Category Archives: News

transport
COVID-19 Secure Travel with The Big Coach Company

How are we making your journey with The Big Coach Company safe and secure?

At The Big Coach Company, the safety of our guests and employees will always be our number one priority and as a result, we have introduced new procedures when you are ready to travel with us again. We are continually monitoring the government’s advice and will keep this information updated with any changes in line with the evolving guidance.

The maximum capacity of our coaches will be reduced and seats will remain empty to allow for social distancing for guests who are not from the same household. Customers with specific seat requirements for medical reasons are advised to let us know when making a booking so that this can be taken into account.

Our coaches will undergo an enhanced daily cleaning routine, including sanitisation of all touchpoints. Our coaches will be sanitised at the departure and destination and touchpoints cleaned before customers board and disembark their coach.

The air conditioning on our coaches will always supply the largest amount of fresh air possible. The air in the interior of the coach is permanently exchanged; with complete air exchange taking more frequently than once a minute.  The fresh air is taken in from outside and the circulating air remaining only in cooling mode on hot days is cleaned by highly efficient filters. These filters filter out particles from a size of 0.5 micrometres upwards. Droplets containing the virus, or dust particles to which it adheres, can thus be detected and filtered.

Do not travel if you’re experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms.

These include a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. 

Follow social distancing guidance and follow instructions from our interchange teams and drivers regarding social distancing.

Wash your hands before travelling and if you can, bring hand sanitiser for use during your journey. Please be patient as queues are likely and loading and disembarking will take longer than usual.

To help with social distancing, please do not arrive at your departure point more than 15 minutes in advance of your booked journey time.

Keep to your designated seat throughout your journey and only use the onboard toilet if unavoidable.

Once you have arrived at your destination, wash your hands regularly using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser and maintain a safe distance from others from outside your household.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands.

transport
What to Pack for a Summer Festival

Summer is finally with us and that means the season of festivals has arrived. Whether you are into rock, indie, folk or heavy metal, it pays to be organised when getting ready for a few days of music in a field or forrest somewhere in the UK. This means booking your coach travel, but also packing everything you need.

If you have never been to a festival before, then you may be looking for a few pointers. It’s amazing what might come in handy that you never even thought of. So please read on for our quick guide to the essentials.

Pack for rain and shine

The unique thing about festivals in the UK is that you could feasibly encounter several seasons in one day. This means being prepared and packing both your wellies and your sun block. A rain poncho will also come in useful, as will a hat to keep you from getting burnt.

Toilet roll

While the porter loos are likely to have a plentiful supply of toilet roll at the beginning of the weekend, this may well have run short by the time thousands of festival-goers have arrived. Pack your own and wrap it in a plastic bag to keep it dry.

Wet wipes

With no access to a shower, wet wipes become your best friend when it comes to personal hygiene. Bring a packet and you’ll be popular among your fellow festival-goers, who will all want to pinch one.

Camping gear

Making sure you have a tent and sleeping bag may be common sense, but bring extra camping equipment, such as a mat to lie on and a foldaway chair to sit on once the music has finished. These will make your experience more comfortable.

Something to identify your tent

It is amazing how similar tents can look at night and some people may have bought the same model as you. With thousands of tents in a field, it can be difficult to find yours. Bring along a flag, banner or something of this nature that will help you get back to yours quickly.

transport
5 Benefits of Coach Travel Over Other Types of Transport

Regardless of whether you are heading for a day out in Manchester, heading off on holiday or simply commuting to work, coach travel is becoming a far more popular option for travelling across the UK. There are a number of exciting reasons that make coach travel a fantastic alternative to driving or catching a train. How many of these benefits do you recognise?

Comfort

Without a doubt one of the most positive reasons for travelling via coach is that it is far more comfortable than other forms of transport, particularly the likes of buses and trains. Modern coaches are air conditioned, spacious and well maintained, meaning you will always be able to enjoy your journey in a relaxing and comfortable surrounding.

See the country

If you’re driving long distances, the chances are you’ll rarely get the chance to enjoy the wonderful scenery that exists throughout the UK as you concentrate on the roads.

However, if you’re sitting back and relaxing on a coach, you’ll be able to gaze out of the window and enjoy the rolling hills and beautiful landscapes that are situated along the majority of our roads. It’s a fantastic way to see the country while you travel.

Lower your stress levels

Commuters and holidaymakers alike will be more than accustomed to the sort of stresses that can come from driving to a destination. Whether it’s because of the busy roads and dealing with traffic jams or trying to read a map or follow confusing sat nav instructions, driving long distances, especially into cities, can really get your stress levels up.

However, with coach travel, you’ll be able to sit back and let someone else deal with the roads. Instead of focusing on driving, you can listen to music, read a book, look at the countryside passing or even socialise with other passengers. It’s a very relaxing way to travel and removes the worry and stress that can comes with taking to the roads by yourself.

Safety

Going hand in hand with lower stress is a heightened level of safety that can come with coach travel. If you don’t know the roads or aren’t sure of where you’re supposed to be going, you can be wary of what you’re doing, perhaps even feeling unsafe on a road where everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing.

With coach travel, you’re being driven around by a professional driver who knows exactly where he or she is going, and they will know the roads like the back of their hands, giving you peace of mind that you can remain safe when you’re making your journey.

Inexpensive 

For commuters in particular, travelling by coach can turn out to be a rather cost effective way to get to work. If you calculate the cost of petrol, road tax, car maintenance, tolls or congestion charges, it all adds up to make driving into work a rather costly venture.

However, if you are commuting via coach, you are making one simple payment, and you are in a much better position to see what you are spending. It’s also likely to work out far cheaper than driving in every day, as well as being a more convenient way to travel.

transport
Essential Entertainment for Travelling by Coach

Summer is finally here folks, and with it, comes the entertainment. Planning a trip to Alton Towers? What about visiting Chester for some Roman history? Wherever you’re going, whoever you’re going with, you’re going to need some entertainment for the journey. After booking your coach travel, have a look below for our favourite ways of making a long journey seem a little shorter.

Thank you for the music

Few things beat a good MP3 player or Smartphone for a long trip up the motorway. Load up your favourite tunes and you’re set to go. If you prefer spoken words to songs, there are plenty of free podcasts available on the internet. Why not download the latest Bugle for a funny look at this week’s news? Failing that, Radio 4 offers dozens of programmes in podcast format every week.

Have I got amusement for you

A quiz is a great way of getting everyone involved. Prepare some questions before boarding, bring along a suitable prize and most importantly, make it fun. Consider adapting a panel show from TV to account for the coach theme for maximum entertainment, such as Would I Lie To You or Never Mind The Buzzcocks. You may find that some of your friends are as funny as the comedians that appear on these programmes.

Reading time

An old reliable stalwart, reading has provided passengers with entertainment since books were first invented. We like to imagine Queen Nefertiti crossed the River Nile with a scroll in her hands. Fast forward more than 2,000 years and books are now even more portable with the invention of e-readers and tablets. These let you take your entire book collection with you on a long journey – perfect if you’ve been known to get through a story quicker than anticipated.

transport
Have a Flipping Good Pancake Day

Come on, admit it, eggs, flour, milk – three simple ingredients that add up to one flipping brilliant result. All hail the humble pancake. Yes folks, it’s finally Pancake Day!

Crepes or buttermilk? Sweet or savoury? Classic lemon and sugar or mango and pistachio dosa? Whatever your preference, we’ve got you covered with our round-up of some of the best pancakes in the region.

The Interesting Eating Company
Situated on on Allerton Road in Liverpool, The Interesting Eating Company is known for its pancakes – among other treats – and are offering a wide range in time for Shrove Tuesday.

These will include plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Alongside the classic lemon and sugar, and strawberry with Nutella, the team at TIEC have devised creations including Reese’s Cups with cream and chocolate sauce, Kinder with cream and Nutella and Twix with marshmallows and chocolate sauce.

117 Allerton Road, Liverpool L18 2DD
www.theinterestingeatingcompany.co.uk

Black Dog Ballroom
To celebrate the beginning of Lent, as well as quitting smoking, you can have FREE pancakes at Black Dog Ballroom! Available in both the NQ and NWS branches, buy yourself a drink and get free pancakes – that’s all there is to it. Nice.

Black Dog Ballroom NQ, Basement Affleck’s Palace, Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Black Dog Ballroom NWS, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
www.blackdogballroom.co.uk

Puffle Waffle
Okay, not quite so much a Pancake joint, Puffle Waffle can be described as Puffy, Soft, Crispy and Yummy. Each Waffle is made up of 30 puffs which are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The puffs can be broken off to dip in your ice cream or to share. (Although sharing that never happens!)

The Anchor Courtyard, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AS
www.pufflewaffle.co.uk

Menagerie
Take advantage of Menagerie’s ‘Pancake Pic & Mix’ for only £7.50. Choose a stack of fluffy American Pancakes with a choice of Nutella, chopped strawberries, honey & chocolate chips with an option of whipped or double cream. On top of this they also have a delightful special cocktail ‘Breakfast at Menagerie’ consisting of Santa Teresa Linaje Rum, Licor 43, Caramel, Cream, Chocolate Chips & Mini Fluffy Pancake. Nice.

Menagerie, One New Bailey, New Bailey St, Salford M3 5JL
www.menagerierestaurant.co.uk

Bus Stop

This place in Warrington has it all, vegan friendly, vegetarian and most importantly stacks of fluffy American Pancakes with lots and lots of topping choices like chocolate, strawberries and so much more.

13 London Road, Stockton Heath WA4 6SG, England
www.restaurantsnapshot.com/BusStop/

The Beagle
To celebrate the beginning of Lent, as well as quitting Lotus Biscotti Spread, get yourself to The Beagle in Chorlton for a FREE pancake with every food order. In such a lovely setting, it’s hard to resist such an offer. Nice.

The Beagle, 456a Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 0BQ
www.beaglesabout.com

transport
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Liverpool

Whether it’s a family tradition or you just want an excuse to continue the festivities and learn about another culture, Chinese New Year is an exciting event and one that Liverpool knows how to host.

10 years on from the Year of the Rat in 2008, the city of Liverpool will celebrate the year of the Dog with a kaleidoscope of culture, art, sights and sounds.

While many people worry about the prices of trains or the stress of driving, taking the coach can be a quick and cost-effective way of making it to the city celebrations. With enough space for you and all your friends, you can enjoy the journey without any of the tension caused by finding your own way there.

A three-day celebration will take place across Liverpool’s Chinatown; an area of Liverpool adorned by an iconic Chinese Arch, that was gifted to the city in 2010 by twin city, Shanghai; The largest outside of China itself.

Lighting up the Chinese Arch, the Black-E and The Arch, there will be projections, music and lighting, that together will tell the story of Liverpool’s incredible Chinese history and culture.

Starting from the very beginning, when many Chinese sailors came to Liverpool as part of a new shipping line company, the displays will take spectators on a journey through to present day and beyond to the ambitious future of Liverpool’s Chinese cultural ties.

Chinese New Year will be part of the ‘China Dream’ season, that sees Liverpool embrace contemporary Chinese arts and culture from February 2018 to October 2018.

China Dream will inspire visitors with a programme including the wonder of the Terracotta Army at the World Museum the Moon Festival and Shanghai Film Festival.

More information will be announced soon but follow the conversation with the hash tags #ChinaDream#CNY and #Liverpool2018 on social media.

Photograph credit: Arthur John Picton on Flickr.

transport
Last Minute Coach Hire this Christmas

It has really snuck up on us, don’t panic but it’s now December! That means the number of days we’ve got left for Christmas shopping is getting critically low.

Not to panic, though, there are plenty of places to head when you want to go shopping, and you’re sure to find everything you could possibly need for shopping in Liverpool or Manchester.

Stress free

Travelling into a big city like Liverpool or Manchester can be a pain sometimes. At Christmas time, this is only exacerbated with the rush of last minute shoppers. From the moment you arrive at the Christmas Markets to the multiple journeys criss-crossing the city, you will wish there was a better option.

Thankfully there is! Booking a last minute minibus or coach trip for you and your friends will mean you don’t have to catch specific connections, battle through crowds to get on the train or even know where you’re going. You can just sit back and relax as a big coach driver takes you to the heart of your shopping experience. In our opinion, it’s the only way to travel; especially at this time of year!

Make it fun!

What could be better than shopping with friends? Booking a minibus or coach makes it easier for you to make a day of it as a larger group. You can all travel together, arrive at the same time and know where you need to be at any given time.

To add to this, you can also give your trip a little cosmopolitan trip. If you were driving to your Christmas shopping destination, it would mean not being able to stop off for a drink during the day. However, if you get the coach, you and friends can nip in somewhere festive for a bite to eat for lunch and even a few cocktails, hic. It’ll really help to break up the day and make the whole thing feel more like an event.

Getting home

Imagine if you were planning to head back home after you picked up everything you could possibly want for Christmas on the train, only to find there’s nowhere to store all of the presents you’ve bought. It’s a nightmare, but a real possibility when you’re travelling via this method. It can even restrict what you buy.

For our coach travellers, however, there is the added bonus of storage space under the coach. This means you can buy as much as you want, and have the peace of mind that there’ll be more than enough space under the coach to carry all of your presents home.

transport
Plan a spectacular New Year’s Eve in London

Even though it is November, 2018 will be here sooner than you think and now could be the time for people to plan their New Year’s celebrations.

If you start to make your preparations now, you could end up saving a significant amount of money compared to making plans and booking your tickets and travel closer to the time. These events are very popular too, so don’t be surprised if the best parties are sold out quickly.

London New Year’s Eve Fireworks tickets are now on sale for £10 each. You can buy up to four tickets to this spectacular event for you and your friends. Remember if you want be there on the night and get the best view, you must get a ticket. But hurry, they’re going fast. Book yours at the seetickets.com website.

Once you have partied the night away on New Year’s Eve, you could then enjoy all of the January sales on the following day. While some retailers will be closed, many are open and will have their bargains already available.

Perhaps take a look in the huge Topshop store on Oxford Street or explore the amazing designer retailers in Covent Garden. If you’re looking for something a little quirky, Camden Town will be the place to go.

Many of the capital’s top attractions will be open for the day as well, along with a spectacular New Years Day parade, where visitors can look forward to dancers, acrobats and marching bands in a fantastic ceremony to welcome the arrival of 2018.

See something that takes your fancy? Get a quote for your group to visit! With us driving you there or home, you can make your visit as booze filled as you want!

Don’t let your New Year’s Eve plans fizzle out with a disappointing pop!

transport
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.

Skylight
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
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.

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