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24th October 2021

 

Are you in the market for Christmas?

 

Twinkling lights, mulled wine, a festive atmosphere and fabulous gifts – Christmas markets are one of England's fondest traditions. Set in some of the country’s most picturesque cities, a visit to a Christmas market is equal parts shopping experience, equal parts destination discovery.

 

We also have some European Christmas Markets available this year too!

 

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18th October 2021

 

LONDON

 

One of the world's most visited cities and we're only an hours' travel away! Be a tourist in your own City, explore all that LONDON has to offer! It has something for everyone: from history and culture to fine food and some amazing experiences.

Here are some of our favourite days out that are bookable today!

 

Shopaholics - Kensington for Harrods

See the sights and shop until you drop. With more than 330 departments on a sales area of approx. 90,000 m² it is one of the biggest department stores in Europe. You'll be sure to find those special Christmas presents this year in store.

 

If shopping isn't your thing, we offer an alternative to visit the many museums, Kensington boasts. From the Natural History Museum, Science Museum or the V&A - you'll be spoilt for choice!

 

 

Royalists - Kensington Palace & Gardens - with an included afternoon tea in the Kensington Palace Pavilion

With so much to see at Kensington Palace and Gardens, it’s definitely worth a visit! Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the beautiful gardens including the Sunken Garden, an intimate tranquil and secluded oasis. Explore the stunning Queen State Apartments where Queen Mary II used these private rooms for relaxation and sleep. Discover the intriguing and unexpected characters depicted on the grand entrance to the Kings State Apartments. With your ticket, you can also enter a number of exhibitions including the opportunity to see the iconic wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales! Then sit back, relax and be treated to a delicious afternoon tea in Kensington Palace Pavilion.

 

Next year we'll also have dates to visit Buckingham Palace State Rooms & Gardens, Clarence House as well as our other favourite Royal Palaces further afield.

 

 

History Buffs - Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

He came silently out of the midnight shadows on August 31st, 1888 in the East End of London, leaving a trail of blood and gore that led... nowhere. Meet your knowledgeable guide and be prepared for a haunting walk through London. Jack the Ripper is a famous unidentified serial killer from London, see locations where murders took place and hear stories and theories about the Ripper murders.

 

Green thinkers - KEW at Christmas

Kew at Christmas is to feature a new trail this year, illuminated by a waterfall of lights cascading from the towering 18 metre-high Treetop Walkway in the garden’s arboretum. The route will include showstoppers such as the recently restored Temperate House and the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world, which will form the canvas for a kaleidoscopic laser show. Complete the trail with tempting treats under the stars; a spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst the aroma of roasting chestnuts and toasted marshmallows fill the air.

 

Young at Hearts - Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

For over 10 years Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has been spreading the Christmas cheer throughout London. Enjoy many ticketed attractions (at an extra cost) including ice-skating, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. Also wander the 200+ fairy-lit Bavarian style wooden chalets, you’ll be spoilt for choice with plenty of gift ideas for friends and family, or even treat yourself. It’s a fantastic day out for all of the family!

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9th October 2021

 

Visit Longleat this Christmas!

 

The astonishing kingdom of Longleat is being transformed into a magical land full of festive joy and cheer with plenty of delights to make your visit extra special.

 

Journey through a mesmerising tunnel of light and sound, leading you to the front of the iconic Longleat House. Marvel at the magnificent musical display and surround yourself by over 100 warmly lit Christmas trees.

 

Then, as the animals are tucking in for the night, explore the Wonderland Walk through Jungle Kingdom and Monkey Temple. A charming trail of illuminated sculptured flowers dotted alongside the snowy paths. Wander through the Hedge Maze as it’s adorned by thousands of twinkling lights for a magical atmosphere at twilight and bask in festive spirit as you listen to carols in the Park’s Main Square.

 

Don’t miss the return of the iconic 20 metre Enchanted Christmas Tree which will be lighting up the architecture of Longleat’s Stable Yard once more, all the while serenading the Park with beloved Christmas melodies.

 

Venture to The Longhouse for an extra sprinkling of seasonal spirit. They've combined the magic of storytelling with the aerial grace and agility of native species including tawny, barn and eagle owls to create a truly unforgettable experience with The Flight Before Christmas.

During the day, you can also enjoy all of Longleat’s animal and adventure attractions, including the Safari Park, Koala Creek, Jungle Kingdom, Jungle Cruise and the ever-popular Adventure Castle.

 

Tis’ the season to be jolly so enjoy a wonderful day out with friends and family this Christmas.

 

Please Note: Longleat House will remain closed this year for both guided tours and free-flow access. Please book your Santa Train ticket direct with Longleat (after our arrival at 12noon). If you want to join us on the Safari Park drive also, please avoid booking until after 1:30pm.

 

Saturday 27th November 2021, Route A: 8am - 9pm

 

£81 Non Travel Club Members

£76 Travel Club Members

£61 Children

 

Price includes entry to Longleat Safari, main square attractions and Christmas event  (excluding the Santa Train).

*We can only offer the day trip on Route A (Rayleigh only) due to the length of day.

 

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1st October 2021

 

Things you should consider when deciding to take out a Travel Insurance policy to cover your holiday booking...

 

We do offer a Travel Insurance policy through a company Wrightsure. This policy is optional, you’re more than welcome to shop around and find a better suited one tailored to your needs. However, I thought I’d write this week’s email detailing more information that might help answer any questions you’ve had or something to refer back to with any future bookings…

 

Cancellation

The risk of having to cancel or curtail your holiday is not destination specific. Falling ill or being involved in an accident and suffering injury can occur anywhere and at any time. Losing money that you have used to book your holiday can be difficult to bear. Cancellation cover is effective from the moment that you pay your policy premium.

 

Curtailment

You may not realise but if you have to cut short your holiday it can be expensive, particularly if you are not able to return home as per your holiday schedule. You may be forced to arrange and pay for such things as additional accommodation or unforeseen travel costs. Not only should there be cover for the lost part of your holiday, there should also be cover for unforeseen additional costs and travel costs.

 

Additional Accommodation & Travel Costs in the United Kingdom

If you fall ill or are injured during your holiday in the United Kingdom and you need to return home early or are forced to stay in the holiday resort after your scheduled return date, the NHS will not pay for any unforeseen travel or accommodation costs. Last minute train or taxi arrangements can be expensive.

 

Non-UK Medical Expenses

The cost of treatment and associated expenses outside of the United Kingdom can prove expensive, particularly so in certain countries, especially now we have left the EU. It is advisable to take out a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if travelling abroad (recently replaced by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)) but does not provide full cover (and is an extra cost). Most travel insurance policies will include a section to cover this scenario.

 

Remember

Travel Insurance policies do not cover everything. They are however designed to provide cover for the majority of scenarios that you might encounter as a traveller. As such; taking out travel insurance cover could help provide peace of mind. It is always advisable that when you receive any travel insurance policy wording, you read it thoroughly to ensure that you are properly covered.

 

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15th September 2021

 

Norwich is our place to visit this Autumn 2021 and here’s why…

 

 

Norwich is a medieval city with hundreds of historic buildings within a compact street pattern making it easy to navigate on foot. Most of the major attractions are within the ancient city walls in addition to many restaurants, cafes and shopping. 

 

Norwich also thrives around a six-day-a-week permanent open-air market (the largest in the country).

 

Here’s our recommendations of what to see and do whilst visiting...

 

Norwich Cathedral

The cathedral was built between 1096-1145 and is one of the most complete Romanesque buildings in Europe. The Cathedral Close is the largest to survive in England. Set in 44 acres of beautiful grounds it is known locally as the 'village within the city'. Once you've stepped through the gates, a sense of tranquillity envelopes you, it's hard to imagine you are in the centre of a busy, thriving city. Discover the ancient monks' herb garden, the picture-perfect estate houses and village green, sculpture, lawns and statues all leading to the river Wensum where turning left or right you can continue along the water's edge.

 

Also take the opportunity to visit Dippy, the Natural History Museum's iconic Diplodocus cast. He has been on a natural history adventure across the UK, and his final stop is at Norwich Cathedral (free entry).

 

More information can be found here cathedral.org.uk

 

Plantation Garden

Norwich's secret garden is situated right next door to St. John's. This 3 acre secluded spot is a hidden gem and not to be missed with its Gothic style fountain, flower beds, lawns, Italianate terrace, 'Medieval' terrace wall and more. (Entry is just £2pp).

More information available at plantationgarden.co.uk

 

*2022 dates will be available to book soon.

 

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25th August 2021

 

Looking ahead…

 

You may or may not have noticed but trying to get a last minute deal with us is near impossible this year. Hotels have become so busy with most of the UK booking staycations. Whilst it’s very satisfying for us to see so many of our holidays fully booked, this doesn’t mean our coaches have reached capacity... We still have many lonely seats available.

 

If you see a tour is fully booked on our website, this usually means one thing: we’ve sold out our capacity of hotel rooms we have on allocation. Please do call us with your requirements and speak with our sales advisors;

 

1. we may be able to double check the availability of the hotel in case they’ve had a cancellation,

2. we could offer coach fare only to include the itinerary if you’re able to find your own accommodation (this would mean you meeting our coach at our hotel each day),

3. we’d keep your request on file in case we receive any last minute cancellations.

 

We’re writing this for you to consider booking in advance to guarantee you’ll get away this year. I understand last minute is preferable with uncertainty around Covid-19, however many travel insurances (including the one we offer) can now cover you in case of having to cancel for this reason.

 

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17th August 2021

 

Family Days Out...

 

Why coach? Why not?

 

I’ll be the first to admit, if I wanted to take my family out for the day, travelling by coach rarely crosses my mind and I work within the industry.

 

However, the more my family expands so does the £££. What you perhaps may not realise with coach travel and here’s an insider tip, is we book entrances and tickets as a ‘group’ which means MOST of the time we benefit from a discounted rate which we pass onto our customers.

 

Next, break the day down;

 

1. You haven’t got to think about parking, or the extra cost incurred there.

2. You’ll rarely factor the cost of petrol or tolls you’d have to pay.

3. You haven’t got to fight over who gets to be a passenger and who’s in charge of driving.

4. Discounted entry! Meaning you could save a considerable amount of money – win win!

5. Have you ever thought, maybe the kids will enjoy the journey? Most of their school trips are travelled via coach.

 

Need I go on?

 

We admit, kid-friendly days out aren’t something we offer many of, however, if the demand for them were there we’d simply add more to our programme.

 

See below a list of days out we have throughout the year aimed for families and get in touch if there’s somewhere we haven’t thought of!

 

  • Warner Bros. The Making of Harry PotterTM Tour

  • Cadbury World

  • Disney on Ice

  • London Zoo

  • Legoland Windsor Resort

  • Howletts Wild Animal Park

  • West End Theatre Shows

  • Christmas illuminated trails

 

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9th August 2021

 

Autumn Colours in the Golden Cotswolds

 

Having recently returned from our own family holiday here, we wanted to share in more detail our recommendations and why the Cotswolds is one of our favourite destinations to visit...

 

 

Stretching across five beautiful counties, The Cotswolds is rural England at its most idyllic. Dreamy villages with their distinctive honey-coloured stone cottages, traditional local pubs, charming village greens and unspoilt countryside that will take your breath away, visit once and you’ll be longing to return. Here’s why you need to book this trip…

 

 

Coach Holiday Itinerary

 

Day 1  Depart home area and travel to Gloucester stopping in Cirencester, known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’, for lunch to be purchased. Continue to the hotel where we have a cup of tea/coffee upon arrival. Time to freshen up for our evening meal.

 

If you have time in Cirencester, we'd recommend a visit to the Corinium Museum. It's approximately £6pp to enter. You’ll see one of the largest collections of Romano-British artefacts in the UK, and what’s incredible is that they all come from the ground beneath your feet. There are mosaics, coins, pieces of architecture, statues, steles and ceramics, and while Roman artefacts are the focus, there’s plenty more from other eras. You can discover a Saxon burial, a hoard of Civil War-era coins and Medieval sculpture, all complemented by interactive technology to bring each period to life.

 

Day 2  Today enjoy a coach excursion around the Cotswolds visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, known for its pretty waterside views and traditional stone houses and called the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds. Afterwards we head towards the delightful market town of Stow-on-the-Wold with free time here before our last stop of the day in Moreton-in-Marsh located at the head of the beautiful Evenlode Valley.

 

Day 3  After breakfast enjoy a morning in Gloucester, the cathedral city of the Cotswolds. Opportunity to visit Gloucester cathedral, the resting place of King Edward II and is a hugely popular film and TV location. Take a walk around the shops and visit many of the cafes and restaurants this city has to offer. In the afternoon we visit Hillside Brewery for a guided tour of the brewery followed by some beer tastings. The brewery makes various craft beers and they love entertaining groups.

 

Day 4  After breakfast enjoy a coach excursion to Worcester, an attractive jumble of medieval, Tudor, Georgian and modern architecture which has a feel of a small town which is particularly easy to explore and get around. Time here to purchase lunch before continuing to Upton upon Severn, a pretty village situated on the edge of the Malvern Hills. Here we visit the famous Pudding Shop with opportunity to purchase some steamed puddings to take home.

 

Day 5  After breakfast we check out of the hotel and travel to Oxford for lunch to be purchased. Step onto the cobbled paths and lanes as we wander through the City of Dreaming Spires. The centre looks like an enchanted fairy tale city - so it’s no wonder Oxford is a firm favourite of filmmakers from all over the world; a place which has inspired countless famous writers over the centuries. Oxford is flat and compact so it’s the perfect place to explore on foot. We’ll find a wide variety of cafes and restaurants to whet our appetite before returning to home area.

 

Another idea, which we'd highly recommend, would be to visit the Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum - who are celebrating their 400th anniversary this year, the oldest Botanic Garden in the UK! It's again approximately £6pp to enter, you can visit their website for more info here.

 

Monday 25th to Friday 29th October 2021 

5 Days

From £435 per person*

*£140 Single room supplement

 

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23rd July 2019

 

Kirbys Open Day!

 

Tuesday 20th August 2019 at 11am - 3pm

Our Head Office, 2 Princess Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 8HR

 

Above. Our 2018 Open Day

 

 

Preview some exciting new excursions and holidays before the release of our Winter 2019 day excursion programme and 2020 coach holiday programme. Meet the Kirbys team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Refreshments will be available.

 

After our open day Karen Kirby will be holding a European River Cruise Presentation, showcasing our 2020 cruises and answering any questions you may have…

 

Tuesday 20th August 2019 at 3pm to 4pm

Our Head Office, 2 Princess Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 8HR

 

Limited spaces available, to reserve your seat please call us on 01268 777 777 or email info@kirbyscoaches.co.uk.

 

We look forward to seeing you then!

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7th June 2019

 

Family Business of the Year Awards 2019 - Thursday 6th June 2019

 

 

We are pleased to share our award with all of our wonderful customers. Without you, it would not have been possible.

 

It has been a privilege to be recognised and win an award against some tough competition. We are not just putting our business up against other coach companies, we are pitted against all family business' in all industries everywhere in the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

We were also the only runners up and got a special mention in arguably the toughest categories;

East & East Anglia Family Business of the Year!

and Small Family Business of the Year!

 

 

A huge congratulations to Adams Funeral Directors that won the award for Small Family Business of the Year who is also based in Rayleigh, Essex.

 

We promise we won’t let this award go to our head and as a business and as a family we will keep striving to serve you the best we can.

 

 

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8th May 2019

 

Kirbys Gift Vouchers!

 

Unfortunately we are unable to process any online Gift Vouchers for the time being. If you would like to purchase a Gift Voucher please call our office on 01268 777 777, option 1 or visit our Head Office or High Street shop (directions on our contact us page).

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Give the gift of Kirbys!

Our vouchers are a great gift idea that your loved ones or friends will appreciate for any occasion.

They can be used against any of our holidays and day excursions.

 

Please Note: They expire 12 months from the purchase date.

 

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1st March 2019

 

Must visit places in the UK with Kirbys

Our destination of March 2019 is Rye, East Sussex.

 

 

Nestled between green rolling hills and the English Channel, Rye is one of England's best kept secrets. This picturesque market town is home to the enchanting cobbled Mermaid Street (as pictured above) lined with crooked half-timbered houses.

 

Places of interest to explore;

 

Ancient Inns  Whilst wandering around Rye's quaint lanes and streets, you're instantly transported back in time. For centuries Rye was an island and at high tide the old stone gate was the only land connection to the mainland. Stop for a drink in the 11th century Mermaid Inn and check out the Giant's Fireplace Bar.

 

Antique & Independent Shops  Most of the shops in Rye are independent and are ideal for finding an unusual gift for the home, loved-ones or to treat yourself! Down at Strand Quay you can delve through the antique shops, there's always a gem to be found, as well as a thriving art community of a dozen galleries full of work by local artists.

 

St. Mary's Church  The church has the oldest functioning church turret clock in the country! The tower also provides spectacular views of the rooftops and the surrounding countryside. (A small charge may apply).

 

Rye Castle Museum  Learn about Rye's history at the Ypres Tower. Discover the Tower's roles throughout the 9 centuries; defence, private home, prison, mortuary and now a museum. You can also climb the tower to see the views over the town and beyond. (The museum is only open on Sundays).

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12th February 2019

 

Travelling in Winter Months

The long, dark nights of winter are gradually getting a little brighter, but it’s at this time of year the weather becomes a little colder. After 67 years of travelling with passengers during these months, we have learnt a great deal about looking after our passengers.

 

If there is adverse weather which means you can’t travel, we may be able to transfer the money you have paid to a day trip on a future date.

 

For those travelling on Holidays, we will do our best to assist you in meeting our coach in this weather so that we can take you on your holiday.

 

Safety

Safety is crucial at Kirbys. Our coaches cope with adverse weather better than most vehicles, mainly due to the surface area a tyre has in contact with the ground and the quality of tyre we use.

 

We will never travel if we deem it unsafe and all passengers will receive a refund for their day excursion if we cancel.

 

We choose destinations and venues that are suitable for the time of year we travel. In the winter months we do not take you anywhere that requires you to be outside for a long period of time. If you are ever unsure about a destination you see in our brochure then let us know so we can offer you some advice and guidance.

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6th February 2019

 

 

What we are sure about...

Feeling a little lost about what's going on with Brexit? Following echoes of uncertainty for a number of months, we hear the media sharing their doubts and opinions on a daily basis, regularly broadcasting their predictions to the world. We understand this uncertainty means we are all a little apprehensive about what happens next.

 

Kirbys Coaches are sure about one thing, our customers and the service they receive. We put our customers at the heart of our business. All of our decisions are guided by our customers’ opinions and views. We will remain committed in our approach and will continue to operate in the same way over these next few months, as well as the years ahead. For us its business as usual; spending our time and energy on providing the best customer service in the industry coupled with the best experiences out there. We believe by doing so our customers will have the confidence that is so important at the moment, confidence that we will have their best interests at heart and confidence in a company that invests energy into them and their experience.

 

Our Drivers are already set up for the necessary license changes whilst travelling abroad. We will do our best to make sure that if there are any extra documents needed to travel, we will offer assistance in any way we can. 

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14th January 2019

 

Happy 2019!

 

 

Kirbys has exciting news to share! We have been shortlisted for the East & East Anglia Family Business of the Year Award 2019, celebrating the very best of British Family Businesses #FBOTY2019.

 

Now in its 7th year, these Awards were introduced in 2012 to celebrate the family business sector and the contribution that family firms bring to the UK economy. Organised by Family Business United, the award-winning magazine and resource centre that champions and celebrates the family business sector, the awards recognise the diversity, strength and depth of family firms across the UK.

 

The team here at Kirbys would like to thank all our loyal customers as without you this would not be possible. The winners will be announced in June, so watch this space! 

 

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Introduction to Kirbys...

 

Among the memories of "how it was then" we recall the start of the package holiday, the "bargain break" bedrooms which did not have beverage trays and televisions. We also recall the way our coaches were taken on board cross-channel ferries, lifted on by crane - a very worrying experience and a far cry from the present day drive on drive off ferries and cross-channel trains on and under the channel. Kirbys were among the very few coaches to travel abroad in those days.

 

We have kept up with the times, with our modern fleet of luxury coaches. Equipped with all the available refinements they are some of the most comfortable coaches on the road to-day.

 

 

Our experienced and knowledgeable drivers are courteous and helpful...

 

We offer a selection of coach holidays which include some of the favourite places we have visited during 69 years as well as some 'new' destinations and we look forward to the pleasure of your company. Whichever holiday or day out you choose, you can be sure of our usual care for your comfort and enjoyment, our careful selection of hotels and carefree travel on our luxury coaches.

 

Let us care for you as we have been caring for our friends during the past 69 years and join us for your best ever day out or holiday this year.

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Kirbys Coaches (Rayleigh) Ltd
Princess Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 8HR
01268 777777

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