Following on from our hugely successful lockdown Mediterranean Cruise, it was high time the residents embarked on another travel adventure. After much teamwork and planning, we decided this time to stay in the U.K. visiting 3 iconic destinations: Blackpool, Edinburgh and London. What better way to travel than to evoke happy memories of Steam Train travel on the ‘Woodlands Express’.
On each morning it was ‘All aboard’ as the lounge was transformed into a steam train with the journey projected on to the big screen with authentic sounds and views as if a steam train journey of yesteryear.
Each day on arrival we had a ‘fun quiz’ about the place we were visiting. Clearly the nostalgia sparked longstanding knowledge about all three destinations.
On day one our trip to Blackpool included a game of bingo, a trip up the tower, dancing at the tower ballroom, Wurlitzer organ recital, end of the pier entertainment with Arthur Askey and to finish, an evening ride along the illuminations in a tram. Lunch was traditional fish and chips from the ‘chippy’. Danielle mocked up a beach with bucket and spade. The day ended with a rousing chorus of ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’
Day two began with the journey up to Edinburgh. Phill had made a cardboard castle to adorn the lounge. The quiz was followed by readings of Robbie Burns poetry and the playing of bagpipes. Lunch was the traditional ‘Burns Night’ meal of haggis, neeps and tatties (with scotch broth for the less adventurous!). After lunch, the big screen allowed shared experiences including a display of sword dancing, a walk along the royal mile, military tattoo at the castle culminating in a Hogmanay fireworks display.
Our final day took us to London. The quiz was followed by a virtual open top bus tour that took us to lunch. Lunch was served in the conservatory that had been set up as a high-class London tea salon. A beautiful afternoon tea was served including bucks fizz and all the trimmings. The afternoon included a trip to the Tower of London, the changing of the guard and a trip to the London Palladium where we were entertained by Cliff Richard and Neil Diamond. Our day in London concluded with a right old karaoke singalong of songs such as ‘Maybe its Because I’m a Londoner’, ‘Down at the Old Bull and Bush’ and ‘Knees up Mother Brown’.
The successful event was a testimony to the teamwork of the whole Woodlands staff resulting in three days of joy for all. In the new year, we intend to organise such a virtual themed trip once a month – watch this space!