PROSPECTS FOR THIS YEAR AND NEXT!
FUTURE TOURS WITH CROOKHAM TRAVEL
It is sometimes necessary to change dates of proposed
tours to align with best prices, availability or to avoid some Travellers’ own pre-bookings. We do try to meet everyone’s free diary
dates but just occasionally it cannot be achieved. Noting that most of our regular
customers do have busy diaries, this is an attempt to allow you to plan
ahead, hopefully including us in your plans!
RAIL ALE RAMBLE No.160
August 2013 – CONFIRMED
Our chosen date actually coincides with the one date this
year that the Dark Star Brewery could accommodate our group. Even then it is restricted to their
maximum group size of 25. The tour will be on sale at the end of this moth after the usual research has been done. The Dark Star places will be allocated
on a strictly as received basis for those who have NOT been to the
brewery. The Ramblers who have will enjoy their beers in the adjacent
pub. Other breweries we hope to
visit include Adur and Kissingate
plus nice GBGs.
GREEN HOP FESTIVAL + A
TASTE OF BELGIUM
Friday 27th to
Monday 30th September 2013 – CONFIRMED
This type of tour to the event in Worcestershire has been
an aspiration for several years but the lack of a suitable hotel nearby
has prevented it. The success of
the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival has now allowed us to use the
extremely good value Grand Burstin Hotel at
Folkestone harbour as our base.
The tour will begin at the Food festival and will include
at least five brewery visits (one with barbeque), the East Kent Railway,
the RH&DR, plus the usual smattering of GBGs, PLUS on Saturday we
shall “hijack” a free coach trip to Calais that the hotel offers by
redirecting ours to Belgium’s West Flanders! This will give you two short breaks on
the P&O ferry and two great visits to breweries in Watou (near Poperinge) in
the centre of their hop-growing area.
The first will be to St. Bernardus),
then to the very traditional Van Eecke
brewery. The village has several
of the usual Belgian bars to be explored.
BELGIUM, BELGIUM AGAIN,
Friday 1st to
Monday 4th November 2013 – CONFIRMED
This plea has been made over many months and now
circumstances allow a long-awaited visit.
This is being offered in lieu of our 2013 Xmas Markets tour (see below).
Our first visit to Belgium was in 1991(!): a lot has
happened since and we have learned a lot too since then. This tour will be based in the ancient
town of Mons, allowing visits to some local breweries and other
attractions. We shall probably use
a coach from Folkestone West (HS1 trains) via the Channel Tunnel.
XMAS MARKETS 2013
It has proved impossible to find acceptably-priced rooms
in another city to replace Bremen, where our postponed visit has not been
possible to re-arrange this year.
Amsterdam, Antwerp, Leuven, even Cologne were tried but rates are
much higher than those to which we have become accustomed. So Bremen (by rail) is now booked for:
5th – 9th December 2014 – CONFIRMED
THE FURNESS EXPLORER:
Friday 11th to
Monday 14th April 2014 – CONFIRMED
Always a popular Explorer
destination, the Lake District has seen another bunch of
microbreweries blossom since our last visit, so we are offering this
latest tour to the southern part of Cumbria. It will be based in a high-quality
hotel in Barrow-in-Furness (the bar just happens to have 10
handpumps!). Local breweries new
to us will be in the programme, as well as a full-length ride on the Ravenglass & Eskdale
Railway – to reach a brewery, naturally. We shall also pay a visit to the King of Piel Island – no, not a pub, but a man who owns the pub on the
tiny island. Rail travel probably
to and from Lancaster to facilitate a visit to the Lancaster brewery and
others in that area.
ISLE OF MAN – BACK AFTER
A 13-YEAR ABSENCE
to Monday 28th July 2014 – CONFIRMED
Not surprisingly since our last footfall on this beautiful
island, much has happened; the main thing for us is that the vintage
transport system is now in the safe hands of one Ian Longworth (well
known to me as a tram buff) who, in his post of Director Transport, has
breathed much-needed modern thinking into the island’s transport
system. It is a fact that the
locos, rolling stock and trams are the oldest in the world that still
operate in their original form. We
plan to be there for the long-running Transport extravaganza. This provides easy opportunities to see
and do many things that normally require private arrangements. It was the intention to make this tour
in 2013 but the shortage of suitable hotel rooms (following a dramatic
fall in visitors this century) made it impossible.
We secured rooms (16 beds twin/double, 8 singles) for our
dates many months ago so I now suggest that you register your place
quickly with us as our bedstock is less than we
can usually offer.
BAMBERG? YES PLEASE!
Early July / August /
Early September 2014
This famous town was briefly visited during our 2003 Xmas
Markets venture to Nuremburg in somewhat unpleasant weather. The never-ending attraction of
Bamberg’s historic buildings, many breweries, traditional pubs and a plethora
of biergarten und kelleren
surely demand much more attention.
We are therefore very pleased to be bringing this to you on this
new tour to the region. The tour
will be with a coach from and to Frankfurt airport, with two nights at
Wurzburg Maritim and 4/5 at a hotel in Bamberg. Research will be made early next month
and further details released thereafter.
The dates will have to be around the many festivals etc that can occur
in the Franconia region and suitable distant from the IOM event.
XMAS MARKETS 2014
to Monday 9th December 2014 – CONFIRMED
To Bremen (finally!) with an optional day trip to Hamburg
– please see comments above.