Celebrating Our Return To Travel

In early June, our ever-popular Gardens of Kent & Sussex tour was able to depart and this return to travel was a real celebration for the guests on this departure as well as for our very own Harry, who joined the trip as Tour Manager. 

To mark this exciting occasion, Harry has shared his thoughts on the holiday as well as some lovely photographs that he took, and you can read all about the memorable experience below. 

If you're tempted to treat yourself to a holiday for later this year now that things are starting to open back up, it may help to know that all bookings for 2021 departures are flexible - as are our 2022 holidays. Find out more about flexible booking by clicking here.

Gardens of Kent & Sussex

Earlier this month, I swapped my usual role of Sales Executive for Tour Manager and joined Brightwater’s Gardens of Kent & Sussex holiday.

One of the things I’ve missed the most over the past year or so of not travelling is the people you meet while on holiday, and this trip confirmed that! The excitement and enthusiasm my fellow travellers had for getting back out there and making an effort to get to know one another was just fantastic to see.

It was a small group, with just under 20 of us, but everyone was so delighted to be in a communal environment and it made the holiday spirit that much stronger.

The visits were fantastic and at each location we had a private introduction on arrival from the person that met us off the coach. For example, at Lullingstone Castle we were greeted by Tom Hart Dyke, who spoke with us about his experience of being kidnapped at the hands of Colombian guerrillas in 2000 and the incredible garden he planned during his captivity, which we then went on to visit.

Sissinghurst was another highlight as there was a really special atmosphere at this famous garden. On this occasion we had an evening visit though normally Brightwater groups visit early on the morning before the gardens open to the public.  We also paid a memorable visit to Perch Hill, the private garden of Sarah Raven, where there was plenty of opportunity for conversation!

It was great to work alongside Tour Manager Michael Gill, who has been working with Brightwater since the company began, almost three decades ago. His passion and expertise (he really knows his stuff!) shone through every step of the way and he made all of us feel welcome throughout the holiday.

Our coach for the holiday was big enough that it allowed for guests to maintain safe distances where required and masks were worn throughout each journey, and we stuck to the rule of six at meal times. Our group was so sociable that it wasn’t uncommon for people to sit at different tables on different nights because the conversations flowed so well and there was a real appetite to make the most of the group holiday spirit.

Overall, we just wanted enjoy our time away safely, and with safety measures in place, along with a truly wonderful group, this was something we all achieved. My favourite part of the trip? It would have to be seeing first-hand why people choose to enjoy a group holiday – there’s nothing quite like it.

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Celebrating Our Return To Travel was published on 28 June 2021