News - Newsletter – ‘Let’s Travel’
Familiarisation Trip a Success
Last October, some 50 group organisers and their guests joined us for our four day ‘Best of South & West Yorkshire’ familiarisation visit.
The trip was designed to give our customers a taste of what this varied and attractive region has to offer.
From fascinating mining museums to grand country houses, from captivating art galleries to remarkable cathedrals, our familiarisation trip had it all. Judging by the number of thank you letters we’ve received since the completion of the trip, it seems the verdict from group organisers is a big thumbs up for Yorkshire (you can view a selection of the letters on the back page of this newsletter.)
As Airedale Tours are based in West Yorkshire, all members of our team were able to join in at various points on the familiarisation trip. It’s always great to have the opportunity to meet you, our customers, face to face. Like you we were very impressed with the knowledge, organisation and friendliness of all the staff and guides that were involved in our excursions throughout the trip.
Highlights of our four day trip to Yorkshire can be found below.
Highlights of Fam Trip
Wednesday 26 October
Our first port of call was the National Coal Mining Museum where, after been greeted on arrival and given a quick introduction to the museum, we were split into smaller groups and taken on a surface tour by one of the ex-miner guides. Highlights included the lamp room, the pit head, stables, galleries and Hope Pit. The museum also provides a unique opportunity to travel 450 feet underground down one of Britain’s oldest working mines – but we didn’t have time for that today! We moved onto the Best Western Ardsley House Hotel in Barnsley for lunch and a look around the hotel before driving to The Hepworth in Wakefield. A major new art gallery, The Hepworth unveils a previously unseen collection of sculptures by its namesake, Barbara Hepworth – one of the most important artists of the 20th century – who was born and raised in Wakefield. On arrival we were given a short introduction before embarking on a self led tour of the gallery. After our time at the gallery we depart for Ossett and our final visit of the day, Rosegarth House. The offices of Airedale Tours, it is apparently the oldest surviving building in Ossett, and was originally 2 cottages. It is oak framed, some of which is visible internally, with leaded windows to the front, and a heavy Yorkshire stone tiled roof. Organisers browsed our premises viewing over 40 travel awards and certificates we have received plus Airedale Tours brochures from 1985 to 2012.
Thursday 27 October
We began our day in Sheffield with a short guided tour of the city en-route to Sheffield Cathedral. We were greeted on arrival by Cathedral guides before being given a guided tour of the remarkable building. We were told of how Sheffield’s oldest building has been a place of worship for over a thousand years, watching the city grow and develop over the centuries. After the Cathedral, we moved onto nearby Cutlers Hall. We were met on arrival and were given a guided tour of the Hall. The hall is owned by Company of Cutlers’ in Hallamshire who, for almost four hundred years, have sought to maintain the standards and quality of Sheffield manufactured cutlery and steel products. The Company is justly proud to have acquired furniture, pictures, silver and examples of cutlery with which to adorn the Hall. After our tour we departed the Hall and drove to Kelham Island Industrial Museum. We were given a guided tour and explored the story of Sheffield’s most famous industry, steelmaking. Displayed in various gallery areas, Sheffields origins, inventions, workers and the products – large, small or shiny are all part of the story. One of the highlights of our visit was the River Don Engine. The 12,000 horse power engine was built by the Davy Brothers of Sheffield in 1905 and was made to drive Charles Cammell’s armour plate rolling mill located at his Grimesthorpe Works. In 1978, the engine ceased production and was transferred to Kelham Island Museum where visitors can see the most powerful working steam engine remaining in Europe “in steam” at the Museum.
From Kelham, we made our way north to visit Brodsworth Hall (EH). Our guide told of how the English Heritage came into possession of the Hall and left the interiors ‘as found’ rather than replacing or restoring them, making it one of England’s most unaltered Victorian country houses. Following the completion of our tour of the Hall, we had free time to browse the wonderful gardens.
Friday 28 October
The final visit of our Yorkshire Familiarisation trip was Chatsworth House, an absolute must for any group holiday to this part of the country. Chatsworth is one of the grandest country houses in England, containing one of the finest collections in the world of paintings, china, furniture, tapestries, sculpture and gold and silver plate. We browsed the House at leisure before moving onto the Gardens, famous for their cascade and spectacular fountains.