With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics focusing worldwide attention on Britain throughout 2012, England, Scotland and Wales are poised to welcome visitors inspired by what they’ve seen and heard. And rather than resting after their busy year of luxury hotel openings and other preparations, Britain heads full-steam into two more years marked by celebrations and major events. Be prepared to guide clients to what’s new, what’s ahead and to the best of the old.
Count on Series 3 of the wildly popular Downton Abbey to inspire your clients, and be ready to create an itinerary that includes one of the great houses where the series was filmed, or a stay in a grand manor house to sample the Downton Abbey lifestyle themselves. National Trust properties Waddesdon Manor and Greys Court, in the rolling Chiltern Hills, were both used as settings and are open to the public, and three of the Trust’s stately homes are Historic House Hotels. Hartwell House & Spa near Aylesbury, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa in York and Bodysgallen Hall & Spa in North Wales offer luxurious guest rooms, fine dining and traditional afternoon teas, along with magnificent gardens and parklands to stroll (www.nationaltrust.org.uk).