, which as it became dark changed, making for a very impressive view with the lights. The Bar on the 32nd floor, also let you enjoy the view in style. The next day we took a short walk to the shopping Mall, not to go shopping as such. They are only allowed to sell original brand names, nothing else. Also for those that are...
25 October 2017
Next we flew to Kota Kinabalu, where we were met by our fabulous, local agent EXO. The guide took us to the Mari Mari Cultural Village, which gives you a look as close as possible to authentic local life in rural Borneo in the long houses. We spent several, very enjoyable hours there. You can visit and stay in a genuine Longhouse if you have time to go bush and explore in more detail. You would however need to travel further afield. Malaysian Fam Trip - Rasa Ria, Borneo Our next two nights were at the amazing Shangri...
05 April 2017
As my Philippine Airlines trip approached, I had a feeling of excitement of a new destination for me to explore, along with a sense of trepidation of what I would find. Armed with my Lonely Planet Guide I joined 49 others for a 14-hour direct flight. I was pleasantly surprised during my first introduction to Filipino food - the experience was far superior to many major airlines' offerings. Manila itself, is a big sprawl of a city with a mix of neighbourhoods, and as such it is impossible to see it all. However many a varied sightseeing and creative experience is to...
15 July 2016
My five day trip on Carnival Vista to experience first-hand what makes their brand new ship so special, was as a result of an invitation from a fellow Travel Counsellor. We chose the Crete to Athens sector, which stopped at Rhodes, Kusadasi and finally Athens. Our initial impression was of a large ship designed for families. Once you get your bearings on board, it is really easy navigate your way around without getting lost. I did not truly appreciate the size of the ship, until another cruise ship that I thought was larger than ours, docked next to us - as...
15 July 2016
I had always wanted to visit Athens and the Acropolis and thanks to a cruse I got to spend a day and night there. Although a busy and hot city, it was well worth it. We climbed the hill to the top of the Acropolis -you really must go early, late or in the middle of the day (when it is really too hot) or book with a tour to avoid having to queue for tickets. Once you are up there, the view is brilliant, surrounded by a busy metropolis. You forget when you see the pictures that there is...
15 July 2016
This is an island I have sent clients too many times, especially the 5-star Lindos Memories Hotel on the east coast. Its' ideal for those wishing to escape the busy resorts or wanting to have a quality experience, whilst also exploring the island with a car. It's a small hotel which as you can see from the photos is not packed, even on a day they were fully booked. I normally suggest half board, due to the a la carter waiter-service and location of the hotel. Although a 10 minute walk from Lindos itself, it is not a big town,...
15 July 2016
I was pleased that the cruise line decided to include a stop in Kusadasi. It meant we were able to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus 30km away. This ticked of one of my 'travel list to do' places. What an amazing site, and fortunate we picked the early departure trip, which resulted in a deserted Ephesus, before the crowds and heat were at their peak. Once the trade centre of the ancient world, a religious centre of the early Christianity and built in the 10th century BC, it is a vast, amazing spectacle. According to estimates it...
04 April 2016
With an 8am landing, we went straight to a Heritage Walking Tour and lunch within the Bastakiya quarter - a 19th-Century neighbourhood established by Iranian textile and pearl traders. It was a rare opportunity to meet Emiratis, ask plenty of questions and learn about their local heritage and traditions. On to the JA Ocean View just a few minutes’ walk from the Marina and JBR Walk. How fortunate to be there for the 3-D Art Festival. I took some persuading to sit on the pavement for photos, however it was well worth it. The Marina was one of our favourite...
08 October 2014
Our short taxi trip took us to the Melia Hotel, primarily a business hotel. It proved to be a well-appointed hotel, with a good buffet breakfast and tranquil spa and pool area. The check-in staff were really helpful, providing a map and rail times for our proposed trip to the Cinque Terre National Park ‘The Five Lands’, an area reported in the guide books as popular with American and Australian tourists, which bizarrely it was. The trip took a couple of hours; however it was well worth it. On arrival it was confusing to establish the best order to visit the villages...
07 October 2014
Joining P&O’s cruise ship Ventura in Venice made a brilliant start to our week’s cruise. We initially explored the whole ship to discover our favourite places. With East booked, the restaurant for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea located and a tour of the Spa area we were set. Our mid-ship balcony cabin had fantastic views as we arrived early morning into ports. There were fridge and tea/coffee making facilities and a wonderful, attentive cabin steward who made a big effort on a special birthday. First port of call was the Mediterranean coastal town Kotor, Montenegro. Wow, what a view as we came...
14 August 2014
Our couple of nights in Venice before our European cruise made a great difference to the enjoyment of our holiday. We learned a lot about the pros and cons depending on the particular client. Staying on the Lido proved good value and a new area for us both. We hadn't appreciated the ease of travelling by Vaporetto, and the fact that the frequent crossings run so regularly. Result! Our bed and breakfast accommodation was also a good choice. Our host provided a tasty breakfast, a map of Venice (which after two days looked very well-worn) and lots of great tips for a...
25 December 2013
Our next and final stop was Essaouira, (pronounced ‘essa-weera’, or ‘es-Sweera’ in Arabic). It was a good drive by taxi from the Mountains (about 4 hours in all) however well worth it. Our chosen accommodation, the Riad Watier was located in the winding back streets of the old Medina accessed on foot. A porter showed us the way left and right through the maze of streets until we arrived to a welcome from JP (Jean-Gabriel) a charismatic Frenchman, who willingly shared his passion for his Riad, and Essaouria. In traditional style the Riad has four floors, opening up to two roof-top terraces...
21 December 2013
Our trip up to the High Atlas Mountains was fantastic. The scenery is stunning with Toubkai the highest peak in North Africa looming above us, and being surrounded by the numerous local villages unchanged no doubt for hundreds of years. We were delighted with our choice of Douar Samra in an unspoilt Berber Village with serene views over the Imlil valley. Jule, the mule arrived with his brand spanking new seat to carry our luggage down the track to our home, a re-built Berber house, for the next few days. We paid extra for rooms with electricity, which we were pleased...
15 December 2013
We were attracted by the lovely Riads, colourful crafts and deep-rooted heritage, so different and yet so near to Europe across the Gibraltar Strait. Relatives joined us knowing they would have an adventure - a good test for the country too with a vegetarian and a celiac within our party. Choice of location and properties were based on wishing to experience the diversity of Morocco and its Riads, (traditional Moroccan houses or palaces with an internal courtyard), which were unique to their owners and reflected the local way of life. Within the same time zone and a 3½ hour early-morning flight...
24 April 2013
My holiday in Cyprus. I stayed at an excellent Hotel Apartment in Pissouri, between Paphos and Limassol. It was my first time on the island. April, my wife has been keen for a long time to show me what Cyprus has to offer, as she had often visited, whilst working for Sunvil Holidays, an independent, specialist Tour Operator. Cyprus by far exceeded my expectations. Following our 4½ hour flight from Bristol, we hired a car from Paphos Airport. Our first impressions were good. During the 20 minute drive (on the left hand side of the road), a local showed us the...
08 October 2012
I had no idea what to expect from my trip to Kalkan never having visited a Turkish holiday resort. I found a small quite beautiful and friendly harbour village on Turkey’s southern coast. Everyone in Kalkan was friendly and focused on making our trip special. The wide array of restaurants served excellent, varied Mediterranean cuisine with good English being spoken by most. The hotel I stayed in the Asfyia, offered excellent service with a beautiful pool, bar and garden area. An excellent breakfast was enjoyed with a pool view. The bar offered very reasonably priced drinks from iced tea to cocktails. There are other...
06 September 2011
Croatia – a place very close to our hearts! My wife and I met in Croatia five years ago on a hosted eight night trip. Treated like royalty we dined in some of the best restaurants Croatia has to offer. We explored the mainland from Dubrovnik in the south, drove up to Split and finally flew to Zagreb in the north, touring much of the Istrian Peninsula. We ended in Zagreb in a hotel where the English Football Team was expected the next day! We returned for an island holiday in September with a direct two and a half hour...
24 March 2011
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, is quoted as being the 16th most visited city in the world and 4th in Europe. We were amongst those visitors along with a couple of friends for a few nights in March 2011. My wife and I had been before, but to be honest one never tires of the city. It has so much to offer that you get a different perspective each time you visit. Our two bedroom apartment was on the first floor next to the Placa Catalunya and was both cost effective and convenient. It...
09 December 2010
For me one of the most exciting things during 2010 was attending the annual Luxury Travel Show in Cannes, South of France. It provides the opportunity to source authentic and unique luxury products, which reflect their destination naturally. A SAMPLE OF WHAT’S ON OFFER … Vancouver Island—Special Places savour the luxury, embrace the visual pleasures and welcome a pace of life they call Island time. Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World - located ‘at the end of the world’ in Argentina with a front row seat of the stunning Beagle Channel. Intimate luxury camps...
Sent in by Craig Monkes
Dorchester, 13 January 2021
To Stephen of Travel Counsellors, I wanted to take the time to thank Stephen for his services with helping with planning two weekend breaks. Stephen met with me and clearly set out my options. Stephen’s brief were two very different holidays. One holiday was a weekend break for two the other a group trip with particular requirements. Once I had met with Stephen, he provided me with his proposals that put all the information together in a easy to understand format. He was then able to make amendments as needed on my request. Stephen thought of everything including private transfers. Stephen really went above and beyond to provide the best advice and to find the best options that would meet our needs. This included a really easy to use app that makes our holidays simple to to manage including payments, updates and all my tickets and insurances, including COVID cover for total peace of mind. I have been actively promoting Stephen since. It goes without saying that I would highly recommend Stephen as an amazing contact for all things travel. Craig Monks
Sent in by Brian Hendy
Romsey, 22 November 2020
We have used Stephen many times and the organisation of the trips has been first class. He always is available wherever you are in the world should an unexpected problem occur. This has happened and sorted out immediately so we deal with him with a high degree of confidence. He has a great knowledge of the places we have visited and seems to work seamlessly. Highly recommended.
Sent in by John Barnett
Farnham, 22 November 2020
I have used the services of Travelcouncellors through their representative Stephen Bellingham over a good number of years. During this time Stephen has helped and assisted me to construct some unbelievably wonderful travel and holiday experiences, to all manner of destinations across the globe. I have found Stephen to be attentive to my requirements and able to originate ideas to add to my plans. In addition, Stephen’s knowledge and experience has enhanced these travels allowing me to stay in accommodation I would probably not have found and air travel connections that worked exceedingly well. In addition, and so importantly, he has been there at the end of the phone or text ready to assist when needed. This was certainly the case this current year when he extricated me from Indonesia at extremely short notice prior to lockdown. I will continue to use his services when I recommence my world travelling and would thoroughly recommend his services to anyone wishing to ensure their travels are well managed and unique.
Sent in by Brian Hendy
Southampton, 11 February 2020
Very professional and knowledgeable always prompt to reply on any query
Sent in by David Parnaby
Frimley, 29 January 2020
Stephen listens to my requirements. Gives very sound advice and gives excellent service at all times.
Sent in by Calum Hodge
Bristol, 04 November 2019
Stephen was fantastic with sorting out honeymoon! He did everything we asked and wanted and was always quick to reply to my hundreds of emails I sent him on a daily basis and even replied during our holiday! Would definitely recommend him.
Sent in by Michael Butler
Clevedon, 04 November 2019
As usual Stephen was extremely helpful in finding and arranging our holiday. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was organised for us and all the arrangements went like clockwork. Stephen is always courteous, friendly, knowledgeable and very professional in in all matters concerning the holiday
Sent in by Linda Day
Portishead, 21 October 2019
Very friendly and efficient service. All the requirements we requested were met regarding our holiday.
Sent in by Lisa Freeman
Nailsea, 16 October 2019
Stephen is my number one travel consultant to go to. I trust him to look after my travel arrangements to various places around the world. Steve is on hand throughout to help and assist with any concerns that may arise during any part of my journey.
Sent in by Christine Atkins
Marlbourough, 28 August 2019
Thank you so much for organising our absolutely amazing holiday to Tanzania - it was awesome! Tent with a view were a great company, the tents were incredible and the views over the migrating wildebeest in the Serengeti were breathtaking, they even managed to make Oscar a birthday cake on the hoof (excuse the pun). The guides were great - we saw all of the big 5 and 3 of the little 5 and everything in between (giraffes, zebra, waterbuck giving birth etc). We really couldn't have asked for more and have nothing but very happy memories and a huge number of photos of animals and birds. BIG THANK YOU!.
Sent in by Stephen Bellingham
Clevedon, 10 August 2019
Super helpful and very knowledgeable. Very quick response to our questions. Would highly recommend.
Sent in by Barry Grunell
Felixstow, 07 August 2019
Mr Bellingham has now completed 3 Cruise's on my behalf and now working on my 4th. He is honest and very reliable. I did have a problem with a Visa which he sorted late at night. I recommend him completely.
Sent in by Sally Wilcox
Clevedon, 26 July 2019
I always pass on Stephens details to anyone looking for holidays
Sent in by Sally Wilcox
Clevedon, 26 July 2019
I always pass on Stephens details to anyone looking for holidays
Sent in by Howaard Binsted
Deal, 24 July 2019
We have always found you most helpful and attentive to detail, which is why we have recommended you to relations and friends of ours
Sent in by Jannifer Janes
Clevedon, 24 July 2019
Excellent efficient service. Stephen couldn't be more helpful or charming.
Sent in by Anne Duddy
Clevedon, 23 July 2019
Stephen is absolutely brilliant. Nothing is to much trouble for him. He takes all the hassle of planning and booking away leaving you to look forward to, and enjoy your holiday.
Sent in by John Gent
Clevedon, 09 July 2019
Always helpful and gets the best deal. Very reliable
Sent in by James Foulds
Clevedon, 04 July 2019
A caring, thorough and resourceful counsellor. Totally reliable and speedy with his responses. A pleasure to deal with.
Sent in by Pam Benjamin
Clevedon, 28 June 2019
Always goes ‘above and beyond ‘ to provide a first class experience! I have recommended Stephen to lots of my friends
Sent in by Ed Keeley
Dubai, 12 June 2019
Stephen has been exceptionally helpful, with no detail left unturned. He was extremely helpful and obliging especially when due to budget restraints I needed the plan modifying and tweaking. Not only was he thorough,, but also his email responses were very fast. I am confident that Stephen has prepared and planned the perfect trip for my wife’s ‘big birthday’ celebration.
Sent in by Martyn Kelly
Spain, 12 June 2019
We have recommended Stephen, you could not get a better service. Stephen was actually recommended to us , we are so happy that he was.
Sent in by Susan Clark
Farnham, 06 April 2019
We always get an outstanding service, in every respect from making an enquiry through to the holiday experience. Top marks for Stephen Bellingham.
Sent in by Carol Auty
Axbridge, 07 March 2019
Stephen has arranged several holidays for us. We have always been delighted with the arrangements he has made and we wouldn't dream of going to any other Travel agency.
Sent in by Lisa Freeman
Nailsea, 04 February 2019
Steve delivered the best price with everything I asked for.
Sent in by Clive Howarth
Bath, 31 January 2019
There is nothing that is too much trouble go Stephen we have now introduced between 8 to 10 people to him and all delighted
Sent in by Alison White
Clevedon, 25 January 2019
I have recommended Stephen to a number of friends already! We have booked twice now with Stephen, both times a great experience. He comes up with interesting ideas at a reasonable price, his service is brilliant definitely ‘over and above’. Happy customer
Sent in by Chris Walsh
Nailsea, 21 January 2019
Stephen is friendly and professional, deals with enquiries immediately and works to find the best deal for his customers.
Sent in by Ann Wrzesien
Clevedon, 15 January 2019
Stephen is always very friendly and helpful. But possibly my main reason for using Stephen’s services is that it gives me confidence, as I feel if anything did go wrong (and sometimes they do), he would be able to sort it out.
Sent in by Julie Sansom
Ashford, 15 January 2019
Fantastic and reliable - nothing is too much trouble for them. Whatever you want to do, stay or see they will find the perfect results for you
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 01305 897 620