Monday, 23 February 2015

Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge used to be open access to all, in fact not so long ago people barely bothered with the mysterious rock formation, planted just off the A303 in Wiltshire. Then the owner of the field in which it sits bequeathed the land to English Heritage who put a fence around the stones, a turnstile quickly followed before eventually the multi million pound exhibit you pay to see today was born touching the stones. To be fair, souvenir hunters were guilty of chipping bits off so I guess their intentions were at least honourable and for the good of preservation.


The summer and winter solstice celebrations (longest and shortest day of the year) gives us the rare opportunity to get up close and very personal to the Henge. To walk around and with-in the Henge (not really a Henge) overnight before watching the sun rise over the heal stone from the inner circle. Powerful, mystical and memorable.


We wouldn't be being honest if we didn't warn you that this is not for everyone. Access to the stones is made possible because the modern day druids and wizards believe this to be their religious right. But, its success does mean that crowds of between 18000-35000 converge on the site, some for the experience but most for the party (The Glastonbury festival follows close after the Summer solstice and is 'en route').


There are many police and security on hand and, when I did it, I never felt threatened, just irritated. Arrests for minor drug offences are common as are people calling you 'dude' and telling you they love you.


We will pick you up from your home or hotel and transport you in comfort to a pub/restaurant of your choice close to the site. Wellington boots and torches are needed for the 15 minute walk to the stones from the vehicle (please note this is over a field and it could be wet...haha did you think summer meant summer?) Head towards the music, drumming and festival noise where we dance until dawn (dancing is optional). 

Sun rises around 04.45am to great celebrations and, if honest, relief in that the return journey beckons. We'll stop for a well earned breakfast and a chance to swap stories and photographs before heading back and the comfort of your bed.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Bespoke Tours of the UK

Someone once said that ‘Time and Tide wait for no man’ Time: meaning that no one person is more powerful or can halt the onset of time, Tide: well, if you are late for your cruise ship it, and its Greek captain, will not wait for you.
We at Chirton Grange are always looking for ways to enhance our clients visit or experience and with the launch of our new website are looking to further that service.

For clients arriving into the UK to meet up with a cruise ship we invariably find that visitors like to arrive a few days early or, if on the day of sailing, very early in the morning. Now, what to do? the cruise companies do a marvellous job of herding their new arrivals around the airport terminal as they wait for ‘just a couple of more flights’ to then eventually send all packing on 50 seat coaches and to compound the matter this isn’t necessarily a cheap option.

Up steps Chirton Grange (fanfare please) who can organise a straight transfer from airport or hotel to the ships gantry or, should time allow, arrange to show you something of our historic and beautiful country on route to the ship.

For example, let us take our busiest starting point, Heathrow airport. All our guests are met in the arrivals hall by their own dedicated, suited chauffeur holding a bright and clear iPad name board. We are not waiting for anyone else as we now assist you with your luggage to the waiting vehicle, we recommend the Mercedes Viano (mini-van) as cruise clients never travel lightly, where your comfort is enhanced by the supply of complimentary mineral water, the days newspaper and WIFI connectivity. We can go directly to the ship or why not try:

A 15 minute journey into lovely Windsor and its Royal Castle, take afternoon tea in the Crooked Café, tour the Castle or simply stroll the lovely Thames riverside crossing to gawp at the sons of the rich and famous at the elite Eton College. We then have 1.5 hour trip to Southampton.

Our unique ‘Selfie’ whirlwind tour of London. Once into the countries capitol city we may not have time to go into the many museums and galleries but can certainly get you around and photographed outside all of the major landmarks London has to offer. As with all we do this can be tailored to individual needs. Some want the famous Abbey Road/ Beatles shot others want the Tower of London, we’ll make sure you get them all including the Red Telephone box- Top Tip; This is great for teenagers who get bored easily. You shop and we’ll shoot them (with a camera)

The mystery of Stonehenge is only around 1.5 hours travel time with around another hour then needed from the site to the port. A great way to fill in your time and tick a box, boxes can be made available to tick if needed. With the recently opened, multi million pound, Stonehenge exhibit on offer before you are shuttled down to the real thing this is an opportunity not to be missed.

On we don’t really do ready-made tours but would rather you give us the remit of your likes and interests then let us build your own personal experience. Be it Winston Churchill, Downton Abbey or Harry Potter to the Battle of Britain or The Beatles we can build it. Steam trains to afternoon tea, English wines to warm beer, history….oh you get the idea.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

British Chauffeur Tours

Chirton Grange is embarking on a new adventure. Over the past few years, while chauffeuring people around this beautiful county, we've become quite adept at running tours and our knowledge of the land has improved drastically. We're also building relationships with cruise companies, travel agents and the tourist industry as a whole.

As part of this, we've noticed that a lot of the tours already in existence aren't really geared towards families with teenagers. At all. Young kids have the family days out and zoo's etc. Older kids (18+) can go to the pubs and nightclubs that make up London's excellent nightlife. But what if you're between 12 and 18? There's plenty to do in this country, loads of ways to spend the day, but they just aren't apparent!

That's why, we're looking to work with companies who offer these days and experiences to put together a "family day out". We'll take the kids off to Greenwich to fight Zombies, while Mum and Dad can have a look round the Maritime Museum and have a lovely lunch. Or we could drop Mum and Dad at a civilised restaurant in Southampton from the cruise, then take the kids to paintball for the afternoon.

We remember that in those ages we didn't like anything. It was all very uncool. So was the word uncool... So, let's take the kids off your hands for the day, take them to something they will enjoy and leave the parents to go and have a nose round an art gallery. Kid-free.

So, this is an appeal really, we've got some great ideas and venues in mind, but we need the help of anyone we can to put together some really great days out. So get in contact to or visit or Tweet us @BritishTour.

Thanks for reading!