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UK’s hidden gems – Our top 10 incentives right here at home

You know when you’re in lockdown too long, because every day becomes a ‘Ground Hog Day’….

Despite leisure, tourism and hospitality grinding to a near halt, we have all been doing our bit to stay connected with clients and fellow industry friends alike.  Working together to find alternative solutions to keep the industry alive.

We recently conducted a poll with my clients and the results were not surprising, confidence in international events are slim.

This made us wonder, with confidence in our economy very low at the minute, incentives will be more important than ever. But with quarantine in place at our borders, we will now be looking towards exploring the hidden gems we have here in the UK. Well at least for the short term.

So here is our bucket list of amazing incentives in the UK:

  1. Journey below the earth at the hidden Castledon Caves, Peak district
Castleton Caves

Photo by https://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/

On arrival experience one of their year-round musical events in the natural amphitheatre at the entrance of the cave.

Then dare to take a walk into the notorious ‘Devil‘s Arse’, thought to be the alleged sound that came from inside the cave, where you will see Peak Cavern’s historic Rope-Making works.

Follow on to a cruise underground in an amazing boat trip 450m under the Hills of Castleton to the remarkable Bottomless Pit.

Once their travel to the Treak Cliff Cavern, where Blue John is still mined, with a glimpse into what life must have been like for the miners working in this eighteenth century lead mine.

From the Blue John Cavern mine, venture to Winnats Pass where bones dating back 4,000 years are found.

Finally head back to Castleton, where many cafes, tea rooms and pubs can be found to quench your thirst and take in the peak district’s views.

2. Hot Air Ballooning over Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bath

hot air balloons

Photo by Nathan Riley on Unsplash

Clifton Suspension Bridge opened in 1864, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, known as one of the most beautiful bridges in the country. It was built high enough for warships to get into the city. It is now used as a popular photography spot and hot air ballooning is the best way to get that perfect angle.

3. Take a Skuna BBQ boat down the River Thames, London

Skuna bbq boat

Photo by https://www.skunaboats.com/

The most unique BBQ Boat, sail down the Thames and enjoy delicious BBQ food in the company of friends or family.

BBQ Boats hold groups of up to 8-10 people and Summer barbecues are no longer confined to dry land, thanks to Skuna’s launch of their BBQ Boats. Sail around the North Dock at Canary Wharf in your very own BBQ boat. They provide the BBQ, boat and utensils- you just bring yourself and the food!

4. Explore and get lost in the Forbidden corner, North Yorkshire

The Forbidden Corner

Photo by https://www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk/

The Forbidden Corner is a private folly in North Yorkshire, challenging and delightful for adults and perfect for team building.

There is the eye of the needle, a huge pyramid temple of the underworld, passages, mazes and paths leading to nowhere and awesome statues. Each challenge and task are greater than the other. Oh and try not to get lost.

5. Having afternoon tea in a Victorian Toilet, London

Attendant London

Photo by https://londonist.com/2013/03/london-blend-attendant-a-cafe-in-a-toilet

6. Visit the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Cheshire

Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Cheshire

Photo by https://www.360virtualtours.co.uk/kelvedon-hatch-secret-nuclear-bunker/

Taking you back in time to experience what could have happened. A 120m tunnel provides a route to the little-known world of the cold war. Designed to hold up to 600 personnel, including housing Winston Churchill, it was created for the aftermath survival of a nuclear war. The audio guide is enticing and witty adding to the experience.

7. Visiting Stonehenge is a must, Wiltshire

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Photo by Sung Shin on Unsplash

There is so much to explore at Stonehenge and the surrounding areas; it’s a truly magical place, steeped in history and wonder.

One thing that sets Stonehenge apart is the mystery surrounding it. The main mystery is that people don’t know who built it – or even why it was built.

The site consists of groups of stones in varying height standing upright, creating a ring formation. While there’s no specific date for the construction of Stonehenge, archaeologists believe it was built around 4-5,000 years ago.

Stonehenge is the most popular tour, but you can also combine this with some of the other amazing must-see sites around.

Visit the Neolithic House, help to reconnect the ancient stones with the people that lived and worked in the Stonehenge landscape. Visitors can step through the door of these houses and get a real sense of what everyday life might have been like when Stonehenge was built. Visit the coffee shop and have a picnic as a team in the grounds.

8. Electric Bear Brewing, Bath

electric beer brewing

Photo by https://electricbearbrewing.com/

If you’re a fan of all thing’s beer related, then you may well have heard of the Electric Bear Brewing Company. Despite its rather unusual name, the explanation behind this quirky label is actually pretty straightforward. Basically, the ‘beer’ part comes from the founder’s home district, while electric is the clue to the fact that the factory brews electrically.

Located in the Maltings, unique and unusual offerings from this Bath-based company include coffee and chocolate infused beers and fruity mango sour beers. If you’re looking for one of the best secret spots in Bath and you’re a beer lover, then the taproom is a place for you!

9. Murder Mystery Experience aboard the British Pullman

British Pullman.

Photo by https://www.belmond.com/

A murder mystery experience with a difference! Step aboard the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, for a murder mystery fine dining experience.

You will travel through the great British countryside and enjoy a delicious four course silver service meal, wine and Champagne whilst trying to solve a murder mystery that Agatha Christie would certainly approve of.

10. Visit Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Hadrian’s Wall

Photo by https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/

Hadrian’s Wall became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, joining a list of places that are so special and can leave a long lasting impression.

Stretching 73 miles across the country from Wallsend in the east to Bowness on the Solway Firth, Hadrian’s Wall was built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian in AD122. It took 6 years to build, the wall boasted 80 milecastles, 17 larger forts and a defensive earthwork, the Vallum, to the south.

Explore ramparts, bath houses and turrets, watch live excavations and learn how Roman soldiers lived; just a few of the activities you can enjoy at the fabulous Roman forts and museums along Hadrian’s Wall.

As life continues to resume, offices slowly opening and hospitality due to re-open from July, get in touch if you like the sound of any of these incentives.