It begins with a seaplane ride, soaring up over the Scottish landscape and gazing out onto the glorious wilderness of the Highlands below. Then, the plane dips down and glides over the calm waters of a remote loch, pulling up alongside a secluded beach. Here, in this remarkable setting, a private tent awaits where a gourmet chef is busy preparing a spectacular feast featuring the finest Scottish fare.
This is one of many bespoke experiences available from Cashel Travel, a boutique, family-run company that crafts unique itineraries around some of Great Britain and Ireland’s most extraordinary regions. Based in Edinburgh, and with 30 expert staff members, they are one of the leading bespoke tour operators and DMC’s in Great Britain.
“As people have more time to travel and more destinations open up, they are increasingly looking for experiences rather than just amazing hotels,” says James Aitken, founder and joint owner of Cashel Travel. “Companies now are looking to do things that aren’t possible to organise on their own, whether it is to stay in a castle dining with the owner or playing on an exclusive golf course on a private island or blending their own whisky”.
For Cashel Travel, the first stage in planning an incentive is to establish the client’s expectations. “Everyone has different levels of comfort and luxury”, says James. “Some clients want to meet locals in a village pub. Others want to be pampered throughout.”
New venues are carefully assessed by James and fellow company director, Marta
Kucharczyk. They both spend a good part of their year visiting places throughout Britain and Ireland, scoping out restaurants, hotels, and experiences they know their clients would enjoy. “We are convinced,” says Marta, “that the only way to make sure our clients enjoy their precious leisure time is to check everything in advance and not trust online guides, which are frequently out of date or plain wrong!”
It’s not just the MICE market demanding unusual activities; luxury travel is increasingly looking to create memorable itineraries. “There seems to be an innovative and creative change in terms of the clients’ requests,” says Marta, “with a demand for unique, VIP experiences so we are constantly researching non-traditional venues and activities.”
That’s where Cashel Travel really stands apart as they scour the UK in search of the exceptional. They are always on the lookout for places, people and experiences that will perfectly suit each individual client.
Founded in 2000 by James Aitken, Cashel Travel works exclusively in Great Britain and Ireland. They are passionate about promoting and delivering the best possible experiences that these destinations have to offer, and as a result they have become one of the most respected and experienced DMC’s in the market.
With offices in Edinburgh and Manchester, Cashel Travel is perfectly positioned to deliver the best conferences and incentives right across the Great Britain.
James has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry having founded and sold two companies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He is the past president of the Scottish chapter of SITE: a member of the travel trade and business tourism steering group at VisitScotland and is currently treasurer and a board member of UKInbound.
So what has Great Britain got to offer?
Naturally, there is always a big draw to London, England. With direct flights from all corners of the globe, London is the most accessible city in Great Britain. Depending on requirements, there are large-seated venues like the O2 Arena or Excel with a seated capacity for 20,000. Or stylish, unique & quirky venues like Clerkenwell & Social or 93 Piccadilly for the smaller, more personal experience. There are endless choices of activities, with tours of the Royal Opera House, the BBC, even Helicopter Tours. There are so many unique dining experiences to choose from, in arguably the most multicultural city in the world. You really are limited only by your imagination. But be prepared, to be blown away.
The English countryside is also spectacular and unique in many ways. With breath-taking views from top to bottom, incredible castles and country houses, it is riddled with class & sophistication. Cheshire, East Yorkshire, Hampshire, Perthshire, South Cambridgeshire, Lancashire, Oxfordshire… So many Shires to choose from!
Move over to Wales, but catch your breath first. With fairy-tale like scenery and more castles per square kilometre (or mile) than any country in Europe, you’re never far from jaw dropping surroundings or history. The charm of the Welsh and their unique language promises an experience unlike any other. But don’t mistake Wales as just a place to take thousands of outdoor panoramic shots, it’s got so much more to offer. With great venues ike Cardiff City Stadium, The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Castle, and an endless choice of great hotel and country clubs too. Did we mention castles?
If you love the outdoors and mountains, then you must visit Snowdonia. To top that off, why not try the longest zip line in Europe? (And the fastest in the world). Built over Penrhyn slate quarry, be prepared to zip along in excess of 100mph (160kmh) and approximately 400m up in the air! It’s literally, a breath-taking experience.
Speaking of outdoors, it doesn’t get much more rugged and unspoiled than Scotland. With endless rolling hills, mountains, and incredible lakes and rivers, Scotland’s highlands offer a postcard moment wherever you turn. If you like Scotch Whisky, there is a vast array of distilleries to visit and drams to sample, if you wish. Not to be outdone, Scotland has its fair share of castles too. Many are painfully restored or preserved with many others too far gone, but equally spectacular in their rugged surroundings.
If you like Island hopping then Scotland is the place to go. Isle of Skye, Orkney, Shetland, Kintyre, Jura, the list goes on and on. With incredible cuisine on offer in most locations and spectacular wildlife all around, you’ll truly feel at one with nature.
But again, it’s not all about the amazing scenery in the highlands and the Celtic culture; there are great cities too. Glasgow & Edinburgh are some of the most popular cities in Great Britain. With international airports in both, they’re easily accessible, too. Both offer state of the art venues like the award-winning Edinburgh International Conference Centre, with room for up to 2,000 seated, and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow with seating for up to 12,000. Both cities and many others around Scotland offer spectacular venues in castles, townhouses, museums, the list goes on.
As well as all the activities there’s also an incredible selection of the finest restaurants and culinary experiences that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. The accents can vary greatly from north to south and it adds extra charm and character wherever you may go.
This only scratches the surface of what Great Britain has to offer. Honestly, it’s painfully difficult to summarise it into so few words. We’d love to speak to you about many of the other joys, venues or even the ideas that you may have.
Interested? From more information, please contact Mr. James Aitken at firstname.lastname@example.org