Posted by: StonehengeNews | January 23, 2016

2016 Backpacker Adventure Tours

We offer Backpacker Adventurous Tours which cover the best of the England, Scotland, Ireland and Europe for a fraction of the cost. Are you between the ages of 18 – 35 years and looking for a fun filled holiday or just an exciting getaway with like-minded people?

Please visit our Backpacker Travel website for 2016 events and new tours including;


Royal Ascot Race Day 
St Patricks Day in Dublin
Easter in Paris
La Tomatina  Festival in Spain
Pamplona Bull Running
Munich Beer Festival
Gap Year Adventures
and much, much more………………….

In addition to our usual favourites we are proud to offer a wide selection of weekend getaways, bank holiday specials and some new exclusive short trips from London. All of our tours are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals!

Choose from a wide selection of scheduled excursions including day tours to Britain’s top attractions, extended tours, jump on – jump off tours, short break weekend packages and activity /adventure tours PLUS exciting tours to some of Europe’s greatest cities in 2015. All of our tours are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals. Please take the time to view our ever increasing range of tours and our comprehensive travel links with free information for the backpacker in England!

 Would you like to do nothing else than travelling the world and experience it all? Than you should book one of the backpacker tours with Xtreme Gap Year. You can experience the best and coolest adrenaline loaded trips you will ever find! There are plenty of options available for you if you are looking for a backpacker tour, usually the first difficult decision is deciding where to go.

Our Tours are known to be one of a kind and a memorable experience you will never forget!

The Backpacker Tour Company
We offer the largest selection of budget tours in the UK, with simple SECURE OnLine booking forms and no booking fees.
Experience the difference!

Posted by: StonehengeNews | November 27, 2015

Christmas in Amsterdam – 4 Day Tour

Thursday 24th December – Sunday 27th December 2015

Join our special 4 day Christmas tour to Amsterdam. Travel by luxury coach with visits to both Brussels and Bruges. (book here)

A 4 day Christmas tour to Amsterdam, with visits to Brussels and Bruges also included. Accommodation options include the excellent Winston in the City Centre or a very good quality 3 star hotel less than 10 minutes tram from the main attractions.

Tour Highlights: A fantastic tour to Europe’s most unique city. See Van Gogh Museum, take the Red Light District walking tour, join the excursion to the Cheese and Clog makers, taste a beer at the Heineken Brewery, tour Anne Frank House or simply experience the cafe culture. On day we include a visit to Brussels, and on day 4 a visit to medieval Bruges.

Day 1 – Coach pick up points in London (Hammersmith, Great Portland Street, Embankment and Lewisham),  Cambridge, Canterbury, Ramsgate and Dover. From Folkestone we depart on the 09:20am train (Eurotunnel) to Calais. Our first major stop is the capital of the European Union – Brussels. During the Christmas period Brussels is home to a fantastic Christmas market. On arrival join the guide for short walking tour, followed by some free time in the famous Grand Place to enjoy the market. We arrive in Amsterdam early evening where we check in to one of the excellent accommodation options we have for you:

St.Christophers at the Winston –  A unique hotel in the heart of Amsterdam, located between Dam Square and the Red Light District, walking distance to the vast majority of major attractions the city has to offer. The Winston also has Amsterdam’s one and only Belushi’s bar with great food and drink promotions all year round and a funky nightclub ‘The Winston Kingdom’ where you can sample some great live entertainment.

Westcord Art Hotel – 3 Star Hotel  – Upgrade to our 3 star hotel for only £40 per person per night. The hotel is located in Amsterdam centre, a short 10 minute tram ride to the main attractions. All rooms are nicely decorated and offer all the comfort one can expect from a hotel of this standard. The hotel has a bar, restaurant and 24 hour reception.
After check in meet the guide for an optional evening walking tour of the Red Light District (included in tour cost).

Day 2 – After breakfast we begin the day with a morning coach excursion to Volendam. If it is typical of Holland you will find it here. Windmills, Cheese-makers, Clog makers and typical Dutch dress.
We then head back to Amsterdam in time for the canal cruise to see this amazing city with our local Dutch guide from the comfort of one of Amsterdam’s famous tour boats. then a free afternoon in the City Centre. Attractions open on Christmas day include Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House, and spend some time in the famous Dam Square. Rest of evening free to enjoy the nightife of this unique city.

Day 3 – A free day in Amsterdam centre. Enjoy a Diamond Factory Tour, enter one of the many fantastic museums (including Van Gogh Museum) and galleries, visit the Heineken Brewery or simply enjoy the famous cafe culture in this unique city.

Day 4 – We depart Amsterdam after breakfast for the drive to Bruges, the ‘Venice of the North’. One of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, and your chance to buy some Belgian specialties, beer and chocolate!!! We depart Bruges late afternoon for our return train (Eurotunnel). Drop offs in Canterbury and Ramsgate between 19:30-20:00, in London 21:00-21:45 and in Cambridge 23:00-23:30

Your Accommodation
The Winston – click here to see the website – 129 Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam
Your accommodation is included in the price of your tour on a bed and breakfast basis. All rooms are multi bedded ensuite rooms. Single travelers will share a room with other travelers (of the same sex) form the tour group.

Westcord Art Hotel – click here to see the website -
3* Hotel option. All rooms 2 bedded ensuite, bed and continental breakfast basis.
If you have any questions on the rooming please contact our office staff.


  • 4 days use of executive touring coach plus return Folkestone-Calais Eurotunnel Crossings
  • 3 nights bed and breakfast in your chosen accommodation in Amsterdam. Ensuite rooms in the Winston (4-6 bedded) and the 3 star hotel (twin/double). Twin/double rooms available at the Winston for £25 per person per night supplement
  • Walking tour of Amsterdam highlights, including Red Light District Walking Tour.
  • Canal cruise in Amsterdam with guided commentary
  • Visits to Brussels and Bruges to enjoy the Christmas markets
  • Services of a professional tour guide for a walking tour in Brussels, 2 days in Amsterdam and walking tour in Bruges.

Departure Details

04.15am Cambridge from outside Police Station, Parkside
05.45am London, Hammersmith tube station
06.05am London, Great Portland Street tube station
06.20am London, Embankment tube station
06.55am London, Lewisham High Street (outside Police Station)
07.05am Ramsgate Train Station
07.45am Canterbury East Train Station
08:30am Dover Eastern Docks Bookings Hall

Before booking this tour, please check that you have a valid passport and travel visa (if your nationality requires one).


More great value festive tours here

The Backpacker Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | September 9, 2015

Christmas and New Year Hogmanay Tours 2015

No one celebrates Hogmanay quite like the Scots! From traditional fire festivals and torchlight processions to street parties with live music and fireworks, we’ve got it all.

  1. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year inhogmanay-tour the Scottish manner.
  2. Nobody knows for sure where the word ‘Hogmanay’ came from. It may have originated from Gaelic or from Norman-French
  3. Historically, Christmas was not observed as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland. The winter solstice holiday tended to be at New Year when family and friends gathered for a party and exchange presents, especially for the children.
  4. ‘The Bells’ is the phrase used to describe the midnight hour when New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day.
  5. Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight, not just in Scotland but in many English-speaking countries.
  6. The Guinness Book of World Records lists ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as one of the most frequently sung songs in English. The song is sung or played in many movies, from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to ‘When Harry Met Sally.’
  7. To sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ a circle is created and hands are joined with the person on each side of you. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands.
  8. An important element of Hogmanay celebrations is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and of course a kiss to wish everyone a ‘Good New Year’. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.
  9. ‘First Footing’ – the ‘first foot’ in the house after midnight is still very common is Scotland. To ensure good luck, a first footer should be a dark-haired male. Fair-haired first footers were not particularly welcome after the Viking invasions of ancient times. Traditional gifts include a lump of coal to lovingly place on the host’s fire, along with shortbread, a black bun and whisky to toast to a Happy New Year.
  10. To first foot a household empty-handed is considered grossly discourteous, never mind unlucky!
    More Hogmanay facts here

Our usual choice of Christmas and New Year favourites and some new exclusives. All are ideal for independent like-minded travellers, students and young professionals.

Spend Christmas and New Year in a way you will always remember.
Contact us for more information

The Backpacker Tour Company
Est. 1997

Posted by: StonehengeNews | April 11, 2015

Jack-in-the-Green 2015

The Company of the Green Man

Winchcombe 2013 55

Not long to go before the traditional Jack-in-the-Green awakens across Britain. Below are the most up to date details of this years events. Sadly a few Jacks won’t be going out this year but there will still be plenty of wonderful events taking place. Don’t miss out on this wonderful and magical annual tradition, go out and support your nearest Jack and please send us in your pictures and experiences of the event to share with others. If you know of any events I have missed please do get in touch.

2015 Jack-in-the-Green events

Blue Bell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

Jack is awoken by Motley Morris (the custodians of the Jack) and various other Morris sides at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area surrounded by twelve bonfires.

Motley Morris

Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack was revived in 2009 as…

View original post 798 more words

Posted by: StonehengeNews | January 15, 2015

Early Bird Deals: Save up to 40% on Europe tours

Save up to 40% on our European Adventure Tours

As a large-scale seller of Europe tours and Adventures, we are able to offer you unbeatable prices and unparalleled value. Once you have found the discounted Europe tour of your choice, please call our tour consultants to book your vacation and save money with our first-choice personalised service! Book your Europe tour today with, your U.K discounted tour experts.


We are one of Europe’s largest travel agencies offering massive discounts on tours and adventures. We offer the best personal service plus prices so low we are often not allowed to advertise them. Email us or request an online quote to see our great deals.

Europe Backpacker Tours

Check out our handpicked selection of fun tours and backpacker-geared transportation options that include hostels, camping or budget hotels.

Whether you are backpacking Europe or focusing on a region or two, there’s an option for you!

Ask Expert Bob

Email Bob:

Latest Backpacker Discount Deals
Get 10% off all Busabout Hop-on, Hop-off Passes. Save from £50-£150. See individual tours for further details

Get 10% off all Haggis Adventures tours of Scotland, Wales and England. Save up to £50. See individual tours for further details

Bob at The Backpacker Tour Company (est. 1995)
The Budget Tour and European Travel Experts

Posted by: StonehengeNews | October 5, 2014

Backpacking Travel Tips: Top 5 ways to save money on your travels

We all love holidays and travelling, but our bank balances rarely thank us for it.

There are ways to cut costs, however, and still have a brilliant time, without compromising on your overall experience.

Here are a few handy tips to bear in mind when heading off on your travels, to save some of your hard-earned cash…

1. Drop a star or two

If you normally favour 5* luxury, consider searching for accommodation with slightly lower ratings. 3* and 4* hotels, villas and apartments will often offer a very similar experience for a fraction of the price of more luxurious boltholes.

Don’t let snobbery get in the way when booking holidays or travel, because the money you could save by being less picky could go towards your spending money and you can use it to create some fantastic memories.

2. Set a daily budget

 It’s all well and good setting yourself a spending budget of 10 Euros per day, but unless you want to starve in 30 degree heat, it’s not always the best idea. Be realistic and make sure your daily spending money budget meets your wants and needs. Unless those “wants and needs” are champagne excursions on a super yacht and lobster every night. That’s just daft.

3. Don’t be greedy

 Yes, I’m sure you would like to spend three weeks travelling around South America, but ask yourself whether or not you could see everything you wanted to see in less time. Careful planning and setting a daily itinerary may sound dull, but by allocating time slots to different trips and sights you’d be surprised how much you can get done in much less time.

So, if you carefully cram, you could well fit everything from that originally desired three week trip into two weeks or less. If your travels are about sightseeing rather than r&r, don’t expect to be able to kick off your flip flops and unwind. It’ll be tiring, but totally worth it.

4. Be a bargain hunter

 If you book your travels on a whim, chances are you won’t have got the best deal. Some people are put off trying to save money due to how time consuming it can sometimes be, but thanks to the wealth of comparison sites out there and discount codes on websites like, you can easily find a way to knock money off your booking. Let’s face it, not saving money when you actually have the chance to, is like not eating that free slice of chocolate cake that’s being handed to you. You just have to do it.

5. Get a group together

 Solo travel is the next big thing and you’re bound to look pretty cool posting actual “I’m all by myself on this mountain top” selfies on your Instagram account, but if you have no one to split the travel costs with then you end up forking out much more.

These great travel saving trips were brought to us my the fab TNT Travel Magazine: Top 5 ways to save money on your travels – TNT Magazine

Save money with our discount budget tours and let the adventure begin !

See the very best of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe on a budget with our Backpacker Travel Network. Choose from a wide selection of scheduled excursions including day tours to Britain’s top attractions, extended tours, jump on, jump off tours, short break weekend packages and activity /adventure tours. Book our Bank holiday and 2014 tours now!!

Travel Editor
The Backpacker Tour Company

Posted by: StonehengeNews | November 13, 2013

Looking for great value Bank Holiday breaks in 2014?

UK Weekend Breaks

Whether you love short breaks, an Easter getaway, weekend breaks in England or cheap city breaks, we have them all, handpicked and selected by our expert backpacker team so that you can create the perfect break away.

What a difference a day makes. A bank holiday turns a weekend into something very different: an opportunity for a proper  backpacker adventure. Where better than Cornwall?

Newquay Weekend Party Tour

Spend three nights in the party town of Newquay, Cornwall and celebrate in style – Newquay -Europes surf capital – offers Newquay Surf beach partyone of the biggest street parties in England.Step this way. For those with the will and the stamina, Newquay never stops. The Radio One roadshow started here. There are fun pubs and great clubs; ten-pin and games arcades, fast food, fine weather and fabulous company. If you ‘re looking for the spot that’s hot for 2014 new Year celebrations, every summer, Newquay is IT!

Discover England’s best kept secret! Miles of sandy beaches, turquoise waters, dramatic coastline, pretty fishing villages and the best surf in the UK. Relax or party – we do both!

Newquay can be all adrenalin: frenetic, vibrant, action packed. But it can also be quiet, secluded and very romantic. If you want to, it’s easy to slip away from the crowd and enjoy a leisurely stroll, an uninterrupted drink or a candlelit dinner for two in a quiet restaurant. Whether your idea of a party is a twosome and a piano or two hundred in a disco, the word on the street is Newquay.

Why Newquay?
newquay-surfThe Jewel in Cornwall’s crown and an all round favourite party destination. Newquay boasts fantastic beaches, great surf, watersports and bustling nightlife.

Beaches are at the very heart of any holiday to Newquay. Infact there are 8 different beaches within walking distance of the town centre – all of them with golden sand and atlantic breakers offering a different beach experience for every day of your stay!

It’s easy to see why Newquay is such a firm favourite with backpackers. Added to the many attractions and of course the magnificent beaches Newquay is also a bustling town with pedestrianised shopping area featuring many high street names alongside the usual seaside stores. There is also abundant nightlife for all tastes whether it be a traditional seaside pub or the opportunity to dance into the small hours Newquay has the answer.

Early bird discounts:

Easter and Bank Holiday breaks:

Bob (Travel Editor)
The Backpacker Tour Company



Posted by: StonehengeNews | October 22, 2013

European Winter Express Trip: Early Bird Offer

Visiting 6 countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium

Europe has so much to offer, so much to see and do and one of the best things about travelling Europe in winter is that there are far fewer crowds and you can fly through the queues! But that is not the only advantage; to travel Europe in winter also means to see this fascinating region in a whole new light as it wraps itself in season cheer to keep warm during the chilly months. And don’t forget the chance to see elegant old capitals under a blanket of snow!

Amsterdam Winter Tour

Book and pay in full by 15 January 2014, we’ll give you an ‘Early Bird’ discount of 10% off!

Day 1: Paris

Our Topdeck trip begins early this morning in London. We depart and drive to Dover, where we cross the English Channel to France by ferry. Upon arrival in Calais we drive to Paris, capital of France and the world’s most popular city break destination. After checking in to our accommodation we have an included dinner at a local French restaurant. Later we head into the city for a spectacular ‘City Lights’ driving tour with our Topdeck Crew. We’ll get to marvel at the renowned beauty of Paris as we pass many famous sights along the River Seine, including the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and much more!

Travelling Europe in winter means no long queues

Day 2: Paris

Our free day in Paris gives us a chance to explore the city at our own pace. Among the city’s most famous attractions are the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pompidou Centre, Napoleon’s Tomb and the impressive Musée d’Orsay. For a different perspective of Paris, an optional ‘Fat Tire’ bicycle tour could see us cycling the streets of the French capital. This evening we enjoy a delicious French dinner in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we can complete our Parisian experience with a choice of two great optional activities – a Seine River Cruise or a show at one of the oldest cabarets in Paris, the famous Paradis Latin.

Day 3: Swiss Alps

A long but scenic drive today as we make our way to the stunning country of Switzerland and the gorgeous Swiss Alps. We pass incredible landscapes and fairy-tale villages as we draw closer to our accommodation. Our base in the village of Lauterbrunnen is set in a deep valley, flanked by towering cliffs from which waterfalls tumble, framed by the snowy peaks of Europe’s great mountain range, the Alps – we’re confident you’ll fall in love with it! Tonight we enjoy a fantastic Swiss dinner.

An unforgettable winter travel adventure…..

Day 4: Swiss Alps

A free day in the snowy Swiss Alps! This morning there is an option to ride the historic Jungfraubahn railway to the highest station in Europe, which sits atop the Jungfrau Mountain. At over 12000ft high it deserves its nickname, the ‘Roof of Europe’. For those who think that being 12000ft high whilst having your feet on the ground is too boring – why not throw yourself out of a helicopter instead?! An optional (weather permitting) tandem skydive over the Swiss Alps is truly memorable. The rest of the day is free to explore the numerous mountain walks. Later we enjoy another delicious dinner.

Day 5: Venice

Benvenuti in Italia! Our Topdeck adventure continues as we enter Italy. Today we take a long but beautiful drive to Venice, the city of canals and gondolas. Our accommodation is located on the mainland across the lagoon from Venice’s main islands. After checking in, tonight we enjoy a tasty Italian dinner.

Day 6: Venice

A free day to explore extraordinary Venice – a maze of canals, bridges, squares and incredible artworks. An included walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader will unveil some of the city’s amazing architecture, including the striking St Mark’s Basilica in St Mark’s Square. We also enjoy a ’Totally Topdeck’ included vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal, and our optional gondola ride is the perfect way to see the city.

Day 7: Munich

Our Topdeck adventure moves on to Bavaria in southern Germany. We drive to the brilliant city of Munich, where a walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader will take in the main sights including Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and the huge Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady). We’ll also have time to uncover the pretzels, roasted pork knuckles and the famous beer halls of Munich. Don’t leave Bavaria without sampling a German beer or two whilst being entertained by a traditional ‘Oompah’ band!

Day 8: Rhine Valley

We depart and make for the delights of western Germany and the famous Rhine Valley region, where we discover medieval castles, vineyards and the mighty Rhine River. The Rhine Valley is an area of picture-book towns and majestic views, and we can even take an optional cruise along the Rhine to savour its natural beauty and character.

Day 9: Amsterdam

This morning we visit a Rhine Valley beer steins centre and a cuckoo clock shop to find out more about these typically German products, and possibly pick up some souvenirs. Our drive to the Netherlands then gives us chance to conserve our energy for Amsterdam! The ‘Dam is a city of contrasts where bicycles, clogs, tulips and the infamous Red Light District live side by side in harmony. Just outside the city we stop at a traditional farm to see how Dutch cheese and clogs (wooden shoes) are made. After checking in to our accommodation, this evening we head into the heart of Amsterdam to see Dam Square with our Topdeck Trip Leader, and we can even investigate the Red Light District itself!

Day 10: Amsterdam

A full free day to enjoy Amsterdam. Our included ‘Totally Topdeck’ bike ride is the perfect way to tour the city, just like the locals. We’ll also have time to wander the canals or visit attractions such as Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Experience. This evening we can look forward to an included dinner in a local restaurant, followed by an optional canal cruise on a private boat along Amsterdam’s waterways.

Day 11: London

We make our way to the Belgian city of Brugge this morning, where a walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader takes in the city’s excellent Gothic architecture. We’ll have free time here to seek out some Belgian specialities – chocolate, waffles and beer! Afterwards we drive to Calais in France to catch our ferry across the English Channel. Our trip finishes upon arrival in London this evening, when it will be time to say fond farewells to our  Crew and travelling companions.

European Winter Express Tour:

More Winter Tours:

The Backpacker Travel Experts
Doing it one ? Do it properly!

Posted by: StonehengeNews | October 1, 2013

Budget Travel: Day trips from London

 Bth budget Tours: TNT

Bath time: relax in a Roman spa

Want to get away but can’t afford a hotel stay? All you need is a train  ticket and a day to spare

One of the beauties of England is that it’s so teeny tiny. Simply jump on a  train for a maximum of two hours and you can spend the day in one of these  top spots.


Get there: The 8.57am train from London Bridge gets into  Brighton at 9.55am. Advance Saturday return fare, £10.

Morning: Take a stroll up the Victorian-era pier, pausing to  shoot some zombies or win loads of 2p coins in the arcade. Next up, scream in  the haunted house or on a ride that turns you upside down 40ft above sea level,  literally.

Afternoon: Get a take-out of vinegar-soaked fish and chips,  make a ‘bum nest’ in the pebbles on the beach and enjoy – just beware of the  food-stealing gulls. Take an obligatory ride on the Ferris Wheel and then enjoy a tour of the  stunning, if confused (Indian on the outside, Oriental on the  inside) Royal Pavilion.

Evening: Dodge the hen parties roaming the streets clutching  inflatable penises and head for the cool and quirky Black Dove for a chilled-out drink before you  head home.

Get back: Last train is at 11.37pm, arriving in LBR at  12.51am.


Get there: Get the 8.59am train from King’s Cross, arriving  in Cambridge at 10.03am. Advance Saturday return fare, £16.

Morning: Meander around the pretty town and see how the rich  folk live. Admire the university campus buildings – and its students. These  teens look like they’ve stepped straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad  (surely they can’t be that hot and English).

Afternoon: Hire a punt (try and take turns standing on the end  to push it along the riverbed with a long pole. If you would like to learn a bit  about what you’re seeing – or you reckon your mates will push you in if you punt  – you can do a guided tour, but wait until the last trip at 5.30pm, when they  halve the cost to £10pp.

Evening: Sip sundowners at the rooftop bar at The  Varsity before eating steak at The River Bar. It’s expensive  but so worth it.

Get back: Last train is at 11.15pm, arriving in KGX at  1.09am.


Get there: Get the 8.30am train from Paddington,  arriving in Bath Spa at 10am. Advance Saturday fare, £28 for two singles.

Morning: See Bath from a unique angle and stop off wherever you fancy by  hiring a narrowboat. Try Bath Narrowboats, which offers half-day hire on a  boat that holds up to six for £85.

Afternoon: After returning your narrowboat, be sure to  check out Britain’s only hot spring (Bath ain’t called Bath for nothing). The  temple that the Romans built around it still remains; take a tour before  grabbing afternoon tea in the 18th-century Pump Room.

Evening: The water at the Roman Baths is considered unsafe  for bathing, but Thermae  Bath Spa has siphoned off the hot waters for its pools,  including an amazing one on the rooftop. Go for a twilight session to watch the  sun sink over Bath’s rooftops while you bathe.

Get back: Last train is at 10.43pm, arriving in PAD at  12.33am.


Get there: Get the 8am train from Marylebone, arriving in  Birmingham Snow Hill at 10.09am. Advance Saturday fare, £12 two singles.

Morning: With more miles of canals than Venice, take a  stroll along the water’s edge, stopping for a spot of early lunch at  bustling Brindley Place.

Afternoon: It’s not often we’d send you to a shopping  centre but The  Mailbox, formally a Royal Mail sorting office, is a great  spot, plus it houses the BBC Public Space, where you can watch live broadcasts  and even have a go yourself (not live, though).

Evening: Catch a flick at the retro Electric, the oldest working cinema in the UK – it even has  an interval organ.

Get back: Last train is at 9.34pm from Birmingham New  Street, arriving in Euston at 12.40am.

Photos: Thinkstock; Getty; Facebook

UK Day Tours:

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Bob (The old travel expert)
The Backpacker Tour Company


Posted by: StonehengeNews | August 29, 2013

Spanish town charges for La Tomatina food fight

The town hosting Spain’s annual tomato-throwing festival, La Tomatina, on Wednesday is charging a fee for the first time.

TOMATINASome 20,000 people from across the world – mostly Australians, Japanese and Britons – will pack the eastern town of Bunol, many wearing goggles to protect their eyes from the stinging juice, before launching into a gigantic one-hour food fight.

This year, for the first time, they are paying a minimum of €10 (£8.60) for the privilege of pelting each other with tomatoes in streets that end up flooded in red juice.

The price rises to €750 (£647) to get up on one of the six trucks that will bring in a record 130 tonnes of tomatoes.

Some 5,000 free tickets have been set aside for Bunol residents.

Organisers have cut the number of participants by half citing safety concerns over the size of crowds.

This year, the festival will count on 180 safety officials, 50 private security as well as police and organisers. Emergency services will have nine ambulances, and several helicopters.

“This is the first year we are charging for access to this popular festival due the need to limit the crowd for safety reasons,” Bunol town hall said in a statement.

“We have had a problem for the past eight or 10 years: the Tomatina is not controlled, we don’t know how many people are going to come,” Bunol Mayor Joaquin Masmano Palmer told Spanish media.

But the town also says organising the food fight represents a “heavy cost” for public finances.

For the first time, a private company, SpainTastic, has been charged with selling entry tickets to the Tomatina, sparking concern that recession-hit Spain’s town festivals may be on the path to privatisation.

Days before the festival, almost all tickets offered by SpainTastic were sold out.

Among the top ticket buyers were Australians with 19.2 per cent of the total, Japanese with 17.9 per cent, Britons with 11.2 per cent, Spaniards with 7.8 per cent and Americans 7.5 per cent.

About 60 per cent of the tickets went to people aged between 18 and 35. The oldest was 82.

Tourists also will be able to buy official Tomatina T-shirts, caps and coffee mugs.

Spain’s leading daily El Pais said Bunol town hall had a debt of 4.1 million euros and the tomato fight would cost 140,000 euros.

The mayor has reportedly said the town hall hopes this year’s food fight will bring in economic benefits exceeding last year’s estimate of €300,000 because paying for entry “changes the level” of participant.

Though the origins of the event are unclear, it is thought to have its roots in a food fight between children during a parade in the mid-1940s.

It has grown in size as international press coverage has brought more and more people to the festival.

After the fight, many of the revellers head to the local river to wash off the pulp.

Full story:

Tomatina Tours:

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