Month: November 2019

Get Your Skates on This December

One of the lovely things about the festive period is all of the outdoor ice rinks that pop up across towns and cities throughout the UK. Take a break from the stresses of buying and wrapping presents and planning the Christmas meal to enjoy some time with family and friends. Strap your skates on and go for a whirl and twirl.

See something that takes your fancy? Get a quote for your group to visit! With us driving you there and home, you can indulge in as much skating, Christmas markets and festivities as you want!

Seasonal Ice Skating Liverpool Pier Head
Liverpool’s Christmas Ice Festival is back for another year at the Pier Head. It is promised to be even bigger and better this year with even more space to skate. There is a covered outdoor Ice Rink situated on one of Liverpool’s best known historic locations, the Pier Head, so you can skate away under a clear canopy to keep you dry and with the stunning Three Graces as a backdrop.

Manchester Ice Rink
Manchester’s Ice Rink is situated in a great new location at First Street by Deansgate Locks for 2017. Skate day or night right up to December 23rd. As well as ice skating, First Street has plenty of food, drink and entertainment options to enjoy throughout the festive period.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Among the most popular seasonal ice rinks is the one set up in front of the Natural History Museum. With the stunning architecture of Alfred Waterhouse in the background, fairy lights hung in the trees and a large Christmas tree right in the middle of the ice, it’s an enchanting place to get into the festive spirit. Warm up with a tasty treat from Hotel Chocolat after you’ve finished skating.

Skate at Somerset House
Another fantastic backdrop is Somerset House, whose courtyard will once again be transformed into an icy paradise. With 900 square metres of skating space, you’ll be able to show off your skills to the max. The apres-skate at this venue is also second to none, with mulled wine from Fortnum’s Lodge and a wide selection of hot food on offer.

Tower of London Ice Rink
The dry moat of the Tower of London isn’t so dry, as it is filled with ice to create an atmospheric rink in a historic setting. Once the sun goes down, the castle will be lit up to offer even better views as you whizz about the ice. Probably the highlight of the Tower of London’s offering will be the fact that The Pie Man of Chelsea Green will be in attendance. He has been delighting customers with sausage rolls and pies since 1984 and will help to fill rumbling tummies.

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace’s ice rink is bigger and better than ever before, with 1,040 square metres of skatable space. The former home of Henry VIII makes for a stunning location, especially due to its proximity with the Thames. As well as grabbing a bite to eat, you’ll be able to enjoy Duppy Share Rum punches after your time on the ice.

For something entirely different this festive season, head to a former carpark in Wapping that will be turned into the hippest ice rink in town. Sitting atop the roof means the views will be unrivalled and Skylight is collecting together a good array of street food and Christmas drinks to make it all the more special.

Transport Everyone to the Panto by Coach

Seeing a pantomime is an enduring tradition in many families at Christmas time. Tickets are often bought in advance and before you know it, the time has come to get everyone to the theatre to see what Buttons, the Dame and everyone else has got in store.

If you have a rather large brood, plenty of extended family or go to the panto with a big group of friends, then hiring a coach could be a great option. There’ll be no need to worry about how many cars to take, what’s the fastest route or where to park; it’ll all be taken care of.

The Scouse Cinderella, The Royal Court Theatre

A scouse twist on a classic tale, The Scouse Cinderella follows the rebellious Cinders as she heads to the ball to get so drunk she loses a shoe. The show is packed with gags, live music, and a pumpkin that turns into a Delta. There will be minging sisters, a lairy fairy and probably some dwarves who’ve got lost. It is running from 23rd November 2018 to 19th January 2019. Tickets are £1400 and can be booked online.

Beauty and the Beast, Unity Theatre

Coming to the Unity Theatre this November, Beauty and the Beast will be highly theatrical and a bold retelling of the family classic. The performance will show that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and that everyone’s attitude can be beastly as times. Beauty and the Beast is aimed at children over 5 and their families. It runs from 30th November 2018 to 5th January 2019. Tickets can be booked online and ticket prices are from £9.50.

The Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, Everyman Theatre

Notorious dame Francis Tucker and the master of mischief Adam Keast are set to bring audiences to their feet to dance, cheer and avoid a soaking this Christmas. A traditional pantomime with a chilly twist, The Snow Queen offers singing, dancing and plenty of entertainment to the chilling tale. Running from 24th November 2018 to 9th January 2019, tickets start at £15.00 and can be booked online.

Dear Santa, The Atkinson, Southport

From author of well-loved children’s book Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell beings Dear Santa to The Atkinson this Christmas. The pantomime will take the audience on a Christmas adventure as Santa is determined to deliver the most fantastic present to Sarah, but he doesn’t get it right straight away. With the help of his cheeky elf, Santa finally settles on the perfect present – with plenty of music, laughter and audience participation. This one runs from 12th December to the 18th December 2018. Tickets are £12.50 and can be bought online.

Cinderella, Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight

This magical rags to riches story of Cinderella promises dazzling costumes, sparkling scenery, popular songs and a laugh a minute. The cast is star-studded this year as X Factor’s Gary Barker plays Prince Charming, Hollyoaks’ Darren John-Langford as one of the ugly step sisters and comedian and impressionist Michael Bailey returns to play Buttons. It runs from 15th December 2018 to 31st December 2018. Tickets are £15.00 each and can be purchased online.

Cinderella, Manchester Opera House

Singer and theatre star Gareth Gates is joining Coronation Street ’s Connor McIntyre and Les Dennis in Manchester’s biggest pantomime this year. The Pop Idol runner-up will star as Prince Charming in Cinderella while Connor and Les will be the Ugly Sisters. It’s running from Saturday, 8th December to Saturday, 30th December 2018. Tickets, costing from £12, can be booked online.

Doctor Dolittle, The Lowry, Salford

Doctor Dolittle will star Mark Williams as the eccentric Doctor, while former Coronation Street stars Brian Capron (Richard Hillman) and Vicky Entwistle (Janice Battersby) will play Albert Blossom/Straight Arrow and Polynesia the parrot. The show is running from December 11 to January 5. Tickets, from £19.50, can be booked online.

Snow White, The Albert Halls, Bolton

The tale of Snow White is a pantomime classic and it’s coming to The Albert Halls in Bolton this Christmas. Michael Starke, star of Brookside and Benidorm, will be performing alongside former X Factor contestants David Heath and Sam Callahan. Singer Charlotte Dacia will take the lead role of Snow White and of course it wouldn’t be the same without those trusty dwarfs Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey. It’s on from December 1 to 30. Tickets, from £14, can be booked online.

Sleeping Beauty, The Plaza, Stockport

The Plaza always puts on a good show at Christmas and this year’s production promises to be one of the best yet. Comedian Ted Robbins and Emmerdale’s Claire King will both make a welcome return to the Plaza to star in Sleeping Beauty. The show promises ‘beautiful costumes, stunning sets and spectacular effects’ and is running from 30th November until 6th January 2019. Tickets cost from £13.75 and can be booked online.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Octagon Theatre

This year’s Octagon show is taking place at the University of Bolton Stadium where it promises to transform the Premier Suite into ‘the technicolour land of Oz’. Swapping her ruby slippers for red trainers and picking up new friends along the way, Dorothy travels to the Emerald City with Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the cowardly Lion, in search of the Great Oz – a wonderful wizard from Wigan. The production will run from December 4 to 31. Tickets cost from £16 and can be booked online.

Cinderella, Oldham Coliseum

There’s another production of Cinderella running this year, at Oldham Coliseum. It’s one of the longest running shows, opening on 10th November and finishing on the 12th January 2019. There’ll be music, songs and slapstick, plus ‘a sprinkling of fairy dust for the perfect Christmas celebration’. Tickets cost from £13.50 and can be booked online.

Sleeping Beauty, Gracie Fields Theatre, Rochdale

The popular tale is also being brought to the big stage at Gracie Fields Theatre this Christmas. The Chase’s ‘Vixen’ Jenny Ryan is starring as Carabosse, Graham Cole of The Bill fame as Merlin, and Hollyoaks’ Milo, Nathan Morris, as The Prince. Performances are running from 22nd December to 31st December 2018. Tickets, from £14, can be booked online.

8 Fun School Trips For The New Year

Coach trips have proved a popular, safe and an economical solution for many years and in these times of financial difficulty, The Big Coach Company can provide competitive private coach hire for small or large parties throughout the UK.

We know that School budgets are tight, so don’t forget to carefully work out any additional entry fees to the venue you plan on visiting. Some venues are free for educational visits, but most will have a small cost to each pupil.

It’s best to have a plan before you start, will your next trip be a  day trip, half day or week out of the classroom? Once you have this, we can start on putting a plan together to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as it can. Talk to our friendly team today on 0151 532 5532 to discuss your requirements.

Anderson Boat Lift
The Anderton Boat Lift is a great day out, whether you are a history buff or a family looking for weekend activities.

The Visitor Centre has free entry and is home to a fantastic, interactive exhibition, Gift Shop and Coffee Shop. Discover the history and heritage behind the Boat Lift in the exhibition, take a guided boat trip through the magnificent lift itself, then enjoy a tasty light lunch, sandwich, jacket potato or homemade cake and hot drink in the Coffee Shop, overlooking the grounds.

there is a gift shop with its unique heritage and historic content, while outdoor decking offers fine views over the grounds and lift. On fine weather days, take advantage of the picnic areas, located in the impressive shadow of this mighty structure. From March to October, you can enjoy boat trips through the lift and along the River Weaver Navigation.

Knowsley Safari Park
Kick off your day with a tour of the 550-acre Safari Drive and get acquainted with over 700 wild animals, from baboons to camels, wildebeest to tigers, all from the comfort of A Big Coach. Knowsley Safari Park is an all-day destination.

On the Foot Safari, you can take a walk on the dark side through the Bat Forest – a 5* home from home for 100 Egyptian fruit bats, or marvel at the birds of prey. The ‘beak to face’ Birds of Prey Experience includes vulture feeding, flying displays and bird handling. Anything could happen as they swoop and dive just inches above your head!

What’s more, you can get up close and personal at the Giraffe Tower with regular giraffe talks from the team, watch the sea lions splash about in our sea lion show, get acquainted with the family of meerkats, and keep an eye out for our cutest duo, the South American bush dogs.

Chester Zoo
With 125 acres to explore, there are 20,000 animals at the award winning Chester Zoo – voted one of the top zoos in the world and the UK’s number one charity zoo. From the magnificent elephants and rhinos to the delicate butterflies, there is a different animal to see around every corner.

With daily animal talks, events, themed play areas, coffee shops, a choice of restaurants and kiosks, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. Kids and grown ups will love the Zoofari monorail, it gives you a giraffe’s eye view of the zoo. Or take things a little easier and relax on the lazy river boat ride in Islands.

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre
Catalyst is an interactive science centre whose aim is to make science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Find out how the products of chemistry are used in everyday life – from medicines to Meccano and learn about the ‘chemistry’ industry and its role in our lives, past, present and future.

For an unforgettable experience visit the Alchemy Theatre! With sections in stunning 3D and interactive voting, you can discover how a cancer drug is made, how chlorine is produced, how to recycle or how to help save the world!

Beeston Castle
Set 350 feet above the Cheshire Plain on the sheer rocky crags Beeston Castle is a magical site with something for everyone. With stunning views to take your breath away, long walks through rich woodland for nature lovers and nooks and crannies for kids to hide in you’re sure to have a magnificent day out!

Beeston is also a haven for wildlife and the unspoiled woodland makes it home to a host of birds and small mammals, remember to bring those binoculars and who knows what you may discover.

The Beatles Story
The Beatles Story, Albert Dock is the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles. The exhibition is located on the UNESCO World Heritage site at the Albert Dock and will guide you through the music, culture and story of the band that changed the world.

Join The Beatles on their journey; first conquering Liverpool, and then the world through immersive recreations of key locations from the band’s career including The Casbah Club, The Cavern Club, and Abbey Road Studios.

With information, imagery, memorabilia and video interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono, the Beatles Story, Albert Dock tells the story of the fab four

Blue Planet Aquarium
Get up close to Awesome Sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium and see real scuba divers in our daily feed shows in the Aquatheatre. With one of the best collections of Sharks, Fish, Frogs, Spiders and Otters – Blue Planet Aquarium is the must-see day out for all the family.

Watch the dive team feed the fish – all in front of the sharks at our awesome Aquatheatre window. Get an up-close view of our black and white tip sharks and Zebra shark in our Coral Reef from our 70m-long underwater tunnel.

World Museum Liverpool
From the sea to the stars, a visit to World Museum reveals millions of years of the Earth’s history through thousands of exhibits and hands-on activities. Travel to distant continents and ancient civilisations in the amazing galleries.

There’s also the Weston Discovery Centre, which offers a range of activities and interaction to provide a fascinating insight into human history throughout the ages.

Take the stress and headaches out of organising coach hire for school trips with The Big Coach Company.

Manchester Christmas Markets

Bursting with Yuletide cheer, Manchester’s award-winning Christmas Markets are a remarkable sight, with over 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets spread right across the city centre.

See something that takes your fancy? Get a quote for your group to visit! With us driving you there and home, you can indulge in as much mulled wine as you want!

The Manchester Christmas Markets will be returning to the city from November 10th 2017 to 20th December 2017.

The main market hub will again be based in Albert Square, in front of Manchester Town Hall, where the wooden stalls will remain open for an extra day, until 21st December 2017.

Over 300 stalls offer mouthwatering food and drinks, clothing, toys and trinkets. This buzzing city provides an exciting atmosphere that will really get you geared up for the festive season!

Get into the Christmas spirit while you browse the traditional wooden chalets and twinkling stalls.

You’ll find enticing gifts including decorative pottery and ceramics, handcrafted toys and decorations, jewellery and Christmas trees, plants and bulbs from Holland. Continental sausages, roasted almonds, crêpes as well as Bavarian beer and Glühwein which all provide the perfect alfresco snack.

Plan Your Christmas Day out by Coach

Whether you want to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or get cracking on your Christmas shopping with friends at Manchester’s Christmas Markets, there are plenty of opportunities to join in with seasonal activities all throughout the UK.

If there’s a whole group of you heading to a festive event, why not get into the Christmas spirit by travelling there with The Big Coach Company. After all, it means you don’t have to worry about missing trains or finding multiple parking spaces, and if you care to enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine, you’re free to do so.

Manchester Christmas Markets
Bursting with Yuletide cheer, Manchester’s award-winning Christmas Markets are a remarkable sight, with over 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets spread right across the city centre.

The Manchester Christmas Markets will be returning to the city from November 10th 2017 to 20th December 2017.

The main market hub will again be based in Albert Square, in front of Manchester Town Hall, where the wooden stalls will remain open for an extra day, until 21st December 2017.

Over 300 stalls offer mouthwatering food and drinks, clothing, toys and trinkets. This buzzing city provides an exciting atmosphere that will really get you geared up for the festive season!

Get into the Christmas spirit while you browse the traditional wooden chalets and twinkling stalls.

For more information about the Christmas Markets visit the Manchester Christmas Markets website.

Christmas at Liverpool One
The countdown to Christmas officially begins in Liverpool on Thursday 9th November 2017 when the iconi30-metre tree will be lit up at 6pm.

The party starts at 4pm that day with festive street performances, including storytelling, dancing, singing and lots of special effects.

There will be appearances from Christmas panto stars and Santa is even expected to stop by to wish everyone well before his busiest time of the year.

After the lights are switched on, people can head into Bar Hutte located underneath the Christmas tree for a festive tipple. If that’s not your thing, you can go up to Chavasse Park, where there will be more Christmas food and drink stalls, plus children’s attractions and rides.

For more information about Christmas at Liverpool One visit the Liverpool One website.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Treat the kids to a festival of all things Christmassy with a trip to Winter Wonderland, which is now in its 11th year. The Magical Ice Kingdom will showcase snow and ice sculptures centred around the theme of water creatures, while Zippos Circus will see acrobats flying through the air.

When it’s time to refuel, the Bavarian Village and Ice Bar offer refreshments that very much fit in with the theme of the occasion. From hot food to steaming drinks, it’s a great way to keep warm and everyone fed and watered.

Finally, finish your visit with a ride on the Giant Observation Wheel. You’ll have fantastic views over London and will be able to see all the twinkling Christmas lights.

Winter Wonderland is taking place at Hyde Park, from November 17th to January 1st.

For more information about Winter Wonderland in London visit the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland website.


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