Reunion 2019 - Itinerary

4 day escorted tour from £425pp

Date

Friday 11th October 2019

Welcome to the Jurys Inn Hotel, Cheltenham Spa. Richard and Dawn look forward to greeting you with afternoon tea or coffee in Dawn's Pop-up Cafe! Time to settle in, renew acquaintances and meet fellow travellers. A welcome reception this evening before our opening Gala Dinner with guest speaker, LIZ BONNIN, biologist and BBC TV presenter, most recently on our screens in the highly acclaimed Drowning in Plastics. Liz's many TV credits also include Galapagos, Big Blue Live, Nature's Epic Journeys, Stargazing Live, and Who Do You Think You Are? In recognition of her work, Liz has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association

Accommodation: Jurys Inn Cheltenham

Date

Saturday 12th October 2019

Breakfast in our private banquet room, before free time to explore the area. Our dates coincide with the famous Cheltenham Literature Festival, so the town will be buzzing with all sorts of events and activities well worth attending. We'll circulate festival details to guests in advance. If you're heading into town, consider leaving your car and taking the inexpensive round-trip park-and-ride bus which starts adjacent to our hotel. Of course, in addition to the Literature Festival, Cheltenham is a great place for shopping and there are also many attractive galleries and cafes as well.

This evening, after another excellent dinner with complimentary wine or soft drinks, a real treat is in store! Sit back and be entertained by Simon Mayor and Hilary James. Simon is one of the world's leading mandolinists as well as a fine fiddle player, guitarist, composer and wit. His live performances are a riot of humorous anecdotes and off-the-cuff wit alongside dazzling musicianship. With his debut The Mandolin Album he embarked on a series of recordings to realise his longstanding intention to give the mandolin a uniquely British voice. The CD was immediately made Recording Of The Week on BBC Radio 2 and received huge popular and critical acclaim. Many albums later, his mix of original and traditional material alongside classical showstoppers has been heralded across the media.

A fine fiddle player as well, Simon played swing fiddle on the album for the show Five Guys Name Mo, and he likes to keep his hand in playing occasional folk fiddle gigs when schedules allow. Simon now tours regularly with long-time partner Hilary James.
The duo share a keen interest in children's music and have worked extensively with young people in theatres and schools. They presented Play School and for six years were regular hosts of BBC Music Education programmes. Simon and Hilary have also written satirical and topical songs for BBC news programmes, including Newsnight.

Richard and Dawn have seen Simon and Hilary in concert, and you're in for a fabulous evening!

Accommodation: Jurys Inn Cheltenham

Date

Sunday 13th October 2019

Another hearty breakfast, before you are invited to join Richard and Dawn at The International Centre for Birds of Prey, one of the world’s leading raptor breeding and conservation centres. Situated near the town of Newent, just half-an-hour’s drive from Cheltenham, the centre is home to over 250 incredible birds of prey, plus there are 12 acres of enclosures, glorious gardens, fields and woods to explore. There are three flying displays each day, and we plan to arrive in time for the late-morning display, although you can also stay and see subsequent flying which will feature different birds. We hope to arrange a private guided tour for Furlongs Travel guests, and there is a café on site for tea/coffee and light snacks. We recommend you self-drive since this will give you flexibility to continue your day and explore elsewhere if you wish ... The Malvern Hills, Forest of Dean, Tewkesbury and more, are all nearby. The Birds of Prey Centre admission tickets are normally £12.50 per person, but for the first 50 Reunion Weekend bookings, we'll discount the tickets to just £5 per person! Please check ticket availability and cost at the time you make your reunion booking.

This evening is our grand finale dinner and we're excited to welcome the Creative Director and Executive Producer of the BBC’s Bristol-based Natural History Unit, MIKE GUNTON. Mike is responsible for numerous landmark TV wildlife programmes, including many of David Attenborough’s natural history series. These epic BBC programmes have no doubt encouraged us all to explore the world, and it will be fascinating to hear what it takes to create them.

As Executive Producer at the BBC's redoubtable Natural History Unit, Mike has led some of the most jaw-dropping nature productions of the past 25 years, including Life, Galápagos, Yellowstone, Madagascar, Africa and, most recently, Dynasties. Working cheek-by-jowl with Sir David Attenborough, Mike and his teams bring Nature's astounding insights into the living rooms of millions of viewers. The BBC's Bristol based Natural History Unit is the world's largest production unit dedicated to wildlife film-making, and in November 2009, in addition to remaining Executive Producer, Mike became its first Creative Director. The NHU's portfolio of iconic programming is the gold standard for the industry. Productions range from technically challenging live shows to super-landmark series, including Planet Earth II, Life in the Snow, Autumnwatch, and Elephant Family and Me. For over half a century the NHU has pioneered use of ground-breaking technical and creative innovation to open our eyes to the wonders of the natural world. So what does it take to craft an epic BBC Natural History show? Mike will provide us with an fascinating insight.

Being our last night, we're almost bound to conclude proceedings with some bubbly and some fun souvenirs, so be prepared!

Accommodation: Jurys Inn Cheltenham

Date

Monday 14th October 2019

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast. No rush to leave. Enjoy the hotel facilities for as long as you wish. When it's time to go, Richard and Dawn will be on hand to help and wish you safe journey. You'll take home happy memories of a splendid weekend.

Accommodation: Jurys Inn Cheltenham